Maybe it’s a good thing Sarko won

As much as I may have admired la belle Ségolène (Royal, that is), and preferred to see her picture in the news for the next few years, maybe it’s a really good thing that the far less photogenic Nicolas Sarkozy won the French election last year. Get a load of this from the WSJ today, regarding the guy who lost $7.2 billion for that French bank:

PARIS — Société Générale says wayward trader Jérôme Kerviel lost the bank $7.2 billion. ButKerviel
that was last week. He’s now on his way to cult celebrity — and he still hasn’t lost his job.
    Société Générale has stopped paying Mr. Kerviel and told him not to come to the office, but it hasn’t managed to formally fire him. French law stipulates that to do that, the bank must first call him in for a sit-down meeting and explain its dissatisfaction. He has the right to bring along a trade-union official, a lawyer or anyone else he’d like…

They can’t fire him! So, as much as I hate to see Ségolène rebuffed, maybe, just maybe, the Socialists aren’t exactly what’s needed in France at this point in its history.

23 thoughts on “Maybe it’s a good thing Sarko won

  1. Richard L. Wolfe

    Risking your wrath and name calling, let me get your take on a question. If I was for Socialism but the country I lived in was Capitalist, I would find a way to move to Canada or Europe. Why don’t the socialist in America do that instead of spending their whole lives trying to turn the United States into something it was never designed to be?

  2. Phillip

    They probably already have, Richard. Contrary to the hysteria prevalent on the right-wing extremist blogs, there are very few out-and-out socialists or Marxists around these days in the US. What you call “socialist” is merely the back-and-forth we’ve had ever since the days of “The Federalist Papers,” fluctuations between a tilt towards more federal power and greater autonomy of the individual states.
    On the contrary, a vast number of American citizens…perhaps a majority…now worry that it is the policies of the current administration that have been attempting to “turn the United States into something it was never designed to be.”

  3. bud

    Richard’s comment was the type of thing that conservatives like to spit out in an attempt to steer the course of the debate in their direction without ever using any facts. If used properly it can be quite effective. Simply brand some group of people with some hideous charge which gets repeated by right-wing radio blabbers which eventually filters down to right-wing papers and TV. Eventually the unfounded nonsense is picked up by the MSM as if it is credible simply because so many people are saying it. How could all those people be so wrong? In the end we have a completely fictious claim that becomes a defacto fact. That’s what happened to Al Gore in 2000, John Kerry in 2004 and is now happening to Hillary in 2008. Al Gore never claimed he invented the internet. He did claim he worked on his family farm in Tennessee, a claim ridiculed by right-wingers for months as nonsense since he lived in urban DC at that time. But the fact is he really did work summers on the family farm. John Kerry did of course actually earn his medals. And now we have Hillary Clinton accussed of racism. These slanders stick somehow thanks to the vast resourses of the vast right wing spin machine. Brad played a role in this with his ridiculous accusations against John Edwards. This innuendo assault can start anywhere and once it does it takes on a life of its own.
    Yet somehow real facts never seem to stick to Republicans. John McCain is hardly a straight-talking maverick who is ready to work for his country and stay above partisan bickering. The media has even convinced many on the right that that is true and they don’t like it. They actually want a right-wing hack. But they are convinced that he is not so they dislike him. It’s a remarkable thing to watch since McCain really is a right-wing hack. But many in the GOP have abandoned McCain. On balance this serves his long-term prospects since he probably gains 2 independents for every Ann Coulter wannabe he loses. Now with the GOP nomination in hand we’ll see plenty of the real partisan hackery from McCain.
    The good news is a sufficient number of Americans are finally seeing through this bluster. Sadly it took a GOP driven collapse of the economy to open some ideas. Let’s hope enough people see through the GOP attack machine, with all it’s swiftboat nonsense, to elect the candidate from the only part that can put an end to the horror of the Bush years. And that party is the Democratic party.

  4. Richard L. Wolfe

    Phillip, Is the Federalist Papers the law of the land or is the Constitution still supreme? The leader of your party is an affirmed Marxist. Her words not mine.

  5. Mike Cakora

    Phillip –
    I think that there’s more to it than a fight over federalism, but a fight over basic rights and civil liberties. We could each make a sizable list, but I’d characterize the enemy as folks who think they know what’s better for us than we ourselves do; you might too.

  6. Lee Muller

    Those who think they know best are just the foot soldiers for those who don’t care what’s best for us, but only for themselves.

  7. Phillip

    Richard, not sure what you mean by “my party” but I’ll guess you mean the Democratic party. Also, not sure to which “leader” you are referring and would love to see a citation of this “confirmed” Marxism.
    No need to sell me on the genius of the Constitution, I’m thankful for it every day. Our ability to debate these issues openly on blogs like this and in democratic political campaigns is because of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Tell it instead to the leader of “your” party.

  8. Lee Muller

    Socialists in Congress
    The Congressional Progressive Caucus has about 50 members at any given time, most of them Democrats.
    They used to use the name “Democratic Socialist Alliance”, which has chapters in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, all founded in 1991 to promote cooperation between socialists in all political parties, after the collapse of their fountainhead, the USSR.
    After their web pages were exposed to the public in 1999, they changed their name in the USA to The Congressional Progressive Caucusm and removed some of their more blatantly honest socialist essays and news of meetings with communist groups.
    Go look it up.
    For those still in denial, I have lots of their old web pages which I captured before they wiped out their old website.

  9. Navy

    About Jerome Kerviel: First it is not 7,2 billion but 4,9..
    Second: In France you can be fired on the spot for :”faute grave”.
    Third: there are so many others professional misconduct from the managment that it is not over. The director went, yesterday, I think, in front of the judge for laundering money.
    The head quarter new want mr Kerviel was doing. They got letters from some european banks warning them about mr Kerviel acts. If he had succedeed, the shareholders would have receive a lot of money. Many wrong thinks are happening in this bank and it has nothing to do with French laws. It has to do with money.
    The managment even did not notice that a shareholder sold for almost 90 million of shares… when they new that there was a threat of takeover.
    And remember that sarko likes money more than anything else and do not care about the rest. He is a puppet and his behavior is a shame.

  10. Lee Muller

    French banks still have not released $8 BILLION in Iraqi oil money which was supposed to buy Food-for-Peace, dating back to 2002. This was money they were laundering for Saddam, who had bribed over 200 UN potentates and European politicians and bankers. They are named in captured ledgers kept by Saddam.
    Why aren’t they being prosecuted?

  11. Mike Cakora

    Thanks for clearing that up, Navy.
    I just hope that the wayward trader just screwed the pooch without adequate oversight and that they can’t nail him for working more than 35 hours per week. That’s guillotine territory…

  12. Phillip

    Lee, the CPC was founded by Bernie Sanders of Vermont who IS just about the only real Socialist these days, but fundamentally not different than the sense of Social Democrats or Labor parties in many major Western democracies. The CPC would no more have regarded the Soviet Union as its “fountainhead”) than the Republican Party would have considered Nazi Germany its role model. Norway, maybe!
    But this does not answer the question posed to Richard.

  13. Mike Cakora

    Phillip –
    Time to update analogies. I know you meant no offense, but fascism is a collectivist doctrine, as such a twin of communism. Hitler and Stalin were not direct opposites, but close cousins ideologically. Here’s a good review of the interesting (and controversial) new book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. Per the review,

    fascism is a collectivist doctrine, worshipful towards the centralized state, socialist in economics (Nazism, remember, is short for National Socialism), hostile to both tradition and capitalism—in short, a left-wing ideology opposed in almost every respect to classical liberal conservative individualism.

    The author, Jonah Goldberg, maintains a blog here where you can find links to reviews, commentary, and the like.
    So no more calling conservatives “fascists”!

  14. Lee Muller

    Bernie Sanders founded the US chapter of the Democratic Socialist Alliance, but he didn’t force Maxine Waters, Barney Frank, and 50 other self-labeled socialists to join, write articles praising socialism, and give speeches to socialist groups. They chose to behave like socialists, so I have to take them at face value that they are socialists, and enemies of the American way of life.

  15. Richard L. Wolfe

    Economic Stimulus Package Clinton Style:
    First she raises taxes so the working poor have less to spend. Second government mandated health care which takes the rest of the working poor’s money.
    Before you say government subsidies for those who can’t afford it, ask any poor soul who makes a few too many dollars to be on Medicaid.

  16. slugger

    The Robin Hoods of our day seem to be the socialist that Lee Muller talks about. Robin Hood did not take from the rich to give to the poor. He took from the government of that day and time to give to the poor.
    Nothing much has changed in the last 50 years as far as politicians and politics is concerned.
    I hate to say this but it seems to be true. The block voters are the ones that benefit the most from hand-outs from the government. They are there when the polls open to be sure that they stay in the welfare line when it comes to hands-outs.
    There are people that would not work in a pie factory. They do not starve to death as happens around the world to those that will not even plant a garden in order to get food to eat because they know that someone will provide. That someone is the working people.
    The working class people are slowly being relegated to the working poor. The wages of the working poor do not go up when more money is taken from their paycheck to pay for those that will not or do not work. This group of people can easily fall into the crack and become the unemployed standing in the line with the others.
    When there is no incentive for one to work. Then they sit on the porch and watch those that do work ride by.
    Until the mental attitude changes in the elected officials to realize that this country is going down the tubes without a halt in government spending, there is nothing for our children to look forward to.
    There is no person running for president that wants to face the hard facts. WE MUST SAVE OUR COUNTRY NOW OR ALL COULD BE LOST.

  17. Lee Muller

    Examine the candidates, and ask yourself,
    which ones want prosperity for all through hard work, taking responsibility for yourself, and taking advantages of the opportunities of freedom to take a risk in America
    (Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney)
    and which ones scapegoat those who have made themselves successful, who tell the less wealthy that they are victims of the achievers, that they are owed equal medical care, housing, education and lifestyle to those who earned it, and that the election is about getting even with the upper middle class?
    (Obama, Hillary, Kucinich, Edwards, McCain)

  18. slugger

    Lee said above:which ones want prosperity for all through hard work, taking responsibility for yourself, and taking advantages of the opportunities of freedom to take a risk in America
    (Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney)
    I agree with you. But they cannot win. Sad to say. Of the one that is left standing, there is no hope.

  19. Lee Muller

    The Founders said it would come down to this: the Republic being eroded by extending the vote to those who did not own property or serve in the militia. Today, we are a point where fewer than 25% of the people pay all the taxes, and the other 75% are clamoring for more handouts.
    Like all democracies, it will end with blood in the street, when the rabble grow impatient with demagogues like Obama, and begin to use direct violence against small businessmen, as Hitler and Mussolini did with the Jews. The difference is that Americans are armed and will fight back.

  20. slugger

    Strange that you should say what you have said about who should be able to vote.
    Let us look at all forms of government that touch our lives. It is made up of elected officials or in some way appointed or commissioned by elected officials.
    The power of the vote cannot be denied. How do we reason that the people that go to the polls will vote for what is best for everybody. The nature of man is to protect his own and feather his own nest.
    The constitution that protects all of us from becoming a third world country rest in the hands of the uninformed electorate and the greedy to protect their own interest above the good of the country.
    When our working children cannot afford to have children and only those that do not work are able to produce another generation of non-workers, maybe those that sit in front of their HDTV and watch their sports programs will look around and ask just that question.
    I do not know how there is going to be a leader that will wake the sleeping voter. The voter that is awake does not belong to the conservative electorate.
    You are the master of your fate.

  21. Lee Muller

    I don’t understand what you think is strange, since you seem to agree with me.
    We have more than one problem here:
    The first problem is that politicians are operating outside the limits of their Constitutional authority, creating all sorts of wealth transfer programs.
    The electorate is voting selfishly for these politicians based on getting more of these illegal monies for themselves, or to protect themselves from the taxation and regulations required to appease the other selfish voters who stand to gain something.
    If legislation were limited to what is legal, a lot of these public issues of fighting over wealth tranfers and control of behavior would simply go away.
    If people who are not taxpayers and have no stake in the system were prohibited from voting, the lower class of demagogues we have in office would lose most of their support, which would vastly improve the class of elected officials.

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