Tuesday, May 29, 2007

This Just In

"A third-rate, tin-pot dictator of a minor third world nation"

And on the right is Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

Socialised Medicine

People complain about the health system here in the US. I have myself gone half mad dealing with the half-wits insurance companies staff their call centers with. And I notice that in hospital there are as many accountants as doctors. But having said that, if you have insurance, the hospitals in the US I have seen are like five star hotels with nurses thrown in.

The British equivalent is the "National Health Service". According to Wikipedia its annual budget in dollars is $206BN. What does the British taxpayer get for this sum - which is a full 10% of the Gross Domestic Product of the UK as a whole?

So where does that money go? Well since 2002 approximately $30BN has been spent on the "National Programme for IT". That's right, the caring lefties in the British government have managed to blow an amount equivalent to the purchase price of 6 Nimitz-class nuclear aircraft carriers - on a failed computer system upgrade.

So that's the British taxpayer doing their bit to support the booming Indian IT sector then.

And what of the hospitals themselves? Should you fall sick after a lifetime paying contributions, you then fall in line behind whoever else is not feeling too well that day - a Somalian asylum seeker and her ten kids, or a bunch of addicts jonesing for their methadone.

And should you survive the wait for treatment, you'll find that because all the money's been spent on computer consultants, and all the people who could be cleaning hospitals are instead paid to sit home watching cable TV, you are exposed to the second-worst rate of MRSA infection in Europe, second only to Greece.

If you feel like catching MRSA in Chicago, your best bet according to today's Sun-Times is The Cook County Jail

Monday, May 28, 2007

Creating excellence in the quality chaos

Remember back in the 1980s everybody in the West was trying to emulate Japanese business techniques? Kaizen, Kanban, Just in Time, turning up to work once in a while, you name it, Western business tried it.

Of course the Japanese economy fell on hard times and they never did end up owning the entire US West Coast.

But it seems to me that our leaders could still learn something from the way politics is conducted over there - particularly in the UK.

here we have the tale of a lowly agriculture minister, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who got caught up in some run of the mill bid rigging and spending too much money doing up his office. I mean come on - what public official hasn't spent $50,000 installing a shower every now and then.

But things are done differently in Japan. When this story came out, honest Tosh did the decent thing and topped himself!

Why can't Tony Blair and his cabinet do the same?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A menace on the roads

If there's one thing socialists hate, it's that the car gives ordinary people the freedom to go where they want, do what they want. Graduated licensing, compulsory insurance, road checks, speed cameras, absurdly low speed limits, are how they deal with the motorist while recognizing that their social programs and cronies in no-work jobs rely on the tax revenue from all the economic activity generated by the motor car.

A while back megamillionaire former Goldman Sachs boss Jon Corzine was trying to decide what to do with his retirement. With most of his millions stashed safely in offshore tax havens, he decided to spend the balance buying the New Jersey governorship.

Now naturally the main benefit of a governorship is it enables you to reward your cronies with no-work jobs at the taxpayer's expense. But for a guy who's spent most of his life in the back of a limo dawdling along at 55, it also offers the opportunity to be driven in convoy at over 90mph by a posse of heavily armed state troopers on your way to a few rounds of golf. Wow, ma! Look how all the peasants get out of my way! This is how Joe Stalin must have felt on the Moscow ring road!

And of course the hypocrite wasn't wearing his seat belt either. After all, they're for little people to wear and big government socialists to lecture them about.

Socialists have been bleating 'speed kills' for years and making millions of dollars of revenue in tickets issued to working people. Of course, what they mean is 'speed kills if you're not driving an official vehicle'. Earth to Jon: Speed kills if you don't pay attention and don't know what you're doing.

More Here

This is justice in so many ways.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Ramblings from the EU

For those that don't know, the European Union (EU) is a project to turn the sovereign nations of Europe into something like the old Soviet Union where decisions are all taken centrally by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats and forced onto an unwilling populace.

However, it started out in 1957 with the Treaty of Rome, with entirely different aims. It was originally planned as a place to give useless windbags who never held a proper job, had completely failed at everything they had attempted, and had no meaningful contribution to make in any sphere, somewhere they could not do too much harm while continuing to receive generous salaries and benefits from the public purse.

Here's somebody who fits that description to a "T" and also looks like he wouldn't be out of place in the STASI high command.

Richard Corbett, MEP

So in the article I link to above he waxes lyrical about how much Prague has changed since he visited in 1978 (probably invited by his mates in the Politburo). You can read how sad he is now Communism has been relegated to a museum. He probably fancies himself as a mid-ranking Politburo member waving from Lenin's tomb. Anyway I doubt many Czechs share his nostalgia, particularly not those who had their testicles wired up to the mains in the torture chambers of the notorious StB, the Czech intelligence service.

Richard Corbett - what a prick. Funded by the British taxpayer to the tune of over $200,000 a year, and he doesn't need to submit any receipts for his expenses under EU law.

The Germans

It's so easy to rubbish the Germans. I've never met one who didn't come over as a major liberal. Yet in the past 75 years, that same liberal, wouldn't-hurt-a-fly warm and cuddly nation has managed to give the world Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Party, Belsen, Dachau, Auschwitz, the Gestapo, the Stasi and Hohenschonhausen.

The last person "shot while trying to escape" the fatherland wasn't some British aviator trying to do a runner from Colditz castle disguised as a pantomime horse, oh no.

He was in fact, Chris Gueffroy, who tried going over the Berlin wall in February 1989 and was shot for his trouble.

So now a lot of ex-STASI are working in the German security services. How else to explain the fact that the old-time STASI preoccupation with collecting scent samples of dissidents to make them easier to track by dogs has made a reappearance?

Don't Mess with the KGB - Part 2

In the last post I indicated that Russia's special services, the FSB and SVR are making a welcome comeback and giving the US alphabet soup agencies something real to justify their budgets, taking their attention off of you and me.

Now the key thing to remember with these guys is, just don't piss them off. And be very skeptical if they invite you for tea.

Here's Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine sporting his matinee-idol looks

and here he is not long after having dinner with somebody from the "competent organs"

And of course everybody has heard of Alexander Litvinenko who worked for the FSB

Another good-looking guy who bizarrely decided to make a career vocally criticizing his former employers. Fair enough, but the really bizarre part, was that he then decided to have tea with them. Can you see where he might have made a mistake? Poor old Alex didn't see this coming:

and of course, he's no longer with us, and his house in North London is unlikely to be habitable for about the next 100,000 years.

Don't Mess with the KGB - Part 1

Everybody's heard of the famous Soviet-era secret police force, the KGB and its fearsome reputation. There are signs lately that Russia's special services (the Russian leadership refers to them as the 'competent organs' which is ironic because their enemies have frequently found themselves missing some organs) are enjoying something of a renaissance.

And I'm here to tell you why that's a good thing.

First let's dispel a myth. The foreign intelligence arm of the KGB, the First Chief Directorate, was not a refuge for thugs and maniacs. In fact, given the rarity of investment banks and international law firms operating in the Soviet Union, the FCD was the go-to place offering career advancement and foreign travel for all the top graduates. So they were an excellent adversary for the CIA and its allies.

Now since the collapse of the Soviet Union and until 9/11, the CIA, NSA, DIA (bet you've not heard of that one!), FBI, and so on, have had to struggle to justify their enormous secret budgets. In the absence of any real threat they are forced to turn inwards and start making up absurd movie-plot threats like this one, and building databases and spying on ordinary citizens.

But with the Russians up to their old tricks again the kind of nonsense that leads to cartoons like this...

should be a thing of the past!

In praise of Putin

So I admit to being an admirer of the Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and of Russia in general. That's not in the same sense of, say, the way a large number of British and European politicians like Russia, in that they would have eagerly signed up to the Warsaw pact given half a chance. But I admire Putin for his strong leadership and the Russian people for their determination in the face of adversity, and for giving the Germans a good kicking in World War II.

First you have to admire the man's ability to remain on the top of Kremlin politics. Can you imagine a grinning weasel like Tony Blair lasting a week as Russian president?

He would have fallen victim to some misfortune quicker than you could say 'slimy turd'.

Here's Putin visiting the new multi-million dollar HQ of Russian Military Intelligence, the GRU and brushing up his skills with a pistol.

Can you imagine Blair brandishing a Makarov? No, while denying the same ability to law-abiding British citizens, he leaves that sort of dirty work to his publically funded team of heavily armed bodyguards. At the first sign of trouble Blair would either be quivering under the table or in the arms of his minder, while Vlad would have either despatched the miscreant with a single Haraigoshi

or failing that blown his head off with his trusty Makarov.

Seriously folks, how could you not like a world leader who could tell George Bush "we don't want the same sort of democracy in Russia that they have in Iraq!"


Welcome to my world

Where I laugh at socialism because my doctor tells me that it's more healthy than getting mad

Plus, from Michael Moore to Tony Blair, there is so much material!