25 February 2011


The firste vertu, sone, if thou wolt leere,
Is to restreyne and kepe wel thy tonge;
Thus lerne children whan that they been yonge.
-Geoffrey Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale


  1. The Very Big Carla Bley Band 1990 'Who will rescue you' - Very nice example of big band music with a prominent part for the trombone player, Gary Valente.

    Carla Bley - one of the greatest female jazz composer and arrangers.

    And to paraphrase William Booth - why should god have all the best tunes?

  2. Paul said...

    Come on Bitey i don't think a mere banning will ever stop you posting on cif if/when you feel like it.I might be wrong but i don't think smtx01 is considering reincarnation at this stage.

    You're right and I do have a current sign on which has yet to be discovered by the mods, but they're getting progressively aggressive in their policing even to the extent of detecting patterns in changing IP addresses, although I think they're also banning some innocents in the process.

    On a separate but related issue.....

  3. I noticed that AllyF was bragging about one of the graduates, Mischa Wilmers, from his Community Journalism course getting an article above the line.

    I wonder if Ally teaches his trainees about how he denies his fellow writers on CiF their freedom to comment by reporting them to the moderators.

    I didn't realise he was a professional journalist, which makes his lack of ethics and professionalism all the worse. Is he a member of the NUJ?

  4. Backtothepoint

    What's going on in Libya is terrible and tragic, but we should always maintain a healthy suspicion about the figures our media give us. You mention Ceausescu and Romania. At the time, we were told about a Timisoara genocide (which never actually happened)

    Gaddafi has to be removed and should face trial, and we should show every solidarity with the Libyan people and its aspirations, but we'll have to wait to find out the true scale of repression.

    Will you stop at nothing Shallcross to defend thse former Stalinist butchers and the regimes they headed?

    Well apart from Gadaffi slaughtering 20,000 - 50,000 of his own population, which MrsBootstraps posted about earlier this week, what other evidence do you want? Unless you're saying that this like Timisoara, was also a lie put about by the western media?

    From The Proclamation of Timisoara

    1. From its earliest hours the Revolution of Timisoara was directed not only against Ceausescu, but, definitely, also against communism. "Down with communism!" was chanted several hundred times during all the days of the Revolution.... The ideal of our Revolution has been and is the return to the genuine values of European democracy and civilization.

    2. All the social classes did participate in the Revolution of Timisoara. Workers, intellectuals, office workers, students, school-children, even villagers, who came to support the Revolution, were cut down by bullets side by side in the streets of Timisoara.

    In the days of the Revolution we were out in the streets and we know that their number is much than the one announced officially. However, we assure those who are concealing the truth today that we shall not give up fighting until they are brought to trial as accessories to genocide.

    In Timisoara people did not die so that the second and third rank communists should go to the front line, or that one of the participants in the mass murders should be promoted by the latter as Minister of the Interior. People did die so that the social and national feuding, the personality cult, the censorship of the mass media, misinformation, written and telephone threats, and all the other communist methods of coercion should be practiced openly, while we are requested to stay passive on behalf of social stability.

    We, the authors of this Proclamation, participants in the events of 16th-22nd December 1989, do not consider the Revolution to be over. We shall continue it peacefully, but firmly. Having confronted and having gained victory over one of the world's most powerful repressive systems, nobody and nothing can frighten us anymore.

    11 March 1990 Timisoara, Romania

    From the Trial of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu:

    PROSECUTOR: It is very difficult for us to act, to pass a verdict on people who even now do not want to admit to the criminal offenses that they have committed during 25 years and admit to the genocide, not only in Timisoara and Bucharest, but primarily also to the criminal offenses committed during the past 25 years.This demonstrates their lack of understanding. They not only deprived the people of heating, electricity, and foodstuffs, they also tyrannized the soul of the Romanian people. They not only killed children, young people and adults in Timisoara and Bucharest; they allowed Securitate members to wear military uniforms to create the impression among the people that the army is against them. They wanted to separate the people from the army. They used to fetch people from orphans' homes or from abroad whom they trained in special institutions to become murderers of their own people. You were so impertinent as to cut off oxygen lines in hospitals and to shoot people in their hospital beds. The Securitate had hidden food reserves on which Bucharest could have survived for months, the whole of Bucharest.

  5. Bitethehand

    but they're getting progressively aggressive in their policing even to the extent of detecting patterns in changing IP addresses, although I think they're also banning some innocents in the process.

    Years ago, I found I could not edit Wikipedia pages because my IP address had been banned.

    However, there was soon debate about whether this was a sensible thing to do, since ISPs would often operate over a range of IP addresses and there was no way of knowing whether you were banning a real culprit or just someone who happened to be viewing the site from the IP address once used by someone naughty.

    Obviously, it would also seem to be very easily sidestepped by using a proxy server, either just to set up the original account or permanently.

    Or just give it a bit of time and wait for Little Ms Handmade to email you with all kinds of inducements and enticements to go back to make up the numbers, once they discover that they have broken their wonderful site and people just drive by to jeer and throw rubbish at it.

    There are only ever going to be so many people who want to comment and they are getting spread thinner and thinner across sites about which they are becoming choosier and choosier.

    CiF is limping into the sidelines as an also-ran.

  6. Atomboy, Paul

    Glad to be back – have been busy surviving complex times – about which I won’t bore. I had to switch off from this for a while - now trying to get back to more ‘normal’ ;) activities… I’m in the process of reading the back comments – so, meanwhile, please excuse if I repeat anything.

    Then… the other day… let’s see what’s happening; and I found nothing much had changed – and I see you folks are still having fun playing with the spam box - and that it was the site’s second birthday too – very nice - and now I see it’s also been Montana’s birthday…

    So first of all – thank you, Montana, for giving us this free-speech site where we don’t get vanished for making comments too bruising to the sensitivities of whoever is at present political pals with the editor, or for reasons that nobody can figure out at all.

    We appreciate your inspiration

  7. Bitterweed said...

    You want to stop writing in that scribbly wibbly juvenile bullshit way before anyone's going to look at you.

    I find smtx's comments perfectly understandable, even though I might not agree with what she says some of the time.

    And how is someone who's an imbecile going to understand your question - Are you a fucking imbecile or just lazy?

    As for your suggestion "try using some recognisable language.", it seems that smtx has as good a range of swear words and profanities as even the best of The Untrusted, so she seems to be in good company.

  8. RapidEddie, Atomboy

    The comments you yesterday gave following on from mine are all too sadly correct – without any political will between The Three parties (two and a bit), we can think up as many sensible alternative solutions as we like – that part’s not difficult – and it won’t make any difference, as they aren’t listening and they mostly don’t care.

    Also, for them of course it’s all a theory – looks good on paper – without any comprehension of the lives they effect. So it’s - take away those people’s benefit income and they will have to become creative in order to survive – it’s so simple and obvious - there - we've got it all sorted just like that… raising champers glasses and congratulating each other on their genuises.

    Why do they so hate ‘the poor’ when they need ‘the poor’ so much – for where would they be without them? They really ought to show more gratitude.

    So – no real solutions for employment – no real solutions for health – no real solutions for our growing elderly population – no real solutions for education – no real solutions for whatever - besides selling them off to the highest bidders... who happen to have become their pals.

    BUT propaganda can be turned around against them. See what happened when people got the message about Vodaphone – you have to suffer these cuts – this is equivalent to the amount of tax the government has allowed this firm not to pay - concept grasped.

    When it’s a simple message like that, it relates to the reality of people’s lives, and they get it.

    As the cuts and job insecurities affect an increasing number of people, and it's already wandering up the social scale – simple message – the government allows these people to make this amount of money out of your misery – it doesn’t help your misery – it just puts money in their pockets… That’s a simple and understandable message.

    So message - these are the real benefit crooks –they take this amount of your money - the cuts are that amount - this is where the ‘benefit bashing’ needs to be happening.

    Next hurdle - how to get that message out there...

  9. Atomboy good points about IPs / ISPs although my experience suggests it's not quite as easy to fool the system. My current IP address locates me in the Guangdong Province Network which is over 400 miles from where a really am. And each time I turn on my computer I get a new IP address, albeit with just the final two digits changing. So what I presume it means is that anyone in this city who's using the same ISP gets the same first nine digits, followed by the two that change. Now I doubt many people from here are logging onto CiF, but when I'm in the UK I suspect there'll be quite a few who'll have very similar IP addresses.

    And your comments on the quality of CiF are again spot on. I remember in the first couple of years, the quality of many of the comments BTL were superb and I often found myself hesitating before deciding whether to post and risk a succinct and devastating demolition from people who really did know their stuff. I suspect that in time the decision to allow WDYWTTA to descend into a kind of online soap for people with limited attention span and even less experience and drag the rest of CiF with it, will be seen as a fatal flaw in the Guardian's online stratgic thinking.

  10. Parallexview

    it’s a learning curve for me

    Me too – a really big learning curve.

    When I write these sort of comments, it’s really me trying to bring together all of these separate strands of issues and putting them together in a joined-up coherent form – realising what it means in reality - thinking out loud.

    I definitely sympathise with the viewpoint that just spouting off here doesn’t make much difference to anything – it requires action as well. However, it’s through the education of participating in such sites as this, and sometimes reading on CIF the comments btl (not so often atl), or similiar elsewhere – in seeing the wider picture - that one better realises why one wants to take action.

    While we’ve no way of knowing how many are positively influenced by what they read on sites such as these.

    I was remarking to a friend of the right-wing persuasion, when such subjects arose, that the Labour party were now no more socialist than he is, and it had ceased to make much difference which party was in power, as it was only each one preparing the way for the next to do even worse things.

    He responded that that couldn’t be so, as it would imply they were all in a grand conspiracy together. I pondered this, and that isn’t quite it… quite likely between some individuals, but not so likely, to that extent, en masse.

    I think it’s more that the difference between parties is that of varying opinions about how best to serve the Puppet Masters, which, as the Fat Controllers become stronger leads to a narrowing of those opinions and a growing in their consenus.

    While outfits such as Atos Origin seem to become more powerful by the day; with their tendrils steadily winding more thoroughly around our medical affairs – our data – our security systems... Their name increasingly appears at every turning, not just here, but worldwide. This is where the real power lies – not with the dummies in our parliament.

    So it has become the case that it now hardly matters who is elected, as so much of the deciding of how this country is run is happening elsewhere.

  11. Just came across this nauseating piece from Anthony Giddens, author of Blair's Bible- "The Third Way"(more commonly known as "The Wrong Way") on his relationship with Colonel Gaddafi. Here's a particularly pungent extract:

    "As one-party states go, Libya is not especially repressive. Gadafy seems genuinely popular. Our discussion of human rights centred mostly upon freedom of the press. Would he allow greater diversity of expression in the country? There isn't any such thing at the moment. Well, he appeared to confirm that he would. Almost every house in Libya already seems to have a satellite dish. And the internet is poised to sweep the country. Gadafy spoke of supporting a scheme that will make computers with internet access, priced at $100 each, available to all, starting with schoolchildren.

    Will real progress be possible only when Gadafy leaves the scene? I tend to think the opposite. If he is sincere in wanting change, as I think he is, he could play a role in muting conflict that might otherwise arise as modernisation takes hold. My ideal future for Libya in two or three decades' time would be a Norway of North Africa: prosperous, egalitarian and forward-looking. Not easy to achieve, but not impossible."

  12. Montana,
    I liked yesterday’s image from Herriman’s Krazy Kat. Krazy Kat was seminal- meandering storylines with no punchlines, baroque landscapes which changed from panel to panel and made frequent allusions to the increasing mechanization and consumerism of US society from the turn of the 1900’s to the 1930’s.

    Krazy Kat only lasted so long due to the uncharacteristic indulgence of William Randolph Hearst. Nobody got it. However like the Velvet Undergrounds first album which only sold about 100 copies but every person who bought it started a band, the same can be said for Krazy Kat. Hardly anyone got it but those who did became cartoonists. You can see the influence of Krazy Kat in subsequent comics- the meanderings in Schulz’s “Peanuts”, the landscapes, philosophy and flights of fancy in Watterson’s “Calvin & Hobbes” and the general atmosphere and craziness in the “Furry freak brothers” and the 60’s comics boom.

  13. What? Missed Montana's birthday?

    Happy belated!

  14. 13Duke

    If you've not read it you might find “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon interesting.

    The dawn of the comics industry is a fascinating slice of history. It's an essential chapter in the annals of pop culture, but it's also an important part of American history. For comics aficionados, the details of this history are legendary: the struggles of Siegel and Shuster to get Superman in print, the pageant of talent -- from Jack Kirby to Jules Feiffer -- that passed through the doors of Will Eisner's studio, the disputed origins of Batman, the shameful and exploitative treatment of writers and illustrators, the infamous congressional investigation, the legal war between the publishers of Superman and Captain Marvel, the exploits of Simon and Kirby. Although millions of people read the comic books of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s every month, the stories behind the stories remain bits of trivia known only to a select audience.

  15. Late as ever, but happy birthday for yesterday, Montana!

  16. Happy Birthday Montana! Missed that one too.

    Also, where has Monkeyfish gone? Havent seen him since Xmas i dont think.

  17. Sorry!

    Happy Birthday, Montana!

    If it's any consolation, I never remember my own, either.

  18. Bitey, it might help you keep your mask up a little longer if you didnt post comments here then post identical comments at Waddya. As has been shown a few times, for some bizarre reason CiF staff seem to occasionally look at this site.

    Just a suggestion...

  19. Happy Birthday for yesterday, Montana. Sorry, I didn't know when it was.

  20. @Bitey

    I have a feeling you might be interested in this site, if you don't know it already.

  21. MW, Grand Conspiracy? Nah. But an understandable confluence of opinion from people drawn from the same backgrounds, going to the same schools and universities, studying the same courses from the same tutors.

    Maybe it's just wishful thinking in my dotage, but I seem to remember in my teens that there were two distinctly different strands of thought. Selective education versus comprehensive education. Business vs unions. Things seemed relatively simple. Plebs voted Labour, toffs, people with carpets in the living room and small shop owners voted Tory. The only thing that seemed to muddy the waters was immigration and at a local level, Tory candidates worked on this with working class voters (remember the Tory MP from the midlands and "If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour"?).

    Thatcher really tore down the distinctions. Flogging council houses didn't just deplete the housing stock, it made people feel 'aspirational' (New Labour's favourite term). She told plumbers and chippies that they were business people, every bit as much as a factory owner (not that she'd necessarily have them round for tea or anything). She also cut tax, so the skilled workers would have the disposable dosh for a new car and a foreign holiday. She shifted people's conception of their class.

    In tandem with this, she laid into the unions. I hate to say it, but she had a lot of unspoken support for it. She choose her targets carefully - high paid workers with strong unions. The printers, the miners etc. Another strand of class identification was frayed.

    In comes New Labour. They - Blair, Mandelson, Giddens etc - immediately concede that Maggie was right on a raft of things. Unions, tax, free markets. Less well-realized, then and now, is they also conceded her points on class and society. Post-Thatcher, New Labour agreed that Britain was largely a meritocracy, where people had ascended or descended on their merits. Cream rose to the top, clots sank.

    That's a crucial worldview to remember, as social policy like ASBOs, sentencing, social welfare, even Sure Start flow from the notion that there are the naturally capable and the forlornly useless. They also subscribed a neoliberal primacy of the individual, not in a classical sense of rights and responsibilities, but as a consumer.

    It was weird. Even as class became a risible way amongst young political intellectuals to define society, a more cynical assessment of how society was split up replaced it. As I've said before, it's not a million miles away from the early 20th century Fabianist notion of lower orders as 'feeble minded'.

    For Tories, it meant sink or swim. For New Labourites, it meant control and order. These were not people capable of running their own lives.

    And so we come to the present political generation, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband. With them, the differences are even less apparent. They all see the underclass as dolts. They all agree that there are shitty jobs they're well capable of doing (also informed by the narrowing of opinion on immigration).

    That historical process, and that patrician, almost Victorian view of society, is what brings about the unanimity on issues such as Atos and IB/ESA.

    Long story short from the political classes: Underclass thick. Society post industrial. Too many immigrants. Thickies do the immigrant jobs. Tough shit if you don't like it.

  22. Actually twice Jay and they aren't identical but similar. And it's as much a message to the "editorial controllers" in both the moderation office and the editor's office, that they can't claim that CiF is an integral part of the free press and at the same time allow decisions about who is and isn't allowed to comment to be made by whom? A moderator?

    But thanks for the advice although like others my concern about having unfettered access to CiF has diminished considerably, and almost as much as the decline in the quality of that part of the Guardian.

  23. PeterJ

    No I wasn't aware of it and while I tend just to listen to the music, I do have a friend who's into the minutiae of jazz musicians and their output, so I'll be passing it on to him.

  24. Bitey - its a key point i've tried to make to them before, including Seaton. They say modding and editorial are kept completely separate - but BTL is 80% of their content, so 80% of content is now effectively edited by the moderators, not the editors. And the Eds have very little power to overrule (not No power, but little).

    A much smarter approach would be for the eds to have an absolute veto over the mods to reinstate comments and posters if it was content and views the eds wanted. Its too easy for them to wriggle out now - we want free speech and diversity, but we cant stop the mods destroying this, much as we try.

    Its not good enough. But there isn't much worth commenting on these days in any case - some good articles on cuts etc, but it all feels so formulaic, by the numbers, there never seems anything fresh or challenging in the Guardian anymore.

  25. Incidentally, that New Labour (and New New Labour) view of British society as a settled meritocratic split between the capable and the incapable is also what's lead to the rise of identity politics on the left.

    If you take it for granted that most people are were they should be in life (tattooed working class male head-butting lampposts on a Saturday night), then you can turn to the other elements that place obstacles in people's way - gender, disability, ethnicity etc. If class has ceased to exist, it can hardly be an impediment, can it?

    Now it's perfectly possible (probable, in fact) to be held back by a number of factors. You can be getting a raw deal because of both your gender and your class (ask Cath Elliott or any woman working in Tesco), but one factor is endlessly discussed, the other rarely mentioned.

    It seems that there are those who just aren't getting fair breaks, and those who are no better than they ought to be.

  26. oops, missed that as well- gelukkig verjaarsdag Montana!

    BitetheHand, thanks for the comics tip, I;ll have a look at that.

  27. @Duke

    Another recommendation for Kavalier and Clay from here...

  28. Lolpenz is offering up her new iPad for sale on Twitter because she doesn't have money for the rent. I told you there was genuine poverty in this world.

  29. Belated happy birthday Montana!/

    Rapid Eddie - interesting post sums up the changes of the last 30/40 years very well/

    Thing is where do we go from here?

  30. @Montana

    Many happy returns of yesterday!

    (I seem to be making a habit of this)


    Has Lolz Penz thought of trying to get an actual job? Something that will give her experience of labouring at the coal face of proletarian exploitation. You know, Starbucks or something. Just a thought.

  31. Is anyone else completely sick of The King's Speech without having seen it?

    There hasn't been so much hype since Titanic (which I'm proud to say I've resolutely avoided to this day).

  32. Anne, we'd all have our own prescriptions. For Britain, I'd put the effort into expansion of manufacturing. After all, if you want sustainable jobs for people with low academic achievement and only manual skills to offer, you need more manually skilled work to offer them decent futures. As the young people say: simples.

    But another part of the post-Thatcher consensus is that because Britain can't compete with low cost foreign manufacturing, we don't bother our arses making the manufacturing sector any bigger than it 'naturally' is.

    Define 'naturally'. The UK manufacturing sector is about 11% of the economy. In Germany, it's near double that at 21%. As far as I can google, UK manufacturing is a smaller part of the economy than that of any other major industrial nation. The smallest.

    Germany manages to 'naturally' have a manufacturing sector nearly double the size of Britain's, presumably because of their 'natural' strengths in engineering etc. There's no 'natural' about. You invest in education, infrastructure, research & development and all the rest of it and you get back what you put in.

    The problem is that it's a long-term project. The post-Thatcher settlement included a dumping of dirty-fingernail jobs, even at the same time as the likes of Germany simply said 'We'll make more stuff, better."

    Astonishingly, and perhaps ironically, one of the few people to even make mention of the idea of concentrating on manufacturing was, er, Peter Mandelson, who before the election talked of the need for "a manufacturing renaissance". But then he also knew Labour were about to lose the election.

    If nothing else, it proves that some people know needs to done. I strongly suspect it's too long and thankless a task for British spin-obsessed, opinion poll-watching modern politicians. No point in doing the right thing if someone else gets the thanks for it.

    Creating decent livelihoods for everyone, from top to bottom of the pile, is the best way forward is for a more cohesive and just society. But you haven't heard any of the current leaders even mention it. Too hard, too many knockbacks, too great a re-tooling of too many sectors required.

    Let's big up the banks again.

  33. You couldn't make it up, could you??

    'I'm so, so poor, so could somebody please do us a solid and buy my new ipad and accessories off me, so I can make the rent!?

    *smug face* - ahah, that should give me some credibility with the prolier than thou lot, right!? Right?? I mean, that's how everyone else pays the rent, isn't it, by selling their ipads and that??'

  34. "Cash Converters?? What's that...?"

    "Right, but why would I sell it to them for £150, when I only bought it last week for £600??"

    "Oh ok, but that's just silly. I'm a bit poor, not daft.
    I'll just get it out of my ISA in that case....Should have prolly done that from the start really......lolz......what am I like!!??...."

  35. James & Spike, she's looking £550 for it, which is kinda pricey seeing as you can get an low-end iPad brand new for £439.

    And wanting to sell it has absolutely and categorically nothing to do at all with the fact that the new version of the MacBook Pro has just been launched and is in the shops. Yesterday.

    It's poverty, pure and simple.

  36. Very interesting that Germany not only voted to condemn Israeli settlement building but that Merkel has apparently now phoned to give Netanyahu a ticking off.

    If even Germany is getting pissed off with Israel (!), perhaps the EU might start listening to its citizens' views as expressed in this poll - whose results were not fully published and which Brussels hurriedly said it would of course be ignoring - and we can dream of united EU sanctions in the not unthinkably distant future.

  37. A Jim Davidson quote found on Lost in Showbiz:

    Once people start protesting in those kind of numbers the politicians have to listen. What I can't get my head around is everyone saying democracy is the way forward. I don't think it is. Look at us. I lived in Dubai. They have a ruling family and all's well. Giving the people a right to choose who governs them is a stupid thing to do.

    What a lovely man. I can't think why he's not so popular these days. It's political correctness gone mad.

  38. FYI - mspenny bought a brand new Mac two weeks ago. She tweeted about the whole horrific experience:

    I thought I was buying a computer- it seems that I am, in fact, joining a cult.

    Seriously, they took my money then made me sit through an hour long brainwashing session about 'joining the apple family'. Terrifying.

    LOL! missmoneypenny 'does' consumerism and corporate capitalism. It's probably very shiny and nice though, and probably cost about £1500 (tax-deductible?). So we might not get an article about it.

  39. For those who don't read Whaddya, here's AllyF's answer to bitey:


    I wonder if Ally teaches his trainees about how he denies his fellow writers on CiF their freedom to comment by reporting them to the moderators.

    Nope. And for the eleventy-thousandth time, I very rarely report comments to the moderators, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't me who reported whichever comment it was you have a bee in your bonnet about.

    Is AllyF a member of the NUJ and if so doesn't it have a code of ethics about this kind of thing?

    Funnily enough I teach the NUJ Code of Conduct in a class about ethics, and it doesn't contain anything about the pros and cons of reporting the witterings of self-important bigots to the administrators of a website.

  40. @moonwave - yes, absolutely - the tendrils of money creeping, tickling, flattering, strangling policymakers(even the altruistic-shiny-eyed who manage to find themselves elected to power). That's why your work unravelling this maze is important - we need a route map exposed before we can (metaphorically) bomb the bridges.

    @scherfig - that was crap:) - where the fuck was Australia in that scenario - or any part of Oceania for that matter? oh right we're down in the southern ocean pan-piping under palmtrees - never mind the freaking earth and sea giving us a lesson of tsunamis, earthquakes, cyclones, floods and fires - it's fucking biblical down this part of the world.

  41. oh forgot - this for you scherfig

    norway right? - although, having second thoughts that you might be denmark instead - still, like oceania, it's all the same in scandinavia innit

  42. Yeah, parallax - he didn't mention Papua New Guinea or Belarus either, the racist fucker. Although I think the clue might be in the title - 200 years in 4 minutes.

    PS Denmark

  43. Gandolfo

    You ok? You're not near Veracruz are you??

  44. BP, if you were of a cynical persuasion - and that wouldn't be me as I like to think the best of everyone - you could suggest that when Lolpenz knocked over the champers flute onto her keyboard (I've done it about 5 times on this creaky old Powerbook and it's still going), she was of a mind to get a new iPad anyway. It's all the rage wid da young people (werd).

    But a bastard cynic would say that if you buy a new Apple item and give them your email for spamming - er...further info and promotions - then Thursday morning, Lolpenz would have received an announcement of the new MacBook Pro line. Initial reviews are favourable and it's been souped up considerably.

    So, new MacBook Pro goes for sale in UK shops Thursday 9.30am. Thursday 8.00pm, Lolpenz puts her iPad up for bidders.

    But I think it's down to impoverished circumstances, pure and simple. This is the kind of suffering Polly would do well to highlight.

  45. And here's my response Mr Shallcross:


    And for the eleventy-thousandth time, I very rarely report comments to the moderators.

    "Rarely report - so at times you do?

    And at what time in your course do you introduce justifiable censorship?

    It's a slippery slope Ally and sadly you're already well on the way to the bottom.

    As for the NUJ Code of Conduct, about which you say:

    it doesn't contain anything about the pros and cons of reporting the witterings of self-important bigots to the administrators of a website.

    So what about this?

    A journalist shall at all times defend the principle of the freedom of the Press and other media in relation to the collection of information and the expression of comment and criticism. He/she shall strive to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship.

    So when you rarely report someone to the moderators, even someone you consider to be a wittering self-important bigot, or give them a slight nudge in the right direction, is that you striving to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship?

    So who is the bigot?

  46. Of course Shallcross, given your political affiliation I expect you'll find AllyF's censorship to be the very epitome of honourable behaviour.

  47. scherfig - denmark hey? according to the popular press here, denmark is another satellite state affiliated with Tasmania - say hi to our Queen Mary when you next see her.

  48. Eddie,

    regarding your post about Germany. You will have seen that the UK economy contracted by 0.6% in the last three months of 2010. The excuse is the bad weather.

    Compare that with Germany's economy in the last quarter which grew by 3.6%. Also the Dutch economy grew by 2.4% in the last quarter.

    Now I live in the Netherlands and let me tell you, the weather here was bloody awful, as bad as the UK. I know because I went back home over the xmas holidays. The weather in Germany was actually worse than the UK over a more prolonged period.

    I can't believe that I'm writing about the weather and economic contraction but that's what we are dealing with here, the most pathetic of excuses for the dismantling of UK plc.

  49. From CiF:

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    Says it all really given that it was about censorship.

  50. Bitey, you twat, give me your address and real name and I'll come and paint "[Name] is a paedophile" in four-foot letters on the wall across the street from you. Then we'll see how "anti-censorship" you are.

    I've sometimes asked for certain of your posts on CiF to be removed because they're simply personal abuse in the form of vicious lies, a speciality of yours. You can't expect to libel people and then wail and whine when they object to it.

    Here's AllyF's answer to your answer, by the way.

  51. And right on cue here's foot in mouth kizbot:


    You sir are a blithering idiot.

    And when Ms Kizbot did being an idiot deny anyone the right to freedom of speech?

    Perhaps you'd enlighten us on this psychological revelation, about which most are unaware?

    Where, to quote you was the very obscenely abusive part of my posts?

    All I did was to quote the National Union of Journalist's Code of Conduct that has helped to keep this newspaper in existence when people like the corrupt MP Jonathan Aitken, and his "sword of truth", would have consigned it to the dustbin of history.

  52. parallaxview thanks for that observation.

  53. no worries - I get the impression spike doesn't rate you either.

    spike - that's pretty high-up-there on the tar-and-feather trigger response - I smell BNP mentality.

  54. ok - i saw it a minute ago (painting on the wall stuff by spike) and now it's gone - disappeared without even a 'comment deleted by author' notation. How does that work?

  55. backtothepoint,


    I don't know about AllyF, but as you well know, I've sometimes asked for certain of your posts on CiF to be removed because they're simply personal abuse in the form of vicious lies, a speciality of yours. You can't expect to libel people and then wail and whine when they object to it.

    So here we have it from the censor's mouth:

    I've sometimes asked for certain of your posts on CiF to be removed

    You know Shallcross I used to think that the Communist Party had some vestige of honour left within its bloodstained history, but clearly you've all sold out to popular acclaim, in your case the dubious honour of Kizbot and Brusselsexpat.

    What a testimony to Lenin and Bukharin.

  56. Meanwhile in Libya; Gaddafi made a phone call on Thursday to Libyan state TV expressing his concern that Osama Bin Laden was responsible for causing the uprising in Libya, he claimed al Qaeda followers were giving young Libyans halluncinegic pills in their coffee to get them to revolt; he said 'Militants were exploiting teenagers by putting pills in their coffee with milk,like Nescafe'.

  57. First:

    Thanks again for the birthday wishes. There really wasn't any reason for any of you to know about it. Although, I did give myself a birthday thread starter, albeit somewhat obliquely. Beautiful songs from BTH & Moonwave. Sadly, EMI doesn't want me to know what Parallax's song was. Got that annoying, "Not available in your country" message.


    British manufacturing. I'm not quite sure how to put the point I'd like to make. Saying that it was avoidable is both stating the obvious and ignoring the fact that it was deliberate and ideologically driven. Saying that it was especially tragic for the following reason is wrong because, of course, the greatest tragedy of it is the havoc that it wreaked on the lives of working class Britons but:

    From the vantage point of an American, at least, if any of Britain's ruling elite had genuinely cared about the well-being of the working class over the last 30 or so years, they could so easily have gone the opposite direction.

    It certainly used to be, and I think to a great extent it still holds true, that Americans, at least, think of British-made goods as very high-quality, luxury goods. Surely, that reputation could have been (and perhaps still could be) capitalised upon? Surely those goods could have been marketed in a way that would have justified prices higher than comparable goods from other countries?

    Instead of giving the world an image of British workers as lazy, feckless scroungers, it would have been so easy to put forth an image of honest, solid craftsmen (and women) who still took the time to produce things of value that would last long enough to justify a premium price. "Made in Britain" could have been a world-wide mark of quality.

    So fucking stupid, vindictive and short-sighted.

  58. Does this video look like 'teenagers on hallucinogenic pills'? 'Voices from a Benghazi rally' (you tube)

  59. @parallaxview:

    It went into the spam bin, for some reason. It's back out now. Just one of the lovely little quirks of Blogger.

  60. Montana - your birthday song was Crowded House - Don't Dream it's Over. Perhaps this version will work: Crowded House - Live in Sydney

  61. Belated Birthday Greetings Montana.

    I'm away for a family weekend on the razz at RHBay.

  62. Ghaddafi's losing: lost his air base, whole UN delegation has quit, lost support of delegation to Arab League, who are now claiming to represent the people. It's just a matter of time.

    Apparently there was a rumour last night that he'd been shot but it doesn't appear to be true.

  63. RapidEddie

    Grand Conspiracy? Nah. But an understandable confluence of opinion from people drawn from the same backgrounds, going to the same schools and universities, studying the same courses from the same tutors.

    Yes, while it seems like a conspiracy – the way each prepares the way for the next... The way that Thatcher did awful things – Blair came in as, supposedly, a rejection of it, with those soft platitudes, and then did worse than she’d dared – and now… but when it’s said out loud, it doesn’t sufficiently add up – there are still a lot of individuals involved, and some of them even seem to believe what they say (although that only makes it worse).

    Of course their imagined superior intelligence is far more to do with background and connections. I've met so many rather thick people in educational circles (not everyone), and some really sharp ones way aways from there; and the way the elite all too often carry on doesn't indicate being bright - more cunning maybe.

    After all, they are much better pros than a benefit cheat any day - no piffling amounts for them - let's go straight for the millions. While to them I suppose I must seem a complete moron - on account of having nothing in the bank.

    That's what's really wrong with our society and our politics - judging people's worth by what they are worth, instead of by what they are.

    I never had any illusions about Thatcher or Blair, and suchlike – not that I can proove that, but it really was always obvious to me. What I didn't see coming was this scenario with the Liberals (how appropriate the yellow has turned out to be). We always felt – give them a chance – it can’t be worse – and heck, here they are, making things even worse.

    Maybe it's just wishful thinking in my dotage, but I seem to remember in my teens that there were two distinctly different strands of thought.

    That’s how I remember it too. While one does have to be careful about looking at the past through tinted lenses, it did all seem at least so much more straighforward – I don’t think that’s entirely a delusion. Also Labour still had many of its working-class roots still present.

    Much of what has gone wrong – simplistically – is the steady weeding out of those with roots from the ‘working class’, as holding back the Labour Party; so that increasingly, yes, MPs have come from the same background, and really – Cameron-Clegg-Miliband – what’s the difference?

    Why do they even bother keeping up the pretence of offering alternative views? Why?

    While those who really most need representing are now effectively without representation, and that part of the working force that drove the Labour movement in its more formative years no longer perceive themselves as a part of that, along with many of the old industries no longer existing. Thatcher really did do a good job at demolishing working-class strongholds, and then theri identity.

    So now we have a socialist party that doesn’t want to have socialists there holding it back – so, like, what’s now the point of its existence? Red Ed? – ludricious, whilst also tragic.

    Anyways, I see better now, thank you, how to answer that question more fully when it arises another time; while I do think my point about their (decreasing) differences centring upon how best to serve the corporates has some validity – or it could be that having sort of formed a theory, I don’t like to quite surrender it… There is an element of that there, I believe; but not, of course, all of the story.

  64. For the record:


    The only times I'll report comments are when they are examples of illegal hate-speech, egregious trolling or spam.

    Am I the only person in the world who finds your equating the enormity of illegal hate-speech, with what you call egregious trolling or spam, to be somewhat strange, even offensive?

    So where in my posts is there anything that might be construed as "hate speech" Ally, yet alone "illegal hate speech"?

    Is this just a slur to deflect the requirement for you to answer truthfully?

    Or could it be that you're wriggling at the end of a very long hook and wishing you hadn't been so active in your denunciation of those who didn't conform to your particular view of what good journalism should be, but instead expected a respected journalist like you to uphold more honourable traditions?

  65. Enjoy it deano! Been to Scarborough, Whitby and Filey at different points, but never RHB.

  66. Moonwave

    That's what's really wrong with our society and our politics - judging people's worth by what they are worth, instead of by what they are.

    Couldn't agree more. And it cuts both ways.

  67. Oh come on, Bitey, you've been stalking a couple of posters and making up shit about them for a couple of years. Were this not the anonymous internet, your comments would be libellous.

    Having said that, I have never reported a post to the mods except for outright spam.

  68. Parallexview

    your work unravelling this maze is important - we need a route map exposed before we can (metaphorically) bomb the bridges.

    I had no idea I was doing anything so important… (I can now inform my family, who have a lamentable tendency to call it 'wasting my time', that I am in fact employed on the vital mission of exposing ways to burn bridges - that should convince them of something.)..

    I shall endeavour to continue unravelling.

  69. Bitey

    It was EnglishTurnip who grassed you up not Ally.He's actually left you a signed confession on waddya.Sadly the Turnip thinks all of us who post over here are marked with the sign of the beast.And to be fair to Ally i don't think grassing people up is his style anyway.

  70. EnglishTurnip

    Cheers Paul - that really hit my funnybone! Can't stop giggling....

  71. Hello everyone; here's more from across the pond by Paul Krugman who is usually good value when it comes to digging up what the real agenda is.

  72. Meanwhile in Libya; Protestors in Tripoli are under fire; Resident of Tripoli @4.13 'The militia and Gaddafi supporters are carrying heavy arms,there are people lying in the streets,no one is allowed to take them,they are using ambulances to shoot people,they are using anti aircraft weapons, they are shooting continously,they are shooting at people coming out of Mosques'

  73. This really pissed me off from Jill Insley on the
    Cost of raising children thread -

    I think some parents are quite keen that their children don't start their working lives with upwards of £30k in debt.
    But I guess that's a personal choice.

    Glad it's a personal choice for her, the patronising twat. Some of us don't have the luxury of that particular choice.

  74. On CiF

    The question is this:

    Does The Guardian want to be remembered as the paper that risked its existence in fighting the lies of Jonathan Aitkin and his:

    "If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight. The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it. My fight begins today. Thank you and good afternoon."

    Or does it wish now to put it's faith in the relativity of AllyF and his "the only times I'll report (here read censor) comments are when they are examples of illegal hate-speech, egregious trolling or spam."

    Because if it does, like Esau selling his birthright for a mess of pottage, there is no loss to you Ally, but a lot to lose for those who rely on your integrity.

  75. Worth a couple of quotes from chekhov's link above:

    Here’s a thought: maybe Madison, Wis., isn’t Cairo after all. Maybe it’s Baghdad — specifically, Baghdad in 2003, when the Bush administration put Iraq under the rule of officials chosen for loyalty and political reliability rather than experience and competence.

    As many readers may recall, the results were spectacular — in a bad way. Instead of focusing on the urgent problems of a shattered economy and society, which would soon descend into a murderous civil war, those Bush appointees were obsessed with imposing a conservative ideological vision. Indeed, with looters still prowling the streets of Baghdad, L. Paul Bremer, the American viceroy, told a Washington Post reporter that one of his top priorities was to “corporatize and privatize state-owned enterprises” — Mr. Bremer’s words, not the reporter’s — and to “wean people from the idea the state supports everything.”

    What’s that about? The state of Wisconsin owns a number of plants supplying heating, cooling, and electricity to state-run facilities (like the University of Wisconsin). The language in the budget bill would, in effect, let the governor privatize any or all of these facilities at whim. Not only that, he could sell them, without taking bids, to anyone he chooses. And note that any such sale would, by definition, be “considered to be in the public interest.”


    Remember that BigSoc Britain is basically just America - but smaller and with funny voices.

    So, now it seems less surprising that Cameron and the Yellowbellies simply feel able to hand the Welfare State over to their mates.

    If Uncle Same can do it, so can we!

  76. Paul, thanks for that but AllyF has been "grassing me up" as you put it for years now.

    AllyF and I go back a long way, even longer than me and Jay, so what happened today is of little importance in the run of things, other than there's now a public place free of censorship where the matter can be recorded.

  77. Speaking of Iraq, they are having a 'day of rage' today also - protesting against the govt.

    So it seems that all that lovely democracy and privatisation hasn't entirely fulfilled all the needs of all the people.

  78. there's now a public place free of censorship where the matter can be recorded

    Aw, Bitey, are you telling Montana that you love her now?

  79. Hi All

    Montana--A belated Happy Birthday from me too. Hope it was an enjoyable day for you.

    Is it time for an extraordinary rendition in the case of Ghaddafi? Many of our western governments have been complicit in these things. What are the moral consequences of such an act? ----We can only hope that the people of Libya get through this soon with a minimum of violence.

  80. I've been censored by the spam bin...

  81. Don't joke shaz, censorship is serious.

  82. Thanks, Thauma.

    Anyone of a nervous - or even human - disposition, stay away from Dave Evans' thread on CiF. They're really crawling out of the fucking woodwork on that one.

  83. thaumaturge said...
    there's now a public place free of censorship where the matter can be recorded

    Aw, Bitey, are you telling Montana that you love her now?


    Sadly, the hatred of censorship and dictatorship in no way results in love, merely respect.

    I just wish people wouldn't swear so much.

  84. Bitey

    Obviously what's gone on between you and Ally in the past is none of my business.I just felt you should know he wasn't guilty of grassing you up today.

  85. Posted under moderation:

    Would any poster like to suggest a greater time for this newspaper than the time when Jonathan Aitken MP said the following:

    "If it falls to me to start a fight to cut out the cancer of bent and twisted journalism in our country with the simple sword of truth and the trusty shield of British fair play, so be it. I am ready for the fight. The fight against falsehood and those who peddle it. My fight begins today. Thank you and good afternoon."

    And having defeated Aitken's attack in the High Court, is there any example in British journalism which better describes the need for freedom of speech and the Guardian's defence of that human right?

  86. Hi Bitey--re swearing or cursing; You would not have enjoyed some of the construction sites I worked on. (-;-- There is a time for it, though I tend to try and moderate my own use of cursing in mixed company. It's also an issue of free speech is it not? As for censorship itself, I am for none.

  87. Bitey - I'd guess that Montana will be happy with respect.

    As to the cursing, it comes naturally to us Celtic types.

    Boudican - I fucking resent that 'mixed company' qualifier, eh? D'you think us wimmenz can't handle it? ;-)

  88. @boudican 'We can only hope that the people in Libya get through this with minimum of violance'.

    2000 dead and counting is not minimal.The militias and mercanaries are shooting people in the streets, they are using anti aircraft weapons, they are shooting at people from ambulances.
    The west has been complicit in the Regime for years and so has the UN human rights council. Why isnt the interantional community doing more?, they are mute in comparison to their explicit calls for mubarak to step down, even thought the violance is far worse in Libya.
    The bravery of the Libyan people is simply breathtaking.
    I would like to add that The Libyan diaspora are also playing an important role in the protests(obviously not on the same level as in Libya) but they have been spreading and sharing information about gatherings and protests and meetings at an amazing rate(through
    facebook&twitter) and trying to pressure the international community to support the long overdue freedom for Libya. The Libyan people are closer to freedom than ever before,closer to ending the 42 year rule of the longest leader in the Arab world.But what a price they are paying.

  89. 'Happy' is not perhaps quite the right word.... But I'll stop trying to put words in her mouth!

  90. Thauma--I know you can handle it. And you can sling it too! As it is Friday we can expect a barrage of epithets and curses later on. Looking forward to it.

    smtx01--Yes there have been too many deaths already, I'm saying a quick resolution would be preferable to the carnage that is occurring. As I asked you the other night, what would you have me do?

  91. smtx - what do you think the West should do? I think the *worst* thing they could do is to send in troops, for example.

    This is up to the Libyans and while I would rather see the bastard in jail, probably the best outcome is for one of his own to take him down, since he seems to determined to take as many with him as he can.

    Meanwhile they're sitting around in Geneva issuing statements like "we strongly condemn these actions etc.". I suppose it's better than saying nothing, but it isn't much fucking help.

    Yeah - so I don't really have a clue what, if anything, the West should do either.

  92. Last day of the UT birthday week, last few of the theme songs, it is Friday.

    James Dixon

  93. @boudican, I don't think you can personally solve the situation in Libya,if that what you mean, as you said you are doing what you can,writing to to your MP,sharing information about the situation on the ground in Libya, hopefully the international community might wake up and actually find a coherant voice and use it
    Although having just seen oliver miles on the news channel, calling protestors 'rebels', and downplaying the seriousness of the indiscriminate killings of up to 2000 people, denying the west has been complicit and refusing to even counter the notion of no fly zones I dont hold out much hope. The people of Libya will however oust that bastard Gaddafi and end 42 years of despotic rule.

  94. Yeah thauma, Ghaddafi's quick demise would be best for the people of Libya, but how to bring it about? As you say, the rest of the world is sitting around watching with seemingly no action being taken. Of course, undue interferance may not be looked upon as helpful either. A monumental quandary.

  95. And here's one for Habib.


  96. By the way, Bitterweed, you are the theme tune of UT. Cheers for all the best music.

  97. Interesting posts from Anne/Eddie/Montana about manufacturing.

    Although the UK is still the worlds 6th largest manufacturing nation in terms of value of goods produced we still run a horrendous deficit in manufactured goods with the rest of the world.So a manufacturing revival would do wonders for the balance of payments deficit.But would it benefit working class communities?

    My view is that UK revival in UK manufacturing would probably concentrate on high value goods and the factories producing them would be capital intensive with a highly skilled work force.And may not actually generate that many new jobs.There may however be better employment prospects in the service industries dependant on the manufacting sector but how well paid would they be for those without skills and qualifications?

    I think what's needed is a massive investment in vocational training delived through a public/private partnership.To me it's crazy that a country of 62 million people can't produce all the highly trained printers,plumbers,electricians,painters and decorators,construction workers etc that it needs.And is so heavily reliant on immigrants to do these jobs when so many UK citizens are unemployed.

    The former eastern bloc countries were able to provide the excellent vocational training to equip their workers with marketable skills despite being significantly poorer than we are .So why can't we learn from them?

    A manufacturing revival in itself isn't the solution to rebuilding the economies of those working class communities blighted by over 30 years of markert forces and political indifference. We need to re equip people with a variety of skills that can increase their earning power.We need a tax and benefit system that makes the low skilled jobs more financially attractive.We need to look at preventing the supply of working class workers massively outweighing demand and therefore driving down pay and conditions.And we need the political will to pursue a form of neo keynesian economic policy to take up the slack in the event of any downturn.

  98. Boudican, have I given you too much information in the last year and a bit?

    By the way, anyone left out, I only picked the first 20 or so posters on the birthday thread. Otherwise, I could bore you all for ever (even more so.)

  99. Habib - "the pressure is too strong" - too right, am in middle of work crisis that is about to impinge on my rugby-watching!

    Will have to have a proper listen when I am not trying to resuscitate a dying server.... (OK, actually waiting for the outsourced ones to resuscitate it so that I can get on with my job.)

  100. It's the "Kochtopus" what dunnit!...."The largest company you've never heard of."

  101. Paul - I read this earlier today from Pat Buchanan.

    He is a right-wing nut, but actually hates the neocon/neolib experiments, and in this is arguing for US manufacturing protectionism.

    Don't think his idea as stated would work as the US needs lots of rare earth metals, for example, but it is interesting nonetheless.

  102. @thauma, 'Meanwhile they're sitting around in Geneva issuing statements like 'we strongly condemn these action etc etc'.

    Exactly, the differance between the explicit calls from the 'international community' for mubarak to step down and the non existant pressure on Gaddafi to go is staggering.
    I have family friends in Benghazi, I lost contact some years ago, I worry about them,their families,their children. I have a longstanding very dear Libyan friend here in the UK too, has been active for 20 years in organising events and trying to get articles printed in the mainstream press here and in the US,whats happening now in Libya(with the protests) has been what so many have been working for and dreaming of for so long, its quite overwhelming to be honest.

  103. Cheers for that Thauma.Interesting link.

    Trouble with protectionism is that it could have some pretty dire consequences.Demand from the USA-and to a lesser extent the UK- is obviously playing a role in underpinning the manufacturing secors of countries like China,South Korea etc.So what would be the knock on effects in these countries if they couldn,t sell their goods?It would be a high risk strategy not only economically but also politically and militarily too.

  104. smtx - hope your family and friends are OK. Can only think that that the best outcome is only possible if the West doesn't directly interfere. (ie militarily)

  105. @thauma, yes most definately not military action. some outright anger and pressure from the international community might be a start though, and maybe A no fly zone. The friends in Libya are not family members,but dear longtime family friends,

  106. Good posts by RapidEddie, Montana and PAul about manufacturing.

    Germany is the answer.
    I think one the problems is our fetishisation with academic over vocational. Some of the vocations do you can do in Germany, things like designing automotive engines or tunnel boring machines etc, require a vast amount of knowledge and skill and is not something like hairdressing. These are things that take years of experience to get from starting out as an apprentice. The knowledge acquired is probably more in depth than most degree courses as well.

    We were talking about this subject a while ago. The only way Western Europe can have a justifiable manufacturing industry for export is to manufacture extreme hi tech products which the Indians and Chinese cannot build, high value exports as well, not fridges or toasters.

    These are much more complex than assembly line jobs (which almost no longer exist due to automisation). Really, the amount of precision makes factories more like laboratories.

  107. Evening all

    Belated Happy Birthday, Montana! So sorry I missed it. Much love xx

    Habib - the song you chose for me is perfect! My fave Kate Bush album, and my second favourite song on it. Thank you.

    Re Libya - nice to know we are being supportive to those Libyans stranded here, eh?

    Libyans in the UK: Piss Off...

  108. Oh do a song for me Habib. Knowing you... uh oh

  109. Re: Germany and mfg - one also has to bear in mind that, like Japan, post-WW2 there was huge investment in mfg infrastructure which was, necessary, state-of-the-art at the time, whereas comparatively little of ours had been destroyed and, thus, was not replaced. So they had a bit of a head start on the rest of us from that point forward.

    I agree that we don't have the same attitude to engineering and such in this country - engineers in many EU mainland countries are considered professionals on a par with doctors and lawyers. Here we have a tendency to just consider them as glorified grease-monkeys, when nothing could be further from the truth.

  110. @bitey

    Here's a suggestion: the day you stop announcing that I've declared my undying love for Stalin and suicide bombers in the hope that people won't check up on your lies, I won't have to ask for any of your posts to be deleted.


    spike - that's pretty high-up-there on the tar-and-feather trigger response - I smell BNP mentality.

    Could you clarify? I'm not sure what you're saying.


    I'll catch your link later, I'll have to change proxy as YouTube won't let me play it with my current IP address.

  111. Paul, you may be interested in the Finnish education system, as well as the German one.

    In Finland eveyone goes to the same school until the age of 15. Then after sitting exams, for 3 years they go to either to an upper secondary or a vocational school , the former being more academic and a preparation for university.

    In Germany the divide is 11. I suppose in that way the Finnish system is preferable becuase I feel the sharp divide at age 11 is a bit much and unfair for children at the time.

    Even if one goes down the vocational route, there are always plenty of ways to access the academic route later on, evening classes, distance courses etc, so if say a manufacturing worker didn't do so well academically when he was a lad (becuase lets face it many people have external issues like dysfunctional families or bullying- I can vouch for these both in my case) but really got interested in something later on, he could quite easily make the transfer.

    Oh yeah and university tution is practically free in both countries.

  112. Call me an old cynic, but I wonder if studies are underway in the USA (and among its puppets) to decide whether it's worthwhile sending a peacekeeping force into Libya to help them manage their oil.

  113. Oh, so this must be the huge piece of news which JezzaBella was going to dump on Dribbly - and bottled at the last moment:


    25 February 2011 6:32PM

    Just closing Guardian Talk like this with absolutely no notice really stinks. There were thriving communities of friends in there as well as the dross. You've not allowed people to do anything to remain in contact and move their discussions elsewhere. Although only an irregular poster these days, there were users on Talk I've known for ten years. It seems a very strange way for the Guardian to treat its original online community that despite being hidden away for years remained the UK's wittiest talkboard.


    So, if they really were the wittiest crowd in Christendom and they wash up on the Dribbly shores, we may see BrusselsSpecSavers have her nose put out of joint - along with the others.

    Nice to see what The Guardian thinks of those who toil to produce most of its content for nothing, though, isn't it?

    Shall we tell them?
    Shall we set up a new area for them?
    Shall we save all their output into an archive?
    Shall we do anything to ameliorate suddenly losing their home?
    So, just treat them like cunts, eh?

  114. Spike

    Call me an old cynic, but I wonder if studies are underway in the USA (and among its puppets) to decide whether it's worthwhile sending a peacekeeping force into Libya to help them manage their oil.

    I think you will find that all the oil in all the world belongs to America.

    If some people are silly enough to live on top of it, they just have to take the consequences.

    Normally, that will mean being democratised.

    You know, what we used to call killing and robbing to establish a protection racket.

  115. @Atom

    Heheh! Is BrusselsSpecSavers a new one? In any case, I like it.


    Er... Cheers. Stand and Deliver? Do I seem vain or is it for the hanging at the end? :-)

  116. Home at last - thank god almighty! Road works on the A1 are horrendous and recovering from monumental Scottish hangover - courtesy of my brother and his beloved.

    Yr Grace - re your Giddens remarks - just been sent this...he he...wrong side of history I think!

    Plot thickens in LSE Gaddafi connection

  117. @sheff thats an old connection

  118. Spike - that's it isn't it? without seeing it, we can attack as a sycophantic royalist film.

    I've seen it - sorry rather keen on Colin Firth he's a good actor and whatever the subject its a pleasure to watch a fine actor demonstrating his craft.

    It actually exposed the royal family as a pretty nasty lot George V was a very nasty bully. George VI had a vile temper and this was at least hinted at.

    However the performances of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush were a joy to watch.

    Thousands of people in this world are stammerers its a horrible affliction and the film made what I believe is a valid point that unhappy childhoods can cause the problem, not actually recognised by most people at the time.

    I can sympathise with anyone who has a disability. We are all human, equally so - which is why monarchy is so offensive.

    FFS its a FILM! and one that I don't think would make anyone a royalist unless they were one already.

    No is going to force anyone to watch it - by the same token I don't think its reasonable to judge any work of art sight unseen.

    Perfectly reasonable to decide you don't want to see it though!

    and as for all the hullabaloo about the Oscars - couldn't give a fuck. :)

  119. Habib--Haha, I just thought you would like that song. Not qualified to do analyses of you or anyone else anyway, although I have my moments.

    thauma--That is a good article by Buchanan. I read his column on antiwar.com regularly, and never thought I would say this about him, but he does talk more sense than he once did.

    Spike, that ain't cynicism. Probably a good question to ask if we keep in mind what's gone on before. Although winning hearts and minds is always thrown into the pot by the US foreign policy makers!

    BTW, did you watch that dreadful display of anti-football the other day? Sad and boring. Inter vs Bayern was far more entertaining.

  120. smtx

    Trawling through a zillion emails. Don't know how legit it is but have been sent the following - you might want to check it out.

    Tel: +44 (0)7745581161
    Please join us on facebook and twitter
    [World Medical Camp Libya]

    Dear all

    We are a group of Libyans based in the UK and abroad who have established a charitable organisation called the World Medical Camp for Libya (WMCL) to respond to the urgent and immediate medical needs in Libya.

    We write this letter to ask for your help in addressing what has now become an unbearable situation in Libya, where for the past week we have seen unrelenting military attacks against innocent and unarmed Libyan civilians.

    Eyewitness reports to this effect have been trickling out from Libya and the death toll appears to be slowly mounting with reports of nearly 1,000 casualties(Italy's foreign minister, 23/02/11). Sources on the ground have reported that the situation is dire with hospitals in Tripoli, Benghazi and elsewhere in eastern Libya lacking the basic medical supplies and equipment to treat the injured.

    Your donations will allow us to deliver aid directly to hospitals in Benghazi as well as to other eastern towns including Derna, Bayda, and Tobruk, where reports have been received of a greater number of injuries. We will use a wide network of well-established local contacts in Marsa Matrouh (near the Egyptian-Libyan border) and Tobruk who are experienced in the logistics of transporting cargo across the Egyptian border into Libya.

    Representatives on the ground are receiving the medical supplies in Egypt and co-ordinating the transportation arrangements so the supplies can be delivered as soon as possible. The representatives will also lead the convoy to its final delivery points in Libya and identify additional needs.

    These efforts to provide medical humanitarian aid to Libya need to continue and we appeal to you for urgent cash donations. With the news of more and more lethal attacks on unarmed civilian population being reported on an hourly basis, we would respectfully implore you to treat our appeal for assistance with urgency.

    Please Donate via bank transfer to the following bank details:

    1. GBP World Medical Camp Libya
    HSBC Bank PLC
    Sort Code: 400327
    A/c No.: 52062666
    IBAN: GB77MIDL40032752062666

    2. EUR to Deutsche Bank A.G., Frankfurt SWIFT: DEUTDEFF

    IBAN DE04500700100924882400

    Account ABC International Bank plc London

    Favour International Libyan Financial Association

    Reference: World Medical Camp Libya

    3. USD to HSBC Bank USA, New York A/c 000135836 SWIFT: MRMDUS33

    Account ABC International Bank plc London

    Favour International Libyan Financial Association

    Reference: World Medical Camp Libya

    Thank you.

    Yours faithfully,

    World Medical Camp for Libya (WMCL

  121. @annetan

    Oh, I wasn't saying anything about the film itself, just the hype. You can't turn on the TV or radio or open a web page without getting an eye/earful of the King's Speech.


    Don't remind me. Top-flight European football, eh?

  122. Spike, I've always admired the nonchalant bravado in you.

    Charles, well you did ask.

  123. Spike yeah now the hype is sycophantically royalist.

    OO look a film about brenda's dad!

  124. The solution to all those Royal Wedding problems...

    They may be £3 a whack, but I am getting us one each

  125. Hi BB; yeah I clocked those and I don't think it's a coincidence that they were conceived,designed and marketed from Tyneside!
    I'll be putting my order in soon.

  126. AB, I only very occasionally stuck my head around the corner to Guardian Talk. It was like a throw back to the old usenet boards from about 15 years ago. A bog standard vBulletin board that you can buy for thruppence and a bag of chips would have been easier to read, more functional and more user-friendly.

    But - if my memory serves me right - it was an old-fashioned talk board/forum. Users start the threads. Users raise the issues.

    I'm thinking that it presented a few problems for the Graun. Too old and neglected to generate page hits and ad revenue. Too open to users setting the agenda. Too impervious to editorializing by the staff.

    Close it and you drag a few more bodies over into CiF, where they can read what they told to read and damn well like it. Meanwhile, 5 another new Cuntributors were created today on the People's Panel in the hope that they will be waving around their shiny new blue badges by endlessly posting. Plus ca bleedin' change, Rodney.

  127. I absolutely agree with you, Eddie. Entente cordiale, me old mate.

    Chekhov - re the Royal Wedding memorabilia... hehehehe! Had to be a proper working-class work of art, that. :o)

  128. Just a quick response to the comments on UK manufacturing. It's certainly not a complete solution to providing decent jobs, but I'd suggest that it's got a lot more potential in that area than is commonly assumed.

    Here's a striking statistic from a University of Manchester/Open University group, called the Centre for Research On Socio-Cultural Change or CRESC (crazy name, crazy guys): "In terms of manufacturing employment, German manufacturing employs 7.2 million workers (or nearly three times the 2.4 million employed in the UK) and the German manufacturing share of GDP or national output is twice as large."

    Rediscovering manufacturing

    The potential is huge. The politicians just can't be arsed.

  129. Evening all.

    Many thanks for my choon, habib!

  130. @BB; there are a couple of big projects up here in the North East to harness wind power (there's not much shortage of that around these parts) and also geo-thermal energy.
    The latter involves drilling down through old mine shafts to pump water which is around 80'back to the surface of the earth putting it through a heat converter. Summat like that anyway, I'm not a scientist but I did ask, either on here or on CIF why this was not a viable option of sourcing re-newable energy and all the wonks told me it wouldn't work.

    If it doesn't work, why are people investing their own money on the premise that it might?

  131. @ sheff, thanks for your reply, its a very troubling time, also i cant get hold of anyone i know in libya.. why has this not captured the hearts and minds like it did with egypt and tunis? why? so many dead. the guardiands coverage is no where near as good re the protests then,

  132. @rapid eddie, cant u stop for a moment going on about the cuts in england/ireland, people are dying in libya, i dont mean to single you out, there are many who dont comment about it also(well most), but 2000 dead, tripoli on fire, mercaniries shooting people,

  133. i see spike and habib have fuck all to say, why dont you just stick on a 'choon'

  134. 'voices from a benghazi rally', (YOU TUBE)

  135. smtx01, I've changed my mind about you, so you'll forgive me, I hope, if I don't engage with you in a fight?

    We could talk about things we agree on, if it's not too boring?

  136. ok habib, lets truly hope for peace at last in libya

  137. I was thinking more along the lines that "Hong Kong Phooey" was infinitely superior to "Scooby Doo".

  138. @smtx

    Next time Israel commits an atrocity (sadly, we probably won't have to wait long), I'll be sure to constantly prompt you to condemn it.

    I last commented on Libya 3 hours and 20 minutes ago. What Libyan comment rate do you consider acceptable?

    My personal view of you is that you're just another Zionist shill - and a poor one at that - interested only in denouncing all things Muslim and cheerleading for Israel. If my view is as important to you as it seems to be, try and convince me otherwise.

    Even when I've agreed with you in the past, as I've often done about ex-Yugoslavia, I've had the nasty feeling that you defend the Serbs only because they've fighting Muslims, not because you're really interested in the rights and wrongs.

  139. i am hong kong phooey(except i left the rest to fight on a number 29 bus on the way home after starting it all)
    i dont live in london now. thauma do you live in ireland? where abouts?

  140. u can fuck of spike(back 2 the point or shallcross or whatever the fuck ur name is, i am morrocon/russian herritage and i am jewish, if you dont like it fuck off, i really really hate freaks like you i m born hereVia tottenham and peckam by the way, u , u are the freak, u old english man living in frane, fuk off

  141. smtx01, have you ever seen Gordon Jackson getting on a train in "The Great Escape"?

  142. BTW; correct me if I'm wrong but I get a sense from the general thrust of most posters on this site that they are unanimously cynical and suspicious.
    I would suggest that we all have reason to be cynical rather than gullible and re-post this link in case anyone missed it. It's a long read (10 pages) but this stuff needs to be shared.

    If you don't want to know what's really going on, that's fine with me, just be an Ostrich and stick your head in the sand.

    Don't come back to me a few years down the line and ask for forgiveness!

  143. @spike, uv never defended me by the way, you dont know what a balkan thread is, u cant seperate stuff can u , i have never ever seen you on a single thread about the balkans, u are a liar and a twat

  144. Ooops; forgot to provide the link sorry about that!
    Here it is again: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=1

  145. @ habib i aint seen the gordon jackson get away, but i have been on a swift number 29 to wood green

  146. smtx, people would take you more seriously if you at least use basic spelling and grammar. Please...

    Thanx for link, striking fact,
    "Three quarters of British manufacturing employment is in workshops employing ten or less"

    In other words little cottage industires producing probably tat. I could set up one myself in my bedroom making little trinkets and selling them on ebay and still be counted as the British manufacturing industry :)


  147. smtx01--From what I've seen on the news from all over the world the situation in Libya is getting a lot of coverage. It's usually the lead story or second mentioned. I live in Canada so would not get the same tv channels you do, although BBC, CNN are pretty much worldwide now. I think that most do care about Libya, but life (drinking,music and other interests ) must be seen to as well.

    chekhov--Agree, but would add I'm a curmudgeonly suspicious cynic with a quasi optimistic outlook. (-:

  148. chekhov,
    "Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett."

    I'm sure they toiled very hard for each billion.

  149. Chekhov - thanks for the link to the article about the Koch brothers. They are deeply cynical operators and they frankly scare me the fuck to bits - I am going to go away and read all ten pages tomorrow - have bookmarked it.

    P.s - I watch Americas Next Top Model - according to our new strapline does that mean I am banned?

  150. @boudican see mmuch outrage on here did ya? 2000 dead in libya, in egypt and tunisia they were going into spasams. you say quadaffi i say khadaffi,u say khadafy i say gaddafy,quaddafi, khadifi,gadafy g'daffy

  151. smtx01, come on, lets find common ground again?

  152. smtx01 said: @rapid eddie, cant u stop for a moment going on about the cuts in england/ireland, people are dying in libya, i dont mean to single you out, there are many who dont comment about it also (well most), but 2000 dead, tripoli on fire, mercaniries shooting people.

    Apologies smtx. You'd like me to comment on Libya? No problem, here's my comment. I don't have TV (no money, so the service was disconnected), so I can't follow the up-to-the-minute news reports. On the internet, coverage appears disjointed and confusing.

    Gaddafi certainly appears to have both set loose mercanaries on his own people and possibly bombed them. Perhaps he's definitely bombed them. You tell me.

    You seem the thing is smtx01, me old mate, I don't like to comment without knowing something about (a) what is currently happening and (b) the context. I was probably at least 2 weeks later than just about everyone else commenting on Egypt, simply because I wasn't satisfied I knew enough. The one statistic that did eventually strike me was that 40% of the people there live on less than $2 a day. There's a reason for revolution right there.

    In Libya, I suspect - but once again I don't know - that the poverty rates are not dissimilar. Corruption is not dissimilar. And probably a similarly large amount of Libyans are young adults. You tell me.

    It occurs to me that the commonality across the Middle East is that people are fed up living poverty-stricken lives of piss, shit and dirt, while a tiny elite live in obscene wealth. Forget freedom, a yearning for democracy or anything else - although these will strike chords with the educated middle class Middle Eastern young people - the prime mover for mass involvement is the chance for people to get out of grinding poverty.

    I also think that the US and their mates couldn't give a flying fuck how it turns out in Libya as long as the oil still flows in their direction.

    Stmx, may I ask where your perspicacious commentary was during the demonstrations and bloodshed in Thailand, when Thai people were being shot by their own army? The current Rapid Other is Thai, I've been there, loved the people and culture and I've taken an interest in what happens there ever since. I commented on events there a number of times on CiF. I can't remember any input from you. Perhaps you were otherwise occupied on CIF Watch.

    It's disturbing and saddening to watch Libya go through this. I read other posters on the subject and the main news agencies. I rely on people with a more long-standing interest and greater knowledge of Middle Eastern affairs to help make sense of it for me.

    Perhaps in the future, you'd like to give me a fucking schedule of what is fucking acceptable to you for me to opine upon, complete with the fucking times I should express a fucking opinion and the fucking opinions I should express. You cunt.

    In the spirit of Dame Edna, I say that in a caring way.

    P.S. The Irish General Election is today, but who gives a shit, eh? I only live here.

  153. princess

    Oh dear, Next Top Model ... was it for research purposes?

    Funny how the world's top 2 businesses - Koch and Cargill - have remained in family hands, isn't it. Never occurred to them to flog off their assets and just twiddle their thumbs, I presume. The sums of money talked about it the first few lines of the article are eye watering, btw. I too will read it in full tomorrow.

  154. oh yesa charles excuse the poor spelling, try checking the sentiment

  155. I think the F4 Phantom was way better than the MiG 21.

    I think that the apartheid era South African Cheetah aircraft only slightly bore a resemblance to the Israeli Kfir fighter plane.

  156. @ rapid, i just told people that i have dear friend of 20 years living in libya, in benghazi, and u come out with that, i dont know if they are alive or dead, so il think ill pass on your 'points' some of us have been involved for a while,

  157. @ rapid eddie i meant to say dear family friends, you know with children,brothers, sisters,husbands and wives people are being shot, i am very upset, so maybe, best not to comment now, i dont know how they are, if they are alive or dead,

  158. MsC - No I watch it every week (hangs head in shame and slinks off to corner) I can't justify it or explain it I just like it. I love how they have to 'smize' (smile with their eyes) and how every single week they make modelling look like the hardest job in the world by pretending that models are always having to pose underwater, or with a tarantula on their face, or on a high wire - you get the gist.

    RapidEddie - you said: ''It occurs to me that the commonality across the Middle East is that people are fed up living poverty-stricken lives of piss, shit and dirt, while a tiny elite live in obscene wealth. Forget freedom, a yearning for democracy or anything else - although these will strike chords with the educated middle class Middle Eastern young people - the prime mover for mass involvement is the chance for people to get out of grinding poverty.''

    Amen to that - I think this is definitely about more than a desire for Western democracy (laughs bitterly) and more about a desire for the re-distribution of hoarded wealth, and of course about lots of unemployed and angry young men. And many commentators have been saying as much once you get away from the banal crap spouted by the Beeb etc. Because of course we can't possibly let it be known that these revolutions are about wealth discrepancy can we - as that might be a little too close to the bone for many of our dear leaders over here.

  159. smtx01--Yes I am outraged at these crimes and oppressions. Again what would you ave me do? If you have not already done so, check out antiwar.com,rawstory.com, and liveleak for more info/news.

    princess, no you are not banned, but you're pushing it lady!

    Cloudless,crisp day here so I must walk the hound before my Friday afternoon 'consultations' in the pub. Will check on night folk later. See Yous.

  160. Just out of interest smtx, and if you don't mind me asking, what is it you're doing to help the people of Libya, or facilitate their fight for freedom??

    Other than shouting at people for not talking about it enough, obviously!!

  161. habib

    I'd quite like to play with one of these. Unarmed, of course. There's a video on the page which is is a bit OTT promo, but some good shots nevertheless.

  162. 'boudician, i replies=d to you earlier,(4 hours ago) why are u still going on about it?, what did you disagree with? or have u just an axe to grind?

  163. @ dixon, like i said, i have been involved for 15 years(sorry to Dissapoint you whitey)

  164. Hello All

    Just come - caught some news.

    i was expecting huge turn out in Ireland but report I sawsuggested turnout was down.

    floor collapsed in one polling station - no report of injuries which is good.


    I have no adequate comment to make. Looks like a fight to the death - for how many who can tell ? Too many already.

    NZ earthquake - death toll rising.

    The world is full of pain.

    Will try to read thread now and catch up with everybody.

  165. Erm, OK!!

    But when you say involved, what do you mean, exactly?

    I'm genuinely interested!!

  166. smtx01, I'm sad for all the pain you must be going through right now, with your friends in Libya and all. There's no shame in getting professional help to get you through that, you know. Best regards to you.

  167. @habib, 'theres no shame in getting proffesional help'you really are quite low arnt you.

  168. my friends in libya uncle/family members were hanged 20 years ago, the spies came out for everyone, they/we didnt need 'professional help' then, and dont need it now. i cant belive how low people go on here, disgusting

  169. Manufacturing - There have been several stupid decisions over the last couple of years - the closure of the IOW turbine plant and withdrawal of loan from Forge Masters. Both companies involved in what are regared as growth areas - how much deevelopment and investment is there in solar tech ? we are going backwards.

    The financial woes of ManU - is football classified as a service ?

    Report earlier this week said that service industries with corporate clients are increasing their business but small service providers reliant on individual customers are struggling. Shows where the money is slushing around and where money is very tight.

  170. I meant no offence to you, smtx01. I was saying that it's hard to cope with grief on your own.

  171. smtx

    Are there web sites - or other communication channels - set up yet for people to trace families and friends in Libya? The picture is still very confused and it will probably take some time for everyone to be accounted for.

    I can understand the distress of people waiting for news.

  172. smtx

    You may have missed it, but at 23:19, I asked what sort of things you're involved in! Is it fundraising, letter writing, organising rallies, support groups, what?

    Maybe if you gave details, or pointed us in the direction of said groups, campaigns etc, some of us could get more directly involved! That'd be a good start, right...??

  173. Habib

    thankyou for the Carole King - I'm watching her now.

  174. (Indeed, thanks for my tune too, Habib!!)

  175. Just read last 2 pages of waddya - some very angry talk people posting there.

  176. Just read it too, Leni. Seems that The Graun has broken some longstanding friendships, no wonder people are upset.

  177. @smtx

    you dont know what a balkan thread is, u cant seperate stuff can u , i have never ever seen you on a single thread about the balkans, u are a liar and a twat

    What you mean like this Bosnian War thread comment of mine posted forty minutes after one of yours (it was the first of my 8 non-deleted posts on that thread)?

    A little further down the thread, I see your 4:19 and 4:23 posts come 4 comments after my 3:53 post and immediately precede my 4:28 post.

    That was only one Balkan thread I found in my CiF records. You can find others if you're interested.

    As usual, you're talking bollocks.

  178. Leni, initial reports are of a higher turn out than at the last election - up from 67% to over 70%.

    Polls close with high turnout reported in many areas

    You can't underestimate the amount of sheer anger amongst many people here. The whole giant clusterfuck was conceived, nurtured and made worse at every possible turn by Fianna Fail.

    I guess it had its origins in the famous Fianna Fail tent at the Galway Races (yes, really). The most conspicuous guests were always the well-known property developers who have traditionally been the largest contributors to FF party funds. It is alleged that the tent was a great place for property developers and FF politicians to come to, ahem, understandings. It is further, eh, alleged that following the annual piss-up, large amounts of cash would change hands. North Dublin TD Ray Burke was sent to jail after someone testified seeing him with a black bin bag with €60,000 inside.

    Arising out of this cosy relationship, there were tax breaks to build houses and apartments. Tax breaks to build offices and industrial premises. Tax breaks to buy houses and apartments. Tax breaks to buy offices and industrial premises.

    And they knew what was happening with the bubble long, long ago. Bertie tried briefly in the 2000s to pull some of the breaks to cool down the market. A bit of 'lobbying' and the grants and tax breaks were all back in there in the next budget.

    A week before the decision to guarantee every last red cent of the banks' debt, Brian Cowen went golfing with Sean Fitzpatrick, CEO of Anglo Irish Bank, the property bank that you could have safely flushed down the shitter and nobody would have noticed. Back in the clubhouse, Cowen was spotted by some Sein Fein TDs (yep, the Shinners are now in swanky golf clubs), lunching with Fitzpatrick and even more bankers.

    The whole economy is imploding because of clueless Fianna Fail fucks who couldn't stop filling their own and their mates' pockets and even as the whole thing was collapsing, they were more willing to screw the Irish people for a generation than to burn their mates in the banks and Europe.

    Fine Gael may get a majority, but will probably enter into coalition with Labour (who ran a shit, vacuous campaign from start to finish).

    The real interest for me lies in two areas. Will Fianna Fail get pushed into third place behind Fine Gael and Labour, in which case they could be out of power for a very long time. And keep an eye on the Shinners. A lot of Fianna Fail voters (particularly older and rural) would be likely to switch direct from FF to SF.

  179. I've been spambinned if someone could release me. Cheers!

  180. Leni/MsChin

    I made what turned out to be an unintentionally crass comment on waddya about the closure of GUT-which i hadn't heard of until today.Seems for over a decade some really vulnerable people have grown to depend on it.Guardian must have been aware of that and to pull the plug on it without warning is unforgiveable.

  181. MsChin

    It seems talk was closed without either discussion or even warning - very shabby treatment of the contributors.

    Are they going to change the waddya format I wonder ?

    It seems commenters and are seen as worthless to the holy G.

  182. @dixon, im sorry, i think i have appeared ignorant, but the things i was talking about involving libyans,(15-20 yrs ago) and ongoing was fairly libyan based. i truly did not mean to sound off the cuff about other issues(involving intl com) im sorry if i came across like that.