Not Working

Here’s an interesting little snippet:

Britain is in the grip of a violent crime wave as thugs run riot on mopeds and motorbikes. Shocking figures released yesterday show the armed thieves are striking more than 60 times every day. In a chilling illustration of the crisis, a young woman was fighting for her life last night after her mobile was snatched by moped-riding thieves. And a motorcycle gang targeted yet another luxury store in London on Tuesday. In Birmingham, a masked gang rammed a car in broad daylight before smashing the driver’s window with a machete and hammer. And masked attackers targeted Michael McIntyre when they stole his £15,000 Rolex.

So, my British friends:  how’s that “no handguns in private ownership” thing working out for you, then?

And for all those idiots who start wailing about the horrors of “pitched gun battles in the streets”, allow me to ask how that’s so much different from what’s happening to you now? Other than the fact that almost all the victims are innocent people, not criminals?

I wonder why we don’t have the “moped-gang” problem in Texas.  Oh yeah, that’s right:  we carry guns, and the bad guys know it.  And as a bonus, we don’t have pitched gun battles in the streets — except of course when the criminals start having wars over drug turf in their own neighborhoods, which doesn’t count because it’s a self-canceling problem.

We certainly don’t have mass stabbings in our streets, because — oh wait!  we carry guns, and the bad guys know it.  (And yes:  I know the latter story comes out of Australia.  Where they too aren’t allowed to own handguns.)

Strange how that all works out.

Trendy

A new Nordic lifestyle trend has encouraged people to strip down to their underwear when they get home and drink as a form of relaxation.
‘Päntsdrunk’ is a self-care phenomenon that encourages ‘a path to solitary relaxation, recovery and self-empowerment to help you face your future challenges,’ according to a book entitled Päntsdrunk: The Finnish Path to Relaxation.

Hanging around the house in yer undies, drinking booze… round here, that’s called “Every Day”, and we’ve been doing it for decades.  Glad it’s finally been recognized for the important custom that it is.

 

Anarchy In Britishland

Why do I giggle like a little girl when I read stories like this one?

Villagers are praising a fire that destroyed an ‘archaic’ toll booth that charged drivers 12p in cash only to cross the Manchester Ship Canal and caused frustratingly long traffic queues. Warburton bridge toll booth is suspected to have been reduced to ash by an arsonist who became fed up of waiting waiting to cross the bridge.

But wait!  The powers-that-be are not taking this lying down:

The booth’s owners, Peel Ports, are planning to replace the destroyed structure with a more modern toll.

…and I hope this one gets torched as well, especially if it’s an expensive modern one.  For a 12p (50c) toll?  FFS.

Anyone remember the spate of vandalism directed at speed cameras in Britishland a couple years back?  I do:

When Gummint has to put up cameras to catch the people who are vandalizing cameras, that’s when we’ll know we’re winning.

In the meantime back here in Murka, we can just fall back on the old (hypothetical, that is) question of whether one should use a rifle or shotgun instead of playing with matches;  and if a rifle, what caliber?  Myself, I tend to favor the .45-70 Government, but I’m prepared to listen to other suggestions.

“The Free Ride Is Over. It’s Time To Pack Your Bags.”

Thus spoke Italy’s new Minister of the Interior, addressing Italy’s migrant population.  I have to say that I’ve been fascinated by the recent elections in Italy — it’s been quite Trump 2016-like, with populism, anti-illegal immigration and all the pearl-clutching horror from all corners of the political establishment that the stupid voters could possibly have elected so monstrous a couple of parties, the Liga (League) and the 5-Star Movement.  Both parties campaigned hard against what they see as the ruin of Italy caused by “foreigners” (migrants and the EU).

Yeah, screwing up Italy should be left to the Italians.  Their track record in this regard has been exemplary.

In fact, the only difference between 2018 Italy and 2016 U.S. is the Italian voters’ outright hostility towards the EU’s control of the Italian economy (and they have a point) — which was only exacerbated by the outright threats of the EU government towards the new government (see below).

But support for the election results has been pretty much universal in Italy:

Offering the new government cautious support was Italy’s small, far-right neo-fascist CasaPound party, which held its own Republic Day commemoration on Saturday. Banners featured images of a crossed-out EU flag and ‘#exIT’ written underneath, a reference to calls for Italy to leave the 28-nation bloc.

That, in fact, was what caused the political establishment to end their attempts to overturn the election results:  a new election, from what I can understand, would have  turned into a de facto  referendum on continuing Italy’s membership in the European Union — and it’s quite clear that this scenario was frightening enough, and the “#exIt” outcome likely enough that the U.S.-style “Resistance” to the election outcome collapsed.  Here’s the background to all of this:

The latest manifestation of this battle of wills between an authoritarian Brussels and individual nations trying to uphold democracy came this week with a set of extraordinary events in Italy.
After national elections in March, Italian voters committed themselves to what to the EU elite is the ultimate heresy. They voted in their millions for politicians who said they were prepared to abandon the European single currency.
The result was that two populist parties, the League and the Five Star Movement, came together to try to form a government.
There is little surprise that the Italian people are increasingly fed up with EU membership. Italy has struggled since adopting the euro currency 18 years ago.
Deprived of the ability to manage its own economy, there has been no cumulative economic growth since then.
In recent years, Brussels has imposed unelected technocrats to run the Rome government with savagely austere economic policies. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs.
Most outrageously, European commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the crisis would teach Italians not to vote for ‘populist’ parties next time.
Without a shred of evidence and in a manner akin to those behind Project Fear in the run-up to the EU referendum in the UK, he said menacingly that the financial markets would punish Italy and that votes for anti-EU candidates risked destroying the Italian economy.
In other words, if Italians do not vote the ‘right’ way the next time they go to the polls, they will be punished.

I’ve often thought that if the EU were to collapse, it would be because the Germans got sick of supporting the rest of Europe and went home.  I was wrong.  What started (and was crushed by Germany) in Greece has spilled over into Italy, and the Italians don’t seem to be in a mood to be bullied.  (I was also wrong about getting tough on illegal immigration.  I always thought it would be the French who would start — or at least threaten —  mass deportations.)

This is big news.  It’s the first time since the establishment of the EU — and all its forerunners — that a genuinely populist party (or coalition of populist parties, in this case)  has been elected in Western Europe.  (It’s akin to Britain’s UKIP winning a general election.)

Like the Italians, I don’t buy the threats of global financial collapse.  For one thing, the Italian economy isn’t big enough to cause it, and the only “downside” would be if Italy’s solo efforts cause the euro — the single currency union — to collapse because other countries (e.g. Greece) follow suit.

Someone pass the popcorn.  This will be interesting.  And Viva Italia!

HERESY!!!

Does anyone see anything strange about this pic?

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you.  A Japanese whisky just won the “world’s best” award — a Japanese single malt, withal.

Those of you who consider me to be a diehard traditionalist — and there may be a smidgen of evidence here or there to support your judgment — might expect me to start fulminating about such an occurrence, much as the French freaked out about a Californian wine winning best of show (as seen in the outstanding movie Bottle Rocket).

Well, forget that stuff.  Excellence is excellence, and it’s clear (from this account anyway), that the Japanese have worked out how to make fine whisky:

The essential difference between the classic whiskies of Scotland and those of Suntory is the type of barrels used for the ageing process. Single malts from Scotland are aged in a wide array of barrels, mostly made of French or American oak that were previously used to age sherry or Kentucky bourbon. The single malts picked up the residual essence and flavourings from the barrels, which added character to their respective flavour profiles.
The whiskies of Suntory have a distinctively Japanese touch, as only mizunara oak is used to age them and the resulting Japanese whiskies are a harmonious reflection of the place they’re from, with a purity of the sum of the ingredients and the skill of the artisans at Suntory.

The story behind Nikka whisky is equally fascinating (see the link above), and I have to tell y’all, I’m going to sample some as soon as Ye Olde Booze Allowance permits it.  The Nikka Yoichi single runs over $80 / bottle, from what I can see, and the low-end Suntory Hakushu just over $60.  Both seem worth a shot, so to speak.  (The “world’s best” stuff costs about the same as 25-year-old Macallan — i.e. way too spendy, so forget that.)

      

If they taste like drain cleaner, well, at least I tried.  If I like either of them, however, you may want to short the stock of Glenmorangie…

Japanese whisky:  who’d a thunk it?

Streets Of London

“Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London;  I’ll show you something that’ll make you change your mind.”

Thus sang Ralph McTell in his hauntingly-mournful song back in the 1970s.  Modern-day London seems to be equally tragic:

London’s violent crime epidemic appears to show no sign of ending after another spate of brutal violence gripped the capital.

  • Man, 45, arrested on suspicion of murder 2.32am after woman, 28, [stabbed to death] in Brent
  • At 8.34pm, officers were called to Brent where man was shot with ‘machine gun’
  • Police were called to Deptford at 8.10pm where a 23-year-old man was stabbed
  • Just over a mile away another man was stabbed in Brent at around 10.20pm
  • At 3.36am a 27-year-old man was arrested in Old Kent Road after a third stabbing

Of course, the “machine gun” description will turn out to be false;  after all, machine-guns are banned in Britishland so that’s just not possible.

Then again, we have this little incident:

Follow the link for the full story.  Good grief.  I’m all for carrying knives on one’s person — I have two in my pockets as we speak — but sheesh… that’s a little (shall we say) aggressive.

I know that Dallas isn’t London (thank goodness), but I can’t help but think that people like our angry cyclist might be a little more restrained if they suspected that the guy in the car might be packing a .357 revolver… just a thought.