Thursday, 28 May 2009

What Should Never Be Forgotten About This Financial Crisis

There's one thing that should never be forgotten about this financial crisis, but it is being forgotten and is barely mentioned at all. This crisis has come to Europe because of people who had too much faith in America. Just as our politicians had and continue to have too much faith in the Americans, so, too, did our bankers. They invested too much faith in a country that was unworthy of it.

Like our politicians, they wrongly assumed that America was a civilised nation; that it had a responsible government which would act on the basis of sound information and take steps to restrain excess rather than indulging in it.

What many Europeans don't realise is that America is essentially a banana republic. The same features are there: blind worship of El Presidente, stolen elections, excessive concentration of power in specific families, torture, politicised judiciary, unreasonably large spending on armaments. Face it. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and every time it opens its mouth it says "Quack!" it's probably a duck. America is a banana republic. It has at least as much in common with the other countries of the American continent as it does with Europe, and it's time the people of Europe took note of this fact.

There is an interesting article in the London Review of Books, tracking the implosion of the Royal Bank of Scotland. It reveals clearly how the crisis was imported to Europe by banks that committed too much of their assets to lending in America. The core problem for Europe was not America. The core problem was Europeans who had too much faith in America.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Americans Take a Further Step to Make Themselves Immune from the Rest of the World's Laws

Americans are now taking further steps to make themselves immune from the laws of other countries. Initiatives to counteract foreign libel laws are gathering momentum, allowing Americans to countersue people who have brought libel laws against them abroad.

This is outrageous. If Americans want to publish books in Britain, they should be subject to the libel laws of Britain. If they don't want to incur that risk, they don't have to.

While it's clear that Britain's libel laws are outmoded and in need of reform, that's completely beside the point. Anyone who publishes here should be subject to our laws. I will say, though, that British judges regarding publication of material on an American website as sufficient grounds for bringing a libel case in Britain is absurd and should be stopped.

British libel laws quite properly require the person making the potentially libellous claim to prove that the claim is true. American laws take the opposite approach, requiring the person allegedly libelled to prove that the claim is false. So in America I can publish a book about you, claiming you are a child molester, and the burden of proof is on you to prove that you are not. How can you do that? How can you prove a negative? The American approach is clearly absurd.

Britain's response to these initiatives should be to introduce a new law, saying that whenever a plaintiff in a British libel case is countersued in America double the amount of any damages awarded in America are immediately awarded in Britain.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Joe Biden in Serbia

Joe Biden is apparently going around telling other countries, like Serbia in this case, that he will help get them into the European Union. How exactly does Joe Biden have any influence over which countries get into the European Union? He will issue orders to the quisling governments in Europe. The weakness and submissiveness of European leaders is such that what ought to be European diplomatic capital actually becomes American diplomatic capital - because they exercise control over Europe.