Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Tuesday 17/03/09

I commend this article to you from the New Scientist about the French physicist and philosopher of science, Bernard d'Espagnat, who won the Templeton Prize (the largest annual prize in the world) for his studies into the nature of reality and the concept of a hypercosmic God.

President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has said that France will rejoin Nato, thus ending 40 years of self-imposed non-participation. When de Gaulle notified Lyndon B Johnson to inform him that France had decided to withdraw, he told Johnson that all American service personnel would have to be removed from French soil. Johnson replied: "Does that include those buried in it?"

A motorcyclist has been jailed for 10 months and banned for two years after reaching speeds of up to 150mph in Devon. He also had a loose seat and the bike's mudguard was held on with bootlaces. He compounded the felony by admitting to not having a licence or insurance and failing to stop for police. If I were the magistrate, I’d order his legs to be broken – or possibly amputated.

Regarding proposals to impose a minimum price on alcohol, it transpires that any such move could be illegal under competition laws.

Were you aware that the sex trade in new Zealand was legalized in 2003? I certainly wasn’t. Have a look at this BBC item and decide for yourself if liberalization isn’t the way forward. I’m glad to see there are some sensible people in government, albeit at the other end of other world.


Rosaria Williams said...

Chairman Bill, I strongly disagree with the Indonedian government for legalizing prostitution, and with you for agreeing with the concept. Prostitution is a service that, unlike any other service, like washing someone's hair or giving a manicure demands total control of one being over another. It is the control I object to. It is demeaning and diminishes both parties.

Chairman Bill said...

Lake - it's New Zealand, not Indonesia.

In any case, ask yourself who has the control.

In clandestine prostitution it's the pimp who has control.

Ian Newbold said...

Thanks for the Johnson quote, I enjoyed that.

And I agree on the motorcyclist, with a possible inkling to go even further. In situations like that people show be prosecuted as if they drove into a primary school at home time.

Michael Perry said...

You hit the nail squarely on the head with your comment about clandestine prostitiution. I think Sweden's come up with a solution that might put lakeviewer at ease: they've made it legal to sell but not to buy sex.

Also, w/r/t alcohol prices, any chance the gov't will institute a maximum price? 'Cuz I'd be all for that.

Kabbalah Rookie said...

Dearest Chairman, I loved the link to the report on Bernard D'Espagnat - curious to know how this fits in with your Devil Worshipping (or is that only on weekends?) :o)
Loved the rest of the post but found myself reacting to the comment on the motorcyclist. I loved riding bikes. But twenty years ago, I came close to meeting my maker because I was trying to be one of the boys by riding a motorbike at speed down a country road. (Was it Harry Enfield or Paul Whitehouse that had the "Women! Know Your Limits!" sketch?). I decided I couldn't trust myself to ride sensibly and sold my bike. And then I wondered what the chances were of ten months of prison and a 'two year ban' having the same effect on this guy? Probably none. Off with his legs.

Chairman Bill said...

SPD - couln't agree more.

MRP - but Sweden is not allowing any studies of its solution, and the word on the street (literally) is that it ain't working and has made things worse.

Kabbalah - I came off my cruiser (Honda Shadow) 3 years ago and have only just recovered full use of my leg. Hay made me sell it last year, and I'm glad I did.

The Ice Bloggers said...

I'm a 'sit on the fence' sort because I'm not particularly bright, which is why I'm loving reading your blog and the comments. It's fabulously entertaining. But here I must come off the fence and say that I'm totally in favour of legalising prostitution. I did know about it being legal in NZ and agree with you entirely Chairman Bill as regards clandestine prostitution.

The Ice Bloggers said...

Sorry, just read my comment, it sounds as if I'm saying your blog is for folks who're not very bright. Didn't mean it to sound that way. I meant, I'm not too bright, so I tend to sit on fences, but I still love to witness an interesting debate:)

Chairman Bill said...

Don't worry Htd'sM, we're not too bright either. Perhaps because we hide our lights under a bushel.