Saturday, May 31, 2008

Europe to America: You Am Evil!

In a cross-Atlantic low blow, Europeans tell America via polling data that America is a greater force for evil than for good. It is likely that the poll well reflects current European thinking toward the US, as well as European opinions of the US over the recent past.
In Britain, France, Germany and Russia, more people thought that the United States was a force for evil than for good.

The wildcard in the poll was Italy, where 49 per cent (compared to 27 per cent) thought that the US was a force for good. _
The poll also found a striking level of anti-American feeling in every country. A clear majority of Russians - 56 per cent - believe the US is a "force for evil" in the world. In Britain, only 33 per cent see America as a "force for good".

Opinion towards America has become steadily more hostile throughout the presidency of George W Bush, with the Iraq war probably being the single most important factor. _Telegraph
It is fortunate for Americans that Europeans cannot decide their next president. There is no question that the Euros would be essentially single-issue voters this year.

Such opinions can almost certainly be laid at the feet of a strongly biased European media, which essentially reflects the strong anti-Bush, anti-war sentiment of the vast majority of North American journalists and media personalities as well. What we see, essentially, is a continent of people who allow their media to do their thinking for them. Quelle surprise!

Intelligent people can be led by the nose to most any conclusion, if they trust the persons leading them. One can see that in China, Vietnam, North Korea, in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and increasingly in today's Europe, although still at a nascent stage compared to the other examples. But every total government had to start somewhere. Europe has made a good start of it.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Is Europe to be the New Lebanon or Armenia?

Europe's population is being increasingly replaced by poorly educated outsiders from the third world who do not wish to become Europeans--rather they wish to transform Europe into more affluent versions of their own countries. But since they bring their old prejudices, feuds, religious fanaticisms, and tendencies to violence along with them, it is more likely that they will be dragging Europe down. Starting with London, or perhaps Amsterdam, or maybe Malmo?
London is now the most ethnically diverse city in the world—more so, according to United Nations reports, even than New York...Walk down certain streets in London and one encounters a Babel of languages...A third of London’s residents were born outside Britain, a higher percentage of newcomers than in any other city in the world except Miami, and the percentage continues to rise. Likewise, migration figures for the country as a whole—emigration and immigration—suggest that its population is undergoing swift replacement. Many of the newcomers are from Pakistan, India, and Africa; others are from Eastern Europe and China. If present trends continue, experts predict, in 20 years’ time, between a quarter and a third of the British population will have been born outside it, and at least a fifth of the native population will have emigrated.

... the unprecedented influx of immigrants, often poorly educated, have little interest in, or appreciation of, the society to which they have come. Many are not learning to speak English, or speak it poorly, and forced marriages and other practices foreign to British law and custom remain common among them. A government report several years ago found that Britain’s whites and ethnic minorities led radically separate lives, with no sense of shared nationality. And as is now well-known, a disturbing number of British Muslims have proved susceptible to the ideology of Islamism. [A] poll found that a fifth of all British Muslims had sympathy with the “feelings and motives” of the London suicide bombers. Only a third of British Muslims, a Guardian survey found, want more integration into British culture. Britain, multiculturalism became a career opportunity and a source of political patronage. So-called experts on cultural sensitivity and equal opportunity—generally people whose ambitions far exceeded their talent, except for bureaucratic intrigue—built little empires, whose continued existence depended on the permanence of racial and other divisions in society.

...increased contact between people does not necessarily result in increased sympathy among them. A large proportion of the indigenous Muslim terrorists caught in Britain are children of prosperous small businessmen, who have been to university and whose individual prospects for the future were good, if they had chosen to follow a normal career path. Cultural dislocation, the readiness to hand of an ideology of hatred that seems to answer their personal need for a fixed identity and an end to cultural confusion, and a disposable income—these, not poverty, account for their terrorism.

... ___CityJournal
This is the legacy that young Europeans are waking up to. It is becoming more likely that their own children or grandchildren--if they ever choose to have them--will find themselves outsiders in the country that their grandparents had believed they would own in perpetuity.

Will Europeans become the new Armenians? Europe the new Lebanon?

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Fascinating Anti-Americanism in London

European media has bred a trendy anti-Americanism among all classes on the old side of the Atlantic. The curious thing about this fashion is that the practitioners appear to believe that it is a cost-free habit. As if reviling the only force on the planet capable of saving them from their own suicidal tendencies has any kind of future. Fascinating.
I make a point, as my friends will attest, of wearing a pair of stars and srtripes cufflinks. It might be slightly pathetic, but I want to demonstrate my solidarity with the nation leading the fight against barbarism.

Understandably, when strangers see but don't hear me, some jump to the conclusion that I am American. And it's instructive to see how some people behave when they see the cuffs.

On countless occasions I have been sneered at, sworn at and, twice, spat at. I would say - my memory is impressionistic on this - that by far the most common insult is a muttered "F*c*ing American". And I cannot recall such behaviour from anyone who looked older than 40ish.

Not being American, for me this is simply useful in seeing how common such prejudice is. Of course, just because it is only the under 40s who are vocal, it does not follow that others do not share their views.

It's not that usual to hear people give voice to their anti-semitic or anti-black bigotry. But in my experience, there is one prejudice which is now entirely acceptable: anti-Americanism. __SpectatorUK
Of course every place--even the most politically correct place--has to have its lawful prejudices and bigotries. In North America, it is the straight white male who is lawfully discriminated against. In Europe, it is the American.

Americans have always felt that Europe--at least England--was a friendly zone. Given the close alliances with England in WWI, WWII, and the cold war, Americans naturally assumed that merry olde Englynde would always be merry toward them. That is why Americans have always assumed maintaining a defensive perimeter around England and Europe was just part of the price of having allies. As Americans watched Europeans abandon any pretense of defending themselves, diverting those monies to social welfare programs etc., they just assumed that Europeans would feel the binding ties of history and the shared shedding of blood--and the promise of similar future sacrifice if necessary.

Instead, what Americans receive is a monolithic blame for all that is perceived as wrong with the world. Demonisation, accusation, scapegoating, along with a minimisation of any worthwhile contribution to the world, past or present. Americans had been largely oblivious to this bloated, self-satisfied trans-Atlantic phenomenon. No longer.

Europe is being infiltrated by something far more vile than anything that can be laid at the doorstep of the hated Americans. This vile thing has promised to subjugate Europe under the desert sandals of a new Caliphate. It is a vile and growing thing that Europe refuses to see, and in order not to see the vile thing, Europe expends all its excess energy in hating the thing that is peripheral to Europe's problems at most.

It is an inexplicable societal imbecility which can only be explained by a total lack of insight on the part of Europe's leadership, media, and academe. Of course, North America suffers from a similar imbecility, although much less advanced, and far less suicidal.

The ball is in Europe's court. Too much more of this cross-Atlantic bile, and Europe will find itself in an unmarked wasteland of rapidly diminishing options. Most Europeans that I know will not like that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

America: Revolutionary Nation

Great revolutions accompany the uncovering of great frontiers. The USA was founded on the Eastern frontier of a large continent, and has been moving to expand its frontiers outward over most of the 232 years since. That expansionary revolution continues, but it is taking some interesting forms:
The great new American frontiers proved to be those of business, science and technology. In the course of the 20th century, Americans invented more milestone technologies and inventions, created more wealth and leisure time, and reorganized their institutions more times than any country had ever done before – despite a massive economic depression and two world wars. It all reached a crescendo in the magical year of 1969, with the creation of the Internet, the invention of the microprocessor and, most of all, a man walking on the moon.

Along with genetic engineering, we are still busily spinning out the implications of these marvels. Yet it is becoming increasingly apparent that the cultural underpinnings of these activities have changed in some fundamental way.

We still have schools, but a growing number of our children are studying at home or attending private schools – and those in public schools are doing ever more amounts of their class work on the Internet [ed: virtual charter schools].

We still have companies and corporations, but now they are virtualized, with online work teams handing off assignments to each other 24/7 around the world. Men and women go to work, but the office is increasingly likely to be in the den. In 2005, an Intel survey of its employees found that nearly 20% of its professionals had never met their boss face-to-face. Half of them never expected to. Last summer, when the Media X institute at Stanford extended that survey to IBM, Sun, HP, Microsoft and Cisco, the percentages turned out to be even greater.

Newspapers are dying, networks are dying, and if teenage boys playing GTA 4 and World of Warcraft have any say about it, so is television...The most compelling statistic of all? Half of all new college graduates now believe that self-employment is more secure than a full-time job. __WSJ
So where is it all heading? Into a very wild and Future Shock sort of a world.

The economy will be much more volatile and much more competitive. In the continuous fervor to create new institutions, it will become increasingly difficult to sustain old ones. New political parties, new social groupings, thousands of new manias and movements and millions of new companies will pop up over the next few decades. Large corporations that don't figure out how to combine permanence with perpetual change will be swept away.

This higher level of anarchy will be exciting, but it will also sometimes be very painful. Entire industries will die almost overnight, laying off thousands, while others will just as suddenly appear, hungry for employees. Continuity and predictability will become the rarest of commodities. And if the entrepreneurial personality honors smart failures, by the same token it has little pity for weakness. That fraction of Americans – 10%, 20% – who still dream of the gold watch or the 30-year pin will suffer the most . . . and unless their needs are somehow met as well, they will remain a perpetually open wound in our society.

The "gold watch and 30-year pin" segment of Americans may be only 10%, but in Europe that fraction is closer to 50% or larger. How will Europe adapt to this brave new frontier revolution that is unfolding in America, only to spread globally in the next few decades?

Given the enormous influx of new uneducated welfare recipients from the third world, Europe will be severely challenged to find the type of economic growth at home in which its capital savings can invest. It will have to look overseas to areas that are still growing. In the mid 2000s, that would be Brazil, India, and parts of the Anglosphere including the US.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tort Reform Rejuvenates Mississippi Industry

Mississippi governor Haley Barbour is quite happy with the results of tort reform in his state. Lawsuits are down. Business and employment are up.
"We were America's No. 1 judicial hell hole for jackpot jury verdicts," the two-term Republican governor told me. "For trial lawyers, this was the state you wanted to come to if you wanted to sue someone."

But it was not the state to come to if you wanted to start a business. Mississippi's antibusiness reputation was so awful, Mr. Barbour said, that the CEOs of several Fortune 500 companies told him specifically that they wouldn't consider locating in the state unless the tort system was fixed.

For doctors, the situation was a little different – many who were inside the state were getting out as fast as they could. With 25% annual increases in malpractice premiums, many physicians simply couldn't survive if they stayed. The outflux left some counties without a single obstetrician. In some cases, residents had to drive 100 miles to find a doctor.

Shortly after winning election in 2003 by running on a tort-reform platform, Mr. Barbour stitched together a coalition of doctors, business groups, taxpayers and even unions to roll back the trial lawyer lobby.

"It was not just a battle," recalls Charlie Ross, the Senate sponsor of the reform bill, "it was a five-year war." The law that eventually passed was every trial lawyers' worst nightmare. It capped awards for noneconomic damages, and prevented the popular practice whereby a plaintiff attorney seeking to bring a class-action shops around for a court where he'll be likely to get a favorable ruling or judgment.

Almost overnight, the flow of lawsuits began to dry up and businesses started to trickle in. Federal Express invested $1 billion in a new facility in the state. Toyota chose Mississippi over about a dozen other states for a new $1.2 billion, 2,000-worker auto plant. The auto maker has stipulated that the company would pull up stakes if the tort reforms were overturned by the legislature or activist judges.

That hasn't happened. About 60,000 new jobs have arrived in four years – not a small number in a workforce of about 1.3 million – and a sharp improvement from the 30,000 jobs lost in the four years before Mr. Barbour took office. Since the law took effect, the number of medical malpractice lawsuits has fallen by nearly 90%, which in turn has cut malpractice insurance costs by 30% to 45%, depending on the county.

Another encouraging sign: Fewer Mississippians are heading to law school and more are looking at business school as the best way to get rich. Many in the younger generation are pursuing a career path that will make them wealth creators, not wealth redistributors. ___WSJ
Trial lawyers are vultures and parasites on the life of a community and region. They are bent on re-distributing wealth, never creating it. In an opportunity society, creating wealth through commerce is a win-win proposition.

Count on the vultures to jump in whenever they are allowed to do so.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Throwing Barbie From the Plane: BarbieBomb Iran

Iran clearly needs to be bombed. The question is: is it better to bomb Iran with bombs, or with Barbies? Greg Beato thinks Barbies are the appropriate choice.
Iran is terrified of Barbie, the tiny polyvinyl sex bomb who loves shopping, pizza, and brushing her hair, but has few satellite-guided missiles at her disposal. According to Iran's Prosecutor General, Ghorban Ali Dori Najfabadi, a loosely organized coalition, led by the world's most impeccably accessorized mercenary but also including additional combatants like Harry Potter and Spider-man, is doing "irreparable damage" to Iranian children. "The irregular importation of such toys, which unfortunately arrive through unofficial sources and smuggling, is destructive culturally and a social danger," Najafabadi cautioned...the Barbies who show up in Tehran shop windows are smuggled into the country, the victims of international doll trafficking. Once there, however, they make the best of it, embodying the traditional American values of self-determination and haircare...If Barbie's marginal and haphazard presence in Iran is so disruptive, what kind of impact might she have there if a more orchestrated effort to put additional sexy white boots on the ground was implemented? Luckily, the relative economy of a Barbie surge—an army of 200,000 cheerleaders for Western decadence can be mustered for the price of a dozen Tomahawk missiles... __Reason
Beato may not be the brightest bulb in the box, but perhaps he has a point to make about cultural subversion. Not that a few hundred thousand Barbie dolls would actually do the trick of overturning a millenia-old culture of primitive tribalism and religious barbarism. But think it through to the core idea, and play with it.

Culture is passed along from generation to generation--unless something happens in between generations. Say, a music revolution called rock and roll that puts rebellion on the front burner, combined with a drug and anti-war revolution among the young. You might think that nothing would ever be the same again.

Children like to fantasize. And they like to have secrets from others. Some parents like to indulge their children in these fantasies. Childhood and adolescence are such confusing times, unless something happens to stir things up it is often easier just to go along with tradition.

What about a talking doll that said things the ayatollahs wouldn't want young girls listening to? What if a talking doll was also a radio and a tutorial device? Solar powered so its batteries won't run down? What if it could teach children catchy songs with infectious lyrics? These things require a bit of thought.

Oppressive cultures have to keep the lid on tight. But then the pressure tends to build at the slightest incident. Bomb Iran? With Barbies? Or something even more devilishly clever.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Will China Invade North Korea? It Seems So

China appears to be mobilizing for an invasion of North Korea--just in case.
For the last four years, China has been holding an increasing number of exercises to test their ability to come to the aid of North Korea, in the event of a war with South Korea (and the United States). On in the event of a collapse of the North Korean government. More Chinese ground units have been moved to areas just across the Yalu river from North Korea (and many of the troops set to work guarding the border against the growing number of desperate North Koreans trying to get out.) There have also been exercises with engineers practicing erecting bridges across the rivers that form most of the border between North Korea and China (on the assumption that U.S. or South Korean warplanes would quickly destroy the existing bridges.) The latest development has been the deployment of Su-27 fighters (the most modern in the Chinese Air Force) to the border area. __StrategyPage
As mentioned previously here, in the event of the collapse of the North Korean government, China does not want South Korea and the US to occupy large parts of North Korea in an attempt to provide aid and to lay the groundwork for re-unification of North and South Korea.

China is happy to have North Korea as a buffer zone between the free world and its own authoritarian land. China would rather see North Koreans starving than to see them have the option of freedom, as experienced in the South. The Chinese CCP is just funny that way.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Making the US More Like Europe? No, Thanks

Europe is undergoing a traumatic transformation, due entirely to its over-regulation and over-dependency on central government bureaus. Naturally, it is the middle class in Europe that is feeling the greatest squeeze. When governments grow out of control, it is the middle class that pays the greatest price, and this is the case in modern Europe.
The European dream is under assault, as the wave of inflation sweeping the globe mixes with this continent’s long-stagnant wages. Families that once enjoyed Europe’s vaunted quality of life are pinching pennies to buy necessities, and cutting back on extras like movies and vacations abroad.

Potentially more disturbing — especially to the political and social order — are the millions across the continent grappling with the realization that they may have lives worse, not better, than their parents.

“I have this feeling that there is a wall in front of us,” said Axel Marceau, a 41-year-old schoolteacher living outside of Frankfurt. “We’re just not going to get any further.”

His concerns are well-founded. A study by the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin found that the broad middle of the German work force, defined as workers making from 70 to 150 percent of the median income, shrunk to 54 percent of the population last year, from 62 percent in 2000. __NYT__via__OTB
Senator Obama wants to make the US more like Europe. He thinks that Americans want this too. But only uninformed and unintelligent Americans want that, which may categorize Obama's supporters a bit too well for Obama's comfort.

Europe has bigger problems than the middle-class squeeze, however. A demographic collapse of indigenous Europeans (from failure to breed) combined with an out-of-control influx of uneducated and unassimilable third world immigrants, leaves the top-heavy over-bureaucratic state welfare systems of Europe with a shortage of tax paying citizens. Even worse, the resentful and increasingly alienated European third-world underclass is swelling the criminal ranks of an old Europe that had grown accustomed to low crime rates.

For those who examine critical underlying trends in a society, Europe is suffering from some of the worst possible trends a society can experience. Obama would do well to look in another direction for societies to model his brave new world after.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Enlightened Pols Show Kindness to Terrorists

More on Obama's radical terror connections here. The world's terrorists suffered a blow when Red Ken Livingstone was ousted from the London mayorship. What a coup for the cause of terror to find a friend in the US White House?

The calculus of appeasement suggests that being good to terrorists means that they will bomb someone else other than you. That would be assuming that current terrorists are the ones you should be fearing. Not a wise assumption.

The US Democratic Party has become a political party of appeasement to the enemies of human rights and freedoms. Regardless of which candidate they choose, they will be starting from the moral low ground.

There has always been a subtext of anti-government resentment among many US taxpayers and solid citizens. If the US government is taken over by stylish apologists for anti-American terror, watch that resentment grow.

"We are the ones we have been afraid of. Test us, and discover why."

H/T StonedCrab

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Radical Loser Quits London Stage

Outgoing London mayor Ken Livingstone represents a fusion of the radical left with radical Islamic fundamentalism. It is the radical nature of Livingstone and his attempted makeover of London into a third world hellhole, that will be remembered long after he is gone and London has mostly recovered from his mal-government.
This result isn’t just a wonderful victory for Boris and the termination of Livingstone. It’s also a defeat for the campaign – an exceptionally dirty one, at that - waged against Boris by a small band of separatists claiming to act in the name of all London’s Muslims. __Source
Radical Islamists had been welcomed into London by Livingstone, and were fanning out into all of England. Livingstone's deranged radicalism intended to replace the old London with a brave new radical leftist/Islamist London with no place for traditional English values of hard work, tolerance, and self-reliance.

The victory for England extended far beyond the disposal of a bit of mayorial trash. Across the nation, the ruling Labour party began to reap the results of its massive overhaul of the English welfare, courts and law enforcement systems. The English were not ready to lay down in helpless stupour at the feed of an all-encompassing nanny Labour government.
For Labour, it was the worst election in 40 years. In a massive turnout, the Conservative Party took 256 seats in parliament, along with control of 12 town councils and 44% of the vote. Labour and moderate Liberal Democrats got to split the remains, and even the Liberal Democrats ,with 25%, won more than Labour.

Best of all, London's 5.5 million voters threw out Labour's biggest bum: Marxist Mayor Ken Livingstone — a man so detested he forced Labour to spend the bulk of its campaign cash to defend his re-election after eight years in power to the neglect of other districts. Nice going, Red Ken.

The "very big moment," as Tory chief David Cameron put it, echoed conservative victories in France, Germany, Sweden and Italy and signaled Britain's alignment with them. The reason was also largely the same — costly, overweening and unresponsive government that does what big governments do best: fail.

In Britain, the burden was intolerable. Labour has savaged the poor, battered Brits with tax after tax, pushing the government's tax-take to its highest level ever. __IBD
So there is still a bit of life in sad old England after all. That is a very good sign.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ecuador's Leftist Correa Funded by FARC Terror

It is amazing what one can learn from a purloined laptop! Now we are learning that the FARC narco-terrorists movement is funding leftist politicians in South America, such as Ecuador's Correa.
New documents discovered on captured FARC computers suggested that FARC terrorists donated $100,000 to the campaign of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa.
The Miami Herald and The Real Cuba reported:

New documents a Colombian government official says were retrieved from the computer of slain guerrilla leader Raúl Reyes show FARC's ties in Latin America may be more widespread than previously reported.

Some of the documents, obtained by The Miami Herald, indicate that a leading member of Ecuador's constitutional assembly, charged with reshaping that country's political landscape, may have been a longtime supporter of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

María Augusta Calle -- also the head of Venezuela's Telesur TV network in Ecuador and a supporter of President Hugo Chávez -- let the rebels use her bank account for at least one transaction and helped promote their ideas through another news agency she directs, the Colombian offical said...

...If confirmed, Calle's links would be yet another indication that the rebels' tentacles have spread far across the Colombian border and reached various sectors of Ecuador.
FARC is closely tied to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Correa in Ecuador, and others later to be named. The murderous narco-terrorist coalition stretching across South America is the natural evolutionary result of political processes set into motion decades earlier by Castro and Guevara of Cuba. From Venezuela to Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay, the revolutionaries-cum-nihilists are destroying hopes of millions of South Americans for a better future. They can't help it. It's who they are.

Officials at Oynklent Green [OTC:OYNK] are keeping a close eye on political developments in South and Central America, with regards to a possible new supply of feedstock. Stay tuned.