The Book!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Still Debating the Debate

I think there is a real chance still that Kerry will have lost the debate. Historically, the real winner and loser has often not been apparent until maybe a week afterward, as what the candidates said gets evaluated and spun.

Kerry sounded good and looked good; but was mostly talking nonsense. His Iraq policy was "I'd get more countries involved." How? "I'd hold a summit." Wow. That ought to make a big difference. His policies on North Korea and the Sudan contradicted his complaints about unilateralism on Iraq. And sounded unrealistic. He said he'd get rid of old Soviet nuclear material in four years instead of ten or twelve; that sounds good, but no word on how, just a number. He'd fight nuclear proliferation by ending all work on bunker-busting bombs--the sort of thing that might be needed to take out nuclear sites in, say, North Korea or Iran. And he suggested saying something silly in a speech was more significant than a vote in the Senate (against the appropriation for Iraq).

Smooth--but jive talking.


Les Expos: Je Me Souviens

Sad day--the Expos have gone south. I was in Montreal when they began, and loved rooting for them in old Jarry Park. Some years they were a very good team; certainly better than their payroll.

I hear, by the way, that the team cannot use the name "Senators." It's still owned by the Texas Rangers. I suppose they could make a deal to buy it back, but here are a few other suggestions:

Washington Federals - my favourite. I like the inevitable short form. "The Feds are in town."
Washington Greenbacks.
Washington Revenooers.
Washington Whigs.
Washington Mandarins.
Washington Monuments.
Washington Nickels.
Washington Eagles.
Washington Secret Service.
Washington Bureaucrats.
Washington Hill Sitters.
Washington Stateless Persons.
Washington Exexpos.
Washington Maudits Anglaises.
Washington Odd Sox.
Washington Gorgeous Georges.


Overpopulation? No Such Thing

A recent newsletter piece suggested that overpopulation was the reason for Haiti’s poverty.

But on the evidence, there no economic penalty at all to having a higher population. That is a myth. On average, the richest countries (viz. Western Europe, Northeast Asia) are more densely populated than the poorest (viz. Africa).

Haiti is not, by the way, the most densely populated country in the Caribbean, according to the figures I have seen. Barbados: 642 people per sq. km. El Salvador: 307.5. St. Vincent/Grenadines: 300. Haiti: 271. All wealthier than Haiti.

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