Saturday, April 03, 2004

Maybe Europe is Just a Target

The grand theory behind the bombing of Spanish trains is that the terrorism is in response to Spain's previous backing of the United States.

Ah. Previous. The March 11 bombings at Madrid's Atocha Station and on the trains that run out of it caused a change in elections towards electing a Socialist prime minister who vowed to pull Spainsh troops out of Iraq, pronto. This is what the terrorists wanted, right? Mission accomplished! So why this new planting of a bomb? Spain cannot possibly be in line for punishment for reacting as the terrorists wanted, could it?

No. Yet, once again, a bomb has been planted on the Madrid-Savilla line I rode twice just two months ago. The high-speed AVE trains had to be halted in their tracks as a bag on dynamite was detected on the tracks. But Spain is the world's friend now. Why is this happening?

Maybe the terrorism really has had nothing to do with the previous backing of the US. Maybe Islamic hatred of the West is sufficient. Spain is definitely a part of Western culture, with some 70% of Spanish citizens smoking American Marlboros, and even more talking on cell phones. Spanish nightlife is significantly more decadent than American partying, with Spanish youth drunk in the streets en mass on weekend nights.

Maybe there are enough lasting reminders of an earlier, more glorious Islamic presence to stir the kind of blind seething that spurs a desire for revenge. We toured the Alhambra in Grenada in January. It is a marvel to behold, and an amazing monument to the former Islamic power and wealth in Spain. See some of my pictures at the Alhambra.

The legend has it that as the last sheik left the Alhambra, he turned for one last glance and heaved a sigh. His mother, so the legend goes, scolded her defeated son thusly, 'may you cry like a woman for that which you failed to defend as a man'. The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about the Alhambra and Islamic terrorism against Spain. Unfortunately, I am not a WSJ susbcriber, so I cannot provide you with a link.

There are likely a million reasons for Islamic terrorists to have Europe as targets. French zeal for a homogenized monoculture- banning the burka at French schools- has created the most notable one recently. When revenge and jealousy is such a prevailing motive for planning a population's daily life, much of the world ought to take notice and consider whether or not their country is a potential target. We are beginning to see that being allied with the United States is not the greatest determining factor.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Gary Nolan to Visit Fishers

Libertarian presidential hopeful Gary Nolan will be the first from any party to make a specific Hamilton County or Fishers IN visit when his campaign stops Monday, April 12.

Nolan will appear at Sahm's Restaurant for a fundraising dinner and will speak after the meal. Sahm's is located at 11590 Allisonville Road (southwest corner of Allisonville & 116th Street), and is easily accessible from I-69/SR 37. Seating for this event begins at 5:30pm. Dinner is at 6:00pm. Nolan to speak at 7:00pm. Cost for the dinner is $21, paid in cash only.

RSVPs are greatly appreciated as space is limited. We will probably have a standing room only situation. Contact Mike Kole to RSVP at The public is welcome! You don't have to be a Libertarian to attend.

Nolan's visit is exciting stuff for many reasons. Any time a presidential candidate comes to town, I am interested in seeing him, if at all feasible. I would eagerly see George Bush or John Kerry, or even Ralph Nader, if the opportunity presented itself. I would especially love to be able to introduce myself on a face-to-face basis, and to ask a question of the candidate. The last time Bush was here, he was at the Murat for a $2,000-per-plate event. That was a tad out of my price range. Kerry hasn't even been here that I am aware of, and Nader isn't even on the ballot in Indiana yet, making an appearance unlikely. With Nolan, all in attendance will get to ask a question of him after dinner in the Q&A, and he always sticks around to talk and have a picture taken with you. I like that kind of personability and accessability.

But this is my candidate. I'll be voting for Nolan at the LP's National Convention in May, and I'm rather certain that Nolan will win the nomination, so I'll vote for him again in November.

I like that he is paying so much attention to Indiana. This will be at least his fifth visit, which I know from having attended three previous events. The other LP hopefuls- Michael Badnarik and Aaron Russo- haven't even visited the state yet.

I like that Nolan is meeting the voters from a variety of places that do not usually host presidential candidates, such as LaPorte and Hagerstown, and now Fishers. Sure, Indianapolis is the state capitol and the home of the greatest population bases, but I like a presidential candidate who reaches out to the less obvious cities and towns. There is no good reason for an active, campaigning candidate to ignore them, especially the more well-heeled candidates from the other parties who could if they felt it was important enough to do so.

I especially like that Nolan is so normal and reasonable. Too often our national candidates are so dogmatic, so out-of-touch, that they do more to alienate the curious than to win them over. Nolan shows how libertarian policies would improve people's lives. People want to know what a politician can give them, and this has always confounded LP candidates. Nolan gets that our policies will give people their money, their time, heck- their lives, back. From what little I've been able to review from Badnarik and Russo, it appears that they take the old, failed "this is what I'll take away" approach via the same old "you're wrong, you're stupid, vote for me" approach that wins very few converts and repels many that would join us.

See you Monday, April 12!