At the End of the Day

mesnip30716In odd moments now and then – I have lots of odd moments – I wonder if Mark Twain ever said anything that wasn’t designed to become an epithet, witticism, or ironic Truth. He must have done, surely. There must have been times when he said things not worthy of repetition (as often as not inaccurate) by later generations.


“I need to go take a dump,” he may well have said; most blokes do sooner or later. It’s part of our infinite charm as a gender.

“Look at the knockers on that,” was allegedly one of his favourite observations. No doubt he was also not averse to observing, “that bird’s got a bum like two kids fighting under a blanket”.

Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemens – which is a lot less snappy, and probably explains why he wrote under another one. The name he chose was (natch) a jeu de mot about how Mississippi River navigators kept the Captain informed about the water depth: the second mark on the rod measuring depth signified two fathoms, or twelve feet— a safe depth for steamboats. Old english for Second Mark is Mark Twain.

TwainThis is a picture of Sam Clemens. As you can see, like most Deep South Americans of his generation he was 34% moustache and short of a good barber. A high proportion of inbred Southerners at the time were born without any top lip, and so the chosen method of hiding this unfortunate birth defect was to grow nasal hair slowly from the age of sixteen onwards. I apologise for that utterly offensive slur against the Confederate cause, but I’m in playful mood tonight so get over it.

Truth is, Twain did not support the Confederate cause. On the whole he thought it the cause of a lot of trouble Americans could’ve done without. He was a voluble opponent of slavery, and generally a man of the Left who supported Trade Unions. But his twin advantages over Marcus Brigstock were that he supported such things when it could get you lynched; and also he was funny, whereas Brigstock is less funny than eboli.

Not many people know this, but at one time or another Twain saved the best part of two hundred negroes from being lynched by hiding them in his nasal hair. The main reason not many people are aware of this fact is that it’s not true.


It says a lot about the present day that one has to go back 150 years in order to find safe laughter, even if it is politically incorrect and surreal.

But contemporary truths beat anything Salvador Dali might have imagined.

Today, BHS closed its last 22 stores, but the former owner’s £100m yacht remains afloat. Last Monday, MPs gave themselves a pensions increase, but hundreds of thousands of Waspi women are doing without any pension at all. Cuts have been announced to the NHS right  across Britain, while $21 trillion of tax evasion continues in tax havens across the world, and UK-based multinationals pay an average tax rate of 6.5%.

Keeping a very low profile at the moment are Sir Philip Green, Damian Green, and Jeremy Hunt. On the whole, cowardly of them….but very wise.


 

17 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. ” ….he was 34% moustache and short of a good barber. …..”

    As Mayflower said to Jerry and his Pacemaker at PMQs — ” ..ring any bells??”

    Well you did say you re in a playful mood tonight…….

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  2. JW

    You write “$21 trillion of tax evasion continues in tax havens across the world, and UK-based multinationals pay an average tax rate of 6.5%”

    The tax regulations in Germany are strict. Eye wateringly strict.

    Does it make sense to you that one of the most important elements of the European Union is to undermine this kind of governmental activity? After all, paying tax for a corporation is like having their arm cut off without anaesthesia.

    Germany is not playing fair by the corporations, and should be told where it stands. In the media, and by those powerful enough to express their views.

    As to Mr. Twain, wasn’t he a steamboat captain? “Mark Twain” is what they’d shout when dropping the lead and the river was getting shallow.

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  3. [Off Topic] This idea won’t go down well with the rich and powerful. Mind you, who’s worried about a tin-pot country like Finland?

    But a basic income across the board is the kind of thinking that happens in the NordEurozone…

    http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wirtschaft/experiment-finnland-testet-das-bedingungslose-grundeinkommen-1.3136917

    This is still a test, even so, it shows the kind of thinking that happens in democracies.

    The lack of this kind of thing seems to characterize Britain…

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  4. Gemma,

    Reference your eye wateringly strict German tax rules, is that just for the lower orders ?

    Article below regarding hidden government tax subsidies to German companies:

    Please note that there is no collateral requirement between National Central Banks in the Eurozone.
    But when the NCB lend to a local bank, in any country, collateral is required.
    Also, the Target 2 imbalance has been created between the NCBs without any democratic process.
    So it’s totally wrong to say that “countries” have approved of this arrangement.
    This is an arrangement that has been decided by the ECB and is hidden far away from any parliamentary or elected official oversight.
    The reality of the matter is that Germany is exporting its manufactured products, (i.e. Mercedes Benz, BMW, Siemens, Adidas, Bayer, etc, etc, etc,) to the other Eurozone countries with a sellers / exporter credit guarantee provided by the German government, (i.e. the German taxpayer,) to the tune of € 600 billion, is it any wonder the German government is desperate to hold the Eurozone together at any cost, just so long as those costs, including but not limited to, lower standards of living, reduced wages, reduced pensions, higher taxation, or job losses, falls onto the weaker Eurozone countries.

    Also worth a read.

    http://capx.co/external/german-treasury-loses-1bn-a-year-to-dividend-tax-avoidance/

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  5. Rui Ventura,

    if those tax rules did not apply to corporations, why then did Starbucks go to such lengths to avoid them?

    As to the central banks, you are aware that (a) they are privately owned and (b) the point of the EU, ECB et al is to ensure that they and the corporations can manipulate European governments in the way that they can the UK and the US governments.

    That EU rules force situations on governments where they must give credit guarantees should then come as no surprise to you.

    That this undermines the economies of the Peripherals is of no concern to the EU. After all, it was Goldman Sachs who got Greece into the Eurozone, and look where that landed Greece! It was hardly a move to help Greece, was it?

    I will add that Germany is a massive investor in other countries, especially Spain, the UK, Poland and Czechoslovakia to mention but a few. The Seat plants in Spain are one result of this policy. But this is the result of German thinking that sees profit improvement through investment, not American thinking that thinks of improving profits by forcing tax breaks.

    You are right about the pensions in Germany. Many pensions funds are finding life difficult with ZIRP and NIRP. But then, the Americans need to stimulate their dead-horse economy somehow.

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  6. Courtesy of one Lord, this will be one of your future slave owners.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-37202922

    Eventually like in Ireland the referendum will be run again to take away your vote and on the point about slavery … this is not racist but black people are so dumb to have been emancipated once to then vote to remove your own newly acquired more powerful vote for no vote at all. Somebody commented on its all okay, we do not have a malevolent parliament … define malevolent if it steals everything for itself today when you can see the looming poverty coming for so many in old age. It is not just WASPI, that is the tip of the iceberg on pensions … it will be many, many, many more.

    For those of you who wish to give up the power of your vote “to be unable to change the current or future outcome is to be a slave to that outcome no matter the suffering”.

    You will now all be slaves of all colours and exactly how does the transportation of slaves around a world with no national borders work?

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  7. Bridget
    In 1997, Bombay duck was banned by the European Commission (EC). This was because the EC prohibited fish imports from India other than from approved freezing and canning factories, and Bombay duck is not produced in a factory.
    Well that was there excuse anyways.

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  8. Obviously nobody in the know (snout in the trough) is expecting anything to change soon. Mr Twain also liked to muck about in boats bu he is never quoted on matters nautical exept for paddling down the Mississippi on a raft fictionally.

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  9. Only slightly off topic but recenly Mark the Carnivore at the BOE announced another 70 billion of QE. This money (taxpayer backed) will be used to buy back Gilts from the banks. In theory the banks will then lend this money to small business etc and thus stimulate the economy. After the 2008 crash the BOE did 370 billion of QE the same way. The economy was not stimulated as the banks used most of the money to inflate financial and property asset prices.

    The BOE could deploy these moneys differently. A one off payment to all citizens, kick start a citizen’s income scheme which is being tested in Finland as mentioned by Gemma (citizen’s income being first mooted by CH Douglass back in the 1920’s). I can’t help but think that 70 billion would easily right the wrongs done to the WASPIS. Money given to folk who live hand to mouth or the destitute (as many waspis) would soon be spent back into the real economy.

    The gov could also use it for infrastructure improvements – the trouble is the politicians are apt to spend it on vanity projects.

    My own favourite would be for the gov to give a ring fenced grant to local councils to buy land to be made available for allotments. There is nothing the British of all ethnicities like better than allotments and sheds. Healthy excerscise, better noutrition, win- win.

    The folks over at positivemoney.org have a petition you can sign, calling on the Chancelor to impliment QE for the people.
    Worth a try.

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  10. @ ?Waldgaenger,; Give money to the people, what are you mad? Only modern western leader who did that was Kevin Rudd PM of OZ in 2008 and we know what happened to him. Funny thing is it actually worked to prevent a recession but was only for $900 worth per citizen and only once (Treasury became nervous nellies about the precedent), cost to the Government, basically nil they recouped most of it in GST taxes. Everyone fell into line thereafter about overspending, big spending, any sort of spending that did not benefit the few. As a certain comedian truthfully spoke (see another post) if you have money banks give you money, if you have none then you have to pay for the privilege.

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  11. Mark Twain, a man of principle & character, a hero of one of my favourite authors, Robert Heinlein.

    The Fed is so desperate they are discussing issuing debt free money to keep the house of cards up until China & Russia are conquered:
    http://www.washingtonsblog.com & look up July article beginning federal reserve creating debt free money

    John Doran.

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