06 January 2010


Harold Goodwinson was crowned King of England in 1066.  The Rump Parliament voted to put Charles I on trial in 1649.  maria Montessori opened her first school for working class children in Rome in 1907.  The Crown of St. Stephen was returned to Hungary by the United States, where it had been held since WWII.

Born today:  Joan of Arc (1412-1431), Gustave Doré (1832-1883), Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915), Carl Sandburg (1878-1967), Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), Earl Scruggs (1924), Terry Venables (1943), Syd Barrett (1946-2006), Anthony Minghella (1954-2008), Rowan Atkinson (1955), Nigella Lawson (1960).

It is the Feast of the Epiphany.


  1. Hi Montana

    They say that this is probably a copy of Stephen's crown.

  2. Ah, Khalil Gibran...

    "Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
    and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    so He loves also the bow that is stable."

    Have a good day, everyone.

  3. Damn, managed to get to w*rk today.

    Gandolfo, nice dog! He has a rather mischievous glint in his eye.

    Re the Great Midlands Get-together - Hank and BW are of the opinion that it ought to be postponed by two weeks.

  4. Beutiful piece from Gabran there, habib. I love his writings.

  5. I think, on the whole, I prefer Kehlog Albran...

    A priest asked,
    What is Fate, Master?

    And he answered:
    It is that which gives a beast of burden its reason for existence.
    It is that which men in former times had to bear upon their backs.
    It is that which has caused nations to build by-ways from City to City upon which carts and coaches pass, and alongside which inns have come to be built to stave off Hunger, Thirst and Weariness.
    It is that which has caused great fleets of ships to ply the Seven Seas wherever the wind blows.

    And that is Fate? said the priest.

    Fate... I thought you said Freight, responded the Master.

    That's all right, said the priest. I wanted to know what Freight was too.

  6. If this is CiFthreadrefugee i've made it back safely after suffering severe mental anguish on Snow, ice and the bigger picture

  7. Hoon and Hewitt doing one - this could be interesting...

    (it could also be a completely damp squib, but I can hope)

    betting open on who they're going to put up?

  8. Medve - my favourite post from that thread:

    Its Winter and its snowing.

    That's not climate change.

  9. Morning, @medve. I've been there too, but it looked like a pretty standard sniping match to me. I always get fed up when the inevitable mefinny2 turns up to sneer at everyone in a particularly unpleasant manner, though.

  10. Hewitt on W@1 - night typing ahoy...
    *************interview starts
    not intended to provoke a civil war
    not calling for Gordon to go
    calling for a secret ballot to give everyone the chance to express their opinion in private
    then everyone can get together behind the result
    not saying how I'm proposing to vote
    trying to get agreement
    could be done next Monday, with results delared that evening

    Q - cabinet support? particularly Millibandi?
    A - haven't spoken to any cabinet member
    this is not an attempted coup
    need to get rid of the backbiting and private briefing and concentrate our fire on the hollowness of Cameron and the Tories

    Q - won't this be damaging, so close to an election?
    A - more damaging will be the private briefings and splits up to election day
    we want to get together to beat the Tories
    Cameron's a burk (that's a mild paraphrase)
    the best chance of seeing them off is settling the leadership question

    Q - isn't Gordon doing rather well? the gap is narrowing?
    A - he did really well at PMQs, Cameron's a burk (ditto)
    Geoff and I have thought very carefully before doing this, and we're doing it because we think that this secret ballot will be our best chance of settling the issue once and for all, and beating Camerons' Tories at the election

  11. Oooh - interesting!

    Well, if they have the secret ballot and Gordon comes out of it smelling of roses, it is going to be difficult for New Labour to win the election with him still at the helm. If, on the other hand, they appoint someone else, they are going to have to be sure that it is the right person. So many New Labour ministers are tarnished. It is going to be a difficult job.

  12. morning / afternoon PeterJ, PhillipaB

    thanks for the sanity top-up.

    back into the fray once more ..

  13. having posting problems. so, again...

    two possibilities

    1) modern media means all ministers will have to respond immediately, and as this prevents a groundswell developing, they all pick the safest option (this is sort of like the 'prisoners dilemma', innit?) and gordon stays.

    2) everyone hides in their office, H&H ssend out their scouts (the simultaneous interviews on W@1 and Sky suggest they've at least organised well), groundswell develops, someone offers Mandy the earldom of Ipswich or something, he sits on his hands, Gordon's out.

    But who will they get to stand? None of this slimy lot will offer to fall on their swords. Who wants their first act as leader to be coming fifth in a good number of constituencies and being laughed at by the Cornish Independence Party?

    Someone on the MBM is suggesting it would be only 'an egomaniac or a fool', so I suggest two books.

    Charles Clarke

    Lesser Spotted Millibandi
    Hazel 'Squirrel Nutkin' Blears

    Much too senseible to get involved:
    Greater crested Millibandi

  14. I keep away from the climate change threads in the same way I keep away from the I/P ones. They can become quite harrowing - and quite extremist.

  15. "Greater crested Millibandi"

    The country would never tolerate a PM who sounds like he has a permanent cold (unless he's doing an Asad Ahmad impersonation).

  16. Fence - also suspiciuos that he and Tim Henman were never seen on TV together...

  17. BB

    Terrible indictment of Comment is Free if somebody like you, who imho has plenty of sense to spout, is kept away from certain threads.

  18. Is he also The Stig, d'you reckon?

  19. afternoon all...!
    here epifany so another holiday...:)

    @deano hope all goes/went well at the vet for you and yours...

    @thaum he is a rascal...well big actually!

  20. gandolpho

    Here snow, so another "holiday" \o/

  21. medve

    I will enter the fray sometimes, but I know my voice of reason will be drowned out be the extremists on both sides of the argument, so I don't really waste my time much.

  22. @medve - I've tried contributing to I/P and climate change threads, but - strangely - there seems to be no room allowed between the extremes. You'd think there was plenty of scope, but apparently partisan shouting is the only accepted standard.

  23. FYI a Martin Kettle article about the Hoon Hewitt thing went up on Compassion is Fucked about three quarters of an hour ago. Already almost 60 comments.

  24. I've just finished reading Johnathan Freedland's "Why There Won't Be a Coup Attempt" piece.

  25. Hi thaumaturge

    Couple of good posts by RapidEddie there.

  26. medev...lol Compassion is Fucked love it!

    this is a cracker...Bringing Labour together seems the guardian has mentioned "working class"...it must be election time

  27. Hi gondolfo

    It's why i'm here. If i want disrespect and a lot of shouting, i'll hitch a lift on a Vogon spaceship.

  28. sorry. gandolfo. fegging dyslexia.

  29. Hi medve! don't worry ...i'm worse much worse and can't blame dyslexia...!!

  30. "Nulab has been in a mess with its political strategy since day one ..." or perhaps its moral compass was out of kilter.

  31. medev did it ever have a moral compass??

  32. gadolfo

    now you mention it .. Robin Cook maybe

  33. medve sure there were and are individuals like robin cook, michael foot, dennis skinner.... but collectively as a party...have me doubts...given what we've ended up with...

  34. Bloody hell. I wouldn't recommend a trip to Brian Whittaker's latest; the 'Zionists rule the world' crew are piling in...

  35. Hi peter
    if you thought that was bad try "Let's take immigration seriously".....guess who's having a party there...:)

  36. Oh god. Just looked at that thread and it has been swamped already. NOT posting on it. It isn't worth it.

  37. BB snap! after 5 mins it was swamped....

  38. And now Berchmans is having a go at me. I am a mild-mannered man, but I've had enough of his bland snidery.

  39. PeterJ

    You told him though.

  40. Yeah. Shame the reply and the original both seem to have gone down the memory (MEMRI?) hole now; not even a 'removed by mod' message.

  41. Hehehe - Berchie drives me mad sometimes but I still have a soft spot for him. He will rattle on about his false accusations of anti-semitism though. I wonder whether it is because it really hurts him?

    I have just made some awesome soup. Carrots, parsnips, onion and red lentils with veggie stock so the lad can eat it. Fried all the veg first then boiled it up with the stock and zapped it with the hand blender. Perfect for a cold day like today.

  42. PeterJ

    Strangely enough Berchman's rant and your reply have disappeared without trace.

  43. BB

    May i ask, how old is your lad? Mine are 16 and 12.

  44. Some areas of CiF are effectively no-go areas, because thery'e populated by the same-old,same-old with their entrenched positions onI/P or the climate and nothing constructive or enlightening ever emerges.
    I fear more areas may get like those ones as the elction shite revs up, and the paper continues in its pathetic support for the NewLab shower of shits. Hint, Mr Rusbridger, they may be your dinner-party mates but the NewLab crew do NOT warrant support from antyone vaguely left or liberal (as you paper likes to think it is). Float the prospect of the Tory bogeyman all you like, it still doesn't merit backing NewLab.
    BB hope the sinister-seeming shit that been flung your way stops.

  45. At least one of the dog-whistle posts got removed (not through any direct complaint by me, I emphasise).

    I expect it was the bit about BBC Online news 'taking orders from its AIPAC masters' that did it.

  46. Looks like it's been Memory Holed. I didn't see it there.

  47. @Alisdair - You're right about that, too. I thought about making a list of the responses to the Kettle piece just to see how bad it had got, but gave up after a while. I reckon at least a third of them were 'Blairite plot/New Labour finished/run off and die' types from the left end of the spectrum.

    In among the usual Tory triumphalists and 'General Election Now!' white noise, of course.

  48. more sockpuppets than a punch and judy show at a hosiers convention on cif today,,

    just as a casual musing,,there are from time to time various posters who post on all and everythread challenging all comers,,text wrestling multiple adversaries at the same time,,

    eventually of course they vanish into the ether,,

    but where do they go ? do they just stop being their own little version of the ever popular kilgoreT or JiminyC,,suddenly they stop writing ? they dont care anymore,,they have gasp "L! E! T !!!G!!O!"

    for instance
    and the other 2 or 3 who never really got a definitive label,,i can think of a couple but they are undefinable in objective terms,,

    just seems like a great day for sherlocks to browse the threads,,

    3 across Wise man takes tea label usually on the boards. (5,4)

  49. @ 3p4. I'm pretty sure Wooly got banned, but am not sure. Hasn't been around for q. some time.Almost certain billposters was banned but is back under another name.
    MaM. Now there's a three-pipe problem for Sherlock. Was MaM actually a timporous wee beastie after all and couldn't hack the stick he rightly received for his above the line rambling incoherence and illogicality? hasn't posted since from I can tell

  50. Hi.

    Woolly was banned (roughly) around the same time this site was set up. See Heresy Corner: http://heresycorner.blogspot.com/2009/04/free-woolly.html

  51. I heard that MAM was talent-spotted by 'The Onion', and is now their political editor.

  52. yes i know Wooly got banned ,,thats the point,,then what ? he totally quit ? now bitey is usually pretty obvious from name to name,, the others,,hmm,,not so obvious,,there is often the smell of smoke without visible flames,,you cant quite tell where its coming from,,mam for instance has not used the mam name for two weeks,,so what gives,, mam didnt post for two weeks? no way,,the instant archive feature on the cif revamp has prompted all sorts of questions,,its the habits that make sparks,,like the kind of post that often starts with the word "sorry",,thats a habit,,

    like i said its an action packed day on the puppet stage

  53. Sod it. I can't leave all those bigots to spout their hate unchallenged.

  54. Hi all - just wanted to say happy journeying to Gandolfo.

    Deano - I have left a remark upon your blog (fine coat that) I hope all is okay with Miss Diesel.

    Alisdair - you made me laugh with the comment on the G-spot thread about Warren Beaty. Thing is he must keep some sort of record - yeuch. Or how would he know - surely he would have lost count. I bet he has a secret little book where he makes notes.

    BB the soup sounds gorgeous. I need a recipe for chicken soup - without cream or milk in it. Anyone??

  55. medve

    My boy is 14. Drives me nuts at times but I wouldn't change him for the world. :o)

    Hi to all the evening arrivals!

  56. 3p4, I've seen woolly around from time to time on blogs such as Heresy Corner and Liberal Conspiracy. He hasn't changed.

  57. alasdair

    I have no doubt the sinister shit will go on and on until the mods get tired of it. I said all I had to say last night though and I will ignore it all from now on. I have no doubt that he will continue to take stuff from here to use over there, but the more he does it, the more people see his true nature. It will die down eventually.

  58. 3p4, I've seen woolly around from time to time on blogs such as Heresy Corner and Liberal Conspiracy. He hasn't changed

    once again thats exactly the point ! on those blogs the name remains the same,,

  59. BB

    itsisjob's profile has vanished from CiF, but auxesis' hasn't.


    'Blog fatigue'?

  60. sheff & princessc

    Mark Vernon on Mary Daly - haven't read it yet, but could be interesting.

  61. pcc - what about Cock-a-leekie? http://www.scottishrecipes.co.uk/cock_a_leekie_soup.htm

    or jewish chicken soup? http://www.cookitsimply.com/recipe-0010-01365y6.html

  62. mschin

    yeah, he's crafty alright. Auxesis has had a few digs at me, but he deliberately registered in a new name for his little onslaught last night.


  63. Phew! Sheffpixie, what a harrowing read.

  64. a long time ago i decided NOT to write anything down in the way of sherlock case notes,,that was such a smart decision,,if i had i would probably
    ended up with a really bad obsession about sockpuppets,,MaMs two week absence has peaked my interest again for a while,,

    i have no forensic interest in the various UT waddya rebrandings,,its the just the monoliths that interest me,,wooly mam bill etc

  65. A quick note to say that the vet has prescribed a new medication for Miss Diesel which we are hoping may make her feel a little more comfortable and give us a while longer.

    We are going to try it for a few weeks and see. So things went better than I feared and I'm grateful for the support and best wishes from last night.

    Fingers crossed at best who knows, at worst the medication should diminish any aches and pains which she may have. Vet takes the view that for her age she is doing very well.

  66. Deano

    That's good news about Miss Diesel! :o)

  67. Ah bugger. They have closed the immigration thread already.

  68. Thanks for the soup recipes - soya milk is fine. Will make copies and have a go and report back.

    Deano - so glad to hear the relatively good news. I will keep everything crossed for the new medication coming up trumps.

    MsChin - had a quick scan of it and the thread - interesting stuff from Sarka and AllyF.

    BB - watched a sci fi film on DVD last night called Moon. It was slow going but I found it strangely intriguing and quite good - but pretty downbeat.

  69. Hi Scherfig - yeh I wished Wooly a Bahh-humbug just before Xmas on Heresy Corner - I reckon he's more of a goat than a sheep but I like the way he butts.

    Peter re Berchie I had a couple of spats with him but only one (I think) on which all the relevant posts disappeared in short order - pretty weird. On one thread I poked fun at Victoria Brittain (the Guardian's African correspondent who had a huge sum of money paid into her account by the Ghanian secret service) and Berchie leapt chivalrously to her defence. I cane back in 20 mins with a killing instance of what the French call staircase wit, to find all posts had been wiped - totally.

    Would doubt that such deletions are anything to do with Berchie being there, it's more likely that in such instances some topic is being touched on that the Guardian wants to bury fast.

    Re I/P and immigration, the threads are just flypapers for loonies. It's a real shame - Seth Freedman, for example, says a lot that points the way forward but I look at the threads and think may your gods help you.

    Re waddaya, the only suggestion of mine & and someone else that was adopted - for a piece by an Ahmadi - resulted in a dismal, patronising piece of guff by a non-Ahmadi that would have not passed muster in the Sunday Post in the 60s.

    Oh finally finally, re Harold am reading Julian Rathbone's The Last King of England just now - I think it's magnificent. Any of you guys who love Patrick O'Brian and George MacDonald Fraser will take to Rathbone am sure. Very depressing though, to read about the scale of the Norman slaughter and what was lost.

  70. pcc, Moon's director is David Bowies's son.

  71. Evening all

    @deano great news about Missie I hope the drugs work!
    @princess thanks...got visa today bags will be packed on sunday!!!

    @sheff in Italy most people arriving from africa come via this route and what they endure is horrific...women raped, people sold,people beaten and tortured...the whole spectra of this trade makes me sick it's modern day slavery.
    The italian government's idea of *solving* the situation is making agreements with the Libyan government, a regime that doesn't recognise UN conventions or refugee rights...the Italian government has also instigated the policy of pushing back into Libyan waters refugees without checking for children, pregnant women and those that are seeking political asylum...they are fucking brutal and it makes my blood boil....they have ignored the EU and the UN they are a law to themselves....

  72. Yea I'm pleased BB et al - She's an amazing dog and a born survivor.

    Last Feb she survived a stroke and a fall of more than 15 foot into the bottom of a canal lock. I nearly fell in trying to get her out. Getting a wet dog out of the water and up and around your neck whilst hanging by one arm from the lock ladder is a nightmare. You then have a long climb up the vertical lock ladder with a wet dog wrapped around your shoulder..

    It was a good job it happened on the way to the pub and not on the way home else I think we would have both drowned.

    Five years ago she was run over. She survived a total spinal paralysis of twelve days and then bit by bit she confounded the prognosis and slowly recovered sensation in her back legs and finally walked again.

    The vet bills then cost me over £2.5K, more than I paid for the caravan I live in, but she was always worth every penny.

    She's not one to give in easily and neither am I. So long as she's not in a distressed state we'll go for it. If we have a few more weeks/months it'll be good.

    One thing that is good about UT is that it attracts dog nuts. So it's reassuring that there is some understanding and moral support out there.

  73. Scherfig - I didn't know that. Interesting film I thought.

    Gandolfo - that is so brutal - I didn't read the article you linked Sheff - bit too emotionally fragile today. I read an interesting book ages ago called The Dark Heart of Italy - interesting perspective on some aspects of the country and its politics etc. Think I will have to dig it out and read it again.

  74. God someone buy me a dictionary I need a new describing word! Interesting that I can only think of interesting - what can it mean? Right off to do the tea. A womans work is never done.

  75. MsChin (and Scherf) - sounds like it's worth watching. I think i can buy it on cable at the moment so I will check it out with the ovver arf sometime soon

  76. Deano - great news! Best of luck to Miss D.

    Scherf - David Bowie's son Zowie aka Joey aka something else now ... he was just in the news lately. Well actually, now I ponder on it, for being the director of something, I think!

    Oh, and Deano again - have just read Miss D's miraculous rescue and recovery stories. Heart-cockle-warming, that is. The two dogs I've had have both survived nasty injuries to light my life. *sniff!*

    (Tried reading the dog thread the other day but ended up in tears at work, so I had to stop.)

  77. @princess
    when i first came to italy my partner was always talking about corruption and i just said well it's like that everywhere...a smirk came across their face...now 10 years down the line I understand....if Brits think, and quite rightly, how corrupt the expenses scandal is in the UK it's nothing compared to here, any institution is robbed of millions of € every year from corruption, politicians have a basic pay of €15,000 a month + free air and rail travel and offices(and this excludes expenses) compared to the average wage of €1,2000. i could rant on for hours.....but there are decent people who fight the system here but it is so deeply entrenched that I don't let myself get too optimistic...in fact it's getting worse....
    For young people it's terrible nepotism rules either that or "the casting couch".....

  78. Gandolfo - à propos of not much, have you ever read Umberto Eco's "How to renew your Italian driving licence"? Hysterically funny. It's in How to travel with a salmon (the title track is also hysterically funny).

  79. @Edwin - There was quite a bit of surrounding carnage today. Damntheral was complaining that the disappearance of a post he was commenting to made his comment irrelevant, and it now looks as though the author of that post has been deleted in toto with extreme prejudice. In which case, I'm not sure why some of the survivors are still there.

    CiF moves in a mysterious way.

  80. Thaum...no i haven't i'll keep my eyes peeled...but can imagine...!!! fortunately i don't drive so at least that's one bit of italian bureaucracy i don't have to deal with...!!!!

  81. Gandolfo - well, apparently, you need the old one to get the new one, so if the old one's been stolen or lost, you are fucked. I think a bit of palm-greasing had to take place in the end....

    He presents it in a delightfully absurd way.

    Haven't read it for years, but it's lying around on one of my bookshelves somewhere.

  82. @gandolfo, @thauma - could only find a quote from Eco:

    Eco on the frustrations of trying to replace a lost driver’s license: “All of us know the ordinary terrorist is able to produce, in a few hours, dozens of fake licesnses – and remember, it takes more time to prodiuce a fake license than a genuine one. Now if we don’t want citizens who have lost their licenses to start frequenting murky taverns of ill fame in the hope of making contact with the Red Brigades, there is just one solution: employ all repentant terrorists in the license office.”

  83. Evening all,

    regarding CiF in general as some of you have discussed above.

    Right wing trolls inherit the internet, who'd a thunk it? Internet comment sites are custom made for blanket, kneejerk, right wing trolling and it's no coincidence that CiF with it's ''liberal left'' (quotation marks for effect) agenda makes it ripe for right wing trolling.

    Nothing will convince me that the 'commenter of the year' is nothing more than an unpleasant right wing troll and that his/her election was right wing en masse trolling in action.

    When I want to make serious points it's normally on the politics threads but I'm giving them a miss now until after the election.

    There's no point trying to argue (as I have constantly done over the last few months) that it's not the Tories or New Labour that's the problem, it's the system that breeds this Corporatism that's the problem- our broken Democratic system.

    This line of argument is falling on deaf ears on the threads with posters happily crowing over the impending defeat of Labour Scylla to be replaced by Tory Charybdis.

    And all the while NOTHING has changed, political elites and Big Business merrily go along, just watch all the New Labour ex ministers take up their executive board positions in the year to come.

    I'm going to wait to see what the Guardian line is after the election to see if it is worth actually contributing any more.

  84. Here's my favourite short story: Jorge Luís Borges' The Aleph.

  85. PeterJ - a good snippet! But in typical Eco fashion, the whole makes the part funnier.

    Duke - Labour Scylla and Tory Charybdis - like it!

  86. Hello to the (European) evening shift

    BB: perhaps they closed the thread because of the alleged astroturfing. I was still able to recommend your eleven(!) posts though. (they astroturf, we astro-recommend).

    Was absent enjoying family meal, both youngsters prepared parts of it: there are times when all the parenting hassle seems to be worth it.

  87. 13thDukeofWybourne

    Your grice, i think your view is spot on. the election of MAM was a huge slap in the face.

  88. a friend of mine went to renew his permission to stay (EU citizens needed this until 2007 in Italy!). The place where they use to do it was a nightmare and basically survival of the fittest...
    he goes into the office chirpily saying "good morning" to the policeman sitting there legs up on the desk reading the equivilent of the Daily Sport,
    policeman replies: "What d'ya mean good morning it's a fuck of a morning"
    friend replies: "Oh well, what to do! can you tell me when my permission will be ready"
    policeman: "Where are you from?"
    Friend: "Switzerland"
    policeman: "What the fuck are you doing here go back to Switzerland, it's better there than here don't understand you foreigners..."

  89. Thaum

    Borges - my fella's favourite author. He did his MA thesis on him. Nice.

  90. Medve - my lad tried to make us vegan peanut cookies the other day. I ate them and said I enjoyed them... ;o)

  91. @Thaum LOL that is brilliant and oh how true!!!!!
    At a remove of two generations, the Italian "S" and demonstrative Italian gestures still survived in him. His mental activity was continuous, deeply felt, far-ranging, and -- all in all -- meaningless

  92. "Oh finally finally, re Harold am reading Julian Rathbone's The Last King of England just now - I think it's magnificent. Any of you guys who love Patrick O'Brian and George MacDonald Fraser will take to Rathbone am sure. Very depressing though, to read about the scale of the Norman slaughter and what was lost."
    I dunno actually. I liked one of his other books (can't remember what it was called), but this was so-so. I think the trouble was that I was reading it as an historical novel, in which genre it didn't really pass muster. I think it's more of an allegory (and at the end, a very very leaden one).

  93. Peterj thanks for the umberto!

  94. And this afternoon's weather report from Cowpat Junction is:

    a balmy -10°C, blizzard conditions. About 8 cm of snow has fallen since 10 am, and it's getting increasingly heavy. Forecast says it's going to continue most of the night...

    (they let us out 2 hours early so people could get home before the worst of it hits)

  95. thauma,

    even though I am genetically designed to hate Sting, I've always quite liked that song.


    it was the hagiography of the commenter of the year rather than the election which made me splutter.

    Taking a contrarian, fact and evidence free opinion and ploughing ahead relentlessly does not a commenter of the year make. I can't remember a thread where said posters pseudo Ayn Rand rubbish WASN'T demolished.

    Their election is symptomatic of the right wing astro-turfing which is swamping CiF and making it less and less essential reading.

  96. And all the while NOTHING has changed, political elites and Big Business merrily go along, just watch all the New Labour ex ministers take up their executive board positions in the year to come.

    actually if you look just over there you can see the new security apparatchik which has grown from a toddler to shaven headed camera studded
    gun toting 250 lb enforcer,, he is new,, and if you look under here,,see all that wiring,,thats all the details of the sheeple interconnected to
    enforcers cerebal cortex,,and see this software,,
    try following the pennies through that maze sucker,,

  97. I had a video once which was a series of interviews with Borgés in both English and Spanish. He was quite elderly at the time, and my Spanish wasn't (and still isn't) up to much, so I concentrated on the English bits. Very hard to understand, but I thought, "it's a language problem for both of us".

    Until my Argentine friend watched it too and said the Spanish bit was equally hard to understand.

    The bit that stands out in memory was him describing what I later learnt to be a head injury he'd received. The narrative went something like:

    "... and I thought, how strange! a bat! But no, it was a window."

  98. I just came across this piece about news writing, which seems somehow appropriate today. It's American, but it applies just as much here. Any writer or editor would cringe at various points, I hope...

    Shorten it.

  99. Hi Montana, glad you made it back to the interwebz. Here in Europe we are all having the wrong kind of snow, but not as deep as yours.


    Really weird. the Baroness Scotland thread has just closed after only some thirty odd posts.

  100. @BB -- question for you in your inbox. Thanks.

  101. @PeterJ:

    What Kinsley's on about is stuff that is just poor journalism, according to the way it used to be taught. Journalism according to Joel Thury, circa 1979:

    A well-written news article should contain absolutely everything that a reader needs to know in the first three paragraphs. Detail comes later.

    Strip out any adjective that isn't absolutely necessary. Adjectives are not objective -- the news is objective. Adjectives are for commentary and analysis. Commentary and analysis should be clearly labelled as such.

    American papers don't do pure news any more -- they do analysis/commentary that masquerades as pure news.

  102. @Medve - it's only closed overnight, for the usual reason I'm afraid.

  103. @Montana - you're right, of course. But it struck me as familiar because it's a more florid version of what I was taught in courses at the London College of Printing in the late 70s. Experience since has taught me otherwise, although I don't do news writing any more.

    There are still bits of it here in abbreviated form, largely in the tabloids where it's been reduced to a form of shorthand. But in the US it seems that exaggerated formality and adherence to outdated rules are still being taught to journalism students as the 'right' thing to do.

    Some US copy editors (the ones who haven't already been fired) have been complaining about it for a long time now.

  104. all threads to do with israel are closed overnight,,this is a fairly new development and started soon after cifwatch started,,

    disclaimer,,this is in no way to suggest that the zionist media influence does actually exist or is in any way influential etc etc etc,,

  105. Fencewalker I have an awful feeling I've had this conversation about Rathbone with someone before - maybe even you! I think Kings of Albion was the one you read.

    I think he is a very fine writer and Nasty Very is a diabolically prophetic novel, but I have to confess I have never got any of my friends to share my love for the historical books. You either like novels in which the narrator goers to Sam Houston as Santa Anna closes in, 'Houston we have a problem' or you hate it!

    I'm a ham to the bone and I love it.

  106. @3p4 - I think you're right about the Cifwatch thing, but not because of any Zionist influence. The Guardian was just getting embarrassed about some of the stuff that was hanging around unmoderated for too long, particularly after Matt Seaton claimed that anything anti-semitic was removed within minutes rather than hours. Which was very far from the case.

    That might explain some of the memory-hole deletion stuff that goes on too, although it's still pretty haphazard.

  107. giyus snd the duke are hatching plans across the street

  108. Ooh, so they are. Although the latest Giyus incarnation seems to be pasting quotes from John Carey's 'The Intellectuals and the Masses' at the moment...

  109. Without in anyway wishing to divert from an interesting thread here, I would draw DOG NUTS attention to tonight's BBC2 Horizon programme on dogs.

    If you didn't see it and have access to iplayer - don't miss it.

    Fegging astonishing - sadly the most intelligent border collie in the world was an Austrian kraut. This amazing bitch may well have a vocabulary better than your spouse/partner/lover and certainly better than Poly Toynbee.(circa 300 words, much better than any Chimp)

    A really interesting programme if you have a passing interest in dogs - watch it you won't be disappointed..

    I'm away for an early night - thanks for your tolerance of my passing madness.

  110. .(circa 300 words, much better than any Chimp)

    me an DD match that no probs

  111. 3p4 - this dog was a dog who could recognise an object, from a drawing of it, and recover it from a collection of dissimilar objects next door.

    My beloved sometime wife could only ever do that when she wanted the lawn cutting...


  112. typical conversation with my dog(translated to complete and legible words rather than fragments
    and grunts)
    Guelph Park summer afternoon,,various dogs doing various dog stuff,,
    "Hey DD get set go run,(throw toy(kong) to dog already thirty yards away going flat out toy lands sixty yards away dog catches on first bounce all four feet in the air,,gets air of jockness about him,,

    i am the coolest

    returns at hi speed runs underneath picnic table upon(not at) which i sit,drops toy between my feet on the bench below table and exits other end of table at speed,,toy follows lands sixty yards away,catch,,preen etc,as DD returns i see another dog lose its toy (a ball),,conversation begins,
    ""hey dog stop,,drop the toy,,leave the toy
    find a different toy,,find a ball toy go that way,,no a different that way,,keep going,,go more go left no a different left come back a bit
    keep looking right place keep looking that toy fetch that ball toy go to that girl take the ball toy to that girl no not me that girl go more yes that girl drop the toy leave the toy find kong toy bring kong toy here,,good dog are you the best dog yes you are,,

    hundreds of times ,, lots of slack jawed fellow dog owners,,
    i damm near got tears in my eyes to share that in this place,,damm i do

  113. Blimey 3p4. DD sounds amazing. :o)

  114. 3p4 i'm exhausted just reading that!! thank god my dog just looks at me with contempt when i throw something like a ball or stick for him to fetch...i'm sure he's thinking "now why would i want to use energy for that...." then sits down to meditate on next small dog victim onslaught...

    @deano you make me larf!!!

  115. Just briefly sticking my head through the door to say that I’m most of the way through packing my stuff up, although I’ve left the computer until more-or-less last.

    The next time I post here, it should be from Cornwall, though that obviously depends on getting some sort of internet connection going down there, which I have yet to investigate.

    So it may be a while, but I’ll try to get back at least occasionally.

    After all, as The Wedding Present said:

    You Should Always Keep In Touch With Your Friends

    Right, I’ll shut the door now before the snow starts blowing in :-)

  116. Travel safely and arrive well, Andy.

  117. Good luck with the journey, Andy. xx

  118. good luck andy have a safe trip and most of all enjoy your new job...!

  119. really Deanno,, i care about the skills of all sensibly treated dogs,,(thats training in different words)but i been around a lot of dog stuff and its hard to impress me,,i am sure i would love the smarts of the owner who can use bits of paper and images,,but it only a mechanism
    the fetching the particular object is the skill and thousands (potentially any dog) can do it,,dogs are trained to be confused,,just like kids,,

  120. Blimey 3p4. DD sounds amazing. :o)

    i got more,,another night,,

    it was truly amazing writing it,,and then reading it,,i cried

  121. Looking forward to the notes Andy.

  122. 3p4 - hope the Horizon programme is syndicated your way - the folk didn't patronise the dogs.

    The dogs stretched the alleged scientists watching them.

    Dogs never seam to amaze those who who live them...

    Regards Bro - need some sleep after several restless nights...deano.

  123. Quite plausible, Edwin. I don't remember the conversation, but Kings of Albion is the other one I've read. Maybe I was trashed at the time.

    Thing is, I don't have an absolute bar on ahistorical elements in historical novels. I enjoyed GMF's Pyrates and The Reavers.
    I'm treading warily now, because I could have said all this before. It's like one of those Star Trek episodes where there's been a Temporal Rift or summat.

  124. Caught the last half of the doggies. It was very good.

    Andy: hope the journey goes well. Have a good time in Cornwall.

  125. Joseph Harker is on Sky News now. He's crap.

  126. Caught the last half of the doggies. It was very good.

    Joseph Harker is on Sky News now. He's crap

    well its a stupid name for a dog what do you expect

  127. average audience for the game was an outstanding 5.3 million viewers - an all-time record
    It is the sixth largest audience for any broadcast on Canadian television in records that date back to 1994.

    An astounding 12.3 million viewers - or more than one in three Canadians - tuned in to some of or the entire broadcast.

    Audience levels peaked at 7.5 million viewers in the final minutes of the third period

    an amateur event,,with kids,,yeah canada

  128. Joseph Harker? That'll learn ya to watch Sky News!

    Hey Bitterweed.

    3p4 - did Canada win in the end? I missed the end of the commentary last night.

  129. Hey BB, been a while, haven't been in much. Saw Patricia Hewitt on Newsnight tonight and considered homicide. As a lawyer, what do you recommend I do ? ;-)

  130. Manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility should do it, BW. :o)

  131. Hi All--Late to the party today. Oh well, we shall persevere.

    deano--Very pleased for you and the Miss, must look on the bright side, my man.

    3p4--Apologies to you. Seems you were left on your own for a time last night. Had to go visit family after the game. You were in fine form too, sorry I missed out. Some fine posts today by yourself, the 'Banneds' being one. Unjust for a supposed society of free speech.

    Played golf today in Campbell River with my pals, no ill feeling, bitterness, etc..Just impressed with the effort and intensity of the game. All proud of the boys, and rightfully so.

  132. 3p4-- just read the posts about DD. Very impressive, would you like a go at training my newest? The little bitch has an attitude like John McEnroe. What's the secret, or did you get matched with the right partner?

    Hi Bitterweed--Listening to Alvin Lee again.The older I get the better he is.