Sunday, February 26, 2012

Various Musings

Leading on from the Rangers thing - and in the debris of yet another Scotland valiant defeat in rugby - Scotland are ranked 15 in the world at cricket (out of 105 ranked coutnries) - even more of a minority sport in Alba. Comparitively better than we are at, guess what? Yes, football.

When, just when, did Scottish Labour have Wee Jimmy Krankie elected as their leader?


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rangers - the inverse snobs start to swarm

Oh dear. You might note that I'm slightly grumpy this morning.

Amid the general gloating about the problems inflicted, by themselves and no-one else, on one of the poles of Scottish bigotry, we have to go to, where else?, Comment is Free, to find support. From the "executive editor of the Daily Mail in Scotland" no less. Who was probably awared that he would have been laughed permanently out of his own paper if he'd dared to be such a pillock there.

So who gets blamed for Rangers being a bunch of thugs organised by criminals? Oh, well, that powerhouse of Scottish society. Who? Masons? The labour party? The Society of Advocates? No, apparently, it is rugby supporters.

Many of them will follow Scotland's international rugby team, an outfit so bad that among the 10 or so countries which take this minority of minority sports seriously we arurrently 11th.

Okay, yes, Scotland are 11th out of the 93 ranked countries in the IRB. But, as any true Scot will tell you, Scottish international teams are, unfortunately, seriously crap. Except at curling and, that popular game in the Gorbals, elephant polo. In fact, in that opium of the masses, soccer, Scotland are currently doing rather worse, languishing even, at 48th out of 208. Behind such exalted footballing nations as Algeria, Armenia and Iran.
For many families in the west of Scotland's most socially deprived and disadvantaged housing estates, Rangers FC provides the glue that keeps their sense of pride and dignity intact. Society has taken away everything else in their lives; their jobs, their futures, their purpose, their health, their self-respect and their liberation.

Goodness, gracious me. A veritable social service this lot provides. I wonder if some condescending local rag, perhaps the Daily Mail, would like to give them new hope?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Horrid mind-worm of the day

Glam-metal bureaucrats
From a thought sequence about Trevor Phillips and the "motley crew" of the Equalities Commission.

Morality versus Reality

There is an annoying tendency - amongst the left pretty much everywhere and amongst the right in the USA - to try to conflate their morality with some vision of reality. Morality is the way you thinks things should work, reality is the way they actually do.

So attempts to describe the way thinks do work - our vain attempts as humans to peer into the darkness of reality - are essentially amoral (whether they are correct or incorrect.) What's more, they say nothing about the moral views of the person concerned. As an engineer with an obscure speciality, often dealing with the law, and an amateur physicist and economic critic, I come across this confusion quite often.
If a client came to me and said that one of their staff had been arrested for the possession (on company equipment) of "extreme pornography" contrary to section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008, it is bugger all use to the client me whittering on about this being an appallingly illiberal piece of legislation brought in by an authoritarian government driven, as ever, by their PR strategy, as a result of a single issue campaigner.

Instead, and obviously, I'd advise them to find a lawyer and point them both at the possession defences in ss 64, 65 & 66, and to the limitations of vicarious liability.

Currently, chez Timmy, there is much discussion about the Laffer curve. There is a rabid insistance from the left that there is no such thing as a maximimally raising tax level. Yet, mathematically, this is trite. If you raise no tax at 0% tax (anything time 0 is 0), governments raise tax (yup, yes, and I had a loud argument with HMRC's "helpline" auto-responder yesterday) and that if people were taxed at 100% they wouldn't bother earning (this is possibly the one area of doubt), then basic maths (and differential calculus - thanks to Dave Gillies) mean that there are one or more maxima. And, on or more of these will be an absolute maximum. That's reality, not morality.

Now, the maths doesn't tell you much. It doesn't tell you where the maxima may be found or the shape of the curve. Nor does it enter in to political discussions about whether we should indeed be trying to raise as much tax as possible or just enough to pay for government. Or how much government that should be. Or the relative efficiencies and consequences of different tax types - production, consumption, income, flat or progressive. Just that if you keep raising any tax (or the overall tax burden) eventually you will get to a point where your revenue declines.

Moralities differ - and that difference should be permitted in a liberal society. I like a drink, Muslims believe alcohol to be haram. No problem - I'm not going to force them to have a drink and, provided all I get is a disapproving glance and am banned from drinking when I enter (the profoundly illiberal) Saudi, its something that I can live with. Ditto pork, homosexuality, drugs, the poor - we all have different opinions on what the correct moral actions should be. However, none of that valuable difference entitles us to different realities.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ugly man halts ugly building because of ugly wind farm?

I'm not sure I'm happy about supporting Alex Salmond in anything he does and I'm not the greatest fan of wind farms but ...

"more damage to Scotland than virtually any event in Scottish history"
Look, it's just a golf course. We've got hundreds of the buggers. And this ain't the Crystal Palace ...

Image via the Evening Times.


1. Golfers should be looking where the ball goes, you know.

2. Having Prestwick round the corner hasn't noticeably dimmed the demand for golf at Royal Troon.

3. It's the damn Germans who make the wind turbines, not the Chinese.

4. You're no angel - you're building on an SSSI.

Dear Argentina,

The maximum range of the Trident D-5 rocket carried in the Vanguard class submarines is, according to Wikipedia, over 7,000 miles. Which is somewhat more than the distance between Plymouth and Buenos Aires.

Why would we need one to be anywhere near the Falklands?

Note: Yes, I know that the boats are based in Faslane not Devonport ...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Strange Priorities

Or probably not.

Unilad - unfunny joke - definitely; offensive - certainly seems to have been; should have been banned? I don't think so. Result - spaffed all over the Guardian. Well, okay, they're somewhat more "right on" than I am.

10 year old deaf girl is kept as a slave and sexually abused for nearly a decade. Unfunny, offensive and, guess what? Actually illegal in a significant number of ways. So, what do we get from the "Manchester Guardian"?

Your search - Ilyat Ashar site:guardian.co.uk - did not match any documents. 

I did try another few searches as well - the wife's name, even "false imprisonment manchester" - nothing relevant. The most recent article returned on the Gruniad's own search engine for the last search was this.

Nothing from Polly (well, she wouldn't unless the accused were Tory councillors, would she), nothing from Jane Martinson, nothing from any of the legion of feminist ranters. I think they are seriously fucked up. And I don't mean that in a nice way. Update: The Guardian posted this article at 17:00 on Mon 13th. From "a senior news writer", not from any of the legion of the overpaid opinionated.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

All my own work

But posted somewhere else. I retain it here for reasons of simple ego.

The world is not 'fair'. Reality owes you nothing. It is mere childishness to think otherwise and wilful ignorance to demand that others act according to your delusions.

Actually, having thought about it, "Reality owes you nothing except death" would have been even better.

Fools on the loose

Freemen on the Land. What can you do with them. Hunting with hounds has been outlawed, we can't just 'hang'em from the yardarm' anymore and the stocks have been banned as "too good for them". Oh dear.

I mean, just what does this mean:

All words/whirreds(null) that follow/fall low(null) shall be of common/calm man use only and where “spellings”/ “sounds”/ “mal-intents” are null and void ab initio, ad infinitum, nunc pro tunc;

Go on? Apart from the simple gibberish, the author clearly misunderstands the words "null" and "void" in the legal context. Which is strange. Because this purports to be a legal document.

Okay, and they don't like "Unam Sanctum",  Boniface VIII's attempt to claim the moral high (hog?) ground back from Dante. Great. I don't like it either. Mind you, neither did Phillip (IV) King of France. Having rad it, he then had Boniface's palace assaulted, the Pope captured and humiliated, to the extent that Boniface dies just over a month later. Oh, and it had nothing to do with the "Holy Roman Emperor" - it was a battle of ideas between the Papacy and the Kings of France and, to a lesser extent, England. Anyway, ever heard of this wee thing that happened in the 16th and 17th centuries? Generally called "the Reformation". And, what about the Enlightenment?

"Lawful rebellion" in accordance with Article 61? Find the barons and make your complaint for redress. Go on ... Then get the 25 to meet and swear to them. Please. It will occupy your time ...

"The Dummies Guide to Freedom" - err, they don't get this, do they ...

And what about this pretentious bollocks:

Let it be known by all concerned, interested and affected parties that I, the Freeman known as Michael-John of Bernicia (the Grantor-Trustee), have been entrusted with the Soul Mission of founding the Universal Community of Self-Realisation, for the highest benefit of the emancipation, upliftment and self-realisation of Mankind,

Fuck me. That could almost have come from the founding directive of "Comment is Facile" ...

Why do apparently intelligent people get caught up in this utter drivel? Interestingly, quite a lot of them appear to be just that wee bit older than me. I might just have to blame LSD.



Thursday, February 02, 2012

An apposite comparison?

I'm not a strong believer in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. I'm a professional skeptic and cynic about authority. Tamsin Edwards has a new post up, were I would probably be categorised as a "lukewarmer". But the methods used to force the debate, especially the "you're not a published climate scientist so you can't comment" really grate, especially when:

  1. They are never applied to CAGW supporters such as Monbiot (journalist and polemic) or Gore (professional hereditary politician and some-time journalist).
  2. People are commenting within their field of expertise - be it statistics, economics, computer modelling or atmospheric physics.
  3. The CAGW gurus seem to spend a lot of time and effort making sure that climate scientists with diverging opinions don't get published.
But, there we go. That seems to be the way this particular niche in science goes at them moment. Until, Luboš Motl (a theoretical physicist, not a climate scientist) came up with a fairly telling analogy:

Climate alarmism and astrology

However, I want to make one more important point. The specialization may be a good thing but too specialized disciplines run a much higher risk that they could be totally wrong: the whole discipline could be based on a misconception. What do I mean?

What I mean is that the comment "We're just like the heart surgeons and you shouldn't ask anyone else" may also be exploited by the astrologers, if I pick a specific example of a discipline that is almost generally accepted as a pseudoscience.

An astrologer could tell you: "I am the only expert in astrology. I have been doing horoscopes for 40 years and earned millions of dollars by doing so. The astronomers and biologists who wrote an article that disagreed with me aren't really certified experts in astrology. You should better listen to astrologers when they're talking about the impact of planets and about the horoscopes; everyone else is a layman."

And I really think he has a very valid point. I'm not saying that climate science is as wrong as astrology, that (all) climate scientists are as mendacious as astrologers. But the "how dare you disagree" point is debunked. Astrology was considered valid for far longer than real science has been ...

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Éoin Clarke: Outrageously Stupid

Now, I know that's not news but he's outdone himself this time with "A call to establish an International Banking Crimes Tribunal". Being a lefty, of course, crimes include facilitating legal voluntary payments between consenting adults:
Worse still, UK banks took payments from families in poverty for FarePak Christmas Hampers even though they knew they were calling in the debts of that company before Christmas and that families would be left stranded
things they simply aren't guilty of:
Moreover, our banks have flogged cash machines to racketeers who charged customers £1.50 per withdrawal.
{Note to the socialist or terminally dim (but I'm channelling Mr Clemens again ...): Diebold and NCR may indeed be evil but, regardless, they're not banks!}

and uses the example of the ICC (120 States Parties not including, as well as the USA, the two most populous nations in the world - China and India) as:
the entire world


But then he outdoes himself with a "perfect Ritchie":
The powers of the court are for others to discuss but the concept that a court would be able to apply unlimited fines and recommend bankers for trial seems a good starting point.
Civilised places, you utter statist filth, generally award punishments after the trial.

I suppose a war of words is better ...

It's a while since I've had a bit of a rant about the Falklands. Still, the Argentinians seem to be making up for my lack ...
"Do you even know what moral means," replied a Malvinas hardliner. "If you regret that we left the English with 31 ships out of combat then you never had any sense of morality."
Goodness - 31 ships "out of combat" - damaged beyond combat use, perhaps? Well, if you count a couple with the odd cannon shell hole and Onyx running aground, I count that they damaged 21. What about:
Argentines are saddened that Prince William "will arrive on our soil in the uniform of a conquistador, and not with the wisdom of a statesman who works for peace and dialogue between nations," the country's foreign ministry said.
Hmm, bit effing late. Never mind 1982, what about the offers to take the discussions to the Hague between 1947 and 1955? Who was it who said "No, desgraciado extranjeros sucios" then? Hint, the Brits probably didn't speak Spanish ... Note: Edited for spilung

In which your blogger relocates

I really don't know why I was doing it last night but I ended up googling this nym. I which I discovered that I lived in Australia. Canberra to be precise.
This came as a slight surprise both to me and to Mrs SE. While, as a committed libertarian and a professional cynic, I have no problem with the Antipodeans labelling their seat of government "evil", politicians tend not to be particularly "surreptitious" about anything - even expenses fraud. But, no, Hotfrog darling, out by a mere 10,000 miles or so.
 
HTTP Error 403: You are not authorised to access the file "\real_name_and_address.html" on this server.

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