Errant European

And the Conducator* said his was a “Golden Age…” Monty Python’s weaponized “killer joke” may have been used for offensive purposes, but under the Ceausescu regime humour was mainly in self-defense: Humour is what kept Romanians alive, and TALES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE aims to re-capture that mood, portraying the survival of a nation having… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

When Israel-Palestine merits not a word from a president, you know the United States is turning inward. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 28 January 2010, “Exit America” The same Cohen op-ed indicates that only nine minutes were devoted to international affairs in President Obama’s first State of the Union message last month. And now we… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Europeans interested in civilian control of the military and in democratic oversight of the EU’s foreign affairs (to include defence) would do well to consider the opinion of Jan Dirk Blaauw, former Netherlands MP and former President of the WEU Assembly. The Assembly of the WEU (an institution that many casual observers had thought long… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Whatever just happened in Copenhagen – and I reserve judgment ’til I’ve read a comprehensive debrief – the underlying problem of carbon overproduction hasn’t gone away. One thing is for sure: this post and millions like it, and the millions of emails and spam mails sent daily, will add their share of greenhouse gases to… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

We recently spent an extended weekend in beautiful bourgs within easy driving distance of Brussels: Freiburg, Germany; Strasbourg, France; and Luxembourg (capital and country of same name). For climate change negotiators in Copenhagen, a visit to these three cities near the Rhine and the Moselle rivers could help point the way to a post-carbon future.… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Muslim communities say the decision will spread deep concern and worry. The Swiss government and businesses are worried too – about whether this controversial but democratic ballot will provoke an international backlash. Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera English, “Swiss brace for minaret backlash” What if that backlash were to include a disinvestment or divestment wave among… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

I certainly hope so, since I played a small part in helping the man get elected last year. But a recent trip to the US makes me pause. This appeared first in my other blog, Avuncular American. ————— Les culottes à l’air, or airing the Unmentionables Cheapskate that I am, I am milking the Financial… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus

Large sums promised to developing countries to help them tackle climate change cannot be accounted for, a BBC investigation has found. Rich countries pledged $410m (£247m) a year in a 2001 declaration – but it is now unclear whether the money was paid. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused industrialised countries of failing to… » read more

Posted by Gerald Loftus