The Conversation

Foreign Affairs: What's going on around the world.

The supreme idiocy of LGBT anti-Israel activists

Feb 25, 2013 5:24 AM PT

The City University of New York (CUNY) is sponsoring an anti-Israel colloquium called "Homonationalism and Pinkwashing" on April 10-11. It is, as Alan Dershowitz points out, quite obviously geared towards the charge that Israel "pinkwashes" its supposedly awful treatment of the Palestinians by promoting the fact that Israel respects LGBT rights (it even has a wonderful transsexual pop music champion, Dana International).

There is nothing more idiotic than LGBT academics campaigning on behalf of the Palestinian cause. There is zero respect for LGBT rights in Gaza or the West Bank--and not as a result of Israeli occupation. LGBT f0lks are criminalized and worse in the Palestinian territories, which is why the best thing an LGBT Palestinian can do is to move to Israel and enjoy freedom. Gender confusion? OK. Moral confusion? No way. Take it away, Dana!

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New Movie In The Works: Siege at Benghazi

Feb 23, 2013 9:49 AM PT

Some Navy SEAL friends of  Ty Woods and Glen Doherty are in the process of producing a film to memorialize the pair's valor. It was due to their heroism that the CIA was able to get up to 30 Americans out of Benghazi alive.

Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi:

What started as an emergency evacuation turned into an all night gunfight resulting in the deaths of two former Navy SEALs – Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty – genuine heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice when they were hit by mortar fire – just minutes before reinforcements arrived and the all night ordeal ended. This film commemorates the actions of the CIA GRS operators who rushed into a full blown firefight outmanned and outgunned, as well as the DSS protective specialists who joined them in fighting off a coordinated siege until morning arrived.

This is the first short film in a proposed series entitled Amazing Ops which will feature awe-inspiring stories of extraordinary valor that are all too often under-reported or overshadowed by politics.  Amazing Ops focuses its lens squarely on the actions of the elite operators who carry out astonishing missions — in fact, we consider it our mission to faithfully represent the skill and bravery of these real life superheroes – those who gave their lives, those who made it out alive, and those whose identities must remain unknown – but whose stories demand to be told with credibility, reliability and authenticity.

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Amercian CEO vs. France: Part Deux

Feb 22, 2013 3:40 PM PT

Wednesday I published a letter written by American tire CEO Maurice "The Grizz" Taylor to a French government official. Taylor's letter, which was leaked to a newspaper, was a blunt assessment of the French work ethic. Among other things, he wrote, "The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours."

Arnaud Montebourg, the French minister to whom Taylor's letter was directed, responded with his own letter. Montebourg called Taylor an "extremist" and closed with "Be assured that you can count on me to inspect your tire imports with a redoubled zeal."

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Moody's Downgrades UK Bond Rating

Feb 22, 2013 2:10 PM PT

Moody's has decided to downgrade the UK bond rating from Aaa to Aa1. Moody's justification for the downgrade includes three factors, the first of which is "sluggish" growth:

1. The continuing weakness in the UK's medium-term growth outlook, with a period of sluggish growth which Moody's now expects will extend into the second half of the decade;

2. The challenges that subdued medium-term growth prospects pose to the government's fiscal consolidation programme, which will now extend well into the next parliament;

3. And, as a consequence of the UK's high and rising debt burden, a deterioration in the shock-absorption capacity of the government's balance sheet, which is unlikely to reverse before 2016.

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Kerry did nothing about our most pressing foreign policy challenge for 28 years

Feb 20, 2013 12:52 PM PT

In response to John Kerry: Greatest Challenge To US Foreign Policy is Congress:

I would note that Senator John Kerry--I mean, Secretary of State John Kerry--only recently left the very institution he blames for our greatest foreign policy challenge. I do not recall then-Senator Kerry pushing the Senate to pass a budget, or to reach an agreement with House Republicans. In fact, Sen. Kerry sat in the Senate for 28 years wile allowing government spending and debt to reach the dangerous levels that now confront us.

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John Kerry: Greatest Challenge To US Foreign Policy is Congress

Feb 20, 2013 12:45 PM PT

Joining Obama in pressuring Republicans to cave (again) on taxes,  John Kerry, in his very first appearance as Secretary of State, said the greatest challenge to U.S. foreign policy is not emerging China or Middle East instability. It's Congress.

In prepared remarks for a speech at the University of Virginia, Kerry cites the adage that "we can't be strong in the world unless we are strong at home." He calls the budget impasse a threat.

The State Department has said automatic spending cuts would jeopardize $2.6 billion in aid, security assistance and other international programs.

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Awesome: American CEO Blasts French Communists' Work Ethic

Feb 20, 2013 12:06 PM PT

Last month Goodyear announced it would close a manufacturing plant in Amiens, France after five years spent haggling with a "communist-backed" union. French Minister of Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg then sent a letter to Titan industries encouraging the company to consider an investment to save the plant. The response from Titan CEO Maurice Taylor is probably not what the Minister was expecting:

Dear Mr. Montebourg:

I have just returned to the United States from Australia where I have been for the past few weeks on business; therefore, my apologies for answering your letter dated 31 January 2013.

I appreciate your thinking that your Ministry is protecting industrial activities and jobs in France.  I and Titan have a 40-year history of buying closed factories and companies, losing millions of dollars and turning them around to create a good business, paying good wages. Goodyear tried for over four years to save part of the Amiens jobs that are some of the highest paid, but the French unions and French government did nothing but talk.

I have visited the factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three, and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!

The Chinese are shipping tires into France - really all over Europe - and yet you do nothing. In five years, Michelin won’t be able to produce tire in France. France will lose its industrial business because government is more government.

Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with money and talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government. The French farmer wants cheap tire. He does not care if the tires are from China or India and governments are subsidizing them. Your government doesn’t care either. “We’re French!”

The US government is not much better than the French. Titan had to pay millions to Washington lawyers to sue the Chinese tire companies because of their subsidizing. Titan won. The government collects the duties. We don’t get the duties, the government does.

Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour and ship all the tires France needs. You can keep the so-called workers. Titan has no interest in the Amien North factory.

Best regards, 
Maurice M. Taylor, Jr.
Chairman and CEO

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