October 20, 2014
Boris

'“Sorry, should I be more emotional?” He calls out to his press secretary on the other side of the room. “Camilla, is it good to be more of a blubber or less of a blubber? What are the readers of the Observer going to want?”

They want you to blub, I say. Camilla agrees.

“Do they? Oh bloody hell.”

So he’s not like Nick Clegg then, who once admitted he “cries regularly to music”?

“Well,” he laughs. “Depends. I sometimes weep while listening to Nick Clegg.”’

Classic shit

October 20, 2014
UKIP’s first MP

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/oct/19/ukip-douglas-carswell-mp-clacton?CMP=fb_gu

actually a really interesting dude. and has some stuff to say about direct democracy …

'Some political commentators have suggested that Carswell is almost Bennite in his approach to direct democracy. He seems delighted when I mention it. “Benn said the key questions were: who has power, who gave it to them, on whose behalf do they wield it, and are they accountable? I remember thinking this guy is spot on.”'

seems like UKIP less and less stands for something, and is a catch-all protest party

October 17, 2014

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/a-meeting-of-civilisations-the-mystery-of-chinas-celtic-mummies-413638.html

1:24pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1TMUdoU
Filed under: history 
October 13, 2014
Catalonia

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141011-spain-catalonia-barcelona-madrid-independence/

'What particularly irks Catalans is the yawning economic imbalance between Madrid and Catalonia. As of 2012, the region was handing over 12 billion to 16 billion euros more in taxes annually than it got back from Madrid.'

Well that’s just huge

12:11pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1T2PyRa
Filed under: spain catalonia 9n n9 nov9 
October 9, 2014
Army slang

been reading the ARRSE wiki, it’s hilarious

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Growbag

I don’t know why I find all this slang, bashing of other services/countries, injokes etc so fascinating. Maybe it comes from reading Spike Milligan’s war memoirs as a kid? Or maybe I read the memoirs because I found the military banter interesting … anyway:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/The_movements_game

Slang:

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Pongos

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Brown_Job

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/Tankies

http://www.arrse.co.uk/wiki/MLA

anyway I’m asking Steph’s dad about getting into some RAF places to draw … no idea why. just seemed interesting. I literally have no focus or thesis for this. but I;m sure one will coem along

2:19pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1SkS2Gz
Filed under: work raf army drawing. plans 
October 3, 2014

yugichrist:

wasn’t the whole point of the xenomorph originally to immerse men in the fear typically felt by women regarding rape and pregnancy, isn’t having a bunch of conventional sexual imagery just shitting all over the original vision of the first film

5:42am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZUiflw1SElqY0
  
Filed under: alien 
September 26, 2014
Federalism ?

'The difficulty is England. The difficulty has always been England. England is so much bigger When 85% of the population live in one of its constituent parts, and the remaining 15% are spread between three others, it is confoundingly hard to construct a balanced federalism. Most of England has not expressed a great deal of interest in devolution, which means few of its politicians have done any serious thinking about it. For sure, there are plenty of the English who will nod along with the complaint that “too much power is concentrated at Westminster”, and they are more likely to share that complaint the more distant they are from London SW7.

It is also true that the English, no less than the Scots, are highly receptive to attacks on the “Westminster elite”. Yet that has never translated into an enthusiastic embrace of devolution – at least not in any of the forms that have been offered to the English. The last Labour government thought the answer might be regional assemblies. The north east was offered one in a referendum and rejected it. Police commissioners were invented by the current government with the admirable motive of making constabularies accountable to their local communities. Hardly anyone bothered to turn out to cast a vote. Tony Blair, borrowing from America, reckoned that local government could be revived through elected mayors. David Cameron has thought so too. Londoners like having a mayor. Whatever they think of the particular individual who holds the office at any one time, they have warmed to an idea that they were initially cool about. But the rest of England remains sniffy. In the most recent referendums on creating more mayors, they were rejected in nine out of 10 places that they were offered, including Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city.’

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/21/is-the-union-secure-for-a-generation-andrew-rawnsley?CMP=fb_gu

It will not have escaped your notice – it certainly has not escaped the notice of either Labour or the Tories – that the next election looks like it will be extremely tight. We could end up with a parliament in which there is a Labour government with a parliamentary majority on foreign affairs and defence, but not for any legislation covering a host of domestic issues in England. A Labour health secretary would be rendered utterly impotent, with no power over the NHS in devolved Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and no ability to pass law concerning health in England either.’

USA style deadlock!!

September 26, 2014

'The yes campaign was much more vivid, inclusive and visible than the no campaign and this was its greatest strength. But it also made them vulnerable. Such was the broad spectrum of yes groups that it was impossible to impose a structured discipline on them.'

say it all really

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/20/scottish-referendum-campaign-emotional-raw-civilised?CMP=fb_gu

TTIP is lame:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/14/ttip-deal-british-sovereignty-cameron-ukip-treaty

'It was never about sovereignty. The right is more than happy to surrender British sovereignty to corporations. When Cameron vetoed an EU treaty in 2011, it was not the national interest he was safeguarding, but the City’s. ‘

'Take Australia, which signed an investment treaty with Hong Kong in 1993. When Australia’s federal government introduced legislation to enforce plain cigarette packaging, the Asian arm of the cigarette company Philip Morris used the treaty to sue it.’

hypocrisy

Armanando Ianucci dropping truth bombs:

'The two numbers I take away from this week are not 55% or 45% but 84.5% and 16. 84.5% is the extraordinary turnout from Thursday, and 16 is the age from which those people could vote.'

'Disengagement from the public has been a conscious tactic of the political parties. They have concentrated aggressively on a minority in the middle, the 100,000 or so who make all the difference in key marginal constituencies. Forgotten now are people at the edges, the non-voters, the marginalised, the claimants. They won't vote, so why bother canvassing them? In fact, why bother targeting any policies at them? Far better to demonise them in the eyes of those who will vote.'

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/21/scottish-referendum-massive-voter-turnout-means-politics-changed-for-ever?CMP=fb_gu

politics has to start mattering to people

also this is good:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/05/29/magazine/srebrenica-life-in-the-valley-of-death.html

'How do you knit back together a society when those primarily responsible for tearing it apart don’t believe they did anything wrong?'

'At least initially, this spirit of moral equivalence was shared by many of the outside powers that might have helped bring the carnage to an end. Well into 1993, the ongoing Bosnian tragedy provoked intense hand-wringing in Washington and Western European capitals. When finally the sheer scale of Serbian atrocities compelled the international community to act, it was with an ever-changing grab bag of half-measures, all of them overseen by a political and military chain of command so complex as to induce paralysis.'

…’Driving the white U.N. vehicles and donning the blue U.N. helmets they had taken from the Dutch, the Serbs lured many out of the forest by claiming to be U.N. soldiers there to rescue them. Within days, all these captives, along with those taken at the Potocari compound, had been led to the killing fields.’

Fucking nuts

'Muslims, who made up three-quarters of the population before the war, are now a minority [in Srebenica]. That shift is largely explained by the fact that the district is now a part of the Republic of Srpska, which was allowed to remain in existence after the brokered end of the war.'

To Milos Milanovic, a Serbian member of the Srebrenica City Council, that’s the best that can be hoped for. “There is never any discussion about these things, only arguing,” he told me. During the war, Milanovic, now 50, was a member of the Srspka armed forces and was present at the fall of Srebrenica. “It’s mostly propaganda,” he said of the numbers killed in the July 1995 massacre. “The Muslims have even presented our victims as their victims. They need to keep the death count high to present Serbs as the only criminals and to cover up their own war crimes.”

The annual July 11 ceremony is especially galling to Milanovic, and as a city councilman he has proposed that any municipal funds spent on that event be matched by a fund to commemorate Serb victims. “I think this is the only way we can start to get past the Muslim manipulations,” he said.

This historical revisionism is evident throughout the Drina River basin. Perhaps its most startling manifestation is a 25-foot-high Christian cross in Kravica, a village 10 miles west of Bratunac, erected to honor the “3,267 Serb martyrs” from the district who were killed in the war’

The Dayton Accords were weird, and Bosnia is still stuck with their boundaries:

'Because neither side had been militarily defeated, the Dayton accords laid out a novel solution: The Bosnia and Herzegovina government would be joined in a confederation with that of the Republic of Srpska, while each would maintain its separate status through an “inter-entity boundary line.”

As for just how this nonintegrated integration was to be achieved, Dayton laid out a comprehensive blueprint that included the establishment of a joint parliament, a co-presidency and a mixed judiciary. At the same time, there would be a thorough accounting of supposed war crimes, with those indicted made to stand trial. With the path eased by the generous response of the international community — billions of dollars in foreign aid earmarked for development and reconstruction — the hope was that the two communities would gradually come to regard the notion of parallel governments in such a tiny nation as a kind of embarrassing anachronism and would move toward full unification.’

'By 2006, with the Bush administration mired in far more pressing foreign issues, the European Union had effectively taken over the running of the O.H.R. and displayed little interest in using its “soft power” to force reform. Unfortunately that coincided with the return to power in Srpska of Milorad Dodik, a former basketball player turned politician.

As prime minister of Srpska in the late 1990s, Dodik was regarded as a moderate and conciliatory figure, but he reconstituted himself as a Serb ultranationalist for his political comeback in 2006. Dodik repeatedly sought to scuttle whatever fragile power-sharing systems had been achieved and to portray the Serbs as the true victims of the war.’

'Dodik chose a memorial service in Bratunac on the day after the 15th anniversary of Srebrenica to assert, “If a genocide happened, then it was committed against Serb people of this region, where women, children and the elderly were killed en masse.”

The efficacy of this shift is clear. Running as a moderate in 1998, Dodik became prime minister only by forming a coalition with other political parties. Running as an ultranationalist in 2010, he received more votes than the nine other candidates combined.’

September 25, 2014

A lot of bullshit euphemistic language here:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/23/f22-bomber-raptor-jet-us-syria-isis-combat-debut

“What we were looking at was the effects we wanted to see on the target areas, and what platforms in the region would be best suited to do that. We had a large menu of targets to strike from and we chose from there.”’

“It’s important to remember that these strikes against ISIS and others in Syria are occurring without any previous degradation of the IADS [integrated air defense system] there,” said one Air Force official familiar with stealth combat aircraft operations.

One of the Pentagon’s goals is to minimize the risk to American forces during this air campaign. “You stack that against the clear message to the public in his speech, the President wanted to mitigate risk as much as possible,” the official said. ‘

While the Pentagon will not officially confirm that the F-22s were operating out of the Al Dhafra air base in the United Arab Emirates, it is known that the Raptors often deploy to that installation for what Air Force calls “theatre security packages”—or TSPs.’

theatre security packages. you can’t make this stuff up

September 24, 2014
SS Great Britain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

it’s on Spike Island! I drew it today

In 1882 Great Britain was converted into a sailing ship to transport bulk coal, but after a fire on board in 1886 she was found on arrival at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands to be damaged beyond repair. She was sold to the Falkland Islands Company and used, afloat, as a storage hulk (coal bunker) until 1937, when she was towed to Sparrow Cove, 3.5 miles from Port Stanley, scuttled and abandoned. As a bunker, she coaled the South Atlantic fleet that defeated Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee's fleet in the First World War Battle of the Falkland Islands. In the Second World War, some of her iron was scavenged to repair HMS Exeter, one of the Royal Navy ships that fought the Graf Spee and was badly damaged during the Battle of the River Plate.

the mizzen mast in Port Stanley

Brunel is everywhere in Bristol huh