Friday, September 28, 2018


For the second time the Republican majority has sent a man under suspicion to the Supreme Court. After the Clarence Thomas debacle, judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination confirms the total downfall of the American ambition, under Trump. Thomas is getting in the person of Kavanaugh a twin clone. The so-called pro-life party has aborted truth in the back alley of this White House.

It rests that Brett Kavanaugh will live under the cloud of a hearing which looked more like a plot to hide than a process to enlighten. He lost his calm and self- control, acting Trumplike.His reputation is in tatters, forever. The Republicans showed themselves at their hypocritical best with no empathy for the accuser and total disregard for the rule of law. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is yet another woman who has shown courage, dignity and conviction.  

Kavanaugh shall be considered "presumed innocent" (until ulterior developments) while the accuser will join the growing ranks of Americans who are becoming aliens in their own country. Trump's war on the independence of justice is in full swing. This blog warned that an autumn surprise was in the making. This sad episode was the first leaf to fall.  Others will follow. The fools, after all, rule the waves for now, but their days might be counted.

Thursday, September 27, 2018


Trump acted triumphant in the U.N.  In full denial, distortions, lies and loose talk he was able to bury America's foreign policy in less than one hour. In his anti- globalism rant he suggested an America with no allies (and no morals), only interests. The American past century was based on a vision of incremental shared values with others in a "win/win" model of a Commonwealth of nations bound together by mutually agreed principles. Policy, trade, culture were built as tools for connecting diversity and accommodating a variety of situations in terms of durable development, democracy and human rights.

Franklin Roosevelt--with Winston Churchill--was the great architect of this arc of progressive thought which spanned Europe, post-Mao China and the the Asian tigers.  He expanded Woodrow Wilson's ambition and left a heritage which despite the Yalta ambiguities hastened the demise of the Soviet Union, a cosmic event which took the world's breath away.

Trump is not a historian. His moral compass is deranged. He permanently disguises his insecurities in an apoplectic stream of bad grammar and disruptive vocabulary, not unlike Idi Amin. Actually, he excels in this extravagance, leaving his audience incredulous and exhausted. The president is short on facts but he has an ability to inhabit in one sentence the opposites of an assertion, so that he arrives at the finish like a winner. His tour de passe passe regarding Judge Kavanaugh is actually brilliant, albeit on the back of morality. He can flip either way and pretend he was right again. He slaps China on the wrist (for now) while professing his "love" for Xi Jinping. The Russian lover hiding behind the curtains remains "off limits".

The audience at the UN smirked while Trump performed but he immediately turned the tables, pretending the laughter was with him, not at him. Europeans looked embarrassed, others appeared to be amused. That is how empires die, choking on their own ridicule. Actually this Manchurian president is dangerous for the world and for the US.  America was the Primus inter pares, liked or tolerated by many, loathed by some. But in the end there was some form (often misguided) of leadership. Now Trump's America is unambiguously despised for its crass vulgarity and egotism. China is becoming the glamour successor in spe. Russia under Putin bluffed itself back in the front row.

Normal America is running for cover and the majority tries to fight the overall nervous breakdown with the hope that this too will pass.  Hope is mere a lite life-raft when so much is being destroyed, overhauled and sabotaged. The Republicans look like patients in an urology wing and the Democrats hesitate  to call the situation for what it is, out of fear of being seen as unpatriotic.  Still, the mid-term elections might create an opening for change.

Here as elsewhere the growing sense of impending catastrophe might actually create a space that a rejuvenated opposition could call its own. History shows that a steep fall often leads to transformative change. The event more often makes the leader, rather than vice-versa. This president may very well make an impulsive move which might awaken the anger and the revulsion that cannot longer stay dormant. For now, only the press stands for truth and principle. When will the claimants in the intelligentsia wake up?

Trump has a knack for invasion at all costs but there are indications that people are getting tired of the permanent buffoonery. Unfortunately, the vice-president, next in line, admittedly less colorful but equally undesirable. Who talked again about the Germany '30 s atmosphere? Is there a Van Der Lubbe redux in waiting ? 

Saturday, September 22, 2018


En Europe le president americain est generalement mal aime... Mais ...

Ce serait une erreur de meconnaitre le " ras le bol '', au demeurant plus spontane que reflechi, qui fait tache d'huile.   Il s'en suit que plusieurs se tournent vers des partis ou des obediences peu frequentables, plus pour des raisons de representation que d'affiliation. Il s'agit moins de se solidariser avec une personnalite ou un programme que d'emettre un vote de protestation contre ce qui est ressenti comme le "vol systematique de l'ordre".

Alors que l'Occidental voyageant dans les pays avec une DNA coranique essaye tant soit peu de s'adapter a des usages et tabous en vigueur, le contraire est  rarement vrai. Les services sociaux, les hopitaux, l'enseignement en Europe sont confrontes a des situations absurdes ou l'utilisateur venu d'ailleurs entend beneficier de tout mais refuse trop souvent de se conformer a la culture et aux normes existantes.

Aux Etats Unis les immigrants souhaitent - dans leur immense majortite- passer pour Americains. Il semblerait qu'en Europe ils entendent beneficier de tout sans vouloir poser le mondre geste d'assimiliation. Certes il ne faut pas generaliser. Plusieurs intellectuels et ecrivains d'origine musulmane critquent les exces d'une religion trop frequemment manipulee, devoratrice et repetitive. Il ne faut surtout pas oublier non plus que les immigrants (en premier lieu originaires d'Asie) representent souvent une valeur ajoutee !

Um peu partout su sein de l'UE, la droite , vaguement inspiree par la "mouvance" Steve Bannon, gagne du terrain. Il faut bien admettre  que l'immigration est mal geree en amont et mal vecue en aval. Ce malaise se repand. Il est difficile d'imaginer une strategie coherente, eu egard au debat de societe difficile qui divise l 'UE.

La gestion de l'immigration est devenue un enjeu existentiel. Si l'on n'arrive pas a trouver une reponse coherente, le divorce entre pouvoirs et electeurs risque de remettre en question l'universalite de principes agrees ou de modeles d'inclusion reconnus. La droite n'apporte pas de solution credible. La gauche ignore les consequences destabilisatrices d'un malaise mal maitrise. L'avance de cette crise, pourtant annoncee, devient methodique, si pas irreversible.

Il manque des "juges integres"pour suggerer une solution "eclairee" qui evite autant le "laissez aller" insupportable que le rejet erga omnes , contraire aux valeurs des "lumieres". Comme dans le retable des Van Eyck ils restent introuvables. Il est temps de relire" Les Justes" de Camus.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


NUMERO UNO MONDIAL !!!!!! Ils etaient les meilleurs...Ils le confirment ! Quand l'esprit sportif  se conjugue au  pluriel la realite l'emporte sur l'accidednt.

Saturday, September 8, 2018


What more has to go wrong before Trump meets an inglorious, sordid end? In a normal democracy he would already have been sent to the gallows or returned to his shady business. In these United States post-2016 he remains (for the time- being) unscathed, like a brooding Sardanapalus in Eugene Delacroix's painting, in denial of the surrounding havoc of his own making.

This week should have been a via dolorosa for any normal politician. The negatives multiply on all fronts and this president only holds firm because of the opportunistic cowardly Republicans and his base of "Brown Shirts." His pathology which was ludicrous, nouveau riche, is becoming dangerous. His tendency to veer off script and norms is no longer laughable. The just-published Bob Woodward book and the anonymous Op-Ed in the New York Times give an alarming insight into the broken mind of a man who appears to be close to dementia.

No wonder the world-at-large observes this meltdown of the American system fascinated and worried. This White House has been compared to Charenton or to a Goya nightmare...wrong. These goings-on come out of a cheap Goodfellas scenario. There is no need to upgrade what is in the gutter. One has to dig deep to come close to what there is to be found. Unfortunately this foreseeable farce might well lead to even more threatening disruptions regarding Iran, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. In Washington politics are now driven by whims and impulse, by unreasonable antipathy rather than by measured consideration. It has been said that to leave the nuclear code in the hands of Trump equals tempting mayhem...rightly so. These last days are sending a warning that should not be ignored. It appears that in Trump's inner-circle there are individuals who are alarmed enough to resort to a guerrilla warfare, aiming to neutralize the unpredictable outbursts of this ever fuming character.

Unfortunately the president is becoming his own cult. He escapes by attending rallies in the American no-man's-land, where the gullible live, procreate and believe in god and guns. In the collective fallacies of the "deplorables" he finds his solace and the confirmation of his (shaky) legitimacy. If only he were capable of doubt, of questioning, he might have been able to overcome the plural of personal negatives. The next months might see him more unhinged than ever.

Those who see the dangerous shift in the world order are shunned. Europe is out, Asia is largely ignored, Africa--well--is Africa (China's hinterland). Australia knows were its interests lie. Latin America is left to its own devices. There is no lofty or intellectual flair in an administration famous for putting kids in cages under the vengeful eye of Stephen Miller (a Harry Potter arch-villain). The president now seeks to change the Flores rule, a change which would allow the administration to detain minors in the custody of Immigration for extended periods of time. Imagine?

Maybe the mid-term elections will punish the Republicans, as they should. Could one count on the Democrats to strategize a smart, creative alternative? The bets are open. Both parties should read some of the Federalist Papers (this illiterate president will not know what they are about).  President Obama suddenly sounds almost out of touch, because the ruling discourse has become so vulgar that the correct vocabulary has left the scene....with the rest, and the best.