Saturday, July 02, 2011

Overlooked in the Facebook Killer Story: "How does it feel to not have your child when I did not have mine for three months?"

The Huffington Post has a story about an unacceptable murder, a story, however, that ignores the (compassionate) left's, the government's, and the divorce industry's contribution to the father going bonkers in the first place.
Ramazan Acar, Australian 'Facebook Killer,' Gets Life Sentence For Murdering Daughter After Social Media Threats

…After taking [two-year-old daughter] Yazmina, Acar communicated with [ex-partner Rachelle] D'Argent by phone and via a bizarre series of text messages, at one point telling her she would not get her child back and asking whether he should kill the girl in a car crash or stab her. "How does it feel to not have your child when I did not have mine for three months?" he is quoted as saying. He also said: "I loved you Rachelle and look what you've made me do."
Stephen Baskerville writes about this in his book:
Fathers of course should no more be excused for killing their spouses or children than mothers, but the common factor in both instances is the intervention of the divorce machinery. In this case at least some of the blame would seem to lie with the legal system.

…the media will go to any lengths to avoid admitting that we are in a massive epidemic of government-sponsored child stealing.

…By depicting fathers as killers, the promoters of compassion and self-described champions of children can ignore the one efficacious, common-sense solution of returning the father to the home and instead respond to the escalating child abuse crisis by increasing the number of personnel and agencies that are perpetrating it

…it is still clear from the figures they report that it is not fathers but mothers — overwhelmingly single mothers — who are by far the most likely to injure and kill their children. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services, an agency strongly pervaded by a feminist culture, consistently show that women are much more likely than men to be perpetrators of child maltreatment

…mothers are seldom punished for injuring or killing their children. "Even child killers can get sympathy if they claim victimization by a male," writes Cathy Young, who quotes one feminist activist as saying, "When a woman [is] so alone that she wants to kill heself and her children, it's not her fault." Judges seem to agree. "Most women aren't incarcerated for infanticide," writes Patricia Pearson

…"The person who is least likely to abuse a child is a married father," notes Canadian Senator Anne Cools. "The person who is most likely is a single, unmarried mother." Maggie Gallagher sums up the reality: "The person most likely to abuse a child physically is a single mother. The person most likely to abuse a child sexually is the mother's boyfriend or second husband." A two-parent family is "the safest environment for children."

Maybe the Alarmists can Overdramatically Declare them Dead

Originating in some UN member-funded echo chamber plucking academic “reseach” out of the thin wind of whatever appeals to the committee, Le Monde Diplomatique published a map to back up the theory that by 2010, there would be 50 million “climate refugees”. Again, plucked out of the thin wind. Not so strangely, especially as it goes with ideas that appeal to the most apocalyptically obsessed elite in human history, the opposite is the case:

"… a very cursory look at the first available evidence seems to show that the places identified by the UNEP as most at risk of having climate refugees are not only not losing people, they are actually among the fastest growing regions in the world."
I know it’s hardly a surprise to our readers, but it helps ground the daily grind of propaganda about what someone-who-built-a-model-based-on-someone’s-study, which never stops coming.

Some day it will be seen as an age of hysteria which is assumed to have been true of the entire population of the western world, much as a mere mention of the turn of the first millennium Anno Domini provokes immediate images of pilgrims immolating themselves before the world ends. As if humanity could have survived it.

The greenies would leave our historical legacy as that of a bunchy of idiots as helpless and confused as our environmental caste.

Friday, July 01, 2011

Love for Sale

Van Rompuy calls the EU a 'corner of paradise':

EU Council chief Van Rompuy rejected the idea the EU is in crisis in a speech in Brussels Wednesday. Commenting on living standards and democratic values he said: "We are living in ... a little corner of paradise." He added if the EU was a musical piece its "basso continuo" would be "prosperity."
This might be what he means:
Zooming in on Cyprus, the survey said sex clubs who use trafficked women from post-Soviet countries, Latin America and Asia and are frequented mostly by Cypriot and Greek men pose a problem.
They should stick to their unnatural affection for the village goat. Much as one could say that the drug trafficking problems that there are in the Americas stem from cash-rich Americans needing nose candy, Europeans apparently are addicted to cheap poontang that doesn’t require any emotional attachment.
The report, out on Monday (28 June), said "the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing" in the three EU members, but governments are guilty of "failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts" to combat the problem.
As is the case with anyplace called a 'corner of paradise':
The EU group-of-nine hold similar or lower ratings than many developing countries such as Guatemala or Malawi.
It’s that concern for humanity that really makes them into an export, I guess.
In Estonia, rural Estonian women are trafficked to sex clubs in Tallinn as well as in Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. But the government spent just a little over €100,000 in total on victim assistance in 2010.
So much for bragging about the art of seduction. They may be eager to prove that they aren’t all pillow biters, but unless they get rid of the dyspeptic personae I suppose they’re stuck paying for it. Of course that isn’t the only thing that they’re beavering about to find inconclusive.
Serbia will continue making efforts for the UN Security Council to adopt a draft resolution on an independent investigation into Kosovo human organ trafficking.

“In Spain, I would still be living off scholarships.”

Spaniards expatriated by the economic meltdown finally discover the new world.

"In Mexico, the world of work has nothing in common with Spain,” Juan Arteaga goes on. “You work really hard, and there is less time off. But hard work is rewarded. Someone who works well moves up fast. I landed here with no money, no network, and five years later I’m handling communications for Coca-Cola in its second global market. And all that by the age of 30.” It’s a career that’s unthinkable for most young people in Spain. Juan sums it up succinctly: “In Spain, I would still be living off scholarships.”
...noted one interviewee. From the perch of the delusions where opinion are broadly taken as fact, reality strikes. It strikes hard.
“In Spain, Latin America is seen as a little child who is still growing up,” Juan Arteaga explains. “But when you get here, you realise that the kid is really, really big. Mexico is a much larger market than Spain, thanks to its resources, its oil, energy, the size of the country, its 110 million people... It's a monster.”
Going about their lives, I’m not sure they quite care ‘how they’re seen’, but I know why it is that many Latin Americans generally don’t get along with Argentinians.

Is the DSK Scandal the 21st Century's Dreyfus Affair?

Michel Garroté wonders whether the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal is the 21st Century's equivalent to the Dreyfus Affair?
Primo, … des centaines de milliers de médias, dans le monde entier, se sont jetés sur cette affaire, comme sur tant d’autres affaires, sans objectivité et sans retenue, la photo de DSK ayant fait la page de couverture de plus de 150'000 Magazines de par le monde, soit plus que le drame de Fukushima (cette remarque ne concerne pas le patron de, qui est chez lui sur, et qui, par conséquent, écrit ce qu’il a envie d’écrire sur un point c’est tout).

Secundo, cette nuit on apprenait que l'accusation contre DSK est sur le point de s'effondrer (« cette nuit » en Europe et donc hier après-midi à New York).
Et tertio, ce matin, vendredi 1er juillet 2011, la presse française commentait ce rebondissement (je précise que j’ignorais hier, à 11h00 heure de New York, que le pot aux roses allait être dévoilé, hier après-midi heure de New York). Donc, écrivais-je, ce matin, vendredi 1er juillet 2011, la presse française commentait ce rebondissement.
Ainsi, ce matin, à 11h32, sur, Laurence Neuer écrit : « La thèse de l'accusation sur le point de s'effondrer. Un dossier près de se refermer. L'incroyable feuilleton des sept charges valant 74 ans de prison qui pèsent sur DSK depuis le 16 mai dernier pourrait connaître un épilogue dans les prochains jours. C'est ce que révèle le New York Times (ndmg – aujourd’hui) vendredi matin après que les procureurs responsables de l'affaire ont rencontré les avocats de l'ex-patron du FMI jeudi et dévoilé les nouveaux éléments de leur enquête (voir notre dossier : Le scandale DSK). C'est la crédibilité de l'accusatrice qui est en cause. À commencer par son passé. Nafissatou Diallo aurait déjà été impliquée dans des activités criminelles, elle serait notamment liée à un réseau de blanchiment d'argent et de trafic de drogue ».
Laurence Neuer : « La jeune femme aurait également menti aux enquêteurs au sujet de sa demande d'asile et aurait faussement déclaré être en possession d'un seul téléphone portable alors qu'elle payait ses factures à cinq compagnies de téléphone différentes. Sa crédibilité quant aux faits reprochés à DSK serait également contestable. Selon des enregistrements saisis par les enquêteurs, la femme du Bronx aurait téléphoné en prison à un détenu quelques heures après sa rencontre avec Dominique Strauss-Kahn et aurait discuté de l'intérêt de poursuivre l'homme politique en justice. Le détenu avec lequel elle s'entretenait avait été arrêté pour s'être trouvé en possession de marijuana. Il fait partie des personnes qui ont transféré sur le compte de la jeune femme de nombreuses sommes d'argent, dont le total atteindrait environ 100’000 dollars au cours des deux dernières années ».
Laurence Neuer : « Les transferts auraient été réalisés en Arizona, en Géorgie, à New York et en Pennsylvanie. Ces dernières semaines, les avocats de Strauss-Kahn, Benjamin Brafman et William W. Taylor, avaient laissé entendre, notamment dans une lettre du 25 mai, qu'ils étaient en possession d'informations qui "diminueraient considérablement la crédibilité" de l'accusatrice. Ce vendredi, les procureurs du bureau du district de Manhattan devraient dire au juge de la cour suprême de Manhattan qu'ils "rencontrent des problèmes avec cette affaire", liés à ces découvertes, et révéler de nouveaux éléments à la défense. Le juge Michael Obus pourrait alors assouplir le régime de liberté sous caution de DSK. "L'audience d'aujourd'hui n'a pour but que de modifier les conditions d'assignation à domicile, précise l'avocat aux barreaux de Paris et de New York Denis Chemla ».
Laurence Neuer : « Mais compte tenu des révélations du NYT, le juge ne manquera pas de poser des questions au procureur au sujet des faits évoqués dans l'article". Par ailleurs, le procureur et la défense discutent à présent d'un éventuel abandon des poursuites criminelles et de leur remplacement par un simple délit. "Si les révélations se confirment et si le procureur a perdu confiance dans les accusations de Nafissatou Diallo, la logique voudrait qu'il retire les charges ou négocie une charge beaucoup moins grave que les agressions sexuelles ("crimes") en retenant par exemple la séquestration ».
Laurence Neuer : « Mais les avocats de DSK rejettent pour l'instant une telle éventualité. "À partir du moment où ils ne peuvent pas établir la contrainte, il n'y a en effet aucune raison de reconnaître qu'il l'a empêchée de sortir", souligne Me Chemla. Quand on apporte la preuve que le témoin a menti dans un procès qui se résume à la parole de l'un contre la parole de l'autre, c'est le socle même de l'accusation qui se consume », conclut Laurence Neuer.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Next Big Thing in Feeble Leftist Tokenism

Dick “Dick” Durban: Illegal Alien Could Be Our Future President

Böse Bozos

With awe-like admiration, we thank Clarsonimus, the evil genius behind Observing Hermann for this find. Germans prone to imagine the Greek government and population as thankless spongers should bear in mind that most of the Greek debt that they’re being asked to help underwrite is owed to German banks.

They should cast that unimpeachable historical memory (more like selective historical memory) they keep rattling on about:

Ritschl: That may be, but during the 20th century, Germany was responsible for what were the biggest national bankruptcies in recent history. It is only thanks to the United States, which sacrificed vast amounts of money after both World War I and World War II, that Germany is financially stable today and holds the status of Europe's headmaster. That fact, unfortunately, often seems to be forgotten.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What happened back then exactly?

Ritschl: From 1924 to 1929, the Weimar Republic lived on credit and even borrowed the money it needed for its World War I reparations payments from America. This credit pyramid collapsed during the economic crisis of 1931. The money was gone, the damage to the United States enormous, the effect on the global economy devastating.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The situation after World War II was similar.

Ritschl: But right afterwards, America immediately took steps to ensure there wouldn't be a repeat of high reparations demands made on Germany. With only a few exceptions, all such demands were put on the backburner until Germany's future reunification. For Germany, that was a life-saving gesture, and it was the actual financial basis of the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle (that began in the 1950s). But it also meant that the victims of the German occupation in Europe also had to forgo reparations, including the Greeks.
So who exactly is the bum here, and who has been the compassionate society that stepped in, in a time of need and crisis? Germany? Pscheah right!
SPIEGEL ONLINE: If there was a list of the worst global bankruptcies in history, where would Germany rank?

Ritschl: Germany is king when it comes to debt. Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Greece can't compare?

Ritschl: No, the country has played a minor role. It is only the contagion danger for other euro-zone countries that is the problem.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: The Germany of today is considered the embodiment of stability. How many times has Germany become insolvent in the past?

Ritschl: That depends on how you do the math. During the past century alone, though, at least three times. After the first default during the 1930s, the US gave Germany a "haircut" in 1953, reducing its debt problem to practically nothing. Germany has been in a very good position ever since, even as other Europeans were forced to endure the burdens of World War II and the consequences of the German occupation. Germany even had a period of non-payment in 1990.
It was that healthy dose of USA that seems to have turned that goose-step around. It’s something for them to think about when they’re trying to pawn off the burden onto outsiders using the IMF, or bending Greece over the table for a proper German education.

Good-Bye, Friend

Cardinal Georg Sterzinsky, who kept the Catholic Church alive under the East German state, has died early in the day today at the age of 75.

Officially atheistic as Socialists need to be to justify their power, the DDR tried to convince the people that they had no souls. Eventually, they had to back off and leave at least some of the people to be free to guide their consciences in the way that they choose.

Born in 1936, his childhood years were the hardest times in the lives of the German people as a whole. He was ordained 11 years after the establishment of the Marxist-Leninist state. The best years of his adulthood were spent in a church that had to find a way to survive and coexist with the immutable, seemingly eternal oppressive state.

What is little understood about German Communism was that it was not generous to those in society who face difficulties in life. The churches, particularly the significantly larger Lutheran church, were depended upon for charitable work that (in a strange way,) was not provided by the “workers’ and peasants’ state” the way those needs would be covered in the west by government and civil society. Despite that, the invasive ideology of Marx and Engels was at war with faith. It though it needed to BE the only faith, but failed in the same way that it couldn’t serve the needs of society.

The all-powerful nanny state still depended on the people of faith that they were at war with to provide for those in need. Remember, in a command economy, those who don’t work are of inherently no use to the state.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The EU: One Stop Shop for Bad Ideas

Thanks to Gawain Towler, evil genius, who was more patient to read the story on this pedantic event, we get to meet the world’s stupidest political observation.

The US sent soldiers to Europe to fight the forces of Nazism, noted the Bulgarian official.

"But like 1941, we aspire for Asian leadership in global affairs. With wealth comes global responsibility. That would earn the place in history of the 'Asian Century'."
If anyone should understand the “light-tough” humanism of unelected, ham-fisted Communist states, it would be a Bulgarian. So if you want put over the sense that you want China to start doing a little of the rich man’s burden, such as peacekeeping, real disaster relief, and the like, it’s probably not wise to deploy their troops in EUtopia.

However that wasn’t the high-point of the Brussels Bowling for global luuuurve event:
EU commissioner for international cooperation Kristalina Georgieva said granting the EU a seat at the East Asia Summit would be an important first step towards improving interregional communication.

Europe has been lobbying hard on this issue after the US and Russia recently gained special representation at the summit meetings, among the the world's largest multilateral events.

The leaders of India, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia and Australia regularly meet at the forum, but "the story of EU involvement, unfortunately, is a sad one," Jonas Parello-Plesner wrote in research note for the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank last October.
Might this not have something to do with the fact that they don’t attend for the same reason they don’t attend the ASEAN summits? Like, say, not having a coast on the Pacific?
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia.
Do they think that they have anything to contribute to the issues discussed there?

I think it’s far simpler. As a needy geopolitical pygmy, Europe needs to try to insert itself between chairs anywhere it can, just to keep from being ignored altogether. So they have to muscle in on any diplomatic event that they can, because a meaningful dose of all of that hardcore balance-of-power, peacemaking, and disaster relief stuff makes them break out in hives and get nosebleeds. What they can do is talk, so long as everyone agrees with their position to begin with, ignores them politely, or the stakes are meaningless, pointless, implausible, or fake to begin with.

Georgieva's officials have recently returned from North Korea, one area where Europeans would like to see China exert its considerable leverage, amid reports of malnutrition due to failed economic policies.
If that isn’t a surprising, controversial statement, I don’t know what is, by gum. It’s only parroting what the US has been telling the Chinese for a little over a decade.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Karalambous’ Krazy Kristallnacht

Welcome to the third world.

Athens is obviously competing with Vancouver’s placid charm.

Apparently it’s all about Communists and Nationalists duking it out over, well, nothing as usual. Anything that they trash isn’t going to end their austerity.

It reminds me of another great moment in Greek history. Under Nazi occupation, both the Communists and Nationalists opposed the Nazis, but decided instead to use force against one another.
These resistance groups launched guerrilla attacks against the occupying powers and set up large espionage networks, but by late 1943 began to fight amongst themselves. When liberation came in October 1944, Greece was in a state of crisis, which soon led to the outbreak of civil war.

Sad but True

In a comment to a post my Mark Steyn writing in National Review’s The Corner, we find a chillingly familiar notion described by an American Conservative living in Belgium:

I do not trust the "right wing" political parties in Europe. I don't think they are the same as the Republican party in the US. These parties often use language that resonates with American conservatives, but my fear is that their real root system lies closer to the "liberal fascism" that Jonah rights about. There really seems to be a racist, xenophobic undercurrent in some of these parties. It has happened too many times that when I talk to a "right winger" that he starts talking about the good points of Hitler and conspiracy theories about the Jews.

My real fear is that when the economy inevitably collapses in Europe, a neo-nazi movement will gain power once again. In my opinion, this is even a bigger danger than radical Islam. This seems impossible in the present political environment, but things can shift very quickly. The present political system in Europe, as bad as it is, might prove much better than the system that replaces is.
I know the type. It’s not so much a caged heat you feel off them about it, but a crazy vibe when it comes to masses of folk of a certain flavor or sort, despite the occasional discussion of the rights and imposition on the individual, the ideas come somewhere behind their “pedigree”.

European do-gooders working overtime to torment drivers

While American cities are synchronizing green lights to improve traffic flow and offering apps to help drivers find parking, many European cities are doing the opposite: creating environments openly hostile to cars.
That is how Elisabeth Rosenthal starts her International Herald Tribune article in which — naturally — notions of (alleged) equality and (so-called) fairness predominate ("it’s not really fair to everyone else if you take the car,” says Zurich’s chief traffic planner, Andy Fellmann; while city official Pio Marzolini adds that "I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car”).

The methods vary, but the mission is clear — to make car use expensive and just plain miserable enough to tilt drivers toward more environmentally friendly modes of transportation.

… “In the United States, there has been much more of a tendency to adapt cities to accommodate driving,” said Peder Jensen, head of the Energy and Transport Group at the European Environment Agency. “Here there has been more movement to make cities more livable for people, to get cities relatively free of cars.”

… To that end, the municipal Traffic Planning Department here in Zurich has been working overtime in recent years to torment drivers. Closely spaced red lights have been added on roads into town, causing delays and angst for commuters. Pedestrian underpasses that once allowed traffic to flow freely across major intersections have been removed. Operators in the city’s ever expanding tram system can turn traffic lights in their favor as they approach, forcing cars to halt.
Around Löwenplatz, one of Zurich’s busiest squares, cars are now banned on many blocks. Where permitted, their speed is limited to a snail’s pace so that crosswalks and crossing signs can be removed entirely, giving people on foot the right to cross anywhere they like at any time.

As he stood watching a few cars inch through a mass of bicycles and pedestrians, the city’s chief traffic planner, Andy Fellmann, smiled. “Driving is a stop-and-go experience,” he said. “That’s what we like! Our goal is to reconquer public space for pedestrians, not to make it easy for drivers.”

…there is grumbling. “There are all these zones where you can only drive 20 or 30 kilometers per hour [about 12 to 18 miles an hour], which is rather stressful,” Thomas Rickli, a consultant, said as he parked his Jaguar in a lot at the edge of town. “It’s useless.”

…It often takes extreme measures to get people out of their cars, and providing good public transportation is a crucial first step. One novel strategy in Europe is intentionally making it harder and more costly to park. “Parking is everywhere in the United States, but it’s disappearing from the urban space in Europe,” said Mr. Kodransky, whose recent report “Europe’s Parking U-Turn” surveys the shift.

…With politicians and most citizens still largely behind them, Zurich’s planners continue their traffic-taming quest, shortening the green-light periods and lengthening the red with the goal that pedestrians wait no more than 20 seconds to cross.

“We would never synchronize green lights for cars with our philosophy,” said Pio Marzolini, a city official. “When I’m in other cities, I feel like I’m always waiting to cross a street. I can’t get used to the idea that I am worth less than a car.”

Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanks for the Rubber Crutch

Don’t they realize that they eventually have to buy that oil back?

In an effort to supply Europe with the light-sweet crude it’s lost from Libya, play Sun Tzu with OPEC, and collectively keep otherwise helpless looking elected officials in office, 60 million barrels of oil will be released from strategic reserves in the world. Half of it is coming from the US. Seemingly proposed by one of the states involved, it’s surely seen as another dose of economic stimulant for a chaotic Europe, a teetering China, and an economically enfeebled US.

And the White House backed it in what must surely be a passive way – that of a “best choice among those offered”, and likely didn’t initiate the idea. Surely it seemed to be an economic positive, based on spending behavior in the US being closely tied to the price of gas, but it is starting to look more like a date-rape drug than a sugar pill.

It also displays the continued chaotic nature of the US administration’s behavior. On one hand, it manages this effort. On another, it harasses Boeing to the degree that buyers, eternally playing Airbus and Boeing off against one another and sitting on the fence. It’s not hard to get the sense that the extent that the Airbus’ recent jackpot in aircraft sales are based on buyers looking at the sad misuse of what is meant to be a mediation board, the NLRB, into an anti-capitalist voodoo priestess, and seeing contract fulfillment difficulties in their future.

That the White House seems eternally held hostage by loons is not a revelation. That they are largely blind to the consequences of their ardent crusade to build a bridge to the 19th century is. “Labor” used to be made up of Labor, and thus actually understood industry. Now it looks more like it’s populated by the graduating class of some sort of Bedwetting Social Justice Campaigners’ Reeducation Camp, not to mention law school.

I could even see the frustration in the eyes of the old warriors myself, having had a casual conversation with a higher up in an American Machinist Union. We discussed education and economics. While our social philosophies are different, I learned a great deal. He knew a great deal. He learned it in industry.

While the role of labor can, has, and will be debated, the American zeitgeist is closer to the mature, intelligent engineer from that Machinists’ Union than they are to the post-modern attendants around the alter of the political and social left, who don’t actually know much about a chain of production, and actually seem to think rather little of the American skilled or unskilled worker that they are presuming to “save” from their very own nature.

The shorthand goes that there are makers and takers. it is truer than you think that makers pursue knowledge and skill, and that takers have their response-set programmed into them by political activists not employed in a productive capacity or from educators. Makers inspire makers. Takers turn potential makers into takers.

French Diplomats Raging As Foreign Spending Drops and as France Allegedly Lags Behind "les Anglo-Saxons"

Sur les planches de Deauville, accueillant le G8 hier, sur la Croisette demain pour le G20, il est facile de jouer une pièce de théâtre et de laisser croire que la France a les moyens de ses grandes ambitions déclaratoires.
France is losing the soft power battle, charges a group of French diplomats named Groupe Marly in Le Monde, and French diplomacy is nothing but a sand castle — a sand castle that will be swept away by the next tide. A closer view of the details of their rant shows that the diplomats are angry that spending (for, say, essential (sic) UN organizations like UNWRA) is on its way down, coupled with frustration that the French are lagging behind "the Anglo-Saxons".
Nous aimerions applaudir sans réserve à cette séduisante mise en scène. Il y a tant à faire pour gagner les paris d'une mondialisation plus juste et plus humaine. Mais, si on passe dans les coulisses, les illusions s'évanouissent. Le château de sable de la diplomatie française est proche de s'écrouler à la prochaine marée...

… La diplomatie de crise, des communiqués et des coups médiatiques est la plus visible. Mais, à l'opposé de la diplomatie "de perron", la diplomatie de l'influence et la coopération souffrent gravement. La France est en train de perdre la bataille du soft power, qui se joue sur le terrain et à long terme.

…Se vanter dans les discours officiels de disposer du deuxième réseau diplomatique après les Etats-Unis est de la poudre aux yeux. Année après année, ce réseau s'appauvrit et devient une coquille vide. Qu'est-ce qu'une politique d'influence sans hommes et sans femmes pour la faire vivre sur le terrain ? Après avoir réduit ses effectifs de 10 % entre 1994 et 2005, le petit ministère des affaires étrangères (15 500 agents au total) doit en sacrifier deux mille de plus d'ici 2013, au titre de la révision générale des politiques publiques (RGPP).

… Quel que soit le secteur d'activité — culturel, linguistique, coopération universitaire et scientifique, audiovisuel, missions et invitations de jeunes talents et d'experts —, la baisse des moyens depuis 2008 varie de moins 33 % à moins 50 %, voire conduit à la disparition de pans entiers de notre coopération.

Nos partenaires y voient au mieux la marque d'un décalage entre les paroles et les actes, au pire, celle d'un sérieux déclin, et les amis de la France s'en inquiètent partout dans le monde.

Enfin, en matière d'aide publique au développement, nous nous vantons d'être le troisième donneur d'aide derrière les Etats-Unis et le Royaume-Uni. En fait, l'aide publique au développement (APD) française repose pour 40 % de son montant sur des remises de dettes et sur la croissance très rapide des prêts bancaires accordés par l'Agence française de développement (AFD) aux pays émergents.

… Faute de peser financièrement, nous influençons de moins en moins les débats et les décisions dans les pays africains prioritaires pour nous, et ce sont les Anglo-Saxons qui s'imposent dans les enceintes où se concertent les bailleurs.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Dose of their Own Medicine

For decades, Europeans as outsiders have been fond of demanding a two-state solution in part of the former Trans-Jordan. After all, it's been the hobby-horse of the bien pensent for decades.

Fond of telling themselves that the financial crisis has revealed a fault line between [____] and [____] (like... WHATever) in some strange class-warfare argument, it releals little more than a society that seems to actually seek out reasons to convince the world that it has a bipolar disorder.

And let’s not get started on who is and is not in favour of reducing the interest rate Ireland pays on the bailout loans…

(Hint: The Commission is in favour and the President of the European Council is in favour. The Chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee is in favour. The IMF has no problem. The Élysée is not so keen.)

Now, can anyone tell me why the evil markets don’t trust Europe to agree a clear way out of the Greece tragedy?
Now they alone appear to be demanding two-state solutions all over EUvia.
With Belgium, as with most marriages, the split wasn’t foreseeable from the beginning. Despite claims by the Flemish nationalists to the contrary, when it was formed Belgium was anything but an artificial nation.
Even if a solution is found, it will only delay the problem until the next crisis. The Czechoslovakian example demonstrates that in such a case it is better to break up. In that country, too, everyone wondered why a split was absolutely necessary. Just like the Flemish and the Walloons, the Czechs and the Slovaks seemed destined to remain together eternally.
So who’s going to smuggle in the Katyushas? Y’know it’s for a ‘liberation movement’ and all... How could any proper >Gutmensch be opposed to that?

Why haven’t Europe’s politicians explained to taxpayers that when it comes to bailouts there is no such thing as a free haircut?

Are Europe’s politicians trying to save the euro or sink it?
asks Melvyn Krauss, Emeritus professor of economics at New York University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
… like the three deceased characters in the 1944 Sartre play “No Exit” who are locked in a room together for eternity, there is no exit for the participants in the euro project — no matter what Europe’s politicians do. The pain of leaving would be too great.

When I asked a high-ranking Dutch official if he could contemplate the Netherlands ever leaving the euro, the answer was: “Never — we are making too much money from it.”

How so?

“The periodic devaluations of the southern currencies under the old system were really costly for our exports,” the northern official explained. “We don’t want to go back to that.”

The Germans and Dutch are exporters who will not give up the trade gains from the euro just because they are being diminished by bailout payments to the south. Populist politicians in Germany and the Netherlands are missing the most important part of the euro story by focusing exclusively on the bailouts.

The populists are particularly keen to force the private holders of Greek debt (mostly German and French banks) to take a substantial “haircut” for further government aid to Greece. But northern taxpayers might lose their enthusiasm for private haircuts if they realized that it is they who are on the hook for the risk the European Central Bank has taken on. The E.C.B.’s risk is taxpayer risk.

… Why haven’t Europe’s politicians explained to taxpayers that when it comes to bailouts there is no such thing as a free haircut?