Yes, I’d say that’s pretty good identification evidence

A mother-of-three chopped off her brother-in-law’s genitals before handing them in as evidence at a police station in India.
The 32-year-old woman stunned officers when she entered the station in the Sidhi district of Madhya Pradesh, clutching the severed organ.
The woman, who was accompanied by her three children, told officers that it was the only way to stop her brother-in-law attacking her.
The woman was staying with her brother-in-law as her husband worked more than 700 miles away, in Nashik, Maharashtra.
But he had allegedly assaulted her many times while she stayed in his house.
She told police that she faked consent when her brother-in-law attacked her, before hacking off his privates with a sickle.

Obviously, we don’t quite know what but we certainly know who.

So, why doesn’t someone make this movie?

For his part Hudis fantasised about writing one last script for him, Carry On Shylock Holmes, featuring a Jewish Holmes and Watson, and a final line of dialogue: “Elementary – you schmuck”.

And I’d be very proud indeed of managing to achieve this:

Hudis’s half dozen Carry On scripts were tightly plotted with all loose ends neatly tied up. During editing of Carry On Nurse, his favourite of the six, (Hudis had drawn on his wife Rita’s experiences during her seven years in nursing) the director, Gerald Thomas, decided to pull the famous daffodil-up-the-bottom joke from the middle of the film and use it as a climax, creating a classic Carry On denouement. The critic of the News Chronicle proclaimed the gag one of “unsurpassed vulgarity”.

Managing to create something of unsurpassed vulgarity has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

There’s satnav problems and then there’s stupid

It’s something of a cliche that Germans always do as they are told.
But a visiting motorist from Poland appears to have taken his efforts to blend in to an extreme when he followed the instructions of his satnav — and drove straight into a river.
The satnav directed the driver, who has not been named, to take a ferry across the river Elbe south-east of Hamburg.
It appears the driver didn’t realise the ferry was at the other side of the river and the terminal was empty, and simply drove off the end of the pier.

Same river as I can see out my office window, but a different bit of it. Big damn river though, even here 500 miles upstream.

Let’s have a land value tax that’s not on land

No, really:

Second, create a distance selling levy. I oppose extra sales taxes, but there is a real issue with what the supermarkets are saying about unfair competition in the area of business rates. They pay high business rates: Google and Amazon, et al, are not and this is distorting competition. So, let’s look at that and charge an excess land value tax on the UK property of companies that use those facilities to arrange on line sales of products not otherwise taxable in the UK. This is a super land tax. I have not developed the idea in full, but it is a direction of travel. EU issues would have to be looked at.

We’ll also have to deal with the basic logic of this absurdity. While we’re at it, we’d better start taxing pedestrians for the petrol they’re not using. No difference between that and taxing people a land tax for land they’re not using.

Not the first time I’ve said it but the man’s a loon.

Ritchie in being wrong shocker!

The reason is that HMRC had spent six years testing whether Google’s Irish business had a permanent establishment in the UK. Inspectors had visited offices in London and Dublin and had pored over the whistleblower evidence provided by the PAC. But after what must be one of Britain’s biggest ever tax audits, the inspectors had firmly endorsed Google’s claim that its Irish sales hub was not active in the UK – despite booking £5bn of sales a year here.

What a surprise about nuclear power plants at Fukushima!

Five years after the Fukushima nuclear plant was crippled during a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the plant operator has admitted that only a fraction of the clean-up has been accomplished to make the site safe.

As Japan prepares to mark the anniversary of the world’s second-worst nuclear disaster, it is clear that the progress to date – clearing up debris, and installing protective structures around the four reactor buildings that were destroyed – is largely skin deep.

The most technically complex and dangerous tasks, including locating and removing the nuclear fuel that has burned through the pressure vessels of three of the reactors and is believed to have pooled at the bottom of the containment chambers, are yet to begin.

The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco), believes that the work will take at least another 40 years to complete.

Gosh!

The current estimate by the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is that it will cost at least £100 billion to decommission the 19 existing United Kingdom nuclear sites.[6] Due to the radioactivity in the reactor structure, decommissioning takes place in stages. The plans of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority for decommissioning reactors have an average 50 year time frame.

It takes 50 years to dismantle a not-explodey nuclear reactor. It takes near 50 years to dismantle an explodey nuclear reactor.

My word.

Good Grief?

A lightning strike sparked a blaze that broke out at the Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot on Thursday.

Isn’t that just the unluckiest thing?

An insured factory which is losing gazillions gets struck by lightning and burns to the ground. How unlucky can people get?

Which farts, supermarkets shit themselves

Multi-buy deals in British supermarkets could soon be permanently phased out as stores plan to scrap such deals just hours after news broke that watchdogs were looking to ban misleading deals.
Since this newspaper last night reported that misleading buy-one-get-one free offers and special deals in supermarkets could be banned within weeks under a clampdown being prepared by watchdogs, Sainsburys has become the first to say it will completely discontinue multi-buy deals in store. Instead it will favour selling individual items at a lower prices.
Sainsburys today announced it would scrap the vast majority of multi-buy deals by August, with special offers on confectionary, crisps and other “unhealthy” snacks being phased out by March.

The prodnoses never will stop so the only solution is to tell them to fuck off in the first place.

Or that multi-person gallows we all keep hoping for.

Other people know much more about electricity supply than I do

So thus this email from Simon Hobson:

Spotted an oddity on BM Reports (http://www.bmreports.com/bsp/bsp_home.htm) regarding the long term surplus. According to the graph currently shown, we are due a shortfall of over 1GW late this year – see attached. Week 49 has a deficit of 950MW, week 50 a deficit of 1040, week 51 is -565, and week 2 next year, -242. Week 52 shows a good surplus – but I suspect that’s because all the offices and factories will be shut over Christmas.

I’m thinking it may just be a glitch in the data, but if true then could an interesting story to pick up on. Of course, for consumers it probably doesn’t mean lights going out, but it does mean industrial disruption as interruptible supplies get invoked on large consumers of lecky. Not to mention, some diesel generators getting run !

Wow, it seems like it’s not a glitch.
Looking at the graph today, I see 14 (yes, fourteen) weeks with a deficit forecast – with the largest forecast deficit now up to 3434MW in week 50 !

Looking down to the forecast long term capacity by fuel type, it seems there’s a big drop (about 7GW) in coal from end of March/early April – part of which will be the Ferry Bridge shutdown recently announced. More will be the Fiddlers Ferry shutdown announced last year.

So I guess there’ll be a lot of factory shutdowns happening over winter then as interruptible supplies get called on.

That Ed Davey and Ed Miliband would fuck up trying to plan something has always been obvious. But is this really where we are, with factories closing because there’s no power to run them?

And wouldn’t a carbon tax have been a better idea?

Of course Google’s Matt Brittin doesn’t know what his wages are!

At the beginning of the session, Brittin, the president of Google Europe, declined to respond to a request to say how much he was paid, saying: “I’ll happily disclose that if it’s a relative matter for the committee.”

The committee chair, Meg Hillier, demanded to know it, but Brittin said he did not have the figure.

“You don’t know what you get paid, Mr Brittin?” she said to laughter in the room.

She continued: “Out there, our constituents are very angry, they live in a different world clearly to the world you live in, if you can’t even tell us what you are paid.

“It seems a bit of a PR disaster if you didn’t have the nous to realise in the same week that taxpayers were filing their tax returns, and sweating over a little bit of bank interest and getting it in on time, and you announce this as a good deal.”

Meg Hillier is an ignorant cow, isn’t she?

Most of his pay is in stock units. Which change value day by day. How the fuck can he know what he’s being paid?

What a marvelous idea

On September 5th, 2011, Alexandra Elbakyan, a researcher from Kazakhstan, created Sci-Hub, a website that bypasses journal paywalls, illegally providing access to nearly every scientific paper ever published immediately to anyone who wants it. The website works in two stages, firstly by attempting to download a copy from the LibGen database of pirated content, which opened its doors to academic papers in 2012 and now contains over 48 million scientific papers. The ingenious part of the system is that if LibGen does not already have a copy of the paper, Sci-hub bypasses the journal paywall in real time by using access keys donated by academics lucky enough to study at institutions with an adequate range of subscriptions. This allows Sci-Hub to route the user straight to the paper through publishers such as JSTOR, Springer, Sage, and Elsevier. After delivering the paper to the user within seconds, Sci-Hub donates a copy of the paper to LibGen for good measure, where it will be stored forever, accessible by everyone and anyone.

All illegal and being sued etc. however, three is something hinky about academic publishing. Knowledge is a public good, such research papers are meant to be read to spread it and almost all of the research was tax funded to boot. It does seem odd there’s a there’s a few gatekeepers waxing fat of the journals.

Looks a bit of a stretch to me

The families of people murdered by Mexican drugs gangs are suing HSBC, arguing the bank can be linked to the killings because it failed to stop cartels laundering the proceeds of their crimes, amounting to billions of dollars.

At the time of a regulatory investigation HSBC apologised for the failings and paid almost $2bn to the US authorities in 2012 to settle allegations that it did not properly implement anti-money laundering rules.

Because there’s a bit of a leap there. HSBC was not proven to have laundered Mexican drug money. It was proven not to have followed the rules that would enable it to prove that it had not handled Mexican drug money. Which is, as neoliberal sophists will note, something rather different.

These people are insane

I’ve done a few pieces over at Forbes about shipping prices, Baltic Dry and so on. Zero Hedge is saying that world trade has stopped. I say that trade volume is slightly up, shipping supply is largely up, prices of shipping thus fall.

And I have people quoting things like this at me:

Maersk owns the world’s largest container shipping company and is seen as a bellwether for global trade, which it estimated grew just 0-1 per cent last year against double-digit growth before the financial crisis. It forecast an increase of 1-3 per cent this year, still below its post-crisis estimate of 4-5 per cent growth.

From the FT to prove that I am wrong and ZH and the catastrophists are right.

These people are insane, right?

And yahboo sucks to you Mr. Murphy

By Matt Brittin, Google UK CEO

The Institute for Fiscal Studies explains it very clearly: “The current tax rules are not designed to tax the profits from UK sales…They are instead designed to tax that part of a firm’s profit that arises from value created in the UK.”

Some have suggested the settlement which concluded the audit was a ‘sweetheart deal’, a cut-price tax rate. It was not. Google pays corporation tax on its UK profit at the standard rate – currently 20 per cent – the same as any other business in Britain.

Or, fuck off Murph

Where the hell’s that bloody gallows?

Misleading buy-one-get-one free offers and special deals in supermarkets could be banned within weeks under a clampdown being prepared by watchdogs, as research reveals such deals are “seducing” shoppers into spending an extra £1,000 a year.
The Telegraph understands the Competition and Markets Authority, the consumer regulator, is finalising plans to take action against Britain’s biggest supermarkets, which stand accused of using unlawful pricing and promotional practices, designed to encourage customers to spend more.
Major stores including Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsburys and Asda are under official investigation after consumer group Which? invoked a rarely-used legal power to launch a “super-complaint” and demand action against supermarkets.

Apparently the supermarkets are very bad boys because they try to make people buy more.

That actually, you know, being the point and purpose of retailing?

Idiocy about Hollywood sexism

JANE, 28, athletic but sexy. A natural beauty. Most days she wears jeans, and she makes them look good.

Behind a steamy shower door is the indistinguishable but sexy silhouette of JANE showering.

Sigh.

Female actors, writers and directors have long complained of sex discrimination in Hollywood.

This isn’t sex discrimination, it’s not sexism. It’s sex.

Hasn’t anyone noticed that near all of the women in movies are good looking., just as near all of the men are? Because, in a visual medium, that’s what works?

Yes, there’s an answer here to the streetcar problem

But experience shows that this project’s success depends on more than just a pair of tracks and new trolley cars. A streetcar line that actually improves quality of life for New Yorkers must be fast, frequent and reliable — all of which require redirecting street space away from private automobiles and toward public transit.

In most American cities with streetcars, success has been limited by faulty design. Forced to share lanes with automobiles, the streetcars get held up in traffic. Unable to maneuver out of their tracks, unlike nimbler buses, they get stuck behind stopped cars or delivery trucks.

Quite so. So, don’t build streetcar lines. Just go buy some buses.

What?

Judith reveals in the last sentence that she is intent on fighting straw men: no one anywhere has argued that anyone but a tax authority should decide what tax is due.

That’s from the man who has spent the last decade shouting that people should pay the amount of tax he thinks they should, not what HMRC thinks they should?

Is there really no self-awareness there at all?