Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Shameless Excuse to Recycle Old Joke - Number Twelvety Thrumpty Seven

I know this is late to the party, but I don't think my favourite one made it anywhere else.

I call my dog Pinter.
Why's that, then?
Because he's got long paws..........es.

I thang you.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Blog Stats That Matter

Let's see what we have on the font pages and comments this week.

Little Green Footballs - 30 odd dhimmis and a couple of moonbats.

Harry's Place - 14 Galloways and a dozen stoppers.

Samizdata A disappointing 3 taxes, 3 states and just the one gratuitous picture of a fit woman.

Norm - 5 crickets, 3 Guardians, 1 jihad.

Andrew Sullivan - 1 feeble excuse to beg for money.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Non Blue Eyed Son

Watching four hours of Dylan on the telly recently sparked vivid memories for me from thirty years ago and more.

In those days, as a seventeen year old living with his parents, listening to music was not like it is now. Turn it off, for God's sake was a parental reflex action, unlike today where teenagers are often disgusted to find their acts of high decibel rebellion can be trumped by pretty much anything from the parental back catalogue.

"Guns and Roses? You should listen to Led Zep. Greenday? Where would they be without the Clash? Dance Music? I remember when New Order invented it"

Thirty years ago there was no such overlap, it was a rare parent prepared to walk the line from Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, the Stones, Fairport Convention, The Grateful Dead and the Mahavishnu Orchestra to blues, jazz, R and B (in the old sense) traditional folk, country, older popular song etc and find some common ground. And it was an even rarer teenager prepared to walk it with them.

My old man was a curmudgeonly old bastard, funnily enough, and I was a not untypical arrogant, selfish up his own arse teenager, so in our house tensions ran high at the best of times. Added to that, my father held a bizarre conviction that evil entered Britain with Bill Haley and the Comets, so the various drug addled long hairs adorning the covers of my records or strutting their stuff on the Old Grey Whistle Test were guaranteed to send him into apopletic rages.

But once he walked in on me listening to A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall and he did a sort of double take. The insistent guitar played and those mesmeric words tumbled forth:

Oh, what'll you do now, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin',
I'll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest,
Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters,
Where the home in the valley meets the damp dirty prison,
Where the executioner's face is always well hidden,
Where hunger is ugly, where souls are forgotten,
Where black is the color, where none is the number,
And I'll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it,
And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it,
Then I'll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin',
But I'll know my song well before I start singin',
And it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard, it's a hard,
It's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

My old man didn't say anything, but he picked up the blue cover of More Bob Dylan Greatest Hits and perused it until the end of the track. Then he put it carefully back on the table and left. We never spoke of the moment again and it didn't herald the beginning of a new understanding or anything like that, but my copy of Song and Dance Man, the Art of Bob Dylan went missing for a few days and I like to think that he read it.

Friday, September 23, 2005

That About Wraps it up for Anarcho Capitalism

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do love all things Libertarian, especially those whacky anarcho capitalists. I particular adore the Austrian School with their insistence that economics is just another branch of maths and that everything can be subject to their rigorous logic.

It has been noted by others that Libertarians love to squirm, shifting the burden of proof to their opponents, or, in extreme cases, rejecting evidence and real world argument altogether. Over at the Kid's comments boxes, Paul Coulam is a particularly fine example of this.

As much as I love 'em, though, they've got to go. In a sane universe, Libertarian thought would be the indulged child - we would look on affectionately at its antics, smile and laugh in the right places, tell it to blow its nose and take no notice of what it says whatsoever. We certainly wouldn't have it influencing proper politics.

But this is not a sane universe. Even Labour governments these days have Libertarian foibles. In his latestGuardian Column the Chief Moonbat reveals that the government is resisting regulation over global warming in the name of the free market - or rather, The Free Market -
despite the fact that many players in the market are arguing for regulation.

It is no accident that the climate change denier movement is fuelled by Libertarians of various hues. You might think this is simply because they are a bunch of greedy fuckers who don't want governments interfering in the serious business of making money. Or you may think that their ideology sees its purest expression in this issue. You might believe that they are so hoplessly blinkered by that ideology that they can't entertain a notion that puts the primacy of their beloved Free Market in any sort of doubt.

All of these things play their part, but it goes way beyond that. Being excessively logical people, they fear for their very existence. They fear that what Oolon Colluphid tried to do to God will actually happen to them. A paradox will be created and they will simply vanish.

It is beginning already with those corporate chaps the chief Moonbat mentions demanding regulation and the government refusing it. Imagine if governments gave in to the demands and regulated effectively. The market for green technology would open up and as the evidence for climate change stacks up, the momentum would grow, more and more corporate types would realise regulation does not signal the end of the world as we know it and that long term benefits actually outweigh short term losses. Like Winston Smith, but without the rats, they would come to love the enemy. Why not? The market benefits.

This is a logical impossibility to your anarcho capitalists and they would dissolve into the ether.

Of course, if climate change is denied for long enough and regulation avoided, this unhappy state of affairs will never come to pass. The world will turn to shit and maybe some anarcho capitalists will be around to cash in at the end of it all.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

It's Either Parris or Pie Blog

And this week it is this pie

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Objectively Pro Facsist Collaborating Trendy Middle-Class Journalist Stool Pigeons For Terror

I don't like to get all obsessive, but Harry's Place has hit a new low.

They have taken against a fairly unremarkable piece in the Guardian, where exiled Iraqi and former prisoner of Saddam, Haifa Zangana, argues that drawing up a constitution in a war torn country where basic security cannot be met is serving not the needs of Iraqis, rather the political whims of the principal occupying power. Furthermore, and this really gets the Keyboard Kommnados' goats, she argues that talk of women's rights in Iraq is an absurd discourse chewing on meaningless words when set against a lawless background and the silence of senior women Iraqi politicians on such issues as reported rape and abuse of women detainees by US soldiers.

Well, it's possible to disagree with her analysis, but that's not good enough for the Kommandos. Ho no. Remember, we're in If you're not with us, you're against us country here, and the small matter of the writer long being an opponent, indeed, victim of Saddam is expertly brushed aside in a torrent of invective which ends up... well, I won't spoil it for you. Read the comments. As a taster, though, savour this little beauty from Logan3:

One of the main reasons that Iraq still has power cuts is that more Iraqis than ever before now have TVs, satellite dishes, air conditioners, computers, mobile phones etc.


Monday, August 01, 2005

Sanctimonious Bollocks Watch

David T on Aslamgate:

One of the purposes of Harry's Place is to provide a forum, which is not always available in traditional letters or comments pages, for an extended dialogue with parts of the media which we regard generally with fondness rather than disdain. I acknowledge that this purpose may not always be apparent, it is nevertheless what motivates us to write.

Actually, David T is probably the best contributor at the Keyboard Warrior Left Hideout, which makes his occasional lurch into Harry and Brownie territory all the sadder.

The Guardian do need their collective arses kicking over this one, though. The world does not need, at this time, another victory for the sad bastard tendency, which is exactly what they have handed to Burgess et al. So, Rushbridger and co, repeat after me, We will not employ racist apologists for terror, we will not...

You have to laugh, though, at the high minded Mr Burgess's motivation for his obsessive interest in the Grauniad. Hell hath no fury than a blogging wannabe journalist scorned.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Coming Home

I've been away for a week on a boat so I had absolutely no possibility or inclination to go on the interweb. No news, no blogs, no work, no nothing. It was a pretty depressing experience catching up, but as ever, Fafblog came to the rescue.

Looking at the date of my last post, I am wondering what the reason for the other three weeks of the non posting time was all about. Never prolific, I seem to recall I was laying off posting about 7/7 for a while fear of appearing tooo much of a twat.

Looking at the blogging about the latest events in London, I can, for once, confidently say I was wise.

Update: Much as it pains me to say it, but Ollie K here is a bit of an exception.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Well, Fucking Well

Does anyone remember the Union of Democratic Mineworkers? Thatcher's heroes in the struggle against the enemy within. Born in the coalfields of Nottinghamshire, they organised the miners who didn't believe that Thatcher was intent on shutting down the coal industry and were, many believe, one of the reasons the strike ultimately failed.

Anyway, the UDM is in the news again

I bet it brings a sentimental tear to the Iron Lady's rheumy old eyes.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Another Moonbat Guardian Columnist

Another of those green anti capitalistic scum has been given house room by the Guardian :

Climate change is one of mankind's greatest challenges. In the past 30 years world temperatures have increased by almost 0.5C. We cannot predict with certainty what will happen now, but the risk of abrupt climate change certainly exists. Human activity is increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to levels unprecedented in human history. If we do nothing, or next to nothing, those levels will continue to rise, progressively increasing the risk of runaway global warming.

There are those who say the risks have been exaggerated. To such people I say this: if we go your way and you are wrong we will save money in the short term but incur an immense penalty in the long term; if we go my way and I am wrong we will incur costs in the short term but with the reward of greener, cleaner technologies for saving and generating energy. Such technologies would improve air quality, avoid acid rain and reduce our dependency on imported gas and oil.

I wonder if the Kid will have some suitably withering riposte at his place or at the Edge of Corporate America's Sword.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Self Delusion of the Kamm Kind

Kamm on Hitchens on Galloway:

Christopher Hitchens gets the measure of George Galloway in today's Independent (link requires fee):

[H]e looks so much like what he is: a thug and a demagogue, the type of working-class-wideboy-and-proud-of-it who is too used to the expenses account, the cars and the hotels - all cigars and back-slapping. He is a very cheap character and a short-arse like a lot of them are, puffed up like a turkey. He has managed to fuse being a Baathist with being a Muslim sectarian and a carpet bagger in the East End - as well as a front for a creepy sub-Leninist sect, the Socialist Workers' Party. He's got the venomous riff-raff at one end and your one-God fanatics on the other. Wonderful. Just what we need.

Uncanny. This was exactly what I was thinking, and in exactly the same words.

Exactly the same words, Ollie Boy? I doubt it. Hitchens may well be, as Galloway sort of said, a booze raddled fat twat, but that would be a booze raddled fat twat who has a way with words. For Kamm to claim he thought exactly the self same words featured at the outset of this missive is to stretch the credulity of the reader to a veritable approximation of breaking point. Where, Oliver, are the passages of high minded circumlocution so beloved of your good self? Where can we find the gratuitous usage of words of the lengthier nature put in the piece to remind the reader of the massive intellect behind the work, and, one suspects, to reinforce and bolster the scribe's own high opinion of himself...

You know what I'm saying?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sad Bastard Lives

When all's said and done, it's a pretty sad thing to do, keeping a blog. For a start, you don't have to be any good at writing to become popular and widely read and quoted. You just have to post alot, which leads a lot of shite people thinking they are the absolute dog's bollocks. The apotheosis of this phenomena is, of course, to be found across the pond, where bloggers have such a high regard for themselves, they fondly imagine they can make a difference in the real world. The really scary thing is that they are right.

Over here, things haven't reached such a pass yet. Being noticed by the Guardian doesn't count, and the only blogger to make any sort of impact on planet normal is a probably fictional whore. There are, however, some Brit bloggers whose life in blogland seems to be the only thing in their sad bastard lives of any worth and who seem to think that any of it matters. All the regular commenters and some of the contributors at Harry's Place fall into this category, as does the most boring man in Britain, aka Oliver Kamm. (It could be argued that Kamm has reached a level of influence akin to his American cousins in that he has actually notched up real world publication, but I find it hard to believe anyone other than residents of Bloggo Bloggo land would ever read him, so I will dismiss this line.)

The Kid Cuthbertson once nearly fell into this category, but of late he seems to have disovered real life. It may be too early to tell if he has realised blogging is just a slightly more cerebal form of the most popular online pastime of all, (what? Oh, sorry, this is the internet, I have to spell it out for the lowest common denominator - wanking at the computer) but his mates over at Biased BBC certainly haven't.

I would go on about this at some length, but I actually have a life.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Pots and Kettles

It has been evident for some time that Harry's Place has been taken over, Dr Who style, by aliens that seem a bit like real human beings, but which can't hold it together for very long without giving themselves away.

The latest display of a complete and utter inability to take on board what real people might think about them, is this fine post.

War Bores, Harry? This from the site that gives us a daily diet of Stopper Soporifics and George Bores? Ho fucking ho.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


Forget the election. Did you see the latest episode of Dr Who? Fantastic.

Some Coverage of the Election - Not Many Interested

My posting on the issue of the general election is, I think you'll agree, an accurate reflection of the interest it is generating in the real world. I might be mixing with the wrong set, of course, there could be millions of people lapping up every last minute of the coverage and getting all hot under the collar about Iraq, liars, asylum seekers and such, but I doubt it.

It's probably a mixture of the inexorable rise of the Couldn't Give a Shit Party, the strong showing of the None of the Above candidates, coupled with the feeling that the result is a foregone conclusion anyway that has led to the even greater than anticipated level of voter apathy. Whether this will translate into the lowest ever turnout remains to be seen - the desperate depths that the Tory campaign has plummeted might stir up a few votes for them and will probably send many Labour waverers back into the fold.

As for me, my vote is one of those that hardly matters. My Labour MP is highly unlikely to be unseated, so CGAS and NOTA are as attractive as ever. I'll probably go Lib Dem, purely because their local campaigning has been first class and I once vaguely knew the candidate who struck me as an impressive individual.

And if that seems to you to be parochial, small minded and a waste of our precious democratic heritage, you're probably right.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Foolish Stuff 2

The Labour Party April Fool was, of course, this: Labour Pledges Affordable Homes For All

Foolish Stuff

Like The Prof and Backward Dave, (links on the sidebar) I got 8 out of 9 in the April Fool Story Quiz. I was quite surprised, really, 'cos I regularly have to check the date when I'm reading news stories. Typically, I can't think of an example right now, but next time I come across one, I'll post it. I'm confident it will be at least as barmy as the spaghetti tree, if not as elegant as the Republic of San Seriffe.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

I think I heard someone say there might be an election soon, although you'd never know it.

And apparently some Tory bloke got chucked out for telling the truth while racist joke teller Anne Winterton is going to be a candidate.

I will think long and hard in the ten minutes before the polls close as to where to put my cross. Of course, the none of the above option is always a contender for a bloke who was described by SWP friends (actually International Socialist friends) as an existential nihilist, whatever that meant back in the seventies. Tactical voting against Labour would mean a vote for the Lib Dems, which, although I've done it before, always seems such a waste. And besides, I'm not really sure if I want to vote against Labour.

Fuck it, I can see no other option than to actually follow the campaign. (And to actually split infinitives as well.) What a bore.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

And I was Trying to be Normal, for Fuck's Sake

What is your weird quotient? Click to find out!

Hat tip to the Prof. His link's on the sidebar.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

You gotta love this pie.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Segregation, Segregation, Segregation

It's been said elsewhere, but I'm going to weigh in anyway, if only 'cos I thought it as soon as I heard the story yesterday and I'm not going to let terminal laziness stop me from making my point.

It's about those Afro-Carribbean boys who Trevor Phillips thinks should be taught away from their peers.

Now let me get this straight. The problem is: the attitude that learning is uncool is particularly strong among Afro-Carribbean boys and is harming their educational achievements. Well, I can go along with that, if the people who know say so. So, to combat this phenomenon, according to Trevor Phillips we must take all these boys out of the various classes they find themselves in, where there is a mix of attitudes to learning, and hothouse them together where peer pressure can really get to work.

Yep, that'll fix it.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Sundry Religious Stuff

Harry talks sense (yes, you read it right) on the muslim student in Luton, while another young muslim woman opines.

It seems a little odd that Turkey can manage to get their kids to wear appropriate school clothes on the grounds that they are a secular state and we can't. And that ain't about to change, with laws flowing in the opposite direction like it's 1399. And there's a nice political touch with dear Cherie handling the case. There, there, men in beards, goes the subtext, never mind that we're going to stop and search you 'til the cows come home, never mind that we're gonna keep some of you under house arrest for as long as we deem necessary without trial or even without telling you what we think you're up to. Never mind all that, your daughters' pretty little heads are safe with us.

Elsewhere, A Cyber Tour of Christian Right Wingnuttery is an entertaining read and the third Skeptics Circle gives the intellectually curious some sustenenance. I have been following, in a half arsed sort of way, the intelligent design debate raging over the other side of the pond. I can see why the atheist scientists get so angry, if only because of the dishonesty of the opposition, but at the same time a little humility wouldn't go amiss. It's those three little words that mean so much, but are so rarely uttered, that can make all the difference. Come on guys, take a deep breath, then say it: I don't know.

Because that is exactly the problem. They could qualify it afterwards, of course: I don't know, but we're working on it, but without the admission of the incompleteness of knowledge as it stands as of now, their arguments sound just as bombastic and empty as the barmiest fundie alive. But you've got to be on the side of rationality, or at least the side closest to it. And those Creationists really are quite a scary bunch.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Proud to be a Moonbat

Unlike Wingnuts, we Moonbats have a handle to be proud of, and now a nice man has done us a lovely piccy. Get your own here

Monday, February 28, 2005

Shoot The Bastards

A never ending source of amusement to me - I know, I know, I'm a saddo - is that what interests the average political blogger is of no interest whatsoever to real people. But even more striking is the converse of this. Now, I am aware that many people set up their blogs for just this reason - they cannot get the real people in their lives engaged in conversation about the topics dear to their heart so they look to the virtual world for solace. And it is axiomatic that the stone age media (or meeja as we used to call it) has just Lost The Plot.

But there are certain areas where you might think an overlap is possible. One of these is the small matter of that greatest of all soap operas, the Royal Family. In Bloggo Bloggo Land, the only acceptable stance on Royalty is ennui. In the real world this position is just not tenable, and I for one am with the inhabitants of Terra Firma on this. You cannot be neutral. And if you profess indifference, you are, not to put too fine a point on it, a fucking liar.

The surprising thing is that the sundry former Marxists, ex Trots, Stalinists, Leninists, Anarcho Socialists etc that make up the Bloggie Left also profess the same lofty disdain for a topic that once was the symbol for everything they once hated with such vitriol. I can understand why the Bloggie Right are happy to keep quiet on the subject. Sheer bloody embarrassment, that's why. But there must be other cyber lefties like me who positively salivate at the latest cock up, the latest revelation, the latest whinge from that jug eared moron, the latest goosestep. There must be at least a smidgin of satisfaction that criticism of Royalty, unheard of even five years ago, is now de rigeur in the press and on TV, not just in the bars and sitting rooms of the great unwashed.

When I was young there was only Willie Hamilton. Thankfully, things have moved on, without, it has to be said, any contribution from Republicans whatsover. It has been a solo effort by the horse faces themselves. But in memory of times past, I'd like to raise a glass to that old war cry that always briefly united the many winged beast that was the Old Left, Shoot the Bastards, secure in the knowledge that we won't have to.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Shameless Excuse to Recycle Old Joke - Number Twelvety Seven

This by Nick Cohen, which is a worthy, if rather dull piece on the iniquities of postal voting, mentions the practice of men deciding how their families will vote and how postal voting makes it somewhat easier. It brought to mind an old old joke - I can't remember whose it was, but it's reminiscent of Dave Alan, one of the finest comedians ever to grace the telly. It goes something like this, as I recall:

A market researcher is doing some door to door and comes across a middleaged housewife hard at work. "Excuse me, madam," he says, "I wonder if I could ask you a few questions?"

Fire away came the reply.

"Could you tell me who in your house is the main decision maker?"

The lady thinks for a moment and says, "Well, I think it would be fair to say, I make the little decisions and my husband makes the big decisions."

"Right. Could you give me an example of the little decisions you make?"

"Well, I decide on the family finances, where we go on holiday and which schools our children should go to. Oh yes, and it was me who decided to buy this house."

"But," the researcher says, puzzled, "they all seem like big decisions to me. What does your husband decide?"

"I told you, he makes the big decisions: who should be Prime Minister, whether we should go to war or not..."

I thang you.

Friday, February 25, 2005

The Kid is telling us that the reason rape convictions are falling is because defence counsel can't bring in evidence of the alleged victim's previous sexual history, so juries are letting rapists off because they can't tell their whores from their virgins, and of course everybody knows only the chaste get raped, everyone else is Just Asking For It. (Sorry if that sentence is a bit yeah but no but.)

The source is this story and if the Kid had bothered to read it before going off on his usual sixteen going on sixty rant, he would have learned that it is "over-estimation of the scale of false allegations by both police officers and prosecutors which feeds into a culture of scepticism". Only 14% of reported cases actually get to court, so juries rarely get the chance to decide.

The Kid concludes:

Unfortunately, the politically correctness that dares not admit that a woman who has half a dozen sexual partners a month is more likely to have consented is now taking precendence over this fact in the minds of our legislators. The effect of this trend is not, and will not be, more guilty rapists convicted, but more guilty rapists walking free, because the credibility of their accusers could no longer be established.

The point is though, that the discredibility of the accuser is the main focus of the police and the prosecutors, to the detriment of evidence gathering and case building.

A rather less excitable conclusion than the Kid's, of course, who, bless him, never allows the facts to get in the way of a good rant.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

As many foxes were killed, legally, yesterday as were killed on a typical hunting day before the ban.

So, what was the fucking point?
New Blog thingie here. If it takes off I'll add it the blogroll. A rare accolade from a near defunct blog like mine, I think you'll agree.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

I never did get that cracking post on religion onto the screen, although I did contribute to this over at Hari's Place.

You know what it's like, you write something that looks witty and profound on half a bottle a wine and a couple of brandies and then you have to justify it in the cold light of sobriety when someone responds. When that someone is a celebrated journo and TV pundit, you can't just let it lie.

All I can say in my defence is my basic point that certainty is bollocks was amply demonstrated further down the thread.
Duncan Smith on blogging.

The Democrats' problem has only worsened since. The dailykos.com site of a Democratic consultant gets 500,000 hits a day. That site's memorial to four American contractors murdered in Iraq was "screw them". Hatefulness also pours out of the popular websites of Michael Moore and MoveOn.org. The conservative blogosphere has dubbed the Democrats' IT base its MooreOn tendency.

So, Mr Worst Tory Leader in history, in your extensive research on this piece, you couldn't find a popular right wing blog that poured out hatefulness? Makes you as good a journalist as you were Leader of the Opposition, then.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Well, I don't know how many obliged, but the barrel scraper is sitting pretty at number 1.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Not that anyone will, but I think it's only right that Michael Howard gets his own Googlebomb. There are many phrases that have been suggested to me, but common decency prevents me from repeating them. I mean, how could anyone, for instance, mention the words fucking racist bastard in connection with the leader of HM's Opposition? Some ignorant, deluded people might think it, but I can't possibly comment.

So, I think I'll go with barrel scraper and leave it at that.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Ignorant Bigots

Just doing my bit.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Fuck you, Waterstones. It's WH Smith, or even Tescos for me from hereon in.

Hello, BTW. You'll be pleased to know that I've got a cracking post on religion and shit simmering which just might see the light of day this year.