March 2011

28 March 2011
The Libertarian case for intervention in Libya - and I thought I was the only one. …link
27 March 2011
Croziervision paraphrase of the day

Niall Ferguson (or as close as I can recall) on Civilisation: Is the West History?:

“What you have to remember that in those days racism was cutting edge and was bought into just as readily as some people today buy into the theory of man-made climate change.”


Recession Thought

Assuming I’m right and the economy is headed for a hell of a collapse then the absolute best thing the government could do would be to abolish employment laws.  The easier it is for employers to employ people the more the people will be able to get jobs and the less bad the depression will be.

23 March 2011
Harrowing tales from North-East Japan

If you are feeling worryingly happy, as if life’s going just a bit too well; Top Tip: switch over to NHK’s tsunami coverage.  That will solve your over-exuberance in an instant.  While our MSM is beginning to pack up its bags, Japan’s journalists have no choice.  So we get gems like:

  • The mother who told her daughter to “run over there” only to see her swept away.
  • The old woman who returns to where her house once was to find that her only recoverable possession was a solitary shoe.
  • The woman who all very sensibly toddled along to the disaster shelter.  The tsunami flooded the shelter almost up to the ceiling.  She only survived by clinging on to a curtain rail.  Almost everyone else in the shelter died.
  • The model tsunami defence system that took 30 years to build and turned out to be completely useless.
  • The hospital which flooded up to the fourth floor (of five).  Two thirds of the occupants died.

I’ve just seen a piece on the convenience store, Lawson’s attempts to stock their shops in the disaster zone.  They can produce the stuff but can’t get it there.  The roads are out and the airplanes are full.  At the other end I’ve heard stories that the banking system is up the spout so no one has any money to pay for this stuff anyway.

In comparison, the news from the Fukushima nuclear plant - by the way, as best as I can work out Fukushima means “Happiness Island” (I jest not) - is good.

The combined confirmed death and missing toll is now about 18,000.  Just by way of comparison the British death toll on the first day of the Somme was 19,000.

20 March 2011
Wholemeal bread

I always thought the fad for wholemeal bread was a new thing.  Apparently not:


More than that - it is a cure for constipation and its attendant evils and will do more to maintain health than all the medicines ever sold.


From The Times 20th March 1911.

19 March 2011
Lew Rockwell’s piece on why “we” shouldn’t intervene in Libya



Didnt’ like it.

Why’s that?

Not quite sure.  Too many assertions I guess.  Also, it says nothing about individual rights.  Let me explain.  As, indeed I have before.  I, as an individual, have the right to defend myself.  I also have the right to defend others.  So, presumably, I have the right to defend Libyans against Gadaffi’s forces.  And, indeed, anti-Gadaffi forces should they prove to be less savoury than we have so far tended to think.

Actually, all this introduces a rather troubling idea.  If I am allowed to defend Libyans then I am allowed to run guns to them.  As indeed is my next-door neighbour.  But what if my next-door neighbour takes the view that the best way to defend Libyans is to support the Gadaffi forces?  This could get nasty.

Maybe this is one of the reasons we have states - to stop far-flung conflicts turning into civil wars on our doorsteps.

17 March 2011

I often see the expression “RBS [or whatever] is 83% [or whatever] owned by the government.”  But is that true?  What the government did (if I recall correctly) was to buy preference shares.  Now, to my mind preference shares are shares in name only.  They do not (Lord, let me be right on this) offer voting rights and so do not offer control.

What have I got wrong here?

Political correctness 1911-style

From the judge’s summing up in the Clapham Common murder trial:

People of certain nationalities, if they had a good case, because they were convinced that perjured evidence would be brought against them they, on their side, procured perjured evidence.  If the jury came to the conclusion that the alibi was false they must not judge it so strictly against the prisoner as they would if it had been produced by an Englishman.

Stinie Morrison was found guilty of the murder of Leon Beron and sentenced to death.

The Times, March 16 1911.

15 March 2011
My Perfect Cousin


Best line: His Ma bought him a synthesizer, brought the Human League into advise her.

This is particularly good because the record was released before the Human League were famous.  Or had even split.

Could this Japanese earthquake be a black swan event?

I mean Japan is going to collapse at some point so why not now?  My understanding is that the one thing propping it up is its inhabitants’ propensity for buying government debt.  But what if they no longer have the money?

Losing 25% of your electricity generating capacity.  That sounds a lot.

I think Paul Marks could be on to something with his style of writing. I wonder if it could work for me.

13 March 2011
Earthquake damage in a Tokyo library