01 February 2011

01/02/11

The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.
-Martin Mull

119 comments:

  1. orning all!

    MsChin = settled in quite well thanks. Flat is very convenient and very easy to clean.

    This will leave me more time to be on here:) Once I've come out of hibernation tend to skee[ through Jan/Feb!!!

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  2. Grrrrrrrrr sleep through Jan/Feb!

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  3. Jon Snow on Desert Island Discs apparently again mentioned the time when he had the chance to shoot Idi Amin.

    Frog2 (Dave from France) yesterday said this:

    There comes a time when normal civilised discourse is not enough; they look you straight in the eyes and fuck you over. WE, being civilised , restrained, maybe a little cowardly too,fear any descent into violence, because it's not our scene.

    So we have to think of ways of 'fucking right back at them'.


    Someone I vaguely know said, during the dying days of the previously most hated government in living memory:

    "Something has to happen. It cannot go on like this. It's just a question of who throws the first brick. People like us have too much to lose."

    [I think he is under a misapprehension about me, by the way. Or he could be right]

    So, in Egypt they are hoping to get a million people on the streets.

    Before George and Tony's Iraq War Spectacular (I'm a Global Statesman) Show, we had a million people marching in the streets.

    We still got taken into war by our magnificent leaders. [Thick as pig-shit oxygen thieves, surely - Ed]

    So, today's starter for ten is this:

    What would we - realistically - do, both individually and collectively to change things? Would we be just tiny and isolated groups, unable to achieve critical mass? What methods would the state employ to maintain their position against mass opposition?

    Obviously, that's really three starters, so thirty points potentially up for grabs.

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  4. See how quickly a situation which seemed spontaneous and utterly unpredictable can suddenly seem to fall into place to form an already established masterplan.

    Let's Bomb Iran!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/8293568/Liam-Fox-Iran-could-have-nuclear-weapons-next-year.html

    Liam Fox: Iran could have nuclear weapons next year

    The West should assume the Islamic Republic will be nuclear-armed by 2012 and “act in accordance” with that timetable, the Defence Secretary has said.

    ....

    Lucky or what?!

    Mr Tony was right all along.

    After all, with him as a Middle East Peace Envoy, how could any of this end up with anything other than the whole area being bombed to kingdom come?

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  5. @Atomboy:

    ”...What would we - realistically - do, both individually and collectively to change things?”

    Out of interest, what do you want to change? Just curious really – I know you’re very strong on the metaphors and all, and you clearly don’t care for the Tories/The Graun/Liberals much, but I can’t remember your ever saying what kind of society/economy/foreign policy you do want to see in this country.

    Now, I’ve rightly been accused of being an inattentive reader before, so I might just not have been, err, y'know, paying attention. That being the case, is there an Atomboy manifesto nailed onto a cathedral door somewhere that I can have a look at?

    No bother if not, obviously.

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  6. Brilliant post from BenCaute:

    Every worker shall have the right to live in a representative democracy with free elections of a legislature and executive for a maximum term of five years SAVE ALWAYS THAT any pretence of democracy will go out the window as soon as the worker crosses the threshold of the workplace or is otherwise giving his or her time to their employer ("being at work").

    When any worker is at work the rules of feudalism shall apply. Feudalism means:
    a) there shall be no democracy
    b) the boss has divine right of absolute rule
    c) all workers are created unequal according to their pay grade
    d) each worker's rights shall be determined by their status in the cosmic order. Some workers (serfs) will be tied to their desk and must work their desk for life. Vagabonds must hotdesk.
    e) Middle managers shall be lords of the manor which little empire they may protect by force of arms. Middle managers will have right of prima noces over their staff.
    f) the temporal power of the boss is subject always to the spiritual power of the holy economists. The religion of feudalism shall by Capitalism according to the Chicago Creed.
    g) anyone who commits blasphemy or heresy against the Chicago Creed will be declared a sinnah and shall have their status reduced or will be sacked.
    h) Each worker`s body belongs to the boss. Each worker`s mind belongs to the boss. Each worker`s soul belongs to the economists.
    i) Each worker`s family, friend`s, society, environment are outside of the law. The occupy the terra nulius. They live in the state of nature which is a form of primitive slavery. They are natural slaves and the bosses are therefore their natural masters. The natural slaves may be exploited, pillaged and subject to all dominion as the bosses see fit, may capitalism save their souls.

    Truly the workplace, which occupies most of the life of most people most of the time, is a medieval fiefdom subject to its own crazed theology. What does constitutional democracy mean when it designates the workplace as a 'private dominion' so that every day the reality is the experience of serfdom.

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  7. Atomboy/Swifty.
    Surely the first and best thing would be a series of mass popular nonviolent protests that split the coalition apart. With no working majority I would hope this would act as a a trigger for fresh elections, but it is possible that a minority government could hang on to power for several more years--Who wnats five more years of this dead coalition?

    Ideas about a socialist revolution and 'overthrowing capitalism' will hold no ground with the majority and will just condemn any movement to the SWP rentamob types. What we need are elections. Preferably with decent electoral reform but I'll concede that can wait. If you really are committed to socialist principles, best wait until electoral reform comes in and then with the max 15% of the electoral reform you'll get a better chance of being elected.

    One of the lessons of Egypt is how the people have faith in the army and to some extent the police. In Britain it would be more common to shout abuse at them, call them fascists, call them pigs etc. I have a fair few friends and acquaintances in he army and I can honestly say they are not jack booted thugs. Show them a little respect in any upcoming popular demonstration (I would hope the army wouldn't have to be called in though) and they will respect you.

    So that's my manifesto nailed to the Cathedral door. Ignore concepts like socialism and revolutions and get a broad as possible movement to bring fresh elections. We are in a situation where even Daily Mailers (beyond stories of PC gone mad and johhny foreigner) realise the toff-fucking they are receiving, they realise how much we are being shafted by things like non paying of tax, massive tuition fees etc.

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  8. Charles

    I have a fair few friends and acquaintances in he army and I can honestly say they are not jack booted thugs. Show them a little respect in any upcoming popular demonstration (I would hope the army wouldn't have to be called in though) and they will respect you.

    Shame that didn't work at Tiananmen Square in 1989.

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  9. Mostly, that "something" will be decided for the wrong reasons, in all probability more pragmatic or cosmetic than ideological, and then snowball.

    I could say that I think the very rich - obviously no definition of when that kicks in - should be taxed quite aggressively and not be allowed to sidestep those taxes. The money should be allocated to help the poor in an immediate financial way, rather than schemes to provide them with finger-painting evening-classes.

    I think single mothers who have put two fingers up to paying their television licence should not be in jail, but gangs of youths high on drugs and booze who kick someone to death for telling them not to throw bricks through the windows of every car in the street should probably be in a super-prison doing long hours of hard labour for about 25 years.

    I think Broekn Britain should start to punch at its current and future weight of a nation on the decline and likely to plunge further down the economic snake than it will ever climb up the ladder of success. Stop trying to be a partner to America, as if they are still a colony and we are looking after our brash and gangly younger brother. Settle quietly to a level about on par with New Zealand, where nothing is really expected of you.

    As to the analogies - they are fun and an easy shorthand method of getting an idea across.

    RapidEddie said that many people who comment do a better job of things than the people who are supposed to know what they are talking about and get paid for their opinions.

    The important thing he said, though, was that we tend to post comments quickly, the idea formed and then basically waiting for our crazy typing fingers to catch up.


    Cont/...

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  10. ...cont

    This is certainly all I have ever done. I never apply much thought to what I write and do not bother much what happens to it once it is released into the wild.

    I know that various people here do things in the real world to help change things according to their viewpoints.

    I also know that people have tried or intended to do other things and I am not sure whether any of those have actually got off the ground.

    I am just inquisitive to know what people might do and what might have to happen beforehand in order to propel them into that action.

    The most powerful man on earth entered office with the high hopes of almost everyone and now seems to be the bloke who everyone has forgotten and of whom nobody expects anything.

    He at least occupies a position which would notionally allow him to change the world.

    He seems to have been hobbled and constrained and browbeaten and diminished to the point where his purpose seems to be to teach us that politicians no longer hold power or the competence to exercise it.

    So how on earth will we manage?

    I know this does not answer your question.

    At least, I hope it doesn't.

    It wasn't intended that it should, anyway.

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  11. OK

    Fucked that up completely, it seems.

    That was to SwiftyBoy.

    Most of it seems to be missing.

    Obviously, when Blogger says you have too many words and you then try to split it up and do a copy and paste, don't throw half the bits away until you know you have stuck them down good and proper.

    Skip over it.

    I didn't answer your question.

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  12. Just had some bad news my cousin, who is about 5 years younger than me has just died. She had breast cancer and sadly it spread.

    I have lost so many people...

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  13. Sorry to hear that, Annetan. Sympathy.

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  14. Sorry to hear of your loss Anne.

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  15. Oh ffs, Checkhov, I omitted a word from the sentence.

    "attempted to be DEFENDING PeterBrackan and NapK"

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  16. Hello Anne

    I am sorry - to lose a sister is a big thing. Hope you have someone with you for comfort.

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  17. Charles

    Do you think an election would change anything ? NuLab may slow things down a bit but would be little different otherwise.

    We would still have the same choices from among the same candidates most of whom share similar beliefs.

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  18. Atoms

    Agreed about direct help to the poor - certainly not finger painting or food vouchers via a charity. We certainly do not want the BS - this will be another overarching control mechanism.

    I would also like to see real power over personal decisions - not choices made within a closely protected structure which determines what you can and cannot do.

    Local schemes - some get off the ground , many fail because they cannot be fitted into the funding parameters. All too often we are told what it is we want to do - or be - through control mechanisms which govern funding. Funding is often capital only for a fixed term with little or no revenue support.

    Many local initiatives are simply palliative and do not address or solve the actual problem. Very few escape routes for individuals.

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  19. Just been looking at education changes which will marginalise deaf children.

    At what point do all these measures against the disabled, the poor and the elderly people of Britain become eugenics ?

    Spring has arrived here - so back to my garden.

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  20. @Anne:

    I’m very sorry to hear that, sincere condolences to you. Take it easy and remember the good things about her life.

    @Atomboy:

    “...I know this does not answer your question.

    At least, I hope it doesn't.

    It wasn't intended that it should, anyway....”


    Oh OK then, suit yourself, but I think it did. I’m maybe a bit less isolationist when it comes to the role the UK should be playing in international affairs, but not much, to be honest, and as to the rest of it, well, wouldn't disagree with any of it.

    For what that's worth, obviously.

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  21. Leni-election yes. When people voted in May, voters, even Tory voters, did not vote for the current ideology or broken promises. Especially those who voted Lib Dem.

    I would of course prefer electoral reform Leni, which would somewhat break the strangehold of the 3 main parties and the safe seat mafia.

    Labour are 10 points ahead in the polls. It's up to you whether you can stomach them. I can't beleive I'm saying that I might support them, but then again this is the first time in adult life that I've lived under the Tories.

    The trouble is that no one can present a viable alternative to representative Democracy, at least in the European consensus model rather than the Parliamentary model. I don't want to have to vote for a party I don't really like simply on a 'lesser of two evils' count.

    Anne, my sympathies.

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  22. Anne

    Sorry to hear of your loss.Take care of yourself and remember you're not alone :-)

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  23. Anne

    Very sorry to read your news.

    As Shiloh says, remember the good times and feel happy if you can laugh and enjoy them, by yourself or with others.

    I think it makes you feel more connected and I would certainly want people to do it in my case.

    SwiftyBoy

    I think almost anything which is worth thinking about ends up being too complicated to squeeze into boxes and attach labels and somehow imagine that you have, by that process, sorted things out in any intelligent way.

    Life and the world are not quite the same as helping a toddler sort out their clothes and toys to make the place tidy before they drop off to sleep and you hit the bottle.

    The problem for anyone who has some kind of social conscience and sees the tangled way things are connected is that the very complexity implies unforeseen outcomes and consequences, which you have to at least attempt to double-guess as you try to unravel things.

    For those who think the lives of everyone are only about each pursuing their own ends and that this settles down into beneficial outcomes for all, the plan is more simple.

    Actually, it just boils down to: "I'm in it for me and fuck everyone else", variously dressed up and packaged to make it more palatable and saleable.

    To use one simple "box", the intellectual standpoint which we may broadly call "the Right" has been holding both the reins and the purse-strings for thousands of years.

    This makes it hardly surprising that the task of proposing alternatives or workable methods of change is incredibly complicated.

    Especially when the cry from those who think they might be losers from change are always happy to claim that nothing else works.

    "Look at communism!" they squeal. "Look at how terribly that little scheme worked out."

    Communism still hasn't been tried.

    Leni

    Agree completely.

    The problem is that those who think they have the answers do not, but they have the means and methods to impose what amount to little more than harebrained schemes on everyone else.

    Mrs Thatcher was keen to say that you cannot just throw money at problems.

    As far as poverty goes, it hasn't really been tried.

    Whether at home or abroad, it is notionally aimed at those who need it, but cunningly intercepted by those who already have too much.

    Anyway, no real time to get into this properly but in hope that others will fill some of the vast gaping holes and gaps.

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  24. @Atomboy:

    ”...The problem for anyone who has some kind of social conscience and sees the tangled way things are connected is that the very complexity implies unforeseen outcomes and consequences, which you have to at least attempt to double-guess as you try to unravel things...”

    Yes fair enough, calculation and circumspection are fine things... but if everything was analysed to the nth degree and every possible outcome and knock-on effect, however improbable, was triangulated and viewed “holistically”, you’d end up with the mother of all flowcharts and nothing would ever get done. There are times when, if the situation is pressing enough, you just have to put a plan together based on the immediate information you have, fuck the Rumsfeld-ian “known unknowns” and all that shit, and crack on with it. Don’t you?

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  25. SwiftyBoy

    I’m maybe a bit less isolationist when it comes to the role the UK should be playing in international affairs, but not much, to be honest...

    Just quickly, I am not especially arguing for isolationism.

    The countries who are able to wield power internationally are basically the ones who can bomb the shit out of other countries or who have more money or more debt than anyone else.

    These things do not inevitable equip them to make good decisions for those who lack those wonderful resources.

    Basically, you have a group of world bullies who want to steal the lunch money from the rest, who hope that keeping their heads down and their mouths shut will somehow save them.

    It never has and it never will.

    We are still operating in the mindset of power and confrontation and exploitation, atavistic, adversarial and brutal.

    Perhaps we could try co-operation for a week and see how it goes.

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  26. SwiftyBoy

    Yes, absolutely.

    That was in part of my earlier post - amongst the missing bits, but I couldn't be bothered to tap it out again.

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  27. @Atomboy:

    ”...Basically, you have a group of world bullies who want to steal the lunch money from the rest, who hope that keeping their heads down and their mouths shut will somehow save them...”

    Not sure about that. I think a lot of what passes for Western foreign policy these days is based on fear – not the swaggering of the playground bully who just takes it because he can, but a misguided sense of (very real) responsibility to the nation to fuck “them” before “they” fuck us.

    ”...That was in part of my earlier post - amongst the missing bits, but I couldn't be bothered to tap it out again...”

    Shame, your (real or affected) insouciance notwithstanding – because I would have agreed with that bit as well, as it goes.

    Anyway, as previously stated, for whatever that’s worth.

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  28. Anne - very sorry to hear about your cousin. xxx

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  29. Shiloh

    Fear is a pretty fundamental and necessary part of the human condition, so it is likely to be found whether we are operating on a small, personal level or at the industrial scale of nations.

    There is the old argument that bullies are essentially channelling their fear into aggression, so the two may not be mutually exclusive.

    In a way, it would still come back to the dog-eat-dog world which comes so highly recommended by those who like to pretend they are living in a jungle. You know, the same people who come running back in tears and wipe their snot over the state's aprons and skirts before being tucked up in bed with a kiss and some money stolen from their siblings to avoid having to listen to them crying themselves to sleep.

    To the extent that America starts to slip from the pedestal of international admiration and the podium of the country which won the gold star from God to be the global everything-monitor, we will all have plenty of things in the future of which to be trouser-wettingly fearful.

    In terms of whatever your opinion or mine or those of anyone else may be worth - about the same, probably.

    We never have a clear run beginning with emptiness to try these things out, so your guess is as good as mine.

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  30. Evening all

    I see that old bastard Mubarak still hasn't shifted his arse. How much longer...

    Swifty

    You asked AB this morning what changes he would actually like to make. I can’t speak for him but how about something much more like ‘deliberative democracy’ rather than the total sham and con trick that is ‘representative’ democracy.

    “Deliberative democracy rests on the core notion of citizens and their representatives deliberating about public problems and solutions under conditions that are conducive to reasoned reflection and refined public judgment; a mutual willingness to understand the values, perspectives, and interests of others; and the possibility of reframing their interests and perspectives in light of a joint search for common interests and mutually acceptable solutions.”

    Deliberative democracy

    Deliberative democracy what and why

    a form of democracy in which public deliberation is central to legitimate lawmaking

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  31. You really do wonder where their brains are sometimes. This is the best that Obama could come up with to represent US interest at this crisis moment: a lobbyist for the ancien regime? Pathetic statement of the state of State.

    Frank Wisner: Paid Lobbyist for Egyptian Government and leading "commercial families in Egypt"

    Patton Boggs has been active in Egypt for 20 years. We have advised the Egyptian military, the Egyptian Economic Development Agency, and have handled arbitrations and litigation on the government's behalf in Europe and the US. Our attorneys also represent some of the leading Egyptian commercial families and their companies, and we have been involved in oil and gas and telecommunications infrastructure projects on their behalf. One of our partners also served as the Chairman of the US-Egyptian Chamber of Commerce, promoting foreign direct investment into targeted sectors of the Egyptian economy. We have also handled negotiation of offset agreements and managed contractor disputes in military sales agreements arising under the US Foreign Military Sales Act.

    Patton Boggs maintains a correspondent affiliate relationship with one of Egypt's most prominent firm of lawyers in Cairo, the law firm of Zaki Hashem.

    WISNER Biography:

    Ambassador Frank G. Wisner provides clients with strategic global advice concerning business, politics, and international law from the firm's Washington and New York offices.

    Ambassador Wisner's diplomatic career spans four decades and eight American presidents. He served as ambassador to Zambia, Egypt, the Philippines, and India during his extensive career in the State Department.


    Meh!

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  32. Sheff

    I like some of those ideas.

    One of our major problems are the descrepancies between areas - from the gated communities to impoverished areas and all points between. There are not only differences of opinions but different outcomes from legislation within differing communities.

    Devolution was to have addressed some of these difficulties but this, in the light of the cuts and forest sell offs etc. it has in fact further divided opposition. Wales is not selling its forests openly but is smothering huge areas with windfarms and denying access.

    So we have battles which concentrate on different aspects. The denial of public access and the use of forests as income generators for the few rather than amenities for the many should be the focal points for protest. In neither case does public ownership protect the forests from would be predators. What then does 'public ownership' mean in law?

    Lots more examples of course.

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  33. Leni

    I agree there is some good stuff in there but it would depend upon having a very switched on citizenry which would involve big changes to education for example.

    The teaching of civic engagement and personal and collective responsibility together with critical thinking would be essential. at the moment it seems most people prefer not to engage - and even when they do it can be very difficult to find ways in that aren't stultifyingly tedious and bureaucratic. no panaceas here but some ideas worth thinking about.

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  34. Sheff

    I would broadly agree, which is why I have mentioned the way adversarial systems tend to exacerbate and polarise problems, even where there might be more common ground than either party would like to admit, especially if they think it might harm their status in the media.

    The problem is that we like to hand over responsibility to others and seek a life of minimum effort.

    Democracy has become like a good hotel. Once you check in, the rest happens unnoticed and with no expected input on your part.

    Even the effort of making two lines run through each other within the confines of a printed box on a piece of paper every five years is pushing most people too far, so they don't bother.

    The truth is that most people are not hugely bothered about what happens to people they do not know, as long as they have a full belly and enough material things to think they are making it in life and the world.

    "Would you rather have a nice new shiny car or help people out of poverty?"

    "Have I won a car? Where is it? Is it a Ford Molester? What colour is it? Have you got the keys?"

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  35. Oh, sorry, Sheff.

    You had that one covered, I see.

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  36. Evening all

    Trying to catch up on Egypt. An amazing helicopter view of the crowd on the Beeb website.

    "The atmosphere has been festive, with people singing and chanting" sounds hopeful too.

    More power to their elbow.

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  37. Switched on citizens begins indeed with switched on children.

    There is very little understanding of the forces behind all the changes we are seeing - people react to the results when they see them as negative or damaging. They are unable to identify or challenge the causes.

    This is the big problem - the one which binds us all.

    We need to successfully challenge global movements but we are so disempowered by them that we are like fish nibbling around an ocean of weed which is engulfing them. How do we reach clear water and begin to see a way forward ?

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  38. Signs of nerves in other countries in the region, including a reshuffle in Jordan.

    @gandolfo

    It was you that gave me a link to a page on free proxies for iPlayer, wasn't it? Could you post it again, I seem to have mislaid it?

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  39. Spike

    The PA has announced local elections as 'soon as possible'. This will not legitimise Abbas' position but shows they are jittery.

    Unrest is spreading like a virus - many richly cushioned heads in a spin.

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  40. spike

    I think we'll see a fair bit of tinkering round the edges to try and keep people passive. I wonder if this is the beginning of some big, a paradigm shift in what people around the globe are prepared to put up with -it would be truly wonderful (and a bit scary, if I'm truthful as we'll all have to step up to the plate) if it is. My main feeling is bring it on though.

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  41. evening all

    been lurking too much to do........

    @anne
    sorry about your cousin, is very sad

    @deano
    hope you're ok and you and the M dog are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Ms...also congrats on being a big dad again!

    @spike
    here's the link http://www.freeproxylists.com/uk.php sometimes i find a few attempts are needed before connection takes place

    italy has the biggest EU economic interests in eygpt...surprise surprise Mubarak, only last week a great personal friend of Berlusco, seems not to merit any adulations by ol' flabby arse....let's hope he's next on the list......

    off to greet my beloved (partner in crime) who has been AWOL for 2 months..in the mexican jungle.....wish me luck!!!

    montana
    hope all's ok.... any news from James?

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  42. Hurrah!

    After hundreds of comments complaining about moderation, censorship, bannings and pre-moderation on CiF, Ms Handbag has descended from her cloud to declare:

    Da da-da-da da daaahhhhh!

    "We have introduced paginated comments."

    No doubt this will quickly be followed by Hosni Mubarak declaring:

    "We have tortured and repressed you for a generation. We have raped and pillaged and stolen your country's wealth. We have abused you and treated you like dogs.

    "We have fired upon you and killed you when these oppressions became too much to bear.

    "In order to make up for all this, we will be sending a Mr Whippy ice-cream van around Tahrir Square tomorrow.

    "Buy two 99s for just two pounds.

    "Listen out for Greensleeves and have your money ready."

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  43. This really is an excellent Adam Curtis article here (he of 'The power of nightmares' and 'the century of the self')-

    Rupert Murdoch- A portrait of Satan

    The most astonishing aspect of this demolition job is that it is on the BBC website. Is the Beeb finally growing a pair of balls in the face of the concerted right wing assault? I hope so.

    Well worth reading.

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  44. Sheff

    Scarey - yes. But bring it on.

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  45. @gandolfo

    Cheers. There was another one, though, which explained what to do.

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  46. What the fuck is a "paginated comment"?

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  47. @spike

    here you go http://webupon.com/web-talk/how-to-watch-bbc-iplayer-abroad/

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  48. spike
    oh and the tip bit is very handy, switching back to your normal connection once the programme starts....with google chrome it's dead easy as there is an add on that you install for proxy servers and will appear on the browser page as a globe.....

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  49. Hi chekhov

    It is paginated comments plural.

    instead of one endless thread they have created pages.

    Either that or it is something to do with thick moss which obscures everything in its area.

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  50. Evening

    Just seen that cretinous shitbag Tony Blair on the news imparting his wisdom as Middle East envoy.Having him in that position is really taking the piss.Can't see his input as being helpful in any way!

    @Chekhov

    Paginate in the context of CIF simply means they're splitting the threads into numbered pages.

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  51. chekhov

    It is simply wonderful and is going to save CiF.

    Instead of having to scroll down all the comments on your computer screen, why, we have put them on separate pages for you!

    Isn't that just dandy?

    Wybourne

    Good article, especially the bit about taking the publication to a readership they did not know even existed.

    It is the insidious way Murdoch's press bolsters and provides propaganda for the corrupt rich elite, at the same time as convincing the poor who pay for it that it is on their side which is so dispiriting.

    Like Saddam's henchmen charging the relative for the bullet when they delivered the body.

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  52. A big part of the problem with getting people politically engaged is that the people who stand to benefit the most are fucking knackered half the time just trying to survive.

    Someone who works 10 hours on a building site, or in a call centre, or on an assembly line, or on their feet at a till, or whatever ... just wants to relax and forget the world when they get home. On the weekends (if they have them off), do a bit of work around the house and watch the sport.

    Confess to feeling that way quite often myself, and I have what most people would consider to be a pretty cushy desk job. But it still wears me out; not physically, obviously, but it saps the living energy out of life sometimes.

    The Tories are exploiting this phenomenon as far as possible by putting pressure on workers and wages - and of course the unemployed and/or disabled. Everyone must run as hard as they can just to keep up, or only fall slightly behind.

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  53. thauma

    That is completely true.

    They used to say that revolutions come about when you give people something and then take it away.

    We have had things like workers' rights and the Welfare State for such a short time, comparatively, and these are now going to be taken away so suddenly that it is hard to see how Dave and the Gang can avoid blood on the streets.

    After all, even rats will eventually give up racing if you take away the promise of something at the end of it all.

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  54. Good point, Thaum. If you are out of the house slogging away at whatever it is for 12 hours a day, the remaining 4 or 5 hours before you go to sleep are usually filled with other shit just to keep normal everyday life going.

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  55. Globalisation brings each of us closer together, presenting new challenges and opportunities that we've never encountered before. Understanding this new future is key to our collective destiny. Whether in the Middle East, on faith, Africa, climate change or sport, my focus is on devising long-term solutions to some of the world's most significant problems. This website is where you can come to find out more. Please take the time to look around and let me know what you think.

    Whose website says that at the top, do you think?

    Apparently, the person has about 17 500 people who like him (shown by a little thumbs up sign) and is disliked, despised, hated and spat at by nobody.

    Link globalisation with this person and start to wonder whether it is going to be the fun and games which we have all been promised.

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  56. If you are out of the house slogging away

    Somehow, I read that as "shagging away".

    At which point, oddly, I have to go out.

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  57. Atomboy. He really has crossed the line from deluded to completely insane, hasn't he?

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  58. Atomboy

    If, as seems highly likely, the Tories' 'policies' lead to a double-dip recession and more mass unemployment, I think we will see people taking to streets more and more.

    There is resentment toward the chronically unemployed on the part of those who are working hard and just keeping things together.

    I think if and when those people are also cast upon the stinking slag-heap of neocon institutional unemployment, coupled with draconian benefit reduction, that there will be riots.

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  59. Oh fuck, I wish I had not started looking at that site now.

    I have started to imagine what sort of cretinous little toad (or toads) could write the ghost write the mush on it and have given myself the proper heebie-jeebies.

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  60. Atomboy @19.30 - it has to be arch-villain Blair's website, no?

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  61. Thauma, on no account read this if you have just had your tea.

    http://www.tonyblairoffice.org/pages/biography/

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  62. ITV Wales is running piece on demise of local paper about 18 months ago.

    Lots of local issues now no longer get coverage - including pollution in town (big problem). Council proceedings, the courts, local schools and charities, demos etc. are now never publicised or reported.

    I used to write local column - an all sorts and everything from our villages stuck up the valley. Circulation locally increased quite dramatically as people suddenly had a platform for thei views. All gone.

    Part of our increasing isolation.

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  63. Spencer, as a matter of fact, I *have* just had my tea, and am going nowhere near that.

    *opens another bottle of vino*

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  64. Don't talk about wine, please. I am off the booze (for diet reasons mostly) until the end of Feb.

    It hasn't bothered me much at all for the last three weeks but today I could really do with a glass or two.

    Maybe it is because we had a social at work today and I traditionally relax after a day trip or social event with a few glasses. Or maybe it is because it is the 1st of Feb.

    Or it might even be something to do with the fact that I bought a ridiculously expensive bottle of Madiran on the way home from work that has been looking at me through the window of a new wine shop for the last couple of weeks.

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  65. Stone the crows; that's how they ordered the threads when CIF first kicked off isn't it?

    The genius is truly awesome.

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  66. Spencer - am enjoying the cheap and cheerful Albali, half-price at Sainsbury's this week!

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  67. Not enjoying the beauty salon chit chat on Waddya, Thauma?

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  68. LOL Thaum.

    Bang to rights, etc. Saves me having to think too hard, though, after a two day trial against a litigant in person who was an abusive asshole.

    I am currently drinking my very last dram of Laphroaig, which is a shame because I only usually buy malt at Christmas. I will have to find a good reason to treat myself to some more...

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  69. Spencer - it's not just that 'beauty salons' are fucking Room 101 to me, but that, in a time where large parts of Australia and South America are under water and mud, popular revolutions seem to be taking hold in the ME/North Africa, all hope is being cut off for large sections of the populations at home, people want to talk about fucking Botox, depilation and hot stones.

    Now, as I said earlier, a lot of people just want to escape after a hard day's grind, so I am trying not to be judgmental.

    But there's a fucking huge difference between turning on the telly for a bit of diversion and paying some charlatan loads of dosh to tell you about your mind-body-spirit well-being. And inject you with botulism so that you look like some kind of freak automaton.

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  70. Spencer

    Eyebrow weaving is apparently a growth industry - jobs for all.

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  71. Ahh.. I have a unopened bottle of Laphroaig, two actually (different "expressions") a Lagavulain, a Caol Ila, a Bowmore...

    More malt whisky than you can shake a stick at, in fact. I started grabbing the odd one in sales over a year ago, and got a few as presents, and now it seems to need an occasion to crack them open.

    Trouble is that it also seems ridiculous to buy any more as I have about 9 unopened bottles so I cant really expand the collection.

    Except, it would be nice to have one from all the Islay distilleries.

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  72. BB - have (most of) a bottle of Laphroaig here ... it's yours if you want to come and collect it. Cannae stand the stuff although I do like whiskey in general.

    This is the shit - get it if you can, while supplies last! Gorgeous.

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  73. I like a Bushmills if I am drnking Irish whiske - that looks lush.

    Spencer...it's the peatiness of the Islay malts I love. For Speysides, I'm a bit partial to the Macallan

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  74. Leni

    Visions of people with plaits in their eyebrows now. Although you could have done that with Dennis Healey's. :o)

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  75. BB - that is not any old Bushmills. That is the special 400-year anniversary edition. They made it, then they threw away the recipe.

    It really is something special.

    It's only available at the distillery now, except for where you can find it on-line, apparently!

    Worth going to the distillery, though ... beautiful location and a few wee samples after the (quite interesting) tour.

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  76. It is peaty Islay all the way for me. Though I can enjoy a Speyside.

    Actually Irish is the only blended whiskey that I can drink.

    Possibly connected with my late Dad's over fondness for cheap blended Scotch.

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  77. Have any of you read, Iain Banks, malt whisky book?

    It is 70% great. The other 30% is the part where he suddenly morphs into Jeremy Clarkson and goes on about fucking motor cars and driving fast on wee Scottish roads.

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  78. BB
    it is eyebrow threading in fact.

    This mistakes suggests I am even more out of touch than I had realised.

    Agree with Thauma - let's all distract ourselves by knitting nonsense.

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  79. OK me darlings. Off to read a bit and zzzzZZZZZZzzz.

    Night night xx

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  80. Spencer - the Bushmills tour gives some very convincing reasons why Irish whiskey is superior to Scottish. ;-)

    Anyway, this conversation is probably boring to non whiskey drinkers....

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  81. Leni, I have an internet friend (English but now lives in Canada) who knits daleks

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  82. That's me off for the night too. Must go and, er,

    EXFOLIATE!

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  83. PAGINATE!PAGINATE! PAGINATE!

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  84. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2011-02-02-RW_egypt01_ST_N.htm

    CAIRO — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has just indicated in a televised speech that he will not seek reelection, after eight days of protests over his 30-year rule.

    "I have spent enough time serving Egypt," Mubarak said in his second public address since the protests erupted. He said that over the next few months, "the remaining of my current reign, I will work very hard to carry out all the necessary measures to transfer power."

    He added, "I have initated the formation of a new government with new priorities and initiatives which will respond to our young people's demands and their anxieties."

    .....

    "Serve"?

    "Reign"?

    Hang the fucker up by his tongue.

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  85. Don't we only exfoliate in Autumn?

    Chekhov

    You can paginate if you want to but this page is not for turning.

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  86. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/01/us-egypt-mubarak-reform-idUSTRE7108HR20110201

    "The Hosni Mubarak who speaks to you today is proud of his achievements over the years in serving Egypt and its people," he said in an address broadcast on state television.

    "This is my country. This is where I lived, I fought and defended its land, sovereignty and interests, and I will die on its soil," he said.

    ..........

    September would seem far too far ahead to be acceptable.

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  87. Trade Unions are getting themselves organised.

    Egyptian Federation for Independent Unions Constitutional Body Creation

    Founding declaration of new independent trade union federation

    New Uion Association calls for general strike

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  88. Atoms

    Good old Hosni is hoping that the momentum for change will have slowed down by September.

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  89. He sounded vaguely demented I thought AB. I don't think he is able to believeor take in what's actually happening.

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  90. It does feel like that Leni - think the old man will have to be physically prised off his throne.

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  91. Hello

    Flying visit as have been a) doing a job application and b) catching up with my sister, who, despite her ordeal, has nothing but praise for the kindness and hospitality of the Egyptian people! She is pretty convinced that Mubarak was holed up in Sharm, btw.

    I think I'll check out the Ciffies beauty parlour next and see if I can inject an old bag's perspective ...

    sheff

    Agree - Mubarak sounds as if he's not quite all there somehow.

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  92. There is something about dictators - particularly thos backed by the empire builders - that indicates their absolute belief in their right to rule and in the maintenance of the staus quo.

    When faced with ire of millions of little people, the ones beneath the soles of their feet - it must seem unreal.

    After years of not recognising even the existence of these inconsequential beings it would be like the sun disappearing from the sky when their collective power is on display.

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  93. Couldn't resist a post on eyebrow threading just so I could link to the Bombay Stores in Bradford.

    Away to my bed now, so NN.

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  94. People might be interested in hearing this CNN Report looking at how the situation in Egypt is being viewed by the government in Iran.Apparently they're hoping for any new regime in Egypt to be more Islamic.But are also hoping to benefit economically from the instability in Egypt with higher oil prices-oil is already trading at over $100 a barrel.However the report barely touches on the movement for change from within Iran.

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  95. BTW; interesting programme on More 4 presently("Erasing David") about identity fraud and internet security.

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  96. Welsh Assembly now saying SOME welsh woodland may be sold. They want a financial return from them.

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  97. @Boudican/Bitterweed and any other fans of Etta James.I can't remember whether or not i've played this track here.Seem to remember mentioning it but not being able to find it.Anyways i give you MarketPlace by the great lady herself.

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  98. @Leni; sounds like the thin end of the wedge to me.
    BTW: did you make it through to the end of the "Zeitgeist" movie?

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  99. Hello any still up.
    Heard a bit of the Radcliffe and Maconie show, earlier, they were talking about protest songs. If anybody's around, how about that for a musical theme tonight?

    This is one that they played.

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  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  101. Just heard Barack Obama saying something and nothing about the Egyptian protests.

    Haven't decided which is which, yet. Too subtle. Not supporting Mubarak, praising peaceful protest, offering US support in any way they need (ominous). A nice speech, politically, but the fact he took no questions afterwards, suggests he knows that he could be in danger of upsetting Israel.

    Another protest song.

    You can blow out a candle
    But you can't blow out a fire
    Once the flames begin to catch
    The wind will blow it higher

    And the eyes of the world are
    watching now

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  102. Habib

    Before i sign off i want you to see this little princess from JA cussin' off her aunty.You'd have to be a hard man not to find this funny.And i think we all need a good laugh with all the serious stuff goin' on right now. And big resepct to the guy who takes her on when she older.;-)

    Nite all

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  103. @Heyahbib: the politician's rhetoric and platitudes are exposed for crappy scam that they are once the "people" speak.

    If only the people in this country could do the same...maybe they will if they finally get a grasp of how well and truly they have been shafted under the name of "democracy"!

    Democracy, my arse, we are told the 2nd World War was fought to defeat the forces of fascism so why do the forces of fascism still prevail?

    The "Stasi"would wet their knickers over the surveillance State we have in the UK right now, so what was the point of fighting the 2nd World War?
    We might as well have let the Nazis invade; their politics aren't much different to the cunts who run this country right now!

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  104. Paul, that really made me smile, reminded me of my little girl. She has punjabi blood in her and she shows it when she has a point to make. Dramatic and intense.

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  105. chekhov
    "We might as well have let the Nazis invade; their politics aren't much different to the cunts who run this country right now!"

    Bit too much.

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  106. But I have for a fair while now thought what I would have been like living in Nazi Germany, as a bona fide "german".

    I'd like to think that I would have stood against oppression of any kind, but of course, that viewpoint is from my safe brown skinned environment.

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  107. @habib

    Been out to dinner, so a little hazy round the edges - but I thought you'd like an early protest song from the archives.

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  108. Ok Heyabib; point taken and I may have stretched it a bit too far but the fact remains that we haven't really dealt with facsism in the same way we have dealt with communism.
    Anyway if you want to watch the movie I linked to earlier "isms" become redundant!

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  109. Actually, Chekhov, I think I owe you an apology.

    You can see who the nazis would have been from these days: Rumsfeld, Blair, Cheney, Clegg, Tebbit, Theresa May, Pickles... and on and on...

    Another protest song, there are two Bobs who do them well, but I've always thought that Marley was was more connected with reality.

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  110. Superb, PeterJ!

    I think I've played this one before, but it's worth a mention in protest songs.

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  111. Oh yes, habib. And then there's this...

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  112. And that's me flaked. Good night, habib and all.

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  113. It's what we started on, PeterJ, always worth another listen.
    Good night. :-)

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  114. I don't like U2 much, but in 1987 I heard a friend of Salvador Allende give a talk about what was happening in Chile. This music and his words have haunted me since.

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  115. Last protest song, one of my favourites. It's sentiment, once about apartheid, can be sung toward Israel:

    She got supporters in high up places
    Who turn their heads to the city sun
    Jo'anna give them the fancy money
    Oh to tempt anyone who'd come
    She even knows how to swing opinion
    In every magazine and the journals
    For every bad move that this Jo'anna makes
    They got a good explanation

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