Tag Archives: Politics

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.

Advertisements

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.

Done and done

That’s it. I have the papers for my postal vote and will be casting ballots against both my old constituencies Tory incumbent and the Labour / Limp Dem / Green ‘opposition’ in future, in favour of either the BREXIT or UKIP candidate.

The UK will still be an EU member on 23-26 May 2019 and not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, so those are my voting intentions. Stick that in your polls and smoke it. Although not in a non-smoking area, which is most of the UK.

The mainstream UK political class have screwed over a large democratic vote, I’m talking Tories, Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens, so they all now richly deserve hammering after hammering at the ballot box. Not just the local elections but at every election. Remove the mandate, the access to power and privilege that the old guard of politicians (From all sides of Parliament) have so flagrantly abused by the only peaceful means possible. Time for the party to end. Call it a mandatectomy is you will.

Throw the bums out, as our colonial cousins would say.

Say it ain’t so

A song has been going through my head for the last day or so. A powerful tune written in the mid 70’s by Murray head. One which I have taken diabolical liberties with and altered salient lines which I hope retain the power and majesty of the original, but which I have adapted for an obvious purpose.

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We pinned our hopes on you Joe and they’re ruining our show

(Ooo Baby)
Don’t you think we’re gonna get burned
(Ooo Baby)
BREXIT’s gonna to get turned
We’re gonna get burned
We’re gonna get learned
We’re going to get turned
We’re going to get burned
We’re going to get burned
Ooo learn
Turn
Burned
Ooo burned
Yea…..

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe please tell us it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
We’re sure they’re telling us lies Joe and we’ve got a right to know

They tell us that our heroes have played their best cards
And don’t know how to go on
We’re clinging to solemn promises we were made
But the honest days are gone

The country and democracy have fallen apart
The money has gotten scared
One mans words could hold the country together
But the truth is no-one cared

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
That’s not what we want to hear Joe and we’ve got a right to know

Say it ain’t so, Joe please
Say it ain’t so
They keep on telling us lies Joe please tell us it ain’t so

Say
Say it ain’t so
Say it ain’t so
Cause we’ve got a right to know

We are, I feel, past the point of no return. Unless one side or the other backs down. Or the political left (Including half the current UK parliamentary Tory party) learn to behave like grown ups and do what they solemnly promised.

I wish this weren’t so. But it is. I leave you with the 1977 version of this poignant little number as sung by Roger Daltrey.

Apologies to Murray, but it’s such a great song.

This is precious

Excuse the Starship Troopers meme, but the UK Parliament has been discussing (For the last 9 months or so) a bill that would prevent ‘Internet trolls’ and similar persons of ‘suspect’ virtue from running for public office. Considering how many MP’s and suchlike engage in online behaviour that might be construed as trollish, such as throwing out insults at a sizeable demographic, might not be such a wonderful idea. The law of unforeseen consequences being ever present in politics.

What this does highlight, along with the rather vapid media attacks on the character of certain candidates over something they said three years ago, is that parts of the mainstream is afraid and rightly so. Indeed they have a great deal of power and influence to lose. Or at least suffer inconvenience.

When candidates can no longer be deselected by their local constituency party without the local selection committee being replaced, their preferences overridden by central office, this is yet another nail in the coffin of Parliamentary democracy and another step down the road to a new and uglier form of corporate style fascism. Considering the ‘hate speech’ laws currently enacted as a desperate attempt to quash wrongthink, I would say that without a robust and successful opposition, the UK is deeply screwed already. All because of weakness and fear on the part of the establishment.

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.

Democrats in name only

There are a lot of people like this. Democrats in name only or DINO’s (Pronounced to rhyme with Rhino’s) They lose a democratic vote, or can’t win by the pre-agreed rules of the game, then get all precious and clutch their pearls when their guy loses. Or refuse to accept a democratic vote and get all bent out of shape when those who actually won cry “Foul!”.

There’s far too much of this from the political class. They have forgotten who they are supposed to serve. Perhaps they need reminding? Just in case it’s slipped their mind. You know how easy that is. Busy taking cheap shots at each other and virtue signalling, calling people names. Well, there’s just so much to do.

Now they’ve shifted the putative date for BREXIT to October 31st 2019. Well, well, well. I will actually be in London that day and look forward to whatever events unfold. Parliament Square anyone? This should make for a Halloween worthy of remembrance. Or bonfire night. I’m quite looking forward to seeing the fireworks first hand.

If the wife lets me.

Service guarantees citizenship.

Slavery reparations – a modest proposal

Here at the Bill Sticker Institute for Truth, Justice and Just that we’ve been hearing a lot about reparations for the practice of slavery in the West up to and including the US Civil War, the shooting phase of which lasted from Apr. 12th, 1861 – Apr. 9th, 1865. It’s the current bargaining chip of the latest crop of Democrat Presidential hopefuls. Vote for us and we’ll give you free stuff, although not quite sort of thing. Now having looked at the situation, my trusty crew of Igors have stated that reparations for slavery are, on the whole, a brilliant idea. I say, great. Let’s do it. A one off lump sum payment to the descendants of slaves held in the Continental USA and CSA and dependent territories up to and including 9th April 1865. One million dollars for each claimant over eighteen years of age at a date to be decided should be more than enough.

Of course there would have to be specific legal provisions to make sure that the right people got exactly what they deserve.

For example; no reparation funds should go to organisations, only individual claimants who could provide verifiable (From government records) documentary proof upon demand that they are directly descended from slaves held up to and including the US Civil War in slave holding states. Of course, this would only apply to US citizens. No-one whose family fled to say, Canada would be eligible as for the purposes of this discussion only the family of slaves in the continental United States of America would be eligible for this scheme. Those claiming full eligibility would also have to be full blooded descendants of slaves, therefore those whose family tree having a direct ancestor (Either matrilineal or patrilineal, tested by DNA) who was not a slave up to and including the US Civil war, or who immigrated to the USA after Apr. 9, 1865 and therefore not a slave descendant, would have their reparations cut proportionally.

In the interests of complete fairness and equity, we would envisage the reparations formula working like this; for someone whose direct ancestry included all eight great grandparents being directly descended from slaves during the qualifying period, only they would receive the full amount payable. For each great grandparent not directly descended from slaves held in the USA or CSA up to and including the US Civil war (Apr. 12, 1861 – Apr. 9, 1865) the amount payable would be reduced by 12.5% and so on proportionally. If only one great grandparent of a claimant was directly descended from a slave held during the qualifying period, they would only receive 12.5% of the total amount claimed. Also, those successful claimants currently in receipt of government welfare would be expected to reimburse their government for the total cost of that welfare from age eighteen from the total amount of reparations due.

Those descended from slaves known to have been accepted forty acres and a mule at the end of the civil war would not be eligible to claim, as restitution would be judged to have already have been paid. Also claimants would be expected to pay reparations proportionately to those institutions and persons whose ancestors suffered loss or injury during the US civil war on the Union side and also for loss and injury to the descendants of persons during subsequent military operations engaged in to end the practice of slavery. This amount would be automatically deducted at source, for the convenience of the claimants and accounting staff.

Obviously these provisions would mean that claimants might not receive the vast sums their avarice might have at first envisaged, but those in receipt of such funds and their descendants would be excluded from any future payments. They would also be expected to shut the hell up about stuff no-one alive can possibly be held responsible for and join the rest of the human race in their daily struggle to make an honest(ish) dollar instead of whining about how unfair everything is.

Green shoots

Or as a celebrity gardener was heard to shout as he did a charity parachute jump; “Geraniums!” Bit of a windstorm this morning. Which meant winds of up to sixty miles per hour rattling the eaves. It was that kind of a Saturday. As for the deck garden, despite all the wind, little green shoots are popping up everywhere. And like all plants, they all seem to look the same, rather like most babies look like they’re doing Winston Churchill impersonations. They’re all two tiny oval leaves on top of a needle thin stem.

Spring cleaning this weekend. Bathrooms first, followed by bedrooms, both our offices and the main lounge. This is the first run through as Mrs S’s middle sister arrives from the fabled land of Oz in the last week of April. Youngest sister will be descending upon us from up island. Outnumbered and out-gunned, I shall be keeping my head down, as three sisters together may be a little more than my delicate nerves can stand. God knows my own side of the clan can be enough hard work. But I ration my time with them and an afternoon every two years is more than enough. There’s a lifetime of deferred conversations out there which I don’t think anyone has the courage to address. However, I’ve already made my peace with those I could and the rest will have to miss out. Such is life.

Wife’s sisters will be coming and going for three whole weeks. All this and I’m paying my tax bill on Tuesday. Lord have mercy on my pathetic raddled soul.

On the upside, the mainstream media, who once thought our foppish PM could do no wrong, are turning against him. For example, the cover of Macleans, one of Canada’s top magazines, had him on the front cover with the title “Imposter!” emblazoned in large unfriendly letters and his polling numbers are in the tank. Live by the media, die by the media. Forgive me for sniggering quietly to myself. Or not.

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.

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.

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.

The green new deal

Sometimes at shareholder meetings, you do hear the most awful nonsense. Especially from those who consider themselves ‘ethical’ investors. This morning Mrs S and I were at an investors meeting when one guy started making arbitrary remarks about Trump not getting re-elected. Which he probably will because the opposition haven’t got a strong enough candidate. Then he started talking up the ‘Green New Deal’ some of the Democrats are touting. To which everyone else in the room was going “Say what?” or “I totally disagree.” Which was quite telling. A year or so ago the room would have been calling Trump names like the mainstream media want us to. How times do change.

I’ve actually read this Democrat inspired ‘Green New Deal’ and it’s utter garbage. One of the key precepts being to stop US citizens from flying and insisting they go everywhere by train. Ostensibly to ‘save the planet’.

Two words adequately convey my opinion of that idiocy; “Yeah, right.” Have these proponents even tried travelling across the USA by train or on a road trip? Have these advocates for other people’s austerity ever gotten out of their cosy little suburban nests and seen the mind-strangling vastness of North America in a car? I have. Three times and counting. There and back. Twice trans Canada, once to Florida. Take my word for it, there’s a whole heap of big in North America.

Even at full speed it can take over a week to go from New York to Seattle via car or truck. Forty three hours of non-stop actual driving. That’s without factoring in lunch and gas stops and the odd pause for much-needed sleep breaks. By train it’s almost three days solid travelling without a break. As opposed to only ten hours by air if you factor in all the hanging around at airports, including standing in line, baggage check-in, security theatre and getting to the airport in good time.

As for ‘renewables’, Wind and Solar are no better than subsidy sinks and the proposed ‘Carbon Taxes’ a licence to steal money from the hard pressed middle and working class population and feed it into the pockets of the ultra-rich 0.1%. Not only that but the Chinese and Indians will take one look at the proposals, if they have not already done so, and walk away giggling at the stupidity of the decadent westerners. CO2 is a symptom, not the illness, and human emissions are a drop in the pond. The Indians, Chinese and Russians understand this, but seeing as according to some they’re the ‘bad guys’ instead of just competitors. To the Green New Deal proponents their judgement means little. Even if the Russians, Chinese and Indians happen to be right.

Besides, as Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign strategist, James Carville, once said; “The economy, stupid.” Middle and working class USA likes strong economic growth and wealth creation. Trump has brought this about by re-energising a business-friendly environment. Overall unemployment is as low as it’s been for at least five decades and the only thing that might unseat him is a massive crisis that he flubs completely. Rather like Bush did with both 9/11 and the ’08 financial crisis. Besides, the US Democrats haven’t a strong enough contender for the US Presidency and the Green New Deal is proving massively divisive.

Nor are there any indicators of a financial crisis which might threaten the prosperity the US is currently rediscovering. Of course there will be market corrections over the year, just like over Christmas, but any dips won’t exceed much over 5% of total market value, which to me is no good reason to dump any stocks. Indeed the dead cat does seem to be bouncing like it was made of super ball rubber. I’m just wondering if I should leave my cash reserves just as cash in a high interest account or find an undervalued stock that’s worth a buy in.

Which means I’ll be talking to my brokers again next week. Although SNC-Lavallin aren’t on my list of investment opportunities. Not until the dust has settled over subpoenas being served on various members of the Canadian Trudeau administration, which might lead to their electoral downfall. Not only is little Justine pissing Canadians off because he makes them look weak and silly, but there’s a scandal brewing which may involve the RCMP being brought in to give our current PM the ‘perp walk’. Although that sort of thing only happens to the little people, not the ruling elites.

To replace the Liberals politically, I rather like the sound of the new People’s Party of Canada under Maxime Bernier, as Scheer’s Progressive Conservatives come across as totally cucked who will do little to get rid of the oppressive extensions to ‘Hate Crime’ legislation as expanded over the last three years. The local Burnaby by-elections next week should show which way the Canadian wind is blowing but I have noticed that there’s a lot of new activism at the grass roots level. A sea change is taking place, but whether that change will be enough to get rid of the Liberal party is moot. We will see.

I also talked to my broker about picking Mastercard or VISA as an investment opportunity. I found myself explaining in detail to Mrs S why Mastercard might take a share hit in the next six months because of their implication in the Patreon scandal. Payments processors should just do that. No more, no less. Not intervene in people’s opinions and private lives where they have no business.

To close on these and related matters I would point out that money has no morality, because one persons morality is another’s blatant hypocrisy. As certain payment processors and their cohorts may find out when the mechanisms they put in place to enforce their world-view are turned against them. Could it happen to nicer people? Mmm-maybe.

Have a nice weekend.