‘New life’ found in Titanic ruins BBC
Exclusive: The unseen photographs that throw new light on the First World War Independent (hat tip reader Lance N)
Maybe being a serf wasn’t so bad after all! Medieval Britons were twice as rich as the poor in the Third World today Daily Mail (hat tip reader May S)
Consumer Reports cell-service Ratings: AT&T is the worst carrier Consumer Reports
Explosive-laden US home to be destroyed Independent (hat tip reader May S) The plan for dealing with this sounds nuts. I can’t believe there are not ways to remove more of the explosives first. The cynic in me wonders whether security theater influenced decisions at the margin.
Homeland Security ‘messages’ coming to Walmart, hotels, malls Raw Story
WikiLeaks faces growing pressure Financial Times
Indecent Exposure: WikiLeaks Hounded for Showing Power Its True Face Chris Floyd
Guilty Pleasures: The Wikileaks National Security Soap Opera Adam Zagorin, New Deal 2.0
Supreme court and class action limitation coming up? rdan, Angry Bear
Fears raised over future of minority workforce Boston Globe
Leading in underdevelopment Open Economy (hat tip reader May S)
Chinese renewable energy firms encouraged to invest in U.S. market Xinhua
Unemployment benefits extended in tax-cut deal Christian Science Monitor
Austerity delayed Free Exchange
Don’t Look Now, But Rail Activity Has Fallen For Three Of The Past Four Months Clusterstock
The government has a printing press to produce U.S. dollars at essentially no cost Ed Harrison
No escape from Europe’s debt woes Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
Schmidt: Leadership wanted in Europe MarketWatch (hat tip Richard Smith)
WOW – Is Lee County Foreclosure Court Above the Law? 4ClosureFraud
Antidote du jour:
Re Wikileaks according to the “new deal”:
More MSM-style bootlicking crap. Wikileaks is returning our stolen property to us. Period. All other matters are secondary, though I suppose it can’t be said enough:
1. The only interests which are harmed by Wikileaks are those of the criminals, which are directly counter to the interests of the people.
2. There is no piece of information, short of actual missile codes, which is too “sensitive” for us. In every case, our best interest is to have full transparency. In every case, secrecy is against our interest.
Here’s some excellent pieces.
Assange’s analysis of the authoritarian state as a criminal conspiracy:
Assange on Wikileaks as imposing a “secrecy tax”:
I just saw how they arrested Assange on that bizarre warrant. Meanwhile there’s the ongoing spectacle of history’s worst hypocrisy being spewed by history’s worst criminals. Holder is saying he wants people “held accountable”.
Excuse me?! He can’t possibly be so stupid and brainwashed that he doesn’t know how thousands of history’s worst criminals right now walk free in America continuing to commit their crimes, with seemingly no hope of their being held accountable. What an infinite obscenity it is for anyone from this government to even use the word “accountable”.
And then Hillary Ribbentrop is frothing like the rabid dog she is about these assaults on our interests.
No – she herself and her whole cabal are the most vicious assailants of America’s interests.
Meanwhile Wikileaks is doing all it can to support true American interests and values. All system information, government and corporate, was produced by the people and belongs to the people. It is our property. We should have all of it, immediately. It’s been empirically proven that we’re more qualified to use it than the elites, who have proven themselves to be not only the worst criminals in history, but the most incompetent at any task other than crime.
It’s quite telling to see what it takes to finally rouse Eric Holder from his coma and reanimate the US “Ministry of ‘Justice'”.
For more breathtaking hypocrisy, (from John Naughton) here’s Hillary Clinton rebuking China for secrecy: “‘Information has never been so free…Even in authoritarian countries, information networks are helping people discover new facts and making governments more accountable.'”
“…Barack Obama had ‘defended the right of people to freely access information, and said that the more freely information flows the stronger societies become. He spoke about how access to information helps citizens to hold their governments accountable, generates new ideas, and encourages creativity.’ Given what we now know, that Clinton speech reads like a satirical masterpiece.”
Meanwhile, Julian Assange turned himself in and was arrested under an international warrant for unprotected sex. But there will be no bail(out) for Assange, because, although he turned himself in voluntarily, the judge said “he has comparatively weak community ties in this country and the means and ability to abscond”.
What an Orwellian world.
First Amendment, Bill of Rights;”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
If you get permission?
No wonder MSM is the official press.
That may actually be the best way to handle the explosives.
Here’s what Derek Lowe, a chemist who blogs, had to say about the matter:
Several people have called this guy to my attention: the Escondido wild man who seems to have had a good-sized explosives factory going in his house. He had kilo quantities of (highly explosive) PETN, HMTD, and all kinds of other things you Do Not Want in your basement (see that Chemistry Blog link for a list).
In fact, he and his home chemistry operation seem to have been too much for local law enforcement, who (at least at last report) bailed out of the house and haven’t finished searching it yet. That sounds like an excellent decision – you couldn’t pay me to go in the place and poke around. On the one hand, perhaps his lab technique wasn’t so bad: he was able to work in those quantities without blowing himself up. But on the other hand, and by golly this hand wins, anyone who makes kilos of such things at home has very skewed ideas about risk, to the point that you don’t really know what they’re capable of. The owner’s day job appears to have been robbing banks, which fits right in.
The latest news is a decision that the only way to deal with the house is to burn it. A sixteen-foot fire-resistant wall is being built around the place, and they’re just going to let it rip. Beats going around in there opening drawers and looking under the sink, for sure.
It is often the best way. When I lived in LA, the LAFD (at least I think that was the department) did a similar thing on a smaller scale to a store in a strip mall. It worked and only the storefront with the explosives had any real damage.
The risk is incredibly great to move any of these things. Explosives can be amazingly unstable. It can be dangerous to even pick them up. And in this kind of environment, if one goes off, they all go off. It seems counter-intuitive, but burning in place may be the best option (among no really good options).
The crazy guy rented this house. Escondido says they will not be paying the owner for burning down this house. They cite eminent domain. As a layperson this certainly blows my mind. You cannot enter the house once you have rented it and you are on the hook if the renter does something crazy.
In my state landlord can enter house at a reasonable time after giving 24 hours notice. Would LL’s insurance cover this kind of loss?
If you like that use of eminent domain you should check out the ruling by the Supreme Court that basically allows a developer to go to the county /city and show that he can develop your property in such a way that will yield a higher tax assessment to the government thus allowing “greater good” to flow to the citizens and thus by eminent domain rules can force you off of your property and sell it to the developer. You have no choice. So much for property rights. So much for reasonable application of the principles of eminent domain.
Unfortunately, this really is eminent domain: they are seizing and destroying the property for the benefit of the community. It’s probably being done under nuisance law, though, I would think. Eminent domain they have to recompense the owner for the reasonable value of the property. Nuisance, you can actually make the owner pay for removing the nuisance; in other words, they could give the house owner the bill for having the fire department stand around and monitor the burn. I am not even remotely kidding.
The take away there would be to not let a munitions factory get built in your rental. If the owner had showed up at the house just once in the past couple of years, I’m thinking that he’d have known he had a wacko tenant. The problem in particularly CA is how incredibly difficult it is to evict a tenant. Accordingly, I am not unsymptathetic. But yeah – renting involves inherent risks. This one is almost certainly an uninsured one, too.
Life entails risk. Owning property entails risk. There’s no way to avoid risk. Most people try to pass it off to someone else and/or pretend it doesn’t exist, but it does, and someone has to bear the consequences. Why not the landlord exactly?
They could send in robots and blow up stuff in small batches. I’d guess that would take weeks. It would be very easy to miss something and for something to go wrong so that the robot blows up and the house catches on fire. Controlled explosion is better than an uncontrolled explosion.
More interesting is how the guy accumulated the stuff? Also interesting is that he’s technically inclined (software consultant). Reminds me of articles a few months ago where terrorists are often technically inclined.
Re: “Indecent Exposure: WikiLeaks Hounded for Showing Power Its True Face Chris Floyd”
“Two things stand out immediately. First, the leaked cables reveal — or rather, confirm — that American “intelligence” on the activities of foreign nations is based almost totally on hearsay, rumor, gossip and fantasies brewed from a deadly mix of arrogance and ignorance. Second, they show that the overwhelming majority of the public statements made by top American officials about the nation’s foreign policy are deliberate, knowing lies: the cheapest, most threadbare bromides about America’s noble intentions coupled with cynical fear-mongering, which knowingly fans low-grade — or non-existent — threats into dire “emergencies” that somehow, always, fill the coffers of war-profiteers (and that new breed of gluttonous predator, the security-profiteers) and require ever-greater expansions of authoritarian power.
Or as Arthur Silber, who has explored these themes in depth for years, puts it: “They’ll lie about everything.” [My emphasis.]
It has been clear for some time, and pretty much on logic alone, that we are enduring a long phase of deep decadence, corruption run amok, no trust anywhere in anything (except on the part of the willfully ignorant and expertly dumbed-down.) And this is not the case only recently, or because of the last 3 or four decades of ‘deregulation’, we are witnessing a denouement centuries, if not millennia, in the making. Consequently the yearning for a pure this or that, be it capitalism or socialism, is as all other yearnings; romantic rather than realistic. We are fumblingly and short-sightedly establishing a new paradigm, and doing so will leave nothing untouched. It’s all up for grabs, everything is on the table.
And of course ructions litter human history, and such changes are always bumpy. This one will be, I believe, the biggest yet, because we are more globally linked more quickly and immediately, than ever before. We almost have a planetary language too, spoken by many more than ever spoke French or Latin or Greek.
Thus any socioeconomic models whose roots lie deep in the current, defunct paradigm are not those which will take us forwards from this point. Einstein said it best (paraphrased); a problem cannot be solved from within the system which created it. The depths we need to go to ‘correct’ our direction this time are deeper than we’ve ever had to go before, and we cannot describe in advance what the ‘outcome’ of this paradigm change will be. We will carry on fumbling forwards, establishing consensus as we go (’twas ever thus). Society is now, and always has been, an ongoing experiment. Anyone who says ‘our system is the best’ is spouting propaganda. Not only do we not have a string of planets just like earth on which to run tests and therefore cannot know which the best system is, systems are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in particular circumstances and conditions which themselves are always changing. Ultimately, power and chance and environment decide, nudged by reason and wisdom, though reason and wisdom are constrained by the culture of the time.
I say this not as a brave or pioneering thinker — certainly none of it is my own work as such — but because I have been convinced this is so by other thinkers, recently chiefly Charles Eisenstein. For my small part in all this I feel obliged to ask as many as possible to view events in this broader light, and to think as long term and openly as possible. We need openness and bridge-building, not tribal mud-slinging and prejudiced bickering.
Toby said: “Consequently the yearning for a pure this or that, be it capitalism or socialism…”
But this is a false dichotomy. Capitalism and socialism are like Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They both have the same common denominator—-materialism. Robert Nelson in Economics as Religion drives home the point here:
Spencer is yet another of the economic determinists of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. No less than for Marx, the underlying workings of economic forces in history determine everything important that happens in society.
One needs to ask why appeals to austerity and to nationalism/patriotism/jingoism are so effective.
Why are so many people willing to voluntarily sacrifice their material self-interest on the altar of austerity?
Why, when the elite invoke nationalism/patriotism/jingoism, do so many people’s brains apparently go on holiday? Historically this goes well beyond the inability to recognize the cognitive dissonance that inheres in the “national security” cant. Many people have voluntarily sacrificed their own life for their nation, and on intellectual grounds that are equally as shoddy as those being invoked against Wikileaks.
The myth of self-interest cannot explain these phenomena. This myth began with Machiavelli and slowly gained credence through the musings of Bernard Mandeville, Adam Smith and Marx. It reached its crescendo in modern orthodox economics, where everything that cannot be explained by material self-interest is simply wished out of existence with dogmas such as the “theory of rational choice.” But the myth of self-interest sheds more darkness than light.
Chris Floyd fumes: “That’s because they know that their cowed and passive subjects — continually stoked with the hatred and fear of foreign demons — don’t care how many darkies get killed on the other side of the world.”
I do not disagree with the veracity of Floyd’s observation. What I do disagree with is what Floyd does with his observations, which is to judge and to prescribe. I’m not arguing that there’s anything wrong with judging and prescribing. But in addition to judging and prescribing, should we not also seek to understand?
Agreed. I say again and again that the capitalism/socialism split is a false dichotomy, but mostly get the impression this observation is shared by only the tiniest minority. The frequency with which people call for one or the other in some ‘pure’ form — the point I was making — astonishes me. How defunct and corrupt does the situation have to become before people stop drinking in, unquestioningly, the propaganda?
“But in addition to judging and prescribing, should we not also seek to understand?”
Yes, as deeply as we are able, and with dogged persistence too.
You also ask:
“Why, when the elite invoke nationalism/patriotism/jingoism, do so many people’s brains apparently go on holiday?”
The answer to this lies in the education system, a system designed from the ground up to prevent free thinking, establish rigid hierarchies, and encourage unthinking absorption of the output of the status quo’s guardians, TPTB (google John Tayler Gatto and Sir Ken Robinson). Education must be totally revolutionized, as must the money system, this alongside a ripping down of the bullshit veils the financial elite have woven to hide the simple truth that they are leeches on society. Only then will a new way emerge.
My heart tells me we are headed, by force of cultural momentum, to a loose, egalitarian anarchism in which the nation state will be no more, and where centralized ‘power’ will be apolitical in a significant way, that is, functionally deal with distribution and sharing of globally networked resources alone. The devil is in the detail of course, and I have no details, just intuition-based expectations. The time-frame could be anything from a few years to multiple decades.
FWIW: British police arrested Julian Assange this morning.
This story is a bit surreal im not sure if i believe it. Things are rarely as they are presented these days. (iraq WMD anyone?) “The owner’s day job appears to have been robbing banks, which fits right in.” they also said he was an out of work software consultant. “Bank robber” in this context likely means he was just phishing for bank credentials over email and logging into peoples accounts transfering money. Even that is alledged. Security theater, fear mongering, and media sensationalization are my read on this.
No, in this case robbing banks means robbing banks:
“Jakubec admitted to robbing a Bank of America on East Ocean Air Drive in San Diego on Nov. 13, 2009; a Bank of America on Scranton Road in San Diego on June 25; and a Bank of America on Carmel Mountain Road in San Diego on July 17. He also has admitted to trying to rob the Bank of America on East Ocean Air Drive on Nov. 27, 2009.”
Thanks for the interesting links and for the informative interview on Harry Shearer’s Le Show.
Is it fair to say that The Great War was the first bailout of British and American bankers? Discuss.
I don’t know the financial or economic history but I bet that if you went digging you’d find that, no, it was not the first.
Though perhaps it was the first such bailout associated with industrial warfare on a global scale and/or a systemic breakdown of the global political system.
Interesting proposal my Michael Pettis…
Well I guess one way to get this balance (here comes my modest proposal) would be for China to engineer a New Deal in America, which we could call Xin Fa’an (“new deal” in Chinese).
Read more: http://www.creditwritedowns.com/2010/10/xin-faan-a-modest-proposal-to-resolve-the-coming-trade-war.html#ixzz17RUz4ddc
Re: Assange’s arrest
I think Assange is bringing this upon himself by making it all about him. In the minds of the world Assange = Wikileaks. It didn’t have to be that way. To me it’s not immediately clear that Wikileaks needed a public face, and if wikileaks doesn’t survive Assange’s arrest, it’s his own dang fault for not making a more robust structure.
Julian discussed this in an interview. Forget what he said.
In any event, for people to suggest that “Julian’s acting for his own ego” — which I don’t see — is a win for the Establishment.
Whether it’s true or not that he’s acting on his own ego?
That’s the point – if wikileaks is doing good things (which I believe it is), his ego is immaterial.
Wikileaks and Assange are obnoxious enough to the powerful secret-mongers, so trouble was inevitable, but how much of it could have been avoided?
>> by making it all about him
The GOVERNMENT and the GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED MEDIA is making it “all about him”.
I don’t think it’s controversial to say Assange has been very accommodative as far as his own publicity.
I like what wikileaks is doing, but (though I am a distant observer) Assange seems to be a very flawed individual.
I would have let the data speak for itself. I’m sure adopting as public a role as he has has brought certain benefits to his cause, but as we can see it has also endangered the whole wikileaks endeavor, and apparently made it much easier to cut it off at the head.
We’ll see how vulnerable the organization is in this regard…
Re: “Austerity delayed Free Exchange”
Other than being the lament of a fiscal hawk, I didn’t find this article to be terribly helpful in my attempt to evaluate Obama’s deal on the Bush tax cuts.
I think CNN did a much better job here, because it lays it out in what each provision of the compromise means in dollars and cents.
Extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone will cost $458 billion. From what I can find, it looks like the cost for extending those tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of Americans amounts to about 20% of the total bill, or about $90 billion.
So here’s how I do the accounting:
What Obama gave up:
• $90 billion to extend tax cuts to the richest Americans
• $88 billion to extend estate tax cuts to the richest Americans
What Obama got in return:
• $56 billion to extend unemployment benefits for 13 months
• $40 billion in individual income tax credits for low- and middle-income families
I think extending the tax break for those making less than $250,000 and the business tax breaks are wins for both Obama and the Republicans, so I don’t mark them up on either side of the ledger.
What I don’t know how to evaluate is the $120 billion for a social security tax break, described as follows:
Social Security tax break: $120 billion. The package would also offer workers a payroll tax holiday worth 2 percentage points next year, so that instead of paying 6.2% on their first $106,800 of wages, they will only have to pay 4.2%. The White House estimates the measure would cost $120 billion.
Are Obama and the Republicans trying to gut the social security fund?
Also this CNN video is superb because it shows Obama’s numerous promises on the campaign trail to eliminate the Bush tax cuts for wealthiest Americans, plus shows his attempts yesterday to show this as not breaking his campaign promise. Obama is truly Orwellian.
Mucking about with Social Security is worrisome.
Obama also gained brownie points for compromising, something voters indicated they wanted badly in the last election (unlike the rest of us, who want him to go to the mattresses on issues like this). He also gets points for not “increasing taxes”. I realize Fox News will spin this against him, but voters in the center will see this as reasonableness.
I think the Republicans come off of this issue looking a bit silly. They demanded tax cuts for the rich and got them. When the economy doesn’t improve in the next two years, how will those tax cuts for the rich look? Making bones about how the Republicans campaigned for tax cuts for the rich in a few years will provide a lot of leverage for real changes.
I think Obama is using reverse psychology, saying “Are you SURE you want tax cuts for the rich? Okay, if that’s what you want…”. Really, his chances for re-election come from people demanding things that he supports. He’s pushing the pendulum the “wrong” way, hoping to get some useful momentum the other way.
Notice what was NEVER discussed — capital gains and carried interest. That’s where the truly rich make their megabucks. If we start hearing noise about bringing these tax loopholes back to Earth next time these tax cuts are up for debate in a few years, then we’ll see that the strategy worked.
But I admit that my theory that Obama is a secret progressive masquerading as a Republican masquerading as a Democrat is far-fetched. Watching Inception has obviously damaged my brain.
My thought all along is that Obama came into office at the worst possible time. During the 1930’s depression, people had years to hate on Hoover and dump all the (mostly deserved) blame on him, and start fresh with FDR. We aren’t even close to hitting rock-bottom yet, and time is running out.
Remember, the New Deal was radical at the time. Radical changes from the top down require desperation. Desperation comes from having nothing to lose. Amazing that the same conditions that led to Communist revolutions are the same that lead to Fascism, and Keynesism.
It would be better if he didn’t bring up the Public Option matter, because it doesn’t inspire trust. He gave the option away behind closed doors, then pretended for several months that he wanted it. Including a Congressional address, IIRC.
This is the equivalent of an athlete agreeing to throw a game, then appearing at a pep rally to encourage the fans.
In earlier times, people used the quaint word “character” in discussing this kind of thing.
As Greenwald noted, the only time he seems emotionally engaged with what he’s saying is when he’s attacking “liberals”.
Oh, yeah, bringing up the public option was a bad idea, really bad. Like salt in a wound, he treated it as a disposable “provision” as if, after single payer, it was not THE central, critical mechanism for leverage and cost containment. Without that, but with a mandate instead the people were sold out. Bringing that up as an example of successful negotiation was stupid to be blunt … or, to be kind, disingenuous.
It’s interesting: in Google News, the title for the Gideon FT op-ed is “No escape from Europe’s debt crisis,” but they’ve changed that on the FT website to “woes.” I guess they don’t want to look too alarmist…
Re: WallMart messages. First they make you afraid. Then they get you to report on “suspicious” activities of strangers. Next they get you to report on “suspicious” activities of your neighbors. Then they get you to report on “suspicious” activities of your family and friends. Finally they induce enough fear into you that you start making up alleged activities committed by all of the above. You are a hero of the motherland! Right out of the Stasi playbook. When will you realize the scary wizard with the booming voice, smoke and flames is just an impotent old man behind the curtain who is trying to control you? When will you say, ENOUGH! and put a stop to it. You have the tools: your feet and your wallet. Start voting with them. Sorry, got to go. Dancing with the Stars is about to start.
The things you decry are pernicious enough, but you are missing the Big One: when government puts YOU in jail for not informing on your neighbors’ “antisocial” behavior.
For what it worth to concerned parties, when I attempt to access Chris Floyd’s Empire Burlesque I am warned of a virus (Avast) and the site is shut out. It is only his site that is affected: does this come from malware attacking E.B.? Is it possible to inform Chris Floyd> and can the problem be resolved? Thanks
There was some discussion about the Floyd links a week or so back.
How are you reading NC? If you are reading from a feed as opposed to the web page, it seems the links are not going to the Floyd site but to some malicious location. I’ve never seen a problem but I always read from the NC web page.
Even on the web, the links to Floyd involve a google feedproxy intermediary. My guess (not very informed) is that something is hacked in the google linkages.
I sent an email to the Floyd admin, giving this limited information, but I guess it hasn’t resolved the problems. I don’t know how to track this sort of net complexity.
They’ve been itching to gut the class action rules almost since they were codified. The Supreme Court and lesser lights have been slowly chipping away at the right to maintain class actions for a long time now. I fear that the commentators that you link are correct when they say that this probably presents an excellent opportunity for the Court to do what the corporate overlords want.
The permalink to that BBC story on the “new” form of life on the Titanic.
Today is Move Your Money Day! If you have your money in a TBTF bank, find out what your local credit union has to offer and send a message.
I’ll be canceling my unused BofA account today to join in the fun.
Canceled my BofA account today! So happy to be done with them. They made such a mess of things, I can’t believe I didn’t close it sooner.
Re Ed Harrison’s “The Government Has a Printing Press…”
During his 2002 “helicopter Ben” speech, Bernanke apparently said “…We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation.”
What good does it really do the economy if people buy the same amount of stuff, but “spend more” by virtue of having to pony up more dollars for that stuff because of dollar debasement by the Fed? How will that generate any new jobs?
And if most people’s incomes don’t keep up with price inflation, then most people will be buying LESS stuff than they otherwise would have, which would be BAD for job creation, wouldn’t it?
And if the helicopter-dropped money only goes into speculation on the stock market, commodity markets, currency trading, etc., creating yet another unsustainable bubble in asset prices, what good does that do anyone but possibly some of the sharks on Wall Street?
Hot tip from hell:
“We think investors should be aware of the possibility that **one or more of the credit rating agencies could downgrade some of the large US banks and brokers in early 2011**, as they are closer to making final decisions around both stand-alone ratings and assumed levels of government support.”
According to Nomura, Bank of America could be downgraded by as much as four notches by Moody’s if no government support is assumed.
What with WikiLeaks calling into question the practice of journalism, I’d like to call attention this report on journalism in our southern neighbor.
He [Alejandro Junco de la Vega, chairman and CEO of Grupo Reforma, which publishes several major dailies in Mexico] said corruption is so extensive in his country that there is even a “tortilla market” cartel.
He cautioned against seeking simple solutions to fix the country’s ailments. For example, he said, eliminating all drug dealers involved in the wave of violence will not improve education, develop judicial and police systems free of corruption, increase global competitiveness, or end business monopolies.
“Reporting of the truth is what helped make your country great,” [said Junko] referring to the United States.
Diana Washington Valdez, “Border editors summit ends, publisher says Mexico ‘clouded’ in grimness”
Feel free to transpose Iraq/Afghanistan/Mexico… I certainly do.
not sure this made it to the links (I haven’t seen it lately)
Worldwide spreading of economic crisis
I was wondering why nobody’s really addressing French risks… maybe it’s just too scary