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Help!!!

Does anyone here know about recovering *.ods OpenOfficee docs?

This is what happened. My wife’s laptop just stopped (Lenovo E335, Win 8.1). She was forced to do a hard reset – yank power cable and battery. For some reason this resulted in her OpenOffice spreadsheet with her accounts on disappearing. We have both tried all the usual stuff. But they seem gone from end of Feb. This is a big problem. It’s OpenOffice 4 BTW.

Any help would be very greatly received.

False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty

From which today’s QOTD was taken. Debunks the trumped-up statistical survey on which one of the current campus-rape scandal-stories is based. (I assume that Miss LeFauve’s story eviscerating the reported “study,” which Mr. Morrissey cites and which is NOT TO BE MISSED, as it covers quite a bit more ground than Mr. Morrissey’s précis, is accurate. –Nowadays I feel obliged to include that as a standard caveat, since so much on all sides of various aisles turns out to be full of mouldy Swiss cheese or worse.)

False data and the moral panic that follows: a threat to liberty

posted at 2:41 pm on July 30, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Let’s start this topic with the latest in a long series of debunked claims resulting from studies that are later discovered to be either incompetently conducted or flat-out fraud. Reason’s Linda LeFauve dismantles one of the key bases for the supposed epidemic of “rape culture” on college campuses, a study published in 2002 by University of Massachusetts-Boston professor David Lisak. This study, LeFauve notes, has informed current White House policies on Title IX enforcement [pdf] as well as documentaries and books on the subject of college rape. It had at least an indirect impact on Rolling Stone’s debunked UVA campus rape hoax from last December.

It’s also based on shoddy research and deception [pdf, Lisak, "Statement to U.S. Civil Rights Commission...] , as LeFauve discovered when researching the study. Despite claiming to have conducted the research himself, Lisak actually derived it from student theses on another topic entirely — adult survivors of child abuse, using non-random samples mainly consisting of UMB employees and non-resident students:….

“Read the Whole Thing.” Oh, and here are the first two paragraphs of Miss LeFauve’s article “Campus Rape Expert Can’t Answer Basic Questions About His Sources”:

David Lisak’s serial predator theory of campus rape has made him a celebrity. Once a virtually unknown associate professor at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, his work is now cited by White House officials and reporters for major newspapers.

His influence is evident in the recent documentary The Hunting Ground, and the producers continue to promote his work along with their film. In Jon Krakauer’s new book, Missoula, about sexual assault at the University of Montana, Lisak’s name appears more than 100 times.

…. [SNIP]

Quote of the Day, July 31, 2015

Due process exists to protect people from mob rule and moral panics, as well as to protect us from those who would stoke those panics for their own political purposes.

–Ed Morrissey, “False Data and the Moral Panic that Follows: A Threat to Liberty.”

Treason doth never prosper

Varoufakis Treason

Treason doth never prosper: what’s the reason?
Why, if it prosper, none dare call it treason.

John Harington – Epigrams

In the latest round of the sorry saga that is modern Greece we have a further example of how the corrupting and totalitarian influence of the European Union has now spread in that it would appear that attempting to replace the Euro with a restored national currency is now treason.

“The context of all this is that they want to present me as a rogue finance minister, and have me indicted for treason. It is all part of an attempt to annul the first five months of this government and put it in the dustbin of history,” he said.

“It totally distorts my purpose for wanting parallel liquidity. I have always been completely against dismantling the euro because we never know what dark forces that might unleash in Europe,” he said.

The goal of the computer hacking was to enable the finance ministry to make digital transfers at “the touch of a button”. The payments would be ‘IOUs’ based on an experiment by California after the Lehman banking crisis.

A parallel banking system of this kind would allow the government to create euro liquidity and circumvent what Syriza called “financial strangulation” by the ECB.

Varoufakis reveals cloak and dagger ‘Plan B’ for Greece, awaits treason charges

I am no fan of Yanis Varoufakis who is just another dreadful little Marxist troll, but any decent economist will acknowledge that given the prospect of the ECB funding being stopped for any period of time then parallel currency measures such as IOU’s are a rational response to the problem.

Only in the cloud-cuckoo land of Eurozone politics could this be a justification for treason, at most Varoufakis exceeded his authority, but then surely Greek PM Alexis Tsipras did as well, in which case he should be impeached?

The “why” they attempted to do it is a different matter.

Midweek Humour

Quote of the Day, July 29, 2015

Let’s put it this way… the State has finally decided that we are only temporary custodians of our money and property, and that it can confiscate or redistribute it as THEY think fit.

RAB.

State Sanctioned Grave Robbery

Last Will and Testament document with a Death Certificate, a pai

Exercising the right to disown a child might sound like something out of a Dickens novel, but throughout British history those with property have been free to dispose of it after death as they saw fit, provided they left a clearly written statement of intention, witnesses by two parties that were not beneficiaries of the will.

Thus if Lady Sybil runs away with Branson the chauffeur then the Earl of Grantham is quite within his rights to disinherit her by removing her from his will or alternately leaving a paragraph in his will saying why she was to be left nothing.

Time and again, adult relatives have attempted to overturn wills that have disinherited them and left a small fortune to the Battersea Dogs Home and by and large they’ve been disappointed. The only exception being children under the age of 21 and this was explicitly covered under a right to “reasonable provision” which is contained in the 1975 Inheritance Act.

Not any more though.

In a landmark ruling (which can only be described as perverse), the UK Court of Appeal has decided that the expressly written intention of the late Mrs. Melita Jackson to disinherit her daughter because she eloped at the age of 17 (contained in both the will and an accompanying letter) is to be ignored and an alternative judicial settlement imposed.

The Court of Appeal ruled that Mrs Ilott would otherwise face a life of poverty because she was on benefits and could not afford to go on holiday or buy clothes for her children.

The fact that Mrs Jackson had little connection to the charities to which she left her money played a part in the ruling, the judges said.

Your will can be ignored, say judges

The argument being used is that the late mother was being unreasonable in both her initial reaction and her subsequent refusal of attempts to reconcile, but just because the mother was a bitch doesn’t give the state the right to override her final wishes.

I mean what the hell are we? French?*

* - Under French law it is not possible to totally disinherit your children. The French civil coded requires that your children will inherit at least 75% of your share of the property.

Quote of the Day

It’s taken Labour’s weird collection of narcissistic loons, stunted students, never-was-never-will-bes, old school socialists and shiny neo-socialists fighting like demented rats in a transparent sack for the BBC even to mention that there might just be some small amount of trouble up at t’ mill.

Commentator Interested over at Tim Worstall’s place

I must admit that I’ve always been puzzled how the BBC and Guardianistas could claim that their respective oracles weren’t biased, given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

I’ve finally come to the conclusion that they live such socially narrow and insulated lives that they genuinely believe this to be true. Such an “echo chamber” existence is not restricted to the internet, but can be found amongst the organic polenta of Islington high street.

Enforcing the unenforceable

Enforcing the unenforceable - the 10 commandments

You would think that politicians large and small would have enough incentive not to make utter fools of themselves before national audiences on TV or the front pages of national and even local rags, but evidence suggests not – hyperbole before idiocy it seems.

I’ve never been involved in the legislative process, only in the attempted implementation and enforcement of pollution legislation for Her Majesty’s inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) as an IT consultant back in the early 90′s, but one of the most important aspects of any proposal must surely be not to propose legislation which is unenforceable. Surely?

The passage of unenforceable laws (such as the various alcohol/drug/gambling prohibitions in the US) or laws which can be easily circumvented/ignored (censorship/licensing of pornography for example) end up bringing the law as a whole into disrepute.

When police officers are catching bank robbers and muggers they have the support of the law-abiding majority, but when they end up as petty enforcers of public morality or expression then such widespread public support is lost.

Take David Cameron and his idiotic “ISIS use encryption, therefore lets ban all encryption” viewpoint. Even the most cursory understanding of how the internet works would make you realise that such a proposal if implemented would mean the end of internet eCommerce in the UK, to highlight just a single instance.

The only purpose of such unworkable schemes seems to be to lay the groundwork for ever more draconian (and expensive) monitoring regimes which either never work or are so intrusive that people go elsewhere.

One insider at a major US technology firm told the Guardian that “politicians are fond of asking why it is that tech companies don’t base themselves in the UK”.

“I think if you’re saying that encryption is the problem, at a time when consumers and businesses see encryption as a very necessary part of trust online, that’s a very indicative point of view.”

Maybe I am being naïve, but the only beneficiaries of this sort of thing are civil service bureaucrats and the massive IT and outsourcing companies which win the contracts to implement all this crap.

 

British Values

Whee, what fun. This is a game anyone can play, and they can be whatever loopy cause du jour you care to insert.

I’m not going to fart around drawing up lists, I have better things to do with my time, like swearing about the latest nonsense from Dave. However, as is their wont, some journalists and other activists have put time and effort in devising such lists and pretty much the most agreeable to me so far is here, produced by someone called Anne Marie Waters.

Tell children about the great writers, the inventors, and the political trailblazers that this country has produced. Be rather clearer about what British values are. Let’s talk a bit more about Parliamentary democracy, freedom of speech, the rule of law, trial by jury, judicial and press independence, and gender equality.

I’d add equality under the law to that list as well, one law for all and equality under that law. That’s something we are in the midst of losing right now…

Problem is, Dave can’t promote these values, these true and core values, some of which have been central to English society for centuries, because he doesn’t bloody believe in them. Consider, how many on that list has Dave himself not subverted, or stood to one side while others did so? Judicial independence maybe? That’s about the only exception I can see, or has anyone got an example of Dave trying to control the judiciary?

There is one prominent item of government action today, something which is pretty much contrary to any understanding, at any time in history, of what constitutes British values, and that is a state defined, mandated and enforced definition of what British values are…

You don’t teach British values, you bloody well live them.

How to encourage smuggling

UK Plain packet cigarettes

The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes could reach £15 by 2020, suggests a report by the Independent Cancer Taskforce.

A pack of 20 ciggies currently comes with a £9-10 price tag, but guidance from the report’s ‘six priorities’ suggest a cost increase.

Cigarettes could soon cost £15 to fund cancer treatment

Setting the nanny state healthcare diktat aside, I can think of nothing worse for UK customs evasion than the current moves towards plain packaging and draconian cigarette duties. Presumably the view of the health lobby is anyone who pays £15 ($23.40 USD, $31.74 AUD) for a pack of 20 cigarettes is an idiot anyway, but this simply exposes the ignorance and patronizing attitude of the health lobby itself.

Detailed studies of the impact of cigarette taxes going back to the 1920′s and 30′s have shown that when cigarette taxes rise disproportionate to the surrounding states then smuggling rises and total revenue collected falls, this can occur even when the marginal duty rise is quite slight if the rise breaches the revenue maximising point on the taxes notional “Laffer curve“.

The New York Times reported in 1938 that opponents of the tax argued that two types of “border activity” would result from imposing taxes on cigarettes.

The first, border shopping, occurs when consumers purchase cigarettes directly from retailers in low-tax jurisdictions. The second, cigarette bootlegging, occurs when criminals illegally transport cigarettes from a low-tax to a hightax jurisdiction to expropriate the tax differential.

The warnings from the 1930s turned out to be highly prescient: both of those types of border activity soared in subsequent decades as cigarette taxes in New York rose.

Cigarette Taxes, Black Markets, and Crime – Lessons from New York’s 50-Year Losing Battle

As part of the never ending escalation against smuggling ever more sophisticated duty labels came into use along with more draconian enforcement against personal-use, small-scale and wholesale (criminal) smuggling – all of which costs and behavioural changes are seldom mentioned by the proponents of higher taxes.

Smugglers have traditionally tried to source original, foreign market replacements as illustrated by French, Spanish, Polish warning labels on smuggled packets. However, higher margins can be obtained if they can successfully pass-off off their own packed-and-packaged  counterfeit cigarettes as home market originals.

So something costing 30 pence per packet to manufacture, filled with higher toxicity “chop-chop” tobacco will flood the streets and more disreputable corner shops. Even at half the £15 per pack price of the  duty-paid originals, they will sell like hot cakes.

None of that revenue will go to the exchequer and overall the health of smokers will be worse as they will be smoking cigarettes with higher tar, particulates and carcinogens than duty-paid originals.

My conclusion – The health lobby really hates smokers and wants to kill more of them faster while depleting the treasury. I bet you won’t find that anywhere in their report.

For Fox Sake!

Rod Liddle, Sun columnist, goes off on one.

TALLY Ho! No sooner are the Conservatives back in office than they’ve decided to have a go at the poor foxes once again.

Actually I am of the opinion that they are trying to fix a half-arsed law that does little for either camp.  Trying to turn it into a Toffs or Us campaign because it suits your townie tunnel vision is unworthy of decent journalism.  But then, this is the Sun we are talking about.

Probably because there’s not much important going on in the world, is there?

When trying to repeal bad laws you have to begin somewhere.  The fox hunting travesty is as good a place to start as any.

Just the EU falling to bits and jihadi maniacs chopping heads off all over the place and Britain swamped by more and more immigration.

More bad laws to repeal, yes?

The Prime Minister wanted to waste some parliamentary time loosening the laws on fox hunting.

I assume this was David Cameron’s gift to his local pals — the Cotswold Posse.

All those rich monkeys in his constituency who enjoy nothing more than ripping a defenceless animal to bits.

But wait! Riding to the rescue are the Scottish nationalists!

Because Toffs on horseback are far more dangerous than the SNP interfering in English matters that should not concern them?  Your priorities are as skewed as the perceived ones you are whinging about, Ron.

They’ve said they will vote against any Tory proposals to relax the hunting ban. Despite the fact that they shouldn’t have anything to do with the matter because the rules don’t apply to Scotland.

But Ron agrees with them so it’s okay for the SNP to gang up in the House of Commons in precisely the way they promised not to.  The English faction of Parliament should interfere right back and give the SNP a bloody nose.  Oh, wait.  We don’t get to practice that privilege.  But that’s okay because foxes are cute and cuddly and never kill livestock.  Evah!

Opportunistic hypocrites, says Mr Cameron. But the foxes don’t care where salvation comes from — any port in a storm.

I despise Cameron but he has a point.  As for any port in a storm, it depends what is waiting for you on the dock.  In the foxes case it’s poison, lethal gas or a spade over the head.  At least they have a chance to escape horse and hounds.

My own guess is that the SNP are furiously against fox hunting because most members of the party have the same coloured fur as a fox.

Waaaaaycist!  That’s waaaaycist against gingers that is.  To presume they have fur and not hair.  Tut tut.

They’re worried the hunters might get confused. The toffs out on horseback spending the entire day pursuing what they think is a fox — and then they find the hounds have just eaten Nicola Sturgeon.

Ron thinks Nicola is a fox.  Does he kiss her picture every night before he goes to bed?

Still, at least the Nats are on the right side for once.

No, they’re not.  This is political interference on steroids. Will you still feel the same way if they join the Guardianista inspired witch hunt against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid journalists?  Only stupid turkeys vote for Christmas.

The British public is hugely opposed to fox hunting, according to every opinion poll carried out on the matter.

According the opinion polls we were going to have another hung Parliament.  How is Coalition 2.0 going for you Ron?

Rightly, they consider it a horrible and barbaric business.

So was the invasion of Iraq but that didn’t stop New Labour did it?  They believed that foxes were more deserving of protection than the civilians who died during the ousting of Saddam.  They are still dying because IS filled the void.  Save your indignation for them, Ron.  Let’s have some honest perspective here.

Every bit as barbaric as all those other sports we’ve banned over the years — bear baiting, for example. Or cock fights, or dog fights.

Which take place in pits with no chance of escape.

Just because fox hunting is undertaken, in the main, by posh people, it doesn’t make it any less barbaric. A psychopath wearing a pink jacket is still a psychopath.

Where to begin?  Foxes are an apex predator and are culled because they kill livestock.  You know, all those cute and fluffy lambs, chickens and ducklings.  Dressing up in costume and riding to hounds, in Ron’s world, is psychotic because it is mostly done by toffs even though, in reality, it isn’t.  Bashing an animal’s brains out with the back of a shovel gets no mention, presumably because the deed is done by salt of the earth common man and is therefore not psychotic at all.  This is pure hypocrisy.  It is bare-faced, townie lefty, no nowt bollocks.

But there’s something about the Conservatives that revels in ripping an animal to bits.

I seem to recall a few Conservatives voting for the ban.  Must have slipped Ron’s mind.

If they’re not trying to bring back fox hunting they’re gassing badgers — for no sane reason whatsoever.

Because TB infected badgers don’t exist and neither does Bovine TB.

Mr Cameron and his well-bred cronies have no time for our wildlife, as they show time and time again.

There’s an awful lot of Labour voting farmers and country folk in my part of the world who regularly shoot rabbits and crows.  Aren’t they wildlife too?

If it’s furry and it’s got a pulse, kill it. If it’s a bird of prey, let the gamekeepers shoot it or poison it.

Your PETA-coat is showing, Ron.

And yet I thought the Conservatives were sick of being portrayed as the “nasty party”?

It’s all Fatcha’s fault.

Here’s the deal, Dave. Sort out the economy. Try to raise the wages of our poorest people a little bit, huh?

Nine quid an hour isn’t enough then?   What do you suppose this piece of Tory socialist insanity is going to do for the economy?

Decide what we’re going to do about IS and all those refugees trying to get into the country.

With all those bleeding hearts and EUphiles voting against him?  Not a chance.

And leave the foxes alone.

If you saw what a fox does to livestock it would make you puke, Ron.  But since you are a townie you keep yourself insulated against red blooded reality and arrogantly insist that you know what the scamelling hell you are talking about.

In Obamas America

It is an offence to be an honest man

and save for your old age.

Time Travel – a Practical Application

Deal

The secret to successful negotiation is for both sides to come away satisfied, feeling that they got what they wanted.

Take the Iran nuclear deal, Obama and Kerry wanted a deal, any deal, and the Iranians wanted to carry on developing nuclear weapons with minimum interference. If the Iranians could get away with making the American government look like sycophantic lickspittles, well, so much the better.

See, each side did get what they wanted. We have satisfaction all round and a thoroughly successful negotiation.

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