Monday, August 16, 2010

To Kill an American

I have not bothered to verify the authenticity of the story behind this little piece below because it is a wonderful collection of thoughts by itself - it does not make much difference why it was written (and I could not find the original publication to be able to give proper credit).Of course, we are all aware of the hatred that permeates the world today and anything that counteracts it will get my whole hearted support. So this is what I heard but have not checked out:

Sometime in the last week of July or the first week of August 2010 someone published an offer of payment, in a Pakistani newspaper, to anyone who killed an American - any American. In response to this an editorial was published by an Australian dentist on how to identify an American, making it easier to kill them. 

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Canadian, Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani or Afghan.

An American may also be a Comanche, Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, Seminole or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim.
In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them chooses.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American lives in the most prosperous land in the history of the world.
The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return.

When Afghanistan was over-run by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country!

As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. Americans welcome the best of everything…the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services. But they also welcome the least.

The national symbol of America, The Statue of Liberty , welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed. These in fact are the people who built America.

Some of them were working in the Twin Towers the morning of September 11, 2001 earning a better life for their families. It’s been told that the World Trade Center victims were from at least 30 different countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided and abetted the terrorists.

So, you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and other blood-thirsty tyrants in the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place, they are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

Friday, August 13, 2010

World Record for speeding fines!!

I have always had a bone to pick with the Swiss authorities about their speeding checks and fines.  I have to watch the speedometer more often than the road to see where I am going.  And they are not forgiving of even the slightest infraction - ever!  Even a few kilometres over the limit and you can be sure to either get flagged down and taken to the nearest police station, or receive a love note in the mail.  Most surely the former if you are in a car from outside the country.

And then there was this Swede, 29 years old, who decided to stick his nose up at the Swiss road police.  He was caught speeding at 290 kph (180 mph) by some new fangled camera (trust the Swiss to have the latest equipment to catch the speed nuts).  And so he was fined - and what a fine!!  A world record of Euro 928.770,45. At today's exchange rate that would a cool US$ 1.2 million.  Niiiiceee!

So if you like to drive, enjoy the rush of speed and do not have a few million to toss in the wind, when in Switzerland use public transportation.  Or keep an eye on every damn speed limit sign!!  Bon Voyage!!