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Epstein Thrashes Rubenfeld on Natural Law; Panel on Redistribution of Wealth

I would swear that I saw, for the first time ever, outright anger in Prof. Epstein’s face the first time I watched this clip. Never mind, you can hear it in his voice as he gives Yale Law School’s Prof. Jed Rubenfeld a concise and pithy jolly what-for for a**-hattery.

This is the final 5:48 of a panel discussion described as below. The whole thing is quite interesting. Steve Forbes also seems to have some understanding of what’s what. Andy Stern of the infamous SEIU brings along his flag and his violin. And the odious Prof Rubenfeld is…well, odious. Although his question in Part 11 is one we all get asked a lot, and I’m glad to have Prof. E.’s response.

Best part first. The series begins with Part 1, below Part 11 here. I think you can just click through the segments from there.

–J.

Uploaded on Nov 17, 2009

The Federalist Society presented this panel discussion on Redistribution of Wealth at the 2009 National Lawyers Convention on Thursday, November 12, 2009. Panelists included Prof. Richard A. Epstein of New York University Law School; Mr. Steve Forbes, Chairman and CEO of Forbes Inc. and Editor of Forbes Magazine; Prof. Jed Rubenfeld of Yale Law School; Mr. Andrew L. Stern, President of the Service Employees International Union; and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as the moderator. Part 11 of 11

The whole thing is very much worth seeing, highly recommended, and be sure you have your kidney basin at the ready for Prof. Rubenfeld’s first appearance:

Was it worth it?

We go to war for reasons. For resources, for land, for the hell of it. Sometimes for the very survival of civilization.

The last is the only one I fully back. Now Saddam was vile bastard beyond all possible redemption. Am I sad that he isn’t walking this goodly Earth? No. But…

Iraq (twinned with Iran and Irate) is planning to allow 8 year old girls to get married and also to abolish marital rape.

Nigh on 5000 US personnel have died* for the great task of enabling the freedom of preverts in Iraq to shag girls who haven’t had their first menstrual period. Eight year old girls want to play with dollies** and Lego and stuff. In my country (and the US and all the others) if you have sex with an eight year old girl you go to jail. You get put in the Sir Jimmy Saville Memorial Wing for a very long time. Rightly so.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not a pacifist. If my land was under threat you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming from the seat of a Typhoon fighter. And, well everywhere I go I visit war memorials. I know my family members have killed and died so basically I can mooch around Europe without a rifle and bayonet. Now that was an appalling cost but it achieved something worthwhile. The legalisation of rape and kiddie-fiddling is not such a cause. It is not one for me or any right thinking person to get their boots on for.

And what right-minded person wants to have sex with a girl that age anyway? Utter sick bastards. They require treatment. I prescribe two spoons and a rusty farming implement. I mean if you don’t and can’t regard the man or woman you have sex with as an equal with absolute agency then what is the point?

We have enabled utter barbarism at the cost of billions of dollars and thousands of lives either wiped out or maimed.

Or to misquote from the end speech at the end of the movie “300″, “We haven’t – at enormous financial, material and human cost singularly failed to ‘rescue a World from mysticism and tyranny’”.

*And a load of Brits and others and God knows how many wounded. And I have recently been watching Prince Harry taking a team of wounded soldiers across the Antarctic. Good on the fella but the wounds are tragic. On folks so young. It is heartbreaking.

**There is a very specific reason I mention this. Aisha was 8 when married to the middle-aged Muhammed.

Educational Item of the Day

Mustaches are racist.

—-Ralph Haddad, Student editor of The McGill [University] Daily

Student Paper Editor Claims Mustaches are Racist
November 29, 2013 by Daniel Greenfield

In case you don’t recognize “Daniel Greenfield,” he also posts good stuff to his weblog, under the nom de guerre of “Sultan Knish.” His piece, linked above, links also to the column “Movember declared ‘sexist, racist, transphobic’ at Canada’s sorry imitation of Harvard” at The Daily Caller.

Ken Ham takes his dogma for a walk

Bill-Nye-vs.-Ken-Ham-Debate

Periodically, the intellectual conflict between science and religion comes to a head in the form of a debate and the results of such debates are often quite interesting and lead into areas of enlightenment that are surprising. Those who say scientists should not take part in such debates are fascists, morons and idiots.

I classify myself a lapsed-Catholic agnostic atheist (that is someone who fundamentally does not believe in god, but as a good scientist cannot prove or disprove his/her non-existence, it’s a very good form of rhetorical macramé), as such the debate between Bill Nye, the Science Guy and Ken Ham CEO of the Creation Museum piqued my interest.

At 2½ hours it is quite a long debate, but you need to go through it all to get a real flavour of the thing, the excerpts simply do not do it justice. As you would expect, neither side expected to win over their opponents, but this was a genuine debate for serious stakes, with the minds of children in classrooms at stake.

(more…)

The Affordable Cell Phone Care Act

I do not apologize for withholding from you dear feline Zanzibarians the treat of beholding yet again His Face, even though for once it bears a relatively pleasant expression. You will see it anyway if, as I recommend, you follow the link to the whole column. :)

The Affordable Cell Phone Care Act
by EDWARD CLINE February 4, 2014

Groucho Marx had many great monologues and spiels, but this is one of his finest:

“The nickel today is not what it was fifteen years ago. Do you know what this country needs today?…A seven-cent nickel. Yessiree, we’ve been using the five-cent nickel in this country since 1492. Now that’s pretty near a hundred years’ daylight saving. Now, why not give the seven-cent nickel a chance? If that works out, next year we could have an eight-cent nickel. Think what that would mean. You could go to a newsstand, buy a three-cent newspaper and get the same nickel back again. One nickel carefully used would last a family a lifetime.”

Note the absurd application of a Keynesian Money Multiplier effect, where inflation allows a carefully spent nickel to last a lifetime. Of course, the gentleman falls for the muddled logic and obfuscation, responding, “Captain Spaulding, I think that is a wonderful idea.”

[ ... ]

Cooking with Nick Griffin

Yes, you heard it right. For my next trick I suspect it’ll have to be kite-surfing with the Dalai Lama.

Anyway, Nick Griffin, the now bankrupt leader of the BNP is presenting cookery shows on Youtube. I suppose it’s a bit like de-snagging LANs with Hitler. Or something. “Goering, you never told me this network was installed by a Herr Cohen!!!”. I digress and must move on because I have a 9am building a tokamak with Ant & Dec.

Anyway, here is the new Nigella in all his shambolic glory.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8_HThEYP2o&noredirect=1

Well, there are things to note. I can cook and a beef casserole is one of my “signature dishes”. OK, I’m not exactly Michel Roux Jr (who is a perfidious frog, obviously – despite being a UK citizen – and my Mum fancies him!) and Mr Griffin cooked this veritable feast upon an Aga which is of course Swedish and we don’t want those Scandies coming over here with their affordable, but unfathomable furniture and their raping and pillaging of Lindisfarne (Northumberland folk-rock *shudder*) and all that. I once saw a doc about a plumber of Pakistani origin who fixed Agas. He was making a mint out of deranged cougars in Surrey who thought the path to enlightenment required the boiler from the Great Eastern chugging away in their kitchen. Anyway this guy who was doing well (and fair play) branded himself as “The Aga Khan”. It amused me.

Please watch the whole thing if you can. It is long but hilarious in parts. Some of it didn’t exactly amuse me though such as Nicky wearing a “Help for Heroes” shirt. I wonder what the Gurkhas or the many other Commonwealth troops in our armed forces think of that? Or what women make of it or how anyone who isn’t a total moron takes his advice on the need to remove the foil from a stock cube? Well the last one is funny. As are some similar “Top Tips”…

Aussie Girls Know all the Words to Songs By Chaka Khan.

It would be very easy to see this as a “funny” and dismiss it. It is not. It is deathly serious.

I sound like Professor Snape.

Anyhows this is the story…

An Australian civil servant has lost a bid for compensation for an injury incurred while she was having sex during a work trip.

The woman was injured when a light fitting fell on her and a colleague while they were having sex in a motel.

The claimant initially won compensation from government insurer Comcare.

But the High Court overruled that judgement, saying the woman’s employer had not encouraged her to engage in the activity that led to the injury.

Final ruling

The woman says she suffered damage to her nose, mouth and a tooth and psychological trauma after the light fitting was pulled from its mount.

But after a lengthy legal battle, four of the High Court judges ruled against the woman, with one judge dissenting.

“When the circumstances of an injury involve the employee engaging in an activity at the time of the injury, the relevant question is: did the employer induce or encourage the employee to engage in that activity?” the court said.

“On the facts of the respondent’s case, the majority held that the answer to that question was ‘no’.”

The woman, who has not been named, has no further right to appeal.

And neither should she. That this got to the High Court rather than was laughed out of it is astounding. I have worked for gubbermunt at times and had sex and like whatever! What I do on my own dial is my job. What I do on the government is there’s. I once had rampant sex in a motel in the Florida pan-handle whilst watching “Grease 2″ If the candelabra had collapsed during the proceedings then…

OK, the BBC story carries two incompatible facts (and this is important which is why I bolded them). Either the light fitting fell out during this sexual escapade and then it perhaps ought to be the motel on the hook for the compensation or it was “pulled out” which means the motel ought to be be claiming from these two sorts for wrecking the room by swinging (literally) or something. What it has to do with the government is beyond me. And that one judge ruled the other way makes me despair.

Seriously this is a civil case involving either injury due to a poorly maintained motel or sexual antics that damaged that motel. God alone knows what it has to do with the gubbermunt!

And it is Gorton Girls who know all the words to songs by Chaka Khan. The graffiti is all over SE Manchester. Ever been to Gorton?

Don’t.

The Rumble in the Ryton Jungle.

Remember when you were at school and the finest entertainment on offer was either a ZX-Spectrum or a fight?

This wasn’t a fight as such. It was more of a clinical chinning carried out with strength and skill.

Side note – the chinner, N, I subsequently had a fight with over a complete misunderstanding and we both escaped unscathed because I guess his heart wasn’t in it, I’m good defensively and he fought like a gentleman (as did I). I once had the greasy acne ridden face of the vile D in my hands and just couldn’t bring myself to use my advantage and push those thumbs into his eye-sockets. I guess I learned then I’m not a fighter. I’m nowhere near dirty enough.

Anyway, onto the subject. Or object? Hawthorne was a vile piece of work. He was only at Ryton Comp because he’d been kicked-out of everywhere else. We took a lot of them. Anyway he wandered the school invariably with with his concubines each under an arm in an ape-like progression and wearing knock-off Raybans. He was an amoral cunt of the first water. I mean utterly amoral. And utterly a cunt. He used his size to intimidate and the fact that he very clearly didn’t give a tinker’s for anything good or decent and set himself-up as a sort of spectre of menace on the corridors of the school. I mean like most of us wanted to just get through school with qualifications for jobs or university or the military or something. Hawthorne didn’t give a toss about anything. Even the girls he “squired” were a rotating smorgasbord of slags.

One day though he got too artistic. N had come into the school yard after running training (he was a county sprinter) and put his sports bag down (Head bag – standard issue in the ’80s) with all his stuff in it. Now N was widely regarded as the hardest lad in the year, if not the school and I bet this riled Hawthorne who coveted this “prize” (I use the quotes because N never sort fame or domination or such) so Hawthorne in what can only be described as an “Imp of the Perverse” moment urinated into N’s open bag.

What happened next ought to have been filmed Matrix style with a cool soundtrack. N got the mist and it was red. All his PE kit, his books, everything had been pissed on. I don’t know the time of this action but I can still guess at the distance and it was probably less than 10m. N went into overdrive and Hawthorne went continually backwards under a hail of blows that would shame Jackie Chan. He lost consciousness and also bladder control just against the chainlink around the yard. The teacher on yard duty kept on sucking sweets the whole time – which wasn’t long. A number of things resulted from this…

Hawthorne’s attempt at behaving as an object of menace ceased. I mean after several hundred kids had seen him comatose and spread-eagled with wet trousers his stock as a gangster had diminished.

Nothing happened to N. It was generally seen as a Good Thing.

The chainlink had to be fixed. This is because it partially collapsed due to the crush of kids wanting to see the action.

N continued his athletics and it held him in good stead because the next time after leaving school I saw him was on TV being interviewed by ITN. He had joined the merchant navy and was a junior officer on a tanker that collided with another vessel in the Channel. He got off sharpish when it burst into flames and was one of the few (the only?) survivor on the ship. He ran the length of the deck and leaped to safety into the briny and swam like hell. I suspect if anyone had been there to time it Usain Bolt would be looking a bit sheepish now. I saw him in a local pub shortly after (he’d been given leave) and bought him a pint. A lot of people did.

What happened to Hawthorne I neither know nor care.

But that was an epic fight.

Morrissey, the consumer monkey.

Both the Mash and the Guardian (!) have both kicked Mozzer.

Excellent stuff.

From the Mash…

“On The Smiths re-forming, he writes: “Work with those trio of twats? Sod that. Mike Joyce has still got my belt sander and he bleeding well knows it.”

Morrissey never had a belt-sander. Does he look like the kinda guy who even has a set of screwdrivers? Does he fuck! If you want a shelf putting-up ask me, ask your Dad but don’t ask Mozzer. He will recoil in horror because you have cheese in the fridge. And then write a dreadful song about it.

The Guardian has this (but read the whole thing, like the whole Mash article)…

Sod Morrissey, a bitter, old hasbeen who a couple of years ago told the Guardian that “it’s a relief to feel relaxed in more places than just one” (he has homes in Los Angeles, Rome, Switzerland and Britain) and who called the Chinese a “subspecies” for their treatment of animals.

The class that he now represents – a middle-aged, capital-rich, metropolitan elite – doesn’t give a toss about you. They’ve proved it in every way it is possible to prove.

Like HS2, like windmills, like all the rest? Yup. Mozzer is the ultimate last twat up the ladder onto the Zeppelin and laughing self-righteously as he does it. He is the “Last of the international playboys”. He is a complete and utter wanker.

The Guardian article goes on to witter on about how 40-something white males are Mozzer’s last fans. Well, speaking as a 40 year old white male I never liked him when I was 15. Oh, there were Smiths fans at my school but they were all professional miserablists like Mozzer himself.

I prefer Blondie.

Bon Jovi

I always liked Bon Jovi. The “hair-rockers” epitomised the eighties for me in a way professional miserablists such as The Smiths (“Girlfriend in a Coma” anyone?).

Profundity can be about happiness as well you know. I think I got that from reading about Rouseau and him stealing a hobo’s boots. Oh, the deliberate vileness!

Anyway, this is a supercool story.

Can you imagine Mozzer from The Smiths doing that? He’d meditate on the meaningless of being (in his personal case not without reason) then throw a fucking paddy because there were sausage rolls at the finger buffet afters. There are pots that are tossed into but Mozzer tosses into barrels from stratospheric heights without the aid of a Norden sight. He makes Moby look fun to be with. And Moby who is celibate and doesn’t drink, smoke or say cuss words and is into “environmentalism” and all that assorted Stingulent shite.

Is it just me or does the ’80s seem a period of massive optimism? You know like life got better and all that. The ’70s were an unflushable turd in the water pipe (thank you Heath and Wilson – you ineffable brace of cunts) but with Ronnie and Maggie we projed on and it like gets better. My life did anyway.

Oh, they weren’t perfect by any means but there was a “feeling” in the air. A positive feeling. I guess I also felt that in the ’90s too but we were running on fumes then but…

Hell’s teeth…

This is the version of “Livin’ on a Prayer” by some Nana Mamunchkin on Hex factor…

And this is the original…

Please listen to both and tell me which is “half-way there”. Because if you ask me the original is a song of hope and the other is not.

Anyhows, hats off to Jon Bon Jovi for pitching-up for the wedding. Good on you sir!

PS. My wedding anniversary was yesterday and Bez didn’t turn-up. Fortunate really because if he didn’t stop – whilst my wife and I enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant – we would have had further hilarity as the A&E team at the MRI attempted to remove a maraca from his arse. But heh! Bez is at least fun unlike certain Manc “musicians” I may have mentioned.

Bez would have been cool. Just like Jon Bon Jovi.

The prognosticators of Doom are not.

Anyway, best of luck to Bon Jovi! Top Marks.

And Yeah, that’s you Blandplay fellow. I don’t care how much the Blanchett -2.0 spent on the kitchen we’re commin’ to ignore ya!

If wishes were Porsches…

…our political effete, according to the recent (and ongoing) ano-cerebral effusions emanating from the LibLabCon party political conferences, remain incompetently pedestrian and intellectually gastropodal.

Trying to out-stupid everyone else by applying a thick coat of Pledge (sic) to turds and desperately making outrageous and unworkable promises that we know from bitter experience will perish faster than a duck on a lava lake if they get into office, is just scamelling embarrassing. Come the next general election, if there is a reason to vote for any these morons hidden deep within their rabid electioneering rhetorical bollocks I haven’t found it yet.

Politics in it’s old hat.

This started as a reply to Sam’s comment here.

Sam, you have a point. The older I get the more I realise that politically we are regressing to a bastardized-Victoriana that never really existed. How else would the largest ever proposed engineering project in British history be a railway that George and Robert Stephenson could envisage – literally – it’s George’s gauge metal rails of course. It’s also 50 billion quid jizzed up the wall

It was cutting edge when George and son were building the Rocket but that was nigh on 200 years from an MP idling on the track and getting mown-down by the Rocket to the first paying passenger getting on the “new” HS2. What happened to the Fairey Rotodyne? Political pignorance and bastarding fuckwittery is what happened. There were concerns over noise (Fairey had got it down to the sound of a tube train). The fact the US military wanted loads of ‘em was irrelevant. The fact there was significant commercial interest in a high-speed city to city VTOL aircraft matter nothing if it scared the horses. Literally. The Bellendius Maximus who first championed HS2 was (and is) Lord Adonis. Yes, it does sound like he should be a porn-star. Lord Andrew [which means "manly" BTW] Adonis looks like this…

What mental image do you have of a Lord Adonis? A sort of demi-god who traded blows with Hektor of Troy? Or that piss-poor wankenshaft? He wrote a scholarly history of the poll-tax.

Short version. I did more against that. I simply didn’t pay. Not because I objected nor because I knew it was wrong as such but because I knew I could get the feck away with it and those quids in my pocket were worth more to me than being in the pockets of the cuntcil. At the time, there was, as ever a C19th (perceived as) idea that the community charge was either right or wrong. I just didn’t want to pay. Yes, I was shellfish. I was the full lobster.

So I didn’t pay and they never got me. So, what’s my point? Well, possibly it is Ike’s about “guided missiles but unguided men”. No politricks this last fifty years has moved much beyond WWI. Anywhere.

Look at the lavish expense of HS2 and compare with the dismal spending on Skylon? The first is a C19th solution to a C21st problem and the second is an SSTO aerospace plane that would result in Bristol Filton being re-monikered “Bristol International Spaceport”. Now if that isn’t cooler than making the trip from London to Birmingham 15 minutes shorter I despair. I have been to Birmingham. It’s OK but space!

It is the chronic lack of imagination that gets me about politricks.

And put it this way… 50 billion quid in you or my pocket is much more likely to get us to Mars than any ammount in the poche of the taxman. And that will only get you to Brum.

Which is like OK and all but seriously nothing to write home about.

Birmingham – it’s OK I guess.

Nick Clegg has a plan…

When I first heard that the Lib-Dem “flag-ship” proposal (to distance themselves from the Tories) was a 5p levy (to go to like charidee) on placky bags I almost wet myself with mirth. God knows what William Gladstone would think. The Mash as ever has it spot-on.

PLASTIC bags are to be printed with lurid sexual imagery in a bid to discourage their use. Tesco bags will carry an image of a dwarf having sex with a trumpet, while Sainsbury’s carriers will feature a manga-style orgy involving sexy animals.

A government spokesman said: “A detailed design showing a woodland creature getting wanked off will do much more to reduce plastic consumption than a paltry 5p charge.

“Shoppers will stop and think ‘do I really need this bag enough that I am prepared to walk through town carrying a picture of a squirrel with a massive erection?’”

Mother-of-two Nikki Hollis said: “It’s a good idea in principle but yesterday I forgot my ‘bag for life’ at Morrison’s so the checkout girl gave me carriers showing male bikers stroking each other’s bits.

“Now my children want leather jackets for Christmas.”

The spokesman added: “We’ve made an exception with Waitrose bags. Waitrose shoppers will simply be offered Lidl bags, or nothing at all.”

Shopper Roy Hobbs said: “It’s great to see the government taking positive action. I care about the planet so I’ve got a rustic hessian satchel in which to place all my plastic-packaged shopping.”

Absolute fucking genius. And, yes, for once, I quoted the whole thing. Nothing else would do. Charge me 5p.

Wreck the Casbah. Again.

Ooer, Missus.  Someone really has got his knickers in a knot.

Britain has stepped through the looking glass into a weird and distorting new world, and one from which I fear she will never step back. By refusing to punish a foreign dictator for his despicable use of poison gas on unarmed civilians, we have deliberately relinquished our once-cherished role as one of the world’s foremost moral policemen, and joined the ranks of global spectators, merely tut-tutting from the sidelines rather than taking an active part in defending decency.

It seems that Andrew Roberts would have us believe that Cameron is a shining beacon of masterful statesmanship rather than the vacillating and incompetent spiv we know he really is.  It was the Assad regime wot dunnit because that is the direction in which the Prime Ministerial finger has been told to point.   Others beg to differ.  Our masters are demanding that we discriminate between two evils, despite the lack of any substantiated evidence, when it is far from clear which evil, if any, is the lesser. The only decent thing we can do in such circumstances is to not bomb the crap out of Damascus and kill even more civilians in the name of defending a questionable sense of “decency”.

A huge cultural shift has taken place in our country and historians of the future will focus on Thursday night, in the House of Commons, as the time that the new Britain emerged in all its hideous, amoral selfishness.

If future historians display the blind stupidity Andrew Roberts appears to possess who gives a Scammel Truck what they think?

The Britain we have lost is the one that took its historic responsibilities as a former Great Power seriously and sought to enforce international agreements, such as those banning the use of chemical weapons.

I think the operative word in that sentence is former, everything else is hyperventilated twaddle.  We are a small group of islands.  We are broke.  We no longer have the military might we once possessed.  We can’t even equip an aircraft carrier without the assistance of the French.  Our responsibility is to supply humanitarian aid and nothing more.  Let the Arabs sort their own mess out.  They’re going to blame us for the outcome whether we send in the missiles or not.

The Britain we must now look forward to is the one exemplified by Danny Boyle’s Olympics opening ceremony, where everything socialistic, feel-goody, hipster and ‘progressive’ was glorified, whereas the things we should really be proud about Britain for – such as her place in the front lines of the struggles against Fascism, Communism, Islamofascism and other totalitarian ideologies – were entirely ignored.

Because everyone who came out against bombing Damascus without the benefit of proof is a tofu-eating, Guardian reading surrender marmoset?  Because what we are all required to be are trained acceptance monkeys who swallow every morsel of posturing bollocks fed to us by our political effete, no questions asked?

Where were the references to Winston Churchill, 1940 or the Battle of Britain? They were replaced by children jumping up and down on NHS beds.

STOP PRESS! World War II ends in 1945.  Shift forwards sixty-eight years and the dumb as rocks legacy media runs stories about trampolining kiddies as Syria descends deeper into sectarian violence.   Meanwhile a so called academic jumps up and down on the spot, making a weapons grade prat of himself over something he clearly doesn’t have much of a clue about other than what Cameron says is true because his pal Barry told him so.  And all this before the UN investigation team have even begun to write their report.

I don’t recognise this culturally, socially and morally very different country. On Thursday night the majority of our Parliament knew that they had nothing to fear from their constituents if they indulged in a gross display of Little Englandism, in stark contrast to centuries of traditionally supporting the victims of monstrous oppression.

I don’t recall reading Roberts’ moral outrage about our non-intervention in Rwanda.  Or is genocide not as monstrously oppressive as CWs in Big Academia’s view?

And nothing qualifies as worse oppression than having at least 1,429 innocents slaughtered – 400 of those children – with a weapon so obscene that the world came together in Geneva in 1925 to outlaw it. The only people to have used this monstrous weapon since then have been Benito Mussolini against the Ethiopians in the 1930s, Adolf Hitler in his war against the Jews in the 1940s, and Saddam Hussein in his massacre of the Kurds in the 1980s.

How about the fanatical religious terrorists, Aum Shinriyko, who released Sarin gas into Tokyo’s subway in 1995?  Don’t they count because they were an evil cult rather than an evil regime?

The re-emergence of this foul weapon in the Damascus suburb ought to have – especially as we prepare to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War – brought together the House of Commons in solemn support of the Prime Minister’s commendable efforts to punish Assad for taking it out of history’s Pandora’s Box and unleashing it on his own people.

The Prime Minister’s commendable efforts to punish someone whose guilt has only been proven in the court of Australian giant marsupialism Obama his opinion?  For once the HoC did the right thing.  There is nothing commendable about Cameron’s efforts to push us into a war where both sides are as evil as each other.

Yet instead Mr Cameron’s initiative, which stood foursquare in the historical tradition of previous prime ministers faced with such a crime, was voted down. Have we really been so traumatised by the decision to go to war against Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003 that we cannot even fire a few missiles at a vicious dictator like Assad? If so, Britain’s days as a power that deserves its prominent position in Nato and the United Nations Security Council are going to come to an end.

But we won’t be firing them at Assad.  We’ll be firing them at a city where people live.  And we will be doing it in support of Sunni terrorists rebels who are every bit as vicious as Assad and are as equally capable of using Sarin gas.  For all we know they may already have.

Our ineptitude is compounded by U.S president Barack Obama’s decisive statement last night that military strikes are needed. Yes, he is seeking congressional authority. But he has also declared that he will take unilateral action and ‘confront the menace’ alone.

Obama, no matter how tumescent for war he becomes, is going to have to consult Congress first and Congress seems so concerned about the urgency of the situation it isn’t going to convene and discuss the matter until 9th September when hopefully the information regarding the identity of the guilty parties will be more robust.  If Congress follows the UK’s lead and says no will that make the Yanks global spectating, bagel-eating surrender monkeys in Roberts’ gimlet eyes?

And what of the quality of Obama’s leadership?  This is the man who took fourteen days to admit the attack on the diplomatic mission in Benghazi, that took the lives of four American citizens including the US ambassador, was a planned and efficiently executed terrorist attack and not due to a mob enraged by by a pathetic film called Innocence of Muslims.  Suddenly he knows exactly who the Syrian CW culprits are before anyone has had a chance to actually investigate what happened?  And we are all yoghurt knitting traitors for not bowing down to The One’s prescience on all matters Middle East?

Of course there are plenty of Britons who would love to see Britain relegated to the sidelines of world history, and simply opt for the quiet life. All too often, we see on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs, a new generation who want Britain to become just another minor power that watches events from the sidelines: another Norway, Japan, Sweden or Ireland. Somewhere that likes to be liked. Lovely countries all, but they do not matter on the world stage like Britain did – until Thursday night.

That’s bollocks on steroids.  The people of this country will fight tooth and nail to protect their own against invasion no matter what bilge they spout on Twatter or Farcebook.  What we are sick to death of is brain-dead, glory hunting, self-aggrandising politicians getting us involved in wars we have no business poking our noses into especially when we don’t have an ice crystal’s chance in hell of either winning or improving the situation by bombing stuff and hoping for the best.  We already know from bitter experience that this strategy doesn’t work.

I could continue to fisk Roberts’ dross but what would be the point?  It seems that Roberts’ main gripe is that the so called, very one-sided “special relationship” has been fatally compromised.  He thinks that because the majority of people in Britain are against intervention in Syria, with or without proof, its because we are all traitors in the Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden mould.  He fails to consider that we’re Scammelling sick of bankrolling and fighting foreign wars that improve nothing, solve nothing, achieve nothing and come at a cost in lives politicians and their families rarely, if ever, have to pay.

Ever since the initial footage of an unconfirmed CW attack was released onto YouTube the US and UK governments have been arguing the case for “punishing” Assad because the “rebels” couldn’t possibly have obtained a CW (Sarin gas) and deployed it. If Sarin gas is so hard to obtain, unless you are a tyrannical government, how did the religious fanatics of Aum Shinrikyo managed to get hold of enough of the stuff to launch not one but two attacks before they were caught?

The first attack, in 1994 killed seven people and injured five hundred.  The second attack came in 1995, when Sarin gas was released into the Tokyo subway during the morning rush hour.  Eight people died  and thousands were injured, many critically.  It remains the worst terrorist atrocity to take place on Japanese soil.  So who supplied the cult with CW?  Some rogue state?  No.  They manufactured it themselves in a laboratory.  Is it such a huge leap to believe that Islamic terrorists, who we know can manufacture Ricin, also have the knowledge to manufacture Sarin gas?  After all, the poison has been around since 1938 so the procedure can’t be that complicated.

To point the finger at Assad alone is disingenuous.  It is a dangerous lie to insist that only the Assad regime has the capability to possess and deploy CWs in Syria.  To go ahead and launch missiles using this deeply suspect presumption as a justification  is nothing less than a war crime.

Hysterical warmongering aside, no must mean no.  We’ve had enough of this false prospectus, interventionist BS.  End of.

 

Hard Drivin’

Who are the most dangerous road-users in the UK (the UK at least)?

Boy racers in pimped Vauxhall Astras?

Ditzy lasses in Renault Clios twittering about One Direction?

Nah!

It’s the crumblies. Oh, and the lycra-clad kamikazes that call themselves “cyclists” deserve an dishonourable mention too. The small burg I live in is wick with the buggers. I have had to leap into gutters to avoid them on occasion whizzing down the hills at the speed of heat*. I’m fairly sure on one occasion it was Barney Storey who almost made me a paralympic competitor as well. Equestrian types (other than their on-road “deposits”) are fine. But even cyclists pale in comparison to the biddies and codgers sucking their Werther’s Originals, through their falsies, hunched over the tiller of the Panzerkampfwagen XI (aka Nissan Micra) and Panzerkampfwagen XII (aka Honda Jazz). I doubt they have globally killed more than the Wehrmacht but if frustration, annoyance and minor bumps are “liitle deaths” then the aggregated toll…

You think I’m being unfair? Geriatricist? You ought to see them doing their “slow and steady” on the M6. You probably have. And no, it ain’t just the Micra and Jazz, there is also the “last of the hold-outs” in the Olde Worlde boxy Rover 214s with the driving gloves clutching the wheel like the icy fingers of death. They clamp the middle-lane like honey badgers on a treacled scrotum. You will have gone past them making their stately progress at a maximum of 60-65mph when every other bugger is doing 80mph+

And you just know that if the codger at the wheel pushes the speedo dial a merest hint above 65mph there shall be a repeated hand-bagging accompanied with the admonishment, “You’re not Stirling Moss, you know!” whilst the motor swerves randomly across three lanes as Mrs Biddie makes a grab for the steering wheel. My wife and I were once trapped on a 60mph limit road in the Lakes behind a horseless Micra with a full load of the most bidulent doing 25. Hell’s teeth they might as well of had a daft sod waving a red-flag in front of them. I could smell the exhaust. It smelt of shortbread with high-notes of Kendal mint cake and Sterodent. It’s like those folks who thought you’d asphyxiate on Stephenson’s rocket when it hit 20 mph.

So that is whilst driving. But the biddies and codgers also excel at parking. Not just any parking. Oh no. Within days of my wife getting the current Corsa some biddie managed to scratch it in her Jazz performing an act of parking of such epic crapularity as to beggar belief. But no! What really beggared belief was her denial of culpability in the face of not only the Highway Code but the basic laws of mechanics as outlined by Sir Issac Newton in the Principia Mathematica. Every Sunday I used to have to play car marshall. It’s got better since I got “lion tamer” on their crumpled asses. Apart from anything else it’s the thoughtless blocking-in not just of us but of the neighbours too. I’m a warden of a religious meeting house (Quaker) and part of my duties include maintaining cordial relations with the neighbours. Well, I say that but it’s just good manners really.  The same ageing moo (by which I don’t mean destined for MacDonalds but for a dodgy halal burger gaff in Gorton**) “young-manned” me over her horrendous parking. Put it this way, if she’d been a USN Hornet pilot she’d have put it down not just off the wire, not just off the deck but in the wrong ocean. It was parking of the most piss-poor standard I’ve ever seen and utterly dangerous so this “young man” (I must’ve been about 36 at the time!) guided her into the bay. Any thanks? Yeah right! And at the time I didn’t know she’d scratched my wife’s Corsa otherwise…

In any case that particular parking bay is directly opposite a house with a blind driveway onto the street. The folk who live there have a Range Rover. Unless a car parked in the bay is neatly tucked in (and the venerable Micra and Jazz jockeys don’t do that – unless I’m playing tick-tack man) leaving them projecting into the single lane er, lane) the Range Rover will go straight through it and down the bank and into the stream. Yes! We have posh 4x4s and streams round this neck of the woods. Welcome to Cheshire!

Of course nothing compares to the driving (or roads) on Malta. Nothing. Having said that the bus service was excellent and cheap and the old buses really cool. They did though have “private” decoration such as, “If you want to know the truth about the afterlife, try overtaking me.” Maltese bus-drivers look and act like something out of Top Gun. Well they did when I was there a few years back… It was kinda cool and dead handy.

Though I’m not sure if the emphasis ought to be on the “dead” or the “handy”.

I really liked Malta. And I’d rather have an affordable, well-organised bus system driven by lotharios in aviator shades with ante-deluvian buses and “nose-art” to put US Army’s 8th Airforce to shame than the drivel we have round here. Actually it ain’t too bad round here compared to other gaffs in the country. Perhaps dear Dr Beeching put his coffee mug down on East Cheshire/South-East Manchester and forget. A small point here is worth making. I had  a pint of something Czech in the local wine bar yesterday (I said it was Cheshire so obviously I’m stumblin’ distance from a wine bar – not a wet or cooked monger of fish but at least three tapas gaffs – for shame! ) and I overheard two lasses (one of whom had a boyf  down London way). Now I don’t normally earwig but this was dynamite. By which I mean  not so much the respect for privacy but my respect for not really caring but the lass with the squeeze in London opined that it is two hours from here to London on Virgin Pendolino. What she said subsequently (her boy doesn’t live directly opposite Euston station, natch, byt was like balm to me. Precisely! If they really want to make rail more attractive screw shaving a few minutes off the “headline” route times but spend that GBP80bn on a truly integrated network – or better yet let the market decide.

Of course I was wrong. It ain’t the biddies and codgers that are the greatest menace to transport (though they are a menace) but the government who just love big schemes when what really matters is the integration and not the “headline figures” between London, Euston and Birmingham New Street or Manchester Piccadilly but the actual door-to-door times.

 

*USAF slang for as fast as possible – technically being any speed between that of sound and that of  light. Usually used in the context of egressing a particularly tricky situation.

**Gorton Girls know all the words to songs by Chaka Khan. I used to live in Levenshulme. I’ll give it a thumbs-up mind for Aria Tech - where I still get my stuff. It is a true den of geek set-up on a shoe-string and a hope by a refugee from Iran. And Levy isn’t that bad.

Big schemes when what really matters is the integration and not the “headline figures” between London, Euston and Birmingham New Street or Manchester Piccadilly but the actual door-to-door times.

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