Dear God some people are cretins

Well how much innovation have we really seen in consumer tech over the past decade? A 2019 smartphone delivers the exact same core services as the very first generation of iPhones, it just does the same things faster and better: Better processor, better camera, more memory etc., but the core services of the device are the same.

If you factor out the marketing, there’s really next to nothing happening. No leaps that in any way compare to the leap…

They’ve entirely missed price, haven’t they?

The $50 smartphone is am improvement over the $700 one?

This is rather what Princes and the like are for

First, there was a war to be won and his country needed liberating. Before he saw action, however, his commanding officer was kind enough to call on his mother, the Grand Duchess Charlotte, who was in exile in London. She is said to have remarked: “Well if he gets killed that will be that, but please do not allow him to be taken prisoner.”

He landed in Normandy on June 23, 1944, and took part in Operation Goodwood, intended to clear the ground for the taking of the communications centre of Caen, which fell on July 20. He then advanced into Belgium, reaching Brussels on September 3.

General George Patton, commanding the US Third Army, was about to enter Luxembourg, but on hearing that the crown prince was near by, he arranged for him to take part. On September 10, 1944, “John Luxembourg” crossed into the country at Rodange, the spot where his family had fled the Nazi invasion more than four years earlier. He later joined Patton in the first Jeep to enter Luxembourg city.

Returning to his unit, he was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, the Reichswald attacks and, as German resistance crumbled, the move into Bremen and Hamburg. On April 14, 1945 he was back in Luxembourg with his father, Prince Félix, to greet the grand duchess as she returned from exile accompanied by Winston Churchill and to celebrate with a jubilant population.

And this is rather what Ampleforth is for:

His early education was in Luxembourg followed by studies at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, where he learnt to eat whatever was set before him, a skill that came in handy in the army and at state banquets.

So there, English

To all the politicians dutifully wishing the nation a happy St George’s Day — you’ve got the date wrong.

The Church of England has confirmed that the feast has been pushed back to next Monday because of a clash with Easter week.

April 23 is the usual date each year for the feast of St George, the patron saint of England, but church rules state that no feast days should be marked during Easter week. If a saint’s day falls during Easter week, it is “translated” to the following week.

Matthew Salisbury, the Church of England’s national liturgy and worship adviser, said: “St George’s Day is translated to April 29 as nothing other than a principal feast would take place during Easter week.”

Common Worship, the church’s volumes of guidance for services, notes: “When St George’s Day or St Mark’s Day falls between Palm Sunday and the second Sunday of Easter inclusive it is transferred to the Monday after the second Sunday of Easter.”

My Google Fu has failed me

Spotted a different number plate in the parking lot. Newish car. With a not EU – at least, without the EU bit on it – number plate.

Can’t recall the crest exactly, but the shield in the crest looked like it was held up by storks, perhaps pelicans. More likely storks. And the motto was “ouranouma” or “oranama” or some such.

No detail as to which country it came from. But the plate number was 223 B or some such.

So, it’s got to be from a small place, a short run of numbers.

Note this is in the Algarve. So, small place which is not EU which someone might drive a car from.

Hmm. And I’m running out of ideas. Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino are out, they don’t use plates – so far as Mr. Google tells me – like that at all.

I just can’t think of anywhere other than those four in Western Europe which is non-EU and yet which will issue its own plates. Ceuta, Melilla? Basic Spanish plates, no?

A Sovereign military order? Bit of a stretch.

Not Arab speaking as no squiggles, which rules out most of North Africa.

Given that someone here knows most about anything, who has an idea here?

How do you amputate thieves?

In a four-page letter to MEPs, the kingdom’s mission to the EU called for “tolerance, respect and understanding” with regard to the country’s desire to preserve its traditional values and “family lineage”.

The new penal code, which also provides for the amputation of thieves and whipping of people wearing clothes associated with the opposite sex, was brought in on 3 April, despite international condemnation.

An amputation upon a thief perhaps, the amputation of a hand of a thief, but an amputation of a thief?

I’m just wondering

National Thowheed Jamath

Currently identified as responsible for the Sri Lanka bombings. Local offshoot of Isis or Al-Quaeda sorta thing.


Sinhalese tend to be Buddhist. Tamils Muslim. There’s that decent leavening of Christians who were the targets here. Or Christians plus foreigners in posh hotels.

What’s the overlap between Muslims in NTJ and Tamils? For the island has had a ghastly civil war based on those racial lines – well, OK, varied groups exploiting those racial groupings perhaps – in recent memory.

Another way to ask the same thing, is NTJ really just Tamil extremists under another guise? Or, perhaps, a new banner for the old grievances?

One thing I’ve noted – and I haven’t gone looking, so it might be that I’ve just not seen – is that no names have been released even while 24 people or whatever are arrested. In this environment a name being near perfect identification of Tamil or Sinhala.

Jus’ wondrin’ really.

OK, if you say so

A Researcher and an Author of the book the “Revelation, Movement of Akan People from Canaan to Ghana”, Martin Kwasi Abrokwah also known as Akanba has revealed that Jesus Christ was a full blooded Ghanaian.

According to him, his years of study shows that the Messiah was actually an Akyem by tribe, from the East Akyem District of Eastern Region of Ghana.

“Jesus Christ was originally an Akan, to be specific an Akyem. He was from Asiakwa, Asiakwa is Bethlehem, Kyebi (Kibi) is Beersheba, Kumasi is the same as Samaria. If we say Jesus is from the tribe of Judah, that tribe is the Akyem in Ghana. The name Akyem is the short form of Jojakyem, the descendants of Jojakyem took the name Akyem as we know it in Ghana. Jojakyem was one time the king of Judah. From my etymological and anthropological research, Jesus Christ was a pure Akyem.” the Anthropologist told sit-in host Akwasi Nsiah on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa FM.

Doesn’t really matter though as we know damn well that JC’s Pops was an Englishman.

Blokes and birds

Someone who gives birth to a live child is a bird:

A Man Who Gives Birth Is Not A Man, Sorry, She Isn’t

Is I being transphobic?

Around here we’re fine with whatever social politesse people decide they want to follow. I’m prepared to agree – in public at least – that Diane Abbott is the Right Hon, that Harriet Harman is actually a QC. Just as I’m entirely willing to be polite and address those who let me know by their favoured pronoun of Miss, Ms, or Xe.

However, there are limits to such and that’s when these differences are important.

Man your buzzers for the quiz question

It is hard to imagine that the renowned environmental historian Jared Diamond’s new book Upheaval could have arrived in the UK at a more timely moment. The subtitle screams its urgent relevance: How Nations Cope with Crisis and Change. If that advice isn’t needed by our political class right now, you wouldn’t want to see when it was.

The book is made up of a number of case studies looking at how different nations have dealt with crises. Diamond examines Finland after its war with the Soviet Union, Chile and the legacy of General Pinochet’s rule, Japan’s response to foreign superiority in the 19th century, Indonesia after the Suharto massacres, Germany’s postwar rebuilding and Australia’s search for a postcolonial identity.

Ooooh, Ooooh, Teach, I know, I know!

We deal with a crisis by throwing the socialists out of helicopters?

Maybe Bobbie, maybe

Donald Trump is the living embodiment of the seven deadly sins – pride, greed, lust, gluttony, wrath, envy and sloth – and he is the precise obverse of the seven virtues as enunciated by Pope Gregory in 590 AD: chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness and humility.

Well now, can we run Bill and Hill past those same two lists? JFK and Teddy maybe?

Anyone care for the Salman Rushdie bet?

As the old joke went, Rushdie’s next book was going to be “Bugger Off Buddha, Ya’ Fat Bastard”.

The joke being of course that there was no militant Buddhism slaughtering people.

And the bet? We care to insist upon that about Sri Lanka?

I think it unlikely but then that’s just opinion and uninformed at that…..

Nicely out in the open then

Rosemary Squires MBE, 90, found fame in the Fifties and Sixties as an international jazz, big band, cabaret and concert singer and recording artist.

She performed with big bands such as Ted Heath, Geraldo and Cyril Stapleton, the Max Harris and Kenny Baker jazz bands, and was a regular on the BBC Light Programme (now Radio 2) on Melody Time and Workers’ Playtime shows.

She starred in her own radio and television series, and appeared with Michael Bentine, Clive Dunn, Arthur Haynes, Ted Ray and Reg Varney. She also worked in America with Danny Kaye and Sammy Davis Jr.

OK, great career and all that. Best financial decision?

Rosemary Squires: ‘My best financial decision? Marrying a man with a police pension’

This feminism, so strong, eh?

Jeez, this is Spud level

Scotland would be forced to dump the pound for its own free-floating currency immediately after independence, the country’s most eminent macroeconomist has warned as he denounced the “poor” plans produced by both sides of an SNP battle over the issue.

Professor Ronald MacDonald, research professor of macroeconomics and international finance at Glasgow University’s Adam Smith Business School, said a separate currency not linked to sterling would be needed to pay off the country’s £16 billion balance of payments deficit.

It’s the reporting not the economist though. You don’t pay off balance of payments deficits. In fact, you can’t have balance of payments deficits because the balance of payments always balances.

I assume what is meant is that there will be a trade deficit and if in sterling then a certain difficulty in gaining the incoming investment to finance it. The solution to which is a decline in the currency so that investing looks better and imports are more expensive/exports cheaper. Which is why you need your own currency.

But you know, newspaper reports of economics….

Hadn’t noticed myself

Men with beard have more gems than dogs

I don’t think I got richer than the pooch when I grew my beard. Or, rather, stopped shaving out of boredom at having to.

Men’s beards carry more germs than dogs do in their fur, a study has found. Scientists looked at the levels of bacteria lurking in 18 men’s facial hair and 30 dogs from different breeds.

‘The researchers found a significantly higher bacterial load in specimens taken from the men’s beards compared with the dogs’ fur,’ Professor Andreas Gutzeit, of Switzerland’s Hirslanden Clinic, said.


Tee Hee

Here’s another idea: we need a higher rate of VAT on products that are bought to indicate social status, and which contribute to global warming.

What am I talking about? Let’s start with cars with an engine capacity above 1.6 litres (and maybe I am being generous when suggesting that). Or which cost, say, more than £20,000 at present. I cannot see why any such vehicle is necessary. They are, I suggest, just conspicuous consumption, and as a result are not designed to last, which is precisely why they need to be taxed more to save the environment.

A Rolls Royce lasts less time than an Austin Allegro then, eh?

After which there are phones costing more than £300, which are nothing more than jewellery, but which are deeply wasteful by encouraging massive environmental waste as they are simply fashion items, designed to be replaced at a rapid rate.

And entirely missing the point of Veblen Goods. Sure, they indicate social status. Make them more expensive and they become even more of a Veblen Good. Twat.

Umm, you what?

I believe that taxes can assist the transformation to the economy and society that we need if we are to avoid catastrophic environmental change. That is why I have been writing about what I am calling Tax to Save the Environment (TASTE). I stress, I do not think tax is the only way to achieve this: regulation will usually be required as well, but tax has powerful signalling capacity both economically and socially, and I think that is vital at present. I do therefore offer another suggested tax now.

In 2015 I suggest a Carbon Usage Tax (or CUT) in my book The Joy of Tax. I explained this in my White Paper on Scottish Taxation for Common Weal in 2017 as follows:

OK, tax something you get less of it. With you so far.

And the tax proposed is a bank account transactions one. Idiot idea of course.

But we are here talking about a tax to discourage carbon emissions through consumption. Again, fair enough. Then as a justification we get:

It would capture non-consumption expenditure, which is very largely not liable to VAT and other indirect taxes at present;

But we’re trying to tax the consumption which leads to carbon emissions. The very power of the tax is that it only taxes consumption which leads to carbon emissions. Thus incentivising people away from such, that is in fact the power of such taxation.

So, which idiot decides to extend such a tax to non-consumption?

Ah, yes, it’s one of Spudda’s ideas, isn’t it? Expecting logic through 5 paragraphs is hoping for too much.

Interestingly, what is it that we call non-consumption expenditure? Largely, savings. So, he wants to tax savings in order to reduce consumption.

Jeez, and to think that he’s employed to teach economics.