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  • Archive for September, 2005

    Congratulations Lex and Mrs. Lex!

    Posted by In-Cog-Nito on 30th September 2005 (All posts by )

    “Little Lex” born today, 8 lbs. 3 oz. 21 in.

    Hearty congrats to the proud Mom and Dad. May “Little Lex” grow up healthy, strong, and smart. Go get’em Tiger.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

    Venture Cap Reading

    Posted by In-Cog-Nito on 30th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Here’s a witty read from Bessemer Venture Partners, speaking to the woulda should coulda in all of us. Some highlights:

    “Bessemer Venture Partners is perhaps the nation’s oldest venture capital firm, carrying on an unbroken practice of venture capital investing that stretches back to 1911. This long and storied history has afforded our firm an unparalleled number of opportunities to completely screw up.

    “Stamps? Coins? Comic books? You’ve GOT to be kidding,” thought Cowan. “No-brainer pass.”

    Federal Express
    Incredibly, BVP passed on Federal Express seven times.

    Cowans college friend rented her garage to Sergey and Larry for their first year. In 1999 and 2000 she tried to introduce Cowan to these two really smart Stanford students writing a search engine. Students? A new search engine? In the most important moment ever for Bessemers anti-portfolio, Cowan asked her, How can I get out of this house without going anywhere near your garage?”

    Posted in Investment Journal | 7 Comments »

    Social Capital and Katrina

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 29th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Low social capital in Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular had a lot to do with the poor preparation, poor planning, poor response, poor law-enforcement and overall poor performance in response to Katrina. It is not so much “America’s shame”, as the Europeans so gloatingly claim as it is Louisiana’s historical baggage. However bad FEMA may have performed, the local first-responders performance was rotten, and the Feds did not even have local channels of authority to support and work with. Peter St. Andre had a good post on the Anglosphere blog, linking to an excellent piece entitled Social Capital: De Tocqueville, Putnam, and the Future of New Orleans by Stowe Boyd — a person I had not previously heard of, but whom I will pay attention to in the future. He has a lengthy quote from Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone, which add more detail to the extreme, pathological lack of social capital in Louisiana, which Michael Barone referred to here, and which I discussed here.

    Stowe Boyd offers this un-PC thought:

    Just as any sensible military commander knows that morale is just as important as weaponry, our leaders need to move beyond a superficial and potentially catastrophic attitude about social capital. People in different parts of the country may respond radically differently to similar sorts of emergencies, based on social trust, affiliation, and other factors. And I am explicitly not singling out the poor or Blacks; the region as a whole is the question.

    As we turn our thoughts to rebuilding the fallen buildings, removing the debris, and burying our dead, it will be insufficient to only look to the physical infrastructure necessary to make a city alive. We have a much larger and potentially longer-term project ahead of us: to increase social capital in a region that has been starved for centuries.

    I suspect that no one in political authority will have the courage to refer to the existence of these factors. Even though Mr. Boyd’s disclaims that he is not singling out the poor and Blacks, any attempt to refer to a deficiency of social capital would be decried as “blaming the victim”. The question of how you go about “increasing social capital” is an interesting and important one, and I haven’t read Putnam, so I don’t know what he has to say about it. I suspect that the Government cannot do much to increase social capital. People need to do it themselves, but if they lack social capital they won’t do it, and that is a chicken-and-the-egg problem. No one ever said centuries-old patterns can be changed easily, if at all.

    Update: Note also this very thoughtful post by Mr. Boyd about decentralized responses to disaster, which is very consistent with the Aaron Wildavsky quote in my previous post. He calls for a “stupid network” that will be disaster-proof. Worth reading.

    Posted in USA | 17 Comments »

    Aaron Wildavsky on Resilience

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 29th September 2005 (All posts by )

    We see a lot of people talking about the inadequacy of planning prior to Katrina. Whatever merits this critique may have, it is not possible to foresee everything and to plan for everything. So, what is it that mitigates disaster? Resilience:

    A strategy of resilience requires reliance on experience with adverse consequences once they occur in order to develop a capacity to learn from the harm and bounce back. Resilience, therefore, requires the accumulation of large amounts of generalizable resources, such as organizational capacity, knowledge, wealth, energy, and communication, that can be used to craft solutions to problems that the people involved did not know would occur. Thus, a strategy of resilience requires much less predictive capacity but much more growth, not only in wealth but also in knowledge. Hence it is not surprising that systems, like capitalism, based on incessant and decentralized trial and error accumulate the most resources. Strong evidence from around the world demonstrates that such societies are richer and produce healthier people and a more vibrant natural environment.

    (From here.)

    Posted in Quotations | Comments Off on Aaron Wildavsky on Resilience

    The Architecture of Repression

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 28th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Instapundit cites to an article by Dave Kopel which describes how U.S. technology companies are assisting the Chinese Government to oppress its people and crush free speech.

    Too often libertarians defend this collaboration with tyranny because they apparently believe either that (1) private businesses should be allowed to do anything which is profitable, or (2) technology is per se liberating and that the Chinese government’s attempt to be repressive will inevitably be futile. The first is a moral judgment I disagree with, the second is a prediction based on historical evidence which I also disagree with.

    Neither of these rationales can justify American firms creating and installing for a profit what Kopel accurately calls the “architecture of repression.”

    If Ma Bell had installed phones in Russia during the Cold War, and in the process helped the KGB wiretap the Russian people to round up dissidents, there would have been howls of anger. What is happening now is no different.

    China today is not as bad as the USSR was, and we do not want or need a new Cold War against China. But when the Chinese government behaves oppressively Americans should not make excuses for it, or worse, profit from it. They should complain about it, loudly and publicly. If this embarrasses the Chinese government, good. When someone does reprehensible things, public disgrace may be a way to stop or limit the conduct. If this means that the Chinese will retailiate in some way, so be it.

    Assisting the Chinese Government to create a state-of-the-art tyranny does not hasten the day when China will be a “normal” country which allows basic human rights like free political speech. Establishing principles and insisting that they be met will work much better.

    Why this is not provoking more outrage is an interesting question. Business-minded Republicans dont want to do anything which will risk trade with China. Why liberals say little about such bad behavior is less obvious. Possibly it is simply that opposing China in any way is a position which is associated with the hawkish wing of the GOP and with the religious right, so by a process akin to magnetic repulsion, liberals cannot bring themselves to protest human rights abuses in China too often or too loudly, since to do so they would be have to be seen agreeing with people they hate.

    Nonetheless, I hope we will see more activism to publicize, protest and punish this disgraceful conduct by private businesses as vendors to tyrants.

    (We had a good argument in the comments to this post on this very issue.)

    Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments »

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Be all that you can be!

    Posted in Humor | Comments Off on

    That 70’s Energy Policy

    Posted by Shannon Love on 28th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Funny and true.

    Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on That 70’s Energy Policy

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 28th September 2005 (All posts by )

    One reason that I am pro-immigrant is that I think that many immigrants — and certainly the immigrants I most want to encourage — are highly appreciative of the American system. Coming from countries where government controls more of the economy and where public officials are more corrupt, they are often grateful for the opportunities that our economy provides.

    In contrast, as the school year begins, my daughter in high school is being inundated with the typical anti-American propaganda of the Left. She is bombarded with lessons claiming that America “controls” too much of the world’s wealth, that we are racist and uncaring, that we spoil the environment, etc.

    Arnold Kling (here)

    (Some of the same points I was making here.)

    Posted in Quotations | 3 Comments »

    Instapundit Looks at Facts

    Posted by Ginny on 27th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Instapundit links to two stories: his column on the 135 girls to 100 guys that graduate each year from college and the Times-Picayunes’s reporting of the inaccuracy of reports of violence & death in New Orleans:

    That the nation’s front-line emergency management believed the body count would resemble that of a bloody battle in a war is but one of scores of examples of myths about the Dome and the Convention Center treated as fact by evacuees, the media and even some of New Orleans’ top officials, including the mayor and police superintendent.

    And of course, I, too, was at fault – whipping out Melville far too quickly.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in New Orleans Tragedy | 7 Comments »

    Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on 26th September 2005 (All posts by )

    The collapse of Bolshevism deprived the panoply of fellow-travelers of the paradaisal vision they needed to function. To make it from one day to the next. The Worker’s Paradise functioned as the Opiate of the Moonbats, vacuuming the truly insane from society and placing them in the custody of relatively functional cult leaders like Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot. Now that these worthies are gone, their former wards have all crawled out of the snakepit.

    -Wretchard (in the comment section of this post)

    Posted in Society | 4 Comments »

    Assimilation, Terrorism and History

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 24th September 2005 (All posts by )

    Jim Bennett has a good piece on assimilation of immigrants in the USA, which gives some idea of how hard this was to do in the past, and what it will take the UK to do the same thing. The fact that the 7/7 suicide bombers were home-grown came as a shock to many in the UK. This shock has set in motion a conversation, which may eventually be fruitful, to try to define what it is that immigrants to the UK should be trying to assimilate to. In other words, before you can say to someone, “if you want to come here, you have to decide to become one of us”, you need to answer the question for yourselves: “who are we?” This is a question many people don’t want to engage with. It leads to further questions, “why are we who we are?” and “is what we are good? Is it worth defending? Worth taking risks for? Worth dying to defend?” One early cut at defining a set of “core values” for Britain was this piece. It is a good list.

    Creating a consensus on anything like this is very difficult, especially these days, either in UK, or the USA, and giving affirmative answers to these questions is even harder. The “commanding heights” are held by a news media, an entertainment industry and an academic community which convey a message of disdain for the history of these countries, which see little of value in their past or present, and which are actively opposed to the idea of assimilation.

    If you teach generations of people nothing but the crimes of their ancestors and the corruption of their existing institutions, which is an incomplete and hence false depiction, they are unlikely to have the cohesion and confidence needed to insist that immigrants adopt certain base-line values and practices. In ordinary times this deficiency can be “kicked down the road”, since it may not seem urgent. However, it turns out to be a structural weakness when mortal threats arise.

    This lack of cultural confidence become apparent when the UK, and to a lesser extent the USA, were faced by the phenomenon of Islamic terrorism. The Islamic radical looks around him in a country like England and sees people who do not respect their own way of life and are apologetic about it. The Islamic radical correctly senses weakness and has contempt for people who do not respect their own country, civilization or way of life. He sees the firmness of his own will and faith, and he discounts his material disadvantages, which he is not necessarily wrong to do. A small number of people with absolute conviction and willing to risk all for a cause can work seeming miracles. Mohammad’s followers came out of nowhere and overran the world, and their descendants never forget it. Closer to our own time, they recall that a superpower invaded Afghanistan, but that mujahideen from around the Muslim Umma rallied to its defense, and the Soviet Union is no more. The soft, comfort-seeking West seems like a much easier target. And like the Soviet Union, it no longer believes in the principles that supposedly animate it. To the outside observer looking at our depraved entertainment products and listening to the self-loathing on the mainstream news, the West must seem to be an animated corpse that will crumble into a putrescent heap if it is struck hard enough.

    Weakness in any sphere invites attack, and the realm of cultural confidence and identity is no exception. Morale is more important than arms, and a country that starts out believing it does not really deserve to survive is already beaten. That may be overstating the case for the UK in 2005. However, a country that tries to wage a struggle where many of its most powerful and influential people believe that the moral right resides with their enemies is far weaker than it will appear if you try to add up the tangible assets each side brings to the fray.

    Fortunately, the academic and educational and media communities, while still very powerful, are weakening. They are being stripped of their quasi-monopoly positions by advancing technology. A more complete, more affirmative and truer version of Anglo-American freedom can be formulated and disseminated via the new media, the home-schooling movement, and other means. The United States and the rest of the Anglosphere are magnets for immigrants. These people have experienced alternative arrangements up-close. They are likely to see and understand what is good about these communities. All we need to do is regain this understanding ourselves, and make it available for those who want to learn. This will be a difficult challenge in the years ahead. I anticipate that it will be successful, but nothing is inevitable.

    Update: See Helen Szamuelly’s post from the EU Referendum blog. She paints a dire picture of how bad things have gotten in the UK. (You can only start rebuilding from where you are, says I.)

    Update II: “If we lose faith in our values, we will lose the war on terrorism.” Michael Barone quotes the President of the Italian Senate, making a similar point.

    Posted in Anglosphere | 15 Comments »

    Jonathan’s Right – But I Can’t Help It

    Posted by Ginny on 24th September 2005 (All posts by )

    We missed a bullet around here – the full centers and the equally full houses around this town are going to slowly evacuate. And some are going back to a Beaumont hit harder than they thought it would be, but most to a Houston that will have some downed trees and outages but, all in all, is a lot better off than anyone thought it would be a few days ago. My husband’s aunt & her daughter phone from his mother’s – they are going back to homes they know have electricity. I am thankful. So, the following strikes an inappropriate tone. But I’m posting it anyway.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Politics | 3 Comments »

    C-SPAN 1 & 2 (times e.t.)

    Posted by Ginny on 24th September 2005 (All posts by )

    C-Span 1. Book TV. Book TV Schedule. After Words and Q&A on C-Span 1.

    On Encore Booknotes (7:00 Sat evening), Lamb interviews one honorary Chicagoboyz (Milton Friedman) about a new edition with his introduction of another Chicagoboyz’ (F. A. Hayek) work, Road to Serfdom

    Most of the weekend will be devoted to the 2005 National Festival of Books.
    Afterwords features Barbara Slavin interviewing Tony Blankley about his The West’s Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations?.
    Lamb [Q]uestions and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia {A]nswers.

    Posted in Schedules | Comments Off on C-SPAN 1 & 2 (times e.t.)

    Famous Lost Photos, Part II

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd September 2005 (All posts by )

    H. Cartier-Bresson: Aftermath of Picnic on the Banks of Canal Opposite Miami-Dade County Landfill (1938?)


    “Gator found tied to palm tree…”

    Famous Lost Photos, Part I

    Posted in Humor, Photos | Comments Off on Famous Lost Photos, Part II

    Budget cutting

    Posted by ken on 23rd September 2005 (All posts by )

    If we all agreed what “pork” was, there wouldn’t be any of it in the budget. The “pork-busting” idea needs to be backed up by its backers with specifics on what should be cut and why.

    With the National Budget Simulation, one can specify exactly where cutting should be – and see what the outcome is.

    It’s a static model, but it’s a good starting point.

    As one who thinks that taxes are plenty high enough, on the rich as well as on everyone else, and that budgetary problems should be solved by budget cutting, it’s time to go to work.

    Here’s my first cut, which actually yields a $347.47 billion surplus:
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Uncategorized | 78 Comments »

    Mom Update

    Posted by Shannon Love on 23rd September 2005 (All posts by )

    Mom made it out of Houston today, making the normal 2.5 hour drive in a little under six. She said that the roads were lined with stranded or abandoned vehicles but that people from local communities were also present along the way handing out food, water and gasoline.

    Mom concurred with the BeldarBlog post that Jonathan linked to below that the gridlock problem was caused by people in non-critical areas evacuating before they had to. The evacuation was planned to go in stages, with the area divided up into risk zones labeled A,B,C etc. People in “A” zones should’ve gone first, then “B” and so on. However, it looks like the “Katrina effect” combined with over the top reporting in the media caused a large number of people to evacuate before their turn. That is what caused the overload of the road and fuel systems. Next time this happens, we will have to concentrate more on public education and media responsibility to make sure people evacuate in the planned order.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Uncategorized | 11 Comments »

    Costs of Mass Evacuations

    Posted by Jonathan on 23rd September 2005 (All posts by )

    This is tragic and serves as a reminder that the human costs of mass evacuations are not always less than those of hurricanes. Public officials should not treat mandatory evacuation as the safe option when hurricanes approach. Not that officials aren’t usually conscientious. However, post Katrina, “must evacuate” is in danger of becoming the politically safe buzz-meme WRT hurricanes, and it is unwise to assume that evacuation is always the safe option. There are often no safe options.

    I find more fault with the press in this regard than I do with politicians. The media have become hysterical in their treatment of hurricane risks. Drudge has been particularly bad.

    (A previous post on related topics is here.)

    UPDATE: Via Instapundit comes this thoughtful post about evacuations and media hysteria. The author says that for many people in Houston there is no need to evacuate, and that the media, by making no distinction between risky low-lying areas and everywhere else, are panicking people, exacerbating road congestion and making the area-wide situation much worse than it has to be. That’s right. Waves and flooding are the big killers in hurricanes. While people who are near the ocean and in low-lying areas should consider leaving, for people who are already inland and on high ground it may be reasonably safe to weather the storm at home or in a robust larger building.

    Posted in Society | 3 Comments »

    It’s time to prepare

    Posted by ken on 22nd September 2005 (All posts by )

    For what?

    Well, anything.

    How about bird flu? Lots of generally sane people seem to think it’s only a matter of time.

    If you survive the initial impact of whatever-it-is (and you probably will), your biggest problem is going to be simple – broken supply lines.

    Which means that, regardless of the threat, the biggest part of your preparedness plan is going to be stockpiling stuff. Food and water. More water (the stuff takes up quite a bit of space… and when the plumbing stops, don’t forget about the stockpile sitting in your water heater). Medicine (although stockpiling real medicine might involve bending some bloody useless laws, assuming it lasts long enough to be worth the trouble). A generator and fuel, if something you depend on (such as insulin) must be refrigerated. Ammunition (unless you know how to make arrows, and own or can construct a bow). Fuel for heating if you live someplace that gets too cold. Et cetera.

    It’d be great if they’d let you stock a respirator and other nifty devices to help you live through an actual infection with bird flu or some other nasty germ, but only doctors get to have real medical equipment. Of course, during a disaster, there won’t be nearly enough doctors to go around. (Hell, there aren’t enough doctors to go around now… that’s a big part of the “health care crisis” people keep yammering about.) And the vaccine, if the powers-that-be manage to create one, will be given out on their terms, not yours. So your best bet during a pandemic is going to be to stay the hell away from everybody and live off of your stockpiled supplies.

    If you’re ready to live like a hermit for a while, you’ll probably not be unlucky enough to catch the dread disease before it becomes widely known. (Unless we really do have a government crazy enough to keep a pandemic a secret until everyone catches it, like the one in The Stand. But I seriously doubt we’ll see that government anytime soon.)

    If you start now, when nothing special seems about to happen (unless you live around southeast Texas or southwest Louisiana), there’s not much of a limit to the eventual size of your stash, other than the amount of storage you have to work with. You’ll want to-go kits, too, in case your home becomes acutely unhealthy and you’ve managed to lay hands on a means of transport that can actually go places on that dreaded day. Bikes (one per person, of course) might end up being your only viable means of transport, although the cargo capacity is low. Still, if the disaster is localized, it could be a way to get someplace that’s still civilized. And if the disaster is a localized one that you can see coming for a day or two, and you’ve elected to live in an area known to be prone to such a disaster without a car, and you think it’s unhealthy or undignified to wait for your fearless leaders to send you a bus, it’s a way to get out of the disaster’s path. (You won’t be in much danger from speeding cars along the evacuation route!) In any event, it’s still a good way to get someplace farther than the gas in your tank can carry you if it turns out you won’t be able to get more.

    And finally, don’t listen to this bullshit. There’s plenty you can do individually to prepare for the day when you’ll have to stay the hell away from everybody for a while and everyone is trying to stay the hell away from you, and the more people that actually prepare and are able to do it as needed, the more of us will end up living through it. Whatever “it” turns out to be. And your political pressure should really be aimed at relaxing or eliminating any laws that stand in the way of your individual preparations – that’s a lot easier for a variety of people to judge and evaluate and agree on than whether the folks at the CDC are cooking up the right vaccine, and whether they have the facilities in place to make enough of it, and the right infrastructure to distribute it, or whether the President is a moron who’s deliberately crippling the CDC because he doesn’t believe in government and would really rather that the poor die off so they can’t bitch when he gives what’s rightfully theirs to his rich buddies.

    Crappy Administrations will keep happening (regardless of your politics, you’ll agree they’ve happened several times in the past 30 years). But if you can rely on yourself, at least you’ll know you’re relying on the one person that unquestionably has your best interests at heart.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

    Texas Troubles

    Posted by Shannon Love on 22nd September 2005 (All posts by )

    Some thoughts on Rita:

    My mother has disappeared into the mass of people evacuating themselves from Houston. The cell phone system is overloaded so nobody has heard from her since 3pm.

    This sucks.

    Still, if it’s a contest between Mom and a hurricane, I’m betting on Mom.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »

    Anglosphere Group Blog

    Posted by Chicago Boyz Archive on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    Heads up — Jim Bennett is going to be turning his blog, which was pretty much inactive, into a group blog, starting with a core group of interesting and knowledgeable people. I’ll be posting on there from time to time, on Anglospheric matters, once I get set up. I will also continue my contributions here on the Boyz. I’ll probably cross-post any substantial ones from there over here, anyway. Switching to a group blog will, I trust, get a steady level of posting going on Jim’s blog, on many fascinating issues. More news as all this develops.

    Posted in Anglosphere | 4 Comments »

    Neo Neocon Looks at the Misery Index in Palestine

    Posted by Ginny on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    There’s a good reason we are promised a freedom to “pursue happiness” and not happiness itself. That good would, then, always hang out of reach.

    Earlier, I linked to Johan Norbergs discussion of happiness. He tells us Apparently, a sense of competence and efficacy gives us happinessa sense of being in control in complex situations. This is not surprising since it is difficult to imagine a trait that has helped mankind to survive and procreate better than this, but the implications are interesting. Autonomy gives us happiness. So does a sense that things are improving no matter how low or high the base we use.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

    Say a Prayer for a Hero

    Posted by James R. Rummel on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    Simon Wiesenthal has died.

    He was a man who wouldn’t back down even though he was never going to see the end of his mission. In his later years he worked against anti-Semitism and Holocaust deniers.

    He was a brave man, and the world is poorer with his passing.

    (Cross-posted at Hell in a Handbasket.)

    Posted in History | Comments Off on Say a Prayer for a Hero

    Did New Orleans Have to Flood? Part II

    Posted by Shannon Love on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    It is looking more and more like the flooding of New Orleans resulted from preventable human error and not a physically overwhelming storm.

    First comes this report:

    But with the help of complex computer models and stark visual evidence, scientists and engineers at Louisiana State University’s Hurricane Center have concluded that Katrina’s surges did not come close to overtopping those barriers. That would make faulty design, inadequate construction or some combination of the two the likely cause of the breaching of the floodwalls along the 17th Street and London Avenue canals — and the flooding of most of New Orleans.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

    Insulting the Eastern German electorate (and before the elections!)

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    Last month fellow Chicagoboy demimasque posted about babies dying from abuse or neglect in Europe. While shocking, this isn’t representative for Europe, or Germany and France as whole, but rather there are certain areas where this kind of thing happens much more frequently than elsewhere (and even there not frequently enough to affect demographics even marginally).

    For example, this kind of thing happens three times as often per 100,000 people in in Eastern Germany than in Western Germany, and the particular instance demimasque cited unfortunately became an election issue:

    Conservative candidate for chancellor Angela Merkel was forced to reprimand Brandenburg state interior minister Jrg Schnbohm after he argued that “forced proletarianization” by the communist regime had led to a lasting breakdown in traditional values and a prevalence of violence.

    “Such a horrible crime cannot and must not be explained with generalizations of this kind,” said Merkel, who is the first major contender for the chancellery to come from the depressed east, where Schnbohm’s comments drew a hail of criticism.

    “I spoke with Jrg Schnbohm (who belongs to Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party) and expect him to end this discussion as soon as possible.”

    Such a huge disparity in incidents is a legitimate issue for debate, but it is counterproductive to make the point in a way that makes 15 million people feel accused for the actions of a few. And to do that in the month before a election when you want those peoples’ votes you have to be really special.

    Even worse, that this didn’t remain the last serious insult to those 15 million:

    Bavarian state premier Edmund Stoiber, who ran on the Christian Union ticket against Chancellor Gerhard Schrder in 2002 and narrowly lost, told a small group of supporters and journalists that the east had too much power over the poll’s outcome.

    “I do not accept that the east will again decide who will be Germany’s chancellor. It cannot be allowed that the frustrated determine Germany’s fate,” Stoiber said, in comments made last week and first reported late Wednesday.

    Stoiber stepped up the attack at a campaign rally Wednesday night, leaving Christian Union leaders scrambling to control the damage Thursday.

    “If only everywhere else were like Bavaria, we would not have any problems at all. But unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, we do not have such intelligent members of the population everywhere like we have in Bavaria,” he said.

    “The strong must sometimes carry the weak a bit. That’s the way it is… I do not want the election to be decided in the east yet again.”

    He neglected to mention that a better candidate than himself would easily have beaten Schrder in 2002, though. Either way, those two gaffes weren’t decisive in themselves, but without them the Christian Democrats would have had a more comfortable lead over the Social Democrats, making them the party with the most members in the new parliament. As it is, the final tally of the so-called ‘overhang mandates’ might make the Social Democrats the strongest party instead.

    Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

    What Mexico wants from the United States (besides open borders)

    Posted by Ralf Goergens on 21st September 2005 (All posts by )

    In 2001, an interviewer asked Vincente Fox’ Foreign Minister Jorge Castaneda:

    Q: What about the Spanish model? Joining the European Union gave Spain a boost.

    The answer is pretty obvious, if you think about it:

    A: That’s what Fox essentially wants, the type of resource transfers that occurred in Spain and, before Spain, in Ireland, and, after Spain, in Portugal and Greece. The Germans were willing to build highways in Spain. Somebody else has to build our highways. We don’t have the money.

    So, hop to it, you yanqui imperialists. :)

    Posted in Uncategorized | 12 Comments »