Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Now this is a lawsuit that's worthwhile pursuing. The humiliation the state of Finland caused these women is appalling. I wish them all the success in the world, and I hope Finland is made to pay.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Here's some wonderful pictures of a hospital in Cuba's state health care system. This hospital is distinguished by the fact that it serves non-foreigners only.

A Finnish friend told me once that life was not that bad in Cuba.

I guess she only got to see the part meant for foreigners. And gullible Finns.
Here we go again. Another welfare-statist wants to hoard the wealth of industry all to itself, instead of sharing it with the developing world:

Otto König, chairman of the Hattingen branch of Germany's powerful IG Metall union, feels the greed of the owners of Kone, the Finnish engineering group, is ridding the livelihood of hundreds of Germans. Shaken by the job losses, the mayor of the Ruhr asks whether the people at Kone have any social responsibility at all.

Kone's decision to transfer the production of escalators from the German industrial heartland to China and England is facing escalating resistance. The projected job losses amount to 301 in the Kone factory and a further 200 in companies that supply it.

"Kone has broken all its promises," Mr König told the Finnish News Agency (STT).

Notice the same old rhetoric. Social responsibility, blah, blah, blah. And not one whit about the lack of German social responsibility with the rest of the world.

Kone is doing the right thing. Farm out the heavy industry, and share the management expertise with the world. That goes a long way more than any pathetic foreign aid in helping the developing world.
Michael Totten thinks that Vaclav Havel would make a good UN Secretary General, to replace Kofi Annan. Barring that, he suggests Howard Dean.

He includes a good quote from Howard Dean. If the UN is to redeem itself in the eyes of its biggest donor, an American as a secretary general makes sense...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Claudia Rosett skewers Kofi Annan’s plans for the UN quite well.

“The grand failure of the U.N. is that its system, its officials and most visibly its current secretary-general are still stuck in the central-planning mindset that was the hallmark of dictators and failed utopian dreams of the previous century. Mr. Annan's plan takes little practical account of a modern world in which competition, private enterprise and individual freedom are the principles of progress. He has his own agenda, which he would like the rest of us to follow and fund. The words sound lofty: "development, security, and human rights for all." The devil is in the details, and because this is a blueprint for the future of the entire earth, that means a lot of room for big trouble. This report is not a benign document.”

I tend to think that the UN is unreformable, and that the best the US can do is to cripple it with a permanent veto. There are so many other supra-national institutions and organizations that can be used to achieve many of the functions of the UN. There is absolutely no reason why housing them all under one roof would be better, from a democratic point of view, or from a pragmatic point of view.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I'm sure Erkki Tuomioja and The Bimbo of Finland will continue to put their ultimate trust in the wisdom of the UN, even though UN "peacekeepers" continue to have sex with children.

Would be interesting to see if the Finnish media will even report on this.
Looks like Finns are actually fatter than Americans, according to a new study:

"In Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Malta and Slovakia, a higher percentage of men are obese or overweight than the estimated 67 percent of men in the United States, according to a report from the International Obesity Task Force, a coalition of researchers and institutions."

Another anti-American stereotype bites the dust.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Wretchard makes an interesting observation in connection to the Wolfowitz nomination, - something that I've long held: foreign aid and institutions like the World Bank are failures by virtue of the fact that the developing world is still in poverty:

"The same thought has probably occurred to anyhow who has watched the World Bank and other international development agencies flail their arms against the tide of poverty. After spending hundreds of billions of dollars in the best ways academia could conceive, five decades of development aid hasn't even established whether the effort was useful. 'Never in the face of human effort has so little been been accomplished by so much'.

But if insanity is expecting different results from the same actions then the asylum is larger than it seems. The development bureaucrats are outraged that Wolfowitz might try to do things differently. Columbia's Jeffrey Sachs reacted to Wolfowitz's appointment saying "we need someone with professional experience in helping people to escape from poverty. Mr Wolfowitz does not have that track record". Neither, he might have added, did anyone else."

I'm all for Wolfowitz's nomination. Lofty-softies have been a failure at the World Bank, and the obvious proof is that Africa is still poor, and getting poorer. To keep ranting that more money must be thrown in just doesn't sound like intelligent thinking. It's time to try someone new.

Monday, March 14, 2005

I've been very wary of Tony Blair's initiative to cancel Third World debt: I've always suspected that it really will not solve any problems, and may only compound them. But Abiola Lapite, - an erudite British man of African descent - has confirmed my suspicions.

To put it succincly, I don't believe in foreign aid, nor in loaning money to the Third World. The best way to lift people out of poverty is to drop our tariffs against the produce of poor people, especially in agricultural products. That takes a lot of political courage, considering the kind of power farmers have in Europe. So we can safely assume that it won't get done, as Europe lacks the necessary courage for that kind of action.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Via Turun Sanomat comes this interesting reference: according to the British Centre for Retail Research, Finland has Europe's second highest rate of "shrinkage" (stock loss from crime or wastage) in its retailing sector.

Hmm. It's even higher than France's, Germany's, Sweden's, and Estonia's (but not higher than Britain's, which takes the top "prize")

What could be the reason? Turun Sanomat points out that according to the study half of the figure can be ascribed to wastage, but the other half goes to theft, of which a full third can be ascribed to retail businesses' own staff.

Is something rotten in the state of Finland?
This screed by Vaclav Havel is a tour de force:

...It is suicidal for the EU to draw on Europe's worst political traditions, the common denominator of which is the idea that evil must be appeased and that the best way to achieve peace is through indifference to the freedom of others....

Fell on deaf ears in Finland, though.
More good analysis from the Big Pharaoh, in Egypt. His is a refreshing voice to hear, coming as it is from a culture that is infused with biased media. In addition to that, he is a big-hearted man with a jolly good sense of humor!

Anyway, I want to tell you something interesting. Al Arabiyah channel ran a poll on its website asking Arab readers to choose between Bush and Kerry. Readers were also allowed to vote via email. The final number was something like 42% for Bush 58% for Kerry. I personally doubt this 42% that Bush got because it is too high! Anyway, the channel then classified the votes based upon countries and guess what was the ONLY Arab country that voted for Bush in a landslide? Iraq. 80% of Iraqi emails went for Bush.

This election taught me something: NEVER trust the media. I admit that I often considered this media talk a little bit too overreacting, I somehow believed that credible big media such as CNN and New York Times are basically fair and balanced. I was wrong. I stayed up late to watch the elections on CNN and right before the elections even started, their pundits started to talk about the "youth votes", "first timers", "turn outs", and then mentioned how all those factors are more favorable to Kerry. I started to believe that Bush will lose even before Indiana closed its polls. Then guess what??? The difference between Bush and Kerry in the popular vote turned out to be over 3 million!!!! "Youth votes", "first timers", "turn outs" BWAHAA HA HA HA HA HA!!

As soon as this 3 million number became clear, Larry King turned pale and said "what went wrong with the democratic party??" Wolf Blitzer jumped and told him "it's not over yet Larry". I was always skeptical of Fox News, now, I just want to yell: THANK GOD FOR FOX!!

I believe the American people made the right choice and I will immediately post my memo to President Bush when kerry finishes searching in his provincial ballots

His take on the recent kidnapping of the French journalist is insightful... and probably true.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

According to the Finnish-language version of the Helsingin Sanomat, the Bimbo Of Finland has used the occasion of a state visit to Chirac yesterday to opine that she and Chirac are of the same opinion that Russia hasn't "really taken to our (EU's) way of thinking".

Hmm? Quite bold of her, do you think? Not really: it's just easier to say that now after Bush blazed the trail for her last week by confronting Putin in Bratislava on his lapses in democratic values.

Finns really are such cowards, - always catching a freeride, after the US takes on the bolder task.

And that goes for all of Europe, too, doesn't it?
From Reason Online comes this little nugget:

Kyoto is a solution in search of a problem.

I'll add that the Kyoto may have started out as an initiative in responsible environmentalism, but was transformed by Europeans into a weapon for the practise of anti-Americanism... anything to slow down the growth of the behemoth, so that certain others might catch up and overtake it.
The Wall Street Journal published an editorial highlighting this "governor's report card" put out by my favorite think tank, the Cato Institute.

Look who's the top scorer! None other than Ahnold. The other thing to note is that most top scorers are Republican.

"So what?" Europeans might say, but as the trend in American politics goes, most future presidents are chosen from the pool of state governors, not from the pool of congressmen (it has probably to do with congresspeople having to flip-flop so often in their careers; the public hates that).

The word on the blogosphere is that the one Democratic governor to look out for is Tennessee's Phil Bredesen: he's a Democrat who won a lot of Republican votes.