Tag Archive: SHAPE

Jeremy Paxman continuously Flabbergasted

Harriet Harman

For the last week or so, the highly paid Paxman has become obviously annoyed at the continuous devious behaviour from every politician he’s interviewed.  They all say “we understand the public’s anguish” – but, as Paxman notes, they do fuck all about it.  As many have noted, if you go into a shop and steal a bag of sugar and get caught, just giving the sugar back to the shop isn’t the normal chain of events – but that’s what MPs do!

Nicky Campbell and Harriet Harman

Two days ago, stuck in my bed, I had to suffer the even-paced utterances of Harriet Harman as she shape-shifted around Paxman’s questions.  This followed an earlier episode on the same day when she did the same on a live phonein on early morning Radio Five Live with the effervescent  Nicky Campbell.  Listen here to the full 45 mins

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Paxman versus Harman

Paxman’s interview is here for a week or so until it’s pulled;  news.bbc.co.uk…8078715

If you can survive it, just watch the whole Harman (and other pieces) in the full programme, and wait for the round-up which you can see here;

www.bbc.co.uk…b00kwqxx_01_06_2009/

At precisely 35:30 into the show (you can fast-fwd if you like), Paxman tries to summarise exactly what Harman had just said in the monotonous sanctimonious ramblings…. Funny as fuck.  Here’s what he said:

“Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman told this programme… er, I don’t exactly what she told us… er, that public support… we haven’t got exactly what… we can’t tell precisely what we are proposing to repeat of what she said, but it was very interesting”.

The Guardian’s Media Monkey also picked up on this here, Harman’s all too forgettable for Paxo.  In total that day, I had 1.25 hours of Harman’s drifting and side-shifting.  And like Paxman, I can’t remember a single word or any single point that was made because of the verbal force-field in place.

William Hague versus Paxman

The latest episode of  tax sorry, question, sorry ‘tax question avoidance’ from Paxman was by ‘Don’t be Vague, ask for’ William Hague.  See all two minutes of smirking squirming here:

news.bbc.co.uk…8080379

Paxman’s interview with Hague has now made it onto YouTube:

I still remember him as young twat at an old Tory conference…

And this is exactly the problem that the public have with the politicians.  See my posting yesterday on this.  It’s just continuous rampant corruption, denial and avoidance.  Paxman is right to be flabbergasted.  If he can’t get an answer, then what hope Joe Bloggs (Joe the Plumber for my US readers).  Most military and police force members feel the same way.  Without their backing, if they don’t sort themselves out, we can easily bring in a guillotine.  We’ve had a civil war here.  We’ve chopped the heads off monarchs.  Britain isn’t such a nicey-nicey place to be when it’s riled up.  There are 30 million that think like this and 30 million too scared to disagree.

Conclusion

I don’t think Paxman’s losing it.  He is overpaid for what he does but I don’t think his powers have gone.  The problem is the politicians’ behaviour and Paxman’s exasperation at their intransigence at coming anywhere near to the public’s expectations.  It’s on their heads in the long run.  They’ve been told enough.

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Murderous, Stupid, Boy

ZackThis is the full text of an ‘article‘ posted on the Michigan State University (MSU) news section by ‘the State News opinion writer’ apparently.  Zack (for it is he) has his own particular version of personal rights and responsibilities, somewhat at odds with US law.  His article worked though – he has had a shed load of comment…

Black 2001 Saturn SC2. That’s the car I drive – and if you’re a bicyclist on the road but not in a bike path and you see my car, I hope you’re wearing a helmet, because I might run you over.

Maybe not intentionally.

But you see, with all these things I can do in my car nowadays, such as choose a different song on my iPod, send a text message while driving or fall asleep at the wheel because I had to wake up for a worthless 8 a.m. biology lab, I might not notice you.

And, considering you are where you should not be, I might hit you.

The simple fact of the matter is, MSU has so kindly provided sidewalks for people on foot and Rollerblades, and MSU’s ordinance should be revised to require bicyclists be there too. The university has outlined bike paths on certain roads, but bicyclists can’t just create imaginary bike paths like they do.

I cannot drive my car on the sidewalk, so why must you ride your bicycle where I drive?

Many of my friends ride bicycles on campus, so I’m not trying to berate a whole demographic of students. I appreciate bicyclists who advocate environmentalism, since they are making up for the damage I do with my car.

I respect bicyclists who use bicycles as a form of exercise, since people certainly can never get enough fitness in their everyday routines.

But for as much as I respect and appreciate bicyclists, I will not hesitate to honk at them when they are interfering with the roads.

My concern is not merely about inconvenience.

Bicyclists on the road are a driving hazard to people in automobiles, since many bicyclists make turns without using hand signals and ride too close to other vehicles when there is no designated bike path.

For example, I was driving to work Tuesday when a bicyclist pulled up in front of my car in the right lane on Farm Lane going northbound where it intersects with Shaw Lane. There is no bike path at this portion of the road, and I needed to be in the right lane to avoid the left turn only lane, but the bicyclist was in the way.

Instead, I had to speed ahead and veer away from the fast-approaching rear end of the car in front of me, just barely making it into the right lane.

Some will say I could be more patient on the road.

But roads are for cars, not bicyclists. The bicyclist should not have been in the car lane.

It’s possible some bicyclists are trying to live out their dreams of being Lance Armstrong, and the smooth terrain offered by the roads where big, people-killing cars are designed to travel on are more desirable than the sidewalk pavement.

I get it, bicyclists – you’re in the Tour de France. Well, in your head at least.

But in reality, my gas-guzzling, carbon footprint-leaving car is trying to get around you, the bicyclist. And you, the bicyclist, prefer to coast, not along the side of the lane but in the exact middle.

Maybe in your head you are actually driving a car. Maybe that’s why you believe you should be behind a pickup truck and in front of 15 other cars trying to pass you.

And maybe you are Armstrong, so talented and in shape and able to pedal so, so fast. But Armstrong’s average speed in the 2001 Tour de France was 24.9 mph, which is 0.1 mph less than most of the speed limits on and around campus.

Plus, I’ve had difficulty finding students who actually obey the speed limit anyway.

It’s common for motorists to drive at least 5 mph above the speed limit, which makes your task to out-pedal Lance Armstrong all the more daunting. And considering you’re not actually Armstrong (even if you do wear a skintight yellow bicycle uniform), you likely are not going 24.9 mph.

And, oh yeah, Armstrong is competing when he is bicycling – your leisurely ride through campus might not even register on a police radar.

But, hey, snap out of it. You’re not Lance Armstrong.

And those are the headlights of my black 2001 Saturn SC2 bearing down on you.

Zack Colman is the State News opinion writer. Reach him at [email protected].

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Zack’s piece is a prime example of why there are no such things as ‘accidents’. All crashes and killings are someone’s fault – maybe it’s inattention, but it’s everyone’s duty to be attentive. If you can’t do it, get off the road.

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Meet the United Kingdom’s Stasi

Public Trained in Anti-terrorism

@AmazonNot content with charging us for our ‘freedom’ to have ID Cards and CCTV on every corner, not content from stopping us take photographs in public, our UK Government in the shape of Home Secretary wacky baccy Jacqui Smith now wants everyone to spy on everyone else ‘in case they’re a terrorist’!

See the news here: UK plans comprehensive terror law

Apparently, 60,000 (non-governmental) people are already ‘trained’ to deal with terrorist incidents and how to spot one…

Stasi

The last time something like this happened (communism, cronyism, secret police, informers) was just before WW2 and it took until 1989 until the iron curtain collapsed.

During those years we saw;

  • a successive ramping up of hysterical xenophobia by the various leaders and power brokers,
  • an instigation of a secret police with draconian powers of arrest
    • and where people were routinely tortured
    • and could dissappear for years
    • or even be executed,
  • neighbourhoods where people spied on each other ‘in the name of the state’ but were quite often just used to settle petty grievances or steal lovers and spouses
  • a political class that set their own priviliges, rights and payments which were extravagently different to ‘the workers’ they supposedly represented.

Now tell me if these four points haven’t happened here?  We have, in order;

  1. a United Kingdom that’s socially divisive with a rampant xenophobic right-wing press and a government that year-on-year imposes more and more restrictions on freedom, rights and mobility.
  2. we have two secret police organistions, an armed police force that can arrest anyone with ‘due cause’ and use ‘reasonable force’ to do so – whatever all those weasely words mean.
    1. @AmazonWe’ve had UK citizens kidnapped and whisked off to a foreign land (Guantanamo Bay) for torture all with the express approval of our dear UK government.
    2. In Guantanamo our people have been held without trial; for years and years.
    3. IRA people were executed -same now, who knows?
  3. We’ve now got an expanded ‘Neighbourhood Watch’ of 60,000 who spy and are trained to do so by our UK Government (see today’s news link above)
  4. We’ve continuing disingenuous abuses of privilige by our elected folk particulary in the field of expenses and other, highly paid,  ‘conflict of interest’ type work.  The latest scandal is actually today, where Employment minister Tony McNulty has said he did nothing wrong by claiming second-home expenses on a London house where his parents live.

In this last one, McNulty has two homes only 8 miles apart and both in the Greater London area.  He says he needs them even though London has fantastic transport links.  Basically he’s getting us all to pay for a second London (high property prices!) home which is actually just round the corner to his other one.

@AmazonThe scummy corruptive inadequacies of this government, and the opposition it must be said, are that none of them, McNulty, Jacqui Smith, Derek Conway,and all the pseudo-nanny-keeping lot of them – none of them ever seem to think there’s anything wrong with any of it! In fact, they all collectively strived to keep their expenses, paid by you and me, from public scrutiny last January.

@AmazonI’ve no doubt at all that like all corrupt, secretive, authoritarian regimes of the past they’ll try and get everything hidden again.  Just like the Stasi.  Last night a show on TV revealed the excesses of communist history in Czechoslovakia.  It’s Bulgaria next week.  Another chance to compare and contrast to the world we have here in the UK.  This is the schedule – it’s on BBC2!  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00jcgzt/episodes/2009 .  Try and watch.  A world where everyone is frightened to speak up in case they lose their livelihood and where the people in work do the absolute minimum, jealously plotting a route to join the elite.

It’s not for me.  I’m out of this world where taxpayers subsidise corrupt banker’s pensions and WW2 veteran’s last  expenses are paid for with a lottery!

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Obama, BBC China sniping and Guantanamo First Act

Chinese Censorship:

As part of the BBCs “take” on the international views on the new, 44th President of the United States, their China correspondent Michael Bristow has reported that his inauguration speech was censored in China.

Apparently, the English version on the Xinghua News site is okay, but the Chinese version for the locals has several bits lopped out.

Well I don’t know about the technology and if it too is blocked, but the Chinese have hit a bummer here.  I just wonder if there’s anything in place to stop a Chinese person copying the English text and whacking it into a translator such as the one on this website or the Google Translated version here?  It’s just a thought.   They should stop being so paranoid and have confidence in their situation.

Another thought is that because English is the language of commerce and so much commerce now comes from China, there will be millions of Chinese who are perfectly capable of reading the English version of the speech from a myriad of places….      Unfortunately, my Chinese knowledge is zero so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of any translations…but I’m English!  It’s what we do!  ;-)

Guantanamo First Act:

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.

Before he’s even had time to change his socks Obama has called a halt to the Guantanamo proceedings – that scourge against the “rule of law and freedom” that Obama mentioned so effectively yesterday (quote to right).  So within 12 hours, he’s sent a signal around the world that the rampant hypocrisy of the previous near-decade has come to an end and has got to change.

Wonderful.


Obama’s Speech, in Full – for any Chinese Reading!

My fellow citizens:

I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and co-operation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms.

At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our world.

We have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land – a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America – they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted – for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things – some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labour, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and travelled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and ploughed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act – not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions – who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account – to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day – because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control – that a nation cannot prosper long when it favours only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart – not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our founding fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort – even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming world. We will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus – and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West – know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honour them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment – a moment that will define a generation – it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends – honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism – these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths.

What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence – the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have travelled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

“Let it be told to the future world… that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive… that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America.

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Zimbabwe c.f. United Kingdom & Justice

MugabeSorry to keep banging on about this, but the new laws in the UK which severely limit our freedoms and liberties gained over centuries should be compared to the current Zimbabwe situation and then taken forward in time as a thought experiment.

The nearly current state of affairs in the UK I’ve summarised here in this post.

Currently we are still a reasonably civilised place to be……….. but the ease with which the bad people can get a hold cannot be over-emphasised……..

……..so just suppose the right wing nasties get in by shooting enough of their venom at the immigrant population and stirring up the doleful public to vote for them. (I can’t see any left wing nasties on the horizon currently)

The current laws can then be used to make it treasonable to disagree with their views.  And what then?

Look at the following quote from a BBC article today.  It relates to Zimbabwe and the paranoid Mugabe.

A Mr Tendai Biti, of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had been detained on treason charges(…) Mr Biti’s release on bail came two weeks after he was arrested.
He has been charged with treason, which carries the death penalty, and also with publishing false statements and insulting the president.
His bail was set at one trillion Zimbabwe dollars, the equivalent of about $200 (£100).

The court said that Mr Biti had to remain in his home, hand in his passport and the deeds to his house, and report once a week to a police station.

Now compare this story to the UK or the USA where the premier/president is routinely ridiculed and all actions questioned.  A lot different eh?

But the thing is, it’s not.  It only takes a small shift, much like what the Republicans will be doing soon to vilify Obama, and just like they did at the last two presidential races.

The Florida vote rigging hanging chad excluded voters scandal demonstrates that in the grubby contest to remain in or gain power, we in the west are not far removed from Mugabe and his 5000 cronies.  We in the UK are following the USA and their Patriot Act to the edge, and if we are not vigilant, over the edge.

On the subject of Mugabe and his psychotic coats.  I think they’re covering about three bulletproof and stabproof vests.  Nobody can be the shape he is – I mean really – look at him.  There’s more than a man stuffed in there.

What’s he frightened of?  He’s won the “vote” and killed off all opposition in more ways than one.

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