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BS: World politics

keberoxu 22 Dec 23 - 07:01 PM
Donuel 14 Dec 23 - 07:32 AM
Thompson 13 Dec 23 - 09:37 AM
Donuel 13 Dec 23 - 08:47 AM
Thompson 13 Dec 23 - 03:57 AM
Donuel 12 Dec 23 - 07:47 AM
Rain Dog 07 Dec 23 - 01:27 PM
Charmion 07 Dec 23 - 10:13 AM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 23 - 09:40 AM
Donuel 07 Dec 23 - 08:16 AM
Thompson 07 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM
Nigel Parsons 04 Dec 23 - 09:45 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Dec 23 - 08:40 PM
Nigel Parsons 03 Dec 23 - 07:46 PM
Steve Shaw 03 Dec 23 - 07:14 PM
Nigel Parsons 03 Dec 23 - 06:40 PM
Thompson 03 Dec 23 - 04:50 AM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 23 - 05:00 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 23 - 04:59 PM
Nigel Parsons 01 Dec 23 - 03:09 PM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 23 - 01:58 PM
Mrrzy 01 Dec 23 - 01:53 PM
Steve Shaw 01 Dec 23 - 01:34 PM
Donuel 01 Dec 23 - 11:59 AM
Backwoodsman 01 Dec 23 - 11:30 AM
Nigel Parsons 01 Dec 23 - 10:10 AM
Backwoodsman 30 Nov 23 - 02:37 PM
MaJoC the Filk 30 Nov 23 - 01:46 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Nov 23 - 12:46 PM
Rain Dog 30 Nov 23 - 12:29 PM
Mrrzy 30 Nov 23 - 12:25 PM
Backwoodsman 30 Nov 23 - 12:03 PM
Steve Shaw 30 Nov 23 - 08:25 AM
MaJoC the Filk 28 Nov 23 - 08:22 AM
Donuel 28 Nov 23 - 07:08 AM
Steve Shaw 28 Nov 23 - 04:21 AM
Thompson 28 Nov 23 - 03:07 AM
Donuel 27 Nov 23 - 07:16 PM
Dave the Gnome 27 Nov 23 - 11:21 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Nov 23 - 07:57 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Nov 23 - 07:28 AM
Nigel Parsons 27 Nov 23 - 06:34 AM
MaJoC the Filk 26 Nov 23 - 09:11 PM
Nigel Parsons 26 Nov 23 - 01:00 PM
Donuel 26 Nov 23 - 08:11 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 23 - 07:10 AM
Doug Chadwick 26 Nov 23 - 06:27 AM
Steve Shaw 26 Nov 23 - 05:55 AM
Backwoodsman 26 Nov 23 - 05:38 AM
Thompson 26 Nov 23 - 05:15 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Dec 23 - 07:01 PM

In Poland, the right is not losing power without a fight.
They have gone after state television.
Could take a while to calm down.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Dec 23 - 07:32 AM

Tee Hee, Last night we spent 6 hours buying a car, and at the very end we had a Chauncy moment when we insisted that we really never paid. After an investigation, they discovered that we were right despite our paid in full receipts.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Dec 23 - 09:37 AM

Sounds like Chauncey all right, but I suspect it was just a chancer!


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 13 Dec 23 - 08:47 AM

Thompson, was his name Chance Gardener from the movie 'Being There'?
It sounds like they can only charge him with attempted chocolate theft. Everything else is on security and the airline.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 13 Dec 23 - 03:57 AM

Not really "world politics", but this story fascinates me: a man who apparently managed to get on a plane from Copenhagen to Los Angeles without ticket or passport. The report says he tried to "chat up" other passengers, but I think they meant chat to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 12 Dec 23 - 07:47 AM

Experts generally agree that energy production requires paying the devil his due. I expect there is such a thing as clean renewable energy. I do not think it is an uncrackable nut.

Is clean energy around the corner or does it already exist but is hidden to retain financial motives, I do not know. Some people believe Tesla was on the right track. Other people dismiss the search for clean energy as a fallacy. I admit the field is full of hoaxes and pretenders. Remember cold fusion?


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 07 Dec 23 - 01:27 PM

We seem to be living in age of a lack of tolerance, made worse by peoples' behaviour on social media.

I listened to this programme on BBC Radio 4 the other week. Strange times.

Assignment - Florida's political refugees

"Americans on both sides of the political spectrum are escaping states they no longer feel comfortable in - they’re calling themselves ‘political refugees.’ And the sunshine state of Florida is at the heart of this political sorting.

How can one US state be both a safe haven for Americans fleeing their homes in the north and a dangerous threat to liberal families?

From Miami to Chicago, for Assignment, Lucy Proctor traces the journeys of America’s homegrown refugees, meeting progressives and conservatives making their move. Through their crossing paths, she explores what is behind this new wave of domestic migration, and what it might mean for America’s future."


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Dec 23 - 10:13 AM

As you say, Steve, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

If rich countries had converted early from fossil fuels to nuclear power for energy generation, we would now have a different set of problems, most likely those arising from the presence of nuclear waste. The anti-nuclear protesters were not entirely wrong-headed.

Hydro power is often cited as the “cleanest” established energy source, but it, too, causes extensive environmental damage. While it doesn’t pollute the air, dam construction alters entire watersheds and destroys vast tracts of habitat for every imaginable form of life. Maintaining those dams and their associated distribution systems is an enormously important and complex task that must be planned and conducted over generations. Only a prosperous nation with a stable government committed to the public good can do it.

As humans, our biggest problem is that we’re not very good at long-term anything. Five years seems to be our maximum manageable planning horizon, which is why it’s the standard in both business and government. But for most of us, it’s a challenge to plan constructively for any project that lasts more than a few months, and a depressingly large proportion of us live from pay-cheque to pay-cheque, even day to day.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 23 - 09:40 AM

Glib sideswipes at nuclear power are unhelpful and misleading. There's a good read at ourworldindata.com entitled What are the safest and cleanest sources of energy? that looks at, among other things, the deaths caused by the various sources of power generation per unit of power they produce (they use the terawatt-hour, roughly the annual power usage of 150,000 people in Europe, in order to make fair comparisons of deaths caused). It turns out that nuclear is hundreds of times safer than coal, oil and gas and safer even than hydro and wind. There's no such thing as a free lunch, of course, and every means of energy production has its own issues with sourcing raw materials, accidents and waste disposal. Air pollution from fossil fuels is hard to see and isn't on the telly much, but it kills hundreds of thousands of people every year and is causing global heating to boot. In comparison, very few people die or are poisoned by nuclear accidents. Not saying we couldn't do better, of course...

Fifty years ago I was among the unthinking hordes who were of nuclear-power-no-thanks sentiment. I now see that if the planet had gone ahead with nuclear with enthusiasm and without opposition, we would not be in the parlous state in which we find ourselves today. The piece is worth reading if you're up for it.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Dec 23 - 08:16 AM

Over here we had the Rocky Flats Colorado disastrous plutonium fire.
Other releases are in California, Missouri, Washinton, Tennesee and more. Russia has several disasters that have caused them to erase the towns from the map. We tend to think of nuke disasters only at large Nuclear Plants. The nearly secret lab disasters are not as well known.

We look for cures for cancer more than these large causes.
It reminds me of the US gun debate that focuses on other factors rather than the gun itself.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 07 Dec 23 - 04:28 AM

Sellafield hacked Chinese and Russian hackers have targeted one of the world's most dangerous nuclear sites.
Sellafield (called Windscale until the Windscale Disaster when it went on fire and sent a cloud of nuclear pollution across Europe in the 1950s) "has the largest store of plutonium on the planet and is a sprawling rubbish dump for nuclear waste from weapons programmes and decades of atomic power generation".
It is also a sump of cruelty, where bullying, sexual harassment and drugs have caused multiple staff suicides in a site with 11,000 employees guarded by its own police force with more than 80 dogs.
Oh, and it's run by a French company, like all UK nuclear plants.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 04 Dec 23 - 09:45 PM

Appeal to authority? I'd never even heard of the bugger before I heard the Reith Lecture!
So why describe him as a 'hallowed professor'?


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 08:40 PM

Appeal to authority? I'd never even heard of the bugger before I heard the Reith Lecture! I still can't remember his name, and he certainly isn't a leftie! I'll be listening to a few more before I decide whether to regard him, or not, as "an authority." As you hail the Daily Torygraph as one of your "authorities," I'd say that it ill-behoves you, I feel, to accuse me of any sort of bias here. The democracies vs autocracies is an area of discussion in which I have no dog in the fight anyway. Finally, if you think that the piece I quoted is "out of date," I'd be more than happy to hear you updating that information. That might take your mind off whether I do links or not. Are you John's uncle, or clone even, by the way? :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 07:46 PM

My quotes, if quotes they be, are never "unattributed." You managed quite easily to find what I posted, because I told you where to look, as I always do. As for out of date, whatever it was you said, I pointed out that I was piqued into looking it up by what I heard in last week's first Reith Lecture, in which the statistic I referred to was quoted by the hallowed professor

'a hallowed professor' Okay, that's an appeal to authority.

You're happy to quote out of date facts, because they've also been quoted by one of your 'authority figures'.
Perhaps your system of logic is missing a few cogs!

You managed quite easily to find what I posted, because I told you where to look,
No, I found 'what you posted' because it was here on the Mudcat.
I found 'what you quoted' by a general search, which I wouldn't have needed to make if you had provided links.

Please try to keep up.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 07:14 PM

My quotes, if quotes they be, are never "unattributed." You managed quite easily to find what I posted, because I told you where to look, as I always do. As for out of date, whatever it was you said, I pointed out that I was piqued into looking it up by what I heard in last week's first Reith Lecture, in which the statistic I referred to was quoted by the hallowed professor who was giving the lecture. Do have a listen on iPlayer. Really, Nigel. Have you got any points to make about the substantive issue of the decline of democracy, or are you just obsessed with nitpicking? It's an honest question! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 06:40 PM

There you go, Nigel. The chronology of my thinking doesn't necessarily match the chronology of my posting. As I said, the democracy vs autocracy point first occurred to me when I heard the professor saying it during the Reith Lecture. I never do confirmation bias and I certainly didn't do it in this case. Make of the chronology what you will. Alternatively, you could stop nit-picking and, instead, address the substantive point, not necessarily of what I was saying, but at least of what the Reith lecturer was saying. Go on, have a listen. Then we could go on to discuss world politics, eh?

How about the fact that the 'information' you quoted was over 18 months out of date?
The 'chronology of your thinking' doesn't appear to allow for that. Hence my comments that you seem to quote outside sources, with no usable links.

You claim that your 'unattributed quotes are at least honest' ignores the fact that they may well not be valid for the current situation. If you fail to give sources/dates you could just as well be using quotes from WWII.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 03 Dec 23 - 04:50 AM

BBC World Service documentary on Kissinger.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 05:00 PM

And I never provide unattributed quotes. There's nothing sacrosanct about doing things in blue as long as I'm honest. Which I am.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 04:59 PM

There you go, Nigel. The chronology of my thinking doesn't necessarily match the chronology of my posting. As I said, the democracy vs autocracy point first occurred to me when I heard the professor saying it during the Reith Lecture. I never do confirmation bias and I certainly didn't do it in this case. Make of the chronology what you will. Alternatively, you could stop nit-picking and, instead, address the substantive point, not necessarily of what I was saying, but at least of what the Reith lecturer was saying. Go on, have a listen. Then we could go on to discuss world politics, eh?


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 03:09 PM

Steve. You're being a little 'disingenuous'. Well, Nigel 'n' John, before obsessing over poor old Steve's linklesssness again, perhaps you should have noted that I said that I raised it after hearing it said by the professor delivering the first of this year's Reith Lectures just two days ago! That reasserted the point made in the article you're complaining about.

You claimed: (30.Nov. 8:25) Democracy is in decline. There are now more autocratic regimes than democracies. (a quote from at least 18 months earlier)

It was 4 hours later, after Backwoodsman had asked for a link that you gave a reason for raising the subject.

As usual you expected people to accept your 'quotes' without giving links to them.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 01:58 PM

”I'm a simple man.”

At least we can agree on that.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 01:53 PM

Santos is out


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 01:34 PM

Well, Nigel 'n' John, before obsessing over poor old Steve's linklesssness again, perhaps you should have noted that I said that I raised it after hearing it said by the professor delivering the first of this year's Reith Lectures just two days ago! That reasserted the point made in the article you're complaining about.

And John, your obsession with the fact that I don't do blue links all too often means that a lot of your posts are not actually saying anything on-topic. Perhaps you'd be better occupied criticising links that are put up without any supporting text (which I never click on - this is a discussion forum after all), or links that are frivolous, or dead because they weren't tested by the poster, or not available outside the poster's country, or links to videos that are 45 minutes long or links to stuff behind a paywall. I generally tell you where I found stuff to support my points if you want to check. In these glorious days of Doctor Google you shouldn't find that too difficult to do. I'm a simple man.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 11:59 AM

There is great advantage in running candidates who are poorly educated or may I say 'dim' for the manipulation by the wealthy class.
In the US The Fellowship
is a very old example of such groups.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 11:30 AM

Thanks very much Nigel, precisely why I like people to provide working links rather than simply cut/copy-and-paste - far too easy for a poster to impart ‘spin’ to C&Ps, a link to the source helps to prevent such deceptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 01 Dec 23 - 10:10 AM

Backwoodsman:
You may have been unable to find it because although Steve quotes it with his own intro: "Democracy is in decline. There are now more autocratic regimes than democracies."
The 'there are now' comment ignores the fact that the article is over 18 months old (02/23/2022). So the original post was a little misleading.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 02:37 PM

Thanks Rain Dog.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 01:46 PM

If you're looking for the thread with Kissinger comments, Mrrzy, 'yere 't be.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 12:46 PM

I was piqued to looking into it as it was mentioned in the first Reith Lecture on Radio 4 yesterday. The lecture was an excellent listen, very unstuffy and quite entertaining. Gerrit on Sounds, me favourite BBC app. Cheers, Rain Dog, by the way. You're a better linkman than I am, Gunga Din.

As for Kissinger, he was a bad man. As I said in another thread, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pinochet, Nobel peace prize. Spot the incongruity.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Rain Dog
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 12:29 PM

DW.COM - Democracy in decline worldwide


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Mrrzy
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 12:25 PM

Does Kissnger's death go here?


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 12:03 PM

Could you post a link to the piece you quoted from please, Steve? dw.com doesn’t seem to have a ‘search’ facility, and I’ve just wasted fifteen minutes in a fruitless attempt to find it.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 30 Nov 23 - 08:25 AM

Democracy is in decline. There are now more autocratic regimes than democracies.

From www.dw.com:

Democracy is, however, farther away from a worldwide triumph than it has been for a long time. For the first time since 2004, the Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI) has recorded more autocratic than democratic states. Of the 137 developing and transition countries examined, only 67 are still considered democracies. The number of autocracies has increased to 70.

"This is the worst political transformation result we have ever measured in the 15 years of our work," says Hauke ??Hartmann, BTI project manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation. This is due to the fact that around the world there are fewer free and fair elections, less freedom of opinion and assembly, as well as increasing erosion of the separation of powers.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 08:22 AM

> The question of why the reemerging global shift to authoritarianism

Hie thee to HL Mencken, and find the original full version of "for every problem there is a solution which is neat, plausible and wrong". (I *think* it starts with "There are explanations; there have always been explanations". Corrections welcomed.)


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 07:08 AM

The question of why the reemerging global shift to authoritarianism...fascism, and religious xenophobia.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 04:21 AM

I asked Doug to move on. There's a bit of irony in the fact that you're not.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 28 Nov 23 - 03:07 AM

What question, Donuel?

As for my suggestion for a Sniping thread, it's just that I'm terribly bored by personal sniping between people who go off-message all the time, and I suspect others also give an impatient sigh when it starts. I'm basically saying "Get a room".


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 07:16 PM

Thats right Dave. History does not repeat itself exactly, it does however rhyme.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 11:21 AM

I suspect that many quotes rephrase others. That doesn't mean that the later ones are any less valid and, because they are more recent, they tend to be more suitable to current situations. Swift, Twain and Pratchett did not have Trump or Johnson in mind when they created their work but all 3 knew human nature very well.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 07:57 AM

And now from New Zealand - the recently elected government is proposing to pay for income tax cuts by reversing the ban on smoking for anyone born after 2008, so as to ensure a new generation will continue paying tax on tobacco. And dying.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 07:28 AM

”He was merely re-phrasing Mark Twain.”

Or even, mayhap, Jonathan Swift?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/26/books/famous-misquotations.html


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 27 Nov 23 - 06:34 AM

Time for a Pratchett quote: "A lie can travel round the world while the truth is getting its boots on."

Terry Pratchett quote?
He was merely re-phrasing Mark Twain.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 09:11 PM

Time for a Pratchett quote: "A lie can travel round the world while the truth is getting its boots on." It takes a certain amount of time to respond to an untruth, let alone refute it; meanwhile, the liar (or bullshitter) has emitted forty-two more untruths, each of which needs a separate refutation.

.... Hm: it's only just occurred to me that "spin doctor" may reference a web of lies, not just spin bowling in cricket. I'm slow.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 01:00 PM

Thompson: Populism isn't really politicians representing the views of the majority, though, Nigel Parsons; populism is a manipulative strategy to use the worst - the hatred of those who see themselves as oppressed - to bully a whole society.

You are entitled to use your own definitions. I prefer the following:
Britannica: Populism, political program or movement that champions, or claims to champion, the common person, usually by favourable contrast with a real or perceived elite or establishment.

Cambridge dictionary: political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want:


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Donuel
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 08:11 AM

Thompson I have answered your question 3 times. Perhaps you caught it on the fly. In short Big Brother, populism and lies move faster than democracy. Also while controversial the seeds of authoritarianism is inside human nature.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 07:10 AM

We could always just discuss populism for now, Doug.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 06:27 AM

'To discuss' (irregular verb):

I am making a legitimate criticism
You are nitpicking
They are sniping

DC


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 05:55 AM

So where's the fine line to be drawn between legitimate criticism of clumsy generalisations and sniping? I do respect your views, Thompson, but the challenge I made to his post up there was on-topic and not impolite. It is a discussion forum after all. By the way, I completely agree with your characterisation of populism. A little while ago I thought I was seeing it go into decline, what with clowns such as Johnson and Trump at the helm bringing populism into disrepute ;-). Sadly, we've seen a couple of elections in which right-wing populists have held sway. On Broadcasting House this morning there was even talk of Farage joining the Tories and, unbelievably, of his eventually becoming the Tory leader. And Trump isn't going away any time soon.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 05:38 AM

Populism, IMHO, is the weaponisation, usually by a powerful minority, of the fears and dissatisfactions of a weaker majority in order to control that majority, and persuade them to vote against their own best interests in order to achieve the aims of the minority - the Brexit ‘Leave’ campaign being a perfect example.


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Subject: RE: BS: World politics
From: Thompson
Date: 26 Nov 23 - 05:15 AM

I have a suggestion for the mods for where any two people are constantly sniping at each other.
How's about opening a special Sniping thread, and when the sniping starts, the mods can remove these posts from the thread they're polluting and interrupting, and post them into the Sniping thread? This way, the snipers can fire happily at each other without distraction for others.


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