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Home | 2017 | December

Scrapbook for December 2017

11.12.2017 – Every terror cloud has a silver lining

Following the failed terror attack in New York City today we risk boring our reader(s) by repeating:

  1. The government cannot protect you. Even in places where every cop carries a sidearm.
  2. The only protection you have is what appears to be the inborn stupidity and resulting incompetence of the Islamist lunatic.

11.12.2017 – Grumpy Monday

In the casino that calls itself the 'Financial Services Industry', but which we know better as 'Sharks R Us', you will have noticed that the Bitcoin table has been busy recently. Just in case the punters' knuckles are not white enough on that ride, a new table as been set up trading in Bitcoin futures, which will allow the iron-nerved to bet not just on the currency itself but its future price.

Somewhat like the precious metal tables, which have also acquired paper certificate companions (ETF) in recent decades. In the case of gold, there are currently many more certificates in circulation than there is gold assigned to back them up. It doesn't matter: the trade's the thing.

Why do we have this lunacy? Because the operators in the financial casino don't really care much about the absolute prices of the trades – it's the trade itself that makes them money. The more volume, the more up and down, the more rocketing highs and plunging lows, the more they make. The bigger the yo-yo, the more they make.

Once upon a time a trade took a day or two to execute, unless you had a personal representative on the floor of the casino. That was bad enough, but now trades take place in milliseconds, which, of course, is extremely good news for the casino. More throughput, more commissions, more spreads.

Every shark in the casino takes a cut of every trade – that's the 'service'. Everytime the punter buys or sells, two, three, four or more intermediaries make some money. Panic buying of Bitcoin? The casino and its sharks make money. Panic selling? Ditto.

Just like the real casinos and the lottery operators the financial sharks are happy to see the news of Bitcoin millionaires fill the media. The punters keep coming, too, neglecting the iron mathematical rule that one person's win is another person's loss.

The financial operation of the world is based on this lunatic system which is designed to benefit only from anarchy and panic. It cannot end well.

01.12.2017 – Dim and Dhimmi

The hysterical reaction by the Powers-and-Media-That-Be in the UK to President Trump's retweeting the tweets of a 'far-right' organization is yet more evidence that the concern of the PMTB is not so much with Islamist terrorism but with the potential backlash to terrorism.

In that context, President Trump's exhortation to the May government to concentrate on Islamist terrorism rather than making a fuss about his tweets is perfectly appropriate.

It is also a reminder of the total absence of strategic thinking in the UK government. The main figures of the government, most of the media and, it seems, the civil service, are all remainers at heart. They all seem to be pre-occupied with the process of departure, not the strategic position of the UK at the end of that process. Perhaps they are hoping that Trump will disappear in 2020 and that they can carry on pretending to be members of the EU by shadowing everything it does and thinks.

Quick update: Well, that didn't take long. The January visit of President Trump to the UK is off. How are those vital trade negotiations going, by the way? Still front of the queue?

01.12.2017 – Judith: not to be messed with

Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836-1912), Judith, 1892. Image: Sothebys

Jules Joseph Lefebvre (1836-1912), Judith, 1892. Image: Sothebys. $175,000 – worth every cent.

No, Franken – I really wouldn't grab those… Oops! I warned you.

Johann Liss (1595?-1631?), Judith in the Tent of Holofernes, 1622?.

Johann Liss (1595?-1631?), Judith in the Tent of Holofernes, 1622?. Image: National Gallery, London.