What’s wrong with being a grammer Nazi? Wednesday, Apr 27 2011 


There is a very real difference between “your” and “you’re”, or “affect” and “effect”. If you point this out people whine that ‘language evolves’, ignoring the fact they are making no sense.

If someone says 2+2=5, correcting them isn’t being a maths nazi.

Earning £100,000 extra Friday, Mar 18 2011 


Right Wing British politicians (The Tory party, the Labour party) argue that tuition fees are fair because graduates earn, on average, £100,000 more than non graduates, over their working life.

On an extra £100,000 they will pay £20,000 Tax (MINIMUM, assuming they never get into the higher tax bracket), £11,000 national insurance.  Their employers will pay £12,000 over and above this £100,000 in Employer’s National Insurance.  A total to the govenment of AT LEAST £43,000.

The graduate wil be left with £69,000.  If of that money he spends just £30,000 extra over his life time on ‘luxury’ items (computers, TVs, cookers…) the Government will receive another £5,000 in VAT.

One assumes if a company pays extra, it expects extra profit, so they would pay tax on that (or investors pay tax on dividends).  A well educated workforce makes the UK an attractive place for future high tech companies, thus bring jobs to the UK, thus garnering more tax.

The BBC reveal today that it is quite possible the cost of the student loan in interest, will be the same as the loan.

SO, to summerise.

Pay £30k+ in fees and loans, pay another £30k for interest, pay £37k in extra tax.  Benefit the government with attracting employment to the UK, even though they have made no investment (because it’s a loan with interest, it costs them nothing), they will receive £50 grand or more, plus non-monetary, or knock on benfits.

Worth the £75 per year average the graduate will end up with.

Questions for bankers Tuesday, Mar 1 2011 


http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/deborah-ross-your-questions-for-bankers-answered-2228579.html seems fair.

My bank once phoned me, then refused to talk to me unless I proved who I said I was.  I’m hoping they will do it again so I can ask them security questions.  I may also include the phrase “this phone call will be recorded for purposes of being riduculed on the internet.”

Strictly Come Dancing and X Factor results – Sneak Preview Sunday, Dec 5 2010 


Russia has been confirmed as the winner in both

Qatar will be the winner of Dancing On Ice.

Sepp Blater has just been announced as Prince William’s Bride.

Carnival of The Elitist Bastards Sails Again Friday, Jan 8 2010 


“Arrrrgh, you be late.”  The Admiral had obviously had a good Christmas, waving a brand new cutlass in one hand, and a half empty bottle of rum in the other. “We should have been set sail these 8 days hence, you scurvy dog”.

“A number of points there, Admiral”  Hussar said. “One- I had to get a new uniform made.  I refuse to captain the ship looking anything other than absolutely spiffing. Two- there are other battles to be fought, by land as well as sea.  I have just been part of a lengthy campaign as part of a multi-national force giving unreason a good kicking”

And Three- you decided to sail just before Christmas.  Like many other northern Europeans I was engaged in rituals to remind the sun to stop going to bed early.  That, and I had some fine wines in.”

“Ye cur, that bain’t be no way to talk to an Admiral.”

“And that’s another thing.  For this voyage at least we are not going to be having with all this pirate nonsense.” The admiral spat a mouthful of rum out. “Instead I have a letter of Marque signed by a servant of the Crown, instructing us to fight ignorance and pigheadishness where ever we find it.”

“And this Servant of the Crown, would he be standin’ before me in a brand new, and rather foppish, uniform?”

“Might be”

“And could we infer that neither Her Majesty, nor her government know anything about said letter?”

“Ah, but at least it’s officially unofficial!”

At that point the discussion was interrupted by Decrepit Old Fool waving from the gangplank.  “Have I missed the sailing?”

“Well as you seem to be standing on the gangplank, it is safe to assume we are still moored.  You seem anxious to get aboard.”

“Save me from Liberals.”

“We are Liberals.”

“But you don’t put ideology ahead of rational thought like this lot

Ropes were hauled, cutlasses were placed in scabbards with satisfying ‘snick’ noises, and meaningful looks were exchanged as the wind filled the sails, and “HMS Elitist Bastard” pulled away from the quay. Winter clouds scudded across the sky as the ship pushed its way through leaden seas.

“Make a signal Bo’sun – ‘England Expects Every Man Shall Stand His Round.'”

Suddenly from the Crows Nest the lookout ***Dave gave a cry.  He passed a link down, how the Global Warming deniers had accused a childrens website of politicising the debate

“Run out the Carronades, I intend to give them a shot across the bows ” barked Captain Hussar

“I think the The International Conspiracy of Mad Scientists are going to want more that that Captain.”

 The Captain looked at ICMS. “What you got in mind?”  ICMS indicated the fully loaded cannons.  The Captain smiled “Make Ready for Action. Drummer-boy; Beat To Quarters.  Run out the cannons.  Mr ICMS, fire your broadside.”

 “Oh Huzzar!”

 “Cap’n.  They’re making a signal”.

 “Pass me your spy-glass, let me read it – ‘Ha. Ha. Did. Not. Hurt. Us. In. Fact. You. Like. Us. More. Now. Than. You. Used. To.’  What in the name of all that is provable under reasonable controlled conditions are they talking about?  Every one can see the anti-science stand of the American Right is in tatters!”

“Sir, If may have a word” said the maths-geek standing by the ship’s biggest gun, nicknamed ‘Correct Methodology’.

 “Speak up Mr Ecstathy.”

 “I believe they are using an old ploy known as ‘selective statistics’.  Permission to blow a hole in it sir?”

Fire away“.

“Mr Cujo, do you have some shot and shell to add to this little fracas?”

“No Captain, but I know a man who has some tactics worth listening to

Suddenly Captain Hussar fell to the deck, grasping his chest.  “Kiss me Hunter” He gasped.

“Nice try sunshine.  That one isn’t going to sail.  Faking your death isn’t going to get me to kiss you, or disguise the fact you’ve written yourself into a corner.  Do you know how we are going to end this?”

Hussar stood up.  “We could offer them Tim Minchin’s wife.” 

“Don’t seem to be able to rise to that challenge Captain” confirmed a lookout.  “They are retreating while they argue about it”

“The problem is they are like zombie ships. No matter how often you fill them full of holes, and sink the arguments, they keep coming back, having learnt nothing.  What we need is some entertainment.  Lud In The Mist- see if you can get together some kind of Guitar Group.  Something that pisses off the “War, War” crowd.  Tonight we party!”

Global Warming- Right Wing Press mischief Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 


For those NOT in the UK… you may or may not know we received early snow, just before Christmas (If it snows it usually happens January/February).  This was immedeiately jumped on by at least some of the right wing press – the Express and the Star at least – as proof that there was no such thing as global warming- the Express ranting how Gordon Brown wanted to damage the economy by pointless low carbon regulations that would ‘cost billions’

Frankly anybody who buys these rags should have a competence test before being allowed to vote, in case they think this is in anyway proof against global warming.

Global Warming doesn’t mean the UK will slowly turn into the south of France. Unseasonally cold weather may well be CAUSED by the planet overheating.

The UK has a temperate climate- indeed we are famous for our rain.  This is because of the Gulf stream, a flow of warm currents fromoff the coast of south America.  The Oceans cool slower than the land, and it is this influx of warm waters that means we are warmer than other places on a similar latitude- Central Europe and New York (which is also costal) spring to mind.

However, as the ice cap melts, cold freshwater flows into the North Atlantic, weakening the Stream, and pushing it southwards. Result- colder Britain.

So Global Overheating may well mean Colder UK winters.

Update 8 Jan 2010- Boing Boing has an article about no Gulf Stream

Moon Landing Conspiracy idiot sees stars Tuesday, Jul 21 2009 


40 years ago two men walked on the moon, the culmination of a feat embodying all that is best about the human spirit.

However in the modern fucked up world there are those who see Government conspiracy, who must undermine others.  This is what happened two years ago when one – 37 year old Bart Sibrel- calls Buzz Aldrin- at the time of this video 72 years old- a liar  to his face.

Hero of the Human Race – WIN

Dear Ireland Monday, Jul 13 2009 


From Ireland’s new ‘blasphemy law’

Section 36

(1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000]

(2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion, and (b) he or she intends, by the publication or utterance of the matter concerned, to cause such outrage.

As Les notes at StupidEvilBastard.com, this part of the bill makes it illegal to criticize any religion either verbally or in writing.

SO. Here goes.

There is no evidence of any god, Abrahmic or otherwise.

There is no evidence that anything in Genesis is true.

There is no evidence, indeed no reference outside of the Bible, of Jesus Son of god.  There may have well been a wandering rabbi/heretic called Jesus, but the Romans never mention him.  Don’t quote Pliny and Josephus, they talk about ChristIANS- it’s like says seeing Tom Cruise in a movie proves Scientology is correct.

You may be interested to know I have seen it argued that ‘Jesus’ was a name of a number of Jews, and had no special connotation- this is why Pilate is so careful with asking the crowd who to release, maybe Barabbas’ name was also Jesus (Bar Abbas=son of Abbas).

Whatever the truth of 2000 years ago, that cracker and wine certainly doesn’t turn into his flesh and blood.

Denying contraception on the basis of religious texts from thousands of years ago is evil,  using them isn’t.

Ditto “Teh gays”.

While I’m about it.

There almost certainly is no god (see above re lack of evidence), not even Allah.  Ergo Muhammed was not his prophet. (Cos there is no prophet Atheism; boom-boom. I’m here all week).

And Wiccans- No, you are not a Witch of any sort, black, white or spangly (A “Do what?” possibly, but not a witch). There is no Earth spirit.

MOST IMPORTANTLY.

It is wrong to hate someone because of a belief in something that isn’t your belief. 

Now as an atheist I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your own home or place of worship.  However

  1. Don’t expect me to fund it through taxation.
  2. Don’t expect me to agree with you, and if I spot a flaw in your religeous arguement dont expect me to gloss over it if you rely on that flaw.
  3. Don’t assume that you get extra rights because of your belief. (well ok- in Ireland you do, but don’t expect me to agree with that).
  4. Don’t expect me to be quiet if you want it taught as ‘Scientific Fact’ in schools.
  5. or indeed want your private beliefs to be considered more protected than my private beliefs

See, depite what you may think there is no such thing as a Militant Atheist- Not even Richard Dawkins.  We don’t go around pushing newspapers through doors asking “Have you heard the Good News about Science?”.  We don’t stand in town squares reading bits out of ‘Origin of Species’, or complaining when science shows that something we believe in isn’t true.

I’ll admit I was put out when Pluto was declared ‘not a planet’, but that is emotional attachment to a world view that proved to be wrong.  Einstein felt the same way when Nils Bohr showed some of Einstein’s theories to be wrong. But it is just that- emotional attachment to a childhood. I’m never going to go there, and classification is an artificial Human construct. I am certainly not going to support a crusade or jihad demanding it be re-instated as a planet.

Now Ireland; I’ll admit the fact the Irish Sea is between you and me has made me a bit braver in posting this: I’m assuming you won’t go for the whole extradited thing via the EU (though I must say that is actually worrying me a little).  But what are you going to do if the University of Dublin comes up with a bit of research that proves something that offends your Catholic mindset?  Declare Science blasphemous and demand your fine?

Worlds Worst definition of ‘Mixed Marriage’ Tuesday, May 26 2009 


Those who know Scottish football know that [Glasgow] Rangers is a Protestant club, and [Glasgow] Celtic is a Catholic club, and this is part of their fierce rivalry.  I’ll let you absorb that.  The SPORTS club you follow depends on which particular interpretation you put on the SAME MYTHS.

Now consider the story of Kevin McDaid, the man in Northern Ireland apparently beaten to death in a sectarian attack by Rangers supporters after the team won the League over Celtic.

He was beaten to death, murdered in a brutal way, because his religeon was identified with the opposing club.  Not because he was a Celtic Fan.  Not because he was a Catholic. No, it was because his religeon was identified with the opposing team from a different country.  The man didn’t come into it at all.

Sectarian violence: arguing about who is more right when worshiping the same freaking God.

In the immortal words of Les at http://stupidevilbastard.com/ “What the Fuck is wrong with you people?”

And here is the final twist of the knife.  His wife is Protestant, and so, because this is Ulster, it is described with a perfectly straight face, as a ‘Mixed Marriage’.

Oh for fucks sake Christians. Grow up.

Islam beats the Pope in “idiotic religeous outview” competition. Tuesday, Apr 14 2009 


When the Pope lied about condoms making AIDS worse, he wasn’t personally infecting people- he was right that carriers do have a choice about sex, no matter how blinkered he is on the practicality.

The Taliban will happily pull the trigger because of their pretend sky-fairy.

 

Taleban ‘kill love affair couple’

The Taleban in Afghanistan have publicly killed a young couple who they said had tried to run away to get married, officials say.

 You will note from the BBC article

“Three Taleban mullahs brought them to the local mosque and they passed a fatwa (religious decree) that they must be killed. They were shot and killed in front of the mosque in public,” the governor said.

At least the ex-nazi in a dress hasn’t actively encouraged murdering people.  It is time Islam dragged all of itself kicking and screaming into the 20th century. Bastards.

Catholic Church still rooted in… Oh, you know how it goes by now! Tuesday, Mar 17 2009 


Pope Benedict has said that the distribution of condoms is not the answer in the fight against Aids in Africa.

According to AOL

“You can’t resolve it with the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, it increases the problem,” he told reporters on board a papal flight to Africa, where he is to tour Cameroon and Angola.

Or from the BBC

Speaking en route to Cameroon, he said distribution of condoms “increases the problem”.

Words can not express the jaw-dropping stupidity of these pronouncements.  But then if you are stupid enough to believe birth-control is evil you end up trying the most unbelievable arguments to defend it.

An Angry Man in Corduroy says it best. Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 


After Marcus Brigstocke, what more is there to say?

(Audio from the BBC’s ‘Now Show- Radio 4)

Elitest Bastard (aka Hussar goes off on one) Tuesday, Mar 10 2009 


See that blue button with Richard Dawkins on it?  Click on it (not yet- I haven’t finished ranting at you) and you will go to the Carnival of the Elitist Bastards.  Who?  A bunch of bloggers generally pissed off with everything being so damn stupid.

Why am I proud to be an elitist?  The question should be why are you so unconcerned not to be?

We are people who are just annoyed that there is a movement against intellectualism.  I am sick and tired of being clever being seen as somehow a bad thing.  Someone who can kick, throw or hit a ball gets paid millions of pounds, while those who actually work worry about the recession.

People revel in not being good at maths.It’s seen as something funny.  I know I’m good at day to day maths, but I am amazed how many people don’t understand basic principles.

“How does this affect you?”  you say “why should you care?” Because a dumbed down population affects the economy and the planet.

People who don’t understand basic maths GET TO VOTE, often based on what they think will be best for the economy.  They can’t do percentages, for FSM’s sake, how are they supposed to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of a Keynsian solution?

It is a fact that people, all of us, even Stephen Hawkins, are stupid to one degree or another.   We are very good at ignoring evidence that doesn’t back up our personal beliefs.  Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like the fact that cars are contributing to destroying the planet. Solution? Insult environmentalists.  Republicans don’t like the fact that Neo-Con ideas have screwed up the market. Call Obama a socialist. The Religious Right don’t like the fact that science shows the Bible isn’t literally true. Solution? Attack anyone who relies on evidence rather than 4000 year old fairy-stories.

And where does it leave us? Click on the break, and I’ll tell you. Forcefully. (more…)

Catholic Church still Rooted in nonsense (redux) Sunday, Mar 8 2009 


A nine year old is repeatedly abused by her step-father, and becomes pregnant.  When it is discovered she is given an abortion.  I’ll say that again- NINE YEARS OLD.  What is the Vatican’s response? To excommunicate the mother and doctors.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7930380.stm

Oh fer fucks sake.  Personally I believe there may be a valid debate to happen around the latest date for a termination.  BUT this happened at 4 months (?18 weeks), inside the limit for many countries.  This is what happens when you wed your world view to a mythology, and one that considers a foetus a human at the point of conception.

There is no happy ending to this story, but the idea that a nine year old could give birth to twins with no ongoing negative effects beggars belief.  Her life is screwed up as it is.  Why is the Pope giving her a kicking?

I’m sorry Jade, I don’t care (and it may be my readers fault). Sunday, Mar 8 2009 


In recent weeks much has been published about Jade Goody and her terminal cancer.

I’m sorry. I really don’t care that much.

It’s not that I’m a heartless bastard, but she is a stranger to me. Yes it is sad that she is so young- in her twenties- and that she leaves two small children. But lots of people die young, leaving children. We do not get the wall to wall coverage of them.

You may be surprised that the one person I DON’T blame for this over-exposure is Jade herself. She has been making as much money as possible from the media (Wedding in “OK” etc) as possible, so as to leave as much money as possible for he boys.  Given her career as a ‘C’ list celeb, some have suggested she probably has more money than most, though if it was me I would still worry.

No I blame the idiots in the media (obviously) who think that we want to see it, that parasite Max Clifford, her ‘publicist’ (who will no doubt say he’s just helping her ‘secure her childrens’  future- to him I say “On what percentage?”) and people like you, dear reader. (more…)

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