Cruel intentions

John Negroponte is apparently the likely new Iraq ambassador.

His chief previous experience is in funding shadowy right-wing death squads in Honduras, as part of the USA’s long-term mission to annoy or kill everyone in Latin America (see also Monroe – not the sexy one – and Roosevelt – not the Nazi-defeating one).

Should Mr Negroponte be given the governorship, this will not be evidence that the USA’s intentions in Iraq – and by extension, the Middle East – are overwhelmingly positive. Hell, even Paul Wolfowitz would be a better pick…

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Second against the wall

Bob Crow is an idiot, who should probably take a long, hard look at the current state of the UK railway industry, compare it to the state of the UK coal industry in 1984, consider the UK coal industry’s history post-1984, and then bend over backwards to avoid confrontation on the railways…

The only thing to be said in his favour is that the employers he’s battling are even worse.

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“Sex In A Canoe Day”

The manufacturers of Budweiser have launched “Freshness Day”, where Americans will get to taste the “premium beer” the same day that it’s produced.

It’s not yet clear whether the Budweiser will be served directly from the tramp’s urethra, or whether it’ll be chilled first.

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Late German Fascists

Via Matthew Yglesias, a great new game called Little Green Footballs or Late German Fascists.

Try and guess which comments were made by bigoted evil racist scum who deserved to be hanged, and which were made by prominent figures in the Nazi party.

A brief Stating The Obvious moment: to compare people who seek genocide against “subhuman” Arab “vermin” to those who sought genocide against the Jews is in no sense to deny, demean or trivialise the genocide against the Jews.

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Why I like Ken…

…and why I wouldn’t shed any tears were Simon Hughes and Steve Norris the target of serious gunishment – here.

The Saudi royal family certainly are corrupt, certainly are hypocritical and certainly permit the vile activities of the religious police. And the terrorism threat certainly needs to be put into perspective: pies, asthma and useless drivers are all a much greater threat to our lives than suicide bombers…

If we (approximately, the West’s supply of sane people) can’t at least agree on these two points, then we’re *really* fucked.

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Jew know what I mean

The Jew campaign still has some way to go, although we are now up to number two on Google. Soon, the sensible definition of Jew will be number one, and the evil Jew-haters will be displaced.

Which would be nice.

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Bomb jokes revisited

I’m pleased to report that Greater Manchester Police are far more sensible than Northumbria Police or the Florida police.

However, Thomas Cook are a miserable bunch of bastards. It’s fair enough for the airline to refuse to carry a bomb joker (although the stuff about “what message is this sending out to the…public who are afraid to fly?” is the world’s most specious nonsense: sane people worry about Arabs with actual bombs that they don’t tell security about, not Mancs with crap senses of humour).

It’s not entirely fair enough, however, for the airline to tell the police that they should have charged the man. Although everyone who’s had to deal with the public as part of their job would like the opportunity to throw difficult customers in jail, most people outside the den of lunacy that is the aviation industry recognise that this is, well, not on.

Thomas Cook is now officially on the Shot By Both Sides airline blacklist. Mind you, since it’s a poxy charter airline, it was there already…

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No Amicus of mine

The Amicus trade union, which represents people who don’t need a trade union (electricians, plumbers, white-collar workers and scientists), has begun a campaign against offshoring.

Fair enough: if someone were outsourcing my job, I’d probably campaign against it. Well, first I’d try and get a job as expat manager of the outsourcing place, but if that failed then I’d start campaigning.

However, the logic for their campaign is that Indian call-centre workers can’t be trusted with English customers’ data. They’ll sell it to ID thieves and Nigerian scammers left, right and centre. This is nonsense, and borders on the racist (“Darkies? Can’t be trusted…”).

Who’s more likely to get involved in selling customer details? Someone for whom the benefits significantly exceed what they’ve got to lose.

And who’s got more to lose: someone in India with a masters’ degree making ten times the national average wage, or someone in the UK with no qualifications (and who hasn’t had their details checked because their employers are so desperate for staff), making two-thirds of the average wage?

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