The Patch

August 14, 2007

Spot the mistake.

Filed under: Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 4:36 pm

From the conservative magazine, Weekly Standard, in 2004 (yes, I’m aware that this is a bit late), something that was pointed out to me:

“President Roosevelt waited until after World War II to put in place a commission to investigate what mistakes led to Pearl Harbor.”

It’s a bit of a trick asking you to spot the mistake, because technically there are two. The less egregious one is the fact that the sentence is itself false; President Roosevelt actually set up a commission to investigate Pearl Harbor almost right after the event itself, skewering May’s claim that it’s somehow unprecedented and slightly unseemly for the executive to be immediately held accountable for mistakes and errors that have been made.

But there’s an even bigger mistake than that, amusingly.

The 40 different times a virgin

Filed under: Miscellany — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 11:13 am

 So, coming from Crooked Timber, who’re having a nice barney about whether or not it is a statistical impossibility that men and women report, on average, different numbers of sexual partners (Answer: Probably not, and it seems this is just another case of the press being sloppy when it comes to statistics, although of course this is fairly innocuous compared to previous statistical fuckups, such as the cool response over the Lancet papers, as Tim Lambert of Deltoid has wearingly noted over the past few years), I was working my way through links about the above study when I came across this blog, whereby somebody mentions in a comment, offhand, snarkily, “secondary virginity”.

I’ve heard the term before, but as a connoisseur of the human capacity for denial of reality and vicarious self-loathing (it tastes like sweet, sweet, strawberries), I did what I normally do, and started trawling google for links to a little known but mildly irritating subculture.

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August 13, 2007

Ooh, I forgot this…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 3:10 pm

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Monday 13th August

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 3:18 am

Apologies for my abscene from these pages of late. I’m afraid I have been busy. Fretting mainly, but busy nonetheless. And lacking in ideas. Lots of ideas. I divulge however (actually, I don’t – those apologies and explanations were necessary to make you, the loyal reader, feel like I care about your life and how my writings affect it. Or is that ‘effect’? I’ve always had trouble with that one. Like with Fleetwood Mac and The Carpenters. I always get those two mixed up. Anyway, this is definitely divulging now, so back on with the show). MORE!!!! (more…)

August 12, 2007

Sunday 12th August 2007.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,Music & Film — Claire @ 6:25 pm

It’s been a while. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, doesn’t it? And a change is as good as the rest, so they say, which is why, dear Patchers, the wind of change is about to caress The Patch. Cliches aside, we have decided to try a different approach in our reporting in the hope that we will return to our former 7-days-a-week-baby glory, filling your lives in ways only we can.

In laymans terms, there will be no ‘days’ for particular subjects anymore, nor will us Patchists be confined to reporting one subject. And we’ll see how that works.

Me, I fancy revisiting my old haunt, Celebrity, today, because Amy Winehouse is troubling me.

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August 10, 2007

Urge to kill… rising…

Filed under: Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 5:03 pm

From tigrismus, a commenter at Sadly, No!, comes the single most boneheadedly stupid thing I have ever heard, ever.

Witness Stu Bykofsky, a man who is willing to say the things that other people won’t say, because other people would consider them nasty, shallow little ghouls who care about nothing but their petty little ideological agendas, and his column for the Philadelphia Daily News:

To save America, we need another 9/11.

I shit you not. Not content with the possibility of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead, for the sake of some nebulous “unity” (by which Mr. Bykofsky means “people will once again line up under Bush to go and bomb some brown people who didn’t actually have that much to do with the attack, whilst we can demonise those who dissent as traitors again”) the man is wishing, almost orgasmically waiting for Al-Qaeda to strike again, at perhaps places like “The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago’s Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.”

Who is it that hates America, again?

August 7, 2007

The wonders of the corporate state

Filed under: Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 4:43 pm

The most infuriating thing about libertarians isn’t that they have an unfortunately pessimistic view of humanity and government, or that they are applying the dictums of basic economic theory which only apply in specialised conditions to more complex market structures, or, much like the Leninists of old, the belief that the system can never be failed, it is some nefarious outside force that is corrupting the pure scientific and natural outcomes. These are all exceptionally annoying, but not the worst. It is the belief that it is only government power we should worry about when our lives are getting regulated and catalogued, our personal freedoms violated, but the corporate power to do that is just fine and dandy. Libertarians, so high-and-mighty when it comes to the protection of our freedom of speech, so wonderously fighting for the little guy when the government comes calling, go strangely quiet when our employers try to silence us. Well, that’s not true, actually, they don’t go quiet. They start loudly fighting again, but for the the large corporation’s “right” to poke, prod, snoop, anywhere it wants to.

Take, for instance, Clarian Health, a US hospital system, that is going to start fining people for being unhealthy:

“In late June, the Indianapolis-based hospital system announced that starting in 2009, it will fine employees $10 per paycheck if their body mass index [BMI, a ratio of height to weight that measures body fat] is over 30. If their cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels are too high, they’ll be charged $5 for each standard they don’t meet. Ditto if they smoke: Starting next year, they’ll be charged another $5 in each check.

Clarian has been making headlines for its aggressive and unusual approach to covering escalating health-care costs. Rather than taking the more common step of giving employees incentives for merely participating in its wellness programs, such as joining a smoking cessation group or using a health coach, Clarian is actually measuring outcomes. And unlike most employers, it is penalizing workers for poor health instead of rewarding them for taking healthy steps.

[…]

At Clarian, employees who have blood pressure that’s above 140 over 90, blood glucose levels over 120, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol over 130, or a BMI over 29.9 could be subject to the paycheck deductions. Of the company’s 13,000 employees, about 8,000 are enrolled in the company’s health plan. The company estimates that as many as 34% of its employees will meet the definition of being obese, while it expects lower levels for other health measures. About 26% are tobacco users. The fines are waived for employees who can provide a doctor’s note stating it’s not advisable for them to try to meet the benchmark — employees will be able to submit new notes from their doctors quarterly — and that they are complying with the proper diet, exercise, and treatment plan.”

Work! Be happier, fitter, more productive! Do what you are told! Feel good, or you shall pay! Smile, or you shall be thrown out into the cold! Don’t say anything about what you might see that is unfair! See, this is the bait-and-switch that the libertarians pull. Far from being rebels against an unfair, dictatorial system, man, libertarians support one unfair, dictatorial system over another. Although in this system, you can’t at least choose the boss that’s fucking you over. Oh, well, I suppose you could go and get another job, but in this market? And what about the benefits you’ve already accrued? And of course, it doesn’t matter where you get a job if they’re all doing it, like the article suggests may happen in the near future.

This is the real problem with libertarianism; the refusal to acknowledge that private interests can have as much power over a person and violate their liberties as much as government can, and that this power is far less democratically controllable.

Fuck you, libertarians.

August 6, 2007

Continuing the theme…

Filed under: Politics — freshlysqueezedcynic @ 7:17 pm

Everyone continues to dogpile on Nick “Waah, Fascist” Cohen, as evidenced by this hilarious thread over at Crooked Timber taking the piss out of the World’s Only Lefty.

A highlight comes from the delusional sod himself:

“Rather than accepting the psychological consequences of confessing error, people lose their bearings. They talk only to friends. They imagine conspiracies as they seek the worst possible motives for their critics. They retreat into coteries and speak in code … To cut a long story short, they go a little mad.”

And he is speaking about the people who were right about Iraq.
Repeat after me, people:

Cunt.

August 1, 2007

Wednesday 1st August- Some things change, others stay the same.

Filed under: Celebrity/TV,International News,Politics,UK News — denesha @ 1:58 pm

On the 1st August 2007, Gordon Brown obtained a moral and foreign policy victory during his visit to the States, by securing enough votes to send a 26000 strong UN peacekeeping force to Sudan. Of course, there needs to be a political solution to the problem to ensure a lasting peace and hopes run high for a meeting between the warring factions on Friday and the deployment of these troops was indeed watered down to suit the Chinese government’s interests in Sudan. However, it is undeniable that the deployment of these troops is the most progress the international community has made in stopping what key political figures have been referring to as genocide for the past two years. The ethnic cleansing of Sudan by the Janjaweed rebel forces has been going on for four years now and the 7000 strong African Union troops have been struggling to restore peace. The deployment of these troops marks a clear victory for Brown as the series of groundwork laid by foreign office staff in the run up to his visit to the UN and the personal intervention of Brown in persuading China to agree to the resolution, resulted in the most positive steps the UN has taken in alleviating the violence that has claimed at least 200 000 lives. Nevertheless, the success was limited as the force does not have the power to disarm militias or track suspected war criminals, and Brown’s threat of implementing UN sanctions if the Sudanese government failed to comply was omitted from the resolution. The UN troops will be the largest peacekeeping force in the world and will be mainly drawn from African nations, thus removing a key factor behind the Sudanese government’s initial opposition to the force. The meeting on Friday will hopefully result in a peace deal that will end the violence and allow the displaced refugees in the Darfur camps to return home in safety.

On the 1st August 2007, Perez Hilton wrote a blog post about a picture of Matthew Perry on which the celebrity blogger wrote ‘baked.’ This man (Perez Hilton, not Perry who is now my second favourite character on Studio 60) is the dregs of society yet is given money and attention from celebrities like Victoria Beckham to write his disgusting and sometimes, near illiterate, blog posts. His idea of news is scribbling on pictures of celebrities. Even my 6 year old niece has better writing skills than Hilton, and she spells my name as “Dhsd”. I refuse to link to his site as it offends me deeply and the man will not get any traffic from the Patch. It just makes me sad that on a day when a remarkable achievement has been made in ensuring peace in Sudan, there is someone out there who will never know because Perez Hilton chose to write about how ‘baked’ Matthew Perry looks. Cunt.

July 27, 2007

Friday 27th – Summer Song Salvation

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 4:17 am

It may have rained today. A lot. A hella lot. But this week finally saw some sun in this wrecthed summer, and thus I was inspired. Inspired to compile this free 30 song compilation of summer sounds. Yes, just click on the link and follow whatever instructions Send Space give, then upload all those fantastic songs onto your MP3 thingamajig and go for a walk, or climb or a hill, or ride your bike or just lay back and relax with some Malibu and pineapple (a wonderful drink). Here follows a tracklisting and some ponderings. (more…)

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