Facing the draft again?

Bob Novak has an interesting column about America’s recruiting dilemma: finding enough volunteers to defend freedom in remote corners of the world.

Re-introducing the draft is hardly an option. Having successfully protected the homeland from more attacks since 9/11 the President now leads a nation less alarmed and therefore less willing to defend the country.

How can a democracy remain vigilant?


Summer is sweet

More than 350000 Swedes suffer from diabetes. Many more have not yet been diagnosed. Spring is here so I checked the ice-cream boxes in a local shop the other day. Well over 30 different kinds from two manufacturers, one more tempting than the other. None of them sugar-free. Get this: not a single ice-cream without sugar. What kind of wake-up call do we need to start fighting diabetes?


Stenmarck beats "The Big 4"

Four countries (France, Germany, Spain and the UK) are always guaranteed a place in the ESC final. This strange rule was introduced a few years ago for economical reasons. Now we move on from strange to outright embarrassing. These “big 4” are occupying the four last positions in this year’s ranking. Their guarantee will come in handy next year!


big fire waiting

A fire broke out in the Stockholm subway this week. Fortunately no one was killed but the incident is the worst since this network was established in the fifties. As usual with issues of security, interest surges after an incident, questions are asked: investigative panels will be appointed. Rightfully so. 

The labor union has all the answers at once, of course. Guess what? This is all the fault of the employer. How surprising! Cost-cutting has led to poor maintenance, they claim. Well, maybe. 

I’d suggest we take a closer look at another factor: the uncontrolled spreading of waste-paper in stations as well as in trains and on the tracks. Tons and tons of free “newspapers” are distributed every morning. Every grown-up who fails to bring his paper out from the subway again is partly responsible for the real big fire which will hit us one day.


not your average Inn...

Grilled fillet of veal and braised leg of veal with tarragon and apple

Read that sentence again.

Sounds delicious, right? Tasted even better…

I was lucky enough to have lunch at Edsbacka Krog today. Officially authorized in 1626 as “an Inn at Edsbacka, in the rural district of Sollentuna”, this reputable restaurant has been around for a while. Not exactly the cheapest place in town but the food is great and the service is superb.

Bring a friend, spend some time and enjoy!


Will we ever learn?

World War II in Europe ended 60 years ago today. Jubilant crowds celebrated peace and embraced their liberators. From dust and rubble, the defeated Germany was restored through massive infusion of American aid. For decades, NATO under American leadership protected our freedom from the Soviet threat. Generations of European leaders knew in their hearts just how much we owe the US.

When the Wall finally came down we could all breathe easier, some even proclaimed "the end of history". Sadly, it was more like the end of memory. History is hardly taught at all in Swedish schools. Leaders in Germany and France show increasing arrogance and no gratitude. In spite of recent reminders, like the complete European fiasco in Yugoslavia, there is an unfounded perception that Europe doesn't need the US. Oddly enough we're also unable to aid in fighting tyranny elsewhere like when we're asked to help in Iraq. Strong and absent? Not very credible.

Well, why use force, why not rely on diplomacy and work through the UN, you ask. Isn't that the way to go in a civilized world?

Twelve years and countless UN resolutions got us absolutely nowhere in Iraq. Basic diplomacy couldn’t save Kosovo. Decades of concessions to North Korea has led to an alarming threat. The world is a dangerous place and a policy of consensus is certainly a good principle but not a universal solution. I’m sure Mr. Chamberlain would have agreed.

Imagine Mr. Chirac confronting Saddam. Imagine Mr. Schroeder saving Kosovo. Imagine Mr. Annan disarming North Korea. The world needs American leadership. The next time the US enters a period of isolationism we’re in big trouble.

60 years ago freedom was restored in Europe. Not by resolutions, diplomacy or concessions. Europe was liberated by thousands upon thousands of allied soldiers paying the ultimate price. Will we ever learn?


Turncoats, beware

Voters seem to reward steadfastness and persistence. Now Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair have both been reelected. Highly controversial in some vocal circles, their leadership has been approved by those who should know best: their own voters. Staying the course is a basic leadership skill. Being a turncoat is not.