Quote Of The Week

“Funny how both Mum and/or Dad can heave a buggy weighing 16 tons out of the boot of the car yet are unable to push it further than 5 metres across a carpark without having a fucking stroke or something. Does some kind of miracle happen once you pass through the sliding doors of said supermarket/DIY store, some kind of weird energy boost that enables you to march around the store at 30mph ramming any unfortunate soul that happens to cross your path yet upon leaving said supermarket/DIY store it renders you so weak you cannot possibly be expected to walk more than 5 metres to your car. Even if the baby is in a ‘carry car seat’ how the fuck are either of you going to get the bags of shopping from the car to the house if you can’t carry something weighing less than a sack of dog food more than 5 metres?.”

Mummy, you crack me up!

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Before The Proverbial Hits The Fan…

…there’s just time for a quick quote of the week:

“It seems to me that our masters these days are willing to use a carrot and stick approach, but they almost always use the stick on the poor old donkey’s nose and inflict a terrible indignity on the beast with the carrot at its other end.”

From Lord Tebbit’s new blog which looks to be quite an entertaining read…

Comment Of The Week

I’d love to stick around and take part in this debate about global warming, sorry, climate change. Unfortunately, I can’t, as I’m off the the Moon for a few days. Doubtless you’re wondering how I’m going to get there. Easy: I’m going to drive.

I’ve got a ’96 Toyota Camry. It’s got about 180,000 miles on it by now, but I reckon it’s still good for 0-60 in ten seconds. I’ve also got a computer model. (Actually, it’s an Excel spreadsheet, but it’s running on a computer, so it’s a computer model.) Extrapolating from my data points (both of them!) my computer model says my car should reach 120 after 20 seconds, 180 after 30 seconds and so on. (You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?) Things add up pretty quickly and after 50 minutes I’ll reach orbital velocity (about 18,000 mph) and escape velocity (25,000 mph) after about an hour and a quarter. I’m in my way!

I’ll reach midpoint – 120,000 miles – after about three-and-a-half hours, by which time I’ll be doing about 70,000 mph. Applying the brakes I’ll then decelerate at the same rate I’ve previously accelerated, for a gentle touch down on the Moon about seven hours after I started. Not bad for a ’96 Camry. I just can’t understand why NASA didn’t think of it.

Anyway, I’ve got a computer model and the science behind it was settled by Newton in the seventeenth century. Now, where are my car keys?

-commenter Robert Sealey at Samizdata

An Audacity Of Hope

From commenter veryretired at this Samizdata post:

I would not presume to judge the British people, whom I greatly admire, but I do question the premise of the statement.

In human history, freedom is the anomaly.

Living in a condition of generalized liberty,

able to move about with few restrictions,

able to speak freely, read books and view a wide range of videos, both fictional and documentary,

stand at an intersection with a different house of worship on each corner and decide for oneself which one to attend,

open a little shop and try to make a living,

attend a world renowned university, even though your father and mother were farmers or factory workers,

live in a little cottage that belongs to you and your family, and which the highest magistrate in the land has said even the monarch cannot enter without your permission.

In defense of these utterly pedestrian (to us) aspects of your lives, the British people and their allies have stood against some of the most ferocious and deadly threats to the future well-being of humanity since Attilla, or the Saracens at Tours, or, indeed, the Black Death.

You may find yourselves dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in your society, as I and others are with conditions here ocross the Atlantic, but that is not a cause for despair.

If it were not so ingrained in you, as Britons, to expect to live as free men and women, as it is in those of us who have derived our system of rights and liberties from your example, this question would never even arise.

All across the world, in socieities ancient and modern, on all the continents that your own explorers first contacted centuries ago, the concept that each human being is unique, sovereign, and possesses natural rights that cannot be abridged at the whim of another, has resonated and reverberated.

Of course there have been setbacks. Of course there are enormous and complex challenges to overcome to maintain and expand this extraordinary birthright.

Those born as British citizens have been bequeathed the pearl of great price, paid for with blood and anguish, courage and fortitude, beyond anything most of us are ever asked to demonstrate.

Our task is to gather the courage and determination to fight and win the myriad lesser battles, in the local school committees, local elections, the classroom debates, the neighborhood meetings, up to the great national policy debates that may steer a nation onto the rocks, or back on a true course.

The letter says that of the great virtues, that of faith, hope and charity, the greatest is charity. It is wrong.

Hope, hope, and endless, indefatigable hope is the bedrock upon which all else is built.

For free men and women to lose heart, surrender, concede the field to the collective, secular or religious, is to condemn future generations of people all across the globe to a life of darkness and bitter despair, denied the very essence of that which makes them human.

For millenia, humans survived from day to day, living in an uncertain world in which violence was the only arbiter.

For a short time, in these last few centuries, we have been priviledged to participate in a radically different vision of humanity, based on values which recognized an innate dignity in each human life, something that should not be trampled upon by church or state.

We are now challenged by both of those ancient enemies. One believes in the sword, the other in magic.

Both fear the only true human weapon—the rational mind which will not surrender its committment to its own integrity and rational purpose.

The needed response to the many difficulties and challenges we face, in your society and mine, is an implacable determination to pass the greatest of all treasures on to our children, and their children in turn:

The knowledge that to be truly human is to be free in mind and spirit, and that nothing else is more worthy of our devotion, and our lives.

Fantastic stuff.

Quote Of The Week

I know it’s only wednesday, but I think it’s safe to say nothing is going to beat this, from Dick P:

I’ve never been to Oxford, but I’d be willing to bet a pretty penny that they have, in the past year, installed pillows, platforms, humps, bumps, lumps, chicanes, throttlers, bottlers, red tarmac, yellow tarmac, green tarmac, purple people-eating tarmac, skid risk signs, flashing signs, ‘your speed is’ signs, 20mph zone signs, go as fast as you like signs, surface dressing, bus stop dressing, french dressing, controlled zones, no car zones, low emission zones, no-alcohol zones, no fly zones, yellow lines, red lines, white lines (don’t don’t do it), posts, rumble strips, parking restrictions, width restrictions, traffic wardens, dog wardens and litter wardens** … but they can’t find the cash to fix a fucking pothole.

Amen, brother. It’s endemic.