Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Idler, Thursda, August 2, 2018

Election situation normal


THE US mid-term elections are bearing down. Facebook has deleted 32 pages suspected of being fake Russian trolls and is contacting the 290 000 accounts that have been in contact with them, warning of developments.

This seems either to contradict Donald Trump's repudiation in Helsinki of his security services confirming Russian interference in American elections, or to support his later explanation that he had "misspoken" on the issue –something to do with a double negative.

It seems an invitation for Vladimir Putin to visit the White House is still live.

Meanwhile, the fragile peace between Donald Trump and the billionaire Koch Brothers seems to be breaking down. The Kochs are major donors to the Republican Party but not to Trump or his wing of it.

In the 2016 primaries they supported several candidates but not Trump. When it came down to the election, Charles Koch said having to choose between Hillary Clinton and Trump was like having to choose between cancer and a heart attack. Already frigid relations plunged in temperature.

The Kochs have now announced $400 million dollars in support of non-Trump Republicans in the mid-term elections.

Trump has tweeted in response that the Koch Brothers are "a total joke in real Republican circles."

And now Trump has threatened again to close down federal government if Congress fails to vote funds for his Great Wall of Mexico.

Situation normal. A snafu, to use military terminology. America seems to be doing its best to outdo Brexit politics in the UK.


Pseudo stuff


A READER calling himself Nick comments on the recent item about a zoo in Egypt painting stripes on donkeys to get pseudo-zebras. It reminds him of pseudo-German.


"Since a horse is known as '  fodder geburning klippen klopper', a zebra would by definition be 'a pin stripen suiten wearen fodder geburning klippen klopper.'


"In the same vein, an X-ray machine is 'an inside gelooken peeper', which by extension suggests that a radiologist has to be 'an inside gelooken peeper keeper."


"Finally, for those among us who enjoy golf, the definition of a golf course has to be: 'a hitten 'n huntin veldt'."


Himmel! Das ist jetzt gunug!

Roos on the move

TIE me kangaroo down, sport … a family in Melbourne, in the Australian state of Victoria, were wakened by a crash as a kangaroo jumped through a bedroom window.

It seems the roos are on the move. Over in the federal capital, Canberra, they've come to town in their thousands, according to Sky News, raiding any patch of green grass they can find.

It's the result of a harsh, dry winter. The kangaroos are desperate for food. Cricket ovals, school playgrounds and roadside verges are the best supply of green grass, and the roos are bobbing about everywhere.

They present a traffic hazard and roadkill stats are climbing. There have already been 2 291 incidents this year, according to the authorities.

"The way we're tracking, it's likely we're going to have more than 4 000 kangaroo incidents by the time the year is done," says Daniel Iglesias, director of the Australian Capital Territory Parks and Conservation Service.

"That is typical of dry years because these animals are under stress. They're looking for food, which means they're more mobile and it always ends up with more roadkill."

Maybe they should fit those kangaroos with reflective stickers.

Houdini swim

BULGARIA has produced the answer to Houdini and Michael Phelps combined – swimming instructor and lifeguard Yane Petkov this week reclaimed the Guinness world record for swimming with his hands and feet tied, his body fully wrapped in a sack.

He achieved this by swimming 3 380m in Lake Ohrid, in Macedonia, according to Huffington Post. He had been temporarily relieved of the title by Indian fisherman Gopal Kharvi, who swam 3 071m, thus trussed, in the Indian Ocean.

Extraordinary what these Guinness bidders get up to. If you spot a sack making slow progress through the water in the Durban Yacht Basin, playing the flute through a snorkel, don't be alarmed. It will just be another Guinness bid.





PADDY lingers late at the pub. He takes a tube home. At the escalator is a sign: "Dogs must be carried on the escalator."

Paddy: "Now where am I expected to find a dog dis time of night?"


Last word


Don't accept rides from strange men, and remember that all men are strange.

Robin Morgan




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