Tragedy, Repeated

While we all feel for the folks in Oz whose environment is being set to BROIL, it’s worth noting that many of their problems have been caused by the same people as the California genus:

But let us not allow the heartbreak and the emotion to distract us from the truth about this natural disaster: it has nothing whatsoever to do with ‘climate change’.
…[charts and graphs etc]…
So, to be clear, there is zero evidence of any change in climatic conditions that might have increased the likelihood or severity of these bush fires. This is not — repeat NOT — a man-made climate change story, and anyone who claims otherwise is either a gullible idiot or a lying charlatan.
There is, nonetheless, good reason to believe that the stupidity and irresponsibility of man is at least partly to blame for this disaster — just not quite in the way that the left-liberal MSM and the green wankerati would have you believe.

Read the article for the full story, but if you have insufficient time, here’s the executive summary:

Animal-worshipers, Greens and pyromaniacs.  Just like in California.

I feel the need for mass whippings, hangings etc. starting to build… but no doubt someone’s going to have  problem with this.

Omission, Explained

A little while ago, I asked why the Daily Mail  only features Train Smash Women Partying in northern British cities, and got this thoughtful email response from Reader Pippa D:

I believe it’s because the drinking areas and establishments in northern English cities are fairly centralised — Manchester, Deansgate; Newcastle, Bigg Market; Birmingham, Broad Street — for example. So the concentration of New Year drunks spilling out of local bars and clubs is greater. The party paparazzi duly get a lot of amusing/tragic photos as they are in the right place at the right time.
But in London, the drinking establishments are spread right across the city; they are spread across suburban areas too. Effectively, London is a swirl of lots of mini-towns with not one centralised ‘party district’. Not even Leicester Square, Piccadilly or Covent Garden. People party in Camden, Dalston, Clapham, Mayfair, etc. So if the paparazzi have to choose to wait for drunks outside a handful of pubs and bars in one small area containing only 3% of the overall nights revellers in the city, they might not get too much joy.
I don’t believe it’s a northern/southern British snobbery thing or politicised.

Makes sense to me — although I would suggest that pretty much any two-block area in London’s East End would yield similar results.

I also note, by the way, that the above pic came from the Daily Express, and not from the Mail.

About That Knife Maker

You all may recall one of the Christmas presents I got two weeks back:

Well, thanks to Alert Reader Mark D, we learn the truth about “knifemaker” Ed Mehler (my emphasis):

Ed Mehler is a knife seller for Knives Ranch and that he had previously been told to stop representing himself as the maker of Knives Ranch knives he was selling (at least those with the Knives Ranch logo stamp on them).

Note that this dates back to 2014, which means this asshole is still in business.

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) — in my case, emptor morsus est (the buyer was bitten).

Oh well… at least I have the best-looking boxcutter in Texas.

Losing Your Audience

I see that Formula 1 has lost a boatload of UK viewers ever since they moved from free TV to subscription TV.  Time for Ye Olde Cluebatte:

If you’re going to require people to pay for something that they’re used to getting for free, it has be something they can’t live without, or else something which is “new ‘n improved” — i.e. that justifies the cost.

And Formula 1 has managed to go down ever since they stopped using loud, balls-to-the-wall engines, and pricing Everything F1 into the stratosphere.  In other words, the product has become tamer, less passionate and shittier, ergo not worth paying for.

I love Formula 1, love it with a passion, always have — but not  always will.  The plain fact of the matter is that after the first corner of the first lap, F1 races are nothing more than a 66-lap procession, where races can be decided on the time and number of pit stops, where refuelling midrace has been outlawed, tire types are restricted, and so on.  F1 has also become technocentric, and techno is expensive — which limits the number of teams which have the money or desire to participate.  As a result, there are essentially only three teams — Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull — who have any consistent chance of winning a given race.  Here are the teams’ points position at the end of the 2019 season, and note the points disparity between the top three and the rest:

It was more or less the same in 2018, and 2017, and 2016… and there are only four actual engines used (Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda) by all the teams.

I have some suggestions.

  • Ban all team-driver radio communication.  Let the driver figure out what’s going on with the car, and signal to him only from the pit wall.  Right now, the whole thing is just a techno-chess game, where race decisions can be made in Maranello, Woking or Surrey rather than at the track or in the car.  In fact, very few decisions are now made by the driver, which means that at some point, driverless cars are going to be suggested (and upon that  change, all F1 fans will disappear from sight.)
  • Ban remote engine changes from the garage.  Right now, the team can make changes from the pit wall to the amount of power a car can generate.  Screw that nonsense — let the driver use as much or as little as he’s got.
  • Dump the dual-engine (hybrid) formula and stick to fast, powerful (and loud) 3-liter V6 or flat-six gas engines.  Leave all the electronic stuff to Le Mans prototype cars.  Here’s the thing:  not every auto manufacturer can afford to build a modern F1 engine — but all  of them can make a fast, powerful and reliable 3-liter six-cylinder one, which opens up the race for other car manufacturers to participate.  (And the louder, the better:  F1 fans just love  the noise.)
  • Make the races longer — 80 laps (or 150 miles) minimum — so that the cars have  to stop to refuel their (mandatory) 100-liter / 26-gallon (US) tanks.  (Ignore that “safety” bullshit:  if the sports car teams can manage refueling safely, so can F1.)
  • Let the teams choose whatever tires they want, and drop the “two-type per race” mandate.  If a team wants to race the whole thing on one set of hard tires, and another wants to use three soft sets (for higher speed) or two medium sets (compromise), then let them.
  • Ditto engine changes.  Right now, F1 teams can only use three engines per season (without penalty).  What bullshit.  Let them use a new engine for each race, if they want.  The problem is that engines now cost so much that only a couple teams could afford to do that — which is part of F1’s problem.

There’s a reason that I’m suggesting all the above, and it’s not just a hankering for the old days (as is my general tendency).  As racing becomes all the more technical and much less human, people get turned off by the loss of human interaction. 

In gun terms, it would be like watching a rifle-shooting competition between remote-controlled gun platforms made by only Mitsubishi and Honda.   I wouldn’t cross the street to watch that, for free.  And nor would many others.

Now hold a competition, in any format, between humans shooting Remington, Colt, Ruger, SIG Sauer, Blaser, CZ, Mauser, Winchester and HK rifles… oh man, sign me up now.

That’s the problem, and all F1 needs to do is to bring back the human element into racing.  You heard it here first.

Nativists

The word “nativism” is often used as a pejorative term, referring to people who are chauvinistic and want to restrict their country’s inhabitants to its “native” peoples, or likewise want to preserve the country’s original culture (whatever that is).

There’s another kind of nativism that has nothing at all to do with the people  of the country, but of its flora and fauna.  Ignoring the animals (fauna) for a moment, let’s look at the flora (foliage, plants and trees).  An example of this is (of course) South Africa, where there has been a great push to restrict and even destroy what are called “foreign” plants — even if said plants were imported more than a century earlier and are now as “native” as any other plant.  Thus the jacaranda trees, which are so popular and so widespread that the nation’s capital Pretoria is known as the “Jacaranda City”, and the northern suburbs of Johannesburg are likewise full of these trees with their gorgeous purple flowers.  Here’s an aerial view of Joburg’s northern suburbs:

…and what it looks like at street level:

But to the Seffrican government, because the trees originally came from South America (back in the 1880s), they are “foreign”, may no longer be planted or even maintained, and in fact can be chopped down for firewood without penalty.  Sic semper Africanis.

But that’s not the full purpose of this rant.  This is.

Let’s say that you own an area of great natural beauty, but a bunch of the fauna in the area are not native to the area.  So you partner with an organization which concerns itself with the “national heritage”, agree with them to restore the area to its original state, and set about removing various shrubs, flowers and bushes.  Then the following happens:

Scottish Natural Heritage had agreed a tree management plan for ‘selective felling’ of non-native trees on the island in 2013 but did not tell landowner Luss Estates of the change to the plan for the widespread killing of more than 300 trees.

David Maclennan, SNH area manager for Argyll and the Outer Hebrides, said: ‘Although Luss Estates was party to the original management agreement in 2013, which posited the removal of rhododendron and, by selective felling, of ‘non-native species’ over a five year period, Scottish Natural Heritage accepts that the subsequent amendment, which proposed to kill all the beech trees on Inchtavannach in a single operation by chemical injection of glyphosate was not shared with Luss Estates Company.
‘SNH apologise for what was, with hindsight, an error on our part.
‘We should have ensured that Luss Estates Company was informed of and consented to the proposed operations.’
He added: ‘The speed, scale, and visual impact of the operation was much greater than anticipated and we recognise that this has caused considerable detriment and upset to Luss Estates Company and to Sir Malcolm Colquhoun personally. For this we unreservedly apologise.
‘There remains a need to undertake works to remove fallen timber from agreed areas – and we have offered to do this through a new agreement.’

Here’s a pic:

All those dead trees were poisoned by the SNH.  And forgive me, but a little “oopsie” apology wouldn’t cut it with me.

Were I Sir Malcolm Colquhoun (the owner of the estate), the “new agreement” would insist that the poxy SNH not only pay for the removal of the dead beech trees but also take on the cost of planting new fully-grown trees as replacements (look up how much it costs to replant a single fully-grown pine or oak tree, then multiply it by 300).  Then I would include in the agreement a demand for the hanging of the SNH manager who signed off on the poisoning action, and a public flogging of all the minions who actually performed the filthy deed.  (“Ve voss chust obeyink orders!” is indefensible.)

My ire in all this is not caused by the damage to the estate — at least, not much — but by the sheer fucking arrogance of an organization which thinks it can just ignore the property’s owner and do whatever they want.

And yes, I know that non-native species can cause damage to the indigenous fauna — witness the kudzu overgrowth in the Southern states of America — but beech trees are native to Britain (just maybe not in that area of poxy Scotland), so that was never a concern.  As far as I’m concerned, this is all of a part of the stupid Scottish Nationalist movement, where anything not Scottish is awful and needs to be removed or destroyed.

If I were His Lordship, once the dead trees are replaced I would order my groundskeepers to shoot these SNH pricks on site, but no doubt someone would have a problem with this.

Although the mindset of the South Africans and the Scots is identical, I can somewhat excuse the South African government’s war on the jacaranda because they’re stupid fucking Africans;  but the SNH weasels?  Strap them all to large rocks and toss them into Loch Lomond, the tartan fuckers.

Not In My Day

Good grief.  I admit to being not easily shocked by people’s vicissitudes nowadays, but even so, this one left me gaping:

A married history teacher slept with at least five pupils at one of South Africa’s most elite schools, an investigation has revealed.
Fiona Viotti, 30, who is the niece of former South African national rugby coach Nick Mallett, was found to have slept with the boys at Bishops Diocesan College in Cape Town between 2013 and 2019.
The school called in lawyers to investigate Viotti after an 18-year-old pupil claimed he had been involved in an ‘intense’ sexual relationship with her, saying she became controlling when he tried to end it.
Investigators hired by the school found that she had been bedding pupils for at least six years, targeting boys who were over the age of consent.
Ms Viotti is also known to have filmed explicit videos of herself which were circulated within the school and online, but investigators failed to determine who she initially sent the footage to.
The probe found that she breached school codes and the code of ethics laid down by the SA Council of Educators [ya thank?–K.] likely meaning she will never teach again.
However, she will not face any disciplinary action from the school since she has already resigned. [!!!!!]

Needless to say, hubby has ditched her, and she is “receiving psychiatric help”.  Stupid bitch.

What makes this case interesting is that she’s a total babe, which would make her irresistible to most men, let alone callow adolescents — and yet she’s a pervert withal.  (Oh, of course  she’s a pervert;  if this had been a 30-year-old male teacher shagging his teenybopper girl students, he’d now be in chains [2,000-word rant about double standards deleted].)  Oh, and I should point out that in South Africa, the age of consent is sixteen.

En passant, I should also point out that Bishops D.C. is indeed one of the top high schools in South Africa (almost on a par with my alma mater  St. John’s College).  But clearly they do a better — or worse, depending on your viewpoint —  job of teacher recruitment than we did.