Saturday, February 05, 2005

Africa Day - Madagascar
Even though a former French colony, Madagascar, to my mind, still qualifies as part of Africa. The website is an information-packed travelogue by a half-Malagasy, half-German guy who went back to explore his roots. In most of the countries I've investigated, the best websites are from travelers who cobbled together the information on their own, without any government help or reliance on "environmental" movements or "sustainable travel" ideocracies. The most striking fact about Madagascar I gather from Kuederle's site is how it seems well-favored by nature and not very much affected by the inherently evil activities of Man. If you believe the Lonely Planet people (what a self-hating pessimistically-named organization!) there will soon be nothing left. But then they say the "salvation" of the country may be "eco-tourism". Now why would tourists visit a country portrayed as a pile of dirt denuded of trees and animals by globalist corporate fascism? Well, I've long ago stopped trying to figure out the non-logic of the hysterical lying left. Read here about the abounding lemurs and "countless animals". Hmm. Doesn't sound like an environmental basket case to me. I like the journal entry where the guy says that in some end-of-the-earth disco, they consider Britney Spears music "world music"! Ha! And no vegetarians! Love those Malagasy.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Vast frozen wasteland day - Siberia
Yamal means "the end of the earth". Looking around the website at how far north and far east the Yamal Peninsula (Poluostrov) is, I won't quibble. Lakes and rivers abound, mostly frozen, I'm sure, most of the year and abounding in mosquitoes in the short summer. An icebreaker would be handy for getting around in winter and a hovercraft in summer.

Also, the Yamal holds what may be the greatest untapped natural gas reserves in the world. So we may be hearing more about this unheard of vast frozen wasteland. Oh, here are some Russian eskimo types (eskimoskis?), complete with reindeer. Nice dogs, too, if you like white shaggy ones. I don't like dogs. I tend to think of them as wolves who only put on collars and tags so they can sneak up on you and eat you.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Oceania Day of the Weekly World Tour - Nauru
World's smallest republic (hmm. Smaller than the Vatican? But, right, that's not a republic. It's a popeocracy or something like that.) Nauru is made up entirely of guano, which brought in much money. Squandered under UN supervision, depopulated by the Japanese, Nauru is a typical fiasco island, where politics reigns. Ah, "Bank owned by the government". There's your problem. And, of course, "threatened by the greenhouse effect." IF global warming raises water levels, Nauru goes under. A big "IF". You mean they don't really know and there's been no sign of it yet, even though SUV's have been around for twenty years? Hey, something smells here and it ain't just the guano.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

South America Day - French Guiana
There's still a European colony in South America? Mais non, it's an overseas department of France. Not a colony at all. And it's different from a colony exactly how? Well, it's very much like France in one way:
French Guiana is expensive, with costs comparable to those in France; even diehard budget travelers will have a tough time getting by on less than US$45 per day. If restaurant meals and the occasional warm shower fit into your plan, count on spending close to US$100 per day. Transportation, especially to Guiana's interior, is very expensive.
Maybe they've even imported some snooty waiters. The European Space Agency site at Kourou looks like it's worth a visit and I hear Cayenne is hot!

Which reminds me. Two cannibals were eating a clown. One looks at the other and asks, "Does this taste funny to you?"

Monday, January 31, 2005

Chaos in thinking about Iraq
Since Sunday's election, I have noticed quite a few borderline antiwar types acting in a very strange manner, as though blinders have been lifted from their eyes. I must admit there were some honest antiwar types, not so blinded by emotion that they couldn't see when striking facts such as the joy and determination of the Iraqi people became obvious. I must admit I thought all of them were being blind on purpose. I'm glad to give up that misconception. The thoughtful types seem thrown into a maelstrom of indecision and wonder. Could it be true that all people do want freedom, that everyone will participate in their own liberation? Even those of us who have been hanging on by our fingertips through all the blood and horror of the last year and a half, half-doubting the wisdom of the boldest political step of the last half century, have to shake ourselves awake. More attacks will come, more brave American soldiers and defiant Iraqi soldiers and civilians will die, but the terrorists are done. They are history. As is George W. Bush.
Europe Day - Slovenia
What a beautiful country! Let me go over these pictures for a minute. Fjords, waterfalls, castles, lakes, quaint old buildings. Makes me want to relax just looking at the ambience. And right next to Venezia. Not that there isn't much to see in Tallahassee. But there isn't! It's amazing how small Slovenia's coastline is to have all those opportunities for seascapes. In that it resembles New Hampshire. Much, much more (in Slovenian) here.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Asia Day - what else could it be?
This looks like the framework for a representative government website in the most interesting country in Asia today. Interesting in that, in true democratic fashion, the future is quite unpredictable. The legions of news stories indicate that even Sunnis, in defiance of the terrorists' warnings, are participating in the elections. Who could have predicted any turnout at all in Fallujah a few months ago?! And John Kerry's on Meet the Press saying, "don't jump to conclusions!" Well, the average Iraqi isn't going to vote for freedom and then vote against it! The cat is out of the bag, the egg is broken, alea iacta est. The political alignment is entirely unclear, except that Arabs have shown that, given a chance, they will defy violence to make their own political decisions. I look forward to watching, over the next few months, a new polity emerge from chaos and nothing to allow Iraq to reach its full potential. Doomsayers compare Iraq to Lebanon in the late Seventies and Eighties. I don't see it. Lebanon had outside forces stoking the fires of internal chaos with no effective means of achieving order and stability. Thanks to George W. Bush and our brave soldiers, the Iraqis have a great chance to serve as a model not just for the Arab world but for all countries kept down by collectivism. Bravo!
A True Miracle!
I've often been critical of the "civic religion" of democracy and the dubious philosophical underpinnings of the voting process, but today's events prove the power of the democratic principle in people's hearts. And if voting is a religion, today is a miracle in Iraq.