13 June 2010

13/06/10


Rather than revert to the "on this day" format, I thought I'd try this out.  I'll do an image of the day and a quote of the day -- not related, unless by serendipity.  I can go back to the old format if people prefer.  Today's image is a Hong Kong night scene from National Geographic.



Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago. 

Bernard Berenson (1865 - 1959)

167 comments:

  1. "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."

    If only we could all be so ignorant.

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  2. Hi Montana - Good to see you!

    MM consistency is indeed a mixed blessing - vital when bringing up kids fatal in politics which has to be about debate and discussion. It was the press campaigns that aharacterised the Labour Party as 'at wasr with itself' bevause it had democratic debates at conference that was at least in part responsible for the NuLabour disaster I think.

    Atomboy - thats a chilling quote. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 deals with the same issue.

    Consistency has its uses though to be consistently fair and just in our dealings with others is a good thing. Important in bringing up children too.

    Its ironic that Nulabour supporters are so keen on 'celebrating diversity' though!

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  3. Good to see you back at the helm Montana

    "...Some things about living still weren't quite right, though. ..."


    .......for some reason the date at the page top is all mixed up....

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  4. Montana if you wanted you could also add the Oxford word of the day from this link:
    OED - word of the day

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  5. Morning all,

    Scherfig

    Just saw your query about Dutch chances, I'd just gone to bed. Annetan log off for the next few minutes ;)

    As usual the Dutch are quietly confident and with the embarassment of riches they have up front, goals could come from every angle.

    As I said to Hank, the defence is brittle. Stekelenburg in goal, nothing more (what England would do for that eh?), and they still rely on old campaigners such as van Bronckhorst.

    That said, without wanting to come across 'colemanballs', they will have to score more goals than the opposition, ie their attack will have to cover majorly for their defensive frailties.

    The first game is against your adopted lot Denmark. I think they'll give Holland a good game.

    Quarter finals definitely, semis at a push.

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  6. Oh, and I am enjoying HenrytheThird's posts. He/she is shaping up to be a promising young poster.

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  7. 13th - No worries - just scrolled down!

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  8. OED word of the day..."non-durable" adj.

    Good word..plenty of uses

    examples: chocolate tea pots; England's World Cup Campaign; 'What Do You Want To Talk About?' Threads; the credibility of well-bred Belgian tea ladies; the Guardian's reputation as anything but a talking shop for the well-off but 'progressive' middle class...


    I must have missed this at the time...certainly looked at that girl's "too cool to vote..like whatever!" article but I wasn't aware of any of this..

    "Just imagine where she could have gone with that kind of talent, if only you hadn't all been so shitty to her."

    Isn't that just the kind of sentiment which foisted the likes of Laurie Penny on us as an 'internet sensation'? Hopeless little middle-class Oxbridge naif with a reconstructed prole background and a taste for the Doctor Zhivago/ Rita Tushingham look; wheeled out periodically to cut through our comfortable complacency with her iconoclastic 68er prose. The whole thing's beyond parody..CIF needs closing down.

    I'm supposing Ms Penny was considered a sop to the working class/socialist lobby...what else could it be? Who else is she there to represent? I mean she shares a house, pulls angry faces and claims to eat beans out of the tin..ergo..she's a fuckin revolutionary: I'm guessing that's how editorial meetings go. You couldn't fuckin make it up.

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  9. I agree with those praising HenryTheThird: he (?..you never know) is eviscerating the Observer's big-name,big-salary columnists one by one today in a very clinical fashion. The Observer side of the Guardian stable is,if anything much worse,shallower and more cliquishly metropolitan than the Guardian (so that's going some) and I long ago decided I just couldn't be arsed with it, or CiF on a Sunday. To be honest, those who say CiF is a sandpit are correct, but part of me also thinks that almost all of the web is a sandpit.
    Sandpit owners are continually affronted that folk don't "play nicely" with twee buckets and spades, because they want us all to be as befuddled and sad as Brian Wilson, to be easily manipulated (cf Eugene Landy).
    Re; the football. Hell's teeth, what did some people expect from England? That draw is absolutely true to form for England at a World Cup:1966 was an aberration, but too few can accept that reality. England are a last 16, last 8 even side,and reasonably good, but thrilling (or even boringly efficient) world-beaters? Nah. And the pressure from the Anglo media on celts to back England makes no sense at all.Sunderland fans do not cheer for Newcastle if they get to a cup final, nor Liverpool fans for Man Utd, etc etc just because they're from neighbouring geographical localities or roughly the same neck of the woods.By that logic I ought to accept,like and endorse all the folk in our street. Nope: some are okay, but some are twats, and I'm not going suspend my critical faculties just because they're down the road.

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  10. "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."

    as demonstrated by yet another Papal Propaganda piece on CiF today.

    what is with the repeated commissioning of these pieces? I count three so far, all trying to tell us that Catholicism is needed, justified, relevant and wanted by the UK population.

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  11. Morning all..

    "Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead."
    Aldous Huxley....

    numbed maybe that's why CiF is on its way out...!

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  12. Morning all.

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago."


    So consistency is an enemy of learning. Maybe we should distinguish between synchronic and diachronic variation (to borrow from my barely remembered linguistics studies). We'd expect to change over time as new experiences restructure our thinking. On the other hand we require ourselves and others to be consistent at any given moment. Confusion between the two oven gives rise to innacurate accusations of hypocrisy. For example, 'there's nothing worse than a rabid ex-smoker'. That is, of course, true. Yet 'hypocrisy' is unjustified if they've changed their opinions. Lecturing on social justice from your Tuscan holiday home is another matter.

    BTW I've just received this:

    This username recovery email was requested by a team member of the blog http://cifthreadrefugee.blogspot.com/ . If you did not request this email, you may ignore it. Each team member will receive notice of their own personal login information.

    Anyone else?

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  13. G'day.

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

    Ralph Waldo Emerson, from Self-Reliance.

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  14. Hi
    martillo no didn't get that email....strange things were happening last night.......

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  15. Just heard Ladbrokes are offering the following prices on these phrases appearing within an hour of the Waddaya threads grand reopening...

    'Working Class Hero'....8/5

    'Tis'..'Twas'..'hither'..4/6

    'Misogynistic Abuse'....evens

    'a certain other site'..5/4

    'well bred'..'influential contacts'..'phony'...'obnoxious schtick'
    'bitter'...'jealous'..........all 3-1

    I've put £50 EW on a long shot

    'OK, OK..I'm a useless flake who's posted all sorts of shit to defend her but you're right: she's an embarrassment. I wish I'd never started now'...

    as I said a longshot, but still represents some value at a healthy 500-1

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  16. often gives rise..

    getting confused with my baking blog.

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  17. shit..."Working class hero" should have been odds on..5-8

    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines."

    the original English translation of the Communist Manifesto had it.."A frightful hobgoblin stalks through Europe" rather than "A spectre is haunting Europe"

    hobgoblin's much better

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  18. 'getting confused with my baking blog.'

    You've got a baking blog?..gosh

    D'ya reckon I should make my Jaffa Cakes in a cake tin or a biscuit tray?

    Any thoughts on the raunchy new Mr Kipling ads?

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  19. numbed,

    welcome.

    as demonstrated by yet another Papal Propaganda piece on CiF today.

    It's taken me a long time but I've finally realised that McKenna is an enormous ATL troll. It's the only way I can explain the risible shite he splatters onto CiF every single week.

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  20. I thought we were calling UT "the other place" on Whaddya, in the best parliamentary tradition.

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  21. "Well done Jess you have single handedly saved CiF x"

    in the first 10 posts

    4-1 on

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  22. "It's taken me a long time but I've finally realised that McKenna is an enormous ATL troll. It's the only way I can explain the risible shite he splatters onto CiF every single week."

    replace McKenna with Ellen?

    I think we can play this game for awhile.

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  23. "You've got a baking blog?..gosh"

    Yep, two-trick pony, me.

    I think you should experiment with both methods. Maybe you'll solve the mystery for once and for all.

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  24. Wasn't it Barbara Ellen who wrote that female teachers who shag their male pupils should be cut some slack, unlike their male colleagues?

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  25. "Wasn't it Barbara Ellen who wrote that female teachers who shag their male pupils should be cut some slack, unlike their male colleagues?"

    Yeah, but there was some mention in a Bindel piece of 'cutting some sack' when male teachers were involved...although, thinking back, it may have been all men, whether or not they'd ever done anything...as a preventative measure.

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  26. @Spike

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/nov/29/barbara-ellen-madeleine-martin-comment

    yes, here it is in all its glory.

    she's such a diamond!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh, and I am enjoying HenrytheThird's posts. He/she is shaping up to be a promising young poster.

    I agree with those praising HenryTheThird: he (?..you never know) is eviscerating the Observer's big-name,big-salary columnists one by one today in a very clinical fashion.

    Yes, so no surprises, perhaps, that by the time I get to have a look on the thread to see what is going on, HenryTheThird has been deleted virtually out of existence.

    Perhaps we should all just take to copying any posts which seem too good to last and pasting them here or elsewhere, linked to the place from which they were snatched to safety before the moderbators attacked them with virtual scissors and knives.

    Let me just run this by everyone again:

    We do see a consistency in moderation, don't we, in the sense that good, intelligent posters get deleted wholesale and idiotic spouters of verbal sewage get patted on the back and invited back to virtual dinner-parties by the lackeys and servants at CiF Towers?

    Why would anyone want to be a member of that stunted and grotesque artificial social clique?

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  28. @Numbed

    Yes, a classic.

    @monkeyfish

    I always enjoy a bit of Bindel. Nothing like a proper man-hating psycho. But the one who really gets up my nose is Melissa bloody McEwan.

    "I get very angry with my male friends if they say manhole and not personhole."

    You have friends, Melissa? Really?

    ReplyDelete
  29. @Spike...

    really?

    I would have thought there was quite a big difference between a "manhole" and a "womanhole", let alone a "personhole"...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Just checked and you're dead right, Atomboy. HenryTheThird has had 5 deletions this morning, and not one of them to my recollection contravened any purported talk policy, but they all embarrassed the paper and its columnists. Wouldn't expect anything less from the august Guardian Media group.
    Ah,well, it's their funeral.No point in getting worked up about their moderation, since their judgement is demonstrably flawed in so many ways.

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  31. @Numbed

    I was extrapolating from memory from this McEwan article where she doesn't say exactly that, but I think my inference is pretty much justified.

    * * *

    Please, please don't ever let South Africa organise anything again until they promise to stop continuously blowing those fucking pipes that make every match sound as if it's being played in a colossal hive full of demented bees!

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  32. http://maxdunbar.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/in-the-room-the-women-come-and-go/

    This is good..Sunny Hundal makes a cunt of himself again mind

    "Sunny doesn’t care for the article – which is not surprising, for smart women dissidents get a hard time from the left these days. Western feminism consists of complaining about Sex and the City 2 rather than international solidarity with women in appalling circumstances.

    Yet Sahgal makes a couple of important points. The first is about priorities. The issue of possible hijab bans has been raised yet again. There are good arguments for and against the ban. As Ophelia says, it’s progress that Sarkozy has called the burqa what it is – an instrument of oppression – but we should hesitate to draft laws that specifically target immigrants and ethnic minorities. People should be able to dress how they choose."

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  33. People can't dress how they choose, though. The day burqa wearers defend my right to shop naked except for a gimp mask, I'll start defending their right to imply that women should define themselves as livestock from the Dark Ages.

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  34. Interesting article, MF. The hijab/niqab/burqa in the West question always puts me in fits of indecision, but I absolutely agree that Western feminists and human rights organisations ought to be putting more pressure on countries that make them mandatory.

    This statement from the article almost made me spit coffee all over my monitor, however:

    Even the generally thought-provoking and original writer Laurie Penny has,

    I mean, WTF???

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  35. HenryTheThird dead already?

    Surely it can't be anything to do with hermione or one of the other mealy-mouthed hypocrites who've made Cif what it is today.

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  36. If the late Henry III is anyone on here then I do apologise for highlighting his posts. It's clear the mods are checking over here as Henry III's posts were totally on topic and didn't contravene talk policy.

    Unless talk policy no longer tolerates criticism of Observer liberalism.

    I would say I hope now that Henry III is dead, his successor take over. However as Henry III's successor was Edward I "hammer of the scots" I think we should just move on to Edward II who got a doing at Bannockburn ;)

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  37. HenryTheThird dead already?

    not dead dead but on life support.......

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  38. Henry3 still has a profile showing.

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  39. The talk policy is, as we all know, a fluid thing, Duke. My own elimination from Cif came about as a result of a post on a Marina Hyde blog about celebrity. Much as I admire Mazza, I couldn't help but point out that she had cut her teeth as a gossip columnist for one of the redtops.

    The comment itself was perfectly relevant and pertinent, but it implied that the writer was a hypocrite, in much the same way as others refer to Tuscan villas when Polly prattles on about social justice.

    Cif is happy to give room to all manner of right-wing loons but the Guardian's fabled love of free speech isn't quite strong enough to endure chippy lefties who cast doubt on its integrity.

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  40. "Thought-provoking and original" simply has to be a euphemism. Saw a sticker on a car yesterday, "Ich fahre nicht schlecht, ich fahre phantasievoll" ("My driving style isn't bad, it is imaginative"); I smell a parallel ...

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  41. Hank

    everything that can be said about Cif TP has been said - they obviously do not want a diversity of views, writing styles or means of expression.

    They certainly do not want their favoured writers to be contadicted or have their views challenged - yet are willing to throw young, naive and inexperienced contributors to the lions.

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  42. 'People can't dress how they choose, though. The day burqa wearers defend my right to shop naked except for a gimp mask, I'll start defending their right to imply that women should define themselves as livestock from the Dark Ages.'

    The burqa issue is more complex than this. I don't think a ban would bother me unduly, because the dress is loaded with an illiberal symbolism that, say, a pair of jeans from M&S is so clearly not. That is to say, I have no quarrel with the claim that the ideology in question diminishes women and the interests of women.

    As Norman Geras has said, "being compelled by law or by force to do something you prefer not to, and choosing to do it because of a set of beliefs you hold - whether these are in your interests or not - are two separate things.

    The first is coercive and takes away a liberty of action you would otherwise have. The second is acting freely, even if imprudently or in a self-denying way. One may, of course, operate on the conviction that, knowing better than others, you’re entitled to impose your own view on them. But, as a rule, persuading them by argument and example is to be preferred.

    It is a central principle of a liberal society."

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  43. 'pon my word..why tis Wank Scorpion, self-appointed frickin class -warrior..and here he goes spouting his contrarian schtick. It's jealousy..the little green-eyed hobgoblin has struck agin.
    Well mark my words Mr Scipio, there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your bitter, twisted little philosophy..things like frickin courtesy and being mates with the feckin head girl...you just need to get over it Hink..the verdict's in, and the Guardian, the established home of quality prose and original thought clearly thinks you lack the style, clarity and charisma which is required of it's posters.

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  44. "One may, of course, operate on the conviction that, knowing better than others, you’re entitled to impose your own view on them."

    That should be on a plaque on the CIF wall.

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  45. Ah! I see the body snatcher's back.

    hello fellow humans

    Article about Labour needing more NPs from among manual workers - not open for comment.

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  46. Hi PeterB

    The first is coercive and takes away a liberty of action you would otherwise have. The second is acting freely, even if imprudently or in a self-denying way.

    It is more complicated as you say. I know a woman (British born, from a middle eastern background), well educated, who married a Yemeni bloke and who took to wearing the niqab having previously lived in a very western way.

    There seemed to be two things going on. The first was her taking up, with enthusiasm a very wahabi understanding of Islam as espoused by her husband and the second was as an act of defiance against certain western values/politics that she despises and about which she is very voluble.

    I don't think my friend is particularly representative though as the Yemeni community is one of the poorest and least well educated. Although in this city it does seem to be mainly women from the Yemeni community, that is also one of the most conservative, who wear niqabs.

    It is very difficult for these women to resist the cultural imperatives that are forced on them, even when they want to. If they do resist it can be dangerous and/or they stand to lose everything they know and love.

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  48. afternoon Deano

    Sadly, your link doesn't work.

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  49. Exceptional photo gallery covering 50 faces and 50 years of Congolese Independence - the cameo stories of the people make moving reads:
    50 Congo Lives

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  50. Think I got it second time around Sheff

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  51. Afternoon all.

    If women want to cover their faces with a
    burqua when going from A to B that,s fine
    on one condition.Namely they have to show
    their faces in any inter-actions they have
    with other people.And that includes doctors,
    shopkeepers and employers to name but three.
    And if they refuse to show their faces they
    do so on the understanding they won,t get
    served,treated or whatever.Likewise if a
    woman renders herself unemployable by
    wearing a burqua to job interviews she does
    so on the understanding that she will lose
    her benefits.Or if she has a job and chooses
    to wear a burqua at work she does so under
    the understanding that she may lose her job
    if she refuses to show her face.

    Additionally for security reasons i think
    women who wear burquas do so on the understanding they may not be allowed to
    use public transport as well.For there is
    a potential security risk with women or men wearing burquas entering the underground
    system for instance.For how will they be identified by security cameras if their
    faces are covered.

    Placing these sort of restrictions on the
    wearing of burquas will also hopefully
    empower those women who have had it imposed
    on them.However if Muslim women are to be
    fully empowered within British society there
    also needs to be much tougher controls on
    arranged marriages and the issuing of
    marriage visas.For i suspect that many of
    the women forced to wear burquas in this
    country-as well as often being treated as a servant by the husband and his family-are
    uneducated women from the sub-continent
    who speak little English and are extremely
    vulnerable.

    In the other place i have been accused of
    being a racist,fascist,BNP supporter etc
    for expressing similar views as above.And
    in the past have been moderated a couple
    of times.But the fact is there is no cultural
    precedent in Britain for covering your face
    unless you are either up to no good or have
    some serious facial disfigurement.More
    importantly however Britians Muslim
    communities are the most uneducated,unskilled
    impoverished communities in Britain.And Muslim
    women have the highest birth rates as well
    as the lowest economic activity rates.Surely
    empowering Muslim women has to therefore be a key part in reducing poverty and social deprivation in these communities.And that
    ain,t gonna happen if they are going around covering their faces.

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  52. Really sorry about the layout -AGAIN !!

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  53. Maman Nicole 'I've known I was HIV positive since 1993. When my husband died of Aids, my family rejected me. Look at Marianne: her husband was the ambassador and she ended up sleeping on a cardboard box! There's only the two of us here now, at Femmes Plus (Positive Women). Chantal used to sleep on a piece of fabric, her food covered in mould. She used to have to drag herself to the filthy toilets on all fours. When she died, we buried her. The street kids who live in the cemetery called out, "How long have women had to bury the dead?" The coffin was too heavy for us. They ran over, pushed us aside and took the coffin on their shoulders. They had tears in their eyes.'


    From Deano's link - 50 Congo lives. read and wonder - is it really the 21st Century ? What happened to caring?

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  54. If you don't want to depress yourself utterly don't read Andrew Rawnsley's article! The article is bad enough but the thread!!! God its boring! Same old socialism is dead, capitalism is wonderful rubbish!

    example:
    Dr John Zoidberg
    "the reason why communuism and socialism will never be successful is that they rely on violence and coercion to build the party's future vision at the expense of flesh and blood people...this tends to put voters off at the ballot box, thet they or thiers may end up in a gulag, getting a 4a.m knock on the door form the nkvd etc etc."

    Plenty more like this! >:-o

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  55. thank you Deano.

    don't think I would have found that photographic collection without you directing to it.

    it's astonishing.

    i worked for a Rwandan charity some years ago and worked with the testimonies of the survivors of the genocide.

    that collection and the rwandan ones gave me a deeper insight than I'm ever likely to have from any blog on politics or world news reportage.

    There's something very meaningful about the stories and snapshots offered that completely capture life, fear and hope.

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  56. Anne

    Re Zoidberg

    As opposed to Capitalism he means?

    Too much trash allowed to stand on Cif - too much ill informed balderdash.

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  57. Anne

    DrJohnZ - tell me about him. Just had a little run in with him on the maternal health thread.

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  58. deano

    those are great photos and the testimonies are very moving as you say.

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  59. Tough lives in the Congo:

    26 / 50

    "Lukadi Victoril, widow, Mikalay 'My husband lost at a game of cards. He had to pay his debts and wanted to sell me to his opponent. I refused and fled from Kasumba. My husband then went to my family and demanded five goats as compensation. That made my family cross and I can't go back until I have paid back the value of the five goats".

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  60. The Observer is a shambeles. No hard ivestigsative/analytical journalism, just fripperies by people like Kevin Mckenna and Barbara Ellen-- she even proposed today to create a united British football team, eh Duke. The first (and most recommended) comment underneath went 'Barbara, promise never to talk about association football ever again, ok'. I would bet it has been deleted now.

    Luckily for the Observer, they get to share the main Cif- if they had there own site they would be srewed

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  61. Annetan Dr. John once told me he is ex-CP, which explains a lot. People who like black and white explanations to tend to veer from one extreme to the other. I liked your post, although I am not such a fan of Benn as you are. I think that in 1982 he was very disloyal to Foot at a time when it was clearly important to stop infighting.

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  62. deano

    Great photos and certainly the stories
    attached to each one put into perspective
    the things that get to us here in the
    developed world.

    Belgian rule in the Congo was especially
    barbaric-especially when the King of
    Belgium used it as his personal playground.
    I stand to be corrected but i think the
    Independance movement in the Congo was led
    by the infamous Simba.Certainly in the period
    leading up to getting rid off their Belgian
    colonial masters the Simba retaliated against
    anyone with a White skin.Mass rapes took place
    against White women.-although many Congolese women suffered as well.Was certainly yet
    another brutal chapter in Congolese history.

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  63. Paul

    i spoke once with a guy - former Rhodesian Air Force man. He told me in 59-60 he had taken guns into the Congo to whites. This was "unofficial" of course. He gave the impression it was state sanctioned - at the time therefore Brit sanctioned. Was he telling the truth or bigging himself up ?

    I suggested he was a gun runner - to which he made no reply.

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  64. Paul,

    absolutely. In the shameful history of colonisation and decolonisation, the Belgian Congo is possibly the worst.

    After the Congo became independent, it's been recently revealed that the Belgian Secret Service arranged the arrest, kidnap and murder of Patrice Lumumba the Prime Minister in 1960.

    Additionally, the Belgian Government pulled all civil servants and admnistrators out and left a miniscule rump of Congolese civil servants to administer a country the size of Western Europe.

    And you will not be surprised that the brutal Joseph Mobutu was engineered into power by the CIA.

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  65. Got that totally wrong!The Simba were
    a group who in 1964 rebelled against the government installed after independance
    from Belgium in 1960.

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  66. Paul

    I think Simba was post independence.

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  67. Wasn't Simba something to do with Tshombe trying to set up Katanga as an independent country with the support of western mining interests?

    ReplyDelete
  68. Afternoon, all. If anyone sees Jay Reilly before I do, tell him I'm looking for him.

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  69. Paul, peterb, good comments on the burka debate.

    I don't really feel if I can comment for this reason...

    Is the women wearing it from her independent volition and/or religious belief, or is her hand forced by husband/family? The answer is of course both but I would suspecty that more are doing it simnply so as not to rock the boat with their relatives.

    Isn't it all just identity politics anyway.
    Has anyone actually asked them if they actually believe in God/Allah, or is just that it gives them a sense of community.

    From my own observations, I think many people go along with religion for the community aspect, when they are an ethnic/religious minority in another country this is exacerbated even more. I went to an expat Anglican chutch in Russia just out of curiosity and it was basically a social gathering with a few candles, prayers and hymns attached. I would guess that back home hardly any of them would actually attend church, but out in Russia it was a place for the expat community to get together once a week.

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  70. The decolonised Belgian Congo was the classic pawn in the Cold War game.

    From Franco to Mobutu to Pinochet, as long as you styled yourself as an anti-communist strongman you were guaranteed US support.

    Mobutu fulfilled Roosevelt's 1939 maxim about Somoza Garcia the anti-communist Nicaraguan dictator and the maxim which dictated US Cold War foreign policy-

    "He may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch."

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  71. @annetan

    Nice reminder in the Rawnsley thread about Engels. His family's mills, set up with his partners the Ermens, were big landmarks in my home town. There are still lots of reminders round there, with street names and council flats named after them, and the alternative primary school to the one I went to was set up by and named after Gottfried Ermen.

    And yes, very odd that the piece about working-class MPs is not open to comment.

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  72. Leni

    That was a bit bizarre! I put it down
    to great minds and all that.

    Duke

    Absolutely.And i,d wager it,s a chapter
    in Belgian history that is played down in Belgium itself.And on a different subject
    isn,t Belgium also guilty of sheltering
    a number of people complicit in the
    genocide in Rwanda?


    Usini

    Am gonna have a bit of a google.You may
    well be right.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Hello all!

    Been working today and yesterday.... completely fucked, feet killing me, drinking a glass of wine, enjoying slobbing out.... chicken in oven inna Greek-stylee, courtesy of Mr La Rit, sunburn on face and enjoying reading the comments etc. here, where everything is free ;0)....

    I have to say, old beans, I like this format....more soothing and easier to read :)

    Just to cheer everyone up - Ghana won today and the Gold Coast Ghanian bar on Acre Lane is swamped with Ghanians(obviously) dressed up to the nines, draped in the Black Star flag and LIVING IT UP in celebration all over the street!- a sight for sore eyes ;o) I really want an African country to win the World Cup.

    Really good to see Numbed here (most hearty welcome) and hello again Spike!

    Loved those photos from the Congo....if that's the right expression.... not voyeuristic or patronising, just human and full of grace.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Heyhabib:

    "If anyone sees Jay Reilly before I do, tell him I'm looking for him"

    Has he been naughty!!!!??

    ReplyDelete
  75. Paul,

    you might find this online book about Congolese decolonisation useful. Has information on the Simba's, their support for Mobutu and the machinations of the US and Belgium.

    LaRit. It was nice to see Ghana win, but I'm wondering when the hell this tournament is going to start. It's been garbage so far.

    ReplyDelete
  76. Duke

    Cheers for that.

    Re Rwanda.From what i can see the Belgian
    Catholic Church was guilty of sheltering
    some priests and nuns complicit in the
    Rwandan genocide.However the Belgian
    government seems to have intervened
    and they have stood trial.

    ReplyDelete
  77. paul:

    re rwanda and the church.....

    On 7 May 1994 soldiers and militias arrived at Shyogwe Diocese aboard a red pick-up vehicle to transport civilian Tutsi refugees to the killing sites. "On that day Bishop Samuel Musabyimana was present and, addressing the soldiers and militias, publicly stated that he did not oppose the killing of Tutsis, but that he did not want killings at the Diocese and that the Tutsis should be taken to Kabgayi to be killed." (Indictment by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda against former Anglican Bishop Samuel Musabyimana).

    ReplyDelete
  78. Before I head off and watch the next game. I see that the UT is only at 79 comments, enormously down from the last few days.

    Is it not as good as it used to be? Has it just become cosy consensus central where no-one has anything to sat to each other? What's the point of the place these days?

    Have a good evening all!

    ReplyDelete
  79. Pope John Paul II in May 1996 said: "The Church cannot be held responsible for the guilt of its members that have acted against the evangelic law; they will be called to render account of their own actions. All Church members that have sinned during the genocide must have the courage to assume the consequences of their deeds they have done against God and fellow men."

    however the Vatican didn't feel it necessary to excommunicate 2 Rwandan nuns found guilty in Belgium of aiding the slaugher of 5,000 civilians....

    ReplyDelete
  80. about the Burqa/Niqab

    a local law was enacted in Northern Italy under the auspices of a anti terrorist law of the 70's, which stated that wearing of thing covering the face such as niqabs, motorbike helmets etc would not be allowed in public places, if contravened a fine of 500 euro. A woman wearing a niqab was fined for going to the post office dressed as such.

    Outcome: husband paid the fine and now won't let his wife go out because she risks a fine and he doesn't want other men seeing her uncovered...

    who benefits from this? maybe an extreme example but if people are looking to liberating women they need to also look at the most vulnerable women and the effects that these laws will have on them....

    ReplyDelete
  81. gandolfo

    I have long given up ranting against organised religion and its self protective mumbo-jumbo.

    I am currently trying to understand how apparently normal functioning people can square their religious beliefs with the reality of church - or other - establishment.

    Cognitive dissonance for sure but it has to be more than that . Theircertainty, their arrogant assumption of automatic entrance to their heaven etc. Do they not, in their inner eye - see the massacred and abused guarding the gates against them ?

    Their abnegation of any belief in humanity in favour of religious doctrine seems a denial of both self and thought or even of the evidence before their own eyes.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Actually, the worst was the French in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), but without checking, I'd say that was about a century earlier than the Belgian atrocities in the Congo.

    ReplyDelete
  83. thanks for the warm welcome all and cheers LaRit.

    @Leni

    "It's god's will"

    that's why.

    it's the ultimate cop out, get out and catch all clause for why shit happens.

    I'd be interested to see if there is any pattern between the rise of a more extreme/fundamental approach to religion in comparison with rises in moments of significant (perceived or real) risk to humanity.

    for example, since 9/11 there appears to be a rise in more fundamental inpretations/denominations of faith. in Nigeria, since the damage done to the Niger Delta by the oil works, there is also a perceived rise in fundamentalist Christianity (leading here to persecution of children on the grounds of "witchcraft"). in the UK, with the the rise of change of peoples living here, due in part to immigration (and shrieky tabloids), there too seems to be great deal more of a gap between those whose faith is a general partof their lifestyle, and those whose faith becomes pretty much fanatical.

    ReplyDelete
  84. @Spiked...

    Looks like you will get your wish...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jun/13/world-cup-vuvuzela-ban-tv-complaints

    ReplyDelete
  85. leni

    totally agree.....i think people just want something pre-fabricated to "believe in" rather than examining their own conscience and putting some effort into constructing their own "belief" systems.....and they seem to be willing to accept anything, much less hard work to be spoon fed rather than think and formulate for yourself.....

    Paul
    a really good book on Haiti under the french and the revolution is by CLR James: "The Black Jacobians" a terrifying read at times......

    numbed

    I saw a report on child witches made my blood cold run cold......

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  86. "It was nice to see Ghana win, but I'm wondering when the hell this tournament is going to start. It's been garbage so far."

    hasn't it just..here's a related article from the master..

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/international/article7149036.ece

    The 1982 side: Zico, Eder, Falcao don't get any more than an indirect reference which is a shame. They were a glorious sight.

    ReplyDelete
  87. Many a true word spoken in jest:

    Taoism: Shit happens.
    Confucianism: Confucius say, "Shit happens."
    Buddhism: If shit happens, it isn't really shit.
    Zen Buddhism: Shit is, and is not.
    Zen Buddhism #2: What is the sound of shit happening?
    Hinduism: This shit has happened before.
    Islam: If shit happens, it is the will of Allah.
    Islam #2: If shit happens, kill the person responsible.
    Islam #3: If shit happens, blame Israel.
    Catholicism: If shit happens, you deserve it.
    Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else.
    Presbyterian: This shit was bound to happen.
    Episcopalian: It's not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve the right wine with it.
    Methodist: It's not so bad if shit happens, as long as you serve grape juice with it.
    Congregationalist: Shit that happens to one person is just as good as shit that happens to another.
    Unitarian: Shit that happens to one person is just as bad as shit that happens to another.
    Lutheran: If shit happens, don't talk about it.
    Fundamentalism: If shit happens, you will go to hell, unless you are born again. (Amen!)
    Fundamentalism #2: If shit happens to a televangelist, it's okay.
    Fundamentalism #3: Shit must be born again.
    Judaism: Why does this shit always happen to us?
    Calvinism: Shit happens because you don't work.
    Seventh Day Adventism: No shit shall happen on Saturday.
    Creationism: God made all shit.
    Secular Humanism: Shit evolves.
    Christian Science: When shit happens, don't call a doctor - pray!
    Christian Science #2: Shit happening is all in your mind.
    Unitarianism: Come let us reason together about this shit.
    Quakers: Let us not fight over this shit.
    Utopianism: This shit does not stink.
    Darwinism: This shit was once food.
    Capitalism: That's MY shit.
    Communism: It's everybody's shit.
    Feminism: Men are shit.
    Chauvinism: We may be shit, but you can't live without us...
    Commercialism: Let's package this shit.
    Impressionism: From a distance, shit looks like a garden.
    Idolism: Let's bronze this shit.
    Existentialism: Shit doesn't happen; shit IS.
    Existentialism #2: What is shit, anyway?
    Stoicism: This shit is good for me.
    Hedonism: There is nothing like a good shit happening!
    Mormonism: God sent us this shit.
    Mormonism #2: This shit is going to happen again.
    Wiccan: An it harm none, let shit happen.
    Scientology: If shit happens, see "Dianetics", p.157.
    Jehovah's Witnesses: >Knock< >Knock< Shit happens.
    Jehovah's Witnesses #2: May we have a moment of your time to show you some of our shit?
    Jehovah's Witnesses #3: Shit has been prophesied and is imminent; only the righteous shall survive its happening.
    Moonies: Only really happy shit happens.
    Hare Krishna: Shit happens, rama rama.
    Rastafarianism: Let's smoke this shit!
    Zoroastrianism: Shit happens half on the time.
    Church of SubGenius: BoB shits.
    Practical: Deal with shit one day at a time.
    Agnostic: Shit might have happened; then again, maybe not.
    Agnostic #2: Did someone shit?
    Agnostic #3: What is this shit?
    Satanism: SNEPPAH TIHS.
    Atheism: What shit?
    Atheism #2: I can't believe this shit!
    Nihilism: No shit.

    ReplyDelete
  88. You forgot Cifism: We are shutting down this shit for the weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Shit happened - where's the shovel?

    ReplyDelete
  90. The working class MP thread is open to comments now.

    What is Cif playing at?

    ReplyDelete
  91. On the burqa..

    I've got no mixed feelings. I am willing to vigorously defend the right of anyone to wear it, (or whatever they like for that matter) but at the same time express my disgust and outrage they they either choose or are compelled to do so.

    There's a fundamental difference between me and the average 'Liberal' take on this around the paradox of multiculturalism; the prevailing bien pensant view that the more a state becomes diverse or pluralist, it must accept an inverse restriction on the diversity of acceptable opinion; the more inclusive, 'vibrant' and culturally tolerant we become, the more intolerant we must become of rights to free speech and expression in the name of cultural sensitivities.

    To which I say bollocks..and in doing so stake out the true liberal high ground. Diversity of culture is something I applaud but not as much as the diversity of expression. Obviously the downside is the danger of offending certain groups but that isn't actually a danger..it's an inevitability. Thing is..outside the liberal media, outside partisan extremist circles, taking offence is nowhere near as common as believed...human beings understand other people have different views, prejudices; they can mange the situation; and in the absence of no account Oxbridge-media offence takers, diversity professionals and motivated nutcases, they can do so a hell of a lot easier.

    I defend any woman's right to wear the burqa, just as long as I can voice an opinion that it portrays her as a chattel and if it's entirely voluntary then she's an idiot..and if there was coercion then I'd offer my sympathies and tell her her culture has problems which need to be addressed openly. Retreating into some putative 'sacred space', covering ones ears and chanting "cultural imperialism..I'm not listening" won't cut it.

    I do appreciate the fact that I live in a 'diverse' culture but it can't truly claim to be diverse without the freedom to critically examine any aspect of it. Making honest expression of valid opinion's taboo because they might upset some people is bullshit..it's the kind of thing that might be acceptable at a primary school on certain occasions..never in a self-proclaimed mature democracy.

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  92. @Numbed

    Excellent! (it's Spike without a d, by the way)

    ReplyDelete
  93. "ranted..."

    Yep. That's the idea. It's actually allowable to get passionate about shit. This idea that there's got to be some happy medium in every conceivable situation is a big sloppy liberal conceit beloved of CIF..in fact so beloved are they of this golden mean that anything straying too far from the fold, notably left-wing opinion that challenges their cherished patent on the 'progressive', is disregarded as an inconvenient and statistically insignificant outlier.

    Certain ideas should be unassailable..not given an insouciant and urbane "let's not be too inflexible..let's seek out the common ground".."OK take chill pill"..."What are you smoking?"..bollocks. The right to say what you're thinking is the most precious of all. I'm fucked if I'll sacrifice it on inclusive grounds on the say so of someone claiming moral authority from a mangled concept of relativistic utopianism.

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  94. Never trust the Hun.

    I had them down in the sweepstake for a 3-0 win and the bastards had to go and score one more.

    Very quiet here this evening...

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  95. spike

    i don't watch footie but turned it on to listen to the beehive. amazing sound - what kind of an instrument is it ?

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  96. It's called a vuvuzela, Leni. Just a plastic horn, 2' - 3' long, not a local musical instrument as such, but apparently very much part of South African football culture.

    ReplyDelete
  97. @ MF The right to say what you're thinking is the most precious of all.I'm fucked if I'll sacrifice it on inclusive grounds on the say so of someone claiming moral authority from a mangled concept of relativistic utopianism.
    and
    Diversity of culture is something I applaud but not as much as the diversity of expression. Obviously the downside is the danger of offending certain groups but that isn't actually a danger..it's an inevitability

    Bravo.So what if the odd person gets offended. Being offended, or more accurately, someone choosing to take offence (which is a very common malaise) is not the same as being harmed, or their being harmed. It's simply their world-view or opinion being challenged: it's in the realm of ideas. And wanting to see that realm curtailed,hemmed in, on aesthetic of 'sensitivity' grounds is pathetic and illiberal. Someone offends you, says something that jars? You reply, showing them (forcefully or subtly, blunderbuss or sniper-like) just why they are wrong and you are right.
    The Guardian doesn't like being challenged and woefully fails to appreciate how lumping offended sensibilities in with actual suffering of harm is a pernicious, mealy-mouthed,weak-kneed stance, and one that gives the intolerant a licence to shut down debate, information and opposition.It gives rise to a million petty tyrannies, a growing and damaging timidity and narrowness of thought and expression for fear of "giving offence" that is tremendously corrosive to both truth and society.

    By the way, hope the tournament kicks into gear properly this coming week, and if you want to let rip, look at the New Statesman where Laurie Penny has written unmitigated shite about the World Cup. Some might even find it offensive (it's certainly pig-ignorant), but so bloody what? Let it stand as testament to her witlessness on the topic.

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  98. @monkeyfish

    debate is much better when it's passionate, I agree.

    The most interesting stuff I've learned is from impassioned debates with people knowledgeable on their subject.

    Sometimes, I've changed my mind, sometimes, it's strengthened my views and practically all the time I learn some for good or ill about the subject and people's views around it.

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  99. MF + Alisdair - agreed. Too much over sensitivity about 'offence'; too little action against genuine harm, hurt and mistreatment.

    Numbed

    Cif has been an eyeopener for me.

    I am amazed and interested by the number of subjects that arouse passions and I have been re-introduced to a side of UK which since living at the back of beyond I had almost forgotten. I will call it unreasoned hatred.

    i have said my piece on wc MPs - much good it will do any of us.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Powerful and persuasive argument MF - yet I remain unconvinced.

    I never saw the burka argument as being about freedom of expression so much as one about misguided freedom of actions.

    I take the view that since it involves the possible manipulation/pressurisation of a weaker party by a stronger one it's indistinguishable from lots of free market/capitalistic behaviours and thus for me is unacceptable.

    I have accepted the argument that if I want to live in a more collectivist/civilised/fairer society then I must give up some freedoms of action. I thus consider it reasonable to expect others to do so too.

    What consenting Muslims do in the privacy of their bedrooms is a matter for them what they do in our public spaces is a matter for us all.

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  101. Jesus Christ, the NS is full of 'old faces' from Cif, including Laurie Penny.

    Meanwhile, anyone interested in Kyrgizstan? This is a very serious development. I have just finished reading Craig Murray's Murder in Samarkand, about Uzbekistan. The ethnic unrest in K. is between ethnic Uzbeks (the national 'borders' in the FSU often do not represent national/ethinc boundaries, rather they were Soviet administrative boundaries- The Soviet planners never perceived the USSR to collapse)

    I am not an apologist for the USSR but their was never inter ethnic violence on such a scale, at least not during the years after Stalin's death.

    Interestingly, the only country that can keep control over central Asia is Russia. Russia has sent a battalion to protect it's airbase, but a much greater occupation is the only thing nessesary to restore order.

    The Russians are respected in central Asia. They built the whole infrastructure of these countries.

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  102. @Leni

    "unreasoned hatred"... completely. I had no ideas such prize nutters occupied the Graun until I was reading it.

    And there's also that collective madness that appears when one of the pressure groups tells all their buddies to come trash a thread with their bile as well.

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  103. Plus another reason there are so many Uzbeks in Kirghizia is becuase many fled the Karimov tyrrany,- he has been in power since 1991 when the SU collapsed. He rules the country with a clique of friends and family.

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  104. Napoleon K,

    I don't understand what's going on in Kyrgizstan at all.

    a brief history lesson, if you can?

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  105. Alisdair et al

    A really good impassioned debate IMHO can
    only really take place on a level playing
    field.Where people have a genuine conviction
    and belief in what they,re talking about.

    Freedom of speech is something we all should
    cherish.And as far as offending people goes
    i think it,s relative.Only someone who is a complete doombrain is likely to be offended
    by a view simply on the basis that they disagree with it.The view they are disagreeing
    with has to be either pretty offensive and/or
    a personalised attack for it to cause offence.
    But i suppose that is relative as well.

    In agreement with those disappointed with
    the cup thus far.And if England don,t up
    their game against Algeria and thrash them
    we don,t deserve to proceed any further.
    I am however aware of the UT Scottish
    contingent who will be vying for an
    Algerian win-or a draw at least.Bastards!

    ReplyDelete
  106. Sheff

    i googled zuvuzela and found over 2,000,000 results! Why have I never heard of it I wonder.

    It is apparently part of the football tradition in SA. The rest of the world - and Spike - want to ban them. Could cause a bit of trouble.

    ReplyDelete
  107. numbed

    i think the Craig murray blog is a source of good information on Uzbek and the whole region.........

    ReplyDelete
  108. Monkeyfish/Alisdair Cameron; ain't that the truth.
    This site flourishes where Cif fails because it doesn't have any wonks "moderating" the crap out of it and we all know that Montana isn't going to take her bat and ball home is someone goes crying to her that they've been offended. Not that anyone would of course.
    The way I see it on here, there are three options:
    1: You can toddle off with your tail between your legs having been shown up for being a twat.
    2: You can stand your ground and argue your case if you think it hasn't been correctly understood.
    3: you can hold your hands up and admit you were wrong and no one will think the worse of you for doing so.
    No doubt there are more "bunfights" to come on UT but at least on here we are allowed to settle our differences ourselves without some Oxbridge tossers sticking their oar in.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Paul

    I have seen the ABE teeshirts here in Wales - car stickers too. We always have them when England play Rugby - anywhere.

    I'd like to see an African team win - one of the smaller nations. I'm sick of seeing the big guys win everything.

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  110. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  111. thaum - Quaker#2 If it's shit is it the true shit?

    Leni - thought that was MsChin not Sheff?

    ReplyDelete
  112. numbed/gandolfo.

    Yes, the Craig Murray blog is good, but I have my own issues- namely he blames Stalin- yes this is somewhat true- the Soviet planners designed the borders of the republics and had no idea that one day the USSR would fragment.

    However, Murray ignores the positive role of the USSR in keeping peace and stopping ethnic violence-- real actual racism not Guardianista/Oxbridge handwringing. I may tell Murray on his blog what I think- that Russia if nessesary needs to step in.

    Russia is the only influential power in central Asia- the US actally has an airbase in Kirghizia for supporting Afghanistan (itself a questionable issue), but the base was leased from the Russkies.

    The new prezident, Roza Otunbayeav is an urbane intellectual, a product of Moscow State University, a Russian speaker and ethnic Russian and formerly an ambassador. In central Asian terms this is enlightened Democracy- compared to Karimov in neighbouring Uzbekistan, where Murray witnessed all the horrors which forced him to speak out and get sacked.

    Otunabyeva is an ethnic mix of Russian and perhaps Kirghiz, she is president of Kirghizia. Ethnic Kirghiz are rebelling against the Uzbeks in K. Many of these Uzbeks are refugees from the Karimov tyrrany- others got caught up in the Soviet boundary changes. The point is Otubayeva is right to ask for Russian help- the USSR would never allow this. However Russia is being reticent. Why?

    ReplyDelete
  113. Well in that case, when the Euro 2016 is held in France, we'll have 10,000 tuneless bloody accordions droning throughout the matches and see how other nations like that.

    Why don't they just put the commentators in a soundproof box, then we wouldn't have to hear it? You can't hear the crowds, the ball or the ref's whistle over the damn things anyway.

    As a South African said, there's a great revolutionary tradition of singing in SA. Why don't they do that? The South Africans sing beautifully and the South African national anthem is perhaps the most beautiful in the world (although it's a pity they had to drag an imaginary friend into it), until Britain gets shot of God Save Brenda and adopts Radiohead's National Anthem instead, in which case I'll stand to attention with the best of them.

    ReplyDelete
  114. the fear to offend definitely stifles debate, progress and evolution of ideas....just look at the Labour party and how they screwed up on immigration........

    ReplyDelete
  115. Radiohead's National Anthem would be particularly suitable for England fans during matches like last night's, with its repeated hookline:

    What's going on?

    ReplyDelete
  116. Deano

    Thanks - you are right.

    sorry MsChin - i,m trying to design some sales leaflets for someone for a business start up. He's been unemployed for months - on one of these training courses and he has to produce something for next week. I'm not concentrating.

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  117. napoleon

    "However, Murray ignores the positive role of the USSR in keeping peace and stopping ethnic violence"

    Can I ask you then Napoleon cos I really don't know so much :how did they stop ethnic violence and what did they do to placate ethnic friction and why didn't it work?

    ReplyDelete
  118. Spike

    Dunno about that.I think 'Giddy Up a Ding
    Dong' by the late Alex Harvey would make a
    better National Anthem. Prince Phillip
    was allegedly more keen on 'Ain,t nothin'
    like a gangbang'but Her Majesty wasn,t
    having it.Quite right too in my opinion.

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  119. @Spike

    Kid A is my most freqently nicked CD. I've replaced it five times now.

    @NapoleonK

    Thanks for the info. Think it's going to take a few days to get my head (even partially) around this.

    ReplyDelete
  120. Spike

    Perhaps they could compromise ? Intervals for plastic trumpeteers between the singing ?

    Local colour and all that is supposed to be part of international games.

    ReplyDelete
  121. gandolfo.

    The Sovirt Union's attiude to it's minoriteis was a bit patronising. They basically allowed them to have a sort of sanitised and cliched national identity, little regional flags, regional anthems, cusine and dress etc. Crucually htey were also more tolerant of religious expression, especially in central Asia, and also a limited free market, namely the traditional bazaar economy. After all C. Asia was the breadbasket for many of the USSR's luxury goods, owing to the warm climate.

    First of course there was Stalinist stage- that was barbaric, deporting whole populations like hte Chechens in 1944.

    But afterwards, it was like I said in my first paragraph, giving them little pretend flags and anthems to play around with. Soft power, but always backed up with a Soviet garrison.
    For example in 1990 there was an exactly similar case of inter ethnic violence between the Uzbeks and Kirghiz. But crucially there was a Soviet garrison to put down dissent. Yes, admittedly that is a bit of a euphemism, I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the Spetsnaz, but the point is, they prevented ethnic violence- yes the Soviets killed people, but they killed people who were trying to kill others based on their race, and much less were killed than doing a Rwanda or Srebrencia and letting the ethnic racists kill with impunity.

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  122. Napoleon

    I haven,t read the whole thread so
    apologies if i,m repeating what,s
    already been said.But in 1945 and
    thereafter many thousands of people
    like the Cossacks were either
    murdered or deported to Siberia by
    the Soviets on the basis of their
    ethnicity.

    ReplyDelete
  123. @Paul

    Anything by Alex Harvey would have to be a Scottish National Anthem. The Radiohead would just be for England. Perhaps something by Super Furry Animals (preferably featuring Howard Marks) for Wales. The Undertones for Northern Ireland? Although I've gone right off Feargal Sharkey since he's been representing the music establishment.

    @Leni

    Local colour only goes so far. They're a bit wary of staging competitions in South American countries where shooting referees and rubbish national players is a part of local tradition. (Green! You're lucky you're not Colombian!)

    Of course, I'm not comparing plastic trumpets and shooting people, but they really do get wearing after 90 minutes plus.
    Local colour, yes. Psychological warfare, no.

    ReplyDelete
  124. @Napoleon K

    A prime example is Yugoslavia. Despite a horrifying history, directly after WWII, Tito managed to maintain peace (although the Croats, Albanians, etc. had sided with the Nazis and Fascists to wipe out mainly countless Serbs) and that peace went on for nearly 50 years.

    Then, when the shit hit the fan, it was apparently all the fault of the "communists" - not of course Germany encouraging, recognising and arming breakaway republics, later with NATO support.

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  125. Paul

    Of course. But the mistake we int he west go thorugh is that the Soviet Union went through one era, when there were several, perhaps the revolution and early years, the Stalin era, post Stalin Kruschev era, the Brezhnev stagnation and then perestroika.

    The Stalinist era could certainly be compared to Hitler, but in later decades, although the country was still authoritarian, there was a completely different attitude to minorities.

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  126. Spike

    Thought we were talking about a British
    National Anthem.So if it,s to be an English
    Anthem it would have to be Dame Vera Lynn
    singing a medley from that quintessentially
    English album'Never Mind The Bollocks'.

    ReplyDelete
  127. The average Ciffer would probably vote for the Eton Boating Song Paul

    ReplyDelete
  128. Yes, Yugoslavia was an extraordinary country
    It was a communist country, but still granted relgious expression and a limited free market.

    It managed to maintain good relations with both power blocs during the cold war and profited from being one of the founders of the non aligned movement.

    So much so was Yugoslavia important, that when Tito died, his funeral was attended by the same number (and importance) of heads of state as elder statesmen like Winston Churchill.

    Anyway, goodnight.

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  129. @Paul

    But would Vera Lynn be able to pronounce "anar-kyste" correctly?

    I'd suggest Blur's Sunday Sunday as being archetypally English, but Bitterweed would probably appear from nowhere and nuke me.

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  130. Spike

    bitterweed is the UTs WMD when it comes to music.

    ReplyDelete
  131. @Numbed

    Sorry, just saw your post. I don't know what my most frequently nicked record is, but my most sadly missed one is my Pistols' Anarchy (yes, just mentioned) single on EMI, which disappeared during a party in the 90s. Worth a fortune, apparently.

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  132. Habib, just got back, feel free to leave me a message and i'll respond earlyish tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete
  133. Does anyone still have any contact with TrueLeft? Also sadly missed. The only CiF Israeli I was sincerely fond of and had the greatest respect for.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Spike

    Trueleft has a facebook page - in his own name.

    he was on an I/P thread coupla weeks ago - first time for ages. great guy.

    ReplyDelete
  135. Paul: I've no doubt the "mods" from Cif "lurk" on this site. I sincerely hope they do otherwise they would not be doing their job properly.
    I hope they learn some serious lessons about how to treat people with respect rather than contempt whatever their political affilliations.

    I don't like banging on about this but can't we have The Guardian held to account under the Trade Descriptons Act, since "Comment is Free" obviously isn't. It's fucking censored by a bunch of self serving twats who,because they went to Oxford or Cambridge, think they know more about life than anyone else and that their opinions are bullet proof.

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  136. @Leni

    Damn, I missed it. Re facebook, I don't know his real name, but I'll ask gingerwaster, he'll probably know. Thanks for the info. He is a great guy.

    * * *

    Right. Just posted a rebuke to an idiot on Vicky Coren's IMO very funny thread, and it's time for bed.

    Goodnight all!

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  137. chekhov said...
    Monkeyfish/Alisdair Cameron; ain't that the truth.

    This site flourishes where Cif fails because it doesn't have any wonks "moderating" the crap out of it....

    scherfig said:

    Don't conflate what I say with the likes of Bitey. I deleted a lot of his comments here a while back, and also (probably) got him banned from Cif as jiasa. I make no apologies for that - freedom of speech? Censorship? Fuck him.

    02 April, 2010 23:05

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  138. chekhov

    Don't think Trade Descriptions apply - comment is free is free to use.

    Bet there will be a rush to waddya in the morning.

    The opinions of the rude mechanicals have never been valued - mainly because they are too threatening - might disturb the comfort zone.

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  139. Night Spike

    Say Hi to Gingerwaster.

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  140. chekhov

    Out of interest has your pre-mod been
    automatically lifted now.Cos you
    haven,t posted since they stuck you
    there have you?Whenever i,ve been put
    in pre mod i,ve had to go through that
    annoying process of submitting a post
    and have it appear hours later.

    ReplyDelete
  141. Bitey

    When you go to Heaven will you challenge the Recording Angel for its job?

    Why don't you join in the discussions here?

    ReplyDelete
  142. Paul: I've been in "pre mod" for months. There is no way I'm going back to grovel to those twats at Cif to be allowed back in. Fuck em.
    I'll take my chances on here.

    ReplyDelete
  143. Chekhov

    Fair enough but it,s hardly like you
    were a serial offender.That,s why i
    wondered whether they automatically
    lift the pre mod after a period of
    time - irrespective of whether you,ve
    posted or not.

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  144. Leni: you are quite right regarding the "Trade Descriptons Act". I was being flippant in referring to it. However the fact still remains that "Comment is Free" is a con job and the twats at the Guardian need to be held to account for their outrageous disingenouity.

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  145. @Chekhov:

    From comments that Georgina & Matt have made, I think the Graun spin on the "Comment is free" name is that it means that it doesn't cost anything to have an opinion, not that unfettered expression of opinions is allowed.

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  146. Paul: who knows what the policy is on Cif? Fucked if I do. The whole bloody thing is a car crash and I don't really care anymore.
    It was a good idea but God knows how, they fucked it up big style and the delicious irony of Jessica taking her bat and ball home in a fit of pique was glorious to behold!

    ReplyDelete
  147. Montana: well Georgina and Matt would say that wouldn't they?
    What a load of tosh. Who do they think they are kidding?
    I really despise people who think we are all stupid enough to swallow their "spin".

    ReplyDelete
  148. chekhov

    As Leni said there will probably be a
    stampede on WADDYA first thing tommorrow
    morning. It,ll be like the Sales!

    Nite all

    ps Montana-good to see you back.Hope
    things are a bit easier for you now.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Montana - perhaps less important what those two tossers (Georgina & Matt) had to say.......The Guardian's own history says:

    "...The Guardian achieved national and international recognition under the editorship of CP Scott, who held the post for 57 years from 1872. Scott bought the paper in 1907 following the death of Taylor's son, and pledged that the principles laid down in the founder's will would be upheld by retaining the independence of the newspaper. CP Scott outlined those principals in a much-quoted article written to celebrate the centenary of the paper: "Comment is free, but facts are sacred... The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard."

    See second para

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  150. Comment is Free because you don't have to pay to comment? What a load of bollocks. We all know that the Guardian traded Cif on the quote from CP Scott and it had nothing to do with paying to post your opinions.
    Pathetic...utterly pathetic and awesome in the most spectacular way of defending the indefensible.

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  151. Leni - good work on the WC MP thread!

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  152. If there's a rumble you are hearing underground,it's CP Scott turning in his grave.

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  153. Anne

    Cheers. I am surprised so few have commented. Where are the ideas?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Perhaps a fairer abstract from the CP Scott essay:

    "..................A newspaper is of necessity something of a monopoly, and its first duty is to shun the temptations of monopoly. Its primary office is the gathering of news. At the peril of its soul it must see that the supply is not tainted. Neither in what it gives, nor in what it does not give, nor in the mode of presentation must the unclouded face of truth suffer wrong. Comment is free, but facts are sacred. "Propaganda", so called, by this means is hateful. The voice of opponents no less than that of friends has a right to be heard. Comment also is justly subject to a self-imposed restraint. It is well to be frank; it is even better to be fair. This is an ideal. Achievement in such matters is hardly given to man. We can but try, ask pardon for shortcomings, and there leave the matter.........

    ReplyDelete
  155. Sleeeping Beauty - Rose Adagio

    Music to sleep to.......on my radio as I write (Classic FM)

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