Meat is murder, cheese is rape

An Australian vegan was offended by a British ham and cheese sandwich this week.

I know, it sounds like the setup to a mediocre joke but, no, the offence was actually taken by the protein-deficient antipodean.

That vegans don’t eat, wear or use animal products is an incontrovertible fact. That they go around in a constant state of high offence that others do may be news to many of us.

Firstly, let’s remind ourself of the basic flow of offence when it occurs;

1. An external stimulus (words, pictures, sound, etc.).

2. The recipient mentally processes this.

3. The recipient then chooses to take offence (or in most cases, doesn’t).

4. The recipient loudly proclaims their new state of offence to the world.

5. The world continues to spin on its axis, the laws of physics are maintained, water still flows downhill, nothing of any consequence changes.

Imagine for a second, though, what it must be like to live in this state of constant offence; Joey Armstrong claims to be highly-offended by the sight of a “murdered” pig combined with “raped” cow milk processed into cheese.

This claim was made inside the BBC’s Broadcasting House, London. To have arrived there from Australia, Joey will have travelled to his nearest international airport, hopefully in a taxi that did not have leather seats, through the departure lounge replete with retail outlets selling leather products and multiple food outlets offering many meat items.

On the plane, he would have been unlikely to have avoided smelling and seeing the food choices of his fellow passengers; the clichéd “chicken or fish” option leaves little chance of an offence-free flight.

At Heathrow, he will have doubtless caught a whiff of the delicious toasted ham and cheese croissants sold by Pret á Manger just after the security checks. Then, into London, he’d be challenged to find a carriage on the Piccadilly Line or Heathrow Express trains without passengers wearing leather shoes, belts and jackets. There might have even been a bacon sandwich consumed in front of his crying eyes.

After such a traumatic journey, exiting at Oxford Circus station isn’t going to be much of a relief; he’ll have to pass yet more dead animal-wearing pedestrians, dead-animal flesh outlets (cafés) and, even when safely in the bowels of the BBC, he may have to witness a cold meat selection in the Green Room before the interview.

The poor chap will then have to experience it all in reverse on the way home to his vegan utopia homestead.

With so much offence and trauma being incurred, it’s a wonder Joey can still function enough to have a coherent conversation. Oh, hang on…..

Bill’s Opinion

One of two things are happening here, either;

  1. Joey is deeply offended and traumatised throughout most of his waking moments but somehow manages to function in a state of excruciating mental suffering, or
  2. He’s making it up and is a lying shit.

Lastly, who else is enjoying the irony of an Australian vegan called Joey Armstrong; a “Joey” being the name for a baby kangaroo and strong arms being the last thing one ever associates with pasty weak vegans.

We may need a new scale

In the UK, there’s an unwritten rule that Prime Ministers are compared on a scale of Chamberlain to Churchill.

Neville Chamberlain being the Prime Minister who championed the cowardly “appeasement” approach to German (illegal) re-armament and expansionism and Winston Churchill being, well, the Prime Minister who reversed that failed policy and guided the country to victory.

How might David Cameron compare on that scale?

He entered the position as leader of a coalition government. Many commentators suggest that he might have won a majority but for the conscious leap to the left of his party from a free market position to a more social-democratic one. This was his strategy to counter the successful move to a more centrist position by the Labour Party. It was argued at the time that the fact Labour could be successful by being more like the Conservatives was a great data point to suggest sticking with traditional Conservative policies.

Nonetheless, he had to run a compromise government for his first term, which resulted in the concession to his party’s core to hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU.

His next term was with a small majority so without much of the horse-trading of the previous four years but the “damage” was done by then; the referendum was locked and loaded.

Although the Conservatives were originally the party who took Britain into the Common Market (the precursor to the EU) in 1973, the party had since grown to regret the move. Perhaps a clue being in the name “Common Market”; the original referendum sold the idea of a trading block, not the United States of Europe project that later emerged.

During the build up to the Brexit referendum, Cameron made much of his efforts to renegotiate the terms of membership with the EU. Brave talk was uttered about “red lines” and “no deal being better than a bad deal”. As any negotiator worth his coin knows, a BATNA is only any good if you’re prepared to actually accept it. The deals he brought back from Brussels were lip service and meaningless and he, like all of us, must have known this.

Yet, rather than follow the wishes of the core of his party and campaign to leave the EU, Cameron chose to campaign for the status quo. The problem being, of course, is there is never such a thing as the status quo, the day following a “Remain” vote there would have seen a massive increase in the “ever closer union” rhetoric from the EU. The voters knew this too.

Nevertheless, “Project Fear” was implemented in attempt to scare the voters away from the Brexit option. The stock market would crash, the pound would be toast, the crops would die in the fields, a swarm of radioactive locusts would eat newborn babies, etc.

None of which happened, as Cameron candidly admits in this “hot mic” recording.

Bill’s Opinion

Either David Cameron is a coward, refusing to make the hard decisions at every opportunity or he is a traitor, willing to sell his country to foreign interests contrary to the benefit of the British.

Over time, we may see the method of comparison for British Prime Ministers is reset to use the Cameron-Churchill scale.

Modern slavery, same old stupidity

Slavery still exists along the supply chain of some of the most reputable businesses.

FTSE 100 companies have a major influence in eradicating modern slavery,” said Hyland. “Therefore, I have written to 25 companies identified in the BHRCC research as non-compliant, and which had still not corrected their omissions by December 2017, to encourage improved efforts in the coming year.”

A quarter of the FTSE100 are not taking seriously the risk of slavery in their supply chain? That’s pretty dire.

Taking action on modern slavery and human trafficking is not just a moral obligation – it is in fact good business sense: forced labour in company operations or supply chains has potential to disrupt business, weaken investor confidence, incur litigation costs and cause significant brand damage.”

Well, that’s not strictly true, is it? The Romans built an entire empire off the back of slaves and it’s doubtful the Southern plantation owners would have sold as much cotton if the price had included market rate wages as input costs.

Slavery has been the primary route to wealth for most of human history. It’s only recently made bad business logic since the Judeo-Christian culture decided it was immoral and put severe sanctions in place to prevent it. It continued elsewhere in the world, however, a fact which ought to kill any conversation about cultural equality dead.

So which are the companies who so callously flaunt the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act and what are those requirements?

The BHRCC research, from October 2017, commended Marks & Spencer, Sainsbury’s, Unilever, British American Tobacco, Tesco and Vodafone for their work against modern slavery. Hargreaves Lansdown, Paddy Power Betfair, Pearson and Worldpay rated poorly.

Under the MSA firms with a turnover of £36m or more must produce slavery statements approved by the board, signed by a director and published on a website with a link from the homepage.

It feels like another outing for our old friend Pareto.

Let’s work back from the outcome we wish to achieve; something like eliminate slavery from the supply chain of goods and services entering the country.

With that goal in mind, it would make sense to address the supply chains of those companies with the largest risk of discovering slavery in their supply chain, so the largest by revenue might be one crude measure but it may be more effective to target those most reliant on imported goods and service, surely?

The bookmakers Paddy Power Betfair, for example, may have very large revenue but is unlikely to be reliant on any significant value or volume of imported goods and services, maybe a bunch of IT equipment but little else.

The same could be said for the others named in the article. Let’s also remind ourselves what it is they haven’t done; written a statement and posted it on a website. Not exactly commensurate with the efforts of William Wilberforce, is it?

Bill’s Opinion

Naming and shaming organisations for failing to comply with legislation is fine but let’s not delude ourselves into believing it actually achieves the outcome we require.

The revenue trigger for the MSA legislation is a crude measure and risks leaving smaller firms with more potential of finding slavery in their supply chain unexamined.

In fact, this is simply yet another example of this lesson on setting KPIs.

The left discovers the pension Ponzi for the first time

Quoting from this CNN article.

In unrelated news, the USA currently has a Gross Federal Debt balance of 106% of GDP, or $20.24 trillion in change.

Bill’s Opinion

Either we’re worried about the national debt because we believe it needs to be paid back eventually or we’re sanguine because we don’t think it will need to be repaid.

If the former, then we must also be concerned about the creeping pension Ponzi.

If the latter, who gives a damn about pensions as we can simply roll the debt over and carry on borrowing?

Using pensions as a justification for increased immigration is illogical and disingenuous if you’re unconcerned about debt.

Lastly, “whites”? Sigh; yet more identity politics bollocks.

Two incompatible approaches

Many have shared this interview on social media and various blogs already, commenting from their particular position.

We would like to offer an alternative to the Red vs Blue Team arguments and discuss this interview as a proxy to explain why we are currently seeing so much polarisation in, well, every area of public debate.

The two participants, while nominally discussing the same subject are using two incompatible approaches to the discussion.

On the one hand, Peterson talks in terms of statistics showing trends, while Newman uses his description of a trend as a specific for an individual.

A great example of this disconnect is when Peterson tries to explain why hierarchies and the human response to them are ancient and even predate hominids. His nuanced point was that the serotonin reaction to status is shared with lobsters, so (a) status cannot be a social construct to be quickly dismantled and, (b) probably has some deep evolutionary cause, reminding us of Chesterton’s fence.

The discussion around the causes of the pay gap is even more poignant; one person is approaching the data point that, on average, women are paid 9% less than men, with a reasonable question about how we might isolate the multiple variables which may be responsible and cautioning against drawing the conclusion that it must be entirely or, in a large part, due to bias.

On the other hand, the other person is either unable or unwilling to consider the possibility that other factors may be at play.

Peterson remains remarkably patient during this exchange while Newman reverts to hyperbole, invites Peterson to argue against her strawman summaries of his points and begins to raise her voice.

Bill’s Opinion

One doesn’t need to take a position on the content of the discussion to see that the two approaches to this debate are incompatible. The form of the discussion is a wonderful embodiment of the current standard of debate between those with a cultural Marxism tendency and everyone else in the world.

Even the best girls are boys

A 9 year old female relative received this inspiring book for Christmas;

100 stories of inspiring women role models to underline the message that girls can achieve whatever it is in life they desire.

Most of the examples are uncontentious with wonderful tales of intelligence, tenacity and bravery to achieve outstanding outcomes in various disciplines; Marie Curie, Florence Nightingale, Ada Lovelace, Hypatia, etc.

The authors could be accused of a little padding however, especially as 8% of the heroines they include were queens from history, women who epitomise one of the Left’s favourite insults; unearned privilege by birth.

There seem to be an over-representation of women with “activist” (or synonym) as their title (12%) versus those notable for academic achievements (23%).

However, to ensure balance, it was nice of them to include this surprise addition to the collection;

Although mentioning the abolition of “free” milk presumably softened the blow.

There were two additions which made me chuckle. Firstly, a woman most famous because of her husband’s surname and a remarkable inability to tell the truth or win elections. Not the greatest role model one can think of, certainly not in the top 100;

To every little girl who dreams big, I say YES, you can be anything you want – even president…. especially if you tell the truth and connect with middle America“.

Even worse is the second example, another person famous only through marriage (creepy picture too);

But lastly, how about this for a confusing message for a young girl;

Bill’s Opinion

It’s admirable that the authors of this book inspire girls to not be limited by their imagination. How commendable it is also that they have given the same message to boys; if you want to be a girl, just say you’re a girl. Simple!

After all, in 2015 the most inspiring woman of the year was a man. See, men are better than women at everything…. including being women.

 

 

Tricky this

File under; “Questions not asked or answered by the journalist“.

As reported, this is a tragic story of disadvantage, abuse and desperation.

As the Grauniad reporter Ben Doherty expects, our natural reaction is one of sympathy for a fellow human being whose entire life has been a series of events of terrible luck.

Can we ask some questions though, please?

First question; when did Said Imasi arrive in Australia and under what circumstances?

He admits to travelling on false passports, he says, because it is impossible for a person without a country to gain one legitimately.

Imasi arrived in Australia – by plane and intending only to pass through – in January 2010.

He got on an international flight with a false passport? Hands up who, in these post-911 days, likes the idea of getting on a plane with someone travelling under a false identity? You sir, Mr. Guardian Reader at the back, would you put your family on that plane?

Ok, next question; to an accuracy level of the nearest year, how old is Said?

He doesn’t know where he was born, or when. He has few documents to demonstrate who he is or where he comes from.

Imasi was born on or about 27 March 1989. He doesn’t know his exact birthdate, nor precisely where he was born.

That’s sad. It would make competing in a junior athletics competition a little tricky too, wouldn’t it? Yet somehow…..

That’s a mighty fine set of biceps and quadriceps the “teenage” Said is sporting there, relative to the weedy kids running next to him. It’s almost as if….. no, we’re imagining things.

Third question; other than for the international crime of travelling on false documentation, why is Said in a detention centre in Australia (well, on the Australian territory of Christmas Island)?

Oh, because he claimed asylum when he arrived in Australia due to fear of persecution. So perhaps the reason he’s not at liberty in Australia is because he’s undergoing the due process required by the Australian state to ensure the validity of the claims made by asylum-seekers?

Penultimate question; given that he’s living at the expense of the the Australian public and has requested they allow him to live among them permanently, is he motivated to help clarify their points of confusion about his background and the legitimacy of his claim?

The government has previously raised doubts Imasi is from Western Sahara and said he has been uncooperative, a claim rejected by the UN working group.

Oh, that’s awkward.

Final question; if his claim to be at risk of persecution were to be found to be valid, is he the type of person Australians would like to have as a neighbour?

From the article we can see that he has admitted to being a member of a criminal gang, drug-running, traveling under stolen or forged passports, violence and rape.

Although many of Australia’s citizens can trace their ancestry back to British and Irish criminals who were transported to the various penal colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries, it is no longer a requirement or, indeed, desirable for new immigrants to be hardened criminals.

Bill’s Opinion

There is no doubt that Said Imasi has lived a difficult life beset with many cruel twists of fate. He has, however, lied like a cheap fake Rolex at every opportunity offered to him to explain his identity, background and any other pertinent facts which might support his claim to asylum.

The people of Australia are well within their rights to detain him away from their society until these uncertainties have been cleared up.

What happens next to Said is entirely down to Said’s choices; he can either come clean about who he is, where he’s been and what he has done prior to arriving in Australia or he can give just enough information to prove that he has been resident of another country long enough to be able to claim asylum elsewhere.

In the meantime, enjoy the free food, high definition TV, internet and Xbox games at the expense of Australia.

On “shitholes”

The Outrage Bus continues to pick up passengers, presumably none of whom have ever visited Lagos, Nigeria.

Bill’s Opinion

Some countries are more pleasant places to live than others.

This is not necessarily a function of climate or geography but often mainly due to culture.

If this were not true, we would see boats full of French, Italian and Greek refugees heading south to the North African coast to claim asylum each summer.

President Oprah

Tim Newman has a fun discussion about the latest hope of those Americans who are still tearfully nursing a heavily-underlined and bookmarked copy of “What Happened?” by Hillary Clinton; Oprah Winfrey is being groomed for a run at the 2020 Presidential election.

Is it possible that the TV show host is exactly the person who can make President Trump join the ignoble ranks of Presidents Carter, Bush Sr and other one termers?

Well, it very much depends on which of the reasons offered in “What Happened?” You feel contributed most to Hillary’s shock defeat, or indeed, whether there are reasons not listed which may be the root of the problem.

In case you’ve not consulted Hillary’s definitive assessment of the 2016 election recently, here’s a quick recap of the reasons she offered for losing having the election stolen from her;

  • James Comey
  • Vladimir Putin
  • Barrack Obama
  • Mitch McConnell
  • The New York Times
  • The media in general
  • Bernie Sanders
  • Jill Stein
  • Sexism
  • Racist white people
  • Deplorables, and
  • Hillary Clinton

Most of the above will be completely irrelevant in the 2020 election but Candidate Oprah may still have to deal with the Washington Post, the rest of the media, sexism, racists and those inconvenient deplorables.

Which of the reasons from this residual list might we deduce is the biggest challenge facing Oprah Winfrey for the 2020 race?

Yes, you there at the back?

What’s that? Sexism, racism and people who were labelled deplorable?

Top prize.

Now, if we were to produce a Venn Diagram of those three demographics, how large do we feel the common subset would be between all three?

10% of the total? 20%? More?

Next question; what would Hillary Clinton or Oprah Winfrey answer?

Bill’s Opinion

The answer to that question is why Winfrey stands little to no chance of beating Trump.

Privately, it’s possible Winfrey believes there is close to a 100% correlation between those deplorables who elected Trump and and America’s racists and sexists and for this reason, and this reason alone, her campaign will be unlikely to change the minds of the disaffected voters who perhaps objected to the label “deplorable” in 2016 and may still not enjoy that inference in 2 years’ time.

For those who are that way inclined, Sportsbet are offering 3.5 for a Trump 2nd term.