Tagged: EU

7

Monday after Brexit: No one planned for this

It is the beginning of another work week in London, and all seems quite normal in the shops and on the high streets (though you might see some pictures like this one), despite the fact that a historic vote happened just a few days before.  What has become clear as the dust has settled is that no one planned for this outcome.  Remain had no Plan B in place, and shockingly, Leave had no Plan A.  The only thing that is clear this Monday after is that it is a very long way to Tipperary. David Cameron A visibly emotional PM who...

2

The Day the Improbable Happened

In 2014 I was in Glasgow for the Scottish referendum. I had spent the day before the referendum out and about in Glasgow and the “Yes” for independence vote was out in force, and as such I got a very different impression about which way the vote might go based solely on what I saw “on the ground.” The same thing happened last night. As I observed Londoners yesterday 8 out of every 10 stickers I saw people wearing were “In,” and I told more than one friend before I went to bed that I thought the Remain camp had just...

2

Boris and Brexit

I was in the Metro.  I looked down at the newspaper the man on my left was reading.  It featured three characters.  One, a Boris Johnson jumping up and screaming “F*#% Europe!”  To his right a flustered and disturbed David Cameron wheels around, saying, “Trump?”  To his right a French footman bows and says, in French, “No, it’s the Mayor of London…” Later that same day I was writing in a cafe and four tables over I heard snippets of a conversation in French in which the words “Boris” and “Brexit” featured prominently. It was the day after Boris had delivered...

21

More Second Thoughts, Round Three

At first glance, President Obama’s selection of this years’s winners of “The Presidential Medal of Freedom” seems bizarre.  Lee Hamilton, Willie Mays, Yogi Berra, Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Mikulski, music entrepreneur Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Indian activist Billy Frank, Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Spielberg, Barbara Streisand, James Taylor,  and Jap rights activist Minoru Yasui.  Gee, what is warhawk Lee Hamilton doing with these freaks?  The only other straight white  male with a name ending in a consonant, James Taylor, is a drug-using  mental patient. On second thought, perhaps it is perfect.   This is the face of the new America–‘athaletes,’ entertainers,...

4

Paris: The Day After

The greatest generation was able to say, “This isn’t my first battle, sonny.”  Is it odd that at under-40 I can say, “This isn’t my first terrorist attack”? On September 11, 2001, I was heading to Kansas City after a short trip to Texas.  Sometime that morning two planes flew into buildings in NYC.  Our plane, like every other plane in the air, was forced to land at the closest possible airport.  I spent the next 3 days with strangers, and our first hours together were spent in front of a television, watching the towers come down over and over...

0

Rumors

President Obama has informed African American voters that he will take it as a personal affront to his “legacy” if they do not rush out to support Hillary Clinton.  Rumor has it that he has also threatened to declare himself officially “White” and to  produce his authentic Kenyan birth certificate to prove that while he may be African, he is decidedly not American.  Stay tuned for this developing story.

0

The Art of Degradation, Part I

It is a good thing that rhetoric is a lost art, because anyone with the most elementary knowledge of rhetoric would be sticking blunt objects into his ears to keep from hearing not just the politicians’ speeches but, even more, the pundit’s comments and questions. I am not referring to the bad grammar and mispronunciation of NPR newsreaders who cannot pronounce words like “tour” but invariably say “tore” or even to the effeminate and uncontrolled sing-song chanting of the announcers.  Delivery is a part of oratory but only a part.  From the rhetor’s perspective of 2500 years or so, political...

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Wednesday’s Child: To Say Nothing of the Dog

Some six months ago, at the end of March, I wrote here about the sensational case of the Ukrainian Joan of Arc, Nadezhda Savchenko – then in captivity in Moscow and undergoing a farce of a trial – who has since been exchanged for some Russian prisoners of the undeclared war and is now in Kiev.  Now, it may be that Savchenko is not the Ukrainian Joan of Arc, and that in reality she’s a war criminal, a madwoman, a villainess, a CIA agent, or even a Russian police provocateur; none of that matters in the least for making sense...

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Rome, Year 16 AMT

I left Rockford with the best intentions.  I was going to write and post a diary of our six weeks (plus a few days) in Italy, even including the boring details of transatlantic travel post -911 or, as I prefer to call it, in the Age of Muslim Terrorism, as in “we left home on January 7, AMT 16. Our brief escape from the Midwestern Winter and presidential politicking seemed doomed from the start.  Jim Easton was kind enough to take us to the Van Galder bus station, where we soon learned that the departure schedule had recently been changed,...

0

Wednesday’s Child: Gadarene Light

Like any massive fraud, whether successful or unsuccessful, Russia’s recent parliamentary election is an interesting subject.  Fraud, swindle, pyramid–perpetrated or operated by all sorts of impostors, flimflam artists, and snake oil salesmen–where would world literature be without them?  Thomas Mann’s Hochstapler, or confidence man, in Confessions of Felix Krull is alone worth a million real-life fraud victims. Conrad would never have written Chance, the masterwork that pulled him out of obscurity, without its central character, the swindler Smith de Barral.  Gogol would not have written Dead Souls without Chichikov, the spectre of Western monopoly capitalism in the guise of a...