Quote of the Week:
“Trump’s caddy came up to me and said, ‘You know that shot you hit on the par 5? It was about 10ft from the hole. Trump threw it in the bunker. I watched him do it.’”
-sportscaster Mike Tirico, quoted in “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump” by Rick Reilly. Trump also claims in the official record to have a lower handicap than the great Jack Nicklaus. To have won 18 golf championships (all at his own courses – none proven). And to have been fully “exonerated” by Mueller. What a total dumpster!
No way out
As Brexit grinds wearily on, there’s been a rapid rise in the number of “escape rooms” – immersive game-playing environments that you are challenged to escape from. There are believed to be around 1500 in the UK currently. That’s despite the deaths of 5 teenagers in Poland in January, trapped when their locked escape room caught fire.
According to the latest findings of astronomers, our Milky Way galaxy has a diameter of 358 million light-years and (including dark matter) weighs around 3,000 trillion trillion trillion tonnes.
Yes, but how many Wales’ is that?
It’s just something people are born with
Well, six months has gone by in a flash and the good news is, once again the clock on my car’s dashboard is registering the same time as the rest of the country.
For a while at least, I can stop worrying that as the nights draw in, the world will fall an hour behind me once again.
I don’t know why I’m expected to know how to change the time on the car clock. It’s just something people know how to do, apparently. An intuition they were born with, I guess. A comprehensible twiddly knob like on my wristwatch would help, possibly, and not interfere too much with the aesthetic: note to designers.
Personally, I believe that were it not for Indicative Voting, the Commons would now be eating one another’s faces over the results of a far more important referendum, seeking the Will o’ the People to stop buggering about with the clocks.
The rest of the EU is finally putting a stop to the nonsense next year.
Remain, I say!
Psst, wanna know where the Brexit “dividend” is going?
Well, apart from the $4 billion the government has allocated to emergency measures in case (as a result of their own incompetence) there’s no deal, vital supplies of bogroll and so on – ferry companies with no ferries, compensating their non-competitors; tanks in the streets, etc….
No, far from spending more on the NHS, this is what idiotic Brexit Leave voters have done with our taxes:
“The government has bought a $15.9m (£12m) seven-bedroom luxury New York apartment for a senior British civil servant charged with signing fresh trade deals in a post-Brexit world, the Guardian can reveal. The foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt oversaw the purchase of a 5,893 sq ft (574 sq metre) apartment as the official residence for Antony Phillipson, the UK trade commissioner for North America and consul general in New York. The apartment occupies the whole of the 38th floor of 50 United Nations Plaza, a 42-storey luxury tower near the UN headquarters in Manhattan.” (Guardian)
I’ve been thinking of buying a campervan, myself. Easier to get around, you know. Besides, you’d never get me up to the 38th floor, I’d be crawling around on my hands and knees, gibbering, too fearful to go near windows or glass elevators. It’s called acrophobia (vertigo is the symptom, not the condition). Campervans run around happily at ground level.
You can of course make the case that putting our senior trade negotiator in a Bell tent on the Manhattan sidewalk would not be very impressive; and if £12 million is what a fancy New York apartment with a view of lots more fancy apartments costs nowadays, it’s a sound investment. But it’s a terrible optic!
For, meanwhile… “between April 2017 and September 2018 … nearly half a million, at least 480,583 relief food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust and independent food banks across the UK during the 18-month period.”
Given that we have record low unemployment, that figure must largely be ascribed to the government’s economically debilitating benefit “reforms”, caps and UC, that are rapidly increasing inequality misery.
Those and ever-rising housing and food costs are also partly responsible for a significant increase in children and pensioners living in absolute poverty, defined as household income “below 60% of the 2010-11 median income, adjusted for inflation.
The latest figures show the number of children living in absolute poverty increased by 200 thousand in 2017-18.” (Guardian) That bears out reports from school heads that they are having to feed and clothe their poorer pupils in rising numbers.
Although, let it be said, I’m a pensioner living on less than 60% of the median income and I don’t feel absolutely poor. I note too that benefits are capped at £26 thousand a year, which is only a little less than twice what I live on.
Not doing very well, are they? D-minus. If the government were a school, we’d be looking at exclusions.
Meanwhile for new mothers who have everything, the latest craze is collecting limited-edition designer nappies (diapers). These desirable items of washable reusable infant hygiene aids I am told can be acquired for anything up to £100. Each.
I was going to upload an image here, as a joke, but it seems that used diapers (nappies) is a… well, you know, a THING…??!!*&@//?
Shit! Muh Googly Search will have been logged!
Call or write…
So, do you know what a Ponzi scheme looks like when it’s at home?
Investors put their money into an “investment management” company, which instead of investing it, as expected by the mark, uses it instead to attract more investors and have a fun life. The money from the newer investors is used to payout the interest/dividends and if requested, payback the capital of the original investors.
It’s a pyramid selling scam, only with pyramid selling you might be lucky and get the occasional tub of organic vegan face cream, some Viagra or a pair of fake onyx earrings. And it depends on not too many early investors wanting to take their money out all at once – which if you get another 2007 crash is all of them.
Eventually the weight of old debt o’ertops the new investment revenue, the thing unravels and then collapses into a deep, dark black hole. You almost have to feel sorry for the fraudsters running these schemes, so great are their liabilities and lust for yachts that you cannot imagine them sleeping well.
A bloke called Bernie Madoff is serving about three hundred consecutive life sentences in the States, for running a famous Ponzi scheme that defrauded punters of about a $billion. Not only will he die in jail, his bones will turn to dust before they let him out.
But they’re not so common in Britain.
Which is why you’d maybe feel a bit sorry for the small investors who bought into London Capital & Finance with their life savings, and have lost a total of £235 million. Because, also, the regulator should be in jail for not spotting this one a mile off.
Indeed, no-one seems willing to call it for what it is. Reports still show a lot of headscratching and “Oh dear, what went wrong?” “What lessons can we learn? (None, no-one ever does) kind of coverage.
It was a scam, dimwits! A Ponzi scheme. The only thing that went wrong is they got caught.
Claiming to invest in ISAs, which are a copper-bottomed, low-interest, Government-backed investment vehicle for smaller savers, the first £15 thousand of which is tax-free, LC&F developed a brilliant wheeze whereby the money that came in was loaned out to other companies all over the shop, in chunks of £20 million-ish each.
They weren’t even registered ISA brokers. Tsk.
What the punters weren’t told was that all these companies located in small boxes on agreeable desert islands whose growth they were supporting were owned by the four directors of LC&F. As indeed was Surge, the Brighton-based advertising agency that promoted the scheme with huge porky-pies and trousered £60 million in tax-deductible fees.
Now, I’ve owned a small ad agency myself, and generally speaking you go bust waiting for the clients to pay for all that hard work, long hours, expensive people and creative flair. Which we eventually did. If I’d realized you could charge a client £60 million for a coupon ad in the retirement press and some online flannel, well…. I certainly wouldn’t be living here.
What strikes me as weird, however, is that the administrators sent in to try to recover whatever they can for the small investors are working with two of the directors of LC&F, who are supposedly contrite, and don’t appear to have called the police.
Surely Ponzi schemes are illegal here too? Maybe not.
Hey, would you be interested in earning 8 per cent per annum on your savings and retiring in comfort to a timeshare in one of our exclusive desert island destinations?
Call or write….
Also in the news…
Two interesting items in the back-end of the news caught your Uncle Bogler’s eye this morning, mainly because they are a Brexit-free zone and your favorite Uncle will take poison if this appalling charade carries on beyond the 12th April, that important date when he has a hospital appointment for another agonizing Trial Without Catheter (TWOC).
Some people burst into the North Korean embassy in Madrid in February. They roughed up the staff and made off with computers and documents. This was just days before Trump’s disastrous “summit” with Kim Jong-un, a tyrannical and murderous dictator whom the insane President has said he admires and, yes, even loves.
The North Koreans appear to have only just picked up the ball with this one, having remained silent for over a month. Now, they are demanding the Spanish police investigate the affair. (The Spanish police ARE investigating, dummies!) And have claimed the Americans were responsible.
That marks the beginning of the end for the rapprochement Trump so fervently hoped would give him a Trump Tower in Pyongyang and some healthy golf developments on the unspoilt northern shoreline, once the mines have been swept. The North is back to blaming Washington for everything that’s wrong with the Paradise state, and has withdrawn its telephone hotline and pop-up consular office in the South.
But apparently a small faction of high-profile exiles from North Korea, based in Mexico – home of the exiled Trotsky – has already claimed responsibility. Clearly then the North is anxious to divert attention from what they must see as a serious threat to the regime. If the dissidents are that organized outside the country, then they almost certainly have backing in Pyongyang.
Watch that space.
Meanwhile, private computer security investigators have tracked down the hackers who released phone texts exchanged between Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos and his mistress, Lauren Sanchez.
Messages that included, for God’s sake, embarrassing “dick pix”. (How old is the world’s second richest man after Vladimir Putin, 15? Does he seriously believe he wasn’t set up?)
And it appears the operation was executed in Saudi Arabia.
Who do we know who is connected with Saudi Arabia at the highest level and hates Jeff Bezos? But also loves the National Enquirer and has frequently, it’s alleged, used the supermarket trash-mag to bury news of his own sexual transgressions or to blackmail his enemies – the same National Enquirer that broke the story of the Bezos texts?
Oh, but everyone is pointing to the fact that Bezos owns the Washington Post, that has continued to blame Crown Prince Mohammed bin-Salman for the grisly murder of their contributor, Jamal Khashoggi.
So was this spiteful takedown that ended poor Bozos’ marriage directly ordered from Riyadh, really, or was there “collusion”?
I think they need a Special Counsel to investigate….
A breath of fresh air #1
In light of various alarming reports about increases in pollution, which on sunny days can sometimes be seen as a brown haze hanging over the town, even here on the breezy west coast; and of the deleterious effects of CO2 and NOx on the aged brain-meat, I had been thinking for some time that the purchase of an air quality monitor might furnish some justification for my fear that I am becoming mentally stunted beyond my years.
A fine layer of gray dust lies o’er every surface of my front room. Within a day or two of my lackadaisical efforts to polish things, the woodwork, the windowsill, this muh li’l laptop, it is back again. It looks suspiciously like asbestos dust, shed from the mighty brakes of the huge supermarket restocking trucks as they slow late into the deceptive bend in the road on which my little cottage was built in all innocence. Or maybe Johnson’s baby powder.
Twice a day, all traffic grinds to a halt outside, backed up from the roundabouts 400 yards up the road, cars just sitting there, bass-bins a’ thumpin’: dump-wump, woof-thump – grime at maximum volume shaking my window, engines idling; grime from exhausts blackening my frontage; a cloud of invisible madness and death enveloping my front garden: its vibrant Photinia, its pop-up restaurant for the quarrelsome little feathery dinosaurs; its stone bench I don’t dare sit out on to enjoy the afternoon sunshine, that ought to be my refuge and my right.
As well as the traffic pollution, I have also the twin matters of pet “dander” and cooking smells. I have no allergies to speak of, I can put up with pretty well any terrible conditions, being privately educated, but my younger relation occasionally stays and moans about Cats, the little spherical cat, and her overfed dander. As we spent a lot of his childhood rushing him to hospital for urgent ventilation, I’m inclined to give way on the subject of allergies, erring on the side of caution.
The lingering smells of cooking, too, I agree, can be unpleasant; especially as I don’t use exotic spices much, to remind you of an intriguing eastern bazaar. Just rancid chip oil. It combines with the revolting smell of rotting catfood waste from the internal black binbag store and the bathroom waste bin, with its tangy medical contents; and the odor of damp or farty dog, to create a distinct impression for visitors on entry.
My new Climatik device duly arrived with ruthless efficiency yesterday, a day early. It’s ever so user-friendly and effective, if a touch obtrusive, sitting there purring like an Airbus 320 in the context of my 12′ by 12′ front room, where I seem to spend all the time I used to spend in my expensive external studio-cum-office.
And within minutes of pressing the on-button, Dear Reader, I began to notice that I was no longer all bunged-up: snotty and muddlesome. A mountain-fresh clarity was lifting me up, making me want to breathe air fruitfully again. My nose cleared, my pulmonary airway eased, my chest stopped producing the aggravating gobbets of phlegm I’ve been hawking into a tissue for weeks – probably years.
And the fog has started to clear from my brain.
“The hills are alive…”
I seldom recommend a product to anyone, having no social media (or life), but if you’re miserable and stuffed-up and you live in a bustling town, try one of these here Climatik filtration systems. Other brands are available. It’s money well spent.
A Breath of Fresh Air #2
Good environmental news, for a change: Renewables now generate more than a third of the UK’s power output; coal just 5%.
“The UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% in 2018 as pollution from the energy sector continued to decrease, provisional government figures show. Emissions of the gases that drive climate change have fallen for six years in a row, and are 44% below the 1990 baseline for the UK. Emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, are at the lowest level since before the start of the 20th century, when Queen Victoria was still on the throne.” (Guardian Green Light)
Aye, and we all know how much she emitted, the fat old thing!
Speaking of which, Mr Trump has made a well-received speech in which he ridiculed renewable energy, telling his adoring dumbfucks that when the wind doesn’t blow, their TVs don’t stay on. That’s why America has to go all-out for fossil fuels.
We know he was joking, right? Right? But they don’t, they love to suck-up his every slimy lie. Trump is biological opiod.
GW: Drainage problems
Intensive rainfall over a huge area of South America has caused flooding and landslides over the past few days. Floodlist reports:
“Around 70,000 people are currently affected by floods in several departments of Paraguay. Flooding and landslides in Peru have damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and prompted evacuations. In Ecuador, flooding in Los Ríos Province has prompted authorities to declare a state of emergency, while in Bolivia, over 2,000 hectares of crops and 109 homes have been destroyed by flooding from the overflowing Parapetí River in Santa Cruz department.”
Afghanistan: Flash floods have killed at least 32 people in western Afghanistan, destroyed homes and swept through makeshift shelters that housed displaced families. Flooding caused by heavy rains started spreading on Thursday and left a trail of devastation across seven provinces. Another 12 people were missing and more than 700 houses were destroyed or severely damaged. (Reuter) At least 5 people have died in flash floods in neighboring Iran. In a 24-hour period to 1 April, Khorramabad, capital of Lorestan Province, recorded 106.9 mm of rain. (Floodlist)
Arctic: on March 31, 2019, the Arctic region was 7.7°C or 13.8°F warmer than the 1979-2000 average for the date, compared with a world that on average was just 0.7°C warmer overall. In places the anomaly was +30°C as warm water has been pushing up through the Bering strait. Sea ice extent at 13.42 million km², was a record low for the time of year. The melt season is just beginning. – Arctic News, reporting on a Climate Reanalyzer satellite image that bizarrely shows a large cold spot hanging over Egypt, Sudan and Chad. The Antarctic, too, is colder than normal, by 2.4°C.
Canada: “Is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, a landmark government report has found, warning that drastic action is the only way to avoid catastrophic outcomes. While global temperatures have increased 0.8C since 1948, Canada has seen an increase of 1.7C – more than double the global average.” More heatwaves, floods, crop losses and forest fires are indicated. (Guardian Green Light)
Of historic interest…
Javid, Barclay, Gove, Grayling, Mordaunt, Leadsom, Truss, Cairns, Fox, Williamson, Lewis, Brokenshire, Cox
Rudd, Clark, Lidington, Hammond, Gauke, Mundell, Perry, Nokes, Hinds, Bradley
Smith, Hancock, Wright, Hunt