Friday, October 26, 2007

Election Results

The Swiss results are in. Not too positive, I'm afraid.

Disco Taxi

Possibly the coolest thing I've done in Europe. Our co-worker, Jeroen, took us out on the town in Amsterdam last night. His buddy came and picked us up.

He drove the Disco Taxi.

This isn't us, but is a video off of You-Tube. The car is complete with a pass-around microphone, video screens, and a disco ball.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thus begins the death knell

Things to think about other than the fact that this is the onset of my 30th birthday week.

The new radiohead album. Although results are mixed on their unique distribution methods (Time magazine says they've averaged $0.02 per album, whereas The Times says almost $9.00), the album is a winner.

Wearing my new vintage Combination Browline Hudson frames that I found in Amsterdam. With this look, I'm almost ready to be a dad.

Homemade Oreos. Haven't baked them yet, but the ladies are on a mission and I'm an all-too-willing calorie crash test dummy. Will let you know how they turn out.

The Sigur Ros documentary film.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"If one cannot prove that a thing is, he may try to prove that it is not. And if he succeeds in doing neither (as often occurs), he may still ask whether it is in his interest to accept one or the other of the alternatives hypothetically, from the theoretical or the practical point of view. …Hence the question no longer is as to whether perpetual peace is a real thing or not a real thing, or as to whether we may not be deceiving ourselves when we adopt the former alternative, but we must act on the supposition of its being real."

- Kant

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Counting Sheep...

"Create Security" - a 2007 political poster by the SVP (Schweizerische Volkspartei/Swiss People's Party)

The SVP has started an ad campaign discussing the need to keep Switzerland for the Swiss. The good Swiss are represented by white sheep, while the foreign criminal element is the kick-receiving black sheep.

We've spoken to friends in both Hamburg and Germany and understand some of the SVP's points. Switzerland has a Christian heritage and tight-knit social groups, they see immigrants who do not respect their rules as offensive and threatening. As experienced in the Netherlands and France, an poor handling of large foreign groups can add quite a bit of tension to the social fabric. To their credit, the SVP is not asking to remove all foreign elements, only the foreign criminal element. However, the posters send a negative message to all immigrant groups and are indicative of a xenophobia marching through Europe and and the US . Plus, it doesn't really bode well for your campaign when Germany's NPD adopts your slogan:

But do the foreign elements really represent a higher portion of the criminality in Switzerland? Can Switzerland remain its economic competitiveness without the low-cost labor that this immigration represents? Even if the cultural differences persist for one generation, with immigrant children in Swiss schools will it likely continue? or will campaigns like the one above only prove to be a self-fulfilling cycle where immigrant populations feel increasingly alienated from the Swiss population?

To us, the last question is the most worrisome. Being black sheep, albeit law-abiding ones, we're hoping that the Swiss make some judicious decisions in the upcoming elections.

Luckily, the SVP party doesn't represent all of Switzerland. Our favorite example of the opposition was a white and a black sheep walking through the main train station with a poster asking people to "Hug the Black Sheep".

She was so cute, we couldn't resist.