The glory that is Greece

Meanwhile taxi drivers stayed off the job for a second day, protesting changes that would oblige them to issue receipts, keep account books and pay tax according to their income.

Almost as good as the bus drivers\’ strike here in Portugal a few years back. Changes in the drink driving laws would have meant they could not have a glass of wine with their lunch. Thus the strike.

Govt backed down too….

Was he Welsh?

A LEG of lamb, aerosol cans and kitchen implements — are just some of the bizarre objects one veteran medic has pulled out of his patients\’ BUMS.

Welsh and dim that is?

Cue Daffyd jokes of course but really, that\’s not the way to do it, is it?

In praise of the Icelandic

The purpose of my (newspaper- financed) visit was an investigation of the genetic research centre where, a blood sample having been tested, the secrets of my DNA would be revealed.

“You have,” the director told me, “the cancer gene, the thrombosis gene and the Alzheimer gene.”

Looking for a silver lining, I added: “And the obesity gene?” Had not my mother told me “It’s the way you’re made”?

The director did not hesitate. “No. You are fat because you choose to be fat.”

Another admirable Icelandic characteristic is a reluctance to mince words.

Tee Hee, oh tee hee indeed

A cyberprankster broke into the Web site of Iran\’s hard-line president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, yesterday and created a page that offered a prayer for his death.

\”Dear God, in 2009 you took my favorite singer — Michael Jackson, my favorite actress — Farrah Fawcett, my favorite actor — Patrick Swayze, my favorite voice — Neda,\” it read.

\”Please, please, don\’t forget my favorite politician, Ahmadinejad, and my favorite dictator, Khamenei, in the year 2010. Thank you.\”

Christmas the American Way

Boy, do they live it up over there.

On Google Trends, the rankings of what people are searching for, you\’ve got:

Is Dunkin\’ Donuts open on Christmas.

I\’ve done some pretty strange things on the day down the years but never thought of a donut shop as quite capturing the spirit.

Oh my, what a surprise

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez yesterday ordered the country’s military to prepare for a possible armed conflict with Colombia, saying soldiers should be ready if the United States attempts to provoke a war between the South American neighbours.

Mr Chavez said Venezuela could end up going to war with Colombia as tensions between them rise, and he warned that if a conflict broke out “it could extend throughout the whole continent”.

Gosh, socialist strongman loses popularity, decides upon a war to boost support.

A real surprise that, isn\’t it?

Honduras

The de facto authorities have the support of many middle class and conservative Hondurans as well as the supreme court, congress and military.

I do rather love this insistence that all the lefties have of calling the Honduran government the \”de facto\” government.

If you\’ve got both the Congress and the Supreme Court on your side then it\’s pretty much a given that  you\’re the de jure government, not merely the de facto.

Especially since Zelaya was deposed entirely legally under the Honduran Constitution (even if his expulsion from the country was less than legal).

Doesn\’t he ever think?

One Murphy R asks this question:

Might it be small really is beautiful?

It\’s in relation to this:

Mr Jonsson has already become embroiled in controversy after it emerged that KPMG Iceland had been responsible for investigating events leading up to the collapse of Glitnir, despite the fact that his son was chief executive of the bank’s largest shareholder. KPMG later resigned from the case.

……

It has emerged that the son of Iceland’s Attorney General is one of two CEOs at Exista, which was one of the major stakeholders in Kaupthing Bank. And all cases sent from Iceland’s special banking collapse investigation committee for prosecution have to go through the Attorney General.

Well, actually, no, in this case it isn\’t true that small is beautiful. Quite the opposite in fact, small is exactly the problem. Iceland\’s population is slightly larger than that of Kingston upon Hull. In a population of a little over 300,000, with a workforce of what, perhaps 100,00o, perhaps 150,000 adults, just about everyone is going to be someone\’s brother in law, cousin or relative of some sort, aren\’t they*?

So, no, if you want to avoid perceived conflicts of interest, small isn\’t beautiful, no, small is the problem.

Doesn\’t the man ever think?

*Hyperbole, yes, but the point stands.

Good luck with this then

The grandson of Joseph Stalin has launched a libel suit against one of Russia\’s leading liberal newspapers, accusing it of lying in an article which stated the wartime leader had killed Soviet citizens.

Sad thing is, with the current system in Russia he might even win the case.

The joys of peasant life

Yes, community there is indeed.

It means scraping a living from the animals you keep and the patches of vegetables you\’ve always grown. It means cabbage soup or beans and potatoes smothered in olive oil, plus chorizo made from every last bit of the pig you slaughtered yourself, washed down with the light red wine made in the shed at the back.

There\’s also horrible poverty. You see, the down side of the peasant lifestyle is that people have to live like, well, peasants.

That military coup in Honduras

•?The Supreme Court, by a 15-0 vote, found that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally by proceeding with an unconstitutional “referendum,” and it ordered the Armed Forces to arrest him. The military executed the arrest order of the Supreme Court because it was the appropriate agency to do so under Honduran law.

•?Eight of the 15 votes on the Supreme Court were cast by members of Mr. Zelaya’s own Liberal Party. Strange that the pro-Zelaya propagandists who talk about the rule of law forget to mention the unanimous Supreme Court decision with a majority from Mr. Zelaya’s own party. Thus, Mr. Zelaya’s arrest was at the instigation of Honduran’s constitutional and civilian authorities—not the military.

•?The Honduran Congress voted overwhelmingly in support of removing Mr. Zelaya. The vote included a majority of members of Mr. Zelaya’s Liberal Party.

•?Independent government and religious leaders and institutions—including the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the Administrative Law Tribunal, the independent Human Rights Ombudsman, four-out-of-five political parties, the two major presidential candidates of the Liberal and National Parties, and Honduras’s Catholic Cardinal—all agreed that Mr. Zelaya had acted illegally.

•?The constitution expressly states in Article 239 that any president who seeks to amend the constitution and extend his term is automatically disqualified and is no longer president. There is no express provision for an impeachment process in the Honduran constitution. But the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision affirmed that Mr. Zelaya was attempting to extend his term with his illegal referendum. Thus, at the time of his arrest he was no longer—as a matter of law, as far as the Supreme Court was concerned—president of Honduras.

……

•?I succeeded Mr. Zelaya under the Honduran constitution’s order of succession (our vice president had resigned before all of this began so that he could run for president). This is and has always been an entirely civilian government. The military was ordered by an entirely civilian Supreme Court to arrest Mr. Zelaya. His removal was ordered by an entirely civilian and elected Congress. To suggest that Mr. Zelaya was ousted by means of a military coup is demonstrably false.

Have to say that it sounds remarkably unlike a military coup actually.

Quite

Foreign criminals have been awarded compensation of £500,000 for being kept in custody beyond their release date.

The prisoners were held while the Government considered whether to deport them.

Under our system you can\’t be held in gaol without a court having approved a reason for you being there.  You\’ve been sentenced, you\’re on remand, a judge or a magistrate has to sign off on your being there.

We do not have a system (unlike many other places) where you rot in gaol while a bureaucrat tries to make up their mind. Yes, this applies to Johnny Foreigner as it does to us indigenes. As it rightly should.

Only one change I would make to this though: the money should come from those bureaucrats who made the error in the first place.