Posts Tagged ‘UK’

LinkSwam for May 31, 2013

Friday, May 31st, 2013

The season has switched from not Summer to Summer here in Texas, so here’s a hot, humid LinkSwarm:

  • In Europe, youth unemployment is climbing to scary, stratospheric heights. So scary I’m going to swipe their chart:

    Notice how countries that have kept their deficit spending relatively low (Germany and even the UK, where deficits has at least decreased under Cameron) are doing much better than the PIIGS. Again, Austerity hasn’t failed in Europe, it’s been declared difficult and left untried.

  • Harry Reid calls his close personal friend and business associate Harvey Whittemore (and his wife) “wonderful people.” Oh, and Whittemore is now also a convicted felon.
  • Eric Holder: Obama’s sin eater. “The attorney general has done little in his tenure to protect civil liberties or the free press. Rather, Holder has supervised a comprehensive erosion of privacy rights, press freedom and due process. This ignoble legacy was made possible by Democrats who would look at their shoes whenever the Obama administration was accused of constitutional abuses.”
  • Pentagon Papers lawyer James Goodale talks about just how bad Obaama is for freedom of the press.
  • ObamaCare rates next year in California: “Obamacare will increase individual-market premiums by an average of 116 percent.”
  • Britain remains in denial over Islamic terror.
  • The Gang of 8 proposal implements amnesty and gives conservatives nothing in return.
  • Ted Cruz actually tries to fix the bill. Gang of 8 tells him to get stuffed.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times lays off their entire staff of photographers. Including a Pulitzer Prize winner.
  • And Even More on Margaret Thatcher

    Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

    And still more on the late, great Margaret Thatcher:

  • Thatcher was right, and the left was wrong.
  • An appreciation by Paul Johnson.
  • Thatcher didn’t just smash paralyzing, militant trade unions, she also smashed the traditional British class structure.
  • Reagan’s greatest ally.
  • Thatcher appealed to the workers, not the shirkers.
  • Attention British liberals: Margaret Thatcher was not an all-powerful Satan.

    This is incredible quaintness bordering on total delusion, the notion that Thatcher invented or popularised the previously unpopular notion of selfishness is laughable. As if before Margaret Thatcher the population of Britain was a kibbutz, or British people were known for their intense altruism, tossing money out of windows in the hope that literally anyone else would have it… She was a democratically elected politician after all, she won three elections and lost none, she didn’t dictate the mood of the public, rightly or wrongly – she reflected it.

  • One of the many enterprises Thatcher’s policies helped out? Theater.
  • What is the proper way for British left-wingers to celebrate Thatcher’s demise? Why, smash a charity shop’s windows and injure six policemen, of course.
  • More on Margaret Thatcher: Quotes, Videos and Tributes

    Monday, April 8th, 2013

    More on the late Margaret Thatcher:

  • In her own words. A few choice examples:

    “I am not a consensus politician. I’m a conviction politician.”

    “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women and there are families.”

    “We have not successfully rolled back the frontiers of the state in Britain only to see them re-imposed at a European level, with a European superstate exercising a new dominance from Brussels.”

  • How unions paralyzed Great Britain before Thatcher came in. Check out the giant piles of garbage.
  • Charles Cooke in National Review:

    Britain was a disaster: The lights frequently went out, trash was piled up in the streets, and the IMF was called in to bail the treasury out — in response to which the civil service decided that their role was to “manage” Britain’s decline and fall….’Diversity’ types are amusingly silent about her — and for good reason, as her example is utterly lethal to the culture of victimhood on which they rely. The global Left, likewise, has strong motives to disparage her: She realized that decline was a choice….She was right and they were wrong. While they blathered, she helped to defeat Communism, restored democracy to the Falklands, and saved Britain from the reds at home. She was, without doubt, our finest post-war premier and she made an incalculable contribution to the life of my country of birth.

  • How she stood up against Communism.

    Those on the Left who still probably regard Thatcher as a hate-figure, have either forgotten the history of the Cold War or possibly never understood that Communism meant the virtual enslavement of millions of people in the East European countries, who loathed its ideology as much as Margaret Thatcher herself. It is simply not possible to imagine Thatcher visiting Russia in the 1930s, like certain Left-wing useful idiots from Britain, and being taken in by Stalin’s propaganda machine. Ordinary East Europeans took a different view of her to her critics in this country. For them she symbolised opposition to Communism; indeed she was given a tumultuous welcome by the shipyard workers in Gdansk when she visited them. She wept at the sight.

  • More on the same subject.
  • Thatcher was right about the Euro. Amazing how prescient she looks for grasping the obvious decades before it became obvious to her detractors…
  • Roundup of praise from past and presant world leaders, including Bush41, Lech Walesa and Mikhail Gorbachev.
  • Some videos.

    Thatcher on Socialism

    Announcing the invasion of the Falklands

    Her statement on European integration (“No! No! No!”).

    (Hat tip: Ace of Spades.)

    Thatcher on William F. Buckley, Jr.’s Firing Line:

    On the danger of the Euro:

  • Sen. Ted Cruz on Thatcher’s passing.
  • Reactions from various Texans.
  • Thatcher on why Ronald Reagan was a great President.
  • And on his passing.
  • Margaret Thatcher, RIP

    Monday, April 8th, 2013

    Margaret Thatcher has died. With Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II, she made up the trio of moral leaders in the West who understood what a great evil communism was when so many wanted to appease it, paving the way for the West’s ultimate triumph in the Cold War. Her free market polices reinvigorated a strike-wracked UK economy many thought moribund. She arrested the British military’s decline and retook the Falkland Islands while Tory “wets” were quitely pushing to let them go.

    She tamed the IRA and forced a Labour Party dominated by communust-friendly fossils Michael Foot and Neil Kinnock to reform and tack back toward the center.

    She was hugely influential, smart, capable, and exactly the sort of leader the UK needed in the dark days of the late 1970s. The UK shall not see her like again.

    LinkSwarm for March 23, 2013

    Friday, March 22nd, 2013

    Another Friday roundup of random news:

  • Republicans offer bill to outlaw Cyprus-like bank account seizures.
  • What did Dianne Feinstein’s gun-grabbing “assault weapons” bill actually accomplish? “These efforts have driven some law-abiding Americans into the loving arms of the NRA.”
  • “In Harry Reid’s Senate there are more votes against Chuck Hagel than there are in favor of an assault weapons ban.”
  • “[Ted Cruz's] infraction was asking the right question. What Cruz wanted to know was this: Why do liberals cherish the First and Fourth Amendments, but trash the one in between – the Second Amendment?”
  • Bill Maher wakes up and suddenly realizes he’s getting ripped off by California taxes.
  • Dwight has an update on the laughable, doomed boondoggle that is EarthQuest.
  • Surprise! The U.S. is now more hated in the Middle East than under Bush.
  • Iran exporting Chinese-made portable antiaircraft missiles to terrorists. I’m sure that will make the Middle East all the more stable.
  • ObamaCare is slowing hiring.
  • Tides Foundation vs. Koch giving, in graphical form.
  • The UK decides that they don’t need any stinking freedom of the press.
  • Germany abandons some of its green energy fantasies.
  • Louisiana judge rules that ex-felons can own guns. Some caveats: This is based on a newly passed, pro-gun amendment to the Louisiana Constitution, and Louisiana law (as opposed to the other 49 states) is based on the Napoleonic Code rather than English common law.
  • Don’t suspect a neighbor; report him!
  • David Cameron Suddenly Remembers He’s a Tory

    Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

    Well well well, maybe David Cameron has some cobbles after all.

    Cameron has generally presided over the “wettest” Tory administration the UK has seen since Neville Chamberlain, but today he delivered a veritable pipe bomb of a speech on the future of the European Union.

    First, the problems in the Eurozone are driving fundamental change in Europe. Second, there is a crisis of European competitiveness, as other nations across the world soar ahead. And third, there is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain.

    Also this:

    If Europe today accounts for just over 7 per cent of the world’s population, produces around 25 per cent of global GDP and has to finance 50 per cent of global social spending, then it’s obvious that it will have to work very hard to maintain its prosperity and way of life.

    While Obama is certainly doing his best to make sure America’s portion of that last figure increases (driving down Europe’s share as a side effect), what Cameron is saying here is both obviously true and absolutely unacceptable to the Euroelite: The European cradle-to-grave welfare state is unsustainable.

    And this:

    People are increasingly frustrated that decisions taken further and further away from them mean their living standards are slashed through enforced austerity or their taxes are used to bail out governments on the other side of the continent.

    Cameron basically stood up and pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes.

    Still more:

    More of the same will not secure a long-term future for the Eurozone. More of the same will not see the European Union keeping pace with the new powerhouse economies. More of the same will not bring the European Union any closer to its citizens. More of the same will just produce more of the same – less competitiveness, less growth, fewer jobs.

    “Hey dumbasses: stop digging!!”

    And still more:

    I want us to be at the forefront of transformative trade deals with the US, Japan and India as part of the drive towards global free trade. And I want us to be pushing to exempt Europe’s smallest entrepreneurial companies from more EU Directives.

    These should be the tasks that get European officials up in the morning – and keep them working late into the night. And so we urgently need to address the sclerotic, ineffective decision making that is holding us back.

    That means creating a leaner, less bureaucratic Union, relentlessly focused on helping its member countries to compete.

    In a global race, can we really justify the huge number of expensive peripheral European institutions?

    Can we justify a Commission that gets ever larger?

    Can we carry on with an organisation that has a multi-billion pound budget but not enough focus on controlling spending and shutting down programmes that haven’t worked?

    And I would ask: when the competitiveness of the Single Market is so important, why is there an environment council, a transport council, an education council but not a single market council?

    And here we have a Tory Prime Minister actually sounding like…a Tory! Who would have thunk it?

    Thatcher or Reagan he’s not, but this is bold stuff given the Eurocentric tenor of post-Thatcher UK governments.

    Oh: He also wants a referendum on EU membership by 2017.

    Reactions from the Eurocratic elite has been predictable: How dare Cameron slander our magnificently robed Emperor? And naturally all of them focus on the referendum than his substantive critique of the increasing collectivist, bureaucratic and unsustainable EU.

    Good show, Cameron old boy, good show. (Golf clap)

    EuroDoom Update: Election Edition

    Sunday, May 6th, 2012

    Chances are good that Europe’s interesting Eurozone times are about to get more interesting still with elections scheduled across the continent today, including those in France and Greece. So what does all this mean? Well, for one thing, the French socialist candidate (who has a good chance to kick Nicolas Sarkozy out of office) wants to renegotiate the fiscal discipline treaty. Perhaps even a socialist can tell a rotting fish when he smells one. And in Greece, the anti-bailout parties are expected to make dramatic gains at the expense of the “center-right” New Democracy (Tweedledee) and “center-left” Pasok (Tweedledum) parties who managed to bring Greece to this lovely pass in the first place.

    Opposing Tweedledee and Tweedledum are a motley collection of small parties, including the Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn. Now in Europe, everyone to the right of the Christian Democrats seems to be labeled a “neo-Nazi,” be they libertarians, Geert Wilders, or the British National Party, but Golden Dawn appears to be the real thing. Take a look at their flag:

    The overall color scheme seems vaguely familiar. Where have I seen that before? Let me think…

    Of course, Golden Dawn is unlikely to gain enough votes to be a real player in the Greek parliament, so we may be denied the irony of seeing neo-Nazis oppose Greece’s German overlords.

    There are also elections in Serbia and Armenia, lower level elections in Italy, and in Germany, regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein. While “regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein” must be almost as exciting a topic to American readers as enhanced rescission authority, it might go a long way toward determining whether Angela Merkel will continue in her role as Europe’s Sugar Momma Dominatrix.

    Could the ruling parties lose everywhere? Well, since the ruing parties have collectively lost every single election since 2009, yeah. Now, whether the Eurocratic elite are will to let a little thing like “democracy” derail their dreams for an integrated Europe remains to be seen.

    Other Eurozone news from the last month or so:

  • Eurozone jobless rate hits record high.
  • Capital flight from the PIIGS continues apace.
  • The central bank of Germany will no longer accept bank bonds backed by Ireland, Greece and Portugal as collateral.
  • European manufacturing continues to decline.
  • Spain is still going broke:

    With government debt expected to hit 80% of GDP by the end of 2012, Spain has become like a family with a big mortgage where the primary breadwinner has lost his job. Unless they find a way to increase their income, they are going to go bankrupt. It is only a matter of time.

    If people want to know what life looks like in the “Prohibitive Range” of the Laffer Curve, all they have to do is to visit Athens. Greece is literally falling apart. Unfortunately, by raising taxes, Spain is making exactly the same mistake that the Greeks made.

  • And that’s despite putting a ban on cash transactions over € 2,500 in a vain attempt to cut down on tax evasion. They’re also considering hiking their VAT tax, which I’m sure will do wonders for their recession-stricken economy.
  • Of course, whatever the outcome of today’s elections are, we can be pretty sure they won’t do the one thing that might help get them out of the crises: rolling back the European welfare state.
  • The a persistent drumbeat among American liberals that in Europe austerity has failed. This is a myth. In fact, it’s never been tried.
  • LinkSwarm for April 9, 2012

    Monday, April 9th, 2012

    A LinkSwarm to start your day with:

  • Today’s Democrat calling her fellow Texans bigots comes to you from Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin).
  • How the story of today’s media transformation is being written by the losers: “We should not expect anything like impartial analysis from people whose very livelihoods—and those of their close friends—are directly threatened by their subject matter.”
  • Want a glimpse of where health care is headed if ObamaCare isn’t repealed or overturned? In the UK, doctors told a woman to find another provider because her carbon footprint to visit them was too large. All two miles of driving worth. (Hat tip: Say Uncle.)
  • Holly Hansen reports on a Williamson County Republican candidates forum. County commissioner Lisa Birkman attended, but her opponent Lee Ann Seitsinger didn’t.
  • “Please excuse Kelly Lee McCarty from her job at the Texas Water Development Board because she was sick and has to spend five days of bed rest. Signed, Epstein’s Mother.”
  • Sen. John Cornyn notes the failure of Obama’s cheeseburger diplomacy with Russia.

  • Mark Davis leaving WBAP?
  • Blogroll Additions: An American Housewife, Formerly in London

    Thursday, February 9th, 2012

    I’ve been meaning to update the blog roll for a while, so now’s as good a time as any.

    Today’s addition is An American Housewife, Formerly in London. She spent five years in London, then moved back to Houston, and blogs about a variety of issues, both personal and political, from the expat (and repat) life and mothering to the latest Obama idiocy.

    Anyway, she’s been linking and dropping into BattleSwarm with useful comments for a while now, so I’m happy to return the favor. Do drop by when you get a chance.

    LinkSwarm for January 12, 2012

    Thursday, January 12th, 2012

    I had a maid service come clean my house in advance of a family event I’m hosting this weekend. It’s amazing the difference between “Bachelor Clean” and “Clean Clean.” It’s almost as big as the difference between “Obama Smart” and “Actually Smart”…

  • Micheal Totten could use your help. He does good work, and I still need to review The Road to Fatima Gate. I donated, and so has insta.
  • Rick Perry tears into “Big Government Conservatism.”
  • Comptroller Susan Combs denies a wind farm subsidy. Personally I’d end all “green subsidies.” Let the market pick energy winners and losers, not government.
  • Free Pepper Spray for women being handed out in Austin. (Hat tip: Stuff From Hsoi)
  • Why it’s uneconomical to manufacture anything in the UK:

    If we build the Raspberry Pi in Britain, we have to pay a lot more tax. If a British company imports components, it has to pay tax on those (and most components are not made in the UK). If, however, a completed device is made abroad and imported into the UK – with all of those components soldered onto it – it does not attract any import duty at all. This means that it’s really, really tax inefficient for an electronics company to do its manufacturing in Britain, and it’s one of the reasons that so much of our manufacturing goes overseas. Right now, the way things stand means that a company doing its manufacturing abroad, depriving the UK economy, gets a tax break. It’s an absolutely mad way for the Inland Revenue to be running things.

    (Hat tip: Slashdot)

  • The difference between Obama’s vision of America and Republicans’.
  • After blowing over half a billion dollars in taxpayer funds, Obama’s green energy crony capitalism favorites are asking the bankruptcy judge to let them pay bonuses to remaining employees. And that’s on top of the hefty bonuses they paid executives right before declaring bankruptcy. Your tax dollars at work…

  • Obama is not so popular in Florida.
  • The New York Times, in its infinite genius, sends a vegetarian to review steakhouses and BBQ joints in Kansas City. That’s some mighty fine reporting there, Lou. (Hat tip: Dwight)