Hoots Mon

Gloomy weather and bad news from around the world. It doesn’t seem like Christmas at all. What could lift our readers’ mood. I know, here’s a musical memory that always makes me smile.

From 1958 it’s Lord Rockingham’s XI with Hoots Mon.

If I don’t get in tomorrow,

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE

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Christmas Message: Economic Recovery, Bah, Humbug

Contributed by Phil. T. Looker

Albert Finney as Ebeneezer Scrooge
Albert Finney as Ebeneezer Scrooge (source)

These words or something near them were seen in almost every financial newspaper and website today:

“Oil prices have dropped $50 a barrel. That may not sound like much. But when you take $107 and you take $57, that’s almost a 47 percent decline…!”

To certain people not unconnected from this blog who have an easy come, easy go attitude to money this may not sound like a big deal. When the accountants and maths geeks get busy with their scientific calculators, the decline starts to look catastrophic.

The Financial Pundits seem to think so anyway. And even Ian has to agree for one the meths geeks are right. So what’s going on?

Many people who have spent the last couple of years hailing the shale revolution and crowing about the economic boom it would usher in (never mind the serious environmental concerns about fracking). Being traders rather than accountants they failed to understand the downside side of shale’s effect on business. The significance of little things like the fact that much of the day-to-day shale operation was being run on junk bond financing. Thus they had no problem in convincing themselves that in the future every day would be Christmas. Sorry but I have to be Scrooge and tell you the bubble just burst.

The bubble floated well in the zero gravity environment of zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) where investors desperate for “yield” — i.e. a better return than sweet FA on their money — ended up in the bond market’s junkyard. These investors, it turned out, were the big institutional concerns, pension funds, insurance companies, mixed bond investment trust funds. ZIRP was killing them.

In the good old days of the late 20th century boom-and-bust they would see an annual interest rate of between 5 and 10 percent which enabled them to fund their obligations, i.e. pay pensions, settle insurance claims, cover company salaries and have a bit left over for a Christmas jolly.

ZIRP ended all that. In fact zero interest destroyed the most important index in the financial world: the true cost of borrowing money. It also destroyed the entire relationship between borrowed money and the cost-structure of the endeavors it was borrowed for. Shale oil is the prime (or sub prime) example.

The fundamental constraint for investing in shale oil was that the wells were only good for about two years after which they were pretty much fracked,(hence that was the contstraint nobody in the entire fracking world talked about).

So, if you were in that business, and held a bunch of leases, you had to constantly drill baby drill and drill and drill again just to maintain production. Drilling costs between $6 and $12-million per well.
Over the past seven years is that the drillers and their investment bankers, aided and abetted by the kind of scientists who deal in mathematical models, theory, speculation and guesswork hyped the holy shite out of the shale fracking business (the scientists had no qualms about building mathematical models that exaggerated the oil and gas yield from wells by 96% with makes even the climate science fraud look reasonable).

It was not a shale revolution but another Ponzi scheme, it was Enronomics all over again; as long as the money kept rolling in they could pay out the early investors and boost confidence in their scam. In the few short years they drilled the results looked so impressive that to quote the song Evita sings “The money kept rolling in”. It was going to save the American economy, it was going to chain the Russian bear, it was going to put the arabs in their place and restore the status quo.

Sadly the shale oil and gas economic “miracle” was a rerun of the dotcom bubble, the housing bubble, the South Sea bubble, the Tulip bubble (which we generally accept was the first investment bubble). It was deja vu all over again. The frackers sucked so much oil out of the ground in a short period of time that they killed the goose that laid the black, slimy egg; in response to American over production the Arabs cut their prices, demand for oil at a price that made it worth drilling for just dropped away.

The current stage (stage 4?) will see much of the junk financing default, bankers will steer clear of junk financing just as they steer clear of sub prime mortgages now, and a lot of planned wells will be abandoned, meaning that the current crop of wells will crap out within two years, and production will not be replaced by new wells because there is no money in it (it may come as a surprise to lefties but the objective of business is to make a profit. Still, on the bright side, all those wannabe protestors can go home and spend Christmas with their dear old Mum, no point protesting against something that ain’t gonna happen.

Black Singer Accused Of Racism For Singing White Christmas

We can be sure American society is truly Fucked Up Beyond all Redemption when we read news items like this:

Social media lit up Wednesday evening with complaints of racism after former Hootie & the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker performing “White Christmas” at the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at New York City’s Rockefeller Square. There has been civil unrest all week in New York after a grand jury declined to indict a New York police officer in the death of unarmed Eric Garner during a confrontation over cigarette sales in July. Race activists urged on by professional race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton had threatened to disrupt the switch on.

Darius Rucker: Singing about Christmas being only for Whites? FFS

The ceremony went ahead under police protection, and Rucker performed “White Christmas,” a classic written by a Jewish immigrant, Irving Berlin.

  The mob, products of America’s catastrophically failed, politically correct education system are so stupid they had no trouble convingcing themselves that the mere reference to the color “white” by a black singer in the throes of a racially-charged controversy was offensive , sent out the message that Christmas is only for White people, and suggested New York City authority and Mr. Rucker felt contempt for the feelings of black people.

The song refers to snow, the stuff that falls out of northern skies in winter, in recalling a traditional Christmas scene, it is not about race or cocaine – not to be confused with ‘China White‘ (oops, pardon – just can’t get away from racist references these days) .

How Drunken Monkeys Climed The Evolutionary Tree

drunken monkey

Alcohol was thought to have been first brewed by Neolithic farmers around 9,000 years ago when northern Chinese villagers made the happy discovery that fruit and honey could be fermented into an intoxicating liquor.

But new evidence suggests our ancestors had become accustomed to drinking nearly 10 million years before. So ignore those hand wringing, moanie – moanie fuddy – duddies and their ‘three thimblefuls a week makes you an alcoholic’ shit. If it wasn’t for booze we’d still be swinging around in trees. Booze culture is evolutionary

Anthropologists are now turning to the view that when primates left the trees and began walking on two feet they also started scooping up mushy, fermented fruit which was lying on the ground. And over time their bodies learned to process the ethanol present and their minds learned the meaning of “It’s party time.”.

 A team at Santa Fe College in the US studied the ADH4 gene  which enables us to produce an enzyme to break down alcohol in the body. Do not make the mistake of thinking this is linked to ADHD, ADH4 actually stands for Alcohol Deficiency Hopelessness 4 gene which is not present in miserable fuckers who never have a drink. Any primates unable to digest the fermented fruits would have died before passing on their genes, but those who could would have passed the drinking gene on to their offspring.

It was hypothesised that the booze metabolising gene did not appear until alcohol was first produced by early farmers in Asia. But researchers were amazed to observe it 10 million years earlier, at the end of the Miocene epoch.

The findings could explain why tree-dwelling orang-utans still cannot metabolize alcohol while humans, chimps and gorillas all of which are more familiar with the ground through hitting it face first while rat – arsed, can. The lesson we learn fom this is never go for a drink with an Orang Outan, they’s either get aggressive and beat the crap out of you because they are ten times stronger than an adult human male, or they’ll throw up on you, pass out and you will have to carry them home because no cabbie will take them.

Other that that, and bearing in mind another recent study showed that alcohol related illness is overstated, far more cases in the liver disease ‘pandemic’ are due to doctors overprescribing paracetamol than has been acknowledged preciously, your Boggart Bloggers advise you to get ready for a great Christmas. BRING IT ON.

Read more on this Story:

Hominid ancestors beat humans to the drinks cabinet, say boffins

Alcohol Aware
Alcohol and breast cancer risk
Alcohol minimum price fscism
Alocohol minimum price fascism
Alcohol related authoritarianism

Timelorded Out

“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” – Marcus Aurelius. In other words you are free to disagree with this article but tell me I am wrong and I will tell you to fuck the fucking fuck off.

So, the great debate gripping internet forums as the Chistmas hangovers subside seems to be:

“Was the Doctor Who Chistmas Special a work of genius or a bag o’ shite.

I must admit I gave up watching Doctor Who Christmas Specials a few years ago while David Tennant was still at the helm of the TARDIS.

The 50th anniversary show wasn’t bad, being saved mainly by John Hurt’s playing his role with a mixture of Great Actor gravitas and “yes-I-know-it’s-a-ridiculous-bag-of-shite-darlings-but-they’re-paying-me-a-fortune” tongue in cheekness.

I suppose the problem was that I never got into Matt Smith, maybe expectations were too high after David Tennant but to me though Matt is an engaging enough fellow, as an actor he seems to possess the emotional range of a plank. He played every scene with the amused nonchalance of a minor character in a P. G. Wodehouse story.

As in so many other areas, the BBC’s children’s drama for gown ups output is suffering from the plague of political correctness. Apart from the Daleks who are way past their sell by date, the villains are not really evil anymore. They are misunderstood creatures who really only want to destroy us and take over our world because they know if we can’t welcome a few murderers, rapists and thieves from Romania we are never going to accept an invasion of Fouls Smelling Blobs From Uranus. We should consider the benefits immigrants bring to the British economy (one million extra dole bludgers) and welcome them.

And why do these interstellar migrants want to come here. Because their home planets have been destroyed by industrial pollution resulting from massive consumerism or political wars waged with weapons more terrible than anything we can imagine.

So perhaps the politicisation of Doctor Who along with having a plank as the main character and a succession of clunky scripts is more than simply having the (debatably) hottest companion ever* can compensate for.

Let’s get back to really scary baddies (raid Celtic folklore like ‘Merlin’ did for some good ideas) and dump the sentimentality. Otherwise the spin of Malcolm Tucker combined with the sex appeal of the lovely Clara will just not be enough to save the Timelord from timing out.

*Jenna Coleman is a contender but my vote is still with Billie Piper (just).

A Girl God With Pert Boobies? I Could Worship That

Ask people to describe God and most will talk of someone bearing a close resemblance to the old guy with the flowing white beard in Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel mural (well ceilingal if we’re being picky.) You know the one:

traditional god, michaelangelo sistine chapel
Picture Source: readthespirit

There are other ways of envisaging The Almighty of course. Douglas Adams offered us a rather spaced out hippy in Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy. In Joseph Heller’s excellent but unregarded novel “God Knows“, the God of the title is in a hissy fit because his favourite human, David has lived a life of decadence and debauchery. Veteran Hollywood comic George Burns presented a cigar smoking, wisecracking God in a film called Oh God.
And William Blake went as far as to imagine a female God. Could be Blake was closest because when God turned up in a German Church over the Christmas festival, she was half naked, showing a very pert pair of boobs. And everyone knew she was God because she had the words I Am God wriiten in greasepaint on her torso. See the video from Russia Today television (via Freeview):

Now I don’t know if I believe she is God or not but I have in the past fallen to my knees in front of people who looked rather similar.

(full story on Femen Christmas protest)

The Other Reindeer

You all know the names of Santa’s reindeer right? If you don’t, shame on you. The were Basher, Slasher, Knuckles, Lefty, McSweeney, Pretty Boy, The Enforcer and Big Al … Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen.

But do you know the name of the other reindeer, the one everybody forgets? Come on, it isn’t that hard.

Sing through the song and see if anything jogs you memory …

Rudolf the red nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose
and if you ever saw him,
you could even say it glows …

Come on, you all know the words, you’ve all been children at sometime. Never mind muttering about superstition and magical thinking you militant atheist lot, this is not a religious song. Go through all the words …

Got it yet? No? The name of the other reindeer is Olive.

Who said there’s no Olive in the song? Sing it with me now!

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him,
you would even say it glows.

Olive the other reindeer
used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolf etc. etc.

Hope you are having a great holiday.