Small Print

A police motorcycle cop stops a driver for running a red light. The guy is a real jerk and comes running back to the officer demanding to know why he is being harassed by the Gestapo! So the officer calmly tells him of the red light violation. The motorist instantly goes on a tirade, questioning the officer’s ancestry, sexual orientation, etc., in rather explicit terms.

The tirade goes on without the officer saying anything.

When he gets done with writing the ticket he puts an “AH” in the lower right corner of the narrative portion of the ticket. He then hands it to the ‘violator’ for his signature. The guy signs the ticket angrily, and when presented with his copy points to the “AH” and demands to know what it stands for.

The officer says, “That’s so when we go to court, I’ll remember that you’re an asshole!”

Two months later they’re in court. The ‘violator’ has such a bad driving record he is about to lose his license and has hired a lawyer to represent him. On the stand the officer testifies to seeing the man run the red light. Under cross examination the defense attorney asks; “Officer is this a reasonable facsimile of the ticket you issued my client?”

Officer responds, “Yes, sir, that is the defendant’s copy, his signature and mine, same number at the top.”

Lawyer: “Officer, is there any particular marking or notation on this ticket you don’t normally make?”

“Yes, sir, in the lower right corner of the narrative there is an “AH,” underlined.”

“What does the “AH” stand for, officer?”

“Aggressive and hostile, Sir.”

“Aggressive and hostile?”

“Yes, Sir?

“Officer, are you sure it doesn’t stand for AssHole?”

“Well, sir, you know your client better than I do!”

BBC Sport – Manchester City 3-2 QPR

Manchester City scored twice in stoppage time to be crowned champions for the first time in 44 years by beating Queens Park Rangers to win the Premier League on goal difference amid almost unbearable drama.

City’s hopes of claiming the title looked to slipping away as QPR – already safe after Stoke City beat Bolton – held on desperately to an unlikely lead and Manchester United led at Sunderland.

City, needing three points to clinch the prize, led through Pablo Zabaleta at half-time but Djibril Cisse levelled for QPR just after the break.

QPR lost Joey Barton after he was shown a red card following a clash with Carlos Tevez but then stunned the Etihad Stadium into silence as Jamie Mackie headed them in front.

Read more….

Philip Hammond: delay gay marriage law to ‘focus on what matters’

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, refused to back new legislation to allow gay marriage as ministerial differences over the issue became public.

The Government is currently consulting on the plans and people have until next month to officially comment on the introduction of gay marriage. David Cameron has publicly offered it strong backing.

However, Mr Hammond said: “Clearly it’s not the number one priority. If you stop people in the street and ask them what their concerns are, they’ll talk to you about jobs and economic growth, they’ll talk to you about the level of the wages they’re earning, wanting to see real growth in wages again.”

He added: “There is no legislation in the Queen’s Speech [on gay marriage]; there’s a consultation going on, and we should look at, listen to what people are saying in response to that consultation.

“But I think the government has got to show over the next couple of years that it is focused on the things that matter to the people in this country – not just the short-term things but the long-term things as well; the reform of our education system, changing the welfare system – which is like turning around a super-tanker – changing the welfare system so that work always pays,%

Read more….

Harwin Central Mall, Houston, Texas

The very first store that you come to when you walk from the lobby of the building into the shopping area had this sign posted on their door. The shop is run by Muslims.

In case you are not able to read the sign below, it says: “We will be closed on Friday, September 11, 2009 to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Ali”

 Imam Ali flew one of the planes into the twin towers.

Nice huh?
Try telling me we’re not in a Religious war!

Paternity leave: We all benefit if new dads stay at home

The worst thing about politics is how easily it can land you on the wrong side of an argument. If, for instance, you consider yourself an old-fashioned Tory, you may have found yourself spluttering into your cornflakes at the Government’s plan, announced as part of the Queen’s Speech, to give fathers more paternity leave. Men, staying at home to look after the baby? In a recession? With businesses already up to their armpits in politically correct, gender-neutral, EU-approved red tape? George Orwell couldn’t have made it up.

But here’s the thing. Paternity leave is good for us. All of us. If you, as a conservative, sometimes pine after a gentler age of family values and community spirit – the answer is paternity leave. If, as a business owner, you are fed up with female employees reproducing at your inconvenience – the answer is paternity leave. To understand what’s wrong with the present system, take a look at me. I am currently on maternity leave for the third time in four years. My employers have been very gracious about this intemperate burst of procreation, but I am well aware of how inconvenient it is. Either they have to find someone temporary to do my job each time – which means training them up and then sacking them just as they get the hang of it – or my colleagues have to work extra hard to cover for me.

Read more…

Edward Lear was the master of glorious nonsense

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven, / Who danced a quadrille with a Raven; /But they said, “It’s absurd / To encourage this bird!” / So they smashed that old man of Whitehaven.

Edward Lear’s famous limericks often depend on the illustrations (such as the Man of Whitehaven, right) for their full effect. They also eschew the obscenity for which the form is so eminently suited. This is not because Lear – whose bicentenary fell yesterday – was a Victorian prude, rather it is because the limericks and drawings in his first Book of Nonsense (1845) were made for the grandchildren of his patron, the Earl of Derby.

There is often an undercurrent of violence, however. Consider the strength of that word “smashed”. Why, one wonders, were the mysterious “they” so angry? Because the raven is a bird of ill omen? There’s another oddity. A quadrille is a dance for four people. So who were the other dancers? Did they object to the “smashing” of the old man, or join in?

Or take this one:

There was a Young Lady of Russia, / Who screamed so that no one could hush her; / Her screams were extreme. / No one heard such a scream, / As was screamed by that Lady of Russia.

Read more….

Politics in this age of austerity will be a contest of character

When posterity gets its teeth into the history of this Parliament, its fulcrum will be found in the Autumn Statement delivered by George Osborne on November 29 2011. On that day, the Chancellor not only conceded that the Coalition would fail to wipe out the deficit by the next election; he also announced provisional public spending cuts for the first two years of the next Parliament.

The psychological and psephological implications of this moment are hard to exaggerate. Put crudely, the Tories’ original plan, hatched over many kitchen suppers in Osborne’s basement, had been to front-load the austerity measures in the first years of the Parliament, and then, as economic stability yielded steady recovery, deliver at least one Budget bonanza, and maybe two, that rewarded the voters for their trust and their sacrifice.

Read more….

We still don’t really know David Cameron

Why are we still arguing about David Cameron? When he was leader of the Opposition, engaged in an explicit campaign to transform the Conservative Party in his own image, this was quite understandable. As a man who had appointed himself the public face of a New Tory identity – who was determined to “be the change” and to declare himself at war (sometimes in very personal terms) with the party’s traditional conception of itself – he would naturally be the focus of attention. What did he really believe? Would he stand by the basic principles of Conservatism or did he want to replace them? The questions had to be asked because he was, quite self-consciously, offering himself to the electorate as a new form of political life.

He is now not only Prime Minister, but the longest-serving of any of the mainstream party leaders. Surely we have had enough time to make up our minds about him. And yet, here we all are, still demanding to know who he is, what he stands for, and what he really wants for the country. We – that is, Conservative pundits, MPs and even Cabinet members – are still squabbling among ourselves more about Mr Cameron himself than any specific matter of party policy.

Read more….

High earners say au revoir to France

The annual mass exodus from the French capital sees the city’s inhabitants while away the August heat in the countryside.

But this week many of the biggest earners across the Channel have been mulling a départ which could be rather more permanent.

The toppling of Nicolas Sarkozy by François Hollande, the first socialist president to lead the country in 17 years, has sent ripples of fear through the wealthier arrondissements of Paris.

Their new president may block the eurozone austerity advocated by Germany’s Angela Merkel, but he is not opposed to his richer citizens feeling the squeeze.

Mr Hollande plans to implement a 75pc tax rate on earnings over €1m (£800,000), on top of a 45pc rate for people making €150,000 or more. He is also expected to raise “wealth taxes” on property assets and end his predecessor’s tax incentives to lure bankers back home.

Read more….

Greece will run out of money soon, warns deputy prime minister

Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph, Theodoros Pangalos said he was “very much afraid of what is going to happen” after Greek voters rejected the deal in elections last Sunday.

“The majority of the people voted for a very strange mental construction,” he said. “We want to be in the EU and the euro, but we don’t want to pay anything for the past.”

The main beneficiary of the election, the hard-Left Syriza coalition, came a startling second on a promise to tear up the deal, which promises EU loans to keep massively-indebted Greece afloat, but demands crippling spending cuts in return. Germany, the principal lender, has said it will stop payments if Greece breaks its promises on spending.

Mr Pangalos warned: “There is a school of thought that says the Germans are bluffing. They need Greece and will never throw us out of the eurozone. But what will happen, which is almost certain, is they will not give us the money to pay our debts.

“We will be in wild bankruptcy, out-of-control bankruptcy. The state will not be able to pay salaries and pensions. This is not recognised by the citizens. We have got until June before we run out of money.

Read more….