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ATW FRIDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX

By Pete Moore On May 6th, 2011 at 7:44 pm

Because Friday night’s Music Night: He don’t need no stinkin’ band -

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ATW OPEN THREAD

By Pete Moore On May 6th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Been a slow news week then. Have yourselves an open thread.

House rules are in order – play nicely.

EURO FAILS, GREECE BAILS?

By Pete Moore On May 6th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

“Stability” is what the Euro was all about. The Euro would bring “stability”, as if economies, productivity and growth ever need it. Twelve years after the introduction of the Euro and one year after the IMF went into Greece, SPIEGEL ONLINE tells us -

The debt crisis in Greece has taken on a dramatic new twist. Sources with information about the government’s actions have informed SPIEGEL ONLINE that Athens is considering withdrawing from the euro zone. The common currency area’s finance ministers and representatives of the European Commission are holding a secret crisis meeting in Luxembourg on Friday night.

Followed by some statist/banker blather.

Come on Stavros, you know you wanna do it. Look up to Iceland. The banksters told them their country would be ruined, they told the banksters to get stuffed. Now the great Icelandic people are on the road to recovery. Repatriate your gold, default on the debt (you must anyway), replace the Euro with the Drachma or something else and keep it sound. Most of all do it very, very soon; Rhodes is a jewel of the Aegean and I quite fancy a return trip so do your best to make it cheap.

JOCKS AWAY?

By Pete Moore On May 6th, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I see the Scottish Nationalists have won an outright majority north of Hadrian’s Wall. This clears the way for a referendum vote on seperating from the United Kingdom, assuming Alex Salmond isn’t having one of those “oops, now what?” moments. Oh joy, just what everyone wants: a fervour built on cartoon history dredging up the polluted memory of William Wallace and a kicking in Glasgow for anyone English.

In the event of a referendum I’d suggest that Scots think twice before hailing Connery-over-the-Water and reaching for the saltire. “Independence” would mean only more direct rule from Brussels and Scotland having to bear the cost of its bloated welfare state. Scotland cannot afford that, so bang goes free univeristy places, prescriptions and everything else the dreaded sassenach is forced to stump up for.

Given the cost of bailing out the Scottish banks a couple of years ago, if the English taxpayer were to take out their value upon independence then either Scotland or those banks would be bust too. Hello independence, Ireland here we come. Despite reality intruding on the Scottish nationalist/socialist fantasy I suspect independence would lead pretty swiftly to calls for Scotland to become a republic too. A prediction too far? Not at all. Once these things are in train they can lead anywhere and the drive for independence is one accompanied with a republican tinge. If Scots want to become a dreary, bankrupt republic ruled from Brussels with declining living standards to look forward to then Alex Salmond is their man.

ATW QUOTE OF THE DAY

By Pete Moore On May 6th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Why don’t we restrict votes to people who actually pay something into the system? No, I am not suggesting a return to property-based eligibility; although that system worked quite well when Parliament administered not just Britain but most of the world. Today, income would be a much better test, setting the bar as low as possible; perhaps including everyone who pays at least £100 of income tax each year.

That minimal requirement would include everyone who gets out of bed in the morning to go to work and could easily be extended to include, on grounds of fairness, several other groups [...] This modest proposal would, however, exclude large numbers of people who have no ‘skin in the game’ and who may even comprise the majority of voters in some metropolitan areas today. Their contribution is not just negative in financial terms – they take out more than they put in – but likely to be damaging to the decisions taken by democracies.

- Ian Cowie, Daily Telegraph

Quite a splendid idea. I’d go for the property-based system myself, as some might recall. That ability to grasp your tangible stake in the future well-being of the land and all that, it’s all a bit more permenent than a moveable price set by the state. Still, it’d be a start and a great civilising force compared to the present “vote for us and we’ll give somone else’s money” based system.

Thawerapsaw, Gadda ge, Baie dankie, Ntyox teru’, Seé, Iyayraykere….

By Mike Cunningham On May 6th, 2011 at 9:33 am

I reckon Joanne would have liked to say ‘thank you’ to a few people.

Men such as the raiders of the United States SEAL team who found and killed Osama bin Laden. People such as the occupants of the CIA ‘safe house’ in that sleepy Pakistani town which was home to the Pakistani equivalent of West Point, or Sandhurst; the guys who actually helped determine whether the shadowy occupant of that well-protected building was the ‘most-wanted’ man in the whole world. Joanne would have liked to shake the hand of the head of the CIA Leon Panetta, and the secretive but steely people who work for that sometimes harshly-judged group, who organised the enhanced search teams upon a directive from his boss, President Obama. Joanne would have spoken kindly to the people who built and flew the helicopters which helped keep the secret of the attack until the last moment.

She might have liked to congratulate the President herself, but would have liked to have also congratulated his predecessor President Bush, because he commenced the tiny, very personal war which ended in the death of bin Laden.

I keep saying ‘would have’, or ‘might’; when writing of Joanne’s thoughts or actions in these days when at least one of America’s enemies has been given the last rites of his religion before being given a burial at sea: but all I can do but surmise. You see, I really don’t know how Joanne would have reacted to the news, but I like to think I have guessed right, because even truly gentle people have a right to get annoyed some time!

Meanwhile, back in the ‘Real’ world…

By Mike Cunningham On May 6th, 2011 at 8:48 am

Been driving recently? Been out for a long walk through scenic hills or moorlands? Done any running to get a little fitter? Ever wondered how the Channel Tunnel boys managed to meet in the middle less than six inches off track? Read of an amazing rescue by helicopter miles out to sea, with absolutely no land reference points to guide the pilot and navigator? Oil spill tracking, to animal migration habits, it is all done at the click of a mouse and the touch of a button; the mouse and buttons being of course connected to a G.P.S. (Global Positioning Satellite) receiver. You can track your exact location, within ten yards of course, at any place upon this Planet Earth, and the greatest thing about the American G.P.S. system is that once you have purchased your Tom-Tom, or Garmin or whichever of the dozens of systems available, there are no charges whatsoever! Amazing that! absolutely free to use. Fair enough, if you want more maps, or updated speed-camera lists, or whatever else, you may have to pay extra, but you still do not pay one penny towards the G.P.S. system itself. Free, like America is; free as the air we breathe!

So you might be asking yourself why you, as a British taxpayer, are paying into a huge money pot to launch thirty, that is twenty-seven plus three spare satellites, to serve as an alternative G.P.S. system? Because you, along with the other 350 million residents of the nations who make up the European Union, are doing exactly that. You, or rather the European Space Agency, on your behalf, are spending mind-boggling sums of money shovelling test-vehicles into orbit, and preparing to spend even more mind-bending sums of your cash on the launch rocketry, receiving stations and operating personnel; all so that Europe can say “We have one as well!” The boast of the Europeans, by the way, is that they will be making a profit; on an estimated total cost of £21 billion.

I bet you feel really proud right about now, don’t you?

One of my Favorites

By The Troll On May 6th, 2011 at 5:31 am

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SALT IS GOOD FOR YOU AFTERALL – WHOOPS!

By Pete Moore On May 5th, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Of course it is. It’s essential to life. Without salt our hearts wouldn’t beat and our brains wouldn’t function (clearly, Leftists long ago cut it from their diets). At last, it seems, those “experts” are finally beginning to realise the War on Salt is demented.

One caveat: make it sure it’s the good stuff and none of that cheap, bleached, grainy rubbish. The best, of course, is Maldon Sea Salt, harvested in the great and ancient county of Essex. Just look at that flaky goodness below. Every good housewife should have it in her kitchen.

The Incompetence that matters

By The Troll On May 5th, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Besides the circus that Obama’s incompetence has made out of what could have been his administrations best unifying accomplishment, the killing of OBL. That incompetence is just laughable and filler compared to the damage caused by his real incompetence.

“New claims for state jobless benefits rose 43,000 to 474,000, the highest since mid-August, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists had expected claims to fall.”

Every week for the last two years over 400,000 NEW unemployment claims have been filed. The U.S. is in the middle of the second great depression. 20.3% of the American workforce is either unemployed or under employed. In the last 2 years the only time the unemployment numbers have droped is when a large group has fallen off the rolls, because their 99 weeks of unemployment have run out.

1 in 7 Americans is on foodstamps. Growth in the food stamp program appeared to reach a plateau in February — with 14.3% of the population relying on the safety net program. The number of food stamp recipients was essentially flat in February, the most recent month available, with 44.2 million Americans receiving benefits, according a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The price of a gallon of gasolene has risen from $1.85 to $4.00 over the last 24 months. 

Dollar tumbles to 3-yr low

NEW YORK, May 4 (Reuters) – The dollar slumped to a three-year low against major currencies on Wednesday and its outlook darkened further as surprisingly soft economic data underpinned expectations that U.S. interest rates will remain low this year.

The greenback also fell to a record low against the Swiss franc and against the yen fell below 80.50, the lowest level since major central banks intervened to weaken the Japanese currency on March 18.

Even the Mexicans are getting worried

Mexico has quietly purchased nearly 100 tons of gold bullion, as central banks embark on their biggest bullion buying spree in 40 years.

The purchase, reported in monthly data published by Mexico’s central bank, is the latest in a series of large gold buys by emerging market economies intent on diversifying reserves away from the faltering US dollar.

This is the REAL incompetence of President Barry’s Administration. and what is this goofball proposing to do to help alleviate the problem.

The Obama administration has floated a transportation authorization bill that would require the study and implementation of a plan to tax automobile drivers based on how many miles they drive.

The plan is a part of the administration’s Transportation Opportunities Act, an undated draft of which was obtained this week by Transportation Weekly

News of the draft follows a March Congressional Budget Office report that supported the idea of taxing drivers based on miles driven.

Among other things, CBO suggested that a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax could be tracked by installing electronic equipment on each car to determine how many miles were driven; payment could take place electronically at filling stations.