Tag Archives: Irreverence

On the road

In West Clare and Galway. Just some of my personal footage set to some restful music. Well mostly.

If this cheers you up, you’re probably as daft as I am. Welcome to the asylum.

Covid Passports, a modest proposal

Feeling a little buzzed and mischievous right now, having had my first dose of muscle relaxant and painkiller. Talk about pukka stuff. Right now you could cut my arm off and I’d laugh myself senseless.

Mrs S is deriving great merriment from watching me wobbling around the house, bouncing off the furniture like some bipedal bumper car. Everything has stopped hurting and I’m high as a kite. Whoopee. Look kids, don’t do drugs or, oh who am I kidding?

Nevertheless, onto the meat of this post dear reader. Ah, the dreaded lurgi, the not so fatal disease everyone has been running around doing headless chicken impersonations about for the last year and a half. At least if you’re under eighty without a ‘co-morbidity’. The disease 80% less likely to kill you than pneumonia. This plague that has people wearing masks in the streets and more ridiculously, behind the wheel of their car. Now it is being mooted that we must not go anywhere without some form of documentation to ‘prove’ that we are not ‘unclean’. Well now, there’s a thing.

Those of us who object to such an iniquity as a ‘COVID Passport’ have been subject to a litany of public misinformation and vile slander. Despite having proper scientific evidence to hand, not some regurgitated media ‘facts’. So I think it’s high time we got some payback.

Having heard a discussion about how our medical histories might be made available to every low ale house keeper and entry level security guard, I thought; “Hmm. What we need here is a little pre-emptive poetic justice.” And like all seriously good ideas it’s simple and cheap, and here it is;

If some person denies you service because you are reluctant to hand over your personal data, simply log on to your social media account, or better still an account with something like Tripadvisor or Expedia and post a bad review. I mean a zero star complete stinker. No swearing. No abuse. Just keep it polite, brief and succinct.

Say for example a restaurant insists on seeing some form of Vaccine related ID, don’t make a fuss, do as you are asked and have your meal. Enjoy yourself. Then give the premises in question the bad review. Same for any other place.

For example; a bad review in the case of a ‘No Jab-no entry’ café might look like the following; “Appalling coffee, stale pastries and very rude staff. It’s a shame I can’t give a minus star rating to these premises.” Make no mention of the bar to entry, but contrariwise, a café that does not make a big deal about “Papieren bitte.” should get a five star review and fulsome praise like; “My new go-to coffee hangout, lovely helpful staff and sausage rolls fit for the Gods.”

This principle can be applied across social media. Nothing abusive, just muted disgust and a soupcon of sarcasm. Night clubs could be critiqued with “Stale DJ, overpriced drinks that taste like they’ve been watered down and some of the ugliest people this side of Watford Gap.” other venues might attract something like “Doesn’t anyone clean up around here? The place smells like it’s been used as a lavatory.” Yes of course owners read their competitors reviews, wouldn’t you?

Nowadays everyone checks reviews before visiting. The idea being that if enough genuine-looking negative reviews begin to impact the bottom line of any zealous enforcer of the COVID tyranny, I’m sure that eventually they’ll get the message and the whole silly circus will grind to a suitably embarrassed halt.

Me, if found out and challenged, I will simply kiss the rod and plead the painkillers. They really are seriously good.

Random amusement

With all the doom and gloom, virtue signalling etc out there, I have a suggestion to fix the world’s troubles.

Read a book. Go on, find something without pictures in it and read the words. One at a time if that is your reading level but do read one. While reading you will not care about Sparkly Megs specious accusations of “raaaaacism” and TV hosts having a hissy fit over it. Reading will immunise you from the ‘newer, deadlier, more lockdownier’ strain of the dreaded lurgi. Reading is cheap, better for you than telly, the radio or interwebs.

It is also very hard to riot while reading a book. So law and order gets a boost.

Has to be a proper book mind, not one of those e-Readers. Only the real papery thing will do. You will feel better for spending some quality time with your nose in a real book. Reading will make you a better person. Trust me, I’m not an ‘expert’.

That’s where I am at the moment. On a windy Irish beach, with a book. Back in a while.

Verboten

Breaking; mass dogging event planned. This is not essential travel. Or so say the local Stasi.

Do not go to Canvey Island. Even if it is quite close to Southend. There’s a joke in there somewhere.

Downtime

I’m used to living and working online. It is, in some respects, something I’m fairly good at. For other things there is a phone, and as a trained communicator (Two ears, two eyes, two nostrils and one mouth, use in proportion). Unfortunately, when I need to talk to an overseas contact, our landline is down. Like today. So no business gets transacted. People don’t get paid on time and this reduces the sum of human happiness. Not something I like being even partially responsible for.

I could of course, if I had money to burn or an international data package, use my cell phone. But I’d rather put my funds to better use than paying cell phone companies for millivolts and sitting in a call centre queue for an hour or more while my remaining brains trickle out of my ears in tune with the bland awfulness of wait queue Muzak and their interminable adverts.

So what to do? Let my blood pressure be pushed beyond safe limits because the vagaries of fate preclude action? Or do I bugger off and do something slightly more interesting and successful while the phone company fix the lines? Dear reader, I chose the latter. Life, especially under the current pointless restrictions, demands little victories, those micro successes that bolter the shreds your self-esteem can be reduced to when utilities fail, and despite it not being your fault, guess who is first in line to get it in the neck when things aren’t done? Got it in one. Guess whose turn it is to be the office cat? Yours. Enjoy.

Here’s an interesting little life hack; did you know that an air fryer can make toast and fried bread? Well this one can. Saves putting the oven grill on. Don’t have a toaster, and didn’t fancy doing the old skillet toast trick. So my air fryer was put into service. 6 minutes at 200 Celsius lightly browns the bread and makes a nice hot slice to receive marmalade or whatever topping you fancy.

As an FYI; cast iron skillets can make seriously good toast and fried bread, which is where they score over the average toaster. Get the pan good and hot, stick in the bread and frying medium of choice (Olive oil, butter or nothing at all), flip when ready. There are more ways to make top notch toast than are thought of in anyone’s philosophy. All that is needed is a little outside the box culinary thinking and Robert is one’s father’s brother.

You can’t do fried bread in a toaster either. They’re a bit one dimensional as far as kitchen appliances go. Try putting anything but dried bread in them and the next thing you know it’s sparks and flames all round like a fork in a microwave. So I have the more versatile air fryer instead.

Another little culinary parlour trick I have to pass on is to stop your garlic going off. If, like me you don’t use more than a clove every other day, the trick is to peel the individual cloves and drop them into a jar of Olive oil. Result; garlic that doesn’t go off in a week and which keeps fairly well for a month. This also gives you a ready supply of Garlic Olive Oil, which commands a far higher price in the shops than the usual. So it’s a money saver too.

Anyway, supper beckons. Just soup and a small charcuterie and cheese board. There’s probably another glass of Pinot Noir downstairs too. And here’s me with this terrible thirst.

TTFN

A bunch of muppets

As none of the muppets in power seem to have any bright ideas of to get us out of the mess they, and they alone, have gotten us into. May I offer some minor ridiculae to ease my occasional reader’s inner pain.

The European Union. Having a sing of it’s anthem to cheer itself up (and failing) post Brexit.

A screenshot of the World Economic Forums top secret COVID Recovery plan, in it’s entirety.

And a more chilling message, from the Outer Limits.

Hang loose, as it says in the Deisderata;

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Being mindful

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Santa…..

Dear Santa,

Now as a grown up I’m told you don’t exist, but if, on the off chance you somehow do, I’d like to point out that I’ve been very, very good this year and would like to ask for a few things. If you think some of my listed items are a bit of an ask, I’d like to point out that I haven’t asked or begged for anything from you before in my entire life, but I would very much appreciate one or all of the following;

1. An end to all the palaver over BREXIT. I’d just like to see no deal happen so the EU wakes up and give the UK a Canada style free trade deal so we can all move on.
2. An end to the relentless propaganda over this virus thingy. Some unpleasant accidents to befall those constantly advocating for lockdowns. The demise or shutting down of Piers Morgan and his entire propaganda team would be nice. Something messy and public please, so we’re left in no possible doubt why it’s happening to them and their fellow travellers.
3. An end to the lockdowns and mask restrictions please would be appreciated. They serve no useful purpose.
4. Some kind of legal safeguard to be put in place so that these lockdowns can never ever happen again.
5. A return to pre-COVID normal life and sanity please.
6. Some kind of serious poetic justice against the most enthusiastic COVID enforcers and snitches would be much appreciated.

You see Santa, I’m not asking for myself, but for the rest of humanity who are continually watching their human rights and livelihoods being trampled. Not by any virus, but by stupid panicky people whose brains have shut down with all the fear being pumped out by the politicians and media.

Would really, really appreciate some intervention. Please and pretty please with sugar on it.

Many thanks in advance and a happier 2021 to us all.

Bill Sticker

P.S. For me, a small Christmas stocking with a Satsuma orange or two, a small bar of chocolate and maybe a packet of wine gums would be highly appreciated on Christmas morning. There’s a large bottle of vintage Port in the drinks cabinet. Put your boots up, give the reindeer a breather and have a large drink on me.

A business opportunity

Having had a look at some of the ‘Vaccination’ cards supposedly to be used as ID, I’m amazed at how easy to fake they will be. A picture of both sides of the card, fake batch number and appointment date and Robert, as they say, will be one’s fathers brother. Any modest home office could turn out hundreds. A photo printer could probably print out better looking copies. I believe there are even pre-cut ID card templates on sale via stationery stores.

No doubt this has occurred to everyone with a working brain cell, but a combo scanner / fax / printer, scissors, card and glue with a small home pouch laminator and you have all you need to charge ten quid a pop. Flash one of these at the average security guard (or below average if you’re talking about ‘COVID Marshalls’) and all of a sudden you’re a solid vaccinated citizen. Keep a few spares in your wallet to sell to friends. Charge your enemies ten times more.

No doubt certain enterprising gentlemen in the illegal intoxicants trade already have copies rolling off backstreet printing presses, out of the back door and via their distribution networks. Soon to appear on every dodgy mobile phone cracking market stall or via some slightly shady home delivery service.

Don’t you just love private enterprise?

Did say this whole COVID restriction business was as flawed as the idea of Prohibition. All you need is a plausible copy of a ‘vaccination’ card and you’re in to whatever gig / pub / club you want to, no dodgy jab necessary.

Only Governments can cock up like this.

Only correct?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grilled Mac and Cheese

Food, glorious food. It’s been a long time since I wrote one of my favourite family recipes down and presented it for the delectation of the general dyslexic. I’ve been too preoccupied with other things. Wasting my time railing against the wind.

Right. Mac and Cheese, grilled. Cheap, easy and filling. You can buy those ghastly Kraft dinners, but frankly you’re better off doing it from scratch. The end result is far better than the packet varieties. Tastier, more filling. All you will need is;

A cup and a bit of elbow macaroni
About an ounce of butter.
A tablespoon of cornflour, cornstarch or flour.
Two ounces of strong cheese.
A quarter teaspoon of ground chili flakes.
A quarter teaspoon of ground black pepper.
A teaspoon of finely grated Parmesan cheese. The cheap stuff is fine.
A cup and a bit of milk. Doesn’t matter what kind, although 2% is best.
About a litre and a half of water.
Half a teaspoon of salt.
A handful of frozen peas.
One large, one medium saucepans and a casserole dish.

Method;
Put water in large large saucepan, all salt.
Bring to boil. Throw in macaroni. Put to simmer.
Put smaller saucepan on heat, melt butter. Stir in cornstarch until it forms a paste, stir in milk, cheese, Parmesan, chili and black pepper until it forms a thick sauce, keep stirring even after you take it off the heat.
When macaroni is soft, add frozen peas. Cook for five more minutes before taking off the heat and draining. Stir in cheese sauce and put resulting mass into the casserole dish.
Put casserole dish under grill and set on two thirds until it goes medium brown.
Remove and serve to grateful audience.
Serves two hearty adult appetites. Can be eaten hot or cold.

Accept praise and the sensation of your grateful stomach hugging your spine. Double up on ingredients to serve 4-5 people. Barricade doors to keep out unwanted dinner guests. Enjoy.

Best wishes, Bill.

Bad news and good news

The forces of darkness known as big government has just tried to swat us (Amongst others) with another lockdown, but only succeeded in making my life easier and saving us money. The new lockdown restrictions mean that our next holiday booking meant to start on Saturday has been cancelled (Boo!) But we’re getting a full fifteen hundred dollar refund (Hooray!) Means we won’t be heading up to visit Galway (Boo!) But we’ve got a good permanent home in County Clare (Hooray!) and so on.

Tomorrow we’re going to run the gauntlet of Gardai checkpoints with a one word answer to the question “Where are you going sir?”
That answer will be a 100% honest “Home.” and I will tell them where that is and show them relevant documents if asked.

When we arrive there will be food, there will be drink. There will be zoom meetings with kids over Gigabyte Internet. Unfortunately there will be no hugs, little laughter and a hollow sense of part isolation. There is not enough furniture at present, as our worldly goods have another three weeks at least before they arrive. But we are fortunate, there is fresh bedding and beds to sleep in. Food in the larder. Money to pay the rent and bills. There are others feeling this lockdown crap much worse than us but I can offer them nothing that will do them any good. Save my encouragement that this too will pass. It has to, or we are all screwed.

God alone knows when this insanity will be over, and I wish to him he’d do something. But he’s been so busy thrashing the Chinese for their crimes against humanity with floods, locusts and typhoons that he’s probably still got his ethereal hands full. Maybe direct hits with a series of five metre meteorites upon certain seats of government might do the trick, but I doubt it. Our current crop of politicians just wouldn’t take the hint. If Jesus himself rode into the debating chambers on beams of heavenly light to show them the error of their ways they’d still argue that black was white and get run over on the nearest pedestrian crossing.

As for myself, I’m just an old fart with an obscure blog and a chequered past, what do I know? Anyway, we’ll survive this latest setback, but just because the powers that be think they’re virtuous, there will still be cakes and ale in the new Sticker household. I will see to that. That is my priority and I will take vigorous steps to ensure it remains so. In the meantime I will be following the real science, not the fake stuff peddled by the mainstream media, techniques handily explained below by the indefatigable Mr Cummins.

Blow the horn, increase the lockdowns. It won’t matter because, like the Tigers, the SARS/COV-2 virus is no longer a serious threat. The numbers do not lie. Unlike the media and politicians who quote numbers out of context to bamboozle and mislead. No idea why. Maybe they like the power they think it gives them. Maybe too many of them are banking on making a killing on the stock market over some putative vaccine. Who knows? All I know is that these lockdowns and masks are of little real effectiveness and even get in the way of developing immunity in the wider population.

Up, up and away

A blast from the airborne past

Or more realistically;

and;

Catch you on the flip side….

See y’all later.

We need aliens

Mrs S and I were discussing the current government caused coronacrisis yesterday as the rain fell and a thought popped into my head. “What we need. Really need right this minute.” I declaimed. “Is a bloody great flying saucer landing in every capital city on the planet. We need aliens. It would take everyone’s mind off this stupid panic.”

Mrs S started to laugh, then her expression changed. “That’s not such a bad idea Bill.” She replied. “But it’s hardly likely.”
“A man can dream can’t he?” I said, staring gloomily at the trees. At that moment I would have shaken tentacular appendages with whatever life form who wanted to say drop by and say / squeak / whatever hello.

Does anyone else feel this way about lockdown and this belated and unnecessary mask policy? We really need a real-life, no shit Sherlock event to wake people up from their blind compliance. A few starships dropping off tourists to visit our blue green marble might be just the societal kick up the arse everyone needs right now. Arecibo is off line at the moment, so they could probably sneak right on by and drop in for tea / beverage of choice.

If any non-humans from beyond our solar system are reading a translation of this text, don’t be shy. Come on down and just remove the uncertainty. Give our politicians something to really think about. Phasers or whatever energy weapons you have need not be set to stun when you meet them.

No alien civilisations were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Probability bingo

Got into a minor comments spat with a certain gentleman on Youtube recently over the Wu-flu pandemic lockdown that our spineless politicians don’t currently seem to have a plan for getting us out of. At least in Canada the lockdown rules are being applied very unevenly. Politicians may go to their Summer cottages or visit friends and family, but should your average John Q Public try it, the Cops are all over them like a cheap suit.

It’s a bugger if like me you need a decent haircut and you can’t get one because all the barbers are still closed ‘by order’. Although the politicians all look well groomed enough in their TV appearances. Doesn’t look like their significant others are doing their haircuts either. Boris Johnson excepted. We’re talking Canadian politicians here.

Anyway, I stated four known facts for which I had primary source information, a ‘thought crime’ for which this person labelled me and others ‘simple minded conspiracy theorists’. He may have been right about them, but I was not amused about being lumped in with the real tin foil hat wearers. He pointed anyone who was interested to a ‘debunking’ video by someone calling themself ‘potholer24’. I won’t link to it, but I found this specific ‘debunking’ video full of rather dubious rhetorical traps for the unwary.

In my quest for evidence this exchange gave me pause for thought and I thought I’d check my sources and run an additional evaluation of them. Were they primary as I thought, or simply part of anti-Chinese Communist Party propaganda from Australia, India, Taiwan and other English speaking Asian sources?

There’s a form of decision making I use that I call ‘probability bingo’, which loosely translates as “If the facts line up”, which is the process I use after a ‘reductio ad absurdum‘ exercise to cut through the media corn. This is the rational threshing floor upon which I try to winnow reliable facts from Fark. It’s not an exact process, but as a quick and dirty decision making tool, normally good enough.

My algorithm normally works like this; Someone has stated a ‘fact’ which to me sounds counter-intuitive, I ask myself – is this a real or a political fact? What is the supporting evidence? How accurate are the sources? Or are they simply trying to snow me with rhetorical tricks?

Say for example that someone makes the claim that the EU has kept the peace in Europe over the last seventy years. Do the facts support this? No. NATO has secured peace in the West in counterbalance with the USA forming the largest part of an occupation force along the eastern border of mainland Europe. The EU has no military component (yet), but it’s member nations, as a part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, have done so. The claim that the EU has ‘kept the peace in Europe’ fails the probability bingo test because it only crosses off one number on the probability bingo card, whereas NATO, as a military organisation, under the leadership of the USA, has provided a bulwark against possible aggression from the East and Soviet Russia, thus making at least one line across and a couple of diagonals as well on my probability bingo card. Not quite a full house, but close enough.

As for the other claims that the EU is somehow a benign institution and not a club for bureaucrats who could not run a bath in real life, one need only read the content of the EU’s own web site. It’s all there. The plans for a common Police force, armed forces and intelligence service. Ever closer union. Well it was when I last looked. If they’re bragging about it on their own web site, the likelihood that “It’s just a conspiracy theory” can be safely pointed to as a form of conspiracy theory in it’s own right.

Similarly; the probability bingo for the origins of Covid-19 tend to line up. Chinese state media were, several years ago, lauding one of the lead researchers from the Wuhan lab for bravery shown during his collection of bat virus samples to find the cause of bronchial infections to miners in caves some 40-50km from Wuhan. So there is a high probability of virus samples being brought back to that lab for inspection as that was his base. The Wuhan lab in question has also had multiple reports of poor containment protocols from US Diplomatic sources as far back as 2016. CCP employed researchers have demonstrated a singularly cavalier attitude to biological samples, even to the point of being found with such samples in their carry on luggage passing through US customs. Then there was the well publicised arrest and deportation of three Chinese researchers from a Canadian lab for nicking biological samples and sending them to China. Pictures have surfaced of Wuhan lab workers injecting bats / taking biological samples from them at the Wuhan lab wearing street clothes. Hardly good practice. The bat species host to the original Covid-19 variant A, were not known to be sold in the notorious ‘wet’ market of Wuhan. Assertions to the contrary have no supporting evidence apart from a couple of doctored photographs. So, the probability bingo score for a lab release is not a full house at this juncture, but one line across and a diagonal are good enough for an educated value judgement. Representatives of the Chinese Communist Party can threaten and bluster all they like, but the basic facts line up against them.

Nothing matters but facts. All else is rhetoric.

Because these observable facts line up, there is a high probability, but not yet conclusive proof, which incidentally, we may never obtain because of the major arse-covering going on in CCP quarters, that the original virus was being worked on within the Wuhan lab. Whether the Covid-19 viruses release was accidental or deliberate one can judge from the immediate reaction of the local CCP chiefs, who first went into denial, then panicked with massive over-reactions. The probability bingo score, or burden of proof if you like, indicates that this release was a cock-up rather than conspiracy.

That evidence of ham-fisted local covering up of the virus release by local Chinese Authorities is known and documented. The release became a pandemic because the response was delayed for weeks, thus allowing regional, then national and international contamination. The current propaganda blitz of denial, like “Oh no, it ain’t so” or “You’re a waaaacist” can be dismissed as pure “Quia inquam sic” (Because I say so) rhetoric and thus not credible as there is no hard data to back it up. Likewise ‘debunkers’. You cannot argue from a vacuum.

So, does this make me a ‘simple minded conspiracy theorist’? I say not. I may occasionally toy with conspiracy theories because there is a possibility they may contain some small truths, but I do try to moderate my curiosity with a well honed scepticism. As for being ‘simple minded’, I leave that for my last remaining reader to judge.