Barry’s Traveling Road Show

    In case no one has noticed, the President is in Europe right now on his first overseas trip (Canada doesn’t count) at attend the G-20 summit in London.  His tour will take him to Germany, France and Turkey.  Prior to his departure, the media treated us to some of the deep issues to be encountered with the Europeans on this trip.  For example, CNN did | Read More »

    While We’ve Been Distracted, Europe Careens Toward Financial Catastrophe

    While we’ve been distracted with the domestic financial difficulties, a more horrid story has been unfolding in Europe. This is going to have stunning financial and political implications. But before we try to sort through those complexities, just ponder the following numbers. In the fourth quarter of 2008, our GDP contracted by 3.8% – a rare and abysmal result. During the same period, Germany’s GDP | Read More »

    Administration: Obama’s Iran diplomacy plan is going to fail

    During his Presidential campaign, Barack Obama famously promised direct diplomacy with Iran, going as far as to say he will meet Iranian leaders without preconditions of any kind. Even as Iranian-funded and -armed forces in Iraq were bombing civilians and shooting at American troops, he promised to meet with their leaders. We’re not at war with Eurasia, and absolutely should not start one. As he | Read More »

    Has Russia Overplayed Its Hand In This Gas Crisis?

    Over the past couple of weeks, your humble correspondent has been writing regularly about various aspects of the ongoing gas crisis that’s been kicked off by Russia, directed at Ukraine, and causing fallout all over Europe – in the middle of winter, and a cold one at that. You can find previous scribblings here, here, here, here, and here. As events unfold, is it possible | Read More »

    Russia Wishes Europe A Merry Christmas

    The Orthodox Church in eastern Europe still uses the un-reset Julian calendar (Gregorian modifications added, but no resetting to account for the temporal drift that had occurred), leaving the two calendars offset by some 13 days. Thus, in the Orthodox liturgy, today (January 7th) is Christmas Day. Most of the Orthodox countries and churches long ago reset their official Christmas holiday to December 25th; ecumenical | Read More »

    Russia’s “Gas Offensive” Expands

    One of the supposed side-benefits of the collapse of the price of hydrocarbons is that various noxious jurisdictions – which had been flush on petro-dollars – have much lower cash-flow and thus much less ability to cause trouble. However, one overlooked economic error involves focusing solely on the “price” of something in the open marketplace. If you need something but can’t get it, the price | Read More »

    Why Are Most Jews Politically Liberal?

    bs asked in his recent diary (see not far below in Member Diaries) why so many Jews are politically liberal, even going so far as to support an arguably anti-Israel candidate such as Barack Obama. VanishingNYRep gets some of the answer, I think: long Jewish resistance to the Right in Europe (kings, kaisers, and tsars). It is probably true that anti-Judaism came more from the | Read More »

    Europe By The Numbers

    As most of you know, your humble correspondent makes multiple business trips a year to Europe – and thus has had plenty of time and experience with which to sort fact from illusion. What follows is based on a comment that was requested to be upgraded to a diary entry. So here goes. We are continually pelted with various forms of goading, that somehow “Europe” | Read More »

    A Lousy Start To 2009 . . . For Ukraine And For Much Of Europe As Well

    For those who still have doubts concerning Russia’s desire to bully its neighbors, I refer you to this story, which reveals the degree to which Russia is willing to go to show just how much hegemonic power it can exercise over other former Soviet states–and by extension, over Europe itself: Russia was preparing to turn off gas deliveries to neighbouring Ukraine on Thursday, raising the | Read More »

    I’m Going To Defend Barack Obama

    Have you heard? President elect Barack Obama has made it cool again to be American. Well, at least that’s the sentiment from our global friends and Americans living and or working abroad. The Americans abroad were saying that they now feel proud to call themselves American as oppose to being not so proud? Well I mean one of the most unfair charges America as a | Read More »

    US/Polish Alliance and the new “Cuban Missle Crisis”

    It has become apparent that Russia, now growing strong on petrodollars and new trade with China, will antagonize the West over every issue it can. It started years ago with small trade disagreements with Poland and Germany. Moved to natural gas supplies with the Ukraine and Europe. Then we have the Russian/Georgian War of 2008. There is also Russia’s massive military sale going to Venezuela | Read More »

    Graffiti Wall ‘Vandalized’ By… um, Graffiti?

    Only on the Island nation of England, a place that has literally become a living recreation of Alice’s Wonderland world, can this story exist. Only in a world where logic, laws and traditions have been summarily erased only to be replaced by frivolity and situational ethics can the situation that spawned this laughable tale even be possible. In England we find a world upside down. | Read More »

    Obama Job Shopping/Europe

    *Introduction of Obama letter to Europe*Dear Europeans,I have recently learned of your extremely informed opinion that one Mr. Barack H. Obama enjoys your overwhelming support over ‘there’.*Mr. Obama is very lucky indeed to have your endorsement.*As you might have heard Mr. Obama is extremely intelligent and ranks as our best known community organizer. Mr. Obama has attended the Harvard Law School and was voted in | Read More »

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    The Delusions of a Whinging Pommie

    It seems there are those in Great Britain who will follow the example of their Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, regardless of how execrable it may be. The Honorable Mr. Brown recently told the world who he thought really deserved to win a US election. “Around the world, it is progressive politicians who are grappling with these challenges….In the electrifying US Presidential campaign, it is the | Read More »

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    Georgia/Russian War: Blame Obama

    General Wesley Clark had one thing right during his tenure as a general in the U.S. military. He understood the portentous nature of the Russian’s move to take control of the airport in Pristina, Kosovo at the end of the 1999 NATO engagement in Yugoslavia. He ordered NATO forces to gear up to prevent the Russians from taking the airport but was opposed by British | Read More »