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What a year 2009 is turning out to be! Who would have thunk you would read stories about pirates, elves and Tea Parties? Here is just a small group of headlines that seem striking in the year 2009.

  • Elves: “Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called “hidden people”-or, to put it more plainly, elves-in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it. It was a delicate corporate situation, an Alcoa spokesman told me, because they had to pay hard cash to declare the site elf-free but, as he put it, “we couldn’t as a company be in a position of acknowledging the existence of hidden people.” This Michael Lewis article on the financial crisis in Iceland is worth reading.
  • Tea Parties: “Be part of a Taxed Enough Already rally in your community.” See here.

Bottom line, of the three topics, the Tea Parties have been far and away the object of the most ridicule. We are definitely not in Kansas anymore.

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