This page has been archived and commenting is disabled.

Comrades-In-Arms Clash: France's Hollande Fumes At America Following Latest NSA Spy Gaffe

Tyler Durden's picture





 

It was only two months ago that France's socialist president, Francois Hollande, in his quest to show just how great his allegiance was to the eat tax the rich "fairness doctrine" and socialist causes espoused by the glorious leader on the other side of the Atlantic, and to said glorious leader himself, that France was prepared to almost singlehandedly invade Syria (and surrender shortly thereafter) on the basis of several fabricated YouTube clips. So strong was the socialist bond.

Less than 60 days later, how quickly the alliances within the second coming of the Comintern have changed: over the weekend, Spiegel and Le Monde revealed that the US NSA secretly monitored tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account. The spy agency monitored 70.3 million phone calls in France over a 30-day period between December 10 and January 8 this year, Le Monde reported in its online version, citing documents from Snowden. And so, recently demoted to B-grade economic status in Europe, France - America's European lap dog in virtually everything - is suddenly apopleptic and shocked, shocked, that spying went on here.

AP has more on hilarious French response:

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on a trip to Luxembourg for a meeting with his EU counterparts, said the US ambassador had "immediately" been summoned to his ministry for a meeting Monday morning.

 

"These kinds of practices between partners that harm privacy are totally unacceptable. We have to rapidly make sure that they are no longer implemented in any circumstance," he told reporters.

Why hilarious? Because apparently France thought that while the US can spy daily on hundreds of millions of Americans, the spy agency would somehow exempt France. Of course, the question of why the NSA actually bothered is somewhat relevant: it's not as if the NSA would learn anything actionable. Still, the sudden fracas between these two comrades in false flag arms nations, is quite enjoyable.

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls, meanwhile, described the revelations as "shocking", in an interview with Europe 1 radio.

 

According to the paper, the NSA automatically picked up communications from certain phone numbers in France and recorded certain text messages under a programme code-named "US-985D."

 

Le Monde said the documents gave grounds to believe that the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics.

Not just France: bossom NAFTA buddy Mexico too:

The Le Monde article followed revelations by Der Spiegel -- also based on documents provided by Snowden -- that US agents had hacked into the Mexican presidency's network, gaining access to Calderon's account.

 

According to the report, the NSA said this contained "diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico's political system and internal stability."

 

The agency reportedly said the president's office was now "a lucrative source."

 

Mexican authorities said they would be seeking answers from US officials "as soon as possible" following the allegations.

Get in line pal. As for the French, if you will pardon our French, denouement:

Valls said France would demand "precise explanations by US authorities in the coming hours."

Or what: surrender?

 


- advertisements -

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:19 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"So strong was the socialist bond." LOL

it's good humour, but some might take this a bit more serious. except if this was on purpose

yes, Paris has joined London in being pissed off at the even stronger carelessness of Uncle Sam, which is increasing

it's as if Uncle Sam's minions-in-chief are somehow becoming increasingly forgetful of why they are doing what to whom and where. perhaps it's a problem with their training/education, or perhaps it's true that the Eastern Elites have lost their grip on US foreign relations

not that Uncle Sam wasn't a bit fickle, before. but now?

anyway, from the French perspective those "gaffes" are way more serious than what can perceived now. France was not part of many "arrangements" with the CIA, like those that the UK, the Netherlands and Poland or Italy have

French territory was supposed to be CIA/NSA-"free". That was the agreement when France re-joined the NATO

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:52 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Look! Over there...a squirrel!!!

Surely you have not forgotten the DGSE is doing the very same thing.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/07/04/312290/french-govt-spies-on-citizens-report/

I think all us "small government, terrst, anarchist, hostage taking, tea party-types" have found yet another vast bureaucracy to abolish.

And give everyone a tax cut as a result ;-)

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:29 | Link to Comment lewy14
lewy14's picture

+1 on the tax cut.

If I were French I'd be pissed too - mainly that the US was too incompetent to keep secret what everybody knew anyway.

But Ghordius - spare us the Captain Renault drill. France's "agreement" on entering NATO amounted to a "please lie to us" line, for domestic consumption. You think the French really believed the US Government would refrain from spying on its favorite Frenemy?

Noogies!

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:40 | Link to Comment Scarlett
Scarlett's picture

We are everything the Nazis ever dreamt of.  Everything. How did that story end again?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:12 | Link to Comment fourchan
fourchan's picture

we spy on everyone especially ourselves, there i said it,

 

on a side note we are unable to keep china from spying on us.

Tue, 10/22/2013 - 07:44 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@nmewn

"the DGSE is doing the very same thing"

Not at all on this unimaginable huge scale:

For instance 70 million private phone calls spied and recorded between december 10th 2012  and   january 8th 2013 ...

Imagine France doing the same to the US, you would say "what kind of allied country is this ?"

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:28 | Link to Comment mvsjcl
mvsjcl's picture

And heeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeee's...Ghordius!!!!!!!!

 

The topic must be Eurocentric. Must ensure that the proper EU "spin" is applied.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:04 | Link to Comment One And Only
One And Only's picture

Complaints can be handled at 1800fuckyo

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:19 | Link to Comment edotabin
edotabin's picture

yeah but the phone system is down and the website doesn't work

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:21 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Complaints can be handled at 1800fuckyo

 

Please speak clearly and drop off any intel while your at it....hey....it doesn't hurt to ask.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:11 | Link to Comment spanish inquisition
spanish inquisition's picture

If you dial 1800 FUCKYOU you get a phone menu. A female voice states "If you want Obamacare press 1 if you are not trying to get Obamacare press 2". At the end of either phone call, you get the feeling of being screwed.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:07 | Link to Comment Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

Thought the UK is America´s lap dog in Europe.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:22 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

the UK thinks very often that it's the lead, or top "lap dog" of Europe. the old way of calling it is that we are ALL vassals of the American Hegemon. yet vassalage is a two-way street

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:27 | Link to Comment Wolferl
Wolferl's picture

True, but there´s a huge difference between being a lap dog and a vassal. An overlord depends on the loyalty of his vassals. No one depends on lap dogs.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:47 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

you are completely right. an overlord wishes for dependable, trustworthy vassals. and vassals wish for a dependable, trustworthy overlord

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:55 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

In America the overload wished for dependable trustworthy vessels. Because most citizens are as large as one.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:13 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

ah, fonz. how can I explain? a vassal has to be sovereign, nevertheless. it's an important qualification, for this status. you live in a place where many people think that an individual can be sovereign, and this is one of the biggest hurdles in qualifying a People as sovereign

what I'm trying to say is that the same individualistic drive to personal "sovereignty" is what makes the same ineffectual as Sovereign People

a lesson we learned here in the Middle Ages, with all it's divisions between Free Cities, Free Lords, Vassals and Serfs

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:26 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I saw a fat joke and went for it. Wrong place, my bad man.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:29 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

my English is so bad I understood the joke only now... lol, my bad

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:04 | Link to Comment bozzy
bozzy's picture

Ha! Ghord you must be German.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:32 | Link to Comment gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

It was all a fun read with my first cup of coffee...,

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:27 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

The British people are not sovereign. The queen is sovereign. The people are subjects - in reality as well as in theory.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:39 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

hey don't downsize and badmouth the size of that lap all paid for with ZIRP and QE burp. 

"We can support a whole harem of them dogs. thats why we are Unique."

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 13:45 | Link to Comment layman_please
layman_please's picture

aren't country names a bit misleading? usa with all its army, nsa, cia etc, is just a tool in the hands of international elite who have no affiliation to usa. nsa is an instrument payed by us taxpayers and operated by us government(once a rich nation who could afford it), in this case used to spy on european overlords, who are also their(global elite) peons. countries are just pawns to confuse populace if elites have a misunderstanding or disagreement (wars).

i would like to see news concerning nsa spying exposing who else besides us government has direct access to nsa databases(we know who has more or less indirect access). don't touch the curtain!

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:09 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"...how quickly the alliances within the second coming of the Comintern have changed..."

bad habit, imho, to call everything that is not ideologically "kosher" socialist. the alliances mentioned were always of the imperialist persuation. I prefer to call a spade a spade

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:31 | Link to Comment lewy14
lewy14's picture

We are all Socialists now.

Socialism with National characteristics, that is.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:56 | Link to Comment Acet
Acet's picture

Give them a break: these people have lived all their lives in a very uniform system, been subjected to a lifelong barrage of widespread, consistent ideological marketting and received no education (formal or informal) in any of the phylosophical disciplines that deal with falacies and false axioms: of course they will use socialist as an insult since they've been conditioned all their lifes to think that way and lack the self-criticism to undo that conditioning.

Mind you, the only reason why it's not quite as bad in Europe is that with so much cultural and linguistic variation nobody ever managed to create a proper Europe-wide ideological brainwashing message. That and there has been so much experience of political totalitariansm in most of Europe in the recent century that most people here have some experience with failed ideological experiments, such as Communism or Fascism, and are very familiar with that kind of blunt ideologic broadstroke tagging of anything disliked, since that is exactly the kind of shit used in a dictatorship to manipulate the ignorant masses (the Communists called anybody they disliked capitalist and fascist, while the Fascists called anybody they disliked communist and socialist).

Even in the UK - which has not been under a dictatorship for a long time and whose natives can't usually speak more than english - doesn't have nowhere near as many people who believe in this kind of ideological falacy as the US.

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:25 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

The fact that Obama grew up outside the U.S. is related to his being president. Having not been exposed to the brainwashing in his formative years, he would have to be either coopted or killed. Obama chose door #1.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:55 | Link to Comment TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

"statist" wraps up all of them into one smelly package with ease. Fascist, communist, socialist, monarchist, democrat, RINO.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:13 | Link to Comment Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

Vraiment de le merde! 

Having a laugh.

Traitrise! Mon Dieu. 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:22 | Link to Comment Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

To balance this see this article in the Obsever concerning Osbourne's tripping the light fanatastic with the Chinese:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/20/osborne-chinese-cha...

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:18 | Link to Comment Bazza McKenzie
Bazza McKenzie's picture

 "the question of why the NSA actually bothered is somewhat relevant"

Just as in the US, the opportunities for blackmailing politicians, judges and other officials are endless, and provide a compelling reason for those in control of this tool.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:28 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

Just ask Justice Roberts. Don't know what they found on him...but it must have been pretty damn good.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:35 | Link to Comment Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

The sick irony now is that judges are chosen BECAUSE they have skeletons in the closet (= leverage).

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:26 | Link to Comment banzai401
banzai401's picture

This is the most important comment here, I hope it doesn't escape most of the ZH zombies,

Good stuff today on MSM about how they 'dumb down judges',

Pretty soon rather than being judges by your 'peer' you will be judged by those that intend to eat you.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:27 | Link to Comment banzai401
banzai401's picture

Everybody has skeletons in their closet maybe they fucked their sister, or mother, or brother, ... or teacher.

Humans fuck get over it, ... but this kind of info allows 'them' to control everyone.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:19 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

Roberts was in the bag before he ever got nominated. Don't you remember how the stooges in Congress praised his "intelligence"? But Janice Rogers Brown was deemed unqualified to even sit on the federal bench because she had libertarian tendencies.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:56 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The question of why FRANCE actually bothered is also somewhat relevant...

... it's not like the NSA didn't know full well the frogs had their panties in a bunch long before they paraded themselves before the microphones.

So we're left with the entertainment/circus (political) value of this knowledge's digestion by the French muppet masses.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:02 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

Looks like the Ruling Class has all finally gotten on the same populist page, for their own various reasons.

Brazil's President went off on a tangent too:

Brazil's President Tells U.N. That NSA Spying Violates Human Rights

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/09/24/brazils-president-tells-un-that-nsa-spying-violates-human-rights

Now, to turn it to our advantage ;-)

Off to work...

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:24 | Link to Comment TheBoyPlunger
TheBoyPlunger's picture

The NSA spies on everyone. The French better keep their yappers shut or we won't liberate their country the next time the Germans invade.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:24 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

The NSA spies on everyone.

 

Yeah...spying on the French is sorta their job. They should offer a hard drive recovery service. I would really feel like they were working for me if they did that....plus it would be a nice public service.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:38 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@The Boy Plunger

While WW2 began in September 1939, the US entered in war only in December 1941 (2 years and 3 months later), and it was only in response to the declaration of war against them by Germany and Italy, after Pearl Harbor. The Americans didn't even think of "saving the French", they came to France in 1944 only because it was better to fight their enemy in Europe than in America, and it was the way to Berlin.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:12 | Link to Comment bozzy
bozzy's picture

@analyse: "they came to France in 1944 only because it was better to fight their enemy in Europe than in America, and it was the way to Berlin."

Funny that, I thought it was because the banksters neeeded to protect their investment and the financial domination which followed - petro somethng as I recall? This may be what you were hinting at.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:51 | Link to Comment Red Irish Mist
Red Irish Mist's picture

No no no. Surely you are aware that Hollywood has rewritten this?

The Americans saved the whole world. THAT is the new truth.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 17:09 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

All is not black or white :

The Americans didn't even think of "saving the French", they came to Europe because it was better to fight their enemy in Europe than in America ... but they liberated nonetheless.

... And nonetheless most Fench are still grateful for that. It is why they invite American representatives every year to the memorial in Normandy for the remembering of D-Day June 6, 1944.

On the other hand, the 5,000 sailors of the French Navy who died for US Independence at the battle of the Chesapeake are still waiting for their memorial in Washington And I have never heard that French representatives were formally invited to the celebrations of the Yorktown victory (where half of the fighters were French soldiers led by the Comte de Rochambeau), or at the 4th of July celebrations …

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:40 | Link to Comment IllusionOfChoice
IllusionOfChoice's picture

They are complaining about 70 million calls? That has to be childs play compared to the invasion of privacy Americans undergo everyday by our EXTRATERRITORIAL spy agency. Guess what France, the NSA is just doing their job in your country, here they are violating our CIVIL RIGHTS. STFU.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:26 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

What the hell is he going to do besides stomp his feet and whine (pun intended) about it? Worrying about pissing off the spineless French is the equivalent of Zero worrying about being challenged by the presitute media. Nothing will ever come from either of them.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:40 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

yet the "spineless" French were already preparing for Syria, weren't they? it was someone else that chickened out - after drumming up for support

not that I expect neither the "presstitute media" you mention or even ZH to point out who was the cicken, this time

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:41 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Spine, no spine- they fucked up.  They trusted Obama.  On both issues.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:49 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

foreign allies don't trust the Prez. they trust the nation. a subtle but important difference

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:54 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

What is a nation? Have you been to America recently? It's an unmitigated disaster. We have a small group of fascists governing a large group of mindless consumers and idiots (liberals) thinking they are on the team. They will find out soon enough they were never on the team. Why anyone would trust anything about this place is beyond me.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:05 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

fonz, what the heck are we europeans supposed to do in this? we have agreements, written and otherwise, with a nation which can't be just ignored. would you prefer the alternative, i.e. that we build a dozen supercarriers and a megafleet of armed drones? how your nation works internally is not really something that we are even remotely supposed to change. it's your business. we have all hands full with your nation's external actions

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:25 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

if you are waiting for us to fix things you are not going to be pleased. Our whistleblowers these days flee for asylum in Russia. Those left that support him and others like him are cast out of "society" or worse. 

So you are right, it's not your place to change our business. But you should be doing anything and everything to escape being at the mercy of it.

It's too late man. We are all chained together in this one. 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:07 | Link to Comment GetZeeGold
GetZeeGold's picture

 

 

foreign allies don't trust the Prez

 

Actually....they worshiped him before he became President. I suppose you'd like pictures of that. I can do better than that....I've got video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9lEfN6ax3D4

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:23 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

imho the Democrats could have had a monkey as candidate, as long as he was not similar to Bush millions would have cheered him

seriously, in Europe it was all about "not being Bush". even the Nobel Peace Prize was somehow about giving a negative prize to Bush

in America you have no idea how hated that man is, here

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 17:24 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

You are right and it is legitimate.

The Bush 2 regime lied and fabricated "evidence" that was used to deceive Congress, the American people, the United Nations, and all the world. 

At the time that these absurd claims were being made, only experts knew that they were false.

Today everyone knows that the claims were lies.

I wonder why everyone has forgotten how much hate France got for NOT wanting to participate in the Irak war.

The whole dumbass "french fries" , the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”  things and all.

After Bush 2, Obama appeared as a God's blessing ...

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:17 | Link to Comment bozzy
bozzy's picture

globalisation took care of that little detail a while back. The only life now available anywhere is the nauseating "american dream". Centre stage and DICTATING all outcomes the benevolent USA.

berk! (c'est du francais)

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:28 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"we have agreements, written and otherwise, with a nationwhich can't be just ignored. would you prefer the alternative, i.e. that we build a dozen supercarriers and a megafleet of armed drones? "

We have had such agreements before.  I recall us having them with many native american nations a while back.  

Would I prefer the alternative you describe?  Well, it would be a good start for you.  You need to stop looking at us all starry-eyed like we're here to help you.  We're not.  Maybe we used to be, but not now.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:42 | Link to Comment lewy14
lewy14's picture

would you prefer the alternative, i.e. that we build a dozen supercarriers and a megafleet of armed drones?

Amen. 

Although I wouldn't recommend the carriers; they're too vulnerable these days. But a huge drone squad, with a range of capabilities, and the appropriate naval platforms would be nice. Just leapfrog the whole carrier thing, it's over. But get busy.

Fifty years ago Europe was still rebuilding and vulnerable. Now, not so much. You used to be caught between two empires.

Now one empire is gone and there is no more reason to be beholden to the other.

You have the capability, if you dig deep, to defend yourself and maintain relative order in your part of the world - including the Mediterranean and the Atlantic - without the help of the US. And maybe project power into Africa, which might use the help.

None of this impacts the legitimate security concerns that the emerging consensus of ordinary Americans (right and left) would support.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment TwoHoot
TwoHoot's picture

I appreciate you providing the European view. Please keep up the good work. Your comments clarify what we read.

Every nation on earth has agreements that define their relationship with the USA. The states and citizens of the USA have an agreement (the Constitution) that defines our relationship with the Federal Government. Recent actions by the US government cast doubt on whether any of them will be honored. That is serious destabilizing situation. When the rule of law breaks down, the default is rule by capricious tyrants.

Europeans are very picky about carefully defining all the "isms". Americans are not. We just know that our government has become unhinged, irresponsible, oppressive and capricious. We don't know what to do about it any more than Europe does.

We do know that when governments ignore the laws of the land and treaties and agreements that millions are likely to die from violence, starvation and disease. We learned that from Europe. American citizens don't want any part of it but our government seems oblivious to the threat. Sometimes our government acts as if chaos is not a threat but a goal.

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 22:30 | Link to Comment Magically Delicious
Magically Delicious's picture

well said

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:59 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Well, thanks for that, but then they REALLY fucked up.  We can't stop this guy.  We tried, we failed.  He's running the show now.  He does whatever he wants.  Media backs him, the Supreme Court backs him, Congress can't stop him (and really don't want to anyway).  Nobody's said no to him yet and made it stick, aside from the narrowly averted war in Syria.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:26 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

I appreciate a good rant, but be fair: in Congress, he enjoys the support of a majority in the Senate. and when push came to shove, he received a majority in the House for delay until January

perhaps it's not enough to say "no". perhaps the alternative presented to him was not acceptable, for the Democrats

don't misunderstand me, I sympathize with all forms of "budget balancing". yet I know that "just no" is often the wrong way, in politics

from the outside, it looks like all political forces in the US are mired in further diverging worldviews

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:29 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

We are.  And when you are divided you are ____________.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:45 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Nah Ghord,

It just looks that way like an optical illusion. There really is only 2 factions. The small LEGAL govt. Liberty Patriot types and everyone else.

One is a laughably small minority...But it's growing.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:38 | Link to Comment highly debtful
highly debtful's picture

You are right about the lack of opposition in America, but it seems to me that the international scene is rapidly becoming an entirely different story for your president. You mentioned Syria and that incident was rather telling. So are the different recent deals to trade outside the US dollar. And Obama isn't exactly winning any prizes with his NSA and the shutdown-debt ceiling disaster. In other words, the unthinkable is starting to happen: not only is America being questioned and opposed, it is now increasingly being ignored, because the US government is considered to be unacceptably irresponsible. And believe me, being ignored is far more dangerous in these difficult economic times han being feared. 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:15 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Agreed, and there's really the rub.  Obama might have 51% of the US bamboozled, but world leaders recognize the truth- Obama is an incompetent fumbling egotist.  They can, will and have taken advantage.  

Who is held in higher regard in the world right now- Putin or Obama?  OK, even if you still say Obama is, compare their relative rankings now vs. before the Syria debacle.  Obama's losing ground, and for good reason.  He does not know what he is doing.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:20 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

He only has black-America bamboozled.  

95% voted for color (but it aint raycist when a nigger does it).

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:42 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Yeah right. It was the American people who said no fucking way to a drummed up war that made TPTB temporarily stand down. Besides what fucking courage does it take to send somebody else's kids off to get slaughtered?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:45 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

just remember who wanted that war: the Gulf States, for a pipeline to europe. and boy, aren't they pissed

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:10 | Link to Comment Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Not as pissed as when someone takes over Qatar and pushes the population into the sea....

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:52 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Ah, but Qui Bono (besides the usual suspects) from an alternate source of gas from Gazprom?

Hint: It ain't the US.

(other than another stick to prop up the shaky petrobuck)

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:25 | Link to Comment bozzy
bozzy's picture

Engali, you ignore the English lapdog, which said "fuck you" immediately and comprehensively way before awopbopaloobopobamabamboom finished getting fucked up by Putin. No pussycat doll he either.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:33 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

According to this article:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/08/russia-syria-and-the-decline-of-a...

... the reason that war in Syria was called off had nothing to do with the American people's opposition (lol, yeah, right) - rather it was due to the fact that Russian warships jammed the GPS receivers of cruise missiles fired by the Americans (or the Israelis, no one knows for sure) towards the Syrian coast. The missiles never reached Syria, and Obama never accomplished his war.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:49 | Link to Comment fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

America did not chicken out. Quite the opposite actually. After Russia was kind enough to point out what was going on in the NY Times etc. enough zombie consumers and even douchebag liberals joined in with the few remaining people with brains and told our dear leader to stfu. Unfortunately this was probably a one off for the U.S.

So, that left France sitting there "preparing" for Syria. I guess they are still preparing? 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:57 | Link to Comment Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

actually a very scary way of looking it, that the whole US decision-making process needed a Russian prez writing an article on the NYT

as much as I hated the idea of an intervention in Syria, remember who was drumming up, and who responded - btw the reason why Tyler is making so much humour out of it

actually France itself does not need that pipeline, it has beefed up it's NLG ports on the Atlantic. the whole thing just made a mess in all relationships in the Gulf, to the point that I have to ask: does the US gov apparatus still have it's collective wits together? why drumming up in the first place, without thinking about it first? which leads to the pressure from the MIC to pound some ammo "somewhere"

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:01 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"does the US gov apparatus still have it's collective wits together?"

No.

And I'm disapponted you have to ask that question at such a late date.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:09 | Link to Comment Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

France needs whatever Qatar pays for........if Ghadaffi was lending EUR 50 million to fund Sarkozy......with men like Charles Pasqua taking kickbacks on arms sales, lucre from ship sales to Taiwan.......France is run by prostitues that make Cameron, Blair et al look like virgins

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/europe/28iht-paris.html?_r=0

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:44 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

what amuses me beyond all despair is the confusion "savemment" maintained here at ZH even by the Lord Tylers themselves about the use of the words "socialist" and commie".

For a nation that won its colonial freedom from a king to forget what kinglyness implies, to confuse royal conduct and motivation with "social" and even "commie" behaviour is mindboggling.

If the US government is socialist its financial czars are all members of the new Comintern and... China is the new land of free and home of the brave!

Howzat for logic?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:11 | Link to Comment Manipulism
Manipulism's picture

Merikans tend to oversimplify everthing down to 0.

Not the best way for intellectual forthcoming.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:32 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Bah humbug,

Ist's and ism's are so early 20th century. Gone.

Allow me to introduce my "Scotch Theory" of modern political science.

Just as there are hardcore fans of distinct single malts and will argue their merits in contrasts of peaty, smokey flavors with a bite, to win the support of a mass market that prefer a smoother experience, they blend whiskeys in different proportions to achieve a balance suitable for mass marketing.

The degrees of blend are regional choices. Some lean to flavor while others lean smooth but nearly all are blends.

And they all have varying degrees of rat shit corruption in the bottom of the bottle. The trick is to not let it be too visible and call the flavor it imparts to the whole a 'slight elderberry finish'.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:02 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

rat shit corruption in bottle bottom : in the french wine industry its called "pourriture noble".

In the political world its called planned strong arm tactics and its all done by "agents provocateurs", the type who then point to the innocent and say : "thief thief", to distract the frothing populace. Private armies of silent dirty contractuals; conquistadors and condottierie of old.

Its happening all over the third world today. 9 million dead in the silent war in Congo, all for the Oligarchy royals of corporates like BHP, Glencore and Xstrata and the likes of Shell and Exxon or Areva and Nippon song or China sun and Korean moon beams and Indian Diwali; lovely names of new tomorrows all sadder than yesterday's horrors.

So gone is the ism and the ist but the gist of the matter stays that when you itch you scratch and the more you itch the more you scratch the other man's eyes out ...now its gone viral all over third world.

We lack the global resources so the itching is just going to get worse. as will the spying and lying amongst allies who are like thieves : always ready to fall out.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:08 | Link to Comment Acet
Acet's picture

The drumming up for war on the US side was almost certainly due to pressure from the industrial-military complex (remember, a lot of 4-star generals and politicians retire to highly paid sinecures there) which has been getting less and less money (there's a ZH article about it somewhere), due to pressure from the FED for moar government debt faster (QE-eternity is drying up to the pool of treasures, the best rehypotecable colateral) and because it meant an easy way to bypass the whole debt ceiling debate for a while.

Also Obama saw the groundswell of patriotic support that Bush got when he started two wars.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:34 | Link to Comment Fred C Dobbs
Fred C Dobbs's picture

You mean they lied?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:38 | Link to Comment JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

Of course, the question of why the NSA actually bothered is somewhat relevant: it's not as if the NSA would learn anything actionable.

Of course the NSA would learn a lot or they would not do it.  70 million calls a month and you glean a lot of economic secrets and lots of information to blackmail people with.  If someone was collecting 70 million calls a month from the top people in the US, it would be considered an act of war.  But on the other hand, the US hands over all the 3 billion pieces of intelligence collected a month on US citizens to Israel without any legal restrictions on Israel's use of the data.

RT's take on the French spying:

Moreover, Le Monde also wrote that it had reason to believe that the spying was not just limited to citizens suspected of being involved in terrorism. According to the data released by Snowden the NSA also eavesdropped on politicians and prominent business figures.  

 

The newspaper did not give any indications as to the identity of the high-profile people.

France should be enraged by this economic spying and the destruction of privacy of its most prominent citizens.

http://rt.com/news/france-nsa-shocking-spying-478/

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:19 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

the US hands over all the 3 billion pieces of intelligence collected a month on US citizens to Israel without any legal restrictions on Israel's use of the data

Well, they are the owners, after all.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:25 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Mark this comment.  Where there is the NSA there is investment banking.The dirty secret is where the real tentacles go.

Make no mistake, many are getting paid out of all of this "data."

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:45 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

ha ha ha, the grapes of feigned wrath at Supremo peeping down your bum hole.

The french secret service now actively being centralised in a new Pentagon structure being built in PAris to cut and paste the US MIC, (remember France loves to sell weapons like submarines of second class conception and Louis Vuitton priced Rafale planes, that nobody wants to buy, to maintain their grandeur) has a long tradition of power play and spy as spy can type expertise all in cahoots with NSA, like UK and Germany and Aussi and NZ etc. etc. etc. Birds of same feather in the "great game".

So a left wing president who loves the corporations all the while singing "my real enemy is the banking sector"; all the while he strip teases in front of them pleading that WS and FED continue treating France as a mini banking hub and "privileged partner", not subject to PIIGS market bashing; who loves Obama's "yes we can" BS as it corresponds to his own true mindset (talk smooth, act small, ruffle few oligarchy feathers), now has to show his obfuscation for being colonoscopied by the NSA.

At least Sarko, when top dog, openly said that unlike predecessor Chirac he loved GWB so much he would have joined Blair, Aznar and Barroso in Madeira 2003 as fellow crusader on the Iraq junket, instead of shoe bashing like Villepin in the UN and singing like Amy Winehouse  :  "Non, non non. I ain't going to rehab in Saddam town." 

Sad day at NSA Blackrock, for French and US complicity, in Townsended tinsel town torn curtain debacle.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:39 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

"the documents gave grounds to believe that the NSA targeted not only people suspected of being involved in terrorism but also high-profile individuals from the world of business or politics."

Well, the French just figured it out.  Welcome to the party, pal.  

Now if we could get our own people to add 2 + 2, maybe we'd be making some progress.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:40 | Link to Comment Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Unacceptable? LOL. I do not think that means what you think it means.

To anyone other than a frog, it means you won't accept it. They will. White flags ahoy.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:01 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@Zero Point

In fact this ugly disdain and pitiful jokes come from the firm refusal of the French to join America in Irak, in 2003.

But History has proved that the French were right.

Nevertheless the hate of the american warmongers remains still there, well alive.

They have not forgiven the offence, and their stale hate still show through so-called innocent (?) jokes about the “surrender monkeys”.

As for the rest, the French can be proud of their Military History which remains despite these stupid jokes by far the best military record in Europe.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:10 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

It is a pity that Tyler and lot of Zerohedgers are falling into the neo-con world view on French.

Just one advice: Read History books

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:43 | Link to Comment sumo
sumo's picture

Follow your own advice. Start with a book on Vichy France.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vichy_France

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 18:27 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@sumo

"Start with a book on Vichy France"

There was Vichy, a puppet government in a defeated and occupied country, Ok, but another face of the medal, had for name  "French Resistance". To give some examples:

- 58,000 Free French troops have been killed fighting the Axis,

- Internal French Resistance had 20,000 deaths + 20,000 deaths in deportation.

- 3500 French pilots served in the RAF

- 100,000 French troops participated with success (under General Juin) to the 1943 Italian campaign.

- 6 Free French divisions did contribute hugely to the Provence landing (under General De Lattre de Tassigny).

- In 1945 the Allied Forces on the west front consisted in:

US: 45 divisions -  UK: 12 divisions -  France: 9 divisions -  Poland: 1 division.

Apart from the puppet government based in Vichy, there was a free government based in London under the authority of General De Gaulle.

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:32 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

If you read history books you would learn that from Mansourah in 1250 to Azincourt in 1415 France lost every major battle. I concede to lose majors battles you have to be a major hegemonial player which they undoubtedly were.

Then from 1521 to 1559 during the Italian wars they lost nearly every battle to the Spaniards. Then they had 8 religous wars and merrily killed the same who fought side by side in Italy during the Saint Barthelemy.

Then they fought the Wars of Louis XIV that ruined the economy.

Then they fought the seven year war and lost their colonies.

Then they fought the Napoleonic wars and learned that going to Moscow was a bad idea and sitting inside a horse's carcass was not the best way to see the Berezina.

Then they fought three wars against Germany and found solace in beating up the Algerians and Africans, who fought with knives and sticks and stones against mechanised warfare.

Its a great tradition of many wars and many, many defeats, more so than the victories. Otherwise the whole world today would be speaking French as both Louis XIV and Napoleon dreamt.

Now to come back to the cheeses...

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:53 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

If Montcalm wasn't such a prideful dolt, the outcome on the Plains of Abraham could have been far different and maybe Canada and Western America would still parlez vous Francais.

One lousy ball of lead and the world changes.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 17:59 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@falak pema

"from Mansourah in 1250 to Azincourt in 1415 France lost every major battle".

But they won a certain number of other major battles as they did won the 100 years war against the English (which in fact last 116 years).

In fact, according to historian Niall Ferguson, of the 125 major European wars fought since 1495, the French have participated in fifty – more than both Austria (forty-seven) and England (forty-three). And they’ve achieved an impressive batting average: out of 168 battles fought since 387 BC, they have won 109, lost forty-nine and drawn ten.

This is what explains how the French, surrounded by the Germans, English, Dutch, Italians and Spaniards (among others), succeeded to won and guard the largest country in the very heart of Europe ...

 



Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:55 | Link to Comment Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

Actually asshole, I was born in New Zealand. If you don't know why that means I have no love for the French. Read a book.

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:58 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

But you DO love those sheep.

Kiwi's are famous for buttin' mutton.

Tue, 10/22/2013 - 08:02 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

@ZERO point

There is not any French nuke popping off in the pacific for more than 17 years now.

Concerning the Rainbow Warrior (1 accidental death indeed) it was actually a fault of French military security service (DGSE), that France recognised.

Having admitted responsibility, France initially offered an official apology and acknowledgement of breach of international law.

Additionally, the UN secretary-general awarded New Zealand 7 million USD. This is in addition to compensation which France paid to the family of the only victim of the mission and to Greenpeace (settled privately).

France also offered a new boat to Greenpeace.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:44 | Link to Comment williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

Afterall, the DC Vichycrats consider free France as rivals/enemies. Is this a B movie?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 06:47 | Link to Comment jmcadg
jmcadg's picture

Obama's bitch has just realised he's on a leash. Lol.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:01 | Link to Comment sbenard
sbenard's picture

Hollande has no qualms with intruding into, and confiscating, his peoples' private bank accounts by 75%, but heaven forbid that a government would evesdrop on their private phone calls.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:06 | Link to Comment Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

They must have so much dirt on French politicians and their courtesans and corrupt Bokassa-type deals that French politicians must dance naked on tabletops for Obama and his fan club whenever.......

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:11 | Link to Comment Zero Point
Zero Point's picture

I realise that Big O is a deranged deviant, but I doubt even he could find anything titillating there.

Who knows though, could be right up there with getting pooped on etc.

Maybe I'm just old fashioned.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:22 | Link to Comment bozzy
bozzy's picture

Putain... b'in alors..

Au moins nous avons nos trois cents variétés de fromage. Comme ça il est carrément impossible que les États Unis puissent nous dominer.

Gros bisous - je dois vous quitter - c'est l'heure du déjeuner - et après une heure au bureau cet après midi je vais faire le pont jusqu'au weekend ! C'est dingue n'est-ce pas?

Il va sans dire que je vais conduire comme un fou.... comme d'habitude.

A toute a l'heure...

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:37 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Et vous NOUS appellez fou pour pratiquer défense contre les fous Français quand faillite et désespéré???

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:39 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

that is so confusing I'll have to eat all of the 300 types of cheeses before I can swallow that! 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:21 | Link to Comment Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Il y a des destins de pire que manger tous les 300 variétés- ici ils CUIRAIT tous les 300 variétés pour fondue et PUERONT l'endroit, après quoi un Frenchy sans bain et sans parfum ne semble plus nocif.

And would someone please tell that damn socialist to STOP PRACTICING HIS STUPID FACE IN THE MIRROR DURING THE 23 HOURS A DAY HE ISN'T WORKING, his like-minded press corps must be going nutz.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 07:53 | Link to Comment Apostate2
Apostate2's picture

Trop drôle!

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:01 | Link to Comment Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

" America's European lap dog in virtually everything"

You're kidding right, or you had UK in mind instead?

 

Fyi there's a very strong (and imo healthy) dose of anti-Amercanism at every level of French society. The "we're allies and friends" mantra is considered to be BS by many of us here as we know that Uncle Sam has two types of relations with foreign countries : slaves (Canada UK Australia etc) and ENEMIES (the ones you spy on shamelessly).

 

Apart from the TV-zombies who live on cheap US TV series and who think Amerika is the greatest country to live in the rest of us French people are very WARY of you, of your society model and of your appaling way to sniff our worn underwears with your NSA sniffing dog.

 

Now let's look at the bright side of things : this hysteric bout of US spaying is the expression of a declining power. After 1918 the World was American... flash-forward to 2018 : the Empire will start to crumble.

 

You had 100 good years but historians will wonder how you could fuck up your position so quickly? Hubris? Plain stupidity?

 

 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:44 | Link to Comment Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Glass houses and everything...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17lP0P1TxYk

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:08 | Link to Comment Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Laziness in not keeping the Tribe in check. 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:19 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Good thing you don't have to worry about US spaying.

France has been neutered for the past 200 years and just eats and naps.

We aren't going to learn anything we don't already know.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:07 | Link to Comment Volaille de Bresse
Volaille de Bresse's picture

Btw THANK YOU Mr Snowden for spilling the beans once again.

 

Putin must (once again) laugh his ass off at the expense of the US!

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:06 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

Right. It would have been so much better if Snowden had kept everything secret. You know, to protect American interests.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 08:25 | Link to Comment Pumpkin
Pumpkin's picture

Do they think that we are naive enough to believe that they are naive enough to had not suspected anything?  Shocked my ass.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:10 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

I see London

I see France

I see everyones underpants.

Jimmie 'The Clap' Clapper.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 09:23 | Link to Comment Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

Francois dude, I’m all sympathetic. A few days ago I sent an email to an 80 year old Marine I play tennis with once a week and jokingly echoed the old ad line “I love you man”. Two minutes later I got a pop-up ad to join the Gay Alliance.

Nice one Google, Facebook, MSN, or whoever was spying on me this time. You got it wrong again.

Now with this post I’ll probably get ads for Viagra-Tennis (the latest craze in brand segmentation for sports), Serena Williams perfume, and an invitation to join the armed forces.

Here’s what’s really funny. The government still maintains the Do-Not-Call List; you now, for our protection against marketers who invade our privacy.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:05 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

NSA has that list. A very useful list of numbers - being on it probably gets you extra scrutiny.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:34 | Link to Comment tvdog
tvdog's picture

France's socialist president, Francois Hollande, in his quest to show just how great his allegiance was to the eat tax the rich "fairness doctrine" and socialist causes espoused by the glorious leader on the other side of the Atlantic

When did anybody on either side of the Atlantic actually considered taxing the rich?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:06 | Link to Comment WTFUD
WTFUD's picture

Calling Hollande a " socialist " is a big joke! Castro is a socialist; Hollande and the 'other' Elitists are RENT BOYS.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 10:10 | Link to Comment Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

If the Republicrats wanted to seek approval of the nation and gain virtually limitless muscle they would simply tie the budget to defunding the NSA.  Health care was the red herring.

But, it's their baby and Fascism loves its unconstitutional spy-bastard.

FUCK THE NSA.

Vote every light-saber-cock-sucking encumbant that voted for the Patriot Pussy Act in 2011 out.  Eat shit.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:02 | Link to Comment HamRove
HamRove's picture

SACRE BLEU!!

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:16 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

"light-saber-cock-sucking encumbant"

I have no idea what that means, but you earn a gold star for it's far from prosaic, ebullient quality.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 11:34 | Link to Comment Brazen Heist
Brazen Heist's picture

Dear French: hope you realized that it doesn't pay to be a lackey of America. They spy on you anyway. 

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 12:10 | Link to Comment Paracelsus
Paracelsus's picture

Ask the New Zealanders about the French.Google Rainbow Warrior Bombing.Also,if those nukes popping off in the Pacific are so safe,why not set them off right outside Paris in the lovely countryside?

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 18:17 | Link to Comment Analyse2
Analyse2's picture

There is not any French nuke popping off in the pacific for more than 17 years now.

Concerning the Rainbow Warrior (1 death indeed) it was actually a fault of French military security service (DGSE), that France recognised.

Having admitted responsibility, France initially offered an official apology and acknowledgement of breach of international law.

Additionally, the UN secretary-general awarded New Zealand 7 million USD. This is in addition to compensation which France paid to the family of the only victim of the mission and to Greenpeace (settled privately).

France also offered a new boat to Greenpeace.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 21:48 | Link to Comment butchtrucks
butchtrucks's picture

A grubby act of state-sponsored international terrorism.  Stop trying to defend it Analyse.

The French spies were caught almost immediately due to their total incompetance.  They were sentanced for their crimes in NZ court.  But huge pressure from the French governement authorities, including threatened trade sanctions forced the Kiwis to release the spies to French authorties.  They then spend a few months on a French island in the south pacific before arriving back in Paris to a hero's welcome.  They were all awarded French Medals of Honour for their services.

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 14:32 | Link to Comment RMolineaux
RMolineaux's picture

A little hyperbole here.  But then again, everyone is play acting.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!