BREXIT Day

Well, well, well. It’s finally here. Official negotiations begin to get the UK out of the EU finally get underway. For my part, I’ve decided to ‘go long’ on my UK investments, keeping funds in Sterling as I have a ‘seeming’ that the value of the Pound Sterling is going to go up significantly, having been artificially depressed a la Marvin the Paranoid Android for far too long. The currency markets don’t like uncertainty, and will punish any currency where the political will of a country is judged as weak. A case in point being the Euro, which isn’t doing so wonderfully, what with the uncertainty of the Anti-EU groundswell in the Netherlands and France, to name but two.

Frankly, I think the EU has had it. Indeed, the old Warsaw pact collapsed because it was being artificially glued together by the old Soviet Union. But there were too many differing cultures and languages for such a beast to work without a rule of iron from the top down. So it will be with the European Union.

It’s a shame for Europe. Had the EU stayed as the European Economic Community free trade zone to standardise weights and measures I think it could have survived. However, the bureaucrats wanted a big federal state with all the trimmings, and economically sane people don,t. Because big bureaucracies are unwieldy and uneconomic. Too much is taken from the productive to provide millionaire lifestyles for a self-selecting and unaccountable political ‘elite’ which strangles everything else. Canada and the USA function because they are (mostly) held together by the grass roots of common interest. There is some form of democratic control. The EU doesn’t really have any.

Now the trigger has been pulled on BREXIT I’m quite sanguine. Indeed, this is a form of ‘triggering’ which along with several other factors directly affecting the Sticker household, are giving cause for celebration. BREXIT, like the Daffodils and Cherry blossom may be late, but all three are welcome, and presage better years ahead.

But what about the Jedi’s?

Just had a very pleasant weekend in Vancouver sampling two types of Chinese cuisine we’d previously not made time for. Firstly Dim Sum. Which is good. Although I found Chinese Toon buns a little bland. Secondly Chongqing hot pot, also known in Japan as Sabu-Sabu. Approach with caution. This stuff will blow your mind and taste buds into the stratosphere. If you think a full strength Vindaloo is hot, you will find out why the Chinese do not really need a nuclear deterrent after sampling this style of cuisine. Put simply, this chilli laden content detonates in the mouth and scorches its way into the stomach for an explosion of warmth which is welcome on a chilly wet Vancouver Winter evening. Upon ordering a ‘medium’ strength meal, we were entreated not to go for the spicy option by the head waiter, and found even the ‘mild’ version a tingling mouth-fest of gustatory amusement. If you like spicy food, you will absolutely love Chongqing hot pot. Recommendation; JDB (Wong Lo Kat) herbal tea reduces mouth burn.

Meanwhile, back on the topic; the M-103 motion. Sargon of Akkad puts his thoughts on this matter forward in the video below.

With the passing of M-103, I’d like to clear something up. Firstly M-103 is not law, nor does it form the basis of law, yet. However, in the meantime it may well be implemented as policy by the ironically titled Canadian Human Rights Commission. Who are known to prosecute those whose voiced opinion does not fit an assumed ideal, regardless of supporting legislation. Their motto appears to be “If you’re Jewish or ‘white’ and Anglo-Saxon – you’re guilty.” Which I find more than a little prejudiced. Racist, even. As one who is happy to break bread with any skin colour, I must say I actually feel threatened and made uncomfortable by this bias against people of my dermal colouration.

Notwithstanding, if this motion does go on to form the basis of a more generalised blasphemy law, every single minority in Canada, especially the First Nations, will be threatened. Why should Islam be singled out for preferential treatment? Why should the more pantheistic beliefs of the North American natives (First Nations) be excluded? Or Daoists, Taoists, Shintoists, Buddhists and followers of Confucius? Never mind all the forms of Christianity and Paganism. And what about the Jedi? Will they have to give up wearing hoods and openly carrying their lightsabres? Or the Sikhs be forced to give up their turbans because Islam becomes the preferred religion of the corporate state?

Islam by contrast seems to be a religion of dislikes, which is defined by the things it considers Haram or ‘unclean’. Indeed, its proscriptions against Alcohol, Dogs, and Women are well known. Alcohol being forbidden, dogs considered dirty (Well they are, but dogs are also fun, loyal and trustworthy) and women reduced to becoming second class citizens, being forbidden to drive, go out on their own without a male escort and exhorted to cover their head and faces.

Islam also makes provision for treating the women of other cultures as inferior, considering gang rape and sexual molestation legitimate tools for subduing non-Islamic females. This of course includes ‘feminists’. Even the radicals who feel that by appeasing Islam they will be ‘safe’. Yes. This is not going to end well for you guys. Bend over buttercup. This is, whether you like it or not, the will of Allah.

I’d also like to make the point that if Islam gets a free pass, there will be no ‘safe spaces’ left for anyone. Indeed, radical (and not so radical) Islamists think violence against ‘unbelievers’ not only necessary but a religious duty. Well what about gays? Islamic Sharia law encourages throwing homosexuals and similar off tall buildings, hanging them slowly in public using cranes, cutting off their heads, stoning and burning to death.

My point here is that no religion, especially one with so many prescriptions of violence against non-believers and ‘alternative’ lifestyles, should be handed such a tempting platter as a blasphemy law. As has been demonstrated worldwide, they’d only abuse the privilege. Along with the human rights of everyone else. Even the Jedi.

The Evil of M-103

By a vote of 201-91, the bonebrains in Ottawa have just thrown dirt on the coffin of free speech in Canada. With the passage of the heinous and wicked M-103 motion, criticising Islam is now against the law. What a bunch of complete fuckwits the yea voters are. Do they understand what they’ve just done? Perhaps they do not. I think they lack the necessary self awareness. See Faith Goldy’s report here;

Or maybe these right-on MP’s are just afraid of militant Islam and think that by appeasing the Jihadis they will buy peace. Well I’m sorry to say they’ve set the stage for a very bleak future. A terrible war will come to these hitherto peaceful shores as it always does when appeasement is pursued as a matter of public policy. Especially in the face of a militant religious faction bent on world domination. What? Religion of Peace? Don’t make oi larf. As recent events in London and elsewhere have clearly demonstrated.

M-103 will not stop a single terrorist action. It will not protect a single Canadian citizen. Indeed, the terrorists will see it for what it is, a sign of weakness, and those bad guys just love weakness. They won’t be happy until everyone is on their knees.

Well, the Jinni is out of the bottle. In their deluded attempt at appeasement these idiot Liberal and NDP politicians have created a privileged minority. The imbalance this will create will shortly start to play out in Ontario. Then the big cities of Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Maybe even New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, perhaps even the Yukon and Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

And it won’t matter, because the progressives who supported M-103 will not be the casualties. That privilege will be extended to the little people who don’t really count.

Dark thoughts

I have a stepdaughter whose legal work takes her all around the London law courts, and sometimes into the UK Houses of Parliament itself. After todays terror attack there was a concerned flurry of transatlantic telephonic activity to jolly old Londinium from the Sticker household and I am pleased to report that Youngest was not in the area at the time.

As a concerned parent, my first reaction is “Youngest safe. Good.” Although I’m deeply sorry to hear that the attacker took down a Police officer in the process along with another three un-named as well as injuring forty others, some of whom will have to live with the physical consequences for the rest of their lives. However, the attacker is dead, good riddance. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Good riddance also to Martin McGuinness, who died yesterday. We’ll never know how many deaths he ordered or was involved in personally, but it’s well known that his hands were bloody as hell. Which is why the flames will burn a little brighter from now on.

These people who murder for a ’cause’ are key factors in prolonging the suffering of their fellow citizens. Had the civil rights protests in Northern Ireland not been tainted by the terrorists, there would have eventually been peace, work and plenty for all, Catholics and Protestants. Unfortunately many Mk 1 Homo Sapiens masquerading as evolved life forms in Ulster still don’t see it that way. So the killing still goes on, only the initials change. So will it be with Islamic inspired attacks. The killing will go on and on unless those who push the ideology are eliminated from within by the very communities they hide behind. Or have their minds changed. Not that I’m holding my breath you understand. Most people aren’t self aware enough to see the obvious.

Trust issues

Excuse the lack of posting of late, but I’ve been up to my neck in UK financial issues. Banks, lawyers, all the usual shizzle. Everything has to be verified, documented, double checked and rechecked before the compliance people are happy. They trust nobody, but then again, neither do I any more. This isn’t paranoia, it’s experience. And all because my family trusted someone to do their job over three decades ago. However, there’s light at the end of this particular tunnel, and it’s not some bleeder with a torch bringing me yet more paperwork.

I see someone has breached their trust and forwarded on Donald Trumps 2005 1040 form (Client copy) to the mainstream media, who have found; shock! Horror! He paid the taxes he was supposed to for that year! Right, so he’s done nothing wrong. Nothing to see here, move along. Apart from the theft of legally protected paperwork, which should not have been released until the IRS completed their tax audit. Not that the lamestream media can be trusted with anything.

Some reporters still just don’t get it, as with this interview with French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Trust has been dropping like a rock with mainstream media sources all over the world for over twenty years. And with good reason. The mainstream has become less trustworthy, deciding what to report and how to represent those stories. It has fallen prey to the triple poison of bias, groupthink and manipulation. Not that it was ever immune. So much so that stories presented in a particular way get automatically cascaded through all the ‘professional’ outlets. Others are ignored or shuffled to a couple of lacklustre paragraphs on page 7. Mountains become molehills, and vice versa, it’s all in the presentation.

Matters have gotten to the point that Mary-Rose Papandrea, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law has stated: “The American public is hostile to the media. Every news outfit should be very afraid of what a jury will do,” from this article. Specifically over a slanted ABC ‘News’ comment that a meat company sold ‘pink slime’. And this is one example of only a few. Remember Christopher Jeffries? Unfairly defamed by eleven news outlets. Piers Morgan’s editorship of the Daily Mirror and the infamous fake cover of ‘British soldiers’ beating up an Iraqi to name but three?

It’s all too easy for those with the mouthpiece to defame dissenting voices, labelling them ‘Rednecks’ and other such denigrations, yet come over all precious, clutching at their pearls in horror when the proles won’t swallow their misrepresentation wholesale. I mean, how dare the public not believe? How could they?

For myself, I was brought up to be cynical by my parents, who knew all too well what happened if you talked to a reporter with an agenda. So when contacted by the BBC in 2006 for an interview over my then work blogging, I rapidly backtracked after yet more high profile bloggers were ‘Doxxed’, that is, their real names and details were published. At the time I was on my uppers and seriously needed the money my erstwhile job brought in, so couldn’t afford to get fired. So unlike others I declined my fifteen minutes and slunk cautiously back into the alleys and side streets of my genesis.

Then there have been many misrepresentations over BREXIT, the US elections and a whole lot more. The reporting so biased that even the politicians are taking notice. Anyone even vaguely right of centre is being painted as a villainous thug, even when all they want is to restore a little balance. While others seem to be given a free pass because of the colour of their skin or religion. This view is spreading. Seems like I’m not the only one.

Yet who is to blame? Well, there’s only one answer, the Western mainstream media. They have been like kittens with several balls of wool as far as the truth goes, trying to shape it to tell a particular tale and just leaving a tangled mass of misrepresentation and omission. By their antics they’ve made the most wild eyed conspiracy theorist look like Bertrand Russell. Which makes me surprised that they can lie down straight in their own beds.

Speaking of beds, I’m finally beginning to sleep more than five hours a night as my particular tangled web becomes more organised. Other people have created a legal and financial mess which Ma Sticker’s youngest (Me) has been helping tidy up, but it’s not been without personal cost. As Mrs S commented yesterday, I’ve physically aged ten years in the last eighteen months, to which I’ve responded; “Add another century to that in terms of cynicism.”

Now I trust no-one. Especially not in the news media. Because they have proven themselves untrustworthy.

On the nature of custard

Some like it cold,
Some like it hot,
Some dab while others smother,
And with a simple, yellow blot,
Robert’s one’s father’s brother.

Excuse me rewriting Nancy Tyler’s old saw, but I often remind myself how much I like custard. Not the thin runny nightmare of School dinners long years past, but of a thick yellow comfort food which lubricates any pie, cobbler, crumble or steamed pudding down into the digestive tract like a greased pig off Teflon. There are many versions, from the almost white sauces with a huge hit of Vanilla to the golden lusciousness of which I write, made with Mr Birds famous custard powder. Which is a strange substance, given to exploding and people have even been known to walk on it. At General Foods in Banbury 1981, some actually detonated, the explosion being strong enough to blow the factory wall out and injure 8 people. So, handle with respect. This is not a safe cooking space.

I belong to the thick custard end of the spectrum, because thin custard, as anyone who has partaken of a pre 1980’s UK school dinner will know, runny custard is an abomination and not fit for polite society. Thick custard is far more versatile and as well as generally being more tasty, can be moulded and even sliced by those inculcated into the culinary mysteries that even the Freemasons and other so-called ‘secret’ societies never tell you about. I’ve even heard it whispered that some chefs crust it over like Crème Brûlée, which is basically a fancy custard tart without pastry, and consume it in guilty secrecy so that the waiting staff will not look down their noses at them. Because custard is, well, too English, and English cookery is très inférieur, non?

Which is a nonsense. French cooking is good, but when it comes to stews and roasts English cuisine matches the English climate, in that it is bucolic, robust and hearty. Both the French and English traditions have their specific strengths, but neither reigns supreme. Each has a place. Just like sometimes you want the brash horseradish heat of Colemans English Mustard with roast beef where the spicier Dijon or German mustards just won’t do. Or a decent crumbly Blue Stilton where Roquefort is too pungent and Danish Blue too greasy.

This is where English style custard raises a triumphant two primitive fingers against all the food critics. It has no pretensions, no finesse, it just is. The trick is not too much custard powder and just enough sugar. I find a 50/50 mix does the trick, adding just enough whole milk, not skimmed, 1% or 2% but full cream, to give your custard the rich creaminess that is the hallmark of this viscous gold.

To make really thick custard for slicing when cold:

Ingredients:
One heaped teaspoon of Birds Custard powder
The same amount of white granulated sugar
One drop of Vanilla extract
One and a half cups whole cream milk

Method:  
Mix custard powder and sugar together, add a little of the milk to make a smooth yellow paste. Heat the rest of the milk on a small one pint pan over a medium heat until it begins to bubble at the edges.
Now add the custard and sugar paste in the pan, stirring gently.
Or
Decant hot milk into bowl with custard and sugar paste. Mix. Now return to the saucepan and put back on heat.
Now add one drop of vanilla extract, no more.

Keep stirring gently, or your custard will become full of lumps as the cornstarch in the mix binds too quickly and no one will love you ever again because it has been scientifically proven that those who make lumpy custard are no good in bed. I use a whisk for the best results. Wearing Leather bondage gear is optional. Not PVC or leather substitute. Like with your custard, only the real thing will do.

When the mix is thick enough that a slow stirring motion briefly exposes the bottom of the pan, remove from heat and decant custard into a dish. At this point you can eat the custard hot with the pie or pudding of your choice, but I’ve another suggestion.

Leave the custard to cool for an hour until it has the consistency of jelly. remove from dish using a knife so it forms a dome. Now you have the choice of making a kind of fruit compote and pouring it over the solidified golden dome, or stewing some apple, leaving that to cool and, having sliced your solidified custard into quarter inch slices, put a layer of stewed apple between each slice. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar, ground cinnamon and perhaps even nutmeg if you’re feeling posh. Bung in the fridge for half an hour. Serve. Or keep it for yourself. You’re worth it. I give you permission to caramelise with one of those rinky dinky little blowtorches. Tell me how you got on because I haven’t bought one yet.

Yes, Jordan Peterson says you must embrace your inner monster so you never have to use it, but I say, don’t just give your inner monster a kiss and a big hug, take it by the hand and drag it into the bedroom. Well made custard will enable you to do this. Honestly.

Told you so… again

Well, the writing on the wall is now appearing for the latest ‘Gluten free’ fad diet in a recent study of 30 years data. Well, colour me surprised. Not. Another fad diet bites the Broccoli.

That’s the thing with fad diets, they take little or no notice of actual facts. Now if you have the flattening of villi in the small intestine that indicates Coeliac disease, a lot of Gluten is not fun. Lots of abdominal issues including distension, dire rear, discomfort and a tendency to huge flabby woof-woofs await (As well as upping your ‘Carbon Footprint’). Besides, that’s only a problem for the one percent of the population with a genetic predisposition to the disease who have to lay off the sarnies. The rest of us are quite safe. Although too high a proportion of grain based food in the diet isn’t the best thing for you, so maybe cutting back on the breads and pastries isn’t that bad an idea. As for too much Gluten causing Coeliac disease, well, doubt has been cast upon that assertion.

According to the head of the study behind this news item, Dr Geng Zong, a ‎Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston:

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrient [such as vitamins and minerals], making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more,”

Which is what we see in the supermarkets, like with the fad over ‘Superfoods’ and the otherwise inedible Kale, which some people rave about. ‘Rave’ being the operative word here, or maybe ‘unhinged’ would be better. Fixating on one’s diet to the exclusion of all else isn’t good for you, physically or mentally. That way lies OCD.

As for Kale, it’s one of those things I was once persuaded, much against my good judgement, to eat. But honestly after one prickly mouthful found wasn’t worth the effort. I’d class it as one of those foods you only need to eat if there’s nothing else in the larder and every shop within a fifty mile radius has sold out and shut down for the next forty eight hours. Yes, it’s got minerals and vitamins, but so has a brick. Oh yes, and depending upon where it’s grown, can contain significant levels of the toxic metal Thallium. I’m told that it used to be popular in Scotland. Which would explain much about the Scots.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a nice brace of steaks ageing in the fridge calling my taste buds. That’s a low gluten diet fixation with flavour.

Can’t give it away

In the past three days I’ve had two sales calls from my local Internet Service Provider offering me Cable TV. Both times I have declined, and asked them, quite pointedly not to ask me the question again. Which my last remaining reader might think odd, because in their desperation to increase their CableTV subscriptions the Cable company were offering quite a financially attractive package. No contract. Ten bucks a month off my Internet and phone bill. Pretty please with sugar on it. Pur-lease buy.

On the second call, when asked why I didn’t want to effectively be paid to have the service, I essayed a chuckle and opined that CableTV was “Crap that you couldn’t pay me to watch.”

I don’t need Cable TV anyway, because all the news I need is out there on the jolly old Interweb, and I’m quite capable of reading and listening for myself without having overpaid people telling me how to think and feel about a given situation. The Weather news I get direct from Service Canada. The Financial news direct from the markets themselves. There are some other excellent reasons for not bothering with Cable TV like;

  • I don’t watch sports
  • I don’t watch Fox, CNN, or MSNBC
  • I don’t watch anything on our TV until at least 7:30PM, and then I only have a series or a movie on as background while I read a book
  • Most of Cable TV is dire and chock full of adverts for stuff I’ll never want or need
  • The ‘News’ is all third hand Op-eds and therefore useless

Seriously, if I want the financial news there are far better real time sources online to base my decisions upon. If I want real news there are far better sources than Cable. Honestly. It all depends what I’m looking for. As for analysis, don’t make me laugh. These services are little better than paid mouthpieces for the guy with the deepest wallet or the most useful idiots.

So it doesn’t matter how much they discount the price, I will not be taking a Cable TV subscription. Because it’s so bad and obviously slanted now that the service providers can’t even give it away. Well, at least not to an old cynic like me.

An interesting tale

Apropos of nothing. Back in the day when teachers didn’t have to fill in a twenty page risk assessment, we used to be taken out on School Trips. Bundled onto a coach twice a term and taken to somewhere ‘educational’ where a teacher would try and engage our interest. The poor benighted fools.

One day we were taken to Worcester in England to see the then-famous Royal Worcester china works and the cloister of Worcester Cathedral where, at the foot of a staircase, lies a tombstone bearing the simple legend ‘Miserrimus’. Our History Teacher, eyes glittering with the historical romance of her story, enthusiastically regaled us with the Wordsworth inspired tale of a medieval monk who took on the sins of the world and was buried as a reminder to all the other monks that he was the biggest sinner amongst them, and that just to remind them of how naughty they were, they had to walk over his grave for the rest of time. That learned ’em, right?

The truth though, is a little more prosaic. The tomb of ‘Miserrimus’ is that of a Parish Priest defrocked in the ‘Glorious Revolution’ of 1688 for his loyalty to King James II and who spent the rest of his long life as an outcast until his death in 1748. Still, there was enough money to give him quite a fancy funeral and bury him outside the Church where his tombstone could continue to make his embittered point. Where it did for a while until the ex-reverend passed from living memory. Then along came some ‘romantic’ writers and poets who saw the stone and made some stuff up. Which is what they do.

Seriously. The guy spent fifty plus years carrying his political grudge instead of realising nothing was going to change unless he made it do so. Then he decided to be buried under a pseudonym, the reason for which was mostly forgotten. As was anything good or bad that he may have achieved in his life. Which is a shame, because he was not an unpopular man and was described as a caring and good looking chap who could have made a far larger impact on the world than his pseudonymous tombstone ever could.

There’s a life lesson in there somewhere.

More of the same

Things trundle on. More forms to complete, and I had to mess around with my handy dandy Printer / Fax to get necessary details off to the UK last night without getting charged an upper and larger extremity on courier fees. Seriously, these guys charge like a Rhino with a migraine then still don’t get the bloody thing there on time because of a lick of snow that they wouldn’t even notice over in Calgary, so it’s worth lugging the fax into the front room where the phone line connection is and spending ten minutes messing around with RJ11s and the like.

bills-weather-rockOn the subject of weather, I was checking my blogs history for ad hoc local observations on the weather, and noticed that we seem to get a serious dash of ice and snow here every two years, with more snow and ice than usual every three. Summer temperatures can end up in the low to mid thirties Celsius (Centigrade, whatever), which is nothing unusual, given that we’re on the same latitude as mid-France, so when someone blarts out that it’s the “Hottest year, EVAH!” I do have to suppress a chortle. I think these prognostications of media doom are simply cries for more funding. My Weather Rock, however, remains unconvinced, and has taken to lurking indoors on a nice cosy windowsill in the kitchen, hogging the view. It’s probably sniggering at all the other weather rocks forced to shiver outdoors, but it’s very hard to tell with rocks.

Anyway, it’s good that we have an AWD with decent all-weather tyres because I have to get Mrs S to a conference downtown today. Which means an early start allowing a bit of extra time for the inevitable dickhead faction out on the roads. Then I may amble into the downtown core for an hour to check something out before heading back to the barn and getting a nice hot feed set up for her ladyship when I go to pick her up around four. I hope to perform this task without any additional drama. Although I can hear the local snowplough already trolling up and down roads, so by the time we set off, our hill will be cleared.

On the drama front, we’ve finally stopped watching Canadian Netflix because it’s become so crap. Seriously, as a streaming service it’s really gone downmarket. Not that it was ever brilliant, but it was better than the alternatives. All there seem to be are tenth rate ‘documentaries’ with the odd watchable feature film and a host of what used to be called ‘B’ movies and teen series. Honestly, it’s like the PC Police have decided you can’t watch programmes which don’t comply with certain nauseatingly touchy-feely guidelines, which may ultimately prove their downfall. So we’ve signed up for a CraveTV account which gives us some reasonable HBO and Showtime series for the same price. The other choice, Cable, is terrible, chock full of adverts and not worth the fifty bucks a month our service provider charges for the ‘basic’ package. To which I am moved to retort; if I wanted propaganda, there’s plenty on YouTube for free.

One of the things I have noticed over the past 12 months is a serious decline in the overall quality of TV and Movie entertainment. To which I’m inclined to hypothesise that maybe all the slebs and half way decent writers have been so busy fundraising for the Clintons, protesting and electioneering that they stopped doing their jobs as entertainers. Don’t even get me started on the patronising crap about to be foisted on Netflix viewers like ‘Dear white people’, which is such a dire idea and so poisonous to race relations that it defies rational comment.