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Thursday Open Thread

Cunning!


I think ancient Persian emperors had servants to check these things. Luckily for him he sniffed out this plot before it was too late. Brazilian… indeed.

A woman is being sued by her husband for allegedly trying to kill him by putting poison in her genitals and then asking him to perform oral sex.

The Brazilian wife is accused of planting a toxic substance on her genitals before luring her husband to bed. Reports in the South American country suggest he was ready and willing, and only escaped death because he noticed a strange smell. The curious husband then took his wife to hospital in Sao Jose do Rito Preto to find out the cause of the unusual odour. The alleged attempt on his life was exposed when tests on his wife discovered traces of a poisonous substance down below.

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Get Them Some Milk of Rhodesia

Zimbabwe has $217.00 in the bank. You read that right.

There are cash-strapped governments, and there are broke governments. And then there’s Zimbabwe, which, after paying last week’s government salaries, has just $217 in the bank. No, we didn’t forget any zeroes to the end of that figure. Zimbabwe, the country that’s home to some of the world’s largest plutonium and diamond reserves, is literally as rich as a 14-year-old girl after a really good birthday party. The country’s finance minister admitted as much in a press conference on Tuesday . “Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers,” Tendai Biti told reporters. “The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

So it seems. However, Zimbabwe is hardly a stranger to financial hyperbole. The economy started to come apart at the seams in 2000, when President Robert Mugabe seized the land of over 4,000 white-owned farmers , effectively dismantling the country’s agriculture industry. Over the course of the next decade, the country spiraled into an extended period of hyperinflation, the likes of which the world almost never sees. It peaked in August 2008, when inflation reached 11,200,000 percent and economists around the world started to say that the country’s situation was hopeless . Prices were doubling by the day, and the government had to print 100 billion Zimbabwean dollar notes. The following year, they went ahead and printed Z$100 trillion notes, just before deciding to chop 12 zeroes off of the currency. A new coalition government formed that year began the long process of recovery, a process that is clearly going to take a little longer.

I normally might have some snarky semi-serious statement about the need for a return to British control, but while that might be better in the short run, I’m not sure the long term result would be much different. Reaping, sowing, etc.

Wednesday Open Thread

Unheilig Sheisse


Behold the putative throne of the deceased head of the Third Reich…

Florence, N.J., isn’t too different from other small towns in the Garden State, one marked, if anything, by a slew of very ordinary sights—chain flower shops at every major intersection, decidedly lower gas prices, and a few cozy diners. But it is also home to something else, acquired by Greg Kohfeldt when he bought Sam Carlani’s auto-repair shop here almost 20 years ago: Adolf Hitler’s toilet.

According to Kohfeldt, the toilet came off of Hitler’s biggest private yacht, the Aviso Grille, which was between 400 and 500 feet long, and at the time one of the biggest private boats in existence. “He wanted to ride it down the Thames in London and go live in Windsor Palace when he invaded,” Kohfeldt told me on a subzero morning last week as he pulled a sink—also from the ship, and now in pieces—out of a box and laid them out for me to examine each of the maker’s stamps and faucets. Another resident of Florence, Dick Glass—an expert on Hitler’s yacht—told me that the ship was armed, had a crew of 245 men, a private room for Eva Braun, and was bigger than J.P. Morgan’s ship Corsair. The Aviso Grille also played a significant role in one particular moment in history: Hitler’s Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz stood on the deck of the ship on May 1, 1945, and gave the first word of the Führer’s death and took command of Germany.

After the war ended, the Aviso Grille was taken to the United States and ended up in the hands of New Jersey shipyard owner Harry Doan, who illegally charged visitors 25 cents to board and tour Hitler’s Yacht. However, according to Glass, both Doan and the federal government wanted to prevent the ship from becoming a memorial to Hitler, and so it was scrapped in Doan’s salvage yard in the early 1950s.

At that point, Sam Carlani needed a new toilet. Doan, his close friend and poker buddy, told him he had one available.

Whenever he went to the toilet he always said he was dropping a Hess.

h/t: Arts & Letters Daily

These Girls Are Handicap Accessible


Handicapped porking available in this UK nursing home apparently:

Hookers regularly go for “special visits” at Chaseley nursing home in Eastbourne, Sussex. They meet residents in a special room and a red sock is put on the door handle so staff know not to disturb them. Bosses say many physically and mentally disabled people have no other sexual outlet – and become so frustrated they often resort to GROPING staff. Care workers say the “sex surrogates” are “therapeutic” and experts claim they are a ”basic human right”. But East Sussex County Council has launched an urgent investigation into possible “exploitation and abuse” of vulnerable people.

Sue Wyatt, Chaseley’s manager, has confirmed prostitutes are welcomed at the home and said they are ordered by a “third party consultant”. Mrs Wyatt said: “People have needs, so sometimes we might need to set up a room in a certain way. We are there to help. “We use a private consultant who arranges everything. They are an independent person who works in the home. She puts people in touch with people. “We respect our residents as individuals so that’s why we help this to happen.”

The practice at the home was revealed by its former manager Helena Barrow. She said: “The fact is sex workers are allowed by law to sexually enable people but care workers are not. “So, if someone asked, we would often call in a professional, someone trained to do that. It’s known as the resident’s ‘special visit’. “If you have a resident who is groping staff, one way of resolving that problem is to get a sex worker in who is trained to deal with that situation.

The jokes just write themselves…

h/t: Loyal Goatherd

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Guns Are For Closers

I was going to post some highlights and link to the article (here’s a link, http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/01/28/gun-laws-and-the-fools-of-chelm-by-david-mamet.html) but the highlights became the entire article! It’s David Mamet so that should be no surprise.

For those of you who like to engage in debate with folks, post this to your Facebook page and dare anyone to refute any of it. It should almost be separated into two essays. The first half, on freedom, liberty and the Constitution stands perfectly on its own. The second half is an outstanding defense of the 2nd Amendment.

Gun Laws and the Fools of Chelm
Jan 29, 2013 12:00 AM EST
By David Mamet.

Karl Marx summed up Communism as “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” This is a good, pithy saying, which, in practice, has succeeded in bringing, upon those under its sway, misery, poverty, rape, torture, slavery, and death.

For the saying implies but does not name the effective agency of its supposed utopia. The agency is called “The State,” and the motto, fleshed out, for the benefit of the easily confused must read “The State will take from each according to his ability: the State will give to each according to his needs.” “Needs and abilities” are, of course, subjective. So the operative statement may be reduced to “the State shall take, the State shall give.”

All of us have had dealings with the State, and have found, to our chagrin, or, indeed, terror, that we were not dealing with well-meaning public servants or even with ideologues but with overworked, harried bureaucrats. These, as all bureaucrats, obtain and hold their jobs by complying with directions and suppressing the desire to employ initiative, compassion, or indeed, common sense. They are paid to follow orders.

Rule by bureaucrats and functionaries is an example of the first part of the Marxist equation: that the Government shall determine the individual’s abilities.

As rules by the Government are one-size-fits-all, any governmental determination of an individual’s abilities must be based on a bureaucratic assessment of the lowest possible denominator. The government, for example, has determined that black people (somehow) have fewer abilities than white people, and, so, must be given certain preferences. Anyone acquainted with both black and white people knows this assessment is not only absurd but monstrous. And yet it is the law.

President Obama, in his reelection campaign, referred frequently to the “needs” of himself and his opponent, alleging that each has more money than he “needs.”

But where in the Constitution is it written that the Government is in charge of determining “needs”? And note that the president did not say “I have more money than I need,” but “You and I have more than we need.” Who elected him to speak for another citizen?

It is not the constitutional prerogative of the Government to determine needs. One person may need (or want) more leisure, another more work; one more adventure, another more security, and so on. It is this diversity that makes a country, indeed a state, a city, a church, or a family, healthy. “One-size-fits-all,” and that size determined by the State has a name, and that name is “slavery.”

The Founding Fathers, far from being ideologues, were not even politicians. They were an assortment of businessmen, writers, teachers, planters; men, in short, who knew something of the world, which is to say, of Human Nature. Their struggle to draft a set of rules acceptable to each other was based on the assumption that we human beings, in the mass, are no damned good—that we are biddable, easily confused, and that we may easily be motivated by a Politician, which is to say, a huckster, mounting a soapbox and inflaming our passions.

The Constitution’s drafters did not require a wag to teach them that power corrupts: they had experienced it in the person of King George. The American secession was announced by reference to his abuses of power: “He has obstructed the administration of Justice … he has made Judges dependant on his will alone … He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws … He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass out people and to eat out their substance … imposed taxes upon us without our consent… [He has] fundamentally altered the forms of our government.”

Who threatens American society most: law-abiding citizens or criminals? (Matt Rourke/AP)

This is a chillingly familiar set of grievances; and its recrudescence was foreseen by the Founders. They realized that King George was not an individual case, but the inevitable outcome of unfettered power; that any person or group with the power to tax, to form laws, and to enforce them by arms will default to dictatorship, absent the constant unflagging scrutiny of the governed, and their severe untempered insistence upon compliance with law.

The Founders recognized that Government is quite literally a necessary evil, that there must be opposition, between its various branches, and between political parties, for these are the only ways to temper the individual’s greed for power and the electorates’ desires for peace by submission to coercion or blandishment.

Healthy government, as that based upon our Constitution, is strife. It awakens anxiety, passion, fervor, and, indeed, hatred and chicanery, both in pursuit of private gain and of public good. Those who promise to relieve us of the burden through their personal or ideological excellence, those who claim to hold the Magic Beans, are simply confidence men. Their emergence is inevitable, and our individual opposition to and rejection of them, as they emerge, must be blunt and sure; if they are arrogant, willful, duplicitous, or simply wrong, they must be replaced, else they will consolidate power, and use the treasury to buy votes, and deprive us of our liberties. It was to guard us against this inevitable decay of government that the Constitution was written. Its purpose was and is not to enthrone a Government superior to an imperfect and confused electorate, but to protect us from such a government.
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