Saturday, November 12, 2005

The French Nightmare Come True...
From the Times of London, I give you this:,,2089-1869874,00.html

Th implication is that Jacques Chirac is a dead man walking, and all it will take to bury him once and for all is for the violence now sweeping French cities to spill over and disrupt the tourist trade.

I don't agree that it's that simple, to be sure, but there are underlying factors at play here.

What is happening in Paris, and elsewhere, is simply a repudiation of the European societal model. This model implies that things like culture, religion and custom can just easily be brushed aside in the name of "unity". It is an extension of the philosophical argument that human nature can be ignored when it becomes inconvenient. France, and the rest of Europe to varying degrees, has been attempting to rebuild society in some utopian way since the end of the Second World War. The foundations of this new society are to be based upon the people, at all levels, ignoring the fact that they may be French, Polish, Dutch, etc., and instead consider themselves "Europeans" who happen to speak different languages and eat different foods. Borders and labels, nationalism of any kind, is to be excised or sublimated to the god of "European-ness", and former conventions surrounding nationality and culture are to be laughed at as "constructs".

Unless, of course, you happen to be French, in which case, suddenly French culture, language, art, etc., should have a special place reserved for it.

Extend this to North Africans and Muslims living within this new European world; they are not racially native to Europe, which is a mostly homogenous place. While Europeans may have differences among them they are still Caucasians. So, the newcomers don't "blend in" to begin with. You can put a Norwegian and a Belgian in the same room, and except for slight differences in costume and hygiene, so long as they were silent , you could not place them. Keep that same European duo in the room and add an Algerian, a Morroccan, and an Ivory Coast-er, and it becomes easy to tell the difference.

Which is why pretending to be European instead of Danish and Italian doesn't work for these folks in the societies in which they live. They are set apart. They don't belong. Their very appearance reinforces those notions, and despite the attempts to force a belief that "color doesn't matter" or that "all cultures are fundamentally the same", it's difficult to buck human nature, which naturaly persuades you to seek the differences before you find the common ground.

Naturally, being of the group labelled "the other" in a homogenous society leads to other things. For a start, these people (the rioters) mostly have their roots in regions that were conquered, colonized and exploited by European countries. Four hundred years of colonialism and imperialism have left a scar; not on them, but on the conquerors. And not just a single scar, this scarring takes many forms.

So, it's possible to hear an "enlightened" Frenchman talk about equality one minute and curse the lazy nigger who's late bringing his latte the next, complete with regurgitated racisim that floated around France for centuries before he was born. You think this doesn't happen? Ask the Jews, who have taken this kind of thing in every European country they've set foot in. This residual racism is impossible to erase by government fiat or re-education because it is subconcious. It is ingrained in the culture.

Imperalism left other scars on Europe. Guilt being merely the worst one of all. Guilt over the despoilation of Africa and Asia, the slave trade, the legions of sweating Indian coolies, the dead Vietnamese, Siamese, Sri Lankans, Malays, Zulus, Levant Arabs, Persians, Aborigines, etc, etc, in the name of "King and Country" or "merchantilism" have had a deep effect on the European psyche, particularly after the dissolution of the European Empires. This manifests itself in a kind of patronising deferrence that is both enabling and disabling. On the one hand, it excuses the worst excesses of a particular group because of a legitimate historic grievance, and on the other hand, saps the will of the aggrieved to actually fend for themselves because guilt-ridden European governments and intellectuals will provide for them. It's pennance for the sins of Imperialism.

Which leads us to the question of unchecked immigration.

When you import "the Other" in the millions, simply pay them to exist, or if they should want to actually work, cut them off at the pass with racism, condescension and well-meaning-but-inept government handouts and overtures, and work rules that would choke a hippo, then don't expect them to actually want to be part of your society. They get the impression that you really don't want them anyway.

When you begin to tear at their culture, for many the only thing they know or have, in the attempt to "Europeanize" the non-European, then do not be surprised when they get really angry and start burning Citroens in record numbers. In recent years, France has passed laws banning the wearing of headscarves, has decreed that religion has no place in a modern society, has targeted 700 or more religious groups in France as being a threat to the nation, or claim to defend human rights and freedom while you're in bed with Saddam Hussein (a man many of these people fled from, or from other despots like him), don't look so bewildered.

When Danes vote to make Danish the chief lingua franca and the result is to make it more difficult for immigrants to assimilate, then don't be so surprised when the Others raise a stink over it.

When the Swedish government assumes the mantle of "abortion provider for Europe", don't be so shocked when a group of people who hold deep religious and cultural beliefs that run counter to this proposition get upset.

The problem is not so much Chirac and his cronies (although they are certainly guilty as hell of an awful lot) as much as it is an attitude that permeates European society. It is an attitude of hypocrisy, condescension, arrogance, disrespect, racism and radical thinking that defies the logical lessons of the 10,000 year history of civiliztion.

Chirac, in my opinion, is done for. He was some time ago. The riots will merely speed up the process. He is as much a victim of what I've discussed as anyone on the street lobbing Molotovs at public transport. Europe has three roads it might now travel:

a) It could capitulate and we'll see the first Continent-wide Islamic revolution from Portugal to Poland.
b) It could fight back, brutally, restricting immigration, beginning a program of mass, forced deportations and violence on a scale that is currently unimaginable.
c) It could make an effort to live up to the ideals and values it preaches so haughtily to us Americans and start actually beginning the process of becoming a melting pot not just for Europeans, but for everyone on the continent.

I foresee a combination of all three. The riots will be put down, probably viciously as they escalate. The Europeans, starting with the French, will cave into many of the demands of some of the more radical and violent spokespeople and front groups for the rioters. These "compromises" will seem small and reasonable, but will eventualy blossom into the proverbial turd in the punchbowl, while Europeans once deluded by guilt now delude themselves that they've bought peace. The process will repeat itself.

And the process will eventually subsume that monstrosity called the E.U. It is the E.U.'s stated scoial and ethical philosophy that is being tested in the fires of Paris. Not Chirac. He's had his test on the first night of the riots and failed to answer the bell.

And this scares the French more than anything else; that their beautifully-crafted European Union will lie a-smoldering in the streets of Paris when the continent that believes Europeans can be "citizens of the world" can't seem to acknowledge that someone of a different race can be a citizen of Paris.
Of Bird Flu and Deep Dog Doo...
Okay, Imight have been wrong in my originial assumption. I can admit that. I can live with it, even. It's been known to happen.

Apparently, the Avian Flu just might be something dangerous in way I never thought of before.

According to some new research, the Avian Flu kills by causing your body's immune system to go into overdrive, producing large numbers of "killer cells". About 10 times the number associated with other, more common influenzas. Apparently this vast increase in auto-immune defenses is itself a danger, causing swelling in the lungs, which causes respiratory problems for otherwise healthy people.

In other words, the healthier you are, the more you have to worry. I can't recall ever having to worry about being killed by a flu bug when I was otherwise perfectly healthy. I wonde rif this means that if you have AIDS, you might actually have a better chance of surviving since your immune system is so depressed the flu can only cause it to start working like sled dogs? Something to wonder about, I guess.

Additionally, I've read this morning that the same influenza virus has now been found in pigs. It has already begun to mutate and infect mammals, in other words. Previously, transmission was between birds and people who came into contact with birds or bird byproducts (feces, guts, etc). It now appears that H5N1 is capable of infecting other mammals as well. Whether this is a mutation or an innanate ability is still being debated.

So now here we are: we have a tricky bug that manages to spread itself quite nicely despite the best efforts to contain it. The people most at risk would be the people that would not necessarily be so under normal conditions. And finally, the authorities we're depending on (the ones that have the most information and experience with this disease) are typically Chinese Vietnamese and Canadian, and working with the dubious filter of socialst/communist government (which means the inconvenient truth will not be told until it is too late).

Now, the results of all this research are still not in, and at this point we're still talking speculation. But perhaps I pooh-poohed this thing a bit too quickly.

PS- Here is a link to the story:

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

We'll Always Have Paris...Until it Burns Down, of Course...
Regarding the second week of rioting in the...ahem..suburbs of Paris:

1. American media have FINALLY gotten around to mentioning that the "rioters" (at least they haven't called them "insurgents" yet) are, for the most part, Muslim. Always wary of being politically correct and always on the verge of giving themselves a collective hernia in the attempt, the American media, for some reason, just can't seem to do what it says is it's primary job: which is to report stuff.

A reporter's job consists of telling you: who, where, what, why and how. Please take note that "who" came first on that list. One day one, provided that it wasn't absolutely impossible to verify, it should have been pointed out that the rioters were mostly of Musli extraction. Doing so, however, would have "reinforced negative stereotypes about Muslims" which would be too painful for most reporters to relay to you, the general public. However, had the rioters been angry, white, Christian males, most reporters would have mentioned it in the first sentence. This is the price of political correctness, I guess; news is now (seems it always was) censored on the basis of whether or not it would offend someone's sensibilities (unless you're a white, Christian male). I mean it couldn't be importantto the story at all to point out that the rioters are of a certain color or persuasion, right?

Guess again.

Because it is important, because the central theme of this whole rioting business seems to be that there are many Muslims and North Africans who, despite the French penchant for blowing their own horn vis-a-vis sensitivity and PC, feel like second-class citizens. Probably more like third class, if you ask me. It's important, I believe, to let people know what these riots are about, and in this case, race, culture and religion are serving as triggers. A great many of these guys lobbing Molotovs are French-born. They are CITIZENS, not merely immigrants, and they have not been assimilated or granted the full range of rights offered to white Frogs because of their color and culture.

2. The French are having, and will continue to have, a difficult time settling this thing down. Part of the reason is becaue it's obvious that the French police forces are either too frightened to restore order, or have no idea of how to do so. There is also the open frenzy of political backstabbing going on between Chirac, de Villepin and Sarkozy in the light of day. It's obvious that what passes for a French government cannot come to terms with what has happened, therefore, how can one expect the security apparatus to do so?

3. The silence of the American left is stunning. After years fo being told how much better things are in Europe, we have had a string of events that prove that thngs are just a screwy there as they are here. Riots in France have sparked similar events in Copenhagen, Berlin, and several cities in Holland, Belgium and Sweden (the Socilaist heaven). The facade of the modern Euro-secular society, with cradle to grave welfare, with national health, and the peace and politeness that comes from sophistication and bad philosophy, has been torn down. Europe is now exposed for what it has always been: a second-rate version of the United States with the same social problems, but better cuisine.

Now that the lie of Eu-topia has been exposed, I wonder how quickly all the references to French sophistication and Scandanavian welfare nannyism will cease. Seemed to me to be all of two days, but I think there are some last true belivers (Kool Aid drinkers) over on Air America.

One other thing, which strikes me as pretty funny; here in America, our suburbs are places outside the major cities where people who are accused of not wanting to be surrounded by minorities flee to as soon as they possibly can. In France, a suburb, apparently, is where you dump your unwanted minorities, who in turn, wind up surrounding you because you stayed. Which is appropos --- it's the same mentality behind the Maginot Line, I guess.