Religious Debate

Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all Jews had to leave Italy. Of course, there was a huge outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal. He would hold a religious debate with a leader of the Jewish community. If the Jewish leader won the debate, the Jews would be permitted to stay in Italy. If the Pope won, the Jews had to leave.

The Jewish community met and picked an aged Rabbi, Moishe, to represent them in the debate. Rabbi Moishe, however, couldn’t speak Latin and the Pope couldn’t speak Yiddish. So it was decided that this would be a “silent” debate.

On the day of the great debate, the Pope and Rabbi sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.

Rabbi Moishe looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.

Rabbi Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope then brought out a communion wafer and chalice of wine.

Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple. With that, the Pope stood up and said, “I concede the debate. This man has bested me. The Jews can stay.”

Later, the Cardinals gathered around the Pope, asking him what had happened.

The Pope said, “First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions.

Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us of our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. So, what could I do?”

Meanwhile, the Jewish community crowded around the Rabbi, asking what happened. “Well,” said Moishe, “first he said to me, ‘You Jews have three days to get out of here.’ So I said to him, ‘Up yours’.

Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of Jews. So I said to him, ‘Listen here Pope, the Jews stay right here!”

“And then?” asked a woman.

“Who knows?” said the Rabbi. “We broke for lunch.”

Italian Cruise Liners – Apposite Remarks

The current plight of the Costa Concordia reminds me of a comment made by Winston Churchill.

After his retirement he was cruising the Mediterranean on an Italian cruise liner and some Italian journalists asked why an ex British Prime Minister should chose an Italian ship.
                                                                                                                 “There are three things I like about being on an Italian cruise ship” said Churchill.
“First their cuisine is unsurpassed. 
Second their service is superb. 
And then, in time of emergency, there is none of this nonsense about women and children first”.

Compassionate And Caring

IN ANSWER TO: Thatcher was NOT compassionate and caring – a fact even accepted by her own party who subsequent to her departure spent over a decade trying to rid themselves of her toxic legacy as the ‘nasty party’ and even at the last election couldn’t summon up a majority.

In 1979, when Margaret Thatcher came to power following The Winter of Discontent,Britainwas effectively ruled by, and in the grip of the Trades Unions; who were out of the control even of the Labour government to whom most were affiliated.

The country was in decline, over regulated and over taxed. Industry was inefficient, over manned, and uncompetitive, with large chunks nationalised, loss making and riddled with restrictive practices and a closed shop mentality.

Investment was low or non-existent, education and training was of a low standard and inflation was high:

Britainwere rightly epitomised as The Sick Man of Europe.

Against this background, Margaret Thatcher’s policies centred round the need to restore national pride by:

Neutralising the strength of the unions;

Reducing the size of government with its nanny-type status;

Privatising loss making nationalised industries – so they would end the drain on the public purse (slanted particularly to be attractive to ordinary people to encourage their acquisition of shares);

Reducing taxation (which under an earlier Labour government had peaked once with a marginal rate of 97.5%);

Improving education;

Reducing crime with tougher action;

Reducing inflation (which had peaked at 22%);

Ending the benefits culture (under which, taxes paid even by poorer working people were (and still are) used to allow the work shy to sit at home rather than attempt to seek gainful employment);

Empowering the the poorest in society who lived in social (council) housing) with the right to purchase their own rented homes (offering hefty discounts, minimal deposits and low interest rates to sitting tenants.) One benefit which accrued from this was the ability for some, otherwise trapped for life, to be able to sell, and move away, from the many crime-ridden, violent, ghetto housing estates.

She promoted the prospect of an asset owning, self-reliant, democratic nation.

Finally, making a substantial contribution to the downfall of communism inEastern Europeand the end of the cold war.

This philosophy clearly is one which indicates a compassionate and caring person. However the truth may not always match the perception; though it is always the truth that matters if a person is to be judged.

The method adopted to handle benefits during the large scale unemployment, caused partially as a result of the global recession in the 1980s (which the UK economy was particular ill-equipped to handle in view of the series of crises occurring during the 1970s), was the one most efficient to the tax payer: not to employ people in artificial jobs created by governments, (or allowing them to remain at work in loss making, public industries), but instead, to provide the basic unemployment benefit required for subsistence purposes, putting the onus on individuals to find their own jobs and entertainment.

Those made to become self-reliant, perhaps for the first time, might very well have thought the policy to be nasty!

I expectAmericawould act in a similar manner, employed to remove the invaders of the Falkland Islands, if, say, Hawaii was ever seized by a foreign power.