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September 01, 2014, 01:34:47 pm
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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: Today at 12:34:46 pm
no one care
2  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Rank the parties w/ national legislative representation: Ireland on: Today at 11:35:50 am
How about no?
3  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pancakes? on: Today at 11:33:29 am
Another form of pancake eaten here is the Staffordshire Oatcake.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pancakes? on: Today at 11:30:30 am
What's the difference between a crepe and an "English pancake"? They look the same to me.

There are some very minor differences in the way that they're cooked, but the only meaningful difference is that crÍpe is a French word and pancake is an English one.
5  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of President Pro Tempore TNF: On the Campaign Trail on: August 31, 2014, 06:35:05 pm
I'm Welsh and what's this.
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Rank the parties w/ national legislative representation: Netherlands on: August 31, 2014, 05:52:49 pm
They're all vanilla or comprised entirely of actual lunatics and/or raving bigots.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Homely's UK Maps Thread on: August 31, 2014, 05:34:11 pm
Unfortunately in this instance there are very good reasons to suspect geographically significant differences in interpretation. It's a known fact, for instance, that white people are more likely to list their religion as 'Christian' if they live in or right next to a large concentration of minorities.
8  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVI: Sidejackin' it in the Train Room. on: August 31, 2014, 01:42:40 pm
I hesitate to post this as I don't really want to get properly involved in this freak show, but some things just can't...

So you think you're getting old, do you? You're thirty two, right? In your average first world country this means you aren't even middle aged, but still a young man.

Still, premature aging can happen. Allow me to give you an example.

My Great-Grandad died at fifty and in photos taken shortly before he does indeed look like an old man, particularly when compared to a photo of him taken when he was in his twenties. But then he worked down a colliery his entire life (going down the pits for the first time as a boy), and for most of those decades he worked in the most physically demanding of jobs - a hewer - in what was still an unmechanised industry. At various times in his job he came quite close to dying (not unusual in the coal industry at the time, alas). He also lived in such dire poverty in the 20s and 30s that he could literally not afford to feed his family... and at the time of those photos had either pneumoconiosis or cancer, and quite probably both.

You grew up (and have mostly lived in) comfort, with all your wants taken care of. Except when attempting to scam people as a door-to-door con artists (hardly a physically demanding activity I suspect), you have worked a series of desk jobs. You have not suffered any serious medical emergences. You barely even walk anywhere. You are not getting old. You are just grossly fat.
9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pancakes? on: August 31, 2014, 12:58:38 pm
Though reading this thread maybe it kinda have the same place that crÍpes would have in France,

Well, yeah. In English 'pancake' just means a cake cooked in a pan, and so can refer to thin crack-like creations like crÍpes or English pancakes, the big stodgy things that North Americans like for breakfast (you can get these in cafes here now: generally sold as 'American Pancakes' or the like), and also to other forms of pan cooked battery delight.
10  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is overpopulation and the human breeding the root of all evil on the planet ? on: August 31, 2014, 12:41:27 pm
What Nix said. It's not the "root of all evil", duh, but just going "lol malthus" is not actually an answer, and certainly not any sort of answer that is conscious of basic science.

And of population history prior to the agricultural breakthroughs of recent centuries...
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Homely's UK Maps Thread on: August 31, 2014, 12:29:44 pm
Not uninteresting, but care should be taken with both the Christian and No Religion results from the census given that we know that there won't have been a uniform (or nearly uniform) interpretation of the answers.* There's no reason to do with religion or religious history that I can think of for the very obvious Severn-Wash effect, for instance. Mostly the figures are useful for extreme results: note the very high percentage in Hebden Bridge (known for its 'alternative' nature), which really sticks out.

*Mind you, even some of the more straightforward sets of census figures are not always as 'accurate' as might be assumed. It is known, for instance, that some people give themselves promotions when answering questions about occupation...
12  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official 2014-15 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: August 30, 2014, 07:47:55 pm
This dickwaving - like all dickwaving - lacks dignity.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - September 14, 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: August 30, 2014, 06:37:30 pm
Amazing stuff.
14  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Is overpopulation and the human breeding the root of all evil on the planet ? on: August 30, 2014, 02:46:25 pm
While a global population of five, six, seven (or whatever) billion is sustainable today (and quite easily: the problem of famine in the modern world is a problem of distribution), a global population of that sort of size in 1314 would not have been. Malthus was fundamentally wrong about several things, but what turned him into the laughing stock of later centuries was one of the most important breakthroughs in the history of agriculture (i.e. the introduction of fodder crops) rather than a flaw in his reasoning. Essentially, his thesis was overtaken - and rendered absurd - by events. Previous population expansions in Europe had generally ended famine. And even today there are parts of the world that are clearly 'overpopulated'.

Having said all that, the answer to the question is obviously a resounding no. Contrary to popular belief, wars are rarely fought for basic material resources, and the worst atrocities almost never. To say nothing of the heinous actions of random individuals on other individuals. Rape is not caused by overpopulation.
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Pancakes? on: August 30, 2014, 10:06:58 am
Because here it's not something you buy, it's something you do.

That's the case in most places, mind. Certainly is here.
16  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would George Wallace have signed the Civil Rights Act? on: August 30, 2014, 10:05:26 am
Face it, your hero LBJ was just as much of a racist scumbag who only changed his position on things like the economy and Civil Rights because he was doomed without the Kennedy Coalition.

But who cares why people do good things?
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: SWEDEN - September 14, 2014 - GUIDE and THREAD on: August 30, 2014, 09:53:54 am
Amusing to see a Trot argue that elections are governed by the logic of the market and the existence of the rational consumer of electoral goods.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 30, 2014, 09:43:36 am
According to UKIPologists Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford (not that one),

You forgot to add 'champion bullsh!t merchants'.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Westminster Parliamentary By-Election : Clacton (date to be announced) on: August 29, 2014, 06:28:13 pm
Labour's candidate was also a big factor; Ivan Henderson is a beloved figure in Harwich. Which was removed from the seat for the 2010 election. Conservative MP (and candidate in 2001) was a parachuted Scot mostly notable for a failed attempt at chicken running in 1983.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:16:32 pm
An excellent couple of posts by someone else now:

Quote
The report does not say that officers were afraid to be accused of racism if they pursued the men. Indeed it states the opposite, that there was no evidence that this was a factor in cases not being investigated.

What it does say is that there were fears within the council of race being identified as a relevant factor in the abuse, which meant that, for example, there was little attempt at engagement with Pakistani-origin residents except in a limited way through the traditional 'community leader' route. This is specified as one of the issues which may have prevented an effective response to the problem, but it was not a cause of the failure to properly investigate in the first place.

I would recommend the short chapter 11 of the report on this topic.

Quote
Your own quotations demonstrate the point. The suggestion is not that complaints were not pursued because of ethnicity (the report finds no evidence for this). It is that the ethnicity of the perpetrators was played down for fear of it being seen as a racial problem. This is a serious failure which undoubtedly prevented an effective response to the crisis but it is not the cause of the original failures to investigate. There is no evidence in the report, and its author does not claim, that the men would have been brought to justice faster had the networks been predominately white.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:12:59 pm
And here we go...

Quote
Just had a read through of the report. We can... er... be reasonably sure that 'political correctness' was certainly not the cause of what went wrong...

Quote
Now as Senior Officers come out of the report especially badly, it may be of interest to wonder where many are now. A very quick check of a few names listed towards the end of report show a lot of retirements, but also many with careers elsewhere: Liverpool City Council for example (and formerly of Lancashire and - briefly - Sunderland), and the State of Victoria.

Quote
Also political leadership seems to have been so deferential towards senior officers that you have to wonder whether 'leadership' is even the correct word to use. Not unsurprising, but still miserable reading.

Quote
Why don't you read the report for yourself and find out? Won't take very long and is actually quite well written. Mostly I was put in mind of Gogol.

Quote
Regarding 'political correctness', I would draw particular attention to pages 120 and 121 of the report.

Quote
Except that if you read the report you'll see that that [a claim that what happened was the result of a 'cult of diversity'] was pretty clearly not the issue in Rotherham. The report is presumably extremely uncomfortable reading for devotees of business-as-usual in local government, but for other reasons.

Quote
And the issue would seem to be a general desire to avoid ethnic tensions in the borough - in the context of the period 'community cohesion' can be read euphemism for so many things; from Extreme Right activity to riots - and also to prevent the authority from getting a reputation as racist, which are goals of a very different (and more bureaucratically self-interested: the protection of the reputation of the local authority. Well, good luck with that guys) order to a 'cult of diversity' or 'political correctness' or whatever term of disparagement is currently in vogue.

The report also notes that the abuse of Asian girls was/is certainly underreported and that the authority made no attempt to engage with 'the Asian community' other than via the usual (male, middle aged-to-elderly) channels.

Quote
Note that senior council officers (after a little chat with senior coppers) decided to suppress the critical 2003 report because they did not believe the victims.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: This on: August 29, 2014, 01:04:40 pm
A very thoughtful piece that provides useful context is here.

Key passage:

Quote
The truth is that large numbers of children are and always have been sexually abused in this country. Over a decade ago, the NSPCC conducted a major research programme to try and identify the scale of the problem. They spoke to more than 3,000 18 to 24-year-olds and asked them if they had ever suffered sexual abuse as a child.

Around 1% said they had been sexually abused by a parent or carer, 3% by another relative and 11% by people known but unrelated to them. The figures suggested that in an average group of 10 children in the UK, at least one would have been the victim of sexual abuse.

It was a finding that beggared belief, implying that a million children were being sexually abused at any one time. Faced with incredulity, in 2010 the NSPCC published a second study based on interviews with children and young adults.

Once again, this suggested over 11% of under-18s had experienced contact sexual abuse during their childhood.

I made quite a few posts about this on another forum. Will copy to here in a moment...
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Another Chess schism? on: August 29, 2014, 12:30:27 pm
Here we go again...
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How would you have voted in the 2014 Indian General Election? on: August 29, 2014, 10:43:00 am
That would depend on the candidates in whatever constituency I lived in.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do any regions in Estonia or Latvia want to break away and join Russia? on: August 29, 2014, 10:38:07 am
The Balts actually slaughtered their own Jewish populations before the Germans even passed through.

There were some villages in Lithuania where this is reported to have happened, but it wasn't the general picture, which was more one of an unusually high level of local co-operation in the murders ('unusually high' still does not mean 'everyone').* But there were also people (in all Baltic states) who tried to save their Jewish neighbours, and not a tiny number were killed themselves as a result. There is an issue with what we might euphemistically refer to as 'problematic historical remembrance' in the Baltic states regarding the War and the Holocaust, but that's not an issue unique to them or even to Eastern Europe. Consider Austria or even France.

In any case I don't think the vile actions of some of their grandparents justifies a (hypothetical) Russian invasion today...

*Or was it 'typically high once you ignore Poland?' Depends how you choose to look at things.
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