Tag Archives: Observations

Science, settling

Gritting my teeth today over a large car service bill. However, it’s money well spent as it keeps our little SUV chugging along and less likely to end up letting us down at some critical juncture. It was a large chunk of change, but we only get this kind of expense once a year. Well thrice if you count what’s coming next.

Mrs S and I are about to undertake another epic road trip, this time to Newfoundland and back. Unlike ten years ago we don’t have the complication of the dog, which meant we spent a lot of time looking for ‘pet friendly’ motels who would charge thirty bucks extra a night for the privilege of having our dog with us. We’re also taking the road less travelled along the northern route where cell phone coverage is spotty at best. However, so long as the motels we book have decent wi-fi, we’re all good. We’ve also bought a nice big cool box for picnics en route.

Talking of comestibles and the politics of food, sometimes you just have to give a grim faced nod of ‘told you so’ and shake your head at the sheer capriciousness of the diet industry and the quasi-political organisations that keep on handing down doctrinaire dictations about what we should and should not be eating, having first lobbied the WHO into backing their unhinged assertions.

Over the past few years there have been a number of food scares. All of which seem to be falling by the wayside. Recently the Framington Study, an analysis of dietary salt intake, came up with the long suspected result that a salt intake greater than 2300mg per day is not as dangerous as some would have us believe. The results indicate that good old sodium chloride is not the death dealing masked super villain the hand waving anti-salt lobby would have us all believe. See this article for the alternative guidelines and follow links back to the study.

Of course the anti-salt lobby have pointed out the weaknesses in the study, but the evidence indicates that so long as your kidneys are functioning normally, any excess salt gets flushed out of your system anyway. So why all the fuss? Indeed, more rational voices have argued that a daily intake of 4-6000mg per day is essential for a healthy heart and that the 2,300 FDA guidelines are far too low and may even be damaging.

As always, it seems that moderation is key and maybe the health problems the ‘experts’ claim, along with their total low-taste lifestyle recommendations are just wild guesses. Like the scares over dietary fat, the alcohol intake guidelines and just about every other claimed killer, all the figures behind these claims seem to be plucked out of thin air. It could be argued that by setting the limits way too low they are actually devaluing the case against excessive dietary intake which may well prove harmful at 10,000mg / day. Or are the panicmongers doing what I used to do with Eldest when we were going out, telling her that we were going half an hour earlier than we actually were and to get her buns into gear? Pitching the upper limit way too low because they know no-one’s going to do what they’re told anyway. Well I’m certainly not.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it is that these Government Health guidelines too often have their genesis in advocacy organisations and commercial lobbyists (Sometimes working for the same people) who want to have their preferred product given more favourable market conditions. Like margarine was once promoted as ‘more healthy’ than butter (Hint; it isn’t). Or Gluten free diets for people without Coeliac Disease leading to an increased risk of heart disease. As with fanatic teetotallers pushing for yet another ban on booze, we’re still living with the consequences of that complete cock-up.

What the failure of all these guidelines should tell us is; a little bit of what you fancy is probably far better for you than stressing over Government guidelines that are based on 1) Wild guesses or 2) Advocacy directed ‘research’. Maybe Governments should stop giving out diet related advice as all they seem to do is get it wrong.

A sea change

The tides of my fortune have undergone a welcome sea change. To be honest I haven’t quite let it sink in yet. Busily patting myself on the back today. New Stand / Sit desk and full length dining table have been ordered. Debts paid in full with quite a bit left over, so I’m feeling fairly chipper. I’ve also bought half a dozen bottles of assorted single malt whiskey. Mostly 10 and 12 year old. Auchtentoshan, Talisker, Aberlour, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Singleton. Nothing too fancy but these are my personal favourites. I also picked up a bottle of Famous Grouse smokey black, which is for day to day unwinding.

Mrs S is in London at the moment with Youngest, so I’m rattling around the homestead on my lonesome planning our Canadian Summer road trip and Christmas in Australia and New Zealand. Which is nice because I get to slob out a bit, get some beers in, leave the toilet seat up, all that guy stuff. That and binge watching Boardwalk Empire when I’m not working or planning.

I’m not with Mrs S this trip because I don’t really like London or big cities that much. Why? Because I get a bit fretful if I can’t see the horizon from time to time. Not really a people person either. So cities have always left me feeling a bit ‘Meh’. They’re okay to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there full time. Even the ‘burbs out where we live sometimes feel a bit confining.

Anyway, it’s at times like these I’m reminded of Ariel’s song from from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’

Full fathom five thy father lies; Of his bones are coral made; Those are pearls that were his eyes: Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change Into something rich and strange.

So it seems with the Sea change on the Interweb. Hunters are becoming hunted. Twitter stormers who ‘go after’ people they don’t agree with are being caught in a digital tornado of their own making. Why? Because the nerds have now weaponised their autism and are expressing their disdain for censorship in all its forms. See Sargon of Akkads video on 4Chan/pol.

One of 4Chan’s chief targets is Antifa, that bunch of black clad haters who want to shut down the free discussion of ideas. Antifa are violent. Antifa are totalitarian, Fascist by the most concrete definition of the word, even though they are really a bunch of loser Communist agitators founded by Leon Trotsky. This is the Leon Trotsky who was murdered on the orders of his fellow communists you understand. And I’m not surprised. He was an unpleasant shit. Clever, but still a shit. The Ice Pick in the head was well-deserved.

Now Antifa and their mates have good reason to be quaking in their little black painted sneakers because they are finding out what it’s like on the receiving end. I hear they’re deleting their Farcebook and Twatter accounts so 4Chan can’t find them. Which won’t help. In this digital day and age you can find loads out about people in seconds without going anywhere near their social media accounts.

Anyway, it’s their own silly fault, they’ve been prodding a bear through the cage bars, now the bears have just strolled around the end of the fence to take issue with the dickheads who have been trying to mind their business for them, the opposition is widespread. From the ultra-right faction known as the ‘Soldiers of Odin’ who actively walk into Antifa squats around Vancouver and elsewhere, cleaning up graffiti and taunting lefties, to some of the geekier gamer basement dwellers inhabiting forums like 4Chan, who are unleashing their focused Autism on the injustices perpetrated against freedom (and gaming), as well as helping target the odd terrorist training camp. Performing some epic trolling in the process. It is even rumoured that they may even break the jolly old Interweb. See Tim Pool’s analysis below;

Personally I think the real World War Z has already started, but the zombies are waking up to how few they actually have on their side. Now I’ve topped up my whiskey supply I am really going to have to go get a bigger popcorn maker. Canadian Tire, here I come.

But….

One question I’ve noticed that left leaning journalists like to ask people in various vox pops is; “How many gay friends do you have?”
If asked that question I’d answer: “But I don’t really know any gay people. Why is that important?”

Which is true, or at least if any of my very small group of friends is gay, then they are keeping that snippet to themselves. Probably because they know that I don’t really care about their sexual preference. That’s a personal matter for them in which any opinion of mine is immaterial, so why ask me? Of course over the years I’ve met a few openly gay people, but none I’d care to call ‘friend’, simply because we’d nothing in common and I occasionally found their antics rather off-putting. So we passed like far off ships in the night, never to cross courses again. But I never ‘hated’ them, that would have been irrational, like hating a fish for swimming.

Besides, in the circles I move in gays are not that common. Not that I’ve ever been a big socialiser. Given the choice between reading a book and going to a dinner party, the book wins every time. Besides, I have my own criteria for choosing friends and sexual orientation comes right at the bottom of that list. However, at the very top comes trust, and if I don’t trust someone, then they can never be any friend of mine.

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.

BREXIT Day

Well, well, well. It’s finally here. Official negotiations begin to get the UK out of the EU finally get underway. For my part, I’ve decided to ‘go long’ on my UK investments, keeping funds in Sterling as I have a ‘seeming’ that the value of the Pound Sterling is going to go up significantly, having been artificially depressed a la Marvin the Paranoid Android for far too long. The currency markets don’t like uncertainty, and will punish any currency where the political will of a country is judged as weak. A case in point being the Euro, which isn’t doing so wonderfully, what with the uncertainty of the Anti-EU groundswell in the Netherlands and France, to name but two.

Frankly, I think the EU has had it. Indeed, the old Warsaw pact collapsed because it was being artificially glued together by the old Soviet Union. But there were too many differing cultures and languages for such a beast to work without a rule of iron from the top down. So it will be with the European Union.

It’s a shame for Europe. Had the EU stayed as the European Economic Community free trade zone to standardise weights and measures I think it could have survived. However, the bureaucrats wanted a big federal state with all the trimmings, and economically sane people don,t. Because big bureaucracies are unwieldy and uneconomic. Too much is taken from the productive to provide millionaire lifestyles for a self-selecting and unaccountable political ‘elite’ which strangles everything else. Canada and the USA function because they are (mostly) held together by the grass roots of common interest. There is some form of democratic control. The EU doesn’t really have any.

Now the trigger has been pulled on BREXIT I’m quite sanguine. Indeed, this is a form of ‘triggering’ which along with several other factors directly affecting the Sticker household, are giving cause for celebration. BREXIT, like the Daffodils and Cherry blossom may be late, but all three are welcome, and presage better years ahead.

But what about the Jedi’s?

Just had a very pleasant weekend in Vancouver sampling two types of Chinese cuisine we’d previously not made time for. Firstly Dim Sum. Which is good. Although I found Chinese Toon buns a little bland. Secondly Chongqing hot pot, also known in Japan as Sabu-Sabu. Approach with caution. This stuff will blow your mind and taste buds into the stratosphere. If you think a full strength Vindaloo is hot, you will find out why the Chinese do not really need a nuclear deterrent after sampling this style of cuisine. Put simply, this chilli laden content detonates in the mouth and scorches its way into the stomach for an explosion of warmth which is welcome on a chilly wet Vancouver Winter evening. Upon ordering a ‘medium’ strength meal, we were entreated not to go for the spicy option by the head waiter, and found even the ‘mild’ version a tingling mouth-fest of gustatory amusement. If you like spicy food, you will absolutely love Chongqing hot pot. Recommendation; JDB (Wong Lo Kat) herbal tea reduces mouth burn.

Meanwhile, back on the topic; the M-103 motion. Sargon of Akkad puts his thoughts on this matter forward in the video below.

With the passing of M-103, I’d like to clear something up. Firstly M-103 is not law, nor does it form the basis of law, yet. However, in the meantime it may well be implemented as policy by the ironically titled Canadian Human Rights Commission. Who are known to prosecute those whose voiced opinion does not fit an assumed ideal, regardless of supporting legislation. Their motto appears to be “If you’re Jewish or ‘white’ and Anglo-Saxon – you’re guilty.” Which I find more than a little prejudiced. Racist, even. As one who is happy to break bread with any skin colour, I must say I actually feel threatened and made uncomfortable by this bias against people of my dermal colouration.

Notwithstanding, if this motion does go on to form the basis of a more generalised blasphemy law, every single minority in Canada, especially the First Nations, will be threatened. Why should Islam be singled out for preferential treatment? Why should the more pantheistic beliefs of the North American natives (First Nations) be excluded? Or Daoists, Taoists, Shintoists, Buddhists and followers of Confucius? Never mind all the forms of Christianity and Paganism. And what about the Jedi? Will they have to give up wearing hoods and openly carrying their lightsabres? Or the Sikhs be forced to give up their turbans because Islam becomes the preferred religion of the corporate state?

Islam by contrast seems to be a religion of dislikes, which is defined by the things it considers Haram or ‘unclean’. Indeed, its proscriptions against Alcohol, Dogs, and Women are well known. Alcohol being forbidden, dogs considered dirty (Well they are, but dogs are also fun, loyal and trustworthy) and women reduced to becoming second class citizens, being forbidden to drive, go out on their own without a male escort and exhorted to cover their head and faces.

Islam also makes provision for treating the women of other cultures as inferior, considering gang rape and sexual molestation legitimate tools for subduing non-Islamic females. This of course includes ‘feminists’. Even the radicals who feel that by appeasing Islam they will be ‘safe’. Yes. This is not going to end well for you guys. Bend over buttercup. This is, whether you like it or not, the will of Allah.

I’d also like to make the point that if Islam gets a free pass, there will be no ‘safe spaces’ left for anyone. Indeed, radical (and not so radical) Islamists think violence against ‘unbelievers’ not only necessary but a religious duty. Well what about gays? Islamic Sharia law encourages throwing homosexuals and similar off tall buildings, hanging them slowly in public using cranes, cutting off their heads, stoning and burning to death.

My point here is that no religion, especially one with so many prescriptions of violence against non-believers and ‘alternative’ lifestyles, should be handed such a tempting platter as a blasphemy law. As has been demonstrated worldwide, they’d only abuse the privilege. Along with the human rights of everyone else. Even the Jedi.

The Evil of M-103

By a vote of 201-91, the bonebrains in Ottawa have just thrown dirt on the coffin of free speech in Canada. With the passage of the heinous and wicked M-103 motion, criticising Islam is now against the law. What a bunch of complete fuckwits the yea voters are. Do they understand what they’ve just done? Perhaps they do not. I think they lack the necessary self awareness. See Faith Goldy’s report here;

Or maybe these right-on MP’s are just afraid of militant Islam and think that by appeasing the Jihadis they will buy peace. Well I’m sorry to say they’ve set the stage for a very bleak future. A terrible war will come to these hitherto peaceful shores as it always does when appeasement is pursued as a matter of public policy. Especially in the face of a militant religious faction bent on world domination. What? Religion of Peace? Don’t make oi larf. As recent events in London and elsewhere have clearly demonstrated.

M-103 will not stop a single terrorist action. It will not protect a single Canadian citizen. Indeed, the terrorists will see it for what it is, a sign of weakness, and those bad guys just love weakness. They won’t be happy until everyone is on their knees.

Well, the Jinni is out of the bottle. In their deluded attempt at appeasement these idiot Liberal and NDP politicians have created a privileged minority. The imbalance this will create will shortly start to play out in Ontario. Then the big cities of Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Maybe even New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, perhaps even the Yukon and Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

And it won’t matter, because the progressives who supported M-103 will not be the casualties. That privilege will be extended to the little people who don’t really count.

Dark thoughts

I have a stepdaughter whose legal work takes her all around the London law courts, and sometimes into the UK Houses of Parliament itself. After todays terror attack there was a concerned flurry of transatlantic telephonic activity to jolly old Londinium from the Sticker household and I am pleased to report that Youngest was not in the area at the time.

As a concerned parent, my first reaction is “Youngest safe. Good.” Although I’m deeply sorry to hear that the attacker took down a Police officer in the process along with another three un-named as well as injuring forty others, some of whom will have to live with the physical consequences for the rest of their lives. However, the attacker is dead, good riddance. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Good riddance also to Martin McGuinness, who died yesterday. We’ll never know how many deaths he ordered or was involved in personally, but it’s well known that his hands were bloody as hell. Which is why the flames will burn a little brighter from now on.

These people who murder for a ’cause’ are key factors in prolonging the suffering of their fellow citizens. Had the civil rights protests in Northern Ireland not been tainted by the terrorists, there would have eventually been peace, work and plenty for all, Catholics and Protestants. Unfortunately many Mk 1 Homo Sapiens masquerading as evolved life forms in Ulster still don’t see it that way. So the killing still goes on, only the initials change. So will it be with Islamic inspired attacks. The killing will go on and on unless those who push the ideology are eliminated from within by the very communities they hide behind. Or have their minds changed. Not that I’m holding my breath you understand. Most people aren’t self aware enough to see the obvious.

Trust issues

Excuse the lack of posting of late, but I’ve been up to my neck in UK financial issues. Banks, lawyers, all the usual shizzle. Everything has to be verified, documented, double checked and rechecked before the compliance people are happy. They trust nobody, but then again, neither do I any more. This isn’t paranoia, it’s experience. And all because my family trusted someone to do their job over three decades ago. However, there’s light at the end of this particular tunnel, and it’s not some bleeder with a torch bringing me yet more paperwork.

I see someone has breached their trust and forwarded on Donald Trumps 2005 1040 form (Client copy) to the mainstream media, who have found; shock! Horror! He paid the taxes he was supposed to for that year! Right, so he’s done nothing wrong. Nothing to see here, move along. Apart from the theft of legally protected paperwork, which should not have been released until the IRS completed their tax audit. Not that the lamestream media can be trusted with anything.

Some reporters still just don’t get it, as with this interview with French Presidential candidate Marine Le Pen.

Trust has been dropping like a rock with mainstream media sources all over the world for over twenty years. And with good reason. The mainstream has become less trustworthy, deciding what to report and how to represent those stories. It has fallen prey to the triple poison of bias, groupthink and manipulation. Not that it was ever immune. So much so that stories presented in a particular way get automatically cascaded through all the ‘professional’ outlets. Others are ignored or shuffled to a couple of lacklustre paragraphs on page 7. Mountains become molehills, and vice versa, it’s all in the presentation.

Matters have gotten to the point that Mary-Rose Papandrea, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law has stated: “The American public is hostile to the media. Every news outfit should be very afraid of what a jury will do,” from this article. Specifically over a slanted ABC ‘News’ comment that a meat company sold ‘pink slime’. And this is one example of only a few. Remember Christopher Jeffries? Unfairly defamed by eleven news outlets. Piers Morgan’s editorship of the Daily Mirror and the infamous fake cover of ‘British soldiers’ beating up an Iraqi to name but three?

It’s all too easy for those with the mouthpiece to defame dissenting voices, labelling them ‘Rednecks’ and other such denigrations, yet come over all precious, clutching at their pearls in horror when the proles won’t swallow their misrepresentation wholesale. I mean, how dare the public not believe? How could they?

For myself, I was brought up to be cynical by my parents, who knew all too well what happened if you talked to a reporter with an agenda. So when contacted by the BBC in 2006 for an interview over my then work blogging, I rapidly backtracked after yet more high profile bloggers were ‘Doxxed’, that is, their real names and details were published. At the time I was on my uppers and seriously needed the money my erstwhile job brought in, so couldn’t afford to get fired. So unlike others I declined my fifteen minutes and slunk cautiously back into the alleys and side streets of my genesis.

Then there have been many misrepresentations over BREXIT, the US elections and a whole lot more. The reporting so biased that even the politicians are taking notice. Anyone even vaguely right of centre is being painted as a villainous thug, even when all they want is to restore a little balance. While others seem to be given a free pass because of the colour of their skin or religion. This view is spreading. Seems like I’m not the only one.

Yet who is to blame? Well, there’s only one answer, the Western mainstream media. They have been like kittens with several balls of wool as far as the truth goes, trying to shape it to tell a particular tale and just leaving a tangled mass of misrepresentation and omission. By their antics they’ve made the most wild eyed conspiracy theorist look like Bertrand Russell. Which makes me surprised that they can lie down straight in their own beds.

Speaking of beds, I’m finally beginning to sleep more than five hours a night as my particular tangled web becomes more organised. Other people have created a legal and financial mess which Ma Sticker’s youngest (Me) has been helping tidy up, but it’s not been without personal cost. As Mrs S commented yesterday, I’ve physically aged ten years in the last eighteen months, to which I’ve responded; “Add another century to that in terms of cynicism.”

Now I trust no-one. Especially not in the news media. Because they have proven themselves untrustworthy.

Told you so… again

Well, the writing on the wall is now appearing for the latest ‘Gluten free’ fad diet in a recent study of 30 years data. Well, colour me surprised. Not. Another fad diet bites the Broccoli.

That’s the thing with fad diets, they take little or no notice of actual facts. Now if you have the flattening of villi in the small intestine that indicates Coeliac disease, a lot of Gluten is not fun. Lots of abdominal issues including distension, dire rear, discomfort and a tendency to huge flabby woof-woofs await (As well as upping your ‘Carbon Footprint’). Besides, that’s only a problem for the one percent of the population with a genetic predisposition to the disease who have to lay off the sarnies. The rest of us are quite safe. Although too high a proportion of grain based food in the diet isn’t the best thing for you, so maybe cutting back on the breads and pastries isn’t that bad an idea. As for too much Gluten causing Coeliac disease, well, doubt has been cast upon that assertion.

According to the head of the study behind this news item, Dr Geng Zong, a ‎Research Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston:

“Gluten-free foods often have less dietary fiber and other micronutrient [such as vitamins and minerals], making them less nutritious and they also tend to cost more,”

Which is what we see in the supermarkets, like with the fad over ‘Superfoods’ and the otherwise inedible Kale, which some people rave about. ‘Rave’ being the operative word here, or maybe ‘unhinged’ would be better. Fixating on one’s diet to the exclusion of all else isn’t good for you, physically or mentally. That way lies OCD.

As for Kale, it’s one of those things I was once persuaded, much against my good judgement, to eat. But honestly after one prickly mouthful found wasn’t worth the effort. I’d class it as one of those foods you only need to eat if there’s nothing else in the larder and every shop within a fifty mile radius has sold out and shut down for the next forty eight hours. Yes, it’s got minerals and vitamins, but so has a brick. Oh yes, and depending upon where it’s grown, can contain significant levels of the toxic metal Thallium. I’m told that it used to be popular in Scotland. Which would explain much about the Scots.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a nice brace of steaks ageing in the fridge calling my taste buds. That’s a low gluten diet fixation with flavour.