Friday, July 29, 2016


Last night in Philadelphia will be remembered.  A woman came an election away from the presidency of the United States.  Despite all the rumors, accusations and envy, the woman in white proved the prophets of doom wrong.  She was able to unite the Democrats.  She was personal, while at the same time keeping a distance.  She was concrete on many issues and was not shy of engaging those Democrats who feel marginalized or the Republicans who are homeless after Trump became their nightmarish landlord.  Her acceptance speech was emotional and one needed to have a heart of stone not to be moved by her life story.  Most of the Sanders camp joined her after she undertook to follow up on many of his proposals.

The Democrats became the party of light, the Republicans are stuck in the negative. The campaign will be brutal given Trump's temperament. His primitive, nativist message still continues to be supported by many.  Mrs. Clinton remains unpopular with voters who deem her too distant and secretive. The battle is not won, but her chances have improved. The comparison between both camps is cruel: the Trump supporters are a mob, the Clinton camp is a journey.  There remain gaps where Mrs. Clinton needs to clarify her position, mostly on trade and the "war" against Islamic terrorism. She should consider leaving the shore of restraint and confront the storm head on, with all means and men on deck. 

President Obama starts to look like yesterday even before leaving the office. His style and elegance set him apart already.  He has always resisted the bullhorn policies, but now this gloved hand finds less room in a world "full of sound and fury". If elected, Mrs. Clinton will have to confront the unforgiving nemesis at home and the turbulence in the world, head on. She has already the support from a part of the Republican establishment, independents and from the Europeans. She will never convince those who favour garbage over enlightenment.  She had better ignore the insult and the Trump-Twitter slander and remind herself that "uneasy lies the head that wears a crown".

Mrs. Clinton has made history, even before history takes a front seat on a cold day in Washington next January.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


It was an easy prophecy.  Trump cannot stand to be overshadowed and he will come up with anything to make noise and to force attention. Limbaugh and Fox News follow suit.  We also got a James Bond scenario (From Russia With Love) from The Donald and a slave story tale from Bill O'Reilly ("the slaves who built the White House were well-fed and lodged"). The panic makes the GOP dangerously "creative".  Since the Republicans (who are not in hiding) have a hard time denying that their chosen king is naked and ignorant of and in foreign affairs, they fill this gap with "fairy tales".  Trump (he is not an Ian Fleming) was on his usual, ignorant best, asking Russia to "deliver' Secretary Clinton's deleted e-mails. This invitation to a foreign country to meddle and hack is unprecedented.   On the other hand, Trump's campaign manager Paul Manafort is on a first-name basis with Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych.  The dots are easy to connect! 

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the show goes on...
The Democrats had a visionary day .
Trump was dissed by all :

By Bloomberg:  despise
By Biden:  ridicule
By Kaine:  parody
By Obama:  vision

The President was extraordinary, burying Trump under "facts" and passing with conviction the torch to Secretary Clinton. Not only did he seize the moment, he was it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016


The Democratic convention continues to have its highs and lows.  Bernie Sanders acts like a loyal partner, despite lingering spite from some of his followers. The "show" is repetitive, predictable, often banal and verging on the mediocre.  But there have been two great moments.

The First Lady was extraordinary, a shot in the arm. Articulate, sunny, confident. Poor Melania had better return to her magazines, or better, go into hiding.  And President Clinton was looking better and more presidential than ever. He was disciplined, elegant in choosing the shadows, allowing the projector to shine on his wife only.  There was something emotional in his very personal address. Coming after the abrasive, uninformed, Neanderthal-like Trump monologue, the cloudy dark sky suddenly opened and life got an opportunity to enter the political discourse.  Bill Clinton didn't play "ego", he just chose to play second role to his wife. This "tandem" has had a lot to overcome together, especially in their darkest hours, when the hyenas dressed up for the kill. The potential First... (they will have to come up with something) will be the stellar advisor to a President Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The convention loved him . Rightly so.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


The Democrats had a difficult start.  
Secretary Clinton gave an interview to Scott Pelley on 60 Minutes. The choice of the journalist was objectionable, at the least.  Pelley is an American version of Bernard-Henry Levy's unbearable mannerisms.  He could be forgiven for his usual snobbish demeanor, although it is becoming frankly insufferable, but his targeted questioning felt stolen from a Republican House Benghazi Committee playbook.

Wikileaks (remember creepy Assange?) leaked documents indicating that the Democratic Party officials favored Secretary Clinton over Senator Sanders. A Russian involvement in hacking the Democrats should not come as a surprise, given Trump's Putinism and his campaign manager's Russian connections. 

More serious is the split between the Sanders and the Clinton camps. Secretary Clinton's charm offence leaves the Sanders wing unconvinced for now.  Only the President might bring the opposites once and for all together.  Mrs. Obama gave this difficult rapprochement a first push. Michelle Obama is just formidable as a woman, a mother, a partner, a miracle who is loved for her fashion sense and her sophisticated spontaneity, admired by the intelligentsia and by the simple women and men from Main street.

Trump has created a real fault-line in the American psyche. Observers underestimate both his range and his ability to focus on what is important by way of what is incoherent. Part of America is hooked on fast slogans, slow intelligence and primary impulse. The Republican nominee plays on insecurity and frustration.  He is an illusionist, suffering from an egomaniac

The Utopian Left in the Sanders camp is lost.  At the end of a long day, the progressive more moderate Sanders supporters will back Mrs. Clinton. Speakers like Presidents Obama and Clinton will play an essential role in uniting the party.  Senator Sanders is behaving like a gentleman, by the way. He has to be applauded for having been the man with ideas, some excellent, some "retro-nostalgic".  He was the real man of "change".

It looks as if the Democrats can still come together. Mrs. Clinton's win over Trump would be a history changer, a positive alternative compared to the Republican mantra of isolationism, negativism and exclusion.

I bet that the emotion felt by most Thursday will loom larger than the opposition of a few... To
quote Michel Hoellebecq in Les particules elementaires " Demain sera feminin ".

Friday, July 22, 2016


This spooky convention ended as it began, with Trump looking into a dark mirror.  This bizarre aging Narcissus talked endlessly about an exclusive future for America, in a state of paranoid denial : recognition of globalization, trade, alliances repose on self-interest rather than on values.  There is almost no room for a more inclusive component.  Most Republican lemmings chose to follow this new version of Pied Piper of Hamelin.  The smarter ones preferred to stay home, safe.  Despite Ivanka, this was a sad, pessimistic, noisy affair.

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Yesterday the GOP became the GOD, (Great Old Dump).  No need to waste comments on this Nuremberg- (but coming with worse staging) type event, which one hoped never to have to endure again.
Secretary Clinton was "lynched".  Ted Cruz and his wife ran for their lives.  The conservative, God fearing mob had their heyday.  The great leader is coming!

Quo vadis America ?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


The Republican convention is already, from day one, stained by hatred, lies and racism.  This was expected, but not to such a degree.  After a non-stop of hysteria, one was looking forward to Mrs. Trump's performance.  She has always been an ornament and nobody expected controversies.  Indeed, she chose not to be controversial.  Unfortunately, her retinue served her a stolen text which she diligently spoke out with a Smetana-like candour.  Slovenia cannot boost being Smetana's birthplace, but this beautiful country would have deserved him.  It appears that her "commencement" speech followed the lines of Mrs. Obama's address, eight years ago. Poor Mrs. Trump, who had complained earlier on of writer fatigue, was fooled by the Trump entourage and looks pathetic... but still beautiful.  Before opening history's book she has already written her epitaph: Rossini's La gazza ladra.

One way or another, working for Trump is generally like walking in a minefield.  Pence better watches his steps!

Monday, July 18, 2016


Last Sunday Lesley Stahl interviewed the Republican soon-to-be-anointed duo.  She tried to enforce some logic into the verbal chaos, which was all "Trump about Trump" (who else).
Her efforts were in vain and Trump's meager vocabulary (terrific, stupid, great...TRUMP) made for some sort of deterrent against the assaults of sophistication, logic and normal follow up.

Pence tried to defend his many reversals, with the help of the Republican presidential candidate who follows a childish path of denial.  Trump would be perfect as a stand up for baby food, Pampers and cartoons.  Pence, who answers "religion" while being asked serious questions, looks pained, like some underpaid intern who has lost the car key.

Ridiculous is not a fatal disease, otherwise the Republican convention would already be over.
The show will go on, without the Republican "who's who" absentees.  The few amateurs of this phony spectacle will be exposed, non-stop, to a "Trump c'est moi", ad nauseam.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I am not a fan of the Turkish president.  I dislike even more military coups. Turkey is essential, as a NATO member and as a (difficult) partner in the fight against ISIL.

By considering to reinstate the death penalty, Erdogan might create yet another obstacle in his dealings with the EU. Anyhow, neither side looks overzealous.  Nevertheless, the West must beware of jeopardizing an essential (expensive) partner in stemming the migrant flow into Europe.  One has also to keep in mind the possible consequences of a Mubarak scenario. The Turkish president is a difficult ally but the West cannot afford to lose him. He will clean house and crush the secular army component. The West has no other alternative than to wait this out.

It looks yet again as if the US and the EU were taken by surprise. What did Intelligence know?
Obviously the situation leaves us with a riddle, unprepared. In the hands of a ruthless Turkish president, all options are on the table. The most undesirable outcome would be a rapprochement with Putin. 

Unwelcome news keeps coming in...Trump must have a day! 

Friday, July 15, 2016


It is too early to try to comprehend the Nice tragedy.  The truck from hell became yet again another weapon of mass destruction.  Likely this was an other Jihadist attack on the Western way of civilized life.  Lone wolf or cell, the consequences have the familiar look of Islamist nihilism.

It becomes irrelevant to try linking this and other "massacres" to grouping X, Y or Z since they quell their thirst at the same source: Wahhabi financed mosques in our own midst.  The silence in many parts of the Muslim world is no longer admissible. "Embarrassment" of leaders is not enough. It is an insult to the victims. 

The West finds itself again in an impossible situation, selling to Muslim states know-how which can be detoured for nefarious ends, and letting the social media be accomplices in spreading the poison of the "Satanic Verses".  Sometimes the terrorists look as if they want Trump to be president. Maybe they look for the Armageddon which fits their ideology. The Democrats might not hand them the keys to paradise, as the Republicans might.


La Belgique est un etat federal. Le modele choisi est hybride. Vouloir retourner en arriere est politiquement impossible.
Les enjeux restent reels, le danger de derapage l'est tout autant.
La partie Flamande reste demanderesse. Le N-VA compte bien garder, autant que possible, le controle de son "pre carre". Il se limite (encore) a poser des gestes symboliques, ne craint pas l'exces( genre Bourgeois, Homans et Peumans) mais il a surtout a une vision a long terme (De Wever).

Pourtant il faut bien tenir compte des evenements externes. Or, ces derniers demontrent que le systeme adopte embrouille plus qu'il n'apporte une valeur ajoutee.
Terrorisme, cybernetique, commerce, economie, climat, defense, securite, entre autres, requierent davantage de moyens et qu'une vision "non decoupee". Dans ces conditions  il devient imperatif de revoir le partage des competences. Les entites federees s'occupent plus de preserver ou d'elargir des competences qui sont au dessus de leurs moyens plutot que de gerer de maniere efficace ce qui leur revient de droit.

Le gouvernement federal devrait organiser des tables rondes avec les partenaires sociaux , l'etat federal et les regions. Sans revenir au passe, il convient de corriger les defaillances du present. Il est incontestable que certains moyens doivent etre centralises et qualitativement multiplies, pour eviter que les faiblesses reconnues ne deviennent structurelles.

Il s'agit moins de reviser la Constitution, que de faire un choix entre le contemporain necessaire et le provincialisme depasse. J'ai lu que les Flamands sont encourages a epouser le modele neerlandais. Je suis un inconditionnel des Pays Bas, pays fort avec une economie mondialisee, plus anglo saxonne que "locale",  bref tout ce que la Flandre n'est pas.
Il faut en terminer avec des etats d'ame frileux. Il convient de corriger ce qui ne va pas, et d'elaguer les exces (nombreux). 
Il faut faire plus avec moins.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


The US presidential race is leaving all exhausted and incredulous.  Played against a background of structural contradictions which pile-up, this endless political process feels merciless.  The conventions promise to be yet another repeat of the well-known arguments, pro and contra. Both nominees risk being chosen "by default".

Everything has been said about Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump.  This battle royal (?) opposes a demagogue with flair against a political wizard with skills.  The Republicans try to abduct the political agenda by filling the narrative with rumors better fit for a tabloid than for a mature debate. Secretary Clinton is obliged, for the time being, to play "defense".

Actually there is the broader issue of the overall American disenchantment. The country and the political culture had been on a "vertical" path but the sustainability of yesterday's upward mobility is now being questioned.  The Americans live under the assumption that they are now stuck in a "horizontal" model, due to the gridlock in matters of income, race, health and education. This perception is partially correct because heightened productivity also comes with undesirable consequences, although the creation of jobs in America is the envy of the EU.  The US score better than any other comparable economy.

The Democrats are trying to come up with practical adjustments, under pressure from Bernie Sanders who obliges Clinton to adopt a more "progressive, European-styled" program.
Trump plays on emotion and frustration. It is ironic that this "king of real estate" became the master of political primitivism. The Republican elites snub him while the white male working-class voter is supposed to love him. 

America finds itself in an anti-intellectual drydock.  Here, as in Europe, "anti-history" prevails. At least the Brexit wake-up call seems to have awakened the Europeans who are conscious now of the need to review the workings of the EU in all matters.  The US is not there yet. They nurture an infantile emotional depression and turn to any doctor who could share their Angst. Hence they turn to Trump, since both the President and Secretary Clinton are averse to letting frustration become the pole star of political thinking.  It is far too early to risk predictions. A lot might happen which can steal "great expectations" out of the hands of either candidate. The debates between the contenders for the White House will oppose professionalism and amateurism. 

The President invited Senator Ted Cruz to fly with him to Dallas in Air Force One. The gesture is elegant. It is also Machiavellian. Both the inviting party and the invitee take smart risks in being mutually courteous. Ca change!  And in Dallas the President was at his best. It is hard to imagine his successor being able to calibrate emotion in such ways, where everybody feels invited and none is aggrieved.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


De Vlaamse Excellentie  wil "sociale woningen  " voorbehouden voor personen die zich voldoende in het nederlands kunnen behelpen.
Arm Vlaanderen, dat niet  beseft dat de Servische "aanpak" tot het verleden behoort.
Of wil zij soms het Pools/ Hongaars precedent in haar Palietermodel invoeren ?
Haar ambitie past bij haar onheilspellende, enge "Zeitgeist",  die zij deelt met Geert Bourgeois.
Ja, de Gulden Sporen dag komt aan...tout est dit ! Een andere Belgenmop voor onze meer internationaal denkende Noorderburen.
Er is een rol voor deze Vlaamse Cruella de Vil, in een remake van "101 Dalmatians"....She has the "look" and the "mind".


This has been a horrible week for America.  It was not a 9/11, which was a Verdi Requiem, it was more the unraveling of "great expectations."  That this lame-duck president still has to confront the fault-lines which undermine America is really sad. He was supposed to cure them.

Obama's reflective temperament is not suited to the violence and polarization which marginalize, for now, the principles the United States are built on.  His obliging, sincere, heartfelt, repetitive condolences hit the walls which are being built at random.

One can be critical of Obama's self-censorship but one cannot doubt his more noble motives. Still, his views sound often too tangential.  His restrained appreciation of events starts to be seen as over-intellectualized, more chamber soliloquies than raw emotion.  The re-appearance of the racial demon in America's political arena is ominous. President Obama does not deserve this chalice at the end of his mandate.

While US technology is in overdrive, when creativity no longer has boundaries, when the macro-economy scores, Obama looks like Gulliver, shackled by pedestrian politics and lies.
The two contenders for the presidency are flawed but the choice between Secretary Clinton and Benito Trump is self-evident.  America is like a patient. The doctor/president is too cautious, the candidates are too reckless. Everybody in his or her true mind will nevertheless miss the cool outgoing man, even if his record often looks large on vision and small on achievements.

At the end of the day, only Bill Clinton was really the first black president, because he felt the pain rather than rationalizing its components. Maybe one has to be imperfect to be able touch the lives and deaths of others.

Monday, July 4, 2016


Elie Wiesel was a perfect pebble washed up on a metaphorical beach, where all memories rest, polished to perfection by the tides of history.  He was described as a Holocaust "survivor".  I think no one who came close is able to "survive" such a tragedy or to distance him or herself from it. One is too existentially wounded, to be able to erase. The crash goes on.  I can only try to imagine the weight, the scars, the humiliation, the existential scandal which take shelter in a little pebble deposited on such a massive tombstone.  All those stones are the undisclosed planets of grief.  Names which should be tattooed on our memories start to fade:  Zeit macht frei. This cannot be allowed.  

Elie Wiesel was the guardian of "hurt".  He reminds us that there is no recovery from the Holocaust and that forgetting it is sin.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


President Clinton remains an extraordinary communicator.  He changed the ways in which the world saw America.  He strayed in a more personal private situation, which would have been forgiven and forgotten by Europeans, but not by conservative Americans. That he and his wife were able to stick it out shows their resilience. Sometimes shared intellectual camaraderie speaks louder than conventional matrimony from hell.

One knows that the former president is a gregarious/social force.  When he sees a chance, he prefers to engage rather than be bored.  Senators Hatch and Cruz were also victims of the charming "predator".  Accordingly, he did not forego the opportunity to have a chit-chat with Loretta Lynch, the Attorney General, in her plane.  It was hardly a Casablanca tarmac
moment!  Given the FBI investigation of Mrs. Clinton, his cozying-up will be considered inappropriate and a handler might have dissuaded Bill Clinton from going ahead.  One will never change this social president, nor the fond memories of his presidency.  Spontaneity should not be confused with premeditation!

What is a faux pas (?) when compared to a life and a service, lived in full?