Tag Archives: Observations

The gift of laughter

Downtown today, I managed to find a copy of the Sunday Times, which sparked off one of those conversations between Mrs s and I. About a particular kind of laughter.

Now Mrs S and I laugh with each other all the time. She takes the rise out of me unmercifully, which I allow. We find this makes for a healthy relationship. We have the gift of laughter. This not only feels right, but buoys us both up when dealing with the many cerebrally challenged we come across in our day to day lives. Our shared laughter has become an essential mutual inoculation against the many petty evils of this world. We are even able to laugh at ourselves. Which make the “Aw-shee-it!” moments which occasionally punctuate our lives more bearable.

By laugh I mean what Lyall Watson, in his book ‘Supernature‘, once described as ‘the soul laugh’. Not the appalling “That is so funn-ee” beloved of retarded High school sophomores or the tittering near-sneer of dinner party faux-intellectual dweebs. That is feigned laughter. Made by people who don’t know how to let the humour get deep into their inner being. Made by people who go to comedy clubs and really shouldn’t because they ruin it for everyone else. The people I refer to are often found berating the stage act for breaching some strange moral code or challenging the audience members belief systems. In the clubs I often get irritated by these arrogant little shits and often think that people who don’t really get humour could do with a very large brick over the head to try and knock some sense into them. These are the people who I have nothing but contempt and increasingly rarely, pity for. The walking damned. Those who are forever unable to get it. Those who exclude themselves and because they cannot understand humour, forever try to exclude everyone else and prevent them telling jokes that are even remotely funny.

A soul laugh is by contrast a bucket of ice water over the head, a fresh mountain stream, a cloudburst of emotional catharsis. This kind of laugh washes the spirit clean and destroys all those poisonous little shibboleths the perpetually offended would clutter our lives with. It defuses tense situations and the daftest thing can trigger an attack. And it is predominantly male. A sign of relaxation, of being at ease with your inner core. It cannot be faked and when properly shared, soul laughter bonds and unites. Offence evaporates. One of life’s great sadnesses is that so few females really understand its necessity. I count myself blessed because my wife is one of those who actually does.

The thing is, to the weak, fearful and immature, soul laughter is frightening and therefore to be suppressed at all costs. There is nothing more dangerous in the eyes of a would-be oppressor than a full blown soul laugh. Because the soul laugh is literally spit in their eyes. It’s the only sane response when those wielding power think they have broken all resistance. It can be found even on the final scaffold when death is inevitable, because well, what the hell, what have you got to lose? A soul laugh is also a great defiant middle finger to those who perpetuate lies because it says; “I’m not taking you seriously – motherfucker.”

Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot and Hitler weren’t big fans of humour, especially when it was directed at them. Which is why Russians used to be so habitually gloomy and Germans only had a very shaky grasp of what was actually funny. All their best comedians ended up in concentration camps or Gulags. Or worse, shot and consigned to mass graves.
My favourite Russian joke goes;
Prisoner: “I don’t understand, the judge gave me twenty years. I’m innocent of any crime!”
Gulag Guard: “Twenty years comrade? You must have done something.”
Prisoner: “I don’t know. All I did was call Stalin an idiot.”
Gulag Guard: “Ah, there you go comrade. Revealing state secrets.”

What we need is more jokes directed at the hate speech laws themselves. To demonstrate how unpopular these things are to left-leaning politicians, who really only want popularity, because that is the path to power, and power is all they really crave. A really good joke would be to wipe out the Tories, the Limp Dems and Labour in the forthcoming EU elections and bury the Canadian Liberal party. Then if they don’t learn the lessons, hand out a really sound electoral kicking at every possible opportunity, directing a humiliating barrage of soul laughter at the totalitarian bar stewards. Just to drive the point home good and hard.

There will be arrests, but this could become the benchmark to every aspiring stand-up comedians career, getting nicked for hurting some humourless buggers feelings. Look at Count Dankula. He went from unknown Communist comedian to overnight celebrity and MEP candidate. Yes, I thought the whole Nazi Pug thing was a great gag, if a bit tasteless. As for Sargon’s sidelong jibe at the awful scarecrow like figure of Labour MP Jess Phillips. Well I wouldn’t want to either. I know it’s not wise to look at the mantelpiece whilst stoking the fire in certain cases, but a blindfold and last cigarette might be more useful at that particular juncture. Double-euw. If given the option I’d rather hump Worzel Gummidge.

Treason May on the other hand increasingly looks like a piece of badly stuffed Victorian taxidermy. I’ve also noticed that Justine Turdeau could pass for a very close relative of a certain Mr Schickelgruber if he were to grow a toothbrush moustache. As for Hildebeast Clinton, yeaah. Shades of a reanimated Eva Braun there. Occasionally Cortex resembles one of puppeteer Jim Hansens worst nightmares as might be animated by Director Tim Burton. She’s certainly got the intellect for it. Only just though.

Notwithstanding, it could be argued that the soul laugh is nature’s greatest gift to humanity because of it’s role in both breaking down aggression and bringing down the tyrannical. It could also be argued that such laughter damages people who are basically not really grown up enough to live in the real world. Then there is the moot point that a bloody good laugh is worth having at the downfall of the unrighteous, unfaithful and divisive. Go on, have a guess at who I’m talking about. There are two right answers. One for the UK, one for Canada. They can pass all the anti-free speech laws they want, but the soul laugh will always find a way to it’s intended target.

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Having second thoughts

We are currently booked and paid for to visit London, UK in Autumn 2019. Nothing much, we’re going to spend a little quality time with ‘North’ (Younger stepdaughter) in the great metrollops and go do some sightseeing. Only the current Police crackdown, where they are doing the whole facial recognition fascist thing has me thinking twice. Arresting otherwise law abiding people for getting annoyed at being scanned without permission? That and they’re confiscating spoons for heavens sakes. I’ve just seen a triumphant tweet from London Police of a ‘deadly weapons cache’ that looks like the contents of my cutlery drawer before I had a clear out last year. I swear this picture of a ‘weapons cache’ had a butter knife and a spoon in it, FFS! All right, there was a fencing foil in amongst the edged kitchen tools on display, but that had a fencing button on the tip and might have put someone’s eye out if they were very, very unlucky / clumsy. I bet most of those other bits of metal weren’t all that sharp, rather like the arresting officers.

Jesus H Freaking Christ on a Velocipede! I used to be part of the UK law enforcement ‘community’ as a lowly bylaw enforcement officer, but right at present any trust of the UK Police on my part has been eroded to the point of nothingness. You can even be arrested for telling jokes for heavens sake! Or questioned for holding the ‘wrong’ opinions. After that some bozo in black will probably make an excuse to rummage through your kitchen drawers and try to make a case for terrorism. “All right chummy. Yore nicked! Slice your own bread do you? Right! You’re under arrest for conspiracy to make sandwiches.” Dear God alive. Does anyone understand how retarded that sort of behaviour makes them look? God knows what they’d make of my Sabatier and Sushi knife collection. Probably accuse me of a massive conspiracy to cook a casserole.

Honestly at this juncture I’m actually becoming more afraid of the UK Police than any criminal I might happen across and am inclined to avoid any uniformed presence like the plague, refusing to engage with them and crossing the streets where possible to avoid said uniformed presence.

This is why the current crop of party politicians have to go. They’re the ones behind the moral panics driving this idiocy. All of them. Tory. Labour. Lib Dem. Green. None of them have a clue. This is getting worse than the 60’s and 70’s and this extreme behaviour by the UK Police is liable to make things far, far worse than they already are.

I am seriously thinking about cancellation. Stuff ’em. I’m halfway inclined to spend my tourist dollars elsewhere.

On the plus side, my deck garden is looking well. The largest Lemon plant just crept over the twenty four inch marker. My Capsicum seedlings have been planted out and we should shortly have Sunflowers, Canna Lillies, Lupins and Delphiniums. A Blue rose has also been added to the collection. Once the rain stops I’ll be outside reading Montaigne’s essay on the delights of solitude.

Floccinaucinihilipilification


My wife has a pet name for that part of me which that she calls an ‘unreconstructed male’. She calls that part of me ‘Mongo’, my inner Neanderthal. Which is something I do play up to, especially when I think she is trying to be obtuse. Or I am. Or I get bored. I joke that this is my primitive self, my primordial being, all muscle and little brain. Which I think is a little unfair on Homo Neanderthalensis, but there is so much floccinaucinihilipilification in the world these days.

So many people on the extreme political left estimate that others are worth little or nothing because they aren’t part of their subset or in-group. A mode of thought I consider very immature. Very high school clique. Not a Leftist? Don’t much care for Socialism? Have even a moderate opinion on any topic? Like freedom of speech? Then, according to them you’re a primitive moron.

Personally, I see no problem with being described as Neanderthal. I think they’ve had a bad press. Let’s put it this way; if your species of human can survive near-global glaciation with only subsistence technology, but have some beautifully intricate flint toolwork and sophisticated burial customs, then you can badmouth Neanderthals. Yes, yes, I know Neanderthals are officially extinct, well not unless you think my wife’s description of me is valid. They were also supposed to have died out beginning around forty and thirty seven thousand years ago when a series of massive volcanic eruptions blanketed Europe during an extreme cold event and probably ruined their best hunting grounds. Some authors say they were simply out competed by mass immigration. Whatever the truth of the matter is, many modern Northern Europeans still have between 2-3% of Neanderthal DNA from interbreeding. In certain Himalayan populations, that amount has been found to be as high as 6%. Not bad for an ‘extinct’ species, eh?

Of course, all these cosseted urban pundits describing average male behaviour as ‘primitive’ may be correct, for a partial value of ‘correct’, but what they really forget all those ‘primitive’ male traits that they deem ‘worthless’ are developed from highly successful survival strategies. Self reliance, independence, loyalty to the family unit etc. None of which are worthless. I would argue that the value of such primitive traits is greater than all the so-called ‘brilliant’ top-down solutions these pundits would like to see us adopt, despite a litany of failed applications. For myself, I am happy to retain my primitive aspect, if only for a giggle. As for ‘moron’, well, I leave my one remaining reader to judge that for themselves.

For a little parting humour, I would like to leave you with one of my favourite parts of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.

Enjoy.

Polly wanna cracker

I’ve got the house to myself at present. Mrs S has gone up island with her sisters and I can wind down a little. Three sisters with all the decades old interplay of personal baggage of all siblings could be compared to babysitting an erratically ticking emotion bomb. You don’t know how long the fuse is and the bloody thing stops counting down and resets every so often, so there are respites. However, this does not make me feel comfortable. Outnumbered yes, comfortable, no. If ever I enter a walking on eggshells competition, I’ll be in the top five.

Anyway, Mrs S and second sister, visiting from the fabled land of Oz, who I think is actually scared of l’il old me (No idea why- I’m an amiable old bear in real life), will be back next Sunday, whereupon I will treat them to some nice lamb chops for Sunday supper. Which will be nice. Mint sauce being something we don’t get to use that often. However, there will only be three of us, which is easier to cope with. Both on an interpersonal and catering basis. Sister in law from up island is notoriously picky in matters of diet. Which has put the kitchen chez sticker under significant pressure, but the cook has coped. Only one minor hitch when they told me to have a meal ready for six thirty and didn’t roll up until well over an hour later. To which I intoned to Mrs S when she phoned to tell me they were going to be late, an hour after I’d begun cooking. “Yer dinner’ll be in the dog. Or it would be if we still had one.”

On to this posts title. One thing bothering me recently, amongst many others is why a ‘carbon tax’ is being levied all over the planet? The UK is having one imposed by Treason May and her coterie of remainers in the case of a ‘no-deal’ BREXIT, we’ve got a Federal carbon tax pushed on us by Trudeaupe in Canada and attempts elsewhere are going on to a background of the parroted line that *Insert country name here “is warming twice as fast as anywhere else”. Right, how can one place ‘warm twice as fast as everywhere else’ if everywhere on the planet is making the same claim? If, as Trudeaupe claims that Canada is warming twice as fast as anywhere on Earth and the Chinese premier makes the same claim about China, who is telling who the truth? The Chinese premier or Trudeaupe? Or is someone else right? Perhaps the leaders of the first(?) world all turned into parrots? They all sound a lot like “Gwaaarrkk! Polly wanna carbon tax!” What is going on?

Unfortunately for the Federal Liberals, no-one with two fully functioning brain cells believes this widely parroted fiction any more. The political compass is swinging firmly to the right of the political spectrum, conservatives winning first the provinces of Ontario and Quebec then Alberta, and latterly PEI (Marginally). Carbon Dioxide is not at the root of an ever-changing global climate. From a deeper delve into the data I’d say it’s a bit part player at best. Indeed, some serious thinkers have calculated that the ‘warming signal’ of CO2 is completely swamped by ocean evaporation and rainfall. Considering that all the models have failed to reflect reality, that has the highest probability of being true.

As for all this garbage about ‘man made’ climate change or ‘Saving the planet’ you know, it’s funny how the biggest mouthpieces bullshitting about such causes own lavish beach properties and holiday on private islands. If you thought there were going to be massive rises in sea level like they’re always telling us because all the ice is melting, why are they so all-fired keen to live so close to the waters edge? These people talk about ‘science’ but I don’t think these mouthpieces have a clue about what real science entails. They just parrot what they’re told, or what their febrile self loathing demands they say, then get in the politicians faces. From there everything goes into groupthink mode and the politicians end up ripping off the taxpayer, which is what carbon tax is. A complete rip off. There is no reason for a ‘Carbon tax’ apart from to take money out of the ordinary taxpayers back pocket and give it to the politicians favoured cause. That and massively increase the cost of living for billions. Squeezing the productive until the whole system goes haywire, because those pushing the ‘we’re all doomed’ narrative don’t have a clue about economics or atmospheric physics. But seeing as they’re part of the scam machine, they won’t go hungry. All they have to do is keep parroting the same old lies.

Which I’d start being worried about if I were a parrot. These carbon tax pundits might put me out of a job.

“Gwaaarrkk! Polly wanna cracker! Showusyerknickers!”

Oh stuff it. The deck garden is doing well, especially the Pansies. My Lemon Plants are fine and the four Grapefruit seedlings are each almost two inches tall. In other news, it looks like Venezuela could be ditching a bad idea. Good for them. They need a break.

Peak wank


When he gets going, Rod Liddle does have such a beautifully succinct turn of phrase. ‘Peak wank’ describes so many things, from the Twatter hate mobs going after people’s employers and families to crazily oppressive “Hate speech” laws. Don’t even get me started on biological men ‘identifying’ as women and competing directly against women, thus effectively destroying women’s sports.

Oh what the hell, it’s a wet old day up here in not so sunny left coast BC and even Mrs S is suggesting we up sticks and migrate somewhere saner yet again. The problem is that the madness is almost global, at least as far as the Anglosphere is concerned, and there’s no sanctuary for the sane.

The lunatics have the keys to the asylum and they’re shitting all over the walls and floors without let or hindrance. The people we voted (or not voted) into office have been infected with the virus of affected virtue and in order to pander to minorities for an ever-slimmer slice of the vote no longer listen to their constituents, just the NGO’s and focus groups who are setting the world ablaze with their lunacies. The lunatic NGO’s who get their money from vested interests like the Rockefeller and Tides foundations or the Saudis in order to weaken the west and make it easier for their masters to operate unhindered. All the NGO’s have to do is push the great lies.

When I say great lies (peak wank) I mean the following;

Man made climate change is destroying the planet Like it’s failed to do since the 1970’s.
Men and women are the same Tell my wife that.
The wage gap Hang on, if ‘men and women are the same’, then why is this even an issue?
White supremacy / patriarchy / privilege Right. Where’s my membership? I never got one.
It’s all the fault of boomers / old white men right. So my poor life choices are someone else’s fault?
Wealth redistribution Oh really? To whom should the West’s wealth be bled off to and where will it really go?
Do as I say, not as I do protesters Like ‘Climate Change’ activists who still take foreign holidays and fly everywhere.
Insert own ‘ist’ or ‘phobia’ here………..

/sarcmode

On the upside, I now have four one inch tall Grapefruit seedlings and the biggest of the lemon tree plants I started last year is now slightly over twenty inches tall (over half a metre! Yikes!) Oh yes, and the Albertans have joined the political pendulum swing away from peak wank toward sanity.

But you may ask, has this site reached peak sarcasm? I would answer; that has yet to be seen.

Are they mad?

Over here in BC we’re watching the farrago of BREXIT with a heavy sigh in our hearts, all I can do from this side of the pond is shake my head in astonishment and quote Malvolio from Shakespeare’s 12th Night:

My masters, are you mad? Or what are you? Have you no wit, manners, nor honesty, but to gabble like tinkers at this time of night? Do you make an ale-house of my lady’s house, that you squeak out your coziers’ catches without any mitigation or remorse of voice? Is there no respect of place, persons, nor time in you?

This is how the current shenanigans of the UK Parliament look to me. There is no rhyme or reason to the remainers antics. They, like my Brother in law, are behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. If they cannot have their way to stay in the EU as their corporate masters dictate, then they will abuse every parliamentary tactic at this late stage of the game to throw spanners in the works and thwart the democratic mandate.

The EU has done a great deal of damage to blighty over the last forty years, from the decimation of UK Fisheries and Agriculture to hamstringing certain areas of commerce and continually attempting to move the major banking centres in the UK over to places like Frankfurt. The European Union post Maastricht and Lisbon devolved into one long slow motion car wreck. Not to mention the selling out by the Major, Blair and Brown administrations.

However, minded as I am to look on the bright side, as my deck garden is doing well, we do indeed have germination.

One thing did strike me today as I looked south to the vast snow capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. I am beginning to look at the current period of populism and overturning of the old order as the dawning of a new enlightenment. Like in the late 18th and early 19th century. Maybe we’ll get a better form of democracy. Not discredited old ideas like Socialism, but something better, which prevents usurpation by NGO’s and vested interests. A less easily manipulated media. The parallels, at least to my mind, are out there if you look. Or is that me being hopelessly naive?

Oh what the hell, you can call me a dreamer… Sounds like a song lyric, doesn’t it?

There is an old saying…

… that “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” First coined by an author called Maurice Switzer, not Mark Twain or Franz Kafka. However, according to my loyal team of word jugglers and Thesauri hunting Igors this saying has roots that go back to the Old Testament (Proverbs 15:2 & Solomon 17:28).

Sunday was a very strange day which had Mrs S and I wondering aloud why we actually bother sometimes.

First we went to have lunch with an old family friend to find that enough marbles have rattled out to God knows where to the point that our lunch out didn’t happen. Despite having confirmed our time of arrival over the phone the night before, old family friend had forgotten all about us and buggered off to lunch with someone else without a bye, leave or thank you. So we slipped off and purchased a coffee and cookie type of snack without her. Mrs S was visibly upset as she has known old family friend since she was ten and we have always considered friend as part of our extended family. Yet the person we met today was showing definite signs of cognitive decline, forgetting names, relationships and other things we’ve had in common for years. For my own part I was halfway expecting this, and had steeled myself mentally for the encounter. Many people forget things, but they don’t often repeat themselves four times in a twenty minute conversation. Not unless they’re trying to sell you something.

After that we dropped by at sister in law’s place where the aforementioned proverb was well and truly put through the axiom tester. Brother in law was in full remainer rant mode over BREXIT wanting the overthrow of parliament and the abandonment of democracy. When I politely enquired about what he would put in the place of the UK’s Parliament, he said he didn’t care. If he couldn’t have his way to stay in the slave-state of the European Union, the baby had to be thrown out with the bathwater and fuck the consequences. This is an allegedly educated man with no job and a Bachelor’s degree. Old thickie me, who has two jobs and no degree, begs to differ. I think the benefits of the undemocratic EU superstate have been massively oversold and it’s on the way out. Notwithstanding, we made our excuses and left.

We’re back at home now and Mrs S is soothing her ruffled feathers with a large glass of red and a couple of episodes of CSI, season twelve on Amazon Prime. For my part, having heard his irrational remainer arguments, I need a bloody good shower and need to scrub my skin clean from the inside.

Trying to look on the bright side, a few more seedlings have broken surface in our deck garden and will be providing us with fresh flowers, herbs and vegetables throughout Summer and well into Autumn, before we head on over to jolly old Londinium to see what all the fuss is about.

Oh well, the working week beckons and I need a serious drink.

WTF?!?

Well I never. The bunch of pantywaisters we call a government over here in the not so frozen north have issued a travel advisory for the UK. Canadians should be careful when over there because of the ‘threat of violence’ from pro Brexiteers. Against whom, might one enquire? Canadians? I don’t think so. They might laugh at us for having an embarrassing Prime Minister who is wetter than a Haddocks breakfast, but violence? Not unless a Canadian gets so passive-aggressive that the only way to shut them up is with a divine right. Or a moderately well struck left. Apparently us Brits are now seen as only second to Venezuela as a risk factor. See screenshot below.

I’ve long known that there are parts of various cities in jolly old blighty where one watches one’s P & Q’s carefully after the sun has gone down. Back in the day I might even have qualified as one of those ‘risk factors’. We could be a rowdy bunch, but normally pretty well-natured. Tourists were safe from our petty predations. However there are, shall we say, ‘heavily ethnic’ areas in London that anyone should avoid. Elder Sibling once spent a while living and working in such a suburb, and told hair raising tales of some of the knife fights that he saw outside of some of the local hostelries. That was in the seventies. My working experience of the smoke was in the late 90’s and early 00’s. Hells bells, my youngest stepdaughter lives and works in central London and she and her mates haven’t reported anything serious. On the whole I’d say Canadians are pretty safe if they mind their own business and manners.

Look my Canadian friends, you’re no more at risk of violence in the UK this year than last. My advice is to stand back, see the sights, take your pictures, spend your money, you’ll be fine. Leave your politics at home and just be a tourist.

In the meantime, our radishes and Grapefruit plants are potted out, the Lemon plants (Too small for trees, too big for seedlings) are doing fine. My herbs are sprouting and our tickets to and accommodation in London are paid for.

Update: as for the ‘threat of violence’ by pro-Brexiteers’? It’s hype, bullshit and complete bollocks. The demonstrators who flooded central London were mostly good humoured and easy going. How do i know this? Because there were only five arrests (Not sure what the offences were) and no real reports of violent disorder. Far less than a typical much smaller event by radical lefties. The Pro-Brexit protesters are less likely to riot because they consider themselves patriots, and see what they are doing as something positive. They’re marching for democracy because they are not the real threat. The real threat to democracy is the treason and political cowardice of remainer MP’s.

Looking for signs of growth

Have potted out the three of my Grapefruit plant seeds that have successfully germinated. They have now taken up station on my office windowsill where I will trust to the magic of sunlight and moisture to bring forth life. My two avocado nuts have put rootlets into the water, however, I won’t be doing anything with them for at least another month. Not until either plant has put out at least two serious leaves and roots of over an inch (oh all right, twenty five point four millimetres) long. Outside my radish and beetroot seeds have already pushed tiny green leaves above the soil, and the first signs of life are showing in the herb tray. Which isn’t bad. Elsewhere the soils surface seems as lifeless as the moon, but I take it as an article of faith that something is stirring. The next week will tell.

This sets the current tenor of my day. Work has slacked off and I’m left pottering about our deck garden, watching stuff germinate, which doesn’t take up much of the day but is an essential task nonetheless. Watched pots don’t boil but on the other hand, the secret of life, as in comedy, is timing. There is a time to act and a time to wait. All things in their season. Mrs S on the other hand, is taking this hiatus as an opportunity to educate herself about stocks and shares and we’re both paying much closer attention to our investment affairs.

On that topic, my investment portfolio isn’t looking so great, but I did better than break even in 2018, so I won’t complain. Canadian financial services didn’t do so well, nor did some of the energy companies I hold stock in. On the other hand, some of my other share picks have more than offset the losses, so I’m doing okay. Not great, but okay. My head is above water in that respect. Did get offered a share buyout, but the price was far too low to contemplate selling as the share value of that particular holding is pretty depressed at the moment. It’s a time to stand pat, not panic and sell up. Well that’s my financial opinion and I’m sticking to it. These are uncertain times and the wind might blow either way. So, hunker down and keep working seems to be the order of the day. The one bright spot is that my investment tax allowance from last year has allowed me to invest much more tax free this year, so, swings and roundabouts. I’m growing my retirement fund that way.

Of late I’ve been doing some reading about the two polar opposites, Tom Paine and Edmund Burke, the contemporary founding fathers of the modern left and right, so it is said. From what I can see, there is value on both sides of the coin, even though both men’s arguments suffer from a diametrically opposing flaw. For Paine it is his willingness to throw the baby out with the bathwater and for Burke, a too great sentimentality about the effects of ‘wise’ rulers and established power structures. For my own part I like to take a position somewhere between, where some change is good but too much strips people of their humanity, especially when the revolutionaries completely overthrow an established order. The best institutions develop organically, having developed over the years and never forgetting their cock-ups, with a view to never repeating the same mistakes. To analogise, these things are like trees, they do not benefit from simply being left alone to grow as they will, a good pruning is needed now and again, but cutting the whole thing down does nothing but leave a stump which benefits no-one.

This is what passes for wisdom, at least in my mind. Is it right or is it wrong? Only time and events will bear me out.

If the tinfoil hat fits…

…goes the adapted saying – wear it  In other words, if it looks like a duck and quacks, it’s likely of the genus anatidae. So it is with the mainstream media. Be it the Trump – Russia collusion hysteria, or all the fuss over BREXIT and the Christchurch shooter. Nowhere have I ever seen so much conspiracy theory hogwash portrayed as fact by so-called ‘reputable’ news outlets. North of the border here in the not so frozen north it’s worse. The news media, apart from the National Post, who are kind of milquetoast Conservatives, is almost overwhelmingly pro Justine Trudeau.

Privately, the public at large are less than convinced. Hence this screenshot of a very accurate flowchart someone drew about the SNC-Lavallin affair, where the Trudeau Liberals literally changed the law to keep some of their mates out of clink.
Quite apropos, n’est-ce pas? As they say in Quebec. Well, it made me smile.

Don’t panic

Got an email today asking about what it’s like to be an expat here in BC. The author was worried about a possible breakdown of law and order following BREXIT. They were asking about immigration and leaving the UK. So I replied, giving a few observations on life on this side of the world. Not all of them positive.

I’d like to give you a few thoughts on migration; it’s a long drawn out process, not to be undertaken lightly. Mrs S and I made our leap of faith only because of a wedding day promise. She grew up over here and was brought back to the UK by her family, much against her wishes. On the day we married, I gave my solemn word to her that we would go. “Though Hell itself should bar the way.” I said. Even so, it was a good few years before we actually bought the tickets and made the jump. Even though we already had friends and family over here.

Has it been worth it? Well overwhelmingly yes and with a modicum of no. Would I go back? Hell, no. Although if Trudeau’s Liberals, or worse, the NDP, look like getting voted in again I shall be shifting some investments into the US and UK, just to make sure they can’t be got at easily. So it’s not a bed of roses over here, but fortune favours the observant.

The thing is about BREXIT is that most companies have been making plans from the day the ‘Leave’ vote happened. Distributors have been setting up back channels and workarounds, other companies shifting their financial focus away from Europe and more into the larger world and the lucrative US markets. As some delivery companies like Fedex and UPS have been reassuring their customers that they won’t notice anything happening.

One of the upsides is that the price of food is likely to fall as the wider world will be allowed to bring their goods in directly without the external EU tariffs. Like Australian beef or New Zealand Lamb? Other goods will fall in price, which can only be good for the end consumer. Now I’m just about old enough to remember the food price hikes that happened when the UK entered the EU. BREXIT will be putting the already weak Euro under pressure, so the value of the pound will rise. This will put pressure on manufacturers and exporters, but as the pound will buy more raw materials overseas that effect should be somewhat mitigated. So the French will refuse Welsh Lamb? They always did.

Back in the 60’s there was a good deal of talk about how opening up Europe was such a wonderful export opportunity for Britain’s car industry and similar. Seen Longbridge, one time home of UK car manufacturing, recently? Tell the Welsh steel workers that. Tell the fishermen who saw their catches dwindle because of the Common Fisheries policy, or the damage the Common Agricultural policy did.

After the UK joined, I watched the decline first hand. After Maastricht and Lisbon, things only got worse. Only the big corporates really wanted Britain in the EU because that increased their influence and disadvantaged smaller companies, all in the name of ‘harmonisation’. The Greek chorus of a bought and paid for media ushered the UK into European bondage, controlling who and how UK businesses could trade internationally. This isn’t some form of tin foil hattery. That’s exactly what happened. The migrant crisis was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.

So I’d like to point out that BREXIT won’t all be plain sailing. But at the same time it won’t be all doom and gloom. Unexpected benefits are coming for the UK. The benefits of truly global trade. Providing the Government doesn’t get in the way and cock everything up.

If I have a single piece of advice to anyone in the UK it is this; hunker down, weather whatever storm will happen. Take some minor precautions like planting thorn bushes underneath your windows. I hear Berberis is good if you’re worried about break-ins and sundry lawlessness in the wake of the UK’s leaving. It’s a bloody sight easier (and cheaper) than emigration.

Update: Two more weeks have been added to the ‘No deal’ deadline. Two more weeks of pointless panicmongering. It still won’t be enough for May to force through her much derided deal.

New growth

Spring arrived somewhat suddenly this year. Normally we simply ease very slowly out of BC’s habitual drizzle, but on the 18th temperatures went from night time temperatures of almost double digit sub zero to a more usual five Celsius. This came as a pleasant surprise as it meant Mrs S and I could take tea on the deck without being chilled to the bone. It’s been a long Winter here and I’m glad to see the warmer weather at last. Oh green, how I have missed thee.

Our modest deck garden improves. Latest acquisition were some dwarf Narcissi and Mrs S said she fancied some Pansies. Well, each to their own. Just to keep the meme theme going I added some Sweet William seeds to their pot after planting out a few corms and rhizomes with a few Delphinium and Lupin seeds, which should cheer things up in a couple of weeks time.

One thing I was delighted by and let’s face it, what with Theresa May cocking up BREXIT and Justine Trudeau cocking up Canada’s economy (Whatever happened to “The budget will balance itself”- yeah, right) we all need something to put a positive spin on the day; my two Avocado seeds have begun to sprout. Only tiny pinpricks of green, but definite signs of life. My previous attempts just sat there and rotted, however this time we have green, which is good. Then there’s the success story of my Grapefruit seeds. Five out of six are definitely developing roots and will be ready for potting out next week or the first full week of April. As for my Lemon Tree plants, six are doing well, having taken up residence in the sunniest part of the kitchen and the four I left outdoors over Winter aren’t actually dead. The root systems are still good, even if the above ground portions are looking kind of sorry for themselves. Like my Indonesian Lime, I was about to consign them to the recycle bin when I noticed that the root systems still looked good. I may need considerably bigger pots.

Then there’s the burgeoning vegetable trays. I bought a batch of seeds yesterday and have planted a few out to see how they do. It’s an eclectic mix of Kale, Broccoli, Spring Onions, Beetroot and Radishes. I’ve also added some tomato plants seeds, which I hope will do better now that I’m planting them earlier and deeper. Decided to try out some strawberry plants as well, so in they’ve gone. Results will be posted as new growth occurs.

Despite the poor political news and the virulent attacks on freedom of expression online, I’m feeling decidedly optimistic.

What did they expect?

Busy gardening at the moment, the really cold weather has shifted to the Midwest and Spring has poked a cautious head around the corner here in Victoria BC. My remaining six large Lemon Tree plants have been taken outside to soak up some sunshine and we’re putting out some colourful blooms to provide us with a little visual cheer when the working week is too full of WTF! moments. Which happens a lot. Especially when our line managers come at us with a “We’ve got a little job. Can you help us out?” which happened last week.

Anyway, it’s been a nice day today. The heating has been switched off and our windows are all open to blow all the Winter miasma out of the house. Outdoor temperatures have just crept over the sixty eight Fahrenheit marker so it’s quite warm out on our deck. The fresh air is invigorating.

Looking at the news in the FT I saw the news about the New Zealand shooting and was filled with a profound sense of Deja Vu. It won’t be the last. Plenty of people are pissed off with the way Islamic migration and terrorism is often glossed over, then when a sick individual from the native population shoots up a place of worship, a certain section of the media use it as a stick to beat all ‘white’ people with. According to a bunch of academics and similar pantywaisters all us north Europeans very bad and ‘white supremacy’ (Whatever that is, I never got a membership) must end.

Well I’m not guilty of the shootings, nor are any of my neighbours or the population of New Zealand, or Australia, the USA or the UK. Donald Trump and Chelsea Clinton are not to blame. It’s the whole identitarian race-baiting industry once known as journalism. That’s where the finger should be pointed. A distinct class within their ranks has repeatedly berated the Anglosphere for asking pointed questions about mass immigration. Those are the witches we need to burn. The sowers of discord. Tim Pool has it.

To be charitable, these media types may have only been selling puritanical rage-bait to boost their terrible circulation figures, but when similar rage-bait is used by politicians to create a protected class of individual who get a free pass, well, the outcome is hardly surprising. You can only spit on people so many times before someone goes completely postal. This is true across all ethnicities, all religions and all cultures. So what did these rage-baiter media whores and their sponsors expect? Seriously people. Their IQ tests must have come back negative. As for farsightedness and statesmanship, one can only guess at where that went to. If it ever existed at all.

The whole business has taken on the air of farce. The NZ authorities have blamed and banned a commenting platform called ‘Dissenter’, when the whole thing was livestreamed via Facebook for heavens sake! Is Facebook now banned in NZ? No? Why not? Something stinks here. It may simply be incompetence on the part of the NZ powers that be, but I suspect pressure has been brought to bear and Facebook because they rolled over and played loveable puppy for the powers that be, whilst Dissenter did not.

We’ve heard of other, similar plots thwarted over the last five or so years, but successful ones, like Anders Breivik and the Christchurch shooter are thankfully rare and are a reaction rather than the root cause. In this case the root cause is the reckless mass-importing of an alien and diametrically opposed culture into a well-established society. The funny thing is, if we’d wanted to really help these people as has been mooted, it would have been far more simple and low cost to get aid to them ‘in country’ where they felt comfortable. Not to import the poor sods wholesale into places which they don’t understand and even have contempt for the cultural norms.

Despite what some people say, we humans are not all the same. Men are not women, trans people are neither and you can take the local Yokel out of his hovel, but you’ll never take the hovel out of the local Yokel. At least not for at least three generations. That’s how long it takes to integrate into a non-native population. That’s discounting the throwbacks every generation throws up. Why, because they ‘identify’ as whatever. Only takes one generation of weak or heavy handed parenting.

Lucky for me….

…I never signed up for one of those fancy tax shelter loan remuneration schemes when I was a contractor. Turns out that HMRC in the UK has begun a draconian enforcement of a law passed in 2017 which allows them to charge for taxes they say are owed as far back as twenty years ago. Even if the arrangements were considered legal up until 2017. The UK tax grubbers want their pound of flesh and they want it now. According to the FT HMRC even sent out letters telling fifty thousand people that they should go into debt to pay the back taxes (a.k.a. ‘The loan charge’) being demanded.

Although I’m not affected, this news has made me very angry. Chasing debts for a legal exemption up to twenty years old? During a time when these schemes were not legally proscribed? Who keeps tax records for twenty years outside of the corporate sphere? Judas Fucking Priest! The backdated legislation behind this is heartless, dishonest and unnecessarily draconian. Not to mention that those affected are Doctors, Nurses, IT Contractors and even Social Workers. Back dated and estimated tax bills of up to a hundred thousand pounds have been sent out to the affected. Bills they have to pay or go to jail for tax evasion. Even if they weren’t evading tax at the time, merely using a legal loophole. If found guilty of tax evasion, or bankruptcy, all these people will be, in the case of Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers, disbarred from their professions and forced to take jobs far below their competence to make even a modest living.

One suicide has been recorded so far. There will be more as people are asset stripped, their houses sold to pay the bills and pension funds drained. Thus creating yet more poor people who need to subsist off the public purse.

Let me explain my anger; back in the day when I was an independent contractor I paid my taxes (Income and corporation thank you). Employers and employees NI contributions too. Until IR35 came into force and I reluctantly rolled up what had been a very enjoyable way of life before going back to being a wage slave. Which I hated. Because there’s nothing quite like running your own life to your own timetable. You may end up working fifty to sixty plus hour weeks, but at least you know who you are working for. All your profits go to you. And I’ll tell you this, I loved being my own boss, even if it meant working four extra hours at the end of each week to see my finances and tax affairs were in apple pie order.

When you work for yourself there’s a sense of freedom you can’t get anywhere else, even when you’re working twice as hard as you would if you were an ordinary employee. The lack of office politics was also refreshing. There’s a pride in being an independent too. You might have had to work a crap contract occasionally, but at the end of the day it was a lot easier to quit and find new work than if you just had a job as a full time wage slave. Losing that feeling was the worst. HR had no hold over my life outside of what I did for a company. For example, they couldn’t fire me for having a wrong opinion or looking the wrong way at someone outside of work. Or even being falsely accused of doing so. Or the hundred other excuses HR can screw with your life outside of work. In short, I loved, and still do love being my own boss. Even when times are hard there’s nothing quite like it. And there are always hard times to endure. Self employed or not.

The only real problem I had with being my own boss was the petty jealousy of the employed. The whiny crab-bucket bitches who saw what you got paid but never understood that you often paid more tax than they did. You organised your own taxes, paid accountants and book-keepers, paid extra health and professional liability insurance, the rent on office space and all the hundreds of details the self employed individual or company director deals (Or employs people to deal) with as a matter of routine.

Despite this, some wage slaves are unhappy at not being free and hate the merest thought of anyone else being happy or even moderately prosperous. I see these small minded curtain-twitchers, who decry any form of legal tax avoidance as ‘tax dodging’ or ‘not paying your fair share’, as those who would cheer at an execution without realising that their feet are also on the steps of the scaffold. None of us knows when it is our time to be strung up by the tax man, we can only take precautions, knowing that our date with the tax inspector is only a twist of fate away. There will be no sympathy, because in the tax authorities eyes, none are virtuous. Now HMRC can go back over your affairs for the last twenty years? Clucking bell. This is a truly dangerous precedent.

The main issue is that UK tax law is now so complicated, with so many exemptions and even contradictions that it is hard, even for accountants and other financial professionals, to know what is ‘legal’ and what is not.

New Labour (Blair & Brown) started this tax snatching trend and Blue Labour (Cameron & May) continued it, slicing the economic pie ever smaller instead of encouraging the production of more for everyone. All I can offer is my heartfelt sympathy to their victims. There by the grace of God go we all.

Planning for Lahn-dahn

The crocuses and snowdrops have surfaced from under the snow and we’re currently travel planning for an Autumn sojourn in dear old Lahn dahn as some of the locals call it. No, that’s not a place in Vietnam or Thailand but the estuarine pronunciation of London, capital and Metrollops of the dear old dis-united kingdom. We’ve sorted out where we’ll be staying in Earls Court and looking at places to eat and drink while we’re sauntering around the various museums and cultural icons. Top of my list are the National Science and Natural History Museums. Mrs S will be bimbling around the V & A and suchlike while I have a thorough geek-fest in Kensington. We plan to take in a couple of shows while we’re there too.

It will be interesting to visit a post-BREXIT Britain. I’m almost tempted to send all my UK contacts a ‘How does it feel to be free?’ greeting when the UK finally wrests itself loose from the choking tendrils of the EU. Hopefully in the next month. Thinking about it I haven’t been into Harrods or Selfridges Food Hall in a Donkey’s age. Which I’m quite looking forward to. It’s not so much the range of produce as the cornucopia of smells of a properly kept Fish and Game counter that tease the old olefactories. To a country raised boy like me it’s almost like going home. Even if where I once called home is over a hundred miles away. Now it’s several thousand and over ten years, but we are where we are and there’s an end of matters.

There’s also another small matter of yet another fence to mend. This time it’s the other party which will have to come to me, or at least down to the Smoke. I’m not spending good money hiring cars and booking hotels visiting someone who may not appreciate any olive branch I hold out. However, I’m jumping the gun a little. Best to hold my tongue and extend the hand of reconciliation. Even if none of the parties involved can be bothered to cross the pond to visit me. I know they can afford it.

However, I do so enjoy the old country in controlled small doses. It also pains me to see what it is becoming. Likewise Canada, increasingly divided and all in the name of ‘diversity’. Misguided ‘Hate speech’ laws creating privileged minorities. Police investigating non-crimes, all the while prioritising ‘thought crime’ like rogue tweets and off colour facebook posts over real crime, like burglary, criminal damage and assaults. Prediction; this will come back to bite the rule setters and enforcers. Very hard indeed. They depend on the public trust to operate successfully, and the current value of that trust is so far below zero it resembles the state of the Great lakes, which when I checked this morning had over seventy four percent ice cover. I’ll also say this; Laws which dictate thought rather than deed pave the descent into a really dangerous form of totalitarianism.

To wax poetic; boils like prejudice and hatred only heal after they have been properly examined, lanced, drained and debrided, if you’ll forgive the medical simile. To extend the metaphor, such poison is always best treated with free and honest debate. Shutting people up only lets matters fester until the only certain cure is high amputation. Which is a tactic tried by many totalitarian regimes, always failing at the cost of many innocent lives and eventually the ruling regime. It also destroys trust in the Police who are supposedly protectors, not persecutors of the general public. It is not their job to check someone’s thinking. Or is that just me being horribly naive?

Notwithstanding, say you think that Justin Trudeau is metaphorically a Weasel, Socialism is a murderous doctrine or that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with western democracy. Regardless of whether anyone finds those statements ‘offensive’ they should be considered and examined to see if they are true. Which they are. Even the most cursory reading of the facts will highlight the realities. If the law of the land is changed to suppress such opinions, what happens when these views become mainstream once more? Will the laws put in place to protect those opposed to such views be, like any captured weapon, be turned against their erstwhile abusers?

This is the danger of criminalising opinion. Opinion is mere fashion. It changes, and the mob it is meant to drive changes with it. The mob can turn in a heartbeat. When it does, you don’t want to be in it’s way.

Idle thought for my single US visitor; I think Bernie Sanders bears a strong resemblance to a deceased British far left politician from the 1970’s and 80’s, Michael Foot. See what you think. Well, it amused me.