Sunday, October 26, 2008

The extent of the crisis

This does not seem like a reliable information but if true, it is unbelievable:

Europe was especially hard hit as previously placed truck orders were canceled. After Volvo cleaned out those orders from its books, the net order intake in the third quarter was a mere 115 trucks, compared to nearly 42,000 trucks in the same period last year.

If that keeps going on, we will live through some interesting times.

Wolrd War III

Imagine that a major war (affecting lives of at least 1 billion of people) happens in the next twenty to fifty years. Which country would you think will start it?

I would bet on Russia and I consider such war quite likely. Especially if the current crisis worsens, the price of oil decreases even further (who would guess that the price of oil will more than halve in a year?), the economic hardship will encourage or force the couple Medvedev Putin to use nationalism deeply rooted in the Russian culture. Russia has (dubious) claims for land of many countries (Georgia is one of them, but there are many more), it has large number of people outside it borders. And it is quite easy to argue that they need protection. Exactly the same way Hitler justified taking parts of Czechoslovakia. Russia has potential conflict with China but it may be equally likely to go west, to re-establish its presence (and former glory) in Central and Eastern Europe.

The big question is whether one can trust NATO and EU structures to stand united behind its members. I would not trust Sarkozy (or any French) a bit. But it was England who betrayed Czechs before WWII. And it may be hard to rely on Americans, unless they have a radar here. So let's build it quickly...

Our president

Our dearest president is an idiot. "His" party lost the elections for finally doing something (in contrast to the time when he was a prime minister-he talked about reforms but haven't done most of them), most notably for their reform of health care system. Some people even mention very unpopular, yet very necessary, end of rent control.
Our president recently said: "If you would ask me if I remember any reform done in the past few years, I wouldn't be able to name any". Well, except the one or two that lost the ODS (his) party the elections, obviously. But those do not count, right?

Well, our president is just using this opportunity to get even with a guy he did not like from the very beginning, who took the position of head of the party from him and whom he tried to "kill" right after he (Topolanek) was elected to lead the party.

I would not bother to write about this, except that the government after 20 years of total failures, finally seems to understand what needs to be done. The quality of their work is not at what most western democracies are used to, but it moved from East to West in the past two years more than ever before. It would be a pity to see such government fail.