And wouldn’t this be great radio?

This is the problem with Thought for the Day. It is three minutes of anodyne, flopsy-bunny drivel filtered through the sphincter of a spineless liberal BBC apparatchik. What we want is an evangelical railing against sodomites, a left-footer ranting about abortion and a Presbyterian raving about the Whore of Rome.

This is fun

SoftBank is under fire, with a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist querying the way the $97bn (£79bn) mega-fund behind the WeWork debacle proposed to pay investors returns.

The charge was levelled by Chamath Palihapitiya after part of a SoftBank investor presentation was put online.

The post showed SoftBank offered to pay a fixed return to preferred investors, but this might come from their cash, not from growth in the value of companies in its Vision fund. In effect, investors would be paying themselves. Palihapitiya tweeted: “SoftBank Vision Fund is essentially running a Ponzi scheme if this is true.”

A source close to SoftBank said the fund was structured to cater to the different risk appetites of its investors, and payouts would only come from shareholder funds if its portfolio didn’t deliver sufficient returns.

Preferred stock isn’t exactly unknown and it’s not conclusive evidence of a Ponzi either. It rather depends upon exactly what the terms were/are.

If it’s a return regardless of what the fund’s performance is doing then, well, that’s edging toward it, no? Or at least that’s more like debt than equity…..

Willy Hutton’s analysis always fails, doesn’t it?

Brexit-weary as we are, we must gird ourselves for the most significant few weeks for Britain since the Second World War. The crises of our economy, our constitution, our political parties, our identity and even public truthfulness are finally coming to a head. We must save our country from the duplicitous clutches of a zealous nationalist right – and for that the array of opposition parties and independent MPs, with Labour necessarily at its heart, must act.

Here he manages to be entirely correct for 56 words then fails, badly.

It’s not the nationalists nor the right doing the usurpation is it?

Can’t say I’m surprised

Almost a fifth of murders in England and Wales are now committed by people who are on parole, shocking new figures reveal today.

Failures by the probation service to supervise prisoners properly once they are released is now reaching crisis point, according to experts, with a 63 per cent increase in the number of homicides committed by ex-inmates.

Crimes are committed by criminals? Oh my giddy aunt…..

TW redesign / Changes

As i posed earlier, we listened about making changes to the site and reverted back to the old site.

This begs the question, what changes should be made?

The theme / backend that is activated is 3 years out of date and hasn’t has any security updates or fixes for over three years.

If anyone has any suggestions for a new theme / template for wordpress, please comment below.

We dont want to tinker too much, but just catching up on maintenance…

Reviving ConTel / ConTin

We’re going to revive con tel, we are just trying to decide in what format. Some of you had some issues with the previous design and how it worked. The main reason is continental telegraph provided a (small but steady) income. TW is google banned for ads (probably because we use the word cunt too much) so cant really be monetised, unless we use affiliate programs which use Java and Tracking (which 90% of you savvy lot arent using). So this begs the question… what format to we revive it in?

Would you like us to use the TW theme, so its familiar and simply has different content? (but with google ads).

Suggestions please 🙂

& also – we noted and listened regarding the redevelopment of this site.

Hmm, well, yes, Spanish ham

There’s a reason why the pork in Portugal is often surprisingly good.

Spain’s prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, has confused jamón ibérico, the prized Spanish ham, with run-of-the-mill jamón serrano in a gaffe on a par with a French politician referring to a fine burgundy as plonk.

Speaking at the centuries-old livestock fair in Zafra in Extremadura, western Spain, Sánchez left his audience open-mouthed when he told them “you can be sure that when the Chinese president visited Spain he would have been served a plate of jamón serrano from Extremadura”.

Extremadura is the cradle of jamón ibérico, a delicacy capable of throwing Spaniards of all political persuasions into a gastronomic swoon. The local farmers’ association said it had dispatched some to Madrid to educate Sánchez, lest he once again cast his swine before pearls.

Yep, OK.

The finest version of the ham, jamón ibérico bellota, is made from Iberian blackfoot pigs, or from 50% crossbreeds, which spend the last months of their lives roaming the dehesa – oakland pasture – feeding on grass and acorns.

Once slaughtered, the legs are plunged into vats of salt and hung and dry-cured over a range of temperatures for a minimum of 36 months. The best jamones are cured for around four years.

Quite so. Not that pigs eat very much grass, obviously, but the rootle around in it, certainly. And the type of oak we’re talking about, not England’s majestics, but the much smaller cork oak – the same things that produce cork, obviously.

The thing being this ecosystem extends across into Portugal. In fact, overs much of the southern half of it.

More recently a company was caught selling “Spanish” ham that had in fact originated in Poland.

Well, quite.

So, the black pigs that the stuff comes from, possibly bred but certainly fattened in Portugal. And slaughtered. The legs go off to Spain to be cured. But this leaves lots of lovely free range, acorn fed, black pig porkshiousness to be consumed locally.

Where it is. One cut being “secretos” which is a particular few slices off the belly. Scrummy. And most butcher’s counters will have a separate section of that black pork – no, it’s only the skin colour that is black – as chops and all that.

Town just up the road that claims at least to be the centre of this business. Ourique……which is where some reasonable portion of “Spanish” ham originates from.

That’s the end of that

Yes, I know, a heart attack isn’t what it used to be.

Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, campaign says as senator leaves hospital

But social attitudes usually trail behind medical advances. I’d say that’s the end of Bernie’s campaign. Purely my reading of the American public – something subject to very large error bars – but the required imagery of forceful vitality just won’t be there.

Can’t say it breaks my heart that Bernie won’t be running the world but there we are.

So that trade deal with 0hte US will be a good thing then, yes?

British scientists say the EU is allowing our food to be pumped full of potentially dangerous additives that have unknown long-term consequences.

Scientists fear the EU’s European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) is too eager to approve additives such as the controversial sweetener aspartame, which has been linked to increased rates of cancer, and are failing to consider the long term impact of additives on the human body.

Health campaigners say potentially dangerous food additives that are banned in the US are being allowed for use in British products because of ‘lax’ EU rules and the “weakness” of the UK’s Food Standards Authority (FSA).

Running our own policy – or even adopting the American one, would be a useful benefit of Brexit then?

Why don’t we get on with it?

Crocodile tears

A Labour council’s chief executive has been sacked after being paid more than £800,000 over six years while he was suspended.

Anthony O’Sullivan, 60, was suspended from his office in 2013 over claims he gave himself a pay rise when other staff had a wage freeze.

But Mr O’Sullivan continued getting his £137,000 annual salary despite not actually working for six-and-a-half years.

Gotta be union rules insisting on that, right?

Jess Turner, of the union Unison Cymru, said the saga should have been sorted “years ago”.

She said: “Staff are absolutely sick of it and the council needs to move on. “Since 2010, severe spending cuts driven from Westminster have cost the jobs of 746 Caerphilly council workers, yet as much as £6m pounds has been ploughed into a single issue.”

Hmm

Silly girl

Imagine a place where there are no elite or expensive private schools. And imagine a society where housing is affordable – a three-bedroom house, for example, costing one quarter of a similar property in Sydney.

What would such a place be like when the two main drivers of financial stress and resultant inequality were removed?

It would be … the most liveable city in Australia. It would be Warrnambool.

Last week the Victorian coastal city of Warrnambool was crowned by the Ipsos annual Life in Australia study as the most liveable city in Australia.

Access to nature, feeling safe, a sense of community and a lack of traffic congestion “helped the area score so highly”, according to reports.

But I also think inequality – or the perception of it – is important when it comes to liveability.

Take away elite private schools and ridiculously expensive median house prices, and suddenly you’re living in a much more equal place.

Median house prices aren’t part of inequality. It’s the distribution around the median that is.

Sigh, Guardian and numbers…..

Some people are insane

Gary Smith, the Scotland secretary of the GMB union, said the move represented a “troubling glimpse into the post-Brexit future” for the UK. “Scotland and the rest of the UK are sitting ducks after October 31st. The collective strength we have in the EU trading bloc will be gone and there is simply no such thing as a ‘special relationship’ with the United States – Trump will squeeze the UK economy for everything he can get,” he said.

The tariffs on whisky were imposed because we’re in the EU. If we weren’t in the EU then the tariffs wouldn’t have been imposed. Because we’d not be responsible – partially – for the Airbus subsidies.

So, ill effects of being in the EU are being used to explain how awful it would be to not be in the EU?

Some people are insane.

That tells ’em

Their judgment read: “There is no direct discrimination on grounds of sex, or age and sex combined. Necessarily, the legislation affects women only, because it was women only who previously enjoyed the advantage which is now being removed.

“But that is not to treat women less favourably than men in law; it is to equalise a historic asymmetry between men and women; it is to correct historic direct discrimination against men.”

Hmm, well, a point Sirrah.

When the aim was no border in Ireland, Johnson has delivered one. And it will not work. Whilst the compliant will submit to the proposals the whole reason for border checks is that we know there are those who will cheat. Johnson’s plan for checks away from the border provides no mechanism to deal for those who will flout the border for gain. At which point the plan, necessarily, fails. And that’s before the politics are considered.

There are people who cheat on the current border arrangements too. So, the logical difference between the new and the old is what?

For example, those claiming asylum regularly cross national boundaries within the EU. It’s also, inside the Schengen area, illegal to have general checks set up to stop them doing so – that’s to interfere with the free movement of people. It is only allowable to have spot and intelligence led stops.

Err…..

Elsewhere

Both were, one or two generations back, substantially poorer than the UK. Abjectly poor in fact. They are now both richer than the UK – substantially so. GDP per capita in 2017 was Singapore $57,700, Hong Kong $46,200, UK $39,700. Their growth rates are substantially higher too – the gap is growing, not shrinking.

In fact, the low redistribution rich countries are the only ones that are growing at even the global average – all of the high redistribution states have had growth rates below that global average for decades now. And what is it that will determine the living standards of the poor in 20 and 30 years time? It’s going to be how rich is the economy being lived in, not whether 10 or 20% is sliced off the rich to give to the poor.