mercredi 7 octobre 2009

L'anniversaire de Lépante

Voici 488 ans aujourd'hui, don Juan d'Autriche écrasait les Turcs à Lépante, contribuant largement à arrêter l'invasion musulmane en Europe chrétienne.

Le grand écrivain anglais G. K. Chesteron a écrit en 1874 un poème pour commémorer cette victoire. A titre de curiosité littéraire, le voici :

WHITE founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips; 5
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross. 10
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard, 15
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young. 20
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold 25
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world, 30
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain—hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea. 35

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease, 40
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye, 45
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea 50
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,—
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound. 55
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun, 60
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces—four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate! 65
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still—hurrah! 70
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.) 75
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes, 80
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,—
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea. 85
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria 90
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in. 95
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work, 100
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed—
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah! 105
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year, 110
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark; 115
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung 120
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell, 125
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign—
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds, 130
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria! 135
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain, 140
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

vendredi 18 septembre 2009

Thriller Obama

Voici un exemple des documentaires qui cherchent à semer le doute quant aux origines du président Obama. Regardez-le car il résume bien une affaire dont les grands médias ne veulent pas parler.

lundi 14 septembre 2009

Mauvais journalisme

Je viens de lire dans Le Point cette information :

Le changement climatique ouvre une voie maritime en Arctique

Le changement climatique ouvre une voie maritime en Arctique

La compagnie allemande Beluga Shipping GmbH a entamé le premier voyage sans l'assistance de navire briseur de glace par le Passage du Nord-Est, que le changement climatique rend plus praticable. L'éclatement de la calote glaciaire arctique, résultat du réchauffement de cette partie du globe, a permis à Beluga de lancer ses navires de transport commerciaux sur cette route qui passe au nord de la Russie, après avoir reçu l'autorisation de Moscou.

Deux cargos de la compagnie allemande Beluga Shipping GmbH ont entamé vendredi le premier voyage sans l'assistance de navire briseur de glace par le Passage du Nord-Est, que le changement climatique rend plus praticable, a déclaré son directeur général.

Les cargos MV Beluga Fraternity et Beluga Foresight ont quitté le port de Vladivostok, dans l'extrême est de la Russie, pour rallier l'Europe avec une cargaison sud-coréenne, pour un trajet historique, a dit le P-DG Niels Stolberg dans un entretien à Reuters.

L'éclatement de la calote glaciaire arctique, résultat du réchauffement de cette partie du globe, a permis à Beluga de lancer ses navires de transport commerciaux sur cette route qui passe au nord de la Russie, après avoir reçu l'autorisation de Moscou, a-t-il expliqué.

Le Passage du Nord-Est, aussi appelé route maritime du Nord, est long de 4.000 milles nautiques (7.400 km), près de trois fois moins que les 11.000 à parcourir pour relier l'Asie à l'Europe en empruntant le canal de Suez. Stolberg en attend des gains considérables sur le plan financier et en termes d'émissions de gaz à effet de serre.

"Les sous-marins russes et les briseurs de glace ont emprunté la route maritime du Nord dans le passé mais elle n'était pas ouverte au trafic commercial régulier jusqu'à maintenant parce qu'il y a de la glace épaisse en beaucoup d'endroits", a-t-il dit.

"Les images satellitaires ont révélé seulement l'année dernière que la glace fondait et un petit couloir s'est ouvert, qui pouvait permettre le trafic commercial dans le Passage du Nord-Est, si toutes les circonstances s'y prêtaient."

La compagnie allemande souhaitait profiter dès l'année dernière d'une fenêtre de six à huit semaines entre août et septembre, qui voit la température atteindre 20 degrés dans cette région et favoriser l'ouverture d'une voie navigable. Mais elle n'avait alors pas obtenu l'autorisation des autorités russes.

Beluga Shipping GmbH est coutumière des initiatives liées au changement climatique. La compagnie a ainsi utilisé des voiles géantes sur certains de ses navires afin de tirer profit de l'énergie éolienne et réduire à la fois ses coûts et émissions polluantes.

"Le réchauffement climatique est évidemment un développement aux effets négatifs. Toutefois, la fonte de glace dans le Passage du Nord-Est et la possibilité d'y transiter a des effets positifs. Les compagnies de transport peuvent réduire leur consommation de carburant et réduire les émissions de CO2", a conclu Stolberg.

Or, cette «première » ne me semblait pas une car j'avais le souvenir d'autres navires parcourant la même toute.

La site europhobe, mais bien informé, EU Referendum a publié un article qui met en lumière les manipulations d'une presse obsédée par le changement climatique.

The pictures tell the story

We were not going to return immediately to the "Northeast passage" but the temptation proved too great when we found the photograph shown above. It depicts an SA-15 type multipurpose icebreaking cargo ship of the Norilsk class. Nineteen were built for the Soviet Union between 1982-1987 at Finnish shipyards Wärtsilä and Valmet.

The significance of the picture is that it was taken in 1984 when the 20,000-dwt ship made the first of several shipments of pipes from Japan to the Ob' estuary via the "impossible" Northeast passage. It was following exactly the same route, to exactly the same destination as the much-lauded Beluga Fraternity and Beluga Foresight. Furthermore, the ship made the journey without an icebreaker escort.

From the same source, we also learn that ships plying this route have been visiting Vancouver since 1979.

In 1986 three made homeward passages with grain after the end of the normal navigation season. The last cleared Vancouver on 12 November, and with minimum assistance reached Arkhangelsk on 2 December. Grain shipments from Vancouver to Arctic ports were continuing up to 1992, when the Ivan Bogin cleared Vancouver on 27 August 1992 for Murmansk.

As to European ships making the passage, the Germans have been there before, beating the Beluga fleet by nearly 70 years. This they did with the 3,287-ton converted merchantman Komet.

She left Germany on 3 July 1940 with a crew of 270, sailed up the Norwegian coast and then, with the assistance of the Soviets, navigated the northern route, crossing the Bering Straits into the Pacific Ocean in early September. She returned safely to Germany on 30 November 1941, after sinking seven ships.

During the war US-built lend-lease vessels, including liberty ships handed over to the Soviets, made 120 voyages with cargoes from the American west coast via the Bering Strait to northern ports, following routes similar to that followed by the Beluga fleet. Navigation by Soviet vessels continued after the war but, in the early stages of the Cold War, the route was closed to Western vessels – not by ice but by politics.

The first offer to open the Northern Sea Route to international shipping was made early in 1967, when it was argued that it could save thirteen days between Hamburg and Yokohama as opposed to the conventional link via Suez. To demonstrate the viability of the route, Soviet cargo carriers made three demonstration voyages from north European ports and Japan.

That the project went no further again was nothing to do with ice. In 1967, after the Six Day War, the Suez Canal was closed. The Soviets did not wish to offend friendly Arab governments – and particularly Egypt - by offering an alternative to the Suez Canal and the invitation for international shipping on the NSR was quietly withdrawn.

Twenty years later, the USSR was shifting its economic enterprises to a self-financing system. In 1989 shipments between western Europe and Japan were made in the new generation of SA-15 freighters, one on charter to a German firm.

The following year space was offered to foreign shippers in eight SA-15s trading between Europe and Japan via the Arctic. In 1991 there were fifteen such voyages with 210,000 tons of cargo (one pictured above). That year, the Northern Sea Route was again declared open to foreign shipping.

To test the route, the French Arctic supply vessel "L'Astrolabe" left Le Havre on 27 July 1991 and successfully navigated the NRS, arriving in Japan in early September.

Yet another European vessel followed in her wake. In the summer of 1997, the Finnish-flag tanker Uikku (pictured, below right) sailed the length of the NSR. beginning in Murmansk 3 September, and discharged fuel along a number of Russian Arctic ports. It arrived in Pevek on the 12th to discharge fuel and then sailed through the Bering Strait on 15 September.

After picking up more fuel in the Pacific the ship sailed back along the NSR. discharging fuel at several ports and reaching Murmansk on 14 October. It was reported by the Russian NSR authorities that a Latvian-flag tanker also completed a full transit of the NSR in 1997.

And yet The Independent has the nerve to claim that, "No commercial vessel has ever successfully travelled the North-east Passage," while The Times in an updated version of its story, is still telling us that "the voyage was considered impossible until a few years ago."

As for Niels Stolberg, founder and president of the Beluga Group, when he tells us that, "We are all very proud and delighted to be the first Western shipping company to have successfully transited the legendary Northeast Passage," why is the media taking him seriously?

dimanche 13 septembre 2009

La longue route de l'humanité

Le grand voyage de l'humanité.

Dans mon précédent post j'ai évoqué l'hypothèse d'une origine extra-africaine de l'hominisation. Il ne s'agit pour le moment que d'une hypothèse qui reste à élaborer. Pour le moment, la théorie qui explique le mieux la diffusion de l'homme sur notre planète s'appuie à la fois sur des preuves matérielles (ossements, AND) et immatérielles (linguistique).

L'excellent magazine National Geographic, toujours prudent, consensuel et très politiquement correct, publie un dossier qui fait le point sur nos connaissances. Une lecture conseillée.

Une Etude Historique du Parcours Humain D'où venez-vous vraiment ? Et comment êtes-vous arrivé là où vous vivez aujourd'hui ? Les études d'ADN suggèrent que tous les humains actuels descendent d'un groupe d'ancêtres africains qui ont commencé il y a environ 60 000 ans un voyage incroyable.

Le projet Genographic cherche à enregistrer de nouvelles connaissances sur l'histoire des migrations de l'espèce humaine en utilisant des laboratoires sophistiqués et l'analyse informatique de l'ADN apporté par des centaines de milliers de personnes du monde entier. Dans cet effort de recherche sans précédent en temps réel, le projet Genographic comble les vides dans ce que la science sait aujourd'hui sur l'histoire des migrations humaines anciennes.

Le projet Genographic est un partenariat de recherche de cinq ans mené par le Docteur résident et explorateur de National Geographic, Spencer Wells. Dr Wells et une équipe de scientifiques internationaux renommés et de chercheurs d'IBM utilisent des technologies statistiques à la pointe de la génétique pour analyser les modèles historiques d'ADN des participants du monde entier pour mieux comprendre nos racines génétiques humaines. Les trois composants du projet sont : rassembler des données de recherche sur le terrain en collaboration avec les peuples indigènes et traditionnels du monde entier; inviter le public général à se joindre au projet en achetant un kit de participation publique au projet Genographic; et utiliser les recettes des ventes du kit de participation publique au projet Genographic pour faire avancer la recherche de terrain et le Fonds d'héritage du projet Genographic qui à son tour soutient les projets de conservation et de revitalisation indigènes. Le projet est anonyme, non médical, non politique, à but non lucratif et non commercial, et tous les résultats seront du domaine public suite à la publication par des pairs scientifiques.
Découvrez une vidéo sur le projet de recherches génétiques Genographic Project

mercredi 9 septembre 2009

Adam l'Africain ? Pas certain

Les bonnes âmes ont mis en avant les théories élaborées par les paléontologues d'une origine africaine de l'humanité pour conforter leur discours lénifiant.
En se fondant sur les analyses génétiques tout comme sur les restes des hominidés trouvés en Afrique, les chercheurs ont imaginé que les premiers humains ont quitté un jour le continent africain pour peupler l'ensemble de la terre où progressivement se sont fait jour les différentes races humaines.
A partir des années 1970, cette théorie de l'origine africaine de l'humanité est sortie de son champ d'application pour entrer de plain pied dans celui de l'imaginaire collectif et de la construction sociale. Des grands magazines comme Time ont publié des couvertures sur l'Eve africaine pour combattre le racisme et dans les manuels scolaires, cette théorie servait de véhicule à des programmes moralisateurs.
Les chercheurs qui ont avancé d'autres points de vue ont été marginalisés durant longtemps, comme par exemple les chercheurs chinois, car on soupçonnait leurs thèses d'avoir en réalité une motivation « raciste ».
Même si à ce jour, la théorie de l'origine africaine de l'humanité reste la plus solide, d'autres points de vue commencent à parvenir au grand public. A titre d'exemple, l'article de Steve Connor publié dans les colonnes de l'Independent, un des grands représentants du conformisme intellectuel et de l'intelligentsia de gauche, qui a publié un intéressant compte rendu de la conférence du grand paléontologue géorgien David Lordkipanidze sans pousser des cris d'orfraie.

A skull that rewrites the history of man

It has long been agreed that Africa was the sole cradle of human evolution. Then these bones were found in Georgia...

The conventional view of human evolution and how early man colonised the world has been thrown into doubt by a series of stunning palaeontological discoveries suggesting that Africa was not the sole cradle of humankind. Scientists have found a handful of ancient human skulls at an archaeological site two hours from the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, that suggest a Eurasian chapter in the long evolutionary story of man.

The skulls, jawbones and fragments of limb bones suggest that our ancient human ancestors migrated out of Africa far earlier than previously thought and spent a long evolutionary interlude in Eurasia – before moving back into Africa to complete the story of man.

Experts believe fossilised bones unearthed at the medieval village of Dmanisi in the foothills of the Caucuses, and dated to about 1.8 million years ago, are the oldest indisputable remains of humans discovered outside of Africa.

But what has really excited the researchers is the discovery that these early humans (or "hominins") are far more primitive-looking than the Homo erectus humans that were, until now, believed to be the first people to migrate out of Africa about 1 million years ago.

The Dmanisi people had brains that were about 40 per cent smaller than those of Homo erectus and they were much shorter in stature than classical H. erectus skeletons, according to Professor David Lordkipanidze, general director of the Georgia National Museum. "Before our findings, the prevailing view was that humans came out of Africa almost 1 million years ago, that they already had sophisticated stone tools, and that their body anatomy was quite advanced in terms of brain capacity and limb proportions. But what we are finding is quite different," Professor Lordkipanidze said.

"The Dmanisi hominins are the earliest representatives of our own genus – Homo – outside Africa, and they represent the most primitive population of the species Homo erectus to date. They might be ancestral to all later Homo erectus populations, which would suggest a Eurasian origin of Homo erectus."

Speaking at the British Science Festival in Guildford, where he gave the British Council lecture, Professor Lordkipanidze raised the prospect that Homo erectus may have evolved in Eurasia from the more primitive-looking Dmanisi population and then migrated back to Africa to eventually give rise to our own species, Homo sapiens – modern man.

"The question is whether Homo erectus originated in Africa or Eurasia, and if in Eurasia, did we have vice-versa migration? This idea looked very stupid a few years ago, but today it seems not so stupid," he told the festival.

The scientists have discovered a total of five skulls and a solitary jawbone. It is clear that they had relatively small brains, almost a third of the size of modern humans. "They are quite small. Their lower limbs are very human and their upper limbs are still quite archaic and they had very primitive stone tools," Professor Lordkipanidze said. "Their brain capacity is about 600 cubic centimetres. The prevailing view before this discovery was that the humans who first left Africa had a brain size of about 1,000 cubic centimetres."

The only human fossil to predate the Dmanisi specimens are of an archaic species Homo habilis, or "handy man", found only in Africa, which used simple stone tools and lived between about 2.5 million and 1.6 million years ago.

"I'd have to say, if we'd found the Dmanisi fossils 40 years ago, they would have been classified as Homo habilis because of the small brain size. Their brow ridges are not as thick as classical Homo erectus, but their teeth are more H. erectus like," Professor Lordkipanidze said. "All these finds show that the ancestors of these people were much more primitive than we thought. I don't think that we were so lucky as to have found the first travellers out of Africa. Georgia is the cradle of the first Europeans, I would say," he told the meeting.

"What we learnt from the Dmanisi fossils is that they are quite small – between 1.44 metres to 1.5 metres tall. What is interesting is that their lower limbs, their tibia bones, are very human-like so it seems they were very good runners," he said.

He added: "In regards to the question of which came first, enlarged brain size or bipedalism, maybe indirectly this information calls us to think that body anatomy was more important than brain size. While the Dmanisi people were almost modern in their body proportions, and were highly efficient walkers and runners, their arms moved in a different way, and their brains were tiny compared to ours.

"Nevertheless, they were sophisticated tool makers with high social and cognitive skills," he told the science festival, which is run by the British Science Association.

One of the five skulls is of a person who lost all his or her teeth during their lifetime but had still survived for many years despite being completely toothless. This suggests some kind of social organisation based on mutual care, Professor Lordkipanidze said.

lundi 31 août 2009

Google Books

Il est difficile désormais de faire de la recherche en histoire tout en ignorant cet outil extraordinaire que sont les bibliothèques numériques au premier rang desquelles, Google Books.

Grâce à cet outil, on peut désormais effectuer des recherches dans un corpus qui va en s'élargissant quotidiennement d'ouvrages en langues européennes comme s'ils disposaient d'un index commun.

Il permet de repérer des occurrences qui seraient restées autrement ignorées.

Contrairement à ce que l'on croit, ces recherches incluent les ouvrages récents, excellent moyen de découvrir les chercheurs qui ont publié des travaux incluant cette occurrence. Encore faut-il que l'occurrence soit suffisamment sélective.

Si vous recherchez un personnage peu connu au nom rare, par exemple, William Henri Waddington, c'est parfait. En revanche, les noms connus posent des problèmes difficiles à résoudre autrement que par des filtres qui forcément vont exclure des résultats, par exemple le France (le paquebot).

Un des grands obstacles à l'utilisation de Google Books en dehors des Etats-Unis est le stupide principe de précaution du site qui interdit la lecture des ouvrages libres de droits postérieurs à environ 1840.

Le seul moyen de contourner cette interdiction est de passer par des sites d'anonymat comme The Cloak qui peuvent apporter une aide ponctuelle. Pour un usage plus important il faut payer.

Samedi dernier, le quotidien Libération a publié un dossier sur ce sujet dont voici des extraits.



Qui a peur du grand méchant Google ? Pas les milliers - les millions ? - de lecteurs qui peuvent désormais accéder gratuitement au fonds des grandes bibliothèques mondiales par un simple clic. A l’inverse de ce que pensaient certains grincheux de la technologie, la numérisation du savoir planétaire représente un immense progrès, qui dépasse tout ce qu’ont pu imaginer les prophètes les plus optimistes de la démocratisation de la culture. Pourtant, cette avancée inouïe pose de redoutables questions. Tel un Speedy Gonzales de l’écrit, Google a pris dans ce domaine une avance irréversible. L’excellent Jean-Noël Jeanneney, ancien directeur de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, l’a vu le premier : la multinationale est en passe d’acquérir sur la diffusion des livres du passé - et bientôt du présent - une sorte de quasi-monopole, dont elle est décidée à faire argent sans trop s’embarrasser d’égards pour les auteurs ou de souci pour les obligations de service public.

Garants du patrimoine culturel de l’humanité, les Etats se sont fait doubler comme des bleus par les gamins du Net.

Il est encore temps de réagir : la numérisation des livres n’est pas si coûteuse qu’elle soit hors de portée des budgets nationaux. Encore faut-il se dégager de l’auguste lenteur des administrations culturelles.

Plutôt que de crier haro sur le Google, les partisans du pluralisme doivent surtout houspiller l’Etat. A l’heure du numérique, lui aussi doit changer de rythme. Faute de quoi il verra ses prérogatives se craqueler comme un vieux grimoire oublié.

La Bibliothèque de France va-t-elle confier à Google le soin de numériser une partie de ses collections ? L’hypothèse est envisagée au sein de l’établissement public. Cinq ans après l’annonce du programme Google Books visant à numériser les documents des plus grandes bibliothèques du monde, le moteur de recherche américain s’affirme comme l’unique opérateur de ce nouveau partage des connaissances. Un monopole qui inquiète. Revue des enjeux.

Où en est le chantier de la numérisation des livres ?
Lancée en décembre 2004 avec cinq grandes bibliothèques partenaires, alors toutes anglo-saxonnes, la bibliothèque virtuelle de Google est, à ce jour et de très loin, la plus avancée au monde. Elle représente un index global d’environ 10 millions de livres numérisés : 1,5 million d’ouvrages tombés dans le domaine public et issus de 29 grandes bibliothèques mondiales, 1,8 million d’œuvres «soumises» volontairement par 25 000 éditeurs surtout professionnels ou universitaires et environ 7 millions de documents principalement issus de bibliothèques américaines. Protégés par le droit d’auteur et numérisés sans autorisation préalable de leurs ayants droit, ces derniers voient leur consultation limitée à leur index et à de courts extraits. Cela devrait changer rapidement si la justice américaine valide, à l’automne, l’accord négocié par Google en 2008 avec les éditeurs américains. Estimé entre 150 et 200 millions de dollars (100 à 140 millions d’euros) sur une durée d’environ dix ans (10 dollars, ou 7 euros, par livre), l’investissement de Google vise à numériser «rapidement» entre 15 et 20 millions d’ouvrages sur les quelques dizaines de millions déjà publiés dans le monde. Face à Google, le principal projet alternatif a pour nom Europeana. Un prototype de la future bibliothèque numérique européenne dont le véritable lancement est annoncé en 2010. Il regroupe déjà 4 millions de documents en 26 langues et regroupe une cinquantaine de partenaires, pas seulement européens. Des livres mais également des tableaux, partitions, bandes sonores et audiovisuelles dont plus de la moitié ont été fournis par la Bibliothèque nationale de France (projet Gallica) et l’Institut national de l’audiovisuel.

Pourquoi avoir peur de Google ?
On vous offre une maison mais le chemin pour y accéder ne vous appartient pas. Le promoteur vous promet la main sur le cœur qu’il n’y installera jamais de péage, tout juste envisage-t-il d’y mettre quelques panneaux publicitaires. Acceptez-vous le marché ? C’est un peu la question à laquelle doivent répondre aujourd’hui les plus grandes bibliothèques du monde. Elles récupèrent pour elles tous les documents numérisés par Google et elles ont le droit de les utiliser à leur guise. En échange, le moteur récupère l’exclusivité sur l’indexation du contenu. Or, si la numérisation du patrimoine écrit mondial à des fins de conservation et de mémoire est un enjeu majeur, l’accès aux connaissances sous ce nouveau format l’est tout autant. Dans le mouvement d’humeur contre Google, on retrouve ainsi la problématique de la presse avec l’hégémonie de Google News dans le secteur de la recherche sur l’actualité. Dans ce cas, Google se rémunère sur les chemins d’accès. Le fait que Google tire des revenus de son système de recherche n’est pas scandaleux en soi. C’est la dérive monopolistique qui inquiète. Lorsque tout est potentiellement accessible en ligne, la façon d’accéder à l’information est au moins aussi importante que l’information elle-même. Et lorsque ce pouvoir est concentré dans les mains d’une seule entreprise, c’est forcément un problème. Même si cette dernière a pour slogan «Don’t be evil» («Ne sois pas diabolique»).

Pourquoi Google s’investit-il autant sur le sujet ?
La plus grande crainte de Google aujourd’hui : perdre sa place de leader incontournable au profit d’un concurrent, voire d’un nouveau venu. Cela semble inconcevable, mais il faut se souvenir qu’avant Google il existait des gros moteurs de recherche, comme Altavista. Et qu’en quelques mois l’arrivant a pris l’ascendant sur ses aînés, grâce à la sobriété de son interface, sa rapidité et la pertinence de ses résultats. Même si on a du mal à l’imaginer, Google n’est pas intouchable. Et il le sait. Le tout est donc de ne pas se reposer sur ses lauriers. Google maîtrise aujourd’hui la gestion de l’information disponible au format numérique (même s’il fait évoluer continuellement ses processus d’indexation), mais il reste tout ce que l’humanité a produit depuis des siècles. La préoccupation de Google n’est pas tant la rentabilité du processus (même si, à long terme, il devrait s’y retrouver), mais le fait de rester le lieu privilégié de la recherche. Et donc de ne pas laisser tout un pan du contenu indexable à un autre que lui. En assumant le coût de la numérisation des livres, Google s’assure que son petit chemin restera le passage obligé pour la majorité des internautes pour les cinq ou dix ans à venir. Et ça, ça n’a tout simplement pas de prix.

Quelles sont les alternatives à Google ?
Il n’y en a pas. A ce jour et en huit années, la BNF n’a réussi à numériser «que» 800 000 documents, dont 300 000 seulement en mode texte sur les 13 millions d’ouvrages que représentent ses collections. D’où l’annonce par Denis Bruckmann, le directeur des collections de la BNF, à la mi-août dans la Tribune, de négociations en cours avec Google afin d’accélérer ce rythme et de pallier au coût extrêmement élevé de la numérisation. Selon Denis Bruckmann, il faudrait entre «50 et 80 millions d’euros» (entre 0,12 et 0,74 euro par page) pour numériser les seuls fonds de la IIIe République alors que l’Etat n’octroie au projet Gallica que 8 millions d’euros par an, via le Centre national du livre - dont 3 ne sont pas utilisés !

Un argument financier jugé dérisoire par l’ancien président de la BNF Jean-Noël Jeanneney, farouche opposant aux ambitions universelles de Google. «Quand bien même la somme indispensable serait de quelques dizaines de millions d’euros sur quelques années, écrit Jean-Noël Jeanneney, par rapport à d’autres dépenses, celle-ci mérite que la nation la consente.»

Par la voix de sa commissaire à la Société de l’information, Viviane Reding, la Commission européenne recommande au contraire la mise en place de partenariats avec le secteur privé - et donc avec Google - afin de pouvoir multiplier par 15 le nombre de documents numérisés dans l’Union. Le nouveau ministre de la Culture, Frédéric Mitterrand, s’est pour sa part «hâté de faire savoir qu’il gardait les mains libres» et a souligné, le 19 août, qu’«aucune option ne saurait être privilégiée en l’état actuel des réflexions en cours». Il s’agit, a-t-il affirmé, «d’inscrire la numérisation du patrimoine culturel de l’Etat dans une stratégie globale». Reste à savoir si elle sera Google-compatible ou pas.

Le glouton élargit sa «mission»

Google numérise tous azimuts et cherche à se poser, d’ici quelques années, en premier libraire de la Toile.


«Organiser les informations à l’échelle mondiale dans le but de les rendre accessibles et utiles à tous.» La célèbre «mission» de Google aura amené, en dix ans à peine d’existence, le moteur de recherche à s’investir dans un nombre d’activités tel qu’il sera bientôt difficile de toutes les recenser. Afin de remplir à bien cette «mission», le géant de l’Internet repousse jour après jour ses limites.

Nouvelle incarnation de la multinationale tentaculaire, Google n’a de cesse d’étendre sa gloutonnerie d’indexation à l’ensemble du patrimoine informationnel de l’humanité. Rien d’étonnant donc à ce que l’américain s’intéresse à tous les livres publiés, comme il s’intéresse à tous les blogs en activité, toutes les vidéos postées sur la Toile ou encore tous les podcasts à écouter en ligne.

«Herculéenne».Nourriture noble par excellence, le livre aura d’ailleurs été la première incursion du site en dehors de son champ traditionnel d’activité avec le lancement de son projet de bibliothèque virtuelle en 2004. Une tâche «herculéenne» - comme la définit la commissaire européenne à la Société de l’information, Viviane Reding - financée par les milliards de bénéfices publicitaires qu’enregistre Google.

Cinq ans après le début de ce colossal chantier, près de 10 millions d’ouvrages ont déjà été numérisés. Ils sont accessibles aux internautes de 124 pays, en 40 langues, via une «plateforme» unique, le service «Google recherche de livres». On y trouve pêle-mêle des chefs-d’œuvre de la littérature tombés depuis belle lurette dans le domaine public et issus de prestigieuses bibliothèques mondiales, comme Oxford ou la New York Public Library. Et des ouvrages d’obscurs éditeurs qui ont confié à Google la numérisation de leurs titres.

Contrepartie. Principal avantage pour les centaines de bibliothèques et les 25 000 éditeurs qui ont transmis leur fonds à Google : le service est entièrement gratuit et n’empêche pas ces partenaires d’exploiter librement leurs œuvres numérisées. En contrepartie, Google ne demande «que» l’exclusivité de l’indexation des ouvrages sur la Toile - c’est-à-dire la possibilité d’y accéder - afin d’exclure de ce marché d’autres moteurs de recherche.

Google affirme également respecter pleinement la volonté des ayants droit - quand ils existent - et des éditeurs, lorsque ces derniers souhaitent s’exclure des résultats de recherche. Mais les ouvrages numérisés restent bien là, en attendant que la situation se débloque, leur consultation se limitant alors à quelques courts extraits.

Après trois ans de conflit avec les éditeurs américains, furieux de la numérisation de millions d’œuvres par Google sans autorisation, la situation est en train de se débloquer. Contre paiement d’un dédommagement de 125 millions de dollars (environ 85 millions d’euros) et à condition que la justice américaine valide le deal, Google sera bientôt autorisé à vendre directement leurs ouvrages en ligne, deux tiers des revenus allant à l’éditeur et un tiers au site.

Après s’être d’abord habilement cantonné au rôle de premier bibliothécaire de la Toile, Google pourrait demain devenir le premier des libraires de l’Internet. Au grand dam du leader Amazon, qui voit le géant du Net débouler sur ses plates-bandes. C’est peu de dire que Google aimerait refaire le même coup en Europe, où l’essentiel des éditeurs le boudent.

Lyon transfère son fonds

La bibliothèque municipale a passé un accord avec Google en 2008.


En ce moment, dans la périphérie de Lyon, s’achève le chantier des nouveaux locaux de Google. C’est dans cet endroit tenu secret que seront numérisés, dans les six ans à venir, les 500 000 documents (sur les 3,7 millions de son fonds) que la bibliothèque municipale de Lyon a confiés à la firme américaine. «Nous avons inscrit dans le cahier des charges que leurs locaux devaient se trouver dans un lieu à moins de 50 kilomètres de Lyon, dit Patrick Bazin, directeur de la bibliothèque, pour limiter les risques liés au transport des livres et afin de pouvoir faire des contrôles inopinés d’un coup de voiture.»

A la main. L’accord qui unit Google à la bibliothèque de Lyon a été signé en juillet 2008. «A notre initiative, précise Patrick Bazin. Nous avons lancé un appel d’offres en novembre 2006 pour numériser une partie de nos collections et, sur les 52 dossiers retirés, Google a été le seul finalement à déposer sa candidature.» Il faut dire que les termes de l’appel d’offres précisaient que le travail, extrêmement délicat puisque tous les ouvrages sont scannés à la main, ne devrait rien coûter à la bibliothèque de Lyon. Charge au prestataire, en l’occurrence Google, de trouver le moyen de gagner de l’argent dans l’opération.

Toujours selon les termes du cahier des charges, le moteur de recherche s’est engagé à transformer en fichiers numériques une importante partie des documents de la deuxième bibliothèque de France, après la BNF. Ces fichiers seront consultables gratuitement, sur le moteur de recherche et sur le site de la bibliothèque, où ils pourront même être téléchargés à raison d’un document à la fois. «Ce sont les termes du contrat, reprend Bazin, ils effectuent les travaux de numérisation et ils font la mise en ligne sur notre site afin que nous puissions réaliser notre propre bibliothèque numérique.»

Garantie. Seule contrainte, la bibliothèque s’est engagée à ne pas vendre les fichiers, par exemple à un autre moteur de recherche, au cours des quinze ans qui suivront leur mise en ligne. Dernier point, la mise en ligne de ces ouvrages sur le site de la bibliothèque garantit, à long terme, son accès gratuit. «Même si nous ajoutons, dans l’avenir, des contenus à valeur ajoutée.»

Cet accord semble parfaitement satisfaire Patrick Bazin. «Dans les années 90, l’accès à la connaissance a commencé à intéresser la sphère économique, ce qui n’était pas le cas auparavant. On s’est rendu compte que la révolution numérique allait s’accompagner de changements d’échelles et de hiérarchies dans le partage des savoirs, mais aussi que cette implication de l’économie allait en permettre son développement. C’est ce qui se passe en ce moment. Et il n’y a pas de temps à perdre. Il faut que toutes les bibliothèques numérisent leurs collections.»

«Aujourd’hui, tout fait mémoire»

Emmanuel Hoog, directeur de l’Institut national de l’audiovisuel :


Emmanuel Hoog est président de l’INA (Institut national de l’audiovisuel) et auteur d’un essai - Mémoire année zéro, au Seuil - à paraître le 10 septembre.

Peut-on, doit-on se passer de Google ?
Faire migrer les savoirs inventés dans le monde de l’analogique vers celui du numérique est nécessaire pour des raisons de survie et d’accès. Le problème est aujourd’hui économique. A juste titre, une entreprise privée comme Google demandera des contreparties, voudra maximiser ses profits. Pour cela, il lui faudra le maximum de contenus exclusifs pour générer le maximum de trafic et les liens commerciaux qui vont avec. Cette exclusivité est-elle acceptable ? A quelles conditions ? Par ailleurs, l’accès à des collections publiques est-elle compatible avec de telles demandes ?

Vous alertez sur un chamboulement des repères dû au passage au numérique…
Nos sociétés traversent une crise identitaire majeure. Les souvenirs, puis la mémoire et enfin l’histoire offraient jusqu’à récemment un continuum de sens, générateur de repères permettant à chacun de se situer au sein d’une communauté. Aujourd’hui, le numérique nous a tous transformés en producteurs de mémoire. Et Internet en diffuseurs prolixes de celle-ci.

Désormais, chaque communauté revendique le droit d’écrire sa propre histoire et de la faire connaître à une très grande échelle. Le récent débat sur les lois mémorielles témoigne de ce bouleversement. Sur Internet, l’accès à l’histoire se fait à travers les moteurs de recherche. Les critères de sélection des réponses sont-ils transparents ? Non. Il est urgent d’organiser de grandes universités numériques où les critères d’accès au savoir seront fondés sur une logique de service public.

Vous prévoyez une «bulle mémorielle» ?
La crise identitaire suscite une demande excessive de mémoire par rapport à l’offre. Tout fait mémoire. Le culte du passé est devenu une véritable religion laïque. A l’instar de la monnaie, la mauvaise chasse la bonne, et les institutions patrimoniales (musées, bibliothèques…) et académiques peinent à satisfaire ce besoin de repères. Le risque d’implosion ou d’explosion est réel. Il peut conduire paradoxalement à une déculturation massive. A quoi sert d’apprendre, donc de mémoriser, si la machine se souvient de tout ? A quoi sert de hiérarchiser nos savoirs puisque les savoirs ne valent que par le rang de classement que leur donne un moteur de recherche ?

Quel impact cette course à la numérisation peut-elle avoir sur notre mémoire collective ?
Nos sociétés peuvent-elles encore générer du collectif ? La réponse dépasse le seul domaine d’Internet. Mais cet outil de démocratisation de l’accès au savoir cultive avant tout l’individualisme, et les sites communautaires l’esprit grégaire. A bien des égards, cet espace mérite d’être organisé, urbanisé, cultivé et régulé. A cette condition, peut-être, il pourra être lui aussi un lieu de mémoire, où la collectivité nationale pourra s’identifier, où un nouveau chapitre du roman national pourra s’écrire. Aujourd’hui, les moteurs et les pirates ont pris de l’avance sur les Etats. Rien n’est irréversible.

jeudi 20 août 2009

Birther de vive voix

Pour ceux qui aiment les feuilletons télévisés américains en VO, voici le dernier épisode de Birthers.

Pour ceux qui préfèrent lire, voici un excellent article de Jonathan Valania publié à Philadelphie par le Philadelphia weekly.

The Birther Theory Local lawyer Phil Berg is convinced the president is an illegal alien.

In the soft twilight of the first Saturday of August, a gray-bearded man in a dark suit stood on the grassy knoll in front of Independence Hall and declared for the benefit of a film crew on hand that we are, as a nation, through the looking glass, people. Black is white, up is down, cats are dogs and the President of the United States is a fraud and a liar, a “usurper,” a foreign-born alien unqualified to hold office and the fact that he currently resides in the White House represents a constitutional crisis on a scale not seen since the darkest hours of Watergate.
The man who said these things was one Philip Berg, Esq., a private practice lawyer based in the Philadelphia suburb of Lafayette Hill, a lifelong Democrat and a former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania. The film crew was shooting a sky-is-falling exposé with the working title Fall Of The Republic: The Presidency Of Barack Obama , produced by Austin, Texas-based talk-radio host Alex Jones, whose previous work includes The Obama Deception, which alleges darkly that the president is a puppet of a multinational cabal of corporate oligarchs, and Loose Change, which claims that 9/11 was an inside job.
“Our nation is in jeopardy,” Berg gravely intoned, as clusters of tourists filed past, some doing a double-take when they noticed the cameras, briefly studying Berg’s face for the earmarks of someone recognizably famous and then moving on when he failed to register.
“There are three constitutional requirements to be president: first, you must be 35 years old. Second, you must reside in the U.S. for 14 straight years and lastly you must be a natural-born citizen. And on this last point, Obama fails ... ” As Berg spoke, a warm breeze gusted behind him, wreaking havoc on his back-to-front combover. Long strands of hair flapped wildly in the breeze, peaking out behind his ears only to disappear and then reappear on the crown of his skull, creating the disturbing impression on camera that white tentacles were sprouting out of the back of his head.
This simply would not do.
The cameras stopped rolling and the film crew asked Berg to fix his hair. He gamely tamped down the stray hairs, but this would prove to be a fight with the summer wind that Berg wouldn’t win.
“I wish I would have brought some hairspray,” he said, wetting his fingers and plastering down the stray hairs before turning and asking a passing woman if she happened to have some hairspray he could borrow. She didn’t.
“I am doing this for the 1.5 million Americans that have died defending the Constitution,” he said righteously when the cameras started rolling again, only to stop yet again when the tentacles reappeared.
This time the camera crew asked Berg to turn slightly, hoping to angle the tentacles out of the shot.
“I believe Obama is setting himself up to be blackmailed by other countries, and that may explain the reason he has relaxed travel restrictions on Cuba—because they are blackmailing him,” said Berg before the hair-raising breeze returned and the tentacles were back.
Welcome to the bizarro nation, where everything we hold true is in fact a lie, magical thinking trumps scientific analysis, hysterical partisan operatics drown out the low hum of objective connect-the-facts narrative, and a recent survey indicates that nearly 60 percent of registered Republicans openly question whether or not the President of the United States is a natural born citizen. The one prominent Republican naysayer is, shockingly enough, Anne Coulter who publicly called people who question the president’s citizenship “cranks.” Truly, when Ann Coulter is the voice of reason, we are through the looking glass, people.
Almost exactly one year ago, just days before Barack Obama received his party’s nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Berg made headlines when he filed a lawsuit alleging that the candidate was not a natural born citizen of the United States and therefore not qualified to hold the office of president. In the time since Berg first filed suit, people who openly question President Obama’s place of birth have been dubbed “Birthers” by the media—a play on the nickname the media afforded believers in the so-called 9/11 Truth movement, aka Truthers. Because Berg has the dubious distinction of filing the first legal salvo in The Battle For Obama’s Birth Certificate, he is in essence the Alpha Birther, a status he both relishes and cultivates.
When the right wing fringes of the Internet began buzzing with questions of Obama’s eligibility early last summer, the Obama campaign posted a lo-res JPEG of his Certification Of Live Birth (COLB), the short form proof of birth currently used by the state of Hawaii. The poor quality of the JPEG provided an opening for self-styled forensic experts—emboldened by their triumphant debunking of the documents used for Dan Rather’s 2004 ill-fated 60 Minutes broadcast questioning George W. Bush’s National Guard service—to question the authenticity of Obama’s COLB., a respected non-partisan online outfit that truth squads various political claims, was able to examine Obama’s COLB and vouched for its authenticity (and posted a hi-res version of it online), as have Hawaiian state officials.
Still, the Birthers insist, the COLB is short on details such as the presiding physician and the name of the hospital where Obama was born. Those records are sealed, as per the federal Health Information Privacy Act of 1999 and Hawaiian state law, and will remain that way unless Obama greenlights their release, which to date he has not.
The Birthers take this as proof Obama is hiding something, while most others just assume he has more pressing concerns: two wars, a cratering economy and a health care reform effort that has triggered a right wing jihad.
most others just assume he has more pressing concerns: two wars, a cratering economy and a health care reform effort that has triggered a right wing jihad.
Although Berg’s lawsuit was quickly dismissed, he doubled down and took it directly to the Supreme Court, demanding an injunction to stop the November 4 election, then to stop the counting of the votes, then to stop the swearing in of Obama. In the end, the Supreme Court refused to take the case and turned down all his requests for injunctions. Not to be dissuaded, Berg filed the case again with the Federal Court of Appeals. And just to hedge his bets, Berg has filed two more suits in federal court using separate legal arguments: the first is a Qui Tam or false claims suit, usually used for recovering payments for bogus Medicare claims, alleging that because Barack Obama is in fact an illegal alien, he could not legally serve as a U.S. Senator and therefore his salary and benefits—totaling nearly $1 million—should be returned to the U.S. Treasury. This case was dismissed in June, but, as ever, Berg was not to be discouraged and filed a motion for reconsideration.

The third lawsuit was filed on behalf of Gregory Hollister, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. Because Hollister is on lifetime recall, he could, theoretically, be pressed back into active duty and sent to Iraq or Afghanistan. Therefore, he has a right to know incontrovertibly whether or not Barack Obama is the legitimate commander in chief.

In March, the presiding judge threw the Hollister suit out, calling it “frivolous,” and threatened to financially sanction Berg’s co-counsel John Hemingway. No matter, says Berg, he has already filed an appeal. By his own estimation, all three cases will be tied up in the courts for years. The ultimate goal of all these lawsuits is to get just one judge to let the case proceed to the discovery stage which would grant Berg the power to subpoena Obama’s complete birth records, which, he is fairly certain, would prove his theory that the 44th president of the United States was born in Kenya, not Hawaii.

“I would like to see him removed from office, thrown in jail and then deported,” says Berg when asked what would happen if he were able to prove in a court of law that Obama is not a natural born citizen of the United States.

Berg may have been the first Birther to file a lawsuit against the president, but he’s no longer the only one.

If Berg is the Alpha Birther, Orly Taitz—an Orange County dentist-
turned-lawyer who you may have seen melting down on a cable news outlet near you, decked out in her trademark platinum blond hair, thick black eyeliner and lowcut blouses—is the Acid Queen of the Birthers. But given Taitz’s demonstrable propensity to sue, intimidate and threaten anyone that gets in her way—she has a habit of calling those who question her “brownshirts” and routinely calls for Obama and all other enemies to be “purged”—perhaps She Wolf of the Birthers is more accurate.

Berg certainly thinks so. For the last six months Berg and Taitz have been trading insults on their respective websites. Berg thinks the combination of Taitz’s stalker-like aggressiveness (she has been known to show up at public appearances of various Supreme Court Justices and loudly demand that they hear her case), and combative incoherence during TV interviews, along with her dubious credentials (she got her law degree online) and self-sabotaging recklessness (two weeks ago Taitz caused quite a stir when she released what she claimed was Obama’s Kenyan birth certificate, but was in fact a deliberately doctored document created by an Obama supporter to punk the Birthers) only serves to hurt the cause. Although Berg is hardly blameless in this regard. His initial lawsuit included a Canadian Obama birth certificate that Berg was forced to withdraw and disavow after the anti-birthers pointed out that it was signed by DUDLEY DORIGHT.

Lisa Liberi, Berg’s paralegal, personally incurred the wrath of Taitz over perceived snubs. Taitz publicly accused Liberi of having a long criminal record (which Liberi says is ludicrous) and called for her to be “purged” and went as far as publishing Liberi’s social security number and home address online, presumably for the benefit of any of her rabid followers who might make good on her threat. Berg was in court last week asking a judge for a restraining order against Taitz.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if she was put up to this by the Obama people to make us all look foolish,” says Berg. Liberi wonders aloud if she is working for German or Russian intelligence, noting that Taitz’s blog gets flagged by most web browsers as an “attack site.”

“I’ve been told that it installs malware on your computer and sends all your files to Russia,” says Liberi.

What makes Berg notable, beyond the Alpha Birther status, is that he doesn’t fit the profile of the typical Obama hater. At 65, he’s a lifelong Democrat, having spent 31 years as a Democratic Committeeman in Philadelphia and Montgomery County, as well as serving as chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Party back in the late ’80s. He’s a lifetime member of the NAACP. He served as a deputy attorney general during both of Milton Shapp’s two terms as governor back in the ’70s. He ran as the pro-choice candidate for governor against Bob Casey Sr. during the Democratic gubernatorial primary in 1990, and although he lost the nomination Berg did net a respectable 23 percent of the vote against a sitting governor.

During the 2000 Presidential election’s contentious Florida recount, Berg flew down to the panhandle to serve as one of Al Gore’s watchdogs, eventually filing a petition demanding the disbarment of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra
Day O’Connor, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas for not recusing themselves from Bush v. Gore.

But some time after 9/11 Phil Berg went off the reservation. “I just felt that we were lied to and I still feel that way,” says Berg. “There is no way that 9/11 could’ve happened without government help.”

In October 2004, Berg filed Rodriguez v. Bush, a civil lawsuit in federal court that named 156
defendants—including the United States Of America, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, George Herbert Walker Bush, George Walker Bush, Richard Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld. The 237-page suit was an epic medley of jaw-dropping allegations, including: The Twin Towers were brought down via “controlled demolitions;” FEMA is creating an “American Gulag,” a network of concentration camps which it will run after martial law is declared; some or all of the 156 defendants named in the suit engaged in treason, murder, conspiracy, kidnapping, arson, trafficking in narcotics, blackmail, embezzlement, insider trading, securities fraud, identity and credit card theft, trafficking in humans, and the abduction and sale of women and children for sex.

In the end, the case went nowhere but it did get Berg a lot of media attention. Speaking engagement offers poured in from around the country. A wealthy sympathetic benefactor even bankrolled a press junket across Europe that lasted more than three weeks. All of which was great cloak-and-
dagger fun for Berg, who loved the attention and the VIP status the case conferred on him in the more paranoid sectors of the public.

“I remember we had a police escort the whole time we were in Kansas,” he says with pride. But Berg spent so much time on the 9/11 suit that he neglected his once-thriving multi-lawyer practice, which shriveled and eventually died, forcing Berg to declare bankruptcy in 2005. Berg pretty much lost everything, including ownership of the spacious, 9,000 square foot, 200-year-old farmhouse that once housed his lucrative practice. Today he works out of a cramped, one-room office on the ground floor of a Lafayette Hill apartment complex. The space is crammed with boxes full of files and lawbooks stacked floor to ceiling, leaving just a narrow pathway around the perimeter of his cluttered desk. And though he was once, by his friends’ estimates, a millionaire several times over, Berg remains unrepentant. “Even my family has questioned what I have done,” he says, adding that the bankruptcy proceedings are still ongoing some four years later. “But I feel I was put on this earth to fight the good fight.”

Besides, he’s too excited about his impending guest appearance on
paleo-conservative talk show host Michael Savage’s radio show. “He’s got 10 million weekly listeners!” Berg enthuses, certain this appearance will trigger a healthy uptick of contributions on his website Turns out filing multiple lawsuits questioning the eligibility of the president of the United States is expensive—it cost $6,000 just to make the requisite copies of his lawsuit for the Supreme Court’s consideration—and the pay stinks. He refuses to disclose exactly how much he has collected in web donations, but you get the distinct impression that they barely keep up with his costs, and that’s not even factoring in a year’s worth of 24/7 billable hours he and others have put into the case, pro bono.
Hello to everyone in the Savage Nation,” says Berg when the show’s producer calls and puts him on the air. Despite his long track record with the Democratic party, he is, not surprisingly, persona non-grata in blue state circles these days. The person who answered the phone at the Montgomery County Democratic Party headquarters—where Berg served as chairman back in the late ’80s—declined to comment for this story and refused even to give his name. “They pretty much all hate me,” says Berg with a shrug.
Fortunately, Berg has a whole new bunch of friends in the talk radio/Internet echo chamber of the far-right, which, again not surprisingly, applauds the courage it takes for a lifelong Dem to file eligibility lawsuits against a sitting Democratic president, and takes great pleasure in parading Berg around like some special prize in a partisan hostage swap.
“I think that by pushing on, terrible things are going to happen,” Savage warns gravely. “We are dealing with the most dangerous people on earth. Wait until the Smear Machine fires up after we get off the air. Look out, because the loony left is coming after you.”
Berg shrugs off the warning. “People ask me if I fear for my safety, but if anything happened to me it would be front page news,” he responds. “I believe we can get him to resign by the end of the year, even if the legal process takes longer.”
Although all three of Berg’s cases have been thrown out of court, and the Birther controversy has been dismissed as a groundless partisan witchhunt by every major media outlet and debunked by every credible non-partisan truth squad—, Politifact, Snopes and McClatchy News have all looked into the Birther controversy and determined it to be nothing more than a far-right fantasia—don’t expect Berg or the Birther movement to go away any time soon. Not even if Obama were to release his complete birth records, as the Birthers and, as of late, even some on the left, including The Atlantic ’s Andrew Sullivan, have demanded.

“Paranoia is the most political of mental illnesses in that it requires enemies,” says Dr. Jerrold Post, Director of the Political Psychology Program at George Washington University and the author of 11 books, including Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred .
The paranoid’s position is that it is better to be the center of a plot against you than to be totally ignored and insignificant. A sense of powerlessness leads to compensatory delusions of grandiosity which sends people into a blind pursuit of confirming data. It is very hard to get people out of paranoid belief system because it is very comforting to them,” says Post.
n other words, the long national nightmare that keeps Birthers up at night—Googling furiously through the shadow of a doubt, fingers crossed, literally hoping against hope—has only just begun. And the rest of us should probably get some sleep. ■

Jonathan Valania is the editor-in-chief of

lundi 17 août 2009

Les lacunes d'Obama

Une copie d'un acte de naissance établi en 1961.

Non seulement le débat sur la couverture sociale des Américains tourne au vinaigre, mais les questions soulevées par les origines de Barack Hussein Omaba (BHO) ne disparaissent pas, bien au contraire.

On se souvient que le certificat de naissance complet de BHO n'a jamais été rendu public. l'explication officielle est qu'il a été détruit lors de l'informatisation du système. Cette explication ne tient pas parce qu'il est inimaginable qu'un service d'état civil détruise des originaux sans au moins conserver l'information qu'ils contiennent.

Or, non seulement un haut fonctionnaire de l'Etat de Hawaï a affirmé le 31 octobre 2008 avoir vu les originaux de l'acte de naissance de BHO, mais l'administration a démenti avoir détruit ces originaux.

En outre, une mère de famille de Hawaï a montré les reproduction de deux actes de naissances de ses filles jumelles nées elles aussi comme BHO en 1961.

Donc l'absence d'acte de naissance pour BHO ne peut pour le moment pas s'expliquer autrement que par un refus de BHO de le rendre public.

La chose se complique quand on fait la liste des autres archives concernant BHO qui sont manquantes.

Chelsea Schilling, sur le site World Net Exclusive en a dressé une liste non exhaustive :

Obama: Where have all his records gone?
Footprints of president's own history either vanish or remain covered up

While nearly 400,000 concerned citizens demand President Obama present his elusive "long-form" birth certificate, more than a dozen other documents remain unreleased or otherwise blocked from the public eye.
Numerous documents which have yet to be surrendered include the following.
Obama kindergarten records
The Maui News reported that Obama attended kindergarten at Noelani Elementary School on Oahu during the school year 1966-67. It released a photo of two teachers, Katherine Nakamoto and Aimee Yatsushiro, with five students. The teachers claim one of the children is Barack Obama.
According to the Hawaii Department of Education, students must submit a birth certificate to register. Parents may bring a passport or student visa if the child is from a foreign country.
So far, no records have been released by the school. Noelani Elementary School officials have not responded to WND's request for comment.

Though from a modest background, Obama began attending the prestigious Punahou School in Honolulu, one of Hawaii's top private institutions. He reportedly received a scholarship and attended the school from the fifth grade until he finished high school, though no financial records have been released.
The Boston Globe reported, "In 1979, the year Obama graduated, tuition for high school students at Punahou was $1,990, a sizable expense compared with Hawaii's median family income of $22,750 that year.
Obama, reportedly a "B" student, studied among the island's richest and most accomplished students. According to the school's website, he also played forward on Punahou's 1979 state championship basketball team.
Occidental College records
Obama arrived at Occidental College, a small liberal arts school in Los Angeles, Calif., in the fall of 1979. He only briefly mentions the school in his 1995 memoir, "Dreams from My Father."
Obama attended the school on a scholarship. Some question whether the financial aid he received was reserved for foreign students. Financial records have not been released.
In a legal action, handled largely by Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation, officials at Occidental College were served with a demand to produce records concerning Barack Obama's attendance there during the 1980s because they could document whether he was attending as a foreign national.
Kreep petitioned the college with a demand for its records concerning Obama.

"The gravamen of the petition is the question as to whether United States Senator Barack Hussein Obama, of Illinois, is eligible to serve as president of the United States pursuant to the requirements for that office in the United States Constitution," he wrote. "The records sought may provide documentary evidence, and/or admissions by said defendant, as to said eligibility or lack thereof."
College officials then contacted Obama's lawyers, who argued to the court that the election was over and that future concerns should be addressed to Congress.
The motion stated that the records, which could reveal on what name Obama attended classes at Occidental and whether he attended on scholarship money intended for foreign students, "are of no relevance to this moot litigation."
The motion also claimed the petitioners failed to serve the subpoena properly.
Get your "Where's the birth certificate?" bumper sticker here.
"The subpoena directed to Occidental College should therefore be quashed. Alternatively, this court should issue an order directing that the deposition of the custodian of records of Occidental College not take place," the firm working on Obama's behalf stated.
"The central issue in this lawsuit … is whether any Respondent had a legal duty to demand proof of natural born citizenship from Democratic Party's nominee," the motion said. "None of the documents sought by petitioners could possibly assist in answering this question."
A judge granted a motion to quash the subpoena.
"Obama's attorneys bent over backward to block us," Kreep told WND. "Obama doesn't want anyone to see those records. He's trying to hide them."

His efforts resulted in a threat from Obama's attorneys to seek financial sanctions against the plaintiff's lawyers.
Kreep said a notice of appeal will be filed next week.
A notice posted on the Occidental College website states, "Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations protect the privacy of student education records. We, therefore, cannot disclose students' classes, grade point averages, majors or other such information."
Columbia University records
Obama transferred from Occidental College to Columbia University in 1981, at the age of 20.
According to the New York Times, Obama "suggests in his book that his years in New York were a pivotal period: He ran three miles a day, buckled down to work and 'stopped getting high,' which he says he had started doing in high school. Yet he declined repeated requests to talk about his New York years, release his Columbia transcript or identify even a single fellow student, co-worker, roommate or friend from those years."
Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told the newspaper in October 2007, "He doesn’t remember the names of a lot of people in his life."
In a 2005 profile in a Columbia alumni magazine, Obama called his time at the school "an intense period of study."
"I spent a lot of time in the library. I didn't socialize that much. I was like a monk," he said.

Obama claimed to be a part of the Black Student Organization and anti-apartheid activities. But according to the New York Times, several well-known student leaders did not recall his involvement.
Fox News made contact with 400 of Obama's classmates. No one remembered him.
The Columbia University chapter in Obama's life remains blank, according to the New York Sun.
"The Obama campaign has refused to release his college transcript, despite an academic career that led him to Harvard Law School and, later, to a lecturing position at the University of Chicago," the Sun reported in September 2008. "The shroud surrounding his experience at Columbia contrasts with that of other major party nominees since 2000, all whom have eventually released information about their college performance or seen it leaked to the public."
When the newspaper inquired, the Obama campaign did not offer an explanation for why the transcript had not been released.
According to the New York Sun, a program from Columbia's 1983 commencement ceremony lists Obama as a graduate. University spokesman Brian Connolly confirmed that Obama graduated with a major in political science but without honors. Nonetheless, he was later admitted to Harvard Law School.
Columbia thesis "Soviet Nuclear Disarmament"
Before applying to Harvard, Obama is said to have written a major thesis in his senior year. It has not been released.

An Oct 30, 2007, a New York Times article stated, "[Obama] barely mentions Columbia, training ground for the elite, where he transferred in his junior year, majoring in political science and international relations and writing his thesis on Soviet nuclear disarmament."
Former Columbia professor, Michael Baron, told NBC News Obama excelled in his year-long honors seminar called American Foreign Policy.
He also said Obama spent a whole year writing a "thesis" or "senior thesis" on the topic of nuclear negotiations with the former Soviet Union.
"My recollection is that the paper was an analysis of the evolution of the arms reduction negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States," Baron told reporters in an e-mail. "At that time, a hot topic in foreign policy circles was finding a way in which each country could safely reduce the large arsenal of nuclear weapons pointed at the other … For U.S. policy makers in both political parties, the aim was not disarmament, but achieving deep reductions in the Soviet nuclear arsenal and keeping a substantial and permanent American advantage. As I remember it, the paper was about those negotiations, their tactics and chances for success. Barack got an A."
Baron said he saved Obama's paper and recently searched through boxes hoping to find it, but he told reporters he may have thrown it away during a move several years ago.
Baron wrote a letter of recommendation when Obama applied to Harvard Law School. According to Federal Election Commission records, he also donated at least $1,250 to Obama's presidential campaign.
On July 24, 2008, the Obama administration told NBC News Obama was unable to release copies of his thesis paper.
"We do not have a copy of the course paper you requested and neither does Columbia University," Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said.
According to MSNBC, Columbia University officials claim they do not have a copy available in the college's archives.
Harvard Law School records

With less than steller marks upon his graduation from Columbia, Obama was accepted into Harvard Law School.
WND columnist Jack Cashill wrote, "If Obama's LSAT scores merited admission (to Harvard), we would know about them. We don't. The Obama camp guards those scores, like his SAT scores, more tightly that Iran does its nuclear secrets."
He continued, "We know enough about Obama's Columbia grades to know how far they fall below the Harvard norm, likely even below the affirmative action-adjusted black norm at Harvard."
Cashill wrote, Khalid al-Mansour, principle adviser to Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, lobbied friends like Manhattan Borough President Percy Sutton to intervene at Harvard on Obama's behalf. Al-Mansour reportedly mentored founders of the Black Panther party in the early 1960s.
Cashill suggests Obama's "shyness" about his Harvard experience may stem from his reluctance to broadcast his connections.
According to Politico, Obama's name does not appear on any legal scholarships during his time at Harvard. His campaign reportedly said his Harvard education was a product of hard work and student loans. Obama graduated magna cum laude in 1991.
Harvard Law Review articles
In 1990, Obama beat out 18 other contenders to become the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, where he spent at least 50 hours a week editing submissions from judges, scholars and authors.
According to Politico, there were "eight dense volumes produced during his time in charge there – 2,083 pages in all."
Campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told Politico Obama didn't write any articles for the Review, but he did leave behind numerous case analyses and unsigned "notes" from Harvard students.
As Matthew Franck noted in National Review Online, "A search of the HeinOnline database of law journals turns up exactly nothing credited to Obama in any law review anywhere at any time."
Susan Estrich, the first female president of the Review who served 14 years earlier, said Obama must have had something published that year, even if his campaign denied it.
"They probably don't want [to] have you [reporters] going back" to examine the Review, she said.

However, Politico later reported it had unearthed a 1990 article that "offers a glimpse at Obama's views on abortion policy and the law during his student days."
His six-page summary answers a legal question about whether fetuses should be allowed to file lawsuits against their mothers.
"Obama's answer, like most courts': No," Politico reported. "He wrote approvingly of an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that the unborn cannot sue their mothers for negligence, and he suggested that allowing fetuses to sue would violate the mother's rights and could, perversely, cause her to take more risks with her pregnancy."
The report continued, "His article acknowledged a public interest in the health of the fetus, but also seemed to demonstrate his continuing commitment to abortion rights, and suggested that the government may have more important concerns than 'ensuring that any particular fetus is born.'"
Despite its earlier statement, the Obama campaign later confirmed Obama's authorship of the article and claimed it was the only piece he had written for the Review.

Obama lectured at the University of Chicago Law School, a top school where the faculty is known for voluminous scholarly publishing, from 1992 until 2004.
The university offered Obama a full-time tenure-track position, an honor typically reserved for published instructors. However, reporters have been unable to find scholarly articles authored by him. The university reports that Obama declined the tenure offer.
Sarah Galer, news editor at the Law School and Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, told WND, "President Obama wrote 'Dreams from My Father' while at the law school but did not produce any scholarly articles as far as I know."
According to March 2008 reports, State Department employees conducted an unauthorized search of Obama's passport files during the recent presidential campaign. CNN reported that three different contract workers accessed his information on separate occasions – Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14 – without authorization. Two workers were fired and another faced discipline.
Obama's files reportedly contained copies of passport applications, birth date, basic biographical information, records of passport renewal and possibly citizenship information.
The Obama campaign demanded a thorough investigation to determine which employees looked at the file and why.
"This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton told CNN in a statement. "Our government's duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes."
Meanwhile, a key witness who had been cooperating with federal investigators was later found fatally shot in front of a Washington, D.C., church. A police officer found the body of Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, slumped dead inside his car.
At the time, investigators said they didn't have any information connecting the murder to the passport case. After one year of investigation of the homicide, there have been no arrests.
The passport has not been released.
Medical records
During his first presidential campaign in 1999, Sen. John McCain released 1,500 pages of medical and psychiatric records collected by the Navy. In 2008, McCain allowed reporters to spend three hours sifting through 1,200 pages of health records.

In 1999, former Vice President Al Gore released medical records revealing "mildly elevated" cholesterol levels and removal of a common form of skin cancer from his forehead in 1997. The documents disclosed his weight, resting heart rate, resting blood pressure, cardiovascular fitness and a variety of other health details. Gore's records were compiled after a complete physical examination by several military physicians.
Likewise, President George W. Bush allowed the media to view about 400 pages of personal medical information in 2000 and 2004.
After initial reluctance, Sen. John Kerry allowed the Navy to release his full medical records in 2004.
While not all have done so, it has been common practice for presidential candidates to release medical records.
However, Barack Obama, a relatively young candidate who was said to have been in "excellent health," refused to release medical records. Instead, he simply provided a six-paragraph note from his physician briefly summarizing 21 years of doctor visits and health information.
The letter contained no supporting documentation.
Other documents

According to additional records listed at the The Obama File, other documents that remain unreleased include:
• Complete files and schedules of his years as an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004
• Obama's client list from during his time in private practice with the Chicago law firm of Davis, Miner, Barnhill and Gallard
• Illinois State Bar Association records
• Baptism records
• Obama/Dunham marriage license
• Obama/Dunham divorce documents
• Soetoro/Dunham marriage license
• Adoption records
Birth certificate

WND has been reporting since before the election on questions – and lawsuits – raised over Obama's birth and eligibility. He reported in his book he was born in Hawaii and his half-sister agrees. But the woman the president says is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, claimed to have been present at her grandson's birth in Mombasa, Kenya.
The Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states, "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President."
Where's the proof Barack Obama was born in the U.S. or that he fulfills the "natural-born American" clause in the Constitution? If you still want to see it, join more than 380,000 others and sign up now!

Complicating the issue are Obama's move to Indonesia as a child, where he reportedly attended that nation's public schools, and his later travels to Pakistan, raising questions about on what nation's passport was that travel accomplished. Then there are the multiple law firms hired to make certain Obama's long-form birth certificate information, and other documentation such as college records, remain sealed from public view.
Obama's presidential campaign released to select news organizations only what is known as a "certification of live birth," a document obtainable in Hawaii in 1961 by Americans actually born outside the country. However, Joseph Farah, WND editor and chief executive officer, has been calling for the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate showing the hospital of his birth, attending physician and other details to confirm his citizenship status.
Farah launched a national billboard campaign last month in an effort to keep the issue before the American people. The billboards, being leased around the country, ask the simple question, "Where's the birth certificate?" Farah is asking the public to support his campaign with donations. So far, more than $75,000 has been collected.
The billboard campaign followed one launched months earlier to collect the names on an electronic petition demanding accountability and transparency on the issue. So far, that petition has gathered nearly 400,000 names.
The campaign got a boost recently when WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asked Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs, why the president wouldn't release his birth certificate. Gibbs' response was covered live on C-SPAN and by Fox News Channel and others – excluding CBS.

It was the first time any member of the press corps has publicly asked a member of the administration a question directly related to Obama's constitutional eligibility for office as a "natural born citizen."
Congressional hearings were held to determine whether Sen. John McCain was constitutionally eligible to be president as a "natural born citizen," but no controlling legal authority ever sought to verify Obama's claim to a Hawaiian birth.
Both the petition and the billboard campaign are part of what Farah calls an independent "truth and transparency campaign."
The first sign to be posted under the campaign, a digital, electronic one, is up and online on Highway 165 in Ball, La.. In addition, based on the heavy volume of financial donations in the first days of the campaign, WND was able to commit to leasing three more standard billboards – one in Los Angeles, another in Orange County, Calif. and a third in Pennsylvania.

Farah said the campaign was born of frustration with timid elected officials in Washington, corrupt judges around the country and a news media that show a stunning lack of curiosity about the most basic facts of Obama's background – especially how it relates to constitutional eligibility for the highest office in the land.
"As Obama transforms this country from self-governing constitutional republic to one governed by a central ruling elite, the simple fact remains that no controlling legal authority has established that he is indeed a 'natural born citizen' as the Constitution requires," Farah said. "Obama's promises of transparency have become a bad joke as he continues to hide simple, innocuous documents like his birth certificate and his student records."

vendredi 14 août 2009

Le Figaro fait pas son boulot

Il est déprimant de lire le Figaro et de constater qu'ils recrutent des journalistes qui sont le reflet non des idées de leurs lecteurs mais de celle de la tranche d'âge et de revenus qui est la leur.

En outre, comme ils recrutent désormais principalement des collaborateurs issus des écoles de journalisme, ils héritent de rédacteurs aussi incultes que la majorité des jeunes de leur âge.

Ainsi, le compte rendu que le Figaro fait des projets de réforme du système de santé américain s'attarde sur les manifestations de mécontentement mais n'explique jamais les raisons de la révolte d'une partie de la population américaine.

De la même manière que leur calamiteuse correspondante à Madrid ne lit que la presse de gauche pour s'informer, les correspondants aux Etats-Unis semblent n'écouter qu'un seul son cloche.

Pourtant, il suffit de fouiller un peu pour trouver les raisons. Elles sont simples comme le jour et claires comme de l'eau de roche. Mais voilà, il n'est pas très « politiquement correct » de le dire.

En effet, comment expliquer au bon bourgeois français au conformisme de béton armé que la principale raison du refus du système commun de santé est lié à la division raciale du pays ?

Les sociologues, comme Robert D. Putnam, ont mis en lumière que la cohésion d'une communauté est inversement proportionnelle à sa diversité raciale et ethnique. En d'autres termes, et en caricaturant un peu, on accepte de contribuer au financement de la santé de son voisin s'il a la même couleur de peau que soi. Voir l'étude ici et des commentaires .

Les nullissimes rédacteurs du Figaro ont une excuse pour ne pas connaître les travaux d'un des plus grands sociologues américains d'aujourd'hui : il n'a jamais été traduit en français !

En revanche, cette excuse ne tient pas pour les correspondants de ce que fut un grand quotidien.

Voici l'analyse du polémiste conservateur américain Pat Buchanan. On peut ne pas partager ses points de vue, mais les faits sont têtus :

Angry White Men

To hear the Obamaites, those raucous crowds pouring into town hall meetings are “mobs” of “thugs” whose rage has been “manufactured” by K Street lobbyists and right-wing Republican operatives.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs compares them to the Young Republicans of the “Brooks Brothers riot” during the Florida recount.

But is it wise for the White House to denigrate and insult scores of thousands with the fire and energy to come to town meetings in August, and who appear to represent millions? Is this depiction fair or accurate?

Most K Street lobbyists could not organize a two-car funeral. They don’t storm meetings. They buy friends with $1,000 checks. And if GOP operatives are turning out these crowds, why could they not turn them out for John McCain, unless Sister Sarah showed up?

The Obamaites had best wake up. Opposition to health-care reform is surging, and Barack Obama’s campaigning has gone hand-in-hand with collapsing support, just as George W. Bush’s barnstorming did for Social Security reform.

There is an anger out there unseen since Ross Perot was leading Bush I and Bill Clinton in the presidential trial heats in 1992.

Who are these folks? Why are they angry?

In his essay “Decline of the American Male” in USA Today, David Zinczenko, editor of Men’s Health, give us a clue. “Of the 5.2 million people who’ve lost their jobs since last summer, four out of five were men. Some experts predict that this year, for the first time, more American women will have jobs than men.”

Ed Rubenstein, who has written for Forbes, National Review and the Wall Street Journal, blogs on that if one uses the household survey of job losses for June-July, Hispanics gained 150,000 positions, while non-Hispanics lost 679,000. Guess who got the stimulus jobs.

Going back to the beginning of the Bush presidency, Rubenstein says that “for every 100 Hispanics employed in January 2001, there are now 122.5. … (But) for every 100 non-Hispanics employed in January 2001, there are now 98.9.”

Since 2001, Hispanic employment has increased by 3,627,000 positions, while non-Hispanic positions have fallen by 1,362,000. For black and white America, the Bush decade did not begin well or end well, and it has gotten worse under Obama.

African-Americans remain loyal, but among white folks, where Obama ran stronger than John Kerry or Al Gore, he is hemorrhaging.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, which showed him falling to 50 percent approval, whites, by 54 percent to 27 percent, felt Obama behaved “stupidly” in the Sgt. Crowley-professor Gates dustup.

Fifteen straight months of job losses by non-Hispanics explains the anger, but columnist Lowell Ponte raises an issue that may explain who is protesting health-care reform and why.

Under the civil rights legal doctrine of disparate impact, used in the New Haven firefighters case, if tests for hirings and promotions consistently produce results disadvantageous to minorities, the tests are, de facto, suspect as inherently discriminatory, and the results are tossed out. New Haven canceled the promotions for firefighters when all but one of the firemen who passed the test were white, and not a single African-American made the cut.

The city argued that New Haven was acting true to the letter of the Civil Rights Act, which says that tests that consistently produce a disparate and unfavorable impact on African-Americans must go.

Ponte applies the disparate impact doctrine to the trillion-dollar health-care reform.

Who are the principal beneficiaries? The 47 million uninsured who will be covered. Who are the principal losers? The elderly sick who, in the name of controlling costs, are going to lose benefits, be denied care at the end of their lives and have their lives shortened. For half of all health-care costs are in the last six months of life, and cost control is priority No. 1.

Here is where the disparate impact hits. Among those who benefit most — the uninsured — African-Americans, Hispanics and immigrants are overrepresented. Among the biggest losers — seniors and the elderly sick — well over 80 percent are white. Ponte quotes Fox News’ Dick Morris:

“The principal impact of the Obama health-care program will be to reduce sharply the medical services the elderly can use. No longer will their every medical need be met, their every medication prescribed, their every need to improve their quality of life answered.”

Under Obamacare, adds Morris, “the elderly will go from being the group with the most access to free medical care to the one with the least access.”

America is already divided ideologically and politically on health-care reform. And with seniors having to sacrifice care, while the young are all insured, a generational divide is opening.

Now Nobel prize-winner and New York Times pundit Paul Krugman writes in his “The Town Hall Mobs” column that, as did Richard Nixon’s men, “cynical political operators are … appealing to the racial fears of working-class whites.”

Pulitzer prize-winning black columnist Cynthia Tucker says 45 percent to 65 percent of all vocal opponents of Obamacare are motivated by racial hostility to a black president.

We are headed for interesting times.