"An offering or deal that is foolishly accepted without being examined first...'Don't buy a pig in a poke' might seem odd and archaic language. It's true that the phrase is very old, but actually it can be taken quite literally and remains good advice. The advice being given is 'don't buy a pig until you have seen it'. This is enshrined in British commercial law as 'caveat emptor' - Latin for 'let the buyer beware'. This remains the guiding principle of commerce in many countries and, in essence, supports the view that if you buy something you take responsibility to make sure it is what you intended to buy."
"A poke is a small sack or bag and is the origin of the word pocket. The word is still in use in several English-speaking countries, notably Scotland and USA. A poke is just the sort of bag that would be useful for carrying a piglet to market. A pig that's in a poke may turn out to be no pig at all. If a merchant tried to cheat by substituting a lower value animal, the trick could be uncovered by letting the cat out of the bag. The advice has stood the test of time and people have been repeating it for getting on for five hundred years, maybe longer. Fraser's Magazine (1858) reprinted a piece from Richard Hill's (or Hilles') Common-place Book, 1530, which gave this advice to market traders: "When ye proffer the pigge open the poke."
[See: Pig in a Poke, Phrasefinder at: http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/282900.html ].
By comparison, only 11 percent think Sen. John McCain would strengthen European-American relations if he were elected president. More than half of respondents said a McCain administration would keep relations between the United States and Europe in roughly the condition they are now.
[See: UK Labor Party Willing to Give-Away Country's Sovereignty to EU; Does the US Democratic Party Wish to Do the Same for America??, ITSSD Journal on Pathological Communalism, at: http://itssdpathologicalcommunalism.blogspot.com/2008/04/uk-labor-party-willing-to-give-away.html .]
[See: Charting The Evolution of the Berlin-Paris-Brussels 'Homo Bureaucrat Federalis', ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: http://itssdeconomicfreedom.blogspot.com/2008/08/charting-evolution-of-berlin-paris.html ].
[See: Gordon Brown Wants 'Next' Democratic President to Submit America's Unique Constitution and National Sovereignty to Global Governance (UN/EU) Override, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at: http://itssdeconomicfreedom.blogspot.com/2008/04/gordon-brown-wants-next-democratic.html ].
[AMERICANS, LIKE THE IRISH, SHOULD DO WHAT EUROPEANS WANT, NON?]
Yet even as the Transatlantic Trends poll highlights Obama’s popularity in Europe, it outlines some of the diplomatic hurdles that any American president will face, regardless of party.
While 80 percent of Americans call it very or somewhat desirable for the United States to “exert strong leadership in world affairs,” just 33 percent of Europeans say the same. A quarter of European respondents called an assertive United States “very undesirable.”
While a majority of Europeans — 55 percent — said the United States and the European Union have close enough values to make diplomatic cooperation possible, they’re still less confident about it than Americans, 67 percent of whom said the United States and the EU could tackle international issues together.
And some persistent diplomatic disagreements, such as resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, also remain: Europeans expressed considerably less positive feelings about the state of Israel than did Americans.
[IS GORDON BROWN VYING TO SERVE AS OBAMA'S EUROPEAN MENTOR? AND, IS THIS THE TYPE OF CENTRAL PLANNING THAT OBAMA HAS IN MIND??]
[See: Gordon Brown Gives New Meaning To Marxist Central Planning in British Eco-Towns, ITSSD Journal on Economic Freedom, at:
By Jill Sherman
Motorists living in Gordon Brown's futuristic green communities face fines for driving their cars out of town, under radical proposals being drawn up by ministers, The Times has learnt.
Residents of the largely pedestrianised eco-towns may also be expected to park their cars at the outskirts and walk or cycle to their homes, up to ten minutes away.
These are among possible ways being discussed with ministers to meet a government target to cut car use in eco-towns by half. Detailed planning proposals will be published next month, a senior Whitehall official said.
The proposals could include a fee for a permanent car space at the edge of town, charges for driving out at peak congestion times, or penalties for taking a car out of town above a set number of agreed journeys.
The official emphasised that the rules would be adapted for more rural areas, where there was less public transport. “But outside Cambridge or near Stansted airport, for example, where there are strong transport links, you could be charged for driving out [of the eco-town],” the official said.
The proposals, which are also being discussed with developers, are part of a plan to cut carbon emissions within up to ten eco-towns to be built from 2013. They are also key to the Prime Minister's ambition to build three million new homes by 2020, 30 per cent of which will be affordable.
The towns of between 5,000 and 20,000 homes each will be mainly pedestrianised, with cycle lanes and a few highways with limits of 15mph (24km/h). The houses, built on narrow lanes, surrounded by gardens, parks and waterways, will have no garages or parking spaces — just a cycle rack, under plans modelled on European schemes, such as Vauban, a neighbourhood in Freiburg, Germany.
Town plans will differ, but most shops, schools and GP surgeries will be within walking or cycling distance. People usually reliant on cars will have a far more difficult journey — walking to the edge of towns to get their car, driving it back to pick up shopping, with few parking spaces available, unloading at home and then taking the car back to the edge.
Fifteen potential sites have been shortlisted, including Pennbury, Leicestershire; Hanley Grange, Cambridgeshire; Weston Otmoor, Oxfordshire; and Ford, West Sussex. A final list of up to ten will be announced in October, with five to be built by 2016.
Each town is expected to be carbon-neutral, but the Government has bowed to developers' concerns that the highest criteria (Level 6) for zero-carbon homes could add £30,000 to building costs. Caroline Flint, the Housing Minister, told The Times yesterday that, until 2016, the new homes could be built at the much lower Level 3, provided that this was balanced by other energy reducing measures. “We are in negotiations with developers and hope many of them will go further,” she said.
She admitted that the key to the design would be the ability to plan towns with walkways and cycle paths, so that cars would be used less. “It's not about banning cars, but about reducing reliance on cars,” Ms Flint said.
Other “eco-measures” include plans to install underground vacuum recycling, where residents have chutes for different types of waste, which is then automatically taken to a recyling centre on site. Solar panels and wind turbines will be used for power, as well as biomass boilers, fuelled by wood chips from the surrounding forests. Electric vehicles charged from shops and schools would also be encouraged.
Most of the 15 shortlisted areas were put forward by developers, and there has been widespread opposition by councils and residents, who claim that the towns are an excuse for sprawling developments to meet a housing shortage. The first consultation period for the 15 ends in two weeks and residents are planning protests. Some claim that the carbon emissions produced to build the towns will outstrip the benefits, while others fear that they will be marooned on car-free campuses built on greenfield sites.
Glimpse of [CENTRAL GOVERNMENT CONTROLLED BUREAUCRATIC] future
— Penalties for cars driving out of eco-towns in peak times and exceeding journey limits
— Electronic noticeboards in homes to give bus times and locations
— Wood from local forests will be used to fuel biomass boilers
— Recycled waste will be processed underground after being sorted in household chutes
— Residents with electric cars will be able to charge their vehicles in shops and schools