December 20th, 2012

Godzilla, default

Another President on an apology tour:

This time it's the new socialist President of France and the apology tour is a visit to Algeria, where he was discussing the role of French colonialism in Algeria:

In Algeria, for reference, the French as with colonialists everywhere invaded a place, took the majority of the land from the people actually living there, and reduced them to third-class citizens of their own country. The de-colonization war here was one of the more brutal wars of national liberation, but both the conquest and the war of liberation had sometimes curious legacies (such as the 19th Century America fetish for Zouaves and Yasser Arafat's using Algeria as an example for his attempts to destabilize Jordan and Lebanon). I think that he stopped short of a full apology, in contrast to the USA's actions with regard to slavery and the treatment of Native Americans does illustrate an interesting contrast between French and US political attitudes to historical injustice.

I do think that it's both sad and typical, however, that it's the socialist French who can at least admit to the blindingly obvious but that they don't go anywhere near far enough as the situation would seem to warrant. What say you?
  • paft

"I only know what I hear on Fox News and hear on radio."

So says the man just convicted for setting fire to a mosque.

The man was apparently drunk when he did it, but he doesn't seem very remorseful now that he's sober.

'Muslims are killing Americans and trying to blow stuff up,' Linn also reportedly told the judge. 'Most Muslims are terrorists and don’t believe in Jesus Christ.'

How does he know this? Fox News and Talk Radio.

How much longer are people going to cling to the fiction -- supposedly put to rest in the 20th century -- that there is no connection between violent language aimed at unpopular groups and violent acts committed against those groups?

Слушам и не вярвам на очите си!
  • htpcl

The Apocalypse within

Hi, my fellow scared hysterical chicken-hearts brave rational dudes & dudettes! See, I really liked this thread exploring the history of people's apocalyptic inclinations. "People in our country are more scared by their financial problems than the end of the world", anthropologist (whatever that's supposed to mean) Valeri Lichev and social psychologist (same) Plamen Dimitrov concluded in a recent study. Their argument is that the various Doomsday prophecies are primarily a First-World problem, i.e. they concern people generally living in prosperity and abundance. People who have a lot to lose in terms of material possessions, personal achievements, professional career, etc.

Too broad a generalization, but still partially a valid point; and btw, I'd add all those people living in relative ignorance and relying on superstitions for lack of access to information. They're susceptible to doomsday fears as well - fair enough. But even if it may not be so inclusive, let's consider the conclusion of these "eminent scholars" for a minute. See, the argument is that if one doesn't have much to lose (which is the case with many people living in poverty and misery over here), then an impending Apocalypse wouldn't be anywhere near the top of their priority list. They'd have other concerns.

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Sri Yantra

US Economic figures...

I quote from the start of the article:

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said sales rose 5.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million last month.

Meanwhile the economy grew faster than previously thought in the third quarter, at an annualised rate of 3.1%.

Well, someone in the Obama administration must be doing something right. And with this much growth (in comparison to the rest of the developed world, an amazing figure) I'm sure he can just drive straight off the fiscal cliff without landing too hard. I'd say he has some wriggle-room here.

But what say you chaps?