Shock news from down under

June 24th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

An immigrant has become the Prime Minister of a country of immigrants.

If an Aboriginal person became Prime Minister, now that would be news.

If you want your baby to live, fill in that certificate

June 18th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

The Daily Mail reports that…

Fathers who are involved during pregnancy could help reduce the risk of infant mortality during their child’s first year of life, a new study says

First the obvious. As always with this kind of reporting and/or study, how does the baby know that the father is involved and not an imposter pretending to be the father? Does it reduce the risk of infant mortality if it is an imposter?

What level of involvement would bring about this reduction in risk of infant mortality?

Father involvement was defined by the presence of the father’s name on the infant’s birth certificate. While this measure does not assess how much the father was around during pregnancy, other studies have established that a father named on the record was likely to have been involved to some extent before the birth.

Huh? A scribble of ink on a piece of paper is all that is needed? Oh if only it was that easy.

So this study just looked to see if there was a name on a birth certificate and because other studies found that this meant the father was ‘likely’ to be involved, came to the conclusion that a fathers involvement in pregnancy reduces the risk of infant mortality. Hmm. Highly scientific, then.

Dr Alio said paternal support could decrease the mother’s emotional stress, which has been linked to poor pregnancy outcomes.
Fathers-to-be could also encourage mothers to live a more healthy lifestyle. The study found women with absent partners were more likely to smoke during pregnancy and get inadequate prenatal care.

It’s fathers that help remember. Not partners, same sex or otherwise, or having a big bank account, or which country or area of a country that helps. Fathers do. Woo hoo! Aren’t fathers special, eh?

Junk science from a junk paper.

Same shit, different president

June 16th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

Jon Stewart notices some similarities between Bush and Obama.

Via Aaron

Hang on, I’ve got an idea.

June 14th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Well, bugger me. We’ve heard nothing from The Savior of the Middle East for months and then what a coincidence, up he pops just after Isreal board a civilian boat and shoot some people, with an idea about getting stuff through to Gaza.

Nice timing Tony.

Please, don’t feel you have to support England

June 13th, 2010 § 5 comments § permalink

Oh for fucks sake.

If you don’t want to support the England team, don’t. It doesn’t fucking matter. It really doesn’t.

The trouble with football (collapsing a whole long list into a handful of bugbears) is that its mindset bears an uncanny resemblance to the belief in “my country/party right or wrong”. It appears designed to programme the collective brain out of thinking and nuance, making those same synaptic connections that can only deal with black and white, binary three-minute hate. Us (good) and them (bad).

And what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with enjoying something that is adversarial, is black and white and in the end is inconsequential?

Coming out of the Second World War, which devastated huge swathes of the globe, we valued our intellectuals and artists for helping to make the world a better place.

Nowadays, changing social conditions means social engineering, militarising society and the creation a nation of gladiators. From Sky to Skynet, turning you into a combat machine. Prepare to be assimilated.

What? How are we being turned into a ‘combat machine’? We have the most restrictive gun laws in the world. The army, even though actually deployed overseas in armed combat, is not exactly enjoying a surge in popularity and the fledgling gladiators are all stabbing themselves over fags, cheap cider and mobile phones. Even if I believed the last to be true I still wouldn’t think our society was being prepped for war.

It’s like living in Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Existence reduced to sex and death as we close ourselves down. All hail the sacred ground where you mash the opposition into the dirt, whether on the field, in the ring or at the dispatch box.

I can see the metaphor with Sparticus and it works well, but then it falls… *nods off*

Huh? Wha…? *ahem* Sorry, where was I?

Do I really want to identify with massively overpaid narcissists and their big-buck masters?

Well if you don’t want to, don’t. The overpaid narcissists don’t give a shit. And neither do I really. I enjoy the games, usually, but don’t feel I have to ‘identify’ with any of the people involved. Why should I? What would I be doing any different if I did identify with them? They’re overpaid, usually arrogant, more often than not womanising cunts. So fucking what?

I don’t pay any money to watch them play except when go to a game, and then if the ticket costs too much or there is a player that is a particular shister, I won’t go. Anything else in their personal life is their business.

How does victory for one set of businessmen over another set improve my life?

It doesn’t. Do you make all you decisions like this? When you decide to who to support in athletics, do you decide which of their sponsors will improve your life?

I love the artistry of great footballers. Watching George Best run rings around his opponents like he was occupying a different time and space was a joy to behold. But the small local football team that was part of the community is a myth, destroyed when British soccer emulated the American sports system and became a money-spinning industry, making your passion something that could be bought and sold. It bears the same relationship to the beautiful game as porn does to sex. So your team can spend millions on a talent from Nowheresville, Abroad? Well done. That means you are the best because some oligarch had deep pockets

So watch the tournament for some great football. Have a moan about how the way TV money isn’t distributed in a way that gets down to the grass roots of the game. Have a moan about that, then. Oh, by the way, don’t get confused between the national and international games. You cannot buy any player to play in your national team. To whinge about the way the money men have gone into the national clubs and buy up the best players from around the world in a post about why you’re not supporting England in the World Cup belies a lack of knowledge that means you do not really understand football or how it really works beyond what makes the front pages of the press, rather than the back, and so should shut the fuck up.

I cheer England on in athletics because it isn’t about two sides crushing each other. It really is the best man or woman winning through skill and it is possible to appreciate the accomplishments of the winner even if they aren’t on your team. Same with British culture when we do something great in film or music.

So individual competitive sports are fine but not team sports. You can, believe it or not, support a team and not go in for all stuff about grinding them into the dirt. You can even appreciate when an opposing team have played brilliantly and outplayed your team, or you own team were lucky to win. You would be amazed at the amount of England games where I haven’t called the opposition a bunch of foreign cunts of some sort or another.

I’ll probably succumb, though, and watch the bloody thing out of curiosity and an indulgence of my own pack instincts…

The pack instinct doesn’t mean you have to behave like a wanker, though. If you’re on a demo and someone chucked something through a window would you join in with it? No. So you don’t need to with the World Cup. Enjoy the football that’s on display. If you don’t want to support your home team, don’t.

After all, despite being told the contrary many times before, it is just a game.

defending religion…not very well

June 11th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink

Via Jesus & Mo I happen across this

June 8, 2010

In an interview last night with ABC-News reporter Diane Sawyer, scientist Stephen Hawking opined that human life is “insignificant in the universe,” and then went on to say that “There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason.” He concluded by saying, “Science will win because it works.”

Stephen Hawking does have a point. Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League disagrees (I’ve no idea who he is either, but he reckons the Catholic priest abuse scandal is about teh gays not peadophiles).

What Big Bill says is…

How any rational person could belittle the pivotal role that human life plays in the universe is a wonder, but it is just as silly to say that all religions are marked by the absence of reason. While there are some religions which are devoid of reason, there are others, such as Roman Catholicism, which have long assigned it a special place.

How can rational person overstate how little a role humans play in the universe? How can anybody think we have a ‘pivotal’ role in what happens outside of our planets atmosphere? We might be able to warm Earth up a degree or two or be really good at making various forms of life here extinct, but anything on a bigger scale is waaaaay beyond us.

Some religions may be more receptive to reasoned argument, but Catholicism is not one of them. Look at it’s stance on condoms, for Christs sake.

Religions may accept certain bits of science and reason, but as soon as a bit contradicts what is in it’s special writings then it doesn’t want to know. Unless of course it can come up with a bit of holy logical acrobatics to say it’s teachings were wrong without saying they were wrong.

It was the Catholic Church that created the first universities, and it was the Catholic Church that played a central role in the Scientific Revolution; these two historical contributions made possible Mr. Hawking’s career.

Just because somebody is teaching something doesn’t mean what they’re teaching is correct.

Reason, in pursuit of truth, has been reiterated by the Church fathers for nearly two millennia. That is why Hawking posits a false conflict: in the annals of the Catholic Church, there is no inherent conflict between science and religion. Quite the contrary: science and religion, in Catholic thought, are complementary properties. Ergo, nothing is gained by alleging a “victory” of science over religion.

No conflict between science and religion? Why did the Catholic church persecute Galileo for saying the earth orbited the Sun instead of saying ‘really? Could you look into it further?’

There is an inherent conflict twix science and religion: religion is based on what old teachings tell us what to believe, science tells us what we find out from evidence.

Religion without reason, Pope Benedict XVI instructed us in his Regensburg address in 2006, leads to fanaticism. That much Hawking seems to understand. What he doesn’t get is its contra: science without faith also leads to disaster—the genocidal regimes in Germany, the Soviet Union, China and Cambodia being Exhibits A, B, C and D.

Pope Beni got something right, but the examples given of science without faith are not cause and effect. Throughout history there are appalling examples of religious and non-religious people in power causing atrocities. Being ‘of faith’ or not does not mean one is A Good Guy or A Bad Guy.

Religion will never get to the truth. There are too many reasons not to. Science is about discovery. It doesn’t matter what that discovery is.

*that* World Cup song

June 10th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

Remember scenes like this…?

James Corden, Dizzee Rascal and Simon Cowell obviously don’t. Why else would they include the chant…

Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough

in a football song?

What does that line bring to mind? It brings to mind some meathead challenging you a fight. Didn’t they even think to change the line to ‘think you’re good enough’

The song, as far as I can work out, is about, actually I have no idea what it’s about except for the chorus of ‘shout, shout, let it all out’, and how that fits with the rest of the ditti, I’m clueless.

It’s one thing for this type of confrontational chant to be sung on the terraces (are there still terraces?) but to have put it out in a song is, I want to say irresponsible, but that doesn’t quite do it. The football institutions, the FA, clubs etc, have spent decades and an enormous amount of effort into getting the violence out of the game and the last thing they need is for the validation of a chant like that.

Although I have gone to a few games I’m not really a football fan, so I might be missing something. Please, tell me I’m missing something.


James Corden has claimed that he turned down the chance to record a song for the World Cup.

The Sun says that the comedian was approached to re-record New Order track ‘World In Motion’, but he said no because he is a big fan of the original.

“I thought, why do that? ‘World In Motion’ is the greatest song ever,” he said. “What next, re-record ‘Three Lions’? It’s pointless. Those things have to happen organically, to come out of a feeling.”

He added: “You can’t try and manufacture a chant for the terraces or a song that a whole nation will adopt”

How is anything to do with Simon Cowell ‘organic’? How can the song Cordons’ done with Dizzee Rascal come out of a feeling? You can’t understand what they’re singing about most of the song. The only bit that could be sang on the stands is the ‘shout’ chorus and having that sang at me from across the pitch would not impress at all.

Cordon is nearly right about not being able to manufacture a chant or song for the terraces. Some people can, he can’t.

Oh, stop fucking whinging and pay your fucking taxes

June 10th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The Guardian

The CBI today demanded that the public sector bear the brunt of Britain’s deficit reduction as it urged the government to spare the better-off from radical changes to capital gains tax

Oh, boo-fucking-hoo. What a surprise, the ‘better off’ don’t want to help pay off the massive debt that has been run up because of the crafty well paid shits that bet everyones houses on schemes that no one understood.

The CBIs’ director-general, Richard Lambert, …

set out a three-point plan for making savings in the public sector: controlling workforce costs through curbs on pay and hiring; eliminating waste and duplication through sharing back-office functions, outsourcing and more efficient procurement; re-engineering public service delivery, including treating more patients at home.

Fair enough. It is always good to try and find better, cheaper ways of doing things, but he also wants the top rate of income tax to come back down to 40% and to leave capital gains tax alone. This, he says, is because “mobile talent” will bugger off and it won’t increase the tax take much.

Capital gains take is stupidly low, for an income for doing fuck all, and if all these cunts rich enough to get an accountant to funnel their income through various channels and offshore companies, that are nothing more than an vessel to reduce their tax bill, actually paid their taxes, then there wouldn’t be a need for a 50% tax band.

So once again, a rich cunt, on behalf of other rich cunts doesn’t want to pay for the sheer stupidity and greed of other rich cunts that has screwed everybody. Makes you heart fucking bleed, doesn’t it?

Daily Mail gobbledy-gook

June 3rd, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink

The Daily Mail reports that the activists from the Gaza Aid Flotilla have been returned to Turkey, welcomed by cheering supporters.


Their arrival was marred by Israel’s decision to drop plans to prosecute dozens of pro-Palestinian activists – reportedly sent to attack Israeli forces on the Mavi Marmara on Monday – involved blockade, opting instead to deport them.


By the logic of Israel

June 2nd, 2010 § 2 comments § permalink

Lenins’ Tomb

[R]ecall that for weeks the Israeli state has been declaring that the aid flotilla constitutes a violent attack on Israeli sovereignty, though Israel has no sovereign right to police the borders of Gaza. They claimed that the convoy was bringing assistance to terrorists, and warned that it was being funded by the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood. They claim that such aid vessels help keep Hamas in power and Gilad Shalit (who he?) locked up. They claim that the convoy, rather than the blockade itself, constitutes a violation of international law. Israel’s ability to exhale falsehoods and absurdities seamlessly, poker-faced, and then to suddenly and without missing a beat alter its story when it becomes clear that not even its loyalist drones are gullible enough to believe it, is not unique but it has a unique pedigree. For the Israeli state is singular in its self-righteousness. This is built in to official doctrine and practise, entrenched in its forms of governmentality. It is always the victim, no matter what it’s doing today – whether slaughtering refugees in Sabra and Shatilla, or murdering sleeping families in Dahiya, from Nakba to Cast Lead – it is always on the precipice of being exterminated by a new wave of Arab Nazis. Given this, any effort to undermine its ‘defensive’ actions is an attack not only on its expansive notions of sovereignty, but on the ‘Jewish state’.

By the logic of Israel, any abridgment of its right to murder Palestinians constitutes an act of antisemitism, an existential attack on the Jewish people, whom they represent by proxy. Its job, then, is to do whatever it deems fit in discouraging and punishing said ‘antisemites’ while aggressively retailing whatever they do to an increasingly hostile world which, at any rate, they insist is driven by exterminationist antisemitism anyway. If the two ends – the violent preservation of Israeli supremacy in the Middle East, and the global PR – increasingly come into conflict, this is only because of a ‘new antisemitism’, not because of anything Israel actually does.

Read the whole thing.

Where am I?

You are currently viewing the archives for June, 2010 at Sim-O.