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Everything posted by DamnSaxon

  1. I feel strangely drawn to this thread. Can't imagine why. Re the earlier comment about Australians, everyone should know the story from the "Bodyline" cricket tour when England visited Australia and introduced the rather hostile notion of the bowler bowling at the batsman rather than the wicket. It appears that Douglas Jardine, the rather 'superior' England captain, heard one of the Aussies refer to him as a 'b*stard' whilst he was at the wicket. After play, he headed for the Australian changing room to complain to the opposing captain. The Aussie heard him out politely. He then turned to the roomful of Aussie cricketers and asked in a loud voice: "Okay, which of you b*stards called this b*stard a b*stard?" Exit Jardine, not altogether mollified. Context is everything.
  2. That's my vote too. The sex can wait 'til later!
  3. Okay. The Dickensian urchin bit? - Check my original quote marks. "Poor"? "little"? "she"? - the whole deliberately emotional tone of the phrase suggests it. This is not the sort of emotionally neutral language required for rational discussion, still less conflict resolution, yet it is heard whenever Israel is threatened. Israel always the aggressor? With all due respect, who bombed their way into whose country here? You can't do that and expect to be flavour of the month, can you? - Every attack on Israel is done in the spirit of driving out the invaders. From that initial invasion everything since stems. The French? - So, did we achieve peace with them by bombing them into submission after invading their land, or did we do it by working together with them and making friends with them? (One thing that's always struck me as odd about our relationship with the French is that both sides find the sound of the other speaking their language un peu sexy. Strange, considering how long we spent fighting them, but that's another story.) Peace with Egypt and Jordan? - Check earlier comment re. US satraps all round the area. Laugh off British colonial adventurism? Not at all. I'm quite aware that "our" real reason has a lot more to do with US strategic interests, a fact which, like so many others, makes me wince. And of course, by "our" I don't mean yours or mine - it's just the policy of the weird aliens who comprise our political class, and I don't think either of us bears any real responsibility for their stupidity. Peaceful integration always a part of Zionism? In theory, maybe, but it's difficult to see how anyone planning an invasion can plan to do it "peacefully". And their subsequent history smacks more of apartheid and oppression than peaceful integration. To me, the idea of a "Jewish homeland" is as nonsensical and dangerous as that of a "Christian homeland" or a Muslim homeland" or any other "homeland" based on the elimination of everyone else. I'd rather get on amicably with a Muslim neighbour than drive him out and have him shell me - however ineffectually - from afar. "Sovereign Israel"? Or "Occupied Palestine"? Depends entirely on your viewpoint, surely. Had the area in question been Shetland rather than Palestine, would you still see it as "sovereign Israel", or as "occupied Shetland"? - I suspect that the answer would depend on how much respect the invaders had shown for the indigenous culture, just as it does to the Palestinians in Palestine - and irrespective of any international declaration of its legitimacy. Britain's "Greatness"? When the "sun never set", surely. And yes, I am quite aware that we weren't fluffy bunnies either, for all our high-minded talk about "civilising the natives". We had our time in the sun as brutal thugs, and we too created great gobbets of trouble and bad feeling wherever we went; however, we didn't start by building our base on someone else's country, but just invaded them from here. Oh, and yes, I know that the "Great" is a geographical term rather than a political one, for all the tosh about our "greatness" which was and is spoken. As for "the coalition" ... surely that remains basically the US and its lapdog, give or take a noticeably small percentage of fellow travellers. If there's one thing which the last fifty years or so of history shows, it is that wherever there's trouble, look for the English-speaking countries. Where it used to be us, it's now the US taking the lead, but we're still meddlesome beggars who can't stand by and let other people sort out their own problems without our dispensation of (usually military, usually profitable) "wisdom". Don't misunderstand me here, I am truly appalled by the numbers of dead and injured in the bogus "War On Terror" in Iraq and Afghanistan, but I'm also aware that the great majority of those deaths are of the US's making rather than ours, and that the whole exercise is more to do with the US's perceived interests than UK ones. What embarrasses me is having to watch our "great and good" posing and pretending that we're still the big beast we were a hundred years ago. Embarrassment does not drive out horror, and condemning one atrocity does not in any way imply that I condone another. What I completely fail to understand is how you arrive at the apparent belief that the wholesale, lethal destruction of the "world's largest open prison" is justified by the (relatively) trivial faffing about with little rockets which Hamas have been indulging in. A serious attempt to deal with that problem - given that Israel entirely controls the Gaza Strip - would surely involve no more than sending in a few agents and taking out a handful of the most militant Hamas'ers - not "teaching the whole area a lesson". The lesson the Gazans have been learning over the last week is that Israel is still their violent oppressor, and no lasting good can come of that - still less "peaceful integration". Treat people - any people - like animals, and you really can't complain if they respond by biting you.
  4. Gibber, I've heard the exact phrase "Oh, poor little Israel, may she not protect herself?" used quite seriously in argument, and seen various rephrasings of the "little Israel fighting for its survival against the big, bad enemy" scenario in countless articles over ... well, the fact that there hasn't been peace in that region all my life rather makes my point. I first became really aware of what was going on in sixth form discussions shortly after the "Six Day War", and have kept a weary, rather than wary, eye on them ever since. Hah, love the Majoresque stereotypes, but actually I entirely agree with you there. "What's left of" (formerly) Great Britain does puff itself up on the international scene quite ludicrously and makes me feel seriously embarrassed more often than anything else. How many times do you hear about our "special relationship" with the US? - mostly "special" in that they don't have to bother getting their instructions to us translated, but certainly not special enough for your average American to know what you're talking about. I hope not - I've read quite enough of the unpleasant and devious trickery which made that Britain temporarily Great to make my cringe into a reflex. Most of them would have made mincemeat of Blackadder, probably literally. I'd probably be a little Internationalist, if I didn't think that one or another lot would always be continuing the eternal struggle against their historic enemy. I read a book called "The Battle for Kossovo" a few years ago. It was translated from Serbian, and over a hundred years old. Plus ca change, as our historic enemies the French say, plus c'est la meme chose. (Sorry, the accents dropped off and are rattling about inside my keyboard now.) And when are the British giving the occupied territories back? Don't ask me, I have precisely the same (lack of) influence or information as anyone else outside the machine. How about: Northern Ireland - Ask the parent Protestant community just across the water whether they could please have a word with their cousins; The others - oh, come on, we only hang on to those to annoy the locals. Well, and the strategic positioning of course - means the Yanks might even pause to say thanks when they take 'em over. Now, that'll make us feel Great again. Shut up that person who mentioned the Chagos Islands! Seriously. If Europe's Jews, after formulating a less fundamentalist Zionism, had migrated back to the Holy Land in a less violent way (the existing Palestinian Jews were as wary of them as everyone else at the time, remember, given how they arrived), if they had treated the people already living there with some respect, rather than contempt, and integrated peacefully, I would have no problem at all with that. But I stand by what I said about the Israeli state's attitude from its beginnings. I'm not saying that I approve - I don't - of the Hamas guys firing rockets, no matter how small, into the settlements, no matter how illegal, but I cannot describe bombing their whole prison into rubble - while they're still struggling to live in it - as "retaliation". The Palestinians are not some arbitrary group of troublemakers - they're the people who've been driven out of their land and they have a perfectly legitimate grievance that's decades, generations now, old. And whatever embarrassment I feel at my country looks pretty amateur beside that of the many thoughtful Jews who share my horror at what is being done "in their name". At least "our lot" mostly just embarrass us by strutting about looking stupid, or yapping at the American heel on yet another idiot adventure to seed a few more legitimate grievances here and there. --- edit (no.2) >> No, it's still doing it. I've typed "i-d-i-o-t" adventures in there, but got a "spoot" inserted. Is Shetlink now censoring potentially troublesome words as they go through? (Probably Mossad trying to make me look illiterate. )
  5. Oh, MiM, you started, what have, hmm? Hmmmmmm.
  6. I find it odd how otherwise intelligent British people can twitter "Oh, poor little Israel, may "she" not protect "herself"?" as though Israel were some sort of lovable little Dickensian urchin, rather than (if we must "personate" it) a heavily armed thug with a seriously bad attitude (and telephone numbers of US cash and aid to keep him in ammo). It's probably something to do with our "unbiased" media (hollow laugh). I do not support Israel at all, because I do not support terrorism as a method of attaining your objectives and, unlike many people, I include Zionist terrorism in this. Israel was born in terrorism; it has survived six decades through terrorism. And I doubt that lasting, or possibly even temporary, peace with such a creature in your midst is possible. Mind you, since most of that part of the world is held together by US satraps, and since the US can "muddy the waters" better than anyone else, it's doubtful whether anyone outside the US has much chance of ever knowing what the hell (a singularly apt word in this context) is really going on anyhow.
  7. Life is even weirder than you thought, PH. The Cheese and Onion ones aren't suitable for vegetarians ...
  8. There can hardly be a better way of drawing everybody's attention to something than a public announcement that ir's banned. I have no interest in the band, but when I heard this story I went straight to Wikipedia (through Virgin Media, who are supposed to be banning it ) and looked at it - as JAS says, not particularly offensive, if perhaps not in the best possible taste. Apparently the girl in the picture (now an adult) has no problems with it, either. It's a bit reminiscent of the hoohah over the Schoolkids edition of Oz magazine all those years ago. This sort of thing is (a) spreading and ( worrying. As, I'm sure, the Aussie convicted of having images of the Simpsons having sex would agree. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12/08/simpsons_supreme_court/).
  9. From way doon sooth in Nottingham, a very sunny day here, and the picture I've just picked up from the weather satellite shows no clouds at all south of (roughly) the Isle of Man. A bit grotty looking over Shetland, though. JAS, light cloud cover over inland Scotland, but don't hold your breath.
  10. Note also the age of that thread. Shows how they keep on and on and on about these ideas until they've ground us into submission. How do these mods do it? They must be even more godlike and omniscient than we thought
  11. I think the acid test for effects is: if you can watch the film again in 15 - 20 years, and the effects don't look really, really dated and crappy, then yes, it was done properly in the first place. But I'm definitely on the side of a good script - if it's not a good story, it's not a good story. Ah, the pleasures of radio, where the pictures are so much better
  12. I like the "undemocratic power grab" quote. If you're a minority government, surely you have to accept that, er, you're in the minority? I prefer the system I came across in a long-forgotten sci-fi novel years ago. Public officials had to wear a special collar, and citizens could vote whenever they liked. If enough citizens voted against what you were doing, the collar exploded. Now that would shift the balance of power a bit ...
  13. I don't even try to remember it, life's too short. It's written on a sticker on the back, so I just pass them the phone. (No, they don't nick it, who's going to run off with an eight year old mobile?)
  14. At least everyone north of Hadrian's Wall gets an extra bank holiday to get over the "night before". And, this time round, an extra weekend after that, which could make for a pretty extravagant celebrtion (with a bit of planning).
  15. Well, it may be just a matter of age, but when I applied for most of the above it was name and address and not much else - certainly no DNA, iris scans or whatever hi-tech trick happened to be flavour of the month at the time. And when you say "a conviction can not be given solely based on DNA evidence", I'd have to add the word yet - the same for no-one being able to misuse your DNA yet. Give 'em the DNA data of everyone and just watch the misuses appear. You can keep your nose as clean as you like - I try to! - but if this becomes widespread, as HMG want, that isn't going to mean you don't have to find a way of convincing The System that your fresh DNA at a crime scene doesn't point the finger at you. After all, you would claim you're innocent, wouldn't you, especially if you had done it? I've already suffered from minor officials trumping up all sorts of rubbish against me on far thinner "evidence", and find the prospect of giving them even more ammunition positively terrifying. I don't think that the claimed benefits outweigh the dangers. Sure, the police would get someone for practically every crime, their "clear-up" rate would no doubt rocket, but none of that would mean that they got the right person every time, or even most of the time. The lawyers would probably do pretty well out of all the miscarriages of justice, but IMHO those gentlemen don't really need much help in making stacks of money. Paranoia? Maybe. But all this technology is far from perfect, and the authorities far from benign - the string of stories in the news about their plans for our data show that they regard your privacy and integrity as irrelevant - you're just another data subject. All data about me I regard as mine, and until there is a very strong system indeed to force any user of it to compensate me fully for its abuse when (not if) they lose it, I want it to remain with me. And sharing anyone's confidenctial information among millions of petty pen pushers is so far out of line I'm surprised even our current government dare to propose it. A friend who lived a few years in the Netherlands told me about their ID card. Mugshot, name, and an address where you could be contacted, not necessarily your home. I'd carry one like that without a qualm. But when some faceless individual starts tracking my every move even as far as the UK system already does, there needs to be very strong justification for it - and at the moment there's none at all. Thanks for the poll ... is that 100% against someone else on my side, or did a mod add it for me? (I'm adding my actual vote anyway!)
  16. From the sound of it, Khit, I'm with your OH - 100% opposed to it. I don't trust the reliability of the science, and I emphatically do not trust either the government we've got nor every future government. If (and it's a big "if") the science were perfect, I still don't think that a universal database of everyone is either necessary or desirable - there must be a way of using it which shows a little respect for people's privacy. Bear in mind that everything you hear about it is propaganda - from those who want your private data. If my sample were destroyed when I'd been shown to be innocent, I'd be quite happy to offer it to police investigating any (serious) local crime. Since they propose to keep it forever and scan it for any and all crimes, frankly I cannot condone it. There's far too much probability of a false positive. You hear people saying "but it's 99% good" - yes, but the odd 1% of 60 million people means there could be 600,000 potential suspects for every minor crime. Ridiculous. We're supposed to live in a society, not a forensic fishtank - though with the number of snooping CCTV cameras shoved in your face wherever you go, it's hard to remember that sometimes. The current government's obscene obsession with collecting every possible item of data about all of us is grotesquely at odds with every notion of "freedom" which I recognise - even if we could trust the beggars not to lose the lot, which anyone claiming Child Benefit ought to appreciate, and even if they weren't proposing to allow every petty bureaucrat in the country to sift through stuff you thought you'd told your doctor in confidence. Might be interesting to add a poll. Don't forget to include "100% agin"!
  17. ^^^ And if he was just a boy, he presumably didn't have a licence either, another crime.
  18. Can't really answer the poll, as it won't allow multiple answers - and I'm saying that on a day when I've been published in the Guardian (paper), Independent and Daily Mail (!) (websites), not to mention a post or two on Shetlink. But I include shortwave radio and the internet (for a fair global perspective), the BBC (for headlines), the Guardian and Indy (for intelligent writing) ... and I still think the world's going stark, staring mad, so I seem to be getting a fairly accurate picture.
  19. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/01120/drunks_1120442i.jpg
  20. Funny how rubbish is turning into a sort of continuous low-level joke. It never used to be any sort of cause for concern. We've had the green bins in Nottingham for a fair few years now - and yes, empty ones do blow over (or, occasionally, along, which is fun) even in our modest urban winds. They haven't been much of a problem apart from that, mainly because they're twice the size of a proper dustbin so you can stick that much more in them before having to call the special collection operatives. Just lately, though, they've introduced "your new recycling service" - which roughly translates into "our new rubbish collecting system where you sort it all out for us". We now have (a) brown bins, the same size as the green ones, for paper, card, clean, dry plastic and tin cans; ( a tray which fits inside (a), for glass (all colours); © a "Food Scraps" bin, with special biodegradable plastic bags for you to keep in your kitchen (and which have a strangely repulsive feel to them); and (d) the good old green bin, for "everything else". Green and brown bins are emptied on alternate weeks, food bins weekly. Now, we're already having problems with the new system in our house - 3 flats, students downstairs and a couple of aging twozzers above - since the landlord (privatised council department) fitted us out, this summer, with a set of impregnable, locking steel gates, front and back. Now, the gates don't keep undesirables out at all - two weeks after they were fitted, the front door was literally kicked in by a gang of yobs, at 11:30 one night, no fun, I can tell you - but legitimate visitors, postmen, dustmen etc. soon notice that there are no external bell pushes with which to attract our attention. Until our dear landlord gets round to fitting those - it's only been six months - visitors are strictly by appointment only, and dustmen only if one of us has remembered to open the gate or take the bins out the night before. Score right now: two green, one brown, one glass tray and one food bits (evil-smelling) all full. It's even better just down the hill from here. That's an area mostly populated by transients of all nations. Understandably, most of them neither know nor care about rubbish regulations, and just bag up the rubbish (if that) and leave it in the nearest bin. Many of them have minimal English, if any, and in any event, if you're not going to be in a place for long, you don't care. As a result, most of the bins in the area are already full, each bearing a little sticker announcing that, on account of containing illegal rubbish, this bin has not been, and will not be, emptied. Black bags, bulging with yet more illegal rubbish, pile up on and around them. I swear you'll need a machete soon, to hack your way along some of the back alleys. If it weren't for the fact that it's a stinking hazard to health and safety, it'd be just another bit of the sort of strangely surreal stuff you encounter in town. As it is, I take a kind of grim pleasure in just watching it all develop, wondering how the local rat population is enjoying it. You must admit, the blunt officious refusal to remove unsorted rubbish is a masterstroke. Yeah, that'll really help matters along, won't it? Don't get me wrong - I'm entirely in favour of recycling. We've been wasting far too much of everything for ever, and need to change our ways. Whether the official mind is capable of implementing a system which actually accommodates the fact that a lot of people aren't going to know or care about it, though, I don't know. The UK seems to have spawned a whole generation of little tits in offices who try and force the population into one or another imperfectly thought out way of behaving, vast tiers of middle management who know nothing about the workings of what they're supposed to be managing, but who "know how to manage", but no-one who actually learns enough about Real Life to propose a workable system. Don't fight the wheelie bins. They're only Act One. Get a few drinks in, settle down and enjoy the show. Give 'em a few years, you'll be tripping over bins and bags of "illegal rubbish" like everyone else. Make up jokes about it all. Write to the Sun if you get a particularly outstanding story. If the rest of the country's going mad, you might as well join in - you're already allowing Lerwick to be infested with CCTV, after all. Let 'em play, and make a lot of noise about everything that goes wrong. Oh, and it might be worth getting a brazier, to be ready for when the probably inevitable multi-bin system - sorry, "your new recycling service" - turns up. Ash blows away even better than illegal rubbish, and especially in a force ten. Sorry, I'm rambling again. Too much time off Shetlink enjoying the strangely surreal stuff of "real" life. About the little tits in offices, mind, I am entirely serious. Unfortunately.
  21. While "every man's death diminisheth me", it's hard to feel a lot of sympathy for someone who appears to have gone off to learn how to bomb you into submission. If his family really were in the dark, though, we ought to extend sympathy to them. Presumably, even would-be bombers exhibit a side of themselves to their families which will cause them to mourn. As a side note, it seems that Muslim groups have a lot in common with left-wing groups here. They'd just as soon blow each other out of the water over some minor doctrinal difference as unite against the real enemy.
  22. If every survey ever conducted on the matter is anywhere near right, I'd hazard a guess of 0% - 1% at the outside - after the initial upsurge of (heavily publicised) prosecutions of idiots who (drunk?) forgot about the cameras and did something stupid in front of one. In surrounding areas, the crime rate will go up - which no doubt will then be used as an excuse for infesting everywhere in the islands with this intrusive abuse of technology, as per everywhere else in the once-free UK. Has crime in mainland UK fallen as the place has been infested with snooping cameras? You must be joking. Read the papers. Willie Shannon is just parrotting the official Home Office line here. As the research shows, CCTV does not make anywhere "safer". It just records video of your innocent comings and goings without asking your permission, which I regard as a gross intrusion. No-one ever points a CCTV camera at you for your benefit. They point it at you because (a) they don't trust you and ( they have no respect for you - you are just a "data subject" to them. I'm still planning to move to Shetland, but this is despite your obscene CCTV infestation, not because of it, Mr. Shannon. Regular readers of Shetlink will note that my opinion on this matter has not changed one iota. Nor will it, because I took the trouble to find out the facts before forming it. An affront is an affront, no matter what silver-tongued tosh is trotted out to "justify" it.
  23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/7743151.stm
  24. I wouldn't presume that - surely once the ad is part of the video, it will get recorded as part of the video. A truly ghastly prospect, and another good reason to download any TV programmes you want sans unwanted rubbish from "somewhere on the net"
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