Thursday, January 31, 2019

More on Israel, and More personal stuff - see my personal blog

The saga continues; nothing terrible for me, but I have decided to move the discussion to my personal blog

As for Israel, I've been having a discussion about this in my discord! If you are interested in joining, let me know on twitter.

As for the polls, Ta'al has been polling as high as 8, and Moshe Ya'alon's Telem has joined with Hosen (Benny Gantz's party) and that combined party has rocketed in the polls up to 24. Some very rough poll averaging suggests the following:

30 - Likud
24 - Hosen
10 - Yesh Atid
6 - Joint List
7 - Labour
7 - New Right
6 - Ta'al
6 - UTJ
5 - Meretz
4 - Kulanu
4 - Jewish Home
4 - Shas
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu
4 - Gesher

This would make for the following in a potential progressive coalition lead by Gantz

41 - Hosen + Labour + Yesh Atid
30 - Likud
6 - Joint List
7 - New Right
6 - Ta'al
6 - UTJ
5 - Meretz
4 - Kulanu
4 - Jewish Home
4 - Shas
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu
4 - Gesher

Such an alliance would only be 20 seats short.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Political update and quick personal update


The transaction did not occur prior to me getting to the bank. As such, all is fine.


Polls continue, fairly stable, as outlined in my last post.


Upper House elections draw closer. The Constitutional Democrats remain the second largest party in the lower house, and tied for second largest in the upper house. Polls suggest they will be clearly the second largest in the upper house after the election.


The government remains high in the polls, consistently between 55%-60%. Of its constituent parts, Lega has a clear lead, between 30%-35% in the polls, with M5S between 25%-30%. The Centre Right, which includes Lega, however, is unable to break 50% support.


Vox continues to poll well. Projection averages are as follows:

89 PP
67 C's
49 Podemos
25 VOX
11 ERC
3 Others

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Update to previous post

Those who are/were concerned about my last post, be aware I've taken the following steps.

1 - I went to the bank and put $5 in an envelope and deposited it into the ATM.

2 - I've contacted PayPal to inform them, through their support system, of an issue with the transaction.

3 - I've contacted Twitch to inform them, through their support system, of an issue with the transaction.

4 - I've contacted the bank through secure online messaging, their support system, to let them know of a potential issue with the account.

Friends helped to spot me $20, most of which I've set to go into my bank, with the remainder being enough to cover any shortfall as my paypal balance.

As such this is what they should see.

The bank should see both that I have $5 waiting to clear (its not available yet) and that I've made a note about an issue.

Paypal should see I now have enough in my paypal balance to cover any shortfall, and that I've made a note about an issue with the transaction.

Twitch should now see that I've requested the transaction be cancelled.

I will call the bank at 8am to make a further note; but this is all I can do at this time.

The next time I can do something is Monday morning at 9am; at which time I will go into the bank and deposit $4.


If the transaction is completed after 9am on Monday, everything is fine.

If it is completed before 9am on Monday, the following should happen.

A - The bank will notice I don't have the money requested. The bank will also notice I have enough money to cover this shortfall waiting to clear. It will then have a decision to make. I've been a good customer for years without any problems in my account; and my bank is a credit union. Hopefully they'll also see the note I've sent them. Odds are they will decide to allow me to go into the red for a few hours, or even a few days, as I regularly get my disability support on the last business day of the month, which is this coming Thursday. However there's still a chance that despite all of this the bank will ding me with NSF. If they do they can do this in two ways. First, it can send the money to paypal and simply demand I cover the difference along with the NSF charge. Second, it can tell paypal I dont have the money. It is this, second option that causes problems.

B - If that happens, Paypal then has a similar set of decisions. An e-mail came through as I am writing this to let me know that Paypal will not accept any further pre-authorized payments from Twitch without my approval. If paypal sees I dont have enough money to cover this, it can then draw from the balance in paypal. The money is there. However, its system may be set up to try to draw the money from another source. This is potentially problematic as it has my old banking information for an account I no longer use. I've tried to delete it but paypal has refused to let me claiming there's always an ongoing transaction tied to that account that I can not cancel. Regardless, paypal can decide that since I didn't have enough money to cover this in my balance at the time the transaction came in, that it will tell twitch that I didn't have enough money. Even if it does not, Paypal may decide to restrict my account again meaning I'll always need balance in my account and can not purchase things through the bank.

C - If that happens, Twitch will become aware, and may do their own restrictions. They won't charge me any money, the worst they can do is cancel the subscription I've requested be canceled; but they could limit my functionality. Even the e-mail Paypal sent me a few moments ago may do that by making paypal to twitch transactions harder.

Regardless, I've done pretty much all I can until monday morning.

life lesson: be paranoid with online money.

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been getting more involved in the twitch educational community. As part of that I've been gifted, and have gifted, many "subs" (subscriptions) to channels I enjoy. I know from this they last 1 month.

So, last month, I decided to get a sub for a channel I enjoy for myself. 


They auto-renew.

I did not know this.

I do not have enough money in my bank to cover this.

Let me tell you what happened the last time I was short by less than this amount ($4) back in around 2013.

First - The bank hit me with a NSF fee. $30 IIRC. My current bank's NSF fee is $40. 

Second - Paypal hit me with a NSF fee. $25US. They also restricted my ability to buy things online for YEARS after. I always had to have enough money in my paypal balance, and they would not accept a bank link as enough. As I said, this continued for years, and was not lifted until 2016. There were also payments I simply could not make. 

Third - Steam (I was buying a steam game at the time) did a very similar restriction on me for 3 months. I had to have money in my steam wallet to buy any game. Additionally, a time restriction was placed on paypal transfers, so I only got the money in my wallet when it cleared. 

This meant I had to pay $60 for being over by $3. Additionally, I had to wait 14 days to transfer money into my paypal, and another week or so to get that into steam, if I wanted to buy any video games. This meant I needed to know 3 weeks in advance if I wanted to buy something on a flash sale.

Here is the problem now in 2019.

I have no idea how this is all going to go down. 

I've been charged $4 to a bank account that's empty. 

Paypal already took the $3 that was sitting in my paypal balance.

The bank is closed because it is sunday.

I've gone to the ATM and put $5 in an envelope and marked it as a deposit. 

I am thinking of trying to get a paypal transfer from a friend and trying to shoot that into the bank account as well hoping it lands before the payment does.

IF any of that works, it will solve the entire problem.

Next, I've been able to get a friend to spot me $4 on paypal. I now have enough of a paypal balance to make up the payment that my bank does not have. Hopefully paypal will be satisfied with this. IF they are.

If they are not, the Twitch is then told I did not have enough money for my sub. If that happens who knows what they do. They may limit by ability to buy subs or bits; and if they do that it will certainly have an impact on any streaming I'd do. 

Even one of the better case scenarios is that I have an extra unexpected bill of $60 this month. That's a weeks worth of food for me. If that happens it pushes back my streaming by at least a month. 

In short: I'm going to end up screwed in a major way no matter what I do.

The lesson here is to always be paranoid with online money. My assumption that the subscriptions would not auto-renew based on what I've seen others do was wrong despite how certain I was. 

Due to that I might be out $60 or more, and have my plans to stream pushed back my 1, 3, or more months. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Twitch Streaming!

I'd like to announce that my years long dabbing in video making has finally resulted in a final decision; I will be streaming educational content on twitch!

This will not start today, or tomorrow; but may be as early as March. I need some better equipment before I stream and March is the earliest I can get it.

The content I will stream is basically the content you find on this blog, but focusing much more on general educational content (for example: this series on Northern Ireland) which will generally be an improvement in my content.

Blogposts would continue but be more focused on things I can't do on stream such as maps, numbers, polls, and other things that don't translate well to video streaming.

Eventually, the 'lectures' I give on stream - which will be live and off the cuff - will be refined into scripted youtube videos.

Monday, January 21, 2019

BC Clerk and Serjeant-at-arms scandal

I'm not foolish enough to open myself up to libel charges by implying this is corruption. Simply I am going to link to the document (found here) and suggest that the methods of which officials, public and private, gain, is not always clear cut and obvious.

More on Sweden and Israel

Sweden's election finally ended with a selection of a new government. The government was elected 115-153 with 77 abstentions and 4 absentees. Standings in Parliament will be as follows.

116 - Government (100 Social Democrats & 16 Green Party)
92 - Alliance (70 Moderates & 22 Christian Democrats)
62 - Neo Nationalists (62 Swedish Democrats)
51 - Confidence and Supply (31 Centre & 20 Liberals)
28 - Issue by Issue (28 Left)

Making for one of the weakest governments since WW2 in the country in terms of share of seats in Parliament.

Meanwhile in Israel, Ta'al continues to compete well with the Joint List. Reading between the lines it seems the major divide between the two is weather or not to work with other parties and join a potential government. Ta'al being opposed and Joint List appears willing and ready to consider joining a progressive government under the right circumstances.

Meanwhile, Livni appears considering to join forces with Yesh Atid; a move that would give that party a few extra seats, as her own Hatnuah party continues to regularly poll below the threshold. Benny Gantz also continues his efforts to get Gesher to join his Hosen Yisrael party.

Assuming for a moment these three things come to pass - Livni joining forces with Yesh Atid; Gesher joining Hosen Yisrael, and the Joint List sitting with a progressive government; the following projection can be made:

Pro-Bibi (50)
31 - Likud
7 - UTJ
4 - Shas
4 - Jewish Home
4 - Kulanu

Progressive (52)
16 - Hosen Yisrael
16 - Yesh Atid
9 - Labour
6 - Joint List
5 - Meretz

8 - New Right
6 - Ta'al
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu

It is possible for both Yisrael Beiteinu and the New Right to sit with Bibi; but both parties have a personal dislike of him, but at these numbers it would give such a coalition a bare majority.

Kulanu could always agree to switch sides as it is a more moderate party; additionally, UTJ and Shas might be willing to switch sides for the right price, but it seems unlikely they'd be willing to work with the Joint List, whose only Jewish MK is retiring. Even if Kulanu and Yisrael Beiteinu were brought over to the Progressives, it would not be enough for a majority; at least, not at these polling levels.

However. It should be noted that 4 seats puts a party at the threshold. And even a slight error in polling could see that 4 easily turn into 0. Many of the progressive parties riding the threshold such as Hatnuah and Gesher could well be folded into larger parties; while the right-wing smaller parties may not be; this gives a slight edge to the progressives.

Regardless, we'll need a lot more polls and for the various coalitions to form (deadline for party lists is 1 month from today) to see exactly how things will play out.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Brexit, State of the Union, and more

Just a quick note about the State of the Union in the US and weather or not it was delivered in person. Put simply:

From 1790 to 1800 they were in person

1801-1912, written

1913-1923, in person

1924-1932, written

In 1933 the speech was delivered in person and has been on all but 7 occasions since.

In 1945, likely due to FDR's health

In 1946, Truman may have wanted to go back to the written precedent, but he addressed a joint session in May of that year on Railroad Strikes and may have been convinced by this to attend more in person.

1953, Truman was the outgoing president, and likely did not attend to not take the spotlight away from Ike.

1956, Ike did not deliver the speech in person, likely to his heart attack a few months prior.

1961, Ike delivered a written address for similar reasons as Truman above.

1973, Nixon sent a written only message; this was just days before the Senate voted to investigate Watergate.

Lastly, 1981 Carter sent a written message for similar reasons as Truman and Ike.


As expected, the government survived the VoNC. As such, no new news at this time.


Polls suggest Ta'al may take as many as 6 seats, equal to the 6 expected to be taken by the remainder of Joint List.


Polls suggest the government may lose their majority in the elections this spring


Polls suggest Widodo, perhaps most famous for looking a bit like Barack Obama, leads heavily

Brexit, and update in Sweden

According to the vote yesterday, each party has the following number of voting MPs in or around Parliament right now:

314 con
251 lab
35 snp
11 ld
10 dup
4 pc
1 grn
8 ind

Without the DUP, there are 319 non-conservative MPs in the House. The DUP plus the Conservatives consist of 324 MPs. The DUP has said they will back the Conservatives in the vote of non confidence scheduled for today. As such it is unlikely that the VoNC will pass. It would take 3 tories to vote against their own government to defeat it; and doing so is extraordinarily unlikely as it would make these people pariahs and likely lose them a ton of personal friends and other such negative impacts. That also assumes every single non-tory MP will vote yes; there are reasons why this is not the case.

Three Independents voted with the government on Brexit. They are Stephen Lloyd, a former LibDem; Lady Hermon, Northern Ireland Independent, former UUP; and Frank Field a right-winger but former Labour MP.

It is possible some of all of them will support the government. Lady Hermon in particular may do so.

In Sweden meanwhile, government preparations are being finalized. The vote on the new government was delayed after protests from the Left party; but the latest reports are that the Left Party has agreed to allow the government to form, but has made clear threats that it will vote down the government in the future if they do not accept input from the party on key issues.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Brexit; current events

The government has just lost a vote on the Brexit deal, taking only 202 votes for the deal and 432 against; meaning 634 members voted.

The are 650 members, 7 of which are Sinn Fein who do not take their seats; of the 643 remainder; the speaker traditionally does not vote, implying that of the 642 "usual voting members" 8 did not vote.

Assuming that these 8 are all paired; that puts 313 of the 317 members in the chamber. If 202 votes supported the deal this means 111 tories voting against.

News reports are saying 118, or 116, tory MPs voted against.

The number will be somewhere around that.


What's next?

Its very unlikely something moves until tomorrow.

Tomorrow there will be a vote of non confidence in the commons. Its possible it will succeed, but unlikely.

As such, I will save more commentary for then. Unless there's a sudden and surprise resignation, snap election, or coup; nothing will change until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Updates in Sweden and Israel.

In Israel there's been another political shakeup with Ta'al withdrawing from the Joint List. Ta'al is heavily associated with its leader, Tibi, and is seen by many as a personal vehicle of his to gain seats. Unless I'm missing something, it is unlikely Tibi will win any seats, and Joint List will take less than expected.

I may be, however, missing something, as the decision by Labour to split the Zionist Union has served them well in the polls with the party averaging only a single seat less than ZU, and with Hatnuah usually not being able to meet the threshold.

In Sweden there are reports that the Social Democrats have secured a government deal with the Greens, Liberals, and Centre Party.

If true this would create the following parliament:

167 Government
92 Alliance (Moderates and Christian Democrats)
62 Sweden Democrats (Neo-Nationalist)
28 Left Party

This would leave the government without a majority; however, in this situation it would be likely that such a deal would not have been struck without some tacit agreement from the Left Party. Governments in Sweden can be sworn in so long as a majority does not vote "no" meaning a Left Party abstention would result in this government being approved as only 154 members are either Alliance or SD.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Israel - Zionist Union splits

Just a quick poll average update now that the Zionist Union (Labour + Hatnuah) has broken apart.

28 - Likud (Conservative, Netanyahu)
13 - Resilience (Progressive, Gantz)
12 - Yesh Atid (Liberal)
12 - Joint List (Arab)
8 - New Right (Nationalist)
7 - Avoda (Labour)
7 - United Torah (Ultra Orthodox)
6 - Kulanu (Centrist)
5 - Meretz (Left)
4 - Shas (Ultra Orthodox)*
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu (Right-Populist)*
4 - Jewish Home (Nationalist Orthodox)*
4 - Gesher (Centre-Right)*
4 - Hatnuah (Centrist)*