Saturday, 21 May 2022

Will less be better than more? Well....

There is a lot in the news, the papers, TV reports about inflation and the rise in prices across the board. I am basically a stupid person but let me ask a question, is everyone as stupid as me? Very few people talk about the underlying reasons why all this is happening. I have said quite a while ago what would happen if oil suddenly became scarce. Our western so-called civilisation has continually ignored the basic rules of supply and demand and how it is coupled to the basic availability of raw materials like oil, gas and other commodities. As we can easily see today, the oil price, diesel and petrol have hit the roof and are likely to go beyond that. This obviously will reverberate through to increased transport prices. You don’t need to be an economics graduate to see that! Increased transport prices will also increase commodity prices. 

As it stands today I cannot understand eminent people burbling on about how they are going to change all of that by government intervention. The only thing governments can do is the usual, either print more money and give that to whoever they want to give it to, like they did with the Covid lock-downs. Or increase taxes. People like me, do not count in the great scheme of things. Make no mistake, it has always been like that. Let’s not pretend we matter because nature sees no difference in humans and any other living thing! Simply this, if the food supply runs out, you starve, you can talk as much as you want, it will not make one jot of difference. Obviously as humans with some grey matter in our heads we can help by moving the available foods and other commodities around the world to initially stave off starvation in affected areas but that is very much depending on governmental resolve. 

Wars such as the Ukrainian-Russian conflagration will always be used as a way to disrupt the movement of goods across the world. The grain stored in Ukraine, millions of tonnes is held almost certainly as a bargaining chip by Russia. The oil and gas also supplied by Russia will also be used in that manner even though Europe has taken steps to diminish its dependence on Russian oil and gas. All these things are just the basis on which prices increase. Finally, the other big reason is the number of people in the world and increasing rapidly resulting in increased demand of almost everything. I cannot see the West having a predominant call on commodities anymore, the competition will drive up prices come what may. Mall in all we will have to get used to less and at higher cost. Furthermore, it might not be such a bad thing! Pointing back at a previous post where I mentioned my visit to a local hospital, I have never seen so many overweight people! No wonder we suffer so many ailments, heart problems, strokes, cancer and that’s just for starters! So, less will be much better. Goodbye to McDonalds, KFC, Deliveroo et al!

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Social Media- the New Wild West? Well, eh....

It is sometimes forgotten but it is not just MPs or governments alone that make a society. It is all of us and guess who has the majority? Yep, us, the great unwashed (as they say). We sit behind our computers or keep staring at our mobiles for hours on end , posting ludicrous messages. I am not excluded from that either from time to time. But I would call what happened to one MP, Rachel Maclean stupid, uncalled for and obnoxious. She said and I think correctly, dealing with rising costs etc, etc people should get a better job or work a bit longer. Sorry people but that is how I see it as well. Simply because that is what we all have done from time to time? If you wanted a better life, improve your basic income you would scour the papers for job adverts, wouldn’t you? I know I did! So, was she wrong? No, she was not. There is a danger now in this country to blame all the ills of society on governments or on those who lead us. Politicians in particular. A lot of blame can be levelled at government of course, either for being slow in righting its wrongs or for making laws off the cuff and repeal them next day. Known by me as ‘Stop-Gap’ government. 

Sure, I understand the feelings of a particular class of people, I too would love to sit at home watching TV all day with a beer in both hands but I cannot as a householder being responsible I have to see to it that we can live a reasonable life. That my children and grandchildren have the best education the system can provide. Surely, it is time to shut up and get on with it. Armchair critics who dish out death threats should be found and prosecuted. Even if they are a loner in a backroom in the back of beyond. I like to call politicians lazy or total idiots sometimes as well but that does not mean all of them. That’s the trouble with language, sometimes it can be too general in its sense or meaning. 

I think this has been the problem of Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney as well. Both seem to have forgotten they did not just message a few friends who were of the same ilk, no they were literally speaking to the world. Even so, it would have been more prudent to sit these two in a dark room and lock the door until both said sorry. Perhaps it is high time to start ‘policing’ the Internet. Social media in particular. It is called the new Wild West for a reason!

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

A problem or two? Well yes, but what?

The following is just a flow of thought I have had for some time. As most of my friends will know I am a pretty astute observer of trends. One of the main trends pertains to western society. Our society is very much based on accessing plentiful foods and energy constituents, gas and oil. Obviously right now the war in Ukraine and the behaviour of Russian conscripts who, with or without their government approval have behaved appallingly, as a result we are in danger of losing easy access to foods, oil and gas supplies. 

It made me think why we actually listen to the drivel spouted by what I fear are politicians who ought to know better, and should make haste to sorting new resources. Yet, this trend has been coming for some time. Russia for instance, has never let go of their type of autocratic rule. Whether this was by a royal house or by the Mafia, it is just the same. It meant money went just one way, as it is still doing so today. Western thinking is completely different from Russian thinking. The two are basically incompatible. It has been our fault to just ignore that because we went for their ‘cheap’ oil and gas. We now found that there was a price attached to it after all! 

Through the worldwide situation having deteriorated, how are we going to deal with the influx of so many people into western Europe, including Britain? Not just Ukrainians but hundreds of thousands from all over who have been displaced or are simply looking for a better life. When delivery systems of food and energy are faltering all over the western world how then will we be able to sustain this level of incomers? It is a simple question but I fear our political leaders are not willing to tackle this even though they say they will. The British example shows this without doubt. We see hundreds if not thousands attempting and mostly succeeding crossing the Channel. Despite assurances by politicians, nothing has changed, and nothing has been done that can make a difference. Except perhaps for silly and probably unworkable ‘solutions’ like exporting them to a far-flung African country. As with everything else, politicians are literally ignoring the dangers and at most do a bit of tinkering at the edges. The sanctions imposed for instance are such tinkering, they are relatively easy to circumvent. Sure, there are some drawbacks, countries like Russia will find some commodities are difficult to get. But there are the Chinese, Indians and a host of other countries just waiting in the wings to get their hands on oil and gas at possible knock-down prices and in return supplying the needed extras. If we, that is the Western world, want to kick Russia down the stairs it will take more than a few sanctions. We will literally have to seal their borders. Somehow, if at all possible, I would not hold my breath.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Discipline is the work of the devil?

From time to time you can hear something worthwhile on the political BBC programs. This morning on Politics Live (BBC2-16/5/2022) we heard from a headmistress of a Wembley, London School about how their set-up of a stricter regime was benefitting pupils. Now you could hear the screams of indignation from across the country here in my front-room. For a start, I have been so aware of the way social interaction has been these past 40 or so years. Frankly it has been detrimental to people and children in particular all across the nation. It was great to see a teacher leading a strict set of behaviours in the classroom and what was more to the point, enjoyed by the children. This was clear from what they said themselves. 

It is a strange thing – discipline. It really alludes to a strict set of behaviours either self-discipline or the discipline needed to make a company of people perform tasks. Soldiers would be an example of the need for discipline. You could not have a number of people including soldiers, entrusted to perform a task and then all going about it a multitude of different ways. The task, what ever it could be, would never be completed. Probably it is what besets the Russian army at the moment. The task they set themselves, that of conquering a neighbouring country is seen to be failing because discipline is woeful. The discipline of harnessing logistics to field requirements is totally missing. Whatever, but in our schools discipline is an afterthought as well. The woke brigade has its tentacles spread throughout our schools. Leftie liberal teachers and governing bodies live in La-La land, and as a result pupils have lost their respect for teachers. This can be seen almost everywhere. I am not advocating a militaristic regime in schools but a strict set of rules will do no-one any harm. Pupils will know exactly where they stand, a situation all children need. The free-for-all situation we have in Britain especially in lacking rules or structure, does not benefit anyone. It pervades all strata of our society, from the Cabinet Room of our government, to political parties vying with each other to make the most outrageous statements of proposed policy. Most of which will never materialise or happen. We, the bemused majority are looking onto this very sad state of affairs with a jaundiced eye. It is time to send the woke to Coventry!

Edit – the sentence – sending someone or an idea to Coventry meaning to silence someone or something. To send someone to Coventry is an idiom used in England meaning to deliberately ostracize someone. Typically, this is done by not talking to them, avoiding their company, and acting as if they no longer exist. Victims are treated as though they are completely invisible and inaudible. Coventry is a cathedral city historically in Warwickshire. (from Wikipedia).

Monday, 16 May 2022

Nature fights back?

When it comes to nature, Wales is still pretty fortunate. It is getting more difficult for wildlife to flourish especially with our planning departments not taking into consideration nature in any way. All that matters seemingly is council tax income. Whatever, I am fortunate to live next to a small river. In past years this river was extremely polluted by coal dust and other pollutants, probably best not to name them. But I have seen as I am able to get to the river bank, a most rare bird, the dipper! It has come back to the river it once frequented but was poisoned to death. Now it is nesting, I know where and bringing up chicks. At this very moment I have seen the parent birds feeding the chick. Literally dipping into the fast flowing river and flying to and fro’ to the chick sitting ‘dipping’ on a rock. It surely is a heartwarming story because to say it frankly, dippers are pretty rare and very shy of humans. 

They seem to have become a bit used to me as I sit on the bank flying by whilst whistling a warning as they do so. A number of other birds have come back as well, the wagtails, I have seen two pairs of the grey and one only of the pied wagtail. The grey wagtails, although they are pretty with lots of yellow feathers, have become used to me and literally feed right at my feet. As long as I don’t move they hop around. It is great to see them flying sharply upward to catch a fly which I didn’t even see! Fortunately this river next to my property is full of invertebrates. I have seen creeping things that ‘hide’ by building a shield of very small stones, literally minuscule and creep about on the bottom. The dippers love those! 

Presently the water level is pretty low because it has been very dry and I had to rescue a young brown trout. I saw it lying gasping for some oxygen in a shallow pool. Managing to pick it up as I was wearing rubber wellingtons. I put it in a much deeper pool and under a stone overhang. It is still there, probably until the next rain storm will it allow to move down or up river. It did not like being picked up but needs must, eh? At least it is a bit safer from the heron that frequents this part every morning! I see it standing on the bank or sitting still on a branch of the trees growing next to the main road. I am hoping to hear ducklings as a pair of mallards have been seen a few times. I am not sure if they nest close by but all will become clear if ducklings are around. Hopefully the neighbourhood cats will leave them be. Cats hunt anything around here, but as I am a cat person, I let nature sort its own rules out. But I stop at the neighbours' cats sh*tting in my greenhouse, that should be a death sentence or at least life internment in a bare cell with one feed a day. Dry!

Sunday, 15 May 2022

A material problem? Go asteroid man!

Clic’, a rather interesting pseudo science reportage program from the ubiquitous BBC channel was showing, in one way, the shortage of materials on Earth. Mining for metals here is becoming a more expensive because we have to look further afield. So, the program was showing whether asteroid mining was actually a proposition, was it worthwhile. Well, it could be of course but from my point of view it would depend on two things, the remaining availability on Earth and the difference in costs. The deposits on Earth are finite, particularly as economies of countries are using more and more, it will become necessary to look elsewhere.

It is interesting because it will almost certainly involve human beings. But are we really fit for living in space? Where is the food supply, water, vitamins? You can only take so much with you. After all it still takes some nine months to fly to Mars and the asteroid belt is much further away! So, this will throw up another conundrum. It is now known that human muscle deteriorates, even when exercising in space. After all we are used to a constant 1G on Earth, our muscular system is completely in tune with it. 

It is one of the reasons, I think, we will never see aliens. We might encounter robotic beings but not flesh and blood in space. The reason is, again it is my personal opinion, that after a very prolonged travel time human beings would not be able to move much at all. Nor will any alien. For that reason interplanetary wars fought by sentient beings of the flesh and blood type, is not really possible. I laughed at some American SF films, such as ''Starship Troopers' as complete hogwash, funny yes but totally unrealistic. Call it brain-fodder. Indeed, for that reason I believe asteroid mining would have to be entirely robotic and as such pretty expensive. And as with everything else, money will dictate whether these efforts are feasible.  

The other side of the coin is why do we not more on recycling? Most materials can be salvaged and re-used. But as there is a cost associated with it which is more expensive than mining new resources we lack the will to recycle properly. It is believed that the electronic waste mountain exists of 18 million tons of discarded equipment at this moment and increasing (see this url - Thrown away and just mostly clogging up our living space. What we are doing is continually looking up but forgetting to look down. We are deluding ourselves about space thinking it will save everything but in the meantime our base, the planet Earth, is withering and rotting under our feet. Well, we will reap what we sow, so let it be grain on Earth and not ideas about how to sow that on Mars or some Godforsaken asteroid!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

A social conundrum?

If you think you know something about English society, and remember that is NOT Welsh or Scottish society, you only will know it properly when you look at the situation about social behaviour. Here we have two WAG’s ( it basically means Wives And Girlfriends). There are other definitions of WAG but let’s not go into them right now as I do not want to be accused of misogyny. Two WAGs as we know today, have been at war for nearly four years! If you would ask what was this very serious issue that needed to go to court, did one sleep with the other's partner, is it something to do with the world security situation? Or perhaps the boat people being shipped to Uganda? No? What then? Enlighten me, please. Oh, it was a series of Instagram messages about nothing in particular. These two women were very in tune to displaying their way of life to all and sundry and one suddenly thought ‘Hey this picture I did not send, who did it’? And after a silly way of stinging by sending false messages she decided it was another WAG who had done the ‘UNTHINKABLE’ copying or spreading stories. You would have thought that was the idea? Yes? Isn't that the point of Instagram and similar rubbish?

This vacuous way of living with social media seems all too prevalent with these people that use social media to portray the way they live life. Not just these two, all who use social media this way seem to have a stitch or two loose. This is in contrast with another lady who has been raising nearly £5,000,000 with her podcasts about her colon cancer. Through her very illness and of which she is close to death, she used social media the right way. Instead two WAGs are spending literally millions of pounds which will not benefit anyone, only lawyers. It is just incredible to learn that our society actually takes this as seriously as it does. A court battle literally over nothing at all, except the feelings of two women who feel their ‘standing’ within the social media classes has been ‘besmirched’. Yeah, yeah, and that is the state of society in England today. Good question to ask is ‘How would these two survive in a situation that loads of women have faced and still do in Ukraine’? Over and out.

Edit - the term WAG should not be seen in a specific derogatory way in this post. It is mainly repeating the terminology used in the national press about footballers wives. We might argue whether it is right or not but that's another post perhaps.