Blog Comments

  1. Iain Sparrow's Avatar
    It might be that YouTube, Twitter, facebook, etc give folks their "ten minutes of fame"... though I'm not really sure what the attraction is myself. I think the only times I've ever used YouTube is watching vids of people doing outrageously stupid (and usually dangerous) stunts, and finding old concert footage for the bands I listened to as a kid. The other guilty pleasure I have is reading the Darwin Awards books... chronicling those people who exit the gene pool in the most outlandish ways. And yeah, in my life there's been a couple of times I nearly became a honorable mention in the Darwin Awards... but I'm lucky. And who knows, perhaps *luck* is a part of the natural selection process.
    The problem I most have with the internet, is that we get time to compose our thoughts and formulate our conversation... compared to real life it sometimes feels much less spontaneous and dynamic.
    Updated 09-09-2014 at 11:44 PM by Iain Sparrow
  2. Bluebiird's Avatar
    So. Made the pie. It. Was. Epic. Even though the pastry did go a little wrong and it took longer to cook than is should have.
    Also I said something about Percy's winds. I meant wings. I'm too lazy to change it.
    Also. The slight personality changes were due to hormone fluctuations, they usually are, but I'll see if I can keep them. I'm surprised to find that I've kept up with my little exercise routine fro so long. Never thought I'd do that. I've got to the point now where I kind of miss it if I don't do it. So that's pretty good, I think.
  3. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Also the Youtube packages thing. I kind of get it and kind of don't. You get people who are just very excited about getting something they've been waiting for and they want to share that excitement. I'm not entirely sure why they want to waste time getting a camera of some kind to do it before they rip into the box because it's actually very boring to watch but maybe they've been talking about it a lot and their friends or followers are excited about it too. I don't know.
    We're genetically hardwired to be sociable creatures so I guess we're supposed to care about how other humans feel and to share our emotions over trivial things. The internet has kind of expanded that to kind of ridiculous levels but on the plus side I can socialise with other human beings that ordinarily I would never be able to socialise with so I won't start complaining about how the internet is ruining society or something.
    I guess everyone is strange, they just don't know it.
  4. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Don't get me wrong. I love some silly shows too. The kinds of shows I'm embarrassed to let anyone know that I watch them. Even shows that I was pretty down on, without actually having seen them, I've changed my mind when I happen to catch an episode.
    Although it turned out that way this post was never meant to be about "stupid" shows and "stupid" people watching them. I kind of got a little carried away with the ranting there.
    The TV thing was just an example of how I differ from other people and that everyone has preferences, and how I kind of really struggle to understand how some things can be classed as entertainment and therefore normal.
    Because, if you're not part of the group then you're seen as a freak and it's been that way my whole life. And if that's what people class as being normal then I don't want o be normal.
    I may be pretty alone but there are other eccentric people out there so I'm not as alone as I think.
  5. Iain Sparrow's Avatar
    Being "normal", or not normal isn't really the issue, methinks.
    I think everyone has their own demons, might be a lack of self confidence, depression, anger, fear, or any number of things holding a person back. It's a mistake to believe that because someone watches this television show, or reads that kind of book, that they are somehow inferior, or normal. Calling someone "normal", or "common" is the other term I've heard, is in my opinion a put down.
    And I watch a show called Impractical Jokers... and make no apologies, it's silly and I enjoy the heck out of it. Perhaps we're all more normal than we'd like to admit?
  6. qimissung's Avatar
    I kind of agree. Lately I've been wondering why it is I try so hard and see so little for my efforts. Is puzzlement. Then I go down, down for a few days, then, without doing anything differently, I'm in a good place for a while. I always think those are going to last. Lol.

    Did you know on YouTube there are hundred of videos of people simply unwrapping packages? I simply cannot fathom that.
  7. qimissung's Avatar
    I had a friend who discovered, after her father died, that she had a half brother she never knew about. As it happens he was in England during the war and that's where her brother was born and raised there.

    What a discombobulating thing to find out!
  8. PeterL's Avatar
    Mohammed, I thank you for the general agreement. Iraq is a very complicated country, and I didn't want to discuss that much. It is my opinion that ISIS, or IS or whatever they are, developed more from the anarchic conditions in Syria, and I blame Obama more than anyone else for that; although some of the European governments also helped the rebels. There was no government in eastern Syria, so ISIS grew.

    I hope that Iraq will soon get a ruler who will be better than Al-Malky.
  9. Mohammad Ahmad's Avatar
    Yes Obama created them!
  10. Mohammad Ahmad's Avatar
    I haven't enough time to read all of the article, but as I read the first line " That is not an exaggeration. ISIS would not exist, if Obama weren’t an ignorant clown who has no idea how the rest of the world runs, and who badly messed up with regard to Syria" Here it is obvious in the western street that people recognize that there is failure in the American administration and there is stuck failure on Obama side.
    Isis isn't considered as an easy enemy at all, it is the dangerous one to the American national interests at the Arabian region.
    No one of Iraqis like to support them neither going to help them nor should believe in their doctrine even in the Sunni areas, which I am myself is one of the Sunni Muslims, but the matter that they find suitable environment there is because of the persecution and the maltreatment from the Shiite government and especially from the former and for now Prime Minster" Al-Malky" and for instance the most prisoners under the article -4 terrorism had been set forth only for the Sunni sect even if there is reason or if not there is reason, they killed many Sunni people who are minatory in Shiite cities. This is short view I have time to mention it.
  11. PeterL's Avatar
    While he has played that Hitlerian card, the Abhazians and the Osettians are not Russians, and Russians are a majority in Crimea, but not by a whole lot. Then there's the matter of Russia simply being derivative of what we now call Ukraine.

    But this has put NATO on notice that Russia is not significantly different from the Soviet Empire, except that it is smaller and not as wealthy. Putin can't afford to do what he has been doing.
  12. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick
    I don't agree with your assessment of Obama at all. Imagine if he had supported Assad against the rebels early on. Imagine if he had announced that there were no plans to bring US troops home. Would anyone have supported him? The vilification he's getting at the moment is nothing up to what he would've got then.
    If he had announced that there wre no plans to bring troops home, then he sure wouldn't have had support. But what does thaqt have to do with supporting Assad?

    I know wittering on about the past is pointless but Bush the younger and his hawkish cronies must bear the lion's share of the responsibility for the mess. Why attack Iraq ? A knee jerk reaction? - Unfinished family business with Saddam? - The pleasure of using jingoistic kick-*** soundbites? The weapons of mass destruction were an invention. The US army were not seen as liberators but as a foreign army of occupation. Finally, the terrorist nest responsible for 911 was in Afghanistan (funded unwittingly by oil rich gulf states.)not Iraq.
    Yes

    Anyone who says they foresaw the rise of ISIS , say two years ago, is lying, but the West's relatively recent policy of helping to remove strong dictators rather than supporting them, has led to power vacuums that are inevitably being filled by radical Muslim groups. That was foreseeable.
    True

    Obama is culpable for not being able to sort out the mess - not because he's an imbecile or incompetent (he's neither) but because he is isolated, he has not played the Washington game of cultivating alliances and political pathways that would enable him to govern effectively and do the pragmatic thing, ie support people like Assad.
    I disagree. Someone sitting as President of the U.S.A. should know, should have known, the nature of the Syrian government and tremendous religious and cultural that was in Syria and remained there because the Assads and other dictators before them used the smaller sects and natioalities as part of their power base and as a balance against the Sunnis.
  13. prendrelemick's Avatar
    I don't agree with your assessment of Obama at all. Imagine if he had supported Assad against the rebels early on. Imagine if he had announced that there were no plans to bring US troops home. Would anyone have supported him? The vilification he's getting at the moment is nothing up to what he would've got then.

    I know wittering on about the past is pointless but Bush the younger and his hawkish cronies must bear the lion's share of the responsibility for the mess. Why attack Iraq ? A knee jerk reaction? - Unfinished family business with Saddam? - The pleasure of using jingoistic kick-*** soundbites? The weapons of mass destruction were an invention. The US army were not seen as liberators but as a foreign army of occupation. Finally, the terrorist nest responsible for 911 was in Afghanistan (funded unwittingly by oil rich gulf states.)not Iraq.

    Anyone who says they foresaw the rise of ISIS , say two years ago, is lying, but the West's relatively recent policy of helping to remove strong dictators rather than supporting them, has led to power vacuums that are inevitably being filled by radical Muslim groups. That was foreseeable.

    Obama is culpable for not being able to sort out the mess - not because he's an imbecile or incompetent (he's neither) but because he is isolated, he has not played the Washington game of cultivating alliances and political pathways that would enable him to govern effectively and do the pragmatic thing, ie support people like Assad.
  14. Bluebiird's Avatar
    Well, it's not like our family is rich or anything. To tell the truth I'm more amazed to find out that Napoleon has two half sisters I never knew about. He's not exactly forthcoming with, well, anything really.
    I think it stems from the kind of time he grew up in. He was born in 1950. And I know, form what little he has told me, that things weren't exactly great for his family back then. Which I think explains the water thing. He's schooled in the make-do kind of way.
    When I first went to uni I took a selection pack of cereal for easy transport but I didn't have milk. So I did try dampening the cereal with tap water just a little so it wouldn't be too hard and dry. It worked tolerably for frosted shreddies but not for anything else. Of course, both Napoleon and his brother happily use water as a milk substitute for cereal. Not just a little. They use about as much as water as they'd use milk
  15. Virgil's Avatar
    It does sound like a con. And he puts water in his cereal? Yuck.
  16. Virgil's Avatar
    Completely agree on the failures of Obama but I disagree on the Bush invasion of Iraq. What remained wasn't a perfect situation but it was a young democracy that had held several elections. The problem was created when Obama pulled our base and all our troops out of the country and left the Iaqi Army to its own devices, which in essence meant lack of cohesion. Supposedly they were trained, but training to use equipment is not the same thing as keeping cohesion. That comes with an integrated army which requires years. They scattered when they faced the slightest adversity. We need to get back in there. The military assessment of several years ago said that an American presence of 10 to 15 thousand troops were required to maintain stability. They were proven right. We need to get those troops back in. Despite the horrors that ISIS shows with their videos they are a rag tag army at best. Iraq is easily salvageable. We need a division of troops, preferably armored, and ISIS will scatter like chickens. They'll still create a terrorist problem, but they won't occupy territory. Will Obama send in a division? Who knows what goes on in that imbecile's brain. Frankly I think he ought to be impeached for his incompetence.
  17. Virgil's Avatar
    Actually Putin's invasions (Ukraine, Crimea, Georgia) have all been based on the same Hitlerian justification of ethnic identity. Putin, and perhaps Russia in general (not sure if this is limited to Putin) is a huge problem. The mistake was hollowing out the NATO forces in central Europe. We need to reconstitute the NATO armies across Europe, perhaps not the 600,000 that were there during the Cold War, but at least 200,000 and push them all the way up to the Baltic countries. Putin only understands power and the lack of power. He needs to be deterred. I would even modernize the nuclear missiles that have atrophied over the last twenty years. The US and Europe need to double their defense spending. Peace in the world isn't kept by good wishes.
  18. PeterL's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick
    If Enlightenment means freedom of thought and religion for ALL, not just those who agree with you, then yes let have it. The trouble is that taken to the extreme it leads to Obama-like inaction." Fighting for Enlightenment" is almost an oxymoron Other doctrines can be more aggressive and intransigent.

    I'm not exactly sure what Classic Liberalism is, but it seems to me that , for the individual, strong Government is the best protection against exploitation and excesses committed by "Men of Worth", and a working democracy should be the protection of the individual against a Strong Government. (If only it were that simple) - but given a choice between being controlled by Big Government or Big Business I'd choose an elected Government every time.
    Think of Jeffersonian democracy and you'll have a very good idea what the Enlightenment and Classical liberalism are about. Take a look at the articles to which posted links. The EM;ightenment overthrew the reuirements that an individual's thoughts were to concur with what the Church wanted expressed.


    The trouble is that Government and Big Business have become entwined to such an extent that the choice is a narrow one. The "Men of Worth" have the ear of the Government and the balls electorate. The politicians pass and uphold laws that protect and perpetuate the current cosy (for them) system and receive wealth (through patronage, consultancy fees, donations, jobs etc,) from the Men of Worth.

    My point is that Government big or small leaves the individual under tight constraint. I prefer to pay high taxes than to be given low wages.

    OK, rant over. (I still agree with you mostly)

    A cynic would say that war in far away countries is good for business - so lets arm both sides and keep it going
    The U.S. government was set up to allow all points of view and to allow individuals to live their lives as they wish, but Big Government and Big Business found it more profittable to put more and more limitations on individual liberties.

    Eant all you like. It's fine with me, and if I don't like it, then I'll just laugh.
  19. prendrelemick's Avatar
    If Enlightenment means freedom of thought and religion for ALL, not just those who agree with you, then yes let have it. The trouble is that taken to the extreme it leads to Obama-like inaction." Fighting for Enlightenment" is almost an oxymoron Other doctrines can be more aggressive and intransigent.

    I'm not exactly sure what Classic Liberalism is, but it seems to me that , for the individual, strong Government is the best protection against exploitation and excesses committed by "Men of Worth", and a working democracy should be the protection of the individual against a Strong Government. (If only it were that simple) - but given a choice between being controlled by Big Government or Big Business I'd choose an elected Government every time.

    The trouble is that Government and Big Business have become entwined to such an extent that the choice is a narrow one. The "Men of Worth" have the ear of the Government and the balls electorate. The politicians pass and uphold laws that protect and perpetuate the current cosy (for them) system and receive wealth (through patronage, consultancy fees, donations, jobs etc,) from the Men of Worth.

    My point is that Government big or small leaves the individual under tight constraint. I prefer to pay high taxes than to be given low wages.

    OK, rant over. (I still agree with you mostly)




    A cynic would say that war in far away countries is good for business - so lets arm both sides and keep it going
  20. PeterL's Avatar
    There are a few lessons that the people who try to run things will have to learn really, really soon. The biggest thing is that the Enlightenment ideals must be preserved and extended to all humans. Unfortunately, Obama and most of the European leaders have taken up being opposed to the ideals of the Enlightenment, and that video of the guy from IS in South Asia was specifically opposed to the Ideals of the Enlightenment. On one side we have politicians and academics who think that their opinions should be taken as absolute truth, and on the other side we have religious fanatics who think that their religious delusions must be taken as absolute fact. And here I am trying to fight with both, and both are equally evil.

    Please try to spread Classical Liberalism.
    https://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/t...iberalism.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism
    http://www.belmont.edu/lockesmith/li...the_rise1.html
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