Saturday, June 04, 2005


What incomprehensibly arrogant European logic! Only governments can kill the EU constitution, the voters don't matter: "Britain is leading moves to shelve the European constitution until EU leaders agree a way forward after the emphatic "no" vote in France and the Netherlands. Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, is expected to tell MPs on Monday that legislation paving the way for a British referendum will be suspended until there is "clarity" from EU leaders. Officials in Brussels fear that suspending the ratification process is tantamount to killing it, and European leaders have demanded that the process continue despite the defeats."

David Brooks on learning from the EU: "Forgive me for making a blunt and obvious point, but events in Western Europe are slowly discrediting large swaths of American liberalism. Most of the policy ideas advocated by American liberals have already been enacted in Europe: generous welfare measures, ample labor protections, highly progressive tax rates, single-payer health care systems, zoning restrictions to limit big retailers, and cradle-to-grave middle-class subsidies supporting everything from child care to pension security. And yet far from thriving, continental Europe has endured a lost decade of relative decline. Western Europeans seem to be suffering a crisis of confidence. Election results, whether in North Rhine-Westphalia or across France and the Netherlands, reveal electorates who have lost faith in their leaders, who are anxious about declining quality of life, who feel extraordinarily vulnerable to foreign competition - from the Chinese, the Americans, the Turks, even the Polish plumbers."

Amusing comment from Thomas Friedman: "It is interesting because French voters are trying to preserve a 35-hour work week in a world where Indian engineers are ready to work a 35-hour day. Good luck."

I am still laughing about this desperate post from Rockwell: "There is a more recent indebtedness to France that most Americans lack the decency to acknowledge: the refusal of Chirac's regime to join forces with George W. Bush's unprovoked aggression against Iraq, the first step in a neocon-inspired effort to get the world to prostrate itself at the feet of American emperors. By refusing to join with such lap dogs as Tony Blair -- eager to roll over in exchange for any morsel of recognition from the grand imperator -- the French became a symbol to other nations of the importance of pursuing a course of principled integrity in dealing with others."


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