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Saturday, 29 August 2015

The European Union explained in three minutes.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth?


Ampers

Friday, 28 August 2015

Whether pro or anti the EU, all should watch this.

The video below is just over an hour (1:09:30) and covers what will happen if we got out of Europe. The presenter used to be an UKIP member who wrote that awful 2010 manifesto and, as a reward, Cameron signed him up as a Conservative MEP. One wonders whether he was ever UKIP!

The video concludes that we would be better off as an associate of the EU such as Norway or Switzerland, but there is absolutely no need for that. Let's face it, we don't need to join or take part in anything because we are the EU's biggest customer. There is no way the Germans will refuse to sell their heavy engineering, their Mercedes, BMWs or Audis to us, and the French will certainly not refuse to sell their cheeses, wines and champagnes to us. Think about it. And, most of our exports to the EU actually go to Rotterdam for onward journeys to the rest of the world.

When de Gaulle vetoed our application to join the Common Market in January 1963, he said:
"England, in effect is insular. She is maritime. She is linked through her trade, her markets, her supply lines to the most distant countries. She pursues essentially industrial and commercial activities and only slightly agricultural ones. She has, in all her doings, very marked and very original habits and traditions. In short England's nature, England's structure, England's very situation differs profoundly from those of the Continentals." 
Now, the Video…


Ampers.


Thursday, 27 August 2015

This is why Japan is such a wonderful country.

This interesting list came to me by email, thanks, Ted.

Japan - some interesting facts

* In just ten years, Hiroshima returned to what it was -- economically vibrant before the fall of the atomic bomb.

* Japan prevents the use of mobile phones in trains, restaurants and indoors.

* For first to sixth primary years, Japanese students must learn ethics in dealing with people.

* Even though one of the richest people in the world, the Japanese do not have servants. The parents are responsible for the house and children.

* There is no examination from the first to the third primary level, because the goal of education is to instil concepts and character building.

Friday, 21 August 2015

The God Horus - Egypt 3,000BC

I would welcome any discussion below as I am not 100% certain whether this documented information is, in fact, fact. and, talking about fact, please include any documented proof if you are arguing for or against this.

Horus – Egypt 3,000BC
Born 25th December
Born of a virgin
Star in the East
Adored by three kings
At age of 12 he became a teacher
Baptised at 30
12 deciples
Performed miracles
Walked on water
Betrayed and crucified
resurrected in three days.
There are many other "Gods" with a similar background, here are just a few.

Mityhra – Persia 1200BC

Attis – Greece 1200BC

Krishna – India 900BC

Dionysus – Greece 500BC

Jesus – Bethlehem 1AD

You all know the last one, you can research the rest of them. The best place for research is the British Library, on the Euston Road, between Kings Cross and Euston railway stations. Alas, you have to go back to ancient documents because much of the information, I have been told, is repressed.

A shame, but it seems the authorities who "spread the word" weren't too imaginative in those days.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

There is only one email disclaimer, and it's this one!

My favourite email disclaimer is from Wendy Grossman, a folk singer from the past who, last heard of, was an IT Journalist working for the broadsheets as a freelance, but that was a few years ago.

Here it is:
*DISCLAIMER -* This email is not and cannot, by its nature, be confidential. En route from me to you, it will pass across the public Internet, easily readable by any number of system administrators along the way. If you have received this message by mistake, it would be ridiculous for me to tell you not to read it or copy to anyone else, because, let's face it, if it's a message revealing confidential information or that could embarrass me intensely, that's precisely what you'll do. Who wouldn't? Likewise, it is superfluous for me to claim copyright in the contents, because I own that anyway, even if you print out a hard copy or disseminate this message all over the known universe. I don't know why so many corporate mail servers feel impelled to attach a disclaimer to the bottom of every email message saying otherwise. If you don't know either, why not email your corporate lawyers and system administrators and ask them why they insist on contributing so much to the waste of bandwidth?

Ampers.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!

Islam, a terrific exchange between a Muslim girl and a panellist. I bet she regretted asking her question.


This needs to travel.

Ampers.

A fifteen day adventure from Amsterdam, along the Rhine and Danube, to Budapest.

Viking's Grand European Tour

It was time (last year) to decide on this year's holiday. We had been on a sea cruise to St Petersburg but didn't like days at sea seeing nothing but water – and it wasn't the kind you could mix with scotch. Then we read about Viking's “Grand European Tour”. Fifteen days calling in at fifteen ports, with organised trips and walks in each port, each day. That, we thought, would be less boring than a sea cruise.

So we booked. The total price was £8,549, certainly not cheap. And this was for a smaller cabin! But we were only going to sleep in it, so we decided to spend the money we saved on a larger cabin (or Stateroom as Viking calls them) on an extended stay in Budapest at the end of the trip.

We had read that it was all inclusive, so took the plunge. The following daily details have been taken from their brochure, with a few additions, and I will give much more information on how we found the trip at the end of “Day 15”.

Depart

We caught our BA flight from Heathrow to Amsterdam around 11am, but by the time we got through Customs and were met by the Viking representative who took us to the boat, it was about half past two. We left our luggage at the boat's reception and, although we were invited to wait in the boat's lounge, we walked along the river to the rail station where we withdrew some of our Euros from our CaxtonFX Card. On returning to the boat at 3pm we were told we could go to our cabins where our luggage was already in place. A good start and a favourable impression of Viking River Cruises, afterwards we'll refer to the company simply as Viking.

Day 1    Amsterdam


Our boat, taken near Melk
The boat remained docked until late that evening  and some of the passengers took a stroll through this charming city to admire the distinctive gabled architecture and many canals and connecting bridges that criss-cross the city.

You might visit P.C. Hooftstraat, the popular upmarket shopping street often referred to as “Amsterdam’s Rodeo Drive.” You might also want to visit the Anne Frank House, which is open late most nights, where Anne wrote her famous diary chronicling her experiences while hiding from the Nazis.

A concierge was available with information and suggestions about how to spend your time in Amsterdam.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Exports and Imports, the true UK position with the EU.

Latest Trade Figures with the EU.
EU Exports for June 2015 are £11.8 billion. This is an increase of £0.5 billion (4.9 per cent) compared with last month but a decrease of £0.5 billion (4.2 per cent) compared with June 2014.

EU Imports for June 2015 are £19.1 billion. This is an increase of £1.8 billion (10 per cent) compared with last month and an increase of £0.5 billion (2.4 per cent) compared with June 2014.

If we look at June's figures, the latest available, we see we exported £11.8 billion and we imported £19.1 billion.

Simply put, we can see that the EU exported £7.3 billion more to the UK than the UK exported to the EU.

If we left the EU and they put a ten percent tariff on our exports, we could retailiate in a similar fashion. Once the EU see they are losing out, they'll soon come to an agreement with us to drop tariffs! That is, if they did so in the first place, which is highly unlikely as they also have these figures.

The above export figures don't take into effect the "Rotterdam Effect". A lot of our exports go to the huge container port in Rotterdam for onward transmission to the rest of the world. This is not, in this case, the EU cheating, as it is accepted that exports are to the first port where the goods are unloaded. However, our government keep pretty damn quiet about this.

On searching the net, there are many different figures for the Rotterdam Effect ranging from 10% to 40% of the export figure. The £7.3 billiom figure should be increased by the true figure. If anyone has the latest figgure for the Rotterdam Effect, I'd appreciate a comment with the figure in, below.

Ampers.


Newspaper dirty tricks against UKIP's Alex Wood ---

All a newspaper has to so is to issue a false story before an election, and then after the damage has been done, issue an apology after the election.

In 2013, the Daily Mirror published an article claiming that UKIP's Alex Wood was a racist and a Nazi.

Both in their print edition and their on-line edition, in April and May 2013, just before the May Council elections in Somerset, the articles refered to him making a Nazi Salute and of publishing racist remarks on Facebook.

It turns out he was reaching out to stop someone taking a photograph and was not making any kind of salute. In addition the police had confirmed that Alex had not made those comments on Facebook.

So, the newspaper procedure is to make the stories up before the election, and once the damage is done, issue an unreserved apology.

Ampers

Amazon Prime, is it worth the money?

The cost is £79 a year. For this you get next day delivery, even if you order on a Saturday, on all Amazon sales. In addition, although you may not get next day delivery on third party sales, I have found that most third party sellers meet Amazon half way and offer free delivery.

So, how much does the annual Amazon Prime cost each week? £1.52.

I purchase about 200 items a year from Amazon Prime. Last week I ordered a packet of elastic bands so all purchases don't have to be a television or fridge Freezer!

About 120 of these items, for me, are non-urgent and Amazon Prime refunds you £1 if you elect for not having next day delivery. Not cash but as a credit off any Kindle Book or songs (downloaded only). Already I am making a profit of £41 off my annual fee. Yes, I do have a Kindle and I do buy music.

In addition, I can watch hundreds of films on my TV, using my Amazon Prime box, for free. And, next year, this will include Clarkson, May and Hammond's new motor programme, will it be called “Son of top Gear” or “BBC (Best Bullish Cars)? One guy on Twitter suggested “Babes, Bollocks and Cars”.

All in all, the best £79 a year I could spend.

Ampers

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

This is the real reason we are stuck inside the European Union.

Where do these people hide when they're not on holiday?


These are complaints received by "Thomas Cook" from dissatisfied customers:  

1. "On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry.  I don't like spicy food."

2. "They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach.  It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax."

3. "We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they were all Spanish."

4. "We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our own swimsuits and towels.  We assumed it would be included in the price."

5. "The beach was too sandy.  We had to clean everything when we returned to our room."

6. "We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as white but it was more yellow."

7. "It's lazy of the local shopkeepers in Puerto Vallarta to close in the afternoons.  I often needed to buy things during 'siesta' time -- this should be banned."

8. "No-one told us there would be fish in the water.  The children were scared."

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Mmusi Maimane comes a'knocking on the ANC's door.

There is a new man, Mmusi Maimane who, as the leader of South Africa's DA (Democratic Alliance) is knocking on the door of the ANC's control of South African Politics.

South Africa threw out the evil apartheid regime and the ANC, a terrorist organisation, then took over government. Mandela, a former terrorist, kept the ANC on a reasonably level footing but since he has died, corruption has been widespread within government. The DA started to make inroads, not only in the Western Cape, which it controls and runs reasonably well, but within other provinces of South Africa. There is a lot of government interference which hinders their growth.

Mmusi recently took over the leadership from Helen Zille, a very able woman - although she annoyed me by actively helping the Liberal Democrats in our last election. Ryan Coetzee, the guy she sent over, turned out to be a dismal failure, thank goodness.

Here we see him ably handling the BBC's Zeinab Badawi who is so for the disgraced ANC that it is embarrassing. It is 24 minutes long.

Ampers.


Sunday, 12 July 2015

What, exactly is The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

TTIP negotiations are held behind closed doors. There is a question to be asked here: "Why all the secrecy?"

But don't take my word for it, go and research on the Internet. I have included a video and some comments from different organisations to get you started.

Ampers



Friends of the Earth say

Pro-TTIP lobbyists say the trade deal will result in EU-wide growth, jobs and prosperity.

In reality it will:
  • Lower EU and UK food, environmental and health standards
  • Allow foreign companies to sue governments in private international courts
  • Undermine international efforts to combat climate change
  • Not live up to the promised economic benefits. 

Global Justice say:

Our public services, environment and democracy are under threat from the biggest corporate power grab in a decade.

Behind closed doors, the EU is drawing up a dangerous new trade deal called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). For the first time on a grand scale, corporations would be able to sue governments if they make public policy decisions which could harm their future profits. Regulation which currently protects people, public services and the environment could be removed.


The BBC are for it, they say:

What is the TTIP?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, now generally known as TTIP, is primarily a deal to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade between the US and EU countries, making it easier for companies on both sides of the Atlantic to access each other's markets. Industries it would affect include pharmaceuticals, cars, energy, finance, chemicals, clothing and food and drink.


Patients for the NHS say

EU/US Free Trade Agreement (or TTIP as this one is called)

Free trade agreements (FTAs) might seem a million miles from the NHS. However, FTAs are not just about the trading of goods. They also cover services and corporate rights. The Coalition Government is keen to negotiate a FTA between the EU and the USA in which health services will be treated as things to be bought, sold and profited from. This will have disastrous consequences for the NHS. In this section of the website we attempt to explain why.


The European Commission is rather more bland, they say:

What is the TTIP?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a trade and investment agreement, which the European Union (EU) is negotiating with the United States - our biggest export market.

Customs duties, red tape and restrictions on investment on each side of the Atlantic can make it difficult to buy and sell goods and services on the other. Getting rid of these barriers to trade between the EU and the US would boost our economy, create jobs and widen choice and lower prices for consumers.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

An explanation of the Greek Bailout.

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted.

Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night.

The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the 100 euro note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the 100 euro note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer takes the 100 euro note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel.

The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the 100 euro note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the taverna.

The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit.

The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the 100 euro note.

The hotel proprietor then places the 100 euro note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything.

At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the 100 euro note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town.

No one produced anything.

No one earned anything.

However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism.

And that is how the bailout package works!

Ampers

Sunday, 5 July 2015

How good is your school? Would this be a better idea?

Government assessments are not always showing the best results of a school. One of the best reasons for sending a child to a private school is that, apart from teaching the three Rs, they prepare the child for the outside world.

Wouldn't a parent be able to judge a school if the results of each comprehensive, grammar and private school had, by law, to show the following results:

1. The percentage of pupils who went on to get university places.
2. The percentage of pupils who enrolled on a proper apprentice scheme.
3. The percentage of pupils who got other work, showing average salary after a year of leaving.
4. The percentage of pupils who ended up on the dole.

If I were a parent, this would give me a better idea of how successful the school was.

But, for this to work successfully, parents would need to be allowed to send their children to the school of their choice, no matter where they lived.

Can you suggest any additions or alterations to the four points above?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Seems like Three are outperforming Vodafone, O2, EE etc.

YouGov - What the world thinks.

Every quarter YouGov asks smartphone users to rate their network for reliability - and Three came out on top.

The YouGov survey is important because it's a poll you can trust - it's customers just like you rating their experience.

In the last five years the Three network has doubled in size, and today it covers 98% of the UK population. They were also the first network to offer 4G at no extra cost. All their plans come with 4G as standard.

  • Three is rated the UK's most reliable network according to smartphone users surveyed by YouGov.
  • In the latest SMIX Wave 22 survey, Three outperformed other operators for overall reliability.
  • YouGov surveyed 4,084 mobile users, of which 3,202 qualified respondents owned a smartphone.
  • The survey found that we scored the highest for overall reliability against the three other mobile networks.

This survey was conducted between 9th and 16th of March and is the twenty-second wave of a larger independent study, which is conducted quarterly. Interviews were carried out online by YouGov panellists. Three is the highest rated MNO (Mobile Network Operators).

Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) were excluded from the analysis.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

This is England, when it ruled the world

Roger, a young fellow African, first sang this song in 1975. He was born in Kenya, studied medicine in Cape Town, but left to go into music.

The last Farewell epitomises the nineteenth century, when our ships ruled the world. Now we are just a small colony, with little say, in the new German/French empire.

Enjoy.

Ampers.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Some free books and their websites which may be of interest

One very interesting website, in America is the Ludwig von Mises website where you can not only buy books on all forms of Libertarianism, politics and economics but if you can't afford the books, they are perfectly happy to let you download pdf's or e-pub files free of charge.

One book I downloaded was so good, I then purchased the book. This was Murray Rothbard's "The Ethics of Liberty".

A piece of free software called Calibre, available on Windows, Apple or Linux, will allow you to change to other formats, useful if you have a Kindle. I've used Calibre for years, perfectly clean.

Another website is by Anthony Robbins, This is in California and is his "Leadership Academy". Anthony is a little more mercenary than the von Mises organisation but what he offers is very worthwhile. There is a page full of free videos on the website and also a free ebook to download.

Anthony has a business of helping companies and I do remember that IBM and the American Air Force were clients of his.

I purchased two copies of his "Awaken the Giant Within" from Amazon. One for me and another for my wife. We got an awful lot of really good information to work on to help us with our lives and twenty years ago, when he came to London I went on his Unleash the Power Within full weekend, Friday to Monday, and actually walked on red hot coals. At the end of the firewalk I thought "Is this all it is" but the next morning I felt I could do anything in life I wanted to. This book is available on Amazon, in paperback or Kindle, but Tony is offering an update free on his website in PDF, EPub or Kindle (mobi) format.

I hope the above information will help you, in one way or the other, as it certainly has been invaluable to me.

Ampers.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Governments shouldn't interfere with business but...

They can do subtle things.

I have a plan which will endeavour to bring a little honesty into public limited company bonuses for directors and their chairman.

And, it is so simple.
The Plan: 
On the Balance Sheet notes, there should be a list of bonuses for each director on offer. Each director must state the criteria with which he can earn his bonus. 
For example, if a director is offered a bonus of £1M he must add, in the Balance Sheet notes, what he has to do to earn it. Such as increase sales by 10%, increase share value by 15% or whatever. 
It would be perfectly legal for him to say, increase company share value by a ha'penny, but remember, he has to get this past the shareholders at the AGM. He'd very quickly be voted out of his bonus.
OK, the last example is a little extreme, but the idea is that if a director doesn't put a realistic aim for his bonus he may get it reduced or even cancelled by the shareholders.

Ampers.