I support free trade

Free trade is one way to ensure efficient use of resources.

In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties generally support protectionismthe opposite of free trade.

So when you see Trump impose tariffs, know that he’s a protectionist. And nationalist. Not a fiscal conservative.

Since at least 2005 there’s been increasing distrust in ‘globalisation’. We ended up with idiots like Trump making decisions, his unsuccessful trade war with China, for example. Both sides lose in trade wars.

Expect everything to get more expensive and/or unavailable as free trade continues to decline.

Singapore is the #1 ranked nation as of 2016 in the Global Enabling Trade Report published by the World Economic Forum.

It is made up of four sub-indexes:

  1. Market access
  2. Border administration
  3. Transport and communications infrastructure
  4. Business environment

USA is #22. Canada #24.

Trade with Singapore

There is a broad consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth and economic stability.

One bit of good newsUSMCA Free Trade Agreement will come into effect soon. That’s NAFTA 2.0 with minor tinkering of auto exports, steel and aluminum tariffs, dairy, egg, and poultry markets.

The agreement also provides updated intellectual property protections.

 

Ozark – season 3

I swore I’d quit Ozark after season 2.

But — for some reason — ended up going back to it. Like an abused, cheated spouse.

The weakest season so far. 

Wendy’s brother’s arrival was … something, however.

Too intense for me.

I’m quitting. Again.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

A Study in Scarlet Women – by Sherry Thomas

A Study in Scarlet is an 1887 detective mystery novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring the debut of Sherlock Holmes.

A Study in Scarlet Women, a 2016 mystery novel by Sherry Thomas, the first entry in the “Lady Sherlock series“, in which Sherlock Holmes is actually a public persona created by a woman detective named Charlotte Holmes …

Sounded a great plot device.

Charlotte is Sherlock. Her partner a wealthy widow, Mrs. Joanna Watson, whose husband was an army doctor killed in Afghanistan.

Sadly, I know Sherlock. And Charlotte is no Sherlock.

Constance Grady for Vox gave it two and a half stars saying “A Study in Scarlet Women has a killer premise, some interesting character work, and a regrettably poorly structured plot.”[4]

As I post there are 3 more Lady Sherlock sequels. But I won’t carry on.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

I haven’t read a lot of Steinbeck.

But this story felt familiar. Perhaps I read it as a teenager.

Of Mice and Men is a novella written by John Steinbeck.

Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.

George Milton is street smart, but uneducated man. Lennie Small, a bulky, strong man but mentally disabled.

George’s loyalty to Lennie is the main theme.

The novella has been banned in places in the USA for various reasons. It remains required reading in many other American, Australian, Irish, British, New Zealand and Canadian high schools.

The Last Dance – Michael Jordan documentary

Fantastic. 

Director Jason Hehir did a superb job putting this together.

Over 500 hours of all-access footage was filmed that final season. Jordan refused to let it be used until 2016.

The Bulls are one of the few professional sports teams I watched EVER. I mostly boycott pro sports. Brian and Jane were living in Chicago during their dynasty. A connection.

And my annual vacation week in Mazatlan coincided with the NBA Playoffs each year.

At the time, my favourite player was Scottie Pippin. I wish he would have negotiated a better contract.

Jordan was a clutch competitor. We all knew that. But the documentary revealed to me just how much a jerk he could be to teammates. I wouldn’t buy the man a drink.

My only complaint with the documentary is that I would like to have seen more of Dennis Rodman.  He contributed more than what we saw in The Last Dance.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Ortlieb Back-Roller Classic Rear Panniers

In South America I saw many Europeans bikepacking with these waterproof saddle bags.

I recently bought a set for myself.

Famed for their durability, the warranty is 5 years.

On the other hand, one of the accessory shoulder straps ripped off the first time I picked up the bag loaded.

Most people don’t use the shoulder straps, anway. I won’t. Instead I’ll use the very sturdy built-in handle

They are expensive. I paid CDN $240 for a set of two.

Click PLAY or watch a review on YouTube.

Patriot – TV series

Patriot is an American comedy-drama web television series.

81% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Weird, original, quirky, dark. 

I can’t compare this show to anything — other than Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson.

The first 5 episodes are excellent. The last 5 slow and painful.

I doubt I’ll continue on to season 2.

To prevent Iran from going nuclear, intelligence officer John Tavner must forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous non-official cover (“NOC”)—that of a mid-level employee at a Milwaukee industrial piping firm.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.