Thursday, April 06, 2006

All Good Things.

I will be leaving the Internet so to speak. I would like to say that I will be back some day but I don't want to make promises that I am unsure I can keep. Things come up and we learn that we have less control than we thought we did over the events of our lives. Sometimes we just need to take what comes.

I have enjoyed writing as Apesnake but I guess all good things must come to an end. Doors and windows and all that. To everyone who read and especially to those who commented. Thank you. Take care of yourselves.

I promise to do the same.

Allergic to Admitting Error

An alpine slide is an amusement ride with a pretty simple definition. You have a chute on a hill- usually with twists and turns which you ride down on a wheeled cart. Personally I prefer something more nauseating but that's just me.

The government of New Brunswick has this site which advertises Sugarloaf Park in Campbellton where it mentions both winter and summer activities. Note that in the summer activities section (and not in the winter section) you are encouraged to experience Atlantic Canada's only alpine slide. This alpine slide, named (oddly enough) The Alpine Slide is not open during the winter. Are we still clear? Need some time to review?

Enter some other arm of the New Brunswick tourism department. They want to encourage winter tourism so they make some advertisements featuring winter activities at Sugarloaf and among other things, these ads state, "For the ultimate downhill experience try the alpine slide." (I don't know what medium they were using, the story about them was on radio.)

Now one would expect that this is a simple mistake. Someone compiling the list of winter activities saw "The Alpine Slide" and, not knowing what it was, assumed it was tobogganing; sliding down a snowy hill. A natural mistake. The park does have a sliding hill. But this mistake started to have people showing up looking for "The Alpine Slide" which was advertised as a winter attraction and being told that it was closed for the winter. Some of the visitors might have known what an alpine slide is but assumed it was covered or had the snow cleared off it or maybe they did actually think it was regular downhill sliding, only to be told that the "alpine slide" was closed for the winter.

Whatever the deal was, tourists were being needlessly confused and probably angered. So the governing Conservative Party's minister of tourism stepped up to the plate. She informed the province that...(sigh)

There was no mistake. She says that some of the staff at Sugarloaf refer to downhill sliding as "the alpine slide". So the ads are not mistaken. People working near "Atlantic Canada's only alpine slide", named The Alpine Slide happen to be the only people in the English speaking world to call tobogganing "the alpine slide". "Let's go up some hill and do the alpine slide. Eh?" is not a common Canadian phrase.

As of this morning there was no intent to stop or correct the ads. That would require admitting a mistake or even just a fallible choice of words. Governmental infallibility is a pillar of every political party's doctrine.

I suspect someone will give the tourism minister a clue before the end of the day. That is not the point. The point is that when confronted with a simple mistake that can cause a lot of damage, the first instinct of every single politician who has ever lived is to ignore deny and ignore again. And the moral of the alpine slide is that the ultimate downhill experience is watching government's ride their integrity down a chute. The sooner we learn how to take the representatives out of representative democracy, the better off we will be.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

NBC Theatre

NBC Staging the News Again (Actually, it should read "staging the news still" but it is a great piece none the less.)

NBC Dateline is looking for a few good Muslims to do a sting on the racist Nascar fans. I wonder if they are hiring actors to attend the event and act like racist inbred fans, just to be sure of some good footage. I could use an acting gig and I have almost as little integrity as NBC. Doesn't NBC Sports carry Nascar events? Oh well.

Monday, April 03, 2006

The Latin Leftist Looking Glass

Via The Jawa Report I learned of this lovely turn of events reported at Dean's World. It seems that a Venezuelan company with links to Chavez has purchased an American company that makes election machines. The Dave's World article explains how it was proven that Chavez stole his recall election and how he managed to con the Carter Center into certifying the election as fair. I guess that success and other factors convinced Chavez that there is big money in stealing elections.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

La Raza and La Overreach

One of the recurring themes of history is that of overreach. Many anti-war critics have accused Bush of doing it (or America in general) though I am not impressed by their arguments. One of the best examples was Hitler's decision to break his nonaggression pact with the Soviets. The Nazi economy was fueled by conquest (lacking sound economic fundamentals and based on a command economy) and when the price of acquiring new land and resources in the west exceeded the payoffs, he opened up a second front in the east which was just a classic example of someone knowing the lessons of history but being unable to learn from them.

In short, overreach in the political/military sense is like planting your pole vault pole before you get anywhere near the bar.

Last week, illegal immigrants and extremists who think of themselves as "La Raza" - the race (isn't thinking yourself to be special just because of your race kind of the definition of racism?) seem to have exhibited overreach. When speaking of La Raza in this post I will mean people who like the idea of the Mexican "race" assimilating and the south western states and separating to join Mexico to recreate a supposed ancient homeland called Aztlan where the Aztecs were supposed to have come from. I realize that the terminology is problematic but this movement is so new that the proper nomenclature has yet to be distinguished.

The kind of extremists who see Mexican immigration to the US as a conquest which is righting past wrongs (the "sins of the fathers" reasoning) have fallen for some key misconceptions which are, ironically the same ones that some opponents of immigration fall for:

1) Since Hispanic immigration is dominated by Mexicans, statistics on the number of Hispanics in America are indicative of a great block of like minded people. Val Prieto at Babalu Blog puts paid to that idea. What stands for Cubans likely stands for a huge number of legal Mexican immigrants. Many of those who worked hard to get to America and build a life legally and honestly, think La Raza supporters are loco.

2) A constant and unrelenting flow of Mexicans will eventually mexicanize the south west. Sorry, immigration, both legal and illegal, peaked at the end of the 1990s. And while the inflow is having an undeniable effect on the culture of the south west, it is nothing if not a two way street. It is fine for La Raza to look at a census map and think that Hispanics are taking over California or any other state but when many of these Hispanics were born here and don't speak Spanish, the idea of them all wanting to join a succession movement and merge with Mexico as some have dreamt of is kind of unrealistic. Maybe the decrease in immigration has something to do with the growth in the economy of Mexico which, while progressing in fits and starts, with lots of room for improvement, has been progressing. Ironically the growth might be faster if the much of the rural countryside were not being emptied of labour by emigration. Or maybe it has to do with the fact that Mexico is not an unlimited source of immigrants. In fact its population growth rate is below the commonly agreed upon replacement rate of 2.1% (or is it 2.2%). Their's is 1.17%.

3) The fertility rates of Hispanic immigrants will further mexicanize the south west. Firstly, these fertility rates drop in the second generation. Secondly, Hispanic kids being raised in the US, even in Hispanic communities are more assimilated into American culture than new immigrants. A kid who does not speak Spanish is not going to like the idea of joining Mexico, at least not once he is old enough to give it some thought. This does not stop La Raza theorists from looking at the statistics and dreaming of 11 million Mexican separatists in the US.

4) Nothing can stop the process now. Talk about painting your grapes before they are bronzed. The protests and the more extreme rhetoric has already provoked a political backlash among both legal immigrants and non immigrants alike. Just as the more fundamentalist North African immigrants to Europe have done, La Raza has over estimated their political and numerical clout and the result will likely be measures to slow immigration even further and to make sure that those who get in are the most loyal and personally invested people. In the case of Europe that is people who support pluralism and democracy while in America it means favoring the legal immigrants and deporting those for whom the law of the land is a mere inconvenience.


Day By Day© by Chris Muir.