Sharp-ish

I’ve got a new piece up at the Sharpener on the myth that London is a crime-ridden wasteland that anyone in their right mind would do well to flee before they get their throat slit. Enjoy…

Also, Burning Our Money has a slightly silly piece on the Cheap Booze Menace – it highlights that you can buy a tin of dubious 3% lager at Asda for 22p, which works out as about 0.6p at retail pre-tax.

The piece goes on to link this to the Feral Teen Menace, which is dubious given that I’ve only ever seen street-drinking youths on strong lager, strong cider, wine or spirits, and that supermarkets are by far the best retailers at not serving booze to kids. Still, it’s always amusing to see professed free-marketeers calling for restrictions on a trade that they find distasteful…

Relatedly, can anyone think of a good reason why alcohol tax shouldn’t be levied on a “X pence per ml of ethanol” basis, rather than making pointless and arbitrary distinctions between different types of grog?

  1. Andy McG
    January 21, 2008 at 2:26 am | #1

    I quite agree about tax at Euros, or pounds per litre of ethanol.
    It would also be simpler, IMHO to talk about consumption of alcohol in ml or cm3 of ethanol rather than "units" (I think a unit is 10ml alcohol)

  2. The Kusabi
    January 21, 2008 at 5:52 pm | #2

    'A slightly silly piece' – that's classy, having a go at him when you've made several comments for that particular blog entry. And what's with throwing a paddy at the end and calling everyone bastards, accusing them of ignoring you?

  3. January 21, 2008 at 8:22 pm | #3

    1) What, so I'm not allowed to criticise pieces on my blog if I've commented on them now? Are you the Blog Police or something?

    2) However, thanks for highlighting the idiot who thinks it's funny to impersonate me.

  4. Neil
    January 22, 2008 at 3:00 am | #4

    I'm thinking that the tax should go something like xpence*(Valcohol/Vwater) – after all, it's impossible to get pissed on 2% lager, but all too easy to get fucked right up on imported spirits.

  5. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 5:10 am | #5

    There's someone else going around posting stuff under your name? Really? Or are you just trying to cover up for being rude to people?

    Has it just been on the 'burning our money' blog, or has it happened on every blog you've been on? And, how are we supposed to tell which posts are yours and which posts are the work of this splendid chap who's aping you?

  6. January 22, 2008 at 5:23 am | #6

    As far as I can see just on that post, although obviously I haven't been all over the rest of Teh Internets looking for people taking my name in vain.

    If you seriously think I'm someone who'd seek to "cover up for being rude to people", you're very much mistaken – although you seem very much mistaken in general so perhaps can be forgiven on this point.

    & petulant paddy-throwing at people who ignore me really isn't my style, baby (maybe a little bit of petulant paddy-throwing about people who repeatedly and maliciously tell lies about me…)

  7. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 5:51 am | #7

    Yeah, yeah, I think you'd better turn on comment moderation again since you might get more disagreement than you can handle. Don't forget to lie about how you've never banned or blocked any comments, when you've in fact deleted comments you didn't like in the past.

    I think petulant paddy throwing is very much your thing, if the comments I've seen recently on other blogs are anything to go by (as well as banning IP addresses and deleting comments and lying about it). I'm not going to tell you which other blogs those are, you can just go and find them for yourself.

  8. January 22, 2008 at 6:01 am | #8

    You're lying again. The only comments I've ever deleted have been spam (for the avoidance of doubt, I mean spam of the "enlarge anatomical parts and buy pirated software now" variety, not the "idiotic trollish lying oaf who says something vaguely relevant to the topic/blog" variety).

    I'm vaguely tempted to start imposing a banning regime /exclusively/ for people who repeatedly use my comments section to tell lies about me; if I do impose such a regime, then I'll make that explicitly clear on the blog and on the comments form.

  9. Wasickdance
    January 22, 2008 at 6:28 am | #9

    You're lying again, John, since I made several comments on this thread – http://www.johnband.org/blog/2007/09/05/160-we-li
    – non spamming comments, and anyone who checks that thread is going to find what? A 'conversation' that makes no sense, since you took out all the comments you were responding to.

    I wonder if you'll allow this comment to stand, running the risk of royally embarrassing yourself. Seriously, you really have been caught bang to rights here. If you don't maybe I should go post it at your Sharpener blog entry or something

  10. Travis Touchdown
    January 22, 2008 at 6:40 am | #10

    You'd better be ready to 'make clear' that you've effectively started imposing that 'banning regime' against people who tell the truth about you NOW, John, because once again you're using trickery to block comments while pretending you're doing no such thing.

    Because conveniently enough you’ve blocked me from retorting, with this:-

    ‘You’re lying again, John, since I made several comments on this thread – http://www.johnband.org/blog/2007/09/05/160-we-li
    - non spamming comments, and anyone who checks that thread is going to find what? A ‘conversation’ that makes no sense, since you took out all the comments you were responding to.’

    I suppose you must know how embarrassing it would be for you to be exposed for the petty, two-faced liar you are, too bad for you.

    I can post this comment at the Sharpener and other places if you really want me to, you dirty-trick playing bastard.

  11. January 22, 2008 at 6:46 am | #11

    Looks like you posted it at the Sharpener /before/ threatening to post it at the Sharpener, which is a bit tricksy of you…

    I'll respond here: even if I were much more stupid than I am, and even if I felt so threatened by your razor-sharp wit that I felt the need to delete your comments rather than allow people to see them, then I'd delete your comments without replying to the bloody things.

  12. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 6:55 am | #12

    Hows about you explain the removal of my comments at the link I posted, then, John boy?

  13. January 22, 2008 at 7:04 am | #13

    I imagine that whatever happened to your post between 7:23 and 8:01 happened to them [update: I've brought that post back, although the original ones are apparently lost forever].

    Trust me, I'm already having a bizarre and vicious fight with my spam filter just to get your responses up and undeleted, which isn't doing masses for my productivity or temper.

    Much as I don't find arguing with you especially edifying, I'd rather do without the technology randomly stealing your comments. However, there doesn't appear to be a "whitelist" function on SpamKarma.

    [I have found comments left over the last year or so from various old-time bloggers that never made it onto the site or my inbox either. Sorry Laban. Sorry Anthony. Sorry Nathalie. Sorry dsquared. Sorry, Jim Bliss. And ironically, sorry David Duff...]

  14. January 22, 2008 at 7:16 am | #14

    Right – apparently Spam Karma doesn't like the way that you come here infrequently and post lots of comments when you do, because that's also what spambots do.

    If it thinks you're doing that, then it also retrospectively moderates your old comments.

    Comments that are moderated as spam get deleted after a few months, at which point the software forgets you ever existed, and hence assumes you're someone who's come here /for the first time ever/ and posted lots of comments, which is again what spambots do. And to make matters worse, each time a comment gets put in the spam queue and you re-submit it, the software thinks you're spamming again and marks your previous posts as even spammier.

    I've turned off this part of the spam filter functionality; hopefully you'll be able to continue being paranoid and angry while spammers continue being deterred…

  15. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 7:18 am | #15

    Randomly? More like systematically. The comments I'm referring to appeared in the first place, without a hitch. You replied to them. Then you started messing about with comment moderation (which you've started using again I see, without telling anyone like you promised you would do). And then when you started seeing posts pointing out how duplicitous you were by relying on comment moderation to keep people from showing you up, you went and deleted all my comments in their entirety.

    And now you want people to believe it's all because of some spam blocker you don't know how to use and the dog ate your homework. Bollocks.

  16. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 7:24 am | #16

    Randomly? More like systematically. The comments I'm referring to appeared in the first place, without a hitch. You replied to them. Then you started messing about with comment moderation (which you've started using again I see, without telling anyone like you promised you would do). And then when you started seeing posts pointing out how duplicitous you were by relying on comment moderation to keep people from showing you up, you went and deleted all my comments in their entirety. Which happened at about the same time as I was making those comments, not 'months after'.

    And now you want people to believe it's all because of some spam blocker you don't know how to use and the dog ate your homework. Bollocks.

  17. January 22, 2008 at 8:13 am | #17

    "Then you started messing about with comment moderation (which you’ve started using again I see, without telling anyone like you promised you would do)."

    Spam Karma divides comments into three different sorts – OK, borderline and spam. The ones that are considered OK go through without any intervention from me. The ones that are considered "borderline" are manually moderated. I approve all of these unless they're spam. The ones which are considered spam go into a folder where they're ignored unless I spend my time going through them and manually fishing them out, which is what I did today to work out why your comments were missing. This is the way this blog has worked since I set it up.

    If you'd begun the conversation with something like "comment X on thread Y seems to have disappeared, can you explain why?", rather than something more like "you are a liar who deletes comments he disagrees with and lies about it", we might have got this situation resolved sooner.

    Anyway, whatever. The mystery is solved from my perspective; you're welcome to continue commenting here or to fuck off, as you choose, although if you keep lying that I'm a liar then I might rethink that one. Do let me know if anything else you submit fails to get through, because heuristic software can be a bitch like that; my email is john at johnband dot org.

  18. The Kusabi
    January 22, 2008 at 9:30 am | #18

    If you’d begun the conversation with something like “comment X on thread Y seems to have disappeared, can you explain why?”, rather than something more like “you are a liar who deletes comments he disagrees with and lies about it”, we might have got this situation resolved sooner.

    Yeah, that's one of the perils of setting out to be the biggest prick you can be in blog circles, John – some people respond in kind.

  19. January 22, 2008 at 9:06 pm | #19

    Well, I'm glad you've seen the error of your ways.

  1. January 21, 2008 at 10:03 pm | #1

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