Friday, May 21, 2004

It was interesting to talk to some Germans. One thing that stood out was that there may be some animosity between those Germans who live in the Western part of Germany and the Eastern or former communist part. It seems that the Westerners have to pay a reunification tax (more here) to pay for the infrastructure (roads, telephone lines, sewers, ect..) upgrades. I was told this amount to 10 to 25 Euros per person a week. It sounds like it would be good to be a resident of the former East or communist section of German; but there is a small drawback. The wages to work there is only 75% of Western Germany. Also a few disparaging remarks were made of women and beer of that area. People will be people where ever you go.

Two reasons Canada is cool. One and two

France, its Muslims, and the Future by Randy McDonald Writes about the overstated impact of Muslims on France. Very well researched, long, but he makes a strong argument.

The last paragraph:
France’s problem with its nominally Muslim minority in the early 21st century isn’t a civilizational clash, any more than the United States’ problem with its nominally Catholic minority in the early 20th century was. The French problem isn’t whether or not it will be a Western country, or a democratic country, in a half-century. The French problem is how a large immigrant population, already fairly highly assimilated in the cultural sense but concentrated in certain immigrant ghettoes where assimilation in the socioeconomic sense is more problematic, will be integrated into itself. There’s no particular reason to think it will fail, given France’s own past immigration successes; there’s also no reason for complacency, given France’s problems with youth and immigrant employment, and with social exclusion. It's a touchy situation, but like graduate school it's far more difficult to fail than it is to muddle through and succeed.

A Catholic monk who is in favor of the War on Terrorism and America’s actions in Iraq. Scroll down to his May 13th post
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