Another Sunday rumble, or perhaps 'grumble' is a better word, as I awake to yet more global warming falling gently from an iron grey sky and settling nicely, thank you for asking! As usual, I shall add to this litany of moans and groans as the day goes on, so if you are actually feeling rather happy today, then read no further!
'And then they came for your bank savings': So now you know, and you must be deaf, dumb, blind and lacking a sense of smell if you didn't know it already, that to the apparatchiks who run the Berlin-Brussels axis nothing is sacred, least of all your hard-earned savings which you have entrusted to your local bank. The Cypriots have just found that out - the hard way - with banks closed until Tuesday whilst the authorities rip off up to 10% of their savings. Of course, they put it about that what they're really after is the untaxed il-gotten gains of various Russian crooks oligarchs who decided that Cyprus with its, er, Mediterranean banking laws was a haven of first resort. Call me 'Mr. Cynical' but I wonder how much Russian 'moolah' was shifted electronically on Wednesday and Thursday when, in return for a nice bung, various apparatchiks quietly tipped them the wink?
Mother Russia is a murderous old bitch! When I read Tom Rob Smith's best-selling book, Child 44, I promised myself never to read another book by him on the subject of Russia - well, I didn't have to really because Child 44 nauseated me - not, I hasten to add, that Mr. Smith isn't a first-rate writer, he's terrific! He seems to capture exactly the fear and loathing that existed within Stalin's Soviet Union in which everyone is seeking either to denounce others, or desperately trying not to be denounced themselves. Anyway, being a hopeless 'bookaholic' I wasn't too surprised to find that somehow, in some mysterious way - nuffin' to do wiv me, honest guv! - someone had slipped a copy of his book Agent 6 into my shopping bag. I only reached page 25 and already I could feel the nausea returning - when will I ever learn? Anyway, I was reminded of this by a review at The Atlantic by Benjamin Schwartz of a book called Moscow 1937 written by Prof. Karl Schlögel:
Schlögel’s book is a fragmentary yet meticulous social history of Moscow in the grip of the Great Terror—the period from the summer of 1936 to the end of 1938, when the already sanguinary Bolshevik regime let loose on itself its apparatus of suppression, purging, in waves, all Soviet institutions and at all levels of society, from the nomenklatura, the highest echelons of administrative, cultural, and scientific life, through the high command of the Red Army, to the engineers and apparatchiks, down to the factory workers and peasants. It is an almost impossibly rich masterpiece. [...]
In this chapter and throughout his book, Schlögel is the master of the chilling counterpoint. He subtly makes clear to readers that the 1936 Directory [the equivalent of our Dictionary of National Biography] is brimming with the names of people destined for the abattoir, and he notes that this edition of the Directory was, perforce, the final one: “No editorial board could have kept pace with the frantic rate at which people were driven from their posts and destroyed while their places were taken by others.” Completed on the eve of the Terror, this last Directory “encapsulates a moment in time in which the accusers and the accused, the perpetrators and the victims, the executioners and the executed of the morrow, still sit side by side.”
Once again, and not for the first time, I fall to my knees and thank the Gods of Good Fortune that I was born English!
There's no fool like an educated fool: And here I give you - no, no, please, there's no charge and he's all yours - Prof. Geoffrey Miller, not just a fool but a dangerous one, to boot. In a (thankfully) short article at Edge, this eye-swivelling maniac urges on us the advantages of Chinese eugenics:
There is unusually close cooperation in China between government, academia, medicine, education, media, parents, and consumerism in promoting a utopian Han ethno-state. Given what I understand of evolutionary behavior genetics, I expect—and hope—that they will succeed. The welfare and happiness of the world's most populous country depends upon it.
I cannot be bothered to take up all the hideous nonsense this man writes but I would remind him that there is nothing unusual about "close cooperation in China" because, you stupid, master-race theorist, it's a one party dictatorship in which everyone does what they're told - or else - so if you admire it that much, Prof. Miller, why don't you fuck off and live there! (Apologies for my language but I haven't read this sort of vile vomit since the late Herr Hitler did us all a favour and topped himself!)
How are your alkenones hanging? I ask, not that I have the remotest idea what an 'alkenode' is when it's at home, but because some less-than-scientific HAF called Marcott has just published a paper indicating 'The Hockey Stick' of all 'hockey sticks'! He and his little helpers base their record of galloping global warming in the last century by using ocean core samples as proxies. Very good, you might think, and quite rightly you will be alarmed at the way that temperatures have rocketed up, up and away such that the end of the world really must be nigh. Unfortunately, that meddlesome nuisance, Steve McIntyre, decided to take a closer look and - whodathunkit? - it appears that the HAFs concerned altered the dates of some of their data. This, shall we call it, carelessness with regard to dates had rather a significant result, as this diagram, courtesy of McIntyre's Climate Audit site shows:
'Les flics' finally spiral out of action: Yes, yes, I know it's a rather heavy-handed sub-title but last night Spiral 4 came to an end on BBC4 which is a personal catastrophe for me because the other two women in my life will be no more - unless they bring it back for a fifth serial. You have days left to watch most of the episodes on your I-Player-thingie (whatever that it is) or perhaps there are DVD sets available. Most of the time I had only the vaguest idea of what was going on in the series - so no change there, then! - but I didn't care just so long as my two ladies kept appearing. First, Caroline Proust whom I hope fervently will one day handcuff me and throw away the key!
And then there is the sexiest 'lawyer' I have ever come across - no, I admit, not a hard test - the gorgeous Audrey Fleurot. Whenever I am in legal trouble, and assuming that Ms. Anna Raccoon is unavailable, then this is the lady I want to defend me - and quite honestly I won't care very much if I lose!
Now I have a problem! What on earth am I going to do with my empty Saturday nights?
Zis iss ein German yoke: Which probably means you won't get it! However, as the new Gauleiters of Greater Germany (er, that's Europe to you and me) set about stealing money from people's bank accounts in order to teach them fiscal discipline so that they can be loaned more money - vich zey vill pay back on time viz interest - sorry, that's enough cod German - an article on the DW.de site will give you a smile. According to the story:
Highly indebted, without access to capital, viewed suspiciously by creditors - . Half the country's debts were canceled 60 years ago this week - the foundation of the "economic miracle." [...]
It was only with the London Debt Agreement of 1953 that the German economy was given room to breathe again, says historian Ursula Rombeck-Jaschinski of Stuttgart University: "One could even argue that the economic miracle would have been impossible without the debt agreement."
Ah, yes, now remind me, what exactly is the German for 'don't do as we did just do as we tell you - or you will be shot'?
I am now out of rumbles for today!