I Think I’ll Call This One The Vestal Virgin Quiz.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hello and welcome to the latest fasab quiz.

I’ve called it the “Vestal Virgin Quiz”, you’ll find out why later, but even if you’re not a vestal virgin please feel free to take part.

As usual you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1.  What number does the Roman numeral ‘D’ stand for?

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Q.  2. What are the young of Squirrels called?

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Q.  3.  In which country are the Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake?

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Q.  4.  This word can mean a card game, a structure spanning a river or other chasm, the place where you usually find a ship’s captain, an artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, or a thin, fixed wedge or support raising the strings of a musical instrument above the sounding board. What is it?

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Q.  5.  What would a galvanometer be used to measure?

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Q.  6.  Whose “Laughable Lyrics” included “The Quangle Wangle’s Hat” and “The Dong with a Luminous Nose” ?

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Q.  7.  What  was the name of the star-packed movie depicting World War II’s ‘Operation Market Garden’, an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany?

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Q.  8.  Which astronomical distance is about 3.26 light years?

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Q.  9.  How many Vestal Virgins served as Priestesses of the goddess Vesta at any one time?

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Q. 10.  Tashkent is the capital of which one of the Asian “stans”?

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Q. 11.  By what name is a meal consisting of sausages and mashed potatoes better known as in the UK?

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Q. 12.  What is the currency used in the Dominican Republic?

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Q. 13.  How many movies did John Wayne star in with the word ‘Rio’ in their title? (A bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

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Q. 14.  What city is also known as ‘The Little Paris’ ?

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Q. 15.  What sort of structure is DNA?

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Q. 16.  What is the name of the main actress who played ‘Olivia Walton’ (Mammy Walton) in seasons 1 thru 7 of the long running TV series?

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Q. 17. If you multiplied the number in the title of George Orwell’s most famous novel, by the highest number you can score on a dartboard with one dart, and divide that total by the number of nickels in a dollar, what number would you be left with?

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Q. 18.  What is a ‘ziganka’ and what nationality is it? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 19.  ‘General Mariano Escobedo’ and ‘General Abelargo L Rodriguez’ are international airports in which country?

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Q. 20.  What is the surname or last name of the actors who played the ‘Shooter’ and ‘Det. Danny Reagan’ in the TV series ‘Blue Bloods’ ?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1.  What number does the Roman numeral ‘D’ stand for?

A.  1.  500.

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Q.  2. What are the young of Squirrels called?

A.  2. Kittens

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Q.  3.  In which country are the Great Bear Lake and Great Slave Lake?

A.  3.  Canada.

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Q.  4.  This word can mean a card game, a structure spanning a river or other chasm, the place where you usually find a ship’s captain, an artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, or a thin, fixed wedge or support raising the strings of a musical instrument above the sounding board. What is it?

A.  4.  Bridge.

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Q.  5.  What would a galvanometer be used to measure?

A.  5.  Detecting and measuring small electric currents. (electricity).

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Q.  6.  Whose “Laughable Lyrics” included “The Quangle Wangle’s Hat” and “The Dong with a Luminous Nose” ?

A.  6.  Edward Lear.

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Q.  7.  What  was the name of the star-packed movie depicting World War II’s ‘Operation Market Garden’, an unsuccessful Allied military operation, fought in the Netherlands and Germany?

A.  7.  A Bridge Too Far. (The cast included Dirk Bogarde, Ryan O’Neal, James Caan, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Edward Fox, Elliott Gould, Anthony Hopkins, Gene Hackman, Hardy Krüger, Laurence Olivier, Robert Redford, Maximilian Schell and Liv Ullmann.)

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Q.  8.  Which astronomical distance is about 3.26 light years?

A.  8.  A parsec.

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Q.  9.  How many Vestal Virgins served as Priestesses of the goddess Vesta at any one time?

A.  9.  The correct answer is ‘six’ (although they served along with 6 in training and 6 retired ones as tutors).

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Q. 10.  Tashkent is the capital of which one of the Asian “stans”?

A. 10.  Uzbekistan.

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Q. 11.  By what name is a meal consisting of sausages and mashed potatoes better known as in the UK?

A. 11.  Bangers & Mash.

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Q. 12.  What is the currency used in the Dominican Republic?

A. 12.  It is the Dominican Peso (DOP), although you can have the point if you just said ‘peso’.

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Q. 13.  How many movies did John Wayne star in with the word ‘Rio’ in their title? (A bonus point for each one you can name correctly.)

A. 13.  The correct answer is three (Rio Grande  (1950), Rio Bravo (1959) and Rio Lobo (1970))

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Q. 14.  What city is also known as ‘The Little Paris’ ?

A. 14.  Bucharest.

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Q. 15.  What sort of structure is DNA?

A. 15.  It is known as a ‘double helix’.

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Q. 16.  What is the name of the main actress who played ‘Olivia Walton’ (Mammy Walton) in seasons 1 thru 7 of the long running TV series?

A. 16.  Michael Learned.

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Q. 17. If you multiplied the number in the title of George Orwell’s most famous novel, by the highest number you can score on a dartboard with one dart, and divided that total by the number of nickels in a dollar, what number would you be left with?

A. 17.  5952.  (1984 x 60) = 119040 / 20 = 5952

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Q. 18.  What is a ‘ziganka’ and what nationality is it? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 18.  A ‘ziganka’ is a Russian country dance.

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Q. 19.  ‘General Mariano Escobedo’ and ‘General Abelargo L Rodriguez’ are international airports in which country?

A. 19.  Mexico (in Monterrey and Tijuana respectively).

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Q. 20.  What is the surname or last name of the actors who played the ‘Shooter’ and ‘Det. Danny Reagan’ in the TV series ‘Blue Bloods’ ?

A. 20.  Walberg, specifically Mark Walberg in ‘Shooter’ and his older brother Donnie Walberg in ‘Blue Bloods’.  

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Do You Really Want A Liar In The White House?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hillary Clinton liar

I ended a post last week that ended with the line, “If you want a liar in the White House there’s always Hillary.”

Some people may have thought it a little harsh, particularly those who were considering voting for her, but harsh or not it is a fact.

Her wayward husband Bill was a liar and he made President and impeachment. Now she is trying to carry on the tradition.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth.

Everyone knows it.

And everyone includes the representatives from other countries that she would have to interact with, if – God help us – the American people are stupid enough to make her President.

Unfortunately, such is the attention span of people nowadays they only seem to remember the last thing they see and hear. If something happened in the past it is as if it never occurred at all.

2016 US Presidential race

With a position as important as the US Presidency at stake it is surely necessary to examine the candidates more closely than that.

Hillary Clinton’s lies are many and they cover almost every aspect of her life. She is an opportunist, always willing to try to enhance her position by lying. Nothing is sacred.

And it isn’t a recent occurrence. Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a liar for her entire political life, probably longer than that.

Take a look for yourselves.

hillary clinton 09

Going waaaaay back to 1974, when Hillary Clinton was 27, she worked for the House Judiciary Committee which at that time was investigating Richard Nixon and Watergate.

Strictly against House rules, she met with Teddy Kennedy’s chief political strategist and then manipulated the system, wrote a “fraudulent legal brief” and “confiscated public documents”.

They had no choice but fire Hillary Rodham. When asked why she was fired, Jerry Zeifman, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate investigation, said in an interview, “Because she was a liar. She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer, she conspired to violate the Constitution, the Rules of the House, the Rules of the Committee, and the rules of confidentiality.”

Zeifman later wrote in a 2006 book titled ‘Hillary’s Pursuit of Power’, that “Hillary Clinton is ethically unfit to be either a senator or president.”

Hillary Clinton fired from Congressional job for unethical behaviorpng

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When she made it to the White House as First Lady, she was still a stranger to the truth. Trying to distance herself from another gaff, Hillary said she didn’t know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.

Hillary lied.

Staff do what you tell them to do. That’s why they work for you and not you for them. The memorandum relating to the firings went  “missing” for two years.

Hillary you're fired

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The “missing” lie was a trait that was to continue. Documents regarding Hillary’s work at the Rose Law firm in Arkansas, specifically regarding a savings and loan company run by the Clintons’ business partner in the Whitewater land venture also went “missing” for two years.

Eventually they miraculously reappeared when a White House aide found them, in the White House, in a storage area on the third-floor, which is the private residence of the President and First Lady.

Hillary said that she had no idea the documents were there, which would have been fine except for the fact that the FBI found Hillary’s fingerprints on the documents. Hillary is still the only First Lady in American history to be fingerprinted by the FBI.

fingerprint

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Lying to take advantage of national tragedies is also a depth to which Hillary Clinton will gladly stoop.

For example, when everyone else was in shock and sympathizing with the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack tragedy, Hillary tried to take some of the attention for herself. She said her daughter Chelsea was jogging around the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 at the time of the airplanes flew into the twin towers.

Hillary lied.

Chelsea was in bed watching it on TV.

9-11 attacks wtc

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To try to aggrandize herself on another occasion, Hillary said she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest.

Hillary lied.

Sir Edmund Hillary climbed Mt. Everest five years AFTER Hillary Rodham was born. Nobody knew who he was and therefore wouldn’t have named their children after him.

Sir Edmund Hillary, conqueror of Mount Everest - the Aukland Star

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When she was on a visit to Bosnia, Hillary said she came under sniper fire as she disembarked at the airport.

Hillary lied.

Video taken at the time shows a girl presented her with flowers and she and Chelsea can be seen on video walking across the Bosnian tarmac smiling and greeting well-wishers. Not a sniper’s bullet in sight. Here’s a nice video report to prove it.

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As regards finances, Hillary said she learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market.

Hillary lied.

The Wall Street Journal didn’t even cover the market back then.

stock_market board

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Hillary said she didn’t know about the pardons given to members of the violent Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN or that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that her husband Bill Clinton granted.

Hillary lied.

Her husband and her brothers knew and she didn’t? A likely story! With an ill-advised stroke of a pen President Clinton made a mockery of the pledge to “wage an all-out war against terrorism” by pardoning 14 FALN terrorists.

FALN terrorists logo

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Still on the subject of pardons, Hillary also said she had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons that reduced the prison terms of four New York Hasidic Jews convicted of defrauding tens of millions of dollars from the government.

Hillary lied.

In fact, of all the pardons that President Clinton granted as he was leaving the White House, this one has Hillary written all over it. She attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons and got repaid in votes, 1,400 to 12.

New Square Hasidic pardons

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To try to excuse her greed, Hillary said taking the White House gifts was a “clerical error”.

Hillary lied.

The “error”, clerical or otherwise, was getting caught and she came up with the best excuse she could think of at the time.

hillary-clinton-winking-AP-640x480

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To try to make herself look more statesmanlike Hillary said she negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia.

Hillary lied.

They were released the day before she even got there.

refugees_macedonia

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In a pathetic attempt to get sympathy where none was deserved, Hillary said her family was broke when they left the White House.

Hillary lied.

And they only made a paltry $12 million the year after Bill Clinton’s Presidency.

hillbillary clinton

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Never noted for her humility, Hillary said she was “instrumental” in the Northern Ireland peace process.

Hillary lied.

She and President Bill visited Northern Ireland and did some PR work for the deal that ushered terrorists into government in Belfast, but those actually at the negotiating table say Hillary was nowhere to be seen.

ni peace talks

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Hillary said the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other officials was a “spontaneous protest” gone wrong.

Hillary lied.

Based on State Department documents we know that, not only was Benghazi a terrorist attack, but that Hillary was well aware of that fact and deliberately misled the public.

American-victims-of-Benghazi-terror-attack-9-11-2012

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Then there is the private email server she set up the day before her nomination as Secretary of State, and used for her entire tenure in that office. Hillary said the whole thing was innocent and that access would be given to scrutinize her emails.

Hillary lied.

The whole procedure was far from innocent. For one thing it is in direct violation of a 2009 Federal Law.  Hillary set up her private email server and used it when she was Secretary of State so that there would be no official government records of those emails. She could pick and choose what to release and what to delete. Her aides also used private email addresses. Actualy both the Clintons loved email for that very reason, because it was so much easier to hide stuff, when she was asked to turn over 1.8 million emails to Judicial Watch, Congress, and federal investigators.

hillary clinton email scandal cartoon

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What do you call someone with a record like that except a liar?

How are we supposed to believe that all of a sudden she has had a “road to the White House” conversion and become honest and straightforward, rather than a schemer and a liar?

I’m reminded of that old joke,

Question: “How can you tell when a politician is lying?”

Answer: “When his/her lips are moving.”

It needs to be updated for Hillary.

She can lie even when her lips aren’t moving, or get emails or other people to do it for her.

So do you want a liar in the White House?

Do you???

hillary clinton 3 dollar bill

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There’s No Fact-Checker Like A Fact-Checker Checker.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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washington post fact checker pinocchio

I’m a great man for facts.

Even a cursory glance around my blog will confirm that. Every week I try to post some.

Facts are good things. Many other people seem to like them too.

Except for one particular group.

Liberals.

Facts always seem to get in the way of whatever it is they are trying to force us to accept.

Donald Trump open mouth

Enter Donald Trump into the story.

The Donald has caused a lot of controversy lately with his illegal immigrant pronouncements. Cowards like the management of Macy’s, NBC, Univision etc., have made knee-jerk decisions and run from the controversy without taking any time whatsoever to check the facts.

It’s the way Americans have been conditioned to behave when someone says something controversial about a minority or a minority view point.

The hardly impartial Washington Post has been in the forefront of the media critics and, of course, we have also had media mogul Rupert Murdock chirping in against a political candidate who is too rich to fit into his pocket.

But what did Trump actually say?

And do the facts support him or not?

Unlike Macy’s and the rest, let’s take a little time to have a look.

cops arrest illegal

Trump said that some undocumented immigrants commit crimes in the U.S. and in fact they do. He did NOT say ALL Mexicans and he did NOT include Hispanic U.S. citizens, which is what his detractors are trying to infer. In fact from the reports I have read I do not think he quantified it at all.

Trump did, however, strongly ‘imply’ that undocumented immigrants are more criminal than the average U.S. citizen.

The Washington Post “fact checked” this and found it to be ‘false’. The problem for the Washington Post’s fact-checkers is that some of the data shows otherwise.

For example, a 2011 Government Accountability Office report (GAO-11-187, Criminal Alien Statistics, March 2011, to be precise) opens with the sentence,

“The number of criminal aliens in federal prisons in fiscal year 2010 was about 55,000, and the number of SCAAP criminal alien incarcerations in state prison systems and local jails was about 296,000 in fiscal year 2009 (the most recent data available), and the majority were from Mexico.”

‘SCAAP’, by the way, is the ‘State Criminal Alien Assistance Program’ which means aliens illegally in the United States at the time of their incarceration.

As for federal prisoners, the GAO states, “In fiscal year 2005, the criminal alien population in federal prisons was around 27 percent of the total inmate population, and from fiscal years 2006 through 2010 remained consistently around 25 percent.”

US-GovernmentAccountabilityOffice-Logo.

The Government Accountability Office figures also show that in 2009 the total alien – i.e., non-U.S.-citizen – population in the United Sates was about 25.3 million, which included about 10.8 million aliens without lawful immigration status – illegal aliens in other words.

The total population of the U.S. at that time was approximately 306.8 million. Non-citizens comprised 8.25% of the population and illegal aliens about 3.52%.

If you compare the percentage of illegal aliens in the population as a whole (the 3.52% mentioned above) with the percentages of illegal aliens in the prison population, namely 25% in 2009 and almost 39% in 2013, it is clear that their crimes are well in excess of their proportion of the population.

More numbers.

The FBI’s records show that there were 67,642 murders in the U.S. from 2005 through 2008, and 115,717 from 2003 through 2009.

The GAO estimates “criminal aliens” were arrested, convicted and incarcerated for 25,064 homicides. That means they committed 22% to 37% of all murders in the U.S., while being only 3.52% to 8.25% of the population.

Therefore the facts confirm that criminal and illegal aliens commit murder at much higher rates than all inhabitants of the U.S. – at least 3 to 10 times higher.

immigration_origin_of_illegal_immigrants

Although I have not had the time to crunch the numbers further, what you have just read could be a very conservative total because the FBI doesn’t get itself involved in all homicides, most of them are handled at state and local level.

Based on the erroneous research of their misnamed “fact-checkers”, the Washington Post alleged that Trump’s statements were only underscoring  “a common public perception that crime is correlated with immigration, especially illegal immigration”.

It went even further, stating that Trump’s repeated statements about immigrants and crime were a “misperception” and that there was “no solid data support it”.

The Washington Post fact-checkers obviously did not take the time to check the facts in the GAO reports, which as we have seen actually do support the perception trump is vocalizing.

Apparently there is no fact-checker like a fact-checker checker.

Where are Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein when you need them?

Carl Bernstein, Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward

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Forget The Cold War, The Summer Is Here

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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2nd cold war

The world breathed a great sigh of relief when the Soviet Union broke apart in 1991, but somehow we’re in the middle of another cold war that nobody wants or needs.

How did that happen?

As most things do, it all started with a huge mistake. That mistake was the West, particularly America, treating Russia like a defeated country after 1991, instead of the formidable nation that it still was despite the breakup of the USSR. Mikhail Gorbachev has acknowledged that fact.

Unfortunately Americans have no clue about foreign affairs and never have had. That, plus a ton of arrogance, led us to the Ukraine which America thought it could more or less capture as an ally to be slotted into NATO. They wanted a fully armed NATO nuclear arsenal on the Russian’s doorstep.

The Americans quite rightly didn’t like it when the Russians tried to do it to them in Cuba way back in the early 1960s, so what idiot thought that the Russians would like it when they did it to them?

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Whoever formulated the plan, it was heavily influenced by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US National Security Advisor during President Carter’s administration. His theory was that the only way to prevent Russia becoming a great power again was to remove the Ukraine from its sphere of influence.

Thus America initiated an eastward expansion of NATO, using the EU to present the Ukraine with a choice between Russia and Europe. Some Ukrainians, like those in the Crimea favored Russia and others in other parts wanted closer ties with the EU.

Like many other countries, the prospect of joining the EU is attractive to a significant proportion of Ukrainians. But the way America tried to bring it about was just a step too far. The Ukrainian President, who had been duly elected, was removed in what would have been called a “coup d’etat” had it happened elsewhere, or had Russia been the culprit.

That is why a lot of the tensions between the West and Russia is centered on the internal troubles within the Ukraine.

If one looks into the history of the Ukraine another significant part of the puzzle presents itself.

ukraine-map

In much the same way as stupid English bureaucrats redrew borders in the Middle East without any consideration for the people who lived there, (for example, the Kurds), which resulted in wars and upheaval ever since, when the Soviet Union broke apart somewhere in the region of 25 million Russians were left outside the borders of Russia. A lot of them were in the Crimea in the Ukraine.

But the Ukraine had only been independent for three years in its history (1917-20), after the collapse of the tsarist armies.

The post-December 1991 Ukraine was thus a composite entity, its western regions had belonged to Poland between WWI and WWII; its eastern regions were Orthodox and Russian-speaking; and its Black Sea coast had been Ottoman.

The Crimea had never been Ukrainian until Nikita Khrushchev decreed it should be in 1954.

Thus, for anyone with any degree of understanding of foreign affairs, the troubles now being suffered by the various peoples in the Ukraine were both predictable and avoidable.

But the stupid bureaucrats in power were not able to predict it and thus the mess became inevitable.

Ukraine crisis

Sadly the situation has now deteriorated into what amounts to a civil war in the Ukraine. On one side there is the Ukrainian army plus “volunteer battalions”, supported by the US and its allies, and on the other the “separatist” militias who draw their support mainly from Russian-speakers in the east, and who are supported by Russia.

Outside of what is happening in the Ukraine itself, the US and EU implemented severe sanctions against Russia which have hurt, but not nearly as much as they were supposed to. In turn Russia announced counter-sanctions on food and looked to emerging markets, particularly China, to diversify its foreign trade and industrial cooperation.

And so the Cold War part two has begun and shows little sign of ending just yet.

In fact it looks like the Ukraine will remain in a mess until it gets its act together and decides whether it wants to remain on friendly economic terms with its huge neighbor Russia, or whether it will settle for becoming subservient to the whims of the US, via some kind of economic agreement with the EU.

It has a third option, though, perhaps its best option, and that is not taking sides, but rather remaining on friendly terms with both East and West.

However, they may never get the chance to choose option three. In plain language, I don’t think that the people who arrange assassinations and coup d’etats will let them do that.

Meantime, summer or not, the chill continues.

snow in summer sun

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I. O. U. A. Vowel

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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If you add a couple of consonants to one of those vowels you get PUN, which is rather convenient because today is pun day.

You know what’s next.

Enjoy or endure!!

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rofl

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I really love my fanbase…

without it my fan would fall over.

fan with base

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When people ask me

what my best quality is,

I always tell them my second best

quality is being mysterious.

mysterious

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Communicating with Native Americans

… it’s easy when you know How.

Native Americans greeting

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I don’t care what people say,

I’m a terrible psychiatrist.

I don't care cartoon

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My friend was in a go kart race and

kept going even after all his wheels fell off.

It was a tireless effort

go kart race

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I got so excited in French lessons that

sometimes “oui” would come out

cartoon excited

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If you want to know how to see without glasses,

I’ve got some good contacts.

CONTACT-LENS-CASE-570

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To all you letters that

want to be before

p in the alphabet,

join the q.

Q

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Walk in fridges.

Pretty cool.

Walk-In-Fridge

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Everybody has an ego,

mine is just bigger and  better.

ego_by_einstein

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Trees can break wind

(and they’re not the only ones!)

tree windbreak

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Four thieves were robbing a music

store when the cops turned up.

The first grabbed all the pop CDs and ran off.

The second grabbed the rock CDs and also ran off.

The third grabbed the Jazz and followed suit.

The fourth was forced to take the rap.

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She Said She Wouldn’t – But She Did!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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cartoon hacking government websites

I wrote a post on July 3rd posing the question “Are government bureaucrats capable of looking after data they collect about us?” (if you want to read it click here.)

The question was, of course, rhetorical, because we all know that the stupid bureaucrats the government employs aren’t capable of looking after anything.

The figure I quoted in that post, about the number of people whose data had been hacked, was 18 million which was a lot higher than the first government admission that 4.5 million records had been hacked. Now however the figure is well in excess of 21 million. It probably won’t stop there.

opm director Katherine Archuleta

The Office of Personnel Management was responsible for losing the confidential information and there have been calls from both Republicans and Democrats for the chief bureaucrat of the OPM, Ms Katherine Archuleta, to do the decent thing and resign.

But as we also know there is no decency in stupid bureaucrats, only self-delusion and arrogance. They are too dumb to do their jobs and too stupid to realize it.

Thus for as long as she could, Archuleta clung on in there, rejecting bipartisan calls for her to resign. She said she had no plans to step down. Worse than that she said she was “committed to continuing her work for the agency”.

I read that to mean more incompetence, more lies and more denial, and more trying to cling on to a position which she is clearly not fit to hold. For example she pig-headedly refused to shut down servers identified by the US Inspector General as unsafe.

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the White House, headed by another incompetent, President Barack Obama, continued to express confidence in the leadership of Ms Archuleta.

However, as the size of the security gaff became greater and greater so did the pressure on chief bureaucrat Archuleta. As the numbers of missing records continued to climb almost daily, the result was inevitable.

Although Archuleta continued to say she had “no intention of resigning and would stay on to sort out the mess” – she handed in her resignation. The President – who supported her and who had complete confidence in her – accepted it immediately.

It was either that or be fired. Everyone knew it but her.

The announcement came along with further emerging details about the pathetic level of security within the OPM. Many of its servers are apparently so antiquated they can’t run encryption and modern security software. Two-factor authentication is almost unheard of and seldom used. In fact things are so bad that the agency isn’t even sure how many computer networks it has!!!

One incompetent bureaucrat down.

Hopefully many more to follow.

opm data loss

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Take These Facts With A Pinch Of Salt (Water)

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Mind you if you do take these facts with a pinch of salt water you’ll be richer than you were.

Not by much though, but every little helps these days.

But enough of this.

Enjoy the facts.

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facts 04

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1 liter of saltwater contains

13 billionths of a gram of gold

gold dust

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The US military has a secret,

nearly silent type of Velcro, which

reduces the ripping noise by over 95%.

BZ0069-11CM-USMC-Force-Recon-Swift-Silent-Deadly-Velcro-Patch-USMC-Velcro-Patch-Skull-Wings

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The oldest recipe for beer is 4,000 years old.

It was first made by the Sumerians

Sumerian beer

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The United States has by far the

most expensive college tuition

out of any developed nation

college_debt

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Spain has two enclaves (territories) in Africa.

They are Melilla and Ceuta.

Spanish enclaves in Africa

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With over 10,000 beaches you could visit

a new beach every single day in Australia

for the next 30 years

kangaroo-on-the-beach-lucky-bay-esperance-western-australia

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There are 200 corpses of

deceased climbers on Mount Everest.

They serve as waypoints for climbers

deceased climbers on Mount Everest

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There were actually two Boston Tea Parties

with the one you know about being

on December 16, 1773.

The Bostonians repeated it, however,

several months later on March 7, 1774

boston-tea-party-painting-currier

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Wellington, New Zealand, is the

southern most capital city on Earth

new_zealand_map

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The first documented use of toilet paper

dates back to 6th century China.

toilet paper

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The English Dennis the Menace

and the American Dennis the Menace

were thought up by completely independent authors

and published on the same day – March 12, 1951.

UK and US Dennis the Menaces

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In October of 1998 Terrence Dickson of Pennsylvania

was trying to exit the house he was robbing.

He managed to get stuck in the garage

and for 8 days he lived off of Pepsi and dog food.

He then successfully sued for over half a million dollars.

stuck under garage door

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Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, Its Quiz Day!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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For those of you who find the title a little obscure Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport is one of the best-known and most successful songs from Australia, inspired by Harry Belafonte’s calypsos, it is about an Australian stockman on his deathbed.

It also provides a handy link to question one.

As for this and the rest of the questions, if you get stuck you can find the answers waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating.

Enjoy and good luck.

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quiz 06

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Q.  1.  What is a young kangaroo called?

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Q.  2. The temple complex of Angkor Wat is situated in which country?

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Q.  3.  What is commonly used in a rectifier to convert alternating current to direct current?

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Q.  4.  Which creature gives birth to the largest young?

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Q.  5.  What do you call the peninsular leisure/entertainment destination found  in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York?

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Q.  6.  What is a bathometer?

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Q.  7.  Cobnuts and filberts come from what species of tree?

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Q.  8.  What country is surrounded by Kzahkstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China?

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Q.  9.  About which bird did Percy Bysshe Shelley write ‘Hail to Thee, blithe spirit!’?

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Q. 10.  Who wrote the play ‘Blithe Spirit’ which took its title from Shelley’s poem?

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Q. 11.  What is a ‘cattle grid’ (UK/Ireland), a ‘stock grid’ (Australia), or a ‘cattle guard’ (America) used for?

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Q. 12.  What recently deceased actor was ‘Doctor Zhivago’ in the 1965 movie?

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Q. 13.  What nationality was ‘Doctor Zhivago’?

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Q. 14.  ‘Old Man’s Beard’ and ‘Traveller’s Joy’ are names for a variety of which flower?

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Q. 15.  What is manufactured by the Haber process?

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Q. 16.  Which novel opens: “It was 348 years, six months and 19 days ago today that the citizens of Paris were awakened by the pealing of all the bells in the triple precincts of the City, the University and the Town”; and who wrote it? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 17.  What are the names of the first and the fifth planets in our solar system?

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Q. 18.  No battle was fought here, yet, it was the turning point of the American Revolutionary War and is now commemorated as a National Park. What is its name and in which state is it located? (A point for each correct answer.)

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Q. 19.  Who won the Ladies Singles Championship at Wimbledon 2015?

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Q. 20.  This word can mean the name of a beverage made from fruit juice and soda water, part of the name of a well-known vegetable, a sport, or the act of silencing or suppressing – what is it?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1.  What is a young kangaroo called?

A.  1.  Joey.

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Q.  2. The temple complex of Angkor Wat is situated in which country?

A.  2. Cambodia.

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Q.  3.  What is commonly used in a rectifier to convert alternating current to direct current?

A.  3.  A ‘Diode’.

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Q.  4.  Which creature gives birth to the largest young?

A.  4.  Blue Whale – 8 metres and 2,700 kg at birth. In the first 7 to 8 months they reach 16 metres and weigh about 21,000 kg.

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Q.  5.  What do you call the peninsular leisure/entertainment destination found  in the southwestern part of the borough of Brooklyn, New York?

A.  5.  It is called ‘Coney Island’.

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Q.  6.  What is a bathometer?

A.  6.  It is an instrument for indicating the depth of the sea beneath a moving vessel. You can have the point if you said depth gage or something to measure depth of water.

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Q.  7.  Cobnuts and filberts come from what species of tree?

A.  7.  From the Hazel tree.

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Q.  8.  What country is surrounded by Kzahkstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China?

A.  8.  Kyrgzstan.

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Q.  9.  About which bird did Percy Bysshe Shelley write ‘Hail to Thee, blithe spirit!’?

A.  9.  A skylark (in To a Skylark).

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Q. 10.  Who wrote the play ‘Blithe Spirit’ which took its title from Shelley’s poem?

A. 10.  Noël Coward.

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Q. 11.  What is a ‘cattle grid’ (UK/Ireland), a ‘stock grid’ (Australia), or a ‘cattle guard’ (America) used for?

A. 11.  It is used as a barrier that allows vehicles to pass, but not cattle.

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Q. 12.  What recently deceased actor was ‘Doctor Zhivago’ in the 1965 movie?

A. 12.  Omar Sharif.

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Q. 13.  What nationality was ‘Doctor Zhivago’?

A. 13.  Russian.

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Q. 14.  ‘Old Man’s Beard’ and ‘Traveller’s Joy’ are names for a variety of which flower?

A. 14.  The Clematis.

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Q. 15.  What is manufactured by the Haber process?

A. 15.  Ammonia.

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Q. 16.  Which novel opens: “It was 348 years, six months and 19 days ago today that the citizens of Paris were awakened by the pealing of all the bells in the triple precincts of the City, the University and the Town”; and who wrote it? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 16.  Notre Dame de Paris (also known as The Hunchback of Notre Dame) by Victor Hugo

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Q. 17.  What are the names of the first and the fifth planets in our solar system?

A. 17.  The first is Mercury (the smallest, now Pluto has been demoted) and the fifth is Jupiter (the largest).

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Q. 18.  No battle was fought here, yet, it was the turning point of the American Revolutionary War and is now commemorated as a National Park. What is its name and in which state is it located? (A point for each correct answer.)

A. 18.  It is Valley Forge located approximately 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania.

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Q. 19.  Who won the Ladies Singles Championship at Wimbledon 2015?

A. 19.  Serena Williams.

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Q. 20.  This word can mean the name of a beverage made from fruit juice and soda water, part of the name of a well-known vegetable, a sport, or the act of silencing or suppressing – what is it?

A. 20.  Squash.

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The Entertainer Continues

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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donald trump thumbs up

If Donald Trump has done nothing else, apart from entertaining us, he has raised some uncomfortable truths for Americans to face.

For too many years people in America have had the luxury of sitting on the fence, avoiding taking stands on moral issues, or issues affecting minority groups in their country.

They’re frightened.

Frightened of looking like cranks.

Frightened of pseudo-intellectuals (who really know very little) mocking them.

Frightened of not being part of the herd.

Frightened of not appearing ‘nice’.

Lower that Confederate flag and raise a white one, quick!

Dear help us.

Confederate battle flag flies in South Carolina
Confederate flag comes down at South Carolina Capitol after half century

People, and not only in America, have been conditioned to act the same, buy the same gadgets, watch the same TV shows and even dress the same. If it continues they’ll all be dressed in similar suits like China in the days of Chairman Mao, only with little red smartphones instead of little red books.

More importantly than all these, the people are being conditioned to ‘think’ the same. ‘Sheeple’ are easier to control than ‘free thinking people’ and as we know it is all about control.

When I said they’re ‘frightened’, I meant Americans have been conditioned into being afraid to stick their own heads above the parapet.

But when occasionally someone does it for them then they secretly cheer – but not too loud mind you in case someone hears.

That’s why Trump enjoyed a surge in the polls after his remarks about illegal immigrants and how they are not all perfect human beings. Everybody knew it but were afraid to say it.

The political elites, most of them anyway, would never be caught saying what they really think – in public. Admittedly Trump said it in his own brash and loud style, but at least he said it.

You don’t have to agree with him – far from it – but you do have to acknowledge that he said what many thousands of ordinary Americans were thinking yet were afraid to say.

Many of these ordinary Americans are probably living in areas where there have been massive influxes of immigrants. They know how it has affected them. In these areas English has become a second language. Social problems have increased and crime has gone up. And everyone is afraid to say why.

More to the point, they know from first-hand experience that this new ethnic diversity has failed to provide the benefits that the liberal political elites promised it would.

Facts are facts are facts.

the-american-dream

Many people have come to America to live the ‘dream’ and better themselves. But many others have come to take advantage of what they regard as a soft target for crime.

Many of Trump’s critics are just as guilty of trying to get publicity for themselves as perhaps Trump is making the remarks in the first place.

But the critics exhibit a sadly familiar and predictable pattern. They see an empty talking head on TV, think it’s smart, and then say the same things or a slight variation thereof. That makes them think they look smart too, except of course it doesn’t, because the talking head on TV was empty, not smart at all.

Many of these detractors have gone so far as to say that Trump’s remarks are not “presidential”.

The big question, that unfortunately is not being asked in blazing headlines in the media, is why in America today is it not ‘presidential’ to tell the truth, or to give a true expression of what you believe?

If that is now really the case then it is a sad reflection of American society and not something to be proud of.

You have another choice though.

If you want a liar in the White House there’s always Hillary.

hillary clinton liar

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Sacre Bleu! – Er, Make That Red White And Bleu!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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sacre bleu cartoon

There has been a lot of activity in France lately concerning the United States government spying on three French Presidents.

The current President of France even called an emergency meeting of the Conseil de la Défense, the country’s highest national security forum to discuss the emergence of documents that appear to implicate the US National Security Agency (NSA) – now who’da guessed that? –  spying on Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, who ruled France from 1995 to 2012.

The documents further indicate that the NSA may have also targeted the personal communications of Francois Hollande, France’s current head of state.

The files were published by WikiLeaks, which described them as “top secret intelligence reports and technical documents”, detailing NSA spying operations against the French presidency, as well as espionage directed at several French government ministers and at France’s ambassador to the US.

French President Francois Hollande at meeting to discuss Wikileaks revelations

The documents include intelligence briefs, which detail the thoughts and diplomatic maneuvers by French presidents and other senior officials, on subjects such as the Greek economic crisis, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and the United Nations.

This is further evidence of more disgraceful and arrogant behavior by US spy agencies.

The thing is, however, no one is surprised any more.

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations the world has come to expect illegal and bad behavior from Americans. It is as simple as that. And for the reputations of Americans it is as bad as that. Which is a great pity because these activities do not represent in any way the vast majority of the American people.

So, if they aren’t a surprise to anyone, will the latest revelations cause trouble between America and France? I think the undoubted answer is “Oui”, but only a “petit oui”.

As befits normal protocol in these kinds of things, the American ambassador to France was summoned for what was called ‘an official protest’, but little or nothing more happened apart from President Obama getting on the phone with the French President, groveling and apologizing and assuring him in no uncertain terms “that the US is no longer spying on France”.

No, I don’t believe him either, but there it is.

President Obama on phone

There was no need for America’s snooping. As with Germany, French and American intelligence agencies cooperate with each other regularly. They jointly monitor international issues of mutual concern, such as what is happening in Syria, Iraq, the Ukraine, Libya, and even the financial catastrophe that is Greece.

For now that will continue, but the road ahead looks bumpy.

Wikileaks has already made good on its promise that its “French readers can expect more timely and important revelations in the near future”.

The latest release from the whistleblower website contains more documents that indicate that the National Security Agency (NSA), under orders from Washington, were tasked with collecting secret information not only about the economic policies of the French government and the country’s financial sector, but on export contracts by French companies.

In fact every French-registered company involved in negotiations for international projects or other sales contracts valued at over $200 million, like car makers Peugeot and Renault and financial institutions like BNP Paribas and the agricultural credit union, were also subjected to US government secret snooping.

Washington’s pathetic statements that none of this information is ever used to benefit American companies competing for international contracts rings mighty hollow with the French, and the rest of the world come to that.

This latest information is a lot more damning and may necessitate a much stronger response from the French – even if it is just to save face.

Like their attitude over the invasion of Iraq, I think any further reaction would include little or no cooperation in any future American interventions in the Middle East and maybe the use of a veto or two in the United Nations.

We might be at the start of a new meaning to the term “non” cooperation?

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non merci button

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