Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blogroll Updated

Have realised my blogroll was woefully out of date missing as it was amongst others JuliaM's essential Ambush Predator and the excellent Captain Ranty.

Fixed now!

Sport & Trafficking? Again?

A terribly familiar tale of eeeevil traffickers and eeeeeevil men profitting from the misery of innocent women at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Forgive my scepticism, but we were given these scare stories for the South Africa World Cup, and in the end absolutely nothing happened. Unsurprisingly, as a quick Google search shows, these stories were wildly inflated by pressure groups whose funding no doubt depends on the problem existing in the first place.

So, who funds the Impulse NGO Network? Well, a quick skim of their annual report from 2008-209 shows that, of their 14mios Rupee income, about 700k came from contributions/donations. 5mios however came from the child rights anti-trafficking initiative, which I assume is actually the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking.

Admittedly, 14million Indian Rupees is bugger-all in real money, but it is good to see that the world over, NGOs are inflating statistics in order to keep receiving grant money for inflated problems.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Common Sense from Canada

Not much to add to this article really.
"Ontario judge overturns Canada anti-prostitution laws"
It's ludicrous that these laws were passed, and depressing that it takes the sex workers themselves to stand up for themselves against people who supposedly have their best interests at heart.

Harperson, take note, not everyone is as stupid and easily fooled as you seem to think.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bank of England's Arrogance

Here is a particularly outrageous piece of arrogant, "let them eat cake" style bullshit from the inept Bank of England, headlined "Savers told to stop moaning and start spending".

The whole thing is worth reading, but to pick out the most offensive parts of the Deputy Governor's views (emphasis mine):
"Older households could afford to suffer because they had benefited from previous property price rises, Charles Bean, the deputy governor, suggested. They should "not expect" to live off interest, he added, admitting that low returns were part of a strategy."
That's right, the Bank of England's strategy includes keeping returns on savings low, so the responsible ones get screwed and the profligate mongs are rewarded.
Mr Bean said he "fully sympathised".
No you don't, you couldn't give a shit as you've already made clear.
But he continued: "Savers shouldn't necessarily expect to be able to live just off their income in times when interest rates are low. It may make sense for them to eat into their capital a bit." He added: "Very often older households have actually benefited from the fact that they've seen capital gains on their houses."
So they must be punished for benefiting from a housing bubble created in no small part by, oh that's right, the Government and its lapdog Central Bank.
Mr Bean said that encouraging Britons to spend was one reason why the Bank had cut interest rates. They have been held at 0.5 per cent for 18 months, hitting rates offered on savings accounts. The strategy had led to Mervyn King, the governor, receiving many letters of complaint. But it was designed to return the economy to a reasonable level of activity as quickly as possible, he said. "The faster we can achieve that, the sooner interest rates will get back to more normal levels."
Ah-hah, I believe this is what Al-Jahom would call cognitive dissonance.
So, Mr. Bean, what you are saying is, if everyone spends instead of saving, that will enable the Bank to raise interest rates, making saving more attractive, reducing how much people spend. What about the older people who have spent all their money? Now they can benefit from the higher rates they have helped generate.

Fail, Mr. Bean. Fail.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Reflections on Obo

As everyone already knows, Obo has hung up his blogging and tweeting boots. I am gutted, and this is why.

A year or so ago, I stumbled across a couple of blogs, which really caught my interest. One was Old Holborn's, and one was Obo's. I'd never really seen anything like these before, a mixture of excellent writing, a clear viewpoint on the world, and in Obo's case some extraordinarily amusing language. I got hooked, first passively and eventually enough to start my own blog, such as it is.

From these two blogs, I have learnt about being a libertarian, and that I am one. I learnt about anarchy. I now have 50 blogs in my feed burner, most of whom have directly or indirectly come from these two. In short, I learnt a huge amount.

So Obo, I for one am very sad that you're stopping. But if it's any small consolation, you inspired me to start, and in a very small and much less impressive way, I shall carry on learning and writing.

Thanks very much.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cable's Idiocy - Part errr...I've lost count

Vince Cable is an idiot. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last time, that I write these words. Once again he shows himself to be a grandstanding nutter with virtually no understanding of business, banking, economics or indeed anything.

Here he is, ranting like a good 'un.

This quote is worth showing in full, emphasis mine:

"The Government's agenda, is not one of laissez-faire. Markets are often irrational or rigged," he will say. "So I am shining a harsh light into the murky world of corporate behaviour. Why should good companies be destroyed by short-term investors looking for a speculative killing, while their accomplices in the City make fat fees? Why do directors forget their duties when a fat cheque is waved before them? Capitalism takes no prisoners and kills competition where it can."

Ah-hah. Capitalism kills competition. So, what do you suggest then Vince? Oh, nothing. Just ranting then.

"Mr. Cable will tell the conference that he believes bankers pose more of a threat than trade unions."

This is the Business Secretary speaking. Words fail me.

As an aside, this whole episode also proves beyond doubt that no tax is ever repealed. EVER. This bonus tax will stay forever, and the Coalition will show themselves to be every bit as anti-business as their predecessors. Any politician that says a tax is temporary is a liar, and should be called out as such.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Missing The Point

Once again, technology has served to confuse people as to the real issues.

This guy is a sick bastard, no doubt about it, but the comment at the end of article by the police detective in charge of the case, is illuminating. "He said: 'This is terrible, and this is what I'll say about the Internet and cell phones and texting and sexting and Twittering and blogging - this is very, very dangerous.'"

The guy sexually assaulted his girlfriend, who was passed out from too much booze. While doing so, he broadcast it via a webcam. From reading the article, and the statement from the detective, you might think the webcam piece was the issue. But in reality, all the webcam did was get the guy caught, and presumably make a conviction a lot easier.

There is nothing inherently dangerous about the Internet, or sexting, or blogging even (god knows why that is in there). It's like saying "talking to someone you don't know in a bar is very, very dangerous". It's not, unless you are careless or extremely unlucky. This man is dangerous, that's all, and the Phoenix police should be pleased that his idiotic broadcast of his crime enabled them to catch him without the victim even knowing what had happened.

Once again, technology takes the blame, rather than this pervert simply using technology to express his perversion slightly differently. It's very ignorant.