Thursday, January 31, 2008

Nailing Jesus

Don't Pin this on Christ, he has enough nails in him.

Greggory House, House S01E10

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sometimes even Pilots are Afraid of Flying

Co-pilot shackled to seat after outburst

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Yelling, crying and invoking God, the co-pilot of an Air Canada flight from Toronto to London had to be forcibly removed from the cockpit of his jetliner after suffering an emotional collapse as the plane flew over the Atlantic.

Shackled by the wrists and ankles, the shoeless first officer had to be restrained by crew members with the help of a traveller who was a member of the Canadian Forces.

Left alone in the cockpit, the captain cut short the journey of Flight AC 848 by diverting to Ireland's Shannon airport.

Meanwhile, the first officer was crying and screaming as he was cuffed on a free seat, said a Toronto-area man whose wife was sitting nearby.

“It was a bit of a traumatic experience” for the woman, who was travelling with a toddler, her husband said last night.

The co-pilot was taken by ambulance to a psychiatric ward after the plane and its 146 passengers landed on Monday morning.

“At no time was safety compromised,” Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said.

It was the second time an Air Canada flight ended prematurely in recent days. This month, a jetliner carrying 83 passengers from Victoria to Toronto made an emergency landing in Calgary after turbulence threw it out of control.

It was also a reminder of the 1999 EgyptAir flight that plunged into the Atlantic. Black-box recordings raised speculations that the crash occurred because co-pilot Gameel Al-Batouti was suicidal.

Pilots don't automatically undergo psychiatric assessments when they have their medical checkups, a federal official said yesterday.

The doctors who do the checkups are general practitioners approved by Transport Canada, said Transport Canada spokeswoman Lucie Vignola.

A psychiatric evaluation is not done unless the GP decides a pilot needs to see a specialist, she said.

Commercial pilots undergo medical checkups every year, every six months if they are over 40, said Captain Andy Wilson, president of the Air Canada Pilots Association.

At Air Canada, pilots are checked by company doctors, he said.

After his co-pilot's removal, regulations would have required the captain to don his oxygen mask and land at “the nearest suitable aerodrome,” said Yvan-Miville Desch├¬nes, a former flight controller.

“It's standard procedure. When there's only one person left in the cockpit, he puts on an oxygen mask in case the cabin depressurizes,” he said. “Continuing to London would have been a security breach.”

Passenger Sean Finucane told CBC News that the co-pilot, who said “he just wanted to talk to God,” was yelling loudly but didn't sound intoxicated.

“When they tried to put his shoes on later, for example, he swore and threatened people. … He was swearing and asking for God, and was very, very distressed.”

His account matched those in the Irish Independent and in the online forum

The Independent said the co-pilot, who was “acting in a peculiar manner and was talking loudly to himself,” was held down by the crew and by a member of the Canadian Forces.

“It was quite an experience! He was being restrained in 12A and the entire mini-cabin could hear the whole thing. Not for delicate ears,” a writer posted on

“The soldier and the doctors [who were passengers] were great.”

The writer added that the flight crew was “calm and professional throughout.” The pilots' union also commended the crew for its handling of the incident.

AC 848 was supposed to land around 8:25 a.m. at London's Heathrow Airport. However, an hour before arrival, controllers at Shannon Airport were told the flight was diverted “because of illness with a crew member,” said spokesman Eugene Pratt.

An employee at Ennis General Hospital, near Shannon, said the crew member was taken to the acute psychiatric care unit.

Passengers were given 15 euros for food but were kept at the airport, said the man whose spouse sat near the cuffed co-pilot.

“My wife was stranded there with a baby. They wouldn't even allow her to take the stroller off the plane.”

In the afternoon, a crew from London picked up the passengers, who arrived at Heathrow eight hours late.

Killing Humans is Normal

Just because a robot wants to kill humans that makes him a "radical".

Bender in Futurama S01E05

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Report From the Hell Hole of Iraq

Here and here are 2 reports from a blogger in Iraq. Below is snippet.

Q: Why is every Muslim Middle Eastern country characterized by either rigid oppression or chaotic violence?

A: The coercive use of violence is the only way to ensure Muslims in the Middle East will live up to any obligations, including basic social order and function. Middle East countries where chaos currently reigns, like Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan, are merely examples of what Muslims are like without coercion.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Shame Cultures and Guilt Cultures

Here is an overview of the difference between shame and guilt cultures, from the blog Dr Sanity.

Self Improvement a Mug's Game

Isn't it time you gave up all hope of improving yourself in any way.

Motivational Speaker Bender in
Futurama S05E16

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hows to be an Anti Imperialist and For Tyrants at the Same Time

Self hating westerners often find it as easy to condemn their own societies while ignoring the crimes of non-western societies. This leads to odd situations like leftist secular types who read The Guardian defending a repressive theocratic regime like Iran. The below, by Damntheral, is from a discussion thread commenting on an article about repressive clothing laws in Iran.


1) Check if the article is about Israel - if not, got to 2. If it is, go nuts with disapproval, use hyperbole, and wish for the disappearance of that country. If the writer is from that country, shout at them as if they support the abuse even though they are highlighting it in the first place. Explain how Israel is a puppet of the US anyway. Don't be scared of getting carried away: remember, you can't be anti-semitic, you're left-wing! Keywords: genocidal, neocon.

2) Check if the country is the US or the UK - if not, go to 3. If it is, go nuts with disapproval, huff and puff as though you are the last person standing between the world and totalitarianism. Explain how the US is a puppet of Israel anyway. Keywords: lapdog, orwellian, neocon.

3) Does that country have links, however tenuous and interested with the US/UK? If not, go to 4. If it does, go nuts with disapproval, huff and puff and explain that the entire regime is entirely the fault of the US/UK as though its inhabitants are sub-human beings with no moral capacity. Hey don't worry: you can't be racist, you're left-wing! Keywords: neocon, lapdog, puppet, neocon.

4) Take a deep breath: this is the big one. The author of the piece (and anyone agreeing with them) is a toxic neo-con warmongering zionist neo-con warmonger (if white) or a toxic neo-con warmongering Uncle Tom/coconut/quisling neo-con warmonger (all other options) and needs to be exposed as such. Make this dirty, make this personal, repeat yourself a lot. Anything goes frankly, slander, insinuation, insults. Remember: you are not fighting for the honour of Musharaf/Putin/Ahmadinejad/Chavez/Hu Jintao/al-Bashir or obscure militiamen and warlords and defending murder, torture and rape, even though to the untrained eye you are, what you are really doing is well you are one of the good guys anyway so that's OK. Bring up things happening on other continents, half a century ago, one century ago, four centuries ago, on another planet or in an alternate reality if you must so long as points 1, 2 or 3 can apply to those. The other guy inversely is not allowed to do this so bring up the timing of their piece. Bring up their background. Bring up oil. Bring up the absence of oil. Bring up conspiracy theories. Keywords: neocon, warmonger, what about, neocon, islamophobia, empire, neocon, discursive machine of hegemony, neocon.

5) go home regretting a bit that the likes of Ceaucescu, Pol Pot and Milosevic are no longer around to be whatabouted, but console yourself by thinking that now at least there are suicide bombers.

6) avoid mirrors.

HELPFUL TIP: if you know absolutely nothing about the country in question and no one else has commented yet, a handy solution is to look at the victims instead. Are the victims Muslims? If so 3 probably applies. However keep in mind that Serbs and other Muslims are exceptionally allowed to kill Muslims and anyway it never happens ever so go to 4 instead or just ask what the point of the article is, and if someone answers call them boring.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Subway Protocol

Memories flooded back when she sat down, of countless Tube journeys like this, avoiding everyone’s gaze, the enforced frigid politeness that people adopted as the alternative to going insane due to being packed in, just like those films about traveling to Mars.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How to Become A Spy

Too smart to remain in the Army, too…limited to grasp the real danger of his work...

Character description of a
failed commando turned spook
in Chris's Long Hard Road.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

How Cheney Can't be Darth Vader

On Paul Krugman's blog there is a long discussion about which senior members of the Star Wars evil empire equate to the Bush League government of the US. The general agreement is that Cheney despite his outfit above can't be compared to Cheney because "Darth Vader once served in the military". Read more for joyous bile.

As to Bush a couple of years ago Ted Rall compared him unfavourable with Osama and Hitler.

Ultra Violent Anime Rugrat

The line from Journalista is the the comic book artist Kiyohiko Azuma was channeling Mickey Spillane when he drew this.

Walter Mitty with a Gun

Here is animated music video by the Japanese Punk Rock band Bloody Butchers. The song Jack Nicholson is the story of a Salariman and his cool new gun. I can't understand Japanese but this rocks.

"Inside all of us is a dirty, conniving little parasite"

The moral of this ad is don't listen to your inner Leisure Suit Larry. Actually it is ad for the British Tories, the web address given redirects to their site.

Robot Visiting a Museum of Technology

Report From the Dirty Tricks Brigade

Allen Raymond used to be a professional Republican political operative or sleaze artist, then he was convicted running a scheme to tie up a Democratic phone bank. Here is book, How to Rig an Election. Here is him on NPR talking about legal dirty tricks.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Suicidal Polar Bears

Here is a fake ad for Hummer from the same Norwegian show that brought us Party With Beer.

Ronnoc & Neb say "this is Really cool wow, I can't of think of any more superlatives. And hooray for this. Woohoo this is totally ice cool."

Monday, January 07, 2008

Friday, January 04, 2008

Revolution Against Normality

Normality frightens revolutionaries because it acts as a drag on their utopian dreams...

Mark Mazower in his book
The Dark Continent.