Sunday, February 20, 2005

Road Trip!

I haven't the faintest idea why President Bush wants to visit the Euroweenies other than to attempt the near impossible task of injecting a little steel in their spines, but the fun part is the way the usual suspects get all atwitter about the trappings of a Presidential visit. The NY Times provides a risible set of tips from prominent Euros on Winning Back Europe's Heart. With the exception of Stefan Hrib, they all seem to be visiting from some distant star cluster. Oh yeah, A U.N. Seat for Europe is a real problem solver. On the other hand, giving them the whole United Nations, lock, stock, and barrel, would be a great idea but none of them step up to the plate.

Anyhow, I'm nothing if not helpful, so I have to point out that Dennis Boyles has a phrasebook for the presidential tourist that ought to come in handy:
Europeans hate the way Americans talk. They think we're loud and uncouth and they don't like our jokes, except for Michael Moore. Plus, they resent the fact that they’ve had to learn our language because if they didn’t we wouldn’t buy their stupid metric widgets or visit their overpriced ruins.

So when the president goes to Europe to give his speech to all the EU-niks in Brussels on Tuesday, it’s important that he speak clearly — or at least clearfully. Because there are a few things he needs to say, and they can all be summed up in seven handy, easy-to-utter phrases:
Follow the link for the complete list but I liked:
5. Knock off the eco-hypocrisy.The Europeans like to parade their agreement to abide by the provisions of the Kyoto pact like members of an Earth Shoe drill team. According to a piece in the IHT, “[Jürgen] Strube, the chairman of BASF’s supervisory board, responds with a hint of impatience when asked how European industry plans to comply with the Kyoto Protocol, which requires Germany and 34 other countries to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As the treaty takes effect Wednesday, worries about its fairness are mixed with mild resentment [because] in their view… American and Chinese companies will not bear these extra costs.” The item is a pick-up of a New York Times story by Mark Landler, so of course the rather salient fact not reported is that neither France, Germany, nor the rest of the EU will comply with the treaty provisions either. They aren’t about to “bear these extra costs” when they can barely afford to drive to the beach in August as it is. In fact, the EU has treated Kyoto like its now-toothless debt-limit treaty and given up on it altogether. “Kyoto im Koma,” were the words of a memorable Suddeutsche Zeitung headline a little over a year ago when the EU’s Kyoto failure was first widely noticed.
Naughty Euros!

Of course, pandering to the Euros is a growth industry for the MSM and the Democrat party, so we can expect to hear a lot of whining during and after the visit, but how about an entrepeneur like Jeremy Rifkin who apparently wants to sell them assertiveness training?
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The American dream has reached the end of the road and its time for the European dream to take over as the new global vision for the 21st century, according to American author and analyst Jeremy Rifkin.

Speaking at a debate in the European Parliament organised by the Green group on Tuesday (15 February), Mr Rifkin argued that after a century and a half, the American dream has lost its way.
Yadda, yadda. I guess you have to bite the heads off chickens if you want to get the rubes into the sideshow, but here's the nut:
While America is "losing the vision", it is time for Europe to be a beacon for this century says Mr Rifkin author of a best-selling book called The European Dream.

So what is this dream? Mr Rifkin concedes that no European can describe it. "If you ask Europeans, no one can tell you".

He says it encompasses inclusivity, multi-cultural diversity, quality of life, balance of work and play, human rights, creating a sustainable world and waging peace.
I'm feeling rather Euroish - who's up for a leisurely lunch and a siesta? Anyhow, Jeremy's big solution is for the Euros to have a positive self image.
But despite having a lot going for it, Europe has still to step out of America’s shadow. "You Europeans are always wondering about America. We never think about you, never, you’re not on our radar screen".
Actually the Euros would be on the radar screen if they weren't so far down the Rifkin road to terminal inconsequentiality. And as you might expect, ole Jeremy had a rather checkered history before he turned assertiveness trainer.