Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)

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Final Letters

Sir, — Considering the amount of talk about women being trafficked into Ireland there would seem to be a conspicuous absence of actual numbers; we are being bombarded with statistics and percentages but without being told how many people are actually involved. Changing the law is and should be a very serious matter, if we are to do this then I think we should be fully informed of the true extent of the problem that we are being told exists. A chara, — Ivana Bacik makes it clear that the majority of women involved in prostitution would rather not be and that the trade is inherently exploitative.

Additionally, she underscores the fact that the easier it is to purchase sex the more likely it is that women will be coerced or trafficked into this industry; too much money is involved for it to be otherwise. Anything that acts to alleviate their misery is to be welcomed, even if it makes life more difficult for those who say they are involved by choice and those who feel they can purchase the bodies of others for sex in a respectful and non-exploitative way.

Aggressive tax avoidance deprives states of vital revenue, while benefiting only those companies in a position to engage in international tax avoidance schemes, and those that advise them. Such tax avoidance may indeed be legal but, as recent Christian Aid reports have shown, the morality of such schemes is far less clear. The poorest countries in the world lose billions every year to tax dodging, yet have little or no say in how the global rules are being developed under the much-heralded OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Beps project.

The OECD has taken the lead in developing new rules designed to eliminate some of the more egregious instances of tax avoidance. However the OECD is in essence a club for rich countries, and poor countries have no seat at the table when the problems and solutions are discussed. The Luxembourg leaks provide more evidence of the problems, but for the vast majority of governments around the world there is still little confidence they will benefit from the solutions under discussion.

Sir, — All of the companies named in relation to Luxgate this week have one thing in common. They were playing by the rules. The rules are rigged in their favour and as a result governments the world over are missing out on billions of potential tax revenue. This money could be used to fund essential public services such as health and education instead of lining corporate pockets. Currently, developing countries are barely consulted on the new sets of rules, and cannot participate in these discussions on an equal footing.

Instead, reforms are being discussed within the OECD — a group of exclusively rich countries that ironically includes several tax havens, such as Luxembourg. The last two decades have seen huge progress in the fight to end extreme poverty; millions more people now have access to healthcare and education, and approximately million fewer men and women are going hungry every day.

Yet rising inequality — fuelled in part by tax dodging — means this progress risks being undermined and, in some cases, reversed. Throughout Europe, the ageing energy system requires updating, both in terms of generation and infrastructure. The renewable energy directive adopted by the EU in set binding targets for renewable energy to be reached by These targets can be reached by increasing the share of energy from renewable sources, including wind, solar, hydroelectric and tidal power, geothermal energy and biomass.

The share of renewable energy reached 7. While there is still some way to go, projections indicate that Ireland is on the right path to achieving its target, provided that investments come on stream as projected in the Irish National Renewable Energy Plan. As part of this, it confirmed the importance of increasing the share of renewable energy, setting a target of at least 27 per cent for renewable energy by to be delivered by the 28 member states in a joint effort.

This will help ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a co-ordinated approach among member states. As is the case for the targets, member states have flexibility to choose the technologies to promote in their own territories. With greater overall system flexibility coming on stream, including through better grids, improved grid management, enhanced demand response and management, there will not be a need for one-to-one backup gas plants as cited in your article. Viv Griffiths: Books

The vast majority of residents in Ireland are not trained in envisioning the physical presence of a building before it is built. However it seems to me and it seems also the vast majority of residents that it may possibly be the right building but it is definitely in the wrong place. Will Frank McDonald join me for a swim so we can perhaps agree that it is a great maritime monument?

One slight quibble; despite its recent official opening, the library doors will not open to the public until December 8th. Should the library itself not be fined 70 cent per day for this overdue date? As an integral part of Spanish society, Catalan society is inclusive, open and plural. The Catalan language is fully recognised by the Spanish constitution and extensively used at school.

Some parents in Catalonia have also requested for their children their constitutional right to be educated in Spanish, which, together with Catalan, is the official language in Catalonia. The assertions in the article regarding the legal and political process in Catalonia are out of context. Last week my wife and I were in a restaurant in Monaco where there were three dogs present — and one of them was seated at a table being fed by its lady owner. Sir, — The uncontrolled children problem is not an exclusive preserve of dining establishments. As I recently joined a queue at an express checkout in a local supermarket, I watched in disbelief as a woman loudly encouraged her toddler to scan 18 items for purchase.

The child dropped some goods and had to repeatedly scan others as the mother cooed and beamed her approval, oblivious to the nine customers who waited patiently and without complaint. I do not classify myself as a curmudgeon but I suggest the Victorians had the right idea. The legacy of Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen has resulted in our two children being raised in childcare centres like hens.

We never financially over extended ourselves or left a bill unpaid, but still my two very young children are out of their home every day for longer hours than the average industrial worker … as we work to meet another tax on our income. Our reasons for not protesting before were exhaustion, anxiety, fear and not a minute to spare, but this is where it ends.

To do this, I will do whatever it takes to give my children back their childhood … they will be at home, collected from school by me, and enjoy the security of a home life that should be an option afforded to every child. This will obviously mean a reduction to our income, resulting in overdue bills and unpaid taxes but that stress will be a holiday compared to the exhausting days we currently endure, dragging the children from their beds at 6.

So you see, this Government has pushed an exhausted family one step too far. Surely there is a group of rocket scientists somewhere in the world scratching their heads in utter bafflement at the manner in which Irish Water was set up. On several occasions my view of the game was impeded by slack- bladdered drinkers going to the toilet. If not, why not? I felt like kicking their ankles.

The Irish scrum and lineout caused me grave discomfort in the chest and heart areas. And Mike Ross was compelled to play for 74 minutes. In response, the suggestion was made in this paper by David Quinn to ban the practice of surrogacy altogether Irish Independent, November 8, Might I suggest a very simple solution to this whole affair: In this manner, the contribution of all parties is acknowledged in the legal record of birth and it is clear as to whom the child belongs.

We are regularly regaled with naive forms of atheism expressed by the parroting of half-baked ideas, providing neither hope nor insight in a very needy world. Equating religious faith with belief in the Tooth Fairy or in Santa Claus is taken as a killer blow to belief in a god. Many of my atheist friends find these views an embarrassment, as they trivialise one of the most significant debates of our time. He has done us all a favour. This was a god conjured up in his worst nightmares — a cruel, fickle, domineering and enslaving monster, threatening the torture of hell as the price to pay for non-submission to his autocratic rule.

To be fair to Dawkins, however, he had mostly in mind the excesses of the American television evangelists who seem impervious to the evidence of science in our understanding of the origins of the universe. Thankfully, there are many very articulate atheists and secularists who have a genuine concern for the truth. They have a refined sense of what most believers actually believe, allied to a genuine appreciation of truth and sincerity. In their hands, atheism becomes a reasonable alternative to theism, particularly when engaged in offering a vision of the future that resonates with the needs of the world.

The default position of atheism, for me, is not so much radical belief but agnosticism, acknowledging that dogmatic certainty from whatever quarter is oppressive. I find the intelligent forms of atheism illuminating, sending me back regularly to reflect on my own position. Indeed, at that stage we had no option whatever the posturing, but to enter a bailout just to keep the lights on.

Maybe he might acknowledge the success we have had in growth, jobs and restoring our national pride at home and abroad under this administration. A busy da y sort out the spare wheelie bin wash it and put in in the car. Thurston Hopkins, who has died aged , was a photojournalist for Picture Post whose subjects ranged from the sinister to the sublime. Hopkins brought his eye for the comic, romantic and cinematic to the magazine.

His photographs are often tales of the unexpected: The camera, said Hopkins, paid better than the brush or the pen. While earning a precarious living as a book and magazine illustrator, he was engaged by a Fleet Street agency to design grandiose illustrations to accompany exclusive photographs of Edward VIII. During the war Hopkins worked in the RAF Photographic Unit in Italy and the Middle East , acquiring a taste for travel and being much impressed by the omnipresence of Picture Post, then almost a national institution.

He also wrote articles for Vision, a magazine he had set up with fellow RAF officers, which led to one of his articles being accepted by George Orwell for the socialist weekly Tribune. In the late s Hopkins used his service gratuity to hitchhike around Western Europe with his Leica. Selected sequences, submitted as dummy layouts with text and captions, won him his first Picture Post commission. He arrived for his interview at the magazine on the day in when its long-serving editor, Tom Hopkinson, was fired for refusing to spike a Bert Hardy feature on UN atrocities in Korea.

Whether photographing Ingrid Bergman or the Liverpool slums, covering major stories in Africa or capturing the atmosphere of Kensington Gardens on a Sunday, he brought the same diligence to the job. One of these staged pictures was his famous photograph of a poodle sitting up front in the passenger seat of a chauffeured limousine. Off duty he would talk eagerly about books, music and painting — and, an abiding passion, early film-noir, the source of his interest in night-time compositions. In Hopkins went on assignment to Tonga with the feature writer and Tonight programme reporter Fyfe Robertson.

It was a successful marriage, producing two children and a mutually supportive working relationship. Following the closure of Picture Post in , he worked for a period in advertising, during which his wife was for a time his driver and assistant; he later lectured at the Guildford School of Photography. Millions of ordinary European citizens have known for years that Luxembourg, one of the six founding members of the Common Market, is a premier-league tax haven Luxembourg and Juncker under pressure over tax deals , 7 November.

The 80 journalists in 26 countries leaking 28, tax papers have confirmed the enormous size of the wholesale tax avoidance by national, multinational and transnational companies. Whether this will produce any more than a short-lived shock-horror from the politicians is doubtful, especially if the media does not keep up the pressure. It need not be so as the UK government could set limits on the amount of tax relief that can be claimed, as is done in other major European countries. Vodafone does not even trade in Luxembourg, but the tax credit can be set against their UK and other EU profits for years to come.

Whatever the actual figure, the outcome of wholesale tax avoidance by large companies is austerity. There would be no need for austerity if companies stopped avoiding tax and successive governments stopped allowing them to do so. Michael Gold radicalmic London. This is a global issue which affects both the richest and the poorest countries of the world.

The current plan from the G20 to tackle tax avoidance will not be sufficient to put an end to these scandals. Murray Worthy Tax campaign manager, ActionAid. Global financial corporations, as well as many other private non-financial corporations, will undoubtedly continue to find a way to take advantage of these handouts from the state as long as they remain available, and the principle of tax deductibility of interest for companies remains unchallenged. Hence a fallback on publication of the ICIJ findings, and the PM urges Nigel Farage to demand a no-confidence debate in the European parliament to unseat the president and SIS is tasked to seek alternatives should it fail.

And George Osborne, as chairman of the secret interdepartmental committee on international tax, strokes his cat and smiles to himself as he considers his future… David Lund Winscombe, Somerset. Peter Stammers Banstead, Surrey. Professor Richard Clogg London. As there is no budget surplus at present, the redemption will presumably have to be funded by issuing new government bonds at the current annual coupon rate of 0. In other words, there would appear to be no saving whatsoever — it just seems to be political posturing.

Or have I missed something? There is a more general issue that never seems to be debated in the press. If the government has issued debt, someone must own it. Fifty years ago the vast majority was in fact held by UK pension funds, banks, insurance companies and the Bank of England: By recycling money via interest payments, the effect was essentially to redistribute income. The real impact of the government selling bonds was at the time they were issued, usually to enable the authorities to divert private sector demand for goods and services into producing explosives, etc, to progress the war effort.

Today with a third of the national debt owned by overseas interests, things are rather more complicated. Richard Morris Emeritus professor of accounting, University of Liverpool. Sue Rainbird Cardigan, Ceredigion. Perhaps someone who knows about these things can explain the difference. Someone from the Serious Fraud Office, perhaps? John Buckley Burniston, North Yorkshire. Osborne claimed that his austerity programme would balance the budget in one parliament. Now he says this failure is the result of the European economy not growing because of austerity.

Osborne said he would rebalance the economy with the march of the makers. Instead he launched another property boom, with the introduction of subsidised mortgages for voters priced out of the market, by untaxed monies from abroad flooding in to buy up British property. Now he claims to have cut the bill by half, but cannot say when the budget rules were changed to give him this vainglorious victory. The record shows that the one thing Osborne has been consistent about is getting elected, whatever the cost to his integrity.

Martin London Henllan, Denbighshire. MPs should be forced to shop at predetermined shops. No longer should they have the ability to save money or pay other bills that come up. MPs, like the sick, should be demeaned, have no right of autonomy, and have their dignity taken away. No place for a wax jacket. Interesting that Erwin Olaf My best shot , 6 November should recognise that there might be different ways of interpreting a picture. An alternative view of his best shot is that it encapsulates hackneyed and offensive stereotypes of female sexuality, ridiculing age and fetishising youth.

Pattie Friend Isleworth, Middlesex. Probably just a fluke. Ryan Arnold 12 Sheffield. In a remarkable display of both professional integrity and personal bravery, several hundred Egyptian journalists have now signed a counter-statement rejecting this attempt by their bosses to gag reporters and silence their work.

We, the undersigned journalists and media professionals, stand in solidarity with our Egyptian colleagues in their struggle for a free and independent press. Egypt today is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be working in as a journalist. In total, 11 journalists have been killed since the beginning of the Egyptian revolution in , and nearly 70 more, both local and foreign, have been detained since the rise to power of President el-Sisi in July At a time when a draconian anti-protest law has condemned thousands of young political activists to prison, when NGOs are facing a web of oppressive legislation restricting their activities, and when the scope of military trials against civilians is expanding, the role of journalists in holding those in power to account is more vital than ever.

We stand with them, and encourage colleagues around the world to do the same by adding their names to this statement — egyptsolidarityinitiative. I have never worn a poppy. I shall do so once poppies become a remembrance not only of British soldiers fallen in the battlefield but also of the innocent victims from Dresden to Iraq. In this way, the Queen at the Cenotaph will be also paying tribute to those unjustly killed in her name. With all their colourful glamour, the memorial poppies at the Tower are given a grotesque meaning.

The equation of one fallen serviceman with one poppy betrays a lack of perception of what war is all about. Fallen soldiers and innocent victims should be remembered together, without distinction. No field could contain the number of poppies needed to include all of them. Your article 8 November looks at the wars Britain has been involved in since If you did a similar exercise for the century between the end of the Napoleonic Wars, in , and the start of the First World War, in , you would see a similar pattern.

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There were very few wars directly between the great powers, and such as there were — Crimea, Franco-Prussian, Russo-Japanese — were nasty and brutish, but short. That was why August found so many in Britain expecting the war to be over by Christmas. It is intentionally transient. If it is gone too soon, so, too, were the lives it commemorates. The shorter and more intense the flowering, the more powerful will be what remains: If the impermanence of the work causes regret at the untimely loss of the physical, the moral is: Am I the only person who has had enough of the First World War?

War, war and more war. How about peace, peace and more peace instead? When my dad was alive, the last thing he ever wanted to hear about or talk about was the Second World War. And when his dad was alive, the last he ever wanted to talk about was the First World War. Give peace a chance.

It was always obvious that we would have to pay the increase, as it was based on a calculation mechanism to which all EU members, ourselves included, had agreed. What is really worrying is the bluster repeatedly shown by Cameron in his dealings with the EU. He begins by flouncing out of the centre-right mainstream in the European Parliament, tying himself to fringe parties, and damaging his chances of forming useful alliances with the main centre-right parties in Europe.

He is one of two EU leaders to bluster unsuccessfully against Jean-Claude Juncker, with whom he now has to work and who has the power to influence the outcome of any renegotiation of the conditions of our membership of the EU. He blusters on about limiting immigration from the EU, one the four main freedoms on which the union is based, a stance which he should have known would be unacceptable to our European partners, even before Angela Merkel put him in his place. The bluster about the budget can serve only to erode his image and credibility in the EU still further.

Bluster should not determine an issue so fundamentally important to the future of the UK. He has the concept upside-down. The annual celebration is of the discovery and foiling of the plot against the king and Parliament. So, really, it is a festival to remind each generation of the risks of terrorism and the fate in wait for traitors. We burn the effigy, recite the poem and teach our children how to look out for danger.

Quite a modern message. I envy him his laboratory. I would, however, remind readers of another forbidden tradition — the tradition of street fireworks. Where are the squibs, bangers, jumping jacks, torpedoes and serpents that many of us grew up with? There will have been accidents, mostly minor.

But I suspect it was their effectiveness in puncturing bourgeois composure and detachment that has led to their suppression. We have nothing to compare with the tracas and mascletas with which the Valencianos still purify and purge the streets of their city at fiesta time. I fear that Mr Alford is in danger of being overwhelmed by applicants wanting to become adopted grandchildren.

Some, such as Charles Garth letter, 6 November , have no problem with them. I hate them, as do most cancer patients I know. After all, we cancer patients are just like any other cross-section of humanity. Some words and phrases communicate better with some individuals than others. Not much grace in an insult Grace Dent 7 November seems strangely insensitive. You can try too hard to be funny, and this time she missed the target. Sir, There is a still cheaper way to remove the bottleneck in the A at Stonehenge rather than build a tunnel Thunderer, Nov 8.

Simply widen the existing road into a dual carriageway. It is a misconception that Stonehenge stood in splendid isolation on Salisbury Plain. The two roads close to Stonehenge might be as much a part of the historic site as the stones themselves. Turning Stonehenge into something it never was is neither historically accurate nor good use of public funds. Roger May Emsworth, Hamps. The tunnel idea will only put the current congestion underground, a hellish thought.

In line with the closing thought in your leader, I heartily agree that the new carriageway at Stonehenge should be a viaduct to afford a better view of the monument. Simon Latham East Knoyle, Wilts. It would be far simpler to have attractive sloped banks and use the excavated soil to contour and sculpt the terrain and regrass it to be exactly as it looks now.

Lady Pakenham Warminster, Wilts. Sir, Why not relieve congestion on the A by making Stonehenge the centre of a mile-wide roundabout? This could be done by making the A heading west into a one-way, and therefore wider, road. The traffic from the west could be diverted on to the two A roads that skirt the site to the north, before it rejoins the A heading towards London. Ray Quinlan Ashtead, Surrey. It was archaeologically ideal, but fiscally impossible.

Another solution is to construct a relatively short cut-and-cover tunnel west from Stonehenge Bottom past the stones for a kilometre or so. The two dual carriageways could be stacked one atop the other, in a trench along the existing A footprint that would destroy no further archaeology. Professor Norman Hammond Harlton, Cambs. Sir, A tunnel will not alleviate congestion on the A, except for the short distance past the monument.

There is still more than 45 miles of single carriageway between Amesbury roundabout and the junction with the M5 at Exeter, interspersed with dual carriageways. The single carriageways suffer terrible tailbacks during the holiday season. The tunnel will only move the congestion two miles down the road. Sir, The answer is to build a second carriageway to the south, adjacent to the A before swinging northwest to avoid Winterbourne Stoke.

Sir, The land about Stonehenge is grazed, which makes it easily visible from the A, but it was probably erected in a forest clearing. As children, my sister and I competed to win the parental penny for being the first to spot Stonehenge; a tunnel will be very boring. Sir, I have just taken a train to Cornwall and eaten lunch on the way. It was Britain at its best, on a British Rail-era, but well-refurbished high-speed train with superb locally sourced food and the best service. Who in their right mind would want to drive all the way on the A, even after the Stonehenge tunnel has been built?

Sir, The UK is a world leader in craft, yet craft education is at serious risk. Making contributes to cognitive development and fosters wellbeing. It develops creativity, inventiveness and problem-solving. Between and , following changes in education policies, student participation in craft-related GCSEs fell by 25 per cent. In higher education, craft courses fell by 46 per cent. This comes when elsewhere around the globe investment in creative education and making is rising. We make five calls for change: However, her intelligence services only pursued priests, their protectors and active conspirators.

There were Catholic commanders in her Spanish wars. She herself favoured Catholics like Byrd and probably Shakespeare; and each time Miler McGrath, her crypto-Catholic Archbishop of Cashel, outraged her Irish officials, he simply crossed to England, confident that Elizabeth would back him. Tom McIntyre Frome, Somerset. Lesley Russell Kingston upon Thames. Black cabbies are doing just that. Mr Parris has a choice of several smartphone apps eg. Hailo, Taxi Too, Get Taxi to summon a black cab. By using one of these apps he will get a driver who has passed the Knowledge of London several tests have shown that black taxis consistently outperform Uber minicabs on journey times ; has had to pass a separate driving test in order to obtain his or her taxi licence; and has undergone a full enhanced criminal record check.

We will remember them: SIR — There is a foot bronze monument at the end of Downing Street, next to the Cenotaph, which does not enjoy the recognition or status it deserves. As a pair they represent the heroic actions of men and women in wartime Britain. The men fought for King and country, but most of all they fought for women, children and homes. Millions of women, from teenagers to pensioners, were prepared to fight the war on the home front — at kitchen sinks, in factories making bombs and bullets, knitting socks or driving tractors, buses or trains.

They did whatever it took, for as long as it took, to ensure their sons, brothers and fathers had a nation to return to. She was not allowed to fire missiles at the enemy, so instead she aimed the gun for a man to pull the trigger. Coats symbolise the jobs that were vacated by men, then adopted and adapted by women. As the only surviving female trustee of the monument campaign, I believe more needs to be done to educate the British public about this important monument.

A proposal to put a miniature version of the sculpture in the House of Commons has been raised and I am in talks with companies about using smart phone technology to promote the site and engage future generations in the commemoration of the women of the Second World War. The museum is proposing to close its unique library, which supports much of its exhibition work as well as providing an invaluable resource for the public. Up to 80 jobs as well as other services are also under threat as the museum seeks to plug the funding gap.

As we remember the sacrifices of the fallen this Remembrance Sunday, Prospect has launched a petition calling for the Government to reverse its short-sighted funding cuts and protect the Imperial War Museum. SIR — The recent photographs of our troops leaving Camp Bastion in Afghanistan might lead people to believe that our mission there is over. As we gather to commemorate the fallen today, we must not forget the hundreds of British troops who, as winter closes in, are still fighting out there.

There they face snipers and car bombs as they support the Afghan army and police and protect VIPs and British troops training officer recruits at their new academy. The difference is small but significant, because it makes one reflect still more on what is being said.

They are an inspirational and spectacular display and images have swept around the world. These and other policies dealing with offenders are not working as well as they should because of the dithering of our political leaders with regards to punishment, treatment and rehabilitation. Drug addicts and abusers should not be left out in society to fend for themselves. Some kind of custodial remedy must apply, whether it be in prison or a secure hospital. If they go back to drugs when they are released, they should be returned to custody. Far more resources should be devoted to stamping out drug trafficking, with dealers and importers facing severe sentences.

We need to be much, much tougher on dealers and users if we are to banish the drug trade once and for all. Bulk liquid explosives respond badly to mechanical disturbance, because of compressive heating of any gas bubbles present. N2O must in any case be handled in burstable pressure vessels, and it remains explosive in a gaseous state. There is another common oxide of nitrogen, dinitrogen tetroxide, which is in many respects easier to handle and not itself explosive.

It largely compensates for this lack of internal energy by being a more powerful oxidant. I live on top of a hill with open views of the countryside but cannot get even 2G coverage from any of the four named providers. Rural communities are grossly under-represented and are losing shops and pubs at an alarming rate.

It would seem that nobody, politician or otherwise, will fight for our impoverished services. Both my husband and I have worked all our lives. We saved and paid taxes on our income. When we retired we lived on our pension — again taxed after being taxed as earnings. I have now improved my house by having an extension built, on which I have to pay tax to the builder — again from previously taxed earnings which were then taxed as a pension and finally as VAT. Now, having been frugal, worked, saved, and improved my house, I am being threatened with a mansion tax.

SIR — Janet Daley points out how voters are rejecting politicians. This conclusion is borne out by the mid-term elections this week in America, in which the Democrats lost control of Senate, giving the Republicans full control of the Senate. The convention of not applauding between movements is born not out of cultural elitism, but out of courtesy and respect for the demands of performance upon an artist. Great performances require not only technical excellence but emotional engagement; the performer must identify with the emotion as it is expressed and articulated in the music.

This is not an easy task, especially in multiple movement pieces which tell a coherent story and have the power to transport an audience into a world beyond the physical confines of an auditorium. Applause between movements, although at times understandable, inevitably breaks the emotional engagement of the performer.

At best, it is an unnecessary distraction. At worst, it can impair the capacity of an artist to perform to the best of his or her ability — a tragedy for both artist and audience. The whole piece sums up what it means to be properly British and slightly eccentric. It should be required reading for those wanting to understand some of the more obscure elements of Britishness. If this is a measure of confidence in the very short term, what are the odds on the year forecast being correct?

Hopefully someone will still be here to find out. Mon, Nov 10, , The ISDS clause places the interests and profit of private corporations ahead of the interests of citizens and society. It would give private, for-profit education companies the right to challenge, before international tribunals, not domestic courts, any government measure that they feel interferes with their profits. It found that over 22 per cent of their revenue was spent on marketing and Just 17 per cent was spent on instruction.

TTIP applied here would provide judicial protection to these discredited education speculators and would discriminate even against domestic companies. The EU Council of Ministers has already excluded the audiovisual sector from TTIP, based on the public interest goal of preserving and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity within the EU. Sir, — Recent coverage of the issues surrounding prostitution could easily give an impression that this is a trade that people enter into freely and is part of the service sector which just happens to be illegal. Unfortunately this impression is far from reality and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions remains firm in its view that prostitution is exploitation and not employment.

Since then we, and our constituent unions, have been active in the democratic processes on both sides of the Border, making written submissions and presentations to the justice committees in the Oireachtas and at Stormont. The notion that persons who threaten their victims with violence, exploitation and abuse will suddenly start respecting our labour laws, pay proper wages and respect normal working hours beggars belief.

Furthermore the notion that legalisation will improve the situation of those involved is incorrect, and will lead to the continued perpetuation of degradation and abuse. The assertion made by several of your contributors that the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign is some conspiracy that involves the religious right, radical feminists and trade unionists working together is a notion which is equally fanciful.

A simple online check of the membership confirms the Turn Off the Red Light Campaign campaign includes frontline emergency workers, business people, rape crisis centres, farming representatives, student representatives and many others. These groups, far from condescending to others, are advocating on behalf of those whose horrible reality they witness, and which is expressed by those seeking support. Furthermore, this horrible reality, while inherently linked to the trafficking of persons, in addition blights long-term residents and citizens of this country.

There is a myth that abounds today among some women that gender equality has been achieved. Feminism as an idea, a collective bargaining position or attitude can now be packed away with other embarrassing relics of a bygone age. The same women who will continue to be referred to as girls long after womanhood has flourished, who will be paid less then their male counterparts, who will continue to be underrepresented in the boardroom and in government and who will be denied reproductive freedoms.

While real world and online misogyny flourished, feminism somehow became the dirty word. Now the threat of rape on social media is a much more meaningful way of voicing distaste for what a female commentator has to say. No debate, just a demeaning threat of violence and violation intended to silence. As Ms Mullally states, women must be socially palatable to be heard and understood. In my short professional career to date, I have been instructed on numerous occasions that to be listened to by any male superiors, I must be demure and always polite.

Never direct, aggressive or emotional. In short, women must be palatable. It is not what they are saying but how they are saying it, the timbre of their voices, if you will, that is actually alienating some people. A complaint I have never heard levelled at a male politician. These things are not palatable. They are actually abhorrent. To any men having trouble embracing feminism and who are bemused and wondering what is it that women want, let me tell you! We want exactly the same things you already have and we are sick of asking nicely just to be heard.

Sir, — I still vividly remember the morning of November 8th, The wind howled through the trees and sheets of rain battered the buildings. The noise was deafening. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, hit the 16 islands and 14 mainland barangays of the municipality of Concepcion in the Philippines. It is only now, one year after the disaster, that a sense of normality is finally returning to our communities and our lives.

When the typhoon hit Concepcion, the devastation was immense. More than 5, houses were destroyed with a further 4, heavily damaged. Rooftops were blown off buildings, trees were ripped from the earth and roads quickly became blocked by debris. It was two full days before contact was made and before any assistance could reach us. The day after the typhoon struck, we began clearing the roads so that aid relief could get through to the affected towns.

Looking back, we were lucky in a way; we had fewer than 20 casualties while neighbouring towns reached more than It has been a long hard road to get back to what life was like before the disaster. Concern Worldwide and other humanitarian agencies arrived quickly in the wake of the typhoon and began distributing assistance.

With homes flattened and families bereft of belongings, the immediate needs were food and essential items such as tarpaulins to create shelter, cooking utensils and solar lights. Clean, safe drinking water was provided. The relief effort helped people to recover from the shock and enabled people to feed their families.

Fishing is central to our existence. However, the typhoon destroyed the coral reefs which sustain fish stocks in our seas. The amount of live coral reef was reduced from 85 per cent to 15 per cent, significantly reducing the amount of fish available. Fishermen who would typically collect kg of fish per day were now only able to get a third of that at most.

The fish that were available were smaller and less valuable in the marketplace. To combat this, we instigated a coral transplantation programme with Concern. This is helping to restore the coral to previous levels. Alongside this, it was vital to rebuild fishing boats in order to ensure people were able to earn a living. We have established a municipal disaster risk reduction council, which strives to make us more prepared and less vulnerable to future typhoons.

Buildings are now being constructed to be more resilient to high winds and heavy rainfall. We now have designated evacuation centres. We monitor weather patterns in typhoon season to predict what areas will be affected and how bad the effects are likely to be. To the good people of Ireland, to the Irish public, I know that your heart was with us when we were hit by the typhoon. Thank you for helping us during the difficult time after the disaster. The Irish people will long be remembered by the people of Concepcion.

Is the president of DIT attempting to suggest that the results do not reflect deeply held views from highly committed staff who succeed in delivering high quality education to students despite the considerable obstacles being placed in their way? These include cuts in funding, unsustainable teaching loads and, as the survey results and response to them show, management indifference to their views. TUI notes from the findings that bullying and harassment are areas of considerable concern.

We note that fewer than half reported their complaints because of a belief that nothing would happen or that they would be victimised. This is entirely unacceptable and TUI is now demanding a review of bullying procedures and an investigation into the high levels of bullying reported by staff. A TUI survey of members in DIT, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght found that 69 per cent of respondents were unsatisfied or very unsatisfied with the consultation process used by their institute relating to the proposal to move towards a Dublin technological university.

Regrettably, it would appear that little notice was taken of these results and that the wilful exclusion of staff views is now the norm in many of our institutes. TUI will not be signing up to new institutional structures unless staff are fully involved in their development, and TUI will oppose any developments which are nor based on full consultation with staff and which do not place collegiality at the core of decision-making processes.

The blurring of the distinction between the two is evident in the practices of some health and fitness clubs. At Christmas, members of some fitness clubs in Ireland will be encouraged to take part in events that involve the consumption of 12 pints of alcohol over the course of one night in 12 different pubs. Somebody will benefit from this, but it is hard to imagine that it is the members of the fitness clubs themselves.

It appears that Christmas leaves some health and fitness clubs in Ireland the worse for wear in more ways than one. No other form of entertainment remotely matches the impact of a U2 concert on local business people and their families. Bono has regularly created the time and taken the trouble whenever possible to say hello to some of our key business contacts and to other political, artistic and human rights leaders of the local scene. It is not the slightest exaggeration to say that an interview with the pope or the president of the US or for those so minded Fidel would pale by comparison.

Everywhere they travel in the developing world, just as in most countries of the developed world, U2 have meetings with the heads of government and state. The benefits for Irish business and Ireland-related objectives and for the awareness of the existence of our country have been immeasurable. Before becoming a businessman, I served in five countries as an Irish diplomatic representative. It is easy for us to overlook the fact that was painfully obvious in those days that, until about 20 years ago, most people around the globe had never heard of our country and that most who had knew little or nothing about us.

Sir, — I fully concur with David McMahon November 3rd that a mood of casual menace broods over parts of the city centre. I recently got off the Dart at Tara Street station to witness a crowd of loud-mouthed and aggressive youths drugged up to their eyeballs. They were screaming obscenities. On my walk down towards Temple Bar, there were more people roaring obscenities. These scenes are commonplace all around the city centre. Now it seems that whenever Adams wants to discuss the likelihood of rain he will be accommodated by RTE News.

Fresh rape allegations against IRA men and seriously bizarre twitter behaviour from him will definitely be a no-no in future it seems. It reminded me of the wider issue of protecting vulnerable children in all walks of life, but especially those in foster care. The recently published Interim Report from the Child Care Law Reporting Project supports the setting up of a number of Family Courts in order to ensure consistency and continuity of care and support for the most vulnerable children and parents in our society.

Some of these children have themselves been subjected to neglect or physical, emotional or sexual abuse in the past — and fostering can be a real support and safe haven for children. An issue that needs to be addressed is the quality and consistency of care provided by foster families. The vast majority of foster families provide a loving, caring and nurturing environment for children.

Many of these families work closely with the Child and Family Agency Tusla to ensure optimum care is provided. However there is a minority of foster families whose quality of care is not what it should be. Such families treat their foster children as paying guests, rather than as children in need of tender, loving care. Thankfully such foster families are in the minority, but with agencies crying out for families to foster children, it is incumbent on all agencies to carefully monitor the welfare of such children. With so many social workers weighed down with heavy case loads, it is inevitable that some children will fall through the cracks.

There is an onus on all of us in society to ensure that the welfare of such children is not compromised further because there are not enough social workers employed to monitor their progress, development and well-being. Madam- Regarding Irish Water, a sizeable section of households have their own supply, so they are not affected.

Many households have their own septic tank so will only pay half. This is not excessive — about the price of two cigarettes per day — and can be afforded by most households. The controversy has been whipped up by Sinn Fein, the Anti-Austerity Alliance and other left wing groups for popular political gain. The sooner people realise this the better.

Most people at the marches last Saturday just foolishly jumped on the bandwagon and most of those interviewed could not give a coherent reason as to why they were there. Yes, mistakes have been made in setting up Irish Water. It has been too rushed and the need for PPS numbers is questionable. However the principle of water metering is correct. You should pay according to usage the same as any utility. The notion that water supplied to your house is a human right is a nonsense. It such a right existed, then every house in the country, regardless of location, would be entitled to a supply.

What would that cost? People need to get a sense of proportion, stop being fooled by left wing groups and an excitable media and stop the hysteria. Madam — Gene Kerrigan is losing the plot if he really believes that anything is deliverable by Government or any other body free of cost; that everyone behaves responsibly with water, electricity, gas, sewage, open fires etc; or that without meters, use can be monitored accurately.

Massive publicity campaigns have been running for years to encourage people to cut back on electricity, gas, and water use, and in Dublin in particular, to stop washing cars, watering gardens and yes, leaving taps running in cold weather. The septic tank saga has uncovered another story of neglect and potential pollution to water sources. Every water connection should be metered no matter what the outcome of the current debacle led by our hapless public servants and politicians yet again. General taxation means the responsible users who pay it subsidise those who waste water knowingly or otherwise.

When we moved into our house in we paid rates and a separate water charge to Cork County Council. The most sophisticated voters in the world gave them the biggest majority ever? Wake up Ireland and ask your favourite political campaigner, where is their tooth fairy? Madam — I walked in Leixlip on Saturday with over 1, people objecting to Bord Uisce and its outrageous carry on.

Others objected to the arrogance and stupidity of Kenny in particular and all his lackeys in general. Meanwhile, Gerry Adams makes all the right noises in public. He was never a member of the IRA. He never defended the cowardly bastards who put bullets into the heads of our friends and schoolmates back then. Enda Kenny set himself up as the man who was going to clean up politics. We believed him and rowed in behind him and accepted all the hardship, but now he has shown himself up to be the greatest dunce we have ever had.

Adams and Burton will have to go. Leo Varadcker will have to take over Fine Gael. Micheal Martin needs a chance, Independents need a leader. Then there will be hope for the country. Madam — It is with pride that I looked at the news this evening and witnessed the call to arms by tens of thousands of the so-called little people.

The unemployed, the old age pensioners and others, parading in their thousands out in the streets of Ireland, protesting against this water charge that the Government is attempting to foist on us. This is another attempt to cripple the poor and destitute. Right from the start the setting up of this body has been a disaster. Those who were brought in to run the project were, it seems, more concerned with bringing in revenue than fixing the water supply. Only a tiny minority of those employed in this new body had to apply for these jobs.

There was no control on salaries or bonuses, payments for those who were found not to be doing the job right, as well as huge increases for those who were, seen to be the order of the day with little or no Government interference. We have still no idea what the charge for water will be. We are getting daily hints from Government about possible reductions, in an attempt to appease the masses. Then there is German finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble, telling us how we are the envy of Europe in the way things are progressing here. I feel sure that the next item on the agenda will be borrowing a couple of hundred billion to get the country up and running again, all guaranteed by the State of course.

Who are they proposing should pay instead? It costs money to clean water and deliver it to our taps. What if the international financiers look at the placards and say: Madam — Last Sunday we came in our masses from a square of land on the banks of the Camac of Inchicore to the bright lights of the Aviva Stadium. We also had a benign angel on our shoulder — the Colossus of Castle Island, Con Houlihan, who graced Richmond Park for many years until his sad passing in August These unfortunate lambs were slaughtered without even being stunned having endured a 16 hour plane journey in temperatures of 30C heat.

Earlier last week we also learned of the barbaric treatment of the cattle exported to Libya. Those who love animals had hoped the new Animal Health and Welfare Act would bring Ireland into the modern world in our treatment of animals. Nor, can they talk? But can they suffer? It was uncannily spot-on in its analysis of the man and indeed the other men mentioned. Having grown up in the Ardoyne during the Troubles we all knew full well that both he and his mentor Joe Cahill and several others were sociopaths of the worst order. Had it not been for the fact that I was well known in Ardoyne and had some school friends whose names I quoted, I am certain I would not be around to write this.

You do tend to carry moments of sheer terror such as this around with you for the remainder of your life. Madam — With all the upsetting bad news, I feel so sad looking at the dignified stance of the families of the Disappeared, praying to get back the bodies of their dead for proper funerals. Flag is for equality, and freedom Madam — I agree with Niamh Horan Sunday Independent, November 2 that we should reclaim our national flag from the nationalist minority who have laid claim to it and restore it to all citizens of our Republic.

Our flag represents ideals that do not belong to narrow nationalism, but instead fit comfortably alongside civic nationalism which promotes freedom, tolerance and equality for all. Our flag festival promotes goodwill Madam — I read with interest the piece by Niamh Horan Sunday Independent, 2 November on reclaiming our flag. The Tricolour Celebration in Waterford City has been highlighting the history of our flag since , creating significant goodwill and bringing ambassadors from the US, France, and Canada together to celebrate the history and meaning of the flag.

Rowling said that you're. Tears streaming down his face, he pounded the desk with mirth. Why is it, whenever I read Densye's posts, I think of Kliban? Thought the title of this thread was 'Boo b Club Closes stained macintosh, shuffles off. Akshully, just finished Empires of the Word by Nicholas Ostler, a history of languages.

Very good, and comprehensible by mere mortals such as meself. It helped to amplify my hysterics over recent comments I saw somewhere by I think FL about how the Tower of Babel story was confirmed by modern linguistics, which he had just discovered.

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  5. Reading Joyce's Ulysses again, for the umpteenth time. But for the first time I'm reading it out loud. I have finally convinced her that Ulysses is actually a hilarious book. In anticipation of a special anniversary tomorrow Malicious allegations have been made that this work somehow plagiarises something by W. Nothing could be further from the truth and I emphatically state that I have nothing to apologise for. And I'm really sorry. Comments on this subject are now closed. Quote Bob O'H Dec. Give us more credit, please. My uncle was a professor of ergnomics at the Technische Hochschule in at the time West Berlin.

    I know the scene in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.

    Pugh plays the Hymn Book: SUMFC - Swansea's Green Army

    They're recruiting at the Evolutionary Informatics Lab! Somehow, the late lamented B. Kliban always has something relevant to add to the ID Tardis: Not entirely on topic, but too important not to share with you good people. A recent encounter in a different forum yes, my dear, I have been unfaithful has revealed to me a wonderful way of giving fundies a brain-fit: They will instantly spew loads of reasons why it couldn't have three-headed lesbian pope not yet elected, Jerusalem still got Ay-rabs in it, etc.

    But a passing familiarity with Bible-babble will allow you to rebut these. But most importantly, you should point out that it means that your correspondent wasn't holy enough to catch the sky-train. That should prove impossible for them to accept. Humility, after all, is a christian virtue. The greatest rhetorical strength of YEC argumentation is the certainty it asserts in debate. It damns science by its inability to state as a fact that X always follows as a consequence of Y.

    It plays on the provisional nature of deduction in scientific discourse: It's important to bear in mind that the purpose of these debates is, from the YEC perspective, to preach to the converted. The unstated subject matter is the compatibility of the audience's flavour of Christianity with science. As a result, point-by-point refutation is only going to yield a crop of glazed eyeballs. They are using rhetoric tailored to their audience, and to win you must do the same.

    My preference would be to highlight the provisional nature of science. Your audience is accustomed to classifying secular human judgement as fallible. So you could say, for example, that every conclusion asserted by science is qualified by an implicit "This may not be correct But this is not to say that facts are relative or provisional. You can rightly point to the myriad data relied on by scientists, and you can attack your opponent for ignoring it, or for cherrypicking.

    Remember, the audience has very strong opinions about deceit. So yes, the fossil record alone does not lead inevitably to my conclusion, but how can you reconcile your position with the biochemical, geological and physical data? They are objectively there: I can accomodate them, can you? But to be honest, it's all about apologetics and politics. The scientific argument is not going to be influenced by the likes of AIG. As a Southern Fenian Bastard, my opinions on politics Up There are unreliable, but I get the impression that the hard core of DUPers that's osculospumatory fundies, for the benfit of youse lot in Murka who want their kids to have their ignorance refined in school are a lot less influential than the main body of the vote.

    Highlighting the broad acceptance of science among Reformed churches will probably get you more traction than associating yourself with Dawkins, the Devil's Acolyte. And it is worth considering that all those biotech firms that flourish in the Papish Republic will be less than impressed if the North's science grads are pig ignorant.

    Remember the old cliche about loyalty to the half-crown more than the Crown Because I'm worth it. My inner geek was drawn to their Instructions to Authors pdf, and I found this amusing bit in it: The following are some general questions which, if answered, will aid in the development of the body of the paper: Does the body provide enough information to convey the intended point s? Is unnecessary material included? Has the material been divided into main headings and subheadings, and do these divisions emphasize the important points of the paper? Do the subheadings support the main headings?

    Is the subject matter developed logically? Is it free from gaps and discontinuities? Has the best possible use been made of graphs, charts, photographs, and line drawings, and are the illustrations well prepared for reproduction? Do the facts presented adequately support the conclusion? Foreign Words and Phrases—Italicize uncommon foreign words, but regular font for common words. Foreign words and phrases should be italicized only if they are uncommon to our readers: Yes, these are the people who put the 'fun' into 'fundamentalist'.

    Mind you, they're also the ones who put the 'mental' in it. You should also read his other book, "Them". It's about people who believe that there is an international conspiracy of silence and control of the masses. What this has to do with UD you can decide. All those Theologians say that PING one day they just got a load of faith, but if you look at what they say youll see they all had to use som EVIDENCE to get it, like looking at books and stuff that show what poeple said and did and thought and stuff like that.

    But what did we get instead? That's what's lacking in the atheist religion. We need some canibalistic rituals. In any case, who are you trying to persuade? Our hero isn't going to roll over on his livelihood or core convictions, and your audience is only there to have their Bible buttons pushed. As I've said before, the only way into their heads will be to show that your opponent is breaching one of their basic principles, e.

    Has Mensa ever rejected a membership application? Given that their main saleable commodity is support for those with self-esteem issues , you'd have to be sceptical. As 'Mensa' can mean either 'mind' or 'table' in Latin, the new group of those who don't quite make it all the way up could be called 'Sedecula'.

    That means 'stool', which has another equally appropriate meaning. For fearless defence of ignorance in the face of ridicule, Honourary Life Presidency to DaveScrot, but who else belongs? Names and full citations please. Louis, Very well put. Wish I'd said that. Or submitted papers could be read only for as long as it takes to empty one's bladder, and so be pee-reviewed. Don't they all realize? Think about Richard Dawkins: Is it relevant somehow that Salamanca is where Franco was proclaimed Generalissimo?

    Are we on the verge of a power struggle within Creationism? Is Dr Dr D. Apropos nothing in particular, the names of the Chancellors of the University of Salamanca are painted in large red letters on the walls of the cathedral there. They fade over time, but that of the dear Caudillo is kept in mint condition. I find it significant that all revealed religions seem to include miracles as part of their mythology. As I understand it, psychologists attribute this to an economy of mental processing: This works for both 'good' miracles "I can see again!

    In the end it comes down to epistemology: If so, you are making an exception to the general rule of human conduct and discourse, and in my opinion you shift the burden of justification onto yourself. Not altogether facetiously, you could argue that some miracles are arguments against theism. I have read that the spontaneous appearance of particles from the quantum foam can be shown to occur. Does this not militate against the need for a Creator?

    As I read it, that puts you in the agnostic camp, at least as far as the phenomenon of miracles is concerned. If I can presume to summarise your position, you maintain that as long as a rational explanation is at least conceivable, there is no reason to impute supernatural intervention. Hence, miracles so called are not evidence for theism, because rational explanations are usually available. Which leads me back to a point I made earlier: I'm no expert, but my understanding of the Abrahamic religions, of Zoroastrianism, of various forms of animism, European paganism and mystery religions, is that they all make counterfactual claims involving resurrection from the dead, intervention in the weather, striking the bad guys dead, or the likes.

    All attribute these to supernatural forces, be they Odin, or the god of your choice acting through the prophet of his choice. The message of these are all the same: So the thesis of this thread has missed half the point: This is why ID chimes with the faithful: That it does so in a way that provokes real mathematicians and scientists to giggles is irrelevant. Its purpose is to present reality as a miracle.

    I have paid my dues. I tardificated UD for some time before being obliviated. I have shouted in the leaden ears of nitwits. I have expended in long and fruitless debates electrons that could have been used to view naked ladies. So why are we devoting so much time and effort to Uncommonly Dense? It's not as if it was the focus of some potent conspiracy: It's not the fulcrum of fundie fulmination: There is far greater scope for sock-puppet tomfoolery there.

    They have exhausted their potential for scientific ridicule, political pummelling, and even for satire. There is a wealth of talent and intelligence in this forum that could be put to use elsewhere. I propose that the focus of this establishment be moved to places more important to the culture wars I nearly typed 'wards', which was serendipitous , and which provide far more scope for entertainment. Certainly, UD harbours a few nuggets of anti-talent whose exploits can and should be exploited. Not that enyone cares. Observations of the brain doing what the brain does show that the brain is not doing the doing.

    The immaterial doer doing the doing is by definition unobservable and distinct from the brain. Observations confirm this and suggest relevant sites in the brain. Now that you've bought my book, buy my book. A good review, Bill. I'm off to Amazon to pick a fight. They won't let me back onto Rapture Ready. God is an object-oriented programmer! Religion is, after all, the opiate of the masses though personally I prefer beer 2. Hey, what do you think all that stuff about the Father and the Son is for anyway?

    The fact that God appears to do nothing when called on simply proves that He exists. This is closely related to the Xtian concept of treating grown adults as if they were children, e. Check out some of Sandin's stuff: We have hit the Quantum Jackpot! This guarantees Sandin a place in the hallowed halls of Woo! He'll feel right at home in UD. I'm with the nay-sayers on this one.

    Here in Ireland the Constitution recognises parents as the primary educators of their children. Now while that is historically grounded in Catholic doctrine, it is a position I support. In fact, it simply recognises reality. Legally, it doesn't mean that parents can just opt their kids out of education. In fact, home-schooling here requires approval of standards etc much as the California judgment seems to. However, that is not assessed simply by reference to a teaching qualification, which would be a disproportionate barrier.

    Instead, the parents have to show that the curriculum and methods they use are good enough, and the kids are periodically assessed by the Dept of Education. Did Paul ever provide a single example of any argument in his dishonest little book that isn't decades-old creationism with the word creationism strategically deleted? Democracy in Turkey has had a chequered history. Although Attaturk led a secular republic, it was not particularly democratic.

    Joining NATO led to improvements, but parties taking a non-secular line, all shades of red, and "divisive" groups i. The military have traditionally supported the secular republic, rattling sabres whenever mere politicians deviated from the approved line, and occasionally taking over themselves when they considered it necessary. The Army stepped back in ummmm , and the current govt is led by a party that describes itself as the Muslim equivalent of the German Christian Democrats. The Army can be heard clearing their collective throats loudly whenever a new pro-Muslim measure e.

    In fact, Condi Rice invited them to 'demonstrate their traditional leadership role' when the parliament had the bad judgement to vote against supporting the Iraq war. Malaysia is a better example of Islam working in a democracy. Indonesia still hasn't got the knack of the 'free and fair elections' thing.

    Not that Malaysia is great at it, but Indonesia makes the point with an AK And there are millions and millions of Muslims in India which, despite Hindu fundie agitation, is a strong democracy. So eat shit, DaveTard. Pharyngula featured this gem the other day: Really do you believe both human eyes evolved with 3d focusing But when you see Chuck Norris doing push-ups, that isn't him going up. It's the world going down.

    It tells of the virtues of freedom of speech - Professors should feel free to preach when they teach; But the best bit occurs just before it begins When PZ gets chucked out but Dawkins gets in. But the rest of you people, untouched by its slime Can join me in Heaven and have a great time. Our movie tonight is Inherit the Wind: So for Dawkins, damnation, but PZ, come in!

    How to clear a virtual room quickly: Bachelor of Civil Law 2. Solicitor, Republic of Ireland 3. Solicitor, England and Wales Hello? And don't forget Oxygen Dihydride! Special TardMart discount offer: I really don't know what Louis is on about. Imagine not knowing that!. The promise of a Huckabee Administration may have gone.

    The faithful need facts! I give below some important True Facts that will sustain the core contsitune. DaveScot has banned more people than he has had sexual congress with. He is proud of this. When Dr Bill Dembski considers a problem, it solves itself rather than face the force of his logical powers. Intelligent Design has reversed the extinction of species killed off by evolution. This also prevents him doing too many. Kent Hovind is on an undercover mission. If your security clearance permits, you should let the people know those important True Facts that you know.

    DaveScot was an A student all through High School. He looks forward to learning the other 25 letters in the future. I mean, if the Bible Code is his sort of thing, shouldn't the Eggsplattertory Filter work on quotations from the Old Testament? Or does it depend on [kof kof] not taking the quote out of context? Given the standard of fitness required, this is perfectly possible.

    This is a post hoc argument to the effect that, because the two video clips are so clearly similar, taking away even one element of that similarity would destroy the frame-for-frame symmetry, and so undermine the derivative nature of the one in Excreted. This is clearly false, as the Excreted clip retains its derivative nature even when poorly edited. Basic justice, however, demands that the producers receive a fair hearing in a debate before a jury of their fellow believers. The theory of Copyright is incomplete.

    Are giraffes supposed to register the pattern of spots on their necks in order to assert their identities? For the avoidance of any doubt, the producers unreservedly condemn such practices and have never, ever, ever been caught practising them. Further advice available at reasonably competitive rates. It seems you are mistaken. The argument is related to those that support the view that gravity is at precisely the right strength to prevent missionaries in less fortunate lands from falling off.

    NFC relies on the non-materialist doctrine of copywrong. This permits gene duplications to occur without increase of information. Legally, it is quite interesting. Simply put, the fee-simple copyholder can claim in rem that a non-repudiatory rescission is moot, given that the locus standi of notice parties at the interlocutory stage of interrogatories vitiates quasi-judicial application of the equitable doctrine of estoppel. Of course, this leaves open the availability of a plea in laches subject to novation by the interceding party.

    But I'm sure you knew that. I wouldn't be as positive as Louis and the other long-viewists. Nobody, least of all the ID hierarchy, doubts that the scientific argument is done. The battle is a political one, and where you have a large bloc of voters, you have politicians agreeing with them. The theocrats are very unlikely to get their way, but an effect of their campaign's momentum is to move the agenda to the right. Consider that Obama's politics are in many ways more conservative than the British Conservative Party's - when was the last time a 'liberal' in the FDR mould gained national prominence in US politics?

    So while you are not likely to see the Established Church of God's Own Country, we already see the economic and political consequences of pandering to the fundies. It's not just scientists who need to be alarmed, it's everyone who disagrees with the Bushites and the politics they smuggle in under the camouflage of 'values', 'patriotism', and 'freedom'. As I've said before, the only way to undermine the cheerleaders who bring in the votes is to expose them as deceitful and hypocritical.

    The Core Vote isn't interested in statistics and test tubes, but they most definitely frown on ungodliness, especially in those who lead them. Quote Peter Henderson April 16 , I think the only positive thing as I see it anyway is that YECism is unlikely to spread outside of fundamentalist Protestant church circles. Don't forget that Flat Earthism and geo-centrism both had their days.

    Yet, despite all we have learned over the last few hundred years there are still flat Earth and geo-centric creationists around. But then, I've had a good day. It was suuny yesterday it gives you a lift when the sun appears in these parts and dry today so I managed to get my grass cut for the first time this season before tomorrow's expected rain!. Speaking as a trained lawyer, I must endorse this remark. Lawyers are mendacious putes.

    0316288 THE 0146477 OF - Computer & Information Sciences

    Most probably think scruples are some sort of new breakfast cereal. Speaking as a trained lawyer, I must object to the above libel of my learned and noble colleagues. Their commitment to the higher virtues and their selfless work in defence of those in adversity is universally admired. Either of the above arguments is available for use for a reasonable fee, plus expenses and outlay. Credit cards and pleadges of child labour now accepted!.

    Say CERN zaps enough particles to uncover evidence of the additional 6 or whatever number of dimensions that string theorists suggest are needed to give a complete account of gravity etc. Say that intelligence exists in those dimensions and, through a counterpart of CERN's work or maybe their equivalent of interference on their TVs , that intelligence becomes aware of our poking at their shell. Communication is somehow established. The other side makes us aware that they have unequivocal proof that 'their' universe was deliberately and explicitly created for XYZ purpose.

    It becomes evident that 'our' dimensions exist as a work-around to accommodate the deliberately intended features of the 'their' universe. Our existence and actions are a matter of indifference to 'their' creator. I'm just trying to work out how to fit in the love interest and a topless shot in the third reel. This was so good I had to link to it here. A very persuasive argument that ID most strongly supports our charitable friends in the Unification Church.

    Quote J-Dog April 28 , Quote Maya April 27 , Quote Bob O'H April 27 , Quote Reciprocating Bill April 29 , The Cleveland Museum of Art has a beautiful lagoon on its property that is plagued by Canadian geese. The walkways around the lagoon are often slippery with goose shit. One recent measure was the installation of several extremely lifelike deathlike? I've always wondered if that worked. I would have thought that avian intraspecies recognition would depend upon much more than visual verisimilitude e.

    The bird is dead. Forgive me serving up reheated electrons, but this is a retelling of an old tale that I recently posted at my blog. It seemed germane and just a little frenche. Father Jerome's Miracle Father Jerome grew up in the city. In school, he would explore the realms of perfection revealed by music and mathematics. He preferred the lives of the saints to the earthy exploits of his classmates on the sports grounds. He was a solitary boy but content in his world of ideas and abstraction.

    In the seminary he excelled in philosophy and theology, and a career as an academic, or maybe even the Curia, seemed to await him. No one's surprise could have been greater than Father Jerome's when he was posted to a lonely parish in the wind-swept hills. Where was Aquinas when Father Jerome heaved one muddy boot after another to visit a sick shepherd in his hovel? What chance had Palestrina among jostling, mischievous choirboys who could scarcely read their schoolbooks, let alone music?

    But Father Jerome found strength in the faith that his great learning told him was true. The months became seasons, the seasons years, and Father Jerome grew to love his simple people just as they loved him. He smiled when they ploughed carefully around a patch in a field so as not to disturb the fairies who lived there. He blessed their lambs against the evil eye. He knew the Lord was a man who worked with His hands, who came from people like this, and He would understand. Even if the country folks' heads were full of magical creatures, their hearts remained open to God's love.

    Father Jerome was walking to a dying woman's house when he first heard the voice. Father Jerome was no stranger to pranks. How often had he left the school and found that a toad had taken up residence in his hat? He would join in the laughter and solemnly name the toad after the conspiracy's ringleader. But this was different. The speech seemed to come from everywhere but nowhere. It whispered with an aetherial hollowness as if it was the voice of the mist itself. His duties and the darkness precluded investigation, so Father Jerome continued down the winding track, a puzzled frown creasing his brow.

    The old woman's struggle ended late in the night, and it was nearly dawn when Father Jerome returned home. When she arrived for burial two days hence, he would place her rosary beads around her rough cold fingers and pretend not to notice the three stones and a feather secreted in her mouth. Weariness overcame him and he sat down to doze before first Mass. But then that same voice: Father Jerome sat up startled. No, nobody but he was in that still and austere house. Had he been dreaming? As Father Jerome went through his day's work and devotions, the voice followed him.

    Anxiety seeped into his usually placid being. Why did nobody else seem to hear it? Was God taunting him, mocking some part of Father Jerome's mind that disdained the humble faith of his flock? Prayer brought no answer or respite, and Father Jerome began to despair at the thought of his torment continuing. That evening, exhausted, he merely poked at his frugal supper and retired early.

    Oil change pumps pelagius the mad

    Despite his weariness, sleep eluded him as he waited, dreading the return of that voice. And return it did. Father Jerome closed his eyes, tried to turn his thoughts to the glories of high reason and not admit defeat to mere superstition. But the dark hours of the night can be Gethsemane for a soul thrown into doubt.

    Before he knew he was doing it, Father Jerome found himself speaking to something that all his learning told him could not be there. Why are you tormenting me? And then an answer: Will you not help me to walk the earth as a body and soul again? You ask too much of me, spirit! Surely God would never object to prayer? If it put to rest the spirit, or at least silenced it, well and good. And if it did not, what harm? So Father Jerome knelt down on the cold stone floor and began to pray. As the long night wore on, Father Jerome pounded Heaven with prayer. He beseeched the Lord to hear his plea for the spirit who had visited him.

    He begged the Lord to forgive his arrogance and pride. He cast aside reliance on learning and books, and abandoned his very being to hope in his creator's unfathomable mercy. As the grey tinge of the emerging day began to dispel the night, a euphoric calm settled Father Jerome's troubled breast. A profound, unshakeable reassurance touched his being, as if a strong gentle hand had caressed him. And prostrate on the stone floor, Father Jerome fell into a deep dreamless sleep. The insistent knocking of the village woman who cooked and cleaned for him woke Father Jerome.

    Startled, he stood up to answer the door, the night's events a confused collage of memories. But a sound made him turn around. Looking at the bed, not daring to credit what his eyes saw, he pulled back the thin blanket. And there, curled up in the golden light of the rising sun, was the perfect form of a boy, no more than twelve years old. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that concludes the case for the defence. Is it the seat from which Billy Three-Docs expostulates ex cathedra? Or is it proof that the satanic darwinian tree of life has only fictional branches?

    Has it something to do with armchair scientists? Those wavy bits at the top have buds on them. The answers are all in the Bible. Don't the French have a saying like "I thought of it on the stairs". It's always after the fact that you realise how good you almost had it Europe approaches its cultural perigee on Saturday evening in Belgrade.

    Anyone who wants their goat pictures back just add a response here to let me know. J-Dog, are those ones twins? How did you breathe in there, Louis? For those who have no idea what the hell this is all about, I present Eurovision for the Uninitiated. Quote George May 22 , Speaking of the most appalling collection of noise that calls itself music.

    Billy and the Evolanders would make a pretty good name for a band. Just came across this, apologies if anyone has encountered it before. Like evolution, it organises and explains all that confusing data. My creaking recollection of Venn diagrams suggests that the circles should be enclosed in a rectange U representing the universe of ideas. Or perhaps UD representing the universe of Tard? Thanks for the links to the fresh meat. I have to say, I've gone off UD ever since it lost its sense of ambition.

    At least the YECs are still in militant evangelical mode. UD is like a knitting circle where everyone is waiting to see who'll be next to drop off. As regards the future of this gibberish, one option they seem to have kept on the back burner is the 3rd world. Just think - weak education policies, strong religious cultures, declining Catholic influence. At the moment, fundagelicals in S. America and to a lesser extent in sub-saharan Africa tend to operate in anti-establishment mode, but it wouldn't surprise me if they tried to wedge a few of their own into the power structure.

    It would make for a hell of a base, and would soak up support from the megachurches in the Heartland. Nah, I only go there to make sure that the local boys are maintaining standards. Besides, my handle has already been nabbed there, so I have to post as Crocoduck Rex. There are very good reasons for this. Quote Annyday May 17 , We've been wrong about it being Jesus all along. Quote Amadan June 04 , He found that the secret to getting an A on a paper was to assess four competing positions, sniff skeptically at three of them and then make sure to sneer at the remaining one.

    This is how you explain ID in plain language! Not sure if I've got the hang of the slideshow stuff yet, hope it works. Nope, didn't contact him at all. Do your good works by stealth, etc etc. And thanks to all who made nice noises about it. Looking at it again, I see lots of little mistakes to be tidied up. Post-hoc editing, an AtBC tradition. Quote Bob O'H June 26 , Photobucket seems to cause major problems for a lot of browsers, so I've rejigged the slide-show to run under Picasa, which works much better.

    The Definitive Version until the next one. Quote stevestory June 26 , Quote Steviepinhead June 25 , I did a couple of summer things early--Grand Canyon backpack in mid-April ya don'ts want to do it in mid-summer, too frickin' HOT! Has anyone seen this? To which I answer: Does that give apes rights? If the closeness of their relationship has moral implications and I don't think it does , those implications affect how humans who are moral actors deal with apes who ain't. Now you could say that you can't enforce morality, only punish its breach, and that rights give a means to prevent those breaches happening.

    But in this case, that only adds up to allowing some third party to call in the animal welfare people. It hardly needs to be dignified with the term rights. Plenty of that about. Quote Steviepinhead June 26 , And then there's our current president. Where's he gonna be once executive privilege expires, without rights for great apes Well, he may need a waiver to even make the cut, but still. Quote Reciprocating Bill June 26 , None of this newfangled tardaholism.

    Quote keiths June 27 , The project was started by the philosophers Peter Singer and Paola Cavalieri, who argued that the ape is the closest genetic relative to humans — that it displays emotions such as love, fear, anxiety and jealousy — and should be protected by similar laws. We confer rights on humans who are not moral actors infants, the severely mentally ill, etc. If it's legitimate to grant rights to humans who haven't "earned" them through moral agenthood, why should apes be required to "earn" them this way? Amplifying on the point I made above, does that mean that you think that infants should not have rights?

    They are utterly dependent on third parties to defend their rights, just as apes would be. Forget the single malt, I've found the nectar of the gods Designers! Quote keiths June 28 , Well, what happens then is being played out in Canada right now, and all across Europe. All ethical systems come under attack, and degenerate into a swamp of unfocused feelings. Quote tsig July 07 , Quite right, Densye, ethical systems under attack everywhere you go.

    Deepest, heartfelt and humblest apologies. Actually, that's an idea: I recall a church painting in somewhere in Portugal that depicted a miracle said to have taken place in the 17th or 18th century. A woman was somehow obliged to a quelle surprise! To discharge this obligation, she had to bring him a consecrated host. Having received it, she surreptitiously put it in her handkerchief. But as she was leaving the church, blood was seen to be issuing from the handkerchief and the sacrilege was disclosed. History does not relate the consequences, but regular readers will surely be able to fill them in fairly accurately.

    All this tells us much more about Portuguese Catholicism than about the truth or otherwise of the reported events. Having grown up an Irish Catholic in reasonably liberal family, I can understand the outrage devout Catholics feel at what is being portrayed, rightly or wrongly, as an incitement to sacrilege motivated by an atheist's derision.

    I imagine that all religions venerate their martyrs and make a point of recalling real persecution when it did happen to them, and the Catholic Church has an entire bureaucracy dedicated to it. But I thought PZ's comments were pretty infantile. It's not as if someone was trying to make Communion compulsory for biology professors.

    That said, portraying this as persecution is going miles over the top. It's also more than slightly ironic hearing the chorus of tut-tutting on UD given that at least half of the goons there would consider Catholics about as Christian as Maoist Scientologists. The garden breathes well-being, and all is right with the world. Time for a hymn to remind us of the important things. Sorry, I just can't stop laughing. The Walrus among the pigeons? Can science be overturned? I am a lawyer qualified to practise in three jurisdictions.

    As an exercise for the reader, I leave it to you to estimate the arrogance-withdrawal that would provoke in me. Empirical observation is something we all do reflexively and throughout our lives. But then if you subject the inferences you draw from it to the withering criticism of others who seek the same advantages that you do, even while you are constrained by the need to limit your deductions to those supportable by earlier data and by legitimate mathematics, you come as close as I care to define to "actuality".

    It's a question of epistemology: Do you think this statement is objectively verifiable? If you want to "disprove" science, you also want to shut your eyes and hope the clerk gives you the right change, design your own wing for the plane using Impressionist paintings as your guide, and take up that intriguing offer from Emperor Bokassa's nephew with the locked bank account. Around here, baseball caps usually indicate a predeliction for baseball bats, which in these parts tend to be used for percussive wealth distribution and ethnic attitude adjustment.

    Not to be recommended. The chocolates sound like a good idea, but you might ask Mrs J. Far from becoming extinct 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs actually co-existed with early humans, and even helped in the construction of the pyramids. This is the word of Vince Fenech, Evangelist pastor and director of a fully licensed, State-approved Creationist institution which admits children aged between four and It is mentioned in the Book of Job. I really can't resist giving an Old Joke a reviving spin in the fresh air in its wheelchair Thank you for your patience and forbearance.

    Gnash, you beat me to it. But here it is anyway: Well, we started in San Francisco. Covered a lot of ground, including hanging out of cable-cars, cycling across the GG bridge, and touring Alcatraz. No Bigfoot, though I did notice quite a few very fit gentlemen with big moustaches. I took this as a divine signal that we were on the right track. There is a kind of paddling-zoo there they call an 'aquarium'. We saw lots of fish, some of which had Big Fins.

    The trail was getting stronger. Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks nearly put us off the scent. These fiendishly clever diversions had Bigfoot-style features such as waterfalls Bigfoot's shower, they would have us believe and enormous wooden phallic symbols. However, a prominent feature named the Half-Dome is clearly a sarcastic reference to the intellectual capacity of run-of-the-mill Bigfoot hunters, and I deduced that we were being led astray.

    Damning all park rangers as unbelieving materialists, I left to reconsider our tactics. This we did in the town of San Luis Obispo. And then it came to me: Louis is in Missouri, deep in the True Believing Heartland. Bishops are a pagan, idolatrous, Mary-worshipping Catholic abomination.

    The message was clear: Asserting my God-given authority as master of the household, I loaded the bags into the car just before my wife told me to. We drove to the deeply religious city of Las Vegas. It was a wonder to see the faithful so selflessly giving of their worldly goods, even without a televangelist to egg them on.

    I was taken aback to see so many people using playing cards, but then I recalled that they too serve the Lord's purpose. Others made their love-offerings through strange machines with flashing lights and whirling symbols that seemed positively satanic. Now as every televangelist knows, material wealth is a sign of divine favour, but in their zeal to demonstrate how hard it is to pass through the eye of a needle, these folks had taken it to extremes. I have never in my life seen sheer corpulence in such an amount or on such a scale.

    The Grand Canyon proved to me that we were on the right path. Only a monstrous creature could have gouged such a cavity in the Earth's surface, even if the ground had been softened by the Flood. I explained this in great detail to others there. Inspired by my message, they suggested that I go to Hell, presumably to continue my research. Not sure how to get there, it occured to me that Hollywood is the source of nearly all the evil in this Christian Nation, so I betook myself to Los Angeles.

    It took me three days, scouring the Godless wastes of Los Angeles but, sustained by my faith, I eventually found him. In Australia, the opposition party blames the government for the downturn because they were "talking down the economy". What goes around comes around. It'll be interesting to see who starts shouting the loudest about this in the ID camp.

    It seems to me that there's a bit of over-hyping going on here. She said "I believe we were created" or words to that effect. So do all the theistic evos. Is she a dominionist trojan horse? This seems like the right place to ask this question. I'm trying to find a suitable moniker for the Republicans' Happy Couple. Fatalistic cynicism and secession of our responsibility to participate knowledgeably in both the educational system and the electoral system is what brought this country to its knees.

    What the Hell is going through your head, Erasmus? That's on a par with the sort of comments we got from Fox at the time of the UN Security Council debates on the Iraq resolutions. My point, which you clearly missed, is that the US constitution is the product of 18th century men who had assumptions and objectives that reflected their times and backgrounds.

    Did you think I agreed with their view that a propertied elite should have a permanent advantage in political life? Perhaps I should avoid complimacated litturary stuff like irony. If you take the view that voting just encourages the bastards, you are stuck with the problem of how you are going to assure yourself the freedom that you clearly value. Opting out is fine until you run up against the system. When that happens - say, if a cop doesn't like the colour of your skin or the town council votes to remove the Koran from the library - what are you going to do?

    Perhaps your point is that there is nothing that you can do, and that the system will inevitably crush individual freedom. Personally, I don't take that view. If the system of government itself is a subject of debate and potential change, the individual has a far stronger chance of fighting back. In the USA, that doesn't seem to be an option. The constitutional framework is sacrosanct and its drafters are presented as uniquely endowed with wisdom and foresight. Contributing to this problem is the biased, homogenised and sound-bite level of most political discourse on US national TV networks.

    Of course, you can assert and protect your freedom in the USA, but you could do it a heck of a lot more effectively if you redesigned your constitution. Does that make it clearer? And my country, warts and all, does not publicly humiliate Germans and Italians by noting, as a matter of law, that their condoms are, for some unspecified reason, undersized.

    Quote Arden Chatfield Sep. That the Founders crafted such a constitution, under assault from the git-go and very nearly stillborn by the demagogues of the day speaks to it's unique nature. As an American, I see plenty of problems in execution of our political system, but that is not due to any defect I see in it's particular construction. The beauty of the Constitution is it's narrow focus to the construction, and limitations, of government, coupled with it's relative permanence.

    It isn't intended to specify the detailed nature of political life, but rather provide a framework within which to operate. So, I see no need to redesign The Constitution, only to ensure it's faithful execution which has been all to poor of late. Voting isn't so bad. I've come to the realization that, as a borderline anarchist, my other option is to vote with my 20 gauge.

    Since I also recognize Machaevalianism sp. I hope that doesn't boggle too many people's minds. I AM tougher than I look, really. But nothing will change until people arrive at politicians' doors singing You can get anything you want At Alice's Restaurant just wait until the song comes around again and we can all join in Here it comes. Leading scientists, ranging from undistinguished statistical theologians to refrigerator maintenance engineers, will study the ejecta to confirm some of their most fundamental preconceptions.

    However, it does exhibit a very high quantity of what we call spin. I should add that as I have predicted it theoretically, this experiment is a superfluous detail which is rather pathetic. But he gave a sly wink. There has been some public concern as to whether the LHC could generate a black hole of inanity such that all intelligence could be sucked out of the Earth. He, she, or it is the author of several leading academic and popular colouring books on scientific-sounding stuff. They all say the same thing, so buy any of them. Or all of them. It is expected the Vice-President-to-be Palin will have an important role in government oversight of the project, so increasing acceleration is expected in the period leading up to November, generating a froth of fundamentalist articles.

    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)
    Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4) Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)

Related Bemused and Mumbling (CIRCA 2006) (Scribblings of a Swansea Jack Book 4)

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