Another look at the century old and ongoing, lethal aftermath of the way Britain and France carved up the Middle East following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire post WWI. It’s a topic addressed here in several posts, the most recent just yesterday.
We’re now witnessing the walls, built by the Brits and the French in carving up the region to suit their convenience, beginning to crumble. Will the west now step in to shore up their malignant handiwork even as it collapses under the weight of irreconcilable ethnic and religious tensions? From The Independent:
…for (Read more…)
I can hardly believe what's been happening in France.Riot police battling homophobes, religious fanatics, and neo-Nazi groups.
Gay people being attacked over their right to be married.
In the streets of Paris, in the City of Love.Read more »
Roger Annis at the Feb. 24, 2013 annual meeting of Peace Alliance Winnipeg. Photo: Paul S. Graham
Is the military intervention in Mali by France, with the assistance of the United States, Canada and others an example of a humanitarian intervention launched to protect a fragile democracy from the incursion of Muslim terrorists? Or is France meddling in the affairs of its former colony to protect its business interests and further the political and economic interests of its NATO partners?
Roger Annis, coordinator of the Canada-Haiti Action Network and longtime political activist, explored these questions at the Annual General Meeting
. . . → Read More: Paul S. Graham: Behind the invasion of Mali
France has passed a law that will make it illegal to keep lights turned on over night in non-residental buildings. Starting in July the lights need to be out an hour after the last employee leaves. This is a great way to save energy while reducing light pollution.
The move, announced on Wednesday, is expected to save 250,000 tonnes of CO2 – enough energy to power 750,000 French households for a year.
The French ecology minister, Delphine Batho, said she hoped the law would change attitudes in France and help the country become a pioneer in reducing light pollution.
“History isn’t the lies of the victors … I know that now. It’s more the memories of the survivors, most of whom are neither victorious nor defeated.” – The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
On the last Sunday in the year, the Parisian bourgeoisie were out in force. The queue for the Impressionism and Fashion exhibition at the Musee d’Orsay moved in sudden leaps but still took over an hour to get to the security checks. For the Dali exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, those with pre-booked tickets queued for an hour, those without considerably longer
Meanwhile, (Read more…)
Afghanistan could be characterized as a perpetual civil war waged by people who range from bad to worse. Leaders change sides effortlessly, ally with and betray each other routinely.
But Africa’s Afghanistan, Mali, and the rest of the war in the Sahara is far more complex, far more confusing. If Afghanistan is code for “quagmire,” North Africa is the geopolitical equivalent of the Le Brea Tar Pits. It’s a war that only recently surfaced in our newspapers but it’s been going on for decades, confounding Western leaders throughout.
Here’s an example.
Over the last few years, Washington’s
. . . → Read More: The Disaffected Lib: Murky Mali Mayhem
The Roots of Mali and Algeria Crisis in Libya. And let’s not forget Canada’s gung-ho involvement in Libya – which might partially explain the interest in Mali now. what was unleashed in Libya is coming home to roost.
(originally written Apr 19, 2012. Part of my Great Upload of 2013.)
The American “millionaire tax” plan
At the moment, Obama is facing stiff resistance from his proposal to tax all income above $1,000,000 per year at a rate of 30%. This, despite the support of one-time world’s-richest-man Warren Buffett, who wondered in a NY Times editorial last year why he, a billionaire, paid a lower tax rate than his secretary.
(Answer: most of Buffett’s income comes in the form of capital gains taxed at 15%, which is lower than income tax rates paid by all but
. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: The millionaire tax, American- and French style
If you speak French, you’re in for a real treat from this group of protestors in France. And if you don’t, I think you’ll find that the clip transcends language into something that is universally mockable.
by Brian Lee Crowley | Troy Media | Macdonald Laurier Institute My mother could have told you why giving the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union would produce such a predictable and deserved outpouring of derision. An aspiring writer, she took a creative writing course. One of the assignments was to describe a single [...]
(originally written Nov 2010; uploaded Aug 21, 2012 as part of my Great Upload of Musings… for balance, I’ll soon post the follow-up which praises some portions of libertarian philosophy which are very dear to my progressive heart. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, and I’m not above shacking up with occasional allies. )
It looks like the Democrats are going to get clobbered in the [2010 midterm] US elections. Economic malaise tends to do this to governing parties, which is one reason currency devaluation is the policy-du-jour: if country A can make its currency cheaper, it
. . . → Read More: Eclectic Lip: How Libertarians brought America Big Religion and Bigger Lawsuits…
On August 1st, France introduced its long-promised Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). Popularly referred to as a Robin Hood Tax, or Tobin Tax, the 0.2 per cent levy will apply to sales of publicly traded shares, including credit default swaps, of businesses with a market value of over €1-billion. Ten other European countries, include Germany, Italy and Spain, are expected to follow the French lead
I’m sure this new legislation in France will impress the hell out of libertarians world wide. The French have identified that statistically, alcohol is involved in some 30% of traffic collisions. The solution? Mandatory breathalysers in every car. Al Jazeera breaks this story wide open:
“A new motoring law has come into effect in France, whereby it will be compulsory for drivers to carry breathalyser kits in their vehicles.From Sunday, motorists and motorcyclists risk facing an on-the-spot fine unless they travel with two single-use devices. The law is part of a government initiative to reduce
. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: No Breathalyser – Mon Dieu!
Back in 2008 Sarah Palin believed she was talking on the phone with French president Nicolas Sarkozy when in fact she was speaking with a Quebec comedian Marc-Antoine Audette. A more recent high-profile hoax call is making the news in France. It involves a former minister in the Sarkozy government, Nadine Morano.
Morano received a phone call from comedian Gérald Dahan who passed himself off convincingly as Front National deputy-leader, Louis Aliot. He even assumed a southern accent to add credibility.
Some of the comments Nadine Morano let slip in the course of the conversation has confirmed the suspicion of
. . . → Read More: Drive-by Planet: Dahan phone hoax exposes Nadine Morano’s political sympathies
Well this seems to have gone well, what with the takeaway platitudes of agreement between Hollande and Harper about the need for growth and for there to be stability in order to have growth.
But wait! “After Harper meets socialist president, Tories take ‘sumptuous’ Europe to task.” Well, I’m sure the French ambassador to Canada wouldn’t have taken offence to the good cop-bad cop two step thing the Conservatives had going on yesterday. Do these ambassador types ever notice such things anyway? Then relay such comments back to the mother ship?
Let’s ask the German one. Ouf.
Big orangutan kisses to all of you there for showing your support for the Quebec student movement. You have brought this ape to tears (and this rarely happens). Thank you.
New York City Paris Vancouver Toronto
This is a refreshing political tone: In a dignified ceremony in a red and gold hall in the Élysée Palace, François Hollande, 57, was invested Tuesday morning as president of France, the first Socialist to hold the office since François Mitterrand left office in 1995.
“We are a single France, undivided,” Mr. Hollande said after his investiture, promising a presidency of “dignity, simplicity and soberness.” He vowed that “the state will be impartial because it belongs to all of its citizens” and insisted that a united France could meet its difficult social and economic challenges, but warned that
. . . → Read More: Impolitical: Juxtapose
This and that for your Tuesday reading.
- Yesterday’s Alberta election certainly proved somewhat of a shocker – producing about the best possible result short of a minority scenario that would have allowed the NDP to exercise the balance of power, as the slightly-less-right party won even as its most notorious ideologue went down in flames. But I’d still think it’s a wide open question as to whether the PCs will actually govern consistently with the wishes of the progressive voters who offered strategic support (as suggested by Sheila Pratt), or whether they’ll instead veer right in order to win
. . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links
The French presidential campaign is kicking into high gear, and Nicolas Sarkozy has one key message for his ungrateful people: vote him back in, and he promises to spend his second term standing on the beach, like a magnificant granite Colossus, liquifying overseas demons with the sheer power of his blue-eyed gaze.
Don’t believe it? Here’s the advert.
Fancy a dip?
It’s been running for about a month, and it’s the subject of some witty (and goofy) send-ups(Franc Fort, Farce Fort, France Morte…). But as I’ve just come across it, what in the dickens is it trying to
. . . → Read More: Polygonic: La France Forte, or Why You Desperately Need Sarko Standing On the Beach
Hundreds of years before the advent of satellite photography and Google Earth, French monarchs used detailed scale models to micromanage their realm…
Not only is it fascinating these intricate models of cities and forts would have been commissioned in the first place, but quite amazing they’ve actually been preserved intact for hundreds of years.
Thomas Mulcair is French by choice.
It’s not terribly difficult to predict the sort of response that a political attack machine could run with this untimely revelation. We’ve seen it all before. A little over five years ago, New Democrats were quick to join the base nativist attacks on Stéphane Dion’s French citizenship.
That should put a cork or two in the howls of righteous indignation that
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It is a well-known fact that the unconventional gas industry is involved in an inherently toxic business, particularly through hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), which the EPA just confirmed today has contaminated groundwater in Wyoming. The documentary "Gasland," DeSmogBlog's report "Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens our Water, Health, and Climate," and numerous other investigations, reports, and scientific studies have echoed the myriad problems with unconventional gas around the globe.
What is less well-known, but arguably equally as important, is who exactly stands to benefit economically from the destruction of our land, air, and water
. . . → Read More: DeSmogBlog: Fracking Ohio’s Utica Shale to "Boost Local Economy"? A "Total" Sham
Two new ad campaigns launched in Europe have some knickers twisted at the site of political and religious leaders making out and at the reference to oral sex to warn of the dangers of smoking. On the commercial front, Benetton has continued its Unhate advertising campaign with photoshopped images of world leaders kissing each other, once again appropriating the aesthetics and ethics of social justice activism to cleverly sell stuff & values.
In the PSA camp, a civil society group called Les Droits des Non-fumeurs (The Rights of Non-smokers) has launched an ad campaign targeting young people with
. . . → Read More: Art Threat: Controversial adverts orally arouse – Kissing pope and cigarette fellatio among ads causing a stir