The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.

Squonk.

[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

16,731 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. It’s enough to make me try arsenic, but I won’t because of Domino.

    To think that the country is run by bipartisan, racist nut cases.

  2. Flynn eyed the gin

    Then virtue-signaled a win

    He reclined on the couch

    Denying his crooked crouch

    Believing his craven spin

  3. I have no chidden, Ben, only male and female relatives.

    See that the Hennepin Medical Examiner on May 26th found that there was no evidence of George Floyd dying of Asphyxia or suffocation, only pre-death medical problems, and possible alcohol abuse, brought on death by police interrogation under an SUV!

  4. Successful, beautiful launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon by Falcon 9.

    The first crewed launch from the USA in nine years, and it went like a dream. Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, on their way to the International Space Station. About twenty minutes after launch Crew Dragon passed over southern England, but the sun was still up so I couldn’t see it. I get a second chance from 22:16 to 22:18 BST. It’s visible from New Zealand at present.

  5. Crew Dragon will be passing over the southern tip of California in about ten minutes. Daylight there though, so not visible.

    Meanwhile, on the ground, you have a president that thinks science is a big hoax…

  6. I’m pretty sure I didn’t see it. There were a few seconds when I had the binox on something I thought might be moving, but I couldn’t see any background stars to check it against. I tried without the binox but couldn’t see it, and then when I returned to the binox I couldn’t find that object again, so that might have been it. But that’s not good enough to call a sighting.

  7. Six o’clock on a Sunday morning in the middle of a pandemic, and I can hear the traffic roaring into London on the A12. My MP eventually replied to my letter of concern about the government policy. I am told that the government are “following the science”. I think it must be “Node’s science” they are following rather than “mine”; I’d be happier to swap places; I’m scared here.

    I feel vaguely guilty that I enjoyed watching the launch yesterday. Space travel was an emblem of progress, a reach to the future. Now it seems like a pathetic gesture of a dying species that is at least trashing, and maybe killing its planet.

    All the many corpses begin to speak
    What ignorance is cannot be argued over any more

    There is a scar on the soul of the world and it needs you to look
    The blood of the past is here, it remains
    The blood of the murders, the bodies like sacks leaking brain
    All stacked, chest aback on the planes, it remains
    To acknowledge without guilt, to accept without condition
    And to listen when other people tell you how you have behaved
    Truth is, it’s for us to feel and be moved
    But I hear the clatter of bone against steel, it is coming
    It will not be stilled, it is there
    In the air, scorched white
    The reflection of sunlight on glass bouncing back into sunlight
    And glass bouncing back, industrialized
    Denial, business as usual
    So roll your eyes, shake your head, turn away and call me names
    I’m okay with that, too proud
    Unable to listen, we keep speaking
    Moted by blood, unable to notice ourselves

  8. Perhaps Derek Chauvin and his three co-conspirators water-boarded, in effect, George Floyd on dry land by pining him under the gas tank of the unmarked SUV while Derek fine tuned his oxygen intake which was brutally overdone in the hope that he would confess to ANTIFA was plotting a coup to get back at the whites for the Tulsa massacre 99 years ago.

  9. Clark

    Below is the disturbing report from Minneapolis which a US friend (from California, but resident in Anguilla) has forwarded to me. It gives a different angle from the mainstream media I have seen on who is carrying out much of the arson and rioting after the 8.00pm curfew on those protesting at the death/manslaughter/murder of George Floyd.
    – – – – – – – – – – –

    This is from my friend Susan, a very reliable retired journalist.
    Bob

    >
    > “So for those of you who are interested – I have no idea how national media is covering this – here is what is happening on the ground from my perspective. It is a long post.
    >
    > All day yesterday people were out on the street helping businesses – EVERY SINGLE BUSINESS IN UPTOWN has boarded up windows and locked down their stores. The 3rd Precinct, which burned on down Thursday night, is on the east end of Lake Street. Uptown, where we live and the 5th Precinct police station is located, is three miles west on lake street. All of Lake Street was looted on Thursday night. On Friday EVERY BUSINESS on Lake Street and adjoining commercial districts, was boarded up.
    >
    > Many spray painted murals on the plywood – let folks know they were a local or minority owned business. Essential businesses.
    >
    > Last night was by far the worst night. Protests during the day were peaceful. There was an 8:00pm curfew. Everything changed when the sun went down. There are roving and highly organized bands of anti-government neo-nazi white men cruising the city, breaking off plywood, looting stores, and then setting them fire to the buildings.
    >
    > On the Northside, which is predominately African American, the situation was much the same. Local civic groups were trying to protect local businesses and homes. there were many fires.
    >
    > The violence and destruction is NOT being driven by local people. The cars on the streets have either removed their license plates, or have out of state plates.
    >
    > Here is a post from a neighbor, “Everybody! We need to get our heads around what’s happening, Mpls and St Paul are being attacked by fascist “accelerationist” white crazies. Trying to divide & destroy us.
    >
    > Accelerationism: the idea inspiring white supremacist killers around the world -Vox”
    >
    > Expect these same types to infiltrate all of the legitimate protests happening in other cities in America. We are fighting an enemy within.
    >
    > These “accelerationists” burned down the 5th Police Precinct, our post office, every pharmacy. The Wallgreens and CVS within a few blocks of our house are still burning this morning. The grocery stores were all hit. Every bank has been hit. Every liquor store, every gas station. They have guns and accelerants.
    >
    > When National Guard show up, they disappear into the neighborhoods and have been setting fires. It is a violent game of arsonist wake-a-mole. There is no longer any fire fighting service available – overwhelmed. So neighbors are using garden hoses to put out the fires and save homes. Pictures neighbors are sharing – these are young white men, heavily armed.
    >
    > According to authorities there are over 10,000 of these “accelerationists” in the city. St. Paul arrested over 50 people last night. ALL OF THEM were from out of state. The authorities are checking phones of the people they have arrested, doing contact tracing of sorts on these people. These people are connected to right wing militia style groups with a civil/race war fantasy. They are opportunistically using the legitimate, peaceful George Floyd protests as a cover to actualize their neo-nazi fever dream.
    >
    > Gov. Walz just said, “If you know where these people are sleeping today, let us know and we will execute warrants. Allie and I were helping the owner of a commercial building up the street – a friend, and two of these guys came up to us. Wanted to know where the free food was being distributed. He gave them an address that was three blocks away. Had no idea what we were talking about – not from here.
    >
    > Allie, the girls and I are fine and safe. Exhausted. Angry. We have not really slept in three days. Everyone in Minneapolis/St. Paul is the same.
    >
    > So, what to do? Our neighborhood group is meeting at the park this afternoon. I think that they will organize our neighborhood watch to patrol, try to spot fires and get them out ASAP.
    >
    > Major protests are planned for today. They want the other three police officers involved in George Floyd’s murder arrested, they want the MN Attorney General, not the Hennepin County Attorney to manage the case. They want the MPD disbanded and reformed with many alternative public safety and law enforcement strategies used. But the legitimate protests will end at 8:00 pm.
    >
    > The Gov. and the mayor are calling in thousands more National Guard Troops. We already had more National Guard troops in the city than ever before. They are doing a good job but were overwhelmed last night by sheer numbers. Gov. Walz is the highest ranking soldier to have ever served in Congress and led the National Guard – he clearly sees this for what it is and will fight it. This is now a military operation by the State of Minnesota against alt-right, white nationalists and anarchists that have come into Minneapolis to use the protests against police brutality as cover for their death fantasy.
    >
    > They are trying to force authorities to use deadly force and “accelerate” the violence.
    >
    > It is dark friends.
    >
    > The other side – this morning the neighborhood is out in force helping with the clean up, re-securing businesses. Massive food distribution at community centers. People taking in neighbors whose homes were destroyed or whose neighborhood was so impacted that it is no longer habitable. Allie was ion contact with students, many of whom are refugees from war torn countries, that were hearing explosions and fire and sirens – they were calling her to make sure she was okay.
    >
    > Today I will garden. My flowers are starting to really come into bloom. Vegetables coming in strong. New raised bed being built. Eat some good food. Feel grateful. Train our new puppy Ruth, who is just a pip. Take her to the lake and give her a swimming lesson. Then I’ll take a nap. I think tonight will be a long one.”
    – – – – – – – – – –
    thank you…
    Yes, when I spoke to my brother in Atlanta, same thing – strings of cars from out of town – they’re calling them anarchists or something like that there…of course the KKK has big stronghold in North Ga. and N. Florida etc….lots of racists who will do whatever they do 🙁
    Trump has been criticized by right and left media for inciting more violence
    ..
    A newspaper friend near Seattle – says same thing …which is terrible all the cars with no plates, out of state plates…
    Another friend from just n of San Francisco says same thing….floods of people not from the area destroying, burning, inciting..

    A stripper who calls me for life coaching says “things bad in Vegas and we just want to make a buck”.

    So Covid isn’t a full plate already?
    so sad….
    stay well, stay safe

  10. In the Universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between them, there are doors.” —William Blake

    Just another demonstration of Mankind’s inability to govern itself.

    Communism. Socialism. Fascism. Theocracy. Democracy. Libertarian…it doesnt matter, because the fly in each of these ointments is people.

    But I believe they can evolve when a crisis hits a peak…when they MUST change or die..

    Neanderthals could not change and maybe Trrmp is the pied piper leading his lemmings to their fate..extinction

  11. The biggest problem is that the USA never solves anything.

    What’s in the Constitution? Is slavery really over? Who killed JfK? MLK? RFK? You name it.

  12. Discussions of public assemblies in dispute about conditions are so skewed in favor of the authorities that it is pathetic.

    All who attend them are considered protestors though I have only attended them to see what was going on, like when I led a group of college students in a march on the Pentagon, the only way we could get in there. They were being drafted then to fight the imperial war in Vietnam, and I wanted to make sure that they were not being set up to go there.

    I, and I assume others, have yet to attend such public assemblies as a protester.

    If I do attend one as as protester I shall dress,behave, and discuss it afterwards as a peaceful protester while the police today do all these things in a provocative way, dressed for an escalating battle, grabbed in clothes to reduce injury in case of a clash, armed to injure and stop me, and equipped to take prisoners. Then they speed up the process by firing tear gas, marching in a formation with colleagues to increase their show of strength, and equipped for conflict and to bring in more force if necessary.

    Of course, I would be hopelessly outgunned in my T-shirt, shorts and tennis shoes.

    Why is being a protester such a loaded word that peaceful protesters are so allegedly identified?

  13. Now former President Barack Obama, backing Joe Bide, has urged POTUS Tump to act with the National Guard to suppress protesters in places like New York.

    This is after a phalanx of Washington police in riot gear fired off gas canisters, wearing gas masks, wielding batons and protecting themselves with shields, put a clear peaceful group of protesters to flight so Big Mouth Trump could parade around the park in front of the White House.

    This is like the riots of 1968 after the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. The killers only have to worry about the little people now.

  14. That’s a really disturbing post you’ve shared, Clark. If this is what’s really going on, it needs to be exposed.

  15. Now former Vice President Joe Biden says it isn’t up to him becoming POTUS, it’s up to voters like me.

    Ok, I think that you were totally unqualified for the job you performed in Obama’s covert government, to almost everyone’s amazement.

    Upon entering the Oval Office, Obama was confronted by Thomas Reed’s entreaty to take drastic action against the nuclear threat by some small power like North Korea. “Who will control China’s ascent?”he wrote in the Prologue of The Nuclear Express. “And will that next government continue to spread nuclear technology into the Third World?” And on the facing page, a diagram showed what a small bomb could destroy in New York city.

    Obama was not prepared to take such drastic action, especially against North Korea, more interested in building international ties to prevent its need which paid off in October by his winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Biden had puled off the surprise by getting Christopher Hill, in charge North Korea’s denuclearization, to resign in April 2009, and using a laser satellite to cause another earthquake, which John Bolton had persuaded the G. W. Bush administration to do, claiming it was a nuclear test the following month.

    In the next post i will deal with murders you engaged in.

  16. Obama is an unrepentant Globalist who even shames the first Black League baseball player to be tested for his tolerance for being spat upon by fans and other players.

    Maybe a Jackie Robinson POTUS made sense 60 years ago but a Cassius Clay is needed now.

  17. Stef, the first part of the post, addressed to me, is from Iain Orr, former Consul General of Shanghai, former Assistant High Commissioner of Ghana, Craig’s mentor and one of his closest friends over the course of decades. Iain is of very sound judgement; you met him at the Extinction Rebellion camp at Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, didn’t you?

    Beneath that you’ll see “This is from my friend Susan, a very reliable retired journalist. Bob.” I know Bob’s surname but withheld it, to save seeking his permission to publish it. Bob is one of Iain’s closest friends.

    So although this post arrives through a chain of four people (or five including me) I regard it as fully reliable.

  18. There was a precedent for the USA going to war over an enemy developing a nuclear program,Ben i.e., the ouster of Saddam Hussein, and the overthrow of his regime.

    Joe Biden, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sided with CIA Director George Tennet and the Bush administration agreed, that the Iraqi leader was eagerly collecting strong aluminum tubing for its uranium enrichment program, and Reed knew that he had played the key role in going tower with Iraq.

    Tennet was made a sucker by falling for the 19 followers of Osama bin Laden just being hijackers,and when the 9/11 disaster occurred, the CIA agents looked like crazy for the tubing. only to find it stacked up in one of his missile factories.

    It was another ruse that the ignorant American leaders had fallen for, thanks to Biden’s influence.

  19. Yes, I met Iain Orr in London. Twice, in fact. And I would be inclined to trust his judgement.
    It certainly made me watch today’s news coverage through a different lens.
    Sadly, the motives of all protesters is being impugned (again) by the anti-Soros brigade, who believe anyone under the banner of Black Lives Matter must be unwitting pawns in his quest for world domination. A useful cover for the far right’s own sinister agenda.
    https://www.timesofisrael.com/rising-conspiracy-theory-claims-george-soros-behind-us-unrest-adl-says/

  20. Stef, thanks for that link. It confirms what I have found myself; most conspiracy theory of the expands-without-limit type is promoted by the right wing, and each specific conspiracy proposal has an optional anti-Semitic element which is absent in most contexts, but found on sites that tolerate or encourage open anti-Semitism. Such conspiracy theory is used to both malign the grass roots left wing, and corrupt it through cognitive infiltration.

    The Times of Israel report is particularly worrying in the light of Jeff Forester’s account of right wing agents provocateurs because the massive increase in promotion via Twitter of these conspiracy theories suggests organised bot accounts and therefore organised coordination. This looks like asymmetric warfare with a major cyber element, and Trump’s supporters seem to be a major element of it. This powerful entity seems to be trying to induce armed civil war in the USA, and the black and poor population are collateral damage through being a proxy target chosen because the armed and violent white supremacists are keen to both attack and discredit them.

    So who are Trump’s supporters allied with? I don’t think it’s Putin. If it’s Russian, I’d suspect the Russian oligarchy that gained control in the 1990s. But plenty of them have homes in London. My suspicion is oligarchy, the highest levels of organised crime. Putin would not want breakdown of the nuclear-armed USA; he’s ex-KGB. This is someone to whom such extreme power is a new experience, drunk on their own power, and too inexperienced with the military might of superpower states to understand the seriousness of the buttons they have their fingers on.

  21. The Anti Defamation League cyber and media research is illuminating. This is the article cited and linked to from the Times of Israel article:

    https://www.adl.org/blog/soros-conspiracy-theories-and-the-protests-a-gateway-to-antisemitism

    – Numerous right-wing pundits and activists are now alleging that Soros is funding the protests following the murder of George Floyd. Prominent among them is Candace Owens, who wrote, “As he did with Antifa, Democrat George Soros has these thugs on payroll. He is funding the chaos via his Open Society Foundation.” DeAnna Lorraine, the Republican candidate for Congress who ran unsuccessfully against Nancy Pelosi in March 2020, asked her 261k followers to “bring attention to this very organized takeover” of the country by getting #sorosgate and #soros to trend on Twitter.

    – When President Trump tweeted (about the protests), “It’s ANTIFA and the Radical Left. Don’t lay the blame on others!,” former game show host Chuck Woolery disagreed. “It’s George Soros,” he tweeted. David Wohl, Trump surrogate and father of disinformation activist Jacob Wohl, agreed, saying, “Soros funded rent-a-mobs no doubt.” Actor-turned-right-wing-Twitter-pundit James Woods, referring to a “night of savage anarchy” on May 30, wrote that “[when] George Soros rules our streets, we are doomed. #TakeAmericaBack.”

    – Others used more conspiratorial and sinister language to describe their theories about Soros’ involvement. Posts in several anti-Soros Facebook groups recirculated a 2016 article claiming that a leaked memo revealed that Soros planned to “use Black Lives Matter to federalize U.S. police.”

    – “Network marketing” entrepreneur Laire Lightener wrote to her 84k Facebook followers that “George Soros #1 goal in life is destroy America so that globalists can take over. He funds the #BLM movement & riots happening across the nation every time the globalists decide they need a new race war started.” Numerous posts on social media have cited a fabricated 2014 “quote” from Soros: “I’m going to bring down the United States by funding Black Hate groups. We’ll put them into a mental trap and make them blame white people. The Black community is the easiest to manipulate.”

    – Some go so far as to say that the death of George Floyd, which precipitated the protests and rioting of recent days, was a false flag event orchestrated by George Soros. One lengthy post on a Facebook group with 25k members claimed, “the Floyd event was staged…with the purpose of creating racial tensions and driving a wedge in the growing group of anti-deep state sentiment from common people, that have already been psychologically traumatized by Covid 19 fears… You can draw your own conclusions, but this appears to have all the earmarks of George Soros. Please open your eyes!!!!”

    I have changed my mind. The increase in Twitter activity requires no explanation beyond the right-wing pundits surrounding Trump; note the presence of a “Network marketing” entrepreneur. And possibly the right-wing provocateur gangs need no explanation beyond opportunism, though deliberate coordination, organisation and incitement remains a possibility. This could all be simply the effects of conspiracy theory and lack of critical thinking. After all, chaos is the opposite of rationality.

    What most needs explanation is the inaccurate reporting in the corporate media.

  22. Tonight (this morning) is the second time I have stayed up far too late thinking and looking into matters in the United States. I have, at long last, replied to the report I posted up-thread.

    And this is the second morning I have been up long enough to see Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky. They are only a few degrees apart, elevation about 20 degrees, Jupiter slightly east of south, Saturn slightly east of Jupiter and slightly higher. I have the Dobs out. Saturn’s rings are clearly visible, very ‘open’ ie. angled wrt. Earth, making the whole object look like an eye. I can clearly see the banding on Jupiter, and the four Galilean moons are all strung out in a straight line to Jove’s right through the ‘scope, ie. they’d be to the left if I had super eyes. A few clouds drifting about – which makes a change, it’s been so dry and cloudless, but they’ve been drifting into the way occasionally. Mars is up too according to Kstars, but I haven’t looked for him yet. Really good views of Saturn and Jupiter, and they’ll improve considerably as Earth moves closer 😀

  23. Wow. The Met office predicts six or seven cooler cloudy days coming up. That’s a relief; the very clear sky and remarkably hot sunshine were getting a bit relentless. We might even get some rain tomorrow. It’s much needed. The streams have dried up and the ground is baked hard, starting to crack. People have been telling me that their vegetables have been needing far more water than usual.

  24. Totally wrong,, Stef.

    Authorities cannot get away with killing a black person in public view. Nor can they attack they attack a public assembly with a phalanx of police wielding batons from behind, tear gas in the air, and military forces backing them up in the woods. Nor running police cars into peaceful assemblies in parking areas.

    It goes beyond what any POTUS does, any other politician says or doesn’t say, or what any voter wants. It’s visceral, and can be triggered by what the media can provide. Has little to do what their political views are.

    The civil right to public assemblies is stronger than any moral precept, Trump can think that he is today’s El Duce, but Americans are not Italians.

  25. Just don’t understand why people cannot see the difference between a right to protest and a right to pubic assemblies.

    Certainly the latter is a broader right, especially if the assembly decides to approve of something most controversial in the public arena.

    The only thing I can think of is FDR playing the position, after trying to deal with the of the Great Depression, of Commander and Chief to the point of declaring war on the Axis powers, and my father joining the campaign about Army air training.

    I could then see my Dad approving of public assemblies over the dispute to the point of going along with FDR’s campaign.

    As it was the Axis powers saved FDR the trouble by attack Pearl Harbor and declaring war on the USA, and my DAd at the expense of his career to get the military chiefs to approve a plan to try it in the wake of the Japanese attack on Hawaii.

    Could have happened later with Dad and FDR having a fight with the people and the states over declaring war on Berlin and Tokyo.

  26. So what did Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane hope to get out of fellow officer Derek Chauvin’s enhanced interrogation, what CIA Director Gina Haspel is noted for, and he was so eager to get George Floyd to confess to that he killed him?

    Was it he was responsible for putting a bomb on Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone’s plane in October 2002 which blew up, and killed him, his wife, and only daughter? Wellstone was a notorious critic of the Bushes.

  27. We had a 5.5 yesterday that rippled through us and was felt 70 miles further South.

    It seems odd we didnt feel a stronger wave.

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