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 November 2011

Who'da thunk it?

Apparently Anders Breivik is a nut. Yeah, it comes as a total surprise to me too.

Questions to which the answer is "No"

Cick for linky
... the question arises, should the rest of the world take over management of Europe to prevent or mitigate disaster? Specifically, should the US Federal Reserve assume leadership as a monetary superpower and impose policy on a paralyzed ECB, acting as a global lender of last resort?
And for the answer I think we should turn to one of those well worn graphical illustrations of how deep America's debt rabbit hole goes. This one is an excellent example from The first image shows the approximate US public debt by the end of the year if it was a piles of actual size $100 bills compared to quite a famous landmark, and the second shows that plus its unfunded liabilities.

If you've read the captions on those images (you can embiggerfy, or better yet go look at the original where you can see a similar representation of the US budget for 2011) you'll have noticed that the first of those, the $15 trillion pile, is roughly the size of the Gross Domestic Product for the entire United States. In fact the captions are a little out of date - US debt will not now reach 100% of GDP by Christmas 2011 because that happened four weeks ago.

So actually the answer to the question of whether the US Federal Reserve should act as Europe's lender of last resort is not just "No" - it's "With what?"

Midair shock death-risk sex horror Qantas outrage

Although I've not mentioned it for some time both my regular readers (hi Mum) will probably be aware that I think the Australian press have a bit of a thing for slating Qantas and that they do sometimes over egg that particular pudding. And here's another prime example of a classic media beat up involving Qantas, all from the online pages of the Murdoch owned papers, and all with near carbon copies of the same article.

A QANTAS pilot is under investigation over a mile-high scandal with a female passenger during a long-haul flight to Australia.
Passengers in the first class section of QF32 from London were stunned at the pilot's amorous antics with the woman.
He was seen sitting on her lap during the flight in the luxurious premium section of the Qantas A380 jet before things became quite steamy, sources told the Herald Sun.

EXCLUSIVE: A Qantas pilot is under investigation over a mile-high scandal with a female passenger during a long-haul flight to Australia.
Passengers in the first class section of QF32 from London were stunned at the pilot's amorous antics with the woman.
He was seen sitting on her lap during the flight in the luxurious premium section of the Qantas A380 jet before things became quite steamy, sources told the Herald Sun.

A QANTAS pilot is under investigation over a mile-high scandal with a female passenger on a flight to Sydney.
First class passengers on QF32 from London to Sydney were stunned at the pilot's antics with a woman in seat 2A. He was seen sitting on the woman's lap during the flight in the luxurious premium section of the A380 jet before things became more heated.
Shock! Outrage! Disgust! How dare this individual leave the controls of the aircraft for a bit of a sweaty fumble. Not only is it a disgraceful dereliction of duty but also an issue of demarcation - everyone knows that with Qantas it's the stewardesses responsibility to have sex with the passengers.* Not an unreasonable reaction to those headlines, but on further reading it turns out that nothing like that actually happened.
The pilot was off-duty and not in uniform at the time of the incident.
So what's the big deal and why the lurid headlines? Basically what we have here is a pair of passengers, one of whom happens to be an employee of the airline and whose job is to fly planes, got frisky in First Class and had to be told to pack it in a few times before the cabin crew ended up separating them. Probably happens all the time, and the only thing that makes this any different from any other incident where a couple of passengers have to have the mid air equivalent of a bucket of cold water thrown over them is that the guy's a pilot for the same airline and should reasonably be expected to know that that behaviour isn't tolerated on their planes. As a result of that he's under investigation, but it sounds more like an internal Qantas investigation than anything official - The Telegraph headline may say 'court hears' but neither their article nor either of the others mention any court at all, just what sounds like a Qantas in-house disciplinary. And of course if the guy hadn't worked for Qantas there wouldn't even be that. Hell, if he'd been ground crew he'd have had the same investigation but the papers wouldn't have bothered to report it because there's no much value in headlines like this:
Qantas check in guy gets steamy midair

Qantas baggage handler's wild blue wander as court hears of mile-high scandal
If you'll pardon the pun, they don't exactly fly, do they? But because it's a pilot we can go crazy with the headlines and make it look like it was one of the blokes flying the plane who decided to leave the flight deck and try entering the cockpit instead, at least until people get down to paragraph four when it's finally mentioned that the guy wasn't actually working at the time and had no more to do with flying the plane than the fat guy trying to sleep back in 56G or the bawling child kicking the back of his seat. It seems it's not always about what's newsworthy but about making something newsworthy out of something irrelevant, especially when it comes to the Aussie media and their national carrier. Just you wait and see how they'll cover a real emergency, like one of the toilets running out of soft paper and having to use that horrible cheap shiny stuff instead.

* Kidding, of course. It's been a while since I last flew but when I've used Qantas I've found the cabin crew to be polite, helpful, professional and incidentally pretty easy on the eye, but none of them have ever offered me sex instead of tea or coffee. Maybe you just have to be Lord Voldemort. This is in contrast to the booking departments of several airlines which have certainly fucked me in various ways, generally involving the words 'extra charge'.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

They just can't stop, can they?

Click images for links.

In his long-awaited Autumn Statement, the Chancellor will outline a £650 million scheme to provide free “early education” for about 40 per cent of two year-olds.
Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, will today announce a £1 billion scheme to pay firms more than £2,000 for each young unemployed person they hire.

And all this at a time when some think the UK is already back in recession and may need a decade of austerity to really recover. So what's the Cobbleition's response? Copy the policies of the deranged madmen who fucked the country into this hole in the first place, that's what.

I can't carry on with this, I really can't. I've said umpteen times that they're as bad as the last lot and that there's no appreciable difference between the the main parties anymore with the possible exception of how quickly they're going to fuck the country into a hole. The issue of how deeply they're going to fuck it into a hole has long had cross party support. If I blog this again anytime soon something is going to get fucking broken. Instead I'll just point out that Douglas Carswell, the Tory party's favourite for MP Least Likely To Be Given A Front Bench Job, has been wondering what the government would be doing right now if it was still a Labour government with Gordon Brown leading it. His list looks depressingly like the actual policies of the Cobbleition.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Economics lessons for children

Money doesn't just appear out of nowhere.

From See Mike Draw

Pots and kettles

Half inched from Zerohedge.
From the Mail:
Countries will be forced to submit their budgets for EU approval before they go to national parliaments, will have to sign up to strict new rules on the size of debts and deficits and will be sued for any breach in the European Court of Justice.
Mrs Exile comments, wondering if this would be the same EU that hasn't had its books signed off by the auditors for 17 years in a row. Damn good question. But in the absence of any sane answer I'd say that countries all over Europe can look forward to seeing headlines like the Irish did a couple of weeks ago.

Unless the whole bloody Euro train wreck finally comes off the rails first, of course. Who knows, that might even have happened by the time this post goes up.

Oh, God, is this still on?

I've just realised that the UK is still doing I'm A Non-Entity, Revive My Career, filmed down here in Oz among its lethal luxury hotels and aggressive world class restaurants (or at least nearby). I don't doubt that it's still mind sappingly bad TV but I'll give them credit for being better than the just-won't-fucking-die zombie that is Sleb big Brother in one respect - I've just seen who's in Non-Entity and I actually recognise just under half of them.

PS - I've also just realised that this is post number 2,000, not counting a handful that I put up at the Orphanage but haven't put up here. I can't believe my two thousandth blog post was so trivial. Sorry. No. 2,001 will be more serious.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Where's this money coming from?

Click for linky

Of course we know exactly where it's coming from. There are just shy of thirty million individual taxpayers in Britain, and of those about 6 million are public sector employees whose pre-tax salaries are paid out of other people's taxes anyway, leaving 24 million people. This governmental generosity is funded by them to the tune of £42 each - and think how you'd feel if someone just shoved you up against a wall and nicked your wallet with forty quid in - unless they go for the alternative of adding it to the nation's debt to be paid by future taxpayers. This latter choice is increasingly popular because it means the government does not have to shove you up against a wall and take your wallet, thus making you and everyone else much less likely to balk at what it's being spent on, but since the government has no money or income of its own it's a lot like going to an expensive restaurant where you can't possibly afford to eat and then running up a massive tab by shouting for all in the bar and ordering the best stuff on the menu while hoping like hell that you'll be joined by people with money before the coffee and liqueurs come.*

So what are you getting for your money? Well, not a damn thing, obviously, but what are the Africans getting for it?
Among the projects to be funded will be schemes to help African farmers insure their crops against flooding and drought while other projects include installing solar power in rural villages and building slurry pits that can produce gas to power generators.
In themselves these don't seem like terribly bad ideas, not least because they don't seem to be about appeasing the angry sky gods so much as acknowledging the fact that things don't always stay the same and adapting to it. Oh, and the very worthy goal of getting power to people who don't have it, or not much of it, at the moment. But...
The move, however, is expected to attract intense criticism at a time when the UK economy is struggling to recover from recession.
Indeed, and every other thing I blog at the moment seems to be about Britain's government spending money it hasn't got as fast as or faster than even its recklessly profligate predecessor. And I hadn't even got round to Cleggy's latest brain fart about jobs for da yoof paid for by, you guessed it, the taxpayer. Maybe later, or maybe I'll be too despondent to blog it at all, but for now it's enough to state that that's yet another billion pounds. Now back to Huhne-hoon and his bounteous munificence with your money.
One of the countries which will receive money is South Africa, the most economically advanced in the continent. Last year its economy grew by 2.8 per cent, while Britain's economy rose by 1.8%.
A little misrepresentative, this. By just about any metric, GDP nominal or PPP and absolute or per capita, the UK is much wealthier than the RSA. But then the UK has run up far greater debts than the South Africans have, again in both absolute and relative terms, and how much wealthier Britain really is after allowing for the phantom wealth that's come from living beyond its means for so long is tricky to say. On top of all that Britain's likely to go back into recession soon, which makes all these billion here and billion there stories more than a little worrying. So why... ?
The timing of the announcement, however, is being seen as a cynical attempt to "bribe" African nations into signing up to international deals being backed by the British Government at the climate change negotiations in Durban.
Ah, now it's becoming clear. The UK government, like that of many western nations, has caught the religious warble gloaming zeal and is determined to show its faith by righteously fucking its own economy hard in the arse until its well and truly buggered, but hasn't become quite so insane that it thinks its own citizens won't go nuts if they don't see developing nations - the ones that turn out to be causing more of the problem that we don't really know is a problem - making sacrifices too.

Oh well, I suppose the government bribing other people with your money is at least a change from bribing you with it.

* But no cigars of course. The restaurant's long since been forced to go all non-smoking.

Brings a new meaning to the term 'joystick controller'

I just don't know what to say about this but I'm slightly surprised that some feminazi isn't screaming that it's sexist because it's been designed to exclude women, sorry, wimmin.

A great untruth

Wrong. It always means the same thing: you're not paying enough attention to a cat who wants something.

Appropriate music track

Because this:
British embassies in the eurozone have been told to draw up plans to help British expats through the collapse of the single currency, amid new fears for Italy and Spain.As the Italian government struggled to borrow and Spain considered seeking an international bail-out, British ministers privately warned that the break-up of the euro, once almost unthinkable, is now increasingly plausible.
Diplomats are preparing to help Britons abroad through a banking collapse and even riots arising from the debt crisis.
The Treasury confirmed earlier this month that contingency planning for a collapse is now under way.
Recent Foreign and Commonwealth Office instructions to embassies and consulates request contingency planning for extreme scenarios including rioting and social unrest.
So this:

Well, that didn't take long

I've been meaning to get round to blogging on the actions of John Pike, the American cop who calmly sprayed capsicum directly in the faces of some of Occupy protestors sitting peacefully in a row offering no resistance. On the one hand I'm not a huge supporter of the Occupy mob and think that many of them are aiming at the wrong target (business rather than government) and protesting something that doesn't truly exist (the free market). It all rather smacks of the anarchists for a bigger government protests in London last year. However, free speech and association and all that, as enshrined by our American cousins in their Bill of Rights, which makes it troubling that it was in America - Land of the Free, etc - in which a cop unloaded a canister full of capsicum spray right in the faces of some protestors sitting Gandhi style, unresisting and offering no violence.

However, not for the first time events have overtaken my blogging efforts and John Pike, whose identity and contact details quickly made their way online, has now become an internet meme. Those UK readers who are old enough to remember Tony Hart's gallery music can start humming it now.*

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Quote of the Day

A sound reason to cave in to public sector srikes.
Businesses also fear that if public sector workers’ demands aren’t met, they may look for jobs in the private sector, costing billions in incompetence-related mistakes.
The Daily Mash, of course. Where else?

Friday, 25 November 2011

Happy sights, happy thoughts

Click for linky

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not gloating. Well, to be honest actually I am gloating a bit, but not all that much. That partly because it's not happened yet and we should keep the champagne on ice until it does, and partly because I'm not philosophically opposed to the idea of single currencies or federalisation as such. I think living in a federation of competing states (with a small 's') has got a lot to be said for it providing they really are competing to attract citizens, and as far as I'm concerned people can do business in Altairian Dollars, Flanian Pobble Beads or the Triganic Pu, or even a single currency with a stupid name if they want, as long as both parties agree to it. What I find so objectionable about both the Euro and about EU federalism is the attempts to impose both on half a billion people whether they want them or not, and the lack of any real efforts to make either really worth wanting much.

The only note of caution I'd sound, and this is aside the view of the experts that the whole process is likely to be painful and bloody even for nations not directly connected, is that I suspect the death of the Euro will lay the grounds for the next battle. "We know what went wrong," they'll say. "We should have done it like the Americans did when the USA was born: political union first and monetary union second." Prepare yourselves, Europeans, because this might not be the beginning of the end, but just the end of the beginning.

In Soviet Russia finger fires you

What's Russian for 'Gissa job?'
REN TV, a privately owned channel controlled by associates of Vladimir Putin, the prime minister, said on Thursday it had decided to take her off air calling her actions "unacceptable" and "unprofessional".
"On 14 November during the 'News 24' programme the presenter Limanova made an unacceptable gesture that was a synonym for an offensive expression," it said in a statement.
The channel, which is broadcast to 120 million people, claimed the gesture was intended for her colleagues in the studio rather than for President Obama.
"It had no subtext and was not linked with the news that Limanova was reading at that moment," it said.
Nonetheless, it said it had been left with no choice but to fire her.
"A decision has been taken that T Limanova cannot and will not continue to work on the REN TV channel as a presenter," it said.
Shame. She got REN TV a hell of a lot of free publicity and it seems a harsh kind of thank you to blow her out, especially if the middle finger really was aimed at the crew at a point when she thought she wasn't on screen. The BBC would probably have promoted her even if it was unambiguously intended for the presi... oh, wait. No, that'd be the last  president, wouldn't it?

Anyway, someone hire Tatyana Limanova and make her Europe correspondent. She could raise fingers all day long and most of the continent wouldn't argue.

Doesn't add up

Douglas Carswell shows us exactly how bad governments involving all three main British political parties have been at primary school level arithmetic.
Here's a thought; spending to prop things up cost us £390 billion we do not have. Abolishing corporation tax entirely would have cost the Treasury less than half that amount - £140 billion - in lost revenue over the past three years.
Or it could have been of personal taxation or a mix of things. Either way people would have had money in their pockets to spend on things they needed or wanted. Instead of which a few banks which should have gone down the swanney survived.


Thursday, 24 November 2011

The attitude alone should be worth an extra couple of years - UPDATED

Norman Stanley Fletcher, you have pleaded guilty to the charges brought by this court, and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are an habitual criminal who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard, presumably accepting imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences: you will go to prison for five years.
From the titles of Porridge
Of course that was from both fiction and another time. These days an habitual criminal can look forward to having to write a letter, and even though that's likely to be a tortuous exercise with many products of the British educamakayshun system at least one burglar has treated it with the contempt it deserves and not even taken the trouble to disguise his equal contempt for his victims.

Now on one or two levels he's actually doing everyone a favour. You can't argue with the advice of a professional thieving little bastard as far as things like curtains and open windows go, and since we can expect his attitude towards this so called punishment - apparently described as the most rigorous form of non-custodial sentence for young criminals, which I guess means there's no help with the spelling and punctuation - to be shared by many who do take the trouble to hide it and go away smirking to themselves this guy's open display of contempt tells us what a pointless waste of fucking time it is for someone like him. It's probably not intentional but in effect his twisted form of honesty is a kind of public service, so he probably deserves some kind of thank you.

I'd suggest a few years bed, board and possible buggery in HMP Slade.

UPDATE - Same with more serious crimes if the Ambush Predator's latest post is any indication.
"Mr Hussini was punched by two of them, who then held him back while the defendant leant forward and stabbed him in the stomach."
Yes, you heard that right – they held him while this little savage stabbed him in the stomach.Is that not attempted murder?
The boy handed himself in to police the following day and pleaded guilty in court to wounding with intent and possessing an offensive weapon.

Sentencing the youngster to a two-year detention and training order, Judge Hamilton said: "But for the fact that there was a surgeon living nearby, the man you stabbed would have died."
A two-year detention and training order. For stabbing someone in the stomach…

This country is doomed.
This Private Frasier-itis I've come down with seems to be catching, but perhaps we're being unfair. I suppose it's not attempted murder if someone is only slightly stabbed. /sarc

In Soviet Russia the news make you - UPDATED


I don't care if Tatyana Limanov's fuck you finger was for technicians who were putting her off, if there's any more to that than knee-jerk denial of the 'Niet, we haff no tanks in Czechislowakia' variety. The timing was sensational and if it really was aimed at the Obamessiah then fair dos, all I want to know is if she's going to top it when she reads out something that mentions David Cameron and if so whether it'll involve mooning the camera.

UPDATE - YouTube's already pulled the video, by the sounds of things after a copyright dummyspit from the holders, REN TV. I've just changed it to one that's still up but I expect that'll get taken down before long too, so here's a screencap for posterity.

MOD cutbacks starting to bite

Via the Filthy Engineer.

Oranges are not the only fruit death kill weapons

I know people on supermarket checkouts haven't been hired to think, just to swipe barcodes over lasers for hours at a time, and I do realise that must be pretty mind numbing but surely something's badly wrong when staff lack the initiative to question anything the till tells them. F'instance:
A chef was stunned to find she was almost banned from buying two limes from a supermarket - because they could be classed as a weapon.
Can I just repeat that the woman is a chef. Have you seen the knife collection the average chef has?

They keep them bloody sharp too, and since they're for professional use I'd bet they can carry them around without getting arrested so much.
Marisa Zoccolan, 31, popped into the new Asda supermarket close to her home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, to pick up some groceries, including the citrus fruits.
But when she tried to pay for them at the self-service checkout, the message 'amount exceeded, authorisation required' flashed up.
An assistant then came over and told her that more than one lime was deemed a weapon - because the citric acid could be squirted in someone's eye.
Would that be the same stuff Asda sell in convenient quarter litre bottles for less than 50p?
Marisa, a self-employed caterer said: 'I thought they were taking the pip, but the assistant told me the same applied to lemons."
Nope, I think you'll find that lemons are a special case, and Asda sells the ammo for those too.

Or is it just plastic ones with 'Jif' written down the side?
Thankfully for Ms Zoccalan, who lives with partner Jacqui Nicholson, 37, and dog Doobie, the assistant allowed Marisa to eventually buy both of the fruits.
'Yes, they vetted me and let me buy them."
Oh, God. Not "They thought about it for about half a second and realised that since the whole bloody thing was patently ridiculous the best thing to do was apologise and get a supervisor to come and override the till." No, they fucking vetted her. What this involves we're not told, but I'm guessing Marisa Zoccolan told them she was a chef and that limes were not weapons but ingredients - it not being all that hard to find recipes that include the instruction "take the juice of two limes" - and they then asked her for something that showed she was indeed qualified to handle such lethal objects and safely make interesting desserts out of them. If it was anything even vaguely like that then that's barely any better than refusing point blank to let her buy the limes and sticking with the retarded belief that a small green citrus was significantly more dangerous than a zillion other things kicking around the average home or office.

And in a way it's a shame they're not really a practical weapon because I know the perfect place to become the world's first citrus supervillain. I'd have got away with it if it hadn't been for those Asda kids.

The Big Orange in Berri, SA. Photo by Bilby.

Tip of the Akubra to Nanny Knows Best.

Quoted Quote of the Day

More from Climategate II: The Chinny Reckoning. At the Devils's Kitchen the Pedant General has spotted an absolute gem:
The hunt is now on for the snippet that crystallises the whole thing, the "Hide the decline" moment if you will. My favourite so far:
<1682> Wils:
[2007] What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural
fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably [...]
Earlier I repeated Deep Throat's advice to follow the money, but I've mentioned before when talking about Big Eco that there are several reasons to keep it going. Protecting a reputation that's been nailed irrevocably to a particular mast is also a very strong incentive to keep holding that mast up no matter what.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Inconvenient untruth

Anyone who watched Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth will remember the claim that the snowcap on Mount Kilimanjaro is melting due to warble gloaming, though people who've done much reading of sceptical blogs and publications will have long been aware that this was complete nonsense. In fact even people who just watch news even from pro-warmist sources like the BBC should already have been aware that that particular claim was constructed on sand, as the reporting of this court case makes clear:
Mr Gore's assertion that the disappearance of snow on Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa was expressly attributable to global warming - the court heard the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established the snow recession is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
And from Son of Climategate we found that certain others were aware of it too.

date: Sat Sep 18 08:48:09 2004
from: Phil Jones subject: Re: kilimanjaro
to: “Jenkins, Geoff”

The data that are used for the grid box should be within the grid box. They will be low
elevation sites though, and this may be part of the reason. It might be worth seeing if
there is anything in the U/A data – but I reckon there won’t be much in that region.
I’ve heard Lonnie Thompson talk about the Kilimanjaro core and he got some local temperatures – that we don’t have access to, and there was little warming in them. The same situation applies for Quelccaya in Peru and also some of his Tibet sites. Lonnie thinks they are disappearing because of sublimation, but he can’t pin anything down. They are going though.

Lonnie’s email is “Lonnie G. Thompson”
You could try emailing Ellen as well both might be in the field.
Ellen Mosley-Thompson 
I’m off much of the next 6 weeks at meetings.
I hear you’re retiring soon – hope all goes well ! I’m sure you’ll still be in the field somewhere.
At 10:32 16/09/2004, you wrote:

we have been concerned that people often use the melting glacier on kilimanjaro as an
example of impacts of man-made warming. you may have seen some stories countering this on the sceptics websites.

I got philip brohan to look at temps there (see attached) and there isnt any convincing consistent recent warming in the station data. but your gridded CRUtem2V does show a recent warming. presumably that is because (as philip suggests) the gridded stuff has influences from quite a large radius, and hence may reflect warming at stations a long way from kilimanjaro?

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?
be grateful for your help
Dr Geoff Jenkins
Head, Climate Prediction Programme
Hadley Centre
Met Office
FitzRoy Road, EXETER, EX1 3PB, UK
tel: +44 (0) 1392 xxxxxx
mobile: 0787 966 1136

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
University of East Anglia
Norwich Email
WUWT also points out that it's interesting that Dr Lonnie Thompson's opinion, as reported in emails, on the cause for ice loss on Kilimanjaro seems to have been quite different from that given in more public fora, such as a PR right before a big climate meeting in one of Europe's most beautiful cities.

Contrasting receptions

Peter Costello, former Liberal party MP and Federal government Treasurer for the Coalition under John Howard, writes in The Age on an interesting difference in receptions given to US Presidents.
When the American president addressed joint Houses of the Australian Parliament back in 2003, Greens Senator Bob Brown interjected. In fact so worked up was he that the Speaker ordered his removal from the chamber. He was yelling about Iraq and Guantanamo Bay.

This time Brown joined a conga line of MPs clamouring to shake hands with the President, Barack Obama. He had to jostle with Greens MP Adam Bandt (who has a PhD on Marxism) to get his chance. Both of them were beaming. It was a good speech. The President declared America's commitment to a military presence in the Asia-Pacific region, including a new proposal to train up to 2500 marines in the Northern Territory. One can only imagine what Bob's reaction would have been had George Bush announced that 2500 US marines would be stationed on Australian soil. They would have had to cart him out of the House of Representatives.


Bob Brown was all worked up about Guantanamo Bay when George Bush visited Australia, but he does not seem to worry so much now that Obama is in charge. Julia Gillard used to complain that Australia was subservient to America. Now she claims she has made our alliance stronger than ever before.

In opposition, Labor harvested votes on the left. In government it wants to appeal to conservatives....


Labor MPs may feel happy to see Obama and Gillard standing in front of troops in the Northern Territory - it is a great photo opportunity for their side of politics. But alliances are between countries. They are designed to outlive the political office-holders of the day. In the future it could be Newt Gingrich and Tony Abbott standing there being cheered by US marines in the NT. The principle is either right or it is wrong and it doesn't turn on who happens to be in office.

That is why it is so useful to have the left of Australian politics now locked in to traditional Coalition policies. Bipartisan support has been firmly established. And in the future if there is ever a complaint about marines based in Australia, just pull out the footage of a beaming Bob Brown grasping the hand of the president who announced it.
Some excellent points made there, and while I have no more love for Peter Costello's party than the ALP - in one sense rather less love because the bastardisation of the word 'liberal' to describe a party of paternalists that like telling other people how to live their lives simply infuriates me - I can't argue that Leftists can be pretty inconsistent if not hypocritical when it comes to the US. The bottom line is this: all the things I disliked about George W Bush, the wars, Gitmo, the loss of individual liberties, cosying up to big business and lobbyists, have by and large continued under Obama.

I'm aware some that Rightists care less about what is done than that it's one of their men doing it - witness David Cameron's actions of late and the deafening silence from his supposedly right of centre party - but if anything it seems to be even more true of Leftists. Is something bad done by a right winger made less bad when a left winger takes over and carries on?

Big Eco getting caught out again?

And in more ways than one. I've been blogging on other things so I've not mentioned the BBC as brought up by Bishop Hill here. And here, and here, here and here. Do go and have a read, though you might not be terribly surprised at what Auntie's been up to. However, that looks like being overshadowed by what's already being called Climategate II. Yep, more stuff that the R&D department of Big Eco would rather not have had out in the open has emerged and is being gone over by sceptical bloggers everywhere. Very early still, but Bishop Hill's initial take is here, Jo Nova here, Watts Up With That here and here but mostly here, and in the MSM James Delingpole here. I'll leave you with Delingpole's summary and a few of his preferred quotes as I've got popcorn to make. Do go read the rest.
Breaking news: two years after the Climategate, a further batch of emails has been leaked onto the internet by a person – or persons – unknown. And as before, they show the "scientists" at the heart of the Man-Made Global Warming industry in a most unflattering light. Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Ben Santer, Tom Wigley, Kevin Trenberth, Keith Briffa – all your favourite Climategate characters are here, once again caught red-handed in a series of emails exaggerating the extent of Anthropogenic Global Warming, while privately admitting to one another that the evidence is nowhere near as a strong as they'd like it to be.
<1939> Thorne/MetO:
Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical
troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a
wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the
uncertainty and be honest. Phil, hopefully we can find time to discuss these
further if necessary [...]
<3066> Thorne:
I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it
which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.
<2884> Wigley:
Mike, The Figure you sent is very deceptive [...] there have been a number of
dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [...]
P.S. a thought's occurred, and I doubt I'm the first one it's occurred to. The last time this happened as around this time last year, shortly before the COP15 climate junket/meeting in Copenhagen (will these fuckers lecturing us all about emissions from travel ever teleconference one of these things?) and here we have it all happening again just a few days before COP17 in Durban. Interesting timing. Does Big Eco's R&D section have it's own Deep Throat, unhappy at something going on there and carefully choosing content and times to leak for maximum effect? I can only speculate, but the advice of the original Deep Throat still applies: follow the money. How many of the people sending, receiving or CC'd in on these emails would be out of a job if man made catastrophic warble gloaming turns out to be nonsense? And that's just the R&D parts of Big Eco - the same applies to those involved in marketing, admin and production. Hell, if my career and future income depended on everyone believing the sky was going to burn I'd be saying it too.

And that's when the fight started...

Via email.
The year before last I bought the mother in law a plot at the cemetary for Christmas. Last year I didn't get her anything. When she asked why I told her that she hadn't used the gift I bought last year.
And that's how the fight started.


We were sitting at a table at her high school reunion and she kept looking at this guy getting drunk on his own at a nearby table. I asked if she knew him, "Yes," she said. "He's an ex-boyfriend. I heard he started drinking after we split up all those years ago and he hasn't been sober since."
"My God," I said. "That's a hell of a long time to go on celebrating."
And that's when the fight started.


We were in bed watching Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and I turned to her and askd "Do you want sex?"
"No," she said.
"Is that your final answer?" I asked.
She didn't even bother looking and just went, "Yes."
So I said, "Can I phone a friend?"
And that's how the fight started.


My wife sat down on the couch next to me as I was flipping channels.
She asked, ‘What’s on TV?’
I said, ‘Dust.’
And then the fight started.


My wife was hitting about what she wanted for our anniversary. She said she wanted something shiny that went from 0 to 150 in about 3 seconds, so I bought her bathroom scales.
And then the fight started.


When I got home the other night my wife demanded that I take her somewhere expensive, so we got in the car and I took her to the gas station.
And that's when the fight started.

Can Cameron really be this stupid?

Click for linky

Dave? Do you think that this might possibly have something to do with the fact that you haven't stopped spunking away money by the billion as fast as you can tax it off of the current workforce and borrow it on behalf of their children? Fucking hellfire, in the last couple of days we're told that you've blown half a billion on the Northern Rock sale, granted perhaps unavoidably, and that you've decided to throw almost the same again at the building industry while underwriting all the mortgages of first time buyers. Not only have you not cut public spending you're actually spending even more than Labour did, and incidentally failed to get the public sector to stop thinking of that as a cut as well as failed to get them to stop hiring for bullshit jobs instead of people who actually provide useful services. You've carried on taking money that could have paid down some of the UK's eye watering debt and handing it to the EU, IMF and international aid, and you've continued Labour's wars at significant cost and embarked on a military adventure of your own. The bonfire of the quangos was at best a barbecue of a handful of them - one of those small barbecues made of thick tinfoil that you get from petrol stations, and for which you probably paid in cash and told the attendant to keep the change from a million quid. And you've failed to create growth because you've refused to provide the conditions for it to occur. That's just off the top of my head and I'm sure I could think of more given time and find out more still if I started looking. And here you are scratching your arse - it apparently being interchangeable with your head - and wondering why the plan's not working.

I'll tell you why, David. It's because it's basically the same fucking plan that Gordon Brown was using, you hopelessly inept cunt. How the hell did Britain come to this? It's had some dim politicians and not a few dim PMs, but how in Christ's name did it get landed with you: a PM whose extraordinary dimness must surely result from being so dense that light can't escape if it falls into his head? It's not madness that is doing the same thing and expecting different results, it's stupidity. And that's actually the generous alternative because if I thought you knew what the fuck you were doing I'd be describing you as evil.

I hate to go all Private Frasier again, but if these fuckwits aren't dragged out and chained to something solid where they can't do any harm - the Lusitania for example - I really do think the UK is doomed.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Better than some performances you'd see on X Factor

I know he/it is miming but I'd say it/he is still more entertaining and talented than a lot of what you'll see on musical talent shows at the moment, especially that ridiculous hair from Brighton with the stupid twat attached to the bottom. Frankie Cocksocket or whatever it's name is. Give me about 250 bucks of rubber and components and $29,750 of R&D any day of the week, especially when it manages to look like it's paying attention.

More Keepon video here and about Keepon here.

H/T Skepticlawyer.

A modern parable

Spotted by Fausty.
Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of nowhere. Parliament said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Parliament said, "How does the night watchman do his job without instruction?" So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Parliament asked, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One to do the studies and one to write the reports.

Then Parliament said, "How are these people going to get paid and administered?" So they created the following positions, two time keepers and three payroll officers, and then hired four human resources consultants and five health and safety executives.

Then Parliament said, "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an administrative section and hired fifty people including administrative officers, assistant administrative officers, legal secretaries and a chief executive on £250,000 per annum.

Then Parliament said, "We have had this in operation for over one year and we are £25,000,000 over budget, we must cutback the overall cost."

So they laid off the night watchman.
True, that.

Come back, Gordon Brown... UPDATED

All is not forgiven by any means, not even remotely. But when the Cobbleition are doing things that are just as stupid as those Gordon Clown himself did there's a case to be made that you might as well put the lurching, snot munching, cyclopean horror with the faecal Midas touch back in charge and be bloody done with it.

The Prime Minister and his deputy, Nick Clegg, will unveil proposals to help first-time buyers of new homes by carrying part of the risk of their mortgages.
Dave, Nick, say it ain't so. Tell us that even you aren't so monumentally stupid that you can't see that it's precisely this kind of policy - using taxpayers' money to underwrite loans for overpriced housing to people who are at higher risk of being unable to repay them - that led with grim inevitability to the fucking subprime mortgage crisis in the fucking first place. And what did that lead to in its turn? Oh, yes, that'd be adding to an unsustainable bubble with a bonus prize of a banking crisis, wouldn't it? And you two freak shows are now standing here telling us that you want to fucking do it all over again in the deluded belief it'll get the economy moving. Folks, I think this year's Jeff Buckley Award for being the Public Figure Most Hopelessly Out of Their Depth may end up being shared.
They also propose subsidising the construction of 16,000 homes by giving £400 million of taxpayers’ money to property developers.
Oh, why not just round it up to a neat half billion? It's only money, after all, and of course you don't need to worry because it's not yours anyway. Listen, you morons, every bloody pound of subsidies - every penny the government spends, in fact - is a pound that must be taken off someone's disposable income either now or in the future. You're taking money away from people who might otherwise be able to put it towards the deposit for a house, d'you see? Or a car, or a meal out, or a newspaper or any number of things. They might even decide to stick it in the bank and save it if someone gives them an interest rate that can't be described as comical. Now tell me I'm wrong but if you want the housing market to pick up does it really make sense to take money away from people who need it to buy houses with? The very people that are currently worrying you because they're not buying houses because lenders aren't all that happy with the risks at the moment? Dave, Nick, please try to understand this: more disposable income + lower house prices = more houses being sold. Okay? And conversely less disposable income + higher house prices = ... want to take a guess? Do you see now, you pair of utter fucktroons?

And pardon me for asking, but what the hell does the government need the housing market to pick up for anyway? It was overpriced. It still is. It doesn't need 'unblocking' like it's a toilet that Gordon Clown and his badger faced sock puppet left bunged up after a particularly nasty dump - it needs the very correction you idiots are trying to forestall. Nobody disputes that the British economy needs reviving, but if there's a lesson to be learned from the last government, and Christ knows there's more than just one, surely it's that an economy that's running on a spending boom fuelled by a combination of cheap credit and appreciating house prices making people feel richer than they really are is not an economy that will run indefinitely before hitting trouble. Yet, Dave and Nick, this seems to be pretty much what you want to do.
In a further move, ministers are working on a scheme under which billions of pounds of money in pension funds will be used to finance the construction of power stations, wind turbines and roads.
What? WHAT? WHAT? Are you fucking serious? On top of everything else have you two started channelling Robert Maxwell or something?
Treasury sources said talks had been conducted with pension fund managers for months. They are hoping to attract managers to invest in infrastructure schemes because they provide a better rate of return than government bonds.
Oh, no shit? And the Cobbleition government, unlike its predecessors of all stripes, has suddenly got good at picking winners and reckons that the best investments around at the moment happen to be the things that it does and taxes people for because... uh, because there's rarely profit to be made in them.* Oh well, at least they're not talking about using Labour's idea of helping themselves to money in old accounts, even if that's probably just because they've already cleaned them out.

Look, Dave and Nick, the government already lighten the pockets of the British motorist to the tune of some £45-50 billion, in return for which about a fifth of that is spent on the roads, and now you want to fill in the few zillion potholes you've missed with the contents of their pension funds? Oh, and erect a few more bird mincing white elephants that are, to use Malcolm Tucker's phrase, as much use as a marzipan dildo, and so uneconomic that nobody in their right mind would build even one if not given someone else's money to offset the otherwise certain losses. And no, I'm not just saying that because Phil the Greek thinks so. Might I suggest that if you want more to be spent on road maintenance and other infrastructure (but not bird mincers) you stop spending money somewhere else? It's called living within your means, which is a concept that even plankton in the oceanic depths could probably wrap what passes for their heads around - in the depressingly likely event that you can't find anyone in Whitehall who understands go out and find a real person to explain it to you.

As for power stations, again I feel there is a lesson that should have been learned from the Labour years - just get out of the bloody way and let someone build the fucking things. Seriously, it's not like a power station doesn't produce something that people need and for which a ready market exists - Christ, even wind turbines have got that much going for them, they just can't produce it steadily and reliably - so there should be a return on building them providing the initial costs aren't prohibitive. That means not having interminable inquiries before graciously allowing someone to begin work on building something that people need, and then telling them to stop again because some middle class white kid with dreadlocks and a dream of erasing the memory of the silver (plated) spoon by not washing has found a pond, and look, there's like all tadpoles in it, dude. It means, as I mentioned, the government doing it's best just to get out of the fucking way.
Separately, Lord Heseltine, who advises the Government on growth, said MPs should waive through critically important infrastructure projects to get the economy moving.
It pains me to agree with a man who still wants Britain to sign up to the currency version of Heaven's Gate but that's kind of the thing I'm on about, though as an aside this isn't:
The former Cabinet minister said the Government could work with Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, to agree on which major projects to push through.
Yes, very good, Michael, a government of literally all the twats. Wonderful. Nurse! He's out of bed again.

But really, why not? The Cobbleition really are as bad as Labour, and we all know Labour were pretty shocking. But I've lost count of the number of times I've ranted and raved and railed at some new piece of pettiness or authoritarianism or nannying or incompetence or lack of backbone (especially with regard to the EU) or just plain epic fuckwittery. I've lost count how often I've said that it's just like Labour never left office. I even began this rant with the observation that if this is what Dave and Nick want to do then Britain might as well give up and bring back Gordon Brown to finish the demolition job he started. And if all the main parties are bent on Britain's self destruction and disagree only on the speed at which it should happen, if the only long term hope is to rebuild from the ashes, then it's starting to look to me like the petrol and matches and matches may as well be given to the worst nutter of the lot.

The alternative, of course, is to get rid of the whole bloody lot of them and replace them with sane people, but for some reason this doesn't seem to have very broad appeal in the UK. I'm sure the millions attached firmly to the tax tit and the millions more brainwashed to believe that this is how it has to be haven't got anything to do with it.


UPDATE - Trust The Daily Mash to get to the essence of it.
The prime minister said: "This package will help to reinflate the house price bubble and give mortgages to people who can't really afford them. Unless anyone has any better ideas?"
Wonderful caption on the picture, too: "If it's broke fix it with the thing that broke it."

I feel like Private Frasier.

UPADTE 2 - Also blogged superbly and without all the swearing over at Counting Cats in Zanzibar.

* That often there's rarely profit to be made precisely because government is involved probably doesn't occur to them.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Flying looks about to get a whole lot... er, similar

Great news! You can go on holiday and take liquids with you. Medicines, baby milk, drinks bought away from the airport at considerable less than ludicrous prices, all will soon be allowed through the ring-piece of steel at international airports in Australia, and no doubt other nations.
International travellers will no longer have water bottles, perfumes and other liquids confiscated as they board planes under a radical overhaul of airport security.
Radical overhaul. Sounds good, sounds like it could be what's been needed for a while now.
The easing of restrictions will begin next year as Australia's international airports begin rolling out new explosive detection equipment.
Ah. Now it just sounds like another machine to queue up for.
The shake-up, to be announced by the federal government today, also promises to cut waiting times for passengers by easing bottlenecks at security gates.
Er, but if we've got one more machine to queue up for how's that going to cut times?
The new technology, which has been trialled at Sydney airport, would enable authorities to detect the smallest trace of explosives in liquids.
Okay, and what happens if someone decides to take a pint of the stuff into the queue for the machine and detonate it before they get there? In the queue. You know, attacking the people in the fucking queue instead of screwing around with the impossible task of getting it on a plane. Well, sort of impossible.
  • January 7th 2011, undercover French journalists are reported to have smuggled a dismantled 9mm pistol through security at two French airports and were able to assemble the gun in the toilets on the plane.
  • February 21st 2011, in the US a female undercover TSA agent is reported to have carried a handgun through Dallas/Fort Worth airport body scanners in multiple tests by hiding it in her knickers.
  • [...]
  • June 13th 2011, it is reported that 30 staff at Honolulu International Airport are fired for not having screened luggage properly.
Still, long as somebody has got a nice big market for their feel good bomb sniffing machines and governments can carry on acting as if they're doing something, eh?
"It will make air travel easier and less stressful for passengers as well as free airport security staff to better focus on their core screening responsibilities without the distraction of having to confiscate items from people's bags," [Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese] said.
"While preventing acts of terrorism remains our number one priority, we're also determined to minimise the disruption and inconvenience experienced by passengers as they transit throughout major airports, including by deploying the latest technologies."
Sorry, Tony, but if you're really serious about that I still think you should be looking at how the Israelis do things. In the meantime one more bloody thing to queue up for having already queued for check-in, the X-ray, the metal detector and the bollock baking body scanner and/or professional groper does not tempt me back into flying anywhere except as a last resort.

You'd move house, wouldn't you?

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Sunday, 20 November 2011

That's you lot told

Click for linky
Wolfgang Schäuble said that, despite the current crisis in the eurozone, the euro will ultimately emerge as the common currency of the entire European Union. He said he “respects” Britain’s decision to keep the pound, but insisted that the survival and eventual stabilisation of the euro will convince non-members to join the currency club. “This may happen more quickly than some people in the British Isles currently believe,” he added.
The message to the UK is obvious - it's not your country anymore. But there is another way of reading it, another subtext below the one which really barely qualifies as subtext: we've nailed our colours to the Euro mast and its unravelling, and we're hoping like hell another big economy jumping on board will manage to keep it going and save our careers and/or reputations. I'm not sure that isn't a bit optimistic given Britain's level of debt and the fact that the Cobbleition government are really no less profligate with other people's money than their predecessors, but from here it seems like time is running out. The Euro car had a dodgy handbrake and was parked on a hill by a cliff, and now the bugger's rolling toward the edge and everyone who helped pay for the car is running like hell after it hoping to stop it in time. Getting a country with a good credit rating on board (though fuck knows why the UK still has a good rating) might buy them some more. Either that or when the car reaches the cliff Britain won't have an advantage over those that kept running after it right over the edge.

The alternative is pretty clear. Herr Schäuble must be told, in no uncertain terms, to fuck off.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

All I'll want for Christmas...

... is a new cognitive dissonance meter. After replacing the one destroyed by Deborah Arnott earlier this year my shiny new one has just exploded after reading Quiet_Man's most recent post over at the Orphanage.
In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black Labour have accused the government of intending to borrow more than they originally intended. This would be the same Labour party behind the tax and spend initiatives which have pretty much left the country bankrupt and needing to borrow in the first place.

The government could borrow over £100bn more than it planned to up to 2015, according to Labour.
The party compared Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts from November 2010 with the latest estimates.
Labour said it showed the government’s plans were “reckless” but Economic Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said the claims were “nonsense”.
Meanwhile, Labour leader Ed Miliband will later urge ministers to change course away from economic austerity.
So we have a case for Labour accusing the government of borrowing more and the leader of the Labour Party calling for an end to austerity economics, which I suspect would mean the government borrowing more. Clearly a case of open mouth, insert foot, after all if I can see it, what are real economists going to think?
Yep, if anyone's going to display meter wrecking cocknitive dissonance it's going to be politicians, and Labour are the league champions at it. I suppose it's my own fault for buying a cheap one. While I go look for a replacement do pop over to the Orphanage and read the rest of Quiet_Man's post if you haven't already.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Vote early, vote often

Bucko the Moose has a link up to an online poll about banning smoking in all cars - ha, fat lot of good the BMA's retraction of the 23 times lie has done, eh? They got the headlines and response they wanted and now idiots passing as journalists who can't or won't question the no-stop feed of bullshit PRs they're given. So do pop along and have a little vote at the Lancashire Borgograph and remember what it is you're voting for. On the one hand it's the right to be left alone in property that you've paid for and belongs to you. On the other hand, well, you work it out.

Is it that time of year again?

Via Max Farquar I see it's the Beeb's annual ponce-athon, Children In Need, featuring as normal Presenters Without Dignity. Max seems less than happy if his poster design is anything to go by...

But in this case I think he's being curmudgeonly and ungenerous. I mean come on, you'd need a heart of stone. Just look at poor Kevin Armstrong for instance.

Give generously. Give over.

Worst. Horoscope. Ever.

Leo (23 JUL-22 AUG)
Everybody has their moment in the sun and yours will come this week on page 12, under the headline 'Ban this pervert from owning a tortoise'.
The Mash, of course. Who else?

Not just the heirs to Blair

Nope, the Cobbleition is also a proud wearer of the Crown of Brown.

UK Financial Investments said it has agreed to sell 100pc of Northern Rock to Virgin Money for £747m in cash immediately, but this could potentially rise to around £1bn.
Under the deal, another £50m is “expected” to be paid within six months. The Treasury will also benefit by up to £80m if the bank floats in the next five years and retain £150m of Tier 1 capital notes.
Northern Rock, which signalled the start of the financial crisis in Britain when it collapsed in August 2007, is the first bank to be returned to the private sector.
The Newcastle-based lender received a £1.4bn bail-out when it was nationalised in February 2008 at the height of the credit crunch. So on paper, taxpayers end up with a loss of £400m, but this could rise to £650m.
Marvellous. Just fucking marvellous. Memo to Gordon Clown, and of course also to his blinky pet Ed Balls who sadly did quite not lose his seat in the election:

This is why you should have let Northern fucking Rock go to the wall,
you witless pair of financially incompetent cunts.

Happily for them, though miserably for everyone else, they're not alone.
George Osborne said the deal was a “good thing” for taxpayers, consumers and the banking system.
Did he say that? Did he really fucking say that? The Chumpcellor of the fucking Exchequer thinks that losing nearly half a billion quid, and possibly as much as two thirds of a billion, is a good thing. Has Gordon Brown got his fist up George's arse and is making his mouth move or something? That's got to be the most retarded thing to come out of the mouth of the finance minister of an industrialised nation since some fucktroon decided to sell nearly 400 tons of gold near a long term low in its value, and then fucking announce it in advance so the price fell even further. Oh, and that was a British one too, wasn't it? Come to think of it, it was... well, we all know only too well, don't we?

And although it wasn't quite on the scale of the billions and billions Gordon flushed away when he dumped gold at a historic low, which his mouth may well have helped make lower, Boy Georgie thinks it was a good thing for taxpayers to lose another half billion or so. Yes, the Cobbleition inherited the situation, and yes, it was Gordon, his badger faced sock puppet and Ed Bollocks who made the incredibly bad decision to bail out a bank that deserved to fail rather than just make sure of the investors' statutory protection. And yes, in that position you have to take the best offer you're going to get, and this is probably better than it might have been. But to have the new-ish Chumpcellor stand there saying it's anything than the loss of another half a billion pounds, perhaps more, is anything other than a colossal fuckup due entirely to the headless chicken panic response of the previous government is at best not very politically astute and at worst an indication that he's every bit as fucking stupid as they were.

And of course it's not over yet because only the good bit of Northern Rock was sold, which is presumably why they only got £747m for it. Oh, no what we can still think of as Northern Wreck is still there. And it's got company.
In January last year the company was split into a “good bank”, which Virgin has bought, and Northern Rock Asset Management, the “bad bank” of closed mortgages and unsecured loans which remain in Government ownership.
As well as Northern Rock’s “bad bank”, UKFI still owns Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group and Bradford & Bingley.
And I don't doubt that if or when RBS, Lloyds Group and B&B are sold back into the private sector at a further loss to the taxpayers Georgie Lame will say that's a good thing too. It's good that it's over, but in all other respects it's hard to find anything good to say about the taxpayers having to drop their trousers and grip their ankles yet again because the fucking Treasury (along with most or all of the rest of government) has got next to no fucking clue how to spend money wisely and thinks there's an inexhaustible supply of it.

Jesus Christ on a borrowed bicycle, the place is fucking doomed.

New enemies in the war on terror?

From Wikipedia:
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion.
'Terror' itself being defined in Wiktionary as:
terror (countable and uncountable; plural terrors)
  1. (uncountable) intense dread, fright, or fear.
  2. (countable) specific instances of being intensely terrified
  3. (uncountable) the action or quality of causing dread; terribleness, especially such qualities in narrative fiction
  4. (countable) something or someone that causes such fear.
And coercion as
coercion (plural coercions)

  1. (not countable) Actual or threatened force for the purpose of compelling action by another person; the act of coercing.
  2. (law, not countable) Use of physical or moral force to compel a person to do something, or to abstain from doing something, thereby depriving that person of the exercise of free will.
  3. (countable) A specific instance of coercing.
  4. (computing, countable) Conversion of a value of one data type to a value of another data type.
So ignoring that last definition that relates to computing and thinking about that very first sentence in which Wikipedia suggests terrorism is simply the systematic use of terror as a means of coercion, I find myself wondering how broadly this applies and whether any organisation or organisations that use scare tactics in order to get their way, to see people cowed - terrified, in fact - into submission, would count as being terrorists. Specifically, I'm thinking about whether the BMA, ASH and so on could be seen as terrorists. Ridiculous? Of course it is. Absolutely ridiculous. I mean, most or all of these anti-smoking - and of course the anti-drinking, anti-drugs, anti... er, where are we up to now? Oh yes, anti-salt, anti-soft drinks, anti-red meat and/or junk food (like I even need to bother finding a link for that), anti-caffeine, even anti-muesli - anti fucking muesli for Christ's fucking sake, oh I wish I was making that one up - basically anti-whatever it is you do that you enjoy that might shave even a picosecond off your life according to anything that even passes for a scientific study in a bad light, most of these anti-whatever groups are either run by or partly funded by the government, or at least exist with their tacit approval. And clearly that legitimises them, doesn't it? How can they be terrorists with government approval and even funding, no matter how much they try to coerce people by means of fear?

Ummm, well, I didn't want to mention it, but...
State terrorism may refer to acts of terrorism conducted by a state against a foreign state or people. It can also refer to acts of violence by a state against its own people.
So depending on how broad a definition you want to use maybe they could be after all. Ah, but Angry, old mate, I hear you say, it's not like they're blowing anybody up, is it? They're not using force, are they?

Aren't they?
A former pub landlord yesterday became the first person to be jailed in connection with the smoking ban.
Nick Hogan, 43, was sentenced to six months in prison for refusing to pay a fine imposed for flouting the legislation.
Two years ago Hogan, who ran two pubs in Bolton, became the first landlord convicted of breaking the law for allowing his customers to routinely light up in his bars.
Tracey John, 48, from Pontypridd, was fined £350 by local magistrates plus £100 costs after refusing to pay a £75 on the spot penalty.
Ms John said: "They're making me feel like I'm a big criminal... it's not like I've done a massive robbery."
She was spotted smoking on the doorstep of her home in Maesycoed by a passing litter enforcement officer.
She claimed that despite picking up the cigarette she was given a fixed penalty notice.
The Health Act 2006 came into force in July 2007. The Health Act prohibits smoking in almost all enclosed public places, workplaces and even includes work vehicles.
Mr Minihan, a tanker driver from Liverpool, was seen flicking ash and disposing of a cigarette butt from his cab by council enforcement officers. Mr Minihan fought the charge by claiming he was using an Electronic cigarette.
I think a lot of people would argue that they certainly are using force and violence and the threat of same - the monopoly on force and violence enjoyed by the state whose ear the antis have long had and whispered into, Gríma Wormtongue style. That's about as forceful as it gets and the threat of state sanctioned violence is always in the air. Hangs around much longer than cigarette smoke too, which I very much hope all drinkers, salad dodgers, coffee lovers, Red Bull fans, salters, muesli munchers and anyone I've missed is by now noticing. Terrified? You fucking should be, though not for the same reasons the antis want you to be terrified.

Nor are innocent bystanders unheard of, and not just folks like the e-fag smoker up there:
A non-smoker was stunned to be given a £50 fine for throwing a cigarette butt out of her car window.
Gillian Leah has never had a cigarette and is vehemently anti-litter.
So the 46-year-old, of Hove Edge, Brighouse, thought the matter would soon be sorted after contacting council officials.
But her dispute has left her paying £50 for a crime she claims she didn’t commit.
The alternative was a fight through the courts with no guarantee of winning – and a legal bill running into thousands.
Ah, there's that monopoly on force, you see?
A RETIRED policeman was fined for dropping a cigarette end out of his car window – despite being a non-smoker and not even driving at the time.
Robert Marshall received a £50 fine from Nottingham City Council after a warden reported spotting him littering while driving along Hucknall Road, Nottingham.
But the council has now dropped the fine against the former officer after he told them he does not smoke and his car was in a car park at the time of the alleged offence.
The authority was also unable to confirm to Mr Marshall where in Hucknall Road the offence had taken place.
It has told him that a line has been drawn under the matter, after speaking to the warden involved.
A near miss, but (my bold)...
Mr Marshall, 48, of Moor Road, Bestwood Village, said: "The council have said they had a word with the warden, he said he was mistaken, and that is the end of the matter.
"This sort of thing is just unacceptable. I wonder how many others have been unfortunate enough to get this sort of ticket and have just paid the £50 fine because they cannot prove otherwise?"
So we've got an intention to coerce by scaring away resistance, a willingness to use force and innocent bystanders getting affected too. And now, this very week, the BMA - the British Motherfucking Authoritarians as Wolfers called them - are claiming that smoking must be banned in all cars (there's a poll on that article and you know what to do - vote early, vote often).
There is now strong evidence that smoking in vehicles exposes non-smokers to high levels of second hand smoke which is known to be damaging to heath, the BMA said.
Because of the small enclosed space inside a car, smoking creates 23 times more toxins than found in a smoky bar, it was claimed.
This is, of course, complete arse gravy and has not only been debunked by the likes of Chris Snowdon but, as he pointed out earlier this week, has even been repudiated by a Canadian Medical Journal.
The "23 times" claim is even more fun, because it involves a rare mea culpa from tobacco control. In a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal entitled 'Second-hand smoke in cars: How did the “23 times more toxic” myth turn into fact?', MacKenzie and Freeman showed that the "fact" was entirely without scientific evidence and stemmed from a, obscure quote in a local newspaper in 1998 (as I had revealed on this blog two months earlier).

They concluded with the following unheeded recommendation:
We recommend that researchers and organizations stop using the 23 times more toxic factoid because there appears to be no evidence for it in the scientific literature.
Yet the BMA are still using it and assuming they're not ignorant of its complete lack of any authenticity it's not a huge leap to think that perhaps they're doing it with the intention of achieving their aims through scaring people. More terror. More coercion. More force. Fucking hell, some of them have even got the same kind of three letter initials: BMA, ASH... PLO, IRA.

Okay, I'm kidding - obviously that's not a fair comparison and lots of other organisations are known by TLAs. More importantly ASH, the BMA and so on don't use guns and bombs to scare people, but nonetheless their stock in trade is to try to scare everyone into submission and they're using the most powerful force inside any nation (often more than one nation). Dragging someone into the cells for failing to be an unpaid smoke warden in his own pub seems like violence to me, and not only are innocents already being affected we can all look forward to becoming as guilty as the smokers. And while they don't actually want smokers dead the same can't be said of their supporters, as a look through Dick Puddlecote's smoke psychosis gallery will tell you.

So is it terrorism? I don't know, I really don't. I suppose the day I feel genuinely afraid to do something I've always done and which was done peacefully by millions in past generations then I'll have my answer.

PS If you haven't already seen it there's a good op-ed piece in The Tele titled "All these smoking bans have left me fuming" and which has a particular go at the BMA over their proposed car ban.
And now, the campaigners are back: some people, they’ve noticed, have been smoking in their own cars. And other people might be in the car with them! So we need a new law, and a new set of criminals to prosecute – because, honestly, there’s nothing more important for either the political class or the medical establishment to be thinking about just now, right?
You might wonder how – were the ban to be introduced – it could be policed. Well, Oxford City Council has the answer to that. It plans to force CCTV into every taxi in the city, in order to record every conversation between driver and passenger. (I pity the official who had to review my conversations: it’s bad enough that the poor cabbie has to listen to me wittering on, without council officers having to listen in as well.)
Why not take it one step further, and insist on CCTV in every vehicle? Indeed, why stop there? (I doubt the BMA will.) Why not put cameras into every house, so that functionaries from the BMA’s Professional Activities Division can monitor our every move? You could even make it two-way, so that Dr Nathanson’s acolytes can bark out instructions every time some foolish little person tries to have a cigarette, or pours a second glass of wine.
Worth a read.
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