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Beyond Belief

Debt Bondage and Slavery – 21st Century style

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Ariel Schochet, who has served eight stints behind bars in Bergen County [New Jersey], the so-called deadbeat dad roundups trap the men in a system they are never able to climb out of. “We aren’t supposed to have debtor’s prisons in this country anymore, but that’s essentially what this has turned into,” said Schochet, who built up a $278,000 debt to his ex-wife after losing his job on Wall Street.

Inside the world of ‘deadbeat dads’ in Northern New Jersey

Charles Dickens wrote extensively about debtors prisons, having been through this tribulation as a child during his fathers imprisonment for debt in Marshalsea prison in 1824, but even during his lifetime the closure of debtors prisons and the introduction of less punitive bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings appeared to turn the tide back, but it is a tide that has ebbed and flowed both ways over the centuries.

This was nowhere more true than in the United States where bankruptcy laws were enacted in 1800, repealed in 1803, enacted again in 1841, repealed again in 1843, enacted yet again in 1867 and repealed yet again in 1878 – thus the current laws may just be an extraordinarily long hiatus between repeals.

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Yes, there is an “Anus” in the Phillipines…

… and it is not that far from a “Bollock”.

And there is much more gold to be mined. I realised I was in the wrong job when my solar-system dynamics lecturer (he’s on the telly sometimes) Carl Murray used the phrase, “Semilatus rectum” and I was the only one to laugh. I blame Viz. And my Gran who had a turn of phrase that would shock you younglings (easily the worst line uttered by Ewan McGregor – evah).

H/T davidthompson.

Idiot of the Day.

I present Maciej Maciejewski…

Not exactly a looker either...

Well, what did this intellectual giant do? In a desperate bid to be deported to his native Poland he chucked a petrol bomb into Manchester Town Hall. But wait! It gets better… He’d been living in London and travelled to Manchester to do this because “He liked London too much”. He then obtained petrol, a Budweiser bottle from a bin, tore a strip from his T-shirt for a fuse and caused GBP 250 damage to the mighty Victorian edifice. Well, it survived the Luftwaffe so a single deranged Pole*…

Anyway, he ain’t getting deported. He’s doing two years chokey. He could have killed someone. What puzzles me is how he got to Manchester. If we assume it was train or the National Distress bus that is a sum of monies roughly in the ball-park of the cost of getting Ryanair or whatever to Poland. Yes, even from Manchester. I know having done it.

I feel very sorry for this numpty. He is clearly not playing with a full-deck.

I mean there are ups, downs and creamy middles to being in the EU (which both Britain and Poland are) but the free movement of people is an unalloyed good. Oh, I know it doesn’t need the full kit and caboodle and it certainly doesn’t need my last experience at Manchester Airport where I had to have my chipped passport scanned and then stand on two footprint marks whilst my face was scanned before I was allowed through the gate. I’d only been to Holland.

*There has got to be a complex analysis joke there…

If Dumb was Dirt, this Writer would cover several acres…

If you want a good laugh, go read this (click through the 6 pages).

Now I wrote several articles for Rolling Stone in my time, a damned fine MUSIC magazine, but like NME they could never let it lie. Always had to get involved in stuff beyond their ken. A bloke name of Hunter S Thompson used to write for them as well, and would have pissed himself, stone cold sober, at this piece. He was rather fond of his guns you see, right up to his last moment.

Back in the land of the living…

I am with Sky for most everything – net, TV, landline… Now the modem/router has been “on the blink”* for sometime and finally joined the digital choir invisible on Saturday. So I’d got a TP-Link replacement. Top-notch piece of kit. Think fine – set it up – 198.162.0.1 and all that – easy as falling off a log. Except I tried everything short consorting with wiser heads and virgin sacrifice**.

It turns out – and at no point did Sky or TP-Link make this clear that Skynet** only works with Sky modem/routers. And I’d spoken to Sky and they’d only told me to get a new gizmo – they didn’t tell me it had to be a Sky one! It was only later when my wife howled at them they said, “Er…” So had to buy one from them. I had originally thought they might replace their hardware buckshee but we seem these days to live in the land of negative customer loyalty. I mean they offer reduced deals for some months to new customers but if you have been with ‘em for years they couldn’t give a toss. I don’t like that. And they are all at it. BT, TalkTalk and all the rest of ‘em.

So, I’m back online. Thank the Gods of TCP/IP!

If anyone in the UK needs to buy a pretty high-spec wifi modem/router which is really nearly new then I am your man.

But being de-netted was dreadful. It was almost like being dead. It was like I kept on thinking things like, “There’s gotta be a solution online”. Then, “Oh bugger!”. It was like having a Speccy without a tape recorder. And it was really pissing me of because of my recent getting of a new laptop (8Gb Lenovo S440 with a Core i5 CPU). I was peeved.

*a techie term meaning roughly, “Circling the drain in the House of the Fucked”.

**Problem is round here there is no way to find three wise men and a virgin so no second-coming for us.

***For that is what I call it.

Rolf Harris

Rolf Harris was a massive part of my youth. It would appear now that he was a massive part of other kids youth too – and not in a good way. I mean I always thought Saville was a sleazy sod but Rolf! Rolf was Aussie gold.

I use to watch his show “Cartoon Club” as a kid and as 19 year-old he headlined the end of year party at Nottingham University. He was great. He got bigger cheers than Dannii Minogue who was the second on the list. I was right at the front and she certainly was “well fit” in the live. I guess she was maybe (even then) too old for Rolf’s tastes and Kylie would have clobbered him with a knotty prop – always struck even from her days in Neighbours as a feisty one our Kylie.

So I saw Rolf with his wobble board and doing Jake The Peg, painted an Outback scene and did a few songs and told a few jokes. The consummate light entertainer – especially after a few tinnies of Fosters – yes there was a reason the evening had an Australian theme.

I just don’t get it. If you are a successful, wealthy, entertainer you can actually get a consensual sexual relationship with an attractive adult. So why all this nasty, grubby stuff? Is it to quote Wilde, “Dining with Panthers” or is it just egomania or what?

Rolf, you let a generation down. You let me down. Now you are going down.

Putting the Hype into Hyperbole

From  north of the border

A teenage girl and 39-year old man who desecrated an Edinburgh mosque by attacking it with strips of bacon have both been jailed.

That’s right.  The evil pair weaponised several rashers of Danepak and attacked a large building, hurting the feelings of the security guard and his friends.  Scary stuff.

Usman Mahmood said: “I was surprised if a person did it for a joke. It is against our culture and religion.

“We do not eat pork or even touch it. I felt very bad seeing this meat in my sacred place.

“It hurt my feelings when I saw this meat hanging inside the mosque in the worshipping area. It was very disturbing.”

Yes, discovering dead meat inside a place of worship is very worrying so let’s put the bacon stunt that injured nothing but outsized sense of victimhood sensibilities into perspective shall we.

Clearly bacon is more of a threat and sheriff Noble was quite right to jail the miscreants for hurting feelings.  Society is a more safer place now that two underclass, brainless cretins who didn’t physically harm or threaten harm to anyone are locked away.  We can all sleep safer in our beds.  I’d hate to wake up one morning to discover someone had wedged a bacon butty in my letterbox.

Then we have this as quoted from the Morning Star; the bastions bastion of unbiased reporting.

Fascist mosque attacks worry British Muslims

And the form of these attacks?

Mosques in London, Bradford and Glasgow have been invaded by Members of far-right Britain First party where they were handing out Christian leaflets and bibles.

Christian leafleting and the handing out of bibles = fascist.  See what they did there?  And to ensure the message is hammered home the article is headed by an image of a bunch of skinheads indulging in a bout of frenzied, synchronised crusader flag waving.

“People are fed up,” Luton Central Mosque president Mohammed Shafait told the Morning Star on Wednesday, June 18.

“He is going around all over the country abusing people.”

I know exactly how he feels.

Leonard of Quirm has not left the building…

Well, us European types are going to build an extremely large telescope in the Chilean desert. Good news. I can’t say, as a libertarian, I’m entirely in favour of gubermunt spending but a billion quid between quite a few nations for something that actually matters warms the cockles of my astronomer’s heart. I mean it’s only 2% (if that) of HS2 and this will show the limits of the observable Universe. HS2 will get me to Birmingham slightly quicker. Well, put me on an astral plane or whatever but I know where I’d rather my monies went. And it ain’t in early C19th tech to get me to Brum.

I know a bit about the ESO in Chile. A lad I knew went out there and brought back some mighty fine wine (he was observational, I was theory) and we voted him a capital fellow at the second bottle. The Atacama Desert apart from anything else is remarkable. It never rains for a start and seeing as I live in NW England that is a bonus. Anyway it is currently home to the European VLT (Very Large Telescope) due to be overtaken by the European ELT or Extremely Large Telescope.

They really need someone to name these things. Maybe it is linguistic but we really need to put in a hint of effort. The University of Chicago has a Tevatron now that sounds suitably SF. A Large Hadron Collider just doesn’t. I mean it is big and it collides hadrons… but… I want it to sound more Trekkie. “Number One, engage the Tevatron”. That works. I want Dan Dare and instead we get B&Q! The first movie I ever saw at the cinema was Star Wars Episode IV. As hard SF it is junk – basically a Western/Fairy Tale in space but we didn’t have Han Solo flying “The medium sized smuggling ship” did we? Did “Sailor” Malan fly the “Small combat aircraft”. No, he flew a Spitfire. Even when George Stephenson built his engine he called it “The Rocket” and not “The convenient new means of getting from Liverpool to Manchester”.

Show some imagination people!

Having said all that a certain icon of the Battle of Britain came within an ace of being called the Supermarine Shrew. What would that have done? Nag the Germans to death?

World Cup Quote So Far…

From St. Glenn of the Hockle on the BBC upon the occasion of Mexico beating Cameroon 1-0…

“Cameroon looked like they were playing in chains”.

Given Hoddle’s previous the mere fact the BBC felt the need to employ him now is astonishing.

Just look up his opinions on the disabled, faith healers and of course “Diamond Lights”. That and the fact he tended to play Anderton. And won fuck all.

Crassology – Dixon style.

Last night I watched the final of “Britain’s got Talent” on ITV. It was primarily a collection of profound tosspottery. But this act stood out (even above the pro-mawk that was teenage rappers “Bars and Melody”. It was “Paddy and Nico”. An elderly British woman being chucked around the stage by her much younger Spanish dancing instructor – “Oh, young man!”. The act itself reminded of a Quote by TS Eliot along the lines of it being fascinating “If you concentrate on the essential horror”.

But that was not the point. Paddy, the geriatric hoofer, had almost missed the final due to some (clearly) minor injury and Alesha Dixon (one of the judges) praised her “courage” and explicitly compared it to the courage of the troops on D-Day. Epic fail.

So, doing a three minute dance routine is equivalent to charging Sword beach with a rifle at a German machine-gun nest? Alesha, get your dictionary out.

I dunno who won. Frankly I was past caring so put the footie on only to see England secure a goal-less draw against those titans of the game – Honduras. Yes, Honduras. When it comes to the real thing Italy are going to murder us and stack the bones in the shower before breakfast.

I did quite a lot of swearing at the telly last night. And yes, there is a literary ref there which I’d be interested if anyone knows. And I mean knows, not Googles.

I was going to say something serious…

… but the Cat’s server was playing Les Buggeurs Risible. Anyway this is a shorty. I used to live in Leeds (dreadful by and large – if it ain’t the Devil’s arsehole it is well within the CEP farting zone of it). Anyhoo, one day, to relieve the sheer horror*, I take a trip to Harrogate. Most genteel it was too. Didn’t like that much either. Rather too much up itself if you ask me. I apologise for the arse jokes though we shall shortly enter another orifice.

Harrogate has many bijou shops selling crap to the sort of people who have more money than sense. One of the noted (by me anyway) galleries of over-priced crap was called and I swear I’m not making this up called Godfrey and Twatt.

I almost expired from laughter after leaving it (well I had to go in). It was so full of pretentious shite it needed a colonic. Fortunately there was a place for that round the corner. That’s Yorkshire for you. Urban hell-holes and rural places that think they are Chelsea with scenery. Oh, and Compo going down a hill in a tin-bath. I hated that show. From the dreary theme tune to the geriatric pace and all ports between.

Here endeth the ramble.

*I once lived on Meanwood Rd. If that sounds Dickensian that’s because it was. My landlord was Rory Aikins. I saw him on telly not that long since. I once torched a chair of his in the back yard. I swear to God, Allah and Shiva that there were “things” living in it. So I took it outside and with the aid of a newspaper had a bonny. I’d asked him first, mind. He may have had some sentimental attachment to this dreadful thing but he said OK. He took it off my fucking deposit mind. Cunt. Utter cunt.

Things Nick Finds (Sort of).

Strictly speaking not Nick…

Today we had the sparks round to trace a dubious cable in the garden and during their excavations they discovered a car battery charger. A little recherché I think. The best explanation any of us could think of is that the former warden (a noted bodger) buried it for reason or reasons unknown. He might have just wanted rid or possibly it was like those old Egyptians who inhumed funereal goods. Hell of an afterlife if you got a Ford Escort that won’t ever start in the morning – for all of eternity.

Reminds me of my mate Spanner. He was in the ATC (RAF cadets) at school and he was on exercises in the wilds of Northumberland and he gets the job of digging the latrine. Anyway his spade bit into a collection of bones. Well, it’s night and the coroner’s lot turn-up at 3am. You can imagine he was Mr popularity. It was like, “Spanner you had the whole National Park to dig in and you had to find the boneyard!” Well, everyone is kept up very late (during which Spanner’s stock falls further) and the police etc do their thing.

It turned out it was the remains of four greyhounds with no heads or feet. Personally up on those windswept moors at the dead of night I’m not sure I wouldn’t have preferred to find human remains. That would have made sense at least. Oh, and as Spanner trudged off to dig the khazi the ATC lads and lasses had been telling ghost stories. You can picture the scene as he runs back into camp having dug-up bones.

The sparks took the battery charger away. They did ask if we wanted it. It didn’t look exactly straight out of the Halford’s box.

Nimrod Down.

Well, I guess you’ve heard of the four missing British yachtsmen. Now the big searchers for them (or their remains) is the US Coastguard. Fine. No issues with the fifth service of the US military. They know what they are doing and they appear to have deployed significant resources to the task for it is a hell of a lot of ocean to search.

So, what have us Brits done… We have sent an RAF C-130 to Canada. Now the BBC News was giving mixed messages on this. They showed USCG C-130s and said the RAF plane was the same which is not exactly true. You see the USCG C-130s aren’t transports – they are specialized recon platforms. The RAF plane is the standard transport and they had an RAF Air Marshall saying basically that it was going to have folks looking out the windows and using the MkI eyeball. Magic.

The 2010 UK defence review resulted in the scrapping of our Nimrod maritime recon planes. Now these were designed to hunt Soviet subs. They had been re-jigged at enormous expense and were scrapped when almost ready. Now, I don’t think they should have been re-jiggled because my absolute fave company BAE systems had no idea how to do it so it cost a fortune hence they were scrapped. A better idea would have been to take the recon kit and stick it on an A320 or 737 – i.e. not an airframe from the dawn of the jet age. But… regardless we need a maritime recon platform. Do you want me to draw a map to explain why?

Obviously Nimrods never sank a Sov sub – it never came to that thank Gods! But they were very useful for SAR missions. Quite simply they can’t do it all with choppers.

This video makes me ashamed to be British…

What an utter fuck-up beyond belief. That C-130 we dispatched is literally (litorally?) the best we can do to protect our shores and hunt for the missing. It is beyond pathetic.

Kenny Everett wins Eurovision from beyond the grave.

Well no actually.This bloke called Connie Sausage, won it for Austria. 

I’m sometimes glad I’m getting old and at the end of my road, because reality is now so twisted as to be beyond my ability to invent stuff to amuse you all. Smile

More Evidence of the Decline

Used positive pregnancy tests can be found for sale all over the Internet, and as CBS 2’s Alice Gainer reported, those involved said people are snapping them up – with less-than-ethical motivations.

One mother from Dallas did not want her identity revealed, but she does want people to buy her positive pregnancy tests. She talked about one woman who took her up on the offer.

“She wanted to trick him into thinking she was pregnant, so he would drop everything so I gave her two tests,” the woman said.

Positive Pregnancy Tests Up For Sale Online

Offered without comment, simply as evidence of the further decline of Western civilisation. I’m known for being an opinionated swine, but this just left me speechless.

[Edit - CCiZ server can't cope with the video playback]

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