'I've attended a few referendum gatherings and while they have been entertaining, and occasionally inspiring, what they have not been is representative of all parts of Scottish society. In the main, the audiences were affluent, professional and university-educated. There were political activists there, too, and trade union officials.'
this is very true. the debate often seems to be intellectuals v intellectuals
‘These people may be grimly clinging to an old and outdated model of Scotland, but that’s only because modern Scotland has impoverished them, dismantled their neighbourhoods and their industrial hinterlands and shut down their schools.
And then we mock them for their adherence to God, Queen and country.
The people who will decide the referendum will not be those in the chattering, political classes but the tens of thousands in the housing schemes across the country whose children are underfed and who are exploited by employers paying very low wages.
Their voting records are not high and so we tend to ignore them at a Westminster or Holyrood election. Well, they’re voting in this contest – and so both sides had better start properly to understand their language and their curious ways.’
basically the ‘special relationship’ is based on the US and UK having nuclear deterrents. if Trident is kicked out of Faslane, it will probably go to Georgia, perhaps permanently. leaving US as Nato’s sole nuclear provider
also a great quote: ‘The US is frustrated enough already at the number of bonsai armies in Europe.’
‘The US fought one of the bloodiest wars in their history to hold its union together. They can’t take the UK seriously if they just let their union fade.’
Dr Tim Oliver, of the Center for Transatlantic Relations
some people think this may make the rUK abandon nuclear weapons altogether. I think unlikely, and with Cameron in power, unthinkable
‘Have the following researched: Find all places in the northern Germanic Aryan cultural world where an understanding of the lightning bolt, the thunderbolt, Thor’s hammer, or the flying or thrown hammer exists, in addition to all the sculptures of the god depicted with a small hand axe emitting lightning. Please collect all of the pictorial, sculptural, written and mythological evidence of this. I am convniced that this is not based on natural thunder and lightning, but rather that it is an early, highly developed form of war weapon of our forefathers, whci was only, of course, possessed by the Aesir, the gods, and that it implies an unheard of knowledge of electricity.’
'The yes and no campaigns have been markedly different in their strategies, mainly because the pro-independence side quickly developed into a grassroots movement that extends well beyond the official Yes Scotland organisation or the SNP. This grassroots energy has resulted in town hall meetings, arts festivals and coffee mornings for undecided voters springing up across the country.
The no camp has not been so publicly visible, but is just as active. While the yes campaign is defined by its enthusiastic volunteers, Better Together is focusing on far more forensic methods, having amassed a vast database of voters, which allows it to identify and target crucial undecided voters as well as shoring up its core supporters.’
‘It is affectionately known by its residents, the local community in Devon and Polish organisations as “Little Poland”.
The current residents are made up of those who were unable to make the transition from a resettlement camp into the outside community and those who were initially able to integrate, but in later years have found themselves unable to cope. The average age of the residents is 86.’
‘What’s very interesting about ISIS is that they seem to reject the international order altogether, and I think that’s very unique and different. Even when the Taliban were in power, they sought international approval to an extent. I don’t think ISIS is necessarily more bloodthirsty than the Assad regime, or the Taliban, or al Qaeda, but what’s different about ISIS is that they are very happy to show their atrocities. They post it on Twitter. They put it on YouTube. And it’s because they have basically rejected the international order, and they’re rejecting working with the international order, and claiming their own order, an Islamic order harking back to the caliphate days, and because of that it seems like they’re much more bloodthirsty than any other group. ‘
and this is something no one should forget: ‘As monstrous as the Islamic State may be, its success is fueled by legitimate grievances on the part of a Sunni population that has been relegated to second-class status by the Maliki government, a government that came into power as a result of the United States’ recklessly short-sighted invasion and occupation of the country’
‘It’s not like a foreign power, a major power like the US can come in there and somehow defeat ISIS without causing unintended consequences or second- and third-order effects of the sort that gave rise to ISIS in the first place.’
Why is all this hapening???
'What we’re seeing, more broadly speaking, is the fact that we’ve had 30, 40, 50 years of dictatorship, secular dictatorship across the Arab world, in which you’ve had very weak left forces that can articulate a vision of social justice that’s also secular. Those forces have been extraordinarily weak, in large part because of these dictatorships, because of Arab nationalism and Baathism and a lot of these ideologies that garb themselves in left-wing rhetoric but actually, in practice, are very oppressive. And so I think that robs a lot of genuine social justice and left-wing political movements of their legitimacy. And instead what you have is left-wing dictatorships or Islamism as the alternative.
And so after the Arab Spring, the secular dictatorships have been overthrown for the most part, or they’ve been attempted to be overthrown, and there’s nobody else to fill that vacuum except for the Islamists, and so that’s what’s playing out across the Arab world.’
The failure of secular dictatorships. repression, etc, … secular dictatorships are overthrown, and an ideology people turn to is religious dictatorship
Is the middle east fucked for the near future? probably:
‘I don’t think there’s an easy solution to that. It’s a generational thing. It’s going to take rebuilding, rediscovering these forms of politics and resistance that don’t have to do with Islamism and don’t have to do with Baathism and these other ruinous ideologies. It’s going to take a lot of time, and unfortunately, it’s going to be very bloody.’
this is a big one. people calling Isis ‘barbaric’ and saying British jihadis should not be allowed to return to the ‘civilised world’ … these are relative terms, and people are trying to paint the conflict like pure good and evil
Easterhouse. impoverished ‘scheme’ on the outskirts of Glasgae … 76% voting ‘yes’. Radical Indepencence Campaign targeting those hit by the cuts and/or those who haven’t voted before
huge quote: ‘, after the independence vote the question could become what happens to the political energy emerging in places like Easterhouse. “If the referendum only achieves one thing, I think that one thing will be that it has engaged people.”’
these are the people i hung out with in Edinburgh: http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/orange-order-independence-liam-turbett-567
'At a time when the Crusades still serve as the historical starting point for many discussions of the modern Middle East, this map offers perspective on how these messy medieval wars became a go-to metaphor for Christian-Muslim conflict. Shown here are the geographic origins of the Normans and Seljuks, peoples who emerged from Scandinavia and the Central Asian steppe to conquer the Christian and Muslim worlds, respectively, before coming into conflict with one another during the Crusades. In light of their remote origins, the Normans and Seljuks were originally considered uncivilized barbarians by members of the civilizations they ultimately conquered. Both groups zealously embraced their new subjects’ religions to compensate. Thus, when the Normans and Seljuks faced off in the 11th century, the rhetoric of religious war helped each side prove its piety. That same rhetoric performs a similar function today.’
Later Jewish sources describe Leviathan as a dragon who lives over the Sources of the Deep and who, along with the male land-monster Behemoth, will be served up to the righteous at the end of time.
When the Jewish midrash (explanations of the Tanakh) were being composed, it was held that God originally produced a male and a female leviathan, but lest in multiplying the species should destroy the world, he slew the female, reserving her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous on the advent of the Messiah (B. B. 74b).
Rashi’s commentary on Genesis 1:21 repeats the tradition: “God created the great sea monsters—taninim. According to legend this refers to the Leviathan and its mate. God created a male and female Leviathan, then killed the female and salted it for the righteous, for if the Leviathans were to procreate the world could not stand before them.” 
In the Talmud Baba Bathra 75a it is told that the Leviathan will be slain and its flesh served as a feast to the righteous in [the] Time to Come, and its skin used to cover the tent where the banquet will take place. The festival of Sukkot (Festival of Booths) therefore concludes with a prayer recited upon leaving the sukkah (booth): “May it be your will, Lord our God and God of our forefathers, that just as I have fulfilled and dwelt in this sukkah, so may I merit in the coming year to dwell in the sukkah of the skin of Leviathan. Next year in Jerusalem.”
The enormous size of the Leviathan is described by Johanan bar Nappaha, from whom proceeded nearly all the aggadot concerning this monster: “Once we went in a ship and saw a fish which put his head out of the water. He had horns upon which was written: ‘I am one of the meanest creatures that inhabit the sea. I am three hundred miles in length, and enter this day into the jaws of the Leviathan’” (B. B. l.c.).
When the Leviathan is hungry, reports Rabbi Dimi in the name of Rabbi Johanan, he sends forth from his mouth a heat so great as to make all the waters of the deep boil, and if he would put his head into Paradise no living creature could endure the odor of him (ib.). His abode is the Mediterranean Sea; and the waters of the Jordan fall into his mouth (Bek. 55b; B. B. l.c.).
In a legend recorded in the Midrash called Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer it is stated that the fish which swallowed Jonah narrowly avoided being eaten by the Leviathan, which eats one whale each day.
The body of the Leviathan, especially his eyes, possesses great illuminating power. This was the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, who, in the course of a voyage in company with Rabbi Joshua, explained to the latter, when frightened by the sudden appearance of a brilliant light, that it probably proceeded from the eyes of the Leviathan. He referred his companion to the words of Job xli. 18: “By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning” (B. B. l.c.). However, in spite of his supernatural strength, the leviathan is afraid of a small worm called “kilbit”, which clings to the gills of large fish and kills them (Shab. 77b).
In the eleventh century piyyut (religious poem), Akdamut, recited on Shavuot (Pentecost), it is envisioned that, ultimately, God will slaughter the Leviathan, which is described as having “mighty fins” (and, therefore, a kosher fish, not an inedible snake or crocodile), and it will be served as a sumptuous banquet for all the righteous in Heaven.
joe sacco compared his not showing some israeli soldiers’ eyes in ‘footnotes in gaza’ togoya not showing us the french soldeirs’ faces in ‘third of may’
goya’s firing squad is a dehumanised machine. with no individuality
sacco said he didn’t have that idea in mind. he didn’t draw the israelis’ eyes because he couldn’t understand what they were thinking when they beat unarmed victims etc
Fellow combat artist Michael D. Fay refers to what we do as “witness art.”
from a good GQ article by Victor Juhasz: http://www.gq.com/news-politics/newsmakers/201207/victor-juhasz-afghanistan-combat-artist
'A good drawing walks an interesting tightrope of being in the moment and reflecting on that moment, from the visual impact of a subtle gesture to the energetic desperation of concentrated activity. In between those successes are all the false starts and failed attempts at capturing that which at times eludes even the fastest of hands and sharpest of eyes.'
‘As inequality continues to deepen, the lower rungs of British society are responding by getting angrier. They’re feeling severe economic pressure, and are dismayed at the ineffectiveness of elected institutions to address social issues. This underlies the appeal of the far right, in every community. It doesn’t matter which manifestation of it ultimately captures their imagination. British members of ISIS are being spawned by the same Dickensian realities that are making UKIP more popular.’
‘jihadism’s ideological appeal is linked to ongoing social processes. It’s not about ideology, per se. Due to the persistence of the War on Terror, and the ongoing economic crisis, surveillance and racism are the norms of the day, making young Muslims like Reyaad and Nasser feel as though they don’t belong in countries like the UK, despite being natives. This nurtures a desire for acceptance that they find in radical groups like ISIS. It’s very similar to joining an inner-city gang, albeit a far more violent one.’
I’d probably agree with the first part, that radicalisation (of any sort) is caused by rising inequality … and it also says that turning to jihadism is a result of not feeling at home in your own country
'The evacuation of Gallipoli was astonishingly well-planned. It almost defies belief, but there was not a single Allied casualty during the operation – not even by friendly fire or accident.
If the Australian official history is to be believed, some of the ANZACs left gifts of prepared meals for the notoriously underfed Turks, even though all the trenches were extensively booby-trapped. The Germans later cited this as evidence of the rushed and chaotic nature of the evacuation – so abrupt they left hot meals sitting at their tables!
The story goes that one of the last Turkish fatalities of the campaign was a soldier who died from stomach illness after gorging himself on abandoned English marmalade.’
also Churchill’s involvement in the planning, his conception of it as a naval assault, and the bungled execution (but maybe that’s all part of Chruchill’s myth-making …)
"My orneriest mission was on a B-25 escort, where I was given what was called low/underneath cover. My wingman and I were on the backside of the formation underneath to weave back and forth to prevent any Zeroes or other enemy aircraft to come in from underneath. The route usually would go westard to Point St. George and St. George’s channel (runs between New Ireland and New Britain). Cape St. George is where they (Japanese) had an AA gun established as well as radar. They put up so much AA material that would go above the formation and then drop phosphor bombs. They rarely did much damage, but with everything going on above the formation with the top defense formation dropping all of the extra AA flak and linkage material from the fighting going on above it was like I was being rained on with aluminum. Somehow I ended up sucking some junk into my oil cooler that caused me to start loosing oil, and I noticed that my oil pressure was dropping quickly. When the engine sputters and you can’t keep up, flight school teaches you to point your nose down and maintain gliding speed, turn into the wind. From 20,000 feet, I was fiddling with switches and things to see if I could get it going again. The Corsair would stall at 90 knots, so you had to maintain 140 knot airspeed to keep the plane under control. This meant about a 45 degree downward glide, and there’s no way to keep up with the formation. Usually during the day, the sun beating down on the ocean causes cotton-candy clouds forming from about 4 to 12 thousand feet, and I glided through looking for a place to bail out. At 10,000 feet, I’m within sight of Duke of York island, which is occupied by the Japanese. I pop the canopy and wait until 5000 feet and I’m away from the island but the water doesn’t look good to land on. At 2500 feet the water looks much better, but there’s not enough air left so I take the plane down to the water… I made one of my better landings.
As I hit the water, I hit the gunsight (I had unhooked the harness while looking for the right place to ditch) and get some lacerations on my arm. In 3 seconds I’m out of the cockpit. 5 seconds later, the plane is 45 degrees in the water with the cockpit underwater and the engine dragging it down. I swam away trying to avoid any potential vortex from sucking me down. After 20 seconds the plane is down to Davy Jones.
I look around and realize that nobody has seen me and nobody has followed me. I’m sitting there with my parachute on and a lifejacket bobbing in the water, and my first thought is “How can I stay invisible?” This was about 3 PM, and I waited until about 6 PM (around twilight) and I decide, “Now I’ll get the raft out.” The raft is right under the seat cushion, and there’s a CO2 bottle to trip it, and I wish somebody had told me beforehand to tie it onto myself. I trip it, and the raft jumps 10-20 feet away. I’m wearing these L’il Abner shoes and it’s tough to swim. That was tough to catch, the wind was moving it, but I was able to get to it.
I got into the raft, there was a little paddle system, and my parachute and harness system were still floating. I took my shoes off because they were an obstruction, so I tied them to a raft. I’m really tuckered out by this point. I look around and can’t see anybody. We’d gone north to get to the target and then the plan was to go south to get back home. I had a canteen of water hooked to my belt, a Smith & Wesson police revolver, a .38 caliber? A .36? I think it was a .38, and the bullets were tied up in another pocket in my suit. The bullets seemed dry and I could blow through the cylinders to dry it out, so I loaded it up with tracer shells. Then I decided ‘Wait a minute,” took out the tracer shells, and put in regular shells.
I had some peanut butter, there was a guy in our squadron, he was a little beaver guy, and one time when we were in the ready tent and I asked what he was doing. He had gone to the quartermaster and was always wheeling and dealing, and he’d fill up the toilet paper tubes with the peanut butter and would seal them up in a bag. He was putting them into his survival cushion, so I traded him a bottle of White Horse scotch for 6 of these peanut butter tubes to put in my survival kit. So I was having peanut butter for supper.
So I get pretty comfy, and I fell asleep. All of the sudden in the middle of the night, I can hear dogs barking. It reminded me of an uncle who always wanted to go coon hunting (he made me hold the lantern), but it sounded just like those dogs when they pick up a scent. I don’t know what to do, I don’t want to expose myself, but I need to figure out what’s going on. So I pull a one-cell flashlight out of my survival kit, and here are a bunch of little sea lions barking at me and giving me some looks. So I quickly shut off the light, they bark some more and then they go away and I go back to sleep.
I wake up around dawn, and I pull my emergency map out to figure out where I am. At night, there’s a 4 knot current flowing south through the channel, but it only flows south [ed note: towards friendly forces and away from enemy forces] during December and January and it’s now January 22nd. I’d drifted about 50 miles south, and I’m now out of the channel. I said, ‘Oh, there’ll be another mission and they’ll come over, I’m in good shape.’ They came later that day, but were way up, probably 15,000 feet. I fired two tracer shells at them, but nobody came down to investigate. So I waited for them to come back, and I shot all of the tracers I had and had thrown my emergency dye in the water, but nobody comes down. Now I’m thinking, “Wow, I’m in big trouble.” I’m in a raft, the wind is picking up and I’m being blown north and I don’t really have any drag.
At about 4 in the afternoon, I’m dozing but then I realize that there’s a plane nearby. It’s another Corsair, it’s only at about 500 or 600 feet, so I get my emergency mirror out and flashed it at him. He comes down to the deck to investigate, I wave at him and he waggles his wings at me and heads off. A while later, here comes Dumbo - a Catalina PB-Y float plane. I’d run a few Dumbo escort missions in my tours. The sea wasn’t whitehorsing, but there were some swells so they couldn’t pull right up to me. They get as close as they can as they circle around and toss me a rope, and boy do I know what a walleye feels like when it gets hooked. Bam, that thing yanks me right out of the raft and I’m holding on. Everything I had on got ripped off me - pistol, holster, flight suit, all I’ve got left is a stretched out t-shirt. They pulled me in one of the gun blisters, and as they pull me in they go, ‘Lieutenant Marsh?’ I’m like, ‘No, I’m Smith.’ They weren’t looking for me, but they found me somehow. We got on the radio so they could figure out who I was, and realized I was another pilot so we got back up in the air to keep looking for Lieutenant Marsh. We found him about an hour later, and the water was smooth enough that we could just taxi right up to him and pull him in without needing the rope.
Marsh and I got together every year after that until our wives both passed away in 2012, then we didn’t get together.”
from here: http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/25vpg3/iama_92_year_old_who_served_in_wwii_as_a_pilot/
'Experience had taught it the penalties of neglecting logistical preparations, the germans, by contrast, accorded far less effort to logistical preparatinos because they were habituated to fighting continental wars across short distances supported by good communications. British generals, and in particular Montgomery, have been frequently castigated because of their habit of waiting until their logistical arrangement were in perfect order before taking the offensive. German generals, and in particular Rommel, have conversely been accorded high praise for their willingness to take risks with their logistics. these criticism fly in the face of all logic. The German system worked well across the short distances involved in fighting in France and Poland, and against enemies with an inferior operation doctrine….but in Russia, North Africa and finally in Normandy the German effort foundered, this was because their reach exceeded their logistical grasp. time and again in North Africa Rommel was able to achieve tactical successes, but lack of transport meant he could not transform them into operational victories. British offensives may have proceeded at a more stately pace, and on occasion the logistical system could not meet all demands placed upon it. But after 1941, major british operations rarely failed because of a breakdown of logistics'
French, D., Raising Churchill’s army (Oxford, Oxford University press, 2000), p120-121
‘He also avoided challenging British naval supremacy, a policy not continued by his successors. By not challenging Britain, they mostly maintained traditional British neutrality in continental affairs. But when what was clearly the strongest continental power began building a large fleet, the British lined up with France and Russia, setting up the alliance system that lead to World War 1. Bismarck knew that Germany’s limited coastline and numerous choke points would make challenging Britain directly difficult. When the new Emperor ordered a build up anyway, it led directly to a realignment of Britain on the side of France.’
Bismarck’s policies led to Britain not getting involved! His successor(s) fucked it up!
in 1798, Napoleon invaded … Ottomans appealed to Britain to drive him out. They did in exchange for control over Egypt … lots of British troops around
fast forward to American Civil War. Huge cotton shortage as a result … much of Europe turns to Egypt for cotton. Egypt makes a shitload of money, but neglects food production … again needs Britain to bail them out. Also the construction of the Suez Canal meant big debts to European banks
1882 - British move in. Egypt becomes a protectorate until 1952
'Take a look at countries where the government makes its money from natural resources instead of human labor–Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran. Look at the money and effort those governments spend making sure their people don’t rebel. What will those countries look like when repression starts getting cheaper and cheaper? And why will America and Europe and East Asia be different? Isn’t a nation where the rich can get everything they need from robots essentially suffering from the same “resource curse” as Saudi Arabia?’
interesting point. never thought about it like that. ‘resource curse’ … is this why countries w/ big natural resources (venezuela, iraq, s africa etc) are unstable?? because the rulers can just fuck with the population??
'This sounds like nothing more than a fun science fiction story, but why shouldn’t this happen? Human civilization was somewhat like this for most of our history—aristocrats feasting in their manor houses, half-starved peasants toiling in the fields. What liberated us? It might have been the printing press, or capitalism, or the sailing ship. But it might have been the gun. And if it was the gun that liberated us, then we should be very worried. Because when the Age of the Gun ends, the age of freedom and dignity and equality that much of humanity now enjoys may turn out to have been a bizarre, temporary aberration.’
anyway the Age of the Gun is almost over; the Age of the Drone is coming: http://qz.com/185945/drones-are-about-to-upheave-society-in-a-way-we-havent-seen-in-700-years/
Traces of nimbyism. But still important. For me the issue isn’t the skyline (but then I’m young and have grown up with the new, changing skyline) but the rents and targeted advertising towards foreign investors
Balkans: fought over by three empires: Russian, Austro-Hungarian and ottoman
Serbia had thrown off ottomans. Established independent Slav state. Nationalism etc
Now wanted to remove Austro Hungarian influence from Bosnia
Create big Slav state: Yugoslavia
Franz Ferdinand wanted devolution: giving more power to national minorities
Germany didn’t consider the consequences of supporting austriahungary. Didn’t think Russia would go to war (fear of internal revolution)
NB: fortress opposite Belgrade … First shots of ww1 fired!
Escalation caused by the army’s autonomy from politicians(esp Germany)?
Britain: not attacked or bound by treaties
BUT wanted to protect foreign trade and Empire! Empire in Asia & Africa maintained with French & Russian help
AND didn’t want a strong Germany dominating European trade
'Fire is hugely symbolic in a lot of religions. It has a traditional association with purity - burning away the impurities and so forth, as well as always “ascending toward heaven” as the Zoroastrians would phrase it. It's also both critical to human survival and technological advancement, but was also very complex conceptually for traditional cultures to wrap their minds around the nature of. As a result, you see a lot of mystical associations with it across the board, and that includes Christianity. Incidentally, the whole “Lake of Fire” idea for Hell probably has its basis in Ancient Egypt, specifically the Book of Gates, and other religions in the region have numerous fire-themed elements going on to various degrees. It's pretty universal and also makes sense if you think about what fire would be like to a superstitious and pre-industrial civilization.'
Getting bored of people making the lazy comparison between gods and superheroes
Or Darren aranofsky saying Noah was the original superhero
They’re clearly different! Superheroes are an American, twentieth century creation, invented for children. Sure they can be seen as a modern interpretation of gods/godlike figures, but the ancient Greeks did not look at their gods the same way we look at superheroes.
Maybe the key difference is beliefs. With the exception of Grant Morrison, no one believes superheroes are real
Also the origin of the superhero is the detective/costumed crime fighter. Superman was not the first superhero; superheroes did not begin with supernatural godlike powers
Superheroes are not myths, not parables, they’re entertainment !
General alcazar in Tintin- name inspired by Franco, ‘hero of the alcazar?’ Liberated the prison in Toledo from republican forces, 1936. General alcazar was also rebelling against the government. Happened 1936 - when broken ear was being published - herge probably took the name straight from the news
Was thinking about Jedi knights, and about how they were a monolithically good social order … And about real knights, how they were very complicated, revered, existed for a variety of reasons, were involved in the crusades etc … So complex! Weird
So yeah I guess films are a simplified version of real life! Weird!