Monday, October 31, 2005

An Incomplete Knowledge of Geography

The Dry Bones Cartoon
(Hat tip to Davids Medienkritik .)

Mighty Mohammedan Warriors Defend The Faith

by beheading 3 schoolgirls and seriously injuring a fourth on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. These young women had attacked Islam by walking to the private Christian school they attended. Their attack on Islam was so vicious that it took six men wielding machetes to defeat them in battle.

The reporter in the initial report seems to have trouble connecting the dots:
This is an area that has a long history of religious violence between Muslims and Christians.

A government-brokered truce has only partially succeeded in reducing the number of incidents in recent years.

Police say the heads were found some distance from the bodies.

It is unclear what was behind the attack, but the girls attended a private Christian school and one of the heads was left outside a church leading to speculation that it might have had a religious motive.

This reporter evidently does not read the background pieces published by the BBC. We get this quote from Indonesia flashpoints: Sulawesi:
But systematic one-sided attacks - bombings and unexplained killings of mostly non-Muslim victims - have continued.
Few in Indonesia will suffer from the confusion evidenced by the author.

Additional Resources:

  1. CIA - The World Fact Book: Indonesia
  2. Wikipedia:
  3. From The BBC:
  4. Technorati:
  5. Google:

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The Next SCOTUS Nominee

Reasoned Audacity gives us background information on many of those on the list of possibilities.

Mondocognito, Avatar?

Mechanical Operational Neohuman Designed for Observation

The term "Avatar" is a bit of a mystery to me. I suspect it comes, as used here, from the world of anime. The choice of avatar may open me up to a bit of Freudian analysis by some of my friends. The description, however, does seem to be fairly accurate. (Hat tip to The Last Amazon.)

Update: Muzzy, of Blogizdat, corrects me in the comments. (I should note that he - a friend of 20+ years - didn't start his comment with his usual "Mondo, you ignorant slut, . . .)

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Public Health Notice

Samantha Burns, Public Health Officer, gives us Fair Warning:

Mmmmm... Poop Donuts

Her major concern: "Great, now I'm going to have to smell all my food before I eat it." Consider yourself warned.

Why Read Canadian Blogs?

The Last Amazon asks the question, " Are Americans becoming Canadians or are we just having a bad influence on them?" and gives us a "canary-in-the-coal-mine" report.

Friday, October 28, 2005

What The Czechs Know That The French Don't

From Blog For Cuba: The Czechs Have it Right
Odd as it might seem that a landlocked country thousands of miles away from the blue Caribbean could be key to Cuba policy, McCarry said economic or geopolitical interests are not driving Czech involvement.

"I think the real reason they are involved is because they think it's the right thing to do. They suffered under a communist dictatorship and they want to help the Cuban people free themselves from a communist dictatorship," he said.

Czechs have supported dissidents in Cuba since the 1989 revolution here, and more recently they have taken to publicly criticizing the castro regime on the global stage, largely through annual United Nations resolutions. Former President Václav Havel, still hugely admired in Cuba for his heroism while he himself was a dissident, founded the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba in 2003. And Czech humanitarian organizations and parliamentarians have made trips to Cuba to meet with dissidents and give aid to families.

Tensions have also grown between the Czech Republic and Cuba. A one-year old office in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Transition Promotion unit, has made change in Cuba a priority. And in 2001 two Czech citizens, Jan Bubenik and former Freedom Union Deputy Ivan Pilip were detained for almost a month for alleged partisan activities against the castro regime.
The French, on the other hand, worship at the altar of "El MiChe".

The Plane Won't Be Quite As Full

when the National Chorus of Cuba returns to that island paradise. Read the following:
  2. Babalu Blog: Escaping to Toronto
  3. Blog For Cuba: Cubans Defect in Toronto*Updated

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Chile Anyone?

Latin America: Is Chile the new Norway?
Like it’s Nordic counterpart, the Chilean government has worked hard over the past two decades to open its markets, while at the same time not letting go of the strategic tiller. Both countries take an active role in managing the exploitation of their natural resources (oil in the case of Norway; minerals for Chile).

Chile still has a long way to go to make sure its new-found wealth is redistributed fairly. That said, nearly one in five of the population have been lifted out of poverty since 1990. Strategic social spending has also ensured that the rich-poor divide is considerably smaller than that in, say, Brazil or Mexico.

As for politics, Chile’s democratic star may not shine quite as brightly as that of squeaky clean Norway, but it’s come a long way since the dark days of the Pinochet dictatorship.

In a continent where “institutionality” could easily be mistaken for a trip to the funny farm, Chile has enjoyed remarkable political stability in the past decade. Centre-right president Ricardo Lagos is not only set to finish his six-year term (Argentina has had six presidents over the same period), but does so with record-high popularity ratings.

A raft of political and judicial reforms have ensured Chile the kind of reputation that wins praise not only from pro-democracy groups but from investors too.

As for the knotty question of corruption, Chile is one of the few countries in South America to have tackled the issue head on, obtaining a merit-worthy 20th place out of 159 in Transparency International’s corruption perception index (more than 100 places above neighbouring Bolivia).
Chilean Presidential Campaign Update
(Hat tip to The Latin Americanist.)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

George Galloway Update

From EU Referendum: One can't help chuckling
George Galloway, Respect MP for Bethnal Green (has he been seen in his constituency since his election or has he been spending his time trying to get on the Peace Mom and Jihad Jane act in the states?) is seething with anger.

Well he might do. There he was, certain of having won his battle with the Senate Committee, simply because he used his normal bully boy tactics of shouting, abuse and refusal to tell the truth to the senators’ courtesy. The journalists loved it. A great circus performance.

They were a little less happy when Christopher Hitchens used the same methods on Gorgeous George and destroyed him in a public debate. Since then Galloway has been out of the picture. Jihad Jane Fonda decided he was bad karma and cancelled all their joint appearances. Sean Penn is still recovering from his watery humiliation.

What Mr Galloway had not reckoned on is that the Senate Committee is somewhat different from the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, who has been investigating the MP’s financial affairs with glacial speed since 2003. (To be fair, he has been hampered by the case Galloway brought against the Daily Telegraph, the rather eccentric decision given by Justice Eady and the newspaper’s appeal.)

The Senate Committee has gone on investigating various documents and questioning various Iraqi officials in American custody. And they have found a trail of money being paid to Galloway and his estranged wife out of the great oil-for-food scam.

According to Tariq Aziz, former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, the moneys were paid over because Mr Galloway was such a great friend to Iraq. Most of us do not get paid for our friendship but let that pass.

Mr Galloway is now huffing and puffing and challenging the Senate Committee to charge him with perjury. Is he sure they won’t?

WWWD?: On The Language Of Faith

Faithmouse: WWWD?

I still have some remnants of my German vocabulary and some very vague recollections of the grammatical structure of that language. As long as I stay in the shallow end of the German language baby pool, I can still construct a sentence. No one is likely, however, to mistake me for a native German on those rare occasions when, for whatever reason, I wax Germanic.

I sense a lack of "indigenousness" in the members of the Democratic Party who have, since the last election, decided they need to use the vocabulary and grammar of faith. Even those who have an acquaintance with Christianity, such as Robert Byrd, somehow manage to sound as if they were graduates of a "faith as a second language" class. There are also those who vaguely remember the language of the "old country" which they heard spoken in their childhood. They can speak a word or two, and can still identify the language when they hear it spoken. Think John Kerry and Ted Kennedy - well, maybe not Ted Kennedy. Then you have those who see this language as mere vocabulary and grammar, to be used as a tool of the propagandist. Think Nancy Pelosi's "A - L - T - A - R - E - D". The condescension is not too hidden because the words are not considered to have meaning based in reality.

Condescension, a product of the first of the Seven Deadly Sins, is the attitude of the Democratic strategists. They do not address equals but rather the stupid hillbillies of Jesusland. Even the name "Jesusland", which one might think of as a compliment, is a pejorative term. It is pejorative, not because they consider the occupants of Jesusland to be hypocrites primarily, but rather that they consider them to be self-deluded fantasists. Their problem is evident in their need to consult "outside" help to even use the vocabulary and grammar. But Gary Wills, Tony Campolo, and Jim Wallis can't make the foreign sound indigenous. "So Mr. Wallis, can you write a speech for me about the sanctity of freedom of choice for women? And use some of those Jesus words for the flat-earthers." It is the Democrat leadership's dilemma that the question for them really is"WWWD?" and not "WWJD?"

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Raising The Red Ensign Standard XXX

Red Ensign Standard

Quotulatiousness is the home of the 30th edition of the Red Ensign Standard. Back issues can be found here. (Hat tip to The Last Amazon.)

Watching America: Another View

Our friends at No Pasaran! take a contrary view as to the value and nature of Watching America, a website you can find in my link list. Read their analysis for a "buyer beware" notice.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Who Knew It Was So Simple?!

From Ethiopundit: Billions of lives improved!
Lost in a maze of debt, poverty, corruption and foreign aid?
Left in the lurch by Marx and Lenin?
Try Basic Property Rights with Rule Of Law!
Billions of lives improved!
Thus begins a tribute by Ethiopundit to the winner of the Milton Friedman prize for advancing liberty given every two years by the Cato Institute. The winner in 2004 was Hernando de Soto of Peru. This tribute is not so much to the man, but rather to his economic philosophy. That philosophy can be summed up as capitalism with an emphasis on property rights and the rule of law. Here is a taste:
In and interview in Reason Online de Soto elaborates

"Agrarian reform is a process by means of which government assigns lands to the peasants...Until you have universal, well-protected, clear, and transferable private property rights, you cannot have a market economy.

If you take a walk through the countryside, from Indonesia to Peru, and you walk by field after field--in each field a different dog is going to bark at you. Even dogs know what private property is all about. The only one who does not know it is the government."
The conclusion applies the analysis to Ethiopia.
Indeed, North Vietnamese land reform in the 1950s led to widespread famine and revolts against the Communists resulting in thousands of deaths. One must wonder then, why do governments stick by the dead end of absent individual rights to own land?

The answer is easy and obvious - when no one can own land, the ultimate source of freedom and prosperity lays in government hands. It is all about absolute control of everyone at any cost. For example, Ethiopians today are the serfs or at best sharecroppers of a tiny revolutionary feudal aristocracy that trades mass destitution for their own place in power.

The Creation of a Nation of Serfs tells how this lethal nonsense came to Ethiopia. Marx Reloaded (not Groucho) reveals some clues about the origins of this despotic absurdity.

The importance of the rule of law and property rights in developing free and prosperous societies is not a matter for debate it is simply a fact that is amply demonstrated by history. Those that deny private property rights understand the truth more than anyone - they just choose to ignore it.
The complete article is well worth the read. Ethiopundit looks like it will be a valuable addition to my blogroll.

Lucidity In Ontario

From The Last Amazon: Ontario does it for the children

The Burning Issue that has put the Ontario Provincial Government at the forefront in the fight against AmeriKKKan hegemony?
“Now I want to make it clear,” Mr. Bryant said in a prepared statement. “Ontario does not automatically move in lock step with the U.S. on this or any issue.” He said the decision to harmonize the province's daylight time with the United States followed a review by a government committee into the potential impact such a move could have on Ontario. The committee found that any misalignment with the province's biggest trading partner could have a very real and negative impact, including trade disruption as well as creating border pressures.

The extra hour of daylight in the afternoon will also provide a much needed chance to encourage children to play sports outside, rather than watch television, after school, Mr. Bryant said. It could also reduce pedestrian injuries and fatalities, he added.
The Last Amazon comments:
Anti-Americanism can now be considered to be firmly entrenched in the Ontario psyche when the provincial government feels compelled to point out that just because we are following the US lead it should not be misconstrued as the government is in lock step on this or any other issue. No, Canadians are nobler than that because we are doing it for trade and our children.

Another European Demographic Time Bomb

From The Brussels Journal: Dwindling Russians
Will Russia turn into a small third world country?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

What Kind of Catholic Am I?

You scored as Evangelical Catholic. You are a Protestant convert, or have been affected by evangelical Protestantism in some way. You love Scripture and incorporate into your daily life. You have a clear vision of Catholic morals and doctrines, and you make great effort to adhere to them.

However, your interpretation of Scripture may not be in line with Catholic teaching, and you may not accept legitimate plurality in doctrinal expression. You might want to read the Fathers of the Church and Papal encyclicals to deepen your Catholicism.

Evangelical Catholic


New Catholic


Neo-Conservative Catholic


Radical Catholic


Traditional Catholic


Liberal Catholic


Lukewarm Catholic


What is your style of American Catholicism?
created with

I guess this makes me more "Insightful" than "Curmudgeonly". (Both websites are worth a read.)

Saturday, October 22, 2005

What You Learn In A Hard School

From The Brussels Journal: Slovakia Bans Positive Discrimination Legislation
The opposition of the KDH, however, goes deeper than the matter of the Roma. The KDH questions the principle itself of positive action by the government which limits the freedom of people to decide with whom they enter into private contracts. The governing party is also opposed to EU anti-discrimination legislation which attempts to prevent private individuals from voicing their opinions.

In July 2004, when Ake Green, a Pentecostal pastor in Sweden, was sentenced to a month in prison for a sermon in which he described homosexuality as "a tumor on society," Vladimir Palko, the Slovakian minister of the Interior, was the only prominent European politician to denounce the treatment of pastor Green.

Palko cited the case as an illustration of why the KDH opposed the EU anti-discrimination law. He protested to the Swedish ambassador in Slovakia: "In Europe people are starting to be jailed for saying what they think." Palko told the ambassador that it reminded him of the dictatorship the Slovaks had been living under until 1989. According to Palko, what had happened in Sweden was an example of how "a left-wing liberal ideology was trying to introduce tyranny." KDH chairman Pavol Hrusovsky added that the decision to jail Green was "a breach of human rights, the right to religious freedom, and the right of expression." (emphasis added, ed.)
Read the rest of the article. The Slovak Constitutional Court have declared that they will not be bound by the diktats of the European Union. I wonder if Justice Ginsburg will be citing this ruling as precedent any time soon; or for that matter, any time during her tenure on the Supreme Court. Mr. Palko, quite clearly, has a better understanding of freedom of conscience and speech than the Canadian Government and the Democratic Party in the US.

(Correction: I failed to correct the spelling of Justice Ginsburg's name when I published this initially. Mea Culpa. I added a link to pay for my sins.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

A Little Sewage Here, A Little Sewage There - A Little Sewage Everywhere!

Why you shouldn't rely on the government to solve your problems.
  1. Note to Health Canada: Shit flows downstream
  2. It is well past the time for a change in Scamada
    Spending $500,000 on upgrading a plant in the last year but no one thought to move a problematic intake pipe? Flying in bottles of water into a community to the tune of $250,000 for the last six months and water specialists are just now on the scene?

    I could make a cheap shot blaming Liberal malfeasance, but frankly, I am stunned speechless by the breadth of it.
  3. Update: INAC Minister goes to see sewage
    "Angry residents offered the visiting officials a jug of the community’s drinking water at the meeting. Friday said both officials backed away whenever the jug came close to their mouths."
    . . . . .
    You would think with $2 billion dollars everyone would be drinking piped in Crystal Springs. I look forward to seeing the spin on this.

One More Reason to Love The Poles

From the News Roundup by the Polish Consulate:
Poles like Bush, dislike Putin

Warsaw, Oct. 19: U.S. President George Walker Bush is the most liked politician in Poland with 49 pct of Poles declaring they like him. The least liked politician is Russian President Vladimir Putin who is disliked by 61 pct of Poles, a recent CBOS poll has found. Poles also like Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko (47 pct), British Prime Minister Tony Blair (45 pct), to-date German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (36 pct) and Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet (31 pct). The group of the least liked politicians, apart from Putin includes Belarussian President Aleksandr Lukashenka who is disliked by 55 pct of Poles, Cuban leader Fidel Castro (52 pct) and French President Jacques Chirac (24 pct). The CBOS run the poll on September 14-18, 2005 on a representative sample of 1,028 adult Poles. (empasis added, ed.)

The New German Government

The members of the (not so) Grand Coalition have named their ministers.
  1. Germany's Grand Coalition: The CDU/CSU's Ministers
  2. Germany's Grand Coalition: The Social Democrat's Ministers
Includes a brief synopsis of the minister's background and/or political philosophy.

The French In Africa, Part 2

From EU Referendum: France's little Iraq
This is only the latest episode in the unhappy relations between France and the Ivory Coast. This West African country, having been a French colony since 1893, was formally made independent in 1960, although its economic assets and major businesses have since remained largely under French control. The French own 45 per cent of the land and, curiously, the buildings of the Presidency of the Republic and of the Ivorian National assembly are subject to leases concluded with the French.
I thought the French were all about love and "joie de vivre". But then one must break a few eggs (or shoot a few Africans) to make a souffle.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Spanish Judge v. US Tank Crew

Barcepundit gives us information and analysis on this case. One suspects, in the end, the judge will plead no contest.

Sexual Identity Around The World

From The War Room: BEHIND ENEMY LINES: WHAT’S AN UBERSEXUAL? Worth a chuckle.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Art For Art's Sake

Fall in my neighborhood. (Here's to living in South Minneapolis.) From Faithmouse

The French In Africa

Heavy-Handed Politics points us to Another reason to hate France which outlines French complicity in the Rwanda genocide. Unfortunately, the most excellent website "100 Days of Rwanda" has dropped off the web. You can find a summary of that site here.

Comparing German And American Social Security

From Davids Medienkritik: The Superiority of the German Social Model. An interesting comparison, but be sure to read the comments for a more complete understanding.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Canadian Healthcare System

From The Last Amazon: Fairy Tales in Crack Houses
Case in point; read Rosie Dimanno's recent column in the Toronto Star on current report issued by Toronto Drug Strategy Advisory Committee:

So let me get this straight: I can't smoke cigarettes in Toronto but I can smoke crack? The former is a public health risk, nipped in the butt at nearly every indoor venue, with bossy and vilifying interdiction campaigns that have transformed smokers into social pariahs. But the latter is a personal choice that ought not to be stigmatized by a judgmental society.
This is a twofer:
  1. We are given useful information for planning a Toronto vacation, and
  2. shown a healthcaree model likely to be instituted in Minneapolis, MN.
The latter is more to the point of the article.

Wishing Them Great Success!

This heads-up from small dead animals:

Image hosted by

Holiday Calendar

America Sucks and We're Moving to Canada! Day is approaching
Don't forget to celebrate! Wednesday, November 2 is America Sucks and We're Moving to Canada! Day. This special holiday celebrates the one year anniversary of the first threats from crazy passionate left-wingers that they would be moving overseas because they hate George Bush and despise people who live in places like Texas and Ohio.
Lou Minatti has some helpful suggestions for the festivities.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Che Guevara Is Still Dead

El MiChe
From Babalu Blog: The Real Che Guevara - A Manifesto
Our good friend Humberto Fontova has an absolutely brilliant, fact filled and referenced article up at Front Page Mag titled, simply " (f)idel's Executioner" relating anything and everything you need to know about the cultural icon Che Guevara.

It is a bit long for a blog post, but I urge you to take the time and read the whole eyeopening thing. I have also placed the entire article here below the fold so that you can send all those Che lovers here to get a proper education.
(Image by the dissident frogman: MiChe Mouse)

"Dead, Dying And Poor" In America

From The Brussels Journal: EU Economies: Poor Reporting
In visiting some of my favorite blogs I noticed one component was missing from my recent “dead and dying in America” series, the series should have been “dead, dying, and poor in America”. These anti-US themes are part and parcel of the mainstream media (MSM)’s core beliefs on both sides of the Atlantic, a template if you will. Dead, dying, and poor Americans fits the MSM template far better than “alive, vibrant, and prospering” Americans. But are the anti-US pronouncements by the MSM true? . . . . .

As you can see from the chart on your right (sources: Eurostat and the Bureau of Economic Analysis) on a strictly per capita GDP basis EU-15 countries generally rank near the bottom when compared to the individual US states and the District of Columbia in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Per capita GDP is of course no measure of poverty, but it is a clue. . . . . .

What about defined rates of poverty? Per our friends at the BBC referenced above, the US defined rate of poverty is currently 12.7% of the population. Horrifying. According to Eurostat the EU-15 defined rate of poverty was 16% of the population in 2001. To be overlooked. . . . . .
Read the article for the complete analysis of the statistics.

Darcy's Big Adventure

I've had some adventures in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but Darcy from "Dust My Broom" can cram more fun in an afternoon than I can have in a week. To get a taste of the great outdoors, read The Canoe Story.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

I Didn't Study For This Quiz

You scored as Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan. You are an evangelical in the Wesleyan tradition. You believe that God's grace enables you to choose to believe in him, even though you yourself are totally depraved. The gift of the Holy Spirit gives you assurance of your salvation, and he also enables you to live the life of obedience to which God has called us. You are influenced heavly by John Wesley and the Methodists.

Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Reformed Evangelical








Roman Catholic


Classical Liberal


Modern Liberal


What's your theological worldview?
created with

These results are a bit of a stumper.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Meet Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

Che Guevara is still dead!
El Miche
(Image by the dissident frogman: MiChe Mouse)
Long live El MiChe!

From Blog For Cuba: Che's Real Legacy
castro's murderous sidekick, che guevara thankfully met his death on this date 38 years ago. The promise was for democracy and equality, all for the people. Instead it turned out to be all for castro and none for the people.

Before castro, there were 11 prisons in Cuba, today there are over 300. Gulags, where torture, starvation and unimaginable horror is the norm. There is no such thing as a fair trial in Cuba, and the laws are flexible so anyone, anytime is subject to arrest and arbitrary sentencing. Neighborhood snitches spy for castro, so everyone knows there are eyes and ears everywhere and you'd better watch what you say.

If che and castro had fulfilled the promise of their revolution, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet would have been the ideal model for che's so-called "new man", an articulate, charismatic, black physician. Instead, he personifies the true legacy of that terror. A man unjustly sentenced to 25 years in prison for the crime of holding a flag upside down, a universally recognized expression of political dissent. Dr. Biscet is an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience. He is the founder of the Lawton Foundation, a human rights organization made illegal by the dictator fidel castro. The Lawton Foundation peacefully promotes the defense of all Cubans through nonviolent civil disobedience. Dr. Biscet is a follower of the Dalai Lama, Thoreau,Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and wants to bring democracy and justice to Cuba.

Loyalist Identity In Northern Ireland

Slugger O'Toole is investigating the sociology of identity in Northern Ireland.
  1. Loyalist identity: reading the runes (10/11/05)
  2. Loyalist identity: reflecting a modern condition (10/11/05
  3. Loyalist identity: demographic retreat is generic (10/11/05)
  4. Loyalist identity: simultaneous progress and retreat (10/11/05)
  5. Political dimension essential to identity (10/12/05)
  6. Loyalist identity: post modern engagement with music (10/13/05)
(This list will be updated as relevant posts become available.)

Safeguarding The Internet

From The Brussels Journal: EU Wants to “Internationalize” the Internet
An important battle about who will control the Internet is currently being fought. On the one side is the USA, that wants to keep the status quo and has the support of most of the global Internet community. On the other side is an amalgam of states who want to exercise as much control as possible in order to limit the Internet’s power to undermine their own political regimes. This group comprises Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba, Venezuela and... the European Union.
From EU Referendum: Who is going to be isolated?
As my colleague has pointed out, the EU Commissar for Information Society and the Media, who has been speculating for some time whether the internet can be controlled, though, of course, she would not want to, has announced that America will be isolated if it does not hand the internet over to be run by a motley crew of tranzi regulators and tyrants of various hues.

The BBC, of course, joyously picked up the theme, thus proving that they do not understand the internet any more than the Commissar does. What if all these other countries build their own internet, smirked the Commissar? Well, what? Can Brazil really build an internet? Can Iran or China? Anyway, why bother?

It seems, however, that there is a split among the tranzis. Carl Bildt (above), former Swedish Prime Minister, former UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Balkans, a tranzi extraordinaire, has come out against the insane notion of handing the internet over to the UN.
Both articles cover Carl Bildt's arguments.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

I Could Vote For This Man

Peter Gentle, at The Beatroot, gives us information about some unsuccessful candidates in Poland's first round of Presidential balloting. This caught my eye:
Take for instance someone who is now becoming a veteran of presidential election contests, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who used to stand on the "Real Politics" platform, but now just stands on the Korwin-Mikke Platform platform.

If I said to you that Mr. Korwin-Mikke is the type of man who always wears a bow tie, then you will get an idea of the sort of person he is. He's an intelligent, self-styled political maverick. He has some crazy ideas, which, once you think about some of them, at least, start to make a peculiar kind of sense.

He was a dedicated and brave anti-communist activist from the nineteen sixties onwards, managed to get himself arrested several times, and spent sometime in jail during the martial law period.

Towards the end of communism he set himself apart from the mainstream opposition with his Real Politics Union. He is for a low, almost non-existent tax economy, and onetime stood outside the finance ministry eating his tax-returns form. He is vehemently against the European Union (EU), the rules of which he sees as being less liberal than the old Soviet Union. 'Brussels is run by a bunch of 'Euro-Masons', he says. He favours Poland leaving the EU and joining NAFTA, the North Atlantic Free Trade Association. That Poland is nowhere near the North Atlantic is not a problem for him.

Always the contrarian, he thinks that Poland should not interfere in the politics of Belarus, and President Lukashenko - someone usually thought of as a foreign relations pariah - should, indeed, be left alone.

The man is a mass of contradictions, in fact. Some of his views are hyper-modern, but others are from a different, forgotten age. For instance, he has some chauvinistic views about the role of women today, and is a member of the Polish Monarchy Club - which think that we should search for the rightful heir to the Polish throne.

He is also a champion bridge player.

His election slogan in the presidential elections this time - he has stood twice before - was the simple: I'm as fed up as you are! On Sunday, he polled 1.4%.

What Goes Around, Comes Around

From Davids Medienkritik: Worse Than Guantanamo?
The European Council's commissioner for human rights has described conditions in the prison in France's most august court building as the worst he has seen. ...

Alvaro Gil-Robles said the cells in the historic Palais de Justice in Paris were squalid and inhumane.
Read the rest for details.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Latin American Elections Analysis

Taylor Kirk, The Latin Americanist, gives us Latin America: Elections in Review. His conclusion, after discussing various upcoming elections, is more optimistic than my current analysis.
It is possible that Hugo Chavez’ prominence in the U.S. media has given many the impression that Latin America is once again becoming a problematic neighbor of the U.S. Chavez has adopted a belligerent attitude towards U.S. policy and is very publicly rallying Latin American countries to wean themselves from dependency on their northern neighbor. The impression of Chavez applied to the rest of Latin America is flawed, however, and is due more than anything to Chavez’s flamboyant personality, his love of publicity, and the discomfort in the relationship between him and U.S. President George W. Bush. His antics should not blind Latin America-watchers to the fact that much of the region is consolidating democratic political institutions and growing economically, albeit slower than desired. Elections throughout Latin America will demonstrate how each nation is approaching these processes in individual ways that don’t constitute a feared ‘pink-revolution’ that will cause the region to regress.
I hope he is right and I am wrong. (This website looks very promising. Check out "Links & Organizations" under "Links".)

Raising The Red Ensign Standard XXIX

Red Ensign Standard

Robot guy raises the Standard for this issue. Visit to find out what is on the mind of our Canadian brothers and sisters. (Hat tip to The Last Amazon.) Find links to back issues here.

And Ginsberg Thinks International Law Is Suitable Precedent

From EU Referendum: The brave new world
So, we have a British politician, supposedly representing her Yorkshire constituents and costing us £1.2 million a year, arguing over abstract points of community law in relation to a French politician who has been accused by a political rival of committing an offence which, in Britain is not even against the law and which, according to the police was not even committed.

Welcome to the brave new world of the European Union.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Germany's First Ever Woman (35.2%) Chancellor

From Soldiers' Angels Germany: " Who is Angela Merkel?", gives us a picture of the woman who will be Gerhard Schroeder's Punching Bag the next Chancellor of Germany. The suicide pact unique coalition being discussed is called a "Grand Coalition". This Soldiers' Angel says, "As this is not a political blog, I won't give you my opinion. I'll just share a quote from former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, also from Deutsche Welle."
Deutsche Welle: Two years ago, you said: "Grand coalition means grand stalemate." Now it seems likely we'll soon see a grand coalition of the Christian Union parties and the Social Democrats in government. What's your view of the immediate future?

Genscher: My opinion is unchanged: A grand coalition always means a two-way blockade culminating in wrong decisions. Today when people talk about how federalism reform is necessary, it's actually the call to finally undo what the grand coalition of 1966-1969 did wrong. That does not inspire confidence.
Did the Angel express an opinion?

EU Referendum fleshes out how governance will be shared in this "Grand Coalition":
But government it will be in name only, as the portfolios have been distributed between the two parties. In addition to the chancellery and the chancellery's chief of staff a post that is being upgraded to a full cabinet portfolio the CDU and the Christian Social Union, its Bavarian sister party, are to receive six portfolios.

The economics ministry will be stripped of its labour market element and renamed the economics and innovation ministry. The new portfolio, which will go to Edmund Stoiber, the CSU chairman, will also spearhead European Union negotiations in industry policy. The CDU and CSU will also run the defence, interior affairs, consumer protection and agriculture, education and research, and family ministries.

The SPD's portfolios will include foreign policy, finance (emphasis added - ed.), a new labour and social security portfolio carved out of the old economics and health ministries, development, justice, environment, transport, and the new health ministry amputated from its social security component.

This means that controversial portfolios are spread between two disparate political groups, leading The Times to comment that Merkel has had to pay a heavy price for the removal of Schroeder.
This means, with the Socialists in charge of foreign policy and finance, that Germany will continue to be anti-American Eurocentric and socialist. Continuing the failed policies of the past will cost the Socialists little, as they now have Chancellor Merkel to blame.

Past posts on the German Elections:
  1. German Suicide Pact
  2. Understanding the German Elections, Part 6
  3. Understanding the German Elections, Part 5
  4. Understanding the German Elections, Part 4
  5. Understanding the German Elections, Part 3
  6. A Reason To Like The Two Party System
  7. German Election Analysis Part 2
  8. Understanding The German Election
  9. German Elections Still Up In The Air
  10. Shifting Strategic Alliances

Good French People

The protest by about 40 people took place while Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque was inside the embassy, a spokesman for the Collectif Solidarite, which organized the protest, told EFE.

The Other Gitmo

MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY on Castro's Guantanamo. Will the ACLU be suing for the release of photos from there any time soon? (hat tip Barcepundit.)

Monday, October 10, 2005

An Analysis Of The Anti-American Mind

From No Pasaran!:
It would be a misreading of Europe's elites to see anti-American complaints as isolated gripes which can be overcome through patient dialogue
Read the rest.

German Suicide Pact

Christian Democrats wish to sign a suicide pact and the Socialists offer to facilitate the process and sign the death certificate. From The Brussels Journal: Victory at a High Cost
A quote from The Financial Times, 7 October 2005

Ms Merkel's expected victory in the battle for the chancellorship is likely to be announced on Monday, following a meeting on Sunday evening in Berlin between Mr Schröder and Ms Merkel, according to the SPD politicians, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The SPD may be given an equal number of cabinet posts as the CDU and be offered first choice of ministries to control, the MP said. SPD officials said these could include the foreign, economics and family ministries.

In addition, the CDU is almost certain to give the SPD assurances [...] that it will drop key elements of its more radical economic reform agenda, such as changes to job protection and collective bargaining rules.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I Spy With My Little Eye . . .

The Belmont Club gives us information about the Spy in the White House. Why does the name "Bill Clinton" keep coming up?

The Return Of Darth Ortega

Barcepundit points us to Nicaragua's Creeping Coup:
Washington Post
Monday, October 3, 2005; Page A16

MANY PEOPLE outside Latin America probably assume Daniel Ortega's political career ended 15 years ago when his ruinous attempt to install a Marxist dictatorship in Nicaragua ended with an election he decisively lost. The slightly better informed might suppose that his two subsequent electoral defeats, the allegations of corruption and child molestation that haunt him, or his single-digit rating in opinion polls have made him a marginal figure in Nicaraguan politics. Sadly, the truth is otherwise: Thanks to the weakness of the country's new democratic institutions, Mr. Ortega is close to regaining power and to broadening the Latin alliance of undemocratic states now composed by Cuba and Venezuela.

Mr. Ortega's comeback has been accomplished through a brazenly corrupt alliance with a former right-wing president, Arnoldo Aleman, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2003 for looting the national treasury. Mr. Ortega's Sandinista Party supported the prosecution, then abruptly switched sides and formed a pact with Mr. Aleman against President Enrique Bolanos, a member of Mr. Aleman's Liberal Party who bravely chose to tackle government corruption. The left-right alliance has used its majority in the National Assembly to rewrite the constitution and stack the Supreme Court. In the past week it has begun stripping the members of Mr. Bolanos's cabinet of immunity so that they can be prosecuted before Sandinista judges on bogus charges. If this power play succeeds, Mr. Bolanos will be next. Meanwhile, Mr. Aleman, who stole tens of millions from one of Latin America's poorest countries, was freed from house arrest last week.

Mr. Ortega's goal is to force Mr. Bolanos to accept his constitutional rewrite, which transfers almost all presidential powers to Congress. That would effectively deliver Nicaragua to Sandinista control without one of the elections that Mr. Ortega keeps losing. Scheduled elections next year could then be manipulated. Already, the corrupt alliance has lowered the percentage of the vote a presidential candidate needs to be elected to 35, and criminal charges have been brought against one of the leading candidates. The Sandinistas will have plenty of money to spend, thanks to Hugo Chavez. Mr. Ortega recently announced that he had arranged with Venezuela's self-styled "Bolivarian revolutionary" for a supply of subsidized oil.
. . . . .

As happens so often in Latin America during the Bush administration, high-level intervention arrives late. It does have one thing going for it: Eighty percent of Nicaraguans say they oppose the Ortega-Aleman pact. Nicaragua's rescue will depend on people power, inside or outside the polls.
Richard Delevan (hat tip WaPo.) has some choice commentary on this development:
Proving you should always put a round in the brain, just to make sure, when dealing with would-be Commie dictators-for-life: Nicaragua's Creeping Coup

That's right, sports fans. In keeping with our retro theme today, we discover that Daniel Ortega - once and would-be future Commie dictator from the 80s - is back and making trouble once again.

Extraordinarily, this is the leader-writer of the Washington Post sounding the warning bell, and how Ortega is tying in with...can you guess...Hugo Chavez, our favourite Venezuelan rap artist proto-dictator, and his great uncle Fidel. [Complete with oil bribe - how cool is that? does George Galloway know? - for Ortega from Chavez.]
Mr. Delevan also discusses the verification of elections past and future in Venezuela:
Whether these are meaningful contests should prove fun to argue about. We hear Jimmy Carter has already pre-signed the certification with the same pen he used in 2004.
This gives me the opportunity to wish President Carter a Happy Birthday.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

In Praise Of The Iron Lady

From The Last Amazon:

"I owe nothing to women’s lib." – Margaret Thatcher
Sometime ago a blog acquaintance labeled me with mantle of being a Thatcherite Canadian. I have more than a passing admiration for the Iron Lady of Britain, and I do own the handbag, as well as knowing how to wield one effectively when the occasion warrants it.

The Baroness will be celebrating her 80th birthday on October 13, 2005 and I wish to bring to your attention a website devoted solely to sending good wishes to the Baroness on the occassion of her 80th birthday.
I regret never sending a note of thanks to Ronald Reagan. I will not have that regret with Baroness Thatcher. (I also want to thank The Last Amazon, whose post I have published in its entirety. She is an orchid of the variety Amazonus Canadacus.)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Replanting The Vines

One may remember that the French wine industry today owes its existence to America. An infestation of Phylloxera had destroyed the French vines and American vine stock was used to replant the decimated vineyards. Red America, Blue Europe proposes a replanting of a different kind and explores why that is necessary today. (The vine analogy can't be pushed too hard, as the committed Europhile might claim America as the source of the problem.)

Remembering German Unification

From Davids Medienkritik: Day of German Unity - Whom to Thank. The East Germans, maybe?

Monday, October 03, 2005

On The Inadequacies Press Coverage

From Lieutenant Colonel Tim Ryan, US Army, Commander, Task Force 2-12 Cavalry, First Cavalry Division in Iraq via EU Referendum:
Ryan concludes: "I am confident that history will prove our cause right in this war, but by the time that happens, the world might be so steeped in the gloom of ignorance we won't recognize victory when we achieve it," then adding a postcript, which is most damning of all:

I have had my staff aggressively pursue media coverage for all sorts of events that tell the other side of the story only to have them turned down or ignored by the press in Baghdad. Strangely, I found it much easier to lure the Arab media to a "non-lethal" event than the western outlets. Open a renovated school or a youth center and I could always count on Al-Iraqia or even Al-Jazeera to show up, but no western media ever showed up – ever.
Pick up the link to the rest of Lieutenant Colonel Ryan's piece at EU Referendum.

The "Why" Of Castro

Castro declines to participate in Spain's Columbus Day military parade. One wonders why The Bearded One would pass up this opportunity. The reason certainly isn't the presence of American troops. Babalu Blog plays a game of Riddle me this.... to explore the reasons why. Personally, I am betting The Bearded One fears defections on the part of the Pride of the Cuban Revolution. (Hat tip to Barcepundit.)

Because I Have A Special Fondness For Senator Byrd,

Understanding the German Elections, Part 6

From the BBC: German CDU boosted by final win
Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU) have won the last seat in the country's inconclusive general election.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Helping Toni Complete Her Mission

Keep Your Enemies Closer

Toni, giving Her View from Minnetonka, says:
We all know that if you had removed Hillary and inserted George W. Bush the media for SURE would have run this photo and it would constantly be all over the internet.
. . . . .
Note: I know this is gratuitous use of photo but I do like to put this photo out for all to see on a somewhat regular basis.
BTW, the post is about Teflon.

What's It Like Over There?

Read coverage of the Racine Concealed Carry Protest by the Badger Blog Alliance.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

News Zealand Parliamentary Elections

Flag of New ZealandElection Results
Labour - 41% (50 seats)
National - 39% (48)
New Zealand First - 6% (7)
Greens - 5% (6)
United Future - 3% (3) Coat od Arms
Maori - 2% (4*)
Act - 1.5% (2)
Progressive Party - 1% (1)

*Includes two guaranteed seats

From the BBC: NZ result confirms Labour victory
Correspondents say Prime Minister Helen Clark is now likely to form a minority government with support from a number of smaller parties.

Her Labour Party has 50 seats in the 121-member parliament, two more than the main opposition National Party.

Ms Clark will be the first Labour prime minister to win three successive terms.

National almost doubled its vote, on a platform of tax cuts, closer ties to the US and pledges to cut state aid to Maori communities.
. . . . .

Ms Clark has said she would prefer to lead a minority government, seeking support from other parties for crucial legislation.

Labour already has the support of the Greens and the Progressive Party and can expect the backing of the indigenous Maori Party.

But New Zealand First and United Future have said they will not support the government if any Greens are given cabinet posts.