Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sunday reading

Newsweek - why doesn't Chirac step down?

Chirac acts like a man who doesn't know his wife has moved out. Asked last week who he thought was most likely to succeed him, the president smiled widely and replied, "I think that subject is altogether premature."
It's not, of course, so check out this lengthy profile of likely successor Nicholas Sarkozy in Foreign Policy.

Meanwhile in Spain it's Church vs. State all over again as the Pope tackles socialism (well, Gay marriage at any rate), while A Logical Voice and Dear Kitty are planning to take on pollution by Blogging for Greenpeace as part of the 2005 Blogathon, so give them some support and stuff.

And if you want a struggle, how about trying to get to grips with the workings of the European Central Bank's monetary policy, via The Economist? Or how about a look at how the political elite is ignoring the people (rather bizarrely that article seems to think this is a new phenomenon...)

Or why not try some of the quandries on show at the Philosophers' Carnival or the many fascinating tidbits at the History Carnival. While you're doing that, and in the spirit of Proms season, you could update your classical music library at Classic Cat. Good stuff.

Finally, Anne Applebaum's attempts to work out the world's attitude to America are rather entertaining. Loads of statistics, lots of theories, but somehow manages to avoid the basic answer: we like America but we hate Bush. I'd have thought that was obvious by now?

Update: Britblog Roundup 22 is good to go, courtesy, as per usual, of one Mr. T. Worstall.

14 Comments:

Blogger Bedrock Guy said...

But why do you hate Bush so much. I've never understood the depth of animosity he generated among the Europeans, even before 9/11. It's never seemed logical to many of us in America.

Great site. Hope all is well in Britain today as the roundup of the bad guys and their supporters continues.

7/17/2005 02:12:00 pm  
Blogger d said...

As for the Pope vs. Socialism - Gay marriage issue... There's a nice saying in Spain: "All Spain follows the Church. Half of it with a candle, the other half with a stick".

7/17/2005 03:06:00 pm  
Blogger Catherine Vocalist said...

Dear Bedrock Guy:

You don't speak for me here in America.

That Europeans have been able to recognize that Bush is murderous, lying son of bitch bastard is a good thing.That means that Europeans are observant and can see the cad for who he really is.

When you have a president that puts his own personal agenda before the good of the people and in the process drags other countries into his fight, you have to understand that those other countries are going to recognize that something's up and are going to voice their opinion. This isn't even America's War - it's Bush's War.

What affects one, affects all.

Much Love, NYPaganChick
AKA Catherine in New York

7/17/2005 03:14:00 pm  
Blogger Voice 1 said...

Bedrock Guy, perhaps you have been living in a cave for a few years? That may explain your apparent ignorance on why people do not particularly like Bush, and it's not only in Europe, but around the world; half of your fellow country men and women don't like the rogue regime in Washington either from what I understand.

7/17/2005 03:43:00 pm  
Blogger Voice 1 said...

By the way, thanks nosemonkey.

7/17/2005 03:44:00 pm  
Blogger Nosemonkey said...

Bedrock guy - it would take a fair while to list the reasons why I personally dislike the guy, but it's basically a combination of the presentation (Good ol' boy doesn't go down too well outside the US), his rather freaky religious commitment and his apparently wilful disregard for anything approaching long-term prudence in pretty much all of his policies.

Everyone else - play nice - he kept it polite, we should do the same.

7/17/2005 05:50:00 pm  
Blogger Catherine Vocalist said...

Nosemonkey, I read it like I see it but I do apologize for the cussing.

7/17/2005 06:29:00 pm  
Blogger Bedrock Guy said...

Hi. Thanks for all the comments which confirm the animosity and provide some of your personal reasons.

NYPaganChick, I never presumed to speak for the rest of America. However, while I have concerns about some of the things this administration does, the reasons for the war were confirmed just the other day, unfortunately, in London. But, I understand that the war in Iraq is a legitimate subject for debate in the U.S. As for Bush's "presentation" skills, I believe he has squandered many opportunities to gather the troops and garner support for some justified U.S. actions. He's squandered that support because of his rather limited communication skills.

Voice 1. No, don't live in a cave like the scum we are hunting in SW Asia. I live right in the heart of Europe.

Thanks for the comments. Regards to all. Bedrock Guy.

7/17/2005 06:34:00 pm  
Anonymous Richie said...

" the reasons for the war were confirmed just the other day, unfortunately, in London."

Well, that's open to debate. Did the war cause the attack, or was the attack always going to happen sooner or later? What is also important is that you don't seem to understand that this 'war on terror' is not going to work. It's a lot like the 'war on drugs'. It's big business and will never end.

The war on terror cannot be won by invading country after country. It can be won by working together with the real Islamic believers (the ones who dont twist the Quran for their own political terrorist ends) to educate people that voilence is not the answer.

7/17/2005 11:31:00 pm  
Anonymous -ronnie from new orleans- said...

The Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor because we cut off imported oil, right. Why didn't we just say "I'm sorry" and give them all the oil they wanted. We should probably have thrown in Hawaii for offending them.

As far as the "liking America" BS is concerned, Nosey needs a bit of intellectual honesty. I don't buy all that just hate Bush crap Nosey. Based on the "walks like a duck" test, you're anti-american. Guess what, more folks voted for Bush than Kerry, or Clinton, or Gore, or Perot, or GW Bush. Not an agenda guy, just fact. How can you hate this many Americans by proxy and be "pro" American. Grow up.

Pagan and others, who would ever presume to speak for you. You make your brilliance more evident than anyone else ever could. Look, the guy beat your asses like a drum twice. He may be as ineffectual as you claim, so how'd you get all those bruises. Don't blame you for taking it personally, it must hurt to eat dirt from a dummy. How are your kids, do they hate Bush too? Got any relationships, does he/she have to hate Bush? Got a life, or do you only live to hate Bush?

Doing without a God is easy. I've managed for years. It's harder to do without a devil to blame for all your problems. "The devil made us do it" right. We all know who that is don't we.

7/18/2005 03:33:00 am  
Blogger opal said...

Almost 2000 dead US soldiers, innumerable dead Iraqis, and God knows how many maimed and wounded. There are some reasons to hate George Bush.

That and all the lies he's told us.

7/18/2005 04:50:00 am  
Anonymous tom p said...

We don't all like America, Nosemonkey. Indeed, some of us actively dislike this rapacious greedy selfish country that seems determined to drag the world down to it's pitiful level.
It's not just cultural snobbery, it's not just Kyoto, it's not just the US's interminable destabilising of elcted governments that it doesn't like, it's not just that the US government is, and has been for some time (both democrat and republican), the global governmental voice for major corporations, it's not just the way the spineless american people have rolled over and let this happen, it's not just the hypocrisy of overt christian religiosity while clearly worshipping mammon, it's not just Billy Joel, it's all these things and many many more besides.

Richie from New Orleans, it's perfectly possible for an intelligent individual to disentangle the people from the executive. I'm half-British and half-French. I live in Britain. I rather like it, but I despise Blair and his supine cronies. The same can be said of my attitudes towards France.

7/18/2005 11:59:00 am  
Anonymous tom p said...

Ronnie from New Orleans, Bush didn't legitimately beat the democrat candidate twice, and you know it.
The supreme court, representing the republican party, won once, and he won the second time.
Indeed, it's this second victory (or first genuine victory) that turned me, and a number of other people I know, from not being anti-american to being so.

Also, for one who is criticising his compatriots for being obsessed with Bush, you seem to be pretty obsessed with him yourself. Why do you feel he needs your adoring support?

7/18/2005 01:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Eric S (Washington DC) said...

To all of you who claim to 'speak for America' whether I agree with you or not: whatever. You are individuals. Those who are pro-war/Bush say the anti-war crowd doesn't speak for America. Those who are anti-war say things like "This isn't even America's war", which is no less ridiculous. The fact is, we all speak for ourselves.

To tom p-
"this rapacious greedy selfish country" You know nothing about which you speak. Your ability to generalize is almost shocking in its simplicity. It never ceases to amuse me when Euros, claiming to be so worldly and sophisticated, are able to write off a vast, diverse country in a single sentence. It's the epitome of thoughtlessness.

It doesn't even offend me, it just makes me feel sorry for you. Do you really think you know America? Only the ignorant would characterize it in the way you do. Many Euros have difficulty grasping what the US is really about, for some reason. You always seek to simplify and distill us into something easy to understand. "A bunch of bible-thumping, gun-toting, greedy, rapacious bastards", you might say. Of course, there are people here who fit that description. But there are also many who don't (see nypaganchick for an example). America is, for all of its faults, diverse in a way that Europe can never hope to be.

You hate America for Billy Joel? What a high-minded, sophisticated reason to dislike a country of 300 million people! I absolutely detest French pop. I detest Chirac. I detest French diplomacy in general. But I still love the country. I would sell my guns and bible on E-Bay right now for a fresh loaf of bread from Lyons, or a wheel of Tomme de Savoie. I love Parisians, and their utter contempt for anything but the best. I'd sell my petrol-guzzling SUV, my Bush-Cheney '04 gear, and my cross (the one out in the front yard...we all have them, you know) to have a chance to live in Chambery for a year.

My point is that we are not all so different from each other than we seem to think. We would be utterly foolish to reject each other's culture outright. Only a cad would be unable to find anything of value in another culture. "Oh, but America *has* no culture!" you'd reply, as if we consider "Uptown Girl" to be the greatest artistic achievement of all time. As if we consider McDonalds to be haute cuisine. Senseless.

I apologize in advance for saying nice things about France. Britain is better, regardless of what Chirac says. =p

7/18/2005 01:37:00 pm  

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