Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Archive for the tag “Uncategorized”

How you too can participate in the financial crisis

About 15 (or was it 25?) years ago many building societies conned their members into agreeing to them turning themselves into banks. Was this the law of unintended consequences in action? Oh the joys of capitalism!

Bishop Alan’s Blog: HBOS: Personalised Credit Crunch:

Welcome to the share offer that enables you to have your very own credit crunch at home this Christmas. As a student I earned some holiday money and put it in the building society. Then the building society became a bank and my shares were converted into, er, more shares… Imagine my joy, then to be sent an “important document” this morning that “required my immediate attention.” It’s my opportunity to bail the bank out by taking them up on a very special offer — They are willing to flog me 261 shares, as a special favour, at only 113.6 pence a share. Here comes fate, tapping me on the shoulder, offering me a career as a major capitalist, and all for only £296-49! Deep Joy!

May Day odds and sods

In the intervals in which the Internet was working I managed to pick up a few snippets from Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, which seem worth recording in a more findable form.

Someone posted this saying of Rebecca West on Facebook

After battling for some time with an erratic Internet connection, and Blogger’s new and improved and totally dysfunctional interface, I gave up and posted this on my WordPress blog — you can see it here: May Day odds and sods | Khanya.

E-mail is becoming erratic and dysfunctional

It looks as though spammers are beginning to succeed in making e-mail useless.

Several people have told me recently that e-mail that I send to their Gmail addresses ends up in their spam box. That is something new. One of the things that I thought was good about Gmail in the past was that one never had to check the spam box, because there were so few false positives. But now it seems that one will have to look in the spam box for mail. And also, when sending mail to anyone with a Gmail address, also send a text message to say “Did you get my e-mail? If you didn’t, please check your spam box.”

But when I tested it by sending a message to my own Gmail address, it came through OK without going to spam.

I am quite unable to send e-mail to people who have iburst addresses though. It doesn’t even reach their spam box, it just bounces right back to me. The only way to communicate with them is through a direct message on Facebook, or SMS.

Oh well, I think I’m going to have to start buying stamps again.

McCain not "natural born" citizen after all

It seems that people have been querying the citizenship of both leading candidates for the US presidency — Barack Obama’s father was Kenyan, but he was born in the USA. John McCain, however, was not.

clipped from

In the most detailed examination yet of Senator John McCain’s eligibility to be president, a law professor at the University of Arizona has concluded that neither Mr. McCain’s birth in 1936 in the Panama Canal Zone nor the fact that his parents were American citizens is enough to satisfy the constitutional requirement that the president must be a “natural-born citizen.”

The analysis, by Prof. Gabriel J. Chin, focused on a 1937 law that has been largely overlooked in the debate over Mr. McCain’s eligibility to be president. The law conferred citizenship on children of American parents born in the Canal Zone after 1904, and it made John McCain a citizen just before his first birthday. But the law came too late, Professor Chin argued, to make Mr. McCain a natural-born citizen.

“It’s preposterous that a technicality like this can make a difference in an advanced democracy,” Professor Chin said. “But this is the constitutional text that we have.”

blog it

Time to rename Gauteng?

Yesterday I listened to the news on the car radio, and they were talking about xenophobic violence “that started in Gauteng last weekend in Alexandra” and went on to say that it had since spread to other places.

Gauteng used to be the North Sotho name for Johannesburg, and was given to the rather awkwardly-named PWV province. The trouble is that for many, including the Joburg-based media, “Gauteng” still means Johannesburg and perhaps the Witwatersrand, but not outlying areas like Pretoria and Vereeniging. I once heard one radio announcer refer several times to “The Gauteng phone code 011”.

While Joburg-based journalists write about xenophobia, they seem to suffer from xenoamnesia, and to forget that Tshwane is also a part of Gauteng, and that xenophobic violence occurred here several weeks before it appeared in Alex. But for the chattering classes it was in a foreign country until it appeared south of the Jukskei. Only then did it reach Gauteng.

Perhaps we need another name for Gauteng, one that is not so closely linked with Johannesburg.

Kansas Woman Cut Free After Two Years On The Toilet |Sky News|World News

Kansas Woman Cut Free After Two Years On The Toilet |Sky News|World News:

Police are investigating whether a woman who reportedly sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years was mistreated.

The 35-year-old stayed on the lavatory in Ness City, Kansas, so long that her skin had grown round the seat by the time her partner finally called police.

Hat-tip to Juliet Pain.

Taking the veil

An interesting article on women wearing veils.

Attention US military personnel

You are not required to obey an unlawful order.

You are required to disobey an unlawful order.

Two birds with one stone?

Perhaps this would be a good way to solve two intractable problems at once!

Don’t know why I bother

I recently pruned my blogroll.

Blogs that looked interesting when I first began to read them became dull, and I found I wasn’t looking at them much anymore. Or when I looked at them they hadn’t had anything new for a long time. I’m not one of those to apologise when I haven’t written anything in my blog for a while. I write if I have something to say, mostly to myself, but also if I’m interested in responses from other people. The trouble is other people don’t seem to respond much. There have been no comments on my last I don’t know how many entries. As I said in my MySpace blog, I don’t know why I bother.

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