Category Archives: Random ramblings

Despair

Don’t know what triggered it, but today it hit me, out of the blue, a sense of overwhelming despair. I’d done all my work for the day, met all my objectives. A bit of a struggle, but that’s not rare. At the moment everything is taking ten times as long at it should and that is weighing upon me.

Like so many others I’m not having a good lockdown. Frankly if I met anyone who rubbed my face in it about being a bit down I’d be inclined to lose my rag and give them a lesson they might not have the time to regret. If you’re having a good lockdown then you’re either one of the clever buggers who can get around the system, or one of those smug public sector arseheads who takes great delight in only doing a tenth of their usual workload and blaming a disease, when it’s the response to the disease that is really causing all the harm.

We keep on getting told that our hospital systems are ‘overstressed’ and we need to be locked down under house arrest because we have to ‘save our health services’. Well here’s a thing. It was reported in the Guardian that between 2010 and 2019, 15,834 beds have been cut in the UK’s ‘wonderful’ NHS (Stats Here).

No wonder the political class have been running around with their trousers around their ankles, blaming everyone else. Public health provision has declined in real terms. Therefore no spare capacity in the Health system when SARS/COV-2 escaped from the great prison-state of Communist China. Now the whole world is imprisoned.

But the ‘challenge’ was risen to. People voluntarily forfeited their turn in the health care systems, temporary hospitals were built and never really used, some even decommissioned. But the restrictions continued all through the Summer. Then the mask mandates were brought in, during the smegging Summer for heavens sake! Low season for respiratory disease. Face masks which do not protect against viruses and even act as a sink of infection for respiratory disease. See this article from Livescience, which contains the quote from one mask study;

” most swabs from the outside of patient masks were positive for coronavirus”

Consider this. Trying to stop the spread of SARS/COV-2, or any other virus with a surgical mask is like trying to stop a plague of mosquitoes with chain link fencing. The mesh of the fence only serves as a place for the mosquitoes to perch, like the fibres of a mask give the droplets carrying viruses somewhere to pause before being drawn into your mouth and throat with the next inhalation. The overall effect is to concentrate the amount of virus laden droplets you breathe in, because they are not dispersing normally to be killed by natural Ultra-violet light. One might even posit that the pandemic is being extended by the use of masks, when UV light and chemical means would be far more efficacious.

If we were looking for patterns of viral spread, we might be better following the weather rather for looking for patterns in lockdowns. Dry bright sunny days where UV is high means less viral spread. Chilly, rainy weather when the moisture content of the air is higher means a quicker and more pervasive spread. Or staying indoors. The average home or office is the best place to catch a disease, next to hospitals of course.

Now think about this; UV on the skin stimulates vitamin D immunoglobulins vital to boost immune systems. Which means half an hour under a sun lamp every other day would not only kill the viral spread, but also boost anyone’s immune system high enough to fight off most infections. As well as making them feel better. Sunlight, if you hadn’t already noticed, is a mood elevator. Being indoors all the time, not so much.

If we really, really wanted to kill this pandemic completely stone cold dead we should re-open all the tanning salons and give out free sessions, not get the Police to shut them down. Sunbathing in moderation is good for you. Better than you think. Science fact; UV light is both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It has long been used in food production facilities to sanitise food prior to consumption.

Yet we’re still using lockdowns and masks when they are contra-indicated and found not to work.

Later today I’m off to run the gauntlet of Gardai checkpoints enforcing stupid regulations which are simply keeping this pandemic going. It really makes me despair.

Update: The UK Advertising Standards Authority are having a go at an advert put out by the Government. Commented on by the erudite Mr Webb below.

If you have concerns about one of these scaremongering advertisements. Complaints page is here. Every little helps.

Casualties

Just having a scroll down the Scriblerus blog list and note that a few went offline. James Higham, arguably the Godfather of the group has retreated to Blogspot, as has Orphans of Liberty. Scribblings from Seaham is completely AWOL. Demetrius at Cynical Tendency hasn’t posted in well over a year, likewise Tim Newman. Raedwald died. Our original number shrinks. Some lost interest, others simply drifted away like ghostly ships, vanishing over the horizon.

Links have been updated to new sites where available.

Thus it is that merciless time catches up with all of us. Orphans and Nourishing Obscurity disappeared because their web admin, Chuckles, died. Which is sad, but then all human life is finite. We all die. So that should be a spur to engage with life, before it inevitably ends. To do less is to have merely existed.

That said, a lot of the old long form bloggers have been carrying on the verbal fight for freedom of expression more intermittently, or on other platforms, so I’ve left their links untouched. The diehards amongst us will hopefully keep on posting because it’s become too much a component of our lives. Perhaps driven by bloody minded habit or the thought that if no-one speaks up against the darkness, the voiceless will be led mute down into eternal dystopias, stripped of hope and berated into subservience.

The mainstream press, with few salient exceptions, won’t help. They’re too much a part of the machine. Few modern politicians will for the self same reason, and if no-one speaks to oppose the erosion of basic human freedoms, that minority who might stand up, won’t. It’s also worth noting that great ideas like human liberty, cannot be killed, but they can die of neglect. So we must not be neglectful, no matter the temptation. We must light our own candles, no matter how small, or let the night take us all.

We’re not the only ones. Listen to this Talk Radio talk with Neil Oliver. This blog does not believe that there is ‘no point’. The only time that happens is when you give up on living, and that is a perniciously dangerous idea.

Thus dear reader, you can be assured that this blogs febrile and occasionally satirical ravings will continue, even if I’m just shouting into my own little bucket. Okay, which one of you smartarses shouted “Shame”? Go to the top of the class and then do us all a big favour by jumping off.

The madness

“I think they’re trying to frighten us to death.” I remarked to someone in a shop yesterday when he asked me what I thought of the lockdowns. They nodded agreement and said something about stringing up the people keeping us in lockdown. We chuckled darkly at the thought.

Personally I think almost half the population, including most of our political establishment has been driven mad with fear. Driven out of their wits by the constant drumbeat of fear porn put out by the media and political classes. Yet the observable threat does not justify the response. It’s an excuse for inadequate healthcare provision.

Yes SARS/COV-2 is, or rather was, a nasty bug, but the basic stats tell me that deaths are currently around seasonal norms. Yet society continues to dive ever deeper down the rabbit hole, seeking shelter from a threat that is nowhere near as bad as advertised. See Viva Frei’s account from Quebec.

Question; can we have the proponents of lockdown sectioned? Because they are insane and posing a distinct threat to the rest of us.

Also Question; is COVID-19 as bad as the Spanish flu? No. Even with the padding of statistics and counting every single false positive PCR result as a ‘case’. Now it is emerging that a lot of the initial fatalities died because of inappropriate treatment. Some staff weren’t as diligent as they might have been. I think most people have seen the video posted 8th May 2020 by a New York ICU nurse alleging widespread malpractice. It’s not new. And that was during the downcurve of the pandemic when casualties were already rapidly decreasing. See yet another Ivor Cummins analysis below.

Prove me wrong. If I am wrong I will review my position, but having examined the available evidence, I do not think I am.

P.S. News media reports are not ‘evidence’.

P.P.S. Elderly friend, for whom we are powers of attorney, having been conned into having a COVID vaccination (“For her own safety” we were told), is now testing positive and is now isolated for the next 14 days by her care home.

For a studied medical perspective about the data, see here.

It’s at times like these…

…that I just want to swear at the proponents of lockdowns like Samuel L Jackson.

Included in this number; The entire political establishment of Canada, the EU, New Zealand, UK and USA, and most of the panic mongering mainstream media. Also ‘Progressive’ NGO’s and anyone who follows their specious diktats are especially included in this number.

None of them have the wit to run a bath without inflicting their half-baked progressive politics on the rest of us. Neither do people who say they believe in ‘science’ without actually reading any of the scientific literature properly. Witless bunch.

My ill temper has been mostly created because I’ve just had a very trying meeting over building design with someone who just doesn’t understand about structure, services or the basics of sketching and don’t see why anyone should be exempted from a damn good swear. The mess we’re in is all the fault of people like the aforementioned. Every last single Muthaf*ckin’ thing.

I feel strangely better for having said that.

Muthaf*cka’s.

At what point….

Busy talking to Estate Agents and Architects at the moment, not to mention Canadian Banks and my Canadian stock brokers. No news from London, Victoria or Sydney from the last few days apart from gloom-laden family talk of ‘ghost towns’. It’s like the whole of the western world is over-run by fear. An unjustified fear at that.

Well I’m not going to let it ruin my day. I have appointments to keep, business to transact and places to go. Fortunately the Gardai out here in the Wilder West of Ireland are too busy with their real jobs (Catching proper criminals etc) to chase around after ordinary people simply going about their own business.

However, I’d just got off the phone with one guy this morning and found myself wondering; “At what point do these lockdowns get challenged as false arrest / imprisonment?” Do the lockdown regulations constitute a ‘prima facie’ case? This is stuff for specialist lawyers, and might even be broken by a civil tort against the government. One hopes.

I say this because the enabling legislation has often passed through various legislatures who use common law as a basis for their legal systems, with little or no substantive debate. Is it actually legal to keep people confined to their own homes when there is no proof that they are infected with anything? Even if one part of the law says it is?

What are people’s rights if it can be proven that the law is misapplied? Although officially the burden of proof does rest with the restraining authority. Mere allegation on their part is not sufficient, and detention limits, outside of the prevention of terrorism legislation, should still apply.

Note (UK only): “If you are arrested, the police can only detain you for a maximum of 24 hours. This is extended to 36 hours for a more serious arrestable offence.” This applies everywhere. You cannot even be detained in your own home for longer than this. Read the links, check the law. Do not, under any circumstances, take my word for it.

Now, harking back to my enforcement days, I’m familiar with the process of getting a ticket thrown out. It’s very simple; if you get booked, don’t worry, this is simply the first part of a process where you can challenge anything. Keep your cool, say you are unable to comply and clearly state your reason. See lawful excuses below.

Step 1: at time of issue, don’t make a fuss. Keep calm. A fixed penalty notice isn’t the end of the world. You can even ask the issuing officer about the challenge procedure. Under UK law, if asked, they have to telly you how to challenge the fixed penalty notice they have just issued. At least that used to be the case.

If you were physically unable to comply with the issuing officer, take a breath, don’t argue and go home to write a polite letter to the issuing authority, stating why you could not comply, include the numbers on the ticket and the name or number of the issuing officer, and ask nicely for the fixed penalty notice to be ‘set aside’ on this particular occasion. All you have to do is make up a lawful excuse.

Lawful excuses include;
A physical / religious / social inability to comply. In the UK, the enquiring officer cannot ask you for proof, and you don’t have to tell him / her / it / whatever FFS!
An exemption to the stated regulation. Or stating that the issuing officer did not satisfactorily explain you why they approached you, or issued a fixed penalty notice.
Temporary incapacitation “I was tired and needed to rest” is a good one. Or an indefinable medical condition like a mild dizzy spell. Or even “I’ve just had a vaccination and think I’m having a reaction.” If they offer help, thank them but politely decline, saying you don’t want to waste anyone’s time.
Remember, you don’t have to prove anything. The onus of proof is on the issuing officer. Been there, had the ticket cancelled. If he / she / it was rushed, did a sloppy job, or got any one of half a dozen details wrong, the ticket will probably be thrown out at the first stage of challenge. Oh and keep the ticket. Don’t throw it away or wipe your arse on it. This is evidence, and contains all the numbers you will need.

Also note; if you are roughly handled by the officer in question, despite telling them the reason for your non-compliance, you may have grounds for false arrest / assault charge against those officers who mishandled you. Stay calm, take their patrol numbers and memorise them if you can. You’ll need these details for later challenges.

If unsure; phone your citizens advice bureau or similar. They will help you write a challenge letter, which is the first step in the chain. Do this immediately, no matter how upset or aggrieved you feel. Emotion doesn’t work in the legal process. Weeping in front of a judge doesn’t work. Cool headed logic does.

Now if the issuing authority doesn’t like your lawful excuse, you can appeal their decision, and they have to tell you how to do it. Or you can hire an ambulance chasing lawyer to do it for you. However, if you have time and money to burn, there’s always ‘Judicial review’ where you challenge the legislation via the courts. If you have to go to court; do get a lawyer. Rebel Media and the Lockdown Sceptics sites may also be able to help. Ezra Levant and Toby Young are two sterling gentlemen and have been busily fighting this cause (and other civil rights cases) for some time now.

Good luck.

Update: The local Gardai are doing checkpoints and we did run into one today. We were on business, so had a ‘lawful excuse’
Side note; out here in the wilder west they seem to be focussing on major N roads and Motorways close to cities and county towns.

Reap the whirlwind

The Twitter share price has been in a forty five degree nosedive since 4th January, long before the current round of de-platforming and account deletion hit. So obviously the clever money is on the move. Fortunately, for those who bought in during their October dip, there’s still time to get while the getting is good.

Personally, I still regard the Alphabet / Twitter / Facebook shares as ‘bubble stocks’ And forgive me for not being a stock market expert, but I would have put in my sell order on Friday when the news of deleting Trumps account hit. I mean, how thick do you have to be to let your politics get in the way of profits? It wasn’t that long ago when some opined that Twitter et al were like betting on a three legged horse in a steeplechase. And if you bought in earlier in the year, there is still time to cash out while the cashing is good.

Might even stop using Amazon too. If Mr Bezos wants to play politics with his companies share price, I’ll be going elsewhere for my online purchasing. Don’t get me wrong, I was quite a fan of Amazon marketplace, but now? Not so much.

Tech stocks are proving, like in the first tech crash to be ‘surfer’ stocks, and the wave is about to hit the beach. Some will ride it out, many, lured by promises of big gains, may be about to find out how tenuous those gains are.

Then there’s the whole ‘clap’ thing people are trying to bring back, which just serves to embarrass many medical professionals. If you’re having issues in your locale with people getting raided because they’ve been snitched on, the most enthusiastic virtue signallers are likely the folks who are the informers.

Maybe it would be fun to snitch right back at them. Let them reap the whirlwind of their own actions.

Nothing new

News from ‘North’ in London. She’s a bit gloomy, even though she’s still in a job. London, she tells us, is a bit like a ghost town.

It’s the same all over. Quebec for example is under curfew. No doubt the Quebecois political class is ‘exempt’, but hear what Viva Frei has to say about the nonsensical restrictions. As if the virus looks at it’s watch and goes; “After hours huh? Time to get moving.”

Fortunately, out here in the wilder west of Ireland, we don’t have such panic stricken nonsense. Similarly ‘South’ in the fabled land of Oz, reports she’s doing long walks to keep the lockdown blues at bay. Personally I think we’re more at risk from the fear and over-reaction than the actual virus itself.

A handy household tip

We had a bath in one of the downstairs bathrooms at our new Irish domicile. Somewhere previous tenants used to wash their dogs and also two year olds bearing permanent markers as well by the look of things.

The dog thing was easy. Drains were unclogged by removing the circular grid from the plughole and depositing the foetid mass recovered from the U-bend down the toilet. Scuff marks were removed with ordinary bathroom cleaner and lots of elbow grease. The other part proved more difficult. Bleach didn’t even touch the permanent marker artistry, nor did three kinds of disinfectant type cleaner.

Which left only one obvious choice; acetone, like that found in nail polish remover. But I was loathe to use it because acetone does horrible things to resin and many plastics. Fortunately Mrs S suggested her cheap acetone free nail varnish remover in conjunction with make up remover pads, although I’m sure that cotton wool or even paper towels of any kind would have sufficed.

So I applied the acetone-free nail varnish remover with a series of cotton face pads. Fifteen minutes and a lot of squeaking (With the occasional muted sound of amazement) later, the bath was blemish free and ready for use.

Now I don’t know if it was the ethyl acetate or nethyl ethyl keytone ingredient that cut the mustard, but the end result was a bath fit for human use; gleaming and clean. So afterwards I allowed myself the luxury of a good old soak in a solution of scented Epsom salts with a big mug of tea at hand.

End result; now a pale cloud of oil of Eucalyptus and white willow follows my every motion and I am relaxed and clear headed. A once barely useable bathroom is scented with something other than Domestos and more in keeping with our nasal preferences. Domestic equilibrium is restored.

Sometimes I think we could all do with a good old soak in scented water every so often. It’s so very relaxing. So much more so than just a shower. Perhaps that’s why the world seems to be so up it’s own arse all the time. The protagonists don’t spend enough time soaking all their cares away.

By way of an afterthought, candles and wine are permissible, and for Mrs S essential. She has been promised some of the same to help forget about all the self-important drama queens who abrade our sensitivities on a daily basis. I’m just about up to my back teeth with all the hand waving over climate, some virus that has passed it’s worst and who gets to be king of the castle over the water. The markets may dip, but they will recover. It’ll all be the same in a decade or so.

Pass the bath oil.

That was interesting…

Mrs S and I had a difference of opinion yesterday morning. She opined that it was a good thing that the sitting US President with the initials DJT had all his social media accounts suspended and deleted. Apparently for spreading “disinformation and hate”. Which is interesting. Apparently he was trying to tell his supporters to “Go home.” because “We need peace.” So Arsebook and Twatter decided this was not what they wanted their users to hear. So his accounts were suspended. Along with thousands of others. Took the screenshot below just before posting. Video from GABTV here. Does that sound like ‘hate’?

I disagreed vehemently with my other half, referring to these social media shutdowns as ‘fascist’. I told her that shutting down someone just because you don’t like them much, is a very, very bad idea. It’s like smacking the phone out of someone’s hand when they’re talking to someone else. Principally because how do you know someone is being an arse and ‘spreading hate’ if the only ‘evidence’ there is comes from some dodgy rumourmongers and propagandists (Calling themselves ‘journalists’ ho bloody ho)? Even on the supposedly neutral BBC (Guffaw) and even hitherto respected organs of the UK press (FT, Times, Telegraph and Guardian). Can what they say be verified by primary source information or not? If so, okay. If not, they’re more full of it than I am. Likewise, if the primary source is denied to me using the argument “We will tell you what to think.” or “You wouldn’t understand it”, then my subconscious tends to cry “Foul! Ref!”

Seems to even my limited intelligence that someone is telling massive porkies or at least misrepresenting what really happened at the US capitol. For my part, as a staunch advocate of fair play, I actually try and find out what the recently unseated DJT actually said on a given occasion, and it is so often at odds with what the mainstream tell us he said. Far from being a ‘spreader of hate’, DJT tells his audiences that he loves them, repeating allegations that the mainstream will not touch. “Oh noes!” Scream the lamestream. “He’s spreading hate and disinformation!” Despite information being in the public domain that supports the case for prosecution of those favoured by the mainstream media.

Say for example that old you-know-who had destroyed possibly incriminating computer hard drives and phones, his feet wouldn’t have touched the floor, but someone from a family beginning with ‘C’ only had to state that this was not so, presumably with her fingers crossed behind her back, and magically there was no case to answer. Or fact based allegations that a specific politician was taking foreign money and making a crooked buck by peddling influence, not to mention being a possible paedophile.

The public too often get patted on the head and told “Nothing to see here, move along.” But we can see what’s going on. Only the wilfully blind cannot, it’s that blatant.

Despite not liking DJT much as a public persona, I had to admire some of the things he was doing. Scaling back US military interventions in the Middle East and Afghanistan for example. When of course his military staffers did what they were told. Bringing jobs back to the USA despite the lockdowns and civil unrest perpetuated by mostly Democrat administrations. He also liked BREXIT, which his successor doesn’t.

Not to mention the election shenanigans that gave the victory to the Democrats, despite evidence of fraud that the courts point blank refused to examine, not entirely sure why. Yes there is evidence. Shady stuff was done. But those perpetrating such deeds presumably steered far enough to the windy side of the law that the courts couldn’t do much. So dies the US Republic.

Regarding the US Elections, satirically commented upon by JP. Were some of those ‘Trump supporters’ actually Antifa? Certain tattoos tell an interesting story.

How long before poor old JP gets hauled off to the Gulag for revealing state secrets?

Drone strikes incoming to all the pro-Trump faction. Must invest in those companies before the share price goes up. Personally I’m with Viva Frei as below.

Here we go again…

Well, it’s 2021 chums! Aaaand here we go again. More useless, futile lockdowns following all the other futile and useless lockdowns which didn’t work throughout 2020. Frankly I’m amazed, not at the obvious lack of intelligence on display, but at the sheer lack of imagination. Hey! Let’s do the same thing which didn’t work last time around, just change the name. Genius, eh? No.

I’ve noticed there’s a lot of pressure from public sector unions, which I know from experience form the least productive part of the economy. Frankly, if you shut all the daycare centres masquerading as the state sector education system, and maybe all those pressuring for the additional lockdowns should have their salaries cut by 50%+ during the next ‘wave’ or ‘spike’ or whatever excuse the powers that be are using, like the few private sector workers currently being ‘furloughed’ into penury. But maybe the UK public sector is indulging in a little sabotage, having been told their wages will be frozen for the next three years they’ve decided to watch it all burn to the ground.

Personally, if a union is one of those pressuring the government to shut down schools, then maybe the union’s members should be sent home on the quarter pay pittance offered to those not on the public dime. Like the teachers unions. What are they going to do when the schools are shut anyway? Go on strike? Who would notice? In the meantime, just like in the early 1970’s, UK education, politically correct mish mash that it appears to be, of the next generation suffers.

Yep. It’s a crazy old world out there and no mistake. My current major issue is the banking system, and shifting funds from Canada back into Europe and the UK keeps my head slamming into the nearest wall. Mrs S and I had a bit of a row over it. She had a go at me for no good reason twice in the same day. Which almost made me lose my temper, which for me is an event akin to finding the manure pile in a rocking horse stable. I was rather annoyed though. I’m not a bloody doormat and get really pissed off when my good nature is mistaken for me being anyone’s bitch.

However, sanity has prevailed, we’ve talked things through, and we’re back to our more usual selves, although after a particularly stressful session with a not so helpful help desk today, my rabid Donald Duck impression as I walked downstairs made her jump, then she burst out laughing. So we’re all good again. Life is too short not to see the ridiculous side. Even if the continual repetition of stupidity gets right on my tits.

Now I need a drink.

Update. By the way; for those of you thinking I may be full of it. Have a look at the analysis below. No ‘denial of science’, no propaganda, just the numbers and nothing but the numbers. In context. Like being compared to like. Peer reviewed studies and information derived from proper, reputable scientific publications.

Now would anyone carefully explain to me, using proper science and without resorting to the pejorative, why the hell we’re still doing lockdowns?

The year that fun forgot…..

So much for a white Christmas although we had a three degree frost last night. Oh well, it was a long shot anyway. Well chums, hasn’t the last ten months been a real barrel of feckin laughs? Frankly, if 2020 was a person, I’d be tempted to throw it face down in a puddle and firmly plant my boot on the back of it’s neck until the bubbling stopped. Which is roughly how I feel about the people responsible for all the panic mongering over SARS/COV-2.

The terminally terrified, media and panicking politicians have done incredible damage to everyone else, just in case they’d catch a nasty dose of the flu. Yes it’s a nasty bug, yes it is worse than the normal seasonal influenzas, but not by that much. And it has done it’s worst. as I and many others have pointed out before. We effectively have ‘herd immunity’, regardless of new mutations that don’t seem to be doing much. The only thing that made the stats look bad is the misapplied PCR test, which was never intended as a diagnostic tool. The death stats are back to around seasonal norms. But I repeat myself. Yet again.

Update: see screenshot of stats for the UK below.

The renewed lockdowns mean Mrs S is chafing over every tiny detail, getting uptight with me for anything less than perfection. I do not blame her for this. I blame the arseheads responsible for closing everything down, yet again. For so little cause.

On the upside, a BREXIT deal has been agreed, with no serious tariffs between the EU and UK, which will work well for us here in Ireland. Just a little customs paperwork, which will be streamlined over the next few months. The markets like the outcome, and sterling took over a three cent uptick in price when the news hit, which should help any people on pensions and bode a little better for those reliant upon funds from the UK. Some are calling the fisheries part of the deal a ‘sell-out’, but it buys time for the UK to rebuild it’s fishing fleet and set up conservation zones. So it’s not a total shitshow. Silver linings abound. If you know where to look.

Overall 2020 has been a very frustrating year. Complicating for us what should have been a relatively simple move. The constant delays have resulted in our search for a place to refurbish is taking three times as long as it should. Getting out to view properties has been a constant game of sneakaround when no one, least of all the local law, is sure what the damn restrictions are anyway. Hell, we’re on ‘business’ anyway. The business of a little property development. So no-one is going to bother us much.

Originally, we were all told three weeks lockdown to ‘save’ nationalised health services, which turned into three months, and now at the current rate, with vaccines that don’t really give that much immunity, looks like heading into three stuffing years. When does this torture end? When no-one can die of anything any more? Don’t hold your breath for that one. Now the politicians have claimed the power over the minutiae of our lives, they will be loathe to let it go. Which is a very depressing thought.

Apropos of nothing, might I mention in passing that over here in the Wilder West of Ireland, Michael Collins is still a figure of deep reverence, the picture of this legendary guerrilla fighter hanging on many an Irish wall, as well as being portrayed by Liam Neeson in a very watchable feature film. After all, it was Collins who was the key figure in founding the Irish Free state, the birth father of the modern Republic of Ireland.

Even my family, protestants and heretics all, used to speak well of the ‘big fellow’ or ‘big man’ as he was known, despite one of our remote relatives being murdered by republicans back in the early 1900’s. Although fair’s fair, we had distant relatives murdered by both sides in the struggle for Irish independence, like so many others of Irish descent. And I was never a fan of what the paramilitaries did during ‘the troubles’. Neither side. But Collins was a realist and man of his people.

I try to look at it this way, it was all a long time ago and life is too short to hold that kind of grudge. The killers and order givers are all dead and long cold in their graves anyway. The fires of hell have claimed the wicked. Justice of a sort has happened.

Funny thing though, a few days ago between lockdowns, Mrs S and I were sitting in a pub having a quiet drink and I found myself looking up at a picture of Mr Collins in army uniform and wondering; “What would Michael Collins think about these curbs on Irish freedom and hate speech laws?” For a moment all the pub sounds faded into the background and I slipped into a short daydream until Mrs S Prodded me back to reality. Was it my imagination, or had I heard a ghostly chuckle and the double-snick of a well greased rifle bolt? Nah. Probably just my over-active imagination.

Anyway. Happy New Year all. Let’s try not to make a complete 2020 of the new year. Although no doubt the political classes will give it their best try.

Best Regards,

Bill

Being mindful

We are continually being told that ‘mindfulness’ is a good thing, a goal to be aspired to, the epitome, the acme of all that is good and righteous. To be ‘mindful’, practitioners inform us, is the path to enlightenment, nirvana, and paying off the mortgage on time. Now it seems that this key precept is failing, with many practitioners straying from the path and in the process becoming narcissistic, vile little eejits you wouldn’t cross the road to piss down their throats if their lungs were on fire. But they weren’t nice people to begin with, and no amount of ‘awareness’ and Yogurt can change their true nature, merely the way it is expressed, in saccharine insincerity, passive-aggressiveness and massive self-delusion.

Now it may surprise you, dear reader (Look, there’s one of you out there, I think) but I too once delved into the innermost secrets of the universal soul through meditation and Yoga. Through my contemplations of the infinite and divine, I have become the person I am today. Does this surprise anyone? Yes? No? Don’t give a monkeys? Whatever.

Now my yoghurt and mendicant training goes back a few years to the Dojo where I studied, a small covert room over a Chinese Restaurant in sunny Stoke on Trent. A secret place where ancient masters taught the stoic arts and the ancient, obscure Welsh martial art of LLap Mivitalls, which consists of disciplining mind and body to hardship via the use of large cups of tea and bacon sandwiches consumed in the vast hidden reaches of industrial estates and lorry parks. The major part of which consists of learning how to eat your bacon sandwich in a torrential downpour without diluting your tea or letting your bacon sandwich get soggy. You can brag about the athletic prowess of Shaolin monks all you like, but such things are child’s play when faced with the inner serenity a black belt in this Welsh martial art can attain. Let’s face it, when you can calmly munch your way through breakfast in a heavy Welsh downpour whilst looking totally relaxed, you are indeed a force to be reckoned with.

BC, my home for the last decade or so, is now infested with a plague of ‘mindfulness’ and narcissism to the point where recovery is not possible. There can be no vaccine for this plague, only the burgeoning awareness of the sufferer that all is not well with them, and why their friends seem to clam up or roll their eyes whenever the practitioner of mindfulness opens their mouth.

At my Dojo, we were warned about this outcome by the Dojo’s chief mentor, Lobsang Dai, a Cardiff born man and part time Tom Jones impersonator (Ask your Granny). “Now young disciple, look you.” He would say. “All this talk of inner focus is all very well, but will it keep the rain from getting inn your tea?” He would opine further. “The path to inner serenity lies not in the actions of others, but of looking to yourself and not letting the water in. And putting your right leg behind your left ear isn’t that impressive.” With such sage teaching has my path to inner enlightenment been scattered. If we studied hard that lesson, he would demonstrate his hip twist, and how it could instantly bring down ladies underwear. Never understood why he wore such apparel, but to each their own. We were a very progressive class.

Sadly Lobsang Dai is no more, having fallen from grace to the charms of a Hungarian long distance lorry driver called Magda, but my fellow disciples and I remember his teachings with great fondness.

Bored with tiers

So Cromwell Johnson has cancelled Christmas, as we suspected he would. The git. Well imagine my shock. As UK PM he’s turned out to be one big disappointment after another.

Over here in slightly more sensible Ireland, we’re being allowed (Allowed! Hah!) to cross county borders and go pootle around the neighbouring countryside, and (Gasp!) be allowed to celebrate Christmas. How very fucking generous of our political class. Bunch of Cnuts. Unlike you poor buggers in the UK, for whom tier 3 was not enough. Now there’s an ultra scary new bug which means everyone is back under house arrest (Actually one of just under 13,000 new strains of SARS/COV-2). Said bug is supposed to be highly virulent, but the stats show no uptick in deaths outside of the seasonal norms. Although, according to one specialist;

Dr Maria van Kerkhove, the technical lead of COVID-19 response and the Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis Unit at WHO, has also confirmed that the strain involved has been circulating for many months, though she referred to it as N501Y.

So this ‘new, virulent strain’ we’re all supposed to be hiding under the blankets about has been around for ages. It’s not new. The death count hasn’t deviated outside seasonal norms. So that kind of shoots the whole need for ‘tier 4′ restrictions down in flames doesn’t it? The only conclusion any sensible person can draw from this is that the politicians don’t have the first feckin’ clue what they’re on about.

Not to mention the ‘advisory groups’ like SAGE and NPHET claiming to be ‘experts’ when it turns out there are few real scientists amongst them, mainly mathematical modellers and ‘social psychologists’ from all accounts. We need proper epidemiologists and virologists on these advisory boards. One decent economist who understands how small businesses power an economy would be good too, rather than the current bunch of affectioned time-pleasers.

Mrs S and I increasingly find ourselves wondering openly and in public why this is. Politicians are faking having had the vaccine in order to persuade the rest of it that a vaccine is warranted. Which under the current circumstances is not the case. The ‘cases’ being no more than detections of (live or dead – doesn’t matter to the test) viral fragments because the PCR test is not fit for this specific use.

For my part, I try (as always) to find a little light in the darkness, a silver lining to the storm clouds. And I find it in family. ‘North’ is closeted in London with serious boyfriend, both of them, unlike so many, are finding ways to keep the metaphorical wolf from the door while building a possible future together. I look at it this way; if their relationship can blossom and flourish despite the lockdowns and stresses of the UK’s crapital, the Sticker clan may start a new expansionary phase some time in 2021. Providing the lockdowns end in 2021. Which at this rate doesn’t seem likely. We can always offer them safe haven and a fast Broadband connection over here if the UK goes into TITSUP mode.

One lives in hope that London based stepdaughter can find a little happiness amongst the shitshow currently being pushed on us by panicky and clueless politicians. ‘South’ based in Sydney Australia has been struggling a bit, but with a little judicious subbing out, is still up, running and socialising enough to keep her sanity, which is important.

Of course, Mrs S and I are being careful not to spoil either of our two girls, and bless the pair of them, they’ve always demurred when financial help has been offered. However, there is a pot of money marked “For dire emergencies only” just in case. It’s at times like these you earn your corn as a parent of grown-ups.

On that topic, today I have a Lamb and Vegetable soup fragranced with a little Rosemary brewing on the stove. To be served with cucumber sandwiches and a few other oddments. Cucumber Sandwiches Bill? How quaint! How, oh never mind. Don’t worry, I’m not becoming decadent, we’re not cutting the crusts off. Chill. Relax and enjoy the Christmas that never was.

I’ll try and be a bit more cheerful in the next post or two.

So here we go

Here we go for WTO BREXIT. Amazon sent me an email the other day saying that anything ordered from their UK site (There isn’t an Amazon.ie) may be subject to extra duties, so they’re ready. The main UK ports have been ready for several years, with ‘pop-up’ customs posts ready to clear lorry loads of merchandise as they come in and go out of the UK. A good thing (for me) is the pound losing five points almost overnight against the Canadian Dollar a couple of nights ago, which made it a good idea to buy sterling. No idea why the markets react in this way. The UK is ready, customs posts set up, exporters informed and the RN getting set to arrest and detain fishing boats without proper licenses in UK waters. The only people who seem ill-prepared, bent over a chair with their trousers around their knees are the EU states.

Out here in the wilder west of Ireland, all these COVID restrictions are starting to be ignored. Dropped by my local butchers to make my Christmas order today. No masks, seasons greetings, all very civilised. The local supermarket still enforces the anti-social distancing and masks bullshit, but other people are starting to not bother.

No idea what’s going on in the US. Obvious vote rigging and dismissal of legal challenges, probably dismissed on technicalities, evidence of, but not court admissible proof. As for Biden, it’s well known he’s pro-EU, anti-BREXIT, but that’s okay because with congress and the senate on the flip side of the coin, he’s going to be in a lame duck administration. One hopes.

There’s a reported problem with the voting machines ‘flipping’ votes and all sorts of other dodgy things going on. Nothing that constitutes definitive proof, but man, I would be asking for a thorough review and re-run of the elections right now, without the voting machines, with proper oversight, with voter ID and the absolute minimum of postal voting. But that’s just me. At least an obviously fair vote would shut up all the dissenting parties and give them less to kick off about.

Up in the not so great not so white as you think it is North, there’s Trudeau allowing Chinese troops to ‘train’ on Canadian soil. Does that corrupt little toe-rag not trust his own military? How long before those exercises allow Chinese troops to ‘assist’ the Canadian armed forces against their own people? Say those uppity Midwesterners in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan? No idea. We’re out of there and our investment money is following us.

For us the aforementioned is now rather academic. We’re hunkered down in the wilder west of Ireland. All our Christmas shopping is done. We have found out where to get some superb mini-rhubarb tarts and some of the finest Mince Pies known to man fresh on most weekdays. Right on our doorstep. Our accounts are well in the black and all credit cards fully paid off. The halls are decked etc and there’s food in the larder to see us clear through to February, and a suitably fiendish 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table to stretch our pattern recognition software. I might get another, just in case we get a bit too clever and finish it before Christmas. There’s Oak logs drying ready for the stoves. The kids may be with us some time in January. Fingers crossed. We’re going to be okay. Hope you will be too.

Like a lot of people I won’t be staying up for the latest end of the world show on the 21st December when an optical illusion makes it look like Saturn and Jupiter are going to collide. I’ll be hitting the ‘snooze’ button for that one. If these people are that keen to see the end of the world, I’m sure there’s a high cliff they can jump off and stop mithering the rest of us with their ridiculous utterances. All the hand-waving man made climate change panic mongers can follow them for all I care. They’re all busy telling the rest of us how to live while ignoring their own rules, buying waterfront property and jetting off to conferences all over the planet. If they didn’t clock in tomorrow on account of being too dead to work, would anybody really care?

Hope my last reader can stand the suspense.

Merry Christmas, Yuletide Greetings and all that Jazz.

Warmest regards

Bill

Only correct?

Sunday, Sunday, can’t trust that day. Well, who and what can you trust? No-one, it would seem. Only your own judgement. Expecting others to act in your interests is too often an exercise in futility, unless you have the buggers wrapped up tight in contracts.

Anyway, the weather’s not been bad (It’s not raining at least) so we pootled off to have a scout around the South and East of county Clare. On that topic, we’ve found that the little service station with all the baked goods, is a lot closer than we thought. Close to the end of the lane we live on in fact. So yippee! go my taste buds. Freshly baked Irish cakes and pastries are less than five minutes away.

However Sunday took us East and South towards the Limerick border to look at furniture, as we are in need of a few sticks. In BC all our cupboards were built in, walk in wardrobes, small rooms and alcoves with hanging and drawer spaces. So we have no wardrobes or chests of drawers to put clothes in. Which can be awkward. So we’re looking for hanging and drawer space so our clothes are not all stored in suitcases until we get round to building anew.

In answer to a question I’ve been asked several times by friends and family; “Why Ireland?” I’ll offer this; Easy access because they’re part of the UK/Ireland CTA (Common travel area) ratified in 2016 (I think) by the Irish Government. It’s a more relaxed place with a great literary culture and deep history. Didn’t want to return to the UK because it’s still under the thrall of Blair-era changes which will hold it back for over a generation.

Rural Ireland has an odd feel to it. Almost like a well worn, and occasionally soggy, warm leather glove wrapping itself around you comfortingly, then giving you a pat on the head to say; “There, there now. Stop being such a feckin eejit and we’ll all be grand. Have some tea.” in a friendly but no-nonsense fashion. We’ve been here before on a previous trip, so knew what to expect. The prices looked right, far better than in BC, so with windows of opportunity closing in, we took the decision to up sticks yet again.

I’d also like to say that this side of the pond you’re not looking over your shoulder half the time to see who you’re offending, because outside of Dublin, no one cares. No-one is ‘offended’, or looking to be. Not like in BC, where it seemed that far too many people are wearing a T-shirt that says; “Everything you say is offensive, and we have hate crime laws. Peasant.” Here in Erin there is a refreshing lack of Kevins and Karens, and still fewer people willing to pander to their ill-natured demands. Here Mrs S and I feel we can be our natural selves. There is a refreshingly significant public protest against the ‘hate crime’ laws that certain members of the Dial have proposed. As we say over here, the politicians may well be told to ‘Feck arf’.

Speaking of Karens and Kevins, I see the ‘fact checkers’ are at it as usual over the US Presidential elections, throwing shade on what looks like blatant electoral fraud with the most overt obfuscations imaginable. Things like security video of poll workers pulling boxes of ‘votes’ out from where they were concealed under a table and claiming the votes thus produced were legit because, because well, reasons. Never mind that most were for Biden. Never mind that the challengers and overseers had been sent home to the assurances that all counts had finished, and would resume again in the morning. Despite all the evidence screaming that something is definitely crook. Yes mate, and shit don’t stink either. Furthermore, what would it be like to live with one of these self-important pedants? ‘Awaken with JP’ explores the topic below. (There’s a longish sponsor ad at the end of each video you may want to skip)

There are now so many of these fake fact checkers out there who only support their own side of the aisle that they’re not worth bothering with. As sources of information I would say all the ‘fact checkers’ are not fit for purpose because they too often rely on what I call ‘lawyer tricks’ and technicalities to warp their version of reality. Watching these social media ‘experts’ cover for wrongdoing is like watching a Bashir or Guru-Murthy interview, everything about them touches off my bullshit alert. The passive-aggressiveness, the insincerity and overall lack of integrity, the shifting of focus onto topics a given interview wasn’t supposed to be about. These are people who will gleefully piss in your face and tell you “Chill dude, it’s raining”.

For my last remaining reader’s edification, may I offer JP on a related topic?

I like him, he’s funny. And very telling.

By the way, pop over to Bitchute for a listen to Dr James Lyons-Weiler. Testing stages skipped? Err, that doesn’t sound good.

Anyway, I’m leaving the last word to JP.