Red blogule to Luc van den Brande

Guy Lengagne's report on the dangers of Creationism and Intelligent Design for democracy in Europe was withdrawn from the agenda of the European Council assembly at the last moment.

The successful defensor of obscurantism is a member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party named Luc van den Brande. He claimed the issue was about science, not politics.

But Creationism has nothing to do with science, and everything to do with politics and the restoration of theocracy.

Shame on Europe for allowing such people as van den Brande to set its agenda.


Alice Walton - Everyday Low Art at High Price

Sam's daughter developped a taste for the kind of XIXth and XXth century American art the average Wal-Mart shopper loves to purchase on Hallmark Cards, chocolate boxes, jigsaw puzzles, embroidery designs... only she goes for the real thing, spending tens of millions of bucks on each "masterpiece".

Alice Walton knows about marketing. She can build the most comprehensive collection ever : no one will compete with her on that one, and all the has to do is to siphon oceans of uglities from big East- and West-coast basements, and to put a few top shelf items up front in order to lure consumers. This massive collection of cheap images will be exposed at the heart of Walmartland, in the billionaire's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art*. Grand opening : Fall / Winter 2009.

I can't wait to visit it. I always dreamed of passing by the Rogers Daisy Airgun Museum and Bentonville, AR would be only a short detour from Rogers, AR... Much closer than Fort Smith, AR and its famous Fort Smith Trolley Museum. Unless... Come to think of it, I could go all the way from Crystal Bridges to Eurora, AR : you don't want to miss the Rubye and Henry Connerly Museum ! I would then stop at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum** (Little Rock, AR), and get some refreshment at the Pine Bluff, AR Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame / Band Museum where, according to the Director, "there is a fully-operational 1950’s soda fountain"... Boy, what a ride ! Better kick than Route 66...

NB : to my beloved visitors from Arkansas : nothing personal. I'm realy glad to see heart collections bloom at the art of the country... even if they compete more easily with Guggenheim for the shells than with Chicago for the contents. And I can find even more XIXth century academic monstruosities and ugly colorful sunsets in Orsay Museum.

* crystalbridges.org
clintonlibrary.gov - 1200 President Clinton Avenue Little Rock, Arkansas 72201(501) 374-4242. Hours Monday–Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00p.m.Sunday1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Admission : Adults $7.00 Senior citizens (62+) $5.00 College Students (With ID) $5.00 Retired Military (With ID) $5.00 Children (6-17) $3.00 Children under 6 Free. All Active Duty, Military Reservists, and National Guard Free. All White House interns Free.


Palestine : the Pakistan-Bangladesh scenario

Ehud Olmert and his fellow hawks eventually succeeded in putting the Gaza Ghetto in the hands of the most radical elements of Hamas. All they needed was to inflict years of humiliation, to illegally abduct key moderate leaders, and to carpet bomb any attempt of conciliation.

Back in January 2006*, I envisioned a Pakistan - Bangladesh scenario for the Gaza Strip - West Bank couple, with radical islamists ruling over the former and unharmful people struggling to survive in the latter. Among the key differences : the Bengali suffer from abundance of water.

The time has almost come.

Israeli hardliners can measure the success of their strategy, and the crucial** help of a fellow fundamentalist named George W. Bush. They didn't need Dubya to get rid of Yitzhak Rabin, but they badly needed his support to crush the peace process initiated with Bill Clinton.

As usual, Shimon Peres keeps the glam (Nobel Prize, presidence) and avoids direct combat in favor of peace. Ehud Barak joins the government with the label of a member of opposition, but the new Defense Minister is a renowned expert in camouflage as a cross dresser who paved the way for Sharon by sabotaging the 2000 Summit in Camp David, putting the first nails on Arafat's coffin.

Now I don't see how moderates can win elections in Israel, how violence can be prevented from spreading. Fundamentalists have won in Palestine, in Israel, in the USA and in the Muslim world. Warmongers are gaining momentum and the only way to stop this madness would be to give a strong signal against the Commander in Thief.

Impeach Bush-Cheney.

PS : don't bet on strong critics on Israel by US prez candidates before November 2008

* see "Red blogule to Ehud Olmert - the Bangladesh scenario" (20060125)
** no pun intended, Mel


White blogule to a globalized globalization

(answer to the question "Is globalization a good thing?")

The XXth Century is well over, but some people feel like going back to the XIXth (Adam or Carlito, pick your fave). I'm confident about the emergence of a XXIst century approach more adapted to what's at stakes.

"Thanks" to key globalization enablers (communications, information, travel...), time and space have dramatically shrunk, allowing what I call "instant players" to grab the bulk of the value worldwide. Finance grew omnipotent and blind, means becoming aims. But obviously, the party is almost over : there is far too much greedy money and players around, and disruption niches grow thinner and thinner. Our economies definitely need to adopt a sounder tempo and I guess it won't take as much time as people think. I'm sure a general consensus will soon emerge on the diagnostic, just like it did for global warming. Well beyond the financial dimension, Economy (human activity) shall regain some decency.

Most anti-globalisation protesters are purely "anti", most "altermondialism o/ altermondialization / alterglobalization" labels only recommand the end of economics (and ultimately the end of mankind as a global parasite). Only a few propose sound and pragmatical approaches.

I believe in a regulated and fair market economy. Open, but sustainable. Global, because globalization demands the switch towards a comprehensive approach of the whole ecosystem, humans and nature included. WTO is not bad in itself, it is just as necessary and fragile as the UN.

In this transitional period, protectionism is definitely back, and well beyond what is needed (because some countries, among the weakest, do need some protection), and sometimes a rather subtle way. For example, Bush pushes a multi-bilateral, US-centric globalization, refusing all international / multilateral approaches : less WTO, more FTAs (NB : same logic as "less UN, more Abu Ghraib" or "less Kyoto, more Alaska drillin'"). All these "Free Trade Agreements" have some kind of protectionist and unbalanced flavor. They may sound positive for the US economy, but only in the short term, and only for Dubya's base of "Haves and Have-mores".

Paradoxically, this strategy reflects a denial of globalization = the refusal of a global approach of globalization.


The Vladubyan summit : who gives a Heiligendamm ?

Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush are great democrats.
Vlad will have a puppet elected next year, change the constitution, and keep His seat warm till He returns as a perennial czar. Pharaoh may then rename the planets after Himself, ressuscite Gandhi to have a serious discussion with Himself, and shoot some journalists.
Dubya managed to get a nod from the Congress for his errands in Baghdad. Now pumped up to the max, Our Dear Compassionate Leader feels like spreading democracy in Iran (flame throwers, napalm, torture, pick your weapon).

God forbid, Persians won't have to wait for another earthquake to have Bam and other national treasures flattened to the ground. Fundamentalists are great and Bush is their prophet.
Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush are great environmentalists.
This G8 was supposed to tackle such issues as global warming or hedge funds ? Both leaders decided to change the agenda thanks to a clear and immediate threat of nuclear war. Ennemies come in handy when you are cornered by tricky questions...
Both XXth Century superpowers act as if nothing happened after the Cold War. The problem is they are not dictating the world's agenda anymore. Both Vlad and Dubya are mere dictators over their own countries, period.
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