Sunday, May 29, 2005

Germany - Yes. France - High Voter Turnout. Dutch - Out to Lunch Yet.

As reported at CNN, CNN.com - High turnout in French vote - May 29, 2005, there is a very high French vote turnout in France's referendum vote on the EU Constitution, which can surely only be attributable to more "yes" voters going to the polls to try to counter the "no" voter camp which was substantially leading the polls.

Just two days ago, Germany became the ninth country to approve the EU Constitution, following "Austria, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain in approving the text. The Dutch vote Wednesday."

The opinion polls showed the French negating the EU Constitution by as much as 56-44 and the Dutch rejecting it by 60-40.

It is really amazing that two countries who profit most from Europe are against the EU Constitution in the polls. The French profit greatly through agrarian subsidies and the Dutch through economic trade, which is their lifeblood.

We imagine that "no" votes by France and/or the Dutch to the EU Constitution will lead to these economies suffering greatly in Europe over the long run. France and the Dutch want their cake and eat it to, and this will simply never work. We think that "no" votes by France and/or the Netherlands will ultimately lead to these economies paying a much greater price to be able to trade with the EU in the future than they are paying now, which is only right. Either you join the club and enjoy its benefits, or you are out. The choice is simple.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Europe vs. USA - City Services

We live in Europe and love the life in Europe, but we also love the USA, and the following picture sequence from our recent trip to America is exemplary for the kinds of things which we often try to explain to Europeans as making America such a great place, but which many people, not just Europeans, have such a difficult time understanding.

This removal of cut greenery is part of the refuse service which inhabitants of the city of Greeneville, Tennessee obtain as part of their taxes. The citizens of the city pay nothing extra for this service and the people doing the work were extremely professional, friendly and courteous.

In Germany where we live, you have to pay extra money for ANY refuse that the city picks up, including the garbage cans, and removal of large cuttings of greenery is a major operation which must be done privately at extensive cost. Not even the Christmas trees are picked up any more after Christmas in the town where we live. Everyone has to figure out how to dispose of them on their own.

Here is the picture sequence from Greeneville, Tennessee, showing the Greeneville city service removing freshy cut greenery from a suburban front lawn. The lawn was even raked at the finish by the city employees.











That folks, is a side of America you almost never see in the news media, but it represents one side of America which no other nation in the world can match. Our hats are off to these city employees of Greeneville, Tennessee. We were impressed, no doubt about it. And let's be frank, dear readers, especially in Europe, if you were honest, would you also not like your communities to have these kinds of services? So why do they not have them? The taxes in Europe are much higher than in the US. So where does the money go?
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Monday, May 23, 2005

What Ails Germany? An Incompetent Leadership

John Fund has a May 23, 2005 article about the devastating defeat of the ruling German red-green coalition in North Rhine-Westphalia in Sunday's election. Its title is poignantly "Anti-Americanism reaches its limit in Germany." As one who lives here, it is indeed time that the Germans stop blaming others for their problems and look to the fact that they are themselves reponsible for their own recent economic demise.

Everyone should read this article to understand the depth of Germany's problems, given the demonstrated and remarkable incompetence of the people currently in political power in Germany, such as Social Democratic Party chairman, Franz Muntefering, a former industrial clerk, who recently took to attacking capitalism in an ignorant, despicable manner, appropriately described by Jack Ewing in Frankfurt with Rachel Tiplady in Paris as "Germany: Looking For Scapegoats".

Fully more than 1/3 of German national economic output consists of exports and few nations rely so heavily on "capitalism" for their economic well-being as Germany does. Indeed, one could view Germany as the "founder" of modern international economic globalization through their introduction of the Hanseatic League so many years go.

The kinds of comments that Muntefering and his cronies from the Socialist (SPD) and Green parties have been issuing are scarcely suitable for political leaders of one of the world's leading industrial and capitalist nations, but that is Germany's problem.

Germany is bogged down by incredible economic and business incompetence at the political top, which stinks all the way down the political ladder. We hope that the elections in North Rhine-Westphalia finally help to sink the disastrous Red-Green coalition, about which we constantly ask: What is better in Germany since Schroeder and the Red(Socialist)-Green coalition came to power? The answer is - NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING.
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The First Europeans

A May 19, 2005 article by Science Editor Roger Highfield at the UK Telegraph News reports in Bones show age of early settlement that ancient bones from a half-dozen humans found in the Czech Republic "have been confirmed as representing the earliest settlement of modern humans in Europe", dating to around 30000 years ago by radiocarbon analysis. This is rivaled only by one similarly dated jaw bone and cranium from Romania (said to be from ca. 35000 years ago).

This dating is extremely significant for an understanding of the ancient history of Europe and the Europeans, especially in view of the following graph by Kelus & Lukaszewicz as found in Ludwig Hirschfeld (Ludwig Hirsfeld, Ludwik Hirszfeld), Probleme der Blutgruppenforschung, Fischer Verlag, showing the Czechs near the center of the branching of human blood types in Europe:

for the graph see LexiLine, Blood Types Worldwide.

We thus have a direct match of the distribution of blood types in Europe with the date of the radiocarbon analysis of human bones in the Czech Republic, thus substantiating the hypothesis that the origin of all European peoples is in the East European area.
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Monday, May 16, 2005

FFII Urges Action to Block European Patent Directive granting Software Patents

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has sent me the following e-mail which I pass on here to the readership and crosspost to Law Pundit.

**************** FFII E-Mail, May 16, 2005 *******************

"The debate in the European Parliament on software patents is reaching a critical phase. We expect the vote in the committee for legal affairs (JURI) to take place on 20 or 21 June, and the European Parliament second reading vote to be on 6 July.

MEPs realise that there is much at stake and both sides are devoting a lot of resources to support their case. The companies that remain silent are simply not being counted.

NOW is the time to act. This is the message to pass on to people running businesses most at risk from the software-patent threat.

YOUR HELP IS NEEDED

The FFII is organising a conference on 1 June 2005 in Brussels.
We hope to see you there; see below for details. If you are representing a European enterprise yourself, there are several more things you can do to help us to prevent software patents in the EU. If possible, please take all of the following actions:

*Unless you already did so, please sign the EuroLinux petition (http://petition.eurolinux.org) and the FFII supporter list (http://aktiv.ffii.org/euparl/en).

* In addition to this online "signature", please print out the Call for Action III (http://patinfo.ffii.org/material/cfa/), sign it, and fax it to the FFII at +49-201-755440. We are collecting these signatures in order to attach them to a (paper) letter to the MEPs, similar to what EICTA did in April (see: http://swpat.ffii.org/log/05/eictasme04/pro-patent-smes.pdf). The signatures will not be published anywhere else.

* Please add your company to the "Economic Majority Against Software Patents" list at http://www.economic-majority.com/ .

* Please continue to write (paper) letters to your representatives in the European Parliament explaining, in your own words, why you are concerned.

* Please visit our conference on 1 June in Brussels (see the invitation below). Your presence makes a difference for the MEPs you will meet there.

* Please go to Brussels and explain your concerns to the MEPs. We can help you to arrange a meeting and, if necessary, to find a hotel. Please send questions and possible dates for meeting MEPs to <brussels@ffii.org>. We have already arranged and held several meetings, and each one is very significant because it helps MEPs see how important this issue is.

* The week of 17-20th May is constituency week for the MEPs, which means they will be in their home countries. This is an excellent chance for you to get in contact with them and pay them a visit without the need for travelling to Brussels.

For basic introduction to the topic, we recommend (in this order): http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/basics/index.html http://patinfo.ffii.org/faq.en.html http://swpat.ffii.org/log/intro/index.en.html
If you are convinced about the urgency of this matter but you have difficulties communicating this to your business partners or to your superiors, the following presentation could be useful to you: http://patinfo.ffii.org/material/ing-it/

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Thanks to the continuous work of the FFII and its supporters, theMEPs are beginning to understand the problems induced by software patents. It has become obvious that neither the industry nor the academic institutions support the Council version of the directive:

* UEAPME, an umbrella organisation representing 11 million European SMEs employing around 50 million people, finds large companies misrepresenting SMEs' stance on software patents. See: http://wiki.ffii.org/Ueapme050427En

* A German survey of more than 1,000 companies took the German government by surprise when the vast majority spoke out clearly against software patents. See: http://wiki.ffii.org/Ifis050404En

* More recently still, 10,000 to 15,000 students, teachers and staff at more than 35 Spanish universities protested against the directive proposed by the Council. See http://lucha.proinnova.org/ for photos and information.

Several MEPs, including the rapporteur Michel Rocard, have submitted good amendments to the preparatory JURI report on the directive.
Now they need to see their actions legitimised by your support. Your voice will give them the necessary moral backing to convince theircolleagues, and needs to be heard now more than ever.

INVITATION

The FFII cordially invites you to its

Conference on the proposed Software Patent Directive on 1st June 2005 in Brussels
in the European Parliament and the Renaissance Hotel.

Please find the preliminary program here:

http://swpat.ffii.org/events/2005/bxl0601/

The conference is co-organized with the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and four European People's Party (EPP) Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from different countries. The conference is free of charge. You can register either by replying to this email with the form at the bottom filled in, or by visiting the above web page.

Please help us to defend your business against software patents!

With kind regards,

Erik Josefsson Felipe Wersen

Hartmut Pilch Dr. Peter Gerwinski

Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII)

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION AND SUPPORT

[ ] I will participate in the morning session (Parliament).
[ ] I will participate in the afternoon session (Renaissance Hotel)
[ ] Please contact me to provide help with hotel rooms (Renaissance Hotel, Maison du Dragon Hotel or Gogh Hostel).

[ ] I am representing a company and I wish our company logo to be on the program to show support by sending it to em-logos@ffii.org. (Note that you can do this even without attending the conference!)

[ ] I am representing a company and willing to publish a statement like http://www.economic-majority.com/testimony/wuensche/, Please contact me for details.

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Saturday, May 14, 2005

EU Constitution Ratification Progress

Peter Sain ley Berry has a well written article about the current state of the process of ratification of the EU Constitution at Ice caps melt while EU cozies up to France.

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