There’s no such thing as social justice

Welcome to the Bill Sticker Institute for Axiom Testing and Infinitive splitting. Our team of highly trained Stunt Grammarians and specialist word jugglers (We recruit only those who can handle a minimum of ten syllables) have been working day and night for at least half an hour testing some much cherished political sound bites to total aphorism destruct. We’ve saddled up our Thesauri, loaded our dictionaries, and straightened our phrasebook armoured trousers meaningfully before heading ‘em up and moving out to rope and brand a few of those consarned political soundbite critters for the last big drive to the railhead, pardner. Yee-haw. We think. Possibly.

Here’s how it works; A statement is selected and its underlying concepts thrown into our patented axiom tester for a full rinse and spin cycle before careful drying. Once cleaned, the statement is then carefully scrutinised for any bits of truth it might contain. There are no half way houses here. A statement is either proven or not proven.

Example:
Bill Sticker is a complete bastard.

Axiom test result: Proven. Bill’s parents were not married when he was conceived and born, therefore he was legally born out of wedlock, specifically a bastard. As far as ‘complete’ is concerned, several of our in house team thought that this was rather gilding the lily, because one is either a bastard or one is not. (Bill has also developed an evil streak that could be used to pave the entire two lane length of Highway One from mile Zero in Victoria BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia, including hard shoulders, but that’s by the by). Therefore Bill can be called a ‘bastard’ to his face with impunity, as the statement is proven. Cutting remarks in response are extra and will be charged accordingly.

Here are three left wing sound bites and concepts which were given exactly the same treatment.

Statement 1:
Governments can create a fairer society.

Axiom test result: Not Proven. Repeated attempts by various governments around the globe to produce legislation to promote ‘fairness’ have so far failed because one persons ‘fairness’ is demonstrably another’s injustice. Giving privileges to one section of the population invariably requires removal of rights from another according to the well known rules of societal causality.

Statement 2:
‘Social Justice’ is fairness for all

Axiom test result: Not Proven. The phrase ‘Social Justice’ was found by our team of extreme Axiom testers to be little more than a hollow political sound bite, a speechwriters catch-all with little or no real meaning. To say it is ‘fair for all’ is also palpably not true following the well known principle that taking another’s possessions without recompense is theft. Our chief Grammarian was also heard to remark that the phrase is “Utter bollocks” and has had to contribute a good deal of his disposable weekly income to our Axiom Testing Stations swear box.

Statement 3:
Redistribution of Wealth is fair.

Axiom test result: Not Proven. Actually it’s complete and utter nonsense. Asset stripping the active middle to support the growing inactive lower simply creates more poor people. In addition, a consulting team of highly skilled Stealth Economists who are currently Chair of the Society for Artful Accountancy have discovered that the money rarely gets where it’s meant to go, and often ends in the pockets of those least entitled to it. Usually logged as expenses.

Thank you for visiting.

Great bacon

Friday I was out doing the weekly shop and dropped in at one of our specialist local food stores. It’s one of my favourite stores for one particular reason. They do properly double smoked and cured bacon. It is, in my humble opinion, the best I have ever come across, ever. Seriously dry cured. Perfectly pink muscle, dense, solid white fat, not soaking wet stringy stuff like the crap advertised as bacon (horrified shudder) in many local supermarkets. This is the bacon that poets praise, exquisitely cured pork that would tempt the very gods down from Olympus. Fried or grilled (yeah, yeah, broiled, whatever), this store makes bacon as God himself intended. No white gunky residue after cooking, just a spoonful of mildly salty white fat splendid for frying eggs, adding richness to sweated onions and many other simple culinary miracles. I buy just over a pound a week.

The only glitch in my day was caused by a Deli counter assistant, having been asked for my usual ration, arbitrarily decided to cut a chunk of fat off the ends of said precious rashers. I immediately objected. That fat not only aids the cooking process, but gives flavour and body to the meat. At the time I was feeling pretty relaxed or I would have treated said staff member to a terse treatise of “My dietary fat intake is not your business.” Fortunately the counter assistant stopped, backtracked and apologised for her error. All ended in smiles and “Have a great day.”

The only thing that bothered me about this almost insignificant incident is why, having made my choice of product, given my instruction as to exactly what I wanted, did the assistant then arbitrarily decide to trim off the valuable and very tasty fat? Who tells shop assistants it’s okay to do this stuff? Who you can and can’t sell what to? What happened to “The customer is always right”? Why is only bacon and red meat subjected to this retail tyranny? Why are chocolate or all those other, far richer sources of dietary fat not subject to the same strictures? Say when I buy a bar of Belgium’s finest, does the checkout person feel the need to break off half and throw it away? Or open my bag of crisps and throw half of it in the bin? No. So why remove that which adds so much flavour?

Answers please in a plain, unsalted, lint-free, fat-free, low-calorie, flavour-exempt brown wrapper.

Update: This is what I mean by bacon.
Dry cured streaky bacon

Look what just hit Netflix….

Remember all that fuss about Sony corporation getting hacked by ‘North Korea’ over a movie called “The Interview”? So badly hacked in fact, that they can’t do their taxes?

Guess what just became available via Netflix?

This.

A major, leading Tech Corporate hacked by a country that has to struggle to make it to third world status? Seriously?

The question is; hack, or marketing hype?

Bill Sticker: Doctor, I think I’ve got a bad case of cynicism.
Doctor: Sorry Mr Sticker, I’m afraid there’s no cure. My advice is learn to enjoy it.

Orwells World

Friends, wossnames, countrymen. Lend me your thingummyjobbies. I come, not to praise liberty, but to bury it. That’s right. Freedom is dead, or very much on life support. Shakespeare himself might have done a quick rewrite to outline the situation (Julius Caesar Act 3 Scene 1, Mark Anthony’s speech)

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of truth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest concept
That ever livèd in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that drained this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy—
Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips
To beg the voice and utterance of Twitter—
A curse hath lit upon the voice of man.
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Doth cumber all the online world.
Blood and destruction is so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That Mumsnet shall but smile when they behold
Their infants smothered by the nanny state,
All pity choked with accusation of sex crime,
Yet Freedom’s spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Whatsap by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch’s voice
Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the words of war,
That these foul deeds shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

I think Bill the Quill would have approved. Or what’s that whirring, buzzing sound from the chancel of Holy Trinity Church, Stratford upon Avon?

Seriously. I woke up thinking this morning that the country of my birth has turned into a warped version of Orwell’s nightmare 1984. This isn’t me being paranoid, it’s so in your face it’s not true. Twitter storms have become the “Two minute Hate”. People are regularly arrested for “Hate speech”. Voicing legitimate concerns has become “Thought crime”. Constant warfare. Near ubiquitous CCTV. Surveillance of e-mail and web activity. Webcams that can be remotely switched on. I don’t need to provide links. The evidence is in plain sight everywhere. If you don’t see, then you ain’t looking.

The UK, now rebranding as Orwell’s World theme park. Try the Grauniad rollercoaster, where tribes of shrieking lefties throw shit and outrage at everyone. It’s a blast. Thank you for not smoking or drinking. Or thinking. Anywhere.

Funny thing, life

A couple of weeks ago, an old mate I hadn’t spoken to for a couple of decades tracked my real life self down. He’s dying of a lung condition, poor bastard. Since then we’ve been corresponding via e-mail. Me trying to cheer him up with a few less than socially responsible anecdotes. Him bringing me up to date with the fates of a few shared acquaintances back in the old country (Remember so-and-so? A wall fell on him back in ’99). Playing the old nostalgia game as you do with old drinking buddies. What with one thing and another, it’s making me feel, not nostalgic because I don’t have fond memories of some people, but thoughtful. Mindful of who I am and how easily I could have shuffled off this mortal coil any number of times in my half century of life. Right! Who was that who shouted “Shame!”? Spawny eyed wassuck. Go stand in the corner. I hope you brought enough sarcasm for everyone.

Also mindful of my ancestors, who, it turns out were not exactly villains, but let’s just say consistently non-conformist. My parents. My Grandparents. Great Grandad was a right tearaway so I’m told. Always in trouble which almost, but never quite, ended with him hauled up before the beak. Including an incident over a spring gun set to scare water cress poachers. A few great Uncles who were less than pillars of society. A couple who never made it back intact from WW1. One who went down on the Lusitania (and we’re not talking about sex here). I think he was one of the Deck or Engineering crew, family history is a bit fuzzy after almost a century. Granddad kept his bedroom as a bit of a shrine at the old family farm. I recall seeing it when I was knee high back in the early sixties. A sepia portrait of a young man who never came home and an ageing poster of the liner itself. A made up brass framed bed and net curtains over a small window are the only other impressions I recall.

Other family legends include a Great Aunt who ‘took to her bed’ at the age of seventy something, only getting up for that last ride down to the graveyard thirteen years later. From her family memoirs came the wonderful little tale of the late Victorian era couple who never married despite raising eight children. She took in laundry and he worked as a road mender. Constantly managing to thwart the efforts of the local Minister, who apparently thought that having such a well known couple ‘living in sin’ on his patch was a personal affront. My Great Aunt’s version of the tale ends with the couple finally agreeing to walk up the aisle (in their 70’s with great grandchildren no less), then on the day the little old road mender goes missing. The local Minister, irate at this breach of promise goes searching for him, finally finding the little Parish Road Mender at his usual resting place, lying as though asleep at the side of the road with his road mending kit and sandwich box nearby. Dead as his flask of cold tea with a smile on his face as though he’d cheated the forces of conformity.

Then my own parents and the hows and whys I got brought into the world. Which makes me aware that all of my immediate forbears have been self employed and small business owners, yet Dad wanted me in an industrial ‘job for life’. Which never really worked out as such employment doesn’t really exist any more. Nor am I really employee material, I’m a maverick from a long line of mavericks. A self motivating self starter who can self manage and just hates control freaks looking over his shoulders all the time. Nor do I play well with others, mostly because I’d rather not play their games at all.

Wonder where I get it from? (Not)

Where there’s a will……there’s a won’t

For anyone who has ever been a beneficiary in a will, or who expects to be, here is a cautionary tale.

Last year, as followers of this blog will be aware, my Mother died. Lost my dog on the same day, but well, that’s another hole in the heart. Now while my dog, being canine did not leave a will, Ma Sticker did, and a pretty penny it is too. Well it would be. If not for the Executor, my elder sibling. Who is being an idiot. And may be about to get a very nasty legal and fiscal shock. But first, let me fill you in on some family background.

Elder sibling and I share the same mother, but that is the total depth of our relationship. My mother married his father, according to family legend “Only because he had a car.” At least according to one of my cousins, who spent a gleeful hour at my mothers funeral letting cats out of bags, showing me a familial walk-in closet full of skeletons and reminding me that I am the family bastard. “But Bill, we thought you knew.” Was another family members semi shocked response to my statement of disbelief. Well kind of yes, and kind of no. Of course I was aware through a combination of guesswork, surmise and ‘why am I over six feet tall and built like a dray horse whilst everyone else struggles to get past a slender five feet eight’, but it’s a hell of a thing to get the news you’re a “Love child” straight from the horses mouth. Especially at your Mothers funeral. With all the gruesome details of how my mother was cheating on my brothers father, who did what, to whom and when. Cheers, cousin.

Well it’s true. I am the scion of an adulterous relationship. My biological parents were not married when I was conceived or born. I know this is no big deal any more, but autre temps, autre choses. It was back then. My only beef is that my parents, particularly Ma, continually bluffed and obfuscated on this topic while they were alive. Honesty on their part would have made my life so much more straightforward. Isn’t family guilt just wonderful dahleengs? There are so many things they should have done but didn’t because they thought they would get into trouble. Now belatedly I have to do the fixing myself. My birth certificate has to be changed for one. I’ve contacted the relevant court, and doing the changes means an expensive personal visit to the UK. Court fees and lawyers. Clucking bell.

What my parents’ misplaced guilt also resulted in is stuff like elder sibling going to private school and getting his university education fully funded while yours truly went to a bog standard comprehensive and a variety of technical colleges. He got the Gap year, I went straight to work at seventeen, all that jazz. Not that I resent these ‘advantages’ (if that’s what they are – I think they’ve narrowed his mind rather than broadening it, but that’s just me), it’s just that no-one seemed bothered to give me the choice when there was one. I was the one who took the beatings, both fathers not believing in sparing the rod. Such is life. You can play the ‘what if’ game until the cows come home but it won’t change anything. All you can do is not pass the bad shit on. There, having just talked to youngest via Skype, who is currently touring New Zealand, I think I may just have succeeded. So not all bad then.

So, that’s the background. I’m a genuine bastard son of a bitch, but you all knew that anyway, you cuddly little kittens you. Meanwhile, back on the subject. Legacies. Wills. Legal shizzle. Inheritances. Money. Moolah.

The good news is I stand to receive a goodly sum which will set me up for the rest of my days. If the Executor can get his act together. The bad news is, elder sibling is doing anything but. Getting anything out of the estate with him in the drivers seat is like pulling back molars with a set of nose hair tweezers. The will states the estate is an even split. No trusts, challenges or codicils. Probate was granted back in early October. All discoveries have been made and outstanding bills settled. No challenges, taxes paid, yet sibling wants to hang on to the major asset, which is a brace of rather pleasant little country cottages, officially valued at just shy of a very large sum indeed. He tells me he wants to ‘invest’ our inheritance jointly in those cottages and live off the rental income. I try to tell him they’re potential money pits which we should sell off, or we’ll end up losing money. I tell him I don’t want estate funds spent on them. I tell him he could make more money by selling up, splitting the estate and investing his share in more modern rental properties. Response? *crickets* La-la-la, he’s not listening. Even though he’s legally bound to execute the will and any losses he makes have to come out of his pockets, not the estate, for as long as he remains Executor. Which until the estate is fully paid out, he will remain. It’s not as though I’ve seen a penny so far, either. Despite there being significant liquid assets available ready for paying out.

As an aside; for those of you who need to make international currency transfers, here’s a piece of advice: don’t send it by cheque or in cash. Use a currency broker. Reason; you’ll get a much better rate of exchange from a broker than a bank, and they take care of all the money laundering restrictions. Broker transferred funds are available within 48hours, cheques take almost a month to clear. Canadian Banks also report cash transfers over $5000 direct to the tax man if they think the provenance of the source is a bit dodgy. They don’t like sterling cheques over CAD$5,000 either. Over a certain amount, cheques and money orders also get reported to the security services as possible terrorist activity. Believe it, the banks use special data mining applications to comply with these financial regulations. They can get fined millions if they don’t comply. RBS got caned a cool 5.6 million GBP a while back for not being careful enough. As did NatWest, Ulster Bank and Coutts. Oracle provide products for the very purpose of detecting money laundering. The only way round these restrictions is carrying large wodges of cash in your luggage, which is something the customs guys tend to frown upon.

Elder sibling does not ‘believe’ any of this. He refuses all my advice. I do not care. I just want him to execute the will and pay out my share of the estate a.s.a.p. before he manages to fritter half of it away. What he does with his own share is his business. Am I going to use my share of the money wisely? I think so, yes. I have an carefully selected Investment Fund Manager and Tax Accountant on standby. The additional question is, do I trust sibling? Well, funny you should ask that. No. His repeated failures to cough up and the way he is handling communication between us is ringing loud warning bells. I may have to lawyer up smartish. Which may prove expensive for both of us. Fortunately I have a top notch UK-qualified and based family lawyer waiting in the wings (Youngest). What I hope to gain, properly invested, will not only benefit me, but eventually our two reprobates and their families when it comes to check out time for Mrs S and I. As for who will get the job of Executor, well, it won’t be one of the beneficiaries. I’d rather pay a lawyer to do it.

You know, it’s at times like these I’m moved to reflect that I’ve never really had a close family and nowadays find myself wishing for even more distance. Maybe Canada was nowhere near far enough. The next galaxy, perchance?

Sometimes Napalm is the only rational response…….

In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, it turns out that France has gone all Duke Nukem and is stepping up its airstrikes on one part of the 7th century death cult cancer. But then they were planning to up the stakes anyway and the students union level politics of the attackers have simply given the Frenchies even better justification for blowing even more Jihadists to the promised land. Nuke ‘em jusqu’à ce qu’ils brillent et leur tirer dessus dans le noir (until they glow and shoot them in the dark – as if you didn’t know). Cheese eating surrender Monkeys? Mmm. Yeah. Personal experience? I like them. Outside of Paris I’ve found most French folks so laid back they only have to turn their heads to kiss their own pert little buttocks. Yet piss off any Frenchman, and they will go all Jeanne D’Arc on you.
Duc Nukem Merde Je Suis Bon
Even though, like a lot of people, I’d never even heard of Charlie Hebdo until the Jihadists propelled it centre stage. Quite frankly, having had a look at said magazines content I wouldn’t have crossed the street to piss down their throats if their lungs were on fire. Now however, outside of the lamestream media, those ‘blasphemous’ cartoons the fanatics wanted to suppress for ‘offending’ their prophet (How exactly do you offend a dead guy, BTW?), have spread like a forest fire on steroids. Said magazines readership is way up and the gunpersons Islamist buddies are about to catch some extra garlic flavoured hellfire and napalm. Oh yeah, and yet even more people are queuing up to ‘insult’ their prophet. Marches of support for the dead lefty’s (Whether the same amount would have turned out had Charlie Hebdo been right wing is moot). Growing protests across Europe against the attackers religion. That worked out well, didn’t it?

The problem is, these Jiahdists, like all fanatics, are beyond reason. Their rabid intolerance of any but their own narrow little world view has always put them beyond the pale. Ever since the Mughals (Muslims themselves, devised this amusing little public entertainment). Despite the more enlightened of their own religion saying (heavily paraphrased) Look guys, wind your necks in or we’ll all be casualties.” And even, “If you don’t like it here, fuck off.” The rabid death cultists cannot stop killing because they’re way past the point of thinking rationally about what they are doing. Over the sanity event horizon and accelerating. Hate and intolerance drives their souls, blackens their merciless hearts, gives them their very raison d’etre. The only way to deal with them, distasteful as it sounds, is to put the mad dogs down. Hard. While the politicians cower, the rest of us are saying, if you have to kill for your religion, maybe your version of God worship needs a little work. If not, sometimes napalm is the only rational response we have left.

Depravity

Hello. Once more, greetings from the Bill Sticker Sarcastic Society for the Protection of Words. It has come to the attention of our Senior Librarian that another word is in serious trouble. This dire circumstance forces us to mobilise our highly trained team of Stunt Linguists, Grammarians and Etymologists to rise and take up dictionaries in defence of a word so twisted by misuse it could work as a haunted trees stunt double in an enchanted forest.

Today’s word is:

Depravity
Line breaks: de|prav|ity
Pronunciation: /dɪˈpravɪti
Source Oxford English
/
Definition of depravity in English:
noun (plural depravities)
[mass noun]
Moral corruption; wickedness: a tale of depravity hard to credit [count noun]: I wondered what depravities had occurred in that place

Mid 17th century: alteration (influenced by deprave) of obsolete pravity, from Latin pravitas, from pravus ‘crooked, perverse’.

What truly counts as depraved? Sex? Hmm. Some of the more extreme aspects of BDSM, perhaps. Kidnapping and raping children, most definitely. However, top of the list has to go to killing people for simply saying they don’t think much of your religion, or giving support to said killers by word or deed. Specifically when applied to defenders and promoters of a certain 7th Century death cult. Which, by the way, you can stick right up your arse. No matter how many defenceless satirists the death cult is willing to kill. Only those truly steeped in the deepest slime of depravity could think otherwise.

By the way: Here’s the French ‘Wanted’ poster.
Suspects in Charlie Hebdo massacre
Now reported dead.

Vive Charlie Hebdo. Vive la France. Nothing depraved about them (mostly).

Expatriate expostulations from Canada

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