Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Habermas Blasts the European Elite

Jürgen Habermas believes that there will be no solution to the debt crisis without a prior solution of the deficit crisis--the "democratic deficit," that is:

“The process of European integration, which has always taken place over the heads of the population, has now reached a dead end,” Mr. Habermas said at a forum hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations. “It cannot go any further without switching from its usual administrative mode to one of greater public involvement.”
The political elites “are burying their heads in the sand,” he said, adding, “They are doggedly persisting with their elitist project and the disenfranchisement of the European population.”

Political Novelist Admits Plagiarism

Joseph Macé-Scaron has admitted to plagiarizing parts of his much-praised novel, Ticket d'entrée, from an American work by Bill Bryson. Macé-Scaron's work is of political interest because it is un roman à clef that purports to reveal political pressures on the world of journalism, which the author knows from the inside as the former editor of Le Figaro magazine among other publications. He was forced out of his job at the magazine when a new owner took over. A similar story is recounted in the novel, which I had just begun to read when the plagiarism story broke. The book also offers a tour of the Parisian homosexual community. It's hard to see what an American writer would have had to offer to either of these themes, but the author has confessed.

Factoids

Two interesting observations from a generally interesting post by Bernard Girard:
Le médicament représente à peu près 20% du coût de la santé en France). Les marges de progrès sont considérables : si 90% des consultations de médecins se traduisent par une ordonnance chez nous, ce n’est le cas que de 43% de celles-ci aux Pays-Bas.

Le Monde Gets It Right

Some in France may be saying that DSK has been "blanchi," but Le Monde gets it exactly right:

En se prononçant pour le classement du dossier, lundi 22 août, faute de pouvoir établiravec certitude devant un jury la crédibilité du témoignage de la victime présumée, sur lequel repose exclusivement l'accusation d'agression sexuelle, le procureur de l'Etat de New York ne blanchit pas totalement M. Strauss-Kahn : il reconnaît simplement que les incohérences apparues, au cours de l'enquête, dans la version de la jeune femme, ne lui permettraient pas de convaincre douze jurés de la bonne foi de celle-ci, au-delà du doute raisonnable.