My kids love this, subject to two clarifications:
1. Try to skip the gesture 21 seconds in – “He came around” – for obvious reasons.
2. The other dodgy gesture – “He” – is clearly referring to the fact that men have zippers in their trousers. Right?

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Of Course

Why does this not come as a surprise?

A fence-building company in Southern California agrees to pay nearly $5 million in fines for hiring illegal immigrants…The Golden State Fence Company’s work includes some of the border fence between San Diego and Mexico.

For the record, I think it is every nation’s absolute right to limit immigration. I think the US should open its legal borders a little wider, while clamping down much more rigorously on illegal entrants (starting with going after the companies that employ them). I’m not entirely happy with my conclusion because I know it necessarily leads to a great deal of economic suffering for millions of people, but it’s the least worst option I can see. By contrast I think the UK should largely close its borders, not because immigrants are bad but because we’re just about full. We should use immigration quotas to keep our population at around 60 million, which feels adequate for an island the size of Minnesota.

(HT: Daring Fireball)

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I was driving along a few days ago and was reminded how low the standard for driving can be. It was a little foggy, which meant that every third person on the road had switched on their rear fog light. Fog lights are great, but are specifically for conditions where traffic behind you would struggle to see you, not for driving around a well lit village when there’s a little bit of fog. In such conditions they’re actually dangerous, because they’re dazzling and tend to obscure the action of brake lights.

As if this wasn’t enough, I don’t think I took a bend without having to dodge someone who thought that the taxes they paid for roads meant they could use the entire width whenever they needed, and to hell with oncoming traffic. Oh, and if I let you through there’s no need to acknowledge my generosity at all, it’s fine, I’ll go screw myself just as soon as I can.

Anyway, I was getting myself all worked up about the general incompetence around me when I started to think about some of the regular commutes I’ve done over the years. I’ve had 2 or 3 routes I travelled enough that I could recognize a number of my fellow wage-slaves. And without exception they fell into two camps; the huge majority were perfectly fine drivers who might, on very rare occasions, make momentary slips in their driving; a small minority were obvious ass-hats who were weaving in and out of traffic to get to work 11 seconds sooner.

So the next time you see someone make a driving mistake remember that there’s a good chance that it really was just a mistake, not evidence of incompetence, so why not take a deep breath and let it pass? You’ll live longer, so long as the next moron doesn’t get you.

1. Yes, I do consider myself an above-average driver, but only just, and only because the average is so low.
2. None of the above applies if the other driver is so small they can barely see above the steering wheel. Those people are evil and dangerous.

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We had a cake for my son’s birthday a couple of days ago, and I was reminded of one of the benefits of living in the UK – decent cake. It is, as with so many other things, possible to get good cake in the US, but you have to know where to go as the default is a kind of blown polystyrene block garnished with milky sugar. And not in a good way. In contrast Sam’s cake, from the local supermarket, had chocolate icing that tasted of actual chocolate, slathered over a sponge that tasted of sponge-cake, rather than just sponge.

Man I’m hungry.

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I wasn’t going to embed anything for a while to try and fix my layout, but I figure a picture is more likely to get you to watch this, so…

I didn’t play cello at school – unlike everyone else in the entire country who learned the recorder (a nasty instrument in a child’s hands if ever there was one), my school learned glockenspiel. It makes a great learning instrument because everything is labeled, and while you can play it badly it has a tendency to sound at least tolerable. But it has even less street-cred than the cello.

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