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Darth InSidious

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Everything posted by Darth InSidious

  1. I suppose in the current climate, an independent Obsidian isn't quite as feasible as it used to be. Oh, well. If true, another reason not to get out of bed in the morning. If not, nothing to get out of bed over.
  2. Clearly, you are not familiar with British economics. First of all, these aren't 'austerity measures': these cuts have the purpose of fulfilling an ideological obsession with being heirs to Thatcher amongst a generation of Tories just old enough to start rising in their party as their party started falling. They have bugger all to do with the actual deficit - while we're ruthlessly cutting public spending, we're equally letting more cash fly out of the window in tax breaks for the super-rich and their companies. That's the sort of super-rich who are now in government, and the sort of company whose fat-cats we're co-opting in as 'special advisors' to the government. Second, these cuts are only severe enough to ensure that in at least ten years at best we'll have a Labour government whose first act will be to ratchet up public spending as every publicly-funded building in the country will be falling down and there will be millions unemployed and unemployable, while Cameron, Osborne, Philip Green et al are still quaffing Chateau Petrus. Third, our GDP is a tenth of that of the US. We couldn't afford to loan you anything like the cash you'd need. Edit to add: Given the parlous state of American higher education, in particular the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and the near-total elimination of any serious public thought that has resulted (to say nothing of the state of public thought in the UK at present), not to mention the epidemic of custom papers, cheating, and an attitude of 'what-I-get-for-my-money' amongst students, I think co-opting a monetised higher education system would be disastrous. Universities are not training-grounds for middle-managers, they are for the preservation and extension of all human knowledge and as such are absolutely essential not only to society but to humanity as a whole.
  3. Not only that, but the planes we're ordering IIRC won't fit the new carriers - particularly given that they require a 'catapult' mechanism to launch.
  4. Links for KSE: KSE v3.3.3 (English Language Only), KSE v.3.3.2 (Non-English version).
  5. Clearly failed at history. This, coming from you? The ironing is delicious. LOOTER! COMMUnISt LOOtER
  6. Aphorisms are the first refuge of the cretin. Reversions of aphorisms are the first refuge of the unbearably smug cretin.
  7. And the inquisition? That was misunderstood as well in your mind I suppose too. Bible bleeding hearts like you are a dime a dozen from my travels. Always making up rationals for atrocities committed by (their) faith/organized religion. Yes, you're so right. Modern religion is so evil compared to ancient paganism. Like that horrid Pax Dei movement, which was so nasty by comparison to ancient Egyptian beliefs that it was a good to spread fear of the king throughout the foreign lands (cf: Old & Middle Kingdom Egyptian clich
  8. Yes, I'm aware of Benedict's edict. But it was random given that really, it has little to do with the pagans and their treatment in Glastonbury. Two points, for information, etc.: 1. It's not an edict. 2. Full quote: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11804798
  9. Given the 'twitter joke trial', it might be wise to be careful with associating 'evil' children and your flies.
  10. I'm not sure you could call it a review at all.
  11. From what I remember there have been issues with members of this group in London before now, too.
  12. No probs. Lord James of Blackheath is a life peer, though.
  13. Way to snap-judge Walsingham, Harlequin. You're doing a great job selling how wonderful paganism is, there. Now, Walsingham is many things, but a bigot he ain't. First, he was complaining about the fact that it got blanket coverage, not the right of pagans to worship however they please, wherever and whenever. Second, there may be 4 million pagans worldwide, and 2 million in the US. There aren't that many in the UK. In fact, the 2001 census found 42,262 neopagans in England, Scotland and Wales (with 32,000 pagans and 7,000 Wiccans in England and Wales). That's out of a total population in excess of 60 million. That's 0.1% of the population. Even taking the high-end estimate of 250,000 neopagans, that's only 0.4% of the British population. To give some context, there are over 330,000 Sikhs in the UK according to the same 2001 Census, with higher estimates of 600-750,000. There are similar numbers of Jews. There are over 550,000 (according to the 2001 Census; up to 800,000 according to other estimates) Hindus. Muslims make up between 1.5million and 2.4million Britons, or up to 4% of the population. The number of practicing Roman Catholics in the country is estimated at 5 million. But do we televise, say, festivals in honour of Baisakhi, or Diwali, or Eid, or Corpus Christi processions? No. First, because this is not a secular country. And second, because all thse faiths are a minority, and while we recognise the right of minorities to practice, believe, and be represented, this does not necessarily mean that they must get television coverage of their religious activities disproportionate to their representation in the British population. There was no coverage, say, for All Saints' or All Souls', both of which have far greater historical and cultural resonance in the UK. Third, the last major religious coverage the BBC gave prior to that was of the Papal Visit to the UK, the first state visit by the spiritual leader of around 5 million people in the UK and over 1.1 billion worldwide, and for whom it is estimated around 500,000 people turned out for (or, about twice the upper estimate of how many pagans and wiccans there are in the UK). (Also, the Pope, to be blunt, is news, in a way Samhain and other festivals aren't.) And my goodness, if you think complaints about the amount of coverage Samhain got is 'bigotry', compared to the flak we Catholics got from some quarters prior to the Visit (one admittedly stupid columnist saying in the Independent on September 8th this year: "But if one is a Catholic, then surely double-speak and duplicity are second nature."), then you are sorely deluding yourself. Fourth, the BBC is first and foremost a national, not an international broadcaster. The hint is in the name: British Broadcasting Corporation. The number of pagans worldwide is therefore of less significance. Fifth, I think it's quite clear that Walsingham is not entirely serious in his post. For my part as a non-pagan, I'm quite happy for you to get News 24 coverage of Samhain. First, because I got four days of excellent coverage of the Pope in the UK. Second, I am quite happy and willing to use the 'off' switch on my TV, and third, because I was playing New Vegas in any case. But accusing Walsingham of being a 'bigot' or 'close-minded' for disliking coverage of a religious festival which has little significance, cultural, historical or political for the majority of this country, only makes you look silly.
  14. There are still 92 hereditary peers in the House of Lords.
  15. @Calax: Interesting question. He's claimed that the Bank of England got him to do it (funding the IRA? The Bank of England? Really?) might be seen as an attempt to stop any queries about this. I suppose he could probably also invoke Parliamentary privilege. TBH, the whole thing rather makes me wonder if the man isn't dementing. I can't quite see another reason for a man of long standing in the City to be taken in by an obvious and rather silly piece of fraud. He has, apparently, already had at least one stroke in the past. The fact that he begins by discussing the play Brigadoon, then predicts to the week the next British financial scandal (second week in February), then calls on the government to set up a company similar to the rather dowdy clothing giant British Home Stores... the three of these were, perhaps, indicators of what was to come. Then again, one of the commentators on the website Walsingham links to pointed to this exchange as evidence that discourse in the House of Lords is often a little surreal:
  16. Dearest Respected Lord, my name is Mr. Keith Scott, a respected international businessman and philanthropist... Unfortunately, Lord Blackheath's bonkers speech was recorded by the BBC as well, as part of a 3 hour debate: http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/hou...000/9146065.stm (Blackheath begins sometime after 2hrs : 30mins; he starts gibbering at about 2hrs 34). Full Hansard transcript: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/lords/?id=20....1463.8#g1536.0 It sounds like this lot, to me: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Int...reasury_Control
  17. I thought I'd break with tradition and pray for the dead this year.
  18. Sounds fun. I may read it. I certainly found it pretty enjoyable. Definitely one to go for if you like large scale, slightly mad sci-fi. And if that is your kind of thing, definitely also take a look at Warlords of Utopia, with which Of the City shares a multiverse. WoU boils down to every parallel universe where Rome never fell, versus every parallel universe where the Nazis won the war. Except awesome.
  19. Of the City of the Saved... by Philip Purser-Hallard. In a city beyond the edge of the universe, where every human (or sentient pre- or post- human, from australopithecines up, for that matter) who ever lived has been resurrected, and harming another is (in theory) impossible, a murder has been committed. And it's up to Laura Tobin to find out why, who, and, most importanty, how. For a first novel, this is, if nothing else, pretty damn impressive. Switching between the perspectives of the three main characters (helped along by the occasional secondary figure) - Laura Tobin, detective and living embodiment of the word "unpersonable", Julian White Mammoth Tusk, a City-born neanderthal yuppie, and Urbanus Ignotus, the nerdish youngest son of a prominent Roman family in the city, the book has a wonderful interweaving of subplot and main-plot. But I think probably the book's greatest strength is its varying narrative voices. Cutting between a circumspect young Roman, a thorough-going detective with truly weird family issues, and a fashion-conscious protohuman who speaks in a sign-language littered with Anglo-Saxon profanities, blasphemy against obscure ancient gods (Dagon being a prime example), and Woosterish patter, really marks this book out. In all, the ending is disappointing and feels rather abrupt, but it's a fun book, nevertheless.
  20. A lot of them were in imitation of the (semi?)-official avatars released shortly before the game itself, or are those avatars themselves. There was a bit of a thing for having a variation of your own for a while. Some people have kept them, presumably because they either like the avatar, or Alpha Protocol, or both. Not everyone has an Alpha Protocol avatar, though, nor is it mandatory . Mine, for example, is more of a Faction Paradox avatar.
  21. Two weeks. ? Maybe a reference to the last days of Team Gizka.
  22. This is a load of gibberish that shows only a dim awareness of metaethics. Attempts to play semantic games to justify a weak position show up a fundamental lack of understanding of the terms employed. D-
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