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Spring 19 March 2012

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, France, Paris.
66 comments

Paris, France: young women sit in the sun on the Pont des Arts with its fence covered with padlocks left by lovers over the River Seine as unusually warm temperatures hit the French capital | Benoit Tessier/Reuters

has sprung…. ;)

Carnevale 20 February 2012

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Europe, France, The Battle for New Orleans.
75 comments

Nice, France: the King of Nice represented during the city’s carnival | Frederic Nebinger/Getty Images

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I have on Treme, Season 1 for the umpteenth time… as Mardi Gras rolls around again…

Shoot 19 March 2011

Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, AFRICOM, Europe, France, Pan Arab Revolt - 2011, Total fucking lunatics, UK, WAR!.
52 comments

A parachute (L) is ejected from a Libyan jet bomber as it crashes after being hit over Benghazi:

A pilot (L) ejects from a jet bomber as it crashes after being hit over Benghazi [AP/GETTY]

Not to worry about that messy detail, that AFRICOM leader Gen Carter Ham is leading this operation – aerial invasion.

Some Pentagon uniform is adivising us that it will swiftly move to coalition leadership.

Whew, so relieved.

I mean, can we get a war on or what!???

Perched… 22 December 2010

Posted by marisacat in Afghanistan War, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Pakistan, Paris, Total fucking lunatics, WAR!.
68 comments

Pigeons in Paris as heavy snow shut Paris Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport and forced the Eiffel Tower to be closed to tourists. [Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty Images]

I dropped in on Asia Times… and found a good piece by Pepe Escobar… I miss the old Pepe of years ago, especially the Pepe from before 2007, ’08, who had never sold Obama Brand Crap. 

But, one takes what one can get.

Just the last section…

It’s a gas, gas, gas

And here’s where The Year of the Drone merges with what the late, great deconstructionist Jacques Lacan would qualify as “the unsayable”: the invisible, dangerous liaisons between the “war on terror” and the energy war, as in the topography of the war on terror matching all the key 21st-century sources of energy from the Middle East to Central Asia.

This implies a key Pipelineistan chapter – the never-ending saga of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, which has been at the very core of the troubled Washington-Kabul marriage since the mid-1990s.

The TAPI inter-government agreement was finally signed in mid-December. Make no mistake; this is Washington in overdrive. The Washington-backed Asian Development Bank is to come up with the bulk of the $7.6 billion (and counting) financial package. The 2,000 kilometer-long TAPI – to be built by an international consortium – should snake through a very dodgy 735 kilometers of Afghanistan and 800 kilometers of Pakistan.

Hype apart, there’s no hard evidence that TAPI will “stabilize” Afghanistan or contribute to India and Pakistan trading kisses instead of insults. AfPak in this case are both transit countries. Most of the Afghan stretch will be underground – much as the US-supported BTC from Baku in Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey. In theory, local villages will be paid to guard the pipeline. But that still does not guarantee security to a steel serpent crossing western Afghanistan and then going east through Kandahar.

Once again in theory, TAPI is indeed a steel Silk Road between Central and South Asia. If TAPI is ever built - and that’s still a big “if” – certainly it will mark a monster crossover of Pipelineistan with the US Empire of Bases. Because none other than the Pentagon and NATO will provide the overall security. And that means the Atlanticist West forever embedded in AfPak. One can imagine what the Taliban on both sides – not to mention disgruntled Pashtuns in general – will make of that.

And even if TAPI is built, this still does not mean that its key competitor, the $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the “peace pipeline”, has lost the battle – much to Washington’s horror. The Indians have said that much – they are now chasing insurance giants of the Lloyds variety. And Pakistan definitely wants both TAPI and IPI.

TAPI theoretically should be finished by 2014. Surprise! That’s exactly the deadline year (for now …) for American troops to exit Afghanistan. No one will be exiting anything. Finally, the whole AfPak imbroglio will be revealed for what it is; a Pipelineistan gambit.

Meanwhile, enjoy the Year of the Drone. And while we’re at it, here’s some breaking news. The 2011 Pentagon/NATO strategy for AfPak is already established: wait for the Taliban spring/summer offensive to see where they’re at. And then drone them to death. Call it Drone Eye for the Bad Guy.

Oh surely by now, for the numbers game of killing, we’ve surpassed Hitler.  Unless of course one shoves the Russian dead in his column.  Which I imagine we do….

En colere 23 October 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
67 comments

High school  students block the entrance of the Lycee Turgot  in Paris

High school students block the entrance of the Lycee Turgot in Paris [AFP/GETTY]

On strike!

I noticed in some of the photographs of the protests a popular sign (several caught in shots) is a call out to Carla.  That the French people are like her, both get screwed by the Head of State.

Blessed.

Sound familiar? Love how the boys all chat… 14 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in DC Politics, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Paris.
57 comments

Le Figaro July 2008

Not just Sarkozy….  a concerted effort across several countries.  And of course, Mother Merkel.  Then again, no one is rooting for the Banksters.  Or the Gov Gangsters, either.  Fraudsters  Mobsters.

Off with their heads, all their heads!

FT:

[C]hastened bankers have agreed to new curbs on pay in an attempt to quell the storm, but many privately believe that the government is keeping bankers’ pay in the headlines for political reasons.

“There is no doubt in my mind that there is a deliberate plan to direct people’s anger towards the financial community and away from the government,” said one investment banker. “They are clearly looking for scapegoats at which to finger-point and trying to make themselves popular in the public eye.”

This general mistrust of wealth is being exacerbated by rising unemployment.

Bankers point out that Mr Sarkozy can afford to be more critical of financiers than the UK or US, since financial services in France are relatively small in relation to the economy. But there are risks to demonising the industry, they warn.

Not only is it unfair, given that French banks have weathered the crisis relatively well – the top three were profitable last year – but it could also undermine the industry just as Mr Sarkozy hopes to poach business from the UK.

The government’s gamble that targeting bankers will fuel its popularity carries another risk. “There is a big danger in stigmatising people. It can lead to legitimising violent behaviour against them,” said one senior banker.

In France this is no empty threat: social unrest has often led to the downfall of the country’s rulers.

Now is not the time to defend the banks, however, as Michel Pébereau, chairman of BNP Paribas, discovered last week. Upon telling his conference audience of medium-sized businesses that the banks were at their service, he was booed.  . . . . .

Carry on… (when do they all get together again?  Pittsburgh?)

In fairness… 11 September 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, Afghanistan War, Europe, France, Germany, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, UK, WAR!.
52 comments

Cagle via Truth Dig…

Brown, Merkel, Harper and …. oh, let’s throw shrimpie Sarko on the fire, as well.  They should be in the cartoon with Ob.

Berlusconi, Putin, at the edges laughing.  Others, just happy not to be on the menu.

But of course we lead.  We are first, second, middle, second-to-the-last and last.  How tired the killing game is…  Up to our nostrils in blood and bubble gum.

******

The lights are still on… 21 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, NORCOM, WAR!.
102 comments

oasisseasaquatheater_night

.

Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruise ship on earth, or an artist’s representation of her and the Aqua Theatre, one of many diversions. Oasis is due to hit the seas late this year.. and construction begins soon on a sister ship, Allure of the Seas. Timing, huh?

I’d say the wealthy will cruise no matter what, but word is around in San Francisco that the “2 – 3 million dollar” local house market is in trouble. Hankies abound.  And rentals on houses for the season in the Hamptons are coming down… Not a full crash, as the wealthy “have not canceled summer” but taking a deep hit.

Who knows what the sitch will be in a couple of months… worse is a good prediction.  Even Miss Cleo could manage that one………  8)

NYCO posted this near the end of the last thread… and it is a good fit for this thread…

I see Joseph Tainter’s Collapse of Complex Societies has finally reached mainstream consciousness… in the Canadian media, anyway.

Tainter is still alive and teaching. I wonder what he thinks of all these world economy developments. Especially since his final conclusion (in 1988) was that collapse could no longer happen to any society unless all of them collapsed at the same time. Which appears to be what is happening at present.

Snip from the news article linked above… I’d say we are at blast furnace level for complexity and interdependence…

[C]ompared to the Roman empire, the networks of interdependence in our present global systems are orders of magnitude more complicated — and comparably less resilient. Efficiency, the hallmark of modern economics, is precisely the fine tuning of higher levels of interdependence to minimize duplication and waste. Think of manufacturing with just-in-time delivery systems, or cities which typically store only a three-day supply of food, or hospitals which rely on the daily arrival of drugs, blood and oxygen — Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota reminds us that “most medical equipment and 85% of US pharmaceuticals are made abroad” (Ibid.).

Complexity Theory is an uncomfortable subject, particularly given the unsettling stresses we are measuring in food production, climate change, resource depletion, ecosystem damage, pollution and population growth. But the theory has its saving graces. It does make us more aware of our vulnerabilities. And it does argue for simplification and local self-sufficiency, particularly for essentials such as food supply and energy production. The incentive to begin thinking and acting with foresight should compensate for the need to be apologetic.

And… a snip from a related comment of NYCO (which I agree with, and just grit my teeth when I hear that Obama and “his belief in technology” will save us.  Quite popular out here, as you might imagine):

[P]ossibly the most unpopular part of Tainter’s theory, the one that would meet the most resistance, is his contention that while there may be technological magic bullets out there to discover and develop that will solve many of our current problems, we cannot possibly afford to discover and develop them: they cost much more than a complex society can afford to spend and still remain intact. In other words, investing more and more into green technology — the holy grail of most forward-thinking politicians and progressives today — will not save our civilization. Our complex civilization will collapse before we ever get near to realizing actual net benefits from our pursuit of these technologies.  [...]

***

I am sure this, from the Daily Mail, which is linked at Instapundit, and thus soon to be picked up in the Right and Far Right slots… has the hierarchy girding their loins for battle.  And drooling –  where ever it is they drool from…..

[T]he first protests began a month ago when the left-wing union coalition, the Collective Against Exploitation, demanded a £180 a month pay increase for low-wage earners.

President Nicolas Sarkozy sent his minster for overseas departments to the island to meet with union leaders on response to the demands.

But the racial tensions which have been simmering for decades exploded into full-scale rioting, with colonial descendants who own 90 per cent of the wealth becoming the focus of the violence.

The unrest was further aggravated last week when wealthy white landowner Alain Huyghues-Despointes publicly criticised mixed-race marriages and said he preferred to ‘preserve his race’.

In Paris, the violence has provoked divisions in Mr Sarkozy’s cabinet with black minister Rachida Data acknowledging that Guadeloupe suffered from ‘a problem with the distribution of wealth’.  …

This comment of diane’s fits in here… her comment and snip from the  SF Gate link… and I am sure (tho I did nto bother to google) that the authors are coming at Obama from the right.. but no matter.  I don’t care anymore.  I have no clue where the Savior stands, not with me I am certain of that.

[M]eanwhile, plans for detention at home are being expanded under Democratic Party leadership. On Jan. 22, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., a former judge who was impeached and removed from the bench before being elected to Congress, introduced HR645, the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. This bill calls for the establishment of six centers on military installations across the United States. Previous centers were for addressing an “emergency influx of immigrants” or to support “the rapid development of new programs.” These new FEMA centers are “to provide temporary housing, medical and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster.”   …

Stories and reports of Northern Command have been coming  out for years… 3 years, or so, that I am aware of… and iirc NORCOM went fully active around the time (fall, ’08)that AFRICOM did.

Surge on…..

Bona Fortuna… 1 February 2009

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Moscow, Viva La Revolucion!, WAR!.
103 comments

chinesebonafortunaap

A man dressed as the Chinese God of Fortune, right, and a performer wearing a Chinese firecrackers costume handed out “red pockets” with small amounts of money to visitors outside a Hong Kong shopping mall. [Vincent Yu/Associated Press]

we’re gonna need it….

In other news… masses of entertainment will hit, all too likely, in a few years.  Weeks ago when Obama was arguing for access to email and the internet, it seemed conditioned on his engaging in non-substantive, non-government, non-Oval Office exchanges.

Hold on to the popcorn machine.  Exhort the cows to make butter, cull salt from the seas:

“No,” he [Anthony Lake] said when asked if he had it. “Did. Don’t.”

Neither does Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, nor Steny H. Hoyer, the majority leader, but they do not use e-mail much anyway. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, is a BlackBerry fiend, but he does not have Mr. Obama’s address. Nor do many members of the cabinet, including Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates.

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has it, along with his own new super-secret BlackBerry and e-mail address. So do Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, his top advisers and some of his oldest friends from Chicago.

Senator Richard J. Durbin, a fellow Illinois Democrat, probably has it but refuses to say. “We’re not going to discuss it,” said a spokesman, Joe Shoemaker. Asked why, he said, “That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?”

It is now the ultimate status symbol in a town obsessed by status. Mr. Obama was spotted last week trying out his new BlackBerry — or actually a more sophisticated, encrypted variation — and aides say that he uses a computer in the study next to the Oval Office but that he has agreed to limit the number of people he would exchange e-mail with. In the process, he created a new measure for Washington to judge who really has the ear, or the thumb, of the president.

Those select few who have Mr. Obama’s e-mail address, say people informed about the matter, include Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff; David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, both senior advisers; and Robert Gibbs, the press secretary. But cabinet members like the interior secretary, Ken Salazar, said they did not have it. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is a frequent BlackBerry user, but a spokesman said he did not know whether she had the president’s address.

Apparently Oprah played it cagey… does she or doesn’t she.  John Podesta, who does not have the email address, did say the number who do would grow.  Oh inevitably…………….

Top to bottom (this is the close) the report simply did not mention the legal implications.  Frankly, I think Bush had better legal advice.  Not for the nation, but for that wretched institution, the Unitary Executive.

The challenge for those privileged few with the address will be when to use it. What is the etiquette on sending e-mail to the president? Several friends and aides said they would hit the “reply” button but not the “new message” button — in other words, send messages only when messaged first.

“Rarely will I bother him for anything serious or nonserious,” said Alexi Giannoulias, the state treasurer of Illinois and a friend.

“I figure if he needs me or wants to talk to me on any social level, he can get me very, very quickly. His friends need to have a shift in mentality. He’s no longer Barack. He’s an institution.”

Carry on.

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From the many protests…

zz

Russian policemen arrested a man dressed as dustbin as he protested against a refuse disposal plant in Moscow. [BBC]

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Lyon:

zz

Demonstrators in Lyon carried a red banner calling for “Neither state nor bosses – revolution!”

Strike! 30 January 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, France, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
97 comments

gallery-frances-unions-st-006

Marseilles, France: Arcelor Mittal workers demonstrate [Jean-paul Pelissier/Reuters]

Just a very general report from the Guardian to tack onto the photograph…

It is the first wide-ranging general strike since Sarkozy took office and a rare show of unity from France’s main unions. Train drivers, airport staff, teachers, postal workers and tax inspectors joined private-sector employees including bank clerks, car workers, ski-lift operators, supermarket check-out staff and even employees from the company that operates France’s stock exchange.

With lawyers and journalists from state TV and radio also walking out, the various groups are protesting for job protection and better wages and against a raft of Sarkozy’s reforms, ranging from justice to hospital and school reforms, and changes to the running of state TV.

Car workers downed tools over the crisis hitting the French auto industry. The arts world joined the ranks as north Paris’s cutting-edge new arts centre, Le 104, staged its own strike.

“We need to sound a cry of anger,” said François Chereque, head of the moderate CFDT union.


Greve!

From Lenin’s Tomb:

zz

Greek workers are up in arms, the Italian working class is revolting against the Berlusconi administration, protesters in Iceland have deposed their government, and now Sarkozy is the latest to feel the wrath. Today’s strikes and rallies involved millions of workers and took place across the country as this map shows… -Lenin

***

IOZ kept me laughing from sometime before 3 am to sometime after 3 am.  Several in a row that were hysterical… starting with this deceptively simple one..

From the Latin

Dear America,

Stimuli.

Orthographically,
IOZ

Can I hear a vote for stimulIE?  Stim u LIE  ?

Somewhere along the way a few weeks ago he mentioned he is a graduate of Oberlin.  As is, he helpfully offered, Michele Malkin.

There is just no accounting…

***

Truly no accounting. In other, less gay and blithe, news… Blair “suffers” and thinks of the dead… the soldiers and the Iraqis.  He is an adult convert to Catholicism (he has a foundation for the furtherance of faith in the world)… perhaps as penance he can go (yes, please GO) and  prostrate himself before B16 and.. I don’t know…  Perhaps he can fall into some form of ecstatic suffering, develop stigmata and other wounds… war wounds would be appropriate, figments of his imagination can indulge him in lost and missing limbs, brain damage, vegetative states, PTSD, the abyss of pain, fear and confusion, the haunting –  so he can suffer on.

Such indulgent shits.

For now he bows his head and claims to bear “responsibility”. Troubled, but not haunted.  Such a good boy.  So obedient.

He said that he was not haunted by it “but of course I reflect on it, and am troubled by it, and feel a great sense of responsibility for it”.

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