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Everything posted by mormont

  1. If Putin were dead, you absolutely could not keep it quiet. Just walking around Moscow would be impossible due to the tanks causing traffic jams and the danger of walking on the pavements in a hail of people falling from windows.
  2. No, worse, I’m afraid. We’re back to the same old running around the same old sets, explaining the plot and the stakes out loud, fiddling with McGuffins in ever decreasing circles. It all feels very small and claustrophobic for a series about the destruction of entire timelines, set in a vast city complex at the heart of time that has like six rooms. It needs room to breathe. It’s not awful, and it has charm, but it’s very far below the first series, which felt fresh and clever.
  3. One could start by questioning whether a tiny, hand-picked and limited selection of admittedly high profile posts really suggest that no barriers exist for south Asian people accessing these positions. https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn01156/ https://apolitical.co/solution-articles/en/why-uk-parliament-needs-better-south-asian-representation https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a7f81c6ed915d74e33f6dc4/race-in-workplace-mcgregor-smith-review.pdf The issue is complex. Some minority groups do achieve highly in order to overcome systemic racism, and succeed, but overcoming that systemic racism in some examples doesn't mean it no longer exists. I would agree that race is too clumsy as a metric in many ways. Within the south Asian population, there are marked differences between Sri Lankans, Pakistanis, Indians and Bangladeshis, between Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, and between men and women. It's complicatd. But then, that's what I was saying when I pointed out that saying south Asians hold high office doesn't say anything about systemic racism against black people. What we can say is that if you want to hold high office, it's a lot easier if you're a white middle aged man. The system favours folk like me. I can see that, and I acknowledge that I benefit from it.
  4. Again, race isn't just white vs non-white. Systemic racism against black people can exist even if south Asian people are in powerful positions. For that matter, systemic racism against south Asian people can (and does) exist even if south Asian people are in powerful positions, in much the same way as sexism didn't end in 1979.
  5. Not to speak for BFC, but Asian people are not black, ethnic minorities are not a single undifferentiated group, and it is perfectly possible that black people are underrepresented in positions of power while south Asian people are not.
  6. Add Jenna Ellis to the 'took a plea' list: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-67208871
  7. And I didn't disagree with those criticisms. (I'm not equipped to: I'm perfectly willing to admit I never heard of Al-Haq before, for example.) I just wouldn't want anyone to be taking the point of view of 'this source has an editorial line I disagree with, so I'm going to start from the assumption that it must be flawed'. Not saying that was what happened in this instance - in fact you seemed to be doing the reverse, saying 'I find this reporting flawed so I'm concluding that the source has an extreme bias'. But that latter can easily lead to the former. I just want to make it clear for folks who maybe aren't familiar with C4N that they are certainly as credible a source as CNN, for example. ETA - on another topic entirely: There's currently no board rule against linking to Twitter. People are absolutely entitled to politely ask that others don't do it, and other people are absolutely entitled to do it anyway if they think that particular tweet has information or value to the discussion. If they do, please just respond as you would to anything else you'd rather not read - don't read it.
  8. That's not really a strong criticism, I'm afraid. C4N is an ITN outlet, and while the Channel 4 programme is editorially distinct from their main news - aimed at a more educated, left-wing audience rather than a mainstream audience - their journalistic standards are not easy to criticise. Certainly on a par with any US outlet you could name. They broke the Cambridge Analytica story, they broke the UK MP's expenses scandals, they are a serious and weighty news outlet. I appreciate that no-one should be beyond criticism, and there are some reasonable questions you ask about the analysis, but it can't be waved away out of hand because of a perceived bias. C4N are a credible source. ETA - I'm not sure it's useful, anyway, to be dividing the world into 'pro-Palestine' and 'pro-Israel' camps. It's only a step from there to 'anti-Palestine' and 'anti-Israel'. A whole lot of people are neither. In fact most of us are, I'd venture to say.
  9. Yeah, I get that, and I can see what he's doing with this specific manifestation. He needs to create a tension between Timely seeming vulnerable, but also show the egotistical, ruthless side underneath, the part that could lead to him becoming a danger to the multiverse, in order that the viewer isn't totally sure how this will go and isn't 100% against Timely from the start. So he's doing this very affected speech, like a man suppressing a stutter, and awkward body language to go with that, but underneath there's the part that reacts to the idea of partnership with scorn, which is when he speaks most fluently and with real emotion. It's good. He just needs to reign it in a bit.
  10. That episode was certainly a step up from the first two. Again, those weren't bad, exactly, they just felt like marking time, whereas this one felt like actual plot progression. It's not great that episode three of a six episode series feels like it's finally getting going, but it's better than never getting going. It does have two problems: while I could see what Majors was trying to do here, he was overdoing it. Victor Timely felt like a performance in a way He Who Remains did not. The other issue is the weird Miss Minutes/Renslayer jealousy over Timely. Can we not think of a better dynamic here for two female characters to fall out? It feels particularly off given the allegations about Majors, although of course nothing has been proven and they couldn't have known about it at the time of filming, I presume. It's particularly a shame as the Renslayer/Timely relationship was otherwise some of the best acting in the season. If they'd left it at that and had Miss Minutes betray Renslayer for some other reason, the whole thing would have worked so much better. Again, though, the series looks terrific. Costumes, sets, everything. And the cast are great.
  11. I had a harder time with the not-sleeping kiddos than the experimenting-with-alcohol teens, but my two were quite reasonable about the latter and only got vomiting drunk once or twice, and that was when they were at their mother's, so not my cleanup :p On the other hand, just wait till they're adults and start dating unsuitable partners. That's fun.
  12. Let's recall that the best deal the Palestinians have ever been offered, the one people often say now they should have taken, didn't just involve a state of two seperate parts, but one of those parts being riddled with exclaves under Israeli control connected by roads Palestinians would not be allowed to use or approach. And there are many, many more Israeli settlements and roads since then. As I've said before, though, not much point discussing what a Palestinian state would look like since there isn't any sign Israel wants to offer one, and nobody else will make them.
  13. Well on the one hand, there's this headline: https://www.scotsman.com/news/uk-news/scottish-water-worse-than-english-and-welsh-1563130 But then again, there's the content of the actual story. It's true that our water infrastructure requires much more investment. But the levels of investment are at record levels and the public nature of Scottish Water is almost universally credited with the improvement to date. So yes, I would agree it's worked well in Scotland.
  14. There has been no blood libel here. It doesn't serve anyone to mischaracterise any allegation of Israelis killing people as 'blood libel'. That term has a very specific and awful history. To use it when it is not applicable is unhelpful at best.
  15. 'Intended as' cuts no ice with me when the effect of the portrayal is, and has been for hundreds of years, to be one of the most widely known anti-Semitic caricatures to the point where the very name of the character is used as an anti-Semitic slur.
  16. 'Pound of flesh' wasn't before anyone's time (at least nobody here): it's from Shakespeare and is still in wide currency as a saying. 'Peanut gallery', on the other hand, isn't racist per se. It means exactly the same as 'the cheap seats'. In segregated theatres, these were the only seats permitted to black people, but the phrase was and is widely used outside of that context. So it has racist connotations, rather than being racist.
  17. But as I've noted before, these things don't seem likely to happen, as long as Israel believes they are worse than the continued existence of Hamas. What Israel wants is peace on its own terms. Those terms include things like continued growth, maintaining or improving its current standard of living, security from attack, and maintaining its status as a majority Jewish nation. Most of those are not compatible with a viable Palestinian state as a neighbour. Even a peaceful Palestinian state would compete for scarce resources including water, would campaign to have Jewish settlements removed from its territory, would prevent further expansion into that territory, would stand up for the rights of its citizens who live and work in Israel. It would, in short, constrain Israel's freedom to act as it pleases in a way the status quo does not. You'll have a hard time getting an Israeli politician to acknowledge this, but it's true.
  18. Yes. The linked article does not disagree with my point, I'm afraid. Corbyn was going to raise taxes, sure - on high earners and utility firms. The article discusses the latter almost exclusively. The messaging around this was very careful to emphasise that there would be no tax rises for most voters, and that the overall effect of these measures would be to boost economic growth. Let's be clear: Corbyn really was an abysmal leader of his own party. He had no leadership ability at all. Yes, he faced opposition from within his own party - every single party leader does! He faced nothing remotely like what Kinnock faced - and didn't handle it a fraction as well as Kinnock did. Starmer has faced 'sustained attacks' from the left, for that matter. The difference is that Corbyn responded exceptionally poorly to these. Corruption? Corbyn didn't take any money, but interfering in party disciplinary processes because the subjects were his friends is corruption, I'm afraid. Betrayal? Yes, again normal, and many members felt betrayed by Corbyn, so it was not one way. Negative media coverage? No other Labour leader ever faced that! 'Bad luck' on Brexit? He created that himself by vacillating, refusing to publicly admit to his personal views, and declining to take a position on the biggest policy issue of the day. Corbyn supporters seem to like this idea that he faced unique challenges. In fact he faced what every political leader faces. He just reacted uniquely badly. He was a competent backbencher whose personal flaws were magnified by being raised to leader, who lost two very winnable elections, and who in response flailed and sulked and just generally did his job very badly. Worse than either Foot or Kinnock, without a doubt (and since I lived through Foot's defeat, I am not in need of an explanation, though I do appreciate it, and that's not meant sarcastically. You presumably don't know how old I am!) Corbyn was not a victim because of his ideology. He failed it because he wasn't up to the job. As someone who believes in many of the ideas he did, I am sorry he failed, but the constant excuses from his supporters reinforce the idea that Jeremy couldn't fail, he could only be failed.
  19. In which case I'll refer you to my earlier post: what most of us would like to see is the IDF, recognising this fact, taking steps to minimise civilian casualties. In the interests of balance, it's fair to say that the very high population density of Gaza means that it's hard for both the IDF and Hamas to avoid collateral damage in any clash. Hamas, however, have shown us enough evidence that we can conclude that even if it were possible to do so, they wouldn't. They don't care about the lives of innocents. I would hope the IDF are better than that. But I'm worried that the indications so far are not good. ETA - I want to add a very important note on allegations of anti-Semitism, by the way. In the nature of things, the people who have to make a call on whether something is or is not anti-Semitic or otherwise breaks board rules are the moderators. The moderators are not ourselves Jewish, Israeli, Palestinian or Arab. Recognising that, we might miss nuance or get things wrong. If people feel that's so, you can message us. But in the end, we'll make the call. I recognise that might mean some people are upset with what we decide. But try to extend a little charity to both the moderators and other users. Assume good motives, not bad ones, insofar as you're able. We have managed quite a lot of discussion of this topic, sometimes heated, with minimal intervention. We'd prefer to keep that going, but if it becomes problematic, we might close the discussion altogether.
  20. Yeah, I can't let that pass. This is dangerously close to apologising for the IRA, who, whatever their supposed 'strategic aims', machine-gunned civilians and bombed civilian targets without warnings over two decades. It's not credible to say these were all 'mistakes or rogue attacks'. Moving on, it's interesting to see the comments from Iran about potential escalation. I've seen some claims that Hamas anticipated Hezbollah joining in the original attacks, but Iran put a stop to that for fear of US involvement. Don't know if these are credible.
  21. And yet even Corbyn, who as I have said was the architect of his own demise, focused his economic messaging on reassuring voters that most would pay no more tax and preferred to talk about economic growth. It would be extraordinary if Starmer had not said that he would focus on growth over higher tax. And suicidal. (If Starmer is Kinnock, by the way, then surely Corbyn is Michael Foot - but without Foot's personal qualities and accomplishments, IMO.)
  22. This is true. But what has always been obvious is that if the IDF ever had to go into Gaza, there would inevitably be civilian casualties. What matters, then, is that having decided to do that, whether the IDF go about things in a way that at least attempts to minimise those casualties. Right now, the signs on that front are not good. The choices that are being made and the messaging to the troops that will carry out the exercise suggest that is not a priority. And that’s not good enough for a country that professes to the values Israel professes to. Those values matter now more than ever.
  23. That particular 'move to the right' happened thirty years ago, and has been the message of almost every Labour leader since then.
  24. I'm not not enjoying the second season of Loki. It looks great, the performances are great, it's fine. But at the same time, the plot is a lot of 'let's go do this urgent thing! OK, we've done that, now another urgent thing!' Stop Loki timeslipping, fix the loom, find Sylvie, stop the rogue TVA agents, etc. And I feel it's disguising the fact that it's not really clear what this season is about. What's the overarching plot? Who's the antagonist? Kang's coming, we keep being told, but nothing that's happened so far really relates to that? I feel like the series keeps throwing stuff in so the audience doesn't have time to think about that. I think they miss the original showrunner: it's good, but it's not on the level of the first series, and it feels like it exists just because folks liked the first series so much.
  25. All I can say on that is they aren’t at the point of the government asking judges not to send anyone there for now, all the while promising voters to give more and longer sentences.
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