Friday, February 27, 2009

An Investigation Should Not Be The Same As A Conviction.

Whilst I'm not a fan of hobby bobbies- aka Police Community Support Officers- or of sex offenders come to that I don't share the outrage over this:

A suspected child sex attacker was recruited as a police community support officer and is alleged to have indecently assaulted a female colleague, The Times has learnt.

The case raises serious concerns over vetting standards in the Metropolitan Police because the 19-year-old man was able to join the force despite disclosing that he had been investigated for a sexual assault on a three-year-old girl.
He was not charged over the incident but that he had been the subject of a criminal investigation into a sex offence should have barred him from joining the police service.
It's revealing that they can't even follow their own vetting procedures but is a blanket ban on anyone who has ever been the subject of an investigation remotely justifiable, regardless it seems of whether they were convicted, prosecuted or even cleared?

It isn't even as if it protects the public because even supposing it does prevent someone who was guilty of a sexual offence (but never charged) become a PCSO, it isn't as if they can do noticeably more harm in that role than as a member of the public.

More Vibrant Cities.

Okay after the posting on New Orleans here is Foreign Policy's list of 5 murder capitals of the world:

Population: 3.2 million

Murder rate: 130 per 100,000 residents (official)

What’s happening: The capital of Chávez country, Caracas has become far more dangerous in recent years than any South American city, even beating out the once notorious Bogotá. What’s worse, the city’s official homicide statistics likely fall short of the mark because they omit prison-related murders as well as deaths that the state never gets around to properly “categorizing.” The numbers also don’t count those who died while “resisting arrest,” suggesting that Caracas’s cops—already known for their brutality against student protesters—might be cooking the books. Many have pointed the finger at El Presidente, whose government has failed to tackle the country’s rising rates of violent crime. In fact, since Chávez took over in 1998, Venezuela’s official homicide rate has climbed 67 percent—mostly due to increased drug and gang violence. Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, who recently resigned as interior minister, claimed in July that homicide has dropped 27 percent since January—but experts say he’s just playing with numbers. As for Caracas, some speculate that its murder rate is closer to 160 per 100,000.

If the real murder rate is 160 per 100,000 then that means that over the course of a life time a resident of Caracas has around a 1 in 8 being murdered which is insanely high.

The rest of the Foreign Policy list consists of New Orleans, Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea), Moscow (which isn't as dangerous as the other listed cities) and Cape Town.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Places Not To Move To

New Orleans gave us Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and many other musicians who the world idolised. We gave them Ray Davies and they fucking shot him.

The point of that introduction is to present this astonishing statistic about the city:

from the criminal-justice system (which is so dysfunctional that in 2008 there were zero trials and zero convictions in the 179 murders committed that year)

How on Earth can a city be that screwed up?

Politics Disguised As Science.

The New York Times' science reported John Tierney has a couple of good articles about scientists who advocate political views by pretending that they are scientific, or perhaps honestly conflating the two:

Dr. Pielke, a professor in the environmental studies program at the University of Colorado, is the author of “The Honest Broker,” a book arguing that most scientists are fundamentally mistaken about their role in political debates. As a result, he says, they’re jeopardizing their credibility while impeding solutions to problems like global warming.

Most researchers, Dr. Pielke writes, like to think of themselves in one of two roles: as a pure researcher who remains aloof from messy politics, or an impartial arbiter offering expert answers to politicians’ questions. Either way, they believe their research can point the way to correct public policies, and sometimes it does — when the science is clear and people’s values aren’t in conflict.

But climate change, like most political issues, isn’t so simple. While most scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming is a threat, they’re not certain about its scale or its timing or its precise consequences
Read the whole thing as they say. The other article is here and covers similar ground.

Somewhat alarmingly two of President Obama's appointees- Energy Secretary, Steven Chu and Science Advisor, John P. Holdren- are examples of this error.

Quote Of The Day.

A spokeswoman for Alcohol Concern said none of its government grant is used on its lobbying activities.
Yeah because money isn't fungible or anything.

I'm a bit late in linking to the Fake Charities website, although I did coin the term "psuedo charities" a couple of years ago to describe the same thing, so it is something which has bothered me for a while.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Credit Crunch?

Noted idiot Naomi Klein has been awarded £50000 of Warwick University's money for her book the Shock Doctrine. Klein's idea (if a brain fart like that can be characterised as such) is that evil neofree marketeteers have exploited catastrophes to advance their evil ideas:

The complexity of Naomi Klein's portrayal of the rise of disaster capitalism, The Shock Doctrine, has won its author the inaugural £50,000 Warwick prize for writing.


Chair of judges and author of "weird fiction" China Miéville praised The Shock Doctrine as a "brilliant, provocative, outstandingly written investigation into some of the great outrages of our time"
China Mieville is a former parliamentary candidate for the totalitarian Socialist Workers Party an explicitly Leninist organisation. What was Lenin's famous phrase for the conditions the communists needed to implement change? Oh yeah- "The worse, the better". Sounds a lot like an actual shock doctrine. Is Mieville projecting his views onto the capitalist running dogs?


I've not got much to say about the death of Ivan Cameron other than the obvious statement that it is desperately sad.

It's strange coincidence that both the leaders of the main parties have lost a child and I suppose it is a reminder if one is needed that even front line politicians are human beings with real lives beyond climbing the greasy pole.

Viva Castro

The Independent's Tom Sutcliffe writes:

Last year Viviane Castro, a model and Carnival queen, managed to out-do fellow revellers by appearing on the streets wearing nothing but a one-and-a-half-inch strip of sticky tape and a large pair of feathered wings. She was fined for breaching the Carnival’s nudity rules (who knew, frankly?), and her samba group were docked points.

This year she has sensibly added a political twist to guarantee continued coverage – painting Obama’s face on her left thigh, and President Lula da Silva’s face on the right, with the legend “Vendese” (For Sale) printed across her stomach, apparently to protest against increasing US influence in the Amazon.

And in between this unusual Heads of State face-to-face was that tiny piece of sticky tape again – just failing to conceal Castro’s mute but attention-grabbing commentary on Brazilian deforestation.

Political engagement is always to be encouraged and so to raise awareness of deforestation it is only responsible to show a video of her protest:

Hmmm, really makes you think.

Frying Pan >>> Fire.

“Bringing the Government in to run Wall Street is like saying ‘Dad burnt dinner, let’s get the dog to cook’.” - P.J. O'Rourke.
The EU has decided that it should oversee the financial services sector after all the various scandals have emerged. Not surprising really, they are hardly likely to conclude that they are unnecessary are they?

This is the same EU that hasn't had the auditors sign off on their accounts for close to two decades but their judgment on the financial management of other organisations is supposed to be taken seriously. There isn't any obvious reason to believe that a cross border body would be more likely to behave like the best of the current national regulators rather than like the worst.

There is an upside for governments in that they will no longer have to beheld accountable for any financial disasters that occur so it will probably be welcomed with open arms but it won't make those disasters any more or less likely.

Poll Result: No One Cares.

The "best Rocky song" poll is now closed with Eye of the Tiger winning by 5 votes to 2, a total of 7 votes which means that no one really cares one way or the other.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quote Of The Day.

ITV aired "Law & Order: UK" last night. I didn't watch it because the original Law & Order isn't my cup of tea* (it really is very politically correct) but I did like this comment about the show on the Guardian's culture blog by "Readie":
As a big "Battlestar Galactica" fan, ridiculous levels of loyalty to BSG cast members meant I taped (but have not yet watched) last night's episode. I fear, however, that I'll spend the entire hour distracted by the latest turn in Jamie Bamber's career path - from acting opposite Oscar-nominees Edward James Olmos and Mary McDonnell... to acting opposite former "Wheel of Fortune" host Bradley Walsh. I can't help but feel depressed on his behalf.
Yes that's a big comedown.

* The best US crime shows are 'The Wire' and 'The Shield' but they would really suck if subjected to a British spin off, because they aren't formulaic enough to simply be transferred into several dozen settings. Not that formulaic crime shows are necessarily bad, some like the original CSI or Without a Trace are quite good but they always say more about television than about the real world.

Remembering The MacPherson Witch Hunt.

It's ten years since the publication of the MacPherson report about the murder of the black teenager Stephen Lawrence, and the police force's response to it. This is what I wrote about the report two years ago:
In February 1999 Lord MacPherson's inquiry into the murder investigation into Stephen Lawrence was published. It's conclusion that the Metropolitan Police was 'institutionally racist' ( despite the fact that the report had to acknowledge that 'In this Inquiry we have not heard evidence of overt racism or discrimination'), was eagerly seized upon by the Blair government and many of the recommendations were implemented, including those which lead to a curtailment of police use of stop and search. It might seem strange that an investigation into the stabbing of a teenager would lead any sensible person to conclude that we should restrict the power of the police to search young people for things like knives, but Lord MacPherson thought it was good idea.

The report didn't actually compare the treatment of Stephen Lawrence's murder with how other murder investigations were conducted, to see if any consistent difference in the approaches taken to black and white victims. Instead it highlighted the failings of one murder investigation and arbitarily assigned the cause to racism. This approach has all the intellectual rigour of blaming it on the alignment of the stars. This isn't to say that serious mistakes were not made by the police for example, the first officer who arrived at the scene called an ambulance and sat in his car instead of attempting first aid, but the witch hunt at the inquiry made all sorts of wild accusations many of which were demonstrably false.
This remains my view. MacPherson not only did not provide any evidence to support the assertion of racism in the Met he didn't even look for it. Many of the policies adopted as a result of this, like cutting back on stop and search, have ensured that many other teenagers have been murdered since then.

The charge on institutional racism not only smears tens of thousands of decent police officers but it lets police officers who are guilty of racist behaviour to shift the blame onto the force as a whole.

Complainers Find Something New To Complain About.

I don't know why parents are complaining about this CBBC presenter, she seems 'armless enough to me.

I do remember once hearing an outraged woman on Points of View or something similar angrily demanding that the "Why Bird", be banned because she was voiced in a Welsh accent.

They Were Going To Send Then To Luton.

Where else would you send astronauts?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Start Smoking & Contract Herpes.

Unlike many bloggers I have a social conscience and like to provide health advice to my readers. Two of the medical conditions that I am keen to avoid like the plague are the er bubonic plague and Parkinson's. So how do you avoid these debilitating conditions?
  • Parkinsons- The key to avoiding this tragic degenerative illness is to take up smoking. I'm not sure how much you need to smoke in order to prevent the condition arising but I'd start with 40 a day to be on the safe side. As a bonus it will also make you less susceptible to Alzheimer's (or possibly more susceptible).
  • Plague- the best way of avoiding plague is to contract the protective Herpes virus.or nature's penicillin as I like to think of it. All that Herpy goodness appears to prevent plague in mice.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


No comment:

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams has called for bank executives to be brought before the courts if they are found to have broken the law.

Mr Adams told delegates at his party's Ard Fheis that "all categories of gangsters or banksters must face the full rigours of the law".

Quote Of The Day.

John Bilger has an article in the Guardian calling for those Westerners who sided with Pol Pot to face justice. My reply in full:

Isn't Noam Chomsky a bit too old to stand trial now though?

Strangely enough they've deleted me.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Poll.

As I don't really want to end the week on eugenics how about a poll? What is the best song from the "Rocky" series? Is it:

Eye of the Tiger by Survivor:

Or Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti:

Fun With Eugenics.

It's almost the weekend and it's time for a light hearted topic. So lets talk about eugenics!

On another blog I got into a discussion about the topic yesterday, after initially making a half joking remark about wanting to stop the likes of Karen Matthews and 'Alfie' popping out dozens of kids for the good of society, I could have mentioned the mother of octuplets as well. Come to think of it I referred to preventing prisoners from breeding as being good for society for explicitly genetic reasons the other day.

Eugenics is strongly associated with the savagery of the Nazis and is therefore pretty much the ultimate taboo. Personally I think the ethical problem with 20th century advocates of eugenics is that they had no respect for civil liberties and believed in the right of the state to forcibly restrict people's right to reproduce. It doesn't therefore follow that there is something intrinsically wicked about non coercive eugenics.

However you can get away with advocating eugenic theories and policies as long as you avoid calling them eugenic take for example:
  • The theory that abortion cuts crime.
  • Singapore's policy of helping graduates have children whilst discouraging the less well educated from doing so.
  • Screening among people of jewish descent for Tay Sach's disease.
All these make at least implicit eugenic assumptions yet spark little outrage so it seems safe to assume that the word "eugenics" sparks more outrage than the practice. I'm not endorsing any of these policies or theories (I'm sceptical about the abortion-crime theory) by the way so I don't feel any great need to defend any of them.

If it isn't morally wrong to try to improve the fitness of the population through selective breeding then the question will really come down to whether it is effective or not. For eliminating diseases with identifiable genetic markers- like Tay Sachs- it obviously is effective. When it comes to encouraging the well off to reproduce themselves and the less well off to not do so then it really depends to what extent socio-economic status is influenced by genes, which is altogether a murkier question.

Update: On the subject of how eugenics is socially acceptable as long as you don't call it eugenics see this-
A March of Dimes report released today says all 50 states and the District of Columbia now require newborn screening for 21 or more so-called core disorders recommended for testing. These core disorders, 29 in all, include many rare but potentially disabling or fatal metabolic disorders. Although all states have rules or laws requiring the screenings, Pennsylvania and West Virginia have yet to implement their expanded programs, according to the organization.
Update 2: Cabalamat at Amused Cynicism had a post on this very subject a few months back which is worth a read.

Obama Racism Watch.

Just in case anyone thought that frivolous accusations of racism by Obamaiacs would cease after the election the whole chimp non story has corrected any misconceptions. Just for anyone keeping track the chimp joins the following as examples of the deep racial prejudice faced by the One:
We've got four more years of these attempts to delegitimise criticism of Obama or his allies, by bringing the race card into play using ever more tortuous logic.

Tourist Website Hacked

Oddly enough it has probably done more to boost tourism to the city than the unhacked site.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dolphins- Eco Terrorists.

You learn something new everyday- Dolphin Friendly tuna is far more damaging to the environment than the kind that is unfriendly to the bottle nosed bastards. It all comes down to how you locate the tuna:
the main variation lies in how the large group of tuna is located. There are basically three ways to do this.

1) Get lucky and happen to stumble across a large group of tuna visible from the surface in the middle of an enormous ocean. Obviously, this isn’t terribly practical.

2) Attract tuna using floating objects. Stay tuned, we’ll come back to #2.

3) Follow dolphins, because dolphins in the Eastern Tropical Pacific are often associated with large schools of tuna. Dolphins are easy to follow because, unlike tuna, they have to come up for air.


As a result of pressure from environmental activist groups like Greenpeace, it became illegal to fish using method #3, and we now have what is called “dolphin safe tuna”. ..

Recall that method #1 isn’t feasible. Tuna fishing fleets rapidly switched over to method #2, attracting tuna using floating objects.

It is poorly understood why fish in the open ocean flock in such huge numbers to floating objects, but is a near universal phenomenon. If you put a log in the middle of the ocean, within hours it will be surrounded by fish.
The big problem with this method is that floating objects don’t only attract tuna. EVERYTHING is attracted to floating objects, including sea turtles, sharks, seabirds, billfish, and, yes, dolphins!
So the moral here is that dolphins are evil. No wait the moral is that don't look at nice fuzzy sounding phrases like "dolphin friendly" without making an effort to understand what it actually means. I had always vaguely assumed that it meant putting some sort of object on the nets that the dolphins could see or hear and get out of the way but that's not how it works.

This Will Hurt You More Than It Hurts Me

I've never been a supporter of corporal punishment in schools, but you know what? I might yet be persuaded:

The Tanzania Teachers' Union is taking legal action after 19 primary school teachers were given the cane.

The teachers were caned by a police officer in front of their pupils after an investigation into poor exam results at three schools.

The report blamed teachers for being late or not showing up for work and not teaching the official syllabus.

Just imagine how much fun the NUT conference would be if it featured delegates complaining that they had been flogged in the last year.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sex Ed- 1960s style.

Some people mock the idea that sex education reduces teenage pregnancy, but how could videos like this fail to reduce teenage pregnancy?

Cinematic Soundbites.

The Last King of Scotland- Atmospheric Idi Amin thriller. Although Amin is not the protagonist the whole film hangs on whether Forrest Whitaker can convey the charm, insanity and menace of Amin, which he does well. In fact the protagonist is largely a cipher through which to observe Amin. 5/5

Blade Runner- Depressing, goes on a bit. I know it is supposed to be a sci-fi classic and aspects of it are brilliant, the set design is outstanding and really looks like a future dystopia. However I just didn't care about any of the characters. Perhaps I'm judging it harshly because I had never seen it before but had always heard that it was supposedly a brilliant film. 3/5

Daywatch- Interesting Russian film fantasy but confusing at times. It's a sequel to Nightwatch which was a more even film. The thing about the fantasy genre is that as a series progresses the plots tend to become ever more convoluted. I also don't like the idea of a plot device that allows history to be completely rewritten because it makes me wonder why I've just spent two hours watching it. It isn't a bad film but not as good as the original. 3/5

Even Dwarves Started Small- Werner Herzog's film about the lunatics taking the asylum is played fairly straight with no on screen character noting the fact that he inmates and guards are all dwarves which nicely brings a touch of the absurd into what would otherwise be a fairly mundane work about what freedom means to different people. Very odd. 3/5

Apocalypto - Mel Gibson may be an anti-semitic nut, but he's a very good director. It really is a very clever idea to set a film in an environment and a language that is so far removed from anything the viewer will have experienced himself. Being a Mel Gibson film it does have a lot of blood shed and other sadistic stuff but again this is a case of Gibson choosing the subject well, because sadism and brutality are necessary in portraying Mayan human sacrifice rituals. The only criticism I would have is the arrival at the end of the film of European boats, which dates it too precisely and highlights the historical inaccuracy of having Mayan civilisation portrayed at it's peak when it had in fact collapsed a few centuries earlier. 5/5

Das Boot- So good that it makes you want to cheer on the Nazis as they sink British ships. The combination of claustrophobia and urgency keeps the atmosphere almost permenantly tense right to the end. I should get bonus points for avoiding any jokes about the sub being long, hard and full of semen. 4/5

Blow Up- Highly pretentious sixties movie with an unlikable protagonist. The only benefit to the film is that I now see what Austin Powers was satirising when he was being a photographer. 2/5

Vertigo- That Alfred Hitchcock guy sure knew how to make films. As it's Hitchcock it goes without saying that the mystery aspect is used to whip up the suspense very effectively. It's the sort of film that if you think about the plot rationally all sorts of gaping holes become apparent but only in retrospect. 5/5

Family Values.

Social Workers fear media frenzy will damage Alfie's family.
Yeah because the family was doing so well up until the media took notice.

Update: See what I mean, Alfie goes for a walk and demonstrates his class:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Shot The Sheriff. (Well I Should Do).

Sheriff Robert McCreadie has made the headlines repeatedly in the last few months. He isn't exactly known for his harsh sentences:
  • Man with long criminal record assaults police officers who try to arrest him- No prison if he can find a job offer.
Not generally anyway but there is one sort of criminal offence so serious that the Sheriff feels the need to hand out serious prison time:

Peter Drummond, 26, took matters into his own hands when he barged into the home of John Nellies and berated him for dealing to his brother who was hooked on the drug.

He then snatched five bags of heroin and flushed them away.

But he was reported by one of Nellies' customers and jailed for two months after admitting breaching the peace.


But Sheriff Robert McCreadie, sitting at Perth Sheriff Court, ignored pleas for mercy.

"If you were concerned about matters you should contact the police, not enter a house and threaten to kill someone," he said, "You can't take matters into your own hands the way you did."

Is this Robert McCreadie on the heroin dealer's payroll or something? How can he possibly think this is justified?

See also HP post on the same subject.

Update: I suppose I should add that I don't actually think he is on the take. That was merely a rhetorical flourish. Anyway in the above link 'Gregg' links to another of Sheriff McCreadie's exploits:

A BUNGLING sheriff halted court proceedings after he hit the wrong button on his laptop and deleted details of the case he was dealing with.

Sheriff Robert McCreadie abruptly stopped a solicitor as she gave her client's plea and left the bench without any explanation.

After several minutes, he came back into court and said his typing error meant he had erased everything that lawyer Rosie Scott had told him about defendant David Dutchyn.

But instead of apologising, Sheriff McCreadie blamed Ms Scott for talking too fast.

This man is unreal. Also he previously jailed someone for singing the "Spider-pig" song from the Simpsons. To quote 'Idiocracy'- "Justice was not only blind but had become rather retarded as well".

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Employ Short People.

They have anger management issues:
Angry Mini workers hurl fruit at union leaders after job cuts
Who still uses mini workers anyway, apart from Babybel?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Vote Green!

There is a campaign in Mexico to reinstate the death penalty to combat their horrific homicide rate. This isn't surprising what is surprising is who is behind it:

But scattered among them are huge black posters calling for the reintroduction of capital punishment.

"Because we care about your life - death penalty for murderers and kidnappers," they demand in bold yellow letters.

The campaign, somewhat incongruously, is paid for by Mexico's Green Party. The organisation's mascot, a large toucan against a green backdrop, appears prominently on each poster.

This isn't a universally supported policy of course:

But according to Juan Francisco Torres Landa, a lawyer who represents Mexico United - a non-governmental organisation campaigning against crime - there is no evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to criminals.
This is an empirical claim and can be tested. unlike most arguments surrounding the death penalty which are moral or ethical. There is in fact an abundance of evidence that the death penalty acts as a deterrent.

I'm not actually enthusiastic about reintroducing the death penalty in the UK, because regardless of the utilitarian benefits I would rather not risk being directly responsible for an innocent person's death, but if we were having 10000 ,murders a year like Mexico, I'd feel differently.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lord Ahmed

Lord Ahmed has been one of the noisiest voices demanding a ban on Geert Wilders*, claiming that Wilders is a danger to this country. In reality fewer people have been killed as a result of Fitna than have been killed as a result of Lord Ahmed's text messaging habits.

Ahmed use to be a kind a professional moderate but he has been making definite moves to get in with radical islamists and other nutters of late with stunts including overt threats to Parliament, palling around with terrorists, promoting neo-nazis and praising Turkey's Islamist Prime Minister for a rant in which he promoted an antisemitic conspiracy theorist.

Shouldn't Labour be kicking Lord Ahmed out?

* I'll echo the obligatory disclaimer that Wilders isn't much of a free speech martyr given that he wants to ban Islam.

Update: There appears to be some argument of what Wilders has called for, he hasn't called for a ban on Islam as I wrote earlier, but there have been claims that he called for the banning of the Koran. However it appears that he argued that if the Netherlands was going to have incitement laws it should equally apply to the Koran as any other literature, which isn't exactly calling for a ban.

Quote Of The Day.

Angry Guardianista discusses Shakespeare:
Othello is a walking negative stereotype written by a white man who, I'm guessing, didn't have many black friends.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Quote Of The Day.

From the "Thoughts on Freedom" blog on the mother of Octuplets in Los Angeles:

Her publicist (!) provides the money quote, as he explains:

“In Nadya’s view, the money that she gets from the food stamp program … and the resources disabilities payments she gets for her three children are not welfare,” he said. “They are part of programs designed to help people with need, and she does not see that as welfare.”

It’s only welfare if you don’t need it… Priceless!

Lawyers Ensure That Criminals/Society Get Screwed

Human rights are a good thing, there should be certain standards to which the state is compelled to meet in its treatment of people. Unfortunately there is a parasitic human rights industry which uses the language of human rights to get judges to twist the law in ever more inventive ways to undermine justice and reward lowlifes.

For instance there is a 'human right' to family life, which is a reasonable aspiration but it is rather ill defined so it can become twisted by the ECHR to mean that prisoners can have the right to start a family:
The inmates, all serving long sentences and including at least one murderer, claim they or their partners will be too old once they are released and should be allowed to donate sperm now for artificial insemination.
Six prisoners in British jails have applied to have children with their partners following a landmark European court ruling that their human rights would be breached if they are prevented from becoming fathers.
It goes without saying that no one anywhere has legislated to allow prisoners to do this, but once a legal culture is established in which judges and lawyers are free to apply interpretations of the law that bear no resemblance to what was either said or intended in the original legislation this kind of subversion of democracy is to be expected.

The case was brought by Kirk Dickson, 34, who is serving a minimum 15 years sentence for kicking a man to death, and his wife Lorraine, 48, who he met through a prison penpal scheme while she was in prison for benefits fraud.

I've got to be honest, I don't want Kirk and Lorraine to reproduce, they are unlikely to be fit parents and come to that their contribution to the gene pool is probably not desirable*. The man Kirk murdered has been removed from the gene pool so it's hard to see why his murderer should not also be removed.

The Dickson legal challenge has already cost the taxpayer more than £20,000 in legal aid.

I'm not even going to comment on the legal aid angle.

Dickson and a friend killed 41-year-old George Askins because he refused to hand over his cigarettes in Lincolnshire in 1994.

Mr Askins' family have previously bitterly attacked Dickson's attempt to have a child.

His brother Peter Askins, 53, said: "If he wanted to have a family he should have thought of that before he robbed my family of a much-loved man."

Well quite, I think their best hope now is that the courts refuse to let him reproduce on the grounds that he's a smoker.

* This may seem controversial but there is a genetic element to criminality as has been demonstrated by adoption studies. When criminals breed they are quite likely to produce future criminals.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An Important Announcement

I haven't got much to say at the moment, except having just read:
The French guessing game over the identity of the father of justice minister Rachida Dati's daughter was reignited on Thursday after a new book suggested that he was a Middle Eastern prosecutor.

The prosecutor joins a long list of names, including leading French television host Jacques Essebag (popularly known as Arthur), Henri Proglio, a prominent Paris businessman, Dominique Desseigne, a hotel and casino tycoon, and Jose Maria Aznar, the former Spanish prime minister.

All have denied being the father but Miss Dati has said nothing. Former French rugby coach and sports minister Bernard Laporte also made an official denial, as did François Sarkozy, President Nicolas Sarkozy's younger brother.

I just want to make an official denial too.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Bad Taste.

If you think this is funny then you are a very bad person.

Shame on you.


The Guardian features a piece by Ian Buruma about Asian anti-semitism, a strange phenomena seeing as there aren't any major Jewish populations in East Asia and there are no historic religious antagonisms towards Jews.
Such conspiracy theories are not rare in Asia. Japanese readers have shown a healthy appetite over the years for books such as To Watch Jews Is To See the World Clearly, The Next Ten Years: How to Get an Inside View of the Jewish Protocols, and I'd Like to Apologise To the Japanese – A Jewish Elder's Confession (written by a Japanese author, of course, under the made-up name of Mordecai Mose). All these books are variations of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Russian forgery first published in 1903, which Japanese came across after defeating the Czar's army in 1905.
The article itself is interesting enough but the comments are something else:

  • JohnMalkovich4's profile picture JohnMalkovich4

    09 Feb 09, 9:41am (about 1 hour ago)


    Why do you think Asian people are antisemitic, is it genetic ?

    This is the second article in a week that insists there is no such thing as a Jewish conspiracy. It must be true then.

09 Feb 09, 9:52am (about 1 hour ago)

So what explains the remarkable appeal of Jewish conspiracy theories in Asia?

Conspiracy theories in Asia? Where are Palestine, Israel, almost all Arab countries are located? In Asia and not Europe or America! There is no need for conspiracy theories any more, the world is not as blind and ignorant as it was 10 years ago.

The answer must be partly political. Conspiracy theories thrive in relatively closed societies

Thanks to the Internet, there is no more closed societies. The whole world can see and hear what is going on around all the corners of this world. The Gaza onslaught was brought into everyone's living room after the Christmas/boxing day holidays. Nice way to start the Christians New Year, Thank you Israel.
  • Randywade's profile picture Randywade

    09 Feb 09, 10:06am (54 minutes ago)

    When Dr. Mohammed was Prime Minister of Malaysia, a person holding an Israeli passport could not legally enter Malaysia. Israel, along with South Africa, N. Korea, and others, was considered a rogue state. Too bad other governments didn't follow Malaysia's example. To despise injustice is not to be antisemitic.

BoredWith119's profile picture BoredWith119

09 Feb 09, 10:17am (43 minutes ago)

SpursSupporter 09 Feb 09, 9:54am

Do you mean "Some of the people at the highest levels of government and business happen to be Jewish"?

Yes and they facilitate Israel's aims very effectively - look at the impunity this thuggish state can attack its neighbours and slaughter thousands without a peep from the US. Look also at the massive flow of funds from the US to Israel to keep that country's basket case economy afloat.

  • MilesSmiles's profile picture MilesSmiles

    09 Feb 09, 10:28am (32 minutes ago)

    And a recent article in a leading Filipino business magazine explained how Jews had always controlled the countries they lived in, including the United States today.

    Maybe they saw the shameful vote in Congress in support of the Gaza massacre. Or maybe they read about Olmert's phone call to Bush. Or maybe they just picked up a copy of Mearsheimer and Walt's book.

    Point is, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to explain this. It's all out in the open, but no less distasteful for all that.

Watching The Television The Natives* Just Won't Watch.

When people criticise immigration they often fail to consider that immigration lets high achievers move to countries where their full potential can be realised. Think of how much poorer Canada would be if winners like this guy hadn't chosen to move there:

In a triumph that might make famous couch potato Homer Simpson jealous, Suresh Joachim has broken his own Guinness world record for nonstop broadcast-television watching, clocking 72 hours in the Swedish capital.

* I should add that natives is a bit of a false term, seeing as I'm referring to Canada where the natives are Eskimos** and Native Americans.

** Yes Eskimo is the correct term not Inuit.

Fun Online Test, (Without The Fun).

I've just taken the "Libertarian Purity Test" where I've scored 64.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Putin Still Gay.

I pointed this out months ago, to the chagrin of some*, but now the Sun have also noticed that Vladimir Putin is gayer than Liberace ice skating to Village People in a tutu.

* I quote- "A couple of months ago, the individual who blogs at 'Unenlightened Commentary' wrote what I think was meant to be a satirical piece concerning Vladimir Putin's sexuality.". Nope not satire, just a response to the ever more ludicrous propaganda emanating from the Kremlin, shooting a tiger for fuck's sake!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Hierarchy Of Victimhood- A Cut Out & Keep Guide.

Guardian race nut Joseph Harker prattles on about racist the British are (because we are more welcoming to immigrants from Canada than from Derkastan). It's mostly nonsense of course, but rather helpfully he assembles the ethnic groups in a hierarchy of victimhood, which will be useful to refer to next time victimhood poker is being played.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Those Peaceful Nordics

Over at Biased BBC there is a post describing a discussion about crime and punishment on the Today programme:
It's all part of the narrative and so it is no big surprise to hear an item on Today earlier this morning suggesting that we should follow the example of Finland and cease "incarcerating" young people (anyone under 21) in our prisons.
Regardless of the BBC's bias, this discussion makes two assumptions that really should be debunked:
  • That the Nordics are a particularly good model to follow when it comes to cutting crime. Finland has one of the highest murder rates in Western Europe. Why emulate them?
  • That youth crime is some minor aspect of crime. In fact offending rates peak from the mid teens to the early 20s depending on the offence, so by abolishing punishment for "youth" crime you end up abolishing punishment for any crime.

Flagging Interest.

Flying the Union flag upside down, like at the Sino-British summit, is supposedly a sign of distress. Isn't it kind of a rubbish distress signal seeing as almost no one notices that it isn't the right way up, at least until the pedants get to work? Even then most assume that the person flying the flag has simply made a mistake, not that there is some crisis going on.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Too Stupid To Name Themselves.

The National Secular Society is misnamed, whether by design or by stupidity I do not know:

An atheist group has backed a decision by a healthcare trust to suspend a nurse who said she would pray for an elderly patient.

The atheist group in question is the NSS. Secularism means that religions should get no preferential treatment in the public sphere, it does not mean that a kind of atheist fundamentalism should get preferential treatment. It also does not mean that religious believers should be actively discriminated against.

Failed States.

Poor Americans, not only is the economy in trouble and two wars ongoing it also appears that it is sandwiched in between two potentially failed states, Mexico and er Canada, no really Canada.

The Mexican collapse is somewhat more plausible as it does have a very violent drug war fuelled by the vast profits to be made in the sale of illegal drugs to the West. Thanks druggies, thanks prohibitionists.

Canada is a less plausible candidate for collapse, I'm not one to scare monger but perhaps there is a reason American publications are spreading the idea of a Canadian collapse.

Global Warming

With the big freeze on it is of course a good time to talk about global warming.

In particular I want to criticise an idea that is promoted mostly by people with who I agree 90% of the time- that global warming is a 'scam', a 'hoax' or a 'con' or whatever. It is possible that global warming is an incorrect theory, however the idea that thousands of scientists are colluding to trick the public and politicians is absurd. It requires a conspiracy that is in size equal to the one posited by the 9/11 truthers, involving a vast number of people to keep the secret.

Even people who are highly sceptical of the environmental movement such as Bjorn Lomborg or Ian Murray accept that having looked at the evidence, man made global warming is real.

I suspect that the scepticism about global warming is because of a number of things.

The fact that most environmentalists are watermelons, green on the outside red on the inside and seek to use it as an excuse for imposing their political beliefs. This is true and a lot of left wing types use the environment as an excuse to promote statist solutions involving vast amounts of state control over our lives and appear hostile towards solutions that don't involve radical changes to the way we live. However they also propose vast inefficient socialist solutions to the recession, but that doesn't disprove the existence of the recession. I'm sure if a comet was heading straight towards Earth their solution would involve socialism.

Secondly a lot of lazy scientists attribute everything to global warming. So for example if the oceans are becoming less salty then climate change is to blame, yet when it turns out that actually oceans are getting more salty not less, global warming is still responsible. This is unfortunate bu again doesn't say much about the science behind AGW.

Many advocates of AGW exaggerate or make up stuff to bolster their case. The Gore effect. This is true but again doesn't explain why so many people sceptical about environmentalism also believe it. Besides which many opponents of AGW also make up stuff so it doesn't really provide a basis on which to support a policy or not. That's what people do they make up stuff.

Many advocates of AGW behave in a manner inconsitant with their stated beliefs, think of Bono booking a flight for his hat or Al Gore's collosal energy consumption. Again this is true but proves that some people are hypocrites, or just want the solutions to involve restrictions on the little people. It doesn't say anything about the science.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Brrrr It's Cold.

South-east England has the worst snow it has seen for 18 years, causing all London buses to be pulled from service and the closure of Heathrow's runways.
Nonsense this is the best snow in 18 years. The worst snow would be last year where there was a thin layer of white stuff that dissolved into sludge by late morning.

Obviously I wouldn't want it everyday but who doesn't enjoy the occasional blizzard?

Update: I don't like the snow any more, because I've just slipped and fallen on an icy patch. Bring on global warming. What sort of idiot enjoys a blizzard anyway?

More Stuff I've Seen Of Late.

The title explains the purpose of the post:

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones- Hilariously inept, from the B-Movie title to the leaden script. Clunky dialogue and bored actors show that money isn't everything. Making Ewen McGregor and Natalie portman look as though they have never acted in their lives is some feat. Making Hayden Christiansen look as though he is the worst actor ever is quite easy though. I think the hype and nostalgia over the original Star Wars films is over done, but they were miles better than this. 1/5

Aguirre: Wrath of God- Atmospheric Herzog drama about conquistadors. The protagonist's growing insanity brings obvious comparisons with Marlon Brando in Apocalypse now. The ending could be seen a mile off though. 4/5

Au Hasard Balthasar - The donkey's stoicism is a good metaphor for human suffering but it is a bloody gloomy film. I'm not sure whether it is incredibly pretentious or not. 2/5

The Simpsons Movie- Like a really long Simpsons episode and nothing more and nothing less. Pretty funny, but it could have been done just as well on the small screen. 4/5

Dark Water- Atmospheric Japanese horror but goes on too long. My expectations were high for this, but it wasn't quite creepy enough and it began to drag on a bit. 4/5

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls- Bizarre but amusing. Whatever else one says about it, the film is genuinely original and unlike anything else. 4/5

Barry Lyndon- Engaging Thackeray adaptation by Stanley Kubrick.It's about the rise and fall of an Irishman on the make in the late 18th century, whose rise in status is accompanied by a deterioration in his character, so that when the fall does come it is well deserved. The depiction of each stage in his life can almost stand alone apart from the film as a whole. 4/5

The Birds.- More terrifying than Orville. It's a real pleasure when a supposed film classic actually lives up to the hype. As with other Hitchcock films the preamble before the main story goes on long enough to establish a back story for the main characters and the relationships between them, so that by the time the birds start attacking (sorry was that a spoiler?) it is possible to actually care about their fate. I've heard that a Hollywood remake is i the offing, which seems utterly pointless. 5/5.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Great Moments In Journalism.

The New York Times unearths a white supremacist. That's the great thing about the major newspapers, the money they can spend on legions of fact checkers.