All entries for December 2005
December 18, 2005
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.
You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the band, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. Sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public buys your bull.
AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops dead.
You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create clever cow cartoon images called Cowikimon and market them worldwide.
A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You reengineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are… You break for lunch.
A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 12 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows, none of which belong to you. You charge others for storing them.
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and arrest the newsman who reported the numbers.
A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows… both are mad.
A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows… and the one on the left is kinda cute…
It would appear that the highest debating forum on the subcontinent, the Indian Parliament's Lok Sabha, will next week discuss the exclusion of Sourav Ganguly from the Indian team. This is yet another demonstration of the peculiarities of India, that it finds such topics relevant for political discussion. I expect people in general to condemn this, but I shall not.
Let us go back to the idea of parliamentary debate – discussion over issues that affect the people. Cricket impacts on Indians' lives like almost nothing else, and is frequently viewed as important as a life-death situation. Why shouldn't Parliament discuss the surprising manner of Ganguly's dismissal? Everybody's talkin' about it…
People who know me are aware of my dislike for Ganguly – but even I must admit that the manner in which the BCCI dispatched with him was a little cruel and unjust. More importantly, it seems to be a byproduct of the critical (and typically Indian) politics of the cricketing board. The loss of the previous Ganguly-supporters camp (Dalmiya et al) and the election of a new anti-Ganguly-camp BCCI President (Sharad Pawar) has directly lead to this quagmire. Note how, even before his name was placed on his office door, Pawar sacked the entire pro-Ganguly squad in the BCCI, a blatant political act. I am aware that the President is not a direct determinant of the team selected, but always privy to their decisions.
The start of the end?
While such sentiment is rare, more discreet versions are widespread, and Sharad Pawar has been forced by widespread condemnation to say:
"As a cricket lover, I am hurt and shocked over the exclusion of Ganguly. In the Delhi Test his performance was satisfactory. Also, he was a victorious captain and we feel proud of him".
Pawar can hardly hide his glee.
On the other hand, we have the spat between Chappell (the Coach) and Ganguly. Even though Ganguly is partly responsible for the Captain, Rahul Dravid’s rise, I suspect he is no longer a fan and his patience must have finally worn out. These two are directly responsible for selecting the team, and despite this, Ganguly has not tried to censor his spats with the Coach. Ganguly is a typical superstar, vain to the point of catastrophe – every major spat with Chapell has come out into the open, opponents from England to South Africa, even the Australians (!) consider him arrogant. It is sad to see such a brilliant cricketer being asked to slip away in dignity, but he is clearly having none of it.
Are we to applaud him for his “never-say-die” attitude or criticise him for being a publicity-hungry, arrogant has-been?
I am of the opinion that he is to be given more chances – I feel he should be an ‘occasional’ in the first team, a second string player. To simply dismiss such an awesome batsman at the age of 32 would be unfair and uneven. But then, cricket is a harsh mistress.
Finally, I will leave you with the wise words of P Roebuck:
"Australia has also been engaged by the axing of a well-loved player, a long-standing servant on the verge of breaking a record. His successor was booed when he played his first fifty over match and also on his Test debut. Hotheads demanded the chairman's resignation. Ian Healy was the dropped player. Adam Gilchrist was his replacement."
(TAKEN FROM 'THE HINDU')
December 16, 2005
I am a Manchester United supporter (yes, yes, I know, but I live next to Manchester, I'm allowed!), and I am increasingly appalled and shocked at what is going on:
a) in the prem
b) at Man U.
Take (a) – Chelsea running away with the title again? That's what happens when you have 10 gazilion quid to spend on players… they've dropped 5 pts all bloody season! But then they have Jose Mourinho – now he's a classy act.
I think if Chelsea would have achieved similar success even if they didn't have all that money but had Mourinho.
Now (b) – Sir Fergie seems to be losing it a bit – the 4–0 against Wigan was irie, but we are still in trouble. I must express my disbelief at The Ferg still trying to nab strikers…we need a defender like Nesta and a midfielder like Roy Keane, not ANOTHER striker. What does he do instead? Put that Alan Smith in midfield?? He seems to carry on Roy's fine sense of twatting everything in his way, but seems to have nothing else! He couldn't pass the salt or tackle a cow!
I see Sunderland have bollocksed up their season before going halfway…
Swift change of manager!
Anyway, end of rant for now…until I think of something else to say
December 15, 2005
Notice of Revocation of Independence
In view of your abject failure to elect a sentient President and thus to govern yourselves, We give hereby Notice of the Revocation of your Independence, effective today at Five O'clock Greenwich Mean Time.
Her Britannic Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume sovereign duties forthwith over all states, commonwealths, and other territories. Except Florida, which Shall be returned to His Illustrious Catholic Majesty, King Juan Carlos of Spain. Your new Prime Minister (The Rt Hon Tony Blair, for the 97.85% of you who have until now been unaware that there is a world outside your borders) will suggest to Her Majesty a Governor-General for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire will be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.
To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
1. You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary. Then look up "aluminum". Check the pronunciation guide. You will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it. Generally, you should raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. Look up "vocabulary." Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. Look up "interspersed."
2. There is no such thing as "US English." We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.
3. You should learn to distinguish the English and Australian accents. It really isn't that difficult.
4. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast British actors as the good guys.
5. You should relearn your original national anthem, "God Save The Queen," but only after fully carrying out Task 1. We would not want you to get confused and give up half way through.
6. You should stop playing American "football." There is only one kind of football. What you refer to as American "football" is not a very good game. The 2.15% of you who are aware that there is a world outside your borders may have noticed that no one else plays "American" football. You will no longer be allowed to play it, and should instead play proper football. Initially, it would be best if you played with the girls. It is a difficult game.
Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which is similar to American "football," but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour). We are hoping to get together at least an American rugby sevens side in 5 years.
7. You should declare war on Quebec and France, using nuclear weapons if they give you any "merde." The 97.85% of you who were not aware that there is a world outside your borders should count yourselves lucky. The Russians have never been the bad guys.
8. July 4th is no longer a public holiday. November 8th will be a new national holiday, but only in the British Empire. It will be called "Indecisive Day."
9. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and it is for your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what we mean.
10. Please tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us crazy.
THANKS TO JOKES.COM FOR THIS
December 14, 2005
By the way, "Sod's Law…" was obtained from a facinating website and magazine called "The Heretic". Thank you indeed.
I would recommend a visit to the main directory, but brace yourself, it's not called The Heretic for no reason:
I am sure everyone must have heard the above name – he was an ex-gangster executed on December 13th. I, for one, rejected all the calls for clemency in this case. The fact of the matter is that while I am mostly against the death penalty, I do not believe for a moment that this man deserved any kind of consideration for his anti-gangster stance in later life.
The following is taken from Wikipedia (link):
"Stanley Tookie Williams III (December 29, 1953 – December 13, 2005) was the co-founder, with Raymond Washington, of the widely known and notorious Crips street gangs.
While in prison, Williams maintained his innocence, refused to aid police investigations with any information against his gang, and was involved in attacks on guards and other inmates as well as multiple escape plots. In 1993, Williams began making drastic changes in his behavior, and became an anti-gang activist while on Death Row in California, renouncing his gang affiliation and apologizing for the Crips' founding. He co-authored children's books and began programs to prevent youths from joining gangs."
Never mind the idea that a man can change, doesn't matter if he somehow metamorphosed into a Saint, he must do his time for his crimes, which involve shooting a 76 year old Taiwanese immigrant and his 63 year old wife for $100. Before this he had shot twenty-six year old Albert Lewis Owens in the back of his head at point-blank range even though Owens hadn't even seen his face to identify him…for $120.
Williams was invovled in more than 10 separate incidents of violence IN PRISON, even until 1993, the time of his miraculous change of heart. This man deserved no clemency.
* SOD'S LAW, ALSO KNOWN AS MURPHY'S LAW. If anything can go wrong, it will.
* O'TOOLE'S COMMENTARY ON MURPHY'S LAW. Murphy was an optimist.
* THE FIRST COROLLARY TO SOD'S LAW. Anything that is to go wrong will do so at the worst possible moment.
* THE UNSPEAKABLE LAW. As soon as you mention something, if it's good, it goes away; if it's bad, it happens.
* NON-RECIPROCAL LAWS OF EXPECTATIONS. Negative expectations yield negative results. Positive expectations yield negative results.
* HOWE'S LAW. Every man has a scheme which will not work.
* ZYMURGY'S FIRST LAW OF EVOLVING SYSTEM DYNAMICS. Once you open a can of worms, the only way to re-can them is to use a larger can.
* SKINNER'S CONSTANT. The quantity which must be multiplied by, divided by, added to or subtracted from the answer you get to give the answer you should have got.
* LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY. An object will fall so as to do the most damage.
* JENNING'S COROLLARY. The chance of the bread falling with the buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet.
* BARTH'S DISTINCTION. There are two types of people: those who divide people into two types and those who do not.
* NINETY-NINETY RULE OF PROJECT SCHEDULES. The first 90% of the job takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90%.
* FARBER'S RULE. Necessity is the mother of strange bedfellows.
December 09, 2005
Ok, expect an urbane, growed-up blog where I discuss political, economic and social issues from abortion to the Iraq war to pensions crises. First though: