The EU has come up with a cunning plan… Let’s chuck more European taxpayers money at a problem entirely of their own making, like Greece.
What can possibly go wrong?
"It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar" – Henry David Thoreau
The EU has come up with a cunning plan… Let’s chuck more European taxpayers money at a problem entirely of their own making, like Greece.
What can possibly go wrong?
‘The Commission is here for five years to do its job and we did it with vision, responsibility and commitment. Because what is driving us is not to be re-elected. That is why for us the political cost means nothing.’
What he means is your opinion and vote means NOTHING!
Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.
John Harington – Epigrams
In the latest round of the sorry saga that is modern Greece we have a further example of how the corrupting and totalitarian influence of the European Union has now spread in that it would appear that attempting to replace the Euro with a restored national currency is now treason.
“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.
“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.
The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.
A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.
I am no fan of Yanis Varoufakis who is just another dreadful little Marxist troll, but any decent economist will acknowledge that given the prospect of the ECB funding being stopped for any period of time then parallel currency measures such as IOU’s are a rational response to the problem.
Only in the cloud-cuckoo land of Eurozone politics could this be a justification for treason, at most Varoufakis exceeded his authority, but then surely Greek PM Alexis Tsipras did as well, in which case he should be impeached?
The “why” they attempted to do it is a different matter.
Austria is to officially file a legal complaint in Brussels against state subsidies for Britain’s planned new Hinkley Point nuclear power plant, the government in Vienna said.
“We cannot accept that a technology such as this being portrayed through subsidies as being modern, sustainable and future-oriented,” Chancellor Werner Faymann said after a cabinet meeting.
The complaint, which Vienna had already threatened in September and which will be filed next Monday, “is also of symbolic value against nuclear power”, the centre-left chancellor said.
After decades of umming and ahhing by the UK government over what to do about replacing our ageing nuclear power stations AND having opted for the least inventive solution (i.e. build current generation replacements on the same sites as the existing nuclear power stations), we get this stab in the back from our European “allies”.
Everyone is hyped-up on the CAGW nonsense, but when it comes down to keeping the lights on or replacing nuclear power stations with bird choppers or god forbid fossil fuels, we can just hurry up and wait.
All of this is despite the fact that Hinkley Point in Somerset is roughly 900 miles from Austria. This is political grandstanding at its most repugnant and makes a mockery of the EU bureaucracy we’ve already been through to deal with the state aid issue. Once again demonstrating that the EU is little more than an unnecessary overhead adding nothing of value.
Can we leave yet?
Under government-enforced “tolerance,” extremists would flourish, honest critics would be silenced, freedom of expression would be criminalized, and, in deference to religious and cultural “groups,” the individual would lose his right to be an individual.
He just can’t help himself, can he?
Cop a load of this my fellow Kitty Counters…
I have known in my water that the “Powers that be” have been itching to put this into practice for ages. Well they think they can control the weather with micro management don’t they? So why not Macro and Micro Economics, which after all, really is a man made science, albeit a dismal one. And boy is the future dismal if this marxist fuckwit gets his wish.
A proposed new law in Denmark could be the first step towards an economic revolution that sees physical currencies and normal bank accounts abolished and gives governments futuristic new tools to fight the cycle of “boom and bust”.
The Danish proposal sounds innocuous enough on the surface – it would simply allow shops to refuse payments in cash and insist that customers use contactless debit cards or some other means of electronic payment.
No they don’t sound innocuous at all, they stink of socio/fascist Totalitarianism
But the move could be a key moment in the advent of “cashless societies”. And once all money exists only in bank accounts – monitored, or even directly controlled by the government – the authorities will be able to encourage us to spend more when the economy slows, or spend less when it is overheating.
What this means is that your hard earned money is no longer your own, the Government can confiscate chunks of it at their leisure and whim. What of aspiration and striving for a better future? What of individual choice? What will be the point of trying to get ahead if the “Ahead” you had in mind is going to be confiscated?
It will get worse than that though. All your purchases will be computerised, and if you stray from the 5 fruits a day, no more than 24 units of alcohol a week, 6 cheeseburgers? (are you insane??) Smoker??? then you will find that the bansturbators in power will refuse your purchase, and there will be nothing you can do about it. Then you truly will be a drone.
This is one of the most evil articles I have read for a long time, and make no mistake, they are serious about this. Go read the article… the blandishments try to ameliorate the deadening impact of what is being proposed with positives like…
Apart from the control over the economy, there would be many other advantages of a cashless society. Such a system is much cheaper to run than one based on banknotes and coins. Forgery is impossible, as are robberies.
Electronic money is an inclusive and convenient system, giving poor and rural sectors of an economy – where cash machines and bank branches may be few and far between and not all people have accounts – a tool for easy participation in the economy.
But there is one hope… Even if they get their way, human ingenuity will find a way round it. But why the fuck should we have to?
The man who depicted himself as a transcendent figure on history’s stage, who described his foreign policy vision at the Temple of Hercules has been out-thought, out-generaled and completely outclassed by men with far fewer resources, but a great deal more ability than himself.
We now know what the early stages of a post American world looks like.
Wars and land grabs in Europe, the collapse of the Middle East and a militarisation of both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, alliances between Saudi Arabia, Egypt and , um, Israel – that is a good outcome, at least.
Chinese dominance over SE Asia, confrontation between China and Japan, Chinese control over the core sea trade routes as it enfolds the South China Sea into its arms.
Is Russia arming Argentina as a means of directing British attention away from Eastern Europe? If Britain is drawn into an Eastern European conflict is there an agreement that Argentina will act? Or at least rattle some sabres?
All Australia’s, and Europe’s, trade with Japan goes through waters claimed by half a dozen separate countries, one of them China, and that China is now starting to militarise.
We are disarmed, we are broke, and the big boy on the block has picked up his ball and gone home.
We are still, nonetheless, the ugliest and toughest hombres left out there, if only we start remembering that truth.
We can protect ourselves, and our interests, but only if we can be bothered.
I suspect that when it comes to national interest and foreign policy the next generation of European leaders will look more like their 19thC forbears than their 21stC fathers. If they don’t, we got problems.
A sex worker is using European human rights legislation to try to overturn a new law in Northern Ireland that makes it illegal to pay for prostitutes.
Dublin-born law graduate Laura Lee is launching an unprecedented legal challenge that could go all the way to Strasbourg, against a human trafficking bill which includes banning the payment for sex among consenting adults.
The region is the only part of the UK where people can be convicted of paying for sex. The law, which was championed by Democratic Unionist peer and Stormont assembly member Lord Morrow, comes into effect on 1 June.
Lee told the Guardian she will launch her case at the high court in Belfast in the same month as the law comes into effect.
The problems of the “Swedish Model” is not the diary of the love-life of a Premiership football player, but rather an attempt by the radical Feminists to protect the women (or perhaps womyn) in the worlds oldest profession, while persecuting the men (radical Feminism =/= misandry? Yeah Right!)
“But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”
“Oh yes, well as soon as I heard I went straight round to see them, yesterday afternoon. You hadn’t exactly gone out of your way to call attention to them had you? I mean like actually telling anybody or anything.”
“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a torch.”
“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying Beware of the Leopard.”
(The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
New EU tax rules that come into force on 1 January could kill thousands of mini and micro online businesses.
The new VAT rules have been on the cards for six years and are ostensibly aimed at preventing big companies (yes, we mean you, Amazon, Apple and Starbucks) from claiming that all their European profit is made in Luxembourg (or similar tax havens) where they benefit from paying hardly any tax.
To this end, online businesses will have to pay tax in the country of the consumer buying the goods, not the business. The side effect of this seems to be that many small businesses will find themselves having to unravel miles of red tape associated with complying with 28 different VAT regimes.
The Government (whether it’s the EU, HMG, or the Ham-on-Rye Parish Council matters not; it’s The Government) estimated that about 4,000 British businesses would be affected. It’s turning out to be more like 250,000, some of whom have only found out about it this month. It’s unclear at this stage whether HMRC’s publicity department is housed in the basement or not.
Because make no mistake about it: this isn’t some minor adjustment that businesses who’ve been conscientious about their tax affairs would be expected to have heard of. The majority who’ll be caught out have never been registered for VAT before, and are dealing with such tiny amounts that the cost of compliance will vastly outweigh their income. If you charge anything at all for digital downloads, from January 1st you’re liable for VAT. The UK’s turnover threshold for VAT doesn’t, for some reason (presumably because you’re also paying directly to 27 other régimes), apply.
To be fair, there is a system – you gotta have a system – for “simplifying” the process, but even that is proving to be more trouble than it’ll be worth for some of these miniscule “businesses”. Which won’t bother Amazon or Apple in the slightest. Yet again, government regulation hammers the small players and leaves the intended victims practically unscathed.
(I’ll gloss over the fact that in discussions over internet sales tax exemption in the US, someone always pops up to tell everyone how much easier it would be if they had VAT instead like those enlightened Yoorpeans.)
Still, on the upside, that’s another quarter of a million recruited to oppose the EU.
As I have mentioned previously, my family has strong ties to Northern Ireland, where my late mother was born and where some of my relatives still remain.
Having a large, mainly rural open border with the Republic of Ireland spanning 220 miles / 360 kilometres the opportunity for smuggling has existed since the border was created in the 1920′s and much of the local funding for terrorist groups on both sides came from smuggling goods across the border.
The trade was always bidirectional, but ebbed and flowed as duties rose and fell or items such as birth control were banned or rationed. With the coming of nominal peace to the region in the late 1990′s, it was hoped by the fiscal authorities on both sides that smuggling would be reduced, but in truth it just became much more mundane.
In 2012, Sophie Peeters moved to Brussels to undertake a film course and found herself shocked by the casual sexism and street harassment she encountered, to such an extent that she made a film about it “Femme De La Rue” (well what did you expect a film student to do? write a poem?)
In the film, she walks round her neighbourhood wearing jeans and a cardigan and then a knee-length summer dress and flat boots. A hidden camera shows that both times, men – from youths to groups of older men on cafe terraces – leer, cat-call and proposition her. She is called “whore”, “slut”, “bitch” and told that she looks up for sex. One man follows her saying she should come to his house or a hotel room. She says she gets this kind of comment eight to 10 times a day.
I will not attempt to condone or underplay the harassment she encounters and documents, as it is both genuine and repulsive, but as per typical in these sort of circumstances, the cries of “something must be done” becomes music to the ears of politicians on the make, especially in Belgium where they are still embarrassed by their inability to form a government after the 2010 elections.
So instead of saying to the local police commissioner “Oy! Matey. Do your bloody job” and clampdown on this unacceptable behaviour using the numerous existing laws on the statute books that these people are in breech of, they come up with the usual “all encompassing solution” which is like a sledgehammer to crack a nut and threatens massive intrusions into free speech that are already under attack. (more…)
The title is from the diaries of the Soviet poet Alexander Tvardovsky, as quoted (and translated) by Helen Szamuely. It’s from a passage describing an incident in the winter of 1955 when he saw young girls attempting to dig ditches in frozen ground.
The girls earn 10-15 roubles a day and their food is terrible. Today I joked a little as I went past: “Why not wait till spring? It will be easier to dig.” A pleasant young girl replied with sad determination: “We have to do it.”
How much there is that we prefer not to notice.
That was just how life was in the USSR. Now, this is not the Soviet Union. It’s not even close. But still, we go along with things for the sake of an easy life. We accept things we’d rather not until they become the “new normal”. There is much, even for us, that we prefer not to notice. “Asian” men abusing young girls in Rotherham, for example.
Once someone did notice, that shocked us all. But sometimes you have to step back a little, and look at what you’ve come to accept in a different light before you realise there’s something to notice in the first place.
I can’t recall exactly who it was – it may have been Helen’s “boss”, Richard North, or his associate Christopher Booker – who when writing about the European Union, asked a Norwegian politician prominent in that country’s campaign against membership exactly why it was that his countrymen voted against it, and received the answer, “It’s the lack of democracy in your system that we don’t like”. It struck whoever it was – and myself, reading it – deeply. “Your system”: we may rant about Brussels ordering around, and still, even now, persist on reporting it as “Foreign news”, but we are a part of this system. It’s ours, it’s governing us, and it’s rotten. We prefer not to notice.
Before I get kicked to death in the streets by the Counting Cats Eurosceptic wing (which seems to be most of us in fairness), I shall be clear and unequivocal.
I believe that Britain has a place in Europe as its political and economic stability is essential to British peace and prosperity, but that “Europe” and the “European Union” are two very different things.
I believe that the EU is a travesty and, if not brought down by its own hubris, will cause conflict in Europe in the not too distant future, probably over the secession of Germany.
For this reason, I believe the UK should leave the EU, in fact we should have baulked at its creation at Maastricht in 1992. Although John Major was very successful at negotiating away the worst excesses of the transformation from European Community into European Union, it was in fact little more than appeasement. (more…)
First, from a story on ISIS and like-minded others in Holland, with links at the source:
The symbol of the murderous Islamic State is waving in The Hague. ‘Death to the Jews,’ shout the demonstrators. Yet the Dutch government authorized the protests.
“Death to the Jews” chanted the crowd waving the black flags of the Islamic State, or ISIS as it used to be known. They were looking for new supporters for their cause, the creation of a worldwide caliphate answering to the man who now calls himself Ibrahim: a zealot too radical even for Al Qaeda who has stormed through Syria and Iraq carrying out mass executions, crucifying rivals, beheading enemies. But these marchers were not in Syria or Iraq; they were in The Hague in The Netherlands. And their message was one tailored to the disaffected young descendants of Muslim immigrants in Europe.
“We are Moroccans,” went out the cry over a portable loudspeaker. “The French killed the Moroccans but they didn’t kill them all; the grandchildren of the few men left protest against the West, America and the Jews.”
Many of the demonstrators covered their faces with Palestinian scarves or balaclavas. “Anyone who doesn’t jump is a Jew,” someone shouted as the whole group started jumping in a scene that might have been ludicrous if it weren’t for the hateful message. “Death to the Jews!” the crowd shouted in Arabic.
This scene last Thursday came in the wake of an earlier demonstration supposed to defend the Palestinians suffering in Gaza, which turned quickly into a hatefest targeting Israel, with people carrying placards that screamed “Zionism is Nazism.” But while the comingling [sic] of pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment has become all too common in European protests in recent weeks, that the battle flag of the Islamic State waved in the streets of The Netherlands on July 24 is something new and particularly dangerous.
. . .
In a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote about the concerns of the wider Jewish community when it sees these racist demonstrations espousing the cause of the so-called “Islamic State” that opposes everything about democracy.
[Story continues at source.]
And, in order not to change the subject, from a column by Jesse Rosenfeld, also from The Daily Beast. One of the hundreds of comments is also below.
07.30.14 Jesse Rosenfeld
The children of Gaza still have dreams for their future. Who do they admire? Anyone who might protect them: a doctor, a journalist, the fighters from Hamas.
GAZA CITY — The bombs continue falling, more and more people are running for their lives with fewer places to go and as the screams from beneath the wreckage of Israel’s assault become more frequent, a generation of Gaza’s children are being shaped by what they see. And yet, as kids often do, they can still surprise you.
Inside a Gaza City UNRWA school that’s been turned into a shelter, children pack the courtyard. Several are kicking a soccer ball around. A blue United Nations flag sits atop the building and the windows below are draped with laundry that spills out onto lines that crisscross the outdoor walkways. The stench of the backed-up toilets combines with the fumes of garbage fermenting in the midday sun. Inside, piled desks covered in sheets in the hallways partition makeshift rooms for the families.
There are now some 200,000 people in Gaza living in conditions like this, and many if not most of them are children. At least half of Gaza’s people—that is, 900,000 of the people here—are under the age of 18.
. . .
For the most part the ones here are under ten years old. None has ever left the narrow and overcrowded 40-kilometer strip of land called Gaza. They cannot remember a world without Israel’s seven-year blockade. They are living through their third war.
Ten-year-old Yasmine al Attar stares at me from under her dark curled bangs. ….
says she admires the Palestinian fighters, led by Hamas, who are, as she understands the situation, trying to repel the Israeli attackers.
But Yasmine isn’t looking for a Muslim warrior’s martyrdom. Like the other children here she’s looking for someone to defend her: doctors, journalists, fighters—and those are the people she wants to be some day. It is an attitude reflected by many of the children who mask their trauma behind unwavering smiles as they bubble with chatter about the devastation they’ve seen.
. . .
Mohammad [al Attar, also 10] says he wants to be a teacher if he has the choice. But, if nothing has changed by the time he grows up, he says, he knows he will fight. There is no malice in his voice. For this 10-year-old there are no childhood fantasies about the romance of war or political delusions about a grand victory. He’s making an honest calculation about the possibilities. “I just want to protect people,” he says.
It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school.
And here is one of the comments to the second piece:
rinki 4 hours ago
HERE IS WHAT “MINTS THE NEXT GENERATION OF HATE”
This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting a friend in the historic city of Münster, Germany – a university town with 50,000 students and famous as the site of the Rathaus where the Treaty of Westphalia was signed ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648.
What was not so appealing this weekend was the protest outside the historic Rathaus by a group of supporters of the Palestinians shouting quite frankly repulsive and anti-Semitic slogans while the Police looked on with cold eyes.
The rally had been called by the “initiative of the Friends of Palestine in Münster”. Bearing banners and pamphlets to express their protest the participants were mainly women with headscarves and children.
They also chanted slogans such as “child murderer Israel” or “mass murderer Netanyahu”. In a pamphlet stated: “We do not hate the Jews, but the terrorist state of Israel.”
On the opposite side of the street, under the arches, demonstrated a significantly smaller group of people for self-defense of Israel.
It was quite clear to all concerned that the Police were not there to ensure the demonstrators didn’t get out of hand (as occasionally happens with environmental and Neo-Nazi protests in Germany), but rather to ensure that the demonstrators themselves were protected from the public at large.
Marcus, my host for the weekend, is an educated native German with a doctorate in physics who spends his summer vacations building village schools in rural India, so not exactly a little-Deutschlander, but he was outraged to the point of anger that the “…spectre of the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era…” (his exact words) should be displayed again on the streets of Germany.
I pointed out to Marcus that if the right to free-speech means anything, it means the right to make statements which others may find offensive and that there is no general right not to be offended.
“Quite correct”, Marcus said, “but if the protesters had been ethnic German’s rather than immigrants, then they would have been dragged away by the Police at the first anti-Semitic outburst” - this was in relation to an anti-immigration protest at the Münster Rathaus some months ago, which the police had broken up for exactly that reason.
“The police are afraid to intervene because they are Muslims” was Marcus’ final word on the matter.