Monday, March 15, 2004

TODAY'S TOP FIVE: Viva Zapatero!

I'm in Love With Spanish Voters Could this weekend have been any better? On Saturday, UConn wins the Big East tournament despite Okafor being less than 100 percent and Villenueve having a twisted ankle, and on Sunday the people of Spain put the Socialist Workers into power. Spain's new prime minister vows that he will make good on his campaign pledge to bring home the country's 1,300 troops in Iraq. Hey, Blair and Berlusconi: You hear those footsteps?

Now, Why Would Spain Want to Bring Its Troops Home? Here's a possibility: Seven American troops were killed in Iraq over the weekend in bomb attacks. Since March 10, nine US soldiers have been killed in improvised explosive device attacks in Iraq.

If You Thought Texas Had a Death Penalty Problem... According to a Chinese Communist Party official, China executes about 10,000 people a year (actually, he said there are 10,000 "immediate executions" in China, meaning that there could be other executions that aren't immediate). This, believe it or not, is way above what even the highest estimate had been from human rights groups. Now, don't I remember reading something in the papers a while back about us invading Iraq because of all the human rights violations under Saddam? Must be my imagination.

That Computer Science Degree Doesn't Seem Like Such a Good Idea Now, Does It, Genius? Like many younger folk, I have been following the mounting evidence of a military draft with unease: This story, though, has reassured me. It seems that the government is taking steps to implement a "special skills" draft that would target Americans with proficiency in computers and foreign languages. "Talking to the manpower folks at the Department of Defense and others, what came up was that nobody foresees a need for a large conventional draft such as we had in Vietnam," says Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System. "But they thought that if we have any kind of a draft, it will probably be a special skills draft." That unmarketable liberal arts degree, coupled with taking Latin, suddenly seem like two of the wisest decisions I ever made.

Bangalore: Land of Opportunity Here's something you don't see every day: Whereas in past decades and centuries, people immigrated to America for (among other things) the chance to work and earn a decent living, now Americans are immigrating to India for the same chance. With all the dotcom jobs that are being "outsourced" to the sub-continent, white-collar American workers are apparently starting to follow them. Note to India: Consider restricting the immigration of Americans. Those people are a plague.

-Consider Arms