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Manwë was known for many things, but wisdom and power are two that lead the rest of his attributes. Join the Councils and discuss the more weighty matters of Tolkien Fandom.

Postby Swordsman_Of_The_Tower » Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:54 am

Jnyusa wrote:To our British friends, what's going on with the rioting in London? I heard it started over police shooting someone to death in a gunfight. Do UK police always carry guns now?

The news report just said Tottenham; it didn't say anything about that section of London. I'm curious what's going on there, as the riot looked pretty advanced. Somehow I don't expect that in London.


Like most times it's probably the fault of the poor ghetto slaves picking on the police. :roll:
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:17 am

We always have riots during Conservative governments. It's one of our quaint traditions.
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Postby Cerin » Sun Aug 07, 2011 8:31 am

I was also wondering about the guns -- do police routinely carry them now, and when did that change?
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Postby Democritus » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:00 am

ToshoftheWuffingas wrote:We always have riots during Conservative governments. It's one of our quaint traditions.


It is, precipatated by another quaint British tradition of conservative governments always initiating an age of austerity regardless of the economic necessity, an age of austerity that curiously always has a dispropionate focus and impact on the poor. The poor know this and the riots are just their way of saying to conservative governments "we hear what you are saying".
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:58 am

As to guns, British police do not carry guns on their patrols but all forces have armed response units for special circumstances.
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Postby Lord_Morningstar » Fri Dec 09, 2011 9:14 pm

Popular statistically-minded politics blogger Possum Comitatus has written a forceful article arguing that the policy achievements of successive Australian governments over the three decades since the early 1980s have created a society that is easily one of the most successful in the world, and yet we remain stubbornly unwilling to acknowledge our own affluence and privilege, seeing ourselves instead as struggling victims of forces beyond our control:

Never before has there been a nation so completely oblivious to not just their own successes, but the sheer enormity of them, than Australia today.

In some respects, we have a long standing cultural disposition towards playing down any national accomplishment not achieved on a sporting field – one of the more bizarre national psychopathologies in the global pantheon of odd cultural behaviours – but to such an extreme have we taken this, we are no longer capable of seeing an honest reflection of ourselves in the mirror.

We see instead a distorted, self absorbed cliché of ourselves bordering on parody – struggling victims of tough social and economic circumstances that are not just entirely fictional, but comically separated from the reality of the world around us.


Most of the article is taken up by comparative analysis of key economic indicators, but I will quote from his conclusion:

So this is our economic reality – we are the wealthiest nation in the world with 75.5% of our adult population making it into the global top 10%, our economy has grown faster than nearly all others (certainly faster than all other developed countries), our household income growth has been one of the fastest in the world (including our poor having income growth larger than everyone else’s rich!), we have the highest minimum wages in the world, the third lowest debt and the 6th lowest taxes in the OECD and are ranked 2nd on the United Nations Human Development Index.

And this didn’t happen by accident.

This happened by design.

This happened because of 30 years of hard, tedious, extraordinarily difficult policy work that far, far too many of us now either take completely for granted, or have simply forgotten about. We have, without even realising it, created the most successful and unique economic and policy arrangement of the late 20th and early 21st century – the proof is in the pudding. A low tax nation with high quality, public funded institutions. A low debt nation with world leading human development and infrastructure. The wealthiest nation in the world where even though our rich get richer, our poor have income growth so extraordinary that it increases at a faster rate than the rich expect to experience anywhere else in the world but Australia. A nation where we enjoy the highest minimum wages in the world.

But so many of us simply deny it – the conservatives deny it because it’s more convenient to whip up hysteria about their political enemies. Filling the heads of Australians with complete lies for partisan advantage and not giving a pinch of the proverbial about the human damage that would be wrought if they ever succeeded in getting us to talk ourselves into a recession of our own making . That’s not to mention many of their ideologues – denial is an absolute must when any acknowledgement of our actual economic and social reality would be to admit that their extreme policy fetishes are just pissing in the wind.

The broad left in Australia deny it, because to admit our economic and social reality is to admit that we’ve actually solved most of the big problems that other nations are still grappling with, and they had little to do with it. The problems we have left in Australia are difficult and sophisticated, requiring a level of thoughtful engagement far beyond the scope of occupying [edited] Knows Where in tents. If the US government responded to the Occupy Wall Street movement by implementing a large policy program that Australia already has – Occupy Wall Street would declare victory and go to the pub!

Then we have the ordinary Australian – who appears to be getting more ordinary with every passing day.[…]


The article has triggered some interesting discussion in the blogosphere, which I find highly welcome. There are some obvious questions one can raise about Possum’s analysis – he does not look at private sector debt, for example, nor balance of trade. And while Australia’s poor have done comparatively fairly well and its middle class has burgeoned, inequality has increased since the 1950s. And finally (and most significantly, perhaps) no policy-maker decided to stock the country with iron and coal and stick it next to the massive and ravenous economies of East Asia. We have been very lucky.

That isn’t to say that I don’t think that his point is broadly correct – nothing can be done about petrol prices and housing prices, both of which are based on the supply of a finite resource (oil and land) but the bi-partisan policy package of the 80s, 90s, and 00s has worked exceptionally well. But the question is whether our political classes still have both the skill and courage to keep the momentum going.
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Postby vison » Fri Dec 09, 2011 10:41 pm

Australia, not surprisingly, reminds me of Canada. Australia defines itself as poor and struggling and Canada defines itself as Not The U. S. A. :roll:

God forbid that we should either of us ever have anything like National Pride. :roll:
Last edited by vison on Sat Dec 10, 2011 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Storyteller » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:49 am

vison wrote:Australia, not surprisingly, reminds me of Canada. Australia defines itself as poor and struggling and Canada defines itself as Not The U. S. A. :8

God forbid that we should either of us ever have anything like National Pride. :roll:

Wouldn't that constitute the dreaded crime of nationalism?
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby vison » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:00 am

Storyteller wrote:
vison wrote:Australia, not surprisingly, reminds me of Canada. Australia defines itself as poor and struggling and Canada defines itself as Not The U. S. A. :8

God forbid that we should either of us ever have anything like National Pride. :roll:

Wouldn't that constitute the dreaded crime of nationalism?


That's a good question, you know.

Canadians are probably as "nationalistic" as any other people. Our nationalism, our pride, takes the form of saying we don't have any, with the implication that we are therefore, in our quiet and polite Canadian way, superior to those breast-beating loud-singing flag-waving patriots in another place which shall not be named. . . . . :)
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Postby Storyteller » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:50 am

vison wrote:
Storyteller wrote:
vison wrote:Australia, not surprisingly, reminds me of Canada. Australia defines itself as poor and struggling and Canada defines itself as Not The U. S. A. :8

God forbid that we should either of us ever have anything like National Pride. :roll:

Wouldn't that constitute the dreaded crime of nationalism?


That's a good question, you know.

Canadians are probably as "nationalistic" as any other people. Our nationalism, our pride, takes the form of saying we don't have any, with the implication that we are therefore, in our quiet and polite Canadian way, superior to those breast-beating loud-singing flag-waving patriots in another place which shall not be named. . . . . :)

I sense a contradiction between that and your previous post...
"...Their aim in war with Germany is nothing more, nothing less than extermination of Hitlerism... There is absolutely no justification for this kind of war. The ideology of Hitlerism, just like any other ideological system, can be accepted or rejected, this is a matter of political views. But everyone grasps, that an ideology can not be exterminated by force, must not be finished off with a war.” - Vyacheslav Molotov, ""On the Foreign Policy of the Soviet Union", 31 October 1939
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Postby vison » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:00 pm

Storyteller wrote:
vison wrote:
Storyteller wrote:
vison wrote:Australia, not surprisingly, reminds me of Canada. Australia defines itself as poor and struggling and Canada defines itself as Not The U. S. A. :8

God forbid that we should either of us ever have anything like National Pride. :roll:

Wouldn't that constitute the dreaded crime of nationalism?


That's a good question, you know.

Canadians are probably as "nationalistic" as any other people. Our nationalism, our pride, takes the form of saying we don't have any, with the implication that we are therefore, in our quiet and polite Canadian way, superior to those breast-beating loud-singing flag-waving patriots in another place which shall not be named. . . . . :)

I sense a contradiction between that and your previous post...


Not really. More of an exposition . . . 8)
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Postby Storyteller » Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:02 am

The biggest development in the Israeli politics is the vanquishing of the Kadima party head Tzipi Livni in the party primaries by her rival Shaul Mofaz- a fall even more sudden as her rise to the top of Israel's politics back in 1999. The politician who, just weeks ago, was named in various foreign journals as one of the most influential women in the world has already announced that she will be leaving politics for good.

In hindsight- and for those who had foresight- it wasn't at all unexpected. Livni's rise was due to her image as a "clean-handed" new figure, uncorrupted by money or power. However, ever since rising to power, Livni has done just about nothing. She made one catastrophic mistake after another out of sheer arrogance- first refusing to enter a national unity government with Netanyahu, then blindly gambling on Barack Obama to bring Netanyahu down for her, then consistently going against Netanyahu whenever he was voicing obvious national consensus, etc. She was as useless as opposition leader (only one bill submitted, to be shot down the week after) as she was as a party leader. Her closest associates within the party were invariably convicted felons (convictions ranging from corruption to sexual harrassment). She didn't even try to capitalize on the social protest movement the way Labor's Shelley Yechimovich did with considerable success.

Livni's replacement is Shaul Mofaz- born in Tehran, raised as a child of impoverished immigrants, a career officer who took part in every single military conflict that Israel saw since 1966, former IDF Chief of Staff. He has a clean political record and he will be difficult to accuse of ignorance or ineptitude in matters of security, not to mention that his Iranian-Jewish background gives him an edge when competing for the Mizrahi Jewish votes- an important demographic for the Likud, Lieberman and the religious parties. I suppose if anyone can bring Kadima back from the dead, it's him.
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