September 2018

This is interesting from Nick Cohen, isn’t it

The fight against lethal bigotry is as feeble as the fight against money laundering. Whether they are banks handling looted resources or Silicon Valley companies resisting demands to spend a portion of their profits on hiring editors to moderate content, the guilty parties can rely on governments to regulate them with the lightest of touches.

At the level of traditional policing, few can fault the state’s vigilance. The British neo-Nazi outfit National Action celebrated Jo Cox’s murder – “only 640 MPs to go”, it declared. The government banned it and in July a judge jailed two of its members for plotting the murder of another Labour woman, Rosie Cooper MP. In a pattern familiar to watchers of Islamist groups, National Action rebranded itself as NS131 (National Socialist Anti-Capitalist Action) and the government had to ban the reincarnation too.

Yet as far as the online world is concerned, NS131 remains an active propagandist. Google it and you reach its site as you can reach the sites of Bomb Islam, God Hates Fags, the American Nazi party and many another incendiary organisation.

National Action is guarded by the San Francisco company Cloudflare, which serves about 100,000 of the million most-visited sites. The first amendment to the US constitution gives vast protections to freedom of publication, which are extended to the extremists whose content Cloudflare holds. So vigorously does it seek their business that Wired magazine described Cloudflare as “acting like the muscle guarding the podium at a Nazi rally”. No global tech conglomerate can operate with a base in just one country, however.

To speed up downloads, Cloudflare has built “edge servers” – data centres that store content locally. There are 30 in Europe, including one in London and one in Manchester. The British government cannot regulate the worldwide web, but it could enforce the law in Britain. The anti-fascists at Hope not Hate begged ministers to make Cloudflare’s British operations comply with anti-Nazi legislation.

You see what’s done there?

Anti-incitement to violence legislation, sure, why not? Anti-bigotry legislation? Hmm, well, maybe. But what a nice twist to turn that into anti-Nazi legislation. As if Nazis are the only people capable of bigotry or incitement….

A fun scam

So, there’s some number of unions around that don’t have many members. NUM is perhaps 100 active members at present.

So, who gets to be General Secretary, President, and how? And there’re many more than just that one.

Would it be possible to become General Secretary, or President, of a number of them and thus gain a number of nice fat cat salaries?

I would guess not as no one’s quite stupid enough to leave such remunerative posts vacant. But how would one ind out and then scheme anyway?

Note that, even with no current members, there could well still be agreements with pensions funds and the like to make the posts remunerative.

A French comment about McDonald’s

“I can’t believe you’re asking this,” said Stephane Loiseau, a 29-year-old account manager tapping his order – “un CBO” (chicken, bacon, onion) with fries – into the touchscreen. “It’s such a cliché. They’re cheap, they’re fast, they use pretty OK ingredients. Why should the French be any different from the rest of the world?”

The title of the piece:

From escargots to le Big Mac: how the land of haute cuisine fell for fast food

Well, yes, how dare they like steak hache au pain more than garlic snot?

No, really, you need some subs Telegraph

In a chapter addressing whether mankind is doomed, he argues that scientists carrying out experiments which smash atoms together into quarks – such as protons and neutrons – could theoretically destroy humanity.

Protons and neutrons really aren’t quarks. Really.

Oh, and that piece was written by the “Science Editor.”


Umm, what?

A drag queen has accused Virgin Atlantic of sex discrimination after allegedly dropping from a gay pride advert because they “discovered” she was a woman.

Lacey McFadyen claims Richard Branson’s airline offered her work appearing in a promotional video celebrating sexual diversity but withdrew it because “they only wanted male acts”.

The 26-year-old female drag artist, who uses the stage name Lacey Lou, was contacted by Sassy, a communications company working for Virgin, to ask her to appear in a “remake” of the airline’s famous 2009 television advert featuring glamorous air stewardesses walking through Gatwick Airport.

I thought drag queen was one of those gendered nouns in the first place?

This may or may not be a good reason

I am often asked why I will not stand for political office. I clearly have some of the attributes that might incline me to do so. And then something comes along to remind me of the sheer ghastliness of politics, which I have known of since the time I was a student.

That ghastliness being why politics and politicians should have more power as in the Curajus State no doubt.

That is the base calculation of politics that I could not abide. I cannot reconcile that baseness with doing the right thing, when in this case what is right is obvious. And as a result I do not wish to participate in the sordid calculations that are a part of the politician’s life, and which seem to be getting more sordid by the day.

Murphism – it’s shite so let’s have more of it.

Worstallism – it’s shite so let’s have less of it.

Owen Jones really is a one, isn’t he

We seem to have a call for national censorship here. The reason, the true one not given, being:

That Corbynite free lollipops for everyone promise is in direct competition for the support of exactly those same people that “far right” is chasing with stories of Heimat. The white British working class, exactly the group in play as an electoral base at present.

Owen Jones just wants to ban the competition. How liberal of him, eh?

How much fish did the Royal Navy eat?

I’m reading some Hornblower – on the basis of why the hell not – and there’s a scene in which they blow up an underwater wreck, an effect of which is to bring dead fish to the surface. Which they don’t collect. A slight oddity, as a major subtheme of this part of the story is how they’re negotiating for supplies from the coastal area they’re off- lamb, kids, lettuce etc.

Yes, I know about salt beef, hard tack and so on, the ritual menus of the day for the seamen. And in the Jack Aubrey books there’s some mention of fish being taken (I seem to recall a turbot at some point?) for the officer’s mess. Or even the Captain’s table.

But a thought occurs, of no importance at all but of interest to me at least. How much did the sailing Royal Navy supplement diets with fish? It obviously cannot be counted upon as anything central to the diet as large parts of the oceans are deserts. But how much supplementing went on? Did they routinely carry small nets? Lines and hooks? I cannot believe that anyone sailing the Grand Banks didn’t take a few cod but then that’s my imagination, not reality.

And to extend this out from the RN to merchantmen. Plenty of people must have ploughed though froths of herring or mackerel – did they take them? Routinely that is? Or out in deep, have lines out for tuna?

Armies often enough did try to live off the land – and as often get soundly beaten by those with good logistics trains. The RN did stock and carry its food, supplementing with bullocks and so on and especially anti-scorbutics when making landfall. But how much did the sea traffic of the time also try to pluck fish to add to the diet?

It couldn’t be that no one on board knew how to fish – the press gangs operated in coastal towns and villages. Similarly, it couldn’t be that fish wasn’t part of the land diet of the crew at the time for the same reason.

Any good sources on this? I can imagine it being anything from no, fishing was a most odd thing, through to a hopeful line dropped out of a gunport now and again right up to official but blind eye perhaps escapades with a jolly boat launched with a few good hands and a net to get some herring.

But does anyone know?

Why is The Guardian doing this?

The challenge was inspired after the local hospital was the first in the country to ban sugary drinks and food from its canteen. Simon Smith, who has a background in dietetics and a strong family history of type 2 diabetes, took over as head chef of the hospital in May last year. He said The Pioppi Diet “catalysed” a discussion with the chief executive, Karen James, to transform the food served to staff.

Why give Aseem Malhotra space to sell his diet book? Given that it’s nonsense?

Aseem Malhotra’s bid to become famous and sell his diet book protect the health of the nation has provided this blog with some hilarious content over the years, but he hits new heights of comedic gold in the Sunday Times today.

The low carb/LCHF movement to which Malhotra belongs is ultra-conspiratorial. Being essentially a cult based on magical thinking, it blames other people’s failure to share their beliefs on a vast and growing network of corrupt scientists and government agencies. You might wonder what motivates so many scientists, dietitians and bureaucrats to hide the truth about killer carbs, thereby condemning millions of people to ‘diabesity’, but the answer is obvious: they’re all in the pay of Big Food/Big Soda/Big Grain/Big Ag! Wake up sheeple.

Malhotra denounced the British Dietetic Association as Big Food puppets after they dissed his diet book. He has since added the British Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association to his list.

We have?

Millions of dollars has been raised from anonymous US donors to support British rightwing thinktanks that are among the most prominent in the Brexit debate.

American donors are giving money to US fundraising bodies that pass the donations to four thinktanks in Britain. A Guardian analysis has established that $5.6m (£4.3m) has been donated to these US entities since 2008.

The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute, Policy Exchange and the Legatum Institute have all received financial support from US backers via this route.

The disclosure leaves the thinktanks facing questions as to whether wealthy Americans have undue influence in British politics, particularly over the form Brexit takes.

It would be difficult for there to be all that much influence. To give an example, I’m a Senior Fellow at the ASI. I also do a lot of writing for them. And I’ve no idea who funds – nor how much- the Institute. Not through any lassitude, it’s simply something that isn’t revealed to anyone.

And if I don’t know who funds – and I don’t get given instructions on what to think or write about, which I’m not – then whatever that funding is cannot influence, can it?

The UK thinktanks are some of strongest proponents of radical free trade deals with reduced regulation – positions likely to benefit big American businesses, which have opposed Europe’s tighter regulations since the 2008 financial crash.

Given that I’ve argued for unilateral free trade since whenever that would be a considerable watering down of my views rather than a strengthening of them.

They have a policy of not disclosing their donors, arguing they respect their backers’ right to privacy unless the backers wish otherwise. Critics say the lack of transparency allows unseen donors to influence political debate.

But if I, at the coal face, don’t know, how can it influence?

Well, obviously not, no

Jason Isbell: ‘Jesus would not have voted for Donald Trump’

Well, obviously not, no.

Jesus wasn’t an American, wasn’t alive at the right time and didn’t have the vote anyway. You know, what with living in a Monarchy associated with an Empire and all that.

Not the right way to be thinking about it at all

David Beckham ‘shirking responsibility as role model’ after dodging speeding conviction on technicality

The State has awesome power to prosecute. To entirely fuck up lives by doing so. Thus there are limitations pm how and when it may do so. Important stuff like producing evidence and so on. And you can think that getting the letters out on time as being unimportant but it’s not, it’s all part of that same limitation on what they may do to us.

Despite accepting driving the car at that speed, he will not face action because a notice of intended prosecution (NIP) was not received until one day after the statutory 14-day time limit.

And how about that Curajus State that can’t send letters?

Bit of a surprise

Derek Hatton, a former leading figure in Militant, was last night poised to rejoin Labour after party officials said his former affiliations would not “preclude him from being a member”.

He’s too right wing for them these days isn’t he?

Yes, your way is very clear, very clear indeed

That is why our plan to reinvent Europe is clear:

Instead of engaging with such threats as the “mass cleansing” spoken of by Matteo Salvini in Italy, “getting rid of Islam” by the AfD in Germany, or “ending Europe” by Marine Le Pen, we proudly proclaim the founding values of peace, freedom, prosperity and solidarity.

Instead of supporting calls to muzzle the justice system and political opposition, we demand strict respect for the rule of law and for democratic institutions.

Rather than accepting a divided and weakened continent at the mercy of the world’s other great powers, we are calling for a sovereign Europe capable of acting forcefully in areas where individual member states are powerless, in economic and monetary policy, security and defence, environment and agriculture, social policy, immigration and integration and digital change.

That is also why our method is clear: in our determination to reinvent Europe, nothing is ruled out. We are ready to reform the EU treaties if necessary. We are determined to move forward in spite of the obstacles, recognising that each country must move forward at its own pace. We want a stronger Europe and we will stay open to those who want to join us along the way.

We are determined to go beyond existing partisan structures if they act as obstacles. We are committed to reinventing Europe together with men and women who lead their countries, from the north and the south, the west and the east, who are passionate about Europe, and determined to invest in this historic project while others are content to recite incantations or play walk-on parts.

We now have eight months to convince the citizens of our own countries that Europe deserves this new project and that the citizens deserve this new Europe. Time is running out: we have eight months to get Europe to wake up.

• Christophe Castaner is president of La République En Marche!; Olivier Chastel is president of Mouvement Réformateur, Belgium; Dacian Cioloş is a former prime minister of Romania; Joseph Muscat is prime minister of Malta; Alexander Pechtold is leader of the Democrats 66 party, Netherlands; Matteo Renzi is a former prime minister of Italy; Albert Rivera is leader of Ciudadanos, Spain; Guy Verhofstadt is president of the ALDE Group in the European parliament and a former prime minister of Belgium

Anyone care to tell us what it is they’re actually going to do?

Myself, being free of such pompous gits is a great reason for Brexit in itself.

I shall open an off licence in Chepstow. Totshill maybe

The Welsh government is proposing to set a minimum price per unit of alcohol at 50p in an attempt to combat problem drinking.

Flagons of wife beater cider at English prices a specialty.

Might even be worth looking at a ferry line from Minehead to Barry…..

So, we ICO Scrumpycoin to make it happen, yes?

This is actually serious as well, if anyone knows how to ICO an ERC 20 token say……

Lessee now

I was dating a boy I really liked, so when another classmate made a pass at me, I explained that I was going with someone else, and I turned him down. The next morning, my “friend” – let’s call him Rat – told classmates that I’d slept with him. Since I had declined to have sex with the boy I actually liked, the ugly rumor made me look like a lying hypocrite. Hurt and humiliated, my boyfriend promptly broke up with me, leaving me heartbroken and bewildered. I hadn’t even done what I was accused of doing – and yet that didn’t protect me from public scorn, let alone the loss of my first love.

But there was worse to come. When I started college, I was 16 years old. On my first day, I met a sophomore whose blue eyes were speckled with gold. Soon we were spending every free moment together. He knew I was a virgin, and he was respectful of my wishes – until his roommate went home to Boston for the weekend. In a diabolical coincidence, the roommate was invited to a party where he met Rat, who was attending college there. When he learned the name of Rat’s hometown in New York, he asked if Rat knew me – whereupon Rat gleefully regaled him with a sordid account of what a tramp I had been in high school.

The roommate was astonished, because he knew me as the clueless virgin who wouldn’t sleep with his friend. But of course he came back to our university in Philadelphia and told all his fraternity brothers I was a deceitful slut. Like my high school boyfriend, my college boyfriend responded by ending our relationship.

Not yet 17 and still a virgin, I had now been slandered up and down the eastern seaboard by a single false rumor spread by one boy who managed to wreck my reputation in high school and in college, which had in turn cost me both my high school boyfriend and my college boyfriend.

And? And what?

The losses left me reeling, but the emotional blows were greatly exacerbated by the fear they generated. The power of malicious gossip was terrifying; even when it wasn’t true, it could ruin your life.

The pain of being shamed that way has never left me. Fifty years later, I couldn’t bear the thought of going to my high school reunion. This month, when I was invited to the latest get-together, I stayed home once again.


It seems to be so easy for men to forget the damage they’ve wrought. Do they know that the women they hurt will never be able to forget, let alone heal?

Err, teenage dating? What are we supposed to do about this?

Oh, and when do we get to hear from the male side of this? Not the male side o this particular story, but all teenage girls have always ad everywhere been just perfect in their treatment of teenage boys, right?

It’s the but which is wrong here

Self-driving lorries and digital technology will fundamentally reshape the logistics industry, slashing costs and boosting efficiency.

The claim comes in a new study from PricewaterhouseCoopers which predicts huge benefits for businesses which need to move goods around – but mass job losses among those currently working in the sector.

It’s “because mass job losses.”

Jeebus, Telegraph subs, think it through….

He is less than three feet tall, but he packs muscles, power and swagger in a little frame. Microman is the smallest star in Mexican professional wrestling.

Mexico’s “lucha libre,” a wildly popular mix of sport and entertainment, long featured small figures and dwarves in a deeply demeaning role: they were “mascotas” – a word that can mean both “mascot” and “pet” – for full-size wrestlers.

But a new generation of little people are now rising lucha libre stars in their own right, and dream of one day headlining the main events on their fight cards.

Microman wowed a skeptical crowd at one recent bout in Mexico City, where he and two co-stars, El Gallito and Guapito, took on another team of small-sized wrestlers.

He and his fellow “Micro Stars” were met with a smattering of jeers when they got in the ring.

But Microman silenced them when he climbed onto the top rope – more than three times his height – to execute a high-flying leap straight into the neck of his also small, but larger, rival.

Not really. He’s 3 ft. Three times his height is 9 foot. The top rope around a professional wrestling ring is 9 foot is it?