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Fundamentally, the focus of this site is the message that
"debt is bad and governments that tempt you into debt are evil"
The debts other people owe to you, your assets, and the debts you owe them, your Liabilities, is your net worth, your Equity. Assets equal Liabilities plus Equity, in short.
The only government to trust are the those that let you keep as much of your own money as feasibly possible given certain essential structures of state. Government's mismanagement are plunging our societies into disarray and turmoil. There is no 'good' reason for their actions and the possibility that there is a world wide power play seems more credible each news week.
There are some other issues which seem to be related: crony capitalism, corporate power and political abuses such as the creation of a global club of jet setting political elite that essentially serve no good purpose.
Other topics of interest include the dangerous condition of the countries food chain and it's links to obesity. The current state of state education, economy, Socialism and Man Made Climate Change. I believe all these are frauds perpetuated by the political elite in essence, for more wealth, power and control. We the people, are a game to them, a real world Sim-city.
As for the absolute lie that nobody saw the financial crisis coming, lots of people did.
This site is home to an idea of a system of government that returns power back to the people, It's called Smallism because it's fundamental principle is that when something gets to big, it gets dangerous. This seems to be a universal truth and therefore the root of all problems. By letting society manage itself in a natural and flexible way we avoid the problems created by 'too big to fail', indeed smallism fundamentally believes when something gets to big it is bound to fail. Read more here
- EU cap roaming charges across Europe, hailed as great consumer success
- Apple create a sim card that completely removes the roaming issue
One of the 'successes' of the European machine for the people is the claim that they have prevented corporations from 'ripping off' the customer with roaming charges.
The free market approach to the problem is that the endeavours of 'the market' will find a way to bring prices down.
It was hard to see how this would happen as the telcos were engaged in a game of takeovers and mergers, leading naturally to oligarchy, and thus to domination of the market which would cut off potential new entrants to the market by making cost of entry too high and colluding on price fixing; which is the inevitable result of oligarchy.
The regulations also push up our telecoms costs in other places as telcos have to cover the loss in revenue somewhere else, meaning higher contract costs or higher rates elsewhere, often on the cost of a replacement contract phone where it can be mostly hidden.
But that cycle has been broken from a surprising source. Apple have developed a sim card that allows you to use local providers wherever you may roam, by transferring your number to a local provider quickly and easily that removes roaming charges completely.
Completely obviating the need for the EU's roaming cap regulations.
So basically, all the time and money, paid for by our taxes, and spent keeping EU staffers in jobs and pensions has come to naught, while the money we spent in the market, buying our iphones and ipads has come to our rescue.
Once again Free Market innovation and NOT regulation is how we progress.
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Zoe Williams Writing in the Guardian on London Pollution
I was piqued the other day to find that Zoe, writing in the Guardian, with the Startling headline that "London is more polluted than Beijing".
As a Londoner living in Beijing for the last year this just seemed a little strange to me, so I simply replied to her tweet saying that “as a Londoner living in Beijing I found that hard to believe”
A long twitter conversation started with her where she admitted she was talking about Nitrogen Dioxide, in Oxford Street.
So my initial thoughts were confirmed, she had extrapolated one chemical to 'Pollution' and Oxford Street to 'London'. This was essentially my concern, a gross misrepresentation of the type we know and love from the Guardian to create scaremongering and hate of the Tories (Yes she blamed the Tories for this) which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't for this piece of information:
Note that I am not arguing the data ( I still don't have quite enough information to do this yet), simply the way it’s been portrayed to score points (wrongly) for the EU, and against Boris (who I’m not exactly a fan of either) and yet the levels of NO2 are now lower, even with the last up-rise, than ever they were when Red Ken was in charge.
As I tweeted to her at the time "The moral of the story is that one should always check 'facts' from the @guardian. Zoe challenged me and that I found too irresistible to ignore, so a few minutes on Google, as she’d suggested, gave me the information I was looking for.
After the first paragraph in Zoe's article she goes on the praise the EU, and how 'oh so thankful' we should be that the EU has legislation against this pollution, strange because that legislation is clearly not working, so I'm not sure exactly what we should be thankful for. What it really means is the EU has the power to fine the UK for not keeping up with their rules. Score -1 for the taxpayer who not only have to breathe the high levels of NO2, but have to pay for the privilege of doing so.
This pandering to EU legislative power annoys me because it is saying in effect 'oh woe is me; we are too weak and feeble to be able to create our own legislation’ in a country that created arguably the best legislative in the world that has been running for over a thousand years.
Zoe and I discovered that we were both brought up in London during the 70's when coal fires were still burning (just) and London had had Beijing Like smogs frequently since the 1950's.
How, I wonder, if we have no legislative powers, did we manage to clear London's air? Would the Clean Air act (1956) have anything to do with it?
Anyway, I did a bit more digging and it turns out that in fact the blame for the increase in Diesel usage can be directly attributed to... You guessed it... the EU.
An E.U.-mandated shift to diesel cars has sent London's NO 2 emissions through the roof. "It's a public-health catastrophe," says one prominent campaigner
British tabloids may lash out at Chinese smog all they want, but when it comes to one important pollution indicator [My bold], the U.K. capital actually outpollutes even Beijing.
A European Union-wide shift to diesel, in order to curb CO 2 emissions, has sent London's nitrogen dioxide levels through the roof, Bloomberg reports. Not only are they the worst in Europe, reaching twice the E.U. limit, they also surpass the Chinese capital's by a whopping 50%.
"Successive governments knew more than 10 years ago that diesel was producing all these harmful pollutants, but they myopically plowed on with their CO 2 agenda," Simon Birkett, founder of the nonprofit Clean Air in London, told Bloomberg. "It's a public-health catastrophe."
In 2000, the E.U. drew up rules allowing diesel cars to discharge more than three times the amount of nitrogendioxide than those using gasoline.
"We're stuck now with these diesel cars," says Matthew Pencharz, the environment and energy adviser to the mayor of London. "About half our cars are diesel, whereas 10 or 15 years ago it was lower than 10%."
Nitrogen dioxide irritates the lungs, increasing susceptibility to respiratory infections. In China, efforts are mostly focused on other pollutants, such as PM10, levels of which almost triple those in London.
She then goes on to quote a London representative to blame the cause as being that we ‘have to have many stop start buses and cars’, again, especially in Oxford street I don’t dispute this (I am an ex London bus driver out of Stockwell), but, London has far fewer cars and lorries on the road than does Beijing. London is a city of approximately 7 million people; Beijing is that of 20 million.
Furthermore, Beijing still has many very old vehicles on the road, some I’m sure date back to the 1940’s and when these things go past, you can see the smoke stack half a mile away. Beijing also has much bigger roads to handle those vehicles, so logically I can’t see how given a greater volume of vehicles, they could be pushing out less fumes.
It also turns out that Beijing is a little bit canny when it comes to pollution levels and doesn't hand out that information to just anyone. The pollution levels in the data I could find (other than real time, see links later) seem to be being compared to Beijing, in 2008.
If you remember, that was the year China hosted the Olympics and because of pressure The Party closed down everything that caused pollution.
Compared to Beijing in 2008 London has significantly lower concentrations of carbon
monoxide (CO) and sulphur dioxide (SO2). London’s PM10 concentrations, whilst still at
worrying levels, are also significantly lower than Beijing experienced during the last Games.
One other interesting factoid I discovered is that NO2 actually is more active in lower temperatures, such as in winter or at night:
“The troposphere columns of NO2 reach their maximum in winter and minimum in spring” so suggesting that data at night will be higher than that of the day is ‘probably’ not true.
The effects of rapid urbanization on the levels in tropospheric nitrogen dioxide and ozone over East China.Authors:Huang, Jianping1,2 email@example.com
Zheng, Yiqi8Source:Atmospheric Environment. Oct2013, Vol. 77, p558-567. 10p.
Lastly, I asked Zoe a number of times for the specific research she was referring to. Her article only links to an article in The Standard, and a link she did send me was to the Sunday Times (£), neither articles specified the specific research quoted so I don't know if the Air Quality research from 2012 is the one these articles are talking about. If so, well, these are two years out of date.
One always has to check when research is quoted because… well, remember that undergraduate paper about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq?
ITS shops and department stores draw visitors from around the world but Oxford Street in central London has now achieved the more dubious distinction of having the world’s highest known concentration of the toxic pollutant nitrogen dioxide.
A monitoring station near the entrance to Selfridge’s shows the average level of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) to be 135 micrograms per cubic metre of air (mcg/m3). In high concentrations NO2 can trigger asthma and heart attacks in people exposed to it for only a short period. Experts say the pollution is mainly caused by diesel vehicles.
The level recorded in Oxford Street is more than three times the permitted EU maximum of 40mcg. But the figure is an average, including night-time, when there is less traffic, so the figure experienced by shoppers and workers will be much higher than this. In March this year a peak of 463mcg was recorded.
Note that the Sunday Times is at least honest about which chemical they are actually talking about. Unlike Zoe.
As I've been travelling while this has been going on I've not been able to dig further. Still I am happy in my initial thoughts that this is disingenuous propaganda with a dash of blinkered EU worship. If you wish to follow this topic in real time I recommend
At time of writing (while in Malaga) London Bloomsbury has a pollution level of 16, while Beijing has a level of 176. I stand by my initial thought, as a resident of both cities, that ‘pollution’ is clearly worse in Beijing.
It’s interesting to see that the Guardian has made a live feed of this issue, but, as with anything in the Guardian, it pays to DYOR. (Do Your Own Research).
I stand by my original stance that
a) She is being intellectually disingenuous
c) Hasn't actually done any research but has merely ripped off The Standard to score political points.
Update: 27th July 2014
So the report was discovered through another source and it appears that the study involved monitoring the fumes, at exhaust pipe level of passing traffic. This is as close as you can get to measuring the output of chemicals from the engine as you can get without going for an MOT and having a probe stuck up your exhaust pipe. To compare and extrapolate direct exhaust output to "London is more polluted than Beijing" is still stretching credibility, even for the Guardian.
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As many of my twitter followers know I moved to China in August last year to work as a business and economics teacher in a Chinese School: for Chinese Nationals with ambitions to come to the UK to study at Red Brick universities and being here has been a real experience where my fears about many of the aspects of modern western life, that the kind of people who would vote for UKIP have concerns about such as food, savings, health and family have been confirmed. However I'll write about those another time.
I couldn't just come to China. In fact the journey to get my residents permit and workers permit was quite epic.
Firstly I came over on a 1 month business visa which allowed my employer time to get the documentation required together. This included my original degree certificates, birth certificate and passport as well as an additional Police check from back in the UK called ARCO as well as my Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) certificate.
Once all this had been verified I had to go to Hong Kong to get my Z visa, which is the year long work permit (You can't get a permit longer than one year) and then return to China on another one month visa.
Then I had to undergo a full medical examination (which the company paid for) that involved blood tests (I hate needles), chest x-rays and eye examinations and strangely an ultrasound, among other things.
Once this was done I had to submit all these documents (again) including my passport (which meant I couldn't leave the country) for another three weeks while they issued me a residents permit to go with my working visa.
Each time I change my visa, address or any other detail I have to re-register at the local police station within 24 hours.
Amusingly my company got the dates of the expiration of the second monthly visa wrong by one day, which meant when we went to submit the documents for the residents permit they would not accept the application.
My boss and I had to go to the district (not local) police station and 'hand ourselves in' for overstaying our visa.
The police were quite cool about it and although they could have done many things, including throwing us out of the country, they pragmatically decided to give us a written warning which we had to take back and submit with the rest of our documents - for three weeks - to finally get our residents permit and workers visa to tie up.
Do I feel like the Chinese are being racist towards me? Clearly not. Indeed westerners and especially the English seem to be loved here, everyone wants to practice their Language skills and for me especially, being Blonde makes me a little more different to the Westerners they do see around in the cities.
The truth is I don't actually mind, I feel more safe here in Beijing than I've felt in my hometown of South London for many years.
I was one of those 800,000 who fled London when I felt like I was the only white boy in the street. I traveled around a bit, moving to Nottingham, Swindon, Bath and Rugby before finding better opportunities here in China.
So to all those that think being able to pick and choose the immigrants you want is a bad thing, i say NO, as one of those migrants, I am more than happy to fit in with the way my host country does things including trying (as hard as it is) to learn the language, and I am more than glad that my host country doesn't let in just anybody.
After all, would you let a stranger into your house?
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