Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gaza again.

We condemn Syria, and Saddam, etc etc because they're 'Killing their own citizens'.  In Gaza Israel is killing people who either are Israelis, in which case Israel shouldn't kill them, or aren't, in which case Israel shouldn't rule them.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


On closer examination Romani, the battle where my grandfather lost an arm ("He lost a leg/at Waterloo/And Quatre Bras/And Ligny too") is not in Gaza.  It's the other side of the Sinai, near Port Said.

Or rather it isn't, any more.  In the wartime maps the country round there is spotted with placenames, but Google Maps seems to show nothing whatsoever.  Even the railways have vanished.

As to Gaza today, a good opportunity to trot out both the classics.

Monday, April 19, 2004


At least half the headlines in the morning's paper could be replaced with one of the following;


Wednesday, March 24, 2004


About 50% of every news media could be covered under the following two headlines;
I wonder why I posted it twice?

All is new

Over at the Conversation there's a proposal to decimalise time
If there's one thing I can't stand, it's weak sisters who stop almost as soon as they start out on the path to reform. The only remotely logical and consistent number system is binary, and we should standardise on that immediately, starting tomorrow, abolishing both decimals and base sixty measurements wherever they occur. Time, for example, would go
1 round (old 24 hrs) = 2 days (12 hr) =4 halfdays (6 hr) = 8 quarterdays (3 hr) = 16 eighthdays (1.5 hrs) = 32 owers (.75 hrs) = 64 halfowers (0.375 hrs: 22.5 minutes) = 128 quarterowers = 256 eighthowers = 512 steenthowers = 1024 minnutes (approx. 1.4 minutes)
Going up, there's no way to keep the year in synch, so we'll abandon it. Let the rest of the world find out what it's like having xmas in summer.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Damn.  Now there's a three-way with real possibilities.

Voting blocs

"Texas Megachurch pastor and former Rick Perry supporter Robert Jeffress predicted on the Sunday before Election Day that President Obama’s re-election “would lead to the reign of the Antichrist” in the United States:
“I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he’s not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes,” said Jeffress.
“President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist.”
 Well, there's another factor for the Democrats to consider when choosing a candidate in 2016. Can I suggest funding an antichrist search (or development) panel? It seems a no-brainer.

Age bin

I yield to no-one in my contempt for the Catholic Church, but I have to say that the current push to remove the seal of the confessional seems fundamentally misguided.  The argument against compulsory reporting of crimes confessed to priests is that if bad people know this is going to happen ("You do not have to confess anything, but anything you do confess may be given in evidence") they will stop going to confession, and we will be no better off - worse off, indeed, if you believe, as Cardinal Pell presumably does, that more people are going to go to hell because of it.  If privilege is good enough for lawyers, I can't see why it shouldn't apply here for exactly the same reasons.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Another auction

How can, say, Gina Rinehart not bid for this?
I've bid for a handful, largely just for the lottery-like enjoyment of being ahead for a moment: I don't expect to get any of them.
I've just been outbid on this -

So well do I remember the transgressive viciousness of the strip from my early years....
but I'm ahead, at a mere $28, on this -

which I cannot imagine Gina will allow me to keep. And

similarly for this at $48 and this

currently at $28...
It's really not conceivable that they will be overlooked in the rush. But one can hope....

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Serial stupidity

American story of people being lured by job ads on Craigslist to a farmhouse where they were killed. The economics of it seem unbelievable.

Authorities say they were targeted because they were older, single, out-of-work men with backgrounds that made it unlikely their disappearances would be noticed right away.
All the victims were robbed of things including personal items, a truck and a weapon, prosecutors say.

Out-of-work farmhands, by definition, are broke.  However many of them you kill you're barely breaking even, especially as you apparently have to pay fo a breakfast for them first. Couldn't they have advertised positions as rural merchant bankers? I know, more

likely their disappearances would be noticed right away

but at least you could get an expensive suit out of it.  Could you ask their shoe size in the ad, or would that seem suspicious? 

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