Violence

Now I’ve been in a few scraps. Hand to hand stuff for which I’ve taken lumps and bruises, split lips, black eyes and even got my nose broken on one occasion. The younger Bill Sticker, despite his (usually) peaceful nature, developed a bit of a reputation for being able to handle himself in a fight. He also quickly learned that some things are not worth fighting over and when to walk away. How showing a contemptuous back to a would-be aggressor can stop them in their tracks but also how to spot the semi-psychotics who actually enjoy fighting.

Violence has a value, that much is true. When it comes to stopping someone hitting you, a good disabling Karate or Judo strike or throw, I’ve found, is invaluable. But only in self defence or other dire need.

What violence as a means of communication cannot do is change hearts and minds. It can only repress the expression of those ideas. Because ideas are something you can’t get rid of by any form of physical intervention. Even if you eliminate an entire population holding a given idea, tear down all their buildings, burn their books, wipe every trace of them from this earth, you can be sure that some bright spark will try to repeat it. Did the Inquisition stop Judaism or Islam? Nope, still here. Doing remarkably well, too. Did the Nazi Holocaust or Shoah get rid of all the Jews, Gays and political opposition? Hmm, I’d be inclined to say not. Will the violent ‘Antifa’ protests unseat President Trump or rescind his actions? No. Violence and its threat did stop large scale aggression on the parts of Napoleon and Hitler, but did the military necessity truly change any minds? Take a good careful look around before answering.

So when I posted that you can’t change someone’s mind by punching their lights out on one of Stefan Molyneux’s video’s, he simply replied “False though”. To which I wanted to respond with:

No. If someone physically hits me, it doesn’t ‘change my mind’ or alter my opinion on a given topic. What it does is make me want to hit them back harder and distracts from the original cause of the disagreement.

I would argue that violence as a negotiating tool only works so long as the oppressing party can maintain the state of fear the threat of assault is meant to engender.

But two attempts to post my answer to his reply led to ‘comment failed to post’. Fine, his gaff, his rules. He can only answer so many replies and I think he’s instituted a 48 hour shut out on commenting. However, I have this blog, so this is where I will post my thoughts on the matter. If Stefan or one of his friends cares to drop by and reply within the next 21 days (See comments policy), they’re welcome.

As for the violent ‘Antifa’ anti-Trump riots. The only thing those do is persuade me that these so-called black masked ‘anti-fascists’ are the very embodiment of fascism. Because they try to repress other opinions by physical intimidation, but their actions only serve to cement an opposition to their goals, at least in my mind. If asked, I’d say that these riots have all the sophistication and persuasiveness of a thwarted toddler pitching a fit at Mummy because she won’t let them have just one more sweetie.

Indeed, I am of the school of thought that violent action too often serves to prolong disputes. See Northern Ireland, where those on the shallow end of the IQ curve are still fighting the 1690 Battle of the Boyne.

Anyway, it’s snowing and I must get shovelling if Mrs S and I are to make our usual Friday lunch date.

World not doomed

Sister in law has been bragging how she’s signed the petition against a state visit to the UK by the new US President. For what? Because of the travel ban for nationals from half a dozen countries? Something Obama did back in 2011? I think Sister in law gets her politics from the dumpster behind her local Supermarket it’s so far past it’s sell-by date. That or CNN. They’re both just as tainted.

What’s not being widely, or sympathetically broadcast is the other side of the story. Trump has been negotiating ‘safe zones’ for refugees in country, allowing many more of those poor sods displaced by war to be helped closer to their own homeland without being transplanted to what is for them, an alien culture. Specifically the West, where they will have great difficulty getting decent jobs, extended families will be split, and the stage set for yet more terrorist attacks by disaffected youth funded by religious zealots with too much money… oh yes, and elements within Western regimes who use such zealotry for their own proxy wars. Oh yes, people can virtue signal about how much they ‘care’ about refugees, but if they really, truly ‘cared’ they would be looking more critically at the core issues and protesting Western middle eastern meddling like Hilary Clinton’s handling of the ‘Arab Spring’.

Well, the good news is that at least one source of funding for such groups may start drying up because of this little piece of financial news. Which is only of interest to those with a finger in an international pie. I hope it will lead to a reduction in monies flowing to groups subsidising terror attacks. Which will be good for all of those preferring not to be blown to bits because someone thinks their God has been insulted.

Those of you reading the article may go “WTF are you on, Bill? How does imposing tax on expats, tobacco and sugary drinks reduce the risk of terrorism?” To which I would answer, look at the wider picture. Oil revenues are shrinking due to the current glut and will continue to do so, which is leading to a rude awakening in some quarters. So much for ‘peak oil’, eh? Whether certain regimes will wise up and wind their necks in is down to them. I’m hoping the spare change which has been funding terror cells will shrink, because there’s no money in blowing people up for free.

Incidentally, have you seen the cost of ammunition recently? Well, that’s just the USA, but can be considered a reflection of a wider trend. Maybe terrorists will think twice before going on the rampage if they have to shell out more for bullets.

So yes, I’m optimistic. Less money for the radical Wahabi sect stirring up disaffection, which is fuelling the current Islamic terror attacks, should allow more moderate voices to shine through and begin internal reforms, which Islam as a whole seriously needs to address if it is to remain relevant in the 21st century. In fact all the interested parties could begin by considering the following; “It’s impossible to change minds after you’ve blown their brains out.”

As for the USA’s proposed new diplomatic stance with Russia, that’s good too. The cold war ended officially in 1989. So why the hell the West is farting about with military deployments instead of building metaphorical bridges and opening up broader trade links is beyond me. Russia isn’t the old Soviet Union any more.

Then there’s a wonderful sucking sound as the ‘Man Made Climate Change’ nonsense is relegated to a more realistic place in the USA’s threat list. Specifically the bottom. It was never more than a bogeyman to frighten the gullible into line anyway, because the models don’t work, and the real numbers are all wrong. And numbers, unlike people who want to keep riding their gravy train, don’t lie. As it is in international commerce, so it is in science. The real numbers are all that matter. Everything else is a Netflix ‘Documentary’, to be viewed only with a very critical eye.

So I’m not signing any silly ‘anti-Trump’ petition because I think he’s thought long and hard about the issues of this world and wants to try a more businesslike approach.

Beaches

We’re enjoying our new home. Not only is it only ten minutes from the stores, it’s less than ten minutes from the closest half way decent beach, there’s a small but perfectly formed fishing lake less than three hundred metres walk away, and I have my own full size office. It’s not beach weather, but it will be in a few months. And although the sand is a few shades darker than I’m used to, it’s still the same texture.

Mrs S is still hors de combat and will be until mid February / early March, so I’m having to ferry her around and perform various personal functions she has trouble with, like the simple action of pulling on a sock or lacing up her shoes. I don’t mind.

Our new place has a lot more space than our old apartment, and needs a few more sticks of furniture. Selection of which is a work in progress. New desk for her. New bookcases (Yes, more bookcases) for me. A new Ottoman for the front room. Small stuff. All of which I’m okay with. Pictures need to be hung. Two large mirrors need locating. All thieves of time, but hey, she is injured and needs time to heal properly, so I’m happy to go along. It’s just part of the whole “In sickness and in health” thing I signed up to. No biggie.

What I am getting annoyed with is the hatchet op-eds she keeps on insisting reading aloud about Trump and what a naughty man he is for doing exactly what he said he would do on the campaign trail. Why she and the various pundits are so surprised I have no idea, but if the FT doesn’t get back to reporting some proper financial news soonish, our subscriptions will be shut down. I pay for proper financial news, what’s really happening, not some Journo’s half-arsed emotion-ridden ‘opinion’.

If I wanted to read trashy personal attacks on Trump I’d go to CBC, CNN, the Huffington Post or similar. Although it’s such fun to read various Grauniad columnists getting their panties in a bunch over stuff Trump is doing which they gave Obama a total pass on. But I do so love the smell of burning hypocrisy in the morning.

Well it amuses me. But as I’m real bastard son of a bitch it would, wouldn’t it?

Well, there’s always the Winter beach and sea. There’s also a friendly Bernese Mountain dog who patrols one particular isolated little place and ‘adopts’ any moderately sensible human. The first time we met I half expected him to try and jump in the back of my car, just like my old mutt used to. But no, he just ambled on his way home to get fed, fussed and the sand brushed out of his coat by his real boss.

Migrating off Twitter

Twitter seem to be suspending a whole bunch of accounts for what seems no good reason, and quite frankly I’m not bothered any more, not that I ever was, so my Twitter account is on its way to the junk heap to keep my old Facebook ID company with the rest of the digital trash.

Instead, I’m migrating to the ‘high beta’ Minds.com, which is a much more open platform. At least ideologically speaking. Look me up sometime. Or don’t. I’ll probably post just as often.

Then there’s the YouTube issue, where terrorist accounts are left untouched, but someone who says something ‘ist’ gets theirs suspended or deleted, or compiles the wrong sort of playlist, as in my case, gets their playlist summarily deleted.

Not that the Tech billionaires who run these service haven’t turned into blatant hypocrites. Zuckerberg for example has had security staff harassing people who walk along public beaches and paths close to his 700 acre Hawaiian property, and the locals have been protesting his attempted annexation of ancestral land. Then he stands up and pretends to be all goody two shoes, lecturing people on the evils of others? Frankly I’d rather he just stayed as a rampant capitalist and kept his public mouth firmly shut.

Then there’s ‘do no harm’ Google’s ironic motto when they provide various security services with access to everyone’s data. For a fee of course. I think one of the questions that should be posed when one signs up for any digital service should be; “Tick this box if you’re comfortable with our double standards.”

Update: Another YouTube account deletion, this time Richard (The Hamster) Hammond late of Top Gear and now part of the successful Amazon published Grand Tour.

A thought about toxins

Paracelsus had it; “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, only the dosage makes a thing not poison.” Or the more widely quoted abbreviated version; “The poison is in the dose”, which as translations go is fairly loose. But yes, all substances, even water and oxygen are toxic over a certain point.

Now Mrs S works with Autistic children, and I have been trained (although I think my training is by now well out of date) to work with Autistic spectrum children, amongst a range of other mental and physical disabilities. One of the things the mainstream press do not generally tell you of course is that Autism is a description of a broad range of symptoms from mild cognitive disassociation, in the case of ‘high functioning’, where someone is a bit anti-social and nerdy to full ‘rain man’ savant and everywhere else along the IQ range. Like most things in nature, all the data points on the autism spectrum are more scatter graph than bell curve or straight line. Like with other forms of mental disorder, there is no ‘perfect’ Autistic sufferer. Including all the shades of Asperger’s.

Now two items of news are pointing to possible causes of Autism, and not the spurious study that implicated the MMR vaccine and may end up dooming children to giving birth to poor souls with ‘Rubella syndrome‘. Rubella syndrome, as the linked article explains, is caused by the mother catching measles in the first trimester (First 3 months) of pregnancy and is much, much worse than Autism. Blindness, deafness and severe behavioural disorders result, and I have personally worked with two such children in my dim and distant past. Having seen the results of such an infection, I’d say that skipping the MMR or any vaccination for that matter, is possibly the worst decision any concerned parent to be could ever make.

There are two studies which may have found a possibly credible causative factor in Autism. The first is high doses of Folic acid (Vitamin B9) during pregnancy and the second factor Vitamin D deficiency in those vital first three months when the baby’s nervous system is first developing. Anaemia during early pregnancy has also been cited as a possible causative factor, but more recent thinking is that iron deficiency sometimes found in Autistic children is a symptom rather than the cause.

Right, Folic acid is an easy one to monitor, and vitamin supplements if the pregnant mother to be is already eating lots of food rich in Folic Acid may be unnecessary or even harmful to her unborn. Current thinking favours an absolute maximum dose of 1000 micrograms (1 milligram) with 4-600 micrograms of Folic acid as ideal. Now the vitamin D deficiency issue could be linked to low fat diets immediately before and during pregnancy, because, guess what? Vitamin D (Along with A, E and K) is’Fat Soluble‘ found in ‘Fatty’ fish, like Tuna, Mackerel, and Salmon, Beef liver, Dairy produce (Including cheese) and eggs. So if a pregnant woman’s diet includes reasonable amounts of these foods, then unless she has a gastric disorder she won’t need Vitamin D supplements. Because, and here’s the kicker, tablet based supplements alone aren’t as effective as a healthy mixed diet. A broad spread of proteins, fats, minerals are good. Low fat not so much because most low fat foods are loaded with starch or gel to replace the fats. The trick is to consume the right amount. Normal metabolisms can cope with periodic small excesses during pregnancy, but not megadoses.

By the same token, the Low-fat, Vegetarian and Vegan diets we’re all continually being hectored into aren’t really ‘healthy’ in the long term because they require supplements to fill the nutrition gap. A pregnant woman needs to have been on a reasonable mixed diet prior to and during pregnancy, allowing for the strange cravings and other anomalies that occasionally come with the package. I do not apologise for the sexism in that last sentence because nature and biology are inherently ‘sexist’. It is a biological fact that only fertile females can become pregnant without some freakish work in proverbial test tubes (or more likely a Petri dish or a microscope slide). Men do not have the necessary organs to conceive and bring a fully grown foetus to term. No Ovaries, Fallopian tubes or Uterus. So there. Unless some half wit wants the risks of an Ectopic pregnancy, the insane idea of a biological male getting pregnant must remain within the annals of science fiction.

Then there are the recent revelations about vegetarian diets and too much copper. Copper, which has in the past been implicated as a prime suspect for causing Histaphenia, a form of schizophrenia. Don’t understand the finer points of the biochemistry, but the science, at least to my reading, seems sound enough, even though there are dissenting voices. So a predominantly vegetable based diet of copper rich foods can certainly play les bougres risibles with brain function development and neurotransmitters. Especially if there’s a zinc malabsorption issue. Which could partly explain the sometimes bizarre antics of those who take their diets to extreme.

Well, that’s a steak for me, and only a very small Caesar side salad thanks. I’m eating healthily.

What is Davos?

Now I subscribe to a number of financial news services, from the FT to what some might call the ‘fringe’ which drop into my inbox every morning. I generally take them all with a grain of salt and tend to trust my own instincts. But sometimes you get an absolute gem. This one is from the “International Man” feed by a guy called Doug Casey who runs the International Man project which beautifully encapsulated the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland; “The 2017 Davos consensus – more welfare and warfare“. From which I take this perfect description of those who fancy themselves financial lords of creation over us cattle.

“A bunch of out-of-touch, self-anointed elites meeting to hand down from above their uniformly bad “solutions” to the world’s problems. Then they pat each other on the back for all the good they’re doing.

No matter the problem, their prescription is always more welfare, more warfare, more money printing, more taxes, and of course, more centralization of power into global institutions.

Interestingly, Donald Trump has never been invited to Davos. But his many opponents surely have.”

So it’s not just me who thinks this way. It’s a private club to run the world, and the public is not allowed a say.

Which gave me the idle thought. If those Islamic terrorists really wanted to do themselves some serious good, they wouldn’t be bothering about the penny-ante stuff of murdering ‘infidels’ on YouTube, or ramming perfectly serviceable aircraft into iconic buildings, they’d go after the Davos attendees. Because to go all Orwell, the rich and powerful meeting at Davos are the people for whom “Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.” These self appointed rulers own much of the media, fund the protestalot NGO’s, and you can call me a tinfoil hat wearer if you like, but what emanates from these meetings of the mega-rich and powerful makes me think meetings like Davos are wellsprings of true Fascism.

I don’t recall voting for any of them either. Ever.

Taking care of business

Am keeping a very tight reign on my UK business affairs at present, demanding that i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. There have been too many details missed of late by those ‘experts’ my business partners gave the job to, and so I’m going to be on their backs like a monkey with a bad case of Tourettes.

Honestly speaking I’d prefer to trust, but when they’ve repeatedly demonstrated a lack of care, that trust goes out of the window. Like with politicians and BREXIT, you have to be on their case, or you just know it will get screwed by powers that be and all the useful idiots out there. Like with the latest successful Supreme Court challenge, Parliament now needs to give the process the nod before the UK can be freed from the tentacles of the EU’s bureaucratic nightmare. The populace should be watching them very carefully indeed.

If there’s one thing I hate to see going to waste, it’s opportunity, mainly because I know how infrequently it knocks. And BREXIT is a great opportunity. Well it could be. Providing the Remoaners stop whining, get their heads out of their collective arses and instead of fighting a constant rearguard action, take an energetic stroll down the path of enlightened self interest. Or is that me having an over optimistic view of their abilities?

An unfinished work

For anyone with a passing interest in the topic, I’ve been digging out my notes and came across something I first began mucking around with over ten years ago. It was meant to form a small ebook simply entitled ‘Stepdad’, which was supposed to be a collection of thoughts and tragi-comic experiences of my small part in bringing up someone else’s offspring. For one reason or other it was never finished. There’s only twelve thousand words or so, but it’ll do.

I’ve tried to keep the tone light, focusing on the funny side of the disaster curve that our domestic life skated through, and names have been changed to protect both innocent and guilty alike. Although it was sometimes hard to tell who was what at what time.

It’s not meant to be a definitive guide, it’s just my thoughts and impressions of what went on in the relationship between a stepfather, in this case me, two teenage girls and their mother with guest star roles of a much loved dog and various family members from staff and distaff. If anyone finds anything useful in it, let me know. If all you’re going to do is be negative, don’t sully your keyboard. Take the link from the menu bar and have a giggle at my mixed fortunes. More will be posted every day or so as I tidy the manuscript up until I run out of notes.

Interested? Click here or the top menu.

Youtube Censorship

I used to have little ‘mature content’ playlist of rather gorgeous Burlesque performers on my sidebar and am sad to report that YouTube has deleted my selection of delightful prancing young ladies for whom clothing was a secondary concern. Apparently some snowflake decided it was ‘inappropriate’ and I received a missive this morning with the following;

The YouTube community flagged one or more of your playlists as inappropriate.

To which my response is; “Sorry, but you guys hosted the content, I just collated a list of it.” Even if the video’s are deleted, Some kind soul will upload more for those of us over 18 whose blood runs a healthier shade of red. I will find something else to entertain my one remaining reader under the ‘Not Safe For Work’ category on the sidebar. As the mood takes me.

As for ‘community’. Yerss, well. Frankly I never wanted to belong to any ‘community’ or be judged by censorious asshats. They can all just go fuck themselves with a barbed wire covered baseball bat. Which I’m told is something that may appeal to those at the extreme end of BDSM. Not my thing. But hey, if you’re a consenting adult, don’t let me get in your way. I hear that there’s a dominatrix or two that caters for such sexual eccentricities. Chacun à son goût.

YouTube is a resource which I have a membership of, nothing more. That membership was an accident of signing up for a gmail account back in 04′ and Google subsequently buying up Youtube. Not of any ‘community’, which would imply I actually approve of YouTube’s Hyacinth Bucket-level prudery policies. I never signed up for anything but a free email account, the rest of my ‘membership’ was a result of Google’s expansion. So no, I’d simply say this is the result of Google’s ‘Mission creep’ by very creepy people. And lawyers pressured by the prurient.

As for their YouTube ‘heroes’ or unpaid moderators. There’s nothing even vaguely ‘heroic’ about them. They’re generally the type of lowlife who become classroom sneaks, politically correct tattle-tales and virtue-signalling toadies. Committee fodder. About as far from the classical definition of heroic as it is possible to be. The fact that YouTube openly recruits immature (Under 18) people for this unpaid task should be a red flag. How can anyone judge someone else’s standards if they aren’t mature enough to understand their own?

Anyway. The pendulum has swung to extreme political correctness, and now it is beginning the long, inexorable swing back through sanity to the other extreme. Popcorn maker on, butter and salt ready. Catch you on the flip side.

Update: Three YouTube accounts I subscribed to; Ex Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Clarkson Hammond and May have been terminated for ‘copyright violation and deceptive practices’.

Watching history

This morning I watched the livestream of President Trumps inauguration. Prior to ten fifty a lot of which seemed to be taken up by two nervous looking Marines standing in front of a door. two-marines-and-a-door-still-life
Then just after ten to eleven (Eastern Standard time that is, in my case 9:00a.m. Pacific) the doors opened and Trump stepped into the light. And guess who he stepped through the door with? Like they were a couple of old business buddies?
trump-and-obama-01
Although I recognise the expression on Trumps face as he appears to be lectured by his predecessor. It was that; “I hear what you say, but I’m going to get my lawyers to check it over first.” Look. And well he might.

I was also watching the comments stream flashing by. Jeebus, what a throng of room temperature IQ’s from both sides of the aisle. Some trollish moron kept posting swastikas. Which is odd, as their sigil is probably more like the old Soviet hammer and sickle. Mrs S was kibitzing over my shoulder making sarcastic remarks all through Trump’s acceptance speech. Youngest posted something moronic like “Nice knowing you all.” Which I’d have posted had Clinton been taking the oath of office, because her Neocon leanings would definitely have put the West one step closer to a full blown war with Russia. Me, I’ll cut the guy some slack and see how things go.

Anyway, Friday’s major task is throwing out a carload of cardboard and paper from our recent move at the recycling depot. No doubt President Trump has his own garbage to be rid of. Let’s see how he manages the first hundred days. This could get very interesting.

Update: Looks like he’s started already.

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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