19 October 2009

Daily Chat 19/10/09

The Vandals took Carthage in 439.  John Jay was sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States in 1789 and the First Battle of Ypres began in 1914.

Born today:  John leCarr√© (1931), Michael Gambon (1940), Peter Tosh (1944-1987), Sam Allardyce (1954) and Amy Carter (1967).

It is Constitution Day in Niue.

Today's image has squat to do with any of today's events.  It is a view of the rue Vavin in Paris from a window of the Pension Ladagnous.  I'm a bit freaked out to have found this shot, because it looks like it might be taken from the window of the very same room that I stayed in when I lived there in 1980.  This photo was taken in 2005.


  1. Charlie Brooker on fine form again...

  2. Also Madeleine Bunting's article, which, while flawed in parts, could be a trigger for an interesting debate on values outside financial value. Mind you, I haven't read the comments yet, so may be being overly optimistic...

  3. Brooker's article on saturday was exemplary. You could tell he was seething.

    Old Madders is a frustrating one. Often the case with her, her acurate and learned critiques of social policy are embellished with new agey / interfaith claptrap; as if churches and religious texts and "faith groups" have a central role in social and moral improvement. They've had a few thousand years to get this right and judging by the wieght of damage done need to be kept on the periphery of important discussions on ethics and society. Madders and her ilk discuss things as if contra to capitalism and materialism, religion should be the main source of inspiration on ethics, morality, fairness and justice. And this is where all her insight gets flushed unfortunately.

  4. Agree about Brooker, BW. I think he's very much at his best when he does a heartfelt seeth!

    Agree also that Maddie is often very annoying but she is a wild card, and can drop suddenly like that Python ton weight when & where you least expect it, as she did at the end of the Cif Blogging the Koran series.

  5. "Madders and her ilk discuss things as if contra to capitalism and materialism, religion should be the main source of inspiration on ethics, morality, fairness and justice."

    Frying pan and fire spring to mind...

  6. Edwin Moore
    Yes, interestingly while Brooker is thoroughly entertaining when ripping into bad telly or the rampant commodification of stupidity in our culture you could tell this outrage went more than a lttle further than normal; you could almost see his self restraint flexing between the words. Like so many others I'm sure he just wanted to stand on a chair and call her a load of filth.

    I'm still not convinced about Maddie, and I stayed completely out of the Blogging the Koran chat. I found the very idea offputting. Frying pans and fires indeed JayR... But then I'm particularly anti-religion or so my GF tells me !

  7. Re Madders, yes, the implication that the choice is God or Mammon was the flaw I was referring to (as well as the odd anecdote about the trainers), but at root it is about 'value' in a wider sense and it's nice to have that out there...

  8. "But then I'm particularly anti-religion or so my GF tells me !"

    I get similar comments, mine's a bloody Christian.

  9. Jay, this GF sounds weird.

    The Mad article is quite good, with some interesting commetns below too.

  10. http://www.number10.gov.uk/Page21012
    response from No 10 about the petition on the US/UK extradition treaty. Nodded off halfway through it, but it may be of interest to someone fancying a nap.

  11. Philippa
    Yes, true, it's not a bad article at all for her... let down a bit at the last para.

    Now then... apologies to anyone who'se seen this:

    This message comes from a graduate of the Univerisity of Oklahoma Chemical Engineering Department via an acquaintance of mine who sends out a "Daily Silly" to a large group of people. It cites one of Dr.Schlambaugh's final test questions for his final exam for 1997. [Note: Dr. Schlambaugh is known for asking questions on his finals like:"Why do airplanes fly?"] This was an "actual question" given on a University of Washington chemistry midterm.

    Q: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)? Support your answer with proof.

    Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools off when it expands and heats up when it is compressed) or some variant.

    One student, however, wrote the following:

    First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So, we need to know the rate that souls are moving into Hell and the rate they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Some of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there are more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all people and all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for temperature and the pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand as souls are added.

    This gives two possibilities:

    1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until All Hell breaks loose.
    2. Of course, if Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.

    So which is it?
    If we accept the postulate given to me by Ms. Therese Banyan during my Freshman year, that "It will be a cold night in Hell before I sleep with you", and take into account the fact that I still have not succeeded in that area, then (2) cannot be true, and so Hell is exothermic.

    This student got the only A.

  12. JayR
    My other half was brought up in a rural village with a strong Methodist church contingent. When her dad died (she was 4) the support, centred round the church and extended familly, was invaluable. She grew up on the receiving end of 'good religion', and is still "open minded" about sprituality. Can't really argue with that sort of experience. Well unless I'm feeling particularly curmudgeonly...

  13. Prescott's on R4 news. Just in case anybody fancies being introduced to a whole new approach to the English language, with particular stress on pronunciation...

  14. She's not strictly a GF, thaum, its more a union of convenience (and TV breaking, obviously).

    BW - sounds a very understandable position, I agree, community and personal faith seem very different from political faith and the actions of their self appointed spokespeople, or spokesmen more accurately. Whenever faith becomes a public issue it becomes a nuisance and a stain on any democracy.

  15. Oh my, Giles Merritt has a peculiar way of arguing, hasn'the? I've not read all the comments yet, but I take it someone already mentioned that by his logic, Hitler would have been a prime candidate for the job had it been created in the forties ...

  16. Thsi place just gets better.

    Three days away and the reading here to catch up was pure pleasure.

    A late welcome from me to the duke and peter. You all se4emed to have missed a bloke/lass called l - turned up very late last Thursday. So it's welcome to l as well.

    Well fuck me what a weekend. We scattered me older sister Edie's ashes. It was indeed a bitter sweet experience Hank.

    99.9% Sweet. It's the third time I had to go to that spot at the Crem in Leeds.

    My very silly life resulted in me having three mams. Me actual mam. Me sister Elaine who died aged 60 five years ago. And my sister Edie who died aged 72ish a couple of months age.

    I'm reconciled to the idea that now they have all gone I'm going to have to grow up at last and stop being a tosser.It may take some time Stoaty.

    It plainly will take some considerable effort.

    MONTANA - please keep an eye out for my logo. We need to discuss how I can send you a Christmas card. I need an address or a postbox number if they do that sort of thing in USA.

    Listen everybody - I'm going to send Montana a copy of "The Surgeon of Crowethorne" for xmas. So make sure you don't send the same book - I got there first!

    And despite her powerful and argumentative protest to the contrary I'm going to include a $100 dollar bill to help pay her recent motoring fine.

    I'm going to do that because as a tramp with a pension I can afford $100 and I really do appreciate her daily effort to make sure that this UT is just about the best blog in the world.

  17. deano30
    Fine posting there deano, fine posting.

  18. Deano - very sorry to hear about your sister. Don't see any reason why you should have to grow now, though. I plan not to.

  19. ay, good vibes to you, deano

  20. elementarywatson - re the Merritt piece - yes they have. I went with Cristiano Ronaldo rather than Hitler, but the principle stands. sort of.

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  22. Some comedy moments on the Ashley thread, a publicly schooled, RAF Oxbridge chap telling the oiks of the board they should have tried harder at school to get better skills to offer the wonderful market... "I didnt do a lot between the age of 14-40 but still managed to get to Cambridge and join the RAF...", this guys a classic.

  23. "it's scam - well orchestrated - but a scam without doubt."

    I'm probably misreading (apologies if so) but you're not suggesting Montana runs this place as a moneyspinning scam, are you?

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  25. elementarywatson
    Merritt's argument doesn't do much to sell the EU's "polity" does it ?! Christ they're so complacent...

    Are you ripping everyone orfoff ?

  26. Jay: You sound honestly surprised at the idea. So I take it you are not employed by Montana to make this place attractive to people who would like to part with their money, but post here just for fun?

    And there I was thinking of you as a colleague ...

  27. Best $16,000 I've ever spent. Thanks montana!

  28. @JayReilly

    I saw him. I love these guys who cannot fathom in the slightest that the socio-economic system they champion is also the system that creates the societal chaos that they then rage about.

    And because it has been New Labour in power the last 12 years they blithely assume that because it says 'Labour'in the title it must be socialism.

    Oh and excellent retorts.

  29. olorf
    Following on from Jay's question (apols if I've misunderstood you). How on earth could Montana make any money out of this place? I should think the contrary is true - probably costs her if you count the time she puts in and not only money.

    Some evidence of any 'scamming' would seem to be necessary, not just an accusation.

  30. Sheffpixie
    You mean you haven't leant anyone cash here ??? I had a nice Mr Katanga (he posts as JayReilly here) on the internets only the other day asking for a few thou - why not, I thought. I'm going to be rich soon !

  31. You mean you can't make money from this thread?!

    I only joined as a result of a Nigerian email. After giving my bank account details,sort code and pin number they then gave me the 'untrusted' web address.

    Have I been taken for a ride?

  32. 13thDukeofWybourne
    I heard Somalian Priates are operating here too. Watch yer ha'penny!

  33. *whispers quietly"

    Watson, my dear, the game only works if we keep the scam quiet, mums the word and all that. I dont know whats come over you all, the first hint of suspicion and you're spilling the beans in a flash. That cheque from Pikey still hasnt cleared yet.

    Oforf - jokes aside, what makes you think Montana is trying to con money out of people? If she is she is bloody rubbish at it, as far as i know she hasnt got a dime out of anyone yet and she's been working pretty hard for over 6 months. I dont want to be rude to new posters but seems a very strange thing to say.

    Duke - agreed, slight lack of joined up thinking from him. But most irritating was his inference that because he did well with no effort at all, then it must be the same for everyone, hence anyone who doesnt get to Oxbridge or get an RAF commission must be either very thick or even lazier than him.

    Classic lack of awareness, doesnt even cross his mind that his strange success + no effort is actually the result of his parents money, not any quality of his. Arrogant twat.

  34. Your 13th Grace

    The paper is full of corporate brutality and outright venality today. Apparently RBS have been lending our money to that deeply dodgy company Vedanta Resources, whilst another government department have been criticising their activities. They've already stashed £1.8bn for their bonuses, so they won't starve this Christmas...

    And another British corporation, Monterico have been accused of overseeing the brutalising and in one case probable murder of protesters outside their operation in Peru.

    Gassed, Beaten, Shot

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. Aw shucks - have I missed out on the money making again.

  37. Ok that would make 100 USD in about 8 months, and probably hundreds of hours - she adds stuff to the site every night for free. I think she would be making an hourly wage of about 50 cents. She'd have to be running 8-10 blogs just to be scraping minimum wage from this. If she was a scammer she would be one of the worst in the world, I'd happily give her some cash out of sympathy for her incompetence.

  38. Its alright, Sheff, next week you and me are going to do the Dead Uncles Fortune Trapped in a Nigerian Bank Vault routine, princesschipchops is the target.

  39. Sheff, yep. I'm off to the Kaymans tomorrow to hook up with Montana and that chick whose managed to syphon off 3/4 of Jimi Hendrix's estate. Gonna be some party !

  40. Sheffpixie

    just had a look at Monterrico's 'corporate social programme' webpage:

    ''The aims of the Social programme are to: inform and consult the communities about the Project; build up an atmosphere of trust and co-operation; and work with the local people and other relevant parties to enhance the opportunities which the mine will bring to the area.''


  41. oforf, I only sent $16,000 and I got a tin-foil hat and a personal assurance that I was doing the right thing. I like to think that I'm not especially gullible, but surely even you can see that sixteen grand wouldn't even cover montana's costs for that?

  42. Sorry orlof but you're reading Montana completely wrong imo and implying that shes on here to wring money out of us is an insult to her and our intelligence.

    Deano is a sweetheart but he's definitely not a fool and I think that's what you seem to be suggesting.

  43. "and I think that's what you seem to be suggesting."

    Another suggestion is that this person is a troll. Hello troll. Goodbye troll.

  44. JayReilly

    Hang on, I thought next week we were busy gassing Fort Knox before setting off a small atomic device to make the US gold supply worthless? Operation Grand Slam?

    The resulting rocketing price of Gold will make my wife's Elizabeth Duke jewellery priceless.

    You can't back out now, the big Korean bloke's already been to the hatmaker.....

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

  47. who you calling blooming cunters ?

  48. 'so some of you have already sent money?'

    Yeah, we all have - 'cos we're not as smart as you. Thanks for the entertainment. You can fuck off now.

  49. scherfig - you should've upgraded to the deluxe package. For only $25,000 I got the additional personal assurance that a donkey in sub-Saharan Africa would be saved.

  50. thauma, I've already been offered the deluxe package upgrade for only an additional $4,000 (YOU SAVE $5,000!) if I subscribe before the end of the month. I'm very tempted, can you recommend it?

  51. Well you're a rotten lot leaving me out of all this plunder...and I blame you thauma!

    orlof - you're a twat and a poisonous little troll, so why don't you just piss orf...

  52. Absolutely. The donkey gets a hat too.

    Sorry, Sheff, we'll cut you in next month.

  53. sheff, send me £2,000 in used tenners, and I'll let you in on it. (PS don't tell montana.)

  54. Scherfiq

    If I renounce my middle classness forever would ypu make it £1,500 - could just about manage that. Lips sealed.

  55. Call it an even grand, sheff. See you in Antigua on Monday. (Dress casual and don't forget the sandwiches.)

  56. Sherf

    Marmite or sandwich spread? I'll be wearing a poncho.

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. ofor -

    The sentence within which you introduced yourself above was very nice indeed.But.

    Fuck off Fatman.An introductory sentenece without a full stop is incomplete.

    deano is 62 years old and has never once yet offrerred a lass brass to get her tits out. $100 is about 62 and a bit quid.

    Montana I can afford $100 I am a tramp with a pension.

  59. "I'm trying to help and you abuse me"

    Because you're a fuckwitted little cunt who has just accused a mate of mine of stealing, an accusation I can assure you she could pretty much do without. Now, if you are serius about progressing this baseless slur, you tedious little pile of slime, you can email me at hardbjorn@gmail.com, and we can have this out properly.

    Ok cunt ?

    Because you're going to hear things about yourself that will make you want to be elsewhere.

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  61. Bitterweed, you've scared our timid new chum off now, and all the posts are deleted. How could you? I'll miss the insight, advice, and help s/he offered.
    Guess it just wasn't as much fun trolling here as expected.

  62. Can't wait you trolling little fucktard.

  63. No wait, not you scherfig, lol !

    Hey, cunto, where's my email ?


  64. This comment has been removed by the author.

  65. It had better be good - it will likely be published here.

  66. bitterweed, you malign me, sir. I'm shocked! If you're suggesting that oforf was me, then I must have really have lost my comedic ability.

    I would be ashamed to produce such low quality, totally unfunny nonsense. I'm hurt that you could even entertain the thought. Regrettably, oforf appears to be a real troll - keep us posted if he Emails you.

  67. Never for a minute shcerfers ! Mere cross-posting going on. Now then. I have an email to send.

  68. Yes, I thought he was one of our allumni playing a low-brow gag, but it appears to be just a loser. Not sure if the email's worth reprinting. Of course, if anyone was to offer me a tenner... ;-)

  69. Haha, that's the spirit ! Thanks efforf !

  70. efforf- given bweed at 18.08 :I'll give you the benefit of the doubt for 10 minutes

  71. Nah, seriously folks, all the troll did was reiterate that Montana's stealing from Deano, (and the rest of us), so I invited him to get fucked again. Probably be back, as is definitely a trolling no-mates cockless little fucktard.

  72. This comment has been removed by the author.

  73. "a trolling no-mates cockless little fucktard."

    And that's also going in the book...

  74. Missed all the entertainment again, I see!

  75. Not really MsChin, just some strange little fellow dropped in and started calling Montana a wobber (and pwobably a wapist), then deleted all his posts and fucked off again.

    Nothing to see here...


  76. I always thought it normal to give presents or money privately so as not to embarrass the recipient.

    Deano I know you mean well and it's very generous of you, but this has opened a can of worms and again the rubbish falls on Montana. In her place I would feel very uncomfortable.

  77. Has s/he gone now? Well done BW. Can I be next to you on the barricades?

    By the way - anyone know what's happened to our avatars?

  78. Sheff - no idea, I reckon it's a Blogger issue.

  79. Sheff - why not, the more the merrier !

  80. Bru - at 62 with not of lot sense I am more than happy to be guided by Stoaty/Hank/Fish/BW/Andy
    and of course the three Sheff girls.

    I am not a poser or a perv. I just perchance`e truthfully have a $100 bill. I'm not rich and I am not handsome or especially well endowed.The fact of the matter is I am quite ordinary.

    My offer was genuine and very sincere. I do not think that as a single parent Montans should give me her post box or addresses. But she could share it with you or MSC, Or another woman who writes here with a male partner in tow.


    I could then send the book and the dollar bill to them and they could forward it to her without me ever knowing were she lives.

    The book I intended for the ladies Christmas present is worth reading - it's worth more than $100.

    Best W and warm regards - deano.

  81. Deano - I have no doubt your heart is in the right place and that your offer is sincere and untainted by prurient motives.

    It's down the lady herself, I reckon - why not e-mail her yourself?

  82. Deano, seems to me that you don't need any advice or comments or judgment from anyone else. That said, :o), do what you think is right - it's nobody's business but your own.

  83. Thama - my legs would look silly in a Bolton suit.

    The lady has my email address if she is to be short off rreading this coming Yuletide.


  84. Forgive my ignorance, but what is a "Bolton suit"?

    A lady would never e-mail someone to ask for a present. ;-)

  85. Deano

    I'm not for one moment questioning your motives. I'm saying that given Montana's very vulnerable situation, gifts that look like charity, can make a person uncomfortable particularly when you get someone insinuating that she's on the scam.

    I speak from years of experience here. One of my best friends in Brussels found herself in a very similar situation to Montana, while waiting for her divorce to come through (which took years). She also had a young son to bring up and because her husband was a prize pig, she was often unable to even buy enough food for herself or clothes/Christmas presents for the child. So I helped her financially for five years and never once did I mention this to anyone because I felt her dignity had to be maintained at all cost.
    I can mention it here because she's OK now and I'm not giving out her name.

    Fact is the situation is something of a minefield. You can't give the child presents from yourself in case it looks like you're overshadowing the mother, so you give them to her to give to the child. Same with money. I never knew when I was doing the right thing or embarrassing her. Fortunately she took it the right way.

    I'm not for a moment suggesting perverted motives to you. I'm saying that if you want to give something to do it privately so that no one can get in a snide comment and make the situation embarrassing for Montana. I have her address but I'd rather she gave it to you herself.

  86. A Bolton suit - she supports Bolton Football club.!

    Bru - I do of course understand your point.But the fact is if/when I get a pic of myself posted here you would,I hope, see what a silliness it was. Nobody can be properly embarrassed by accepting a shilling from a tramp.

    When I post here and say I am 62 with full face white beard and looking very much like a tramp - I do not fib. Some of the ladies here know full well that I continue to be in love with my sometime wife of 40 odd years.I don't need another woman.

    We were talking about what it means to be a Socialist over the last three days. My starting enquiry today was simple - can I deano30 give a spare $100 to Montana who needs it more than me or not??

    You and everybody can read this thread from its first day way back in April to today - Lady never ever asked or solicited a threepence from anybody. I deano simply offered why would I not if I claim to be Socialist.

  87. Panorama might be worth a watch - under cover op into racism.

  88. If you are prepared to take some advice from me, deano, (and bru), I'd suggest that a line is drawn under this now and that any further dialogue on ths subject is done privately between those who are involved.

  89. Agree with Hank. Deano, I too am 62 and a smile that at 25 was given with the best intentions - and received with a smile - at our age becomes a demonic leer that can empty a corpy bus, driver included.

  90. Should have read - Thank you Edwin. I hope that completely shatters any ambiguity in the phrase - Thanks Edwin.

  91. Awww man!

    Late in from work tonight and I've missed all the fun again, it seems! Ah well...

    Montana, my tithe to you will be worth a bit more after today.

    Bitterweed - I declare you the King of Insults. I still laugh everytime I listen to minimal cos I think about a car alarm stuck up a snake's arse.

  92. ;-) BB
    Anyone see Despatches tonight ? Policing dissent. Not bad.

  93. BW
    Nope, not seen much telly because I've been making calls to those poor beggars who work in call centres for most of the evening. Really hard work not to go ballistic at them - it's not that poor bastard's fault that the company s/he's working for is pile of shite ...

    But I did get to see Rosie Webster being ripped off & the return of Carla in Corrie. Having confessed my guilty secret there, I guess that's me & monkeyfish out in the cold, cuturally speaking (him being an X Factor fan an' all).

    So I missed Dispatches and Panorama?

  94. Night deano (-:

    Someone mentioned the Outfoxed doc on Cif a week or two back so I thought I'd have a little scout round Youtube. Couldn't find a link to the whole film but this 7 minute clip is well worth watching...


  95. Laters Deano
    MSchin, call centres are awful places. I've worked in customer services / helpdesks in my time, and its not somewhere anyone should be for too long....

    Nice one Hank ! (but IS that kid really a media analyst ? looks about twelve. ah well...)

    Bed time fer me too, been overdoing it (again)

  96. Night deano, sweet dreams & all that. Tomorrow is another day (to quote Scarlet O'Hara).

    That '20 questions for the unmentionable thread' over on CiF is just ..
    *bangs head on desk*. I'm virtually a non-drinker, but even I think I need a brandy.

    podgynaffinghodgy decided to answer each question including this:

    "19. During its various references to Britain's historical participation in the first and second world wars, why does the BNP never mention the fact that millions of non-white soldiers from the former British Empire fought alongside white/Caucasian soldiers on the side of the Allied powers in both world wars, including 2.5 million volunteer soldiers from the Indian subcontinent during the second world war?

    It is interesting to note that when Britain was at her weakest the Indians volunteered to help defend her. So much for the leftist myth of oppression".

    *pours brandy down throat from bottle & bangs head on desk. Twice*

  97. podgy is a bit of a spanner really.
    enjoy that brandy !

  98. podgy displays all the intellectual rigour of a dissected amoeba. Defo didn't benefit from the British education system, eh?

  99. And podgy is now signing himself 'nick'.