Sunday, December 13, 2009

Death of Paul Samuelson

One of the great economists of the past century has died. Funny to learn of it from a French source, when he lived not far from where I do, but such are the ways of communication in the modern world--a connectivity that Samuelson would have been the first to appreciate and no doubt to theorize.

MIT announcement. And Paul Krugman, on "a truly great man."

And from the Times obituary:

His speeches and his voluminous writing had a lucidity and bite not usually found in academic technicians. He tried to give his economic pronouncements a “snap at the end,” he said, “like Mark Twain.” When women began complaining about career and salary inequities, for example, he said in their defense, “Women are men without money.”

The Progressive Right?

And if the Right became the party of progressivism and modernity? If the Left were permanently ringardisée? Could it be happening in Germany? (article in German)

A Second Score for Copé

Copé makes my bêtisier today for a second time:

The legislation will not be based on from France's law of laicité, or secularism, he said. It will draw on two arguments: the protection of women's equality and public safety. The burqa, as it is popularly called in France, has nothing to do with religion, said Copé. "It is about extremists who are testing the limits of the Republic," he said on Europe1 radio.

The point on public safety, Copé said, springs from the fact that society requires people to show their faces. Schools, for example, should not be expected to hand children over after classes to people whose faces they cannot see.

Quote of the Day

«Et comment est-ce que vous prenez le fait d'être un symbole, parce que Madame de Fontenay vous a présentée comme ça: première Miss Beur, je ne sais pas ce que ça veut dire, mais en tout cas elle était fière...?» Et la nouvelle Miss France de répondre: «Je suis française, moi, hein. Je n’ai aucune origine. C'est juste... mes parents ont trouvé ce prénom joli, avec une jolie signification.» En effet, Malika veut dire «Reine» en arabe.

(h/t Kirk; for more on the reception of Miss France, see here.)

Profundity of the Day

“The Internet is a danger for democracy,” said Jean-François Copé, parliamentary chief for the governing party, the Union for a Popular Movement, in a recent radio interview.