Sunday, February 19, 2017

What the rest of the world forgets when they point an angrily critical finger at America's racial intolerance

In the New York Times obituary of E. R. Braithwait, Sewell Chan produces some memorable quotes of the Guyanese author, diplomat, and former Royal Air Force pilot whose book “To Sir, With Love,” a memoir of teaching in London’s deprived East End, was adapted into a hit 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier.
Early in the book, Mr. Braithwaite recounts his disillusionment and struggles with joblessness after being passed over for work because of racial discrimination, contrasting his experiences in Britain with the years he had spent in the United States.

He wrote of America: “There, when prejudice is felt, it is open, obvious, blatant; the white man makes his position very clear, and the black man fights those prejudices with equal openness and fervor, using every constitutional device available to him.”

He added: “The rest of the world in general and Britain in particular are prone to point an angrily critical finger at American intolerance, forgetting that in its short history as a nation it has granted to its Negro citizens more opportunities for advancement and betterment, per capita, than any other nation in the world with an indigent Negro population.”

 … [Eustace Edward Ricardo Braithwaite’s] other books include “A Kind of Homecoming” (1962), about searching for his ancestral roots; “Choice of Straws” (1965), a mystery novel set in London; “Reluctant Neighbors” (1972), about a black man and a white man who share a short but fraught train ride; and “‘Honorary White’: A Visit to South Africa” (1975), based on a 1973 visit he made there to lecture.

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from Mencken to Jefferson

50 best quotes about Europe and Europeans, from HL Mencken to DH Lawrence, from WH Auden to Henry Miller, from Churchill to Thatcher, and from Louis XIV to Bismarck, along with, last but not least, Thomas Jefferson:
When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.

Friday, February 17, 2017

In an effort to placate China's cultural sensitivities, Hollywood is willing to make all manner of changes to their films

 … in an effort to placate [Chinese] cultural sensitivities, filmmakers have been willing to make all manner of changes to their work
writes Ann Hornaday in the Washington Post,
whether it means removing scenes of laundry air-drying on a Shanghai street from “Mission: Impossible III” (too poor-looking) or excising a stunt when James Bond kills a Chinese security guard in “Skyfall” (too offensive).
Not to mention Kung Fu Panda 2. This echoes the No Pasarán post Hollywood's Offerings Promise Only to Get More Anti-American.

Ann Hornaday 's Washington Post article:
For the past several years, Hollywood and China have been engaged in a wary dance that could be both lucrative or disastrous, depending on what’s at stake. As the Chinese investment sector and middle class have grown, the American film industry has eagerly courted both — as a source of financing, and as a movie-hungry market. With an average growth in box office of 35 percent a year since 2011 — compared with a relatively flat performance in the United States — China has become the new holy grail in putting rear ends in seats.
And there are plenty of seats to be had: China is now building around 26 screens a day to accommodate burgeoning demand in that country, whose population hovers around 1.3 billion. Although the state much prefers indigenous movies — allowing for tighter control of stories, images and social messages — the biggest demand is for mainstream Hollywood blockbusters. After years of severely limiting access to American product, in 2012 China signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States — which had objected to unfair trade practices — agreeing to allow at least 34 non-Chinese movies into the country every year, and allowing their home studios to keep 25 percent of the box office receipts.

The Chinese film industry, owned and controlled by the state, has also bolstered its domestic means of production, with an eye toward making the kinds of slick spectacles it can export to the rest of the world. U.S.-China co-productions are increasingly the order of the day, proving advantageous to Hollywood because they aren’t subject to the 34-movie quota, and to China, which is eager to up its game vis-a-vis production values, prestige and “soft power” relevance.

So far, the relationship has produced some hits and a few notable misses, especially when it comes to the American creative class navigating Chinese state censors who oversee which movies get into the country. No one who wants a piece of the world’s largest market would be stupid enough to alienate their audience by making the villain Chinese; but while few mourn the passing of “yellow peril” stereotypes or equally offensive ethnic cliches, attempts to cater to the Chinese market can veer toward pandering. Movies from “X-Men: Days of Future Past” to “Gravity” to “Iron Man 3” have tweaked content and casting to appeal to Chinese audiences. The science fiction film “Looper” changed an entire plot line to take place in Shanghai when filmmaker Rian Johnson received Chinese funding.

In the case of “Looper,” the Chinese locations and characters wound up looking unforced and organic, even forward-looking. But, in an effort to placate cultural sensitivities, filmmakers have been willing to make all manner of changes to their work, whether it means removing scenes of laundry air-drying on a Shanghai street from “Mission: Impossible III” (too poor-looking) or excising a stunt when James Bond kills a Chinese security guard in “Skyfall” (too offensive). Even more sobering is the fact that films dealing with such subjects as homosexuality, a free press and democratic dissent — think “Brokeback Mountain,” “Spotlight” and “Selma” — never make it past square one with Chinese censors.

As China’s most high-profile domestic production, made in tandem with an American company (Legendary Pictures) and a huge American movie star (Matt Damon), “The Great Wall” has an enormous amount riding on it, financially and symbolically, in terms of China’s global reputation as a cultural player. Two 2016 co-productions offer stark illustrations of what’s at stake: While “Kung Fu Panda 3” was a huge hit, “Warcraft” — which underwent tinkering to make it China-friendly — was a bomb.

 … American filmmakers must maintain a delicate balance between artistic freedom and the Chinese investment and box office revenue they need to survive. Add the backdrop of Trumpian uncertainty, and you have a reminder of why “may you live in interesting times” isn’t considered a blessing, but a curse.
Related: Chinese Film Studios Are the Planet's Largest, Mass-Producing
Films Designed to Build a Positive Image of the Country

Further Inroads into Hollywood for China's Communist Party and Its Censors

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Pro-Trump Speaker Was Ousted from TV Studio for Obama Remarks? That Was News to the Woman in Question Who Never Knew About It Until the Following Day

Via Eric Martin sur NDF, nous avons droit (pour ainsi dire) au droit de réponse de Evelyne Joslain, suite à sa soi-disant éviction de BFM TV:
J’entre en plateau vers 13h30. Les invités entrent et repartent. Les 2 journalistes ne s’arrêtent pas pour autant; leur annonce repasse en boucle : « Trump, le président le plus controversé de l’histoire »… Aussi, lorsqu’après 16h, quelqu’un me fait signe des coulisses que c’est l’heure, je ne m’étonne pas et je pars. On ne me dit absolument rien. Je n’ai pas été « virée », « expulsée » ou « renvoyée » comme un malfaiteur, ainsi que tous les gros titres visent à le faire croire. Je n’ai d’ailleurs jamais été de ma vie renvoyée de nulle part.  Commodément, l’émission a été censurée et n’est plus accessible …

3° Montage et battage médiatique :

Avertie le soir, au milieu des célébrations, je ne prête pas attention. Le lendemain, je découvre les divers articles sur Google. On peut reconstituer assez facilement le piège : dès 17h10, une heure après mon départ, un premier article paraît, de BuzzFeed France, un pseudo organe de presse spécialisé depuis juin 2016 dans les fausses informations et la calomnie des gens de droite, de Trump jusqu’aux personnes les plus humbles. …

4° Interprétation possible :

Le directeur de BFM TV … est-il aux ordres de BuzzFeed ou [de 24 internautes (anonymes)] non-identifiés qui auraient le pouvoir, de l’ombre, de décider qui doit tomber, ou a-t-il voulu se prémunir contre le CSA alors que les propos incriminés n’ont rien d’offensant et sont banals aux Etats-Unis ? Qui obéit à qui et pourquoi ? Voilà les questions que les rédactions, toutes subventionnées, qui ont répété servilement la même histoire mensongère, auraient dû se poser. Voulait-on me donner une leçon ? Selon le texte (toujours comme un malfaiteur), « l’auteure (sic!) n’en était pas à son coup d’essai : déjà, en aout 2016, elle avait dit qu’Hillary Clinton était corrompue » (quel scoop !). Ce qui indique recherches et préparation, j’avais été condamnée avant même mon entrée sur ce plateau.
Lire tout le droit de réponse de Evelyne Joslain sur NDF

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Rape Culture Is Perfectly OK If the Victim Is a Conservative Woman

I’m beginning to think that there might be something to this “rape culture” thing that progressives keep talking about
notes Benny Huang.
Exhibit A is “No Favors,” a recent song by rapper Big Sean featuring Detroit’s most renowned bad boy Eminem. The track is notable for its grisly lyrics including what sounds like Eminem fantasizing about raping conservative pundit Ann Coulter with various household objects.
“And f–k Ann Coulter with a Klan poster/
With a lamp post, door handle, shutter/
A damn bolt cutter, a sandal, a can opener, a candle, rubber/
Piano, a flannel, sucker, some hand soap, butter/
A banjo and manhole cover/
Hand over the mouth and nose smother/
Trample ran over the tramp with the Land Rover/
The band, the Lambo, Hummer and Road Runner/
Go ham donut, or go Rambo, gotta make an example of her/
That’s for Sandra Bland, ho, and Philando.”
It’s bad enough that there are people in this world like Eminem who entertain dark rape fantasies. What’s more disturbing is that the guy who spun these vile lyrics also practiced them for hours before committing them to an audio track that he knew would be heard by millions of people. Worse yet is that no one stopped him—not Big Sean, not the album’s producer, not GOOD Records owner Kanye West, not even the execs at GOOD’s parent company, Universal Music Group.

Kanye and his higher-ups could have tossed that whole track in the garbage if they had wanted to but they didn’t. It’s not as if musicians have absolute artistic license in the studio. As long as the record company is producing and promoting the final product, performers are little more than glorified employees. So how did “No Favors” ever see the lights of day? Eminem’s accomplices must have been at least ambivalent toward, if not supportive of, the heinous lyrics.

Other than a few conservative websites, I don’t know of any media outlet that has made a fuss about Eminem’s ode to sexual violence. Prominent feminist groups don’t seem upset. What’s that thing they always say at their “Take Back the Night” rallies? “Silence is complicity?” Yeah, that’s it.

Are we all pretty blasé about rape now? Hardly. In other contexts—contexts that don’t involve conservative women—our society is actually hypersensitive about rape. That may sound shocking because it implies that there’s such thing as excessive zealotry in the campaign to eradicate rape. Well, guess what? There is. There’s something very wrong with people who throw themselves into fits of hysteria over every accusation, even the false ones, or people who refuse to believe that false accusations even exist. Think of the Duke Lacrosse case, the mattress girl case, the UVA case, the Tawana Brawley case, etc. Calling them “hypersensitive” is the nicest word I can think of.

Given this hypersensitivity, it’s difficult to make the case that our society just doesn’t care about rape. We’re so adamant in our opposition that we’ve sought to eliminate rape at its root—namely, by obliterating “rape culture,” the entire milieu that encourages and excuses sexual violence. This is where things get tricky because we don’t all necessarily agree on what constitutes rape culture. To some people—let’s just call them feminists—rape culture is a term that means anything they don’t like. It’s no coincidence that traditionalism, gender roles, and sexual mores—three things that feminism have been trying to vanquish since at least the 1970s—are now considered key elements of rape culture. If you stick up for these much maligned concepts you may be called on the carpet for enabling sexual violence. It’s a silencing tactic, and an awfully effective one at that.

The endless search for hidden rape culture has become something of a parlor game in which the person who spots the most rape culture in the most places “wins.” Some people find rape culture in some very unexpected places including the 1944 Christmas duet “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” The song features a man trying to persuade a woman to snuggle a little longer with him by the fire instead of braving the driving snow outside. He’s probably trying to convince her to sleep with him, though that’s left unstated. The fact that the woman in the song seems to want to stay the night and only worries about what people will think of her if she does is not supposed to matter.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” stirred up a lot of debate this past December, enough for the reliably liberal website Vox to cover the controversy. Vox quoted Stephen Deusner of Salon calling the Christmas classic “a date rape anthem.”

As far as I can tell “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” has sparked more controversy than “No Favors.” Neither Vox nor Salon has, to my knowledge, covered the “No Favors” controversy, which is probably because a controversy is not a controversy until the media decide to cover it. When the media shrug off actual episodes of blatant, undeniable rape culture we tend not to be aware of their existence.

And that’s where we are today—a man asking his date to stay a little longer by the fire generates more headlines than a man who wants to “make an example” out of a woman by penetrating her with various household objects. I wonder why that might be? I can think of several reasons. There’s the fact that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is an old song that harkens back to an era that liberals love to hate but don’t really understand. There’s also the fact that “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is about an anonymous woman whereas “No Favors” is about Ann Coulter—and raping her isn’t really such a big deal, is it?

Not to people who matter—media figures, music moguls and the like. That’s why I say that rape culture is very real, though generally concentrated in liberal enclaves. That does not mean that red state America is some kind of rape-free paradise. What it does mean is that wherever the Left’s values dominate there is bound to be a winking, nodding acceptance toward casual rape talk aimed at conservative women.

Don’t believe me? I’ll provide two examples though there are certainly more.

Two celebrities of at least some notoriety independently expressed their desire to see former Governor Sarah Palin raped by black men. In 2008, the very unfunny comedienne Sandra Bernhard said that Palin would be “gang-raped” by “big, black brothers” if she set foot in Manhattan. Bernhard clearly relished the thought, probably because she is a homosexual and frustrated that she can’t get Sarah Palin in the sack.

More recently, female rapper Azealia Banks tweeted that she wanted to see Palin raped by “some of the biggest, burliest, blackest Negroes.” Banks, by the way, is also a homosexual and probably as mad as a wet cat that she isn’t Palin’s type. In another tweet, Banks stated: “Sarah Palin needs to have her hair shaved off to a buzz cut, get headf—cked by a big veiny, ashy, black c—k then be locked in a cupboard.” At the time, Banks was upset with Palin because of some Fake News™ she’d read concerning the former Alaska governor’s take on slavery. A fabricated quote attributed to Palin was “Even the French understand that slavery wasn’t our fault because the Negroes liked it.” Palin never said that, of course, but because Azealia Banks is paranoid of racism and because her IQ is lower than whale dung, she found the quote credible. Then she wished rape upon another woman.

“In my honest defense, I was completely kidding,” Banks later wrote. “I happen to have a really crass, New-York-City sense of humor, and regularly make silly jokes in attempts make light of situations which make me uncomfortable.”

Yeah! So chill. It was just a “silly joke.” It’s a New York Thing, you wouldn’t understand. Believe it or not, I almost believe her. Palin is despised in New York City, just as she is despised in most urban centers. If I walked into a Manhattan pub and started mouthing off about Sarah Palin getting raped, would anyone stop me? How many would egg me on? Plenty, I’d wager.

It’s hard to deny that America has a conflicted, almost schizophrenic attitude toward rape. This attitude may not be on display in the sleepy, conservative towns where most conservatives live, but it certainly exists on college campuses, in big cities, and in the entertainment industry. On the one hand, people fall all over each other to condemn alleged rapes as swiftly and severely as possible, often not caring if a particular accusation is even true. And on the other hand, people don’t really care about the obvious glorification of rape as an instrument of revenge when the object happens to be conservative woman.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Bumper Stickers — An Entirely American Phenomenon

Even without an election, the Americans do rather like a bumper sticker
writes a bemused David Millward in the Daily Telegraph.
They can be anything from a proud parent letting everyone know their child is an “honor student” – whatever that is – to one with a child serving in the military.

It all seemed rather alien to me when I arrived in the US a couple of years ago. British motorists are rather more reserved. There may be the odd football sticker, or a window sticker saying 'baby on board', but that is about it.

Perhaps we Brits are too buttoned up. But telling fellow road users that one is a woolly liberal , tree hugger or gun-toting fundamentalist Christian conservative does appear to be a peculiar manifestation of the American character.
By virtue of the language in his observations, David Millward proceeds to demonstrate rather conclusively that he leans to the left…

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Left-Leaning Editorial Cartoonists Adapt Tired Ol' Memes for the Trump Era

Thanks to The New Yorker's Tom Toro, we now have a Donald Trump-era update of the leftist editorial cartoons that are hilarious except for the inconvenient fact that they seem to be based upon little, if any, substantial reality.

As I wrote back in December,
Like cartoonists around the world, [The Economist's] Kal has drawn GOP elephants mocking activists' fears even as they are forced to climb onto the rooftop of such buildings as the US Congress [and the White House] because of the rising waters.

Think of Los Angeles and New York, of Aberdeen and Brighton, of Capetown and Sydney: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it true that in the past five weeks, the past five months, the past five years, and the past 50 years (even the past 500 years?), the oceans do not seem to have risen by as much as a single inch?

Thousands of [leftists] are howling in outrage as they read this … and as I go on to ask: So who are truly the irrational people here? Isn't science supposed to require the challengers of the status quo to prove their contention?

It used to be that we poked fun at the Chicken Littles and the other boys who cried wolf. In the era of the drama queen, every "The sky is falling!" is taken as holy writ, used to clobber clueless citizens (aka "racists", "deplorables", etc, not least… "deniers"), even as taxes are raised ever higher to increase the size of the administrative state so that politicians and bureaucrats alike can rush to our "rescue".

Hasn't it occurred to you that this snooty (not to mention self-serving) attitude is precisely what, over the past year, skeptical citizens have started to vote against?
More examples of  "provocative" (sic) editorial cartoons in the links below:

• It used to be that we poked fun at the Chicken Littles;
In the era of the drama queen, every "The sky is falling!" is taken as holy writ

• Editorial Cartoons: Are They Humor or Are They Propaganda?

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Instapundit Learns that Le Pen's Front National Is Actually Left-Wing, Something a French-Based Blog Has Been Reporting on (and Trying to Bring to Their Attention) for at Least 6 Years

So on Monday, February 6, Instapundit admitted that, contrary to reports that seemed to depict the iconoclasts of the Front National as perhaps a French equivalent to the members of America's tea party movement, Marine Le Pen turns out to be really quite Left-wing. Stephen Green authored the post after seeing a news item penned by the usually reliable Daniel Hannan.

Of course, this is hardly news to No Pasarán. Being a blog whose primary focus, when it debuted 13 years ago, was France and foreign anti-Americanism (the internal danger from the last eight years did change the focal point somewhat), many of whose bloggers through the years have been based in Paris — along with its sister (mainly French-language) blog Le Monde Watch — we have been reporting on the Le Pen clan and its party for years.

Throughout the years, No Pasarán and Le Monde Watch have reported on such various news items (most of them from the French newspaper of record, Le Monde) as the Front National's Marine Le Pen criticizing privatization and "extreme" free market policies, on her opining that France needs "a strong state", and on one of her top aides speaking of taking advantage of the fears engendered by globalization and surfing on insecurity and on social suffering.

Meanwhile, one leftist leader got incensed when journalists suggested that the Left and the extreme right's Le Pen family are fighting over the same (anti-capitalist) backyard.

Indeed, in 2015 one libertarian critic was led to ask, Is the Le Pen Party Extreme Rightist or Is It Actually a Reincarnation of the Communist Party?

Moreover, a Harris poll in the Fall of 2012 found that members of the Front National supported Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in that year's election by almost 3 to 1 (70% vs 26%).

Last but not least, there is Marine Le Pen's assertion that France Should Leave NATO, "Turn Its Back" on the American "Hyper-Power", and "Turn Towards Russia".

The post that summarizes all the rest is perhaps a No Pasarán item from the Spring of 2011, detailing the time when a New York Times reporter attempting to write an in-depth portrait on Marine Le Pen reported that, to his utter surprise, the economics of the leader of France's French "far-right party" turn out to be "frankly leftist"!

The money quote was the following:
Marine Le Pen sums it up in one sentence when the New York Times's Russell Shorto "pointed out [to her] that in the U.S. she would sound like a left-wing politician". She shot back that “Obama is way to the right of us”!
Since at least the Spring of 2011, just about every time that the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen has been mentioned on the internet (certainly if the coverage was positive), we sent emails to the blogger(s) involved and/or left messages in the appropriate comments section (if applicable) referring to the above-mentioned post with the NYT's in-depth portrait of Marine Le Pen and warning that the members of her Front National may not be the equivalent of America's tea partiers, while Marine herself may be no Geert Wilders and, certainly, no Nigel Farage (as the British iconoclaust pointed out himself by refusing to link his UKIP with her FN).

Of course, 10 years ago, a Le Monde interview with Michael Moore revealed the amazing (albeit hardly surprising) news that the director of Sicko and Capitalism (A Love Story) admits in so many words — "Dude, I am on Marx's Tomb!" — to being nothing less than… a full-grown Marxist(!). Ten years of attempting to contact American bloggers (again, by mail and/or in the comments section) every time Moore was in the news and/or mentioned in a post with this earth-shattering admission has likewise failed to register.

We don't know if we sometimes go overboard trying to contact you. Possibly we have, once or twice. But, generally speaking, we have tried to send you no more than one email or at most two emails a month.

All we wish to do here is join in spreading the good word and fighting the good fight.
Or, certainly, hand the ammunition to the band of brothers in the front-lines fighting the good fight.

It's simply, especially when we sometimes discern that our ammunition is occasionally of a particularly potent mixture, that we wish you would reach out and take the ammunition that we hand to you.


Speaking of really good, outstanding material: Last week, we found on a friend's Facebook page of all places — by a denizen from flyover country (in Tennessee, no less) — what we truly and honestly believe to be the very best singular statement (and not only of the past year) on Donald Trump's so-called Muslim ban, on immigration in general, on America's character, on the Statue of Liberty, and on the true and full meaning of the Emma Lazarus poem at its base.

Here, in a couple of sentences, Chip Crain sweeps away all the leftist arguments in the process of plunging to the very heart of the matter: it is hard to believe, he says, that
many people have read the entire poem or understand what was being said in it preferring to quote one part of one line "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses" while conveniently ignoring the rest of the sentence "yearning to be free" or the rest of the poem itself.
 … I am against allowing those who want to change our country. I'm against those who are coming not with the intention of assimilating into a free society but rather to establish a society like they left. The poem doesn't protect those who are coming to our shores to recreate the life they left. In fact it says the opposite.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp. Cries she with silent lips."
In other words, stay at home those who wish to bring your old ways here. We aren't a society saying 'give us anyone.' We are opening our shores to those who want to live in a free society that is different from what you left.
(Read the whole thing.)

Monday, February 06, 2017

"What exactly is the success that the Democrats are trumpeting?" Asks France's Far Left Weekly; "What remains of the Obama inheritance?"

From Marianne, one of the most left-leaning weeklies in France, comes this jewel from Stéphane Trano.

After pointing out misconceptions and exaggerrations about the 2016 election, coupled with some cold facts about Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration (the deficit worsened by trillions of dollars, etc), the French journalist living in the Northeastern United States asks:
What exactly is the success that the Democrats are trumpeting? … What remains of the Obama inheritance? … A president is measured by the impact that he leaves behind him, not on his performance on the scene of power. … Apart from that health law which is nowhere near the generous and egalitarian system that Europeans think it is, there is emptiness… [On the international scene], the memories of all are still fresh enough to remember that the eight years of this president were those of great diplomatic and military hypocrisy. But denial, in this area, as in others, is stronger than remembrance.

 … America is lucky in that it is a pragmatic society: by bringing the Republicans back to power, against all expectations, it has flanked a magisterial slap in the face of the "progressives" who believed that everything was allowed them. It did so not out of madness or irresponsibility, but because it has confidence in the capacity of its institutions to "absorb" this type of democratic choice, however disturbing it may be for those who consider themselves better educated and more enlightened than others. This is called alternation, a banality that the Democrats now want to call a scandal and a catastrophe.
Stéphane Trano:
On ne peut pas blâmer les Démocrates américains de tenter, par tous les moyens, de masquer la portée de leur échec en l’attribuant à toutes sortes de motifs, même les plus fantaisistes. La pilule est certes amère. Toutefois, la part la plus intéressante de cette hystérie collective est le phénomène d’auto-persuasion qui en est le moteur et que la plupart des grands médias du pays alimentent.

L’argument numéro un des perdants est la faillite du système électoral et, en particulier, le fait que la candidate démocrate, Hillary Clinton, a remporté le scrutin populaire. C’est oublier que la situation, même si elle n’est pas commune, s’est produite à quatre reprises au cours de l’Histoire des Etats-Unis, et qu’elle ne constitue pas de difficulté particulière aux termes de la Constitution. De plus, le 115ème congrès, sorti des urnes le 8 novembre 2016 et en fonction depuis le 3 janvier 2017, a vu 52% des électeurs voter pour les Républicains au Sénat et 55% à la Chambre des représentants. Il n’y a donc aucune anomalie dans les élections de 2016 de ce point de vue.

Le second argument est celui du piratage informatique à grande échelle des élections, sur ordre du président russe Vladimir Poutine, afin de faciliter l’élection de Donald J. Trump. Là encore, l’idée ne tient pas debout. Aucune trace de défaillance dans le nombre limité de votes électroniques aux élections n’a été décelée. Les services du renseignement américain, en dépit de leur conviction affichée selon lesquelles il existe un indice « haut » de confiance dans le fait qu’il y a eu piratage, ne sont pas tenus de produire le moindre élément de preuve au public, puisque de telles informations sont par essence classées « secret défense ». Il faut donc les croire sur parole.


Une mauvaise candidate

Hillary Clinton n’a eu besoin ni de Vladimir Poutine, ni de Julien Assange et encore moins de « pirates » pour perdre les élections de 2016. Ce ne sont pas de prétendues « fausses » informations qui ont heurté sa réputation déjà bien entamée auprès de nombreux électeurs américains, par exemple, dans l’affaire des emails, mais au contraire, son refus obstiné de prendre cette affaire au sérieux et de répondre aux interrogations. On ne voit pas, non plus, quelles « fausses » informations ont poussé l’électorat noir américain à se sous-mobiliser lors du vote du 8 novembre, ou les femmes et les plus jeunes à bouder sa candidature, après la défaite de Bernie Sanders lors des primaires démocrates.
Hillary Clinton, dont l’ambition n’est pas éteinte par la défaite, a affiché un visage froid, autoritaire et cassant, durant sa campagne. Elle n’a pas su développer un programme à la fois lisible et crédible, qui aurait pu emporter un vote, à la fois populaire et du collège électoral, si tranché qu’il n’y aurait eu aucune contestation. Comment, en effet, se revendiquer de l’héritage de Barack Obama, lorsque cet héritage peine à brandir autre chose que l’Obamacare, dont même les démocrates savent qu’il n’est pas financé au-delà de 2017 et coûte, en réalité, une fortune au regard des bénéfices qu’il apporte ?

Mensonges et déni

Car au-delà de cette loi sur la santé qui n’est en rien un système généreux et égalitaire tel qu’on le pense du côté des Européens, c’est le vide. Même si le Secrétaire d’Etat John Kerry blâme ces derniers jours le gouvernement anglais, prétendant qu’il est à l’origine de l’incapacité d’Obama à agir plus concrètement et durablement au Moyen-Orient contre l’état islamique, la mémoire de tous est par chance encore assez fraîche pour se souvenir que les huit années de ce président ont été celles d’une grande hypocrisie diplomatique et militaire. Mais le déni, dans ce domaine comme dans bien d’autres, est plus puissant que la mémoire.

Les âmes sensibles sont outrées par l’idée de construire un mur à la frontière entre les Etats-Unis et le Mexique. On a beau leur montrer les mille kilomètres de ce mur déjà construit, y compris sous le premier mandat d’Obama, cela n’a guère d’effet et n’entraîne aucune interrogation sur les raisons pour lesquelles le bon président n’en n’a pas retiré une seule pierre.

Un autre exemple est celui de la crise financière de 2008 et du retour au « plein emploi » huit ans plus tard : quel président n’aurait point réussi ce « prodige » en creusant le déficit de son pays, comme Barack Obama l’a fait, de près de 5000 milliards de dollars ?
La période 2008-2016 n’a pas non plus été celle de législations majeures en matière d’armes à feu, d’incarcérations, de recul de la peine de mort, de maîtrise des frais de scolarité ou de gestion des prêts étudiants parvenus à des hauteurs astronomiques.

Quel est donc ce succès dont les Démocrates se revendiquent au juste? Est-ce celui des villes défigurées sous les coups de boutoir du géant Amazon, à la fois propriétaire du puissant Washington Post et importateur massif de toutes les chinoiseries possibles qui inondent un marché américain ou l'on ne sait plus fabriquer une chaussette?

Quel héritage Obama?

Alors, que reste t-il de cet héritage Obama, au juste ? Une posture, bien évidemment. Après George W. Bush et le mensonge irakien, n’importe quel président aurait été auréolé de gloire. On attendait d’Obama, toutefois, un peu plus qu’un physique avenant, un talent rhétorique et l’humour dont il a tant usé. Car c’est à ce que laisse un président que l’on mesure son impact, pas à sa performance sur la scène du pouvoir. L’Amérique n’est pas plus sympathique dans le monde qu’elle ne l’était avant son arrivée, ni plus sûre, ni plus égalitaire. Mais elle a la chance d’être un pays pragmatique : en ramenant au pouvoir, contre toute attente, les Républicains, elle a flanqué une gifle magistrale aux « progressistes » qui se croyaient tout permis. Elle ne l’a pas fait par folie ou par irresponsabilité mais parce qu’elle a confiance dans la capacité de ses institutions à « encaisser » ce type de choix démocratique, si perturbant soit-il pour des milieux qui s’estiment mieux éduqués et éclairés que les autres. On appelle cela l’alternance, une banalité que les Démocrates veulent aujourd’hui faire passer pour un scandale et une catastrophe.

Cherchez l’erreur.
Related: Stéphane Trano on the November 2016 election:
America's Democratic Blow to the MSM Empire

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Boris Johnson's finest moments on camera

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph, we are pleased to present to you Boris Johnson's finest moments on camera.

Remember that, prior to becoming the UK's foreign secretary, the London mayor was hounded by the IRS to such an extent that, in 2015, he into gave up the U.S. half of his dual citizenship.