Friday, November 22, 2002

I have a suggestion
The New Republic is bemoaning the EU's reluctance to let Turkey in. As I mentioned a few posts below, we could offer Turkey a clear alternative: Join an expanded NAFTA that would include a large swath of Eastern Europe. As a further inducement, the Turks would not have to be in the same economic community as Greece, their historic rival and enemy. Hmm. Then what would we do with Cyprus? Hey, it's not bigger than many of our states. It even looks a lot like West Virginia. I'm sure neither Greece nor Turkey would mind if we took Cyprus on as a new state, or, rather, two states. It's only been trouble for them. We could immediately resolve the Greek/Turkish split by having North Cyprus and South Cyprus, each with its set of politicians. After all, the Crusaders in the twelfth century used Cyprus as a base. Why can't we?
European deathwatch - or is Chirac smartening up?
In this Bloomberg article, the decline of France is chronicled, so I blithely linked to it, chortling internally about the firesale prices I would soon be able to get Beaujolais and Brie for. But, wonder of wonders, it looks like Chirac is actually trying to lower taxes and back off on that stupid 35-hour work week regulation. I don't have much hope he'll get past the collectivists' roadblocks. But at least he's looking at the right moves. Next, he should try a full scale assault on "La Zone", those largely Arab areas around the big cities where police fear to go. That might put some backbone into the average Froggie.

Thursday, November 21, 2002

Biting the hand that feeds you, and brings you modern medical care
Maybe this will demonstrate to those who wish to see the futility of trying to help people who hate your guts and want so much to kill you and all people like you out of sheer spite and bitterness that they will keep themselves in poverty and disease rather than let you help. The murderous fool who did this is now, no doubt, passing out candy to Arab children. If he's caught and killed, he surely will have a great memorial service at which modern rational thinking will be blamed for his bloody-mindedness. Too bad his murderous hatred couldn't have been directed at someone who had actually done something to deserve it, like Robert Fisk.
Powell and Bush win again
William Safire and Newsday (via Realclearpolitics) agree that the inclusion, without conditions, of the Baltic trio of nations in NATO is a coup for the administration. The Russian Bear, as James Klurfeld of Newsday said, did not growl. Unbelievable, is it not, also, that Bulgaria, for decades the hardest of hard-line Soviet client states (remember Bulgarians Georgi Markov, killed by ricin and Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot the Pope?) is now a full military partner of the United States of America? And these countries joined NATO before the European Union would let them in! Maybe, as I mentioned in a comment on Sofia Sideshow, we should undercut the Common Market and induct Eastern Europe as a whole into NAFTA. And, what the heck, let's get Russia, Ukraine, everyone else, surround the darn Euroweenies. We could change the name to NAEEFTA. That would assure our supply of Russian oil and diamonds and gold. Maybe Putin would get some help resolving the Chechnya - and Georgian and Ossetian and Abkhazian - situations. Win/win!

Seriously, this is history.

Charles Krauthammer, in WaPo, lays out the changed strategic situation. In short, America dominates. We can look forward to a future where Bulgaria and Rumania have larger, more efficient and better led military forces than France, Germany or Canada. Call me old-fashioned, but history still tells us that those with credible military options get respect. The American target for Islamofascist wrath has hardened considerably. So where will the bin Ladens of the world turn their attention? "Boom! goes London, boom! Paree," to quote Randy Newman. After all, we've got a lot of new friends who, unlike the Western Europeans, will put up with little nonsense from violent fundamentalists. Now THAT's "multilateralism"!

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Perhaps we aren't fated to a future that includes a Canadian-style health care system. God knows our present system is riddled with enough government-induced inefficiencies already. This article relates the heartwarming story of how even in liberal Oregon the voters rejected totalitarian health care by a 79% to 21% margin. The big mistake the referendum pushers made was to try to do too much at one time. The real cost of the program was obvious. It would have bankrupted Oregon. And, of course, anyone in any other state who had a health problem and hadn't provided for his health care would up and move to Oregon to get his share of the goodies before it all went bust. Sometimes I am impressed by the wisdom of the people. Maybe voting's not such a bad thing after all.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Another memorial
You don't have to be a crypto-Communist Senator to get a big fancy memorial event. You can just murder innocent people who are waiting in their cars to go in to work, as this barbarian did. The only good thing is that now millions of Pakis know the penalty for killing people in Virginia is death. If that deters one or two from committing more acts of savagery, I'll put up with the stupidity of having the media treat the memorial polemics as news instead of senseless ravings. I hope Muhammad and Malvo were watching.
How long will it take the Republicans to realize that it is useless to be nice to Democrats? In the lame-duck session under way right now, the Republicans did not force a struggle on taking over full control of all committees immediately, which they could have done. They were being collegial and gracious, or maybe just plain stupid. And the Dems have now done their best to hold up the Homeland Security Bill, the passage of which was the whole point of the session. When are Republicans going to learn that politics is just war by other means? And that if you don't finish off your enemy (1991 in Baghdad, anyone?) he will just obstruct you any way he can? Who can remember the Wellstone "memorial service" without being absolutely enlightened about the way the Democrats approach politics?

Sure, I know, the bill's full of pork. Duh. They all are, especially any as assured of eventual passage as this one. Would that stop even one Democrat if it was pork sponsored by them? Duh.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Europe is doomed
So, growth is down to one percent or less, unemployment is at long-time highs, what does your government do? Get out of the way of the producers? Not if you’re a German, whose economy represents one-third of the Euro-area economy. You introduce a capital-gains tax and eliminate “tax breaks” and increase “social insurance” contributions – yep, that means taxes, too. Am I missing something, or is Al Qaeda now in control of the German government? Now if the US withdraws its troops from Germany, wouldn’t that just push the Bundeswimps into a spiralling recessionary downturn? And wouldn’t we just be so sorry to hear about that?

And Japan isn’t any better off.

Gerhard Schroder's (sorry, I haven't figured out where the umlaut is hiding on this machine) hand on the tiller of the German ship of state is a tad wobbly, according to the Economist(via Instapundit). He apparently had made a campaign promise not to do anything really stupid, like, for instance, raise taxes or "social insurance contributions". Why that would be "economically absurd" during a downturn. Why does anyone listen to what a politician says during a campaign?