The Musee d’Orsay sits by the Seine in Paris. On one of the museum walls is hung a large painting by Thomas Couture. Named Romans during the Decadence, the work demands anybody passing by it to stop, decipher and contemplate Couture’s message for a minute or two. Decadence has statues representing the better Roman spirit […]

Taken from Reuters pictures, by Mal Langsdon:

[2490] Gallic gall

I am not saying anything bad about the French. I love the French. Close friends know how much I mean that. I am only quoting this just because the last sentence is witty. Hermès, however, says that selling a sari in India is not taking coals to Newcastle. Rather, it wants to ”connect with Indian […]

[2409] Yet another day to panic

It was earlier this week when CNBC (or was it Bloomberg?), several economics and finance commentators were highlighting the supposedly inconsistency of S&P’s downgrade of US debts. They showed that several other European countries had higher probabilities of defaulting their obligations than the US, yet these European ratings were higher than that of the US. […]

[2308] Of pourquoi?

A person asked me what do I think of Sarkozy’s hostility to burqa and why I have not written against it. I have not written against it because I generally dislike repeating myself. It is an old issue and I have made myself clear with respect to Turkey (back in 2008) and the Netherlands (2006). But for […]

The cover of the current issue of The Economist: How do the candidates measure up? Only three of the 12 are serious runners… A fourth who may shape the outcome is Mr Le Pen, the veteran leader of the racist National Front, who shamed France by edging past the Socialist candidate into the run-off against […]