Migrants aren’t stupid you know

In fact, to have crossed the Med and made it to Calais we might even say that they’ve been through a series of intelligence tests:

Despite millions of pounds of British taxpayers’ money being spent on reinforced fencing, photographs taken by The Telegraph reveal how a group of 30 migrants breached security and simply walked inside the secure zone.
The men walked up to a gate about a mile from the Coquelles Channel Tunnel terminal near Calais and, within seconds, were inside.

They are believed to have guessed the security code by examining which numbers were dirtiest or most worn on the keypad.
A close examination of the keypad showed the numbers two, four and zero were clearly more worn than the other digits.

What’s the betting that gate didn’t autolock and need resetting after x number of incorrect numbers were entered?

The Woo is strong with this one

Robert Conquest worked for the Foreign Service!!! All his work is paid propaganda. His books distort history in order to pretend Socialism is horrible and Capitalism, oh so wonderful. Stalin did not kill 25 million people. This is pure propaganda. It was under 500,000. This is well-documented. From 1917 to 1922 18 countries and 16 legions invaded the Soviet Union. Winston Churchill was quoted with saying, “We need to strangle the baby in the crib.” That being said, the West paid at least tens of thousands of people to act as agents to destroy the Soviet Union. Of course, the Soviet Union had every right to kill these agents provocateurs. If you want to know more read Grover Furr’s Book on the subject. The famine in the Ukraine was fabricated by William Hearst. Read “Fraud, Famine, and Fascism” by Douglas Tottle. One of the reasons was to hide the 3 to 9 million people who died of starvation during the Dust Bowl in the US while our government was burning to keep wheat prices high. Robert Conquest is the man who equated Stalin to Hitler. Let’s get the facts straight: While the US was dallying in Western Europe, The Soviet Union lost 28 million lives so that we would not be saluting “Heil Hitler” today. It was the Nazis who created concentration camps, but it was the Soviets who liberated them. That’s right, the Soviets!! While the US was court-martialing pilots for the unauthorized use of dropping bombs on trains heading to the camps, the Soviets were freeing those prisoners. Finally, let’s discuss why we ever got the 40 hour work week, social security, free education, abolition of child labor, and women and minorities got the right to vote. It wasn’t because US capitalism woke up one day and said it was wrong to work people 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week from the age of 6. It was because Workers in the US and Western Europe were looking at the Soviet Union, the first successful Workers Revolution and were saying to themselves, “Hey, if they can have it there, maybe we need a revolution, too if our masters won’t give us those same right.” The Ruling Elites got scared and decided to give concession which they are now taking back, calling it austerity. Interesting how there’s always money to subsidize Exxon Mobile & Monstanto, always money for war, but none for education, housing, etc..that benefit workers. Anyway, with the fall of the Soviet Union, you tell me how’s capitalism working for you? Because it’s not working for me nor for 1/2 the population of Americans who know live near or at the poverty level. At least under Stalin everyone was entitled to a job, housing, utilities, education to the university level, and medical. More than I can say for the American freedom to be hungry, homeless, and denied medical care for lack of funds.

Jeebus.

I do not justify the murder of 500,000 people, because a portion were innocent. However, many were paid spies and agent-provocateurs. Again, going back to history-the USSR was attacked by every capitalist government in the world. To defend itself it had no choice. How do you justify though the mass genocides committed by Capitalists governments for power; whether Turkey, the US, Belgium, or Great Britain? Isn’t this what Hitler was emulating; other capitalist governments? It was the bankers & Ruling elites of the US and Great Britain who put Hitler in power; fearing a socialist revolution there. Bankers did not put Stalin in power. The very opposite. Fascism, not socialism is an extension of Capitalism. When people no longer believe in fake bourgeois elections then the Ruling Elite have to use force. In fact, if when Hitler decided to put Jews & political prisoners in concentration camps, he cited the murder of 20 million Native Americans by the US government. When he was asked who was his mentor, he replied, Woodrow Wilson. He said it was Wilson who showed him the power of propaganda & force. Remember it was Wilson who jailed Eugene Debs for making an anti-war speech, Debs was sentenced to 25 years in for making an anti-war speech during WW1. Why Hitler cited the genocide of the Indians instead of the British murdering 84 million Indians in India I don’t know. In fact, Churchill was involved with the British man-made famine as he was with using poison gas in the USSR in 1917. Stalin was not happy to make a pact with Hitler. He had no choice. The USSR lost millions trying to defend itself from 16 legions and 18 countries from 1917-1922. The Soviet Union had to make a pact. As to diving Poland: The part partitioned to the USSR, the McCurran line used to belong to Russia until WW1. As to equating Hitler with Stalin: Perhaps Nazi Germany it should be Winston Churchill. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is far from being any reliable source. He wrote propaganda books for the US government. He was a Tzarist supporter and vicious anti-Semite. He admired Hitler for his Final Solution.

Hmm

Remember when you were a child and were taught Native Americans were savages. Then you grew up and realized that was an excuse for the US to commit genocide on Natives in order to strip them of their land and natural resources. I am here to put forward facts. I cannot change beliefs. I am aware that since you were a child you have been led to believe many lies either by the media controlled by the Ruling Elites or through the text-books you read as a child in school; again written by the Ruling Elite who publish textbooks. Of course, the Ruling Elites will say nothing good about socialism. Just like once upon a time they had nothing good to say about Natives, until we almost slaughtered them all or Jews. Ignaz Semmelweis was considered a lunatic, too for promoting hand-washing between doing autopsies and helping women give birth. The problem was not facts. The problem was beliefs. The doctors had developed strong beliefs from their miseducation.

So, do you understand it?

“I was somewhat critical, and unapologetically so, of the way in which the report of Tina Pugh was written,” he told the court.
“Reports by experts are not written solely for the benefit of other professionals, the advocates and the judge. The parents and other litigants need to understand what is being said and why.”
“There were passages in Tina Pugh’s report which were written in language which made their meaning quite opaque. I suspect as far as (the woman) was concerned, these passages might just as well have been written in a foreign language.”
The judge quoted a passage in which she described the relationship the woman had with a man who had lived with the children’s mother.
The social worker had written: “I do not intend to address the couple’s relationship suffice it to say it is imbued with ambivalence: both having many commonalities emanating from their histories that create what could be a long lasting connection or alternative relationship that are a reflection of this.”
Judge Lea said: “I very much doubt that (the woman) would understand on reading this passage what is being said. I think I know what Tina Pugh is saying but her meaning is obscured by the language she uses to express it.”
He went on to quote another passage: “In narrowing down the issues (the woman) clearly believes that paternity issues had a significant interplay on (the woman’s son’s) ability to say no to the mother.”

The reason the language is so bad in much of academia is because they’re not actually trying to communicate meaning. Rather, to communicate tribal membership: we’re all the good people who use this sort of language.

But when interacting with Muggles that rather misses the point of nominally using the same language, doesn’t it?

Ms. Pao and Reddit

Why is the world so angry with Pao? Could it be because she is a woman in a position of power or is it infinitely more complicated? It goes back to the sex discrimination lawsuit that Pao brought against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, Caufield and Byers in March.

It could actually be, as KPCB said, and the jury agreed, that she’s just not very good at the job.

So this is why we need food banks then

I do rather think that the Guardian should have been able to find a better example than this:

Marlene Vickers, 47, a mother of three from Clay Cross, Derbyshire, is earning the minimum wage working as a housekeeper and cleaner at St Barnabas centre, a local nursery and community centre. Her husband, Fred, a mechanic, lost his job in July and two of her children, Zoie, 27, a part-time hairdresser and Nicci, 28, who works as a cleaner, moved back in with their parents two years ago after they struggled to pay the rent on their flats. Her youngest, Shelbie, 18, is studying criminal science at Preston University.

Vickers, now the main breadwinner, earns £656 a month, £425 of which goes on rent. She tries to earn more by extra cleaning when she can, which can bring in £50 to £250 a month. Her husband, who suffers ill health and has high blood pressure, does not get unemployment benefit, because, Vickers said, “it’s more trouble than it’s worth – they give you in one hand and take it off in another”. She was told that she is not eligible for tax credit.

They have to keep up with insurance and tax payments on her husband’s car, in case he finds a job – he is currently seeking work through a friend who runs his own fencing business.

“There’s always bills coming in,” Vickers said. “Council tax and telly licence and then gas and electric. I’ve had the bailiffs in a few times. You borrow money initially and then you have to give them back a bit each month.”

The family live hand-to-mouth, paying bills when they can, doing without when they can’t. Zoie has muscle problems, which meansso she can only work part time. Vickers doesn’t seek rent money from her daughters, but borrows money from Zoie “only when she’s desperate”.

Seriously?

5 adults, one doesn’t claim the public benefits he’s eligible for, two working even if only part time but not contributing to the rent and this, this is the evidence that we’re all a bunch of heartless bastards who care nothing for the poor?

All of which is quite apart from the fact that the very existence of food banks, run by volunteers, stocked voluntarily, shows that we do collectively care.

A very confusing argument here

More than 40 million farm animals are estimated to die each year in the UK before they reach the slaughterhouse, according to a report to be published this week which urges the government to introduce measures that would compel farmers to disclose the numbers.

The report, The Uncounted Dead: Farming’s unofficial victims, by Animal Aid, an organisation opposed to meat eating, is the first to put a figure on the number of animals that die before slaughter.

So, an organisation that opposes the slaughter of animals for us to eat them opposes the idea of animals dying naturally before we slaughter them to eat them?

That’s a bit, umm, confused, isn’t it?

Well, sorta Polly

There is nothing hypocritical, as the Mail and Sun suggest, about Oxbridge-educated Labour politicians advocating greater equality in a country on a frightening trajectory of social injustice.

The problem is, as Danny Dorling’s latest book makes entirely clear, that this fight for equality is really the 0.9% of the 1% getting mightily pissed off at the 0.1% of the 1%. It’s those Oxbridge educated Labour politicians screaming about how they can only afford a house in Islington these days as Hampstead and Holland Park are being colonised by those grubby bankers, the bastards.

It’s a fight about positional goods among the 1%, nothing else. The intellectuals, the newspaper columnists, the professoriate, finding out that the rules about being upper middle class have changed, nowt else.

At which point the rest of us say bugger it, who the hell cares?

What?

All lists are crude cultural fascism

In The Guardian. In a restaurant review.

The idiocy from the cultural studies departments has sunk deep into our society, hasn’t it? Srsly? It’s cultural fascism to make a shopping list these days? A list of things to do? A bucket list?

The latest report from the High Pay Centre

It’s got some doozies in it:

In fact, this is wrong in every
particular. In law, managers aren’t
employees of shareholders, who
don’t own the business. Firms are
separate legal entities that own
themselves, employ directors
and executives, and to whom the
latter owe fiduciary duty.

Firms own themselves? Umm, I think that’s one of the things that we actually ban them from doing, isn’t it?

On pages 14 and 15 they make the usual idiot comparison between company turnover and GDP of a country. No, sorry folks, this is flat out wrong. You need to compare corporate profit plus the wage bill to GDP in a country. Both are measures of value add: and you’re idiots to get this wrong.

Ritchie is involved, of course, and he might be sailing a little close to the wind here:

The evidence of capture is, then
quite strong. That evidence
continues when it comes to
the creation of tax policy. Take
as an example, the creation of
the General Anti-Abuse Rule,
passed last year. The panel of
people advising were all from
big business bar me, as one
of the major proponents of the
idea, and a representative from
Save the Children, to reflect civil
engagement on this issue. The
other nine were from big business,
or large firms of lawyers and
accountants, and most support
staff to that panel were seconded
from the Big 4 firms of accountants
or lawyers. We wrote most of the
guidance on that Rule. HMRC did
not. Capture looked very complete
to me.
And what was the outcome? An
anti-abuse rule (not even, I stress,
an anti-avoidance rule) where the
effective permission of a panel of
tax experts drawn from the ranks
of private sector tax specialists
was required before HMRC
could pursue a case. Capture
was complete.

How shtum is he supposed to be here?

So Russell Brand’s Revolution is nearly here

And boy does it look like a stinker.

David is best known for his idea of debt cancellation. Personal debt cancellation used to be a common policy in ancient civilisations; every seven years, all debt was cancelled. The Bible refers to “debt jubilees”, where everyone’s debt would be reset to zero. It’s especially nice that it was called a “jubilee”, creating an even more euphoric sense of carnival. In Islam, too, usury, credit at extortionate rates – like Wonga or whatever offer – is forbidden. So this bizarre-sounding notion has strong historic precedent. It is a mark of how far into materialism we have descended that it seems unfeasible in our world.

David explained that debt repayment has a powerful moral charge in our culture, that people feel ashamed about debt and guilty about non-payment. Seventy-five per cent of Americans are in debt, 40% owing more than $50,000, while an estimated nine million British people are in “serious debt”. What David Graeber, the anarchist, is suggesting is that all personal debt, debt for normal people, is cancelled. Think about it. That means you. All your debt cancelled.

Yes, OK, let’s think about it. No one in any society would ever be able to borrow again. that’s going to be, umm, interesting, isn’t it?

Danny Dorling’s spouting bollocks again

To be in the top 1% of earners in Britain today, a couple with no children would need a minimum income of £160,000. A single person can enter the 1% with a little less, while a couple with children would need more.

Hardly any GPs are paid enough to take their place in the top 1% any longer, despite the last decade’s huge hike in their pay; their incomes have been far outstripped by those of the financiers above them.

Bit weird. GPs are on £112,000 or so, aren’t they? (looking it up, 103,000 for average GP partner in 2011/12) making a married GP couple comfortably in that top 1%. And yes, assortative mating has meant that there are a number of such couples out there.

I have a proof copy of the book this is drawn from and I’ve not written a proper review of it on the grounds that it’s filled with howlers like this. At one point he actually tries to tell us that the average cost of health care in the US is $110,000 a year or something (running from memory there). Seems not to understand that while it is expensive they do have “insurance”.

Err, yes, obviously

A chimpanzee’s intelligence is largely determined by the genes they inherit from their parents, reveals a new study.

It found Chimpanzees raised by humans turn out to be no cleverer than those given an ape upbringing.

Research into chimp intelligence could help scientists get a better handle on human IQ, say scientists.

Clearly genes have something to do with intelligence otherwise it wouldn’t have evolved in the first place, would it?

Nutty, yes, but quite possibly true

but D’Souza – whose work has been described as “the worst kind of smear journalism” – stands by it. The domestic enemy is everywhere (“Today, there are probably more Marxists on the faculty of our elite colleges than there are in all of Russia and Eastern Europe”) and deadly.

There’s a lot more communists in E Europe, for sure. They do still get healthy portions of the vote. But people who actually believe in Marxism, not so much.

No, not really

People living in Blackpool, Manchester and Middlesbrough are twice as likely to die as other parts of the country, a new study revealed today.

The risk of death is pretty much 1 for all of us (Elijah and the Virgin Mary being the exceptions according to folklore).

The risk of dying in any one year can be higher or lower in specific places of course.

The homelessness crisis

Worstall’s Fallacy at large:

Last year, 112,070 people declared themselves homeless in England – a 26% increase in four years.

Err, no.

Local councils have a statutory duty to house some – such as pregnant women, parents with dependent children and people considered, for a variety of reasons, vulnerable (single people rarely qualify). Last year, 112,070 people in England approached their council as homeless, a 26% increase on the figure four years ago.

112,070 people would be homeless if it were not for the systems we have put in place to house those who would be homeless.

Maybe the system could be better but what we actually want to know is how many people are really without a roof over their heads:

The government’s Department for Communities and Local Government estimated that across England, 2,414 people slept rough on any one night last year, a rise of 36% since 2010

I’ve seen it said that absent mental health or addiction problems “real” homelessness is pretty much a solved problem.

Such an obvious scam

Investors who put millions of pounds into Brazilian property investments – hoping to profit from the “World Cup effect” – are now pinning their hopes on a legal action to reclaim some of their money.

The firm at the centre of the property investment scheme, Pantheon Realty Consultants, had a prestigious address in London and UK directors whose details were held at Companies House.

During early 2013 the firm sold plots in areas supposedly close to World Cup stadiums and likely to benefit from Brazil’s more widely rising land prices. The plots were to be developed as hotels and resorts, the salesmen promised, and should return 20pc per year.

But the land that was sold to investors for an average £10,000 per plot has turned out to be almost worthless and unlikely ever to be developed.


Imagine
that there was land that might be developed as a result of the “World Cup effect”.

Given that the World Cup is in 2014, by 2013 it would already be being developed, wouldn’t it?

And Danny Dorling gets it good and hard

There is not much of an argument in this book against a greater reliance on additional building and thus cheaper house prices.  Dorling refers to “slum landlords and cowboy builders” and complains that not all housing for low-income groups will be of high enough quality.  But that’s more of a general complaint about the nature of poverty than a problem with the way the housing market works.  He then retreats to the claim that the mobilization of space and empty bedrooms around the country, combined with refurbishing, will solve the problem.  On any given night, he argues, most bedrooms in the country are not being slept in.

But how to redistribute this unjust largesse of sheets and pillows?  It is not as if a bureaucratic authority can scour the country for the empty bedrooms of the elderly and hand over keys to struggling young families.  Dorling repeats the incantation that housing inequality is immoral, but without much of a recipe for turning spare rooms into cheaper housing.  Refurbishment, as the author suggests, is all to the good.  But why isn’t more of that happening already?  Either regulatory forces are holding back redevelopment (a suggestion Dorling is reluctant to entertain), or landlords are waiting because it is not yet clear which kinds of investments will be best on a piece of land.  In that latter case, the law would be unwise to force the matter too quickly and, more generally, legal control could well discourage entrepreneurs from refurbishing at all.

As Tyler Cowen writes in the concluding section of the review: “You can’t write a good book which attempts to repeal the laws of economics, especially when it focuses on an economic topic.”

It’s amazing how often Dorling trips over his own ignorance of economics really.

Laurie Penny outs herself as an agent provocateur

Finally, the difficult truth is being admitted:

This week, sexist and racist trolls have borrowed the tactics of the CIA and Scotland Yard and sent in agents provocateurs to spread disharmony among online activists. Using stock photos and the stolen information of real activists, users of sites such as 4chan started hashtags including #Endfathersday and #whitescantberaped that are deliberately designed to provoke sections of the social justice left into internal arguments.

Most of these trolls have posed as women of colour, whom they call “black bitches”. Other users have falsified racist tweets from prominent feminists and leftists, and created sock-puppet accounts to make sure the fake tweets are seen and condemned. Users including Shafiqah Hudson picked up on the scam, and identified at least 200 such accounts. Someone has gone to considerable effort to pull off a swindle intended to exploit the “weaknesses” of a movement that, despite a tendency to turn on itself, is growing in strength.

In the past five years, Twitter and other social media platforms have become key sites of cultural activism. From feminism to anti-racism and transgender rights, people have used microblogging sites to make their experiences visible, share stories of injustice, organise collectively and educate themselves. Hashtags such as #solidarityisforwhitewomen, created by Mikki Kendall, and #yesallwomen, created by user @gildedspine, have been enormously effective at making sure sexism and racism, including within the left, can no longer be ignored – at least, not if you spend as much time online as the authors of this piece do.

And so Laurie Penny outs herself as one such provocateur. Obviously: no one of her privileged position and background, let alone education, could ever actually have believed any of the things she’s been saying these past few years.

Her job is, I think, akin to that of the late Tony Benn. No one who inherited one great publishing fortune and married into another could possibly have believed what Benn spouted. The job of the Second Viscount Stansgate was, therefore, to make sure that if anything even mildly socially democratic looked like gaining public support to then move the discussion into some obviously insane socialist direction which then turned everyone off the milder action. So was the grand position of inherited wealth and fourth generation MPs assured.

I’m sure there are others out there too. And I take Ms. Penny to be one in her generation.

Glad she’s finally come out as they say. The pretense was looking threadbare, not to say ridiculous, already.