They’re everywhere…

Apparently November 4th is a day Antifa and friends, those fun filled little leftist scamps, will institute ‘A day of riots’. Oh my goodness, that is so coming back to bite them if they do. Not that it will because it ain’t happening. Why? because there’s just not enough of them for mass civil disobedience on the scale that is rumoured. Apparently they’re going to do this to fight those huge Fascist rallies. Of which the largest to date have numbered less than 600 and the average around 100, if that. Indeed, the only ones doing the rioting in their thousands seem to be those on the far left. And they have to be bussed around to concentrate their numbers. Same for all these ‘Climate justice’ marches. One demonstration I personally witnessed (Nanaimo 2010, Krall Plaza) was half a dozen locals (Mostly ‘street people’) and the rest getting off unmarked white buses just around the corner. Hmm.

But still, they’re everywhere aren’t they? Nazis and Fascists I mean. Everywhere I tell you. Look, there’s one goose stepping down your street right now singing songs of Horst Wessell! Sorry, no, it was just your neighbour walking his dog and listening to some 80’s music on his iPhone. But he’s a fascist because he doesn’t trim his hedge often enough, and didn’t pick up his dear little doggy’s doings yesterday, right? Yeah, and that Bangladeshi guy at the local store is a fascist because he didn’t give you the right change and gave you a funny look last time you deigned to try and shoplift a comic from his store. Or that hot guy / girl who wouldn’t give you the time of day, no matter how cool and edgy you feel in a bandanna mask, black hoodie, scruffy trainers and faux-proletarian accent. Then there was the old guy who gave you an annoyed look on the bus yesterday when you wouldn’t give up your seat to him, even though he was over seventy and needed a walking stick to get around. Or anyone else you don’t like the look of.

All these people are all Nazis and Fascists, who right (or more likely left) minded people should be out punching and kicking, yeah? All they have to be is ‘white’. Or Jewish (They’re all closet Zionists). Or not ethnic enough. Or too ethnic. Or male. Or dare to make a joke, any joke, or even laugh quietly to themselves in the hearing of some joyless extremist bigot. Or be men older than thirty five in which case they need to be attacked because, hey they might be thinking about becoming fascists or don’t agree with the confused medley of beliefs being pushed by a relatively small panties-in-a-bunch group of student activists barely out of their teens and still struggling with the aftershocks of puberty. The same for a number of their professors and administrative staff who seem to live in a very odd set of bubble realities. But that’s Academia for you.

If you listen to the extreme left even middle of the road old me is a rabid National Socialist despite loathing collectivist totalitarianism (Nationalist or Internationalist) with unconcealed venom and being a citizen of the world with diverse family connections spread out across the globe. As well as having relatives with darker than Nordic complexions (2nd Cousins by marriage, nieces, nephews, that sort of thing). Nor am I a supremacist of any kidney, well, apart from being morally superior to those who would attack random strangers for their ’cause’. Just in case they have a different opinion or harbour ‘National Socialist’ sympathies. By predominantly middle class white people who wear uniforms (Black bloc is a uniform) and smash stuff up. Which leads me to ask; who do they think they are, the Spanish Riot Police?

The extreme left are currently behaving like the post World War One Red Front (Rotfrontkämpfer) did back in early 1920’s Weimar Germany. Intimidate. Beat up. Attack the innocent. Then get all bent out of shape when the extremist opposition (Stahlhelms, later the extreme right SA) gets organised and does exactly the same thing. The then Red Front, one might observe, is extinct. Wiped out by the very Fascist system it’s street fighting tactics helped bring into being, based on the principle that for every violent political action there is an unequal and opposed reaction. Think of it as a Newtonian law of political motion.

It’s worth mentioning at this point that ex-members of the Red Front were also behind the totalitarian misery of East Germany during the cold war. Erich Honecker for one. Like his philosophically opposite numbers were ultimately responsible for the massive body count of WW2. As an aside; current sources list total World War Two casualties as a shade under 72,500,000 or the Wikipedia page total of as much as 85,000,000.

As yet another aside I’m tempted to observe that without the initial violence of the Red Front, the National Socialists, Adolph Hitler and his abominable clique might have forever remained a fringe minority group, of only fleeting historical interest to social historians. An anecdotal reference to the violence of the Red Front is found in this line from the notorious Horst Wessel Lied:
“Comrades shot by the red front and reaction”
Referring to the murder of a small number of SA members between 1924-29. Therefore it could be argued that the rise of the National Socialist movement was a direct result of violence on the part of the far left during the time of the Weimar Republic. Although the situation was a little more complex considering the destabilising effects of crippling reparation payments to the allies for WW1 and the subsequent social and economic volatility of post WW1 Germany. But in our era the recent rise of the extreme, or ‘alt’ right can be seen as a direct reaction to the violence and intimidation from far left groups and activists like Antifa.

In the words of Sam Clemens: History may not repeat itself, but it sure does rhyme In some ways it looks like the 1920’s all over again, only this time the venue is the USA. The protagonists are the same; socialists all. All believing they are fighting for the ‘workers’. All believing it’s right to punch the hell out of and even kill each other. Which it isn’t.

So what is this poisonous disease of Fascism and how do we identify the real Fascists so that they may be de-powered? A good place to start is in the Merriam-Webster dictionary that carries this simplified definition.
Facism:

A political philosophy, movement, or regime (such as that of the ‘Fascisti’) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Sounds awfully familiar doesn’t it? But what are the outward signs of a fascist? How do we tell them from other types of socialists?

We’re told that those who use violence against political opposition are fascists, but is this true? Well not really. Violence in a political cause is more prevalent on the left of the political spectrum because of the undemocratic leanings of people who tend to join these factions. And they are factions because the only thing that separates Socialism and Fascism is nationalism. What they have in common is that they both end up robbing ordinary working people blind. Worse than those eeeevil capitalists in fact. A proof; there have never been any poor socialist leaders. Well, they deserve all the rewards for bringing the poverty that socialist methods of government create for the masses, eh? Yeah, right. For relatively modern examples I’d like to cite Fidel Castro, who had an estate of US$800 Million when he popped his clogs. Chavez wasn’t exactly impecunious either, to name but two.

As an aside I’d observe that neither the Nationalist or Internationalist forms of ‘ism’ are democratic. Unless of course you’re a member of the self-appointed ruling hierarchy. All variants are equally vile totalitarian gangster philosophies that lead eventually either to the Concentration Camp or Gulag with all your neighbours trying to grass you up so they can have your apartment or bread ration. But it’s all right isn’t it, because only ‘bad people’ get sent to these places. But; who defines the ‘harm’ or who is ‘bad’? Sooner or later you’ve got to the point where you’re the one quivering in your ickle pink bootees in case next doors kids decide to denounce you to the authorities for not giving them any candy. Like in the old Soviet Union and just about everywhere else where communist, fascist and socialist doctrines have been applied, whether ‘properly’ or not. All these shades of ism rule by feat and fear. If you knew nothing else about them, you’d know that they were pure poison to be avoided at all costs.

So, back to our definition of Fascism and how to spot one; well, they’re Socialist because they claim to be for ‘the workers’* and want a top-down directed society. But. And this is the big ‘but’, you cannot tell a National Socialist from any other type of collectivist Socialist. True, there are Neo-Nazi’s with shaven heads and gothic tattoos over every square inch of skin, but there are others with a hide as untrammelled as freshly fallen snow. Some clean shaven, others have beards you can hide a flock of sheep behind. Not all of them ‘white’ either. Contrariwise, I have also known people with tattoos all over who are no more followers of National Socialism than the Dalai Llama. Although some would argue he’s one too – which is a very interesting** point of view.

There is, to the best of my knowledge, no haircut is specific to such people, and Polo shirts? I wear them all the time, so do a lot of other people who are most definitely not of a National Socialist bent. Polo players for one. Although Golf shirts and jumpers are definitely worn by fascists. I mean come on – what are those awful loud chequered designs or brightly coloured trousers symbolic of? Blitzkrieg dazzle camouflage? As for that top pocket for their tees. Got to be for their party membership card, right? So Trump is one and that Tiger Woods another, and er, Obama too because he really likes playing golf, yeah? No? Oh. So how does one tell?

I think that shoe drops when the real fascists open their smug little over-privileged mouths and start gobbing off on how they in their role as ‘The Government’ always step into every facet of life. Like rules criminalising everyday modes of speech. Like Eugenics to fix the disabled ‘problem’ and mass confiscation of private property to make everything ‘fair’.   In short, anyone who offers the following as excuses; “For their own good.” or “For the good of the masses.” or “To make it all fair for the people.” Yet never mentioning the salient point that although these nasty pieces of work talk about big business being the bad guy, guess who ends up footing the bill for all this Government intervention?  The little guy. You and me.

Sorry chaps, but having been part of the ‘working class’ and made my living from the sweat of my brow and the skill (Or lack thereof) of my hands for almost a third of my working life, all of these activists, every last single one, are universally despised. Not to their faces of course, but where it really counts, in the whispering galleries of locker and lunch rooms. The soft damnation of “Oh gawd, it’s him / her / it again. What is it now?” Then going along with the calls for strike action because, well, “It’s a day off, innit.” or because they dare not disagree just in case they’re falsely accused of some ***’hate’ crime. Although afterwards the moans about lost wages from strikes (usually from spouses) can be heard for miles. Because too many people are a little slow to make the connection that all forms of collectivism are a massive wealth transfer con trick. Whoever has worked hardest loses the most. Not to mention that Socialism also creates new hierarchies which simply replicate the worst excesses of feudal societies and produce massive body counts. Over 120 million between 1900 and 2000 at the last credible estimate. Which does not include war dead from any of the major wars but simple murder and famine in the name of ‘the masses’ or ‘the party’. Heavens to Murgatroyd people, doesn’t this prove that Socialism in all forms and the identity politics that drive it are crap ideas. Bury them deep and let’s move on. Individuals solve problems, not extreme leftist politics.

*No, they’re for themselves – the ‘workers’ can go hang. Or be shot. Or gassed. Or worked to death.  Not much of a choice really.
**‘Interesting’ as in “Let’s hide all the sharp objects” interesting.
*** ‘He said vs. she said’
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Taking a fence

My lady wife has been complaining at me. Not because I did something wrong, but because I did it absolutely right. In discussion about a new part of her job we identified a business need for extra screens. Now setting these up off a desktop is relatively easy, buy an Nvidia multiport video card and install in the right slot. Load drivers and configure display. Plug in Monitors.   Easy peasy. Not so easy off a laptop, which is what we use because we travel for up to four months out of any given year. However, not a problem. Well, not for the tech-enlightened. We saw that particular techno-fence and took it in a single bold leap. Seem to do a lot of that.

For this tech recipe, all you will need, as well as a new monitor, is a multi-port USB hub if you don’t have enough USB spare ports on your slaptop plus one of these handy-dandy little USB to VGA (Or HDVI or DVD) converter widgets for each extra screen. Once the drivers for said widget are installed, plug in extra screen via widget and arrange on desk. As soon as the extra screen is active, go into settings and select the ‘extended’ video option. Alter toolbar views and other options as required. Rinse, repeat for as many screens as you have accessible spare ports. Robert then becomes one’s Father’s brother. This is not dragon magic. Anyone even mildly tech-savvy can do it with ease.

The reason for Mrs S’s complaint is that apparently now I’ve made it “Too easy” for her to surf the web, manage big spreadsheets, write emails and take video calls between watching her favourite Netflix series and delving into the ‘murkier waters’ of the jolly old Interweb, which to those in the know is more of an adventure playground than an ‘unsafe space’ requiring the intervention of some brain dead bureaucratic bungler. Just in case someone’s feelings get hurt, the poor ickle bunnies. So, a more comfy office chair has been provided so she’s able to relax a lot more without so much eyestrain. Yes I’m catching some good-natured flak about her not getting up often enough, but seeing as I’ve just made her job easier by a factor of ten, which she now acknowledges, her stress levels, and therefore mine, have just taken a nosedive. Cool beans. She now has time to pro-actively manage her work and is currently reading up on Byzantium in our kitchens sunny corner. Just waiting for the notifications to go ‘bleep’ at her so she can put in a bookmark and saunter off to her desk for half an hour to deal with the issue.

Apropos ‘safe spaces’, they’re fit for nothing but overindulged brats whose EQ is sub-zero. ‘Safe’ is dull. ‘Safe’ is no fun. ‘Safe’ is unchallenging. ‘Safe’ means stunted intellectual and emotional growth. Ditchwater is positively coruscating by comparison. This blog, as my last regular visitor will attest, is not ‘safe’. Toxic thoughts abound. This is my equivalent of the mildly dangerous part of a landfill where all the really icky stuff like mid-to-low level radioactive waste is buried. The ‘biohazard’ marker in the header picture is only partially meant in jest.

Anyway, sorry about the pun title, but it does seem to me there are far too many people in this world setting themselves up as moral arbiters on behalf of others. Aside from remarking on the sheer arrogance of their claim on the right to do so, to whom I would address the age old maxim; “Who rattled your cage, dimwit?” especially whenever someone ‘takes offence’ on behalf of someone else that they’ve never met, and probably didn’t even care existed. Right up until the opportunity arose for some pointless self-aggrandising virtue signalling on social media. Then it’s everyone to the barricades, comrade! While the rest of the world goes WTF are these people on? Don’t they have real lives? Well, the loudest complainers seem to be lefty politicians, students and academics, so perhaps not. If only we could persuade them to stay away from the rest of us.

Frankly I find the whole concept of taking offence on behalf of people I don’t know and have never met somewhat eccentric. Abhorrent even. If this makes me a Dinosaur I am happy to wear that badge because that class of life thrived on the earth for 145 Million years until they were blatted out of existence by a stray space rock. Even so, their relatives are still with us today as birds and various saurians, so fine, ‘Dinosaur’ may mean ancient, but it doesn’t mean rubbish. Mammals have only really had the run of planet Earth for a relatively short period, as bipeds far less. So we’ll have less of the derogatory remarks from you jumped up excuses for primates front bottoms. This Dinosaur says come back when you’ve been around for another million years or so. Or at least twenty. If you last that long. Because Evolution can be a right bi-atch. Rogue asteroids, supervolcanoes like the Siberian and Deccan traps and subsequent crustal shifting notwithstanding.

And there are social factors which can have the same effect on social justice warrior types, like would-be employers researching archived Twatter and Farcebook feeds (Not dragon magic or even rocket science) and going “Nah, too much trouble. – Next.” consigning their CV’s to the eternal darkness of file 13. Destroying careers before they’ve even begun. Which would be justice indeed for all the damage SJW Twatter hate mobs have done to people.

Agree, disagree? Even take a fence if you like. Just so long as it’s not mine or there will be tears before bedtime, and they won’t be mine.

Hi-ho. At least my tomato plants (See below) are doing very nicely ta muchly. I’ve even found that my used coffee grounds make a nice mulch / fertiliser.

Update: I liked my wife’s dual screen setup that I went out and bought myself an extra monitor and VGA converter this afternoon.  Half an hour after opening the box I had two 24″ screens to work off.  Bloody brilliant.

 

 

Glory be…

Harvey Weinstein is officially ‘cured‘ of being a sexually depraved predator…. in only seven days.

My goodness.

Hmm.

Let’s just process that a moment.

Praise Jesus! It’s a holy God-be-praised miracle! Halle-freakin-lujah!

Maybe lets just breathe deeply for another moment or two, dear friends..

Yet what about all those Hollywood stars who knew and stayed silent. All those award ceremony speeches about women’s rights and ‘rights’ of every other minority on the planet. All the slavering over a bit of locker room banter from Donald Trump over ten years ago. Yet none of them condemned Weinstein. Or the systematic sexual trafficking greasing the moneyed wheels of Hollywood. Not just for years, this stuff have been leaking out for decades. Oh the righteousness, oh the morality!

Let’s think about that…

No. I’m sorry. I can’t.

sputter

Ahem

Excuse me…

Ahaha.

No Bill, stop that. It’s not polite.

Ahahahahahahahha-ha-ha. No, no, I shouldn’t.

Ahahahahahahahha-ha-ha-hahaha. No, I’m sure that…

… Erm. Ahem.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!! Oh gawd that hurts!
AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh my aching ribs! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! (Cough, choke.) Strewth!

Oh dear (Wipes away tears.) That is so funny. Incredibly funny. Sorry, I shouldn’t laugh.

One should not make fun of a repenting sinner. No. Really. I’m very sorry.

I am truly penitent.

Ahem. Got a bit hysterical there for a moment… I’m totally sorry…

No I’m not!

I lied. Just like all those Hollywood hypocrites!
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh gawd that hurts! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

And so on, and so on… Ad infinitum.

Pass the straitjacket and give me a couple of those sedatives. I may need them for a while…

I’ve just sprained my diaphragm.

But it is very, very funny…

Well I think so.

And now….

a massage from the Swedish Prime Minister, or rather not. Went for my first ever massage a couple of days ago. Generously paid for by my health insurance and told I had to go by my lady wife who’d made the arrangements. Today I am a bit stiff (Not in that way! Honestly, some people.) and creaky. Which is a tribute to the strength of my masseuse’s hands. I hadn’t realised how many kinks and knots there were in my back and shoulders.

Now I went for what’s called a full ‘RMT’ massage, which is massage as a treatment, not one of those wimpy ‘massage treatments’ with hot stones, seaweed douches and suchlike you get at spa resorts. No, this was the full nine yards where someone half my size took hold of a muscle or muscle group and dug their fingers in. Yes it does hurt a bit, but afterwards you stand a little straighter, hold your head higher and motion is less encumbered by all those little aches and pains that getting older leaves you open to. Oddly this treatment also makes your head spin a little afterwards. Not much, but just like the sensation you get after spinning around quickly two or three times. An old Hawkwind number was brought to mind

You also know this kind of massage is working when you get little sympathetic flashes of pain down muscles not currently under assault. For example; masseuse was working down from my shoulders and hit the centre of my back when a little lightning bolt shot all the way down from just under my kidneys to past my right knee. This reminded me of an injury I sustained thirty years ago in my lower back when one of my discs ruptured and healed aged twenty-something. Indeed, every incident from a very physical life popped it’s head up and said “Hi, remember me? You careless bastard.” Ouch. Even stuff I thought was fully healed years ago. Every time I’ve fallen off a motorcycle (Four), every work related muscle wrench (Dozens), every time I’ve been under the surgeons knife (Three) and every sports injury (Two major, dozens of minor). They all dropped by with a stab and a twitch. It was like a high school reunion when all the pains get together to remind you why you ignore or hate them.

The blame game

Oh the Hollywood Weinstein scandal, the gift that keeps on giving. Where sexual acts are traded for roles in movies. What a whole canning factory of worms and vice has been opened across the board. There are panderers, pimps and whores all over the place. Which is what the general public has suspected for years.

One of the things that occurred to me while reading the multiple sources of outrage over this affair is that the law has been broken by all sides of the argument. So I went and took a look at the California legal codes covering sexual assault and prostitution. Oh dear. This does not look good for either Weinstein or his coterie of tearstained accusers.

Let me explain; what Weinstein did was not rape or sexual assault. He is guilty of neither of those crimes for one simple reason; he was influence peddling. Trading movie roles and influence for sex. Under Californian law he is probably guilty of soliciting prostitution. Telling his ‘victims’ that they could have what they wanted (A movie role) for what can easily be defined as a ‘lewd’ act (A sexual act like a blow job or full sex). Which, according the rather useful Findlaw web site, is a crime under Californian law. Because prostitution laws make it a crime to offer, agree to, or engage in a sexual act for compensation.

Now, for those who delight in irony this is amusing for one solid sterling reason. There are no innocent parties here. Why? Because in order for a successful prosecution of Harvey Weinstein under the laws of California for soliciting sex, they have to find his accusers guilty of prostitution. Any enablers, like female personal assistants etc who ‘left the room’ for Harvey to make certain actresses an offer they could have refused, could also find themselves in court under the pimping provisions of the same legislation.

Oh my.

The future of transport

There’s a lot of political motion about transport at the present moment. First there’s the ban on sales of Internal Combustion Engine powered vehicles from 2040, which California looks like replicating in order to ‘save the planet’. These impending bans to reduce air pollution due to ICE powered vehicles are all well intentioned but one is tempted to ask, what will said proscriptions actually achieve?

For practical purposes not much, because the nature of logistics within cities is already changing. But the future does not lie with self driving electric cars. Nor electric cars or any variant thereof. Except on an extremely limited scale. For reasons as discussed here. The changes that are coming are more far reaching than a simple change in how tin boxes are powered and controlled. For a given value of ‘simple’. Which has already turned into a whole different, and over-subsidised bunch of complicated.

For example; both Mrs S and I ‘telecommute’ every day using video and other online messaging services, rarely needing to physically visit clients or sites more than once a year. Up until ten years ago our jobs didn’t, couldn’t exist. But thanks to the dear old Interweb, we earn a reasonable crust and pay our way in the world without too much drama. Yes, we have a car, and in the next five years this will have to be replaced and a motorcycle added to our means of getting about two or three times a week. But we don’t need to commute every day. Which adds hours to our productive working days. Which means we can pick our time of day to go out to enjoy a bit of a drive. As well as keep things up to snuff at home without losing precious ‘us’ time. And there’s a growing number like us who don’t have to turn up at the office to put in a (very) full day’s work. We’re also contractors, so we don’t show up in public employment stats. Like the people who run small businesses off a laptop over a coffee shops wi-fi link and cell phone. There’s part of the future, and it’s already here.

The coming changes will be as radical as the migration of methods between travel by horse and the first steam powered railways and they are right on our doorstep. Indeed, delivery companies and start-ups are already experimenting with what was up until recently merely a toy. Especially in heavily congested areas. Particularly for small, highly specialised manufacturers and distributors. Amazon have been running trials and there are a bunch of other startups which recognise that where drones will really come into their own is in the short run courier business, at first as an adjunct to, then as a replacement for, inner city bicycle and motorcycle couriers. Point to point small packages, high speed and high security with the capability to home in on a mobile phone or tablet so that no matter where the recipient is within a given radius, they will be able to receive a physical document or critical replacement part at exactly the time the text or component are required. Or medical supplies on a Just in time basis.

As for personal transport, no matter how it is powered, as the ability to deliver to a precise location at an exact time improves, the need for someone to physically get in a car and drive across town to an appointment or to hire an expensive courier will slowly decrease, therefore so will the road congestion of the inner cities. In short, we’ll stop needing to drive everywhere quite so much. That’s where the future lies. Not Electric Self driving cars. Batteries will never be that good, but they will be good enough to transport small packages a hundred miles or so. Like John Hopkins Medicine managed with this trial, beating Team Roadrunners previous 97 mile record, set in May 2017. In the UK, Centrica have run trials for remote inspection of production sites out in Morecambe bay. And that’s only three examples.

This is the way real change for the better begins. Not with governments, but with people utilising an idea in new ways.

Now there is a major impediment. Legislation. Whether lawmakers fail or succeed to address the benefits of point to point lightweight deliveries. From a purely safety perspective, Drones with semi-autonomous Artificial Intelligence packages can be made to navigate crowded airspace to and from sensitive locations, but this must be mandated by clear laws that lay down a simple legal framework for the new technology to operate within. Simply banning their use does nothing but stave off the inevitable.

Of course, early adopters will (and probably do) already include your friendly local illicit substance provider and smuggler. A drone that can fly more than twenty plus kilometres carrying a kilo or two of whatever substance the market demands is no more detectable than a bird. The only real risks to drones being the territorial instincts of large birds, such as with Wedge Tailed Eagles in Australia, or the French and Dutch Police training Bald Eagles to take down unauthorised UAV’s.

On the topic of drone interdiction, Mr Trumps much vaunted border wall is no more use than the proverbial chocolate teapot at preventing cross border drug trafficking by drone. Short of shooting at everything that crosses a certain line, and that would be simply impractical. For example, two people with backpack sized controls and half a dozen drones could run rings around any number of border guards, eliminating the risks and expense of human ‘mules’ and couriers across say, the US-Mexican or US-Canadian borders. Who is to say this is not already happening. Because it already is.

Thus far, even prison walls have proved little use against drones, like with this smuggling operation into a prison. Although contrariwise, Enforcement monitoring Drones will be, (are and have been) used to remotely monitor and detect illegal activity so that flying squads of border agents can home in and make arrests. However, so far these drones are of the larger, military types and have so far proven uneconomic, but as quadcopter technology improves, the cost per enforcement unit will decrease. For example; Los Angeles Police Department is even experimenting with smaller drones.

What overall effect this technology may have on cities is covered in this interesting little TED talk by Julio Gil (See below). And he’s right. The technology is almost with us. In fact it’s so close early adopters are already using much of it. The rest is trying methodologies until we find one that really works.

I particularly like his idea of the mobile drone delivery platform. Post office or delivery van pootles down suburban or rural road while a squadron of drones busily drop mail and small packages off on doorsteps leaving the driver (and maybe a helper for the heavier stuff) free to concentrate on dropping off the bigger packages. Maybe even some form of pickup device could be provided to save on postal delivery people having to traipse around emptying mailboxes. Drone picks up your mail, reads a printed address bar code or number and pre-sorts it before the delivery van even arrives back at the distribution hub.

While much of the above may be conjecture one thing is certain; the future is almost here, and that future contains Drones.

Update:  You know that naughty man (Well, most of the lamestream pundits say he is) who lives at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC?  Well, kiddies, he’s just signed an executive order enabling the testing of Drone Technology for deliveries and the FAA has just given CNN a waiver for camera drone flights to take place over crowds.  So yes, the future is closer than we think.  Cool.

I’m puzzled…

… by the behaviour of Madame Tracy over the BREXIT negotiations. First there was Florence, which was essentially seen as a climbdown, now in this morning’s FT I read of yet another backpedal where Juncker et al are demanding more and more to leave their exclusive little club. Whose cookie is beginning to crumble further around the edges in Austria, Poland, Catalonia and Hungary.

My own suspicion is that this is a bargaining ploy, a delaying tactic to keep the markets stable and see how far the Eurocrats will go to try and up the Ante before telling them to get lost and open the doors to other nations, who if they’ve got any sense already have their own low level negotiating teams in setting up trading deals for when UK Plc drops off the edge of Europe. However, I may be completely wrong and this may only be a ploy to feed to the Brexiteers that “Oh my God dwawleengs it’s too, too difficult to get out so we’ll have to stay in. Sorry, just not poss…etc.” But that would bury the Tories for a generation and leave the poor old UK to drop headlong into the hands of the weird and definitely not wonderful Corbynista’s and subsequent economic free fall. So what is going on?

The Catalan situation seems to be bubbling under, with two separatist leaders under arrest for ‘sedition’, also two Police Officers for getting in the way of the Guardia Civil riot Police. See the France24 video below for the situation as of 17th October. Can’t say I like the smug look of the Spanish deputy PM as she stepped up to the podium. There’s a cat that’s got first lick of the cream and no mistake.

Then there’s the Austrian election results. Which has the Eurocrats rattled. We’re told that the results are a victory for the ‘extreme right’ but how ‘extreme’ is not wanting to import unspecified numbers of welfare dependents for which the Austrian taxpayer will have to foot the bill?

As for ‘rising extremism’, how extreme is doing what the Americans call “Voting your cheque book”? Which is what electorates around the world are beginning to do. For example there’s a widespread view that the EU is a monster which has grown too large and needs to go on a serious diet. Same for the US Government. Too big, too much power, too intrusive and rapacious.

In Canada we’re still on the upslope of that statist bell curve with the Federal Government changing the tax regs to prevent ‘Income salting’ (Sharing tax allowances between family members) which will hit working families with stay at home mums the worst. Not the ‘rich’ like that idiot fop Trudeau in Ottawa says. Even Mrs S and I have been forced to formalise our business relationship so that everything I buy or do for her business is logged and subject to detailed internal invoice. Which is a pain, but these are the toothpaste tubes big government forces everyone into. Should they try and throw my invoices out, I will simply stop the forty or so hours a month I put in on my wife’s business’ behalf and close my ears to all the cries for help from the next door office because I don’t work for nothing.

A good edge

As someone who enjoys cooking, I like to get reasonable tools for the job. To be specific, knives. Recently I picked up some reasonable German made knives as part of an end of line promotion, which filled a gap in my culinary toolbox. I needed a decent Santoku for chopping, Japanese style, which was part of the set, but, and this is a big but, they’re not so satisfying to use as my ten inch wood handled full-tang Sabatier K, a handy Chef’s knife I bought when we were down in South Carolina on our 2016 cross-USA road trip.

There’s nothing fancy about it as a cooks knife because it’s simply a stamped and forged flat blank with a riveted hardwood handle. Yet none of my other cooking knives can hold a candle to it as far as holding an edge is concerned. Yes it’s heavy, the web of the blade is over 3.5mm (3/16ths of an inch) thick and the handle is pretty chunky and unrefined, but no other blade out of my serried collection of carbon and stainless steel cutting implements handles so well on the cutting board for day to day slicing and chopping. I’ve even sliced soft bread with it. Try that with a traditional cooks knife without squashing the grain of the loaf. Yet there’s nothing really special about it. Perhaps that explains why this particular piece of kit holds the place of prominence it does on my kitchen counter. Because of the sheer weight of steel in the blade it will also chop and hack as well as a light cleaver. Which is very useful for those days when bone or cartilage needs to be cut through with a single sharp blow. Yes it can and does cut beef and pork ribs. No nicks in the blade so far and it’s seen fourteen months of daily abuse at my hands. I’d say it was good kit.

Yes, and I’ve finally potted out my tomato plants which as you can see by the picture below are doing quite nicely.

So that’s it for the moment. The pantomime of BREXIT continues with the drunken lord making ridiculous pronouncements from stage left and the Demon King pops up and down through a handy trapdoor like a demented Yo-yo. Sterling is rising slowly again, well it has been over the last week, but no doubt one market panic will send it slithering back down again.

To close, I just saw the trailer for this amusing little Armando Iannucci movie which won’t be released over here. Which is a great pity. Rather like with Brian Cox in ‘Churchill‘, there’s no Canadian or US release date. There should be.

Because the cast is terrific and would make a welcome change from the usual Hollywood blockbuster bullshit.

Confirmation of bias

Well, today I potted out my tomato plants into two larger receptacles for window ledges and made a few more handy little tripod supports for my (hopefully) impending crop of fresh tomatoes, the first tranche of which should be ready in a few months. The winds are picking up, the temperature has dropped over ten degrees since September and we’re getting some rain at long last. It’s been a long hot summer, which generally presages a very sharp cold Winter, so I’m glad Mrs S and I will be visiting family in the fabled land of Oz this festering season.

So, what’s in the ‘olds’* this week? Hollywood Producer falls from grace and is finally denounced by all the women he took sexual advantage of? Well is this news? Not really. Hollywood is a corrupt and gilded sewer, it cannot help be anything else. Showbiz has long been known as a haven for those with ‘diverse’ sexual interests. Actors, Actresses, Producers and Directors make other people happy, so they want to be made happy in return. Sex, drugs, whatever floats their boat. Unless they’re happy to be working in Repertory where the rewards are small.

As for certain actresses, some would argue that some are no better than they should be and that using their sexual appeal to bolster their careers is hard wired into their profession. Why? Because theatrical folk have long been known for such excesses. Indeed, fame has long been considered a bulwark against negative outcomes for licentious and what some would call immoral behaviour. Anyone who has read Molière (17th century) in particular Tartuffe or any of his other works would understand this. Molière held up a mirror to the misdeeds of his time and merits careful examination. In England too, theatres for centuries had the reputation of ‘Bawdy houses‘. Not to mention that the history of the theatre is richly laced with the taint of alcoholic and sexual excess. Going all the way back before Marlowe in the 16th Century. In the 20th century there was the Hollywood ‘Rat Pack’ whose alcoholic and sexual exploits are near legendary.

Also the irony of having someone whose main talent lies in portraying exaggerated emotion and parroting the words of others lecture the public on moral issues. Which comes across as, mm, how can I say this? No, there’s no other word for it; nauseating. The posturing of some people at ‘awards’ ceremonies is hard to stomach.

That irony doubles down because a number of the accusers who have only surfaced when it’s safe to do so, are those who have publicly decried sexism and racism and pretended to stand up for the rights of ‘wimmen’. Forgive me if I’m not convinced of their virtue. The very self same people have previously publicly defended Weinstein and the like. No, honestly, nothing to see here. Pass the champagne and let’s go party hearty. Forgive me for thinking that they don’t just hold double, but quintuple standards.

As for anyone pretending to be ‘shocked’ oh come on. Casting couch and similar tales have been filtering out ever since the first movies were made. Sexually abused child ‘stars’. Thespians literally prostituting themselves to those with the money and power over who does what. Young women spreading their legs to anyone who can get them a part in a movie. Sorry folks, but to anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear, this is just not news. So why the hell is anyone even remotely surprised? Just because the biggest turd has now been flushed out doesn’t stop it being a sewer.

*’News’ to some. To the informed, not so much.

Cognitive dissonance

Famous anniversaries post coming up. Some might have noticed, although I’d have missed it completely unless reminded that it’s fifty years since a blood soaked psychopath met his end in front of a South American firing squad.

A mass murderer and torturer executed? Good riddance to bad rubbish one might say, and you’d be right. Yet the very self same blood soaked psycho is lauded in some circles as a hero. Indeed, his likeness is found posted on many a Western Universities student union wall and t-shirt to celebrate left wing revolutionary fervour. Movies have been made of his life before he became a mass murderer. Yet this person is celebrated, even deified, despite the many evils he perpetrated.

So let’s look at his bio; Scion of a wealthy family, Medical School dropout, socialist revolutionary, Gay hater, child murderer, mass executioner. All of these things are absolutely true. Or to put it another way; a homophobic psychotic killer, rapist, racist and wastrel. A child murderer to boot. Not exactly the sort of person one would be inclined to invite to dinner.

Yet his image is deified in all places as the Winnipeg museum of Human Rights. I’ve seen it. Although I can’t be sure if it’s there as an exemplar or a warning. Even though it doesn’t flag up on the museums web site. Like the documentation of the Holocaust (11 million killed in death camps by the National Socialism) the Ukrainian Holodomor (12-20 million starved to death by the forced collectivism of Lenin and Stalin). The killing fields of Cambodia clocked up just shy of 1.4 million by Pol Pots communist regime. Well, that’s the actual number of dead they’ve found to date. Estimates of that era’s Cambodian atrocities head north of 3.4 million. Some simply for the ‘crimes’ of talking to western missionaries or selling produce to feed their families. Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi Ba’athist (ostensibly Socialist) regime for mass murder of Kurds and Marsh Arabs in the late 1980’s managed barely 200,000 according to some estimates.

By the by, other 20th and early 21st century genocides by right leaning and religious governments have struggled to reach even Cuban levels. Which by contrast was small potatoes, barely reaching hundreds of thousands in body count. For which the icon of veneration below was partially responsible. We might as well venerate people like ex-Catholic Priest and Nazi collaborator Petar Brzica, an horrific individual who boasted of killing 1360 Serbians, Jews and Roma, as well as Croat and Bosniak dissidents, in a single session. With a knife, no less.

There is a strange cognitive dissonance native to those with extreme left or right wing political views, which says that killing people is the way to effect change for the better for a very strange value of ‘better’. In this way these extremists can be seen to be very stupid, because they don’t seem to understand that you can’t change the mind of a corpse, or kill an idea simply by first dehumanising, then murdering people. Because then they aren’t really people any more are they? And ideas can exist independently of individuals. The same can be said of various religious nutters from the Catholics of the medieval period to the modern resurrection of extreme Islam. In spite of the many religious wars and mass killings that flared throughout Medieval Europe, Judaism, Protestantism and Islam are still with us. There are still witches despite all those witch burnings and Cathars are still known in Southern France despite centuries of repression.

By way of contrast, it might be noted that one of the most, and rightly reviled political figures of the 20th century, also responsible for tens of millions of human extinctions, was a Europhile child and dog-loving vegan anti-smoking athiest(?) with strong environmentalist views. No prizes for guessing who that was.

All that the above have in common is that they wanted to force their chosen way of life on others and were more than happy to kill to do so. Yet leftist killers are applauded, venerated and even worshipped within some modern day seats of learning. Interesting, eh?

Expatriate expostulations from Canada; a.k.a. A Sarcastic man abroad trying to stay in the middle of the road without getting run over.

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