Sometimes I fear for us all. In an otherwise-interesting article on the world’s “vanishing countries” which talks about how China’s population growth is slowing, we also see examples of foolishness such as this:
China is relaxing its one-child policy — but it may be too late. In addition to lacking workers, a fifth of China’s homes are empty, reported Bloomberg news — more than 50 million apartments and houses have no inhabitants.
Fertile countries have a far brighter future. They are a good place to invest your money, said Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor and demographic “prophet” who died in February.
“You will find an emerging China in Africa,” he told the BBC in a final interview. “Go there to invest if you want to earn money, if you want to have nice pensions when you retire, place part of your capital there because there you will see fast growth.”
Clearly, Rosling never set foot on the African continent, where there’s never been a shortage of workers, only a shortage of honest government. Allow me to revise his statement for you:
“Go invest in African countries if you want to lose money, if you want to have no pensions when you retire, and place part of your capital there if you want to see fast growth in African politicians’ bank accounts and not in yours, and to see no tangible results from your investment.”
That’s the reality of investing in Africa.
It reminds me of that old, withering observation: “Your suggestion is so stupid, so devoid of commonsense and logic that it could only have been made by an academic or intellectual.” (Note that the latter two are not synonymous.)
And these are the people who are regarded as the intelligent ones, who advise governments and tell us how to run our lives.
Not that I need to belabor the point, but any “free” government health service is going to cost you. In almost every such case, it’s when Gummint decides that you’ve had enough. Here’s one from Britain’s NHS:
A hero RAF rear gunner who evaded capture by the Nazis in 1942 after being shot down over Belgium has been told to sell his house to pay medical bills as he has ‘survived too long’.
(I have to warn you that if you read that whole story, you ought to remove all throwable objects and guns out of reach — and even more so for the next one.)
Over in oh-so caring Europe comes this horrifying story:
Dutch authorities are prosecuting a doctor for euthanising an elderly woman with dementia in the first case of its kind since the practice was legalised in 2002.
The doctor, who was not named, has been charged with secretly drugging the woman’s coffee with Dormicum to make her drowsy and asking her family to hold her down as she was lethally injected in a care home in The Hague in 2016.
Whilst the 74-year-old patient was receiving the lethal injection she woke up and began fighting the doctor.
(I should also point out that the Dutch doctor was a woman, which somehow just makes it worse.)
I know, I know: “Oh, that could never happen over here in the U.S.” — until it does. When to comes to money, every government will eventually resort to violence; try to find someone who has ever dealt with the I.R.S. over an unpaid tax liability, and not felt threatened by the experience. You won’t.
Here’s a statement by hapless KrautPM Angela Merkel (no link, it’s CNN fuck ’em):
German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned a “worrying” resurgence of anti-Semitism in Germany, including a rise in violence attacks, and appealed for a defense of liberal democratic values and institutions.
…and here’s Insty’s QOTD:
“Weird how when you import a bunch of anti-Semites you get more antisemitism.”
I see that a bunch of Brit pantywaist MPs are shocked — shocked! — that celebrity rightwinger Tommy Robinson wants to come over to the U.S. and they’re doing something about it:
Robinson, a founder and former member of the far-Right group the English Defence League, has been invited to speak at an event in Washington later this month.
He is understood to be waiting for authorisation under the U.S.’s ESTA system before embarking on the trip, which opponents fear could open up new sources of funding for his campaigns.
A cross-party group of MPs has now written to the Trump’s administration’s Mike Pompeo, head of the U.S. State department, insisting Robinson should not be allowed to use the trip to ‘promote his violent and extremist agenda’.
Once again, stupid fucking Brit politicians demonstrate that they know nothing about our political system. You see [he explained patiently] we have this thing called the “First Amendment” to our Constitution which explains quite clearly that if someone wants to suggest that allowing hordes of radical Muslim assholes into a country is not A Good Thing, then he can go right ahead and say it.
In fact, if Pompeo accedes to their pathetic little complaint, I would suggest that he needs a kick in the balls and should be given some remedial study of said Constitution. (I can’t imagine that he would even listen to these morons let alone stop Robinson from coming in, but stranger things have happened.)
I can’t get up to D.C. to see Robinson in action, but I await the inevitable video of his speech with bated breath. (I bet it turns out to be quite innocuous, in American terms anyway.)
Fucking Brit politicians are all a bunch of timorous neo-totalitarians, regardless of party — and if Pompeo is going to ban anyone from coming over here, it should be these fifty MPs, for attempting to stifle freedom of speech. Now that I’d get behind.
Longtime Readers will know that I am often scornful of modern architecture on these here pages, but I have to admit that occasionally some light does shine through the gloom. Here’s one example from, of all places, Shanghai, where somebody decided to put a played-out quarry to good use. Before:
…followed by a night-time shot:
We could use a few of those Over Here. Gawd knows we have enough quarries and de-topped mountains (e.g. in Kentucky, eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Montana, to name but a few) which would support a decent-sized chain called (say) Quarry Hotels, Inc.
And if we’re not going to use the quarries for any other purpose (e.g. to bury all the dead socialists after The Glorious Day)…
Here’s a Vegan-Goes Crazy story from… Italy?
A 48-year-old Italian vegan has been ordered to pay her mother compensation after threatening to kill her for making traditional Bolognese meat sauce.
The smell of one of Italy’s most cherished dishes — ragù — was enough to set off a domestic disturbance that ended with the mother being threatened with a kitchen knife, a court heard.
Newly unemployed, the daughter had recently moved back in with her mother, who cooked in the typical tradition of rezdore, as housewives are called in the local Emilia Romagna dialect.
One of the signature dishes of every rezdore is Bolognese meat sauce, slow simmered for hours using a variety of meats including diced prosciutto cured ham, ground beef and sometimes chicken livers, then served over pasta or polenta.
Lawyers for the mother, who asked not to be named, said the family dynamic had degenerated due to irreconcilable conflicts over the mother and daughter’s different food cultures — the former heavy in butter, cream and meat, the latter exempt of all animal products.
The daughter told a court she’d long had “no sensory nor olfactory contact” with animal products before moving back in with her mother, for whom the rich, red meat sauce was standard fare.
Lawyers said there had been an escalation of aggressive episodes – always over food — before the threat that triggered the complaint.
Exasperated by the smell of meat sauce simmering for hours in the small apartment they shared, the daughter grabbed a knife and threatened to take matters into her own hands.
“If you won’t stop on your own then I’ll make you stop. Quit making ragù, or I’ll stab you in the stomach,” she said, according to the mum’s civil complaint.
Justice of Peace Nadia Trifilò sentenced the woman to pay a €400 court fine and ordered €500 be paid in compensation to her 69-year-old mother.
The case, argued in the Modena tribunal and reported by the local Gazzetta di Modena newspaper, stems from an argument that escalated out of control in March, 2016.
After failing to reach a peaceful mediation of the dispute over the last two years, the judge closed the case ruling in favour of the mother, ordering fines.
And this happened originally in 2016? It’s just like Bill Sitwell and I said: they’re getting out of control.
By the way, am I the only one who started to salivate at the description of that Bolognese sauce?