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Venezuela institutes forced labour

Venezuela Forced Labour in Agriculture

A new decree by Venezuela’s government could make its citizens work on farms to tackle the country’s severe food shortages. That “effectively amounts to forced labour,” according to Amnesty International, which derided the decree as “unlawful.”

In a vaguely-worded decree, Venezuelan officials indicated that public and private sector employees could be forced to work in the country’s fields for at least 60-day periods, which may be extended “if circumstances merit.”

“Trying to tackle Venezuela’s severe food shortages by forcing people to work the fields is like trying to fix a broken leg with a band aid,” Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas’ Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

President Nicolas Maduro is using his executive powers to declare a state of economic emergency. By using a decree, he can legally circumvent Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly — the Congress — which is staunchly against all of Maduro’s actions.

According to the decree from July 22, workers would still be paid their normal salary by the government and they can’t be fired from their actual job.

CNN Money – Venezuela’s new decree on forced labour

This is what happens when the blood-sucking ticks of the Maxist-Leninist-Maoist spectrum get hold of the economy, you rapidly go from subsidised foodstuffs and the promise of cradle-to-grave protection by the state to starvation and forced labour.

The only thing new in all of this is the date; socialist induced famines being a well documented feature, albeit seldom advertised. Certainly Venezuela’s policies from nationalisation of the petrochemical industry to price fixing and currency manipulation have a familiar feel to any student of post-WW2 Eastern Europe. Thus we prepare to entire the next stage of the consequences of economic denial, the Road to Hyperinflation.

Venezuela’s inflation for 2016 is estimated at 481.5% this year and by a staggering 1,642.8% next year, according to the latest International Monetary Fund World Outlook. Given that smuggling food is now a crime in the country as is taking photographs of the queues outside supermarkets, these figures are probably understated.

The supermarket shelves are empty, not because of a US government plot to bring down Maduro (as the Chavistas claim), but because simple economics says that goods cannot be sold at below the cost of production, which is what Chavista policies require at this time given the massive budget deficit.

Maduro continues to occupy the presidential palace, with attempts to remove him taking a glacial pace. One would perhaps wish for a coup to end the deadlock quickly, but that was the route by which Hugo Chavez began his populist climb into power, so possibly not.

I think Venezuelans will have to get a little thinner before the Presidential cockroach is forced to finally “check out”.

What does work against terrorism?

We recently discussed what doesn’t work when dealing with radical Islam. That phrase maybe redundant, perhaps literalist Islam would be better, but that is also redundant to some extent, rather like saying wet water. Fundamentally, a great number of the faithful believe in the literal and inerrant truth of the Koran, rather like the Medieval Christians were bible literalists.

So pedantry aside, what can be done?

Assimilation would be nice but government efforts to achieve these are feeble, ultimately you either want to integrate or you don’t. Many don’t and have no trouble finding Koranic justifications for the same. And I dismiss the deportation of populations and closing of mosques as not politically deliverable.

So what can be done?

First, call an immediate halt to all immigration from war torn countries, refugees and all, (especially this god-awful “unaccompanied child” program. Any number of Pakistani, Afghani, Iraqi and other immigrants claim to be 17 when they are obviously in their mid-twenties). No point importing more of the problem.

Second, on the committal of any crime, any newcomer to the country should be immediately deported back, even if to a place of danger, regardless of circumstances with no right to return. If you want to stay in the haven that is the UK, obey all the laws, or leave. This would cut down re-offending dramatically as well as initial offending.

Third, tackle worklessness (and thus radicalisation) by insisting that after a certain qualifying period, anyone (UK national or newcomer) must, must be competent in English. If not, no state aid should be available.

Fourth, much as I would like it, there is no public appetite for removing the restrictions on handgun ownership (even now). So, why not borrow an idea from the American old West. When law enforcement was strained and outnumbered by the bad guys, the local sheriff could deputise people. Why not have a modern take on this? Allow the modern deputies to ‘conceal carry’ handguns whilst in plain clothes. Of course it would be possible to monitor applicants for these positions for criminal records etc and you could insist on mandatory monthly training at army pistol ranges. If it were possible to achieve 1% coverage, then the average terrorist scumbag would have cause for concern. If they tried something on the scale of say a 2,000 person event, they would know that after firing the first shot, approximately 20 safety catches would be disengaged and shortly thereafter, they would be dead. As it is, they know we are utterly defenceless. And much as I blame the terrorists for wanton murder, I also blame the politicos for refusing us the means of self-defence. Some obvious targets in Northern Ireland were permitted to carry weapons during the troubles. We are all now possible targets and should all enjoy the possibility of armed protection as politicians do.

Such a policy would likely have saved lives at the Bataclan theatre, Nice and possibly even in the church if the gun men were statistically unlucky.

Morning view

For reasons that are of no import, I am staying at my mothers place at the moment. I woke early a day or so ago, and this was the view from her balcony.

20160724_062617

There are occasional benefits in living on Queensland’s sunny Gold Coast.

True, but

Tim Blair points out:

“In Germany,” claims the Washington Post, “anti-Muslim extremists may pose as big a threat as Islamist militants.”

True, but only to the reputation of the Post.

Civilisation

The greatest things that have happened to human civilisation in the last thousand years are:

  • The Catholic Church
  • The Renaissance
  • The Enlightenment
  • Free Enterprise Capitalism
  • The British Empire
  • The United States of America

Discuss.

I am happy to remove the Renaissance from the list as a separate item and give it to the Church.

I am aware that these are all European, and I make no apologies for that.

Back to the Future – Robotic Gardening

A very innovative combination of rapid prototyping using both a 3d printer and software technology to develop small scale agricultural automation in your own back yard. Not only does it provide the basics for growing your own fruit and vegetables, by providing an open source platform it supports the potential for viral growth of other approaches and dynamics from the initial form (quite correctly known as “Farmbot genesis”).

Thinking about the long back gardens that are behind many houses in the United Kingdom, rising fruit and vegetable costs, time paucity and the desire for localism in food production, Farmbot seems like an ideal integration point.

Woman invoiced $5,488.51 for her own sexual assault

Lets play cave explorer

A New Mexico woman has reached a $475,000 settlement with the Customs and Border Protection agency after she had claimed she was subjected to six hours of illegal cavity searches.

The ordeal began when a drug-sniffing dog allegedly “alerted” on the ACLU’s client as she attempted to return from Mexico to her home in the U.S. Agents subjected her to a strip search at the border station, examining her genitals and anus with a flashlight. No contraband was found.

The agents nevertheless transported Ms. Doe to University Medical Center, where over the course of six hours she suffered an observed bowel movement, an X-ray, a speculum exam of her vagina, a bimanual vaginal and rectal exam, and a CT scan. These procedures were conducted without Ms. Doe’s consent or a search warrant.

Having found no contraband, CBP agents offered Ms. Doe a choice to either sign a medical consent form or be billed for the cost of the searches. Ms. Doe refused to sign, and was later billed $5,488.51.

The ACLU and lawyers acting on behalf of Ms. Doe obtained a settlement of $475,000 without any admission of wrongdoing.

The Independent and for additional reporting Texas ACLU.

I’m not quite sure what was most egregious, the fact that a mistake by Fido can lead to a cavity search or that having completed said procedure and taking 6-hours to do so, yet finding nothing, they billed this woman $5,488.51 for the costs of the invasive sexual assault they inflicted upon her.

That US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) coughed up without any admission of wrongdoing strongly suggests that they are completely happy with the process itself, just didn’t expect to get caught. It also suggests that in the same scenario CPB would do exactly the same again, which is also pretty repugnant.

For any ladies prepared to stand up for her civil rights, the opportunity to further embarrass the CPB (if such a thing were possible) and potentially make $475,000, bacon flavoured deodorant is available here: <link>

Circling the drain – Dead Tree Press edition

The Grauniad

The Guardian has confirmed losses of £69m for the last financial year but said it was making significant progress in its membership scheme, with more than 50,000 people paying to sign up.

Membership is a core part of plans by the publisher’s parent company, Guardian Media Group, to counteract falls in both print and digital revenue, which led to an £8m fall in total turnover to £209.5m.

The industry as a whole has faced greater than expected declines in print advertising over the past year, while digital ad growth has almost all gone to Google and Facebook. Guardian Media Group to cut 250 jobs in bid to break even within three years.

Not including one-off costs, the revenue decline resulted in a pre-tax loss of £68.7m, compared with £14.7m in the preceding year. On an underlying basis, losses were £62.6m, up from £38.8m.

However, exceptional items totalling more than £104m, including an £84m writedown of the value of its stake in business publisher Ascential, meant the company recorded a total loss of £173m.

The Guardian – Guardian’s losses hit £69m

Some of us, myself included have been hoping and praying for the death of The Grauniad for some considerable time as it one of the few remaining platforms for those of the left to preach their philosophy of “Gibs me dat” and “Do as I say, or else”.

Certainly I would pay good money to see George Monbiot, Polly Toynbee, Jessica Valenti, et al. being thrown onto the streets of North London with their possessions in a cardboard box a la the banksters of Lehman Brothers. Let them see if there is a market elsewhere for their biased coverage, opinions and editorialising, unless they can find shelter at the BBC, I very much doubt it.

Unfortunately, that probably won’t happen, instead I suspect we will see an abandonment of print journalism at some point in the not-too-distant-future, with a more gradual decline into darkness and irrelevance where the Independent has gone before.

Lest we forget, the Grauniad was the newspaper that was demanding a £2 a month levy on broadband bills to subsidise its inability to find subscribers.

A £2-a-month levy on broadband could save our newspapers

I mean seriously, would anything of value be lost?

Fighting terrorism – What works and what does not ?

Lighting candles doesn’t work, placing teddy bears at the scene doesn’t work. Hugging doesn’t work, singing songs doesn’t work. Praying doesn’t seem all that efficacious.

Walking around with “Je suis Charlie” or “Je suis Priest” doesn’t work, because y’know, you’re not. The priest is dead as are the Charlie Hebdo employees.

Pretending as the Germans seem to be that all these attacks are nothing to do with radical Islam seems deranged. The BBC joined in with this fantasy, accidentally forgetting to call the Iranian guy Ali. Calling him David and pretending he’s a right-wing nut better fits their narrative. Him shouting Allah Akbar before the murders doesn’t.

Empty words from politicians don’t work, declarations that they “will never win” don’t work. Tell Martin McGuiness he hasn’t won.

The war on terror is a total, counter-productive fail. The West has been variously bombing and fighting assorted maniacs in Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan and Libya and other places for more than a decade now. How’s that working out? If only someone could have foreseen it – oh wait, Ron Paul and others did.

Immigration, specifically mass immigration from Islamic countries has failed. Even in non-violent terms, these communities fail to integrate, fail to perform academically and are far more likely to be involved in crime or have welfare dependence. I guess being illiterate in your own language when you arrive in Europe means you are less likely to be able to make an economic contribution when you are here. That and being traumatised by war and radicalised by Mosques. Hence ghettos, although the left would have us believe that because of white privilege, it’s the host country’s fault. In some way.

Critically, the French and German security operations have failed totally and utterly. That’s worth repeating, the French security operation in particular has failed totally. There are reports that the French state knew the church from yesterday was on a hit list. It is not clear whether they told the church. It is quite clear they failed to protect it.

They’ve had a state of emergency for months now; cops and troops standing around with guns and they have failed totally to prevent their citizens being slaughtered like sheep. They cannot protect their people, their priests, their children…their children.

Defenders of this will say “ah well the police can’t be everywhere”

Right, they can’t. If you are a maniac and you see twenty soldiers on the street corner, you simply walk a mile away and perpetrate horror at that location.
So what would work?

I’ll leave that to you then post follow up in a few days. But we know for sure, this isn’t working and people are being left defenceless and slaughtered.

Cartoon of the Week.

Matt cartoon, July 23

When the wrong guy is the right guy

Jeremy Corbyn vs Owen Smith

Jeremy Corbyn believes he can win the Labour leadership by a landslide as it emerged that more than 180,000 people have paid £25 to vote in the contest. [JG - By my calculation that an extra £4.5 million quid]

Allies of Mr Corbyn were left jubilant by the late surge, predicting the vast majority were his backers and claiming rival Owen Smith would be left “crying his eyes out” at the news.

Moderates had attempted to shut down the chances of new joiners by upping the price from £3 and restricting registration to a 48-hour period, but people signed up at the remarkable rate of one a second.

While the 183,541 people who applied are still being vetted, they are expected to make up around a quarter of the total group voting on the next leader – meaning they could swing the result.

Labour leadership race: Jeremy Corbyn camp jubilant as 180,000 people join to vote in 48 hours

I know that the apocryphal belief is that the vast majority of these new members are from the Militant sorry Momentum group of Labour supporters who have a hard-left interpretation of what they think Labour should be doing and for them, the incompetent Jezza is just the man for the job.

For those of us who joined the Labour party to get Jezza elected in the first place [JG - *whistles tunelessly and looks around the room*] he has been a great investment in chaos, anarchy and disorder. In fact the only thing that caught me by surprise was that he nearly did the decent thing and resigned until a backbone stiffening session and stern talking-to by erstwhile comrade John McDonnell and others.

So the vote is coming up and Jezza is on the ballot to the great chagrin of the Parliamentary Labour Party and a minority of the NEC. They’ve fudged the rules as far as they were able to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s support base, but have underestimated the lengths his supporters will go to in order to save their valiant leader (and adding £4.5 million in new subs to the Labour Party is a surprisingly long way).

I know that some of you have concerns about Jezza being accidentally thrust into Downing Street and I admit that is a possibility, but the greater probability is that his re-election will lead to a significant split in the Parliamentary Labour Party with the majority of Labour MP’s either forming a new centre-left party (possibly with the piss-poor remnants of the Liberal Democrats) or just plain sitting as independent Labour MP’s without the whip.

The chance to destroy Labour once and for all is too great to miss, so I’m voting again for Jezza as the Lord of Misrule. “Io Saturnalia!

Jeremy Corbyn - JezWeCan

Sowell: The War on Cops

Dr. Thomas Sowell’s review of Heather MacDonald’s latest book, The War on Cops, seems pertinent to our conversation on the situation with our police.

To anyone who isn’t familiar with Dr. Sowell’s work, he is an economist and political commentator, revered by conservatives and libertarians even if he is Chicago School and not Austrian, and is also, um, Negro. He has many videos on UT, including lots of interviews with Peter Robinson of Hoover’s “Uncommon Knowledge” series, with Brian Lamb of C-Span, even with William F. Buckley on “Firing Line” for PBS, back in the ’80s.

Some excerpts….

There was never a more appropriately named book than “The War on Cops” by Heather Mac Donald, published a few weeks ago, on the eve of the greatest escalation of that war by the ambush murders of five policemen in Dallas.

Nor is this war against the police confined to Dallas. It is occurring across the country. Who is to blame?

First, says Dr. Sowell, the race hustlers like Sharpton, the racist movements or institutions like “Black Lives Matter,” and the “genteel, upscale, and sophisticated race panderers,” including the present creature who “presides.”

Speaking of remarks by the latter, Dr. S. writes,

Are we fighting against racism today or do we just want to put it under new management?

And,

The mainstream media play a large, and largely irresponsible, role in the creation and maintenance of a poisonous racial atmosphere that has claimed the lives of policemen around the country.

He continues,

The media provide the publicity on which career race hustlers thrive. It is a symbiotic relationship, in which turmoil in the streets gives the media something exciting to attract viewers. In return, the media give those behind this turmoil millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity to spread their poison.

And now, he gives away the entire show. I do remember this, and I am delighted to see my memory confirmed for a change. My boldface:

The media have also actively promoted the anti-police propaganda by the way they present the news. This goes all the way back to the Rodney King riots of 1992. Television stations all across the country repeatedly played a selectively edited fraction of a videotape covering the encounter between the police and Rodney King, who had been stopped after a wild, high-speed chase.

The great majority of that video never saw the light of day on the TV networks that incessantly played the selectively edited fraction.

When the police were charged with excessive violence in overcoming Rodney King’s resistance to arrest, the jury saw the whole video — and refused to convict the policemen. That is when people who had seen only what the media showed them rioted after the jury verdict.

Mob rule is not democracy.

Those are the highlights of Part I of the piece, which continues in Part II. Part II includes, for instance, this short reminder of what the race-hustlers and -panderers were up to in the ’80s:

Consider one of the big talking points of politicians and others who claim that the harsher penalties for people selling crack cocaine than for people selling powder cocaine show racism, since crack cocaine is more likely to be used by blacks.

The cold fact, however, is that black political and community leaders, back in the 1980s, spearheaded the drive for more severe legal penalties against those who sold crack cocaine. Black Congressman Charlie Rangel of Harlem was just one of those black leaders who urged these more severe penalties.

It is all well worth reading.

Ruthie vs. Hair

Ruthie vs. Hair.Cartoon, posted to CCiZ, 7:14:16

Ken Catalino – Friday, July 1, 2016

Quote of the Day

The Dead of Dallas

One of many reasons I would never consider the open carry of a handgun here in Ohio – where it is perfectly legal to do so – is that I simply do not trust the police to respond appropriately to my doing so.

Dennis the Peasant – Tim Worstall’s place

(more…)

Friday Humour – Spot the Joke

The New European - The Pop-up Paper for the 48 percent

Subscriptions to The New European are available here:  <Link>

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