Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Every conversation here last week seemed to revolve around the imposition of petrol rationing on May 21. Subsidised petrol will rise from 800 riyals (about 4p) to 1,000 riyals (5p) per litre. Far worse in this sprawling traffic-choked city, only three litres a day will be available at that price. Ration cards will be issued and any purchase over the limit will be at a nonsubsidised rate that has yet to be decided.

Iranians have already been hit by a 50% rise in fares last month. Shared taxis, the favourite way to get around town, rose from 1,000 riyals to 1,500 (8p) for the shortest journey. Every such increase counts in a country where a teacher is paid about 30 pounds a week.

"The only good thing about the nuclear issue is that it seems it has brought so much pressure on this government that this might be the end of them," said Shahla, 38, standing with bags of spring onions, radishes and tomatoes outside a greengrocer's near Ahmadinejad's old house in the eastern Tehran district of Narmak. She did not buy the cucumbers she wanted because they cost too much.

"People are struggling to survive," she said. "My children should be eating fruit, but it's too expensive." A woman in a black chador, the dress of the ultra-conservative, stopped to listen. In the old days she would have been one of the unofficial guardians of the revolution and would have stopped the conversation. Instead, she chimed in. "The people's blood is boiling," she said, introducing herself as Miriam, an employee of the education department. "But we are strangled, we cannot speak."

These are the people who voted Ahmadinejad into power and they are furious that their salaries remain pitifully low while the price of food rises at a rate unofficially estimated at between 20% and 40%.




EU proposal to bring Sharia divorce law to Europe: "A European Union proposal that would allow the laws of non-EU countries to be applicable in divorce cases ran into fierce opposition from Sweden on Thursday. Liberal Sweden strongly resists the plan, which it says could force EU member states to dissolve marriages on the basis of foreign law, including traditional Islamic law, or Sharia. "It is not acceptable that the planned rules would lead to Swedish courts having to apply foreign law," a Swedish diplomat told reporters at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. Germany is pushing for new rules under which international couples, prior to marriage, would be able to set out in a contract which country's laws will reign in a divorce court."

Over-Taxed Canadians: "Taxes are eating into Canadians' incomes more than ever, costing the average family more than food, clothing and housing combined, suggests a new survey. ...The average Canadian family earned $63,001 in 2006 and paid taxes equalling $28,311, almost 45 per cent of its income, while spending 35.6 per cent of its income on food, clothing and housing. According to the institute, 45 years ago that same family earned $5,000 and paid $1,675, or 33.5 per cent of its total income, in taxes. In 1961, the average family spent 56.5 per cent of its income on the necessities of life.

Drug test welfare recipients: "Fortunately, there are a few simple common-sense actions we could take to stem our country's reliance on illegal drugs. For instance, it only makes sense that welfare recipients should have to take drug tests in order to qualify for benefits. Before you assume that this is an unfair burden, consider the fact that many workers must submit to drug tests before they're even called in for a job interview. Companies and even federal agencies realize that illegal drug use can lead to a host of problems on the job-lost productivity, absenteeism, undependability, and even violence. For the proper functioning of businesses and government offices, a drug-free workplace simply must be maintained. If drug tests are required for those who work, it only makes sense that they should also be mandated for individuals who are being supported by our tax dollars. After all, what incentive does a welfare recipient have to kick cocaine, as long as he has money in his pocket provided by Uncle Sam? Such a policy would not be punitive. Rather, it would actually be quite benevolent. For, if you truly care about the poor, you'll be concerned enough to help relieve them of dependence on illegal chemicals to cope with the stresses and strains of life."

The closing of the European mind: "A timely warning here about the way in which the EU is shutting down freedom of expression in the name of `human rights'. The story ran in the Financial Times two days ago. Ostensibly about criminalising denial or trivialisation of the Holocaust, the measure will also make it make it mandatory for all EU member states to punish public incitement `to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin'. As was said repeatedly in the debates over Britain's proposed law against incitement to religious hatred, hatred is a slippery concept and this would criminalise essential debate. Once ideas are criminalised — including Holocaust denial — we are all sunk. What's more, this is being imposed upon us by the EU, to whom we in the UK have sold our democratic birthright. The British Parliament eventually neutered its own proposed law against incitement to religious hatred - only to have it introduced now, apparently, through the European back door.

A good quote from Ayn Rand: "So you think that money is the root of all evil?" said Francisco d'Anconia. ``Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil? When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor - your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?"


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"Why should the German be interested in the liberation of the Jew, if the Jew is not interested in the liberation of the German?... We recognize in Judaism, therefore, a general anti-social element of the present time... In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.... Indeed, in North America, the practical domination of Judaism over the Christian world has achieved as its unambiguous and normal expression that the preaching of the Gospel itself and the Christian ministry have become articles of trade... Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist". Who said that? Hitler? No. It was Karl Marx. See also here and here.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party".


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Holocaust denial is not a free-speech issue.

It is a criminal incitement issue. It is a criminal conspiracy issue. It is campaigning for mass murder.

Holocaust deniers do not just deny that the Holocaust occurred. They defame the Jews and accuse them of dishonesty, extortion and blackmail. They insult the memory of the dead victims. And they threaten the lives and wellbeing of the living.