Whither America? No sooner did I post 'The Good News' on the Great Republic as announced by Mr. Daniel Drezner yesterday when I read 'The Bad News' as forecast by Mr. Doug Bandow in The American Spectator:
This year’s deficit has fallen from outer space to the upper atmosphere. That’s
good, but only a very modest first step. Moreover, without real budget reform,
future deficits will rocket back upward. In short, the budget crisis is not over. In fact, it has only just begun.
This blog remains resolutely irresolute, shifting and shuffling in circles around the centre, in line with its new editorial policy which lays down that it will adamantly refuse to forecast anything ever again on the grounds of terminal embarrassment!
The ultimate in soppiness? Did you miss it - didja? - didja? Well you should be ashamed if last weekend you failed to stand silent with head bowed, or perhaps lay prostrate on the ground gently beating Mother Earth and begging her forgiveness for the slaughter of, er, bees. Oh yes, the bees, those nasty, bad tempered, buzzing thingies that give you a painful sting when you try to weed your flower beds. Well, the daft good people of Oregan, USA held a memorial service last weekend in memory of 50,000 bees - and, no, I didn't count them and nor do I know who did - who were slaughtered by the use of insecticides which were used, of course, to provide food for, er, people. Anyway, it's not too late so, altogether now:
Well, buzz, buzz, buzz goes the bumble bee
Tweedle, deedle, dee goes the bird . . .
Little 'Georgie Moonbat' whacked by a windmill: Oh, alright then, it's not true but a man may dream, may he not? And admit it, if George Monbiot was clobbered by a windmill we would all end up on the floor drumming with our fists and feet helpless with hysterical laughter. As it was, the (latest) victim of these disgusting and useless machines was a White-throated Needletail (Hirundapus caudacutus) - and no, me neither - which is a very rare bird not seen in 'this septic Isle' for 18 years. Anyway, it was spotted 'ooop north' and dozens of 'twitchers' ('bird watchers', for the sake of my foreign readers) rushed up there to see it. Alas, all they saw was the carcass after it flew into one of those monstrous blades. If even Greenie 'technology' is harmful to wild life then there is only one course for us all to take - mass suicide - it's the least we can do!
Absolutely and definitely my last rave review of this book: I have already mentioned it a couple of times but I make absolutely no apology for urging you again to go and treat yourself to a copy. If you refuse to take my word for it then let me tell you that that final arbiter of taste and discernment, er, except in the choice of husband, the 'Memsahib' has also given it a rave review to her friends. If I describe it as a legal murder mystery that is simply to underrate it. It is a terrific family story and the writer has the gift of being able to write dialogue in character - he really should try his hand at playwriting. The ending is - and I use the word with care - shocking! So shocking that neither of us can erase it from our minds. Defending Jacob by William Landay - don't hang about, buy it now!
And this sounds like a book with a difference: Not my recommendation but Jeremy Clarke in this week's Spectator under the heading of 'Summer Reading'. The actual book is Elephant Bill by J.H. Williams (1950) but the bit that struck me was the forward by Field Marshal Slim, no less, a good fighting general and the man who liberated Burma:
In the 16th Army our soldiers varied in colour from white, through every
shade of yellow and brown, to coal black. The animals we used reflected a
similar variety. Pigeons, dogs, ponies, mules, horses, bullocks, buffaloes and
elephants, they served well and faithfully. There were true bonds of affection
between men and all these beasts, but the elephant held a special place in our
esteem. It was not, I think, a matter of size and strength. It was the
elephant’s dignity and intelligence that gained our respect.
So, if elephants are your favourites, this is the book for you.
'Bunga-Bunga' Berlusconi was screwed: Our British 'Cocklecarrots' merely combine terminal dimness with arrogance but I fear that 'il Cocklecarrotti', their less than distinguished Italian counterparts, manage to inject large doses of political corruption into their fumbling, bumbling manipulations. Thus it was with 'Bunga-Bunga Berlusconi' who has been found guilty of sex with a minor despite the minor, 17 years old at the time and hardly a chaste virgin, denying absolutely that it took place. As Nicholas Farrell points out, again in this week's 'Speccie' - do treat yourselves to Britain's best weekly - the fix was in:
Yes, Berlusconi paid Ruby [the 'victim'?] money (she was present 13 times at his infamous parties and received €3,000 a time). He pays dozens of women money. So what? Is that proof of prostituting a minor? About 30 young women who were also paid regularly by Berlusconi to grace the parties at his villa outside Milan appeared as witnesses in the two-year trial to say that they had never seen any sex at those parties or him having sex with anyone, let alone the nubile Moroccan.
Perhaps it is also worth bearing in mind that at the time he was 74 and, even
though an Italian, a prostate-cancer survivor. Even though the media joked about
him being equipped with the ‘pillola blu’ (blue pill), the ‘pompa’ (pump), the
‘puntura’ (injection) and the ‘piccola gru’ (small crane), was he even capable
of full-on sex?
None of that mattered to the three 'wimmin' judges:
The Procura di Milano teems with left-wing ones. Ever since Berlusconi entered
politics in 1994 to stop the otherwise inevitable victory at the elections of
the post-communist party (Italy had the largest communist party outside the
Soviet bloc before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989), the Milanese judges
have hounded him with a hysterical fanaticism that can only be described as
And to give you the full rank flavour of Italian 'justice' some thirty women who were regular 'guests' at the parties gave sworn evidence that no sexual activities took place. They have now been charged with committing perjury!
Here endeth the last rumble!