Why the U.S is and will remain miles (sic!) ahead of europe.

If you want to understand this you simply have to listen to the below excerpt from a planet money interview with Mark Zandi the chief economist of Moody’s Analytics and contrast that with the petit bourgeois, xenophobic attitude towards immigration that is prevailing in Europe: and again, fundamentally we are fine. we can’t loose the sight of what makes our economy really tick though and that is: the most educated population, the best infrastructure and most importantly of all that we continue t…

Meanwhile south of the alps: operation white christmas

Speaking about changing my mind: i completely agree with this article about the state of affairs in italy by british journalist Martin Kettle. The thing that made him change his mind? John Hooper’s report from Coccaglio near Brescia brought together much of what is wrong with modern Italy in one seasonal package, all perfectly presented in extravagant wrapping paper and tied up with a great bow in the way that only Italians can manage. Christmas in Coccaglio, Hooper reports, is being marked by a…

'Spain saves white negro from sure death'

Over the last couple of days there has been a disproportionate amount of attention for a albino migrant named Moszy who, back in march, arrived together with 60 other a African migrants on the Spanish island of Tenerife. Moszy, who is said to have fled his native Benin where he was frequently abducted and used in magic rituals, has requested asylum in Spain, and it appears that the spanish government is willing to grant him refugee status. Now i am all against abducting people and using them in…

Remembering liberation Dutch style

During Thursdays Anniek van Hardeveld memorial race i was doing a checkppoint (yes i know i am getting lazy and slow these days…) on the head of java island. The checkpoint was at the memorial for the employees of the N.V. Nederlandse Scheepvaartmaatschapij who had died ‘at sea or wherever on the shore’ while defending the ‘liberty of their country’. The memorial is a rather simple one made from stone. It has a 3 meter-or-so high stone base on top of which there is a 3 meter high sculpture of a…

Firewalling Holland

Just came across an article in todays NRC [‘import-bride has to know thorbecke’] about the dutch gouvernement moves towards requiring a Dutch language and culture exam before a person is allowed to settle in the Netherlands. not that this means that by passing the exams you have the right to settle in NL, but if you have acquired the right to settle e.g because you are married to a dutch citizen or someone who has a residence permit you still neet to pass the tests or you won’t get in. (of cours…