Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category
A brief update to my earlier article on JBC.
Others have been caught by this scam.
JBC have set up fake websites to give their share trading /stock trading software credibility. This is dishonest. It shows clearly that this is not simply a product that does not work for some people, but a deliberate scam.
You can complain via the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
Or via the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Since JBC is based in NSW, you could also lodge a complaint online at the NSW Fair Trading site.
Please email me or comment if you have been contacted by JBC, or if you have purchased their product. The more people who write or complain about JBC, the sooner they will be shut down, and the more people will be saved from losing hard earned savings or superannuation.
President Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Well, I’ll be stuffed, as Phar Lap said.
Obama was nominated after twelve days as president. He must have done something pretty darned impressive in those twelve days, right? Check his schedule for yourself. It includes skipping church, releasing funds for abortions in developing coutries, partying, and taking the day off.
The Nobel peace Prize has no credibility at all. Some people said this after Yasser Arafat won. But at least then the committee had some reason to believe, or at least, it might have thought so at the time, that Arafat had renounced the use of terror, agreed to Israel’s right to exist, and committed to helping Israel to establish secure borders.
Of course that was all nonsense. The terrorism continued, and Arafat continued to get rich off aid money.
Perhaps the selection process was something like this (Via Hyscience) :
The Saturday Night Live skit mocking the award has Obama say ‘I won the award for not being George Bush.’ An interesting change of pace for SNL. What makes this funny (or tragic) is that it is probably true.
Gateway Pundit lists some geniune achievements by GW, including liberating millions from one of the most vile and violent regimes in modern history.
JBC share trading software, JBC stockmarket tracking software, JBC stock trading software, whatever they call it, is a scam.
Hang up when they call. Run, do not walk, to the nearest exit! Do not give JBC a cent of your money.
An email from a friend:
I received a really nice, professional looking brochure from a group called JBC, offering a way to make a some extra income from home trading shares. Then I got a call from a guy called Christopher. It was all pretty convincing. I did a bit of research and didn’t find anything that said there was a problem. They gave me an ABN, and have an impressive and professional looking website, so it looked like a legitimate business.
Eventually I agreed to buy, but said I would not authorise the purchase and deduction from my credit card over the phone. It was quite expensive. I asked for a tax invoice and a written guarantee. Once I had those things, and I said the invoice had to be dated in the 2009/2010 tax year, then I would either send a cheque or authorise a credit card transaction in writing.
Christopher said that there was only one license left for my state, that they were in demand, and if I wanted the license and software I would need to give my credit card details to hold it. JBC would not deduct any funds until I had the documentation and authorised the debit. That all seemed OK.
A few days later I noticed they had debited my credit card account with the full amount. A couple of days later I received the paperwork. The invoice was dated in the 2008/2009 year. I rang straight away, annoyed about the date on the invocie (which didn’t who any GST anyway) but more annoyed that they debited my account after I specifically told them not to, and they said they wouldn’t.
Christopher said he had come udner pressure from the directors because this was the last license, it was not fair to other investors to hold it, and so they had to debit my card to keep it for me. I could cancel the payment and get it reveresed, but the license would show in their system as available, and would be sold to someone else. He suggested I compete the paperwork, try the JBC software for a while, if I wasn’t happy they would refund my payment, or I could just my bank to do a chargeback.
I did this, and made a small profit in the first couple of weeks. But after that it just fell in a hole. I had about $4800 to invest in stocks. One of the companies the program told me to buy was delisted a few days later – $1200 gone. Another announced its intention to delist. $600 gone. Two others dropped to half their value a few days after the JBC program told me to buy them. After a month my $4800 was worth less than $2500.
I rang JBC to say I definitely was not happy and wanted my money back. The receptionsist said she would pass on my message. No one rang back. I sent an emal saying the same thing. No reply. A few weeks later I had rung JBC again and sent another email with no response.
I have asked my bank for a chargeback, and will complaint to consumer affairs. But even if I get the money I paid JBC for their dud trading program back, I have still lost over $2,000.
JBC advertise on Google with an ad that looks like this:
Make money with JBC. Proven Returns
Simple to use-Get the JBC Advantage
Make Money. Proven Returns. It sounds good. And their website does look impressive. But anyone can make promises, and anyone can write an impressive website. (Last time I checked, one of JBC’s ads appeared on this page, much to my amusement – please feel free to click on it – Google will pay me a few cents).
Potential buyers may be directed to a site called Sharesweek (I am not going to link to it) for an ‘independent’ review and recommendation. But Sharesweek is not a genuine publication. It is a fake website set up purely for the purpose of fooling people into buying JBC’s software.
The JBC share trading software package is a known scam. Genuine investment publications in the UK have warned about JBC for at least the last eight years. See Moneywise magazine for one example, under the heading Avoid This Investment Scam.
A reader notes that the International Stock Market Assembly is another superficially impressive fake web site, belonging to a fake organisation, which exists solely to give the JBC stock trading package an aura of credibility. I would be interested to hear from any others who have been caught in this trap. Comment or email me. If others have been caught in this scam, and are willing to provide details (not for publication) I will consider contacting the police.
Andrew Bolt leads off after his return from holidays with a tightly written summary of the world-is-hotter-than-ever-the-hockey-stick-proves-it fraud.
There is no doubt now that it really was fraud and not simply incompetence.
Now it is clear that there was not only incompetence in the handling of data, but that the data was cherry picked so egregiously there can be no serious doubt that the intention of Mann (the hockey-stick man) and Briffa and their collaborators was to deceive.
A part summary of why on climateaudit.org – essentally the result was based on recordings from just ten trees, carefully selected from over forty.
‘When later generations learn about climate science, they will classify the beginning of 21st century as an embarrassing chapter in history of science. They will wonder our time, and use it as a warning of how the core values and criteria of science were allowed little by little to be forgotten as the actual research topic — climate change — turned into a political and social playground.’
And an example of how science has gone so badly wrong is:
‘.. a study recently published in the prestigious journal Science. It is concluded in the article that the average temperatures in the Arctic region are much higher now than at any time in the past two thousand years. The result may well be true, but the way the researchers ended up with this conclusion raises questions. Proxies have been included selectively, they have been digested, manipulated, filtered, and combined, for example, data collected from Finland in the past by my own colleagues has even been turned upside down such that the warm periods become cold and vice versa. Normally, this would be considered as a scientific forgery.’
Of course Richard Lindzen, possibly the world’s leading atmospheric phycicist, said some years ago that he believed future generations would be astonished by the panic generated by, and money spent trying to control, a perfectly natural cyclic rise of a few tenths of a degree over a century.
In related news, this year’ s Antarctic ice melt is the lowest on record since satellite measurement began, Arctic ice is thicker – under the headline ‘Scientists Predict Ice-Free Summers for Arctic’ (of course) , and another leading scientist says publicy that CO2 emissions are good for the Earth, increase productivity, and do not cause global warming.
Oh, and this weekend may see the earliest snowfalls ever recorded in Chicago, beating the previous record set three years ago. Damn that global warming.
Maryam and Marzieh are Christian women. They are from Islamic families. They live in Iran.
So of course, they are in jail.
They are denied medical care or contact with the outside world. One of the prison guards told them they should be executed for apostasy. They were arrested in March. Neither has yet been charged, but when they are, the death penalty is a real possibility.
Elam is a Iranian Christian ministry and advocacy group. Support them if you can.
Only business can. While the government may seem to create jobs when it hires people or buys things, it destroys at least as many jobs as it creates when it does so.
When governments try to create jobs, or stimulate the economy, or support industry or ‘good causes’, they can only do so by taking money from business. Which means fewer people employed, less reason to take the risk of investing in business, reduced production of saleable commodities, lower profits from which to pay taxes, less income to government, less capacity to care for the poor.
Ohio has an economy burdened by high taxes and work rules that impose heavy costs on employers. Texas embraces free trade, keeps taxes low, doesn’t impose unions on business and has tooled itself for 21st century global competition. Ohioans may not like to hear this, but for any company considering where to locate a new plant or move an existing one, the choice between Ohio and Texas isn’t even a close call.
Texas has lower unemployment, higher average personal income, and creates more jobs and more exports.
The lesson is, the less government tries to do, the better off everyone is.
Government cannot create jobs, only business can.
Are you listening Mr Rudd? Mr Obama?
Well, this is cool.
Elizabeth Blackburn was born in Tassie, and studied in Melbourne before completing her doctorate at Cambridge. She is now the Morris Herzstein Professor of Biology and Physiology at the University of California.
Her Nobel prize was awarded for her research into cell aging and regeneration, and in particular, chromosome structure, teleomeres (bits of repetitive DNA at the ends of chomosomes which Professor Blackburn says are like the tips on the ends of shoelaces to keep them unravelling) and telomerase, the enzyme which maintains them.
But Blackburn is wrong to support embryonic stem cell research, and the cloning of human beings so that the clone’s tissue and organs can be harvested.
Not only is embryonic stem cell research a waste of money, not having produced a single useful result (whereas other forms of stem cell research are promising), but more importantly, any culture whose members deliberately destroy the lives of other human beings to enhance their own longevity or comfort is corrupt and immoral and will fail.
From the always insightful Kate at Small Dead Animals:
In a failed attempt to sway the the IOC’s selection committee into awarding Chicago the 2016 Summer Olympics, which went instead to Rio de Janeiro, the ever-grinning Barack Obama landed in Copenhagen yesterday to deliver a four-“I” plea.
Michelle Obama plied the “wife of I” gambit:
“I was born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, not far from where the Games would open and close,” she said.
Michelle Obama talked about her late dad who suffered from multiple sclerosis.
Alas, someone in Brazil’s delegation once lived in Rio, and had a great-uncle with angina.
That is a quote from Titus 1:9 – the name of the blog of the Reverend Canon Dr Kendall Harmon. Dr Harmon is a traditionalist Anglican (ie, he is one of the few who persists in believing the things the whole church believed until about twenty years ago). He has good political sense and writes well.
A few recent stories linked to from his blog:
A brief and interesting interview on the reason for the war in Afghanistan, and what needs to be done to make a long-lasting positive outcome more likely. From PBS’ s Religion and Ethics segment.
An editorial from The Tablet (UK), about the recent conviction of four young Britsh Muslims who had been plotting to blow up planes over the Atlantic. The editorial asks sensible questions about what the Islamic community could do to reduce the growth of radicalism and hatred of the West amongst its members, and about what the wider British community, and especially schools, can do to be more successful in teaching Western values.
And finally, from The Times, an article about a ‘secret annexe’ to this year’s International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran. The annexe claims that Iran already has the information, materials and technology to build an atomic bomb.
The only thing that is in doubt, apparently, is whether they have the will to do it. Given Imanutjob’s rantings about how blasting the Zionist entity from the face of the Earth would be doing the world a favour, and big chief Ayatollah Ali Khomeni’s claim that an Iranian nuclear arsenal would ‘serve Iran as a deterrent in the hands of God’s soldiers,’ I do not find that doubt very encouraging.
More on this from John Robson, concluding with:
So let me translate those newspaper stories into real world language. The Iranian government is building nuclear weapons so it can blow the Jews off the face of the earth, and our leaders have neither the spine to act nor the wit to perceive their own shameful paralysis. It’s that bad.
The title of this post is a quote, not about Australia’s Liberal and National party leadership (though it could be – more about that later), but from an article about China’s official 60th birthday celebrations.
David Burchell, writing in The Australian, points out that there is something obscene about the massive self-congratulation going on in China.
A society that can only survive with the repression of minority religious and ethnic groups, constant and severe censorship of news and internet access, and the control of every part of its citizens’ lives, has no business congratulating itself on anything.
And then, 36 million Chinese died in the famine of 1959-61. This was not a natural disaster, but the result of deliberate and violently enforced policy to coerce millions out of traditional farming and small scale village industry into collective farms and factories. There is no acknowledgement of this man made disaster in official Chinese literature, or of other lives lost in similarly destructive and similarly enforced policies. Well, of course not. That would spoil the party.
What makes David Burchell’s article worth reading is not that he points these things out – they have been pointed out many times before – but this:
Imagining ourselves to be polite, we Westerners avert our eyes from it all. Yet this peculiar, tasteless spectacle of official China locked in joyless self-communion suits us fine. For in truth we’re no more inclined to be confronted with China’s dirty historical laundry than is the Chinese Communist Party itself.
We’re co-dependents, as the psychoanalysts might say. We belong on the same couch.
A study of more than 12, 000 British children between the ages of seven and nine has found that children who spend large amounts of time in daycare because both parents (or a sole parent) work, are significantly more likely to become obese, and to suffer other long term health problems.
Naturally there are howls of outrage. An article in the Australian says the results have been refuted by Queensland mums. No they haven’t. To refute something means to show it is untrue. A couple of working mothers saying ‘Well my kid’s healthy, and eats salad and stuff’ does not refute the findings of an independent study of over 12,000 children.
Previous studies have found that extensive time in daycare in the early years can have long term negative effects on vocabulary acquisition and behaviour – effects which may be cause children to struggle at school and in later life.
Time to think again about subsidised daycare.
My general rule is that if something needs to be subsidised, it probably shouldn’t be.
For example, South Australian taxpayers pay about $2 for every $1 a commuter pays for a train or bus ticket in Adelaide. I travel 100 kilometres to work and back each day, with petrol prices on the island about 30% higher than in the city. So why should I be asked to subsidise the transport costs of people who travel 10 kilometres to work and back each day, and already pay less for petrol?
Likewise, why should parents who make the decision to sacrifice income so that one of them can parent their children full-time, be asked to subsidise parents who both work? The only reason would be that doing so provided some clear benefit to the wider community. But the now well established negative effects of long term early day care make it difficult to see any such benefits.
Parents shouldn’t be stopped from sending their children to daycare, of course. But they shouldn’t expect other people to pay for it.
A Brisbane lawyer and mother of four children, Mrs Tempe Harvey, agrees. She is establishing a lobby group for children’s welfare, the Kids First Parents Association of Australia. One of their policies is the scrapping of childcare subsidies. Good news.
I have just finished reading Raphael Aron’s book Cults: Too Good to Be True (out of print now, I think, but his Cults, Terror, and Mind Control is still available). The introduction begins with this quote from Konrad Lorenz, Nobel Prize winner and animal behaviourist:
Some human beings seem to be driven by an overwhelming urge to espouse a cause, and failing to find one, may become fixated on astonishingly inferior substitutes. The instinctive need to be a member of a closely linked group fighting for common ideals may be so strong that iot becomes inessential what these ideals are and whether they possess any intrinsic value.
Some of the defining qualities of a cult are emotional manipulation, especially of the young or otherwise vulnerable, the definition of those who question the cult’s values and beliefs as on the side of evil, material benefits (money, sex, adulation, etc) which accrue to the leader/s, claims of knowing the only path to salvation, and prophesies of imminent doom for an evil and unbelieving world if it fails to heed the warnings of the cult and take the actions it demands.
Al Gore and the IPCC are the increasingly wealthy high priests of the cult. Their problem now is that the prophesies are not coming true. The seas are not rising, and world temperatures are stable or declining. We are more likely to be facing much colder temperatures than much hotter temperatures over the next century.
Nothing especially nasty is happening. They must be terribly disappointed.
In related news, a Russian former traffic cop has proclaimed himself the reincarnation of Jesus, and attracted about 5,000 followers. Well, why not?
It is worth the wait through the annoying ads (and the slow download speed) for this interview between a swish CNN interviewer and a rural US car dealer.
Mr Muller, the dealer, is asked whether giving away AK47s is irresponsible. He talks about a family recently murdered by home invaders.
The interviewer talks about growing up as a teenager in rural America. Mr Muller points out that things have changed in the last 30 years (ouch) and his county has a major problem with meth addicts.
She asks why people cannot just rely on the police. He says the police are great, but the response time to his home is 15 minutes. His family could be dead by the time they got there.
She asks why Mr Muller mentions God in his company motto, and asks whether Jesus would wear a gun. He points out they didn’t have guns then.
The whole interview is brilliant. A clash of cleverness with common sense.
I cannot help wonder whether things might have turned out differently for this Australian family, three adults and two children, bludgeoned to death in their home yesterday, if they had been customers of Mr Muller.
Just got back from Adelaide where Kathy and I visited my sister Amanda in hospital.
On every second bus shelter there seemed to be a poster exhorting us to put an end to child labour. It had a picture of a (black) child in a museum type enclosure, sorting some kind of grain. Children working for pay, it seemd to be saying, should be a thing of the past, remembered with horror, like the use of child miners and chimney sweeps in Britain two centuries ago.
The child was a model, of course. Real starving children don’t hang about in plastic boxes in museums.
But doesn’t that mean the child was being paid for work?
I agree children shouldn’t have to work in order to provide for themselves the basic necessities of life – food, clothing, basic education and medical care.
Although that view is probably a fairly recent one. Until a few centuries ago it was simply taken for granted that most children would contribute to family income as soon as they were able to do so – working in field, home or factory.
Sticking up posters on bus shelters in Adelaide is not going to make any contribution to the structural economic changes which will make it uneccessary for children to work to gain the basic necessities of life.
Supporting business, trade, industry and resource development will, because these things build the real wealth which enables families to free children for education and leisure.