The more it changes.. the more it stays the same

I can’t think of a topic I haven’t beaten to death, which is why posting has been pretty sporadic of late. That’s because people who simply refuse to use their brains insist they are fit for elected office, and because there are so many people who live in a fluffy pink la-la world, and think everyone else has to, too. I’m just trying to ignore them and hope they’ll go away.

For myself, I’m busy welding words together over a red hot keyboard, and have resurrected the ‘Stepdad’ Manuscript, which is a humorous but hopefully instructive treatise about my experiences as the stepfather of two teenage girls. Which I hope to release shortly in cut down form as an eBook.

Seeing as I have survived the experience with health and sanity relatively unimpaired, and seen them graduate with honours from university, I think that now qualifies me as an expert on the subject. Although if asked, “Have you the right qualifications?” I might respond “There aren’t any, now fuck off.”

Posting will be even lighter than usual because there’s a lot of fruit harvesting and processing to be done. More plums than I know what to do with, and the grape vines and blackberry bushes in our little back yard look like giving up a bumper harvest. Hunting season starts in September.

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So far, so – oops

Looking west across the the Pacific to Angry Exiles fabled homeland in Oz. In the wake of Standard & Poors downgrade of the USA’s credit rating (Horses mouth here), we hear the Australian State Treasurer say that Australia’s AAA credit rating will remain ‘safe’. Well yes, of course it will. Until they implement that half witted carbon tax that is. Although the Aussies are fighting back with a ‘Convoy of no Confidence‘ In fact 11 Convoys of no confidence. So far.

Guys, based on previous experience with countries that have lost the fabled triple A status, the financial dawn chorus informs me that it takes between 8-18 years of hard graft to get it back. That’s if the US starts tomorrow. Not that it will with the current incumbent in the White House, who was so busy with his birthday party he hadn’t noticed. Rome while fiddling burns springs to mind. (Flat pack Axiom from IKEA, may require some re-assembly)

Ian Plimer speaks

H/T This section of the ‘Norwegian model’ comments thread on Wattsupwiththat.com.

Sharia? Sure

Apparently there are a bunch of people not happy with the law in the UK. It seems they want their own, that everybody else has to comply with while in said areas. Okay, say I. No problem.

I would only say one thing in return; a lot of those demanding their own system of law and morality are dependent upon the largesse of the state. Perhaps if they want their own code of law, then they should expect to have no more money in ‘benefits’ or any other payment or service from the country they so reject. No housing benefit, no more child benefit, no NHS treatment, no protection from any state agency, and perhaps they might want to form their own Police, Fire Brigade, and council services.

Oh dear, isn’t that what they wanted?

Can’t have it both ways guys.

Some people never learn

Arms shipments to the Mujahideen in the ‘stan during the 1980’s and 90’s led to the Taliban regime and the current mess. It seems that Malcolm Rifkind has forgotten this tiny snippet.

Heavy sigh. It seems some people never learn.

Buy Canadian, buy ethical

Who’d a’thunk it? Ethical oil adverts. Web site here.

‘Dirty’ tar sands? Or ‘cleaning up the worlds biggest natural oil spill?’ You decide.

Home from away

Back home and back to work. Feeling pretty chipper despite having spent 24 hours in airports and aircraft less than 48 hours ago. Two good nights sleep and clean BC air have reset my body clock to a steady tick-tock instead of tick-pyoing!-pchoing!-hic-achoo-ping! like the last two weeks. Bouncing around time zones like a demented yo-yo is no fun at all. Throw in up to (And on one occasion over) ten hours driving a day for half of the trip, and you have an idea of how much fun I haven’t been having.

Why should that be? When not driving all I’ve been doing is eating, trying to sleep and sitting watching whatever televisual entertainment is available in hotel rooms, airports and aircraft. Which, not having TV at home is a novel experience. Although I often found myself desperately channel surfing for some reasonable content while waiting for everyone else to arrive / decide what to do. The BBC and Sky news continual vomiting of the same anaemic content every 20 minutes is less than edifying. I found their lack of depth annoying as ever.

I see that little has changed in the financial markets. The Eurozone is so far in debt that they’re inside some bizarre financial event horizon with no way out but some freakish quantum transdimensional shift. As is the US dollar. The Chinese have an impending property bubble, so they’re potentially in the same sort of fiscal doo-doo that the US and Eurozone are in. Shit, fan, incoming! There a gruesome inevitability to it all, like a slow motion train crash with full musical sound effects.

Elsewhere I’ve heard it said that the man accused of the Norwegian massacre has been described as a ‘Libertarian’. All I can say to that is; is he buggery. That is a foul slur, a monstrous calumny, and complete bollocks, but oh so very predictable. There are elements in the lamestream who don’t like online commentary that they cannot own, and therefore must demonise anyone associated with a certain section, by whatever means. Even if their assertions have about as much truth in them as a G type star has polar ice caps.

Still having a severe attack of schadenfreude over the News International affair. Which newspaper group ‘outed’ bloggers, costing people their jobs for no readily discernible reason? Oh yes. No sympathy. Kamikaze domestic fowl on approach, heading for perches (Evil snigger). Good.

Right. That’s enough smugness for now. Back to work.

Travel observation

Manchester airport; Terminal three.

Had to pass through on my way from one (Naturally closed, this being the UK) car hire office to another at a different terminal. I thought I’d sidestepped through a time warp into Qatar. Go look for yourself if you don’t believe me. I truly felt like a stranger in a strange land. In the country of my birth no less.

The following morning, the cab driver who took us to the airport seemed somehow relieved we were going to a different terminal.

Currently very relieved to be home despite the jet lag.

Citizenship and the EU

You know, I often find myself wondering about this. I’ve said before that as soon as I’m eligible I will apply for Canadian Citizenship, and this remains my intent. The question being; do I wish to remain a citizen of the UK, and thus a citizen of Europe? Will I want to maintain dual citizenship status? While I don’t, and have never really minded the notion of being a citizen of Europe, I don’t like the way a closed circle of unaccountable politicians and bureaucrats are taking it.

When a torrent of micro managing regulation goes onto the statute books without so much as a bye, leave, or thank you. Then I don’t want to be a citizen of the EU. If legislation can be cut and pasted from directives originating from within the undemocratic cancer that is the EU Commission without so much as a sneeze from the elected body. Then I don’t want to be a part of the European Union. When I watch the insane debt bubble looming over the countries that are part of the Euro, then I think I’d be better off not being a citizen of the EU.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Europe. All of it. I love most of the places, and most of the people I’ve met on my travels. Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Luxemburg, and yes, even Belgium. I’m sure a lot of Germans, Italians, French, Spanish, Dutch, Luxemburgers and Belgians feel exactly the same way.

There are things that are done far better in Europe than the English do. The TGV’s (Ironically, many engine and coach units built by British Manufacturers) that zip across France and Spain. Much more comfortable than flying. European Motorways, and I have many fond memories of French N and D routes. Airports.

My head is crammed with delightful European memories like the almost overpowering liquorice tinged smell of Basil on the road from Florence to Genoa. The dusty glory of a Tuscan summer. Champagne chilly cellar tours in Rheims, the dazzling brilliance of the Mont Blanc glacier on a sunny day. The dusty expanse of the Saarland and Rhine Valley in midsummer. Little family roadside restaurants off the beaten track. People who readily forgave my poor language skills, but didn’t mind so long as I made some effort (However awkward) to speak their language.

The sheer weight of european history and culture is tremendous and never less than impressive. Yet all that is good in Europe is slowly dying of bureaucratic poisoning. A stolid, boneheaded, ignorant top down political delusion that assumes one code of law will do for all. If it were general law, like don’t steal or don’t cheat, I’d be all for it, but what bugs me is the increasing micro management foisted upon the majority by vocal lobby groups. Chair polishing time wasters passing law after law without any real thought for the consequences. A system of governance that reduces the rights of the individual to whatever largesse an overweening state can be bothered to hand out. With every new piece of legislation the system becomes ever more inflexible.

To compare; in general terms of materials science, the stiffer a substance becomes, which mostly mean becoming more tightly grained, the more fragile and prone to shattering it becomes. So it is with law. The more constricting and inflexible law becomes, an increasing number of people keep will slamming into it until a social critical mass is reached, and something has to give. At that point either the edifice collapses under it’s own internal pressure, or enough people get together to form a hammer. As is happening right now throughout the Middle East at present where tired, inflexible regimes are cracking under the strain. The EU are interfering because that’s where most of their oil comes from. Yet their interference is actually making things worse.

For example; outside intervention is giving Gaddaffi’s main power base, his alliance of tribes something to rally against. Where he might have slunk off to Venezuela with a couple of billion in unmarked bills in times past, that door has been shut to him. With no exit strategy he has to fight. More Libyans will die because of it. All because of short sighted, posturing EU intervention. I do not support this, nor do I agree with what is happening within the EU. Not too chuffed about Canada being dragged in, but that’s NATO for you.

There is no course of remedial democratic action open to me. My UK MP is a buffoonish rubber stamp who does not care about his constituents views. My UK MEP is so remote and unaccountable that they might as well be located out in Lunar Orbit. Therefore I do not want to be a citizen of an enlarged EU.

At some time in the next three years I’m going to have to make a decision about citizenship. If, once a full citizen of Canada I renounce my citizenship of the UK, and thus Europe, if I get stuck in Europe for any legal reason I will always have the option of deportation back to my new home. Yet if I have dual citizenship, that choice might not be so readily open to me, and any protections I might have as a Canadian citizen might be somewhat diluted.

The Canadians look after their citizens, you see. The tacit constitutional contract between state and individual is largely intact over here. You have to really want citizenship, and therefore it’s not an easy road to travel. That is where its value lies.

Upon sober reflection I think I’ll have to plot this one through carefully. It has been said that those who wish to give up citizenship of the UK should undergo a psychiatric evaluation. But what is insane about wanting to renounce a country that has changed the terms and conditions of citizenship without consultation, leaves sizeable tranches of its populace effectively disenfranchised, where people can be imprisoned without trial, their families dismantled, yet has the effrontery to describe itself as ‘democratic?’

From where I stand at present, with no other door open to me, the renunciation of everything I was brought up to believe in may be the most potent protest I can lodge.

Oh dear

In the wake of the awful Norwegian massacre I’m quite disturbed to see a media blame fest shitstorm headed for so called ‘right wing fanatics’. A brush with which they wish to tar any and all political opponents. A broad brushstroke all encompassing accusation designed to discredit philosophical opponents.

You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if the phrase ‘right wing extremist’ becomes a far broader church than it already is. Anyone who blogs on the side of personal freedom may find themselves lumped in with the real nutters who think killing believers of whatever faith (political or otherwise) can murder ideas. Stalin tried it. Pol Pot tried it. Mao tried it, as did Hitler, and various Junta’s from both sides of the political spectrum. Are the ideas they wanted to kill dead? No. Weally? No shit, sherlock.

It may be that anyone may find themselves under scrutiny. Anyone who has, or run a business (Classic sign of a bloodthirsty ‘right wing maniac’, that), lost income, pension, or employment due to doctrine-led changes in legislation (Totally evil baby eating right winger there). Or maybe doesn’t ‘believe in global warming’ (Got to be one – dangerous right wing headcase). Anyone who even wandered into a church to admire the architecture must be a dangerous extreme christian fundamentalist who needs locking up. Perhaps those who have even openly wondered that the middle eastern conflict might not be all the fault of anyone even vaguely attached to the Jewish persuasion. Yes, they’re all as guilty as the man who pulled the trigger, even if they’d never heard of the assassin or had anything to do with the creed alluded to. We’re talking communal guilt here. Arrest them all!

As far as I’m concerned extreme left and right are simply two sides of the same coin; statist bastards who cause most of the trouble on this planet. They share this specific trait; they can’t let well enough alone. If they can’t get their own way they don’t care who they hurt. To me, they are equally repulsive, and to be avoided. Life is too short to waste time on them.

As someone whose politics veer mildly to the right of centre, and further toward the cause of personal liberty which is neither left nor right, I’m concerned. Concerned that anyone who speaks up for the rights of the individual over the state may find themselves, or even more sinisterly their family members, on some state / media sponsored ‘shit list’ as an ‘extremist’. Although as an expat, I’m hoping their attitude to me is; “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.” That’s fine by me because today my business affairs on the European side of the pond are concluded, and I’m on my way home to Canada. Back to BC, and God’s own country.

My take on it? The man who has admitted to the murders of Norwegian teenagers and Government officials will discover that trying to kill people who have a particular belief system will only polarise that belief system, and like the Islamists (and others) before him, find his murderous activities have rebounded against his espoused cause.

Expatriate expostulations from wherever; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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