Lights go out across Europe

xnzI1994926

With an inevitability, in a slow downwards spiral, we are finally at that point when the lights are about to go out across Europe, heralding in a new 1930s with a twist.

Mr Klaus said: “The train carrying the treaty is going so fast and it’s so far that it can’t be stopped or returned, no matter how much some of us would want that.”

Back in September 2004, EU Serf opened a blog on the evils of the EU Superstate and how we’re heading for a new feudalism, a new serfdom:

In the absence of any real arguments in favour of a European super state, most of its supporters fall back on the question of inevitability. As it is going to happen anyway, why fight against it? Aside from the fact that the same argument could have been used in the context of the Nazi invasions or any number of other horrible historic events, what is it about the EU that makes it so inevitable?

There are some good arguments for trading with Europe, there are even arguments for being part of a European Economic Zone.  There are no good arguments for a European Union unless you consider the enslavement of its peoples and the ushering in of a totalitarian state a good thing.

The words written on this by bloggers and other pundits must now be getting into the millions.

Sadly, people just did not recognize the reality and fell for the lure of promised lucre.  One can’t expect them to have a sense of history or to have read Churchill:

It played a definitely recognizable role in the tragedy of the French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the nineteenth century, and now at last this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads, and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.

This underworld from the great cities alluded to by Churchill, by Wilson, by Jenner, by Quigley and so many others, is Them. They are the driving force and so it’s sad to read otherwise intelligent friends saying things like, “There is no “Them” James. It’s “Us.”

If you would like a crash course in how people are manipulated, observe Irish Lisbon 2.  One can blame the common man for his ambition, naivety, greed and penchant for anything new and different, one can blame the common man, quite rightly, for Eurostate and for all the other stupid things he’s allowed to happen.

But this does not diminish, in any way, the role of Churchill’s “underworld” i ntaking advantage of it.  If I take candy from a baby, is it the baby’s fault?

It seems it’s denial day today. To the august blogger who said there is no pensions crisis, this from the Telegraph:

The gulf between private sector pensions and the final salary schemes commonly enjoyed by public sector workers has reached record levels. But the chances of a worker in the private sector ever securing a generous final salary pension were fast diminishing, with nearly all employers now concluding that these schemes, which guaranteed the pension sum, were no longer sustainable.

The proportion of workers covered by a private sector final salary scheme nearly halved from 23 per cent of the workforce in 1988 to 12 per cent in 2003 as companies closed schemes. However, despite repeated government pledges to improve the affordability of pension arrangements, the majority of public sector schemes are still final salary.

A report from the accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 96 per cent of companies considered final salary schemes to be “unsustainable”.

And so on. Looks mighty like a crisis to me or perhaps different people have different definitions of crisis.

Either way, it will be interesting to watch Europhiles making out that there is no crisis with the Eurosuperstate now ready to be signed into power.

See you the other side of the new dark age.

Seven greatest world sporting moments

October607015

In choosing the 7 greatest sporting moments of all time, the first thing which must be eliminated is parochialism – that one’s own sporting moments dominate the selection.

An example of this is the Wikipedia list of greatest moments, as chosen by a British poll.  Naturally, it was heavily biased towards UK events.  An American poll would include heaps of baseball and football and one mentioned “The shot heard round the world–The Yankees of the 1960” and Bill Mazeroski. Who?  The Brits mention Prince Nazeem and the Americans ask, “Who?”

Nor is it enough to judge by how international  the sport is or how many people remember it round the world.  There might have been an amazing triumph in an obscure part of the globe.  Perhaps the criteria are that it had to defy the odds, be a first, be at the elite level and make its way beyond its native shores.

I’m thinking of some Super Bowl triumphs which most people have never seen or some cricket highlights no Americans have ever seen.

So, in no particular order, these are mine from the 50s onwards:

1.  Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10

2. Australia 2 lifting the America’s Cup after 132 years, a deed which saw both crews on the White House lawn with Ronald Reagan

3. Eddie the Eagle’s popularity at the Calgary Olympics

4. Germany, virtually destroyed after the war, took on the mighty Hungarian side in 1954 who had already beaten them 8-3 and they lifted the World Cup

5. The “Three Second Match” in which the USSR defeated the USA in basketball after one of the longest winning streaks. The American team refused their silver medals.

6. USA defeats the USSR in 1980 in the hockey Olympics

7. Roger Bannister’s mile

The benefits of a training regimen

machinebenchpress1

Trained today and was delighted to see 30% increase in weight chest-benched.  Before getting overexcited about this, this always happens when you come back after a layoff.

The body says OMG, there’s trouble and starts bulking up to cope with the next assault but after some weeks it gets clever and starts to have a plan to cope with regular assault – therefore it delivers less increase, until finally one reaches that famous plateau.

That’s why I have to maximize now before the slowdown in the increase happens.  Training to a plan and running the same exercise for each muscle group for four sessions on each group is a good idea, then change it round bit by bit to shock the body into having to cope with new demands.

Off day

This is where the gains come in and diet is everything.  “Hydrated and fed” is the rule more than ever.  TTL we have good water here in England. There are many things which need to be changed too – 5 or 6 small meals the size of a small bowl, no snacking, no processed or saturated, no fried.  Each meal needs about 40% good carbs, 35% protein and about 25% fat.

One of the better articles I’ve seen says:

Sources for protein include lean meats, fish, egg whites, low fat cottage cheese and whey protein.  Complex carbs include potatoes, yams, bread, cereals, grains, pasta and rice; simple carbs include most fruit and veggie carbs which include most vegetables and leafy greens.  Fats are also a necessity but should come from the following sources: extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, nuts (almonds are best) and fish oil.

It’s not all austerity though.  the article also says:

Let’s take this one step further. Here is a magic formula for extreme lean muscle mass and fat burning. For three days in a row, come hell or high water, only eat complex carbs first thing in the morning (a serving of oatmeal will do it) and immediately after your workout. On the fourth day, eat a ton of carbs. Actually cheat on this day. Eat whatever you want, but ensure that you eat sufficient protein and lots of complex carbs. This is the time to eat pizza, pasta, cake and so on.

That’s the reward principle but there’s bioscience behind it. You need to train your body to process protein properly and store good carbs to enable efficient gains in muscle mass.  On a training day, you must be well hydrated beforehand and with lots of carbs to burn and some protein to process.

Session essentials

At a training session, there are three key elements:

1.  Cover all muscles groups in natural combinations over a few days, either two or three.  I do a Day 1 – chest, shoulders, biceps and a Day 2 – back, neck, legs, triceps.  Abdomen is done on all days.  I train three days a week.

2.  The technique must be absolutely correct, otherwise, you’re wasting your time.  For example, today with biceps, seated, alternately raising one hand, then the other, the tendency was for the elbows to move out because I was trying to shift too much weight.  I dropped a kilo and stuck to technique.

3.  Pain and failure.  These are an essential ingredient – what they call the “good pain” or muscle exhaustion.  It’s always repetitions versus weight.  Some things require more reps [15-20] and others require sheer mass shifting [around 8 reps].

The key here is to go further than you think you’re capable of.  Today there was no one about and on bench lift, I go to failure, i.e. I push enough reps that eventually I fail and the weight crashes down.  Even on a Smith machine with lugs which stop it hitting your chest, this is not pleasant.

So you need a “spotter”, a person who stands behind and is there for that last push, sees you’re “gone” and puts hands under the bar.  He doesn’t even have to take up much weight – it’s all psychological and it means you can put the weight back in its perch, knowing there is that safety net of the spotter.

Today, there wasn’t one and the cautious mind only let me do 80% of what I could have, with resulting less gain.  That was annoying.

Benefits

Everything benefits.

Quite apart from the incremental and slow change to body shape, there is cardiovascular and pulmonary improvement [including aerobic exercise in the regimen], feeling of well-being and a certain euphoria from the body’s chemicals moving into action.

One side-benefit is that you actually begin to prefer lean, clean and fresh food so you’re more likely to take a carrot strip dipped in a cottage cheese dip to chish ‘n fips.

And overall energy and intelligence improve, provided you keep the brain ticking over.  This, in turn, allows you to cope better and a blogger’s blog becomes more positive and attractive to read.

The downside?  Time, cost and self-discipline.

Fallacies

That you can do it without putting yourself out.  That you can gain a body through diet alone or through pills and supplements.  The whole critical bottom line is that it’s going to cost you big and there are no shortcuts, no miracle methods.

There are methods, yes, some better than others but giving your all and disciplining yourself are where the results will accrue from.

Why is the pension crisis global?

Piggy Bank

We know the situation in Britain and many blame only Gordo for their pension ills.  This is an issue in layers and one layer below that is people’s own bad decisions plus their over-reliance that the pension scheme would always work.

Moving one layer below that, why on earth should the cost of things like houses be as they are – the answer is in the explosion of and control of credit in the market, playing on people’s natural ambition and stupidity.  If you take a median salary of £15 000 [excluding the very high and very low] and a house price in Britain of £250 000, then it is obvious that we’re talking around 15 or 16 times a year’s gross.

The last time [and this shows how long ago] I was in the market, the salary was £12 000 and the house I looked at near Bridlington cost £58 000.  A considerable difference.

All major items have gotten right out of control, from council tax to water rates, to the point where it is impossible to live.  Then we come to pensions and though Brown did wreck the pension funds, the fund managers themselves have much to answer for and … well, yes … so do the ordinary people who failed to save.

Instead of attacking the source directly – the BofE and the banks themselves, the credit issuers, people chose to get more and more credit cards to compensate for the last ones which were limited out, without stopping for one moment to think why this runaway price inflation was happening.

More worrying than this, for me, is how this thing has turned global.  Why should a crash on Wall Street result in people in Australia and New Zealand being out of work?  Why would Germany be in a dire position as well?  Why would all of us be in financial crisis right now?  Why would people approaching pension age in Canada be facing penury because they’ve failed to save enough – exactly as in the UK and New Zealand?

You see what I’m saying – why the global nature of what people are seemingly doing locally?

From the Canadian Globe and Mail:

It is very, very agonizing to see these people who have worked all their life to try and get a pension – and, all of a sudden, it falls apart. ” Canadians are facing a national pension meltdown. Decades in the making, it has worsened dramatically during the recession. Businesses are shredding pension promises, retirement savings are shrinking, employees are working longer and the elderly are selling homes and returning to the workforce. As the retirement dream fades, policymakers seem unwilling to tell Canadians they have not saved enough to retire.

Why is it global?

The answer is in the question – because the markets are globally controlled. That’s why there’s a BIS, IMF and World Bank. That’s why every nation’s hedge funds and credit issuance is the same, why the greed was the same, why the sub-prime crisis was the same.

What fuelled the global nature of the misery? Why did a pensioner in Toronto and in Dagenham both simultaneously fail to cover themselves?

Answer that question accurately and you’re close to identifying Them.

Gangsters separating you from your property

gangsters

The man has the facts at his fingertips:

Folks, none of this was an accident and still isn’t:

*
We still have banks that are holding worthless (or “worth less”) paper on their books at or near “par” and employing all sorts of games to avoid recognition of already-taken losses, including refusing to foreclose on delinquent notes (ref: Sarasota Tribune among countless others as I have previously documented)

*
We have what appears to be systematic and pernicious fraud in mortgage assignments, including (if the document sent to me is correct) documents alleged to be executed by an officer of an entity that in fact is an employee of the receiving entity in what appears to be a clear case of “uttering” (forgery.) This does not appear, based on my quick perusal of public records, to be an isolated incident either – it instead appears to be a pattern of intentional conduct.

*
We have a judgment out of Boston in which it appears that not only have lenders and securitizers not complied with the requirements of State Law but that they may have violated Federal Anti-Money-Laundering Law in that the issuance of “bearer” instruments has been illegal in The United States since 1982! An endorsement “in blank” is, from a standpoint of the effect of such an endorsement, the creation of a bearer instrument.

* We have what appears to be a pattern of institutions willfully issuing MBS under false pretense where the requirements of the offering prospectus were wantonly and intentionally ignored, creating the potential for these MBS to be rendered utterly worthless. There were literally trillions of dollars of these MBS created in the United States over the last decade; this is not a minor issue. Key questions remain open and unanswered in regard to MBS issuance under these allegedly-false pretenses, chief among them being (1) whether The Fed and Treasury have monetized these in response to demands from China and other foreign banks who recognized their deficiencies, and (2) whether this constitutes a cover-up of outrageous and pernicious (and quite possibly felonious) behavior by mortgage originators, servicers and securitizers.

It certainly appears that just as in the 1920s the “captains of finance and real estate” ran nothing more or less than sophisticated scams designed to separate Americans (and foreign investors) from not only their money but their property. These acts, now as then, appear to have been permeated with and enabled by a list of felonies as long as your arm.

If you don’t accept this, then read this series.  You won’t though, as firstly – you may already have read it, secondly – it’s too long and you have no time or thirdly – it’s too boring.

I’d dearly like to see a series on the UK and in particular, the BofE.