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Went out to Fitzroy Tavern last night and drank many pints of 5.3% cider. Now feel quite tired and a little headachey. I blame not getting to bed until late.

Anyhow, NPR has an interesting interview with a guy who says that liberals should lament American conservatism's crazy death-spiral into insanity and irrelevance.

You know, it's funny - I could have sworn never hearing anyone going on air and saying that the steamrolling of the Democrats during Bush's rule was a terrible thing and we should lament their irrelevance.

While government parties cannot be allowed to go unchecked, the interviewee's attitude carries the assumption that the opposition and party in power are high-minded enough to consider a dialectic process worth undergoing - and not that the party will do everything to steamroller what they want, while their opposition simply tries to make the governemnt look bad and themselves look good - even when their policies barely differ.

In short, the tragedy is not the party's failure - it would be the failure of others to ake the opportunity to create more parties (yes, parties - a two-party system is little better than a one-party system).

Mark Thomas is offering the Mark Thomas Comedy Product online, for free. Here's the announcement from his Twitter feed:

Old mtcp programmes can be found online and file share for free. Mail www.markthomasinfo.com with details or queries. Mtcp not in 4oD natch.

Even if you're not British, I do recomment having a look.

The BBC today released Twice Ken Is Plenty, a lost script from Round The Horne. It's great.

Augmented reality may be along soon, with digital contact lenses.

Here's an interesting piece from Councillor Tim (Lab, Barnsley).

Glenn Greenwald has a great piece today about journalists.

Men who stare at goats

From rpg.net

Looks fun...

Fuckking Metal!

Just a note to say that Bruce Dickinson's Friday Rock Show is very good this week.

They had Venom on and a Children of Bodom cover of Poison's Talk Dirty To Me (hey, I can play that on Guitar Hero!)

(This song:)

No Title

I'll write something about James Murdoch's terrrible, terrible speech once I can read it without spitting blood, but for now I'll post Pilger's piece about how claims of left-wing BBC bias are toss.
Finally, FOX news followed the Evening Standard's 'sorry' ad campaign and injected some truth into its advertising (from Crooks & Liars):

Sadly not; the ad was jammed.

Bill Moyers went onto Bill Maher's show and he was awesome as usual. Glenn Greenwald also carries a good piece about it.

Here's part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

In local news, Heather Book's evidence to the committee of Standards in Public Life has mysteriously disappeared... (the original evidence is here). Funny that.

Glenn Beck is still a Moron

I was alerted to thsi one when I went round to a mates' last night. It's a wonderful piece of stupidity from a man who proves that stupidity can be a gift that keeps on giving.

And you know what's really funny? Gaby Hinsliff of the Observer, and Tom Montgomerie of ConservativeHome are supporting Guido Fawkes' call for a freeze of the BBC's license fee.

I won't be joining them. For a start, the BBC isn't 'state-funded journalism' - China has state-sponsored journalism, Pravda was state-sponsored journaism, but the BBC is not. The BBC is an arms-length organisation funded by taxpayers and with an obligation taken seriously by those who work there to both 'inform and entertain', which frets about its own impartiality (often too much), in which is it a world leader, especially in the 'informing' part. It investigates more than its rivals and isn't scared to turn the critical eye on itself - which is more than its competitors do.

Of course, these calls are not a shock. The Observer is in deep shit, with the Guardian looking to close it down and set up a Sunday Guardian in it's place, while the idea of a Tory wanting to close down a news organisation that doesn't follow the usual right-wing leanings of the mainstream newspaper media isn't what I'd call a shock and a surprise.

And let's not skip the part where this all comes from James Murdoch

Mr Murdoch had strong criticism for the BBC, saying its licence-fee arrangement and business ambitions were squeezing out previously thriving, independent operators.

"There is a land-grab, pure and simple going on… spearheaded by the BBC. The scale and scope of its current activities and future ambitions is chilling.

"Being funded by a universal hypothecated tax, the BBC feels empowered and obliged to try and offer something for everyone, even in areas well-served by the market."

(The murdoch-owned Times has the full speech)

Hey, look, a guy from a dynasty of media moguls (which, incidentally, extends well beyond Rupert) complaining? Given just how much of the media News International owns, I get the feeling that the problem is not so much 'the BBC is unfair because it's a monolithic structure', but 'it's unfair because it's not our monolithic structure!' Just think, with the BBC gone, there's be more space for more Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly, bringing their Fair and Balanced (TM) propaganda, disinformation and Two Minutes Of Hate, all day long!

And of course BBC is obligated to offer everyone something - it's in the charter and a reasonable expectation, given that it is funded by public money. The BBC has a responsiblity to put out a range of programming from The Proms to Walking with Dinosaurs, Space and Dr. Who, because it owes the people who are its audience. Not only that, but the Beeb can and will do things that most private media cannot do. Having a totally private media is an invitation to drop all pretence of news and to regress to an airing of the proprietor's views, to avoid digging deep and to publish pointless stories about large-breasted celebs.

There's a reason why the BBC and Guardian are amongst the UK's best national media and are both run by trusts, while the commercial Sunday Times is known as the paper where things are true on Sunday and disproved by Monday. There's a reason why FOX viewers are wrong some 66% of the time; why beltway pundits are full of shit, the the Daily Mail can rage against a treatment for cervical cancer because it'll turn girls into sluts, while its Irish partner rages against the Irish government for endangering lives by not handing out said treatment; why the Telegraph can turn a masters paper exploring a link between male promiscuity and rape into 'outgoing girls are whores and will get raped for their sins' and why The Sun is full of puff pieces for SKY.

That said, I'm not saying that all private media is bad, just that much of it takes an easy road to the loss of its audience; it's a nuanced view. There are private ownership models that are a virtuous circle, being both profitable and good news because they talk about local news and tell their readers how it really is. Of course, the subject is more complicated than that, but would take ages to go through so instead I'll point you to an essay I scored highly for, talking about public -v- private media.

I should also point out that I read and trust certain commerical sources; I very much enjoy Salon.com, a private venture, Krugman's blog and much more, but there is a real need for public programming as a check on reality and as a way of in bringing people who would otherwise be excluded from private media.

Oh, and the BBC actually does a lot to pay for itself. The BC Worldwide arm is a commercial venture that makes the Beeb money by merchandising things like Dr. Who sonic screwdrivers and Telly Tubby dolls. Amusingly, Thatcher demanded it in order to make the Beeb cost less - and it turned out that the corporation was actually a natural in this area...

Not only that, but the Beeb has been undergoing changes into a 'gateway' for years now, outsourcing show creation to those same private companies that Guido is bawwing over - at increased cost compared to doing it all in-house.

There's already a Twitter trend; #welovethebbc. Pass it on.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that Murdoch describes the UK as follows:

The problem with the UK is that it is unhappy in every way: it’s the Addams family of world media.

FAIL. The point behind The Addams Family is that they're all fantastically happy, loving people, because they get to live their lives as they want, without any expectation to conform to some blond, blue-eyed image of a normal family.

(1)XXXXXXballs is a term from Private Eye, where the media goes silly over something. Madelineballs was the exercise in certain papers of coming up with stories related to the kidnapping of Madeline McCann, regardless of how fact-free or pointless they were.
I was surprised when Barack Obama talked about bridging the divide and reaching out to the Republican party when he won the elections - after all, the Republican party had shown zero interest in playing nice, either when in power or or after being defeated.

His efforts are still wasted. I mean, it's been obvious from the start that the party hasn't cared about what works.

Enzi is one of six senators - three Democrats and three Republicans - on the pivotal Senate Finance Committee who have been negotiating for months to come up with a health care bill that could garner bipartisan support.

He called for bipartisan collaboration and market-based health care solutions, and he drew applause when he spoke against a nationalized system[....]

The Rev. Nicholas Voyadgis, a retired Anglican priest who touted his Republican credentials, told Enzi that while he appreciated his ability to compromise, he disliked the fact that President Barack Obama has singled out Enzi as "a Republican friend in Congress" he can work with.

It was Enzi's duty to his constituents to terminate negotiations, the man said to loud applause.

This time, Enzi responded. "If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care," he said.

Dude, Cobra Commander called; he wants his puppy-kicking evil shtick back.

The police violence at G20 (and before) is now seeing effects, as the climate camp people tell them to take a flying jump.

Sounds fair to me. The Met has pretty much lost my confidence with their lying behaviour and it'll be interesting to see how more peacable or not the camp is without a police presence.

Anyhow, the Mrs has finished off her dissertation and we're taking the day off, before having a nice tea.

EDIT: I'm lying on my side and the cat's sitting on top of me. She is simultaneously cute and very annoying. Anyhow, I wanted to link this rant about yesterday's video from FOX.

Ow, ow, ow

Fuck, I just read ConservativeHome. Granted I'm not quite impressed with Obama's lack of progress right now, but this has to be considered in the context of Republican fuckery such as the incredibly childish refusal to accept the olive branch of bi-partisanship (and to demand that bi-partisanship means 'we get everything we want, you get nothing'), their outright lying to the American public on pretty much every issue and their behaviour over the last eight years in power.

I don't want Republicans celebrating - I want them to purge the madness and start acting like adults. I want them to wake up, realise just how covered in filth they are, clean up their act and stop acting like mentalists. Running a nation isn't a game, its a responsibility and a heavy one because they are invested with making the conditions that will improve their people's lot. It isn't easy, but if they don't like that they should do like everyone else, get on their bike and find a job where they're not a danger to others.

I appreciate that this will mean having to drop the unconvincing shemale and hateful sack of shit that is Anne Coulter, as well as Reagan's beatification, but I have no problems with this.

And now I have to do actual work...

Busy day today - I have a lot of editing to do.

But I did want to mention this post from bradhicks, which pretty much sums up my feelings about economic bubbles.

The new idiocy in the US healthcare 'debate' is that the government issues a booklet to military veterans, urging them to hurry up and die.

Obviously the claimed content is bullshit, and even then the booklet was available during the Bush regime.

Here's the Rachel Maddow Show popping the bubble.

And we'll end on a note of humor from oglaf.com

EDIT: I have to throw this in from rpg.net: FAUX News living up to it's name...