Facepalm Friday (29/05/09)

Welcome to a new feature on Le Blogge Kapitaneau, one which may or may not last beyond the first installment: Facepalm Friday.

This is simply where I post five of the stupidest things I've read on the net recently. Conspiracy nuts, psychocons, hatepreachers, famous people inadvisedly sounding off, and ordinary dumb folk with extraordinarily dumb opinions.

1) Why do politicians think a small amount of power turns them into experts? Why do pop stars think a hit single turns them into opinion formers? And why do sports commentators get addicted to the microphone?

David Icke tried to save the planet from pollution - before trying to save it from shapeshifting alien lizards. Keith Olbermann was the voice of baseball for years, before becoming the voice of outraged liberals, sir. And Reggie White thought bobbing and weaving was the way to score a goal off the field.

"I'm offended that homosexuals will say that homosexuals deserve rights. Any man in America deserves rights, but homosexuals are trying to compare their plight with the plight of black men or black people. In the process of history, homosexuals have never been castrated, millions of them never died. Homosexuality is a decision."
- Reggie White (Footballer and Commentator)

2) Movie critics have the same delusion.

"Hollywood has declared war on America...This is the only way the terrorists know they can win. This is the only way Hollywood knows America can lose. And so they have joined forces."
"Dirty Harry" (Film reviewer)

3) There are those who reject evolutionary theory without understanding it, but there are also those who accept it without understanding it.

"Men are naturally more altruistic than women, period! It's evolutionary."
- UnderseaCaveman (on youtube)

4) Glurge! Bigotry makes you sick. So they coat it with so much sugar they think you won't notice. But that much sugar makes you sick anyway.

"A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?"

"Because I'm a woman," she told him.

"I don't understand," he said.

His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will.""

- Inspiring story on PositiveThoughts.com, about "Why Do Women Cry?"

5) Glenn Beck wants us to know what he thinks - about everything. He does standup comedy, shockjock radio, shockjock TV, interviews, columns and books, just so we can know all his opinions. So it's no surprise the nonstop twitterer is on Twitter too.

"I like fish"

"I’ve been thinking about it more, so I wanted to clarify. I don’t LOVE fish, I just like it."

"we're all going to die. Soon."
- Glenn Beck on Twitter


100 Things about Kapitano, Part 5: Things I Like, but Shouldn't

21) Crappy Sci-Fi Serials

Earth: Final Conflict. Most shows have a shaky first season, then get better, then get stale and cancelled. This one started off smart, intriguing and even believable...then got a new lead, new writers, and new budget for the second season, and became the biggest pile of aimless dren ever to lose its entire fanbase.

Enterprise. Trekkies are a loyal bunch, but even they (we, cough) gave up on this one. A thuggish captain leading a forgettable crew through a galaxy composed entirely of hostile, fanatical foreigners alien species.

Even when it tried to be intelligent and right on - with the deeply hamfisted AIDS allegory - it shot itself royally in the foot by portraying metaphorical AIDS victims as metaphorical gay sex fiends who brought it upon themselves.

Andromeda. Imagine Firefly, and subtract everything that made Firefly worth watching. The same cast of strong leader (Hunt/Malcom), kickboxing pseudo-girlfriend (Rommie/Zoe), psychopathic strongman (Tyr/Jayne), wimpy geek (Haper/Hoban) and mysterious outsider (Trance/Book), but with no clear plot, no deep characterisation, dialogue that only thinks it's smart and snappy and the the same politics of liberal imperialism that blight nearly all TV sci-fi from Buck Rogers to Babylon 5.

22) Cheesy pseudo-cyberpunk synthpop bands

S.P.O.C.K sing about Star Trek. They've got titles like "Mr Spock's Brain", "Charlie X" and "Never Trust a Klingon", which features lyrics like:

"With their cloaking device they remain invisible
until the time has come
To appear right ahead of us
and obliterate everyone"

23) "Straight" men.

Men who are completely and utterly heterosexual...but have gay sex because "My girlfriend doesn't understand me" or "I just want to try it for a laugh". Men who feel it's really important to tell you they're thinking about women while you twist their nipples. Men who's idea of plausible deniability is the sexual equivalent of "The dog ate my homework".

Men who are not supposed to say things like this;

  • "I thought we could try a sixty nine."
  • In response to "Do you want me to suck your cock instead?" - "No thanks, I'm good here."
  • "Do you want to fuck my mouth?"
  • "That's good. Harder."
  • "Wank hard. It turns me on."

  • 24) Incredibly Stupid People on the Internet

    This fellow reckons he's got a cure for all psychiatric disorders, that also eliminates "birth trauma" and resets dislocated joints. And it is...to slap someone's head so hard they lose consciousness.

    Schemefighter is a youtube poster with a political theory. See if you can figure out what it is from these quotes.

  • "You fascist liberals are in cahoots with big business like Webster dictionary."
  • "You fascist liberals fought against civil rights."
  • "The Liberals used terrorism, such as firebombing, slashing tires, death threats, like they did against the soldiers at Berkeley, or to try to steal elections, or to advance their big Brother global warming tax agenda."
  • "Bush is a watered down conservative, McCain even more so."
  • "You fascist liberals are cleverly disguised anti-Semites."
  • "You fascist liberals are neo-Nazis."

  • 25) Porn with Faintly Disturbing Titles

    Straight porn tend to be, well, straight to the point.

  • She's Got Big Boobs
  • Psycho Bitches from Hell
  • This Ain't the Partridge Family
  • Scent of Mom
  • Phatty Girls
  • I Fucked my Daughter's Best Friend 3
  • Lesbian Psycho Roommates
  • Revenge of a Motorcycle Mama
  • Anal Apocalypse
  • Mixed Meat Sandwich
  • Annie Sprinkle the Original Squirter
  • I Spit on Your Corpse
  • Super Slurpy
  • Girls Who Love Big White Cocks 3
  • Captain Lust and the Pirate Woman
  • Wadds of Johnny
  • Soft Places
  • English Spanking Classic (Vol 29)

  • Gay stuff is slightly wittier:

  • Money For Nuttin'
  • Go Fuck Yourself
  • Anal Abyss
  • Pissing Around
  • Piss Police
  • My Dad Loves Black Cock (Vol 3)
  • Monsterballs
  • Breed My Raw Hole
  • Sucking Freakin' Huge Monster Cocks
  • Bro-Mancing the Bone
  • The Gay Team
  • Chateau d'Lust

  • But titlewise, bi is best:

  • Blow Bi Blow
  • Wanna Fuck My Wife Gotta Fuck Me Too
  • Bi Pole Her (vol 4)
  • Best Bi Far
  • Down Bi Law
  • Bi Bi Love 2
  • Fine Bi Me 2
  • Bi N Sell
  • Bi Accident 3
  • Bi Racial
  • Good Bi Lover
  • Bi The Way 3
  • Bi Bi American Pie (vol 16)
  • The Bi Linguist

  • ...and my particular favourite:

  • Bi Now, Gay Later

  • 54321

    Over the last two days I've watched thirteen episodes of Countdown with Keith Olbermann1. Seven of them consecutive. And I've picked up a few things along the way, about American politics. So if the subject doesn't excite you in hidden places, skip.

  • Ann Coulter's reflexive contrarianism is now so boring, even those who reflexively rebut her...can't be bothered any more.

  • Sean Hannity is on similar autopilot.

  • Rush Limbaugh is really, really needy. He's got nothing to say anymore beyond "There's no problem" (about the environment, the economy, the war and the Republican party) and "I was right" (about everything) - but is desperate for unquestioning disciples.

  • Micheal Steele (Republican National Committee Chair) is a loose cannon. He's one of those people who has half an idea and rushes to tell the press, before thinking it through, or discussing it with his own people.

  • Newt Gingrich has become the same but with brains.

  • Dick Cheney is two people. Cheney1 controlled Bush like a ventriloquist, juggled a dozen agencies to get the culture he wanted, and is a very smart, subtle operator. Cheny2 is a very stupid, unsubtle operator. He goes on TV, telling the world just what he did, which laws he broke, which principles he violated...and how he was morally right to do it. But not why.

  • The CIA can't even keep accurate records of which lies they told to who and when.

  • The Democrats are spineless. They talk a good fight about liberty and justice, but you've only got to suggest a vague potential threat to "national security", and they do exactly what you want.

  • The Republicans are split between the lunatics (Texas seccionists, teabaggers, those who think the Democrats are "socialists") and reformers (like Colin Powell(!)) who think two viable parties is kind of the minimum for a functioning democracy.

  • Sarah Palin really does think she could be president in 2012, and she's pissing off her own core support campaigning for it now - neglecting her real job and being a prima donna.

  • Bill O'Reilly is the Worst Person in the World.

  • Omaba is...difficult to get a handle on.

  • Oh, there's one other thing. It's often said that the best political commentators are comedians. I suspect it's more complicated - political commentators disguise their commentary as comedy so people'll listen. The right wing for some reason still haven't produced a commentator-comedian who's only funny when they intend to be.

    1If you feel like a view of Olbermann without the propaganda bias of the liberal media elite, try Conservapedia and Olbermanwatch. And stop laughing, it's ungodly.

    Guitar Anti-Hero

    Steve Krenz is an accomplished guitarist and guitar teacher, and he can help you not just learn but master rock guitar. At least, that's what Steve Krenz says. Has he really played with the greats of American rock, does he know his A-Sus-4 from his E-Aug-7, could he teach a penguin to waddle? I've no idea.

    A quick google search produces a wealth of hits - most of them suspiciously similar. At the top there's three sites with sponsored placement.

    One's called "Steve Krenz Guitar Scam?" and asks "Is Steve Krenz A Liar?". The answer comes back, "I think Learn and Master Guitar is a great course" and "I would recommend Learn and Master Guitar to you any day".

    Hmmm. The second advises "Before Buy Steve Krenz's L&M Guitar Make Sure You've Read This First!", before telling us...

    "Steve Krenz is the creator of Learn & Master Guitar. He has taught thousands of guitar lessons to guitar players of all ages and skill levels helping them go from where they are to where they want to be."

    Are you starting to see a pattern? The third asks ""Steve Krenz" a Scam?", even managing to suggest with the scare quotes that this scammer uses a fake name. On the site we find the banner "Read My Independent Review and Discover the Truth of Learn & Master Guitar Now!"...followed by...

    The DVDs are the best I've seen from any program...The instructor, Steve Krenz (world famous guitar player, teacher and professional)...provides the information to the students...to promote more effective learning.

    Yes. It looks like a purveyor of dubious product is anticipating his own exposure, and muddying the waters with fake exposes, with a series of pretend-critical "independent reviews" - all looking like they're written by the same person.

    But they're all so sycophantic, so overflowing with effusive praise that tells us nothing specific about the course, so obviously fake, overdone and badly done, that I can't imagine anyone being taken in.

    A few of the sites try to adopt a more realistic tone - somewhat marred by the fact that the ever-so-slightly "critical" article is duplicated around the net, and attributed to different writers.

    Other sources - seemingly genuinely independent - don't praise the product to the hilt. But neither do they slam it. Steve Krenz's 10 DVD guitar course probably can teach you to play the guitar, and probably isn't a scam or waste of money if you're a serious student.

    The marketing just makes it look that way. It seems we've now reached the stage when "viral" marketing and planted reviews actually work against the product - at least for those who aren't terminally gullible.

    Advertisers have always lied to consumers, consumers have always disbelieved them, advertisers have found new ways to lie, and after a few months consumers caught on and disbelieved them too. Now advertisers are pretending to be consumers debunking advertisers - and consumers don't believe that anymore.

    I don't know what the next stage is, but I somehow doubt it'll be a return to slightly less dishonest advertising.

    But It's All Shit!

    "I don't know why I've always loved talking about poop, but to me it is a great tool in detecting what's wrong in our bodies. I continuously monitor [my son] Evan's poop by sending it to labs to get tested to make sure things are all running smoothly..."
    - Jenny McCarthy (anti-vaccination nut)

    I need to stop wasting time. That's what I've been doing for the last fortnight - a lot of mental activity, all spent on pointless persuits.

    Last week I hacked a porn site. Or rather, last week I spent five minutes figuring out how to hack a porn site, another five finding an effective but inelegant way to get around the DRM...followed by two days failing to get a more elegant way to work. And then five days of downloading smut from the 70s and 80s.

    One day I might feel like watching it.

    This week was spent mostly arguing with net nuts on youtube. Here's a sample of their wisdom:

    "Black people have dancing in their blood they are born with it thats why they got rythym and they have amazing moves." [ILoveKelseyBriggs]

    "i can be friends with gay but i dont like when some 1 stand behing me lol" [ghhf1]

    "An elementary rule of Scripture is that God has deliberately included SEEMINGLY contradictions in His Word" [bornagain001]

    "god doesn't like homos - he finds them awfully irritating." [dirtyskank007]

    "New Coke wasn't a blunder it was a deliberate long-term strategy to make regular Coke into the more prestigious Coca-Cola Classic" [derpenstein]

    "How gives a shit about mixed up gay people. Fuck them." [Machtvollkommenheit]

    "Global warming is a huge lefty scam to take money from the poor and give it to the rich, like Al Gore." [unknown nut]

    "I decided to be heterosexual because I was raised that way." [TheFlashBeer]

    There's been other things - weeding someone's garden (two days), fixing someone's computer (two nights), writing blog rants then deciding not to publish them (too much) - but I'm feeling the need for something that

    (a) stretches my abilities a bit
    (b) is enjoyable
    (c) I actually want to do, and
    (d) isn't a complete and utter blithering waste of time.

    So I'm going to invent some musical instruments. Software ones, that is. I've been hovering around the forums for the software that makes software instruments...and I reckon a week of intensive study should get me famillar with it.

    So this is me, not wasting time anymore.

    Arte del Banco

    A few days ago I was alone in the house when the phone rang. I answered it, and the voice on the other end claimed to be from Barclay's bank - asking to speak to my father.

    Now, the previous week someone had called, claiming to be Barclays, asking him to "confirm" his bank details. Yes, it was a scam, trying to get his sort code and account number, and dad did his routine of keeping them hanging on the line for half an hour, making friendly chat at great length about nothing, before saying he wasn't a Barclay's customer and putting the phone down. Nice one dad.

    This time I decided to play along, pretending to be my father. If it was a scam, that would become apparent pretty quickly, and I could do my routine of giving lots of vague, contradictory and evasive answers...before telling them to fuck off. Or if it really was the bank, I could just be conveniently called away and hang up.

    They had some security questions, to check that I really was my dad. First question: What are the last two letters of your mother's maiden name?

    After a few seconds wracking my brain, I spat out two letters - immediately realising I'd got them wrong. The bank didn't seem to mind, telling me that was fine and moving on to the next security question.

    When was my year of birth? I couldn't remember what year my father was born, and he's always cagey about his age, so I took a wild guess. Which was accepted as correct.

    So we moved on to review "my" financial arrangements. The lady caller told me all about my father's standing orders, and I said it all sounded "about right". And no I didn't want to make any changes.

    She then moved on to the real point of the call - to offer to change my account to the new high interest version. This is where you get slightly more interest, and get charged GBP50 a day if you go overdrawn.

    I said no thanks, as we'd already examined and rejected all the new accounts - which was even true. She immediately lost interest and said goodbye.

    So, I now know several things:

    (1) It probably was Barclay's Bank.
    (2) Cold callers can't tell the difference between a man in his 30s and an asthmatic ex-smoker in his 70s.
    (3) My father's financial arrangements - he probably isn't supporting a second family on the other side of town.
    (4) Security questions are a meaningless ritual - they don't bother to check your answer.
    (5) Had I wanted to, I could have got a lot more info. And changed it.

    I hope this has helped you feel just a little happier about banking security.

    Of Music and Meaning

    Another miniature essay, this one posted to a discussion on how bad people are at guessing the intended meaning of musical pieces.

    The clouds and hills in a landscape painting don't look like real clouds and hills.

    It's not just that they're in 2D and reality is in 3D - it's that the textures, shadows, surfaces etc. don't look like the real thing, even taking the missing dimension into account. And yet we can still comment on the artist on being "realistic" or "unrealistic", "capturing the scene" or "reproducing what they saw".

    Why? Because there are, in our culture, conventions about how clouds etc. are represented in painting. These conventions change over time, which is why a landscape painting from 1700 doesn't look like one from 19001.

    So it is in music. Soaring strings don't resemble "romance" in any way, high pitched stabs don't "sound like" fear, and trombone slides don't have anything in common with slapstick comedy. But if you watch a film, the incidental music tells you what emotion you're supposed to associate with what you see. If you remove the music you see how flat it generally falls, and if you watch a foreign film, sometimes the soundtrack is puzzling.

    Smoky saxophones are sexy, kazoos are comical, arpeggios are dramatic, church organs are elegiac, sitars are mystical. We all know this vocabulary connecting sounds to moods and situations, and it's so familiar we rarely question it2.

    But vocabularies change over time, and are different in different cultures. That's one reason why a piece of music changes it's meaning - or loses it.

    1Even when the paintings are "of" the same landscape. It's the same with seascapes. You can't judge how the sea really looked in 1750 from a painting of it made at the time - you can only judge how most artists learned to paint it.
    2There's an old trick of changing the background music to see how the audience interpretation changes. Trashy documentaries tend to use "ominous" bass synth drones - try mentally replacing one with the lush high strings of romantic drama, and see how the message of the programme changes.

    The World of Sex

    NightCharm have an article, in their usual provocative style, on the differences in mainstream attitudes towards cruising and other forms of "devience" between America and the Netherlands. My comment developed into a mini-essay of it's own. Here it is.

    Who was it said, "In America sex is an obsession. In the rest of the world it's a fact."...?1

    It was Eric Idle who said, "In America, religion is all about sex."

    Here in the UK we're halfway between America and "the rest of the world". Here no one cares about religion2
    but everyone's obsessed with sex. In fact, the one thing that turns lifelong, shoulder-shrugging agnostics into demented bible-bashers is...mansex.

    Not the existence of gay people, not lesbians having sex, not gay male couples being happy and monogamous together - mansex. Men having sex with each other.

    That's why all our out gay male celebrities are painfully asexual - including the ones from America3. They can talk about it all the time, and it's seen as good family fun, but if there's the slightest hint they DO it, they're dropped from TV and vilified in the newspapers.

    1It was Marlene Dietrich.
    2Unless it's Islam, but that's not really about religion at all - it's very thinly disguised racism.
    3I was thinking of John Barrowman here. But it also applies to Graham Norton, Larry Grayson, Andrew Haydon-Smith, Danny LaRue, John Inmann and every other out or outed British entertainer I can think of.

    Talking to the Wall

    Which is worse - a fool with an education or one without?

    To help answer this vital question, here are two case studies from recent YouTube comments. The first is on a brief video satire on why it's absurd to claim being gay is a choice. This is the "uneducated" case study, in which an evangelist debated with, erm, someone called Kapitano.

    Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."
    Matthew 7:6

    I trust you're making *some* sort of point, oh born again one. Perhaps you're even responding to other people's points.

    But if you want to stand a chance of being persuasive, an explanation is the minimum required.

    A contextless quote from the King James Bible won't cut it.

    My purpose here is NOT to persuade you of anything but to WARN YOU of the very real ETERNAL CONSEQUENCE your present life is taking you.

    Perhaps if you were to be persuasive, your warning might be effective.

    Ah, unless you don't really want to save anyone from damnation - you just want to gloat that we'll be damned and you'll be safe and smug in heaven.

    God knew you would SIN....God PROVIDED the ONLY WAY to get that forgiveness.

    That's called a "Protection Racket".

    Which makes god a gangster.

    There then follows a day's worth of "debate" over whether the flood story is literally true. Bornagain001 was beaten several times by people much smarter and more patient than me - not that he noticed.

    I AM NOT wise. What I am relaying to you comes from GOD'S INFALLIBLE WORD. My suggestion is that you gain a little wisdom and start paying attention.

    Your infallible words seem to be failing quite a lot.

    The ark is impossible, hell is a mistranslation, the bible is disproven, god doesn't exist and you are an idiot.

    Oh, and being gay isn't a choice.

    "The way of a fool is right in HIS OWN EYES,
    But he who heeds counsel is wise."
    Proverbs 12:15

    Our second case study is a much more refined affair, in the comments of a 1946 educational film. Here, a defender of the Chicago school of Neo-liberal economics debates rationally with, um, some bloke called Kapitano.

    The government protectionism you are referring to is NOT a capitalist principle. It is socialism at the corporate level - redistribution of wealth. Taking money from people/companies that have earned it and giving it to companies that have not. REdistribution of wealth. And even at the corporate level, it is anti-competitive because as you pointed out, owners aren't risking their own money anymore, which encourages carelessness.
    That is not a capitalist principle. Its corporate socialism.

    You're getting confused between capitalism regulated by government, and socialism.

    No, redistribution of wealth in any capacity is an aversion from capitalism. Capitalism regulated by government means enacting laws to protect people from things like predatory lending and unfair business practices.
    If you are redistributing wealth (spreading it around), you are engaging in socialism, which is nothing more than the path to communism.

    You speak as though there were only one form of capitalism. Historically there have been dozens.

    "If you are redistributing wealth...you are engaging in socialism, which is nothing more than the path to communism."

    ...according to your private definitions of the words. And again you speak as though there were one form of 'socialism' or 'communism'.

    Both words have several meanings. Try being clear.

    In the context of this discussion, unless otherwise stated, American capitalism is understood.

    a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done.
    - Merriam-Webster
    Again, in the context of "path to communism" there was little question which definition was being referenced.

    Which American capitalism? Enterpreneurial "wild west" capitalism, government sponsored capitalism under Roosevelt-LBJ, Chicago-school capitalism under Regan-BushJr...?

    So that's the MW definition of 'socialism'? Never come across that one before. Not surprising they got Marx completely wrong though - he never used the term like that.

    Absent statements to the contrary, its typical to assume present time.
    This discussion is not an exhortation on the many forms of economic systems.
    The simple MW definitions are sufficient - that being the system of economics characterized by distribution of goods determined mainly by competition in a free market for capitalism.
    Goverenment mandated redistribution of wealth is not free market competition.
    These differences are stark enough to differentiate the two approaches.

    "Goverenment mandated redistribution of wealth is not free market competition."

    You mean it's not compatible with *pure* free market competition - which has never existed.

    "Impure" free market competition - as with a mixed nationalised/privatised economy, or partial wealth redistribution - is manifestly a possible form of capitalism. One that you're living in.

    To call it socialist is like calling feudalism capitalism because it's got merchants.

    Depends on your definition of "pure".

    The simple fact is (remember, this is YouTube, not a PhD dissertation) is the more wealth redistribution you have, the more socialist leaning you are.

    Obama's redistribution of wealth (spreading it around) is government intervention taking money from those that have earned in honest reward and giving to those who have not.
    Redistributing wealth. That is a socialist principle. Not a free market or capitalist principle. Don't get lost in minutia.

    "Redistributing wealth. That is a socialist principle."

    Is America a socialist country? No. Is it a country where capitalism is becoming slightly more constrained? Yes.

    Is redistribution of wealth a socialist principle? Yes. Is it a principle unique to socialists? No.

    Is Obama a socialist? No. Does he want to end capitalism? No. Does he want to save the American capitalist economy? Yes. Do you approve of his method? No. Will it work? Unknown.

    In short:

    Is it helpful to conflate redistribution by socialists to attack capitalism with redistribution by capitalists to help capitalism? No.

    Not so fast.
    America is becoming increasingly socialist. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. These are government redistribution methods. Taking from those with ability, giving to those in "need" (or want in many cases) - Marxist philosophy, not capitalism.
    Obama is a socialist. Look into it - he was a member of Chicago's "New Party" - a socialist organization, in the late 1990's.
    Taking from certain people against their will and giving to others, is abandoning capitalism.

    So what's the verdict?

    One argues their position by redefining words to suit, the other does it with threats, and both seem to think endless restatement is persuasive in itself. One speaks grandly and tries to sound like an academic, the other SHOUTS AT YOU ALL THE TIME, and both do it to cover a certain fuzziness. Winding up the bible-basher (koran-basher, atlas-shrugged-basher etc) is much more fun, but doesn't call for any actual thought.

    You can't actually win an argument against either of these types, because even when you fix them down to a definite position they can't wriggle out of - and explain why that position makes no sense - they forget instantly that it's happened. It's like knocking down the energiser bunny. Or nailing mist to the wall.

    As for which of the three players is the fool and who's got the education, that's for you to decide.


    Happy Mayday.

    Britain's Chancellor is predicting the recession will last ten years - based on absurdly optimistic growth predictions.

    Bank bailouts are going on pay rises for bankers.

    The facists are getting confident. And the police are...doing their bit

    The papers are half full of "Swine Flu will kill 140 million", and half full of "Swine Flu's all hype so don't worry". So completely full of shit as usual.

    The prevailing reasoning seems to be: The Bird Flu and SARS outbreaks didn't become epidemics, therefore they were never going to become epidemics, therefore anything that might become an epidemic...won't.

    Britain's pulled out of Iraq. And Trying to be dignified about it.

    I thought you were supposed to declare victory before leaving.

    Chrysler has gone bankrupt.

    So in short: Everything is continuing to go wrong.