Tuesday, January 16, 2007

BLATHER 16.I.2007

A Diary by John McCaughey

Blather [magazine] is here. As we advance to make our bow, you will look in vain for signs of servility or for any evidence of a slavish desire to please. We are an arrogant and depraved body of men. Blather doesn't care. A sardonic laugh escapes us as we bow, cruel and cynical hounds that we are. It is a terrible laugh, the laugh of lost men. Do you get the smell of porter?

---Flann O'Brien, Dublin, 1934
None of us can really be sure that we exist. My whole life, as this Diary shows, is a lie. All the characters in it are invented, none bears any resemblance to anyone living or dead. People who claim to find themselves here must know that the only real existence we can any of us claim is in the imagination of God.

---Auberon Waugh, Diaries 1972-1985

Those Crazy Mullahs, Dontcha Love Em?

There is something both comical and ironic in the fact that oil exports from Iran, which has the third largest oil reserves in the world, are shrinking by 10 to 12 percent a year. By 2015, Iranian oil exports could be zero.

The reason is simple enough: the mad mullahs have failed to invest either in maintaining existing infrastructure or in new production. Rather than do so, they divert current oil profits towards maintaining a vast welfare state that props up their disagreeable Soviet-style, religious-mania regime.

Because gasoline costs a token 9 cents a liter, demand is exploding at 6 percent a year---the highest rate in the world.

So, despite Dubya Bush's belief that Iran's nuclear program is a blind to develop nuclear weapons, it may be that the mullahs really will need nuclear plants to fuel electric cars when the gasoline runs out.

Raise a Glass for the Republic

Is this a great country, or what? Americans are now well on track to replace the French as the world's leading drinkers of wine.

In 2010, says the International Wine and Spirit Record, Americans will knock back 27.3 million hectolitres of wine (12.3 percent of total world consumption)---thus placing them ahead of both the Frogs and the Italians.

A marked increase in production of American wines of good quality at reasonable prices, as well as imports of excellent wines from such places as Chile and Australia, is credited for this great American achievement, which would have been inconceivable just a decade or two ago.

The Frogs are said to be furious about the news. Good!

A votre sante, Gaston.....

Chop Me Down, or I'll Kill Again

Consumed by political correctness and a desire to appease the Greenies, Michael Dell, whose company is the leading direct seller in America of personal computers, has started selling trees online in order to help preserve the environment (he claims).

Buy a Dell desktop PC and for $6 extra the company will plant a tree for you. Buy a laptop and the price of the tree drops to $2. The idea, he said, is "to offset the emissions associated with the electricity used to power their computers." It's one of the carbon-neutral thingies, much advertised by morons like Al Gore and Prince Charles.

What no one seems to have pointed out to Michael Dell is that there is a respectable body of scientists who believe that far from soaking up CO2, most trees in non-tropical areas trap heat and thereby increase global warming (if there is such a thing).

Bad trees! Killer trees! Chop them down or they'll kill again.

Porcine News of Interest

All that pork money for ethanol producers emerging from Congress is worrying the National Pork Producers Council. With more corn being devoted to ethanol, it points out, a linkage is being established between the price of corn and crude oil prices. When the crude oil price goes up, so do corn prices and the cost of feeding a hog. And, eventually, the price of your pork roast in the supermarket.

The only law which those Congressmen have never passed (but ought to have done) is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Gypsy Rose Lee

A most agreeable encounter at a cocktail party with Virginia "Gigi" Lazenby of Tennessee. Like ourselves, Gigi raises thoroughbred race horses. But she is best known, perhaps, from her period as President of the National Stripper Wells Association. Once, called upon to testify to a hearing on energy policy chaired by the rather humorless Senator Frank Murkowski from Alaska, she insisted upon being identified in the Congressional Record as the "Queen of the Strippers." A very droll lady indeed.


"In Rome to seek the blessing of Pope Ringo on my Parliamentary candidature in North Devon. I find difficulty in securing an audience. One explanation may be that this is Holy Week, a time when many clergymen are busier than usual, but I see something more sinister than this. I suspect the hand of Cardinal Alfredo Bougainvillea, malodourous head of the Vatican Dirty Tricks Department (the dreaded Comitato Santo degli Squalidi Trucchi) who is known to be my sworn enemy...."

Auberon Waugh: Diaries, April 11, 1979

Infinitus est numerus stultorum...

{For those few of our readers who were not blessed by a classical education, this is Latin for 'Infinite is the number of fools'. But feel free to add it casually to e-mails. Nobody will know that you don't know a word of Latin. In subsequent editions, Blather will add to this useful Bluffers' Guide to Latin.}

And this is law, I will maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I will be Vicar of Bray, Sir!

A 1734 chorus of an anonymous poem celebrating trimming, focus groups and Clintonesque triangulation. There is nothing new under the sun.



Blogger Kennedy Maize said...

As someone in the market for a new computer, I would like Dell to give me a machine for every x-number of trees I can chop down. I use renewable energy at my farm. I burn the trees to heat the house.

And as a lamb producer, I certainly support lower corn prices. But, frankly, my lamb is vastly grass fed. I only use a tiny amount of corn to finish out the carcasses (vegetarians, don't look here) before slaughter.

January 17, 2007  
Anonymous Steve Yaskell said...

The human carbon dioxide opponent's credo:

"Dulce et decorum est pro Kyoto mori."

("Surely it is glorious to die for Kyoto")

(But is Kyoto masculine, feminine, or neuter?)

January 20, 2007  

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