When Governments Try To Help

The most frightening sentence in any language is “I’m from the Government and I’m going to help you.” Lose your wallet in Germany and you could find yourself in immigration detention for two weeks until someone notices you don’t look like a refugee (and that would be labelled racist in many places).

From the ABC:

Chinese tourist mistaken for asylum seeker in Germany after losing wallet

A Chinese tourist got tangled up in the red tape of Germany’s migrant influx by mistake and was stuck in a refugee home for nearly two weeks, the Red Cross says.

Officials thought the backpacker, who spoke neither German nor English, “needed help” after landing in Stuttgart Airport in south-west Germany on July 4, Christoph Schluetermann of the German Red Cross said.

The 31-year-old man, who had lost his wallet, was taken to a reception centre in the nearby town of Heidelberg.

There, he unwittingly filled out an asylum request form, following the local authorities’ instructions, Mr Schluetermann said.

On July 6, he was transferred to a reception centre in the western city of Dortmund, where his passport was taken from him.

He was then moved to another shelter in Duelmen near the Dutch border.

“Machinery kicked into gear from which he couldn’t immediately escape,” Mr Schluetermann told news agency DPA.

Public broadcaster WDR said the man complied with standard procedure for refugees, including allowing his fingerprints to be taken, undergoing a medical examination and accepting pocket money.

Chinese restaurant called on for help

But staff eventually noticed that the man was unusually well-dressed for an asylum seeker and when the likelihood of a mistake dawned on them, sought help at a local Chinese restaurant.

The owners suggested Mr Schluetermann try using a Mandarin smartphone translation app and it soon became clear that the man did not want asylum but to continue his European tour.

“I want to go walking in a foreign country,” one of the translated messages said, WDR reported.

Twelve days into his stay in Germany, the man was able to set off for France and Italy.

Germany let in nearly 1.1 million migrants and refugees last year, posing an enormous challenge for its overstretched bureaucracy.

“It isn’t how I imagined Europe,” WDR cited the tourist as saying.

Unbelievable.

Have you ever wondered what the world would look like if the leaders of a nation or a continent decided to base their decisions on fairy tales? Look no further than the EU. Not content with their victory of making vacuum cleaners more efficient by simply banning those with motors more powerful than 1600 W, they are now planning to cool the planet by making people use slow kettles and hair dryers.

Jo Nova writes:

EU to change climate with hair dryers, kettles, lawn mowers

You, foolish plebian, thought that a hair dryer was for drying hair. Not so. The purpose of a hair dryer is to change the climate. Let’s stop the storms by slow-mowing the lawn. That sort of thing…

Thus and verily has the EU announced that high-power appliances may now be banned.

[Telegraph]

EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles

European Union to ban dozens of high-wattage household electrical appliances in follow-up to controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners

A study ordered by the European Commission, currently in draft form, has identified up to 30 electrical appliances including lawn mowers, smart phones and kettles that could be covered by the EU’s Ecodesign directive outlawing high-wattage devices.

Serfs in the EU will probably spend longer drying their hair, and more time waiting for the kettle to boil  in a quest to produce slightly less CO2. This is in the hope that less CO2 might cool a world that hasn’t really warmed for a decade and a half. It’s a case of not so much blow-drying, and more slow-drying. Likewise, stupid punters may wonder how a lower voltage kettle can reduce emissions. The laws of physics suggest water is heated by watts, P(W) = E(J) / t(s) and all. Hence lower watts equates to more time to reach boiling point. In the end, either you have cold tea or you use the same amount of energy and produce the same amount of emissions.

I suppose the obvious thing is for the EU to legislate that water will boil at 90C.

Methinks ultimately this will use more electricity and produce more emissions. It is possible that punters, tired of waiting, will simply boil more water at the start of the day, leaving the kettle fuller and hotter all day in between cups of tea. Likewise, 2500W fan heaters make good substitutes for hair dryers. China may start producing fan heaters that you can hold in one hand.

If there are any manufacturers left  in Europe which still export hair-dryers or small electrical goods, I guess those factories in Guandong look all the more appealing now. Shame about the jobs.

Get in now and buy modern electrical goods while you can.

On Monday many of the best vacuum cleaners available for sale in the UK will be banned as a result of the EU energy efficiency rules that prohibit the manufacture or importing any vacuums with motors above 1,600 watts.

Tesco said sales of the most powerful vacuums had soared by as much as 94 per cent for some models after the Telegraph reported consumer group Which? urging shoppers to act quickly before they sold out forever.

The EU is out of control. Send letters to your politicians now.  Don’t ask for this legislation to be amended, ask for the EU to be amended. Your nation should leave now.

EU to change climate with hair dryers, kettles, lawn mowers « JoNova

Stop Your Whining

Australians grizzling about the awful “cut to the bone” budget need to think aobut this comparison with our neighbour New Zealand.

The culmination of almost two decades of mainly populist budgets, the Abbott government will spend $6200 a person on cash welfare next year, over 25 per cent more than New Zealand’s government will on each of its citizens (converting all amounts to Australian dollars).

Education spending, at $2900 a person, is 10 per cent more generous in Australia but health expenditure is torrential by comparison: Australian state and federal governments will lavish more than $4600 a person to keep Australians alive and healthy, almost 50 per cent more than is spent in New Zealand…

Australia’s population of 23.5 million is about 5.2 times New Zealand’s, but as of June last year we had 8.4 times as many public servants…

If the federal government overnight reduced welfare, health and education spending to New Zealand levels it would be rolling in a $40 billion budget surplus next year rather than wallowing in deficit until 2018 or even later…

[Bill] English, now in his sixth year as New Zealand’s Treasurer, commendably chose not to emulate the world’s greatest treasurer Wayne Swan and kept a tight leash on public spending before and after the global financial crisis, preferring to cut income taxes and lift consumption tax. The Key government, facing election again later this year, is now reaping the rewards.

While Australia’s economy is lumbering back to trend growth, New Zealand is enjoying a boom, its economy predicted to grow 4 per cent this year and 3 per cent next without pushing up inflation. The country’s unemployment rate is projected to fall to 4.4 per cent during the next few years as ours hovers around 6 per cent.

Apart from a bloated public sector and a wellspring of whingeing, what does Australia get for its vastly more indulgent public spending? Much higher taxes, for one thing. The marginal income rate most Australians will pay from July — 34.5 per cent — will be higher even than New Zealand’s top 33 per cent rate, which makes a mockery of our 49 per cent top rate, which will be higher than China’s and France’s.

Read more here