Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"I think the media has assumed up to now that this inchoate left-right revolt would have a walk-on part in the near inevitable passage of the TARP. Wrongly as it turns out. This is now a river that has burst the banks of official politics."
Paul Mason

I know that me and my kind are going to pay for all this eventually, but seeing share prices tumble, and seeing houses stolen from those who need public housing losing their value, SCHADENFREUDE.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Arsenal 1, Hull City 2
Arsene Wenger, Nicolas Sarkozy, Nick Hornby, Kevin Costner, Usama Bin Ladin, Alisher Usmanov - your boys took a hell of a beating!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


"The Dems have sunk so low that they would rescue a proposal by a President with a 19% approval rating which is being opposed by House Republicans. Really pathetic."
(Yasmin, at http://angryarabscommentsection.blogspot.com/ )

Friday, September 26, 2008

Speaking to reporters on the eve of his performance, McCartney said: "The world knows about the conflicts that have been in that region and I like to think that if I go to a place it becomes evident that my message is a peaceful one and I hope that the idea will spread." He added: "People ask this question through the years: 'Do you think music can change things?' I think it can. I think it's good for people's souls. I think without music it would be a seriously bad world. I'm bringing a message of peace, and I think that's what the region needs."
What a creep, and so full of himself - as pompous and as useless as Nobo.

"Israel asked US for green light to bomb nuclear sites in Iran"
(Headline from the same edition)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Half the population has seen very little real growth in recent years, and the bottom third has suffered an absolute fall in income for five years. People feel it, yet no one says it. As Labour blathered on about high GDP growth, whose growth was that? Official figures show it was among the top 20%, and mostly the top 5%.
Centrica's chief executive has just had a £1m pay increase, up to £4.8m, despite - or because of - this winter's 35% gas bill rise.

(Polly Toynbee, no wonder the rich vilify her)
Lance Armstrong getting back in the saddle (yawn), the biggest cycling bore since Miguel Indurain, a return to robotic riding.
Now if I were a genuine cynic, instead of an idealist in fear of drowning in a sea of hypocrisy, I might be thinking along these lines -
L. A., well advised, always managed to stay a step or two ahead of the dope testing technology. When it began to catch up, time to retire. New advances in test beating techniques, back into competition. No, no, perish the thought!
I wonder what Dr. Ferrari's doing these days.
Ruth "Flogger" Kelly to resign from government to spend more time with her family. Let's see - she married in 1996 and has four children. It took some time to realise that her family needed her. Didn't I hear that she was due for the push?
Now, I wonder, who will be the Pope's representative in Her Majesty's Government?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I forgot to comment at the time on the passing of former Detective Sergeant Challenor of the Met. who slipped off the hook three weeks ago. The Challenor case was a big deal back in the sixties; that and the Sheffield Rhino Whips case - heady days!
Challenor had a proud career in the CID, blithely fitting up anyone he didn't like. He was, for some reason, particularly vindictive towards people with disabilities and people of a Mediterranean appearance. Possibly this was connected to his wartime experience in Italy as a POW.
Challenor slipped up when, at a political demonstration, he nicked one Donald Rooum, a peace activist, along with some others. He charged them with possession of offensive weapons, to wit, carrying bricks about their persons. Rooum refused to roll over, did not cooperate, i.e., avoided all contact with the magically manifested brick, and so was able eventually to prove his innocence. In the course of doing so he exposed Challenor as a bent copper, more than that, a nutter out of control.
None of which fazed the judge, who found Rooum not guilty but refused his application for damages. He also found some other poor joker guilty on the same discredited evidence from the same discredited copper. The Met. of course was not interested in delving into Challenor's murky past; too much perversion of the course of justice, too many compromised coppers.
But the genie was out of the bottle and some sort of action had to be taken. Challenor was declared to be a bad boy, but a nut case (true), therefore unfit to stand trial for his many crimes. He was committed to a mental institution, and after a few weeks, quietly released, later to obtain a job in the legal system (no kidding!). We may assume that he received a full pension for his contribution to the maintenance of law and order. After all he was never found guilty of any offence.

Addendum: after writing the above I took a look at wikipedia to see if there was anything on the Challenor case there. I found the linked article. Reading it I learn that I was too dismissive of the Metropolitan Force's response to the affair. Though Challenor got away with his crimes three other tecs were jailed.
I also learn that "doing a Challenor" became police parlance for retiring on grounds of illness to avoid investigation. If memory serves there was a lot of that about at the time of Operation Countryman and during the Stephen Lawrence investigation.
Wikipedia also has an article on Donald Rooum.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The inquest into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes kicks off today. I predict that -
a) the coroner will recommend to the jury that they return an open verdict
b) if the jury returns a verdict of unlawful killing the CPS will declare that it's not in the public interest to prosecute the killers
c) we'll hear a lot about coppers who have been traumatised by the incident and deserve our sympathy and a big lump of public money.
Headline in this morning's Guardian - "Brown plans crackdown on world markets" - similar to E.L.Wistey's plans for world domination.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

"This would be easier if it were a dictatorship." George W. Bush on the financial midden.
Sorry George, you're stuck with an oligarchy. Never mind, they'll soon be done with you, then you can come over to the UK for your honorary knighthood.
US presidential election campaign: some donations from the finance/insurance/real estate sector -

Obama, Barack $24,860,257
McCain, John $22,108,926
Clinton, Hillary $21,697,347

Friday, September 19, 2008

"The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR) published its weekly report on the Israeli violations in the occupied Palestinian areas in the period between 11 - 17 Sep. 2008. During the reported period, Israeli soldiers carried out 47 invasions, killed one Palestinian child, wounded 22 civilians -- including four children -- and kidnapped 39 civilians including five children." And Hillary Clinton is busy demonstrating against threats to Israel. The US press has not reported the daily threats against Lebanon from Israeli leaders. Also, there is a funny game that US press plays: Israel would make threats against some Arab country. And then somebody in that Arab country would say: IF Israel attacked us, we will fight back against Israel. It is then that the US press takes notice and then headlines: the Arabs are threatening Israel. The Arabs are threatening Israel.

(Angry Arab)
"Like scores of evangelists and hypocrites and moralists who spew and praise family values and pretend to be holier than thou and are then regularly caught cheating or found to be perverts, these Bush hypocrites who spewed for years the glory of unfettered Wild West laissez-faire jungle capitalism allowed the biggest debt bubble ever to fester without any control, and have caused the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

"They are are now forced to perform the biggest government intervention and nationalisations in the recent history of humanity, all for the benefit of the rich and the well connected. So Comrades Bush and Paulson and Bernanke will rightly pass to the history books as a troika of Bolsheviks who turned the USA into the USSRA."
(Nouriel Roubini)

I know I should object to the Bushwackers being called socialists, but, as it is probably the epithet that would most offend them, I'll let it ride.
"What could be better than robbing the ones who rob us and distributing the money among the groups which are denouncing this situation and building alternatives?" he asked.

What indeed?

Other banks said they would have no trouble writing off the lost money.

We know that. They've plenty of experience writing off the massive debts of defaulting governments and corporations.

Still, fair play to Enric DurĂ¡n, and same again when you're ready.
STS Bulletin no.13
Short selling - prior to deregulation this was known as cooking the books.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New to Me
'Missing White Woman Syndrome', a media-based disorder. I have noticed the symptoms, but didn't realise that there was an identified syndrome. Referred to in Obsolete's blog, this day.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

When I read on the BBC website that Celtic supporters were complaining about a Rangers song which included the words "The Famine is over, why don't you go home?" I thought they were overreacting. But it seems that the BBC and others are being a little coy about this song. Their reports are written in a way that suggests that the words quoted above are the cause of complaint, but not so. Here's a report that gives a better flavour of what is sung -
" ... a song which accuses Irish Catholics of ‘fondling their children’, of being Nazi sympathizers, which mocks the Great Famine and which ends in Rangers’ very own version of ‘Send the Buggers back’."
So not very accurate reporting by the BBC website, the Guardian and others.
Celtic supporters often complain of a media bias against them and their club. Is that the case here? Or are the media afraid to expose their public to the full strength of Orange bigotry in the West of Scotland?

Only a game!
Listening to Radio 4 this morning I heard one Sir Howard Davies pontificating, for a tidy fee no doubt, on the current economic situation. He informed that we could be in for another Great Depression "if governments don't get it right".
So now the moneygrubbers have cleaned up someone else will be called on to sort out the mess and backfill the mysterious "black holes". I thought the philosophy was to leave the market to find its own level. Don't tell me that that was all cobblers, that we were being conned by the sainted Milton and his Chicago Boys; that old Sir Alf Sherman was full of shit.
"Governments must intervene" is the new slogan, and the taxpayer takes on the role of White Knight.
Here's a excerpt from Sir Howard's CV on wikipedia -
His notable appointments have included Executive Chairman of the Financial Services Authority from 1997-2003. he was the first Chairman of the FSA, the single financial regulator for the UK financial sector. He constructed it from nine previously separate bodies. He was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England from 1995 to 1997, until the incoming Labour governemnt asked him to create the new regulator. Prior to this, he served for three years as Director General of the Confederation of British Industry. From 1987 to 1992 he was Controller of the Audit Commission. He was also a non-executive director of GKN between 1989-1995, and a member of the International Advisory Board of Natwest bank from 1991-95.

So the great and good Sir Howard appears to have been part of the problem before he became a consultant on solutions. It reads like he was the creator of the financial regulator that doesn't regulate. He was at the table with all the decision-makers from 1987 to 2003 as the gravy train gathered speed and hurtled towards the buffers.
Surely a peerage is in the offing.
Passing the shops on the road today I began to wonder - are the Poles a nation of shopkeepers?

Monday, September 15, 2008

"When Black Friday comes
I'll stand down by the door
And catch the grey men when they
Dive from the fourteenth floor."
(Steely Dan)

Will they dive? I doubt it. They've got their loot stashed away in the same dodgy banks the tinpot dictators and the drugs kingpins use. It's other people's money they gamble with and lose.
Reagan's dead, Thatcher's gaga, but their legacy lives on.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sign here -http://www.helperraji.com/

I wonder if the present King of Morocco has carried on his father's heroin refining business (export only).
Announcing his policy of elastoplast for gaping wounds Poor Old Gordon Brown said he expected the energy companies to foot the the bill for plasters. An energy companies spokesperson then popped up and told the British public that the Prime Minister can say what he likes and the energy companies can do as they like, and their customers were going to foot the bill. Well no, he actually said that the energy companies would decide who foots the bill, but that's the same thing.
He was probably reading from a crib sheet provided by Mark Steel -
"The more we put up prices, the more profit we make, which means we won't have to pass the need for higher profits on to the customer in the form of increased prices. So, the higher the price you pay, the better off you are. If you want to pay really low prices, then next time you get a gas bill, why not send us double the amount charged, along with all your belongings?"
STS Bulletin no.12
Global Franchise Entity
Most people would call it a Premier League football club.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hooray! Hooray! A boost in the cold weather payments; the £8.50 we never qualify for becomes £25 we'll never qualify for. Fiscal prudence indeed!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination ... The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

I repeat - unhinged.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I love these names of Glocky Mom's brats: Bristol, Track, Trig, Willow, Piper, all sort of unisex, or perhaps asexual. I hope she keeps breeding and coming up with even wilder stuff. This woman is unhinged and truly fit to hold high office in the Land of the Taste-Free.
I try to avoid obscene* language on the web, but I can't resist this yarn about the execrable KKKelvin McK. in yesterday's Guardian Diary -
"In 30 years of employing people I've never seen racism," wrote Kelvin in the Sun yesterday, and while that may be true, one suspects he may have heard a few ripe things. Like the time, long past, when one executive wondered how South Africa would cope "when the darkies come down from the trees". Or the occasion, when the same guy told colleagues of switching TV channels because he was not interested "in a lot of fucking bollocks about an emaciated coon". The coon that time was Ghandi. It was all documented in 1990's Stick It Up Your Punter, an eye-popping account of the Sun in its wilder days - and the authors were under the impression that the executive was Kelvin. Maybe they were wrong. We all make mistakes.

* Another example of my antiquated terminology. The fashionable label is "strong language". Ghandi so spelled in the original.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Our business-friendly government, embarrassed by rocketing energy prices, asks the energy profiteers to give back some of their obscene profits to help their poorer customers. The profiteers tell the government to get stuffed, and rightly so. The facilitators of an uncontrolled market economy deserve the contempt of their beneficiaries and the wrath of their victims.
So poor old Gordon Brown tries another tack; penalising the robber barons is short-termism, he avers. He, sound man, advocates long term solutions. So that means we're all going to have more of those long-life bloody light bulbs.
Here I must quote the Baron Keynes, "In the long term we are all dead." (Under current conditions, probably of hypothermia.)
Our business-friendly government has been trying, for some time now, to "nudge" (buzz word) the energy profiteers into giving up their token racket, by which they overcharge the poorest of the poor for their gas and electricity. The profiteers respond with a "One day, maybe", and carry on with the extortion. They love to rub the government's nose in it.
Meanwhile the TV news broadcasters ask the the robber barons to send a spokesperson to defend their profiteering. The profiteers tell the newscasters to get stuffed. They do, however, send along a handout which a presenter duly reads out. Nobody would dream of telling these rogues "If you can't face questioning, we're not delivering your bullshit to the people who pay our wages." Now that would take backbone.

Our business-friendly government can't do anything to help the poorest sector of the population, but it can and will find money to help house owners (for which read mortgage owners) in negative equity. For decades now successive governments have helped the middle-classes to accrue wealth by means of small scale property speculation. Protective practices have ensured that property was a risk-free investment. Now external factors beyond government control have intervened in the UK property market. Values, it seems, can decrease as well as increase. What a shock to the denizens of that repository of all that is good, MIDDLE ENGLAND. Someone's going to pay for this. Oh yes, that'll be me and my kind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This is what the "War on Terror" is about.

"In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002
Minnesota version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County
Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC
Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of
Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik
Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max
Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism
enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum
penalty ... They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any other evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as provacateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I read that 80% of news coverage in our press is lifted straight from press releases. That explains a lot. Why get off your arse when the PR agencies, spin doctors and ad-men will force-feed you like a Strasbourg goose? Investigative journalism - that's one of those old expressions surviving in the vocabularies of ancients like me. Habeas Corpus is another.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

What's wrong with this picture? It shows girls checking their GCSE results. Their head covering suggests that they are Muslim and are conforming to their religion's modesty rules. But one is not, her arms are bare.
This suggests to me that this whole headscarf business is about fashion, not modesty or piety. Educators should be careful and ensure that their pupils are not taking the piss. Most British people are so ignorant of other cultures, and this includes people in authority who, fearing to err on matters of faith and culture, go to ridiculous lengths to avoid giving offense. This plays right into the hands of the "political correctness gone mad" choristers. The wilfully offensive are supplied with ammunition by cross-cultural illiterates.

A personal note: when I was doing my national service training our platoon was ordered to spend one Sunday tidying up on the rifle range. I can't remember, but I think it was a collective punishment for some transgression.
Anyway, one smartarse piped up with "Sir, I'm a Catholic, we must keep holy the sabbath day." "Oh well", says the officer, "All RCs fall out!" It was pure bluff, but it worked, because the officer and the NCOs weren't catholics and were in the dark. Better safe than sorry, the Roman Candles skived off fatigues. But it was up for grabs; if a Scots Presbyterian had got his shout in first the dumb subaltern would have been equally at a loss. Unless one of the NCOs was a jock. My memory let's me down on that point.