The Terminator Effect ...,
Un film à éviter ...,
Thoughts on American Power ...,
Imperial Success ...,
2 Wars for oil bad on all fronts; Jobs gone forever ...,
Sam Vaknin's Sites ...,
"How Many Jews ..." ...,
I have gotten a lot from your site and enjoyed it very much.
"Musing On Life" by Bill McKeen
The political victory of Austrian born Arnold Schwarzenegger in the gubernatorial elections in California reminded me of the presidential election in Poland in 1990 where I was one of the contenders.
This California election grabbed media attention around the world. The election was not unique only the ethnicity and popularity of the movies of Mr. Schwarzenegger but also in the fact that Californians were not satisfied with their previously elected governor and decided to vote him out of office in the midst of his term.
Now, this is something that would not happen in Poland where elections are rigged by the post communist parties with the aid of proportional election law. Once they get any political post there is no possibility of recall of any dumb or mean moron. Not only that, the election law discriminates against Polish citizens who do not have residency in Poland as post communists are much afraid of any competition from savvy and capable outsiders no matter how good they are.
If he is successful it will give hope and determination to people in other countries like Poland to press for election changes that do not allow proportional voting that permit a politician who gets a mere 100 votes to sit on the bench next to one who got over 100,000. Direct election law that considers the majority of votes is the only way to go. The California example has also shown people in other countries the great importance of a political recall.
In my political experience people can have successful political representation only by a method of successive approximation, which has indicated a need for a quick change of politicians. Real life does not like political cronyism and abuse of power. Now in the tighter world economy with deflation already in place there is a need for faster changes and new politicians to face the hard realities of the world. Most of all honest politicians who can be trusted by people!
As the present popularity of a Premier of Poland oscillates between 12 and 14 percent I am sure that most Poles would love to have him recalled along with his entire government. But as I know Leszek Miller he will stubbornly continue to be a Premier to the end of his term. Even a popular uprising or revolution will not remove him from his post as he has the powers to declare Marshall Law in any given district or in the entire country. This is why election law that permits a recall is important to return power to the people in a truly democratic country.
Getting back to Arnold, he has the formidable task of bringing about major reform in California to solve many problems and to satisfy his electorate and his opponents. If you think that elections are hard, believe me the hard work starts the first day when you come to a new office. We can only wish him well as his success is important to us all, no matter where we live. Hasta la vista baby!
As longer texts keep coming in, we've decided to make them accessible through a link. WM
(Two texts from Ludwin)
Il n'y a, objectivement, que peu de risques pour que l'un ou l'autre d'entre vous ait l'occasion de voir "Fanchan", un film à petit budget sorti le 3 octobre en Thaïlande, et qui a d'ores et déjà vaincu, au box office, un dessin animé étasunien lancé au même moment avec grand fracas, racontant les aventures d'un poisson disneyesque...Continue reading ...
'Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.' ( Amendment X111). And one would believe that the American government fervently supports constitutional principles and is opposed to anything resembling slavery in the modern era.
In 2003 the U.S. oil company, Unocal, is fighting a claim brought in California by villagers alleging that in Myanmar ( formerly Burma) Unocal profited from the use of their forced labor. The Aliens Torts Claims Act permits non-U.S. citizens bringing a tort action in a U.S. court. The statute has two jurisdictional prerequisites. The first requirement is of an allegation of "specific, universal and obligatory" violation of international norms. The second requirement is that the defendant must also be present in the U.S. The villagers' case seems then to satisfy the egregious international wrong test, and Unocal is undeniably present in California.
The first instance judge ruled that the case should advance, and the government intervenes and is opposing the case.The Bush administration has asked the 11 - panel Federal Appeal panel to block the case on the ground that it unduly interferes with foreign policy. It is probable, if one considered, that pursuit of the national interest requires consistency with international norms, if international law is to be adhered to. Therein lies the challenge for justice, for the American government has found itself repeatedly in a unilaterlalist opposition to the mutilateralist pursuits of the world community and at times in violation of international law.
American power is facing global needs, requiring that the world's leader be consistently democratic, both domestically and internationally, and supportive of measures and policies that are in the best interest of not just America, but the world and the majority of humanity.
War or Peace? - American power in the world's pre-eminent nation has choices to be made, of assisting multilateralist efforts at preserving global peace or unilaterally pursuing measures as assure more war.
The writer is a lawyer who has defended public interest and human rights cases. His new book is entitled, "Learn the Law - a retarded text for advanced readers" and the book can be purchased at http:// www.globaljusticeonline.com
The world has changed so much that now the U.S. Treasury secretary flies to Asia to beg China to reduce a massive trade surplus and to revalue it's currency. Of course he comes back home with promises that the Chinese will soon show "flexibility" in their currency policies. In 2002 China's trade surplus with the US was $103 billion. With it's abundance of cheap labor and currency value fixed to one tenth of the US dollar, China can undercut American manufacturers of everything from toys to furniture and clothes. In proportion the Chinese have a similar trade surplus with Poland.
When I ran for office in Poland in 1990 my vision for economic revival of the post-communist economy was very similar to the plan used by Chinese. In post-communist China there was no privatization, no overvalued currency to favor post-communists and international speculators or developed nations. Chinese did it their own way in agreement with their pragmatic and patriotic goals of economic growth. Since 1990 China's economy has been growing at a minimum rate of 8% a year, which is almost 300%. There is no unemployment in China. When I talk to my friends in China they are busy and on the go. It is awesome to imagine 1.3 billion busy people growing at such a fast pace.
Lack of privatization has not stopped foreigners from making substantial investments in China. On the contrary, attracted by a huge potential market, foreign investors see China as a "must invest or die" opportunity. For example the Chinese buy about 2 million cell phones a month. The low value of the Chinese yuan is very attractive to investors as they see it as an opportunity to export their products from China to other markets in Asia and all over the world. There is no doubt that the economic plan of China, which is totally opposite to the Balcerowicz Plan adopted by post-communists in Poland, has been a huge success.
China is living proof that, contrary to what you read in the Polish press, a country can succeed even when the world economy is depressed. For me the greatest success of China is the full employment of its working force. For what good is it to have overvalued currency like in Poland if a few hundred million people are out of work?
But I think that the real reason that the Chinese are so successful with their economy is that they are a proud people with an imperial attitude. When their daughters and sons come to study in America they seem almost arrogant with their statements that everything is better in China. Well, they might be right when you compare some of our cities here to a place like Shanghai. While we live in fear after 9/11 and worry about the shrinking economy, the proud and nationalistic Chinese almost triple their output every 10 years.
In the meantime according to a recent report by the American Society of Civil Engineers the US infrastructure has been assessed at a level of D-plus. This report describes the poor conditions of American roadways, bridges, drinking water and energy. The report blames the deteriorating infrastructure on a weak economy, limited federal programs, population growth (!) and the threat of terrorism, which diverts money for security.
But there is no doubt that Americans also have an imperial attitude as being the best in the world. This is why in time I see both countries on a collision course fighting over jobs and world markets. China still has a couple decades to go before that happens but the collision is inevitable. While we are raised in the Roman culture and each of us is an individual only for himself, Chinese like Jews are raised in a culture that favors the interest of the group over the interest of one person. Ants and bees use a similar approach with great success.
And now, according to many polls, the George Bush administration is sowing apocalyptic fear in America in order to conceal, disguise and to cover-up their own incompetence, and that takes away from the imperial greatness that has made America so great.
But I will get back to Poland, whose vitality and economic growth have been stunted by predatory economic policies, normally imposed on conquered nations. Does Poland still have a chance to break out of the losing streak and be successful like China? The answer is a cautious yes as the country has been raped by malicious privatization and converted into a colony ruled by ex-communist overlords. According to many economists two basic conditions must exist for Poland to start economic recovery: protection of individual rights and elimination of predatory market practices of any kind. These two conditions are free like air and sunshine and do not require any investment. But what is needed is for the Polish people to demonstrate their imperial attitude and their will to succeed with political change. New leaders need to be elected to make it happen as those that Poland has now are well known for their lies, treachery and sowing of fear. Once the basic conditions of growth exist, the vitality of the Poles will do the rest.
I know it will not be easy for many Poles, who are still in love with America to acknowledge and take notice of Chinese success and a real threat to their standard of living here. Wake up my countrymen, our world has already changed. Only proud people that have no fear of change are great.
If a collective spirit, traditionalism and discipline are stereotypical attributes of the Chinese culture, comparing them to "ants and bees" is certainly unjustified. I don't understand how the author added the Jews to this comparison as the Jews have a reputation for extreme individualism. The old joke is that if two Jews land on a desert island they will form three political parties. WM
Long time no heard. Hope you are well. Many of the topics dealt with in Vagabond are covered by dozens of articles on my various Web sites. You and your readers may find the following gateways of interest:
Thank you for considering my web sites!
Tell me what you think about "Case for Pashtunistan." MG
Look for the article "Pashtunistan" in this issue. WM
Regarding your enlightening 1995 article "HOW MANY JEWS DID HITLER KILL?", I have some comments.
You say "the Celts vanished because they didn't develop written history". This is not true. The Brythonic Celts who were generally in what is now France, who were conquered and wiped out by the Romans, did not have an alphabet or literature. However, the Goidelic Celts, the Gaels, in what is now Ireland and the western edge of Scotland, did have a written history and literature. Possibly as old as the Hebrew alphabet is the Ogham script used by the Gaels of old. This was replaced later by a kind of "Celtic Cyrillic", a hybrid Latin- Celtic alphabet in use from about the 8th century to 1948, when Latin characters were adopted for Gaelic.
Thanks for your time!
Name and Email withheld by request
Thanks for your interesting information! WM
I am writing to inform you of the publication of my book Hidden Meanings: A Study of the Founding Symbols of Civilization. The book attempts to resolve the question of Marcel Griaule, Germaine Dieterlen and Dogon cosmology by approaching the subject in a new way. For the past few decades, the stars of Sirius have so thoroughly dominated discussions of the Dogon that it seems no one thought to examine Dogon mythology's many statements regarding the structure of matter. As it turns out, Dogon descriptions and drawings run parallel to the actual scientific structure of matter, starting with the atom and continuing all the way down to the vibrating strings of string theory, and include descriptions of esoteric behavior of matter at the most fundamental levels. Key elements of this same structure are found in ancient Egypt, often times in greater detail than the Dogon. The Egyptian hieroglyphic words which describe how matter is formed are written with glyphs which precisely match scientific diagrams from string theory. The many similarities between Dogon and Egyptian cosmological references all but preclude suggestions by Belgian anthropologist Walter Van Beek that they could have been the product of Dogon priestly invention. The book is available for order through any bookstore or at the Xlibris site below (ISBN 1-4010-8877-5 Hardcover $28 or ISBN 1-4010-8876-7 Softcover $18).