If you think other people should be banned from pursuing leisure activities which they enjoy and which do not harm others (other than those who freely choose to be harmed), then you are objectively pro-fascist.
The British Medical Association, as I’ve mentioned before, are objectively pro-fascist. Health Secretary John Reid is only mildly pro-fascist, which is a very slight comfort.
A pragmatic, rather than a civilisation-related, side note: only a nannying tit particularly cares whether adult smokers continue to choose to die. The important thing is preventing children from coming into contact with smoke – especially as children are the only group in which even moderate passive smoking is proven to have significant health disbenefits.
Open question to the nannyites: what impact would banning smoking in adult-only pubs have on passive smoking by children? You may wish to take into account the decline in pub drinking and increase in at-home drinking that has occurred in every country that implements smoking bans…
Colin Powell, perhaps the only sane person still involved with the Bush administration, is soon not to be involved with the Bush administration. The world cringes, and Tony Blair looks even more marginalised than before.
Unrelatedly, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, one of the silliest people in the world of rap (an impressive feat), has died of a heart attack. If there’s an afterlife, he and Rick James will doubtless now be having the mother of all coke parties…
No, it’s not the Eurovision Song Contest; it’s Deutsche Welle’s blog contest. Most of the best English-language blogs aren’t nominated (No Yglesias? No Harry’s Place? No Poor Man? No Crooked Timber?), but Tim ‘Bloggerheads’/'Manic’ Ireland is.
Go vote for him. Or TPM if you prefer, but I’m pretty sure Josh doesn’t need the recognition.
Provocateur-economist D^2 and the near-indescribable Chris Lightfoot together make a comprehensive defence of the Lancet Iraq 100,000 deaths survey.
Unless you’ve got a *very* strong background in statistical analysis, refusing to believe the results of this study makes you a hack – pure and simple. Even the pro-war Economist agrees the numbers are valid…
Do you remember the episode of Blackadder featuring the Witchsmeller Pursuivant? Blackadder was accused of witchcraft; when Lord Percy volunteered to be his lawyer, he was himself automatically condemned as a witch for coming to the aid of such a son of Satan.
"Life imitates fiction" seems like an appropriate cliche to use at this point.
It’s just struck me: if, like almost every other liberal democracy [*], the US allowed former criminals to vote [**], then we’d be preparing for President Gore’s second term.
John Kerry wouldn’t have won this time round, in case you were wondering, although the popular vote would have been somewhat closer (Ohio doesn’t disenfranchise felons, and the margin in Florida this time round was too wide for the changes to make a difference).
[*] New Zealand, Belgium and Finland are the only exceptions in the Western world, and their bans all have a 10-year or less time limit.
[**] 13 states impose permanent bans on ex-prisoners, and another 19 impose temporary bans. State-by-state breakdown here.
I just wrote a review of singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom for a friend, and felt it deserved a wider airing.
"Like Katie Melua, except that instead of being for people who don’t want to live, she’s for people who are already dead."
Oh, also Amazon.com should be crucified for recommending the Jimmy Krankie-voiced one to people who like the thoroughly awesome Drugstore.
I’m glad to live in the kind of country where the headline posted above won’t get me arrested.
Actually, that’s unfair. The linked writer was visited by the Secret Service after publicly wishing that God would kill George Bush – so she didn’t even incite his assassination (unless God was reading, of course. You may add your favourite ‘omniscience’ joke in the comments).
NB should it not be obvious from the rest of the content of this article, I absolutely counsel and implore you not to assassinate Tony Blair, or any other Blair. See also here.
(via Nick Barlow)
Given the general attitude in the US outside of New York to walking and walkers, this news doesn’t surprise me in the least. After all, any decent God-fearing American would surely be driving an SUV, or at least a sizeable sedan.
I assume anyone who proposed "right to roam" laws Stateside would wind up getting shot; quite possibly with an assault weapon.
I’m fairly sure that there are easier ways of passing a message to me than by getting someone else to post it on their blog. The "send John B email" link to the right of this article, for example.
That said, I do prefer the blog-based communication method – just as I preferred the silly theory about Al Qaeda communicating by hidden messages in porn JPGs to the boring truth about prepaid mobile phones. I might well stop checking all my email accounts, and tell my friends and colleagues that they may now only communicate with me via other people’s blogs…
Digresionally, and as usual, the Onion is spot on. Completely spot on.