Tag Archives: UK

What is ‘fake’ news?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somethings burning…

…And I think it’s my candle at both ends. Failing that or I’ve got psychic jet lag, or should that be that I’m out of phase with my astral plane? At present I’m up at all hours of the night, from 3:30ish onward, which is 11:30am UK time. No idea why, but I seem to have developed a prescient early warning system that tells me when there’s something challenging going on across the pond.

The early hours went like this; wake up feeling totally wired and with all my brain cells buzzing. Go into office, which is out of earshot of our bedroom. Switch on ‘pooter. Check email. Sure enough there’s an ‘urgent’, highest priority panic now item squatting in my inbox like a squashed frog. Bugger. What have they got their panties in a bunch over this bloody time? Reply to email. That takes half an hour. Fidget. Play a game of Spider Solitaire. Forty five more minutes and Bong! Another response to my carefully worded missive. Reply with clarification. Well, there’s forty five minutes of my life I’m not getting back. Oh Jesus H Christ on a frigging Bike! Can’t people read? Am I teaching a sodding TESOL class? Notify lawyers. They respond in real time. At least they’re awake and on the ball. Remind others that if they had taken my advice two whole years ago we wouldn’t be having these issues. Still, can’t be helped. Make tea. Watch a little YouTube. Another hour and a half rolls by with the email chain growing ever longer until finally it’s 9am Pacific, 5pm across the pond and everyone stops wasting my bloody time and decides to shut up shop for the day. Hopefully that will close the door on this particular conversation. Oh well, it saves having to drag the whole sorry business over into tomorrow. I’ve gotten an answer, not quite the one I wanted, but close enough, and despite the insomnia, sometimes that’s all you need.

Sod it. Is it only 9am? Set up percolator, make and consume a pint of hot black coffee. Feel like I’ve been hit by a truck and I’ve got two critical meetings this afternoon. They say tax shouldn’t be taxing, but getting your finances just right so as not to overpay can be a headache. Protect the capital, manage the expenditure. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Find several day old news item on economic suicide note as announced by the Trudeau boy. Carbon taxes. Wealth redistribution. Yeah, redistributed out of my pocket into some politicians boondoggle. Good luck with that because it’s not going to happen. I have recruited a decent team of advisers over this side of the world. British expats all and they’re pretty lean, mean and keen.

References off to potential new landlord. Decision meeting on Wednesday. Bloody hell is it only 10am? Try to sleep for an hour. No good, I’m too wired. Shower, shave, dress smartly, check notes. I lose an hour somewhere along the line and Mrs S is telling me it’s time to get moving. Come 2pm local time we’ve signed on the dotted and all our local money has been secured before the next tranche arrives and we get to discuss how to maximise our investment yields. In conversation I remark to my finance guy; “I’ve learned two major lessons over the past two years. Trust nobody, and make sure your insurance is good.”
“I’ll have to remember that one.” He replies. Mrs S smiles. She remembers Paris. As do I. Must do it again some time when all the shouting has died down. This time without the untimely injuries.

Now it’s 6pm and I know I’ll pay for missing half a nights sleep this time tomorrow. I’ve got a scan in the afternoon, and my ‘bloods’ will be all over the place. Which may not be such a bad thing if it makes me look more unwell than I actually feel. Might bump me up the long, long waiting list.

This is weird. Why don’t I feel tired?

A climate of hope?

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Racism

I read this comment by Tom Paine on his blog, echoed on White Sun of the Desert about how the political left likes to demonise all those (Even mildly so) to the political right of them by throwing out violent scatological accusations of ‘ism’ or ‘phobia’. Now I’ve overheard some of these soi-disant ‘anti-racists’ talk in private, and had quite a few “WTF!” moments when hearing them speak ‘off the record’ after a couple of beers about stuff that doesn’t fit their stated narrative. For example, there’s no one more antisemitic than a left winger. Even some of the more rabid extreme right wingers I’ve known over the years would be shocked if they heard some of the leftist anti-Jew rhetoric. Now from Project Veritas (see below) comes this video evidence of some quite extreme anti-black language. This originates from the side of the political spectrum you understand that tries to tar the rest of Western society with the epithet ‘Racist’ at the mildest disagreement.

This should not be considered atypical, but typical behaviour. The ‘do as I say, not as I do’ philosophy of politics. Straight from the mouths of the unprincipled, who will say and do anything to get into power, because power and influence are how they make their money. By trading favours for funding via a tangled web of shell corporations, NGO’s and ‘charitable’ foundations.

Of course all those Republican Pastors and Preachers interviewed in the video (according to the extreme leftists, most of whom are whiter than I am) are just a bunch of ‘Uncle Toms’ who just aren’t really ‘black’ enough. Regardless of genetic heritage. I wholeheartedly support the Pastors outrage. If someone I thought was on ‘my’ side was talking about me behind my back in this fashion, I’d be pretty pissed off as well, and justifiably so. No-one likes to realise that the person you thought was a friend was knifing you in the back all along.

Yet will there be any prosecutions for ‘Hate speech’? Don’t be silly, the laws banning such lewd mouthings aren’t for those progressive types who consider themselves ‘our betters’ (Derisive snort). Such legislation will only ever be used to cudgel those guilty of less major infractions of ‘wrongspeak’ who don’t hold the correct ‘progressive’ political views. Twas ever thus. Now there, to me at least, lies the real racism.

Let’s hear three sarcastic cheers for the political left! Hip-hip hypocrisy!

A quick note about the ‘People’s Challenge’ campaign that raised money to challenge Brexit in the recent successful High Court action. It looks Kosher, with 4918 contributors raising a little over GBP170,000. Which works out at a smidge over GBP35.50 per contributor. However, this is an interesting development in that crowdfunding may be used to raise money to challenge any UK Government decision via the High Court. Intriguing. Sauce for the goose indeed.

I have mixed feelings. Constitutionally and economically, I would like to see the UK out of the EU’s stranglehold a.s.a.p. Unless by some absolute miracle the EU turns into a free trade zone without the bureaucracy. However, this judgement has just sent the value of the pound upwards, which is good if you are like me, looking to get a good currency transfer rate to Euros or Canadian Dollars. That said, if Brexit fails, my money will be heading out of Sterling at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light. I suspect I will not be the only one.

Locally, people who recognise my accent keep asking me about Brexit, and is it all about ‘racism’? My stock reply is that it’s more an escape from a strangulating bureaucracy and that the word bomb of ‘racism’ is being tossed about just to stop people discussing the real issues. Like sovereignty, control of borders, excessive contributions, control of economy and making independent trade agreements that would directly benefit the UK. Stuff that would benefit the average working stiff, not just what is good for the political elites.

Adjusts tinfoil hat…

This morning’s amusement comes courtesy of The Register. Those naughty spies at GCHQ have been up to mischief, the little scamps. Misuse of data collection. Illegal monitoring. Yeah, yeah, the stuff of paranoia, right? Well this is a bit of an “I tole ’em, buggrit. millennium hand and shrimp.” post. According to this report on a court judgement handed down in Judgement No. IPT/15/110/CH, between 1998 and 2015, the UK ‘Intelligence’ services have been rummaging through everybody’s dirty online laundry. Starting with the Blair government and continued ever since.

Which is something those of us who are familiar with the inner workings of the jolly old Interweb were always painfully aware of. That there is no such thing as complete online anonymity, and tracking any activity is easy peasy for those with access to the right tools. So all those folk who’ve been posting general naughtiness and insults from behind the supposed safety of their keyboards, guess what? Someone, somewhere can find out who you are and where you are in less than a heartbeat. Guess what else? That data will still be on record. In a small dark hard drive of a forgotten server in a data centre far, far, away is all your online data. Not just the metadata, but actual content. Financial transactions, secret messages to paramours past and present, browsing history, travel history, passport activity, where you went and who with and if you were married at the time.

Like some brooding spirit in a horror movie, all this data will never go away. Even if a name flagged up only as a by-blow of an investigation of someone bumped into once, or worked at the same office, once. In order to tick names off their list, a search will have been made. Backups of those searches will have been performed. Why? Because it’s how Police and intelligence work is done. Doggedly trawling through massive tranches of data, looking for links, occasionally getting a giggle out of something stupid someone has said or done, or ordered from that convenient online catalogue of erotic aids (Do they actually do their size?). Checking up to see if their partner is not playing away from home or draining the joint account. All that stuff and much, much more.

Because when all is said and done, we’re all bog standard Mk I humans with all the flaws contained therein. We can resist anything but temptation. Just a quick peek. Just this once. Just to be sure. No harm, no foul, right? Why? Well, the Internet is a public space. So if you drop your undergarments online, don’t be startled if someone notices that metaphorical boil on your bum. But then some of us have been saying this all along.

Wikileaks, Snowden? How much more proof does anyone need? The powers that be don’t like or trust the average voter. And it’s always worse under left leaning governments.

As my parting shot today, I thought I’d link to the first of a series of videos by a certain Project Veritas, which is busy exposing the Clinton dirty tricks machine and how they work. I’m sure there’s a UK equivalent that directs the rent-a-mob, but it’s interesting to see how the US Democrat (Hah!) party does things.

When I was a boy I always liked to go lifting rocks to watch the all nasty little critters go scurrying for cover as daylight hit. No doubt this will have the same effect if it goes viral. Wonder how long Mr O’Keefe’s channel will last before YouTube tries to take it down or ‘demonetize’ it?

Told you so

Well colour me cynical. Not that I’m a nice person anyway. My days of wide eyed innocence were lost many moons ago. But today’s news of a top level resignation has me sitting here with a smug smile on my face. Back in March 2015 I wrote:

“…anyone taking a new, PC sanitised Top Gear on will have to be really, really, good, or more likely be so blindly ambitious they don’t realise they’re committing career Seppuku…”

Bye, bye Chris Evans. Told you so. When I told Mrs S, she promptly punched the air with a shouted “YES!” She doesn’t like Evans either, he’s “Just loud.”. Me, I think he’s a very noisy one trick pony. Some people find him funny, but then they’d probably have a good giggle at a public execution.

No seriously; the Beeb tried to ‘keep the old format’ and re-create the same kind of car show. Which was a mistake. And like the vast majority of remakes it turned the revamped show into a complete turkey which threatens to fold after only one year. By contrast Clarkson’s version ran for thirteen years.

So, the new revamped Top Gear looks like sinking without trace whilst The Grand Tour, starring Clarkson, May and Hammond comes out sometime this year on Amazon Prime. Which may get shown here on Shomi, as for some reason known only to Canadian Broadcasting, we can’t get Amazon Prime north of the 49th parallel. Not that I watch TV anyway. Well, apart from advert-free streaming on Netflix and Shomi. At least I get to choose which repeats I watch.

Not that we’ll be watching much for the next week or so as we’re going into conference mode. Mrs S and I are heading over to the mainland and then down south of the border for a few days to partake of our respective conferences and shop for a few electronic bits and bobs before heading back home for the rest of the Summer. The only trip I intend making after that for 2016 is to hire a motorcycle and pootle off up island some time in August or early September. Maybe the week after Labour Day, when the weather is still good and the crowds have all gone.

Interesting…

I’ve just been fielded an email about the UK’s referendum to exit the European Union. Specifically about this press release from London Law firm Miscon De Reya’s legal challenge regarding the EU Referendum result. Oddly enough on behalf of anonymous clients. The briefest précis of which is to forbid the UK’s Prime Minister ‘triggering’ Article 50 without a full parliamentary debate and act of Parliament.

However, there are differing opinions; the Jack of Kent blog runs a legal thought experiment on whether or not, because the intent had already been stated to ‘trigger’ article 50 if the British people voted in favour of leaving, then a Parliamentary debate and act of Parliament is unnecessary.

Pass it on; this looks like being fun.

So…

Another day, another picnic. Today I have prepared Tacos and Southern Fried (In my case baked) chicken. Previous taste tests have been positive, so I’m sticking with the tried and trusted today.

Anyway; what’s new out in the wider world?

I see 50,000-odd (Some odder than others) people have been marching against Democracy in London. By comparison; London February 15th 2003, around 750,000 protested against the Iraq war. Didn’t make a spit of difference. 50,000 by comparison, some of whom (If you read the text) are not UK citizens and therefore not eligible to vote in a UK referendum, making the protest a mere drop in the ocean. Not that the anti-Iraq war protests really achieved anything. Blair still committed the UK’s armed forces. 50,000? As the French would say; “Call that a march? It’s not even a Janvier – pff”

Similarly; Mrs S’s Open University course on the EU is proving lively, with a great many sceptical voices in the forums. It’s an online course with people from as far away as Brazil and New Zealand taking part. She tells me that only one pro-EU voice spoke out to indulge in a single trollish ad hominem attack against everyone else, which was promptly ignored. I think the person who made the bitter remark subsequently left the course in a huff as they haven’t been heard from since. Or possibly even huff a minute. (Ouch. Sorry, I’ll get me coat)

Over here the Postal workers are going on strike next week. I will be using UPS myself for important documentation. They get my packages and letters where needed on time every time. Not in three bloody weeks (For Air mail no less!) I have some important legal documents to go to the UK next week and am not entrusting sensitive documents to Canada Post. I can’t afford to muck around either as Mrs S and I are off to a conference on Wednesday and have to get stuff notarised and sent before then. Costs me a hundred and fifty bucks a time for notarising and sending, but as the deal is time sensitive it’s worth the expense.

It’s also National Fishing Week. Which I’m going to miss this year (Again!). Never mind, when I’m back home on the 12th I intend to cast my cares on the waters regardless of whether there’s a festival or not.

Money, it’s a gas

Well actually, yes. For those willing to pay a little attention and try not to get frightened by all those pesky zero’s, Billions, Trillions and ones it’s quite interesting. I used to tune out of discussions about finance, until that is, I learned about international currency transfers. Now to illustrate my points I’m going to add a little bit of code to my sidebar over the next day or so, linking to Xe.com or CurrenciesDirect.com, who are two of the services I use when moving money around the world. Just so those interested can get more source information without having to navigate the factoids twisted by someone with an agenda, be they politician, speculator or ‘journalist’. Why? Because, unlike people, numbers don’t lie. Both web sites are having difficulties at the time of writing, and I know all the brokers (Cheers, guys) are working double shifts.

Here’s an interesting question (And I wish my younger self had understood this better).

Q: What is money?
A: The means of exchange, also a process.
Er.. WTF Bill? That’s bollocks. Money is a thing that you possess, what rich gits have and no one else does, surely?
Not so, and don’t call me Shirley. Money evolved from Barter as a representation for a sack of foodstuff as people began to notice it was a whole lot easier to carry round small pieces of rock, metal tokens or specially marked paper rather than have a chicken hanging off your belt in order to pay this weeks tithe. Money does not cluck, for one thing (Although in the right circumstances it can be made to sing), and can be recirculated so that the token can come to represent anything. The token or paper has no real intrinsic value of it’s own, but the token becomes the amount it represents. Also, the cost of producing the token has no bearing on the value of the token itself. Got that? A gold coin, for example, has the value that everyone agrees it is worth. No more, no less. A paper or plastic bank note likewise, is only ‘worth’ what everyone agrees is its value. Neither the coin, regardless of metallic composition, nor the note have any real value. A simple proof of this concept is to offer a gold coin to someone for a sack of spuds whilst there’s a shortage of spuds and a glut of gold coins from people desperate to be fed and breathing at the end of next week. Gold may be US$1270 or thereabouts an ounce today, but what was it six months ago, or last year, or forty years ago? Ampex Chart here.

In short, all value is relative. Stock prices and bond prices are what they are because all the traders agree this is their value. It’s a concept so elegantly simple that even I can understand it.

Well that’s all very well Bill you old smartarse, but what about wealth redistribution, or guaranteed base income? What about ‘fairness’?
I’ll come to that later you cheeky little scrote. Show a bit more respect or I’ll set the Igors on you. Did you get the bit about “All value is relative”? Remember it, it’s very important. Like at the moment with the uncertainty over Brexit, the pound is plunging on the markets. I know this because I am a fully paid up international capitalist, albeit in a small way, and make it my business to watch these things as they happen. I probably ‘made’ CAD$500 last night by timing a small international money transfer correctly. Although if the pound rebounds in the next few days or the fop does something economically irresponsible to make CAD sink through the floorboards, I’ll have ‘lost’ it again. It’s not Dragon Magic. In the meantime I’m quids in.

Right; ‘Fairness’, ‘redistribution of wealth’ et cetera are empty buzzwords which keep on getting bandied about by those without an understanding of simple economics. They’re empty political soundbites which really mean; “We’re going to take money off you and give it to our friends who vote for us to stay in our cushy non-jobs.” Which isn’t actually generating anything, in fact it’s a classic method of how to shrink an economy. As for ‘guaranteed base income’; that’s a thousand truck highway pileup just waiting to happen. It’s an economic train derailment of an idea. If it’s brought in over here I’m going into the alcohol and marijuana distribution business, because that’s exactly where the money will go. Not rent payments. Not on a better diet. Not paying increased Hydro (Electricity) bills because much of that ‘redistributed’ cash will go in politicians boondoggles and subsidies. Because the remainder will go straight into the dispensaries, liquor stores and bars. Hey, I’ve seen too much of human nature close up and personal not to be cynical.

Anyway, that’s besides the point. All value being relative. Which is the only absolute in terms of money. Trade is trade, and the big secret of trading is what? Come on. I’m waiting. That person at the back whining that it’s cheating and everyone would be better off under socialism, WRONG! (Venezuela, Cough, cough, isn’t that yet another failing socialist regime? Like all the others?)

The answer is timing. Like space is relative to time, like surfing is to waves, comedy or music, so is money to trade. Which is why I ‘made’ five hundred bucks in two hours last night. My small amount of money is now worth that much more because the markets got talked into a panic. That much on a basic 5K transfer.

All this came about because the pound ‘plunged’ in the wake of the UK referendum vote (Two weeks ago it was 1.78 CAD per GBP. Last night it was 1.87). If you had a little money put by in say, dollars, now would be the time to buy Sterling. Or invest in some stocks and shares when their markets hit bottom on Friday. Because there’s a bloody good chance it’ll all bounce back on Monday morning when everyone who panic-sold has sobered up and thought about it. Only to find the cash-rich Chinese have pounced and driven prices back up. Markets are like that.

As for the whiny little tossers on Twitter saying that the older ‘Leave’ voters have just screwed the ‘Remain’ young. Wrong again. The older folks who voted ‘leave’ may have given their heirs (Providing Britain is allowed to leave the EU on such a narrow margin) the legacy of having a vote that actually counts for something. The freedom to choose their own time and place. Their own futures. To take the tide of fortune and sail to riches or failure (I’ve done both – still here). By their own efforts. Which is far more valuable than anything the unelected EU Commissars will ever let them have, and they can take that to the bank. Or in the case of the EU commissioners, not.

Enter title here…

Vintage mosquitosMe and my big mouth. Mrs S was complaining about mosquito bites last week. I made the cardinal error of saying; “They seem to be leaving me alone this year.” Ouch, ouch. Itch. One (Two? Three?) of the little sods got into my office and now I’m paying for my Hubris. Socks and long sleeves are now order of the day. Bugger. I have fumigated twice, and the little bastard(s) is (are?) still treating me like an all you can eat buffet. Where’s the Raid?

Meanwhile, other annoyances over on the other side of the Atlantic.

Watch (again?). Digest. Consider.

The UK’s reasons for leaving the EU should be economic, not emotional, and the economics are screaming “Get out!”. The cost benefit analysis is clear. A similarly honest SWOT analysis also comes out in favour of leaving. Too many rules and regulations, too many protectionist tariffs, few real benefits for the working man / woman / whatever. Not to mention the economic threat of mass migration from a hostile culture via Turkey and it’s attendant cost of 3billion GBP per year extra on the poor bloody British taxpayer. Never mind helping the third world, if it stays in the EU, Britain will become third world. Like Hmm, let me see, Rotherham for example.

Although I have a strong suspicion that actually implementing any British exit from the bureaucratic morass that is the EU will be strongly resisted. Will the unelected bureaucrats and has-been politicians of the EU Commission let Britain leave, even if there is a landslide vote in favour of doing so? Other referendums have been dismissed for not voting the right way, so what do the British do if Brussels and Strasbourg don’t like the vote result and say “Non, no, you can’t go”? To which there is only one answer; “Hey, hey, we won’t pay.” Off with their contributions, say I.

Last word: Britain has tried ‘reform the EU from the inside’ – didn’t work then, won’t work now.

Which begs the question; Is there a can of Raid big enough to get rid of the bloodsucking bureaucrats of the EU?