So What?

Here’s one of those wealth-envy headlines which makes me want to load up the old AK-47 and take a day trip, not to the offices of the tax-avoiding corporations, but to the offices of the Daily Mail (and not for the first time either):

Big companies avoid £100billion a year in corporate tax thanks to ‘spider’s web’ of British offshore tax havens

  • Tax Justice Network ranked 64 countries on the tax avoidance they enabled
  • UK outsourced corporate tax haven game to ‘spider’s web’ of offshore territories
  • British Virgin Islands, followed by Bermuda and the Cayman Islands topped list
  • Network said UK bears the lion’s share of responsibility for the ‘breakdown of the global corporate tax system’

Looks like the Brits are finally doing something right, because anything that breaks down the so-called “global corporate tax system” can only be A Good Thing.

Reminder to the Daily Mail:

  • Tax avoidance means not paying unnecessary taxes according to the law
  • Tax evasion means not paying the taxes you legally owe.

Then again, if I’m going to be paying an AK-enabled visit to anyone, it should be to the offices of this “Tax Justice Network” crowd.  They seem like an evil bunch of assholes.

Food For Thought

One of the reasons I love reading C.W. Swanson’s excellent Timewaster  blog is that one many occasions, the pictures evoke a tangential thought from me.  Here’s one:

And I agree that it’s disgusting.  That fine machine gun needs to be mounted on a full-sized Murkin Ford F-150, not that lil’ Jap thing.

Here’s another:

I mean, that’s a pretty picture, for sure.  But am I the only one who thinks that nickel-plating the utilitarian Ruger SP101 is akin to gold-plating a Willys Jeep?

I think I’ve said before that I know a man who has nearly a dozen SP101 revolvers scattered around his domain:  bedroom, bathroom, toilet (!), garage, toolbox, glove box, basement, hall closet and what have you.  When I asked him why, his response was simple:  “They’ll always work, even if I haven’t cleaned them for five years.  And some of ’em, I haven’t.”

Can you imagine that shiny SP101 in a rusty, grungy old tackle box?

Who Knew?

We all know that Anthony Hopkins is a wonderful actor — but did anyone know that he was also a musical composer of some note?  Fifty years ago, he wrote a waltz, but was always afraid he’d be laughed at, thinking that it was no good.

He was wrong.

Some years ago, he asked pop orchestra leader André Rieu to see if he could play it — and Rieu heard it, loved it, scored it and played it last year at his annual concert in Maastricht, Belgium.

Enjoy.

And bravo, Sir Anthony.  If you’re going to be a one-hit wonder, it might as well be for this piece as any other. But he’s been writing music all his life — so encore, Maestro.

Taken Too Young

When I grow up, I want to be like the recently-deceased historian John Lukacs, who has often been labeled an “iconoclast” (i.e. someone who destroys icons and sacred cows).  I think John Willson’s description fits him perfectly:

“John Lukacs is well known not so much for speaking truth to power as speaking truth to audiences he senses have settled into safe and unexamined opinions.”

No better example was when Rudi Giuliani compared the spirit and endurance of 9/11 New Yorkers to 1940s-era Londoners, which the irritated historian called nonsense — he thought (with plenty of justification) that the Blitzed Londoners had had it far worse than New Yorkers.

In addition to all that, Lukacs was an unashamed fan of BritPM Sir Winston Churchill, which is yet another reason to respect him.  When pomo historians attempted to downplay Churchill’s wartime achievements, Lukacs shot them down like RAF Spitfires did Nazi Heinkels.

We need more historians like John Lukacs:  many, many more.  For those who want to read his stuff, I can absolutely recommend two works in particular:  Five Days In London and The Legacy of World War II.  I’ve read his Budapest: 1900 three times.

Lukacs was 95 when he died, so I have thirty years’ work to do, and I’m going to set myself a goal of reading a “new” Lukacs book (i.e. ones I haven’t already read) every six months.

Border Force

Now we’re talking:

At their talks in Budapest on Thursday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini agreed on the importance of strong nation states, on the need to give priority in Europe to European culture based on Christian values, and on border defence.
At a joint press conference held with Mr. Salvini – who is also head of the Italian government party Lega – Mr. Orbán said they both believe the following: that there will be no strong Europe without strong and successful nation states; that on the continent priority must be given to European culture based on Christian values; and that “Europe’s borders must be defended against the migrant invasion”.

I know it’s kinda unfashionable to talk about “European culture” and “Christian values” in this day and age, especially at the national level, but let’s hope they can do it.

Oh, and screw the EU, especially Old Commie Angela Merkel and Grab-A-Granny Emmanuel Macron.