I wasn't appropriate yesterday to comment about Ricard Grasso- outgoing president of the NY Stock exchange- golden parachute
Nonetheless, 140 million$ is excessive and completely unjustified. Even if Grasso provided exemplary leadership to Wall st in the aftermath of 11 Sept, 140 million is excessive.Further, such a high compensation package is ill considered in the context of a jobless recovery. Further that sum merely reinforces the popular prejudice that American capitalism is rigged in favour of the executives. No matter how competent or not; not matter how brilliant or inept; the executive will recieve an extraordinary golden parachute. It's extraordinarly unfair to the ordinary workers who make it possible for the companies to prosper; yet they never get such generous compensation for their hard work and sacrifices.
It's satisfactory to read how the chireman of Chrysler expressed his misgivings. . Further Grasso gave up another 48 million in undisclosed payments when the stock exchange directors askedGood that's their conscience speaking up. It's about time that the executive begin to feel really queasy about these overly generous golden parachutes. Time to give back to the workers and stockholders.
Instapundit cites approving of Jack Straw's characterization of the French political class' anti-Americanism as a neurosis. This dysfunctional characteristic was due to the vastly different wartime experiences whereby Britian stood alone and France capitulated and collaborated. How convenient is Straw's disingenuity.
Where do the Poles fit into this hagiographical view of British heroism? If there was one country that truly stood alone during the war it was Poland. The British and French didn't exactly convey the urgency of protecting its putative ally by invading Germany when its army was committed to Poland's invasion. Nor did the British and American protect Poland's independence during the wartime conferences to shape the postwar world.
Further Straw covers up some rather embarassing historical facts: from the Dunkirk evacuation to Battle of Britian, British and its politicians were willing to cut a deal with Hitler. Further, Churchill's ascension to the primer minstership wasn't assured; on the contrary, the appeasement faction was quite strong. Reading about the political manuevering that finally landed Churchill the top job, one appreciates just how very close Britian came to settling with Hitler and condemning Europe to the hell of totalitariansm whether brown, black or red. Historians talk about the Dunkirk miracle; well Britian and the world benefitted from a second miracle: Churchill as prime minister.
Yet another factor, that still provokes resentment, was how shabbily De Gaulle and the Free French were treated throughout the war by Roosevelt and how his administration legitimized the Vichy regime. It makes me wonder how seriously Roosevelt and his cabinet took the Nazi threat in the early years of the war no matter how insufferable de Gaulle could sometimes be.
It's quite true that very few French rallied to de Gaulle but those who did: Leclerc, Juin and others began the long road to reclaiming the country's self-esteem. They didn't completely succeed but they didn't completely fail. My greatest regret was that de Gaulle wasn't ruthless enough to purge the vichyois. Perhaps he feard a civil war at a time when the Allied war effort had to concentrate on defeating Germany or he realized that only the Communists would be the overall winners. Still the persistance of the vichyois in French public life and the covering up of the communists' subversion before the war has poisioned French politics ever since.
Finally, the Americans were astoundingly niave in the immediate post war period; it was bad enough that they legitimized Ho Chi Mihn depite doing nothing but establishing pro forma nationalist credentials and going through the motion of carrying out guerrilla actions so typical of the Communist 'resistors' during the war. Americans then complicated the war effort in Indochina by hamstringing the French from fully prosecuting it but neither did the former learn the applicable lessons when their political leadership took over from the old colonialist.
All these factors explain the latent animosity that the French have towards America but in no way justifies the louche anti-Americanism that's so prevalent in French society. However, to dismiss anti-Americanism as a neurosis brought about by June 1940 is insulting. After all, one could retort acidly that since WW II, the British political classes suffer from their own kind of political neurosis: that special relationship is permenantly threatened if they aren't assiduoiusly deferential to American preeminence. However, characterising contemporary Anglo-American relations is unhelpful. So Mr Straw what do you propose to eliminate the French's anti-Americanism?
Avui es el segon anniversari de l'acte de guerra en temps de pau. 2 anys d'atany 2 avions aplastaren les Torres bessones i elles caigueren. 3000 persones moriren. Aquest salvo d'obtertura de la guerra del terrorisme es replic? gairb? immediatment amb la destrucci? del r?gim taliban, l'arrestaci? de cel?lules del al Qu'ida a trav?s el m?n, l'invasi? d'Irak.
Per? encara em recordo- i ho recordar? sempre obrint la televisi? i vient les Torres caliuejant quand vi el sgon avi? entrar a la torre. Horritzat per aquest acte, m'havia finalment recordat que hi havia una gent amb una ideol?gia letal que es dedica a fer caure per una altre vegada al m?n en la nit et?rna.
Per? comemoro tamb? les v?ctimes d'aquest attentat i m'inspiro d'ells. La millor manera de comemorar la seva mem?ria, conservar el record d'aquest acte maligne, es participar-hi encara m?s en la defense de nostra civilitzaci? i de criticar les pol?tiques avan?ades pels pol?tics en aquella defensa. Una societat lliura i oberta exigeix un tal comprom?s per no deshonarar la mem?ria dels 3000.
Sullivan's wrong and Kaplan is right.
Bush nd his administration did squander the sponatenous good will that the allies had in the immediate aftermath of Sept 11. When someone as ideologically bland and pro American as L Ian MacDonald opines that Bush's decision to seek a new UN mandate is the closest admission to a policy mistake the growing criticism isn't knee jerk anti Americanism but merely a statement of fact that the present administration has unnecessarily aliented allies.
Sullivan further reinforces American ingratitude by dismissing the spontaneous displays of solidarity on 11 Sept as shallow and fake.
O really? So when the all the international flights heading to America which landed in Canada and we took in the passengers happily, without complaint or compensation into our homes; or the loss of 4 Canadian soldiers during the war in Afganistan to criminally incompetent American fighter pilots or the Danes sending troops to Iraq, or the French and Spanish arresting Al qu'ida cells constitute fake, shallow.
When the world complains of American unilateralism, they have in mind the attitude that the Bush administration displays whereby they denigrate those who argue for a different approach; pretend to listen to opposing points of view and then carry out what its predetermined policies in the end. Rumsfield's astounding, ill-tempered statement that America didn't need Britian and could invade Iraq on its own merely corroborated in public what everyone viewed privately. If a senior cabinet member could so casually dismiss its most staunch ally and politically undermine its most loyal political leader few weeks before launching a war imagine how this administration would treat those that truly oppose its policies.
Nor has the administration covered itself in glory through its heavyhanded in sanctioning anyone that expressed even the mildest of criticism on the direction of American foreign policy like Chile. No wonder so many countries don't to deal with America right; it's just not worth the hassle.
In the end, it turns out that America not France and Germany has to make amends. What an ironical reversal of fortune.
Leni Reifensthal ha morta a 101. Amb la mort de Serrano Su?er a la mateix edat i gaireb? contemporani es pot dir que una ?poca en l'hist?ria del segle XX ha closa definitivament.
Tothom sap qui Leni Riefnsthal es per? per recordar a les generacions futures resumirem qui fou. Era la cineasta d'Hitler.
Es ella que f?u aquest cl?ssic de films de propaganda que s'estudia encara ara: el Triomf de la voluntat. Era una admiradora de Hitler i mai pogu? denunciar les pel?s que havia fetes sota el Tercer reich que foren ses millors obres i ella influ? molt la pujada dels nazis gr?cies a l'imatge que ella li projectava a trav?s
D'apr?s la guerra ning? volia treballar amb ella i no fou fins els anys 60s que pogu? recuperar una mica la carrera com a documentalista. A
100 anys encara practicava el submarinisme i sort? amb una bella pel? sobre la vida en unes aig?es. En tot cas, com Serrano Su?er opino que Refensthal era una creedora vertadera del totalitarianisme com a moviment pol?tic aix? com regim existencial que respon a la q?estiones perennes de qu? es la bona vidala societat que l'encoratja.
The Eastern conference of governors and premiers is taking place. As usual everyone's discussing the usual bilateral irritants with some rather fascinating twists.
The first one that struck me was that the tough border inspections on terrorism threatsiled one premier to snap jokingly if lobsters were a bioterror threat. The problem is that the tougher inspections are having an unintended consequence of perishables to rot at a too high percentage.I find it rather alarming that the Americans and Canadian are really tough on lobsters but then turn around and allow illegal radioactive medical waste from Ontario to be trucked to Michigan landfills It inconstistent and haphazard enforcement of really important stuff like radioactive and medical wastes in comparison to the overly obsessive controls of such lesser hazards as lobster and potatoes that really pisses me off. We were practically providing terrorists with an traceable means to smuggle in really dangerous products into each other's borders. In any case, the other fascinating twist is one that'll concern Americans. It appears that the Northern states have a hodgepode of contradictory regulatory authourity, laws and rules over power that maybe one of the causes of the big blackout. In fact, the American federal government is threatening to strip them of that authourity if they don't uniformize their laws. Interestingly, there's a dispute between Hydro Quebec and Connecticut over an underwater powerline. It appears that the provincial power company failed to get the proper environmental licences after having spent 120 million$. Charest has announced that Hydro Quebec will comply with all American laws on this matter. However, even though the Connectict governor doesn't oppose the powerline, the Attorney general does. He'll go to federal court to seek an injunction. My question is why? Was it Hydro's failure to comply with the state's laws? Or is there an ulterior motive: to discredit the governor for political reasons due to some rivalry between him and the attorney general?
For a Canadian the independence of important cabinet positions is rather baffling. In Canada, the cabinet is named by the premier or prime minister and the former carry out the government's policies due to cabinet solidarity. If a cabinet member strongly disagrees he or she resigns. What salutary about this Conference is how the premiers, governors and even the ambassadors from both countries are meeting to discuss the common issues, hear the common gripes and then resolve together the common irritants that flare up between both countries. I view our bilateral relations as a model for other countries as we resort to talking not shooting to resolve our common problems.