Grandad in Ireland:
Authorities fume: 25% of cigarettes smuggled into Republic
Now I can’t understand why the “authorities” are fuming over this. Dame Enda is constantly telling us that the backbone of the country’s economy is the indigenous small business so surely he must be delighted? Here we have an example of entrepreneurs seeing a huge demand for a product and they are merely supplying that product at a price that people can afford. I say fair play to those entrepreneurs, they’re doing a brilliant job.
The gubmint, far from congratulating them are calling them “organised criminals”. I find that rich in the extreme.
Let’s look at this so called “crime”. Is there anyone being harmed by this smuggling? No. Obviously it’s an enterprise that people condone, else it wouldn’t exist, so where is the “crime”? Well, the only thing the gubmint loses is their excise duty, so basically they are just furious that they can’t rip us off because they have been sidelined.
The gubmint considers it is justified in stealing from the customer an exorbitant and disproportionate tax on a product simply because that gubmint disapproves of that product. They add a massive tax onto that product with no apology and have bragged that they are going to further increase that tax disproportionately. Furthermore that same gubmint adds more and more taxes to their little revenue stream and if we disapprove and refuse to pay, they have given themselves the ability to dip into our pay packets and pensions and take whatever they feel like. They take from me whatever they like and I have no chance to protest? Is that not theft? Is this not mugging under another name? Is this not organised crime on a gargantuan scale?
Well, exactly. And as the taxes keep rising, and the incentives for smugglers get bigger and bigger, maybe soon smuggling will account for 50% of Irish consumption. I just wonder how the smuggling is done. Do they bring in container trucks full of cigarettes and hope to not get caught? Or do they land them in dead of night in one of Ireland’s many hidden coves? Or do they fly them in by plane, and drop them by parachute in remote areas? Or, better still, do they load them onto Google drones, and deliver them to the exact address designated? Who knows, it might soon be possible to order online from Bulgaria, and have it air freighted to your doorstep (or your roof) the next morning.
Junican reports from Mallorca on modern youth:
My chief interest, of course, is smoking habits. I saw little change. As many, if not more of them were smoking. They did so blatantly, with no obvious feelings of shame.
I just have a feeling…..
I have a feeling that, unlike us old-timers, they do not give a toss about smoking indoors. I don’t mean that ‘they have come to terms’ with the indoor bans. I mean that they just do not care. In England, the indoor ban has been in operation since 2007, eight years ago. Many of these youths will have been just young teens at that time. They just don’t care about indoor bans. They just don’t go indoors. That particular disco used to be be packed. Now it is half empty, and, as far as I can see, they go inside to dance around for a while and then exit again. They don’t seem to bother drinking inside. They dance around, get a drink and leave to place to sit outside, drinking and smoking. Body-language says a lot – for example, sitting down, getting out a pack of fags and chucking them on the table. That’s what I mean about’no shame’….
Chris Snowdon draws attention to a public consultation on an outdoor smoking ban by Brighton and Hove. Anyone can do it. It doesn’t ask for any address, email or otherwise. Although it does ask whether you think you were assigned the correct sex. I classified myself as male (correctly, I believe), and as a Brighton visitor. And actually, I did once visit the place back in about 1988.
In the USA, Donald Trump seems have thrown a spanner in the works:
The first GOP debate, televised on August 6 on Fox News, is already a total backfire for the establishment. Based on the latest polls, it will likely include every single one of the candidates the Republican elite despises: Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson and Ted Cruz—and banish to the losers’ consolation round exactly the types of candidates the establishment presumably wants to showcase: a female business leader, an Indian-American son of immigrants and the consensus-building governor of the crucial electoral state of Ohio.
The controlled, somber and oh-so-civilized process that the GOP promised its donors is now the biggest free-for-all in American political history. The blame for this, of course, is all being thrown in one direction.
Channeling their best William Shatner, GOP leaders everywhere are clenching their fists, looking skyward, and bellowing, “Trummmmmmp!”
And last but not least Greenpeace co-founder Dr Patrick Moore gives a short talk about the benefits of carbon dioxide: