Happy Fourth

I’m taking the site on a four-day vacation to recharge the batteries a bit. Posting will resume on Monday, unless something momentous happens.

Hope all my US readers have a safe and happy Fourth of July and keep in mind the US soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines that keep us able to be safe, prosperous, and happy.

28 thoughts on “Happy Fourth

  1. Only the French would claim the moral high ground and then insult a nation on its birthday. Why exactly did we save their sorry asses in two world wars again?

    In speaking of war profiteers why were all those Roland missiles ending up in Baghdad? Why were the French oil companies standing in line for Iraqi blood money?

    I would rather be a profiteer in a war of liberation than a weasel who takes blood money from a tyrant. The French should hang their heads in shame at their behavior assuming they have any shame left.

  2. Now, not all French people are bad. Just 9/10ths of the ones in government and most of their intelligentsia. The average person tends to be a bit more sensible, although they’re exposed to the constant stream of anti-American invective flowing from that al-Jazeera on the Seine Le Monde.

    Come to think of it, maybe another revolution might be good for them… Allez au guillotine, M. Chirac! Et M. de Villepin, vous êtes la prochaine!

  3. World War I, where we tipped the balance to the Allies (although we showed up a bit late…) World War II, well, we all know that story.

    As for our differences with France, they’ll pass soon. I’m putting odds on the current government collapsing and a more sensible Sixth Republic taking its place. (A radical change in leadership would help, but a lot of the problems are structural in the current French Constitution.)

  4. Last I checked the balance had already tipped against the Germans. We only made it all the more hopeless for them. Regardless, ‘saving thier sorry asses’ would imply in this case that defeat would have been inevitable for the French if not for our intervention. Quite a hard case to make if you ask me, but feel free to try and do so.

  5. “Why exactly did we save their sorry asses in two world wars again?”
    Because americans are mostly former europeans, sharing views on freedom and democracy. or maybe it was just for economic reasons.

    “Why were the French oil companies standing in line for Iraqi blood money”
    Can you name just one oil company that didn’t try?(U.S companies tried for sure, but Saddam (wonder why?) didn’t want to give any contracts to them.).

    “Maybe we should send back the Statue of Liberty. It was a French gift, after all”
    a sign of Liberty doesn’t really fit in the American picture anymore?

    “the constant stream of anti-American invective flowing from that al-Jazeera on the Seine Le Monde.”
    don’t you comment on something you definitely are not able to understand.(unless you’ve been learning french recently?)

    “The French should hang their heads in shame at their behavior assuming they have any shame left.”
    what behavior are you talking about? the fact we want the U.N,the habeas corpus, and the independance of politic/corporate to be respected?

    My thoughts today are going to the american soldiers dying in Irak for the cash-thirtsy leaders that declared war on the so-called “fourth army of the world” that was defeated in 17 days, for WMDs that doesn’t exist(as American officials told the press it was just a fake incentive.)
    When I hear W. saying that democracy will be set up in 2 years, I wonder what he understands by “democracy”.(mentalities and education cannot be changed so radically in just 2 years)
    Finally, France is now under V Republic. The only party in France calling for the “Sixth Republic” is the extrem-right wing…good coming-out Jay!!

  6. Mr. Beverage,

    “The balance sheet had tipped against the Germans in WWI?” Do tell?

    The war was very much touch and go even in 1918. The Ludendorff offensive of March 1918 achieved a breakthrough at the switch line between Brit and French troops. Had they not had US troops available, and the Brit and French troops remained at their demoralized, pre-US-involvement state, the war could very well have turned out differently. Not necessarily with a German victory, but with an armistice vastly more favorable than that at Versailles.

  7. Quand le gouvernment français continue à soutenir le terrorisme d’Hamas, être un bon ami des tyrans Iranien, occulter la scandale d’ELF/Acquitaine et les scandales présidentiels il y a un grand problème avec le système de gouvernment français.

    Aussi, quand un journal dit ‘de référence’ dans un pays fait publier sans arrêt de la propagande anti-américaine la plus primaire, est-ce qu’on peut raisonnablement croire que le pays dont il s’agit est un pays ami et allié? Est-ce que Villepin nous prend vraiment pour des cons?

    President Bush a promis un paquet d’aide de 1 milliard de dollars pour combattre le SIDA en Afrique et qu’est-ce que Chirac dit? Il dit à l’Afrique ‘aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera.’ (Au même moment il dîne avec le tyran de Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe sans doute.) Qui a l’air d’être le sans-coeur desormais?

  8. Jene Milliarde ist nur ein Tropfen im Eimer, mein lieb Jay. Die ganze Welt Gemeinschaft handelt wie nur ein Pack von Schreien Kinder im Augenblick, unser lieber Busch nur Werden vom lautesten vom erst Welt Tyrannen.

    Ich schaue vorwärts zu irgendeine wirkliche Führung schließlich erhaltend an… irgendwann..

  9. a sign of Liberty doesn’t really fit in the American picture anymore?

    With travesties like the Patriot Act and Total Information Awareness, I’m worried that you may be all too right. The Bush Administration seems so concerned about “protecting our freedoms” that soon we might not have any left.

    Luckily Supreme Court rulings like Lawrence vs. Texas make me sleep a little better at night. And it looks like the court will stay the way it is until we can get somebody a little more moderate in office.

  10. I agree that the PATRIOT Act needs to be completely reworked, but I don’t see it as nearly as a threat to our civil liberties as the ‘no-knock’ warrants rule made during the Clinton Administration. Those are a far greater threat to the average American than prosecution under the PATRIOT Act.

    The truth is, as bad as PATRIOT is, there are a lot of other laws that are far more insidious – but they don’t have the political value to them and are rarely reported.

    Still, compared to most of the rest of the world, the freedom we Americans have is far greater than we think. (I’m reading the new draft of the EU Constitution and it’s almost frightening how horrible it is – I’ll have some thoughts on that on Monday.)

  11. I’m certain you could find a country where the average person enjoys greater freedom than in the US. For instance we don’t have the freedom to circumvent copy-protection schemes on movies we buy (necessary if you want to play a DVD under Linux.) Gay people don’t have the freedom to join in civil unions that will be honored by all states.

    There’s other examples of things I could think of – things you have a right to do in other countries, like Sweden or the Netherlands, that you can’t do in America.

    Quite frankly we’ll never be as free as we could be so long as Big Hollywood and the religious right are making our laws.

  12. “Not necessarily with a German victory, but with an armistice vastly more favorable than that at Versailles.”

    Perhaps not something quite so economically and nationalistically(?) brutal as what we gave them. Hitler might not have ever come into power. aHA! It was all our fault once again!

    Seriously though, as I recall we were only there for the last of Ludendorff’s offenses. Despite initial success the first attack failed more because they overadvanced more than anything else. The others were all quite well repulsed by the British and French at a far higher casualty rate for the Germans. I believe it was well over a million dead from March until June. That, combined with the subsequent collapse of thier allies had them doomed just as much as our 300,000 GIs/month that were arriving from June onward.

    Obviously though we were a great help to the French, but ‘saved thier sorry asses’ is just too much.

  13. Das rührende Französisch war kein Gegenstück für unsere mächtige Armee. Ohne die Amerikaner wäre dort, Frankreich sicherlich vor dem großen deutschen Reich gefallen. Hagel, Sieg!

  14. Quoth the fish:

    “The agitating French was not a counterpart for our powerful army. Without the Americans there, France would be before the large German Reich surely pleases. Hail, victory!”

    Now translated into Japanese:

    動揺のフランス人は同等私達の強力な軍隊のためのでなかった。そこのアメリカ人なしに,大きいドイツのreich 確かに喜ぶ前にフランスはある。あられすなわち勝利!

    Now translated back into English:

    French of trembling for the equal our powerful troop was not. Then without the American, the large German reich before certainly rejoicing, there is France. Hail namely victory!

    Now into Italian:

    Il francese di tremito per il uguale la nostra truppa potente non era. Allora senza l’americano, il grande reich tedesco prima certamente di rejoicing, ci è la Francia. Vittoria della grandine cioè!

    And back into English:

    The tremito French of for equal the our powerful troop was not. Then without the American, large reich the German before sure of rejoicing, is France. Victoria of the hail that is!

    Clear now?

  15. We’re only seeing the beginning of the loss of personal freedoms in America. Excluding all the Patriot Act-style attacks on liberties in the name of “security,” a far more broad-based assault on our personal freedoms is currently underway with at least marginal support from the left and right….our choices of consumption. The anti-tobacco crusade started the mudslide to hell, and the relentless scrutiny placed under that industry will soon bankrupt it and shift tobacco distribution to the underworld as a result. Now that government has filled that goose with so many holes that the golden eggs will soon cease to be laid, the next assault is on our refrigerators…specifically “Big Fast Food”, “Big Pop,” and “Big Nabisco”. Lawsuits against companies that produce these goods are likely right around the corner and special “Oreo taxes”, “Twinkie taxes”, and “Big Mac sin taxes” will follow to “offset Oreo, Twinkie, and Big Mac-related health care treatment costs.”

    Conservatives will correctly point out that its Democrat-leaning trial lawyer vultures engineering much of this trend, and for that they (and the Democratic party who supports the cause all too readily) must be taken to the woodshed. However, closer speculation will show that government’s increased role in this stickup would be far less likely to occur if not for the Treasury theft that’s shrinking revenues to Federal and state governments to make way for freefalling tax burdens on those with the ability to pay. The top federal tax rate has declined by more than 70% since the 1950s, with new income tax windfalls for this group nearly every year. Beyond that, the federal government is now in the process of removing taxation on stock dividends and estates that also are weighted most heavily on those who can afford to pay. Many states have no income tax and those that do have been in the business of handing out giveaways for much of the last decade on the premise that “we need to get the surpluses back to those who paid the taxes” rather than save it for the gloomy days which have now arrived to drench them.

    Simply put, the loss of revenues that every level of government is experiencing by throwing billions of dollars in giveaways year after year to the wealthy has to be made up somewhere. As a result, the systematic process of manufacturing health epidemics, insisting upon “reform” that comes directly from the pockets of consumers of “unhealthy” products, and then filling the piggy banks of government with those revenues has become second nature to our lawmakers desperate to find replacement revenue for what they continue to give away to the rich. With cigarettes, the taxes are extremely regressive since smoking is primarily a working-class habit, but is also popular since they represent an “other guy tax” for 75% of Americans. Not content to fill their coffers with $60 million a day off of tobacco taxes, the states and now the federal government’s insatiable greed from this single revenue source will surely destroy that source. Alas, they’re searching for new “bad guys” to keep the “sin taxes” rolling in while still giving away billions to the wealthy. In other words, all of you who fear the increased intrusiveness of government had better get a lock and chain for your refrigerator and junkfood pantries….because Big Brother is coming.

  16. That argument is like saying that people steal to support their crack habit, so we need to give them more crack.

    The only reason government is starving for money is because they spend far too much of it. Until we stop using government as a crutch for every little concern the problem will only increase. The only way out of this mess is through limited and responsible government, something that can’t happen as long as every interest group in the country is lining up at the trough.

  17. Nearly 50% of our federal budget goes to the Pentagon. If you’re gonna start shooting at the pigs eating out of the trough, common sense should dictate you fire first at the boar slurping the lion’s share of the feed. Instead, you continually insist on pointing your revolver at the back of the head of the tiny starving piglet abandoned by his mama who just wants enough a couple bites of feed to survive.

  18. In the FY 2003 federal budget, spending for the Department of Defense is 15% of the federal budget, not 50%. Even with discretionary defense spending, it’s still considerably less than 50%.

    The biggest drains on the budget come from the Health and Human Services and Social Security Administrations, both of which have serious problems with budgetary controls.

    There’s room for cuts in the military, like the wise decision to cut the Crusader and other projects, but considering the demands on our military personnel in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Liberia, deep cuts in the military would put the lives of American troops in jeopardy.

  19. who decided to send them in the first place? What were the reasons to send them? Why spending so much if they’re just useless(no BinLaden, no Saddam, no WMDs)? How can you expect your ennemies (referred to as terrorists whatever the reasons are) to disarm while you’re stockpilling WEMDs (the E stands for Extra 😉 = ever heard about MoAB, the latest U.S bomb? the M stands for Massiv…
    For the moment, every dime spent by W was public investments in W’s friends companies(military, general construction(halliburton), pharmaceuticals (no the real winners of the 15bn plan against HIV in Africa are not Africans: there’s still no cure against HIV; the only thing wee can do is keeping them alive longer…another $5 pill bob, or you’d rather just die now??)
    social services will always be a nightmare in the U.S because rich people don’t need it(they have their own one), but it’s not enough for poor people(the poorer you are, the more care you need). but oh well, they probably deserve it, since in the land of freedom, (only) the braves are home. and don’t tell us you were born poor because your grandparents had nothing because they were slaves…

  20. Vincent, give it a rest. You are beginning to sound like Gerring. Prior to WW2 he was giving speech that war profiteers in US are the ones who are pushing US into WW2. Give me a break.
    As for MoAB – what’s your point? This moral equivalence is ridicilious. Are you saying tha a cop of with a gun is the same as a criminal with a gun?

  21. I just read an editorial by a retired Navy colonel who pointed out that approximately 50 percent of this year’s federal budget went to the Pentagon. Perhaps I misread something, but it didn’t strike me as too ambiguous.

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