A GROUP of armed thugs accused of abducting and torturing a man to force him to pay a £60,000 ransom have been released without charge as a result of their close links to Ramzan Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya…
(I like this much better than the “the police didn’t even have the cordon in the right place!” line about how the authorities are useless and ra ra the little man, which, honestly, is a stupid thing to say and you’re not going to make friends saying it, guys.)
Isn’t the REAL hero of Boston a smoker? Scroll WAY the heck down in this quite good account of the manhunt in Watertown and you find this:
A resident in his 60s, believed to be called David Hanneberry, reportedly went outside to smoke and saw the tarpaulin cover of his boat was disturbed off the top.
One lone smoker out-performed all those surveillance cameras and cops!
But let’s remember, if not for the health campaigner’s efforts to get people to stop smoking inside, he’d never have gone outside and joined history.
So there we have it. A happy marrying of health (go outside!) and the cigarette (communicate with your fellow man, or catch a wanted criminal!).
Non-facetious side note: I feel like I’ve seen a lot of older dudes smoking lately. Maybe they’ve come out of hiding? Maybe they’re the last generation that DID smoke, and then sort of took it underground, and now they’re at an age where they’re like “I made it this far, let’s live a little.” Or maybe they’re just of an age where, for the same reason, they’re all relapsing at the same time? Anyway it’s incredibly off-topic but kind of interesting for absolutely no reason at all.
First: This video of Margaret Thatcher being interviewed about her efforts to support British fashion in 1984 (I’ve never seen archival news footage from the 80s look this good). I’d embed but the uploader has disabled that so just click the link and the video will be bigger anyway.
The Twitter seemed to agree that in the debates about Margaret Thatcher when they were recalled a few days after she died, Malcolm Rifkind was very good, and he is:
…And I have run out of time. If anything else in the 8 (only 8!) unread emails is worth sharing, expect a part 2. Probably added to this post. Cuz hell I can’t find anything on this blog anyway so lord knows I don’t need to be creating too many separate posts.
Photo shamelessly pinched from here, a s me on my phone, too.
So Lady Thatcher died yesterday, and I couldn’t possibly manage a round-up of links while on my phone, anyway the best ones have been off The Times’ iPad app, which I can’t link to. What I do want to tap about is this reaction of glee to her being dead.
Now, first, let’s get out of the way the WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE (see eg The Telegraph shutting down all comments on related stories in the newspaper and blogs because of the amount of abuse they were getting, meaning people were so filled with the need to unload on and 87-year-old widow suffering dementia that they went to the Torygraph to insult as many of her supporters as they could), and instead let’s assume for a moment that it’s more or less rational to hate someone like that and celebrate their death.
Why this death? She lived a ripe old age, and seems to have died quietly from a stroke, in the Ritz hotel. Not exactly vanquished by her enemies, so why the champagne? Wouldn’t that have been better timed when she left No. 10 in tears?
Therefore, her death is the last thing they should be celebrating. It represents, in a way, their own failure. She never list an election. She was in power for nearly 12 years. She was replaced by another Conservative, and not one who’d stabbed her in the back.
She’d been nearly blown up by Irish terrorists fairly early on in her tenure as PM. If they’d have been successful then, or perhaps if that had been the cause of her death yesterday, there’s no way that those people hanging THE BITCH IS DEAD banners would have done so. Someone (rather a lot of people actually) would have said bitterly but quietly on some BBC chat show that she’d made enemies and lets understand and yadda yadda, and The Telegraph would’ve jumped all over those statements and etc, but no champagne in the streets, I’d say.
But why? Following their logic, which we’re pretending exists for the purposes of ruining my right thumb, wouldn’t it be more rational to celebrate her violent death than a quiet one in a comfortable bed at an advanced age?
So, basically, we can stop pretending now and say they don’t make any sense. I just don’t understand people. You celebrate, if you must, the demise of a politician, and, if you can, her policies (which you can’t, so thbpt). You don’t celebrate the death of a lonely, ill old woman, whose done nothing to anyone for over a decade. Unless you’re a dick.
In the first minute or so, I was confused, and had to look her up in Wiki, at which point all was made clear:
Her Kriol version of “Waltzing Matilda” sung in her Gurindji-Kungarakan language (written by her great uncle Val McGuinness) has received national airplay.
(Cuz to be honest, at first I thought it was a VERY obscure reference to RC2′s retweet of this link:
Dutch is a good first foreign language to tackle, because it is simply English very badly spelled. You will have little trouble if you remember to spell words the way they sound rather than the way English spelling rules dictate that they ought to be spelled. Once you have mastered Dutch, you can go on to German, which is English spelled even worse, and the Scandinavian languages, which are English spelled really atrociously.
Who knew Australian Creole looks (to my ‘Murican eyes) like Dutch! Easy to learn, is it?)
It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, to denounce the newspapers for running Muslim-baiting headlines, and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard. We cannot credibly fight Islamophobia while making excuses for Judaeophobia.
He makes a point made elsewhere by Mark Steyn (but I can’t find any examples of it (my external memory drive is unreliable)) about scratching the surface of even the most urbane, educated, modern Muslim person, which is a point worth making, but!
Judaeophobia! I’ve never seen that word before! And it struck me:
We’re always hearing about Islamophobia, which people are always pointing out isn’t irrational if you’re worried about terrorism, but I don’t think I need to work too hard to find examples of irrational reactions to Islam. But those would be coming from fairly irrational corners of the internet (youtube comments for instance), so let’s mark it as a bit hyperbolic.
But then you have Antisemitism. And isn’t antisemitism at its core (NOT criticism of Israeli settlements or whatnot, here), all that blood-libel crap and conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the idea that they deserved the holocaust as well as making it up as part of an elaborate land grab in the Middle East, not to mention the money and finance side of things, isn’t that more irrational that most manifestations of Islamophobia?
So perhaps it’s just that Antisemitism arose during a period in which people who speak the English language properly were still making up words, whereas when Islamophobia turned into a Thing we were all at the mercy of Media Speak and and attention-grabbing press releases?
Or maybe it’s another example that proved Hasan’s point?
And yes, perhaps it’s something that’s been pointed out a billion times elsewhere, but I just noticed it and thought it worth pointing out.
It’s a funny old world. One must never, never, never read the comments of a news article, a newspaper opinion article, a youtube video, a post on a political blog (unless independently run and strictly moderated); even amazon and yelp reviews will mostly only serve to cause confusion and anguish (best to stick to the star rating and leave it at that).
I am not a Christian, nor am I a believer; however, I feel that it is the reasoning in this article – which is typical of most anti-theistic arguments against the reconciliation of the coequal magisteria – that misses the point. The Catholic church’s – and again I must stress that I am neither a Christian nor a believer – stance on science is an exquisite balance of mystical and rational thought insofar as it insists on the existence as the source of creation a non-interventionist Creator who set in motion the universe and then left it to its own course of existence and evolution, allowing for particular outcomes and the freedom within that system for other outcomes. The doctrinal insistence on the part of the church that this Creator, God, be acknowledged is completely irrelevant to scientific pursuits, in marked contrast to fundamentalist insistence on the active influence of an interventionist God.
The logical error of all fundamentalists, be they Christian or Atheist, is an inability to acknowledge the value of mythocentric truth, that is, the non-literal, non-(NOT IRR-)rational. The rapacious need of Christian fundamentalists that the Bible be word for word literally true is born of this tendency of the last couple of centuries of Western thought that the only truth that matters is the logocentric, the literal, physical, rational truth. Therefore, to be of value to humanity, the Bible must be literally, physically, rationally true. It is important to note that this error of thought and logic is only a couple of centuries old in religion. Anti-theists make the same error.
In short, what difference does it make if one says God started a process if our investigation of that process is completely separate from and independent of that doctrinal insistence – as the Catholic church has tenaciously advocated for a century? Perhaps if we on the irreligious side of these issues could drop our own dogmatic doctrinal insistence on the absolute absence of any Creator, we could rob fundamentalists of the ammunition they use against us; most people believe in God and are uncomfortable with a complete rejection of the theistic, and are thus more sympathetic than they might otherwise be with fundamentalist morons. We push these more moderate people away, vigorously. Catholic doctrine on science offers us a way forward given the proclivity for humans to believe in God.
Honestly, why can’t the rest of the internet be more like that (not that, necessarily, all the comments are worth reading).
Well, I made Irish Soda Bread, so that was a thing. But I had a smoothie for lunch, and made an English-ish lamb recipe for dinner. With an apple cider sauce (not Guinness). And bought (and then sampled) a new bottle of sherry, this time with a royal warrant for the King of Spain (in honour of the Black Irish?).
Anyway, not a particularly St Paddyish St Paddy’s Day.
Or maybe I’m just more orthodox than I give myself credit for.
(Brian Shih is a former Reader PM who is no longer at Google)
I suspect that it survived for some time after being put into maintenance because they believed it could still be a useful source of content into G+. Reader users were always voracious consumers of content, and many of them filtered and shared a great deal of it.
But after switching the sharing features over to G+ (the so called “share-pocalypse”) along with the redesigned UI, my guess is that usage just started to fall – particularly around sharing. I know that my sharing basically stopped completely once the redesign happened . Though Google did ultimately fix a lot of the UI issues, the sharing (and therefore content going into G+) would never recover.
So with dwindling usefulness to G+, (likely) dwindling or flattening usage due to being in maintenance, and Google’s big drive to focus in the last couple of years, what choice was there but to kill the product?
I disagree. I think nobody (as stated) used the idiotic share-to-G+ path, but usage didn’t drop, which meant people were using Reader to READ things and then posting those things manually to Facebook and Twitter (it sure as hell is what I do). They killed the “Share” function (hey! that was a successful social product you MORONS!) so I bet everyone, like us, were manually sending links to each other over chat, too.
So they’re not killing it because it isn’t supporting G+ but because people prefer it to G+ and aren’t allowing themselves to be turned into content farmers FOR G+.
Anyway, this just pisses me off. Someone said on the internet that no matter what the reaction is, it’ll still die, because Buzz and Wave had loyal users who reacted badly to their products’ demises, except Buzz was a massive lawsuit and both of them had huge engineering resources poured into them. Reader would’ve just plugged along forever. Morons.
Also, from my Google Reader stats page:
From your 64 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 3,895 items, clicked 103 items, starred 2 items, and emailed 0 items.
Since July 26, 2008 you have read a total of 218,787 items.
Yes, that Judi Dench…from the original London production of Cabaret in 1968…keep in mind, the character of Sally Bowles from the original stories was supposed to be woefully untalented (this was changed for the Liza Minnelli film version) and this particular song was not included in the film.
It’s amazing, because she comes out in wig and makeup and a really bad recording and you’d never know it was her until she makes an expression and her mannerisms are exactly the same.
Indeed, by the time she’s in the pixie cut, she basically stopped aging (see also As Time Goes By through James Bond):
First, I’d like to point out how humourous it is that Oscar Pistorius got bailed two days before the Oscars meaning the #oscar hashtag on twitter transitioned seamlessly from a South African court drama involving murder, corruption, money and justice to red carpet side boobs.
Anyhoo, the Seth McFarlane thing can’t be reacted to better than this:
I was offended last week. As an Academy member, as the child of former Academy members and as a woman, I expected more from the best that the movie business has to offer. The Oscars are about honoring art and artists. It is not supposed to be a cheesy vaudeville show.
The “boob” song, as it will be known in perpetuity, may go down as the highest-rated Oscar number in history, but at what cost? I’m sure public executions would get big ratings too, but is that what the Oscars are truly about? Ratings? When did they turn into a “roast”? At least at a roast you know what’s in store. What if actors and actresses stopped attending the Oscars because it was deemed open session to ridicule and parody them? Would the Academy be so cavalier then?
I don’t really care about the song, or the Jewish-people-run-Hollywood awkwardness, or the excruciatingly unfunny presentations of the animations awards (although I felt bad that those winner’s video scrapbook moment had to be ruined by that, which is something that these show producers always seem to forget), but what really irritates me about the Oscars is how it’s insultingly designed to keep us hicks in the sticks entertained for as many hours as possible to get the most L’Oreal hair care ads viewed as possible. It’s an awards show for an industry, and they don’t even act like it. The only people who probably get a decently done ceremony is the ugly nerds they’ve pushed off the main broadcast into the “Technical Oscars” show a couple of weeks earlier.
So yes, as Jamie Lee Curtis says, it’s supposed to be honoring artists, not a cheesy vaudeville show. And it’s hard enough getting actual famous people to show up if they’re not nominated (no amount of iPad-laden goody bags makes up for spending 2 hours having your every pore picked apart by a gaggle of old women and gay men followed by four hours of not being able to ingest anything but what’s at the bar but knowing you can’t possibly pee in that dress (Note, please, that Brangelina weren’t there, which would’ve sold a few extra shampoos and conditioners)), so making it into an unfunny roast is just going to make that worse.
But! There were good points!
• First: Jennifer Lawrence’s post-win press conference:
• Hurrah for the MUSICAL NUMBERS! Last year, if memory serves (it might have been the past two years, or three, or eight; who knows) they had some awful modern dance troupe do a presentation of a medley of the Oscar nominated songs. This time, I don’t think anyone got to perform but Adele, but at least Adele got to sing the winning song.
• They finally gave up the hideously embarrassing profession-of-love-and-admiration schtick where the previous winners would get up and gush over how talented each best actor/tress nominee was, personally, to that speaker. Getting rid of this made the show infinitely better.
• Katie Holmes wasn’t inexplicably shoe-horned into the thing despite not actually making movies anymore. Thank god for that divorce.
Remember when this went around a few years ago and we were all “WOAH HOW PRESCIENT” about it? I think Vanderleun found it first? Or maybe Tim Blair? Anyway, in pursuance of a laugh, I followed up a Twitter conversation with RC2 with this and, gosh golly, it just keeps getting better.
The Country’s In the Very Best of Hands
Lil’ Abner came out in 1959.
I have an Oscars rant I’ve been sitting on the past week. I might get to it today. Time will tell (HAH).
For instance, someone could easily work in a non-scandalous phrasing of the following points:
[M]aybe it would be easier to reinstate this critical $44 billion and cut the other $3.8 trillion, which is apparently responsible for nothing other than Harry Reid’s beloved federally funded cowboy-poetry festival and the cost of the dress uniforms for the military detachment accompanying the first lady at her Oscars appearance.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, warned of “over 170 million jobs that could be lost” thanks to the sequester. There are only 135 million jobs in America, but the sequester gods are so powerful they can eliminate every job in Canada, Britain, and Germany too.
Even the IRS can’t keep up: “Tax season” is upon us, and yet they’re not accepting tax returns from millions of Americans because the IRS hasn’t yet managed to process the tax changes passed in the dead of night at New Year.
Or dare I say:
Can you pierce the mists of time and go back all the way to the year 2007? Back then, federal spending was 40 percent lower than it is today. In a mere half-decade, has all that 40 percent gravy become so indispensable to the general welfare that not even a teensy-weensy sliver of it can be cut?
* A couple weeks ago, the WSJ had a Weekend column devoted to the coming baby bust, which said off a flurry of articles about it, and Peter kept coming home both after the original WSJ one and its responses reciting all the gloomy statistics and worrying trends that were being reported. Like besides the tax-payer-supporting-the-welfare-state issue, the fact that who’s going to want the house you’ve sunk your life savings into, who’s going to want your stocks, your bonds, your securities, your beanie baby collection, etc. And I kept telling him “Mark Steyn’s been writing about this for YEARS.” And seriously. Steyn has a very specific (and hilarious!) style of writing, which makes him so wildly popular, and frequently sued, so fine, stick to the facts, but there’s no reason why a politician running for office somewhere could have explained his stance on various issues with a more sensitively phrased version of what Steyn’s been on about for the past decade or more, so when it hits the WSJ the entire Twittersphere isn’t hearing of it for the first time.