Saturday, April 30, 2005

Future Highlights

When service is resumed, look for:

1. A complete categorization of everything into the ETF Ecosystem, with a special category for Science (Lancet is a Doug Piranha).

2. The European part of Kierkegaard, including the conversion of France to South Kent and the Brit/Spanish War of Flossie's Ear.

3. The Asian part of It Could Happen To The US, including the Japan/China War and the exodus of the Israelis to Australia.

4. The next Granita Tape, featuring the horrific Chirac Paunch Burst scene and the return of Gordon the Rat.

The only thing is, it might not be in English.

Road Trip

As mentioned earlier, Mrs G and I fly out in the morning to an extended foreign language course. We may find ourselves in a broadband & hotspot-free zone.

Still the cooking will be good, and I'll be able to keep everybody laughing, laughing with my Chirac/Schroeder/Giuliana Sgrena jokes.

Worst case, I'm back on line on May 17, by which time the following should have happened.

1. The White House will have taken the RINOs on the Senate Judiciary Committee to the woodshed and John Bolton will be nominated. Not that the UN matters, but the Man has to show who is in charge.

2. Blair will probably have been elected, but by a slim enough majority to have him hand over to Brown. Who might just refuse to sign up on the Euro Constitution. Either way, we'll know where we are.

3. Volker will have pulled the plug on Annan.

It Could Happen To The US (2)

Since I may not be able to blog from Darkest EU, it seems fair to complete the thought experiment on what an America-hating President Hillary Rodham might do after election in 08.

This one deals with US developments: I'll post separate ones on Asia and Europe when I return.

The earlier post ended with:

20. Iran demands that all Jews vacate Israel. President Rodham joins with Jane Fonda to ask the Israelis to "give peace a chance". After Israel refuses, Iran detonates nuclear weapons over Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, killing 40% of Israelis. France obtains a UN resolution demanding Israelis show realism and depart, and threatens them with French nuclear forces.Surviving Israelis execute Operation Masada, destroying 32 Arab cities and Paris.

21. Oh, and ex-Senator Joseph Biden is appointed AU Anti-Corruption Czar with a big office in Montreal.

To continue.

22. In preparation for the 2012 election, the FCC rules that blogs are political speech and so regulated by McCain-Feingold. Google, stating that it will "Do No Evil", shuts down Blogspot. The ABA threatens the remaining blog hosting services with class actions for the recovery of damages for "fundamentalist hate speech". On legal advice, these services shut down. The remaining right-wing blogs move their services and in some cases themselves to the democratic refuges of Australia, Iraq, Afghanistan and, after its revolution, to the UK.

23. The Canadian Supreme Court rules in favor of the "honor killing" of a Canadian Muslim teenager by her brothers for walking in public with a fellow male student. The CSC finds the killers innocent, on the grounds that they were were following the dictates of Islam's 'divinely ordained justice'.

24. Elsewhere, the US Supreme Court rules that the First Amendment rights of bloggers have not been curtailed, pointing out that they can always be employed by "proper" media. Following this ruling, many lefty bloggers are hired by the revitalized MSM.

25. By 2012, all members of the earlier Bush administration are either in Canadian jails, or at the Hague facing the International Court of Justice, together with over 10,000 other former members of the US military indicted by that court for war crimes. The Republican challenge to President Rodham is mounted by ex-Governor Mark Warner of Virginia, running with Colin Powell.

26. Rodham wins, although only 35% of voters go to the polls. Dimocrats gain control of both houses.

27. British military units that fled to the US to escape the Blair purges of 2005-2007 return to the UK to participate in the revolution.

28. UN Secretary General Mugabe is the first to welcome Rodham's election and her commitment to "add another 18 floors to the UN building".

29. Shortly after the election, a 10 year old muslim girl is hanged from a cherry picker in a Toronto shopping mall for "moral crimes against Islam's divinely ordained justice". The child has been raped by an uncle, and their mother supported the execution. Canadian shoppers ignore the incident, but Australian, British, Japanese, Afghan and Iraqi public opinion is outraged and demands reference to the AU Supreme Court.


30. Sitting in emergency session, the AUSC rules the executions unlawful, since they violate the "right to privacy" of the executioners and their families. The Court further rules that in future, within the AU, such executions should take place privately, using the traditional penalty for adultery. Felons should be buried up to their breasts and then stoned using stones that "should not be large enough to kill the woman by one or two strikes, nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones". To deal with the execution of children, the Court changes the reference to "breasts" to "6 inches below shoulders". It further requires that such executions take place in recognized holy places and that felons should be sedated with morphine.

31. The ACLU pronounces satisfaction with a verdict that "respects religious diversity". Spokespersons from the Canadian and US womens' movements also voice support, saying "this is all about the mother's right to choose, and she chose death for her child before dishonor. We respect her choice".

32. In 2013, the Department of Commerce reports that the US economy has shrunk by 45% since 2008. Unemployment is at 25% and the Dow is at 3000. Social conditions resemble the Great Depression. President Rodham promises a "New Deal".

33. Canadian police arrest two 13 year old girls in San Jose, CA and take them to Canada for trial and execution by the Islamic community - the children had been forced by their relatives to work as prostitutes. The NYT opines in an article headlined "It Takes a Village" that "The rioting in San Diego reflects the persistent racism of American people". They conclude that "The Israeli destruction of the nations and holy places of Islam demand atonement by the American people".

34. Mass emigration begins to Australia and the newly liberated UK.

35. British and Australian media report serious insurrections in California.

36. The talks on the restoration of Alaska following the "one-sided US purchase" drag on. As a gesture of good faith, the US dismantles its Alaskan BMD. Russia demands compensation for all the oil pumped under US occupation, and the US concedes this in principle.

37. The Hispanic insurgency in the 4 border states grows, following the suppression by the Border Patrol of attempts by local citizens to "illegally take the law into their own hands".

38. In early 2014, the nation mourns the death of ex-President Carter. While officiating at Groundhog Day he is savaged to death by Punxsutawney Phil. The assailant is shot by the Secret Service. London's Sun tabloid publishes pictures of the savaging under the headline "Gotcha". The UK and US mutually withdraw their ambassadors, and the UK suspends aid shipments.

39. By 2015, unemployment reaches 40%. Power rationing is extended to Manhattan, causing the infamous "Gucci Riots".

40. In early 2005, Condoleezza Rice dies of dehydration in a Canadian prison, after the courts decide that she would not wish to survive following a coma induced while in custody.

41. In a speech widely reported around the world, but not in the US, ex-Governor Schwarzenegger says:

"People have no jobs. That's bad. Children are being killed. That's bad. Our borders are wide open. That's bad. Our Courts and Lawmakers are out of control. That's bad. This is not the America I came to and that was so good to me. We should take America back".

Following a series of uniquely Californian electoral maneuvers, Schwarzenegger is re-elected Governor. His first action is to close the borders with the rest of the US.

42. Other states follow to form the Greater US Union, and the Second Civil War begins. This time, Mexico and Canada are engaged. After 3 bloody years, the death of 5 million people and the destruction of Washington DC, Ottawa, Mexico City and Los Angeles, the Greater US Union prevails.

43. The Greater US includes the 5 western provinces of the old Canada plus the northernmost former Mexican states. Britain adopts the Eastern former Canadian provinces. Quebec is ceded to the Indian tribes on condition that it is available as a Moonbat Reservation (see below).

44. At a constitutional convention in Philadelphia, delegates agree a number of constitutional amendments to limit the socially destructive forces that brought ruin upon the nation. These include:

- All candidates for electoral office should either have hard science or engineering degrees (the Maggie clause), or have run a real business (the "W" clause), or have served their nation in harm's way in the police, military or firefighters (the Ike clause).

- Candidates from professions centered on dishonesty are excluded from office, notably lawyers and some journalists and accountants.

- Candidates if either married or civil-unionized must still live with their first partner.

- The judiciary is reformed, with term limits of 8 years and the requirement that all judgments shall be made by a jury. All current judges must stand for re-election.

- Tenure is criminalized in all professions.

- The federal tax take shall be via a flat tax, not to exceed 15%.

- Paid lobbying is made illegal.

- No foreign quasi-government entity shall be located in the Greater US.

- English is made the official language of the Greater US, and citizenship or residence requires fluency.

- The state religion of the Greater US is defined as Christianity. All other religions are encouraged, provided that they do not violate Christian behaviors.

- Citizens unwilling to abide by the new Constitution are to be transported to new Moonbat Reservations, where they will subsists on social security, but not allowed to re-enter the Greater US.


- A review of all laws made under the Dimocrats that violate the above is to be carried out, and offending laws are struck down.


45. The new capital city is established in Minneapolis, approximately the center of the Greater US.

46. The UN HQ is transferred to Sudan, in spite of serious rioting by high-end New York restaurateurs. (The Wold Bank and IMF have already been vaporized with Washington, and re-headquartered in Aberystwyth, Wales).

47. Following adoption of these resolutions and a Republican landslide, President Schwarzenegger visits Moscow in Air Force II (a stretched B-2 bomber, fully loaded). After a private conversation with Czar Putin, both announce that Russia has renounced all claims to Alaska.

48. The Greater US withdraws from NATO and forms the center of the Anglosphere Defensive Alliance with the UK, Australia, New Zealand, India and free South Africa. Virgin Anglo, the Rutan/Branson sub-orbital airline, starts services between the US, the UK, India and Australia, with maximum journey times of 2 hours.

49. Moonbat Reservations are created in Cancun and its surroundings; parts of the former Quebec; and, by British agreement, in Tuscany Italy. Heart rending scenes follow, as members of the former regime and its supporters are electronically tagged and shipped out to perpetual irrelevance.

50. The US economy expands to its 2008 size within 5 years, and becomes the largest in the world within 10.


51. The world is at peace, for a while.

Late Spring in the Southern (2)

It's 80 degrees, cloudless sky.

Mrs. G and her retinue of lizards are sunning themselves in the yard.

The farmers here just cut the hay (in England that gets done in June).

Last night we heard the first cricket/locust.

Tomorrow we head out for a two week language course in another part of the Southern EU. I guess it'll be Summer when we're back.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Talabani's Tribute

Brits, including the son of a neighbor, died creating and defending the Kurdish safe haven after the Gulf War. Iraq's Kurdish President Talabani gives thanks for this in a letter to Tony Blair (from The Sun via normblog and American Future). I'm posting it as a tribute to the dead. It's a bit too nice to Blair, but you may find it worth reading.

Now the democratically-elected parliament has honoured me, a Kurd, with the post of Presidency. This is a symbol of the promise, integration and unity of the new Iraq.

Let nobody mislead you, the Iraq that we inherited in April 2003, following the British and American-led liberation, was a tragedy.

The Ba’athist criminals had starved the country of an infrastructure and the people of their freedom.

Apart from the Kurdish safe haven, Iraq was a playground for thugs and a prison for the innocent.

Saddam’s war against the Iraqi people was on-going; we have evidence which demonstrates that the regime was executing its challengers until the last days of its rule.

It was that war, lasting almost forty years, which was the true war of Iraq.

We have all heard of the genocide, gassing, ethnic cleansing, mass murder and the environmental vandalism of the territory of Iraq’s historic Marsh Arabs.


We understand that there is no turning the clock back. Instead, we press ahead with democratisation and justice.

Unfortunately, Saddam’s former henchmen and religious extremist associates have chosen to fight their losing battle, which in turn has made post-liberation Iraq less stable than we would have wished.

Yet true Iraqis have largely shunned the terrorists, and their cowardly acts are increasingly becoming limited and confined to certain areas.

Millions of brave Iraqis defy terrorism and reject dictatorship every day, without fuss, and certainly without attention from the television cameras.

We undertake to rebuild a shattered country scarred by decades of tyranny. With unwavering resolve we support plurality, egalitarianism, and the political process.

Building a democratic federal Iraq is a difficult, and slow, but rewarding process.

Those who doubt the swiftness of transition must keep in mind that a state such as Iraq is a cultural, ethnic and linguistic mosaic that was only ever held together by brute force, thus, political speed can kill.

Nevertheless, January saw Iraq’s first free and open general election, leading to the first democratically-elected government of our desolate history.

Yet our struggle for a better, emancipated Iraq is only due to the consistent and unwavering support of Prime Minister Blair, the British people, and the coalition of the willing.

For many Iraqis, the positive role that Britain has played is a welcome change.

From our colonial master, Britain has become our democratic guardian.

In 1991 I saw at first hand how Prime Minister John Major, fresh from the liberation of Kuwait, bravely led the way in implementing a safe-haven for Iraqi Kurdistan.

For 12 years, heroic RAF pilots, with the support of neighbouring Turkey, flew in Kurdish skies to prevent Saddam from completing the anti-Kurdish genocide that he had started in 1987.

We were finally able to start rebuilding the 4,500 villages destroyed by Saddam’s regime and to begin the process of nurturing civil society and democracy.

And now thanks to Prime Minister Blair’s courageous and principled decisions, we can recreate this throughout Iraq.

Of course the liberation of Iraq has been controversial, as all wars should be.
Sadly in this case, war was not the “best” option, it was the only option.


Under Saddam, war was never controversial, never discussed, simply ordered and executed by him and his thugs.

Iraqis sometimes wonder in amazement what the debate abroad is about. Why do people continue to ask why no WMD was found?

The truth is that Saddam had, in the past, used chemical and biological weapons against his own people, and we believed he would do so again.

Of course Saddam himself was, in the view of those who opposed him, Iraq’s most dangerous WMD.

Instead of continually focusing on the negative, the British, who will soon commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE day, should know that in the eyes of the majority of Iraqis, it was you who brought us our own victory day.

Britain should be proud that the liberation of Iraq has in our eyes been one of your finest hours.

History will judge Prime Minister Blair as a champion against tyranny. Of that I have no doubt.

We are not reticent about expressing our great thanks to the British people and paying homage to tragic British losses.


Every Iraqi family, in fact, has lost a loved one because of Saddam. Every Iraqi understands the pain of conflict, the grief that accompanies war.


We honour those who sacrificed their lives for our liberation. We are determined out of respect to create a tolerant and democratic Iraq, an Iraq for all the Iraqi people.

It will take time and much patience, but I can assure you it will be worth while, not only for Iraq, but for the whole of the Middle East.

Weasel Words

Via Opinion Journal we learn (I've edited out some Heavy German Humor):

The inhabitants of the island of Lemnos are considering sending out a distress call for German weasels to rid the island of a plague of wild rabbits.

Government restrictions on hunting are preventing the farmers from fighting back.

Enter the Weasel Squad…or at least this is where they would enter if they weren't just so expensive to hire. "I've heard that each one costs about 4,400 euros ($5706)," Baveas sighed. "We would need at least 10 weasels," he dejectedly added.

Lemnos is obviously a bit out of it. German weasels besides costing a great deal, will insist on being fed enormous amounts of odd food in gloomy restaurants, squeal horrible Europop, lecture the Lemnosites on how hard done by German weasels are. And then side with the rabbits.

The Lemnosites would do much better with British Ferrets, currently laying waste to New Zealand. All they need is plenty of rabbits and the opportunity to engage the plucky locals in the bracing sport of Ferret Legging.

The ETF Ecosystem: Kierkegaards

Here are the first entries in the Kierkegaard section of the ETF Ecosystem. Kierkegaards are false friends that burrow away at the foundations of our societies. They also bite the heads off whippets.

COUNTRIES
Denmark (For spawning Kierkegaard)
Saudi Arabia

POLITICIANS
John Kerry
Tony Blair

INSTITUTIONS
The US Supreme Court
The Brit Law Lords
The ACLU
Greenpeace and rest of the Global Warming crowd

Readers are invited to suggest additions and deletions. However, the editor's decision will be final.

The ETF Ecosystem: Criminologists

Here are the first entries in the Criminologist section of the ETF Ecosystem. Criminologists excuse evil and patronize good.

MEDIA
All the US MSM except for the WSJ (Organs) and the STrib & NYT (Kierkegaards)
All US news channels except for Fox
DefenseTech, for ignoring Chinese weapons systems while sniping at Rummy and BMD
The Brit Guardian, Mirror and Sun
The BBC
Kos plus most other lefty blogs

COUNTRIES
Canada
Germany
Belgium

POLITICIANS
Al Gore
Most other Dimocrat pols, with the exception of Senator Joe Lieberman (Organs), and a slither of Kierkegaards (Kerry) and Dinsdales (the Clintons, Kennedy)
Most of New Labour
RINOs
Colin Powell, if he really is sandbagging Bolton

COLLEGES
All colleges rated “red light” by speechcodes.org
Birmingham University
University of Colorado
All Brit universities with significant membership of the AUT

INSTITUTIONS
US State Department
Brit Foreign Office
Those parts of the Brit and US judiciaries that aren't moderated by Juries
The Church of England, for extreme moral equivalence
The TSA (for strip-searching nuns while waving 25 year old Iranians on board)

Readers are invited to suggest additions and deletions. However, the editor's decision will be final.

Zarqawi Win-Win

I wouldn't be surprised if the Coalition hasn't captured Zarqawi along with his laptop.

Think about it. If you reported that you'd captured Zarqawi, there'd be instant howls from all the usual suspects for due process, fair trial, and treatment under the Geneva Convention. The commie Red Cross would be all over you to make sure that you didn't harm hide nor hair. So his organiztion would keep up the slaughter, secure in the knowledge that its ex-boss would not spill the beans.

But if you captured the guy and handed him to the Shias in Iraqi intel, you'd get a torrent of information. And you'd ascribe your subsequent success in busting his organization to the material on the laptop. And he gets his 72 virgins.

Win-Win.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

This Is Good!

Many in the blogosphere have fantasized about replacing the tyrant-infested United Nations with a free Democratic Nations. Well, guess what? There is one and it's called the League of Democracies!

(WSJ subscription required).

We scoured the papers and searched the Internet but couldn't find many references yesterday to the fact that Condoleezza Rice was in Chile leading the U.S. delegation to the fledgling Community of Democracies. Perhaps that's because this story doesn't fit with the prevailing diplomatic narrative of a cowboy America that refuses to play nicely with other nations.

We'll even go out on a limb with this prediction: While most of the 120 or so countries represented in Santiago may not envisage it yet, this Community could one day overshadow Kofi Annan's dictator-friendly talk shop on New York's East River.

One of the virtues of this assembly is that it's not a bureaucracy. It has no permanent secretariat. It also hasn't claimed, in Mr. Annan's famous words, a "unique legitimacy" to authorize the use of force or anything else. But that's because it doesn't have to claim legitimacy.

This is really, really good. Time to crack another bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Mark Your Calendars

On October 21 1805, the British Navy commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson defeated the Combined Fleets of France and Spain off Cape Trafalgar.

Nelson of course died as the battle was won, but his strategic and tactical genius, inspired and aggressive seamanship, resolute leadership and immense personal courage broke the back of Napoleon's empire.

There are many celebrations scheduled, the biggest being the International Fleet Review off Portsmouth, of 156 warships from 40 nations. Hope the French come - check out their alternative history here.

Expat Yank shows how Brit Liberal pols would have Stopped The Violence.

NB, in the ETF Ecosystem:

Horatio Nelson was a Spiny Norman
Spain was a Kierkegaard (in consequence, the country is now absolutely whippet-free)
France was a Dinsdale Piranha (and remains so to this day)
Napoleon was a Doug Piranha

The Brit Election

I hope the Conservatives win - not because they have a great platform, but because a Blair win locks the Brits into the Franco/German dominated, corrupt, despotic, America-hating, economically declining, tyrant- and felon- loving EU. Did I miss anything?

There are other views. Mark Steyn says:

I'm one of those who think France's Euro-referendum will be much more decisive than the UK's general election when it comes to determining how Britain is governed. If the French reject the European Constitution, they'll have rejected it for these islands as well. If they sign up for it, it will probably be a fait accompli for the British, too.

I disagree - France is a predator nation. If their EU referendum fails, Chirac and the French will find a way round it. Because the EU is France writ large, and French people understand that.

Alternatively, Giles despises the Conservative leader for his obsession with ID cards.

I will not vote for any party that supports the introduction of ID cards. This (among other things) rules out Labour.

I also will not vote for a Conservative party that takes no manifesto position on the issue; their current leader's explicit support makes clarity an essential.

But that means Blair wins and the Brits get his fascist ID card system (hat tip Samizdata). If a Conservative government introduces an ID card, at least the Brits can then vote them out & get the scheme scrapped. If Blair wins, they don't get to vote again.

Here's a metaphor.

When you learn to give emergency aid, you are repeatedly told that, whatever happens, you must first clear the casualty's airway. Regardless of whether they have gushing wounds, terrible burns, broken back or limbs, or even if their breathing and/or heart have stopped. Because if the airway is blocked, no air can get in, and they'll be brain-dead in 3 minutes.

Stopping Blair is a "clear the airway" operation - if he wins, the rest is silence.

Fancy That!

The UK is one of just eight countries in Europe where convicted prisoners can't vote, but now the European Court of Human Rights has ruled. In favor of the felons.

The laws that prevent prisoners from voting, which can be traced back to the 14th century, were challenged by John Hirst, 54, sentenced to life in 1980 after he admitted the manslaughter, on the grounds of diminished responsibility, of his landlady.

A year ago, the European Court of Human Rights found in his favour.

In response, the Government asked for the case to be reconsidered by a full court of 17 judges. That hearing took place yesterday and a ruling is expected later in the year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Ethel The Frog Ecosystem (Final)

Thanks to Giles I have more details of the ecosystem. And I've found a site with the entire script (scroll down to last item). So here's the Final Updated version.

The Ethel The Frog fable from Monty Python's Flying Circus provides an exact metaphor for human misbehavior. It will henceforward be used on DU to categorize blogs, nations, institutions and people.

The ETF Ecosystem defines six levels of malfeasance, going from Very Good to Very Bad.

Spiny Norman - Very Good
A giant hedgehog who lives in a hangar at Luton Airport (like Newark but worse). Spiny's nose-to-tail length varies between 12 feet and 800 yards. He stalks Dinsdale Piranha, Godzilla fashion, through the City of London, growling "Dinsdale?" in an irritated sort of way.

Superintendent Harry 'Snapper' Organs - Good
A Scotland Yard copper who pursues the evil Piranha brothers in a series of disguises including one as Ratty from Wind in the Willows.

Victims - Mostly Harmless
Dinsdale nails the heads of male victims to floors, while female victims have their heads nailed to coffee tables. He also screws people's pelvises to cake stands. His victims consider Dinsdale to be "cruel but fair". Doug's victims are grown men, see below, and are not available for comment.

Criminologist - Somewhat Bad
He says:" It is easy for us to judge Dinsdale Piranha too harshly. After all he only did what many of us simply dream of doing...(tic...controls himself) I'm sorry. After all a murderer is only an extroverted suicide."


Kierkegaard - Fairly Bad
A member of Dinsdale's gang who silently bites the heads off whippets (a breed of small greyhound).

Dinsdale Piranha - Bad
Dinsdale bribes the police to lend him a tank and tactical nuclear weapon to use in his protection racket. He also uses a thermonuclear device for a fruitless assault on Spiny's hangar. The detonation causes a great deal of inconvenience in the Luton area. On the other hand Dinsdale takes his mother flowers and knows how to treat a female impersonator.

Doug Piranha - Very Bad
Grown men pull their own heads off rather than face Doug's brutal use of sarcasm, dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes and satire.

Historic Maiden Flight

The A380 makes its maiden flight. But shouldn't Airbus have painted the duct tape holding the tailfin on a more discreet color?

A380

Those French Fantasists (1)

All Brits learn at an early age that a man who sports 1970s sideburns, speaks broken English, wears a violently checked tweed cap and drives a car registered in France is indubitably - French. And that Brit Grandmothers are the true defenders of the Realm.

If further evidence of these truths were required, a M. Martinet has written a book:

...a former officer of DGSE, France's foreign intelligence service, has given a hands-on account of the profession.

...Martinet claims to have spent several months in London monitoring Abu Walid, a suspected member of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, the GIA, with links to al-Qa'eda.

...he insisted that no country, including Britain - whose secret services enjoy an excellent reputation in France - was aware of his presence.

The shaven-headed, unassuming 41-year-old also dispelled the glamorous myths associated with secret agents. "James Bond is the anti-agent par excellence," he said. "He wears a tuxedo, drives an Aston Martin and gets the girls. We, on the other hand, rent cheap Renaults, avoid cocktails, use false names, and never stand out."

However, some of his attempts at "blending in" may have raised a few suspicions. On one mission to London he thought it best to grow sideburns and sport a tweed cap. He also admits that his pidgin English was a serious handicap.

Another weak point shared by French secret agents in London was their inability to drive on the left. So his unit had a right-hand-drive vehicle shipped over the Channel to give them practice.

But without doubt an agent's worst enemy, he claimed, is the nosey grandmother who peeps through her curtains and rings the police if she notices anything untoward. Such a nightmare neighbour forced him to abandon his surveillance of Abu Walid's home in Wembley, which he nicknames "Londonistan", and flee the capital.

Still, I bet he got the girls though, cheap Renaults notwithstanding.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

EU Despotism

WSJ Europe (subscription required) has a more on the EU Anti-Fraud Squad that was run by Joseph Biden's hero. As well as being corrupt, the EU turns out to be a classic despotism - suprise, surprise. Sadly, there doesn't seem any legal way to fix it.

In March last year, Hans-Martin Tillack, a German journalist who writes for Stern, had spent two years exposing a story of alleged fraud at the EU's statistical agency, Eurostat, in which millions of euros of public funds were siphoned off into secret bank accounts. Then, one morning in Brussels (my emphases):

...he woke up metamorphosed from a whistleblowing journalist into the target of an accusation from the EU's antifraud office, Olaf.

His computer and diaries were seized and he was questioned for hours by the Belgian police without access to counsel. More than a year later, his files and diaries are still in the possession of the police, and last week the EU's highest court, the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, denied his request to retrieve those documents and deny the European Commission access to his personal records.

Mr. Tillack's travails began when an EU spokesman, Joachim Gross, said he'd heard that Mr. Tillack had paid EU officials for certain documents, Mr. Tillack recounts. He went to court in Germany to have Mr. Gross barred from repeating the allegation on the grounds that it was baseless, and won. But Mr. Gross returned to court to argue that as an EU official at the time, he was immune from prosecution in national courts, and had the judgment reversed. And so it has gone for Mr. Tillack ever since.

The Court of Justice in Luxembourg says it cannot act to protect his documents from the European Commission because it is a matter for the Belgian state. He cannot take Olaf to court in Belgium because it is an EU institution. Under Belgian law, the commission, as a party to the case, has a right to request access to his files. But Mr. Tillack, who has been charged with no crime and is not officially under investigation, is not a party to the investigation and therefore has no access to his own files.

EU Serf is well named.

I'm working on a post on successful strategies for busting despotisms. There are good solutions for fixing them in the US and Brit without breaking our institutions. But I haven't found any lawful fix for the EU's interlocking, deeply corrupt and extra-legal flavor of despotism.

Iranian EMP Attack

LGF has a WorldNetDaily piece suggesting those pesky Mullahs are planning to wipe out the US economy with an EMP nuke. I doubt it.

Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America’s technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world’s lone superpower, say U.S. intelligence sources, top scientists and western missile industry experts.

The radical Shiite regime has conducted successful tests to determine if its Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, can be detonated by a remote-control device while still in high-altitude flight.

Last time I looked there were 476 Comments on LGF, many of the "head for the hills" variety. For such people, I recommend as the classic post-nuke survival book Pat Frank's Alas Babylon - the science is sound, and it enumerates all the things you need to do to stay alive. Another good book about the effects of a strike with a big EMP component is Warday, by Whitley Strieber & James Kunetka.

EMP is an ElectroMagnetic Pulse produced by a nuclear explosion. The only real experimentation was on a high altitude 1.4 Megaton detonation in 1961. It was about 800 miles from Hawaii and:

Street lights and fuses failed on Oahu and telephone service was disrupted on the Island of Kauai.

Since then, military hardware has been hardened against EMP - there are big test frames into which you wheel your B-2 bomber to check that it's suitably shielded.

But that leaves Wall Street, our SUVs, and our iPods. Some people fear that all civilian electronics in the US would be fried by a big thermonuclear detonation 250 miles over Kansas.

However, this source seems to me to be the most knowledgeable about EMP, and it says (my ellipsis):

In principle, even a new nuclear proliferator could execute (an EMP) strike. In practice, however, it seems unlikely that such a state would use one of its scarce warheads to inflict damage which must be considered secondary to the primary effects of blast, shock, and thermal pulse.

Furthermore, (an EMP) attack must use a relatively large warhead to be effective (perhaps on the order of one megaton), and new proliferators are unlikely to be able to construct such a device, much less make it small enough to be lofted to high altitude by a ballistic missile or space launcher.

Not to mention that the attack has to be via ballistic missile. Which will be observed by multiple space and ground based tracking systems, and traced back to its launch point in a fraction of a second. After which the offending nation would be thoroughly whacked.

Unless the US has a Dimocrat President that is.

But all that means is that Dimocrats are much more dangerous to the US than Mullahs with nukes...

Monday, April 25, 2005

Big Brother Awards

Privacy International announces their four US Big Brother Awards for 2005 and I disagree with 3 of them.

Worst Corporate Invader
Nominees
- Acxiom (for a tradition of data brokering)
- Accenture (for its Government projects)
- Response Unlimited (for trying to sell the list of donors to Schiavo's parents')

The judges selected Accenture for the award. Citing concerned members of the House of Representatives, who raised the fact that the largest contract issued by the Department of Homeland Security was being issued to a company based in Bermuda, the judges felt that Accenture was worthy of the award. The judges were particularly concerned with the plans for the US-VISIT program, including the use of additional biometrics, profiling, and the development of digital dossiers.

This reads like a Kennedy Supreme Court judgment - the reasoning doesn't remotely support the conclusions. I should declare an interest - I know and respct Accenture. It does use human wave development & its projects take forever. But, unlike it's competitors, it usually delivers systems that work.

What's the relevance of it being registered in Bermuda? Accenture operates worldwide, and if that's where it chooses to register, so what? And what has US-VISIT got to do with Accenture - they are just building it to the DHS specification.

So, bad call.

Most Invasive Proposal or Project
Nominees
- US-VISIT (mass fingerprinting and face-scanning program of all visitors to the U.S.)
- U.S. Passport with RFID (placing a transmitter chip in all new U.S. passports, to be read by anyone, anywhere, from a distance)
- Secure Flight (system to compare all travelers with the terrorist watch)
- Brittan Elementary School (RFID tagging of students)
- Standardized Drivers Licenses (de facto national ID scheme)

The judges chose Brittan Elementary School. A really bad call. It only effects a few kids. US-VISIT is wrecking US alliances for zero increase in US security. The new US Passport specification reads like it was written by Al Queda. Either would qualify.

Worst Public Department
Nominees
- The Federal Trade Commission (for repeated failures to stand up for privacy rights)
- Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (for proposing a national database of all students)
- The Department of State (for continual use of diplomacy to promote bad policy abroad, i.e. policy laundering, such as biometric passports)

They chose the Department of Education - another bad call. It effects 15 million students, sounds pretty Orwellian. But the US insistence on worldwide introduction of biometric will increase the powers of all states, many of them tyrannies, over their citizens - that's 6 Billion people being tracked, courtesy Uncle Sam. Even the awful EU thinks it's too controlling!

Lifetime Menace Award

Went to Choicepoint, the purloiner and purveyor of personal information to Identity Thieves. This one I agree with - take a look at Marc Rotenberg of EPIC's testimony to the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Just don't read it just before you go to bed...

Pity about the others.

Little Adolphs

Nobody has picked up on the true significance of this - hat tip Bruce Schneier & Michelle Malkin.


Example

These Little Marching Animals are arriving at Denver International Airport, gateway to the infamous Ethnic Studies Department of the University of Colorado and the clutches of this creature.

The Falkland Islanders aren't going to like this...

Despotism and the BBC

To understand the why liberal institutions behave the way they do, you need to understand the mechanics of despotism. This post gives an example from the BBC.

Despotism is:

...government by a singular authority, either a single person or tightly knit group, which rules with absolute power.

Of course in a modern society there are no absolute monopolies and so absolute power - but plenty of institutions come close. The purest despots in the US are the Federal and State Supreme Courts. They invent new laws, rule laws that they don't like to be unconstitutional, or just ignore them. These judges are appointed for life, and so are only accountable at the time of appointment.

The BBC is also despotic, but it has one weakness - it relies on the Brit government for its funding - via something called the BBC Charter. This gives it the right to collect, Gestapo-style, about $220 each year from every TV-owning household in the UK, regardless of whether they watch the BBC (75% do not).

Students of economics will see from this that the BBC's client is not in fact its viewers, but rather whichever government is in power when their Charter comes up for renewal every 10 years. Between times it's an unchecked despotism.

So now bemused Americans will understand this story (my ellipsis):

The BBC was last night plunged into a damaging general election row after it admitted equipping three hecklers with microphones and sending them into a campaign meeting addressed by Michael Howard, the Conservative leader.

Hecklers were recorded shouting:

"Michael Howard (Conservative party leader) is a liar", "You can't trust the Tories" and "You can only trust Tony Blair".

The BBC is planning to include this footage in an "educational" documentary just before the upcoming election. The BBC claimed that it's non-partisan, but:

...was unable to provide details of any other campaign meetings attended by the BBC3 crew.

OK, a typical CBS/Rathergate style sandbagging. But why is the BBC supporting Blair - didn't the BBC undermine Blair on the Iraq war?

It did. At the time of the 2003 BBC attack on Blair, its Charter had just 3 years to run - to 2006. Going up against Blair was a bet that he would be out of power by then. But this was risky - the Conservative opposition disdains the BBC and might not renew their Charter, and although Blair looked weak in 2003, he has a lot of resilience.

But despots find it hard to accept limits to their power. So they took a chance, and lost. And then had to make peace with Blair or lose their monopoly in 2006.

Their chairman and their CEO apologized and resigned, and a reporter was busted. Suitable replacement managers were then installed and the Blair government proposed renewing the BBC Charter for another 10 years. But here's the neat thing - they haven't quite done it yet!

So, that's why the BBC is sending wired lefties into Conservative meetings, and that's why they're getting footage of them heckling, and that's why they'll run the story just before the Brits vote. And that's why, when Brits can access hundreds of TV channels and millions of web sites, they will be paying for the BBC for the next 10 years.

That's the only rule of despotism - protect your monopoly.

Late Spring in the Southern Med

Yesterday, to cheer up/irritate the folks in the snowy Midwest, I was going to post some pictures of our sunny courtyard. Then the image server went south.

So readers will just have to imagine themselves lounging in a sun-drenched, geranium and rose bedecked, ancient, stone courtyard, surrounded by expectant green lizards. The lizards are expectant because the fragrant Mrs G has gotten them into the bad habit of begging, by feeding them scraps - they're particularly partial to cheese. I have no idea why they have gone green - last year they were stone colored.

We also have an arthritic cricket, about 6 inches long which has a habit of getting in the way. A friend insists it's really a locust. Seems unlikely, since locusts are supposed to swarm in millions and inflict biblical-scale catastrophes. Whereas this one doesn't seem to eat anything, just sits on it own and gets in the way. Is there a French species of locust?.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

The Ethel The Frog (ETF) Ecosystem

The Ethel The Frog fable from Monty Python's Flying Circus provides an exact metaphor for human misbehavior. This is from memory, I'm sure that aficionados will correct errors.

The ETF Ecosystem defines five levels of malfeasance, going from good to bad.

Spiny Norman - Very Good
A hedgehog who lives in a hangar at Luton Airport (like Newark but worse). Spiny varies between 12 feet and 200 yards long, and hunts Dinsdale Piranha by stalking him, Godzilla fashion, through the City of London. As he stalks, he growls "Dinsdale" in an irritated way.

Superintendent Harry 'Snapper' Organs - Good
A Scotland Yard copper who pursues the evil Piranha brothers in a series of disguises including one as Ratty from Wind in the Willows.

Victims - Mostly Harmless
Dinsdale nails the heads of male victims to floors, while female victims have their heads nailed to coffee tables. He also screws people's pelvises to cake stands. His victims consider Dinsdale to be "firm but fair". Doug's victims are grown men, see below, and are not available for comment.

Dinsdale Piranha - Bad
Dinsdale bribes the police to lend him a tank and a thermonuclear device for a fruitless assault on Spiny's hangar. The detonation causes a great deal of inconvenience in the Luton area. On the other hand Dinsdale takes his mother flowers and knows how to treat a female impersonator.

Doug Piranha - Very Bad
Grown men pull their own heads off rather than face Doug's brutal use of sarcasm, parody, double-entendres and satire.

Civil Unions and Social Capital

I hope that homosexual couples find the strength to take the Civil Union institution and build on it.

Some homosexuals don't see it that way. In the Connecticut vote that defined Civil Unions but also defined marriage as separate (my ellipsis):

Rep. Evelyn C. Mantilla (D), who said she is raising a child with her female partner, asked her colleagues not to "further write my second-class citizenship into our statutes." She voted against the bill, she said, because the (marriage) amendment passed.

Homosexuals, like everyone, want dignity and the respect of society. After persecution throughout history, they just seek normality and many see that as only coming through marriage.

The problem is that marriage is an institution that's there to deliver an economic good - strong and educated young adults. It ensures that babies are born and reared for the extended period that homo sapiens uniquely requires.

Marriage has a high cost to its practitioners. Economic sacrifice, the disruption of childbirth, sleepless nights, endless housekeeping, teenagers who act like they're French and a lifetime role as defender of the progeny. There are innate positives of course (pause to enumerate, brow furrowed) to balance the negatives. And successful nations also give status and benefits to good parents and impose sanctions on deadbeat ones.

Our societies (legislatures and judiciaries) have been undermining marriage since the start of the great disruption, and the results surround us - high crime rates, poorly socialized young people, damaged adults and (in the UK and Japan) a refusal to marry. So the last thing marriage needs is another bullet.

Now, some homosexual couples have gone down the route of rearing children. Either through adoption, or women conceiving children by men outside of their relationship. Getting this to work from the child's standpoint has to be really hard. As well as facing the problems of raising children who are not kin, they struggle to field the complementary skill sets that heteros bring to child rearing. Some will make it work, but most will not.

Civil Unions seem to be a decent alternative. They provide respect for homosexual relationships without imposing procreational expectations that those relationships are very unlikely to deliver.

If I were a homosexual activist, I'd take the institution of Civil Union and build it as something different from marriage but which gives another value to society. Right now our societies are bleeding altruism, and without that we're in for a tough time no matter how many kids we have and how smart they are. I'd argue that developing (for example) stronger models for altruistic behavior could build social respect for homosexuals infinitely better than trying to take over an institution they can only struggle in.

EU Truth and Consequences

Gandalf's bet is that France will OK the integrationist EU constitution and the Brits will reject it. And that will be just fine for the US and UK.

Of course the French polls show a big anti-integration majority. But we're talking about
France! That bunch of over-controlled rebellious teenagers! They'll flounce about a lot in fits of sulky histrionics. But as long as their EU allowance keeps flowing (which it will), they'll vote Yes.

And if by any chance the vote is looking close, expect a big influx of votes from the French Caribbean departments. In the vote for the
Euro in 1992:

In actual fact in continental France there was a majority NO vote. However, the "colonies" in the Caribbean, Guadeloupe and Martinique tipped the vote the other way.

Also, Chirac can now use the
Washington State Dimocrat precedent - voting by felons and dead people. Didn't France colonize Haiti, home of the voodoo zombies? I bet French zombies get to vote.

Here's my pledge: if the French vote No, I'll force myself to drink a bottle of their crappy wine.

Moving on to the
Brits. They put up with adversity for a long time, but then get really mad. Right now they are pretty mad - what they were sold as a free trade area has turned into a bunch of crooks trying to take them over.

EU Serf elegantly
de-constructs a Europhile attempt to terrify the Brits with threats of what will happen if they Vote No.

Popular newspapers claim, for example, that the constitution would force the United Kingdom to give up its seat on the United Nations Security Council; that Brussels bureaucrats would command British troops, control British oil reserves, and regulate British borders; and that the EU would gain new powers to interfere in the U.K. labour market. None of these points is true, but the popular press knows how to frighten people.

Those pesky Brit newspapers have plain misconstrued
this part of the EU Constitution:

“The member states shall co-ordinate their economic and employment policies within arrangements as determined by Part 3, which the union shall have competence (power) to provide . . . the union shall have competence to define and implement a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive framing of a common defense policy.”

The Europhile continues:

...this scenario is the one most likely to unfold if the constitution fails the British referendum: the emergence of a "messy core."

Economically, a European core dominated by Paris and Berlin would likely lean toward defensive or possibly protectionist economic policies that would not be in Washington's best interests. Most of the union's more dynamic economies-those of the United Kingdom, Poland, and the Nordic and Baltic countries-would be outside the central group.


If the France/German dominated Euro area adopted protectionist economic policies, I guess they'd stop importing from and exporting to the US and UK. Bad idea - here are the EU numbers for Jan-Nov 2004 (I guess the EU takes December as vacation).

UK
Euro area exports to UK: Euro 188 billion
Euro area imports from UK: Euro 130 billion
Euro area surplus with UK: Euro 58 billion

US
Euro area exports to US: Euro 159 billion
Euro area imports from US: Euro 104 billion
Euro area surplus with US: Euro 56 billion


Soo, being isolationist with the US and UK loses the EU a trade surplus of Euro 112 billion - about $150 billion. And this is bad for the UK and US?

Back to our Europhile:

Led by Chirac and Schroeder, the core countries would promote a multipolar world, with Europe as one emerging pole. At the same time, the EU's periphery, including the United Kingdom and Poland, would tend toward Atlanticism. With that kind of split foreign policy, Europe could not develop into a more effective strategic actor.

If Europe isn't a more effective strategic actor, I guess that means they wouldn't arm China.


I think I'll go break open a bottle of good Italian Pinot Grigio.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Brit Judge Wisdom

Hat tip LGF. Brits can sleep sound this night.

At the Old Bailey yesterday Mr Justice Fulford told Badat, who had admitted conspiring to blow up an airliner at a hearing in February, "that the plot was truly appalling".

''Your joint objective was the murder of hundreds of unsuspecting men, women and children who happened by chance and bad luck to be traveling on the airliner selected by the conspiracy."

The Judge powers on:

"I accept that your change of heart at the beginning of December 2001 was wholly genuine. Although in 2001 you posed a grave risk to the public, in 2005 you no longer do so."

Imagine that! His defense counsel clarifies it all:

"It was his faith which in a sense took him to the brink of disaster and at the same time it was his faith in the end which pulled him back." Badat, he added, wanted to send a message to those minded to use force, that "they should have the courage to turn away''.

Judge Fulford sent the guy down for 13 years and he'll be out in 8. At 300 dead, that's under 10 days playing table tennis per planned person death.

Al Queda is toast.

Academic Despotism, Brit Style

Britain's Association of University Teachers has voted to boycott two Israeli universities, presumably because they represent an island of intolerance in a sea of muslim free thinkers.

In a demosntration to Israelis of how free democratic debate is conducted:

A jovial executive union meeting heard unanswered orations by Sue Blackwell and Shereen Benjamin, both lecturers at Birmingham University.

The speeches were met with rapturous applause from the audience, before AUT executive president Angela Roger cut short the session and moved to deny a right of reply to opponents of the motions. The session was then directed towards a vote, and a "lack of time" was cited as the reason preventing challenges to the motions from being heard.

According to the AUT
website, its members are very unified, diverse and strong. Just not Jewish.

lefties

The Decline and Fall of Liberalism

Judicial despotism is undermining the liberal society that it seeks to promote.

Consider abortion, which the Supreme Court has sanctioned right up to birth to protect the rights of the mother. The result is that Blue States that freely abort lose population relative to Red States that do not, and that has consequences. Today's Opinion Journal references this US Census spreadsheet forecasting population growth by state over the next 25 years.

The eight fastest-growing states are all "red," as are the two states, North Carolina and Arizona, that are expected to move up into the top 10 (supplanting Michigan and New Jersey).

The Associated Press says this is bad news for the most liberal region in the country: "New England stands to lose about 20 percent of its congressional seats over the next quarter-century as political power follows population booms in the South and West."

Liberals might argue that what counts in children is quality, not quantity. Well, we know this about raising children without fathers:

Statistics abound showing that children with absent fathers suffer a much worse fate than those whose dads stuck around. They're more likely to have low birth weight before they're more likely become obese, go to jail long-term, contract diseases, be treated for emotional problems, live in poverty, take drugs, and do badly in school.

Common sense and experience suggest that the same applies to raising children without mothers. And so the Commonwealth of Virginia framed a
policy

...prohibiting joint adoption by unmarried couples. Virginia law also prohibits same-sex couples from adopting.

But then (my elipsis):

...two male couples adopted (Virginian) children in Washington, D.C., and now live in Bethesda, Md., and Lancaster, Pa (sic). The other couple adopted in New York, where they still live.

The couples wanted the childrens' birth certificates changed to show them as the natural parents. Guess what?

The Virginia Supreme Court yesterday ruled that the state must provide new birth certificates for children born in Virginia and adopted by homosexual couples in other states.

"This case is about issuing birth certificates under the provisions of Virginia law," Justice Donald Lemons wrote for the majority. "It is not about homosexual marriage, nor is it about 'same-sex' relationships, nor is it about adoption policy in Virginia."

The court of Justice Lemons thus provides a simple mechanism for homosexuals to circumvent Virginia law - just adopt Virginian kids from out-of-state.

There is good news - while Europe, Russia and Japan lose population over the next 25 years, the US will grow by 30%.

Pity about those kids though.

Friday, April 22, 2005

German Visitors

Here's an image from David's Medienkritik. What is GWB really thinking? Answer below.


Der Schroeder

When I ran a small company in California, I often took calls from strangers in the German computer industry who wanted to come and visit me. They never had a specific agenda, but just wanted to, well, visit. I always politely declined. Then one day a German arrived up at reception claiming that I was expecting him.

He was very brief. He thanked me for my time and explained that all he needed was my signature on a German Tax form confirming that I had in fact met with him. That way he could claim his trip to California as a business expense.

So GWB is thinking "If I sign his form now will he just go away?"

Revised Template

I've hacked the template to make it resize for different display widths. It should look about the same for 800 pixel screens, but expand the post width for anything larger.

It meant losing the nice rounded corners - they're fixed pixel offsets and I couldn't figure out how to make them float in HTML.

I've tested the changes in IE6 and Opera, but there may well be funnies with other browsers.

Feedback is most welcome. If there's universal hatred, I can revert to the old template.

It Could Happen To The US

The US could have a Dimocrat Congress and President in 08. If they follow the example of the EU, they'll lock themselves in power and the US will begin to fade away. Then it gets worse...

James Taranto today remarks:

...for the Democratic left, the U.N. is useful and worthy of respect only insofar as it acts as an obstacle to American leadership and an opponent of American interests.

Here's a thought experiment on what an America-hating President Hillary Rodham might do after election in 08

1. President Rodham agrees to extend NAFTA to form an American Union (AU) with Canada and Mexico, progressively ceding sovereignty on defense, foreign policy, the environment, taxation and most law making. EU President Tony Blair provides constitutional guidance.

2. Vigorous counter-AU-laws are passed in all red States, but these are ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court. Republican attempts to impeach the Supreme Court fail. The Court rules these attempts unconstitutional and the offending Congressmen and women are themselves impeached and removed from office.

3. The leaders of the 3 nations appoint an AU Commission, with power to develop and impose Directives across the AU, subject to broad guidelines set by the 3 leaders.

4. The 3 leaders nominate Bill Clinton as President of the AU Commission. This keeps him out of the White House.

5. The AU Commission chooses Montreal for its headquarters. Thousands of female "blow dodgers" flee to Europe but are forcibly repatriated.

6. Justifying her order withdrawing all US forces from abroad, President Rodham declares "the end of phallocentric muscular foreign policy" and disbands many military units, including the USMC.

7. The first Commission Directive makes citizen gun ownership illegal in the AU. US guns are collected with the help of Mexican and Canadian armed forces. Dan Rather, at the helm of a newly invigorated CBS, reports that this proceeds peacefully, and cites authentic letters from Americans celebrating their new freedom from guns.

8. To ensure democratic legitimacy, an AU Congress is established, with 626 representatives elected by the 3 member nations in proportion to their populations.

9. The location of the AU Congress rotates on a 6 month cycle between Montreal and Cancun. The latter ensures that Mexico gets some of the ample hospitality spending by AU Congresspeople (each of whom gets an annual $400,000 tax free, unaudited expense account).

10. For the purposes of AU Congress elections, the US is divided into 11 Administrative Regions (ARs). The AU Commission appoints Jimmy Carter to the thankless task of defining the US ARs. They turn out to be quite complicated.

11. In line with the EU, Americans elect their AU Congresspeople using the d' Hondt system. Party officials in each AR create Party Lists of candidates so voters just need to select their Party. Purists object to this transfer of power to the activists that control the Party Lists, but the NYT calls it "a minority-friendly simplification". Since the AU Congress has little power, opposition is muted.

12. The AU Commission appoints war hero John Kerry as Defense Minister, where he starts the delicate process of merging the armed forces of the 3 nations. For safekeeping, he transfers all US military records to vaults in Montreal and cleanses them of unnecessary material.

13. An AU Supreme Court is created with absolute power to overrule the judiciaries of the 3 nations. Selected members of the old US, Canadian and Mexican Supreme Courts are elevated to the AUSC. After a surprise win in the lottery for naturalization as an American citizen, the international sage Kofi Annan is appointed first chairperson of the AUSC.

14. The Commission mandates an AU Arrest warrant, which enables law enforcement agencies in each of the 3 nations to arrest people in the other 2. So Canada and Mexico can arrest US citizens in the US, take them to their own countries and try them for crimes under Canadian or Mexican law. This includes trying them for acts which would not be crimes under US law.

15. A number of Bush Neocons are arrested and taken to Canada and tried for offenses under recently-enacted Canadian War Crimes laws. Arrested felons include Donald H. Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton. The seat vacated by Wolfowitz at the World Bank is filled by Pascal Lamy of the EU.

16. Under an early AU Directive, the US signs up to Kyoto Protocol (2), and work starts on dismantling the remnant of the US manufacturing base and reducing its power generating capacity by 50%. Power rationing begins across the US with the exception of Maryland, Northern Virginia, Boston and Manhattan.

17. China successfully conquers Taiwan, after destroying its defenses with nuclear weapons, at the cost of 3 million lives. Australia and Japan protest, but AU President Clinton describes the action as "a necessary crackdown".

18. Following pressure from a resurgent Russia, the AU enters negotiations to return Alaska.

19. IRA-style uprisings by Hispanics opposing US rule begin in California, Texas, and New Mexico. Insurgents are tacitly supported by Mexico, which provides sanctuary and weapons. After pressure from her AU partners, President Rodham declares that the US has "no selfish interest" in these states. Negotiations on Mexican/US power sharing start under an EU mediator.

20. Iran demands that all Jews vacate Israel. President Rodham joins with Jane Fonda to ask the Israelis to "give peace a chance". After Israel refuses, Iran detonates nuclear weapons over Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, killing 40% of Israelis. France obtains a UN resolution demanding Israelis show realism and depart, and threatens them with French nuclear forces.Surviving Israelis execute Operation Masada, destroying 32 Arab cities and Paris.

21. Oh, and ex-Senator Joseph Biden is appointed AU Anti-Corruption Czar with a big office in Montreal.