Tag Archives: Observations

What is ‘fake’ news?

Taking a short break from packing to watch the snow and ice outside, its quite bright today after a day or so of snow, hail and sub zero temperatures so the view is quite picturesque with more of the white stuff to come possibly tonight and tomorrow. Today’s interest was piqued by the current row about so-called ‘fake’ news and I was moved to wonder what makes some news ‘fake’ and who can be trusted to tell stuff like it is without so much spin it makes you dizzy reading the news, online or off.

On careful reflection I’d say that there is a Pacific Ocean of fake out there, especially from the big news outlets, who have repeatedly diluted their product by for example, uncritically publishing activist press releases as factual. Something comes in via Reuters and many news outlets publish it almost verbatim with very little fact checking when even a simple Internet search would demolish the contents blandly formatted assertions. Indeed, a new verb has been invented – to Fisk, which is a line by line refutation, with citations, of any given news article. How Reuters select their content and where they source it is down to them, but it does devalue their usefulness as primary source material. Yes, Dorothy, there is fake news and it’s endemic to the mainstream media.

Let’s take as our example the stories surrounding the recent US Presidential election. While on the road across the USA earlier this year Mrs S and I visited 24 States in six weeks. In our ten thousand mile adventure we listened to the news, spoke to people and used our eyes and ears. We noted the visible support for each candidate in a wide variety of neighbourhoods. The most visible support in terms of lawn signs and window posters were for Bernie Saunders. Second place went to Donald Trump. Yet we saw none for Hilary Clinton. In ten thousand miles of travel, not one lawn sign or window poster. With only one recorded Clinton bumper sticker out of thousands for the other candidates. Yet who got most of the positive coverage? I have sat and watched the raw footage and livestreams of Trump and Clinton speeches (The sacrifices I make, eh?) then watched slack jawed as newsreaders on the BBC, France24 and CNN cover a related story then try to tell me that black is white and down is sideways. To which I would respond vehemently;

Now President-elect Donald J Trump has been repeatedly demonised by mainstream newsreaders and pundits for being ‘racist’, ‘mysoginist’ and just about every ‘ist’ and ‘ism’ including committing multiple instances of ‘hate speech’. Yet if you bother to watch his speeches; yes his campaign speech style has been bombastic and repetitious, but all he’s said has been a railing against the corruption in Washington DC (Drain the swamp), illegal immigration as opposed to legal immigration (Build the wall) and telling other countries to pay for their own defence. He also went out and got his hands dirty, even assisting with the loading and unloading of supplies during the 2016 Louisiana floods. Clinton’s speeches, though neatly spun and well written lacked power and carried the reek of continued Neocon interventionism that has turned most of the Middle East into a near perpetual war zone, and been the source of a refugee crisis which threatens to undermine the native culture of Europe. Her absence from crisis hit places (even for a cheap photo-op) in the US and her invisibility during the later weeks of her campaigns also spoke volumes. There has also been the big question mark over her health coupled with various scandals (Email, Haiti, Foreign Campaign Contributions) that dogged her campaign. Which most of the media and associated punditry seemed to ignore and even in some cases actively deny despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary from sources like Wikileaks, who have carried on despite a well funded smear campaign against Julian Assange. (Link to Podesta and DNC Emails here. No it’s not illegal to look at them)

I’d also like to point out that the mainstream news media (Including Fox) have indulged in what is known as ‘churnalism‘ for years. Which makes me think TV news media is little more than a game of Chinese Whispers. A process which can be defined by the acronym LILO (Lies in-Lies out). Because unless there’s some real investigation and fact checking going on at each level, what’s the bloody point? It seems from this bloggers perspective that all the main media outlets do is give you their dramatised opinion of events, not what actually happened. Unfortunately, because of modern media marketing practice, spin, half truths and outright lies have become the norm in modern editorial policy. Only challenged by some of those sites now branded ‘fake’. Does anyone else see the irony?

When I was growing up in the UK, it used to be that the more sober broadsheets could be trusted to a degree because they spent money on correspondents and freelancers out in the field. Also, anyone with an ounce of news-savvy in pre-Internet days used to read both the Telegraph and the Guardian in the UK, because the respective editorial policies were in direct opposition, and the half truths and spin could be winnowed out in a kind of contrast and compare exercise. Personally I still read the UK’s Financial Times because the real stories are all about where the money goes. The Pink sheets are still fairly trustworthy because if they get it wrong, the City of London doesn’t like it. As they say in less refined financial service circles; “Money talks, bullshit walks.” Even so, I’ve learned to treat their Op-eds with caution, and where something sounds a little off, gone fact checking all on my own. I’ve also developed a healthy caution regarding media cited ‘Experts’.

In the UK there used to be a body called the press complaints commission up until 2014 which dealt with complaints where a media outlet was thought to have harrassed, misrepresented, faked content or grossly distorted a given story. It has been superceded by another watchdog-like body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation, where reporting that harms people can be complained about here. The Media Council in Canada here. Australia here. And New Zealand here. For Europe generally, try here. The USA does not have such a body. All complaints have to be pursued separately by complainants via the court system.

Honestly? I don’t think there is any one definitive and completely trustworthy source of news. Looking for honest reportage nowadays is like prospecting for gold. Similarly, facts are rare and only found in small nuggets or grains, and you almost always have to go looking for it yourself. Or for a more scientific metaphor, you have to sift through a lot of Pitchblende to find a little Radium.

There are calls for some overarching authority to control the worst excesses of ‘fake’ news, not only in the mainstream, but also in the emergent media. Yet what paragons of even handedness are to be elevated to this positions of ultimate media arbitration? Do such people even exist? Who would appoint them and why? I would posit that the best solution lies with the feet on the street and that is to stop feeding the media beast. Unsubscribe, walk away, learn to research, and look after those closest to you. To get a little biblical (Psalm 146 Verse 5); Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help. Or to put it another way;

And here’s Ezra Levant reporting on a classic example of the CBC and associated media fakery of a 3000 strong protest of unemployed Alberta Oil patch workers, small family farm owners and First Nations against the proposed Carbon Tax;

The media people referred to the protesters as ‘pigs’ and ‘deplorables’ just because of 20 second bit of crowd-mockery. At least those peaceful protesters now know whose side the CBC and like minded media is on, and it isn’t the side of the ordinary Canadian.

Ciao Italia

Well that was a busy Monday morning. A business deal was concluded before 8am and we had the movers in to take our first tranche of kit into storage. So I’ve been busier than a metaphor with two adjectives moving very quickly indeed.

Did I mention we had a little snow this morning in Victoria? Nothing much, hardly enough to wet the ground, but it’s still colder than usual for December, but fits in with the local cycles of warm and cold Winters we’ve experienced so far. All weather tyres on the car, check. The only thing I might need is a replacement battery for the old Satnag. Well, the car is hitting its sixth birthday, but still goes up hill and down dale without missing a beat.

Over the weekend I’ve been watching with amusement the next crack on the shins for the bureaucracy that should have been just a free trade zone, the EU. You know, with all the snappy terms for leaving the EU bouncing around like Brexit and Frexit, no one gave thought to the Italians, whose referendum on ‘reform’ came up with a big fat NO, with huge political gains made by the anti-EU faction. The obvious next contender for media neologism is “Ixit”, or even “Italexit”, which somehow lacks the big ‘E’, but as the Italians aren’t net contributors to the EU budget, any “Ixit” would not be as much of a blow to the EU as when Britain finally leaves or possibly even when France bails out.

Any vecchia strada su, we have our travel plans for Italy 2017 firmly in place and it doesn’t matter which way the votes go because we’re planning to insure ourselves up the wazoo so that no matter what happens, we go five star.

That’s all for now. Cleaners are arriving for the first stage of wrapping up this apartment this afternoon and there is more packing to organise. TTFN.

That was fun… not

Wednesday was a bit of a day all things considered. Kind of a good news / bad news day. There used to be a pub game where you had to take an item of news and spin it to either be good or bad. I think the gag has fallen into disuse since the 1970’s, but I’d like to dust this old joke off just for todays post.

First, the bad news; our current landlady refused to give us a reference. (You can boo now)
Now the good news; our new landlord accepted a reference from the bank! (Cheer wildly)
Ah, the bad news; we’ve got to change our address. (Boo, hiss)
Now the good news; to a much bigger apartment! (Yay!)
The bad news; the new apartment needs redecoration. (Euw!)
The good news; new landlord has offered to pay for the paint. (Cool!)

And so on. Okay, we’ve shelled out half the damage deposit already (No need to boo, joke’s over) but that’s secured our new tenancy for January 1st by which time all our kit will be undercover in the new place, and we’ll be painting over the current hideous colour scheme. Opening the doors to let in a bright sparkly 2017 and letting out tired old 2016 and a whole lot of paint fumes. Yes we’ll be paying more rent, but it won’t break the bank.

Now this will inevitably result in complications over the festering season, but complications and challenges are a piece of store bought Christmas cake with fondant icing on top. At least to us.

First complication is new furniture arriving tomorrow with Mrs S due to disappear for the weekend while I deal with the first practicalities. I’m a bloke, so this is my part of the ship. With Mrs S out of the way I can begin packing without interruption. All I need is enough packing tape as we already have boxes galore flat packed and ready for action. No doubt it’ll keep me out of trouble until she arrives back on Sunday. Another complication will be youngest arriving on the 20th of December for a week or so, but I have a cunning plan to have the majority of non-essentials packed and good to go long before then. After which she has decided she wants to stay with sister-in-law mid island. As far as decor is concerned, we can cover any gaps with tinsel and decorations until move out time. This may put me to some minor inconvenience, but what the hell, I’ve probably coped with worse. The decorations will have to come down a few days before 12th Night, but that’s no biggie. Rather reminds me of our first ever move within BC. That happened at New Year as well. Which I did with minimal help. Again from a small suite to a much bigger apartment. When we moved to Victoria in June 2014, we were downsizing. Now we need more space so we can work better.

Regarding the refused reference; no, we haven’t trashed the apartment. Even before packing it’s probably cleaner than when we first moved in, and I’m stone cold certain it will be abso-fucking-lutely sparkling when we move out. Because that’s what we do. You know why our landlady actually refused? Because we’re good tenants and she doesn’t want us to leave. Seriously. Which in an odd sort of way is rather sweet.

Funny old business, life.

A climate of hope?

Back in 2008, when Obama was selected as US Presidential Candidate in the 2008 Democratic primaries, he made a speech containing remarks about the planet healing and halting sea level rise now he was the candidate anointed by whatever. Which was patent bollocks and can be justifiably ranked as one of the top hundred political lies of the 21st Century. And that’s up against some pretty stiff competition, like the Bush and Blair excuses for the 2nd Iraq war, and just about everything said by Hilary Clinton.

Now US President-elect Trump is laying out his environmental agenda, news is filtering out of COP22 that some delegates are worried about their man made climate change gravy train grinding to a well-deserved halt. If as Trump has said, that the USA will withdraw from all the UN climate agreements because they were imposed by several notorious Congress-bypassing Executive Orders, defunding their 3 Billion USD contribution pledge.

Which may have a knock on effect north of the 49th Parallel and elsewhere. Trudeau has pledged CAD$2,650,000,000, which at current exchange rates comes out at USD$1,954,565,614.50. On top of our CAD$5,800,000,000 (USD$4,277,917,194.00) spend for 2015. Which is a big slice of a shrinking economy. The UK? Let me try to put all that on a level playing field from the published figures of contributions to the main climate funds.
USA: USD$3 Bn GBP2.4 Bn CAD$4 Bn
UK: UDS$4.8 Bn GBP3.9 Bn CAD$6.56Bn
Canada: USD$1.96 GBP 1.57 CAD$ 2,65Bn

Worldwide contributions to the International Climate Fund currently stand at USD$30 Bn out of a pledge of USD$40 Bn (Source Here) with ‘approved’ funds equalling USD$17.5 Bn. That’s a heck of a big cake for the troughers to feast off, travel First and Business Class, stay in five star hotels, get paid massive speaking fees, publish endless garbage ‘science’ articles based on statistical models and upwards adjusted data. No wonder they’re worried. It does not take an Everest scale intellect to see that if only one of these three contributors gives the UN climate change scamsters the finger, say if as seems likely the USA decides to pull out, the Climate troughers will have to take a sizeable pay cut, and horror of horrors, travel Economy on their own dollar and maybe stay in a lower cost accommodation. No more motorcades, and delegates poncing around their conferences in top of the line SUV’s like armoured Range Rover Sentinels (Like the Ranger spotted 52 Seconds into the video below).


All to ‘prevent’ a probably inevitable (And natural) uptick in average global temperatures. Or downslide, because new facts and figures are coming in which point to a cooling global climate driven by a ‘double heartbeat‘ of the sun.

The CO2 based models may say one thing, but if the climate steadfastly refuses to be driven by CO2s, why are we in the west spending money on something we manifestly can’t control? Especially on data derived from models that Airfix could do better?

The climate will change. That much is certain. However, throwing tax money at endless international conferences won’t change a thing. The best thing Trump can do is cut all the subsidies and aid packages. Which won’t please the Carbon Traders or the builders of wind turbine blight. But then those people will have to find honest ways of making a living. Like investing in clean nuclear power (Fusion would be nice, but Thorium would do), ‘clean’ coal (Fluidised bed technology and stack scrubbers) and better hydro-electric schemes.

This is going to be fun. Have just decided to buy my popcorn wholesale.

Out and about

Downtown Victoria Thursday had a strange vibe to it. I was waiting to be served in one store, and heard one guy rambling on about how much he hated the new US President-elect. How racist and misogynist Trump was, and how nuclear war was just around the corner. Seriously, this guy was absolutely frothing at the mouth. For half a second I thought he was going to take a pop at me, a total stranger, simply because I fall into the demographic profile of those being blamed for the Trump victory. Over fifty, male, Caucasian. Apparently to some we are the new Emmanuel Goldsteins.

So I applied the rule I learned long ago and looked away as if the meeting of hostile eyes was nothing, because there’s no more worthless activity than trying to have a reasonable discussion with anyone while their emotions are running that high. I mean I was pissed off with Trudeau getting elected Prime Minister, because his policies and the idiotic Carbon tax look like sending Canada’s economy even further into the tank, but then I’m not childish enough to go around looking for a fight just because things don’t go entirely my way. I’ll just keep my distance and make my own plans. Pick up, move on, adapt and if I have to, improvise.

Then I took a casual look at the CNN feed on one of the TV’s scattered about the place, and heard similar language coming from a talking head about what they thought Trump was going to be like. Talk about selective reporting.

Frankly what the pundits were saying didn’t gel with any of the speeches I’ve actually heard Trump making. The TV coverage was all opinions about opinions, half truths and projection, yet the guy I heard mouthing off in the store was taking this lamestream garbage as gospel. When Trump talked about dealing with the US immigration issues, and deporting the illegals, the talking heads were translating it as all immigrants, illegal or not. Which is a lie. When they talked about a worsening of international relations, Trump was talking about removing American interference and making other nations pay for their own military interventions. He most certainly wasn’t talking about shooting down Russian aircraft over Syria or actively promoting or engaging in ‘regime change’. Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gadaffi may not have been people you’d like to invite to dinner, but they kept the lid on highly unstable areas.

These media folk have an agenda so obvious that it might as well be posted in letters ten feet high. Which is why they’ve been blowing their credibility faster than a thousand dollar call girl. The pieces of the jigsaw are all out there for anyone who cares to look. No wonder the Trump camp are calling these hacks ‘Presstitutes’. Lazy cut and paste Fark and Churnalism have been delivering nothing more than a sugar coated ball of poison via TV and news media. And it is poisonous, because you only have to look at the results. Anger at total strangers like me just because of their skin colour and age? And this is Canada for heavens sake!

Which begs the question, is the once trusted ‘profession’ of Journalism dead? The guys over at Rebel Media say that it may well be.

Me, I’ll go with my late father’s advice; “Don’t trust everything you read in the papers.”

Winter is coming

Took a look out of our rear window yesterday morning and an early light frost had just started to melt off the carport roof and the tarmac tiles off the bungalow next door. “Is that snow?” Asked Mrs S, indicating the hills to the north of Sooke. I grimaced because there is a not quite denuded Poplar tree in the way, but was forced to conclude that yes, it did indeed look like there were bands of snow over a couple of the hills in that direction. Which is odd this far south. We don’t normally see anything roughly approximately resembling snow until at least the turn of the year. In the mid-island yes. The odd flurry is no big deal but doesn’t normally give anyone grief until late January. It actually took my 20×50 binoculars to determine that what looked like bands of snow was actually dazzling low angled sunlight reflecting off the new housing around Bear Mountain.

As far as Summer goes, it’s been warm but a little truncated here in Victoria, with the expected run on of warmth and sunshine that normally lasts until early October replaced with chilly showers from early September onwards. I’m told it’s actually worse where we used to live. An elderly friend has repeatedly complained that she’s seen more rain than usual. Sis in law is so fed up with the near constant drizzle that she’s seriously contemplating a move south. Other friends have come back from Guatemala and all points south, so we’ll be swapping tales of derring don’t with them over a curry on Friday. See what they say.

Oh yes, and the Yanks had something called an election Tuesday night. A Globalist vs Nationalist grudge match with the political Establishment and most of the lamestream media in one corner, and a billionaire businessman turned politician and a whole bunch of disenfranchised blue collar types in the other. Quick note to the propaganda arm of the Democrat party, latterly known as the mainstream media; you don’t win people over by insulting their intelligence. Which should translate as; you may have been to college, but that doesn’t mean that those who didn’t are thick. If certain commentators were really as intelligent as they claim, they would understand that true intelligence takes many forms, not merely the academic.

The stock markets, as they are wont to do when the narrative fails, initially tried to throw dolly out of the pram but then bounced back. But I’ve come to expect this kind of behaviour, and if you’ve the nerve for it there’s a great deal of money to be made by going against what the lamestream media tell you. Wish I’d had the capital in play to go short on the US dollar for the predictable market panics over the last couple of days, but it was not to be.

Will Trumps victory change anything? Well, the big money was behind Clinton but on the whole the grass roots weren’t. Which will give a yet another well-deserved upset to the apple cart of Establishment politics. But then again, that’s what all the anti-Clintonites were upset about. The same shit different day of endless wars, foreign influence, divisiveness, political correctness and large parts of the populace feeling dismissed as of no value. Not to mention the attempt to create political dynasties. As an aside, I wonder if all those foreign contributors to the Clinton Foundation are already asking for their money back? Who knows?

So, the Ancien Regime of globalism is down, but not out. A Winter is coming, and we should be prepared for a tough ride for the next year or so. However, I console myself that no matter how rough it gets, the Winter we will have to endure will not be of the nuclear variety. As would have been likely had the crazed Clinton implemented her insane ‘No Fly zone’ over Syria. I was watching Vlad Putin’s reaction to the news of Trumps election, and despite his affected public calm, looked very relieved.

Me, I shall be planning for the worst, but hoping for better. The 2017 Europe trip is still very much on, and I have a few more financial tools in the box to make things happen.

Health issue

No, not me. Although I’m looking for a decent massage therapist locally with tough enough thumbs to give my lower back pressure points a good workout. Eldest has settled in at her new job after only a few days in the fabled land of Oz, with another, more remunerative one on the horizon. She’s fine, as is Youngest, who’s a bit overworked because she’s too good at her job, but will be getting pampered to bits when she arrives here for the Christmas Holiday. Mrs S is complaining about my snoring, but that’s about all on the home front.

Meanwhile I’ve just bought in a bulk order of popcorn over the developing news of Hilary Clinton’s ill health, not to mention the campaign meltdown of yet another batch of potentially incriminating emails. No, Hilary love, it’s not a vast, ‘right wing conspiracy’, it’s just that anyone with a functioning intelligence knows you’re bent as a nine bob note. Selling influence to big corporations and overseas donors for inflated ‘speaking fees’. Keeping a private email server and handling classified documents on an insecure system, even though the rules specifically forbid it. Even for a Secretary of State in the United States of America. Then there are all the money laundering and embezzlement allegations over the Clinton Foundation. It may well be high time the USA started to think about electing a woman for President, just not a Clinton. And a not very well Clinton at that.

Now. Having worked in and around hospitals for a few years during which time I undertook some formal medical training, like serving time working in A&E (Emergency), Operating theatre, caring for mentally and physically disabled children and working on stroke, cardiac and cancer wards. Obviously my training is all a bit old hat now, but I can still read an X-ray fairly well and although I’m not qualified to practice, wouldn’t stick a needle in the wrong bit of someone’s anatomy and hit anything vital if called upon to do so. I can tell a fit from a faint, and understand the basic principles of what’s going on with blood pressure and various other symptoms. I’m no doctor, but have a better than average knowledge of what ails the human frame than the general population, who to be charitable, couldn’t find their arse, heart, lungs, stomach or kidneys without a map.

So I thought I’d watch a few videos and say what I see as honestly as possible. Now Hilary Clinton is ill, that much is certain. Very unwell, and this is something that has been going on for some time. Not just a ’bout of pneumonia’. The duration and variability of the problem alone is indicative of a longer term issue. She is also definitely having seizures, not simple fainting fits. So the coughing fits are likely not down to infection alone. Some Cardio-pulmonary (the Double whammy, heart and lungs), involvement is likely considering that fluid has been observed when she coughs. However, ‘Pneumonia’ symptoms do not include her observed neurological symptoms like ‘fitting’ or ‘zoning out’. A simple faint very rarely involves any form of convulsion.

I’m also a little sceptical of the Parkinsons ‘diagnosis’ that some pundits have been bandying about. Two reasons. Watch the hands. No ‘pin rolling’, no visible tremor. Look at the posture. She has had mobility issues for several years, especially with stairs, but there’s no characteristic stoop or slouch. Parkinsons symptoms are usually pretty distinctive, and my own experience working with Parkinsons patients tells me that it’s something else.

So what have we got so far? Fainting, fitting, coughing, weakness, loss of balance, and ‘zoning out’. Fainting is caused by a lack of blood to the brain, often caused by low blood pressure. Fitting, the observed spasmodic movements following a ‘faint’ may even have a pharmacological rather than a simply physiological cause (Be a side effect of a drug regime). A cough is listed as a side effect of Ramipril (A drug used to reduce high blood pressure) Which might account for the quick turnarounds observed. I’ve also just found out what her temporary Strabismus might be a side effect of, which could be down to a similar drug to MDMA being used as a fast acting antidepressant. Throw ’em all together and what have you got? Fainting, fitting, coughing, weakness, loss of balance, and ‘zoning out’. Hmm.

So what is her actual base condition? Not sure. I’ve read all kinds of things bandied about like Binswangers, Guillain-Barré, but my money is on repeated TIA‘s (Transient Ischaemic Attack or Mini-strokes) being treated by large doses of anti-hypertensive (Blood pressure reduction) and anti clotting medication. Considering her known family history of stroke (Younger brother Hugh, both Mother and Father died of CVA’s), it’s the only diagnosis that makes any sense. Could be wrong I suppose, but if it has feathers and quacks, well, it’s probably a member of the genus Anatidae.

The other bet to make is that even if Hilary Clinton does somehow win the US Presidential election, which is looking increasingly unlikely considering the current tranche of scandals, her illness will prevent her being a very effective President. Knowing the state of modern medicine, it is possible with enough money and the right drugs it is possible to extend life considerably. Therefore some right wing hopes that she will end up dying before taking the oath of office in February are pretty long odds. However, the sickness and malaise such life extending pharmaceuticals inevitably bring with them may just make the recipient wonder what the hell she’s doing it for.

For the moment

Until some bastard ruins it of course, life is good. The clouds that have marred the past two years are gradually clearing, and providing everyone does their job properly (Something I will be keeping a very close eye on) the Sticker household can look forward to a much rosier future. Winning after such a protracted battle is very, very nice indeed. A sensation only marred by the knowledge that if those concerned had followed my guidance last bloody year, the recent legal and financial mess I’m just extricating myself from could have been avoided altogether. I’d have probably made more money too, but what the hell, I’m getting out of a toxic business relationship and will not enter another like it again. Not without a differently worded contract. So that is a compensation. Everything is a learning experience and the approaching sound of people finally coughing up is Handel’s Messiah to my shell-likes. Well boys, you took your bloody own sweet time. However, now it’s all over bar the shouting, I’m going to contemplate being able to lie back and enjoy the things that are the best in life. What me? sarcastic? Never… (Embarrassed cough)

The following rather sums up my current world view.

Yes, and if you are a sarky old git like my fellow members of the Bill Sticker Society for Sarcasm and Irony, then you’re naturally more intelligent (Scientifically proven, see below), and by being sarcastic force other people to up their intellectual game. Stopping the less mentally acute coasting through their lives and apply the brakes (or accelerator) of self examination. Rescuing them from the living death of pointless conformity. Bringing the PC-afflicted a little non-violent emotional release. I mean, come on, doesn’t using sarcasm successfully make you feel better against the aggressive, and more pertinently, the passive-aggressive?

Like ‘preferred gender pronouns’ for example. An idea only liked by a few eccentric academics and the mentally ill (These terms may be viewed as interchangeable). If the poisonous bill C-16 gets onto the books in Canada, then the only defence against the politically correct speech code it enforces will be sarcasm.

Some say sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but those who do rather miss the point. Sarcasm is actually a readily learnable linguistic response which provides, not only a social defence mechanism for the powerless, but an offensive tool in the war for civilisation against the Politically Correct and insufferably earnest and dull. And we mustn’t offend them, must we?

More than twice an hour. (Twinkle) Or more. (Twinkle, snort of derision)

Sarcasm. An essential tool for dealing with the stumbling blocks of life. Without it, our current civilisation could not exist. Got to love it.

Oh, shit.

Just when you think you’ve finally got things under control. While travel plans are all moving ahead, bookings are being made, and everything is looking positive for our forthcoming motorcycling tour of Europe. I’m beginning to wonder if there’s going to be anything left to see. Especially if Hilary Clinton wins the US Presidential election. In their efforts to shift the blame onto someone apart from their own crap cyber security, the Washington Headbangers are blaming the Russki’s to the point where the Russians are recalling the children of their diplomatic diaspora and making Naval forays down the English Channel just to show that they can’t be intimidated over Syria.

Do we in the West (Well, our politicians and their media at least) have a terminal dose of the stupids? First the EU goes barging around in the Ukraine in an effort to corner the gas export market and bail out their bought and paid for politicians. Mainly because all their ‘Green Energy’ policies are proving as useful as a rubber spanner. Next when the Crimean locals get humpty and secede from the Ukraine, calling on what they see as ‘the mother country’ to back them up, Russia obliges. Then NATO gets pulled in and Russia gets hit with the first batch of sanctions. Which cuts off a big slice of potential export market, even if the powers that be say the effects are ‘minimal’. That’s without even mentioning the mess in Syria.

I think the US Democrats understand they’re going to lose big in the forthcoming US Presidential election, and are going to leave nothing but radioactive scorched earth behind them. They want a war. Just like in “Wag the Dog” but for real and on a far grander scale. Who says that art doesn’t mirror real life? And it’s not just me who thinks this way.

It was a really shaping up to be nice year for me in 2017, touring, having nice holidays and visiting people, but now I’m watching the US Democrat administration deliberately fuck it up for everyone. But that’s what the Democrats do. Not content with their race baiting resulting in an upsurge in inner city unrest and their neocon agenda increasing the risk of terrorism, now the Democrats want to go pick a fight with the other big kid on the block. One big and mean enough to hand the West’s collective arses back to them. On a smoke blackened plate that glows in the dark.

Now. Let’s take pause a moment and engage our critical faculties. No-one is stupid enough to want another World War. Especially not the nuclear kind. Such things might look like fun if you’re into video games like Mobile Strike, but the real life version, as I’m sure the civilians in any war zone will attest, not to mention the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is no fun at all. Besides, there’s all the extra funeral expenses and the attendant risk of a drone strike just as the priest intones “Ashes to ashes.” However, the upside of all out nuclear war means even the politicians little bolt holes get ruined, and that would never do.

What my third thoughts have come up with is like in ‘Wag the dog’ all this ‘poking the Russian Bear’ is a ruse. A ‘Vote for Hilary or you all fry!’ gambit, with the rhetoric ramping up right to the edge of nuclear Armageddon, then oh! the drama! there will be desperate last ditch peace talks, ‘Hilary to the rescue!’ which, miracula et signa will result in ‘world peace’ so long as the biggest piece of that world ends up belonging to the globalists. ‘The little people’ (You, me and the rest of the serfs) will of course end up footing a very large bill. War, even a narrow escape from one, being a very expensive business. Heaven forfend that the people who actually started the bloody thing have to pick up the tab.

Pass the whiskey. Might as well drink it while I can. Damn. I think I just stubbed my toe on my cynicism. Again.

Stormy weather

Not felt much like posting recently. Mainly because I felt I’d run out of things to say, so did the natural thing, which was to shut up and listen for a while. Not much to do apart from hurry up and wait anyhow.

We’ve had a few storms locally, which have shut down transport to the mainland and smaller islands for a day or so. Nothing out of the ordinary out here on the Pacific Rim. I’ve been entertaining myself watching the odd scad of airborne debris heading up the road horizontally at about fifty to sixty kilometres an hour. Just clumps of leaves and the odd twig or two zipping by, and the trees in the garden thrashing around like a hyperactive teenager in a mosh pit.

Lots of storms in teacups, well apart from near misses with hurricanes on the eastern seaboard. This whole Trump thing. Oh seriously? Is this the best they can do? The guy has less baggage in his past than I do. Anyone who can get all bent out of shape over a bit of locker room talk must have serious issues themselves. Especially when the opposition is associated with cheating charity organisations, taking massive, barely concealed backhanders from overseas and corporate interests, has defended child rape, sexual assault and a number of other crimes, not to mention breaching US National Security. And people think she’s a safe person to trust with the US Nuclear codes? Holy shit! One bout of PMT and we’re all history.

Not that the US elections aren’t all bought and paid for anyway. I don’t think the popular vote will mean a thing. The Electoral College is the one that counts. Buy enough Senators and Congressmen and the electorate can all go hang. Having read the linked article, I’m moved to comment that it’s come to a pretty pass when Russia (!) has a more democratic selection process. Who knew?

The world events that have me currently pacing the floor are the various provocations going on over Syria and Iraq. Military presences are ramping up, and with the current idiots in chief declaring a ‘cyber-war’ on Russia, they may just get the shooting war they want. Not only are US ‘intelligence’ services complicit in creating and funding the current major terrorist threats, the current US Administration want to get in a military pissing match with the Russians and Chinese.

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, I breathed a huge mental sigh of relief, thinking that the threat of nuclear annihilation was past. Now that threat is firmly back on the table. If, as I think is likely, Clinton becomes US President, seriously people (either of you), I think there’s even more stormy weather ahead. The glow in the dark sort.