Saturday, March 01, 2003

Matthew White has a really interesting site, full of historical information during the 20th century. I found it because I was searching for the greatest murderers - the jury is out between Hitler, Stalin and Mao. He does however have another page : My choices for the 10 most overrated people, trends or events of the 20th Century. While I don't agree with all his opinions, down at number 16 is this :

The Nobel Peace Prize

Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho won one for signing a peace accord that lasted all of, what? a week? And this was after they had both enthusiastically pursued a war that killed over a million.

Ralph Bunche won in 1950 for bringing peace to the Middle East. Anwar el-Sadat and Menachem Begin won in 1978 for bringing peace to the Middle East. Yassir Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres won in 1994 for bringing peace to the Middle East. With so many people bringing peace to the Middle East, it should be the safest place on the planet, right?

It worries me when people like Arafat win the Peace Prizes. It seems like the only criteria for winning is finally promising to really, sincerely try not to, like, kill any more hapless bystanders. By that standard, I earned my Peace Prize years ago, so where's my prize money and free ticket to whichever snowy, blonde country hands those things out?

Might I humbly suggest a new rule: If you've ever killed anyone, you're disqualified.


Well said Mr. White. Well said.

And Steven don't forget most important of all it means that the Kurds will get their independent state. And all the oil that goes with it. The plans for the after war administration of Iraq just got much easier.

And we're expected to take these people seriously???

Hey you Stop the War protestors. Some facts for you : Native population of Kuwait 1 million, population of Iran 66 million, population of Iraq 24 million (Kurdish region has 3.5 million), population of Israel 6 million. Lets say about 50% of Kuwait want Hussein dead, 25% of Iran, all the Kurds in the Kurdish region of Iraq, 10% of the Iraqis and 75% of the Israelis. How many pro-War people is that? 500,000 + 16,500,000 + 3,500,000 + 2,050,000 + 4,500,000 = 27,050,000.

Out of interest I haven't counted people in the US, UK, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Eastern Block, Africa, Australia or even France and Germany who are for the war.

So if you are happy saying "Look how many people turned out against this war, we must all be right!" don't forget to count those 27 million plus against you, which in my humble opinion is quite a conservative estimate. AND, every Israeli alive during the Gulf War, every Iranian still alive from the Iran-Iraq War, every Kurd alive after being gassed by Saddam, every Kuwaiti left alive after the rape, and plunder of that nation in 1990-91 counts for (AT THE LEAST) two anti-war protesters.

Its things like this that really get me down. Lets just hope that this person is taken out of the gene pool rapidly.

I lived in North Wales for several years. Today is St. David's Day - the Patron Saint of Wales aka Dewi Sant in Welsh. So get your daffodils and leeks out for the boys!

I don't understand why so many very smart commentators are thinking that Iraq will stay as Iraq after the trash removal. There are three main 'groups' in Iraq : Kurds, Sunnis and Shi'tes. Why would they want to remain part of one country? Surely splitting Iraq into three is a much wiser solution? Take at look at this map. Then take a look at this map. Cheers all round me thinks.

The French are getting scared.

Thanks to Kim du Toit.

Friday, February 28, 2003

I think that the US should invade France and set these women free.

In particular, read the very last sentence.

French Foreign Surrender Secretary : Yes we believe that weapons inspectors are doing a marvellous job. Especially the fact that they haven't found any of the nuclear biological and chemical weapons manufacturing equipment that we sold Iraq during the past ten years. We would however actually like to reduce the number of weapons inspectors and take away all Gieger counters.

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS PROTESTORS ON STREETS IN FRANCE - AGAIN The French took to the streets today in vast numbers to str.... No sorry got that wrong there. Loads of people (more than for the Anti-War marches in fact) came out for the funeral of a famous chef.

But why do they need to? They're full of so much hot air, they could power their little Renault 5s for centuries.

I work with computers. Big computers. OS390 which has now turned into zOS. As someone described it "the mainframe is the 18 wheeler of computing - big heavy loads over long distances". The thing isn't "sexy". In its native form its green writing on a black background. Its about the size of a large wardrobe. That doesn't include disks, network components or other storage mediums. In the mainframe world (which is IBM's world now) when something goes wrong it's usually fairly major. There are all sorts of fault tolerence, whizz-bang intelligent things on the mainframe to try and avoid this, but sometimes a part stops working. A bug. How do you fix a bug - with a patch. In the mainframe world its called a PTF - Program Temporary Fix. At my place of work we have a process in place for when things go wrong (not just for the mainframe) where more than 20 people are affected. Its a document/process where you investigate the problem, determine several solutions, apply the best solution/s and sign-off on the solution/s. I'm sure most major companies have the same sort of process. We happened to apply a PTF the other day.

The US had a major problem back in September 2001. It affected alot more than 20 people. They examined the problem, determined several solutions and applied the first solution in Afghanistan. I think we can safely sign-off on that solution. That was what we would call a corrective solution. The second solution is a preventative solution. This will reduce the chances of the same thing happening again. One of the solutions chosen may have been to do nothing. To bury their heads in the sand. That would neither of solved the problem or prevented another occurence. Obviously as a solution this wouldn't have worked - Bill Clinton proposed something along the same lines.

Getting rid of Iraqi WMDs is not a solution. Getting rid of the present leader of that country alongwith his minority torturers and establishing a democratic form of government that will shine a brilliant light of freedom across the Arab world is a solution. Doing nothing doesn't solve the problem.

Apply that PTF now Mr. President.

Thanks to Steven den Beste.

Alright left-wing, anti-war, appeasing, anti-SUV, anti-freedom, anti-anything that makes people presperous pond scum : Does this give you some sort of electrical impulse in the brain? Doesn't it make you think sorting out Iraq is a good idea? Doesn't it make you think that changing Iraqi society might be a benefit?

Or are you idiots just anti-American? I think that you're too stupid to know what you are actually for. And as per usual this large number of Iraqi asylum applicants is actually our fault. You sometimes wonder if the first world countries have actually done anything right in the eyes of these people.

Thanks to Junius for this link (by the way his site is 1 year old on the 1st so pay him a visit - plus its good reading). Two things to comment on :

1) If you don't know what trite means - I didn't - here is the entry from dictionary.com : Lacking power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition

2) Dea Birkett - what sort of name is that - is another person who only writes when they feel at their most stupid. I would hope so anyway.

Question : If Ellen MacArthur's you-can-do-it philosophy is lacking power to evoke interest through overuse or repetition, why Dea my pityful one were you following her progress? Why is determination a bad thing dear Dea? Don't you like people being able to overcome obstacles without government help (of course only in the form that you want that government help to be)? Or is it just sailing - a rich persons sport that you find offensive.

Also, I fail to see how Ellen's comments : "That if you have a dream, big or small, you can achieve it if you really want it" somehow gets turned into (dear Dea's comments) : It tells the poor and suffering that they are so due to their own lack of backbone.

???????????????????????

Dea. Dear.

She goes on : Take "you can conquer adversity" to its logical conclusion, and perhaps the starving war victims of Sudan are just not thinking enough positive thoughts. Surely they, too, could achieve their dream (a very small one indeed - to eat) if they really wanted. Or are some people more blessed with the ability to overcome adversity than others? Are these malnourished Sudanese more weak-willed than well-fed westerners? And what about all those western women who die of breast cancer? Are they simply being punished for not being as determined as those who survive the same disease?

Dea has taken "you can conquer adversity" to its illogical conclusion. Dea thinks that anyone who hasn't succeeded in life can blame EVERYBODY else. Dea wants things done for everyone with nobody to have responsibility for themselves. Dea's Kent secondary school is failing academically because the teachers are all Deas. Deas see failure everywhere as the fault of successful people. Successful people never start on the bottom rung. Successful people are all from rich families. Successful people never struggle or bet their own houses on their businesses. The are just successful. Deas won't be convinced even after past socialist Dea policies have failed time and time and time again. Reform is what is needed. Tax the rich, except champagne socialists, make sure everyone that wants a job can have one, those that don't can be given some money too, take away peoples right to choose because Deas know better than anyone.

I could go on but the keyboard is suffering.

Mail Dea here : deabirkett@aol.com

Just a small comment about this article and this particular quote :

Britain's Daily Mail quoted Bourdou as saying: "As a French citizen in solidarity with (President) Jacques Chirac's position I have the right to refuse to send 150 adolescents to a country resounding to the sound of marching boots."

Not sure when the Scots last heard the sound of marching boots through that beautiful land. But didn't the French have some experience with that around May and June of 1940? Get the adolescents to ask their grandparents about it - they're not likely to forget that experience.

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Not that I'm popular enough yet to get fan mail like some people, but just in case someone has mailed me, apologies for the delay, the guys at 37.com are busy fixing something. Why they don't say that BEFORE you enter your name and password I have no idea.

Hope someone hasn't hacked the mail server.

Star Wars in ASCII - brilliant.

Promise last quote tonight regarding the World Socialist Web Site. Notice on the left hand side of their page that there are links to subjects like : News and Analysis, Arts Review, Science, Philosophy. Nothing for Economics though.

How surprising.

Still on our favourite website (I'm keep it as one word no matter what any socialist says) news from the Unions around the UK.

Peugeot UK - 3500 workers striking because they wouldn't accept a 7.3 percent pay rise over two years.

Northern England - In a ballot workers who have already held 20 days of strikes over the past year voted by two-to-one to reject Arriva Trains offer of a four percent rise plus a lump sum of £250.

Of course I couldn't leave the French out :

Banque de France staff strike over branch closure and job losses AND Lawyers at Toulouse, France strike to demand improved working conditions AND Air France workers strike in campaign to oppose privatisation AND FINALLY Air Lib workers protest against bankruptcy.

In France competition is a dirty word. Hell you can't even have sales anytime you want.

So here goes the first Q&A session for the World Socialist Web Site (I thought that website was one word - oh well) and Karim Pakzad, the spokesman for the Socialist Party on Iraq.

Karim : We are for the reinforcement of the role of the United Nations in all the crises around the world.

Me : Better get the troops into Paris then cos the pension situation is in a crisis. And the crime rate. And the trade barriers. And the driving.

Karim : A war against Iraq in the present situation would place regional stability in grave danger—a region which is already experiencing a great deal of instability, particularly because of the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, a conflict that is extremely important for a region. We think we need to spend far more time and energy resolving this conflict rather than creating a second conflict.

Me : Its well known that US presidents have had bouts of alcoholism and drug abuse. When do you think you will start to have treatment?

A question from WSWS: How do you see the conflict between France and the US?

KP: There is no conflict, there is a difference of opinion. There are two different appreciations of the situation. We are, as you know, friends of the US. At the same time, we are not in their pay, we are not taking orders from the US. Our relations are based on friendship and we maintain our own judgment of every aspect of world affairs.

Me : Karim, do you understand what is meant by the term : Cheese eating surrender monkeys? Axis of Weasels? Do you think that these are accurate ways to describe differences of opinion? Do the Israelis and the Palestinians have just a difference of opinion? Does George actually know that you think of him as a friend?

The article then ends the interview and has an editorial. Please read it - very funny.

I predict great things for this site. I'm going to try and visit everyday so that I can find something to correct them on. And here's the first candidate : "On February 14, one day before millions marched in Paris" - um, not sure how you were taught to count in school but millions isn't the figure I would have used for the turnout in Paris. More people turn out for pension reform than anti-war marches. See Return of the sound of marching boots.

For the American readers. Not all European politicians are against you.

Something I always enjoy about The 5th Peoples Republic of France is the drive home. Not sure how many of the gracious readers have actually experienced the sensation known as shittingyourpants but spend a few minutes on a French road where the limit is above 50km/h and you will. In most of the larger French towns and cities they have what is called a Périphérique - basically a ring road that surrounds the town. The speed on these roads are usually 90km/h. The only time that I have seen the fast lane drivers doing 90km/h is when I have used my window wipers at full speed, it was snowing, I needed my lights, the three lanes had been reduced to two, because an accident had taken place. This is not a joke.

I usually leave work around seven when the Schumacher and Prost wanabees (for the Americans read Al Unser or Emerson Fittipaldi) have already raced home. The trouble is at this late time there are less cars on the road so you still get Instant-Asshole-Just-Add-Car types who are obviously far more important than everyone else so they have the right to undertake on the service lane - no this is not a joke.

Well tonight was no exception. The road had turned into four lanes to allow traffic from the right to filter in gracefully. Will the typical French driver allow anyone in front of him or her? Don't be stupid! That would presume courtesy. Will someone give way to make the passage of traffic easier - NON. So I sit in my little car (smoking AMERICAN cigarettes) in the slow lane thinking about how I'm going to get back at those wankers in their cars driving like idiots. And so here Didier, Verginie, Jean, Josette, Pierre and all the other wankers on the roads is my revenge : I am going to tell anyone who will read my blog what a shower of twats you people are. I am going to find the slightest stupidity (and the enormous number of large stupid things) in this country and report on it. I am going to compare the worst here with the best everywhere else. Sometimes if any of you haven't cut me up, if you haven't undertaken me as I am turning right, if you have managed to not piss me off on the drive home I may compliment one small aspect of this country - but don't fuckin count on it.

There. I've said my piece.

Thanks to Steven for this link.

The author of this article has proved two things :

1) How stupid she is

2) That no matter what a government in any free society does, it will be wrong for people like this stupid author.

I quote : "but it is important to keep things in proportion" and "less than 18 months away from what might become the world's first nuclear war" oxy-MORON me thinks.

She is the one making conspiracy theories - because police are searching for : "two men of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern appearance" SHE assumes an al-Qa'ida connection. The fact that none of her "vast circle of friends" hasn't been raped, murdered or gassed may possibly be linked to the reaction of police and security services personnel since Sept 11th.

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

Cool site. Cool pictures.

Sorry too tired to write more - its been a long night.

I'm in favour of legalizing all recreational drugs. Heroin, cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, white-tip you name it. Freedom is the reason why. Freedom to make my own mistakes. If however under the influence of one or more of these drugs I commit a crime, I should face severe penalties. Just as the penalties involved when killing a pedestrian while driving drunk.

From here. In total, 1,244 people died of a drug overdose or in a drug-related incident in England and Wales in 1999, compared with 461 in 1993. Heroin and morphine killed 754, methadone killed 298, cocaine 87, amphetamines 79, ecstasy 26, and cannabis was mentioned on seven death certificates.

Some interesting comparisons :

UK Death Risk Classification for MDMA "Moderate Risk" = 1:100 but greater that 1:1,000 per population e.g. Smoking 10 cigarettes a day, parachuting. "Low Risk" = less than 1:1,000 but greater than 1:10,000, e.g. Influenza, road accidents. Therefore, if one assumes a million users in the UK, this works out at 1:143,000 population, implying that the risk, according to Sir Kenneth's classification, is minimal, and no greater that the risk of dying as the result of a railway accident, horse riding, or fishing. If one assumes 80,000 users (the British Crime Survey 1996 reported that there are only 80,000 users), this works out at 1:11,430 population, implying the risk is very low and in the category of being hit by lightening or radiation leak from a nuclear power station.

And some more, which really brings the stupidity of banning drugs instead of alcohol into perspective :

All in 1999 : deaths of car occupants - 1,687, pedestrians - 870, motorcyclists - 547, pedal cyclists - 172, in trains - 37, total road casualties - 320,310

Alcohol Concern highlights the rise in deaths from alcohol poisoning and liver cirrhosis, up from 3,853 in 1994 to 5,508 in 1999; the estimate of 33,000 deaths a year in England and Wales from all drink related causes including ill health, crashes and violence...

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

A while ago Real Madrid played Barcelona. These are two teams who HATE each other. In Spain there are no greater football rivals. When an ex-player of Barcelona (Luis Figo) who now plays for Real Madrid was taking a corner someone in the crowd threw - a roasted pigs head. In the UK Arsenal and Tottenham hate each other. Opposing supporters there tend to throw bottles though. Manchester United and Liverpool hate each other. I can understand rivalry - its part of any sport. Now I'm not any fan of royalty but this is going a bit far.

Fat lot of good it did their team, Man Utd. beat them 3 - 0. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A sandwich sort of a picnic. Not playing with a full deck. The lights are on but no-ones home. Who am I talking about? Saddam Hussein? No. Kim Jong-il? No. Michael Jackson! What a fucking fruitcake! Yes I've only had two operations. They were for my nose. It was so I could reach higher notes when singing. Yes Michael. Yes of course. Yes your kids are black. Yes of course we can see that Michael.

Sorry about not having a link for certain items of news but I'm not as well versed in searching for French news as Merde in France. I'll just repeat some of the things that I've seen on the news.

1) Biggest headline in France today : no not Iraq, no not Bush, no not Ivory Coast - some chef has killed himself after losing points in a restaurant guide. That is what took up the first ten minutes of a forty minute news programme. UPDATE - Staff aren't taking any bookings at his restaurant, try MacDonalds down the road.

2) Wanabee thieves managed to stop traffic on a major motorway and held up an armoured car. The firefight with French police lasted 15 minutes. The wanabee thieves got away. I haven't verified this yet but it looks like they may have used a rocket propelled grenade to attack the armoured car - people have tried (sucessfully) this before in France. UPDATE - three articulated lorries were used in the attack.

3) A man's body was found frozen in a backyard. It is assumed that he fell from one of the commercial aircraft flying over the region. Bet he was trying to get to the UK where asylum seekers are treated like royalty. UPDATE - The guy fell out when the airplane opened its undercarriage for Roissy, oh yeah he landed on the veranda.

That's all for now.

Of course we shouldn't be surprised that politicians aren't actually addressing (or even talking about) the real problem of the anti-euro feeling in the UK. If I may be so bold : it's not about changing a currency - it's about who controls said currency. I for one don't mind trading food, petrol, beer or cigarettes for stones, sheep or memory chips. BUT, when its a group of fraudulent, currupt, self-interested left wing ex-politicians who will control money supply and/or interest rates - then I get worried. And then I say : no to the Euro and all it entails.

And by the way Mrs. Liddell, nobody looks to Europe as a regulator par excellence. Just as a fucking nuisance.

Very unfriendly? So what type of actions has France been doing over the last few months - mild rebuffs? temper tantrums? premenstrual tension? Hypocritical sonofabitches!

Le Monde newspaper used to have a fairly good reputation - as French newspapers go. However just recently two authors got together to write "La Face cachée du Monde" - The Hidden face of The World - pun I'm sure intended. Well it seems all is not good in the 'world' of Le Monde. The fireworks between legal teams have started.

I wonder how much of what the most popular papers put in print is actually 100% true. How much of what they print (and what they don't print) has good foundation. When someone like Rupert Murdoch owns so many of the mainstream papers in the UK, you have to wonder what or whose agenda is behind the reports. That's why I generally try to read stuff like Yahoo News - they don't have time to put too much of a spin onto a story before publishing it. Still, who can you trust?

OK guys. We can start now. Here comes the serious consequences Saddam! Make sure there's enough gas in the tanks and we're off. Not sure what "Decides to remain seized of the matter." means but we'll argue about that after we've put a 120mm shell through his arse.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I'm reading Bernard Lewis' excellent The Middle East. Something has come up which just blows my mind (I'll quote hoping its not against some sort of copyright) :

Death of Prophet Muhammad 632
Construction of Dome of the Rock (in Jerusalem) 691

and more

The Dome of the Rock, along with the adjoining Aqsa Mosque, constituted the first great religious building complex in the history of Islam. It marked the beginning of a new era. The time for borrowing, for adaptation, for improvisation had passed. The Umayyad caliphate was no longer a sucessor state of Rome and Persia, but a universal polity. Islam was no mere sucessor religion of Christianity, but a new universal dispensation. The place, style, and above all the ornamentation of the Dome of the Rock reveal its purpose. The style and scale were surely intended to rival and outshine the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, with the subtle changes needed for Muslim, not Christian, piety. The place was Jerusalem, the most sacred city on earth to both the predecessor religions, Judaism and Christianity.

and more

The choice is significant. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran. Even the name Jerusalem does not figure in early Muslim writings. When the city is mentioned at all - as for example on 'Abd al-Malik's (same guy who build the Dome of the Rock) milestones - it is called Aelia, the name imposed by the Romans to desacralize the city and to obliterate its Jewish and also Christian associations.

and more

A Quranic verse (17:1) tells how God took the prophet on a journey by night from the sacred mosque (in Mecca) to the farthest mosque (in Arabic, al-Masjid al-Aqsa). One early exegetical tradition places 'the farthest mosque' in heaven; another places it in Jerusalem. The latter of these interpretations came to be universally accepted by Muslims. This verse is not included among the inscriptions in the Dome of the Rock. A contrasting tradition, equally early, denied the sanctitiy of Jerusalem in Islam. According to this tradition, only Mecca and Medina are holy cities, and the veneration of the Temple Mount is a Judaizing error. The argument continued for centuries, and was only settled in favour of sanctity in comparatively modern times.

My question is this : What makes Jerusalem a holy city for Muslims?

On 21st September 2001 in Toulouse, France 30 people died and 2000 were injured when a chemical factory blew up. Of course coming days after the Sept 11 attacks in the US, everyone at first thought terrorists. But now this.

I have to quote something from the report because I have a witty comment :

Inadequate investigations, dilatory searches, missing documents and contradictory witnesses characterise the official enquiry.

Gosh. Really? No, surely not the French Police? You must be joking!

Wankers the lot of em.

Very interesting. Merde in France told me to get a counter for the site, so I did. Its that little Site Meter sign with what looks like a graphic equalizer beside it at the bottom. Well .... you can see the referrals and details of who connected. Somebody searched for the 6 Nations results and got me and someone else was looking for vinarol in the UK. So I know what it is now - a Viagra substitute. Cheers Mate!!

And a couple of people actually spent some time here. Hello!! How's it going? Nice to meet you. Write to me. Please. Anyone?

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS UNION HAS GOOD IDEA SEVERAL PEOPLE IN HOSPITAL DUE TO DISBELIEF
One of the Communist contingent in the Peoples Republic of France has actually come up with a good idea. Apparently in some hospitals (of all places) they've banned smoking - hey in France this is worse than the President having an affair and producing a child out of wedlock. The Union - I think its the CGT (there are just sooooo many) - has proposed smoking areas for the patients. And no don't think the people who have just had one lung out are the users, the people who want, who need, who shouldn't be denied cigarettes are the paralysed, the people who have no future without a wheelchair, the ones who have to endure pain in order to live. If smoking gives these people pleasure then let them smoke.

Not that I'm biased mind (as he drags on the last of his second pack).

Thanks to Steven for this link. This sort of stalling action is part of the French way of life. Anyone who has ever worked or lived here will recognise it. Hurry up and wait basically sums it up. Just when you think something is about to be stirred into action, what do the French do - sit down and decide to renegotiate about some trivial point. They categorise the people that are picky here as : enculé les mouches. Translation : fucking the flies. In the arse.

So what have we learnt from this.

1) The French are timewasting

2) They can come up with funny insults.

Worthless basically.

Sunday, February 23, 2003

From Connie du Toit :

Social services and the welfare state has failed. The people who have lived their lives with the Federal carrot dangled in front of them are its worst victims. The message a welfare recipient hears loud and clear when they cash their check is: "You are a failure and are not capable of taking care of yourself. Here, loser, is a check to reinforce that idea."

Also :

Democrats thrive on pain, suffering, and state dependence. They cannot get elected if people are prosperous.

So good I'm not going to bother commenting.

Samizdata writer David Carr always writes with intelligence and wit. But his latest article is missing an aspect - his capitalist streak. If the Greeks want the marbles back then they should pay.

I believe that everything and everyone has a price, what are the Elgin Marbles actually worth? £5 Billion? Come on then make us an offer.

Crete? Yeah alright then, you've twisted me arm.