July 2018

How intresting

But, as I said, $12,000 is a bargain. The average cost of a round of IVF in the US is over $23,000. Most people have at least three rounds before they are successful (some, of course, are sadly never successful). Many people have to pay that cost themselves, because their insurance covers nothing. I feel lucky, in a way, that I knew that I would need to pursue IVF several years before I was ready to think about starting a family, because I was able to prioritize finding a job with insurance that would support it.

So, that lady’s health care insurance – wider than the normal – should be counted as part of her compensation for turning up to work, no? At which point, what gender pay gap?

Further, it’s an interesting twist on asymmetric information, isn’t it?

Quite obviously nuts

Yes, yes, of course this is paranoia. The British left could never be that organised, could they? And yet, and yet, there does seem to be an awful lot of thrashing around in search of a justification for The Elect to be bringing up all the children in the country from the very earliest age that it’s possible to influence their beliefs.

Who knows, perhaps the nursery songs to teach them interesting words will feature Pavel Morozov? Pavlika, Pavlika, ya ya could go along nicely to that Kate Bush tune, no?

Sounds like a sensible place to put it all

Nuclear waste could be stored under some of the most beautiful parts of the country prompting a row with rural campaigners.

A committee of MPs has controversially given the green light to Government plans which could see nuclear waste buried deep in vaults beneath England’s national parks.

The decision was condemned by campaigners who it put “our treasured landscapes under the threat of inappropriate and major development”.

No bugger’s allowed to do anything else with that land, is he? And it’s all being saved in perpetuity as well. What’s the hassle?

It’s all just Jewish lies about anti-semitism

Can’t help thinking that there’s the odd historical resonance to this claim:

One of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies on Labour’s ruling body blamed Jewish “Trump fanatics” for “making up” allegations of anti-Semitism in the party at a meeting attended by the Labour leader.

Peter Willsman, one of the so-called “JC9” of key Corbyn supporters on the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), said he would “not be lectured” by Jewish supporters of the US President “making up duff information without any evidence at all”.

He also appeared to suggest that examples of anti-Semitism within Labour were being “falsified on social media”. One Jewish Labour MP said his comments “beggar belief”.

A fun claim

A rail boss has been accused of “living on another planet” after claiming that Britain’s railways are the envy of Western Europe.

Robert Nisbet, regional director of the Rail Delivery Group which represents train companies, said that other EU nations can “only dream” of having the UK’s levels of punctuality and efficiency.

Mr Nisbet conceded that passengers had faced “frankly appalling” levels of service, but went on to defend the performance of the railways.

In terms of the total cost as opposed to performance I think he’s onto something too.

Err, yes

There is plenty of discussion in the financial media this morning on whether or not this will be the week when the Bank of England finally raises interest rates above 0.5%, which has been their ceiling for near enough a decade. The broad consensus is that they will. The broad agreement as to the reason is that pride requires that they do so.

OK, so, why shouldn’t they?

The savings ratio is at an all-time low as households are under threat of being unable to make ends meet.

Tuberoso betrays his lack of economic knowledge again.

As Keynes pointed out, the paradox of thrift. In a recession people logically save more. But that’s bad for the economy as a whole. So, we actively desire to lower the savings rate to get out of the recession. The policy has now worked, huzzah. But then that means we’re out of the recession and should be raising interest rates in order to raise the savings rate, no?

We touched on this a few months back

Several explanations have been offered to account for the anti-Semitism that plagues sections of the Labour Party. More than one of them might be valid. For example, there is within the Labour Party an element characterized by a visceral rejection of all things Western and capitalist. Since Israel is both of these to some extent, they reject what it stands for, and equate pro-Jewish as pro-Israel.

Very much not sure of this

Fat tourists are CRIPPLING the donkeys that carry them around the Greek island of Santorini forcing locals to cross-breed them with mules to make them sturdier

It’s quite rare to cross breed anything with mules, they generally being sterile.

Donkeys on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini are being crippled by carrying heavy holidaymakers – as locals resort to cross-breeding the beasts with mules so they can carry heavier tourists.

It’s possible, obviously, as not all mules are sterile. But my guess is that the donkeys are being crossed with horses to create mules.

But what do I know against the might and knowledge of the Daily Mail?

Everything is new to those with no experience

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? No, it’s a terrible new trend that needs to be aborted. I speak of “genital-reveal parties”, which appear to have become de rigueur these days. OK, so technically they are called “gender-reveal parties”, but since gender is socially constructed, you’re really just revealing what genitals your unborn baby comes attached with.

In case you are unfamiliar with this extremely gender-normative phenomenon, it is a ritual in which a couple simultaneously finds out and reveals the sex of their unborn child in “creative” ways.

So, you hoping for a boy? Or a girl?” is just the sort of thing that no one has ever asked.

There is a slight problem here

Best of all, though least likely to generate headlines, is the committee’s insistence that, from childhood, we all “need to be equipped in general with sufficient digital literacy”, and that social media companies pay “an educational levy” to fund this formidable social undertaking – from primary school onwards.

This is the civil defence of the future, the means by which we shall be given at least a chance of spotting the proliferating falsehoods, pseudo-science, cheap conspiracy theories and outright cyber-attacks we will encounter every day online. These are the new tools of contemporary citizenship.

Why is this any different from he perusal of the lies in the average election manifesto?

Well done to City University here

Last week the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London released a briefing paper written by, among others, Professor Tim Lang, looking at British food security post-Brexit. It pointed out that the US is currently only the tenth largest exporter of food to Britain. “For the US to replace the combined food imports from the other nine of the top 10,” the report said, “would require a vast food flotilla and logistics operation exceeding that of the 1940-45 Atlantic convoys.”


It’s Tim Lang, so what idiot assumption has he made?

Leading food policy specialists have assessed the food security risks of Brexit in a new report.

Feeding Britain: Food Security after Brexit – published by the Food Research Collaboration – takes stock of how food security and food regulation are being addressed by the UK Government in the Brexit discussions.

The authors say a careless Brexit poses significant risks to food flows into and out of the UK and they urge the Government, industry and public to keep focused on food.

Oh Aye?

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Pissups and breweries come to mind.

It’s that second to last word that matters

Manafort’s decision to take his chances in court has startled many observers. Speculation about whom Manafort may be protecting with his silence – and why – has steadily intensified.

Bradley Moss, a Washington-based attorney who specialises in national security issues, expressed dismay that Manafort was allowing his case to go this far.

“They have him nailed dead to rights,” said Moss. “He is going to spend the rest of his life in jail if convicted.”

Maybe he thinks he’s got a defence?

Who knows about this online education stuff then?

There’s a goodly chance that I’ll have to be doing some tutoring in GCSE maths this summer.

Not so much in teaching the grandkiddy, rather more in teaching them where to go get taught.

So, who knows all about YouTube channels and the like. We need GCSE Maths, foundation level. AQA if that makes any difference.


Why, yes, idiot is indeed idiot

There are three things to note. First, the lower half of the income distribution (broadly earning less than £24,000 pa in the year in question) get 10% of all pension tax relief.

The so-called middle-income earners (earning £24,000 to about £54,000 in that year) enjoy 40% of tax reliefs.

And the top 10% of earners, all earning over £54,000 pa) enjoy 50% of all tax relief.

Yes, OK.

In other words, tax relief for those best off – which is nothing more than a straightforward state subsidy for their savings which increases the wealth divide in the UK as a result – costs £27 billion a year.

Ahhhh. Well, you see, there’s this lifetime thing? Pensions savings are made over a working lifetime. And wages change over a working lifetime. It’s not exactly unusual that older people make more money than younger. Which is why we do adjust for age when considering income at times.

We’ve also the fat that pensions are indeed part of that wealth divide. But then we also nee to consider lifetime effects. The 21 year old just starting work has no pensions savings. The 65 year old just retiring has the most he’s every going to have. We thus really o need to look at age adjusted incomes and age adjusted wealth.

But the Senior Lecturer doesn’t know enough economics to know this, does he?


Things seem to be moving the right way for those champions of a second referendum, who include everyone from Labour peer Lord Adonis and Conservative MP Anna Soubry to the increasingly statesmanlike former Conservative prime minister Sir John Major…

Increasingly statesmanlike means begins to agree with me.

The sad demise of the crumhorn

But if the children aren’t forced to learn the crumhorn then how will we all collect our Arts Council subsidies for pieces that require the crumhorn?

They are the big beasts of the orchestra, famous for their booming depths and resounding crescendos.

But the days of the oboe, bassoon, french horn and tuba could be numbered, an arts chief has warned, as interest from the younger generations has dwindled to such a low that the instruments now risk becoming extinct.

Lucy Noble, the Royal Albert Hall’s artistic and commercial director, has blamed the demise of these orchestral instruments on the fact that the “YouTube generation” has less exposure to live music.

There is actually an easy answer here. The process of learning to play an instrument comes in two parts. Learning the instrument and learning music. Once that second is learned then it’s very, very, much easier to learn another of the first. So, change the relative wages for these instruments an we’ll get, say, clarinettists or saxophone players lining up to perform on the contrabassoon. It’s really not necessary to start at age 5 on one in order to be able to play it when 25 you know.

Greenpeace are experts now, eh?

Campaigners have called for action after the maritime regulator ruled that foreign ships can continue to dump palm oil in British waters for three years.

In February, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) approved regulation that will require tankers carrying palm oil and other food oils to pump the tank residue into purpose-built disposal facilities, instead of washing it out in open water.

But the new rules will not come into force until July 1, 2021, a timeframe the IMO says will give states and industry time to increase capacity at shore-based oil disposal facilities.

Britain already has the infrastructure required to deal with oil residue and experts say it should ban the dumping of food oils in British waters ahead of the 2021 deadline.

“UK ports have oily water reception facilities that were put in place to process crude oil waste,” said Paul Johnston, an honorary research fellow at the University of Exeter and principal scientist at Greenpeace’s research laboratories.

Campaigner, yes, expert? Well, not exactly an unbiased observer, is he?