A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Friday, July 04, 2003 :::
Today is a lovely, slightly muggy day in Washington. A Mind That Suits makes extra cash by managing other people's parties, and he must do so today, but that is fine: the apartment he is going to is a few blocks from the Washington Monument, and a nice view of the fireworks is guaranteed. He cannot take the sun, as the English half of his forbears bequeathed him nearly translucent skin, so he could not spend time with most of his friends anyway.

That does not stop him, or anyone else, from taking the day to acknowledge what a wonderful country we live in. There are a host of problems here in the good old U.S. of A, some of them quite serious, most of them the same as any other countries'. But in very many areas, Americans can still find their own solutions, and that means that solutions of some kind will be found, although they invariably cause other problems that must themselves be solved. But that is the key to American success.

Right now, our economic indicators are at their historic average. That's right: the way the country is going right now is exactly the way, over time, that she has achieved as much as she has. That makes you understand how difficult people have it in many other countries, where they are granted so few freedoms. A Mind That Suits spends an awful lot of his time with immigrants, and he cannot help but admire people who sacrifice so much to give their families something better. And he thinks about those left behind, who must suffer at the hands of truly heartless elites. Our own elites are often heartless, especially if they went to our "best" schools, as A Mind That Suits himself did. But they can't control everything here, and that is something.

A pause, therefore, to consider the fate of poor Hong Kong. At one point, not so very long ago, Hong Kong was, almost without a doubt, the freest place on earth. British administrators, for some reason, in the 1950's decided to leave the development of Hong Kong to its residents, whatever their race. This situation continued even during the 1960's and 1970's, when, for most of the time, the mother land (Britain) was ruled by the horrifying doctrinaire socialist, Harold Wilson, who managed to run the country completely into the ground. For some reason, he never turned his malignant, statist eye on Hong Kong, and she continued her free development. His much maligned successor, Margaret Thatcher, saved the UK, though those who had so quickly grown used to the State solving problems for them were dragged kicking and screaming into the daylight.

Recent reports are, the Chinese Communists have gone back on their word, and have so severely restricted freedom in Hong Kong, now that they have colonized it, that the poor city is slipping precipitously toward servitude similar to the rest of China. One suspects that they are not going back on their word; they just do not understand how to let well enough alone. They worship the State, after all, so they cannot let the average person do as he or she pleases. Nonetheless, it is a tragedy, and a moment of reflection on this day of freedom is in order.

Our most reliable ally after Tony Blair. Freedom must be fought for, which is why it is also worth taking a moment to take our hats off to the best politician in continental Europe, Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. The presidency of the EU is handed round every 6 months to the head of one of the member countries, and a few days ago it rotated onto Berlusconi. In the question period after his inaugural address to the European Parliament, a grotesque German Socialist member asked him about the corruption charges against him--charges which are hard to take seriously, but you have to understand Italy to know why. (Yes, it is possible to understand Italy.) Berlusconi responded by saying that a film producer (probably working for media magnate Berlusconi) is casting a film about concentration camps, and he would happily suggest the German Socialist to play a commandant.

Oh, dear, did Europe erupt in rage. As others have pointed out, Europe did not erupt in rage when the German foreign minister compared George Bush to Hitler. You can find an account of the whole broohaha here. I say, way to go, Silvio.

Have a lovely Fourth, and God Bless America.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 12:17 PM



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