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THE END OF BELGIUM Print E-mail
Written by Paul Belien   
Friday, 14 September 2007

In the early 1990s following the fall of Communism, the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia fell apart. Today, the federal Kingdom of Belgium, the last of Europe's multinational states, is beginning to unravel.

In 1830-31, the international powers put Belgium together as a political compromise and an experiment in building one state out of two nationalities.

The country is home to 6 million Dutch-speakers, or Flemish in Flanders, its northern half bordering the Netherlands, 3 million French-speakers or Walloons in Wallonia, its southern half bordering France, and 1 million people in its capital Brussels, an enclave within Flanders, which is also the capital of the European Union (EU).

While capitalist-minded Flanders generates wealth (it accounts for 70 percent of Belgium's GDP and 80 percent of its exports), Wallonia, at the receiving end of a generous welfare system, spends most of the money and vetoes any attempt to reform the system. Every year 6.6 percent of Flanders' GDP is spent on welfare in Wallonia.

Flanders cannot allow this situation to continue. The growing electoral appeal of the secessionist Vlaams Belang (VB) party, which strives for an independent Flanders, pressured the Flemish Christian Democrats to propose the transformation of Belgium into a confederation of two largely independent states with only the king, foreign policy and defense in common.

On June 10, the Flemish Christian Democrat leader Yves Leterme, the son of a Walloon father and a Flemish mother, won the Belgian general elections.  The end of Belgium may be nigh.
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FANTASY AND REALITY IN THE ALPS Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Friday, 14 September 2007

Alpbach, Austria. Nestled in the middle of the Alps, this is about as scenic as a place can be. The homes and lodges, all of which have the distinctive Alpine architecture, are graced with lovely hanging red and white flowers. There is no crime, no graffiti, no litter and no apparent poverty.

In short, it is the perfect place for the 63rd annual Alpbach European Forum, where many European opinion leaders gather each summer to discuss the problems of, and opportunities for, Europe.

Alpbach, of course, is no more representative of Europe than is the Disney-created town of Celebration, Florida, representative of America. They are both attempts to produce the ideal community.

Many conference participants seek to fashion their ideal version of Europe, yet fail to understand that the philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment and the economists of the Austrian School (along with their University of Chicago comrades) many years ago set forth the rules that need to be followed for Europe and the rest of the planet to achieve peace, tolerance and ever-increasing prosperity.

Ironically, America learned the lessons from these Europeans better than did Europe, and now many Asians are learning them and becoming ever freer and more prosperous as a result. Yet today, many in Europe claim they have a more humane economic system than one with the rough edges of American style capitalism. However, reality shows a very different picture.
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FOLLOWING HORSES AND MEN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 14 September 2007

Back when Osama bin Laden was alive, in one of his diatribes he said, "When the people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they naturally gravitate toward the strong horse" - meaning that people like power, and will prefer following a leader or movement who can defeat others.

This is true, of course, as far as it goes, except that we are not horses.

People do not follow horses; horses follow people - when those people are strong and clear.  When they are wimpy and ambivalent, a horse will follow someone else.

This is the world of primal animal instincts, impulses, and feelings. A predator - animal or human - will smell fear and attack; or smell strength and the resolve to fight, so will reconsider.  Prey will smell danger and flee, or succumb to fear.

In our day-to-day world, people can easily lose sight of the fact that we do in fact live in a world of these primal instincts and motives. This is how liberals can decide to appease terrorists, or some conservatives and libertarians can decide to avoid a confrontation in favor of "minding our own business."

This was the great tragedy of Vietnam. The single most dangerous consequence of our loss in Vietnam was our loss of intimidation toward our enemies, and the loss of safety that we inspired in our allies.  Now liberals want to repeat the tragedy in Iraq.
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DECLARING DAHIJ Print E-mail
Written by To The Point News   
Thursday, 13 September 2007

A TTPer has a thoughtful suggestion regarding civilization's struggle with Islamofascism:

Declare ­Dahij (Jihad backwards) - a Holy War to impose secular rule on Moslems everywhere.

We could have the Dahij version of the Saudi Mutaween (religious police enforcing obedience to Sharia law), who would patrol Moslem neighborhoods making people take off modest garments and wear more revealing clothing.

We could have the Dahij Vice Squad requiring the watching of at least one porn flick a week ("Melissa Mounds Does Mecca," or the latest featuring Moslem hard core porn star Sahara Knite.) 

The Dahij Food Police would make sure pork was available in all restaurants, and that everyone has plenty to eat all day long during Ramadamadingdong, the sacred Dahij month occurring at the same time as Ramadan.

And the Dahij Thought Police would require people to recite the Dahij Sacred Oath: 
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THE ALPHA OF 9/11 AND THE OMEGA OF IRAQ Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 07 September 2007

Next week will see an interesting juxtaposition of events:  the sixth anniversary of the Islamist Attack on America of September 11, 2001 and the testimony of Gen. Petraeus to Congress on Iraq.

Alpha and Omega.

As the first letter of the Greek alphabet, Α, α, "alpha" signifies the start of something, the last letter, Ώ, ω, "omega" signifies its end.

The destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers was Al Qaeda's Alpha.  Bin Laden and his cronies were ecstatically jubilant when they got the news of their mission's success, certain that America would then collapse psychologically as did the Towers.

Thus you can bet your last farthing that the last place Osama thought he would be six years after his triumph is still in an Afghan cave hiding for his life.

And worse, for Bush's war in Iraq is his omega.

For all the caveats and qualifiers Petraeus will provide in his testimony, one truth should shine out:  that Al Qaeda has been defeated in Iraq.  It's over.  They lost. We won.
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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE 2008 CURTAIN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 06 September 2007

Pay no attention to Frank Morgan. 

The entire gaggle of the Moonbat Left - Pelosi-Reid-Murtha-Daily Kos-Moveon.org-Soros-New York Times-CNN-Time&Newsweek - the whole screaming lot are pretending to have resurrected the marvelous character actor who played Professor Marvel and "the man behind the curtain" in The Wizard of Oz.

They're having Frank trying to convince an electorate of Dorothies that the Republicans are mired in gloom over their 2008 prospects, terrified of the Magic Democrat Wizard that will recapture the White House and cement control of Congress.

The Mighty Oz has decreed inevitable doom upon the evil, corrupt Republicans, who are helpless to avoid their deserved electoral fate. 

Let's have fun and be Toto, exposing the Mighty Moonbats as feckless frauds.  The truth behind the 2008 curtain is that the Democrats are screwed.
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GOOD MORNING! THE QUICK AND DELICIOUS INCREDIBLY HEALTHY TO THE POINT BREAKFAST Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 06 September 2007

Good morning, boys and girls!  Yes, I know, mornings suck:  summer's over, no more sleeping late, you have to get up at some stupidly early hour to rush off to school, your parents are grouchy and harping on you to hurry, there's no time for a decent breakfast - and who's hungry at the crack of dawn? - so by second period you're starving and falling asleep in class from lack of food and energy.

Gotta be a better way to start the day, right?  Well, there is - and also for your folks, who  have to rush off to work, so they probably skip a decent breakfast and stuff some sugar garbage into their mouths as they race out the door, just like you.

Yet, as any doctor will tell you, breakfast is, health and energy and nutrition wise, the most important meal of the day.  "Yeah, right, whatever," I hear you respond with a sarcastic laugh.  Like, no time, dude, no time!

Oh, yes, there is.  You can make and consume the To The Point Breakfast in five minutes flat.  Of course, the ideal here is to get your folks to make it for you while you're getting ready.  Then it will take you less than a minute to gulp it down and you're ready to roll.

So, Mom and Dad, here's how to whip up the Quick and Delicious Incredibly Healthy To The Point Breakfast in about four minutes - five if you're still groggy because that first cup of coffee hasn't kicked in yet.
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THE CURIOUS ASSISTANCE OF THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE Print E-mail
Written by Dagny D'Anconia   
Friday, 07 September 2007

Back when George W. Bush won the November 2000 election, Hipolito Mejia had just won the Dominican Republic election.  Mejia was a friend of the US:  He sent troops to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom and set upon an ambitious course of reform. 

Mejia's law and order and pro-America stance also won Mejia some Leftist enemies.  In 2004 President Mejia lost the election and he was replaced by his Leftist predecessor Leonel Fernandez.  Hugo Chavez had a hand in it by helping destroy the Dominican Republic's economy.  Chavez halted oil shipments to the Dominican Republic in public revenge for Mejia's outspoken support of the US.   

Under Fernandez, law enforcement and the reforms launched against corruption were functionally gutted.  Chavez warmly welcomed Fernandez' Dominican Republic into his oil development (oil-bribe) fund PetroCaribe and the Dominican Republic offered to host it's conference.  The Leftist alliance of oil and cocaine producers and distributors was once again in a position of power in the Dominican Republic.

Given that the current president of the Dominican Republic has close ties to Communist enemies of the US, has not enforced the money laundering laws, and indeed seems to be mostly ignoring them, and the Dominican Republic is a major drug conduit to the US, one has to ask why hasn't Bush's FinCEN acted with an Advisory to stop the money laundering there?  Why would the Bush White House want to prop up the Leftist President of the Dominican Republic?


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HOW TO IMPROVE CONGRESS' UNDERSTANDING OF THE MILITARY Print E-mail
Written by Jack Kelly   
Thursday, 06 September 2007

Next week, Gen. David Petreaus will make his report to Congress on the situation in Iraq.  Much will be written about what he has to say.  I'd like to devote a few words to those who will be passing judgment on Gen. Petreaus' report, relative to their military service to America - or lack thereof.

We are in the midst of a world war, as the disruption this week of bomb plots in Denmark and Germany reminds us, or ought to.  It figures to be a long war.  What Congress does or doesn't do in response to Gen. Petreaus' report largely could determine whether we win or lose.

But the number of senators and representatives who are veterans -- that is to say, who have the experience to make an informed judgment about what Gen. Petreaus has to say -- is the lowest it's been in half a century.

There's an easy way to fix that.
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THE JERSEY LEATHERNECKS OF FALLUJAH Print E-mail
Written by Ralph Peters   
Thursday, 06 September 2007

Fallujah, Iraq.  The Marines of 1st Platoon, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines - many from New Jersey - aren't living large, but they're making a huge difference. Bunking in a police precinct headquarters in Fallujah, they're at the forward edge of our current successes in Iraq.

It's summertime, but the living ain't easy. The work's tough, the heat's wicked, the "facilities" conjure the old line about what bears do in the woods, and only goodie boxes from home liven up a diet of field rations (great for two or three days, nasty after two or three months).

You'd expect complaints. I didn't hear one. And talking to three Jersey boys, I was surprised to hear just how positive they felt about the mission.

"I'd do it again in a heartbeat," Lance Cpl. Justin Blitzstein of West Milford told me. Self-assured and ready for anything, he added, "Anybody who doesn't think we should be here should see the difference we've made in the way these people live. And everybody here's a volunteer. We want to be here."
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THE TWO MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO STUDY ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD Print E-mail
Written by Richard Rahn   
Thursday, 06 September 2007

Students the world over have always asked their elders, what should I study in order to get a good job? In this age of globalization and the Internet, the question involves a whole new dimension.

Students in rich countries, such as the United States and Germany, fear their chosen trade or profession might be outsourced to a low-wage country. Students in developing countries, such as Mongolia and Paraguay, understand that globalization and the Internet may give them access to jobs never before available.

Those on both the left and right who can only see dangers and misery from any new technological advance argue that huge quantities of jobs will be transferred to the developing world, resulting in big drops in income in the developed countries.

It is turning out, however, that if you have two basic skills, you'll be able to learn what you need to know for most jobs anywhere in the world.
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APPROACH AND AVOIDANCE Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joel Wade   
Friday, 07 September 2007

When you're together with people, whether it be your spouse, kids, other family or close friends, or in a larger social circle, do you tend to want to approach them, to enjoy more of the good things that the relationship could bring, and get closer? Or do you tend to want to avoid them, to avoid any negative things that the relationship could bring?
 
Do you think mostly of the opportunity to grow, to feel close, and to enjoy each other's company? Or do you focus more on avoiding conflict, being careful not to elicit any negative response, or to in one way or another avoid pain?

What you do in this respect can have a big effect on your happiness, and on the quality of your relationships.  Here's an attention-getting example:

It is fairly well established that a common trend in romantic relationships is for sexual desire to peak early in a relationship, and to decline over time. But people with approach goals do not experience that decline (!) Their sexual desire remains more constant over the life of their relationship.
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THE SECRET STORY OF THE SOVIET PLATES Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Yesterday (8/28), the State Department announced it was issuing new diplomatic license plates to the foreign embassies here in Washington.  Since the old design was similar to that of some US states, the new plates' design is supposed to reduce the confusion.

Here is the old/new comparison from the State press release:

diplates

Which gives me an opportunity to tell you the coolest story you ever heard about license plates.  It's about Soviet license plates during the Cold War, and the true name of "The Reagan Doctrine."

The story begins with my getting a phone call in 1985 from a buddy of mine working in the Reagan White House, Dana Rohrabacher (who has been a Congressman, R-CA, since 1988).  The conversation went like this:
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MODOGGIES: THE LATEST MOSLEM FREAK-OUT Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Friday, 31 August 2007

The latest event in what is surely one of the world's most fun sports - Moslem Enragement - is the Modoggy Cartoon Contest taking place in Sweden.

It started out so innocently.  A group of Swedish artists in the small town of Tällberg decided to hold an exhibition entitled "The Dog in Art," and invited submissions.  A famous (and famously eccentric and mischievous) artist, Lars Vilks, exhibited a large cartoon drawing entitled "Mohammed as a Rondell Dog."

A Rondell Dog or Rondellhund has been a harmless art form in Sweden for the last several years.  Anonymous artists have set up plywood or plastic sculptures of dogs in traffic circle roundabouts (rondells) throughout the country.  Here's a typical one:

modoggy-r

So Vilks puts up this cartoon sketch:

modoggy

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OLYMPIC TAIWAN Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler   
Thursday, 30 August 2007

The Chicoms intend to use the 2008 Beijing Olympics as did the Nazis in the 1936 Berlin Olympics - as a glorification of their rule and a demand that the world provide it with the prestige it so desperately craves.  That's their dream.

Last May in Chinese Wishes, we discussed how the Chicoms' dearest dream may turn out to be a nightmare of protests and boycotts, a human rights debacle of Olympian proportions.

It looks like Taiwan is going to make this nightmare a lot worse.  And the Chicoms won't be able to do a thing about it.
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