China Tales, Palin Posts, Muslims in the UK, Michael's Kirpan Moment, Rising Market Risks, Jobless US, Afghan Exit, Voices
President Hu’s American visit continues to trigger a wave of commentary, some good some bad.
Some Palin material some funny some frightening, in the UK and Muslim bigotry goes both ways, bravo Michael on the Kirpan in public places, and the growing risk of inflation.
Also why America isn’t producing jobs, why getting out of Afghanistan will be a mess, thoughts on Orwell, and two memories of Paris.
Charlie Rose discusses China-US relations with the great balance of power thinker and doer Henry Kissinger.
An absolute master of narrative and required detail.
Power balances better in your favour when your own house is in order.
Marvelous, although I still can’t help seeing Peter Sellers ….
An hour with Henry Kissinger on Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the United States
Related in my mind.
Dr. Strangelove’s survival plan (ed’s note: the comic genius holds onto the moment as do ballerinas).
China is no more communist in terms of the ownership of the means of production than National Socialism was socialist.
In 1978 with the prospect of another terrible, murderous famine the Communist Party leadership could forsee the risk of the loss of its ‘mandate from heaven’ and at that point of total existential crisis threw away idiotic Maoist economic policy and embraced wild west market thinking from its own past.
Foreign Policy – The China Paradox
Until recently, the Chinese paradox that most puzzled Western audiences was how to understand a country that is both communist and hyper-capitalist.
Those aggressive White House correspondents badger President Hu on the human rights issue. Shame they weren’t as persistent about weapons of mass destruction.
Washington Post -- Hu Jintao meets the free press
Something about human rights just doesn't translate for Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Great great comedy material. Thanks to David of London for sending this in. (ed’s note: riff on Palin starts about 1.30).
The Colbert Report -- Mika Brzezinski thinks Sarah Palin's speeches are coded talking points mixed in with words picked up at random from a thesaurus.
New York Times – The Palin Network
On the night of the midterm elections earlier this month, Sarah Palin stayed up until 3 in the morning.
“Bloody Muslims.” – Reginald said to Virginia over tea while they watched a BBC report of the latest Muslim related outrage. Thanks to Michael of Montreal for sending this in.
BBC -- Baroness Warsi says Muslim prejudice seen as normal
Prejudice against Muslims has "passed the dinner-table test" and become socially acceptable in the UK, a senior Conservative is to say.
Telegraph -- Baroness Warsi was right to speak out: Hatred of Muslims is one of the last bastions of British bigotry
It is not in the least surprising that Sayeeda Warsi’s speech last night against Islamophobia has created anger.
It won’t be easy but this too will pass.
Telegraph -- Brother of Harry Potter star jailed for attacking her
Afshan Azad, 21, who played Padma Patil, a classmate of the teenage wizard, in the blockbuster Hollywood films based on JK Rowling's children's books, feared for her life during the three-hour ordeal, Manchester Crown Court heard.
Bravo! Michael Ignatieff does the right thing.
Globe and Mail -- Ignatieff defends Sikhs’ right to wear kirpan
It’s one place in Canada where the words won’t help him, but Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff went to Quebec and defended the right of Sikhs to wear the kirpan.
Meanwhile in Portugal’s debt markets. The fall from grace.
Financial Times -- Lisbon move points to end of risk-free sovereigns
Another week, another bout of angst about sovereign and municipal risk. But as investors fret about Spain and Belgium – or Illinois and California – they should take a close look at a fascinating little development in Lisbon.
The inflation question. Who will blink?
Financial Times -- The inflation 'nutters' are only half right
Media commentators and business analysts in the old industrial west are locked in combat.
Quote worth quoting.
“These suggest, according to Kemp, that “global growth is already hitting supply side limits” and that there is not much that demand management can do in the face of it.”
Telegraph -- Putting growth before inflation will be the ruin of us
Sometimes, politicians say the silliest things. In expressing alarm this week over the latest inflation figures, George Osborne said that he fully supported "what the Bank of England is doing in its fight against inflation". It made me laugh, because to most of us, it seems like the Bank is doing nothing at all. In fact, it might be making things worse.
Jobless in America.
The Atlantic -- Where Are the Jobs? Six Theories for the Employment Crisis
What's wrong with the U.S. market for jobs?
And in case you were wondering. And after reading this it obvious why it is impossible.
For the 100,000 American forces, 40,000 NATO troops, and their commander, General David Petraeus, it’s Year One of the Surge in Afghanistan. For many Afghans it’s Year Nine of the US Occupation—or, to be kind, Year Nine of the US-led war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Thoughts on Orwellism.
New York Times – Was Orwell Orwellian?
While bumming around Spain a few years ago, my son and a friend began discussing the inadequacy of the adjective “Orwellian.” The classic definition, supplied by the Oxford English Dictionary, is well known: Orwellian “...portrays a form of totalitarian state seen by him as arising naturally out of the political circumstances of his time.”
Try the slop sold in grocery stores. Yuck!
New York Times -- Ristretto | Is Coffee in Paris Improving?
Last year, I wrote a column that wondered why Paris doesn’t have better coffee. Or, to quote Duane Sorenson of Stumptown Coffee Roasters, “Why does the coffee in Paris suck so bad?”
One of the inconvenient pleasures of Paris subways are the musicians.
Most are terrible but there were a few that we heard, one a singer the other an electric piano player that were special.
I suppose most people rushing to work are too busy to stop and listen, and except for the educated ear -- not us -- the difference between world class and the local orchestra is not obvious in the entrance to a busy subway station.
For the record, when I was in Grade 8 I told my teacher following the violin recital of a fellow student that I thought he sounded like Jack Benny thinking of course that Jack Benny was a great violinist. He was on television all the time. It took me years to interpret the look of distain Mr. Porter gave me and the sharp rebuke. Thanks to David of Victoria for sending this in.
Will one of the nation's greatest violinists be noticed in a D.C. Metro stop during rush hour?
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