18 January 2010


Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States.  I had written my own thoughts and feelings about him and about the Civil Rights Movement, but I think I'll just give you his words, instead.  This is from his last public speech, on 3 April, 1968.


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  2. Hi Montana

    Saying I had written my own thoughts and feelings about him and about the Civil Rights Movement, and then not posting them is like putting a person on a horse and not letting them ride it. So, please share unless you really don't want to.

  3. Snopes has done an excellent job in unraveling the rumours, conspiracy theories and facts surrounding MLK -


    There is no doubt that the FBI and various rightwing organisations were working in conjunction to discredit King and quite possibly to murder him, but it is also fairly clear he was no saint in his private life. As with JFK, his killers removed him before the rumours got public exposure.

    MLK was an evangelical preacher and such men tend to conduct themselves in a highly emotionally charged manner. Such preachers attract large numbers of excitable women and revival meetings in the US (as Mencken described graphically) often dissolved into sexual encounters in the bushes.

    One key difference with JFK is that MLK's reputation has survived, whereas JFK is increasingly chiefly remembered as the original for Mayor Quimby. Also, in judging MLK you have to remember the daily humiliations and obstacles even prominent blacks suffered in the 50s and early 60s, attitudes that deeply shocked the most unlikely expat Brits such as Kingsley Amis.

  4. Well, happy Martin Luther King Day all.

    Thanks for the clip, had only ever heard audio before. For me, the most resonant bit of 'I have a dream' is the reference to his kids, that he hopes they grow up to be judged "not by the colour of their skin, but the content of their character" - replace 'colour of their skin' with pretty much anything and it's good guidance full stop.

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  7. And while I'm on a 'dead icon quote' trip:

    "For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal"
    John F. Kennedy, 10th June, 1963

  8. The Straw letter is fascinating - BB, you out there? Because I'd be interested to know how many of Straw's points were actually acted upon. While impressed by the letter, am less so by his failure, if my muddy understanding is right and few of them were, to make a bigger stand against military action. I know that collective responsibility is a factor, but if the Foreign Secretary raises such concerns and they are ignored, how on earth could he have continued to serve in the cabinet?

  9. "Straw in Conscience Shock"

    Although, as some have observed, why didn't he resign ?

  10. So - Straw said
    1) UNSCR 1382 had to be made operational, and I have no idea if that happened (although sanctions continued to 2003)
    2) Blix's team had to be readmitted - this was the result of 1441 later in the year, but whether or not their activity could be described as 'unfettered' is questionable
    3) that military action could require "a fresh UNSC mandate" (clearly the view of the French at the time, and now that Dutch panel, amongst others) but that never happened
    And a year after the letter, Straw was one of those making bellicose speeches - how exactly did he get 'co-opted' into this process? Would be very interested to know. SUppose we'll have to wait for his memoirs...

  11. "how exactly did he get 'co-opted' into this process?"

    I should think Alastair Campbell sat him on Tony's sofa and they had a quiet little chat about his career.

  12. Bitterweed - or possibly "sat on him on Tony's sofa and they had a quiet little chat about his being able to breathe"

  13. Brilliant Pip! That's how I read BW's post, until you pointed it out...

    For anybody not aware, get on Waddya and post your sarnie suggestions, we might actually get an article on this vital issue..

  14. Straw's leaked this letter himself to try to appear morally conscious. There's nothing in it we didn't already know Blair had been told by more trustworthy people than Straw anyway- the JIC and Attourney General.
    Only Robin Cook resigned. All the rest of the Blair Cabinet are in it up to their necks. They all wanted war. So they all wanted all the inevitable consequences too.

  15. turminder
    [coughs nervously]
    have submitted a little summat, am waiting to see what happens
    [looks sheepish]

  16. Good luck with that. Would be about time you had something up. Er, on screen.
    (God, watched a bit of Up Pompeii yesterday and I'm nervous of everything now).
    Of course you'll be accused of being OneOfTheUntrustedFemaleCabalWotKeepGettingPublished.

  17. A musical link to today's header
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1V1Pg8JfZs8 [trying new way to do links, hope it works]
    The relevance, for philistines is at 3:26
    (there's also a well-known break at around 2:18.

  18. What is going on besides personal ambition that turns politicians from seemingly quite reasonable people at the start into supine door mats? (Those that are reasonable to start with, that is)

    I know that what's said in opposition has to be moderated to a certain extent by the realpolitiks of office but there is such a tiny handful of politicos who ever stay anywhere near what appeared to be their original convictions, (especially on the left), I do wonder what's going on

    Look how long it took Claire Short to resign. she said Blair promised her certain things to keep her around - but she's not stupid - there were already plenty of questions being asked about him and she was close enough to him to be able to make a pretty fair assessment of his character and what he was up to.

    All I see working as a public servant are the weasel ways ministers use us to create 'lines to take' that will absolve them of having to be properly truthful about anything they are requested to tell us.

    Please don't tell me I'm being simple minded - I know that already!

  19. Sheff - exactly what I was wondering - I suppose that 'collective responsibility' does mean giving some time for promises to come through (the UN, for example, doesn't exactly move fast) and then you get sort of stuck waiting. Flouncing off too early makes you look like a berk - and with Short, I do believe that she was committed to getting the best result - it must be very difficult to know at what point you stop 'being in' and doing your best to help, and cut your losses. Hell of a gamble, really.

    Because Blair wouldn't have said, 'this is it, put up or get out' - I'm always reminded of the Yes Prime Minister 'salami tactics' speech, about how the USSR would invade. Tiny steps each time that you can't object to, and then all of a sudden 'the Red Army's in White's and you can't get a table for dinner' (or something). He'd have strung her along with promises to the extent that it would not have beeen 'reasonable' to leave...

  20. BW - I took that picture of Ivy James in her workshop back in the 80's. I did a small series of them. Those knife makersand cutlers in their "little mesters" workshops were the last of a long and proud tradition in Sheffield and they're all long gone now.

  21. Phillipa - Apparently she said she realised after the fact that Blair had made the promises to her in order to ensure that there wasn't another embarrassing resignation at the time.

    And yes, I get the give and take thing and the incremental steps - but these people aren't stupid for the most part, although some of the decisions of ministers in the dept. I work in do make you wonder.

  22. Great stuff Sheff

    Right. Who's coming on Saturday ? And can anyone remind me of the venue ?? Please email hardbjorn@googlemail.com


  23. I seem to recall that in the early days of the cutlery industry it was always said that the knife grinders lives were short and gay.

    It was, if I understood it, well paid work (in comparative terms). Sadly the life expectancy was little more than 30. After which there was a tendency to drown in your own blood as it seeped from lungs lacerated by the minute shards of the steel you had daily sharpened to earn the crust.

    I was always doubly angry at Blunket and his betrayal.

  24. Sheffpixie: It's a political Law of Gravity. And there's an anti- grav machine just waiting to be invented. Mine's called "legally binding, legally limiting manifestos!"

    Clare Short didn't see the wood for the trees. She thought (IMO) that the people of Iraq were suffering (they were,) and that post- war, things might be better (they were never going to be!)
    She can't have understood much about either Iraq or warfare.

    Fresspeech's recommend read today is Mark Easton (BBC) on alcohol:


  25. I've pondered the idea of the legally-binding manifesto, too. Might make them sharpen up their policies (or, might equally lead them to talk about 'aims' rather than promises and get more nebulous).

  26. I think the most important speech that all senior civil servants make is the one that is given to every new minister....it has a number of forms but the essence is always the same

    .........Minister you come and go but we are here forever....

    It is as BitterW says ...you breathe this way or you breathe not at all.

    We don't just need to something about the public schools and Oxbridge we need to torch some London gentlefolk's clubs

  27. BW

    Thauma for def and MsC and I are coming. Hank said last night he and the Fish will too (with luck). Not sure who else. Its at a pub called the Rose and Crown I think but check it with Thauma.

    Legally binding manifestos - now there's an idea! Fat chance though - fancy actually having to do what you said you would! Might make them a bit more honest about what they could realistically achieve

  28. Hi guys,

    Decided to change venue to a working person's pub instead of the posh place: the Heathcote.

    3 or 4 o'clock OK with everyone?

  29. Excellent thauma - a just down the road from the Rehab Hospital I see. Tidy.

  30. There's a rehab hospital? Never noticed it! ;-)

  31. legally binding manifestos? legal minefield, surely.

    one could view a manifesto as 'one half' of a contract, which would be closed by us voting for them, so then they would be required to perform the services listed - or we could sue them for breach of contract.

    but if, for example, there was another economic collapse so there really wasn't the money for the peledges, what then? what would normally happen would be a meeting between the parties to agree if the contract could be varied - which could be done by a referendum?

    it might work - but the 'act of god' clause would presumably be so wide as to render any promise meaningless...

  32. From todays Guard:

    "Frustrated by delays at Robin Hood airport, near Doncaster, 26-year-old Paul Chambers keyed in: "Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" Police knocked on his door in Doncaster shortly afterwards and arrested him under the Criminal Law Act 1977"

    Plainly my immodest use of language here on UT could land me in trouble. So for the avoidance of doubt I should inform our GCHQ watchers that my use of the word "torch" at 14.17 above was intended to convey a need for illumination.

  33. Manifestos: I don't like your first idea...too close to clientage. But your second is on the money.
    It's a difficult issue. Perhaps seeing them as a form of advertising (what else are they?) would leave the parties open to prosecution under some sort of false advertising/wilful misrepresentation rap when they promise things that they have neither the intention or ability to deliver.

  34. The number of times firing squads, and hanging from lamposts have been mentioned on here in reference to the demise of the establishment, plus calls for revolution I think we're all in the shit Deano.

    You do wonder how they manage to cover the whole of twitter though - perhaps they do it with key words and phrases - 'blowing up' together with 'airport' might be two.

  35. On binding manifestos i think what wouuld be good is for each party to have a binding section, perhaps 5 or 10 policies which did carry serious consequences for failing to push through. You cant make every aspect of a manifesto binding like a contract as many things will be subject to external events beyond their control.

    It would then be quite good fun goading them to move their most fluffy policies into the binding section, and listening to their carefully crafted reasons why they would have to stay in the unbound section.

  36. Good idea Jay. Perhaps they could also have a sort of sliding scale of promises: Our main promise is this but if (say) the deficit is x we'll do this instead...
    It always pissed me off when Blair boasted of taking 'tough decisions' and carrying through 'manifesto commitments' when he was so bloody selective about it. And did the journos challenge him on that when he was at the height of his popularity? Did they arse.

  37. Legally binding manifesto...........another idea from the legal/politico community ? I wonder.

    I would rather have a residency qualification for MP's.

    You have to reside in the constituency in which you stand and have to have done so for five years before standing. And the MP's pension thereafter is only payable whilst you continue to reside in the constituency which you served.

    All MP's should be compelled, as a condition of employment, to keep a diary/log book. And the contents of that diary should be published locally every three months....

    All Ministerial posts should be abolished. Department's of State should be run by civil servants on fixed term contracts. Such servants should be answerable to select committees of the House and their decisions should be subject to public scrutiny.

    As you will sense I am not likely to be selected as a candidate in the forthcoming elections...

  38. Yup, good plan Jay.


    "His tweets are kept locked, which means that only followers accepted by him can see them, rather than the public at large."

    And yet he was arrested for making a bomb threat? To whom exactly?

    Seriously people, we need to start defending our right to free speech! (peacefully, obviously officer, ahem!)

  39. Sheff - I was only "blowing up" the inflatable doll in the "airport" toilet 'cos I am nervous of flying alone....

    BB - ..........help the bastards are at the door..

  40. .....................no officer sex with an inflatable doll is not against the law....................

    BB - where are you.....

  41. Oh buggar - I had convinced myself that the nonsense I utter when I have a fever had passed.

    Plainly not, I'd best take the dogs for a walk.

  42. Evening all!

    Can't believe I managed to actually get so much work done at home today! Got a trial starting tomorrow that is likely to go on for at least two days, and 2 lever-arch files chocka with evidence. Meh. Still, all prepped and ready to go now.

    MLK - I wonder what he would have thought of Obama being Prez. Awesome.

    I loved that quote from Jay-Z last year:
    "Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther King could walk. Martin Luther King walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so we could all fly".

    *lump in throat here*

  43. Hang on deano - I'm reading back...

  44. Dot - damned right about that twitter "threat". Good grief. If people are going to be arrested for having a rant about something to their pals, we all better what our backs on here. Who knows who might be lurking? :p

  45. Straw letter? I have missed that. Hang on.

  46. Aha. Interesting. So he was basically telling him what the law said, and that he would require a UN resolution to do it. Except the resolution they got did not authorise use of force. So then they tried to get another one and when they realised they would not get support for it so pretended they didn't need a second one anyway and the first one would do.

    Yeah. Uhuh...

  47. LOL

    Flicking through the Viz Profanisaurus as the pasta is cooking:

    Millenium Falcon (n): Epithet used when referring to a dodgy bird which your mate has been banging. From the Star Wars film dialogue referring to Han Solo's spaceship- ''You came in that thing? Wow, You're braver than I thought.''

  48. BB - just a little silliness to help pass the day. I'm not down at A&E being surgically detached from an inflatable doll...

    One should always be honest with one's brief so here goes.......I am prone to exaggeration and flights of fantasy....

    I think Sheff's probably right places like GHcQ must operate on the basis of automatically locating key words in communications and then using maths formula viz frequency/proximity etc to evaluate the need to keep a tab on the target (us).

    Central problem with that is the position adopted when a doubt exists - usually resolved by keeping a tab just in case.

    That's the downside (and its a big down) to the digital revolution - everything reduces to numerical strings which can be quickly sifted and sorted...and located.

    Difficult to imagine that the real Talli boys and girls email each other in uncoded language though

    Must get off and do some shopping since there may be a prospect of more snow.

  49. Edwin - meant to say thanks for the link an interesting read with some new additions (for me at least) to an older rumour.

  50. BB

    "Aha. Interesting. So he was basically telling him what the law said, and that he would require a UN resolution to do it."

    I adore you professional faith..

    The whole idea that one lawyer should tell another lawyer (who lived with a QC) two of which had shared chambers with a recent Lord Chancellor.....what the law is......??

    Pardon my cynicism - non of the fuckers gave a shit what the law was - they all believed that whatever it was it could be manipulated to suite their needs.

    It always was Alice in Wonderland - a word means......

  51. I know its a bit early for choonz but have just been listening to White Mansions - one of the all time great albums (look away Thauma - its very countryish) and wanted to share this tune

  52. BeautifulBurnout
    Great quote. I think JayZ rocks BTW. Really. Nothing but respect for the man.

    Country, Sheff?
    Here's Joe Ely kicking some sort of ass on Letterman.

  53. Here even

  54. Wasn't Mr Blair a commercial lawyer? Most of them seem to be - Goldsmith and Falconer included. So not a clue about international law, I don't suppose. Not unless it's mergers and acquisitions...

    HEY!.... I have just had a glimmer of enlightenment there. Iraq invasion - merger and acquisition of oil fields. NOW I get it! :o)

  55. Your Grace

    talking about dodgy bird jokes and their significance my son (my own son for fucks sake) has just told me this joke:

    What do you say to a woman with two black eyes?
    Nothing, you've already told her twice.

    and to cap it all he followed up with this:

    What have fat birds and mopeds got in common?
    They're both great fun to ride but you wouldn't wan your mates to catch you on one.

    I wonder where I went wrong?

  56. I hope you put him out of the house Sheff! :o)

  57. Weren't some folk here praising Peter Bracken the other day? I was less sure,and lo,he's proved himself to be a smug,supercilious (and ignorantly blinkered and wrong) tw*t on the Henry Porter thread.

  58. Hey alasdair - welcome back.

    Sometimes PB is good. Sometimes he is all of the above. I don't often agree with him, but he expresses himself well.

  59. Soz - alisdair. Keep spelling it wrong!.

  60. No worries,BB.Am posting by (old,slow) phone-still no dongle joy,and not back in office(from where I can post) until pm Wed,so will go quiet again for a bit.

  61. A. Don't care about what MLK got up to in his personal life -- what I admire about him has nothing to do with that. Let he who is without sin and all that...

    B. Don't care for Peter Bracken, myself.

    C. Glad to see you can comment today, Alisdair!

  62. I would BB but I'm in his house. He only does it to wind me up.

  63. Well, Sheff, re your tune at 19:15-ish: I tried to not to listen but did enjoy the horse pics. However, there's no credible horse management science there, as no-one in their right mind would put a mare and a stallion out together except for breeding, and that's under very closely-monitored circs.

    Now, if the grey was a gelding, that might work, but probably the mare would kick five sides of hell out of him even so.

    'Course, that's modern horse-management methods; they were probably a bit looser back in the day. (Although I'd suspect not much as every horse would have counted.)

  64. Mind you, I have some relatives who breed Shetlands the proper old-fashioned way: 3 or 4 stallions, each with his own herd of mares, and never the twain shall meet. Colts get sold off sharpish, before they are old enough to challenge the stallion.

  65. I didn't mention the horses Thauma as i thought you hated the music.

    I put my mare (an Apaloosa, sans spots), out with a beautiful little arab stallion and watched them fall in love, it was so sweet. They were out together for about a week and the result was a gorgeous filly. Sadly, after backing and bitting the filly had to sell them both when I left Wales and get awful heartache when I think about them now.

  66. This white Mansions album has left me feeling rather sentimental and nostalgic and needing to share Oh Dixie now you're done

  67. Evening, folks

    Re: the grinders in the cutlery trade - the grindstones could shatter in use too, causing serious injury or death.

    Ditto re: MLKs personal life, it doesn't detract from my regard for what he and all his supporters set in motion.

    You see, that's the trouble when you bring up lads in a political lesbian separatist environment. They go out into the real world as 'right on' persons and come back men who crack sexist jokes.

    Please don't draw a diagram of modern horse management methods - I may feel very sorry for the poor beasts with no sex lives to call their own and for the poor mares for being tools of the patriarchy.

  68. Aww, sheff. Sorry to hear that you were so cruelly parted from your horses.

  69. MsC

    All I have left is an old western saddle, a bridle and some ancient, smelly horse blankets...which I get out and sniff when I'm feeling bereft.

  70. Sheff - that's very interesting; most breeders wouldn't do that these days!

    And Deano, you are right: probably modern horse management has a lot to learn from the old ways.

    The stallions have the worst of it: they are always kept separated from other horses in case they fight or shag (or both), and it's no life. Mares at least generally get to hang about with other mares.

    The problem with breeding is that mare may be technically in season, but if she doesn't feel like it, she'll kick the stallion. Likewise he will bite her quite often. So a lot of horse breeding for competition takes place via artificial insemination, although for Thoroughbreds this is illegal (last I heard).

    Geldings probably have the best of it as they are allowed to hang around with other horses (which, being herd animals, is very important) and aren't used as breeding machines either, obviously.

    I had friends who had a gorgeous Dutch warmblood stallion that they bred, and for a stallion he was very sweet and manageable. They used artifical semen collection with him (which was hysterical - I watched once or twice), but they got one mare owner who wanted it to be "natural".

    My friends were very dubious, being worried that the stallion might be hurt, but decided to go along with it. It was a disaster. The way my friend tells it is something like this:

    "My stallion likes them, erm, tight and warm. If the collection apparatus is not to his liking, he will squeal and jump off the 'dummy'.

    "When they brought the mare to him, he mounted her, and then quickly squealed and jumped off. I was thinking, 'You idiot, this one's not adjustable!'"

    Cue one refunded breeding fee....

  71. sheff

    Very evocative, isn't it, the scent of a previous owner. I've got one or two dog collars as mementoes (& not dog collars of a religious or SM bent, I might add, in case bitey's gonna quote that back at me at a later date).

  72. Er ... my eyes are a lot worse than I thought! When I said 'Deano', I meant 'MsChin'....

    ps Sheff: I've not seen my horse for 4 years now, so I know what you mean. *sniff*

  73. MsChin - that stallion was a right character. I caught him having a wank once. I never knew horses could do that!

  74. Off to bed now ... 'night all!

  75. I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one...
    I also, and despite much evidence suggesting to the contrary, do like Jay-Z. Good quote from him.

    Flatmate moving out to move in with boyf - anyone know anyone wanting a room in the south of france? i provide food...

  76. "Flatmate moving out to move in with boyf - anyone know anyone wanting a room in the south of france? i provide food..."

    When's the next plane to Montpelier? ;o)

  77. Thauma

    I knew a Section D welsh cob stallion who was always wanking. He used to be stood up in the yard to serve a mare - quite a handful but manageable - just. Good ride though.

    Have you ever had to do the sheath/willy cleaning job? They can get a bit, well how shall i put it, crusty. Not a job i ever looked forward to have to say. Give me a mare any day, although my Tiki was a bit bonkers when she was in season and totally crap in traffic.

  78. the south of France - sounds heavenly phillipa. Combien sont le loyer ?

  79. There's a stampede to France ...

    I'll get me passport.

  80. €425 a month all in (including sporadically reliable wi-fi enabling you to connect to all your favourite websites...). come on down, kids.

    did i mention that her boyf is my ex? yes, i am drinking heavily...

  81. Phillipa

    Sounds complicated but we won't let that put us off.

    MsC - will you drive or shall I?

  82. Aw pip - he clearly wasn't good enough for you! :o)

  83. heh heh.

    watched terminator 4 tonight. naked arnie really not necessary. eeuuch.

  84. BB - well, that's the narrative I'm going with.

    possibly a sign of my emotional maturity is that my first (unspoken) reaction was shit, have to find another flatmate...

  85. Naked Arnie, Phillipa? eeuuch indeed! Prefer them a bit more sylph like.

    Must go to my pit before i corbal over. Son picking up his father from airport at some ungodly hour this morning, daughter in law in London looking for fabrics for costumes for show she's working on and me minding kids - slightly pissed.

    Night all.

  86. LOL!

    Remind me of the old sexist joke - seeing as we were on sexist jokes earlier, but I shall reformulate it for the gals.

    A woman comes home early from work one evening and finds her husband in bed with her best friend, so she gets a knife and stabs him through the heart.

    Her friend is screaming in bed, the duvet pulled up to her nose, saying "Don't kill me! Don't kill me!"

    And the woman hugs her and says "Don't be stupid - what on earth would I want to kill my best friend for?"

  87. Philippa

    Excellent first unspoken reaction, and beats being locked up for a crime passionelle (sp?).

    I'm a bit entangled in the Tatchell thread at the mo.


    The ISVAs are based on the IDVA model for domestic violence, and are usually attached to Sexual Assault Referral Centres. You're right tho', the missing bit is a victim's advocate in court.
    btw, as a bit of inside info, the IDVAs were originally called 'advocates' but had to be rebranded as 'advisors' because of harrumphing from the legal profession. Bet you're not surprised!

  88. Night from me too, must tear myself away from Tatchell et al & get to bed!

  89. OK, I was trying to resist but;

    a man comes home and finds his wife in bed with his best friend, "get out you treacherous cow!" he cries, she grabs her clothes and flees, what did he say to his best friend?

    "you know you're not allowed on the bed!"

    'BAD DOG!'

    NN all...

  90. Tatchell thread depressing me a bit. OK, a lot. Jesus - post our fantasies* in court and we're all in trouble. But am drunk, not going to post or will get all 'grrrrrrrr' and not help.

    MsChin - you didn't witness my initial reaction back in September. way less edifying. now, am just bored.

    >*Rupert Penry-Jones, naked, bomb about to go off, you get the idea....

  91. May need to give this some buffer - lovely

  92. am now just being silly....

    vodka shouldn't freeze, right?


  93. MsChin

    Doesn't surprise me in the least. Some lawyers are so far up their own bottoms they can clean their teeth from the inside.

  94. Vodka should't freeze, Pip. It should just get viscous. And that is the best way to drink it too.

    Get a nice bottle of Russian Standard, dip it in water, stick in freezer, dip in water again, stick in freezer and so on until you get a nice casing of ice built up on the bottle. Then sip it neat. It's like swallowing anaesthetic, but it is lovely!

  95. Like that clip btw, Pip.

    Time for some King Kong though...

  96. Chin up Pip, they made their choices, good riddance to bad rubbish!

    Try ice cold vodka in a shot glass with a grind of fresh blk pepper, hope to see your epicurean piece ATL soon. ;)

    right am really off to bed...

  97. I didn't think so....

    am used to Wybrowka - gloopy when frozed. this Polyakov stuff clearly significantly cheaper.

    the fun comes from watching the lime juice freeze on contact before you put the tonic in.

    (can't do neat spirits - that ways lies violence...)

    am now listengin to MGMT, sap am i.

  98. No really, after this, me and my sinus infection are off to bed...

  99. Aw - take care Turminder. Sinus infections are bloody awful.

    Night night.

  100. A man comes home and finds his best friend in bed with his wife, he says

    "Larry ! I have too - but you ?!!"

  101. have just found this - possibly my favourite ever cover? ooh, tough one...

  102. Heheh - nice one BW

    Time for bed for me though guys and gals. Busy coupla days coming up. Looking forward to it though.

    NIghty night x

  103. A lay-joe view of international law as regards to starting a war

    In theory the war crimes trials at the end of WWII had no basis in law. However, the horrors of the global war that had cost the lives of upward of fifty million people and fucked up the lives of many times that number provided a cruel legitimacy to those trials and also to the allies who had formed themselves into a sort of League of Nations mark 2: the UN.

    The rules of the UN allow a member to go to war to defend against an attack or otherwise with a mandate from the UN or the Security Council in name of the UN.

    The Korean war was in this sense legal because there was a mandate from the UN (US & allies were UN troops -- the mandate was passed because the Soviet Union had absented itself).

    Iraq war: Defend against an attack from Iraq? No. Mandate from the UN? No. Conclusion: an illegal war of aggression.

    Of course, the world is not really playing according to the UN rules. A certain resolution 242 springs to mind from a long time ago.

    Nevertheless, launching an illegal war of aggression is one of the serious war crimes established at the trials I started this rant with.

    I rest my case.

  104. Good Night everybody!
    Montana It was people like your mom that made today possible. She/they were so brave to demand that the status quo, both economical and social be changed.
    Another song in honor of MLK day

  105. "A lay-joe view of international law as regards to starting a war"

    There does really need to be a "dummies' guide" for this, you know.

    I mean, I once invaded Lichtenstein, but, quite, frankly, nobody fuckin noticed....

    (more seriously - bang on, medve)

  106. Hi All--Anyone out there?

    Medve, Your case fits with my outlook, folly revisited, replayed and reproduced almost time after time. '242' is one that is especially egregious as it has compounding negative effects.

    Hello Mchica, and Habib you here?

  107. Hello Boudican, just got up. Breakfast duty in an hour.

  108. Good morning Medve. Just finished a book called 'The Uses of the Past' by Herbert J Muller. Written in 1952, it shows how little has changed from then to now in policy, image building and obstinate refusal to learn from our predecessors. I think you would like it.

    How is the renovation going? Always found many hidden problems with these when I was in business. Very difficult to estimate the unseen.

  109. Thanks, will check it out. Pretty much hobby level renovation. Fixing mistakes by the "professionals". We have two rooms protruding into the eaves, facing North.

    Will make another coffee to figure out how to finish this post ..

  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

  111. Medve--As we know, 'professionals' are not always such, which causes headaches and often, financial hardship. How old is the house? You told me about the Germans and Russians, but were the Mongols there? (-:

  112. more than a hundred years. there's battle damage from the siege 1944-1945. evidence of heavy fighting in the stair well, a five-floor corner house, ours is a sort of penthouse on the top my diagram did not work out

    . \ \
    . \ \
    i \ \
    i ______ \
    sixth | ____\
    floor | |X|o|
    _____________| |ooo|
    fifth floor

    ----------- North ----->

    cross-section, X beam |ooo| brick

  113. it was occupied by Mongols during the Mongol invasion of Hungary (1241–1242)

  114. i always get up early to see the boys off to school (breakfast duty).

  115. Medve--Always fascinated with the Mongols, knew they got close to Hungary, wasn't sure about 'tenure'.

    Parenting does tend to set ones' clock, no? Good thing that.

  116. "love 'em, feed 'em, keep them out of the traffic."

    (i've said it before, but hey, it works for me ;) )

  117. Boudican, i did a total patient transplant on folly. curious about your reaction.

  118. Medve--Read the addendum the other day. Very pertinent to policy making here in north america. The 'Gubernator' and various other 'leaders' are contemplating the legalization of marijuana and other substances. Not because they are liberal or even libertarian, but to find a quick fix for budgetary deficits.Pragmatic probably, yes, but not for the right reasons. Our 'Beloved Leader' Harper will fight this bitterly. He will follow, in his own narcissistic, cold hearted way the philosophy of the US right wing. Oh well, I still have people like you and the other UTs to talk with.

  119. Medve, I am curious as to the availability of the ganja in Hungary and the rest of Europe. 7 grams here will set you back $50 ( 23 pounds) for skunk or equivalent. What is the situation where you are?

  120. Boys have gone off to school.

    Yeah, glad to have these conversations with you. Some-one who knows what is in the grain of the wood, who understands the practical implications of gravity (and may i add, ladder abuse) and who is well enough read to surprise me with worth-while tips.

    i use a vancouver bc baseball cap as part of my bob the builder outfit.

    will make yet one more coffee, afterward if you are game i will hold forth about Thomas Szasz.

  121. I don't know about Budapest, but i think it is more expensive in Amsterdam.

  122. The Vancouver Canadians? Did you attend a game? Baseball is a passion of mine. Realise that many find it boring, but it has a charm and rhythm for me. Baseball cap on builders at least give the impression that you know what you are doing.(-:

    Will be about for a while yet, so go forth by all means.

  123. Heya Montana

    tomorrow's post has gone up today.

  124. Medve--Compassion indeed, It grates me that MaM should be honoured for his negative innaccurate drivel. Thankfully, he/she is rarely posting lately.

  125. No didn't attend game. got the cap as a present when boys' mother visited friend of boys' grandmother -- left in 56 -- who lives in Vancouver.

    Thomas Szasz was born into an well-off atheist jewish family in Budapest in 1920 as Szász Tamás. As a young boy he became fascinated with the strange case of Dr. Semmelweis, who discovered a way to avoid chid-birth deaths, but nevertheless died in the nuthouse. His colleagues judged him mad even though post natal deaths were much reduced when following his hygienic practice.

  126. Medve, I shall assume the guise of time bandit and meet you on tomorrow's thread.

  127. ok, but i had you down for a time lord rather than bandit.

  128. will cross post Thomas Szasz posts to the folly thread.