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Sanctimonious Dogooders

Chuckles – the gift that keeps on taking…

So, Prince Charles has been to Washington DC (as have I) but whilst I flew steerage in an American Airlines A330 (and had to change at Philly – the most confusing airport this side of Mars) he went in style. He went on a chartered A320 configured as a private jet that costs GBP250,000 a hop. Or approx. 800 times what I paid (hard to say exactly – there were several hops on that hoilday which included Key West). Well, I guess it evens out because he got to meet Obama and I trogged the Smithsonians until my feet hurt – badly. He got a gong for his tireless crusades (or whatever) on the environment. He almost certainly clocked more CO2 than I can manage in a fecking lifetime. And then he delivers a lecture on the environment… Because the A320 normally carries just over about 160 passengers and not just a dickhead and his moll.

But that’s OK because it is only the little people who deserve to be taxed out of the air and not the nobs and he is a nob in every sense.

A Distaste of Israel.

A Waitrose magazine showcasing the food of Israel has been hammered online for ignoring what activists regard to be the ‘illegal occupation of Palestine’.

The supermarket chain’s monthly food magazine ‘Waitrose Kitchen’ contained a 32-page brochure called Taste of Israel.

But the glossy advert, sponsored by Israel’s Government Tourist Board, has sparked outrage among campaigners – with some claiming it ignores what they believe is an ‘apartheid regime’.

Yah what! This is about food and tourism. Does anyone honestly expect the Israeli tourist board to include a disclaimer along the lines of, “The shakshuka is to die for but if you lived in Gaza we’ve already killed you. Sorry.” Or “Come see our historic sites, dine on our cuisine and we chuck in a side of ‘genocide’”. This is ludicrous. I have Chinese, Iranian and Russian cookbooks. Does this endorse their governmental actions? Of course not! So why are the “activists” so het-up?

Rabid anti-semitism is part of it. The politics of displaced envy from the bien pissants of the West is part of it. By that I mean they are projecting their own feelings on politics onto the Palestinians and further assuming (often correctly) there is a great deal of envy from the Palestinians for a rich and advanced country next door. It is a form of redistributive fantasy which is of course a subset of the pernicious fixed wealth fallacy. Basically if Israel didn’t exist or “shared” then Gaza City would look like Tel Aviv. Yeah, right. The Intel i5 in this laptop was designed in Israel. He has a demon-ridden laptop – avert your eyes children! It may take on other forms!

Like become a MacBook Air or something?

Let’s call a spade a spade here. Israel is prosperous and (generally) reasonable (nowhere is perfect) because since 1948 Israelis have moved heaven (and a lot of earth) to create that and I have never blamed them for fighting like a cornered tiger to defend that. I know it is more complicated (and the settlements were wrong both morally and strategically) but… I take the Randian view here that if it is a choice between civilization and the building and inventing things that flows from that.

Israel has just had an election. It passed over quite peaceably. On the other side of the fence though…

When the Hamasites took power they took it upon themselves to storm their opponent’s offices, wreck the place and defenestrate anyone they found. They also stormed his private residence and stole his Nobel* and… I am not making this up… Someone stole his toilet. They stole his fucking toilet. One day it may be found and authenticated and placed in a museum with people solemnly shuffling past it in awe like it was the Grail or something. One day there maybe a cult of the One True Holy Aracrapper or they could go to B&Q and look at the many false Aracrappers. Well, as long as ISIS doesn’t get there and smash it first as an idol. I could say more on ISIS on this sort of score but that will have to wait.

Anyway, Israel is a civilized place that grows, makes and does things people want. What have Hamas ever done for the general (or their own) good except (sporadically lethal) amateur rocketry and furious Islamist rhetoric? I’ll stick with my computer and a Jaffa orange but thanks for the offer Hamas but just do fuck-off. As a Brit born in 1973 I grew-up through the slings and arrows of the IRA and I’m bored of this game now. I can’t imagine what it is like for an Israeli. I can’t imagine it is much fun for a normal Gazan – living in a continual bullet festival. Gaza could be a really nice little city state (the beaches look great) – a sort of Monaco on the other side of the Med. Who is stopping this? Well, according to the ludicrous response in the West to a British supermarket issuing a load of Israeli recipes** it ain’t just the Kings of Jihad*** even if they sit upon the Porcelain Throne of the Arafat****.

*Dear Gods what a sick joke that was! It is still to be located. I guess when Dr Jones is mended he can go on a quest for it.
**Which deeply ironically are not entirely dissimilar to those from the rest off the Eastern Med from Turkey round to Egypt.
***Not to be confused with the Kings of Leon.
****Not to be confused with “Game of Thrones”.

Davie Rottenbore Red(e)ux

Will this “people are evil for wanting to live the same decent life I enjoy” twerp ever learn that the climate isn’t doing anything it hasn’t done before and that people are not a disease?

Sir David Attenborough is calling on global leaders to step up their actions to curb climate change, saying that they are in denial about the dangers it poses despite the overwhelming evidence about its risks.

Curb climate change? Srsly? Why not stop the Earth in its planetary orbit as well? Or bring about the halt of time itself? How about chastising the Mighty Sun Dragon for going into a deep funk this last solar cycle or two and making all those ghastly, rent seeking climate alarmists look silly?

The only overwhelming evidence Rottenbore should be concerned about is his own denial of reality because his “evidence” of man made climate catastrophe doesn’t actually exist outside of a poorly programmed computer model and his own addled belief.

The TV naturalist said those who wield power need to use it: “Wherever you look there are huge risks.

Yes, because there are horrid, black smog monsters hiding behind every bush and lamp post waiting to devour poor ickle childruns if we don’t do what the nice TV naturalist says.

“The awful thing is that people in authority and power deny that, when the evidence is overwhelming and they deny it because it’s easier to deny it – much easier to deny it’s a problem and say ‘we don’t care’,” Sir David said.

Because the Climate Change Act 2008 that is currently impoverishing millions is a figment of our national imagination? Because the EU’s desire to legislate us back to pastoralism is nothing more than a rampant leap into a bleak future ruled by uncontrolled, planet slaying techno-terror? Because Obama’s credentials as a foaming at the mouth “green warrior” who wants to kill the tyrannical XL pipeline is clearly a smoke screen for his latent tendency to eagerly suck Big Oil Koch?

I think you doth protest too much, Davie.

In terms of climate change, “we won’t do enough and no one can do enough, because it’s a very major, serious problem facing humanity; but at the same time it would be silly to minimise the size of the problem”, he told Sky News.

We’ve been dealing with the problem since before we swung out of the trees and trespassed on Gaia’s verdant lawn. We’ve survived far worse, and will no doubt continue to do so unless idiots like Davie get their way and succeed in shutting civilisation down.

Later this year, a crucial UN climate summit will be held, at which world leaders have pledged to agree to tough cuts in their carbon emissions, to ensure the increase in global warming does not exceed 2°C – beyond which its consequences become increasingly devastating.

What global warming? There are teens who will vote for the first time this year who have never seen global warming.

We should be concerned of a devastating rise of 2 °C? So how the Scammelling heck did poley bears and every other living creature survive the Holocene Climate Optimum that saw temperature rises up to 8 °C higher than those of today? Gosh the elephant poo building up in the room is really beginning to smell rank (but at least it’s organic so it can be ignored). Take that weapons grade peg off your nose, Davie, and smell the crap you’re depositing all around. Why should we be the only ones to suffer?

Although that meeting is not scheduled to take place until December, the scale of the task ahead is huge and world leaders are already working towards the summit.

And will end in the same, obscenely expensive failure because the likes of India, China and now Germany will not play ball. But there’s a silver lining in every extreme weather cloud – the airlines really love you alarmist types as you fly higgledy-piggledy across the globe on your self-righteous mission to re-invent the Mesolithic hunter gatherer society.

However Sir David is concerned that, despite the increasingly obvious scale of the threat climate change poses, leaders are not taking the matter as seriously as they should.

Er…didn’t he say that already?

Oh, wait. Not quite We’ve done “overwhelming”, “increasingly devastating” and “very major serious”. “Obvious scale of threat” was missing but you cleverly managed to fix that. Well done.

“Never in the history of humanity in the last 10 million years have all human beings got together to face one danger that threatens us – never.

The “history of humanity” is ten million years old? Who knew? Typical of those lazy Australopithicines to miss the boat by about six million years. They really should hang their brow-ridged, hominid heads in shame. They should have organised a mass rally, lined up to be eaten by the local top predators of the day and saved the Earth a lot of grief the selfish swines.

Then there’s that troublesome “one danger”. The one danger that threatens us with an increase in plant food that will expand all those naughty, carbon sequestrating forests we intend to burn in the furnaces of the Drax power station. Personally I believe the ginormous, Scammel-off asteroid floating around out there that has our name written on it is, on reflection, something we should all worry more about especially if Bruce Willis isn’t around to save us all.

“It’s a big ask, but the penalty of not taking any notice is huge,” he said.

Yes, it means the greenie gravy train will come to a grinding halt. Due to the wrong kind of climate on the rails if nature pulls yet another one of her amusing, ironic tricks.

Sir David’s comments come two days after a separate warning – on the dangers posed by the booming human population.

Ah yes, the spectre of Malthus rises once more from its deepest depths of greenie gloom and doom. Davie’s love affairs with the ghost of Eden past and the ghoul of homo mass extinctus (but not him or his, naturally) is getting very stale.

“It’s desperately difficult, the dangers are apparent to anybody,” he told The Independent.

“We can’t go on increasing at the rate human beings are increasing forever, because the Earth is finite and you can’t put infinity into something that is finite.

“So if we don’t do something about it – the natural world that is – we will starve,” Sir David said.

Forever? That’s a long time, Davie. But not as long as your knickers wetting hyperbole, eh?

And now we’ve added “desperately difficult” to the list. When all else fails, alliterate. It’s what I would do if I was desperate.

Last month, a newly discovered species of beetle was named Trigonopterus attenboroughi, in honour of Sir David Attenborough. Alexander Riedel, the researcher who discovered the 2.14mm-long species, said he called the beetle after Sir David because he enjoyed watching his television programmes so much as a child.

Soon to become extinct due to Davie’s feared CAGW armageddon? So sad. Too bad.

This is not the first time he has had a species named after him. In 2009, a flesh-eating pitcher plant, so large that it can swallow and devour rats whole, was discovered on Mount Victoria in the Philippines and named Nepenthes attenboroughii.

But he has yet to find one big enough to digest people. Take heart, Davie. I’m sure the dying Earth will oblige you.

Two years later, a one-millimetre species of goblin spider was discovered on Horn Island, off the coast of Australia, and named Prethopalpus attenboroughi, or Attenborough’s goblin spider.

But the most nasty of spiders is nowhere near as ugly or as poisonous as Davie Rottenbore and his alarmist, anti-humanity rants.

An ‘unnecessary simpleton’

That apparently was what the KGB thought of dear, departed, and overly lamented Wedgie Benn.

Oleg Gordievsky, who was tasked with spying for the KGB while posted in London as a resident designate in the 1980s, warned his colleagues that if elected deputy-leader of the Labour party, Benn would ruin the Cold War political balance.

Wedgie Benn was apparently too leftie for the Kremlin. The mind boggles.

Oleg Gordievsky was of course one of our greatest asset in the Cold War. Of course one of the commentators on the Dear Old Daily Fail gets grumpy about Russian spies working for MI6. You what! Mr Gordievsky was a big catch for SIS – he was a British spy technically working for the KGB. I mean you want a top operative in the KGB and not a street sweeper – although you never know what they might catch a lug-full of whilst sweeping the leaves. Especially because nobody notices such folk. Think of the postie in the G K Chesterton story, “The Invisible Man”.

Now, I found out a cute fact about Wedgie from the Mail. Guess what? Just across the road from where I spent my first year at Nottingham University in Lenton & Wortley Hall of Residence was Cripps Hall of Residence. This was named after Sir Stafford Cripps who was richer than a coat of creosote. So he generously endowed Cripp’s Hall of the newly founded University of Nottingham. It was endowed under two conditions. The first was that it was to remain in perpetuity all male and was to remain majority Public School – which it remained until the mid-90s! How very socialist of him. Wedgie Benn replaced Sir Stafford in Bristol SE.

It was unsurprisingly a hot-bed of sodomy. Notorious indeed for it.

Give Appeasement a Chance*

Everybody’s talking about
Terrorism, Islamism, extremism, point-the-fingerism
This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody’s talking about
GOP vulture, spy culture, mess up, ‘fess up,
Prisoner hoarding, waterboarding, secret torture, now we’ve caught ya.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody should be talking about
Sainthood, brotherhood, fluffy kittens, woollen mittens,
Inviting Osama’s buddies for tea (let’s forget Obie threw him into the sea)
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

C’mon, everybody stop talking about
Suicidal blame game, WTC up in flames,
Thousands dead, this is an auto da fe what’s to be said?
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.
All Obama’s saying is give appeasement a chance.

No, I don’t condone torture although I do accept that sometimes it is a necessary evil and hard decisions have to be made.

No I don’t believe showing the terrorists this level of state weakness and cowardice will in any way stop them trying to destroy us all. In fact I believe it will encourage them.

Yes, I do believe that Obama is salting the earth before the next US election. Forcing an entire nation to fall on its own sword in order to crush one’s political opponents (no, not the terrorists) is not the way a sane person would go about it.

Obama had the chance to close down Guantanamo, I seem to recall it was one of his electioneering promises before he became POTUS. But he didn’t.  Let’s not forget that this is also the creature who wanted to bomb the crap out of Syrians and was thwarted by the democratic process. He’s a thrice damned hypocrite. And he has fatally weakened the country he is supposed to protect and damaged its international standing. It is world class hubris.  It makes him either very vindictive or very stupid. I vote for both.

*Apologies to John Lennon for torturing his lyrics.

Dolores of — Lures? A “What I Should Have Said” Story

Over at Libertarian Home, Rocco has put up “The Parable of the Lures and Fishes.” This reminded me of a hook that has been stuck in my craw for some years, and I find myself lured into venting. Hence this infuriating tale. Fellow Felines, sharpen your claws and gather round.

For close to a score of years I have had occasional bouts of war with hordes of vandalistic raccoons who think it clever to tear holes in my roof and set up housekeeping in my attic, destroying whatever is up there, including the insulation. This would have resulted in Total War, except that there are very important laws prohibiting Total War against raccoons, the poor defenseless things. I mean, I certainly feel for the homeless, some of them anyway, but, well, think 410 A.D. & ff.

As a result, there are ongoing great waves of invasion. At one point the Licensed Trappers put a trap (enclosure trap, cage snaps shut if critter isn’t careful, no harm to coon, who then enjoys a pleasant stay of several days at a lovely Sanitarium and Spa — observation, medical treatment if necessary, company’s own water, meals free, all mod. cons. — before being released into the wild, at least 50 miles away) — Ahem. Yes, put a trap right next to the entry the latest gang had torn into the roof. One of them took the bait and was trapped, I tell you, TRAPPED!!! He disapproved of this and sent a loud SOS to Dolores Umbrage, who has resided next door for a quarter century (seems like a quarter of a millenium) and whose raison d’être is to Snoop & Snitch. Antennae quivering with excitement, she got it loud & clear, and when the trapper came to remove the raccoon, she came over and gave him jolly what-for.

I discovered this as she was walking down the driveway toward her own place. I asked the trapper what was going on. He explained.

As this was the third or fourth instance of Dolores’s executing her mission at our expense, and creating entirely unnecessary legal troubles — one of them seriously damaging — I thought I should have a talk with her. I went and asked her wotthehell. She said, I kid you not:

“That poor thing was screaming in that cage, which is too small for it, and the trap was put there to LU-U-URRE him! He wouldn’t have been there otherwise. It never should have been up there in the first place.”

This left me utterly nonplussed. I wish I could report that I replied assertively with something intelligent, but as she is a vindictive b**** who loves causing real trouble for people (and not just us!), I didn’t want to tell her exactly what I thought of her. I should have told her the obvious: The trap was THERE because it’s directly in front of the door to the current Raccoon Hotel. “How about I send ‘em over to your house, honeylamb? How about you house the poor dears for awhile. I hope you know a good roofer.” Good grief!

I delivered a brief statement on the necessity of tolerance when people must live close to one another (well, it IS related!) and went back home. The trapper was just finishing up. He says their company gets calls every day from Animal Control, who have been notified by one or another of Dolores’s spiritual brethren of just such dreadful acts by the trappers. He said Animal Control is used to this and doesn’t take it seriously.

What a relief.

Ben Affleck wins celebrity foot-in-mouth contest

Ben Affelck and Bill Maher go head-to-head on Islam

It is often stated that politics is “show business for ugly people”, but given the tongue biting displays of ignorance, high-mindedness (as with the recent Emma Watson “HeForShe” justification of misandry) or just plain hypocrisy, maybe we should start saying that “show business is politics for the pretty, but dumb”.

The latest example of celebrity buffoonery is lefty, hit-and-miss (often times “straight to DVD”) actor Ben Affleck, who was left doing a pretty good impression of a goldfish on the carpet after some home truths on the nature of Islamic intolerance.

Vast numbers of Muslims around the world believe that humans deserve to die for merely holding a different idea, or drawing a cartoon, or writing a book, or eloping with the wrong person.

Bill Maher

[EDIT - Apologies, the it seems that Youtube has been silenced on this issue, I've attached another link, hopefully this will survive longer]

Daily Motion copy of the video

P.S. If you laugh at this then Ben Affleck thinks you’re a racist.

Just thought you should know :-)

That's Wacist

Carbon Legacies

There is an industry which concerns itself with helping to create these when Mother Nature isn’t quite doing her job. But it needs to be regulated, you know. It really does. Even Mr. Wesley J. Smith, of whom more below, says so, though he otherwise disagrees with Ms. Cristina Richie, whose views are our topic today. (The gentleman’s remark rather sounds as though he approves of “regulation,” and disapproves of its lack, on principle.)

Anyway, it turns out that Carbon Legacies, even when naturally occurring, are not an unmitigated good. Indeed, one might question whether they are a Good Thing at all, even as others are delighted with theirs, or with the prospects of acquiring such.

Here is the abstract of an article from the Journal of Medical Ethics by Cristina Richie, Theology Department, Boston College, which argues that since every human “emits carbon” into the environment,

Evaluating the ethics of offering reproductive services against its overall harm to the environment makes unregulated ARTs unjustified….

“ART” stands for “Assisted Reproductive Technology.” It includes such things as fertilization in vitro and artificial insemination, as well as methods of having babies where the child might be born with AIDS, surrogate pregnancy, and more.

(WikiFootia has a good overview.)

From Ms. Richie’s article:

A carbon footprint is the aggregate of resource use and carbon emissions over a person’s life. A carbon legacy occurs when a person chooses to procreate. All people have carbon footprints; only people with biological children have carbon legacies.

(I have had some non-biological “children,” but only in a figurative sense, such as patterns of words set down on paper or sent into cyberspace. But it seems to me that actual non-biological children are probably rather rare.)

Now ask me what I think. C’mon, you know you want to! *g* Well, lest the multitude of Kounting Kitties hereabouts get to yowling from the suspense….

Views in which “the environment” is seen as of higher moral value than human beings as such — whether conceived in delight or after a fight, or both, or neither — are perverse in the strongest and most serious sense of the word. (Compact OED, Print Ed., 1971, = 1933 OED plus addenda, gives various definitions, several of which boil down to “turning away from right to wrong.”) To me, the word has a connotation of DELIGHT in turning from right to wrong, and a deliberate inversion of right and wrong, so that the evil is embraced as good and the good, as evil.

All I can say is, I place a very high value on my own personal Carbon Legacy, who in early middle age continues to provide joy, light, and warmth to my life. Besides, this person grows houseplants and, in summer, tomatoes and peppers, so I figure that offsets the inevitable “emission of carbon.” (Whatever does Ms. Richie think that means? There’s a huge variety of carbon-containing molecules that are “emitted” by a huge variety of sources, most of them “natural.”) Personally I think that once we’ve gotten fluorine out of the way by banning it (per a suggestion by some doofus over here), we should simply ban carbon. That would solve everything. At least from the human point of view, which would no longer exist.

. . .

I will let Mr. Wesley J. Smith, of LifeNews.com, have the last word. He has a piece on this entitled “Population Controllers Call Babies ‘Carbon Legacies,’ a Threat to the Environment.” Per Mr. Smith:

And Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little carbon legacies to come onto me’….

Now Here, They’ve Got a Point

Courtesy of an Online Pal of mine. :>)

The ACLU is typically thought of as “Leftist”. This is a little bit like ‘when Left meets Right’. Can’t say we weren’t warned.

Thank you for calling the Pizza Palace…

Yale Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

This is outrageous — the Yale Administration’s Mommy-Knows-Best attitude, if that’s what it is…but no, I don’t think it’s that. I think it’s the “You’ll do what I say, OR ELSE, young lady!” attitude. In loco parentis* on steroids! I have to cheer this woman for writing this up, even if she did see fit to post it on HuffPo.

Coming on the heels of Prof. Rubenfeld, he of the Yale Law School, and in light of Yale’s reputation for having an unfortunately highly Progressivist weltanschaaung, I find myself disgusted with Yale altogether. When Lucy grows up I’m sending her to Oxbridge.

Herewith, the whole thing. I just don’t see how to break it up without ruining the flow.

–J.

Yale University Thinks I Have an Eating Disorder

“I don’t know if my body is even capable of gaining three more pounds.”

The nurse looked at me apprehensively. “It’s easy to gain a couple pounds. What I’m afraid will happen is that you’ll lose it again and you’ll just be cheating yourself.”

I couldn’t keep the impatience out of my tone. “So you’re just going to keep checking on me until I graduate?”

“If we don’t tackle your low weight now, it will kill you.”

***

In the past three weeks alone, I have spent ten hours at Yale Health, our student health center. Since December, I have had weekly weigh-ins and urine tests, three blood tests, appointments with a mental health counselor and a nutritionist, and even an EKG done to test my heart. My heart was fine — as it always has been — and so was the rest of my body. So what was the problem?

The medical professionals think I have an eating disorder — but they won’t look past the number on the scale, to see the person right in front in them.

I visited the cancer hospital on September 17, 2013, worrying about a lump in my breast. It turned out to be benign, but I received an email in November from the medical director about “a concern resulting from your recent visit.” My stomach lurched. Was the lump malignant after all?

I met with a clinician on December 4 and was told that the “concern” was my low weight and that I would meet with her for weekly weigh-ins. These appointments were not optional. The clinician threatened to put me on medical leave if I did not comply: “If it were up to the administration, school would already be out for you. I’m just trying to help.”

I’ve always been small. I’ve been 5’2” and 90 pounds since high school, but it has never led to any illnesses related to low weight or malnutrition. My mom was the same; my whole family is skinny. We all enjoy Mom’s fabulous cooking, which included Taiwanese beef noodle soup, tricolor pasta, strawberry cheesecake, and cream puffs, none of which make the Weight Watchers shortlist. I just don’t gain weight easily.

Yet the clinicians at Yale Health think there’s more to it. Every week, I try to convince my clinician that I am healthy but skinny. Over the past several months, however, I’ve realized the futility of arguing with her.

“You should try to gain at least two more pounds.” (What difference does two pounds make?)

“Come next week to take a blood test to check your electrolytes.” (No consideration that I had three exams that week.)

“I know you’ve said in the past that you don’t eat as much when you get stressed out.” (I’ve never said that.)

So instead of arguing, I decided that perhaps the more I complied, the sooner I could resume my normal life.

I was forced to see a mental health professional. She asked me all of the standard questions — how I felt about my body, how many calories I ate. I told her everyone’s body is beautiful, including mine. When I said I didn’t know how many calories, since I don’t care to count, she rephrased the question, as if that would help.

Next step was a nutritionist. The nurse passed a post-it note, saying “Here are two times for the nutritionist next Tuesday. Usually it takes three months to get into nutrition at all.” What a privilege! Now I get to feel guilty about using clinical resources in desperately short supply!

Finally, I decided to start a weight-gain diet. If I only had to gain two pounds, it was worth a shot to stop the trouble. I asked my health-conscious friends what they do to remain slim and did the exact opposite. In addition to loading up on carbs for each meal, I’ve eaten 3-4 scoops of ice cream twice a day with chocolate, cookies, or Cheetos at bedtime. I take elevators instead of stairs wherever possible.

Eventually, the scale said I was two pounds heavier. When I saw her last Friday, I felt my stomach tighten, my heart racing. Would I finally be granted parole?

“You’ve gained two pounds, but that still isn’t enough. Ideally, you should go up to 95 pounds.” I hung my head in disbelief. I’ve already shared with you the memorable exchange that followed.

She had finally cracked me. I was Sisyphus the Greek king, forever trapped trying uselessly to push a boulder up a hill. Being forced to meet a standard that I could never meet was stressful and made me resent meals. I broke down sobbing in my dean’s office, in my suitemate’s arms afterwards, and Saturday morning on the phone with my parents. At this rate, I was well on my way to developing an eating disorder before anyone could diagnose the currently nonexistent one.

It seems Yale has a history of forcing its students through this process. A Yale Herald piece from 2010 told the story of students in similar situations. It’s disturbing how little things have changed. “Stacy” was “informed that if she kept failing to reach [Yale Health]‘s goals for her, she would be withdrawn for the following semester.” Unfortunately, “the more she stressed out about gaining weight, the more she lost her appetite.”

Furthermore, a recent graduate messaged me saying that her cholesterol had actually gone up due to the intensive weight-gain diet she used to release herself from weekly weigh-ins.

It is clear that the University does care about students suspected of struggling with eating disorders. And it should. Eating disorders are particularly prevalent on college campuses and Yale is no exception. However, because the University blindly uses BMI as the primary means of diagnosis, it remains oblivious to students who truly need help but do not have low enough BMIs. Instead, it subjects students who have a personal and family history of low weight to treatment that harms our mental health. By forcing standards upon us that we cannot meet, the University plays the same role as fashion magazines and swimsuit calendars that teach us about the “correct shape” of the human body.

I was scheduled to have a mental health appointment at 9:00 a.m. and a weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. this past Friday. But I’m done. No more weigh-ins, no more blood draws. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I will not let Yale Health cause me to develop one. If Yale wants to kick me out, let them try — in the meantime, I’ll be studying for midterms, doing my best to make up for lost time.

. . .
If you are struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorder Association hotline at 1-800-931-2237.

Recipe for Spoiled Brat Nation

Rachel Canning

Changes to the child neglect laws will make “emotional cruelty” a crime for the first time, alongside physical or sexual abuse. The Government will introduce the change in the Queen’s Speech in early June to enforce the protection of children’s emotional, social and behavioural well-being. Parents who deliberately starve children of love face jail under new Cinderella Law

The biblical proverb (Proverbs 13:24) from which we get the more punchy aphorism “spare the rod and spoil the child” may be a bit dated in an era where all but the mildest of parental chastisement is potentially subject to intervention by agents of the state and the criminal sanctions for being found guilty, not only the incarceration of the parent concerned, but the force seizure and adoption of the children of such a parent.

Such laws are brought about due to a handful of cases each year, usually where children have died due to parental abuse (quite often the boyfriend of the mother rather than an actual parent) and often exacerbated by woefully inadequate child / social services.

So to make matters worse, the UK now intends to expand the boundaries of the state to allow child / social services to intervene and prosecute “mental cruelty”.

So what is “mental cruelty”?

Certainly water boarding little Esme seems to be covered by existing laws, so it’s obviously not that.

Sending her up to bed without any pudding because she was cruel to young Tarquin? possibly.

Telling Tarquin he should play with his toy cars rather than dressing up Esme’s Bratz dolls and having an impromptu tea-party? Absolutely! - Gender stereotyping, lock ‘em up, throw away the key and snatch the kids into the state sanctioned redistribution programme, known as adoption.

Expect the legislation to be so broadly and nebulously written that it can be interpreted as meaning whatever the hell the agents of child / social services want it to mean.

So next time little Esme asks for that pony, you’d better start thinking about stables and hay suppliers rather than committing an act of mental cruelty on her by saying “No” you CHILD ABUSER!

What do you mean you can’t afford it? You need to be asking yourself a different question – “Can you afford the financial, legal and emotional costs of NOT buying her a pony?”

The Egg Dance

I’ve recently got back from Amsterdam. Now I suppose it is moderately unusual to collapse into giggles in the Rijksmuseum’s section on Dutch 12th-17th Century art but I managed it. This is a detail from the picture that made me laugh…

That is a detail from The Egg Dance by Pieter Aertsen.

What made me laugh though was the caption next to it…

At right, in this brothel, a young man does an egg dance to the music of a bagpiper. While dancing, he had to roll an egg within a chalk circle – without it breaking – and to cover it with a wooden bowl. This ‘pointless’ amusement, along with the dissolute behaviour of the other figures, served as a moral warning against debauchery.

Emphasis mine. I just loved the phrase “This ‘pointless’ amusement”. Sums up life really. Less, seriously though, this was painted in 1552 and I guess you had to make your own amusement back then. The Rijksmuseum does also boast a large collection of impedimenta for drinking games. An inventive (if drunken) lot those renaissance Dutch.

In fact it stuck in my mind so much that upon my return I googled (I think the term is so ubiquitous as to have lost the capital like “hoover” has) the picture. I found this.

Now one of the first things I wondered was why the Rijksmuseum was so sure it was a brothel. To me (and my wife) it just looked like a fairly chaotic party in a home…

At the back of the room an old man is playing the bagpipes. Because of its shape, the instrument often symbolised the male genitalia. In the window is a jug containing a leek, a vegetable of the onion family. A sixteenth-century viewer would immediately have realised that the scene was a room in a brothel. Onions were supposed to be a stimulant. All around lie onion flowers, leek leaves and mussels, which were supposed to have the same quality. It was also thought to be true of eggs, the theme of the painting.

OK, the bagpipes I kinda got already. That’s a bit of a classic (cf Hieronymous Bosch)…

… Or indeed this. It is amazing how, across culture, time and geography, symbolism can be both steady yet sometimes obscure like the leek. Though that might explain the perennial appeal of Sir Tom Jones (or why, as I type, the Welsh are giving the Scots a hammering at the Rugby). This evening I shall be in the peculiar situation of cheering on France). Anyway back to my point.

From the same source (I almost hit “sauce” – hmm…)…

Pieter Aertsen has given this piquant scene a moral message that appears to reflect his own moral reservations. A joker is depicted on one of the wooden boards on the table, left, and on the other a goat jumping. These are cards in a Tarot set. In the sixteenth century everyone would have understood that these symbolised drunkenness and lust. The reel above the fireplace on the right is a sign of folly: in fact ‘reeling’ is still used today to describe a person swaying or staggering from the effects of alcohol.

The Egg Dance is one of the earliest paintings of a peasant scene. The elongated form suggests it was designed to be hung above a fireplace. This kind of genre painting was popular among the burghers of the cities. The moralistic message was often an excuse to paint a piquant scene. Aertsen was also commissioned to paint large religious works for churches. However, many of these were destroyed during the Iconoclast fury.

Emphasis mine. There is something almost reassuring about the continuity of this moral hypocrisy. We see it in modern times with the Islamosphere and the idea that a normally dressed woman is a hussy. And elsewhere.

“…the American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs” and she shows all this and does not hide it.”

- Sayyid Qutb (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood who are currently sexually assaulting “inappropriately hijabed” women and girls in Egypt” describing a Methodist tea-dance in Colorado in 1950.

Qutb apparently died a virgin having failed to find a woman “pure” enough for him. It would be farcical but for the Hell that has followed in his wake.

Or what about the most sanctimonious of businesses – the Co-op and it’s “Crystal Methodist”? The Co-op sells “ethical water” (whatever that might be) and it’s ordained Methodist preacher bank boss was using crystal meth, crack cocaine, ketamine and rent boys. Oh, and the bank had a “black hole” of over GBP1.5bn.

My favouritist newspaper in all the World is of course the Daily Mail which routinely in it’s “News” section includes scare stories about the sexualization of girls and women being driven into eating disorders by being “forced” by the media into looking like models and starlets right next to the “Femail” column (how cute) which is supposed to be about women’s issues (yeah, right). It includes stuff like this all the time.

So, to tie this all together… I’m not sure how but in some sense (and there are different variations but the basic tune is always the same) “elites”* of all descriptions will always find some sort of justification to indulge in the sins they would deny the plebs or… Well, something along those lines. Qutb is an outlier but there is still the same infernal moral arrogance of “I can see this for I am pure but you can’t”. It is the same as the burghers of Amsterdam all those years ago titillating themselves whilst feeling (or pretending to feel) morally superior to the lower orders.

Apparently there are things in the dungeon of the British Library that are so vile they can only be accessed in the presence of a couple of trustees of the British Library and the Archbishop of Canterbury.

I bet Prince Philip has had a gleg…

*A term in political discourse I hate because when I was a lad “elite” meant the SAS and such. And not just gits.

How Not to Be a Libertarian

I put the money quote in boldface ….

‘Anyone advocating government officials or anyone else coercively taxing some people against their will and giving that money to others [is] guilty of advocating coercion and intimidation. Such people are not libertarians based on the ZAP criteria.

Such people are also guilty of fraud if they claim to be “libertarians.”’

–Commenter Garry Reed | December 7, 2013, 9:36 pm

…in response to the posting ‘U.S. “Libertarians” Debate Basic Income,’ which links to several pieces, pro- and not-so, on the topic by various Shining and Less-Shining Lights. These include a podcast interview by somebody at Cato of our pal Zwolinski, whose allegedly libertarian heart regularly bleeds, though not for people who think charity and justice are two different things, and also a piece by somebody at Reason, who tells us how much less demeaning such a program would be. (I guess people are still, underneath it all, not proud of being unable to look after themselves — not even in the face of catastrophe.)

I thought this last article might be a satirical debunking of the idea, but no such luck.

The Overhead.

The Internet c.1800s...

That was the semaphore system built by Claude Chappe in France around the time of the French Revolution. If the idea of big semaphore machines connecting a nation (indeed internationally) reminds you of the “Clacks” on Discworld then you are in the right ball-park – almost. There is a key difference which we shall come to though and it is a biggy.

Anyway, this is the size of the network…

... and its reach.

Now here is the big difference. What is the modern, electronic, internet as we know it used for? It is a chaos of chatter and (in)sanity, logic and weirdness, bank transactions, Christmas greetings, pornography, blogging, tweeting, facebook, gaming, terrorist plots and how to build a bomb or how to cook a risotto. It can be anything from an interview with One Direction or a seminar on quantum entanglement. It is humanity in toto.

The French clacks wasn’t (that is the “biggy” I mentioned) and neither could it technically be nor was intended to be. The inventor had this rather disingenuous thing to say,

“Chappe once claimed that a signal could go from Toulon to Paris – 120 stations across 475 miles – in just ten or twelve minutes. But he could not make that claim for a full message, even a relatively short one. Three signals per minute was the most that could be expected of even the fastest telegraph operator.”

In modern terms that is 1/20 bit per second (roughly – the Chappe code had a signal space of 98 symbols (2 beam positions and 7 positions each for the “arms” = 2x7x7=98) which is near enough the size of the standard 7 bit ASCII code – 128 symbols – to compare with allowing a bit of wiggle on human factors). Difference is the first common(ish) home modems worked at like 2000 bps or 40,000 times that speed. Sending a signal as simple as, “Advance at noon, reinforcements will meet on your left flank by 1pm.” would be nightmarish. And that is assuming absolute accuracy in transcription at all stations along the way. It need not be said that 2000bps is dismal. A slow ADSL line is over a thousand times faster and if BT Reach-Around has deemed fit to bother with laying fibre even ADSL on Cu is laughable. Sky (my broadband, TV and landline provider keep on trying to get BT to get us into the C21st – to no avail so far). There are always BT vans prowling and doing nowt. I’m not surprised. I used to work for BT and trying to get them to do anything to the porpoise is like assaulting Broadmoor with soft fruit. They might technically be private but they still behave like a state monopoly. Utterly complacent Bertram Blunts plus ultra.

Anyhoo, back to those old French folk. Not only was the system technically very limited (in that it was fast but with abysmal bandwidth) and therefore unsuitable for general communication but it was never intended for such use. Chappe again,

“…took it for granted that the telegraph network of which he dreamed would be a department of the state, government owned and operated. He saw it not as an instrument of knowledge or of riches, but as an instrument of power. ‘The day will come,” he wrote, ‘when the Government will be able to achieve the grandest idea we can possibly have of power, by using the telegraph system in order to spread directly, every day, every hour, and simultaneously, its influence over the whole republic.”

Chilling but not a million miles away from how our Lords and Masters see the internet. Fortunately they don’t really understand TCP/IP and all that jazz and I don’t think they understand the importance of a technology they simply don’t understand (they don’t understand much tech stuff). But they try, hence such things as the unbelievably poorly thought out violent and extreme pornography bill or assorted attempts around the globe to make pornography an “opt-in” service (for the sake of the children, naturally). And will it stop at porn? Does it ever stop? No, of course not!

Now obviously, there is a difference here – almost an inversion. The old French mechanical “clacks” was a way to govern and the modern internet is a way to keep tabs on the governed. This morning for the first time ever I used my bank card contactless (I’ve forgotten my PIN!!!). Some bugger at the NSA or GCHQ now knows what toilet paper I buy, the brand of ciggies I smoke and that I drink semi-skimmed milk. And yeah, I know they could harvest that from the chip anyway but… as a true believing physicist I find action at a distance, “spooky” ;-) That’s a quote from Einstein by the way though Newton himself was not 100% happy with gravity working like that. General Relativity is at least a locally realistic theory. It may be (usually) more mathematically complicated but Relativity makes far fewer metaphysical assumptions than did Newton. Newton has a fair few mad old dears stashed in the attic clad in their wedding dresses. But I digress…

The simple truth is that by hook or by crook any advance in comms will be seen by our Lords and Masters as a potential means of control. Whether it is owning the entire shooting match or just spying on it is a mere matter of tech to the L&M. Tech they will, thankfully, cock-up profoundly but they do try, bless ‘em.

All quotes from “The Information” by James Glieck.

Pregnant? Don’t visit the UK then!

“A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers. Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.”

Telegraph (link)

As usual, these draconian actions were carried out in secret almost 15-months ago, supported by the UK’s much maligned Court of Protection. The unbelieveable behaviour of Essex social working scum has only been revealed due to the parliamentary privilege of John Hemming MP, one of the few parliamentarians that seems prepared to stand-up for families caught in the judicial nightmare of dealing with the UK’s predatory social workers and the Court of Protection.

I wish Anna Raccoon were still well enough to comment as she would be even more scathing.

Year in, year out, we read of social workers behaving in a manner that would shame the Gestapo and yet despite all of the bland mutterings about “Children being our primary concern” or “The council cannot comment on individual cases”, such abominations continue.

As my Malaysian wife often says of the UK, “…and you call this the first world?”. Too bloody right.

The Court of Protection needs to be either stripped of it’s power to hush-up such matters or disbanded entirely. This sort of reprehensible behaviour by social workers will continue until we remove the veils of secrecy behind which they hide. The only way to stop such abuses is to shine the light of the media in the dark recesses and throw social workers in jail.

Obviously, none of this will ever happen as social workers are a fundamental pillar of the leftist collective. Indeed it is fear of them coming in and seizing “young Tarquin” on some pretext that keeps a lot of the middle class in line and compliant.

Words fail to express how angry I am at this…

Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato (“Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State”)

Benito Mussolini in his address to the Italian Chamber of Deputies 26th May 1927

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