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Behind the Façades in France: What expats and the mainstream media (French and American alike) fail to notice (or fail to tell you) about French attitudes, principles, values, and official positions…

Updated: 2018-03-24T16:24:53.993Z


RIP Col. Arnaud Beltrame, the French police officer who offered himself up in a hostage swap to a terrorist yelling “Allahu Akbar”


A French police officer who offered himself up in a hostage swap Friday after an armed man reportedly yelling “Allahu Akbar” went on a rampage in southern France, has died
report Kathleen Joyce and Lucia I. Suarez Sang on Fox News.
Details about the death of the officer, identified as Col. Arnaud Beltrame, were not immediately available.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb wrote in a tweet early Saturday that Beltrame had "died for his country."

The officer had offered himself up unarmed to the 25-year-old attacker in exchange for a female hostage.

He managed to surreptitiously leave his cellphone on so that police outside could hear what was going on inside the supermarket.

Officials said once they heard shots inside the market they decided to storm it, killing the gunman.

Beltrame was grievously injured, and his death raised the toll from the attack to four.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest since Emmanuel Macron became president last May.

Police said the suspect, identified as Redouane Lakdim, 26, carjacked a vehicle, shot at police and barricaded himself inside a Super U supermarket in Trebes before officers stormed in, fatally shooting him.
The Associated Press adds that
The mother of a French police officer who was killed after he swapped himself for a hostage during an Islamic extremist attack on a supermarket says that she wasn't surprised by her son's courage.

Col. Arnaud … Beltrame's mother told RTL radio Friday night before the announcement of his death that
"I'm not surprised. I knew it had to be him. He has always been like that. It's someone, since he was born, who gives everything for his homeland." 
Asked if she was proud of him, she said he would have told her "'I'm doing my job mom, that's all.'"

She said to "defend the homeland" was his "reason for living."


Hergé Exhibit in Odense's Brandts Museum Visited by Crown Prince Frederik


Jakob Stegelmann (th) var med som Tintin-ekspert, da kronprins Frederik så udstillingen på Brandts. V til H: Erik Svane, Belgisk ambassadør Leo Peeters, Odense borgmester Peter Rahbæk Juel, Kronprins Frederik, direktør for Brandts Mads Damsbo, Jakob Stegelmann
At the last moment, I was asked to join the tour of Brandts's Hergé exhibit in Odense for Crown Prince Frederik, since I had met the Belgian artist as a child when one of the Danish Embassy's top honchos (none other than my father) helped get two signed Tintin albums to the Danish princes (the one to Kronprins Frederik being Tintin au Tibet). Photos by Fyns Stifitstidendes Birgitte Carol Holberg
Kronprins Frederik fik en rundvisning i den nye Hergé-udstilling af flere Tintin-eksperter. Her snakker han med Nick Rodwell, direktør for Musée Hergé, mens borgmester Peter Rahbæk Juel (i midten) og tengeserie-elsker Jakob Stegelmann (th) ser på. V til H: Nick Rodwell, Belgisk ambassadør Leo Peeters (skjult), Kronprins Frederik, Erik Svane, Odense borgmester Peter Rahbæk Juel, unknown, Jakob Stegelmann. (Michael Farr var også tilstede.)
More photos aqui(image)

The language of equality misses out the despised new underclass: cis males


The Judges’ handbook on the language of equality misses out the despised new underclass: Oxbridge-educated, cis males. Thus writes Giles Coren in the Times of London:According to a story in Thursday’s Times, a handbook has at last been published offering judges “advice in how to avoid giving offence”. … Thank heavens. We live in better and more enlightened times. Overt racism and sexism are not tolerated anywhere, by anyone. Except in the White House, of course. So what the Judicial College is looking to stamp out now, as the noose tightens around those who would seek to upset their fellow humans with outrageous prejudice, are words like “Afro-Caribbean” (which I didn’t know was actively offensive but is a mouthful and I’d never say it anyway), “transsexual” (which I assumed was fine but should apparently be “trans person”), “ethnic minority” (which I truly thought was just a description of when one ethnic group is outnumbered by another), and “postman”, which is obviously downright bloody disgusting fascist language and must be stamped out now, or we will soon be in a situation like Germany in 1933, with postmen first being denied marriage licences and council flats, then being hounded into special “postie” ghettos, then “relocated in the East” and ultimately marched to their deaths in the gas chambers of Poland — all of which, the Equal Treatment Bench Book asserts, can be avoided by merely calling them “postal operatives” instead. So a big “phew” for that. And speaking of gas chambers, they are also looking to stamp out the word “Jew” on account of its “potentially negative connotations”. So does that mean I am not one any more? I mean, it’s great that judges are being told not to chase me down the street throwing rashers of bacon at me, shouting “Jew! Jew! Jew!”, because frankly I have had enough of that, but if it’s at the expense of my using the only word I can think of to describe my racial identity then maybe I’m not such a big winner after all.And “Jew” is my racial identity only, by the way. I do not practise. I am a “Jew” only in the way that a black person is black. Although with more counting money and less dancing. Is that racist? Yes. But only because I said “Jew”, according to the handbook. What I should have said was “Jewish person”. Because that is MASSIVELY different.It’s like when Benedict Cumberbatch got hauled up (rightly) for saying “coloured actors” and we suddenly learnt that “person of colour” was a thing. So white columnists all started writing “person of colour” everywhere to show how liberal they were, until Twitter exploded with pissed-off black people, shouting, “I’m not a person of colour! I am a black woman!” And damn right. Because euphemism is the worst thing of all. It compels people to apologise linguistically for being who they are.The political correctness movement did a wonderful thing from the mid-1980s onwards to change the language used about groups who had suffered years of bigotry. But changing the focus of language did not reduce the sum total of hate. You can’t do that.Telling a blind person — as the handbook recommends — that she is “a person with sensory impairment” does not give her back her sight.  … In ten years on social media, nobody has ever called me a y**. Or even a Jewish person. But every time I write something that the millennials don’t like, they pour forth a stream of personal abuse centred around such new disentitlements as being “privileged”, “cis male”, “Oxbridge” and “public school”, all of them accidents of birth which my abusers believe should disqualify me from work in the media.When I write something angry they ask, “U okay hon?” which, in case you didn’t know, is the modern way of suggesting that a person is experiencing mental health issues. It is exactly the same as calling someone with depression a[...]

Michael Moore's Comments on the 2018 Elections Are Revelatory of His Admitted Devotion to Marxism—"Dude, I am on Marx's Tomb!"—Never Disclosed by the MSM


“I want you to know that in this election you are not electing a member of the House of Representatives. You are electing the jury for the impeachment of Donald J. Trump. Never forget that over these next few months.”When Michael Moore gives Democrats that message (thanks to Stephen Green) — he is actually quoting "a Democrat running in my district in Michigan" — he does not realize how revealing he is of the true nature of the Democrat Party.A jury is supposed to be impartial — with lots of vetting from both defense and prosecution before each person is accepted as a bona fide member of said jury.For leftists like Michael Moore, the courts, like the people in general, are supposed to fulfill the desires of the élites — our betters — and of the (Deep) State, in the same fashion as the kangaroo courts do or did in all authoritarian countries, from Nazi Germany to Sovet Russia.How strange is that, however, for a man who, 11 years ago, basically admitted to a French newspaper that he was a full-fledged Marxist? In the States, mainstream media types have called Michael Moore's Sicko his "least political film". But in his interview with Thomas Sotinel, the Le Monde reporter states that this seems to be Michael's coming-out as "a socialist". To which Moore answers (retranslated from the French) that, in a scene in Sicko, I film myself on Marx's tomb. Nobody mentioned it. In the reviews in America, they wrote, "it's his least political film." And I say: "Dude, I am on Marx's Tomb!" Do I need to take out a baseball bat and hit them on the head [for them to understand]?!In case you hadn't understood, this says — and this reveals — almost more about the powers-that-be (both in the U.S. and abroad) than about Michael Moore: being on the socialist/marxist-bordering left, for the MSM and America's Eastern élites (as for Europe's MSM and élites), is mainstream, is normal, is understandable, is OK, is cool. It is avant-garde. Beyond being (naturally) avant-garde and therefore (obviously) a positive and endearing trait, it hardly bares mentioning. And it is "not political" (that's only a dirty game that America's hit-below-the-belt Republicans play).[...]

Sarkozy Accused of Accepting Millions of Euros from Libya for His 2007 Campaign; Did Gadhafi and Other Africans Also Fill Obama's Coffers in the 2008 Elections?


The AP's Samuel Petrequin reports (hat tip to Instapundit) that
Nicolas Sarkozy was placed in custody … as part of an investigation that he received millions of euros in illegal campaign financing from the regime of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi …
No Pasarán has reported on this before — and on something far worse (see below) — and tried to bring it to the attention of American conservatives. Back in 2011, Instapundit quoted Foreign Policy's Joshua Keating as reporting on the Qaddafi régime's response to the French government's recognition of Libya's rebel forces, through Colonel Kaddhafi's son.
Saif al-Islam: “Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it and we have all the details and are ready to reveal everything. The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people.”
But that ain't all.

Far from it!

France ain't alone and Sarkozy's winning 2007 presidential campaign may hardly be the only one.

Time to head West, over the Atlantic.

As No Pasarán reported back in 2011, a question to be asked is
Is it possible that Obama's reluctance to interfere in the Libyan crisis has something to do with secrets?
Five months before the 2008 election, indeed, in June of that year,
E-nough's Damien reported on a speech (broadcast and translated by Memritv), which was held by none other than the "Brotherly Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". (We will look away from Gaddafi's birther credentials, even though from his perspective, calling Obama a Kenyan, an African, and/or a Muslim is hardly a smear — far from it.) [Here is what Gadhafi said]
There are elections in America now. Along came a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia. His name is Obama. All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man. They welcomed him and prayed for him and for his success, and they may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns to enable him to win the American presidency.
From: Qaddafi in June 2008: Hints That He and Other "Arabs and Africans Are Involved" in Contribution Drives for Obama's Presidential Campaign

Snowfalls a Thing of the Past? Europe Is Colder than the North Pole


Europe is being battered by unusually frigid conditions even as temperatures at the North Pole soar well above normal. As the month of March 2018 started, Kendra Pierre-Louis reported that Europe was colder than the North Pole. So, naturally, with all the hoopla around global warming for the past few decades, her New York Times article could not only report on the (climate) news, it also had to explain how on Earth (yes, that's also meant literally) this could be the case. In the process, Kendra Pierre-Louis managed to repeat myths such as the one that "human-caused climate change … is agreed upon by 97 percent of climate scientists."Related: Unexpected! The Puzzling Reason Why So Many People Remain Skeptical of Global Warming and Climate Change  Back to The New York Times:Subfreezing temperatures have spread across much of Europe over the past week, stretching from Poland to Spain. Snow fell in Rome for the first time in six years. Norway recorded the lowest temperatures of the cold snap: minus 43 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 42 Celsius) in the southeast part of the country on Thursday [March 1].And on Friday [March 2], Britain and Ireland were buffeted by a storm that brought snow and high winds, along with cold that was expected to linger for days.If Europe feels like the Arctic right now, the Arctic itself is balmy by comparison. The North Pole is above the freezing mark in the dead of winter; there are no direct measurements there, but merging satellite data with other temperature data shows that temperatures soared this week to 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). That is 50 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, and 78 degrees warmer than in parts of Norway.The Arctic warmth and the European cold snap have raised questions over whether the unusual weather occurrences are linked to each other, and if they are somehow related to climate change. Here are some answers. Are the Arctic and European weather patterns connected?Probably, according to Judah Cohen, a climatologist who is director of seasonal forecasting at Atmospheric and Environmental Research, a weather risk assessment firm. Dr. Cohen is the author of a 2017 study that linked a warming Arctic to the intermittent blasts of cold that those of us in the Northern Hemisphere have come to know as the polar vortex.The polar vortex is a low-pressure system that, as its name suggests, ordinarily rests over the North Pole. (There is also a polar vortex over the Antarctic.)When it behaves normally, the polar vortex helps trap cold air in the Arctic.“It’s locking in that cold air at the high latitudes in the Arctic region,” Dr. Cohen said, comparing the polar vortex to a dam holding back the frigid arctic air from the rest of the Northern Hemisphere. But sometimes that dam bursts as the polar vortex weakens and allows cold air to escape the Arctic to more temperate climes. This has always happened from time to time, but a growing body of research suggests that because of climate change the warming Arctic is weakening the polar vortex.Why is the polar vortex weakening?Researchers are still figuring out how the warming Arctic is triggering the polar vortex’s aberrant behavior. Some of them, including Dr. Cohen, point to melting sea ice, caused by global warming. Dr. Cohen says the loss of ice creates patterns of high pressure near the Barents Sea and Kara Sea off northern Russia. That high pressure blocks the low-pressure system of the polar vortex, weakening it in the process.There is not yet a scientific consensus over the root cause of the weakening polar vortex; it’s fair to say that it is not as definitive as, say, the evidence for human-caused climate change, which is agreed upon by 97 percent of climate scientists.But it’s worth noting that in January the extent of Arctic sea ice was the lowest ever recorded for the first month of the year. In some parts of the Arctic the se[...]

New Yorker Cartoon on the Bureucracy


An L Finck cartoon on bureaucracy in The New Yorker

“Will Republicans keep control of the House in the midterm elections?”


With regards to the "special Congressional election in Pennsylvania’s 18th District that Trump won by 20 points in 2016" and that a Democrat claims to have won, it is instructive to remember that Myra Adams reported from CPAC that the most frequently-asked question at the conservative get-together could be surprising to many: … outside the ballroom, there was one question repeatedly on the minds of conservative media people who lined “Broadcast Row.” Surprisingly, the question discussed both openly and privately had nothing to do with gun control or the NRA.What was this question you ask? Drum roll: “Will Republicans keep control of the House in the midterm elections?”This helps to explain why Myra Adamsset out on a mission to find the real reason for [Donald Trump's] historically early re-election announcement.In any case, Myra points out that the President addressed the issue during his rousing CPAC speech:Perhaps Trump heard the question was being raised. In his Friday speech, in what was uncharacteristically negative talk for Trump, the president warned that after his 2016 victory he knows Republicans could be “clobbered” in the midterms due to complacency among GOP voters. “That’s why you have to get out and you have to fight for 2018. You have to do it,” he said.Trump also explained his theory of historic midterm election losses for a new president:“I’ve finally figured it out. What happens is you fight so hard to win the presidency, you fight, fight, fight, and now you’ve got to go and fight again, but you just won.”Incidentally, the freelance journalist was one of many people interviewed at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel by Da Tech Guy.  allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560"> [...]

Limitation à 80 km/h : le problème n’est pas la vitesse, mais la lenteur !


Le site Contrepoints ("le seul média qui défend vos idées") a un auteur invité… Limitation à 80 km/h : le problème n’est pas la vitesse, mais la lenteur !C’est une limite de lenteur que la France, comme seul pays de l’Union Européenne, propose régulièrement de réduire encore plus, en particulier avec la nouvelle loi sur les 80km/h sur les routes.Par Erik Svane.La limitation de la vitesse à 80km/h sur les routes ne vise pas à protéger les citoyens mais à les soumettre aux impératifs de la lenteur. Par rapport à la seule politique de la sécurité routière en France, ne semblerait-il pas exagéré d’avancer qu’elle montrerait que le gouvernement est tyrannique et que les citoyens sont des esclaves ?Et pourtant…Le problème fondamental avec la soi-disant sécurité routière, c’est que dès la case départ, les autorités trichent — le gouvernement triche avec les termes de base propres à la conversation.Lire aussi Limitation à 80 km/h : la bourse ou la vie ?Nous parlons évidemment d’expressions comme la limite de vitesse ainsi que le mauvais comportement des délinquants punis pour excès de vitesse ou vitesse excessive.Quand les conducteurs lambda sont verbalisés, ce n’est pas pour avoir roulé trop vite, non, pas du tout. N’ayons pas peur de dire la vérité, c’est pour ne pas avoir roulé assez lentement.Ne pas se laisser tromper par la langueLa conclusion est inévitable : on ne devrait pas dire la limite de vitesse — expression qui serait à assimiler à la Novlangue (La liberté c’est l’esclavage) dans le roman d’anticipation de George Orwell, 1984 — mais la limite de lenteur ; et les VMA (les Vitesses Maximales Autorisées) devraient donc être nommées les LMA (les Lenteurs Maximales Autorisées).C’est une limite de lenteur que la France, comme seul pays de l’Union Européenne, propose régulièrement de réduire encore plus ; et pour quelle raison sinon accroître la répression, la persécution, et le matraquage des citoyens ?Jean Much explique que, de fait, le mot « vitesse » a deux significations :C’est la confusion savamment entretenue par les pouvoirs publics entre « excès de vitesse » qui, au sens légal, signifie juste « dépassement de la limitation de vitesse en vigueur » et « vitesse excessive » qui signifie « rouler réellement trop vite par rapport aux conditions de circulation, au profil de la route, à la météo, etc. Or, ces deux notions n’ont absolument rien à voir ! Dépasser la limitation de vitesse en vigueur ne présente en soi aucun danger, a fortiori quand la limitation en question est absurde et totalement contre nature pour un conducteur digne de ce nom (trop basse de manière injustifiée et l’on rejoint là la notion de lenteur). La vitesse excessive, elle, est la véritable source de danger. Bien entendu, tout le système répressif est basé sur le fait de sanctionner des excès de vitesse au sens légal (c’est-à-dire rentable) du terme en les assimilant à de la vitesse excessive… Et conduit à sanctionner, dans l’immense majorité des cas des comportements qui ne sont en fait pas dangereux…En l’espace de cinq heures, un jour de mars 2015, un seul et unique radar de la police danoise a recueilli tellement d’argent sur une minuscule portion de l’autoroute au sud de Copenhague qu’il a fait la Une des quotidiens du Danemark. Mais ce qui importe, ce n’est pas que les autorités avaient encaissé 2 millions de couronnes (presque 270.000 euros) en moins d’un quart de journée, c’est que l’article ne faisait état d’aucune victime, ni même d’un seul accident de la journée, voire d’un seul accrochage.La vitesse n’a rien à voir avec la sécuritéIl n’y a pas 36 conclusions à tirer de[...]

We’ve all been guilty of projecting some kind of utopian fantasy on the Nordic countries


Americans are not just a few policy changes away from becoming happy Norwegians or Finnswrites Jim Geraghty in National Review.Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig links to, but does not mention by name, my morning newsletter item responding to her original column declaring, “It’s time to give Socialism a try.” In her response, she writes, “I hadn’t named the Nordic countries in my piece, but my opponents were quick to discard them from the conversation.” Perhaps a longer discussion about why America shouldn’t try to become like the Nordic countries — and would fail if it tried — is in order.1) The Nordic system kills innovation, and the United States’ adopting it would have dire consequences for the world economy.As Daron Acemoglu, an eminent economist at MIT, wrote in 2013:In our model (which is just that, a model), U.S. citizens would actually be worse off if they switched to a cuddly capitalism. Why? Because this would reduce the world’s growth rate, given the U.S.’s oversized contribution to the world technology frontier. In contrast, when Sweden switches from cutthroat to cuddly capitalism (or vice versa), this does not have an impact on the long-run growth rate of the world economy, because the important work is being done by U.S. innovation.2) Most of what American progressives envy about the Scandinavian countries existed before they expanded their welfare state, and America’s voices on the left are mixing up correlation with causation.As Nima Sanandaji, a Swedish author of Kurdish origin who holds a Ph.D. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, wrote in 2015:Many of the desirable features of Scandinavian societies, such as low income inequality, low levels of poverty and high levels of economic growth predated the development of the welfare state. These and other indicators began to deteriorate after the expansion of the welfare state and the increase in taxes to fund it.3) At its biggest, most far-reaching, and invasive form in the late 20th century, the Nordic model crushed startups and the growth of new companies. “As of 2000,” Johan Norberg writes, “just one of the 50 biggest Swedish companies had been founded after 1970.”4) It’s easier to get people to buy into a collectivist idea when everyone has a lot in common. As Robert Kaiser, an associate editor of the Washington Post, wrote after a three-week trip to Finland in 2005: Finland is as big as two Missouris, but with just 5.2 million residents, it’s ethnically and religiously homogeneous. A strong Lutheran work ethic, combined with a powerful sense of probity, dominates the society. Homogeneity has led to consensus: Every significant Finnish political party supports the welfare state and, broadly speaking, the high taxation that makes it possible. And Finns have extraordinary confidence in their political class and public officials. Corruption is extremely rare.5) That collectivism is driven, in part, by taking away choices from people. In Finland there are no private schools or universities. As Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education’s Center for International Mobility, said in 2011: “In Finland parents can also choose. But the options are all the same.”6) Having all of your needs handled by the state does not cultivate a sense of responsibility, independence, motivation, or gratitude. Here’s Kaiser again:I was bothered by a sense of entitlement among many Finns, especially younger people. Sirpa Jalkanen, a microbiologist and biotech entrepreneur affiliated with Turku University in that ancient Finnish port city, told me she was discouraged by “this new generation we have now who love entertainment, the easy life.” She said she wished the government would require every university [...]

Da Tech Guy Interviews the Black Female Democrat Who Shouldn't Exist


(image) Da Tech Guy calls his Vük interview the most telling and important interview that he has done among the 60 videos he has shot since hitting CPAC, and Peter Ingemi is absolutely right.

the MSM has been telling [us] that a young woman of color like [Lea] has nothing but disdain for conservatives in general and Donald Trump in particular.

If you believe them she shouldn’t exist but there she is and if there is one Lea in a county of 300+ million there are likely hundreds of thousands of others out there not wedded to the MSM narrative of doom and gloom.
 … She gave the President mixed marks, complemented him on keeping campaign promises that he made to his people, noted that as a Democrat she’d like to see some more moderate moves. Her answers had none of the rancor or the division that the media has pushed on us for the year or that I’ve seen from angry activists. They were completely reasonable answers that would not have been out of place several decades ago in a saner time when I remembered people could disagree and get along. In other words they reflected who she is, a normal American trying to get by whose primary focus is real life instead of manufactured outrage.
This told me two things that are vital to understanding election 2018 and 2020. …/…
Read/View the whole thing.™
allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="" width="560">
Towards 5:30, Lea mentions which essential oils company she works for, which is doTerra, but I can't quite understand the letters after the "/" (N or M? A or N?).

Among other people interviewed at CPAC by Peter Ingemi is Myra Adams.

Related: The Comedy Central comedians might take a couple of lessons in journalism from Peter Ingemi… Giving a Stellar Example of Dishonesty, Daily Show Uses Deceptive Editing of CPAC Conservatives to Brand Them as Mindless Buffoons (Video)

Giving a Stellar Example of Dishonesty, Daily Show Uses Deceptive Editing of CPAC Conservatives to Brand Them as Mindless Buffoons (Video)


allowfullscreen="true" frameborder="0" height="288" src="//" width="512">And you wonder why Donald Trump calls it Fake News?!I think we should all be eternally grateful to the Daily Show for sending The Opposition w/ Jordan Klepper to CPAC (tak til TFP), as Kobi Libii, Tim Baltz, and Jordan Klepper give a stellar example of dishonesty in the mainstream media or, certainly, in the comedians that the MSM is always celebrating (video here).What it also shows is, as Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds continuously points out, that you should always record an MSM interview with your own hand-held device. (In our defense, everybody was being interviewed right and left, and we had no idea that this group was composed of independent (sic) satirists from Comedy Central.) Update: Speaking of which, thanks to Stephen Green for the link. In one instance — at least — each and every single line of an "exchange" comes from totally different points in the "interview" (sic). CPAC 2018: More Shootings Call for More Guns  The Opposition with Jordan Klepper CPAC 2018:Jordan, Kobi Libii and Tim Baltz visit CPAC to learn about Republicans' heroic unwillingness to solve America's mass shooting problem.In the experience of the No Pasarán blogger in the Stars and Stripes shirt, at least, the interview lasted 20 times the amount of time in which he appears that included a lot of give-and-take as well as intelligent or at least reasoned arguments.First remark: A lot of what appears in the entire episode seems to be no more than simple fluff talk ("yeah", "right", "absolutely", etc) strategically and dishonestly moved to appear as mindless agreement with satirical comments (for an example of this, go no further than the two "Right, exactly" comments of the very first interviewee). A similar technique was described by Kevin Williamson in the following words:This technique is known as “the Jon Stewart.” What you do is take a few seconds (or, in [the case of Katie Couric], a few minutes) of reaction shots (the footage they shoot of people’s faces while other people are talking) and then insert that non-talking footage after a question is asked: Voilà, the opposition is literally speechless. 1) the 400 mass shootings a year remark (0:44)At 0:44, the conversation with the No Pasarán blogger is shown going like this:•  Liberals keep saying, there are like 400 mass shootings a year in America…• "Move on, liberals!"• That's right!Needless to say, that is an outrageously dishonest cut that deliberately ignores the point that was being made. First of all, notice the cuts: as it happens, each and every single one of those three lines comes from totally different points in the interview.That the argument is cut may not come as a surprise, but even the "That's right!" does not come immediately after "Move on, liberals!" It's a bit of fluff talk from elsewhere expressly moved to make the interviewee appear mindless.Back to the argument being made. From memory, it went like this:Liberals keep saying, there are, like, 400 mass shootings a year in America [DAILY SHOW CUT]. But why is it that nobody, no conservative, no liberal, no pro-gun activist, no anti-gun activist, can mention those 400 shootings a year? Why, in other words, aren't/weren't 99% of them reported? Why can most people, whatever their point of view, not quote more than three or four shootings a year? Well, first of all, the number of dead in the definition of mass shootings has been reduced to appear meaningless. Just as important, most of the mass shootings are not reported for the simple reason that they involve criminals shooting one another. Are these facts irrelevant?Sh[...]

Global Warming: Severe Arctic Blast Brings the UK to a Virtual Standstill


Scotland remains on red alert
writes The Times of London,
after a severe Arctic blast brought the country to a virtual standstill. 
Indeed, the British Army [has been] called in to rescue drivers trapped in cars as forecasters warn of more snow and howling winds.

Or, as Instapundit likes to quote, tongue-in-cheek, an immortal eight-year-old MSM headline warning of global warming of climate change, Snowfalls Are Now Just A Thing Of The Past.

(image) Related: Unexpected! The Puzzling Reason Why So Many People Remain Skeptical of Global Warming and Climate Change
I'm so old, I can remember when, year after year after year, Britain's winters have proved to be among the coldest in a century.

With Troop Cut Proposals Leading Britain to Its Smallest Army Since Before the Napoleonic era, UK General Warns of Defeat in Future Conflict


Britain must spend more on the armed forces or risk defeat in a future confrontation
writes as The Times features a rare intervention by a serving military chief.
General Sir Gordon Messenger, vice-chief of the defence staff, said the country must be prepared for a “deterioration in the international arena” within 10 to 15 years. The Royal Marines officer said that extra investment was needed to counter the growing range of weapons and technologies being developed by states including Russia.

General Messenger is among the frontrunners to take over as head of the military … this summer. …
Indeed, as The Times reported a month and a half ago, The UK's Troop Cut Proposals Would Leave the Smallest British Army Since Before the Napoleonic Wars. (image)  
The Times:
Becoming the first senior military figure in a generation to explicitly call for more funding, [General Messenger, 55,] told The Times: “Defence affordability is not something we should shy away from . . . We should be making the case for a bigger defence budget in order to respond to those types of threats that are changing all of the time.”

  … The shortfall in the armed forces budget is thought to be £20 billion to £30 billion over the next decade. Some of this gap must be filled by the MoD making more efficiency savings.

General Sir Nick Carter, the head of the army, has warned about Britain’s vulnerability to a Russian attack. Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary who is pushing for more funds from the Treasury, said last month that Moscow could cause “thousands and thousands and thousands” of deaths. Asked why the public should support new money for defence, General Messenger signalled that people needed to understand that their security was not guaranteed. “There are capabilities being produced by those states that don’t see the world in the way that we do, that could do us harm,” he said.

Donald Trump Speech Rouses — and Entertains — the Conservative Movement at CPAC


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A rousing speech at CPAC, complete with ad-libs, was enjoyed by all.

Donald Trump never fails to surprise, especially when, poking fun at the media's obsession with his hair at 2'17", the president of the United States deliberately turns his back to the camera to show the back of his head and the spot where he hides his bald spot.

While conservatives deplore and make fun of Fake News, many of us still believe that there is probably some truth to the media reports that, although exaggerated, the businessman is probably quite vain and arrogant. But as former No Pasaran blogger N Joe says, the man has no vanity — no vanity at all.

Related: 9 best ad-libs from Trump’s CPAC speech
“I try like hell to hide that bald spot folks, I work hard at it,” Trump joked. “It doesn’t look bad! Hey, we’re hanging in there! Together we’re hanging in.”
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How Much Truth Is There in the Claim that Gun Control Works Wonders in Europe and Around the Rest of the World?


In the wake of Nikolas Cruz's Florida school massacre, gun control has (needless to say) reared its head.Following the 2017 reports on the Las Vegas shooting, said to be the deadliest in United States history, Connecticut’s senators, who have been especially outspoken on gun control ever since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, were among the first to issue statements … “Nowhere but America do horrific large-scale mass shootings happen with this degree of regularity,” Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement. “This must stop.” How much truth, though, is there to that declaration?Time to brush off the principal outtake from my in-depth examination of the gun control issue, which was published in the New York Times two years ago, updating it slightly in the process:It is easy for leftists, American as well as foreign, to tout the success of the gun control laws in the rest of the western world and to say that "this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries” when you ignore:• the 1996 massacre of 16 children at a Scottish primary school;• the 2000 killing of eight kids in Japan;• the 2002 deaths of eight people in Nanterre, France;• the 2002 killing of 16 kids in Erfurt, Germany;• the 2007 fatal shootings of eight people in Tuusula, Finland;• the killing of 10 people at a Finnish university less than a year later;• the 2009 killing of 15 people in Winnenden, Germany;• and, needless to say, Anders Breivik's 2011 mass murder of 77 Norwegians, most of them teenagers; • not to mention the various terrorist attacks of the last few years, such as the 2015 mass shootings inside the Bataclan nightclub which killed 90 Paris revelers. Is it unrealistic to wonder whether the tolls would have been lesser had a few of the adults in each place carried a weapon and tried to shoot back at the respective killers?Related: What Is to Blame for Mass Shootings? Does the Blame Lie with the Right to Bear Arms Or Can It Be Found Elsewhere? (a lengthy and in-depth post that I consider one of my best in 13 years of blogging)From the archives: Another Mass Killing, Another Nutcase with Plenty of Warning Signs — with a quote from Ann Coulter: "here’s the problem: Coddling the mentally ill isn’t even helping the mentally ill. … Something seems to have gone horribly wrong right around 1970. What could it be? …That date happens to correlate precisely with when the country began throwing the mentally ill out of institutions in 1969. Your memory of there not being as many mass murders a few decades ago is correct. Your memory of there not being as many homeless people a few decades ago is also correct. But liberals won’t allow the dangerous mentally ill to be committed to institutions against their will." …N Joe, who used to blog for No Pasarán many years ago, says that whereas half a million people were institutionalized half a century ago — when the U.S. population was far lower — in our day and age, the number of people committed to asylums is, thanks to leftist "compassion" policies, as low as 5,000.[...]

Watergate is nothing by comparison; that scandal involved people not employed by the government — Watergate did not involve the DOJ and the FBI


 … this episode is the worst abuse of political power in American history related to elections. Watergate is nothing by comparison. That involved people not employed by the government.  Later it involved a cover-up in which Nixon participated. Watergate did not involve the DOJ and the FBI — two institutions which must be non-partisans for this Republic of ours.On Forbes, Thomas Del Beccaro has an Annotated Timeline of Biased FBI and DOJ Officials Breaking The Law And Trying To Decide The Election (thanks to Instapundit).Below is a timeline of events – abbreviated though it is – that makes it rather plain that the FBI and DOJ were not investigating potential crimes objectively.Indeed, they were committing crimes during the process in aid of their preferred outcomes.Read the 27 points of the timeline, the following information we get from point 22: All in all, Comey swore under oath that the Court should consider the [Christopher Steele] dossier credible evidence so that the FBI could spy on Trump campaign official Carter Page – even though Page had already left the campaign.  Given that it was known that Page already left the campaign, it could well be that Carter Page was the fall guy excuse to begin domestic spying on others.Without question, Comey misled the FISA Court by submitting and vouching for the unverified dossier and pushing the Yahoo News story.  Those were not the only questionable acts, misrepresentations nor omissions of Comey.The FBI and DOJ, at the time they made the original FISA application, also were aware of the following - ALL OF WHICH WAS HIDDEN FROM THE FISA COURT: a) Hillary’s campaign and the DNC paid for the dossier - a fact which, if known, would give rise to judicial questions of potential evidentiary bias. b) Christopher Steele tells a DOJ official Bruce Ohr that Steele was "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president." Another fact that, if known, would give rise to judicial questions of potential evidentiary bias. c) The FBI was willing to pay Christopher Steele for more research but rescinded its offer when the FBI found out Steele had briefed reporters on the content of his dossier – a violation of FBI rules. Any Judge or jury would want to know if someone offering evidence otherwise was breaking rules. It bears on whether the witness can be trusted. d) Carter Page was not considered by the Russians as a credible businessmen and/or figure. Many believe Carter Page was an insignificant player. Again, this raises the question of whether surveillance of him was really an attempt to get at others. e) A DOJ official’s wife was working for the outfit commissioning the dossier. Another potentially biased individual. The most incredible point may be the last one, which reads thus: 27.  90 days renewals. Three times thereafter, the FBI and the DOJ reapplied for a FISA warrant and never apprised the Court of their prior misrepresentations and/or omissions. The existing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who currently oversees the Mueller investigation, was one of the officials who made a FISA warrant reapplication. It has also been said that Rosenstein has threatened House Members with legal proceedings if they continue to push oversight of this matter.So what conclusions are to be drawn in all of this? asks Thomas Del Beccaro.1.  Obviously, the Obama Administration DOJ officials were never going to charge Hillary Clinton with a crime related to the emails. To make that come true, their officials went easy on Hillary (as[...]

“I am sick to death of hearing about the need for strong women as protagonists” says David Hare; “It’s a boring cause”


David Hare has written his first television serial at the age of 70, writes Dominic Maxwell for the Times: Collateral, his new four-part thriller for BBC Two.
Decades before #MeToo, [the British playwright and screenwriter] was writing leading roles for women in plays such as Plenty (1978), The Secret Rapture (1988) and Amy’s View (1997). His 1975 play Teeth ’n’ Smiles had Helen Mirren fronting a rock band on the stage of the Royal Court in London.

Even so, was it important to give Collateral a female protagonist after focusing on a male MI5 agent, played by Bill Nighy, in his Worricker trilogy for the BBC? No, Hare says, that was less important than making sure there were women in key roles throughout. And although Mulligan’s character is pregnant — as was the actress when she filmed it — there is barely any mention of that in the show.
“I am sick to death of hearing about the need for strong women as protagonists. It’s a boring cause. What’s a much more important cause is to show women doing jobs equally, as the normality of the thing. Throughout the cast list.”
Hare can come across as touchy in interviews, but today, over a pot of tea in a hotel bar, he’s a relaxed, smiling presence even as he dishes out his pointed pointers and cheerful heresies with daunting fluency. Why are strong female protagonists a boring cause? He answers without drawing breath.
“It’s very limiting to say you only want to see strong women. I have claimed, because I have written so many women, that I have the right to represent all kinds of women. If I want to represent a murderess, I want that right. Without being called misogynistic. Similarly I want to be free to portray silly women and weak women and clever women; I want to be able to portray all women. When we can portray all women equally, that will be equality. Having just women who storm through the film or play being rude to everyone, and that’s called ‘strong women’, that’s not my idea of equality.

“Women should not be presented as the moral conscience of men’s actions either. I hope I have 100 per cent avoided portraying girlfriends saying to men, ‘Are you sure you’re doing the right thing, darling?’ ”

WaPo Leftist: With their childish protests and embarrassing behavior, the Democrats did the same sort of things they denounced Republicans for when they did them to Barack Obama


When you've lost the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, how much further down can you go?!
It gives me no pleasure to say this, but the Democrats’ behavior at the State of the Union was embarrassing.

I take a back seat to nobody in decrying President Trump’s cynical and divisive performance. He repeatedly exploited Americans’ divisions on race, guns, God, immigration — anything to distract from the broken promises, vulgarity and worse that define his presidency.

But the Democrats, with their childish protests, took the bait. Symbolic dissent is fine, but this was a cacophony of causes: black clothing (for #MeToo), kente ties and sashes (because of Trump’s Africa insult), butterfly stickers (for the “dreamers”), red buttons (for a victim of racial crime) and the more bipartisan purple ribbons (for the opioid epidemic).

Worse, dozens of Democrats refused to stand when the president entered the House chamber, forgetting that one stands out of respect for the office, not the officeholder. Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., grabbed a middle-aisle seat only to turn his back on the president when he walked past. Democrats groaned, scoffed, heckled and made lemon-biting faces. Others simply boycotted. In short, they did the same sort of things they (and I) denounced Republican lawmakers for when they did them to President Barack Obama. …

Bottoms Up! It Turns Out that Texas Is Not as Libertarian a State in All Aspects As Is Commonly Believed


The direct result of a new law will discourage out-of-state entrepreneurs from opening new breweries with taprooms in Texas and limit the growth of existing ones
complains Carine Martinez-Gouhier, a research analyst in the Center for Economic Prosperity at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in the Austin American-Statesman. Although the Lone Star state ranks near the top for economic freedom,
Special interests are at work to obtain government favors, the bitter fruit of which can be partially seen in the recent shakeup at the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

 … The law requires that the contract [with a licensed distributor] be exclusive and open-ended and does not allow manufacturers to “cancel, fail to renew, or otherwise terminate” the contract with the distributor but for good cause. Clearly, distributors do not welcome competition.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Texas Legislature has made it illegal for producers to sell their territorial rights to distributors. They must give them away, while distributors can resell these rights to a competitor for a profit.

Also, most breweries cannot sell for off-premises consumption, meaning you cannot buy a beer to bring home. The brewery, instead, mist sell to a distributor — and you, the final consumer, must buy the beer from a retailer at a substantial markup.

 … Breweries with existing taprooms falling outside the scope of the tightened regulation were grandfathered. But future breweries in this situation would:

• Be limited in how much of their brewery they can sell to other brewers or beer manufacturers.
• Be required to sell their beer to a distributor first — to then immediately buy it back from the distributor at a markup to sell it on their premises to final consumers.

Can you guess who benefits from these restrictions? Not the consumers, nor the craft brewers.

 … The reason that Texans generally cannot buy their beer directly from brewers: distributors do not want them to. It is high time we look more closely at the negative effects the three-tier system of alcohol regulation has on Texans and the Texas economy.

Rush Limbaugh: What leftists do is "overstate a problem and work society into a frenzied state in order to justify their invariable big-government solution"



Rush Limbaugh on leftists:
"They overstate a problem and work society into a frenzied state in order to justify their invariable big-government solution."
Rush Limbaugh on illegal immigration:
"This bill is worse than doing nothing," Limbaugh said [of the May 2007 legislation to regularize the legal status of millions of undocumented immigrants]. "The thing about this that just doesn't make any sense is thar we're treating the illegals as though we are doing something wrong, as though we've been bad and we're guilty of something.  We want them to forgive us." 
Zev Chafets:
As Larry O'Brien, one of JFK's smartest aides, once observed, there are no final victories in politics.

What America has instead is a permanent argument between Federalists and Jeffersonians, progressives and traditionalists, conservatives and liberals.  This is an essential argument about human nature, and the balance between personal freedom and collective responsibility.
The presence of this debate is one of the vital signs that a society is open and free. Those who decry Limbaugh … "polarizing" ignore the fact that only totalitarian states are unipolar. Democracies are adversarial, and you don't get to choose the other side's advocates.

Even liberals know that Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are “shitholes”; in fact, it seems to be their recurring argument for why we need to prioritize citizens of those nations in our immigration policy


Will someone please get Cory Booker a tissue? asks Benny Huang, tongue firmly in cheek.The senator from New Jersey claims that President Trump’s alleged “shithole countries” remark made him cry.Yes, cry. This one-time All-American high school football star was so butthurt over a completely uncontroversial statement that he actually shed tears. Then he choked up again while recounting his first bout of weeping. “I hurt,” whined Booker before pounding his fists on the bench like a small child. “When Dick Durbin called me I had tears of rage when I heard about this experience in this meeting.”Booker was referring to the ultraliberal Illinois senator who claims to have been in a meeting with President Trump when Trump said that America doesn’t need any more immigrants from “shithole countries” such as Haiti, El Salvador, and the entirety of Africa. He allegedly said that he would prefer Norwegians instead.This set off a round of denials and counteraccusations. President Trump, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, and two Republican senators have denied that Trump made the remarks while Durbin doubled down on his previous accusation.On the one hand it sounds like something Trump would say, particularly if he were speaking off the record, while on the other hand liberal Democrats are constantly manufacturing incidents of faux outrage so that they can virtue signal to their base. Liberals need to be seen as vigilant warriors fighting a never-ending battle against “hate,” which requires an endless stream of outrages. It’s really tiresome.Of course when the Democrats are in outrage mode so too are the news media—likely because there’s no clear demarcation line between the two. In the 24 hour period after Shitholegate broke, CNN used the term on air 195 times. That’s an average of more than eight times per hour. Wasn’t there any other news to cover?It should be noted that this whole story may still be apocryphal. The fact that the news media present it as truth is a classic case of media bias. One Democrat is to be believed because he’s a Democrat. Four Republicans are not to be believed because they’re Republicans.But if the president didn’t say what Durbin claims he said then I’ll say it for him. Haiti is a “shithole” and everyone knows it—even Dick Durbin, Cory Booker, and all their whiny reporter friends over at CNN. El Salvador is also a “shithole.” So is every African nation without exception.That may be an impolitic thing to say but that doesn’t make it any less true. If we intend to craft a reality-based immigration policy we must retain the ability to speak candidly about the world as it actually exists—particularly in closed door meetings for cripe’s sake! That’s what closed door meetings are for. We can’t have candid conversations if little Dicky Durbin is going to tattle to the media every time he feels a case of the butthurt coming on.Even liberals know that Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa are “shitholes;” in fact, it seems to be their recurring argument for why we need to prioritize citizens of those nations in our immigration policy. Turning away people who are fleeing the kind of violence, corruption, and disease found in such places would be heartless and frankly un-American!Then they react with righteous indignation if anyone calls them “shithole countries.” Seriously? If they’re not shitholes then their residents have no speci[...]

A First Lady's Miniskirt: Imagine the Uproar If Melania Trump Dared to Wear Such a Sexy Dress in Public!


Ohlalaa… Imagine the howls of outrage, in America as in the rest of the world (including France?), if Melania Trump appeared next to President Donald Trump in a similar low-cut dress (merci à Évelyne Joslain) — and let's not even get into the fact of the first lady appearing with a bottle of liquor, i.e., rouge (red wine), in her hand…

Update: it appears far from unlikely that the photo is a composite… Fake News! It got us again!

Questions to the Leftists: If Immigrants Are Such Paragons of Virtue, Why Not Support Sending Them Home to Their Countries to Become Productive Citizens Who Help Build Up Their Respective Nations?!


Long sleeves or short sleeves?That is the question asked by rebels in African countries such as Sierra Leone before they chop off their prisoners' hands and arms, either at the elbow (short sleeves) or at the wrist (long sleeves).Meanwhile, the Mexican government has published a list of no-go zones in its own country. What do those things do but make, by any definition you choose, countries like that — and whatever the race or the color of the skin of their inhabitants — little more than shitholes?Related:  What Kind of Startling Groups Might Tend to Agree with Trump About "Shithole Countries"? …/… How about the citizens of Haiti, the citizens of El Salvador, and the citizens of various nations in Africa? …/… Indeed, isn't the very fact that so many of these citizens are emigrating to America, or to the West, in the first place a pretty strong sign of what they think, if not in those exact terms, of the regions they were born in? …/… [There is another, and an even more surprising, group — read the whole thing™]In any case, the raison d'être of this post is that in view of the narrative of the leftists — that, unlike us other clueless, heartless, and racist neanderthals, they have the hearts and the compassion to see the virtues of the immigrants as well as the dignity of the countries they belong to — there are a number of essential questions that need answering, questions that they never seem to have paused to consider.Again: the narrative is that liberals, unlike conservatives, are all-around compassionate, tolerant, and internationalist-minded, as eager to provide help to immigrants, legal or otherwise, as they are to interact with other nationalities and, say, to bring aid to Third World countries.So this brings up the following questions:• If immigration is such a wonderful concept, one indeed that will bring hope and change (sic) to the United States, why would immigration not be just as benevolent to all other countries in the world as well? In other words, what I am getting at is, why doesn't this lead you leftists to support precisely the opposite of keeping all the illegals in America, i.e., sending the immigrants home as a good thing (!) since, somewhere, somehow it will prove to be a boon to those nations, what with the very fact of immigrants moving to those (in this case, to their own) countries can only bring untold riches to said nations?!• Indeed, if the Dreamers are such paragons of virtue, and if it is so evident that all of them go on to become productive citizens, Valedictorians, heroic soldiers worthy of the Medal of Honor, etc, why not let said jewels, why not encourage said archetypes to, go home in order to make their own countries great again?!• If foreign nations are not shitholes at all — but even more if… they indeed are so (!) — in other words, whatever the status of the countries, won't they benefit even more than America allegedly does from all these Übermenschen returning home to engage in their diligent work and to improve the lot of all the others?• Won't a return to their home countries prove to be a boon to said individuals as well, in view of the fact that, apart from being super-menschen, they return home with international experience, not least with English as a first language, and therefore with the capacity to get the juiciest jobs in their communities?!• To conclude, think of the immigrants (become emigr[...]

Good-Bye, l'Ami — RIP Peter Mayle


Peter Mayle, the bestselling author of A Year in Provence is dead at the age of 78 after a brief illness.
The genius of Mayle’s breezy, entertaining writing lay in his ability to make readers believe that every day in Provence was like a lazy Sunday, even as he detailed the days when he could barely get through the doorway because of incompetent contractors, or the days when the mistral winds made it impossible to leave that doorway 
writes Bethanne Patrick, who heads her lithub piece with: 
For Peter Mayle, Retirement Became the Career (image)