Last night I watched the entertaining L’Auberge espagnole (worth seeing if only for the excellent ending), which made me wish I spoke French, Spanish, and Catalan. The first of these is most within my short-term grasp, so I’ve taken a cue from Tim Bray and signed up for an RSS feed from Libération. As Montesquieu could have told you, looking at your own country’s politics through the eyes of another is sometimes enlightening, vis an article on Bush’s latest projects:
La conquête martienne fait partie d’une sorte d’opération «shock and awe» (1), un bombardement d’annonces destiné, à l’aube de la campagne, à laisser sans voix les démocrates.
The press in the US seems too busy reporting the barrage of announcements from the administration to notice that they are a barrage, and that they are timed to balance attention being paid to the Iowa caucus.
I am the biggest booster of expanding space exploration you will find, and yet, the idea of beating the Chinese to the moon (and Mars) seems like the most blatant and bizarre campaign promise possible. He refuses to ask American’s to pay taxes (especially those most able to) and has already borrowed an extraordinary amount to prosecute a series of military actions that seem likely to do more long-term harm than good. If we need a national mission, why not, instead of cribbing off JFK, propose to lead the world in alternative energy driven automobiles?
Or, maybe Jamie is right, and he hopes to find weapons of mass destruction on the far side of the moon.