Posted on  UTC 2021-10-01 02:01

28.10.2021 – T-Rex will now say a few words

T-Rex (the one from the Bronx) told the UN: 'Stop subsidising fossil fuels'. You know, all that stuff that is taxed in every possible way from one end of the pipeline to the other, all that stuff that is currently keeping the developing world going.

Video: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

22.10.2021 – How Do You Solve a Problem Like Joe Biden?

Assassination. It's the American way, after all.

Biden supporters cannot simply admit that their Joe is, week by week, becoming ever more dysfunctional. If they were to do that and attempt to retire him it would prove all us cold-hearted, right-wing thugs right, we who saw as long as two years ago that Joe was fading before our eyes, like a Tolkien ringbearer. Off to the Grey Havens with him!

It is even doubtful whether anyone, his wife included, can persuade this irascible geriatric to step away from the White House and go gently deeper into the shadows that already surround him. A sudden health crisis might be manufactured, but sooner or later, someone would talk. This is the USA, remember. A health crisis would also give ammunition to the 'unfit to even stand' crowd.

So, for the Democrats an assassination, staged properly, would deliver a lot of plusses. The Democrats may be the party of lunatics, but they are masters of intrigue in ways the dim Republicans cannot hope to equal.

They just need to find a good, identifiably right-wing crazy out there – there are plenty of them about – point him (or her) in the right direction and arm him (or her) to the teeth with 'attack rifles'.

Someone with a bit of a Tea-Party background wearing a MAGA cap would be ideal. A climate-science denier (of course) and anti-vaxxer (of course) with a big, ranting, social media footprint. Must be white, although a Chinese background might be interesting – but, on reflection, unwise – we don't want Joe's exit inadvertently to start WWIII. The Dems just want to stick the Republicans, the right-wing in general, the NRA etc. (the list is long) with the responsibility for poor old Joe's sudden exit.

If this Demchurian Candidate succeeds, then not only is the Biden problem solved, but the Dems are given many propaganda angles to beat Republicans with for the next half-century. More than a few of the usual suspects can be rounded up, too, turning the lone wolf into a nice right-wing conspiracy. A hero police officer should be around to empty his gun into the assassin and guarantee the perp's silence.

There also needs to be some form of grassy knoll that will keep the conspiracy theorists of the internet fervidly buzzing and which will cause any serious enquiry to founder in the noise. Why was Joe's Secret Service detachment all taking their break at Dunkin' Donuts when it happened? Perhaps Joe just got loose, slipped his chain, went wandering off without his minders. Who knows?

Ex-Joe would now be a hero-martyr. He would have been useful for the first time in his life – after all those vacuous years on a senator's stupendous salary and perks. It would be an exit that would benefit everyone in his party – job done with many positives.

And, of course, if Kaaamala happens to be standing next to him at the time…

Of course, this assassination would be exclusively a Democrat project. If you are a right-wing crazy who feels an itch to put such ideas into action, forget it. Succeed or fail, all you will be doing is boosting the Democrats and damaging the right-wingers. Remember, Joe Biden's presidency is the best thing that happened to the right-wing for a very long time. Long may he reign! Viva Joe Biden! Mid-term elections! Radio GaGa! Let's go, Brandon!

For the avoidance of all misunderstanding, your author is not saying that this is what should happen, that Joe Biden or even Kaaamala Harris should be assassinated, or volunteering himself for the job or wanting to put anyone else up for it. Heaven forfend!

He is just pointing out that readers should not be surprised if that is what happens. The motto will be, as it always is: cui bono. You read it here first.

17.10.2021 – Good breeding

It is a fact – one that no fact-checker can dispute – that in recent centuries, certainly since the Georges, the British royal family has not brought forth any person with any intellectual gifts or interests whatsoever. And that, despite possessing substantial wealth, immense privilege and access to the finest schools for their offspring.

Edward VII (1841-1910) was a duffer, despite having undergone the mad Teutonic educational programme his irascible father Albert had devised for him. His two male children were also duffers who received no education worth mentioning (the adult Edward was understandably chary of education after the negligible effect Albert's system had had on him).

The younger of the brothers ultimately became King George V (1865-1936) and ruled as dimly as we might expect. His sole claim to recognition is his stamp collection and the number of game birds he bagged ('well-shot woodcock' etc., as John Betjeman noted in his poem 'Death of King George V', 1937).

Of the children cowed into submission to his dim, angry character, the first up for the succession was the amazingly silly Edward VIII (1894-1972), the tailor's natty dummy, whose dimness years of private tutoring by stuffed shirts only deepened.

On Edward's abdication, his younger brother Albert assumed the throne as George VI (1895-1952). Albert had almost failed Naval College, so he was if anything even dimmer than brother Edward. He had a year of dabbling around in this and that at Cambridge. So dim and unsparkling was he that even in those respectful days many quietly doubted whether he could manage even the very limited task of kingship. At his death his daughter became Elizabeth II (1926-).

Elizabeth and her younger sister Margaret received no education worth the name. At the time of writing Elizabeth has survived nearly 70 years on the British throne by carrying out countless mind-numbing official duties whilst keeping her mouth firmly shut about everything. Perhaps being blinkered and dim is an advantage or even a necessity: an intellectually curious mind would have had a nervous breakdown a couple of years into this heroic stint.

Those were politically turbulent years in many ways as Britain continued its long decline into global insignificance and political confusion. She has let not one opinion slip – about Suez, say, or joining the Common Market, the referendum on Common Market membership, the Falklands conflict, the Iraq war, Brexit and so on and so forth. After 70 years she is still riding high in the affections of a majority of her subjects.

It is notable, however, that in the green media blitz before the coming COP 26 climate conference in Glasgow some overheard, barely audible remarks allegedly made by Queen Elizabeth and favouring the great green agenda are being ported around.

Not amused. Image and video: ©

An easy conclusion for this lapse is the lack of Prince Philip by her side. Although he kept his opinions largely to himself, there are plenty of hints that he was a grounded personality of sorts who would not succumb to the fashionable flim-flam of the modern echo chamber. The queen now has to depend on her sons to do her thinking, it appears.

With Elizabeth's children the dim gene did not disappear, but seemed to gain in influence. Of Anne (1950-), Andrew (1960-) and Edward (1964-) – well, what can one say? Charles (1948-), as we have noted here before, is dim in the grand Windsor manner. He mated with the catastrophically dim and stupid Diana Spencer and the pair produced two predictably thick boys, William and Harry.

After years at the most expensive private school in Britain, Harry managed to scrape through a couple of low-level exams and is functionally uneducated. He married an equally uneducated but highly opinionated American actress and the pair continue to embarrass a watching world with their lucrative woke opining on a weekly basis.

The monarchy could trundle on respectably with Charles or William, if only these two luminaries could follow the example of Elizabeth and keep their traps firmly shut. They are not bred to have opinions, but maintaining a distinguished inscrutability is not in them.

Charles and William, the line of descent, lack the self-examination that is the true mark of the educated mind. Nor do they engage in any debate in which their opinions might be tested, which would be another mark of intellectual quality: the respect accorded to them on account of their hereditary position shields them from any need to respond to the challenges.

Their future subjects will therefore have to put up with constant opining, based on whatever someone has whispered into their gullible ears. Their opining is not even uplifting, which one might understand and even forgive, but consists only of endless whinging and worrying over things about which they really know nothing.

No good will come of this. Very few opinions, even from the great brains of the day, survive long – they ultimately decay in the mincer of events and public debate. After Elizabeth passes, this entire family of dimwits will be gone in short order. Good riddance.

11.10.2021 – Website changes

  • The blogroll has been removed. Its very limited value is not worth the maintenance effort required to keep it up to date and relevant.
  • The page views listing has been removed. Its very limited value… etc.
  • The menu on the home page has been adapted to display the year entries in a more compact way.

27.09.2021 – German Federal Election 2021

At every German election this website says it and at every German election the statement is proved true: in today's political Germany, nothing ever changes.


Well we've gone into that at length on previous occasions, but the reader in a hurry just needs to look at the chart that appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung this morning:

Bundestagswahl 2021

The answer is given by the bar chart on the right. How will anything ever change in this situation?

The map showing the geographical distribution of the results is, if anything, even more troubling. Germany is a country which, after the Merkel years of 'consensus' government, is now deeply divided. Whatever traffic light colour scheme the next government thinks up will not do anything to pull this schizophrenic country together. Nothing will change.

15.09.2021 – Foraging for fungi

A chance encounter this afternoon, this time not with hunters of game (the hunting season started last week) but hunters of fungi.

Unlike the large quantities of cash which most game hunters spend on their hobby, the investment required of fungi foragers is limited to a pair of good boots, one or two sticks for steep terrain and a basket. No permits, no diplomas – 'nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free', you might say.

FoS image, size 708x1065

Hans-Jürg and Jürg, preparing to call it a day.
Hans-Jürg is a certified Pilzkontrolleur, 'Fungus Inspector', in his own right, a qualification that is not easy to obtain, requiring classes, examinations and practical tests. If you have any doubts about the edibility of a particular fungus, Hans-Jürg or someone like him is your man. Most European nations have fungus inspection centres. Image: FoS.

The contents of their baskets are evidence that the erratic and unseasonable weather in the alpine regions this year has brought forth the Pfifferling (chanterelles, Cantharellus cibarius et al.) in great numbers, but the prized Steinpilze (porcini, Boletus edulis) are quite rare.

You can see a sizeable one in the right-hand corner of Hans-Jürg's basket in the group photo. They are called Steinpilze, 'stone fungi', because when they are quite close to the ground their pale brown domes poking through the leaf litter on the forest floor resemble stones.

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Jürg's basket of goodies, mainly Pfifferlinge. Image: FoS.

Foraging for fungi is a fun family pastime in late summer and autumn. Since some cases of poisoning occur every year we probably ought to restate Obvious Rule no. 1: If you are not absolutely sure about the edibility of a particular fungus and don't have an expert like Hans-Jürg to hand then don't eat it. If it doesn't kill you you may suffer lasting damage – the experience might leave you wishing it had killed you.

Whilst in schoolmaster mode we should probably state Obvious Rule no. 2: If you are lucky enough to find a large quantity of edible fungi, eat them in moderation. They are relatively indigestible, so that if you overdo it you will have plenty of time to track the cannonball inching its leisurely way through your gut.

Hans-Jürg recommends his 'Pilz-Pesto' recipe for the Pfifferlinge: slice them very thinly and allow to dry, then use them as required as a garnish for pasta (or anything else, for that matter).

Nowadays cultivated fungi of one sort or another, fresh or dried, are available in almost every supermarket. The taste is good, but some important things are lacking: the tense woodland search, the thrill of discovery, the pleasure of arriving home with a basket of wild mushrooms that you foraged yourself and then cooking and eating them there and then – an experience which will bring out the hunter-gatherer spirit in anyone.

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