When did the convicts turn into pantywaist wimps?

A business in Australia has been barred from calling itself “Pommiebasher” after a tribunal found the term was potentially pejorative and could offend some members of the public.

Jeebus that’s gay.

“That is particularly so where the expression is used outside the context of cricket or another sporting event … Devoid of the cricketing or sporting context, I find that the expression Pommiebasher is likely to be offensive to members of a section of the public. It follows I find that its use as a registered business name is undesirable.”

Admittedly I’m descended from someone who both took the assisted passage in the 1850s and also left the place as soon as she could find a man who would get her out of it. So I wouldn’t say that I’m genetically pre-disposed to like the place: although I might cop to the robustness of my language having something to do with those couple of decades imprinted on the genes.

But seriously, when did the Wild Colonials allow the gits to take over?

If Salon could understand this then they wouldn’t be Salon, would they?

Armed white men seize a federal building. The government stands down carefully. But a 12-year-old with a toy gun?

Armed, armed there is doing a lot of work. And in fact they’re “well armed”.

Which is why Second Amendment, militias and all the rest. Being well armed means the government has to shut the fuck up and listen to you instead of just crushing you like a bug.

A fun little bit with olive picking

The point being quite how much intensive labour has to go into it.

In just one night in mid-November 26,000 kilograms were stripped from the trees, a haul worth €15,600 (£11,500) according to the €0.60 per-kilo price being paid out by the local San Isidro cooperative to its 300 members this season.

That’s a lot by the way, an orchard full…..or at least, the sort of orchard that a small farmer might have himself. It’s not, by any means, just a couple of trees. And that’s also the price per kilo for what you’ve beaten from the trees, onto nets, and then scooped up.

Once processed, olives for the best virgin oils are now fetching €4 a kilo,

Part of that is the quality difference. But you’ve got to pick up each olive individually, check it for worm infestation, score the skin, make sure there’s no stem etc. And you do that for each and every olive: say, 100 pieces per kilo?

It’s an absolutely obscenely difficult way to try to make money. Which is why around here there’s trees dotted around, free to anyone to harvest, which never do get harvested. One right outside my door for example. Local families will make a 50% attempt at getting the easy fruit but that’s more a cultural thing. Like going out scrumping for blackberries and the like. It’s not for the fruit, it’s to say that this is what our culture does more than anything. The kids help, everyone plays round outside for four or five hours, eats a sandwich, some litre or two of oil is made at the local co op and everyone agrees that they’re fully in touch with societal roots. And then thanks God that this is done for that litre or two, not a living.

Same with the carob that grows everywhere: €4.50 for a 14 kg bag last time I checked the price for that. The mad lady and her short bus son at the end of the road will collect 10 bags of that perhaps in season. More as something to do than anything…..

Peasant farming is a really shitty lifestyle.

If Paki is racist, is Pak?

Times of India
Pak singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan deported from Hyderabad
Times of India – ‎5 hours ago‎
Acclaimed Pakistani singer Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was in for a rude shock on Thursday morning when he touched down at the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA).

Oh aye?

Embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who lost control of Venezuela’s National Assembly in polls earlier this month, said on Tuesday that fraud had marred the vote, which was being investigated.
“I am not going to release preliminary results of the investigation … There were a lot of things going on. Buying people’s votes … control of members of polling station teams and entire polling station teams,” Maduro said on his weekly television show.
“Criminals were buying votes … There was a plan,” Maduro added on VTV state TV.
The president claimed the result of the December 6 legislative polls – in which the opposition alliance MUD won control of the National Assembly for the first time in 16 years – was “circumstantial.”
Maduro said he would soon reveal what he called the opposition’s “plan” to the nation, along with evidence. He did not immediately say when.

Because of course the people could not possibly have voted against incompetent fuckwits, could they?

Lala Lalalala Lala

Well, gotta admit, it’s catchy:

A song released by the Pegida anti-immigrant movement is racing up the charts in Germany despite being widely ridiculed.
The track, entitled Gemeinsam sind wir stark! or Together We Are Strong! is being marketed as an anthem for Pegida, and sold to raise funds for the anti-Muslim movement.
Released just before Christmas, it has quickly risen to number 10 in the music charts on Amazon’s German website.
But the song has been greeted with mockery and abuse for the fact it has no words, and instead features a chorus humming along to the tune.
“Wow, stunning, monumental. Especially the text: ‘Lala Lalalala Lala’, genuine poetry,” one reviewer calling himself Franky wrote on Amazon.
“Super, in time for Christmas, here are all Pegida’s arguments in musical form, collected in a single, glorious anthem that should silence the fiercest critics: ‘Mmmmm mmmmmmmhhh, mmmmmm mmmmmhhhhh!’” wrote Dorian Grey.

Also, perhaps a little less worrying than the songs of old.

Die Fahne hoch! Die Reihen fest geschlossen!
SA marschiert mit ruhig festem Schritt.
Kam’raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschier’n im Geist in unser’n Reihen mit.
Kam’raden, die Rotfront und Reaktion erschossen,
Marschier’n im Geist in unser’n Reihen mit.

Time to burn down Washington DC again

British Muslims have been prevented from travelling to the US, without explanation or compensation. The UK cannot allow such discrimination to continue.

It’s the only way to teach them, obviously, send in the Marines again. Burn the place to the ground again.

Hmm, what’s that? Some other countries maintain that they should be allowed to deice, as they themselves wish, who is allowed to enter their country? But that’s entirely unacceptable!

War it is then, eh?

Fat German socialist

The president of the European Parliament has described political events in Poland as having the “characteristics of a coup”, causing the second diplomatic row between himself and Warsaw in a month.
Martin Schulz expressed alarm on Monday over the “dramatic” political situation in Poland triggered by a battle for power over the country’s supreme court.
The president told Deutschlandfunk radio in Germany: “What is happening in Poland has the character of a coup d’etat and is dramatic. I assume that this week or in January at the latest, we will have to discuss this extensively in the European Parliament.”
His comments were swiftly criticised by Beata Szydlo, the Polish prime minister from the ruling Law and Justice party, who demanded an apology for the “unacceptable” comments.

Remarkably, some Poles don’t like fat German socialists.

Odd that, really.

For a Frog it’s always our fault, eh?

Instead, the centre-Right candidate chose to lash out at an entirely different enemy: Britain. “C’est la faute aux Anglais,” (It’s all England’s fault),” he declared in the run up to Sunday’s vote, as if that would seal the argument.

“The main reason we have so many problems is because of the English. Either they change their rules, or we hand them back their border,” he boomed.

Hmm, given that we’ve not joined Schengen we never handed over the border so that it could be handed back, did we?

Oh aye?

The timing of the charges is conspicuous. Since leaving Russia in 2013, the former tycoon has been generally removed from the attention of Russian officialdom. But two days ago he delivered a speech in which he called revolution “inevitable and necessary,” pledging to help carry it out.

We are all so surprised, eh?

No, just no

Sure, an interesting reason and a policy of the state:

Spain is planning to ban dubbing on foreign television programmes in an effort to boost the nation’s English proficiency.
Spaniards lag far behind their Scandinavian, German and Dutch cousins when it comes to speaking English, but they could soon be shooting up the EU English league tables with the new proposal.
Virtually all foreign films or series shown by Spanish channels are dubbed by local actors, which has hindered language skills.
The conservative Popular Party (PP) led by Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy wants to boost children’s knowledge of English, along with other proposed measures such as an increase in the number of native-speaker conversation teachers in school classrooms.

And also you can bugger off matey. if people want to have dubbed programs then they should have dubbed programs. If they don’t, or would prefer subtitles, then they can have those instead. This is one of those problems that the market, pure and unadorned, can deal with.

Tim Newman has bluegrass

Others find different solutions:

But judging by their comments, some would not be entirely dismayed at the idea that Botswana might not be their home for ever.
The company’s health and safety manager celebrated the fact he could buy a quality steak for a pound but added that his Persian cat was struggling with the heat.
A female staff member said she had taken up golf “as it’s a great way to fill lots of time, particularly if you’re bad at it”.

Fun story about the immigrants

One I was told in the pub last night.

These rivers of humanity flooding into Europe tend to be pretty well informed about conditions in various countries. And there’s an app or two for that, of course. And, as was pointed out to me proudly last night, the Czech Republic is ranked, in such apps, as being in a dead heat for last in the list of desirable places to turn up and claim asylum. Hungary being the other.

Apparently, something to do with the benefits on offer not being very high. Plus an adherence to the actual rules about where and why one might be able to claim asylum.

People are rational and attempt to maximise their utility. Who knew?

This Russian nuclear missile

Secret plans for a Russian long-range nuclear torpedo came to light after a state television cameraman filmed over a senior officer’s shoulder with a diagram on show.
The scheme involves the use of massive doses of radiation to render large areas of enemy coastlines uninhabitable and appeared on TV during a meeting with Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

Umm, yeah.

Status 6 itself appears to be a gigantic torpedo-shaped robotic mini-submarine – in other words an underwater drone – that can travel at speeds of 100 knots (115mph) and is so perfectly cloaked by stealth technology it would be invisible to acoustic tracking devices.
The notes on the torpedo diagram give it a range of up to 6,200 miles (10,000km), and a dive depth of 3,300 feet (1,000m) – far beyond that of most manned submarines.

Amazing, eh? And carrying a dirty bomb (Co-60 or some such nicely dangerous contaminant perhaps).

That has prompted some analysts to suggest that the “accidental” leak was actually intended to signal that Russia has the means and intention to respond “asymetically” by creating devices the new American defences will not stop.

No, that’s not the way I would analyse it at all. Rather, how cheap would it be to print up some nonsense and then accidentally reveal it? Bloody sight cheaper than actually having to work out how to build a deterrent, isn’t it?

And as with the point made yesterday, if the FSB does want to leak me the plans just to keep the maskirovka going then I do know where the ziggurat is in Vauxhall. Would be able to drop it off after a few months persuasion by the comfy redhead mentioned…..

How very Russian

Meanwhile, it emerged that Metrojet owes its staff two months in unpaid wages and has suffered at least two serious accidents in the past five years.
Kogalymavia, the legal entity that owns the Metrojet brand name, owes its employees up to 70million rubles (about £70,000) in arrears, Alexander Snagovsky, the company’s general director, said.
The family of Sergei Trykhachyov, the co-pilot on 7K9268, said the last monthly wage he received was for July.

You can bet that the directors aren’t skimping on their champagne and mistresses, but the staff? Hey, they’re just labour, right?

Seriously worrying this

Russians are an entrepreneurial lot. They’ve had to be over the decades.

People seeking asylum in Norway have taken to using bicycles to cross the border from Russia because pedestrian traffic is banned and drivers of vehicles are fined if they carry passengers across without the proper documents.

The numbers making that journey, many of them Syrians fleeing civil war, have increased dramatically in the last few weeks after governments in southern Europe cracked down on people trying to enter by that route.

More than 500 would-be asylum seekers have gathered in the Russian town of Nickel, the nearest big settlement to the border post, now they cannot cross into Norway.

“There are more than 500 of the Syrians here. They are continuing to flow into Nickel,” said a Reuters source in the town.

“The local shops are empty of bicycles. No bus or taxi will take the Syrians to Norway because they do not have valid visas and the drivers would be fined by the Norwegians and stripped of their permits to work on international routes.”

Seriously, there should be someone:

“Sergei, go steal 300 bicycles”

“What? Vova, have you lost your mind?”

“Da, go steal 300, 500 kiddie’s bikes. Get them up here, I can sell each one for 60,000 roubles”.

“OK, I’ll tell the boys. Alexi has a truck….”.

And why isn’t someone collecting those discarded rubber boats on Lesbos and reselling them in Turkey?

Yes, I know about the Run Rebellion and all that

The distinctive Australian accent is the result of a “drunken slur” caused by the heavy drinking of the early settlers, according to a communication expert from the country.

But the problem with this idea is that early Australia wasn’t notably more boozy than other societies of the time.

If I were to look for a cause (and as ever, I’m entirely willing to pontificate on something I know nothing at all about) I’d look to the rural/urban split. It’s well known that urban accents are faster than rural (just compare Cockney with Dorset, Boston with Maine). Oz was a very rural society for the important developmental part of its history. For that first century or so it was a giant farm for the Empire.