Monday, March 12, 2018

Best way to land on the Sun

Kim Jong-In announced at a news conference that North Korea would be sending a man to the sun within ten years!

A reporter said - "But the sun is too hot. How can your man land on the sun?”

There was a stunned silence. Nobody knew how to react.

Kim Jong-In quietly answered  "We will land at night”.

The gathering and everyone in North Korea watching on television broke into thunderous applause.

Back in Washington, Donald Trump and his entourage were watching the news conference

When Trump heard what Kim said, he sneered - "What an idiot. Everybody knows there’s no sun at night.”

His cabinet and everyone working in the White House broke into thunderous applause.

I'm smarter than both of them!
My solution would be to land on the sun during a solar eclipse ...

Total solar eclipse
Solar Eclipse

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Jobs lost, jobs gained - Don’t’ worry, it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok

See the post on LinkedIn by John Sheridan (28 February 2018):

Jobs lost, jobs gained - Don’t’ worry, it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok

What does it all mean
(a) in the shorter term, for current workers; and
(b) in the longer term, for the younger ones still studying?

I’m an old (and now retired) geezer who spent decades in the technology arena, where jobs seen still to be relatively safe, and am glad now to be past being active in the workforce!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Mother and father explain sex to young daughter


Father gives typical faux-evolutionist explanation.

Mother more accurate!

Click the above image to watch the 45-second video.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Australia plays double game, driving China containment in Washington and London

I’m a simple technologist with not much experience in matters political, nevertheless I do find articles like the following quite interesting, especially since they offer information that doesn’t have much sway in the mainstream media.

Remember, these comments and references are from an Australian perspective.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release Friday, 2 March 2018

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432 ….  +61 3 9354 0544

Australia plays double game, driving China containment in Washington, London

If Australia wants a mutually beneficial relationship with China, it is time to stop the doublespeak. On one hand we praise the opportunities provided by China’s rise, upon which our economy has come to depend; on the other we cast China as a “threat” to the world. This is a two-faced approach to international relations that is not in Australia’s national interest, but in service of the Anglo-American world order mired in economic collapse and permanent war.

With the “special relationship” between the UK and USA under strain due to Britain’s blatant interference in the US election to stop Donald Trump from improving relations with Russia, Australia has taken on the role of Anglo-American go-between. While Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was in London gushing over the UK’s “Global Britain” strategy of deploying its navy worldwide to recapture its colonial glory as the enforcer of global free trade, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was in Washington, trying to convince Trump of the importance of the rule of (Anglo-American) law in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia twists itself in knots to play this game. After the US National Defence Strategy in December named China and Russia as greater threats than terrorism, Turnbull and Bishop expressed public disagreement. Their government’s 2016 Defence White Paper and 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper tell a different story, however. The former portrays China as the single greatest threat to the “rules-based global order”; the latter makes strengthening that order Australia’s top priority. One US analyst described Australia’s new foreign policy as merely “a more polite version” of America’s new National Security Strategy. The establishment media calls this two-facedness “balanced rhetoric”.

Turnbull went even further before he left for the USA, telling Sky News that “we do not describe China as a threat”, because a threat combines both capability and intent, and whilst China certainly has capability, “we do not see any hostile intent from China”. Yet at the June 2017 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Turnbull lectured China against unilateral actions, coercion and breaching the sovereignty of other nations, suggesting China uses its economic largesse to dominate the region. In January, Australia’s spy agency ASIO reportedly listed China as an “extreme” threat to Australia, and Turnbull is ramming draconian foreign influence laws through Parliament targeted primarily at counteracting fabricated claims of Chinese interference.

Furthermore, since the election of Trump, Turnbull has urged the USA to return to the Bush-Obama policy of containing China. His Foreign Policy White Paper demands America’s role in Asia be strengthened as “an essential underpinning of the rules-based order” and a counterweight to China. Turnbull is now the biggest promoter of the revived US-Japan-India-Australia Quadrilateral Security Dialogue as a military and economic alliance, and the anti-China Trans-Pacific Partnership, reborn as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership—all to undermine China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In Washington, Turnbull met with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who on 13 February issued a new US intelligence assessment which warned that China’s actions are undermining Asia—read Anglo-American power in Asia: “Countries in the region will struggle to preserve foreign policy autonomy in the face of Chinese economic and diplomatic coercion”, it stated. Australia has stoked this fear, most recently in relation to Pacific Island nations, which have told Australia in no uncertain terms to butt out.

Australia is playing this double game in tandem with the masters of two-faced diplomacy, the UK. On 13 February during his visit to Australia, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told the ABC that “Australia [and] Britain see China as a country of great opportunities, but we shouldn’t be blind to the ambition that China has and we’ve got to defend our national security interests.” (Emphasis added.) Bizarrely, Williamson announced that in March Britain would conduct a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea to challenge China. Most shocking is nobody asked what on earth the South China Sea has to do with Britain’s national security. American neoconservatives and liberal interventionists have pushed for Australia to do the same, the new US ambassador to Australia, four-star Admiral Harry Harris, among them. This is where the game gets dangerous—military provocations can quickly spiral out of control.

The TPP—more than trade

The TPP has become a not-so-secret Trojan Horse for defending the “rules-based order”—better called the “our” rules-based order—against Chinese efforts to supersede it with a new “win-win” economic architecture based upon cooperation on mutually-beneficial economic development. In his 25 February speech to leaders of the National Governors Association (NGA) conference in Washington, DC, which promoted Australia’s failed privatisation model for infrastructure over China’s successful state-directed approach, Turnbull made clear that the TPP was far from just an economic and trade policy agreement; rather it is a political and strategic intervention. Bishop delivered the same line to the UK Chamber of Commerce on 19 February.

Turnbull linked the TPP to the proposal for the USA and Australia to lead an infrastructure initiative of the Quad countries in the “Indo-Pacific” region. In order for the initiative to work in Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands, Turnbull said, “we need to get on with the post-war project of shaping an environment in which the most competitive and rule abiding companies can succeed”—namely multinational corporations. Mapping out a vision for “a single inclusive free trade zone of the Indo-Pacific” (minus China!), Turnbull explained the role of the TPP: “And that’s why, as I said, we backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership so strongly not just because of the market access it delivers—which is very beneficial, creates jobs and investment, but because it creates the rules of the road we need to match the economic journey we’re embarking on.” (Emphasis added.)

While Turnbull said Australia looked forward to working with all countries, including China, he stipulated it would only be “on those infrastructure projects that meet the criteria of transparency, fairness, accountability and market need”—in other words, Australia’s definition of infrastructure, namely the Public-Private Partnership model which has proven to be a blatant public rip-off to profit investment banks. Turnbull did not say why Australia refuses to join China’s Belt and Road project, which we would do were we genuine about wanting collaboration.

For his part, Donald Trump didn’t seem persuaded by Turnbull. He indicated he had not changed his mind on the TPP, and praised the US-China relationship as “probably closer than we’ve ever had”.

“China is not interested in the so-called ‘competition of systems’,” Chinese congresswoman and senior diplomat Fu Ying wrote in the German Times following the 16- 18 February Munich Security Conference. Fu said China would not be repeating the mistakes of the Western world by attempting to impose its own values and model on other nations. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, asked for his reaction to the alternative infrastructure plans of the Quad countries, responded that China’s plans are “open and inclusive” and all are welcome. “All countries should strengthen such kind of international cooperation so as to promote regional and global economic development for the benefit of all.” (Emphasis added.)

Click here to recommend this to your friends

Click here for a free copy of the CEC’s pamphlet, Glass-Steagall Now!

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

Click here to refer others to receive regular email updates from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.

Authorised: Robert Barwick‚ 595 Sydney Rd‚ Coburg‚ Vic 3058

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Los ordenadores son inútiles - How useless can things get?

"Los ordenadores son inútiles. Sólo pueden darte respuestas."

 ... Translation: "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

This is one of the many perceptive sayings of Pablo Picasso.

Uselessness abounds:

Do you have any equally insightful references (about computers, or anything else for that matter)?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

No, No, Nanette–A typical example of low-level ransomware

The mail message below was sent to a fictitious address at my mail domain, there's no Nanette here.

And if you're too young to get my subject line,
No no nanette.jpg

Anyway, I always keep my webcam pointed towards the ceiling, just in case!  ;-)

-----------------------  A PLEASANT MESSAGE TO RECEIVE -----------------------

Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 4:54:50 +0000
From: "Bowen Leicht" <>
Reply-To: "Bowen Leicht" <>
To: nanette.kellyqz@my-maildomin-was-here

Subject: HOP: [nanette.kellyqz@my-maildomin-was-here] 21/02/2018 :47:10 I hope this is our last conversation

Ticket Dеtails: HOP-579-38273
Email: nanette.kellyqz@my-maildomin-was-here

Camera ready,Notification: 21/02/2018 06:47:10
Status: Waiting for Reply 94xuYaAy2A3f15wFnGmHkW5LrR0Wy65Mu2_Priority: Normal


If u were more vigilant while playing with yourself, I wouldn't write did message. I don't think that playing with yourself is very awful, but when all colleagues, relatives and friends receive video record of it- it is obviously news.

I adjusted virus on a porn site which you have visited. When the target tap on a play button, device starts recording the screen and all cameras on your device starts working.

Moreover, soft makes a remote desktop supplied with key logger function from ur system , so I could collect all contacts from your e-mail, messengers and other social networks. I'm writing on did e-mail cuz It's your working address, so you should read it.

I suppose that 320 usd is pretty enough for this little false. I made a split screen video(records from screen (u have interesting tastes ) and camera ohh... its funny AF)

So its ur choice, if u want me to erase ur disgrace use my bitcoin wallet address:  1Ddm7UWzMTrY1q51XhzAdwvkU15JW4nzk4

You have one day after opening my message, I put the special tracking pixel in it, so when you will open it I will see.If ya want me to share proofs with ya, reply on this letter and I will send my creation to five contacts that I've got from ur device.

P.S... U can try to complain to police, but I don't think that they can help, the investigation will last for 5 month- I'm from Estonia - so I dgf LOL

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Clever way to apply BAND-AIDs

Many of the best ideas can be simple to implement.

Here’s one that certainly is:

                   Attribution: unknown

Click the image to watch the video,

and be sure to share it around.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

CAN you believe these model cars?

See  Sandy's CanCars

There’s an associated hoax that's going around:
     Albert (Tapper) Torney and the Can Car Sculptures That He Did NOT Make

I was going to believe the tale about down-and-out Tapper Torney (received via a chain e-mail), but something smelt a bit off so I decided to check up on it and discovered Sandy’s fine model work.

While I'm at it, there's a bridge for sale, going real cheap!
Any takers?

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Weird pricing–Some very ordinary books that cost a fortune

I don’t understand how this can happen (but freely admit that there are many things I don’t understand).

This is what puzzles me. On occasion, while searching some book-selling websites, I’ve come across some quite ordinary books – not rare centuries-old manuscripts, or the like – that are being sold at exorbitantly high prices, hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Just a few minutes ago I stumbled upon an example of this, at no less than Amazon. Examine the two screenshots below:



Screenshot A is for a paperback sold directly from Amazon, while screenshot B is for what seems to be exactly the same paperback but sourced from outside Amazon. More than $1,300 for a paperback, what effrontery!

How and/or why does this sort of price-gouging happen, at Amazon or elsewhere? It beats me.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Warning to Australian parliamentarians - the Australian people despise banking ‘bail-in’

It was only in 2012-2013 that Bank of Cyprus seized depositor funds and it seems like that Australian government has this in mind for us here Down Under. I wonder how many of our federal members of parliament (MPs) are aware of what sneaky legislation/regulation is being considered.

The press release below expands on this topic. Any feedback and comments by blog readers in other countries would be appreciated.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432

Warning to MPs: More than 1,000 submissions to Senate inquiry prove Australians despise ‘bail-in’

Reflecting the overwhelming public opposition among Australians to losing their savings to prop up failing banks, the Senate Economics Legislation Committee revealed on 25 January that its inquiry into the APRA “bail-in” bill has received more than 1,000 submissions from the public. The vast majority of the submissions objected to the bail-in provisions of the bill, which would empower the bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) to convert into worthless shares, or write off, the savings of unsuspecting mum-and-dad investors, and possibly depositors, in order to cover the gambling losses of banks and keep them afloat.

This is a stunning response—the average number of submissions to a Senate Economics Committee inquiry is 30! The submissions came from Australians who learned about the bill not from the media, which has largely blacked out any reporting of it, but from the Citizens Electoral Council. Once informed, a large number were motivated to write to the committee to express their objection. Unlike most politicians who reply to their constituents with identical form letters written by their superiors, the people who made submissions went to the effort to write their own letters.

In the face of this many submissions, which were made before the 18 December deadline, it is clear that the committee’s subsequent decision not to hold a public hearing is a cover up. A hearing would allow a public examination of the content of the submissions, including the all-important issue of whether the conversion or write-off provisions could extend to deposits, and concerns about APRA’s secrecy and complicity with the banks, which former APRA employees have raised.

The government, which controls the committee, does not want these issues aired. From the beginning, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have tried to minimise publicity for this bill—and the media has accommodated them. For the same reason, Turnbull rigged the terms of reference for the banking royal commission to exclude any examination of APRA and its policies. However, the scale of the public response to the Senate committee sounds a warning to MPs: Australians who are informed emphatically oppose bail-in, so be prepared for an electoral backlash if you agree to pass this bill.

Bail-in extends to deposits

It is undeniable that the APRA bill clears the way for the bail-in of hybrid securities, which APRA allowed the banks to sell to hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting self-funded retirees and self-managed super funds. That alone is grounds to oppose the bill, but even more concerning is that the bill as written empowers APRA to extend a bank bail-in to deposits. Both the government and APRA deny this. For instance, APRA’s submission to the Senate committee states, with forcefully underlined words, that the bill “does not include a statutory power for APRA to write-down or convert the interests of other creditors in resolution, including depositors of a failing ADI (often referred to as a ‘bail-in’ power). … APRA also notes, and fully agrees with, the statement in the FSI [2014 Financial System Inquiry] Final Report that, in Australia, deposits should not be included within any such framework, and should not be subject to bail-in.”

As Shakespeare would say, “Methinks APRA doth protest too much.” Firstly, APRA does the bidding of the global banking regulation apparatus centred in the Bank for International Settlements in Switzerland, which since 2009 has overseen the implementation of a global bail-in regime that in every other jurisdiction applies to deposits. Secondly, the reassurances of APRA and the government are meaningless—the wording of the bill is what matters.

On 23 January the CEC lodged a supplementary submission to provide the committee with legal analysis that the bill is worded to ensure that APRA does indeed have the scope to extend a bail-in to deposits. Following is the summary of the CEC’s submission, which outlines the legal analysis:

  1. Summary of supplementary submission

    In summary, this Supplementary Submission has been considered necessary as a consequence of communications by Members of Parliament to constituents which seek to allay constituents’ concerns as to the Bill’s provisions concerning “bail-in”—the conversion and write-off provisions—and in particular their extension to deposits. The communications contend that the Bill does not provide any authority for the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (“APRA”) to bail-in deposits in the event of an ADI bank getting into financial difficulties.

    This contention has also been repeated by various Authorities.

    Bail-in of deposits has caused considerable hardship overseas where it has been employed and is of increasing concern to the Australian community.

    This Supplementary Submission is accordingly being lodged to draw to the Committee’s attention the relevant provisions in the Bill relating to bail-in (whether explicit or implicit) and the concerns of this organisation and the community generally as to the nature and extent of those provisions.

    As elaborated in this Supplementary Submission:

    • by all definitions financial “instruments” includes deposits;
    • the Bill clearly states that its conversion or write-off (bail-in) provisions apply to Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital or “any other instrument”;
    • if the Bill only intended to refer to instruments which include conversion or write-off terms, all such instruments come under the definition of Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital, and the additional clause “or any other instrument” is therefore unnecessary, but sufficiently broad language to give APRA scope to extend a bail-in to deposits;
    • the author/s of the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum foreshadow a future scenario under which this Bill will allow APRA to determine through its prudential standards that instruments not currently considered to be capital, such as deposits, could be reclassified as capital for the purpose of conversion or write-off—bail-in.

    It therefore remains our contention that the Bill does provide APRA with power to bail in deposits and for this and the reasons appearing in our primary Submission of 18 December 2017 that the Bill should be rejected.

The CEC is continuing the fight to defeat the APRA bail-in bill—join us!

What you can do:

Make sure your MP and Senators are informed about this bill and the public’s opposition to it. Take or email the CEC’s submission and supplementary submission to your MP and Senators today (click here for links), and insist on a response in writing.

Click here for a free copy of the latest issue of the CEC’s weekly magazine the Australian Alert Service, which reports on the fight against bail-in and for Glass-Steagall.

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

We hope you found this message useful.
Authorised: Robert Barwick‚ 595 Sydney Rd‚ Coburg‚ Vic 3058

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Think your Australian bank deposits are guaranteed? Think again!

On the global scale, there's quite a consensus that the banks own your money.
But that couldn't be the case in Australia, or could it?

Forwarding …
Citizens Electoral Council of Australia   
Media Release Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432

APRA update:

Think your bank deposits are guaranteed? Think again!

A former principal researcher at bank regulator APRA has revealed in a submission to a Senate inquiry that, contrary to government reassurances, Australian bank deposits are not guaranteed.

This explosive revelation shreds the government’s repeated assurances that its new bill to give crisis resolution powers to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) will not allow the “bail-in” (confiscation) of bank deposits, because they are guaranteed up to $250,000 by the Financial Claims Scheme (FCS).

In the cover letter to his submission to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee’s inquiry into the Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017, Dr Wilson Sy asks Committee chair Senator Jane Hume: “As a matter of urgency, I need to ask: are you prepared to have your savings in bank deposits confiscated to save insolvent banks? What about the millions of voters you represent? How would they react if you allow this to happen to them?”

Dr Sy charges that the bill “gives the Government and APRA new discretionary powers to confiscate bank deposits”, and that it should be rejected.

(Dr Sy’s submission, “Protect Deposits Not the Fraudulent System”, is the first submission posted on the Senate inquiry’s website, and can be accessed here.)

As a Principal Researcher at APRA in 2004-10, during which time he was briefly acting Head of Research for a time, Dr Sy is one of the most qualified people to comment on APRA and the powers it will be given by this bill. Both the 2008 global financial crisis and introduction of the Financial Claims Scheme occurred while he was at APRA.

FCS guarantee not activated

The essential point that Dr Sy makes is that the FCS is not an absolute guarantee. He quotes the FCS website, which makes clear that the FCS will only take effect if the government activates it when an ADI (Authorised Deposit-taking Institution—a bank, credit union, building society etc.) fails. “That is, when a bank fails, i.e. becomes insolvent, the Australian Government or APRA then has the discretion to decide whether or not to activate the FCS”, he says. “Hence, it should be emphasised that:

Bank deposits are not protected or guaranteed at all.

Under the Banking Act 1959, Dr Sy explains, APRA is responsible for two potentially conflicting objectives: the protection of depositors AND the promotion of financial stability. This depositor protection is “illusory”, he asserts, because the Banking Act doesn’t state which objective has priority.

Under the new bill, however, APRA will have the discretionary power to decide which objective has priority; alarmingly, it will be able to make such a decision “in secrecy”. Dr Sy references Subdivision D, Section 11CH (p.24) of the bill, which states that APRA may decide that its orders must be kept secret if it is “necessary to protect the depositors of any ADI OR to promote financial system stability”. (Emphasis added by Sy.) The replacement of “AND” with “OR” confirms that the objectives are in potential conflict. “Therefore”, Dr Sy continued, “it is important to recognise that the Bill allows APRA discretionary powers to decide secretly whether to protect depositors or to promote financial system stability.”

Quoting a 2012 Reserve Bank of Australia paper, which stated that the priority of regulators, mandated under Commonwealth legislation, is to “pursue financial stability”, Dr Sy concludes:

“Therefore, the evidence collected here strongly suggests that the Bill is designed to confiscate bank deposits to ‘bail in’ insolvent banks to save the financial system.”

Can’t be funded

Dr Sy’s revelation is further, damning evidence that the FCS is not a real guarantee. The Citizens Electoral Council had already exposed in 2014 that, by the regulators’ own admission, the FCS doesn’t have the money to guarantee deposits in any of the Big Four banks, which hold 80 per cent of all deposits! This was first acknowledged in a 19 June 2009 meeting of Australia’s Council of Financial Regulators, comprising APRA, ASIC and the Reserve Bank, which noted in its minutes that a failure of one of the Big Four banks would “exceed the scheme’s resources”. Later, the Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland, which is in charge of imposing a bail-in regime worldwide, noted in its 21 September 2011 “Peer Review of Australia” that the government’s $20 billion provision per bank “would not be sufficient to cover the protected deposits of any of the four major banks”, which each have more than $400 billion in deposits. The CEC presented this evidence in its submission to the Senate committee inquiry.

Defeat the APRA bill

Most members of parliament are assuring their constituents that the APRA bill—which virtually none would have read—does not mean deposits will be able to be bailed in, because deposits are guaranteed under the FCS. Dr Sy’s revelation explodes that myth. This is not an academic question. With all signs pointing to a near-term collapse of the so-called “everything bubble” comprising property markets in Australia and elsewhere, the US stock market, Bitcoin, and the US$1.2 quadrillion global derivatives trade, a looming global financial crisis threatens Australia’s banking system. It is urgent, therefore, that Australians demand their MPs reject this bill outright, and go with the Glass-Steagall banking regulation instead, which guarantees deposits and financial stability by separating commercial banks with deposits from all forms of financial speculation. As Dr Sy says in his submission: “The global financial system needs fundamental structural reform which many countries believe is the restoration of the Glass-Steagall legislation which had worked well for many decades until it was corruptly or mistakenly repealed at the turn of this century.”

What you can do

Before Christmas, upwards of 800 everyday Australians flooded the Senate committee inquiry with submissions opposing the APRA bill and demanding Glass-Steagall. The Committee is expected to hold hearings in either late January or early February, by which time it is imperative that every MP and Senator is confronted with the truth about this bill.

1. Forward this release, the CEC’s submission (download here) and Dr Sy’s submission (download here) to your local federal MP and Senators before the end of the month. If possible, print copies and deliver them in person.

2. Sign and share the CEC’s latest petition: “Global crash coming—Australia needs Glass-Steagall and a National Bank”.

Click here for a free copy of the latest issue of the CEC’s weekly magazine the Australian Alert Service, which reports on the fight against bail-in and for Glass-Steagall.

Click here to join the CEC as a member.

Click here to refer others to receive regular email updates from the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.

Follow the CEC on Facebook Follow @cecaustralia on Twitter Follow the CEC on Google+