Friday, July 29, 2005

They've Seen the Light!

Oh_my_god (or: goddesses and gods, above and below, named and unnamed, real and imaginary), someone in the US has seen the light.

An earnest columnist has written an article for a US newspaper in which he actually makes a _F_A_I_R_ report concerning the choices of our European welfare states, instead of simply belittling them with a dismissive wave of the hand. And not just anyone, Paul Krugman, who happens to be an acknowledged economist and who writes a regular op/ed column in the New York Times.

In this article (read it here ), Paul Krugman actually uses intellectual honesty in explaining the differences between US and European systems, and in explaining that differences result from different choices for one's life on both sides of the Atlantic.

More than that, Paul Krugman also explains that choices are simply what they are: choices, and that one isn't above the other. One isn't "the one and only choice" and the other "stupidity". The US citizens choose some things above others, the European citizens choose other things above others. We have different priorities. It's our problem, our right, and nobody can scorn the other because of those sets of priorities. Hence the conclusion that there may be more than one way to lead one's life, more than one view on work, work conditions, health care systems, and, lo!, it follows that more than one kind society is possible. Almighty ultra-liberalism isn't the One Truth its supporters boast it is.

I am amazed.

So, Mr. Krugman, all my thanks and gratitude for your honesty and your courage in publishing such a column.

Maybe there's a chance for us, after all...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Spoilers Deserve to Die.

And a slow, painful death at that.

I hate self-important fools who blurt spoilers around and take all the pleasure out of watching or reading something. I'm a regular poster in a French usenet anime and manga group. Been there for ages. There have been morons along the years, less than on web forums (whose sole existence is the proof that humanity is coming to an end, by the way), but this time it beats all I've ever encountered.

A thread on an anime title. Contains spoilers for the anime. And one fucking moron stumbles upon the thread and spits out a spoiler of galactic proportions for Harry Potter 6 there. And justifies himself saying there was a spoiler tag...

Of course, I will still read the book I had carefully packed away for my September holidays in order not to yield to temptation and read it then and there, but much of the surprise, of the pleasure of the book will be just gone. Thanks to one frigging brainless MORON. Shit!

Someone, give me an axe. A dull-edged one.


(and, yeah, I'm ususally against any form of capital punishment :P)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shoot To Kill! Great. Now, What?

From Friday's edition of the Guardian:

As he got on to the train I looked at his face. He looked sort of left and right, but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox. He looked absolutely petrified and then as I say he sort of tripped, but they were hotly pursuing him.

They couldn't have been no more than two or three feet behind him at this time and he half tripped and was half pushed to the floor and the policeman nearest to me had a black automatic pistol in his left hand. He held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.

An innocent man was murdered in London on Friday morning.

Shot five times in the head while he was lying on the floor, far from being a threat to anyone.

Shot by police officers.

His crime? To have been mistaken for someone else. To have been frightened and subsequently to have run away when he was chased by people in plain clothes, people he didn't know. To have been hounded and herded to the underground coach. To have tripped and fallen to the floor where he lay helpless.

Where he lay helpless until the police officers reached him and shot him in the head five times.

A tragedy, some will say, a necessary evil, others will contend, a regrettable sacrifice to methods that insure the safety of the public, a good portion of people in official positions are likely to support. If you've read previous rants of mine, you know how I feel about so-called necessary sacrifices: bullshit. You CANNOT weigh the worth of lives against life. To do so is repellant. Revolting.

The method of shooting to kill comes, unsurprisingly enough, from Israel. Okay, regardless of what I think of Israelian methods, importing this to Europe is plain madness. Are police officers now instructed to shoot to kill anyone suspect? Is the definition of "suspect" wearing a coat and having a backpack? Great. Guess what?

Whenever I travel, I'm a potential suicide bomber. Well, yeah, I do have a backpack, and I usually have a coat or a jacket on my back, even in Summer, because I always travel with one, and having it on me saves place inside my luggage or my backpack!

And, guess another thing: if a group of officers in civvies start chasing me, I WILL RUN. No, I won't let myself be grabbed and manhandled by people who wear no uniform and whom I can't identify as proper agents of the law.

It gets better: imagine for a moment that a petty thief is chased down by those officers. He has a backpack where he stores his catch of the day, and he has good reason not to want to be apprehended. Yet, does this thief deserve to be shot in the head? I would think not. Of course, I'm not a raving tabloid op/ed columnist demanding "shoot them all". Another bit of niceness, that one. And just WHERE do you think calls to hatred and murder will lead? To peace and happiness ever after?


A man is dead.

An innocent has been murdered.

Nothing will ever undo that evil.

Nothing will ever help the terror that crushed that poor man, or his pain upon being murdered.

Nothing will ever help the loss of his family and friends.

At least, the British police has publicly recognized this tragic misconduct. Now, it's time to rethink methods and tactics, and to stop with the cowboy, shoot-to-kill attitude. The last thing to do is to strive for justification and go about claiming it's all the terrorists' fault. No, sir. No way. Far too easy.

We show our metal, we show our ethics and our values when we decide on investigation methods, on instructions and procedures. We are responsible for the way in which we, as an embodiment of the law or the state, choose to react to threats such as terrorism. If we can't find the strength to remain ourselves, to hang on to who we are, to what has always defined us, then we will inevitably lose ourselves in the long run. If we allow a shoot-to-kill policy, then we deny the most basic of the principles upholding our societies: due process. Anyone is innocent until proven guilty. That requires arrest, charges, and a trial. Nobody is guilty by default, or deserving of death by default. If we find that shooting mere suspects in the head is acceptable, then the terrorists have already won.

So, no.

No, you don't instruct police officers to aim for the head, get the suspect dead and ask questions later.

Not in Europe.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Greatest Democracy in the World? Yeah, sure.

I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm hallucinating when I read articles in the US newspapers (Source: today's edition of the Washington Post).

So, now, the White House--the center, the heart of the US, the self-proclaimed Best Democracy Of All Times (not to mention best judicial system--and everyone knows the rightness of that fact), great defender of freedom, of human rights (that's a joke, right? Tell me that's a joke, please)--is now lobbying to prevent a law from being voted in the US Senate.

But, what law?

Why, a law presented by none other than Republican Senators (you know, the ones who are in the same political party as the specters haunting the White House)!

So, why would Dick Cheney, Vice-President of the US, second in command to the president leading the greatest, best, fantasticest, most democratic, most you-name-it country in this world work like crazy to prevent a law presented by his own camp to pass?

It must be a terrible, terribly evil law.

Lemme see...

The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.

So, in short, the White House is fighting to prevent the passing of a law that would insure the US behaves like a civilized country, a country that respects the most basic of war conventions (Geneva anyone?) and human rights. Anyone care to tell me how that's a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs?

Ah, but in the words of the White House Officials, this law would interfere with the president's ability "to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack."

Oh, so torture is no longer evil. The US president must use torture to defend the US citizens? He must be above conventions against torture that his country signed in the United Nations?


We can all see how abuses and torture have helped all of us in the recent days and months. We can see how it helped out London and Madrid, how it's helped out Sharm el-Sheikh. How it's helping out Irak. And Afghanistan, where women are being stoned again. We can see it, all right.

When I look at the terrorists that bomb London, that slaughter innocent civilians, I know what I see: evil barbarians, cowards, raving fanatics, murderers--the enemy.

When I look at the people owning the White House, leading the self-proclaimed greatest democratic country in the world, I find myself feeling sick. And I fond myself having more and more difficulty understanding what I see.

On a scale of "Enemy" to "Friend" going through "Neutral" in the middle, I fear the US governement is dangerously slipping toward the "Enemy" side.

Oh, and think about this, think long and hard: if the US feels it can torture "enemies", then just how can it ever again express outrage if its own end up being tortured by the other side?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Kill Moronic Summer Parties. NOW.


It's 22:34. Tomorrow I'm working, as are many other people. That means I have to get up EARLY. A fucking moron is having himself a little fiesta down the street. A giant karaoke thing, and its shitty music MUST be on a maximum volume so it can gloriously resound through the whole quarter. The WHOLE quarter just MUST listen to pathetic voices attempting to sing ages-old sappy tunes.

I wish I knew the phone number of these people. I wish I had a nuclear missile at hand. I wish I had a machine gun, a B52, a rifle, a knife (the butcher kind, preferably). Anything.

I HATE morons who will bug a whole lot of people just because they have to have their fun and damn the rest of the world.

I hate Summer Parties.

I hate self-centered party-loving moronic fools.

I guess that means I hate most of humanity.

Fine with me.

Now, does anyone have a spare nuclear warhead close by? I promise, I'll give it back. Promise.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hell on Earth and Below

There are many things I could say, like "told you so", "bound to happen", but... In the end, it doesn't matter. The two things that matter are all the people who were the victims of the cowardly, despicable terrorist attacks in London today--the people who will keep terrible scars in their flesh and in their hearts for as long as they live.

Them, and the descpicable cowards who targetted innocent civilians.

It's easy to take on innocent people, is it not? So much easier than to take on trained soldiers and on the real people responsible for whatever wrong you claim was done to you. It takes guts and courage, it takes balls to take on a true enemy who can fight back. But then, everyone knows terrorists don't have balls.

And they have the gall to call themselves warriors of god?

Hello, darling terrorists, here's a newsflash for you: you're mere warriors of shit and sewers.

No more and no less.



You're no men. There's no bravery in you, nothing noble or strong. You're weak. You're cowards. You're so low, despicable and worthless that you're not worth spitting on.

Come to think of it, you're not dogs, not even worms. I think they haven't yet invented the right qualificative for soulless emasculated beasts like you. One thing is sure, though:

No matter how you go carvotting about your so-called courage, you have less balls than gelded animals.

You think you'll spark terror across the democratic countries of the world? You think people will be so afraid they'll be paralyzed? But, darlings, you simply delude yourself, like all the addle-brained, foaming-at-the-mouth raving religious fanatics all around the world.

The one thing you inspire in people is not fear. It's contempt-dripping scorn.

It has been said before today, but still I'll repeat it: we're all Londoners.