If you do the crime …

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We’ve no reason to love China but the simple fact is that the Pakistani chap was caught in possession of a large quantity of heroin in their country.  If a country has a history of executing foreigners, e.g. Thailand, then it seems logical that you keep it off your visiting list.

The only exception to this is if a stash is planted on you and you’re an unwitting mule.  This was always something to guard against going back and forth to Russia but there are good websites, including the FCO, to issue latest warnings.  If, however, you’re knowingly going anywhere near drugs in an execution happy country where life is cheap, then I’m sorry but when something like this happens, something like this happens.

How much of this overreaction is wishy-washy Britain’s policy of punishing the innocent and letting crims go free?  How much of this is shock at a country which states a policy and then actually carries it out?  In a society like ours where everything is relative, firmness must come as quite a shock indeed.

Why must small cars be awfully styled?

You all saw the Aston Martin attempt at a small car and many comments were made on that, not all cutting.  Seems there is a veritable plethora of small cars being released in the New Year and I have some questions about them.  First of all, a reasonably nice one:

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I don’t know much about modern Alfas since I drove a Giulia Sprint way back when but it was a fine car at that time.  I’ve heard you need two Alfas – one to drive whilst the other’s being repaired but that might now be outdated .

Anyway, the Alfa above is not a bad looking car.  Compare that to the monstrosity below, the blandness, the total inability to put style into a small package.

Immediate and delayed gratification

College-Co-ed-Has-Bad-Debt-Goo-34cd29a0f0dc2617f07a89763f3b5104-collegecoedA U.S. college student has written to a debt management advisor, asking how to reverse her bad debts and get back on track.

The advisor gave a lot of financial advice about percentages and so on but skimmed over his real advice – the young woman’s change in attitude and it’s not totally certain she has done that. My advice woud be a ittle different.

1. Have a qualification and an up to date non-qualification [called NVQs over here] in her chosen field.

2. Understand that she and most others have been caught in a political game of the credit providers to sever the connect between prices and income, with the former exponentially increasing, necessitating credit debt to maintain exactly the same lifestyle and therefore ensuring the hegemony of the bankers in society.

3. See that there are two types of people, in terms of their psychological makeup – the scrimpers and savers who try to live within their actual means and who understand the term “delayed gratification” … and then the spenders of the world [the vast majority] who follow the dictum “immediate gratification” and its corollary “credit debt” and who find it fine to accumulate material goods at someone else’s expense and to pay debt off with more debt.

If this young lady understands that in the current climate and trying to go through college, she cannot have all the things others appear to have but which they don’t really own at all, then she’s crossed the great divide between those who will eventually have and those who won’t.

At the height of their power

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How important is height?  In Napoleon’s case, not very much or perhaps it was – perhaps that was one thing driving him on.  The list of leaders is long – Churchill, Putin, Mevedev, Stalin, Hitler, John Howard, it goes on.

If a man lacks inches, he needs drive, panache or both, which Sarkozy undoubtedly has and it’s all very well saying that people shouldn’t judge by height but people do.  Randy Newman is apparently a shade over 6 feet:

Europe 2009: excesses of a few in the name of many

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Just what does the other side of the world think of EU politics? The Age says:

Outrageous political rorts, sexual scandals and general bad behaviour have become a European trend. It should be dubbed the Year of Men (and women) Behaving Badly. From politics to high finance, 2009 is likely to be remembered for the excesses of a few in the name of many.  Indeed Britain, a nation traditionally circumspect about mixing politics and polite company, spent the last year of the noughties talking about little else. But not for the right reasons.

The fish, as this blog repeatedly harps on about, rots at the head.  A corrupt leadership will always trickle down like cow dung but instead of fertilizing the ground below, it poisons it, as creosote does to grass.  A corrupt political framework will encourage even the idealistic to corruption once they reach the Elysian Fields and everyone below becomes corrupt.  Just ask Lindy England in the States.