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Thursday, June 20, 2002

The Economist Hits Out at 'Fortress Europe'

Every passing day leaves me more and more incredulous in the face of the cretinism currently being exhibited by Europe's political classes. Thank god I'm not the only one looking to breathe some fresh air. Under the header "Huddled masses please stay away" this week's Economist print edition contains this refreshing reflection:

“GIVE me your tired, your poor/ Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free”, proclaims America's Statue of Liberty. If the European Union were to build a similar monument in Brussels, what message would it carry? Perhaps something like: “We have vacancies for a limited number of computer programmers and will reluctantly accept torture victims with convincing scars. Migrants looking for a better life can clear off.”

I have the horrible feeling that the run up to the Sevilla summit is going to be unbearable. It is pathetic to watch our leaders in a kind of Dutch auction to see who can win most votes by being most anti-immigrant. Pathetic, and also extremely stupid when you consider the positive effects immigration can have, and how much Europe's ageing population would benefit from it. Meanwhile, from the land built from immigration comes this interesting info on how you can learn to like and love each other.

9/11 Bridged the Racial Divide, New Yorkers Say, Gingerly

"Daniel Hook knows what it is like to be judged by the color of his skin. It would take no more than a ride on the subway to get the disapproving looks — the kind that screamed out: stay away. Mr. Hook is 25, black and a lifelong resident of Brooklyn. He wears baggy pants and a baseball cap and has a fondness for silver earrings. "Some people wouldn't even look at you," he said. "They didn't have to; you could feel it."

But these days, Mr. Hook does not worry about the subways or the people riding them. In fact, he seeks them out. Once a week, on a day off from work, he volunteers at New York City Transit, sweeping stations and giving directions. "People are polite to me," Mr. Hook said while on duty in Jackson Heights, Queens. "My skin color doesn't seem to matter."

According to a recent poll by The New York Times and CBS News, Mr. Hook is among a growing number of New Yorkers who say they have seen a remarkable change in race relations since the Sept. 11 terror attacks at the World Trade Center. People are more tolerant of different ethnic and racial groups, they say, and less likely to overreact to perceived injustices or prejudices."
Source: New York Times LINK Discuss Is Europe Shooting Itself in the Foot?

I love New york!

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