Saturday, August 14, 2010


The Cure with Just like heaven. 1987.

Metric with All Yours. 2010. For some reason we seem to have had more than a few Canadians the past months. Singer's Emily Haines.

For God's sake, close your eyes if you can't stand the video.

Goede nacht. Good night. Gute nacht. Bonne nuit. Dobranoc.


Friday, August 13, 2010


A trusted and valued internet acquaintance, a Flemish engineer who goes by the name Traveller, sent me an email containing Ann Coulter's take on the appalling Bell, CA Salary Scandal:

"In the greatest party-affiliation cover-up since the media tried to portray Gary Condit as a Republican, the media are refusing to mention the party affiliation of the thieving government officials in Bell, Calif.

There have been hundreds of news stories about Bell city officials' jaw-dropping salaries. In this poor city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where the per capita annual income is $24,800 a year, the city manager, Robert Rizzo, had a salary of $787,637.

That's about twice what the president of the United States makes. (To be fair, Rizzo was doing a better job.)

Rizzo was the highest-paid government employee in the entire country, not counting Maxine Waters' husband -- pending further revelations. With benefits, his total annual compensation, according to the Los Angeles Times, came to $1.5 million a year.


Alerted to the Bell situation, the White House quickly added the Bell city manager to the list of jobs saved by its stimulus plan.

Not only that, but Rizzo was entitled to 28 weeks off a year for vacation and sick leave. To put that in perspective, that's almost as much vacation time as public school teachers get!

Reached in Spain, even Michelle Obama was outraged.

Rizzo responded to the anger over his preposterous salary by saying: "If that's a number people choke on, maybe I'm in the wrong business. I could go into private business and make that money."

(If he wants to grab one of those private-sector jobs that pays $1.5 million for 24 weeks of work, may I suggest the entertainment industry?)

Good luck to him. After leaving Bell, Rizzo will be lucky to land a job at Taco Bell. Before being anointed the King Tut of Bell, Rizzo was the city manager of Hesperia, Calif., where he was overpaid only to the tune of $78,000 a year.

The police chief, Randy Adams, was making $457,000 -- $770,046 including benefits. The assistant city manager, Angela Spaccia, had a $376,288 salary, with a total compensation package of $845,960. Being just an assistant city manager, Angela had to pay for her own yacht.

After the Los Angeles Times reported the stratospheric government salaries in little Bell, and the people of the town revolted, the millionaire government employees all resigned.

That'll show 'em! Oops, except upon their resignations, they qualified for lifetime pensions worth, by some estimates, more than $50 million.

These insane salary packages were granted by the mayor and four city council members -- who also set their own salaries. As a result, all but one was making $100,000 a year for these part-time jobs. After the council members' salaries came to light, the four looters cut their salaries by 90 percent.

According to Nexis, there have been more than 300 news stories reporting on the Bell scandal. Guess how many mentioned the party affiliation of the corrupt government bureaucrats?

One. Yes, just one. Now guess if the government officials were Democrats or Republicans? Yes, that is correct. Congratulations -- you've qualified for our bonus round!

The one newspaper to cough up party affiliations, The Orange County Register, admitted that the corrupt officials were all Democrats only in response to reader complaints about the peculiar omission.

Lots of news stories on the scandal in Bell used the word "Democrat" or "Democratic." But that was only to say that the DEMOCRATIC attorney general of California, Jerry Brown, who is running on the DEMOCRATIC ticket for governor, is investigating the Bell officials' salaries.

So we know the media are aware of party affiliations. They just chose not to mention it when it would require them to identify shockingly corrupt government officials as Democrats.
Any day now, the media will start describing Maxine Waters as "the light-skinned congresswoman from California."

(But you might want to vote for that DEMOCRATIC attorney general who is apparently a great crusader against corruption ... despite his years of ignoring the public employee salary and pension looting that has driven the state into insolvency.)

Maybe Obama's Czar of City Managers' Salaries could investigate this.

Unlike political corruption involving sex or bribery, the outrage in Bell isn't a scandal that hits both parties from time to time -- it's how the Democrats govern.

Elected Democratic officials bestow ludicrous salaries and benefits packages on government employees, and, in return, public employee unions make sure the Democrats keep getting re-elected.

The scandal in Bell isn't a scandal at all for the Democrats. Au contraire! This is the governing strategy of the Democratic Party."

See also this video:

Funny how much the escapades of the Democratic Party remind me of those of the Parti Socialiste here.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Not much time. I will probably piss off a lot of Irishmen by starting this series with the following pic but I thought this view of rear walls with rain piping and airco equipment, seen from the Powerscourt Center garage in central Dublin, was so positively ugly that I just had to photograph it.


So yes, after only two days in Snowdonia, Wales, we crossed the island of Anglesey off the Welsh coast and boarded a Stena ferry in Holyhead which brought us to Dublin across a smooth Irish sea in a little over three hours.


Having a rather tight schedule we were only able to spend half a day in Dublin. Since we were in Dublin Southeast, we decided to visit the famous Trinity College, founded in 1592 after an order by Queen Elizabeth I, to have a peek at the Book of Kells and the Long Room in the University Library. Highly recommended of course. The statue, just near Trinity College's entrance, is of Edmund Burke, the Irish philosopher who is considered the founder of Modern Conservatism.

Since this is a conservative blog, a few words are in order. Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was, apart from a philosopher, also an author, Irish statesman, orator and political theorist. After he relocated to England, he was for many years a member of the House of Commons for the Whig party. In time, he profiled himself more and more as the leader of the conservative faction within that party, a faction which he himself dubbed the "Old Whigs". It is interesting to note that he was probably the first one to discern the quintessential differences between the American Revolution, which he supported, and the French Revolution, which he spoke out against after he had discovered its inherent flaws. Take e.g. the following exerpt from a speech he gave on 22 March 1775 counseling reconciliation with the 13 colonies:

"...the people of the colonies are descendants of Englishmen.... They are therefore not only devoted to liberty, but to liberty according to English ideas and on English principles. The people are Protestants... a persuasion not only favourable to liberty, but built upon it.... My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the idea of their civil rights associated with your government,—they will cling and grapple to you, and no force under heaven will be of power to tear them from their allegiance. But let it be once understood that your government may be one thing and their privileges another, that these two things may exist without any mutual relation,—the cement is gone, the cohesion is loosened, and everything hastens to decay and dissolution. As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sovereign authority of this country as the sanctuary of liberty, the sacred temple consecrated to our common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons of England worship freedom, they will turn their faces towards you. The more they multiply, the more friends you will have; the more ardently they love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil. They may have it from Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But, until you become lost to all feeling of your true interest and your natural dignity, freedom they can have from none but you."

It must have taken guts to give this speech at the time. At the same time the fact that he was able to give it without being thrown out gives instant credibility to what he claims here about England.

When you read the following you understand why Burke must have despised the French Revolutionaries, who tore everything down, demolishing ancient foundations, while he states that "everything we possess is an inheritance from our forefathers". If you are a conservative and that sounds familiar to you, it's simply because you are reading conservative gospel.

Edmund Burke was the first one of us.

"...The Revolution was made to preserve our antient indisputable laws and liberties, and that antient constitution of government which is our only security for law and liberty.... The very idea of the fabrication of a new government, is enough to fill us with disgust and horror. We wished at the period of the Revolution, and do now wish, to derive all we possess as an inheritance from our forefathers. Upon that body and stock of inheritance we have taken care not to inoculate any cyon alien to the nature of the original plant.... Our oldest reformation is that of Magna Charta. You will see that Sir Edward Coke, that great oracle of our law, and indeed all the great men who follow him, to Blackstone, are industrious to prove the pedigree of our liberties. They endeavour to prove that the ancient charter... were nothing more than a re-affirmance of the still more ancient standing law of the kingdom.... In the famous law... called the Petition of Right, the parliament says to the king, “Your subjects have inherited this freedom,” claiming their franchises not on abstract principles “as the rights of men,” but as the rights of Englishmen, and as a patrimony derived from their forefathers....

Then it was off to County Kerry in Ireland's southwest, more precisely to Killarney where we had booked a cottage for a week. Killarney is famous for its lakes and National Park.


Having foolishly assumed most of my life that Ireland was basically just flat and green, it came as no small surprise to find some ancient mountain ranges in Kerry, more precisely in the form of grates on the peninsula's sticking out in the Atlantic: Dingle, Iveragh and Beara, although County Kerry has to share the latter with County Cork. These mountain ranges are not high, the highest peaks barely breezing above 1,000 meters; but as they suddenly pop up after the chauffeur has gotten used to the mostly flat Irish interior, they stand out like, say, 4,000'ers in the Alps.

The following pic is called Ladies View, so called because of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting were so enamored by the view upon a visit in 1861. Ladies View is on the N71, perhaps some 15 kloms from Killarney in the direction of Kenmare. You basically see only one lake of Killarney's lakes - the Upper One, plus a portion of the Long Range which lies between Upper and Muckross Lake.


The constraints of timer permit me only to post a handful of pics. This one was taken at the far end of the Dingle Peninsula. The land tongue sticking out into the Atlantic is a mini peninsula of itself, but what you not see are its companions a little bit farther out: the Blasket Islands.


The Blasket Islands are tantalizingly close to the Dingle "mainland" itself, at least the biggest island, but since Dingle in itself is already such a remote corner of Ireland, the little notching up of the isolation on these specks in the Atlanticth proved too much for 20th century people to hold on. Great Blasket's last inhabitants, all 22 of them, left in 1953. Several islanders wrote touching books of what life was there.

A little bit further I came across this ancient church, Gallarus Oratory. It is assumed it was built between the 6th and 9th century. Seamus Heaney, Irish Nobel Prize winner for Literature, wrote a poem about it.


And this is Bantry House as seen from the stairs leading up the terraces behind it. Bantry House is in, well, Bantry, on the north side of the root of Sheep's Head Peninsula (aka Muntervary). Over the House, you are looking out across Bantry Bay towards Beara Peninsula and the Caha Mountains. By the way, when there, be sure to take the Healey Pass across them.


If only I had more time. In Europe, you can drink history from the streets.


Monday, August 09, 2010


Belgium is, after 13 June, still in search of a new government. Tedious coalition talks have been held ever since, and a scenario I dreaded, that at the end of the road Wallonia's top socialist, the openly gay Elio Di Rupo, Chairman of the Parti Socialiste, will become PM, is still a very likely outcome. It's a scenario that all the naives who voted N-VA did not envisage, but it's no use crying over spilt milk. Flemings voted en masse for an incompetent Leterme three years ago and were well rewarded; many catapulted the hypocrite Jean-Marie Dedecker to near-stardom two years ago, and got what they deserved; last June they gave 800,000 votes to a fat idiot in the person of Bart Dewever and he, too, has already proven his "worth": right from the start steering towards a coalition with Flanders' arch-enemy, the Walloon socialists.

But that is not what this post is about.

If Di Rupo makes it Belgian PM, God forbid, he's apt to receive a less than warm welcome from his darlings, Belgium's muslims.

Di Rupo has received death threats already.

Translation: "In the name of Allah, in a muslim country like Belgium a homosexual cannot become Prime Minister".

Note: "in a muslim country".

The message ends with the promise that Di Rupo will be killed by a blank sword. Clear enough for ya, Elio?