26 December 2011

Little Stickers and Platitudes Insufficient

Dateline Tibet: Just when nobody could possibly need Chinese investment in shabby Eurozone bonds, the Dalai Lama is asking Catherine Ashton to keep asking China for EU diplomats to visit Tibet.
Zhu on Monday accused Western governments of funding the Dalai Lama's India-based movement to weaken China for strategic reasons.

He called the Dalai Lama a "savage" who gets young monks to set themselves on fire to provoke anti-Chinese feeling. He added that Chinese intelligence has evidence the head-in-exile of the Kirti monastery in Tibet, Kirti Rinpoche, organised three of the 12 recent self-immolations.
Regime change in China!, they demanded!
"Should the Chinese side reject the request, the EU could issue a strong statement of deep concern and raise the issue at international fora, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council."
To which the response will surely be “keep asking”, or “keep asking and...”
But China's man in charge of Tibet, vice-minister Zhu Weiqun, at a rare meeting with press in Brussels also on Monday, ruled out the possibility.

"China is an independent country and we have the full capacity to handle problems on our territory. So under no circumstances will we allow foreign fact-finding missions into the Tibetan autonomous region ... I don't believe that the interference of any foreign force could achieve anything constructive. Indeed it could very well lead to an escalation of the crisis and to wars," he told this website.

25 December 2011

Berlinski on America

Her message works well with those who have known nothing but irrational criticism for it, and anything and everything about it. You know the type. The ones at home and worldwide who emit a Pavlovian response to any subject eliciting a through on the United States. If you’re lucky, you might get some partially rephrased variation on the canned argument that you will hear used again a block away wherever you happen to find yourself.

America is like no other place on earth. For all the talk of pessimism, recession, decline and fall, this remains--so clearly!--a country of mad, nutty, innocence and optimism; it is a place where everything works; it is a place where every man feels in the depth of his soul that he is the equal of every other man, and it is a country so free, in so many ways, that I doubt I will ever be able to convince anyone who hasn't seen it with his own eyes that this kind of freedom really exists.
That’s the quality of life thing like no other – the one that relates to life itself. It’s normally accompanied by a tut-tutting retort related to anything the critic thinks their nation does well, such as high-speed trains. Trains being a suitable retort to someone, somewhere being happy about the feeling that they have in the depth of their soul which the critic for no particular reason feels a need to retort. I hear engineering can do that for ya.

She does have words with something in the US that doesn’t work, though:
And this brings me to the First Law of Journalism. For some reason, American journalism's just not working. I figure we'll solve this problem; that's what we do. But as of now, it's broken. Exhibit A: Time Magazine's US Story of the Year. The Occupy Wall Street Protests Spread. Well, here I am on Wall Street, or very close to it, anyway, and if this is someone's idea of the top story--or even a major story--he's crazy as an outhouse rat. The top story? In a year, say, in which the United States, for the first time in 62 years, has become a net energy exporter?

So here's my advice. You know what you hear in the news? If you haven't seen it with your own eyes, don't believe it. And don't worry so much about America, it will probably be fine.
It’s worth noting some of the characteristic features of this non-operative piece of gear: its willfully developed its’ disingenuousness through a political ideology that has specific motives and largely looks to two general areas for affirmation: within its own ideological echo chamber, and to specific societies outside of the US that are conspicuously hostile to any outlook that hints at the curtailment of the power of the state or the crowding out of the individuals’ opinion by socially favored castes and ideologies.
But the most astonishing thing about America is this. I know full well that I can go on television, with millions of people watching, and say anything I please about the American government--anything--and even if for some malignant reason I feel like saying something false, gratuitously insulting, bad for the stock market, ruinous to a politician's happy marriage, or frankly seditious, I can just say it, and when I walk out of the studio, whatever I said will be between me and my conscience. It won't even occur to me that I may have exposed myself to an unpleasant risk of a pre-dawn police raid and a show trial. Possibly I'll get a few indignant e-mails.
The color coded-public-conveniences, the high-speed trains, and the stylized buzz of generic modernity are nice, but that isn’t the least bit meaningful where the dominant theme of the information set and public intellectuals is that of the demonizer or the bully.

The stylized buzz of generic modernity does not actually indicate that you’re in civilization.

24 December 2011

There was no room at the inn for Mary. Just as would happen today, the innkeeper didn’t announce, “Folks, we have a woman among us who is about to have a child, let’s a couple of families combine rooms so she can have a bed! Let us keep vigil! Let us fast, then feast!”

Just as would happen today, the other guests didn’t rise up and say, “O blessed night, O holy night that God has sent this woman among us.” They gave her a cursory glance, saw she was poor, said, “Oh – too bad,” and sent her to the barn.

Just as today, the clerk at the chain motel would say, “Sorry, fifty-nine dollars plus tax,” and the rest of us would likely watch Mary trail back to her broken-down van as we go on snacking, texting, and scrolling through our Dish listings.

And yet in our better moments, we carry our little prayer around with us as Mary carried Christ. Like Mary, we’re in solidarity with all the poor, all those in exile, all who are powerless, frightened, weak. Like Jesus in today’s Gospel, we rejoice that the kingdom is revealed to the childlike. And just as back then, that prayer moves the world. Just as back then, that prayer is seen by the stars.

Reflection based on
Luke 10: 21-24 by Heather King

23 December 2011

For Fans of the Deliciously Grim

No-one told the operators that the USSR ever really went away.

Then somebody took pictures, recorded audio, and mashed up a remix out of the scraps left behind by a paranoid and repressive state.

22 December 2011

Keep Thinking, Butch

Thanks to Libération Propagandastaffel, we discover that movements and theories are invented by the leftists and postmodern freaks that describe those theories to other leftists and postmodern freaks like Libé
We are indebted to Michel Foucault for identifying, in his January 1979 Collège de France lecture (The birth of bio-politics), the originality of this school of liberalism, which makes constitutional regulation and judges the levers and principle guarantors of the construction of a political order founded on a strict respect for economic freedom and free competition.
Bio-politics. Whatever, Spanky. On planet earth, we call this mental masturbation. What they’re calling “Liberalism” was identified long before 1979.

To that end, they desperately try to understand the world around them that they’ve been ignoring for decades, the dead secular Gods of nationalist-socialist mythology are being dredged up in this case to explain Angela Merkel’s views on European economics. It’s as if using big names mean that they know enough to appear to be correcting her. After all, she’s though to have all the money that these finger-wagging marvels ignorant jokers want hidden under her bed or something.

Why would they then not resort to this tortured explanation of the lack of EU level legal empowerment of the ECB in the way the US Federal Reserve can act. Hence, they go hat-in-hand to Berlin, and the illiterates at Libé think this is some sort of dark art for reasons that their dyspeptic leftist frustrations with the lack of dictatorial control in their favor can’t digest.
Her direction has once again confirmed the precarious status of political legitimacy in the European Union: the credibility of the euro cannot be safeguarded by apolitical measures alone.
Further to the sick penchant to claim by identification, other miscellaneous vilified historical characters are used. This is meant to lend some veneer of accuracy and intelligence to the specious practice of thinking that you’ve just named things for the first time because you didn’t think they existed before, at least not in the low-altitude the left orbits in.
This is not a Bismarckian policy, as Arnaud Montebourg has so awkardly asserted, but one that is based on one of the most well-established schools of liberal thought, “ordoliberalism”, which emerged between the wars in Germany and was popularised in the postwar period as “the social market economy” by the influential Christian-Democrat Ludwig Erhard, who was Minister of Economics from 1949 to 1963 and Federal Chancellor from 1963 to 1966.
Otto von Bismark could not be reached for comment.

21 December 2011

Why Maximize Employment when you can Maximize Welfare ?

In addition to Krugmann’s suggestion that the tax rate on “the wealthy”, whichever half or third of earners he thinks that is, should be 70%, the figure is derived by the suggestion that this will “maximize welfare” for the lower and middle class.

Obsessiveness about non-existent social castes and class aside, the correct term is Low/ Middle/ High INCOME. Like this bunghole apologist for State-Command-Economics, it’s rather obvious that the identification is one they’re so fluid in, that they forgot that they’re supposed to hide their pointless society impoverishing agitprop.

20 December 2011

Europeans would Tax Your Wiener

That’s right kids - no link, no frankfurter, no banger, no bockwurst or merguez for that matter... is safe, not to mention homemade bake-sale items too. The Svenska Dagbladet reports that the EU Commission has ordered Sweden to levy a 25% VAT on concessions at amateur sporting events. This includes the table a few parents set up at their kids’ intermural and local sport club games.
We're not talking about professional businesses here but about thousands of people who do unpaid work for their children and others. The people's representatives in the EU - the European Parliament - have realised that and supported the exemption by 521 to 50 votes. The Commission however, with its non-elected bureaucrats, is now demanding that what belongs to Caesar must be rendered unto Caesar. To comply with this demand the small clubs will have to become bureaucratised. It's no overstatement to say that the position of the treasurer - already a thankless task - will be harder to fill than ever.
Ironically, even Swedes get that this is micromanagement.

19 December 2011

Arrogantly Saving the Planet with Bumper Stickers

Selfishly mounted on NON-ELECTRIC VEHICLES for that matter!

18 December 2011

Recreational Ideology 101

When can the ideology of the mal-informed and those detached from the reality of the modern society’s logistic become stupid and dangerous? Anytime with Global Warming “awareness raising” is involved, or for that matter when any kind of “awareness raising” is going on for leftists’ fake crices.

A school in Britain turned off the heat on the coldest day of the year to “save the planet”:
Pagan gods traditionally required human sacrifices – preferably of children – and a West Country academy school appears to be leading the way. To give pupils a lesson in "sustainability" they'll never forget, headmaster Rob Benzie of Ansford Academy in Castle Cary, Somerset, ordered a "No Power Day ... as an experiment to see if we can lower our carbon footprint".
It took place in December as temperatures plummeted to 1°C, and pupils students were permitted to cheat death by wearing as many jumpers as they could muster. All survived. Predictably, reactionary parents branded it as "barbaric" – ignoring the vital "awareness raising" potential of the experiment. An innovative game in Australia even advised children when they should pop off to help save the Earth Goddess.
The stunt is so stupid, 101010-esque, and loony, that one would think it appropriate to say that the Headmaster “was in the pay of big oil!” (Objective proof not required.)

Of course none of that wasting teaching time on a fake issue means that our educational betters have any idea what they’re doing. Apparently this is the sort of thing they “readically” get up to when they want to reduce womynkind’s carbon footprint.
Hot water for the essential staff tea and coffee was boiled in the quad over a charcoal burner, baked potatoes and burgers were cooked over a charcoal barbecue. Students will have learned a valuable lesson – that we should not take the power we use for granted, and if nothing else that we should be careful with what we use and reduce our consumption as much as we possibly can in order to best preserve the world's resources.
Stop all human activity now!, I say! We need to put on our capes and SAVE the PLANET (from something or other.)

17 December 2011


Libération Propagandastaffel has it dear wrong when it takes Europe’s idiotic effort to solve an Economic problem with the carcass of European states’ diplomatic structure with one another inder the theme of: “economics doing politics”, and points it’s impotent rage at politicians who live in the Eurozone politcal-straightjacket they went along with being unable to simply dictate that they are solvent and gin up wealth to redistribute.
"Executive, legislative and judiciary - the economic crisis has done away with this old structure. The last three years with all their ups and downs and breakneck tempo show how obsolete this basic order has become. Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel announce with satisfaction and with great pomp their projects for Europe? Several hours later a rating agency ridicules them and sweeps them from the table by placing the Eurozone under negative credit watch. The founding structure of democracy has now been replaced by a new and brutal economic power. With nothing to counterbalance or even regulate it, it now controls the others and dictates its own laws."
Because courts and national leaders are the ones who are supposed to define rates of interests on bonds, you see – this despite the fact that even the ECB had to postpone a bond auction because there wasn’t enough interest, and the underwriters were left holding the bag.

Note that they don’t take issue with anything real and think the whole thing has to do with Sarkozy and Merkel’s re-election prospects. In other words, anything that happens in the world has nothing to do with the bloated, near command economy they persistently plump for, but rather for whatever the thoroughly misnamed Libération editor and Stepford-child head-bobber feels and want the truth to be.

As if the world was their oyster, and it’s size of the kind of oyster you pick up in a month that doesn’t end in an “R”.

Another persistent theme has been the downgrade S&P of numerous banks worldwide. Apparently they believe that economics is driven by political stances, and so would I if I was as consistently economically illiterate and prone to delusion as they are. S&P, they assume is to be demonized for “practicing politics”, as if their ratings analysts care.

Propagandastaffel position is irresponsible and much less informative than even their own blogs that cover business, markets, and the economy. It isn’t just linear, ignorant, insular, and small-minded, but meant to feed their easy-chair fantasies of being able to inflame a mob against the state. Those days are over. There is no bright hammer-and-sickle to the east that they can point to mendaciously as an example of “how things whould be done”.

The sum of all fears when you’re a leftist living in the prewar days of Soviet Marxist-Leninism?
Never were the report of strengths and weaknesses more apparent, but never has political power seemed so helpless. The presidential campaign will hide the main issue of the political turmoil and the impossibility of any effective political action: three years that have passed have shown that firefighters ran after the fires, always late. Commentators will focus on the beauty of movement and skill of diplomatic compromise. While everything will be played today and tomorrow, in managing the social consequences of the crisis.
As if the French left, let alone what they imagine would be the actions of a President Ségolène Royal would have done anything about it the way Zapatero VERY bravely did showing leadership in Spain, even against his own supporters populist bleatings.

What Libé wants is this crisis to not go to any sort of political waste.

16 December 2011

Hey, Living isn’t Everything when it Comes to, um, Living...

Economic power is not the only criterion for global power. What matters is how political systems respond to new crises. And from this perspective, the EU is still in with a chance, writes Dutch historian Dirk-Jan van Baar. Excerpts.

Add to this rthe oft-used argument that political power is not the only criterion for global power and that military power is not the only criterion for global power, and you get the perfect rationalization for 500 million of the world’s richest people free-riding on the backs of the rest of humanity.


Taking passivity and inaction to a higher, more noble and superior plane, he goes on with a predictable related theme of somehow comparing Europe to the US, for which there is no rational basis to do so in this context:
The American president is behaving accordingly : he thinks America must get its own economic house in order before embarking on further foreign interventions. If even the most powerful man in the world thinks that Washington has taken on too much, then one can tend to agree with historian Paul Kennedy (who wrote on the theme in his 1987 work The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers) that America is suffering from imperial overstretch.
The search for analogues and examples, I suppose, must go on.

15 December 2011

Save the Date

Act of Valor will be released in U.S. cinemas on 17 FEB 2011

14 December 2011

From the Ongoing Chronicles of Weird European Pederasty

And it’s from one of those enlightened societies again:
A 62-year-old man from Drammen in southern Norway has received a 7-year jail sentence after he was found guilty of sexually abusing his two young daughters.
Kid, if you don’t want to ride in the van, don’t take the candy. Otherwise it’s back to an enlightened solution in that enlightened society: no real punitive consequences.
He denied committing the offences and told the court the older girl’s claims were financially motivated.

The district court, however, found the accounts of both girls to be credible and ordered their father to pay each of them non-pecuniary damages of 200,000 kroner ($33,600).
Elsewhere: real consequences await those commiting the grave crime of trying to introduce supply to demand.

A Russian smuggler is detained for transporting underage butter across state lines.
Last Friday, customs officers stopped a Russian at the Norwegian-Swedish border and seized 90 kilos of butter stashed in his car.
Why is this such a severe social disturbance of the placid nation proud of it’s orderly ways, laws, solidarity, and nicely concealed child molestation?
Norway has a butter monopolist called “Tine” that is deliberately protected from foreign competitors by government-imposed import tariffs.

Some Germans are off to the (Master) Races

Ricochet.com editor Claire Berlinski thinks it’s time we took the “neo-“ mask off of Germany’s the “neo-nazis”:
Unlike many who are keen to deny the danger of right-wing extremism in Europe, proposing instead that we focus our alarm upon the menace posed to liberal democracy by Islamic extremists, I'm a dual-direction Cassandra. Europe does indeed have a dangerous ultra-right, and by "ultra-right," I do not mean dutiful Anglicans and devout proponents of market deregulation, I mean Nazis. Call them neo-Nazis or new Nazis if you like, but when they start killing immigrants in the name of racial purity, I see no need for that qualifier.

The so-called National Socialist Underground killed nine immigrants (eight of them Turkish, one Greek). They avoided detection for years because the police were looking in the wrong direction.
Having about two years ago on crowded Berlin U-Bahn train heard a loud drunk retort a guy trying to since silence him by yelling out “Heil Hitler!”, I saw that the stigma that I’ve known my whole life for Nazi sayings and symbols, had worn off with a good part of the general population.

She also notes the subtlety with which many Europeans argue. While it isn’t the dark ages, ideological differences and disagreements are quite frequently met with threats of personal violence, as though the ego were more precious that life itself.
especially given that Third Reich imagery and dramaturgy doesn't sound all that innocent. Comments like these--"Claire Berlinski is just a paranoid little Jew"--were among the more printable. In fact, the Nazis sent me more hate mail than the Islamists and the communists.
To note an old joke which I’ve heard used for both Arabs and Israelis: How does a [ _____ ] commit suicide? He jumps from his ego to his IQ. The same seems to be true of those reviving Europe’s native (and nativist) social practices, as a reaction to a complex world that they think is cheating them out of the hopes they had for themselves.

Rammstein’s popularity may have softened German society’s stigma for Nazism, which is likely what they intended by this subculture as the soft beginnings of de-denazification. Either way, it’s a misshapen and simplistic view of the world that’s no better than violent Islamism to which Nazism is historically linked.

It also comes at the worst time in western society: when liberty itself must be defended with broad-mindedness, joie de vivre, strength, but most of all with living examples of liberty’s healthy and robust vision of a good society itself. Neo-nazis wooing the weak-minded and callow have no place in a good society and may be more of an indication to the principles of a good society being neglected.

Of the treatment the issue has been given, Berlinski characterizes it without much doubt:
The word for that is "denial." Men who look like Nazis, call themselves Nazis, blow up Jewish cemeteries and kill Turkish shopkeepers are not little boys playing cowboys and Indians. They're Nazis.

This problem will get worse.
Just where does all of this fall on a scale? Well, not so fast, there cowboy – it’s really doesn’t, not when you listen carefully past what a PC Gutmensch says, and get at what they worry about. The oddly bespeckled smart-asses of politically correct pleasantries are not that different than these Nazis when you take their stridency, narrowness, and simplistic view of civilization into account. It’s even hard to say that they are the opposite sides of the same coin.

13 December 2011

Germany’s New Morgenthau Plan

Two Norwegian owned gas-fired power plants in northern Germany, critical to complementing the nation’s planned wind power capacity when the winds aren’t blowing, will be shut down. Because they’re operating at 20% capacity, they are not economical. The result of the shutting down of these two massive plants will be that the power will simply go out when the wind isn’t blowing hard enough.

Financial Times Deutschland reported:
"We will possibly need to make more power intervention," [Ed.: subsidies] said a spokeswoman for network operator Tennet. Of the failure of the two gas-fired power plants in the north: "If it were up to southern Germany, the situation would be difficult." Because of high wind power capacity in the North German Plain, the gas-fired power plants are seldom used, found Tzschoppe’s closure plan report. The two plants combined generate nearly 1,000 megawatts of power - almost as much as a nuclear power plant. Best run in operation 1000 to 2000 hours per year, they have been running only a few hundred hours.
Plans on track to deindustrialize? Yes. In more ways than one, we finally get to see the structured enfeeblement of an advanced society in action.
The Federal Network Agency has not scheduled a closing date of the Statkraft plants. After last week’s submitted monitoring report, the Authority expects to terminate in addition to about 3,000 megawatts of nuclear power plants are coal power from the grid in 2013, but no gas-fired power plants. Power shortages threaten the network, especially in southern Germany.
And now for the ugly truth: business defined by political goals fail.
But in the face of high gas costs and relatively low electricity prices were to achieve even with new gas-fired power plants currently barely adequate margins indicated Tzschoppe.
And what it all boils down to is the money that isn’t there, which “to save the planet” will become a cost that they will have to drop on the foot of a public that doesn’t have much of a choice in where their power comes from.
The price of electricity would have to reach reach 85 to 90 euros per megawatt hour in order to justify investments in new gas-fired power plants - about 50 percent more than it costs now.
The exhausted and angry postwar allies couldn’t have done any better.

12 December 2011

Der Doppelte Kotau

TAKI’S MAGAZINE takes a look into the absurd world of European politics through the lens of German self-regard.

I can tell you that it seems to have always been guilt and shame based, exceedingly simplistic, and reminiscent of chattering and political classes who rarely contact reality.

It ain’t pretty.
Perhaps the most comical argument for bailing out Greece has come from Merkel’s CDU Labor Minister and outspoken feminist Ursula von der Leyen, who has been vocal in her support for “helping the Greeks get back on their feet.” In a recent appearance on a weekend talk show hosted by TV celebrity Günther Jauch, Ms. von der Leyen went after those who criticize Greece’s spending habits and bloated state bureaucracy. According to van der Leyen, such a captious judgment does not take into account the close resemblance between the “Greeks at the present hour and the Germans in 1945, when we were a battered people.” To the Labor Minister, assisting the Greeks seems the proper thing to do. It is “like the CARE-packages that the Americans sent us after the War.”
Remember the asinine prejudice about German policy and motives having something to do with a disappointingly false reputation for kinkiness? Well here’s it’s flip side: the equally asinine need to ameliorate the no-longer-existent harm caused by an imaginary “national personality attribute” by sufferers of the cult of leftist victim theory who so believe in that the notion of class warfare can have a “national personality”, that they see it all within the prism of their own Stockholm Syndrome.
This last comparison borders on the lunatic, except when a German politician is trying to be “nice.” Then it simply reflects the dominant national culture. Perhaps the Germans should insist on a fundamental right which the Americans once exercised: to carpet with bombs an enemy country and then hang its leaders as war criminals. Once having done this, the Germans could get on with the good stuff, such as providing those they’ve mercilessly “battered” with chocolate bars and sewing kits. Like other German politicians, von der Leyen is accustomed to the double kowtow (der doppelte Kotau), which involves simultaneously sucking up to the Yankees and non-German Europeans. Whereas Germans were once feared for lunging at their neighbors’ necks, now they’re delighted to be at everyone’s feet.
After all if the European public, and particularly German society, is good at one thing, it’s licking the boot that kicks you. This comes well after one is conditioned into the old misguided belief that the state is the only vehicle of relief, scholarship, and humanism itself.

Recognized by some is the malleability of governance theory to the convenience of leaders avoiding verbal confrontation within the EU tribe. It’s consequences are themselves frequently absurd and remind one of the forehead-slap-worthy hijinks of the UN. The difference being that states regularly ignore the suggestions and dictates of the “singular world body”:
Presumably the banks, which made loans to the Greeks at the German government’s urging, will have to be saved as a first step to dealing with Greek insolvency. An article in the relatively right-wing Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung explains a ridiculous situation: The Germans have the same representation in the EU Council as Cyprus and Malta combined, yet they contribute 28% of the organization’s available capital as opposed to the 0.3% given by Cyprus and Malta. Germans are watching their earnings decline while paying for other countries’ insolvency, yet they seem determined to make their problem even worse. Although Germans gripe about the bailout, the vast majority support leftist parties that will give away even more of their money to foreign governments. German voters snub and even despise parties such as the Republikaner which oppose the bailouts.
All of whom are wrong in their own way, considering that they are an economic area as dependant on exports as they are consumption, and find themselves competing with Burmese indentured labor and a Chinese workforce laboring under Pinkerton gang-pressers, but have upward labor cost pressure priced in an inflated currency. If growth is your only way out of this pickle, even the fiscal hawks have a few more realities to embrace, and they sure as hell don’t involve reputations for national kinkiness and images of the not-yet-brought-low beating their fellow Europeans into servile callowness.

11 December 2011

The Attack of that Sinister Dark Lord Electrolux

May 10th: the Ringhals nuclear reactor near Gothernburg, Sweden has a fire event. From the greenie hysteria (which included a spontaneous light-mural being painted by that famous artist known as “Greenpeace”) that ensued sounded like they hoped for, or either thought they had a Chernobyl on their hands.

The shut-down cost hundreds of millions of Kroner.
At Sweden's largest nuclear plant Ringhals power plant 60 km south of Gothenburg, says all four reactors now quiet. Cause: There is, according to utility company Vattenfall found "undesirable objects" found in emergency shutdown system for reactors 2 and 4. Reactor 1 stopped operation on Sunday for - like the other three - being subjected to a thorough review of the safety systems.

"Before any of the reactors are allowed to start again, Ringhals AB systematically examine all checks of safety and security features, and explain the outcome of the review of the Radiation Safety Office," writes Swedish control body.
Well, little missy, the culprit has been located.

The reactor was barbarously savaged by a vacuum cleaner that was plugged in, got wet during a pressure test, and caught fire. Details are sparse. For obvious security reasons, they won’t say if it was one of those Dyson jobbies that looks like it belongs in an “Art of Noise” video.

I’m sure they didn’t need all of those pesky Kroner anyway.

10 December 2011

The Field of Psychiatry could Preoccupy itself for Decades with these Jokers

The Europeans are a sort of Jonathan Winters wandering the global barnyard: they offer comic relief, but have something tragically disturbing about them.

In this case, the underlying assumptions behind this cartoon by Patrick Chapatte: the hapless, innocent Euro-elves, victims of circumstance and anything else that they had no hand in, being talked down to by a towering white American man vaguely reminiscent of the elder George Bush. Ordered around in their innocent, childlike state, they are of course, victims of bullying or something.

... "Things will get better if Europe learns to speak with one voice."
... "HELP!"

09 December 2011

A Question:

Why isn’t “water cannon” considered a form of protected speech?

08 December 2011

The Vainglory of the Self-Appointed Humanists

From the same school of thought that’s tried to “Free Tibet” with little stickers, advocating regime change in China, and notably NOT in Iraq: Amnesty International, an organization loved by many a naïve college student which has never once freed anyone thinks that “there’s an app for that”.
Is Amnesty being serious? Someone who wanted to mock the weird combination of laziness and narcissism that seems to motor many Amnesty campaigns could have made the exact same ad, as a way of saying: "Amnesty is so out of touch it seriously thinks you can change the world with an iPhone." Such clicktivism, where morally upstanding Westerners are invited to free downtrodden Third Worlders in the spare three seconds they get between tweeting about their new trainers and saying "LOL!!!" on Facebook, makes the old Amnesty modus operandi of writing and posting tear-drenched letters to evil foreign dictators seem like hard labour in comparison.
What Brendan O’Niell is describing is persistent the hobgoglin of the small mind – and it thinks a rubber wristband or a “Free Tibet” sticker will actually “Free Tibet.”

07 December 2011

Permanent Pre-Pubescence

All of our problems today come from trying to maintain an unsustainable form of social economy, and yet the moaners want more of what they think other people have.

Instead they resort to tortured logic:

In practice, liberalisation and austerity are making matters far worse. In Greece, Ireland and Portugal, adjustment packages imposed from the outside but with the collusion of domestic governments have resulted in sharp falls in economic activity, large rises in unemployment and painful social dislocation. Government deficits have risen.

Work by Research on Money and Finance and others has shown that the build-up of debt in peripheral economies was not the result of government profligacy. The fundamental cause has been diverging competitiveness between the economies of the periphery and those of the core, above all Germany. By heavily repressing the wages of its own workers, Germany ensured that there was no chance for peripheral economies to compete, locked as they were into monetary union and unable to devalue their currencies.
So if you don’t buy the line that it’s all the fault of people trying to take the giveaway monster, then at least blame Germans for “repression,”

AKA harmonizing their wages with the rest of the zone.
This divergence of competitiveness resulted in entrenched structural imbalances between core and periphery, leading to surpluses for Germany and deficits for others. These deficits in peripheral countries were matched by borrowing abroad resulting in accumulation of private and public debt. When the sub-prime crisis struck, public deficits soared as private liabilities were taken onto government books, tax revenues fell and social security payments rose.
Which is another way of trying to say that governments borrowed more because there was no income left to tax. This may be the first time any main-line European brain has thought of this concept. Too bad that the conclusion drawn isn’t the obvious one: that spending is too high. In fact the though is being used to prop up an even stranger and less plausible argument: that wages and prices should be fixed after the fashion of wartime America and corroded Marxist-Leninism, and that German wages should be structurally fixed higher for similarly simplistic social effects.

So if the European states are all hunters, without also mentioning the Dutch, the Germans should (for the sake of equality of outcome) set out unarmed. Nonetheless in the interest of public self-pity, even those they employ should imagine that they are Bambi in this scene.

As always, even the “austerity” of curtailing middle-class welfare by trying to get a grip on public service pensions, staff size, and the like is characterized as a political fascism:
As the eurozone crisis worsens, proposals to resolve it are becoming increasingly authoritarian. Two in particular are now widely advocated by commentators across the political spectrum. First, that technocratic governments should be installed to carry out necessary reforms in stricken economies. Second, that in the short-term the European Central Bank could halt the crisis, if only Germany could be persuaded to drop its opposition.
Hilariously, the Bundesbank’s only real position is to not lend for the sake of public spending, but only debt restructuring.

This, of course, cannot stand. There’s a political cadre to fund, and votes to buy at a tense, critical time. The really funny part is that the same Germany that it is imagined could be compelled to go naked in order to clothe her neighbors is now a straw-man synonymous with “the bosses”, like the purposely misunderstood “1%” of the Occupy Wall Street complex of economic illiteracy, demonization and ignorance.

How far do you get saying “you’re just plain evil because of who you are – now buy me lunch and give me your shoes” ?

06 December 2011

Just Thinking Inside the Box, Here...

I’ve got an idea... let’s deindustrialize and impoverish western civilization on an unproven theory so that we can try to drop the worlds mean temperature by 0.6 degrees!

05 December 2011

Money Chasing Too Few Instruments, and the Senile Continent

Spengler’s take is direct and plausible. While Europeans enjoy blaming the US financial crisis for their woes, one wonders why they were invested in it to begin with? It’s simple:
The aging pensioners of Europe and Asia must find young people to pay interest into their pensions, and they do not have enough young people at home. Germans aged 15 to 24, on the threshold of family formation, comprise only 12% of the country's population today and will fall to only 8% by 2030. But one-fifth of Germans now are on the threshold of retirement and half will be there by mid-century.
There’s an echo of what the “occupists” don’t get as well. If they’re young and mad, and don’t want to tell themselves just who it is who have the wealth they want to take, why don’t they just come out and say “eat the old” instead of “eat the rich”? Well, aside from it not being as politically useful, they only understand the red leftist recreational fisting chants that have been trained into them.
The monster is not the financial system, crooked and stupid as it may have been. The monster is the burgeoning horde of pensioners in Germany and other industrial countries. It is easy to change the financial system. The central banks can assemble on any Tuesday morning and announce tougher lending standards. But it is impossible to fix the financial problems that arise from Europe's senescence. Thanks to the one-child policy, moreover, China has a relatively young population that is aging faster than any other, and China's appetite for savings vastly exceeds what its own financial market can offer.

There is nothing complicated about finance. It is based on old people lending to young people. Young people invest in homes and businesses; aging people save to acquire assets on which to retire. The new generation supports the old one, and retirement systems simply apportion rights to income between the generations. Never before in human history, though, has a new generation simply failed to appear.
Tax rthe old? Sure – you try saying that, #OWS spuds!
The world kept shipping capital to the United States over the past 10 years, however, because it had nowhere else to go. The financial markets, in turn, found ways to persuade Americans to borrow more and more money. If there weren't enough young Americans to borrow money on a sound basis, the banks arranged for a smaller number of Americans to borrow more money on an unsound basis. That is why subprime, interest-only, no-money-down and other mortgages waxed great in bank portfolios.

America's financial market could not produce enough pork chops, so the Europeans bought Spam and scrapple. America's rating agencies assured them that derivatives created from subprime mortgages, second-lien mortgages and other dubious parts of the pig were the equivalent of pork chops, and foreign investors wolfed them down.

04 December 2011

#Europeans Call in the B52!

If you take the traditional definition of terror to mean that a minute coterie cause doubt, indecision, confusion, and a lack of knowing what to do, the past two years of European economic dithering, fake summiteering, and public announcements have amounted to a form of economic terrorism. In fact all it has always been about has been the Europeans unwillingness to do anything for one another, and childishly hoping other people’s resources will save them from themselves.

Whenever Europe can't make its mind up the United States is called in, Fernando Sobral complains in the business paper Jornal de Negócios:
"Europeans are always criticising how culturally backwards the US is, but when the moment of truth arrives they adore Uncle Sam. ...

Now the time has come to ask for help, however it's not General Custer's cavalry we need but some of those B52 bombers to drop dollar parcels on Europe. A Europe that is unable to persuade the ECB to fork out the money it needs. The Fed has no qualms like puritanical Europe. ... It puts money into circulation without getting nightmares about inflation. The fed has the 'hard power' the ECB lacks. The ECB is increasingly a bank with plastic money, that can be moulded to suit Germany's wishes.

Those who say Germany's hands are tied because of its constitution should bear in mind that when Helmut Kohl pushed ahead with German reunification he didn't spend too much time looking at the accounts. His political impetus carried the economy along with it. Europe is different: it's afraid of its own shadow and still dancing on a volcano."

- Fernando Sobral, writing in Jornal de Negócios (Portugal)

Their problems stem largely from the problem of imagining what the state can do to compensate for a population that largely prefers to try a to see how little it can do to get more out of society than it puts into it. The effect of wanting the state to tend to all and sundry, whether they have any need or not, has been that despite seizing half the GNP in an array of tax streams governments needed to borrow unsustainable amounts of money to serve it’s constituencies: the public sector feeding off of the population, and a large portion of the population expecting too much from others (whom they imagine can afford it and don’t mind.)

Now, through the IMF they seek more resources for their palliative care from abroad, in particular from a United States that has its’ own garden to tend right now. America’s only motivation to play along is to try and stop the chill on the neck of the global economy (and thus her own) caused by #Europe’s entrenched begging masses in need of more government cheese.

Arrogantly, they assume that they can actually call in that air strike. Expect complaints at the terms for having the slightest doubts in their ability to make good, and carping about what little will be asked for in return.

03 December 2011

I Want Mo Free Stuff!

Greater Berlin is a Federal State in Germany. Due to recent elections and what must now seem like a bad headache, few of its’ legislators are from the “Pirate Party”. Having published their platform, I can say that it’s typically European, despite their onetime oevre as a sort of tech-fixated quasi-Libertarians, they are neither quasi- nor libertarian. Their platform can be summarized in two phrases:

I Want Mo Free Stuff!
I’m going to demand things that already exist!

The rest of it involves institutionalized theft of intellectual property rights, and a distinct lack of awareness that no-one washes a rental car.

02 December 2011

For those of You Wanting to Join the “Meter High” Club

Not brave enough for the “Mile High Club”? Go through your very own pre-flight checklist, and in the perfect place to distribute disease worldwide by using the SleepBox™©.

It might even inspire an art movement, not to mention low humor having something to do with Doctor Who. As an additional “revenue center”, in major European cities as well as San Francisco, a conveniently located vending machine will be offering ruminating pastoral livestock for short term rentals. You know, just to express sympathy for the Greeks.

So have a blast, chicharonne.

01 December 2011

Nothing Says Euro-Governance like...

...good old fashioned operant conditioning.