20150108

#JeSuisCharlie

Je Suis Charlie.

Well. Actually, I'm rather Canard Enchaîné than Charlie Hebdo (I only purchased once a copy of the latter, about thirty years ago), but that doesn't matter.

They assassinated our Grand Duduche.


Cabu's Le Grand Duduche - twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/552810111194783744

They murdered journalists, satirists, officers of the Republic in charge of their protection. 

But you can't kill Charlie Hebdo (for that matter, that rag is perfectly able to commit "Hara Kiri" by itself).

And by shooting on anticlerical anarchists, they shot on the Republic and on Islam. 

And post-1/7 France is not post-9/11 USA: unlike George W. Bush, François Hollande won't start a pseudo-war on terror that actually fueled worldwide terror and fundamentalism.

Ces connards ont réussi à nous réunir:


"Ces connards ont réussi... ... à nous réunir"

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20150107

2014 blogules



Below, a list of blogules spilled over the year 2014.
NB : for the comprehensive lists of blogules (2003 - to date), go to the bottom of this post or to the blogules transfusion center.


. "If it ain't fixed, break it again"
. "Exclusive Transcripts From Clinton Presidential Records"
. "Thank you, Bibi, for shooting yourself in the foot"
. "ISIS the end of Iraq?"
. "Francois Hollande vs Extreme Right? Been There, Done Nothing"
. "On Obama's visit to Korea - in Asia Pacific Bulletin"      
. "The First (Nation) Captain America"
. "Don't skip a beat"
. "A Bridge To You Know Where" 
. "2013 blogules"


Previous seasons: 

blogules 2015
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20141227

Happy New Year 2016

It's that time of the year, and for the 14th time*, I have no choice but to wish you a happy next year, considering what's going to happen in 2015:

January 2015: 

First YouTube video to go viral this year: a female polar bear, surfing topless in a bikini, disturbs a beach volley game in Churchill, Manitoba.

February 2015 : 

North Korea hacks the movie '50 shades of grey': Kim Jong-un wanted a sneak peek at the plans of the new attraction in Universal Studios' adult section.

March 2015: 

A major tsunami completely overwhelms the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The rest of the world will remain totally unaware of the tragedy until the 2016 Australian Tennis Open.

April 2015: 

The GOP impeaches Barack Obama for mentioning the possibility of enforcing existing gun control laws after 1,715 kids die in school shootings across the States over the last week of March - a mere 0,2% increase compared to the previous year.

May 2015: 

UKIP wins the elections: Scotland leaves the Union, the UK leaves the European Union, David Cameron ends his union with Nick Clegg, the Kingdom's official tabloid becomes The Onion.

June 2015: 

ISIS plants its flag in the Vatican, threatens to behead one cardinal every day if Pope Francis doesn't surrender, but before the terrorists make up their minds to select their first victim, all hostages die of old age.

July 2015: 

Now officially Chinese, Club Med inaugurates its new resorts in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

August 2015: 

Shinzo Abe Declaration on August 15th: "I feel deeply sorry that people feel sorry about the lack of apologies from Japan, but I feel even more sorry that our campaign of pacification of Asia during the first half of last century is still perceived as an aggression, and that our heroes who fought to control demographics in occupied nations or to better understand the spread of deadly diseases on human guinea pigs are still considered as war criminals. In order to iron out all misunderstandings in the region, I pledge to destroy all evidence, and to jail for 10 years all whistle blowers."

September 2015: 

As soon as King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies, the nation splits in two: his son Vajiralongkorn will rule over Yellow Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra over Red Thailand, and the only passage in the wall separating East from West Bangkok is called Check Point Chili.

October 2015: 

Because it was morally impossible to let Japan be the only candidate for the Asian seat at the UN Security Council elections, a last minute rival wins by a landslide. China warmly welcomes the newcomer to the institution's inner circle: "North Korea was a far better choice to bring stability and continuity in the region".

November 2015: 

Ebola outbreak in the Kremlin. Officially after Putin kissed, Brezhnev-style, Mugabe on the mouth, unofficially because Vladimir dropped the test tube where he kept the strain he manufactured for Ukraine.

December 2015: 

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzales, for redrawing the Middle East map on a waterboard.


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* see "Happy New Year 2010" (Jan 2009), "Happy New Year 2011" (Dec 2009), "Happy New Year 2012" (Dec 2010), "Happy New Year 2013" (Dec 2011), "Happy New Year 2014" (Dec 2012), "Happy New Year 2015" (Dec 2013)... and in French: "Bonne Année 2009" (Jan 2008), "Bonne Année 2010" (Dec 2008), "Bonne Année 2011" (Dec 2009), "Bonne Année 2012" (Dec 2010), "Bonne Année 2013" (Dec 2011), "Bonne Année 2014" (Dec 2012), "Bonne Année 2015" (Dec 2013).

20141208

Imperial Japan v. Japan

On December 14, Japan will probably give the LDP four more years to rule. More than enough for Shinzo Abe to fulfill his dream of destroying post-war Japan (see "It's the democracy, stupid").

Even the return of recession, and a Moody's downgrade won't affect the result of the snap elections: Japan has already reached the point when the economic alibi (Abenomics) isn't even required anymore to sell the political agenda (Abeignomics).

Abe and his fellow Nippon Kaigi friends never hid their intentions:
  • to restore the Empire of Japan (monarchy, State Shinto, militarism)
  • to rewrite the Constitution and history textbooks
  • to abandon post-war pacifism, peace treaties, Japan's human rights law
  • to negate the existence of Japanese war crimes
  • to remove all memorials to the victims of sex slavery for the Japanese military
  • to occult documents as 'State Secrets' and to harass whistleblowers





The State Secrets Law, a Patriot Act on steroids, will be implemented on December 10, even before the vote. Thanks to it, this openly revisionist government will decide which documents will be forbidden to reveal. People who dare disclose the truth, for instance regarding Imperial Japan war crimes, will face jail.

Anyway, hard to find a media to which blow the whistle: NHK is controlled by a friend of Abe's, the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Sankei Shimbun renewed their pledge to spread negationist versions of 'the facts', and their venom on a Asahi Shimbun still licking its wounds.

Foreign media are multiplying articles exposing the imposture, the outrageous lies, and Japan's suicidal path (special mention to the New York Times), but they're boycotted by the ruling party. And if Abe accepted to talk to The Economist, it ended in a surreal interview pushing denial to new standards (see "Shinzo Abe talks to The Economist").




Sorry for boring you with lost causes. 2014 Japan mirrors 2004 USA, except for the fact that the hidden agenda is even more extreme. And that it's not even hidden.




*

See all posts related to Shinzo Abe on blogules and Seoul Village.
See all tweets related to #ABEIGNomics and #YesToJapanNoToNipponKaigi.
See my piece in French on the Nippon Kaigi imposture: "En finir avec Nippon Kaigi" (on blogules V.F.), followed by ""En finir avec Nippon Kaigi, le lobby révisionniste japonais"" (on Rue89)

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20141106

If it ain't fixed, break it again

Mitch McConnell - conservatism won vs. change

When America last voted in 2012, Obama was confirmed, and the Democratic lead in the Senate strengthened, but the gap in the House of Representatives only reduced from 193/242 to 201/234, allowing the GOP to maintain its campaign of sabotage in D.C.. Since the POTUS kindly obliged by self-destructing, the Reps are not only back to 241/191 at the House, but also holding a large majority at the Senate. Even if Barack won't let them totally destroy Obamacare, they can do pretty much as they like. 

And go at Hillary's throat. 

If Clinton's popularity erodes further over 2015, a real Plan B could emerge. Someone more likely to succeed than Joe Biden, who doesn't stand a chance - and not only because he's 5 years older than HRC. And preferably someone more consensual than Elizabeth Warren, who said she wouldn't run against the Obvious Candidate, but wouldn't mind being the Obivous One.


Arkansas goes to GOP. Not to Hillary Clinton 2016 - 20141105
twitter.com/stephanemot/status/529808582347198464
Right now, the GOP enjoys a much wider choice of candidates. Of course we'll see Rand Paul and a bunch of new nutties in the great Sarah Palin - Herman Cain tradition. Plus a 2016 version of Jon Huntsman, maybe Rob Portman. This time, if a fresh new face prevails, we may not get an out-of-the-blue Veep Pick.
Among the favorites:
- Chris Christie: the heaviest of the heavyweights, but only literally, and if he returns from his "bridge to you know where"
- Jeb Bush: probably too late for him, too early for George P. Bush
- Pick Your Latino: Ted Cruz a bit boring, but Marco Rubio's place on the ticket is not anymore guaranteed.

Anyway, today, neither America nor the GOP are fixed, and the latter needs to prove it can do something positive to the former.

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20141007

Exclusive Transcripts From Clinton Presidential Records

The Clinton Presidential Center will soon release new batches of Presidential Records. Here's an exclusive preview, for your eyes only - transcripts from phone conversation recorded during his last year at the White House (at this stage, we can't tell "final year" since Bubba may come back as the First Gentleman):

Conversation with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton:
- "No Hillary, that's not what you think. I didn't inhale her perfume."

Conversation with Vice President Al Gore:
- "Sure you don't want my advice? To block Bill Bradley, I'd hire The Shaq. And for your running mate, get yourself a Joe with a six-pack smile. Biden, not Lieberman. Just sayin', but mark my words."

Conversation with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton:
- "Chappaqua sounds nice, but how will we pay for the house? We're already drowning under legal bills - and speaking of water, heard of any potential Whitewater scheme around?"

Conversation with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright:  
- "Don't be mad at me Mad, but I won't intervene in Sudan to get bin Laden. That country's so fragile it could break in two."

Conversation with Chief of Staff John Podesta:
- "What do you mean Hillary didn't like that intern? I checked her credentials and they look terrific: she not only worked for our D-Fla guy, but also wears D-Cup."

Conversation with President George Herbert Walker Bush:
- "Yes, I'll consider your request to pardon your son... but frankly, who cares if he drove under influence as a youngster? Dubya's already way out of his league as Governor of Texas, and it's not as if he were running for something really big, uh?"

Conversation with Vice President Al Gore:
- "No, Al, that's not what you think. I was not making a pass at Tipper, and we're not communicating through codes - don't tell me you also invented the telegraph."
 
Conversation with President Boris Yeltsin: 
- "No, Boris, I don't hate you - but you must understand that I can't join you for that vodka party in your dacha right now."

Conversation with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton:
- "You don't have to worry about Rudi Giuliani anymore. And same thing about Chappaqua: Lawrence Summers and Alan Greenspan got me the best mortgage offer - they told me it was like Al's internet, a sure bet."

Conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Barak: 
- "What are you doing this July, Ehud? Fancy spending some time with friends in Camp David...? Who will come? Uh... some friends, you know, around a good barbecue - kosher, of course. Please bring your knife for the cake."

Conversation with President Yasser Arafat:
- "What are you doing this July, Yasser? Fancy some time with friends in Camp David...? Who will come? Uh... some friends, you know, around a good barbecue - halal, of course. Please bring your own territory."

Conversation with First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton:
- "No, that's not what you think. She was talking about my saxophone. I just told her to play our favorite song, you know? Fleetwood Mac's 'Don't Stop'..."

Conversation with McDonalds at 750 17th St NW:
- "Uh... three Extra Value Meals, please: one Double Quarter Pounder, and two Big Macs. With Coke, yes. Oooops wait a sec' - I almost forgot the girls: Hillary, Chelsea, what will that be for you?"


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20140830

Thank you, Bibi, for shooting yourself in the foot

A great classic, the pounding of Gaza on a US election year*. But this time, Benjamin Netanyahu went too far too early, losing critical support at a critical moment.

Of course he didn't get rid of Hamas, because that's not what he wants, remember? Radicals need radicals at their doorsteps to play ping pong and justify their own stronghold. The idea was to surf on the ISIS panic wave, to weaken key entry/exit points for awhile, and by fueling fear in Israel and hatred in Palestine, to comfort both governments (the Hamas, Bibi) as the only ones legitimate to defend the land against bad guys (Bibi, the Hamas).

The problem is that US elections haven't really started, and that these are mid-term elections, not presidential ones. Big guns were not compelled to publicly pledge allegiance during the conflict. Worse: more candidates might seize the opportunity to emancipate themselves from a declining, hawkish AIPAC, and to support Israel via J Street**, which represents the moderate views of a growing majority of US Jews, and a much more sustainable path to peace.

If Bibi doesn't care about international outrage, he cares about support from the US. And because he went too far, at long last, the US internal political debate about Israel has suddenly become mainstream. Most recently and notably - and significantly location / media-wise:
- The Times refusing to publish a diatribe by Elie Wiesel comparing the Hamas to Nazis
- the ad run in The New York Times where 327 survivors of the Holocaust denounce "the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza" and calling for a complete boycott of Israel
- articles condemning the AIPAC, such as the recent "Friends of Israel" by Connie Bruck in The New Yorker

Now that bad guys are exposed on both sides, it's OK to publicly challenge the AIPAC and to mention J Street. It's soon going to be not only OK, but totally P.C. to support Israel by criticizing its government.

Yes, Barack Obama needs a strategy against ISIS, but showing progress between Israel and Palestine would send very strong messages across the World. The US can truly help Israel. If John F. Kerry can't do much, mainstream American moderates have the power to help moderates become mainstream in Israel.

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* e.g. "Deja vu all over again", "Israel accepted as true the choice between its security and its ideals"
** more than ever, "J Street : It's Time"!

20140630

ISIS the end of Iraq?

Again, the end of Iraq was sealed in 2003 with the invasion led by the Theocon-Neocon duet Bush-Cheney (as usual, from my 7-year-old "Universal Declaration of Independence From Fundamentalism"):
"For fundamentalists from all religions, George W. Bush turned out to be the best person at the best place at the best moment.

His strategy should look like a total failure to whoever considers the Iraq quagmire, the Palestinian fiasco, or the worldwide surge in terror. But to the contrary, Bush's strategy proved a complete success.
Because George W. Bush didn't act as a President of The United States of America in the interest of his country.
And George W. Bush didn't even act as a Republican in the interest of his party.
George W. Bush acted as a fundamentalist in the interest of fundamentalism.


(...)
Bush did not wage a war on terror but in favor of it : instead of focusing on terrorist networks and reducing their ground (ie by fighting injustice and poverty, promoting peace in the region and especially between Israel and Palestine), he deliberately infuriated the Muslim world and helped fundamentalists recruit new flocks of followers. And he targeted a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 but everything to do with peace in the region.
A new playground for international terrorism, the end of Iraq as a united country, civil war here, the rise of a new form of fundamentalism in Iran when reformers were "threatening" the Khomeini generation, the failure of Fatah and the victory of Hamas... all this was not collateral damage but the very aim of his sick game."
If George W. Bush deliberately set the region on fire, Barack Obama proved a poor fireman. He got Bin Laden and pulled out the troops as promised, but couldn't fix the whole mess. Furthermore, his sincere goodwill was not really rewarded, like that lovely Nowruz speech: it did lead to an Iran Spring, but didn't come with any back-up when the regime crushed it. Spinned by the GOP ahead of the elections, the Benghazi fiasco deprived the POTUS from all hope of convincing the rest of Washington to act in Syria or anywhere else. 

So for now, the new Bin Laden, self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, is fearing much less Uncle Sam than Vladimir Putin or - who knows - Xi Jinping. Heck, even Francois Hollande looks scarier. 

All al Baghdadi needs to make it perfect is a GOP victory this November.

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20140526

Francois Hollande vs Extreme Right? Been There, Done Nothing

France's extreme right party Front National claimed almost 25% of the votes at the European election, finishing for the first time as the first party in the country, four points ahead of the UMP. The ruling Socialist Party didn't even reach 14%.


French PM Manuel Valls described the results as an "earthquake". They're even worse than 12 years ago, when Jean-Marie Le Pen finished second at the first round of the Presidential Elections, kicking socialist PM Lionel Jospin out of the race for less than 200,000 ballots. Jacques Chirac went on to win the second round, but a few months later his gaullist, conservative RPR merged into the new center-right UMP. Surprisingly, the humiliated PS refused to reform, and it had something to do with the "leadership" of its First Secretary Francois Hollande, a person who loves to talk about change, but has never done anything to prove it.

When Hollande got elected in 2012, I wrote "France refuses to change" because there was no better way to sum it up. The scariest thing is not the earthquake, but the desperate flatness of French democracy's EEG.

Francois Hollande vs Extreme Right? Been There, Done Nothing
2002 Presidential Elections in France: Le Pen reaches 2nd round
2014 European Elections in France: Front National the 1st political party
Francois Hollande 1998-2008: First Secretary of the French Socialist Party
Francois Hollande 2012-2017: President of the French Republic
2002: Gaullist, conservative RPR merges into new center-right party UMP
2014: UMP evolves into???

When democracy stalls, extremes always win. And the FN didn't even have to modify its DNA to win: Jean-Marie Le Pen claimed one region, his daugther Marine another, and Marine's mate Louis Aliot yet another.

The only good news may be the fact that the UMP is at long last forced to dump Sarkozy's doomed "rightization" strategy. In the weeks and months to come, the party will either evolve towards the center, or implode. 

The Socialist Party imploded a long time ago, but managed to win an election here and there, when its rivals played it even dumber than dumb. France cannot afford two zombies any longer.



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