25 January 2011

25/01/2011

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/philip-pullman/this-is-big-society-you-see-it-must-be-big-to-contain-so-many-volunteers

Brilliant article by Phillip Pullman.

142 comments:

  1. Thanks for the link and unlocking the doors, Jay.

    I was beginning to think that:

    a. I was the last person left alive on the planet.

    or

    b. Google was ratcheting up the ante in its hate campaign against me and locking out only me from the vast open playground which everyone else was enjoying, invisibly.

    These options seemed vastly more likely than everyone forgetting to open up the thread.

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  2. Yeah thanks Jay!

    Atom - think it was just you and me!

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  3. That Pullman article was brilliant by the way - says it all really!

    The fight we must engage in is for the survival of the soul of humanity!

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  4. Habib, what you said yesterday about the Isreali issue, I can accept the points you made but don't you see the symbiosis of it all. The Israeli people vote for the rigth wing becuase they have a sense of insecurity as a result of the lack of recognition given to Israel. This right wing then is less likely to consider negotiation and concessions with it's neighbours. This further inflames the arab world and makes recognition even less likely. Which will just drive more Israeli's to the right.

    They are fucking scared. The holocaust is within living memory. With some of the sentiment coming out of the Muslim world I can understand why the Israelis keep the war machine well oiled.

    The sense of besiegement is also pronounced in things like the proposed academic boycott, which is the most counterproductuve idea imaginable, if there is any Israeli left remaining, they are probably in academia.

    There is only one soloution: recognise the state of Israel as sovereign. NO other country in the world is in a similar situation where it has surrounding countires that refuse to engage in diplomacy.

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  5. "NO other country in the world is in a similar situation where it has surrounding countires that refuse to engage in diplomacy."

    Thats roughly the opposite of the truth, Nap.

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  6. Give me some examples Jay. The vast majority of countries in teh world recognise each other, even if they have frosty relations they still acknowledge their existence. Even in situation that cause tensions, ie Falkland Islands claimed by Argentina, we still have full diplomatic relations with them and vice versa..

    Secondly in the few situations where there are these tensions, there are no equivalents to printing openly antisemtic cartoons, selling the protocols of Zion and Mein Kampf in street corners, making accusations that an ethnic group/religious group are pulling the strings to contorl the world, the media etc.

    I will also critiscise the American blindness in supporting Israel. But if the arab countries had recognised Israel and left them alone in peace decades ago the situation wouldn't be.

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  7. btw I'm not talking about the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt etc, who do have diplomatic relations, but Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria.

    The terrorist attacks in Moscow yesterday were the result of Saudi funded Wahhabism. Most Muslims in Russia and former Soviet secular Asia are highly secularised, about as Muslim as a stereotypical typical Guardian reader is a Christian if he goes to church once a year with his relatives on Xmas day.

    But the Caucasus fell under the influence of Wahabist clerics.

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  8. Charles:

    "There is only one soloution: recognise the state of Israel as sovereign. NO other country in the world is in a similar situation where it has surrounding countires that refuse to engage in diplomacy."

    There's too much to argue with in your post.

    However, I recommend you read The Holocaust Industry by Norman Finkelstein. You're looking at it from a very warped perspective. Your post wouldn't be amiss in a Israeli Govt. propaganda bulletin.

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  9. There is lots to argue with Larit. However, this is where I am laying my cards on the table, this is my assertaion- diplomatic relations are the only way. By all means disagree or challenge my position.

    Anyway, I've got work to do. I won't be responding all day becuase I've got things to do, not becuase I'm chickening out.

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  10. Welcome to the Global Economic Recession Magical Rollercoaster ride.

    Would Sir like one dip or two?

    Guess the New Government Catchphrase to Replace "We Are All In This Together" booth now open.

    Today's Favourite:

    "Five Million Unemployed Is A Price Well Worth Paying."

    Welcome to the Neo-Nasty ConDem Circus.

    Did you think it would be different from last time round, just because they gave a job to The Yellow Streak?

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  11. Classic stuff from Osborne today - on the one hand, the tired old 'the deficit was all Labour's fault, and not at all due to a global economic crisis', and on the other hand, 'the fall in GDP is not our fault, not at all to do with our policies, it's because of the bad weather'.

    I can't wait for this fool's next demonstration of how completely thick and dishonest he is.

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  12. Charles:

    "this is where I am laying my cards on the table, this is my assertion"

    I don't think it is Charles, it's your woefully inadequate regurgitation of piss poor IG rhetoric and propaganda.


    "diplomatic relations are the only way. By all means
    disagree or challenge my position"

    You are being deliberately provocative, not laying down an argument.

    "Anyway, I've got work to do. I won't be responding all day becuase I've got things to do, not becuase I'm chickening out."

    No Charles, you are chickening out and you know you are.... if you want to spout that kind of pro-Israeli bullshit.... go to CiFWatch. You'll find a willing audience there.

    Pathetic.

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  13. La rit
    Posters at Cifwatch once compared me to Adolf Eichmann. I speak from my own opinion.

    I really do have work to do.

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  14. badpenny:

    As someone said on the Shock as UK Eocnomy Falls thread, said....

    What a bunch of nobbers!!!

    Martin Rowson was right.... OINKbourne does't know what he's doing.

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  15. Nap, the surrounding countries are fairly diverse, as are the opinions with them (plenty of which are outright anti-semitism, I'm not disagreeing). But the issues are complicated by Israel's insistence that they be recognised as a "Jewish state" which has serious implications for the people whose land they have constructed "Israel" on and who are not Jewish.

    Look at a graphic showing Israeli settlements over the decades - the plan is quite simple, eat away at Palestinian territory until it ceases to exist, all the while playing "peace talks" with the US behind them, with no intention whatsoever of reaching agreement. Look at the recent wikileaks for an example.

    Or read some history on the peace talks, who broke which ceasefires, the actions of the Israeli military, etc. There are very good reasons the world, through the UN, has repeatedly found Israel at fault and in breach of international law and in breach of UN resolutions hundreds of times. As usual, the US makes sure the UN is powerless to act though and vetoes any move by the security council. Israel is annexing another state, illegally and violently - i don't see how this could be sensibly disputed. The past is the past, but thats whats happening right now.

    Wahhabism is another issue altogether. I am not a fan of religions, and far less a fan of Islam, but thats by the by - its a simple case of justice, and Israel is plainly on the wrong side of that line. Thats why they spend millions a year on international propaganda and encouraging people to mob sites like CIF.

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  16. Does anyone else get the feeling Newsnight has lost claims to impartiality ?? I don't think I've seen anyone representing the millions of actual soon-to be victims of Eric Pickles decimation of public services, on any panel. I expect this rightist slant on bullshit like QT, but Newsnight's looking more and more like Sky fucking News just lately. No representation at all. Not even included in the debate.

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  17. Afternoon all

    Not having good day. Tooth out this morning leaving throbbing pain. but much worse still, bumped into someone who told me an old friend died from swine flu on Sunday.

    MsC - Princess - you may have known him, or at least 'of' him and must have bumped into him on demos over the years. Mozaz was one of Sheffield's more eccentric sons - an anarchist of strong passions and uneven temper - but also very inteiligent, warm and kindly when not in the process of stumbling through one of his periodic psychotic episodes.

    I first met him when he and my son were about 15/16 years old and were in a band together - the Epsilons - extreme punk wall of sound as I recall but you couldn't fault them for exuberance. Its very sad he's gone - I shall miss him. He was a wonderful photographer too and documented the disappearing industrial heartlands of the city.

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  18. Bitterweed

    The BBC seems to see its future in fellating the geriatric Rupert Murdoch and his slightly more demented son.

    The BBC will be attacked further for its left-leaning bias - Nick Robinson, of course, not being a Neo-Nasty shill at all - until it becomes another obedient Fox News clone.

    The meme which is being successfully planted like a GM crop to pollute, invade and overrun everything within sight is that right wing news is harsh but truthful and anything left wing is addle-brained, sloppy and concocted by morons incapable of occupying positions of power.

    Power and money, of course, are already seen as the ultimate "good" things to which every sane person must aspire.

    To question that reveals your perilous mental state and nullifies any claim you may have to be capable of being a purveyor of propaganda.

    [I think you mean "credible news channel" - Ed]

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  19. Charles

    I think Tariq Ali puts it well, he says and I agree:

    ...the extent of the capitulation documented in the papers would have shocked even Edward Said, who at its inception described the Oslo peace process as a ‘Palestinian Versailles’:

    Even he would have been taken aback by the sheer scale of what the PLO leadership agreed to surrender: virtually everything except their own salaries. Their weaknesses, inadequacies and cravenness are now in the public domain.

    Now we know that the capitulation was total, but still the Israeli overlords of the PLO refused to sign a deal and their friends in the press blamed the Palestinians for being too difficult. They wanted Palestine to be crushed before they would agree to underwrite a few moth-eaten protectorates that they would supervise indefinitely. They wanted Hamas destroyed. The PLO agreed.

    The recent assault on Gaza was carried out with the approval of Abbas and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, not to mention Washington and its EU. The PLO sold out in a literal sense. They were bought with money and treated like servants.

    There is TV footage of Ehud Barak and Bill Clinton at Camp David playfully tugging at Arafat’s headgear to stop him leaving. All three are laughing. Many PLO supporters in Palestine must be weeping as they watch al-Jazeera and take in the scale of the betrayal and the utter cynicism of their leaders. Now we know why the Israel/US/EU nexus was so keen to disregard the outcome of the Palestinian elections and try to destroy Hamas militarily.


    How to describe the extent of this betrayal?

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  20. Sheff

    Very sorry to hear about the death of your friend.

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  21. Meanwhile, in other Broekn Britain, news, the fact that the Austerity Mum blog has been closed down has led to glum faces and grumpy behaviour at Guardian Towers.

    It had been the favourite reading of JezzaBella, Ms Handbag and Lolz Penz, who would congregate around a screen like acolytes and shriek little prayers and hymns to rampant richness, such as the classic "You Go Girl" and "Own It!" and leave little puddles of excitement on the floor.

    It hit nerves and sent little shivering heart-throbs through their very beings which things like homelessness and abuse by the state simply never could.

    RIP Thick Rich Cunt Blog

    ["Austerity Mum" blog (sigh) - Ed]

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  22. Sheff

    Very sorry to hear your sad loss.

    Rest in Peace, Mozaz.

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  23. This was just sent to me and has cheered me up a bit....very silly but if you like Eddie Izzard....

    Death Star Canteen

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  24. Sheff - sad news; sorry to hear of it.

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  25. It's a bugger Thauma - he could be a real pain in the arse at times and a bullshitter of epic proportions but was also capable of real sweetness. He had a truly creative take on things when he was on form. I'm really going to miss him bumbling around.

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  26. Thank you, Jay, for putting a thread up.

    Joe's doing round two of the flu right now and I just sort of forgot last night. It's nasty stuff. Last Friday, the building I work in had 22 students absent with it by lunch time (out of 110 students total). Eight of them had come to school but were sent home within two hours of arriving.

    Fortunately, Joe's never been much of a vomiter (hardly ever had spit-up as an infant, even), so with him it's mostly just been listlessness & running a fever.

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  27. Best wishes to Joe - hope he feels better soon.

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  28. Sheff - sorry, just seen your last.

    Sounds like a man who was worth knowing. Poor bloke - very young for the flu to carry him off.

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  29. Charles / Nap

    The holocaust is within living memory, yes, which is exactly why you should acknowledge that the Jews were not the only persecuted people. What of the Roma & the Sinti, the disabled, the gays, the blacks? Do they not count?

    And Muslims have been persecuted for centuries - do they not have the right to live peacefully?

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  30. And Charles

    It is Holocaust Memorial Day on Thursday. I suggest that you listen to some of the Untold Stories and light the candle on the website here: http://www.hmd.org.uk/

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  31. Now, for other things:

    1. @Charles: the fuckwads at Cifwatch would compare someone to Eichmann for saying that they didn't care for the gown Miss Israel wore in the Miss Universe pageant. Hardly proves your neutrality in the I/P issue.

    And, to re-ask a question that I know you've already been asked but have thus far not answered: why the fuck should the Palestinians ever have been okay with seeing their land being stolen out from under their feet?

    2. @Sheff: Sorry to hear about your friend.

    3. @Jay: Islam really isn't any scarier than any other religion, on its own. I'll grant that the way it is interpreted and practised is often pretty dire, but that's not the fault of the religion itself.

    When you think about the way Muslims have been treated in their own lands by the West until relatively recently and compare that to the conditions in which fundamentalist Christians in the US live, I think that, pound for pound, fundie Xian Americans are much, much scarier.

    These assholes live in a country where Christianity is the dominant religion with no history of persecution by foreign powers, but they scream about being hard done by because they're not allowed to force their religion down everyone else's throats.

    They murder doctors who perform perfectly legal medical procedures, they issue death threats against politicians who go against their wishes, they deny basic civil rights to people whose sexual orientation they don't like. Their religious and political beliefs are propagated 24 hours a day on national television and every day in print media.

    But they see themselves as victims because they can't carve the 10 Commandments in marble in courthouses, can't force children in state schools to recite Christian prayers, can't display their religious symbols in front of government buildings, because women they don't know have the legal right to abortion and merely by virtue of the fact that homosexuals would like to be treated like human beings with the same rights as anyone else.

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  32. evening all

    sheff
    very sad sounds a real character..

    montana

    hope joe gets over it soon and you don't get it....schools are hotbeds of viruses....

    apparently the peak for flu in italy will be, and how they put an actual date on it i don't know, will be 31st Jan to 14th feb......fingers crossed an all that! only succumbed to flu once in me life and that was when i moved here...oh the irony!!

    berlusco had a melt down last night phoning a TV show (his favorite form of communicating with "the people") on the independent channel and telling the presenter that he was "prostitute of TV" saying that the programme's presenter was also "disgusting,contemptible, and repugnant" he then said that a party official (under discussion during the programme)ex showgirl and dental hygienist to silvio, who through dare I say a series of blow jobs and other favours, was of a higher intellectual level than the women present on the panel.......the party official is implicated in providing prostitutes and lying to the police....for our dear PM......

    the presenter of the programme is one of the most highly respected journalists in Italy as is his programme.......his response was:

    "go to court you* boorish lout".......I think he spoke for many Italians.......the audience applauded.......

    *polite of form you used so a good dig....

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  33. Atomboy
    Roger all that. And we're sold this pup as if it's natural law rather than ideology. Insult on insult.

    Sheff
    Really sorry about that mate of yours. Take it easy.

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  34. right off to drink and be merry with english friend
    ...don't have to get up tomorrow full public transport strike which means i shall slink into work mid afternoon after walking there......that's assuming there aren't riots........

    thinks........prays for riots.........

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  35. Charles

    The academic left in Israel are under seige from their own gvt. and the Hasbarah shouting idiots.

    A friend of mine has recently left to go to a university in US.

    Israel has moved sharply to the right and is pushing more and more a religious fundementalist policy.

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  36. sheff

    Sorry to hear about your friend.

    Montana

    Poor Joe - keep him warm and spoil him.

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  37. @Leni:unless you are planning to become an FA accredited referee, I think your grasp of the offside rule is quite assured.
    One last point; if you are "level" you are onside, if that makes sense!

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  38. Evening all

    Just a fly-by. Not finished my work yet, but as I am waiting for a colleague who was at the hearing to call, I am having a bit of a peaceful few minutes at least.

    Very sorry to hear about your friend, Sheff. x

    Also sorry to hear that young Master Wildhack is ill too. Hope he gets better soon.

    Others have said most of what I would say about Israel in reply to Charles. Off to poke around on CiF for a minute or two.

    Missing the banter on here, but too much to do at the moment. Meh. Hugs to you all. xx

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  39. chekhov

    Yup - got the point about level. This prompted my comment on the line of sight thing for linesmen.

    Thankyou for instruction - fee for teaching services rendered is in the sloth post - very slowly on its way.

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  40. Sympathies, Sheff.

    Hope Joe gets well soon, Montana.

    * * *

    @Chekhov

    OK, that was the opening presentation. Now you start introducing the "actively involved in play" concept. ;-)

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  41. Montana et al

    The Palestinians did have land stolen from them, if you are talking about the time of the founding of Israel (although a lot of land was acquired legitimately) but at the end of the day the UN were committed to giving a Jewish homeland, which they got. if you look at the 1948 map, you will see that the Palestinian state actually got a decent chunk of land equivalent in size to the new Israel- but the arab countries chose to invade the newly established state and lost.

    Secondly, just as evil as the nabka was the expulsion from Jews from the Arab lands following 1948. Jews were lynched and murdered in street mobs, if they were lucky they were allowed to take a suitcase of their possessions.

    Thridly- the modern day issue of the Israeli settlements, I condemn entirely. These kinds of land stealing I oppose and I think we should oppose.

    AS to Israel being a majority Jewish state- while one could argue that this is 'racist', the fact is that is the result of centuries of anti Jewish hatred, which is perpetuated today in newspapers and popular movements across the middle east and to be fair also by many far right groups in Europe/America etc.

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  42. Sheff - sorry to hear your sad news.

    Montana sorry about Joe hope he is better soon

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  43. On a less inflamed note, happy Burns night.

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  44. Bloody hell, Spike, I was hoping no-one was going to mention that!

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  45. Charles,
    "Jews were lynched and murdered in street mobs, if they were lucky they were allowed to take a suitcase of their possessions."

    Interesting "fact" you quote. It would be nice to know that you haven't based it solely on Israeli literature...

    "the result of centuries of anti Jewish hatred, which is perpetuated today in newspapers and popular movements across the middle east"

    erm "anti jewish hatred"? That means people don't like Jews being persecuted, which was certainly the reason why there was never any inquisition, pogrom, or final solution used in the muslim world - not ever. You might just have accidentally used an oxymoron.

    To be to fair to you, Charles, you do stick up for Israel and your viewpoint, with an honest belief in the validity of your opinions.

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  46. Charles, I hope you don't take it as offensive if I say that you have a limited understanding of history.

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  47. Re I/P

    Its very complex. I am inclined to a view that Israek should never have been founded - but it was and we now,60 years later have to deal with the present situation.

    On the one hand, since the fall of the Ottoman Empire in WW1, the west (initially mainly the French and the British but later and crucially the US) has inflicted the humiliation of colonialism on the peoples of the middle east. The events that lead to the foundation of the State of Israel amounted to yet another blow to Arab pride.

    On the other hand the holocaust which was a terrible conclusion to more than 1000 years of persecution of the jewish people who during that time had no state to speak for their diaspora. During that time the phrase 'Next year in Jerusalem' was part of their prayers. During those terrible events in WW2 which as others have said had many many non-Jewish victims, the west did not exactly cover themselves with glory, often refusing entry to Jewish refugees.

    In years immediately following WW2 Zionist settling of Palestine which had been a trickle for many years, became a flood and the result was the foundation of the state of Israel as a 'homeland where Jews could feel safe'. (How ironic that seems now!) Possibly as a result of guilt and with the images of the camps fresh in their memories, the UN recognised the state of Israel. In other words we gave them someone else's land. As Palestine was at the time a British protectorate ,Britain is very complicit.

    So what do we have two populations who were by today largely born in the region and consider it to be home. A very high proportion of the Israeli population were holocaust survivors and a case can be made I think for a kind of collective PTSD which has been passed down the generations as an exagerated defensiveness which is inevitably exacerbated by the totally justified resentment of surrounding Arab populations. A lethal mix.

    The onset of the cold war and the development of Stalinist regimes in some parts of the ME has led to the US supporting Israel as an outpost against the East(USSR). The development of neocon policies in the US (remeber the Project for an American Century? - not sure if I've got the name right!) in a bid to control oil allowed the continuation of US support for Israel.

    This has allowed Israel to become a bully claiming to be defending a beleaguered state. Their actions have become intolerable nothing excuses the dreadful conditions endured by the Palestinian people.

    The ordinary people of Israel feel insecure, feeling encouraged by increasingly belligerent regimes. The conditions of the Palestinians becomes worse every day. Yet there are brave individuals on both sides who work tirelessly for peace who are able to surmount the great weight of hateful propaganda on both sides and see each other as human beings...

    human beings trapped in a nightmare scenario that the governments on both sides have a vested interest in sustaining.

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  48. "This has allowed Israel to become a bully claiming to be defending a beleaguered state."

    Indeed Annetan and it would seem that Charles would like the victims of this bully to apologise for hurting the bully's fist with their faces.

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  49. TBH I feel that a single state in which the religious rights of both peoples are defended is the only really sensible answer.

    But we are a very long way from that in the meantime just another ghastly mess western colonialism has inflicted on the world.

    meanwhile here in Britain the grandchildren of those who bullied the peoples of a whole empire now only have their own 'lower orders' to bully.

    Sigh!

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  50. @Sheff, sad news indeed.

    @Montana, hope the lad gets well soon. Sounds a bitlike our girl who has never been a problem, we are so .

    @Charles, I'm afraid Israel has pushed it's luck too far. Shooting innocent people and then getting off scot-free. I saw a program on the telly that mentioned the orthodox religious sect in that country are exempt from work and are thus paid to do their own thing. Not sure how that would go down in the UK.

    As for the offside rule and all things footy, I am adverse to football 'fans' after experiencing one of their (very drunk) people giving me a hard time on the train. So as for the Sky Sport report - no surprise at all., fantastic reporting of what it is like to live in Italy. I Can't go back since I dodged a fine for driving through a resident's only zone in Pisa and did not pay the Euro 100 fine... :-( I will be arrested at the boarder and slung in prison.

    @gandolfo

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  51. Big demo in Tahrir Sq Cairo - and I think others going on to.

    Protesters take over Tahrir Sq

    As an Egyptian friend once said "I advise all the Arabs not to wait for the Egyptians - we wake up once every 1000 years for short time then we sleep again." Looks like they may have woken up!

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  52. Oh, Sheff, this is not going to end well... I know Tunisians and Egyptians. Big difference in outlook, where the military are concerned.

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  53. Ooof.

    Not going to end well in Egypt, that's fo' sho'.

    More power to their elbows, though.

    Just finished me work and "Brassed Off" is just about to start on Film4, so I shall collapse in front of that.

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  54. sheff + habib

    i fear for the Egyptian people.

    Riots may well spread - Abbas's sell out of his people and the refugees will inflame many, paricularly if Us and other western nations do not come out very strongly in favour of the Palestinians.

    So much to be angry about.

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  55. Great series going on all week on Justice on BBC4 - with Michael Sandal, prof at Harvard. Bentham and Kant tonight - consequential v categorical moral reasoning.

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  56. I never get fed up of watching "Brassed Off" - thanks for the notice BB

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  57. Mungo quite fancies a purple bandsman's walking out jacket......


    I'm off to see Miss Hiedi (of Whitby) Dog tommorrow

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  58. Habib/Leni/BB

    this is not going to end well...

    I fear not.

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  59. Deano

    I can just see that reprobate Mungo in one of those purple jackets with the gold braid and a nice gold M on his badge... :o)

    I hope he approves of Miss Hiedi. xx

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  60. deano

    Miss Heidi looks very sweet. Hope the meeting goes well for all concerned. She sure won't be shy for long if she comes home with Mungo!

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  61. Incredible that I should be reading NapKaramazov defending the actions of the state of Israel. Although, judging by his other right-wing comments, perhaps not so surprising after all.

    There is one issue that needs resolving with respect to the I/P question (and not that 'complicated', only to those wishing to obfuscate):

    The systematic and continuing disenfranchisement of the Palestinians and the Bedouin. It's nothing to do with Holocaust memory (a risible suggestion) or anything else, but with the fact that millions of *stateless* Palestinians have been living as refugees in various countries for more than 60 years.

    I know a postgraduate student who is stateless, who relies on begging at embassies to provide him with one-off travel documents only to be treated like dogshit at the borders. If something happens to his family back 'home' (or rather back 'refugee'), he would not be able to simply travel back. He's not some kind of Islamist-Israel-hater, but someone who is doing a doctoral degree in the arts and humanities. He and his famiyl have been living like this for over 60 years. There are *millions* who have been living like this.

    And these are just one aspect of the disempowerment of Palestinians. We could talk about the marginalisation and expropriation of the Bedouin (who took up positions in the British imperial official structures only to be shat on by Israel).

    We could talk about the humiliation of Palestinians who have to undergo repeated checks in their own fucking country, who are treated as third class citizens, and who are then told to behave and shut up.

    We could talk about the outrage of the concentration camp that is Gaza and the countless arbitrary deaths, which are then blamed on Hamas' 'human shields'.

    All this, but NapoleonKaramazov tells us about Israelis being scared because of the 'living' memory of the Holocaust. Do me a fucking favour!

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  62. That Pullman article is stunning.

    I have been to Egypt farily recently and stayed with my Egyption pal who works in Cairo. The stakes for US, Iran, Saudi and Israel are massive, and the anger is building up nicely... just hope it doesn't go fundamentalist...

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  63. Yep, good on Pullman. A man who speaks sense.

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  64. Olching - good points well made, as per.

    BW - ditto that on the fundamentalist bit. It strikes me that the Egyptian protesters are opposing oppression, so it is hard to imagine that they would be militating for a different brand of oppression somehow.

    Interesting and worrying times...

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  65. Pullman seems to put out a stonking good piece about once every couple of years, it seems. I dunno if anyone remembers the one he did in The Times in Feb 09?

    Malevolent voices that despise our freedoms

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  66. Beautiful line in Brassed Off just now, talking about God

    "What's God bloody doing? He can take John Lennon. He can take those three lads at Ainsley pit. He's just about to take my Dad. And Margaret Thatcher lives?!"

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  67. Olching The systematic and continuing disenfranchisement of the Palestinians and the Bedouin. It's nothing to do with Holocaust memory (a risible suggestion) or anything else, but with the fact that millions of *stateless* Palestinians have been living as refugees in various countries for more than 60 years.

    This is true. However the way that modern Zionism plays on the holocaust together with the likelihood that a high proportion of the original citizens of the State of Israel were survivors may explain (but not excuse)the behaviour of the SOI.

    It is after all thought that individuals who suffer extreme abuse can (in some cases) become abusers. It may partially explain why so many supporters of the state of Israel claim victimhood when it is, as you point out, abundantly clear that the Palestinians are the victims of appalling war crimes. OTOH it is also true that individual bullies often claim to be themselves victims of bullying.

    This is a pov that is excoriated by GIYUS of course. Gets you called an anti semite ! Which is why I avoid I/P threads on Cif.

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  68. @BB; that link to the Pullman article in the Times doesn't work. (404'd)

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  69. Thanks for the linky, MsChin. Sold to the woman in the funny wig. :o)

    Anne - I keep well away from I/P threads too. Once bitten, twice shy and all that...

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  70. BBs linky works fine for me, chekhov

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  71. Working for me, Chekhov

    Here's the actual URL:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article5811412.ece

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  72. "....If this lot were seals or whales you'd be up in arms...." - fine film.

    So little left of the pits

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  73. msChin Oh yes! Think I'll join the queue for this too

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-BZIWSI5UQ

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  74. Chekhov - really pleased to read of the finding of your dad's treasures.

    I look forward to seeing it at one of our get-togethers.

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  75. Thanks BB.

    Annetan, all true, though the idea that somehow the Holocaust extracts (or legitimises) something uniquely is, as we both agree, risible.

    It's funny, isn't it, when it is pointed out that some post-colonial countries may be burdened by the real, tangible legacies of colonialism (e.g. ineffective *structures* etc...), this point is laughed out of town by right-wingers ('Oh come on! It's 50 years now since independence!').

    But when explaining one of the systemic worst forms of violence on earth, they point to 'post-traumatic stress' of an event that happened 70 years ago, as if that explains why IDF meat-heads regularly execute people.

    Of course implicit in that is that 'Africans' cannot suffer the same level of trauma as white Israelis and thus the only post-trauma - if we have to speak of this - that could possibly have been suffered in the last 70 years is that of white European Jews (this added to only recently as white Americans and Europeans suffer post-trauma of 9/11 and 7/7, which then of course neatly explains why weddings are regularly bombed in Afghanistan, countries invaded, and random individuals tortured...but colonial structures, you know the real tangible stuff that make up a country, no way...only the psychological bits of white men).

    You know, the funny thing is that Israelis didn't politicise the Holocaust that much until the 60s when they realised that with the support of '68' (initially) the Holocaust became a good cudgel with which to bomb people and steal land.

    In these actions, the SOI has shown itself to be the most disrespectful actor towards the memory of those murdered during the Holocaust (as if Netanyahu feels anything *but* contempt for peasant Jews from the Carpathian area).

    Sorry about this rant, it's just that NapKaramazov's post pissed me off something rotten. In light of the revelations vis-a-vis I/P, his comments appear to be particularly callous.

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  76. Sorry about your friend Sheff

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  77. Olching

    A good rant is always a pleasure to read. And whilst young Nap sure has a way of pissing people off big time, his verbiage often does provoke a good rant in reponse.

    NN all.

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  78. BB
    Muslem Brotherhood are noted in their absense by the Guardian account. I need to understand what's behind these recent killings though. And the trouble is, it seems 'democracy' is viewed there as both desirable and as a sham, in equal parts...

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  79. Danny's speech

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKx3MUqzCcQ

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  80. The last thing we need is another attempt at a theocracy in the middle east/north Africa, BW.

    Too tired to think straight. Mind you, I have had two pints of our home brew, so that might explain it as well. Was His Lordship's idea, seeing as he stumbled across some old plastic kegs in the loft a while back, so we brewed some "Yorkshire Bitter" type beer for Xmas - got the kit off t'intawebz for less than 20 squiddlys - and made 25 litres of the stuff. Lovely it is.

    NN all xx

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  81. Hi Sheff - I am so sorry about your friend - I have only just checked in. I didn't know him but he sounds like a really interesting character.

    Sending you a big hug. xx

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  82. I believe it's "Margaret bloody Thatcher lives"...

    I love that film. And that is the best line in it.

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  83. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  84. Atomboy - that link to the 'Curb the Banks' article was blood boiling! Just been watching the great and the good on Newsnight tonight - they are all singing from slightly different levels of neo-liberalism. Even Balls didn't dare say anything Keynsian. When did we become so right wing that to be a Keynsian was akin to being a communist in fifties America??

    Olching - you said yesterday that you think we may be on the cusp of something major but probably not good - maybe even a major move rightwards. I agree I just think there is this real tension in the air - an awful feeling of something building. But I think the powers that be will do all they can to prevent anything socialist occuring even if that means getting into bed with real hardline fascistic movements.

    Thauma - hi back from yesterday - how are you? How is tricks? Do you reckon you might be able to come Sheffieldward anytime soon?

    Deano - hello! Hope you doing okay?

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  85. Any news of James ?

    james - come in James.

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  86. Evening all

    I think i'm more or less back-again!! Have been having all sorts of IT problems.Really need to upgrade my IT skills as i think i made the problem worse than it was.Haven't had a chance to read the threads over the last few days so i've got some catching up to do.Hope all's well with everyone.

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  87. I deleted because comment did not really express what i feel.

    Charles

    the treatment of the Palestinians and the Bedou is inhuman. You really need to extend your reading.

    the refugees are dismissed as irrelevant. Read some of the comments on Cif about their suffering.

    There are Israelis who oppose the policies of this and previous I gvts. but they have no voice at the moment.

    The constant reiteration of the H story will not buy sympathy for the Israeli gvt. and by extension the attempts to use it to justify the mistreatment of the Palestinians destroys understanding of the difficulties many Israelis face.

    At some point we have to move on from the past if we want a future. Millions of people in the ME are trapped in a never ending nightmare. Punishing people completely innocent of the crimes committed against Jewish people in the past is irrational - more importantly it begets hatred and prolongs the horrible situation.

    You think you have it bad Charles - look into the past and the present conditions for people of your age in the refugee camps. Lives lived without hope and facing a bleak future.

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  88. Is anyone feeling especially revisionist tonight?

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  89. "Its very complex. I am inclined to a view that Israek should never have been founded - but it was and we now,60 years later have to deal with the present situation."

    Yes Anne, but the events of the 20th century surely made it inevitable. Or are you one of the people that say 'the Jewish homeland should have been in Eastern Europe'.

    the others.
    I would rather have a civil converstation with you all, which to be fair we largely do, and I'd rather not be called a rightwinger Olching as I'm not. I accept it isn't going to happen, and I also think that debating the I/P issue is nigh on impossible on any web forum. I'm sorry about your stateless person friend btw Olching.

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  90. Hi Paul,

    Long time no see. How are you? Got some news the other day that the Tories (sorry coalition) are planning - directly against promises made - to test the most severe cases of those on Incap first as they roll out the move to ESA - including all those who are exempt from medicals under incap rules!

    Vicious fucking bastards!

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  91. You are aware, Charles, that using phrases like 'one of the people' is one of those things you do that polarises debate, and kind of hacks people off?

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  92. Hi princess

    Left a post on waddya about that just a little while ago.Just when you think the ConDems couldn,t sink any lower!Thing is they know most of those severe cases which are declared to be 'fit for work' won't/can't sign on for JSA so they'll just 'disappear',the tabloids will make out they were skiving all along and the government will probably invest the savings in trident! Those bastards really make my blood boil but i'm hoping that direct action will close a lot of the ATOS Centres down and the more responsible sectors of the media-if they still exist-will wise up to what's going on.

    BTW those claiming NI credits only will be the last to be tested cos obviously there aren't too many savings to be made with them.Hope you're well :-)

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  93. @BB: don't worry I'm sure I can manage to find it myself.
    @Sheff: so sorry to hear about your sad loss.
    @Deano: it was your enquiry that led to the search for our familie's "holy grail" and I would be delighted to share it with you at the earliest available opportunity.

    BTW: does anyone have or have had kids that struggle with maths?
    Amelie is getting increasingly distraught because she can't understand long division and I'm not much use because I was in the same position at her age so I know how she feels.

    But that's what we have schools for isn't it? So that professional mathematicians can teach what we can't?

    Anyway, here's the thing: at Amelie's school they have a "Mental Maths" test each morning (nowt wrong with that) but the crucial bit is they only have 15 seconds to answer each question.

    This is totally insane. From my experience Amelie can reason some logic about maths if given the time to do so but once she is put under the pressure of a time limit she just hazards a guess and hopes for the best.

    She might never become a brilliant mathematician but give the girl a chance FFS!

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  94. Meerkat

    'one of them'
    'one of a group'
    'part of the '
    'echo the ones'
    'echo the people who say'
    'support the view of'
    ' similar to those who assert'

    It doesn't really make any difference.
    Goodnight.

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  95. Meant to say 'tridents replacement ..'

    @Hi Charlie-are you creating waves again?Haven't read the thread so don't know what you've said this time.Are you still still going to Russia?

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  96. Morning Paul

    chekhov

    Drill Amelie in her tables till she knows them by heart.

    Cut up squares of paper - it halves, quarters etc and help her to understand what happens if you take away an eighth etc.

    try to make it fun and practical - use things like the food you eat - its division between people. Anything that makes it relevant. Arithmetic is not theory - many schools fail to get this across.

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  97. Paul, Yeah they are sick shits they really are - they are the ones who need medicals - to find out if they even have beating hearts!

    I hope you are right re Atos - the truly heartbreaking thing is that even those supposed to help the most vulnerable - charity's like Mind etc are colluding with these changes just to try and get in on the contracts - it is absolutely apalling.

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  98. BTW: I don't comment on any thread to do with "I/P" 'coz I know bugger all about it.

    The information of the enlightenment about the "offside" rule in Association Football is much more conducive to World Peace as I'm sure Leni will tell you later since her conversion to the "Why doesn't that Bastard Have a White Stick" brigade!

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  99. Chekov - I was DIRE at maths. My mum and dad even got me a private teacher and I still couldn't pass my GCSE. I was like your daughter - it freaked me if they put me under pressure. We had this big hairy sports teacher - I remember him so well - that took our maths class and he used to shout questions at you and if you couldn't answer them the board rubber would come whizzing past your head.

    But in the end I got firsts in my finance and accounting modules in my biz degree and I ended up getting all my Financial Planning Cert exams - so I CAN do maths obviously. It still scares me a lot I have to admit and it takes me a long time to learn but I can do it. It always seems to make more sense to me in 'real world' scenarios. I am that bad that for a long time anything with numbers scared me to death - I couldn't even read a train timetable!

    I think it is a massive confidence thing. It is like a different language maths is. Good maths teachers are vital - but in my experience seem few and far between.

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  100. princess

    Yes - the BS is having the desired result already.

    Cooperate or die - question our policy and we will withdraw funding. Be good children and you will get a share of the funding we have just taken away from some other poor beggar.

    unless the big orgs. stand together on this and oppose what is happening they will all be knocked down.

    Just like those who support cuts in HB or whatever they too will find that once the weakest have gone to the wall theyn new targets will be found.

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  101. Paul. All I've lain out on the table is my assertation that (IMHO) the only way I can see peace happening in the mideast is if the reaming arab countries accept the sovereign right of a fellow UN member state, founded on a UN mandate, to merely exist.

    Who after all questions the right of Finland or Tuvalu to exist?

    Russia application in the post. Probly won't go off till march.

    Really NN.

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  102. @Leni: I was invloved with a "family learning" programme at Amelie's school and in spite of my own inadequacy with maths I found myself pointing out to the teacher that 5 lots of 3 were not the same as 3 lots of 5!

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  103. chekhov

    i am working on a proposal for the UN based on my new found understanding.

    the basic premise is that an armed IDF man seen further east beyond the green line than a citizen of Palestine should be ruled offside - or perhaps issued with a white stick and invalided out of the service.

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  104. chekhov

    Working with children and trying to understand their difficulties made it obvious that many of them understood more than they realised.

    On standard test they did badly - the same questions in a practical situation they could generally answer. Getting them to connect the practical with what was presented as the theoretical was the next task - most made sudden leaps forward and realised they 'got it'

    Only connect

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  105. @Princess: what really pisses me off is that Amelie is getting stressed out 'coz she can't do the sums within the 15 second limit when I know fine well she can do them given a bit more time.

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  106. Leni,

    Yes all too deppresingly true. Still I see the Express has managed to distract us from the 'wrong kind of snow' double dip - by repeating almost word for word a six months old Mail article about how 75% of those 'on the sick' are well enough to work.

    On that depressing note I am going to try and sleep - might be back later if I can't.

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  107. "the basic premise is that an armed IDF man seen further east beyond the green line than a citizen of Palestine should be ruled offside - or perhaps issued with a white stick and invalided out of the service. "

    There you go Leni; I knew you would finally get how an understanding of the offside rule would ultimately lead to World peace!

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  108. Charlie

    I'll come back to you about the middle east issue.I'm glad your Russian trip is still going ahead.Hopefully the experience will improve your job prospects as well as getting you out of the rut you're in.I assume you'll be able to continue with your OU degree as i know they have centres in most parts of the world know.And it really would be a shame if you gave that up.All the best!

    @Hi Leni/chekhov

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  109. Me heart goes out to Amelie, it's horrible not being able to get your head around stuff that everybody else seems to get. All you can do is muddle through, sometimes.

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  110. I guess pretty much everybody has gone to bed by now. Paul, good to know you're still alive and kicking. I wish Turminder would let us know that he is.

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  111. Here's my favourite tune from Suzanne Vega for all the nightshifters.(plus i wanted to check the links were still working)

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  112. Hi Habib

    You seem to have pissed off someone from waddya who was lurking here earlier.Was regarding the debate here about the middle east which i haven't yet fully read.Thought i'd let you know not that it's gonna give you a sleepless night or nuthin'.Yeah i hope turminder's OK.Nice bloke!

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  113. Ha ha, Paul, is someone looking for a fight?

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  114. @Heyhabib: most of us seem to "muddle through" all the shit that is thrown at us. I find that perversley inspiring!

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  115. chekhov + Habib

    Lofe is like bog snorkling - you sometimes wonder why you bother but in the middle of the mud and mess there are good things.

    We do survive - problems are often made worse through comparison with others. Takes time to have the confidence to be yourself and not see your own accomplishments/perceived failures beyond the mirror of other people.

    Night to you both and to Paul too. xx

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  116. "perversley inspiring!"
    I must remember to have that engraved on my tombstone...

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  117. Life not lofe - though loafing about has its attractions.

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  118. Here's a track from Bob James Am thinking of using the picture as my avatar.

    @Nite Leni x

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  119. Paul, you play great tunes, new to me. Cheers!

    Unfortunately, the tosser on waddya wasn't worth it, for a full on.

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  120. Habib

    I just think if people from waddya choose to lurk here and see something they don't like they should address it here instead of running back there and bitchin' about us either individually or as a group.Thing is i'm bored of havin' that particular argument with people over there.

    Here's a track fromIsaac Hayes and on that note i'm gonna have to sign off as i've got stuff to do.Hope you're OK my friend.You weren't too well last time i was here.Whatever it was i hope you're now on the mend as they say.:-)

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  121. We do that slagging off thing on UT all the time, to be fair.

    Health will find me when I'm worthy of it.

    Salaam, brother Paul, and sleep well.

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  122. You're right Habib it does cut both ways.Not sure i like the sound of this worthyness bs though.You sounded almost catholic when you said that.You are worthy of good health and you do whatever it is you need to do to get yourself fit y'hear me ? Thats' an order! Really gotta go now so you take care of yourself bro'.

    Nite all!

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  123. Are you still at large habib?

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  124. Only just, medve, gotta song or an argument?

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  125. Or, alternatively, a balanced point of view that I could learn something from?

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  126. habib

    I might have some tips for young Amelie, but would not presume to try and teach you anything. Having read your earlier posts there is not too much to argue about. Oh well..

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  127. Too Good!!!! I used to be a goth you know, even with brown skin! Ha ha !

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  128. habib

    White Rasta, brown Goth, pink Punk, why not?

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  129. Polar bears have black skin and translucent fur, yet they appear to be white. Is there a lesson for us there?

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