Tag Archives: Money

Social death

Facebook is hurt. Badly hurt. 30 points down and falling as of 28th March.
See my screenshot taken on the 23rd, a mere five days ago.

Yes I know one is for over the last twelve months, the other for the last three, but neither paint a pretty picture. I have a feeling that the Cambridge Analytica scandal is just the tip of a very big problem-berg. Over the next few months I can see a larger loss en-route, as in shit, fan, incoming! Perhaps a complete collapse. Who knows? It’s like watching a run on a poorly funded bank.

While this is all very entertaining in the median term, it may blow over, it may not. Facebook may survive, but it is what I’d describe as a ‘Castle in the Air’ stock. Looks pretty, but has no real fiscal security, as like one of the fairy fortresses, the only thing that keeps Facebook going is the power of belief.

Elon Musk (To name but one) has pulled his companies out of Facebook and there’s a class action in the offing. As far as some of the other tech giants go, Alphabet, parent company of YouTube and Google is also suffering with a less drastic 4% fall after accusations of bias, which they strenuously deny, but a number of their users who have had their content demonetised and even deleted aren’t convinced. Amazon may be worth a punt though, as their share value has taken a hit. But they actually sell real things, so I’d view them as a fairly safe bet and treat the current downturn as a buying opportunity for their stock.

Facebook on the other hand, what do they have to sell, apart from their users data? Twitter likewise. Which begs another question. Where will all the Twatter outrage mobs go if the platform collapses? Will they suddenly find themselves suffering a form of electronic social death? Mmm. Couldn’t happen to a nastier bunch of people.

Talking of social death, the institutional antisemitism endemic within the UK Labour party has surfaced once again. This is no surprise to me, as every extreme left winger I’ve ever met has been a racist anti-Semite. Never understood it myself. I think the only half way sane reason must be that extreme left (and right) wingers are avidly pro big government and the Zionists are big on family. The family (A very human, grass roots institution) and big government (Big state, top down driven) are philosophically opposed. The big government people see the family as the biggest obstacle to their authoritarian utopian fantasies, so to their mind anyone who has a strong family as the basis of of their culture must be undermined and if need be, eliminated.

Well it makes sense to me.

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Oh dearie me

… I missed the pointless farce called ‘Earth Hour’ yet again. It’s still a bit parky outside, so switching off the heating wasn’t going to prove anything but the gullibility of the switchers off. Light a candle? I often do, but only for the ambiance. I’m not dumb enough to think that candle light is good enough to read by, or that shivering in the dark is a way of promoting responsible environmentalism.

Last night around ten, we’d just finished watching season 7 of Game of Thrones with it’s rather chilly finale when I picked up my Tablet and got a notification. “Oh, Earth hour? That foolishness.” I thought as I dismissed it. “Don’t they know all the big activist outrage is in gun control this week?” Some people, eh?

On the topic of Interweb money and gun control, YouTube is probably going to be the next stock to nosedive. Fortunately I’ve pulled all my investments out of those side of things, taken my profits and put the cash to work elsewhere. If, as seems likely, YouTube are going to delete any content and channels about guns and military stuff, it means they’ll delete whole channels and in the process leave nothing but funny cat video’s until the Animal Rights activists get round to denouncing those as ‘cruel’ and get them deleted and banned. Maybe YouTube are hoping all the faux-outrage will blow over and it will be business as usual by the start of April so the new guidelines won’t have to be implemented.

The fallout will be telling. I foresee YouTube and Google owner Alphabet’s stock price taking a big, big hit. They’ve already damaged their brand by going after even moderate content creators who are critical of certain policies. This should make many advertisers realise that YouTube is effectively becoming worthless as a platform. End result; fewer advertisers, less revenue, Youtube shrinks and all their flash corporate HQ offices go off into the electronic unknown with the content creators. Such is life.

Update: Well, as far as content is concerned I’ve signed up for Bitchute, which I will be using far more often.

Business as usual

Summer trip is mostly booked. London, (For Mrs S) UK Midlands (For me) then on to Copenhagen for the second week in July followed by Amsterdam and a little town not far from Beziers, South of France. Flights and accommodation are all paid for and I’ve just put the credit card in the freezer to let it cool down a bit.

We’re planning also to go back to Australia next year for a probable wedding of Eldest and current boyfriend. He’s a steady lad, Engineer by trade working long term in Oz. He can even cook and has a green thumb. He’s Irish too, so that’s a quadruple plus. Tell you the truth, we knew about Eldest and Boyfriend as only parents can when we were in Sydney over Christmas. It was fairly obvious because when two people have decided, even unconsciously that they’re right for each other, there’s a look in the eye you can’t really miss, their faces shine and they’re so relaxed and unselfconscious whenever they’re together. So, that’s settled then. I hope.

Anyway, that’s for the future. This Summer we’re off to visit Youngest in jolly old Londinium while I do some long overdue familial fence mending oop norf of Brum. There are conversations I need to have to straighten things out while the opportunity still remains. It’ll take three days, no more. There’s also a legal matter to round off that I can only do in person. Family business, you know how it is. It’s an emotionally charged situation and I just have to man up and do the necessary.

Talking of business, I see Farcebook shares are in a steep nosedive, losing over 5% of their hyped up value following the Cambridge Analytica allegations. Facebook share price fall to 23rd MarchMy broker suggested I invest in them last year, but I gave him a firm ‘No’. Like with Bitcoin, if you weren’t in on the ground floor, don’t bother. The price is no good for any significant buy in, and Farcebook, at least from this investors perspective, is going nowhere, fast. Their market share and user base is stagnant and shrinking. Even a fool like me can read the writing on the wall. My personal account has been dead and deleted for over seven years. Twice. And I have always resisted linking any of my other personal and professional data to Farcebook. So any data ‘mined’ is out of date and therefore worthless. I am not the only one. My kids have moved on and no-one seems to use it but spammers and the hopeless.

Elsewhere on the Interweb there are issues raised over privacy, boredom and even prosecutions (WTF!?) for rather lame jokes that ‘offend’ people. Look, if you’re that easily offended, step away from the keyboard. Don’t watch YouTube. Go out into the world and do something useful. Hashtag #growapair. As for the UK Police, oh for heavens sake, don’t you have any real crime to deal with? Yes you do. Chasing down all these petty complaints is just wasting Police time.

Personally I think that with the recent conviction of a notorious YouTube prankster for a spurious ‘hate crime’ there’s been a real case of perverting the course of justice. Which is as good an argument as I’ve heard for repealing the hate crime legislation passed by the idiotic Blair Government. Same as over here with M-103 and C-16. Policing what people say or think (Providing they don’t belong to a protected and therefore ‘privileged’ group) is idiotic. Slander and libel are civil matters which are sufficient to cover insult. Making them criminal offences just pisses many people off because no-one can tippy-toe round another’s imagined petty grievances all the time. It’s corrosive to the spirit to duck every time some bonehead with a large plank on their shoulder turns around. Better that they should fix their own inner problems and get on with life instead of looking for slight and insult around every corner.

In closing, trying to read between the lines of all the BREXIT op-eds in the FT is making me a bit twitchy too. The ‘negotiations’ seem to be giving away far too much to the undemocratic Eurocrats and securing too little in return. However, Sterling isn’t doing so badly, so I’ll have a look at the state of play at the end of the month before making further commitments. At this moment in time, Sterling is on the up so I’ll hang with it until there’s a possible shift in the market.

Hey-ho. Business as usual.

An old bit of folk wisdom

Not much happening chez Maison Sticker at present. No real dramas apart from mild anxiety upon shifting six figure sums around our pension investment funds. I’ve never trusted state pension funds and have elected to store up resources for my frail dotage using all the legal means at my disposal. Mainly because Mrs S and I will be far better off both medically and comfort-wise if we have our own money set aside with something for the kids when we finally die. To this end taxes have to be carefully calculated and paid, figures collated from various modest (Some extremely modest, but they all count) income streams and expenses claimed. Then sent off to our accountants for submission to the revenue. De nada. Just the dull, day-to-day of keeping our fiscal heads above water. Which leads to the occasional domestic argument.

Mrs S and I are not a perfect couple and we do argue. Mainly because as a man and woman, our brains are wired slightly differently and we perceive, react to and communicate things in a different manner. She gets mad about some matters, I make sure we get even and occasionally vice versa. She tends to react more emotionally and I’m generally more practical and cold blooded in my initial approach. So we talk. Then for the most part we accept our not infrequent misunderstandings brought on by our differences, often laughingly brushing them off with a carefully timed; “Yes dear.”
To which the good humoured response is a mocking; “I’ve been ‘yes deared’ – how could you?”. Well, it works for us.

Apropos the dissimilarities between men and women, I say they should be celebrated as in “vive la difference” To which I often apply an old ditty the original version of which dates back to before 1891, updated variants of which can be seen below All have been tested to a value of six sigma, or 99.899% inverse partial variance ‘true’ value on the Bill Sticker institute Massive Contextual Axiometer and Adage tester. Please note that the remaining 0.011 is necessary to allow for Quantum EMO effects while testing took place, which is an experimental constant allowed for freak events outside the constraints of Einstinian space / time.

Therefore;

Feminists have many faults,
Men have only two,
Everything they say, and everything they do.

or

BlActivists have many faults,
But white males only two,
Everything they say and everything they do.

Because, as any fule kno, there is no pleasing these people. They beclown themselves and anyone else who takes them seriously.

So when some ‘Gender Studies’ type Academic trots out their latest insanity, the best thing anyone can do is say; “Yes, dear.” or “Whatever.” in as patronising a tone as possible and watch their heads explode. Then give them the finger when it comes to funding. Of course the faux-outrage this will generate may make the powers that be try to outlaw words like China has done with certain terms; and the letter ‘N’ for some reason known only to Beijing. Or create new ‘genders’ out of thin air who must have their own compulsory pronouns, on pain of prosecution as proposed (Or have the silly buggers in Ottawa actually passed M-103 c-16?  Oh yes they did – the bone brains) in Canada. Which can leave embarrassing gaps in a language and play havoc with translating business documentation.

So, having accepted that I, as a northern European complexioned male am ‘wrong’ about everything, I can just go my own sweet way and quietly get on with investing while everyone else pointlessly argues over what colour or sexual variant they might be. And who offended or oppressed whose great great great grandfather back in the early 1800’s or wherever. Why should that be my problem? Do tell.

Fortunately, my money bears no such grudges. It’s probably why I mostly prefer it to humans. Money can be trusted. It has no prejudices. Money is completely colour blind and non-sexist. Money doesn’t have a brain fart half way down to the shops and come back with a shopping cart full of chocolate and junk food (Unless you tell it to). Money does what I tell it to without four hours of pointless, round the bushes bickering. And it goes where it’s bloody well told. When it’s told. And does what I tell it to do. Which is why money occupies such a large place in my affections. See video below.

I’m moved to consider that while diversity may be a noble goal, it should be diversity based upon personally earned merit and effort, not because some grievance-monger wants a handout.

A Marxist Joke

I’m very busy at present with a new job, some medical tests my doctor seems to think are essential, despite feeling quite well and full of beans. So not much time to blog. This post has been put together over a week or so concerning a matter than has made me crank the old lips up in an ironic half smile.

Here’s a question. When did the workers begin to seize the means of production? I ask my last remaining reader because it occurs to me that it wasn’t a Marxist at all who made it happen. Not Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao, Chavez, Maduro or Castro but ironically someone from the other end of the political spectrum.

I was over at Longrider’s blog last week I think, perusing the comments on one post and I suddenly had an epiphany. It’s a fairly simple exercise in applied logic with a large side serving of irony and I think anyone who doesn’t get the joke needs a quick jump start on the old frontal lobes with an ECT machine. I frequently see it said from left wing sources that ‘property is theft’ and that the workers should seize the means of production, but here’s a thing, what if the workers, of whom I count myself a part having spent much of my life as a working man, have already been taking a firm hold on the ‘means of production’ for several decades. At least in the UK. Certainly over here across North America where the practice is widespread.

No, I’m not talking about nationalisation, that’s just the bureaucratic state taking anything it can lay it’s greasy little mitts on. When it comes to actual ownership, the state and the individual are not the same thing, although the ‘State’ may be made up of a certain tranche of individuals it does not constitute an accountable entity. Indeed the ‘state’ is about as unaccountable as it gets with all the arse-covering that traditionally goes on in bureaucratic circles. I’ve seen state ownership first hand and it’s a process of managed decay, stillborn innovation, fear and inward bound loathing.

Now what I’m describing here is the quantum increase in small investors who are investing, crowdfunding, patreoning and supporting a wide variety of ventures all around the world. Literally enabling the means of production in a way that I think even old Karl would have gone “Yeah, Das Kapital, maybe needs a re-write.” Because the factory based society he designed his collectivist philosophy for died during the 1960’s and 70’s.

For my proof I’d first ask this question; where are the massive factories of yesteryear where thousands toiled? Where is the uniformity? In the much depleted corporate world? There are a few big employers, but nothing like the number of big industrial combines that once dotted the landscape. They’ve all been offshored, downsized, diversified and MBA’d. Where are the single workers collectives to ‘seize control’ of all the wealth generation?

The answer is very simple, via old fashioned much-disparaged capitalism. The kind of thing which allows people to put small pots of money in with larger pots to create investment. Pension funds, individual stocks and shares, government insecurities, gilts and all the rest. Through voting shares the individual investor is allowed a say in how a company is run and who runs it. In short, by purchasing shares they now have a small part ownership of the ‘means of production’. In the UK, this universal share ownership was most enthusiastically pushed by no less a person than, wait for it….

Margaret Thatcher.

Karl Marx wouldn’t have seen the joke, but I do.

That’s the way the money goes..

Aaaaand we’re off! Writing this in YVR’s very nice Maple Leaf lounge, sipping a seriously dry Martini, awaiting our call to travel across the wide Pacific. We booked Air Canada but it looks like we’re flying in an Air New Zealand plane. Well, that’s what’s parked in our departure gate at the moment of writing and it’s just finished refuelling. I’ve heard good things about Air Kiwi, so we’ll see what’s what when we board. More on this later.

Speaking from later; I just took a quick saunter round to our boarding gate. No, we won’t be flying Air Kiwi, that one leaves at six-thirty. Our flight is a bit later. Me and my big keyboard.

So, what are we leaving in our wake? Looks like pop goes the weasel, or in this case Bitcoin. Investors are saying the blockchain based cryptocurrency is the next best thing but I’m not convinced. The time to get into Bitcoin from an investors perspective was at the very beginning. Yet money is visibly flowing out of tangibles, which is depressing the price of commodities, and into intangibles. Which makes me think that the New Year will be the time to swim against the tide and buy up some of the low(er) priced gold etc while everyone else is off chasing the next big thing. That’s the thing with chasing the next big media thing, by the time it’s all over the press all the best opportunities have gone.

Anyway, if the bozo’s are dumping precious metals to buy blockchain that may just put gold within my preferred price range. Which is good if you’re looking for a hedge to put cash into. Then when the Bitcoin bubble bursts, I’ll sell out of precious metals when the silly money comes back. Win-win I think.

Another bit of silliness is the recurrent meme, and it has to be a joke, that if we all went vegetarian this would somehow stop the nebulous ‘global warming’ or ‘man made climate change’. Frankly me dears, every CO2 driven model has failed dismally to correlate with rises or falls in global temperature. Indeed, there is better proof that CO2 lags, not leads temperature changes. The warmer the Earth becomes, the higher CO2 levels will eventually be, not the other way around. CO2 is only an indicator, not a cause. Well, it’s not for me to convince anyone, the science will bear me out when we stop focussing on the fake cause, and do a little real research instead of flawed statistical models.

So taxing meat won’t change a thing, even if the farts of all those steers was part of the problem. It’s just part of the ‘climate change con trick’ designed to divert cash from the pockets of the general public into those of the ultra-wealthy. You think the Rockefellers and Soros’s of this world would be funding the many vociferous climate activist groups if they didn’t somehow profit from it? Oh pur-lease.

That’s it for now. I’ll be back online from the fabled land of Oz in about 48-72 hours to catch up with the ridiculae of life, or when the jet lag has faded to manageable proportions.

Bullion for me

Right. That’s the current job done and dusted and I can glance up above my particular foxhole and take stock, or in my case buy some. I’ve been watching the price of Gold and silver of late, and it looks like the market may be bottoming out. So yesterday I went out and bought some silver. The 999.99% variety. Just a couple of small 10 ounce ingots to begin with. Which is still a minor gamble. Maybe the market in precious metals isn’t quite bouncing along in the benthic depths, but I think it’s close, hence me splashing out a few bucks. The dealer I go to downtown also has a 100 ounce bar I have my eyes on, and may just purchase if conditions are right when I get back from the fabled land of Oz late January. They’ve got a few lumps of gold bullion in stock that look tempting, but the price needs to drop a few dollars more before I’m convinced it’s a good investment for the safety deposit box. Maybe I’ll stash some capital in Platinum. Just as a hedge. Just for the comfort of owning something solid with a readily convertible monetary value that won’t depreciate (much). Now there’s a thought.

Gold, Silver and Platinum bottomed out on July 10th this year, but as I was on the road I missed the opportunity to buy in at that point. However, everything but Palladium is cooling off in the precious metals world at present, at least in Canada, so I’ll have a rethink in January 2018 and see what the market indicators are like.

I’ll have the money as there’s a possible new job offer on the horizon for me in January. Nothing spectacular, but steady enough to pay for the usual household stuff and a little travel on the side, as well as setting my own hours. Nowhere near as much as my full consultancy rate, but fairly reasonable. I’ll just have to wait and see if it materialises, or not. I’m not that fussed, I’ve got more than enough on my plate right at this minute, and January is not generally a time for market panics. At least not this side of the pond, or unless old Spoonbanger (Cheers Mitch) starts punting off Nuclear tipped fireworks across the Pacific and throws one at Seattle, it’s likely to end in my back yard. In which case we’re all toast, or not, as the Sticker clan will shortly be together in Australia. If it all went into TITSUP mode we’d literally find ourselves ‘on the beach’ a la Nevil Shute. From the pictures we’ve been sent it’s a very nice beach. With a nice bar and restaurant. What a place to claim refugee status eh?

What else? The pound was crawling back up despite all the negative media coverage. Then the Northern Irish decided to throw Teddy out of the nursery and possibly allow the election of Corbyn, the true nightmare candidate. I mean, Jaysus me bhoys. May is hardly the most competent statesperson on the planet but Corbyn is about as batshit crazy as they come. If it ever looks like he will win an election then my money will be out of Sterling into US dollars faster than you can blink, even if I have to take a loss. I know May is a pretty poor PM, but Corbyn would be abysmal, leading the way down to economic hell with a brass band and choir of idiots in front, Brexit be damned. He wants his authoritarian utopia and nothing and no-one is going to stop him short of a mass implosion of the UK Labour party. He’d also probably repeat the biggest mistake of the Wilson Government and put the troops back into Ulster. Which would give the good auld IRA a hobby apart from run the regional drug trade.

Labour used to be the political party of the working man, but that hasn’t really been true since the 1950’s. Now it’s all about political power and ideology, the ordinary working man be damned. And if Corbyn did cancel Brexit, the Eurocrats would really put the screws on the UK. Just to make an example of all you uppity Brits. Because that’s the arrogant way they think. If you’d ever seen a few of them blasting around Paris, Brussels or Strasbourg in motorcades or their bodyguards blocking streets outside the best restaurants you’d understand. These are people who don’t really care about the people they rule.

As for May getting all humpty about Trump Twatting out some video’s she disagreed with in a desperate attempt to placate a certain minority death cult, oh pur-lease. It seems that the Tories (And most of the other big three UK political parties) believe these sparkly new RoP imports will be future taxpayers whose output will keep the political classes forever in champagne and caviar. Dream on kiddies. That won’t happen for at least two more generations, around fifty years, if you’re lucky. That’s how long it will take to even partly assimilate this latest bulk buy of bargain basement bozo’s with the general population of the UK. By way of proof I’d like to point out that there have been ethnic ghettoes in most of the UK’s major urban conurbations since I was in my late teens, created by short sighted mass immigration policies. Matters have not improved in all that time.

Anything else? The UK media is full of anti-Trump, anti-Brexit hit pieces with rarely a fact in sight, but everyone in the mainstream seems afraid to deride those whose evil must not be named or be labelled ‘hate speakers’ and sent to the naughty step forever and ever.

Frankly I no longer care. I shall simply keep my eye on the news that really matters and slip any spare cash into solid and readily liquidated assets while prices are good.

Non Disclosure

Currently the level of cock-up in my current contract has reduced as after four weeks certain people are starting to get the idea that they can’t just throw company money around any more without proper recording or authorisation. The folks who hired me are looking at their cashflow and marvelling at how many procedural holes it was leaking out of. They’d been relying on an old fashioned cheque book and Corporate credit card to pay the bills and always wondering why they were struggling to keep their fiscal heads above water. Now they know. All we have to do is tidy up the in-house documentation and that’s another contract done. Think I’ve broken the back of this job with under two weeks to go. Well done Bill. Providing my clients stick to the Inventory, Purchasing and Sales order procedures we’ve thrashed out and don’t slip back into the bad old ways, they’ll be fine. Why they didn’t do it that way from the off is a mystery. They had the accounting package, the computerisation, all the software licences set up, they just weren’t using them. Oh well, it all makes work for the working man to do. Another happy tick on the old CV and another non-disclosure clause. Which everyone signs, but so few pay attention to because we humans are such terrible gossips.

Regarding non disclosure agreements, as a follow on from a recent post I’ve been asking around my legal contacts about civil Non Disclosure Agreements, those tricksy little contract clauses forbidding a signatory to publicly or privately discuss matters they have been paid not to discuss with others. The consensus seems to be that such orders are no protection against a criminal court action. Only courts can issue what are effectively ‘gagging orders’ and those will only be effective within a specific court’s jurisdiction.

So say if you know your organisation is breaking the law and that criminal activity is reported to the relevant authorities, that non-disclosure clause in your contract can be worth less than used toilet paper. In the case of a criminal prosecution, individuals are not allowed to hide behind NDA’s if called as witnesses. Especially if someone is trying to cover up fraud, sexual assault or worse. Which means the civil penalties outlined in such agreements cannot be enforced in a court of law if they were designed to prevent witnesses and victims testifying. Not without a charge of perjury at any rate. This is my understanding of these matters, if it is flawed, then corrections (With citations) in the comments, please.

Now, onto the juicy stuff. The Weinstein scandal. Ooh yes matron. The dark and shady doings circling actress Rose McGowan’s possible testimony are interesting. A warrant was issued for her arrest because she left drug contaminated luggage, which may or may not have been McGowan’s own drugs, on a plane. Unfortunately for the prosecution, mere contamination means nothing. Bank notes contaminated with cocaine still circulate out of ATMs. Indeed, back in 2010, it was reported that most British Bank notes were so tainted. Which is a whole heap of nose candy in circulation if you ask me. According to Wikipedia, most bank notes are contaminated and such false positives have even led to unfair dismissal of employees following drug tests. So the contamination of items left on a plane is meaningless and won’t hold up in a reasonable court. For a possession charge to stick, more than just trace amounts have to be found and the chain of possession confirmed. Besides, in the current climate, there’s a reasonable suspicion of evidence tampering.

As for potential paedophile scandal star witness Corey Feldman’s marijuana charge, that wasn’t him, that was his crew. He just paid the fines. Which is average for any rock band on the road.
Storm meet teacup. Whether he can name the names and out his erstwhile abusers is another thing. That has yet to come into the open. Although it is public knowledge that Hollywood has been manipulating their pet media for over half a century and then some. Just watch the documentary below about just one of the notoriously Gay film stars of the 1920’s and 30’s. You heard that. Public Homosexuality in the 1920’s and 30’s? – abso-freaking-lutely.

1930’s scandals aside; the problem with all these scandals and allegations is summed up in one word; evidence. The courts can get very picky about that. Verifiable proof is required. Unless you’re hauled before the laughably titled Canadian Human Rights Tribunal. Kangaroo Court of the Star Chamber more like. It’s no good just naming names, or going into “He said vs She said” territory, credible witnesses must be produced. Victims identified. Verifiable evidence confirmed. The chain of evidence has to be close to watertight or there’s no real hope of conviction. However, reputation damage is another thing.

Because Hollywood, as Kevin Spacey has recently found out, is a place where reputation is all. Reputation gets an actor their part in a movie, confidence from investors and Distributors funds Production companies, who fund movies. Tens of Millions can rest on a single word. Now that reputation lies in tatters. It was already under pressure after multiple box office flops, but now the money, the life blood for all creative endeavour is leaving. You might say that parts of Hollywood are bleeding out after being shot by moral outrage. And there lies the opportunity for more savvy small production companies to persuade distributors to fund and allow their creative products access to the wider US markets. Fresh new blood is needed to save Hollywood. New ideas backed by non politically strangled dialogue. Not the same shit different day. That and time to heal. Simply trying to paper over the gaping wounds with NDA’s won’t cut it.

On the other hand, the current feminist litany of complaint about ‘too many men’ either as actors, producers and writers has one major flaw; the market. Women can act, produce and write as well as any man, there is no question about that. Whether they can sell a heavily pro-feminist end product, or even if a mass market for such a product exists, is another question entirely. Wonder Woman worked, but only because of the strong female lead, long-established character and story. Which is interesting, as the comic books the character was culled from were written by a man, Dr. William Moulton Marston with an all male scriptwriting team on the movie. Hmm.

Yet women writers get rich from various projects. Margaret Mitchell wrote ‘Gone with the wind’. Harper Lee wrote ‘To kill a mockingbird’. J K Rowling isn’t exactly impecunious from the Harry Potter movies and associated merchandising to name but three. And there have been many others. Yet still the endless “It’s not fair we’re being repressed by horrible white men and their patriarchy!” Whining. Yet there are many successful female agents and one particular casting Director who works (Her name has slipped my mind for the moment) for Jerry Bruckheimer and gets credited in many major movies and TV series (Including Star Trek, the next Generation) from the last two decades. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the credits after a movie and look for specifically female names. There are more than you’d think, and they’ve all earned their stripes. Same as all the men.

This is because everything Hollywood puts out is driven by the market. Because if people like an idea they will go to see it, pay for their theatre tickets, buy the DVD’s and the movie or TV show will make lots of money, then the Producers and Distributors will be looking to fund another to make even more money. If an idea isn’t popular, then it will graunch and the likelihood is that particular writer or team will not make any more, regardless of sex. Simply because no one likes losing money. There’s no patriarchy involved. Just dollars.

The truth is that a big movie project takes years of concerted effort, even for established Writers, Directors and Producers. A hit is a hit is a hit, and it doesn’t matter if you’re whatever race or religion, male, female or one of the thirty or so recently invented ‘genders’ – if the idea isn’t a ‘sell’ the likelihood is that you won’t be asked to make another. Or even get in on the ground floor. If there’s a ground floor left when all the Weinsteins etc have finished coming home to roost.

Anyway, for me that’s rather academic. My path to the fabled land of Oz lies wide open. Australian dollars obtained. Ferry booked. Airport parking booked and paid for. Maple Leaf lounge (The VIP bit at YVR) booked and paid for. Tickets, visa’s and passports. Flights sorted. Hotels and cars all good to go. Friends and relatives eagerly awaiting our arrival. Christmas presents packed along with my best silk shirts and other lightweight clothes for those sultry climes. All we have to do is make sure the house is properly cleaned and shut down for our return in January.

Not much else for me to do but practice saying “G’day.”

Update: Sorry about the cookery video instead of the documentary I mentioned. Situation remedied. No idea how that one happened.

Items of interest

Aside from the French elections, there are a number of issues bubbling under which as a small time currency trader I find of particular interest. These are as follows; the French Presidential election and how that will impact on Sterling and the Euro, also a mini trade war between the USA and Canada over a particular type (‘Ultrafiltered’ milk used in cheese making) of Dairy produce which the Trudeau government have implemented. Which is odd, because by doing so the Canadian Government are dictating that Canadian cheese makers cannot import and use a product which no-one in Canada makes.

For the curious this article may explain matters. However, it is worth noting that to get into the supply management chain to access Canadian markets, a license to produce is required. The cost of which varies from Province to Province, but effectively means that Canadian Dairy farmers have to pay the Government to produce Dairy products. Which effectively keeps small producers out of the marketplace. Farmers can keep cows, but unless a farmer has a permit, they can’t sell the milk or any product made from that milk (As well as needing a processors licence). So only the big guys or large co-ops really get to be players.

This trade conflict’s issues balance on a two edged sword of supply management (Canada) vs subsidies (USA). Although from my perspective I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, just the effect they are likely to trigger. Canada will lose this fight as the USA is already complaining about those north of the 49th who haven’t been paying their share of their NATO commitment. Which is another bone of contention.

Now which do I think is more important? For me the answer is a no-brainer. It’s the low level trade war over Dairy produce and collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement these issues look like triggering. Which means taking a short position on the Canadian Dollar looks to me like a good idea. Not that I’m not going to go short on the Euro, but if the French popular vote goes the way of Macron and not Le Pen, then the profit I stand to make over the shrinkage of the Euro will be much less. Macron is very much the establishment candidate and unless put under extreme pressure (And perhaps not even then) won’t give the French a referendum on membership of the EU or do anything on French border control. Although I did say that about Cameron and BREXIT. However Macron is being backed by such august personages as Jeremy Corbyn which is probably the kiss of death on anyone’s electoral campaign.

If it was that easy…

This is one of those dull posts about money and politics. Give it the go-by if you’re looking for something scurrilous and more interesting.

I wrote most of this post last Friday, when I was fretting and fuming over not receiving critical mail. Canada Post over here is a joke. Four weeks plus to deliver priority Air mail letters? And here’s me labouring under the delusion that I live in a first world country. Maybe the politically correct love the ‘third world’ so much they’re trying to drag Canada down to the level of Zimbabwe? I don’t know. However, a quick google indicates my postal gripes are not a new problem.

However, I’m heartened by the news of the stronger pound after Madame Tracey’s snap election announcement, as this vindicates my decision to ‘go long’ on Sterling. I’ll also be watching the French Presidential elections closely, as a victory (or even a close run loss) for Marine Le Pen means the Euro is going to take a hammering. Which from my point of view is no bad thing.

There is a saying that if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. I’m still having issues with shifting money around. Most of these have to do with Canada Post being its usual inefficient self and taking far longer to deliver a simple air mail letter (4 weeks and counting!) from my new offshore bank than a heavily sedated 3-toed Sloth with arthritis. Fortunately there is the Internet and there is the telephone. I know where the money is. It’s going nowhere without my say-so, so nothing really lost apart from opportunity. The exchange rates won’t be doing much until late next week when the fun really starts.

Update: Fun is starting. May is when the SH1T really gets to hit the fan.

Had my previous offshore bank not decided to close because of the new regulatory overhead I would not be having these issues. Monies would be paid, services obtained, and the world of business, at least as far as I’m concerned, would carry on regardless. Nonetheless, when it comes to offshore banking the state has demanded these cumbersome new regulations which have to be facilitated by, guess who? Yet another branch of the state, the postal service. All to stick a finger in the dyke of financial regulation to stop ‘money laundering’ when the metaphorical sea is coming over the top. Because, as any fule know, anyone who needs an offshore account is a tax dodger and a criminal, right? Well, thanks for nothing. Guilty until proven guilty seems to be the way of things nowadays. You’re a criminal if we say so, comrade, eh? Or a ‘thought criminal’ if you hold the wrong opinions.

Anyway, there are provincial elections coming up and there is no way I’m voting NDP or Liberal, as they’re simply two cheeks of the same ‘tax and spend’ arse who both pass laws against free speech and put up taxes. We’ve got a Libertarian candidate running, so that’s where my vote will be going this time around. Not that I’m stupid enough to vote for any NDP or Liberal candidate, that would be like selecting the fattest spoiled toddler to rule the Kindergarten.