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Those Bankers Really Are Overpaid, Aren\’t they?

2007 earnings:

Oprah Winfrey: $260 million
Tiger Woods: $115 million
Steven Spielberg: $110 million
Dr. Phil McGraw: $90 million
50 Cent: $33 million
Gisele Bundchen: $33 million
Miley Cyrus: $18.2 million
Mary-Kate Olsen: $17 million
Ryan Seacrest: $12 million
Trouble (Leona Helmsley’s dog): $12 million
Eli Manning: $11.5 million
Katherine Heigl: $11 million
Jeff Foxworthy: $10 million
Jessica Alba: $9 million
Mariska Hargitay: $7 million
Carrie Underwood: $7 million
Scarlett Johansson: $5 million

For Dearieme in the comments. After the first three:

Relationship adviser: one about to get divorced if tittle tattle is to be believed.



Teen pop sensation.

Ditto (or is it actress?)


Bow Wow.



Comedian ("You Know You\’re a Redneck" when your family tree has no branches.)


Tennis player? Or model?



How Revealing

Guardian leader:

His younger opponent – the 52-year-old centre-left candidate Walter Veltroni, the outgoing mayor of Rome – is more experienced than Mr Berlusconi, having entered politics earlier.

The creation of a multi-billion fortune is not "experience"? Only time in politics counts?

Umm, Ben?

700 million?

The EFSA, for example, have produced three PDF reports full of technical material, including a massive statistical re-analysis of the original data (kindly provided by the original researchers) which they harp on about enormously, but which they conclude changes basically nothing. For an organisation representing the interests of 700 million people, well-funded by Ukip voters\’ tax money, and with a massive advisory panel, they also make some slightly bizarre criticisms of the science.

The European Food Safety Authority is an EU institution, no? So how do we get to 700 million? 450 million rather, no? Even if it\’s EFTA or EEA I can\’t see it getting to 700 million.

Anyone know the answer?

Spot On

So, a newspaper carries and advertisement for the BNP. The editor\’s comment?

In his editorial column, Mr Martin wrote: "To be able to tolerate those we vehemently disagree with is the hallmark of an open, egalitarian and democratic society, where freedom of speech and expression are sacrosanct."

Quite. As DK said in a slightly different context. Why do we not censor or ban fascists?

Because we are not fascists.


Communitarians Again

A mother in need of a kidney transplant was denied her daughter\’s "perfect match" organs after her sudden death.

Laura Ashworth died, aged 21, at Bradford Royal Infirmary after a suspected asthma attack.

She had spoken of her desire to help her mother, Rachel Leake, who has kidney failure, but despite being on the national organ donor register, did not formally record her wish for her mother to benefit.

A transplant co-ordinator then told Miss Leake, 39, that her only child\’s organs would go to strangers.

One of Laura\’s kidneys went to a man in Sheffield and the second to a man in London. Her liver was given to a 15-year-old girl.

Good that three people were given the chance of life, of course.

A spokesman for UK Transplant said a final decision in the case was taken by the Human Tissue Authority in line with the Human Tissue Act.

Your dead body belongs to the State, not your family.

Nice to see it spelt out so clearly, eh?

Soldiers Rights

This all seems very strange to me I must say:

In a blow to Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, a senior judge said troops in combat zones have a "right to life" at all times, even while under fire on the battlefield.

Makes you rather wonder whether the politicians actually read and understood the Human Rights Act 1998 before they waved it into law.

This I rather like though:

But rejecting Mr Browne\’s bid, the judge said: "A finding that there was a failure to act in a particular way does not appear to determine a question of civil liability. I do not think that findings of fact, however robustly stated, can be forbidden."

Rock on Judge! A finding of fact being simply another word fo "truth".

The Council Spies

More than 1,000 covert surveillance operations are being launched every month to investigate petty offences such as dog fouling, under-age smoking and breaches of planning regulations.

No, no,. these are very special powers, only to be used in times of grave crisis:

When Ripa was passed in 2000, only nine organisations, such as the police and security services, were allowed to use it, but that number has risen to 792, including 474 councils.

In 2006, more than 1,000 applications per day were being made to use Ripa powers. The Act allows councils to authorise surveillance, obtain phone records and details of email traffic from personal computers (though not their contents) and obtain details of websites individuals are logging on to.

No, really, they are very special powers only to be used in times of grave crisis.


Yes Margot


It is shameful when Member States agree to generous commitments and then don’t fulfil them.

Quite. So you\’ll be putting pressure on the Member States to have those referendums then?


Gayers in the Westminster Village

From Ian Dale\’s survey of sexuality in politics:

All this does seem to prove that political parties do attract more gay people, proportionately, than other areas of society. This is especially true among activists, I think. One or two people in previous threads have had a go at explaining this phenomenon, but I don\’ think any of them have done so very successfully.

Easy peasy.

Politics is showbusiness for ugly people. Showbusiness has a similarly high rate of gayers.

All that\’s left is to work out whether Iain actually tried on the stage or had enough self-knowledge to know that politics it was going to have to be.



Competition Time!

Yes, I think this competition does indeed deserve mentioning.

What would be the correct and appropriate method of doing away with the pecksniffs, puffballs and pikers who rule over us?

So far we\’ve had plain and simple hanging, gibbets, sharpened cockroaches, mangonels, trebuchets, jet engines….

Much adoration and many geek points for the most truly innovative and appropriate method. Add links in the comments as you post or suggest, please.

Polly Today

Sorry, no comment on this. Other than Mr Pike Bishop\’s wonderful put down of a couple of months ago (from memory, apologies).

Gordon Brown might not be turning out to be the Prime Minister you thought he would be Polly, but he is turning out to be the Prime Minister we knew he would be.

Ah, the line preserved here.


Bleedin\’ Communitarians

There\’s also a cultural objection to the new ways of seeing, which is the one Davies makes. The biggest defining feature that TV has had, in comparison with other art forms such as theatre, film and literature, is that millions of people watched the programmes at precisely the same moment – in the way they still do for a football match or news of a terrorist attack. And every format had its own time of day – breakfast, afternoon, evening, late night – or of the week: a Saturday-night drama being tangibly different from a Sunday-night one, for instance.

Is TV being seduced too easily by new technology into losing its most unique aspect – community consumption?

There really must be better things tto do with one\’s time than think, write, or read about how we don\’t all watch TV programs at the same time.

The atomisation of society, cultural alienation, the anomie of modernity…..all because we watch Dr. Who at different times.


Ah, Already

Re the earlier point about screams of profiteering:

Britain\’s largest mortgage lenders were last night accused of fattening their profits at the expense of increasingly stretched homeowners as two leading firms ignored the third interest rate cut from the Bank of England in five months and pushed through price increases on some of their most popular home loan offers.

Didn\’t take long.

No note of the fact that wholesale inter-bank rates haven\’t moved in lock step with base rate cuts and that it\’s the former which determine the costs of mortgages.

Well done The Guardian, informative and comprehensive as ever.

Oh Lord

Please save us from idiot regulators:

Internet service providers could face a new tax to help pay for unprofitable programmes shown on ITV and Channel 4, which may in turn lead to higher broadband charges for consumers.

The levy could be imposed by the Government on the service providers and websites within the next few years, under proposals published yesterday about the future funding of "public service" programmes which make little or no money for commercial broadcasters.

So why do these programs make little money? Because no one wants to watch them. So why should there be any public subsidy to them? They are clearly producing less value than they cost to produce: this is known as making us all poorer, a destruction of value.

And why should people who deliberately use a different technology, the internet, pay for the failures of an old one, TV? Should we have taxed the car makers to support the buggy whip manufacturers?

This is as silly as taxing dustmen so that Dukes can go to the opera….oh, wait, we do that don\’t we?


You\’ve got to laugh, eh?

A council has used powers intended for anti-terrorism surveillance to spy on a family who were wrongly accused of lying on a school application form.

Those exceptional powers, those that would only be used in the most important and urgent of cases, are employed to check up on a school application.

What next? 42 days for not paying your car tax? Incommunicado, that is, for we wouldn\’t want anyone to know so that someone can nip down to the Post Office and apply for it for you now, would we?

Can we hang them all yet?

We Will Hear Screams of Profiteering

From the usual sources:

The Monetary Policy Committee cut its base rate from 5.25 per cent to 5 per cent amid growing concern about slowing growth in the economy.

But some lenders increased the rates on some of their loans hours before the announcement. Yesterday morning, Nationwide – the biggest building society – and Alliance & Leicester said they were increasing rates on their new fixed-rate mortgages. Woolwich made a similar move this week.

Other lenders are expected to follow suit. This is because the interest rates banks charge each other to borrow money have not matched recent cuts in the Bank\’s base rate.

It\’s actually more basic than that. The authorities do not control anything other than that Bank base rate. All other interest rates can be influenced by that rate, to be sure, but the influence lessens the longer term the loan: and mortgages are, almost by definition, the longest (or almost the longest) term loans in the market.

It\’s always been true this, it\’s just we\’re seeing at the moment that the influence is less than usual.

But, whatever the truth of this, we\’ll have articles around the place insisting that this is just the bastard banks profiteering off the backs of the borrowers.

Vote Yes!

To the Lisbon Treaty.

The Irish Young Fine Gael Party says that it\’ll give you a big dick/big tits.

Any of you with photoshop skills who might like to adapt those images, please do and let me know the resting places of them.

Dicks/Tits for Europe offers just too, too many opportunities for mockery.

Bend over and take one for Europe?