Thursday, 9 December 2010

Hillary Clinton courageously defends WikiLeaks

Via The Guardian; full original here:

On their own, new technologies do not take sides in the struggle for freedom and progress. But the United States does. We stand for a single internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas. And we recognize that the world's information infrastructure will become what we and others make of it.

This challenge may be new, but our responsibility to help ensure the free exchange of ideas goes back to the birth of our republic. The words of the First Amendment to the Constitution are carved in 50 tons of Tennessee marble on the front of this building. And every generation of Americans has worked to protect the values etched in that stone.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Uh oh.

An uncomfortable suspicion is beginning to form in my mind. Angela Merkel, it is said, is crucial to the survival of the euro, because Germany must be central to any plan to save it. So Germany's leader must take a leading role in the rescue process.

Trouble is, she doesn't seem to be very good at it.

Merkel once seemed so competent, capable of dealing wisely and well with nearly any issue that crosses her path. But she's so far made two massive blunders in dealing with the euro crisis, which have made things vastly worse, not better. First, she refused for eight months or more to help Greece, until Greece was pushed to the wall and confidence in the euro was shattered. Then in October, her extremely ill-timed declaration that bond-holders should have to cop some of the damage from the bailout (and not just taxpayers) seems to have helped to topple the next domino as well, Ireland.

Hence the uncomfortable conclusion: the person who is most important in the struggle to save the euro is sorely ill-equipped for the role. Merkel seems to have an uncharacteristic blind spot when it comes to this issue.

And that means the euro is in a great deal of trouble indeed.