Thursday, January 5, 2012

Remembrances jogged by PISSED

PISSED commented on What if...?

I have sometimes wondered the what if's? Everything is fate I guess and you just have to go with it.

It's usually the 3-5 second rule I call it. Somebody will mention a fatal car accident and I think what if either party rolled over when the alarm went off, or did or didn't stop for coffee, or stopped at the yellow light earlier rather than run it.

To which I replied:

I should have died many times in my life and your mention of the above reminds me of the time I drove from Northern Virginia to my military school reunion in Lewisburg, WVA in my '65 Hi Po at around midnight after consuming countless beers. At any rate, the divided highway had concrete bridges that went across it at fairly close intervals and I woke up at the bottom of the grassy section exactly between two which enabled me to get back on the highway before certain death. Indeed, a 3-5 second rule.

Then there was the time I ran out of air at around 80 feet chasing a large Sheepshead in California with a bag full of scallops. Well, each time I kicked upwards, I would of course get a little more air to breath and finally there came the time that I said to myself that if I don't hit the top next time, I'm done, but no way in hell I was going to drop my bag of scallops to make it easier! Crazy!:) Anyway on the supposedly last kick I saw the surface and made it. Boy that was the sweetest intake of air I ever had!

Drought Doomed Ancient City of Angkor

Via Survival

The ancient city of Angkor — the most famous monument of which is the breathtaking ruined temple of Angkor Wat — might have collapsed due to valiant but ultimately failed efforts to battle drought, scientists find.

The great city of Angkor in Cambodia, first established in the ninth century, was the capital of the Khmer Empire, the major player in southeast Asia for nearly five centuries. It stretched over more than 385 square miles (1,000 square kilometers), making it the most extensive urban complex of the preindustrial world. In comparison, Philadelphia covers 135 square miles (350 sq. km), while Phoenix sprawls across more than 500 square miles (1,300 sq. km), not including the huge suburbs.

Suggested causes for the fall of the Khmer Empire in the late 14th to early 15th centuries have included war and land overexploitation. However, recent evidence suggests that prolonged droughts might have been linked to the decline of Angkor — for instance, tree rings from Vietnam suggest the region experienced long spans of drought interspersed with unusually heavy rainfall.


Fred Says Goodbye

Kerry And His Mystical Khmer Dau (Rouge)

Revealed: The priest who changed the course of history ... by rescuing a drowning four-year-old Hitler from death in an icy river

Via Blue

It may be the most devastating act of mercy in history.

A newspaper report chronicling how a boy of four was saved from drowning has surfaced in a German archive.

The child – who historians believe could have been Adolf Hitler – was plucked from the icy waters of the River Inn in Passau, Germany, in January 1894.

According to Max Tremmel, a priest who went on to become one of Europe's most famous organists, his predecessor Johann Kuehberger had rescued the terrified Hitler.

Father Tremmel told before his death in 1980 how Father Kuehberger, around the same age as Hitler, had seen the other boy struggling in the waters of the River Inn and dived in to rescue him.

The story was never verified by Hitler during his lifetime. But now a small cutting from the Donauzeitung - Danube newspaper - of 1894 has been found in Passau.


Greenspan: ‘True Revolution’ to End Welfare State Impasse

The U.S. welfare state has "run up against a brick wall" of economic reality and fiscal book-keeping and only a "true revolution" involving major entitlement overhaul will improve the economy, says former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan.

In the United States, the rise of the tea party among Republicans coupled with the shift to the left of many Democrats have made it very difficult for the country's leaders to agree on policy.

Look at last year's debt-ceiling fiasco as an example.

"A political tsunami has emerged out of our past in the form of the Tea Party, with its ethos reminiscent of rugged individualism and self-reliance," Greenspan writes in a Financial Times op-ed piece.

The tea party "has so altered the distribution of votes within Republican Party’s House caucus that the party's center has moved closer to the tea party."

Compromise must ensue eventually, and that will likely include reform to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security, programs that have expanded without funding to match.

Outdoor Safety and the .22:)

If you spend any time at all outdoors, you are eventually going to come across a wild animal. In that case you have three things you can do, like in any threatening situation. Flee, fight or do absolutely nothing.

Case in Point - there was a hike one time, up in the Rockies with my brother in law, the liberal attorney from California. Suddenly, rushing at us from out of no where, came this HUGE brown bear, and oh boy, was she enraged. We must have been near her cubs and she was out for blood.

I thought about the fleeing part. I could run for it, then considering the animals I can outrun - (moss, caterpillars) decided against it.

I thought about getting up into a tree. Let's see, what animals can I out climb? (Manatee, trout.) No.

I can do nothing. That keeps the carnage contained, easier for the coroner to pick up.

No, I will fight. That's why I carry a gun.

People always talk about taking large caliber ammo loads while hiking in case of bears.

A 12 gauge Express Magnum loaded with slugs perhaps. The.45 Colt Ruger with 21.5 grs H-110/325 gr Keith or LBT bullet recipes. Maybe a Browning 45-70 1886 carbine with heavy loads, a .44 Magnum or a .45 Colt (in Ruger persuasion for hot loads) both stoked with heavy (240-300 gr) hard-cast lead Keith-style bullets. Another option, the LBT series of bullets, such as the 325gr LBT WFN over 21.5gr of H110 for the .45 Colt bruiser.

But no, I learned I should just stick with my little .22.

Women are a mystery to British physicist Hawking

Via The Feral Irishman

The biggest mystery in the universe perplexing one of the world's best known scientists is -- women.

When New Scientist magazine asked "Brief History of Time" author Stephen Hawking what he thinks about most, the Cambridge University professor renowned for unravelling some of the most complex questions in modern physics answered: "Women. They are a complete mystery."


Rick Santorum: Sharia 'is evil'

Rick Santorum on Friday asserted that Sharia law has no place in America.

“Jihadism is evil and we need to say what it is,” he said at the Strafford County Lincoln-Reagan dinner, remarks that show how the former Pennsylvania senator continues to establish himself as the candidate most-aligned with the Republican Party’s conservative base.

“We need to define it and say what it is. And it is evil. Sharia law is incompatible with American jurisprudence and our Constitution.”

Santorum, invoking New York Rep. Peter King’s hearing this week on the alleged radicalization of American Muslims, said that the “vast majority” of Muslims don’t want to it either.

“They left because of Sharia law,” he said, referring to why he believes Muslim immigrants left their home countries to come to the United States.

Santorum added, “Sharia law is not just a religious code. It is also a governmental code. It happens to be both religious in nature an origin, but it is a civil code. And it is incompatible with the civil code of the United States.”

The audience loudly applauded.


Judge rules Muslim attack on Jewish girl ‘free speech’

A judge has stated that Muslim students who allegedly harassed Jewish students and even assaulted a woman with a cart was engaging in protected political speech.

Jessica Felber claimed in a lawsuit against the University of Berkeley that a leader of a pro-Palestinian group rammed her with a shopping cart as she staged a counter-protest to the anti-Israel “Apartheid Week” conducted by the Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine in 2010.

Felber and another Jewish student claimed the University did not do enough to prevent the harassment which included the Muslim group conducting checkpoints around the campus. Students were asked if they were Jewish while passing the checkpoints.

On Thursday U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg said the harassment, even if true, constituted protected political speech and dismissed the case against the university.


Titanic items to be sold 100 years after sinking

Via Jeanie

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Items as small as a hairpin and as big as a chunk of the Titanic's hull are among 5,000 artifacts from the world's most famous shipwreck that are to be auctioned in April, close to the 100th anniversary of the disaster.

Nearly a century after the April 15, 1912, sinking of the ocean liner that hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic, a New York City auction is being readied by Guernsey's Auctioneers & Brokers.

That auction house has garnered headlines in the past by selling off such historical curiosities as prized Beatles photos, famous jewels of the late Princess Diana, beloved Jerry Garcia guitars and a police motorcycle used in the Texas motorcade when John F. Kennedy was slain. But nothing as titanic as the so-called Titanic collection.

On April 11, all of the salvaged items are to be sold as one lot in what Guernsey's President Arlan Ettinger describes as the most significant auction ever handled by that house.

"Who on this planet doesn't know the story of the Titanic and isn't fascinated by it?" he asked. "Could Hollywood have scripted a more tragic or goose-bump-raising story than what actually happened on that ship?"

"It is as poignant to my 12-year-old son as it is to me and generations before me. There's no end to the fascination about it."



Via Billy



Via Tom Stedham

The details surrounding the tragedy that played out in New York City recently where an off-duty BATFE agent was killed are coming to light. He was killed, not by the bad guy, but by a late-arriving-on-the-scene former, and now retired, Nassau County police lieutenant who owns and operates a nearby delicatessen.

Two men were struggling outside on the sidewalk after a pharmacy robbery three doors away. Screams of alarm were followed by plenty of verbal commands to let go of the gun, shouted announcements of "Police" being repeated over and over, but still one guy was physically starting to gain control over the disputed firearm. The retired police lieutenant fearing that individual was the bad guy, put his own legally licensed handgun in the guy's ribs and fired once.

He shot and killed an off-duty federal agent trying to do the same thing he was, which was STOP an armed robbery!

I think it's safe to say that anyone, anywhere who has a legally licensed permit to carry a concealed firearm has at some point in time imagined themselves being in this same type of situation and they would rise to the occasion to help justice prevail by intervening to stop such a crime.


War Horse

I always wondered what would happen if the woman said "no"

Northern Blogger
Verbatim Post

And now I know from this poor guy who got dusted by his girlfriend when she turned down his proposal. At a UCLA Bruins basketball game. While on the Jumbotron!

I also think the the Bruins point guard, Jerime Anderson was showing wisdom beyond his years when he summed up the situation thusly: "That's cold."

Hot Mic At Pentagon Presser Catches Reporter: "See This Room? Two-Thirds Of Us Laid-Off When Ron Paul Is President"

Via Rebellion

As C-SPAN was waiting for President Obama's Defense Strategic Review press conference to begin a hot mic caught a reporter taking a swing at Ron Paul.

"See this room? Two-thirds of us laid off when Ron Paul is president," the reporter said.

Before the comment was made, the reporter could be heard laughing about Ron Paul.

New Hampshire poll

Via Bazz


All pages in the history book

Mr. Jenkins,

Your article was passed on to me and it deserves reasoned comment.

First, there are many flags which can be called American -- the flags of the Confederacy are considered such just as the Gadsen, Burlington and Betsy Ross flags are. They are part of American history and all American, and undeniably so.

The withdrawal of several States from the fraternal and voluntary union in 1861 was well-conceived and done so in a similar manner as was done in acceding to the union in 1787; in convention by the States. We know that in ratifying the Constitution the States delegated specific authority to the federal agent in Washington, all else was (and is today) retained by the States. President James Buchanan publicly stated that he did not agree with the concept of secession, but admitted he had no constitutional authority to wage war upon a State which no longer wished to belong to the voluntary union. His successor decided to wage war upon his own people, and without the authority of Congress.

As for slavery, the facts do not support the claim that North Carolina seceded over slavery – the May 20th secession ordinance came as a result of Lincoln’s war upon South Carolina, and demanding troops from North Carolina to do it with. Governor Ellis, the chief magistrate of North Carolina, understood the US Constitution and told Lincoln, “no.” This was no “internal rebellion,” and to believe such is show a lack of common knowledge and is promoting revisionist history.

As you suggest, those descended from slaves certainly need to learn of their ancestors participation in North Carolina’s defense, though some of them chose to adhere to the enemy of North Carolina and commit treason. The war of 1861-1865 was not the first time this occurred as Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia issued an emancipation proclamation in 1775 which incited race war and freed slaves to fight against American independence (many North Carolina slaves fled to British arms); and again in 1814 when Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane issued the same to rob the American South of its agricultural labor. Lincoln’s intent was the same as he wanted more troops (Northern enlistments lagged) and to incite murderous race war in the South. No peaceful solution to the conflict came from this man or his abolitionist followers, only bloodshed and war.

Nonetheless, free blacks from Greensboro offered their assistance to the State, slaves produced foodstuffs and materiel for North Carolina troops away at war, and fought alongside their white neighbors in integrate units – Northerners segregated their colored soldiers. The Dempsey brothers for example, Charles and Henry, surrendered at Fort Fisher along with their white compatriots in Company F, 36th NC, as did Daniel Herring of the same company; also Arthur and Miles Reed of Company D, 40th NC, and James Doyle of Company E; plus Everett Hayes of Company F, 10th NC. You are right, black North Carolinians should be made aware of these patriotic contributions to our struggle for independence 1861-1865.

In closing, your editorial should have mentioned that the true representation of “the torture and murder of their ancestors” was the age-old practice of slavery in African, and it being brought to our shores by Dutch, Spanish, French, British, and New England ships. The colony of Rhode Island had, by 1750, surpassed Liverpool as the center of the transatlantic slave trade that helped populate North Carolina with African slaves. And it was the rapacious mills of New England, hungry for raw cotton from the South, that perpetuated slavery with the invention of Massachusetts inventor, Eli Whitney. No slavers flying the Confederate flag plied the coast of West Africa.

I invite you to visit our Sesquicentennial website (below) to read of North Carolina patriots whose valor, sacrifice and devotion to The Old North State is legendary.


Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

Old Army Hat

Via Carl

Thomas Jefferson on the Responsibility of Vigilance

Via The Battle of Atlanta

Former Senior NSA Official Says America Is Under Tyranny

Former senior NSA official Thomas Drake gave an impassioned and angry speech about the degeneration of America from a free society into a fascist police state at the 2011 Sam Adams Award on November 21, 2011.

The event was hosted in Washington by the Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII), a group of former CIA officers who annually select "an intelligence professional who has taken a stand for integrity and ethics," (Wikipedia).

Drake was recognized by the SAAII for protecting the public interest by whistleblowing about warrantless wiretapping and government fraud at the National Security Agency.

Jesselyn Radack, director of the Government Accountability Project, a top whistleblower protection organization, was a co-recipient of the 2011 SAAII award. Past recipients include Coleen Rowley and Sibel Edmonds of the FBI, Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, and British ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray.

In his speech, Drake quoted leading abolitionist Frederick Douglass and Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli, and said that the technology exists to make George Orwell's 1984 a 21st century reality.

Drake said that his fight against the government in post-9/11 America reminded him of his time in East Germany. He said, "I used to monitor East Germany when I flew a RC-135 during the latter part of the Cold War, an absolutely fascist state. Given what I've experienced over the past number of years I have a lot of bad memories."


Rifleslinger runs a blog over at Art of the Rifle. The writing is clear, intelligent and original. He was kind enough to allow us to run this essay on our blog with this personal disclaimer from him which I wish to honor:

“While I do not consider myself anti-government or anarchistic, I respect the free exchange of ideas, and the civil manner in which ideas are expressed in the articles published here. It is in that spirit that I humbly submit the following.”

I use the word “Rifleman” in the following text as a general term that could also be interpreted as “warrior”, “knight”, “patriot, “samurai”, “protector” or any number of other terms. At any rate, mere skill at rifle marksmanship is not what I’m talking about, and any number of other skill sets may fit the following description.

If you’re reading this for pleasure, you’re very likely a rifleman or an aspiring rifleman (I include women in the word “rifleman” because I remember what proper English is, even though I seldom speak it). If you’re a rifleman, you might have thought about what all your hard won skill might be useful for. So have I.

The rifleman in modern society is akin to a ham radio in a smart phone world.

Legendary LIFE magazine photos

# of Billionaire donors to candidates

Via Bazz

Hospitals Stuck With Illegal Immigrants, Uninsured ‘Permanent Patients’ at Massive Cost

Via Tom

An unpleasant new report claims that many hospitals in major metro areas are struggling with the growing problem of “permanent patients.”

What’s a “permanent patient”? According to the New York Times they are mostly illegal immigrants or people who lack insurance or their own housing that the hospital cannot turn away.

The Times defines a “permanent patient”:

…[someone who has] been languishing for months or even years in…hospitals, despite being well enough to be sent home or to nursing centers for less-expensive care, because they are illegal immigrants or lack sufficient insurance or appropriate housing.

Of course, having dozens of patients hanging around that long means these hospitals are absorbing the bill for millions of dollars in unreimbursed expenses annually.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of these “permanent patients” are illegal immigrants because, as mentioned in the above, they have no housing or family in the area.

“Medicaid often pays for emergency care for illegal immigrants, but not for continuing care, and many hospitals in places with large concentrations of illegal immigrants, like Texas, California and Florida, face the quandary of where to send patients well enough to leave,” writes Sam Roberts of the Times.

What kind of cost are we talking about here?

“Care for a patient languishing in a hospital can cost more than $100,000 a year, while care in a nursing home can cost $20,000 or less [emphasis added],” Roberts reports.

Patients fit to be discharged from hospitals but having no place to go typically remain more than five years, says LaRay Brown, a senior vice president for New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation.

She says that there were about 300 patients in such a predicament throughout the New York City area alone, most in public hospitals or higher-priced skilled public nursing homes, though a few were in private hospitals, according to the Times.

“Many of those individuals no longer need that care, but because they have no resources and many have no family here, we, unfortunately, are caring for them in a much more expensive setting than necessary based on their clinical need,” said Brown.

The report goes on to cite an example where one patient from Queens, NY, has been at the Coler-Goldwater Specialty Hospital and Nursing Facility for 13 years because the hospital has no place to send him.

The patient, who is in his mid-60s, has been there since an arterial disease cost him part of one leg below the knee and left him in a wheelchair, according to the report.

Or another example:

Five years ago, Yu Kang Fu, 58, who lived in Flushing, Queens, and was a cook at a Chinese restaurant in New Jersey, was dropped off by his boss at New York Downtown Hospital, a private institution in Manhattan, complaining of a severe headache. Mr. Yu was admitted to the intensive-care unit with a stroke.

Mr. Yu remained in the hospital for over four years until he was transferred last spring to the Atlantis Rehabilitation and Residential Health Care Facility, a private center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, after the federal government certified him as a “permanent resident under color of law,” essentially acknowledging that he could not be returned to China and qualifying him for medical benefits.

“This gentleman cost us millions of dollars,” said Jeffrey Menkes, the president of New York Downtown. “We try to provide physical, occupational therapy, but this is an acute-care hospital. This patient shouldn’t be here.”


The Fabian Society

On 4 January 1884 the socialist Fabian Society was founded in London. Their coat of arms is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Think that little tidbit of history means nothing to you? Think again. You live in a socialist country & a socialist world. The Fabians won. Our job is to undo all their work.


Passer-by shoots out window to help rescue children from icy river crash

Via Survival

Former police officer Chris Willden didn't hesitate when he realized children were trapped in an upside down car in an icy Utah river. He pulled his handgun, pushed it up against the submerged windows and shot out the glass.

Then he reached inside.

"I was trying to grab arms, but I couldn't feel anything," Willden said. "I'm thinking ... what are we going to do?'"

But he turned to see up to eight other passers-by had scrambled down the embankment to help after coming upon the accident along U.S. 89 in Logan Canyon on Saturday afternoon.

Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Winward said that after shooting out a window, Willden cut a seatbelt to free one child.


Punching Down

In a comment on Fjordman’s open letter to the Norwegian prime minister, Whiskey had this to say:

The PM is scared. Very scared. Why else “punch downwards” at ... a blogger?

Really? It would be like Obama complaining about... Ace of Spades or Steve Sailer.

I think Glenn Reynolds wrote about this ... totalitarian states (Norway no exception) suppress real opinions and then, when weak, suffer “preference collapse” as true opinion becomes known. See Egypt, Libya, many places in China.

The PM is scared. When the EU collapses, and China bids up food prices even higher, no one will want to die for PC and multiculturalism. Neither will they want to be poor and starve for it (so Muslims coming as conquerors can have more). The easiest solution in hard times is to kick out the outsiders — Muslims.

This is elementary, and someone on the Left claiming a national mantle will obviously claim it. Hence the fear, and making an example of Fjordman. That’s extraordinary.

Punching down.

This is an excellent analysis of what is happening in Norway and the rest of the Multicultural West. Fear is in the air.

Fear of what Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had to say about Islam prompted the Austrian authorities to prosecute her for “denigrating” the Religion of Peace.

Fear of Tommy Robinson’s grassroots appeal has driven the British government to suppress him and the English Defence League with all the force of the law, the state, and the media.

Fearing the truths told by Geert Wilders, the Dutch government prosecuted the PVV leader, and when that failed, prosecuted him again.

In Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Australia, and Belgium, ordinary citizens and politicians alike have been harassed or prosecuted for speaking out against Islamization and mass immigration.

Fjordman drew more wrath than most, and not just because of Anders Behring Breivik, whose murderous spree made Fjordman a convenient scapegoat and placed him in the crosshairs of the Norwegian state. Fjordman does not just criticize immigration, Multiculturalism, and Islam: he also flenses the protective skin from the modern socialist welfare state, revealing its rotten totalitarian entrails.

His core message — that the traditional nations and cultures of Europe are being systematically and deliberately destroyed by the continent’s traitorous leaders — must be suppressed and discredited at all costs. Hence the fear. Hence the “disproportionate response”. Hence the no-holds-barred attacks on people like Fjordman.

The ad-hominoids sent by the state media to do battle with Fjordman were no match for his erudition and expert analysis, so Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg himself was dispatched to denounce the young upstart in a speech to the nation.

That’s the sorry pass to which Norway has come.

And not just Norway: the rest of Europe as well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

In its attempt to destroy Fjordman and people like him, the European establishment is thwarting a last-ditch attempt to prevent its own destruction.

Skiing Downhill Into The Lost Decade

Taki's Magazine

Verbatim Post

GSTAAD—For a cultural pessimist such as myself, things have never looked rosier. With economic depression, unemployment, environmental disasters, and endless armed conflicts, modern civilization’s final destruction is nigh. As a prophet of pessimism, I can hardly conceal my glee at being right, but I pray nonstop that I’m wrong.

That there’s a cultural decay in a declining West is hardly worth debating. A powerless and increasingly cretinized citizenry has been brainwashed into a state of domesticated conformity, with unelected technocrats totally controlling their lives.

Even the super-rich are basically slaves. Bernie Ecclestone may be a billionaire four times over, but he’s a small man in many respects, chained to his BlackBerry as he drives himself around Gstaad oblivious to the fact he might get lost in a snowdrift. Another neighbor just bought his wife a $45-million Gulfstream V to go along with her latest plastic surgery. A Saudi has carved his family tree outside his chalet—thank God the tree is short and so ugly, even dogs won’t pee on it. And the poor little Greek boy has wasted three months of hard training by going on a weeklong Karamazovian binge. But rumors of Roman Abramovich having bought in Gstaad are untrue, and thank God he remains with his entourage far away in St Barts. (Further good news is that the onetime plastic-duck salesman’s hard-earned stolen moolah is not helping his football team much.)

“As a prophet of pessimism, I can hardly conceal my glee at being right, but I pray nonstop that I’m wrong.”

Gstaad’s locals can’t seem to be bothered either way. The disgustingly glitzy nouveaux riche’s motto around these parts seems to be, “What—me worry?”

What everyone’s talking about here is—surprise, surprise—the euro. The doomed currency’s latest frantic prop-up has the morons seeing glimmers of hope and plunging into stocks, bonds, and commodities, thus pushing prices higher. Then the bad news emerges and nervous investors dump their positions quicker than you can say, “sucker.” Then the whole cycle begins all over again. Yet they continue to discuss it ad nauseam everywhere, driving sensitive souls such as myself to the highest slopes to get away from these so-called Wall Street geniuses.

The Gstaad elite hasn’t noticed the latest insult the Brussels crooks foisted on us. The EU now claims to allow for blocs to make changes in order to head off veto trouble. It is yet another ploy, another trick, another big lie, as cynical as the one that saw nations vote and vote again until the Lisbon Treaty was approved. What they mean by “less EU” is there will be more Germany and France regulating our lives. Can you imagine being told how to live by an egregious megalomaniac midget such as Sarkozy and a German frau who would make love to her own husband in an orgy?

More austerity measures will only fuel political and social tensions. Take it from Taki. This will be known as the Lost Decade, with Southern Europe becoming more of a basket case, if that is possible. Global governance sounds like a grand idea, but it is a sucker’s game played by con men and would-be tinpot dictators with a small “d.” We are the cretins whose elite leaders think today’s issues are too complex for our tiny brains, much less our informed consent. Look at the diplomats around Geneva and Brussels in their limos, first-class air travel, and extravagant salaries. Not one of these bums has given up any of their material comforts, yet they demand austerity. And you-know-who pays their expenses.

When I read of a Greek mother begging for some insulin for her diabetic son because she couldn’t afford it—doctors had lucrative deals with drug manufacturers who insist on up-front payment—I came close to losing it. Greece’s fat cats continue to get fatter; not a single crook has gone to jail or even been charged, yet the obese socialist finance minister called Venizelos demands more sacrifices.

Greece will go down, as will Portugal and most likely Italy, then I hope Europe splinters and the euro goes the way of Haiti’s currency, whatever that is. Am I being too pessimistic? I don’t think so.

Take Gstaad’s latest import, Madonna, who dropped by for the holidays with some youngsters in tow who made Michael Jackson look like a gerontophile. Someone sat next to her at dinner and told me she was polite and pleasant. She even skied. Yet it’s people such as her who made their reputation by using decadent images of sadomasochism—extolling barbarism, crudeness, and anti-Christian attitudes—to generate an antibourgeois image. She deprecated and vilified most things that bourgeois people hold sacred, made her millions, and now can relax among us here in Gstaad enjoying our bourgeois comforts. And why not? Our society encourages people to deliberately invert what’s bad to good.