Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Is Nick Clegg on something?

Or has he just stepped off a spaceship from the planet Whut?
The Deputy Prime Minister cast doubt on the future for nuclear power by predicting that a review into existing plants – ordered after the explosion at the Fukushima power station — would recommend higher and more costly safety standards.
Or maybe it's me finding myself on the planet Whut? having just been kidnapped from Earth. Seriously, what the fucking fuck is going on? Britain is a country noted for a lack of tsunamis and for being, tectonically speaking, as active as an 20 stone dole-monkey with a plasma TV. Why does Cleggy think higher safety standards will be recommended and who the fuck even ordered a fucking review, which will no doubt cost a metric shit-tonne of money, in the first place?

And why? Has anything happened at a British nuclear power station to warrant a review into safety standards? No. So this is because nuclear power is suddenly newsworthy, and... er... that's about it. Fuck's sake, guys. Either there's been a sensible reason all along, in which case you were all sitting on your hands all this time, or this is a pointless knee jerk reaction to an event half a world away that is virtually guaranteed not to happen in the UK. And even if it did, as in Japan the damage and death wrought by a 9 magnitude earthquake and a series of 30 foot waves slamming coastal towns would make the reactor problems pale into insignificance were it not for the rampant and infectious nuclearphobia in parts of the media and politics.

Christ, would you scrap high speed rail because the earthquake wrecked a few bullet trains? Would you even consider looking into it? No, of course you wouldn't because that would be, to use a technical term, fucking stupid. So what's different about nuclear power apart from the dreaded n-word? Stop this incredibly wasteful fear-mongering masturbatathon and start dealing with the fact that as things stand now in a few years Britain is going to become increasingly dependent on foreign energy supplies plus a relative trickle from vast stands of giant bird mincers and some solar panels struggling to cope with the high latitudes of most of the country.

On the other hand Britain probably needed to start building new reactors several years ago, and when everybody is freezing in the dark the current mob of hand wringing wankers won't be the only ones to blame.

Austria ≠ Australia

Click for linky
Per your own fucking article, folks, that'll be Austria, not Australia.
Austria's ORF network has so far banned a total of eight episodes, including one that features scientists Marie and Pierre Curie dying of radiation poisoning.
Australia didn't get a mention, although the softcocks at Channel Ten have since followed suit.
"All new and repeat Simpsons episodes are, as a matter of course, reviewed before going to air in case sensitive issues are detected, particularly during natural disasters," a Ten spokesman said.

"In light of this, we have decided to rest certain episodes that refer to nuclear power storylines." Ten screens The Simpsons on its digital channel, Eleven.
Look, you could find a reason that something in every single episode of every single program ever made might offend or upset someone somewhere. Everyone has sensitive issues at some time or another. What are you going to do, broadcast nothing just to be on the safe side? Of course not. You assume that if someone sees something they don't like they'll reach for the remote and turn off or over. And guess what? That's what they fucking do. Well, normal people anyway. I realise there is a small minority of DOTWs that will carry on watching because it'll help them achieve offencegasm.* But everybody can tell the difference between cartoons and reality, and if one is an uncomfortable reminder of the other they're capable of deciding not to watch. They don't fucking need you to decide for them. Adelaide Now! has a poll up on the subject on that article if anyone's interested.

Meanwhile at The Teletubbygraph they've managed to link detection of trace amounts of Iodine 131 in Oxfordshire and Scotland to Japan's ongoing problems at Fukushima in a single headline, before going on to say in the article that actually it might not be related at all.
But, just to clarify, Iodine-131 is also used as a radiopharmaceutical.
"So it might just be worth the people checking there that this is not some slight release, just above background, associated with people washing their pharmaceuticals down the drains in Scotland.
And then adding
The risk to human health at the levels that they are talking about, I think, are basically zero.
Nowhere do they mention that 131I has a half life of just over a week and so in a couple of months where it came from will be moot since effectively there won't be any more than you'd find normally.

in other words it's the usual bullshit doom laden headline before clarifying in the main article, at a point which the attention deficit generation rarely reach of course, that actually there's nothing to worry about.

* Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

More Teletubbygraph picture fail

I screen-capped this a few days ago and then got too busy to post it, after which I forgot it was even there. Now in fairness the picture caption doesn't actually say that the planes are Tornados, but for the headline "British Tornados hit Gaddafi forces blahblah blah" you'd think it would have been appropriate to use a photo of something other than a pair of Eurofighter Typhoons. Like a fucking Tornado or two, maybe? Meh, tornado, typhoon, hurricane, tropical anti-cyclone, any old strong wind will do.

Er, I suppose they are definitely RAF Typhoons and those tail markings don't belong to an Italian squadron or something?

PS - on the subject of the RAF flying over Libya, apparently they're short of pilots. I don't want to say I told you so, Dave, especially as I don't even consider myself as well qualified to comment on such things as the average armchair Defence Minister / Tom Clancy fan, but all the same I fucking told you so.
... but of course you're getting rid of a load of pilots of all types which eventually restrict your ability even to have cargo aircraft dropping manure on people.
What's probably a bit of a worry is that those reductions I was commenting on at the beginning of the month are partly in new pilots, the ones currently in training, which is why I said it'll eventually restrict ability. That they're having problems here and now suggests that the RAF is undermanned already.

So tell me, how come nobody's smashing London up over cuts to Britain's ability to defend itself, especially when the Cobbleition - and this can't be said often enough - aren't cutting overall spending at all?

Falling birthrates in the west - is this the reason?

From WA Today article about the desire to have the latest gadget, which I'm sure has absolutely nothing to do with the launch of the new iSanitaryTowel2 and would probably have been written anyway even if people weren't outside Apple stores queueing for hours and hours rather than go into Dick Smith and but the same thing for the same price in 45 minutes (my bold).
Whatever happened to simple, get-away-from-it-all pleasures such as walking the dog? Well, even dogs are now online: a collar-mounted device called the Puppy Tweet - showcased at this month's Crufts - sends messages from your pet to your phone or laptop. Ask a mutt to "heel" and you'll get a message back saying: "Right behind you, dude."

Or sex? Research in the US found that 22 per cent of Americans whose coitus had been interrupted by a ringing mobile took the call.
Which kind of fits in with this Demotivational that appeared recently.

Message to the Malthusians: you probably don't need to worry.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Anarchists for a bigger state and more government intervention... again

Yes, anarchists, of course, though not because what defines an anarchist is one who wants the government to do everything for its people and leave them little or no individual freedom as a result but because the media fucknuts these days appear to be unaware of what the fucking word means.

Hello, Teletubbygraph, a little FYI for you. These people are not anarchists. They are a particularly nasty and fighty flavour of marxists and socialists. If they were anarchists they'd be protesting that the government isn't cutting anything like enough, or indeed at all as far as actually reducing the national deficit goes (let's not even fucking dream about reducing the actual debt). They may be spray painting Ⓐs on the walls of banks, half of which are fucking government owned now anyway, but that doesn't make them actual anarchists anymore than the Nazi's appropriation of the swastika made them Buddhists and Hindus.
The letter "A" is derived from the first letter of "anarchy" or "anarchism" in most European languages and is the same in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. The "O" stands for order.
Does The Telegraph think smashing shop windows, chucking tables at The Ritz hotel and defacing both private banks and those that are technically already under the kind of collective ownership these knobheads probably have regular wank fantasies about in any way qualifies as 'order'? No? Thought not. Alan Moore, via V, explains.
All this riot and uproar, V ... Is this anarchy?
Is this the Land of Do-as-you-please?
No. This is only the Land of Take-what-you-want.
Anarchy means "without leaders"; not "without order".
This is not anarchy, Eve. This is Chaos.

V for Vendetta - Alan Moore/David Lloyd
They're not anarchists, okay? Get a fucking dictionary, you lazy bastards.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Quote of the Dirt Hour

Okay, a bit premature since Dirt Hour isn't even on us yet here in Oz, let alone all those slacker countries hours and hours behind us. Still, I saw this in The Australian by the environmentalists' least favourite environmentalist, the eco-apostate Bjorn Lomborg. Do go read the whole thing, but almost the first thing he says is this:
Now there's a new advertiser among the neon signs [in Copenhagen's central square]: a brightly lit billboard exhorts everyone to participate in Earth Hour, the 60 minutes tonight in which the whole world is urged to dim the lights to cut greenhouse emissions. There is a certain irony in renting brightly lit advertising space to exhort us to save electricity for one hour, but this is apparently lost on the organisers.
Quite, but as I've said more than once I don't think it's about saving resources, energy or the planet so much as getting people to join in an otherwise pointless belief reinforcement ritual, PR for Big Eco and selling some more copies of Fairfax's newspapers.

Incidentally, on the subject of Lomborg in The Aussie earlier in the week he wrote on biofuels and how eco-politics now has us burning food for transport. Also worth a read if you've got a few spare minutes.

Never do today what can be put off indefinitely

Click for linky

I have many things I'd like to say about this, but not right now. Maybe later.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

I wish I could honestly say this comes as a shock

Click for linky

Not for the first time I find myself saying that it's just as if Labour had never left.


Monday, 21 March 2011

Green hypocrisy

Just a short one this, and I'm afraid you'll have to take my word for it since I'm not about to try to get photographic evidence while driving. Earlier today I was driving behind an ancient and badly maintained bucket of bolts that was smoking badly enough to obscure half a battlefield, which in itself doesn't bother me hugely. Windows up and aircon on recirculate and I caught barely a whiff of it. What did annoy me was what else was being obscured by the smoke, which only became visible when I pulled up behind it at some red lights. The rear of the car was covered in every eco-bandwagon sticker you can imagine.

Now on the one hand it's more right on than scrapping a perfectly serviceable vehicle and replacing it with a new hybrid, constructed at greater energy expense than keeping an existing car going. No, that's fine.

But dig your hand in your pocket and do some fucking maintenance, you thoughtless, polluting, anti-social arsehole.

One armed wallpaper hanger...

... I will be as busy as one for a while. Blogging will be light, and unless I get round to finishing a few half written posts anything that does appear is likely to be pretty shallow.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Drugs question

THE number of middle-aged users of ecstasy in Australia is rising sharply, as those who started using the drug at dance parties in the 1980s and '90s begin to enter their 30s and 40s.

Ecstasy is the second most commonly used illicit drug in Australia after cannabis, with the number of users rising steadily over the past 10 years.

But underlying the trend is a dramatic increase in the number of older adults using the drug - particularly Generation X, born between 1964 and 1981.


Report author Dr Rebecca McKetin said it was clear from the results that Generation X was continuing to take ecstasy as they aged because there was little evidence people began to use ecstasy after the age of 30, or that former users returned to use once they had stopped.

''The increase in the number of older ecstasy users is explained by ecstasy users who started using in the '90s, when the drug first became popular, and who have continued to use into later adulthood,'' she said.
But... but... but how is this possible? Surely if the horror death scare headlines were right they should all be dead by now. Yet if it's not the instant danger that kills more or less on the spot as we were all told (my parents bought The Daily Mail regularly) then why is it illegal?

Losing the sarcasm, it does make me wonder about the future. Alcohol is a harmful drug that is accepted and legal partly because taxing it is a revenue earner for governments and partly because nearly everyone in those same governments uses it. Perhaps as Gen X ages and some of its E using members become politicians themselves there'll come a time when a government will ask why a drug that is widely used, non-addictive, can be taken for years and doesn't turn users into slurring, staggering, vomit fountains with hair trigger tempers, and has been used regularly by some of the people actually in the government, needs to be banned when alcohol isn't.

Or perhaps the fake charities will have banned tobacco and reintroduced Prohibition by then and we'll all be concentrating on the fallout from that backwards step instead of liberalising drugs.

Obvious bollocks

From Colonel Gaddafi.
"Now the arms depots have been opened and all the Libyan people are being armed," to fight against Western forces, the veteran leader warned.
All the Libyan people, Colonel? All of them? Including the ones who you were having shot at and bombed because they want you gone? I can't help feeling that if they were sufficiently well armed to resist attack you might already be tied to a fence post in front of a wall and nobody would be flinging missiles and bombs and Tripoli.

Just saying.

Bullying victim snaps - the animated version

Yep, Casey the Chifley College bullying victim has had the Taiwanese computer animation treatment from NMA TV.

Is there nothing they can't make completely bizarre yet strangely compelling?

On a side note are saying that western Sydney is divided over the issue.
"Good on him. I was so happy to see a bully finally getting what he deserved," one St Marys resident said.
"I don't condone violence but when kids stage an attack like that and record it to humiliate the victim it's wrong."
But another resident Jayne Saunders said: "He could have broken that little kid's neck."
An explanation might be needed for Jayne and others thinking the same way: when you continually harass and provoke and torment a placid pet to the point it goes nuts and attempts to bite someone's face off you've sown the seeds of your own misfortune. The kid who was picking on Casey - who is apparently not at all sorry for doing so - might have had his neck broken, and had that happened it would have been as a direct result of the violent incident he himself initiated. The question Jayne Saunders and co. are probably not asking themselves is what would Casey have done to Ritchard Gale if the he and the other bullies had simply left him alone. Almost certainly the answer is:

Absolutely nothing.

Hanson's return

A little over a year ago I blogged on Pauline Hanson, former chip shop owner and federal MP for the seat of Oxley in Queensland, leaving Australia for Britain because she was done with Australian politics and as she saw it the country was no longer the land of opportunity. Needless to say I thought this was pretty funny.
Pauline, love, if you think Australia is over taxed and over regulated just wait till you get off the plane at Heathrow. It'll all be downhill from there because the country is, not to put too fine a point on it, fucked and all the main political parties - nanny statists to a man mong - see taxing people as the solution. Also your feelings about migrants are going to be, erm... how shall I put this... challenged, and since you will be one yourself bitching about it will be batting a very sticky wicket.
I also said it'd be a good idea for her to buy an open return ticket, and she appears to have done so since she's now come back again.
... she later reversed her decision, announcing last November after a trip to Europe that Britain was worse than Australia and "full of immigrants and refugees".
Hate to say I told you so, Pauline, but I told you so, though since about a quarter of people in Australia were born elsewhere it's still rather less full of immigrants than Australia is. Still, she came back, which I missed at the time, and the only reason I've noticed now is that she's also changed her mind about being done with Australian politics.
The former One Nation leader has nominated to run for the NSW Upper House in a bizarre twist ahead of this month's state poll, but both state Labor and Liberal parties have today said they will not support her with preferences.
And really nothing about this, not her return to Australia and politics or the main parties not giving her any preferences, should be any surprise. Nor is this reaction:

Though I think she's not wrong on all issues (very few people are - even Gordon Brown probably didn't manage that) on balance I'm not a Pauline Hanson fan, but even if you disagree with everything she says and think she's simultaneously the most despicable person in the country and an irrelevant idiot isn't it going a bit far of 853 people to say she shouldn't be allowed to stand? What the fuck, folks? Like it or not she's an Australian citizen and entitled both to her opinions and the support and votes of anyone who agrees with her. Democracy, and last I checked this is one, isn't about just letting people you approve of stand for public office. For good or ill everybody gets a say, and if you don't agree with someone you're supposed to explain why.

So just because it'll annoy 853 people who think that someone with her views shouldn't be allowed to stand I'm glad Pauline Hanson is going to be on the ballot. But I'd hope the voters of New South Wales find more liberal candidates to vote for.

It all sounds so terribly familiar

“What we are doing is necessary, it is legal and it is right.”
That's cleared that up - Cameramong has decided it's necessary and right, and someone has told him that it's legal. As it was with Saddam Hussein I won't shed a tear if Gaddafi's eventual exit from this world has assistance, but fuck spare us from yet another self righteous arsehole in Number 10 explaining why what he sees as a personal moral obligation to commit British forces to action is "necessary, legal and right".

On the other hand it also seems like my hyperbole of the other week wasn't far off and that the British contribution has so far been little more than lobbing submarine launched Tomahawks. There's talk of Tornados and Typhoons, presumably operating from Malta, respectively destroying Gadaffi's air defences and "patrolling" the skies over Libya, but a quick search of the interwebs (okay, Wikipedia) finds that the Tornado GR4 has a combat range of only 1,390 km and the much newer Typhoon is no better when configured for the same ground attack role or for air defence with a 10 minute loiter time. That works out to be about this much:

Which means if he's serious Cameramong must use tanker aircraft as well, and you can be sure the Libyan air force will want to hit those if they can. So I guess that means some more aircraft to defend the aircraft refuelling the aircraft that are actually going to attack something. Cameramong still hasn't got a operational aircraft carrier, by which I mean a carrier with any aircraft of its own, though even if he had kept the recently retired Harriers they'd have to be refuelled in the air too, and even then the carrier would probably need to be quite closer than it'd like to the Libyan coast. And of course all this presupposes aircraft being allowed to fly from Malta, and if I were the Maltese I'd be telling him respectfully but firmly to fuck off. If Gadaffi is still standing when the bombing and rebellion are over then Britain is safer from reprisals (not counting the terrorist kind) than Malta will be.

So Royal Navy Tomahawks it is, at least for the time being. And Britain should probably be proud of being able to contribute even that much. The way the country's finances are and the strange priorities that the Cobbleition has for cutting expenditure while not actually making any inroads at all into cutting the national debt mean that Britain's contribution to the wars of the next decade will probably be the Army Catering Corps turning up with sandwiches for the French and Americans.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Dirt Hour vs Human Achievement Hour

I've blogged the annual waste of time and cat scorching ritual known variously as Earth Hour or, at least in Chez Exile, Dirt Hour a couple of times before (see here and here), and having thoroughly slagged it off I twice I was wondering if I could summon up the energy to do it again. I've already admitted that I'm too stingy to do anything like turn all the lights on and drive around the neighbourhood for an hour, and that since it's the Melbourne Grand Prix weekend and round one of the Aussie Rules season I intend to ignore it completely and sit in front of the TV for most of the afternoon and evening (possibly a bit less now that they're trying so hard to make Formula One shit). I've explained why a serious warble gloaming believer ought to look at it as a pathetic and laughingly inadequate cop out, and why for sceptics it's meaningless except as a big marketing exercise for Big Eco, which of course includes WWF and Fairfax Media, owners of The Age, Brisbane Times and Sydney Morning Herald, who between them dreamt the whole Dirt Hour thing up in the first place. Oh, and a quasi-religious ritual to make people feel too good about themselves for showing the planet a little love to stop and question whether it's able to do anything meaningful. I've pointed out that if the idea was to educate people to the kind of sacrifices that are needed to reverse man made warble gloaming, if it's happening at all, we'd be up to Earth Month held in mid-winter by now - odd that nobody seems keen on a harsh dose of reality there.

Fortunately I don't have to rehash it all again or find new and even swearier ways of expressing my contempt for this pointless eco circle jerk. Via a comment here at Real World Libertarian comes this video.

I've got nothing much to add to that except it'd be nice to see it all over the web promoting Human Achievement Hour before next weekend.

Laughing my knob off - UPDATED

Via Max Farquar, the perfect gift for anyone planning to wave flags and shout hooray a lot because a couple of kids they don't know and will almost certainly never meet are getting married.

I love it and I'm very tempted to order one, and it's not just because it's a thoroughly naff piece of gimcrackery. In case you haven't spotted it, look more closely.




UPDATE - I've just noticed something else on the site itself:
Gunandong Enterprises has the greatest pleasure to present to you this beautiful cup to commemorate the wedding of HRH Prince William and his stunning lady bride to be, Miss Kate Middleton.
Lady bride to be? As opposed to what?


Well, someone was going to say it

It being "Could global warming be causing recent earthquakes?" Yes, really.

I'm in some considerable pain in wrist and head from the associated facepalm so all I'll say about it is that I saw it over at Watts Up With That where Anthony Watts says:
I’m always amazed at the lack of historical perspective some people have related to natural disasters. It’s doubly amazing when reporters who work in newspapers, who have huge archive resources at their disposal, don’t even bother to look.
Before adding a few examples of the kind of historical perspective he's thinking of. The only thing I'd add - and I owe a tip of the Akubra to someone since I saw it on a blog, but can't remember where - is that if it was true that melting ice was triggering quakes wouldn't it be affecting Scotland, Scandinavia and Iceland as well? Or did the big melt thousands of years ago take care of it, in which case why wouldn't it have done likewise for North America?

Here's an idea. We live on a big ball of rock which is prone to frequent (on a planetary scale) though mercifully small (also on a planetary scale) disasters, but because of our own sense of scales being many orders of magnitude smaller we have a tendency to go "what the fuck, that never used to happen, it must be us" every time something happens. Human arrogance is being blamed for disaster, when generally it's really only culpable of causing the belief that humans even have the power to do so much.

Shit happens and sometimes it kills you. Accept it, and move on with your lives.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Non Sequitur again

If only...

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

The Navy shows how to deal with pirates

Unfortunately it was not the Royal Navy.
India has seized 61 pirates after a naval gunfight in the Arabian Sea.
The operation is one of the most successful since Somalian pirates escalated their campaign of extortion and kidnap on the Indian Ocean two years ago.
The Indian authorities have yet to disclose the nationality of the suspects but they are believed to be from either Somalia or Yemen.
They were arrested after an Indian naval ship closed in on a hijacked fishing vessel just under 700 miles off the Kerala coastal port of Cochin.
The boat was carrying 61 suspected pirates and 13 of the boat's crew who had been held captive.
The suspected pirates had hijacked the boat, the Mozambique-flagged Vega 5 in December last year and had since used it as a base for attacks on other ships.
They were finally caught on Sunday after they opened fire on the approaching Indian naval ship. They were forced to jump overboard when their own vessel was set ablaze caught fire in fierce retaliatory fire from the Indian ship. The 13 original crew members were freed in the raid. Indian officials said they found 80 to 90 small arms or rifles and some heavy weapons on the fishing vessel.
I was going to make some remark about the Royal Navy now being unable to achieve the same thing unless the pirates oblige by capturing a cross channel ferry, and that they might have the funds to do more if Britain's Department for International Development didn't keep giving money to nations like, say for instance, India, which not only has a space program and a nuclear weapons program but also has a rather bigger navy than Britain including a fairly elderly aircraft carrier that once went by the name of HMS Hermes and helped retake the Falkland Islands. They've also got some aircraft to fly off the bloody thing, which is more than can be said for the Royal Navy. But to be fair of course it's not all about numbers. The Royal Navy has no doubt got some things that give it capabilities that the Indians lack, which brings me to the really big difference between the two. The Royal Navy is embarrassingly not allowed to engage with pirates in case it infringes their human rights or any taken prisoner turn the tables by asking for asylum whereas the Indian navy takes it's orders from people who don't give the remotest fuck about the rights of criminals.

So on the basis that Britain is still handing money over to a nation that despite having a lot of very poor people is wealthy enough to afford nukes, space rockets and an expanding navy (they're building more ships) I think it'd be no more than a fair exchange if the Indian Defence Minister goes to work for the Cobbelition government for as long as the aid taps keep flowing. And to sweeten the deal I suggest that India should not be forced to accept Liam Fox in return.

Unless they want to make him walk a plank.

Quote Of The Day

Via the Real World Libertarian comes this gem by The Daily Telegraph's (the upside down one, not the London one) Tim Blair. At the end of this open letter to Prime Miniscule Julia Gillard asking among other things what she's hoping for with the carbon tax she's imposing on Australia and how much she thinks it's going to cost comes a question about her election pledge not to have a carbon tax.
ACCORDING to you, "there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". Would you mind telling us who does lead this Government, then? Otherwise I've sent this to the wrong person.

Monday, 14 March 2011


... that somebody thought it necessary to write this sentence.
The latest Japanese disaster is unrelated to the quake that devastated Christchurch last month, which was caused by a fracturing within the Pacific plate.
Really? Two earthquakes more than 8,500km away from each other are not related? Gee, thanks for the heads up, because I was sitting here worrying that when there's only a couple of weeks or so between two big earthquakes they must be linked even if they are nearly a quarter of the way round the frigging planet apart from one another. And I'd only just finished making my tinfoil hat after reading an article titled Moonageddon about the potential (non-existent) for disaster resulting from the Moon reaching the closest point in its orbit next weekend. In fairness the article does explain that it's complete bollocks being put about by space cadets and astrologers, and I'm not going to take too much notice of someone who thinks that half a billion other people are going to have the same type of day as me because they were all born around the same time of year. It was also depressing that someone though it necessary to write another article explaining that the moon didn't have anything to do with the Japanese earthquake either. 'Kinell!

Incidentally, I don't get much traffic from Japan but on the off chance that anyone there does pop in for a look I'll just add my belated sympathies to that of practically everyone else in the world apart from the small number of fruitloops on the interwebs who think it's God's punishment for Pearl Harbour. I've experienced the disconcerting feeling of being in a little earthquake and having driven through areas utterly destroyed by bushfire I can well imagine the creeping horror on looking out at the devastation caused by a natural disaster, but I can't imagine what a big quake is like or what I'd feel looking into the distance to see a thirty foot wall of water heading my way at speed. As it was last month with the Kiwis, my thoughts have been with the Japanese the last couple of days.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Harry Potter and the Anti Tobacco Circle Jerk

Much has been made in the blogosphere of the government's carrying on where it's predecessors left off in the egregiously illiberal legislation department, particularly in the last couple of days with regard to the push towards banning tobacco displays and other point of sale material, making this still legal product effectively illegal to sell openly, and even trying to overtake Australia, parts of which have already implemented display bans, in the race to be the first country to insist on plain packaging. I haven't got a lot to add to what folks such as Dick PuddlecoteLongrider and Snowdon at VGIF have said on this except to note that every illegal recreational drug is sold in plain packaging, sometimes very low rent packaging at that, and not only is there no use of branding but unless things like "that mindblowingly strong shit that Gav gets" counts there are in fact not even any brands. I'd also point out that this applies even to the drug known in Australia as "chop chop", which is nothing more or less than illegal, unregulated and untaxed tobacco being sold much more cheaply than the regulated variety.

The lack of branding or displays hasn't affected the chop chop business and I can't see that it will do anything much to the legal tobacco industry except to remove one more visible difference between it and chop chop, leaving only price - on which the legal industry will always struggle to compete due both to taxes and inevitable regulatory costs of operating legitimate businesses - to distinguish them in the eyes of tobacco consumers. Will they all think "bugger it, we might as well just smoke chop chop"? No, but it's naive to think that none of them will. It's also naive to think that nobody will take up smoking. You might claim that the presence of legal tobacco could be a lead in to the illegal variety, but that argument fails as soon as you consider other illegal drugs. Cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, crystal meth etc all have no problems either with maintaining a customer base or attracting new users, and none of them have a legal, regulated, taxed alternative. Yes I know morphine is used all the time in the medical profession, and I've been given it a couple of times myself, but you can't just wander in to the local chemist and ask for some if you fancy getting high on it. With tobacco (and alcohol - we'll be having this same discussion about that in the not too distant future) you do have a choice between legal and illegal versions of the product. With other recreational drugs you don't, yet nothing about that or the inevitable consequence that there are no displays or branding, prevents them from getting new customers. Some people just want to get off their dials. Others like the gentle effect of a quiet smoke. It's not understood by tobaccophobes that smokers really don't give a stuff what's on the packet as long as what's in it has the desired effect, and so Australia is likely to end up in a situation where these logos may be legally displayed on the products to which they relate.

And these ones may not.

This of course will not be much of an issue in the UK where most of the products of the first three have already been banned, which is why nobody ever, evah, gets shot.

And so, having got here rather circuitously, I come to Harry Potter. No, I haven't finally gone off my rocker and this is still on the same topic. The thing is that I've been thinking about the mentality of the kind of person who sees someone doing something they like but which the observer disapproves of so strongly that not only do they not want to do it themselves, which would be fine, but they don't want anybody to be able to do it at all. Of course Douglas Adams' Vogons immediately sprang to mind.
They are one of the most unpleasant races in the galaxy - not actually evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn't even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers from the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal without an order, signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public enquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat for three months and recycled as firelighters.
The natural forces of Vogsphere worked overtime to make up for [the blunder of the evolution of Vogons]. They brought forth scintillating jeweled scuttling crabs, which the Vogons ate, smashing them with large iron mallets; aspiring trees which the Vogons cut down to use the firewood for cooking the crabs; and elegant gazellelike creatures with dewey eyes which the Vogons would catch and sit on (they were useless for transport because their backs snapped under the weight, but the Vogons sat on them anyway).

The planet whirled away for unhappy millennia until the Vogons discovered the principles of interstellar travel. Within a few short Vog years every Vogon had migrated to the Megabrantis cluster, the political hub of the galaxy. They now form the powerful backbone of the Galactic Civil Service.
Close, and certainly there are people with rather Vogon-like minds employed by councils and so on everywhere. They don't have job titles like Senior Shouting Officer but they do have jobs such as Tobacco Enforcement Officer. But somehow the Vogons, unpleasant as they are, didn't seem quite nasty and spiteful enough. A Vogon might get a kick from petty authority and enforcing rules that make people's lives just a little less fun but I think in the absence of a rule that needs enforcing Vogonish people would simply wander off and piss on someone else's chips.

No, the type of person we're talking about here is far worse than a Vogon because their particular delight is not just enforcing rules but creating them. And while I was surfing the web with that idea clicking around the back of my brain I came across one of those list type humour articles that litter parts of the net. It's titled Ten Harry Potter Characters Scarier Than Voldemort, and there I found a description of exactly the kind of person I'd been thinking of (my bold).
Fear the innocuous-looking older woman with too many morals and too much time on her hands. Unlike everyone else on this list, Dolores Umbridge feels like a real person. She’s the mean-spirited grandmother writing letters about the school advocating birth control. She’s the infuriating bank teller who makes you go to the end of the line because you forgot to sign your checks. She’s a bitch, simple as that, and in the Ministry of Magic, she has real power. Weaponizing her nicey-nice high-pitched rebukes, Dolores Umbridge is on an unstoppable mission to snuff out boys being boys, even if it curbs every last ounce of originality and forward progress. Don’t kid yourself, people like Umbridge are dangerous, and the worst part is they don’t even know it.
Oh, yes. Dangerous indeed. And does she remind you of anyone? Not someone in particular but a type of person? The type of person whose life mission is to disapprove, regulate, forbid in that approximate order before starting again with disapproval. The type of person who, if I may mix my analogies, is not themselves a Vogon but would unhesitatingly use the services of Vogons to enforce their rules.*

Yep, there are Umbridges about. They work in ASH, Alcohol Concern and other fake charities, and they use Vogons in parliament and government ministries Given Rowling's known support for the party of overweening, patronising, regulation happy, nannying paternalist wankers - no, not the ones in government now, I mean the other party of regulation happy nannying paternalist wankers - I wonder if she realised when she wrote that particular character.

* It was clear even from when I saw the first movie that the Hogwarts school caretaker is absolutely a Vogon.

Remind us, Barack...

... how goes the work for which you were preemptively awarded that Nobel Peace thingy?

Ah. And of course just like Cameramong you haven't got round to dismantling any of your predecessor's authoritarian legislation, on top of which you still have military in Iraq and Afghanistan and have now begun sabre rattling at Libya.

I'm sorry I asked.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Made Oi Larf

I had no idea a thyroid looked like Australia, or were they taking the piss out of the whole ludicrously OTT Oprah Down Under trip?

Offered almost without comment

Clicky linkies

The only comment necessary being that for a cartoon Non Sequitur gets damn close to reality, and not for the first time either.

"Restorative" justice

Click for linky
The woman officer had visited Purbeck School in Wareham, Dorset, last month to talk to the boys about a playground scrap as her role as a school liaison officer.
It is understood she was called the names 'PC Nipples' and 'PC Ball Sack' while she was out of the room and was told of the remarks moments later.
The boys were sent home and their parents were informed about the incident that night and asked to attend the restorative justice conference which took place last week.
And what happens in one of those, then?
In this instance the woman PC, a sergeant and two other officers met with the boys to make them aware of the consequences their behavior had on the victim.
Victim? Oh, Jesus. I'd explain how ridiculous this is except that one of the parents already has.
"I presume this woman officer will be called other names during her policing career, is she going to hold a restorative justice conference with all of those who do it?"
Quite. I can be contacted by email if PC Thin-Skinned Fragile Chinwobbling Timewaster wants to talk to me about what I've just called her, and in that unlikely event rather than apologise I'll suggest that she could do herself, her sex, her career and her profession some favours in the image department by learning how and when to put down a couple of pretty pathetic comments by teenage boys who, stolen wank mags aside, probably haven't caught sight of a nipple since they were weaned and whose own ball sacks contain little of interest to anyone. You ought to have been able to walk in there and reduce them all to about an inch high each in front of their entire peer group, but instead you chose victimhood. How's that going to play with your colleagues? Are they going to wonder if someone who can't take the pressure of duty at a school without becoming a victim of a few puerile comments can be relied on when the chips are down? Are some of them going to think that PC Delicate might be best off behind a desk in an interior office or even, dare I say it, in front of an oven while the boys and girls who can take the stick that goes with the job go out and get on with it?*

Frankly you'd do everyone a favour if you just came out and said that you were just being officious because the kids gave you an opportunity to do so and you thought 'fuck it, why not'.

* I freely admit that I couldn't take the stick and would probably have quit or been sacked or jailed inside a year if I'd joined the police. Which is why I, you know, didn't. Just a thought.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Nanny's nightmare

Click for linky
Timely what with the drive for plain packaging, but I also chuckled at this:
March 8, 2011 at 1:14 pm
This is irresponsible: using a reputable product to promote something laced with hazadous chemicals that create long-term damage to people’s bodies.
The ridiculous amount of salt, alone, in that Campbell’s soup could kill a person.
Funny, though when you consider that there really are people who think that way and they'd probably like the soup to be in a plain tin as well... maybe not so funny.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Money laundering the Ten Step Exile way

1 -Volunteer to do all the laundry
2 -Thoroughly check the pockets of Mrs Exile's jeans
3 - Forget to check the pockets of one's own jeans
4 - Start wash cycle
5 - Lift lid of machine at end of cycle and wonder about presence of clean but very wet $50 note
6 - Remember that a couple more had been put in pocket at the same time
7 - Rummage through wet clothes looking for other $50 notes
8 - Make some remark to wife about what a good job it is that Aussie banknotes are plastic
9 - Dry the wet notes with paper towels
10 - Try to ignore the laughter

/ facepalm

Red light spells wanker

I should probably apologise to Billy Ocean for that title, but then the paternalist idiots who dreamed up these traffic light food nutrition labelling schemes should also apologise. To everybody. Because it turns out they're a complete waste of time.
Deakin University researchers said their study was the first in Australia to use supermarket sales data to analyse the impact of such labelling on food purchases. The study, published today in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, follows the recommendation by an expert panel for Australia to adopt a system of ''multiple traffic light labelling'' giving red, amber or green lights for various nutrients such as fat and sugar.
Lead researcher Gary Sacks, of Deakin University's WHO Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention, said various studies had shown that consumers liked the idea of traffic light labelling because it was easier to understand than other forms of nutritional information.
And possibly easier to understand is desired because it's easier to ignore.
But the study, established to ''try to test how people respond to it in real life'', found such labelling did not result in people buying healthier foods...
... product sales did not change during a 10-week trial.
All that nudging only to be ignored by consumers in favour of buying what they enjoyed eating. And what must really be upsetting the righteous nanny state bansturbators about this is that they can't blame it on low income types buying cheap, shit food.
Researchers said the trial was affected by the demographics of online grocery shoppers - who were typically educated and wealthy - and its limited scope.
Limited scope I can see since it was only a ten week trial, but that demographic? Not low income chip addicts but educated and cashed up. That's practically the target group for early conversion to the lowfatfreerangelowcarbglutenfreeorganicfairtradereducedsaltstrengththroughjoy food range, isn't it? And here the ungrateful bastards are, exercising personal choice? How very fucking dare they, the nannies must be clucking.

Well, take the hint and burn off, and take your traffic light labels with you. If I want to know what's in it I'll look at the ingredients. If I want to know about the nutritional content I'll look at that too. If it's not that important to me then, astoundingly enough, I won't fucking look at any of it no matter how easy to understand you attempt to make it. You nannies may make nutrition the number one factor in your food buying decisions but it's simply not always a factor at all for other people. We're not all the same, do you see? For many of us price is the biggie, and for many others it's taste, and because I look at food as something rather more than fuel to sustain my body that's always going to be my priority. Of course I'm going to turn my nose up at something tasty if it's full of plutonium but a bit of fat, salt or sugar? Life is for living, guys. It's not supposed to be an endurance contest. The only red lights I'm interested in spell "cooked" and perhaps "rotisserie chicken".

And "danger" if you're a T junction or Billy Ocean.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Gravy train derailment - repairs underway

The troughing bastards are still at it, and again we see that there's little difference between the dishonourable members on one side of the Commons and those on the other.
Richard Benyon is one of the richest MPs in Parliament. The great-great-grandson of three-times Tory Prime Minister Lord Salisbury, he can trace his ancestry back to William Cecil, the chief political adviser to Elizabeth I.
Tory MP Mr Benyon, the Environment and Fisheries Minister, has received income from a family trust which owns a 20,000-acre estate worth £125 million.
Farming Minister Jim Paice has also received several thousands of pounds in EU subsidies for his farm in Cambridgeshire over the same ten-year period.
Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper have been referred to the parliamentary sleaze watchdog after claiming more than £14,000 in travel expenses for their children.
The Shadow Chancellor and his wife, the Shadow Home Secretary, have claimed for 375 journeys for their three children between 2007 and 2010.
MPs are limited to 30 travel-expenses claims per child a year. But because Mr Balls and Miss Cooper are married, they can claim for twice as many free trips for their children as other MPs with young families.
The Labour couple have claimed for 105 more journeys than a family with three children would be permitted if only one parent was an MP.
In the case of the two Tories you'd think that even a whiff of a conflict of interest would have a sensible party leadership making effort to put those people in other jobs. And as for Mr and Mrs Blinky's claims, why the hell do MPs even get one travel claim per year per child, never mind fucking thirty? Are the children the MPs? No. Do other people get to expense travel for their children? Pretty fucking rarely I imagine.
A spokesman for the couple said they take their children to and fro because obviously neither of them has a wife or husband who can stay behind to look after them.
Look, if arranging the job around your children and vice versa make being an MP difficult - and I'm quite sure it does a lot of the time - then one or both of you probably shouldn't fucking be one. Well, I'd say both of you for entirely unrelated reasons obviously, but you know what I mean.
He pointed out that the House of Commons paid the equivalent of 22 round trips for the children last year and that, unlike other MPs, they do not claim for spouses travel which other MPs can.
No, because they're both claiming as MPs. Good one, eh?
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson, the shadow children’s minister, said: ‘The thing I’ve always respected about Ed and Yvette is that while they have been in the public eye they’ve always protected their children and kept them out of politics.
‘So this is a desperate new low from the Tories to try to drag their children into a political fight.
'Ed and Yvette have to be in Parliament and their constituencies each week and they also take their family responsibilities very seriously.
Who on earth does Mr Bridgen think is supposed to look after their children if they have to leave them behind in London or Yorkshire? He isn’t living in the real world.’
And you are, are you, Sharon? Well... no, actually, because they fucking don't have to at all, you witless bitch. Neither of them were forced at gunpoint to become MPs in the way British taxpayers are forced at gunpoint to continue to pay for them. Neither have a gun to their heads forcing them to carry on doing it. Either of them could stop at any time. "Taking their family responsibilities seriously" my sweaty arse.

Of course, just like the Tory troughers they're only taking advantage of what's on offer and I'm certain that it's all above board and within the rules. So much fucking easier to do when you help write the fucking rules, isn't it?

Bastards, the fucking lot of them.

Quote Of The Day

The race is on between British and Australian governments to be the first to make plain packaging compulsory for tobacco products and thereby achieve... well, it's not clear it'll stop anyone smoking but it'll certainly make the first government to do it a "world leader" and that's what counts for most in the intolerance circle jerk.* And among the comments on news articles such as this one, a few typically anti-tobacco frothy hatred (the sort that Dick Puddlecote is collecting) and, gratifyingly from smokers and non-smokers alike, quite a lot on how it's little short of fascism, appears this absolute gem:
Thank God for this. I am not a smoker and I have always been afraid to go into my local newsagent to buy anything in case I catch a glimpse of a cunningly designed cigarette packet that will compel me to buy one and light up.
- Rob, Lincs, 7/3/2011 1:20
For sarcasm of such epic beauty, Rob, this blog salutes you. We are not worthy, etc etc.

* In other words straight from the "Something must be done - this is something and therefore we'll do it" policy book.

What did you get up to in school today, kids?

Nothing much. Oh, apart from it was our turn to look after the crocodile. That was pretty good.
THE Northern Territory News launched a snappy new promotion this weekend, giving away a crocodile to a school in its area.
Staff from a reptile park in the territory capital, Darwin, will set up a crocodile enclosure at the winning school and train a lucky class in how to care for their new reptilian mascot.
Well, on the one hand a school pet that's likely to live as long as and possibly even longer than any of the pupils has got to be better than upsetting all the kids when the hamsters all drop dead again. Hear that, Lydd Primary School in Kent? You thought it'd toughen the kids up and teach them a useful life lesson to have them raise a lamb that they'd eventually vote on whether send off to be turned into chops. In the Territory they'll feed lambs to their school pet and their grandchildren will decide whether to send it off to be turned into luggage.

On the other hand it's a fucking crocodile. A whole new meaning could apply to the phrase, "I'm just taking class 3E to feed the school pet."
Crocodile, for Daily Mail picture editors
And just in case David Attenborough has been in your magic fishtank and explained a bit about Australian crocodiles and you're expecting this to be a smaller and relatively safe freshwater crocodile rather than a much larger and much more dangerous two-fucking-attacks-in-2011-already saltwater crocodile, you'd be wrong. The reptile park, Crocosaurus Cove, makes a thing of having the real monsters if their website is anything to go by.
Enter the world of the awesome Northern Territory Saltwater Crocodile, with some of the largest in captivity on display. Fish for crocs, ‘Swim with the Crocs’ in the separate pool along side the croc enclosure, or enter the “Cage of Death”.
Cage of Death? If they get one of those too that'd be one school that never has any discipline problems. If I don't find out who threw that then the whole class - and I do mean the whole class - will be in the Cage of Death after school.

Sadly, if you're thinking of moving to the NT, finding out which school wins the crocodile and enrolling your own children there purely to make sure they grow up tougher than anyone you know you'll almost certainly be too late. The lucky school only gets the crocodile for just one term, and that's a pity because I liked the idea of there being a school producing year after year of school leavers conditioned to utter a single phrase whenever the subject of educational animals comes up. Altogether now:

"That's not a school pet... THIS is a school pet."

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Busy busy

And hence the patch of light blogging. There may be a light at the end of the tunnel, or it may be a caffeine induced illusion.

PS Not that I'll necessarily blog much anyway as I've barely even looked at anyone else's blog all week and have some comments here too.

Friday, 4 March 2011

The best place to live anywhere in the world is...

... Essex. Well, if low crime is important to you it can't possibly be anywhere else because pretty clearly there must be almost none there at all. How else can you explain this?
Police roadblocks are being set up to catch drivers who are breaking the law – by smoking at the wheel of their company vehicle.
Council wardens and Essex Police will carry out random inspections across the county to look for evidence of illicit cigarette use.
They will even hunt for cigarette butts in the ashtrays and smell the air inside the vehicles in order to clamp down on the outlawed practice.
What a paradise it must be that the local police can spare the time to set up roadblocks on behalf of the tobacco gauleiters and their campaign to rid the county of its last remaining criminals - those who smoke in commercial vehicles and company cars. I'm sure the people of Essex must be so happy as they sleep soundly in their routinely unlocked houses.


Thursday, 3 March 2011

A personal plea

Could all parts suppliers please just fucking admit that in the twenty-first century it should not take two and a half fucking months to move things that weigh a few hundred grams a couple of thousand miles, okay? Melbourne is not on the fucking moon, and even if it was NASA used to manage the trip in a few days. Even if you insist on rogering me for shipping and then sending the cunts by surface it surely shouldn't take three weeks longer than an efficient company managed to move the contents of a whole fucking house from Southampton docks halfway around the fucking planet a few years ago. JIT, folks, do please look it up. It's the new alternative to SIA.* Now, if you all take this point on board then perhaps I will not be left with nearly bugger all to do than play with myself for half a month before suddenly being buried by a fucking avalanche of shit that's been on the back burner waiting for fucking parts that all fucking arrive at once.

I'd be so grateful.

* Sometime in autumn.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

A new interpretation on the 2012 Olympics logo

Oh, that bloody logo again. Apparently it now spells out a racist word.
IRAN threatened to pull out of the London 2012 Olympic Games, saying the event's already controversial logo is racist and spells the word "Zion," the ILNA news agency reported today.
Wait, what? How is the word "Zion" racist? If it said "Zionism is brilliant and everything else is really crap" then I could maybe see racist overtones, though we need to remember that free speech thing. If the clever sod who got paid - and this is reason enough for someone to fucking apologise - four hundred grand for that wants to make it a statement supporting Zion he can, and he can be far more open about it if he wants. And everyone else can tell him what they think of it. Mind you, they've been doing that anyhow.

So do they ban everything that mentions "Zion"? No Bob Marley singing Iron Lion Zion? No Lauren Hill or David Bowie? Has Iranian culture benefited by avoiding the Matrix sequels?* Well, yeah actually, but not necessarily because of the Zion references. Just being western is enough by the sounds of things.

And anyway, how the hell do you get "Zion" from that logo in the first place? Headaches and epileptic fits I can just about believe, and nausea and incoherent rage more or less go without saying. But "Zion"? Seriously? It must be some fucking effort if they're only just kicking off about it three and half years after the eyesore was launched to at the public.

Jesus, you're really really got to want to see it, haven't you? And of course none of that effort with rearranging and rotating the bits is needed for the older blowjob interpretation.

So what are we supposed to believe? That the logo is representative of a shadowy Zion obsessed felationist conspiracy or a fellatio obsessed Zionist conspiracy? And what would be the point? To so offend Iranian sensibilities that they have no option but to boycott the games, and thus removing any opportunity for Iran to claim a victory over the west as their star athletes explode out of the blocks?** Because they didn't do a very good job of it if it's taken nearly four years for the intended recipient to spot it.

I fancy a laugh. Shall we tell the Iranians that Cockslot and Manlove (or Fucknuts and Anal if you prefer Obonoxio's nicknames) are subtle digs at the revolution and ayatollahs? Just to see what they do? I'm happy to supply some of the stones.

Silence! I keeeeel you!

* Which just goes to show how hard it is for any country's government to have absolutely no redeeming features at all, though I bet Kim Terminally-Ill has both movies on Blu-Ray.
** I'll get me coat.

In space no one can hear you hurl

Only the Aussies could possibly think it important do develop a beer for drinking in space when Australia hasn't got a space program. And probably only an Australian journo would claim that it's getting priorities right.
WE might not have our own space program yet, but we sure as hell have our priorities right.
Two Australian companies have developed the very first space beer.
With the space tourism industry preparing for take off as early as next year — Saber Astronautics Australia teamed up with the Four Pines Brewing Company to develop the very first beer that can be consumed safely in space.
Human biology changes in zero gravity conditions. The tongue swells, the senses dull — altering the way food and drink tastes.
"This is a well known problem in the astronaut corps, in the space industry," Dr Held told
"The longer people spend in space the more reduced flavours they detect."
Saber’s first goal was to develop a recipe that people could enjoy comfortably.
"We also wanted to make the beer good to drink on earth as well. So the idea is you can drink this beer anywhere in the universe," said Dr Held.
Saber picked a high-flavoured beer as a baseline recipe to ensure that space travellers could enjoy the full flavour of the smoky Irish style stout, no matter how long the flight duration.
"The gases and the liquids don’t like to separate in zero gravity," said Dr Held.
"So we’ve reduced the carbonation a bit and given a really strong flavour to the beer.
"It’s actually one of the reasons I approached the Four Pines brewery in the first place, because their recipes, from the get go, are very tasty."
The first swig is like a bit of a slap of cold air to the face – space beer really is smoky. But the flavour does grow on you, and has a wonderful aftertaste, kind of like a coffee in the morning.
More tests will need to be done to ensure humans can consume beer safely as they sail across the Milky Way.
"The blood alcohol content I think has broader implications for space tourism," said Dr Held.
"Because you can have a lot of people going into space, surely some people are going to drink even if you tell them not to.
“We know that in aviation, an Australian footy player whose name I will not mention drank too much at high altitude, just on a regular flight — and when you’re drinking at high altitude your body doesn’t absorb it as quickly.
"So when he got on the ground after drinking a whole bunch of drinks, it hit him all at once and he got sick."
Whahey! I fuckin' love you, mate, your my besht mate. Give ush a kish, ya shoppy bardshtud.

And then comes the nanny.
"That’s the kind of effect we want to measure and avoid."
And since Australia is also becoming strangely anti-grog with talk of lowering the drink driving limit from .05 to .02 and widespread support for extending a no drinking zone in Adelaide (despite the fact it's not working) I can't help wondering if it's a good job Australia doesn't have a space program. I have a nasty idea what it might end up looking like.

Would you mind opening your window, please sir.
WHOOOOOSH - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
Was he the pilot?
No, that's me.
Did you know you were doing more than 24,000
km/h just now?
Yes, of course. We still are. We're in low earth
orbit. You have to go 24,000 km/h just to get
up here in the first place.
Well, I'm afraid we'll have to impound your re-entry
capsule for 48 hours. Hoon spaceflight legislation.
Hoon whaaaat? You've got to be kidding me.
It's the laws of bloody physics.
I don't enforce those laws, sir. Just the other kind.
But that's ridiculous. We need it to get down
You should have thought of that before, sir. There
anyone who can come up here and get you?
Not before we run out of air and not without
 doing bloody 24,000 km/h.
Now, you're sounding a bit agressive and I notice a
couple of bottles of space beer floating about in there.
Have you had anything to drink?
No, of course I haven't.
Well, I just need you to take a deep breath and blow
into this tube.
WHOOOSH - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!
You're only making it worse for yourself by refusing, sir.

Tick tock

They're not even waiting for Gaddafi to either get captured or do a runner.
UNABLE to contain the revolt that has overrun most of Libya and shredded support for him abroad, besieged dictator Muammar Gaddafi remained sequestered in his Tripoli compound yesterday as rebel military leaders planned moves to oust him.

With almost no chance of Colonel Gaddafi suppressing the uprising that began on February 17, civilian leaders in Libya's second city of Benghazi are building an administration that will run the country before national elections can be held.
Can't be long now. Wonder if he's picked out a nice wall to stand against yet.

PS - Equatorial Guinea could probably take a lesson from the Libyans here.
THE son of Equatorial Guinea's dictator commissioned plans to build a super yacht costing $US380 million, nearly three times what the country spends on health and education each year, says a corruption watchdog.
Global Witness has been urging Washington to institute sanctions against Teodorin Obiang, whose extravagant lifestyle includes a $US35 million mansion in Malibu, California, a $US33 million jet and a fleet of luxury cars, while earning a salary of just $US6799 a month as agriculture minister.

The government press office in Equatorial Guinea confirmed that the president's son had ordered the yacht design, but said he ''then dismissed the idea of buying it''. It said that if the order had gone ahead, he would have bought it with income from private business activities and not ''with funds derived from sources of illegal financing or corruption''.

President Teodoro Obiang, who reportedly is grooming his son to succeed him as president, took power in a bloody 1979 coup.
Some days I feel that far too much of the world is being run by epic bastards. But sometimes I'm cynical and think all of it is being run by epic bastards.

Larf of the day

From The Tele:
The Prime Minister disclosed that he would not rule out “the use of military assets” as Britain “must not tolerate this regime using military forces against its own people”.
Er, Dave? What military assets? Sure, you can send a sub to lob a Tomahawk or two in Gaddafi's direction, though at more than half a million dollars a shot you probably need to ask the bank manager first. Other than that Britain has one aircraft carrier, which an ex-navy mate once told me is not a proper aircraft carrier anyway, but with all the Harriers gone it's not quite clear what use it'd be. You have a couple of landing ships plus HMS Ocean, but of course the Army is still busy fighting Tony Blair's pet war or enjoying the finest German porn the Rhineland's cities have to offer while helping guard them against any East German force that attempts to cross No Man's Land. You do have more than a hundred Tornado ground attack aircraft, though presumably some of them are in the 'Stan and Germany too, but of course you're getting rid of a load of pilots of all types which eventually restrict your ability even to have cargo aircraft dropping manure on people. And you still can't do that anyway as it probably counts as bio-war, and in any case you're years away from having Airbus's bigger, better, pricier, later version of the Hercules to help.

So don't you think you're stretched a little bit thin for credible sabre rattling, Dave? Or are you planning to ask the Libyans if they wouldn't mind waiting another 5-10 years, because with the mess that Colostomy Brown left for you to clear up you really can't manage anything much more beyond a marathon session of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare?

Take your hand off it, Dave. Nobody's fooled.
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