20070223

Di's is cast - When Harry met sandy

Prince Harry wants to fight. The boy doesn't want to end up like his dad, remembered as a ugly clumsy veggie wearing the kilt, sipping tea and playing polo. The boy loves the uniform. Any kind of uniform, as we previously noticed*.

"Wales" is allowed to join Iraq the day Tony Blair announces his withdrawal plan for the troops. As a clear message to the British Army : see, we are not gonna let you down - and with such a soft target, we sure are not gonna let your ennemies let you down either.

Princess Diana cared for the victims of landmines, his son decides to earn a different kind of respect in a sick shooting game, kicking some ass or camel in the desert.

Tu quoque, mi fili... Di's is cast.


* remember "
When Harry met nazis" (20050116) ?

20070216

Red blogule to French oldcons, neocons and cons in general

The French are switching from a Left / Right to a Conservative / Progressive political rift. The defining moment was the vote for the European Constitution, with a significant collateral damage : the end of the Socialist Party (PS) as we've known it since Francois Mitterrand claimed it a couple of decades ago.
Reformers from the PS have more in common with reformers from the UMP than with their fellow party members stuck somewhere in the middle of the XIXth Century. Sarkozy and fellow reformers have successfuly sidelined traditional conservatives within their own ranks - a minority of harmless old farts snoring all day long at the Senate.
I'm sure the French economy would perform well with Nicolas Sarkozy, but I'm rather scared by his attacks on secular legislations and his ability to fuel radicalism and fundamentalism. I don't quite like the idea of this man enjoying the support of both US and Israeli fundamentalists and neocons, and even the presence of a Karl Rove wannabe on his side, Brice Hortefeux.
I'd rather see a more moderate kind of reformer rule the country. Francois Bayrou (UDF) has a clear opening since Dominique Strauss-Kahn lost the PS primaries vs Segolene Royal. Should he reach the second round of these elections, he would crush Royal and could even be a problem for Sarkozy (if socialist voters prefer barring Sarko to abstention).

Segolene Royal is not a moderate reformer. She is neither conservative nor reformist. She is an ambitious person used to follow charismatic leaders and has some trouble turning into a charismatic leader radiating with her own views. She keeps putting all opinions at the same level and refusing to take any clear position. As expected and despite a massive victory in the socialist primaries (60%), Royal proved unable to get full support from her own party. A couple of days ago, a group of VIMs from the left (Very Important Women) were considering a petition to call for her withdrawal from the presidential race - just to make sure this wouldn't be interpreted as yet another proof of France's reactionnary machismo (anytime Royal is under attack, she bites with the issue back).
Bayrou may be closing the gap, Royal is still far ahead of the centrist candidate and she still has a large and motivated core of supporters. But she flunked last week-end's exam, introducing a program that didn't really prove disruptive... but for the national budget. A copycat of Mitterrand's 1981 program, which led that man to the top job but the country to the bottom : a massive budget deficit, a big financial crisis and a total loss of international competitivity at a critical moment. Eric Besson, the man in charge of the financial side of Royal program, timely decided to quit after a clash with Francois Holland, secretary general of the PS and Sego's longtime compagnon.
Right now, Sarkozy enjoys a comfortable lead in the polls. But he has also been trapped into a lousy campaign where everybody promises everything to everyone. Even Bayrou, the apostle of budget orthodoxy, claims a 20 billion Euros program.

Ten years ago, France was ahead of Germany in its reforms. But the PM, Alain Juppe, went too far too quick, and Chirac (not so wisely advised by Villepin) decided to dissolve the assembly. The PS won the 1997 elections and Lionel Jospin surfed on the internet bubble years to post nice growth rates, but also to reform the country the wrong way (more spendings and the mother of all mistakes ; the 35-hour Week). Chirac won again in 2002 but limited new reforms to cautious steps when his neighbor Gerhard Schroeder would take all the risks. Schroeder lost to Merkel but Germany is now much fitter than France to face future challenges.
Here's the new deal for France : an economic breakdown with Segolene Royal, a political gamble with Nicolas Sarkozy. Should Francois Bayrou win next May, he would have the opportunity to form a new party with socialist and UMP moderate reformers. Instead of going down by turning right or left, France must try to go and grow up.

20070205

Red blogule to London calling... for trouble

Two days ago, 135 people were killed in a terror attack in Baghdad's Sadriya market. That one did make the headlines, unlike the other days, when terror claims only the equivalent of the 7/7 London bombings.
About the same day, many people were arrested in London in what appeared to be a plot to abduct and behead a muslim soldier. A great victory for counter terrorism being often followed by the revelation of a not so glorious news for the Government, I just sat and waited for it to pop up.
It didn't take long for UK's army to confess 15 minor soldiers had been sent to Iraq. Actually, underaged combattants happened to be one of the few disgraces lacking to Tony Blair's impressive collection. We'll have to scratch our heads to find the next one...

According to Saint Tony, 7/7 had nothing to do with Iraq and the invasion of Iraq had something to do with the war on terror.
According to me, Ruppert Murdoch had something to do with the election of Tony Blair and Fox News' broadcasting of the invasion of Iraq as "War On Terror".

Tony will leave power soon ; the next guy, either Gordon Brown or David Cameron, will also have to sign a pact with the Devil to get elected ; and the "Winner" will face a new kind of terror : a wave of youngsters trained in Iraq and ready to spread chaos across the United Kingdom and Europe.
They have the European citizenship and they are from all origins, not necessary "foreign". They won't need to strike with a bomb in a major touristic area to get their point. Any small IED (Improvised Explosing Device) or any single shot in any neighborhood will do. Random abductions and killings will make anyone feel insecure. Terror at its simplest, purest and scariest level.
Chirac and Blair gone, Merkel taking her marks, let's see what kind of leadership emerges in Europe. The fundamentalists may want to play a role in the coming elections : Europeans would be inspired not to put a Dubya look alike in front of them.

20070202

Department Of Climate Defense - 2007, ground zero of environment - Red blogule to Philip Cooney - White blogule to the IPCC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 4th Assessment Report* today in Paris. Yet another set of scenarios, and certainly not the worst case we've heard of so far. But considering the compromizes needed to produce it, this new finger pointing in our direction looks definitely frightening.

Philip Cooney resigned today. The White House Council on Environmental Quality's chief of staff had been on a hot seat for a couple of days and yes, global warming had something to do with it and yes again, human behavior too.The New York Times revealed how this former oil lobbyist edited many reports confirming both global warming and the impact of man. We can now measure the impact of one man, George W. Bush.

2007 is the ground zero of environment, where everybody gapes at the horror and starts to react. We certainly don't want the same leaders to take the same kind of decisions.
I'm sure the former next president of the United States would have done a better job. By joining the Kyoto community and putting more pressure on developping countries, Al Gore would have led the world to a slightly better trend at a decisive moment.

Gore wouldn't have prevented global warming, which is bound to rule for the next millenium at least. Besides, at the geological level, both Philip Cooney and the IPCC are insignificant. But we are enjoying global warming right now and what we are doing now is significant. At the personal, collective, national and international levels.


The IPCC does have a WMO / UNEP / UNO label, but the United Nations Environment Programme itself has no power. China and Russia are not likely to empower it that soon. Ditto at the WTO, even if Davos exposed interesting concerns across the entrepreneurial elite.

At the national level, I'd like the US to stand a little bit more sanely on this ground zero. Because this is also a matter of national security and defense. We are at war, we are defending our land, and the intervention of military is already often required. I'm not talking about financing federal environmental policies with the budget of defense : I mean defense should have its own environmental agenda, money to build natural fences, to fight the very causes of climate change. The budget of defense already contributes to R&D with civil applications, why not devote one fifth of it to the war on climate change ? For a change.


* download it at
ipcc.ch
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