Archive for July, 2008

Policing the Internet

I was watching the news this evening when I learned the Government is concerned about what children watch on the Internet. They want to include looking after our children with all the other things they handle for us. From cradle to grave.

So, dear reader, according to the government you are a filthy rotten parent who has no idea of how to look after your offspring, in your own home.

They showed a family where the father didn’t allow computers in the bedroom, and the children had to use the Internet downstairs in the dining room – and they weren’t allowed to close the door.

That seems pretty simple and straightforward but according to the government, you are too thick and stupid, to be trusted to do that.

For your information, it was the videos on YouTube which has upset the government. YouTube stated that it was impossible to vet all the thousands of videos a day that are uploaded. However, they do have a button to press, right underneath each video, which reports the video as unsuitable. YouTube stated: most of those flagged videos are checked within 30 minutes, and all of them within the hour.

Seems OK to me!


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Politicians need to read this.

Henry Hazlitt, (1894-1993) had a clear view about economics and if you take a look at this website you will get a good idea of what this lesson means, and how it can be applied. I don’t know about you, dear reader, but my eyes, and ears, tend to go into non-productive mode when I hear the word “economics”. I therefore felt a great relief when I learned the lesson was only one sentence long. To use Henry’s own words:

From this aspect, therefore, the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence. The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy; it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

I wish I had a contact in Government but if you do, dear reader, perhaps you could send the emboldened text to Gordon Brown. It seems he has totally forgotten this very wise lesson.


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MPs call to devalue working man’s pensions

There has been, recently, a howling from left wing MPs in Parliament to create a “wind-fall” tax on the profits of the gas and electricity companies.

However, “times they are a-changing” (acknowledgements to Bob Dylan) and it is no longer just the “idle rich” who hold shares in large companies. In fact, the major shareholders, in all companies, are pension funds. And pension funds equate to “the working man’s retirement funds”.

So a “wind-fall” tax on the profits of these companies will hit your pension funds which have already been hit by Gordon Brown’s stealth taxes.

It is time for a lot of oldies to wake up and smell the coffee. The old Labour / Conservative divide, and labels, are no longer relevant. Back in the days when there was hatred between Labour and Conservative voters, there was a big divide which held Britain back. Now, in the twenty-first century, there is little difference between the two “divides”. ‘Crewe and Nantwich’ was the first constituency to realise this as we have seen from their recent by-election!

When I was very young I sat down to work out which party I should vote for. My mother was far left of Joseph Stalin and my father was a little right of Ghengis Kahn, so I decided I was best equipped to make a sensible decision. After taking a long look at the two major parties I decided to vote Conservative. This wasn’t a natural choice for me, but the best of what I considered a bad bunch.

I would soon be a “working man”. I wanted a job. I saw Labour as a party of restrictions. A destroyer of jobs. I saw the Conservatives as the party for business. I also worked out that this could mean wealthier companies and that this could mean expansion, and in turn, mean more jobs. I chose Tory.

Now? I could never vote for any party who deprived our future generations of their heritage and sold us out to the people who started the second world war. Many of these people escaped the Nürnberg (Nuremburg) trials to found the European Union. And before you put fingers to a comment, I can offer proof.

If you vote for your party because your parents did, and their parents did, no matter what the party is, wake up, and make your own decisions in life. After all, you are an adult now.

Now that I cannot support either of the main parties, and am firm in the belief that we are stuck with the present system for some time to come, I have come to the decision that what really ruins England is when parties remain in power for so long. The Conservatives previously became stagnant, the politicians dishonest, just as the Labour party has become today.

So I have hit on the simple solution of voting for whichever party is not in power. If we all did this, no party would serve more than one consecutive term. So the chances they would completely fuck-up the country would not be as great. But, knowing politicians, they would always find a way!


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Inflation in the western world.

Dr. Ron Paul, a Republican member of Congress from Texas, said before the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, at the full committee hearing on “Implications of a Weaker Dollar for Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy,” on the 24th July, 2008 The following has been taken by the famous “Lew Rockwell Column”.

Mr. Chairman,

The root of our current economic malaise, the weak dollar, the high price of oil, and the collapse of the housing market, comes about because almost no one understands what inflation is. Inflation is an increase in the money supply, which occurs by various methods, the printing of currency, low reserve requirements, Federal Reserve open market operations, etc.

In Germany in the 1920s, South America in the 1980s, and Zimbabwe today, everyone recognizes that inflation was caused by the government running the printing presses non-stop, with the resulting exponential rise in prices being the necessary result of monetary growth. Yet somehow, both the empirical and theoretical reality of inflation as a rise in money supply is ignored in this country. Inflation is conflated with price inflation, the increase in the overall price level, and is viewed as something both endogenous to the market economy while at the same time influenced by exogenous price shocks.

He then went on to say:

Until the cause of inflation is understood, no effective strategy can be undertaken to combat it. The problem, however, is that the government does not want inflation to be done away with. Inflation benefits debtors and harms creditors, and the United States government is the biggest debtor of all. The United States government, the banking monopoly under the Federal Reserve System, and politically-connected firms and industries are the first entities to take advantage of new money injected into the system, before prices increase. As the increased supply of money begins to chase the same number of goods, prices rise, and the average American suffers. Poor and middle-class Americans are always the hardest hit by inflation, as the weakening dollar makes the imported goods that many Americans depend on more expensive.

As Chairman Bernanke admitted last week, inflation is a tax, and it is the most pernicious because of its hidden nature. It taxes the very purchasing power of money, and because the inflation rate in recent years has generally been low, its effects often take a while to manifest themselves. Now that inflation is beginning to rise, more and more rhetoric is being spun to hide the government’s role in creating inflation. I applaud Chairman Frank for holding this hearing, as hearings such as this one investigating the link between the weak dollar and the high price of oil are more important now than ever.

Ron Paul has spent four decades in the US Congress and is known as Dr No. He has been the most consistent politician in recent American political history. His nickname was earned because lobbyists no longer approach him on behalf of corporates and other interests, knowing he will not take up their case for getting tax payers money to bail them out of their difficulties.

His is the only clear honest voice in politics on both sides of the pond (Atlantic) and if I were an American I would sell up everything I owned and would follow him to the four corners of the world.

He stood for the Presidency but was not accorded national airtime, other than to be ridiculed as the media is controlled by big business because the first thing he would do if he became President would be to abolish all Corporate Welfare (handing taxpayer’s money to big business).

However, on the Internet he drew an enormous following and in the last quarter in 2007 raised more money than any other Republican candidate. Alas, the opposition was too strong therefore Americans have lost the ability to grow rich.

The military budget with forces stationed in 750 bases in 130 countries around the world is costing 50% of the American budget. Income Tax is bringing in 30% of this budget. Ron would abolish Income Tax and bring the military home. Work out the mathematics. He would be billions in profit even after abolishing Income Tax. Americans would grow more wealthy and America would no longer be the most hated country in the world.

Congressman Paul is not an isolationist and will be willing to fight a war if the war has been officially declared. I believe the last war that America, or Britain, officially declared was WWII.

How Ron Paul votes in Congress, taken from one of Ron Paul’s website: (My highlighting)

He has never voted to raise taxes.
He has never voted for an unbalanced budget.
He has never voted for a federal restriction on gun ownership.
He has never voted to raise congressional pay.
He has never taken a government-paid junket.
He has never voted to increase the power of the executive branch.

He voted against the Patriot Act.
He voted against regulating the Internet.
He voted against the Iraq war.

A little potted history from the same website (I believe he now has great-grand children and has been married for 52 years)

Ron Paul was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Gettysburg College and the Duke University School of Medicine, before proudly serving as a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960s. He and his wife Carol moved to Texas in 1968, where he began his medical practice in Brazoria County. As a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Paul has delivered more than 4,000 babies. He and Carol, who reside in Lake Jackson, Texas, are the proud parents of five children and have 17 grandchildren.

Further links:

Read the full article here

Wikipedia on Ron Paul

Ron Paul’s Congress website

Ron Paul’s personal website

Ron Paul’s “Campaign for Liberty”


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What’s on Television

I was listening to a tape of Zig Zigler yesterday. He shares my distaste for television. He also believes it is a force for evil. Maybe, but I do believe politicians love it because it debilitates the population, keeping them out of mischief. The sort of mischief that may cause politicians to lose their membership to the most exclusive club in Great Britain. Parliament!

He subscribes to the idea, which I used to practise, that when you get your weekend newspaper, take out the television supplement, and mark only those programmes you would really be interested in watching. Then only watch those programmes.

So what happens then. At first, don’t worry about restricting yourself, go ahead and mark everything you want to watch, but only those, nothing else.

Then start to get a life, take an interest in your spouse, your children, your friends and relations. Study, go to evening class, get a hobby, or even do the unmentionable, study what is happening in politics. If you delve deeply enough you may begin to learn that there are a lot more powerful people than politicians who control every aspect of our lives. Now that wouldn’t be a bad thing as the more who learn this, the less powerful these shadowy people can remain.

At the same time, take a pride in your body, take up a sport, or join a group such as the ramblers – the people are friendly and it can be fun keeping fit. My favourite saying here is “If you don’t watch your figure, nobody else will”!

All of a sudden, you will start to feel more active, you’ll begin to lose more weight, and taking those two points alone, you will begin to be less stressed – no matter what the pressures of work entail.

The government will never do anything about alcohol as heavy drinking does, for them, just what television does. It keeps you out of their hair so they are left do do exactly as they please. And they do. Our Prime Minister has a dismal record, everybody loathes him, but he still feels he can carry on because the majority of people, including you, are just zombies.

Get a life, join the living – and have a lot of fun.

Who knows, within a year you will confine your “tele” to the dustbin and lose the BBC yet another of the ever shrinking number of licence fees issued.

Did you know that, for instance, members of the BBC governing body, including their chairman, pay for their SKY television at home with your licence fee tax?


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Are you at loggerheads…

…perhaps with a friend, a spouse, or even your child?

In the words of Max Bygraves, “I wanna tell you a story”. Years ago, in the early eighties, long before the world wide web, I used to run a Wildcat! BBS (Bulletin Board) where people would phone into my computer, upload and download files, and then work off-line. They would have access to a files area where they could swap free software, and to forums where they could hold conversations with each other. It was very successful and there used to be a thousand messages a week. And this was with just one phone line.

I put the following extract up on the BBS and within days had three messages from three different people, each saying the same thing: “If I had read this earlier I wouldn’t now be divorced”.

Distant Drums

Taken from the first page in Chapter 1, of the book “Please understand me”*** by authors David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates. The book’s sub-title is ‘Character & temperament types’ Publisher: Gnosology Book Inc ISBN0-9606954-0-0, and distributed by Prometheus Nemesis Book Company of Del Mar, California,

If I do not want what you want, try not to tell me that my want is wrong.

Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.

Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly, or weakly.

Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in a manner of your design for action, let me be. I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me.

That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.

I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right … for me.

To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.

Can you, dear reader, think of any family, friends or colleagues who could benefit from this? If you can, do the decent thing, and send them a link to my blog rather than cutting and pasting this to them. I certainly want to reach more people and they may benefit from other “stories” I tell on my blog. In return, have my total thanks. 🙂


*** I purchased my copy of the book in 1984 and can honestly say, it changed my life.

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Are you a worrier?

I heard something recently quoted, that I hadn’t heard since my childhood:

Today is the tomorrow
that we worried about yesterday!

And it got me thinking about worrying and worriers.

I never worry about anything, and yesterday morning I sat down and thought about this. Am I being irresponsible by never worrying about anything? Should I worry about important things, and why did I never worry.

My thoughts took me back to my childhood and my mother. If she said it once during my childhood, she repeated this little mantra at least ten thousand times:

You die if you worry
You die if you don’t
So, why worry at all

So, having this repeated to me from the age where I could understand the words, right up to the day I left home must have had an impact on my thinking all through my life.

I then turned my thoughts to the downside to all this. I thought that this could turn someone into an irresponsible person by itself. But I have always been a planner. I have lists for this, I have lists for that, and when I have to start something, whether a holiday or a new business (and I have started, and sold, a few of those) I make lists, I make a “Gant chart” (where you have a time-line and start each item in motion so they all dovetail into being ready at the set date).

If we go on a three week holiday to South Africa for instance, we pack ten minutes before we go. How can we do this? Because we have packing lists, not only for what goes in the cases, but what goes in our pockets. Things are checked during the last week before we go, and as we pack, things are marked off the packing list – which we take so we don’t leave everything behind when we come home.

So, I thought, does it mean that you can skip worrying if you are a planner, or, if you are a planner, there is no need to worry?

If you work it out, leave a comment for me, I would love to know!


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