28 November 2008

How I spent my Thanksgiving

I spent the first hour and a half of the day testing fuzzy matching algorithms and then spent the next six hours reviewing a (not quite normalised) data model. I rounded this lovely day off by watching Portsmouth fail to beat AC Milan.

I hope yours was better.

25 November 2008

There is no joy in Whoville...

...or in Louisville for that matter as Dr. Seuss's lawyers strike. Of course it probably serves them right for thinking that they could just have a "LouWhoVille" celebration without even asking.

Unfortunately looters will not be shot on sight

Wachovia Corporation which has seen losses of over $30,000,000,000 in the last half of a year and is fleeing to the hopefully safe arms of Wells Fargo in a "merger" that was forced upon it by its dire financial position looks set to award $98,000,000 in platinum parachutes to its top ten executives should the merger go through.

The first person to say that they "earned it" gets waterboarded.

Apparently the tips ARE good!

It seems as if your mohel might be making a quid or two from recycling your sons foreskin. Waste not, want not, eh?

Mr. Darling's stealth sin tax

Those of us with the character flaws that lead us to smoke and drink were left out in the cold yesterday by the Chancellor's reduction in VAT to 15% as he increased alcohol & tobacco duty by the 2.5 percentage points necessary to offset the reduction in VAT. Anyone want to guess whether this increase is reversed when VAT rates go back up in a year's time? To quote the immortal Damon Runyon:
"The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong -- but that's the way to bet it."

24 November 2008

He came in just under the wire

According to the BBC...
"1555: Mr Darling says VAT will be cut from 17.5 to 15% until the end of next year, coming into effect next Monday."

Sometime in the next half hour or so...

...the Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is set to announce a reduction in the standard VAT rate from 17.5% to 15%; an announcement that will send financial controllers up and down the country, often accompanied by their sales and marketing staff, in search of their IT support staff to ask the following two questions:

"Can we deal with this in the next 6 days?"


"Can we do it properly?"

The answers in virtually all cases will be "probably" and "probably not".

I await the approach of my local finance folks with bated breath.

The death knell for Islam?

Rumours have it that paler-than-pale rock legend and life long weirdo Michael (now Mikaeel) Jackson has converted to Islam in Los Angeles.

Welcome to the no fly list Wacko. I don't think you're going to like it there.

They make such a lovely couple

Former publisher of the pre-eminent right wing publications the Daily Torygraph and the Jerusalem Post, and convicted felon, Baron Black of Crossharbour is begging Captain Codpiece for a pardon. This is hardly the act of the innocent man the poor Peer claims to be but then who believes him?

Today in infamy

At least the day is infamous if you are one of those who, like former US Vice Presidential nominee Sarah "Ramb-ette" Palin", believes that the planet is about 6000 years old. On this day in 1859 The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin and an anti-scientific "scientific" industry is born!

The friends we keep

The Ottawa Convention to ban land mines is ban the use of land mines is ten years old and guess who hasn't ratified or signed it? Go on. I know you can.

21 November 2008

"Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence!"

US Federal Judge Richard Leon, a rock solid conservative judge, has upset the court of Captain Codpiece by ordering the release of five more innocent men, in this case Algerians, from the Guantánamo Bay Beach and Leisure Resort. He demanded that they be released "forthwith" which I assume means sometime after President Obama's inauguration.

Happy Birthday!

Today is the 110th birthday of surrealist painter AND famous Belgian René Magritte. All is not what it appears to be.

Today in Schadenfreude

If this video from the G20 is any indication Captain Codpiece isn't one of the cool kids anymore.

Gone but not forgotten

With her usual tastefulness Ramb-ette pardons a turkey in Alaska whilst the pardonees friends and neighbours are slaughtered in the background. I'm surprised she didn't gut one for us whilst she was at it.

Obama's not even President yet...

...and already he's destroyed America. Curiously the dangerous and unabashedly leftist NY Times fails to mention the decline of American influence in it's headline preferring to highlight the waning appeal of al Qaeda instead and it's equally treasonous liberal counterpart the Washington Post decided to focus on nuclear proliferation and scarce natural resources. Why do they hate America so?

War crimes conference planned for February in London

Rumours that former US Defence Secretary Donald "The Unknown Unknown" Rumsfeld and by-then former US Vice President "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney will be on hand to offer pointers cannot be confirmed at this time.

I may attend if my work schedule permits.

20 November 2008

Terrorism spews forth from the occupied territories!

Lawless zealots in Hebron have desecrated a place of worship and vandalised a cemetery whilst elsewhere on the West Bank illegal squatters attacked peaceful farmers and Christians who accompanied them. Surely these vicious terrorists must be wiped out, possibly by an attack from an unmanned drone, and if innocent civilians were to die in such an attack that is the price that must be paid if these cowardly evildoers insist on sheltering themselves amongst the civilian population instead of standing up and fighting like men.

Hey, wait a second. These weren't evil acts of mindless and unprovoked aggression by Muslims but legal and legitimate acts of self defence by members of the heroic (if illegal) Jewish community in the (illegally) occupied territories.

We must salute them for their valour and their steadfastness, right?

18 November 2008

A musical I would (and probably will) pay to see

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, of South Park fame, have created the Mormon Musical! When's it coming to the West End, eh?

If he does nothing else

Following through on this will make Barack Obama's Presidency a success.

My new hero

A toddler named Will at the Phillies World Series parade.

Today in Schadenfreude

A jury in Kentucky of all places has found the head of the Imperial Klans of America personally liable for $1,000,000 in damages in a suit brought by a Hispanic teenager savagely beaten by racist thugs on the orders of Imperial Wizard Ron Edwards. It is expected that the ruling, if upheld, will drive the poor man into bankruptcy. I don't think Mr. Edwards should expect a Federal bailout anytime soon.

And the truth shall set you free...

Lord Bingham, a highly respected former Lord Chief Justice, has broken the omertà surrounding Lord Goldsmith's advice to then PM St. Tony Blair over the (illegal) invasion of Iraq and made the rather bold statement that this act by the US and the UK was a "serious violation of international law"; a statement that, if true, would seem to mean that St. Tony, Captain Codpiece and any number of those around them could be considered war criminals.

A bad idea on so many levels

The Great State of South Carolina is planning a sales tax holiday to encourage the state's residents (and perhaps those of nearby states as well) to buy more firearms.


17 November 2008

(Catholic) Ignorance is Strength!

According to the Right Reverend Patrick O'Donoghue, Catholic Bishop of Lancaster there are too many educated people amongst the laity and they are damaging the Church's holy mission to brainwash the ignorant. (I must admit that I have paraphrased him rather loosely but I think I am communicating rather accurately the gist of his message!)

I'm sure that good old Bill Donohue will agree wholeheartedly.

Quote of the day

"Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal."------- Albert Camus
Certainly true in my case!

Already with the creeping socialism

Even before known Red sympathiser Barry Obama takes the oath of office some government agencies are getting ahead of the game and trying to help out real people rather than richly deserving billionaires.

"Well if you want us to count ALL the votes...

...maybe we won't send a convicted felon back to the Senate.

"I thought you said you'd bring the salt!"

It looks as if you Yanks will have to drive more carefully this winter as there doesn't seem to be enough salt to go around.

14 November 2008

"Hey nice tattoo. Where'd you get it?"

"Oh, just down the cat house mate and now they even let me in for free!"

Well you have to admit they're consistent

Captain Codpiece and his evil minions have been hard at work pushing through anti-plant and anti-human regulatory changes at the behest of their good friends and benefactors in the country's boardrooms. The thinking was that if they pushed the changes through by 1 November that Obama wouldn't be able to overturn them without restarting the lengthy and complicated consultation process. Fortunately for the planet and the humans the legal minions seemed to have forgot to read their law books.

I love Schadenfreude on a Friday afternoon; it tastes like victory!

For Mitch

13 November 2008


At the age of thirteen I snuck off, with my mate John and his older sister Sarah into Philly to see the Jimi Hendrix Experience. My parents thought I was bowling. Now the last member of the Experience, drummer Mitch Mitchell, is dead.

How am I supposed to deal with this?

Just in case we need reminding...

...that the best reason for voting for Barack Obama is the status of the US Supreme Court SCOTUS itself reminds us by ruling that testing equipment to be used to kill humans is more important than the lives of Cetaceans.

"If that joke wasn't nailed to it's perch....."

The Beeb claims to have the ancestor of Monty Python's famous Dead Parrot Sketch in a 4th century Greek joke book.

12 November 2008

Dear Governor Palin

God does not give a shit if you decide to run for President or even if you become President. She is otherwise engage trying to whether there is a pattern to prime numbers or trying to remember how many dimensions She created or trying to understand Bucky balls.

So when the voices in your head start firing up just remember that it is time for extra medication!

11 November 2008

I must be prescient

I had completely forgotten that, way back in July, I had reserved a copy of The Gods That Failed: How Blind Faith in Markets Has Cost Us Our Future before the Gods really failed! I've just picked it up. I'll let you know how it is.

Now if I could just pick horses!

Nil points

A Deutsche Bank analyst has set a target value 0f $0.00/share for the once lofty General Motors with predictable results.

The headline of the day...

...comes to us from KRGV-TV, Newschannel 5, out of Weslaco TX and is presented without comment:
"Jesus Image Spotted in Church"

They must be owned by News Corp

The Sapulpa Daily Herald from Sapulpa OK forget to report that Barack Obama had won the US Presidential election even though they did report that The Aged One won most of the votes in Creek County, where Sapulpa is located. The nation isn't colour blind just quite yet.

How do you spell "e-n-t-r-a-p-m-e-n-t"?

At the trial of five men accused of attempting a terrorist attack against Fort Dix in New Jersey the chief FBI informant admitted that at least three of the me considered him the brains and the leader of the operation and that they were reluctant to go through with it.

Nonetheless as the men are foreign born Muslims they are undoubtedly evil doers and deserve the punishment they are likely to get.

Second class soldiers

If you are a woman serving in the American armed forces, at home or abroad, and you are sexually assaulted by a fellow serviceman expect to pay for your rape kit. Did someone appoint Sarah Palin Defence Secretary whilst I wasn't looking?

Not with a bang but a whimper

Captain Codpiece plumbs the depths that even Richard Nixon could not as his disapproval rating soars to 76%. The only question I have is what the fuck is wrong with the other 24%!

Today's chuckle

07 November 2008

Surely God can sort this out

Those rapacious capitalists great men (and a woman or two) of God who run America's mega churches are worried about the recent FCC regulation that will open up white space to new technologies will cause interference with their wireless microphones and without them how will they ever squeeze every red cent out of their parishioners show the faithful the true part to salvation.

Don't anyone tell Tommy

This is terrible news. Is the last pinball machine manufacturer on the brink of going out of business?

Rush Limbaugh - secret Stalinist

The big fat idiot is planning a purge of the Republican Party and only the purest of the pure true believers will remain. Whether he will introduce a random drug testing policy is not, as yet at least, certain.

06 November 2008

Wingnuts will be wingnuts

Just because they can there is already an impeach Obama group on Facebook. Clearly these bozos don't understand the idea of "high crimes and misdemeanours", which Bush & Cheney have arguably committed, and the fact that they don't agree with all (or any) of Obama's positions; a situation that clearly doesn't reach the "high crime and misdemeanour" threshold. Not to mention the fact that someone who doesn't actually hold a Federal office as of yet is certainly not impeachable.


In neo con cloud cuckoo land

The bitter, sarcastic and elitist Robert Novak wants to deny President Obama and his party a progressive mandate preferring instead to see an unchanged world.

05 November 2008

And now for the fireworks!

Not because of the election result but because it's Guy Fawkes Night when we (tastefully) celebrate the hanging, drawing and quartering of a Catholic terrorist some 402 years ago.

Say goodbye Joe

(Soon-to-be-ex-member-of-the-Democratic-caucus-or-my-name-ain't-Yank-in-London) "Holy" Joe Lieberman apparently thinks that he was destroying America all of those years he was a mole in the Democratic Party.

I may have been misled

It appears that the most historic feature of Barack Obama's victory last night was not that he is younger than Yank In London. I must follow these things closer.

A word of advice for the President Elect

Don't take any advice from Silvio Berlusconi. Just don't. Trust me on this OK?

Well given that he is an undercover communist...

...I'm sure that the Obamas will call the new puppy something all American like Rover but I have little doubt that during the secret cell meetings in the Oval Office the mutt will answer to his true name of Fidel.

A question for the American right

Will you, however reluctantly, admit that there is a progressive mandate both for the White House and the Congress or will spend the next two years bemoaning the failure of democracy in America?

Ramb-ette's last laugh

She may have failed to stir up the religious right enough to push The Aged One to victory but should, as appears likely, the people of Alaska elect a convicted felon to the US Senate she will, I think, get to appoint a replacement after his inevitable resignation; at least until a special election can be held.

And in praise of (soon to be) President Obama

He was articulate and inspirational (and the crowd was very, very happy).

Now I think we should allow him a few days to mourn his gradmother.

In praise of John McCain

He was articulate and gracious in defeat. Unfortunately not all of his supporters were.

Without comment

The front page of The Guardian

300+ and cruising

I think I can safely go to be and leave assessment of this until the (late) morning.

The right thing

Reports are trickling in that McCain has rung Obama to concede. No lawsuits then. I think we should all be glad for that.

A moment in time

History was made this morning; somehwere around 04:05 GMT.

For the first time in history the President Elect of the US is younger than Yank in London. I reckon I better get used to it.

Congratulations Barry.

Shamelessly stolen from Rolling Stone

On to more improtant subjects

Assuming the current projections hold up there won't be a Republican in the White House after January. So when can Yank in London make his much anticipated return to his homeland*? (He hasn't been there since 2001 just before the inauguration.) I'm thinking late spring in time to catch the Phillies but before the weather gets too bloody hot.

*Not to stay of course.

So the question occupying everyone's mind is...

...will Yank in London get heartburn if he has a (hopefully not premature) celebratory pastrami sandwich at 3 AM. I'll get back to you shortly.

All over but the suing?

If the projection of Ohio for Obama holds up then I think the Aged One's only remaining chance is to call out the lawyers. Let's hope he doesn't.

It couldn't happen to a nicer girl*

We bid adieu to Elizabeth "I'm not Godless but she is" Dole. Good news even if I'm not enthralled by her opponents defamation suit. It's no insult to be called Godless. I hear it all the time.

*Note: I didn't actually mean this - I know lots of nicer girls.

Can I go to sleep now?

As a Pennsylvania voter I feel as if I've done my part as PBS, Reuters and even Faux News are calling the Keystone State for Obama. A good sign. I've been predicting for two years that whoever wins two out of Pa, Florida and Ohio wins; full stop. Good start to have one (hopefully) in the bag.

1,000 reasons John McCain shouldn't be President

Number 104: he hates the troops or at least he seems to hate the idea of them voting. Nice guy.

140,000,000 reasons to be thankful Rudy Giuliani can only vote once or twice

According to America's ex-mayor:
"If people were walking into the polling booth thinking terrorism, terrorism, terrorism, probably no way that Barack Obama has a chance of winning. McCain wins."

This morning in (not exactly) news

NBC News goes out on a limb and predicts the Democrats will hold the House. Christ the entrails of the dead pigeon on the street outside my flat told me that two days ago.

Obama voting shenanigans exposed in Hawaii

Clearly the voting rules in The One's sort of home state were written in his favour as votes cast for him by dead people will count. Reports from San Clemente California that Richard Nixon has voted for Obama three times today cannot be confirmed.

04 November 2008

Feeling pre-exit poll stress?

Perhaps this live webcam of a box of puppies will help. I'll be back after a wee kip!

Steeling myself to get through the next 12 or so hours

Purchase sufficient tins of Old Speckled Hen? √

Purchase sufficient packs of Drum (and Rizlas)? √

Purchase snacks (including pretzels) √

Wear lucky Phillies shirt? √

Wear lucky socks? √

Purchase split of (cheap) champagne? (Just in case) √

Have cyanide capsule inserted into false tooth?

Oh fuck. I forgot the most important bit. What if it all goes tits up again?

In any case I'm off home to have a wee nap. Be back around midnight I reckon. It's going to be a long night.

I, for one, am suspicious

Despite assertions to the contrary by the Republican campaign vice presidential candidate Sarah "Ramb-ette" Palin did not release her medical records yesterday. A two page letter from her GP saying that she's healthy no more suffices as a replacement for actual records than a letter from one's headmaster saying one was "rather clever" would be enough when submitting one's school records for entrance to university.

Call me cynical, and many have, but I reckon there's something here.

Your election day special

The police find IEDs in Texas. When will Faux News ask if Obama is to blame?

03 November 2008

Oi matey - your bleeding fifteen minutes are over already!

In an age of meaningless celebrity he is the ultimate meaningless "celebrity". It is clear that (not) Joe the (non-)plumber is a self promoting prat with no ideas to articulate and no talents with which to entertain us which makes him the perfect prop for the self-proclaimed pundits of the right and the "fair and balanced" folks at Faux News but one would think that even the Faux idiots would have the common sense to show him the door when he questions Senator Obama's patriotism and status as an American says that his "ideology is something completely different than what democracy stands for". One would of course be wrong because if (not) Joe the (non-)plumber says it it must be true.

I'm not sure if this is an idicator of anything....

...but a book by that America hating American Rashid Khalidi is currently about 2450 places higher in the Amazon ranking of book sales than John McCain's Faith of My Fathers.

Is it just me...

...or is there something dodgy going on with Ramb-ette's medical records? For a young, allegedly healthy woman, there shouldn't be much to hide, should there?

It does give one pause.

Don't call us, we'll call you

The Iraqi (not quite a) government is still waiting for an American response to requested changes in the "security" pact between Iraq and the US that would allow the US to remain in Iraq "legally" next year (and beyond). The US is balking at Iraqi demands to have some measure of control over US troops and mercenaries contractors. Look for Bush to push something through before he leaves office that will tie the hands of any future president.

A (not so) fond farewell

Whilst most of the chattering classes on focused on tomorrow's US election historian Simon Schama takes to the pages of The Guardian today to bid adieu to the "nowhere man", George W. Bush.

Unfortunately there are still 77 days left in which Captain Codpiece and his evil minions can wreak havoc on the world.

01 November 2008

A great man passes

The great writer and great American Louis "Studs" Terkel has died in Chicago at the age of 96. He will be missed.

Cloud cuckoo land (Alaska style)

Convicted felon, and cranky old person, (hopefully soon to be ex-)Senator Ted Stevens is claiming he has been convicted of anything. I think we should give him the benefit of the doubt. After all when we're his age we're all going to forget a thing or two, aren't we?

With some Republican you hardly have to scratch the surface at all

Meet David Storck, chairman of the Republican Party of a county in Florida and repentant spammer who sent out a email to his loyal supporters complaining about

"car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama...This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs....After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black."

His explanation for this wee slip up is that he forgot to read the email first; so he's just an idiot and not an idiotic racist then.

A day in mudless Mudville

They had some kind of part in Philadelphia yesterday. I couldn't make it (but I was at the first one!)

I have a problem with this

It is clear what the clearly desperate and deluded Elizabeth Dole was trying to do when she put out an ad essentially saying that her opponent, Kay Hagen, was "godless". But for Ms. Hagen to sue Dole for defamation is just plain wrong. It is no more defamation to be called an atheist than it is to be called a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim or a Jew. Now if she had called her a Scientologist that would be different of course.

Have we no shame?

I think the answer is "no" as Captain Codpiece and his evil minions are working to ensure that seventeen innocent Chinese men will remain behind bars at Gitmo (or elsewhere) for the rest of their lives. Perhaps we can can take steps to ensure that Captain Codpiece, "I'm a Big" Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Conocoleeza Rice, Alberto "Gone-zo" Gonzales and John Woo join them there.

Just taking the piss

The Royal Bank of Scotland was gracious enough to accept £20,000,000,000 of taxpayer money to refill the coffers but that won't stop them from shelling out huge amounts of dosh in the form of discretionary bonuses to their (dis)investment bankers who were largely responsible for the emptying of the coffers in the first place. Kudos to Vince Cable of the Lib Dems for calling them on it!

Don't anyone tell Michelle Malkin....

...but it seems that actual Jewish Israeli women have taken to wearing that symbol of terror, the keffiyeh. Why do they hate freedom?