All posts by Bill Sticker

Expatriate observer of life in the UK and British Columbia, Canada. Politically slightly right of centre with a pro libertarian bias. Writes, publishes and now a lot more relaxed about life in general. Is keeping his British accent for tax purposes. Travels a lot.

Well that worked

Or rather it didn’t. Put not thy trust in Princes, to bastardise the old biblical saying, nor in the weatherman in whom there is no hope. Despite grey skies, Wednesday’s weather forecast up the island highway all the way up to Campbell river said dry and cloudy. Oh no it wasn’t. Thursday afternoon, what was supposed to be a sedate swan northbound was a damp old ride once I cleared the big hump of rock we call the Malahat. So the Mutt and I turned around and retreated back to the louring grey skies of Victoria.

Am taking great delight in the downfall of the idiot fop who weaseled his way into becoming the Prime Minister of Canada, a post for which he is both unqualified and has too little real life working experience. All the times he has claimed to be ‘anti-racist’ and a ‘feminist’ are turning out to be a bit of a bad joke. Three cheers anyone? Hip-hip hypocrite!

Not only is Trudeau a known groper of women, but also once liked imitating, some would say parodying, darker skinned people. Mm-hm. That’s without being a corrupt politician whose office goes against it’s own much vaunted principles. If he doesn’t get voted out during our October election, I for one will look at my fellow Canadians with even more disdain than at present. Not that I really like the idea of Andrew Scheer as PM. He’s kind of a very wet cod-liberal who wouldn’t try to bail out a boat if it was sinking, just in case it ‘offended’ someone. My vote, such as it is, is going to our local People’s Party Candidate. I like what Maxime Bernier is saying, and will be giving his fledgling party what support I can.

Any way. The sun is shining and I’m suited and booted for some weekend riding.

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Boring….

A bit bored at the moment. We’re on the run up to London in just under a month and looking for places to entertain ourselves. I’m rather put out because the weather around here has turned quite damp, so the Mutt is currently snuggled up under cover and I find myself reluctant to look out of the window at the rain. Such are the issues with being a fair weather only rider. I’ve got a hankering to take a run up past Comox (450km there and back, all right, 280miles) or even Campbell River (530km round trip, about 330miles) to clear some accumulated cobwebs.

On the plus side, work is under control and Management are happy with the what’s, why’s and wherefores of my workload, which I can handle without difficulty because I’ve whittled a number of tasks, including my weekly reporting, down to a few mouse clicks. It’s all a question of streamlining and automating the simpler procedures, which I’ve had time to do over the Summer, even with me and the Mutt sneaking out for two or three hundred kilometre long rides while things are slack. The mountain loop round Sooke and up to Port Renfrew, thence over the hump to Duncan via Lake Cowichan and back to the barn is a favourite. The road surface gets a bit rough after China bay and up to Port Renfrew but it’s very scenic. You go from a massive vista over the Pacific, where there’s nothing between you and Japan to nice tightening curves between the hills, dodging the logging trucks as you gain altitude. Snow normally hits the high ground in early November on this particular leg, so this is a Summer only pleasure. The Mutt is going into cold storage in the garage until the end of April 2020, so I’ll be making the most of all the sunshine we have left until October.

I was rather hoping that the warmer weather would continue for a while, but like I said, it’s raining and I’m no longer happy to don waterproofs and duke it out with everything the British and European sky can hand out. Never mind the Canadian weather. Yes, you can call me a wuss, but over the years I’ve ridden in everything from blazing heat waves where the mercury casually blew past the hundred and ten Fahrenheit (Forty three Celsius) marker to thunderstorms, torrential downpours where the rain meets itself coming back up, cannonball pea sized hail and even near whiteout blizzards. I’ve come home soaked to the skin through full waterproofs and on a couple of occasions with my leathers covered in a quarter inch of ice. So. Been there, done that, not dumb enough to want to do it again.

One of the benefits of my current age is experience and what I consider a little hard won wisdom. So there.

Don’t panic

I mean it. My own life has taught me that the biggest killer out there is panic. Flailing or running around and shouting will not help. So don’t do it. Trust me on this. A cool head will get you through more scrapes than being a drama queen and expecting other people to take up the slack. Indeed I have found my own personal policy of walking softly and taking a step back when faced with the unfamiliar and occasionally dangerous has often gotten me out of a tight corner.

In this vein we’re having to think ahead with regard to Elderly Friend. Her rapid slide into dementia has both us and the care home thinking that she’s not long for this world. She may even die while we’re in London. So. Funeral home fees and arrangements have to be checked, funds set aside for end of life care, nursing etc. All that stuff you get the joy of as power of attorney. However, this is the job we signed up for and it has to be done. The grunt work of signing off on those details like funeral services and ensuring the right ashes go in the right urn. Just in case.

However, a little foresight has often proven useful too because it’s of limited use being cooler than liquid Nitrogen if the ground is literally crumbling under your feet. Having a fallback option, just in case, isn’t needed that often, but I like them as they are very reassuring. Doesn’t have to be much, just simple stuff. For example, on road trips, I carry enough first aid stuff to be able to suture moderate wounds and stop bleeds whilst being able to provide some form of pain relief or sluice out a dust afflicted eyeball or contaminated cut. My credit cards are kept separately in case I get my wallet nicked. We always have double travel insurance and I never enter a place unless I already know where the best exit is. Mrs S often jocularly chides what she calls my ‘paranoia’, but despite the odd minor faux pas it’s been a long, long time since I was caught properly left footed.

We’ve gotten lost in the wilds of Ontario with dwindling fuel, but not unrecoverably so. We’ve lost money on investments, I lost five thousand dollars on three particular stocks last year, but more than made it back on others and spent a meagre two fifty on advice of how to set the loss against tax. Then made all my money back and then some on the same stocks by June this year. We try to invest across a wide spread, never put all our fiscal eggs in one basket and try not to panic if there’s a short term drop in the market like over the New Year 2018-9.

Because having at least one alternative is way better than being caught with your financial unmentionables around yer ankles. So it is with a WTO or ‘No deal’ Brexit. Now being a suspicious sort when it comes to news media, reading all the “Noooo! We’re all going to DIE!!” nonsense being peddled even in the FT. I really am thinking of cancelling my subscription. Fortunately I have my own sources. So I did a little digging.

Here’s what I found; imports will not grind to a halt. There are structures already in place to allow imports without delays at all major UK ports. Same for exporters. If you don’t already know, then you haven’t been listening. The tax authorities have been ready for a no deal scenario for over two years. I got that via Pinsent Mason (Major UK law firm who deal in international law by the way). Also from the guy who has just transferred out from being in charge of the port of Dover says they’re ready for ‘No deal’. HMRC have set up 190+ ‘pop up’ customs posts, in addition to the normal ports facilities who deal with clearing import and exports. The only problems will be from EU customs, so you’re more likely to run out of Cheddar at Calais than Brie and Avocados in Birmingham. Besides, where in the EU grows Avocado’s for heaven’s sake? Oh yes, France and Spain. The Netherlands are a major distribution hub and exporter, but don’t actually grow any. The major growers range from Israel to Mexico, New Zealand to Kenya, then there’s Colombia, Morocco, South Africa and the USA. Can’t get your Dutch Avocado? Fine, there are plenty more sources out there with produce to sell. Cut out the EU middle man. Ship direct from the growers, and don’t think there aren’t deals already being cut by the buyers for Messrs Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury.

Even if the EU embargoes all imports to and from the UK, remember this; they need the UK markets more than the UK needs the EU. Never mind not getting a GBP39 billion payday, if they tried cutting UK Plc off without a cent they’d bankrupt a large proportion of their own internal economy. According to a financial report I read 12th September 2019, the European Central Bank is going to cut interest rates and start printing money, a failed policy by the way, which has already hit the Euro. Internally, they are already in trouble.

For expat UK pensioners in European countries (No names, no pack drill) this drop in the Euro means their UK pension will be worth more as the pound sterling will buy more. Expats I know they have been hit badly because of all the Remainer panicmongering driving the value of sterling down at least twelve percent lower than it should be. It would be nice to see them better off.

Me, I don’t put my faith in state pensions, mainly because I like to know where my money is and what it’s up to. As well as the payout of any given state pension being less than likely to support me in the style to which I wish to become accustomed in my forthcoming frail dotage. Also because I don’t trust politicians, any of them, not to plunder public coffers for their own short term gain. They can buy votes with someone else’s dime.

Oh yes, and I’ve finally bowed to Mrs S over buying a new cell phone so she can keep tabs on me, investing in a dual sim Samsung A20 with case and armoured glass.

Looking ever more forward to London, when I will be trying to console those of the Remain faction I encounter by speaking soothingly and gently holding their hands to reassure them.

Why specifically hold their hands? Just to make sure none of the nasty little sods manage to take a swing at me. Like I said, foresight.

The sound of science

Reading the abstract below, and subsequently the whole paper, enlivened what has otherwise been a dull workday. It’s mostly what I’ve understood to be correct and fills in a few gaps. In short; the climate modellers tools might as well have  been made by Airfix.

Abstract:

The reliability of general circulation climate model (GCM) global air
temperature projections is evaluated for the first time, by way of
propagation of model calibration error. An extensive series of
demonstrations show that GCM air temperature projections are just linear extrapolations of fractional greenhouse gas (GHG) forcing. Linear projections are subject to linear propagation of error. A directly relevant GCM calibration metric is the annual average ±12.1% error in global annual average cloud fraction produced within CMIP5 climate models. This error is strongly pair-wise correlated across models, implying a source in deficient theory. The resulting long-wave cloud forcing (LWCF) error introduces an annual average ±4 Wm–2 uncertainty into the simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux. This annual ±4 Wm–2 simulation uncertainty is ±114 × larger than the annual average ∼0.035 Wm–2 change in tropospheric thermal energy flux produced by increasing GHG forcing since 1979. Tropospheric thermal energy flux is the determinant of global air temperature. Uncertainty in simulated tropospheric thermal energy flux imposes uncertainty on projected air temperature. Propagation of LWCF thermal energy flux error through the historically relevant 1988 projections of GISS Model II scenarios A, B, and C, the IPCC SRES scenarios CCC, B1, A1B, and A2, and the RCP scenarios of the 2013 IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, uncovers a ±15 C uncertainty in air temperature at the end of a centennial-scale projection. Analogously large but previously unrecognized uncertainties must therefore exist in all the past and present air temperature projections and hindcasts of even advanced climate models. The unavoidable conclusion is that an anthropogenic air temperature signal cannot have been, nor presently can be, evidenced in climate observables.

Emphasis mine.

At first skim, this paper comes across as a careful analysis of the current and previous states of climate models, upon which all the scare stories of ‘Climate Emergency’ and ‘Climate crisis’ (Not to mention the wealth transfer con trick called ‘Carbon Taxation’) are based. Essentially this study carefully weighs, measures and finds the claims that ‘it’s all CO2’ seriously wanting.

And this paper has passed peer review. Not that the true believers like those boneheads of extinction rebellion, Justin Trudeau etcetera will pay any attention. If climate change is not caused by humans, and it isn’t, they don’t want to know. This sort of information is well above their pay grade and they know it. Hell, it’s a little above mine, but from what I can see it passes the bullshit test in which no obvious bullshit was found.

Want to read for yourself? The whole paper is open access and can be accessed here. The supporting information can be found here.

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals and Wattsupwiththat.

P.S.  If I was Gore, Nye or Suzuki, I’d be packing my bags and leaving town for good. The jig is up.

Update:  Have read Dr Roy Spencer’s critique at Wattsupwiththat which points out a couple of weaknesses with Dr Franks work which seem fair.  Yet to read the author’s response.  However, Dr Spencer, whilst highlighting the point that the models predict twice any observed warming, he sticks with the Total Solar Irradiance (TSI) measurement which does not take into account alterations to climate systems like the jet streams by their sensitivity to variations in the earth’s magnetosphere.

Then there are Dr Frank’s responses to the points raised by Dr Spencer, who then answers in the comment string below.  Who says science is dull, eh?

Points of failure

Following the BREXIT news, I see Bojo, the UK’s deceptively clownish PM has just outmanouevred the remoaner MP’s. He called their bluff. Talk about cojones, I’d hate to play him at poker. Despite being in a weakened position he flipped the noisy remoaners the bird and Labour, recognising that much of their own voter base were the ones who mostly voted ‘leave’, folded.

The BREXIT party poses a significant electoral threat to the Corbynites, as it does to the Tories if Bojo fails to deliver on the 31st October. Farage and co are likely to capture a significant part of their vote and they know it. The Limp Dems might garner a few seats because of split votes, but they won’t make much headway in largely leave constituencies. The numbers are against them. A hung Parliament would result with a majority of dark blue (Tories) and light blue (BREXIT party). Maybe Farage would deal, maybe not.

A lot of what I see going on at present is all sound and fury, signifying nothing. The Remain faction won’t get any bills past the Lords in the time frame available to them and the Tories won’t invoke the Parliament act to force the issue. Only the ruling party with a firm majority can do that. Boris Johnson won’t go cap in hand to Brussels, partly because even the EU has lost patience and won’t negotiate further and partly because if he does bend the knee, from an electoral standpoint he and the rest of the Tories would be heavily overdone toast. I think he understands that this is his defining moment and he must not fail.

Judging from the mood of things from over here in BC, the British voting public, outside of a few noisy activists, have had enough. Now if it does come to a UK General Election, there are certain parties who will be in for a punishment beating at the ballot box. Those who have demonstrated bad faith will be the worst hit. Which is what the Corbynites fear. They have broken faith with a good deal of their traditional voter base who wouldn’t vote Tory even if threatened with red hot pokers, but might well vote BREXIT party or just stay at home in disgust. All the remainers “We want an election and we want it now” rhetoric is just guff, as has just been proven. The shadow of Farage hangs over them all and they know it.

These are their points of failure. Despite the threat of electoral annihilation, the remain faction will not give in, but will grow ever more shrill, right down to the wire. The thing is, to continue the poker metaphor, they’re a busted flush. They’ve played their best cards and bet the farm but they are beaten. Now they’ll try to kick over the table and call a mismatch, but they’re too late. All Bojo and company have to do is stand firm and filibuster like their lives depend upon it. Because in a way they do.

My, my, this is interesting. I’m positively looking forward to London this October.

Update:  Speaker Bercow has resigned?  Good gravy.  Whatever next?  All I know is that another must be elected by the Commons while one of the previous speakers three deputies stands in.

Having had a quick breeze through the history, a Speaker’s resignation is unusual, but not unprecedented.  So apart from calling into question Bercow playing ducks and drakes with certain parliamentary rules, it’s going to be business as usual.  The Brexit clock ticks on.

The politics of fear

There’s a movement of the entitled currently making nuisances of themselves on London streets who call themselves by the grand title ‘extinction rebellion’. These silly frightened people worship a teenage girl as their prophet and claim we’re all doomed if we don’t dismantle society and stop doing anything any time anywhere within the next twelve years, or according to some sources, eighteen months. From what I can see, a lot of them are anti-BREXIT as well.

They rather remind me of the current dementia-driven outpourings of our elderly friend. Who makes wild claims about her belongings being rifled through by her care home’s facility staff when she’s too befuddled to find them herself. Even after she’s been physically shown the item that she has been ‘lost’, two minutes later she’s swearing blind that it’s been stolen. Which can get a bit wearing.

Like her, extinction rebellion are unable to accept reality, which is that unless a bloody great asteroid impacts the Earth in the next century, it’s going to be more or less business as usual. The Earth will not boil, making life unsustainable. Even if everyone in the entire world buys an SUV to do their daily errands. Most of us will get up, go to work or whatever, earn a crust to pay the bills and then go home. The fact that post BREXIT some people may have to pay more for their BMW spares will pass us by, unless of course you own a BMW, Skoda, Mercedes or Volkswagen.

As for their claims of man made climate doom, they are just that, unsubstantiated claims. From massive temperature peaks to sea level rise and dead Polar Bears, there is very little hard science behind them, and despite forty plus years of clinging desperately to the CO2 climate driven theory, no-one has actually established a positive link to any catastrophe. All the prophesies of climate doom have been overblown and proven false. Don’t take my word, or that of anyone else. Go look for yourself and you will find what I did. That the major driver of Earth’s climate is about 93 million miles away and very hot indeed. The climate models the portents of doom are based upon rely on only one measurement for the sun’s influence, that of TSI, total solar irradiance, and make little allowance for variables like cloud formation or variances in the sun’s electromagnetic fields, which have direct impacts on Earth’s weather. It has been proven that when the fields weaken, as they have been doing for the last fifteen to twenty years now, a cooling phase begins. Educated guesses are that this period will probably really get going in 2020 and last for about thirty plus years. It’s why the jet streams are playing up.

As for the claims of “hottest year evah” I would point my last reader to the early to late 1930’s. Temperatures, tornadoes and heat waves were all greater then. The newspaper reports of the time will confirm this. Unfortunately, not all this information is listed online. so is not immediately accessible to the casual reader, although Tony Heller does a decent job of pointing out the falseness of these overblown claims. At least for the USA. He has the resources to dig through old newspaper archives and retrieve information that might otherwise be flushed down the memory hole.

The hard science is out there and can be empirically demonstrated. The only drawback is that the interactions between the Sun and Earth are highly complex, cannot currently be influenced by humans and are therefore not taxable. Which is why the climate cultists like extinction rebellion will dismiss them out of hand. They have made themselves so frightened that essentially their higher cognitive functions are seriously diminished and so are unable to process newer and more credible information.

That seems to be the mood in the old country right now. Everybody has worked themselves up into such a lather that no one is thinking straight. The lamestream media likes fear because it sells their product. Many politicians like the fear because it can drive votes and thus power their way. If only people would actually stop for a moment, take a breath, do some proper research outside their immediate comfort zone, they might stop panicking and be able to have a bloody good laugh at how ridiculous the situation became.

Then again, that’s probably just wishful thinking on my part. Experience tells me that most people would rather panic than actually think. Hi ho. Off to the asylum we go.

Tempus, fugitting

Time is ticking down. Old family friend is declining with them, which means we get phone calls every day accusing the care team at her senior living facility with all kind of wrong doing. So we as powers of attorney have to co-ordinate mental health and her carers to make sure of maximum co-operation and minimum alienation. I think we all know she’s on the home stretch. She’s been working herself into a nervous frazzle and with her damaged heart probably doesn’t have long in this world. So our emergency travel bag sits at the ready because it will be us doing the unpleasant post mortem details like formal identification. Note to self, get funeral clothes out of cold storage. Black shoes, white shirt, formal suit, black tie. There are things which must not only be done properly, but also seen to be done after that fashion. This is the way we in our household prepare for these sad occasions. This is how we say goodbye to an old and highly respected friend. Slow, reluctant walk to the cemetery, brisk walk home. Life will go on and those we hold in our hearts can never die. Not a happy thought, but I can see it’s looming inevitability like an oncoming train.

Fuck. I hate doing this.

However, the other thought occurs that we will have discharged the debt we owed to elderly friend and her late husband, which is as it should be. We can take comfort in that.

We managed to get her on the phone, but if anything, the confusion has worsened. All we can do is make sure we’re ready.

Stuff it. It’s labour day tomorrow and the weather forecast looks half way decent, so I’m off for a good long 200k plus ride to clear my head. Full tank of gas, suited and booted. Let Mrs S have the car to please herself. Not much else I can do.

Interesting times

“May you live in interesting times” as the legendary curse goes. Well, these past few days have been interesting as far as we are concerned. On the home front, elderly friend is slipping away down the sad path of dementia toward the long night. Her short term memory is all screwed up, so when she cannot find anything she’s on the phone to us at all hours. Brother in law had a bit of a fright when lack of regular sleep caught up with him and he simply collapsed. Twice. Mrs S wants to up sticks and move countries yet again and guess who is being given all the heavy lifting? Now our normally reliable car has packed in, so I’ve had to arrange for full diagnostic. Looks like an easy fix (allegedly) for the garage, being something to do with a bit of electronics having given up the ghost, unfortunately my automotive skill set and tools are sadly lacking for such a relatively modern vehicle, so off to the shop it goes. Fortunately we’ve still got the Mutt to get about on.

This morning, having had a breeze through the FT, I see the Queen, God bless her, has given the green light to Bojo the UK’s deceptively clownish PM, to suspend or prorogue Parliament. Of course all this has the remoaners up in arms, claiming that this is ‘anti-democratic’, but their pointless prolonging of BREXIT has clearly gone against the democratic mandate that was handed down to them in 2016, so yar boo to you lot. The delay has already cost the UK dearly. The Queen knows this, Boris knows this, the remoaners don’t seem to care. They’re just acting like a bunch of spoiled brats.

They’ve had three whole years to get a deal from the EU and they have failed. So WTO terms it is. In sixty five days from the time of writing and counting. No referendum, no votes, no attempted palace coup by the fantasists who think that Corbyn driving to Buck house in a taxi and forcing the Queen to make him PM. Err, can I point something out? You know the old challenge “You and whose army?” Well, fun fact; HM Queen is commander in chief of the armed forces. All the officers and squaddies in the Army, Navy and Air Force have sworn loyalty to her, not some unpopular and crabby left wing politician. It’s her army, not the Corbynites. The Police are also sworn to the Queen. True, they may be managed day to day by politicians, but they work for her. She’s the boss. The Chairman of the board. The EU attempted a stealth takeover, but over half the people of the UK used their votes to say “Out.” and that’s that.  HM Queen rules UK, okay?

Oh, by the way, saw this over at Raedwald‘s. So apposite, so goddamn on the money when it comes to the remoaners. So I too shamelessly nicked it.
Remoaner Tantrum

Since even before the 2016 referendum those who intended to and voted leave have been subject to continual abuse and insult from the opposing faction, which is no way to change hearts and minds. Newsflash kiddies; you can only convince someone to change their mind through persuasion. Constantly beating them over the head and abusing them just won’t cut it. This is negotiation 101, as they say over this side of the pond.

Right. Now I’m off to talk to a mechanic or two. Yes, these are indeed proving interesting times.

Amazing stories

The older I get, the more amazed I become at some of the strange stuff that much of humanity calls cognition. Of late I’ve noticed that certain millennial females, in an attempt to appear ‘nicer than thou’ behave in ways that are positively dangerous to other road users. One occasion was when I was waiting to enter a traffic island (Many Canadian drivers here on Vancouver Island understand traffic islands like they understand cornering, lane discipline or changing gear – the answer is that they don’t), when a female driver stopped and waved me in front of her, which I could not at first see because of reflections on her windscreen and side windows. There was no-one behind her and more than enough room to allow me to slot in behind to take my turn. Yet when I opened my side window and waved her to go past, firstly because I like potential road hazards in front of me where I can see them, secondly because the rule with traffic islands is to give way to traffic already on the traffic island. In return she got mad and shouted, then gave me the finger, simply because I did not want her behind me. There was plenty of room, no need to get irate, yet she blew up.

Similarly, I was travelling the back roads a few days ago when I came across a local transit bus (Not a school bus – different rules apply) sitting at a stop with it’s hazards blinking just before a blind right hand bend. The car in front came to a sudden stop which I almost missed because their brake lights weren’t working, forcing me to pull a full on, brake screeching jamming on of anchors, I did something I rarely do, which was hit my horn to warn them of this ill-timed behaviour. This appeared to annoy the driver, who had pulled up to allow two cyclists, who were blocked from my line of sight by the now-stopped car blocking the road in front and the bus itself, to cross a fast country road on foot. The car driver gave me the finger. Then proceeded to drive at under thirty kmh for the next two kilometres, all the time favouring me with rude gestures, until she thankfully turned off. In my book the driver and the bus driver should have moved on to let the cyclists cross safely at their own discretion. Instead the virtue signallers created a problem which need not have existed and thus a deal of raised blood pressure. Not to mention that crossing the road from in front of a large parked vehicle is something I was taught at my mother’s knee was a bloody silly thing to do and likely to be terminally bad for your health.

Now I don’t know about you dear reader, but all this trying to show how ‘nice’ you are on the road is positively dangerous. Having checked my copy of the Canadian Highway code, yes, I had it right. Both drivers, both female, both in their late twenties, were in the wrong. They had also taken it amiss because one road user at least found their behaviour somewhat counter intuitive. For ‘counter intuitive’ read dumb as a bag of rocks. I see a lot of this. People too focused on trying to appear pleasant, but when encountering even the slightest objection, go into complete meltdown. I’ve even come across this standing at the roadside, waiting for Mrs S to catch up before crossing. I’ll be waiting at the roadside for my wife, head turned away, body language indicating that I’m not going to move any time soon, only to have some grinning bozo beeping their horn, waving at me to cross from behind a windscreen that is more or less a mirror, then getting all irate when I wave them on. It’s all so very passive aggressive.

Now I’m a well travelled man. I’ve driven all around Europe, the USA, Britain and Australia, but nowhere else in this big wide world have I come across this “Don’t you dare not let me be what I think of as nice to you” attitude. If you want to annoy a suburban western Canadian or urban Ontarian female, just tell them you don’t think that they’re as nice as they claim. Believe me, there is nothing more likely to enrage the entitled than having this one petty hypocrisy called out. White hot humour failure will be immediate, often followed by disproportionately spiteful and petty acts against you which ultimately benefit no-one. Canadians as a whole may have this reputation for being pleasant and charitable, but in major urban populations this attitude only runs skin deep, if that.

It’s almost a mirror image of what is going on online, where people who disagree with a given viewpoint are subject to disproportionate displays of virulent hatred, even to the point of being hounded out of their job. Which is a bit rich, or rather not, as kicking an able worker out for merely expressing an opinion is a shot in the foot all round. Considering it may be only one actual person really put mildly out of sorts by such an opinion, the rest of the outrage being amplified by a form of cognitively-impaired drone network. The loss of service of a key employee will probably be far greater and impact not only the organisation so targeted, but also the people served by that body of people and those within it. Not to mention the desire for vengeance from the person thus persecuted for so little reason. Hence the saying I was taught as a boy; “If you would seek vengeance – first dig two graves.”

Now the political pendulum is swinging ponderously rightwards, certain people should be quaking in their little pink booties in fear of the wrecking ball they used without provocation upon others has begun the long ponderous sweep in their direction. Yea in the words of my head librarian, Igor the badly stitched; “What cometh around, goeth around. Oh yeth.”

You’re going to like this

…but, to quote the old Paul Daniels catchphrase “Not a lot”. Rather than get drawn into the same old “Oh! we’re all doomed if there’s a no-deal BREXIT” that the remoaner commenters have been tediously banging on about, I’ve been watching the European markets with interest. After all, one mans downfall is another’s opportunity. Germany is especially vulnerable. If the markets for their heavily manufacturing based economy undergoes serious shrinkage, as is likely, they will have trouble. This is despite shipping cars over to the North American market via Nanaimo BC, Canada. That’s right. The small city of Nanaimo BC, Vancouver Island (Where I lived for five years) is Canada’s major port of entry for BMW’s, VW’s etcetera. This is into a near-saturated market you understand. We in Canada have the pick of the world as far as vehicles are concerned so it’s a highly competitive environment. Some people like BMW’s etc, I don’t, but then I have my own, highly personal reasons for this choice.

Today I’m stuck in the office, gearing up for an increase in work. It’s wet out, and nowadays I’m a confirmed dry day only rider. Might get a tootle in tomorrow before sister in law comes down for the weekend. Which means I have to go and get a few things before me and the mutt go out to play.

Anyway, back in the old country the paperwork on leaving the EU is all done and dusted and the date is set. 31st October it is. Mainly because the EU has refused to negotiate any further. It was their way or the highway. So it’s time to stop talking and get walking. Seventy one days and counting at the time of writing. I know we’ve been here before, but this time it’s on. No returns, with knobs on.

Equipping the RN with a few lightweight fisheries protection vessels might not be such a bad idea. Arm with two anti-shipping missiles (Buy a dozen Harpoon RGM 84’s from the Yanks, or maybe even use up some surplus Anti-tank stuff) and a 20mm Oerlikon should be enough firepower for the interim with some line cutting gear, at least until the EU fishing fleets get the message.

That means with the UK’s contribution to the EU about to disappear with a now-inevitable no-deal BREXIT, the Germans will be left holding the larger part of the EU’s fiscal baby, which is bad news for the Eureaucrats. From a simple business perspective, you simply can’t just lose such a major element as the UK in a continent wide cashflow without a major restructuring. Or even in extremis a European economic collapse if the Russians decide to apply a little judicious pressure via their gas pipelines. The whole renewables thing the Germans relied on for power is collapsing, so power prices will rise, much to the chagrin of the poor German public and the disadvantage of German industry. The French have their own major economic issues and will have to look a bit slippy if they aren’t going to end up carrying Brussels can as well. The EU has been going round signing trade deals with a lot of other countries of late, extending their circle of influence, but that won’t do them any good if what their member nations produce becomes too expensive.

As for the other nations, Italy won’t hang around when things go pear shaped, nor I think will the French. The Hungarians, Poles and Czechs may well split off into a mitteleurop trading bloc of their own taking a few of the smaller Eastern European nations with them. Thirty nine billion pounds (43 Billion Euro’s or 48 Billion US Dollars just disappeared ne’er to be seen again.

So a number bloated bureaucrats may well find themselves jobless with nothing but a depleted bank account and several expensive mistresses to provide for (Or in Junckers’ case his wine cellar). Spare a Bentley for an out of work Eurocrat guv? Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. This could be fun.

Update:  The UK is purchasing twenty six all weather drones for fisheries protection.  I wonder if any of then will be armed?

Outlaws

I was watering the deck garden today, pleased that the sun was paying us a protracted visit. The weather of late has been windier and damper than average leading to an upsurge in umbrella sales. So many locals are adopting them for shelter against the elements, when a small idea popped into my head. About outlaws. Well not so much real Robin Hood or William Tell outlaws, but those dubbed ‘bad’ by a vociferous and corrupt faction in the media and political classes. I think we all know to whom I refer. The oppressors who use cries of “You’re a racist!” or “You’re an (add poorly latinised prefix here)ophobe!” to bludgeon any opposing voices into submission. Because the currently oppressed don’t think themselves bad people, they’re just saying “Not so fast. Give them time. Let the newbies integrate.”

The bad guys are those currently with power, the ones who pass laws giving privilege to the politically connected, in hock to NGO’s and the UN like Trudeau and his Liberals or corporate interests like Scheer and the Progressive Conservatives up here in Canada. To my eyes, they’re just two sides of the same debased coinage. You can include the NDP and Greens in that club too. They all sing off the same polluted hymn sheet.

It’s easy to be an outlaw in today’s political climate. I can think of three major candidates; Donald Trump in the USA, Nigel Farage in the UK and up here in the not so frozen north, ‘Mad’ Maxime Bernier. All three the result of personal passion and a genuine desire to help the little guy against their corporate overlords. In effect the Robin Hoods of global politics. I do not include Boris Johnson in this group because I have my suspicions, although if he can get BREXIT by October 31st when I’ll be in London, perhaps he can join the ranks of the Merry Men, especially if he enlists the support of the BREXIT party to move things along. The Tories as they are currently structured may be toast, but I have a seeming that Boris might just weld a new small state, pro small business Conservative Party together out of the wreckage. Not what the UK has had in recent years, which was effectively ‘Blue Labour’ but something a little more broad which actually recognises that what was good for the big corporate interests is not good for the smaller concerns, who can’t afford all the ‘compliance’ business today seems to require.

I liked his openings. Above and below. Love the wailing of broken-hearted lefties in the background.

Johnson’s speech proper opens at four minutes and ten minutes. Corbyn’s reply at twenty one minutes and twenty five seconds. Johnson’s riposte begins at thirty two minutes and forty eight seconds. Ian Duncan-Smith drops in a carefully planted question at thirty nine minutes and eighteen seconds. I could have listened to the rest but quite frankly the sun is shining and my throttle hand is getting twitchy.

Other good news is that now we have a certainty that BREXIT will happen, the value of the pound has begun to rise again. I am really looking forward to London 31st October. There will be champagne.

Now I’m off to get suited and booted. TTFN.

Fifty years ago…

July 1969, I was a science fiction loving schoolboy experiencing a feeling I have rarely felt since hearing the words “The Eagle has landed.” All around the world people shared this emotion and danced with joy as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin piloted their Lunar Excursion Module dubbed ‘Eagle’ down from lunar orbit to the regolith of the lunar sea of tranquility.

My Dad and Mum understood my obsession with all things space and allowed me to stay up well past my mandatory bed-time to watch it all happen. From the power and glory of that singular Saturn V launch where the sound was not just heard but felt, listening avidly to each voice only transmission, the TV programme animations and real time images of the command module docking with the LEM, to the disengagement in lunar orbit and down to the moon’s surface. The suspense of being unable to sleep waiting until the following day for Neil Armstrong to step off that ladder and utter those epic words, even if he did fluff his lines a little. Then there was the will they, won’t they suspense of the LEM being able to claw it’s way out of Lunar gravity and orbit for docking and the long journey home to our precious little blue marble. See the documentary below.

Now I come across occasional people who say that they believe the momentous events I was witness to did not happen. They have even gone so far as to publicly harass people who were actually there. However, I’d like to share a little video of what went down when they tried that to an astronauts face (With a few repeats – just for fun) Bless you Dr Aldrin.

No one can convince me that the events of fifty years ago did not occur because I was alive and I watched it all happen in real time. In a time when video fakery was primitive and easily spotted.

Those joyous memories of shared human triumph are etched across my soul as deeply as if carved there. To insist otherwise against all the available and extensive evidence is utterly pathetic. The abject narcissism of such a position is barely worthy of pity.

Excuse me. Now I’m off to have another nice day. I shall shortly be all suited and booted on my own terrestrial rocket ship.

Sorry officer, I was just trying to reach escape velocity.

Update:  or we could just watch the whole Apollo 11 moonwalk.

Remastered footage from the original mission.  thank you NASA.

Raindrops on roses etc

Not much going on chez maison Sticker at present. A series of rainy days mean I haven’t been out riding as much as I’d like. Frankly I’m wondering where summer has gone.

I’ve learned that I’m gainfully employed for another year but to tell you the truth I’m considering jacking it in. That and Mrs S wants to move countries again. If I may be totally candid with you, migration is a tough business and I’m not looking forward to repeating the experience. All the faffing around with paperwork drove me nuts last time around. All the anxiety. The money we spent. All the time and exam passing. Keeping Mrs S on an even keel, not an easy job at the best of times. Chums, It almost broke me.

There’s a point in a man’s life when he just wants to do what he wants to do. Nothing more, nothing less. This isn’t a mid-life crisis, because my whole freaking life has been a crisis on one form or another. Usually caused by other people. Stuff I had no part in breaking, but which have suddenly become my responsibility to fix. So I’ve been doing my own thing.

I see Boris Johnson is now more or less acknowledged heir apparent for the UK Plc’s Prime Monstership. May sounds like she’s trying to sabotage him on her way out by putting avid remainers in key positions before she leaves. Talk about bad faith, but that’s what we’ve come to expect from the remain camp.

Had the 2016 referendum gone the other way by a similar margin, all us peasants would be expected to jolly well shut up and watch our home country strangled to death. However, the remainers don’t really believe in democracy unless the results suit them.

All us thickies who can see the damage the EU is doing get labelled as too stupid to vote. We don’t want to be ruled cradle to grave, having our every waking thought and word dictated by some ivory tower academic. We understand that life is messy and fundamentally organic. There are no clear cut answers and sometimes you just have to wing it. A deal has no clear rules because it’s a negotiation. So there.

Oh and something just dropped into my YouTube subscriptions. “How Norway dealt with Antifa.” Enjoy.

Let the cops off the leash. Let them arrest all the violent. Allow self-defence. Make the courts deal with the violent offenders. Jail time. Short 30 day sentences ramping up like for contempt of court seems to work.

Hey, I’ve just seen the weather forecast and the open road is singing a siren song. Now where did I put the Mutts keys? See ya.

Negative on that negativity, guys

For some time there’s been a growing mood of public mistrust with an overtly partisan media. I think it’s because they seem so out of step with the majority of people outside their bubble reality. You know, the ordinary folk who have actually grown up and just want to bring up their families, continuing the march of the generations. Making a living in our journey from nascence to decease and making sure it wasn’t all for nothing. Looking up at the stars and wondering, “Could we?” then having to turn our attention to whether we can get a parking space at work and dealing with the latest demand for shiny toys from the kids.

Personally I think they’re just prodding the bear to make it look like they’re actually doing something. Creating outrage for outrages sake. Nitpicking all the time like an abusive spouse. And they wonder why their circulation figures are falling off a cliff. To call their output ‘news’ is hyperbole of the highest order.

The real news you have to go digging for with a JCB Backhoe sometimes, and sometimes it just bursts out into the open. Aaand it’s another ‘child grooming / prostitution’ scandal which has been bubbling under for quite some time. This time the stakes are much higher than a Kebab house heroin operation. This time the story is about the rich and powerful abusing underage girls, blackmail, drugs and possibly even disposal of the ‘inconvenient’. Whether of course a prosecution happens is debatable because the chief lynchpin in the greater story is one Jeffrey Epstein, a well connected fixer who has so far escaped full prosecution because he has purportedly some very rich and powerful people going to bat for him, including a previous President of the USA and, some rumours include, his one-time presidential hopeful wife. So many of the wealthy left wing elite all spent time on Epstein’s private island, Little St James’ in the British Virgin Islands. I know, Virgin Isles, sometimes the irony just clangs, doesn’t it? It’s even more interesting that Epstein’s island mansion burned to the ground in 2018 after an earthquake. Convenient, no? Twice, if reports are to be believed.

Even more recently that Epstein’s Wikipedia bio page was heavily edited to remove certain references whilst retaining others and taking a sly sideswipe at the current president. Which is also suspicious. We can also see that the circle of complicity has widened. Daughter of pension fund stripper Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine Maxwell stands accused of procuring teenage girls for Epstein and friends.

For ordinary working people whose efforts keep the world turning, Trump is not the problem. They are the ones who voted the bad orange man in. The ‘deplorables’ behind ‘populism’. Those sneered at by the very ‘educated’ privileged class that brought forth people like Epstein. The ‘educated’ who gave us hate speech laws and the institutional fraud of ‘Global warming’ and carbon taxation. The ‘educated’ who call those who disagree names, as if that was an effective argument instead of just a cheap way of shutting up dissenters. To quote an old friend who chided me when I was full of myself one day; “You might have been to school, but you haven’t learned much, have you?” Education has it’s place, but is what is being taught really true?

Yet most of the press has ignored or downplayed the other, interconnected stories. We are at a point where the jigsaw puzzle begins to make sense. This isn’t conspiracy theory, the facts are emerging and the picture they reveal isn’t pretty. How power and privilege are too often abused to the detriment of the very people we are told they protect. How someone protesting about rape gangs can be thrown in prison for one thing, yet the paid lapdogs of the ‘official’ media get a pass for exactly the same behaviour at his trial. Indeed the mainstream media seem to be on the side of sex criminals. They seem to like rapists and abusers. Maybe certain of them are involved? Why else would they attack those trying to bring the disinfectant of sunlight to bear?

However, thanks to the free transfer of information over the jolly old Interweb, the villagers have become aware that monsters are in their midst and that the wicked who protect their own only have double standards. All the ordinary folk ever wanted was for the law to be applied consistently. For the sake of a little justice. Power and wealth should be seen as no protection from the law, or what good is that law? The law is either for everyone or it is for no-one.

Justice must be seen to be done or the pitchforks will end up asking the reasons why. Pointedly. I do not wish to see this happen, although if the political classes continue to go against their electorates and abuse their authority, well, it’s not a pretty picture.

Not feeling it

No doubt you’ve heard about the recent California earthquake and all the death and disaster that didn’t happen. Up here in the not so frozen Pacific north west we didn’t feel a thing, yet we too have been having Quakes up to 6.3 Magnitude only the other day. The thing is, all our quakes tend to be old school Canadian and happen hundreds of kilometres offshore so as not to, heavens forfend, disturb anyone.

As a matter of good housekeeping chez maison Sticker we have a fourteen day grab bag set by in case the big one really comes. Usual thing, blankets, fire starter, water, food, first aid kit. Not that we’re likely to need it. My fishing gear sits ready, then there’s my hunting kit. Must replace the arrow shafts and practice my archery skills a little more often, but that’s all. Might even put money by for a decent quality crossbow. My hunting points got lost in a house move, so they’ll need replacing and I have a small boot knife which can double as a butchery / skinning tool, so yes, we’re as prepared as we can be. There’s even a propane barbecue and a butane stove. No eating out of cans for us. Worst case scenario we’re dead and won’t care anyway, otherwise we’ll have food, water, communications and shelter.

Of course the mainstream media have tried to make a drama out of a minor crisis, but what the hey, they’re in showbiz, which is what most news is nowadays. Enough fact mixed in for credibilities sake, but the rest a hodge-podge of poorly informed speculation. The last big quake that hit Vancouver Island was in 1946 there were only two deaths. One from a heart attack and the other drowned when his dinghy got swamped. So colour me an old fogey for not feeling the fear. Whatever happens, we’ll cope.