Category Archives: Politics

Sons of a gun

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At this point I just want to say something about the recent shooting sprees in America. It seems all sorts of maniacs are on the loose again. And their guns, too.

Now, I am not trying to pick a fight with anyone, but I cannot stand the blatant hypocrisy and shortsightedness of the gun-loving party. These brainwashed paranoid individuals will have you believe (and they keep repeating this like a broken record) that guns don’t kill people, people do. Oh, give me a fucking break!

Let me jot down a few examples:

1. a three-year-old finds a gun in his father’s closet. not knowing what it is, he fiddles with it a bit and, what do you know, HAVING HAD NO INTENTION TO KILL in the first place, he blasts away his best friend or his sister. Who is responsible for that atrocious tragedy? Who did that killing? And don’t tell me it wasn’t the gun. Clear case of no gun, no killing.

2. a guy (any guy next door, it CAN happen to anybody) loses his mind, goes terrifyingly berserk and wants to take it out on people. give him a club. how many people can he club to death before he’s all tired and panting, and some other guy gets a chance to stop him? give him a knife. how many people can he stab? again, the victim stands at least SOME chance of fighting back. you can’t really commit mass murder with a knife, can you? now, give him an automatic machine gun – let’s see. how many INNOCENT people can he gun down before he even breaks a sweat?…

I mean, how retarded do they think we are to believe (this day in age) that guns don’t kill? As a European, coming from a family that has never owned as much as a baseball bat for generations, I cannot grasp this American obsession with guns.

Another fallacy the advocates of gun ownership will have you believe is that guns are for self-defense only. Oh really?! Then how come you can find ASSAULT weapons for sale? I mean, all you have to do is look at their name. ASSAULT. That’s pretty self-explanatory. And even if they ban those. Let’s take a pistol, for example. So… if you leave it somewhere handy, you risk triggering a tragedy in your own family. If you put it in a safe, by the time you’re done turning keys, pressing buttons and punching the combination, you are probably going to be robbed anyway. They also say that a gun in the home acts as a deterrent for the bad guys. I don’t think it necessarily does. I think it only fuels the arms race, getting the bad guys to acquire ever more sophisticated weapons.  Heck, pepper spray is a deterrent. But guns, guns are built to kill. Stop sugarcoating that. This isn’t 1787 and a wilderness anymore. All of this shooting in broad daylight makes America look like a trigger-happy failed state.

If self-defense is all you’re after, take guns away from everybody and learn some karate.

But if it’s guns that you like, if they are an intrinsic part of your history, personality, ethos, then at least spare us the vapid excuses.

Europe – Endrope?

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I opened the ‘Shares & Stocks’ section of the paper today and an ocean of red met my eye. All the indices were down, except maybe two or three (surprisingly enough, Nokia shares were up. Well, not a lot of place to fall once you’ve hit rock bottom, I guess :-)).

So what is the deal? Yields on Spanish bonds have surpassed the 7% mark that economists tell us is the upper limit of sustainability. Greece is still teetering on the edge of not only bankruptcy but total disaster, if we are to trust the official figures (but with about 30% black economy, they probably still have a little something stashed away somewhere ;-)), and facing the (by now) age-old question: “to be or not to be… inside the Eurozone?” Rating agencies have begun to look  at Germany, the Netherlands, and other straight A-students, thinking about downgrading their creditworthiness too…

And all the talk on TV is about more credits. Securing more funds. The here, the now, the status quo. Forget complex economics, but how is a country (any country) that does not even produce enough to pay for its own pensions, schools, hospitals and roads going to be able to pay for all that PLUS  a 7% interest rate? What kind of growth does a country like that need? I mean, not even the BRICS can pull that off anymore. Look around. Do you see large swaths of unused and uninhabited land here in Europe, bursting with precious mineral ore (aka natural resources)? Do you see a burgeoning birth rate (aka human resource)? Do you see academic excellence or huge scientific innovation that can cause a breakthrough in productivity or in the efficiency of how we use those resources? Do you even see a lot of free initiative anymore?

What Europe needs is a bit more entrepreneurship and creativity. Instead, our young people are about as creative, original, and ambitious as boring old fogies. Europe needs less stuffy and sclerotic bureaucracy and more flexibility. Europe needs people who, rather than always fall back on a generous state and cozy socialist policies (they truly are cozy and easy to get used to, I admit!), will take charge and responsibility for  their own life. Yes, Europe needs to take chances.  We need some air to breathe and come up with better ways of doing things. When times are hard, people are spurred by the desire to make things better. When things are too good (as they have been in Western Europe for a long time), people are paralyzed by the fear to lose it all.

Instead of always trying to smooth things out and return to the status quo (which is already bye-bye, people, wake up and smell the coffee), Europe needs a strategy for stirring things up a bit. We shouldn’t wait around for everything to be good and just plain comfortable again. We should make something of our lives.  Tough times are coming. Rather than feeling depressed or getting all nationalistic about whose fault it is, we should keep a positive mindset and welcome the challenge. WE ARE ONLY WORTH SOMETHING TOGETHER.

I don’t want to live in a museum. It may feel safe and cushy, but it is full of dead things.