Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hmm, I think you may have some trouble ...

Turkish PM fails to consider US First Amendment:

Turkey is to start extradition proceedings against US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. Mr Gulen, a former ally of the prime minister, has been accused by Mr Erdogan of using his supporters to try to topple him. The cleric denies mounting a campaign against him. Turkey's government has faced a string of corruption scandals and rights groups accuse it of authoritarianism. Speaking at parliament after meeting with deputies from his Justice and Development Party (AKP) party on Tuesday, Mr Erdogan confirmed the extradition process "will begin", reports say.
Given that the Turks have "cancelled his passport" (Reuters), it is going to see how they construct a set of charges that won't simply be laughed out of any US court.

Russian re-writes of history.

Russian Foreign Minister, 2014:

This is a revival of a system created in 1949 when Western countries essentially lowered an 'Iron Curtain', cutting off supplies of hi-tech goods to the USSR and other countries.

Winston Churchill's "Sinews of Peace" speech, 1946:

From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone - Greece with its immortal glories - is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.

I wonder, exactly which nation was behind the "Iron Curtain". You may have some difficulty deciding this, so was it the "USA", as alleged by our rabid Putinist above, or, just possibly, the USSR? Emphasis added to the second quote for the congenitally hard of understanding.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I just like this quote

Comment on Tim's blog:

So reading the Guardian for science reporting is like looking for zionist understanding in Mein Kampf.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

And a Minister said ...

Let them use the £ sterling.

Of course there would be a currency union," the minister told the Guardian in remarks that will serve as a major boost to the Scottish first minister, Alex Salmond, who accused the UK's three main political parties of "bluff, bluster and bullying" after they all rejected a currency union.

The minister, who would play a central role in the negotiations over the breakup of the UK if there were a yes vote, added: "There would be a highly complex set of negotiations after a yes vote, with many moving pieces. The UK wants to keep Trident nuclear weapons at Faslane and the Scottish government wants a currency union – you can see the outlines of a deal.

Firstly, I'd like to point out that this was the plot of a "not-just-rather-Nat-friendly but actually several feet up Wee Eck's colon" play on Radio 4 a few weeks ago.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that there is no way that an independent Scotland is not going to start off using the pound. No way are they going to be allowed in to the Euro and there isn't enough time (based on my experience of Euro conversion in the late 90s) for all the work necessary for an independent central bank and independent currency. Even if any of the Scottish banks had any money to spend on the IT project. So the question isn't "£ or no £", it is "currency union or no currency union".

Which rather leaves us at a bit of an imp-arse*.

Every party with the vaguest chance of being in power in r-Westminster has officially rejected currency union. The SNP have rejected the Montenegro (€) / Panama ($US) solution (use the currency without any portion of control or even representation at the Bank of England. Ed notes: And with the relative size of the economies, any Scottish representation or voting rights would be the rough equivalent of the SNP's representation in Westminster - they might tip the balance if everybody else was hopelessly confused.)

Which actually means that his Eckness (and the rest of his hordes, including the rabid e-ones) are going to have to be a wee bit adult about this. Which is, given that they can't stop whining about how unfair it all is, is going to be rather unlikely. Ho hum.

* © Sgt F Colon, Esq.

Oh, SCARY!

Or not, as the case may be.

From that home of all things illiberal in the British lefty, the Guardian:

Under current recommendations, 150ml of freshly squeezed orange juice (sugar 13g), 30g dried figs (sugar 14g), 200ml of a smoothie made with fruit and fruit juice (sugar 23g) and 80g of canned fruit salad in fruit juice (sugar 10g) all count as the five portions of the 'five a day' and contain a total of some 60g of refined sugars," he* writes. "This is more than the sugar in a 500ml bottle of cola.
So, let's get this panic entirely straight, then. A fairly heftly sugared way of making up your five-per-day (not, of course, that the entirely invented "five a day" is sufficient, oh no!) makes up the same amount of sugar as what is basically a pint of Coke.

These peeps really need to let go of nanny's apron strings and live a bit.

* Simon Capewell, professor of public health and policy at Liverpool University
 
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