Saturday, 21 November 2009

Football

I was amused by the reaction to Thierry Henry's "Hand of God" goal by football supporters.

The thing with football is that it is the sport most prone to luck of any sport out there. It has insuffient judging (considering the space), lacks episodic play (so it's not easy to check refereeing decisions) has low scoring and lacks scoring requires on confirmation of victory.

Its opposite is tennis. Tennis has judges, computer judging and the tournament referee can be called in. It has plenty of points and has 2 levels of confirmation (win game by 2 points and set by 2 points). So, the person who wins the match is extremely likely to be the best performer of the day.

Rugby doesn't have enough judging nor action replays, but does have high scoring. So the luck evens out across a match and while the best team may lose because of luck, they would still have to be quite close to the better team to win.

But the level of luck in football is its attraction. It's why fans will turn out for matches - their non-league club might, just might put that one goal in the net against a league club and win by defending for the rest of the game. It also, I believe, explains it's near religious and tribal following.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

You Fucking Cockwipes

From This Is Surrey:-

A former soldier who handed a discarded shotgun in to police faces at least five years imprisonment for "doing his duty".
Paul Clarke, 27, was found guilty of possessing a firearm at Guildford Crown Court on Tuesday – after finding the gun and handing it personally to police officers on March 20 this year.
The jury took 20 minutes to make its conviction, and Mr Clarke now faces a minimum of five year's imprisonment for handing in the weapon.

An utter travesty of justice by the sounds of it. A badly worded law, police and CPS who want to raise their statistics and a judicial system that doesn't like jury nullification.

But I really do think the jury were also utter cockwipes in this case. You're going to take away a man's livelihood for 5 years for making what could best be described as an honest mistake? Had the police questioned him under caution about finding it, I'd understand. But it seems that there was no evidence presented of any criminal activity.

We need to have far more information given to juries about previous cases of jury nullification, where juries ignored the law and cleared people because the law was an ass and allowed the superior moral code to take precedent.

Acronym FAIL

From CBS:-
MANILA - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Friday that she is optimistic a peace pact between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will happen before President Arroyo steps down in 2010.
Might want to check what else that stands for

Saturday, 14 November 2009

What the Fuck Fucking Fuckity Fuckwittering Hell???

From the BBC:-

A woman convicted of murder has gone on the run during an escorted visit to the shops in south London.
Patricia Gillette, 41, from Streatham, south London, was detained indefinitely in 2007 for killing Mark Murphy, 38, at his home in Streatham in August 2006.


Murderers going shopping? Presumably non-handcuffed murderers at that? Has the world gone completely batshit insane?

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Question Time:-

Good:-

David Dimbleby is to miss Question Time for the first time tonight - after being knocked out by a bullock.
I don't wish ill on Mr Dimbleby, but I won't miss him on QT

Bad:-
John Humphrys, the veteran presenter of the Today programme, will deputise for Dimbleby on tonight’s episode of the political panel show

Fucksocks.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Seat Tipping - Labour's Potential Long Term Disaster

Reading Jackie Ashley's column where she stated that some Labour politicians got me thinking: how many Labour seats are going to "tip" to the Lib Dems.

One of the things about the 1997 election was how much tactical voting occurred. People who desperately wanted the Conservatives out chose the strongest opposition candidate in their seat, whether Lib Dem or Labour. It's one of the features of wretched First Past The Post voting systems.

Now, if Labour don't get their vote out, or if voters who are left-leaning decide that they can't stand Labour any longer, then the LDs will get that vote. Which could mean that following the election, a lot of seats may end up with the LDs in 2nd place, which could then lead to them holding a lot of 2nd places come the following election.

Could we see a hung parliament in 5 years time?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Pointless Climate Talks

From The Telegraph:-

In the latest round of UN climate change talks in Barcelona, the US said it was unfair to expect rich countries to cut emissions while developing nations like China and India continue to pollute.

It is the latest blow to the negotiations and puts any chance of a deal in Copenhagen at the end of the year in serious doubt.
 I'm sure that the left will find some way to blame this on Bush, though.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Olympic Condoms

From The BBC:-

When the Olympics hosted by Beijing ended, a collector snapped up the 5,000 condoms left over from the 100,000 distributed free to athletes.
 The Olympic village, according to many accounts is a major shagathon. A whole load of young people in very good condition away from home with lots of time to spare thrown together in a village.
Each condom wrapper carries the motto of the Beijing Games - faster, higher, stronger - in English and Chinese. 
I think most ladies would appreciate "slower" instead.

I'm waiting for my London Olympics ones to arrived, seeing how us taxpayers are getting right royally fucked over it.

Is this like Teabagging?

BBC Headline:-


MPs seek answers on Nutt sacking

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Fuckwit of the Week

This is just nuts:-



An electric car created by ex-McLaren Formula One designer Gordon Murray has been unveiled.
Three prototypes of the T.27 model will be developed over the next 16 months.
The manufacturing process, called iStream, has received £9m of investment, half of which came from the government's Technology Strategy Board.

So, that's £9 million of your money going on a golf cart with no roof and no sides.

All the parts are designed by computer and welded together rather than being stamped out of metal sheets, explained David Bott, director of innovation platforms at the Technology Strategy Board.
"It's a very radical approach to manufacturing," he told the BBC. "Usually you talk about high value, or low carbon, or resource efficient manufacturing - this ticks all those boxes."
"Cars don't tend to be heavy because of safety; they tend to be heavy because of luxury," added Mr Bott. 

Like a roof? And windows that can be wound up? No-one is going to buy this. They'd rather take the bus. If there was demand for such a vehicle (and let's face it, a Land-Rover is not dissimilar), they'd be buying it already.

So, the government has spent £9 million on a car based on what it thinks it needs, rather than what the public wants. Fantastic.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Not Letting Matters Rest

From The Telegraph:-

It was the referendum, however, that had to be dealt with first. “Blair”, “Brown” and “Labour” were the key words here, with Cameron keen to associate broken promises with anyone other than himself.

Well, that was a waste of 3 words. We know Blair and Brown are cunts of the highest order. They're yesterday's men, and we're looking at the possible successors and what they might do.

So the first Tory promise was really quite simple: “never again”. This is a message, Cameron said, that will appear in the Conservative election manifesto. If he is the next Prime Minister, a Conservative government will attempt to ensure that that there will be a British “referendum lock” to which the British people had the key – any future EU treaty will be voted on, in other words, following Ireland’s example.

One everso teensy problem you've got there, Dave: Ireland has a written constitution. We don't. Whatever you promise, Labour can come along and tear it up. Then again, the Conservatives seem to blindly think that we can rely on the monarch to protect us from tyranny.

Britain would look further afield for inspiration on other fronts. There will be a new “United kingdom Sovereignty Bill” along German lines which would make it clear that ultimate authority rests in the British parliament.

That sounds suspiciously like the amendment that Bill Cash put forward at the time of Lisbon being signed, the one that David Cameron didn't vote for. I'm sure he'll give us all one of those iron-clad guarantees about this...

Good Things That Labour Have Done

One of the things that some political types can't seem to get with me is that I have no political loyalty. UKIP currently get my support because on balance, I prefer their policies to anyone else (and I balance this against the pragmatism forced on me by the wretched FPTP system). Someone comes out with a better balance of policies and I might go elsewhere.

But I thought that fair's fair - there's some things which Labour have done which have actually been quite positive amongst the sea of shite. So, here's a brief list of things off the top of my head:-

1. Liberalising the licensing hours
2. Proposing more building on the London greenbelt
3. Allowing gay sex at 16 and civil partnerships

I would have added:-

4. Independence of the bank of England in setting interest rates, but as the whole area is a massive cock-up, I don't know.
5. Lowering cannabis to class C, but the idiots have gone and reversed that.

Any other suggestions?

Sexual Entertainment Classification

Just reading something in The Sun about a benefit cheat who was a "pole dancer" but the headline refers to her as a stripper.

Now, I've never been to a pole dancing club, but I thought that there wasn't any stripping involved. That the state of undress that they arrived on the stage was the same as when they left.

Am I wrong?

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

This Treaty Thing...

This thing about "not being able to rescind a treaty"...

Why can a government change the laws of a previous government, but when signed with someone who they shouldn't give a shit about, can't?

Personally, I think the Conservatives should sign a treaty with Sierra Leone giving them governance over various Labour heartlands. As it's a treaty, there's nothing Labour can do. Right?

Fisking Widdecombe

From The Guardian:-

I am not a fan of Alan Johnson, the beleaguered home secretary, but he is 100% right to sack Professor David Nutt, who seems to think that it is possible both to be the government's senior drug adviser and to rubbish that same government's drugs policy in public.

I don't see a conflict. He advised the government, they ignored his advice so he rubbished them. And don't be giving me none of that "united front". He's paid for by the taxpayer for his advice, which we should hear completely and is entitled to his opinion.

From all the uproar, you would think science was united around a fixed view that drugs are harmless – whereas there is no such universality of opinion, and the government's own Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is not united either.

That's a massive straw man. No-one is saying that drugs are harmless. Not Nutt, not Danny Kushlick of Transform. NOBODY.

Drugs account for about a third of all crime and around 80% of all acquisitive crime (theft). They are present in about 20% of road traffic accidents. People have died as a result of taking ecstasy and committed crimes under the influence of cannabis. This so-called soft drug also produces psychosis. For some, it is but the gateway to hard drugs and death. Indeed, some studies in Amsterdam, where soft drug use is lawful under certain circumstances, suggest that when soft drug use increases, so does hard drug use. That is not exactly a litany of reassurance.

1. Acquisitive crime comes from the fact that the price is far higher than it would be if we had the NHS prescribing it or if we had a free market.
2. The DFT research on this (http://www.dft.gov.uk/rmd/project.asp?intProjectID=10834) says this is less than alcohol and also points out that cannabis is the major drug, and that this is based on detectable levels which remain traceable in the bloodstream for 4 weeks.
3. The raised risk of psychosis is not proven, and may be down to self-medication. The Department of Health asked Philip Robson to look at the research and wasn't that convinced of a strong link. And personally, I'm far more worried around a drunken crowd than a stoned crowd.
4. Jan van Ours of Tilburg University found no link between soft drugs and hard drugs after looking at four studies and that the evidence was circumstantial.

When this government downgraded cannabis from class B to class C, it was criticised by the World Health Organisation, headteachers, members of the medical profession and sections of the press. Admitting the error of its ways and reversing that unfortunate decision should have won it plaudits. Instead, it is attacked by its own senior adviser.

Well, yes. I'm sure I can find people who believe the earth is flat, that the moon is made of cheese and that 9/11 was a conspiracy by the illuminati including the lizard monarchy. Doesn't make any of them right.

Nutt says some drugs are less dangerous than alcohol. He may or may not be right – although it is possible to die from a single ecstasy tablet but not from a single glass of wine. Even if he is right, that is not an argument for reclassifying cannabis – to send out a signal that we do not take the health dangers seriously. We have seen from alcohol and tobacco exactly what legalising certain substances can do to health, so why on earth add others?

We don't know exactly what's causing those MDMA deaths. It could be "the ecstacy", it could be something about how it's prepared. We know that people in the 1920s died because of contaminated gin.

"Sending out a signal". You mean, lying, Ann? Because that's what it is. LYING. I'm all in favour of the government telling people the risks of smoking, drinking, playing rugby or skiing, but I want the truth. Lying to people, pretending a drug is going to end up with them living the Trainspotting lifestyle is just wrong and has it's own consequences. I want people to know that there's a big difference between the effects of ecstacy and crack cocaine, but the classification doesn't tell them that.

The former drugs adviser is entitled to his views, but if he wishes to express them in controversial language in a public forum, then he cannot reasonably expect to continue to advise a government that takes a different view. Presented with divided scientific opinion, an escalating crime count and the experiences of other countries, Alan Johnson – and not a single professor – is charged with the responsibility of making a decision.

Escalating crime count? Again, caused by their illegality.

Experiences of other countries? Those that try an alternative to the "war on drugs" tend to end up with less problems?

And yes, the buck stops with Alan Johnson. But he acted like a complete arse by sacking him rather than simply disagreeing or making an alternative argument.

He got it right.

No, he didn't.

Into the Storm

If you missed this last night on BBC2, I'm not sure if it's available anywhere, but as a biopic of Churchill during the war years, it was quite splendid.

A N Wilson: Twat

From The Daily Mail:-

But he was not content simply to give advice, of course. What he appeared to want to do was to dictate to the Government, and when it refused to acknowledge his infallibility, Professor Nutt started to break ranks and to denounce the country's law on drugs.

"infallibility"? Er no. Alan Johnson could have come up with some sound arguments why Professor Nutt was wrong. He didn't. He just fired him for speaking out.

"Now he has been sacked, the scientific establishment is in an uproar of self-pity and self-importance. How dare mere politicians question their judgments? They are scientists, aren't they? And what scientists say must be taken as true."

Plainly A N Wilson understands nothing of scientific method. You've got a problem with someone's beliefs? You throw an argument against their argument. I'm no believer in credentialism, but no-one against Nutt seems to have done any such a thing.

The trouble with a 'scientific' argument, of course, is that it is not made in the real world, but in a laboratory by an unimaginative academic relying solely on empirical facts.
Yup. I'm sure those people who fell off horses did so in a laboratory.

It is one thing to argue Professor Nutt's case in a university common room or over a Hampstead dining table, but another to translate his arguments to murkier parts of our society.

Try saying that ecstasy is safe in the sink estates of our big cities, where police, social workers and teachers work to improve the lives of young people at the bottom of the heap. Try saying it to those who see, every single day, the devastation wrought not only on the youngsters themselves, but on whole communities by the casual abuse of drugs.

Professor Nutt didn't say it was safe. He simply compared relative harm.

Nor would I ever wish to suppress scientific inquiry or to undervalue the good which scientists have done for our world.

But there is an increasing presumption among many intelligent and good-hearted people that science is an absolute truth, that its methods of arriving at the truth are infallible and that scientists must be listened to at all times.

I blame schools for not explaining scientific method and instead leaning towards credentialism.

A Home Secretary who sacks a plucky little scientist for daring to speak his mind - correction, daring to speak 'the truth' - is surely worthy of our contempt? That is how the scientific establishment has portrayed the story as they line up to denounce Alan Johnson.

and rightly so...

Before we get carried away by their bluster, we should recognise the arrogance for what it is. What the scientists are saying basically is that they will brook no contradiction. Yet if we examine the history of scientific experts - and, in particular, scientists advising governments - they do not have a very happy record.

Do you remember the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001? All reasonable farmers and vets believed that the epidemic could be contained by vaccine, or simply by isolating animals. But the Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, David King, insisted upon a massive cull.

The NFU supported it. Mostly for some sound economic reasons.

Oh, and just because one scientist gets things right or wrong doesn't mean that scientific method is wrong.

But the Nazis did not invent these things. The only difference between Hitler and previous governments was that he believed, with babyish credulity, in science as the only truth. He allowed scientists freedoms which a civilised government would have checked.

No, Hitler was a nutjob who politicised science and destroyed any opposing science. You want to find any scientists working today who want to do what Mengele did? Good luck with that.

But I see the same habit of mind at work in Professor Nutt and his colleagues as made those mad scientists of the 20th century think they were above the moral law which governs the rest of us mortals.

Ooh, I'm scared. It's a short step from comparing toxicity of drugs (which no-one is disputing) to experimenting on gypsies, isn't it, you fuckwit.

The worship of science is the great superstition of our age. The scientific adviser speaks and we are all supposed to believe him, whether he is promoting crops genetically modified to withstand huge doses of poisonous weedkillers and pesticides, or tampering with the origin of human life itself in so-called stem cell research.

No, science is anything but superstition. It stands against superstition and asks it to prove its case, and superstition either blusters or gives up.

Those who dare question scientists are demonised for their irrationality. Global warming may or may not be a certainty, but anyone who queries it has his sanity questioned. Cast doubt on these gods of certainty and you are accused of wanting to suppress free expression - which is the argument now being used by Nutt and pals against the Home Secretary.

The thing is that it isn't scientists who want people to be silenced about global warming - it's columnists and politicians.

In fact, it is the arrogant scientific establishment which questions free expression. Think of the hoo-ha which occurred when one hospital doctor dared to question the wisdom of using the MMR vaccine.

The point here is not whether he was right or wrong - it was the way in which the scientific establishment closed ranks in order to assassinate him. There was a blanket denunciation of his heresy, just as there is if anyone dares to point out some of the mistakes made by that very fallible genius Charles Darwin.

Actually, there wasn't a "blanked denunciation". Instead, a lot of scientists started poring over what had been produced and started asking questions and showed how wrong it was. The most outright bonkers writing on MMR was by journalists, not scientists who handled things very calmly.

Science rules - and it does so with just as much energy as the old Spanish Inquisition that refused to allow any creed other than Catholicism, and with the Inquisition's need to distort arguments and control the brains of men and women who might otherwise think for themselves.

Yes, well, science does rule. Prove your argument or shut the fuck up. What's wrong with that?

In complex areas - medicine, agriculture, astronomy - the politicians who make our laws inevitably have to consult 'experts'. But this is not to guarantee that such experts are always right. As Margaret Thatcher once said: 'Advisers advise and ministers decide.' To be governed by politicians is a necessary evil. To be governed by arrogant scientists would truly be hell on earth.

The world would be a much better place if we had more scientists and less lawyers running things.

Listen to the way these scientists are describing one another as they huff and puff at the Home Secretary's treatment of Professor Nutt. 'It will be hard to find a replacement of comparable expertise and stature,' says one pompous ass in the letters column of a newspaper.
Stature? Nutt? Like so many scientific experts, his arrogance is matched by his naivety. Like them, he cannot bear to be contradicted.

Oh, fuck off. Either prove Nutt wrong or shut the fuck up.

And to every one who thinks otherwise, I would ask them to carry out a simple experiment. Put a drug, bought casually on the street corner, and a glass of red wine on the table when your teenager comes home from school. Which of them, in all honesty, would you prefer him to try?

The wine. Because I know what's in it. Legalise cannabis and ecstacy and I might have a different answer.

Don't Hold Your Breath

From The Independent:-

But with Tory Eurosceptics still demanding a referendum, Mr Cameron insisted he had done his best and was still fighting.

Expect some roubst waving of the white flag.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Hot Chicks in Black and White Flicks (Raging Bull)

I found this very funny. Warning it's not safe for work, but language, not chicks...

Sunday, 1 November 2009

New Blogroll Entries

I've decided to add The Croydonian and Squander Two to the blogroll. The Croydonian is full of a mix of interesting content, and Squander Two does some good deep analysis of news items.