November 2015


The fight on Sunday underlines the difficulties Germany faces in handling hundreds of thousands of migrants. Although incidents in such centres are common, the chaos in the shelter at Berlin’s disused Tempelhof airport was more violent than normal.

“There were apparently many hundreds of people involved,” a police spokesman said. An unspecified number of arrests were made.

Michael Elias, who is in charge of the shelter, said 830 people were housed at the facility and that between 20 and 30 started the disruption. “It’s the simple fact that there are a lot of young men travelling alone here. We withdrew … because the situation simply exploded. It was a complete blow-out,” he said.

Zoe still doesn’t get it

But it’s the beginning of the end. If you don’t want anything enough to get off your sofa for it, there’s a strong chance that you’re finally sated. What do you get the species that has everything? Manufacturers can stave off the inevitable by building in obsolescence and selling everything as a positional good – a thing you need to prove to others that you’re 1% better than they are. But one day, the answer to that question will be: nothing.

Isn’t that wonderful? And end to consumption inequality and the final satiation of all human desires and needs.

And all brought to you by consumerist capitalism.

It’s almost as if Karl Marx was working along the right lines, isn’t it?

Ain’t Valenti dumb?

Words matter. When we dehumanize people – when we call them demons, monsters, and murderers – we make it easier for others to do them harm. Let’s not pretend that we don’t know that.

How we talk about abortion matters. We know it, and anti-choice extremists and politicians know it.

Yup, when we talk about babies as being “blastocysts”, “embryos”, “mere clumps of cells”, “not viable”, “not humans” we make it easier for others to do them harm.

Jesus but Valenti’s a dumb bint.

Not bad, not bad

I’ve had many skilful men,” observed Shankly in 1975, “but the best professional of the lot was Gerry Byrne. He wasn’t flashy and he wouldn’t score you goals. But he was hard and skilful and gave you everything he had. More than that he was totally honest. Which is the greatest quality of all.”

Fuck off wankstains

David Cameron is under mounting pressure to introduce a sugar tax as the Commons health select committee calls for a 20 per cent levy, and a ban on advertising junk food during family TV shows.
The report from MPs comes as a coalition of almost 20 charities and medical royal colleges called for the introduction of a tax, as part of efforts to combat Britain’s obesity crisis.

The obesity crisis is caused by more calories going in than are being used, nothing else. Sugar consumption in the UK has declined in recent decades. Calorie consumption in the UK has declined in recent decades.

The problem is that energy expenditure has declined more in recent decades. The most likely culprit is actually widespread and effective central heating. Given that, being mammals, our greatest energy expenditure is in regulating body temperature.

Sadly, the obvious truth of all of this doesn’t stop those who take pleasure in regulating the lives of others. Truly, I say to you, there are some who were better left as stains on their mother’s sheets.

Doesn’t really compute, does it?

The going rate for sex has fallen from €50 (£35) at the beginning of the crisis, to as low as just €2 for a single session, Professor Lazos toldThe Times.

OK, terribly cheap now.

Professor Lazos said that his study, which records the cases of 18,500 sex workers in Greece, ‘reflects a society in denial about the changes taking place.’

OK, call it 20k girls on the game. Sounds about right for a country the size of Greece. Possibly a bit high even.

The Greek academic’s findings suggest that Greek women now dominate 80 per cent of the sex trade industry, which has become a €600 million business.

Don’t think so really, do you? 300 million shags a year at €2 a pop, if that’s quite the correct word? That’s 30 paid shags per year for every man woman and child in the country. Even at 50 a pop it’s still 12 million shags. Two per tart per day might work out. But not at that lower price.

Well done Observer subs!

American big business faces the G20 in a fight for $2.1tn in unpaid tax

That much in unpaid tax?

In total, US multinationals are sitting on an estimated $2.1tn in untaxed offshore profits

Err, no, supposedly that much profit untaxed.

Numbers and the left, eh?

Well, yes Willy

Living standards have risen 40 times over the last 250 years in the west, driven neither by the small state beloved of conservatives nor the large state favoured by socialists.
Rather, the growth has resulted from a complicated interaction between capitalism and science and technology, of necessity publicly funded,

Public funding before WWII was pretty scarce on the ground, wasn’t it?

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”.

Gosh, that’s fancy

A student backlash against hearing words and ideas that oppose their own, citing emotional “trauma”, is changing the culture of the American campus writes Ruth Sherlock, US Editor from Harvard University

Who knew that Harvard was sufficiently posh to deserve its own US Editor?

My word, perhaps Gaia really is Gaia

An alarming rise has been witnessed in the population of small microscopic organism plankton. Evaluation of data of Continuous Plankton Recorder has led researchers to find a 10-fold increase in single-cell coccolithophores’ population between 1965 and 2010. Many have been linking the rise in the population to the increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the oceans.

And what do they do?

A more widely accepted idea, however, is that over the long term coccolithophores contribute to an overall decrease in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. During calcification two carbon atoms are taken up and one of them becomes trapped as calcium carbonate. This calcium carbonate sinks to the bottom of the ocean in the form of coccoliths and becomes part of sediment; thus, coccolithophores provide a sink for emitted carbon, mediating the effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

Increased CO2 means increased permanent carbon segregation in sediment.


The study co-author continues, “We never expected to see the relative abundance of coccolithophores to increase 10 times in the North Atlantic over barely half a century. If anything, we expected that these sensitive calcifying algae would have decreased in the face of increasing ocean acidification (associated with increasing carbon dioxide entering the ocean from the burning of fossil-fuels). Instead, we see how these carbon-limited organisms appear to be using the extra carbon from CO2 to increase their relative abundance by an order of magnitude.”

Furthermore, Dr. Balch tells, “This provides one example on how marine communities across an entire ocean basin are responding to increasing carbon dioxide levels. Such real-life examples of the impact of increasing CO2 on marine food webs are important to point out as the world comes together in Paris next week at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change.”

Why do I think the message isn’t going to be “don’t worry so much lads”?

So this is obviously a Linked In scam, but what is it?

I get an email:

Dear Tim,

I came across your profile in Linkedin and i would like to consider you for a vacancy that is currently available..
Our consultant will call you up regarding the details of the vacancy if you could forward a contact number and a time that will be convenient to you,
Best Regards

And there’s a link to a LinkedIn page:

Cassendra Albert
Director at Bolton Recruitment Pvt Ltd
Shepway, Kent, United KingdomHuman Resources
Bolton Recruitment Ltd
BAE Systems, REED
University of London

Hmm. There’s only a couple of results for a “Cassendra Albert” on Google, the only one appearing to be a live person not being this person. “Pvt” is the Oz for “Ltd” so a company being Pvt and Ltd is unlikely. There’s no Bolton Recruitment that I can find, let alone in Shepway.

So, a scam. But what the heck is the scam? What might they be able to gain by having my phone number (which is in the book anyway)?

Not quite interested enough to answer the email but…..

Yes, yes, OK, I’m 52, I’m not supposed to understand the youth of today

Just as my grandparents weren’t supposed to understand the excitement that was punk (although they did get zoot suiters which, despite the fashion differences, wasn’t far off) but even so:

Mount Holyoke College canceled its annual production of “The Vagina Monologues” because it’s insufficiently inclusive regarding women without vaginas and men who, as the saying goes, “self-identify” as women. “Gender,” said a student, “is a wide and varied experience, one that cannot simply be reduced to biological or anatomical distinctions,” and the show “is inherently reductionist and exclusive.”

Or is this just the revolution eating its children as it has since forever?

Lady Kitty Spencer

Is Di’s niece.


Not quite your typical aristocratic figure is it? Still, as the Daily Mash pointed out, unlikely to be too much of a problem supply the Earl with grandchildren:

But Nathan Muir, a completely normal person in every way from Hatfield, stressed: “What the hell are you talking about?

“She’s a cracker and I can say with cast-iron certainty that if I, or any of my friends, were lucky enough to be on top of her you would need a crane to get us off.”

Martin Bishop, a remarkably ordinary human from Doncaster, said: “The girl with the hips, the magnificent knockers and the warm, happy face… or the arrogant, sulky angle-poise lamp who spends half her life in the bog?

“I’ll be honest, I don’t listen to women all that much but from what I can gather the debate is, essentially, about attractiveness and therefore it is reasonable to assume that I, as a man, am the one who is supposed to be attracted.

“We keep saying it until we are blue in the face – for the love of god, please gain some weight because we do not want to have sex with someone who looks like a 12 year-old boy.”


Err, you what?

It’s a pernicious double standard. As a 2014 report from Stop Street Harassment notes, gay, bisexual and transgender men experience rates of street harassment between 17 and 20% higher than their male counterparts who aren’t LGBT.

I should know. A few summers ago, I walked home as I normally would from a gym in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, which has a high concentration of LGBT residents and business owners. With headphones in, I enjoyed a breezy afternoon stroll down Broadway Street, the wind drying my sweaty brow, soaked shirt and gym shorts. Approaching the last few blocks of my journey home, I heard loud jeers and laughs from three men walking behind me.

“Man, look at that ass,” one man said to the others, as if I wasn’t present and listening to his remarks. “Wonder if he’ll let me get a bite of that.”

I thought if I ignored them and just listened to my music, they’d eventually stop. But they kept walking behind me, they kept discussing what they’d like to do with my hindquarters with or without my consent, my whole way home. As I arrived on my block, I suddenly realized that hardly anyone else was in an earshot, and started to wonder if they really wouldn’t stop. So I quickly shuffled to my buzzer gate, slammed it behind me, and unlocked my building’s double doors in haste, rushing inside for a buffer between myself and the men on the outside. They laughed at my trepidation as they continued down the street.

Umm, presumably gay or bi- men whoop at the buns on a male gym bunny. And this is the patriarchy?

It’s time to have more of a conversation about how the misogyny and patriarchy imbued in rape culture targets gay and gender non-conforming men

Apparently so.

So the LSE is employing idiots now, is it? @jasonhickel edition

To eradicate poverty global GDP would have to increase to 175 times its present size if we go with $5/day. In other words, if we want to eradicate poverty with our current model of economic development, we need to extract, produce, and consume 175 times more commodities than we presently do. This is horrifying to contemplate.

Yes, a horrifying contemplation. The idea that someone employed by the London School of Economics thinks that GDP measures commodity consumption.

Might I suggest just a little wander down the corridor to the people who know these things? Like GDP is a measure of value added, not physical commodities extracted, produced or consumed?

Christ, they managed to get it into my thick head as a student, they should be able to crowbar it into the mind of one of the staff.

Umm, yeah

The simplest remedy for a couple who are bound to pass on a genetic disease is to use sperm donation and pre-implantation diagnosis to select healthy IVF embryos, she says. The desire to have genetically related children should not be a trump card, she argues.

That’s pretty tough, given that the desire to have genetically related children is the point and purpose of life.