Tag Archives: European Union

The shape of things to come

Mrs S and I were talking over lunch the other day. She’s finally giving up the day job this year and being totally freelance, doing her own thing, doing creative production of real goods. Her comment on the transition; “I don’t know whether to cry or scream with joy.”

I know how she feels. When I made the transition from employee to freelancer I was very ambivalent about the whole process. The transition was tricky but not traumatic as I stepped out of my comfort zone into the great wide blue yonder of self-employment. I recall that getting away from the 9-5 felt really good after the first few months. Not being a wage slave was hard work but not so much of a chore as being ‘managed’, which I always hated. Show me a job and let me get on with it has long been my philosophy. Stand over me with a stopwatch and I’ll be so busy looking over my shoulder that I won’t do a good job.

On the home front, my raised beds are all showing signs of germination, and the ‘fast salad’ stuff I put in last week is going gangbusters, as are the spring onions, leeks, white cabbage and beetroot. My tomatoes and peppers are beginning to poke tiny leaves out of the soil, as are the cucumbers. The bees have settled in nicely and have already filled their brood boxes and one ‘super’ before starting work on the upper super (as in cropping) frames.

It’s been a bit of a delayed spring and summer this year, despite all the wavy hand predictions of heat death and climate doom. I put it down to increased particulates in the atmosphere from several large volcanic eruptions around the planet, and Ireland has always been a bit like Wales and western Scotland, a buffer for the British Isles from all the Atlantic weather. So getting my seeds in a month later than planned hasn’t worked out badly. At least as far as germination is concerned.

At this rate I should have salads for the summer by the end of July and a full crop of honey by early August. It may even be a good idea to buy a couple of new hives to act as bee traps If I miss a swarm. Then I have to invest in some honey processing gear. No matter, better to invest the money now than see it disappear in the coming waves of inflation.

Marketing game plan is to give out sample jars of raw organic honey to our neighbours for taste testing and to sell at the farmers market, when it finally gets going again. Another bright spot is that one of the local stores has expressed an interest. So I have a tacit agreement that at least one local outlet will try my product.

Mrs S will be handling the wax products side of things, but we’ve also been talking about supplying bee venom and propolis (Bee glue) for cosmetics and pharmaceutical use on a small scale.

We’re doing this because we don’t want to rely on pensions alone (Even though we have been very careful to plan for our frail dotage). The value of a pension can be reduced to worthlessness by politicians cocking everything up (as usual). And I have no intention of starving.

Why? I look at it this way. We live in an age where the old biblical quotation “Put not thy faith in Princes” is ever more appropriate. The politicians have given themselves godlike powers to intervene in people’s private lives but seem determined to reinforce another old saying about idols having feet of clay. Or should that quotation read “Yeah, but those eejits all have feet of clay.” and brains of lard to boot. In their desperate search for votes the political class pander to vociferous urban minorities and in doing so neglect the care of the majority. That’s even without the malign anti-human influence of organisations like the WEF.

If, and I’m not holding out much hope here, the powers that be don’t parlay us all into a global war, we will have built a bolt hole for the rest of our clan, with enough food to eat and a little left over to barter. If the worst case scenario doesn’t happen and the can gets kicked a little further along the road we’ll be quids in.

If the politicians keep on following the road of sanctioning everything vaguely Russian, then we’ll all be screwed. See one American commentators well argued points below.

Hunker down and grow your own folks, because Green policies are giving us all the shaft.

Ready, set……oh.

Right, so about a quarter of the parliamentary tory party rebelled over Bojo the clown’s ‘plan B’, which as crap as any plan B can ever be. Plan B is always a poor second choice, and so it is for the dear old UK. Despite their opposition, the restrictions still got voted through.

Not of course that it’s any better over here. ‘North’ is (Was?) due to join us next week, and has gone for her ‘booster’ jab to ensure she can join us unmolested. New travel ‘guidance’ says she has to get a negative antigen or PCR test before getting on the plane. We’re offering to pay for her test, just to make sure she can travel. Just so we can have some quality time together. We’ll do the same for ‘South’ when she can get out of the great prison state of Oz.

For my part, I have elected to ignore the repeated messages saying I am ‘eligible’ for a ‘booster’. Given that the current round of the “OHMYGAWD!” variant is as harmless as a kitten on Valium, at least according to the Sarf Efricans who discovered it. So I won’t be bothering. I’ve had two jabs, and if those didn’t work then what’s the point of another? Thus far and no further. Stuff the mandates.

Yes, yes, I know one death with the “OHMYGAWD!” variant of COVID has been reported in the UK, but ‘with’ isn’t ‘of’. Which means that the deceased was found to have traces of virus (Live or dead) in their sinuses after a post mortem PCR swab test, no matter their actual cause of death. Said test does not mean that they were symptomatic or even infected, merely that they had traces of it in their sinuses when swabbed. That, even with my limited medical training, does not constitute a ‘case’.

Frankly I’m pissed off with the whole business, and a second Christmas ruined by these weak arse politicians and their control freak advisers is not being looked on kindly. Bastards. The f*cking bastards. Right this minute I f*cking hate the whole of the British and Irish Parliaments who voted for renewed restrictions. I hate the EU commission, the Scottish and Welsh assemblies, and I wish them all the harm in the world. I hope they all die of a particularly nasty and painful form of cancer. Next week for preference. Hell, I’ll even buy tickets to watch each of them writhe and die in agony.

Now that may sound like I’m over reacting, but I say, if you’re going to over-react you might as well go the whole hog. However, no matter what happens we’ll survive. I just want to see ‘North’ in person and give her a serious hug to tell her that the family guard dog (Me) is still a good ‘un and all will be well. I want to feed her, share a few daft Dad-jokes, warm her in front of a good Irish fire and in the New Year send her back to the great metrollops relaxed and refreshed. If you are a parent who is worth your salt you will feel this way. Anything that gets in the way instantly raises the red mist of vengeance.

Thinking about this, I can’t think of any other occasion where I’ve hated another group of people so much. And I do mean hate. Not some minor dislike, but borderline incandescent rage at being repeatedly cheated and gaslit over a bug which has done far less harm than the restrictions meant to contain it. I want their (The politicians, their ‘science’ advisers, enforcers and their snitches) lungs to catch fire so I can refuse to piss down their throats.

Maybe in Hell Satan will let me do that.

Greek out?

Just saw this little snippet begin to spread across the Forex world;

Due to the possible exit of Greece from the European Union, we would like to inform you that from 29th June, 2015, instruments may be temporarily set to Close Only mode.

While I’m not exactly sure what ‘Close only’ mode entails, this does not bode well. Such measures are only put in place when there’s a sign saying “Crisis – this way up – do not bend” above the Foreign Exchange markets.

My own currency brokers are closed over the weekend, but I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of fallout over the next 72 hours. Looks like it’s one of those financial ‘Hang tough’ moments. So that’s what I’ll do. Take a step back and let the markets oscillate a bit.

Greek ruins Parthenon and EuroFor most people, shifting money across borders is the province of those so-called ‘rich’ buggers. For me (I’m ‘modestly well off’ not ‘rich’) it’s a case of necessity. I have assets to buy, money to shift, taxes to pay, but if the landfill has hit the wind turbine, while the Greek tragedy plays itself out I shall put my Fedora on and go soak up some sunshine, stick me rod in my hand and go stand on some rocks to see if the fish are biting. We’ll see what doom and gloom, if any, that Monday brings.

Will the powers that be let Greece fail? We shall see who blinks first.

P.S. Watch this Twitter feed
Update: Also this breaking news feed on the Eurozone.
And just to throw more fuel on the fire, we hear the State Governor say that Puerto Rico can’t pay its debts.

While the rest of North America seems to be going to see Gay Pride parades, What’s that creaking noise?

A thought experiment on referenda

Ballot boxThis mornings cerebral peregrinations hit a big ‘what if’ as I was giving my usual cursory scan to Zero Hedge. Specifically this story about the pending referendum in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.

First thought was “Who are the organisers?” Is it really a free vote?
Second thought was “1.7 million ballots?” That’s a lot of counting.
Third thought was “What would give the result legitimacy?” Would it be binding? Certainly by the winners, but how about anyone else?
Fourth thought was “DIY Referendums. What an intriguing concept.” Instead of waiting for the vested interest owned politicians to ‘call’ one, why not have a privately sponsored vote on something like ohh, lemme see now, membership of the European Union for example. Which begs the question; how would you get such a privately sponsored referendum recognised by the Electoral Commission?
Fifth thought was “If a bunch of broke Ukrainians can do it, why can’t others?” I mean, what do you need? Voters list? Available publicly. Hell, if every telemarketing company can access the voter rolls, why not? For voting purposes hire village / community halls on a specific day. Cheap enough. Recruit volunteers, assigned randomly for each locale to act as voting officers. Download each voting ward onto a simple spreadsheet, crossing off each name as they vote (Insist on voter photo or signature ID). Each vote goes into a sealed steel box which has a unique serial number, just like regular voting. Hire local couriers to pick up the ballot boxes at close of voting and transport to volunteer vote counters. Count vote. Announce result. Yay. Power to the people and all that stuff, yeah? That’s without sorting out any type of Electronic voting via the jolly old Interweb.
Sixth thought was “But who’d help pay for what is effectively a private referendum?” You could probably do one on a local scale with volunteers, but on a national? I believe there are departments of the United Nations who would just love to help. It could even be crowd sourced.

Of course there are a million things that could go wrong. Like Icelands attempt at crowd sourcing a new constitution. The powers that be could just decide to ignore the result, get their media poodles to militate against it, or organise a Police swoop on the crowd sourced, volunteer manned polling stations and effectively steal the results and ballot boxes. Politically motivated ‘Hacktivists’ could crack electronic voter results and play les bougres idiot with them. But that sort of thing only happens in third world countries doesn’t it?

Yeah……