For 24 hours, the top story in France has not been the slumping markets or President Sarkozy's crusade to rebuild the world economy. It has been the fit of indignation, led by Sarkozy, over the fans who jeered the national anthem before the start of the match at the Stade de France on Tuesday night. (News story in today's paper). The crowd that demonstrated contempt for the Marseillaise with loud whistling were mainly youngsters from immigrant families from Tunisia and the other two former colonies Algeria and Morocco.
Their behaviour was certainly deplorable but it was also entirely expected because the same happened when France played Algeria and Morocco in 2001 and 2007. The Stade de France is in the heart of the "93", the d‚partement of Seine Saint Denis, which has some of the worst race-related problems and was home to the ethnic rioting of 2005.
The Government, the Socialist opposition, sporting bodies and almost everyone else in authority has piled in to condemn the spectators. A quick opinion poll by le Parisien found that 80 percent of the country is "shocked". Sarkozy has ordered all matches to be halted immediately if the anthem is booed. The police have been told to arrest the flag jeerers and charge them under a 2003 law that outlaws insults to national symbols. Bernard Laporte, the Sports Minister, upped the ante, saying that France should play no more games against Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in Paris until the crowds stop dishonouring national symbols.
The Communist leader was one of the few eminent politicians to break ranks with the cross-party outrage. As well as condemning the jeering, people should ask why thousands of young French people boo the national anthem, she said. "Perhaps it is because they are suffering a lot. That they have the impression that they are stigmatised although they are in France, study here and work here."
Everyone knows that the malaise of the second and third generation immigrants leads some of them to act like the fans did on Tuesday night. Sarkozy's hard line plays well to the electorate that admires his zero-tolerance policies but it just makes the kids from the banlieue estates all the more determined to vent their loathing in the stadium. It was after one such incident that Sarkozy, then Interior Minister, introduced the 2003 law on protecting the Marseillaise and the flag.
The acts of collective contempt are of course stupid and counter-productive. The fans spoiled the match (which France won 3-1) and they humiliated two Tunisian-French stars on the pitch -- Laam, the singer who performed the solo anthem and Hatem Ben Arfa, a France player whose parents came from Tunisia. Ben Arfa said that he was not upset by the hostile crowd. "I'm not really angry with them," he said. "They need to exist, you have to understand them."
We have had another example of stupid counter-productive behaviour in the '93' zone this week. Luc Besson, the movie producer, has suspended work on a film that he is shooting there with John Travolta and other stars, after local youths burnt ten vehicles that are being used on the set.
Victory! CA Appellate Court Says Excluding Men from Domestic Violence Programs is Unconstitutional
California attorney Marc Angelucci scored a tremendous victory today as the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento ruled that California's exclusion of men from domestic violence violates men's constitutional equal protection rights. The taxpayer lawsuit -- Woods. v. Shewry -- was initially filed in 2005 by four male victims of domestic violence.
In 2007, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Lloyd Connelly dismissed the case, ruling that men are not entitled to equal protection regarding domestic violence because they statistically are not similarly situated with women. Today the Court of Appeal reversed that decision and held:
The gender classifications in Health and Safety Code section 124250 and Penal Code section 13823.15, that provide state funding of domestic violence programs that offer services only to women and their children, but not to men, violate equal protection.The plaintiffs' attorney, Marc E. Angelucci (pictured above left), said:
We've been through the daisy wheel of judicial activism on this issue. Now the courts have finally addressed the injustice, but the struggle is not over. Many taxpayer-funded programs, especially in Los Angeles, still deny men services such as counseling, advocacy, shelter or hotel vouchers, which is endangering their children.Numerous experts submitted sworn declarations supporting the plaintiffs and explaining that Domestic Violence against men is a serious but hidden problem. Children are being emotionally harmed as witnesses of the violence while their fathers are unable to get help.
Men pay at least half of the taxes that fund these programs and they should be entitled to services regardless of sex. I have seen the damage this does to men and kids and I will never stop fighting to end it, even if it means filing more lawsuits.
Experts in the Case explained that although men report it less than women, empirical survey data consistently shows women are at least as violent as men in relationships, and that men suffer one-third of injuries.
Sarah Palin's campaigning is infused with contagious joy
I'm watching Sarah Palin address a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, live on Fox News, and I can't recall ever seeing a GOP rally like this. The crowd is genuinely pumped, which is rare enough. But what's particularly amazing is watching and listening to Gov. Palin. I can't recall ever seeing a politician who so clearly relishes campaigning. She's animated and enthused. I know she's speaking from a teleprompter, and she's probably delivered large chunks of this same speech before many times, but she's tuned in on every line.
She is simply infused with joy. And it flows off the stage, and it's picked up quite powerfully by the TV cameras.
On his best occasions, Reagan had this same quality, but it was more muted, more of a twinkle from behind his carefully maintained stage presence. With Gov. Palin, it's nearly continuous and much more obvious. And I think that's a big part of why she inspires the same harsh counter-reactions from political opponents that Reagan did - the same desperate need to ridicule and belittle, to delegitimize. (You'll see it in the comments to this post within minutes after it goes up, of course.) She has to be shouted down and scorned, because if people are allowed to listen to her, that damned joy might turn out to be ... contagious!
It's a quality that was almost entirely missing from the speeches of, for example, Hillary Clinton, who turned every speech into a siege and whose grim purpose was impressive but slightly scary. Bubba, however, could work himself into joy at the drop of a hat.
Sarah Palin is just haviing a grand old time. If she's afraid of looking foolish, or of her elitist critics, or of her ticket's chances on November 4th, then she's entirely suppressed those fears. I freely admit that with me as a listener, and probably most of the folks at this rally, she's preaching to the choir. But so, too, are lots of politicians, in most of their speeches. And they just don't come across with this same zest.
HISTORY AND INSANITY
By Dr. Jack Wheeler
Historian Arnold Toynbee (1889-1975) remarked that often, history seemed to be "just one damn thing after another." Anyone who has studied the history of cultures and nations over the last few thousand years can easily get overwhelmed by the constantly recurring episodes of mindless insanity. This is not metaphorical, nor hyperbolic. I mean bouts of literal insanity, where entire cultures and nations actually go nuts. It is not something rare. Often, it seems the norm.
We need not recount this through the millennia, but just look at our recent past. Western Civilization, the highest cultural achievement of humanity, gave birth to two horrifically murderous insanities, Nazism and Communism. Western Civilization's greatest historical enemy, Islam, has become infected with the pathology of suicidal terrorism.
Two modern insanities have infected much of the entire world. The world-wide ban on DDT is criminally insane, responsible for an on-going holocaust of malaria deaths - most of them children - of 88 million. Over 2 million will die this year. The Malaria Clock continues to tick.
The belief that human-produced carbon dioxide- a trace of a trace gas - causes global warming is simply nuts. There is no evidence for it whatsoever.
There is no experiment, there is no historical data, showing that an increase of carbon dioxide precedes an increase in warming. It's always the other way around. The only "evidence" is in GIGO (garbage in-garbage out) computer models which can't predict the weather next week.
We Americans like to believe that our country is immune to such historical insanities. We were blessed at our founding with the greatest triumph of rationality the world has ever known. The inertia of that moment, the echo of the principles of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, have propelled us to being preeminent among all nations ever to exist on earth.
But we are not immune to insanity. Anyone old enough to have experienced the 1960s is well aware of this. America yet to recover from the cultural and political destruction of the Sixties Radicals.
And so we come to the insanity of Barack Hussein Obama. Let's dispense with all the blather and get to the bottom of it: anyone with a 3-digit IQ (2 digits means mentally defective) and loves America who is even considering voting to place his country's national security and economy in this man's hands should be institutionalized. He or she is clinically crazy and a public health hazard.
Again, this is no exaggeration. This man's candidacy is insane, no ifs or buts. So the only question right now is, is this a spasm of insanity from which a majority of American voters will recover in time, or not?
If the former, then all his incredible inadequacies, all the incredible associations with hate-America racists and terrorists, all the incredible vote fraud by the Communists of ACORN, on and on and on and endlessly on, will finally register with voters who will sweep him into the dustbin of history.
If the latter, then my greatest personal fear will come true. What I fear most is that if Obama is elected, I will lose my patriotism for America. He will not be my president, I will owe no loyalty to him nor his government. I will move out of America, physically live elsewhere, where I will remain until my country regains its sanity. I will not live in a land gone mad.
To The Point is, we say, "the oasis for rational conservatives." But an oasis from what? From insanity, cultural, political, social, and economic. And what happens when the insanity becomes overwhelming? The oasis must become an insurgency.
In response to my Albania in America last week, the TTP Forum's most profligate poster, Cephran, after imbibing a six-pack of Red Bull before noon, wrote: "Americans deserve the type of government and economy that mirrors them; honest, decent and hardworking." Evidently, these Americans are now in the minority.
Maybe not. It's not over. Maybe a miracle will occur tonight (10/15) and McCain will actually kick Obama's ass like he's supposed to. Maybe the Nobama Hillary supporters at Hillbuzz are right when they say most national polls showing Obama far ahead are way overpolling Dems, and that "the internal numbers we see coming out of NC, VA, PA, OH, IN and FL show McCain wins in all of those states (there is no mathematical possibility for Obama to win without taking PA, OH, or FL)." (TTP hat tip to Forum poster "gitrdone57.")
But the very fact that Obama is the Dem candidate, that he might be elected is clear evidence of the capacity for American insanity.
Should he win, we will be denounced as traitors and all the fascist potential of the Patriot Act will be used against us. So be it. To The Point will be a rebel insurgency that will not stop fighting for a rational and free America.
The damage this man will do if elected is vast. Yet the wreckage will be cleared, and America will be sane once more. How far off that day is will be up to us.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, OBAMA WATCH (2), EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.