Anne Applebaum on Eastern Europe

Anne Applebaum is one of America’s most distinguished conservative reporters.  (In the “classical liberal sense.)  Interestingly, in 2018 we’ve reached the point where distinguished conservatives and center-left reporters are almost identical on a wide range of foreign policy issues.  She has written the single best article I’ve ever read on the recent transformation of Eastern Europe.


Applebaum has dual citizenship with Poland, and is especially good on that country.  But the essay ranges over a wide range of topics.  For instance, until today I could never really “get” the Dreyfus Affair of 1894.  I knew that a French military officer was wrongly accused of treason.  And that the fact that he was Jewish probably played a role in this scandal.  But I never understood why this event was viewed as being so important.  It’s mentioned in almost every book I’ve ever read on French society in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  You could be reading a biography of an artist or author, and they’ll always spend a lot of time discussing that person’s opinion on the Dreyfus Affair.  Why?


After reading Applebaum’s story you’ll suddenly get it. History will start locking into place, at a psychological level. Indeed any future historian that wants to write a 21st century history of Europe should probably start with the Dreyfus Affair.


She’s also great on Hungary.  It’s long, but read the whole thing.


PS.  I see that Trump is gloating about how Nike stock dropped right after the Kaepernick ad was put out:


President Donald Trump had plenty to say about a topic he has been obsessed with, tweeting that Nike was getting “absolutely killed with anger and boycotts” and asking what the company was thinking with their divisive decision.


If the President were smart then he should have waited to see the impact on sales.  But then if he were smart . . . well a whole lot of things would be different:


Ten days after Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick would be the face of its “Just Do It” 30th anniversary ad campaign, the sports apparel behemoth’s stock price closed at an all-time high on Thursday at $83.47, according to a report from Bloomberg.


People seem to have tuned Trump out, which bodes well for the midterms.  And the good news keeps piling up, as the “brave” Manafort flipped today.


PPS.  Robert Shiller is in the news today:



At the same time, the president’s apparent Teflon to slough off scandals, conflicts of interest, evidence of incompetence, and other issues that would doom traditional political figures is well documented.


Shiller says this mindset is reflected in the market, which he considers overvalued.


“I think Trump encourages us to be more risk-taking” when it comes to investments, said Shiller.


Shiller’s hypothesis that this thinking may have seeped into the public consciousness.



How can I put this politely . . . umm, no.

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