OK, the birth of any child is something to be welcomed, by the family and close friends of the parents.

And, regardless of what Munguin has told you, I’m not a monster. I’m sure that Harry and Megan are delighted and so, presumably, should they be. But a monster or not. I don’t really care…at least not any more than I care about the hundreds of thousands of other parents across the world who have welcomed someone new into their family today.

So, why the wall to wall coverage, like nothing else is happening in the world?

Someone on Twitter joked that the bairn weighed in at three point something kilos. “If you want to know what that is in pounds”, they said, “around 3 million!”


Purple is a royal colour, isn’t it?


130 thoughts on “UNTO THEM A CHILD IS BORN…”

    1. We shall…

      I couldn’t go, having home commitments, but you’re right. It looked great and, as usual, there was no trouble. Not bad when you have around 100,000 on the streets.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “…as usual, there was no trouble.”

        I don’t know; I saw a tweet (!) that a couple of dogs barked at each other. I figured that was WGD giving a unionist mutt what for.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Jon…….It’s great to have a nice Midwestern (Chicago area) university represented in the royal family. It costs a ton of money to go to college at Northwestern, BTW. More than $52,000 for the 2017/2018 academic year in tuition and expenses according to an internet source. The royals would have that kind of money of course, but doubtful that they could meet Northwestern’s academic requirements. So they tend to go to lesser schools like Oxford or Cambridge and the like. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Indeed. The Einstein-like Prince Charles passed his O Grades (or equivalent), much to the astonishment of the world. Young Hewitt passed his Cycling Proficiency exam. The brainbox.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Danny,

        Absolutely! I grew up in Evanston, about 3 kilometers south of Northwestern’s lakefront campus but in a … previous century … so no brush with future royalty. I always thought those schools were almost as good as NU, but NU is almost as good as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, so there ya go.

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Yeah well you only need a small field a tiny back yard will do.

      If you crims stick to the allotted time the polis wonโ€™t have to arrest you.


  1. Prince of Wales lauding the royal’s German heritage.
    Meantime,HM press are frothing over what the latest addition will be named.
    Adolf presumably out of the question,so maybe Hans,Fritz,Wilhelm or better still a Chinese name to help drum up some trade.
    We could have a referendum to decide.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It has to be something American, so I hear.

      Waldorf? Trump? Washington?

      But a middle name from China, because that trade deal is utterly vital!

      Prince Waldorf Xi Trump?

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Illy……I love Statler and Waldorf!
          They appeared after this rendition of “Danny Boy” by the Leprechaun Brothers. The Irish emotion here is overwhelming, and I love how deftly Beaker (the guy with the bulging eyes) handles the high notes.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope I will be called Hank. I want a baby sister called Bambi-Mae. Come on Daddy and Mummy – get to it. Breed for Britain!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Waldorf Windsor – how euphonious! And for topicality, let him be Waldorf Brexit Windsor in honour of plucky little Britain re-establishing her sovereignty over something or other. I’m pretty sure it’s not Calais, though. Then, because Royals have got to have many more names than ordinary people like Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, Jacob William Rees-Mogg and Michael Andrew von Backpfeifengesicht Gove, we need to add a couple more at least, surely! Waldorf Brexit William Winston Windsor, perhaps, or Markle-Windsor in these morganatic (Meghanatic?) days of equality between lords and ladies, and the end of male primogeniture and all, though we’re not going to have another Queen Anne, either apparently or presumptively, apparently.

      We may even have a Catholic queen at some point, people! I expect Fragrant Arlene and the Dinosaur-Deniers, indeed all the Orange Ludgers and other sundry sectarians, will see this as an Existential Threat to their fragile wee identities, but really, there’s nothing for them to worry about, and I should know because I’ve known simply loads of Catholic queens and they’ve all been just fine, except for some of them, and they know who they are.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think George Washington Windsor sounds OK. It would be in line with all the German Georges, while it honors his American lineage. Or even George Washington Obama Windsor which would include his mixed-race ethnicity. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Last year The New York Times published a piece that said the royal baby would be an American. So it must be so. Or at least he is eligible to be an American as soon as their royal highnesses go down to the US Embassy, stand in line, and fill out the necessary paperwork. The English and American media will doubtless yammer on about “dual citizenship,” but there is really no such thing under American law as I understand it; so that will cut no ice whatever with the US government. American citizens are supposed to have renounced โ€œabsolutely and entirely all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which the applicant was before a subject or citizen,โ€ according to the [American] law. (However, the Times says that these days the American government has adopted sort of a “don’t ask don’t tell” policy for people who want to pretend that they have dual citizenship.)

    The real issue is that all American citizens have to pay United States income tax to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), wherever in the world they live and by whatever odd set of circumstances…..in this case involving a weird dysfunctional English family of Princes and Potentates……they came to be an AMERICAN.

    As I understand it, a big issue with the Markle woman is that unless and until she renounces her American citizenship, her income will be taxable in the USA, and the financial ledgers of the House of Windsor could potentially be open to an IRS tax audit. The same long term tax situation exists with the American baby, notwithstanding that he is at least theoretically in line of succession to the throne.

    The BBC published a piece on the potential tax liability of Markle and the baby. They could be subject to American income tax even if they ultimately renounce their American citizenship, since the IRS has something they call an “Exit Tax.” Boris Johnson ran afoul of the exit tax when he renounced his American citizenship. He proclaimed the US taxation system “absolutely outrageous.”

    Any money shoveled to Markle and/or the baby from the Windsor family trusts for example is taxable as personal income under American law, and those trust arrangements would then be subject to scrutiny by the IRS. The House of Windsor could try to fight an IRS audit of course, but the IRS would have the American Army and Navy behind them, and American aircraft carriers have airplanes on them. So while the royal family may be a big deal with the British government, the IRS would consider them Princes and Potentates who are NOT citizens of the Great Republic. In other words, being British and royal would cut no ice with the IRS, while being American and royal would be a matter of great interest. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Brilliant, Danny.

      When they finish the audit of President Trump’s accounts, they can get straight onto the Suffolks’. Gifts from grandparents included. Free flights and housing and cars and stuff all taken into consideration.

      Maybe they’ll drop the Trump case for now and concentrate of the Saxe Coburgs.

      Ha ha ha…

      Maybe that is what the state visit is all about. We all have to be nice to old Orange Face so that he will call off his tax people.


      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL……Tris…..I’m thinking that Mueller has spare time on his hands now, and can easily handle the Saxe Coburg tax investigation. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It will probably be easier to get tax information from the royals than it’s proving to be to get anything out of Trumpy.

        Anyway, as I understand it, the new baby under US law is an American citizen as is his mother, so anything they get from the Saxe Coburgs will be taxed at its fair market value by the IRS. She may ultimately renounce her own American citizenship, but parents can’t renounce a minor child’s citizenship. And the kid can’t do that for himself until he’s at least 16 yo.

        So for 16 years, the royal finances will be fair game for American tax audits. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        From the US Department of State website:
        “Citizenship is a status that is personal to the U.S. citizen. Therefore parents may not renounce the citizenship of their minor children. Similarly, parents/legal guardians may not renounce the citizenship of individuals who lack sufficient capacity to do so.”…… “Minors seeking to renounce their U.S. citizenship must demonstrate to a consular officer that they are acting voluntarily, without undue influence from parent(s), and that they fully understand the implications/consequences attendant to the renunciation of U.S. citizenship. Children under 16 are presumed not to have the requisite maturity and knowing intent to relinquish citizenship; children under 18 are provided additional safeguards.”

        1. Oh well, that’s it. The Saxe Coberg fortune is likely to end up in the hands of Trump so he can buy more orange dye and maybe another golf course.

          Why not? At least it will be doing something.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. LOL Tris…….It would indeed be a great irony if American tax law and the election of old Orange Face, with his unerring financial acumen, brings on the bankruptcy of the House of Windsor.

            You’ll recall the op-ed piece in the Times by the former head of the FBI, whose career went up in flames under Trump’s supervision. The man who can eat your soul can surely bankrupt a royal family. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            (Spitting Image showed us that the royals don’t handle poverty very well.)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Love this line, Danny…

              Amoral leaders have a way of revealing the character of those around them. Sometimes what they reveal is inspiring. For example, James Mattis, the former secretary of defense, resigned over principle, a concept so alien to Mr. Trump that it took days for the president to realize what had happened, before he could start lying about the man.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. Tris…..I noticed that myself. The younger royals seem to mostly wear those “fascinator” things that sort of perch on the side of the head. But it seems that Mrs. Eddy has gone full hat…….and a huge (furry?) black one at that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Didn’t someone once tell me that Prince Phillip was Greek?

      The thing I like best about the royal infant is the recent African ancestry in the Markle family tree. May he have a normal life and be paid no more attention than the rest of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I read that Brexiteers, polled about what they thought it was to be British, said that, if one of your parents was born outside the UK you weren’t British.

        So, that would be Charlie, Anne, Airmiles and Medal Man.

        Not to mention King George VI (Mum from Teck), Edward VIII (same), George V (mum Danish), Edward VII (dad German) and Victoria (mum German).

        And that’s only 20th and 21 st century!

        British non-jobs for British Princes, I say.

        Maybe once we are out of the EU we can have proper British royalty!

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Unfortunately that rules me out because I’m not British because I am Scottish and therefore second class when it comes to queening it. What we need is ERECT! English Royalty for English Constitutional Thrones! (I have to say that it all seems a bit vague to me, what with Her Maj being a constitutional monarch but nobody is quite sure what the English / British constitution is exactly.)

          I think it was Mahatma Gandhi who said, in response to being asked what he thought of English / British civilization, that it would be nice if they tried it sometime.

          Don’t bother to correct me if I’m wrong, these days I’m like the ancien rรฉgime – learn nothing, forget nothing (that happened more than 20 years ago).

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I think it was bloody marvellous, bloody marvellous I tell you. So good, I decreed we have a one off bank holiday on the day of his actual birth to celebrate.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Of course I knew it would happen, but that doesn’t make me any less disgusted at the wall to wall coverage of this event. When we have , according to statistics, hundreds of thousands of children in the U.K living in poverty, parents having to go to foodbanks just for the basics so they don’t starve, and even then, children going to school hungry in no fit state to receive an education.
    These billionaires, the Saxe Coburg Gotha’s, and their predecessors, living off all of us, have been taking us for mugs since time immemorial, with the unstinting assistance of the British establishment,and with their media lapdogs in tow, we must all bend the knee once again.
    What utter bilge. When oh when are we going to get up off our knees and become a nation again, instead of being subservient to a family I want nothing to do with, and the government of another country that I don’t want, a government, of whatever hue, that have systematically plundered Scotland for centuries, whether it be our people, or our natural riches.
    If this latest sickening display of unadulterated privilege doesn’t turn peoples stomachs, then I don’t know what will.
    Let me know will you when the media coverage finishes . Oh sorry, I forgot. It never will.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, obviously he’s royal… and therefor different from the rest the herd.

      If ordinary kids starve to death, well, there are plenty more of them. But royals?

      Not so much.

      I wonder if William and Kate will be annoyed at all the attention going to Harry and Miss Marple? Will they decide a 4th child, just like Granny did?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I reckon that’s nonsense, Danny.

          The child will be entitled to the style royal highness and the title prince. They may chose not to use it. I understand that Prince Edward’s children are simply Lord **** and Lady *** although they should be entitled to all the tra la las.

          William’s children are princes/princesses; Harry’s will be too.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Tris…….It’s surely all too confusing for a mere commoner like me to understand. I do recall reading elsewhere about George V changing the rules back in the day in a way that limited the number of HRH Princes/Princesses below the grandchild level. Under George V’s proclamation (as I understand it) William’s children (who are at the GREAT grandchild level form the sovereign) would not be HRHs Princes/Princesses….except for the first born Prince George. Then in 2012, the Queen changed George V’s rules as it applies to Prince William……….with the proclamation โ€œthat all the children of the eldest son of The Prince of Wales should have and enjoy the style, title and attribute of Royal Highness with the titular dignity of Prince or Princess prefixed to their Christian names or with such other titles of honour.โ€ So Shazaam!!!!!…….in the twinkling of an eye………Charlotte and Louis Cambridge became HRH Princelings.

            But it seems that the 2012 proclamation did not extend HRHs to Harry’s children (being only great grandchildren of the monarch, and therefore too far from the throne to be princelings under George V’s rules.)

            If this is right, then it’s clear that the royals make it up as they go along, just like parliament does. ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ah… well, you may be more up to date with the changing terms and conditions for getting a title and a style than I am, Danny.

              Were I ever to meet them, I’d be damned if I would utter a single silly word about “highness” or “princeness”.

              And Munguin agrees!!!

              Liked by 2 people

                1. I was once invited as part of my work, to a garden party at Holyrood.

                  I saw all the instructions on what to wear, what to say, what to do and not do… and declined.

                  Humans should treat each other with mutual respect. This was servitude.

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. Tris…..I think that your (and Munguin’s) policy is the best way to handle it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                I believe those George V changes about who is and isn’t an HRH happened back when he was changing the name of his family. I may have encountered it while doing some research into the likelihood that I could get a Garter Knighthood. (I do love the costume!) I discovered that the chances are slim and none.

                Liked by 2 people

                  1. LOL Ed……Thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I was mostly thinking of the long robe, the gold badges, and the big white feather in your hat. What’s not to LOVE about an outfit like that. I’ve never been able to find THIS kind of Garter regalia on Ebay….although God knows I’ve looked. ๐Ÿ˜‰


                  1. Tris……I see your point about the fellow members.
                    I’ll gladly accept the Thistle. Better associates in Scotland surely! Please ask Munguin to forward the application forms. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                    Liked by 1 person

  5. refer to the daily star.
    American actress gives birth to a boy child in Windsor, englandland.

    In the meantime Norway declares that it’s Oil Fund has returned $64,000,000,000 the first quarter of this year.
    If Scotland had started an Oil Fund at the same time as Norway, each and every person alive today in Scotland would have a projected interest income of $40,000 a Year.
    Wonder if we would donate to the food banks in englandland, just to help out our neighbours, don’t think we would be needing food or clothes banks or universal credit.
    Norway is spending the capital as well, improving their infrastructure, I’ve been there and can tell you it’s the truth.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Yes. Norway is just amazing. Fantastic infrastructure, almost entirely electric vehicles, all pensions paid up both state retirement and all civil service.

      Everything works. Everything is grand.

      If only we hadn’t had to punch above our weight and go to war when the President said so.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I like Norway OK. But a few friendly libertarian-inspired words of nay-saying:

        I was surprised to learn that the Norwegians maintain a significant and important military presence in NATO with both male AND female conscription into national service. Even the militaristic Americans abandoned conscription almost 50 years ago.

        Free enterprise socialistic-averse Americans might point out that involuntary government-mandated national service is the price in human freedom that people pay for a socialist government. I would personally be more kindly disposed toward Norway if its enlightened economic policies could come without such egregious regimentation in the lives of their people.

        For example, with all their oil money, the Norwegians could follow the American example and maintain their military with a package of wages and benefits that is competitive with the private sector. Why don’t they do this? Because socialist governments always feel the need to force their people by law to do things for the public good. The socialist politicians in Oslo will always have a better idea of what is good for the people of Norway than the Norwegian people themselves.

        Just sayin…….:-)


        Liked by 2 people

          1. Conan…..True enough! I’ve often said that Trumpy takes a lot of the fun out of having an elected head of state.
            But I’d also point out that of all the countries of the world, Trump famously singled out Norway and its people for praise. Having now learned that Norway embraces conscription (AKA Involuntary Servitude……AKA Slavery) for “national service,” I’m now thinking that this may be what Trump (in all his irrationality) finds so attractive about Norway. ๐Ÿ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes Tris…….I wouldn’t be surprised. ๐Ÿ˜‰
                I see that the Abraham Lincoln (aircraft carrier) is sailing for Iranian waters.

                Liked by 1 person

        1. The conscription is a hangover from the Cold War, I think – Norway does have that border with Russia in the far north, don’t forget, and then there’s Spitzbergen. Even though Norway is traditionally neutral, in the late ’40s, post-WWII, in the light of the recent Occupation by Germany and the current threat from the Soviet Union, Norway joined NATO to protect its independence: there was a definite non-zero threat of being forced into the Soviet sphere. However, like Spain, Norway has no NATO bases or nuclear weapons stationed on its soil. Oh – coastguard – Norway famously has a very long coastline, and fisheries and oil & gas in the North Sea – looking after all that comes under military service too, even if it’s not in the Navy.

          [Subsequent research using peerless googling skills to back up vast erudition turned up this rather good article on Norway in Nato: https://t1p.de/bt8fv4.%5D

          As I understand it, there are so few people in the Norwegian armed forces now that they rely pretty much if not entirely on career staff who sign up voluntarily, the chances of being called up are very low indeed, and the practice is to take only those who want to serve anyway – so it’s tantamount to having a volunteer army. Saves them having to reintroduce the draft in time of war, I suppose.

          On a somewhat different tack, Danny, I have to take issue with you on your usage of the term “socialist”. Like the use of the term “liberal” in America as an insult, it’s pretty much incomprehensible to us on this side of the Atlantic. What we consider normal adjuncts of civilized life -health care for all, for example, and public services and utilities under public control rather than set up as private monopolies or cartels, the better to enable vested interests with blatant conflicts of interest to exploit, price-gouge and ration access to the public – seem to be thought of as “socialist” and therefore a Bad Thing.

          To put it another way – in a country such as Norway, government largess goes to promote the well-being of the people on whose behalf it acts, i.e., the public, rather than on corporate welfare, and the purpose of the economy is seen as to provide a living for all rather than to further advantage the interests of a few plutocrats with more money than they could ever possibly need or even spend. They also correctly identify economic inequality as a significant driver of social instability – the French and the Russian revolutions are sufficient proof of that particular point, I would have thought.

          Similarly, the creation of plutocratic, secular dynasties and quasi-monarchies with power and influence far beyond their numbers are seen as far more dangerous threats to the democratic political and legal order than the fact of having a completely non-executive monarch as a figurehead Head of State. Americans have on occasion informed me that the concepts of monarchy and democracy are mutually exclusive.

          In most places in Europe with monarchs these days, though, the whole idea of “monarchy” is seen as rather absurd and passรฉ. Said monarchs have no real political power or even really significant economic advantages, being constitutionally and strictly non-executive. Monarchies in Islamic countries – Morocco, Saudi, Brunei – are, notoriously, something else.

          Countries with monarchies of the figurehead kind do not have them structured in such a way as to be incompatible with democracy. However, I am NOT talking about the United Kingdom here, where the habit of kow-towing to, and licking the ars*es of Royalty and its hangers-on is ingrained in the body politic like an untreated case of syphilis. The bonkers notion of the sovereignty of the State being embodied in the monarch sitting in the Parliament and flowing down through its hereditary and Public (i.e., private) School Establishment aristocracy underpins the whole lamentable and ramshackle constitutional order of the State in all its blinkered, rock-ribbed, boneheaded, class-based horror. It is, shockingly, a constitutional order to which the Labour Party sold out so long ago that they’ve been promising to abolish the House of Lords for over a century now yet have never done so – in fact, Tony Blair’s “reforms” of the ’90s made the problem worse rather than better. We now have over 800 of the vermin in ermine, including the Lords Spiritual, lining up to collect their ยฃ300 a day!

          (My pet hate figure among them is Lord Darling of Roulanish, once and former Scottish socialist (true use of the term) firebrand, now a Labour peer. Here’s Darling’s blurb on the UK Parliament website: https://t1p.de/nekf2b. And here’s a photo of him in his younger days helping hold up a banner touting a Workers’ Republic: https://t1p.de/yuzf4e.

          Since the little-lamented passing of Soviet-style Communism, the principal threat to people’s liberties here in Europe has come from the far right. I for one am sh*it scared of the rise of the right here – and by “here” I don’t mean Scotland, I mean in our southern neighbour and elsewhere in Europe south of here, as quite evidently fomented by the authoritarian kleptocrats of Russia, Putin chief among them, in pursuit of their own self-interest and larger geopolitical goals.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. It is interesting that some of the most progressive countries in Europe have monarchies (Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg) but that none of them are treated with the ridiculous “majesty” the Brits accord to their lot.

            In some cases they do have a role in the running of the country (I understand that is so in the Netherlands), and in some there is absolutely no role whatsoever (Sweden).

            It’s notable that they are quite popular in these countries.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Tris…….I certainly have no problem with countries that cling to monarchy as some sort of anachronistic throwback to another time. If people fail to see the manifest superiority of a secular constitutional republic with an elected head of state, then who am I to object?

              This doesn’t apply to the UK of course. A medieval monarchy with all the trimmings……..a royal family whose sole purpose is to breed heads of state……..an official state religion headed by the monarch……a supreme parliament that is partially populated by unelected aristocracy and clerics, unencumbered in its daily meanderings by even the slightest pretense of a constitution…….privy council……..great officers of state…..and sundry other governmental monstrosities from another age! THIS is a country that is manifestly incapable of self government and is probably beyond redemption. Just sayin…… ๐Ÿ˜‰

              Liked by 2 people

          2. Ed……Very interesting read! The first link did not open for me, but I got some information about Norwegian conscription from this Wiki article.


            Let me say that I certainly have no quarrel with Democratic socialism which seems to have worked well in Europe, although I do think it depends in principle on acceptance of a degree of regimentation that would not work in the USA. (Perhaps a revolutionary holdover that leads to a fundamental American distrust of government.) My argument is with conscription for ANY purpose…….which is involuntary servitude, which is literal slavery……and which Europeans seem to think is just fine, as long as you call it “national service” or words to that effect.

            As for military conscription, I can appreciate that there was probably some holdover from Cold War days. After WWII, the American military managed to maintain conscription for almost 30 years. It ended only after the debacle of Vietnam and more than 58,000 dead…….probably more than a third of whom were drafted.

            The American military clung to the draft for so long after WWII because it was a way to get involuntary labor at below market labor rates. And due to the hysteria about the Cold War threat, the Pentagon was able to maintain the political will for such a thing. For years, the generals claimed that they could not possibly maintain the American military on a volunteer basis. Then after the Vietnam debacle, when the generals were finally told to do it, they simply budgeted for wages and benefits that were competitive with the private sector, and we suddenly had an all-volunteer military.

            As I understand it, Norway in later years had very little actual military conscription, but they remained addicted to the idea of ordering the young to report for examination for “national service.” The sort of thing that seems to appeal to socialistic Europeans in a big way. (I don’t know another word to use in this context than “socialistic,” to suggest the concept of mandating involuntary labor for a perceived public good.)

            From an American perspective, I might suggest that European politicians who promote such ideas should be hanged. A bit extreme perhaps, but involuntary servitude in a good cause is still slavery, whatever you choose to call it…..IMHO ๐Ÿ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Danny,
              I was under the impression that although there is no longer a “draft” in the US, there is still a requirement to register. Am I misinformed?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. You’re right about that Jake! Registration of men with the US “Selective Service System” is still required, even though military conscription ended in 1973. The idea is that a registered pool of military age men would be readily available in the event of a national emergency, and conscription was reinstated by Congress. Male citizens of the US must register within 30 days of their 18th birthday, and you’re supposed to keep SSS advised of your residence until your 26th birthday. You can register online, or send in a form available at post offices, high schools, etc.

                Even though the feds ended prosecution for non-compliance more than 30 years ago, the compliance rate is thought to be as high as 90%; since proof of registration is required for federal and (some) state financial assistance programs for college, as well as for federal employment and even to get a drivers license in some states.

                Liked by 1 person

                  1. Tris…….Yes, I imagine that not being able to get a drivers license (in states that have draft registration as a requirement for a license) is a pretty good incentive for a guy to register.

                    From time to time, the issue of female registration with the Selective Service system comes up in Congress, but so far it has never been implemented. This is true even though 16% of the enlisted ranks and 18% of the officer corps of the American military are now women. Women now qualify for all roles in the military, including all combat roles for which they can physically qualify.

                    Liked by 1 person

          3. The first link in my screed beginning “The conscription is a hangover” went wrong because WordPress mysteriously decided that the last two characters in the sentence – .] – were part of the URL. The correct URL is https://t1p.de/bt8fv4, and takes you to an official NATO web page entitled “Norway and NATO” under the rubric “NATO Declassified”.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. I certainly don’t believe in conscription.

          I’ve no problem with the idea that some European countries have of public service.

          A Czech mate (see what I did there?) of mine, worked in a public library for a year after university) and in Germany, although you can do your public service in the military, you can opt for other kinds of public service.

          In Switzerland, there is an obligation to do military training one weekend a year (I think) but I think it is only for males.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Tris……I see your point, but I can’t personally see the slightest difference between compulsory military service and compulsory national service. Both are forms of involuntary servitude and should be anathema to a free people…..IMHO.

            I’m all for “national service” for people who are inclined to do it on a voluntary basis, but I would suggest that the governments of Europe should try PAYING people market rates for human labor that they consider worthwhile to the state. Involuntary servitude is literal slavery, and how compelling the young by law to toil for the public good at less than free market labor rates is somehow good for either them or the state defies understanding. It may however (as I suggested about Norway) be one indication of how freely Europeans will accept governmental regulation in pursuit of the perceived public good, at the expense of human freedom.

            American culture is different of course, and comes from a revolutionary mindset that fundamentally distrusts governmental authority. However, the military state that endured after WWII was able to maintain military conscription for almost 30 years. It only ended with the national nightmare of Vietnam.

            But slavery in pursuit of the public good is an idea that dies hard. The occasional politician will yammer on about how a period of “national service” would be “good for” young people. Invariably, this comes from the far lefties of the Democratic Party, proving that political insanity in different forms exists on both ends of the American political spectrum. Whatever we may say about Republicans, none of the right wing crazies advocate involuntary servitude for the public good. That’s invariably a far left idea.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. As I recall, Danny, the national service, military or otherwise, is paid in most countries.

              In the UK, sometimes unemployed people are made to work for their social security money. They reckon it gives them work experience. It’s nothing for the good of the community, though… more for the good of big business.

              In theory that may work, but the companies who employ these people sent by the Department for Work and Pensions, actually pay off staff, so that they can get free labour from the DWP.

              I read about one woman who worked for B and M Bargains, They started using the scheme and got free labour. They then paid off some of their staff.

              This woman, was one such. After 3 months claiming social security, she was sent to work for her benefits … to B and M Bargains. Great experience at at lot less cost to the company. And the reduction of unemployment figures that the government could boast about.

              My friend who worked in a Czech library was paid a full rate for the hours he did. And he had a wide range of choices about where he worked. Military service was one of the choices. I guess it is a choice that some make.

              I certainly see what you say and I’m not necessarily saying that it would be a good idea to reintroduce it here. Funnily, here the idea of bringing back military service seems to come mainly from hard right wing nut jobs… who say that discipline would be good for young people. “Teach ’em some respect for their betters, don’t you know, what what!”

              The best way to deal with youngsters is to follow the Icelandic model of finding them a wide range of activities after school. Some of them may involve service to others, but it can be sport and techy stuff too.

              Maybe that’s why Iceland seems to do disproportionately VERY VERY well in European football competitions, despite having no full time professional teachers and their coach being a Reykjavik dentist!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Tris and Ed…….Very interesting viewpoints! My view is that “involuntary servitude” is slavery because it is “involuntary.” Whether the labor is remunerated by wages or not is irrelevant. I would bet that no form of “national service” pays wages that are even close to free market labor rates.

                My point is that being ordered to report for examination for ANY form of government-mandated service is the unacceptable action of a totalitarian state, and whether the involuntary labor is remunerated, and whether or not you have some choice in what you do (military or non-military,) is irrelevant.

                Tris…….That’s an amazing story about the DWP and how it works. There is some sort of work requirement for certain types of government welfare here in the states, but I really don’t know how it works. I sometimes wonder about the private enterprises that use internships to fill positions. I always wonder if the work experience that interns receive is of as much value as the below-market-rate labor that the businesses take advantage of.

                Ed………There are probably still a few militaristic old fools who love the idea of the young getting a good dose of military discipline because it would be good for them. I think this impulse was strongest among the WWII veterans, and was probably instrumental in the public acceptance of the peacetime military draft for so many years in the 1950’s and 60’s. These people were certainly of a right wing political mindset. I’d say that Vietnam pretty much destroyed any residual nostalgia for a military draft on the right, and all that is left is a (relatively rare) call for national service conscription on the left. The justification for disrupting the lives of youngsters after high school is always that it 1) serves the public good, and 2) will be “good for” the youngsters personally. I really do hate the leftist mindset which presumes that governing authority knows what’s good for people better than THEY do, and are in a position to allocate labor resources for the public good. Socialistic impulses if I ever saw them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                No doubt the experience of having foreign troops on your soil makes for a different view of military preparedness. The US has not had foreign troops on its soil since the British in the War of 1812. (Not counting the Mexican War, which was really fought on Mexican soil that became US soil after we took it away from them.) The first peacetime draft in United States history was in 1940. The peacetime draft from 1945 to 1973 was an historical aberration.

                Liked by 1 person

            2. Interesting that calls for National Service come from the LEFT in America – here in the UK it is the province of right-wing old guys of the “young people nowadays don’t know they’ve been born” stripe, the kind of people who constantly hark back to an imaginary Golden Age that somehow resemble a 1950s in which men would breadwin, women would housewife wearing Pepsodent smiles and frilly pinafores in the kitchen over skirts and never slacks, while feeding squeaky-clean offspring (none of whom would ever turn out to be anything other than pillars of society) who were seen and not heard except to exclaim in delight and gratitude…

              Where was I? Oh yes. There’s a big difference between large and small polities here. In small countries – the well run ones, anyway – people have a strong sense of shared identity and responsibility that is frequently lacking in larger ones. Rather than get into it, contrast the cohesiveness and sense of community, shared identity and mutual responsibility of Canada relative to the US, Scotland relative to England, and Estonia relative to Russia. There’s a lot more to be said on the subject, of course, but it boils down to this: when national amour-propre deteriorates from warm and welcoming and inclusivit into hostile, wagon-circling exclusivity, expect trouble, because it’s the descent from civic nationalism into blood-and-soil ethnonationalism and its ugly fascistic sisters, such as white supremacy, and all the anti-s and the -phobias of scapegoating and othering, such as antisemitism, islamophobia, sectarianism (in Scotland and Ireland, a term for anti-Catholicism), and – yes – homophobia.

              In a society such as Norway’s or Switzerland’s, there is a tighter sense of responsibility to share in the defence of the country; both of those countries have in the recent past been threatened by much larger and more powerful neighbours. America, on the other hand, has never faced on its own soil any direct, conventional war waged by a foreign Power since … Danny, don’t you have to go back to the Alamo for that, or to the Revolution and mad King George? Israel (but damn Bibi Netanyahu to hell) is a good example of that small-country mentality too, and a good example also of the problems to be found along the inclusive / exclusive axis, between civic nationalism and ethnonationalism.

              It can also be said that national service isn’t slavery because it’s paid. You can make the argument that it’s no more onerous in principle than compulsory education, especially if the experience provides any draftees who didn’t want to sign up off their own bat with valuable and marketable skillsets.

              Outwith its own borders, the Norwegian Army participates in United Nations peacekeeping operations. It’s my expectation – expectation, rather than hope – that the Scottish armed forces will play a similar sort of role, with a presence on foreign soil only by invitation, and at home more a national guard and Army corps of engineers to be called on in a major emergency, coastguards and fisheries protection to perform those necessary services – you get the idea. Whatever happens, we are not going to get into the business of dropping nuclear bombs on people, and the nuclear base at Faslane has got to go – and that will not stop us being members of NATO if we want to be.

              I would remind anyone who wants Scotland to withdraw from NATO that the only sure way to prevent a NATO country from attacking you is to join the alliance yourself… just as I would say to anyone who objects to Scottish membership in the EU that even if we Scots were to decide to leave, we should do so only on the clear understanding (a) that the EU would for good and sufficient reasons be not only unwilling but unable to give us as good a deal outwith it as within it; and (b), only on the clear understanding that we should not burn those particular bridges before all the necessary alternative arrangements had been put in place and were ready to go.

              The current Westminster regime, after all, does provide us with something whose true value we will realise only after we have left its precious, precious Union: it provides us with an object lesson in how not to run a country. It serves as a first-hand, up-close-and-personal reminder of the dangers of exceptionalism, of narrow, exclusive nationalism, of jingoistic, right-wing, authoritarian rule, of Executive overreach, and of official incompetence and malfeasance – and State abuses of citizens’ – sorry, subjects’ – human, civil, social, political and economic rights.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. Yes, all that, but as I pointed out, Norway is at the point where the draft is a technicality and effectively not used in peacetime – they prefer to take on people who want to be there and are willing participants, which is what any sane and reasonable person or government would do. As I said (I think), that sort of arrangement has the same effect in practice as reintroducing conscription in time of war and then abolishing it afterwards (or forgetting to do so for a while, which, as you point out, Danny, happened in the US not all that long ago).

                  Another thing to remember is that America has a vastly overblown (in my opinion) military: far larger than just about everyone else’s put together – I forget the exact statistics. It can be argued – correctly, I think – that it represents a way out of unemployment and criminality among disadvantaged youth. The British Army were castigated at one point – during a time of high unemployment – for opening up recruiting centres preferentially in deprived, inner-city areas, i.e., for using disadvantaged youth as potential cannon-fodder.

                  America allows and even celebrates two drains on its national resources that other developed countries strive to limit. One is its overblown military, and the other is its incredibly expensive health care system, which does not even cover every American and is, as I understand it, the primary cause of personal bankruptcy in that country. It is grimly amusing, to my mind, that Republicans constantly go on and on about slashing “entitlement programs” while simultaneously doing their damnedest to screw ordinary people to the extent possible by allowing private companies and individuals to profit from their suffering.

                  Let me put all this another way. European countries have much smaller militaries than the US does (and who needs a well-regulated militia when you’ve got the National Guard as well?), so the chances of being called up in peacetime are far, far lower for that reason alone. In other words, the effect is the same as having a volunteer army, as the UK and the US do. History shows that the US is perfectly willing to use the draft in wartime, and particularly when the war is extremely unpopular and unwanted among the public, as in Viet Nam. The Norwegians, on the other hand, do not fight in wars without the authority of the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter (https://t1p.de/4g5y0h). I draw your particular attention to paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 43:

                  “1. All Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.

                  2. Such agreement or agreements shall govern the numbers and types of forces, their degree of readiness and general location, and the nature of the facilities and assistance to be provided.”

                  The American military is so vast that there are always going to be enough American troops available to meet the requirements of the Security Council, of which the US, the UK and France have permanent membership, along with Russia and China. That is, if it actually decides that it’s not going to overcommit itself in foreign military adventures which have not been authorized under Chapter VII, and if it actually decides that it is going to comply with its obligations. (There’s a lot more I could say about that, but I’m sure any Munguinites who have read this far will be glad I’m not going to.)

                  On the other side of the equation, Norway interprets its obligations under article 43 to mean that it must maintain itself in a state of readiness and have a minimum number of military personnel to call upon, with arrangements in place to call up additional personnel if required. That means that it has to see who is fit for military service and who is not. Let us not forget that it was the US (with contributions from the UK) which basically wrote article 43 – it wasn’t particularly inspired by Uncle Joe in Moscow, and the French had less influence at that time. The US and the UK, after all, were the victors in WWII, along with the old Soviet Union.

                  We must not forget that Norway (and Finland, in particular – cf. the Winter War) live right next to the Bear. National defence is a constant concern. All countries which live next to a belligerent neighbour prone to throwing its weight around, rattling its sabers and worse, must bear that fact constantly in mind – as Ukraine knows to its cost. It is said that the first charge laid upon governments is protecting the nation, country, State, realm, whatever you choose to call it, against foreign attack – yet another abject failure by the Trump regime, we note in passing.

                  That is how we should understand the kind of conscription practised in peacetime by the EU States – it has nothing whatsoever to do with socialism, and everything to do with maintaining military readiness in the face of potentially existential threats to the nation. Bear in mind too that all the nations of Europe, both West and East, have relatively recent experience of foreign occupation or domestic dictatorship, or both – I leave it to you to decide which countries have not been, and to what extent, and how they managed it. A hint – Switzerland requires its adult (male) citizens who are fit to serve undergo basic military training, with annual refresher courses thereafter. It’s been a good long time since Switzerland was invaded (it helps too that it serves as a safe haven for belligerents’ and powerful individuals’ assets, loot and ill-gotten gains, and controls many of the crossings over , under and through the Alps).

                  Poland in particular – a country which is close to my heart – has bitter experience of occupation, partition, and dictatorship; Russia to the right of her, Germany to the left (geographically), with the old Austro-Hungarian empire to its south. If you are interested, the two-volume history of Poland entitled “God’s Playground” by Norman Davies is pretty much required reading; for the Wikipedia article, see https://t1p.de/ve3ill. Compare too the history of the (other) Baltic States, which have been subsumed, occupied and subjected to foreign dictatorship so frequently and for so long that their very existence was threatened, i.e., they have faced the same battle for their lives as separate polities as Finland, except the Finns eventually won. The Baltic States lost to the Bear not once but several times.

                  I think that’s quite enough from me at this point, my fingers are tired and my brain hurts, so I am going to go and do some heavy-duty lying down. (Grumbles) Nothing to do with “socialism”, Danny!

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. About 10 years ago, Ed, part of my job was to organise jobs fayres in various parts of Dundee with high levels of unemployment.

                    I was never easy to get employers to come along to them, but gentle persuasion on my part usually meant that we had a maybe 10 or 12 companies with some jobs going.

                    The Military was always happy to turn up if they thought that there would be young relatively fit unemployed men there.

                    At one point I was was working with a group of teens a couple of days a week, trying to prepare them for apprenticeships mainly with the Construction Industry Training Board. And at the same time I was organising a big jobs fayre for a more general audience.

                    The young lads came along to the fayre and I saw them talking to the army recruitment guys…

                    The next time we met up, early the next week, 5 or 6 of them announced that they were thinking of just ditching the apprenticeships because next year they cold join up and they would get apprenticeships with the forces… and travel and sports and great wages, great food and the chance to meet girls…

                    So I asked them what they thought about Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. How would they feel about being in combat? What did they think about killing other people? How they would feel about the risk of injury or even death in the service of the queen.

                    None of this had been discussed with these lads who were only just 16.

                    I stopped having the military at any further fayres.

                    Liked by 3 people

                    1. Very interesting story Tris! Recruitment by the military on university campuses became a hugely controversial issue back during the Vietnam era, and is still an issue. I think that some universities today welcome military recruiters and others don’t. I noticed that Norway has military recruiters talk to the young people that show up for conscription registration, even though the chances of actually being drafted these days is virtually non-existent.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. I’d never object to people talking to kids… as long as they don’t just tell them the glamorous bits… but, according to the lads, they didn’t mention the blood, guts, gore and PTSD. Nor did the point out that once the Brits are finished with you, they don;t give a flying whatsit about what happens to you… you largely rely on charity… and begging… and sometimes you just die of neglect.

                      It would only be fair to mention the downsides to serving queen and country, I think.


                      Liked by 2 people

                  2. Ed……Your analysis is excellent, and prompts me to make it clear that my objection to the concept of compulsory national service (including but certainly not limited to military conscription) is grandly philosophical (since mandated government service is a form of involuntary servitude and therefore literal slavery) and is no way tethered to history or current circumstances OR necessarily rationality itself (come to think of it.) ๐Ÿ˜‰

                    From internet descriptions, I had figured out that Norway doesn’t actually draft anyone into the armed forces who doesn’t really want to be there. On the other hand, I understood that a Norwegian system of registration and examination was in place that now includes women, and which involves some sort of sales pitch (AKA “information”) about the Norwegian military. I also thought that some form of non-military national service requirement was in place, although I could be wrong about that.

                    As for use of the term “socialistic”, I was only referring to the general concept of a state mandated policy in pursuit of a perceived common good. Such as state mandated “national service” for young people to do something that the government of the state thinks will be “good for them” and will serve some “common good” of the state (as dictated by touchy feely nanny state bureaucrats in the capital of the country…..of the kind found all over Europe.)

                    This disdain for the policies of the European welfare states is probably a characteristically American viewpoint, where a government is highly valued that simply leaves you alone and doesn’t bother you……notwithstanding that American pensioners want their federal social security checks and Medicare benefits, etc, etc. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                    All that said, I should point out that after the military draft was ended in the USA in 1973, the program of registration of 18 year olds with the “Selective Service System” was retained, so that a pool of young men would be readily available in the event of a national emergency in which Congress reinstated the military draft. So when I was 18, I duly registered with the SSS. Online registration takes only a minute or two, and you don’t have to go anyplace to be “examined” by the “state” for “national service”…….which could and should kick off another American revolution. All right-thinking Americans with a revolutionary spirit hate Washington and the politicians that infest the place…….LOL.

                    Your comment about the American “entitlement programs”…..of which Social Security pensions and Medicare are two……. was excellent. It’s routine that when the Republicans pass a new tax cut for the rich that blows a hole in the budget deficit, they then pretend to get all concerned about the national debt, and declare that entitlement programs for the elderly poor and sick must be cut. The Democrats never let that happen of course, but the Republicans pull that flim-flam over and over.

                    Back to Norway, there was a very interesting TV program on one of the major networks (CBS) last Sunday night that showed a piece about the Norwegian military and an important Norwegian NATO base in the far north that watches the Russians. I don’t find the entire 20 minute piece on YouTube, but this is a short clip.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. LOL Tris…….SSS (draft system) registration these days is done online and you don’t even see anybody. But back in Trumpy’s day in the Vietnam era it was a big deal. I’ve talked with an uncle about it. You had to present yourself at the draft board that operated in the “county seat”…….the place where the county government is located and where the draft board met……and they would send you to an armed forces induction center for a “pre-induction” physical. There you would take written tests and have a physical exam that would tell your draft board how to “classify” you. If you were in good health, you would be classified “1-A” and you were soon on your way to Vietnam. But if you had some physical limitation that made you unsuitable for military service, you would get the much prized “1-Y” classification and would almost certainly never be drafted.

                      You could also bring along information and records from your own doctor to assist the army doctors in classifying you. I suspect that old Orange Face had probably paid for a “bone spur” diagnosis from his own doctor. Anyway, I read that he was rated “1-Y” for bone spurs and the rest is history.

                      Those bone spurs don’t seem to bother him much in walking……LOL.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. LOL. His lack of bone spurs don;t inhibit his ability to get round a golf course, although he seems to need to hold on to elderly women when stairs are involved… as Treeeeeza!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. LOL…..bone spurs seem to have variable effects on how they affect physical mobility. At least that’s true for old Orange Face. ๐Ÿ˜‰

                      Liked by 2 people

                    4. Thanks, Danny – very interesting! So… Americans distrust the Federal Government. An American friend of mine believes that America would be better off as about five different States (heresy, I know), and it’s nothing to do with The South Will Rise Again – she just thinks that the US is too large to be properly governable. That’s a roundabout way of getting back to what I was saying about large v. small polities: in a small country, government is – or can be – a much more immediate thing than when there is so much physical and other space between most voters and the apparatus of the central government.

                      One way of saying it is that in a small country, the politician’s arses can be kept within reach of the toes of the people’s boots.

                      Liked by 2 people

                    5. Great song! Bone spurs clearly weren’t the only way to get the highly prized “1-Y” draft classification. Failing that, you could go into hiding or sneak across the Canadian border. About 100,000 guys got to Canada, and after first threatening prosecution or deportation, Canada decided to treat them as legal immigrants and told border crossing agents not to ask too many questions. Jimmy Carter issued an unconditional amnesty for the Vietnam draft dodgers in 1977 on his first day in office.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    6. Ed……..Yes, distrust of the federal government is as old as the republic. I liked your comment about boots and politicians. I was impressed when Tris once mentioned casually that he had spoken to the First Minister. The government in Washington is pretty remote from lots of people really, since they are spread from the tropics to the arctic across 10 time zones in total territory. Most of the day-to-day governing is done at the state level of course.

                      Liked by 1 person

  6. My neighbour’s son did his ‘National Service’ when he was living in Germany.
    He didn’t want to do Military Service, he did his time in a local hospital as a porter, he didn’t take away a porter’s job, he said he was treated as an extra hand, useful when busy.
    His learning experience was that he saw how health breakdown in a human can be total, he worked with a cancer department.
    He is now a social democrat. He says he grew up and became a more caring person.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. If I was really smart I bet I could come up with an explanation creative enough to sell my time as an engineering apprentice in the mid 70s as โ€˜involuntary servitudeโ€™. Or later as a tradesman being kind of locked in to using my marketable skills.

    It could be argued that itโ€™s as much about perspective as how much power and control we actually have over the course our lives take. The line between real autonomy and kidding ourselves that we have a choice.

    I suppose where you stand is a cup half empty/full sort of thing but in my humble, straight definitions just donโ€™t work.

    Isnโ€™t capitalism about the powerful imposing involuntary servitude on the masses while telling them how lucky they are to be able to choose?

    Thatโ€™s while theyโ€™re eating all the pies for course.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It just occurred to me, so it is probably wrong:

      “Thatโ€™s while theyโ€™re eating all the pies for course.”

      Perhaps the involuntary servitude includes being fed shit food.

      See these Lords and Ladies, how often do they have grease dripping off their chins!

      Liked by 2 people

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