Author Topic: Quite a new year.  (Read 2594 times)

Offline Starfox

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Quite a new year.
« on: January 10, 2015, 10:31:35 AM »
So I'm certain that by now everyone know about what happened in France this week -- indeed I've been following events both via our own journalists but also CNN (interesting to see the differences of views of two countries working a same series of events the fact is the differences were not that obvious, numerous or important). It was nice to hear a US President reminding the American People that France was the oldest Ally of the United States and that we have both been fighting terrorism since 2001 (despite of the "bunch of ingrates" stamp Bush placed on us at a moment when he was upset and obviously forgot that French soldiers were fighting along side US ones in Afghanistan even at the moment he was conveying the idea that French were not worth a damn). Despite some moments of tension between the US and France (like in all old couples  :lol: ) during our more than 2 centuries of friendship I know for a fact that most French -- and I like to think that's true for most Americans too -- still think that there are special bonds between our two people and appreciate that. It's just sad to see that this aspect of our friendship only seem to show the most in the most dire of circumstances. As a French I can say that the words of President Obama yesterday where greatly appreciated.

Now for the events themselves. After targeting symbols and murdering a lot of civilians in the process on 9/11, the bastards that pretend to be Muslims while they are in reality a bunch of lowlifes not even worth the bullet to shoot them, directly targeted press and by that freedom of expression and speech. This is unacceptable. This is as unacceptable as Nazis making bonfires with books in Berlin. Or the same Nazis that suppressed all freedom of expression and speech in France between 1940 and 1944. In France we have a long tradition (that dates back to the French Revolution and even before that because our Kings didn't really mind) to say what we want and when we want. We don't ask other people to like what we say but we like the freedom we have to say it anyway. Voltaire didn't say "I don't like what you say but I will die defending your right to say it" but he would certainly have loved to say that. A police officer in Charlie Hebdo building died on Wednesday for this same principle. Because Charlie Hebdo also targeted the French police in their cartoons (and the French politicians, and the foreign politicians, and the Christianity and the Pope, and the Jews, even the Christ had some dedicated drawings) but that didn't stop this police officer to give his life because he believed that the guys at Charlie had the right to say what they want even if he did not approve of it. The fact is Charlie Hebdo does that to denounce all kind of extremism, of fascism and racism, they don't do that because they like to target religions or other organizations. If they had existed during WW2 they would have probably been executed by the Gestapo. They have a job that they consider something of a mission: to point out people who go too far. Their drawing of the Prophet where not targeted against the Prophet but against those who use him and the Muslim religion to fulfill their sad and dark agenda.

Beside in France something you cannot laugh at or with, is not worth existing. Satirical cartoons are an old  tradition here; even Napoleon complained about a French cartoonist back in his days stating that "this man hurt me more in my life than all of my enemies put together". Nevertheless, Napoleon never sent his "Vieille Garde" to murder the said cartoonist. In France, a politician whom cannot laugh at himself or whom can't bear that other people laugh at him does not last very long.

Unfortunately the events of the past days prove that not only we are confronted to a worldwide threat issued by evil morons but that the said evil morons do not even have the slightest hint of a sense of humor. The worst kind of evil morons.

I want to say however -- because this is something that must be said and said again -- that those guys are not Muslims. Those guys do not represent a religion. Those guys are just evildoers,  gangsters with a political agenda and Islam is just to them the way they use to control their troops, nothing more. They do not work for God. In fact we should all stop to regard them as Jihadists or whatever and start to consider them for what they truly are politically oriented and subversive organization(s). They want power and control... where's the religion in that? Even our own politicians are not that hypocritical.

I didn't know personally the cartoonists and journalists that were killed but I knew their work and their names... regarding two of them, Cabu and Wolinsky, I knew their work since I was a kid. And I didn't necessarily agreed with all of their work but as I said they had the right to their opinions and to express them. in this particular case they fought extremism with a pen and extremists fought back with bullets... that shows the level of intelligence of those guys.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2015, 09:39:41 AM »
Liberté
Égalité
Fraternité

We're with you.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2015, 06:54:15 AM »
I don't speak German, but I'm sure Doc said something really poignant, and I'd like to concur with his thoughts! :ok:

 :turnhappy:

Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2015, 02:43:22 PM »
I'm running a fever and feel like warmed-over crap, but I just gotta say this:

I'll have the chimichanga dinner with fajita steak, corn instead of rice, crema sauce, and guacamole on the side. And hold the goddamn pico de gallo, would you?? What is the DEAL with you people putting hot crap in everything? My stomach lining is in tatters -- TATTERS! -- because of you! I--

No, scratch that. My dinner order. Sorry.

We're with you.

An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline OrlopRat

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2015, 11:14:18 AM »
What a lot of my fellow Americans forget is that if it hadn't been for the blood and treasure of France given to us during the American Revolution, there wouldn't even be a United States. Americans and French men and women have fought and died together on the battlefields if the First World War, and, yes, in spite of what some historically ignorant francophobes say, World War Two. And Afghanistan. To hell with "Freedom Fries". I would drink a nice bottle of fine French wine right now, if I could afford it, which I can't, those import taxes are a bitch.

 Liberté, Liberté chérie, combats avec tes défenseurs...


Oh, and by the way, I'm still alive  :ok:
Tiens, voilà du boudin...

Offline Starfox

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2015, 05:43:05 PM »
@Doc: thanks for the thought and especially for the accents (very hard to do with a US keyboard -- you didn't copy/paste, did you?  :lol:). Much appreciated.

@bobdog: that was Esperanto actually... I think...  :P :hammerhead:

@Silver: I hope your stomach will feel better :purplelaugh:

@Orlo: Good to hear you're still with us. And you should write more often dammit...  :ok:


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2015, 07:02:43 AM »
I'm pretty sure there's a statue in New York harbor that was a gift from France and welcomes all into the United States. But I could be mistaking that for something from Lord of the Rings or Morrowind.

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 09:31:11 AM »
you didn't copy/paste, did you?

Alt keys.  ;D  I've gotten a lot of use out of Alt 130 over the years, though I admit I had to look up Alt 144 for my previous post.

that was Esperanto actually... I think...  :P :hammerhead:

Interestingly enough, my coworker has a dual-language copy of the Communist Manifesto that's English/Esperanto.  He saw it in a used book store and mistook it for Portuguese (he had just started taking classes in the language).  Also interesting?  The book is from 1908, and the forward expresses great optimism in the coming utopia where the whole world knows Esperanto.
Roads?  Where we're going we don't need roads.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2015, 11:34:58 AM »
Quote
Also interesting? The book is from 1908, and the forward expresses great optimism in the coming utopia where the whole world knows Esperanto.

My father told me that when he was young (before WW2) there was some push to move Esperanto as the international language (as a matter of fact he did learn it at some point because it had elements close to an old country dialect of Southern France which was the one of my Father). But it never happened and I doubt it will happen now as English has become the de facto international language both technically and commercially. Plus for an international language there was one error... accents. There are accents in Esperanto and that's one more complication for learners that shouldn't exist in an international constructed language which by definition should be easy and fast to teach and learn. I learned a bit of Spanish and even Russian and -- obviously -- French and English still is the easiest to learn of the lot (basically for a French learning Spanish is like learning French all other again with different words). Well maybe learning English is more complicated for Japanese or Chinese or Russians because they have a whole set of characters to learn (Russian is confusing in that regard, C=S, B=V, P=R...) and some other countries don't even know past (like some South-East Asian countries where it's more like "Yesterday I do that...") but still for a majority of the world English is the easiest to learn and so it became the preferred international language in a natural way.

For the future international language... We could imagine something like the slang talk of "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheeps" (oh, excuse me... I mean "Blade Runner") as an amalgam of languages with English as the base component. A lot of science fiction books brought back the notion of universal constructed language -- without mentioning Esperanto -- but unless the said universal language is something very easy to learn while still able to convey very complex ideas, I don't think that will happen. However we do need a common tongue for the future and right now, English is still the best and obvious candidate. Esperanto is nice but ultimately too complicated for its intended purpose (only learned literary minded people can really master the language which means that a large part of the Earth population has no interest in learning it).

It's like in France. I heard on CNN the other day the views of an American expert who told that France had a huge problem with the integration of immigrants (apparently much larger than in the US). It's true. And part of this problem is that French is hard to learn and consequently most immigrants just learn the very basic essentials to "survive" in the French society but mostly when they are among their friends and families they revert back to their original tongue and that creates pockets of people that don't feel like belonging to the society they evolve in. And well, we can't make French easier to learn. Problem is when you live in a country but you don't possess the fundamentals of the language to express your views and opinions, you can't be fully integrated. Knowing enough of a language to buy bread is enough to survive but not enough for anything else. Even more, those immigrants have children, those children being born on French soil are French and go to French schools were they learn proper French but when they're in their families -- which is most of the time -- they are confronted to their parents who don't speak a good French and don't really push their children to speak French. Result is that most children of immigrants even those born French are not necessarily well integrated. And in France like in all countries if you want access to better jobs you have to be fluent. That's a problem we have to work on but without changing our language that will be hard. And one other problem we have is that unlike the US, we don't have any TOEFL equivalent for immigrants who want to work here or to become French. Several governments tried to push forward a test like that and each time the idea was rejected because of political concerns (mostly out of fear that it would be badly seen by immigrants communities). But this is clearly an error. We should have a system to ensure that people who want to work in France or become French have a good understanding of the French language, even if they are not completely fluent. Today, we don't have any kind of test like that (well we do have some official ones but none of them is mandatory). It's silly when one thinks that language remains the most important factor of integration in any society.

Currently the only case where knowledge of the Language is required and verified is when a foreigner wishes to enter a French university (because one doesn't learn the language in universities, students are supposed to already be fluent and trying to follow classes in a university without understanding the language is a waste of time).


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2015, 11:12:47 PM »
 :'(

We're still with you.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 08:44:26 AM »
At the risk of appearing to embrace a childishly simple reaction, I'll borrow and amend a line from Admiral Halsey: "When we're through with them, Allah will only be worshipped in Hell."

Vive la France.
An interview with Kim Kardashian? Who wants to see that? I'd rather see an interview with the mortician's assistant who had to piece her head back together so they could have an open-casket funeral.

Offline Starfox

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 03:11:38 PM »
Well at least that was the occasion for a lot of so called "experts" to profess a lot of stupidities on the French TV, good for them.

The only guy that is not even an expert and said a very real thing is the Pope when he used the terms "World War Three". And he's right we are in World War III, in fact we have been since 2001. The fact that it is undeclared and so totally untypical that it does not even resemble the two others is not important. look at the situation today, The USA and most of the European countries are engaged in a war against an enemy that has one only goal, the destruction of... well, us. The enemy is called religious extremism and its current manifestation is ISIS. From my point of view the difference between ISIS and Nazis is just the name and the fact that ISIS use the God "excuse card" (I had a revelation, God told me to kill you) to act as they see fit.

Well, what do you know, God never spoke to these guys and they are just using religion as a tool to establish their power over mainly their own people first. The use of the religion tool even allow them to find people moronic enough to be willing to blow themselves up just to allow their superiors to remain in power a while longer with just a promise to go to Paradise in exchange. How stupid can one gets? Two of the terrorists blew themselves up instead of being killed by the special forces. Imagine the frustration of the special forces guys.

So these new terrorist attacks? They were bound to happen sooner or later. France is clearly on the shit list of ISIS. It could have been the US, the UK, Germany... we're all in the same boat here, they hate all of us equally. They had the occasion and they seized it. A typical act of war like the Blitz on London during WWII targeting only civilians.

I feel for the family of the people who died and for those who survived the attacks and were traumatized. The fact is, we are at war and it's past time that people realize this and act consequently, especially politicians... Less talks more actions. Because one doesn't talk with these guys. It's a downright loss of time.

Well the whole affair is more complicated than just that but right now I'd say that the only acceptable answer is a bomb right in al Baghdadi's face. With the video on Youtube and a subtitle "We're just warming up"... with a big smiley.

Anyway, thanks for the support guys.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: Quite a new year.
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2015, 06:46:24 AM »
My only fear throughout all of this, and it has steadily been building all along, is the lack of our personal freedoms that we take for granted. We know from the Snowden case that our governments are tracking what we say and do -- all in the name of protecting us from terror plots. But I'd rather lose 100 people or a 1,000 people to a terror bombing, rather than lose our hard-won freedoms.