More Amsterdam Weirdness Here
So 6 years after "Freedom Fries" came into the American lexicon as a symbol of our disdain for all things euro-weenie, we're seeing the French Navy defying all stereotypes and really kicking pirate ass . From Fox (by way of TSO):
When the boats were close enough, Lt. Commander Jean-Marc le Quilliec sent his commandos out on outboards, with a helicopter to provide air support.I also recently visited Yorktown, where if the French weren't helping us out, we might still be under the rule of the hated British. So, perhaps we were all a bit hasty in castigating the French earlier this decade, showing our boorish and uncouth nature as Americans.
The helicopter fired two warning shots to stop the three boats from fleeing and within minutes the 11 pirates had surrendered.
Two of the attack boats were small skiffs which the pirates used as attack vessels and the third was a 30-foot mothership, used to transport supplies such as petrol, water and food.
But, let's not spare any mercy for those commies in the Netherlands! The New York Times Magazine has an extensive article about the pros and cons of a writer living under the social safety net of the Dutch:
Geert Mak, the Dutch author, insisted that happiness is tied directly to the social system. We were sitting at his favorite cafe, a hangout of Dutch journalists since the end of World War II, and the genial, old-wood setting of the place, as well as its location, around the corner from the Dam and the center of the city’s history, added a bit of luster to his words and reminded me, for the thousandth time, why I’m still here, despite the downside. “One problem with the American system,” he said, “is that if you lose your job and are without an income, that’s not just bad for you but for the economy. Our system has more security. And I think it makes our quality of life better. My American friends say they live in the best country in the world, and in a lot of ways they are right. But they always have to worry: ‘What happens to my family if I have a heart attack? What happens when I turn 65 or 70?’ America is the land of the free. But I think we are freer.”Hmm, I'm curious from any commenters across the pond. It seems that the state ultimately has you "over a barrel" from cradle to grave by getting you wrapped up into various social programs. We have too many as it is in the States and the culture of entitlement has led to some notable decay in otherwise once prosperous cities (e.g. Detroit). Also, the pro side of a large safety net assumes that the purpose of life is "happiness", but then you run into this Eloi-like culture of frolicking and doing it in the streets just waiting for some Morlock to come eat you. But that's just my dumb opinion, what's yours?