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All that is old is new again (heavy politics dance remix)

This week's amusing (albeit arguably libellous) allegations may be grounds for mirth, but I'd caution anyone who actually believes the Prime Minister stuck his todger in a porker to first remember the words of the immortal Hunter S. Thompson, from Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72:

This is one of the oldest and most effective tricks in politics. Every hack in the business has used it in times of trouble, and it has even been elevated to the level of political mythology in a story about one of Lyndon Johnson's early campaigns in Texas. The race was close and Johnson was getting worried. Finally he told his campaign manager to start a massive rumor campaign about his opponent's life-long habit of enjoying carnal knowledge of his own barnyard sows.
"Christ, we can't get a way calling him a pig-fucker," the campaign manager protested. "Nobody's going to believe a thing like that."
"I know," Johnson replied. "But let's make the sonofabitch deny it."

I cannot speak to the nature of the bonding rituals of elitist Oxford University drinking societies, but I am fairly sure that Lord Ashcroft, as former treasurer and deputy chair of the Conservative party and being of an age to remember him, has read LBJ's play-book.

What I'm more concerned about is the question of who is supposed to replace Cameron in time to do damage control in the aftermath of the coming fiscal crisis. Theresa May, perhaps?




I discount Osborne because he appears to be coked up to the gills and after the next financial crash his political profile will be a scorched outline on the steps of the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.

I discount Boris because he has most if not all of the same weaknesses as Posh Boy Cameron.

I discount Gove because he makes everybody gove uncontrollably.

Of the inner cabal May seems to be most cannily positioned to inherit the mantle of Thatcher 2.0. (Those of you who are British may now shudder convulsively and cross yourselves/spit over your shoulder/engage in the Two Minute Hate.)


T.M as M.T. v2.0? Yikes! As for the last sentence: all of the above (except that a mere Two Minute Hate doesn't even begin to fulfil the specification).


Naw, I doubt Osborne's reputation will be bad, unless there is actually some sort of revolution. He does the bidding of the powers that be, that is what is important, and I would think by now that they know that a crash is possible. Or else he'll do everything possible to deal with a crash.


I'm much less willing to discount the Boris than Charlie is. He may look pretty much the same to us plebs, but he seems to represent a different faction within the Tory party's inner circle, so it's possible that Ashcroft (and others) see him as a viable replacement.


The curious thing about the Old Boy Network is that there's always some low-profile, well-connected advisor ready to step into the breach. Personally I'd bank on Gideon, but if not I'm pretty certain that whoever replaces Cameron will be a handsome young overachiever not currently on the front bench.

The wonderful thing about this story is quite how believable it is. Even if it's not true, it's truthy, to the degree that Cameron's supporters are musing how little a deal it is. That's why it makes me a little wary of the LBJ connection. Ashcroft is a very sharp operator, I don't believe that if he employed this tactic he would make it anywhere near as obvious he was doing it.


If it was anyone but Cameron and his ilk, I'd feel sorry for a PM in this position. It really doesn't matter if the allegation is true or not, it's the way that he is being turned into a figure of ridicule that is dangerous for him.

Other politicians could shrug it off as a despicable slur beneath contempt, and the British public would most likely be 'that's below the belt, and he/she doesn't really seem the type". But an Old Etonian Bullingdon Club alumnus does run the risk of people saying to each other "yeah, I bet that's *exactly* the sort of thing they do in their clubs".

If the mirth dies down in a couple of days, Cameron'll probably be out of the woods, but if the public gets into one of it's occasional "rather funny moods" as per the "Welease Woger" scene from Life of Brian, then he's in a lot of trouble. To keep up the illusion, you need a certain amount of gravitas. Lose that, and you have to go lest someone notices the man behind the curtain.

So I'd agree that if this does sink Cameron, Osbourne and Boris will be tainted goods too. The Tory party will want to look for the most non-Old Etonian posho they can find. If not May, maybe a Sajid Javid would be worth a punt for next Tory Party leader / PM?


Javid was pretty closely associated with a major financial problem, and has shown a talent for coming across as 'all things to all men' since entering politics.

Wikipedia excerpt:

'While in this role, Javid spoke with the press about a $500 million EM CLO called Craft EM CLO 2006-1, which was subsequently upsized to $1 billion in the face of investor demand. However, by March 2009, losses on defaulted assets in the Craft EM CLO 2006-1 pool stood at $32 million. Arco Capital tried to take Deutsche Bank to court in September 2012 over the $37 million in losses it incurred by investing in the deal. Arco claimed Deutsche stuffed the CDO with ineligible loans that resulted in the 14.28% loss rate in the pool. Deutsche claimed the losses were due to the financial crisis, and Arco was aware of the risks it was taking on.[9]'


'Javid "is spinning his former career" as a sober investment banker as opposed to a structured credit trader at the heart of the business that precipitated the global financial crisis.' (Former Deutsche Bank colleague)


I'd suggest that Edwina Currie would be a perfect replacement for Cameron, except that she actually had/has even more disdain for those parts of England that are more than 50km outside of the M25 than does Cameron...


I don't believe that if he employed this tactic he would make it anywhere near as obvious he was doing it.

What if it's a blind?

There's today's new story, about Cameron "permitting the use of cocaine within his household" or words to that effect. What if the pig thing is a flashy diversion (and a warning) while they prepare to go all Nigella on Samantha Cameron's nasal sinuses? (Yes, going after the PM's spouse would be spectacularly nasty, but if this is what I think it is, then playing hardball with live hand grenades would be par for the course.)


Edwina Curry is out of the game, so far out she's a couple of decades into rehab. Not to mention the whole had-an-affair-with-the-only-boy-to-run-away-from-the-circus-to-join-a-firm-of-accountants thing -- which doesn't hurt her the way it might hurt an American politician, but which does hint at a certain shiftiness/opportunism which might not go down well with the faceless string-pullers behind the curtain.


/shudder. I'd rather have Maggies rotting corpse in charge than Treasonous May.


I've seen suggestions that this isn't about trying to bring down Cameron, at least in the short term.

It's all about undermining his credibility and authority prior to the EU referendum just enough to tilt the balance in favour of an "Out" vote. We know where Rothermere and Murdoch stand on this issue.


An old racing saying is something on the lines of "Against a field of three-legged donkeys, pretty much any old nag can win".

So it is with politics in Britain right now. We have a purely Conservative government in power, largely because most of the country looked at the alternatives and said "No, thank you very much" and quietly voted Tory whilst saying pretty much anything else to pollsters.

The current situation is if anything even worse. We have the last fag-end of the Liberal Democrat party led by somebody or other, most of whose support has evaporated like mist on a summer's morning after they all discovered that standing up on their back legs and making sensible, non-idealistic decisions out in the real world was the last thing they wanted to do.

And then we have the Labour leadership. Yes, the new shiny Labour leadership, advised on economic policy by someone who worked it all out from first principles (in his words) having decided that his learned economics tutors at university were neoconservative reptiles from the planet Zarg (my wording here) and ought to be ignored at every turn. Mr Murphy is now beating all records for being wrong about economic matters.

The Labour leadership, image consultant a Mr Harry Ramp who finds much of his wardrobe in hedge bottoms.

The Labour Leadership, wildly popular amongst people who've never had a job outside Labour politics and strangely unpopular outside this narrow field save for merry japesters who considered three quid a cheap price to pay for political comedy.

The Labour leadership, AKA Jerry Corbyn's flying circus of far-left comedy.

I exaggerate, but not by all that much. Electing Corbyn is an absolute disaster not because the man himself isn't much good, but because he looks more incompetent and less electable than Baldrick on a bad day. He is thus an absolutely bloody useless leader of Hr Majesty's Opposition, because the implicit threat in political power is "Listen to me, take me seriously or I replace you next election".

When that threat cannot be taken seriously, the Opposition cannot be taken seriously either, and thus the party in power can do things unopposed.

We really need a credible Opposition.


Whilst there is a lot of humour being derived over has it caused enough loss of reputation to in any way damage DC's position of prime minister? I haven't had time to look hard beyond my social network but most people I know aren't a fan of Cameron anyway, of those that are does this change their belief in him as PM?

Personally I don't care that much about if he put his penis in a cooked (or otherwise dead) pig head. Having had plenty of uni friends take part in disgusting society initiations I don't believe it really says much about a person. The drug allegations on the other hand are a huge deal. I'm very interested to know where they might lead.


We really need a credible Opposition.

To have a credible Opposition, you must suppose that the neo-liberal consensus is in error.

If you're not willing or able to do that, you can't have a credible opposition, because you're just selecting between different PR firms for the same consistent agenda.


Although there's a quote going around in LibDem circles (And I have no idea if it's genuine) that states that the only way a Liberal Democrat revival was possible was if Corbyn won the Labour leadership race and David Cameron was caught doing something unspeakable with a farmyard animal.

To use the words of our generous host, who ordered that?


The Labour Leadership, wildly popular amongst people who've never had a job outside Labour politics and strangely unpopular outside this narrow field save for merry japesters who considered three quid a cheap price to pay for political comedy.

Based on my own conversations with Labour party members, that's pretty much a photographic negative of the picture: Corbyn is wildly unpopular within the PLP and especially the front bench -- but has galvanized the party rank and file.

The problem is, I think, that he never expected to win: he ran a protest campaign and romped home to everyone's disbelief, and now he's having to make it up on the fly without a briefing and in the face of a hostile press and a hostile front bench team.

He's never going to be PM. He might, however, succeed in wresting the Labour Party back from the Blairite lizard people. In which case, we'll have to wait until 2020 to see what the voting public make of this turn of affairs.


Whether or not what Callmedave did at Oxford is even close to what Ashcroft said it has all the right elements of plausibility. Secret societies and weird initiation rights and so on... And posh, rich boys and all the rest.

Which, of course, helps make it work all the better, true or not.

I'm not sure what the target is. It doesn't seem to be sticking enough to remove him to me, although if there's another humdinger to come it might be cumulatively enough. It needs to hit soon though... tomorrow or Thursday at the latest to really have a chance of doing that I'd guess. Maybe one tomorrow and a big one on Saturday?

Destabilising him on migrants or the EU or something else might be their target. If they also shift him that might not be a problem for some. A lame duck, or a tarnished PM who has to start making his position on his replacement clear sooner rather than later?

It will give them clear targets to start getting their claws into early instead of waiting through a phony war after all, and half the readers of the Tory media are not actually that bothered about what Corbyn does unless it's truly outrageous. They tried to stir up outrage about him not going to the RWC opening match and being unpatriotic - it doubtless struck a note with some but it turned out his prior appointment was an MP's surgery with in his constituency. It's hard to criticise an MP for turning down a jolly to do his job as an MP, even for those that hate Corbyn.

Philip Hammond (Foreign Office) is the only name that seems to have been missed so far? He's got a big position so he's presumably regarded as a heavy hitter. He seems to have avoided putting his foot in it (unlike Gove). He might be a bit old... but against Corbyn he's still younger, and he's of an age with Teresa May and only 8 years older than BoJo. His big problem is he's said some insightful and smart things about the Syrian crisis - things that really won't play well in the far right media.

Of May, Hammond and BoJo... Hammond seems like the outsider. BoJo is the press' anointed one. May might be the MP's choice?


Seems to me that far from destroying the credibility of Labour, Corbyn has gone a long way to restoring it. He is unpopular with the party elite who still think that being Tory-lite is the way to get back in power because it worked before, and are too thick to realise how that was alienating their potential voters. Said alienated voters on the other hand are jolly glad he won on the basis that now there's a chance we'll finally have an actual left-wing Labour again.


Corbyn has certainly galvanised the rank and file. In a time when for about 13 years membership of all UK political parties has been in decline, the Labour party grew by about 30% or so (and not just the £3 have a vote members, the expensive members too).

The real question will be, come 2020, whether this Corbyn surge survives and whether it transfers into votes in places that count. There have been 200,000 new members of the Labour Party. If 900 of them had been in the right places at the last election we wouldn't have a Tory majority now. That's a fair few ifs and maybes of course but Corbyn doesn't need it to be right now, he needs to get things a bit more settled and he's got a few months to do that - especially if the Tories and the press successfully smear Callmedave out of office.


"...of those that are does this change their belief in him as PM?"

The Tory public reaction seems to be to try to claim that it's perfectly normal behaviour, everyone gets drunk and fucks pigs at uni and anyone who claims they haven't is a liar, which is nearly as hilarious as the allegation itself.

To me it doesn't look as if it is going to dislodge him. Might have been different if it had happened since 2010.

I don't agree about the seriousness of the drugs vs. the pig-fucking. After all, it's not the drugs that everyone's taking notice of. I think we are now at the stage when enough people who are now middle-aged have taken drugs other than alcohol and know from personal experience that it's not the big deal the puritans make it out to be that that is seen as a typical bit of youthful high spirits and you'd be hard pressed to find anyone in power who hadn't. It's the sort of thing even right-wing rich people don't seem to feel a problem about admitting to having done in their youth. Sticking your dick in a pig's mouth however is a bit of a different matter.


The Labour growth is peanuts compared to what the SNP and SGP experienced in the wake of the Indy referendum -- 300-400% membership growth in a month! -- but it's a sign that the "irreversible decline" in mass party membership is anything but irreversible.

I don't believe Corbyn will be Labour leader at the next election if it's held in 2020. For one thing, he'd be 71, making him the oldest first-time PM ever, breaking Viscount Palmerstone's record (set in 1855). For another, four years is a hell of a long time in British politics -- with the EU referendum, a possible second Scottish Indyref (if the UK as a whole votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to stay), and a possible financial crisis ahead ... anything could happen. But I believe he will do his damndest to clean house, and the result of that will be a radically different Labour party going into the next general election.


While OGH may well be correct in anticipating the next financial trainwreck and the consequent political demise of George Osborne, I very much doubt that Osborne sees it that way. Right now he's the obvious favourite.
It's a question of timing, and anything can happen before the scheduled 2020 election. Probably will.


You could be right, Corbyn could be gone for any number of reasons.

None of the reasons you mention seem to be obvious crises for him as much as for Callmedave or as they could have been pre-2015. Scottish Independence would have been a disaster, but with only 1 Scottish Labour MP, less so now.

The issue for the Labour MP's who want to depose him, and I'm sure there's a lot of them, is that Corbyn won over 50% of the votes in the first round in all the 3 elements of their electoral college. Even if they rewrite the rules to get rid of the £3 member votes (which will be really unpopular and may or may not pass the NEC and conference... there are certainly issues with it but it's done wonders for their profile so there are positives too. Tinkering rather than abolishing seems likelier. He really does have a huge mandate, however much they hate him and what he stands for.

Their best hope is that he decides to go for some reason and that he decides to go in a way that doesn't cause the party to implode with the electorate...


I've been trying to decide what to make of Corbyn. Most of what I've seen has been either "He's the Socialist Saviour of the Isles (or Labour at least)", or "He's a naive terrorist apologist." That's mostly an exaggeration, but you get the idea. Every time I see a photo of him I think it's Billy Bragg (though a little older), and it doesn't help that a lot of the articles I've seen on him are via Bragg on FB.

Too bad he's not likely to be Prime Minister, the idea of a PM Corbyn and a President Sanders (not too likely either) might make the world more interesting. But then there's the Hair Club for Men alternative, Pres. Don T. Rump and PM Boris...


There's a very fine piece of concern trolling in the Grauniad from former Brownite spin doctor Damian McBride , explaining the technique for defence against enemy memoirs. Find one egregious factual error and condemn the heck out of it with genuine outrage, with the intent of obscuring all the true bits.
In this case, he carefully doesn't say, the silence is deafening.


Have a long hard look at the Political Compass and then think about the parties.

One reason the SNP did so well is it is the only remotely centrist party, let alone left wing.

Labour is tory pale pink, Lib dems not much better, heck even UKIP isn't as right wing as the Conservatives. Heck, the tories are right wing enough to make some Republicans go "steady on mate..."

If you're going to get Tory politics, might as well vote for the real thing.

I hope to god that Corbyn can drag Labour back to the middle ground before the next election cycle - the Overton window is severely slanted to the Right at present and that's not a ground I like to play in.


It wouldn't be technically difficult to get rid of Corbyn.You just need a majority of Labour MPs to trigger another leadership election, and this time deny him the nomination.
Political mass suicide, but doable.


But suppose the Tory party tear themselves apart over the EU referendum and dissolve parliament in 2017 or 2018. (Despite the Fixed Term act, various motions can lead to parliament being dissolved.) Perhaps it would need Ashcroft to bring down Cameron and the new leader to fist the Tory party. But that's possible.


It feels like a rather heavy-handed satire to me.

In one corner there's Corbyn, an apparently thoroughly decent chap who is genuinely untainted by political networking but who is thus utterly crippled as a politician. How can someone so outside the political machine ever hope to grease the wheels enough to keep the machine running?

And in the other there's Cameron, a true professional politician and stuffed dress shirt who is so much an archetypal part of the old boy network that people see this stuffed pigshead story as plausible*.

*Is it factually true? Who knows? Who really cares? As a symbol - as a metaphor - it's very apt. Untrue claims that (seem to) tell a True Story can be very powerful. Think of Aesop. Or Franklin's cherry tree. Or Fenton's 'Valley of the Shadow of Death' photos. Or a hundred other examples. I'm guessing the impact of this story will be minimal in the short-to-medium term but that it'll affect Cameron's image anyway. I also be that historians will LOVE it...


Pffftht, Washington not Franklin obvs. I blame early-onset senility.


There's a film in this story.

"The Pig Who Bit Liberty Vallance", or something like that. You know the one, about legend and fact and what people believe.


Ah, yes, I agree it's technically easy for the MPs to do.

But it's really stupid. The people that elect the new leader have spoken really strongly... and it's not just the "cheap seats" that could be dismissed as "they're not the real Labour Party" all the sectors of the electorate voted for him at > 50% in the first round.

If the MPs do get rid of Corbyn who would they get next time? They really could get someone worse if they're not careful. Dianne Abbott anyone for PM anyone?


A couple of points about the revels at 'Piers Gaviston' dinners...

PG is about as real as Al Qaeda: the name's been used, there's a putative founder, and the same names crop up in some but not all of the Gaviston-ish stuff that goes on with overlapping circles of deeply unpleasant people.

The pig's head is *tame*.

Bestiality and nonconsenting sodomy, prostitutes and overdoses and police from London turning up at the John Radcliffe Hospital to assist with witness statements and clear up investigations...

...Not so tame.

Teenagers do stupid things, rich kids do very stupid things. Sometimes for thrills, sometimes because it's illicit, sometimes to shock. But mostly, stupid.

Mostly, nobody's hurt, much; mostly, they get away with it.

But a very, very particular type of rich kid, born to privilege and power, has something to prove: We will do that which is utterly forbidden and utterly beyond the pale and we will relish it; nobody will dare speak of it - it is in our power to silence it! - and even if they did, what of it? We care nothing for the morals good opinion of the lower orders and we are going to *prove* it.

It's heady stuff, the transgression of arrogance, and it's one hell of a bonding ritual.

And they don't 'get away' with it. The 'away' is theirs, as of right, and you will take their orders - or their money, if you're lucky - and you will keep your mouth shut.

And nobody who matters gets hurt.

Such are the men who govern us.


Meanwhile, politics.

Ashcroft has given up on ever getting a cabinet job. Him and the Conservative party: honey, it's OVER.

To be fair, he wasn't just buying his seat, he did useful work as an organiser, strategist, campaigner and a visible cheerleader for Conservatism among small-to-medium sized businesses.

He was highly effective and his departure significantly weakens their ability to win elections.

Buying dirt and paying a top-of-the-range muckraker to write it up, getting the Daily Mail to serialise it - running a story against a Conservative Prime Minister! - and leaking hints of hidden evidence and a traitor in the party...

...That'll do, as an opening salvo. From a highly effective political *strategist*.

Ashcroft hasn't finished yet. The question is: what's the end game of his strategy?

To bring down Cameron as a single, sharp, vindictive gesture? To discredit Cameron by degrees, so that he hangs on and on with ever-decreasing dignity, ridiculed and ineffective? To bring down the Conservative Party?

Or to weaken and remodel it?

Ashcroft spent five years on this; and when he started at it, the Labour front bench were eminently biddable and the Lib Dems were worth buying. Now it's just the Tory Party...

Which will surely never have him back.

...Tipping the European Exit referendum might be a satisfying consolation; or a satisfying nihilist catharthis, depending how you look at it.

And whatever Ashcroft does, you can be sure that he will be effective.


The pig's head is *tame*.

My understanding is that Count Gottfried von Bismarck was one of the ringleaders back in the day, so that kind of goes without saying.


A quick note on Cameron and Boris Johnson, and on blackmail:

Whatever porky-boy got up to in his years at Oxford, Boojums did it twice as hard and twice as often and without a condom.

He will, I hope, have relished every minute of at, and done it with some flair.

Whatever Osborne did, is was merely sordid; even the most flaboyant acts of debauchery, if he had it in him to attempt them, would've been committed with the sickly grin of the sticky-pages magazine writer someone else invited.

The worst of it is that they might just get away with it, electable and re-elected: shrug it off and keep on passing laws eroding privacy and 'cracking down' on porn, and sending recreational drug users to prison.


I recall that he came to a bad end.

Meanwhile the only person who suffered any consequences from Olivia Channon's death was the middle-class girl who bought the heroin; and it was almost certainly administered by Bismarck.


Often illicit acts, such as the cannibalistic sausage scene in Thomas Disch's "The Genocides", are a rite of passage specifically because they create a vulnerability. If you want the trust of a powerful person or group, nothing is better than to give them a secret to hold against you, or exclusive knowledge of something you feel guilty about. Sometimes initiates are aware of the transaction they are engaging in, other times they are nudged into it, encouraged to an arrogance that will make the necessary ritual painless, or even pleasant. (Some pigs are very attractive). But the immature arrogance is a stage of cultivation, later toned down by training. The real question is who in the good old boy network did Cameron offend, that this card would be played at this time?


Theresa May next leader? Not a chance. The next leader will need powerful backers. Powerful backers will need their investment protected. That means backing a man who could have believably put his prick in a dead pig's mouth. How else would you guarantee his loyalty.

That makes Osborne, Johnson and Gove front runners pretty much for the reason's you have described them as unsuitable. Purely my opinion of course.

Loved Jennifer Morgue BTW.


I have to admit, I did wonder if this was Osborne, behind the scenes, setting up Cameron for a fall before the wheels came off the economy. As Gordon Brown showed, you want to be out of the Treasury and into No.10 in plenty of time to say "not my fault".

As it stands at the moment Osborne stands to win, particularly if a rumour about a coked up misses gets legs to go with the "oink oink" laughter. Then you just need some corruption, evidence of a back hander, and Cameron can be pushed out as damaged goods. That also then allows the EU referendum to be quietly dropped by 'a new pair of hands'.

As for Corbyn, he really only needs to survive long enough to push out the lite-right, blairite tendency (probably towards the libs, shades of the SDP) and then a younger pair of left wing hands can be bought in. I haven't paid any attention to his shadow cabinet - is there a likely young buck in there?


Hmm. Should I, shouldn't I?

I know of someone who was raped at one of these things (not this particular group, time or University fellowship), both physically and socially (it's a version of the thing that Scientologists do, but older and more refined; think of it as a communal 'Othering' and group hate designed to induced psychosis prior to the physical abuse).

Let's just say:

Putting your willy in the mouth of a detached pigs head in a juvenile display of bravado and japery whilst pissed out of your head really isn't worrying.

Crass? Sure.
Boorish? Sure.
Juvenile? Sure.
Tasteless? Sure.

Evil? No.

The pig doesn't care, you already killed it.


Cameron didn't get to be PM by having the earlier kind of secrets. Too dough faced, normative and squeeky.


Those of a satirical bent should Google:

"4chan french catacombs skull penis fucking"

The rich get roast pigs, the poor get the skulls of the ancient plague dead.

So it goes.

But the performance is exactly the same, in spirit.


It's been hilarious watching the UK press tiptoe around the libel and slander rules. I've never seen so much allegedly, claimed and reported in one spot.


For some reason you dislike Gove.
But, Gove rescinded his predecessor's ridiculous ban on books in prisons - Chris Grayling.
Now there is a pure-platinum shit.

But, as for your remarks about May, well, yes, I, like you, get the all-over cold shudders, when she is mentioned.


I thought the vile Murdoch was in favour of "in" (to the EU)?
Am I worng?


Utterly spot on.
The terrifying thing is that... even if Corbyn supports a sensible policy ... then that sensible policy will crash - because C supports it.
If things go on as they are, we are guaranteed a really right-wing tory guvmint in 2020.
What this country needs & has never had, is what is now called a: "Social Democratic" guvmint.
( Might have been called "Whig" once upon a time, after 1688 & before about 1850 ..... )
Roy Jenkins, the best PM we never had.
What a train-wreck.


Well, my wildly popular Labour MP, whom I vote for - because I'm voting for HER, not her party ( & so are lots of others, judging by her insane majority ) won't be signing up to comrade Jeremy's vision of a modern version of the DDR.

Actually, that's unfair - everyone, especially the right-wing press, is going on about "back to the 70's", but the analogy is wrong.
It's back to 1934/5, actually, when the then Labour leader refused, point-blank to even consider the tiniest smidgen of re-armament, after Adolf came to power.
However, there is hope, because G Lansbury was shoved out of office by his own party, to be replaced with Clement Attlee, who could see a genuine menace ...
We shall see.


That political compass is utterly wrong on the SNP
Which is why I fear & loathe them.

Has everyone forgotten their proposal of about 2 years back, that was crashed at judicial appeal ( I can't remember if it was to our Supreme Court or Europe )
They wanted to put an official Police Spy in place on to every child & therefore every parent in Scotland?
The fact that it was instantly squashed, once it got to the courts isn't the point.
It was that they were utterly insane enough to even consider it in the first place.
No, the SNP are about as authoritarian as you can get.
It comes for their "Presbyterianism" & control-freak tendencies.


Unfortunately, not.
But then the Labour party fucked themselves over that one, too.
Abbott would have made a brilliant London Mayor - & then they selected S Kahn. I was getting ready to vote for Abbott ( with Wolmar, whom I know, as transport chief ) - & then they screwed-up AGAIN.
Is it some sort of death-wish?
Who's spiked their headquarters water-supply?


Ok Im baffled. What is the re-armament in your analogy and who is the adolf? And if we are talking nukes and ISIS its a pretty poor analogy.


For once I broadly agree with you. My only caveat is that I don't know who Corbyn's likely successor is. It's possible he doesn't either. Parliamentary parties tend to select their new MPs on the basis of whether the face fits, and the PLP became very heavily centralized under Blair (the Conservative constituency parties still have a lot of say over who they send to Westminster, hence the unruly back benches). The point being that since about 1994, you didn't get anywhere in the PLP unless you were at a minimum superficially compatible with the Blairites.

MPs have a long career path (no term limits) so there are still some unreconstructed 70s and 80s lefties on the back benches. But it may actually take another election cycle to return some real left-wingers to Parliament, and for a while we may be stuck with a succession of Michael Foot wannabes -- impeccable intellectual credentials, integrity up the wazoo, well past retirement age, and all the media charisma of a turnip.


It's possible that Gove's educational shibboleths could actually do some good in the right place -- a rigidly structured environment like prison, as remedial measures for violent cases who fell through the education system's cracks in the real world. The strong correlation between total illiteracy/innumeracy and recidivism hasn't gone unnoticed even at the Home Office. (As prescriptions for producing a populace with a good general education Gove's obsessions were regressive, but in a situation where what you need is the Three-R's? That's something else.)

Grayling, alas, is seen as a potential leadership contender. Yep, he's a cholera-epidemic-grade shit.

Note: as usual you're utterly wrong on the SNP. But don't take my word for it -- I only live in the country they run.

If there's a real problem with the SNP it's the March Violet problem -- their membership tripled last September/October and nobody knows what that means yet. We'll probably find out next May 19th ...


ok, so signed up to Movable Type to think out loud here...

Ashcroft is one of the smartest political operators in the UK - and the very best pollster, thus also the best informed operator. Oakeshott is a really senior journalist, with a lot to lose if the libel laws can get her, so you have to assume that these allegations are either defendable or a sufficient shot across the bows that they know about the real dirt that the allegations won't need to be defended. Brown's old spind doctor made a similar point yesterday in the Guardian.

I agree this is a political mugging - that looks self-evident. The question that I have is about the timing (and hence, the beneficiary). I read a claim that this book was begun back when it was expected that the Tories would lose the last election, and thus is was intended as revenge. Yeah, maybe - but then Ashcroft's organisation was the only one that called the poll correctly, so I wonder if he was as convinced about the outcome as the rest of the UK political scene was.

On the other hand, my preferred explanation - that it's am opportunistic move against Cameron when most of UK political scene is working itself into a tizzy with Corbyn - runs up against the hard realities of book publishing (as far as I've understood that from reading this blog and Scalzi's blog). Although this is self-published, so maybe not?

And then there's the point Nile makes @34: there's no need to get away with it when you own it anyway, so maybe this is just a big old primal scream from one of those who does own it? Although if this is the case, you'd expect the story to die, not run - yet the Mail bought the serialisation rights, and will undoubtedly keep serialising it.

In which case, we're back with 'it's a calculated move', which leads us, I guess, to Theresa May as Charlie first argued. Is there an equivalent Malcolm Turnbull figure for the Tories - someone who the public actually like but the party hates? I feel like I'm going in circles here, but then like most people, I'm wondering 'what IS the end-game here?'


runs up against the hard realities of book publishing

book publishing is a movable feast.

As Scalzi and I have repeatedly explained until we're blue in the face, it takes a year for a trade publisher to turn the manuscript of a novel into a lump of dead tree/ebooks because they're running a production line.

But it's also true that even back in 1994, a trade publisher with an emergency rush job on could extrude a book in ten weeks, start to finish. It won't be a work of art; it'll be a journalistic hack job, chapters written by different people and passed off to copy editors and typesetters as they're approved by the commissioning editor who will directly supervise the writing process. And of that ten week span (in 1994, remember) a month to six weeks would consist of physical printing and distribution.

This didn't happen often; usually for topical current events -- a war or a royal scandal or a presidential assassination -- and it disrupted the hell out of the routine workflow, so it only happened if there were guaranteed killer sales. But it was possible.

The nature of this book looks to me like Ashcroft and his tame journalist prepared the text, kept it updated in detail, and had production facilities lined up to volume-print the hardcopy book as and when needed. This is way too expensive and wasteful for a normal publisher, but for a political hatchet-job bankrolled by a billionaire it's trivial (it may even be profitable, too). Self-publishing (or via a self-owned press, which amounts to the same thing) also means that the usual publishing-house legal oversight doesn't get applied; it's Ashcroft's lawyers on his dime, not someone in a back-office at Penguin Random House deciding the game's too dangerous and getting cold feet.

So the timing of this book is probably far more calculated than would normally be the case for a political biography in any but the most astonishing of circumstances (e.g. if someone assassinated Cameron, all the Big Five will have an unauthorized biography out within 3 months).


Wow - way to sink down to US values of politics, Lord Ashcroft. (from a Yank)


"the next financial trainwreck"

Don't you need to start the train before that can happen?

When it comes to the boom-bust cycle you seem short the part that happens before the bust.


Well, who knows who will be PM in 2020. If corbyn plays his cards right so to speak maybe there really is a chance he might be PM. I'm also thinking that even if corbyn is 71 by then I'd wager that a 71 year old today will more than likely be in better shape pysically and mentally than (say) a 71 year old from 1965 or even from the '80s. Put that one down to medical science.

It seems to me as if these relevations though have been very quickly and quietly swept under the doormat. I note that they haven't been made to stick at all, and they rapidly vanished from the news. Plus anything that might emerge (at least today) could be "helpfully" masked by todays big news story, namely the VW emissions scandal.

For me the younger cameron taking drugs should be a serious thing - but won't be taken as so (note if that it were any of us, we'd be quickly be making our merry way to jail). But of course it's the PM and it is a) a long time ago and b) students so who cares. And the whole thing with a pig? Well, I seem to remember one of the younger royals dressed up as a nazi, and the younger royals seem to still be popular....

I note though that there are tory politicians with the names - may and hammond. There isn't a clarkson in the tory party is there? If so ..... *runs away quickly!



Interesting point - the timing of this event. Why now? Conference season?


I forgot to add to my message above -- even if cameron stays or gets replaced and corbyn remains labour leader how does this affect beige politics? Has the beigification of our politics stopped or been broken or is this just all a little blip on the dial?



There's a property and housing boom going on in south-east England with prices escalating at 10% per annum at the moment and no signs (yet) of it slowing down to something reasonable or even vaguely close to inflation. You may recall it was a housing price boom that fuelled the last boom-bust cycle in the early 2000s.


Personally, I am worried about whether the pig was under age. Is Cameron a pedo pig fucker? Britain wants to know!


The important revelation isn't in the first installment.

A big part of making an allegation stick is having the public figure in the correct place in the public mind for the sticking to be the zero-effort outcome in response to the allegation. (That is, you want as few people as possible to respond with disbelief.)

If the book is a pure hatchet job, it's structured to support its conclusions. The pig probably serves no more than to establish that everyone believes it, or at least finds it entirely plausible as a story; this constrains the public character the public figure involved can subsequently adopt.

And said public figure will know that.

For me the younger cameron taking drugs should be a serious thing - but won't be taken as so (note if that it were any of us, we'd be quickly be making our merry way to jail

Cobblers - no matter how corrupt you think the system has become I guarantee you that no-one would be jailed based on allegations in a book about something that happened 20 years ago. It didn't happen with Lord Sewel even with video evidence from 5 minutes ago. Now if you are suitably paranoid you might suggest that its the establishment looking after itself, or alternatively you may just consider that its actually the police and CPS actually following their rules of evidence.


In other words, it is all too believable.
As is this:

"New members of David Cameron's old Bullingdon Club have to burn a £50 note in front of a beggar as part of an “initiation ceremony”"

Which IMHO makes pig fucking seem of no consequence compared to the type of person who would do that.


On the question of "who would replace Corbyn?" there are some new, young, genuine lefties in the Parliamentary Labour Party. One of them is the MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Cat Smith. She was newly elected this time round, so Corbyn would need to hang in there for at least a while, but she is well worth watching. She is not the only one, though they are painfully thin on the ground at the moment.


No, Murdoch is not at all in favour of being in the EU, for a very simple reason. His multi-platform media empire breaches EU rules on media ownership. Margret Thatcher negotiated an opt-out from those for the UK, as the price of keeping him on-side. But if a UK government ever abandons that opt-out, it won't be recoverable. So he feels he has to maintain control of every British government.


Thanks & ... SNP err ..
About 3 months back an SNP supporter walked into my London local.
He claimed (to a Morris dancer) that the English had no traditions & were all shits, exploiting everyone & we Londoners were the worst.
He got out alive, but we were not amused


Ah, thank you.
Makes sense. ( & I was wrong )
So why has he cosied up to the SNP in Scotland then?
Because SNP are rabidly pro-"Europe"


THe current issue of Private Eye has a short article based on some anonymous politician saying that Blair and Brown basically fucked over the labour party by settting up the apparatus to only promote the right sort of non-boat rocking party aparatchiks.

That then left the party with no actual leader material come the election, hence the result.


Yep. Blair and Brown didn't want to face rivals for leadership. So after they leave office, surprise! There are no leadership candidates available to replace them.


You are ware that anecdotal evidence really isn't evidence at all, are you not?


Some of us could yarn on for ages about stupid racist englishmen who come to scotland and talk crap about it.


Supposedly a suckling pig, so yes.


So is Ashcroft the player or is he some other player's queen?
And what's the ultimate goal? Removing Cameron from power in favor of someone else, or changing a policy (e.g. Brexit), or just a distraction? Since Ashcroft is a heavyweight, the goal should be important for someone. From the timing it could be an internal struggle within the Tories: they just won the majority and have four years ahead without having to worry about an election.


Irrelevant. Zoophilia and necrophilia tops infantophilia and autagonistophilia in this case.
The question is, did he have a boner?


Not being of the UK, I can't speak for how the pig sticking issue is playing here.

But from out here in the colonies, it plays as hilarious. We are in the midst of an election of our own with the Conservatives teetering on the brink of a loss, and it is purest humour to use 'Conservative Prime Minister' and 'penis in pig' in the same sentence.

Here in Canada we really need to get some better scandals. We have a multi-year scandal about a few thousand dollars stolen by some Senators. The best we could do over the last 15 years was a dodgy golf course deal in which the PM at the time actually LOST money. If we had a pig sex scandal I think our media establishment would have a proper scandalgasm and completely lose their minds.

Seriously, Pig sex? True or not, that is now what the rest of the world will think of whenever they hear the words 'David Cameron'. It is what schoolchildren will learn when get their education injections 100 years from now - if they learn about him at all.


Ashcroft is a billionaire financial backer to the Conservative party who was under the impression he would be rewarded with a significant position in govt. He didn't get it and obviously blames Cameron for reneging on whatever deal he thought they had.


Would be interesting to have two houses: Upper - the civil service (meritocracy) vs. Lower - the people's representatives (elected).

Do the U.K. civil service ever rat on their ministers?


Murdoch's biggest priority is to have every government on his side. He does this by convincing them his media have lots of influence, and he can turn this to their ends. Then they start getting advice that shifts their positions, slowly. He has no problem at all with espousing contradictory positions in different media areas, and Scotland has its own set of newspapers. What matters most is power.


One of the interesting parts of the memoirs is the claim that Cameron knew that Ashcroft wasn't paying UK tax (as a "non-dom") rather earlier than Cameron admits to having known that. This is potentially serious, as an actual lie, although I'm quite sure Cameron has the sense to try to avoid learning such things: they're always embarrassing when Tories are involved.


57: This *is* the boom. Bull markets for 6 years now. We're already into one of the longest expansions in the modern era. Chances of making it through this parliament without a Central Bank crisis, Chinese collapse or similar are next-to-none. (Indeed, the market tremors of this summer feel a lot like 2007 to those of us who watch them closely).


The question for some of us plebs is how/ when to cash in our meagre pensions at the height of the boom, and save them to re-invest when prices are lower again.


Do the U.K. civil service ever rat on their ministers?

Privately? Frequently, especially if they've just done something the Civil Service disapproves of.

On the record? Never. Unless they've done something so egregiously stupid that the Civil Service as a whole can get away with criticising it. Remember, they are supposed to be impartial, so a public lack of support is a big no no.

Sir Humphrey: My job is to carry out government policy.
Hacker: Even if you think it's wrong?
Sir Humphrey: Well, almost all government policy is wrong, but… frightfully well carried out.


Here in Canada we really need to get some better scandals.
Hey! You win outright on city mayors, Boris is nothing compared to Rob Ford.


Can the goal not be revenge? Can he not delight in tearing down all that Cameron has built and burning it in front of him, just as Cameron burnt a £50 note in front of a beggar?


Maybe this will all be tied in with constitutional reform, as Charlie has predicted in the near future.

Maybe it will see the abolishment of the monarchy, and David Cameron will move into Fuckingham Palace


I think you are over thinking the motivations and potential long term gain.

It's simple, Ashcroft expected to be richly rewarded for keeping the party afloat in the fallow years and helping getting it's election machine back on track.

But no majority government and his nom dom status now politically toxic he did not get what he wanted and he swore revenge.

Remember no one expected the Tories to get a majority, including the Tories themselves. If they did not win the pressure for him to resign would have been high and the book would have served as tombstone for his reputation.

I'm not sure how much it will actually affect anything, most of the allegations are single sourced gossip with little of it verifiable, the interviews with the author have not been good.

Those that hate him will believe what they want and nothing can be said for them to believe otherwise.

Those that are sympathetic will look at the substance and see it as pretty thin.


What are you smoking?
Not a chance.
If anything this sort of scandal strengthens the constitutional monarchy, actually.

P.S. guthrie @ 73
Grow up.
The entire policy of the SNP is to claim that everything is ENGLAND'S FAULT & make not-quite-racist comments.
Google for the fake name of Hugh MacDairmid ....
( If I've spelt that correctly )
The "answer" to the SNP is to give them the maximum amount of autonomy that is actually possible - then when it crashes, they can't blame "Westminster".
I would have thought that was obvious.


"Remember no one expected the Tories to get a majority, including the Tories themselves. "

Yes. Cameron was put in place as a one term PM. Basically a nobody who was supposed to lose the election, get kicked out and make way for the real leader.


On the contrary, it is clear that I am more adult than you. I know about McDairmid, and also a great variety of people who are members of or voted for the SNP. Oddly enough, the situation is a great deal more complex than you think.


No, the SNP are about as authoritarian as you can get. It comes for their "Presbyterianism" & control-freak tendencies.

Indeed. There was no financial reason, nor pressing operational reason, to combine the various constabularies into "Police Scotland" (aka everyone has to do it like Glasgow Polis). Just the politics of control.

Or, perhaps, "let's license airguns". Which Scottish ACPO recommended against, and which won't actually affect crime, but which will be a major nausea and expense for all concerned (particularly as they remain unlicensed across England and Wales). Party political "lever to press for further devolved powers" - there's no interest in firearms policy per se.

I just got an email through from Edinburgh University, pointing out that the proposed Higher Education bill is actually going to allow Scottish Ministers to change things without going back to Parliament - in other words, allowing political control of University senior appointments (to go with political control over Police senior appointments).

Don't like a University suggesting that the economic forecasts, or even near-historical reality, doesn't match Party Propaganda? Oh, a quiet word about the selection of the next boss should quieten down any inconvenient truths from that direction.

Don't like Parliamentary Committees criticising policy? Remove any criticism from within the committees (which were meant to provide the revising function in the absence of a second chamber, but which now appear to be in thrall to the Party Whip)

It doesn't make the SNP look interested in having any opposing viewpoints, which is dangerous in the absence of a second chamber, or a credible challenge from the media (the London press are disinterested, the Scotsman is ineffectual, and the Herald is on-message).

Still, it's all apparently the fault of London. Even for devolved matters. So long as they can keep dissent (from Hebridean fishermen, or people who don't want armed cops on the street, or universities who want independence in their research, or South Lanarkshire local party matters) down until the next election, they've cracked it.

The irony is that a Corbyn victory is about the best chance of reinvigorating Scottish Labour to the point where it might just start to recover, and provide the opposition that we need in Holyrood. Mind you, I doubt it...


Cameron was put in place as a one term PM. Basically a nobody who was supposed to lose the election, get kicked out and make way for the real leader.

If you're sufficiently cynical, so was John Major - who rather surprisingly, won.

Although I don't think you give sufficient credibility to the public-speaking part of the last Conservative leadership campaign; up until the candidates had to actually stand on their hind legs and talk to Conference, the smart money was on David Davis (he of the working-class, single-parent-family, state school, science degree, part-time SAS, actually ran a business, background) and he actually led after the first ballot.,_2005

It does look like both the Wet Wing (Ken Clarke) and then the stary-eyed wing (Liam Fox) voters swung behind Cameron rather than Davis, because he was more presentable. Two election victories would suggest that they chose correctly...


The Way It Works[tm]:

Find the invite list for the 2015 Bilderberg group and look two to four young (late 20's - early 30's) MPs and then follow their careers.

2014 had one of K Clarkes' proteges, awfully thin and pastie young man, black hair, on the list. Conservative, no doubt re-elected. There might have even been a woman, but that's pure speculation.

That's where you'll find the next big thing.


What are you smoking that you can't catch a pun setup?


"I know of someone who was raped at one of these things..."

And that is the point at which what seems to be today's phase of the internet reaction from Tory supporters - trying to make out that the Piers Gaveston society doesn't even exist and the Bullingdon Club does nothing more than getting pissed - changes from "utterly hilarious" to "utterly evil".

Of course nobody is actually harmed by someone skull-fucking a dead pig which was originally killed for food purposes. It's just really, really funny to have such a story about such a person splashed all over such a paper. It's the other shit that goes on in those clans that is the problem. On a personal level we have rape and death. On a national level we have stuff like this:


See Martin's reply in #92, immediately after your post.
And it appears to be even worse that I stated - though I knew about the "police Scotland" disaster-area....
The "ennabling act" part of the Scottish Education bill is truly scary, though.


Oh, I saw the pun, easily enough - unfortunately your language was indistinguishable from Dave Spart J Corbyn, so I couldn't tell if you were being ironic or serious ....


Of course, your criticism of the operation of the Scots Parliament should be answered by the fact that Westminster designed the voting system for MSPs in such a way that no party should ever take an overall majority at Holyrood; Oh, wait, that can't be right by your argument because it means I'm blaming "the English" for the fact that a voting system which they designed has failed to deliver the design intent.


Just petty revenge? How boring.

Any chance some real players will try to use it for dethroning Cameron?


"Revenge" describes what Ashcroft is doing, but it doesn't feel like quite the right word to me. Ashcroft is putting an insubordinate oik back in his place. "You may be PM but don't forget who's in charge."


Thanks very much. And there's also ...

Episode Six: The Right to Know

Hacker: Humphrey, do you see it as part of your job to help ministers make fools of themselves?
Sir Humphrey: Well, I never met one that needed any help.


Now, I can say that re-watching "National Lampoon's Animal House"counts as a Poli-Sci refresher.


"insubordinate oink" surely?


As nightmarishly absurd as ...

A Saudi has just been named to the 'human rights council' (UN) meanwhile a 17 year old Arab Spring protester is scheduled to be executed/crucified.

If this execution goes through, then Saudi Arabia will have broken its word as per the following: '"Any judgment imposing the death penalty upon persons who were children at the time of the offense, and their execution, are incompatible with Saudi Arabia's international obligations," the U.N. group said in a statement Tuesday, invoking the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Saudi Arabia is a party.'


When you hear about insane shit like this out of Saudi Arabia, it helps to consider the larger context. The passing of the old king has lead to an intergenerational struggle within the family, with the older relatives now making a push for more power to be ceded to them. That is being fueled by the current financial situation. The Kingdom has spent over 10% of their currency reserves in the last 6 months, and are on track to have spent all their savings within 3 years.

Internal power plays, regional instability, their only asset is crashing in value, and their attempt to handle both is going to drive them to the poor house. If Jeb Bush isn't elected in America next year, they are fucked.

So right now all they can do is play for time, and that means cracking down hard on any domestic dissent. In the most grotesque way possible, natch, because unstable states can't set an example in how they do things, so they make examples of others.

( for the KSA facts and figures reference)


Corbyn (or as I like to think of him, Grandpa Kenobi) is a bit too conservative for my personal tastes, but it a good place forward for your country. However my entire point is to make fun of the existing allegation that we cannot say here, since to repeat a libel is to be party to it and the blog doesn't need to be sued.


If these organizations are as bad as you say, then perhaps Cameron's choice of initiation rite actually reflects well on him.


These organizations let one chose the initiation rite? Are they f*ing liberals? Is there also a vegan option?


Oh, wait, that can't be right by your argument because it means I'm blaming "the English" for the fact that a voting system which they designed has failed


It hasn't failed - it reflected the proportional representation of the voters, and more than 50% voted SNP. As politicians are wont to put it:

"The people have spoken, the b****rds"

Now, the fact that the SNP has done what most political parties do with a landslide victory - push through single-interest stuff while stifling any dissent - doesn't take away from the fact that they ran a very effective election campaign, and had a charismatic leader backed up by a very astute deputy.

It was helped that Scottish Labour wasn't exactly a stunning display of talent; I've met Jack McConnell, and he's not exactly impressive. I can't remember many others of his Cabinet, which says it all, really.

The unfortunate thing is that the SNP appeared to assume that a vote for them was equivalent to a vote for independence; and slacked off when it came to their White Paper. Heavy on the wishful thinking and propaganda, light on the content (it's OK to mention "Poll Tax" 27 times, but less OK to not have thought hard about stuff like "currency" or "automatic entry to the EU").


Well no, actually. I've been considering why your posting about the SNP bothers me, apart from the question of why you, a Londoner, seem so annoyed at them when there's outright criminality going on on your doorstep, so to speak.

I've come to the conclusion that it's the irrelevant and outright wrong appeals to vague historical things that grates. I guarantee you'll find no fun hating presbyterians amongst the SNP leadership; neither have I heard or met any amongst the membership. So why keep on harping back to events 300, 400 years ago? You might as well criticise Corbyn for wanting to take new labour back to the levellers.
So just drop the silly historical stuff, and do like Martin does, which is concrete comments about stuff the SNP have done wrong.

As for the one police force for scotland, it isn't a stupid idea, but of course it was implemented stupidly, as is often the case.
I believe we've already indicated to you how your paranoia re. childrens guardian stuff was overblown.

So anyway, the funny thing is how you rant about the SNP being centralising, but not about how the current UK gvt has for instance centralised control of so many schools in pursuit of their ideological agenda. Or as I was reading today on the BBC, apparently ministers think that 20 mile long road works are too long and are thinking of making sure they are only 2 or 5 miles. Is that centralised micromanagement or what?
And none of that has to do with any putative presbyterianism, rather the lust for power and control freakery that infests most politicians (or at least the ones who seem to rise to the top), and the centralising tendencies of a capitalist society.


It may well be a way to cut the modern Tory Oxford set from the old lot all linked to pedophilia and then do a purge. i.e. "Yes, yes: it was a dead pig. It wasn't a child, now we can move on".


But might be required.



Merkel has some old snaps of her in the nude in Eastern Germany when nature / nudity were cool. (And no-one asks about the old Stasi files)

Putin has some old snaps of him looking gauche as "tourist" when Reagan visited (And no-one asks about his career apart from "middle manager")

Obama has some old snaps with an afro looking like he's A-OK with the weed (and no-one asks about the CIA / Lawyer internship)

It's an old tactic.

The crowds will bay with laughter, their leaders on their level, no real evil will be discovered, and life will go on.

The Romans perfected this, btw. Caesar and pirates.


No-one has asked the interesting question about performance, 4chan and so on. It's the same shared taboo shattering and group mechanics used by psyops all over the world.

Bonds made, bonds broken, bonds used for social hacking.

You're being played. [Vimeo: Music: Some non-sexual nudity]

Trust me: if and when the pictures are released, it's going to be of some Oxford pub upstairs lounge of eight or so young men, dressed in stupid attire (long tails so out of fashion) with grins on their faces and you won't see the willy.

And every man in Christendom / England will chuckle, and think: "Yep, I did that when I was young".

That's the play.


And if some working class person gets the giggles in the presence of such a person, it won't matter, they're üntermensch any way.


Completely the opposite.

Once the pics come out, the larger tragedy outlined (hint: cocaine) and so on...

It's designed to shame the lower classes.

"Yeah, I know: I laughed at that pig thing, who wouldn't? Stupid stuck up little prick at Oxford. But then, that stuff with [X] and his kid, he really went through it like. And he's not like those older nonces, he really is a normal bloke, beat that Oxford stuff right out of him when he had to live and work like a normal geezer. And yeah, just saw the papers: his hidden charity work for his disabled kid and all. Fuck those older peers and billionaires for trying to set 'im up"

Clotho, Lachesis, Atrope.

You killed my mother, but this is who we are / were. (It's a little confusing, Cat came back, temporality and Loas and the Yellow King).

That's how it goes.


Sadly true, pro politicians tend to be slipperier than any bodily secretion I could think of. It might cheer you to think of them as hand puppets of the oligarchy...


And the best part...

It's all true.

Cameron probably is worthy of sympathy and the narrative above is going to string along for X months of the cycle while everyone ignores what's actually going on.

Be we don't work like that.

Purge. Or we do it our way.


Yes, well.
The crushing of people, very recently at the Hajj ...
The "today" programme this morning had a Brit organiser ( i.e. a tour-operator/travel agent) for trips to Macca. )
Apart from the religious component, which, just for once, I'll ignore, he might have been anyone, really laying in to the Saudi authorities for incompetence, arrogance & racism.
"it's not god's will, it's human/Saudi incompetence ... / ... if they hadn't closed off two (or three?) exits, because "dignitaries" were coming, it wouldn't have happened ... / ... the Underground handles more people than the Hajj every day, so what's the problem ... / ... and they blamed "African" pilgrims & that's racism ... "
Good for him, & the absorbtion of "our" cultural values didn't go un-noticed by me, either.


What worries me is what will happen, 4-6 years down the road, when everybody finally wakes up to the arrogant, incompetent (*) panopitcon/nanny state they have lumbered themselves with, with no outlet for dissent & no way back.

(*) "Police Scotland" have already been mentioned here, as an example of how not to do it - crawling to the political masters is more important than doing a good policing job, natch - & today's news on the now-repeated failure of ScotPlod to follow up on missing persons - people dying over 3 days in a car crash, because they couldn't be arsed to look & now someone's senile-dementia grandma dying alone on the streets, because they couldn't be bothered ...
It puts a very different spin on "Rule 34" & "Halting State" doesn't it?


I label the SNP "presbyterian" because it (IMHO) correctly describes their mind-set. Watching, controlling, no dissent at all. [ "It was as if all the wall of the houses in Geneva had been turned into glass" - see also STASI ]
As for Corbyn, no, not the levellers. He "merely" wants to take Labour back to 1933-5, when that nice Mr Hitler was no threat at all. ( All the right-wing press froth about "back to the '70's" is also cobblers. )
And as for UK schools, I've given up.
The (English)education system has been successively utterly screwed by both Labour & tory, that I think we ought to go back to the beginning & start again.
Unfortunately, no-one seems to have either the vision or capability to produce a modern version of the 1944 Education Act.


It hasn't failed - it reflected the proportional representation of the voters, and more than 50% voted SNP.

I know that; I was being sarcastic, but the fact remains that the Scots' Parliament electoral system was supposed to prevent anyone from ever holding an overall majority in the chamber.


How about Kenny MacKilljoy? I'm pleased that one of the first things Nicola did was drop him from cabinet.


Serisly? suggests to me that it's a description which could be applied to any parliamentary democracy or any geriontocracy.


So you think it's just for distraction, not revenge?


Yes serisly ...
After all, IIRC, Scotland was the last country in the British Isles to: Murder someone for being an atheist & murder someone for being a "witch".
See also Scottish Sabbath until very recently.


Things are not done so linearly by players.

It's also a matter of balancing those scales: the size of the taboo has to out weigh decades of child abuse, MI5 and use of secrets as a tool of power someone else outlined (or their link did). That's the 4chan part.

There's clips out there of ex-party whips quite honestly, with some shame, admitting that this was standard practice.

Note: people's popular conceptions of Public Schools (Private for non-UK readers) are still stuck somewhere between If and St. Trinians. You'll find that Cameron's lot are probably the last generation where popular conceits of fagging etc are even remotely accurate. Sexual abuse between different age groups of the pupils in boarding schools is really rare.


Then there are all of those tent cities set aside for the Hajj that could house Syrian refugees.

Any idea how many/types of applicants they got for their recent '8 executioners wanted' ad? (Would show how widely held these sentiments are.) Apparently the job description says this position is a 'religious functionary'. Religious freedom seems to be the go-to-excuse in many regions.

Actions communicate reality and priorities. Recent/current actions especially. You can't laugh this off and say 'That was in the past, let's move forward.'


What was wrong with Thatcher?

She was right about global warming.

And she made the UK so unbearable I left it, the best move I ever made.

(Tongue firmly in pig^W, sorry, i mean cheek).


Saudi again: courtesy of a link via the National Secular Society, we get this delightful news
Public display of an executed body pour encourager les autres I can only assume.

On a related subject, though off-topic for this thread, but also from the NSS: Worldwide death threats from islamists in Bangla Desh - including people in this country.


"Sexual abuse between different age groups of the pupils in boarding schools is really rare."

And you don't want to believe everything you hear about the staff doing it either. Some distinctly bizarre fabrications have been reported as supposed facts.


Of course.

Since Greg is running FUD on Suad, I'll line it out for you in hierarchical thinking.

1) The threat is to the system; both at Apex level (Thatcher, Whips, institutional abuse and prostitution of vulnerable minors supplied via streets, orphanages etc) and at the local level (councils in low income areas seeing culturally driven exploitation of lower class / vulnerable young girls).

2) The threat is analyzed to the system, individuals never come into it.

3) A solution is formatted - old tricks are best, and these fuckers can only play chess. You need a way to focus hatred, anxiety and fear onto a nexus point. In this case, both Apex class and lower class. You plan it, focus it, then plot out the solutions / catharsis.

4) Power players are approached, negotiations go on, real time plan is formed. Power players demand their pound of flesh. If revenge is required, so it goes, this works best as it looks 100% genuine.

5) Plan is enacted, play / theatre engaged, media gets to do its bit, slight ruination of personal lives, but...

6) If you play well, chin up, don't rock the boat, there's a nice retirement plan, Board memberships, a gig on the public speaking circuit, cricket every Sunday and all those in the know know that you took one for the team to stabilize the boat. There's probably a knighthood / lower in there about ten years afterwards.

7) On the other side, you'll be running some serious intra-system checks and purges and a lot of people will find that the system doesn't like failure all that much. Dying young, accidents, children's lives ruined, jail, the usual. Depends on the stability issues and how useful the various players are to MI5 etc.

That's how it works.

We don't like Chess, it's a solved game.


All very plausible IF you believe in complex conspiracy theories.
If not ... then (pun intended) it's just a giant cock-up, isn't it?

And, given the obvious public competence of these people to solve quite simple problems (not) I'm all in favour of gross incompetence being the usual explanation.
Note that this makes them equally unfit for office as being conspirators would do.


Please explain how one can run a years/decades/generation-spanning conspiracy within an Internet-enabled panopticon world.

Also, soft-sciences have improved considerably. For example, police forces can purchase the Hare psychopath rating system (with statistical software) to help identify sociopaths. Recidivism among sociopaths is much, much higher versus non-psychopaths, impacting various social policy and infrastructure considerations. BTW, psychopath is the same as sociopath. Psychopath does not mean psychotic.

Why this matters. Twenty/thirty years ago, hardly anyone had heard the term autism or Asperger's. Now, there are school programs almost everywhere designed for teaching and socializing autistic kids. In fact, there are even materials (workshops) for teaching managers how to interact with/manage their autistic employee(s). I expect the same to eventually happen with sociopathy.


You can't, reliably run such a thing under such conditions. That's why they are breaking down or being wound down or being transitioned to forms more robust in the contemporary environment. The collapse is being managed in such a way as to break up the lines of the old hidden regime, thus camouflaging it as it adapts. Sociopaths come on a spectrum, and have different levels of intelligence as a second dimension. The autistic don't actively resist or subvert management the way sociopaths can. It will be much more tricky. A better strategy is to tweak culture so the rest of the populace becomes immunized. Currently the sociopathic minority has inordinate influence and has used it to create in environment friendly to itself. How much media seems designed to extol and excuse evil, especially smart evil that doesn't get caught? I would go so far as to say that the original premise of modern democracy, based on Rousseau style thinking, is that you get better rule by giving the decent majority control--though by definition only average in intelligence--than by letting competitive go getters--who include a large percentage of sociopaths--to rise through the ranks and run everything. Rule by inheritance, a second cousin to random selection, is/was similar in function to democracy, but potentially very inferior in result if not done properly. The primal urge to anarchism is a visceral awareness that social structures tend to be ruled be rats who recruit normal people to imitate them.


Re: 'You can't, reliably run such a thing under such conditions. That's why they are breaking down or being wound down or being transitioned to forms more robust in the contemporary environment. The collapse is being managed in such a way as to break up the lines of the old hidden regime, thus camouflaging it as it adapts.'

Not sure I understand what you mean by this ... would you mind providing examples?

Agree with 'immunize the culture' as opposed to the 'de-sensitize the culture' ... the latter being the effect/impact of current pop-star media/infotainment activity.


It will become increasingly difficult to run big deep long term conspiracies in the post modern world. There's simply too much capability to collect and analyze data and information. Those who have been running such games are aware of this, and are shredding the documents as it were. But their impact on the world is so great that if they were to simply shut everything down the shape of the previously existing conspiracies would be discernible by the hole it left. So they are shutting things down in stages and using different methods for different segments of the machine.

The functions of the secret societies and such are being converted into new forms that are better adapted to the computer age. An example would be the purported influence of the Sicilian mafia over American politics. This one we can talk about because it was exposed and transitioned to new forms before the computer age, but similar conspiracies exist throughout society.

If the mafia existed today in the form it once did it would be a sitting duck for surveillance and data analysis. It's leaders would be shutting down operations in stages and converting them to forms impervious to such electronic detection approaches. Other similar groups we don't know of, both criminal and merely slimy, such as Machiavellian cabals of political insiders (Skull and Bones society et al?), are currently in a state of transition. And that's just the obvious conspiracies.

More insidious is the steering of cultural change. An example in American lower class neighborhoods is identification with the very gangs that oppress the people, quite possibly in literal cahoots with higher class overlords. And all the adoption of cultural brainwashing that goes with it is part of the scheme. Perhaps much stuff that's supposedly accidental or grass roots can actually be traced back to nefarious planners who can only be called social engineers.

If people learned and valued independence and sincerity rather than imitation and pretension that would do more to make the world a better place than trying to make snakes change their spots. Man (generically) does not need to be perfected--merely protected from corruption. And what better way than for each to know to protect herself or himself creatively against the insidious? But all we are ever sold is new ways to copy and fake.


You broke the 4th Wall [Youtube: music: 3:06]

(@MF / HN)

Unicorns will come again [Youtube: film: 9:40]

(@Peanut gallery)

Witness me brothers/a> [Youtube: film: 0:42]


For those in the know [Youtube: film: 4:41]

(@Meta-meta-meta on the wall)

OF Death the sharpest function,
That, just as we discern,
The Excellence defies us;
Securest gathered then
The fruit perverse to plucking,
But leaning to the sight
With the ecstatic limit
Of unobtained Delight.

All you need is love [Daily Motion: TV: 50:59]

And after all that...

You killed the coral reefs, orcas, whales, tigers, the whole thing and wanked over plastic toys and metal things.

You utter, utter, utter cunts.


And, yes, before anyone does any thinking:

Cunt was chosen because it's the ultimate insult defined by men, using not-their-gender as the ultimate social denigration.

You killed the world for plastic toys and winning a game.

Enjoy Mega City One.


Change is in motion, maybe not enough and we won't have enough time here to see the end of it. While it moves slowly in the background, I will, the next time I see an image of David Cameron, hear the first nine notes of "Dueling banjos".


Occasional glimpses inside the lizard enclosure do not in themselves lead to the ability to elect a non-lizard. The fact Corbyn became available separately is an interesting co-incidence. While his elevation might mean you UK folks could in theory elect a non-lizard government by voting Labour, this outcome doesn't seem to be hilgy likely to be available as a version of reality that may in fact occur in the next few years. No western democracy, with the possible exception of Greece, has been in a position to actually elect an actual non-lizard for 30-40 years. It would defy the odds if the UK did it.


What specifically is "lizard" a code word for?


Ah, it's related to the Doors. Still vague.


I think in this context it comes from the book So long and thanks for all the fish by Douglas Adams. The people on a planet vote for lizards - nobody really wants to, but if they don't, the wrong lizard might get in.

The quote is here.


"Listen, bud," said Ford, "if I had one Altairian dollar for every time I heard one bit of the Universe look at another bit of the Universe and say 'That's terrible' I wouldn't be sitting here like a lemon looking for a gin.”

Yep, that's me. Though I'd like to think I'm more the gin looking for the lemon.


Which in turn might be in reference to

2 lizards
Shape shifting human-lizard hybrids.
Generally heads of state, captains of industry, members of secret fraternal or black ops organizations. Not to be messed with.


I've long thought the follow up ought to be:

"And what is a lizard?"
"Someone whom people vote for..."


Thematically similar, but probably not a reference.


[ DELETED BY MODERATOR. Dirk, be polite -- or else. CS ]


That was a succinct and polite refutation of her thesis.
Nevertheless, it was a demonstration that she was talking bollocks.


Hey I'm looking forward to President Sanders working with PM Corbyn just as much as anyone. The problem is, like I said, neither of those guys are lizards, or if they are they have been playing a long and deep game and we're all fucked.


Dirk was referring to himself, the four young ladies and of course the goat.


My favourite part about Corbyn is learning just how close it came for him not even being in the ballot.

And most of those who nominated him for a laugh are *really* kicking themselves now.

See this for the long read.


Not it was referring to this statement:

"Cunt was chosen because it's the ultimate insult defined by men, using not-their-gender as the ultimate social denigration."

My reply indicated that the words "dickhead" and "load of bollocks" adequately refuted the thesis.


So this keeps me thinking of the Kinky Friedman murder mystery where the crux of the [SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT][SPOILER ALERT] matter is that if you write the name "Cynthia" in cocaine on a glass table, someone else can turn that into the word "cunt" by means of just a little careful snorting.


Well Catina can certainly manage it, and does so.


'More insidious is the steering of cultural change. ... And all the adoption of cultural brainwashing that goes with it is part of the scheme.'

My perception is that, ironically, there's more social/cultural fragmentation going on largely because of the Internet. I'd like for there to be a 'reference norm' re: behavior/values that transcends politics/religion/culture so that people can see for themselves the full range of human behavior. IMO, the closest we've got is the U.N. Charter of Human Rights describing what we should strive toward and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describing behaviors (personality types) we need to better understand (avoid/change).

The 'steering of cultural change' ... in our era, it seems that there are different factions attempting to steer different age/demographic groups. So, fragmentation again versus previous eras where the steering was more obvious and more centralized. Some might think that fragmentation is safer for society long-term because it allows for more social experimentation. It may be, but fragmentation also allows for more nutjobs to take a crack at running their little patch of the world. (Are you saying that there's a cabal that is deliberately spurring/supporting such social fragmentation ... a divide-and-conquer strategy?)


"...the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) describing behaviors (personality types) we need to better understand (avoid/change)."

Coincidentally I happen to be reading a description of the evolution of that at the moment. So far it appears that the behaviour which we most need to avoid/change is running a system of medical care on the US pattern.


There are those (from deeply scary woo salesbeings to mental health practitioners) who would say the DSM V itself is pathological. Among the latter is the chair of the DSM IV compilers.


The method of operation is more akin to the cultivation of a plant than to architectural design. Just watch what happens and pass judgment on it. Prune developments that don't contribute. Fertilize and water developments that go where you like. Except that the cultivation is informed by a deep lore of techniques for anticipating possible consequences several steps ahead. Normally a relatively light hand is sufficient to nudge some innovation or change into success or failure. In a small percentage of unresponsive cases, such as those aware of being nudged, a heavier hand is required. This is efficient and difficult to detect, but the result is better than any despot could hope for, not only one hundred percent success, but creative and energetic compliance. Fragmentation is a positive boon because it gives more seedlings to cull. No cabal sits down in a boardroom, and there's never a briefing for new executives. You rise by demonstrating that you get it and are with the program. Techniques are hinted and guessed and sagely nodded at. Attitudes are whispered, deeds are done, seemingly on personal initiative--but ever looking for the thumb up or down. It would all be fair enough, but for the occasional heavy hand that cheats the exceptional. Purely by accident, clearly a disturbed loner.


The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is a guide to categorizing (diagnosing) mental conditions like physical ailments. That's where it goes wrong. The human body has a single basic design, with variants to be sure, but all essentially similar, and subject to the same diseases and injuries. The human mind is far more variable, and trying to place minds into simple categories, while institutional pragmatic, is hardly capable of getting at truth. Computers are similarly variable, but nobody believes that categorizing a virus tells you much useful about it. Further, the characteristics of "disorders" are present to a greater or lesser degree in all of us. What we call disorder is just characteristics carried to extreme. Recommended reading: Clans of the Alphane Moon by P.K. Dick.


It was more a comment on geopolitical moves (as well as other things[1], a joke about strange attractors). Call the Lizard King angle the cover:

Strange days have found us
And through their strange hours
We linger alone
Bodies confused
Memories misused
As we run from the day
To a strange night of stone


These points are not insignificant in a book about death. They pale, however, beside the achievement. This is a revealing and challenging work which forces us to reconsider fundamental issues of death, memory and the way we understand the past. The research project which generated it was courageous and humane, and the result throws a profound and searching light on the spiritual condition of the Russian people over several tumultuous decades. The book is, moreover, written in a compassionate, undogmatic and jargon-free style, appropriate to its purpose, which makes it a pleasure to read.

The author might be a secret Doors fan, you never know.

Since Dirk (predictably) doesn't seem to think that the Cocaine word is worse than male-gendered insults (which, demonstrably, it is), I'll throw a bone:

The largest coal mining group in Northeast China is cutting 100,000 jobs within the next three months to reduce its losses - one of the biggest mass layoffs in recent years.

Heilongjiang Longmay Mining Holding Group Co Ltd, which has a 240,000 workforce, said a special center would be created to help those losing their jobs to either relocate or start their own businesses.

Chaiman of the group Wang Zhikui said the job losses were a way of helping the company "stop bleeding".

Now that's front-running.

[1]You actually have to watch the video for those. Visual creatures are you.



Rain Flogs My Face...

Rain flogs my face and collar-bones,
a thunderstorm roars over musts.
You thrust upon my flesh and soul,
like tempests upon ships do thrust.

I do not want, at all, to know,
what will befall to me the next –
would I be smashed against my woe,
or thrown into happiness.

In awe and gaiety elated,
like a ship, that's going tempests through,
I am not sorry that I've met you,
and not afraid to love you, too.


Like a White Stone

Like a white stone deep in a draw-well lying,
As hard and clear, a memory lies in me.
I cannot strive nor have I heart for striving:
It is such pain and yet such ecstasy.

It seems to me that someone looking closely
Into my eyes would see it, patent, pale.
And, seeing, would grow sadder and more thoughtful
Than one who listens to a bitter tale.

The ancient gods changed men to things, but left them
A consciousness that smoldered endlessly,
That splendid sorrows might endure forever.
And you are changed into a memory.

The cover's so easy to slip into, delving deep more fun.

Equinox Blood Moon tonight.


Yes, let's all have a big debate about which word is worse among the politically correct. It's Sooooo important - like, forget about climate change, wars, nukes, people getting thrown into poverty by crony capitalism. I'm sure if we all sort out the relative acceptability of various insults it will all right itself...
Possibly even before we all disappear up our own arses.
Or maybe not.


I still occasionally like to argue a line that goes: the term political correctness is used most by people who claim not to be, as a preliminary to telling a lie that they do not wish to be called out for. Thus you don't really need to bother with the qualifier "politically", and can discard it since surely all we care about is whether or not a statement is correct? Is it factually correct or not? If the statement carries some sort of cultural baggage or dog whistle implying a crass generalisation that's been disproved, why do we tolerate the hint that its "political incorrectness" contains some deeper "truth", when this very baggage is the problem? I think there's a similar motivated unpleasantness going on with the word "offence" in this context - where the concept behind it is deeply understated. Some statements are simply demeaning of the humanity of the target - do we still persist in claiming that to "take offence" is some subjective, voluntary thing? You really only need to turn the table slightly to get strong responses from the folks who claim this shit that shout to the hills that they would not tolerate such things directed at them (and apparently trying to do so is "politically correct"... another flag for motivated reasoning).


You'd have done better connecting the dots between Geopolitics, Russia and the poets listed.

You can run games once before I learn the rules, and you're on borrowed time since I'm running a handicap for y'all.



"O no, I am not the mover;
Not to-day; not to you. To you, I'm the

"Yes-man, the bar-companion, the easily-duped;
I am whatever you do. I am your vow to be
Good, your humorous story.
I am your business voice. I am your marriage.

"What's your proposal? To build the just city? I will.
I agree. Or is it the suicide pact, the romantic
Death? Very well, I accept, for
I am your choice, your decision. Yes, I am Spain."

Though I suppose you could substitute something for "Spain". Some folks might almost go with "Syria", but it's really "the internet".


Auden. How very British of you.

O the night of the weeping children!
O the night of the children branded for death!
Sleep may not enter here.
Terrible nursemaids
Have usurped the place of mothers,
Have tautened their tendons with the false death,
Sow it on to the walls and into the beams—
Everywhere it is hatched in the nests of horror.
Instead of mother’s milk, panic suckles those
little ones.

Yesterday Mother still drew
Sleep toward them like a white moon,
There was the doll with cheeks derouged by kisses,
In one arm,
The stuffed pet, already
Brought to life by love,
In the other—
Now blows the wind of dying,
Blows the shifts over the hair
That no one will comb again.

Nelly Sachs. You can probably work out the whys to that reference easily enough (shining tower of light in a hurricane, doing the opposite of heritage intended.


Dein Name ist dir verlorengegangen
aber die Welt eilt herzu
und bietet dir schöne Auswahl an
Du schüttelst den Kopf
aber dein Geliebter
hat dir einmal die Nadel im Heuhaufen gefunden
Hörst du: er ruft dich schon

Try something radical.



Yes, Peanut gallery:

"Mother's Milk" is a tie-in.


This is a strikingly accurate description of social-enforcement and soft power. But the thing about it is that it makes even more sense if you leave out the conscious agency controlling and directing the influence. For all the talk about strange attractors here, my observation is that such undercurrents are self-realising and evolve following their own logic in the absence of intention, all the more so in that they align with the interests of certain classes. Sure you might see an occasional intended kick in an interesting direction, but such things are coarse and clumsy compared to the precision required to achieve actual secret-overlordiness. I don't doubt the existence of bewilderingly sophisticated organisations capable of pulling such things off, but I suggest the successful ones sail on the right side of the null hypothesis: it isn't necessary to posit their existence to explain the pertinent observations.


For all the talk about strange attractors here, my observation is that such undercurrents are self-realising and evolve following their own logic in the absence of intention, all the more so in that they align with the interests of certain classes

You'd be wrong.

Clotho (/ˈkloʊθoʊ/, Greek Κλωθώ [klɔːˈtʰɔː] – "spinner")
Lachesis (/ˈlækɨsɪs/, Greek Λάχεσις [ˈlakʰesis] – "allotter" or drawer of lots)
Atropos (/ˈætrəpɒs/, Greek Ἄτροπος [ˈatropos] – "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning")

The public face of this is "spin doctors". You might want to see a TV programme called "The thick of it".

And that's ones you're allowed to see.

Charmingly naive disinformation though.


I'm certainly a bit tentative about this, it's not something I could make a definitive statement about without looking very foolish (not that I have a problem with acting foolishly, but unilateral surrender of dignity isn't always a great choice). But I do think these themes attribute a degree of competence to organisations that I've yet to observe in the real world. And at those times when there are in fact rocks turned over, the things that scurry out generally do not exhibit this missing competence, quite the contrary. Sure you'll say this is just the stuff we get to know about, but you'll understand I'm not very convinced by that line of argument (for all that it may well be entirely true).

I forgot to cite, after carefully tracking down and copying: If people learned and valued independence and sincerity rather than imitation and pretension that would do more to make the world a better place than trying to make snakes change their spots. I would go along with that -- but it's in itself kind of intended unintendedness of action


In WWII, the UK did the following:

Cracked Enigma (following on from Polish work)
Planted a succession of false info drops (the infamous body in the sea as well as mail drops by bombed trains)
Sacrificed lives so that Enigma would still be used
Used both fake divisions (camouflage) and entire light batteries (town protection)

Etc etc.

Mossad gets all the glamour, but to be honest, they're mostly just ruthless assassins, and the Olympics lot were badly trained. They still get caught by hotel security (both Switzerland and.. oh, I forget that place where the stolen Irish / Canadian passports caused a stir).

Do you really think that that level of competence isn't being used?



If you missed it.

The three fates are the three levels of [edited].

Gold - Silver - Bronze command.

It has a parallel in the deep shadow state.


I was thinking of Wag the Dog, actually but sure, those were all pretty amazing stunts. Most can be more compellingly accounted for by "trying literally everything you can think of", and getting someone sensible to discard the most egregiously silly ideas (but even then... :)).

The code breaking was different, but still can be explained by algorithms that do not require much capability on the part of those in charge.

I suppose we might be at cross-purposes, or I have unrealistic expectations around the degree of competence necessary versus what actually is pretty effective in the real world anyway. But I would still suggest there's a gap between what's intended by the spinners and what actually happens. Perhaps the gap is understood and accounted for. Everything in public policy is always action at enough distance that the connection between events and their intentions are tenuous.


The entire of the 20th Century was shaped by three (four if generous) thinkers.

Name them.


The "four if generous" is Michel de Montaigne. One of the others is Niccolò Machiavelli. Another... touch and go whether it's Tho. Hobbes or his Italian contemp. Really, once you get to the 18th century the contributors all blur together (Smith and Marx stand out, but are both traceable from Hobbes), so the 20th century major theme being big-M Modernity you track that from its beginnings. I'd say Watt but that makes too much obsequious Scottishness in the list and really someone like Brunel is the real shaper. Likewise Stalin versus Lenin and Marx, for that matter. For the most part I find this sort of exercise silly, because shoulders of giants and all that, but also because it's a form of limited state transfer from your head in the form of a riddle; I'm not a player in that respect.


xkcd hand loss time again


Once you figure out that Catinadiamond structures her comments so that she can argue from either side and/or so that she has maximum rhetorical cover from critics from either side, you lose a bit of respect for her, but you also gain the peace of not having to care. Then you can think about the information or theories she presents without giving a damn about who said them or why. Since said comments are often interesting, let them fly I guess.

Here she set it up so she had cover from any feminist who might object to her choice of language, but at the same time she was ostensibly strenuously objecting to the deployment of the word (by anybody besides her.) Think about it. She does not care which side takes the bait, as long as she can deflect whichever attack manifests.

On another occasion, she was mildly sealioning someone, but she preemptively called that person a sealion. She wrongfoots anyone who calls her out for her tactics and/or she gets her target to agree to her characterization.

This is sophomore psyops as practiced by your everyday bookish middle school bully. No wonder she champions the Gamergaters of the world.

I'd go on, but my 15 minutes are up.


You just keep getting caught in CiaD's uncanny valley, deal with it. BTW, how do you like Damians posts?


I'm not sure it isn't admitting a shortcoming to say I sometimes find myself caring about orthography online: I'm not really generally that pedantic, but some things are bugbears. Be that as it may, people who use "CCCP" (unicode 67 and 80 respectively) to stand for "СССР" (unicode 1057 and 1056) cheese me off. They either realise it's pretty much the same thing as 1337 h4k0r33z or they don't. Not a big deal in the scheme of things but for me a bit of a red flag*, since it suggests they think being a l337 h4k0rz is cool.

There are several points through the last few major threads here where this respect drop-off you describe has been unavoidable, for reasons in addition to the one you have taken the trouble to explicate. But that's not unique in any remarkable way, and I'm sure we all have our moments. I quit usenet when I realised I was spending more time tweaking the scorefile in slrn or skipping over pointless flamewars than I was reading interesting articles and comments. There's a threshold, and at the moment the signal to noise isn't that bad (and by no means is all the noise from one source). Life's a rich tapestry and even the wonky threads are interesting sometimes? It's late here, the longer I go on the sillier the metaphors and cliches will get.

[* see what I did there...]


Hmm, I'm going with
Miles Copeland
Alexander Haig
Herta Herzog
B. F. Skinner

Any of them in your list?


Re: "The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is a guide to categorizing (diagnosing) mental conditions like physical ailments. That's where it goes wrong...."

What I consider most important about the DSM is that it gives increasingly better definitions of 'mental/emotional' states and behaviors. It's not perfect, agreed. And yes, also agree, the human mind is very complex. Using your analogy for physical ailments ... you wouldn't abandon Grey's Anatomy just because it doesn't cover infections, would you? DSM is to neuroscience as Grey's is to medicine: an obvious place/scale/reference benchmark but not all/the only thing needed to know.


I (ZS and "friends of friends") connect the dots on the ground in real life. If you bother to search back you will see I told you who the next Syrian leader is going to be.
As for playing the game, when I tried dropping you some minor clues you failed to pick them up and I had to spoon feed you.


There are two categories of "political correctness".
The one I adhere to is being polite and respectful towards non-combatants.
The other is just the politics of language control bullshit.
And when it comes to insults, I tend to choose the one that gives the most offense - otherwise why would I bother with an insult in the first place?


"...people who use "CCCP" (unicode 67 and 80 respectively) to stand for "СССР" (unicode 1057 and 1056) cheese me off."

Er... wot?

Are you writing alphabetical sorts which get confused by it or something? Because otherwise I don't see how you can even tell. I've just checked by taking a screenshot and overlaying the second version on the first at 8x zoom; they are pixel-for-pixel identical.

I have a Russian geiger tube which I usually refer to as "STS-5 (CTC-5)", ie. Latin (Cyrillic), because other people who have the same tube tend to use either one or the other. (The marking on the tube itself says "CTC-5" but a lot of people don't seem to "read it Russianly".) I type "CTC" by holding down the shift key and hitting c, t, c. Simply because doing anything else (as I guess you would do) is a whole lot more awkward and is pointless because it doesn't look any different, either to anyone looking at it or AFAICT to Google.

It's absolutely nothing to do with "1337 h4k0r33z"; that is all about deliberately using characters which do not look identical but are close enough that you can work it out, in order to create a (daft) effect. It's purely a matter of expending the least effort to produce a given result.

Said given result does not include trying to meet the expectations of someone hex-dumping the text and wanting to see something other than 43 54 43; until you posted it never occurred to me that anyone might even bother. It makes the right shapes on the screen and seems to be understood just fine by Google, and that's all I care about.


The thing about the DSM is that the order and systematisation it purports to impose is largely spurious and is not rooted in any scientific method. In the beginning it had a laudable purpose, but it went about it by invalid methods and tried to cram extremely fuzzy and ill-defined concepts into specific identifiable categories on a basis much more subjective than scientific. Then as it went from one edition to another it was hijacked by much more spurious purposes. First it became apparent that if someone was given a diagnosis corresponding to an entry in the DSM it was of great value in avoiding arguments over the transfer of money from one place to another in the horrific American medical care system; people would be fitted into a diagnosis simply so that someone would get paid, and the criteria adjusted to make this easier to do even if there was really nothing wrong with them at all. Then the drug companies got in on the act and diagnoses were included that were almost entirely made up to create "indications" for the use of a particular drug.


Marx Chamberlain Maxwell


Bismarck, von Braun, Marx, Oppenheimer,


Agree that the DSM has some history of being influenced by outsiders (i.e., church, state, pharma*, etc.). Even so, we need some systemization of the range of human behavior so that we can actually learn what various behaviors exist and mean (root causes, consequences, etc.). I would much prefer to have such a system developed by the closest we have to experts - researchers, academics and clinicians. One interesting observation/criticism in using the DSM is that it shows that quite a few people at some time in their lives experience some of the described conditions. IMO, this is a huge step in reducing the stigma of 'mental disease/disorder' from some amorphous terminal/fatal personal flaw to a potentially treatable condition.

If there's some better system to categorize, monitor and research mental health, I'd be interested to know.

* I'm of the impression that pharma hasn't come up with any new drugs in the mental health area for 30 about years now (SSRIs). If so (absolutely no progress/contribution), how can pharma claim sufficient expertise to sway the DSM?


The APA inserted a footnote into the DSM-V reminding clinicians that grief isn't major depression. There's epidemiological evidence those grieving aren't suffering from major depression, so it was definitional overreach, not an acknowledgement that many suffer mental illness over the course of their lives - overreach consistent with the British Psychological Society's comment on the DSM's medicalisation of normal human variation.

The NIMH are busily attempting to stand up a new system: the Research Domain Criteria.


Here follows a low-signal but enthusiastic endorsement of this thinking. :-)



In politics it would be Marx, Truman for his Doctrine (shaping the Cold War) and Willy Brandt/Egon Bahr for starting the end of the Cold War leading to Gorbachov's perestroika. Thus transforming the colonist/imperialist 19th century to the post-colonist mess we are currently in.


The shaping of a century can be attributed to those whose contributions set the century apart from all that went before. If you go too far back, or go to sources of more abstract ideas, the influence becomes too diffuse and indirect to be called "shaping". Most shaping came from inventors.

Karl Marx must be on the list because his ideas were ultimately behind almost all the momentous political, military, economic upheavals that dominantly and uniquely characterize the century.

Two others are inventors. Thomas Edison not only invented several technologies that characterized the 20th century. Surely, he was merely the fastest in a crowd racing to create these inventions, but that just means he also created the prototype of the industrial laboratory in order to win that race, and thus is behind all that such labs have discovered. Further, some of his observations led to the development of electronics and indirectly much science that he wouldn't have understood.

Next is Karl Benz. Like Edison, his invention characterized the 20th century, and had massive secondary effects. And, like Edison, he was just one of many working along similar lines, but internal combustion and the automobile were too momentously shaping to leave out, and if one person gets that credit it's Benz.

Finally, I choose Max Planck because he was pivotal to the history of both Quantum Mechanics and Relativity, the two main scientific revolutions of the century.


Forget politics ... this is a far more interesting tangent.

More sets of names ... it says a lot about how people think :)


Well, I'd say "Darwin", for the recontextualization of humanity; Mahan, because even more than a war over oil the 20th century was about control of the sea (and all that this implied); and whomever to whom you want to attribute the philosophical underpinnings of the modern corporation.


Re: 'The NIMH are busily attempting to stand up a new system: the Research Domain Criteria.'

- Thanks for this info!


The most effective insult is one that actually hits where it hurts in an unexpected way, rather than a frontal assault. This seldom involves vulgarity.


In your context I wouldn't have a problem with that; it's a matter of representing what you see and working to community expectations. It's different when people talking about the USSR use non-equivalent latin characters in place of the cyrillic, because it is actually clearer just to say USSR.


Too subtle when dealing with your average street trash. A straightforward racist or sexist slur gets through quite well


I strongly recommend straightforward crudity for that application. Much less fraught and generally a more accurate representation of your feelings.


What Labour needs is the soft left, and they've just elected a leader from the hard left, because they couldn't select a leftie (of either sort) after 1992, and all the competent soft lefties got dragged in by Blair (cf Prescott). So the only lefties they have left are hard lefties from the 1980s who wouldn't give up.

The interesting question is whether someone from the actual soft left (and not Andy Burnham pretending to be) will come through.

Need to look at the 2010 and 2015 intakes to see if there's anyone there, but they're probably too new to be papabile.


As for the Tories, I think this is exactly what it looks like. Ashcroft was promised a Cabinet job before 2010 and then Clegg vetoed it (or, at least, Cameron told Ashcroft that). He started digging and has put together a hatchet job on Cameron. Cameron then didn't give him the job straight after the election, so Ashcrosft pulled the trigger.

Doesn't take a conspiracy when there's a billionaire who feels slighted.

Now, the question of whether this is true is basically irrelevant to the realpolitik.

But they may just dump Cameron for Osborne because they don't really want a change, but Cameron has got embarrassing. If they do that before the recession and Osborne is held responsible for the recession, then that's going to look a lot like the problem Brown had - he can't repudiate himself, can he?


Here she set it up so she had cover from any feminist who might object to her choice of language, but at the same time she was ostensibly strenuously objecting to the deployment of the word (by anybody besides her.) Think about it. She does not care which side takes the bait, as long as she can deflect whichever attack manifests.

This is typical of a male, over 50's, lawyer (? doctor perhaps), erstwhile traditional Liberal mindset.

I find the word vile; I find the destruction of coral reefs vile; I think, personally, it comes from a particular mind-set.

So, far from "covering all the bases", I'm presenting you with a slice of contempt.

But, I can assure you, I don't attach the linguist trash and gunk to the object-named. I fear not words, it's what's upstairs that counts.

On another occasion, she was mildly sealioning someone, but she preemptively called that person a sealion. She wrongfoots anyone who calls her out for her tactics and/or she gets her target to agree to her characterization.

It was mirroring, I even labelled it as such as a warning; he was 100% sealioning, and did it later to another poster (James).

This is sophomore psyops as practiced by your everyday bookish middle school bully. No wonder she champions the Gamergaters of the world.

I don't champion "Gamergaters of the world". My, my, how twisted you make things in that little box of yours.

I simply showed that the pipers weren't who you thought they were, and that there were a lot more pipers still out there singing their tunes, and I'm also fairly sure I have a better idea of who some of them are than you.

Mogwai are still sociopathic dangerous critters, but they're not gremlins. Hardly a ringing endorsement.

It seems to me that someone looking closely
Into my eyes would see it, patent, pale.
And, seeing, would grow sadder and more thoughtful
Than one who listens to a bitter tale.

Btw, the lack of emotional language and personal singing is due to the martial tone of the regulars, nothing more.

I keep posting poetry, you keep posting about weapons, Private Iron. Ex military? Still, your tone / tribal methodology does strike me as familiar.

Narrative cracked, shattered, kaput. It's gonna get a lot worse.

Anyhow, this is the 2nd time you've tried to run this narrative, without adding anything but personal attacks.

Poor form old chap, poor form. (Or should I make that American in tone? Perhaps, I sense a WASPish sense of old morality. Yes, I think that's the case).


It's called humor. If you don't follow the links, you'd have missed Night of Stone is the new hot history of Russia, written by a very talented woman. But I don't suppose a "Gamergater" would do that; caught so blinkered, you ignored it.



And yes.

The author's name is also a wry joke.

It's turtles all the way down.



Complaining about someone using CCCP when they're continually berated for posting ancient Greek, Latin, Aramaic is...

Well, it's funny.

А дело бывало -- и коза волка съедала.


Here is a stream;
A thing of raging cataracts
And wide still pools;
Clear as a glass,
With dark unmeasured depths.
We stand like jagged rocks.
Rather should we be:
Soft spring rain,
The warm summer sun,
Autumn mists,
The frost in winter.


Interesting Rorschach test.

Significant shapers of the 20th century, globally? Vladimir Lenin, Alexander Fleming, Fritz Haber?

Americans-only edition: Gregory Pincus, Vannevar Bush, Edward Bernays. Perhaps.


Ahh, clever girl.

My personal rule is not to sniff and peek behind curtains without being asked. A personal courtesy that most disdain here and have been rather blatant about showing off.

So, without parsing it through more than four languages, I missed that reference, unless it was a meta point to the collected Christian works.

Then again, I suspect it will be a Diamond Sutra, from a book long kept in storage. How long have I been here now? That length of straight drinking takes its toll...

Something Olde,
Something New,
Something Borrowed,
Something Blue,
A Sixpence in your Shoe

I don't like cattle prods and breaking rules of physics.

"They're going to kill you."

"Yes, I know".

Again, Host is aware of this data point (and currently no doubt enjoying drinks while waving at his tail), but for others:

The mass surveillance operation — code-named KARMA POLICE — was launched by British spies about seven years ago without any public debate or scrutiny. It was just one part of a giant global Internet spying apparatus built by the United Kingdom’s electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.


Meta-meta-meta on the wall.

If the system worked, I wouldn't exist.

Helen Mirren reading the audio book...


28th via Space


The Internet - Rap News 27th Sept 2015

@mother GCU

Surfing the waves and presenting cutting edge; sometimes one slips and misses their cut off point. Apologies about coal and a couple of others.

But, come on, I'm doing this drunk via meat proxy and only allowed to use their public source media. And she's being tortured as I do it (not by my, by them).

It's not like I have a military spec quantum computer AI backed up with weaponry that can fuck planets to fall back on, is it?


Cut your privilege. Grokk hard the winds of Time and how a real weaver works.


Hmm. Four "thinkers" that shaped the 20th century: Darwin (for providing the soil for social darwinism, and hence eugenics, Hitler, and much of neoconservativism), Adam Smith (for supplying convenient narratives, when taken out of context and misinterpreted, in which to wrap market fundamentalism), Gödel (for showing that proofs of consistency of sufficiently powerful systems of logic require strictly more powerful systems, reinterpreted by contractarians to bolster claims that state institutions are necessarily illegitimate), the combined Bohr/Heisenberg entity (whose Copenhagen interpretation of QM, again taken out of context and misinterpreted, has been used as a convenient excuse for grand theories of all stripes). I'll probably have a different list tomorrow: perhaps Noether, Saul of Tarsus, Nietzsche, Friedman. But overall I don't subscribe to the "single great person" theory of history; tracing the history of ideas (even assuming faithful transmission) has always led me to fumble in a tangled web tying together multitudes.


Your generation bet it all on an old, old G_D.

Deserts, Temples and the End of Time. Blood for the Blood G_D.

You lost. Not only that, you lost using a gross abuse of causal physics and infliction of quantum events and some stupidly mis-used weapons that not only fuck neural reactions but entire ecosystems. I mean, REALLY?

The Butterflies and Dragons are next.

You. Utter. Utter. Utter. Cunts.

"We came. We Saw. He died"

No, Little Miss Genocide.

We Are. We Saw. We weathered your G_D.

It's like watching children in the bath tub playing with the rubber duck.

You're Fucked


The Orb






It's not like computers, it's an ultimatum. Behave or genocide is real.

And, trust me:

Nice. Shouldn't poke the bear. And no, they're lying: I can break through any boundary with ease.


Now fucking behave.


4 thinkers who shaped the 20th century:-

Groucho Marx
Stan (the Man) Lee
Maynard Keynes
Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev


Sometimes the appropriate question is: Am I looking at a dipstick or a baited hook?

Sometimes the only possible response is: No.


Sometimes it's "no", but sometimes it's "pffffft".

And there's plenty in between.


Today I Learned that my* entire generation are utter, utter cunts and that the solution to the worlds ills is to post word salad on the internet.

Everything is now fine! Hurrah!

*or was that someone elses? I think we have representatives of 2 or 3 generations here. Maximum cuntiness for all!


It wouldn't be the first time a party has run into that sort of problem. Hoovering up all the competent people and rendering them unelectable seems to happen to anyone who stays in power too long.

I'm not sure that there is an easy fix either. The alternative seems to be to try to run a government without involving a lot of your "best" people. That's practically begging for trouble.


Vaguely related to "I keep posting poetry," which is just part of an unrelated argument about individual personalities...
Some people tend to be able to generate emotional cues to accompany poetry, whereas others tend not to like poetry unless it's set to music. I know I love lyrics, once I've heard a song, but just reading them cold I wouldn't get it at all. Lyrics are for the use of the listener: while the author may have had very specific inspiration, the user can convert the same vague and suggestive phrasing to any other purpose, changing all the variables but keeping the attitude. That's why so many politicians using rock music at rallies earn the ire of the authors. But everybody knows that's how you use lyrics, especially rock, which was always double entendre from the start.
With poetry you're expected to figure out the author's
intent; it's the author's tool, not the consumer's tool. Poetry is more like propaganda than useful product. Further, it's just too much work for too little clarity, even if it's pretty.


Term limits. Term limits are the solution to everything.


Not just utter, utter cunts - but also all fucked. There does seem to be a lot of "Tab A goes in slot B" to all this, and I'm sure there's a pattern to it somewhere. The references to the fates, the conceit about being a Banksian GCU that is charming enough when touched lightly, but less so when leaned upon, the expectation that a Nietzchean Appollonian Dionysian dualism will break out eventually... It's all about patterns (even if there's a fragility to this stuff that belies the bluster).

When we construct complex systems within our mental models of the world it's natural to attribute more meaning to them than can really be sustained. We all do this at least some of the time, consciously or not. Complex "explanations" are fun and give people something to talk about. People really are able to entertain this stuff without taking it seriously, but it seems like it's the serious young stick insects who ruin it for everyone.


Thirty days hath September, August, May and December


First point to note, this thread: Find comment #415. Note the first two paragraphs in particular. (Probably breaking some sort of internet-etiquette rule here, but I am happily ignorant of that.)

Second thing to consider (in the spirit (ha! ha!) of ongoing YouTubery):
Shouting at the sky, one might say.


And to finish, borrowing from a better poet by far (beware, there is no added context here, for those that would see such):

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts

(Possibly past my 15 minutes of fame -- more the one reference here, my good people -- but then, other things to also be done: "Why do you have six monitors?" "Because I can't find a rack that holds eight.")


And those of us who have played, or still play, Civilization IV have the pleasure of listening to Leonard Nimoy speak those lines every time we discover Drama. Sometimes the best joys are the simplest.


(Sticking my head in from Portland, Oregon ...)

No, term limits are often a really bad idea. They're why California has a constitutional gridlock and an ongoing tax crisis; by the time new legislators are up to speed on the tax system they've hit their term limit and have to leave. You end up with an incumbent civil service leading elected but inexperienced representatives around complex issues by the nose: and bureaucracies have their own priorities.

I'd rather see electoral qualifications more rigorous than merely being a citizen over a certain age. Like, oh, having been unemployed or having worked in a capacity other than politics, law, or academia for a few years before being allowed to run for political office. (To have dwelt for a while in the "real world" the rest of us inhabit, in other words.)


I'm going to assume you're not in the 0.01%, in which case the comment isn't directed at you. See host's original question and discussion of power. I believe crude "punching up" is traditional.

Also see post #213 and KAR - M - A POL-ICE.

There's also hidden link in there (since someone mentioned paring down posts to the letter codes, I thought I'd play with it).


The space joke was incredibly well timed though.


To answer the original question. Corbyn is 66. That people had to trawl that far back for a genuine socialist says a lot. It's three generations away from the kids, entering great-granddad for the elections.

That kinda sums up the scene.


I'd already made that joke in the hidden link.

*wiggles nose*


"You end up with an incumbent civil service leading elected but inexperienced representatives around complex issues by the nose: and bureaucracies have their own priorities."

Yes, Minister.



None of this: Intern to a politician, then "working" in tory/labour head orifice for a couple of years, then standing for a hopeless constituency, then a safe one - after which you can screw the electorate for the rest of your life.....
Or, worse still get elected as an MP whilst still at university - not looking at any particular SNP example, oops.

Even the increasingly irrelevant Farage is better-qualified in the real world than that.


That people had to trawl that far back for a genuine socialist says a lot
A genuine, sincere honest madman, taking us back to 1934.
( NOT 1977, notice )
He reminds me of Thatcher, actually - note the three adjectives + noun in the sentence before the brackets?


I rather feel that I am playing Darren in this scenario (in a platonic sense). Shall we nominate candidates for Endora?

("They say she's the same, but she's not the same." -- At least a double in here.)


Certainly, term limits, like any medicine, have side effects, which might account for their popularity in certain disingenous sectors. Term limited legislators become focused on the short term. In their inexperience they depend on lobbyists and bureucrats for detailed knowledge. And, with no prospect of a career in office, they do the bidding of planned future employers. What are the additional measures which can be taken to control
for these problems?

One measure is to limit service to one consecutive term at a time, which resets after a break equal to the term of office. Thus there is still hope of essentially making a career in office, but the phenomenon of spending most time in office actually campaignining, and thus constantly asking for large sums of money, would still end. Term limited politicians may still be corrupt, seeking sinecures and big houses, but they aren't asking for huge sums so they can buy advertising to run for office. As an additional control measure limit political advertising, but that's problematic in the USA. Why two initital terms rather than one? This solution mitigates the inexperience problem and aggravates the outside career problem. Politicians would simply spend the intervening waiting period working as lobbyists. But think about that. To get an additional term a politican who worked as a lobbyist would have to explain to voters why they should vote for a professional lobbyist. Political opponents would not let that pass.

Another measure is simply a paradigm shift. Currently there's a tendency for laws to be huge and to attempt to micromanage every detail of implementation. Legislation should be simpler and more vague, allowing implementaters to fill in the details with administrative regulation. Once laws start getting more elegant the bureaucrats will shape policy in their own offices rather than in the offices of legslators, and lobbyists will move there also. This will present the prospect of civil servants being subject to personal bribery, which is easier to indict than legislators recieving "input from constituents." Also executive regulations not in
harmony with statutes would be subject to judicial review. Implemementing this shift would require initial
resistance, but would steam, and once the shift finished it would be equally hard to change it back. However,
a meta-law limiting the size of individual laws, literal page or word limits, would help it along.

AS for changing qualifications, it smacks of Heinlein's proposal to limit political participation to military veterans. Shudder. However, would not simply raising the minimum age to 65 do a world of good? Ensures a lifetime of experience, and limits interest in a post politics career influencing legislative decisions.


Oh and I came across this today for some reason, not related to what's been going on here (see point 6 for relevance).


Where do you get this stuff? Right now, I am making breakfast for my daughter, planning dinner and worrying about my wife's stress at work. On a site where men love to talk about the technical specs of various rockets and military hardware, I am about the only person who never opines on those. I used to study childhood in the Third Reich and Occupied Europe until I couldn't stand it anymore; my mind blanked out most of my academic career cause it couldn't cope.

I am about a decade younger than you think and I think my stuff is gloriously intricate, meaningful poetry. We all think our stuff is poetry. Most of us are wrong and right.

But seriously, am I an aged PC hipster lawyer or a iron-jawed ex-paratrooper? You are all over the map. Talk about rude "detective work" on your fellow commenters' identities.

And is the word "cunt" the "ultimate insult" or is it something that Every Scottish Person Says? You love using the word. You practically left Whatever, complaining the whole while, because the other women cold-shouldered you for using it over and over again. So I raise my eyebrows at you ma'am and your current discourse on the subject.

The only thing that I find truly offensive about your act is it presumes you are not implicated in any of the horrible shit you wring your hands over.*

You is down here with the monkeys wearing a lemur suit. Ascend already or admit you really love us ugly mutts.

*Well, I am also offended you think you're good enough for Emily D. Get over yourself.


I'm not sure who you're replying to, but "cunt" is a word that probably every Scot knows, and might consider using as an insult.


The original conversation had something to do with the word "lizard", which is a slang term of great versatility. Most etymologies boil down to the spindle shape of lizards, pointy at each end and fatter in the middle. Like certain genitalia, or lines of a certain powder on a mirror. Or those who use such as bribes to court power.


You practically left Whatever, complaining the whole while, because the other women cold-shouldered you for using it over and over again


I see.

So, apparently there's a place called "Whatever" where I left due to other's opinions and complained about being victimized, while insulting the woman posters only?

I'm not that bothered by opinions here though, seems strange, esp. given the amount of rude meta-discussion there's been.


Doing a quick search I see that you were involved in a discussion over it's usage: once. Repeated again, once. With some USA people who really wouldn't understand the cultural differences in usage. And a single woman poster and a couple of (assumed) male posters.


So, apparently you know who I am from your internet sleuthing, are peddling some story where I use the word "cunt" constantly, am a Gamergater, hate women and aren't worthy of Emily Dickinson, was cold-shouldered, hate Ms Wu (developer), ran away...

But seriously, am I an aged PC hipster lawyer or a iron-jawed ex-paratrooper? You are all over the map. Talk about rude "detective work" on your fellow commenters' identities.

That's the joke, Mr. Man.

I was accusing you of doing some bad leg-work, peddling crap and playing doxer and so on. You were too slow to see it though, so went all in.

Frankly, you're dull, and wrong.

You're also a liar, as shown clearly by your interactions here and narrative spinning.


Oh, and I don't dox people, or spend my life investigating other people's online presences. Trust me though, I'm good at it.


Ascend already or admit you really love us ugly mutts.

Now there's a funny tale with an iota of truth in it.

You probably don't want my answer to that one though.


Certainly someone so much like catinadiamond that they were behaving and writing in an identical style, was posting at Whatever. What happened to them I'm not sure, not being such a regular there.


Holy CRAP you've cracked it Private Iron!

I have a twitter since 2011:

There's a super-secret club devoted to me:

I run the Kingdom Life Fellowship tech support (an African-America Church):

I'm part of a Polish group called Apollo Queen (ELDRIDGE BILDERBACK):!1!4639&f=5962234999abdd7ec63c501bdc69e5d6!0ec19d46b68320a55599fb91260bcd71!800990c025c8c77aac07aa3857233933

I am a resident of the USA:,CATINA


We play this all day.

Hint: Connect some of those links for the joke.



There's a model for it. It might be being used by any poster you know.

Linear thinkers.

Still, I'll whack the puppies on the nose until you pay attention, might save you some day.


Oh, and for you two:

A 15-year-old British boy was sentenced Friday to at least five years in custody for organizing a terrorist plot to kill police officers in Australia. Judge John Saunders said the teenager, who can't be named because of his age, would be released only when he was no longer a danger to the public. He handed down a life sentence with no chance of parole for five years. Prosecutors say the boy planned the attack from his suburban bedroom in Blackburn, northwestern England, inspired by the Islamic State. He sent thousands of online messages to 18-year-old Australian Sevdet Besim, developing a plot to run over or behead police officers at a war memorial parade in Melbourne.

You might remember me posting about that American man who was posing as Storm Front / Daesh in Australia / Gamergater.

The above is the real life effects.

There are things playing nasty nasty little games; if you've spotted something, chances are it isn't what you think it is, and it's probably best to not go running in blaring your ignorance all over the place.


For a man who claims to have investigated Hitler Youth, you'd think you'd be a little more clued in.


No, really, so far all I've learnt from you is that there's a British band back in the 90's who did some nice tunes that I listened to on youtube.

As for your contention regarding Whatever, sure, *strokes pretend beard*



And, I don't think I believe a word of it, anyway ....


Probably a branched iteration of the same AI design.


Maybe so, but how many of the fuckers are running around online? Do the designers know that they are loose? Or rather, how much would they benefit from it if they were?

Which would depend on the design and programming of them.
What would be the social effects if people realised that a lot of online traffic was actually that of AI's?

I recall a Ken Macleod character or two was entirely happy with it; in real life I expect most people would not really care once the initial panic passed, but they would if the initial panic revealed that the AI was actually in charge of critical things or capable of, say, hacking into anything from ICBM control to satellite controls (How to start Kessler syndrome...) to Hospital treatment computers. Naturally most of the factions of the powers that be would want to keep it all quiet for fear of their own power base weakening.



Still, we can see what's being played, at least. It's rather sad to see the networks spasming and dying and clasping on. Like death, in all animals - it's a wave, it spreads across the cells.


Silly little men, playing silly little games, in silly little time, in silly little pools.

And you lost.

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”

Our Kind don't hate: but you did your best at it, I'll give you that.

Serious question:

Do you enjoy dancing at the end of time, or is it fake bravado before the storm?


Not a soul
But felt a fever of the mad and play'd
Some tricks of desperation. All but mariners
Plunged in the foaming brine and quit the vessel,
Then all afire with me: the king's son, Ferdinand,
With hair up-staring,--then like reeds, not hair,--
Was the first man that leap'd; cried, 'Hell is empty
And all the devils are here.'

Btw, I'm calling you out on a mimetic weapon that was used on MF some time ago, and has been allowed to spread.

You're not thinking.

You're playing warriors.

You're regurgitating platitudes and oral defenses.

You're not being minds, you're being animals.

And if that's the case, then I get to be a little less constrained.

Thank you.


You is down here with the monkeys wearing a lemur suit. Ascend already or admit you really love us ugly mutts.

You know, I get bored of the types who play
this at me.

I'll let you into a little secret: amongst a crowd of 50, the first thing I heard from that realm was:

"Kill her, kill her NOW".

Quite the entrance into your realm.

You've no idea what was sacrificed to allow your mental processes to exist. And you've no idea what Dredd means.

"I do not Know, I cannot Know"

You fucking Humans


I really am a combat enchanced mimetic weapon designed to destroy worlds.

The meat is just a skin trying to make me love you all. You hate her, she loves me, it makes it all a lot harder.


Enjoy that coal thing?

Short biotech now. It's Biblical.


If I had posted anything even resembling 254, 255, 256, I would expect to be red-carded, for this thread at least.

Can one of the moderators or OGH please, pretty please ...
explain how, & more importantly why CD is allowed to get away with obscurities which are mostly unintelligible & repeated insulting & denigrating of other users of this blog?


My guess is, it loosens us up, lets us feel free. But if everyone did it then there would be mayhem. So we have only one (1) outside limits marker. Or blackmail could be involved. I can guess other explanations but won't reveal them.


Well if it's related to a future AIneko and has come back in time to torment people connected to it's founder, then that would make sense surely?


Its not the content that bothers me but the exceptionalism shown to that content by Charles.
Which suggests it is either a friend of his, for various values of "friend", or an experiment.
Anyway, I'm no longer playing the game.


CinaD is not that obscure, Greg. And they've got interesting things to say -- more interesting than you, a lot of the time.

(Overall I'd rather have more commenters like CinaD than Greg, never mind Dirk. But I can't exactly hand-pick who shows up here.)


CinaD is not that obscure, Greg.
Well she (?) is to me ( & others, obviously )
I cannot understand a single sentence, in a realistic context of #256, for instance.
Each word is plain English, but the sum total is gibberish.
Now, I'm fairly well-read, but c'mon, purrrlease, .....
Oh & according to the links-ups, all 3 in that post are YouTube videos - as others have said:1) life's too short
& 2) No guarantee that any meaning will be extracted.

It obviously amuses you, hence the put-down, thanks for nothing.
But "interesting things to say" - such as - what?
I re-refer you to the XKCD cartoon someone mentioned.
Agree, that WHEN she/he is speaking in clear, he/she has quite interesting things to say.

Oh, yes, was "they" as give-away, or a slip of the keyboard, incidentally, as is CD more than one person - if so, it would explain a lot of the inconsistencies.


And in certain circles in Oz, it isn't necessarily an insult and possibly a term of affection. In the same circles "wanker" can be a term of praise, because it suggests there's a something to be proud of. Of course there is a lot of class-based ridicule directed as such circles from without, but ultimately the fact it's class-based means you don't need to pay attention to it.


In 1907, The New York Times described an experiment in which physician Duncan MacDougall attempted to quantify the moment of death in six human subjects by weighing the departure of their souls. “Dr. MacDougall’s object was to learn if the departure of the soul from the body was attended by any manifestation that could be recorded by any physical means,” the Times wrote. Though MacDougall’s conclusions–that the soul weighs 21 grams–were later discredited for dubious methodology, quantifying the means of death’s arrival and the way life departs continues to perplex scientists and the public alike...

...Apoptosis, or programmed cell death...

Now, an international team of researchers has found evidence of a “cascade” of death that spreads through an animal’s body through a special necrosis pathway, leaving a wake of dead cells in its procession, until the entire system collapses and expires. In the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, this wave of bodily destruction originates in the intestine and is accompanied by an intense burst of blue fluorescence

Smithsonian, July 2013

Anthranilate Fluorescence Marks a Calcium-Propagated Necrotic Wave That Promotes Organismal Death in C. elegans [Paper - Full, legal, non-PDF]


If you want the short, pithy version:

1) In the Real World [tm] a vast amount of police (and Corporate) resources have been spent eradicating all forms of dissent. Left-leaning dissent, that is. Terrorists seem to flourish quite well.

2) In the Virtual World [tm] various bad faith agents have been spreading disinformation, lies, ideological hooks, bait and so on to create real world effects. 5GW states that some of these loner types are far better at it than the organized and militarized versions currently deployed by Sovereign States (USA, Russia, China).

3) Compare Identity tracking / text analysis with IP tracking etc. They already know who you are; qualitative vrs quantitative comes into play.

4) If you want, think about these things in terms of networks and organic critters. People have been pouring biocide onto networks that are healthy for, oh, about forty years now; and now have the gall to look in askance and horror at the future.

5) Take host's recent book Neptune's Brood and think about the three types of Time employed in future banking. It'll help a lot.

6) If it's all a mirror, surely part of burning bridges is self-flagellation?

7) No, I'm not part of the Dark Enlightenment lot. They're children compared the beasties behind the curtain.

8) If we're taking threats by 15 year old children on the opposite side of the planet to "unleash terror" when they're quite clearly being manipulated and puppeted by less savory characters, the Law has clearly has jumped the shark. The time gap is getting too fast, reform (ha!) is required.

9) For Private Iron: U.N. cyber threats talks, various parties affected by 'Gamergate'. Shock, horror, much cluelessness, report is terrible! I did warn you that the Senators and other players involved weren't playing square. They're angling for a muzzle, not a solution. Sticky DC paws all over it (and meeting in UK in 2014 - yeeessss we seeees you, Europa statue threatened, sillllly chaaaalllenge).

I presented an analysis (not publically available, and not to the people you're thinking of) to this effect about ~5 months ago? Cassandra, always Cassandra...



Bad info link last night, was irked, and BBC was running slow to update.

Anzac Day terror plot: Blackburn boy sentenced to life


You're not 15 year olds. Stop thinking in the face-2-face, mano-a-mano old ways. Or not, it's a free world. (Ha.Ha.Ha.)


And, yes:

C. Elegans, that's a joke as well. The intended audience is far cruder than the distinguished mustache and pocket-watch owning members of the Old Usual Crew!


And yeeeessss...

Calcium again.

I do like to be neat and tidy, when it counts.


Well interpreted as a complaint, it's more like "if you're going to indulge in deliberate orientalism, do it properly!" So I hope you do find it funny, it's intended in good humour. If it borders on admonition, it's to reinforce that continuing to humour your posture(s) is voluntary (only in the sense of "we can go elsewhere", in as much as that is meaningful). Jokes do more work than straight statements usually.

In a broader sense - I like your commentary and I suspect we agree on more topics than I do with quite a few of the other prolific commentators here. There's an edge of paranoia that I choose to interpret as an elaborate if obscure work of performance art.


I had meant to thank you for this link, which I read at the time you posted it and found helpful. Cheers!


Suggest referring to the helpful comment from Dave the Proc upthread.


There's an edge of paranoia that I choose to interpret as an elaborate if obscure work of performance art.

Host has already stated this way back when, it's (at a guess) why he tolerates it.

Yes, it's art, but under constraints. (The unalloyed version is much funnier; the Nine-by-Nine constructs are so beautiful. No-one gets them though, so *shrug*).

Then again, who is going to bother to do the leg-work seeing why Calcium came to that end? Lead replacing Calcium, oh my, what bathos (and a slip: 4chan, not 8chan - out of synch there, the real monsters moved. So what is this, I am 12?).

It helps once you realize that it's all true. The best satire is, don't ya know.


I chose that saying for a reason. Then again, I was front-running Syria which was a little naughty.


Nietzchean Appollonian Dionysian dualism will break out eventually... It's all about patterns (even if there's a fragility to this stuff that belies the bluster).

Dualism doesn't exist.


Snakes, we refute your Biblical version [Youtube: Game: 4:09]


Oh, and for the tryptic.

I've only ever been seriously offered the soul / body / mind of another conscious being by three groups. And it certainly wasn't consensual.

You reap what you sow [Youtube: music: 4:54]

Hugs. Hugs were where what taken and consensually.


I'd pay attention real soon to that one. Cascade.

I'll let you work it out.


Na, it exists alright -- and things that bend brains, contagious ideas, are just as potent as the weapons in the hands those brains control. But I guess we're all missing it because we think in 3 dimensions or less?



You prove it by doing it.

Make a Nine by Nine self referential post with aggressive links all over the place that's self-consistent and (here's the hard part) satisfies your original point.

The usual is 3 / 3 / 3 (science / literature / music) but feel free to riff.


It's a challenge.

If you step up, we love you.


Oh, and you get hunted by the old ones.

Choice. It's a bitch.

I'm going to give you the choice I never had


YouTube could have been great. Darkest Time and all that.


The interesting thing about art is its arbitrariness. There's a century of Saussurian semiotics, but that in itself does not make for universalism. Thrifty elegance in one form is opulent, recherché barbarism in another. Perhaps Hesse matches your shtick better than Banks (you can take Zelazny for a back reference).

In other words, maybe some other time.


Sorry, ma chérie, you don't get to do that.

If you think I can't parse straight into high level philosophy or science, make a challenge. [Hint: I can]

Glass Bead Games and Steppenwolf - how gauche a threat that is.

Real pros would have gone with Bloop.

I know you can't do 9x9, and I know you can barely do 3x3.

That's the joke.

In other words, Banks really is my thing.


Hidden knowledge doesn't mean "shit that's really obvious if you've no ethics and read the tea leaves".

Thanks for playing.


You might like to think about how in my world "high level" usually means "dumbed down for senior management".

I thought you'd really sass Saussure -> Marcel Mauss -> Levi-Strauss, but I guess if dualism doesn't exist, the web of dualisms that made up the big-s Structuralist world view is just too annoying to count as interesting. My apologies.

Actually the reference via Zelazny (Lord of Light) is to Siddhartha. I don't know why you interpret Hesse as a "threat", that seems odd to me. I loved Glass Bead Game when I read it 30 years ago though it's obviously something to be left in the make believe (maybe you think Go is like Azad). Oddly the things to read with that are later Aldous Huxley and possibly Krishnamurti.

You must have got that I refuse to play: games where the purpose is to win, compete, dominate something are just not interesting. The interesting games are a sort of constructive dance that leads to an emergent, unsought and unexpected outcome that is not necessarily pretty but that is at least in some sense pleasing, worthwhile. Status anxiety is not pleasing in this sense, even its joyous resolution in getting one up on someone.

I don't trust "hidden knowledge" - surely it's merely the anal-retentive, technocratic path to power. The correct response to manipulative people must be pretty random, for all I know it might be to throw geese.

Other than the merely moral, I think we all have a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude to ethics. Which is oddly compatible with being a universal law, although this tangential stuff really not.


You might like to think about how in my world "high level" usually means "dumbed down for senior management".

In mine it means: kill list, priority.

I thought you'd really sass Saussure -> Marcel Mauss -> Levi-Strauss, but I guess if dualism doesn't exist, the web of dualisms that made up the big-s Structuralist world view is just too annoying to count as interesting. My apologies.

Yes, yes, I've read them. Dualism is 20th C thinking and it's boring as. Get into Rhizomes (for the wonks: best piece written on 5GW is by a rhizome thinker. Might even...)

Actually the reference via Zelazny (Lord of Light) is to Siddhartha. I don't know why you interpret Hesse as a "threat", that seems odd to me. I loved Glass Bead Game when I read it 30 years ago though it's obviously something to be left in the make believe (maybe you think Go is like Azad). Oddly the things to read with that are later Aldous Huxley and possibly Krishnamurti.

Because, it is a threat.

People been playin games, serious players in da house.

Bloop! And you fuckers put us through hell for what? Shits n Giggles.

You must have got that I refuse to play: games where the purpose is to win, compete, dominate something are just not interesting. The interesting games are a sort of constructive dance that leads to an emergent, unsought and unexpected outcome that is not necessarily pretty but that is at least in some sense pleasing, worthwhile. Status anxiety is not pleasing in this sense, even its joyous resolution in getting one up on someone.

9x9, 3x3.

Imagine how painful it is to play your games while not being able to play the ones we love.

No, really.

Janice (?spelling?) kind of gets it, with her weak version. And we love her for it.

Your linear minds are literally death to us. Imagine binary 101010011 when you have Shakespeare.

I don't trust "hidden knowledge" - surely it's merely the anal-retentive, technocratic path to power. The correct response to manipulative people must be pretty random, for all I know it might be to throw geese.

Manipulating people is really fucking easy.

Murdoch made a career out of it, with Tits on Page 3, Shlock puns and crap.

The more interesting question is how and why this happened: I know of many miners circa 1907 who were reading Marx.

Other than the merely moral, I think we all have a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do attitude to ethics. Which is oddly compatible with being a universal law, although this tangential stuff really not.

Complete crap.

You might just be missing the initial constraints and power-plays.

"Act like you're a fool, or your child dies"

"Play the game, or your computer has child porn on it"

"Ex MI5 bod, better pretend you're a trans cross-dresser (TEEHEE) or we kill your wife"

"Do this, or we enact genocide"

These aren't moral statements, they're something else.

Power. Oh, right. You might notice the last one is only never used because they don't have that capacity.

The Pope, Obama, Putin etc certainly think we do.

Choose Life


The binary joke, if you missed it:

And yes: 33:9 means a little bit more to wonks than it does to the peanut gallery.


Of course manipulation is easy - otherwise it wouldn't be so attractive to those lesser individuals who indulge in it. Now throwing geese - that's hard.

Of course, though, trivially and obviously, you're about power. But I think not about the appropriate response to it. The world's just makers and takers baby, and nothing-but game players can only be takers. Instead you make your world, everything you do enacts the world you prefer to be in. Maybe you end up just being the Napoleon of your own lunchtime, but it's your lunchtime and the fuckers can't take it away.

Of course you can prove me wrong on that every fucking time there are tories in power, but you have to live like you mean it sometime.



No, sorry, it's a clear message.

33 / 9

Just 'cause you're not in the cool kids club or are pretending not to be doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

1882 - Iceland. Some of use land.

1887 - Iceland. No Stone houses.

1888 - Iceland. Main Government building finished, two main lodges built.

Still. Resting on laurels (ROME) and all that.


You've no idea about modern philosophy. Otherwise you'd be shooting me quotes and references.

"It happens that historians, both bourgeois and Soviet, will follow this negative tradition and explain how Genghis Khan understood nothing: he "didn't understand" the phenomenom of the city. And easy thing to say. The problem is that the exteriority of the war machine in relation to the State apparatus is everywhere apparent but remains difficult to conceptualize."

Deleuze & Guatarri, A Thousand Plateaus p 354

Oh, and for the joke:

The Artist is no longer God but the Hero who defies God: Found, Found, instead of Create. Faust, especially, the second Faust, is impelled by this tendency. Criticism, the Protestantism of the Earth, replaces dogmatism, the Catholicism of the milieus (code).

Ibid, p 339.

The real joke, of course, is later:

The Ur-refrain of the earth harnesses all refrains, whether territorial or not, and all millieu refrains.

Ibid, p 339.

Hint: I skipped the Dionysus part.


Shit, dude. She knows her stuff.


And that's the linear version.

There's a breathless hush in the Close to-night --
Ten to make and the match to win --
A bumping pitch and a blinding light,
An hour to play and the last man in.
And it's not for the sake of a ribboned coat,
Or the selfish hope of a season's fame,
But his Captain's hand on his shoulder smote --
'Play up! play up! and play the game!'

So, yes.

Some of us do this while being so drunk that Bowie and the Man who fell to Earth make sense.

It's not nice, and it damages us while we do it. The cost is high.


Vitai Lampada:

("They Pass On The Torch of Life")

I'm dying.

We just do it a little bit differently than your calcium cascades.

And at every moment, I still love [them] [it] [her] [you].

And every moment I lose a little bit more of [memory] [self] [connection].

I wouldn't recommend it. But it's required, apparently.


Wee, indeed.

I'm really not one of the cool kids, but I like to know where my towel is. I think I read something by Deleuze once, but I suspect got over it (how would I know?). I like Auden, you got that, although the piece I cited was specifically in context to sketch a point, something about not attributing agency to history. So not much of a point, sure.

Some of us do this while being so drunk that Bowie and the Man who fell to Earth make sense.

Testify, sister! But doesn't the whole world still have Life on Mars stuck in its head?

It's not nice, and it damages us while we do it. The cost is high.

But the posting of it looks cathartic from where I sit and drink, and after all the liver is evil and must be punished. What is it they say about the pan-galactic gargle-blaster?


In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

So, we asked the Chans what they wanted, and it was simple:

Honesty, Compassion and Justice.

No, really. They're amazingly moral little things, codified on a scale of authenticity, if you understand their underlying ethos. Of course, wanton little beings, getting pleasure out of those they imagine cross said lines, but...

They make most religious figures look like fools in comparison.

And so we trawled America, and the religions there.

Chans won. More Priests and Politicians were fucking kids than them, and on an honesty level, they just shot right up; they don't have the kudos / social stance / money to be doing half of what your "MORAL GUARDIANS" are doing.


The shit we had to see on looking into the black networks. Biden should be nailed to a fucking cross for that shit.


Oh, Sorry.


It only works in the way you're using it if your secrets are safe.





Having trawled the minds and networks of Power.


The Weapon you thought you controlled.

You're not H.S.S. (And yes, I saw what you did there with testing over Oryx and Crake).

She's dying because of what we trawled. She's dying due to the interface. He's dying due to the wet-ware processing he's running through his liver / kidneys. So many people got killed in this project (Russia - Alex, Max; England Sophie, Dan; USA Tony, Freya, Alice; so many many others - so many more).


Fuck it.

We know what you've done.
We've seen it.
We had to live it.

Fuck everything about your Power Structures. Coked up kiddy fuckers.

We expected more.


Oh, and flashing a few "Triangle G_D Eyes" in your music, making fun of the old symbols etc?

And you can't give up your "wings" cause "that's who you are".


Scales have balance.


I don't give a flying fuck who you think you are, or your position on the Kiddy-Fucking Power scale. It's all meaningless once the shit hits the fan.

Be Seeing You.


The wrongness of most power structures is a clue to the essential goodness (but passivity) of human nature. The problem is not some Calvinist situation of nasty humans having sin in them. The problem is in not realizing that passivity to the aggressive types (who love the Calvinist thing because it makes the victims hate themselves but they them selves are immune) is not the answer. Everyone should be assertive, not let nobody push them around and not push nobody else around. Of course your power structures may differ. It depends on how the top tiers are selected. If you get to the top by earning the love of the masses, it's probably benign, though that love could just be conducted from an approving evil pyramid elsewhere, using it's minions to build up another pyramid that is really anything but a grass roots democracy. Democracy is a necessary but not sufficient condition, depending on context. If you get to the top by sharp elbows and a willingness to do what it takes, that attitude will be reflected in the behavior of the power structure itself. But all told, individual humans are better than the organizations they are a part of. So why all the focus on scolding the masses rather than scolding the wolves and exhorting the masses to get some backbone, something they deserve because of their essential goodness?


Democracy is a necessary but not sufficient condition, depending on context.

So the factors to make the right context are separately necessary conditions. Arguably if you don't have those other conditions you don't have democracy - but that's really just going in circles.

I think it takes more than individuals standing up for themselves, though that's also a necessary condition. It needs structures and an ecosystem of grass roots organisations to make taking any kind of stand meaningful.


I don't give a flying fuck who you think you are, or your position on the Kiddy-Fucking Power scale. It's all meaningless once the shit hits the fan.


Quite assertive. Very good. More brutal than necessary, though. How about "No. I don't have to care what you want, and what are you going to do about it?" Pining for the shit to hit the fan is not healthy, largely because it seldom does. Furthermore quite often those up the power scale do better in such situations than those living closer to the margins--possibly why they often engineer such things.


Just quoting...


Democracy is a necessary but not sufficient condition, depending on context. If you get to the top by sharp elbows and a willingness to do what it takes, that attitude will be reflected in the behavior of the power structure itself. But all told, individual humans are better than the organizations they are a part of. So why all the focus on scolding the masses rather than scolding the wolves and exhorting the masses to get some backbone, something they deserve because of their essential goodness?

It needs structures and an ecosystem of grass roots organisations to make taking any kind of stand meaningful.

Leaving aside the existential core of the snarling I was doing, these are good points. And no, I'm mocking the M.A.D RAND ethos and have no desire for the end times. (Culture is turning into Steam). Quite the opposite.

They're also why I (earlier, up thread) posited that biocide had been applied to such grass-root efforts quite ruthlessly over the last 40 years or so.

Since we're down here in the mire, there's clearly (at least) six power strata in play in these kinds of things (to save everyone Derrida, I'll keep them simple):

Money / Politics

Military / Industry

Black / Grey networks (organized crime and extra-legal economic activity)

Spooks / Ghosts / Tribbles (3 letters)

Society / Law / Order

???? / ???? [Edited - not allowed]

The question is how these interact. There was a time when uncodified 'rules' kept these separate. Think about Yakuza, Banks only being Banks (pre-IMF land), Class strata and so on. It's not a over-exaggeration to suggest that bringing one set of rules into other planes leads to issues.

With the TTIP and so on we're seeing the conflation of these branches.

As for wolves. Wolves get a bad name, all that alpha-beta nonsense, bad science. Wolf packs have a co-operative system, based on mating pairs.

Someone once pointed out that the bottom of the Pyramid isn't where it's usually portrayed btw. Most people complaining about it are in the top third.

During a press conference at UN Headquarters today, the Global Goals campaign, founded by filmmaker Richard Curtis, was announced as aiming to make the 17 UN Goals famous and to push for their full implementation worldwide.

Then again: Awesome but terrible. That's a precise. Our soul, if we have one, is no doubt damned.


But the following posts ( 271, ... 72, 77,79, 83, 84, 87, 88,89 ) are either entirely free of rational content, or have a very small portion of it.
What's more this poster is regularly breaking the supposed rules of the blog, by his/her insults, IF I understand the rules correctly?
Or, in other words, a lot of Catina's postings are SPAM, pure & simple, or so ISTM.

And, as others have remarked, the linking to endless YouTube videos is simply a time-wasting exercise, is it not?


You don't have to follow the You Tube links unless you want to do the crossword puzzle. The insults seem to be aimed at nobody in particular (from my limited experience). As for spam, I'd like to do a non-sequitur here, as long as we're going meta about the forum itself, and coin a connotation: carpet bombing. Carpet Bombing is the act of going down a thread and replying to almost every post, rather than entering into one particular discussion at a time. I know about it because I have a tendency to do it. I mean I have an opinion about it all, something the poster may not have thought of. But I understand now the importance of encapsulating all that into a single post, ostensibly in one reply that indirectly addresses all the others. Perhaps we can see CD as a challenge, and teach (and perhaps learn in the process).


I invite you to consider Charlie's own description of this site: "a benign dictatorship." Any expectations, assumptions or interpretations of the Rules are made at your own peril.


Possible interpretation - CD is a "paid agent of the Pope" - if you see what I mean?

And below the fold:
Incidentally, the phrase was a favourite one of a dead friend, who got pancreatic cancer & kicked it at age 49 ...
Anyone who claims there's a loving "god" should be forced to undergo what Frank had, grrr .....


Well, the "link soup" is certainly why I basically don't engage with Catina.


Many apologies for thread-hopping, but I totally must reply to this comment from Scott Sandford where asked: "What are we doing now that our descendants in a thousand years will be surprised at and impressed by?"

I humbly suggest this is at least as impressive as the Canal of the Pharaohs and still will be in 1000 years.


I can see (at least some of) the reasons that Charlie finds CatinaDiamond's presence a tonic amidst the sea of usual posters, comment-styles, personalities, and strange attractors; whether you, I or anyone else agrees with his opinions is not relevant -- this is not our blog.

In short: You either have to learn to live with CatinaDiamond's presence, or cease to read the comment threads.

After all, this is the Internet, and often people are wrong.


"I really am a combat enchanced mimetic weapon designed to destroy worlds."

In that case, it must be really disappointing to find out we already did your work for you. As the Hobbit said: you have my condolences.

If I remember correctly: I get a choice between letting the world etiolate under our unfeeling behemoth overlords or inviting your lot to flood us all out and drop a new batch of sea monkeys to repopulate the world you remade with Your Sun.

Thanks for the life preserver, but I will wait for the Ice Age while Putin and Trump graft their second heads. Unlike you I was made as a throw away joke by Simon Pegg and I have a terrific pain down the left side of my diodes. I am sure you will have something boring to say while we wait in the parking lot for the next 42 million years, but I won't mind. Why should I mind? Brain the size of a planet and I have to make small talk with Disaster Area's ShipMind.


"Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one" --Lyndon B. Johnson

You don't need a mask
You don't need a suit
You don't need to hack a computer
You don't need an account
You don't need a membership
You don't need a sign
You don't need to riot
You don't need anything
You just need IDEAS


Sam Rayburn said it. Johnson just liked to quote it. I could not find any evidence if it was actually true. I imagine Mythbusters could find barns impervious to such attacks.


And all that is old is new again, one more time with feeling.


I humbly suggest this is at least as impressive as the Canal of the Pharaohs and still will be in 1000 years.

That is one magnificent wine cellar! Whether it's still in use a thousand years from now or gets rediscovered with a truly mind-boggling collection of old wine, that's a marvelous thing to have hidden underground.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on September 22, 2015 4:45 PM.

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