Sunday, April 18, 2004

Socialists keep their oath and diminish hope

Sometimes it is good to hold to your promises, but on other occasions, you should review your promises on wether they are still reasonable or not.

This is the problem of the Spanish socialists, which won the election because of their Anti-war stand in regard to the invasion in Iraq. To win the elections after the Madrid bombing, they pronounced their believe that the Iraq War was a mistake and that they would call all troops home if they won the election.
Sadly, the Socialists won the election and Mr. Zapatero is dead set to recall the troops. Today, he gave the orders to reallocate Spanish troops from Iraq to Spain.
However, this consequent interpretation of their electoral promises hits into a period, where it fits most unfortunate.
Not only that it will most notably suit El Kaida and their system of blackmailing and threatening, it also comes at a time, when the United States of America need all resources available.
Since the recent uprisings within post-Saddam Iraq and the kidnapping of civil and military personel everywhere in Iraq stressed the US-led Coalition forces resources to its limits, every loss of support might affect the security and (what is left of it) stability within Iraq. Worse, it could also inspire or move other governments to do likewise. For example, the population within Poland might influence the government to remove their troops and support from Iraq, since most of the population is against war.
So, the Spanish consequent realisation of their electoral promises might, in the end, ignite the armed conflicts rather than serving peace.
To back down now, might be seen as an example to other countries and display defeat in the most unfortunate way.
The teaching that might come from this example are mainly those:

- Other "institutions" or "groups" might see it as a chance that by threatening countries, they can force them to do what they want

- It will give a negative example to all nations in the world that nation-building and western democracies in general is impossible, because of the virtuelessness and weakness of those governments.

So, in this situation, the Spanish government should review their own principles, goals and how to reach them in the long-term. Right now, they act short-sighted and might damage more than they gain in the end.


Thursday, April 15, 2004

Never bargain with the enemy

If you have followed news lately, you may already heared of the newest step by the El Kaida. This time, the assumed Mr. Bin Laden has pulled the righteous thread to weaken the western Alliance against terrorism.
Instead of openly agitate aggression and call to arms against the western world, the El Kaida wants to bargain with those worlds which are supposedly not part of the War against Islam states.
However, the El Kaida is underestimating the western Democracies or at least trying to play on time if it truly believes that such an offer will be heared and positively answered.
Perhaps, they don't know what they demand of a western country, but most likely they know what it would mean to any nation.

The El Kaida clearly wanted to seperate the United States of America and its powerful European allies. Although Germany, France and others were not part in the Iraq war, they still supported the "War against Terrorism" in Afghanistan, thus taking part in the campaign against racist and aggressive Islamism. The El Kaida now tries to split this alliance by sending a message of peace to the pacifist countries in the heart of Europe. This offer, directed to Germany and France, must not be answered, because it would damage the relationship with the United States and all the western Democracies, that are closer in terms of values and culture than any Islam country.

Still, the El Kaida hopes that some European countries might take this offer, or at least be silent for a period. This would settle doubt in their partners across the ocean and thereby weaken the whole alliance. It's the very notion that had Great Britain and Italy respond so very quickly. They wanted to be sure not to be misunderstood. Despite their differences about the Iraq war, none of these nations will quit the pact with the United States of America.

A few hours ago even the German chancellor reassured Germanies backing of the international war against terror and thereby closed a gap which could have been a river growing to an ocean in the trans-atlantic partnership. Sometimes it is as important to stand for what you believe in, as it is to oppose what you are against.

A good link (in German):
An unholy offer

I also recommend for all German speaking folks:
Danger of Islamism from the viewpoint of a Moslem

I knew I couldn't trust all those Egalitarian German pacifist, who always denied any danger coming from uncontrolled teachings of the Koran. In this statement, a Moslem shows that we should take those fanatics seriously, because the Islam is in contrast to the Christians not a peaceful nor a human rights movement. It is even more comparable to the Christianity of the medieval times, when Crusades took place and Jews were discriminated.
We have a belief-system that has not yet undergone the transformation of the age of enlightment and it is dripping on a population that could not master the division of state and religion.
The danger of those two components is imminent and the third reich has shown us that believing is a strong tool in the hands of the wrong leader.


Tuesday, April 13, 2004

If you are able to read German, than this might be news with a wicked twist:

Nothing is impossible (in German)

For all those, who are not able to read German, I will give you a brief summary.

An engineer from Great Britain has a daughter that is confined to a wheel-chair and couldn't speak. At a state hospital, the doctors didn't give the kid a slightest chance to be a normal person. But as Peter Randell isn't a person that accepts a no, he searched for an alternative.
In the end, he found an institute in Birmingham that believed it possible to solve his problem. However, the treatment was expensive and the state healt-care wouldn't pay for it. So, Mr. Randell had to get the money all by himself.

The treatment for the tongue cost 4000 pound and could be affored. Afterwards, his daughter learned to speak and even the drooling stopped. Peter Randell said that he had never been so happy in his life before. The tongue had been grown into the flesh of the mouth and could easily be cut off, a fact the state doctors didn't observe.

Even to the wheelchair problem, the doctors believed that a three year training course could help the girl to move freely. HOwever, the treatment would cost up to 85000 pound, 50000 for the legs and 35000 for the arms.
Randall got the 35000 pound for the arm-treatment and after a year he had a photo with her daughters arm on his shoulder. She had moved the arm herself.
He never wanted to tell how he got the money, but there is no 'impossible' to Mr. Randall.

Now, he is trying to get the money for the leg treatment, but it isn't easy to get 50000 pound. So, he tried to sell his kidney, because he has two and thought that her daughter was worth losing one, over e-bay. The company stopped the offer before any replies were counted.
Then the 'Sun' stumbled over the story and published it. They got contributions up to 20000 pound, but it wasn't enough and the sun linked those contributions to an end of his kidney-sale-attempt. However, the sum was not enough to buy the treatment, so he rejected.

Up to this point, he had received three offerings for his kidney on E-bay (USA), but they stopped the auction before he could contact the bidders.

After a quarter year, Randall is again where he started. So, if you have a kind heart contribute a little, it will surely help. Or if you know somebody who is in need of a kidney and willing to pay try to get the address from the 'Sun'.

I hope Mr. Peter Randall will succeed in his mission, because a life is at stake.
A word on the War

The first thing that occured to me re-reading the topic was the question which war, because lately wars emerge like parasites everywhere. There is this omniscient war against terror, which knows no countries, no engagements, but only tragic events like 9/11 or the Madrid bombing.
Then there are the two representative wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (Yes, those are still wars or armed conflicts, since the objectives to accomplish victory are not met) and genocidal slaughter in Kosovo and the constant warfare in the middle of Africa.
I don't want to comment on the buzzphrase 'War on Terror' which is nothing more than a construct by some hawks in the United States Government, but rather on the actual situation in Afghanistan.

A lot has changed since the Taliban regime has been defeated. The capital of Afghanistan is the Mekka of democracy in Afghanistan, most unfortunate that Mr. Kursai is not an democratically elected Leader. Mr. Kursai, however, is confined to the capital, because in the other parts of the country, warlords harvest drugs and keep a tight reign over their regions. Some warfare defines the borders of each warlord's conclave and the only export the Afghans have is their drug traffic.
In this glorious environment, the German chancellor has sent his troops to watch over the situation. The problem is that the Bundeswehr is restricted to a certain area 'Kundus' and that it might not interfere with local administration, in other words the drug traffic, because it is too dangerous.

Again the U.S. army has started a new attack on the Ansar el Islam in the noman's land between Parkistan and Afghanistan, which will as it stands today, fail again, because the clans in the high land are refusing to take part in the US crusade.
The Parkistani government on the other side, half-heartedly supports the attempt with their troops, but, how most unfortunate, they are already stopped by terrorist groups and can't advance any further.
What glorious partners did the United States of America gather to support their war....

I have no answers to the miserable state of Afghanistan and I believe that there is no paper-solution to this. Instead individuals have to decide from case to case what to do and therefore a more liberal approach should be tried rather than controlling everything.

As an Atheist, I have no answers, only questions and they will be asked in regard to the Afghan war.

Perhaps I will continue this tomorrow, when I found my notes about the bellum justum.
To the Attention of Government-Haters

Sometimes I think you might be right, that a government is more trouble than its worth and I can easily prove it with the newest incident in my hometown.

It has always been a difficult situation to drive by car in my neighbourhood, because speed limits and narrow streets are the consequences of German "Safety-fanatic" legislators. But the latest incidents were beyond imagination. They thought that another round of lowering speed limits could ill-effect their campaign for re-election, thus they turned to more pervasive methods.
Instead of declaring a formal speed limit, they introduced beacons to the car-driving community and narrowed the streets at several segments. But again the safety-crazyness was conducted without forethought and proved to generate more confusing than safety.
The strategic planners from the legislative chamber did not include busses, trucks, coaches and other big vehicles in their "safety-first" campaign and created a monumental distortion in the public traffic system.
In an cry of outrage, individuals collected votes against these newest government harassment and finally succeeded.

Perhaps this was only possible, because of the proximity to the next elections, but It is worth it. However, I fear that the legislator have already prepared the newest punch against reason by talking about decreasing of right of way thoughtout the town.

It wouldn't be that bad,if it really supported and forwarded security on our streets, but it does not. In the end, this is just a fanatics crusade by the local administration to gain a few votes from families and conservative persons. It's a play constructed to rip hearts and appeal to emotions rather than intelligence.

Sad, but true, this is the only way to get elected these days.
We need a second Renaissance

And we need it fast. The situation Europe encountered during the Medieval age, a life under the edicts of Faith, is returning, not to Europe, but to the United States of America. The Bush administration is maybe the most religious administration since a long time and it is not restricted to the war on Iraq. Like you might have observed already, this behaviour spread all over your nation. Research is only conducted and state-sponsored if it contains words like anti-terrorism, anti-anthrax or national defence. Other programs, the government had sponsored in the past, like AIDS-, cancer- or heart-research are on the brink of running out of money.

More than 60 famous scientist now acted, signing a letter to the change the christianisation of science. They complain about a government that distorts scientific facts, bends truth and builds obstacles in front of scientific research. The new immigration policy is just on of this obstacles. In the wake of 9/11, the national security has taken on immigration thus shrinking the immigration of valuable scientists. Those people now have to go through humiliating checks and interviews that last weeks until they are permitted to enter. This has already spawn consequences. The immigration of Chinese students to the Cornell University has decreased 36 per cent and more and more possible immigrants follow this trend. Charles Weissmann, for example, a famous Prion-expert should have taken over the leadership of an Institute in Florida by March, 1. He could not, because the Federal Agents had to check his Prions, because they were on the list of possible terrorist material.

This is just one example for the religious believes and fears taking over the former freest country in the world. Another grave development is the denial of certain theories which do not fit in Christian Theology. However, scientific subjects at school, like Biology or Chemistry, should not be affected by religious belief. The purity of scientific and thus provable, knowledge has to be preserved to prevent America from sliding from a secular state to a Theocracy. It is a shame that High Schools in certain Southern States teach the story of Adam and Eva as the only imaginable way of Earth’s creation, in Biology. This issue should be moved to religion and only religion, since it is not a result of scientific research thus has no right to influence biology. In this respect, I have to add, that in some schools they don’t even no Darwin’s theory of man’s development, which also plays on the same level as the one mentioned before.

Another example would be AIDS prevention, which is totally based on Faith and good will. Bush wants to extend the budget for Aids and child pregnancy prevention to 270 Million Dollars. This sounds good, but the actual application is horrible. Instead of supporting condoms as a mean to contain AIDS, the teachers are urged to teach Christian values of purity and virginity. They may not use words like promiscuity or condom.

The Bush administration approves of this way of deceiving children, because they say that it would prevent children from having sex too early or promiscuity. However, one of the most religious states, Texas, is amongst the states with the highest teenage pregnancies.

Abstinence, the Bushists claim, would solve the problem without the use of condom. They are right in a twisted way. Most children have sex a few years later, but then they don’t use a condom at all. The potential to receive or spread AIDs, because they know nothing about it, is even higher than with a condom. Another example of this terrifying course is the application to the heartland of AIDS, Africa. There, the Bush government uses the same reasoning and preaches abstinence and loyalty rather than showing the population the use of a condom.

There are more scientific reports on the effectiveness of a condom and the danger of AIDS than one could summarize on both hands, but still the religious right-wings neglect such theories, because they are scientific and not god-given.

All these drastic restrictions have led to an uproar of these sixty scientists and a change of course in Harvard. The government had promised 60 stem cells to the science community, but they go only 15 lines which are usable. This is why Harvard University decided to do it on its own. They plan to invest about 100 million dollar in the construction of a private stem cell center, which should be one of the biggest in the world. This project is financed by the University and private companies without state-sponsoring. IT will be completely independent from the religiously influenced Washington Administration and thus show the superiority and independency of privately financed research. The scientist George Daley added in respect to this intention: “Harvard has the resources, the knowledge and to be honest the liability to do so!
Social-Markets: The ruin of what was hoped to be the savior

It was meant to be the most "humane" form of capitalist markets, but it grew to be the most dangerous and life-threatening disease since the end of communist planned markets.
I hereby refer to the social-capitalism formerly introduced by Ludwig Erhard on the principles of free market with an eye on the unfortunate and poor people.

It should have worked like that. The state will not interfere within enterprises and de facto monopolies. The market is a seperate instance beside the state, supreme in itself. On the other side, all citizens should pay taxes equally to support the well-fare programs. Those programs were intended to provide for the old, the disabled and so on.

But as with all good intentions aside from reality, it went totally wrong. Now, Germany is sitting in a bowl of water and only the head is still on the surface of the water. We are on the eve of being drunk. The problem is not our attitude of lazyness or our hang to mindlessly follow government authority. This time, the enemy is the misunderstanding of the roots of capitalism and the greed of the German socialist party (SPD).
While Germany had its booming time during the 50s, there was no problem in redistributing wealth from the working force to the unemployed and into the insurance and health-care systems. But during the 70s and 80s, the boom was gone, but still the socialist government put more and more money into the well-fare system, extending it beyond the credibility of the tax-payers.
Although the administration wasn't purly socialst during the 80s, with the CDU taking control over the Administration again, the way they acted on the markets and on the tax-payers was strongly influenced by socialst manners.

The pay-off we see today, bankrupt insurance companies (AOK etc.), high deficite (EU deficite law suit against Germany), high rate in company crashes (around 30% of all start-ups in 2003) and high unemployment. The regional and local administrations are next to bankrupt and are continuously losing money to the federal system (best example, the city of Berlin).

Despite of all this, the government even has time to surpress/oppress and threaten the one field, which it has always supported with subsidies.
The farms and agricultural companies have always been kept alive and out of the competition of the markets by German and EU fundings. Instead of keeping their businesses competitive, the farmers had changed towards producing those goods that got the financial support by the government, regardless of the demand of the market and the environmental requirements such as the right soil/climate and so on.
This is how the European Union had produced this extreme output of milk, tomatoes and other agricultural products, which could be acquired cheaper and easily from aboard and oversee. However, all the products from oversee that had to run competition against German food had no chance, because in return for the subsidies, the farmers had to follow the prices the European Union/German government set.

Today, the german government thinks about reducing these subsidies, but are we prepared to do so?

The whole economic tree isn't competitive anymore, since they had lived in a controlled, planned environment so long. But there is hope on the horizon, since the Commitee of Young Farmers had announced that Germany indeed could operate agricultural companies that could be competitive to the international market.
However, this would result in a competition which would leave all those farmers behind who weren't prepared to work on their results.
In a country like Germany, where the sympathy always goes with the loser, despite of the circumstances or the man's behaviour, such a unfair competition is beyond sound reasoning.
It will cause an outrage, if the next government pursues this course. And the outrage will come from those who don't want to work, those who don't want to achieve, those who don't want to create, but to argue about everything.

So, let them call out, because we are prepared.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Friend or Enemy of Liberals: The United Nations

I have always wondered, why so many Liberals are opposed to the United Nations, because I am not and I still see me as a liberal person. Although I don't want to be strictly pushed in one philosophical categorie (such as Conservative, Objectivist, Classic-Liberal, Socialist etc.), I still prefer to see me as an ambassador of Liberty.

So, I know the usual prejudices against the United Nations. Liberals see it as a classical collectivist council, where the supremacy of the individual country is diminished for the greater good, or even worse the good of small communist/dictatorial countries.
They fear that all the small and unliberal countries could override their will and impose sanctions and laws on the free countries in this world.

But history has shown us that the United States of America, for example, have used a veto to stop laws against a violator of liberty or himself multiple times.
They rejected the ruling on Israels aggressive expansion and later the ruling (not directly from the United Nations) agains their "free trade" tariffs on steel.
So, the United States of America, most excessive denouncer of the undecesive UN, used it whenever it suited their benefit.
They said multiple times that they don't want to be ruled by a different institution anymore, but the United Nations are not "ruling" the USA in the same way as the central government is ruling over the States of the Union.
The United Nations can only suggest solutions and compromises, because it does not have any power to impose a ruling.
The United Nations is thereby more a place to meet and negotiate, to find a compromise, rather than to approve or make laws.

The power any nation has given to the United Nations, can be easily recalled, when the nation is dissatisfied with the United Nations with regard to all consequences such an act would impose. So, there is no real collectivism in the United Nations, but rather a place to discuss for independent and individual nations.

And even if you think otherwise, you would have to show where there is the border between a national and multinational state.
If you try to confine a state to an ethnic/religious or cultural beliefs and habits, you would certainly fail to explain how the United States of America can be called one nation.
If you believe that a nation is only defined by a common history, then you certainly never visited Alsace-Lothringen, which has changed ownership during the 19th/20th century multiple times.

In my opinion, nations are defined by the powers in charge and by statist tradition, most guilty in regard to this are conservatist who always pronounced those values.
So, change will come slowly, but in the end we will have a supranation, a new nation, called the European Union, here in Europe, but it will be a century or so, before this happens. In the future, the only chance for survival of the western states is the dissolution of nations and the construction of a supra-nation. The first stones have already been laid by the free market, who is trading without much consideration of borders.

So a new supranational state would still be a nation and therefore no collectivist, but rather some sort of Minarchist government. I can understand that it would be collectivist if we had to bow to the command of some poor little communist or dictatorial nations, but this is not the fact. So there is nothing unliberal in the marketplace of the United Nations, except that invalidates Individuals to a certain point. But well, this is already true for any government.
[04/12/04: 21:48]

Hi, this is my first entry into the world of Blogging and I hope I will make a good impression with this site.
The core identity and purpose of it will be to widen the point of view on widely "known" subjects, but also to get local stories with deep and tricky impact to the ears and eyes of the public.

Let me start with a most tragic story I stumbled upon while browsing blogs:

A personal story by Arthur Silber

I wouldn't know how to act in his case, although it always seems easier to judge when you are an outsider and not directly affected or involved.