Saturday, April 09, 2005

French Chauvinism

While in perfect nuLabour Britain we're supposed not to have any illicit stirrings of nostalgia in the nether-regions of our hearts and minds for British power and influence (maybe it's best to keep quiet while we still have some- but rather than shaking Mugabe's hand I'd have been inclined to break his wrist, as a sign of peace, of course (though, when you think about it, what on earth was Robert Mugabe doing at the Pope's funeral, and what esteem do the Pope's lieutenants hold Charles in that he was seated just two seats away from the Thugocrat himself when there are stories like this circulating involving senior Zimbabwean Catholics???)), in France things are rather different.

The hilarious spectacle of French politicians muscling up to convince their ovine-like nervous proletariat that the big bad capitalist wolf wouldn't eat them if they said yes to the European Constitution was not only highly entertaining, it also provoked much more of le candour from our neighbours than is usual.

The invaluable Eursoc carries a plat principale of tasty soundbites that have been circulating during le campaign (I can't resist using some bad French-like language, any more than they can resist mispronouncing English). My favourites (but they're all goood!):

'* "This Constitution allows the French ambition to assert itself in the big Europe that General de Gaulle hoped and prayed for." - Education Minister François Fillon (Le Figaro, 7 April)'

'* "We have finally obtained this 'Europe à la française' that we have awaited for so long. This constitutional treaty is an enlarged France. It is a Europe written in French." - Justice Minister Dominique Perben (Times and AFP, 4 April)'

See- like I always always all my life said, a grand French strategy to dominate Europe. The only thing missing from the quotes is the name Napoleon.

Scroll down the last couple of Eurosoc posts for more frogdiculous antics.

Friday, April 08, 2005

See also this from the Times on BBC bias and Gavyn Davies their former CoG- via Mr F&M.

So full of crap he needs an enema.

Yes, yes I know. Crudeness. And from me, too. But Justin Webb really merits it, and I hope that having expressed my disgust so obviously I can take a few breaths and examine an article that could actually tell us much about what is wrong with today's BBC, and what is wrong about the BBC's Britain too.

I said a lot about the tragedy of the Schiavo case, but at least it made Webb feel better about America. As he concludes his article he says:

'It is common to mock at American attempts to export Jeffersonian democracy, but after these two weeks the mocking should stop.'

Now that Schiavo has died her legalistic death he can rhapsodise about the 'complex and vital soul of America' .

Really, this is straight out of LiberalLarryland.

The calm Webb feels after his humanist prejudice has been satisfied with its ultimate sacrificial vindictation allows him to be even more candid than usual. He admits a significant amount when he says:

'America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge.

I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture'.

It's funny. As a product of the Beeb's Britain I've been brought up to believe that no stereotype can ever really be true (that is, I've rejected the Beeb's favourite nostrums and bugbears, and what's left to stereotype?). Stereotypes exist in defiance to reality. This is evidently an invalid assumption as far as Justin Webb is concerned. He adds to the above quoted stereotype:

'that picture is in many respects a true one.'

Webb finds his comfort in the thought that many Americans agreed with him that Schindler should die (I was going to say Schiavo but I think that her husband effected a common-law divorce long before her death). He may say that it's the following of due process that he finds has revived his faith in America- but what's telling is that it's the following of so-called due process against what he believes is religious bigotry that he finds comforting:

'Americans do believe in God and they do believe in life, but they also believe in law, and rules, and the need for democracy to restrain, not satisfy, the wishes of politicians.'

It's quite interesting that Webb's faith in America depends on its subordination of so-called religious values to secular protocols.

These so-called religious values clearly include the right to life, which I wouldn't have thought was any more religious than many a secular nostrum. To believe in this right to life though is to be prejudiced, and to depart from acceptability. All that is acceptable is summated by the grey mass of humanist consensus (in other words, a world where humanists win votes):

'Plenty of honest disagreement among reasonable people, religious and non religious, Republican and Democrat.'- and death on demand.

What's weird for a self-styled ratonal man is when Webb disparages the power of observation, and the medium which he relies on for his life's work and his credibility:

' the television news showed pictures of Terri Schiavo looking responsive, even affectionate, and above all looking vulnerable.'

Yeah- almost as if she had something approaching those qualities.

It's not Webb's rationalism that impresses me about this article- as the Voice of Reason tells us all is well now Terri's dead- it's the coercive irrationality of it.

So what have we got so far: condescension, humanism and socialism, all mixed together to give us Webb's view of the world. He offers us subtle inducements to follow his position (by praising the heart of the US, for instance), but all the long he has a little spiteful wishlist to impose on the unlovely subjects of his journalism (that's you and me, as much as it is the hicks who are, in Webb's vision, beyond feeling like Schiavo herself, almost).

I've gone on long enough- maybe I even went off topic, but as the intro made clear, I was dismayed and angry. Anyway, you can find a parallel take here at the Rottweiler Puppy. Thanks to DumbJon for introducing me to this excellent site.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Death in the Americas

It just seems to me that the Beeb, as well as their liberal transational partners and proteges, are in a horrible twist over the death penalty.

When the Beeb reports a rise in the number of death sentences it somehow winds up in the 'Americas' section, which is wrong not just because the US is a minor contributor to their statistics, but also because at the present time falling numbers of death sentences are being given there, and of course an immensely lengthy judicial system is devoted to cases, frequently alotting more time than was alotted to Terri Schiavo.

What you can say is that the US' death penalty is the big attention-grabber, thanks to the policy of media such as the Beeb, so it makes 'media sense' to put it there- though the Beeb always carefully retains the State's financial and moral support while applying it.

This comes after the BBC asserted- via a journalist's manipulation of an interview with Iraqis concerning instability in their country- that the death penalty was inconsistent with democracy, a common prejudice it seems. In the latest article they pointedly mention that the US is 'one of the very few democracies on the list' (of killer-nations).

But the twist comes when China (responsible for the vast majority of death sentences) says that it

'would improve its justice system so the death penalty would be given "carefully and fairly", the official Xinhua news agency reported.'
and, following that, we find that
'Sarah Green, a spokeswoman for Amnesty in London, welcomed the announcement, but said the group wanted action, not words. '

Whereas, when it comes to the US, we find that
'"There is so much evidence that the death penalty is being applied unfairly, the very possibility of executing anybody who is innocent is reason not to have it," she said.'

So it's good news that China is insisting on a 'fair' death penalty (which, you have to say, seems to need a pinch of salt adding to it), while in the US there's soooo much unfairness in the death penalty waaaaah waaaaah.

To cap it all the report ends by quoting Ted Heath, who has been conpicuous in his admmiration for totalitarians, Chinese in particular. I recognise the unfairness comes via an interlocuter, or 'proxy', as I prefer to see these mouthpieces, but the BBC knows all about selectivity yet fails to apply it when it suits them.

Such inconsistency is consistent with only one thing: a bandwagon, whereby fairness is nothing and the end is everything. The BBC is firmly on it, generally whip in hand.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Sorry to harp on Paul but...

Reynolds versus Coleman...

also known as...

Elected politician versus Koffi's state-funded cheerleader:

Says Reynolds-

'UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will be hoping that the latest report into the Iraqi oil-for-food programme will help put his ship back on an even keel, though there are still squalls ahead.

Annan said he expected the highest standards of integrity from Kojo

The report effectively cleared him of corruption, though he must be wishing that the lawyers' language it used was more definitive.'

Says Norm Coleman-

''The Volcker report did not "exonerate" Annan, as many have claimed; to the contrary, it pointed the finger directly at him. Indeed, one member of Volcker's committee, Mark Pieth, made that point loud and clear: "We did not exonerate Kofi Annan."

With that in mind, I reiterate my call for Annan's resignation.''

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Some reading... and things... a little different.

Anyone who has read this website at all over the last year or so will know my views on the war with Iraq. For me it was always an unlosable argument that Saddam could be removed from power forcibly and his regime extirpated without the slightest danger of compromising the morality (such as it is) of the countries taking part in his removal from power. Plus, of course, we live in a world where weapons of mass destruction are a prevalent reality, and Saddam had a penchant for them. End of argument, boring readers to tears etc.

I only add that preamble (reluctantly, I have to say) to make clear that by recommending this poem (did you know Clive James was a poet? You do now.) I'm not endorsing its viewpoints- though it slips down a heck of a lot more easily than the NIMN antics that have passed for the antiwar movement. As usual with James he prides himself on being that bit broader-minded than the next man; I'm sure he'd like to think he was a man with 'bottom', and he'd make a lot of fun of it too.

In a similarly contrarian vein, here's Hitchens on Pope John Paul; a mixed bag as usual.

Meanwhile, this photo of an Islamic terrorist in Jenin from LGF tickled me, mainly because my Grandma (now 94) has always talked about her nightmares of early (orphaned) childhood where, based on the stories she was hearing of the First World War, she always imagined there was a German under her bed at night.

I'll be back to Beeb-bashing no doubt shortly, though there's no doubting they're aware of our existence.

How angry should I be?

A bit, certainly. Probably very.

In this article I originally thought the BBC were doing their usual talking up of obscure racial and tribal matters which makes them feel so good about themselves that a) They're the only global broadcaster global enough to pick up these things and b) They're the only ones who care enough to do so.

But wait! There are Jews involved, so it can't be so straightforward. No, we have not simply got the recognition of an interesting racial link between Israelis and people living in India, we've got a sinister Jewish plot to reinforce the Israeli population and deny the Palestinians their rightful demographic ascendancy. That's why they mention many times in some detail, that the recognition of this link to orthodox Jewry means that these 6000 people (6000! More people than several years of valiant suicide bombing managed to exterminate.) can all up sticks and settle in Israel.

But the extent of the BBC's pro-Palestinian paranoia against Israel can be seen in the choice of commentator they make to inform us of the sinister plot, a man they refer to as just an 'Israeli Social Scientist'. What that they don't mention is that Lev Grinberg is a supporter of Palestinian terrorists and a vicious critic of his own people, whom he likens to Nazis and psychotics.

Here is an example of his writings:

'The murder of Sheik Ahmad Yassin by the government of Israel is part of a major move carried out by the government of Israel, which can be described as symbolic genocide.'

Here's a critique of the same.

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