Saturday, March 12, 2011

The will of the people is generally seen by Eurocrats as an obstacle to overcome, not a reason to change direction

On a U.S. talk-radio show recently, I was asked what I thought about the notion that Barack Obama had been born in Kenya. "Pah!" I replied. "Your president was plainly born in Brussels."
That is how Daniel Hannan starts his Warning to America (thanks to Instapundit) regarding the perils of following Europeans toward greater regulation, higher taxes, and centralized power.
My guess is that, if anything, Obama would verbalize his ideology using the same vocabulary that Eurocrats do. He would say he wants a fairer America, a more tolerant America, a less arrogant America, a more engaged America. When you prize away the cliché, what these phrases amount to are higher taxes, less patriotism, a bigger role for state bureaucracies, and a transfer of sovereignty to global institutions.

He is not pursuing a set of random initiatives but a program of comprehensive Europeanization: European health care, European welfare, European carbon taxes, European day care, European college education, even a European foreign policy, based on engagement with supranational technocracies, nuclear disarmament and a reluctance to deploy forces overseas.

No previous president has offered such uncritical support for European integration. On his very first trip to Europe as president, Mr. Obama declared, "In my view, there is no Old Europe or New Europe. There is a united Europe."

I don't doubt the sincerity of those Americans who want to copy the European model. A few may be snobs who wear their euro-enthusiasm as a badge of sophistication. But most genuinely believe that making their country less American and more like the rest of the world would make it more comfortable and peaceable.

All right, growth would be slower, but the quality of life might improve. All right, taxes would be higher, but workers need no longer fear sickness or unemployment. All right, the U.S. would no longer be the world's superpower, but perhaps that would make it more popular. Is a European future truly so terrible?

Yes. I have been an elected member of the European Parliament for 11 years. I have seen firsthand what the European political model means.

The critical difference between the American and European unions has to do with the location of power. The U.S. was founded on what we might loosely call the Jeffersonian ideal: the notion that decisions should be taken as closely as possible to the people they affect. The European Union was based on precisely the opposite ideal.

…The will of the people is generally seen by Eurocrats as an obstacle to overcome, not a reason to change direction. When France, the Netherlands and Ireland voted against the European Constitution, the referendum results were swatted aside and the document adopted regardless. For, in Brussels, the ruling doctrine—that the nation-state must be transcended—is seen as more important than freedom, democracy or the rule of law.

This doctrine has had several malign consequences. … We can now see where that road [a European "third way" between the excesses of American capitalism and the totalitarianism of Soviet communism] leads: to burgeoning bureaucracy, more spending, higher taxes, slower growth and rising unemployment. But an entire political class has grown up believing not just in the economic superiority of euro-corporatism but in its moral superiority. After all, if the American system were better—if people could thrive without government supervision—there would be less need for politicians. As Upton Sinclair once observed, "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

…Why is a European politician urging America to avoid Europeanization? As a Briton, I see the American republic as a repository of our traditional freedoms. The doctrines rooted in the common law, in the Magna Carta, and in the Bill of Rights found their fullest and most sublime expression in the old courthouse of Philadelphia. Britain, as a result of its unhappy membership in the European Union, has now surrendered a large part of its birthright. But our freedoms live on in America.

Well Now Isn't That Embarassing...

Those of you who are interested in the daily doings of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's hereditary autocrat and wacky man-about-town will be interested to know that he thinks Americans honor him, for being y'know him:
Pyongyang, March 8 (KCNA) -- Thomas Curley, president of the Associated Press of the United States, and his party visited the statue of President Kim Il Sung on Mansu Hill on Tuesday.

The guests laid bouquets before the statue and paid homage to the President

Today's Human Props.

Beware Constitutional Convention!

Beware Constitutional Convention! warns Phyllis Schlafly, who recently recorded 3 short videos on the dangers of the proposed Con Con (convention to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution)

Diversity, Near East Style

The usual brutal carrying-on in those genteel and thoughtful Muslim-dominated societies makes this no real surprise:
The father of the Muslim woman was killed by his cousin because he did not kill his daughter to preserve the family's honor, which led the woman's brother to avenge the death of his father by killing the cousin.
Pourquoi, you ask?
The village Muslims blamed the Christians.
Of course the causes are obfuscated away at the top of their delusional lungs. The "family affair" shouldn't be confused by more lethal and common events:
A mob of nearly four thousand Muslims has attacked Coptic homes this evening in the village of Soul, Atfif in Helwan Governorate, 30 kilometers from Cairo, and torched the Church of St. Mina and St. George. There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the Church pastor Father Yosha and three deacons who were at church; some say they died in the fire and some say they are being held captive by the Muslims inside the church.

Witnesses report the mob prevented the fire brigade from entering the village. The army, which has been stationed for the last two days in the village of Bromil, 7 kilometers from Soul, initially refused to go into Soul, according to the officer in charge. When the army finally sent three tanks to the village, Muslim elders sent them away, saying that everything was "in order now."

A curfew has been imposed on the 12,000 Christians in the village.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Aren't we Being a Might Bit Overprotective?

Canada's tsunami warnings include many of the erstwhile dominion's highest points, inluding much of the canadian Rockies.

France's Strategic Yogurt Production is in Peril

It's splitsville for Danone in China, and Yoplait is now expected to pick up an accordion and go native: General Mills and China's Bright Food is talking about acquisition. The question is, now that an evil American company isn't the sole focus, will a Franco-fetishistic stink be made about those gentle, transparent, human employers from China?
"Bright wants to accelerate going global and expand its dairy business through mergers and cooperation," said Wang, who recently travelled to France to meet Yoplait's major shareholders.
Given the aboriginals' propensity to see outsiders as exploiting marauders, all I can say is Boo Ho, Spanky.

An American of Indian Heritage to Head the Insead Business School

Dipak C. Jain est un doyen "global" pour une institution qui cherche plus que jamais à affirmer sa vocation d'"école globale" : "The Business School for the World", comme se définit elle-même cette école spécialisée dans la formation en management pour cadres.
The new head of one of Europe's most prestigious management schools is American. And not just your typical American, writes Benoît Floc'h in Le Monde. The former head of Chicago's Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University, where Christine Lagarde was among his pupils) is of Indian heritage (as are the new heads of Harvard and Chicago Booth), he is a vegetarian, he does not own a laptop, and he does not know how to drive…
"Mes racines ont eu un grand impact sur ma personnalité, confie-t-il. En vertu de ces racines, je reste fidèle aux trois principes fondamentaux de non-violence, de multiplicité des points de vue et de non-possessivité. Mon père, aveugle, m'a appris que quand on fait les choses dans la vie comme si l'on était totalement aveugle, on se trompe rarement. Ma mère m'a enseigné la bienveillance et le partage, le pardon et l'oubli, à être sûr de moi sans être agressif."

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tonight I Join the Participants in the France 24 Debate (in French) on Peter King's Hearings on Islamic Terrorism

Ce soir, entre 19h et 20 h, je serai parmi les intervenants dans le débat de France 24 sur les "hearings" de Peter King à Washington sur le terrorisme islamique…

Since 1631, with France’s first newspaper, La Gazette, “the French press has been dependent on power”

A malaise that goes back more than 300 years
is the way that The Economist styles its article on French newspapers, Too close to power.
Christophe Deloire, director of the Centre for Journalist Training in Paris, traces the problem to France’s first newspaper, La Gazette, founded in 1631 under the auspices of Cardinal Richelieu. Since then “the French press has been dependent on power,” he says; this has blunted its edge.
While another article reminds us that it was it was the country's ruler(s), in the form of "Charles de Gaulle [himself, who] called for the launch of Le Monde, first published in 1944, to replace Le Temps," one French reader writes that
French unions and government have killed their print media. The government almost edits the papers; it controls far too much. People will eventually realize they need a democracy without the enarques running everything.

In Turns, both at Fault and Inconsequential

N.B.: I wrote this in January 2008. This
looks funny, in reflection.

Funny (ha-ha), don’t you think, that the U.S. is somehow the virus that gives Europe a cold when it sneezes? This implies that the US is somehow responsible for economic affairs in the U.S., despite the fact that every morning in New York, traders have to wake up to Europe’s mid-day jitters more often than not.
After all, even Christine Lagarde, who is nearly as North American as she is French, is adding the usual pedantic continental commentary as a show at home to be taken seriously and appear to have social depth while effectively demanding something from others one is largely unable to do oneself.

French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said Tuesday that U.S. President George W. Bush should explain how the 140-billion-U.S.-dollar stimulus package will work to revive economy.

Who’s economy does she think Bush should primarily be concerned with anyway? Suddenly, suddenly the U.S. is commanded to stick to its’ role as the fuel in the locomotive pulling the global economy along, while the caboose only conditionally considers easing up on its brakes if you’ll indulge their delusions, but otherwise act in their interest.

When asked if a U.S. recession will implicate Europe, Lagarde said there are big economic differences between the United States and Europe.
She explained that unemployment rate is on the rise in the United States but is declining in Europe and U.S. economy has begun a slowdown while Europe grows at a steady 2 percent.

Which is especially funny, because they virtually never experience rates of growth as high as 2 percent, while the world worries about the U.S. having that yearly rate now, and ironically trying to call that a “recession.”

The minister also said a U.S. recession will not be a "tragedy" for France as bilateral trade between the two countries only accounts for 8 percent of France's total foreign trade volume.

Hypocrites. Which is to say that they really want the U.S. push through stimulus, give other central banks enough information to profit off of the sectors that it dwells on, but hey!, ya know what? No problem here! We’re BETTER than that! We call the inflation rates/ unemployment rates/ growth rates in France a stellar success, while those same rates in the U.S. are a sign of decay, meltdown, and an inadequate amount of nagging crypto-marxism. Right-o. Got it.
At the same time the Bank of France (whose real authority has been ceded to the ECB) chose a different tack while going into blame mode.

French regulator sees 'partial decoupling' of U.S. and EU economies
While there is increasing evidence that the eurozone economy is slowing, most of the factors that are contributing to the bleak outlook in the United States are not present on the Continent, according to the governor of the Bank of France, Christian Noyer.

See? Different! That’s a sign of the breadth and richness of their broadmindedness. That famous continental touch, if you will. Their failure to jump onto a decade-long global economic expansion goes unmentioned and nearly never discussed. Their lack of abject stagnation for 2 years somehow points out the failure of two decades of systematic growth in the U.S., and yet if it didn’t, the cultural buzz would try to say that American growth is somehow inimical to humanity – an eco-sin and a decadence of reactionaries that they choose not to take. Until they experience some growth themselves, and get some relief from the state of stagnation normal to their way of life. No, THEN everyone else on earth is an idiot for some other reason.

Got it. We’ll see how different the public zeitgeist looks when thing are different, and America is called another sort of demon.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

If you do things and you believe in what you're doing, you darn well ought to be willing to stand up and defend them

As far as I can see, the very best interview of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in the wake of his new book Known and Unknown: A Memoir (I was privileged to shake his hand at CPAC) is that of John Hawkins, who brings up the issue that has tormented me over the years…
David Limbaugh had a question he wanted me to ask you and it's one I've heard often from conservatives over the last few years. There was an ocean of lies, smears and slander being fired off at the Bush Administration over the war and although conservatives were defending the war, a lot of times the administration came across more like a punching bag. There just wasn't a lot of pushback coming from the Bush White House. So why didn't the Bush Administration more vigorously defend itself, especially in the second term?

I have no idea. I know Karl Rove was a very smart man. He wrote a book and said that he considered one of the biggest failures of the Bush Administration to not push back. I watched it from afar during the presidential election, since I wasn't involved in politics -- where both candidates, McCain and Obama, attacked the Bush Administration -- and the White House not only did not defend the Bush Administration, it asked people not to either.

I guess the President must have decided he didn't want to be blamed for McCain's defeat. So, they just took it like a punching bag, as you say, which I think is a mistake. I mean if you do things and you believe in what you're doing, you darn well ought to be willing to stand up and defend them. I think Karl Rove felt that way and I suspect, in retrospect, that President Bush might even feel that way.

So do you Think YOU’RE Brave?

From Korea's Joongang Daily:
A 21-year-old North Korean resident surnamed Kim who defected to the South by passing through the demilitarized zone and into Cheorwon County, Gangwon, on Feb. 15, says he escaped because he was starving in the North, according to South Korean intelligence officials.
What a fool.. Wanting to leave the ‘paradise’ social equality?
Despite his age, government sources described Kim as being just 154 centimeters (5 feet) tall and weighing only 46 kilograms (101 pounds). The defector also told the officials he has been yearning for a life in the South.

The President's Speech

Although I am no Bush-basher — far from it — this, for once, is actually
not a bad piece of humor from the Left's side of the aisle…
(The problem being not the fact that they make fun of the right but the way they avoid making fun of Obama and other members of the left and the way, therefore, their humor amounts, in the final analysis, to double standards…) Comment du jour:
You know, I am no fan of President Bush, but attacking someone for a speech impediment.... not funny. It's gradeschool stuff […] . The man's out of office and not in the headlines. Move on and find new material already.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Plan B is to Unite the Workers of the World Against their Will

Which is where the anachronism of the undermining “false consciousness” argument comes from, but that’s beside the point.

It doesn’t take much to understand the mind of a moocher who has an “in” with the ultimate monopoly: the state. It explains much about democrats in the US insisting that making public sector pay a minute part of their health insurance and pension themselves, is in fact, an “assault on the poor” or any number of other stock excuses for the parasitism that they always champion.

No, what it doesn’t take too long to figure out, and what marks the difference between the socially conditioned left, and the autonomously reasoning right, is why a people who complain about life’s costs and complexity, shake their heads at the idea of both spouses HAVING to work, etc., etc., etc., realizing that it’s because of high taxation – and that high taxation is a direct result of their parasitism – and the pathetic defense thereof, for example insisting that the school district maintenance staff be paid as much as private sector lawyers, and defending it in the name of, say, “the homeless”, and whatever else they can emote in Pavlovian fashion.

Gawain the evil genius with a mongoose-esque cunning, without any assistance from a government Ombuds-person, has found the MOAB of pathetic emotive empathies:

In an incohate expression of impotence the general secretary the EU's uber UNISON, the EPSU, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel has demanded that the EU bring back red blooded socialism, and if necessary impose it on national governments.

She is echoed by the increasingly irrellevant John Monks with this very odd comment,

"the current economic governance is not leading to more political governance".
Because it collapse eastern European society the first time, and the only purpose government could possibly have is to shove ideology tyrannically down the throats of the blessed people, why not try it again?

The boring, sad, and deeply ignorant part of the left’s bloviations is that it’s entirely a repetition, rehashing, and regurgitation of failures. Not just simple failure, but failures that created nearly a century of human misery, inhumanity, and in many cases genocidal cruelty. To think that the entire racket, meant entirely to make the perfect canned case for a strongman to buy out people for his power, is being swallowed up whole by some people.

The European Union has enough money to promote human rights and democracy — in America

In the extensive list of stories fitting inside the If you're not harmed by an American, your suffering doesn't count department, the Wall Street Journal reacts to a London Telegraph report on the fact that
in 2009 the EU gave at least €2.6 million ($3.6 million) to groups lobbying against the death penalty in America. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, a project of the unelected European Commission, has given six-figure handouts to groups such as the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Witness to Innocence and—the list's largest stateside recipient—€708,162 to the poverty-stricken lawyers at the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education.

This concern for convicted American murderers is touching, given that its normal recipients are civil-society groups in the likes of Sudan and Zimbabwe. Somehow North Korea and Cuba didn't make the EU's list, perhaps because they execute people without a trial.

Europe's secular populations mostly oppose capital punishment, though a September 2010 YouGov poll reported that 51% of Brits favored executing murderers. In 2006 Poland's then-newly elected president, the late Lech Kaczynski, noted on Polish radio that abolishing the death penalty awarded "an unimaginable advantage to the criminal over his victim, the advantage of life over death," adding "We need to discuss this in Europe."

The Commission soon ended the discussion: "The death penalty is not compatible with European values," its spokesman said at the time.

American states are free to decide their own penal codes, which vary widely and change as facts and public values evolve. Europe won't allow such a debate at home but feels the moral afflatus to tax its own citizens to promote one side of the argument in America. Europe can't find the money to pay for its fair share of NATO but it can spare a dime to hector its main defense benefactor on criminal law. This is why fewer and fewer Americans take Europe seriously.

José Luis Zapatero, Super Genius

Luis Zapatero, warmonger.
El País argues for a "firm policy" against Muammar Gaddafi, which would "recognise the provisional Libyan government" and temporarily "suspend payment of oil revenues." Support from Arab countries will be necessary, because as a source in the Spanish government has pointed out, an operation that is "exclusively American or European would be counterproductive"
Whatever bro. Obama's not coming to the rescue anyway.


You can tell a lot about a "world leading" autocrat by who salad he's tossing.
Chávez has refused to condemn Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi for his massacres of unarmed protesters, claiming to have "no information" on events that to the rest of the world are as plain as day.

Chávez posted a message on Twitter last week saying "Long live Libya and its independence! Gaddafii faces a civil war!" He has also stated

"A campaign of lies is being spun together regarding Libya," adding, "I'm not going to condemn him. I'd be a coward to condemn someone who has been my friend." Let ye be judged by your friends.
Slurp, slurp.
Indeed Chávez has phoned "his friend" to offer to create a commission of "friendly countries" to mediate between him and the revolutionary forces. An offer they have quite rightly refused with contempt. Gaddafi, his dreadful sons and his entourage of butchers deserves not mediation - nor even a bolt hole in Caracas if he flees - but summary justice from the people he has exploited and oppressed.
May they both feel the sharp end of lots of "imperialism".

France's Weapons Salesmen Get the Blues

Not even taking into account the embargo imposed by the UN and the European Union, as far as Libya is concerned, it's "the scenario of the black hole," said one army weapons professional, who, like all those contacted by Le Monde, spoke only on condition of anonymity: "All the contacts that we had, especially those concerned with the rapid reaction force and the special forces in Libya, are lost." At Tripoli'S LIBDEX Salon in November 2010, "everybody was there, and we hoped that it would materialize." Alas, the revolution materialized instead.

Anxiety is intense, because the Middle East is the largest export market for French weapons. "We often talk about the BRIC markets, Brazil, Russia, India, and China, but regarding defense, they are actually very difficult, and it is in the Arab and Muslim countries that our main prospects lie," explains a CEO in a high-tech company. We're going to see reschedulings or cancellations of contracts."
While the head of Russia's conglomerate controlling arms sales abroad laments the loss of 4 billion dollars worth of weapons to Libya (writes Marie Jégo from Moscow), Dominique Gallois and Nathalie Guibert report in Le Monde of the blues giving France's arms sellers headaches.
Sans même parler de l'embargo décidé par l'ONU et l'Union européenne, en ce qui concerne la Libye, "c'est le scénario du trou noir", confie un professionnel des équipements terrestres, qui, comme tous ceux contactés par Le Monde, a requis l'anonymat : "Tous les contacts que nous pouvions avoir, notamment avec la force de réaction rapide et les forces spéciales libyennes, sont perdus." Au Salon LIBDEX de novembre 2010 à Tripoli, "tout le monde était là, et on espérait bien que cela se concrétiserait". Las, la révolution est arrivée.

L'inquiétude est vive, car le Moyen-Orient est le premier marché d'exportation pour l'armement français. "On évoque souvent le marché des BRIC, Brésil, Russie, Inde et Chine, mais en matière de défense, ils sont en réalité très difficiles, et c'est dans les pays arabo-musulmans que se trouvent nos principaux prospects, indique un cadre d'une entreprise de haute technologie. Nous allons avoir des rééchelonnements, voire des annulations de contrats."

Of, course, somewhere there must be room for finding blame with America and/or with the capitalist system…
Today, "there only Abu Dhabi remains, which can not alone compensate for the loss of the other markets," reports the CEO mentioned above. Combined with the budget crises in Europe, "this new situation is very worrying. This will exacerbate competition and lead the United States to come hunting on lands where we were relatively isolated. "

Aujourd'hui, "il ne reste plus qu'Abou Dhabi, qui ne pourra pas compenser à lui seul la perte des autres marchés", analyse le cadre déjà cité. Conjuguée à la crise des budgets en Europe, "cette nouvelle donne est très préoccupante. Cela va exacerber la concurrence et conduire les Etats-Unis à venir chasser sur des terres où nous étions relativement tranquilles".

Paris Sera Toujours Paris - X

For those of you getting sentimental for the city of lights, art, fashion, etc., etc.™®©, ¡No Pasarán! Brings you truth in advertising.

Monday, March 07, 2011

A Thought for the Day

Engaging with the politics and polity of the left reminds me of trying to talk to a class of dull, predictable adolescents. Some staring off into space, a few picking their noses, one or two of them staring at your crotch.

Knowing that one must engage them at their level, the question I silently ask myself about even trying to understand them (much less their "ideas") therefore must becomes: what’s in it for me? to even spend the time listening to them.

The Hitler Lie: In fact, Hitler championed a workers' union, using it to expand the reach of the state

"I don't think Hitler is an argument you really want to make." In response to a nasty attack on Facebook from a liberal “friend”, a Republican in Paris replies — level-headedly — as follows (his direct interaction with the "friend" explains his usage of "you(r)" in some sentences)…
“We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers' salaries and take away their right to strike. " — Adolf Hitler, May 3, 1933

The following quote, or something like it, is being passed around the internet as a means to equate what is happening in Wisconsin with Hitler’s tactics. Based on my research, the quote is not true although like all good “lies” it has some seeds of historical truth in it. If you read the actual history below, Hitler’s actions and use of the workers’ union movement are much more similar to the current union relationship with the Democratic Party and their continued efforts to extend and enlarge government

“We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers' salaries and take away their right to strike. " — Adolf Hitler, May 3, 1933
Hitler never said those words but he did crush the Weimar Republic trade unions on that date, many say because they were run by Jews.

I believe the true history works against your argument because he transferred all workers into one global union and then used that as an extension of the "state" to effectively take control of private businesses.

In other words, he used a workers' union to expand the reach of the state... interesting parallel in some ways to what is happening with public sector unions in the US... a tool to expand the policies and powers of the Democratic party. I don't think Hitler is an argument you really want to make.

The source here is worth exploring, it is from the Bundestag itself [capital lettering in final sentence added by Stu]:
The day on which the independent trade unions in Germany were crushed was the 2nd of May 1933, when the buildings of the General German Trade Union Federation (ADGB) were occupied by National Socialists, the federation’s assets were confiscated, and many officials were imprisoned, tortured or murdered. Trade union members were transferred to the National Socialists? trade union, the German Labour Front (DAF). This day marked another important step on the path to the establishment of a National Socialist state. Following Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor, the trade unions sought to come to an accommodation with the new government, but this did not prevent the National Socialists from taking violent action against them. BY THE END OF JUNE 1933, ALL TRADE UNIONS HAD BEEN DISBANDED AND THEIR MEMBERS TRANSFERRED TO THE DAF [somewhat akin to an AFL-CIO umbrella organization], WHICH BECAME ONE OF THE NATIONAL SOCIALISTS’ LARGEST MASS ORGANISATIONS WITH OVER 25 MILLION MEMBERS AT TIMES."

WikiLeaks: During Individual Visits to the U.S. Embassy in Paris, French Politicos and VIPs Stuck Knives in Each Other's Back

A lire les « cables » de l'ambassade des Etats-Unis, le Tout-Paris de la politique et des affaires se pressait dans ses salons. Florilège de petites phrases. Des jeunes loups ambitieux comme des retraités illustres, des chefs d'entreprise comme des intellectuels, des membres de l'opposition comme des soutiens de la majorité présidentielle : un grand nombre de figures françaises ont rencontré les diplomates américains à Paris, entre 2005 et 2009, pour évoquer les débats internationaux, les grands enjeux économiques mais aussi les campagnes électorales, les guerres internes au Parti socialiste (PS) ou les rivalités à droite…
Among the secrets uncovered by the Wikileaks scandal, writes Luc Bronner in Le Monde, are those of the VIP visitors to the American embassy in Paris… Among the politicians and honchos speaking confidently to the American ambassador — and often sticking knives in each others' back — are Alain Madelin, Jacques Attali, Alain Minc, Philippe Douste-Blazy, Arnaud Lagardère, Jean-Louis Debré, Jacques Delors, Michel Rocard, François Hollande, Laurent Fabius, François Bayrou, and Valéry Giscard d'Estaing…

L'éducation de Philippe Douste-Blazy Le télégramme confidentiel, daté du 1er juillet 2005, est un portrait au vitriol de Philippe Douste-Blazy, qui vient d'être nommé ministre des affaires étrangères et doit effectuer son premier déplacement à Washington. Son « manque d'expérience internationale » et « son penchant à rechercher les bonnes grâces de ses supérieurs » laissent penser aux diplomates qu'il prendra ses ordres directement auprès de l'Elysée et de Matignon, assène l'ambassadeur en relevant que le ministre est présenté comme un « dilettante » et que sa loyauté varie en fonction de ses intérêts du moment.

Ces faiblesses sont présentées comme un avantage pour les Etats-Unis. Faute d'expérience, Philippe Douste-Blazy n'a pas de position arrêtée et spécialement critique sur l'influence américaine. « Mais beaucoup vont vouloir rapidement lui inculquer cette vision et faire un portrait caricatural des politiques américaines », avertit l'ambassadeur. Qui souligne donc l'intérêt de la visite à Washington pour « faire l'éducation » du ministre avant que les experts du Quai d'Orsay ne s'en chargent...

Arnaud Lagardère et les échecs de Jacques Chirac Le 18 février 2005, l'ambassadeur reçoit à déjeuner Arnaud Lagardère pour parler de l'industrie aéronautique, des médias... et de Jacques Chirac, alors président de la République. Le chef d'entreprise est très sévère pour le chef de l'Etat « qui rate tout ce qu'il entreprend ». Son projet de lancer une CNN à la française ? « Ridicule », tranche Arnaud Lagardère. Le dernier déplacement du chef de l'Etat en Chine ? « Un désastre » pour les affaires françaises, affirme le jeune patron, venu déjeuner avec un pin's épinglé au revers de son costume vantant la candidature, écartée, de Paris aux Jeux olympiques de 2012.

Arabs are Still Revolting

By which we mean: in revolt.

To the conditioned thinking of the European left that Andre Glucksmann is being as suffocated by as the rest of us by, this is inherently good. Too bad it's the European left's butt buddies that are being deposed:
those at the top, in the grip of panic; those on the streets, who from one minute to the next have no idea how to overcome their fear; those on the outside - experts, governments, TV audiences, myself - blamed for not having foreseen the unforeseeable. Where does this bickering on the French belfries hail from: the Right has failed, the Left proclaims banging its drum, prudently forgetting to explain why Ben Ali (and his RCD party) was kept on as a member of the Socialist International, just like Mubarak and his monocratic party. The former was expelled on 18 January, three days after his escape; the latter on 31 January in great haste. Yet no one seems remotely bothered by this.
The blindingly obvious part of this display of apoplexy is largely due to the yawning gap between who the left are, and who they want you to believe they are: wagging fingers in the promotion of decency and civility, as patrician as it is, belies stupidity about freedom, human nature, and their underling love of revolutionary violence that scares them personally.
Instead of questioning the widespread predilection for autocracy, people prefer to attack the "silence of the intellectuals".

Perspective, Andre: talking a lot, even on painfully wierd TV sound stages does not make one an intellectual. It doesn't exempt the left from human morality, the consequences of finding it irrelevant, or thinking that pretending-about-perceptions can make a utopia.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Achtung, Baby!

They’re coming for your inter-tubes!

Britain's Stiff Upper Lip, Revisited

New York's Michael Goldfarb on British sangfroid and historian Thomas Dixon on the myth of Britain's stiff upper lip…