Greece in Chapter 11

The only way to bring a country or corporation back from the dead is to halt all payments to creditors – the Greek Government is spending only slightly more than it earns (3% of GDP) if interest and loan repayments are ignored and with military spending at over 3% (double the NATO average) this is easy to address.

Continue reading “Greece in Chapter 11”

Where have all the “questioning” journalists gone?

This morning on BBC Radio 4 we were treated to the roving reporter (I can’t call him a journalist – sorry), John Humpreys was interviewing some Greek youth. One mentioned that Greece has the largest army in Europe and this warranted no comment from Mr Humphreys. What is true is that Greece has consistently pent almost double the EU average on defence in the last 20 years. Continue reading “Where have all the “questioning” journalists gone?”

Over half Greek debt due to large arms deals!

Greece has spent 3% of gdp more than they should have done on defence for the last 24 years at least. In that period, since 1988, Greek GDP has grown from $80bn to $300bn and still spending has kept pace!

See here Greek spending as a % of GDP since 1988 –graph

See here Greek GDP growth since 1988 – graph

If Greek spending on defence had been 3% lower then well over 50% of Greek debt would not exist.

Who benefited? Continue reading “Over half Greek debt due to large arms deals!”

Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Probably Not Guilty—So Who Is the Real Criminal?









Convicted Lockerbie Bomber Probably Not Guilty—So Who Is the Real Criminal?.

There is more to this story than we are being told. Why does mainstream media not probe further for the truth?

Yesterday I again heard that Gadaffi got what was coming to him for his role in ordering the Lockerbie bombing! It amazes me that people are prepared to believe whatever they are told by Governments and mainstream media and look no further.





Go Greece Go!

My complete support for the Greeks! Do not allow your elected leaders to inflict further pain on you! When bankers offer loans and the borrower can’t pay then the bankers lose money.

The Guardian reckons in this article that if you lend 10m to Greece for 5 years then yo can insure it for 2m – if that’s so then the market doesn’t really believe that there is going to be a default.

Please do the world a favour and rise up to defeat the people that want you to suffer for others’ greed!

Thinking of my ancestor John Redmond

I am surfing the web and chasing up on various ideas and thoughts that I have had over the last few weeks. In particular along the theme of that old forgotten chestnut “a terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter”.

A great friend of mine, Johnny Marsh (Johnny HJ to a few), once took a leak against my Great Great Grandfather’s statue in Wexford, Ireland whilst hitching around that part of the world. He announced this proudly to me over a pint when he returned. It has taken until now for me to determine that in fact it was his Great Uncle who was called by the same name – John Edward Redmond.

John Edward Redmond Junior, still to this day unaffected by the disdain of my dear friend Johnny HJ, was not honoured by a monument but by the legacy of freedom at a big price.

Ireland was a hotbed of subterfuge. Cromwell invaded and injected Protestant Loyalists into the country having massacred many Catholics.  After many years Parliament agreed to Home ruel for the Irsih except for the 6 districts in the North – these would be dealt with later. This area, that had only ever been considered as Ireland and only annexed to England for a temporary period after Home Rule, is what we know as Northern Ireland.

So, we inject Protestants into a country then carve out that Protestant area from the agreement and now claim that because the majority in this area are Protestant that this area must remain separated from the rest of Ireland! Wow!

If we not return to the original thought – what is a terrorist, we can start to see that there really are two sides to the story. Ask yourself the question, are the IRA monsters? The Kurds, are they terrorists? This most simpe of questions that we have all asked no doubt in our youth is forgotten when we talk of Iran, Libya, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Uganda  – look at each of the stories here and you will see a much more complex story. Are there any universal truths that can guide us in finding the way forward in these discussions? What would King Solomon have said?

Public sector pensions – what do you mean you won’t tell me!

Write to your MP or anyone in Government and ask them for the amount that Public Sector pensions represent of total expenditure relative to the Private Sector? Will they tell you? Well your MP doesn’t actually know and can’t find out – the Treasury don’t report their figures like that sorry. They will tell you what Defense spending is but not what amount of Defense spending is related to pensions. Who asks the difficult questions of Government I wonder?

Typically a Public Sector worker will accumulate 1/60th of their final salary for each year worked. If they contribute 5%, i.e. 1/20th each year, so 1/20th of their average salary, and let’s say that their salary doesn’t increase, then for 10 years of work and a total contribution of 50% of their annual salary ONCE they receive circa 17% of their salary from the age of 60 EVERY YEAR!

Total madness whoever thought up this scheme – this is a bigger Ponzi scheme than Madoff’s!

OK – the move to Mac wasn’t perfect but still pretty seamless – here are some tips!

Firstly iPhoto – don’t use it except for de-duping the photos. I had 19k of photos of which only 4k were unique – the others werre spread across various files on my PC and were copies. I used Duplicate Annihilitor, an iPhoto plugin to do the job. Watch out though – when you move your photos from your PC to your Mac  (assuming your computers are on a network this is drag and drop – I use my wi-fi network  – plugin and play easy) make sure that, before you show import into iPhoto that you have gone into Advanced Options under iPhoto preferences and unticked the box that asks whether you want iPhoto to import into its file system – say no. Then anihilate away. Why shouldn’t you use iPhoto for the long-term? To print photos you need to use exclusively Apples photo print service. I use Photobox and don’t want to be locked in to Apple’s service. The only feature that I will miss is the face recognition in iphoto that is really good indeed. You can search by person without filing the photos. Picassa is brining out this feature shortly (I hope).

Safari is rubbish – limited cool plugins, lots of sites that aren’t configured for Safari and don’t work well and limited in functionality compaed to IE and Firefox. I use Firefox because it does have a huge collection of 3rd party plugins (my favourite is StumbleUpon – browse the web serendipitously according to your preferences!).

The move to Mac was easy – a few tips

 A dear friend of mine just repaid an old debt by buying me a Macbook. I unwrapped the sleek packaging, took out the Macbook and switched it on. Within 2 minutes (slow on the first boot as I had to run through the basic configuration wizard) I was connected via my Wifi and could see all my PCs on the home network. I set-up my email (1 minute) and retrieved my emails. I then connected my iPhone and synchronised my contacts and calender. Installing Office for Mac took about 20 minutes. I was then up and running.

There are no gotchas if you have an iPhone – if not then it is indeed quite tricky I believe to import all those contacts and calender items from your PC. 

What surprised me most was the ease with which I was able to connect to the home network and pull files as I needed them from my PCs. I had anticipated many hours of laborius transfer by memory stick!

My other great surprise was that I can share calender events with Outlook users although not via a Blackberry. 

I am using all the standard Mac applications for the moment – there is an advantage in that Apple have put together a nice suite of applications that do in some instances integrate quite nicely. This is something that one loses going for best breed i.e. separate vendors for each application. For instance, in iMovie I can use photos from iPhoto in my movies and vice versa. 

iPhoto is a pleasure to use and the face recognition takes a lot of the pain out of finding photos of a particular person. One issue I have though is that I can’t use Photobox – Apple has tied iPhoto into their own service – my feeling is that this is short-sighted.

Has anyone had experience of moving to mac – I would love to hear what your experiences have been!

Uranium prices

I recently spent some time looking at the projected demand and supply of uranium. As with any subject the devil is in the detail!

For many years there has not been a big focus on discovering new sources. This is changing and is expected to have a very significant impact on supply. What I also discovered is that sea water is a potential source of uranium, albeit expensive to extract given the concentrations in water. Another factor effecting the price of uranium is obviously demand. Two issues are of particular interest her, firstly new reactors can use reconditioned uranium which means that uranium can be used 3 times in a reactor and secondly, new reators are much more efficient in converting fission to electricity.

Don’t bet too heavily on the price of uranium and remember that real prices of commodities have not historically increased over long periods.

Go green, go nuclear!

When Margaret Thatcher heard of the issue of fossil fuels and global warming she delighted in the thought that the ecowarriors would soon be supporting a nuclear age!

Now only 25 years later the Green brigade are being manouvered into supporting the largest nuclear building program ever scene with some 30 nuclear reactors likely to be built in the US alone in the next 5 years.  If ever there was a reason to make Global Warming an issue then this surely rates as a good one with so much money at stake.

Watch out for the price of Uranium and let’s look at how nice the US will become in its dealing with Canada!

I’m not crying for the labels

An article yesterday in The Guardian,,2184032,00.html by John Harris suggests that we will somehow suffer from the demise of the labels stating that “Witness the Jam in 1978, commanded by a young Paul Weller, on their third album and floundering. The man from Polydor paid them a visit in the studio and curtly told them their new songs were “shit”. They regrouped, wrote some better ones, and released the superlative album All Mod Cons, which kickstarted their spell as Britain’s pre-eminent guitar group, and with it Weller’s three-decade career.”

In the new digital arena, live music becomes a more valuable revenue source as does radio (internet or not). Bands make less moeny from recording songs and more from other activitties that I would argue get them off their arses and back where they should be – playing live. Let’s get back to the man from Polydor. In the new business model, the man from Polydor would still be interested in finding new bands and helping them as those bands would still be making money. Just because the value chain changes and there is no room for labels doesn’t mean that bands don’t make money. Maybe they make less than they did! Maybe there is less dosh to spread around the groupies! Maybe they have to play more live concerts! No tears!

Google’s chilling impact on free speech

Google is now in partnership with a site called Chilling Effects that allows anyone to submit urls that should be blocked for alledged violations of some law or other. To unblock the sites one has to provide a defence, live in the US and give ones name and address. Wow! What this means is that anyone who wants to block something that they don’t agree with can do so 9as long as hilling Effects agrees of course) and that you have little chnace of righting the situation even by giving your name and address. Don’t worry though, even if they don’t unblock the sites they will know your name and where you live!

Old world journalists still hold their opinions in high esteem

How highly do you hold your opinion? Well, most of the old-world journalists that are now proud of themselves for adopting the technologies of the Web to promulgate their opinions obviously do. So much so that 87% of journalists with their material published on-line do not allow comments to be made. In other words they don’t like a good discussion. Is this Moses and his tablets – God certainly didn’t want much discussion about the Commandments.

Get with it please and let us all have a say and perhaps your views will develop even further than you thought possible.