Archive for March, 2010

banker’s still gambling with our money?

March 26, 2010

This is an extract frrom Today’s Fullermoney.

I have been dismayed about the latest actions out of Washington and Wall Street. The banks are now pushing all manner of mortgage mods and foreclosure abatements. These are little more than “extend & pretend” measures, designed to put off the day of reckoning. They are not only ineffective, they are counter-productive. They reward the reckless and punish the responsible, and create a moral hazard. Worse yet, they penalize middle America for the sake of giant Wall Street banks.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but the best thing for the nation (but not necessarily the banks) is to allow the foreclosure process to proceed unimpeded. We need more, not less foreclosures.

I don’t how it applies to the UK. If it  is applicable  (and banks have been boasting big profits!) , then we need to do something, although foreclosures are not very sociable and some sort of alleviation should be considered to keep families together, especially as many of the people not meeting their debts are those who have been adversely affected by the collapse of the economy caused by the  ▓ankers.

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pinocchio in reverse

March 26, 2010

pinocchio had no strings to hold him down. I feel that more and more people want to stick strings on me and are using legislation to do it.

From ID cards to multiple wheelie bins and snides like ACTA. Copy the link:

http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2010/03/25/acta_would_make_service_providers_copyright_police?utm_source=newsletterENG&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20100325

Towards a police state.

March 25, 2010

While the Minister for Identity tries conjuring up possible uses for the  ID card – more fantasy than reality, but telling nonetheless [1] – the Home Office has continued to use every trick in the book to manufacture ‘demand’.

Its latest manoeuvre, buried in yet another obscure regulation – The Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licensing Conditions) Order 2010 – is due to come into force this October. This measure, undebated by MPs and passed on the nod, is one of the first cases where showing ID for an ordinary everyday function is being written into statute.
 Less formal age checks creep ever wider, but from this autumn a pub or club MUST have an age verification policy, and MUST ask anyone who looks as if they might be under the age specified in that policy (which could be 18 but could equally be any arbitrarily chosen age which makes the
premises safe(?)) to show “identification bearing their photograph, date of birth and a holographic mark”.  
Note ‘identification’ not ‘proof of age’, and the conveniently limited definition of what constitutes valid ID. Mandating forms of ID is a step closer to compulsion – they can’t entice enough young people to apply for an ID card, so they’ll coerce them instead.  
Moves like this, as trivial as they may seem, are designed to entrench state identity control – serving Whitehall agendas that will not die easy, no matter which party is in power.

Network Rail

March 25, 2010

 My understanding of the rail dispute is that the rail union refuses to negotiate over Network Rail’s decision to sack 1,500 men, who are presently employed to ensure the safety of the railway lines.

Either Network Rail is correct and they have been employing too many men to protect us from rail accidents, or the Union is correct and these men are necessary to ensure that I am not killed on one of the new,  faster  Manchester to London Services. (recently cut from 4.5 hours to 2 hours and due to be cut to 1 hour!)

Whichever it is, we will presumably end up with the dismissal of these men to add to the ranks of  the 8 million, or so,  claiming State Benefits.

So Network Rail will increase their profit margins, at the expense of the public purse and possibly an endangerment of my life. Factor in the potential cost of  an extra call  on the resources of the Emergency services  in the event of a rail accident. These services paid being for through local taxes.

Logically shouldn’t both  main parties be pushing for Network Rail to reconsider their position.

tax versus benefits

March 25, 2010

It’s election time and the headless chickens are running around the country clucking for all their might.

We, as a country, are seriously in debt. Politicians of all parties will have to raise the money by increased taxes and we, the milch cows, know it.

It is galling to hear them attacking each other’s plans for raising these taxes, as if their own plans would be less hurtful.

The presiding party is talking of making job cuts, even after 13 years of so-called “trimming the fat”.

The heir-presumptive party is talking of savaging benefit payments.

All are keeping quiet about the obscene sums being handed over to the French (aka The EEC). None are considering rationalising the tax system and none are talking rationally on which public paid workers are essential, rather than adornments for political schemes. The threatened attacks on benefits make no mention of what will be done with the people, who are receiving benefits. e.g. will we be letting them starve to death, because there are no real  jobs for them.

I suggest that Government stop cutting back on essential workers and boost their numbers!  My reasoning is that the essential workers are the lowest paid workers; the ones, against whom most cost-cutting exercises have always been aimed. There would be more wages paid out but also less benefits. I reckon that when all the pennies have been properly accounted for, the drain on the public purse will not be much different and the benefits to our general quality of life will be increased. Savings could be made by reducing the number of overseers and record-keepers that have been needed to maintain the previous efficiency(?) savings.

Get out of the EEC. Forget about losing our markets, we don’t make anything, anymore.

Scrap all these niggling little stealth taxes, which mainly affect the lower paid and which probably cost as much to administer, as they raise in revenue. Most serve simply to make lives miserable.

Increase Income Tax and Corporation Taxes. These are simpler to administer and, because they apply the principle of  “from each according to his means, to each, according to his needs”, they are socially fairer. O.K there will be tax evaders but some of the staff freed from collecting other forms of revenue could be set to deal with attempted evasions through tribunal based judgments of each new scheme of evasion.

Examine Quangoes and pay levels of Council Officers. If a Quango is redundant, superfluous, supernumerary remove it. If the Quango chiefs are really worth £300,000 p.a. (that seems to be the typical rate), the private sector will snap them up. Council Officers seem to have been using “ratcheting” to boost their pay levels. Do a proper evaluation of the effort and effective intellectual input that their jobs require. This should not be based on the size of their budgets, departmental size or usual artificially enhanced marker, which encourage these people to empire build. Base it on the number of staff that they engage with on a daily basis, the number of hours required, the inconvenience aspects etc.  (bearing in mind that nurses, who are quite low paid, would probably outscore these people).

Stop taxing items simply because they are socially frowned on. If you want to get rid of  cigarette smoking, then make it illegal; don’t treat the taxation as if it were a fitting retribution for an act, which is a lot less damaging to Society than the unofficial Heroin trade that’s creating so much misery amongst those who have a habit and those who are robbed, or murdered, to feed that habit.

Why is a pint of bitter so highly taxed? The man having a pint of beer after a hard day’s labour, under the Sun, is punished to curb the excesses of  youth’s with their first benefit cheques. Like the Youth cares!

If I ruled the World, it’d be a happier place. I assure you.

pizza

March 25, 2010

hooray for the folks of Huntingdon, West Virginia.

Apparently, they made Jamie Oliver cry. What was his crime? Jamie Oliver is a self-righteous, public school (British sense of the phrase) prig, who likes to pontificate on other peoples choice of foodstuffs. I despise the arrogance of these people, who pervade the media of British Society, constantly talking down to us.

It seems that the Huntingdonians have an alleged partiality to eating pizza for breakfast. OK it’s loaded with fat and carbohydrates(bad foods, according to the food fascists) but we are supposed to eat a large breakfast (break your night’s fast) to get your blood sugar levels up for the day and give you a chance to work off the calories through your daily activities.

In your face Jamie Oliver and other prodnoses.

Footnote: I can’t stand pizza; it’s gloopy and expensive. Cheese on toast is much nicer,quicker and cheaper.

carcraft

March 24, 2010

Carcraft must have hired a politician for their advertising department. If I remember it correctly, a recent advert on the radio (playing on the Government’s scrappage allowance scam) claimed “We will give you a minimum £2,000 part-exchange allowance on your old car, on selected  models. Yes! a minimum of £2,000 part-exchange on your old car”. Or something very similar.

 The phrase “selected models” rather spoils the triumphal nature of this message. I’m pretty sure that any model that is valued at just under £2,000 will not be eligible.

Perhaps I’m too harsh. Dealers will usually offer £300, or so, part-ex, anyway, as that’s already figured in to their profit margin. These cars are usually sent straight to auction (not scrapped) for whatever they can get. Only cars that are worth £2,000, or so, would be traded on.

A lot of advertiser’s are using variations on this “scrappage allowance” to try and imply that customer’s are being subdidised.

Obama health reforms

March 24, 2010

I don’t understand the apparent antipathy towards Obama’s health reforms and why he had so much difficulty getting them passed.

America casts itself as profoundly Christian, steeped in Masonic tradition and committed to seeing its people as one Nation of equals. Even its iconic emblem on Ellis Island proclaims Égalité, Fraternité, Liberté; Whilst the Island itself has a message informing the Old World to

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

So why are they prepared to see fellow Americans suffer disease, infirmity and painful death, just because they are poor.

Is poverty such a sin that they should be so scorned.

My favourite film is “It’s a wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.

I’m sure that most people in America see themselves as living in “Bedford Falls”. This rejection, by many, of Obama’s project, screams of a country dominated by the likes of Mr. Potter.

Think! The United States of PottersVille.

The biggest theme of any American war film is that of not leaving any man behind.

Are we to now believe that many would prefer the creed to be a cheese-eating “sauve qui peut”?

Mendeleev (dilettante) versus Moseley (Scientist)

March 22, 2010

It was pleasing to see Professor Al-Khalili give due respect to Henry Moseley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Moseley).
on his BBC program about the Periodic Table (http://www.downarchive.com/movies/documentary/88061-bbc-chemistry-a-volatile-history-s01e01.html).

It is annoying that most of the credit is given, by Chemists, to  Mendeleev, who essentially combined patterns of element behaviour that had been observed by others. Until Moseley derived his equation relating the Atomic Number to the wavelength of the characteristic X-rays, there was no truly Scientific basis for the construction of a Periodic Table.
The adherence of Chemists to Mendeleev is understandable, as most of their work owes itself to the study of Physics, whereas Mendeleev allows them to harken back to their Alchemical ancestry.

B.A. (bloody awful?) airways.

March 22, 2010

Why is so much acrimony being expressed about the BA versus Unite dispute?

Surely this is a prime example of Capitalist ideology and Conservative creed, at work.

 If BA does fail, then that would be because they were unfit to compete on a level playing field with other passenger airline companies.

For years they have profited from a favoured position as the national airline.

Unlike British Gas and British Telecom, they seem to have been unable to adapt to a free market situation.

We, as a nation, will be no worse off and, judging by rumours about BA management techniques, the nation might actually be more secure.

Other more vigorous companies, such as Virgin will step in and pick up BA’s profitable routes.  These companies will buy up the more airworthy planes and hire the best qualified staff.

The only apparent problem is that disgruntled passengers might become disgruntled voters.