Chaircat Meow

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About Chaircat Meow

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    70% wrong 30% right
  • Birthday 08/18/1989

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  1. Why bother having a National Assembly if you're not allowed to debate important issues? Pathetic. The Brexiteer argument was that the UK, because it has been an EU member for 40 years, is more closely aligned to the EU in regulatory terms than Canada or any other EU trade partners so a more comprehensive deal would be easier to reach. So it's not special status, just a reflection of the preexisting harmony between the EU and UK legal/regulatory systems.
  2. I think the Secret History is great too. But I also think that if Procopius were around today he might well have a slot on the Alex Jones show ... In terms of entertainment value I don't think there is a better hatchet job but it is so over the top you have to eventually question how serious it is. Even if you believe in demons, passage like the below just sound insane. ''Indeed, how was this man likely to be anything but an evil spirit, who never knew honest satiety of drink or food or sleep, but only tasting at random from the meals that were set before him, roamed the palace at unseemly hours of the night, and was possessed by the quenchless lust of a demon?'' I think pretty much every Roman Emperor would come across like a bloodthirsty tyrant if judged by the standards of most of present day Europe, so Justinian coming over as an inhuman monster to you isn't that surprising. You don't even need the Secret History to see this, Justinian's brutal suppression of the Nika revolt (egged on by Theodora) is recorded in Procopius's 'official history.' Clearly Justinian's wars and rebuilding projects required vast amounts of money, hence his extortion from the nobility and the churches. Procopius is picking up on all the discontent being felt over what was almost certainly a corrupt and rapacious tax regime. Justinian's wars also left parts of the Empire's borders undermanned. One of his solutions was to pay certain barbarian tribes for peace, which Procopius inveighs against, saying Justinian liked nothing better than pouring all of Rome's wealth into the lap of foreigners, but there was clearly some sense to the policy. The ability of the Persians to rampage over the Empire's holdings in modern day Syria/Iraq were also likely due to the needs of the Emperor's western wars. It should be said that the Persians failed to make any major strategic gains here, because the Romans stopped them gaining a foothold in the crucial region of Lazica which borders the Black Sea. Procopius also blames the Emperor for all the natural disasters of the reign, the chief of which was the Great Plague of 540-41, from which the Emperor himself almost died. Obviously this is unfair ...
  3. Mmmhh ... ''Wherefore to me,- and many others of us, these two seemed not to be human beings, but veritable demons, and what the poets call vampires: who laid their heads together to see how they could most easily and quickly destroy the race and deeds of men; and assuming human bodies, became man-demons, and so convulsed the world. And one could find evidence of this in many things, but especially in the superhuman power with which they worked their will. For when one examines closely, there is a clear difference between what is human and what is supernatural. There have been many enough men, during the whole course of history, who by chance or by nature have inspired great fear, ruining cities or countries or whatever else fell into their power; but to destroy all men and bring calamity on the whole inhabited earth remained for these two to accomplish, whom Fate aided in their schemes of corrupting all mankind. For by earthquakes, pestilences, and floods of river waters at this time came further ruin, as I shall presently show. Thus not by human, but by some other kind of power they accomplished their dreadful designs. And they say his mother said to some of her intimates once that not of Sabbatius her husband, nor of any man was Justinian a son. For when she was about to conceive, there visited a demon, invisible but giving evidence of his presence perceptibly where man consorts with woman, after which he vanished utterly as in a dream. And some of those who have been with Justinian at the palace late at night, men who were pure of spirit, have thought they saw a strange demoniac form taking his place. One man said that the Emperor suddenly rose from his throne and walked about, and indeed he was never wont to remain sitting for long, and immediately Justinian's head vanished, while the rest of his body seemed to ebb and flow; whereat the beholder stood aghast and fearful, wondering if his eyes were deceiving him. But presently he perceived the vanished head filling out and joining the body again as strangely as it had left it. Another said he stood beside the Emperor as he sat, and of a sudden the face changed into a shapeless mass of flesh, with neither eyebrows nor eyes in their proper places, nor any other distinguishing feature; and after a time the natural appearance of his countenance returned. I write these instances not as one who saw them myself, but heard them from men who were positive they had seen these strange occurrences at the time. They also say that a certain monk, very dear to God, at the instance of those who dwelt with him in the desert went to Constantinople to beg for mercy to his neighbors who had been outraged beyond endurance. And when he arrived there, he forthwith secured an audience with the Emperor; but just as he was about to enter his apartment, he stopped short as his feet were on the threshold, and suddenly stepped backward. Whereupon the eunuch escorting him, and others who were present, importuned him to go ahead. But he answered not a word; and like a man who has had a stroke staggered back to his lodging. And when some followed to ask why he acted thus, they say he distinctly declared he saw the King of the Devils sitting on the throne in the palace, and he did not care to meet or ask any favor of him. Indeed, how was this man likely to be anything but an evil spirit, who never knew honest satiety of drink or food or sleep, but only tasting at random from the meals that were set before him, roamed the palace at unseemly hours of the night, and was possessed by the quenchless lust of a demon? Furthermore some of Theodora's lovers, while she was on the stage, say that at night a demon would sometimes descend upon them and drive them from the room, so that it might spend the night with her.'' I don't know whether this insane hyperbole was an acceptable rhetorical device at the time his readers would have understood or if Procopius was just a nutcase.
  4. The full alignment clause people are assuming means the UK has committed to a quasi-Norwegian style deal applies only if a satisfactory trade deal is not reached, and may well be a sop to all sides to get the negotiations moving. In the event there is actually no deal we may just find UK and EU interpretations of 'full alignment' and which rules support 'North-South cooperation' differ quite considerably.
  5. I think we need some facts about Cromwell's conquest of Ireland. 1. Cromwell himself was only in direct command in Ireland from August 1649 to May 1650, when he returned to England to lead an army against Charles II in Scotland. He was not Lord Protector at this time either, and the sovereign body was still the Rump Parliament. 2. Total civilian casualties at the two infamous sieges, Wexford and Drogheda were somewhere in the region of 2,000 or less, with the majority of the slain actually being soldiers (and some were English Protestants). Not exactly an Irish holocaust here and these places were refusing to surrender. 3. Cromwell did not treat every enemy stronghold town like the two above, but negotiated surrenders. 4. The real devastation came from the fighting that had gone since 1641 and especially after the royalist army in Ireland had collapsed in 1650 leaving Parliament faced with Irish guerrilla forces, called Tories, who could not be brought to an open engagement. This led to Parliament's forces destroying foodstocks, a tactic which the Elizabethans also used against the Irish, and the famine and consequent disease (subsonic plague) claimed many lives. 5. The Cromwellian settlement was directed against Catholic/royalist landowners not the general populace. It was relatively normal for a defeated nobility/gentry to lose lands to the victors and their financiers although the extent of the redistribution was extreme. Claims of ethnic cleansing do not make much sense given the new landowners would need labourers. 6. The transportations were not unique to the 1650s, and had been going before the outbreak of war in 1638/41 due to the need for labour in the Caribbean and because people at the time always thought the country was overrun with 'the poor.' Atlantic trade was disrupted after 1641, so they resumed following the Cromwellian conquest and were used to dispose of captured soldiers and vagrants. Obviously this was bad but it gives us some context to what happened in the 1650s. 7. The war in Ireland was much harsher than in England and Scotland but probably caused so much damage because it went on such a long time, like the 30 year war on the continent. Also not sure there is such a thing as standards of the time, because different people have different standards despite living at the same time. On the Christian Jihadist claim, I think this is pretty ridiculous. Parliament's armies did not covet death in battle, did not think sex slaves were a good idea, usually did not murder civilians as a method of war and did not seek to stamp out all religious differences (Cromwell readmitted the Jews to England, for instance). Cromwell was not trying to make a 'contribution towards democracy.'. edit: I am going to leave the typo in because it's funny
  6. Peter Hitchens posted a very negative review of Dunkirk. By the sounds of things I'll probably agree with Hitchens if I ever see it (although I don't plan to because I don't like WW2 films that much). That being said, I did quite like Interstellar and principally because of the spectacle/atmosphere: I did not think much of the plot or the father/daughter dynamic. The main actor was also an awful mumbler.
  7. poll

    Sometimes I amaze even myself, but I thought that was quite good. Granted, my expectations are at rock-bottom, so it doesn't take much for D&D to impress me. Most of the scenes were good, the battle at the end was great (two sand-snakes down!) and I actually thought Kit and Emilia upped their game this week. Missaworm was a pathetic waste of time, of course, but other than that the episode was pretty engaging.
  8. I think that made sense when Hamilton was alive, certainly. However, I think once you have railways and begin to open up the west American industrial expansion likely did not depend on sheltering behind tariffs all that much. Free trade with Europe might have been better for the south. Didn't they have a lot of success in preserving their position anyway though? I didn't mean that: I meant that the north might be poorer in the alternative timeline than it was in ours, not that it would be poorer than the south.
  9. Yeah. Although I wonder what the average income was in the mid-west in the 1860s, and around the lakes? Also, having an unequal distribution of income is, per se, no barrier to industrialisation. If the USA did split in two Americans would have to spend more on defence, yes, although they spent very little until WWI anyway (I don't know how much the Great White Fleet cost). As I understand it, a plantation economy won't find industrialisation easy because such an economy will probably have low rates of urbanisation, and lack a big enough mass consumer base (slaves will be too poor to buy lots of stuff). There is also the issue of allowing slaves to hang around machinery. Population growth might be an issue as well. All this being said though, my question is why does the fact an independent south would not industrialise quickly matter? In OTL the south did not turn into an industrial powerhouse quickly either. The industry of the USA in the gilded age and beyond was in the North-East or around the Lakes, right? After the war and reconstruction the south ended up with primitive sharecropping arrangements which led to lower agricultural output.
  10. I'm not American, so please forgive my ignorance, but it is not the case that in OTL the south was much poorer than the north until the middle of the Twentieth-Century anyway? So win or lose the south is going to be behind the north in terms of industry and per capita income. And lots of poorer countries have started to catch up with the developed western nations, in certain respects, over the last thirty years or more, so the south could do the same. Actually, is it not possible that the south could have looked similar in terms of wealth sixty years or so after a successful secession, while the north could look worse? The north favoured high tariffs to protect its industries against European competition while the south wanted low tariffs to make its exports of raw materials and imports of manufactures more economic. So freer trade between the south and Europe (especially the UK) might have been the result of a confederate victory, while the union would suffer because the US single market would not be as large as it is in OTL.
  11. He was an Anglican but became an atheist, after too much time perusing the Koran apparently. He was also a very strident neo-con, and wrote a book called neo-conservatism why we need it when he was about 25. Good thing he's grown out of that! I think his current work is excellent, but it will be interesting to see what you make of the book.
  12. Ah. I'm really impressed with you these days. Anyway, Murray is certainly extreme if you identify with the liberal mainstream. I heard some of his interview with Harris a while ago and found it quite interesting. Fundamentally Harris and Murray have very different positions though. Murray thinks religion is an essential part of the human experience and believes Europe is in danger because of the decline of Christianity. Harris, presumably, thinks we are better off without all religion.
  13. Have you read the book?
  14. Dunno. But I think Stannis is going to win a battle outside of Winterfell, against the Freys, and then develop a ruse to get into Winterfell itself and wipe out the rest of the Boltons. GrrM has done a lot of setup for this. So he'll look pretty good after that.
  15. Hardly. However, once he wins the Battle of the Ice and takes Winterfell through a cunning ruse in book six you may get to talk credibly about him being the best.