Other Means

So according to Lefties, if we ban public gun ownership, all that icky violence stuff will just vanish. Or not:

Britain’s knife crime epidemic has spread to the Home Counties as stabbings are now more likely in Bedfordshire than in Merseyside.
Hertfordshire, Hampshire, Warwickshire, Norfolk and north Wales’ rates of knife crime have all increased by more than 100 per cent in the past three years, while London’s rate only increased by 20 per cent.
The epidemic is being fuelled by city gangs expanding their territory and going into rural areas, forcing out local gangs with extreme violence, according to experts.

— probably the same “experts” who supported gun bans, and are now scratching their heads.

Of course, this would be the time to relax firearm ownership laws as well as the stupid laws which all but prohibit self-defense for ordinary Brits, but I won’t hold my breath because Lefties can’t handle the truth. [/Colonel Jessup]  They think that all they have to do is pass a law with good intentions, and the problem will be solved.

They all deserve to be stabbed, as well.

Fishy

The old homosexual word for a woman is “fish” so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by this headline (via Insty):

HuffPost: Women Would Rather Have Sex with a Fish Than a Man

Of course, it’s the Supreme Dreckmag itself, so I shouldn’t be surprised. However, unlike for most of their bullshit, this time there is some pictorial evidence to support their claim:

Once again, it is the extraordinarily-eccentric Helena Bonham-Carter so perhaps one should take it with a grain of salt; but still. (By the way: is it so wrong to find this pic very arousing?)

That said, I really do prefer HBC in more ummm conventional poses:

Were I not so allergic to manifestly-insane women, she might once have replaced Nigella in my Pantheon of Hotties.

Failing

I see that the promoters of the U.S. F1 Grand Prix are going to have one-time Train Smash Woman Britney Spears and someone named Bruno Mars perform at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) over the race weekend this year. This, to encourage people to come to a place which features, as one canny commenter put it, a 56-lap parade lap.

Here’s why I, a Formula 1 devotee, won’t be going back to the US GP anytime soon.

  • Parking — It’s a nightmare. If you don’t mind paying $150 for a parking spot next to the track, then you’re good to go. However, if you balk at paying that fee on top of a $200-plus ticket price, then you’ll be parking in a muddy field over a mile away and walking along a country road to and from the race. It’s total bullshit. There should be large covered parking garages (which we Murkins do better than anyone else, btw) all around the circuit so that race fans can at least get to their cars quickly, even if they then have to endure the
  • Traffic jams — Access to COTA is along a series of tiny, two-lane back-country roads which cannot handle even half the traffic of the event. If the race starts at 1pm, you need to get to within three miles of the track at least three hours beforehand. Last year, Doc Russia, Trevor and I got there two hours beforehand, parked the Doom Wagon (Doc’s ride — don’t ask) and walked about a mile and a half alongside a road full of cars carrying people who were trying to get closer before themelves parking. Some people had given up and were trying to turn around — making the situation even worse — and the only saving grace of the whole thing was that it wasn’t raining (which it often does in Austin in November, by the way, sometimes in torrents). All this hassle, as I mentioned above, at the most excruciating
  • Cost — It seems ironic that only the F1 team owners and drivers can really afford to go to the US GP. Attending the GP could cost, all in, over $1,000 — way too much for the average fan to afford — and to be perfectly honest, when it would cost me only a few hundred dollars more to attend any of the better-managed F1 races in Europe, I can see why the promoters have an uphill battle, especially when the FIA governing body of Formula 1 charges excessive fees to the track owners so that FIA can pay the large amounts of money to the teams to cover development and playboy millionaire-driver costs. Unlike in Yurp, we Murkins have a lot of choices when it comes to motorsports — Indycar and NASCAR come to mind, both of which are better spectacles than F1 anyway, because they are less
  • Boring — It says a lot that a NASCAR race on an oval track can be more exciting to watch than the F1 Grand Prix. In my opinion there are several ways that F1 could improve the sport and make it more exciting for spectators,  but I’ll talk about that some other time. So I’d rather not watch the F1 races in situ, but instead spend my Saturdays and Sundays
  • Online — The annual cost for the F1 live-streaming TV coverage of all the races is about one-tenth the cost of attending a single Grand Prix: no expensive hotel rooms, no driving three hours just to get to Austin, no traffic jams, no long walks over muddy fields and along congested roads, no exorbitant tickets costs, etc. Rather, I’ll sit in my comfortable recliner with some kind of beverage in hand and a bowl of snacks, and watch the entire race, not just the piece of track I can see from my seat. I hope it rains.

And here’s the real takeaway from my gripe: once there’s no reason for me to attend said event, it really doesn’t matter whether there’s a US Grand Prix at all — on TV, the coverage is pretty much confined to the track anyway. (For that matter, I’d rather watch the Spa or Monza races on TV anyway because the tracks are more interesting than the Scalextric layout of COTA.)

Incidentally, I am fully aware of the irony of COTA hiring Britney Spears to perform after their Grand Prix:

 …while F1 has banned grid girls.

Let it also be said that I wouldn’t attend a Britney concert as a gift. I have enough problems with my hearing without subjecting my ears to her breathy dog-whistle voice. And as I have no idea who or what “Bruno Mars” is, it’s a safe assumption that I won’t be watching that either.

Sayonara, Austin Grand Prix. I’d like to say it was fun while it lasted; but overall, it wasn’t. I’m a huge fan of F1 — just not the way you stage it. Too bad, really.

Another Frigging Moron

I have often said that had I been Rick Blaine in the movie Casablanca, I would have arranged to have Major Strasser send that Commie rat Viktor Laszlo off to a concentration camp, then spent the rest of the war in Casablanca making boatloads of money from the bar and lots of babies with Ilsa.

I grant you that in my scenario above, Casablanca would have been somewhat different from the version as released, but that’s just me. Others, however,  are drawn to adventure, like this fool who is currently climbing Mt. Everest:

His name is Ben Fogle and he is an “adventurer”, which is all well and good while you’re a single young man with no responsibilities (which is why his counterparts in, say, the Marine Corps are considered expendable).

But Fogle leaves this behind to go on his adrenaline-junkie escapades:

It’s not just the fact that Marina Fogle is drop-dead lovely (which she is), but there are children involved. So when Daddy plunges to his death / gets eaten by a shark / dies of some hideous disease in a poxy jungle in some shithole country, these beautiful kids will have to come to terms with the fact that their Daddy thought that his adventures were more important than they were (which he clearly does).

Frankly, were I Mrs. Fogle, I’d ditch her selfish husband and hook up with someone more responsible. He wouldn’t have to be an accountant or lawyer or some equally-dreadful nebbish, just someone with a greater sense of familial duty than her existing husband. That she doesn’t do this makes her a better person than he is.

Nevertheless, Fogle will doubtless meet a pointless death like that Aussie idiot who was always playing with dangerous animals, and Mrs. Fogle can get on with her life. It’s just too bad that the kids have to suffer along the way.

Incoherent

Sometimes, I could just spit. Most recently, when reading Kruiser’s comment on Trump’s surge in support among Black men (not “males” — another pet peeve), young Stephen made the following statement:

“Yes, the numbers are small, but doubling up is better than doubling down.”

…which makes no fucking sense at all, does it? I know why he said it that way, and it’s a cute juxtaposition, but Kruiser just comes  off as illiterate when he utters such mumbo-jumbo.

For the benefit of good grammar:  “doubling” by definition is growth — i.e. “up” — so “doubling up” is redundant. Next: “doubling down” is a gambling term — i.e. not appropriate in this context. What Kruiser meant to say was that in terms of Trump’s popularity among Kanyes, going up is better than going down, and the correct expression of which is quite simple:

“Doubling is better than halving.”

Sometimes I wonder why I bother…

Big Picture

I’m always amazed that people can sometimes get hoodwinked by statistics, but then I spent probably half my life working with the damn things, so I’m more or less immune to the problem. Here’s one which could affect me personally:

More than 120 Uber and Lyft drivers have reportedly sexually assaulted their passengers, according to a report by CNN.
After analyzing police reports, federal court records and county court databases across the US, the cable news channel found that over the last four years, at least 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers have allegedly raped, forcibly touched or kidnapped passengers, among other crimes.

Whoever wrote this scare story needs to get a kick in the ass. Here’s the first part: the appearance up front of the total number — which is alarming, I’ll admit.

I’ll ignore the Lyft number for the moment, because I’m an Uber driver.

Granted, the hundred-odd incidences (rounding down to a manageable number) involving Uber drivers is too high — hell, one is too many — but we’re dealing with human beings here, and any human activity is prone to abuse.

At least the number of years was disclosed — four — which averages about 25 per annum. Still too many, but not as scary as the magic 100. But the killer statistic is really the one which CNN buries much later in the “report”, which is, 100 out of how many total Uber trips or events over four years did these attacks take place.

That number is, according to Uber, is 2.4 billion. In other words, the chances of anyone getting molested by an Uber driver are 1 in 24 million.

Even allowing (let’s say) that only unaccompanied women are going to get molested, and they account for about half of all Uber trips — which is roughly my experience — that’s still only 1 in 12 million.

Now factor in geography — i.e. places where the Uber driver population is skewed towards men most likely to commit these crimes — and the stats, just looking at the last names of people who are accused of such crimes, tend to support the hypothesis that these criminals fall into the Middle-Eastern and African  demographic, and many, especially in large urban metropolises, are fairly-recent immigrants — and the picture becomes especially clear.

What’s disturbing about all this is that Uber does screen potential drivers before enlisting them, which begs the question as to whether their screening process — or at least the proficiency of the company that Uber uses to do the screening — should not be more comprehensive or thorough. And you can be sure that Uber will do just that — because they too say that even one such incidence is too many.

Still, ladies: it looks like you’re safer taking an Uber trip* than walking (or even driving) to your destination, especially in a strange locale.

That’s the conclusion to be taken from the CNN report, even if that’s not necessarily the one that CNN wanted you to.


*You’re even safer, of course, if you have me as your Uber driver — unless of course I forgot to take my “special” pill that morning… [exit, drooling]