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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Thursday, December 25, 2008

No doubt the bombshell, to date, for the series of 'Official' speeches we'll hear.. has been dropped by Pope Benedict XIV..
His violent condemnation of the stance on homosexuality the Church appears to have adopted of late is a stance which could lead to a schism within the Roman Church..
Benedict didn't even leave out transsexuals.. quoting scripture which in a nutshell.. Defend "the nature of man against its manipulation.."
It's a radical stance.. and an uncompromising one..
This one should be interesting to watch unfold.. no pun intended..

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Bank of England did not understand the depth of the problem created with their encouragement of soft credit.. according to deputy governor Sir John Gieve..
Begs the question.. who's analyses were they reading..?

Another sign the global automotive industry is bowing under the weight of accumulated completed stocks, crowding the storage facilities at the ports of entry to bursting points.. waiting for dealers to make room in their own inventory to take their new orders.. Toyota says it's going to suffer it's first loss in 71 years.. £1.1billion. Now this business year ends in March, and this loss won't be felt by the average stockholder 'til next year..
And the company is investing in expansion into production of a viable hybrid.. with a plant in Cambridge, Ontario..
It would seem to harbinger the core changed all car makers are going to need to adopt if they're going to remain viable..
It will be interesting to see what develops between the Big Three American automakers and the government.. what commitment will be demanded for alternate fuel re-tooling..
What direction the new 'work for the government.. don't call it welfare' scheme will take.. Which infrastructures will receive the bulk of the new workforce, be it roads which basically haven't had a major overhaul since the 1950's.. or railway lines, now unused, linking communities through the repair and reactivation of lines deemed unprofitable..
And oncer again, it would be a vast step in the right direction if some entrepreneurs were given the chance to develop trans-Atlantic Zeppelin travel.. Supersonic speeds were developed to ensure a representative of one company could be physically present throughout what could be days of negotiations in distant locations..but in this day and age.. Internet connections could allow that same executive a two day window for net negotiation, and still ensure his physical presence at the finalisation process..
We have the capability for instant communication.. and still we run about as though '..not a moment to be lost..' still has meaning.
As the financial chaos will moil and toil it's muddled way back into a semblance of order over the next five or six years.. we could be working towards reducing a constantly increasing stress factor, by returning to that which is 'low-tech'.. profitable..ecologically sound.. and relaxing..
Somewhat a surprised Richard Branson hasn't been working on plans for a modern blimp.. It would be something one would have thought would have crossed his mind..
That the head of the IMF would be calling on world governments themselves should commit even more of their GDP towards solving their internal financial crises..
It could be mooted that was a call for nationalisation, ignoring the subsequent isolationism which would follow..

A word of remembrance for perhaps the first of the terrorist bombing attacks originating from the Middle East.. the bombing of PamAm Flight 103 over the Scottish village of Lockerbie.. 270 killed.. 11 of them residents of the village itself..
Twenty years ago.. 21st December 1988..

And at least the two main contenders in the race for Israeli Prime Minister are united on one front.. Both have vowed to eliminate Hammas in Gaza..
There appears to me no cracks whatsoever in the goal shared by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Likud party leader Binyamin Netanyahu to eliminate the group entirely.. regardless of the cost.
Always comforting when you know whoever wins will have one issue they'll agree on..

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's an unwelcome which will upset the British public in its entirety..
But at least someone is finally telling us something closer to the truth..
John Varley, the Head of Barklays Bank, has warned the public that while credit for mortgages and small business will still be available to borrow.. the strictures on getting said credit will be far, far tighter..
"As soon as asset prices stabilise, then we will see the financial economy recover. And when will that occur? That will occur some time over the course of the next 18 months," said John..
'It's a painful process,' he went on to say, 'but one which must be endured..'
Indeed it will be, and indeed it should.. but it strikes one as odd, that the first of the government cash will go towards minimizing the banks own losses on the oil futures markets.. tied in to $100US/barrel. And then there's the gap left in asset values of all the homes repossessed to be brought into line..
Now, after that, perhaps in eighteen months or a couple of years, things should be back to 'normal' for the man on the street who wants that new car..
'Banker' will soon become as pejorative a term as 'politician'..
Back in the real world for a second now.. Housing prices fall another %30 before anything close to stability is achieved.. This again from John Varley..
And.. he expects the average householder who's last years £45thousand salary keeping him and his comfortably.. with a trip to the Maldives not an impossibility if they put a bit away.. will find themselves worrying about keeping the household intact..
And John's time frame is just a carrot to keep us plodding along and not breaking into a panicked gallop..
Watch the Pound Sterling rate with the Euro..same with the greenback and the loonie..
Historically, it's always been that civilisations,as they rise and fall,and as they grow and decay into decline. But this particular Western Ethic.. quickly becoming a world-wide Ethic.. is going to leave our grandchildren..what?
Will we actually allow our legacy to be one of lassitude and l'aissez faire..?
To ponder the differences between nascent Rome.. Greece.. Sumeria.. we have the luxury of that which they left behind, and the time to study the millennia some of them existed.. and to watch the change in societies from structured, and content to
live their lives according to their skills and opportunities, to a world when everyone knows instantly what's happening everywhere. A world super-saturated with information which, in less than 200 years, has gone from 'fresh' news for some meant it was only three days passed, to 'fresh news' meaning it happened 3 seconds ago.
A world in which a growing number are never going to find jobs again.. because by the time this 'recession' is over, there'll be lineups of younger men who'll have taken advantage of government schemes to by-pass apprenticeships per se..with the one learning for he who taught and employed him.. and issue Certificates.
Valid indeed, for those who have passed the course will possess the skills, they too will develop the experience.. that those left standing back when the queue formed had at that time.. Too old.. disinterested or incapable of 'teaching'..this group will be scrounging one would think..
One has to wonder..
What success Barak's going to have dealing with a problem that's got a shelf-life much longer than 4 years..
What happens if the US does begin to fracture as the infrastructure dependent on the auto industry can't be funded by the consumer.. and if one politician comes out with the line "..the American car industry is not on it's's, with the help of the American people, going to provide a homegrown,
greener product that out-performs anything any foreign country can produce..", or words to that effect..
Well, a few might.
But if the US does collapse.. how big would the wave be here..
But back to the original premise.
What are we going to leave.. each of us.. on our own.. to our kids.
How can we help them with coping with all the information they're being streamed with..
Help them develop discernment.. teach a kid to be an autodidact.. award achievement
and encourage striving for the next chance..
Ahh it's just a thought that flits through the mind early in the morning..
"The moving finger.." and such..
A domewhat macabre Christmas this time around..
People still flock the High Streets, overjoyed with the fire sale prices they're finding on some merchandise.. but aware on some subliminal level, that their will come a reconning..
Yet.. despite the doom and gloom which permeates almost everything.. Britons on the whole appear willing to buckle down, and weather the storm..
The Pound Sterling nearly at parity with the Euro...? Pshaw..
Record numbers of unemployed...? We've had hard times before..
We'll all put on the kettle, and have a nice cup of tea..
And Gordon.. seems to thrive on crisis situations.. It's alomst Churchillian.. the depth of his voice and determination on his face radiate a man who has power.. and experience..
Amazing what a wordlwide financial collapse can bring out in a man.. His visits to the Middle East could not have been timed better.. what with oil (oh..we were wrong on that one!) hitting record lows and the OPEC nations threatening to limit production to a mere 2 million barrels a day.. we're literally stumbling from one shell crater to the next..
But Gordon's shining in this.. Give that man constant crisis, and he'll give you the old British Stiff Upper Lip.. and at least a sense that it's all going to work out..
Lord, what Barak's stepping into..
And with the immenent change in the US Presidency.. even France's Sarkosi's making an economic stand.. that vastly inflated Euro's not going to make European goods that attractive to foreign investment, or consumption..

'Tis the season to be jolly.. and if we're wise, we'll take the chance while we can.
The opportunity might not crop up for the next few tears..

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

It would have been an oblique insult to the inteligence of my few regaular readers, to have wasted my time at the keyboard, and yours by taking the time to read it..
We are entering dangerous times..
The Chinese hold a susprisingly large stack of chips at this global table.. but the government's is busy dealing with internal problems at the moment.. and they have the luxury of having all the time in the world to look for a Western Society to fall into absolute chaos, should that be the outcome. Equally, they can sit it out..take care of domestic problems.. and still sit with a mammoth stack..
India's watching a prosperous outsourced business, with European and British companies bringing their call-centers home..
Woolies is closing, for gods sake!
In this country alone.. with a possible workforce of less than 40% of the population.. watching the unemployment figures hit the one million eight-hundred thousand level say the least.. frightening..
And who would have imagined the Pound Sterling would ever be close to parity with the Euro..
And the United States..
The auto industry.. the backbone of the country's domestic economy.. is begging for billions of $Am in bail-out money.. and with Barak's pledge to "see the automotive industry in the United States back on it's feet..with investment in new.. environmentally friendly..
The OPEC Nations.. watching their prices fall at one point to just over $5Am a barrel..recover to sit at the $49Am rate, which for the monent, seems to be the beam petrolium companies are walking..
Africa is in turmoil.. and a perpetual money pit..
The Thai Government managed to record a growth in their economy..must study the ins-and-outs of Thai political/economic system..
That note above was something of a lapsus calumni..
While one would not to present the idea, that these next few years will be instrumental in how we define 'governments'..
Whether our western financial wizards manage to create the aformentioned financial 'Black Hole' into which they can quietly shovel all this debt our various governments have committed us to for the foreseeable future..
Have faith..
This too shall pass..

Saturday, December 13, 2008

That the US Defence Department has 'warned' the enemies of the US not to 'test' Barak during the first few months of his upcoming Presidency..
As though a "whoa there.. back off while the new guy gets his feet wet.." will have any effect on terrorists, other than perhaps accelerate their time tables..

And while we in Britain are looking at job losses unprecedented since the Great Depression, with Santander announcing it's plan to shed yet another 19 hundred jobs here.. the government is planning on shovelling £480 million into Pakistan.. to 'help with border controls'..
It does seem we have our priorities somewhat skewed.. for while international affairs are indeed of prime importance,, it would seem, even in the long run, to stabilize our own economy before we begin throwing half a billion around which, for the most past, will end up lining the pockets of politicians..bureaucrats..and local tribal chiefs..

More later..

Monday, December 01, 2008

What a great day to find the time to update this peripatetic journal..
Lets start with Canada. After speaking with a number of Canadian journalists and analysts.. not all of which by the way hail from 'English' Canada.. It would appear the entire population would quite happily watch the Province of Quebec float away into the Atlantic..
The issue seems to have started with Steven's suggestion, that considering the average Canadian is going to have to give up a fair amount of disposable income during these next few years of worldwide deprivation.. politicians should forego their campaign subsidies come election time.
Now Steven has a minority Conservative Government.. and faces one, the Bloc Quebecois, a party concerned only with maintaining it unique position among all other Canadian Provinces. Two, the Liberals, who have traditionally been the 'other' Party..frequently the Opposition but equally having been the Government, and they are bankrupt. And three, the New Democratic Party, traditionally the counterpart of the British LibDems..
It appears these combined Parties are conspiring to force a vote of non-confidence..forcing yet another election on the Canadian electorate.
This is not the instability a country such as Canada should be experiencing, and quite frankly, the entire weight of the problem can be laid at the feet of the Bloc Quebecois, and the Pequiste who voted them into this position of power..
As one who has lived, for many years, in Canada..both 'English' and Quebec.. it is a situation which has deepened the historic division between Upper and Lower Canada.
It was a mistake to change the flag.

It's an indication of the direction militant Islam is going. India's not happy with Pakistan for it's failure(sic) to roust terrorist training camps from what Hezbollah to al Q'Aida consider training grounds. The man on the street appears to be angriest at their own government for not preparing of terrorist attacks, but it won't be long before their ire turns towards their Muslim neighbour..

Now..back at the ranch..
A Home Office worker found himself subjected to a police raid on his home and office today.. and now faces Treason Charges for passing along 'sensitive' material, through his secretary which which he has a three year relationship, to the Media.
The gist of it all comes down to Christopher Gally's leaking information 'in the public interest'..
The Government admits that nothing involving National Securuty has been disclosed.. more along the lines of information which could prove 'embarassing' to Gordon's regeme..
One waits for a knock on the door..

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