Richard Heene – The Singing (Science) Detective

Listen to Richard Heene – Science Detective!

When not pretending to send his children off in UFO-shaped balloons or having his trousers dry-cleaned, Richard Heene likes to write theme songs for his science adventures. This one is getting slated across the internet, but I find it rather catchy. Tune into the show that’s really effective: Watch Richard Heene…. Science Detective!

Unfortunately for Mr Heene, the non-Science Detectives have also proven to be fairly effective. I would suggest to him that the fatal flaw in his plan was expecting 6 year olds to hold up under the brutal interrogation techniques of cable news.

If you want to know what it’s like to be arrested,
be blogged about quite rudely, and widely detested.
With parenting skills that are truly defective:
Ask Richard Heene…Science Detective!

MEP Daniel Hannan lies about the UK on US Television for money.

While socialised medicine is considered with great mistrust in the US, here in the UK, no political party would dare to suggest that the dear old NHS should be replaced. Unless, of course, they didn’t think anyone from Britain would notice.

In this clip, UK Conservative, MEP Daniel Hannan, holds court with the crown prince of right-wing crazy, Glenn Beck.

You would not think it to listen to Hannan and his FOX friends, but we do actually also have private medicine here. It’s much cheaper than the US, of course, because they have to compete with the NHS, but if you have the money, you can still buy whatever healthcare you desire. You can also buy painkillers pretty much anywhere. Hannan’s “friend” that claims that NHS staff got aggressive with him for trying to buy painkillers is either fictional, or not telling the whole story. Also, those prostate cancer survival rate claims have been debunked so many times (they’re measured totally differently in the different countries so have no relation to eachother), nobody with any respect for their audience ought to be trotting them out. Ah right, I forgot, it’s Glenn Beck.

Daniel Hannan is of course the man who famously insisted that the BNP is a party of the far-left. He has clearly learned from Beck, who is equally happy to claim that the Nazi party was left wing, as part of the “liberal fascism” smear.

Why is Daniel Hannan still a member of the Conservative party? This man is getting a platform because of his membership of a mainstream party, and is using it to be paid to tell the most grievous lies about the UK, and Europe. Lies that would not be tolerated here.

Yesterday he found a new friend, Mr Hannity. Apparently he is spending a great deal of time in the US campaigning against healthcare reform. Do the people who elected him to the European parliament realise this is how he is spending his time? How much money is he making from his disloyal behaviour?

Dear US readers. Daniel Hannan is a liar being paid to lie, and you should not place any stock in his words. The leader of his party, David Cameron, has said in response “I support the NHS 100% and the Conservative Party supports the NHS 100%. We are the party that gives the biggest amount of support to the NHS. It is incredibly important to my family. It is incredibly important to this country.”.

That’s all very well, Mr Cameron, but Mr Hannan is not doing his job, and making the UK look bad in the eyes of America. Kick him out.

I should thank him, I suppose, for making me sufficiently angry to end a month-long lack of posting!

Coke Zero – A call for a worldwide ban.

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has banned Coke Zero, calling it “harmful to people’s well-being”, which I am assuming is a polite way of saying that it tastes like crap. I am a big consumer of colas, mostly of the sugared varieties, and especially Cherry Coke. I do, however, find Pepsi Max and Diet Coke to be drinkable, so I am not entirely biased against low sugar colas. The brown cloying liquid known as Coke Zero is a step too far for me. Nay, a thousand leagues too far! I begin to wish that I, too, were master of a nation, that I could rid its pestilence from the land.

I’d rather drink Tizer than Coke Zero. Ugh, I’d rather drink DIET Tizer.

Coke Zero is an insult to the senses, but actually it is not quite the worst big name cola I have ever drunk. That would be this:

The abomination that is Coke Zero Vanilla.

The abomination that is Coke Zero Vanilla.

Venezuela’s ban is a step in the right direction, but this needs escalating to the UN Security Council, for the sake of taste-buds everywhere.

Captain America on Torture.

If Captain America was interviewed by Fox News’ Sean Hannity:

Captain America hates torture.

Captain America hates torture.

He’s also not big on detaining people indefinitely without trial.

Luckily for him, Captain America is just about the only guy in the US who can get away with saying stuff like that without being called unamerican.

Microsoft threatens to leave US if tax-loopholes are closed.

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft is threatening to pull out of the US, if the Obama administration moves to close tax loop-holes that are allowing multinationals to avoid paying tax.:

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive. We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S. as opposed to keeping them inside the U.S.”

He might love his company (a little too much), but he doesn’t seem to like the country that allowed it to grow and thrive. Microsoft managed perfectly well under previous, much higher, tax regimes, but I guess they’ve gotten used to not having to put much back in to America. Or maybe ol’ Crazy Steve is just shooting his mouth off without thinking again.

Do You Feel Safer? : The latest GOP advert.

This is the latest official advert from the leaders of the Republican party. Really. :

Since you’re asking, why yes, I do feel safer. I feel safer because I believe the new President will actually consider reality before he makes decisions, and I feel safer because I do not think that he will use violence as his favoured method of dealing with the world’s issues. His willingness to talk to people who disagree with him, and to consider their points of view, make for a pleasant change to the insanity of the last four years.

The GOP is stuck in a behavioural loop. It failed to win the election by trying to incite terror of “The Other”, but that seems to be all it knows how to do any more. At the moment, they’re just engaging in self-parody. I’m surprised they didn’t stick a picture of a rabid fanged pig, Megatron, and some Goa’uld in there, just for good measure.

The GOP seems to think that they can bravely make the principled argument for torture, without disgusting the majority of Americans, and Planet Earth. “It’s alright when the US does it, because we’re the greatest country in the world.” is the belief that lies behind so much of the US foreign policy of the last few decades, but it is not an argument that has much traction outside of the US.

Incidentally, this advert has caused a bit of a kerfuffle, due to one of the pictures showing Obama meeting with the Hispanic caucus. Why Obama meeting with the grouping of Hispanic members of congress should be remotely frightening to anyone speaks volumes about how the GOP leadership’s minds work. Of course, they’re now saying that that picture was put in their advert accidentally. Bloody stupid mistake if that’s true.

Bad “Meet”: Saudi Arabia in dust up with the State Department

This could get interesting.

Saudi Arabia has demanded that the US retract a claim that King Abdullah met Israeli President Shimon Peres in 2008, in a rare rebuke towards its ally.

An unnamed Saudi official said the claim by US Under Secretary at the State Department, William Burns, was “completely false and fabricated”.

Mr Burns said this week King Abdullah and Mr Peres met at a UN interfaith conference in New York last November.

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have diplomatic relations.

The unnamed Saudi official was quoted by Saudi Arabia’s state-run SPA news agency.

The official said that the US state department had to “deny the claim and provide clarification for the reasons behind such fabrication that does not serve the relations between the two friendly countries”. – BBC

The problem with that is, at the conference back in November, this was reported:

Israeli President Shimon Peres has praised the king of Saudi Arabia for his Middle East peace initiative.

At an interfaith meeting at the United Nations, Mr Peres told King Abdullah he hoped his would be the “prevailing voice of the whole region”.

When Mr Peres took to the floor, he broke off from his prepared speech to address King Abdullah directly.

“Your Majesty, the king of Saudi Arabia,” he said. “I was listening to your message. I wish that your voice will become the prevailing voice of the whole region, of all people. It’s right. It’s needed. It’s promising. BBC

I would suppose it depends what your definition of “met” is. In any case, the strength of the Saudi objection is pretty unseemly and aggressive. Whatever happened, I hope the administration sticks to whatever the truth is, and does not allow itself to be bullied. William Burns should have known better than to mention any meeting, as it is no secret that it is a very sore topic with Saudi Arabia, but now that it has been said, the new administration can not be seen to say that the sky is green just to placate their oil-dealers.

Considering Saudi Arabia is trying to promote it’s own peace plan for the region, this childish nonsense of refusing to talk to people, much as Bush refused to talk to Iran and Syria, needs to end.