Tag Archives: Politics

Making an end of it

In Russell Books downtown yesterday, I was meandering around aimlessly while Mrs S was picking up a couple of extras for our bookshelves and whilst waiting for her to make a decision, idly perused a book about how to stop repeating history (Of which, maddeningly I have forgotten the Author and Title), one of the sections being about how terrorist attacks finally came to an end, from the Sicarii in ancient Judea, Assassins of early Medieval times through to the Anarchists of the mid to late 19th century, and more latterly the current Jihadist crop of murderers. With regards to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, it seems there is little new under the sun.

That evening, all the facts and figures cited in the work buzzing around in what passes for my brain, I googled “How to stop terrorism” and came up with How to Stop Terrorism: Seven Ways to “Drain the Swamp”. There are actually eight, but the eighth involves mass genocide as practised by the Romans (amongst others), therefore is not a palatable solution to the current crop of terrorist problems.

Another school of thought is argued by the Rand institute, part of which is opening a dialogue with the Terrorist faction (Get a download copy of “How Terrorism Ends”here). But seeing as the current crop of Islamists are demonstrably a bunch of crazies who like to practice human sacrifice by crudely beheading their victims on video, I don’t hold up hope for any meaningful dialogue beyond ‘convert or die, infidel’. Even if we were to stop all military action in the Middle East, the likelihood is that attacks like those in Paris would continue. The crazies’ love of death being sometimes stronger than all other forms. We are not dealing with people who will say “Oh that’s all right then, home for tea and medals.” and neatly hand over their guns and other weapons when the need to fight has gone. ISIS (ISIL, whatever) have proven themselves too steeped in blood for reason to prevail.

The only national leader who seems capable (At least to my mind) of ending the current crisis is that big bad bogeyman of the Western media; President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation. No matter what else you think of him, he is both intelligent and ruthless, both qualities lacking amongst many Western leaders, wedded as they are to the politically correct idea of at least appearing ‘nice’ and therefore electable. The Russians I feel, are a little more realistic. For us, being ‘nice’ or ‘moral’, at least for a given value of ‘niceness’, and morality being the movable feast that it is, only seems to open up more cans of worms, politically speaking.

Right, what can we do? Cut off the money supply to terrorists? Easier said than done. So far the regulations intended to cut off the terrorist money supply, which I believe do not apply to the Islamic system of banking, or various ‘Intelligence’ agencies and other covert and not so covert Government offices known to fund terrorists, have proven ineffectual. When alliances shift and morph like fog, murdering fantasists will always find one agency or other more than ready and willing to fund the proxy wars of their political masters. Gosh, is that my cynicism? I was wondering where I left it. Said regulations are a pain in the bum for the law abiding, that much I do know. For those of us needing to legally transfer money between institutions, I think the phrase “Buggers muddle” seems appropriate. The levels of disclosure are quite incredible.

Having said all this are we any closer to a solution to terrorist attacks? I really don’t know, but the lessons of History, palatable or not, are out there for those who would read.

You know, if the UN really had the nerve, instead of faffing about with imaginary problems, it could spend far less and really enforce the outlawing of funding terrorist groups by nation states and their intelligence organisations. Although whether the various powers in question would comply is moot.

Red tide

I greeted my wife with one word this morning; “Trudeau.”
Her response; “Oh, fuck.”

Yes it’s true. A toxic red tide of votes has swept the nation and there’s another brain dead Trudeau as Canadian Prime Minister. God help Canada.
red tide warning
Well I know that Harper wasn’t the most popular choice, but picking a party headed by a Trudeau? Seriously? That is soo coming back to bite us all. Mulcair would have been better as a national leader.

Why? Because I remember the economic disaster Tony Blair made of the UK, and Trudeau is a politician very much out of that mould. So we can look forward to higher taxes, extra ‘Carbon’ levies, more foreign involvement of our (Canada’s) armed forces and a deeper economic downturn caused by ‘capital flight’ as investors seek safer, or more profitable havens for their hard earned cash. On the plus side, he’ll probably cancel the problematic F-35 and legalise Marijuana, so it’s not all bad news. Even if Trudeau’s policies will probably squeeze out the little guys on the Grow-op front and put up the price of groceries.

For my part I’ll be keeping an eye on real inflation and currency fluctuations over the next year or so and keeping my European funds out of Canada until I’m sure which way the wind is blowing. As I observed to Mrs S this morning, it’s not time to pack our bags just yet. There may yet be a silver lining under this cloud. Canadian dollars ran at 2.15 to the pound sterling back in 2006. Due to the economic downturn in the oil and gas industries occasioned by the Saudis dumping their oil at ridiculously low prices, CAD to GBP is currently about two bucks to the pound. With a Liberal government in power, I can see that value dropping to about CAD$2.20 per GBP along with a drop in local property prices as the canny move their money elsewhere.

Looks like I’ll be using my ‘get a free apocalypse’ card sooner than I thought.
Apocalypse gift card


It’s Federal Election day in Canada, and Mrs S and I took a walk down to the polling station to cast our votes like good Canadians. In and out inside five minutes. We’d done our research and both independently decided who was getting our ballot. Unsurprisingly, we both went for the least worst candidate. Yes, I know we shouldn’t vote because it only encourages politicians, but nowadays I like to have a say rather than hide in my burrow muttering ‘snot my fault guv’nor when everything goes south.

Now Canada used to have fairly strict rules on political campaigning until this month. No campaigning on polling day (At least on TV). Which was supposed to allow the voter to make as informed and non-coerced a decision as they are capable of on the day. This afternoon, I watched Mulcair and Trudeau supporters waving their candidates signs in the middle of the main drag through Quadra village. One, carrying a ‘Vote Mulcair’ banner was even waylaying passers by, presumably to solicit their vote. Which I still feel is a bit naughty on polling day. I say chaps, that’s not Cricket, or even Hockey. At least with Hockey the Umpires can send offenders to the sin bin.

Not that such polling day pranks can have any effect apart from a negative one. I think most Canadians, even some of the superannuated hippies out here on the Wet coast wouldn’t fall for it. Or would they? Surely not? Although speaking from personal experience, if I see anyone campaigning on election day, that is a high level motivator not to vote for their candidate. This time round they’ve had seventy eight days to get their point across and if they haven’t done so by now, bad luck. Seventy eight days of blitzing the gullible on social media. Seventy eight days of speeches, conferences and photo opportunities. Blood and sand. I’m so glad we don’t have Cable.

This time round I actually bothered to read all the manifesto’s and electoral leaflets before doing a bit of old fashioned joined up thinking and making my choice. Which I hope was a sober and informed decision. So who did I vote for? Ah. No-one’s business but mine. My vote is strictly between me and the ballot box.

And today…..

……Nothing happened on the Interweb. At least nothing that piqued my interest. Just the usual.

In the real world, all our recent guests are home safe, with airplane adventure tales told over Skype. Which now lets me off the hook to catch up with a little work and to generally chill out after the last few days chasing my tail. I don’t really mind since we only get to see Youngest once or twice a year, and it was her birthday week. What sort of parent would I be if I didn’t help her celebrate? Apart from Pizza cremation and a few other minor happenstances, like coffee machines almost, but not quite, going foom! All went swimmingly, and our stock rides high with our recent guests.

All is now settling down. I hope. Apart from Cougars in the back yard. Seriously. Actually I missed the Downtown fun. The conservation officers tranquilised it and now doubt the oversized moth eaten moggy will be dumped up island to annoy another community. It’ll be back. Who knows? Maybe it’ll have a chew on one of the local animal rights groupies. Don’t you just luurve natural selection?

On the work front I’ve just finished prying my good lady down off the ceiling, and she is recovering slowly from a recent upset. New software, no project plan, no staff training, deadlines cut; need I say more? I’ve had to restock the Tylenol and tissues twice. For the moment things are settling down before the next crisis digs into my schedule. That and credit cards being stuck in the Freezer to cool off after a months frenetic activity. A decent batch of curry has been prepared for the freezer, as has a similar sized block of home made chilli bolognese. I’ve done enough cooking for a while.

What else? Oh yes, I’ve received my voting card for the Federal elections and remain staunchly unaffected by sundry faces mugging out of billboards all over the place. Eeny, meeny, miny mo, who to vote for? Not telling. It is after all a secret ballot don’cha know, but despite my history as an ex-green party member (A youthful error of judgement on my part) my ticked box won’t be for the Greens. As some are given to say locally; Elizabeth May, but probably hasn’t. I’ve also put a ‘no soliciting’ sign at the front door. First to ring the bell gets a free earful of colourful Anglo-Saxon invective and a stern lecture on the parlous state of their reading skills.

Candy for Halloween is being purchased from Bulk Barn and left in a bowl on the doorstep for the kids to help themselves or next doors cat to shit on. I may leave out some beef jerky in the hope that a passing Cougar or Bear will spend some quality time on my front porch. Failing that, next doors surly moggy will do. Bad tempered animal. I shall leave a besom broom outside for effect. Perhaps with a sign saying; “Warlocks to Witches.” or “Prey, do not disturb.”

What can I say? I’m not allowed to put out Claymore Mines for the unwary or hard of reading.


Grand plans and statistics

When I saw the advert about the United Nations SAWA plan in the cinema the other day, my bullshit antenna buzzed madly. See advert below. I would advise either of my readers to have a sick bucket on standby before viewing. It’s that false and saccharine.

Now apart from Richard Curtis’ cute fluffified animals talking about such nebulous nonsense as ‘promoting Social Justice’, ‘ending World Poverty’ and ‘Tackling Climate Change’ after arriving at the UN in very expensive limousines, I was moved to wonder; how does all these high level diplomats having all the best stuff and the ‘carbon footprint’ of a million Soviet era tractor factories each ‘solve’ anything? Then I thought I’d consult the views of someone who can demonstrate, often with the UN’s own data, what the state of economic change is from the 1960’s to today. That source is Dr Hans Rosling, the brains behind Gapminder.org See one of his many TED talks below. This particular twenty minuter is from 2006.

He’s worth watching. Especially on the global economic and health improvements from 1960 to the present day.

Now, you might ask; if all this information is public domain based on the UN’s own information; why are the UN trying to convince us to fix ‘problems’ that are already being fixed, without UN intervention, by simple market economics and the growth of freedom? Or, as my cynicism posits, are they trying to set up a claim that they ‘fixed’ stuff that was already being fixed by free(ish) trade and globalisation of markets? Hmm…..

Update: Just as an afterthought. The UN might be proposing robbing the ‘rich’ (People who can’t move their money fast enough – ) to aid the ‘poor’ (Those who whine the most about impoverishment – not necessarily ‘poor’ people), but what they actually end up doing is enriching themselves. Sometimes they even get caught……

So what’s a feminazi?

This is a question that’s been bugging me for a while. I’ve been hearing this particular neologism of an adjective bandied around for quite a while, so I gave the Igors down at the adjective testing department of the Bill Sticker Institute for just messing around with words a call. “Oh that.” Said Igor, current project leader, in weary tones. “It’s just a rather crude insult Boss, not even worth getting out the Thesaurus to swat it with.”
“Well, you might think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.” I replied. “It’s got a lot of Interweb types hot under the collar and shouting angrily at everyone they meet.”
“Oh all right, Boss. It’s only Sunday.” He grumbled, but I could hear the voices behind him. Some of the lads were bored and fancied a bit of a (maniacal) laugh. Even on a Sunday.

A few hours later, their analysis is on my desk. The term is (obviously) a contraction of ‘Feminist Nazi’, used to describe certain public feminists who say wild and wacky tinfoil hat stuff like “Cull the male population” because all us male humans are so uncouth and tewwibly wuff don’cha know.Sidewalk shadow Generally being a ‘couth‘ sort of chap, I think this is not sufficient justification for culling anyone, and Mrs S would no doubt have a few stern words with anyone who tried to ‘cull’ her considerate and loving husband (Her words, not mine). She’s very possessive, and my beloved sometimes displays a hair trigger temper hot enough to scorch shadows onto sidewalks (See inset picture.) I love her to bits. Even if I have to step in to save her from herself sometimes.

To distil the analysis, those to whom the ‘Feminazi’ descriptor may be most accurately applied seem mostly to be unattractive (Mentally or physically) Socialist Academic types who deliver courses for commercially worthless degrees on ‘Gender studies’. Or according to a graffito often found in University toilets next to the toilet roll holders; ‘Liberal Arts degrees; please wash hands after use‘. Essentially displaying that the belief that their specific view (Which is usually about as ‘feminine’ as a pair of my Marcus Expensius Y-fronts) should rule supreme, and all us males are going to be casualties. Then when all men are slaughtered, or subdued and stripped of our troublesome gonads, everyone can (safely) stride ‘forward’ under the banner of ‘Progressivism’ which is the philosophy that promises wholesale theft of personal property, and no drink or drugs allowed to take the edge off its bleak nihilism. Unless you’re one of the self selected ‘elite’ of course. Then you become one of the ‘Alpha’ class, and you get to lord it over all the other zeebs, even if you’re one of those who need staff to help you find your own arsehole in the morning. Then huzzah! There will be world peace, apart from when the new Alpha prima donna class get squabbling over the morning concepts, then bring in their private security to duff up the opposition, or at least claim they’ve been rude and horrid and must therefore have their Alpha membership (and if necessary their gonads) forcibly removed at gunpoint. Then hordes of conditioned warriors will be primed to beat up the opposition for daring to ask them to pass the toast without saying please or licking the Socialist Academics boots. Which rather sums up the tone of public discourse on these topics.

Such beliefs as modern progressivism, and extreme ‘Feminism’ can therefore be seen to be firmly rooted in supremacist doctrines, which, as any psychologist will tell you, are themselves firmly rooted in near-monolithic inferiority complexes. Or in other words “I know best, so shut up Pleb and do what you’re told, or you’ll never work in this town again.” Which is just as bad as (if not worse than) the ‘sexist’ all-women-are-property-bend-over-my-sweetness medieval world view.

What these radical types miss by a country mile is that men and women have different skill sets, and are (obviously-duh) differently equipped from a biological standpoint. Therefore neither sex can be viewed as ‘superior’. Some men will always be better at some things than some women and vice versa. Individuals have differing strengths. Humans are not born to be ‘equal’. This is a simple observation, so simple that these highly educated Academic Social Justice types cannot comprehend it. Even if you were to figuratively take hold of their head and forcibly point their eyes in the right direction. However, giving everyone a fair shake regardless of genetic inheritance is a good idea, because everyone’s abilities, aims and objectives are different. Let everyone achieve as they may. The SJW’s and radical feminists think that ‘Social Justice’ (Which does not really exist) can be enforced by the heavy, Godzilla-like hand of the state. Unfortunately, involving the state in anything as delicate as the nuances of human liberty is an accident waiting to happen because one size does not, never has and never will fit all.

As for ‘Feminazi’, this term can only be applied to the quota demanding, men hating (Why? Don’t know, care even less) loveless nutjobs. Regular feminists, who only ask for an equal chance to prove they can do a specific task as well as their male counterpart and want to earn their say, are fine by me. Just don’t demand that the standards are lowered or ‘quotas’ applied to allow the less able to push the able aside. That never works. That’s not meritocracy, it’s mediocrity.

Comment of the day

“The more you help some people, the more they need to be helped.” These words drifted across the breakfast table, making me blink. Now there’s an intriguing thought was my unconscious response. Mrs S had been working online, talking about one of her clients. One of the needy ones. One of several she has to deal with in her day to day. Members of ‘the clueless’ who, no matter how many times they are shown, assisted, mailed the instructions and generally babied along, keep on asking the same questions about the same old subjects. It’s almost like their ability to remember has atrophied to the point of nothingness.

I remember thinking; ‘I must pass that one on to the Axiom testers down at the Bill Sticker Institute for word juggling and infinitive splitting.’ So I did.

One of our helpful customer service IgorsUpdate: The Axiom testers have come back with Proven. There are a lot of people in the world who fit this precise and pithy description. The lads down at the lab (See left) looked very pleased with themselves when they delivered this particular verdict. Well, I think they did. They’re mostly Igors, so it’s very hard to tell.

The good news is that these hapless members of the zombie apocalypse will probably be the first to starve to death if everything does go pear shaped. Not that it will of course. These are precisely the people that politicians buy the votes of with their endless promises of jam tomorrow and scare stories about the man-made (of course) heat death of the Universe. George Bernard Shaw called them ‘The undeserving poor‘. The rest of us, who can’t be bought or fooled so cheaply, will no doubt be the cash cows wrung out to dry so the pollies can keep their jobs.

Heavy sigh.

There goes the neighbourhood

Strolling round Les Invalides about sixish last night we were treated to the spectacle of ten Police vans scooting hurriedly past to points unknown, scattering traffic as they went. They hung a quick right south towards the river to be joined by another ten or fourteen with sirens honking away. “The Interior Ministers forgotten his baguettes, again.” I remarked to Mrs S before we ducked down into the Metro for the ride home.

We turned on the France24 English news to find that, oh bloody hell, David Cameron was briefly in town as part of a whistlestop tour of Europe, pretending he was going to renegotiate the UK’s standing within the EU. “Well he can whistle off.” Remarked Mrs S. We’re receiving guests this weekend, and don’t want all the best Brasseries bunged up by self important politicians and their coteries of bodyguards and hangers on. Hells bells, we’re got enough armed police and soldiery on almost every street corner as it is.

Heavy sigh. There goes the neighbourhood.

We’ve also been greeted by the news that ‘King’ Blair has stepped down from his position as Middle East Peace Envoy. Well, so long as he buggers off elsewhere, we don’t really care. He can stay out of France and Canada for starters, with a big ‘not wanted’ immigration stamp on his forehead. With the Middle East going up in smoke I hadn’t noticed much peace coming out of it. So someone was falling down on the job, weren’t they?

Not that he was any good as the UK’s Prime Minister. So that should have been an employment ‘red flag’, but then the UN isn’t exactly full of towering intellects. More outright venality and low animal cunning. Rather like FIFA. If real brains were explosive I doubt they’d be able to blow their collective noses.

Better spend my Euros then

As the creaking noises erupting from the financial corsets of the European Central Bank become ever more audible, the news that Greece cannot currently pay the IMF its June protection payment loan installment comes as no surprise. When Greece joined the Euro in 2001 it went into a public sector spend, spend, spend spiral. Now they will reap the fiscal whirlwind. As will all the other countries in the Eurozone. Well, that’ll piss off the EU. Especially Frau Merkinel.

Greek ruins Parthenon and EuroYet the Greeks want the Elgin Marbles returned? Well okay, so long as they fully reimburse the British Museum for storage, transportation, restoration, and associated costs backdated to 1816. At full commercial rates. Cash terms only. No credit. Gold preferred.

Which rather proves Margaret Thatchers assertion from a 1976 TV interview when she said “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”

At the time then leader of the opposition Thatcher was talking about the mess left, and being made by, the Wilson, Callaghan and Heath Governments. Brown and Balls did the same for the UK from 1997-2009. The same might be said of the current Greek administration, and no matter how many riots they have in Athens, it won’t pay any of the Greek Governments debts. Simple truth; riots don’t pay bills, they only create more. Voting for more taxes on the ‘rich’. Won’t work. The real rich of course will have melted away like the Cheshire Cat, leaving only the shark tooth smile of massive accountancy bills. Then the only poor buggers with anything left, like small landlords, business owners and the self employed will be left to shoulder the whole burden of state spending. And they will lose everything. Twas ever thus.

Any ancienne route jusqu’à, I’m in Europe for the next two weeks, so maybe I should spend most of my cash Euro’s before July when they might just become worthless. Just in case. Pass the Cognac.

There is nothing worth quite so much doing……

………..as simply messing around in boats. Truly. You see so much more from the rivers that still form trade arteries. Details on bridges, views of strange architecture and places, people and oddities that engage a mind more fully than any bus tour.

Recommendation: BatoBus day tours. Sixteen of the best Euros you will ever spend, and a reminder that when it comes to real Fcuk off monuments, I don’t think anyone does it better than the French. Even the most crazed dictator with a coterie of truly terrified style advisers simply lacks the flair of the Frogs for commissioning and placing poems of gilded rock and bronze around the landscape. Style. Bags of it. Even the beggars have a certain je ne sais quoi.

This is rapidly becoming my favourite city in the whole world. Although my feet are telling me not to try walking so much of it at once. Letting my pauvre pieds have the day off tomorrow, when I shall be attempting to improve my French by launching into Marc Lemonier’s epic treatise; ‘Dictionaire de Gros Mots‘. A tome worthy of minute study for the really serious student. I mean I did the stuff for the citizenship test, but you can never really claim mastery of language until you can freely bandy insults around, and understand when they are friendly banter, and when they are fightin’ words.

By way of an aside; I hear Ed Millipede has slunk off to Ibiza to lick his wounds. The moment I heard the news, the thought crept into my head; what if Millipede got all tranced up to dance naked on a nightclub table. I’m reliably informed that such events do happen in certain Ibiza clubs. And nobody noticed? Evil snigger (Simultaneously in English and French).