Extreme measures

My attention has only just been drawn to this New York Times piece from 13th May, 2011:

Pornography Is Found in Bin Laden Compound Files, U.S. Officials Say

The enormous cache of computer files taken from Osama bin Laden's compound contained a considerable quantity of pornographic videos, American officials said on Friday…

[T]he disclosure could fuel accusations of hypocrisy against the founder of Al Qaeda, who was 54 and lived with three wives at the time of his death.

Yes, Bin Laden was undoubtedly a bit of an old hypocrite. But did that really justify shooting him in the head and dumping his corpse in the middle of the Indian Ocean?

Weapon of choice

My dad has what can only be described as an unhealthy paranoia about the BBC. He thinks they're the spawn of Satan.

Like all the best paranoias and conspiracy theories, Dad's has a small toe-hold in reality. There certainly is a Southern England bias at the BBC, which is reflected in its news coverage and even its weather forecasts. But Dad seems to believe that every single BBC presenter or continuity announcer who pronounces their A's long was personally selected by the Director General to promote the corporation's Cockney Agenda.

Dad's fixation with the BBC began in the summer of 1982 during the Falklands War. Every evening, the Newsnight programme would wheel on some recently retired British general and get him to talk military tactics. Dad was convinced this was tantamount to treason. "The Argentinan Embassy will be noting all this down!" he would shout at Peter Snow.

In fact, Dad did have a point: I clearly remember how, during the early days of the war, when one Argentinian bomb hit a British warship but failed to explode, the BBC displayed a helpful graphic showing how the bomb should have been dropped. Next thing our lads in the South Atlantic knew, that was exactly how the bombs were being dropped—with far greater effect.

Ever since then, Dad has been convinced that the BBC's not particularly well-hidden agenda is to undermine British society and betray us to our enemies. He is, for example, the only person I know who believes that the Hutton Enquiry wasn't a shameless stitch-up, totally exhonorated the Blair government, and showed up the BBC and its Cockney Director General for what they really were.

This Tuesday, Dad's BBC paranoia finally tipped him over the edge. My parents and I were watching the comedy quiz show QI, when Stephen Fry asked a question along the lines of, "Why might it be dangerous to have a ship-load of pistachio nuts?" The answer, it turned out, was that large masses of pistachio nuts are prone to spontaneous combustion and can sometimes explode.

"There they go again!" Dad shouted at the telly. "Giving away information of use to terrorists!"

Mum and I thought we were going to die. We were laughing so much, we couldn't breath.

"I hardly think the pistachio nut is going to be the weapon of choice for a terrorist!" I gasped at Dad, still trying to work out out how to get my lungs to take in air.

Dad was adamant: "Mark my words, you'll be watching the news one day soon, saying 'Norm predicted that!'"

Hypocritic oafs

BBC: Terror suspects all linked to NHS

Eight people arrested in connection with failed car bombings in Glasgow and London all have links with the National Health Service, the BBC has learned.

Seven are believed to be doctors or medical students, while one formerly worked as a laboratory technician.

Surely letting off bombs must run contrary the Hippocratic Oath

If they're found guilty, I'm going to write to the General Medical Council demanding that they be struck off forthwith!

Feeling a right tit

BBC: Baggage advice for UK passengers

… No liquids of any type are permitted through the airport security search point, other than the following items:
  • Prescription medicines in liquid form sufficient and essential for the flight (eg diabetic kit), as long as verified as authentic.
  • Baby milk and liquid baby food (the contents of each bottle or jar must be tasted by the accompanying passenger).
The definition of liquids includes:
  • Gels, pastes, lotions, liquid/solid mixtures.
  • The contents of pressurised containers, eg toothpaste, hair gel, drinks, soups, syrups, perfume, deodorant, shaving foam, aerosols etc.

I wonder if the authorities have started frisking for silicone implants yet.

Nice work if you can get it.