Saturday, December 31, 2022


Un feu d'artifice ringard était supposé mettre de l'ambiance. Ailleurs l'évenementiel a sorti Adamo du coma, tandis que la croix rouge avait préparé civières et volontaires au cas ou.

Pendant ce temps les sans-abri attendent toujours un minimum de dignité et restent les otages de Bruxelles-poubelle et de quelques propriétaires fonciers bien connus. Quelques volontaires et gestes corrigent imparfaitement une situation dramatique.  

Il se crée un scenario pour les frères Dardenne. Il faut être de gauche pour bien juger les siens. En ne faisant rien, les oubliés d'aujoud'hui risquent de devenir les casseurs de demain. Encore une épopée pour loosers RTL.

Comment voulez-Vous gouverner avec un gouvernement prisonnier de son costume polichinelle ? Pendant ce temps là la négociation avec Engie se traine, comme la ministre Karine Lalieux et d'autres rescapés du PS. 

Monday, December 26, 2022


Christmas was never about good taste. Sometimes it benefited nevertheless the better angels in mankind. This last Christmas did not live up to the expectations. Ukraine did not get a moment of respite...

Kings and leaders said the same banalities over and over, often amidst the decor of past glory. King Charles III sounded as if he were running for the label ¨the pious¨. The Pope was surprisingly harsh.

This absurd holiday which is supposed to be about joy on earth was, more so than unusual, existentially incorrect. The heart of Europe is a battlefield. China's windows are broken since Covid got a free ride on the back of the people who are waking up from their induced complacency. Asia is a luxury emporium wherein greed and selfish grabs are overtaking the leftovers of former harmony. Africa  sometimes looks as if it wants to return to colonial exploitation. Europe fares actually better than what many pundits proclaim but the EU manages rather than innovate. The UK mourns the former queen's better days, that were not that great in retrospect, but the show must go on with second rate performers, alas. Never forget the silent might of Australia...

Only the United States enjoy growth, unemployment, contemporary creativity--and military strength, unmatched for now. Ukraine lives because of its own resilience and because of America. For sure there remain problems which might become vicious after the Republicans take over the House of Representatives. It is hard to believe that Trump might enjoy a comeback, but never underestimate the role of the fool. Anyway, the Republicans will wage a holy war against Biden, who might be too much of a gentleman for a romp in the mud.

The current impasse cannot be allowed to last. Traditional diplomacy doesn't work in the short run. Before addressing negotiation one must look for the conditions wherein such an outcome might become feasible. Only a formula in the Kissinger/ Holbrooke vein, out of sight, might explore mutual acceptable parameters for a start-up for talks, under close monitoring. Putin is more than the sum of his frustrations, he also represents a country that has always been addicted to bluff and tradition. In reality the GDP of the Russian Federation only equals the combined GDP of the Netherlands and Belgium. Putin rules over a depot...

Unfortunately the perceptions worldwide have changed. Trump was a force for the bad. His gratuitous aerobics with any leader who took the time to flatter this insecure, uninformed avatar who had no other compass than his ego. As a result the abnormal became indifferent, if not timely. This American president became the undesirables' rattle without him realizing he was being played. He ended up hating the Europeans intensely because they realized he was fraudulent.

Globalization is now, for the time being, a word in a dictionary. So was "cold war" which has had a comeback. So one had better stay pragmatic. Zelensky holds on because of the approval of the Ukrainians. Putin holds on because of his grip on people and sycophants alike . The West should find a way to refrain from its addiction to energy made in Russia. Last but not least, the real question remains unanswered for now:  How long can the civilized world be content to be the voyeur while war crimes occur next door? The perpetrator has no shame. He must feel the pain if all other arguments are ignored. The UN charter highlights the "universal". The West should not partake in the demise of the rule of law.

Sunday, December 18, 2022


De Standaard heeft het over de Vlaming.... Misschien kunnen het duo Jambon / Demir nu ook naar Teheran om een Vlaamse oplossing te vinden. 

Wat in Vlaanderen allemaal straffeloos gebeurt is niet langer te harden. Of die ploeg zijn verdacht canon wil ingaan als een troep "loosers" is dit zijn zaak.

Olivier Vandecasteele verdient niet een tweede maal te worden gegijzeld omwege het plat politiek spel van enkele over het paard getilde amateurs.

Saturday, December 17, 2022


The second part of the Netflix series only confirms the pertinence of the actions of a couple that are fundamentally a game changer, larger than a royal soap.

Both Harry and Meghan have respectfully proven that under the circumstances the choices they made were only theirs. The palace intrigues in the background look pathetic and out of touch with the times we live in.

Not only does the British monarchy look out of touch, the institution as such, in its surviving models world-wide, will be under close scrutiny. The archaic deference it still receives is doomed, all the more so in that the world, in this sad agonizing anno 2022, is on life-support, in need of healing.

The choice for another life in Southern California feels so right. With the exception of the former queen, the other royals look like props playing in a provincial theatre before a scarce public. Harry is truly his mother's son and the loyal grandson of Elisabeth II. Meghan is the contemporary woman who is clairvoyant in the choices she makes and generous in sharing them with her husband. There is still room for a smart love story after all.


Voilà que Joel De Ceulaer, le Ciceron du Morgen, jette l'éponge. Cet éditorialiste aussi sophistiqué que lucide en a raz le bol. Confronté au désastre Belge il choisit l'exil. On le comprend mais on souhaite qu'il revienne sur sa décision, ne fut-ce que pour l'autopsie.

Le pays plie sous le poids de ses parlements et gouvernements parallèles minables, n'yant qu'une pathologie en partage. Il est devenu inutile d'épingler des noms ou de vouloir montrer du doigt telle ou telle  personnalité politique. Elles se ressemblent toutes. Comparés à leurs collègues dans d'autrees pays, les grotesques régionaux ici se distinguent surtout par un provincialisme qu'aucune thérapie ne parvient à remettre à l'heure. 

Le malheur étant que le gouvernement fédéral ressemble de plus en plus à un albatros en fin de parcours. Comment peut-il encore gouverner avec des partenaires à l'intérieur comme dans les régions qui le sabotent. Les socialistes Wallons veulent à tout prix détourner l'attention de la corruption dont ils sont traditionnellement les héritiers comme les continuateurs. Les Verts deviennent un parti fasciste avec lequel le dicours raisonné est désormais devenu impossible. Le gouvernement Flamand court les prés comme une famille Trapp sous l'effet d'une overdose (Anvers oblige ). Le Premier Ministre est obligé de mal gouverner avec tous ses contraires imposés par des présidents de parti. Alexander De Croo ne mérite pas cette descente aux enfers. L'heure d'une démission dans l'honneur doit être considérée.

Joel De Ceulaer est l'accusateur le plus mordant de ce tableau vivant de James Ensor ou les squelettes se disputent un hareng-saur. Nul autre que lui n'a réussi aussi cruellement à épingler les têtes de Turc qui sont supposées habiter les Canons Flamand et Wallon. On ne parle plus de Bruxelles, abandonnée à ses pavés et à ses bierres.

Beaucoup souhaitent ne pas perdre le génial éditorialiste. Ce naufrage belge mérite son Zola après tout.

Bonnes fêtes !

Monday, December 12, 2022


Baron Frans Van Daele wordt EU Gezant voor godsdienstvrijheid buiten de EU.

Deze talentvolle diplomaat zal er voorzeker voor zorgen dat deze bizarre opdracht intelligent zal worden ingevuld.

De vraag blijft hoe de EU de tijd en de reden heeft gevonden om die opdracht opnieuw uit de kast te halen.

Bij mijn weten stond niemand te wachten op zo een aanstelling . Daarom wordt het interessant af te wachten op hij er van terechtbrengt. 

Sunday, December 11, 2022


Netflix serves the Meghan/Harry dish to distract us from the usual Christmas entertainment nightmare.

The first three episodes were mostly pleasurable to watch. Meghan has all the qualities of the predictable American actress, professional, self-conscious and smart. Harry has a wicked sex appeal, sounds very well informed and is happy without remorse.

Some object to the California life-style, so hard to resist, compared to the Royals' favorite residences: Windsor, Balmoral and similar spooky haunts. There is more envy than justification. The remaining Royals in the British Isles look like cartoons. One has to stay generous and feel for Kate and William who already look and dress old, without the support of a drink and fun aunt Margaret enjoyed in Mustique.

One has to wait for the next installments but until now the story is more about the choices made than about the mistakes presumed. Each brings baggage to this saga, less controversial than the mistakes made by others. 

It is almost a solace to see happiness in the current times. It can look even scandalous or oblivious, but these two people look as if they could salvage what they have even in the direst circumstances. 

The series is also revealing of the complexity and diversity of family. There are two heroines there, Princess Diana and Meghan's mother. Charity demands not to dwell on the others, living. Queen Elisabeth II always stood apart, deservedly.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022


The Ukrainian tragedy goes on. The Russian onslaught continues. The situation looks hopeless since the early warnings by Russia that eastern parts of Ukraine had to be considered as a separate entity. Since then the leaders of "liberated" Luhansk, Donbas, Donetsk, who were received as heads of government in the Kremlin, have vanished and Putin's intentions have become painfully clear. The Russian mindset has always trapped gullible Westerners who tried so hard to believe that Chekhov was representative of Russia's soul. Since the Tsars, little has changed. The power is not something to be shared. It is imposed by a coterie wherein only force rules. 

NATO, the UN and the OSCE look on, guilty bystanders of a murderous machine in prime time. Indeed Article 5 or the rule of the veto stand in the way of a clear strategy. Hence the West resorts to indirect ways to provide Ukraine with just enough to resist but not enough to respond. The impunity given to Putin is mindboggling. How long must this hybrid aggression be tolerated before the West finally provides Kiev with sophisticated weaponry that allows it to hit Russia in reciprocal reprisal? How long can the West play outrage in Doha, Teheran or Kabul while giving Russia a pass of sorts?

It is wise to consider all implications of future decisions but it becomes also morally wrong to remain on the fence while watching harm on steroids. Mr. Stoltenberg's pious exhortations or the blitz-like visits to Kyiv by various Western leaders do not impress the Kremlin. By the way, where is the Pope? (There is wheel chair access.) The EU will continue to look its usual pathetic self and if it were not for America the Ukrainians would have to be content with the pathetic support of Europeans, who should be embarased. They are afraid to burn their bridge to be seated at Putin's large table in the future. It will be interesting to learn what will come up in the future regarding Chancellor Merkel's dealings with her Russian counterpart. Her deserved reputation and skills suddenly took a turn for the dark. What about Orban ... still in the EU? 

Russia is historically addicted to territorial conquest. Ukraine became Malorossiya and all traces of its former independent past were erased. Relentless russification followed in the 18th century. Russia's claims are as absurd as similar claims would be coming from countries that pretend to return to their former self. The Helsinki agreement was supposed to put an end to bad behavior but the inglorious downfall of the Soviet Union only led to spite and ideas of revenge.

Putin and the Pan-Slavic Orthodox Church are obsessed by what they consider humiliations inflicted upon them by the West. Not bound by the accepted rules of international behavior, they are impervious to sanction or moral outrage. Russia has become again a syndicate wherein power and influence are distributed rather than won by vote or merit. It is impossible for now to foresee conditions for a negotiation out of the Ukraine hell. It is even harder to imagine that Putin could even be on comprehensive talking terms with any Western leader. Sadly, the only strategic outcome is for the West and Ukraine to focus on ways to attack Russian forces in the back. Therefore Kiev needs the weaponry that can make such a "pincers" move possible. It is imperative to hurt the beast before the war crime cloud covers for an unforeseeable time the outcome of this scandal that endured too long.

Swan Lake has become a farce!

Monday, December 5, 2022


Nog een maand geleden waren de Rode Duivels de redders van het vaderland. Nu zijn ze opeens een ongenietbaar stel ruziemakers. Martinez die alles kon is niet langer welkom.

Beide houdingen zijn absurd. De verwachtingen lagen te hoog, de opeenvolgende nederlagen deden pijn. 

Dat de koning zich heeft laten overtuigen om op te treden in een cameo met de spelers is een grove fout van zijn Entourage. Hij kon supporteren zoals vroeger maar zijn indentificatie met de ploeg was op zijn minst overdreven...en politiek brandhout in de handen van Vlaams blok of mevrouw Homans en Co. Het ware elegant indien de verliezers nog op een sportieve drink zouden kunnen worden vergast op het paleis. Wie a zegt moet verder gaan....

Doha is de verkeerde plaats voor dit type sport.  De atmosfeer ontbreekt aan geloofwaardigheid maar daar trekt FIFA zich niets van aan. 

De Rode Duivels nu door het slijk halen is totaal verkeerd. Of de koning nog een reddende hand kan toesteken blijft de vraag.

Sunday, December 4, 2022


Le président français a eu droit à une deuxième visite d'état aux Etats-Unis. On se souviendra de la première. la seconde reprend les mèmes tics et gestes. Macron semble croire que le "gallic charm"  accomplit des miracles. Avec Trump les embrassades n'ont pourtant rien apporté et on est en droit de douter que Biden aura été séduit par le " French hug ".

Pour le diner officiel le président américain a plongé l'assistance dans un décor genre Macy's dont raffolent les Américains. Les chefs d'état ont évité de se référer à tout ce qui peut opposer les Etats-Unis à l'Europe et tout a baigné dans une "Love Story" aussi artificielle que douteuse.

Macron a trouvé le temps de rencontrer Elon Musk, nouveau Docteur Frankenstein. Curieusement il  n'est pas allé du coté ou tout se passe, en Californie. Il a préféré le folklore à l'avenir, visitant la Nouvelle Orléans ou rode le fantôme de feu une présence francophone. Cette fin de parcours était étrangement décousue.

Thursday, December 1, 2022


Former president Jiang Zemin of the People's Republic of China was always linked to the Shanghai ways. He looked happy, indulging in music and languages, more patriotic than Marxist.  Nevertheless his more relaxed persona never stood in the way of party adherence. His commitment to economic reform might have persuaded Deng Xiaoping to select him as the unlucky Zhao Ziyang's successor. 

He oversaw the Hong Kong handover with flair and reset the button of international relations, mostly with the USA. He put a smile on the Chinese granite.

I was stuck by his calculated bonhomie and occasional candor. He allowed his more southern temperament some breathing space in a system which has almost none. He certainly was closer to the ordinary Chinese, who can be humorous as long as their nationalistic DNA is left alone.