Saturday, May 15, 2010

You Give Please Money for my Squeezebox

Agricultural subsidies everywhere are generally misguided. In the EU, the CAP is so far beyond ridicule, that it’s mawkish to even mention them to anyone with a weak stomach.

Other curious beneficiaries include a Swedish accordion club that won €59,585 from the EU farming programme; a Danish billiards club with €31,515; an Estonian school almuni society on €44,884; a Dutch ice-skating club with €162,444; a Dutch amateur football club on €354,567; and the Netherland's Schiphol Airport with €98,864.
I do not believe the funds were intended for the composting of those accordions either. There is, however, a kind of social Nomenclatura style access in these kind of things.
Galina Dimitrova Peicheva-Miteva, the 27-year-old daughter of Dimitar Peichev, Bulgaria's deputy agriculture minister until July 2009, who was responsible for handling EU funds, got €700,000 from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) last year, according to the Danish and British-based pro-transparency NGO
Elsewhere in the bucolic idyll of duhistan:
Commenting on the grant for Ms Peicheva-Miteva in Bulgaria, an EU commission official said: "That would be a case for the Bulgarian authorities to look at, or, at a push, [EU anti-fraud agency] Olaf. If she's got a load of land, there may be nothing wrong with it. But it's more a problem of potential conflict of interest for [her father] the junior minister."
You don’t say!?

Галина Димитрова Пейчева-Митева,
Resplendent in shit-kickers and charming traditional farm regalia

Friday, May 14, 2010

"In things racial we are a nation of cowards"? No, Mr. Holder, it is in things relating to radical Islam that too many of us are a nation of cowards

…"in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards." No, Eric Holder: it is in things politically correct (notably, but not only, radical Islam) that too many of us are browbeaten by the PC police — at least, they do their best to try doing so — into becoming a nation of cowards.

You got it wrong, Mr. Holder; it is not "we average Americans [who] simply do not talk enough with each other about race." It is — certainly in this day and age — we average Americans who do not talk enough with each other about radical Islam.

In fact, I would add that at times it seems perhaps less true that "to get to the heart of this country one must examine its racial soul" than that to get to the heart of this country one must examine its political correctness as well as the fairy tales its liberal components.

…"if we are to make progress in this area we must feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to have frank conversations about the racial matters that continue to divide us." Mr. Holder, frank conversations about radical Islam — whether it continues to divide us or not (it really shouldn't) — is what we need to feel comfortable enough with one another, and tolerant enough of each other, to do.

Real Clear Politics says the same thing:
Who's the Coward Now, Mr. Holder?

That is a gun that fires only once...

The dark financial clouds over Europe continue to swirl:
The markets were initially unsettled by news that the French president had threatened to pull France out of the eurozone. The startling threat was made at a Brussels summit of EU leaders last Friday, at which the deal to bail out Greece was agreed, according to a report in El País newspaper quoting Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.
The tab for years decades of profligate governmental spending, the "everything is free" mindset and the lack of anyone ever being held responsible for anything, continues starts to come due.

"Tax is a good thing!"

At least our favourite statist touchstone is consistent about one thing, being inconsistent. Now it seems that individuals paying more tax is a bad thing:
Because let’s be clear what tax increases of this order mean. About 30 million people pay tax in the UK. Every single one is going to be asked to pay an average of £2,000 more.

That’s what this is all going to be about. this is the price we’ll pay for bakers folly – and putting their friends in charge of the bail out.

Simple solutions for simple minds, a continuing series

A European data protection group on Wednesday penned a letter to Facebook in which it told the social networking site that its recent privacy changes are "unacceptable".

That Article 29 Working Party, a collection of European data groups, sent letters to 20 social networking sites overall, but singled out Facebook for "fundamentally chang[ing] the default settings on its social-networking platform to the detriment of a user."
If one is that concerned about the privacy policies of Facebook, don't join.

A Curious Amalgam

I recently came across a rather fevered blog which featured the collection of linked graphics you see below. In and of themselves, none of them are interesting. It’s the appeal of all of them that are ponderable.

Discuss among yourselves, should you be so inspired.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our European Betters

A florist and his unemployed petit pote bff kidnap a teenage girl, drown her, and then eat her.

Florist Maxim Glavatsky has been sentenced to 19 years in prison, while his unemployed friend Yury Mozhnov has been sentenced to 18 years.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The United States is a sovereign country with laws, and everyone should abide by them, whether you are here visiting or plan to immigrate

Great Merciful Zeus: If you are a fan of awesome, then get a load of Hispanic (legal) immigrant Gabriella Sesito

Related: It So Happens That Every Illegal Alien in America Already Does Have Papers

Mark Steyn: The coastal frothers denouncing Arizona as the Third Reich seem entirely relaxed about the ludicrous sight of camp storm troopers in Quincy, Illinois

Why So Many Europeans Gloated is Beyond Me

A gentle reminder to all of those comment authors who seemed to think the previously strong € was some sign of übermenschliche superiority: it ain’t in your genes, it’s in your jeans. Committing €920.500.000 buoyed economic confidence in Europe for exactly ONE business day.

And it’s largely a stimulus, by the way - not a bank backstop. The people screamed, and the ECB finally delivered: what they want is their nanny states funded beyond the means of the population’s ability or willingness to pay.
You don't get something for nothing
You can't have freedom for free
You won't get wise
With the sleep still in your eyes
No matter what your dreams might be

- Geddy Lee, market sage.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Coalition of the Tripping

UK, with its’ mother of Parliaments is rotting from the neck up. The Conservatives won the most votes and the most Parliamentary seats, and yet the buzz of the blogsphere seems to be limited to pretending that this does not matter. The LDP, the Provisional Wing of disaffected Labour party voters, is inclined to support a proportional representation arrangements that guarantees in perpetuity to let whoever got the LEAST votes has the king-maker’s power to declare themselves Líder Máximo.

Then again, that might be what these clucks wondering how to dispossess the winner of the most votes of any access to government: to construct a “rainbow coalition” (a puzzling metaphor in a nation that’s 92% white,) of single issue nutballs, greens, separatists who can’t seem to separate enough to not run as MPs,

Due to their refusal to swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, the five Sinn Fein MPs do not take their seats in the House of Commons, meaning that the “rainbow coalition” needs 323 MPs for a majority, only eight more than the Liberal Democrat and Labour votes combined.
and anyone who can be bought off with unequal and superior treatment under the law.
Both the Scottish and Welsh nationalist parties have indicated that they would support a Lib-Lab coalition and have MPs in London ready to negotiate a deal. The parties are likely to insist that Scotland and Wales are protected from spending cuts.
That notwithstanding, the love-train ritual must go on, even thought:
This so-called “coalition of losers” would only just be able to get enough votes for a Commons majority. Labour has 258 MPs, while the Lib Dems have 57, so a coalition of just these two parties would have only 315 seats.
Much dress up is also required, but I think they’re used to this kind of thing, at least for a night:
There are six SNP MPs and three Plaid Cymru MPs in Westminster. The votes from these nine MPs would be just enough for the coalition to reach a majority provided that the Sinn Fein MPs do not vote.
SO. Should it actually get that far, the formation of the British Government will depend on 6 IRA sympathizers with a predisposed hatred of a place in which they can, by merely raising their hands, bring into a state of further chaos, to fighting the temptation to vote even just once.

Someone, quite clearly, has been drinking the bong water.

Reality rudely interrupts

Meet the new fix, same as the old fix:
The euro halted a two-day gain and stocks fell, with Chinese equities entering a bear market, amid concern Europe’s indebted nations will struggle to cut deficits even after an almost $1 trillion emergency loan package.

“The euphoria of 24 hours ago has passed,” Derek Halpenny, European head of global currency research at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London, wrote in a report today. “We are in little doubt that steps taken will offer the euro little support and the aid package does not change the fact that Spain and Portugal in particular will still have to undergo further painful austerity measures.”
To paraphrase the Boss, "you can ignore economics, but economics will not ignore you".

Yeah right.........

Just Because you don’t Believe in Yourself, it doesn’t Mean that you aren’t Right

Walter Laqueur on Europe’s Crisis of Wishes:

The idea that economics would trump politics supposed, implicitly for the most part, that morale could flow from affluence and social security alone. It does not seem to have worked out that way. Europe has been affluent and its population socially secure for the most part, but it has been suffering a subacute case of Abulia—a psychological term first used in the 19th century to connote listlessness and apathy. No one has as yet provided a satisfactory explanation for this condition, either regarding individuals or societies. It has been connected, of course, with a decline in Europe’s self-confidence, but that just begs the question of why Europe’s self-confidence has been declining.

It seems to have nothing to do with economics and everything to do with beliefs—specifically, belief in the values for which the society stands. Many Europeans cannot figure out for sure what those values are, for the Euro-elites seem to have been struck dumb in this sphere as in no other. The sense of involvement in a great mission, of preaching the virtues of a better world, has vanished. The closest thing to a shared noble cause is now an anodyne, lowest-common-denominator environmentalism. It is hard to generate much enthusiasm for the commandment to separate green glass from brown. The European model has thus approached that of Latin America, whose countries have a common ancestral culture, generally live in peace with each other, and fail to cause the rest of the world much trouble.
Somewhere between the apathy and the tacit desire to “rule the world” lies a ugly truth: their weakness remains a point of risk for US and Asia, beyond bum loans and passivity in the face of dictators flexing their muscles.

The widely held idea remains that it’s all okay, because in their VERY unique historical and geographic circumstances, that they have lessons to teach the rest of the world. Hardly. The idea is that they need to believe that they have something to illuminate the world with.

It is not, therefore, unfair to ask what pieces of Europe’s “promise” should America and others look to for guidance? To Spain’s nearly 20 percent unemployment rate? To Italy’s surreal political melodramas under Silvio Berlusconi? To near bankrupt Greece, Portugal or Ireland? To the para-democratic Balkans or still struggling Eastern Europe? Surely not to Britain, which does not belong to the Eurozone. That seems to leave us with perhaps France and Germany, but their present leaders wouldn’t recommend their own present models for their want of far-reaching reforms.
Call it a never-ending conversation about the never-ending reformatorium. My sense is that even the talk of reform of this or that is undertaken to reinforce the illusion of their own intellectual facility and depth, which, objectively speaking, is no better developed than any other mature, marginally successful society on earth.

Even that kind of dialogue just makes THEM better at BEING THEM than everyone else, and that’s supposed to be the special thing they have to teach the rest of us. That aside, one has to look at the uglier alternatives. To quote Walter Russell Mead:
“A peaceful, prosperous and geopolitically boring continent that exports tedious platitudes about global governance is a far better place than any other Europe we have seen in modern times and American national interests are in no way enhanced by economic and political instability in the Mediterranean — to say nothing of Ukraine and Turkey.

Europe’s problems end up in the American in-box.”
Which is to say: “take it or leave it”.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Carrying on like Peasants, Part MLVXII

Don’t get all surprised now.

Germany, in French public debate, has become the scapegoat for the decline of Europe, and France in particular
In other words, success is a cause of failure, and any idiotic explanatory theory will do.
The general view in France is that this Rhe[i]nish mercantilist model, based as it is on strong exports, slows internal consumption and therefore the economic development of the Union.
Let’s see now, they’re MORE likely to be employed, MORE likely to have higher earnings that their typical French counterpart, and THAT is why they’re consuming less, and THEREFORE exporting more.

Germans are notoriously cheap. They are notorious savers, especially in a downturn, but that doesn’t, for a million years, explain how RISING exports, which by virtue of numerical comparison, will comparatively lower the percentage of goods NOT exported. The idea that they are consuming less using as evidence a rising export quotient is simply insane, and only plausible if you fume de shit, start your day with a big glass of penis envy.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

BBC Allows Bolivian Vice-President to Claim that Forces Opposed to the Evo Morales Government Include "Officials From the U.S. Embassy"

So how's that new diplomacy working for you, Mr. Apologizer-in-Chief?

The BBC's Tim Allman reiterates, without voicing the slightest amount of doubt or skepticism, Bolivian government claims (01:00) that the forces behind the controversial opening of a Bolivian… fruit processing factory (!!) include "some officials from the U.S. Embassy" in La Paz!

In Love with Europe’s Sclerotic Charm

It’s not really a philosophy, it’s a deranged collection of irreverent impulses.

Many of President Obama's advisers want America to emulate Europe. That is, after all, where health care is free, where taxes are high but no one seems to complain, and where the brightest students go to work for the government because the private sector is simply disappearing.

The president's advisers are seeing their wishes come true. While the government is hiring, the private sector is losing millions of jobs rather than creating them.
You were warned – by decades of adolescents yelling “crash the system”. Well – there you have it.

Reality does have a price tag

On the Greeek situ:

The crisis is so perilous for Europe that the leaders of the 16 countries that use the euro worked into the early morning Saturday on a proposal to create a so-called stabilization mechanism intended to reassure the markets. On Sunday, finance ministers from all 27 European Union states are expected to gather in Brussels to discuss and possibly approve the proposal.

The mechanism would probably be a way for the states, and possibly the European Central Bank, to guarantee loans taken out by the European Commission, the bloc’s executive body, to support ailing economies. European leaders including the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, said Saturday morning that the union should be ready to activate the mechanism by Monday morning if needed.
Will the mechanism get at the root of the problem? Put aside boom-n-bust, rating agencies, financial markets, et al, the real problem which created our current embroglio is still firmly in place, statism and those who adhere to its principles. The hack political cycle of governmental promising and spending, followed by governmental spending and promising, capped off by extra doses of governmental promising/spending and governmetal spending/promising, has sent Europe tumbling into the economic abyss. Right now it just feels like your flying, wait until the landing.

Of course, those of us banshees who have been warning of the consequences of this kind of governmental behaviour for years should not rest easily on our "shrill europhobe" sobriquet. Afterall, the same people (statists) and mindset (statism) which caused the problem, are busy setting out to "fix" the problem. In other words, our betters are answering the call to do something. Precisly what go us here in the first place.

Anyone know the odds on what the outcome of the latest "fix" will be?