We need to talk about Donald Friday, Dec 2 2016 

I first posted the following on a Right of Centre forum.

This isn’t a political post.

It’s not about his politics.

It’s not going to critique the GOP.

It’s about the failure that has been elected.  Ignore the electoral college/popular vote.  Well read Europeans (ie like me) understand how that works.  Its not even about how DJT doesn’t understand that.  Like he didn’t understand the way Primaries work.

Hillary knew the EC.  Bush, Rubio et al understood Primaries.

It’s not that.

Its about how a man-child is going to be in charge of the public face of the USA.

He is incompetent.

He can not handle the post.

His dad maybe.  I know little of his dad, but he was a driver of the Trump empire.  Donald inherited.  He never drove.

He’s skipping intelligence briefings, and is now doing victory parades.

Is it only non’Republicans’* who see the problem?

The bloke is an idiot.

As a businessman he is a failure. (As a man who makes money he may be a success – maybe)

All countries have a ‘creation myth’.  “This is who we are.”  It tends to be misinterpreted bullshit.  So for the French it is all ‘Storming the Bastille’, and ignores ‘The Terror’.  For the US it is all ‘Standing up to King George, and plucky farmers beating Red Coats’.

The problem with the US is people get elected on that bullshit.

“I’m an outsider.”  I think we may have Jimmy Stewart to blame for that.

Outsiders don’t know how things work.  They don’t see ‘pressure at point ‘a’ produces result at point ‘v’.  Yes Civil Services are slow.  There are hurdles that make them slow.  Those hurdles are there for a reason.  They make sure that what is being done isn’t being done to profit those at the top.

As a business man, Trump is free to appoint who he likes. As a Public Servant he must act in the interest of all.

As a businessman, if Trump screws up a chain of casinos goes down.  If Trump fails to understand that having two businesses competing when he owns both may not be a good idea then a business, maybe two, goes down.

THIS IS NOT TRUE OF A PRESIDENT.  It doesn’t matter what the country is.  It could be some African dictatorship.  If it goes down the tubes an entire population suffers.  You don’t shift citizenships like you shift jobs.

And this is the USA.  This is the Big Beast.  I won’t go into why and hows.  It isn’t exceptionalism though. But still, it is the biggest (by GDP) economy.

It is the military that spends more than the next 15 combined.

It is the largest, or 2nd largest (depending on metric) nuclear force.

And the man in charge doesn’t understand how it works.

The man with the ability to end life on Earth can not be trusted by his own staff with Twitter…

Think about that.

So… This is a man who is carrying out a victory parade across the US.  This is also the man who is turning down Intelligence Briefings from the daily digest the President gets.  He is REFUSING to be the most informed person on the planet.

Everything Mike Pence stands for I disagree with. Women’s rights, gay rights.  You name it.  He is pretty much opposed to me.  Trump is a New Yorker.  He has been pretty liberal (lower case ‘l’) in the past.  But Pence knows how The Hill works.  He doesn’t say the first thing that pops into his head.  He would be a more competent president.

Trump made promises he has no way of fulfilling.  He rolled them back as soon as the vote was in.  He didn’t even pretend.

You can’t defend him.  Trump is a failed President before he starts.


*ie non ‘GOP’ as opposed to anti-monarchists.

Earning £100,000 extra Friday, Mar 18 2011 

Right Wing British politicians (The Tory party, the Labour party) argue that tuition fees are fair because graduates earn, on average, £100,000 more than non graduates, over their working life.

On an extra £100,000 they will pay £20,000 Tax (MINIMUM, assuming they never get into the higher tax bracket), £11,000 national insurance.  Their employers will pay £12,000 over and above this £100,000 in Employer’s National Insurance.  A total to the govenment of AT LEAST £43,000.

The graduate wil be left with £69,000.  If of that money he spends just £30,000 extra over his life time on ‘luxury’ items (computers, TVs, cookers…) the Government will receive another £5,000 in VAT.

One assumes if a company pays extra, it expects extra profit, so they would pay tax on that (or investors pay tax on dividends).  A well educated workforce makes the UK an attractive place for future high tech companies, thus bring jobs to the UK, thus garnering more tax.

The BBC reveal today that it is quite possible the cost of the student loan in interest, will be the same as the loan.

SO, to summerise.

Pay £30k+ in fees and loans, pay another £30k for interest, pay £37k in extra tax.  Benefit the government with attracting employment to the UK, even though they have made no investment (because it’s a loan with interest, it costs them nothing), they will receive £50 grand or more, plus non-monetary, or knock on benfits.

Worth the £75 per year average the graduate will end up with.

Cost of Civil Service Pensions Saturday, Mar 12 2011 

The net cost of paying public sector pensions in 2009/10 was a little under £4 billion. The cost of providing tax relief to the one per cent of those earning more than £150,000 is more than twice as much. The total cost of providing tax relief to all higher rate taxpayers, on their private pensions, is more than five times as much.

Just saying…

(Information from http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2011/03/10/public-sector-pensions-a-response/)

Questions for bankers Tuesday, Mar 1 2011 

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/deborah-ross-your-questions-for-bankers-answered-2228579.html seems fair.

My bank once phoned me, then refused to talk to me unless I proved who I said I was.  I’m hoping they will do it again so I can ask them security questions.  I may also include the phrase “this phone call will be recorded for purposes of being riduculed on the internet.”

Elitest Bastard (aka Hussar goes off on one) Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 

See that blue button with Richard Dawkins on it?  Click on it (not yet- I haven’t finished ranting at you) and you will go to the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards.  Who?  A bunch of bloggers generally pissed off with everything being so damn stupid.

Why am I proud to be an elitist?  The question should be why are you so unconcerned not to be?

We are people who are just annoyed that there is a movement against intellectualism.  I am sick and tired of being clever being seen as somehow a bad thing.  Someone who can kick, throw or hit a ball gets paid millions of pounds, while those who actually work worry about the recession.

People revel in not being good at maths.It’s seen as something funny.  I know I’m good at day to day maths, but I am amazed how many people don’t understand basic principles.

“How does this affect you?”  you say “why should you care?” Because a dumbed down population affects the economy and the planet.

People who don’t understand basic maths GET TO VOTE, often based on what they think will be best for the economy.  They can’t do percentages, for FSM’s sake, how are they supposed to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of a Keynsian solution?

It is a fact that people, all of us, even Stephen Hawkins, are stupid to one degree or another.   We are very good at ignoring evidence that doesn’t back up our personal beliefs.  Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like the fact that cars are contributing to destroying the planet. Solution? Insult environmentalists.  Republicans don’t like the fact that Neo-Con ideas have screwed up the market. Call Obama a socialist. The Religious Right don’t like the fact that science shows the Bible isn’t literally true. Solution? Attack anyone who relies on evidence rather than 4000 year old fairy-stories.

And where does it leave us? Click on the break, and I’ll tell you. Forcefully. (more…)

Arrrrrrgggg! Stop controlling us in the name of money! Friday, May 4 2007 

At the previously mentioned Stupid Evil Bastard blog, Les has posted a thread about a credit provider getting upset with him using their logo here. (If offended by use of bad language- mine- do not click.)

I got annoyed at this. OK he had used their trademark, but their legal department seems unable to tell the difference between trying to rip them off and a conjecture. Did they lose any money? No. Were they ever likely to lose any money because of it? No. Is it linking their name with a major online phenomenon, this ENHANCING their appearance in the online community? Why yes it is. Does this make the companys legal department look like (to use one of Les’ favourite phrases) “a putz”? You decide!

Les of course took down the image (though the fact that it remains slightly altered on other sites is noted by him). No matter if the case against him was 100% wrong, no matter that no judge would have found in the companys favour- things we will never know for certain- they are a multinational who can use lots of money in legal proceedings until he gives in.

Well done that company. You have made yourself look like bullies, while losing lots of free advertising.