Friday, May 31, 2013

The most important words ever written into law

The Magna Carta, Chapter 39:
No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers and by the law of the land.
For the first time in history the Rule of Law was placed before the Rule of Man.  In two weeks, the Magna Carta will celebrate it's 798th birthday. 

Eurozone unemployment rate hits 12.2% - Austerity blamed

The Eurozone's employment situation is getting worse, but they're blaming austerity?  Really?
The unemployment rate in the Eurozone hit a record 12.2% last month as the region continues to battle a lengthy recession triggered by austerity measures and debt problems in some key nations.
Joblessness has soared over the past two years as the 17-nation, single-currency region fell back into recession after the worldwide global slowdown that hit in 2008-2009.
The unemployment rate reached a new record in April after two months at the previous high of 12.1%, Eurostat, the region's statistical office, said Friday.
The rate was 11.2% one year earlier and has been climbing steadily since mid-2011.
This is austerity?  Maybe for Greece...

Eurostat makes it clear - spending is rising, not falling:

"Austerity," hah!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Socialist utopia Venezuela runs out of toilet paper

Yes, you read that right.  Venezuela has run out of TP
First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities – toilet paper. Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the government says it will import 50m rolls to boost supplies.

That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.  "This is the last straw," said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in Caracas. "I'm 71 years old and this is the first time I've seen this."

One supermarket visited by the Associated Press in the capital on Wednesday was out of toilet paper. Another had just received a fresh batch, and it quickly filled up with shoppers as the word spread. 

"I've been looking for it for two weeks," said Cristina Ramos. "I was told that they had some here and now I'm in line."
Of course the official obfuscators are blaming the shortage on anything other than regulatory problems.
Commerce minister Alejandro Fleming blamed the shortage of toilet tissue on "excessive demand" built up as a result of "a media campaign that has been generated to disrupt the country".
Ah, the famous destroy the country from within it's bathrooms campaign.  I recall when we used that in 1943 against the Germans.  err.   Really now, how shitty is your country when it doesn't foster a business environment capable of supplying basic necessities like food and toilet paper?  These shortages have been going on for years
DatanĂ¡lisis, a polling firm that regularly tracks scarcities, said that powdered milk, a staple here, could not be found in 42 percent of the stores its researchers visited in early March. Liquid milk can be even harder to find.

Other products in short supply last month, according to DatanĂ¡lisis, included beef, chicken, vegetable oil and sugar. The polling firm also says that the problem is most extreme in the government-subsidized stores that were created to provide affordable food to the poor.
The Venezuelan government is pretty damned hostile towards private business.  This story talks about the requirement that cattle ranchers obtain individual permits for every head of cattle.  Is it any wonder that the country lacks innovation driving competition, the competition provided by private enterprise, that keeps down prices and drives up quality?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

I thought this was a joke

But I guess I am still wearing my rose colored glasses afterall.
Attention Londoners: Big Bobby is watching.
That's the message of posters plastered along London's bus routes earlier this week to assuage riders' crime fears.
But the posters are having the opposite effect on privacy advocates, who say the artwork is creepily reminiscent of the all-seeing authority described in George Orwell's 1984.
The posters show a red double-decker bus crossing a bridge as four floating eyes stare down from the sky. The eyes' pupils are the symbol of Transport For London, the city's mass-transit provider.
"Secure beneath the watchful eyes," the poster says. "CCTV and Metropolitan Police on buses are just two ways we're making your journey more secure."
The eyes-in-the-sky imagery startled Perry de Havilland, who ran across one of the posters at a bus stop in his Chelsea neighborhood.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Florida has gone full retard

Florida is implementing a Nazi-esque report-discontent program, aimed at getting people to report on their neighbors or family members so the police can "knock on the door and ask if they are ok."  Yeah, that's what's going to happen.  Hitler is laughing at us in hell.
Florida House and Senate budget leaders have awarded Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw $1 million for a new violence prevention unit aimed at preventing tragedies like those in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., from occurring on his turf. 
Bradshaw plans to use the extra $1 million to launch “prevention intervention” units featuring specially trained deputies, mental health professionals and caseworkers. The teams will respond to citizen phone calls to a 24-hour hotline with a knock on the door and a referral to services, if needed.

Bradshaw is readying a hotline and is planning public service announcements to encourage local citizens to report their neighbors, friends or family members if they fear they could harm themselves or others.

The goal won’t be to arrest troubled people but to get them help before there’s violence, Bradshaw said. As a side benefit, law enforcement will have needed information to keep a close eye on things.

We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he’s gonna shoot him,” Bradshaw said. “What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, ‘Hey, is everything OK?’ ”
No, a complaint by your neighbor will end up with a SWAT team at your door and you and your family removed at gunpoint while armed men ransack your house and shoot your dogs.  Then you will be taken to a psychiatric ward for an evaluation, a mandatory 7 day commitment while they demand your wife show proof you weren't thinking about committing a crime.  I wonder if people will get paid for reporting neighbors?  Coming soon, to a town near you, Snitch-on-your-neighbor-and-earn-a-reward Programs!  What could possibly go wrong?
Americans have long maintained that a man's home is his castle and that he has the right to defend it from unlawful intruders. Unfortunately, that right may be disappearing. Over the last 25 years, America has seen a disturbing militarization of its civilian law enforcement, along with a dramatic and unsettling rise in the use of paramilitary police units (most commonly called Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT) for routine police work. The most common use of SWAT teams today is to serve narcotics warrants, usually with forced, unannounced entry into the home.

These increasingly frequent raids, 40,000 per year by one estimate, are needlessly subjecting nonviolent drug offenders, bystanders, and wrongly targeted civilians to the terror of having their homes invaded while they're sleeping, usually by teams of heavily armed paramilitary units dressed not as police officers but as soldiers. These raids bring unnecessary violence and provocation to nonviolent drug offenders, many of whom were guilty of only misdemeanors. The raids terrorize innocents when police mistakenly target the wrong residence. And they have resulted in dozens of needless deaths and injuries, not only of drug offenders, but also of police officers, children, bystanders, and innocent suspects.
 Another reason not to make mental health the litmus test for gun ownership.