lundi 28 mai 2012

Thank God, we've lost !

The definitive victory of terrorists isn’t the number of victims they actually kill in reality but the distortion of perception they induce among the masses. Zillions $ have been spent on security around the whole world to prevent terrorist acts which, in the end -save 9/11 which cannot happen twice- can kill a very limited score of people. Granted, some security measures are necessary (particularly in the flying business) but overall the money (by the billions, really) that is spent on totally unnecessary precautions could save thousands of people, be it used wisely to fight diseases or by strictly implementing the basic rules of road driving safety.

It looks like (and it is admissible, given the context) the US was all in a frantic chase of murderous terrorists some weeks after 9/11 because of a purported planned attack against indiscriminate citizens with anthrax. In the end, only 3 persons died and the whole thing petered out… That’s where lays the core raison d’être of terrorism: to alter the perception of reality and eventually change reality. Not directly but by making potential victims of terrorism change reality themselves out of their “free will”. In that sense, you need not to be killed or even maimed to be a victim of terrorism. 

By refusing to assess reality as it is but rather participating in the distortion of said reality by nurturing the fear factor, you simply are contributing to the terrorists’ strategy and victory. By calling to endless security measures with no end in sight you’re simply turning yourself into a terrorist. 

Every other six month we're told that a terrorist scheme that would have caused havoc beyond imagination has been uncovered in the U.S and then... the sound of cricket.

Next July the Olympics will be held in London where they're now putting in place anti terrorist devices consisting of mega sound generators and even missiles (see the Guardian)! We'll soon learn that the Battle of Britain was a joke.

Also, there is this project of having just everybody sous surveillance téléphonique in the UK in the vain "hope" that wannabe terrorists shall be caught before they start implementing their terrible plots.

Sheer madness. Le propre du terrorisme is to be like a flea in the desert with twelve aircraft carriers, twenty nuclear submarines, five thousands jets and two infantry divisions excavating 2 million square miles in order not to find the flea...

It cost Ben Laden something like some thousand $ + 20 airplane tickets to achieve his goal and the West has wasted innumerable millions $ in response.

Was the U.S supposed not to react the way it did after 9/11 people would ask? Probably not and this is the second reason why OBL won the war: he induced a global change of attitude within the West which has increased the level of its already paranoiac stance. The media should not be forgotten regarding the help it has provided in nurturing the fear factor in the minds of several hundred million people in the world.

Thank god, we've lost the Olympics!

samedi 19 mai 2012

Some difference though...

The interesting part in religions isn't the belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, which is the archaic stage of development of any human society, but the system of moral values that they all set up. Since they basically tend to function as social regulators, they all more or less share the same starting point: Don't do to others etc. which of course they don't apply.

Yet there are some differences though and I'm thinking Catholicism vs. Protestantism, particulalry in the field of politics.

For what I know in religion, that is next to nothing, my time is too precious to waste it in studying what the 13th surat says, I can only observe there's apparently more decency (to a certain extent) with politicians in Protestant northern Europe than is the case in Catholic southern one. And so seemingly is the case in the US, at least at the highest level, when it comes to personal responsibility.

I explain: The presidential election is over now here in France and we are rid of the former gvt which was composed of former convicts (yes) and total incompetents who just happened to be cronies and lackeys of a certain dwarf.

- The "babes" that were mentioned some times ago were totally unheard of until Sarko decided to put them on the front line. It didn't take long to learn they're just another pair of gold diggers (working hard for France and the French needless to say). Is there anything similar in the current American administration?

- The former Minister of Foreign Affaires (Alain Juppé) was convicted to a one year suspended sentence (see here, in English) as was the former Minister of Defence Gérard Longuet in 1967. And there may be others I don't know of or that I have forgotten. Are there former convicts in the American administration?

- There is also the case of an avowed paedophile who wrote a book telling about his adventures in male brothels of Bangkok. There has been somme fuss for some days and the whole thing was forgotten. Am I wrong in thinking this simply would be impossible in any A.A and the media and the judiciary would be all up in arms? Not so in Catholic France.

-  Douillet, Laporte and innumerable other names could be cited as example of totally inept and incompetent servants of Carla Bruni's husband who have been promoted Ministers. Is there anything similar in the A.A? I know money plays a fundamental role in the U.S, much more than in Europe, that's part of the deal I guess, but are donators former convicts or imbeciles like those we had in France under Sarko?

Sarko is as religious as me but since there is a certain percentage (not that much in fact in France) of voters to court he went to see the Pope (with revisionist Bigard as special guess, of all people!!! A 9/11 denier). The Pope? Does the Pope mean anything to the Protestants? Rightist politicians care only for the Catholics (75% of them voted Sako last time) and the Jews since Protestants overwhelmingly vote for the left.

It's not that politics and politicians are paragons of virtue in the U.S that would be news to everybody, but when it comes to hypocrisy and unaccountability, the French Catholic right has reached depths (or heights) not seen since the pre-war years. These people actually stink!

Whatever may be said about the new French president, he's not religious, he never used that card, nor did a former Prime Minister who lost against Chirac ten years ago after he had done a great job and vital statistics were excellent. Note that he was raised as a Protestant...

Religions may be more or less all the same but still, there' some difference...

mercredi 9 mai 2012

Did Joan of Arc sail aboard the Mayflower?

When Leonard Cohen wrote a song called "Joan of Arc" in 1970, I was a bit puzzled that an English speaking Canadian would be interested in this rather distant French historical figure.

For sure, Joan of Arc isn't exactly an everyday object of interest in America, no more than it is in France for that matter, but nevertheless, the few opportunities I've had to meet this character mentioned in the American press or books, it looks like there's some sort of sympathy -if not mild fascination- with this 19 year old maid who contributed decisively to oust the English out of XVth century France.

Ousting the English out of some territories... Hmmm... Is that music to American ears?

Also, Joan, from the very beginning of her self appointed mission, never failed to recall she heard divine voices telling her to deliver France and that God was always her inspiration. Does this religious component of her story contribute to the interest and respect she may enjoy among a certain segment of the American population?

And who would have expected the great American writer, Mark Twain, to write an imaginary biography of the French national heroin?

Now, when I come across Joan of Arc when speaking with English people or when her name is mentioned in the British literature, I can feel some uneasiness. The less she's talked about, the better it seems.

And I was wondering if Americans in general don't make a connection between the story of Joan of Arc and their own experience of English purported intolerance which eventually led their ancestors to leave England and settle in the new world.

lundi 7 mai 2012

Done. Next!

J'ai lu cette aventure d'Astérix quand elle paraissait en feuilleton dans Pilote entre 1964 et 1965. Je ne crois pas l'avoir relue depuis mais, rétrospectivement, je me demande si elle n'était pas une occasion pour Goscinny (le scénariste) de faire une allusion à l'élection présidentielle de 1965 entre (second round) De Gaulle et Mitterrand.

Dans mon souvenir s'y retrouvent tous les éléments d'une élection contemporaine, les tricheries, mensonges, promesses que prennent pour argent comptant les (imbéciles) naïfs et autres (crétins)  "gens" qui comprennent vite mais à qui il faut expliquer longtemps...

L'élection présidentielle française est passée et ce que j'ai observé me convainc plus que jamais que ce système d'élection au suffrage universel est un anachronisme digne des tribus celtes, gauloises ou barbares.

Sous le masque de la démocratie bla bla bla nous en sommes encore en 2012 à recourir à une méthode de choix du chef qui fait dépendre l'avenir d'une nation de la nomination d'un unique individu un jour donné et auquel à peu près tous les pouvoirs sont donnés pour une période de cinq ans! Et c'était même sept ans il y a encore peu. Sans compter le clivage de la population française en deux parties franchement antagonistes, l'une prenant alternativement sa revanche sur l'autre.

J'en reviens à ma marotte : En termes de modernité, quoi qu'il y paraisse, les Chinois ont deux mille ans d'avance sur nous avec leur direction collégiale assurée par des fonctionnaires, tous issus des fameux concours d'État (*).

S'il faut une figure symbolique garante de l'unité de la nation, les monarchies européennes ou l'Allemagne, l'Italie etc. présentent il me semble un exemple d'équilibre qui permet aux citoyens de reconnaître une figure non engagée et vraiment au-dessus des partis. Mais la Constitution de la Vè est véritablement le marchepied vers un possible despotisme.

De Gaulle était haï de près de la moitié de la population, puis ce fut le tour de Pompidou, de Giscard, Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarko et maintenant Hollande et ainsi de suite jusqu'à quand? Et il me semble que c'est plus ou moins la même chose aux États-Unis ou Nixon was detested par half the electorate, then Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush and now Obama if I'm not mistaken when reading the american media.

How good is a system when the nation is divided into two irreconcilable parts and the chief is loathed by the other half which didn't elect him?

Methinks there's something wrong here under the disguise of "democracy".

(*) Needless to say, il faut distinguer le système politique de gestion de l'État et la question des droits de l'homme qui n'a pas en Asie l'importance qu'elle a en Occident, tout le monde sait cela.

dimanche 6 mai 2012

I Confess

Yes, I confess I was kind of addict (I wouldn't have killed anybody not to miss an instalment though) to this sitcom twenty years ago... 

Men and women relationship has been the number one topic for dozens thousands of years in China as well as in Egypt, among the Incas as well as among the Celts and probably the cave men. Not sure about the humor said cave men could instil into sex relations though...

Of course I had never heard the original voices of Judith Light, Tony Danza et al.
(They've just cut the episode into three parts; one must see the end of part two in order to understand the beginning of this one)