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Entertainment

Never say “Impossible.”

34 sec., in, out, done!

PS. One commenter’s observation, not too far down the page, elicits a discussion worth noting:

Peggy Larson
1 month ago

Please check the collar on that kitten. Often owners don’t loosen collars as the kitten grows and it strangles them. See this a lot in my vet clinic.

Roger Lloyd-Pack (1944-2014)

I was saddened to hear that the actor Roger Lloyd-Pack died yesterday of pancreatic cancer.

Probably one of my favourite TV shows whilst growing up was “Only Fools and Horses” and Lloyd-Pack’s “Trigger” was an absolutely vital part of the ensemble that made that show so brilliant – and it was epically good at times rising to heights of utter genius. Of course he was in loads of other stuff like “Harry Potter” and “Dr Who” but for me he shall always be the bumbling Peckham street-cleaner. I think we forget too easily that whilst the show was centred on the antics of Del and Rodney the rest of them from Mike at the bar of the Nag’s Head to Denzil the scouse trucker, Grandad, Uncle Albert, Boycie, Marlene and all the rest of them really made the show and gave the central cast folks to spark off.

As I said, I grew up watching that and I still watch it. Trig is no longer in my memory but in the Sky (in every sense). He is the overhead one Dave or Watch or whatever. Perhaps the nearest to immortality we can get. His peerless deadpan shall not be forgotten as long as electromagnetism exists.

I don’t think I can embed this (it’s BBC) but just click

…and there is loads more.

It’s A Wonderful Life… Comrade.

It is one of the best loved Christmas movies of all time, (it’s certainly one of my top five favourite films) but back in 1947 it was being accused of being Communist propaganda because the Banker character Potter, is portrayed as an evil money grubbing bottom line Capitalist. A bit far fetched for me I’m afraid.

Capitalists have never had a good Press have they? Can anyone name me a film or book where a Banker is the hero?

“Is it a bird? Is it a plane? no it’s Venture Capital Man and he has saved the day again! With his timely injection of cash the Dam was repaired, the Valley saved from flooding and all our children can sleep easy in their beds, well fed and prosperous for evermore. You’re my hero Venture Capital Man!”

It just doesn’t happen, does it?

Now don’t get me wrong, McCarthy was right ( if rather too paranoid and heavy handed), Hollywood was stuffed full of Luvvy Communists who were trying to push a Marxist agenda, but they were not hugely successful in getting the message across, because the essence of most films is the triumph of Good over Evil. The White hats win and the Black hats lose, it’s pretty crude at best, but hey that’s entertainment. What’s important is that the little people like us, the ones who provide the bums on seats, feel that we are on the winning side. However small and insignificant our lives that if we have friends and family who love us, and who we love back and help out when the going gets tough, then we are as important and consequential as Kings and Queens.

PS. You will notice on reading the article that Ayn Rand is mentioned as sitting on a committee that reported to the House Un-American Activities Commission. She gave evidence personally. Now quite what an upfront Libertarian is doing reporting to J Edgar Crossdresser and McCarthy is beyond my understanding of her Libertarianism. I wouldn’t have gone near Big Government witch trials myself. But then I have never read her and very likely never will. In fact the few details of her life and circle that I know of, I know for certain that she would never have been a friend of mine in real life. Do click on the link at the bottom of the Mail article, very illuminating.

So it only leaves me to say… for the day is almost upon us… A very Happy Christmas to all the Kitties that Kount, all our faithful Commenters, and yes to you, as yet unannounced, Lurkers in the Dark. Happy Christmas one and all!

Day of the Doctor.

It is today. It is a fixed point in time and space and I shall be there – or at least in Stockport (the Manchester tickets had gone) – to see the 50th anniversary show live in 3D in the cinema. Cool. I shall not be alone. This is being shown live in 94 countries in 1500 cinemas live. This has never been done before. My wife recently bought the 50th anniversary edition of Dr Who Magazine. It has a copy of the 1964 first anniversary edition of the mag which includes a letter from a reader saying that the Who was the best programme (don’t we call ‘em “shows” now) on either channel. How times change!

I should have bought a fez for the night. Fez’s are cool. There is nothing more but this…

I puked all night.

X Factor

I saw that on Sunday and was nearly shocked.

I knew it was a pile of fetid baboon livers but it’s now so far beyond the pale it ought to have kicked the bucket (though apparently ratings are up!).

Amongst the travesties were a deranged Anglo-Jamaican woman who dressed like the Pyongyang Poundland’s Lady Gaga after a night on absinthe, sang like a cat spay-a-thon and murdered a sort of Bob Marley medley. No woman, I cried. Fuck me! She got through. I assume they are keeping her for comedy value. See below.

There was also a fat bloke from Nottingham. He could sing OK but was halted before he could finish by Gary Barlow raising his arm like a Caesar. The rest of the panel left him with nowt but his eyes to weep with – which he did. Poor sod.

There were also two sets of three lads doing harmonies (and possibly “doing” a clearly “tenting” Louis Walsh who is not only so far off his fucking rocker so as to be only an acorn from the Yewtree Memorial Laughing Academy).

They were clearly the ringers.

Then there was a lass who belted out “I Drove All Night” in the club-singer fashion. Barlow again raised the Hand of Doom and asked her to sing something “more contemporary” which she did seamlessly. The “old” tune being there only to add to the “dramatic tension”. She went through, obviously.

But everyone involved referred to the song as a Sealion Dion number (a North Atlantic mammal who swam all night to try to save the wreck of the Titanic)*.

And I mean everyone. This is the real history of the song…

“I Drove All Night” is a song written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly and made famous by Cyndi Lauper. The song was originally written for Roy Orbison, who recorded it in 1987, but his rendition was not released until 1992, after the song had become a top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic for Cyndi Lauper in 1989. The song has been covered by Pinmonkey (2002), Celine Dion (2003), and The Protomen (2012).

Yeah, that’s a “Celine Dion” song, OK.

Need I add that there were baying mobs? Anyway, I like that song and for those interested this is Roy Orbison’s version and this is Cyndi Lauper’s. This is Celine Dion’s.

I neither know nor care about the version banged out by the bloody Butlin’s singer.

Make your own mind up. But to call it a “Celine Dion Song” is taking more piss than a tannery.

And I have seen the endless skies of America with a lover in one (Honda) Accord. We once drove all night – until we got to a Subway, and a Motel. Then we stopped and dear reader… Ate sandwiches in nowhere Alabama, watched “Grease II” on cable and…

Well, we were glad to get out of New Orleans is all.

*A terrible film only mitigated by Leonardo DiCaprio slipping into the inky Abyss in a scene one would need a heart of stone not to laugh at.

That Dashing Young Man and His — WHAT Machine??

Over at Samizdata, Natalie has posted something on the mewlings of a certain Public Intellectual. One thing led to another with the result that Nick (nice-guy) Gray brought up what he calls “mental pollution.” Through the magic of YrsTrly’s wetware, the same found this, which might provide some entertainment for those Kitties who are loafing around rather than occupying themselves properly with Kounting….

There is a short video of this technological miracle in operation at

http://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/

While there, visitors might wish to consult the Site Map.

Maggie

I was born in 1973 so Margaret Thatcher was PM for my formaive years.

I very vaguely recall “Sunny Jim” and have no recollection of that fat treachorous oaf Ted Heath or of that deranged buffoon Harold “bloody” Wilson. He thought MI5 were gonna kill him. If only…

So she was my PM. In eleven years you can do much good and much bad and a heck of a lot that is just expedient. She of course did all three but overall she was more on the side of the angels. I am not going to eulogise her here because that has been done both here and elsewhere.

Instead I shall make some random points about my experience as a kid under Maggie. And about the BBC coverage of her death.

When she took over it, Britain was on it’s arse wearing trousers you could x-ray with a petrol station flash-light. Something I don’t remember but experienced was my Mum and me (I was in a pushchair) shopping in Newcastle’s great department store, Fenwicks by candle-light. In Newcastle, in the 1970s. Jesus Christ! Try telling that one to the youth of today. The trash wasn’t collected, the dead weren’t buried and it was kinda like Mogadishu with a worse climate.

Like it or not something had to change. Otherwise I’d be eating dung.

Previous commentators on stuff here about MaggieT (that’s her blog-name that is) have said basically “Know someone by their enemies”. So true.

But also know them by their friends.

Now I’m not sure how conservative I am. I am not sure how patriotic I am. I’m British for fuck’s sake! I don’t need to be patriotic. Being patriotic would be an indulgence. As Margot from “The Good Life” (the character was based on Thatcher) might have said, “Enough with these Latinate histrionics!”. Do I need to explain British achievements? Nah, didn’t think so. The Argentine Emisary is not cracking out the Ferroro-Roche for the funeral. He or she shall be sadly missed.

No, I’m not celebrating Britishness (though we have much to celebrate) but Maggie was British to the core and it came as no surprise that at her funeral this will be played:

watch?v=7MG27BKwjaI

But her reign meant so much more to me. It meant colour TV, a microwave and a ZX-Spectrum. It meant things moving out of the horror-show of the ’70s. The era of Thatcher and Ronnie meant a scantily clad nymph capering about the fore-deck of a Panamax* battleship** and straddling a 16″ gun and leaving very little to the imagination of me, you and hundreds of sailors. We weren’t gonna lose the Cold War after that!

And the movies were so good and up-beat! It was a different world to now. It was a world of immense leaders and great fun and a massive hope for the future. The future was not feared. Think of the movies of the time! They didn’t play Les Buggeurs Risible about ersatz “moral ambiguity”. No, they said life was good and getting better.

The past was another country. It was better and that was Maggie’s country. And Ronnie’s country.

I wish I could turn back time.

In some ways.

I certainly don’t want a full-scale Cher comeback!

*The Iowa class fast-battleship was built with 18″ clearance for the Panama Canal. Now you might think parking at Tesco is tricky in a Ford Focus but…
**The USS Missouri. Interestingly enough the warship upon which the Japanese signed their surrender in 1945.

Pratchett 2.0

I know there are a lot of Terry Pratchett fans among the Kitty Kounters (we even have a quote in the sidebar), but his daughter, Rhianna, is less well known. She started out as a journalist, but now writes scripts for videogames. The rather marvellous but misunderstood Mirror’s Edge was one of hers, and I’ve always liked the speil from the trailer (oddly, I can’t find this exact version on YouTube; the one I’ve linked is the closest):

Once this city used to pulse with energy; dirty and dangerous, but alive and wonderful. It started slowly at first. The authorities said the changes – the monitoring, banning, regulating – were for the greater good. But good doesn’t mean right…

Top stuff, eh? Anyway, she’s written the new Tomb Raider reboot, and there’s an interview over at the Metro’s gaming section. Most of it’s about the game obviously, but she talks about her dad and how, once he’s unable to continue working, she’ll be the Custodian of the Discworld (although she has no intention of carrying it on: “protecting it from myself”, she says). Sounds like it could hardly be in better hands.

Julia Gillard…

Let’s be honest…

I often feel out of my depth here. I really don’t care too much for poli-tricks and Aussie poli-tricks even less so. But of course our host is of the “upside-down” variety so clearly what Ms Gillard says and does matters to him. Fair play olive-drab ciggy packs and all. Whatever!

But, regular readers may have noticed that I do have an interest in what you might term popular culture so what I do notice about Ms Gillard is that she looks like Jodie Foster’s ugly sister.

I appreciate that is hardly a remark worthy even of Polly but it’s true.

Julia…

Jodie…

Look-up other piccies – you’ve got the ‘net – you’ll see what I mean.

Oh and in my defense on being more interested in pop-culture than pol-culture (apart from the fact that pols tend to be ugly as sin – nobody ever looked at Ed Balls and felt lurve – last time I saw him on the telly I felt vaguely nauseous) it has to be said that Jodie Foster has been in some entertaining movies which is more than can be said for Julia Gillard.

Ah, but Nick! You ain’t taking things seriously enough! Yes I am. You act well in a good movie. That’s bringing something to the party. You politic and you ain’t. Acting is more important than politics. Mime is more important than politics.

The greatest trick the pols ever pulled was to convince you otherwise. Politics is nothing but show-biz for talentless munters.

Best Bond Line Like Evah!

And it’s said by Q. “Skyfall” is a decent movie but it lacks such lines…

Some might say this is a good thing.

Some might.

They also might find this puerile…

They just don’t have the eternal mind of a ten year old.

I do.

I’ll leave Carrying on up The Khyber to reality which is infinitely more comedic in it’s tragedy than can be made-up.

Life is a tragedy for those who feel,
but a comedy to those who think.

- Walpole.

Untruth of the week. And idiocies of the week. And a bit of genius.

(Reuters) – British police arrested comedian Freddie Starr on Thursday as part of an investigation triggered by allegations that the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile sexually abused hundreds of children, media reported.

Whether or not Mr Starr abused kids is undecided. He is allegedly alleged to have raped a girl in Jimmy Savile’s dressing room whilst the other randy old goat was groping another girl. A more grotesque scene is hard to imagine. No, it’s not that that is the untruth, it’s the idea that Freddie Starr in any of the Universes of the Many World’s interpretation of QM could he be regarded as a “comedian”. He’s about as funny as a case of genital warts. There are things I’ve fished out of streams funnier than Starr. The last was a toilet seat. Quite how a toilet seat wound-up in my stream is an exercise I leave to the reader and I hope he lives in Baker Street and has enough ‘baccy for three pipes.

Perhaps Mr Starr would be funny if he’d gone to Salford University.

Can you teach someone how to be funny? Well Salford University certainly seems willing to try, as it launched its first comedy degree course on Monday.

Peter Kay was there to give it two of his thumbs up, and there can be no finer professional endorsement than that. The course will take twenty students at a cost of £8,500-a-year and they will be taught how to perform their own comedy material, learn drama techniques and write sitcom scripts.

There will also be modules on what makes people laugh, the business side of the industry and the cultural importance of comedy.

There are plenty of private courses around the country that teach stand-up skills, but the question is, are they ever effective? Or, is any structured teaching in this area ultimately a waste of time?

It’s strange how we instinctively seem to feel that humour has to be innate, and yet we have no problem with ballet lessons, fine art degrees or drama schools.

Now children, repeat after me, “My mother in law is sooo fat…”. For fuck’s sake! Universities (and variety theatres and pubs and clubs) over generations have produced comedians. According to St Stephen of Fry the funniest man who ever drew breath was Peter Cook. Cook honed his skills in the Cambridge Footlights whilst doing a degree in languages and writing a review show for Kenneth Williams. Peter Kay learned his schtick on the club route round Northern England.There are things that you need to learn for sure to be a comedian (in some areas that would include how to duck a well-hurled beer bottle) and it isn’t entirely innate. But that doesn’t mean it has to be (can be?) taught and the comparison with the likes of ballet is facile. This is a huge issue with me. The idea that you didn’t legitimately learn anything unless you get the certificate. That pieces of paper matter more than knowledge and honed skills. I can imagine the scene on Kill Devil Hills December 17th 1903. Actually Mr Wright you can’t do that! We need to see your pilot’s license first… I mean I understand why we have pilot’s licenses after Orv and Will but do we need to prevent dangerously unqualified comedians? Another point is the BBC have recently moved in large to Salford’s Mediocre Cityso is Salford University’s timing co-incidental. If this produces more utter crap like “My Family” then I believe a napalm strike is the only moral solution.

And the genius? Last night I was at a facility of another of Manchester’s Universities. At Jodrell Bank to hear Jocelyn Bell Burnell give a talk. The ridiculous to the sublime. She’s a long-term hero of mine and she wasn’t disappointing.

Brony And Doyle…

Adult male My Little Pony fans? Bronies are true rebels.

Yes, apparently there is a cult of young heterosexual men who are into “My Little Pony”. For pity’s sake! The even have conventions and online discussions and stuff. Well, good. Nobody will take the mick out of me for being into SF ever again!

Money quote from linked article…

I guess the better question is, why should these guys stop watching My Little Pony? It’s a show about friendship, learning, making mistakes and having people you love help you out. It also has happy endings. According to that recent study, the bronies said watching the show gave them positive feelings.

Well, I tell yo why. Because it’s a show for small girls. And it’s bloody awful. They should be watching proper stuff. I know should is too strong but what’s wrong with car-chases and fights? And fighter planes and spaceships and stuff.

I mean let’s face it if I knew an adult woman into MLP I’d worry but for blokes it’s truly bizarre. I bet some of them have branded duvets. Yes, that’s going to pull the ladies. Well, it might but it’ll be ladies wetter than a haddock’s bikini.

Is it some sort of reaction to Comrade Kim and the Ayatollahs kicking off or economic woes or something? And you know retreating into fantasy. If so read Tolkien or something. That involves a fair stock of “friendship, learning, making mistakes and having people you love help you out”. And fights and chases and genuine peril and storylines and tension and stuff.

Or is it just a meme? Like the “Viva Ken Barlow” stickers appearing all over Manchester? God knows.

Friday night Jabberwocky

So, the Muppets?

The University of Utah Singers?

Or Count Dracula himself?

The terrible year of 1986.

A post on an often overlooked year – 1986. A year in which events occured that had (and are having) terrible consequences.

A British person when hearing of the date “1986″  will think (if they think of anything) of the “Single European Act” – formally it came into effect in 1987, but the agreement was made in 1986. Mrs Thatcher was told that the agreement with the European Economic Community (as some still called it at the time) would lead to free trade, an open market, and was, therefore a good thing for a free market person to agree to.

Of course Mrs Thatcher’s information came from officials – note to all politcians, the moment you start to rely on official information (and interpretations) you are lost. For you are no longer really in power – the officials are.

This is not hidesight – I remember as a university undergraduate knowing what the Single European Act was really about, and my friends all knew as well. We all knew that it meant that the EEC (EC – now EU) would be able to impose any regulation it liked in vast areas of life (the British veto having gone  – in these areas) and under vague words like “health” the Euros would be able to crush liberty in this land. The later works of such people Christopher Booker and Richard North just confirmed what we expected to happen. Lord Denning (and many others) had predicted the crushing of Common Law principles by Euro edicts (of course happily extended by British officials – overjoyed to have all restraints on their power destroyed by the Single European Act) at the time.

It was not an open market – it was a “single market” (a very different thing). In an open market customers decide what they want to buy – in a single market officials decide what customers should buy.

However, other terrible things happened in the year 1986.

The other great evil to hit Britain in 1986 was the “Big Bang” in the City of the London – the financial centre.

“But that was deregulation Paul” – it was deregulation, if by “deregulation” you mean government intervention ripping up the rules of private clubs and subtituting its own rules – a government definition of a “free market” defined not by what people had actually evolved over time (by voluntary interaction), but by following the “perfect competition” model from neoclassical economics text books.

There is some evidence that even the people who originally thought up the perfect competition conception only thought of it as theorectical tool (not as a picture of how the world was – or should be), and certainly the Austrian School of economics disputes the concept from start to finish – but the government went ahead anyway. It knew what a market “should” be – and if the people who actually built the markets thought differently, they must be wrong.

Remember although the London stock exchange was created in 1801, there was no law preventing anyone setting up a rival stock market (not before 1986 anyway). And also no law preventing people buying and selling shares “off exchange”. So the City of London (with all its guild like “restrictive practices”) was actually a voluntary institution. In fact a series of private clubs – covering the selling stocks and shares, insurance, commodities (and so on).

What had “deregulation” actually brought? The end of the great partnerships that created the City (the investment banks) – the partners sold up and ran away (not exactly a vote of confidence in the new order – from people some of whom had been in the City for generations). And the self employed stock brokers (who bought shares for the public) and stock jobbers (who sold shares for companies) were replaced by enterprises that did both (no conflict of interest there) and whose employees tended to have no lasting relationship with clients (they see them as cash cows – no more). And, of course, thousands of pages of government regulations (Financial Services Acts – and agencies to enforce them) with endless box ticking.

Somehow this not really seem like “deregulation” to me – in fact I think it will be the death of the City of London. But only time will tell.

Turning to the United States….

An American will say “1986 is that the year the Republicans lost control of the United States Senate?” – yes it was, but I am not concerned with party politics here. I am concerned with policy.

In 1986 an amnesty Act was passed by the Congress (including the Republican Senate) and signed into law by President Reagan. It was not descibed as an amnesty Act of course – the people who voted for it (and Reagan when he signed it) thought they were “controlling immigration” from this point onwards – and (to start from a clean slate) people who had been in the country a long time (and were nice and good – and had puppy dogs with big eyes) would no longer fear being dragged from their homes by evil jack booted thugs from the government. After all this was how officials (and the media – following academia) explained everything to the politicians, just as they had during the 1965 immigration law debate – which first messed up American immigration law.

“But what is wrong with this Paul – free migration, sounds very libertarian”. So it might be – had the Supreme Court (5-4 some years before 1986) not ruled that government (local, State and Federal) had to give “free” (i.e. paid for by taxpayers) education and other benefits to illegal immigrants – otherwise it was “discriminating” against them.

And the few nice illegals (the ones with the puppy dogs with big eyes – the people who love America dearly and do not wave the Mexican flag and pray for the destruction of the United States, not even slightly) who got amnesty? There turned out to be three million of them and (of course) many more millions of illegals followed them into the United States, believeing that they would eventually also get amnesty. As Comrade Barack is doing by Executive Order right now, after all the illegals vote for him even though they are not citizens, thanks to the “Motor Voter” (a driving license is enough to vote) Act he supported as a Senator.

“We should try to win their support Paul” – a person (regardless of ethnic background) who loves the United States can enter legally right now (join the military – serve your term, and you have citizenship). Yes the American immigration system is a mess (and has been since at least 1965 – the Teddy Kennedy Act), but 1986 made it worse – and made it farcical.  Someone who believes the United States unjustly took land from Mexico in 1848 (ignoring the fact that the Mexican government, a military dictatorship,  also wanted war – and had its own expansionist plans) are not likely to vote for people who do not hate the United States. Odd that they are so eager to vote for Barack Obama – of course not odd at all. But have “free migration” as long as there are no government benefits (“free” education for the children and so on) – except, oh dear, there is that Supreme Court judgement  (see above) of some 30 years ago.

Lastly there is the another major Act of Congress from 1986 – one that may help to destroy civilisation, and not just in the United States.

Again neither the people in Congress or President Reagan understood what they were supporting (the officials, media, and academia – advised them again). They thought they were supporting an Act that prevented evil hospitals throwing women on to the street in the middle of giving birth (seriously – that is how the Act was presented to them, after all it is so wonderful for the reputation of a hospital to throw a women who is the middle of giving birth on to the street, they were doing it all the time……).

What did the Act really do?

It made “emergency” treatment (without proof of payment) compulsory at all private hospitals with an ER (formally a hospital was not covered by the Act if it in no way had anything to do with government schemes – in the age of Medicare try and avoid any involvement with government schemes…..).

Wonderful – free treatment for the poor (indeed for anyone – one might try and chase them up afterwards, but about half of them never pay so what is the point….). Accept someone has to pay to pay for all this “free” treatment – so the bill (as with all government mandates) got passed on to the people who were paying their bills. The people who had carried on with private insurance in spite of the previous government interventions – such as Medicare and Medicaid (which has the same effect on health cover costs as government backing for student loans had on college tuition fees – they sent costs into the upper atmosphere) and the endless regulations (insurance mandates and so on) that have so increased costs. No surprise – insurance bills (that now carry all the “free” treatment) have exploded since 1986.

American government (State and Federal) interventions have been pushing up the cost of healthcare since doctor licensing spread from State to State like a plague (that this is about “protecting the sick” was exposed as a lie by Milton Friedman – more than half a century ago, it really has the same purpose as lawyer licensing, to increase producer incomes by keeping people out of the market) and the FDA (this agency was made even worse in 1962 – turning the development of new medical drugs incredibly expensive and delaying their introduction for years, thus costing tens of thousands of human lives). However, it was the Act of 1986 that really sent American health cover into a death spiral – that pushed the costs of insurance (for the old mutual aid “fraternal” system had long been undermined) beyond the reach of ordinary people.

Most people still oppose “Obamacare” (which will complete the destruction of independent health care in the United States – replaceing it with crony capitalist “private providers” who will depend upon the government – till the government decides to get rid of the crony capitalists, as it already has with the providers of government backed student loans), but the majority of people that are opposed was not a big enough majority to stop it (let alone repeal it). After all  everyone agrees that “something must be done” and the “something” is always even more collectivism – “free” health care for all “children” up to the age of 26 (SCHIP on steroids – but paid for by the insurance companies, i.e. by their customers) no “denial” (i.e. honest priceing) of medical cover for “pre exiting conditions” and on and on – the honest insurance companies (oh yes there are some) will be bankrupted over time, and only the cronies (those in bed with the government – hoping to become “private providers” for government funded health cover) will remain. Already more and more employers are dropping health insurance for their employees – as they have worked out that the fines will be cheaper than paying the inflated (inflated by Obamacare regulations) costs of medical insurance.

Does anyone really believe that Mitt “Romneycare” Romney is going to be willing or able to repeal all this?

So American health care will fall – and more than this will fall. For this entitlement program is added to all the existing entitlements – the ones that are already bankrupting the United States.

So the United States will go into de facto bankruptcy. And it will not fall alone – most other major Western nations stand on the knife edge of economic collapse already. The fall of the United States will drag us over the cliff with it.

So, overall, 1986 was not a good year. It may even lead to the “Progressive” dream (of Richard Ely, mentor of  “Teddy” Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, more than a century ago) of the desruction of “selfish capitalism”. For the history of the last century (including 1986) has not been an accident – and nor has it been some hole-in-the-wall “conspiracy”.  On the contrary it has been out in the open  – for those who bothered to look.

The Progressives were open in their aims – and even in their means. They openly said in their books (the century old books that, for example, Glenn Beck tried to bring to public attention) that they would use schools, universities and the newspapers to fundementally transform society – by manipulating opinion (both public and political elite opinion). Truth does not matter to the Progressives (it has never mattered to them) only their cause matters – and they will use any lie and distortion to further their cause – the cause of the destruction of existing society, of “selfish capitalism”. The Fabians in Britain had much the same aims – and used much the same methods. Including the desire to dominate education – not just at university level, but at school level (via text books and “teacher training” – step forward Comrade Bill Ayers and “social justice” education).

The books are more subtle today – such books as “Looking Backward”, “Philip Dru: Administrator” and “New Deal” (oh yes there was such a book) were a lot more blatent in their love of tyranny and hatred of freedom (sorry hated of selfish capitalism) than “Freakonomics”,  “Nudge” and “Thinking – Fast and Slow”, but they have the same message. The message is as follows …. most people are vermin (“Homer Simpson” types) they are bound to be maniputed by someone (most likely by greedy capitalists) so why should not the noble we (the enlightened elite) manipulate them – for their own good. “Thinking Fast and Slow” is the most fundemental of the lot – it openly denies that people (apart from, nudge and wink, the noble author and his noble readers) are human beings, they do not really think (they do not really have free will) so someone must control them – for their own good……. Yes it is “So You Think That You Think” the fictional collectivist book (aimed at making people accept that they are vermin – fit only to be controlled by an enlightened elite) that Ayn Rand makes up in her novel “Atlas Shrugged” back in the 1950s (the collectivists never really change – and their “science” is actually as old as Plato).

“But Paul – how do you know the authors of Freakonmics and Nudge share the idealogy of the author of Thinking – Fast and Slow?” Errr  – the praise they give the latter work (on its front and back cover – and when interviewed) is a little hint. I did tell you that this was not a hole-in-the-wall conspiracy – it is quite open, if you look. What more do you want – for the evil elite to have glowing red eyes and tenticles? Sorry, but they look like ordinary folk – and have gentle voices full of charming wit (whereas their enemies, people like me, sound like old storm crows).

The Progressives may not share the doctrines of the Marxists (although modern Frankfurt School “cultural” Marxists do not seem to make a big thing of the actual doctrines of Karl Marx either) – but they share their aim (the destruction of selfish capitalism). Ditto the alliance with the Black Flag people (the so called “anarchists” who happily cooperate with the Red Flag Marxists in such things as the international “Occupy” movement and the unions the collectivists control, for you see the Black Flag “anarchists” do not really oppose collectivism, they just want to rename the state “the people” and then get on with the looting and killing) – the Progressives may (privately) sneer and their uncouth allies – but leading Progressives (such as Mr George Soros and the other rich people who fund such things as the “Tides Foundation”) still fund them. And Progressive teachers and college Profs understand that both the Red Flag Marxists and the Black Flag “anarchists” are allies – allies against “selfish capitalism”, the old world they must destroy in order to build their perfect world.

Of course I am a reactionary – I do not believe that the interventions (the ever higher government spending and ever greater regulations) make the world a better place. And many of the Progressives do not believe that either – they believe (along with the Marxists who follow the “Cloward and Piven” doctrine and others) that the ever greater statism will destroy the present world – and, thus, (in their minds) leave things open for the building of the perfect world.

The “Fabian Window” (perhaps the most blatent example of evil turned into a work of art – and the Fabians were natural allies of the Progressives) makes this clear – wolves in sheep’s clothing, trickery and lies (openly praised), the world held over a fire and beaten with hammers (in order to create a better world – regardless of the human cost). George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells openly talked of the tens of millions of human beings they wished to kill (not because they hated them “I do not hate anyone” said Shaw), but simply because they were in the way – in the way of creating the perfect world (the Heaven on Earth). And these evil people remain “liberal” heros to this day – ever seen a television show or a Hollywood film where they are shown as “bad guys”?. And, of course, they went on to support the Soviet Union – with Mr and Mrs Webb pretending that tens of millions of people were not being murdered (remember lying is O.K. if it is for the Progressive cause). Mrs Webb had some doubts, over the mass killings in Poland when the Soviets invaded in 1939 – you know when they were the allies of Adolf Hitler, but Mr Webb simply told her that “in a century no one will even remember this”. All was justified to build the “New Civilisation”.

And the American Progressives were the same. With Hollywood personalities busy doing such things as justifying the Soviet invasion of Finland – “I have been there and it seemed a little Fascist Republic to me” said Lillian Hellman (wife of  Dashiell Hammett [1929 "Red Harvest" evil capitalist America "Poisonville"] – together they made the prototype “celeb” Progressive power couple, both in Hollywood and in literary circles). One could always tell when Hellman was lying – her lips moved, not only was Finland not Fascist but Hellman had not been there.

One could go on and on – and people may already be bored (although in 1986  – and 2012 the Progressive celebs are just as powerful in cultural circles). And there is the standard defence (made by “anti McCarthyites”, even though Joe was actually interested in Communist agents of influence in the government not in the culture,  since the 1940s) “they are not Marxists”.  And they may not be – they may not have read a page of “Das Kapital” . The “Progressives” just share the objectives of the Marxists – the extermination of the existing society of  “selfish capitalism” (and anyone who defends it – rich or poor “henchman of the capitalists”), and the building of the wonderful new perfect world.

However, I am such a reactionary that I not only believe that that their interventionism (their ever higher government spending and ever more regulations) makes the world worse (not better) than it otherwise would be -  I also believe that their wonderful new perfect world (the one they dream of creating on the ashes of the existing world) would be Hell on Earth.

Rock on Tommy!

Recently I saw a Safestyle UK TV advert (they do double glazing) featuring that titanic “comedy” duo Canon and Ball. That is “duo” as in “duodenal” as in “ulcer”.

I thought the talentless cretins were dead or something. But no! The local free-sheet that turned-up today contained an advert for Cannon and Ball at the Stockport Plaza on October 16th. And it’s £16 a ticket…

But wait, there is more. Their special guest is Stu “Ohh, I could crush a grape” Francis.

There really ought to be some sort of euthanasia scheme. Or a rest-home or something.

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