January 21, 2013

Back In The Saddle

Hi folks.

Had a terrific week in Germany, although I think I broke my liver.

From the start of the Algerian Clusterfuck I was concerned for a good friend of mine who works for BP. He is based at their main camp in Hassi Messaoud but travels regularly to In Amenas and to the rig sites deep in the desert. I still have not heard from him and my efforts to track him down continue.

UPDATE: I have now heard from my pal. He was not at the site during the crisis. He emailed this a few minutes ago:  "A good few mates are dead and my boss got shot twice in the back and leg. He is OK now and back in Norway in hospital"

The Algerian army is populated mostly by conscripts and none of them want to be there. I have seen guys get snagged as they travel up through the desert (usually heading for the capital, Algiers looking for work) when they come across a check-point and their names are checked on a national database. If they have not completed their national service they are inducted there and then. I saw quite a few disappointed young men who had hopes of a good life in Algiers only to be hustled into a portacabin. Ten minutes later, they emerge, in brand new uniforms carrying an AK-47. Which they fiddle with endlessly. There were several incidents resulting in death or serious injury at a camp I stayed at because almost no time is spent training these chaps. They constantly have one up the spout then sit fucking around with the safety catch (rate selector) and the trigger. Simultaneously. Accidents are guaranteed. Standard operating procedure is for the offender to be relieved of his weapon and then he gets the shit kicked out of him by any soldiers nearby. I have seen this. It gets nasty. The guy is then hauled off to gaol.

So it was with horror I learned that they were dispatched to In Amenas, and I knew that a high level of 'blue on blue' was going to happen. It will be interesting to see just how many hostages were killed by the bad guys and how many died in 'friendly fire'. (There's a misnomer for you).

I missed most of the other news as I was only interested in the unfolding hostage story.

What did I miss?



Fidel Cuntstruck said...

Welcome back Cap'n, you haven't missed much - a couple more major retailers have finally ceased flogging their dead horses, the Cobbleition continues it's impersonation of a headless chicken, Milliband minor hasn't been cured of his lisp yet ...

What else to tell you? ... Oh yes! - Britain is in the grip of a severe winter would you believe? further contradicting the Global warming nutters who are now busy rewording their predictions.. again ;0)

I'm assuming you've some interesting conversations with your hosts this trip? what is the man on the street's take on the EUSSR over there?

Captain Ranty said...


I have often predicted the death of the high street. Companies just don't seem to understand the reach that the internet has. More big names will follow, especially those without an online presence.

Books, newspapers, and even television sets will become historical artifacts.

Snow in January! Who knew? Just us 'deniers', it seems....

My new colleagues are mostly EU citizens. Some are Swiss and they are mystified as to Britain's insistence on remaining in the Stupid Club.

The Germans I spoke to are mighty fed up with bailing out "The South". They are hurting as these taxes that are stolen from them mount up. I don't think they have hit the wall yet but many expect it and want it to appear on the horizon.

It will be interesting to witness the collapse. It is not 'if' anymore, it's 'when'.

I am anxious to see this particular empire crumble.


Mark said...

You missed the Brazilian trans-sexual saga. Priceless.

Captain Ranty said...


I think I am pleased that I did.

I understand gays and lesbians but the thought of having my undercarriage sliced off gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Call me old-fashioned if you must, but I am checking out with the same gear I checked in with.


Anonymous said...

Hi Cap'n,

Well as you know I no longer own or watch a television so you'll know more of what's on the news, that is, the news the programmers want you to know.

Interesting isn't it? Iraq, Afghanistan, back to Iraq, Libya, Syria and now Algeria? Of course, definately not related in the slightest. Oh, you may not know but Syria's president is living on a Russian warship and Russia, angry and western destabalizing of Syria has sent a flotilla down to the mediterranean for 'maneuvres'.

And yes winter. Hmm....it's rather cold I must say. It must be a side effect of global warming.

As for trannies and gender realignment surgery I don't want to know.



Captain Ranty said...


I don't have a watch either.

We seem to have a terror event every so often. Just to remind us to remain terrified.

And to keep paying our taxes so that Big Government can protect us.

A self-fulfilling prophecy?

Control is everything.


Caratacus said...

Don't know why Cap'n, but this little gem sprang to mind ...


Even now when I hear those bloody things clatter into life the hairs stand up on the back of my neck ;-)

Captain Ranty said...


I remember that clip.

That could have ended very differently.

I still lolled though!!


James Higham said...

Which beers did you find most fulfilling?

Captain Ranty said...


I liked Stuttgarter Hofbrau. Nice and fresh.

Don't recall drinking the other main brew, Dinkelacker. (This doesn't mean I didn't imbibe. There was also good wine and of course, my old go-to favourite: G & T).


Dan H. said...

Well, the EU collapse is pretty much guaranteed. Reading between the lines, the EU was the world's first attempt at building an empire without using an army to conquer territory. Unfortunately it was also the first attempt to do this using no intelligence whatsoever, and no flexibility in the plans.

The original plan was something like this: Create a new currency, and use West Germany to underwrite it. Set up a central bank but don't let it print money to bail out deadbeats; this bit is important. Next up, invite every two-bit collection of muppets on the continent in to join the party; be sure to include France no matter what bollocks they think up. As countries get into shit through excessive borrowing, bail 'em out in return for bits of sovereignty.

At the same time, impose a regionalisation plan which will effectively break member states up into little EU-designed bits that supplant pre-existing boundaries and so on.

As we all know, the EU grand plan has comprehensively failed. Buffoons like John Prescott got given the regionalisation project to look after, hence failure there. Starting with the Black-Scholes equation in 1973, and with the huge increase in computerisation and computer financial models in the 1990s, people got very, very good at running up eye-wateringly huge levels of debt without causing problems, which removed the essential lever to force countries to swap sovereignty for forgiveness.

So now we have Merkel et al staring at the cameras with that familiar "rabbit in the headlights" look which means "I haven't got a clue what I'm doing, I'm just solving problems as they arise and hoping that the light at the end of the tunnel isn't muzzle-flash". The EU is, in medical parlance, circling the drain; only a matter of time before something breaks badly and it snuffs it.

Anonymous said...


They do veto legislation when they feel like it

Anonymous said...

Black-scholes is used for pricing options, not debt instruments. The big innovation was cdo's and cds's, neither of which did the regulators manage to regulate. Bash the bankers if you like, but the real criminals were the governments offering bailout guarantees to institutions they'd lost control of.

Able said...

Welcome back!

On the high street - I just wonder when the costs will start reflecting reality (if ever). The online retailers make mega-bucks by working from centralised warehouses with the accompanying lesser costs of rent and rates.

The high street has massive costs because the property owners and the councils, refusing to see past their own greed, refuse to reduce the load they impose, preferring to have empty properties, run down high streets and unemployed residents.

I despair