The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

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Post by halfwise on Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:58 pm

It's temporary. Bullies usually get smacked, but it can take a long time. Trump's made it all the way to the White House by being a bully, and he's been using his bullying to keep his position secure. Iran may have gained in the long run by being able to play the victim and regaining the freedom to control aspects of their nuclear program; but they haven't beaten him, which makes my blood boil but there it is.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Feb 23, 2020 11:41 pm

{{ Few years back there was a terrible thing happened in Northern England, particularly around the areas of Rotherham. Several connected groups of Asian Muslim men were grooming and sexually abusing, as a a matter of specific preference, white english underage girls.
This went on on for a long time, in part it seems because whilst the police recieved plenty of worrying information about it, they were afraid to be seen as being racist and anti-muslim, so choose to ignore it.
This narrative gaining popular traction led into the hands of those on the right of politics, from the likes of Tony Robinson all the way to the far right extremists, in blaming immigrants for all woes, and specifically Muslims.
What happened was appaling of course, the failures of the police to act as appaling.
And a Report into what had gone ensued, as right wing groups were filling the fact void with their take on events.
When Sajid was Home Sec he promised the report would be published and that no fear of being politically correct or of accusations of racism would prevent him publishing it.
Now Scary Pratel is Home Secretary and the report is not going to be published. So a Freedom of Information request was put in for it, it too has been denied.
But its the reasons for why that the Home Office are giving that are interesting, and raise interesting questions about what the public have a right to know, what its best they dont know, and who should decide.

Here is the first of their three reasons-

“One of the main purposes of the exemption is to protect the ‘safe space’ necessary for ministers and officials to consider policy options in private without risk of premature disclosure. Disclosure would risk pre-empting decisions still to be made by ministers. ”

So the argument is if it got out before Ministers had time to make a considered judgement on the facts, any policy formed may be comprised by the public clamour for action. Better the public don't know what's been going on until Ministers have had time to decide what has gone on.

Reason Two-

"The information could be misleading if made public and used out of context.”

This is a interesting one. What it says to me is that much of what people like Tony Robinson and other right leaning groups have been saying was in fact true or near the mark, enough of it that they fear that it could legitimse them to some extent. Such as a youtube video showing Robinson at the time making those accusations, all the times he was then censured for it, banned from social media ended up in court for saying it accused of hate crimes, intercut with the official report saying the same things in posher words.
And the Home Office fear legitamising such people. So again best the public just dont know what happened.

Reason number Three.
And a little context to this one. This was a Freedom of Information request, one of the central criteria for publication under such a requast is to ask 'is the information in the public interest to know'.
Now its hard to deny, even this Home Office, that knowing what went on, who was doing it, on what scale, and why no action was taken by the local police and if there are lessons ot be learned to prevent it reoccuring again, are in fact in the interests of the public to know.
So, if you are in any doubt by this point that this response has been crafted by a civil servant of the same mould as Yes Minister's Sir Humphrey Appelby, I present you with the gloriously worded civil servant soaked Reason Three-

“We recognise that this topic in general and any insight and learning are matters of strong public interest, although it does not necessarily follow that it is in the public interest to disclose any specific information relating to it.”

And if your mind is reeling slightly from that it conceded that the this report taken as a whole does indeed meet the main criterea for publication- of being in the public interest, strong public interest even- its just, unfortunataley, all of the actual individual words and sentences contained in that whole report are not in the public interest to know. Shocked

Wonderful in its own way really. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:10 am

{{ Looks like the Uk decision,particualrly strong in Scotland, to go for renewables is paying off.

'Britain is about to pass a significant landmark - at midnight on Wednesday it will have gone two full months without burning coal to generate power.
A decade ago about 40% of the country's electricity came from coal.
The last coal generator came off the system at midnight on 9 April. No coal has been burnt for electricity since.
Drax, the country's biggest power plant, has been taking a different path to renewable energy...A decade ago, it was the biggest consumer of coal in the UK but has been switching to compressed wood pellets.
"It has been a massive undertaking and then the result of all that is we've reduced our CO2 emissions from more than 20 million tonnes a year to almost zero."
So far this year, renewables have generated more power than all fossil fuels put together.
Breaking it down, renewables were responsible for 37% of electricity supplied to the network versus 35% for fossil fuels.
"So far this year renewables have generated more electricity than fossil fuels and that's never happened before."
"With gas also in decline, there's a real chance that renewables will overtake fossil fuels in 2020 as a whole." - BBC

Seems those who rallied against renewables (Im thinking particularly of current US President Trump who tried to get wind farms banned in Scotland over them ruining the view from his golf course) could not have been more wrong. Its cheaper, more efficient and better for the environment of course. }}

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:01 am

Moving in the right direction!

What we could really do with is some massive breakthrough in battery technology so that we can store the massive amount of excess energy we produce.

I imagine that won't be too long coming though as there has been a huge amount of research there in the last 5 years.

Elon Musk can fuck off destroying our night sky but when it comes to space exploration and contribution to the energy revolution... cant fault him too much there.
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Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:16 pm

It's been a long slow development process. Up until maybe the last 10 years renewables WERE more expensive. It shows what government support can accomplish in the long run. The free market would never have gotten renewables to to this point because the needed scarcity of fossil fuels still hasn't occurred.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:46 pm

It would be nice if we didn't need massive wind farms in the sea and massive solar panel fields, but at the moment we are still at the transistor radio phase and not yet the chip phase, I hope these things can be tiny but powerful in the future like Lance said.

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Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:43 pm

Solar panels are only at 20% efficiency, so room to shrink. I suppose a truly efficient wind turbine would stop the air completely, so plenty of room there too, though with consequences.

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Jun 09, 2020 5:23 pm

Well, we need to generate power one way or another and there is nothing anywhere close to being 100% efficient and renewable.

Wind, solar and hydro are obviously having their own impact on the environment. Hopefully far less insidious longer term than fossil fuels.

Nuclear is reasonably efficient but there are obvious dangers there, particularly with the waste produced.

What we could really do with is a mass energy farm on the moon (the other side) with batteries efficient enough to transport back for use. Or a new form of energy completely that nobody has even dreamed up yet.

(No comments about the Klingons as a con with my moon idea please).
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Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:11 pm

Mass energy farm? How do you pull that off?

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:13 pm

{{ battery chickens Very Happy }}

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Post by Lancebloke on Tue Jun 09, 2020 9:22 pm

halfwise wrote:Mass energy farm?  How do you pull that off?

Well, we could try Pettys chicken thing, but i was thinking sticking all of the nuke power plants (or something better) there to generate the power and then fly it back to here in big, super futuristic, long lasting batteries that can hold power for a country for a few months.

For Europe it would be like an upgraded Russian oil pipeline.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:34 pm

{{Dont think I even have to say anything about this, its from when Cameron was PM, but sneering Tories stay the same. }}


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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:57 pm

I am in two minds about the pulling down of that statue, and I don't think it is as clear cut as it has been portrayed. Obviously nobody wants a statue of a slave trader in their town, it is insulting and hurtful, but on the other hand the Taliban blew up statues they thought 'unholy' so I don't think blowing up history solves anything. I don't think we can whitewash history, but we can be more sensitive about our history. After all, we can't pull Liverpool down just because it made it's money from slavery, and most working class white people in the past did not gain anything from slavery, only the very rich did, and most white people died in poverty in another kind of slavery, the slavery of the mills and mines. I think asking ALL white people to atone for the sins of rich white people from 200 years ago, and feel guilty about it, is a bit rich. The only thing we can do now is say to the same rich white people in power, enough is enough, we wont tolerate another Windrush or Grenfell, and we wont sit back and allow Black people to feel unwanted in their own country.

The pulling down of that statue was symbolic I guess, but it could go to the extremes.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:13 pm

This has been a huge debate in this country, but it has been settled by two things: by black people saying how keeping the statues up is a constant reminder that white people still take pride in a history that includes oppression; and the descendants of the statue subjects saying if you want to preserve history but not hurt people, put the damn things in a museum.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:20 pm

{{ Same goes here Figg. The city centre of Glasgow, almost every building is from the profits of the cotton or tobacco trade, and they were all slavers. Scotland has a bad history in that regard, we built our country up on the backs of slaves, there is no way to deny that, its history.
But does that mean you pull it all down? Hell half the main streets in Glasgow, famous name like Buchanan, were by modern standards despicable in this regard.
So do you tear all the buildings down, despite many of them being beautiful regardless of how they were funded, do you rename every street, pull down every statue?

Well I think I have a local solution, local in that remember that painted rock we have here,Ive mentioned before, Jim Crow?

Well its been a point of contention here for along time.
There are two sides to the argument.

One side says its racist, named after the racist Jim Crow laws of the US and painted in a degogatory fashion like a black and white ministrel. And its clearly meant to be racists as crows dont have lips, let alone big red lips.

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On the other side the records seem to indicate it was first painted that way a couple of decades before the Jim Crow laws existed, so cant be named after them, and was in fact just advertising for a boatyard that stood there at the time, whos owner had a traditional Scots/Irish name- James Crowe, or in Scots, James becomes Jimmy or Jim. The rock was slightly bird shaped, so Jim Crow. And its been a landmark for about 150 years.
And that depsite the ministrel look, that was not its traditonal paint job for most of its life.

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There is a third argument here, and its one that kind of bothers me, that argument goes, 'even if it is innocent and not related to racism or the US law, its taken as offensive today reagrdless by many people so has to go.

Well the solution is one Ive been advocating for years, but recent events seem to have galvansied things at local MP level after receiving a petition on the rock, and the rock was spray painted with BLM slogans, is to hold a competition in the local Grammar school for pupils to redesign the rock and paint it.
And, this is the bit I think is important, to also establish a plaque at the rock that explains the rocks origins, its histroical context, what it used to look like and why it was changed.

That maintains the tradtion, removes potential offence, and explains the history of it rather than just destroying its history and wiping it fomrthe records.

So rather than pulling everything down Im more in favour of putting information at these places explainng them and their histroy.You dont destroy history, you put it in its context.

Like you Figg I am very wary of the sort of mind set that prefers to erase or rewrite history to suit the fleeting norms of current society.
We deny future generations an understanding of their own past and history by doing so.}}

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Post by Lancebloke on Wed Jun 10, 2020 3:20 pm

I am in two minds about the whole thing too Figgy.

Whether anyone likes it or not, it is part of history.

I think the key bit is around how we represent that history. These people were a product of their time and just because the moral landscape has changed doesnt mean they shouldn't have anything "good" they did represented. Maybe it should be made clear some of the other things they did too, not cleansing of the details.

I imagine there are very few significant figures in history, where moral landscapes or cultures could have been hugely different, that escape from some kind of scrutiny when viewed through today's eyes.
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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:13 pm


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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:23 pm

What I can't stomach are the calls to pull down the statue of Rhodes at Oxford University. it was the legacy of Rhodes vast wealth that set up Oriel college and the Rhodes scholarship. The Rhodes scholarship has helped many BAME students, and allowed them to study at Oxford. OK, take the statue down, but they can't rename the streets or the scholarship.

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Post by David H on Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:36 pm

I agree it's complicated, but I think it's fair to point out the historic role of monuments and street names.

Typically the first thing any conquering army has done from the earliest of times is to pull down the monuments that were the symbols of power of the previous ruler. Then they set up their own monument in its place, remodeling and renaming the buildings and streets that are too useful to destroy to make sure the population never forgets who's really in control of their lives now.

So yes, monuments are an important part of the history of dominance, but continually updating them as things change is probably even more in keeping with history...I think....

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Post by halfwise on Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:55 pm

As usual Jonathon Pie nailed it.

Mrs Figg wrote:

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Post by azriel on Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:24 pm

They made a hotel out of Auschwitz. Tours are set up to visit battle fields & bunkers & camps of human suffering & destruction now. People have turned loathing of a certain group or society of people into pity, sadness & remorse. I think statues, Art, history books or whatever medium should be allowed to stay as a reminder of what humans are able to do, what they are capable of. You could change the wording of such reminders to something along the lines of "this happened once but wont again". For all the begging, praying, crying & pleading we cannot go back in time. We cannot change what once happened. But everyone can learn from what once did. If you learn you can accept. If you accept you can form a bond, it helps the healing process & as time goes by ( because that's just how humans seem to work ) nothing is noticed. All different types of people will mill about standing next to each other at work, chatting, giving each other a lift to work or the shops & no one will notice Im white, your black, he's an Aborigine, she's oriental, they are not, they are people. I don't think you should keep changing everything because a time in history dictates so. So what happens a generation later when a higher authority says " oh that thing ? well we can bring it back out now" You cant yoyo thru time. That's not improving or moving forward as a whole. It doesn't gel together I think because of power. Some people desire power, every single generation from every country has spawned someone who rose up & survived on power, a desire so great to rise above everything & everyone. That power is the most dangerous of emotions as it uses any means to rule. Hence slavery etc. press gangs. beating the vulnerable. Im wondering if there is anyone in history lessons at school who didn't use slavery to get what they wanted ? Im pretty sure every nation on Earth has had a dose of slavery, cruelty & mass killings. When will come a time when we don't want it ? when can we just get along & actually enjoy all the diversity we have in the world ? It is so colourful & so rich in so many things.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sat Jun 13, 2020 8:30 pm

{{ You couldnt make this up- its so stupid its almost American in scope.
Today the statue of Winston Churchill was protected from anti-racism demonstrators by the far right Nazi's! Shocked Where do you even start?! }}

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Post by azriel on Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:33 pm

We had "peaceful protest" in my town today (BLM ) & volunteers surrounded the war memorial because of threats to pull it down or at least, deface it. Theres too much lunacy going on !

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The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5] - Page 14 Empty Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:00 pm


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The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5] - Page 14 Empty Re: The Bigger, Badder, Even More Serious Thread [5]

Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 16, 2020 6:37 pm

"They made a hotel out of Auschwitz."

Auschwitz was a historical place, not a monument to the 3rd Reich. It wasn't set up after the fact to remind Jews of a glorious past that wanted them dead or enslaved.

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