Friday, 27 August 2010

Colonel who slammed Afghan HQ PowerPoint culture is fired

from The Register, speaks volumes of the gangfuckery that is the Nato Afghan mission. Yeah, support the army, support the army, don't question anything.

A US Army colonel who published a splendid attack on top-heavy bureaucracy and PowerPoint culture at NATO's top headquarters in Afghanistan has been sacked.

Colonel Lawrence Sellin, in his critique of the International Security Assistance Force Joint Command (IJC), suggested that the IJC exists primarily "to provide some general a three-star command", and that it will soon be enlarged because "an officer, who is currently without one, needs a staff of 35 people to create a big splash before his promotion board".

Sellin's article said that NATO staff officers in Afghanistan do little else but prepare and sit through "inane" and "useless" PowerPoint briefings and meetings. "Cognitively challenged generals", he wrote, listen to the PowerPoint presentations "in a semi-comatose state".

"I have not done anything productive" in two months' service at the IJC, he added.

Reportedly there was a good deal of support for Colonel Sellin's views among middle-ranking officers at the headquarters such as majors and lieutenant-colonels (junior officers and enlisted personnel are seldom seen in such places). Other colonels were less sympathetic.

"I have marks all over me from where they have been touching me with ten-foot poles," he told Wired.

We here on the Reg defence desk believe that the US Army and NATO in general could use more officers like Colonel Sellin - though much fewer officers overall. But that's exactly what the IJC won't be getting.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

On Liberty

At least black people knew when they were slaves, you remain clueless.
Doug Stanhope - No Refunds

Monday, 16 August 2010

Maybe someone smarter than me could come up with some sort of new political philosophy

Because it seems that the left and the right are pretty much saying the same thing when you drill down, to whit "throw money at problems and they will go away"

This is done in one of two ways. 

From the left you snatch cash from the people who you think won't kick off, so young, typically educated and hard working professionals and you give it to the deprived and extremely poor or just about anyone you reckon can't be trusted to look after themselves and hope everything gets better. 

From the right, you snatch cash from the people who you think won't kick off, so again young, typically educated and hard working professionals and you give it to the landed gentry in the form of inheritance tax breaks or your mates in the arms industry by subbing dodgy arms deals with, oh, I dunno a government insurance scheme call the Export Credits Guarantee Department and you tell everyone else they need to use the free market. 

And you end up with pretty much the same result. Everyone complaining that the country is going to shitt and what is needed is to throw more money at the problem, usually in some sort of novel new way which sounds like it is not just throwing money at the problem. It'll usually have buzz words like responsibility, duty, empowering, social mobility or some other complete wank speak and anyone who listens will nod sagely and pretend they have a fcuking clue when really it's just another set of new clothes for the Emperor. 

It strikes me when viewing this VIDEO, THE SURPRISING SCIENCE OF MOTIVATION that there must be a similar system that can be encouraged so society can drag itself up. 

Goldie Lookin Chain - Sister

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Bill Hicks

People say to me, "Oh, Bill, leave them alone. They're so good, and so clean-cut, and they're such a good image for the children." Fuck that! When did mediocrity and banality become a good image for your children? I want my children listening to people who fucking rocked! I don't care if they died in pools of their own vomit! I want someone who plays from his fucking heart! "Mommy, the man Bill told me to listen to has a blood bubble on his nose." SHUT UP AND LISTEN TO HIM PLAY!

Bill Hicks Salvation (2005)

On Liberty

As so often before, liberty has been wounded in the house of its friends. Liberty in the wild and freakish hands of fanatics has once more, as frequently in the past, proved the effective helpmate of autocracy and the twin-brother of tyranny.

Otto Hermann Kahn Speech at the
University of Wisconsin

From the Lady Sack (Patent Pending)

Stop Living for the Approval of Women

From the Art of Manliness

What exactly is it that you do to protect yourself from her displeasure? You send up trial balloons to see if you can get a tentative approval by tentatively suggesting a tentative idea you had. You edit yourself and avoid saying or doing what you know will provoke her. You spend an inordinate amount of time and energy concerned about how she feels and how she’ll react. You’ve been rationalizing, compromising, second-guessing, playing it safe, and avoiding confrontation. As a result, you’ve slowly forgotten what really matters to you, what you were once passionate about, how you truly feel about issues, yourself, and others. Meanwhile, if you’re a dad, you’re passing this all onto the next generation—your legacy.
Now, let’s take a step back in time. When you first met her, none of this was seemingly a problem. You were “in love.” It was easy to dismiss little issues. After all, you’re a master of denial. And, you were, hopefully getting laid all the time. Life was good.
But then things began to change, or was it her? You found yourself less happy, more irritable, frustrated. You agreed to see your buddies less often back in the day. Why? To please her. But now your buddies are calling you “whipped.” They’ve lost respect for you, while you’ve lost respect for yourself. In addition you’re probably a bit lonely, angry, and now blaming her.

CSO - Mitchell & Webb

Iphones and the Brotherhood of Apple

(Iphones did not exist when this rant was written but I suspect the same rules apply)

 I hate Macs. I have always hated Macs. I hate people who use Macs. I even hate people who don't use Macs but sometimes wish they did. Macs are glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults; computers for scaredy cats too nervous to learn how proper computers work; computers for people who earnestly believe in feng shui.

If you truly believe you need to pick a mobile phone that "says something" about your personality, don't bother. You don't have a personality. A mental illness, maybe - but not a personality.

Charlie Brooker The Guardian 5 February 2007, I hate Macs

Tits are awesome

You know things are bad when

Me, who considers himself a bit left of centre is arguing with a Tory councillor that they are spending too much money on shitt they don't need to do. 

oh dear oh dear oh dear. 

Azureus Rising - Proof of Concept

Monday, 9 August 2010

Law Firms make big show of pretending to have a soul

With the SRA effectively refusing to answer the phones, sticking its collective fingers in its ears and singing "nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah I can't hear you", everytime a woefully unprotected trainee solicitor phones it to find out what happens in the event of his employer going to the wall, Burges Salmon seems to have decided that someone should sort out the farce and that, surprisingly that someone is them (along with anyone they threaten with a stout stick). In a stroke of genius they suggested maybe a few firms taking on one or two extra trainees would seriously ease the pain and against all expectations seem to have pulled it off.

Legal Week is reporting 30 firms have shown interest in the scheme here thus putting paid to the notion that generally lawyers cannot organise a piss up in a piss factory.

Now, all hilarious japes aside a great many people, people who pay through the nose to be licenced as a solicitor must be asking WHAT IS THE FCUKING POINT OF THE USELESS SRA?

Also kudos to the Law Society (in effect the solicitors' union) for remaining silent and hoping nobody would look at it and also think WHY THE FCUK DO WE NEED YOU AGAIN?.

Monday, 2 August 2010

CSO Manchester

via Obnoxio the Clown blog

Tits are awesome

On Freedom

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) Thirty-second President of the USA.

Battleships are cool