Happy Bastille Day!

No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. Clearly you have Internet access, go look it up.

So, Italy currently holds the presidency of the European Union. Lest you think highly of Italy and this gives you a lot of hope, I suggest you read up on the EU President/Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who owns 90% of the media in Italy and whose government seems to have spent most of its time passing laws granting its members immunity and amnesty from bribery and other criminal charges. When his fitness for office was questioned by German EU representative Martin Schultz, Berlusconi--well, here:

The German legislator specifically raised Berlusconi's sponsorship of a new immunity law in Italy at a time when he is on trial in Milan on bribery charges.

"Mr. Schulz," Berlusconi said in reply, cocking his head to one side and smiling, "I know there is a man in Italy producing a film on the Nazi concentration camps. I would like to suggest you for the role of leader. You would be perfect."

In response, Schulz said: "Mr. Berlusconi, if I understood him correctly, invited me to appear as the commandant of a concentration camp." He went on to say it was very hard for him to accept that someone capable of such a remark should lead the European Union.

Which to me shows a remarkable amount of poise on the part of Mr. Schultz. I think the EU right now feels much of what Americans did who haven't wanted President Bush in office--that progress for this tenure will be difficult or eroding, and allies will be hard to come by...plenty of countries (e.g. Norway) are already skittish about joining, and stupidity like this doesn't really make them in more of a hurry. What country would give up a lot of its sovereignty to an asshole like Berlusconi?

And Liberia. Why is Africa always a mess? I'm very curious to know what the pre-colonial situation was, if the instability predates the conquering of the continent by Europeans.

I rediscovered anger today. It had left me for a while, but it's a deep part of me and perhaps did not like being forgotten. It wrestles with fear and sorrow, but I prefer anger. It's energizing, enlivening. I am alert with anger, alive, pulsing, present. It need not have a cause or a goal. Anger brings me forward into the world.

Anger is something, an emotional clay that I can work with and transform into something useful...a powerful impulse to action. Sorrow slows me to a crawl; fear, if not immobilizing, leads to wild-eyed, panicked action, wasting energy but getting nowhere. Anger, given direction, under the guidance of will, can go very, very far, and when it has exhausted itself, give way to peace.