A New Princess

ABC News

ABC News

Well, it’s a bank holiday in Great Britain today. Probably a good thing, I think. I suspect there are more than a few hangovers anyway.  The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a baby, a girl, over the weekend, and she is now fourth in line for the throne.

“So what?” a lot of us think, we did away with that nonsense centuries ago. And we did, and I think rightly so. But we are the revolutionaries who proclaimed :

Novus Ordo Seclorum

Novus Ordo Seclorum
E Pluribus Unum
Annuit Coeptis
Per Aspera Ad Astra

A New Order of the Ages

A New Order of the Ages
Many uniting into one
Providence has favored (our) undertakings
Through hardships to the stars

© Juan Ponce de León

That we did this while reclaiming our heritage of English Common Law is one of the more delicious ironies of our revolution. It’s also likely why it has worked out so well.

But I also note that while we say we detest titles of nobility and monarchs and such, we are nearly as avid watchers of the British monarchy as the Brits themselves. Not many of us manage to go to London and miss the Changing of the  Guard. I’ve always thought the monarchy as a combination of the symbolic side of the presidency (which in theory ought to make the Prime Minister more egalitarian) and the flag.

Parliament has stripped the monarch of any real power long ago, and so it is mostly an anachronism, and a good will ambassador, and a huge tourist industry. I’d bet if one could figure out the accounting, one would find that the Queen is a profit center, as well. Frankly, I suspect she is also a good guide for many things, there are not many people anywhere near the decision makers who have even a tenth of her experience.

But enough of this theoretical stuff, you want to know what they named her, don’t you?

Charlotte Elizabeth Victoria Diana Windsor

All good traditional names in the British royal family, about the only one they missed is Alexandra. She can, if she chooses trace her genealogy all the way back to King Alfred the Great of Wessex, through the House of Hanover (where the Georges came from).

One of my favorite historians, Suzannah Lipscomb gives us a little information on she fits into the system, and how she will be addressed:

The birth of this little girl, fourth in line to the throne is historically interesting, because it brings equality to the sexes. For the first time, following a change in the law – the Succession to the Crown Act 2013, that only came into force a mere five weeks ago – the new Princess can’t be supplanted from her position in the line of succession by any younger brothers. Age, for the first time in history, trumps gender.

Another piece of legislation also applies to this child. The new baby will be titled HRH Princess _____ of Cambridge because of Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm issued by the Queen in December 2012. In 1917, George V restricted the title of HRH Prince or Princess to the children of the sovereign, their children, and the eldest son of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales (i.e. today Prince George).

Read more at A New Princess | Suzannah Lipscomb.

A powerful totalitarian theocracy can bring peace. Of sorts.

NEO:

Linkage? You want linkage/ Well here you go. Yes, i pretty much agree with Dan, as well.

Originally posted on danmillerinpanama:

a1  Obama and Kahameni -building a toaster

Iran, an already powerful theocratic totalitarian state with extensive hegemonic ambitions, is about to become (if it is not already) a nuclear power. So equipped, it can extend its rule over the Middle East and beyond, bringing the “peace” of submission to Islam. Obama may favor this outcome and in any event appears to be at best indifferent.

Iran is ruled by Ayatollah Khamenei, its supreme political and religious power. He has the ultimate authority to approve or reject any P5+1 agreement, should there be one — which seems increasingly likely due to Obama’s ludicrous efforts to concede every possible matter of substance. Obama wants a foreign policy legacy and needs a “deal;” Iran does not need a “deal.” It has already benefited greatly from sanctions relief. Other nations have also benefited economically to the point that even were the U.S. to try to reimpose sanction such trade would continue and expand. Moreover, it is highly likely that Iran has done all of…

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EU Preps for War Against the Internet: Decides to Lose Again

AAEAAQAAAAAAAANYAAAAJGU4MmZmYjg2LTg5NjQtNDFiNS04MWRkLTcwZmMyNmY0M2RkMAWell, this is interesting, although not very surprising, really. Does anybody really think that Europe (especially Germany and France) can compete with the US on a level playing field? No, me neither. The UK, maybe, but nobody else has a chance, and if good sense ever breaks out in the ruling clique in Britain (or they lose the election) they’ll likely get with the program and with their friends and run away from Europe, again.

I say that because I’ve noticed something. If you look at European technical prowess, especially innovation, in anything from civil engineering to the internet, you’ll find the British leading, and everybody else following, while they whine about ‘the Anglo-Saxons’.

They’re right, as well. The American Interest noted today that the EU wants to regulate Google et. al., much more than they do.

THE EU VS SILICON VALLEY

EU Preps for War Against the Internet

EU Preps for War Against the Internet – The American Interest.

As an aside, I’m no huge fan of Google, I think they’re more than a bit intrusive, and I’m not overfond of their data mining and selling my information to all and sundry. But you know what, I use Google products because they work, I don’t have to. There are other providers, just as I no longer use Microsoft products. But it’s remarkable that a company that started in an American garage a few years ago has all Europe scared of them :)

Maybe I’m just old-fashioned but I hope they do. Why? because if they do, the US will simply increase our lead over the hidebound, over-regulated Europeans, while the best Europeans will again come to America where they can innovate much more freely than they can at home. (And make us still richer, and more innovative!)

Funny thing, isn’t it? We’ve built this powerhouse of a country (not that we don’t have plenty of problems, ourselves) on the freedom to try new things and see if you can make a living with them. We’ve done this since about 1650,nd we have built the most powerful economy in the world, and protect it with the most dominant military the world has ever seen with our pocket change. We’ve done this by letting people try and fail, and try and fail, and finally try and succeed.

It’s a hard model. It’s follows from that old saying about the Oregon Trail, “The weak never started and the sick died along the way,” But, you know, there was nearly always someone around to feed the hungry and nurse the sick, and the dead got a decent burial. And the ones that made it, built a world that their grandfathers couldn’t have imagined, where one of the consequences of being poor is being too fat, because you eat too much while playing video games.

I don’t condone such a lifestyle but I’m in awe at a system that can take a world that nearly starved for billions of years and in a few generations make that happen.

And that is what America has done, with some British help (and gold) and with the people who were stifled by Europe. It’s a logarithmic curve, if you haven’t noticed, constantly accelerating, if we keep going there is no way to know where we’ll be in twenty-five years, let alone a hundred.

Carroll Bryant once said:

Some people make things happen.

Some people watch things happen.

And then there are those who wonder, ‘What the hell just happened?”

I know where I want to be. How about you?

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?

150220_POL_Hillary.jpg.CROP.promovar-mediumlargeI’ve always thought it sad that we have commented more or less forever that we have the best Congress money can buy. particularly since it so often seems true. We deserve better but we are lazy and don’t demand it, so we don’t get it.

Still this nonsense just leaves me shaking my head in bewilderment that anybody thinks that an aging woman with no accomplishments should be president, after she sold out the US State Department to the highest bidder.

BloombergPolitics reported this morning that the Clinton Foundation refused to disclose the identities of at least 1,100 donors, most of whom are not U.S. citizens, to a Clinton Foundation affiliate. The donations were routed through the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (Canada), or CGEPartnership, a Canadian charitable organization. That organization then effectively bundled the foreign donations and sent them along to the Clinton Foundation itself, and it did all of this without ever disclosing the individual foreign sources of the income.

If that sounds to you like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization, that’s because it certainly looks like more of a laundering operation than a charitable organization. In this case, however, rather than taking cash from blatantly illegal activities (as far as we know) and then cleaning it up by running it through legitimate businesses before it ends up at its final destination, the Clinton Foundation mops up cash from wealthy foreigners, bundles it within a larger organization to hide the money’s original source, and then funnels the cash from that legitimate charity right into the Clinton Foundation coffers.

After the New York Times uncovered the connections between uranium mining magnate Frank Giustra, his Canadian charitable organization, the Clinton Foundation, and official actions taken by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that benefitted Giustra’s global uranium mining operations, the Clinton Foundation immediately entered spin mode.

Is The Clinton Foundation Just A Foreign Laundering Scheme?.

Hillary Clinton; likely the best candidate for US president that Foreign money can buy!

Is that what we really should have?

The Left’s Burning Cities

Breitbart.com

Breitbart.com

I suppose it’s time to say something about Baltimore, not that I have anything overly pertinent to add. I have noticed though (as has David French, in the linked article) that what is going on is really nothing more than two of the Democratic Party’s prized identity political groups: public employee unions, and welfare recipients, having a disagreement.

In Baltimore, as the National Guard steps in, curfews are imposed, and business owners pick up the pieces from their burned-out, looted stores, let’s not forget why one more American city has been torn apart by racial violence. Blue America has failed at social justice. It has failed at equality. It has failed at accountability. Its competing constituencies are engaged in street battles, and any exploration of “root causes” must necessarily include decades of failed policies — all imposed by steadfastly Democratic mayors and city leaders.

Are the riots caused by the Baltimore Police Department’s “documented history” of abuse? Which party has run Baltimore and allowed its police officers to allegedly run amok? Going deeper, which American political movement lionizes public-employee unions, fiercely protecting them from even the most basic reform? Public-employee unions render employee discipline difficult and often impossible. Jobs are functionally guaranteed for life, and rogue officers can count on the best representation money can buy — courtesy of Blue America.

Continue reading The Left’s Burning Cities | National Review Online.

As always seems to be the case, people despair when they don’t have the self-respect that a job, almost any job, engenders. We innately know, deep within in us, the difference between earning something and simply being given it. And frankly, it’s hard to imagine a much more hostile place, in America, than the city of Baltimore to start a business that would provide jobs. Michael Tanner noticed this as well:

The unemployment rate in Baltimore in February was 8.4 percent, compared with just 5.5 percent nationally. In the Sandtown–Winchester/Harlem Park area, which is near the center of the unrest, more than half of the people did not have jobs, according to a February 2015 report from the Justice Policy Institute and the Prison Policy Initiative.

One reason for this is the city’s — and the state’s — unremitting hostility to business. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that only seven states and the District of Columbia have a worse business climate than Maryland. The state’s tax burden is huge and growing. According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Maryland ranks a dismal 40th in terms of business taxes, and an even worse 45th in terms of personal-income taxes. According to this report, Maryland is one of just a few states where the personal-income tax creates “an unnecessary drag on economic activity.” The state’s small businesses face the nation’s seventh-highest marginal tax rates.

As if that were not bad enough, the city of Baltimore adds one of the highest property taxes among comparable cities. Despite a recent modest reduction in property-tax rates, Baltimore still has a tax rate more than twice the rate of most of the rest of the state. A recent study by the Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy ranked Baltimore twelfth out of 53 major cities in terms of high property taxes. When the city taxes are combined with state taxes, Baltimore ends up with the ninth worst tax burden out of 50 major American cities.

Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/417619/poverty-despair-and-big-government-michael-tanner

Not where I would start a business, would you? And so, the cycle will continue, until it doesn’t of course, because at some point the politicians will run out of other people’s money.

And at that point, real poverty will ensue. When people find out that they have nowhere to spend their welfare benefits, not even MacDonald’s, what will happen? I don’t know, and doubt anyone else does either,.

I suspect, if we are lucky, Detroit does

 

Customer Service?

picAMT35005It seems that the railroad in Britain going up to Norwich had a bad day yesterday, and as happens so often these day, they inconvenienced somebody who mentioned it on Twitter, and she happens to be friend of mine.

To be honest, one can find these everyday, about nearly every corporations, and normally I consider them noise. But the thing is, I have quite a few friends around Norfolk, England, and they are unanimous in condemning, loudly and often profanely, the railroad. Makes one wonder what’s up with this company

 

 

OK, Sarah went on a bit of a rant there, and there are a few more, and gin was mentioned. [The mention was in relation to gin not being availabe, it’s no drunken rant :) ] But even so, if you are depending on a company to get you where you need to be, their failure to provide the contracted service can have reasonably serious consequences.

How would you like to miss a job interview (or your wedding) because an airline for no good reason cancelled your flight? The Brits use the railroad as we use airlines here.

I referred to (in my answer) that Amtrak has good people in the field, here’s what I was talking about.

Many of you know that when I go east at Christmas, I often take the train, rather than tolerate the airports. It’s a tradition, and truthfully, I enjoy the trip, although it can get a bit tedious. In any case, last winter, things got a bit screwed up, and I simply forgot that the train leaves Denver on the day before it gets to my station (I board at about 1:00 am). And so, through no fault of Amtrak, I was a day late (a dollar short, as well!).

Funny part was, I didn’t realize it all, until the attendant couldn’t find my reservation, and of course, at Christmas, the trains are running near capacity. So we went to find the conductor, who runs the train here, as well.

My experience was a bit different from Sarah’s. The first thing he did was figure out if he had a compartment to stash me in, luckily, he did. That got me to Chicago. Then he picked up his iPhone and called Amtrak reservations/customer service. by now, it’s about 2 am, and in about 5 minutes he had it all straightened out, on all three trains, not only at no cost, but I got a bit of money back because the fares were a bit cheaper than when I had made my reservations. All I had to do was pick up my new tickets at Chicago.

Interesting, I think, that an American quasi-governmental company would do so well at this, while a private British company would fumble so badly, and so often as well.

I don’t have an answer really. Amtrak was formed back in 1971, in a deal to get the railroads out of the passenger business that was costing them great gobs of money, and had been ever since the post office took the mail off the trains (and in truth, even before). The British, on the other hand, nationalized their railroads back in the 30s or 40s and the weren’t privatised until Thatcher was Prime Minister.

In both cases then, it’s nearly a generation ago, and one would have expected the attitudes to change but, I expect it’s basically an institutional memory, in the American case, that one must earn one’s patronage, and in the British one of we are the government and you will do what you’re told. or something.

But, I also note that American airlines have a habit of abusing their customers the same way, so maybe it has to do with being the dominant carrier. American railroads may well have been the same way back in the day, before airplanes and automobiles took over. While Amtrak has to scratch for customers, and sleeper customers just have to be profitable. Competition is always good for the consumer.

So no real lessons here, just some interesting speculation.

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