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Au revoir French jobs. François Hollande is about to sink the entire French shipbuilding and defence industry

Russian sailors have been denied access to the French-built Vladivostok helicopter carrier in accordance with a decision made by French authorities, despite the country’s Ministry of Defense denying any knowledge of the situation. Au revoir French defence industry.

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As the end of November deadline inches closer for the mistral helicopter carrier deliver to Russia, French President François Hollande still does not have the balls to just admit to the French public that he is about to destroy an entire defence and shipbuilding industry so as to avoid whatever “embarrassing” leverage the State Department/NSA has on him.

Sputnik News Agency reported last week…

The Russian crew of the French-built, Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok, currently undergoing training in France, have been denied access to the ship, Ouest-France newspaper reported, citing a defense source.

According to the newspaper’s article published on Monday, the decision was made by French authorities, while the French Ministry of Defense has denied being aware of the situation. Ouest-France added that no special security measures were taken on the site.

A total of 550 Russian sailors, with 400 of them the future crew of the Vladivostok helicopter carrier and 150 crewmembers of the Smolny training ship, arrived in the French port town of Saint-Nazaire in June. The first sea trials of the Vladivostok with a Russian crew aboard took place on September 13.

In June 2011, Russia signed a 1.2 billion euro ($1.5 billion) contract for two Mistral-class helicopter carrier ships with France. French President Francois Hollande has threatened to suspend the deliveries of the ships to Russia over Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

The handover ceremony of the first ship, the Vladivostok, was scheduled for November 14. The event has not taken place. A high-ranking defense source told RIA Novosti last week that Russia will wait until the end of November for Paris to hand over the ship before making “serious claims.”

And because no nation in the world wants to buy ships or weapons from a supplier that is so easily persuaded to break legally binding contracts without notice or clarification…

The alarming question now has to be asked whether this is just a commercial breach of contract or a hostile act, because the French government has not just “failed” to deliver the first of the two Mistral ships contracted and paid for as the press reports state, it has refused to deliver them and will not unless certain conditions are met, political conditions, which have strategic importance for Russia and conditions that can never be met unless Russia surrenders its strategic position and its defence of the Ukrainians of the Donbass.

Since France, as a member of Nato, has to act in the interests of its master, it should come as no surprise that the French have taken another hostile action against Russia by taking part in the illegal economic embargo instituted by the Americans. France has taken actions against Russian interests for years.

The French support for the overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine, its support for the Kiev regime’s attacks on the civilian population of the Donbass and French participation in the economic warfare against Russia being conducted by the Nato allies, taken in the historical context, means that the refusal to hand over the ships due under the contracts is meant to weaken Russia militarily and politically.

The military effects are several. One of the ships was to be stationed on the Pacific Coast for operations to protect the Kuril Islands in particular, and one of them was to be used as the flagship of the Russian navy in the Mediterranean. Their ability to move a reinforced battalion of troops along with the capacity to launch multiple helicopters, transport landing craft and act as a command and control centre had both strategic and tactical importance. Further, Russia hoped to obtain advanced technology and the ability to build other Mistrals in Russia.

Politically the French refusal is meant to humiliate Russia on the world stage in order to weaken its prestige and support in the world, a refusal compounded by the insulting cat and mouse game being played by the French, first promising to deliver the ships, then hesitating, then promising again, but in the end never delivering. A cynical person could even wonder whether Russia was tricked all along and paid almost 1.2 billion euros in advance in early 2011 for ships it was never intended to get and was lured into wasting three years that could have been spent on developing similar vessels to be built in Russia.

The simple fact is Russia has handed over the money but France now has the ships and the money. Even if the French repaid the money plus penalties Russia’s interests will have been damaged but the idea that France will willingly give back the money already paid plus penalties is naïve. France wants to hurt Russia and France cannot hurt Russia and then cover Russia’s losses and any talk of France honouring the penalty clauses in the contract for failure to deliver when it has refused to honour the contract in the first place is just whistling in the dark.

Already there is talk in the French press about relying on the force majeure clauses in the contracts to avoid any Russian legal action to recover the money. President Putin reacted by stating that the French cannot rely on force majeure, as the contracts are very specific and not in favour of France. The positions of the parties are already being drawn and long years of arguing before courts and trade tribunals will not change the situation.

It is not just Russia that will suffer a loss. The repercussions are very serious for both countries. In France the union that represents the workers at St. Nazaire where the ships are built expressed “shock and outrage” Le Figaro reported, after Paris delayed delivery due to pressure from the US and EU and stated that the decision risked the loss of 2500 jobs in a country on the verge of recession or worse. It has given the far right party ammunition to attack President Hollande. Marie LePen demanded the ships be delivered or else risk undermining French credibility, its reliability in arms sales and its national honour.

Hollande’s response is to play the game of denying the contract has been rescinded or breached by stating that it is still in effect and delivery will be made but then contradicts himself and states that “I will take my decision without any pressure, wherever it may come from, and based on two criteria; the interests of France and the appreciation I have of the situation.” He also stated that the delivery of the ships is contingent on two conditions being met: a ceasefire in Ukraine and a peace deal between the Kiev regime and Moscow.

He said this when he knew that the Kiev regime is deliberately breaking the ceasefire on a daily basis and has no intention of abiding by it and that Poroshenko and the Americans have no intention of allowing peace in Ukraine. The fact is that France is locked into the American war logic and Hollande’s statement that he is subject to no pressure is as laughable as his popularity ratings in France. The statements by President Obama at the G20 meeting Australia that Russia will be economically “isolated” unless it bows to US diktats and the deliberately insulting behaviour towards the Russian head of state by Nato leaders at the meeting and the current oil price war are glaring evidence that Nato’s hostile intentions against Russia are becoming more acute with every day.

The fact is that France has acted to wound Russia and is acting in accord with the United States and its other Nato allies and is willing to do so because it has greater interests in mind which pale beside the predictable job losses, lawsuits and loss of reputation. Those interests are the interests of the Nato alliance as a whole that is preparing for war against Russia.

Russia has stated it will respond to the French refusal to deliver the Russian ships at the end of November. The Russian Upper House has suggested cancelling the contract. But this also has serious implications and will not make Russia whole as the French are unlikely to pay back the money. Poroshenko has threatened all out war against the Donbas and the fact that Ukraine cannot obtain coal supplies for the winter from other sources at a price it can afford suggests that an offensive to seize the Donbas coal mines is being considered and this will once again bring Nato and Russia in direct confrontation.

The countries of Nato and its allies in Japan and Australia are suffering serious problems as their economies sink into recession and fade into the shadows of the BRIC economies that are shaking off US dollar hegemony. Their leaders are mediocrities who think like gangsters. Their democracies have ceased to function in any real sense. They have painted themselves into a corner and see war as the only way out. Russia’s response to the Mistral Affair will be interesting to see but whatever the response is it will be made in a world context and in the search for a peaceful resolution of the war that threatens us all.

References:

http://journal-neo.org/2014/11/20/the-mistral-affair-breach-of-contract-or-hostile-act/ 

http://sputniknews.com/military/20141118/1014869038.html

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RT @redpilltimes: Au revoir French jobs. François Hollande is about to sink the entire French shipbuilding & defence industry http://t.co/F…

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RT @redpilltimes: Au revoir French jobs. François Hollande is about to sink the entire French shipbuilding & defence industry http://t.co/F…

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RT @redpilltimes: Au revoir French jobs. François Hollande is about to sink the entire French shipbuilding & defence industry http://t.co/F…

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Au revoir #French #jobs. François #Hollande is about to sink the entire French #shipbuilding and #defence #industry http://t.co/z9t7Ve0a1d

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Arizona Senator Jeff Flake Opposes Vote on Kavanaugh Until Leftist Accuser Has Her Say

The end of the Republic inches closer as Identity Politics knows no bounds: Republicans join the fight to delay Brett Kavanaugh confirmation vote.

Alex Christoforou

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Via The Gateway Pundit


FLAKE OUT — ARIZONA SENATOR OPPOSES VOTE ON KAVANAUGH

Anti-Trump Senator Jeff Flake, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview Sunday evening that until he learns more about the sexual assault allegation regarding Brett Kavanaugh, he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Kavanaugh.

It’s Flakes last chance to poke President Trump and the country in the eye before he rides retires and likely finds a job in the liberal media.

Via Mike Cernovich:

Kavanaugh’s accuser is a far left anti-Trump activist.

Via Zerohedge


Over the past few days, what appeared at first to be a merely token resistance to the nomination of Trump SCOTUS pick Brett Kavanaugh has morphed into something entirely more menacing. And for the first time since Kavanaugh’s name was first floated in June, his nomination may be in jeopardy.

After allegations of decades-old sexual improprieties first surfaced last week, it looked as if Kavanaugh would easily surmount this obstacle. But we have to give the Democrats credit: They have lined up their dominoes perfectly. And on Sunday, they set their plan in motion when the Washington Post published an in-depth interview with Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford. The story detailed a blow-by-blow accounting of Ford’s allegations, as well as her explanation for why she neglected to share her experience until decades later. Tellingly, the story also noted that Democrats have been sitting on the story since July, and that Ford only decided to out herself after some unscrupulous members of the Judiciary Committee shared her identity with the press – or at least that’s what California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office alleges.

While the allegations are relatively tame by #MeToo era standards (the incident allegedly unfolded when Kavanaugh was 17), it has apparently been enough for Democrats and a handful of turncoat moderate Republicans to successfully shut down a planned Thursday vote of the Judiciary Committee. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake effectively shut down the vote last night when he revealed that he wanted to hear more from Ford before voting. Without Flake, the Republicans’ 11-10 majority on the Judiciary Committee shifts to a 10-11 vote in favor of the Democrats. While Committee Chairman Charles Grassley has said he’d like the vote to proceed as scheduled, media reports say he is quietly working to organize a private call involving Ford and curious Senators in an effort to help mitigate their concerns.

But looking further ahead, Republican leaders might have more difficulty as Tennessee Republican Bob Corker – who is not a member of the Judiciary Committee but could still hold up the final confirmation vote – said Sunday that he’d also like to see Thursday’s committee vote delayed.

Here’s more from Bloomberg:

“I’ve made it clear that I’m not comfortable moving ahead with the vote on Thursday if we have not heard her side of the story or explored this further,” said Flake, who has the power to stall consideration if all Democrats on the panel join him since Republicans only hold an 11-10 majority on the committee. Flake’s office didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Corker of Tennessee, who isn’t a member of the panel but whose vote is critical to confirmation, also doesn’t want the committee to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation until Ford’s allegations can be heard, said his spokeswoman, Micah Johnson. The senator wants the allegations to be heard promptly, she said.

The backlash intensified late Sunday when Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski told CNN that Thursday’s hearing should be delayed.

“Well, I think that might be something they might have to consider, at least having that discussion,” Murkowski.

[…]

“This is not something that came up during the hearings. The hearings are now over. And if there is real substance to this it demands a response.”

However, at least one of the Senate’s reputed moderates has stood up to the Democrats in an interview with the New York Times, castigating them for withholding this information until so late in the process (remember: Feinstein justified this decision by saying she had referred Ford’s allegations to the FBI, who reportedly added them to his background check file).

“What is puzzling to me is the Democrats, by not bringing this out earlier, after having had this information for more than six weeks, have managed to cast a cloud of doubt on both the professor and the judge,” Collins told The New York Times.

Collins asked if Democrats believed Ford, “why didn’t they surface this information earlier,” and if they didn’t believe Ford, “why did they decide at the 11th hour to release it?”

“It is really not fair to either of them the way it is was handled,” Collins said.

Collins comments come after Ford spoke publicly about the alleged incident for the first time during an interview with The Washington Post that was published on Sunday.

On Monday, in the latest sign that Ford could appear at an embarrassing public hearing, Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, told “Today” that her client would be willing to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “She’s a credible person. These are serious allegations. And they should be addressed.”

The White House, for its part, is standing by Kavanaugh, and allowing the Senate to sort things out. According to Bloomberg, Kellyanne Conway said Ford should not be “insulted and ignored” in what appears to be an attempt to beat the Democrats at their own virtue-signaling game.

Still, according to a White House spokesperson, Trump isn’t giving an inch. Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim, citing WH spokesperson Kerri Kupec, reported that Judge Kavanaugh “categorically and unequivocally” denied this allegation: “This has not changed. Judge Kavanaugh and the White House both stand by that statement,”she said.

In fact, as Axios reports, Senate Republicans could “play hardball” by calling on Ford to testify before Thursday’s scheduled vote. Though Republicans wouldn’t surprised if Ford holds a press conference or gives a TV interview, which Axios says “would raise the stakes considerably.” Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, has repeatedly called for an FBI investigation and a postponement of the vote

To be sure, the Democrats’ goals here are obvious. After Sen. Corey Booker’s “selfless” decision to release unauthorized documents about Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush Administration failed to even delay the process, Democrats have now played their Trump card – no pun intended. Their goal: Delay Kavanaugh’s confirmation at least until the Oct. 1 mark – the beginning of SCOTUS’s next term – to put a halt to any controversial decisions that could reverse important precedents. Of course, their ultimate goal is to stonewall the White House until after Nov. 6, when a few victories in the midterms might allow them to sink Kavanaugh’s nomination once and for all.

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University announces “White Awake” safe space for white students

The University of Maryland at College Park has set up a new diversity support group to create a “safe space” for white students to discuss their feelings.

Campus Reform

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Via Campus Reform:


Update: After publication of this article, University of Maryland-College Park changed the name of the group to “Anti-Racism and Ally Building Group,” along with a shorter description, which reads,  “Do you want to improve your ability to relate to and connect with people different from yourself? Do you want to become a better ally? Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.”

In a statement provided to Campus Reform on Friday, the university explained the name change: “Our Counseling Center acknowledges that we did not choose the right words in raising awareness about this research-based initiative, and how this group has been perceived is counter to the values of inclusiveness and diversity that we embody. Therefore, we are renaming the group to better reflect our intention and values.”


The University of Maryland at College Park announced Friday a new diversity support group to create a “safe space” for white students to discuss their feelings about “interactions with racial and ethnic minorities.”

The support group, called “White Awake,” will help white students who may “sometimes feel uncomfortable and confused before, during, or after interactions with racial and ethnic minorities.”

“This group offers a safe space for White students to explore their experiences, questions, reactions, and feelings,” the description explains. “Members will support and share feedback with each other as they learn more about themselves and how they can fit into a diverse world.” The description asks students if they want to “improve [their] ability to relate to and connect with people different from [themselves]” or if they want to become a better “ally.” The new group is now one of four in the university’s “Diversity Issues” program series.The group is being led by Noah Collins, who works for the UMD Counseling Center, and will be held once a week. Collins specializes in group therapy and is interested “especially in the areas of racial and cultural awareness,” according to his faculty bio.The safe space has been met with harsh criticism from students on social media.

“I am ashamed over the execution of white awake nor do I fully understand its clause. ‘How they can fit into a diverse world’? Why do they need to attend therapy sessions on how to be a decent human being in society?” a UMD student wrote on Twitter. “Why do they need to have these sessions to learn how to coexist?”

“Just like classes. You can’t take one class and feel like you have all understanding over a certain subject,” the student added. “It takes practice, it takes problems, it takes more than one course, so ‘White Awake’ has good intention but I am skeptical over the fairytale result.”

Campus Reform reached out to Collins and UMD for comment but did not receive a response by time of publication. If and when a comment is received, the article will be updated.


Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Grace_Gotcha

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Harvard Prof: Merit-based admissions ‘reproduce inequality’

Professor Natasha Warikoo is displeased that students she interviewed are motivated by “self-interest” instead of social justice.

Campus Reform

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Authored by Toni Airaksinen of Campus Reform:


A Harvard University professor claims in a new academic study that merit-based admission processes at elite universities “reproduce inequality.”

Harvard education professor Natasha Warikoo draws on interviews with 98 white, native-born students at Harvard, Brown University, and the University of Oxford in “What Meritocracy Means to its Winners: Admissions, Race, and Inequality,” published in the journal Social Sciences.

During interviews Warikoo conducted between 2009 and 2011, these students were asked to sound-off on whether they felt their school had meritocratic admissions and if they supported affirmative action. Many answered the second question affirmatively and hailed the benefits of a diverse student body.

But Warikoo seems concerned with students’ responses. Analyzing data from these interviews years later, Warikoo points out that students’ approaches to diversity suggest that they’ve “internalized” the tokenistic rhetoric of the school admissions office, even if they had disagreed with policies like athletic recruitment or legacy admissions before coming to campus.

“Unlike in other campus domains in which there is a history of social protest among college students, in the realm of admissions, students seem to agree quite strongly with their universities, and come to even more agreement rather than critique upon arriving to campus,” she writes. “They suggest that most actors in elite institutions espouse views that reproduce their elite status, rather than engaging in symbolic politics or protest.”

According to Warikoo, “US students espouse a collective understanding of merit,” but only “value collective merit for its impact on themselves, not for social justice, or for the collective good of society.”

“They are not espousing, for example, a vision of multiculturalism that emphasizes group identities and the need to support ethnic and racial groups in society, as many scholars define multicultural state policies,” she elaborates.

Notably, Warikoo addressed the same issue in her 2016 book The Diversity Bargain, which criticizes white students for understanding “the value of diversity abstractly, but [ignoring] the real problems that racial inequality causes.”

White students “stand in fear of being labeled a racist, but they are quick to call foul should a diversity program appear at all to hamper their own chances for advancement,” Warikoo claims in that book, asserting for instance that white students “reluctantly agree with affirmative action as long as it benefits them.”

Her new study, too, criticizes white students for believing in meritocracy and supporting affirmative action, suggesting that white students only support affirmative action for selfish reasons.

One white student, Naomi, was criticized for saying “diversity is really how you learn here,” as Warikoo suggested that Naomi only valued diversity because it added to the “collective merit” of her cohort of students.

Warikoo also reports that “some students used the collective merit framework to express support for legacy admissions…even while lamenting the inequality legacy admissions engenders.”

She bemoans that, ultimately, the students she interviewed were more motivated by “self-interest” than a commitment to social justice.

“They value collective merit for its impact on themselves, not for social justice, or for the collective good of society,” she writes. “They are not espousing, for example, a vision of multiculturalism that emphasizes group identities and the need to support ethnic and racial groups.”

According to Warikoo’s interviews, students who attended elite high schools “no longer see a large number of their peers gaining admission to the likes of Harvard, Brown, and Oxford,” which they interpret “as evidence that the system is fair, even while ignoring the fact that students like them and their peers are vastly overrepresented at elite universities.”

The professor suggests that when the legitimacy of how they obtained seats at elite institutions gets called into question, students only become more convinced that they deserve to occupy those seats.

“This paper shows how admissions systems often reproduce inequality not only by how they select students, but also by defining ‘merit’ for admitted students in ways that will reproduce inequality in the future,” she concludes.

Warikoo claims that schools have “unequal” admission processes because black, working class, and first-generation students are underrepresented in student bodies. To fix this, Warikoo recommends that elite universities employ an “admissions lottery,” which the schools would use to randomly admit students who meet certain minimum standards.

“An admissions lottery would shift the meaning of selection from an absolute sense of merit—the best of the best—to an understanding that admission is somewhat arbitrary,” she predicts.

Warikoo’s study was published in the journal Social Sciences, which boasts of a “rapid peer-review” system. While most articles take months if not a year to be accepted, Warikoo’s article was accepted by reviewers in 48 days.

Though Warikoo initially agreed to answer a few questions by email, she ultimately did not respond to Campus Reform. Harvard University also did not respond.

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