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February 20, 2005

Comments

the Cardinal's wife

Misspent, that really was funny. I laughed so hard I almost "soiled my kilt."

Mrs. Peperium

I'm glad you're still able to laugh. Do you realize the size of the bar tab you're could have with Monty up at OOHC? I think it's a safe bet that he doesn't have business here. He's in publishing, right? The only going concern around here as far as publishing is Crain's and Bibles in Grand Rapids. Isn't Blimpish flying this way soon? He's never said he's a golfer or a drinker of scotch though. He'll just keep flying and pass us by unless we can could up with something that would interest him. We can't. We don't have any thinktanks around here.

the Cardinal's wife

I don't think Blimpish is coming this way. I think he's going to Chicago to find Enoch. Although, Misspent might be living in Ann Arbor soon.

Andrew Cusack

Of all the places to disappear, Chicago. Were I to disappear, I would prefer Constantinople, or perhaps Baku. Singapore if it could be recorded that I was last seen having a Singapore Sling at the Raffles.

Blimpish

Mrs. P, thank you for the award, and the prize. When I take up my new residence, you are of course welcome for drinks and dinner (spag bol is about the only thing I do well, so it'd better be that).

You are right - I don't play golf and while I have been known to drink scotch, it's only on occasion. I'm more bourbon, sourmash - part of my generalised philo-Americanism, perhaps.

Misspent

I think it's pretty safe to say that I won't be spending any time in Ann Arbor soon. I'm not sure what this means: "...it comes as no surprise that the Lutheran Misspent did not keep to the intentions of the blog..."

Mrs. Peperium

It means we love you.
Blimpish, Spaghetti Bolognese is one of Mr. P's very favorites so is bourbon. So I know what will be on the menu when Patum Peperium celebrates your baptism.

Cardinal

First of all, I doubt your drunken Scot has any intention of coming to the midwest.

And second, if he does, he's not mooching off of me. His buddy, Gordon, can pay for his booze and golf.

the Cardinal's wife

Mrs. P., what does it mean? Have you been eating big bowls of sugar, double espressos and cola and maybe a few of Marupa's diet pills. Or are you just quoting the groundhog?

Mr. Peperium

CONSUMER WARNING: Nobody listen to the Cardinal's wife! It's just the yam-yam talking! What groundhog? Which groundhog? Double espressos and colas would be like mixing tea and coffee. Or Bourbon and Scotch. Or Hall and Oates. Do not try this at home. (Unless, of course, you're Misspent. Just remember to file it AFTER Pat Benetar.)

the Cardinal's wife

Mixing those things. You've just proven my point.

Mrs. Peperium

Cardinal, A while back you were inviting everyone over on Misspent's to a round of golf and drinks on you. So why are you so perturbed I awarded the same deal to Monty? Oh, I get it. You actually bought that line that Misspent's family doesn't drink. So much for your largess...

Cardinal

?

Mrs. Peperium

Why Cardinal, you just won the award for briefest post. Congratulations. Mr. P will buy at you one at Dick O'Dow's. This is outcome-based blogging : Everyone can win something. By the way Mr. Cusack, are you aware of a male-only cigar club in Hong Kong? It is a tiny establishment, something like 13'X13'? I read about it years ago in the American Spectator or Nat'l Review. The members loved the place and it was very civilized. The British were soon to give up rule and the fate of the club hung in the balance...

Misspent

Misspent

Cardinal, your victory for shortest post was fleeting. I now claim it.

Oh, and you need to stop trying to chase Blimspish to the font.

Andrew Cusack

I have not heard of such a thing. I've often thought it was a shame that the British didn't just annex Hong Kong during one of their periods of greater might. I doubt there were any proposals to make Hong Kong an integral part of the UK with MPs and all, as there were with Gibraltar and Malta.

Malta, of course, should be handed back to the Grand Master of the eponymous chivalric order.

Cardinal

When I was a kid we were taught that Hong Kong had been leased by the British for 99 years from China. We were instructed that such a lease was a permanent arrangement (99 years being some sort of legalese understood by the parties involved to represent permanence).

Has anyone else heard this or this just total BS? Could someone enlighten me as to international law as it was understood then and now in this matter?

Mrs. Peperium

Misspent, what happens when you die?
Cardinal, the property my father's Tokyo house was on also had a 99 year lease. I do recall that number 99 does have a significance but cannot remember what.
Mr. Cusack, Prince Charles was the family member sent over to observe the festivities invloved with handing back Hong Kong. If we were novelists that might be considered foreshadowing. Hong Kong used to enjoy a 15% flat tax and it work quite well. I wonder what became of it along with that men's club?

Blimpish

Allow me to clarify a few points.

Andrew: Malta hasn't been a Crown possession since the 1960s.

Cardinal: Partly right. The New Territories adjacent to Hong Kong island itself were, I believe, the subject of the 99 year lease. It probably was intended as permanent, but the political calculus Britain vs China changed (just a wee bit) in the intervening period. As far as I'm aware, we gave back the whole lot because the island would've been wholly dependent on China if the New Territories were taken back anyway. The silly thing is (speaking as an immigration hawk) we didn't offer citizenship to the people of Hong Kong - enterprising, thrifty, hard-working, free-market people that they are.

Mrs. P: Most public revenue in Hong Kong is raised by a flat income tax, yes. It's 15% on all income OR as a progressive system rising to 17%, with an allowance. They also have a Stamp Duty and a Property Tax though.

Andrew Cusack

True, it hasn't, but I still think it should be run by the Grand Masters. Though I believe at the time Her Majesty's Government consulted with the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which assented to the people of Malta being granted sovereignty. So at the end of the day it's the Knights' own fault.

Is there anywhere that real estate tax doesn't exist? It is odious to me.

Cardinal

Blimpish, thank you. Your explanation is as I suspected, a British give away. I don't much like it, but nobody asked me.

As for the Hong Kongese being enterprising, thrifty, hard-working, free-market folk, does that qualify them for British citizenship? It seems to me that there are factors equally as important as being economically exemplary (although that is certainly a plus). I have to say that between the West's obsession with not reproducing (either through pills, patches, abortions, or concerns for ZPG) and their obsession with giving everyone on the face of the earth the benefit of just about any doubt (so long as they are not white, male Europeans or their descendents), there seems to be a suicidal desire to destroy Western cultures and countries. Something that would simply not be tolerated by any non-European (or non-English-speaking) nation on earth.

I'm glad to see that it looks as though you Brits are about to hold the government's feet to the fire on the whole immigration situation (at least through the next election --maybe). Thirty-seven years ago the Conservatives (back-biting cowards that they were --and usually still are) tried to ruin Enoch Powell's career for addressing this ugly reality. More recently (1992 and 1996) Patrick Buchanan got the same treatment over here for addressing this problem.

What is your take on allowing foreign peoples to overrun your culture and your country? Personally, I can't beleive this is a good thing. At some point, when the dust has settled, and one nation is like another, and everyone looks and acts alike, and all of cultures sharp edges have been rounded down to like thinking and like beliefs, were will freedom be? It will be gone, because it will seem unreasonable to tolerate it in a completely homogeneous world order. Freedom will be seen as violence, discord and lawlessness.

I really feel that mankind needs to guard its distinctions to maintain proper culture and freedom. I wonder how that can be done in countrties that have grown so tired of their own beliefs that they cannot be bothered to raise children or guard their own borders?

Mrs. Peperium

Cardinal, Blimpish and Anyone, what factors are as important as being economically exemplary to qualify someone for citizenship? Would they differ for England and the U.S.?

Cardinal

I would think, for example, that if someone were trying to immigrate to the UK being from another English-speaking nation might be helpful. Being Christian. Believing in democratic government. Having a knowledge of English history. In other words, all of those things that would help you to better assimilate with the culture and country you are trying to become a part of. Things that would indicate your desire to become a contributor to the culture and not an enemy of it.

Too often in countries like the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, people enter for economic advantage (or because they are dissatisfied with something in their country of origin) but they have no intention of truly adopting and adapting to the culture of their new home. Instead, they want their new host to adjust the culture to them.

As Pat Buchanan once pointed out: If you are going to allow 100,000 immigrints to settle next year in Virginia, who do you suppose is going to assimilate to our culture better, 100,000 Englishmen or 100,000 Zulus?

Mrs. Peperium

Yes, the goal ought to be to not only adopt the country but to adapt to it as well. I was thinking of requirements like fluency in the language (able to watch TV, educate offspring, fill out tax forms...), patriotism (fully educated in the history of the country and acceptance of the form of government). While I can't believe I have to argue for fluency, in America you do. Innability to speak the language is a huge barrier that prohibits new citizens from full participation. So does a misunderstanding of the history and the government. We used to have incredibly patriotic immigrants. We still do. But we are allowing more and more people to come here and not assimilate. That does not strengthened the nation - it tears at it. Religion or lack of it is not applicable for the U.S. But is it for England?
Now, if there were limits on the number of immigrants annually should countries employ preferences or qualifications like corporations and higher education enjoy? (I know a University would never admit to the word preferences.)

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