August 16th, 2012


There is no use crying over spilled semen

Is GB about to toss out the Vienna Convention over Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy flap?

... returned to the UK today to be astonished by private confirmation from within the FCO that the UK government has indeed decided – after immense pressure from the Obama administration – to enter the Ecuadorean Embassy and seize Julian Assange.

This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

Which, um, would not be a good thing, given the exposure of our diplomats in areas (MANY areas!) hostile to the US.

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My opinion: this one man is not worth all of this attention and waste of energy, unless some totalitarian government demands to make an example of the demonized 'truth seeker' ("V", Manning, et al.).

"Hey Julian! Where is your Julian mask??"

So what do you think the world reaction would be if British troops stormed, and/or, oops, killed a 'resisting' Assange? Over allegations of a leaked condom?

Just what is the deal with this one guy and all the fuss to get him to Sweden for questioning? And how does he keep convincing people to give him free room and board?

With turban, but no Quran

What is the motive behind the terror act in Wisconsin? (Because that is what it is). Is it hatred for Muslims, with whom the attacker erroneously associates the Sikhs? Or is it distrust to "otherness"? Or sheer ignorance? The Sikh religion is little known outside of India, and it is worth exploring more closely, because it is indeed unique in many ways. And because, as was concluded yesterday, when something different is not familiar enough, this generates distrust, and fear, and even anger, and hence, violence.

First of all, Sikhism originates from the North Indian state of Punjab. The Sikhs are about 2% of India's population. The most prominent moment in their history was in the 80s when Sikh separatists attempted to create an independent state in Punjab, the most prosperous part of India. The then PM Indira Gandhi responded by storming the sacred Sikh shrine in Amritsar, the Golden Temple. And she met the Sikh revenge in 1984 when her body-guards (who were Sikhs) assassinated her. And this led to bloody pogroms across the country.

The Sikhs who live in the US are about a quarter of a million. The first Sikhs came to America in the end of the 19th century, looking for a better life. Initially most of them were occupied in agriculture. With time they earned a positive image, accumulated wealth, and occupied high posts in society and in the administration and business. It is no coincidence that president Obama mentioned the Sikh heritage which had enriched America, and the Sikh community which had become an integral part of the great American family, when he was giving his condolence speech after the terror attack.

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Friday Lulz

One of the things I've always enjoyed about this community are all the literary references. Pratchett, Tolkien, and so many more it's impossible to list. Now there is is whole "Thrones" thing that I suppose I'll have to read so I can be part of the "in" group. I mean people frequently reference characters, and sometimes I haven't a clue.
At any rate I have been reading the "Thursday Next" books by Jasper Fforde and it got me to thinking: Just how many people on this forum really know Jack Schitt?