Rest in peace, Marcel. But as for Bip the Clown, well, good riddance.
When Marcel Marceau died Saturday at 84, with him died Bip the Clown: the silent, white-faced stage persona of the man internationally recognized as the face of mime. What may also have died, or at least lost its greatest proponent, is the modern flowering of an art form that stretches back through the Italian Renaissance to its roots in ancient Greece.
I think "flowering" would be too kind a word were it not in an obituary. I was thinking something more along the lines of "exhuming" or "rising zombie-like from the dead".
I don't know why, but this reminded me of the mini scandal when the outgoing Clintonites removed all the W's from the White House key boards.
Police searched the home of Dominique de Villepin, the former French Prime Minister, yesterday as judges appeared close to charging him with conspiring to implicate Nicolas Sarkozy, now the President, in a corruption scandal. Criminal charges are thought likely after examining judges unearthed new evidence that appears to put Mr de Villepin, 56, close to the heart of the so-called Clearstream affair. ...
I never could understand why apeasing France was so important.
The creator of this map has had the interesting idea to break down that gigantic US GDP into the GDPs of individual states, and compare those to other countries’ GDP. What follows, is this slightly misleading map – misleading, because the economies both of the US states and of the countries they are compared with are not weighted for their respective populations.
Pakistan, for example, has a GDP that’s slightly higher than Israel’s – but Pakistan has a population of about 170 million, while Israel is only 7 million people strong. The US states those economies are compared with (Arkansas and Oregon, respectively) are much closer to each other in population: 2,7 million and 3,4 million.
And yet, wile a per capita GDP might give a good indication of the average wealth of citizens, a ranking of the economies on this map does serve two interesting purposes: it shows the size of US states’ economies relative to each other (California is the biggest, Wyoming the smallest), and it links those sizes with foreign economies (which are therefore also ranked: Mexico’s and Russia’s economies are about equal size, Ireland’s is twice as big as New Zealand’s). Here’s a run-down of the 50 states, plus DC:
Lots of fun facts there for the geographically minded. Such as: Mexico's GDP is about the same as Russia's? I had no idea. France is as big, GDP-wise, as California? I'd thought California much bigger than that. Florida = South Korea? I guess we do get a little work done down here in the Sunshine State.
If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it - and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.
In statements, the AP insists Captain Hussein is real, insists he has been known to the AP and others for years, and insists the immolation episode occurred based on multiple eyewitnesses...
It is striking that no one has been able to find a family member, friend, or colleague of Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP told us who in the AP's ranks has actually spoken with Captain Hussein. Nor has the AP quoted Captain Hussein once since the story of the disputed episode...
To make matters worse, Captain Jamil Hussein was a key named source in more than 60 AP stories on at least 25 supposed violent incidents over eight months.
Paul refers to "the big lie"--the U.S. State Department's deliberate cover-up of the fact that Yaser Arafat personally ordered the murder of State's own overseas personnel, including an ambassador. This is indeed a very big lie....
Yet the State Department soldiers blindly on, committed to what must be the biggest lie in American foreign policy--the near-mystical belief that the Palestinian "peace process" holds the key to progress in the Middle East. So committed is State to this myth that it preferred to cover up the murder of its own personnel rather than confront the hollowness of its own policy.
It's tempting to play the "which is worse?" game. On the one hand, good Libertarians expect the government to be arrogant, screwed up, self serving, and incompetent. But an agency covering up the murder of its own ambassador to maintain its orthodoxy? Whoa! On the other hand, the old media has been lefty for, what, forty years now? And, sure, they've lost the bubble when it comes to Bush vs. Jihadis. But when did they become so cowardly that they fall for obvious terrorist stringer lies and refuse to come clean about it when confronted?
Really, these two institutions have committed and are committing the same sin: they will not betray their orthodoxy no matter what.
Life would be a lot better, and there would be a lot more people still alive today, if the AP and State could find it in their hearts to throw their shoulder to the damn wheel.
Here is the story I was looking for yesterday, from the Telegraph:
Radical Muslims in France's housing estates are waging an undeclared "intifada" against the police, with violent clashes injuring an average of 14 officers each day.
As the interior ministry said that nearly 2,500 officers had been wounded this year, a police union declared that its members were "in a state of civil war" with Muslims in the most depressed "banlieue" estates which are heavily populated by unemployed youths of north African origin.
It said the situation was so grave that it had asked the government to provide police with armoured cars to protect officers in the estates, which are becoming no-go zones.
The number of attacks has risen by a third in two years. Police representatives told the newspaper Le Figaro that the "taboo" of attacking officers on patrol has been broken.
Instead, officers – especially those patrolling in pairs or small groups – faced attacks as soon as they tried to arrest locals.
"We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists. This is not a question of urban violence any more, it is an intifada, with stones and Molotov cocktails. You no longer see two or three youths confronting police, you see whole tower blocks emptying into the streets to set their 'comrades' free when they are arrested."
He added: "We need armoured vehicles and water cannon. They are the only things that can disperse crowds of hundreds of people who are trying to kill police and burn their vehicles."
Incredibly, not all the French authorities recognize what they're dealing with yet. Many still think the problem is criminal, not Islamic, and is exacerbated by harsh police tactics. The police are demanding armored cars and more water canon. The softies in the government are demurring. With 2,500 officers getting wounded in one year, one has to wonder just what it will take before all of France sees the light. When they start running out of police recruits, what then?
Durka Durka Mohammed Jihad Sherpa Sherpa Bak Allah
Having survived the trauma of another exhausting three day weekend (and just what the heck is Labor Day, anyway?) it occurred to me that France does that every week. Man, I was a zombie on Tuesday, and didn't really get back into the swing of things until Wednesday afternoon. What would our economy look like if we lost half our productivity every week?
Hummingbird Finally, my first hummingbirds. Saw them on a fire bush in Crystal Beach, FL. My rental's neighbor's yard is all xeriscaped, which is ugly to me but just fine with the little hummers. At first, I thought they were the biggest hornets I'd ever seen.
Flamingo! One of these dudes flew right over my house. I couldn't believe it. And please don't tell me it was a roseated spoonbill because it was a frickin' flamingo, dude! Huge and pink and right there above me. I was like so freaking out, you know?
Falcon! Don't see these guys too often. Wish we did. Bet the morning doves don't.
Black Skimmer These beauties are getting scarce, but one flew by yesterday at low tide on the hunt for minnows.
Dead sea turtle cool, but smelly
Reddish Egret These have been hanging out around the pool quite a bit lately. Must be a new group of adolesent birds -- the youngsters like to hunt where the water is clear, and it takes them a day to figure out there are not now and never will be fish in the swimming pool no matter how clear the water.
Brown Pelican I saw a flock of about 200 of these at Disappearing Island yesterday, just south of Anclote Island on the west coast of FL. Good to see such a large flock.
Wood Pecker They've developed a sudden interest in the orange tree, which just went into bloom.