Epic Nation

Sunday, May 29, 2005

France votes "Non" to EU constitution

France votes down EU constitution. AP reports:

PARIS - French voters rejected the European Union's first constitution Sunday, early government results showed a stinging repudiation of the ambitious, decades-long effort to further unite the continent.

With about 83 percent of the votes counted, the referendum was rejected by 57.26 percent of voters, the Interior Ministry said. The treaty was supported by 42.74 percent, the ministry said.

This is huge news with immense repercussions. In short, France has just surrendered (hehe... need I make the obligatory French surrender joke?) all influence they had in the EU. No matter how the media tries to spin this, it's a huge loss for French elites and the European "social model" envisioned by the continent's leftists. I don't have the energy to write on it now, but stay tuned.

Sixième République?

Friday, May 27, 2005

Socialists create revenue source with new anti-piracy laws

Sweden has finally adopted laws that bring the country into compliance with the European Union Copyright Directive. Sweden is home to the bulk of copyright law offenders in Europe. One of the largest file sharing applications (DC++) operates a majority of its server hubs within Swedish borders. The Local reports:

Sweden on Wednesday passed a law banning the sharing of copyrighted material on the Internet without payment of royalties, in a bid to crack down on free downloading of music, films and computer games.

The law, which was approved by a large majority in parliament, will go into effect on July 1st. Those who violate the law will be ordered to pay damages.

The law is all well and good, but as is the case with most legislation written by the socialist cranks in Sweden, it goes a step too far:

More controversially, the new laws also make downloading unauthorized copies of copyrighted material illegal, and they impose levies on blank media of SEK0.0025 per megabyte for recordable discs and SEK0.007 for re-recordable discs.

Uhg... I could vomit. The tax doesn't sound like much when it's broken down to a per megabyte basis - especially to American readers who have no clue what the Swedish Krona (SEK) is worth - but this tax is ridiculous!

Let's break it down considering the 50 pack of 4.7 GB (4700 megabytes) recordable DVD's I have sitting on my desk. The disks are not rewritable, so I will apply the lower of the two taxes: (4700 * .0025) * 50 = 587.5 SEK. At today's exchange rate that works out to $79.95! Considering I paid $13.99 for this pack of 50, that's a 570% tax.


I guess this explains why the laws in Sweden are so sexually permissive; otherwise the entire parliament and department of taxation would be sitting in prison for fiscal sodomy. Besides, it's not as though the tax makes any sense. The flawed logic behind this law is so typical of socialists. When will leftists realize that taxing the hell out of law abiding citizens does nothing to prevent criminal behavior?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Italian author faces trial for insulting Islam

An Italian author is being put on trial for insulting Islam in her book titled The Rage and the Pride. BBC reports:

Controversial Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci is to face trial for allegedly insulting the Muslim faith in her latest book, a court in Italy says.

Ms Fallaci is being sued by the head of the Muslim Union of Italy, who says The Force of Reason is defamatory.

[...] The case is being tried in the northern town of Bergamo, where the book was published. The prosecution has 10 days to come up with a charge.

Italy was the birthplace of fascism, so I suppose it should come as no surprise that authors who express opinions not approved of by government are being rounded and put to trial. I am surprised, however, that Sharia Law is taking hold so quickly in Europe. Insults to Islam are illegal under Sharia Law, and it appears the Italian justice system has trashed free speech to comply. I figured it would take at least another 50 years before Europeans would be reduced to dhimmitude.

Islamo-fascism is probably the greatest threat facing Europe right now. But as this case in Italy shows, Europe lacks the will to resist the colonization of their continent by the Arab world. The socialist elite's bizarre obsession with multiculturalism is rotting away the core of European civilization. The trial of Ms. Fallaci demonstrates the resignation of European leaders to their new constituency.

Meanwhile, back in the US, the media continues to circle the wagons around Newsweek. The latest straws being clutched at by the liberal press is the claims of Koran desecration made by members of Al Qaeda. Conveniently ignoring the fact that Al Qaeda's training manual instructs terrorists to make such claims, the MSM continue to make clear they will take the word of terrorists over that of US soldiers.

There is also a certain irony that reporters are so terribly offended by insults to Arab Muslims when they themselves attack American Christians on a daily basis. Funny how that works out. Leftists must prefer Islamo-fascism over even the slightest semblance of Western traditional values.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Birthday surprise

This blogger turns 25 today, and received the best surprise gift ever:

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That's me doing a tandem jump from 11,000 feet over the North Shore of Oahu, HI. The guy strapped to my back is Jim, a tandem master at Skydive Hawaii. We went up with a group of 4 tandem jumpers and two photographers in a Cessna 208 Caravan. The free fall lasts about 50 seconds, at which point the chute is pulled and you slowly float back to earth. The speed of your body during free fall is 120 MPH.

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The entire crew at Skydive Hawaii was awesome; a real fun group of jumpers who love what they do and make the experience all the better. If you're ever vacationing out here and looking for a memorable adventure, I suggest you check these guys out. They are the oldest operation on the island and have a perfect safety record. My fiancé and I both jumped today, and we already want to go again.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

EU insists "Non" means "Oui"

France will be voting next Sunday on a referendum concerning the EU constitution. For some time it was assumed without a second's thought that France would vote in favor of the constitution by a large margin. But in the past several weeks polling has shown that the majority of French citizens will vote "Non" on the measure.

The polling has boosted the momentum of the "non" campaign and has put French leaders into full panic mode. All 25 members of the European Union must vote in favor of ratification for the document to be valid. So a rejection of the constitution by the French would basically kill the EU constitution.

It has been said over and over again that no "Plan B" exists should the French vote down constitution. But with the French vote approaching, and opinion polls still suggesting a defeat, it seems the EUROcrats in Brussels have cooked up a plan to save the constitution should the French vote no. The Sunday Telegraph reports:

Until now senior EU figures, including José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, have said that there is no "plan B" if the French reject the constitutional treaty next Sunday, suggesting that it will effectively be killed off by a No vote. The Sunday Telegraph has established, however, that the 25 EU members plan to issue an emergency joint statement if rejection is by a small margin.

The statement would insist that the constitution, the blueprint for the EU's political future, lives on and that ratification must continue. The treaty has to be endorsed by all 25 states to take effect.

Wow, European democracy in action folks. If the slovene masses don't vote in favor of the elite's grand scheme, screw'em!

First, notice how all 25 members of the EU will be issuing a joint statement. A more accurate phrasing of that is the technocrats that represent the 25 EU members will be issuing an emergency joint statement. If the French reject the constitution by a majority vote, they can't very well be one of the "EU members" issuing an emergency measure to save the thing.

Second, it appears that European democracy means that losing by a "small margin" is in fact a victory. By the way, I wonder who gets to decide what constitutes a "small margin". A bunch of pro-European judges in Brussels? I have a feeling the Democratic party in the US would just love to apply this rule in states like Ohio.

Finally, for them to insist that "the consitution lives on" after being voted down would be incredibly pathetic. So pathetic in fact I would like to see them try. It would interesting to see if Europeans just roll over and take it, or if they actually rally against the tyranny of Brussels.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Commies warned on currency distortion... again

It looks as though the Bush administration has finally worked up the nerve to ask that China stop bending the US over a barrel with their monetary policy. The NY Times reports:

The Bush administration warned China on Tuesday that its currency policies were distorting world trade, and it brandished the threat of retaliation against the country's exports if Chinese leaders did not change course in the next year.

In language far harsher than it has used before, the Treasury Department declared that China's fixed exchange rate between its currency, the yuan, and the dollar posed a risk to its economy and the economies of much of the rest of the world.

The administration stopped short of accusing China of outright currency manipulation, a move demanded by American manufacturers who complain that the Chinese have artificially undervalued their currency to make exports cheaper in the United States.

This article addresses the increasing concern over the undervaluation of the Chinese yuan to the dollar. The Chinese government pegs their currency to the dollar at a ratio of about 8 to $1. Economists estimate that the yuan may be undervalued by as much as 40% compared to the dollar, and conservative estimates say the yuan is undervalued by 10%. In any event, the Chinese are creating problems for a US economy already facing adversity.

The manufacturing sector in China has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, amassing a trade surplus between themselves and the US alone of $162 billion in 2004. This represents a 30% leap upward from 2003’s number. By pegging their own currency to the dollar the Chinese ensure that they will reap such windfalls from their exports to the US in the future as well. This is because even with a declining dollar, sales to the US will not be affected because the yuan will decline with it. It is no surprise that some economists are putting pressure on the Chinese to switch to a market based system as far as their monetary policy is concerned, and move away from the unscrupulous method they are currently using.

The US Congress is mulling over tariffs and other trade sanctions it could place on the Chinese to encourage them to change there policy. I would normally be completely against such measures as they stand against the tenets of free market capitalism. But considering the fact that the Chinese are cheating the system to begin with, such measures would be well deserved on the part of China. China is profiting at the expense of American exporters by undervaluing their currency.

Consider a situation in which the Chinese allowed their currency to float. Now also consider a declining dollar, which is what the US has been experiencing over the past 2 years. As the dollar declines on its own in this situation the Chinese yuan would appreciate against the dollar. Chinese exports would become slightly more expensive, but US exports would make up the difference and then some because more world consumers would want to purchase US goods. Also, domestic consumption would increase because Americans would be buying less from China and would turn to US producers.

But the reality is that none of these offsetting activities can take place, and as the dollar declines the Chinese take the yuan down with it. The dollar is in crisis while the Chinese laugh all the way to the bank because so called “free marketers” would rather we fall on our sword than check the Chinese with trade sanctions.

Some argue that putting pressure on the Chinese is out of line because they are a sovereign country who has their own right to manage their currency as they see fit. But if the Chinese wish to continue benefiting from the free market trade that large countries such as the US allow them to participate in, they should play by the free market rules across the board. The Chinese hardly care about the value of their currency compared to foreign currency since the state runs the entire economy and there is little if no concern as to how the Chinese citizenry are affected by such economic policies, as the so-called “rulers” of China are nothing more than self appointed tyrants who rule under the authority of the gun as opposed to the voting booth.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Holy Shiite!

The NY Post today has perhaps their best cover since the famed "Axis of Weasel" cover featuring French president Chirac and German chancellor Schroeder:

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As the cover story indicates, Newsweek finally retracted their bogus story that claimed US soldiers were guilty of flushing a copy of the Koran down the toilet. The retraction comes after numerous riots, 17 killed, and the US image in Afghanistan - which until now had been the huge success story of the War on Terror - in tatters. Not bad results for only a weeks worth of biased reporting.

The rest of the blogosphere is slamming Newsweek plenty for their sins, and I too have covered the story a good deal, so I'll leave it to others to beat, chop, and grind this dead horse into sausage. But I would like to make one point.

The whole Dan Rather affair had serious implications and the damage done to what was left of CBS's integrity was suitable penance for their shoddy journalism. But Newsweek can not be let off so easily. The institutional mindset at Newsweek, that US soldiers should always be presumed guilty unless proven innocent, has lead to the deaths of 17 people. Also, the propaganda tool they provided for our enemy will no doubt be used to recruit new militants who will exact their revenge on our young men and women in uniform.

Many in the press seem to forget, but war is a deadly serious business. Michael Isikoff and John Barry will be cozy and safe in their New York City apartments, while it will be our soldiers' blood that will spill because of their "error". The least we can expect is that these men be held to account, along with their editor Mark Whitaker, for the incredible amount of damage they have done to our war effort.

They called a bunch of juiced-up baseball players to testify in front of Congress to send a message to steroid users. Why not call a hearing on the institutional bias that exists in the press to send a message to treasonous reporters?

Filibuster Angst

It appears that negotiations between Majority Leader Frist and Harry Reid on a deal for Bush’s judicial nominees that would grant concessions to the Democrats while avoiding a filibuster have broken down. AP reports:

"I've tried to compromise and they want all or nothing, and I can't do that," Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada told reporters after a private meeting with Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

"We both agreed that after several months of discussions, we have been unable to come to a negotiated position where the president's nominees get an up-or-down vote," Frist said.

I think Reid forgets his place when he speaks about the Republicans wanting “all or nothing”. It is Reid who is the minority leader, not Frist, and it was the American people who voted for a Republican majority. Liberals seem to think that the Republican controlled House, Senate, and White House are some chance aberration that they need only to wait out. Democrats have zero respect for constitutional tenets of majority-rule and have only parliamentary jockeying to turn to as an agenda.

Americans need to understand that Senate filibuster rules were made up in the Senate and are an artificial precept, existing outside the US constitution. Harry Reid and the Democrats love to talk about the “separation of powers” when the topic of abusive filibustering comes up. This demonstrates either complete ignorance on the part of the Democrats, or their own perception of Americans as being ignorant of the constitution.

Whatever the case may be, Republicans have failed to explain these democratic precepts to the American people. And it’s too bad, because the fact that we must now resort to rule changes in the Senate is indicative of the eroding civility in Washington. The Senate is supposed to be a place of tradition, where gentlemen are able to work with each other to serve the nation. Now, with the militant left calling the shots for the Democrats, all civility has been tossed out the Senate window.

The ability to filibuster may have served a useful purpose at one time, but it has been so abused by the Democrats in the Senate that it is now a tool for trivial partisan obstruction. And that too is a shame. While majority rule should be respected in the Senate, there should be procedures that a minority can apply in extreme circumstances to force extra debate on important issues.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tolerance by the barrel of a Swedish gun

Last year I wrote about a minister in Sweden named Ake Green who was being prosecuted under Sweden's new "hate speech" laws for his comments about gays during a sermon; which included calling homosexuality a "deep cancer". Green was convicted and sentenced to 30 days in jail, but an appellate court would eventually acquit him of all charges.

Now the chief prosecutor of Sweden has taken the case to the Supreme Court of Sweden to get the appellate court's decision reversed. BBC reports:

Sweden's Supreme Court has said it will review the acquittal of a Pentecostal pastor who denounced homosexuality as "a deep cancer" in a sermon. [...] Sweden's chief prosecutor said that in his view, Mr Green's comments did amount to hate speech, and so he was seeking a review.

The Swedish constitution contains 4 documents, one of which is the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression. A Swedish constitutional lawyer is not needed to understand the intent of the document either; it states:

Every Swedish citizen is guaranteed the right under this Fundamental Law, vis-à-vis the public institutions, publicly to express his thoughts, opinions and sentiments[...]

Knowing the trickery that lawyers can play with constitutional language, the authors of this document go on to further remove any possible misinterpretation of its intent:

The purpose of freedom of expression under this Fundamental Law is to secure the free exchange of opinion, free and comprehensive information, and freedom of artistic creation. No restriction of this freedom shall be permitted other than such as follows from this Fundamental Law.

Hard to find any wiggle room in that statement. So what does the chief prosecutor expect to accomplish?


By dragging this minister's name through the mud and ruining his reputation and career, the hope is to intimidate all other members of the clergy into submission. Who would dare speak out against homosexuality when it has been made clear that the full weight of the Swedish judicial system will come down on them? The issue here is not the protection of a minority class of citizens, Green never spoke of violence. This is about forced secularism by the godless socialist elite in Sweden.

Sweden has always had a strong tradition of tolerance. Now it seems tolerance in Sweden is only granted to special minority groups, annointed the title of "protected class" by some cabal of leftist elites. Those who resist will be met by men with guns and a prison cell.

These are dark days for Sweden.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Its all over for Newsweek

Newsweek may have thought they could sweep this little debacle under the rug with the confusing Evan Thomas piece that made a cryptic admissions that is barely understandable. But Newsweek is getting covered by everyone now, EVERYONE.

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From the Blogosphere to the MSM, everyone is taking a pound of flesh. Newsweek made an appology today in an attempt at damage control:

"We regret that we got any part of our story wrong and extend our sympathies to victims of the violence and to the U.S. soldiers caught in its midst," Editor Mark Whitaker wrote in the magazine's latest issue.

Victims of the violence? The violence that ended up killing these people was just a sympton of the riots caused by Newsweek. Get it right, these 15 people that are now dead were victims of Newsweek's irresponsible reporting. If the magazine wasn't so obsessed with doing any damage it can to our president and the military, and actually did some fact checking instead of running to press with a shotty story, these 15 people would be alive today.

The last 4 years have been shameful for the mainstream media. I can think of no other time where the media's credibility was in such tatters. The lies they used to be able to get away with are now being thrown back in their face, and their monopoly on "truth" has been broken up. While the MSM goes on covering their phony "quagmire" in Iraq, the New Media should start covering the MSMs quagmire. I can see the headline now:

Deathtoll in Mainstream Media's War Against Democracy Hit Another Milstone Today, 15 Civilians Reported Dead in Afghanistan

Newsweek Lied, People Died!

Even Thomas has written a piece for Newsweek that basically says the whole story about a copy of the Koran being flushed down a toilet was a crock of dung:

While various released detainees have made allegations about Qur'an desecration, the Pentagon has, according to DiRita, found no credible evidence to support them. [...] How did NEWSWEEK get its facts wrong? And how did the story feed into serious international unrest?

Cause they jumped on a crappy lead with no real evidence and ran with hoping to sell a few more magazines at the expense of human life! Are there any journalists working for Newsweek who can explain the concept of fact checking to them?

Don't give Newsweek a break because of Thomas' piece either. The passage above represents all of the admission of wrong doing, the rest of the article is a longwinded explanation on how it came to be that Newsweek screwed the pooch so bad on this story:

Given all that has been reported about the treatment of detainees—including allegations that a female interrogator pretended to wipe her own menstrual blood on one prisoner—the reports of Qur'an desecration seemed shocking but not incredible.

Blah blah blah... Thomas goes on for another 1,000 words or so following this same flawed arguments. It's the typical justification from a liberal; "it's not the evidence that matters, but the severity of the charge." Even the events Thomas cites to justify his believing in this story aren't even fact. Thomas says it himself that they are "allegations" and "reported" treatment. Maybe the writers over at Newsweek should stop reading their own press. The leftists in the media have bought their own pack of lies, and now live in the fantasy world they created.

Hey Evan, journalists writing bogus stories that get people killed and endanger many more is also pretty damn shocking, and completely credible! But I have a feeling this is the very beginning of this scandal. Rather may have lied through his teeth, but no one died because of it. But this Newsweek piece lead to riots and death.

Let me borrow one of the favorite jingles of the left: NEWSWEEK LIED, PEOPLE DIED!

I dont know how I missed this little gem:

A U.S. military spokesman, Army Col. Brad Blackner, dismissed the claims as unbelievable. "If you read the Al Qaeda training manual, they are trained to make allegations against the infidels," he said.

Hmm... makes you wonder where exactly guys like Evan Thomas attended journalism school.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

A Rumor that Won't Flush

So the Arab league, and the mainstream media, are all bitching about a rumor that someone flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet at the base in Gauntanamo Bay. There were some protests that turned deadly in Afghanistan so the US press, smelling a story that could do damage to our country and possibly result in an increased death rate of US soldiers, jumped all over the story. Now a bunch of other countries who have always hated us are stating, well, they hate us:

In the Yemeni capital, thousands of San‘a University students demonstrated on campus, chanting “Death to America!”

There's a shocker.

Anyways, my problem isn't with these whack-job students (I wonder what subject they teach at the prestigious San'a University) and their anti-American governments. They have, do, and always will hate this country and will always find an excuse to let it be known. But I do have a problem with the "journalists" and "reporters" in the US covering this story.

Right now the whole thing is based on a rumor, spread mostly by the media, that someone flushed a copy of the Koran down the toilet. Follow me on this one. I went on Amazon and found that the Koran they have for sale is 465 pages long. Let's suppose the copy wasn't even a hardback edition, but a paperback. Now take a book roughly that size (don't want to use an actual copy of the Koran lest we want an international incident to occur in your home bathroom) and try to flush it down the toilet.

My apologies to Tom Clancy; this experiment has nothing to do with his ability as an author.

Surprise-surprise! The book doesn't go down the toilet.

I can't imagine why anyone hasn't tried this already and proved this story bunk. The media so wants to hurt our country that they abandon all common sense in their efforts to do so. I realize most in the middle-east don't have access to the requisite items for this experiment, namely books and toilets, but the journalists covering this story have no excuse.

At very least this warrants some skepticism of the story!

Military base closures

There's been a lots of news in the past 24 hours of how locals and politicians are reacting to the base closures announced by the Pentagon. As would be expected there's a lot of whimpering and whining going along with the closures. Since New England is hardest hit, it's mostly Democrats doing the moaning. NewsMax reports on Joe Lieberman's reaction to the closures in his home state:

Sen. Joe Lieberman called the recommendation "irrational and irresponsible."

"It insults our history and endangers our future," said Lieberman, D-Conn. "It is right here in southeastern Connecticut where the heart and should of America's submarine force lives."

So sorry that military strategic interests insulted your history Joe, whatever that means. Chris Dodd is doing some whining over the closures as well, but even he admits it will be an uphill battle. Other Democrats were out complaining yesterday as well, including John Kerry:

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., condemned the proposal to close Otis Air National Guard Base on Cape Cod, says, "Otis is the number one base for homeland defense on the entire East Coast. ... It simply makes no sense to close Otis in the post 9/11 world."

Yeah, maybe if the primary objective of homeland defense is protecting the beach houses of New England's pseudo-aristocracy. Funny how a guy with who never met a cut in military spending he didn't like is suddenly preaching about homeland defense.

If you read today's paper you will find that John Kerry isn't the only new expert on defense strategy roaming the halls of our capital. Olympia Snowe, a Republican in campaign financing only, probably wins the price for the most idiot comment of the day:

"It is a travesty and a strategic blunder of epic proportions on the part of the Defense Department," the Republican said in a statement, vowing to visit each facility mentioned to help craft a strategy to prevent the proposed changes. "It is entirely beyond me as to the basis on which they made their recommendations, but it certainly wasn't logic or reason. Clearly, in arriving at these inexplicable decisions, the Defense Department and the Navy must have been operating in a fog so thick they couldn't even see the facts in front of them."

Nice hamfisted approach to winning them over Olympia. With diplomatic skills like hers I can't help but wonder how she will vote on the Bolton nomination. Insulting the intelligence of Navy and military brass is sure to win them over. By the way, which war college did Snowe attend again?

I am no military expert, so I have no idea what the strategic interests are behind these closings. I trust the people running our military to do what's right though; this is their profession and they know what's best. But I can appreciate the karmic justice angle of this story. Here we have a bunch of liberal states, represented by politicians who would bleed the defense budget dry if it meant one more welfare program, full of MoveOn.org-types who damn our soldiers daily, and they're just now discovering their love of all things military as the gravy train pulls away. Funny how that works out.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Good news for Swedish college students

The Swedish government has a complete monopoly on all alcoholic beverages sold in the country. Meaning that when you want to buy a bottle of wine or a few cans of beer, you have to wait in line at a government run store that could only have been designed by the fine folks who brought us the DMV.

A typical liquor purchase, let's say a liter of Sweden's own Absolut vodka, will begin by taking a number and waiting for the LED screen above the service counter to signal your turn. As you wait you must browse the catalogue to find the reference number for the product you want and filling out a card with your order on it. When its your turn you will hand your order card to a clerk who will then wander into the rows of shelving behind the counter and fetch your bottle of vodka. So far, so good.

Now comes the painful part, paying for that single liter of vodka. The horrible dollar to SEK (Swedish Kronar) exchange rate aside, the tax levied on a single liter of alcohol by the Swedish government is roughly $27.00! Add that to the already inflated price of the liter and you're throwing down $40.00 for one liter of vodka.

But relief for Swedes seems to be on the horizon. The MaconTelegraph reports:

Sweden's strict regulatory policies have come under pressure in recent years because of its membership in the European Union, which is based on the free flow of goods and people. Now, in the latest concession to new realities, a government panel, backed by alcohol officials, has recommended that Sweden cut its steep tax on hard liquor by 40 percent.

"New realities" is socialist-speak for consumer choice. Because Europeans are now free to move about between countries they can choose where they will buy goods, alcohol included. What most business students learn in the first week of ECON 101, it takes an entire government panel of socialist bureaucrats to discover in Sweden.

"Our taxes were decided in a situation where the borders were closed. Now they are open," said Bjorn Rydberg, spokesman for Sweden's liquor, beer and wine monopoly, Systembolaget. "It's impossible to have this high tax today, because people can go buy their alcohol in Germany or Denmark. And sometimes they turn around and sell it here illegally.

Go figure. Did any of those pinkos care to research the correlation between organized crime and prohibition in the United States? Nah, why do that when you can use canned government talking points to goad the public into a sense of fear over the free market:

"We want alcohol to be sold with age controls and with social controls, not in dark parking lots from the backs of trucks."

Wow, that single sentence covered the three primary elements of socialist propaganda:

  1. We're doing it for the sake of children - "age controls"
  2. You couldn't possibly know what's good for yourself - "social controls"
  3. Beware the dark forces of capitalism - "dark parking lots from the back of trucks"
Socialists are rendered rhetorically impotent in the face of common sense, so they resort to the standard pinko playbook: mischaracterizations, fearmongering, and dishonesty. They see a huge revenue source slipping from their grasp and it scares them. The inability to control other's wealth means the inability to control their livelihood's. How's a government technocrat with no marketable skills to amass a fortune without the ability to extort their own citizens? Quite a conundrum.

Rebuild the WTC Twin Towers!

I ran across the website of Ken Gardner a couple months ago and thought his idea to rebuild the WTC as it once was, only bigger and stronger was a far fetched but great idea. I suppose I told myself it was far fetched because I hadn't seen this guy getting any coverage, and the media seemed to have covered the "Freedom Tower" as a done deal. But it looks as though some like minded people with a great deal of influence are begging the question: "Why not rebuild the Twin Tower?"

Donald Trump has begun a campaign to reincarnate the WTC as it was before. The NY Post, which has been nagging Pataki over the horribly designed "Freedom Tower" he so loves, is also backing Ken Gardner's plan to rebuild the Twin Towers. In an Op-Ed today in the Post, Nicole Gelinas expresses her own feelings over the "Freedom Tower", along with some of Trump's thought on the matter:

New Yorkers have gotten a few weeks' reprieve from the Freedom Tower. It's now back to the drawing board again —partly because, as originally designed, it was structurally unsound. ("Buildings need floors," Trump said— "It's an important structural element.")

But — barring a miracle over the next few weeks— the latest version of the Freedom Tower will still be a 70-story office building topped by at least 600 feet of false angles and empty space.

So the building still won't offer any spectacular views of Manhattan unless you're an adventurous pigeon. And that "skyline element" that's meant to symbolize New York's defeat over terrorists? It can't even hold its own physical weight.

"If we build this pile of rubbish, the terrorists will have won," Trump told me.

I will be watching Chris Matthews for the first time in months tonight because he will be interviewing Trump on the plan. I think the whole gang over at MSNBC is putting the weight behind Ken Gardner's plan. David Shuster reports on HardBlogger that since Gardner brought his 9-foot model of the Twin Towers' to MSNBC's studios it's been a hit with his colleagues and viewers at MSNBC. Even the insufferable Don Imus was backing the plan for a new Twin Towers this morning on his show.

I don't know what Pataki's problem is, or what his connection to the "Freedom Tower" is, but he needs to change course on this issue. What better way to restore the Manhattan skyline than to raise the WTC back from the ashes bigger and greater than ever? And talking about a big FU to the maniacs who celebrate it's demise.

Please contact Governor Pataki and let him know how you feel on the issue.

UPDATE: Some poor shmuck of a woman from the Governor's office (I believe she's the Secretary of NY Parks, or something along those lines) just came on Imus to defend the Freedom Tower design... Boy, did she ever step into a bear trap.

Imus is ripping her a new one! I'm not sure if he's mad about the Freedom Tower, or if he's just insulted that they would send such a nobody on his show to defend it, but he's not giving her an inch. Uhg... Imus just had her microphone turned off... uhg, this is painful to watch.

Pataki has been on Imus plenty of times, he knows the drill. I wonder what's keeping him from phoning in on this issue?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Bush No Leader When it Comes to Illegal Aliens

Bush will be the end of the Republican party if he doesn't pull his head out of the sand on the issue of illegal immigration. Okay, okay, that's a bit of an exageration. But the mood of conservatives is souring over this issue. Michele Malkin has posted a story about her attendance at an illegal alien rally this weekend. The article is a must read. Here's a preview:

Asked if the Department of Homeland Security had been notified of the illegal alien rally, Lt. Hack emphatically said no. "We're here to help them."

Even if they're here illegally? I asked. "We don't want to intimidate anyone," said Lt. Hack.

Shouldn't you report people to DHS if you know they are here illegally? I asked. "That's not my responsibility," he said.

While illegals rally openly in Maryland, the Mexican government is actively hampering the deportation of an illegal alien in New Hampshire. Wizbang is covering the story:

Last week, I told the tale of Police Chief Garrett Chamberlain of New Ipswich, New Hampshire, and his novel approach to dealing with illegal aliens. He charged Jorge Ramirez, 21, of Mexico, with "criminal trespass" for being in New Ipswich (as part of the United States) illegally. Last week Ramirez pleaded guilty and agreed to report for deportation in exchange for the $1,000 fine being waived.

But that was before the Mexican government got involved. They hired a local attorney for Ramirez (who had appeared without counsel in his first appearance), who filed a withdrawal of his plea. The court accepted it, and he now faces trial in July.

While law enforcement refuses to pursue illegals, and the Mexican government demonstrates its blatant disregard of US sovereignty, where's W? Well, when he's not playing grab-ass down at the ranch with his buddy Vicente Fox, he's proposing amnesty for illegal aliens. How rewarding criminals by granting them legal status will curb the flow of illegal immigrants through our borders W doesn't explain.

But maybe that's the point. W has a bit of a libertarian streak, and that may be what's driving him on this issue. Deflated wages aside, and influx of cheap workers into the labor market is good for business. And what's good for business is good for libertarians. National security? Feh! Libertarians can't be bothered with such foolishness.

Bush has played many issues well, but on immigration the man is completely tone deaf. How the man can prattle on about "defending the homeland" in just about every speech while still turning his head to our porous border is beyond me. The intellectual dishonesty on this issue by Bush is disgusting.

W need not worry about public opinion on the matter since he isn't running for reelection, but the party should be worried. Bush is the face of our party, and he is leaving the Republicans incredibly vulnerable on this issue. If other party leaders don't step up and voice some concern over the condition of our border the Democrats will outflank us come 2008, and maybe as early as 2006.

And why wouldn't they? The protectionist wing of the Democratic party, which includes all the big labor unions, have their own reasons for sealing up the border.