Sunday 4 September 2022

Tyranny and incompetence

The version I read when a sixteen year-old was that [Czarist] Russia was an autocracy tempered by assassination.

"A British historian (can't recall which) called the Habsburg empire "tyranny, tempered by incompetence" (a bit unfair on both counts). Biden is a tyranny tempered by dementia." David P. Goldman

"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." Voltaire, who seems to have thought of the joke first.

"France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams." Carlyle

"Russia is an autocracy moderated by alcohol". Balzac

"The British Empire ran on alcohol." George Orwell, who used to spend his Friday and Saturday nights in the bar of the Strand Hotel, Rangoon.


  1. Romanian National Press Agency AGERPRES headlines:

    Capping food prices would affect producers, there are no expectable price rises (AgriMin)

    The entire agricultural area of the country will be protected from drought until 2027 by building irrigation systems, but there will also be investments in hail prevention systems

    ForMin Aurescu: Putin has miscalculated a lot his plans

    PM Ciuca: Breaking away from Russian hydrocarbon going in energy transition direction

    Over 287,000 people cross Romania on September 1, including 11,592 Ukrainians

    PM Ciuca: Black Sea region becomes higher than ever stake in geopolitical perspective

    Romania conquers two more medals in World Junior Swimming Championships

    Romanian folk rug exhibition at Romanian Peasant Museum as of Sept 8

    PM Ciuca: Romanian language is history, culture, spirituality and treasure of mentalities

    ForMin Aurescu: We have to get rid of all dependence from Russia

    PM Ciuca: Rising pensions and salaries requires us to have the necessary money

    The image of the Seat Fortress of Suceava is promoted through a 0-euro souvenir banknote

    PM Ciuca laments school year beginning coming by surprise

    © 2022 National Press Agency AGERPRES

  2. The day of September 1 marks 145 years since the appointment of the first Jewish officer in the Romanian Army, the moment being marked, on Thursday, in the Constitution Square of Bucharest, by a ceremony attended by members of the Government, the President of the Constitutional Court, but also personalities of the Jewish community from the country.

    The Minister of National Defense, Vasile Dincu, said during the event that the National Museum of Jewish History and the Holocaust in Romania is under construction.

    "Government specialists are currently working on an extensive programme to review Holocaust education programmes for the younger generation and to update training programmes for Holocaust teachers, professors and instructors who teach about the Holocaust," Dincu said.

    He added that each of us owes it to ourselves to act so that the horrors of the Holocaust are not forgotten.

    "We can do this through active and systematic measures to prevent and combat, to sanction radicalism and hate speech, as well as other forms of denial and distortion of the Holocaust, anti-Semitic and xenophobic demonstrations and all forms of intolerance," the minister said.

    According to him, "collective assumption" of guilt is needed so that such crimes do not happen again.

    The President of the Constitutional Court, Marian Enache, also addressed a message during the ceremony, stating that the event represents a symbolic landmark of the loyal cooperation between Romanians and Jews.

    "This event, with a great historical charge, represents a symbolic landmark of the loyal cooperation between Romanians and Jews, through their joint service within one of the most stable and appreciated institutions of our state from the beginning of its establishment until today, the Romanian Army. Today (Thursday - n.r.) we have a special opportunity: to look at history in its major moments, on the thread of a man's life, who through his deeds and sacrifice has become emblematic for all of us," Marian Enache stressed.

    He added that the remembrance of the event also has a deeply human significance and proves that in our common history the real state of affairs was that of a "peaceful and fraternal" cohabitation, even if, in various undemocratic political regimes, there have been some "intolerable slippages and excesses" on the part of individuals and political organizations that have promoted totalitarian ideologies of the right or the left, extremist ideologies that have been condemned by the reasons of history.

    "Today, here, in front of you, at 145 years of distance, the dream of a community is fulfilled - to be honest, we hoped to be a more pleasant dream, of the hopes of some people for whom Romania meant everything, even when they had nothing." said the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Romania, MP Silviu Vexler.

  3. Culture Minister Lucian Romascanu, in a message on August 31, Romanian Language Day:

    "Today, we celebrate the primordial binder that defines us as a nation, the Romanian language. It is a day that must be marked as it should be to remember its history, honour its present and guarantee its future in the place where it was placed by the great creators of the Romanian language, A language of great richness, with words that can describe every nuance of the soul, has to be preserved and promoted with all the might of those who have the purpose and the power to reach people, teachers, priests, people of culture, the media and not only," Romascanu wrote in a social media post.

    He added that "unfortunately, we are living in a time when the Romanian language tends to lose its luster, its spoken vocabulary is shrinking, words that tarnish it make their way into current speech."

    "This phenomenon must be stopped and the responsibility is ours, everyone's. Should there be a law on the Romanian language? I would say yes... Maybe it's time to restart this discussion in society. Happy Romanian Language Day!," Romascanu also wrote.

    Iohannis: Along with encouraging reading, correct usage of the language should become a priority

    "A paradigm shift is necessary when we talk about the objectives of education when teaching the Romanian language. Along with encouraging reading, understanding, arguing and the correct usage of the language should become priority objectives. Only by fighting functional illiteracy can we allow as many people as possible to use the Romanian language to take part in the community life and to contribute to the development of society." President Iohannis is quoted as saying in a Presidential Administration press release.