Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Say No To An EU Referendum

In referendums the status quo option tends to do better that the initial polls suggest- this was seen in the referendum on electoral reform last year.

Currently a majority (or maybe a mere plurality at worse) of people favour leaving the European Union, but in a referendum the Europhile campaign will be free to scaremonger about the prospect of being "isolated in Europe" and taking a leap into the unknown. The worst the Eurosceptic camp can do is point at the present which cannot be made to seem unrealistically terrifying as an imagined future with less constraints of reality. Politically Ted Heath was quite clever to make the UK join the EEC and then let his successor have a referendum on whether to remain in- so the Europhile case became the status quo.

In a campaign the Europhiles will certainly close the gap on the Eurosceptics and may even overtake them to win the campaign. If that happens there will no constraint on UK governments who wish to surrender more power to Brussels as the issue would be "settled" for a generation.

Unless the support for withdrawing remains comfortably above 50% for a few years it would an enormous gamble to hold a referendum on the matter now.

Told You So

I said at the time that it was unlikely that the nurse who killed herself after receiving a prank call from idiotic Australian DJs did so because of the call.

It has since emerged that she had attempted suicide twice previously- long before the Duchess of Cambridge's hospitalisation.

The Australian radio presenters are still responsible for something unpleasant- posing as a concerned relative in order to find out about someone's medical condition- but they do not have blood on their hands.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Right To Other People's Money

Why the outrage over plans to restrict what benefit claimants can spend those benefits on?

If it is authoritarian to ring fence what people can spend welfare payments on then surely existing benefits such as housing benefits should also spark outrage- forcing the claimants to use the money for accomodation rather than fags even if they prefer the latter. Instead, most people accept that it is a good thing that money given over to provide housing is spent on housing.

The same is true of money provided for food and clothing.

Taxes are collected by force with the moral justification that they are redistributed for essential services, such as providing food and clothing to those in need, it is hardly excessive to ensure that this money is not spent down the bookies and off license.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Plebgate

It looks like the evidence for Andrew Mitchell's supposed tirade against the police was made up. A major injustice has been done to him but there is another aspect to consider.

If the police are willing to frame a cabinet minister and make up witnesses, even when it is a 100% certainty that there will be CCTV footage that contradicts them then what do you think they do with people without the resources to fight back, who com into contact with the police in areas not covered with cameras?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What Causes Massacres?

You can divide the causes into two categories- what motivates the inadequate to commit the crime and what factors enable him to actually do it.

The availability of guns does provide a partial answer to the second part of the question. The day before the killings in Connecticut a Chinese primary school had been attacked in a similar way but in this case the weapon was a knife rather than a gun. A lot of children were injured, some severely, but no one was killed.

That said the more important aspect is surely what makes someone want to commit a massacre- it isn't simply the case that someone out there will always want to do something like this. After all gun ownership has been widespread for generations in the USA and some other countries yet these kind of spectacular rampages are a relatively recent phenomenon. There seems to be a desire for notoriety and a perverse kind of fame as well as a kind of narcissism in which only their anger and hurt feelings matter.

Update: Just realised that I wrote a similar but better written post a couple of years ago.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dead Terrorist Still Dead.

I see that an investigation into the murder of Pat Finucane has found that he was murdered on the encouragement of someone within the security forces.

If so that is terribly wrong but it does not change the facts that Pat Finucane was not a "human rights lawyer", he was a member of the IRA and was therefore a supporter of murdering people. If he was killed by the flames he fanned that is not a tragedy.

Most of his family seem to have been in the IRA as well, so it is hard to take the portrayal of them as brave fighters for justice very seriously.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

What You See Is Not All There Is

Daniel Kahneman- the psychologist who won an Nobel Prize for Economics- has uses a concept of "What You See Is All There Is"- which states that humans tend to form impressions based purely on the information available to us, even when that information is very minimal. We do not stop to consider what important information may be missing.

I think the reaction to the nurse who killed herself after receiving a prank phone call from an Australian radio station is an example of this. All the public "know" about her are that she received the call and she killed herself therefore the assumption is that the phone call led to her death.

This may be right but given that it seems such an odd reaction to the prank call and that people have all sorts of relationships and ambitions that are far more likely to affect their well being that a two minute radio call, it seems unwise to assume that her apparent suicide was related to the prank without knowing more about her life.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Technical Help Please

Sorry been busy lately.

Could anyone help me with the following pieces of technology.

Printer:

I want a new printer as I currently have a crappy Epsom Stylus that breaks down frequently, especially when it has generic non-Epsom ink and the ink costs a fortune. So what printers are reliable and aren't rip offs in terms of ink costs? It cannot be an Epsom as they are shit and make cheap printers with the intention of ripping off customers with extortionate ink costs.

Mobile Phone:

I have an HTC phone and the memory has been playing up for months, so most of the Apps have had to be removed. How do I change this, does it happen with all phones and get the phone working properly again?

Sat Navs:

Need a new one. Any recommendations on what is good. I need it before Monday so any comments before Sunday afternoon will be appreciated.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fat Man & Little Boy

Some say that Fat Man and Little Boy were crimes but I say we have to remember that at this stage nothing has been proved about Cyril Smith's sexual proclivities.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Toynbeeising Soaps

Polly Toynbee's call for soap opera's to become more politically engaged has inspired me to have a go at writing a Polly approved script for Coronation Street:
Betty: Pint of your usual Ken?

Ken: How can I drink when child poverty is increasing by 13% a month according to an Institute of Studies report and the Tory government are determined to throw the poor onto the bonfire?

Betty: Oh I know luv, I've tried getting a grant to turn the Rovers into a Sure Start Centre but it was impossible thanks to vicious Tory Cuts.

Ken: I don't have time to drink anyway, as I've got to get home to watch Ed Miliband's speech to the TUC now.
If anyone has any other ideas for Toynbeeising the soaps please feel free to offer your contributions.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tom Watson- Crusader Or Sleaze Monger?

The retracted Newsnight allegations about a paedophile ring involving senor Tories followed on from allegation made by the MP Tom Watson in Parliament.

During the Damian McBride affair- in which Gordon Brown's aide was outed plotting to smear various Conservatives, usually by making up sexual rumours- some attention was paid to the role of Tom Watson.

Watson shared an office with McBride and was on good terms with the other man involved in the scandal- Derek Draper- but no emails emerged to prove Watson's involvement and he got a bit litigious when it was suggested that he was part of the scheme.

Yet it has to be said, his "exposure" of a paedophile ring linked to the Thatcher government does seem to have had a very similar effect to that which was intended by the McBride plot. A number of senior Conservatives have had false rumours spread about them online as a result of dark hints dropped by Watson (with the help of Newsnight) without any actual evidence.

It does make you wonder whether Tom Watson actually believed that there was substance to the paedophile ring which he referred to or whether he was using the Jimmy Savile scandal and parliamentary privilege as an opportunity to slime those on his enemies list.

The Guardian & Paedophiles

A few stories from the Guardian over the years:

Sun shame after paedophile mix-up

 

Tabloid's naming of paedophiles condemned by police chief

 

After the vigilantes

 

The paper's decision to drop its drive to "name and shame", announced last night, gives us all a chance to reflect on what can be done to reconcile these conflicting emotions. Clearly, random vigilante publishing was not the answer. If its objective was the protection of children, then it simply failed. In fact it served the opposite purpose, driving paedophiles underground, where neither police nor probation services could keep track of them. Already the relevant agencies have told of convicted sex offenders, once under their watch, who have now moved off-radar. That has increased the risk to children, not reduced it. It is only a pity the News of the World took so long to realise it.

Well that was then and back when the terribly vulgar red tops were doing it. When a progressive hero like George Monbiot smears an innocent man as a child rapist that's fine and dandy.


 

Monday, November 05, 2012

That Critical Endorsement.

With the American election looking like it is on a knife edge, it is clear that the voters are waiting on the thoughtful utterances of some random foreigner before making a final decision.

The candidate I am probably closest to is the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, but would only vote for him if I lived in a state where my vote doesn't matter. So on balance I want Romney to win.

He's not perfect and my endorsement depends largely on the assumption that some of his worse policies are merely campaign fodder not to be taken seriously- like his rhetoric on trade with China.

But he does have a track record of competence and that is the most important aspect of the job.

Also the Obama administration is not one that deserves reelection- the vast increase in spending even above the levels of the profligate Bush administration is dangerous for the world economy and although it's not my primary concern as a foreigner his domestic policies on things like education and welfare reform are rather destructive.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

HA Ha ha ha...... OK More about Macshane.

After 12 solid hours of manic laughing, I thought I should write something else about Denis Macshane.
  • Firstly, as has been pointed out, his apology wasn't to the tax payers who he ripped off but to the Labour Party.
  • He also claims that he was doing it in the line of combating fascism- an cause he deploys in the same way Jimmy Savile used his charity work. It is hard to believe that someone who genuinely cared about fighting fascism would throw smears at legitimate political opponents with as much glee as Macshameless did.
  • He still has apologists, like the Telegraph's Blairite Dan Hodges who argues that he did it because MPs are underpaid. I mean if you're earning less than £100 000, then you are bound to lie and steal. However it ignores the fact that Macshane's history of being a mendacious shit did not always involve monetary gain and long predates him becoming an MP. He was sacked by the BBC in the 1970s for pretending to be a caller to a phone in show for political gain, he put out an article "The Five Myths Muslims Must Deny" under the name of a Muslim colleague, he regularly invented links to neo-nazis among his political opponents, he used bogus statistics to denounce people traficking then slandered those who called him out on it,
He was a cancer on public life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Quote Of The Day- Polly Toynbee Edition

Polly Toynbee writes about the effects that child care policies of successive governments have had:

all these sent the number of Sure Start places soaring, even though child poverty was falling.
I may have changed a couple of details.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Speaking Truth To Power.

Nick Griffin has been kicked off of Twitter for publishing the addresses of two men who sued a B&B owner for not allowing them to share a room. There certainly seems to be an implied threat in that action so this is appropriate.

Or at least so I thought, because it turns out that criminally violating other people's rights, is actually the purest form of protest. According to some people anyway.

The home of misunderstanding things, the Guardian, has had a couple of examples of this. Mona Eltahawy's believes that the right to protest means the right to vandalise and deface posters legally put up by people she disagree with. Because as she says she supports free speech, but free speech includes the right to be free of opposing speech.

Or something.

Today Nina Power writes about the twit who disrupted the University Boat Race this year, and who has just been sentenced to six months in prison:
Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the annual Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race in April this year to protest against inequality, was sentenced to six months in jail for the offence of "public nuisance". Although the race was restarted 25 minutes later, Judge Molyneux made it clear that Trenton had disrupted the smooth running of things, and for that he must go to jail: "Thousands of people had lined the banks of the river to enjoy a sporting competition. Many more were watching at home on live television." The message is blunt: if it's on TV and aristocrats are involved, then the state can deprive you of your liberty for as long as it likes.

 In a period where many people have died following benefit cuts, Oldfield's protest against elitism and inequality is timely and symbolic.

The working class hero who making the protest against elitism is a privately educated Australian called Trenton who used a grant from the Arts Council to buy himself a flat and has as his lawyer the socialist son of privilege Matt Foot* (son of Paul Foot).

Power continues:
Oldfield's sentence is clearly designed to deter others from protesting, and there is evidence that the use of the charge of public nuisance (which carries a maximum sentence of life) was upgraded under government pressure and precisely because of the varied spectacles of 2012. 
Public nuisance is of course what the idiot who threw a coin on the track at the Olympic 100m final was charged with. It seems to be used when someone is being a nuisance, to the general public. I don't recall Guardian editorials in support of the defrocked Irish priest who disrupted the British Grand Prix in 2003 when he was jailed, even though he was also protesting against something or other.

Nina Power continues:
So who, in the end, is the public on behalf of whom Oldfield is being punished? 
In this particular case it is the spectators and viewers who wanted to see the boat race rather than the Trenton Show. And the rowers whose event was disrupted.
Is it the public sector workers who will march in their thousands tomorrow against austerity, or is it the "public" represented by the judge
Er neither, it is the public who wanted to watch an event, this may include people from different political persuasions.

What the likes of Mona Eltahawy and especially Nina Power represent is narcissism- what they believe is so important that the rights of others are simply pale before them. In the case of Power it doesn't even matter if the lesser beings being attacked have only the most tenuous connection to whatever is being protested against, they should still have their apolitical event disrupted for some spoiled brat's gratification.

* Matt Foot specialises in defending people who use aggressive protests to violate others' rights. He defended the idiot who threw the fire extinguisher off the top of Millbank Tower and other idiots who who went to Italy to riot against something or other.

Quote Of The Day

I had wondered why guardianistas and assorted poverty pimps complained so vocally about the benefit cap- this government's best policy so far- considering that by definition it won't affect anyone who isn't already well provided for.

I think Julia explains it here:
Yes, this is all about the effect on low-income families of the benefit cap, which numerous charities and pressure groups fear will remove their client base from comfortable walking distance from their cosy London offices…

It would be  unthinkable to have to commute all the way to Luton when doing one's bit to help the (high income) poor.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Closing Of The Economy

 On Radio 4's "The World At One" they had a discussion about childcare which it was agreed is too expensive. On one side of the discussion they had Nick Pearce from the IPPR who was arguing for having even more highly qualified child minders, who rebutted an argument for deregulation by pointing out:
"The child minders' own professional body says they don't want deregulation, they want high standard professional child minders"
This is of course a fatuous point, all professional bodies oppose deregulation and support credentialising- because that keeps out entrants to the market and enables their members to make more money. If anyone can find a single example of an organisation representing established people in a profession that lobbies for barriers to entry to be loosened then I will tip my hat to them, but I doubt anyone could.

Credentialising and occupational licensing make jobs harder to get without actually improving the standard of service being provided.

The two jobs that I did when I was a student- working as a security guard in various warehouses and offices and on building sites putting up ceilings- both now require the possession of formal qualifications in those fields so that I would not be able to do either job today.

This was only just over a decade ago. Similar barriers to entry have been placed in other lines of work. This of modest importance to current and future students but is a serious barrier for the long term unemployed and for anyone who uses the services of industries that are insulated from competition and innovation in this way.


Update: As proof that quoting the childminder's professional body is a fatuous and moronic argument- Polly Toynbee repeats it today:
The National Childminding Association protests against Truss's deregulation plan: it wants to keep inspections. Nor does it want higher staff-child ratios, saying it fears childminders becoming deprofessionalised

Art: Then & Then.

I am currently watching "Cave of Forgotten Dreams", Werner Herzog's documentary about the incredible cave paintings in Chauvet, France.

On thing which is notable to me is that despite being painted tens of thousands of years ago the quality of the pictures in very good. In face the depictions of some animals seem far more realistic than those of medieval artists who were thousands of years more technologically advanced.

Compare cavemen depiction of horses:
Now look at the horses in the Bayeux Tapestry:
Which are frankly a bit crap.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Top Ten Non Winners Of The Nobel Peace Prize

  1. The United States Military. Has used it's hegemonic status over the last 65 years to give an unprecedented level of national security to countries throughout the world, especially in Europe. Is also a major provider of international aid during disasters.
  2. Mahatma Gandhi- pretty ,much pioneered the principle of non violent resistance to oppression. He didn't get a prize, but Yasser Arafat did.
  3. The Manhattan Project: Nuclear weapons have pretty much made full scale war between great powers unthinkable.
  4. Mobile phone companies: have massively advanced development throughout Africa by allowing communication that does not rely on government infrastructure.
  5. Winston Churchill- the disarmament campaigners of the 1930s received many prizes even though their policies led to war. The rearmament campaigners are never described as peace campaigns though.
  6. Pharmaceutical companies- have taken the lead in eliminating and reducing the impact of so many devastating diseases.
  7. Paul Kagame- Rwanda's president. Very autocratic but did end the Rwanda genocide by leading a counter attack against the Hutu militias.
  8. Konrad Adenaeur- Germany's first post war leader who took over a country responsible for some of the worst atrocities in history and led it to being a model global citizen.
  9. Television:- makes excessive brutality much harder to hush up which has to contribute to peace.
  10. The Nobel Peace Prize Committee- although they probably will do soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Nobel Prize

The Nobel Prize ought to be of no real importance judging by the motley crew of previous winners the award of the prize to the European Union is not absurd.

One of the reasons why membership of the Euro is still the majority opinion in Spain, Greece and Portugal is because the EU is strongly associated with the move away from dictatorship. Many Eastern European countries have made reforms in order to enter the EU. One of the reasons the Serbs eventually handed Karadic and Mladic over to face trial is to make themselves eligible to join the EU.

The European Union has not been beneficial to the UK- with our long tradition of pluralistic democracy we don't associate the EU with freedom- but for the countries that have thrown off dictatorship the desire to join has been a positive influence.

If I lived somwhere like Hungary with an increasingly authoritarian government, I would be glad of the moderating effect of EU membership upon what the government can do.These benefits are threatened by the destabilisation brought on by the drive for "ever closer union" and for the increased acquisition of powers by Brussels.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

As An Inadequate...

John Kampfner writes:
Sickipedia, the site where the young Lancashire man Matthew Woods found inspiration to post "jokes" about the missing child April Jones on his Facebook page was "down for maintenance" when I tried to check it out this morning, though I managed to get a glimpse of the kind of content it publishes courtesy of Twitter.
I'll reproduce just one, which should come with the equivalent of one of those taste and decency disclaimers you get on TV: "My dick is a lot like Marmite. My wife hates it when I rub it on her toast". That was from May. That alone should allow you to conclude, if you hadn't already realised from its name, that this site is for the seriously sad and inadequate. That should be the end of the story. The decision of Woods, however, to reproduce "jokes" about April Jones and Madeleine McCann has led him to be sent for 12 weeks to a young offenders' institution. Prior to that he had been taken into protective custody to prevent him being lynched.
Firstly I agree that it is outrageous for someone to be jailed for reposting jokes on Facebook. Attempted Hilarity is not a crime.

Secondly as someone who has put up about 500 jokes on Sickipedia I have to object to Kampfner's description of as being for the sad and inadequate. Obviously it is true in my case but even so he misses the point of the site.

It is user generated so anyone can put jokes up, this can lead to dire jokes, plagiarised jokes and offensive jokes devoid of comedic merit. However it can also lead to brilliant jokes of the kind that will be liked by 1000s of people. The site has a voting system so the good jokes get more exposure and the crap gets washed away. In the forums of the site there is a lot of ranting about and mocking of the terrible jokes that get posted- there is no one among the regular users who doesn't realise that there is a good deal of rubbish on site. (I odubt that Matthew Jones is a regular user as his efforts were abysmally unfunny).

Taking one shit joke which didn't score well as being indicitive of the site is as fair as taking one Beatrix Campbell article and concluding that the Guardian is crap.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Spot The Agenda!

There is a horrible story about a teenage girl who has had to have her stomach removed after drinking a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen (the nitrogen wasn't an ingredient in the cocktail, it got in there by mistake) at a bar.

Can you spot the the agenda of the spokesghoul/ shroud waver quoted by the Daily Mail?:

But last night Dr John Ashton, director of public health for Cumbria, said she was a victim of a dangerous gimmick used to sell more alcohol.
He said: 'This girl is the victim of an irresponsible alcohol industry that's now competing on gimmicks.
....

Dr Ashton said it was time the Government brought in better regulation of the drinks industry to stop such tragic incidents.
He said: 'It is shocking that a teenage girl goes out to celebrate her 18th birthday and ends up in intensive care with life-changing injuries.
'The alcohol industry uses these types of gimmicks to make alcoholic drinks more enticing - yet staff can use liquid nitrogen without any proper training.
....
'These things are allowed to continue in this country because of the Government's lack on control over the drinks industry.
'Essentially it amounts to a form of cowardice because there are drinks industry interests in every constituency and the Government is worried about repercussions.'

Enoch Powell Was Right.

About the treatment of Kenyan prisoners during the Mau Mau rebellion.

Two things the news reports don't mention about the Mau-Mau torture case currently winding its way through the legal system:

  • The Mau Mau themselves were fairly nasty and hardly innocent victims (although many of the prisoners were wholly innocent).
  • The leading voice in Britain denouncing the savage treatment of the Kenyan prisoners at the time was Enoch Powell, the supposed racist.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Jimmy Savile & Conspiracy Theories.

I have always been firmly opposed to long term, successful conspiracy theories, finding them both malevolent and implausible.

One of the main reasons I find them implausible is that the number of people who would need to cover up a conspiracy is so huge that it is simply crazy to think it could be done successfully.

However in the case of Jimmy Savile's probable abuse of young girls, it appears that his behavior was known by hundreds of people and no one went public. This is partly due to our libel laws, but no one would have been sued for tipping off the police, yet this does not seem to have occurred.

Should I therefore re-evaluate my contempt for conspiracy theories in general? Except the 9/11, Diana and JFK conspiracy theories of course, which are still retarded.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Labour Stupidity In Action

As the previous post demonstrated, Labour MPs are on average very stupid- yet very confident about their own ability despite any evidence to the contrary.

Their conference has thrown up many examples of this, but lets start with Ed Balls and his big idea- taking the money from the sale of 4G licences to mobile phone operators and using it to build 100000 homes and subsidise first time buyers.

It isn't exactly clear why widespread property ownership is such an obvious public good that it should be subsidised. Germany has far lower rates of home ownership than Britain, yet seems to have a more robust economy.

The problem of not enough homes being built is fundamentally about nimbyism and a lack of clear property rights. If neighbours are given too much say in what people can build on their own land, then building is going to be artificially depressed.

So after a crash caused to some extent by a housing bubble his solution is to reflate the bubble! And to squander 4-5 Billion pounds on benefiting a tiny, tiny minority of the country at everyone else's expense.

Whilst the national debt keeps rising ever higher.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

MPs Thick, Labour MPs Especially

A total of 97 MPs were asked this probability problem: if you spin a coin twice, what is the probability of getting two heads?

Among Conservative members, 47% gave the wrong answer, which is disappointing enough. But of the 44 Labour MPs who took part, 77% answered incorrectly.
77%!

It does explain a few things though- the basic innumeracy could be one of the reasons why Labour always propose spending bonanzas that are vastly greater than any real increase in wealth- and why Labour governments always leave economic catastrophes behind them.

I am being serious here- the inability to think past stage one is evident in a lot of Labour's previous actions and at the ideas on show at their conference this week- registering journalists, spending all the 4G money on one particular pet project etc, etc.

Humans use two mental methods for reaching conclusions- the one we use most often is intuitive and takes little effort. This means it is often wrong. The slower method uses reasoning and logic- this is hard work but tends to be right more often.

Monday, October 01, 2012

The Good Die Young

I see that the unrepentant Stalin Apologist, Eric Hobsbawm has died.

Like many apologists for Communism of his era he later framed his support for the USSR as being anti-Nazi. This is of course twaddle as the Communist party of Germany was far more likely to collaborate with the Nazis than opponents on the democratic left and right.

An appalling man and an untrustworthy historian.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tasteless Jokes Invalidate Elections Apparently

I heard a story on the radio about a Derbyshire councillor who has been sacked for making a joke about the two murdered police women last week.

He sounds like a dick, and I would not vote for him- but there's something very dodgy about the notion that elected representatives can be sacked for doing something completely legal.

Who has the power to overrule the electorate and invalidate the election just like that?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Denis MacShane Doesn't Like Wikipedia

It's an absolute disgrace apparently, asking a Justice Minister this question:
"What comment will the Minister make on the fact that Wikipedia publishes biographies of people that are then regularly amended to include untrue, defamatory and unpleasant language?

"Does he think that Wikipedia should inform those people whose biographies have been re-written in such a way that causes them damage and then allow a truthful statement to be made?
"At the moment, Wikipedia is an absolute disgrace, allowing the British National party, fascists, anti-Semites and other extremists to alter people's personal entries."
 Wikipedia should employ an army of staff to write to the subjects of articles every time it is edited?

There is some irony in Denis MacShameless complaining about defamation despite regularly smearing his opponents as Nazis, racists or supporters of human trafficking. It appears likely that he upset about some of the information contained in his Wiki-biography- the examples of lying, corruption and bullying are certainly unpleasant but I cannot see anything that is untrue.


Eternal Truths

There is a defence of Muhammad- the founder of Islam- in the Guardian, with regard to accusations that he was a paedophile for marrying a six year old girl.

A lot of effort is made to contextualise this by comparison with what was normal at the time- and it is true that taking very young wives was a lot more acceptable in earlier centuries than today. Various figures from ancient times to the late middle ages did this.

This kind of context matters in judging most historical figures but the problem is Muhammed is not most historical figures. If Mo had simply been a particularly successful warlord it would be tiresome to denounce his sexual morals or the fact he was a slaver. However he and his adherents have never claimed that he was simply a man of his time, but rather that he was the source of eternal truths, that are as true today as they were then.

It is similar to how the massacre of the Trojans by the Greeks is not a problem for modern admirers of ancient Greece whereas the massacre of the Canaanites by the Israelites is a problem for those who believe that the Bible or Torah are divine sources of truth.

Of course in the modern world most Christians and Jews don't endorse the worst aspects of their holy literature. This is not the case with Islam, when simply speculating that some passages may be allegorical is a death sentence in much of the Middle East.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Binge Drinking Parents



According to the Children's Commissar, Maggie Atkinson, 1 in 3 children live with a binge drinker.

Something Must Be Done!

Think of the Children!


I heard her being interviewed and she insisted this was what children were telling her- whilst parroting phrases that I've never heard anyone who is not a professional busybody utter. It turns out that these phrases were uttered by children in focus groups- given that even with adults focus groups tend to say what the person in charge wants them to say and the people in charge were professional busybodies, this isn't a surprise.

While I do not doubt that alcohol is the cause, or at least the catalyst, for a lot of social problems, it does not seem plausible that 1 in 3 children live with a binge drinker and that a ludicrously inflated figure is being used for the purpose of scaremongering. And sure enough the definition of binge drinking is men who have more than eight drinks on one session or women who have more than 6.

No definition of what a "drink" is, but I suspect that they are referring to units because the definition of binge drinking given by other bodies is 8 units for men and 6 for women. That is about three glasses of wine for a woman or three pints of beer for man. I often "binge" under this definition- having up to 12 units over the course of about 6 or 7 hours on a weekend day every so often. Yet I don't consider myself to be a binge drinker, as I drive home and beat my terrified family in an alcohol fueled rage..... or not.


The report does not say how often this one has to binge to be classified as a binge drinker either- is having three sherries over Christmas Day a danger?


Yet the Childrens' Commissioner uses figures derived from these kind of definitions to imply that scenarios like this are endemic in Britain:

‘“I need somewhere safe to go quickly when mum starts drinking and cutting herself but where can I go?”


That is a quote by a young person in the report. To which the only response is "Holy Shit! Your Mum has a problem". But it is not the kind of behaviour that is associated with three glasses of wine once in a while.


Either they should give honest statistics for the number of problem drinkers or illustrate the issue with examples that are more likely among "binge drinking" parents. But quotes like:

"Some times my Dad comes home with a takeaway before falling asleep for half an hour in the arm chair" 

 Would not generate much interest.

I'm Back

Well that was a nice break.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hiatus

You've probably noticed this blog is on hiatus. There's no special reason it's just that with spending far less time by a computer I have less opportunity to.


I will probably resume it by the middle of September and will be commenting on other blogs etc in the mean time.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Ed Balls Needs To Work On His Interview Technique

Mehdi Hassan writes about the abuse he has to take because he is a Muslim:
A recent interview of mine with the shadow chancellor, Ed Balls, elicited the following response: "Get out of my country, goatfucker." 
Racist bastard!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nice Business You've Got There- Shame If Anything Were To Happen To It

People often think of the relationship between politicians and big business as being business corrupting politicians through the influence of their cash.

In actual fact the relationship seems to be more like a case of politicians seeking rent from business. Politicians know they control the ultimate levers of power and can in effect run a protection racket. As this piece on Microsoft in the late 1990s makes clear:

But it grated on Hatch and other senators that Gates didn't want to want to play the Washington game. Former Microsoft employee Michael Kinsley, a liberal, wrote of Gates: "He didn't want anything special from the government, except the freedom to build and sell software. If the government would leave him alone, he would leave the government alone."

This was a mistake. One lobbyist fumed about Gates to author Gary Rivlin: "You look at a guy like Gates, who's been arrogant and cheap and incredibly naive about politics. He genuinely believed that because he was creating jobs or whatever, that'd be enough."

Gates was "cheap" because Microsoft spent only $2 million on lobbying in 1997, and its PAC contributed less than $50,000 during the 1996 election cycle. "You can't say, 'We're better than that,' " a Microsoft lobbyist told me on Friday. "At some point, you get too big, and you can't just ignore Washington."
"You can sit there and say, 'We despise Washington and we don't want to have anything to do with them,' " the lobbyist said. "But guess what? We're going to have hearings about the [stuff] you do."

It's no shocker that lobbyists think companies should hire lobbyists. But so does Capitol Hill -- Orrin Hatch included.

In a 2000 speech to technology companies, Hatch called Microsoft "knuckle-headed and hard-nosed," according to Wired magazine. "I have given [Microsoft] advice, and they don't pay any attention to it." In that same speech, Hatch warned: "If you want to get involved in business, you should get involved in politics."
"The industry had an attitude that government should do what it needs to do but leave us alone," one Hill technology staffer complained to Business Week at the time. "Their hands-off approach to Washington will come back to haunt them."

After the Hatch hearings, Microsoft complied. Its PAC increased spending fivefold in each of the next two elections. In the 2010 elections, Microsoft's PAC contributed $2.3 million to House and Senate candidates. The PAC has contributed the maximum $10,000 to each of Hatch's last two campaigns.
I would regard the Leveson inquiry as of a similar ilk- News International's behaviour has undoubtedly been poor, but it is hard to believe the fact that Tom Watson- the leading MP behind the attack- is a noted loyalist of Gordon Brown is a coincidence. When he and other Labour MPs went beyond what had been dicussed at the committee and concluded that Rupert Murdoch was not a fit and proper person to run News Corp, it was similarly thuggish- if the press oppose us we try to sabotage their business.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Movie Review- Thor

Thor has hammer- hammer makes Thor strong.

Thor loses hammer- makes Thor weak.

Person who took hammer gives it back- makes Thor strong again.

The end.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

"Cannot Be Underestimated".

Surely they mean "over estimated" here.

A poll by the Belfast Telegraph at Sinn Féin's annual meeting last month uncovered majority backing for a handshake – and near-unanimous support for Mr McGuinness to offer regret for the suffering caused by the IRA campaign. The simple clutching together of those hands on Wednesday – hopefully in public – cannot be underestimated in its symbolism and significance.

It's a Guardian leader column as wellm so it is not just a rogue sub editor at work.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Carr Tax

Jimmy Carr is obviously a monumental hypocrite for seeking to avoid taxes while satirising people who avoid taxes.

That said who is worse for the British tax-payer, celebrities who aggressively avoid paying taxes on the one hand or a luvvie who diligently pays every penny asked of him, but whose work is largely funded by the tax payer in the first place?

Jimmy Carr makes close to 100% of his income privately and gives maybe 2% to the public coffers.

Compare him to a film director subsidised by the state who gets 100% of his livelihood from the public and gives 50% back.

It's not the Jimmy Carrs of this world who are depleting the public purse.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lord Leveson Doesn't Understand Irony

From Lord Leveson:

The judge leading the probe into media behaviour threatened to quit after he was publicly criticised by a Cabinet Minister, senior Government sources claimed last night.
Lord Justice Leveson phoned Whitehall’s most senior mandarin and demanded that Education Secretary Michael Gove – who claimed the inquiry had created a ‘chilling atmosphere’ towards freedom of speech – should be gagged. In the angry call to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, the judge claimed that if Ministers were not silenced, his inquiry, set up to investigate phone-hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, would be rendered worthless.
Silencing ministers is a great way to rebut allegations of assaulting free speech.....

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Sociopathy

I see that one of Mick Philpott's rivals for the title of most feckless father in Britain is also on a murder charge:

Jamie Cumming has 16 children by 14 women (which begs the obvious question of what the hell is wrong with those women?).

He may be innocent but just consider that the two most notorious baby-daddies in the UK are both currently being charged with murder- it does bear out the notion that having lots of children that you can't possibly support is a sociopathic trait and those who do it should be vilified and despised.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Drift.

As I understand it:

If Greece leaves the Euro then there will probably be a capital flight from other Eurozone countries, a series of financial collapses of institutions which own Greek deby and in the long run Greece will start to recover with a massively devalued Drachma.

If Germany and France commit to keeping Greece inside the Eurozone then Greece's economic and political malaise will drag on but they will be able to borrow with German backing. Greece's fiscal policy would be set in Brussels and Berlin for the forseeable future.

However given that we are talking about the EU here, what happens if nothing is decided at any point? If everything just continues as it is indefinately- with no actual decision one way or the other being made. As far as I can see that is what is likely to happen the Germans are not going to continue to throw money at Greece, the Greeks won't accept the massive levels of cuts that are necessary and the EU won't kick Greece out of the Euro.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

60 Years.

The Queen's diamond jubilee seems likely to make the Olympics only the second most hyped event of 2012 (the Mayan Apocalypse is third). Seeing a documentary on ITV which the narrator began with something like "The Thames flows through London much like affection for the Queen flows through the nation" was the last straw, the coverage has become so nauseating and sycophantic that the North Koreans are laughing at us. No doubt the Queen has done a pretty decent job, one which we will appreciate all the more when Charles III takes the throne but basically her achievement in reigning for 60 years just means that she's lived a long time. Still- extra bank holiday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Owen Meet Beatrix, Beatrix Meet Owen.

The problem with being a rent a quote, ideologue is that you are incapable of learning from your comrades' mistakes:Beatrix Campbell, 2008:

The story of Shannon Matthews' disappearance - and dramatic reappearance, apparently alive and well, today - has confirmed the degree to which class is still the cultural register in our purportedly classless society.
....
Karen Matthews has acted appropriately throughout: she was waiting for Shannon at home; she contacted the police as soon as she had exhausted all the obvious locations. And yet, our eye is drawn to her poverty, numbers of partners, cans of lager going into her household. Everything about Ms Matthews' life has been up for scrutiny.

Owen Jones 2012:


What does it say about modern Britain when the pre-meditated massacre of six children is described as "an accident waiting to happen" on national television? In the early hours of last Friday, someone poured petrol through the letterbox of the Philpott household, unleashing a blaze that ended in one of the most appalling mass murders in our country's recent history. Whoever was responsible must have known the almost inevitable consequences of their actions. No rationalisations exist for this sort of atrocity.

.......
But we rarely see this reality: it is intentionally hidden from us. The Government and much of the media divert anger from those who caused the crisis, to your "scrounging" neighbour down the street. And so we end with Carole Malone arguing that a family whose children died in a fire brought it on themselves. It is beyond shameful. And it must be challenged.
Hey, it's almost as if refusing to draw value judgments about people who live self indulgent and parasitic existences is a flawed way of observing human life and that maybe feckless behaviour is indicative of not being nice people.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Now And Then

Daily Mail, 19th of April:

God only knows what the long-term effects of regularly viewing online  pornography will be on our children and teenagers, because this generation is the first to be exposed to it. 

But most of us have a pretty good idea: a distorted view of sex and human  relations is probably the least of it.
.....
Surely what all the providers should be doing is requiring anyone wanting access to online porn actively to opt in to these deeply degrading services.
Plainly, there’s no substitute for parents keeping a vigilant eye on their children, especially their internet use.
But if the industry won’t regulate itself to deal with this deeply corrosive social menace, it must be forced to do so.
Daily Mail, 14th of May:

An 'absolutely stunning' photograph of Madonna posing naked on a bed while smoking a cigarette has sold for nearly £15,000.

The sum is three times the estimate placed on the image that was taken in 1990 during the period when the singer had bleach-blonde hair and dark eye make-up.
It is a black and white photo and Madonna has her breasts exposed and just a white sheet covering her pudenda while she lies on a bed.
 
Complete with picture of course.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Least Enticing Intro Ever

Filed under the category of "articles I won't read":
London mayoral elections: who are you voting for? Eddie Izzard, Julia Stephenson, Duwayne Brooks and Karen Hampton reveal their choices for mayor in Thursday's election
The Guardian's coverage four years ago was hilarious though.

 Update: I've succumbed just so I could read the comments. This line from Eddie Izzard shows that he is clearly of the Laurie Penny/ Johann Hari school of quoting people:
I have spent many days out on the campaign trail with Ken. I have witnessed first-hand the response he evokes from ordinary Londoners – that "come on Ken, we need you back".

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Facts About Jeremy Hunt

  1. He appears to have not made any effort to be impartial in a his quasi-judicial role overseeing the takeover bid for Sky by Rupert Murdoch.
  2. He should be asked to resign.
  3. He is a mate of David Cameron.
  4. He won't be asked to resign.

Footballers- A Bit Sleazy

One of the problems with rape cases is that it is usually one person's word against another's- which ought to be  insufficient for a conviction. In the case of someone who is too drunk to consent then there is the added problem that the alleged victim's evidence is inherently flawed.

Unless of course the perpetrators are thick and arrogant enough to film themselves- like recently jailed footballer Ched Evans whose friend and brother filmed him having sex with a girl too drunk to consent (if he loves group sex that much he's going to love prison).

The victim's (who was irresponsible for getting herself paralytically drunk and alone on a night out) version of events does seem similar to other cases involving footballers, extremely drunk women and group sex where no convictions have been made. I'm not saying they're all guilty but there does seem to be a certain culture involved in the game.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eric Joyce- Nutter.

This interview by ex-Labour MP Eric Joyce is jaw dropping: I can't just excerpt a few choice quotes, the whole thing has to be seen to be believed.

He genuinely sees himself as some kind of hard man.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Argentina-Why It Is Basketcase.

When Argentina's president, Christina Kirchner, started causing trouble over the Falklands, a lot of people surmised that this meant she was trying to stir up xenophobia and nationalism to distract from domestic problems.

The "nationalisation" of the Spanish oil company, Repsol's Argentinian assets on grounds that are frankly nonsensical confirms this. It has been known for a few years that the Argentinian government under Christina and her late unlamented husband Nestor has been corrupt and cooking the books (they actually to criminalise economists who calculate the inflation rate honestly).

In other words they are headed for another financial crisis less that 15 years after the last one.

Some countries have undergone a bigger relative decline that Argentina in the last 100 years- but these have mostly been nations that have been under the boot of crazed ideologies like communism. Argentina's unique achievement is to have achieved the same level of decline under mostly democratic rule.

A clue to why this happens is listening to reports about Argentinian election candidates- it's soon obvious that most of the contenders describe themselves as "Peronist".Unfortunately Juan Peron was an ideological charlatan with no fixed beliefs beyond the idea that he should be in charge. Wikipedia describes Peronism as:
The pillars of the Peronist ideal, known as the "three flags", include: Social justice, Economic Independence, and Political Sovereignty. 
  • Social Justice AKA empowering politicians to lie and acquire more power in the name of the poor.
  • Economic Independence AKA refusing to conform to standards enforced by impartial outside bodies who cannot be controlled 
  • Political Sovereignty AKA empowering politicians to lie and acquire more power in the name of loving their country.
 With an ideology like that no country could prosper.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Owen Jones: Buffoon

In the Independent Owen Jones* rightly praises the words of Norway's Prime Minister after the massacre of last year:
Even when the country remained in a state of shock just five days after 77 civilians were murdered, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg struck a defiant note that would have been unthinkable in many countries. "The Norwegian response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation," he said. No crackdowns on civil liberties, but a pledge not to allow a fanatic to succeed in eroding Norway's democracy.

Praiseworthy indeed. This is how his article opens:
Would the British political establishment have been able to resist demands for the restoration of the death penalty if such a horrifying massacre had taken place here? Support for capital punishment remains largely passive, but widespread; it occasionally surges in the aftermath of horrifying crimes, particularly when children are involved, such as the Soham murders in 2003.
Uh huh, isn't the establishment "resisting demands" of the public pretty much the direct opposite of "more democracy"?

* Think 1970s ideas in a 21st century wrapping.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Julie Bindel writes of women:
Not only are we half the population, each and every one of us is united in the reality or fear of violence from men

Friday, March 30, 2012

You Should See How They Warn People About Rape And Murder

Sleeping householders are going to be woken up in the middle of the night to discover someone breaking into their house - only to discover it is the police.

Police in Shoebury, Essex, have been going round testing doors and windows of houses to check if they have been left unlocked - and if they find an easy way in they will wake up the household to warn them their house is insecure
Of course burglary is made even easier when the police are engaged in obnoxious gimmicks- that treat the public like lowlifes- like this.

Don't they need warrants to enter people's property anyway?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Musical Interlude



This song was from their less well regarded 2nd album so isn't played but is one of their best in my opinion.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I'm Baaack!

I haven't been following the news, so I was wondering- did they catch the French right wing, white supremecist who has been shooting Jews and Muslims to express his rage at immigration?

Told You So

Earlier this month I pointed and laughed at a ridiculous claim in a story from a local newspaper, which reported:
Police are warning that when cannabis plants reach the final stages of maturity the odour they release has carcinogenic properties.

Officers who deal with the plants use ventilation masks and protective suits and people who have plants in their home, especially anyone with young children, may be exposing their family to a health risk.
After my stirring post the police have now issued a retraction:
AN APOLOGY has been issued by police over an incorrect statement made following a drugs raid.

Northamptonshire Police have retracted a statement which suggested the odour from mature cannabis plants had carcinogenic properties.

A spokesman for the force said: “Northamptonshire Police would like to apologise for the incorrect information provided to the media which claimed that cannabis plants had potential carcinogenic properties.

“This information was provided in good faith. However, we accept the information was misleading and we will strive to ensure this does not happen again.”

The original incorrect statement was published in The Mail on March 1 in a report about cannabis plants being seized by police during a raid in Cottingham.

OK, I had nothing to do with getting them to retract, that appears to have been done as a result of someone bringing the newspaper article to the attention of Ben Goldacre who then started asking questions but I didn't want to say that because his self regard is already too vast.

A Foolish Streak.

Streakers at public events are idiots and bores but this is a ridiculous punishment:
A football fan who ran naked across the pitch during a televised Premiership match for a £100 bet has been put on the Sex Offenders Register.
Unemployed Sam Gorman's genitals were clearly on show as he dashed out in front of thousands during the Aston Villa home game against Manchester City.
Aside from the injustice to the idiotic Mr Gorman it undermines the purpose of having a sex offenders register.

I thought the register was there to enable local forces to keep track of people whose predatory behaviour means that they remain a potential danger to the public even if they are free. By diluting the list to include the likes of streakers (even repeat offenders like Mr Gorman) they are making it less useful, because keeping a close tab on every drunken exhibitionist is not going to help solve any sex crimes that will occur in the West Midlands over the next few year.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

As You May Have Noticed....

Posting has been very light.

This is because I've had a lot of work on and just don't have time to blog much.

This is going to remain the case for a few more weeks.

Plus my new favourite website to contribute to is this, but I can't link to my account as you would all think I'm scum.

I will probably be a bit more active on Twitter next week though.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Madonna 2012

The internet today  is full of posts on Facebook and Twitter about some monster going round an African country and abducting kids from their parents to become part of a personal army. They are calling for this person to be brought before a court to be tried.

So boycott Madonna's albums and tours until she faces justice.

Quote Of The Day- 2

Apologies for doing two QOTDs in succession but retired accountant Richard Murphy's misplaced faith in his own intellectual ability deserves to be repeated:
And I happen to think Ricardo did not get comparative advantage right
It's like a retired green grocer pontificating on how Darwin misunderstood evolution or a bloke at Kwik Fit explaining how Newton's laws of motion are complete bollocks.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Melvin Webb, 54, told Reading Crown Court he was not pleasuring himself in front of a female commuter, merely playing a pretend banjo.

The Clay Davis Effect

Black members of Congress are far more likely to be investigated for ethics violations than their white colleagues, and understandably some people are upset:
The facts say this: African-Americans make up 10 percent of the House, but as of the end of February, five of the sitting six named lawmakers under review by the House Ethics Committee are black. The pattern isn't new. At one point in late 2009, seven lawmakers were known to be involved in formal House ethics inquiries; all were members of the Congressional Black Caucus. An eighth caucus member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, had also been under investigation, but his probe was halted temporarily while the Justice Department undertook an inquiry of its own.
All told, about one-third of sitting black lawmakers have been named in an ethics probe during their careers, according to a National Journal review.
This isn't too surprising given the existance of congressional districtsdesigned to ensure most voters are black. Most black representitives do not have to worry about appealing to non-black voters- this encourages politicians to play the race card to succeed and when elections become a matter of ethnic identity rather than competence or integrity- more corrupt individuals thrive.

This can be thought of as the Clay Davis effect:



It is also one reason why ethnically divided countries without a single demos tend to be more corrupt as voters take the attitude that they need a bigger crook representing them than their neighbours.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Hazmat Suits At The Ready

Is this the most pathetic thing ever?
Police are warning that when cannabis plants reach the final stages of maturity the odour they release has carcinogenic properties.

Officers who deal with the plants use ventilation masks and protective suits and people who have plants in their home, especially anyone with young children, may be exposing their family to a health risk.
Mind you the comments to the article demonstrate why stoners, even when they are right, make such unconvincing advocates for anything at all:
 CAN THE AUTHOR EXPLAIN THIS SUDO SCIENCE

Friday, March 02, 2012

Unpersons

There is (yet another) trial of a group of men of Pakistani origin accused of being part of a "sexual exploitation ring" going on at the moment.

I don't know whether they are guilty or not, but this line of questioning by the defence barrister seems interesting:
Today the father told Liverpool Crown Court that he joined the BNP shortly after his teenage daughter, now 19, was abused.
The girl claims she was raped by various members of the group.
Simon Nichol, defending a 59-year-old who cannot be identified, asked the man about his daughter’s general behaviour in August 2008 and if it bothered him that she was mixing with Asian men.
Why is it relevant? A few months ago footage of self-professed "anti racists" viciously assaulting a middle aged woman made the round- with a worrying number of people dismissing or even condoning the crime because the victim was a member of the EDL. 


Are we getting to the point where members of "far right" groups are unpersons who have less protection under the law?


For what it's worth the father's assessment of the BNP seems about right to me:
He said that in his time at the BNP he met 'three types of people'.
'People like myself, who were not racist and were worried about immigration, worried about jobs, housing and the banking system in this country.'

He said there was a second set of people who he said were 'questionable people'.
'And I met some downright nauseous people who have nothing to do with my views on society as a whole and I consequently left the BNP.'

Andrew Breitbart

So sad for anyone to die at just 43.

This from the Antony Weiner press conference last year was incredible to watch.





His combination on entreprenurial flair and shrewd journalist is almsot irreplaceable.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

"Respected Organisations Including Peta"

I know Ann Widdecombe is into animal rights but this sentence stunned me:
Other highly respected organisations, including Peta, the RSPCA, Born Free and the Captive Animals' Protection Society
 Peta are extremist nutjobs who specialise is lies and misinformation. It also frequently targets young children in its propaganda efforts.

Still I'm looking forward to Ann Widdecombe being the next celebrity to pose for their "I'd rather go naked than wear fur" campaign.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

From Deepest Saudivania

FFS:
The Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists, Inc., Mr. Ernest Perce V., was assaulted by a Muslim while participating in a Halloween parade. Along with a Zombie Pope, Ernest was costumed as Zombie Muhammad. The assault was caught on video, the Muslim man admitted to his crime and charges were filed in what should have been an open-and-shut case. That’s not what happened, though.
The defendant is an immigrant and claims he did not know his actions were illegal, or that it was legal in this country to represent Muhammad in any form. To add insult to injury, he also testified that his 9 year old son was present, and the man said he felt he needed to show his young son that he was willing to fight for his Prophet. 
The case went to trial, and as circumstances would dictate, Judge Mark Martin is also a Muslim. What transpired next was surreal. The Judge not only ruled in favor of the defendant, but called Mr. Perce a name and told him that if he were in a Muslim country, he’d be put to death. Judge Martin’s comments included,
This is so brazenly corrupt it's hard to believe it will stand but even so it's amazing.

Via

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Guardian's New Penn Pal

It's sometimes assumed that Guardian readers give a pass to anyone no matter how stupid provided they are sufficiently left wing.

Sean Penn demonstrates this is not the case.

The Guardian is trolling it's readers by publishing this tripe.

They're also being unkind to Sean Penn by giving him a platform to humiliate himself. They know full well that he is not an intelligent man* but have flattered his ego by persuading him he can write- his prose includes sentences like: 
"This is not a cause of leftist flamboyance nor significantly a centuries-old literary dispute. But rather a modern one, that is perhaps unveiled most legitimately through the raconteurism of Patagonian fishermen."
 It is not actually any different from how the tabloids used to exploit Jade Goody.


* Not simply speaking beyond his competence like Bono or George Clooney, but genuinely lacking in even modest intellectual ability. An drug addled, wife beating high school drop out- if he weren't part of Hollywood's aristocracy he would be unemployable.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mail Shocked That Kidnapping Children Illegal.

The one sided extradition treaty with the United States has rightly received a lot of criticism, but the Daily Mail's outrage over this potential extradition is demagogic America bashing rather than a serious criticism.

In what circumstances is it acceptable for one half of a divorced couple to deny custodial access to the children by moving to another country and refusing to let them see the other parent?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Shut Up" He Explained.

The far left's approach to winning arguments:
An open call was issued Jan. 12 for owners of Sarrazin's book to turn in their copies at galleries and museums across the country. The books are to be on display and then, according to the artist, "recycled for a good purpose" at the end of the festival, which runs from April 27 to July 1.
 No, not like book burning at all.

There is a broader point to be made about the tactic of trying to make certain positions simply off limits rather than matters of debate. This happens a lot- albeit usually in a less Hitlery fashion than Martin Zet does here- with speech codes, pressure on newspapers not to report certain topics etc. To do this requires a huge ego- as it assumes that your own position is not only right but that it is impossible for you not to be.