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current state of the world, economic theory

Tower Hamlets on taxpayer-funded jolly

Trial by Jeory, via contributor Wiggia, brings us this:

Kentwell Hall is a beautiful historic Tudor home in Long Melford, near Sudbury, Suffolk … Its Hall Barn Lodge and Annexe can sleep up to 14 and a weekend break with a group that size in early May costs £1,150, according to a quote I was given.

And, thanks to photos posted on Twitter by the Stepney branch of the Salvation Army, these were the guests there this weekend:

interfaith jolly on the taxpayer

There follows all the horse-riding, feasting etc. that the group obviously thoroughly enjoyed.

On the taxpayer.

[That’s] Tower Hamlets First Cllr Mahbub Alam in the foreground of the group photo above.

there is one journalist in that group and some who are activists in the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE).

The chap to Mahbub’s right wearing the dark jacket is Ahad Miah. He stood and lost as a Tower Hamlets FIrst candidate for Wapping in last May’s council elections.

When the law crosses the Rubicon

wisconsin rubicon

At what point does the law cross that line where earlier, it protected its citizens but now it appears to be shaping up to oppress them? You’ll hear such things from one side of politics all the time but when the voices come from other side as well, then something is surely going on.

There’ll be some incidents mentioned below which you can judge for yourself. It would be good to be able still to ask Captain Ranty that question and also Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII’s Chancellor, at least from Robert Bolt’s A Man for all Seasons:

Roper is appalled at the idea of granting the Devil the benefit of law, but More is adamant.

“What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? … And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you – where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

SDRs, debt and what should concern us most

Rossa points to this site for a commentary on the Spring Meetings:

During a live question and answer session at the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, Managing Director Christine Lagarde once again reiterated that China has formally requested the inclusion of the renminbi currency in the SDR basket composition.  She also stated that Chinese efforts towards economic reforms, such as opening up capital accounts, has been supporting the case for the yuan.

The expansion of the membership list of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the growing framework of the Eurasian Development Bank, with probable regional currencies, is creating additional leverage on both America and the IMF to ensure that quota and governance reforms are implemented and that the yuan is included in the upcoming SDR review.

And the question, Laze and Gem, is just what exactly are we headed for?  Via Chuckles, here is a different view of things, of debt and other matters:

So in reality the real danger is not that the U.S.

Provocation might sometimes be ordained from on High

As usual, it is the comments section which provides the real data or at least the real direction to pursue next.   Whilst some pieces by a blogger are of value in themselves as reading pieces, for me the comments is where it is rounded out.

This has happened both at NO and OoL in the last 24 hours. AT OoL, Hereward in particular has provided material which made me think California drought and it seems Chuckles too – a post will be forthcoming over there but meanwhile, this is being written.

A longterm commenter and friend, Cherie, provided a song about the direction a Christian might take and on the Katie Hopkins post – this:

Two provocateurs are bound to love each other. :)

And then:…

Forensic hairs

Haiku sends this one and I have a question.  Having read the quote, which words, which particular phrase, stood out for you?

The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Innocence Project, which are assisting the government with the country’s largest post-conviction review of questioned forensic evidence. The cases include those of 32 defendants sentenced to death. Of those, 14 have been executed or died in prison, the groups said under an agreement with the government to release results after the review of the first 200 convictions.


The old comments problem is back – interesting timing that it should be today.

So yes, those who wrote and asked – it is doing weird things, putting people into pending, taking them out, blocking regulars, even spamming them.  Please bear in mind that this is not me doing it – there are too many other things occupying the time, leading into next week and I’m trying to stay on top of those.

And an amusing addition – the skin issue came back strongly last evening – think it was spring cleaning the other room which led to that.  Idiot that I am, I did wear gloves but they were a pair used before – might have had chemicals inside on the lining.  So couldn’t blog if I wanted for now.

There’ve been things knocked off of late around this place too, plus other issues.  Criminal minds never see that it is ordinary people they’re hurting, not the rich.…

The gradual demise of award winning “plonk”

Astringent-WineIn many ways it had to come, the supermarkets’ continual driving down of suppliers’ profit margins and the supermarkets’ domination of the bulk wine trade meaning suppliers have to be of a certain size to fulfil the vast quantities required.

Anybody, and that’s the vast majority of you, who buys their wine from supermarkets will have noticed in the last couple of years that the range on offer in most of them has become, for lack of a better word moribund, one major chain in particular has a range that has hardly changed at all in that period to such an extent that you could go round blindfolded and take the correct bottles off the shelves.

I have hinted at the reasons for this before and it is simply becoming more evident. The reasons are multiple, firstly as in my opening line only the big boys can compete with price and quantity, but it is not just that.…


Night follows day:

Gwyneth Paltrow broke her much-mocked attempt at shopping on a food stamp budget in search of some chicken and black licorice.

The multimillionaire mom was derided last week when she accepted the #FoodBankNYCChallenge from celebrity chef Mario Batali. The idea is to experience how difficult it is for families to live on the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — better known as food stamps.

So she set out with $29 — the amount the average person on food stamps receives — and every intention of showing those strapped for cash how to do it.

I’ve lived like a King in the past [not sure if you know the King family, they live in Chipping Norton] and dined at some of our fine eateries- at one time dining out three times a week.

I’ve also lived like a pauper and am about to do so perhaps two weeks from now.…

NHS blues

I expect that similar stories could fill the blog on a daily basis.

The morning two days ago, I take No 1 shopping. In the car park we see a couple we knew from awhile back and naturally stop and talk.

The wife was evidently not well and I asked what was wrong……………..

She told the tale of two weeks ago when she had to come home from work as she could not carry on, ( it is her own business so not a case of slacking), she phoned the doctors for an appointment, stressing it was urgent as she was vomiting and hallucinating by then.

The reply was that there were no appointments that day, phone in the morning, stressing the urgency. The practice said they would get the doctor to phone in a couple of hours.

This he did and went through the symptoms with her but said nothing, she had difficulty understanding much of what he said as he is foreign but persevered and got most of it.…

Huge gender bias in STEM


CNN reports on a new study showing there is a HUGE gender bias in hiring decisions in the United States and it has been this way in some fields since the eighties. You already knew there was gender bias in hiring (duh) but you probably did not know how bad it was. Check this out: The gender preference in hiring decisions was 2-to-1 in some areas for candidates with equal qualifications. 

That is an embarrassing number for a country that prides itself on equal opportunity. A 2-to-1 advantage is not even within driving distance of equal rights.

By the way, this study matches my personal observations over a lifetime. I have been in countless meetings in which a strong gender preference in hiring was discussed behind closed doors. Now I feel terrible about all those conversations. I am officially part of the problem because I did nothing to stop it.

When will they ever learn?

You might call this crass and unfeeling but I say that someone has to mention it.  Someone has to say to society in general – wake up to yourselves and start putting sense into your daughters – this is also why fathers should be in the home or at a minimum, the man she’s brought in, the mother, is not feckless.

This young lady left a nightclub in America with a man:


The rest you do not want to know.  And Brits know of this young lady:


And the world knows of this one:


Here’s the first one we’ve seen in the news of the past few days:

Police searching for missing Glasgow student Karen Buckley find ‘human remains’ on farm – after 21-year-old man she met in club on night she disappeared is detained

And another hot on its heels:

A woman’s face was gnawed like a dog’s “chewy toy” when she was attacked while walking home from a nightclub. Laura Franks, 21, of Great Yarmouth, said she needs reconstructive surgery after her nose and face were bitten in an attack by another woman.