Tag Archives: Politics

On politics and banking

The Politics of BankingI’m currently a very happy bunny and enjoying the relief that my new knee strap has brought. No crunching noises in my creaky old knee joint when I try to move quickly, or lift heavy objects. No detectable pain and I can now walk miles without a single twinge. Why aren’t these things compulsory for old knee injuries like mine? They’re worth all the painkillers and surgery in the world. None of the surgeries I’ve had have done anything to alleviate the discomfort since I first popped my knee playing Rugby. This fabric and gel pad thing has relieved all my symptoms inside forty eight hours. Although I’m taking it easy, just in case I screw up again.

Whilst enjoying this surcease, I visited Theo Sparks blog and saw the above. So I nicked it. Says a hell of a lot about the West’s current regime of casino banking. I think the world and his wife are aware that the current structure is unhealthily unbalanced, allowing those who control the flow of numbers to confiscate at will. Especially now the UK HMRC has the power to asset strip at will anyone it even suspects of not coughing up what the tax man says is a ‘fair’ share. Fair for whom? One might ask. In the US the tax man currently even ‘audits’ people for having the ‘wrong’ political views. Whoosh! Where did all those emails go and how many Server hard drives did they have to trash?

Both of which make me wonder about how open to abuse and corrupt the West’s financial system now is. The Russians are looking for a way out and the Chinese basically own all the USA’s markers. Even the fiscally cautious Mrs S has been asking me about Bitcoin and there’s even a Bitcoin ATM Downtown on Government Street. I’m tempted to try Bitcoin out on a small scale myself. Stick a few on a SDHC flash card (Not a USB stick DVD or CD – lifespan issues) in a shielded safe and Robert is one’s Father’s Brother n’est que-pas?. Unless someone crashes the entire Internet, in which case the West’s financial pooch is so screwed it’ll have had puppies.

Bitcoin as an alternative to the current mess of fiat currencies makes sense to a certain extent, but how vulnerable is it to external interventions? There was the market glitch back in December 2013. What happens if the US Government were to declare by presidential decree that Bitcoins were banned? Probably the same result. There was a big drop, a massive rebound, and Bitcoins that were trading around 4-580USD are now valued around 6-690USD (June 2014). Which left a lot of economic prophets of doom with serious egg on their faces.

That thought leads me to wonder about some of the recent political upheavals of the last fifty years. The Anti-Apartheid movement wasn’t making much headway until the Afrikaaners introduced the Krugerrand as legal tender. Then the politicians really got involved. At the time of the second Gulf War, it was rumoured that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was contemplating going back onto the gold standard, as was more recently Libya. Look what happened there. Iraq made large purchases of Gold in March this year, and lookee here, a bunch of foreign sponsored raiders are invading while the US drags its feet. At the risk of raiding the bacofoil, I’d say a certain pattern is emerging. Oil rich Country tries to go onto gold standard = Casus belli. Not so much blood for oil as blood for gold. Or in the Ukraine’s case, blood for gas.

Which further leads me to think that if the pattern of money and war, boom and bust is to be broken, maybe a more democratic currency (Out of the hands of politicians and bankers alone) is the way forward. Hmm.

That’s it for now. I’m off for a walk to test my recovering knee joint. The Galloping Goose trail calls.

That Queens speech thingy

Just finished moving in to our new Victorian domicile. I like this place. Should have moved earlier.

Took a break from unpacking and a wander over to the Barclay Brothers Beano for a meander down the latest list of legislative disasters as given by our Liz. The bill that caught my eye, and for a moment my breath, was the proposed bill which will give HMRC the power to demand money up front if they even suspect you are squirrelling some dosh away for a rainy day. Not only does the UK tax man already have the power to raid bank accounts at will, allowing them to asset strip people without power or influence down to their last five grand, but those rapacious tax gatherers will shortly be able to do it without due process. Only suspicion of wrongdoing, never mind the evidence. All it may take is a simple denunciation from one of those despicably cretinous cunt-stooges like UKUNCUT (May they burn forever in all the hells humanity can imagine), and any assets, personal or company, on which tax may already have been paid will magically disappear from bank accounts up and down the UK. Probably from a lot of expatriates who may well find themselves fighting a legal battle they no longer have the wherewithal to afford, or the air fare back to fight their corner. Having been well and truly sheared without any evidence of wrongdoing or contestable legal proceedings. Precedent, sets, dangerous, a, this (This cliché was purchased from Canadian Tire in flat pack format – some reassembly may be required). In spades. Even if the Chancellor says the affected will get their money back with interest ‘if they win’. Big ‘if’ there, chunky.

You know, as a keen student of history I’ve always wondered how come the Germans, who I’ve always found in person very civilised and cultured people, came to fall under the spell of the worst amoral Jackbooted fascist rob dogs in history. A piece in that jigsaw just fell into place.

An idle thought…

Whilst out at one of the many coffee shops in town the other day, I ran into an old work buddy from a previous job. We shook hands like the friends we are, and had a general chat about this and that. How were things at the old place, catching up with the gossip. Usual stuff. Then Nick (Not his real name) tried, as he always does, to switch the conversation round to his favourite topic. Specifically my lack of faith in ‘climate scientists’ (Well actually only a minority of them, really). To which I simply did what I always try to do, smile in a sort of pitying way and try to keep the conversation light.

Now Nick is a dyed in the wool lefty. Lovely bloke, but totally wrapped up in his own little collectivist world view. Despite this I think he’s a decent sort and actually enjoy listening to him talk. At least for no more than fifteen minutes at a time. After that, I tend to imitate an old school tabloid journalist, make an excuse and then leave. Well, it’s frowned on over here to mock the mentally challenged in public. We’re supposed to embrace inclusiveness. Although this is sometimes quite an effort.

As he was going on about people being ‘deniers’ and how their blinkered thinking was dooming the planet, while my brain was idly spinning its wheels waiting for him to stop, the thought occurred to me that all these causes Nick gets aerated over are about making other people rich. How talking up ‘Climate Change’ will ‘save the climate’ – maybe in one of those new ‘climate savings accounts. which are really more about raising taxes and buying political influence than actually doing anything constructive. Massive subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy projects which go to line the pockets of people who don’t really need more money from the people who do. Which is kind of ironic, because Nick’s what we used to call in my early college days, an ‘action socialist’. He likes to talk in an impassioned way about how ‘the people’ in a collectivist sense, need leadership from people like his heroes. Even when it is gently pointed out to him that I’m one of ‘the people’ and can make my own mind up on things thank you very much, because despite all the drama queen like prognostications, planet Earth isn’t doomed at all. The current era, compared with others, is decidedly benign, and despite the prospect of a chillier century to come (according to certain Astrophysicists) unlikely to cause the end of the world. Well, unless someone blinked and missed a large rogue asteroid heading our way, in which case I stand corrected, or rather vaporised. What can I say. Life, enjoy it while you can.

Sometimes when I listen to Nick, it’s like hearing the White Queen from Alice through the looking glass declaiming that she likes to imagine six impossible things before breakfast. Yet I know him to be a humane and generally decent individual who I actually like. Funny that. What he actually does is embrace a series of ‘talking points’ which he has been told will make the world a ‘better’ place. Who for is not a question anyone seems to be asking. Especially him.

My idle thought is this; who really benefits from these talking points? Certainly not the ordinary person in the street. All we seem to end up getting is the bill or the shaft. Maybe it’s something like rich Hedge fund Managers who are getting rich off say, short selling the gas retail market or trading in carbon credits? Which are games for the super rich who can afford to employ people to prime useful idiots looking for a noble cause like Nick. Alternatively the social ‘theorists’ who have decided that only they know what’s good for the world, and that anyone else, well, they’re just collateral damage.

I swear, if David Suzuki was caught on an ice floe, red to the elbows, with a blood dripping club in his hands and pile of fluffy corpses in a sack at his feet, Nick would make up some excuse about helping the First Nations protect the poor Polar Bears from a virulent Seal pup carried disease induced by man made CO2 emissions. Perhaps if Al Gore was caught buggering Penguins in his private pool at one of his beachfront properties (How’s that for a sea level rise, huh?), or say if Barack Hussein Obama was found to be deliberately ordering drone strikes on Red Crescent (The Islamic version of the Red Cross) hospitals, Nick would spin an elegant excuse, made up on the spot, to excuse the slaughter of innocents by his heroes. Not that these things are likely, but the idea raises an ironic smile.

As an aside, rumours are circulating that drone strikes are being ordered a bit too readily and have killed about two hundred children to date. I heard a radio interview about three weeks ago with a man who claimed to have been a drone operator that children were considered ‘legitimate collateral damage’ and even ‘targets’ in the ‘War on Terror’. Which is rather like trying to win hearts and minds by hitting people over the head with bricks. It’s worth noting that although the program started during Bush’s time, most of the drone strikes in question appear to have happened upon the current incumbents watch. But you can’t convince people like Nick that this is happening. He’ll just claim it’s all a racist plot to destabilise a man who was given a Nobel Peace Prize simply for being elected. Which I always thought was a bit strange. Even Nelson Mandela, a far worthier man, didn’t get one until later in his career. Personally I think Colin Powell should have run for office to become the USA’s first non-white president, at least he has experience of command and organisation. Then again I heard Powell didn’t go for the nomination because he has more brains and integrity than most aspirants.

Not that this matters to the vociferous people like Nick who appear to believe in fluffy pink unicorns and pixie dust. With which I have no objection by the way. Same as I have no objection to people who collect garden gnomes and treat their lawn ornaments like real people. Just don’t expect the rest of the world to, or pay for your obsessions, okay? Unfortunately people of Nick’s mindset don’t see things that way. Like so many collectivists before them, they do not really care about most people. Just their own preferred group. The rest of us will be, like Pol Pot’s victims, just casualties in the collectivists race to their utopia.

The Purple Gang

Interesting watching the European Election results coming in yesterday afternoon Pacific time. I was haunting a Barclay Brothers Beano comment thread and monitoring the BBC and Guardian coverage. One thing struck me, as the humiliation of the big three political parties went on, there was a distinct lag in communications between polling stations and media outlets. Even though announcements had been made almost half an hour previously. Sometimes by as much as forty five minutes.

The sequence would go like this; an activist would post results on a comment thread, then half an hour later the Beeb would trundle around to waffling the poll result, and they did waffle. Odd that. Almost as though they had to consult. Some ‘live’ coverage, eh? The Groan was almost an hour behind at one point. As for the Tellytubbygraph, enough said.

Anyway, nice to see Big Nige and the purple gang dishing out political hurt to the mainstream parties. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll be able to do much, as on 1st November 2014, legislation comes into effect devolving yet another tranche of UK Government to EU level. Control of borders, immigration and a few other juicy items to name but a few. However, the ‘message has been sent’ and according to old Slaphead, received and understood. The French sent a similar message to their wannabe Euro overlords.

What the new legislation means is there will be more of England sold by the pound. Or should that be to the European project? Time for some Genesis methinks.

Interesting…..

During a break from packing the office this morning, I was looking around for some blow by blow coverage of the European Elections and came across this gem of a quote in the dear old Grauniad. Even though the full results won’t be out until Sunday.

An internal Liberal Democrat document reveals that the party is braced for a complete wipeout in the European parliamentary elections.

As voters go to the polls for the European elections across the UK and local elections in England and Northern Ireland, senior party figures have been briefed to say that a failure to win any seats in the European parliament should be “expected” at this stage in the electoral cycle for a governing party.

ORLY? (Sound of muffled laughter all the way from British Columbia).

Little boxes

We’re getting all boxed up for the move. The house is an absolute tip. Where did all this junk come from? We’ve only been in this suite three years. Where did that come from? I don’t remember buying it. These are the questions you ask when rummaging through your drawers for the stuff you want to keep. Never mind. Tomorrow the office gets wrapped up and steam cleaned before we close it up. The whole idea being to reduce our living space gradually down to three rooms until we walk out and hand over the keys, leaving a clean place and our damage deposit intact.

While we’re packing we’re half watching the UK Euro MEP elections and hoping like hell the big three political parties get a bloody good scare thrown into them. Let’s face it, Labour, Tories and the Limp Dems have been taking the electorate for granted for far too long and deserve a good fright. Maybe even kicking out of power altogether. There’s hardly a wet fag paper to stick between them, the only difference being that the Tories are marginally less incompetent than Labour. Hell, they all got their PPE Degrees at the same universities anyway, so it’s scarcely any wonder.

The Barclay Brothers Beano and all the other broadsheets of late have been populated with anti underdog hit pieces, but it’s the comment threads that are the most telling. You can tell the trollsters are worried that their cushy little sinecures are at risk and the penny is only just dropping that the best way to recover votes is not to tell Mrs & Mrs Public that they’re a bunch of morons. Mr & Mrs Public don’t like that, and have been saying so. With the occasional bit of moral support from the expat community.

If challenged on this point with a threat to vote for Nige and the Purple Gang, the big three will tell you there’s no room for a fourth major political party. Ooh no, they say, there’s no need to vote for anyone else, vote for us again you suckers and we’ll promise you the moon. You won’t get it of course. No way you peasants. No referendums, no choices and you can jolly well put up with what we decide to take off you. We’ve been to Uni and know better than you of the great unwashed. By the way, we’re putting taxes up again. Got to save the world from you lot. How will we fund our Business class travel otherwise?

You know what? From what I hear and see, I think Slaphead, Minutely Bland and Clogg are genuinely frightened. Trouser fillingly so. You know what else? I really do hope they get the scare they so richly deserve. They know the mob are threatening to storm the ballot boxes and the metaphorical tumbrils look like rolling. Maybe. I genuinely want to believe there’ll be a change, but my natural English bred cynicism won’t let me.

Not that it will make any odds to the EU. Nige and Co have been taking the piss out of Brasso and Van Nonentity for several years now and little has changed in the Euro Parliament. Apart from the EU trying to expand into Russia itself. Which will all end in tears as the last three attempts did. The Russki’s have done a deal to sell gas to the Chinese (as predicted), and India, the other regional Superpower in the making, will no doubt follow. Then when the Ukraine and Europe is freezing in the dark there will be another long retreat from Moscow. Canada will get its pipeline to sell oil to the other side of the Pacific despite all the machinations from US and EU funded pressure groups, and the great decline of the West will continue. No Nukes required.

Talk about predictable. At least we’ll be warmer in Victoria.

A thought experiment on referenda

Ballot boxThis mornings cerebral peregrinations hit a big ‘what if’ as I was giving my usual cursory scan to Zero Hedge. Specifically this story about the pending referendum in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

First thought was “Who are the organisers?” Is it really a free vote?
Second thought was “1.7 million ballots?” That’s a lot of counting.
Third thought was “What would give the result legitimacy?” Would it be binding? Certainly by the winners, but how about anyone else?
Fourth thought was “DIY Referendums. What an intriguing concept.” Instead of waiting for the vested interest owned politicians to ‘call’ one, why not have a privately sponsored vote on something like ohh, lemme see now, membership of the European Union for example. Which begs the question; how would you get such a privately sponsored referendum recognised by the Electoral Commission?
Fifth thought was “If a bunch of broke Ukrainians can do it, why can’t others?” I mean, what do you need? Voters list? Available publicly. Hell, if every telemarketing company can access the voter rolls, why not? For voting purposes hire village / community halls on a specific day. Cheap enough. Recruit volunteers, assigned randomly for each locale to act as voting officers. Download each voting ward onto a simple spreadsheet, crossing off each name as they vote (Insist on voter photo or signature ID). Each vote goes into a sealed steel box which has a unique serial number, just like regular voting. Hire local couriers to pick up the ballot boxes at close of voting and transport to volunteer vote counters. Count vote. Announce result. Yay. Power to the people and all that stuff, yeah? That’s without sorting out any type of Electronic voting via the jolly old Interweb.
Sixth thought was “But who’d help pay for what is effectively a private referendum?” You could probably do one on a local scale with volunteers, but on a national? I believe there are departments of the United Nations who would just love to help. It could even be crowd sourced.

Of course there are a million things that could go wrong. Like Icelands attempt at crowd sourcing a new constitution. The powers that be could just decide to ignore the result, get their media poodles to militate against it, or organise a Police swoop on the crowd sourced, volunteer manned polling stations and effectively steal the results and ballot boxes. Politically motivated ‘Hacktivists’ could crack electronic voter results and play les bougres idiot with them. But that sort of thing only happens in third world countries doesn’t it?

Yeah……

I’m concerned

You know, I was reading the Barclay Brothers Beano this morning, and I read that UK Prime Minister David Cameron was stung by a jellyfish whilst on holiday in Lanzarote.

I do so hope the jellyfish recovers quickly.

/arf

Very late update: apparently the Jellyfishes attack was ‘revenge’ for an occasion when Slaphead scared a few when he was younger. A Jellyfish with more backbone and a better memory than a UK politician? Who knew?

I wonder if they know

All these advocates of ‘Green’ energy. That their prophet in chief of climate doom Al Gore has been quietly dumping his stocks in that sector. Since 2012 no less. Odd that. All these people who infect every comment thread on Green Energy or Fracking articles with their ignorance of power generation and distribution; not aware that one of their causes chief cheerleaders has tiptoed his money to other, more lucrative investments.

‘Green’ energy is in real terms a joke. Wind Turbines that rarely deliver more than twenty percent of rated output. More likely single figures. Unit lifespan less than advertised. Cabling and distribution requirements more complex and therefore wasteful than say a modest 480MW four hall gas turbine power station with a far more massive landscape footprint and environmental effects. Even so they are far more effective than Solar, which isn’t much use in a temperate climate. As for the half baked mutterings about building solar power stations in the Sahara or Spain and stringing thousands of miles of high tension cable around the place, anyone proposing or supporting such an idea knows less than bugger all about power distribution. Tidal energy, well, if you could get around the issues with silting, flotsam damage or persuading people to have one on their doorstep instead of a lot of mud flats only used by wintering birds crapping all over the place. Maybe. Multiple small scale hydro-electric plants might work as part of a power generation and flood management strategy. If there weren’t so many half witted NIMBY activists campaigning for the removal of useful dams so that the Lesser Spotted Newt or similar could have a foetid swamp to wallow in. Along with mosquitoes and other assorted species.

So ‘Big Al’ has let his money do the talking. A long way away from ‘Green Energy’ schemes which were never really workable propositions. I’ll bet he’s already sold off all his exposure in ‘carbon credits’ too. He’s seen the writing on the wall, and no matter what you might think of him as a politician and the causes he advocates, that boy is not dumb when it comes down to dollars and cents.

They’re joking, right?

There are signs around town that state ‘Nanaimo is a Nuclear Weapons free zone‘ I kid you not. As if Nuclear weapons could read. Maybe if it all goes pear shaped over the Ukraine, our one hope is that maybe the Russian targeting officers can’t pronounce the towns name and cross it off their list.
Hey Boris. what about Nana-whatever? This place here?
Ivan, if you can pronounce it we’ll nuke it.
Nanna-e. Nyet! Naimimimo. No. Nonnimio. Bugger it Boris, lets just bomb Campbell River instead.”

Seriously, there’s EU hawks getting their knickers in a twist about the Ukrainian situation. Talk of European troop deployments in a place that I always remember as part of Russia. The Crimea has decided it wants to be part of Russia, and the EU are crying “Foul! Ref!” Over the referendum. Although it’s odd that there were so few shooting incidents. In the same time frame, there were actually more reported gun related deaths in Vancouvers gangland. You’d think there would be quite a few if the situation were as bad as some of the Western media would have us believe.

I grew up during the Cold War, when Nuclear midnight was often only ‘minutes’ away. It was the reason so many of my generation went ‘off the rails’. If you’re going to fry in a nuclear fireball anyway, why not have a continual party to see the dear green Earth off with a nicer type of bang? When it all came to an end in 1989 I was left feeling rather pleased, but with a string of epic hangovers reaching back to my 18th birthday. It’s worth noting that anyone under the age of 18 does not get hangovers, strange but true. However, this is besides the point.

The western media has been busy spray painting old Vlad Putin as the cold tyrant of a gangster republic. Which he’s certainly got the eyes for. Oo, and didn’t those eeevil Roosians jail some crap girl punk band for desecrating a church? Gosh, dwahleegs, the Russki’s are so naughty. Russian ‘defence’ spend is up 18%, so yes, they’re expecting trouble. They have forces on the Eastern Ukrainian border, just in case anyone tries to get funny. There’s talk of mercenaries inside the Ukraine, but no one seems to be quite sure whose.

It is worth noting, back in the Cold War, Russia had the Warsaw Pact countries acting as a series of buffer states between it and the rest of Europe. Which is quite understandable. Russia does not trust Europe for two good historical reasons; Hitler and Napoleon. The memory of the German invasion of ‘Operation Barbarossa‘ and Napoleon in a burning Moscow are both still raw wounds in the Russian psyche. Not to mention that messy business back in the 1850s. Read Johnathan Dimblebys Russia. We have a copy. Quite the eye opener.

Yet most of the war talk is coming from within the EU. I am seriously concerned that if some of the Euro Hawks get their way, NATO will get dragged in, and with it Canada, which I’d really rather not see happen. I mean call me an old fussyboots, but seeing a shooting war blot out half of the world is not the kind of legacy I want my kids having to deal with. Over the next few years I want to travel this little planet some more, and I would be quite delighted if it wasn’t a radioactive wasteland.

As an addendum; as poignant now as when it was first released in 1985.


Update:
Good news. Putin has told Europe to pay the Gas bill, and everything will be fine. The Eurocrats appear to have backed down. Until they can work out another devious ploy to keep the political ponzi scheme that is the EU expanding.