Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 6

I'm having to type some stuff - limited aspects of a large report - in American. My bloody spell-checker keeps putting all the 'u's back in. Aaaaaaargh. When is gin o'clock, exactly?

Things that are currently pissing me off - 5

Utter ignorance is always a good one - especially if it is in a subject area that I had to work to get a proper grasp of. Like economics.

There is a whole Guardianista / CiFuckedUp rant about the Laffer curve over here. Get over it, folks. The Laffer curve exists. We don't know its shape, how many maxima there may be, how to calculate where they might be (except experimentally) and there is even a valid argument that one of the underlying assumptions (100% tax equals zero revenue in the short term) is much weaker than the other two ('0% tax = 0% revenue' and 'some tax levels give positive revenue'.) (Ed notes: so it may actually not be of that much practical use. Like much else in economics.) But the fact that people you dislike use it as an argument for proposals you oppose no more discredits the theory than the fact that Young Earth Creationists use the fact that "Evilution" is a theory* rather than a fact means that the biblical creation story is the literal truth.

Then somebody takes this to the extreme:

At a properly enforced and managed 100% tax, you have maximum revenue.

I cannot get how somebody who seems not to be an utter dribbling moron (it is properly spelled and punctuated, grammatical and follows a logical, albeit incorrect, sequence) can actually believe such utter shite. The classic thing that differentiates the 'rich' from the 'wage slave' - however well-paid the latter - is the ability to move money about - invest rather than take income and shift in time. Take a capital gain (or a dividend) rather than pay and shift tax treatment. Don't work so hard - because you probably don't actually need the 250th £1000 - and earn less. An income / leisure trade off (as would be working a bit harder and taking enough extra income to be able to afford to pay a cleaner!) At 100% tax you will have the small dribble of revenue from those who cannot escape the strait-jacket. Nobody, not even the heros of socialist fuck-wittery, are going to drag themselves away from their Islington dinner parties to slave at their desks for all of the blooody money to go to the Government.

* Not only is the "Theory of Evolution" generally so called - it is also known to be an incorrect theory. Or, at least, an incomplete one. And very different now, not just to the initial outline from Darwin and Wallace, but also to the version I was taught in the mid-1980s. So it, as our knowledge improves, will itself continue to evolve.

Attack of the Penny Dreadful

Hmm, the sacrifical bleeding heart of the privileged class appears to have got a little bit upset with David Starkey:


When I criticised Starkey for playing xenophobia for laughs, and asked why, as an advocate of Britishness, he lives for part of the year in the United States, the dinosaur showed its claws. 

Possibly, child, because it is a complete and utter irrelevance. I have to spend quite a bit of my time in London - it's not because I'm an advocate of the values either of Eastenders or of the Westminster village. Or even the "fuck them all, let's just grab the cash" attitude of much of the City. You can be an advocate of, well, in Starkey's case more Englishness than Britishness - he's not very keen on Scotland - despite having to, or even liking, working, holiday or even living elsewhere.

But anyway, what did he say to offend her this much? (Ed notes: this is as reported by one of the vermin in this particular rat-fight - don't place to much emphasis on its accuracy. This is a Laurie Penny report, remember!)

"real British values" are not, as Starkey put it, "entrenched in the foothills of the Punjab".

They may not have been entrenched there - and British values are the antithesis of some of the tribal culture of the north-western end of the sub-continent) but, to a very great degree they were created there. The Raj, and its denizens' attempts to recreate a wholly-mythical Golden Age England in their exile is responsible for a lot of of the quainter things that certainly tourist boards like to promote as "Britishness".

If we could just persuade these two to have a very public fight to the death (of their reputations), it is a no lose situation for reality. Especially if we can actually manage to have both of them so wounded that they never dare appear in public again. Unfortunately, the self-belief (idiotic in Laurie's case) seems so invincible in the pair of them that no such luck will attend us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Fuckwittage on CiF

And it's not about Assange ... (for once, although I may get back to that prat and his deluded fan-boys later):

In doing this, the White House has made a mistake, says experts. "The United States has the most to lose from attacks like these. No other country has so much of its economy linked to the online world," writes Mikko Hypponen, a Finnish cybercrime expert. "By launching Stuxnet, American officials opened Pandora's box. They will most likely end up regretting this decision." Terms like a "digital Pearl Harbor" and "Cybergeddon" are now being tossed around.

Oh. Dear. God. The early part of the previous decade would like its news reports back please.Richard Clarke was sacked for, among other things, grevious invention of the phrase "electronic Pearl Harbor" in about 2003. The Chinese have been planting malware on their opponents (particularly the Tibetans and Taiwanese, but everybody else too) for at least 10 years. Just because the Americans are now admitting that they do it too - apparently there is some sort of election due over their shortly and the incumbent in the village mayoral office wants to brag about how many sleeping tramps he's kicked (Ed notes: or something probably not very similar at all!) - doesn't mean it is suddenly "new."

Just a note: Mikko Hypponen (such an excellent name for an infosec sales-weasel) might, just 'might', not be promoting the products of the F-Secure company he works for. History would suggest otherwise.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

What can drive people to such idiocy?

or are you referring to the right of centre corporate Guardian and Independent that are linked to our security services

It can only be St Julian.


// facepalm

Sunday, June 24, 2012

If I didn't know better ...

And I think that I do, I'd suggest that Breanna Manning was some sort of crazy strawman (strawwoman, strawperson, strawdangerouslyconfusednutjob?) dreamt up by USian religio-conservatives to demonstrate just how quickly the (US) Army would go to hell in a handcart if they dared to let fags in.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Occassionally you wonder why ...

There is so much support for independence amongst otherwise sensible Jocks. Then you see shit like this from the supposed "national broadcaster":

Flooding hits northern England after torrential rain

What? You don't think there is anything wrong with that? Ah, yes. That's the tidied up 07:37 version. I woke up with the 06:13 version:

Flood warnings across northern UK after torrential rain

Same shit beneath it - and I am sorry for the people affected - but apart from one warning for a village in Aberdeenshire, there is nothing north of the Borders.

Now I appreciate that when metrosexual nancy journowankers dare to skirt the very edges of howling barbarism by taking a trip round the M25, they will see a sign that quite famously says

Watford Gap
The North



But it doesn't mean you are there yet. Darwen - the northern UK as far as that prat is concerned - is a bit south of Preston. I've got customers there and it's nearly a 200 mile drive, mostly south. And I don't live in the north. I live in the Central Belt. It's another 150 miles from me to Inverness and a further hundred or so to Thurso. Then you've still got the rump Vikings in the northern Isles.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Whinging Aussie Gits

I mean, come on?

his native Australia had made an "effective declaration of abandonment" by refusing to intervene in his planned extradition.
 My government is not my government any more. It's just a subsidiary of the United States. They got together to send him back to the US.

Oh, for fuck's sake. They should rip up his passport for being a professional whiner. He expects a democracy to intervene in one of its citizens being extradited from another democracy to yet another democracy to face questioning for something that is a crime in all three? It's bloody unbelievable. 

If he was being extradited to the US on political or espionage charges (espionage against the US not, to the best of my knowledge, being a crime in the UK, Australia or Sweden) then, well, it might a bit more reasonable. But he's not. "Rape and sexual assault".

I wonder how many of the various leftist running dogs would be supporting a Swede, living in the US, against allegations that he raped two women in London?

Notes for people who insist it wouldn't be a crime in the UK (Ed notes: references are to E&W law, the Act does not apply in Scotland, although there are similar provisions in Part 2 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009):

1. s75(2)(d) Sexual Offences Act 2003 covers " asleep or otherwise unconscious at the time of the relevant act" - reversing the burden of proof for consent. And as the woman has said she didn't consent ...

2. s76(2)(a) SOA03 covers the broken (or absent) condom: "the defendant intentionally deceived the complainant as to the nature or purpose of the relevant act;". This doesn't just reverse the burden of proof, it is "it is to be conclusively presumed":

(a)that the complainant did not consent to the relevant act, and

(b)that the defendant did not believe that the complainant consented to the relevant act.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 4

Assangeophiles.

Look, folks, the man is a complete dickhead. It's not hard - he's an alpha-nerd who's jumped the minnow.  Now ...

This doesn't mean that Wikileaks has done no good. Nor even that it isn't a force for good.

Nor does it mean that the bastard isn't filthy rapist scum who should be lowered slowly into the nearest Sarlacc pit.

Just that St Julian of Wikileaks really, really doesn't exist. Proportion, please.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Utter effing stupidity

Complete utter fucking ignorance. I can't call it anything else.

As everybody knows, the SNP are a bunch of CND-infiltrated pacifists and, if we're unlucky enough that they win the referendum, Faslane will be shut-er than Harris on a Sunday.

So, spotting the main chance, the Welsh First Minister has offered Milford Haven - so far, so sensible. Then their lesser-spotted bigots piped up:

Writing on Twitter, Plaid AM Jonathan Edwards said: "This is a hugely significant development.  Milford is a huge energy portal. LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and nukes don't go together."

An Open Letter

Dear Jonathan,

If one of the reactors goes tits, any nearby LPG isn't going to go up in a sympathetic detonation. In the extremely unlikely event (it is pretty much physically impossible) that one of the bombs goes off, then any contribution from LPG conflagration is going to be irrelevant.

There are potential risks - mostly from contamination. These are considerably less than the risks of contamination from the existing LPG and other chemical traffic. Anyway - if you are going to get something contaminated, what would you prefer? An already pretty horrid petro-chemical plant or some nice pristine cove a bit further around the coast.

Yours,

S-E

Search questions I just need to answer ...

From yesterday:

is the diamond jubilee medal real silver (?)


Err, no, don't be daft. Not in the slightest. It is made of "nickel silver" which contains absolutely no silver at all, being an alloy of copper, nickel and, usually, zinc (somewhere on the order of 3 to 1 to 1).

The Silver Jubilee medal was, indeed, silver, as was the Coronation medal. There has always been a  strong suspicion that the Golden Jubilee medal is made of compo chocolate with a gilt wrapper.

To strike is a right

As you would expect to hear from the TUC Deputy General Secretary. And I don't disagree with her. Except in very limited circumstances, the labour is the labourers', not the employer's (Ed notes: 'very limited' is essential public services - police, army, some {even most?} bits but possibly not all of hospitals*. I'd alo include firefighters, who are currently allowed to strike, and exclude GCHQ, who might or might not be, TPTB keep changing the rules.)

Except the rest is the usual CiBollocks.

Voting to go on strike is not a decision working people take lightly and is always accompanied by a strong sense of injustice at work. The impact of losing a day's pay is significant, not least for those in the lowest paid jobs who are already on the tightest budgets.

To suggest that benefits encourage people to go on strike is ridiculous.


Err, anybody remember the 70s? One out, all out? For any reason and none? She should - she's in her fifties. But probably remembers it from the privileged position of union power not from the point of view of the poor bloody citizens (Ed notes: Although, of course, this was prior to the British Nationality Act, 1981, so we were "subjects") who just had to put up with the quarrels of their 'betters'.

People who don't work can't go on strike. Some people who do work go on strike not because they feel 'a strong sense of injustice at work' but because some machinating trot has appealled to some false sense of 'worker's solidarity'.

Right, so if it is ridiculous to suggest that people are encouraged to exercise their right to strike by the fact that the rest of us are there to provide a safety net, surely it isn't ridiculous to suggest that removing that safety net won't discourage them from exercising that right? Or am I not allowed to apply logic to lefty nonsense?

And then it gets worse:
The government's intention to limit benefits for strikers, however, is more about rhetoric than real impact.


So it won't even change much. Great - so we've got a politician promising a sop to their electorate and it won't even affect yours. Except, possibly, to encourage them to think about it a bit more. So you have to whine about it anyway. It's brilliant minds the downtrodden have claiming to be on their side - makes you wonder what she's running for.

* I'm not too bothered, for example, about a plastic surgery clinic being shut. A&E, obviously, maternity, long-stay are different matters. I don't really know enough about it to make the critical judgements.

Polly says

To end this impasse, let us tap Europe's vast wealth 

She means
To end this impasse, let us tax Europe's vast wealth 

And what she is failing to understand is the difference between stocks and flows and the important things about "Europe's vast wealth" are that:
  • It's illiquid. Make people sell any significant portion of it and you'll find out exactly what a "falling market*" feels like.
  • It's largely isn't "Europe's". It merely belongs to people who have chosen to live here. And can, largely, choose otherwise.
But, fine. We'll start with a certain villa in Tuscany, shall we? 

* This may, of course, not be the worst thing in the world when it comes to housing prices. But, frankly, I couldn't give a flying shit what mansions are worth - two bed flats and three bed semis are the housing types I actually care about the value of.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What the hell is this made out of?

  • Weight: 92.5 kg
  • Height: 7.5 cm
  • Width: 6.5 cm
  • Depth: 6.5 cm
That's nearly thirteen times the density of pure Osmium! In a kiddies' toy! Or, looking at it another way, about the same as a real female of the species.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Queen's Birthday Honours

Goodness, aren't the petulant out in force? Dame Mary, Lady Archer, the CVO for the Duke of Westminster - all the "bin the honours system, relic of a discredited Empire" fools are out.

Nearly every country has some form of honours system - the ceremonnial core of the recent Presidential investiture in Paris wasn't handing over the nuclear launch codes, that happened later, it was the presentation of the collar of the Grand Master of the L├ęgion d'Honneur.

The Yanks have their own, hideously complex system.

Anyway, congratulations to Stu Hobson, MBE.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 3

ISPs whose trouble-shooting guide requires you to be connected to the internet on the affected machine(s).

Fuckwits.

If you must know: Virgin Media - with us having a whole 93kb/s before it failed completely.

Update: Well, that's us back up to roughly the claimed bandwidth - a bit over 3 MB/s. Sighs. There's making it difficult for customers and then there are ISPs ...

Update 2: Surprisingly, just under 6 MB/s this morning. Possibly a lack of contention at 09:30 on a Sunday.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I'm not sure what to make of this

Here:

In general, 67 percent of people prefer PCs over Macs. But among those who have acted dumber than they actually are to improve their social standing, 79 percent prefer PCs.

  • Mac users have an exaggerated view of their social standing?
  • Mac users are more arrogant than PC users?
  • Mac users' social circles are less obsequious to idiots?
  • Some sort of Dunning-Kruger thing I'm not quite grasping?
  • Liars feel empathy for Redmond?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Common sense from the Child Protection mafia?

Wonders will never cease:

Ceop called for police forces to prioritise investigating suspects who had easy access to children.
78 arrests, 80 kids "safeguarded" (whatever that means - if they've been put in to council care, they're hardly 'safe') - big operation. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I feel, well, "soiled", really ...

Nothing exciting, unfortunately. But I've just agreed with one article on Comment Is Free and have only minor quibbles about another. It's, well, just a bit ... filthy, no?

Even Simon Jenkins is saying vaguely sensible things, even if the conclusion he is trying to force you to draw is as nuts as ever. (Ed notes: And he needs to learn the difference between the "Church of England" and the "Anglican church".)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Minor clearing up

Just in case you noticed the couple of widgets disappearing from the side-bar. I haven't started supporting the BNP, nor do I now think that compulsory schooling until 18 is a good idea. But both campaigns are over so into the dustbin of history they go.

Fiat currency and banks - when it all goes wrong

Okay, so there are our banks, running away nicely. Depositors are happy, although they'd like a little more interest. Lendees (?) are happy, although they'd like a little less interest. Record profits are being announced, record dividends are being paid, and CiF is full of articles about how many nurses could be paid for out of "Bank of Evil & Sons" bonus pool. Hunky-dory. 18 months later, it's a world of shit and pain. What could have gone wrong?

Well, go back to the simplified model we had with the two classes of assets - our 10%-ish of low risk, high liquidity, low profit and the rest in higher risk, uncertain liquidity, higher profit. There are clearly a bunch of things that could go wrong here.

  • We could be pushing the edge of that 10% - it's not set to punish the banks but to ensure that a bank run can be managed. 
  • We could have categorised assets incorrectly. Something we thought was low risk (or high liquidity) could turn out not to be either, or to be neither.
  • The regulatory model could be wrong - some things we are told were in the top asset class could turn out to be worthless.
  • Our profit model could be wrong for the higher risk assets - we could not be making enough on the good loans to cover the expected %age of defaults.
  • We could have a liquidity crash. Remember - we've got to cover the fact that you have between £2000 and £0 in the bank each month - and we've got to have the cash to pay you, even though we've lent out £1000 of your money (£100 to the govt and £900 to real people.)
Or, it could all happen. And, of course, you have the usual things going on - business executives taking strange decisions (RBSG and ABN AMRO, for example) that go badly, horribly wrong.

  • There was a lot of pressure, from the market analysts, for banks to generate every increasing profits. You can't do this with low-risk investments.
  • Many banks don't have the time to research, in detail, the risk models of the increasingly outre investments on offer. Hence the ratings agencies. They get paid to do the specialist analysis stuff. They get it wrong, especially for a category of assets and you've got stuff you think is near-cash that turns out not even to be "investment grade".
  • Government bonds. Greek and Spanish, especially. And other things.
  • Yes, err, mortgages. Housing market never falls? Non-recourse loans in the USA (certain states, YMMV)? Powered by Government regulation - the Home Mortgage Disclosure and Equal Credit Opportunity Acts in the USA, the Thatcher started (and New Labour continued) war against local councils via the Council House sales (with silly discounts.)
  • Ah, yes. And here is the rub. These mortgage-backed securities - the Collateralised Debt Obligations of much infame. What was the problem here? Well, some of them, particularly the junior tranches of US mortgages, became worthless (non-recourse loans in a falling market). For the rest, people couldn't work out what they were worth. So very few people wanted to buy them, except at fire-sale prices. The market became illiquid and you had a price spiral of doom.
You see, although the UK house market is over-priced (relative to average earnings and the value of land - it's a planning permission issue), UK mortgage "asset-backed securities" were probably still worth a significant %age of their nominal value. We have had a rise in unemployment, yes, so mortgage defaults will be up. We have had a drop in the housing market*, so the collateral isn't worth quite what it was. But, still, with a bit of ingenuity, you'd have probably been able to recover over 80% of the value. Taking a long term view, you may even have made a profit over nominal.

But, with daily settlement required, a long term view is hard. With "mark-to-market accounting", ingenuity has to take a second seat to panic. And there we are.

What was the only thing that could have made this worse? Delay followed by selective government bailouts. What did we get? Ah, yes, Bruin to busy saving the world to work out what he should be doing at home, UK Financial Investments Ltd and 82% HMG ownership of RBS. Oh, well ...

And, please note - there is nothing in any of this that being on the gold standard would have prevented. Gold values fluctuate all the time - and the only banks that were ever required to be backed up in bullion were the central banks. Because it isn't the value of the £ or the $ that crashed (although they've not exactly done well). It is the value of the bank assets denominated in £ or $ ...

* But, if you look around, this is actually, in the UK, largely a liquidity crash, not really a value one. Values have gone down, indeed. But not to crash levels. The average house price is down to about £160k from a peak of about £185k. Painful but not catastrophic.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Things that are currently pissing me off - 2

People who don't know the difference between counting and measuring.

So use "less" when somebody with half a brain would say "fewer".

Interestingly, I'm not aware that the other way bothers me anything like as much. Possibly because that mistake is so much rarer.

Things that are currently pissing me off - 1

People who confuse possibility and morality.

You can't do (or say) that.

Is nonsensical when I just have done it. Or said it. "Cannot" and "should not" are not synonyms.

Fiat currency and banks

There are some people who believe that going back to the gold standard will save the world. It might indeed solve some problems but remember that most countries started on the gold (or silver) standard and have all, even the Swiss, come off it. There must be a reason. Quite often, it involved a war or two. So there must be problems that exist because of the gold standard that are solved by having a fiat currency.

But, still, even then, there are loads of people who get upset that "banks just create money". Sighs. Okay, in a fiat currency system, banks are required to hold assets to balance their liabilities. These assets can be all sorts of things: capital from shareholders, buildings, debts they are owed by other people or businesses. It's the last that seems to bother folks.

Let's look at it. I run a business - we are currently owed about £20k by various customers, about £5k of which is overdue. I am allowed to carry all of this £20k at 100% of nominal value on my books. Indeed, if I wish to write it off, I am supposed to show that I have taken due care to recover the debt before I can count it as a loss.

So, how does it work with a bank? Well, lets say you earn £2000 cash a month, and your outgoings are reasonably spread out. You are loaning your bank, in effect, £1000. What can the bank do with that £1000? Well, it could sit on the books as a cash asset. This is the modern equivalent of stuffing it under the mattress - say, a safety deposit box. It isn't the real business of a bank - that's lending money. Okay, now the government will say that the bank has to have a certain %age of that in "low risk, high liquidity" assets*. Let's call it 10% (which is about the right value.) The bank now has £900 of your money that it can lend out to somebody else. It does that - so it now holds a debt of £900. Let's look at the arithmetic. Assets = £100 low-risk stuff + £900 higher-risk stuff. Liabilities = £1000 to you. The bank is even. Okay, it will have to put some money aside for credit risk - the chance that it won't get the £900 back from its debtor so will have to pay you back out of shareholders' funds. But that's why banks charge different rates of interest. And have secured and non-secured loans - to manage that risk.

Now, let's say that that £900 is used to buy a car. And the seller happens to be at your bank. So he deposites the whole £900 to pay for his holiday next year. The bank now has £900 cash, £100 cash-like and £900 debt. Balanced out by a £1000 liability to you and a £900 liability to the car-seller. What does it do with the cash? Well, it lends it out. £90 into (hopefully not Greek or Spanish) government bonds. £810 to somebody who wants a new carpet. So it now has £190 bonds or cash and £1710 in debts owed. Liabilities - £1900. Balanced. 

There is no magic money tree. Every loan the bank has made has been funded by folding green stuff or its electronic equivalents being given to the bank. The same as if you were depositing gold or silver. All that is happening is that banks, like other businesses, are allowed to treat debts as assets.

What happens when it all goes wrong? Well, that's another post.



* Note that these include government bonds. And the Greek government was insisting until quite recently that Greek banks treated Greek government bonds in this way. Which was entirely logical but completely insane.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Don't mix your Scotch

Wife complained about the number of nearly empty whisky bottles in the cupboard. So I am now drinking a (small) cocktail of:

  • Frog
  • Talisker
  • Aberdour
  • Old Pulteney
  • & Jack
It's surprisingly drinkable ...

Oh, and there were 2 nearly empty gin bottles as well. I didn't feel up to adding them to the mix!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Guardian confusion about "Double Standards"

The paper of the "professional whiner" class has a particularly inept article up complaining about Google's "double standards". As example:
On the face of it, activists can now rest easy: if your government is trying to read your emails, Google will do its best to let you know. For those in autocratic regimes, this is true. For those in western democracies, however, the real position is very different: Google will often directly hand your details over.

Right. So their double standard is that they obey the law (Ed note: should technology companies have a free hand to disobey the law because some campaigner disagrees with that law? Don't effing think so.) - and they warn you if somebody is trying to break the law by hacking in to your account. Doesn't seem like a double standard to me? But then I'm not an ex-Wikileaker (double standards galore). I'd note that Google also has a history of resisting overbroad data requests and publishes openly transparency data.

On the surface

This sounds like every lads's dream of an excellent place to do a degree:

The Department of Sexology

University of Quebec at Montreal

Unfortunately, I suspect it is actually full of appalling harridans who've been run out even of the Sociology Dept for being too strident in their "all men are bastards"ism and a few "useful idiot" bag carriers.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What transit of Venus?

Eight octets cloud cover here in the Central Belt (;_;) Still, there are the intertubes, so I can watch it through much better telescopes than I own and in comfort.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Questions from yesterday

Okay, I didn't watch the river thing but Mrs S-E did and I popped in from time to time. But a few questions (with my usual left-field focus)  ...

1. Why were Andrew and Edward in RN Day Ceremonial when everybody else was in Day Full Ceremonial? They weren't wearing the Garter sash.

2. What's going to happen to the Duke of Edinburgh's CD if he holds on long enough to pick up another bar? It's already full. (Ed notes: for anyone whining about how many he's got: he doesn't wear half of what he could; he's rather old so has picked up the odd few "cornflakes" medals; and eight of them are for war service - including an MiD and the Croix de Guerre avec palme.)

3. The RN Lieutenant i/c the Britannia launch. Just one gong and the Golden Jubilee at that? WTF has he been doing with his time? Not even a VRSM.

4. Why wasn't there a full issue of Battle of Diamond Jubilee gongs for the participants? Most of them looked old enough to have done the 5 years required. TPTB are normally good at this sort of thing.

5. They knew it was going to be pissing down. Why weren't there some coats on the Chartwell?

And some notes.
  •  Props to the Duchess of Cambridge for wearing dolphins. Pity they were squint (to be honest, if they are badge rather than pin, it isn't easy.)
  • The Adj of the Royal Hospital (commanding the Guard of Pensioners at the jetty) did a fair few UN tours, didn't he! (Ed notes: Might not be the Adj. Might have been the QM.
  • Additional neck decorations on frock coats look silly (they are hanging down from the right coat flap.) Note that the DoE got away without having to wear any more by wearing his OM and his GCVO collar.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

It says something

About the permanence of the institution, don't you think?
Did I mean "Marriage"? Did I mean "Monarchy"? Whatever you wish ...

Do you ever feel

Like using (William of) Ockham's razor to cut some idiot's throat?

CiF: the universe's "strange attractor" for morons

I cannot express the horror I felt at the economic ignorance this tautology celebrates:

We're not getting any investment right now from the wealthy - they're hoarding cash by the truckload and plenty of it in government gilts. 

What are gilts if they aren't investment, normally by the wealthy, in the government. Remember this is CiF and a penny spent by the government is worth a guinea spend by an evil capitalist libertarian baby-eater.

And 4 idiots recommended it.

Still, there was a response. And, then the response to the response, recommended by 41 of the most stupid people on the planet:

"Sorry, what do you think that Government gilts finance? They finance the public sector. The Government issues them to raise money to pay for schools, hospitals."

They finance nothing. Gilts provide savings with interest for people that can afford to buy them. When originally issued bits of paper promising interest are merely swapped for bits of paper that dont, the latter previously supplied by the State via deficit depending.

So government borrowing doesn't finance anything? WTFF are the bastards doing it for then?

I'm so horrified by this that I am actually going to have to go and do some work to clear my head before I start to enjoy the weekend!
 
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