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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mexico and the U.S.

Photo: The military is VERY visible in Mexico these days.

The attached video is a first test. Behind me is a new hotel/timeshare going up.

 I met a former NY cop at our bar a couple nights ago. He said that some of the hotels being built on Mazatlan's beaches did not have deep enough footings; he said one building appears to be leaning towards the ocean. 

Another person told me that they sat through a presentation on another hotel -- this one being constructed with a material that the sales people said can bend instead of break (like bricks) in a storm. I took a photo of one new one going up that was just plain brick covered with stucco -- so construction quality varies greatly. About 1 hotel is going up for every 10 timeshares.  You can "buy" something for as little as $150,000 to $250,000 (foreigners can only lease for 99 years if the place is within 50 km of the ocean).

Apparently timeshares are the rage and everyone seems to be in the real estate business. These guys will offer you a "free" Fiesta ticket or a breakfast in exchange for a 90 minute presentation that makes high pressure look like a fire hose.  They want your driver's license number and a valid credit card expiration date.  I don't recommend giving that out. They approach you on the beach or in front of a hotel and promise a "freebie." You'll get the "freebie" but at a cost.

But like I said, the more tourist jobs that are created here, the fewer immigrants will be heading north for jobs in the U.S.....

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jobs in Mexico Equals Less Immigration

For those who want to see illegal immigration stop I have a solution -- go to Mexico as a tourist -- because it creates jobs here that will keep people here.  

I'm here on business. Driving along the coast road it appeared as though the entire coast is under construction. 

Hotels and condos are going up all along the coast, from the old city to the new beaches to the north. In the city and on the road from the airport was a huge military presence, something I'd never seen before in previous trips to Mexico.

The people here are very polite and hard-working. I'm in a small hotel and the one guy manning the thatched-roof restaurant works from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  Despite the hours and regardless of the time of day, Jose is entirely cordial with a dry sense of humor all day.  English is widely spoken and understood. The bus ride along the coast road is 50 cents. 

You can take a boat tour of a place called Stone Island that takes all day and only costs $35 with lunch, drinks, etc.

So if you want to cut immigration, come spend your dollars somewhere in Mexico. The tour guide on the Stone Island tour over weekend told me that tourism was now their No. 1 driver of the local economy. He and the boat crew worked diligently all day to keep everyone happy.  

I see business opportunities here for U.S. products as well.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

From South of the Border

Photo: Pacific Ocean from Mazatlan, Mexico

Flew into Mazatlan, on Mexico's Pacific coast, yesterday. A tourist today told me that a week ago the waves were over 10 feet high - caused by a hurricane in the Pacific that was long gone by the time I arrived. One hotel had put sandbags near their pool to keep out the ocean's high tide.

I saw one hotel that had built steel shutters to cover the patio windows --pretty gross. The others have glass balconies with no protection.

This little "ranchero" is a two story timeshare that has maybe 20 units. Very quiet. Everyone speaks English and is very nice. The photo is from a cabana looking out at sea.

My Verizon phone doesn't work here (it was supposed to), but the place does have wireless Internet so it isn't totally disconnected from the planet. However, when I pull up Google or blogger, the browser comes up in Spanish, not English! Fortunately, it didn't convert my blog into Spanish or I'd be in mucho trouble.

Over 10,000 Americans have retired here because it is so much cheaper than the U.S. It's 10 pesos to the buck. So Mexico is cheap for American travelers, just as the U.S.A. is now cheap to Canadians and Europeans since our currency has dipped so low against the Canadian "loonie" (dollar) and the Euro.

However, the hotels here have gotten smart and charge similar prices for food and drink. But you can still get a lobster dinner for two for $35 -- and breakfast for four was just under $40.

This morning the Pelicans were flying low over the waves in formation along the beach. And the sunset last night was stunning -- a big red ball.

If someone starts World War III, this would be a great place to sit it out. Coconuts grow on the trees and I doubt it is on anyone's missile target list.

Today Mexico set back its clocks 1 hour, a week ahead of the time change in the U.S. So frankly, I have no clue what time it is. And for the next few days I really don't care. Walking in the soft sand and enjoying the slower pace of life here is chicken soup for the soul...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Red Tape and Homeowners helped Wildfires

From wildfires to hurricanes, we need changes in government and private rules and codes to protect our property in future natural disasters.

The California fires could have been stopped had it not been for government mismanagement and lack of common sense by homeowners. Texas faces the same issues that need correction.

In the early stages, before the wildfires and winds had become dangerous, critical time was lost because of silly rules that kept aircraft grounded until a California "fire spotter" could be on board.

By the time they got there, the aircraft were grounded due to high winds and the fires grew out of control. So much for "being prepared" for a homeland security issue that is an annual event. Next year there will be more drought, dry grass and strong Santa Ana winds blowing across California.

Another writer points out that our policies on wildfires, and lack of common sense preparedness by homeowners who let dry brush grow right up next to their multi-million dollar homes.

Moral? Both government and individuals need to make some changes to avoid future damages. Get rid of the fire spotter rule and get homeowners to clear brush from around their homes.

Not to leave our own area out of this homeland security critique: The U.S. coastal zones, including Texas, need to establish "Miami Dade" building code standards. Builders can put up million dollar condos on Clear Lake (Houston--spitting distance from the Gulf of Mexico) whose windows will blow out once hit by debris or winds in excess of 75 mph!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

China Enters the Next Moon Race

Photo: China lunar orbiter blasts off

When I first went to China on pollution technology negotiations in 1982, they had no money and everyone rode bicycles. Now, China has launched a craft to orbit the moon, in preparation of putting Chinese astronauts on the moon in coming years.

China recently become only the third country to put astronauts in space and return them safely to earth. China is now a rich country, filled with automobiles and construction cranes, as its factories supply the U.S. with everything you can buy at Wal Mart ("Wally World"). They might beat NASA's return to the moon if we don't pay attention.

On the earthly, home front, the shoe was on the other foot. Yesterday a painter came by the condo to paint the front door. A black cat followed him inside, apparently because it likes to follow him around to check out everyone's place. Well, "Piper" the Cockatiel didn't like the presence of a cat one bit. She started fluttering her wings and making a racket.

The cat was last scene scurrying out of the place --running hellbent for leather. Personally, I like cats but this one had met its match with Piper. Apparently, I have a bird that intimates cats.

I am thinking of sending Piper to Washington -- to deal with DC Fat Cats!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hell Fires Pass Katrina Evacuation Record

California's "Hell Fires" (for lack of a better name) have made history.

Yesterday they were in second place to New Orleans, but now over half million people have been evacuated, far more than the number fleeing Katrina's drowning pools.

The Super dome has been replaced with Qualcomm Stadium --and people fleeing a surreal fire and brimstone scene. One house burns while the one next to it is spared. One man returned to find his garage burned but the house next to it was still standing. Lucky man.

In 2005 I was driving water and supplies to Louisiana when FEMA was no where to be seen. In 2007, California doesn't need me; it needs firefighter crews from around the country -- and more aircraft that can dump water and retardant on the wildfires.

One scene that stuck out was the TV shot of a guy manning an ordinary water hose. He and others had banded together and saved at least one house in their neighborhood. That's the American spirit and unsung (ordinary) American heroes at work even when it doesn't get much TV coverage.

I think the silver lining is that a lot of the people now out of their homes in California will have a better idea what the folks in New Orleans went through two years ago. Losing it all in seconds. Your whole life changed forever by an act of nature outside anyone's control. Relying on the kindness of strangers. Starting over and rebuilding. Realizing that life is more important than the stuff in your house. But it still hurts, losing everything you had.

It could be worse. Add car bombs and snipers and these same people would have a clue what civilians in Iraq are going through every day.

Let's do what it takes to help our neighbors in California, and not forget our neighbors in New Orleans who are still struggling. It's the American thing to do.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires: Biggest Evacuation since Rita/Katrina

The fires in California have forced over 250,000 people out of their homes, the largest evacuation in U.S. history since Hurricane Rita/Katrina. The dry Santa Ana winds continue to spread the blazes which have destroyed nearly 1,000 homes so far.

Where is FEMA?

This disaster should have a massive federal response, just like a flood or a hurricane. The small towns are running out of money to fight the fires and don't have the equipment needed. Our hearts go out to all the people in southern California who are going through this disturbance in their lives.

If car bombs were going off, they would personally feel something like the pain that millions of Iraqis are living today.

The good news is that Osama bin laden showed up on tape, complaining about his jihadists failing to unite (darn those tribal fanatics!)

The bad news: Turkey is sending troops towards the Kurdish part of Iraq after Kurd rebels went into Turkey and killed several Turkish troops. Seventy (70%) of our equipment goes into Iraq via Turkey. Check out this link to a great article on this tricky situation and its impact on us.

Meanwhile, we got our first cold front on the Texas coast yesterday, blowing in rain and a 30 degree drop in the low temp. The cold makes hanging out on the balcony for a drink at night a windy, cold (and short) experience!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cavemen Threw Beach Parties?

Photo: Modern caveman (and friends) on the hunt for seafood....

Scientists have found evidence that cavemen 164,000 years ago were having seafood parties on the beach.

It's proof that we haven't changed much in 164,000 years (except in technology)!

Robot Gun Goes Mad - Kills Nine. Future clone wars?

Photo: Ms. Bhutto narrowly escapes Al Qaida assassination attempt - Possible solution may be in South Africa

In South Africa a robot gun went out of control for unknown reasons and killed nine people. What made it so deadly is that it can even reload itself and keep firing. Nine South African soldiers were killed before it finally ran out of bullets.

Remember the Terminator movies with Arnold? It appears that the 21st Century may be when humans and robots clash in combat. We have robot Predator drones that fly around looking for Al Qaida, firing Hellfire missiles on suspects, etc.

Several Predators used on border patrol with Mexico have disconnected from their human operators due to computer malfunctions -- and crashed near people's houses, right here in the U.S.A. So your chances of getting killed by a robot in the future are improving, especially if you are a terrorist. But now even innocents may be in the cross-hairs of an automatic killing machine. Perhaps the Star Wars "clonewars" is not so far off after all.

Speaking of "robot killers," it appears the usual suspects, Al Qaida, were behind the attempted assassination yesterday of Ms. Bhutto that killed over 100 people. Once again, extremists can't stand leadership with moderate or secular views. Al Qaida knows that unlike Musharraf, Bhutto would let the U.S. chase Al Qaida out of its hide-outs in NW Pakistan.

Maybe we can persuade the South Africans to take their wayward robot gun to work in Osama bin laden territory...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Which countries google "Sex" the Most? Or "car bomb"?

Photo: Pakistan (car?) bomb that nearly killed Ms. Bhutto today --the blast even broke her car windows

Neither sex or car bombs compare to the impact on our future from the disaster unfolding in the arctic.

Check out this intriguing article on which words are "googled" (searched) the most in various countries. It is both funny and, in one case, scary.

The word "sex" was searched the most in Egypt, India and Turkey. Ummmm. (Why is it the most conservative places score high on this one?)

The word "Jihad" was searched the most in Morocco, Indonesia, and Pakistan. (That should make everyone sleep great tonight, knowing Pakistan has nukes and Benazir Bhutto is back to fight for democracy and save the day).

The scary one?

The words "car bomb" is searched the most in - Australia, Canada and the United States.

Since India is the second most populous country in the world, jihad is happening in Pakistan, then what does this search trend indicate for the United States?

The other "wake up call" news is that we lost 25% of the arctic ice in just two years since 2005. The planet's arctic air conditioning system is being lost at a catastrophic rate. If the President is worried that doing something about global warming will "hurt" business, ignoring it will be even worse. Imagine how bad it will be for business to have a drought-covered, UV hot planet with dwindling fresh water caused by overheating after the arctic ice cap is gone a few years from now.

What's clear from these new facts is that we have no more time to waste. There needs to be a new global treaty, a "cap and trade" system, something! Fiddling while Rome burns is not a good idea. We need action now --and a pledge from all candidates from both parties -- to protect ourselves and future generations, from both car bombs and the even worse results from global warming.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Only in America: Cousins Cheney and Obama

Photo: Seabrook Citgo and World's Smallest Commercial building

It turns out the Vice President Cheney and Mr. Obama are distant cousins. Amazing.

Only in America can something like this happen. Can you imagine Barack Obama saying to Dick Cheney: "Hey Cousin, what's up?" Or more likely: "Dick, can we dialogue?"

Actually, such diverse connections are a symbol of the future of this country. In a few years 25% of our residents will speak Spanish, not to mention all the other cultures and languages and family trees represented here. If we go back to Abraham, we are all cousins.

Meanwhile, the rest of us mere mortals are feeling like yo-yos, watching gas prices jump and fall as much as a dime in a day. Each day brings a big change one way or the other. Now they predict $100/barrel oil.

To keep from mortgaging the house to fill up the van, I discovered that cash gets 10 cents off at a Citgo station a couple blocks away (photo above--next to what I call the world's smallest, and oddest triangle shaped, commercial building).

That means I get to choose between my gas tank dollars funding Mr. Chavez in Venezuela (part owner of Citgo) versus filling up with gas at another place, part of which may be funneled back to Osama bin laden.

Ummmm. Have things changed much since the days when Oscar Wyatt's Coastal stations had Saddam's oil for sale? Too bad we can't buy more oil from Mexico, which would create more jobs there and not fuel "jihad."

The situation is about as odd as the pink building above.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Vicente Fox Comes to Houston - Says "U.S. is too Isolated"

The former President of Mexico visited Houston yesterday to talk about U.S./Mexico relations, etc.

His message? "Americans are too isolated from the rest of the world." And he doesn't like the wall.

He's right actually. We are too isolated from the world. That has led to a lot of cultural blunders by our leadership that undermine even the best of intentions. For example, if you are asking a Saudi for a favor while sitting cross-legged with the sole of your shoe facing him, you are insulting him -- no matter how much you might be trying to be nice and polite. The fact that you are clueless that you are insulting your host makes it even worse in their eyes.

Chewing tobacco in front of someone in Afghanistan is the same thing. Ignorance of customs is damaging our international relationships. And it is dumb when it sabotages our own interests. The only way to avoid it is to learn about people.

The good news is that more young Americans are studying abroad, traveling, etc. The bad news is that we have countless candidates running for high office such as Congress who have zero international experience or knowledge.

Never again should we elect someone to be President who does not have global experience and cannot communicate with diverse peoples --it is too dangerous to have on-the-job training and basic cultural miscues in the White House.

It is too dangerous for Americans to elect to Congress reps who may be excellent skin doctors but don't know Burma from Burma Shave, have never been to the Middle East, or anywhere else except as a tourist?

I've been out there. Every country is different. Every culture is different. The unwritten rules will get you. It's not something you can get from a book or 'on-the-job'. Congress choices on Iraq led to a war and a lot of false assumptions proved wrong. People with global experience have a definite edge in knowing what they are talking about and protecting the public.

A Wall? I still remember the Berlin Wall - how Americans hated it because of what it symbolized. Now we are doing what the Soviet Union did.

I agree with Mr. Fox that we don't need a wall with Mexico - electronic monitoring of movement across the border makes much more sense. Monitoring is much less expensive and lets you send people where they need to go instead of investing billions constructing something so easy to climb as a wall through thousands of miles of desert.

One recommendation: President Fox should take his mission, modeled on former U.S. Presidents, and establish a foundation that builds on improving U.S./Mexico relations. After all, Mexico is not the Middle East. Due to geography, we will be next door neighbors for centuries to come.

We might as well figure out solutions to work together.

The longer version of this is at my Global American series site.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Era of SuperJumbo begins

Photo: The retired Concorde - Still the World's Fastest--and smallest-- passenger jet

Airbus just delivered the world's first Superjumbo jet - the Airbus 380 which will hold 555 to 800 passengers! It dwarfs the huge Boeing 747. It will need bigger terminals to handle it. Some airlines will offer in-flight showers with their versions of it.

Meanwhile, American Boeing's new Dreamliner carries 330 and has been a big hit because it reaches Mach .85 (650 miles per hour vs. 500 for most jets today) and is fuel efficient.

The Europeans went for bigger and the Americans went for faster. The Europeans are claiming the Airbus is more fuel efficient per passenger than a car. But I think having a shot at a shower after flying 20 hours to Australia might impress people more.

What I miss, and what we need, is a fuel efficient version of the CONCORDE, which flew at Mach 2 and took me from New York to London in a little over 3 hours on a trip many years ago. We cruised at 60,000 feet, high enough to see the curvature of the earth.

But I'd want one the size of a 747. The Concorde was so small it was like sitting inside of a pencil. When I was younger (and skinnier at dripping wet 155 lbs.) it was a tight fit.

If I were President, I'd order up a supersonic jet (Mach 2 would be perfect) to be Air Force One-- instead of lumbering around in a 747 for hours on end. In this century, international travel by our leadership is vital. Cutting global travel time to Europe from 8 hours to 3 (and the Middle East from 16 hours to 6) makes sense.

America must continue to lead in global technology to remain relevant in this global 21st century.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Putin Rolls Condi/Gates - Death of democracy in Russia

Photo: Putin challenges Bush to bare-chested photo shoot (perhaps?)

Russia's democracy is being strangled to death by Mr. Putin, who rolled Condi and Mr. Gates during their last meeting before the TV cameras. They looked visibly shocked when Putin opened up on them in the middle of a "photo op" where they expected the usual diplomatic small talk --not a lecture on global TV from the former KGB agent.

Condi and Gates smiled nervously and said nothing. Suddenly the U.S. call for democracy in places like Iraq and Burma has fallen silent and mute in the face of Russia's determined leader.

The loss of democracy in Russia is far more dangerous to future U.S. interests than the lack of it in Burma (Myanmar). Unlike Burma, Russia has tens of thousands of nuclear weapons and new oil wealth to fuel its expansion. Putin recently re-started Russia bomber flights that had stopped years ago. He threatened to back out of arms control treaties.

The Bush administration insistence on cramming a missile defense system in East Europe has been a strategic miscalculation. Like the previous NATO expansion under the Clinton administration, it has made Russia feel threatened. No matter that these are defensive missiles in nature and intended to intercept missiles heading towards Europe from Iran.

The administration's plan to put new missiles in Europe has given Putin an opportunity to smash his opposition.

We could be entering a new "cold war" in our relations with Russia, which has close ties to Iran. We need Russian cooperation to deal with Iran and other strategic issues. But that also gives Putin the chance to turn back the clock and return Russia to the "rule of men" instead of the "rule of law."

Once again I think our leadership has underestimated the opposition, got caught off-guard and was rolled by a very smart, determined globally-sophisticated opponent.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Making a Bad Situation Worse - Congress vote on Armenia

Photo: Seabrook (TX) Sunrise - today (Congrats Al Gore on the Peace Prize. Due to global warming, the Clear Lake scene in this photo will be three feet higher--in water level--sometime this century, when today's kids are my age).

Congress is about to do the same thing the administration has done since the beginning of the Iraq war -- shoot itself in the foot by a policy blunder that makes a bad situation worse.

The same Democrat leadership who want the U.S. to get out of Iraq immediately just stirred up bigger trouble for it --by insisting on bringing up a century-old issue that threatens to break the only quiet spot in Iraq --the Kurdish north which borders Turkey.

Why did Ms. Pelosi insist that we have to recognize a century-old genocide issue NOW when all it will do today is produce greater tension with an ally we need next to Iraq (Turkey)? Yes, it was genocide but why it is so important to rush it to a vote now?

This action by Congress will decrease cooperation from a country with a key border on Iraq's north --and could start another front in Iraq if the old conflict between Turkey, Armenians and the Kurds comes out of this.

Turkey has even recalled its Washington Ambassador because of this train wreck of a vote.

What is Nancy Pelosi thinking? Why inject an issue from a century ago into the most volatile, destabilized country in the world right now--Iraq? So we can create a Turkish-Armenian-Kurd war to add to the Shiite, Sunni and Al Qaida battle?

Congress should reconsider its Armenian resolution. So far it has been the only brake on those wishing to widen the war to include Iran. Now Congress itself is generating conflict with Turkey that will further destabilize Iraq and the region as a whole.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Preparing Kids for Today's America

Kids are America's tomorrow. Yet are we really preparing our kids for it?

I recently met a young couple from Dallas while working on a business deal who are doing something cool that is preparing their kids for the America of today and tomorrow. It is a blended family: her daughter and son are 10 and 11. Together they have a 3-month old. Each Tuesday night is "theme" night. One week it is Greek/Roman food - and they all dress up in togas or whatever. Another week is is a different food and part of the world. The kids even have to do research on the country/region. They tell me everyone loves it and they have great family time together doing it.

When these kids are adults, they will have a better understanding of the global community America will be part of at that time.

Brian and Michelle are examples of what parents all over America should be doing with their kids.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Stop or We'll Drop Our Gay Bomb on You"

Photo: Dr. Stranglove (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)

Tell me this isn't really true - that some genius(or group thereof) in the Pentagon came up with a proposal to develop a "gay bomb." Yep. The idea behind it, apparently is that the enemy soldiers would then want to make love with each other instead of fighting.

This is the same military that had the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and throws gays out of the service even if they are one of the few who know how to read/speak Arabic to see what Al Qaida is up to?

I can see it now.

Headline: "Bush orders Military to drop "Gay Bomb" on Iran!

Next line: "Ahmadinejad declared: 'It didn't work. In Iran, we aren't gay; we just don't ask and don't tell." He then said that "he had decided to invite 'Georgie W' over to watch old Rock Hudson movies anytime he happened to by flying by Iran."

OK. At least some logical behavior was observed in Korea this week - an historic agreement between North and South to "make peace" and cut down the barriers and the nuke bomb plants after a half century of DMZ's and barbed wire separating the two.

Amazing how diplomacy and talking to people actually works (without necessity of a war)! At least we didn't have to threaten to drop a gay bomb on North Korea!

Meanwhile the headline from Pakistan (should be): "Musharraf Wins Presidential Election"
He says: "I'd love elections where there
are no opponents!"

Friday, October 05, 2007

Ban Blood Rubies from Burma (aka Myanmar)

If Americans want to send a message to the junta smashing democracy in Burma (since the Generals renamed it "Myanmar" I refused to use that name), then here is something you can do.

Ask Congress to ban "blood rubies" from Burma - source of over 89% of the world's rubies, which are more expensive than diamonds on a per carat basis. Current law allows U.S. buyers to buy these gems which give the Generals over half billion dollars a year since they are cut outside of Burma. If we banned them regardless of where they are cut (since none are cut in Burma) it would hit the Generals in the pocketbook -- and could help the cause for freeing the people and monks from tyranny.

If we can support not buying "Blood Diamonds" from Africa (which are used to fuel civil wars) then why not ban "Blood Rubies" from Burma? Why not ask the Europeans to join us?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

A President Confronts the Creeps at Darfur

This is what I call Presidential leadership - former President Carter shouting down Sudanese officials who wanted to keep him from meeting people to scared to attend because of the threat of being killed. Talk about having guts!

That's a President with some real vision and leadership - putting himself in harm's way to protect the little guys who are being murdered daily by thugs as the U.S. and UN basically watch from the sidelines.

If there is a place where a Platoon of U.S. soldiers could take out a brigade of bad guys, this is it.

Bravo for Prez Jimmy trying to help these people on the bottom of the food chain. Carter's actions can only increase the U.S. image in the eyes of those desperate people.

Burma (Myanmar) should be next. How to fix this? Give China a deal - you drop support for the military junta, and you (China) get to keep your contracts for Burmese natural resources for "X" years. It's the only way to get rid of that bunch in Burma which has 400,000 troops in uniform.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Attempted Bombing of U.S. Embassy - Vienna - Trouble ahead

The attempted Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Vienna is a sign of trouble ahead. Something is up.

A guy with a backpack full of explosives (and nails) tried to enter the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, but set off the metal detector. He left the bag when he ran off.

I've been to Vienna, which now has a security issue. (I was there years ago when I was with the Fortune 500 checking out a potential counter-trade deal--people who were bartering for goods when Russia didn't have cash like they do now). The young man and potential suicide bomber turns out to be a Bosnian - but he did have a Muslim prayer manual.

It's another sign of radicalization of young men living in Europe who are in their 20's and have roots in the Mideast. Apparently, the bombing was to force Germany and Austria out of Afghanistan (not Iraq).

What's weird is that during the Clinton administration we helped Bosnian Muslims, who were being killed by Serbs. So much for gratitude.

Or perhaps its just because they had just been born when the U.S. was helping Muslims from being killed in Bosnia, and they have no memory of it. All they see is Osama bin laden claiming this is a war against Muslims, instead of a war against terrorism.

Regardless, this attempted bombing is another warning that security issues must remain at the top of the agenda. If that bag bomb had gone off in the street, nails would have ripped through windows around the blast zone. Europe and the U.S. are top targets, just ask New York, London, Washington, Madrid, etc.

XO Armor on the windows would protect a lot of people from flying shrapnel/glass--much better than having nothing. It would even stop a burglar. In layers it can stop a bullet. Get prepared.

(One customer who put it on their house reports they are saving over $150 month on their electric bill)!