Tag Archives: Politics

There’ll be tears before bedtime

Road trip is booked, planned and good to go. Trans Canada all the way out to Newfoundland & Labrador and back. Hotels, gas stations, mileage are all plotted and sorted. We’re taking the northern route out and the quickest way back via Highway One. About the only provinces we’ll miss en route will be Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon.

The one thing to sour the edge of this magnificent undertaking is the passing of the egregiously idiotic Bill C-16 giving what should be purely a civil matter over to criminal law.  Which means if you use the wrong pronoun to the wrong person you can go to jail. I watched Jordan Petersen give evidence to the Senate in the clip below and I’m inclined to agree with Dr Petersen’s gloomy prediction that this will not end well for transgenders.

The question the politicians overlook is this; if you run the risk of prison by offending someone by forgetting to use one of their alphabet soup pronouns, then will that encourage you to associate with them? Got it in one. It will have exactly the opposite effect to that intended. Transgenders and similar will find themselves even more marginalised as people will unconsciously avoid them even more. I’ve already heard of teachers saying they’ll hang up their teaching tools for good this year over this issue. These are veterans of the chalkface you understand. Experts in bringing children from bottom of the class to the top percentile. The cream of the profession. Now faced with this catch-22 of a bill, I can see other child care and social work professionals doing likewise. To the very detriment of the people they would normally help.

Likewise anyone with eccentric hairdo’s or any of the other indicators of such a lifestyle will be getting nothing from me but a cursory look and a long, deep silence. Because you can’t prosecute someone for something they won’t say. On the grounds that I might find myself prosecuted if I unconsciously offend the offence seeker in any given instance. So if you’ll forgive me I’ll be giving the high shoulder in future to those with blue, green or any unnatural hair rinse, or any of the other indicators that denote one of the newly privileged few. This is entirely understandable because I, like so many other Canadians, will be doing so in case we give some undefined kind of offence and run the risk of arrest.

Second thought: What this means is that I will be taking my money to businesses who do not attract such people. Again. It’s not because I dislike them in any way, although the one’s I have met haven’t really impressed me. It’s simply that now the threat of fine or imprisonment has been added to what should be a purely civil matter, I’ll be taking my custom elsewhere. This isn’t hate speech, it’s simply me protecting myself.

Sincerely,

His high Kekness Bill Sticker. God-Emperor of the known Multiverse, (Oi Vey for short)
FYI: The correct form of address is to Kowtow (meaning 2) three times before giving yourself a wedgie and kissing the ground under my feet. Get that wrong and you’ll be nicked chummy. Sauce for the goose etc.

The indefatigable Anna

While road trip planning this morning, a process punctuated by the sound of American Robins bouncing off our windows, I was utterly delighted to hear the news that the Scriblerus’ groups doyenne, the redoubtable and worthwhile Anna Raccoon is very much alive and poking nethers. The link to her updated blog is on the sidebar. It just goes to show, you can’t keep a good Raccoon down.

Now Anna and I have corresponded on occasion, and I’ve always found her a delight and a pleasure to deal with. Quite simply because people of her determination and integrity are admirable above all others. And her integrity, let me tell you, is constructed of Chobham armour plate with reactive munitions on the side. Even during the worst mudslinging of the Savile saga, she remained unflinching and resolute in her pursuit of factual accuracy. Standing aside from the media and compensation driven witch hunt asking simple questions that turned out to have far more interesting answers than the denunciations reprinted ad nauseum in the mainstream UK press.

Now Anna, our own Suzanne Cameron-Blackie is standing (or rather lying in bed) in the UK General Election June 8th as an independent candidate in the constituency of Islington North. If you are an Islingtonian who wants to really stick it to all sides of the political spectrum then I would recommend you vote for her. Because in the simplest terms she is a damned sight more worthy than Corbyn, or any of the other mainstream party candidates.

Now some would say “Hey, she’s terminally ill – what good can she do?” Suggesting that a vote for a dying woman is wasted.

My response would be that Suzanne has been told she was going to ‘die in six months’ before, a couple of years ago if memory serves. And another time before that. This alone would indicate an almost indomitable will and blast-your-eyes bloody mindedness powering her cancer ravaged frame. For which other mortal flesh can only stand in awe. Most other people faced with such pain and suffering would have turned their face to the wall by now and slid under quietly, but not her. This old girl is going down fighting all the way. The grim reaper is probably frightened of her anyway. So I have a feeling La Raccoon will be with us for a little while yet. I’ve even had an amusing vision of her delivering her maiden speech from a hospital bed wheeled into the House of Commons. Or even on a Skype screen installed for the occasion.

What a trooper. God bless her and all who sail with her.

Science, settling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A sea change

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But….

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

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

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

Items of interest

Aside from the French elections, there are a number of issues bubbling under which as a small time currency trader I find of particular interest. These are as follows; the French Presidential election and how that will impact on Sterling and the Euro, also a mini trade war between the USA and Canada over a particular type (‘Ultrafiltered’ milk used in cheese making) of Dairy produce which the Trudeau government have implemented. Which is odd, because by doing so the Canadian Government are dictating that Canadian cheese makers cannot import and use a product which no-one in Canada makes.

For the curious this article may explain matters. However, it is worth noting that to get into the supply management chain to access Canadian markets, a license to produce is required. The cost of which varies from Province to Province, but effectively means that Canadian Dairy farmers have to pay the Government to produce Dairy products. Which effectively keeps small producers out of the marketplace. Farmers can keep cows, but unless a farmer has a permit, they can’t sell the milk or any product made from that milk (As well as needing a processors licence). So only the big guys or large co-ops really get to be players.

This trade conflict’s issues balance on a two edged sword of supply management (Canada) vs subsidies (USA). Although from my perspective I don’t need to know all the ins and outs, just the effect they are likely to trigger. Canada will lose this fight as the USA is already complaining about those north of the 49th who haven’t been paying their share of their NATO commitment. Which is another bone of contention.

Now which do I think is more important? For me the answer is a no-brainer. It’s the low level trade war over Dairy produce and collapse of the North American Free Trade Agreement these issues look like triggering. Which means taking a short position on the Canadian Dollar looks to me like a good idea. Not that I’m not going to go short on the Euro, but if the French popular vote goes the way of Macron and not Le Pen, then the profit I stand to make over the shrinkage of the Euro will be much less. Macron is very much the establishment candidate and unless put under extreme pressure (And perhaps not even then) won’t give the French a referendum on membership of the EU or do anything on French border control. Although I did say that about Cameron and BREXIT. However Macron is being backed by such august personages as Jeremy Corbyn which is probably the kiss of death on anyone’s electoral campaign.

If it was that easy…

This is one of those dull posts about money and politics. Give it the go-by if you’re looking for something scurrilous and more interesting.

I wrote most of this post last Friday, when I was fretting and fuming over not receiving critical mail. Canada Post over here is a joke. Four weeks plus to deliver priority Air mail letters? And here’s me labouring under the delusion that I live in a first world country. Maybe the politically correct love the ‘third world’ so much they’re trying to drag Canada down to the level of Zimbabwe? I don’t know. However, a quick google indicates my postal gripes are not a new problem.

However, I’m heartened by the news of the stronger pound after Madame Tracey’s snap election announcement, as this vindicates my decision to ‘go long’ on Sterling. I’ll also be watching the French Presidential elections closely, as a victory (or even a close run loss) for Marine Le Pen means the Euro is going to take a hammering. Which from my point of view is no bad thing.

There is a saying that if it was that easy, everyone would be doing it. I’m still having issues with shifting money around. Most of these have to do with Canada Post being its usual inefficient self and taking far longer to deliver a simple air mail letter (4 weeks and counting!) from my new offshore bank than a heavily sedated 3-toed Sloth with arthritis. Fortunately there is the Internet and there is the telephone. I know where the money is. It’s going nowhere without my say-so, so nothing really lost apart from opportunity. The exchange rates won’t be doing much until late next week when the fun really starts.

Update: Fun is starting. May is when the SH1T really gets to hit the fan.

Had my previous offshore bank not decided to close because of the new regulatory overhead I would not be having these issues. Monies would be paid, services obtained, and the world of business, at least as far as I’m concerned, would carry on regardless. Nonetheless, when it comes to offshore banking the state has demanded these cumbersome new regulations which have to be facilitated by, guess who? Yet another branch of the state, the postal service. All to stick a finger in the dyke of financial regulation to stop ‘money laundering’ when the metaphorical sea is coming over the top. Because, as any fule know, anyone who needs an offshore account is a tax dodger and a criminal, right? Well, thanks for nothing. Guilty until proven guilty seems to be the way of things nowadays. You’re a criminal if we say so, comrade, eh? Or a ‘thought criminal’ if you hold the wrong opinions.

Anyway, there are provincial elections coming up and there is no way I’m voting NDP or Liberal, as they’re simply two cheeks of the same ‘tax and spend’ arse who both pass laws against free speech and put up taxes. We’ve got a Libertarian candidate running, so that’s where my vote will be going this time around. Not that I’m stupid enough to vote for any NDP or Liberal candidate, that would be like selecting the fattest spoiled toddler to rule the Kindergarten.

The Sound of Music

Oh dear, to find inspiration for this one I had to bowdlerise “How do you solve a problem like Maria” from ‘The Sound of Music’. The depths to which I sink… (Video of the original here)

However, for those of you not familiar with the movie (Thank your lucky stars), let me conjure up a picture. Six Diplomats in black suits, two American, two Chinese and two Japanese are gloomily watching screens in a situation room. On the screens are images of Kim Jong-Un and missiles being made ready.

Cue Sound of Music song intro as the first American Diplomat speaks;
“They launch rockets, play with nukes, and the nation is quite broke
The second American Diplomat says;
They threaten countries all the time and look as if it’s all a joke
The first Japanese Diplomat says;
Yet underneath the bluster there’s the ghost of A-bomb smoke
The first American speaks
Do we bomb or don’t we, there’s the challenge”

The Japanese Diplomat chimes in;
“There’s money for the military, while most North Koreans starve
Even China is hacked off with them, this country that’s a half
I hate to have to say it, but I very firmly feel North Korea’s not an asset to the region”

The first Chinese Diplomat begins to speak;
“I’d like to say a word in their behalf
North Korea makes me laugh”

The Chinese Diplomat sings;
“How do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means Korea?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!”

“Many a thing you know you’d like to tell them
Many a thing they ought to understand
But how do you make them stay and listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?”

The other diplomats join in;
“Oh, how do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?
When we hear them talk it’s confusing, out of focus and bemusing
And we never know exactly where we are”

The American Diplomat sings;
“Unpredictable as the weather, they’re as flighty as a feather
Kim’s an Eejit! He’s an arsehead! Goes too far!”

“He’d out pester any pest, drive a hornet from its nest
He’s a real live fan of circled firing squads
He’s a nutter! He is wild! He’s a riddle! He’s a child!
He’s a headache! He’s a moron! Thinks he’s God!”

The other Diplomats join in the chorus;
“How do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?
How do you find the word that means Korea?
A flibbertijibbet! A will-o’-the wisp! A clown!”

“Many a thing you know you’d like to tell them
Many a thing they ought to understand
But how do you make them stay and listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand?”

“Oh, how do you solve a problem like Korea?
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?”

Boom-boom.

I’ll get me coat. Have a good Friday.

Syria

With huge apologies to the great Dean Friedman and his 1978 hit song ‘Lydia’.

Syria keeps nerve agent in their armament and we complain.
Well, hardly never. And then jokingly they say
Boy, it’s been so long since we saw you, we nearly bombed them all to death. We nearly left them all for dead. Nearly left them all for dead.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.

Syria, you know we always talk about making conscious decisions, about running all your lives. Well, maybe we’re just fooling ourselves. It’s a role we like to play.
Because more often than not we’re backed into a corner. We’re sorry we bombed you. Do you feel like some company? Refugees need a place to stay.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.

We mess with a country who thinks we’re all dumb. well, maybe we are. no, that wouldn’t surprise anyone. we suspect that much is true.
But, Syria, if you only knew how much we love you. did you know that we love you? it’s the best that we can do.

Syria, Syria, how come we don’t understand?
We can offer them nothing at all. this is more than we had planned.
Syria, Syria we are trying to command, at least until Korea comes,
Then, we must be off again.
We must be off again.