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Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn

Comment: 123 days ago

I stand corrected on the Declaration of Independence. We've already covered the "tyrannical government of England" in another topic. Basically it seems to come down to paying taxes without a representative in Parliament (not exactly Abu Ghraib.)

Is Magna Carta still a "viable document"? Yes, in that it still informs the law (and is part of our unwritten constitution).

I note you term it "your precious Magna Carta". Well yes, over here we  think habeas corpus and the right to a fair trial with due process are precious. I do understand that Americans think these are arbitrary, but we take human rights a bit more seriously.

The Museum of Failure 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Museum of Failure

Comment: 123 days ago

Snappy come-back, but you missed making cracks about her race, gender and state of health.

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn 87% Posted Jun 2017

Russell Brand - who really won, May or Corbyn

Comment: 123 days ago

The USA has a written constitution, the UK has an unwritten one. Neither is cast in stone, so get over it.

If the US constitution were immutable, it wouldn't have codified amendments (or are you going to pretend that "amendment" doesn't mean "change"?)

And beyond amendments, the US constitution is interpreted in different ways. "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" didn't include slaves to begin with.

Abortion wasn't mentioned by the Founding Fathers, what was and was not included in Free Speech has also been interpreted.

So, you have a document which has been added to and interpreted since 1776?

Big deal. We have one that dates from 1215 - and Magna Carta not only set the law above the Crown, it also gave us habeas corpus (something notably absent from the USA's treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo).

Mark Blyth: Welcome to the new Britain 86% Posted Jun 2017

Mark Blyth: Welcome to the new Britain

Comment: 124 days ago

I think he's definitely grown into leadersip. 6 months ago (frankly, 6 weeks ago) I was pessimistic. He wasn't coming over well on the mainstream media, his party was split, he'd already faced 2 leadership challenges. It seemed the way forward was for labour to lose the election catastrophically, elect someone more uniting/competent then hit the election 5 years from now.

Instead, he's proved us all wrong. He's united the party, ignored the mainstream media (or downplayed it in favour of social media) and come across as a credible leader/opposition/government in waiting.

If labour don't now rest on their laurels but keep growing the youth vote while chipping away at the tory "coalition of chaos", I'd say we'll be looking at a labour government by this time next year.

UBI might be a stretch - I'm not sure it's in the public consciousness enough yet. Decriminalising cannabis might be on the cards (Legalising might be too big a step) Renationalising at least some of the privatised central services seems likely.

But PR? Personally I would like to see it happen (it would allow greater Green representation) but labour traditionally have opposed it: FPTP has always favoured the 2-party Lab/Con politics to the detriment of the smaller parties. But maybe this is the time. Labour have lost Scotland under FPTP so PR could be a way for them to recapture Scottish labour supporters.

Fingers crossed - that would change the face of British politics.

The Museum of Failure 87% Posted Jun 2017

The Museum of Failure

Comment: 124 days ago

No, but there's a strong and stable plinth reserved for someone else

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 125 days ago

I'm glad you finally admit the USA is guilty of torture inflicted on inmates at Guantanamo (waterboarding) but while that may have stopped, it wasn't the only "enhanced interrogation techniques" practised.

Here's the relevant paragraph from Article 17 of the Geneva Convention:

"No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind."

Are you still going to maintain that the USA abides by the Geneva Convention?

 

 

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 126 days ago

The Geneva Convention states that PoWs should not be interrogated (as has extensively happened to the inmates in Guantanamo), so your argument falls at the first fence. The USA is breaking the Geneva Convention either by holding them illegally - or by interrogating "prisoners of war". You can't have it both ways.

Secondly, Guantanamo is not a neutral nation: it's an American military base - so your argument is in shreds.

Let's be honest: the USA thinks it's OK to pick up anyone it doesn't like, hold them indefinitely without trial, torture (sorry, "interrogate") them and then to claim the moral high-ground.

The hypocrisy is staggering.

 

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 126 days ago

That's neither here nor there. no giraffes are held at Guantanamo, either,

The point is that it's US policy to capture/kidnap people and hold them indefinitely without trial.

It must be embarassing to live in a country that rejects such basic human rights as habeas corpus. No wonder Trump and Putin get on so well.

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union 93% Posted Jun 2017

Bernie slams Trump at the Oxford Union

Comment: 126 days ago

"Guilty until proven innocent" - you mean like Guantanamo?

What is a hung parliament? 86% Posted Jun 2017

What is a hung parliament?

Comment: 128 days ago

"From what you remember"? Not sure where you got that.

The PM is the leader of the party with the greatest number of seats (Members of Parliament). The post is not selected by the monarch. Going to the Palace to ask permission to form a government is a formality and probably done to establish the relationship between the monarch and the incoming PM.

We don't select our ministers by voting. We elect an MP for our local area ("constituency"). The leader of whichever party has the most MPs becomes Prime Minister. The PM appoints members of the cabinet (the ministers).

"The Queen may decide to use the popular vote if she wishes. It's all up to her how she wants to make that choice." Where on earth did you get this from? It might have been true before the Civil War (ours, not yours) but absolute power of the monarchy disappeared when Charles I lost his head.

Highlights from James Comey's testimony 87% Posted Jun 2017

Highlights from James Comey's testimony

Comment: 129 days ago

Should he? Yes.

Will he? I very much doubt it - look how Nixon was pardoned by Ford in order to minimise division within the nation.

Insane RC helicopter flight 87% Posted Jun 2017

Insane RC helicopter flight

Comment: 130 days ago

Trump has been bought by people with too much money, he behaves erratically, makes a lot of noise and frequently changes his position.

Not sure what is has to do with global warming, though.

What is the naughtiest thing Theresa May has ever done? 87% Posted Jun 2017

What is the naughtiest thing Theresa May has ever done?

Comment: 130 days ago

This was the first take: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNZ-x53xYV0

Eisenhower's stellar on how to make decisions 87% Posted Jun 2017

Eisenhower's stellar on how to make decisions

Comment: 130 days ago

No - you should be aiming to spend as much of your time as you can on things which are important and not yet urgent. Then you can give them high-quality attention.

He's not saying you should completely ignore the important and urgent stuff, but if you're constantly fire-fighting then your life is full of short-term, low-quality attention - and your output will reflect this.

It's obviously always a judgement call, but if the decision comes down to spending time on Task A (lasts an hour and takes me 5 steps towards my big goal and is urgent) or Task B (lasts an hour, takes me 20 steps and is not yet urgent) then you should do Task B.

If you can knock off Task A in 5 minutes, ok do it - but your aim should be to spend high-quality time on your important goals.

A day on earth 200 million years ago 86% Posted Jun 2017

A day on earth 200 million years ago

Comment: 131 days ago

200 Mmillion years ago, North America ruled by dinosaurs?

Plus ça change

Corbyn pressed on whether he'd use nuclear weapons 87% Posted Jun 2017

Corbyn pressed on whether he'd use nuclear weapons

Comment: 131 days ago

The current PM hasn't defended the UK very well from "the type of terrorism that the uk has seen 3 times in the last year." Indeed, you could say her actions in cutting police and Border Force have contributed to those attacks.

And Corbyn's pledge to increase police numbers is preferrable to May's pledge to reduce civil liberties.

Seismic isolation floor in action 87% Posted Jun 2017

Seismic isolation floor in action

Comment: 133 days ago

British Airways, please note

John Oliver - Britain is reeling 88% Posted Jun 2017

John Oliver - Britain is reeling

Comment: 133 days ago

Well said.

I saw nobody reeling on my way to work this morning. A bigger police presence, yes, but that's normal in these circumstances.

It's not just a London attitude, it's a British one. We've been on the receiving end of random violence for as long as I can remember - and the over-riding attitude of most people is "These bastards aren't going to stop me from living my life as I want to."

Waterless toilet of the future 87% Posted Jun 2017

Waterless toilet of the future

Comment: 136 days ago

Where does the energy come from (and how much is needed) to burn the solid waste into ash?

Why controlling the masses through media no longer works 88% Posted May 2017

Why controlling the masses through media no longer works

Comment: 137 days ago

Yes - and I don't think that's what he was saying.

There's a mismatch between the posted description of the video ("Why controlling the masses through media no longer works") and the embeddded title in the video ("Authority doesn't look the way it used to").

So I agree with you that "Manufacturing consent" still applies, but it could be changing. I took his point as the old model of single authority figure speaks to many listeners (news anchor on small number of TV channels, Encyclopedia Britannica, few newspapers) is changing to many authority figures speak to many listeners (YouTube channels, Twitter feeds etc.)

I think the current UK election just might bear this out. The manufactured consent of strong, stable Theresa May could be undermined by the less visible social media campaigning of Jeremy Corbyn.

However, I'm not putting any money on the result and am equally prepared to be delighted and plunged into even deeper gloom.

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