Listening to one of the religion podcasts I mentioned yesterday, I was struck by this thought – Given that Christianity accepts the Jewish prophet Abraham and Islam accepts both Abraham and Jesus as prophets, at what points did God/Allah decide that the holy book he'd previously sponsored was no longer fit for purpose and that a few people in the Middle East has strayed sufficiently from the precepts he'd revealed that he needed to get a new holy book written and published? Secondly, why did this process stop with Islam? Did humans suddenly get better at doing what they were told, so that the celestial printing press could be dismantled for eternity? Of course, there are people who believe the process didn't end with Islam – the Ba'hais, for example – but we don't really take much notice of them. Possibly because, in Iran for example, they're regarded as heretics by Muslims and worthy of serious punishment. Possibly, even, the death merited by apostates. So they are not vociferous. And certainly don't come knocking on your door.
The French President, M Hollande, is said to be a master of 'creative vagueness'. So much so that “Even some of his closest colleagues do not know what he wants. He reveals little as he listens and delays decisions.” Interestingly, this is the same approach to political leadership favoured by the Spanish President, Sr Rajoy. Separated at birth?
In the 1990s there were a lot of rural properties in Galicia worth absolutely nothing. Essentially because they'd been abandoned and no Spaniard was interested in buying them. But as foreigners, mostly Brits, started coming here from 2000 onwards, the owners/inheritors of these properties realised they could charge 10, 20 even 50,000 euros for them because what they thought of as a fortune was regarded by the guiris as a bargain. Then came the agents - charging outrageous commissions – and prices rose still further. But even then you could come across an entire village (of 5 or 6 houses and barns) for sale. Since the end of the (phoney) property boom and the disappearance of buyers, prices have naturally fallen. And entire villages are still for sale. Here's a BBC report on one of them, bought by an Englishman for a total of 45,000 euros.
Another prominent British politician (well, ex-politician) has come out in favour of the UK leaving the EU – Michael Portillo. According to him: The euro is a disaster. It has created hardship, unemployment and division on a dangerous scale. It is the result of an ideology; and the ideologues who pursue the goal of union do not count the cost in human misery. Why should they, since it is paid by others? Europe’s political elite is so self-satisfied with its self-proclaimed virtue in uniting Europe that it never doubts itself nor tolerates those who point out the damage that it does and its sheer incompetence. We are on a one-way ratchet to a federal state of Europe, and any populace that votes against the onward march is simply told to vote again. The eurozone will be intellectually absorbed by its currency for 20 years. Either the euro will gradually collapse or member states will enter economic and political union. Either way, Britain should be nowhere near, and as the eurozone expends its energy on integration, it will slip further behind the competition from outside Europe. Integration is a word easily said. Its implementation would be vastly more difficult than creating the single currency, which the EU has so manifestly botched.
Corruption in Spain: Here's an overview from the USA.
A nice cartoon in this month's Prospect magazine: A young boy is belting a young girl, reducing her to tears, and the mother of the former is saying to the mother of the latter:- "It's not his fault. He's got SMBD - spuriously medicalised behaviour disorder."
Finally . . . Credit where it's due – The Samsung agent called me earlier this week and today brought a new door for my fridge. He needed a small set of steps to install it but fortunately I've got some.