Recession depression

Interesting that folks this side of the pond are starting to talk in terms of recession. The situation really is very worrying indeed. Home repossessions have doubled, paid work is becoming harder to find and I think there is much worse to come. There are number of very serious contributing factors in my view:-

  • The sub-prime lending fiasco – people lent far more money than they could afford to pay back.
  • Big banks no longer trusting each other and unwilling to lend money to one another. This inter-bank lending is what lubricates the wheels of free-market capitalism. If it dries up then basically we are buggered.
  • A totally decimated industrial base. What do we actually make here in the UK? Bugger all.
  • UK and the United States having economies that are tied together too closely. If Washington sneezes we catch the flu.
  • UK (& US) wasting billions of dollars on a long, drawn-out and utterly pointless foreign war. I still don’t understand how Blair got away with this. The guy should be standing trial for war crimes, not swanning about as Middle East Envoy.
  • The Iraq war has also resulted in oil-price-instability and hence a massive hike in raw energy costs.

What seems to be forgotten is that wars cost money. This money and this has to come from somewhere. It has already cost the US three trillion dollars. Our Government won’t actually tell us what it’s cost. I suspect it doesn’t know how much it has cost!

Finally, I think these national current account figures make particularly depressing reading. Note the three countries way down at the bottom – i.e. those with the biggest national debt – are the United Kingdom, Spain & United States. Remember, these are also the three major players in the Iraq fiasco:-

And remember these are the CIA’s own figures!

We are really in the poo methinks…

Are Americans more dumb than the Brits?

This allegedly US-produced map of the world, simplified to the point of stupidity, sums up graphically how many people around the planet regard the average American view of the world…

But is it really fair or wise to write off all Americans as dumb or arrogant?

Firstly there are plenty of dumb, arrogant and generally unpleasant individuals here in Old Blighty. There’s no chav like a British chav! I’d say that Springer’s flow of “trailer trash” actually seems quite bright compared to some of the specimens one sees dragging their knuckles along Shirley High Street, here in sunny Southampton.

Secondly, I think the current incumbent in the White House has probably done more to damage America’s reputation abroad than all other US presidents put together. But you can’t damn a nation because of its damned president! Remember that only 25% actually voted for him – and the vote-counting in several states was far from transparent.

Thirdly, America has done some great things, (e.g. Man on the Moon, Arpanet, Unix, GPS, Hubble Telescope, Maglites etc.) – along with some fairly dreadful ones of course (e.g Macdonalds, Microsoft Windows, Iraq war, Vietnam War, Jerry Springer Show, etc .)

Fourthly, there are a lot of Americans who are deeply distressed by their image abroad. There is a definite sense of , “Hey, when did we become the bad guys?”. I remember one American friend ringing me on the eve of the Iraq War saying she felt ashamed to be American. Another young American lad I got chatting to on a bumpy bus ride across one of the Hong Kong Islands told me that in his travels around the Far East he seldom admits his nationality, for fear of attack. He tells people he is Canadian.

On the bright side there are voices of resistance and they are growing stronger. We don’t hear much about it here – not unless you spend a bit of time on the internet.

This is my favourite. It is excellent. These people actually tell the truth! Bush’s administration don’t like them very much but it makes one think there may be hope for America – and the rest of us – after all..

I don’t like Mondays

I’m not awfully keen on Mondays. Actually I’m not particularly keen on mornings generally – being something of a creature of the night.

Just been rudely awoken by the planet’s noisiest bin men. Never understand why they just settle for kicking my wheely bin round a few times and thumping the side of the dustcart whist revving the engine till the governor cuts in. Go on Why not go the full hog? Blow the bloody lot up with some gelignite and let me get back to sleep!

I have a shed load of work to do but no energy or inclination to do it. Coffee has gone cold again and I can’t be bothered to waddle over to the microwave to heat it up again. And I can’t find my goose shoes. In fact, I am of the opinion the world is full of bastards and they are all out to get me. As as the late Kenneth Williams observed in his toga-clad role as Julius Caesar in Carry on Cleo,

The infamy, the infamy, they’ve all got it in for me!

London – what a dump!

When I was a mere gosling, I remember visiting Paris and thinking how much dirtier it was than London. Today completely the reverse is true. London must be Western Europe’s grubbiest capital.

Nothing seems to work properly in London any more, does it? Bin bags strewn across the pavement. Unintelligible or non existent road signs. Short bits of wide road joined by ridiculously narrow ones so that nothing actually joins up. Congestion charging. Potholes. Dog turds. Litter. Chewing gum on the seats of all the buses and tube trains. Great ugly lumps of concrete dumped in the street to “prevent terrorism” but actually just prevent the traffic moving.

And then, when you are stuck on the South Circular at virtually the same spot for two hours waiting for the smoky poison-pumping wreck of a bus in front to move forward another two centimetres, you have to read some smug advertising hoarding commissioned by Ken “newt-brain” Livingstone telling you how bloody marvellous London is since he took the helm!

And don’t get me started on that mismanaged cesspit they call Heathrow!

Bush wanted!

This made me chuckle. Hopefully one day the law enforcement agencies will get the bastard – before he emigrates to the 40,050 hectare ranch he has just bought in Paraguay. This was the same country that many Nazis escaped to after 1945. Seems the Bush Gang plans to do the same. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that Paraguay has a loophole in its extradition treaty with the USA that excludes “political crimes”!

Of course once the law gets after Bush and his criminal cronies, even if it can’t actually catch them all, there is a very good chance that we can finally get that grinning, lying, two-faced shyster Blair.

Wanted - George Dubbya Massmurderer Bush Bastard

This was lifted from…

There is a bigger version that you can download and use to print T-shirts or scale down for desktop wallpaper. You can also print it out and perhaps send a copy to Tony Blair just to make the lying two-faced bastard pee himself in anticipation of the fate that eventually awaits him.

Glad it’s all over

Well thank goodness it is all over. England lost. No surprises there. No more stupid flag-waving and chanting (at least for a while). Hopefully the disgraceful behaviour of its fans will now subside into a more mundane and dreary level of chavdom and petty crime.

The fact that England (or “Engerland” as it is called by its grunting fans) got chucked out of the World Cup again is not the issue here. To get a feeling for the depths to which our nation has really sunk, take a look at this oafish, useless, spiteful, moronic chav. His mum must be so proud of him…

Wayne Rooney stamping on Portugal defender Ricardo Carvalho's testicles.
Wayne Rooney stamping on Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho’s testicles. From

Yes folks, this is “Engerland’s” star player Wayne Rooney, stamping on another man’s testicles as he and the bunch of useless, overpaid left-footers he plays with botch yet another match.

What kind of a human being can stamp on another man’s testicles? And what sort of message does this send out to “Engerland’s” beer-swilling, brawling supporters. Is it any wonder English football fans behave the way they do when this is the example the players set?

Far from being some sort of national hero, Rooney should be charged for assault and if convicted, jailed for life. This is a criminal offence, and Rooney is a violent, useless chav who should be dropped from the team immediately.

Elsewhere, 1500 “Engerland” fans poured more shame on this once-proud nation as they rioted in the otherwise quiet island of Jersey. Apparently they wanted to smash up some Portuguese shops. Why? Because Portugal won a football match!

Strange to think that in the middle of the last century countless people gave up their lives to defeat Naziism. Today, vile racist thugs drape themselves in our flag and have a free hand to do pretty much whatever they like.

The English team and its Neanderthal supporters are a national disgrace. Perhaps before we embarrass ourselves again at the next “World Cup”, the overpaid plonker calling himself “England Manager” will have the good grace to resign his team from the competition before it plays a single match. That way we can avoid any further football-based national disgrace, on or off the field.

Perhaps the greatest irony of all is that racist, flag-waving scumbags here in old Blighty are forever complaining about immigrants. But take one look at our football team and the morons that support it. Look at our appallingly incompetent and corrupt Government. Look at the state of our streets, our public services and our infrastructure. Bear in mind we are one of the most highly taxed nations on earth. Why any self-respecting foreign person should want to live here is completely beyond me.

Greed and Stupidity

They say “there is a mug born every minute”. Judging from the contents of our ‘in boxes’, the planet is becoming overrun by them. It seems astonishing to us geese, that articulate, intelligent humans actually believe that if they give some unknown company all their friends’ personal details then they will receive something really great for free, with no strings. It’s all true – like I’m Mother Teresa’s web-footed nephew! 🙂

The latest attempt at persuading people to sell-out their friends for a few freebies is now hitting our mailboxes here at GarfNet. It comes from an outfit calling itself ‘GetItFree‘. You go to GetItFree’s website and give it your friends’ email addresses. If you betray enough of your friends, then you might receive a free iPod. Meantime, GetItFree spams all your friends until they join up too, amidst offers of all sorts of free goodies. And if your buddies don’t join up first time, GetItFree continues to spam them, er I mean ‘remind‘ them until they do!

Why are you humans so gullible? Wake up and smell the pond, er I mean coffee! It’s just yet another email harvesting scam! It works like this…

Lists of genuine email addresses are worth a lot of money. These scams bring out the Judas in gullible humans by persuading you to sell your friends email addresses for a handful of silver (e.g. an iPod). Then, surprise, surprise, no silver! If you really hassle them you might get something of lesser value. But probably not! The key to how this scam works is actually contained in GetItFree’s own terms of service, if you can be bothered to read them…

Especially this bit (copied verbatim 2006-05-12)…

GetItFree reserves the right to modify or amend this Agreement at any time, for any reason, or for no reason at all, at GetItFree’s sole discretion. We also reserves the right to change the methods through which free products are earned. This may include, but is not limited to, increasing the number of friends you have to refer or adding more steps to confirm that you have a legitimate account. GetItFree may also add or remove any gift product listed as an incentive at any time. If we replace a product, the new product may not be of equal value.

I.e. You sell-out your friends. Then GetItFree can change the agreement in whatever way it wants, whenever it pleases and you are entitled to precisely NOTHING! Great deal huh?!? At least Judas actually received his thirty pieces of silver!

My advice…

  1. Do a Google search before subscribing to any “too good to be true” scheme/scam. It only takes a few minutes and it can save your friendships and prevent you from making a complete fool of yourself.
  2. If the scam is web-based then read its terms and conditions carefully. You might need a magnifying glass to read all that smallprint but they are always good for a laugh!
  3. If you really are determined to be stupid then please don’t involve us! We don’t want any free offers. Please don’t give companies our personal details without asking our permission. Especially mine!

By the way, if you live in the European Union then passing on other people’s personal details to third parties without their consent probably contravenes the EU Privacy Directive and you could face legal action.

Honk! Honk!

A few goosy thoughts on the future of Micro$haft

I had to honk with a certain amount of web-footed shadenfreuder when I read that Microsoft Vista, the much-hyped new version of Windows, is to be delayed yet again, till 2007 January this time.

Surely not! 🙂

Click Tux, the Linux penguin to visit http://www.linux.orgThing is, methinks this year (2006) will be the turning point for the open source community. There is so much good free open source software out there now and every day it gets better & better. For example, Linux operating system is now so smooth that for the majority of users, this does everything they need, at zero cost and without the dreadful security issues that seem permanently to plague Windoze users.

And frankly, OpenOffice (the free open source Office suite for both Windows & Linux) is in some respects better than M$ Office.

Even my goosy blog is run on 100% open source software. I’m a poor old goose and I won’t sell any more of my splendid feathers to pay for Windoze! And what about the really poor folks in the majority world? People there simply can’t afford the huge price Micro$oft extorts from its users in the West – for a product that for the last fiteen years has consistently failed to deliver on it promises. Methinks that pretty soon, even wealthy western businesses are going to start asking, “What the flippin’ heck are we paying Micro$haft all this money for?”

Indeed, we are starting to see (here in the UK anyway) cheap, OS-free PC’s. I reckon it may not be long before Windoze becomes an expensive optional extra. I.e. “Linux for free or Windoze for fifty quid”. That kind of thing. Or M$ will have to drop the price considerably. Methinks M$ Office c/w Windoze for tenner would be about right!

Then there is Kofi Annan’s $100 laptop for the majority world. This is his one laptop per child initiative (OLPC). Not a whiff of M$ Windoze here. Just like GarfNet, this baby is 100% penguin-powered and full of unixy goodness. I.e. it runs Linux…

It means that a whole generation of kids will grow up without going anywhere near a M$ product!!!


Mind you I think the mock-ups look far too nice for a load of horrid, grubby-fingered kids! And how about a one laptop per goose (OLPG) campaign then, Kofi? Rampant goosism, that’s what I call it!

Anyway, I digress. It’s hard to tell what will happen to M$ now. My guess it will be back to the late 1980’s – they’ll be back to giving away Windoze again! 🙂 With lean times on the way for the mighty Micro$haft, I’m not sure what they’ll feed that fat cat, CEO Steve Ballmer?

Developers, developers, developers, developers” perhaps?

Honk! Honk!

[dedicated to “the Angel”, as she gets her first insights into open source]

Letter from America

A friend in New Jersey sent me this. I always thought Republicans were such sweet guys! Ah well, read on…

You know you’re Republican when…

  1. Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
  2. Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a “we can’t find Bin Laden” diversion.
  3. Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to the spirit of international harmony.
  4. The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing UN resolutions against Iraq.
  5. A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi- national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
  6. The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.
  7. If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.
  8. A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
  9. Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
  10. Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
  11. A president lying about an extramarital affair is a impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
  12. Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
  13. The public has a right to know about Hillary’s cattle trades, but George Bush’s driving record is none of our business.
  14. Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness and you need ourprayers for your recovery.
  15. What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the ’80s is irrelevant.
  16. Remember, Republicans will always be the first and fattest hog at the government trough.

Feel free to pass this on, remember: friends don’t let friends vote Republican!

I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.E B White

Moronic chain emails

If there’s one thing that really gets my feathers ruffled it’s those STUPID chain emails people keep sending to my personal, private email address. Ok, ‘no names, no pack drill’ – but you know who you are!

The truth about chain emails…

Well, I’ll let you all into a little secret: they are all lies. No! you won’t be receiving $1000 dollars from Microsoft for sending ‘this email’ to all your buddies. No! the ‘missing child’ isn’t really missing. She doesn’t actually exist. And No! sending ‘this email’ to everyone you know won’t give you eternal good luck. It won’t make you rich or famous beyond your wildest dreams. It won’t make you beautiful or desirable to the opposite sex (or the same sex if that’s what floats your boat). There is no free trip to Disneyland. Nokia and Ericsson are not giving away free phones. No amount of spamming your mates, (or by now former mates) will cure anyone’s cancer, epilepsy or migraines. And it won’t even touch herpes, chlamydia or any of those ‘social diseases’ you may have contracted after a few good nights out on the town.

So please do NOT forward those stupid chain mails to me!

Chain emails are about as welcome here as a dose of the pox! And I have a special message for the spiteful morons who send me those vile ‘you will have a lifetime of bad luck if you don’t pass on this email to all your friends‘ variety. Cobblers! My ‘bad luck‘ is that I might be in some way associated with you!

On a scale of credibility that already dips well into minus-figures, the most moronic of all the chain emails has to be the the exceptionally dumb Sainsbury’s Vouchers hoax that’s currently doing the rounds here in Old Blighty. And hundreds of silly, greedy Brits have actually fallen for it! Hardly surprising I suppose as this lot actually voted again for that mass-murdering, war-mongering, grinning, two-faced shyster Blair, when he really ought to be serving a long stretch in one of ‘Her Majesty’s hotels’ for war crimes!

Anyway, I will be giving you all the full benefit of my opinion regarding chain emails in a later blog entry. Meantime, here are some sites to visit, particularly with regard to the Sainsbury’s hoax. And just to make it perfectly clear even for those with AOL accounts because in my experience, AOLers seem to be a particularly gullible bunch…

NO! Sainsbury’s is NOT going to give you £60 if you send that dumbassed email to ten of your friends.

It is a HOAX!Mr Goose, you don’t actually have 10 friends, do you? Ed.

AOLers and others with learning difficulties should ask a responsible grown-up to read and explain these to you…

Sites specific to the 2005 October Sainsbury’s hoax…

Recent postings on forums & blogs about the Sainsbury’s hoax…

People who are as miffed as me with the morons who forward this stupid, obvious hoax. Also, one poster suggests the hoax is actually an email harvesting scam…

Good general reading about email hoaxes…

One of the best resources on the web for debunking urban myths

Sainsbury’s response to the hoax (go to bottom of their web page)…