Saturday, June 04, 2005

We missed the schmoozefest!

Gerhard gives Jacques a little tickle

It was lame duck meets dead duck, but it looks like everybody had a good time:
"The chancellor and President Chirac were in agreement that the constitutional process must continue so that the views of each country are respected," German government spokesman Bela Anda told reporters after the two leaders met for dinner.

Meanwhile, his French counterpart Jerome Bonnafont said the talks "demonstrated a profound unity of views on what has happened in Europe and what must happen going forward".
The two leaders know there is considerable scepticism about the ratification process continuing and are particularly concerned that Britain might declare the constitution dead before the EU summit in mid-June, our correspondent says.
"It's not dead, it's pining for the fjords!" And the boys are going to give it mouth-to-mouth attention.
They also discussed the EU budget covering 2007-2013.

Germany, the biggest contributor to EU funds, wants Britain to make concessions over the budget rebate won by Margaret Thatcher in 1984.

But this would be politically explosive in the UK, our correspondent says.
Ah, more fun ahead.

Gordo and Tony join up with the Geldof Goat Rodeo!

While I have been having fun with Bob Geldof's big plan for a Live 8 concert and a "million man" march on the G8 conference in Scotland, I've neglected to mention the role being played by Tony Blair and his Chancellor of the Exchequer and heir presumptive, Gordon Brown. Tony clearly has a bee in his bonnet about the G8 and Africa, but it's Gordo who has gone all silly over it. He's even unilaterally waived the tax and cleanup bill for the concert and after he said the million goof march was swell, the police have "rethought" their opposition.

Well it's sure great that the nattering classes are in a tizzy, but the little folks are a tad more skeptical as the Telegraph reports - Vast majority think African aid is wasted, poll shows:
A huge majority of Britons believes that pumping billions of pounds into Africa would be a waste of money, a verdict that is a major blow to Tony Blair's crusade to rescue the continent.

As the Prime Minister prepares to fly to Washington on Monday to try to secure American support for proposals to tackle poverty in the Third World, a poll for The Daily Telegraph shows that 83 per cent of people are not confident that money given by the West would be spent wisely.

It also shows that 79 per cent of voters believe that corruption and incompetence were to blame for Africa's problems.
Leave it to the ordinary citizens to notice the emperor is buck naked.
The Government is planning a package of measures designed to reassure the public that taxpayers' money would not end up in the pockets of corrupt politicians. New legislation will allow money smuggled into this country by corrupt former African dictators to be seized and returned to the countries concerned.
Ooooo! That'll help! Snort.
Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, hinted at the crackdown yesterday when he told a press conference in Edinburgh that the Government's package for Africa would "combine action on debt, aid, and trade with good governance, transparency, an attack on corruption and the encouragement of private investment".
Zzzzz. Look Gordo, if the thugs are in charge, there's zip you can do to prevent them pillaging the relief funds just like they've been doing for years. Let us know after you send in the SAS to remove a few.

President Bush is wisely giving them the cold shoulder and so is the rest of the G8 with the exception of France and maybe Russia. Don't let us stop ya, fellas, go right ahead!

Finally, there's one more laugh - Mbeki lambasts Brown for 'imperial nostalgia':
President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa rebuked Gordon Brown yesterday, accusing the "presumed successor to Tony Blair" of promoting nostalgia for British imperialism and joining in a "discourse" that "demonises" blacks.

Mr Brown is leading the Government's efforts to help Africa during Britain's presidency of the G8 group of rich countries. But any credit this might have earned seems, in Mr Mbeki's mind, to have been dashed by remarks the Chancellor made during his tour of Africa in January.

While in Tanzania, Mr Brown said the "days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over". Earlier, he had declared: "We should be proud … of the Empire."
True enough. As Bruce Anderson said the other day, "The best foreign aid programme was a governor-general and a team of district commissioners." But it's rather naive of Gordo to think the current thugs in charge are going to want to hear it.
Mr Mbeki discovered the comments on the internet and then wrote a furious, 2,102-word missive for the latest issue of ANC Today, the newsletter of the ruling African National Congress. Mr Mbeki said that Africa was being "demonised" by an "age-old white stereotype that we as Africans are sexually depraved".
Say what? I guess we know why ole Thabo's surfing the Web.
The president then accused Mr Brown, "the presumed successor to Tony Blair", of peddling imperial nostalgia.

This refusal to apologise for imperialism was, said Mr Mbeki, portraying "our country and continent as destined to experience perpetual catastrophe and unnatural disasters, given that we have now been deprived of benevolent and morally upright white rule".
Close, Thabo, but it should be "have now been deprived of benevolent and morally upright rule." Anyway, not to worry. I'm sure ole Thabo will come around if they sweeten the pot enough.

Time for some Euro fun!

In the Economist - It's Chirac, stupid: France's president has wasted ten years, devoted mainly to a search for scapegoats:
The French had many reasons to reject the constitution, but underlying their defiance was a simple point: times are hard, jobs are scarce, nothing changes, promises go unkept, we are fed up, and you—the political class—refuse to listen.
The source of France's troubles is not Europe, nor global capitalism, nor rebellious socialists, nor the far-right, nor the far-left. It is Mr Chirac. His failure to be straight with the French about the need for reform has come back to haunt him. That is why a better response would have been for Mr Chirac to follow the example set by Charles de Gaulle after he lost a referendum in 1969: to accept his responsibility and resign.
And from the (UK) Times - Lame ducks sitting tight on the ‘axis of losers’:
ANOTHER European crisis, another Franco-German summit. President Chirac will meet Gerhard Schröder, the Chancellor, tonight after this week’s referendum debacles, but this time the pair are largely impotent.

The Franco-German “locomotive” that has hauled Europe since President de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer, the then Chancellor, sealed the partnership in 1963 looks more like a train wreck or, to mix metaphors, a wobbly tandem pedalled by two lame ducks.

Both leaders have been thrashed by voters recently. Their economies are among the sickliest in Europe, with double-digit unemployment. The European Union’s eastward enlargement has shifted its political centre of gravity and diluted France and Germany’s influence.

Dining in Berlin tonight, “Cher Gerhard” and “Liebe Jacques” are in no position to strike a traditional Franco-German deal behind which the rest of the EU is expected to fall in line. This time, they will be able to do little more than commiserate with each other.
Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of chumps. More by following the link including various strains in their common law marriage and mutual chagrin at the pesky British. And speaking of ole Gerhard, check out Euro report whips up German storm:
Stern magazine said that Finance Minister Hans Eichel had been present at a meeting where the "collapse" of monetary union was discussed.

The government is planning to blame the euro for Germany's economic weakness, the magazine added.
You have to hand it to Gerry. Last election, he ran against President Bush. This time he can run against EUrope!

Makes sense to them, I guess

But then they're part of the Axis of Wingnuts - Syria fires Scuds over Turkey 'to taunt US':
Syria has staged a defiant display of strategic firepower by test-firing Scud missiles for the first time in four years, Israeli security sources said yesterday.

The officials, citing intelligence data, said the missiles, using North Korean technology and designed to carry chemical warheads, were launched last week from northern Syria.

One missile was fired towards the Mediterranean, the Israeli officials said, and broke up over the Turkish province of Hatay, shedding debris over two villages.
Israeli security sources said Syria's attempt to fire a missile over Turkey, a Nato country, was intended as a snub to America.
Good ole Boy Assad. I'm sure feeling snubbed and taunted, I tell you. But if I were the goofy looking leader of s shaky regime, I'd worry more about the Turks. Best comment:
Suggestion for Bashir:

Don't mess with Turkey. They're Nato grade, without the Mr. Rogers personality.
The military is at least. But the politicians want to join the EU and their wrists started getting limp.

Friday, June 03, 2005

It's Linda Foley again!

Fresh off accusing American soldiers of targeting journalists, the erstwhile president of the Newspaper Guild hiked her hind end over to the "Take Back America" shindig for some sport with her wingnut chums and some more delusional declarations:
"The conservatives have got us, as a country, now believing that balance -- giving both sides -- is the same as truth, and there are some things that are just false," said Linda Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild, during a panel discussion on media reform at the "Take Back America" conference in Washington, D.C.

"The discussion that we have to have balanced reports is kind of crazy" when a story is false, she added.
I guess we know who's going to decide what's false, eh Linda? And doesn't it make you feel real warm that the head of the national newspaper workers union is coming up with swell ideas like that while hanging out with George Soros' flying monkeys while they plan to "Take Back America?" The best part is where they get all upset that the press didn't leap to Lurch's defense in the last election when the SwiftVets started scoffing about the secret mission to Cambodia that Nixon made him undertake on Christmas Eve.

This Euroweenie angst is really great!

Luxembourg PM: Vote No and I'll resign:
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister, has said he will resign if the Grand Duchy votes against the constitution.

The current holder of the European Union rotating presidency made the threat after polls showed support for the Yes vote dropping among the 200,000 voters ahead of the July 10 referendum.
If Luxembourg votes against it, Hell will truly have frozen over.

More fun with the ersatz Indian

'The Water Plot' thickens:
He's a bit embarrassed about it now, but 33 years ago, Ulrich Wendt was convinced that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers intended to flood much of northern Canada.

The year was 1972. Wendt was an impressionable young college student who belonged to a grass-roots Canadian environmental group called Dam the Dams Campaign. And in a 12-page pamphlet titled The Water Plot, the group warned of a multibillion-dollar scheme to dam Canada's major rivers and redirect them to the nation's thirsty southern neighbors in the U.S. and Mexico.

But Dam the Dams disbanded a few years later, Wendt and other former members said, no longer fearing what it once thought was an evil, imminent plot.

"If you've read our pamphlet, you know our paranoia at the time," said Wendt, who lived near Thunder Bay, Ontario, when the group was based there. "But our organization died a natural death a long time ago because it turned out there was nothing to it."

Ward Churchill thought otherwise.
More precisely, Ward Churchill thinks otherwise and he's claiming credit for the text lifted from the pamphlet as part of his "scholarly research". Has this guy got a good racket or what?

Ruh Roh!

Asian cosmetic ads star soft men:
HONG KONG -- The new face of cosmetics ads in Asia is soft, delicate -- and male.

Lounging in a pink apartment in a television commercial for Able C&C Inc.'s South Korean makeup brand Missha, actor Won Bin leans in as if to kiss a woman sitting next to him -- but he does her bidding instead, taking her dusky-colored lipstick and carefully applying it to her lips.

In an ad for skin-care chain The Face Shop, ruby-lipped film star Kwon Sang Woo nuzzles a berry tree, then dons a crown of leaves. Mr. Kwon, famous for six-pack abs and a slight lisp, "has a kind of neutral gender," says Scott Han, the company's public-relations director. "Our customers think he is healthy and adorable."

Marketers aren't out to poke fun at the lipstick lads of Asia. Instead, they are pushing shampoos and makeup by tapping into a powerful shift in gender images taking place in a number of developed East Asian countries. The conservative, macho male stereotypes that have long dominated society in countries like Japan and South Korea are falling out of fashion. Women are gaining power and independence and expressing a preference for different kinds of men.

"A pretty face with big eyes and fair skin, and a moderately masculine body, are what Korean women want in men these days," says Rhie Hye Young, a spokeswoman for Missha.
I guess we don't have to worry about Asian overpopulation.
But in the pages of the magazines and flashing across the screens, the change among young men is unmistakable. One ad for Somang Cosmetics Co.'s Color Lotion featured two male celebrities, one shirtless, bumping into each other and then slowly admiring each other's faces. "What skin!" says one man. Another ad, for LG Household & Health Care Ltd.'s Vonin men's makeup, had actor Jang Dong Gun nuzzling and kissing an image of himself.
Indeed, men have shown that they are willing to change their appearance to project the new kind of manliness women want. While hair dyes have been quietly popular with older male Korean and Japanese politicians for years, today some male executives in those countries stride the corridors of power in skin-tone makeup.
We don't see too many of those down at the bait shop. More marketing blather by following the link.

(Hat tip: FR)

Update: Here I am making fun of these androgynous Asian ads and Michelle Malkin points to a Mona Charen article about Hi, the US State Department's "outreach" magazine for Arab youth. that could teach the marketeers a metrosexual trick or two. I guess the joke's on us. Again.

Cue the Twilight Zone music

Click to supersize

How Personal Is Too Personal for a Star Like Tom Cruise? I guess jumping around Oprah's set like a chimp because you have a new girlfriend isn't it.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Geldof Goat Rodeo Update!

This Bob Geldof concert farce is beginning to look like it has great comedic potential! Check out Few black artists featuring in Geldof's Live8 concerts for Africa:
A bold plan by Irish rocker-turned-activist Bob Geldof for multi-city concerts to combat poverty in Africa ran into flak when it became clear how few black artists are involved.
"There's still time for Sir Bob and friends to make amends," Holloway told AFP. "They really do need to be more diverse and multicultural -- and not just support (warm-up) acts, but headliners."

"I cannot believe Lemar is not there," the Zambia-born, London-based reggae singer Chiozo, soon to embark on his own Cape-to-Cairo musical trek by foot, told Blink. "If there's any justice in the world, he would be."
He left out Lemar! Snort. Sheesh, I'm beginning to feel sorry for Geldof, but if you lie down with the PC crowd, I guess you have to expect a few fleas.

Bobby Mugabe already has a shopping list

But here's a part I missed. The idea of the concerts is to pressure the developed nations meeting at a G8 conference in Scotland to give debt relief and tons more aid to African thugocracies. But not only is Geldof planning concerts, he wants a vast march on the G8 meeting:
Politicians, senior police officers, church leaders and businessmen yesterday condemned Bob Geldof's "irresponsible" plea for a million people to march on Edinburgh.

They gave a warning that a mass protest at the start of the G8 summit next month could cause a tragedy and seriously damage the cause of anti-poverty campaigners.
Just tell the Scots that the English are invading again! That should solve the problem quickly.

I don't know about you, but getting out for a march to demand that taxpayers buy the African thugs more gold plated toilets isn't high on my priority list. If Geldof really wanted to help, he'd fund bounties on every dictator in Africa. Short of that, nothing's going to change.

Ted Turner drops in to help out

Ted Turner took time off from worrying about the billion bucks he owes the United Nations to provide some pearls of "wisdom" at a CNN 25th anniversary celebration hosted by Christiane Amanpour who was apparently supposed to make sure he didn't create a public spectacle. She didn't do too well:
And at one point he claimed partial credit for ending the Cold War.

Amanpour asked his if he honestly thought he had a hand in it.

"I'm absolutely certain I did," he said.
I hope his minders are keeping sharp objects out of his reach. But Ted's big rant was saved for CNN itself:
CNN should cover international news and the environment, not the "pervert of the day," network founder Ted Turner said Wednesday as the first 24-hour news network turned 25.
"I would like to see us to return to a little more international coverage on the domestic feed and a little more environmental coverage, and, maybe, maybe a little less of the pervert of the day," he said in a speech to CNN employees outside the old Atlanta mansion where the network first aired.

"You know, we have a lot of perverts on today, and I know that, but is that really news? I mean, come on. I guess you've got to cover Michael Jackson, but not three stories about perversion that we do every day as well."
Hmmm, international news, environmental news, and perverts. Maybe they could do a threefer if they would resuscitate Ted's pet project, Captain Planet, which was always a little weird:
Gaia, the spirit of Earth, awakens from a century-long sleep to the pillaging of the planet by a largely oblivious humanity. Fearing for the future, she sends magic rings to five youngsters from around the globe - Wheeler (North America), Linka (Eastern Europe), Gi (Asia), Kwame (Africa) and Ma-Ti (South America) - Gaia's team in the battle against further destruction of the Earth.

As the youngsters place the rings on their fingers, they are magically transported to Gaia's home, Hope Island, an uncharted, unpolluted tropical isle far from civilization. There, Gaia teaches them the secrets of nature.
Nothing like those "secrets of nature".

Ted Turner and Captain Planet

International - check.
Environment - check.
Pervert - check!

What's not to like?

Speaking of unskilled labor and raids on the public purse

Chelsea Clinton to work on British gov't project:
Chelsea Clinton will be working for her dad's old buddy - Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The former First Daughter, employed since 2003 at the management consulting giant McKinsey, has been assigned to work on a British government project, according to London's Mail.

The huge project, called Monitor, is charged with overseeing and regulating hospital trust funds, part of Blair's health care reform legislation.

Critics of the Monitor say it has spent most of its budget on private contractors - like former President Bill Clinton's daughter.
It's nice the way the UK is helping the unemployable.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Who does the jobs that Mexican illegal aliens won't do?

Guatemalans apparently. I guess wage scales in the Phoenix area got ratcheted down another notch while the demands on the public purse went up.

Today's Hoot!

Rich Lowry at NRO:
French President Jacques Chirac forgot the first rule of European Union politics: “Don’t consult the voters (it will only encourage them).”
More japery by following the link including the predilection of the Euro elites for "do overs." But it brings up the question raised at Zacht Ei after the Dutch exit polls came in today:
New elections, please

If 85 percent of Parliament wants to support a constitution that 63 percent of the constituency rejects, it seems obvious that our representatives in the Second Chamber (our Lower House/House of Representatives) no longer represent us.

Never mind that any government led by someone who tied his own image to the result of this plebiscite should also step down, if only out of shame.

Update 21.19: Even Dutch PBS asked this very same question, about a second ago!

Update 21.21: Of course, considering the huge number of unions, environmental and consumer organizations that supported the constitution, it might be a good idea if they indulged in some soul searching as well.
And the same goes for France where all the "major" parties wanted a "Oui" vote too. Why don't they toss the scalawags out?

Ex-presidents should be seen and not heard

I know it's not written anywhere, but it was a pleasing custom while it lasted. And it lasted until the polecats took over the Democrat party in the 70's. Check out this puff piece on Bubba Clinton in the Washington Post - Bill Clinton Takes Spot On Global Stage:
In 2001, in the opening months of his ex-presidency, Bill Clinton confided to an aide that he had decided on his dream job for the next chapter of his life: secretary general of the United Nations.

The goal may not be realistic, he acknowledged, but he then went on to analyze all the factors in minute detail, as though he were preparing for a political campaign: whether a U.S. president would ever see fit to back him, for one, and what it would take to persuade other nations to bend the long-standing tradition that the top job does not go to someone from a country with permanent status on the U.N. Security Council.

His ambition, as the aide described it, was both breathtaking and entirely logical for a natural-born politician who had reached the top of the American political ladder: "president of the world."
Grab the sick sacks!
Four years later, say several associates who have spoken with him in recent months, Clinton regards his dream of leading the United Nations as something more than a flight of fancy and something less than a serious prospect. Already, however, he has succeeded to a surprising degree in fashioning his ex-presidency to make himself a dominant player on the world stage.
Dominant? Sheesh, he has photo-ops.
His ambitions are no less obvious than when he was on the rise as a domestic politician. Clinton wants to present an alternative face of America to the rest of the world -- in implicit opposition to President Bush, and to create a legacy that builds on his eight years in office.
Ah that's the Bubba we know. He wants to snipe from the peanut gallery while enjoying the perks of his office. But get ready for the biggie:
The extent to which the 42nd president has preserved influence even after leaving the White House will be far more obvious in September. That is when a large delegation of world leaders, U.S. politicians, business leaders and celebrities of various stripes will arrive in New York for the first Clinton Global Initiative.
Woohoo! I wonder if the initiative is chasing the female staffers around the office?
The event, as Clinton recently described it, is modeled after the famous annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But Clinton has said he wants his three-day event to be more focused on concrete results. "I'm telling people not to come unless they are prepared to make a commitment to do something when they leave" on the conference's themes of fighting poverty, religious conflict and environmental degradation.
Sigh. Bubba did nothing while he was in office but move his lips. I'm sure that will suffice for this shindig. More gag-inducing puffery by following the link.

But the mention of Jimmy Carter in the article as the prototype for Bubba's exertions, reminds me that although Jimmy may not be bucking for "president of the world," he's got the market cornered on endorsing dictatorial thugs. Building off his success in rubber stamping Hugo Chavez's fraudulent election in Venezuela, he just recently "helped out" in Ethiopia:
Ethiopia's electoral board appears to have lost control of the vote counting for the May 15 legislative polls, European Union election observers said in a report obtained by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The confidential report went on to say the EU might have to make a public denunciation of developments to distance itself from "the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging" of the vote
The EU report also said former U.S. President Carter, who led a team of 50 election observers, undermined the electoral process and EU criticism with "his premature blessing of the elections and early positive assessment of the results."

Unless there is a "drastic reverse toward good democratic practice" the observer team and EU "will have to publicly denounce the situation."

"Otherwise, the EU jointly with ex-President Carter will be held largely responsible for the lack of transparency, and assumed rigging, of the elections."
Things must be pretty bad if the EU complains about what a wuss you are. Good ole Jimmy - give him a foreign trip and his name in the papers and he'll certify your thugocracy. He's a regular "Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval" for dictators.

Update: I added the fetching snap of Bubba from FR poster Main Street.

Paging Bob Geldof!

South Africa To Have First Space Agency By Next Year:
It is important that poverty-stricken South Africa have it own space agency so the country can cooperate with other countries on science-related issues, according to Mosibudi Mangena, the country's science and technology minister.
The minister denies that the space initiative is an unecessary expense in a country where close to half the adult population is unemployed and HIV/AIDS has infected roughly a quarter of the adult population.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Not that idiot again!

Bob Geldof hawking his new cause

Aside from looking rode hard and put away wet, ole Bob Geldof has a brainstorm! He's going to put on a show to convince the taxpayers of the developed world to shovel more bucks into the African kleptocracies. It's an oldie but a goodie! Bruce Anderson is similarly impressed in the (UK) Times - Silly, even sillier. And Geldof:
BEING A pop singer must be boring. Nothing to do but make hideous music, count the takings and fend off screaming teenage females; no wonder some of the pop tribe try to alleviate spiritual dissatisfaction and search for profundity.

In the case of Bob Geldof, however, the search has led to a profound shallowness. On the eve of the G8 summit, Geldof intends to hold a Live 8 concert. He would like his young followers to believe that the West is to blame for all of Africa’s difficulties: if we would stop encouraging Africa to participate in global trade and content ourselves with providing enough aid, solving the continent’s plight would be as easy as wailing into a microphone.

If aid were the answer, the problem would have been solved long ago. Over the past few decades aid donors have spent hundreds of billions on Africa — to what end?

Since 1980, over the whole world, the number of those living on less than a dollar a day has halved. In sub-Saharan Africa, it has doubled. This is not because of too little aid. The explanation lies in too much corruption, theft and oppression. Africa suffers from systematic misgovernment that condemns at least 100 million people to misery, in the midst of natural resources that could make them prosperous. Africans would have no difficulty in coping with free trade, if only they were governed properly.
That's uncharitable, Bruce. The lefties can't get along without a designated victim class, even if it is little hard on the victims.
The new Live 8 initiative is good news for Parisian couturiers, German carmakers and Swiss bankers. For Africans, it is a delusion and a deception. Geldof and his friends are using that benighted continent as a catwalk.

P. J. O’Rourke said that American actresses’ political views fall into three categories: silly, very silly and Shirley MacLaine. For pop stars, it is silly, very silly and Bob Geldof. He must be disappointed that some other group has already taken the name Simple Minds.
At least Shirley was good looking. Here's an easy test, Bob. How much of our taxes would you like to send to Bobby Mugabe?

Sheesh, it's the violet sniffer!

"There is not a day that goes by without me inhaling the perfume of the discreet violet”
- the flower that symbolised loyalty to Napoleon.

Jacques Chirac tries to cure his EU blues by picking Dominique Galouzeau de Villepin to be the new Prime Minister of France. You may remember him as the geek with the Napoleon fetish. Gosh, that ought to help.

Lurch steals one from Bubba's playbook

Hey, why not? It worked for Bubba! One problem though - while the Angolan Pepperpot is surely no brighter than Hillary, she does pay all the bills for Lurch's luxurious lifestyle. Could be stormy seas ahead!

(Hat tip: FR)

Whole lotta whining going on!

Amongst the Euroweenies, that is. If it isn't a "real crisis," it's a gloomy political outlook spreading across the EU. That's odd, it looked to me like 56% of the French voters were rather happy Sunday night. But not to worry, the EUrocrats have a a few cards left up their sleeves - Apres le 'non', plus ca change:
Like the demise of Mark Twain, rumours of the death of the European Union have been greatly exaggerated.

The implications of yesterday’s French referendum on the EU constitution were amply summed up in advance by Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, the current EU president, when he declared that if the French said ‘oui’ European integration would proceed, and if they said ‘non’ European integration would proceed.

That’s what the EU means by ‘consulting the people’. That’s why France’s President Chirac threatened that if the French voted no, they would be made to vote again until they said yes. No doubt such a fate will befall the Dutch if they vote ‘nee’ in their own referendum this Wednesday, unless they do so by an overwhelming majority.

In any event, this whole crisis has been more about political momentum rather than any possible real change in direction. For regardless of the constitution, the reality is that the countries of the EU are already the helpless captives of an all-encompassing, anti-democratic bureaucracy with a life of its own.

Much of the constitution was always going to be imposed upon us anyway through the seemingly endless wrinkles in existing EU treaties. Indeed, the creation of an EU diplomatic service and the harmonisation of criminal justice are already well under way.

In other words, nothing so trivial as the will of the people would ever be allowed to derail the EU project, which has come to define the world view for a whole class of politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers who have governed the nations of Europe for a generation.
So much for democracy, I guess. Mark Steyn has more:
Only in totalitarian dictatorships does the ballot come with a pre-ordained correct answer. Yet President Juncker distilled the great flaw at the heart of the EU constitution into one straightforward sentence that cut through all the thickets of Giscard's unreadable verbiage. The American constitution begins with the words "We the people". The starting point for the EU constitution is: "We know better than the people."

After that, the rest doesn't matter: you can't do trickle-down nation-building. The British, who've written more constitutions for more real nations than anybody in history and therefore can't plead the same ignorance as President Juncker, should be especially ashamed of going along with this farrago of a travesty of a charade.

Ah, say the Eurofetishists, but you naysayers are gloating undeservedly: the French didn't suddenly see the light and decide British Eurosceptics had been right all along; they rejected the EU constitution because they thought it was an Anglo-Saxon racket to impose capitalism on their pampered protectionist utopia.

But so what? Britain's naysayers don't have to reject the constitution for the same reason as France's commies, fascists, racists, eco-nutters, anachronistic unionists, featherbedded farmers, middle-aged "students", Trot professors and welfare queens, bless 'em all. If they want to go down the Eurinal of history clinging to their unaffordable welfare state, their 30-hour work weeks, 10-month work years and seven-year work decades, that's up to them. If Britain doesn't, that should be up to Britain.
The Eurinal of history? It does have a ring to it.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


EU dreams collide with French antipathy:
A tattered European Union flag had been lowered to half mast in the heart of the Brussels' EU quarter even before the French polls closed at 10pm on Sunday night.
Although EU leaders insisted the show would go on, it was a night in which the dreams of Europe's elite collided head on with public antipathy.

Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, holder of the rotating EU presidency, insisted that the ratification of the constitutional treaty already completed in nine member states should continue.

But over the coming days Mr Juncker will meet 24 fellow European leaders, including Tony Blair, British prime minister, some of whom will express severe doubts about whether they can ratify a treaty so decisively rejected by France.

The scale of the No vote in France was such that senior officials in London said the constitution's prospects were fragile, although Mr Blair is anxious to avoid giving the impression that he wants to kill the treaty.
Remember, it isn't dead until they drive a stake through its heart:
Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister and rotating president of the EU, said last week that, even in the event of a French and Dutch No, EU nations should continue putting the treaty to votes until they gave the "right answer". But in Paris such talk was angrily rejected as an affront to democracy. Paul El Sair, a 72-year-old junk dealer and staunch opponent of the constitution, said: "People are saying that we must vote again if we vote No. You must be joking."
Bureaucrats are famously humorless, Paul.

It's a conspiracy!

Out in Beverly Hills, Oliver Stone Arrested on Drug, DUI Charges. Hey wait a sec. I thought he had left for France?

Today's the big EU Constitution vote in France!

But don't get all excited - Mark Steyn observes that the EU just won't take 'no' for an answer:
Following Sunday's vote in France, on Wednesday Dutch voters get to express their opinion on the proposed ''European Constitution.'' Heartening to see democracy in action, notwithstanding the European elite's hysterical warnings that, without the constitution, the continent will be set back on the path to Auschwitz. I haven't seen the official ballot, but the choice seems to be: "Check Box A to support the new constitution; check Box B for genocide and conflagration."

Alas, this tactic doesn't seem to have worked. So, a couple of days before the first referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker, the "president" of the European Union, let French and Dutch voters know how much he values their opinion:

"If at the end of the ratification process, we do not manage to solve the problems, the countries that would have said No, would have to ask themselves the question again," "President" Juncker told the Belgian newspaper Le Soir.

Got that? You have the right to vote, but only if you give the answer your rulers want you to give. But don't worry, if you don't, we'll treat you like a particularly backward nursery school and keep asking the question until you get the answer right. Even America's bossiest nanny-state Democrats don't usually express their contempt for the will of the people quite so crudely.
True - they can just get one of their pet judges to overule it. More japery by following the link including a nice takedown of Euroweenie Will Hutton:
Sick in bed a couple of months back, I started reading A Declaration of Interdependence: Why America Should Join the World by Will Hutton, and found it such a laugh I was soon hurling my medication away and doing cartwheels round the room. Hutton was a sort of eminence grise to Tony Blair, at least in his pre-warmongering pre-Bush-poodle phase. Hutton is the master of the dead language of statism that distinguishes the complacent Europhile from a good percentage of Americans, not all of them Republicans.
Hutton says that it's his ''affection for the best of America that makes me so angry that it has fallen so far from the standards it expects of itself.'' The great Euro-thinker is not arguing that America is betraying the Founding Fathers, but that the Founding Fathers themselves got it hopelessly wrong. He compares the American and French Revolutions, and decides the latter was better because instead of the radical individualism of the 13 colonies the French promoted ''a new social contract.''
Gosh, it's sure been a swell success in France!
Entranced by his Europhilia, Hutton insists that "all western democracies subscribe to a broad family of ideas that are liberal or leftist."

Given that New Hampshire has been a continuous democracy for two centuries longer than Germany, this seems a doubtful proposition. It would be more accurate to say that almost all European nations subscribe to a broad family of ideas that are statist.
And they're welcome to their private perversions, as long as they stop humping our leg.