Off to the Smoky-Drinky place.

The trouble with Fridays is that, well, the report can't be sent off until Monday anyway so why kill myself to finish the last bits tonight? Added to that is my abstinence from accompanied boozing while decoding this monster into non-scientist format over the last couple of weeks and... something's gonna blow.

So, tonight, I have a bottle of Ledaig (£15.50 in Morrison's but £28 in Tesco, even though they are only a mile apart) and will carry it through the globally warmed frost to visit a smoky-drinky place I know of, where others of the smoky-drinky persuasion gather in the absence of anti-anythings and drink, smoke (yes, indoors, and with a wood fire too), eat extraordinarily spicy food and generally behave in all those ways that weren't illegal or even frowned upon until recently. It's not licenced and not open to the public so not subject to the hysteria of the mob. We all bring our own and pass them around.

While picking my careful way across the iced pavement, cursing the Green God's laxity in warming this place up as advertised, I will reflect on the question of who is going to pay the billions our loony leaders plan to put into tinpot tyrants' Swiss bank accounts while pretending to help the poor.

It won't be much reflection because the answer is obvious, really. It's you and me. MP's incomes will not be touched at all, the bankers already know how to dodge any tax this inept government can devise and the rich can afford to hire accountants so creative that even those who study multidimensional physics will never find the money.

Anyone who pays tax, anyone who has a bank account, anyone who has any income at all will be paying for this and you know what? If there's one thing guaranteed not to reduce emissions, it's building huge concrete structures and power stations in places that don't really want them and providing motorcades of limousines for the wealthy dictators of poor countries.

The environment and the climate are not interested in money. You can't bribe nature, nor can you legislate against it. It's not that nature will defy all such attempts. Nature will not even pretend to notice. Nature might matter to us be we don't matter to nature. At all. Nature has replacements already lined up for any vacant niche. We don't need to worry about nature. It'll be fine.

Passing laws and throwing money about is futile and irrelevant. It affects nothing at all. It's just the socialist way of saying 'Those people have too many bits of green paper. Steal some from them'. Same as they always do, just with a new excuse. It will have zero effect on climate. It's not intended to. It's another 'make them suffer' game.

If climate change was really due to human emissions, and our politicians really cared about it, why did so many of them fly to Copenhagen and get shuttled around in limousines? Why, indeed, does the new 'replace your boiler with a green one and we'll subsidise it' idea apply only to England and not to the rest of the UK? It couldn't be that Labour are sure of their votes in those other places and are just trying to buy English ones, of course.

Human effects on the climate are trivial compared to nature's. If we really start causing problems, nature will simply let us wipe ourselves out and set a different species going.

We're just not that big a deal.

Anyway, a drinky smoky evening beckons. Best get some food in me first. A salted lard sandwich should complete this evening's anti-Righteous festival.

Sure, I could give it all up and live longer, but that would mean living in the future and to me, that's just not appealing at all. There's nothing there.

The antilibertarians speak.

Boatang and Demetriou visit some odd places. They have been to the blog of a software developer who knows as much about climate change as do any of those paid to study it by other climate changers (but who could probably write an actually functioning model) and who displays definite signs of Righteousness. Most of the blog is about software and I'm not going to comment on that because I know nothing about it. I also won't comment on the irony of someone involved in computer game development wondering why people are becoming obese because that is such an open goal. There's no challenge.

It's not a blog that will appear in my sidebar. Not for any malicious reason, but because software development is not what I do. Science is what I do and it's evidently not what he does.

Hence his experiment here, which follows the protocol:

1. I don't like libertarianism.
2. I will take the last five posts from the top 20 blogs to give me a sample size of 100 and read them.
3. I don't like them. I was right. QED.

From a scientific point of view, here are the problems.

1. This is neither a hypothesis nor a null hypothesis. The conclusion was determined before the start of the experiment. Nothing anyone wrote on any blog labelled 'Libertarian' would ever sway this guy. hence the experiment was pointless.

2. The sample size is not 100. The dataset consists of five samples each from twenty entirely separate subjects. Those samples were not selected at random but were the five most recent on each blog. Hence his surprise at finding Copenhagen and climate change is the most popular subject over the last five posts, and his amazement that libertarians aren't all bowing to the Green God.

3. See 1.

The lists of top 20 blogs of every type, every political persuasion, are subjective. They are voted on and then compiled. Some opted out. Taking the last five posts from the top 20 of such a list is like going to twenty neighbour's houses, taking the first five books you find and then basing a generalised view of all those neighbours on your analysis of those books. The twenty neighbours are individuals. The twenty bloggers are too.

And yet our Green God acolyte derives the following conclusion from his experiment:

But the posts I've seen were just so bad that of 100 I've checked I cannot point a single one that had any new insights or was interesting in any way. Few even pass basic sanity tests - not just by being contrarian - contrarian posts are much more interesting to read than ones that repeat the conventional wisdom - but by simply not having any idea what they write about.

You know, if I were to go and find twenty blogs on something i'm not at all interested in, or something I strongly disagreed with, and read the last five posts on each, I'd probably fail to find anything interesting either. It's so very likely, in fact, that there's no point in putting myself through the pain of reading all about dog hair removal or anchovy filleting or badger rotation or any other such thing. I don't visit ASH's website because I know I'm not welcome there and they aren't likely to say anything I'm ever going to agree with. An analysis of the last five posts on the ASH website would be entirely pointless because everyone -smoker and non-smoker - knows what those posts will be about and what they plan to do.

So, TAW took the top 20 libertarian blogs, found they are libertarian in nature, and since he already thinks libertarians are loons because they don't agree with him, he can declare them loons because he already knew that and just wanted to find something to point at and shriek 'See! See! They think differently to me! That proves they are insane'.

Believe whatever you like, TAW. Libertarianism allows that, in fact encourages it. Libertarians will not force you to think like them, act like them, eat like them, live like them. No libertarian blogger has, to my knowledge, declared their BMI as a qualification to talk about diet. When we do talk about diet, it's along the lines of 'if you want to get fat or be thin, your choice. Don't bother us with excuses, just get on and live how you want'.

Insane? Sure, if you like. If controlling everyone until they are all exactly the same is sanity, I want no part of it. If shouting down everyone who thinks differently is sanity, you can keep it.

If sanity means reacting to the word 'smoking' as if someone had just rammed a lit stick of dynamite up your backside, pass the straitjacket.

And the cigarettes.

Oh, and if anyone's wondering why I haven't mentioned whisky, it's because tonight I have been mostly drinking Napoleon brandy. Appropriate, as it turned out.


I'm duplicate-posting on both blogs for the moment. Thanks for all the tips on backup programs, I'll look those out.

The report I'm trying to get finished is up to 23 pages and I haven't started the discussion section yet. The experiment worked very well but threw up some odd details I'll need to explain - and I have to explain them in a way understandable to non-scientists which means I have to write it, de-jargon it and still end up with something that makes sense. I want this done ASAP so I can get the bill in before Christmas.

As soon as it's done I can concentrate on fixing up the Blogger blog. I'll continue double-posting (all it takes it cut and paste) but eventually this one will fade into the obscurity it came from.

One day, so will I. But not today.

How many policemen does it take to change a light bulb?

Apparently the answer is none. They have to fill out a series of forms and someone will come from miles away to do it for them.

The police who accept shiny new buildings through the PFI system have a lot of very silly rules to deal with, for which they blame 'the private sector'. In fact, the private sector has been hampered with silly rules for a long time and they didn't make them up themselves - well, not all of them anyway.

In constant terror of being sued, every private sector industry takes Elfin Safety to a ludicrous extreme. They can't allow policemen to change their own light bulbs or buy their own toilet paper because that's a janitor's job and the unions will go apeshit if police officers do it. If one of those officers falls off a chair while changing a light bulb, it's time to play Compensation Bingo so the PFI side of the deal can't allow it. They might turn a blind eye, but officially their only option is to say 'no'.

Some of the restrictions make a sort-of sense, such as where to put a coffee table and bin, because Elfin Safety will come down on the building's owners like a ton of bricks if that table can be said to hamper emergency evacuation or just generally be in the way. Whether it's a real hazard is irrelevant; prosecution can be based on a perceived or potential hazard these days. I know of universities who have been told to remove lockers from corridors, where they have been for many years, because eight feet of corridor width is not enough and that extra foot of width could be crucial in an emergency. Objecting is futile. The Safety Elf's word is law.

It's no surprise that the private-setor part of the deal is bricking it every time someone moves a bin. Yes, it's a waste of police time. It's a waste of everyone's time but that Safety Elf must be placated or it's off to court you go, police station or no. You want plants? Well, best check none of them are poisonous or spiky. Someone might sue. Cutlery and plates? These must be non-sharp and shatterproof. Someone might sue. The PFI is responsible for fixtures and fittings, including the hooks you hang pictures from and the whiteboards etc. They must all be safely fixed. Safety Elf is watching and waiting to pounce.

Some of it, however, is a little harder to justify.

Advice on where to hang crime prevention posters? Surely the police know best where those should be. Even the all-knowing, all-seeing Safety Elf should concede that one. Stationery is neither a fixture nor a fitting so it's difficult to work out why the PFI cares about that. Unless Safety Elf has a fire-safety limit on paper stores, which wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.

Some of the comments blame the police. Some blame the PFI. It's neither. It's this damn country and its incessant need to placate the Safety Elf because if you don't, Safety Elf will help someone sue you into penury.

There are no accidents any more. Someone is always to blame and someone will always be paying compensation. Until that insanity is addressed, none of the rest of it can be touched. Sometimes crappy things just happen. Sometimes it's nobody's fault. Sometimes when you fall down you can just get back up again without blaming anyone or demanding cash.

Not with Safety Elf around. He's untouchable and invincible and it's time he was reined in.

And then shot.

Imminent closure of blog.

I thought that would get your attention. It's not really happening. Well, it is, but it's not.

For some time now I've been considering moving to Blogspot but balked at the HTML fiddling I'd have to do. The comment problem here has forced my hand, because comments I replied to two days ago are appearing in my Email today and it's getting to be a pain. I'm having to troll my own blog for new comments. That's troll in the lake-fishing sense, not the internet sense.

So I've finally been fiddling around with a blogspot version and will move there soon. I don't know how to do auto-redirect so when the time comes I'll put up a post with a link. I'm not moving the badges because it'll be a new blog and if it's going to have badges it'll have to earn them.

Does anyone know of a way to download an entire blog? Also, what do I do with links that don't have feeds on Blogspot? Oh, hell, I'll figure it out. Anyway, if you want a link over there, let me know. It'll take time to catch up on all the links I read but eventually I'll get there.

New format, new blog, same old ugly drunken loony typing away. I have nothing to lose but comment notifications...

Adolf the Tank Engine.

I knew the Righteous were getting more and more desperate, but really...

Thomas the Tank Engine is a Nazi mysogynist?

In other news, Andy Pandy is jailed for appearing in public in his pyjamas and for sleeping with a bear, the Woodentops get a grant to cope with their learning difficulties although Spot the dog is put down, and Windy Miller is made energy secretary.

Just when you think they've hit rock bottom, they pull out the drills and keep digging. It's going to be fascinating watching this Righteous decline. I wonder how far down they can dig - and how fast we can fill in the hole on top of them?


Oh, righhhht...

Well if you put it that way.

Herding cats.

Those who wish we would all live exactly the way they do can never win. Never. They can exert control for a time but it always, always fails and always will. A quick look in the newspapers confirms it: there are people who simply will not accept things the way they are, and that will never change. The Righteous might as well take up cat-herding as a hobby. You can keep your cats in one place for a while but eventually, the herd will break up.

Here's a Righteous nightmare. An American quadriplegic who wanted to go back to his favourite hobby, hunting. On the one hand, he's disabled and must be encouraged with 'you can do anything an able-bodied person can do'. Anyone who denies this must be shouted down as 'disablist' or whatever the current word is.

On the other hand, what he wants to do is take a gun (cue intake of Righteous breath) and use it to kill something furry (cue Righteous dead faint).

Well, he won. He now has a Tactical Light Armoured Wheelchair and he can aim and fire that gun himself. Nobody makes fun of his disability, you can bet on that, and I doubt he has trouble getting people to move aside when he's running his chair around the streets. He refuses to fit the niche declared by the Righteous and I think that's brilliant. And no, I care nothing for the rabbits or deer he might shoot. I'd eat them too.


Here's an odd poll. Apparently men prefer the smell of bacon to that of babies. Well, it depends how you cook them, I suppose. We're not supposed to like bacon, it gives you cancer of the left elbow or something, so it's very naughty of us to like the smell more than that of babies. On the other hand, any man who likes babies will be instantly buried under a mound of CRB forms so perhaps it's just as well we find them repellent. I don't like them. They give me indigestion.


In Russia, where they work very hard at cat-herding, a chemistry student has blown his face off with exploding chewing gum. If even the Russians can't control their loonies, what hope is there for the EU?


Hot on the heels of 'booze gives you cancer' comes the news from Germany that beer protects against prostate cancer. Those saucy Germans, eh? They aren't going to sit back and let the Righteous take their beer away.


More on smoking warnings - but the picture kills the story stone dead! I'm going to print and frame that one. As for the new 'smoking makes you unattractive' ploy, well I was unattractive before I started so that won't work on me.


The Met office claims the last decade was the warmest ever (not here, matey) where 'ever' means 'since 1850' because that part of the graph is convenient and the millions of years prior to that, including times when the planet had no ice caps at all, is not.

When the Brown Gorgon gets back from Copenhagen, he might find his support for global warming has had its usual effect. The Australian climate changers are also struggling to explain how those warmed oceans can let a massive iceberg sink their country too. Especially as it's been floating around since 2000 and nothing like it has been seen 'since the days of 19th century clipper ships'. Remember, the world has warmed continuously and considerably since then...

Meanwhile, polar bears are likely to die in the cold this winter due to global warming. I thought they'd die if we warmed the planet up, but it seems they'll die in the winter. Odd, that. Apparently they have been caught doing what all predatory species have always done - killing cubs sired by rivals - and that's suddenly due to global warming too. The rise in sightings of this cannot possibly be due to inconvenient truths such as a) there are more polar bears than there used to be and/or b) we are watching them much more closely than we used to.

Half the people of this country are now 'unbelievers' and the numbers are rising.

Oh dear, that herd of cats is starting to break up very fast now.

People are individuals. There is no 'one size fits all' approach than has ever worked and there is no approach that will ever work. I don't suppose the Righteous will ever stop trying, and they'll cause a lot of misery while they try. They'll spark periodic civil wars, too, but in the end one thing is certain.

The Righteous will always fail. Their methods ensure there can never be any other outcome, and their methods never change.

The bad news is, those failures can be very messy indeed.

Wonky comment thing.

LiveJournal normally sends me an Email when comments appear so I know which posts have new comments. Lately that's been running dead slow - some arriving over 24 hours after the comment was posted - and now it seems to have broken altogether.

I expect they'll fix it eventually but until then, if you commented on a post that's down the list, expected a response and didn't get one, it's because I haven't found it yet.

Scientists complain about not having all the data.

When scientists (and others) complained that the climate changers held back data, lost data, refused to make their methods public etc etc, many defended them. Even New Scientist poo-poohed the complaints. Why should they share the data?

Why indeed. If the data is sound, the question is, of course, why not share it? Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, as the modern mantra goes.

Now it seems that all you people who have dosed up with Tamiflu (whether you had swine flu or not) might have been taking that drug on the basis of possibly dodgy, or at least incomplete, data.

Roche, the manufacturer of Tamiflu, has made it impossible for scientists to assess how well the anti-flu drug stockpiled around the globe works by withholding the evidence the company has gained from trials, doctors alleged today .

A major review of what data there is in the public domain has found no evidence Tamiflu can prevent healthy people with flu from suffering complications such as pneumonia.

Scientists and doctors are concerned that Tamiflu might not have any scientific basis after all, because those who claim it did aren't letting them see all the data, nor are they showing the methods used to arrive at their conclusions.

All those who took Tamiflu and who support global warming, take heart. It's perfectly okay to hide data if you don't want to show people how you arrived at a scientific conclusion. Even if that scientific conclusion can have a major effect on people's lives. Ask New Scientist.

I'll be buying this week's issue to see if they have any comment on this.


Tinfoil hats at the ready...

There are still those who think all this 'they're out to get smokers, drinkers, drivers etc' talk is nothing more than the
babblings of people wearing tinfoil hats, who type in darkened rooms with the windows covered in Duct tape and all the keyholes plugged.

Well, here's a breakdown of where a 'charity' calling itself Action on Smoking and Health gets its money, and what they plan to do with it next. They will never reach the point where it'll be enough. They will never stop. There's too much money riding on their continued harassment of smokers. Note the tiny slivers denoting 'earned income' and 'donations'. Do you believe they'll just give up the rest of it and fall back on what they can earn themselves? Do you believe they will ever say 'Okay, smokers are banned from everywhere except their own homes. That's enough'? Or do you think they will want to keep their income for, say, monitoring programmes and smoke police? Tinfoil hat talk? really?

Here's some more (found via DK). Labour can only function if they have someone to blame. Whether smokers, drinkers, drivers, patio heaters, the overweight, the underweight, parents, non-parents, paedophiles, neighbours, Islamic terrorists, Irish terrorists, the BNP, the EDL, photographers, trainspotters, mysterious right-wing groups (ie anyone who isn't a socialist and some who are), satanic worshippers, people who like their homes slightly warmer inside than out, people who leave lights on to deter burglars when they're out, Santa, the Easter bunny and the bogeyman. They have made it their mission to select so many groups as hate targets that almost everyone is in one or more of them. Don't think you are? Have a car? Wait for your next road tax bill.

Perhaps you're still scoffing 'tinfoil hatters'. Perhaps you have solar panels and a wind turbine and don't smoke, drive or drink at all, are the correct Government approved waist size and grow your own vegetables. One dry summer you'll want to water those vegetables the Government encouraged you to grow (it's not due to climate change. Summers have been dry many times before). Then you'll get fined for wasting water. Good, isn't it? Perhaps you'll go out and leave a light on so you won't get burgled - and if you do, so the burglar won't fall over something and sue you - and then get fined for wasting electricity. Don't smoke? The smoke police are going to come in and check at random times, you know. Didn't think that would apply to you? Why not? Smokers might lie about smoking in their homes and pretend to be non-smokers so...

The rules brought in to stop drug dealers and confiscate any money they carry apply to you too. The rules brought in to 'catch terrorists' apply to you too. The rules brought in to 'catch paedophiles' apply to you too. The rules brought in to boost taxes and push up the price of all energy sources in the name of 'climate change' apply to you too.

When ASH start checking homes for signs of smoke, that will apply to everyone. Not just smokers. Because, you see, smokers, terrorists, drug dealers, climate deniers, paedophiles, all look just like you. There's no way to tell which is which just by looking at someone.

So don't get too smug about smokers being banned in their own homes and smoke-police knocking on their doors to check if they're smoking - at all hours of the day or night.

They'll be checking your house too.

Tinfoil hats won't stop them.