Lime-sucking Brits absorb heavy US flak

1776 and all that

Letters The Guardian's letter writing campaign, whereby concerned Brits could write to undecided US voters in swing states in a bid to persuade them against voting for Bush, was probably not the greatest idea of all time. More supporting evidence follows:

I'm a real admirer of The Register's even-handedness (unusual in an IT industry publication). I was therefore very disappointed when your article featured a frankly appalling response from a US protagonist without including some of the arguably more outrageous material emanating from The Guardian camp (such as that from Richard Dawkins, who ought to know better), and who started this email war. Either you're too lazy to check the blogosphere for this easily obtained material (I found it readily via Tim Blair) or you're sucking up to the Pommie establishment. Shame on you, either way.

By the way, The Guardian is not pinko. It's what we in Australia describe as watermelon - green outside, red within and completely lacking in substance.


Good take on the whole affair, but you may have missed the fact that when The Guardian talks about "14,000 matches" between interfering busybodies - sorry, I mean concerned citizens - and US voters, it is conveniently ignoring the fact that one of the ways the US backlash manifested itself was in the downloading of voter names and addresses by the "hacktivists". Since The Guardian pledged to provide each name and address only once, this would then protect those particular voters from receiving a letter from a perhaps well-meaning but certainly insufferably arrogant leftie. ("I know you, as a brainless bumpkin from rural Ohio, can't be expected to make up your own mind correctly, so let me, in my well-educated grasp of world affairs, enlighten you on how you should vote.")

So it's entirely likely that a large (even a very large) percentage of the vaunted 14,000 were downloaded to prevent the purposes of the project. Which may also be the real reason it was abandoned...



So how exactly did seafaring American explorer-navigators avoid scurvy on prolonged sea voyages ? And how does writing letters constitute "having hands on" an election. Talking of "constituting", isn't there something about Free Speech in there somewhere ?

And has anyone asked the Iraqis about who might have hands on their elections - not to mention the Chileans and a few others I could think of.

Regards Mike

I suspect this was just a ploy by The Guardian. They've realised that to beat the pure joy of your Flame of the Week, they need to tap the sheer wit and style available in the US in (steaming) spades. Sending cheese-eating surrender monkeys over to gather top-notch flameage is a stroke of genius. The Register will have to work much harder to match this feat.


We are willing to accept this challenge. Coming soon to The Register: articles on why DRM is a good idea, our stunning revelations about Linus Torvald's sordid private life, a beginner's guide to spam-based marketing, and Our Top Ten favourite monopolies. That should get some fires going...

The 1812 war? That'll be when the USA tried to expand into Canada and got its arse handed to it by the combined might of the British and Canadian forces, right?

Guess Bush supporters not knowing history makes sense...


Did anyone else spend a brief moment trying to work out what Napoleon's invasion of Russia had to do with UK and US relations..?

Turns out that drinking at lunchtime can cause drunkenness. Astonishingly, you've managed to bring the election into this again, even though we didn't even mention it once.

And you drunken bastards are trying to tell us who we should vote for in the upcoming election? No wonder you want Kerry in office so badly. Your citizenry are too drunk to make an informed decision. Shut your drunken nasty mouths, mind your own business and vote for whoever you want in your own elections but keep your drunken opinions about our elections to yourselves. You are a nation of sick bastards and Charlie Brooker’s comments in the Guardian UK prove it. He must be drunk as well.


We might be drunk, Mitchell, but we are not stupid...

Your title is highly misleading. It's not three-quarters of you Englishmen who are drunk after lunch, it's three-quarters of those *who were drinking during lunch* who are drunk.


That's cleared that up, then. We are sober as judges. Does this mean we are qualified to meddle in overseas elections?

If that many Brits come back from lunch soused, does it affect productivity or performance?

Does the UK have a "market economy"? This makes it sound like it doesn't. I hate to admit that I don't know that answer.

G.B. Hall, Marietta, Ga. USA

How much more of a market economy do you want? We're all out spending our hard-earned money in pubs at lunch time. Sounds pretty market-y to us.

Maintaining the UK vs. US theme, our most recent Flame of the Week appears to have struck a nerve, and many of you felt compelled to write in. We're not sure what we ought to do in response to the wide variety of instructions we received, and we're certain some of them are anatomically impossible.

Still, let's get started with the following theory on what might have prompted the flame in the first place:

Maybe it's because people are getting a little sick to death of the liberal shite seen recently on The Register. Stick to IT - leave politics alone and tell Thomas Greene in Washington to shove his PC up his arse.

Cheers! Todd

Thomas has been so instructed many times, but doesn't seem to have taken a blind bit of notice. We doubt if adding your voice to the clamour will make the slightest difference, to be honest, so you should probably save yourself the effort.

Molly Ivans has had a long standing hatred with President Bush that started before he was president. She is so anti-Bush that none of her opinions can be taken seriously.


Still with FoTW, you also had some ideas for alternative monikers for the leader of the free world:

The flamer was correct. His proper title is King George, but unlike his late majesty he can't blame his insanity on over-dosing on arsenic. However, he is doing a bang-up job extending the American empire.

Rick Rebellious subject of his majesty

Re stop calling George Dubya: Stop calling Dubya 'President'.

Cheers, Anon

I have to agree with the FOTW on the "dubya" matter.

Please, in the future, refer to him as "that ignorant unelected prick currently fuc*ing over the economy and making america the target of the worlds hate and perennial terrorist attacks."

Feel free to come up with a creative acronym in order to save space.

thank you.


TIUPCFOtE&MAtTotWH&PTA. Hmm, snappy...

So, from the battle for the presidential office to the battle between PC and Mac users. In the last batch of letters, a chap called Jonathan asked why Mac users would need an OS designed for complete idiots. You'll probably not be surprised to hear that we had almost as many emails about this as we did about the flame of the week...

In response to the letter asking:

"If Mac users are "more intelligent than the average computer user," why do they need an operating system designed for complete idiots?"

The answer is, of course - that they've got better things to do than figure out how the hell to work their computers.


A complete idiot is someone who uses windows and thinks that a unix based OS is an operating system designed for complete idiots.

Please post this in reply to Jonathan as this is my opinion about his comment.

Regards K. Rimane

Jonothan has the following point:

"If Mac users are "more intelligent than the average computer user," why do they need an operating system designed for complete idiots?"

I'm Mac illiterate (I managed to crash one running OS8 several times in a minute, which is apparently something special), but I assume that having an OS designed for idiots would be better than having an OS *written* by them. Perhaps OSX was designed for the MS programming team?


Ooooo. This one could keep going back and forth for some time. We'll draw a line under it there, thanks.

Lastly, we have thoughts on the fall of mankind. Just the sort of this to end a letters round-up:

I must comment upon the article by John Leyden where you report on a disturbing Trend (groanable pun very deliberately intended)

The new generation of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are migrating from the IBM OS/2 operating system to Microsoft Windows and IP networks. This saves costs and enhances customer services. But it also means that ATMs are now at risk from computer worms, according to Trend Micro.

a) since the ATM already has a paid-for OS/2 licence, how does replacing it with another machine incorporating a WinXP licence fee represent a saving? b) what enhanced customer services are being offered? Are they necessary? Could they have been offered by the "old/anachronistic" OS/2 system?

Funny how we still call this sort of thing "progress."

I think I might mount a campaign for us smug OS/2 users to avoid using ATMs in future.

Raimund Genes, European president of Trend Micro, said that 70 per cent of ATMs are based on either XP or embedded XP. "That's the way manufacturers are taking the ATM and ticketing machine market," he said. "There really isn't much choice."

Anyone ever heard of "just say no"? Why not simply buy hardware?

I'm not well travelled, but in Australia we call this attitude "rolling over and playing dead". I'm sure readers can think of other equivalents. <G

Trend's Genes said the barriers between the network used by ATMs and the wider Internet are been lowered as banks switch from older telecoms technologies to IP-based networks. He acknowledged that widely deployed AV technology alone is failing to protect enterprises from fast-spreading worms.

So he acknowledges what Blind Freddie could have told him, and then proceeds to extend the faulty logic of 'no choice' by saying in effect "well, on this model the brakes are dangerously unsafe, but we can sell you a louder horn as an after-market optional extra!"?

Maybe Bill Gates' faulty understanding of the consumers and producers of non-interactive broadcast media is actually correct.

Oh, dear, humanity is going to obliterate itself via stupidity rather than the Bomb...

In that case, let me remind readers of the words of Douglas Adams via Ford Prefect to the publican (sorry 'bartender' for US readers):

FP: "The world's going to end." P: "Oh, yes sir. You said that before, sir. Aren't we supposed to put our heads between our knees?" FP: "You can if you like." P: "Will it help?" FP: "Not in the slightest." P: "Last orders, please!"

Best regards John Angelico

Back on Friday. ®

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018