Johnny Foreigner

A small thought on Austrian economics

Austrian economics is generally antithetical to state actions supposed to make things better. No, it isn’t anti-state. There are somethings that must be done and which can only be done by government thus they must be done and by government. But beyond that the general assumption, the ethos if you wish, is that asking government to do it means it’ll get buggered up.

That’s not an unfair description of the base idea. It’s also not an unfair view to reach if you’ve been governed by Austrians for a few centuries.

The problem with this as an explanation is why in buggery do Russians always seem to desire more government?


OK, yes, accents (isn’t there movie where the bird just melts when the bloke says one word or summat?) and personal taste and utility and all that:

But my favourite accent is to be found in Belfast; a Northern Irish accent immediately adds three points to a person’s attractiveness. It has the friendliness of scouse, but is much softer and more charming.

Depends which NI accent really, doesn’t it? Ian Paisley’s would rarely be described as “soft” nor, whatever the reports of the man himself, charming.

This is fun

Australian fashion is taking notice of the country’s oldest design traditions – and we’re only just scratching the surface

You know, given that Abos didn’t, before the First Fleet, have any woven cloths of even spun yarns – other than those made from human hair. Fairly short fashion season therefore……

This is trivially easy

From the pungent scent of a cigar to the gentle fragrance of roses, smells can transport us to days gone by. Now researchers are hoping to harness the pongs of the past to do just that.

Scientists, historians and experts in artificial intelligence across the UK and Europe have announced they are teaming up for a €2.8m project labelled “Odeuropa” to identify and even recreate the aromas that would have assailed noses between the 16th and early 20th centuries.

Just go bottle the air in Paris.

Has the requisite amount of dog shit lying around, cheap tobacco and, of course, the use of too much perfume to cover up soap dodging. Done then, eh?

Would Jussi care to comment?

Finns tend not to think all that much of Swedes, I think, so the translation errors in Amazon’s new site in Sweden might amuse:

The internet giant mixed up the Argentine and Swedish flags, labelled frying pans as items for women, allowed the sale of a swastika-emblazoned shower curtain and described a silicone baking mould as suitable for “chocolate, faeces, goose water and bread”.

At least one of those seems entirely sensible. But if Jussi could aid us with this one:

Some of the errors were more offensive. The word for a cockerel was often translated as kuk, a faintly vulgar word for penis. Thus an embroidery pattern depicting a rooster became “cross-stitch for adults – big dick, do it yourself”. A stopcock head was rendered “finish dickhead”.

Presumably there are dickheads in and from Finland – nowhere is entirely free of them – but why would a Swede want to buy one?

Las Ramblas

Not to be missed from Baron Jackfield:

One of my friends recently had his pocket picked there… Nothing out of the ordinary really, except that he’s a Spanish plain-clothes policeman and a member of the team targeting pickpockets on Las Ramblas! 🙂

My own experience of the street goes back 30 years or so. The once, 30 years ago that is.

A major memory is that the further down toward the Chris Columbus thing you got the less likely it was the whores were female. All presenting as such but the ability to do so declined markedly.

The observation coming not from being a likely customer you understand, it was just rather obvious. Presumably it becomes species that is called into question right by the statue.

This will be interesting

Bolivia election: Evo Morales’s leftwing party celebrates stunning comeback
Exit polls for presidential election project win for Luis Arce as rival concedes defeat

Will the new government actually allow Morales back? It being possible to sketch scenarios in which they don’t. The new President would be overshadowed if he does come back. For example and yes, personal matters like this do make a difference. And there was a reason – other than some coup by righties because that alone wouldn’t have gained the support it did – to toss the bugger out in the first place.

Declare War On The Cold Front!

You know, this might just be true:

“We decided to use Hitler because as soon as you see him, you think of Germany. It leaves a deep impression,” said Shen, who works in the company’s planning and design department.

Shen said the company had not been worried that the public would have a negative reaction to an ad that features a man who oversaw the killing of millions of Jews during World War II.

“Most people in Taiwan are not that sensitive about Hitler,” she said.

I like this

And for the same reason that the story was chosen for publication:

Bald eagle attacks government drone and sends it to bottom of Lake Michigan
Drone was about 162ft in the sky when bald eagle attacked and tore propellor off, possibly mistaking it for a rival bird or snack

Bird attacks drone – fun if it’s Katy Price having a go at Piers Morgan perhaps. But this is a bald eagle, in the US, having a go at a government drone.

The only thing preventing it being on the front page is that it didn’t happen on July 4.

Cloggie Culture

I know we have at least one informed Cloggie reading/commentating here. So, about Cloggie Culture. Yes, we know, mountaineering doesn’t feature heavily.

However, here on the Holiday Coast Dutch teenagers seem to be an important thing. ‘Fousands of ’em in fact. From this distance of age not entirely sure whether just out of high school or university holidays. But would guess that it’s just out of high school. The question then becoming, is this a thing? That this first summer after the equivalent of A levels go off to some beach place somewhere and party?

Almost like a combo of the American prom (of course Dutch virginities won’t be quite such a feature) and Spring Break?

Actually, that’s a reasonable test of the idea. If you made a movie about Dutch teenagers and the passage into adulthood etc would it make sense to everyone if this happened on a Southern European beach in the first two weeks after high school graduation? First month maybe?

Bloody Americans

Gentleman crashes his Lamborghini 20 minutes after buying it

The Septics at Boing Boing don’t understand that a gentleman would never buy a Lamborghini. If a gentleman were to require a penis extension – an unlikely event in the first place – it would, of course, be father’s E-type or XK-120, possibly Grandpa’s pre-war Bentley. The absence of such would prove non-gentleman status, obviously enough.

It’s making the news

The whole of the Algarve saw only 15 deaths — although 69 new cases were recently identified after an illegal party near Lagos.

Gone up to 100 now.

Worth noting that the entire – resident – population of the Algarve is perhaps 400,000 people, smaller than Bristol, to put those numbers in perspective.

My money’s on the Chechens

Police reinforcements were sent to the usually tranquil French city of Dijon yesterday after dozens of Chechens armed with baseball bats and guns gathered there for a fourth day.

A car and dustbins were set ablaze and members of the Chechen diaspora fired AK47 rifles into the air in the latest in a series of raids apparently against youths of north African origin on council estates in the city in eastern France.

Hard buggers with a refreshingly direct manner of business. I once knew – knew, not was close to – a bloke who was in a legal battle with a Chechen business partner. He won in court too – then got assassinated.

Now this is an odd result

It had the same lax restrictions as the capital of Sweden: schools remained open, residents carried on drinking in bars and cafes, and the doors of hairdressers and gyms were open throughout coronavirus.

But the Swedish coastal city of Malmö has shown a remarkably different result to Stockholm, with few fatalities and a remarkably low death rate.

Now some experts are questioning if the Malmo model proves that Sweden’s controversial move to avoid a lockdown was right all along.

Sweden has faced mounting criticism over its death rate. But Skane, the region around Malmo, had by last week registered just 17 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants due to coronavirus, slightly fewer than the 19 per 100,000 seen in the Capital Region of Denmark across the Oresund straits, even though Denmark went into heavy lockdown for two months from mid-March….

The thing being that the immigrant population of Malmo is rather large. And immigrants – perhaps because of cultural practices, genetic issues, perhaps just because of poverty and thus housing etc issues – doing worse than indigenes in most European countries.

Time’s money garcon

The tax may also limit the financial incentive to eat pre-cooked meals. An official report published last week found that the average home-cooked meal for four was €0.60 (about 54p) cheaper than its industrial equivalent. But when time spent preparing the meal was factored in at an hourly-rate equivalent to the French minimum wage, the home-cooked dish was on average €5.34 (about £4.76) more expensive.

At least they’re doing the calculation right. Time is money and time spent on domestic unpaid labour should be valued at the undifferentiated labour rate – the minimum wage.

West Virginia’s an interesting place

Fun familial arrangements among the coal minerscoal miners:

“In the area we live in, there aren’t many jobs, especially not many jobs that pay as well as the mines,” said Zach Thornberry, another miner at Redhawk Mining who lost their job due to the closure. “There are plenty of us that have young kids. I have a two-month-old son, and my partner has twins that just turned a year old, so the thought of not having health insurance is a scary thing.”

The way that’s said the twins aren’t his, but his partners, and the two month old isn’t his partner’s, but his. Still, guess it’s an advance for Appalachia, none are with his sister.

The modern world

A list of things that surprised them from people who moved from a poorer to a richer country. A lot of what we might expect, less violence, more lights, things get repaired, free loo roll in the public toilets, grocery stores. Hell, I’ve been surprised by American grocery stores let alone someone from West Siberia etc.

This one rather struck me:

Being a girl, you can live alone.

Isn’t there so much freedom, liberty and just how fucking marvellously life is better wrapped up in that little one?


Blamed For Coronavirus Outbreak, Muslims In India Come Under Attack

Well, not weird, for hard times always provide an excuse to beat up on the other. But the UK experience has been that Muslim infection rates are lower than most other groupings. Something to do with repetitive hand washing has been posited.