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The lament of the home-sick Jihadi.

A British jihadist has told how he misses Greggs as well as his friends and family after fleeing for war-torn Syria.

The Islamic State fighter, who gives his name as Abu Abdullah Britani and speaks with a London accent, made the comments in a video interview posted on YouTube by an online news organisation.

My heart bleeds… Last time I had something from Greggs I felt an act of terrorism was occurring in my oesophagus. That’s why I now go to Subway or Pret where they sell food rather than the contents of kitty-pouches bowked into a pasty.

He goes on…

Britani also uses the interview, conducted in a trench in Syria, to say he felt compelled to travel to the country to avenge the “rape of sisters and the killing of children” – although he admits it is bloodthirsty.

So ISIS doesn’t rape, pillage and kill everything that walks or crawls? He’s either an idiot or deluded or believes it’s OK to do that for Allah (these are not mutually exclusive). I tend to go with idiot mainly. Going off to jihad seems increasingly to me like a sort of rebellion like punks in the ’70s with the major caveat that dying your hair pink and getting a nasal septum ring is not the same thing in terms of externalities. I am fairly sure Johnnie Rotten never raided a Yazidi school, massacred the teachers and then raped the girls. Both tracks are “acts of rebellion”. One annoys your Gran and the other is plain evil.

But there is something else going on with this guy which is deeply conservative (note the small “c”). When I go abroad I want to eat different food and experience a different culture. But I have seen enough Brits abroad who consider places like Costa Brava or Malta as Blackpool with better weather. Drinking bitter in the “Red Lion” and tucking into fish and chips whilst reading The Mail. They are arseholes in my book but mostly harmless like the punks.

This fellow isn’t and if he ever returns to the UK he ought to dragged on a sled down Newcastle’s Grey Street on a Saturday night and have all the lads and lasses pelt him to death with Gregg’s Steak Bakes.

That’ll learn him. And it is all they are good for anyway.

Black Studies…

Birmingham City University has opened the first Black Studies department in the UK. If you read the whole thing and manage not to bowk on your keyboard then you will realize that that it is intrinsically racist. It is (dare I use the term?) Apartheid. It is the opposite of any form of racial integration. I bet if you just walk around the centre of Birmingham (I am basing this on Manchester but they are of similar size etc.) you will notice a lot of mixed race folks. Especially kiddies. So what is the point here? If that isn’t racial integration then what is? A cynic like me might think that keeping the pot boiling keeps the monthly pay coming in for the sort of people who staff a “black studies” department. I wonder what would happen if I applied?

All six academics are black but one of their major arguments is the number of white profs in established subjects. You can’t have it both ways.

In any case it reminds me of my time at Nottingham University. They did “American Studies” which was a bit like a languages degree without having to learn any languages other than to know the American for “colour” is “color”. The course was generally considered risible. They had a course which essentially consisted of watching “The Godfather”. They even had Americans doing it.

RFP

I want to do a quick and dirty (worked for Bill) website. Basically maybe three pages but I also want it to be interactive in the sense of a (secured*) calendar. I don’t want to spend time and money on this. Any ideas? I’m thinking there must be a free app out there or something. Obviously it will go with an email address.

*So jokers can’t put-up “Wed 9th, NE Cheshire Shetland Pony Fetishists Festival”. And trust me that sort of thing would happen without passwords.

BoJo’s Erdogan limerick in full

BoJo and the goat fucker

 There was a young fellow from Ankara,

Who was a terrific wankerer.

“Till he sowed his wild oats,

With the help of a goat,

But he didn’t even stop to thankera.

Not the greatest of poetic verse, but coming from someone who may one day be PM of an infamous Turkish great-grandfather (Ali Kemal), carries a little more weight than better written doggerel on this specific subject.

I actually prefer Douglas Murray’s efforts on the subject.

Recep Erdogan is the Turk’ll

Never tire of rim-jobs from his circle

Yet his chief-est delight

(Now Khilafa’s in sight)

Are the felchings he gets from Frau Merkel

As for myself, I was never a one for the burlesque, but if the guys from the Turkish embassy are “kicking butt and taking names” then my only contribution is that Mr. Erdogan can go fuck himself with a cactus and if he doesn’t have one to hand I am happy to supply it.

Shoddy Absurdia considers issuing I.O.U.’s

I'm sure we're never going to see 100 dollar oil barrel again

Saudi Arabia is considering using IOUs to pay outstanding bills with contractors and conserve cash, according to people briefed on the discussions.

As payment from the state, contractors would receive bond-like instruments which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Companies have received some payments in cash and the rest could come in the “I-owe-you” notes, the people said, adding that no decisions have been made on the measures.

Saudi Arabia has slowed payments to contractors and suppliers, tapped foreign reserves and borrowed from local and international banks in response to the decline in crude oil, which accounts for the bulk of its revenue. The country will probably post a budget deficit of about 13.5 percent of economic output this year, according to International Monetary Fund estimates, pushing the government to borrow an estimated 120 billion riyals ($32 billion).

Bloomberg - Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs

In the overall scheme of things this probably doesn’t amount to much, but it just goes to show how even a little disturbance in the oil price can cause economic turmoil when all you have is oil.

I don’t expect Venezuelan-type queuing for bog roll in Riyadh any time soon, but it just goes to show that when we eventually transition to a post-oil global economy these bastards will be back to buggering goats in their desert tents, which is exactly where they belong.

If only there was some way of making it happen sooner…

Biodynamic eggs…

First off I have an A in A-level biology and an MSc in astrophysics. I have have no qualifications in being a gullible twat.

Secondly, I am a very good cook.

When I buy eggs I always go for proper free range (note the term can cover a multiple of things) and I do this on the basis of genuine animal welfare and not the position of the planets.

BTW I did sixth-form work experience in a lab at Newcastle University and it was into GM-ing cassava toremove the toxins because whilst cassava is a staple for much of Africa (and elsewhere – it grows anywhere) it contains toxins that have to be removed by a lengthy process. Now if genetically modified cassava can be free of the toxins then the work of the rural housewife is dramatically decreased. Which means…

… Let’s see shall we?

And quite frankly I’d rather see poor Tanzanians benefit in a tangible fashion rather than Hipsters from Hoxton. The first group are feeding their families, the second their egos.

So what is a “biodynamic egg”? It is an egg laid according to astrology. Here day fights with night. And they charge more for them – 10p more for six than “organic” eggs.

I weep tears of blood. Norman Borlaug must be spinning in his grave.

Don’t get me wrong. There is a place for vaguely spiritual ideas (and the established religions) but what really gets my goat is the “vaguely spiritual” and their attempt to cross the divide. Science ought to be about this world and religion about the next. Science (including pseudo-science) has no place in morality and religion none in science.

Nominative Determinism.

The first Zumwalt Class DDG – a weird looking thing…

…is due to be officially commissioned by the USN very shortly.

The odd thing is the Captain (I am not making this up) is called James Kirk. There are no added points for guessing the name of the science officer or the guy in the engine room.

Why books still matter.

I don’t read books much. I have “x” number of computers in various states of order and an smartphone and a Kindle Fire. So why do I also have a very high quality slip-case edition of The Lord of the Rings? In four volumes (the fourth is the appendices etc). My Sindarin is probably better than my French! Well, better than my Quenya anyway.

Well, three reasons. My old copy from way back (single volume paperback) was falling apart – not from neglect but from use. My mother wanted to get me a birthday present and I wanted a nice set. In a very real sense the information revolution of the last couple of decades has created a demarcation between the “bit” and the “it”*. Anyone with internet access knows at a visceral level they have access to the Library of Babel** (and mainly free or very cheap) so a book in a sense becomes more of an object as we transfer our understanding of information from paper and ink to the ephemeral 1 and 0.

This was brought home to me (although I knew it at some level before) when I stood in awe just last year at the one book I’d love to own above all gold and silver. It was in Trinity College, Cambridge and was the first edition of Principia Mathamatica and not just any copy. This was Newton’s very own with his hand-written marginal notes for the second edition. It was like, for practicing Jews, looking at the first Torah written in blood and fire by YHWH Himself. Wow. And here is the three odd things. It is written in Latin (and I am very limited in that), it dates from an era when mathematicians didn’t want to disclose methods so even if I grokked the Latin the maths would be obscure to me (Newton didn’t want to disclose the calculus so re-wrote his proofs using da olde skool sums). And finally it is available free for download (in English).

So why does it matter? For the same reason the Wailing Wall matters to Jews or why old Beatle’s vinyl matters to music lovers. It is “it” and not “bit”. It is an actual physical thing. Over the last few years vinyl record sales have increased as CD sales have declined. It is about having soul. Which is an odd way of thinking. That the physical in some way embodies soul more than the abstract.

So that is why I cherish books. Because they are “things”. They are beyond mere information now. They once were information but they are now “stuff” which oddly elevates them because they are the thing in itself because the information is all online now.

They have lost their informational shackles to become free.

*Sorry to the late John Wheeler for that.
**Sorry to the late Jorge Luis Borges for that.

Eurovision 2016

Was won by Ukraine. The song was poor by even Eurovision standards but it won… From a poor lot but I went for Armenia.

There are reasons for that. That was daring attire. OK, the Aussie entry was better but a little demure for me and whilst they had the best song and singer the Armenian lit my candle more.

Ukraine deserved it because whilst there is a women wearing next to nothing there is also the antics of Vlad the Bad. Here is the winner…

Mr Putin. You don’t make yourself generally popular by invading other countries.

Review: BRExit the Movie

Brexit the Movie

I must admit to being a little worried by “BRExit – The Movie” as it had the potential to be little more than a UKIP Party Political Broadcast, but not a bit of it, Martin Durkin has managed to pack his argument against the EU with a combination of history, informative statistics and loaded it with exactly the sort of detail that will appeal to the man (or woman) on the street.

By avoiding the duller aspects of sovereignty and looking at how much the EU costs the average UK resident in their weekly shop, their wage packet and their tax bill because of the “dead hand of EU bureaucracy“, Martin has focussed on the heart of the debate on two issues:

- 1. Would we be better off in or out of the EU?

- 2. What would those futures look like (emphasising the good of leaving more than the downsides of remaining)

The movie itself is both upbeat and pithy, setting an exceptional contrast against David Cameron’s “Project Fear“. I watched the entirety of it in a single sitting and found myself pleasantly surprised and to a certain extent uplifted.

If nothing else, it is a clear articulation as to why we should vote “Leave” on June 23rd.

This is exactly how I feel…

We are the pigs.

I recently watched the excellent BBC documentary on the Hillsborough disaster. I talked about it with my Dad because we watched the match live at the time (he’s a lifelong Liverpool fan). The bastardy of South Yorkshire Police was revealed in full detail. Now, I, as a kid, knew what was happening. My Dad did and John Motson (commentating) did. The evil bastards redacted officer statements. And the BBC showed the documents with all the crossings out. The Stasi* would have been proud.

Have you ever been in a crowd surge? I have. It was at a U2 gig in Roundhay Park, Leeds. Bono said it was the biggest gig they’d ever played. There is sort of natural amphitheater there and that’s where it was. Me and my brother traveled about 20m faster than Usain Bolt out of the blocks. It was scary. But it was well stewarded by private security. Nobody was hurt. Hillsborough wasn’t well stewarded. It was controlled by the Police who (at the top end) thought of the fans as “plebs” who didn’t matter. So they get West Midlands cops to look into it and they cover-up the cover-up but then the Brummie rozzers have previous. Birmingham Six anyone?

So during the discussion with my Dad the issue of Ben Needham came up. He mentioned the cops going out to Kos. Guess what happened? I said they just want a holiday at our expense. That was yesterday. This is from today.

I must be Mystically Megulent or something. You’d think after the recent stuff on Hillsborough South Yorkshire would be on their best. But do not misunderestimate the capacity of the rozzers to “confuse” the idea of law and being the law and indeed above it. Robert Peel must be rolling in his grave enough to power 11% of the National Grid.

So don’t trust the rozzers. They are family. They stick together. Now where have I heard that sentiment before?

Yup, a state-funded Mafia.

And why every Lestrade needs a Holmes (and Watson).

*Just before the red drapes closed on communism (and they had a lot of red curtains) the Stasi were so desperate to destroy the evidence they had to import shredders from West Germany. Nothing sums up moral bankruptcy more than that.

The one where iDave is right…

I have met a number of people who were of the opinion Nigeria was hopelessly corrupt. Most of them Nigerian which was why they lived in England.

So iDave was “undiplomatic” but he spoke the truth. If that ain’t true explain this.. A few years ago we dumped a sofa and I slit it and got eight quid out of it. I want a Nigerian sofa because that is a hell of a lot of sponds to go astray. Obviously I’d need a hole in the ceiling and a Sepp Blatter to get on it to watch Sky.

And that is just the military budget. So don’t piss on my my back and tell me it is raining.

Yes, we give Nigeria a lot of aid. It mainly goes the way of Keyser Söze. I don’t mind some of my cash going to build wells and such for the desperately poor but lining the pockets of gits is a bit above and beyond.

We do enough of that here anyway.

Gender Identity & The Scientific Method.

I once had an office-mate called S. She had a female gerbil called Padmé (that is what happens if you allow astrophysicists of my generation to have pets). Anyway one Friday night my flat mates were out and they had a male hamster called Hammy (they were not from the top drawer in the tool box).

Anyway, I had a nice bit of fish so S and I had dinner round my gaff (not a date – just mates) and she asked if she could bring Padmé (and some wine). OK, S. So well into the second (maybe third) bockle we decided to see how the rodents would play together.

Guess what happened? The gerbil mounted the hamster and tried to make sweet, sweet love to it despite the gerbil being female and the hamster being male. In short the gerbil attempted to roger the hamster. Whilst two astrophysics students who were drunk (and somewhat stoned) watched. It was like a deleted scene from a David Lynch movie.

There is a moral here but I’m fucked if I know what it is. I may never have taught a pug to salute Hitler but I was (it was S’s idea in case the rozzers call) am somewhat an accessory (I opened the cage) to an attempted rodent on rodent rape.

Yes, Your Honour I have done questionable things but…

… Who hasn’t done questionable things. It all started with bringing fire into the cave.

Now I’m not claiming that S and my experiment was the “Italian navigator entered the New World” but the spirit of curiosity is the reason you are reading this drivel (and I’m writing it).

I know that quote from my Solar System Dynamics text by Carl Murray who taught me at QMC, London. I have scars from trying things out (usually with fire). But dear me! Unless you try the new what the buggery (arguably a bad term in the rodential context) and for every Enrico Fermi in his squash court there are a couple of pissed grad-students letting the rodents run just for the Hell of it. And that is why I did physics. For the sheer fucking Hell of it.

That is why for example I’d wannabe in the cockpit of the Bloodhound with Andy Green when he tries to drive a car at over 1000mph. The sheer Hell of it.

PS. neither rodent appeared harmed at all.

M8 Yer Polis R Nazis

A man has been arrested over a video posted online that shows a dog appearing to make a Nazi salute.

The 28-year-old, from Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire, faces hate crime charges over the video, Police Scotland said.

The clip, posted on YouTube, allegedly shows a pug sitting in front of a computer screen showing footage of Adolf Hitler.

The video, titled M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi, also includes a man, who says the pet belongs to his girlfriend, playing with the dog.

Officers said the video “caused offence and hurt to many people in our community”.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “A 28-year-old man was arrested on Thursday April 28 in relation to the alleged publication of offensive material online (improper use of electronic communications under the Communications Act 2003).

(Sky News)

I find one of my biggest problems in writing posts is coming up with a decent title. For this, I thought it wrote itself. However the thing that really angers me about this story isn’t just that it happened, or that the shiny new “Police Scotland” are getting a name for their illiberal crackdowns on free speech (which, in an I-told-you-so kind of way, is oddly gratifying). It’s that my country is getting a name, internationally, for its illiberal crackdowns on free speech. If my RSS feed was ordered differently, I’d first have heard about the Nazi pug on an Australian blog, our near-nicknamesakes, the Catallaxy Files.

And they nailed the title:

The only people who might be offended by this are actual Nazis

I keep saying it: if the Scottish Nationalists don’t like being called Nazis, then maybe they should start acting a bit less like, y’know… Nazis.

Since I’m here, a word on last week’s election. You’ll have heard that the Tories came second, with 31 seats: more than Labour and the Lib-Dems combined. If you’d predicted that ten years ago – when even the now all-conquering Nats only held 27 – you’d have ended up in the nuthouse. I’ve seen very little blogospheric reaction so far: I think everyone’s still in shock.

Now, granted, they’re not exactly “our” kind of Tories, being more of the dripping wet Cameron mould. They wouldn’t have done half as well if they had been. But their first order of business is to try to put a stop to the Named Persons scheme, so at least they’re aware that something is very rotten in the state of Holyrood, and perhaps this sort of nonsense will be next in their sights. We can but hope.

The bad news is that with the Nats dropping below the threshold for majority control, the Greens hold the balance of power. It could get (even more) ugly.

(One thig Wikipedia’s good at is election figures. Find ‘em here.)

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