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Europe

DHS: German Homeschooling Romeike Family Will Be Allowed to Stay in U.S.

I’m SO happy about this! I can’t believe it! *applause*

From Glenn Beck:

Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM CST

UPDATE: In a surprising turn of events, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced this afternoon that the Romeike family will now be allowed to stay in America. A post on the HSLDA’s Facebook wall signed by the organization’s chairman explains the change:

Today, a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted “indefinite deferred status”. This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.) ….

[SNIP]

Upfront and in your face…

No excuse not to know what they are up to now, and have been all these years, since Jean Monnet, a Communist who was never elected to anything, and much preferred it that way, came up with the idea of a United States of Europe.

Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission and the longest serving Brussels Commissioner, (also never elected) has openly called for a United States of Europe, and bugger what we the mere citizens of our respective Nation States think about it. Read a speech she made back in 2012.

"We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a "Senate" of Member States," she said.

Mrs Reding’s vision, which is shared by many in the European institutions, would transform the EU into superstate relegating national governments and parliaments to a minor political role equivalent to that played by local councils in Britain.

Under her plan, the commission would have supremacy over governments and MEPs in the European Parliament would supersede the sovereignty of MPs in the House of Commons.

National leaders, meeting as the European Council, would be reduced to consultative, second chamber role similar to the House of Lords.

So there you have it, bold a brass, no more softly softly catchy monkey, no more Democracy either. The Great and the Good will watch over us forever more my fellow European Brothers and Sisters, and we will be grateful, oh so ever humbly grateful!

I will be voting in the European Elections in May, and you know who I will not be voting for don’t you? Yes the usual suspects… Lib/Lab/Con.

Kraków, Poland – A study in collectivism

Yours truly, John Galt himself has been away for the last week enjoying the warm sunshine of Kraków, Poland and, as well as taking in the cultural sights, also took in the collectivist ones.

Krakow - Wavel Castle

Wavel Castle, home to kings, Nazi generals and Communist apparatchiks down the ages

Despite my being something of a world traveller, this was my first visit to Kraków (or indeed Poland) and I heartily commend it as a cultural destination, having a mix of Eastern European character, fine architecture dating from the founding of the city around the 7th century, with the vast majority from the late medieval period.

Unlike Warsaw, little of Kraków was bombed during WWII or even substantially damaged by the repeated hoards of collectivist vandals from 1921 through 1989 (Lenin’s hoards, Hitler’s hoard’s and finally Stalin’s hoards). Indeed, to say that the poor Poles feel somewhat “trodden underfoot” would be an understatement.

(more…)

Sovereign state

Sky News:

Drivers in remote areas will be given a 5p a litre discount on their petrol under plans put forward by ministers.

Hurrah! But why can’t they do it for everyone?

Three locations in England and seven in Scotland have been selected after deciding they meet strict criteria to justify a cut.

Okay, but why can’t they just…

The Government has applied to the European Commission to vary the duty rates in the 10 towns.

Oh, right.

Why the EU doesn’t matter.

Despite the protestations of not-so-former Maoist José Manuel Barroso, it is not the existence of the EU which stops the German tanks rolling across the Polish border, but nearly 70-years of peace and relative security in Europe, the source of which was NATO and free trade rather than any EU inspired initiative.

- Kitty Kounter John Galt.

Absolutely. When I was a student I read a lot of late Victorian and Edwardian literature (cheap, out of copyright and all) and the idea that immigration, for example, is a new thing is risible. The London streets I walked down were much the same as those walked by Holmes and Watson. This is perhaps why I thought the reboot of Sherlock was a very bad idea until I saw it. I then really liked it. I mean I was prejudiced – John Watson MD, a British Army Doctor wounded in Afghanistan – in the C21st! Oh, wait… Oh, yeah… And there is a Khazi in Kabul too and we are involved in our fourth Afghan War. Or fifth – I forget. God alone knows what the point is. I do recall a Times cartoon from 2001 with the tag-line (from a USAF General), “We’re gonna bomb them forward into the Renaissance!”. Yeah, right. Whatever.

The ‘stan is and always has been a lost cause. The Taleban came to power at least partly because of a regrettable incident in Kabul when two warlords decided to fight a duel over the buggery rights to an attractive boy. They did this in downtown in broad daylight and in tanks. Wow!

But Europe – no. Europe is not a lost cause though the EU does not make this so. Holmes and Watson would dine in Italian restaurants and so do I. Essentially we’ve just given up fighting each other due to things like Angela Merkel being the boss in Germany and not a deranged and strangely ‘tached bastard – either of them. But also due to cheap flights and stuff. Prague is now somewhere we go for a stag do and not a “far away country of which we know little” to quote the best mayor Birmingham never had. The EU didn’t do this. Easyjet did. So did football, so did food – just consider the extent to which nobody regards lasagne as foreign as such. I collect old cookbooks and some of the stuff is frightful.

The EU is a prime example of giving us what we already had and then taking credit for it. If that sounds like a protection racket and not burning your warehouse down then… Well, it is. The EUropols simply can’t cope with the fact that, for example, I’ve had a couple of French flatmates or that my sister-in-law lives in Poland with a Polish chap, who, after a few too many brown vodkas than were strictly speaking good for me I agreed to watch the Lord of the Rings – extended director’s cut back to back. Now here is where it gets interesting. They live very close to the Czech border. Except it isn’t really a border as such. You can drive through it and not notice a thing. There is a Avia L-29 and a T-34 and possibly the most peculiar property I have ever seen for sale (probs sold by now). It’s the old Polish/Czech border-house (Paperien bitte! and all that). I think it is (was?) technically straddling the border so going into the kitchen might involve an emigration, technically. But how cool is that? A house in two countries. It almost makes me wanna be an accountant because the dodges could be awesome. Oh, and the Czechs invented deep-fried cheese. And do cracking beer.

The EU didn’t make any of this possible. The EU is a superstructure of gits who claim they made this possible. They have to claim this because otherwise they are utterly irrelevant. They have to make barriers in order to be seen to break’em. They are an irrelevance desperately trying to be relevant. They claim I can live anywhere in Europe and I can but then I always could. They are like somebody beating you with a 2×4 and then expecting thanks for taking you to A&E afterwards.

I love Europe. It is my home. But it was not gifted to me by Brussels. It just is. It always has been and it always shall be.

The likes of UKIP who seem to believe the entire population of Bulgaria is imminent at Gatwick as I speak are wrong. No Mr Farage the UK is not “full”. We are densely populated but still are about 12% of land area built upon. And that is everything. I mean everything. That is houses, roads, factories, docks, airports, warehouses, shops – everything. The whole nine yards. And no. I also disagree with the left who, let’s face facts, wish a Europe that holds a deranged “balance of power” between East and West. I mentioned eating deep-fried cheese in the Czech Republic? The Cold War is over. Has been for decades.

As a kid I had a C20th history book from the late ’60s. Now this proffered two options – and it was blatent – nuclear holocaust or a “United States of Europe” holding the balance of power. I believe the assumption was that a kinda Swedish Social Democracy would be the “third way” between Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe. Utter bollocks obviously. But it was stated not as opinion (though it was) but as fact.

And we are still stuck with this inconvenient “truth”. Do I need a EUrocrat let me go to the Czech Republic and eat deep-fried cheese? I mean really? on a six figure salary? I mean for fuck’s sake! All I need is a few Crowns and an appetite.

They may tek our lives but they’ll nivver tek us seriously!

The BBC News is leading on the story that in exactly a year the pale folk up Norf get to vote on dissolving the Union. Well, like, whatever. I don’t care. If King Alex of Pies wants his fiefdom then so be it as long as the rest of us don’t have to pay for the woadsters (is the woad even historically accurate?) to create a Socialist Celtic Wonderland. In any case it is utter gesture politricks (not an sp) because NewScotland(TM) will of course be de facto be as economically tied to England as ever – even though they have pandas. You simply can’t sever those ties easily and they are the real ties that bind – between individuals and companies and such. It’s like imagining Norway can be truly independent of Sweden, or Canada from the USA.

Now don’t get me wrong. This post is not really about Scottish Independence which is a bizarre idea in an increasingly globalised planet (or maybe not – the only branch of government I trust is my parish council – so, perhaps smaller political entities is the way ahead) but this blanket coverage of what is in many ways a non-issue (we’re not going to get “Checkpoint Alex” in Berwick or rebuild Hadrian’s Wall (don’t tell Micky Gove – it’s the sort of deranged thing he’d like – teaches Classics and gets the proles doing something)).

No, this post is about something deeper. It is the absurd attention that the TV News (I’ll betya Sky weren’t better) pays to politics. And it ain’t just us. I was last in the USA in 2006 and a certain chap I’d never heard of was everywhere on the TV. You might know of him – he’s now the President. He was being hyped more than two years before the election. Now regardless of your feelings about Mr Obama that is ridiculous and so is this. As I said, this is irrelevant. We have a Scottish contributor here, Sam Duncan. Now we, obviously, don’t agree on everything but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts if we met we’d probably talk more about the late and lamented Commodore Amiga computer than who pays for prescription charges in Fife. Shallow? No. Real. We hear a lot in the blogosphere about stringing ‘em up etc but the cruelest and most effective treatment for the political class is to ignore them. They’d rather be flayed over a gun-carriage than have me or you just go, “Yeah, like, whatever…” You can argue the Midlothian question or whether there ought to be a separate Scottish team at the Rio Games in 2016 until you are blue in the face but, “Sam, do you think Atari would have developed the Amiga better…” is more interesting. The really big questions are the small ones. Politicians only make their stuff important because we let them. And the mirage of Scottish independence is a prime example. Note it is exactly a year from now that Scotland goes to the polls. It will be the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. Now if that isn’t gesture politics then I’m a Dutchman!

Does anyone care? Hell’s teeth! When I was in the USA in 2006 I visited amongst other things the Capitol which the Redcoats torched (using the contents of the Library of Congress as kindling) during the War of 1812. Like who cares anymore? I didn’t do it – honest! It’s quite possible ancestors of mine fought at Bannockburn though I neither know nor care upon which side. This is not to dismiss history but to put it into context and not keep on trotting it out like Basil Fawlty with German guests.

And here is something that barely scrapped the news yet really puts our minor squabbles over flags and such into genuine context – this summer our species achieved something remarkable and in the grand scheme a much bigger deal than arguing the toss over the EU-specified meat-content of a haggis or whatever excruciating minutiae the pols raise to rarefied heights of significance. Voyager I passed the Heliopause. There is now a man-made object in interstellar space. Now that is important (and more to the point cool) and makes the ambitions of Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon (why so fishy?) look utterly petty. Or to quote John Nance Garner* (he was speaking about the US Vice Presidency – that he held), “It’s not worth a pitcher of warm piss”.

Similarly, I have never for the life of me understood Ireland and it’s “troubles” (how delightfully euphemistic). I guess they were “solved” by giving Gerry Adams** a ministerial Jag rather than a cell in the Maze Prison which of course says much about the venality of politicians. No, I never did understand Ireland. If we consider one substantive issue (i.e. not the colours flying over Stormont) like, say, abortion then surely there would be a meeting of minds between staunch Catholics and staunch Presbyterians? So why the agro? Neither of them were up on birth-control or queers so they ought to have gotten along like a house on fire which I suppose in a twisted sense they did. I know many, many people died (frequently horribly) in Ireland over the decades but this anecdote sums it up for me. I gleaned this gem from a documentary many years back. Apparently you set off a fertilizer bomb using sulphuric acid and the best thing to keep that in is apparently a condom which is then ruptured for the kaboom! OK. I’ll take their word for it only ever having used condoms for the more traditional reasons but being “good Catholics” debate erupted amongst the IRA as to the use of “immoral objects” to achieve their moral goals such as indiscriminate killing and maiming. The lack of seeing the big picture here is astonishing. As a side-light it is also illuminating as to assigning morality to objects. I can’t help but feel there is some sort of connexion with the gun-control nuts. A gun is neither moral nor immoral. Going on a rampage in Mumbai is immoral. Shooting a rabid dog in the way Atticus Finch did is the right thing to do. Morality is not about means but desire. With a box of matches you can burn a Rwandan village (and its inhabitants) to ash but you can also light a cooking fire for the refugees. Nobody said life was about easy decisions. Nobody but politicians anyway. They are far too eager to legislate and then call the problem a done one. Just look at the “War on Drugs”.

There is an uncomfortable truth here. Being good and decent is not about law as such (would you rape, rob or murder even if there were no laws against such acts?) it’s about being good and decent and whether you get that from a holy book or just knowing (I suspect there is a large cross-over) morality is not legality. It is not statutes, laws nor all the rest. It is generally fairly basic and obvious***. And that is what is uncomfortable. Like Voyager I in the interstellar cold we have to let slip the surly apron-strings and no amount of politics and minimum booze prices or smoking bans or warnings on fatty food or campaigns against sexual harassment shall do that – just plain decency out of the creche – and yeah it’s a tough one to wave nanny goodbye.

Arguably such laws are counter-productive but the simple truth is that being fair, decent and honest is internal because if we are worth anything we are moral agents, not subjects. It is that simple and that hard. It is why (and I’ve lived in some rough areas – but not here, not now) I implicitly trust my next-door neighbour with my keys and we have hers. Perhaps politicians don’t get this simple truth. Laws can’t force the “good” whether it be a ban or a nudge or whatever. You just are good. Or not. Or most likely a “bit of both”. Yes, the morality of actions can be difficult to judge. That is partly why such judgements matter. Morality matters because we aren’t just Skinner’s pigeons. Politicians don’t understand this. They have the hubris to believe they can perfect the human condition. They can’t (clearly) and neither can we but we can get much closer than they because in a sense we don’t believe. Politics is almost entirely grand-standing. If I were ever in a position to employ folks then would I give a toss about whether or not they were gay, straight, male, female, black, white, Muslim, Christian or Jew… No! If they could field-strip a Dell and tell me what was wrong with it then bingo!

That wasn’t as much of a digression as I had feared.

I regard myself as a libertarian almost not as a political position or even an anti-political position but as orthogonal to politics. The title of this post (despite wrapping itself in a second-hand version of a third-hand Scottish flag – must be a bit tatty by now…) has nothing really to do with Scotland. It’s about the bigger picture. It’s about what freedom really means. Nationalism (of any form) is just a crib-sheet for freedom devoured by politicians. We know better. Don’t we?

We are star-dust that has just started to flirt with the Galaxy and the BBC witters on about Scottish Independence? I like Scotland (when it isn’t raining****) or I’m being eaten alive by midges and it will still be there however the vote goes. It is obviously of supreme importance to the sort of people this sort of thing is of supreme importance to but if, for example, I asked Sam to recommend a Linux distro would it matter? No. Of course not! -

See how irrelevant this is to us all? And see how nasty making it so is?

And Voyager I just projs on!

It’s like the final scene in “Antz” where the CGI pans out to show the anthill is just a little mound in Central Park in NYC.

*A contrary sod but let one of his enemies extol his virtues. In Congressional testimony, union leader John L. Lewis described him as “a labor-baiting, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking, evil old man”. Gets my vote!
**Perhaps the most bizarre graffiti I ever did see was in the gents of the George Green Science Library, University of Nottingham, “I’d sleep with Gerry Adams but I’d be thinking of Martin McGuinness”. God knows!
***Yes, I appreciate there are complexities here. Especially in terms of things like IP and contract law and such and such.
****Living near Manchester that is very important.

ALERTS to Threats in Europe — 2013

Comment at Objectivist Living:

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend!” and “The Barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
Life is too short…

Commenter is unsure, but thinks the author may have been John Cleese.

Let’s try being Switzerland for a bit, eh?

There are four articles sitting cheek by jowl on the Mail website today, three swivel eyed nonsense, and one, by Peter Hitchens, relatively sane.

The first is a piece of political argy bargy  and in fighting amongst the petulant children who seek to rule us.

The second is complete crap from former Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind.  The Falklands are defended Mal, as you well know, and so do the Argies. Besides they don’t have the money or the ordinance to mount another invasion.

But the third, by Andrew Roberts, really takes the Hard Tack. Woe is us! We are no longer the World’s policeman anymore. We have lost the moral high ground… da yadda da yadda da yadda. As one commenter succinctly said… Blow it out your arse Andrew!

Why the fuck should we be the World’s policeman? Why should we expend blood and treasure in futile gestures? What have we gained financially, morally or any other LY with our adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya?… the list goes on.

We had the world’s largest ever Empire once. That was practically gone even before I was born. We apparently acquired it in a fit of absent mindedness,  and gave it back, in the main, with good grace. Why do our idiot politicians keep pretending that we are a World Power? Oh we keep doing the sharp end stuff alongside our so called special relationship buddies, the USA, while the French, Germans and Italians do the catering or stay away altogether. But as Hitchens says, there is no special relationship, it is a joke, at least on the other side of the Atlantic.

Time we put our house in order. Time we looked to ourselves and our own welfare, time to leave the EU and make those brain-dead assholes in Westminster earn their pay and govern for us and by us, and not as a front for the United States of Europe delusionary project, which is now making 80% of our Laws. Time to finally grow up.

Hard Drivin’

Who are the most dangerous road-users in the UK (the UK at least)?

Boy racers in pimped Vauxhall Astras?

Ditzy lasses in Renault Clios twittering about One Direction?

Nah!

It’s the crumblies. Oh, and the lycra-clad kamikazes that call themselves “cyclists” deserve an dishonourable mention too. The small burg I live in is wick with the buggers. I have had to leap into gutters to avoid them on occasion whizzing down the hills at the speed of heat*. I’m fairly sure on one occasion it was Barney Storey who almost made me a paralympic competitor as well. Equestrian types (other than their on-road “deposits”) are fine. But even cyclists pale in comparison to the biddies and codgers sucking their Werther’s Originals, through their falsies, hunched over the tiller of the Panzerkampfwagen XI (aka Nissan Micra) and Panzerkampfwagen XII (aka Honda Jazz). I doubt they have globally killed more than the Wehrmacht but if frustration, annoyance and minor bumps are “liitle deaths” then the aggregated toll…

You think I’m being unfair? Geriatricist? You ought to see them doing their “slow and steady” on the M6. You probably have. And no, it ain’t just the Micra and Jazz, there is also the “last of the hold-outs” in the Olde Worlde boxy Rover 214s with the driving gloves clutching the wheel like the icy fingers of death. They clamp the middle-lane like honey badgers on a treacled scrotum. You will have gone past them making their stately progress at a maximum of 60-65mph when every other bugger is doing 80mph+

And you just know that if the codger at the wheel pushes the speedo dial a merest hint above 65mph there shall be a repeated hand-bagging accompanied with the admonishment, “You’re not Stirling Moss, you know!” whilst the motor swerves randomly across three lanes as Mrs Biddie makes a grab for the steering wheel. My wife and I were once trapped on a 60mph limit road in the Lakes behind a horseless Micra with a full load of the most bidulent doing 25. Hell’s teeth they might as well of had a daft sod waving a red-flag in front of them. I could smell the exhaust. It smelt of shortbread with high-notes of Kendal mint cake and Sterodent. It’s like those folks who thought you’d asphyxiate on Stephenson’s rocket when it hit 20 mph.

So that is whilst driving. But the biddies and codgers also excel at parking. Not just any parking. Oh no. Within days of my wife getting the current Corsa some biddie managed to scratch it in her Jazz performing an act of parking of such epic crapularity as to beggar belief. But no! What really beggared belief was her denial of culpability in the face of not only the Highway Code but the basic laws of mechanics as outlined by Sir Issac Newton in the Principia Mathematica. Every Sunday I used to have to play car marshall. It’s got better since I got “lion tamer” on their crumpled asses. Apart from anything else it’s the thoughtless blocking-in not just of us but of the neighbours too. I’m a warden of a religious meeting house (Quaker) and part of my duties include maintaining cordial relations with the neighbours. Well, I say that but it’s just good manners really.  The same ageing moo (by which I don’t mean destined for MacDonalds but for a dodgy halal burger gaff in Gorton**) “young-manned” me over her horrendous parking. Put it this way, if she’d been a USN Hornet pilot she’d have put it down not just off the wire, not just off the deck but in the wrong ocean. It was parking of the most piss-poor standard I’ve ever seen and utterly dangerous so this “young man” (I must’ve been about 36 at the time!) guided her into the bay. Any thanks? Yeah right! And at the time I didn’t know she’d scratched my wife’s Corsa otherwise…

In any case that particular parking bay is directly opposite a house with a blind driveway onto the street. The folk who live there have a Range Rover. Unless a car parked in the bay is neatly tucked in (and the venerable Micra and Jazz jockeys don’t do that – unless I’m playing tick-tack man) leaving them projecting into the single lane er, lane) the Range Rover will go straight through it and down the bank and into the stream. Yes! We have posh 4x4s and streams round this neck of the woods. Welcome to Cheshire!

Of course nothing compares to the driving (or roads) on Malta. Nothing. Having said that the bus service was excellent and cheap and the old buses really cool. They did though have “private” decoration such as, “If you want to know the truth about the afterlife, try overtaking me.” Maltese bus-drivers look and act like something out of Top Gun. Well they did when I was there a few years back… It was kinda cool and dead handy.

Though I’m not sure if the emphasis ought to be on the “dead” or the “handy”.

I really liked Malta. And I’d rather have an affordable, well-organised bus system driven by lotharios in aviator shades with ante-deluvian buses and “nose-art” to put US Army’s 8th Airforce to shame than the drivel we have round here. Actually it ain’t too bad round here compared to other gaffs in the country. Perhaps dear Dr Beeching put his coffee mug down on East Cheshire/South-East Manchester and forget. A small point here is worth making. I had  a pint of something Czech in the local wine bar yesterday (I said it was Cheshire so obviously I’m stumblin’ distance from a wine bar – not a wet or cooked monger of fish but at least three tapas gaffs – for shame! ) and I overheard two lasses (one of whom had a boyf  down London way). Now I don’t normally earwig but this was dynamite. By which I mean  not so much the respect for privacy but my respect for not really caring but the lass with the squeeze in London opined that it is two hours from here to London on Virgin Pendolino. What she said subsequently (her boy doesn’t live directly opposite Euston station, natch, byt was like balm to me. Precisely! If they really want to make rail more attractive screw shaving a few minutes off the “headline” route times but spend that GBP80bn on a truly integrated network – or better yet let the market decide.

Of course I was wrong. It ain’t the biddies and codgers that are the greatest menace to transport (though they are a menace) but the government who just love big schemes when what really matters is the integration and not the “headline figures” between London, Euston and Birmingham New Street or Manchester Piccadilly but the actual door-to-door times.

 

*USAF slang for as fast as possible – technically being any speed between that of sound and that of  light. Usually used in the context of egressing a particularly tricky situation.

**Gorton Girls know all the words to songs by Chaka Khan. I used to live in Levenshulme. I’ll give it a thumbs-up mind for Aria Tech - where I still get my stuff. It is a true den of geek set-up on a shoe-string and a hope by a refugee from Iran. And Levy isn’t that bad.

Big schemes when what really matters is the integration and not the “headline figures” between London, Euston and Birmingham New Street or Manchester Piccadilly but the actual door-to-door times.

p

An Offer they Couldn’t Refuse…

Well you can’t blame the Mafia for following the money can you? After all that other Europe-wide criminal Organisation is the one mainly promulgating the proliferation of these useless and costly wind-farms, and they haven’t had their books audited in 19 years. What the hell, it’s only someone else’s money! Roll up roll up and get a grant or five. Er.. that’s yours and mine by the way. If the EU was a private company it would be in receivership by now.

Now then ladies and gents- would you like to invest in the Rabatron Perpetual Motion Machine company? Or the Rabbini North Sea Olive Groves Corporation? Bargain prices for early takers… Winking smile

Quote of the Week.

The current political class is fighting yesterday’s battles: ones that began when we were living with the illusion of unearned wealth and unconditional security. But now the party’s over. The boom busted and all we’re left to show for it is New Labour’s mega-state and its decadent moral code. Those who continue to defend these artefacts offer no hope for the future. They are destined to repeat the same mistakes unto destruction. If UKIP offer the slightest prospect of change, they have to be worth a punt.

 

Russell Taylor

Banks open, citizens are now to forget the last two weeks

Back in the days of the iron curtain, the East Germans had department stores and they were ‘open’

Open in the sense that the doors were open, but not open in the sense they could discharge their raison d’etre, namely supplying goods people wanted to buy with hard currency. This was not entirely their fault. The East-Mark was a joke currency and whilst people would go in and buy anything that was for sale, it was simply a case of get it whilst it was available, because the supply chain wasn’t exactly efficient either.

Now what has this jaunt down memory lane got to do with contemporary events you ask? Well the media has been reporting that the Cypriot banks are now open. Of course you can’t draw out vey much or cash cheques and quite how the import supply chain is going to work seems to have been missed by everyone*

But what really got my spidey-senses tingling was a talking head on the TV this morning explaining that this was the best possible outcome for Cyprus. Now setting aside the normalcy bias this seemed an astonishing statement. Talking-head explained that if Cyprus left the Euro, their currency might depreciate by more than 40% and really the government was helping its hapless populace (sic). You see, they aren’t criminal looting scum, they are helping. Not Orwellian at all.

So let’s set aside that their banking system will now die. The currency controls aren’t worth a damn because it will just mean a slow death not a fast one. It may allow breathing space for some kind of re-capitalisation, but no-one wants to do that; that’s what started this whole farce in the first place. Let’s set aside that devoid of 40% of their cash, large numbers of businesses will clearly go bust then watch unemployment zoom (and then watch it get ugly). Let’s also set aside that the tourist industry (which I guess is their second biggest industry) will be decimated. Would you go there as a cash rich foreigner? You may as well paint a bulls-eye on your back. Let’s set aside that any kind of major purchases (cars, houses, holidays) are now more or less impossible without government permission (so bye-bye property rights) and this thieving is the kind of nonsense we expect to see in South America.

None of that matters because a new Cypriot pound might depreciate against the Euro by more than 40% so this is the best option ~ apparently. Well of course, it might well depreciate but then, imagine what a weak currency might do for the tourist industry. Perhaps not looting savers in the first place would have protected the existing banks. Even if they went bust (but were not looted) others could set-up, and in a few years the currency might recover. Currency fluctuations are temporary, looting is for life. But no, this is the best option, because the telly-box says so.

* If you can’t take money out of Cyprus, how can you import stuff?

The end of the pretence

“There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

Ayn had a point.  I have no idea whether we are supposed to register this blog with the state* or whether we face exemplary damages whatever they maybe.  But as Christopher Hitchens observed in “Letters to a Young Contrarian” when faced with powerful, totalitarian government, one must live as if one is free.  It landed Solzhenitsyn in the Gulag and Vaclav Havel in the President’s office eventually, via the secret police and repeated imprisonment.

In “The power of the powerless” Havel notes how citizens were forced to live within a lie (i.e. the communist government).  We are doing likewise with the lie of bankrupt social security, the lie of wars on terror, the lie of fiat money and the massive overwhelming lie of our supposed national solvency, the lie of global warning as well as today’s ludicrous claims about clamping down on immigration knowing full well EU citizens have more or less carte blanche access to the UK.

Later on Havel said

“…we never decided to become dissidents. We have been transformed into them, without quite knowing how, sometimes we have ended up in prison without precisely knowing how. We simply went ahead and did certain things that we felt we ought to do, and that seemed to us decent to do, nothing more nor less.”

The world is feeling a little like that this morning.  Details of the Cyprus bailout are very, very thin on the ground, which (sloppy journalism aside) can mean one of two things.  The details are agreed but they don’t want to reveal the full extent of the horror, or they are making it up as they go along.  Capital controls and a total pension fund grab were talked about, now silence.  SKY reported that people leaving the country were searched for cash.  Even the grab of monies over one hundred thousand Euros is unclear, 30%, 40%, no-one can confirm the figure.

One thing is certain, Cyprus’s major industry, offshore banking, is gone.  Destroyed totally.  As if this wasn’t enough, just how many businesses will even survive with an asset seizure of between 30% and 40%?

And what is the point of all this looting and destruction?  Well Cyprus gets to stay in the Euro for now and the government can extend and pretend a bit longer before they too finally go down the tubes.  That’s it.  The destruction of lives and businesses just to maintain the doomed façade for a bit longer.

So what should (but won’t) happen instead? Like any other business, banks that go bust should, go bust.  The EU requires the Cypriot government to guarantee depositors up to one hundred thousand Euros.  Ah, but they are also bust, and can’t meet their obligations and that’s why they care about the bailout so much.  The local criminal politicians want to keep their jobs and pensions, even if it means throwing everyone else to the Wolves.  They too should simply go bust.

With no functioning government on the island and no debts to serve, I rather fancy they would be recovered in no time at all.  Hell, I might even set up a bank there, as there would be no competent authority to levy taxes.  As it is they are stuck with years and years of debt serfdom.  Watch for an enormous exodus from the Island.

Angela Merkel said “a fair burden distribution” had been achieved whereas Dmitry Medvedev (sic) called it “stealing”.  That perhaps tells you all you need to know.

It was said that satire was redundant when Henry Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Law making now seems quite openly and clearly redundant to anyone paying attention.  If you can pass laws to legalise looting by calling it tax and pass laws to silence critics by calling it a Royal Charter, you have lost all legitimacy, even within the narrow, self-defined terms that many of us already reject.  You are outside law and law itself ceases to mean anything.  It is merely naked, medieval, government by edict.

* I don’t expect Cats to do so for a minute, but if he ever did, I’m outta here.  I do not need the consent of criminals to speak.

Cut Out and Keep Article of the Week.

We here all know the nature of the beast, so there is not much point me saying anything else about it, because this article says it all.

It’s crunch time for little Cyprus tomorrow. What happens to them, will happen to us the day after.

Be afraid, be very afraid…

Cyprus

So what sane person will keep their money in Greek, Spanish or Italian domiciled banks?

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