Exit Stage Right, On Obama’s Watch, Europe is Failing, Brexit Nears

What I’m listening to.

Mozart : Oboe Quartet In F Major K 370 Adagio

Driving the GOP crazy.

New York Times --Obama’s Last Tango

BARACK OBAMA is tangoing into history, and there’s something perfect about that.

My way.

The Atlantic -- The Obama Doctrine

The U.S. president talks through his hardest decisions about America’s role in the world.

In his masterwork Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 the great Tony Judt argues essentially that Europe was created to absorb all of the great hatreds of tribal Europe to prevent it from tearing itself apart again, and with the help of the Americans, prevent the Soviet Union from colonizing it.  The other critical theme was the vital importance of the state in guaranteeing an enormous range of benefits and Judt’s unabashed support of this, so much so that one reviewer noted that Judt’s book could be boiled down to ‘the more state the better’. The now too familiar Islamic inspired terror attacks by radicalized European citizens has rightly left many questioning whether ‘Europe’ and its ‘states’ can deal with this new threat. The British will be the first to vote on this question recalling that the first job of the state is to secure the safety and peace of mind of its citizens. 

Another strike against ‘Europe’.

The Atlantic -- Brussels Attacks: What the Belgians Missed

The systemic intelligence problems that couldn’t prevent Tuesday’s attacks.

(ed’s note -- with friends like these who needs enemies ...)

New York Times -- 'Postwar': Picking Up the Pieces

An old Soviet-era joke, retold by Tony Judt on the next-to-last page of his enormous book "Postwar," is about a phone-in on "Armenian Radio." Is it possible, an eager caller asks, to foretell the future? "Yes," comes the weary answer. "No problem. We know exactly what the future will be. Our problem is with the past: that keeps changing."

Related.

National Post -- Jochen Bittner: Can the European centre hold?

“Run!” shouts a voice, captured, for all the world to hear, on cellphone images shot in the seconds after two bombs exploded at the Brussels airport on Tuesday morning. Travellers from around the world flee a shattered building, fearful of more bombs.

Related.

Vox World -- Shutting down immigration won't solve Europe's terrorism problem

There's still much we don't know about Tuesday's terror attacks in the Belgian capital of Brussels, but one thing seems inevitable: There will be renewed calls for crackdowns on refugees and migrants in Europe and for limiting Syrian or even Muslim immigration here in the US.

One view.

Telegraph -- Quitting the EU 'would help our security', former MI6 chief suggests

Sir Richard Dearlove said: 'The truth about Brexit from a national security perspective is that the cost to Britain would be low’.

 

 

 

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.