Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, October 24, 2011

He's trying hard, but nobody will ever replace Palin in my heart

In an interview with PARADE Magazine, Perry said that he recently met with Donald Trump and discussed the issue. Perry stated that he doesn’t “have a definitive answer” on whether Obama was born in the United States or “any idea” if Obama’s birth certificate is real. Here’s the transcript:

Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?
I have no reason to think otherwise.

That’s not a definitive, “Yes, I believe he”—
Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, because he’s never seen my birth certificate.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Age bin - Afghanistan drugs

In wartime, you have to cut your allies a little slack. In WWII, for example, one consequence of being allied with Stalin against the Nazis was that we had to agree to stop prosecuting communists. Now that we’re allied with Afghan druglords like Ahmed Karzai against the Taliban it would seem only consistent to stop prosecuting poor bastards like the special forces soldier who OD’d (Digger hero may face charges, 21//10/11). Trying to fight two wars simultaneously may explain why we’re losing both of them so badly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

New puritanism

I'll be damned.

Figures here from longrunning survey.

Adultery, at least in the US, is becoming less acceptable, not more.

Having always been more on the drink-of-water side of the argument myself I find the belief mildly odd in itself; having always been vaguely of the belief that more casual sex was associated with the progressive agenda I find it odd that the stigma hasn't fallen away in the same manner as, say, condemning homosexuality as always wrong.

Having myself committed adultery on every possible occasion (a fairly small number, I have to say, my beliefs on this matter being a good deal less relevant than those of the other prospective parties) I find this almost inexplicable.

What this says, of course, is that I see it as an issue of religious belief and that other people see it as an issue of human relationships, not to say personal authenticity.

Damn partially retracted

My letter did get up, this time, with only minor (though disruptive) cuts (replaced, from memory, in italic).
Irrelevant act

A judge has said that "Swearing evidence under oath was fundamental to the administration of criminal justice". Nonsense.

AUSTRALIA is a secular country, and all that is required of a legal statement is that there be criminal sanctions for its breach. Having your hand on a Bible is as irrelevant as crossing your heart and hoping to die (''Justice 'undermined' by police not swearing oath'', The Age, 19/10). In the days when people believed that breaching an oath would send you to hell for eternity, it may have been a sensible precaution to require one.

Now that nobody at all believes this, we can surely move on and relieve God of what must be a considerable administrative burden. Having Tony Mokbel on the streets is surely too high a price to pay for the Christian religion.

Chris Borthwick, Brunswick

Read more:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I sent a splenetic letter to the Age on the topic of the current Police Oath brouhaha, waxing satirical about the survival of cross-my-heart-and-hope-to-die superstitions into the era of Twitter and spitting on god in passing, but forgot to take a copy for this blog. Remember the absolute axiom; do it in Word first and copy over.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

At the Chalkface

I do have a soft spot for websites like Blackboards in Porn. The accumulation of microdata... I really ought (even if that ought is a fair way down my list of the other oughts) set up a website devoted to my collection of fiction about invasion(s) of the UK and the USA.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quietly proud

Michael Rutter (whom I normally regard as pretty set in his ways) agrees with me that the Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood, or Adolescence classification should be removed from DSM;

Friday, October 14, 2011


The papers are covering a Queensland Liberal party scandal -
Yesterday, the Courier-Mail revealed the existence of LNP “dirt files” on 49 Labor MPs, including MPs. The party machine had paid a former Labor staffer, Robert Hough, $3075 to compile rumours and gossip about ALP MPs’ drinking habits and alleged sexual peccadilloes.

Well, yes, but the interesting thing is surely how cheap sleaze is. That's $62 per Labor member. At between $50 and $100 per day plus expenses, which is what Philip Marlowe charged way back in the fifties, two month's work. What could you really expect for that money? From me, a few day's googling and a day's writeup to prevent instant detection.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


An interesting graph. Note the falling life expectancy (it's not clear whether it's the average in 1925 or the average at judgement day, though I suppose the author might have expected it to be both).

Apes and Idiots

As a footnote to my Idiot into Ape article, this;
On the other hand, if there is any blood relationship between man and the great apes, it is far more reasonable to suppose that the apes are degenerated or hybridized men, than that man has evolved by progressive development from the apes. Degeneration is a thousand times better established as a general principle of nature than is progressive development.

From a 1925 creationist text,
The Predicament of Evolution
by George McCready Price (1870-1963)
(This was ©1925 by Southern Publishing Assoc.)

Odd, surely, that creationists still think this a good argument.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A long farewell to all my glories

So it seems we won't have Sarah Palin to kick around any more.

And nobody's going to make Bachmann porn movies, either, now she's dropped out of contention.

What am I going to do with my time now?

Friday, October 07, 2011

So close

I see the headline
Tranströmer wins Nobel
and read
Transformer wins Nobel
which would, let's admit it, be epic.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Inspector Spacetime

The rush into the Inspector Spacetime meme got me thinking about another figure fitting the Doctor's schema;
(from the Inspector Spacetime list)
* Iconic costume
* Travelling with someone else
* Very British
* Making everyday objects scary
* A solve everything device (optic penknife, sonic crowbar etc)
* Lead character one step ahead
* Viewing the unusual through the familiar (the eyes of the associates)
* Temporal causality
Read more:

and adding in the other standards
*Arrives and leaves unexpectedly, leaving companions sad
* Knows absolutely everybody across time and space and fantasy
* Powers secondary to character, in the sense of moral standing
* Wavers over the line between loveable and scary
* Has to be forcibly restrained from omnipotence/godhood

and it all fits Mary Poppins pretty well.

I did like that Gaiman story where Mary Poppins took the children to heaven to meet God... who was of course rather scared of Mary.

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