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Unintended consequences


HAVE you ever noticed a friend or neighbour driving a new hybrid car and felt pressure to trade in your gas guzzler? Or worried about what people might think when you drive up to the office in an SUV?

That’s the question in a New Scientist article on how we could cut down on damage to the environment by making people ‘fess up to what they consume. HotAir ran it under the headline Newest solution to global warming: Shame.

The author studied the way subjects would selfishly abuse shared resources — basically, the tragedy of the commons — but could be persuaded not to if everyone was aware how much everyone else was consuming.

See, this is why the excess of liberals in academia is a problem. You miss subtle data points, like MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT ASHAMED OF HOW MUCH ENERGY THEY USE. We pay for what we get, fair and square. Through the nose, even. What’s to be ashamed?

Energy consumption is a proxy for success. Bigger cars, bigger houses, maybe a boat or motorbike, lots of air travel — the good life is hell on your carbon footprint. Arch warmist and soon-to-be green billionaire Al Gore has a fucking GIGANTIC carbon footprint (I remind you, one of his three mansions uses twenty times the energy of the average American family home). If he’s not ashamed, why would I be?

Only in a leftist’s — or Christian missionary’s — dream world is a thin, dry, gray life of parsimony a status symbol. For the rest of us, we’re pretty proud of our toys. I predict outting the carbon exploiters wouldn’t play out quite the way it did in a university lab.

Say, did you catch yourself thinking, “gosh, I wish there was a range of quality merchandise with this logo or design emblazoned on it?” Well, it’s your lucky day!

November 17, 2009 — 5:04 pm
Comments: 36

Cross the line? Yes we can!


I used to feel kind of bad, poking fun at The One. But the bigger the dose, the badder the taste. There was this Boston Globe article over the weekend:

“I think that I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,’’ he told campaign aides when he was running for the White House. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that . . . I’m a better political director than my political director.’’

Ohhhhh…I really don’t like this man. I knew he was stuck on himself, but I didn’t realize he thought he was Barack Obama Sooper Genius. Maybe his staff isn’t letting him down, after all. Maybe he’s overruling them. With his mind.

Oh, and did you catch Kathleen Parker yesterday, pleading for more civility?

Kathleen, honey, we’ve been yelling obscenities at y’all this whole time. It’s just, now you can hear us.

November 16, 2009 — 9:38 am
Comments: 30

Special Saturday bonus news item…


Ed Morrissey reminds us how the New York Times reacted when Bill Clinton kinda, sorta, not-really bowed to Akihito in 1994. “Unthinkable” they called it. “…the ‘thou need not bow’ commandment from the State Department’s protocol office maintained a constancy of more than 200 years.”

Change we can aggrieve in.

November 14, 2009 — 1:52 pm
Comments: 35

Say, I’m getting really good at this craven attention whoring thing…


Hey peeps, what up? Oh, not much. Friday night. Big storm coming. Well, hey, there is the whole 2009 Weblog Award thing.

I was absolutely floored to discover that my little corner of the webernettertubes, per the Technorati Authority, counts as a Very Large Blog. So I went ahead and nominated myself for that. But if I nominate myself for anything else, I’ll probably go blind.

Yes, my darlings. It’s a hint.

I reckon I could qualify as a humor blog, a conservative blog, or an individual blogger. Oddly, though there is a comic strip category and a photography category, there isn’t an illustration/Photoshop category (not that I’d want to go up against the likes of Worth 1000 or Snapped Shot).

Best design is probably pushing it and Teh Awesomest Blog of Them All is just silly.

Multiple nominations in a single category are not encouraged, but after the initial stampede, hitting the + on a nomination will increase the likelihood it makes it through to the finals. Shoot, you could even uprate some other favorite blogs, if you see one on the list. Oh, and my feed address is http://sweasel.com/feed

And if any of you jokers nominate me for Best LGBT Blog, I’ll find out where you live, come to your home and stitch an AIDS quilt on your lawn.

“You’ll never get anywhere being shy, Stoaty,” my old mother used to say, as she waved her panties high above her head at the incoming fleet.

November 13, 2009 — 4:53 pm
Comments: 17

And you thought OUR lot were pinko stooges


You know, I try to stay out of British politics. I still own property, pay taxes and vote in the States. I got enough to get wadded up about with the politics I know. Plus, nobody likes a bitchy immigrant. But Uncle B sent me this link and I’m just…stonked.

Just after WWII, Harry Pollitt — leader of the Communist Party in Britain — gave a talk at Cambridge and told a bunch of bright young lefties don’t join our party. Join the establishment and work from within. And they did. The Communist Party withered away in Britain, and the USSR issued a postage a stamp and named a battleship after Pollitt when he died. Because he did Communism such a service.

The handwritten diary of the Soviet’s point man in the West turned up in the US Archives and has recently been translated. The man, Anatoly Chernyaev, is still alive and tickled pink that his life’s work is being recognized. It details how close the relationship was between Labour, trade unions and the Soviets. Right from the start (or almost the start — the Labour Party was founded in 1900).

Some of these guys were paid agents of the Soviet Union, actively working with Moscow to bring down Thatcher. Why that hasn’t resulted in charges can only be because most of the old coots are dead. And Labour is still in power.

It’s a long but a fascinating read, if you’re the sort of person who wakes up in a cold sweat dreaming of Antonio Gramsci.

The UK Spectator broke the story, but the only place you can get it for free is the Daily Mail. In the darker phase of my paranoias, I often think They let the embarrassing stories go out in the Mail because it’s such a trashy, low-rent rag.

November 12, 2009 — 8:15 pm
Comments: 20

I guess I never really thought about what the Bomb Squad drives…


Cramming for a test at fifty is like a dream come true. You know — the one where they read your transcripts and find you never REALLY finished Algebra and you have to go back to High School. Oh, and for some reason, you are in Study Hall in your underpants. That dream.

I’ve got the Theory part of my driving test a week from tomorrow. That’s a multiple-choice dealie plus a bogus ‘hazard perception’ test that probably sounded all high-tech and sciencey when it was first proposed in, like, 1995 (you press a wired input device charmingly known as a mouse!).

I’ve got a study DVD Uncle B very kindly gave me for my birfday and I’ve started the long cram. I have to answer fifty from a pool of nine-hundred-something questions, with 80% accuracy. So far, I’ve passed all the simulated tests I’ve taken using common sense, but I certainly haven’t aced any. And some of the questions make me wish there was a default, “no, seriously — WTF?” option.

Pelican crossing, my silky sable ass.

November 11, 2009 — 8:13 pm
Comments: 17

I hate to pick nits. I mean, I really, REALLY hate to pick nits…


So, we had our own personal bonfire night on Saturday. That’s common — to let off your own fireworks the weekend after the 5th. On the general principle that they were going to join us for the experience whether they liked it or not, we invited the neighbors over.

Fireworks, by the way, are sold freely here, and in the most unlikely places. Our grocery store. Our garden center. A local bookshop. Quite fierce ones, too. Brits have trouble wrapping their heads around the idea that there are places in the States you can legally buy a .357 magnum revolver, but not a roman candle.

We had wine and beer and hotdogs and popcorn and fire and explosives and a really good time. The neighbors brought over their granddaughter, who is about four and cute as the proverbial button. Kids are excitement multipliers.

So the next morning, we get this call, “ummm…thanks…had a nice time…probably should mention…turns out granddaughter has headlice…” AAAAAAIIIIIIIII!

I think we’re clear, but it raises the topic: does anybody know where the surge of headlice comes from? When I was a kid in the US, nobody but the lowest had headlice. It was a matter for some shame. Now it seems outbreaks are common across all social strata. Uncle B says it’s the same in the UK. He puts it down to central heating, but we had central heating everywhere when I was a kid.

Any public health types out there know what this is all about?

November 10, 2009 — 8:33 pm
Comments: 27

Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Thanks, Nancy!


220-215. No Congress has ever tried to ram through such a huge change with so little public support by such a narrow margin. Not since the run-up to the Civil War, anyhow. And so I don’t actually believe this healthcare shit sandwich will ever make it to law. It has a long, long way to go and it barely cleared the first hurdle.

It may be that the only outcome of Obamacare will be to ignite fifty percent of the country with incandescent antigovernment rage. You know, that nice fifty percent in flyover country who coach Little League, make Frito pie for their new neighbors and go to church more than once a week.

We may really and truly owe Nancy thanks for this turdburger.

Still, I thought some of y’all might like to write your congresswanker with some less amiable sentiments, so I made up a few handy postcards. They’re in the new section. Problem is, the one I think most appropriate — the Shit Sammich, above — is invisible unless you’ve gone into your Zazzle settings and upped them to at least PG-13. On account of the word “shit” being in there. But you can reach it from this direct link.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “jesus christ, you oily crapweasel, is there no end to this attempted picking of pockets?” Well, this time you’re wrong. This time. A postcard is a buck; my markup is nuffink. I’m just trying to help you express yourselfs with my beautiful arts, m’kay?

If you’ve got any bright postcard ideas, sing out in the comments.

November 9, 2009 — 3:38 pm
Comments: 24

Now, let’s not jump to any hasty conclusions

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan

Keep fucking that chicken, mainstream media!

November 6, 2009 — 3:31 pm
Comments: 35

Happy Guy Fawkes Night! Don’t burn anybody I wouldn’t burn…


I mentioned a while back that Sussex makes a Very Big Deal out of Bonfire Night, holding parades and fireworks and bonfires in one village or another most weekends between late September and late November.

Well, tonight — November 5 — is the real Guy Fawkes Night. By Sussex tradition, Lewes holds this one, the biggest one. That’s because Mary Tudor burned 17 Protestants in Lewes High Street while she was on the throne, so they kind of earned the right to a party. Yeah. It’s a whole sectarian thing.

Lewes has been trying to put people off recently. It’s getting big and out of hand, with Londoners coming down and all. So instead we went to one in the ancient tiny village of Icklesham tonight.

And a damn fine firework display they put on, too. They charge £3 a head and put it all toward next year’s fireworks. And they roast a pig (a heartbroken Uncle B was put off by the queue) and serve booze and dance about in ancient costumes and bang drums and burn a honking great huge pile of wood pallets with a Guy on.

You know, the nannies have been trying to shut this thing down for years. The fires and the crowds are both very big and very dangerous. Some bonfire societies drag their explosives through town carrying torches(!). Some Guys are rigged with dynamite(!). Some of the fireworks are homemade(!).

There was a sign saying “no sparklers — they will be confiscated!” under which a group of drunk people were happily waving sparklers. There’s lots of booze involved. This afternoon, we bought a whole big box of fireworks (for our own personal bonfire night) in the grocery store.

I wouldn’t count these people out just yet.

November 5, 2009 — 7:32 pm
Comments: 11