Archive for September, 2008

Will they, won’t they

This is the question, will the American politicians come up with a solution by Monday? It is alarming to hear of a Dutch bank in trouble. Not the Dutch bank Howard, my uncle, has a lot of his savings in but rather close to home for him none-the-less.

Howard’s other bank is the American “Citibank” which, recently, had been giving cause for concern. However, in this clip we learn that one banking group is up for sale and Citibank is one of the three bidders. I have to admit, this has given him a little more confidence. But in this situation, things can get out of hand very quickly. I think he is now beginning to regret not taking my advice to buy gold!

Isn’t Ron Paul magnificent. The one member of the American government who seems to know what is happening, why it is happening, and how we can “fix it” We will have to start calling Ron, Jim!

Ampers.

PS Everything is right at the time of writing, but in the short time this gets into the blog, things can change, drastically!

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An insight into this blogger

Am I homophobic?

I have never been quite sure as, whilst I have a few homosexual friends (I take people as I find them) I dislike the overall homosexual movement passionately.

Many of my readers will be asking themselves why I don’t refer to these people as “gay” rather than “homosexual”. This, I have to admit is the whole rub of the situation.

“Gay” was one of the most beautiful words of the English language. It has been hijacked by the homosexual movement and this is the reason why I am so sad that “gay” can no longer be used with its original and true meaning. However, I do not hold this against homosexuals individually.

Am I a racist?

Once I was accused of racism by an African when with a group in my younger days. I looked straight into his eyes and said: “Like you, I am an African, and I can assure you I am no more racist than any other African.” He looked stunned, then a broad grin spread across his face as he knew he (a) had to shut up there and then (b) that Africans are one of the most racist people in the world! We became the best of friends and I only lost touch with him when he went to America and entered their political arena – No! It wasn’t Barack Obama.

I am, of course, considered racist by people of the Politically Correct brigade because I tell jokes involving an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman, and sometimes rail against the French. But I am happy with my position and whenever I meet a new acquaintance, I take them at face value and never make judgements. Everyone is entitled to their views. If I don’t agree with them, I don’t try and change them, neither do I rail against them, I just quietly walk away. After all everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions.

Am I sexist?

Yes, I definitely am. I love the opposite sex and, what is more important, and more unusual, I like them as well! I know beyond any doubt that there is a total difference between the sexes which certainly won’t endure me to feminists. Men can learn from women and women from men. Let me give you an example of the former. When I was in my teens I was intrigued about women’s intuition. I studied it carefully and came to the conclusion that they, unlike men, had tapped into their sub-conscious, and allow this to work on the problem. Over the years I perfected this and now find when I sleep on a problem, I usually wake up with the solution.

Am I Politically Correct?

No, No, a thousand times NO! I will always call a spade a spade, and don’t, please, read anything racist in that remark. Political Correctness was introduced by Marxists when, alarmed at the Anglo-Saxons capacity for independent thought, devised political correctness as a means to destroy ordinary people capacity, in the UK and America, to voice their feelings and what they believe in out loud.

For example, Marxists want, desperately, to totally destroy England. They are not concerned with Britain, it is England and the English which have always been a thorn, with their ability of independent thought, in their collective sides.

Take Immigration, for example. Immigration is ruining England. We are over-crowded and our NHS is crumbling. Our schools can’t cope with all the different languages, and our police are becoming more like the American police thugs every day. If we stand up and condemn the rapid influx of other peoples into our country we are racists. The BNP are racists because they want to kick out the foreigners already here. How can we be racists if we accept those from a multitude of nations, religions and ethnic creeds already here, but want to say, “enough” and “no more” ?

This is how “Political Correctness” destroys our rights to voice our opinions, not just on immigration, but in all matter of subjects.

My political leanings.

Many of you reading this will think, this guy is definitely a Conservative as he has quite right wing views. Wrong!!! The old left-right system of measuring political leanings is rather archaic, even though it is still in use throughout Britain today.

The real divisions in politics are Statist, Centist or Libertarian. I will explain and show where the two main parties in thos country fit in.

Statists are people who believe the Government should run all aspects of the economy, and all aspects of our own individual lives. The nearest party which fits in with Statism are the Socialists.

Centists are people who believe the Government should run all aspects of the economy, but that the individual should be responsible for running their own individual lives. The nearest party which fits in with Centism are the Conservatives, but they are closer to Statism than the third alternative.

Libertarians are people who think that Government should be cut back totally and have very little to do with the economy or individuals. There is no party in the UK offering much hope for Libertarianism although there are one or two libertarians in the Conservative party. But nowhere enough to make a difference.

So who do I vote for in an election if there is no one for me? Well, as I have said, as a Libertarian, there is no party available for me to belong to.

As I feel it is my duty to vote, I go and listen to all sides talk and the candidate who I feel will do more for my constituency gets my vote, even an independent. Failing anyone suitable I vote for the opposition on the belief that if my vote helps stop any party from getting in for a second time can’t be bad as the heavier forms of corruption usually rears its ugly head from the second term onwards. In addition, those of you who really know about politics know that the politicians only play a very small part on how Britain is run. So it really doesn’t matter which party gets in.

People often say, but you will let the other side in. “What other side?” I reply. To imply an “other side” means that I have a party in the first place.

I feel better now dear reader… how do you feel?

Ampers

PS If you want to know more about what is happening in the financial world of America should go to this page of links to information on all the subjects.

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Stephen King did not write this horror story.

To most of us, the American politicians seem to be jumping over the cliff like Lemmings over their debt mountain. And our politicians are no better! But out of all the politicians over there, there is one sane man. I refer to Dr Ron Paul. Here is his take on the matter taken from the Ron Paul Blog:

I have had permission to reproduce this in full and have included a link above to the page I got it from on their website. It tells a frightening and horrific story. The highlighting is mine.

Dear Friends,

Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike.

The events of the past week are no exception.

The bailout package that is about to be rammed down Congress’ throat is not just economically foolish. It is downright sinister. It makes a mockery of our Constitution, which our leaders should never again bother pretending is still in effect. It promises the American people a never-ending nightmare of ever-greater debt liabilities they will have to shoulder. Two weeks ago, financial analyst Jim Rogers said the bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made America more communist than China! “This is welfare for the rich,” he said. “This is socialism for the rich. It’s bailing out the financiers, the banks, the Wall Streeters.”

That describes the current bailout package to a T. And we’re being told it’s unavoidable.

The claim that the market caused all this is so staggeringly foolish that only politicians and the media could pretend to believe it. But that has become the conventional wisdom, with the desired result that those responsible for the credit bubble and its predictable consequences – predictable, that is, to those who understand sound, Austrian economics – are being let off the hook. The Federal Reserve System is actually positioning itself as the savior, rather than the culprit, in this mess!

• The Treasury Secretary is authorized to purchase up to $700 billion in mortgage-related assets at any one time. That means $700 billion is only the very beginning of what will hit us.

• Financial institutions are “designated as financial agents of the Government.” This is the New Deal to end all New Deals.

• Then there’s this: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.” Translation: the Secretary can buy up whatever junk debt he wants to, burden the American people with it, and be subject to no one in the process.

There goes your country.

Even some so-called free-market economists are calling all this “sadly necessary.” Sad, yes. Necessary? Don’t make me laugh.

Our one-party system is complicit in yet another crime against the American people. The two major party candidates for president themselves initially indicated their strong support for bailouts of this kind – another example of the big choice we’re supposedly presented with this November: yes or yes. Now, with a backlash brewing, they’re not quite sure what their views are. A sad display, really.

Although the present bailout package is almost certainly not the end of the political atrocities we’ll witness in connection with the crisis, time is short. Congress may vote as soon as tomorrow. With a Rasmussen poll finding support for the bailout at an anemic seven percent, some members of Congress are afraid to vote for it. Call them! Let them hear from you! Tell them you will never vote for anyone who supports this atrocity.

The issue boils down to this: do we care about freedom? Do we care about responsibility and accountability? Do we care that our government and media have been bought and paid for? Do we care that average Americans are about to be looted in order to subsidize the fattest of cats on Wall Street and in government? Do we care?

When the chips are down, will we stand up and fight, even if it means standing up against every stripe of fashionable opinion in politics and the media?

Times like these have a way of telling us what kind of a people we are, and what kind of country we shall be.

In liberty,

Ron Paul

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The cost of printer inks

I once had an Epson on a three year contract and it went wrong about three months before the end of the three year contract.

The engineer came round and just exchanged it for a new one. “Wow” I exclaimed: “Don’t you repair them?” The engineer looked at me pityingly and said: “Epson aren’t in the business of selling printers, they are in the business of selling ink cartridges.”

A few years ago I had a Canon and went to the Printer Inks Co on the Internet for a lower priced ink cartridges. They sell X-Print which I have found superb. They haven’t caused any distress to either my printer or to me. The latter being most important.

I now have an HP Photosmart C7280 all-in-one printer and remembered Printer Inks.

For £49.46 inclusive I can get two black cartridges and one each of the various five colour cartridges in a pack, together. The HP price of these would be £82.65 inclusive and they are throwing in a 15 sheet pack of A4 photographic paper as part of the deal. That sounds pretty good doesn’t it? Similar savings for Brother, Canon, Dell, Lexmark and Epson printers.

Give X-Print cartridges a try. If, like me, you find them eminently suitable, you’re on the road to saving big bucks in the office or home.

There is one caveat; if you are a professional photographer constantly producing A4 or larger prints with a very critical eye, I am not absolutely sure whether these will be good enough. I think so but I don’t have that critical an eye. So here is what to do. Print your photograph in black and white and put it aside. Buy just one of the X-Print black cartridges and put it in your printer. Use it for a few pages of type to get your old ink out of the system. Print another identical black and white photograph as the one you put aside, and then compare them.

Oh yes, they now have a three for two offer. This also applies to their special savings packs. If you spend £98.92 inclusive, you will get £247.99 inclusive worth of ink cartridges, a saving of £149.03 inclusive on the HP price. They also sell genuine manufacturers ink cartridges, if that is what you insist on, much cheaper than other shops. In addition, they sell manufacturers re-manufactured cartridges.

This is certainly worth investigating. The money saved is just too much to ignore. And, in my opinion, the old saying that you get what you pay for doesn’t apply if you are judging price against the printer manufacturer’s highly inflated prices.

Go for it!

Ampers.

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Gordon Brown just doesn’t get it!

I have just been listening to Gordon Brown addressing the Labour Conference. He had his wife get up first to explain how wonderful he really is. At least someone loves him!

When Brown got up to speak he had a long standing ovation, but the more cynical amongst us will probably wait for the polls to confirm whether it was all a put up job for the media or not.

To give Brown his due, he seemed impressive as he laid out his plans for a new Britain. Later in his speech he swiped at the Tories but he just doesn’t get it, does he? The Tories, and Gawd knows, I have no brief for the traitorous party who took us into the EU, want to slash government spending, Brown paints a picture of intense suffering if they go ahead. But he just doesn’t understand that his plans, and this includes all the lifelines he has thrown to the Finance Industry, will cost the tax payer even more money out of their ever diminishing pay packets. And believe me, they are diminishing, and at a fast rate.

But my beliefs as a Libertarian is for less government interference. Slash government back, let the Councils (or the States in America) run their communities, give people their own money back into their pay packets, let them then decide how they spend their money, with everyone having to compete for their custom. This will give real power back to the people.

And, listen to both parties (and the Americans) bleat about the free-market Finance Industry, and the left bleat about capitalism. We haven’t had a proper free financial market for nearly a century. It is awash with governmental regulations. It is these regulations that have brought the world crashing down around us. And we haven’t had free-market capitalism either – for the same reason.

The banks and mortgage people have brought about their problems themselves! Lending without any reference to whether the borrower could afford to pay back or not is pure stupidity. They deserve to goto the wall.

And Brown doesn’t seem to understand anything at all about short-selling. These short-sellers actually perform a useful service. They seek out weak companies, companies with weak and ineffectual management and bring then down. In other words, they weed out those companies that are losing money, losing market share and losing credibility. By stopping them plying their legitimate trade you are only ensuring that unproductive companies survive. I admit, to the uninformed they do seem very much like vultures. But having spent a lot of my childhood living in the African veldt, I have seen the useful service these birds do to keep the veldt clean.

The entire crises in the Western World have been brought about because politicians interfere too much in every aspect of business life. In addition, the lack of well-being the public feel is probably due to all the interference in private life as well.

Ampers.

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A tricky one

Listen to this video and try to work out whether this black pastor supports Obama or McCane. Yes, I admit, it is a tricky one but I am sure all my readers will work it out in the end.

The subjects of his discussion are Obama and Palin, and the differences between them.

Ampers Health Warning
Ensure there is someone standing by before you start watching as you may need a helping hand to stop your hysterical laughter.

Ampers

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BT does NOT want your business

BT, it seems, does not want your business. This afternoon I had reason to telephone BT to query a couple of sneaky additions on my telephone bill.

To talk to an operator to query my bill I dialled 151. I then got a recorded message that gave me two options. Ah! I thought. That is an improvement. Little did I know.

My option got me onto a different recorded voice who gave me several options. I pressed the button I thought was relevant and got yet another recorded voice with even more options. I pressed one of the buttons and received another set of options where there was no option for what I required. I pressed #7 to go back a step and then kept pressing random numbers in a frenzy until I got a human on the end. One who very kindly transferred, with sympathy, to the right department.

It was a nightmare and, over the next few days I shall be seriously investigating the market to see who can offer me a better service. And what would you guess will run high on my list of preferences?

Yes, damn right! Easy access to the help desk. But for that I need your help with suggestions. My email address is top left, if you have a better telephone company with good help desk access, please let me know. My email address is on the top left of this web page.

Ampers.

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Who are they talking to?

I listen to politicians defending their actions to the various TV Interviewers and wonder exactly what their (politicians) objective is when answering questions.

If you watched Question Time last week you will notice the mirth that greeted politicians from the audience as they spouted their reasoning and excuses.

It almost seems like they are arrogantly disregarding the public as being rather stupid and uneducated. And that could be a quite reasonable assumption – they have now destroyed the once famous British education system which was admired throughout the world.

When talking to the interviewers their one objective is to lie as much as possible – to get themselves off whatever particular hook they find themselves on at that particular time.

But I have news for our politicians.. The British public aren’t as stupid as they imagine them to be. If you doubt my words then take a look at all the recent opinion polls.

We know when things are not going well.

Ampers

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There is a banker somewhere…

Search For The Hero (sang by M People)

Sometimes the river flows but nothing breathes.
A train arrives but never leaves.
It’s a shame.
Oh life – like love that walks out of the door,
Of being rich or being poor.
Such a shame.
But it’s then, then that faith arrives
To make you feel at least alive.
And that’s why you should keep on aiming high,
Just seek yourself and you will shine.

You’ve go to search for the hero inside yourself,
Search for the secrets you hide.
Search for the hero inside yourself
Until you find the key to your life.

… who will follow the advice of M’s people and turn his life around. He will probably be forced into bankruptcy and will lose everything – his home, his cars, his boat, his private plane, or perhaps helicopter and even, perhaps his wife, if she was just a “good times” girl. And vice versa for a female banker although women don’t go mad over their “toys” the way men do!.

But he won’t let all this affect his inner self. Perhaps he may be a Buddhist without even knowing it. Or a Jew, or a Christian, or even an atheist. But one thing he will believe in will be himself. He will pick himself up by the bootstraps, and get on with his life. Suicide will not be an option. Wallowing in self pity will not be an option. Alcohol will not be an option. But, alas, he will be one in a hundred, or perhaps only one in a thousand.

You, dear reader, may not be in the banking business but now is a good time to contemplate which sort of person you are. Let’s face it, jobs are not only going to be difficult to get in the trying times which face us, but they are going to be equally hard to keep. Your boss is already contemplating replacing you with someone only too willing to accept a lower salary. Don’t let that happen.

Tomorrow when you go to work, go with a changed attitude. Work more diligently, work harder, smile at your boss, no matter how beastly he really is. Do you struggle in traffic? Get up a little earlier and travel in before the rat race does. Decades ago I used to work in a Gold Mine company in the City of London. I used to get in an hour earlier and buy a newspaper and read it in a nearby café over a cup of coffee and was always on time. Missed the crowds on the Underground and was bright and cheerful by the time I walked through the doors. I felt oh, so superior, over my colleagues who were all bleary eyed and rushing in ten minutes late. When the redundancies were announced, I was assured of my position.

Remember, as I said in my previous post, job losses will not be restricted to the financial world, so before you gloat on the misfortunes of your fellow man, rather spend time ascertaining whether this will spread to your own sector. There is a very simple question to ask. Put yourself in the shoes of someone working in a bank. These are bank directors, bank executives, bank clerks, bank secretaries, counter staff, bank cleaners, and ask yourself…

… do they spend money in the sector I work in?

Ampers.

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When bankruptcy may be an option.

It may well not come to this. Banks and other holders of mortgages may be wise enough to give the tens of thousands who are losing their jobs a few years payment holiday. And before you accept any advice here, you must go and see your solicitor for his opinion as I am not qualified to give advice! But even so, the ultimate decision has to be yours.

However, If you canmnot meet your mortgage repayments and your mortgage lender won’t offer a payment holiday, and you have a negative equity in your house, bankruptcy could be considered.

If the mortgage lender tells you they want your house back, they will sell it at auction to the highest bidder, often without a reserve. If the resulting balance does not cover your debt to them, they will continue to come after you until it is paid – no matter how long. Many householders don’t realise this and think once the house is repossessed, that is the end of it.

I accept that becoming bankrupt is not an easy option if you work in the finance or any other industry concerned with money, and hope to work again in that industry so, before reading further, you need to think carefully about whether you intend to remain in that industry.

Going bankrupt will still mean losing your house, but if you do so before the banks foreclose on you, any balance after auction will be used to redistribute the money over all your creditors so your local traders will at least get a “slice of the action”. Of course, if you love your bank and want to help them, going bankrupt is, of course, not an option. In addition, if you do, all your credit card debts and bank loans will be written off.

Once you go bankrupt you are not allowed to pay anybody except through the courts so, if you have friends amongst local traders, and have savings, pay them off before you file for bankruptcy.

When you are bankrupt you cannot own a bank account or credit card during the year before discharge, unless you inform the bank concerned. This normally means you can’t if you ask a British bank. In the past American banks have usually allowed this, but in these times they may not.

Building Societies will, I believe, allow you to have an account with a pass book and although you cannot have a cheque book on the account, they will write their building society cheques for you if you need to send money in the post. If you are trustworthy and have a trustworthy relative known to the bank manager, he or she may underwrite a cheque account with your bank.

After one year you may apply to be released from bankruptcy and unless you have been less than honest in your initial petition, this is usually automatically granted. Initially go to the Building Society you have the passbook with and ask for a cheque account with a debit card. Later you can ask for a credit card.

Once you have decided that this is a good option, go to the courts and ask for all the forms. Fill them in at home carefully, and then go and see your mortgage lender and ask for a payment holiday of two to three years. If they refuse point-blank, ask them whether going bankrupt is an option as you have other large debts. If you see fear in their eyes, press again for a payment holiday. But whatever you do when you leave, go straight to the courts and file for bankruptcy. If you have mentioned bankruptcy, the mortgage lender will try and force possession immediately and you will not have much time to lose.

Ampers

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These troubled times

The Chinese, as an insult, will say to you – “May you live in interesting times.” I hope none of my readers hold any shares in any company at the moment. And I mean any company. At the moment we cannot imagine what companies, other than the financial institutions, will go down the chute after the dust settles. Car companies, restaurant chains, clothing emporiums, and workers in Bond Street and perhaps even Harrods may see some hard times ahead.

And then there is air travel. Fares will have to go up because first class and business class travel will more than halve over night! In addition to this, large amounts of tourist class families will no longer be able to afford overseas holidays, in fact any holidays at all. And the real tragedy is, of course, that children will not have so many units donated by loving parents on their cellphones! Mon Dieu!

I mentioned earlier to look at goldmoney.com with the purpose of buying real gold and having it stored in London (insured by Lloyds of London – if they are still around). Now I am not so sure. Let me explain.

Any gold or silver stored with any bullion company will be known by the authorities. If times get hard enough Governments will think nothing about “borrowing” this gold. I wonder how Gordon Brown feels now having decided to sell all our gold in the early stages of his Chancellorship?

My advice to you is to buy gold coins. But to escape Capital Gains Tax on selling them, pick coins that are still legal tender. Sovereigns are legal tender in the UK still, and Krugerrands are in South Africa. So both these should escape CGT. I am not sure about the gold Spanish Doubloon.

And don’t pay by cheque. Draw the money out of the bank and go to dealers, better still, a coin fair, where you don’t have to give your details, and buy there. Then bury them one night deep in your garden – a safe deposit box informs the authorities that you have something there of interest!

I apologise for all this cloak and dagger, but believe me, those who poo-poo what I am saying here may well come to regret it. Unless, of course, you trust the likes of Gordon Brown!

Ampers

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Where have all the young men gone

I was reflecting on our ¨wars¨ (that haven´t been officially declared) in Afghanistan and Iraq and played a pertinent song on YouTube today which, at the same time, brought back memories of my youth.

I liked Pete Seager although could not agree with his sentiments. But now I reflect and think how I was, oh so wrong, in those days. Listen, and judge for yourself.

Ampers

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Free to go

A very short blog today but take a look at this YouTube Video. Watch it right through (or at least half way through) and then sit back and think.

It there a single British politician who could command such a following in our country? Gordon Brown? Never. David ¨Call me Dave” Cameron? I don´t think so. Not even Tony Blair would have mustered such a following, even in his hey day!

Ampers.

PS: Before you comment on this, bear in mind that this man holds rallies, publicised well in advance, all over America, and neither the Republicans or Democrats organise rallies in opposition to him. In England this would be unlikely to happen.

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Our decimated savings

What with the troubles with the American and British finance industry, our fiat currency (fiat currency means currency that is created out of nothing and without any work. It is not convertible into a physical quantity ( such as gold ) and is accepted as a medium of exchange due to government fiat or decree). is going to plummet through the floor, and even the large interest rates of up to 8% offered by some banks are not going to keep the purchasing power of our savings up.

And, as one blog states, “one side-effect of the collapsing pound is that Britain will have to pay £8 billion extra into EU coffers by 2013 according to research by Open Europe. That is equivalent to a penny on income tax for the next 5 years.”

The important paragraph, if you click on the above link, is:

“UK in-year contributions to the EC budget are not affected by exchange rate contributions. This is because VAT and GNI contributions , and any revisions to the VAT and GNI bases, are made on using a fixed exchange rate that is set on the last working day prior to the start of the EC budget year. However, the UK’s net contribution over a given period will also depend on the level of UK receipts. Unlike UK VAT and GNI contributions, the exchange rate used for receipts fluctuates in-year and is fixed two days before any payment is made to the UK. Exchange rate changes are one of the factors that affect the forecast of future UK contributions, which are published twice a year in the budget and PBR.

Do take a look at putting some of your savings into Gold. Goldmoney is a well established company and your holdings are insured by Lloyd’s of London. If you prefer to have coinage, the Krugerrand has an ounce of pure gold in it, and the surcharge for buying is just 1% nowadays. The coin actually weighs 1.09 ozs as it is 22 carat and the extra makes up for the alloy. So buying Krugerrands does mean you have a full ounce of pure gold for each coin. One advantage is, the Krugerrand is legal currency in South Africa so, if the British Government copy the American example of banning its citizens from holding gold bullion, you can by-pass the law by holding ¨legal currency¨.

Ampers

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Institutional Racism.

I have been watching and reading quite a bit about racism and sexism lately and how we should introduce positive discrimination. We saw how Tony Blair weighted the chances for women to become MPs in his party and now ¨Tony¨ Cameron is doing the same for the Conservatives. I think this is ridiculous. The Tory party should pick the best ¨man¨ for the job. They did with Margaret Thatcher and they will when the right black or Asian MP comes along. After all the Conservative Party were the first to pick a Jew and a |Woman, and I have every confidence they will be the first to pick the first ¨ethnic¨ if that person is the best they have for the job!

And the term ¨institutional racism”is the silliest term I have ever heard. People are racists, not institutions. Next they will be accusing brick buildings as being racist!

Is it colour? If a person doesn’t really like Jamaicans but likes Africans, is he a racist over colour? Is it nationalities? If the latter, then the whole white anglo-saxon element of Britain must be racist when it comes to the French? But that isn’t racist either because, whilst we make fun of the French (frogs) and they of us (rosbeef) when we meet each other socially we always get on extremely well.

And take women in business. Yes, here I do agree there is an awful lot of cut and thrust between the sexes. One does hear some beastly things, especially in the financial markets. But this isn’t going to go away. The higher up the ladder you get, the more akin it is to the ¨warrior¨ syndrome, or the Japanese Samurai syndrome. The women who succeed are the ones who recognise this and give as good as they get. And are mostly appreciated because of this.

I have been a business owner in the past, employing staff. The ones who were promoted were carefully chosen to meet my ¨hidden agenda¨. This was to make more money than my competition and would that person fit into the team they were being promoted to. With that agenda in place, I would choose a woman or a black or a Moslem over a white male counterpart if I thought he or she would make more money for me. Hell! Even if I were prejudiced in any way, I wasn’t going to set up home with them!

No, rather than accuse people of sexism and racism, our political classes should educate their pupils in a better way so they can forge ahead with a good grounding of education, and confidence in themselves to combat any abuse or critism. This is what would kill prejudices once and for all.

Are there any exceptions to my decisions above in business? There weren’t then, but if I were to return to the business arena, then yes, there definitely is now!

If I were employing a youngster I would give extra weight for a public school applicant over a council school applicant. Yes, although the education minister has said council schools are every bit as good as public schools by choosing the best council school and the worst public school for comparison, her protestations fall on deaf ears in this quarter. (For my American readers; we call private schools ¨public schools¨ in the UK – probably to confuse foreigners.)

During my travels I have met successful women executives, Moslem executives, African executives, Indian executives and they all had one thing in common. They never played the sex or race card, could give as good as they got, and insults fell off them like water off a ducks back.

Ampers

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How to back up your files from a dead computer

There is a handy website which shows you how. There are no free windows programs that allow you to go into a dead computer to do this but there is another way to do this, and for nothing..

One presumes the computer does turn on, but just will not install your Windows.

First of all go to the Ubuntu website and download the ISO file containing the Ubuntu operating system. Then burn this onto a CDROM disk.

There is an option to install Ubuntu; DONT USE THAT! The first option is to run Ubuntu direct from the CD. You don´t want Ubuntu loaded onto your computer so this is the right option to use.

Once the Ubuntu desktop appears on your screen you can easily force the hard drive to display its contents for you and you can then back up to an external hard drive. There is an article here which explains exactly how you do this, step by step.

Ampers

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Save the planet

I am still not completely sold on Global Warming, especially since, during this last summer, we have had to put our central heating on three times. However, I am prepared to give the scaremongers the benefit of the doubt and do my bit towards recycling and saving gas and electricity. The last two might also be due to the fact that the costs to me are escalating almost daily!

I sold my car a few years ago when I found it was costing me £60 an hour to run. I have held the “decrepit persons” travel card which entitles me to free travel all over Greater London on trains, underground and buses. My wife and I like walking. In case you are wondering at the cost; I owned a Scorpio and only used it about one hour a week. We use a car a lot on holiday but as we go far afield, we have to hire one when we fly there anyway! What with depreciation, repairs, petrol, tax and insurance, it comes to around £3,000 p.a.

So I feel quite OK with myself. But I still don’t completely believe.

However, one of the real problems in this world, especially in Africa, where I hail from, is a lack of water. And the water there is, is heavily polluted.

Just recently I came across a Canadian company called Xogen that has a solution to water pollution and I offer the following video that should excite all viewers who have a love for humanity.

Simultaneously, I have come across a lot of movement in water driven cars. There has been a major problem with this (from the danger aspect) but this seems to have been solved.

I hope to have an exciting blog on this subject in the next day or so.

Ampers

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UK; a police state?

Watch this video and see for yourself. Most people who watch this think it is about photographers. However, the more aware amongst viewers – and this includes all my readers – will be alarmed at the fact that, apart from Police Officers and civilian Community officers harassing ordinary citizens innocently photographing in public places, we now have private security guards at it.

This video is really all about the rights of the individual in what is increasingly becoming a police state!

The authorities increasingly tell us that only people with something to hide fear the increasing amount of surveillance cameras spying on us everywhere. This is interesting and we must ask ourselves: what is it that our police wish to hide?

Ampers.

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