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Total Mentalists

North of the DMZ and beyond the pale.

There has been some crazy news out of everyone’s favourite totalitarian heckhole recently.

First I heard this nugget…

Doctor Who, Top Gear and Teletubbies have apparently passed the suitability test to be shown on North Korea’s tightly-controlled state TV.

After months of negotiation with the BBC, the three shows have been deemed worthy of consideration for broadcasting in the totalitarian state.

The country’s state broadcaster, Korean Central Television, is only on air for six-and-a-half hours every day.

Odd choices. Skipping over the tubbies the sight of that Bellendius Maximus Clarkson whizzing around in a Bugatti is almost torture to the poor buggers up there who feel lucky to get a puncture repair kit for their bike. And the Doctor is a rather anti-authority figure which probably wouldn’t fit with the rest of KCT’s output… Although I guesss the Cybermen might go down well with the Kimocracy.

At least a third of the output is spent praising the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, while another third extols workers to toil harder for the good of the country.

And I thought endless repeats of “Last of the Summer Wine” was soul-crushing.

But wait…

The weekly television highlight is ‘It’s So Funny’, a long-running comedy show in which two uniformed soldiers perform slapstick sketches in between propaganda lectures about the greatness of North Korea.

Now that’s what I call entertainment! That’s better than Cannon & Ball that is and they were fucking terrible beyond my comprehension. Here’s a modest proposal. We parachute Piers Morgan into the Pyongyang. He’s without a berth and it is a win-win if you ask me. I feel so sorry for the North Koreans.

This speaks volumes…

Likewise, there is no fundamental difference between the way in which North and South Koreans look [The entire peninsula is very ethnically homogeneous in the World and this is an ancient civilization - Nick]. Having said that, however, 60-plus years is not a short amount of time, and the two Koreas did live through two very different worlds. South Koreans now live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries, North Koreans one of the poorest. In particular, the crushing famine that North Korea suffered in the mid-1990s has left a visible impact on North Korean people’s physique. While the average height of adult South Korean men is 171.5 cm (~5′ 7.5″), the average height of adult North Korean men is 165.4 cm (~5′ 5″). Because North Korean youths have become so malnourished, North Korea had to lower the minimum height requirement for its soldiers from 140 cm (~4′ 7″) to 137 cm (~4′ 6″) in 2010. (In contrast, South Korea recently had to extend the maximum height requirement from 196 cm (~6′ 5″) to 204 cm (~6′ 8″) for its conscripts.)

And that is not unrelated to the TV on my wall (Samsung) and the fact I have never bought a single item from North of the DMZ. I mean if they can’t get enough food they ain’t going to break the mould in tech are they? (More on that later). But this isn’t even the end-point of socialism as we understand it and as the socialist Eric Blair understood it. This is not Sweden with toothsome murder mysteries and beer you need a mortgage for. This is Hell run by an insane Satan. This is the prison state as envisaged by Vasily Grossman as the end of Stalinism.

But they have drones you know. Things that sound like they were built in a shed. I have spoken to hobbyists who can do better. At least it ain’t the grotesquely over-budget, under-performing and over-time F-35. I mean that camera… I have a better camera and I’m not on a defence budget here.

But before we simply regard the Kimocracy as risible buffoons it would be be wise to consider this. And also to consider that it is entirely possible to laugh and be revolted at the same time. They are profoundly risible but also profoundly evil. The two are not mutually exclusive.

This has to be a Darwin…

From the NST we have this wondrous story…

LUSAKA: A Malawian man has been left without a penis and is missing three toes after they were eaten by a hyena in a Zambian border town, a local hospital said Wednesday.
Chamangeni Zulu, in his early twenties, was discharged from the Chipata General Hospital this week, a senior nurse told AFP.

“He was discharged on Monday after the relatives requested that he should be transferred to Muchinji in Malawi,” said Sister Precious Matongo, referring to a town just across the border.

“They should be constantly cleaning the wounds but he is stable,” she added.

Local media reported that Zulu sacrificed his body parts after being told by a traditional healer that it would help him become rich.

“I went to a bush where I was instructed to be naked and a hyena came to me and started eating my toes and eventually my manhood was eaten,” he is quoted as saying by the Times of Zambia.

Many Malawians cross the border between the two southern African countries to work on Zambia’s commercial tobacco farms. — AFP

Apparently he stood bollock naked in the Zambian bush at 4am due to the prognostications of a witch doctor until a Hyena ate his penis. All across the world there is a dimwit born every minute. Fortunately (as in this case) his line is ended.

My parents worked in Zambia and going out in the sticks at the dead of night was a very stupid thing. I mean our largest and meanest natural predator is the badger. In Africa they have critters the likes of which…

Anyway, this daft sod won’t be paddling in the gene pool.

This grave tale of grimnacious stupity has a kerching with me dear reader because I was conceived in Zambia.

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.

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.

Where does it all go? (or come from?)

Penis pumps cost U.S. government millions, watchdog cries waste

(Reuters) – Penis pumps cost the U.S. government’s Medicare program $172 million between 2006 and 2011, about twice as much as the consumer would have paid at the retail level, according to a government watchdog’s report released on Monday.

Just a minor point but how much does the “government watchdog” that surveys the price of penis pumps cost? Just a thought.

A minor thought. Two major ones spring to mind. The first is of course to do with economies of scale (oh, err missus!). Surely Medicare could get more bang for buck (so to speak) than an individual due to greater economies of scale? That is the real scandal here but more on that later.

Now, I did a 5s Google and lovehoney.co.uk is knocking them out at from about GBP14.99 (that’s, what, 20 bucks a throw. Does anyone seriously believe the average yank on the sans a wank can’t afford 20 bucks for sex?) So this is the second point – why? Well, I guess it could be argued that sex is a right and Medicare ought to pay. But why pay twice the odds? That’s back to the first point. This is deeply inefficient.

So where does it all go? How much isn’t stealth planes or Obamacare but sheer waste? And buying an item for twice the retail rate is waste in spades. It is reckoned that the 21 B-2 Bombers built by Northrop-Grumman cost over USD2 billion a throw (and the operating costs are astronomic) but nobody really expected an intercontinental range bomber to be bought from the penny-jar (even with the Slovak 50 Eurocent that always finds a way in there). Penis pumps though are something I can find on Google in seconds. Is the US Department of Cock (and indeed Bull) lacking a computer? If they are they can speak to me and I’ll quote them an interesting price.

I mean it is sometimes worth looking at the small ticket items too because there are so many and a million here and a million there and soon it is billions and then it’s a billion here or there and then rapidly you are talking serious money.

So, apart from offering a service no one needs because anyone can get it off their own bat and doing this in a deeply inefficient way we come to the real er… meat. I can best sum this with a quote from the article…

“Considering the strain retiring baby boomers will soon be placing on Medicare’s budget, shouldn’t we be focusing this entitlement program on real, life-saving treatment and equipment to serve the health needs of seniors – instead of subsidizing penis pump purchases?

Why did I make that strong (I watched too many “Carry On” movies as a kid). Well, that and who is being subsidised? Not the seniors for sure. Just think who. This happens all the time. Look at the F-35 programme. Would it be interesting to suggest that the F-35 is a farce* on a trillion+ dollar budget which oddly enough (I think) has contracts in 48 states (and abroad). God knows what the congress-types from a pair of states were doing that afternoon. Manning Ted Kennedy’s penis pump (now deployed in Somerset?).

Anyway, it’s all er… pork barrels.

*A late block F-16 knocks it into a cocked hat for half (less?) the money. Possibly less than half the money.

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.”

[ ... ]

T. Friedman, B. Bernanke, the IPCC, and … Rand Paul:

What do they have in common?

Go here to find out.

Kenyan fiddling with a kid.

Sex attacker is confronted by his victim in Kenyan court… a female GOAT (and he is jailed a record ten years for ‘defiling’ it)

defiling the goat? He’s not precisely covered himself in glory has he either? I mean it might have been a very attractive goat – to other goats but… it’s a goat.

A man who was jailed for 10 years for having sex with a female goat came face-to-face with his victim in a Kenyan court.

The goat watched quietly from the corner of the court room in Malindi while Katana Kitsao Gona, 28, was jailed for bestiality.

I’m really not sure about this story. It is quite possibly the first time he came (oh, er missus!) face to face with said beast. My vague understanding (and I could be very wrong) is the only critters who have sex face-to-face are humans and bonobos. Personally I don’t think he ought to have got chokey. Surely the stare of the goat* and his naming and shaming is enough? I mean that happened a few years back to a bloke from Hull who was caught molesting a goat by a railway line. He was fined (the goat was deemed OK by police vets) rather than ten years in the tank but his career was ruined. He was a chef. Well, who is going to employ a chef who sodomizes goats? And it is sodomy by pretty much any rational definition. Call me odd and all but sex with another human regardless of gender is like whatever. Shagging a goat is basically not OK. Do I have to explain why? And why the Mail has to state prominently that it was a female goat is beyond me. I suppose you just shouldn’t shag the nanny.

Anyway, on with this tale of utter depravity…

According to Jimmy Kimaru, chief prosecutor, Gona was caught sexually assaulting the goat in a bush.

It really doesn’t get better than that. Some of us dream of Brad Pitt or Keira Knightley on a Caribbean beach and some of us fuck goats in the backwoods of Kenya. Admittedly a female goat but quite frankly that doesn’t make a quantum of WTF to me. And why did this vile crime happen?

Gona, who pleaded guilty, told the court his wife is disabled and depends on him daily. Despite this, the judge jailed him for a record 10 years for ‘defiling’ the animal.

Well, as I said before some crimes are in a sense their own punishment. This is a very libertarian stance. Would you employ the goat-fucker of Malindi? No and neither would I. If you were his wife would you not seek a divorce? Obviously you would! There is not a court on the planet that would deny you. I mean an affair with another human might be forgiven but screwing a goat in a bush is simply unforgivable.

And now we get onto arguably the meat of the deal. I think the Dr Who character of Captain Jack is interesting. He is frequently described as “bisexual” but he is is actually “omnisexual” and I think calls himself that. So why does that matter here? He fancies males and females of every bipedal, thinking, speaking race in the Universe. OK, I’m fine with that but a goat is different. What is clever about Captain Jack is a couple of things. The first is there is very little hint in Dr Who of interspecies pregnancies (I’m gonna get called on that) and in that respect it is much more on the biological money than Star Trek (score one for the Brits!) but it acknowledges that sex is not just about procreation. And it acknowledges another thing. If one accepts that (and some don’t) then you have to face a tricky question and Captain Jack answers it very well. He is prepared to fancy different species so therefore he can’t see gender as that important. I think that is interesting. Obviously Captain Jack would never fuck a goat but he kissed both The Doctor and Rose. I guess what I’m getting at is that interspecies sex is acceptable in a fantasy setting (think Beren and Luthien) iff (not an sp) the species are roughly comparable and able to give informed consent and stuff. In short an Elven princess is one thing and a goat is quite, quite different.

Seeing as there is a species difference either way I’m not entirely sure if I can make a solid point here and I have to just really on the “yuk” factor to a certain extent here but… let’s face it making love to Arwen in the Royal Bedchamber of Minas Tirith beats the Hellskis out of goat-fucking in a bush in Kenya.

Pretty much anything beats that. The last time I had a filling beats that.

Quotes from The Mail.

*Goats have nasty stares. I recall an incident on a Greek island in the ’90s when I was surrounded by goats and the leader of the pack – a big billy with horns poised at my scrotum gave me a vile stare. I thought it about to charge and de-bollock me but then the goatherd turned-up. I have rarely if ever been more pleased with a Greek fellow entering stage left. I had also accidentally nearly troden on a snake about ten minutes before which was seriously nonplussed. Beautiful island but full of things that wanted to kill me.

Mozzer strikes again…

If you know The Smiths that’s quite witty.

Morrissey has attacked President Obama and the tradition of turkey-eating on Thanksgiving, in a blog post on his website entitled ‘Thankskilling’.

My sides nearly split with mirth.

Morrissey described the annual lighthearted turkey ‘pardon’ ceremony that Obama takes part in, where turkeys are saved from being slaughtered, as “embarrassingly stupid”.

Well. apart from describing Mozzer as an ageing Ted with a chronic masturbater’s complexion. Yup, the greatest export Manchester ever made… But traditions are “stupid” (aren’t they?) and traditions (pretty much by def don’t include the presidency of Barack Obama – a tradition going back to 2008 is not exactly traditional is it?) It is is silly but then so is wearing a paper crown on Christmas Day. Very silly but Mozzer, we is just trying to have fun – which appear to be something Mozzer who once wrote that real upbeat ditty, “Girlfriend in a Coma” fails to get at any level.

Otherwise I would drone endlessly about the wit and wisdom of Chairman Mao over a buggered tannoy whilst some fucker arse-vogeled a 1980s Casio keyboard to accompany. Without Johnnie Marr you are nothing. Just a (poor) voice wandering alone in the wilderness…

“Please ignore the abysmal example set by President Obama who, in the name of Thanksgiving, supports torture as 45 million birds are horrifically abused; dragged through electrified stun baths, and then have their throats slit. And President Obama laughs. Haha, so funny!”

Do I detect the voice of a left-winger betrayed?

Furthermore, “As Ingrid Newkirk from PETA points out, turkey ‘meat’ is one of ‘our nation’s top killers’, causing heart-attacks and strokes in humans due to saturated animal fats and cholesterol. And President Obama laughs.”

A very strange use of quotes around ‘meat’. Either it is or it isn’t meat. The moral discussion about eating it (or not) is not furthered by scare quotes any more than PETA’s dismal attempt to rebrand ‘fish’ as ‘sea-kittens’*. And in any case eating turkey and having a heart attack is one’s own choice. I can’t stick turkey anyway. Dry and insipid, much like chicken and roast pork.

Morrissey has long been a campaigner for animal rights, vociferously promoting a vegetarian diet – and sometimes tipping into controversy. He said that the 2011 Utoya massacre by Anders Breivik was “nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried shit every day.”

The news that he is now scheduled to play a Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo has upset some in Norway, given his earlier comments.

Well, the Nobel Peace Prize is not worth a penny-weight of Arafat’s giblets really but that is offensive. I am now deeply tempted to obtain a moose burger just for the hell of it!

In 2009 he left the stage at the Coachella festival saying: “The smell of burning animals is making me sick. I can smell burning flesh . . . and I hope to God it’s human.”

Would Mozzer have been happier at Auschwitz than in the vicinity of a hot-dog stand? I’ve been to both in my time. I have also been a vegetarian (sort of – I could never make a chilli that really worked) and am married to a vegan but that casual moral equivalence is appalling. Utterly wrong. It is that sort of attempt at making a KFC the same as a NAZI death camp the reason I fear for the future. That it can even be said is very scary. Killing 6 million Jews is not on the same moral map as getting a hot dog. It is indeed chilling rather than chill dog. Animals of course require our care but they are not us. Up to a point they are moral agents (my cat knows he’s done a bad thing when he pukes on the duvet) but they are not the same. Very similar in many ways but not the same. We once lost Timmy. We were moving and he fled the house due to the disruption at something like the speed of heat.**

He came back after a tense while. We spent an extra day sitting on orange boxes (so to speak) with not even the telly waiting for him. My wife was in tears – there were a number of kebab shops in Levenshulme. Then a paw scratched at the door. That night he insisted on sleeping between us in our bed. So, stick that up your arse-trumpet Mozzer. I do care for animals. And Timmy has a lovely big garden to prowl and get into fights with other cats who invade his territory. He also eats meat for a certain value of meat. He only likes the cheapest stuff in terms of pouches. He’ll go insane if I have fish. I once got some smoked mackerel from Aldi (and very good it was too) and had to exfiltrate the kitty from the bin for he’d gone in head first after the skin. I was alerted by a terrible mewling and the sight of a tail. Daft bugger.

“Bring me the head of Elton John… which is one instance in which meat would not be murder, if it were served on a plate.”

Now, I’m no fan of the Rocketman but might it be apposite to say he’s sold more records than Mozzer? That he isn’t a total twat? And perhaps more to the point, whilst I might want to eat a nice sirloin, Mozzer wants, for whatever obscure reasons (mentioned above) to eat Elton John’s head which is a bit too Heston for me? You’d have to get through the rug first apart from anything else. But you do have to wonder if John’s success over decades in the pop business doesn’t irk the Salford One? Or the fact his HIV/AIDS charity has done more good than Mozzer’s sanctimonious posing? I mean I was never a Smiths fan (and the solo stuff is drivel) but to the extent the Smiths were good was down to Johnnie Marr and not the gladioli-wielding bard of Salford.

At a moral point why is it not allowed to eat critters but OK with people you don’t like? All totalitarianism (and Morrissey is a totalitarian – well, a wannabe one anyway) is about this.

Morrissey is a sort of eternal recurrence of DH Lawrence. The sort of quasi-socialist who hates the “little people” who don’t get him. Lawrence once wrote (and this was published, I think) about how he wanted to set-up a circus big-top and have the lumpen proletariat shoved through to be exterminated to the sound of a band playing popular songs. Yes, he did. I lack refs for it but yes, he did. Is this much different from Mozzer? No it isn’t.

They are both utterly overrated. Check!

They both have chips on their shoulder you could sink battleships with. Check!

They both despise the people they allegedly seek to help. Check!

So that’s that. The quotes are from here.

*An odd one as my little cat loves to eat his sea-kittens. More interestingly, if I have a sea-kitten then we have a Rommel v Patton situation. He’ll lurk then strike but then I am smarter being H sapiens sapiens and he’s Felis silvestris catus. He made an elaborate encircling manoeuvre round the back of the sofa last night whilst I was eating pizza.
**USAF fighter-jockey slang for anything between the speed of sound and that of light.

This is what happens…

… when you invade Afghanistan (for the umpteenth time) and lose about 3,400 coalition dead and God knows how many maimed or traumatised beyond my comprehension or probably yours too. War has a cost and that cost requires a pay-off or it is worse than meaningless. It is obscene. And I’m not even including the Afghans killed in this bizarre attempt to impose the Great God of Democracy within an Islamic Republic (which is how Afghanistan styles it self under the Khazi of Kabul). Leaving aside the bitter irony that the secular US led invasion following Islamist attacks led to to the formation of an Islamic Republic. (I’m saying nothing about Iraq here which is also now styled as an Islamic Republic.)

Anyway, this is what happens…

Afghan government officials have proposed reintroducing public stoning as a punishment for adultery, Human Rights Watch said, even though the practice has been denounced both inside and outside the country as one of the most repugnant symbols of the Taliban regime.
The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country’s penal code being managed by the ministry of justice.
There are several references to stoning in a translated section of the draft seen by the Guardian, including detailed notes on judicial requirements for handing down the sentence. “Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death],” article 21 states. The draft goes on to specify that the stoning should be public, in article 23.

Anyone surprised? I’m not. It probably won’t make it into law but the fact this ancient evil is even being discussed seriously is dreadful.

What a terrible waste of blood and treasure. And how foreseeable.

How many Afghan wars has Britain been in now?

Shieldmaidens.

From wikipedia

When Leif Ericson’s pregnant half-sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir was in Vinland, she is reported to have taken up a sword, and, bare-breasted, scared away the attacking Native Americans. The fight is recounted in the Greenland saga, though Freydís is not explicitly referred to as a shieldmaiden in the text.

Jebus wept! A pregnant half-naked Viking woman charging you with a sword. I’d run away. And do it screaming like a 1D fan. That one must have been emotional. And yeah I’d well call her a shieldmaiden.

I am no man.

The idea that women can’t or don’t fight is bizarre. Anyone who feels that way ought to have met some of my ex-girlfriends or Freydis with her tits out and a sword in hand. No, my domestics never got quite that dramatic. We had knives or hammers at extremis but that was all.

But by buggery, charging bare-breasted with a sword. Respect!

That is fucking top quality. It really is.

I have done questionable things. What I haven’t done is ran like a total mentalist with my 34Ds out whilst wielding a sword.

I kinda wish I had.

Darwin, Pauli & Stuff…

I have a strong interest in biology. I actually started a biology degree but switched to physics. I have some issues with Darwinism. No I am not a creationist but I tend to think the views of folk like Lynn Margulis got side-lined and I can’t stand Dickie Dawkins. OK Margulis was mad as a box of frogs on some stuff but whatever! She was almost certainly right with symbiotic development of eukaryotic cells. And then some weird stuff in evolution is down to maths more than just pushy little replicators slugging it out (that’s quite a good joke, actually – though not at a club at 2am which is packed with sluggy and pushy little wannabe replicators). Yes, slime molds are fascinating examples of self-organisation. They ain’t pretty but neither are engine rooms. I have a maths book somewhere which deals with the way they organise. Apparently it is dead easy to write a computer program to model them. Basically they operate more like a society than a single organism. Truly bizarre but then so is a jellyfish which you can stick in a blender and then can spontaneously reform.

Biology is very strange. And we are only now starting to be getting the full sp and it is hideously mathematical (and I like maths). A maths student I knew at university was doing a PhD on cancer angiogenesis – cancers developing their own blood supply! I saw his talk on it and left feeling not 100% – and I was not alone. Like I said down in the basement there are some very unpleasant things. To say nothing of the woodshed. I guess at some level I kinda thought if I stick with biology I might get a disease named for me (and probs a very unpleasant one) but physics! Ah, you can get a star named for you. I was a romantic youth. Still am.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dissing Darwin who had a truly profound insight into the Universe. But of course he didn’t get the full toffee apple – nobody ever does. Not even Newton and in many ways Darwin was biology’s Newton. Before him it was all myopic vicars hunting butterflies and pinning them up or some such. Chemistry is mainly buggering about and trying to make epic pongs – which is why we have mainly left it to the Germans. As a kid I did a chemistry masterclass thingie in the Easter hols at Newcastle University and some student at some point had scrawled in a way that suggested some form of abysmal moral torment the phrase, “Chem is wank” on my desk. Oh, it’s useful and I’m glad other people do it but A-level was my limit and I guess seeing my teacher blow the bejesus out of the fume cupboard doing the thermite reaction (now banned in schools) straightening his tie and saying in very calm tones, “Um, quite a vigorous reaction” was enough. But this is getting off topic. It was hilarious though. And he was a good teacher. 25 years later I recall that lesson. If only we’d had facebook then that moment would have been immortal.

Anyway…

This blog has collected a load of comments by creationists from tweets, blogs and whatever. The unmitigated pignorance of them astounds me. It isn’t so much they are wrong. They are in the words of Wolfgang Pauli, “nicht ganz falsch”. They are not even wrong. Hey ho! Let’s go!

@Yhwh_TheLord so then why do women have babies if we can just evolve fRom um whatever you think we evolved from?

You to old to believe in evolution. If we came from monkeys, why are there still monkeys. are they the stupid that couldn’t evolve?

I’ve never seen an animal or a micro organism become a human. So that evolution shit is out the window for me.

Evolution is atheism. It’s not science, but an impossible, unrealistic, unbiological, invented process in order to remove God from equation.

And it goes on. And on.

So why am I blogging it? I have a long-term hatred of what can be called the science/religion debate. Putting the two in opposition has never made any sense to me. It doesn’t stop folk though. I’m sat having lunch at Lenton Hall University of Nottingham in 1993 and this git sidles, yes, sidles up to me and gets chatting. Well he’s a missionary and he rapidly turns around the meet and greet into, “Well if you come back to my room I have an excellent 20 minute defence of religion against science.” I politely but firmly declined. Should I have added that many people on my physics course were religious? Nah, that obvious fact never works with these folks. Then there was the head of the Christian Union who used to organise five-aside footy and at half-time once came out with, “You know in many ways God is like a football”. What fatuous guff! How precisely is God like a football? I mean some of the greatest minds of all time have wrestled with the question of the existence and nature of God and he comes out with that utterly meaningless toss! So fuck you Descartes! God is like a football because Robin said so (he was a twat BTW – an epic twat – a twat’s twatter of a twatting twat). There was a nervous silence and a lot of folk looking at their boots until someone suggested we just get on with the second half – thank God! Need I say quite a few of us were Christians. Not me but a few of the lads. They were even more deeply embarrassed. God is like a football – oh Pity Me! (a village in County Durham BTW).

There is no real clash between science and religion because fundamentally they are about different things. I can tell you (roughly) how a hydrogen bomb works but a priest can tell you whether it should be used. It’s very much like asking a plumber about the wiring. This is not to say I don’t have ethical viewpoints and it is not to say the priest might not have a strong interest in scientific matters (note vicars and flutterbies -as my Gran used to say) it is just that they aren’t the same thing and when people attempt to conflate religion (or especially quasi-religions such as National Socialism or Communism*) with (usually pseudo) science very bad things tend to happen.

Science says how things are and how to do ‘em. It should have next to no input in the moral dimension. It doesn’t say what ought to be done. That is for all of us as moral human beings to decide. By the same token religion (and moral stuff in general) ought to take note of science and not see it as a threat. Moreover the fusing of the two is a terrible idea and the instrument of totalitarians because it makes us objects to play with in the lab. And an invented (note I reffed Pseudo science earlier) lab at that. Science and religion fill two very different human needs and arguing the toss about which is better is like arguing whether pizza is better than Coca-Cola. You might ask a bishop in a moment of spiritual doubt but you’d ask an engineer or physicist if your PWR looked shonky. And vice versa. And the same applies to all religions (or moral codes) as it does to the sciences. You wouldn’t (even though she was a scientist) ask a botanist to look at your iffy PWR any more than you’d ask a nuclear scientist to tell you the best way to get rid of the crop-infection on your farm.

Science versus Religion is possibly the greatest nicht ganz falsch in the history of thinking. Yet it goes on.

H/T Infidel753

* The Sovs were not exactly into “racial realism” but did some bizarre stuff. They had women volunteer to be inseminated with gorilla semen because Stalin wanted to cross-breed a race of invincible Planet of the Apes style warriors and workers. And yes, I do mean they genuinely volunted for the socialist cause which is the really spooky bit. Utterly bent out of shape. Here’s your monkey baby says the midwife before taking it off to the research facility 214 for “studies”. Of course it didn’t work because “perverse science” is never “correct” in any sense of the word. The very idea that Darwinism leads to communism is twisted because communism lead to Lysenkoism and attempts at disgusting cross species mating (which can’t by definition work anyway – OK up to a point it can: mules, ligers etc but human/gorilla is really pushing the envelope). Anyhoo it doesn’t take away from my point that science is morally neutral. It is. It can be twisted though. Not to put too fine a point on it this is exactly why we need different modes of thought – not just science or pseudo-science. That is why religions and other moral concepts exist and need to. Because to put a very blunt point on it any quantity of knowledge on the structure of the atom or the structure of DNA says nothing about why you shouldn’t rape, murder or steal. That is a moral question and just as religion should keep out of science science has nothing to say about religion or morality and nor should it try to. And as to “science” impinging on politics – God help us!

Mental

When I was a student I had a housemate who was doing nursing. Because he was a big lad the NHS wanted him to do either A&E or psychiatric nursing where his physical attributes would come in handy at a push.

We once watched the Gary Olman Dracula film and he remarked during the Bedlam scenes, “No change in mental-health then.” Now OK it might be but it’s nothing to mental healthcare in Somalia.

Just read the whole thing. And I challenge anyone not to realize Somalia is even more thourhly fucked than they already knew it to be.

They either chain the mentally ill to trees and leave ‘em or they think they they can cure ‘em by locking them in a cage overnight with a hyena.

“There is a belief in my country that hyenas can see everything including the evil spirits people think cause mental illness,” says Hab. “So in Mogadishu, you will find hyenas that have been brought from the bush and families will pay £350 ($560) to have their loved one locked in the room overnight with the animal.”

One wonders who is mentally ill.

One also wonders why Somalia is such an epic shit-hole.

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.

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