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)]

17,284 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Nothing about Winnie Ewing, as expected.

    And I am sure if the US spooks finally get rid of me, and claim it was a suicide, my relatives will go along with the idea that the stupid old goat finally pulled his plug.

    And wasn’t the MI5 surveillance of Willie only disclosed a few years ago> What else is still out there? Guess the Security Service was taking a break when he was murdered apparently by special forces.

  2. Hello Fred; you hadn’t posted for ages and it’s good to see you. How are you?

    Hello Ben; good to see you too. That’s another link from you I’ll be a while catching up with. I still have the previous one open; sorry to say I’ve skim-read part of it but got nowhere near examining it properly. I’m having trouble keeping up; haven’t even opened my Inbox in months.

  3. @Trowbridge

    Willie McRae had a drink problem, he had two convictions for drinking and driving and was awaiting trial on a third. He had just been in a RTA and was sitting in his car in the middle of a moor in a remote part of Scotland and there is no doubt in my mind he had been drinking heavily. Another conviction for drink driving while awaiting trial for the same offence would probably have meant a prison sentence.

    His brother has said that there is much which wasn’t revealed to the public, to protect the memory of Willie McRae and the privacy of his family. He has said that knowing what he knows he had no doubts whatsoever that his brother committed suicide.

    Alcohol addiction is a terrible disease, it destroys lives, the story of Willie McRae is a story often told in these parts. It’s time to put it to rest.

  4. Hi Clark, I’m not doing too bad considering I’m an old age pensioner now. Other than that things are much the same apart from the forests of windmills that have sprung up everywhere, there’s nowhere left that they can’t be seen, even out to sea.

  5. Reminds me of how the Hutton Inquiry had suicide expert from Oxford University Dr. Keith Hawton testify the next day after Louise Holmes and Paul Chapman had testified about how and where they had found Dr. Kelly’s body along from the Thames, and the four Mossad suspects who had killed him by smothering him after a violent struggle.

    To offset all that telling evidence, Dr.Hawton talked about how troubled persons like Kelly picked calm, secluded spots like faraway Harrowdown Hill where his body had been moved by TVP helicopter rather than off from the river to kill himself without any witnesses.

    Hawton should have been prosecuted for lying under oath, but instead everyone went along with his concocted tale.

    All kinds of people will lie about surprise murders if it is in their interest to do so. Makes me wonder how McRae’s brother has fared since the killing.

    Still nothing about Ewing, MI5 Director Tony Duff. and what his surveillance agents were doing when poor Willie too was murdered.

  6. Paradigm shift in cancer therapy whereby your T cells are sent to Boot Camp to learn how to fight results in Landmark speculations of CURE!

    Keep your fingers crossed

  7. Fred, I’m glad you’re doing OK.

    I haven’t looked at the Willie McRae story for a couple of years; I read a couple of mainstream reports that cast doubt on the suicide finding. I’d have trouble finding them again.

    But maybe “suicide or murder” isn’t the right question. McRae had collected a lot of evidence. If I remember right, it is said that he had copies of that evidence in the car when he died.

    What happened to the evidence and did anyone pursue McRae’s investigations?

  8. I suspect that McRae was murdered in the hope that the brief case he always kept with him contained evidence that he was behind the SNLA, and it Brighton bombing of the Conservative government which if true, the MI5 could make out was found at his apartment in Glasgow. It probably contained information about the practices that NATO was engaged in around his summer home for a non-nuclear showdown with the USSR which the Tharcher government considered most secret.

  9. Clark, I’m not bothered about people having doubts, doubts are healthy.

    After the event there were a lot of things stated as facts, even in mainstream newspapers, which made it seem like there was no doubt. They said he had been shot in the head twice, they said the gun was found a long way from the car, they said the car had been removed then taken back again the next day. I was in no doubt myself it was murder.

    The official papers show these facts to be false and if there are doubts about what happened that is all they are, just doubts. Yet people continue to speak as if there is no doubt, people still consider it a certainty that he was murdered.

  10. Just more irrelevant garbage from you, Fred. Still nothing from you about Ewing’s complaints and MI5′, covert operations against McRae.

    Still more regarding the Skrpial poisoning with made-up pictures of the real Yulia and her alleged assassins.

    You have no interest in truth.

  11. Fred, thanks. There’s a huge amount to read and correlate there.

    Immediately, the section from page 45 of the Summary Report raises the matter of what Scotsman journalist Paul Delamore’s motive was.

  12. I don’t think it’s relevant what his motives were, he is not related to actual events, he wasn’t there, he took no part. He’s just a reporter who made some claims which have either been proven false or it hasn’t been able to corroborate them.

  13. And Fred, that’s really not fair about Craig. The novichok story has been highly suspect from the word go, and most of it is still contradictory or makes no sense. The government pronounced guilt when even the Leader of the Opposition had been shown no evidence. It’s all very well the government coming up with two suspects now, months later; evidence is supposed to come before suspicion, let alone a verdict.

    In your position, would you be prepared to bet that Pablo Miller and the Steele Dossier are entirely unrelated?

  14. The novichok story is still highly suspicious. Even if the Russian government did want Skripal killed, there has to be some reason related to more recent events; an old grudge seems highly unlikely. And you’d think they’d use a more reliable method – like something that had actually been tried before. As it stands, Skripal can presumably say what he was involved in; surely that wasn’t the assassins’ intention.

  15. There’s a huge leap of faith in believing official papers as facts. Also, the fact Willie MacRae’s brother received some of his belongings does not mean he received ‘all’ of his belongings. For example, it’s highly unlikely that any evidence relating to Dolphin Square crimes would be returned. However, given we don’t know if Willie had such evidence or not, it’s a bit of a dead end – even though we can be certain these crimes were being carried out by prominent figures from Westminster and MI6 at that time, even though the official enquiry will likely never get off the ground to produce any ‘official report ‘.
    We can be certain Willie was on to something, based on his conversation with a police friend in Glasgow the night he died – who also believes he saw people he assumed to be “special branch” monitoring Willie’s office.
    Personally, I don’t believe the official line of suicide and feel there’s a few dots still missing. Willie had two bottles of malt with him – why commit suicide before drinking them?
    Keep busy in retirement, Fred, and hope the North Coast 500 visitors bring benefits and not just traffic!

  16. The two GRU officers travelled to London from Moscow, traces of novichok were found in the hotel room they stayed in, they were seen on CCTV in Salisbury close to the Skripal’s home at the time the nerve agent was placed on their door knob.

    That’s all pretty conclusive evidence.

    There was an awful lot of misinformation about this case right from the start and it isn’t hard to figure out why.

  17. Trump is no genius but he knows that if you muddy the water sufficiently no one will be able to show convincing evidence leading to a conclusion Joe Lunchbucket can get behind with some comprehension.

    It’s a question of who has your trust…your countrymen or Putin and many find that choice to be easy.

  18. I bought landrace Afghani seeds from a breeder and they produced a plant with distinctive Sativa leaves (long and lanky) which was odd since the belief that Indica (short and wide,) leaves were a concomitant of that group. A little research tells me my seeds are landrace ancient. Whooppee!

    “Vavilov’s findings suggest that cannabis indica had not been cultivated, nor used for hashish production by 1924, but rather that C. sativa had been used instead. In Chinese Turkestan, hashish production was outlawed in 1935. This new avenue of prohibition forced many of the hashish makers to flee into Afghanistan; taking with them their C. sativa genetics. On their way west to Mazar-i-Sharif, they almost certainly would have encountered the wild growing C. indica varieties along the banks of the Kunar River, as this was the only route they could have taken.

    In the 1970’s Selgnij reported that he saw wild growing plants in ditches, that exhibited narrow leaflets; indicative of a sativa. As well as seeing these wild growing sativas, he also saw cultivated plants with narrow leaflets; growing alongside the broad leafed indica variety in the same fields. This is probably a good indication that by the 1970’s in a lot of Afghanistan, an indica/sativa hybrid had actually developed.

    Rob Clarke points out, that this development would’ve had more than enough time to take place; being that it was 40 years since the Chinese Turkestanian hashish makers had travelled west through Faizabad, and much of the country.

    Due to pressures placed on the afghan gene pool by the western hashish market; the C. sativa variety is no longer seen in Afghanistan. Cannabis farmers favour the C. indica for its higher yield of resin; and therefore do not choose the sativa variety for their crops. The C. Sativa variety from this part of the world is now only found east of the Indus river, in Pakistan.”

  19. I bought landrace Afghani seeds from a breeder and they produced a plant with distinctive Sativa leaves (long and lanky) which was odd since the belief that Indica (short and wide,) leaves were a concomitant of that group. A little research tells me my seeds are landrace ancient. Whooppee!

    “Vavilov’s findings suggest that cannabis indica had not been cultivated, nor used for hashish production by 1924, but rather that C. sativa had been used instead. In Chinese Turkestan, hashish production was outlawed in 1935. This new avenue of prohibition forced many of the hashish makers to flee into Afghanistan; taking with them their C. sativa genetics. On their way west to Mazar-i-Sharif, they almost certainly would have encountered the wild growing C. indica varieties along the banks of the Kunar River, as this was the only route they could have taken.

    In the 1970’s Selgnij reported that he saw wild growing plants in ditches, that exhibited narrow leaflets; indicative of a sativa. As well as seeing these wild growing sativas, he also saw cultivated plants with narrow leaflets; growing alongside the broad leafed indica variety in the same fields. This is probably a good indication that by the 1970’s in a lot of Afghanistan, an indica/sativa hybrid had actually developed.

    Rob Clarke points out, that this development would’ve had more than enough time to take place; being that it was 40 years since the Chinese Turkestanian hashish makers had travelled west through Faizabad, and much of the country.

    Due to pressures placed on the afghan gene pool by the western hashish market; the C. sativa variety is no longer seen in Afghanistan. Cannabis farmers favour the C. indica for its higher yield of resin; and therefore do not choose the sativa variety for their crops. The C. Sativa variety from this part of the world is now only found east of the Indus river, in Pakistan.”

  20. Fred, 5 Sep 6:04 pm: I can see the wry smile on your face as you type such a glib comment. You’re far too intelligent to accept it at face value yourself, yet you repeat it almost admiringly, knowing that it’s plausible enough to mollify the incurious; all that’s missing is a final jibe of “what’s wrong with that?”

    I suppose it’s one way of positioning yourself on the intelligent side of this affair, assuming there really is one, which personally I don’t. I could go through it point by point, but there’s no point in being serious if your opposite number is just playing a silly game.

  21. Ben, 5 Sep, 9:02 pm:

    “It’s a question of who has your trust…your countrymen or Putin…”

    Rather, I think the question is, who has your trust, Clinton or Trump; or Dems or Repubs; or the media giants or Internet talk radio? The respective assumptions are that Putin can work Trump, and that Trump can handle Putin.

    Here in the UK we have something similar, but the assumptions are that Brussels can buy HMG, versus HMG can pull those weak foreigners into line like we had to in 1939.

    Both are sad over-simplifications from the whole two-party us-versus-them tribalist habit of thought.

  22. @Ben

    I’d hoped as time passed and policies like completely withdrawing funding for UNWRA in Palestine unfolded people who backed Trump might be realising they made a big mistake.

  23. It’s a shit sandwich. I hate two-party politics. Almost nothing comes down to a yes-no choice. FFS, a single bit, it’s the smallest possible unit of information. Even when we have more than one bit, the stupidity of the system rigs it so they’re not tested properly. There were two referenda in Scotland, so four possible outcomes, but no, you have to answer the first question without knowing the outcome of the second, such that each answer invalidates the other! It’s not fucking rocket science; it’s as if governments don’t want the people to express their preferences clearly. If I wrote programs like that I’d give up.

  24. Is the US now peppering Asian states with quakes for not doing enough about the North Korea/China problems or are they just the continuing fallout from the 9.0 Tohoku quake?

  25. BBC

    “Russia denies any involvement in the Skripal case, and its embassy in London did not respond to a request for comment from the BBC, but analysts say the Russian state is now the chief exponent of a new kind of information warfare.

    A loosely-defined network of Russian state actors, state-controlled media, and armies of social media bots and trolls is said to work in unison to spread and amplify multiple narratives and conspiracies around cases like the Skripal poisoning. The goal is no longer to deny or disprove an official version of events, it is to flood the zone with so many competing versions that nothing seems to make sense.

    “What is really striking is that you no longer see the Russian machine pushing a single message, it pushes dozens of messages,” said Ben Nimmo, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council who studies Russian disinformation. “The idea is to confuse people.”

  26. Yes Ben, muddying the waters. Fire off a conspiracy theory about the two GRU officers being in the same place at the same time at Gatwick Airport and when that’s debunked immediately try to shift suspicion onto Ukraine. The Russian disinformation operatives are going to town on this one.

  27. Glenn, I’d just watched the Slaughterbots video that you linked:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CO6M2HsoIA

    That is the most chilling thing I’ve ever seen, because the technology already exists, or at best very nearly. I can’t think of how it could be prevented from becoming reality. Treaties and bans could hold off state-level development for a while, but there’s nothing to stop private concerns assembling such devices from off-the-shelf technology. The only weakness that occurs to me is that they’d have a fairly limited range, but the production cost could become low enough to compensate with wide deployment.

    I don’t think there’s much point pursuing bans and treaties. I think a better approach is to develop technological defences as fast as possible and thereby render production pointless. I suppose microwave or other electromagnetic interference should be effective, or some way of producing electromagnetic pulse.

    Ideas?

  28. Careful Fred; you could end up as mad as Nimmo. Craig isn’t a Russian agent, and you don’t need Russia to explain the proliferation of theories; just watch the 9/11 conspiracy theorists in action. Actually, I think Twin Tower demolition theory has a lot to answer for. There’s a sizeable minority who are utterly convinced of it, and it opens the floodgates to believing just about anything. The false physics arguments are at the root of that one.

    Regarding Skripal, the mass media came out with plenty of contradictory theories, and it’s no surprise that the conspiracy theorists have run with them, modified them, elaborated them and popularised them.

    So-called conspiracy theories are largely about attributing motive, and a motive for Russia is what’s lacking in the Skripal case.

  29. Is it a binary choice Fred? Or might we need to expand the context before there’s anything sensible to say?

    You might prefer one side of a propaganda battle to the other. I’d rather rise above it.

  30. We’re all just civilians in the information war being fought around us. We can pick a side if we wish; cheer when our side’s munitions seem to hit a target, and sob when the other side’s munitions hit one of ours. But other civilians will have made the opposite choice, such that overall our cries amount to very little.

    Ultimately, we don’t own the weaponry. We don’t control RT or the BBC, Sputnik News or the Guardian.

    But maybe we can make a different choice and try to work out who’s firing at what, and what they’re not firing at, and from that gain some clue as to what the fuck they’re fighting about.

    On our side of the battlefield, it is notable that the UK government leapt straight in with accusations against the Kremlin, oddly ignoring any proximate motive. This looks even odder when we discover that Mark Urban may have had a very good idea of the motive, but kept completely quiet about that despite presenting what is widely depicted as the most authoritative and independent commentary available, that of the BBC. It turns out that he wasn’t independent at all.

  31. Fred: Trump Historians say the fluffing of President* Trash Fire began in the 80’s and Trump has used the fog of propaganda to drive everyone from potable drinking water with similar skill. Beside going bankrupt, it’s the only thing he excels at.

  32. President of the Imperial Galactic Government

    – The President is very much a figurehead – he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it.

    – An orange sash is what the President of the Galaxy traditionally wears.”

    http://www.hhgproject.org/entries/president.html

  33. Ah so Presidents suddenly don’t have any power, I hadn’t noticed any constitutional changes since Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, yet consensus seemed to be that he was to blame.

    But then Bush wasn’t brought to power by the Kremlin, Putin had no role in rigging his election, Russian hacked emails played no part.

  34. Fred, it’s an extract from the comedy series The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. It’s not meant to be interpreted factually; like much literature, it exaggerates certain aspects of reality for illustrative purposes.

    Grief, what has happened to everyone’s brains? Just ‘cos Trump isn’t particularly bright is no reason for everyone to start emulating him. Quite the reverse.

    Actually, your example reinforces my point. Bush II wasn’t exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer either (eg. “you’re working hard to put food on your family”); no way could he have personally orchestrated the campaigns to send NATO into Afghanistan etc. Talk about “useful idiots”; Bush has to be a prime example.

    You really think the Kremlin got Trump elected? Nothing to do with 50% of the US population and decades of dumbing-down and edging to the Right by the ever more consolidated, commercialised, pro-war media? Idiot conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones played no role? The Likud lobby was insignificant? No loss of support for the Democrats because their “centrists” colluded against Bernie Sanders?

    And you think Craig is lying about the DNC leak? Because if he isn’t, it doesn’t really matter whether Russia hacked the e-mails because they’d have been released anyway. And since when did voter ignorance become a foundational principle of democracy? Libya – “Hillary’s war”; Gulf monarchy money supporting the Clinton campaign; maybe you’d forgotten what the DNC leak included.

    Fred, I’m having difficulty working out what your principles actually are. You seem to think that some shady gatekeepers should help hide unsavoury aspects of certain political candidates so that the public don’t make the wrong choice, right?

  35. The Denial is strong..

    Although I understand the absence of empathy due to America getting back some of their own treatment, there are many who are not culpable and do not deserve the poor leadership cobbled from some of the worst characters in this Great Experiment.

    How does Putin poll in Russia? 90% favorable? Do Russians see oligarchy as the hybrid of failed Democracy/ socialism?

  36. Ben, I refuse to empathise with Fred when he’s just playing a silly game. I’m sorry you and the biosphere got Trump, but it’s silly to put so much blame on Russia when his election or one like it was the eventual result of a decades long process of deterioration. Hey, we got Brexit; imagine if California voted to cut itself off from the rest of the ‘States.

    If it’s any consolation, I’m sorry about Cambridge Analytica. Countries influencing other countries’ elections is SOP, but Cambridge Analytica are mercenaries; they develop the skills and hire them out to the highest bidder.

  37. Trump’s not just dumb, he’s gross too.

    “It’ll have to get worse before it gets better”,
    “Who says it’ll get better?”

    Murphy’s Law, Bloch.

    Putin is because Russians refuse to risk getting a Trumpsky; Yeltsin was bad enough.

  38. “Ben, I refuse to empathise with Fred when he’s just playing a silly game. ”

    Fuck off with your personal attacks Clark.

    “And you think Craig is lying about the DNC leak?”

    I’m saying that going on his past record there is absolutely no reason to suppose he is telling the truth.

    The DNC consider they have enough evidence the emails were hacked by the Russian intelligence service GRU to go to court and the British police consider they have enough evidence the Skripals were poisoned by two men identified by MI5 as GRU officers to get a European arrest warrant.

  39. Fred, I empathise with you over your injured back; I hope that it healed well; I hope it’s no longer paining you. I empathise that you’re getting older; I worry about that for myself, too.

    However, that does NOT mean I have to start believing that some ill-defined nerve agent can be sprayed onto a door handle and somehow affect two people so equally that they very suddenly become paralysed many hours later, almost at the same moment. It does not mean that I have to accept that a person who was apparently involved in this intrigue can present the premier BBC current affairs programme about it and not even mention that if anyone knew the motive, it was probably him.

    Fred, it’s a FRIEND of mine that you’re calling a liar, because he questions the obvious lies I have outlined above. Craig annoys me frequently, but he has been much more a friend to me than you ever were. Asked who I’d trust between you or Craig, I’d choose Craig; no question.

    And “fuck off” is a disproportionate response to my accusation of silliness.

    Now, stop trying to manipulate Ben.

  40. Fuck, I despair of humanity; I truly do. If this is the level of our thinking, we have bugger all chance of cooperating sufficiently to avoid either global warming or world war.

  41. Fred, I’m sorry. I over-reacted. In some ways you were quite a good friend for a while, but your final betrayal came as a bit of a shock and I do occasionally speculate about your motive for that.

  42. Clark, it was after I posted here about Craig’s lack of credibility he published the latest in a long line of fake news regarding what he claimed to be an impossible photo. It’s glaringly obvious what is going on and that the Craig Murray blog is a Kremlin fake news site.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with your stay in Caithness.

  43. Fred, Craig retracted that claim, because of what he read in the comments. I expect he was briefly fooled when he encountered that photo-montage on-line, probably the work of typical conspiracy theorists. Anyone can make a mistake.

    Maybe you’ve forgotten what happened to me in Caithness. I happened to offend a friend of yours, a Right-wing American conspiracy theorist talk-radio host, by pointing out that one of his favourite pundits was a charlatan promoting pseudoscience. Despite the effort I had been making towards the construction of his house, he made my stay very uncomfortable and I had to leave. You said not a word against that, and instead placed all the blame upon me, explicitly impugning my personality and my sanity.

    There are certain parallels and a glaring difference, aren’t there? You added your voice to that of a conspiracy theorist, whereas Craig immediately retracted when presented with countervailing facts.

    So I don’t take kindly to your continuing depiction of Craig as a Kremlin agent. He is not, and you should retract and apologise.

  44. Wifey and I saw Boz Scaggs Tuesday at a fully restored theatre (Granada) . I love small venues and for 75 bucks each we were just right of center about 16 rows back. It was quite a nice presentation of his Blues style.

  45. Fred,

    It’s glaringly obvious what is going on and that the Craig Murray blog is a Kremlin fake news site.

    As I’ve known Craig for about four decades what is glaringly obvious to me is that Craig made a mistake.

    It is also now “glaringly obvious” to me that you Fred are a conspiracy theorist as you’ve just stated that you believe a conspiracy theory that his blog is a “Kremlin fake news site.”

    Or perhaps I work for the Kremlin as well. Go on suggest that – I need a good laugh.

  46. Ben,
    Yes he does Ben – what you see online is just his public blog persona. You’d probably really get on well if you ever met – in a festival field is best 🙂

  47. Before I experience a meet I would like to see some humility AA via printed words. Sorry I can’t take your experience for my own.

  48. Some reflection followed..

    Why are we demanding more of Craig than we we would any other Human Bean?

    It seems we have sufficient issues for challenging ourselves to get better rather than worse.

    Elevating Craig’s station as though Everyman’s rests at a lower tier seems to be a given, as though Joe Lunchbucket carries little weight on his own contribution…smaller…less impactful. Yes, a public forum centered on a distinguished career has more gravitas, but that does not mean Joe need not concern himself with contributions he can make.

    No one should have to bear our burdens as a proxy.

    We are responsible for our own fates.

  49. @Squonk

    I didn’t think you work for the Kremlin , if you did you would be publishing every piece of Russian fake news here like Craig does.

    Now why is Clark trying to blackmail me into keeping quiet, why does he immediately change the subject to his stay in Caithness when I point out the glaringly obvious about Craig’s blog?

  50. There is definitely some gravitas/camaraderie between leftist/socialists and the former Soviet. I’ve seen bias in that direction from our own ACLU in some of their public positions.

  51. Ben,

    Don’t know why you are seeing that as the links seem to be fine for me. Are you still seeing the problem?

    I’ve embedded both videos as well now.

  52. Craig Murray a socialist? ACLU are socialist? OK, let me ask this way. Anyone here not on drugs?

  53. Too high? But seriously Fred has a point..


    Due to complex cannabinoid-dopamine interactions there is conflicting evidence from human and animal research fields. Acute THC causes increased dopamine release and neuron activity, whilst long-term use is associated with blunting of the dopamine system. Future research must examine the long-term and developmental dopaminergic effects of the drug.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5123717/

    So little is known about the interactions of the cannabinoids due to neglect by Medical research folks intimidated by Federal laws restricting such activity that we are in the middle ages.

    They have proven effective against seizures, but anecdotally I have experienced a tipping point where I shake visibly when I get a snootfull( too much thc). I surmise that it overrides the parasympathetic nervous system and decreases dopamine. I think it could be dangerous for some people. Just sayin..

  54. Ben, I was of the opinion that cannabis was relatively harmless but my sister, a psychiatric nurse, assures me that she’s seen too many damaged people for this to be the case. Similarly, I think alcohol is relatively harmless but everyone knows how much damage alcohol has done to people. Each to their own – as long as they are in control in the morning!

  55. Ben,

    That’s Super Typhoon Mangkhut above.

    Winds gusting to 188 mph on land projected. About 2 million people in the areas where peak winds will be over 100mph. CNN just lost contact with someone reporting from there. The last they said their hotel (one of the safest buildings in the area) was being trashed and they were huddling in a central room as all the windows and doors had blown in and the hotel was coming apart.

  56. JOML: very few medical professionals are objective on the subject. I call them cannabigots because they practice their bias from the past.

    Any medicine used recreationally can have counter indications, but even as recreation it is safer than alcohol. JMO.

  57. Ben,

    I’m watching Florence as well and it is bad but it is “only” a Cat 1 which is nothing compared to the one destroying parts of the Philippines right now – which hit at Cat 5. And hardly anyone knows it is there because of Florence.

    It is likely the death toll is very high.

  58. I use mainly for pain but admittedly I was high for the concert but not everyone who uses is damaged previously. Phil. Unlike alcohol or opioids, where the escape both mental and physical leads to numbness of thought..and that stasis in ones development as a human, is the goal and intent, psychedelics tend to force you to confront yourself and thinking is propelled, not discouraged.

    Marijuana has been bred in instances to soften ones reactions to thoughts as in indica hybrids, but that’s people messing with her essential nature of cognizance and growth.

  59. And I don’t mean to downplay the effects of Florence and I know there have unfortunately already been several fatalities plus the major ongoing infrastructure damage. My thoughts are with them as well.

    I just wanted to point out the monster Cat 5 Super Typhoon crossing the Philippines right now before heading for Hong Kong vicinity next.

  60. Florence is traveling ar a couple miles per hour so flooding is the big problem. One of these days two or three of these f5s will merge then you can kiss your ass goodbye AA..

  61. Ben / Phil
    My sister’s experience is the extreme, working in secure units, and she was relaxed with recreational and medicinal use. She just pointed out to me that it’s not all a bed of roses. I like Phil’s link and would agree escapism is often the start. However, my personal experience is that both are excellent social habits, with the caution that your priorities don’t change… and don’t wake up under the weather (Certainly not the forecast from Squonk!)

  62. Ben,

    Yes the flooding is very bad with Florence and it is now moving at just a little over 3 mph as of latest NHC update a few minutes ago. Millions are already (or likely soon to be) without power as well.

    For Mangkhut, local rain totals of several feet and storm surge of 20 plus feet for some coastal areas are projected for about now.

  63. Earlier and earlier in the season, bigger and more frequent hurricanes are global evidence of the damage from climate warming. If I didnt know better, I would suggest a conspiracy to thin the Herd by continuously ignoring the role of fossil fuels. It may not be the Cause but it certainly aggravates.

  64. The problem is the lack of studies and research JOML. I always refer to my own *evidence as anecdotal because it’s just my opinion.

    Marijuana is not the only victim of ignorance. LSD could have been an archetypal ingredient in our understanding of psychiatric medicine as well.

  65. BBC noticed eventually.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45517803

    Typhoon Mangkhut: Philippines hit by strongest storm

    The world’s strongest storm this year, Super Typhoon Mangkhut, is blasting the northern coast of the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rain.

    Reports say it broke windows and downed power lines on the island of Luzon before dawn.

    More than four million people are directly in the path of the storm, which has winds of 200km/h (125 mph) and gusts reaching up to 330km/h.

    Thousands have been evacuated amid warnings of 6m (20ft) storm surges.

    Officials have warned of there may be “very heavy damage” to vulnerable structures.

  66. Squonk! Good to see you!

    Ben and Phil, good to see you too. Funny video Phil and nice track Ben.
    – – – – – – – –

    Fred, I’m not trying to blackmail you, but there’s a rafter in your eye and you’re calling Craig a wilful liar for the straw that he immediately removed from his own.

    The UK government and media present an implausible story, and before evidence could have been weighed, use it to ramp up tension with Russia. The media deride anyone who questions this as a conspiracy theorist, though it’s a classic conspiracy theory itself. And you add your voice to the state/media chorus, just as you supported a conspiracy theorist who acted against me. Then, when I point this out, you feel you’re being “blackmailed”. So that’s a paranoid conspiracy theory.

    Fred, I’m sorry. It saddens me to to respond to you in this manner. But I object to the techniques that conspiracy theorists use in an attempt to enforce compliance; “oh unless you swallow our story hook, line and sinker and never question any of it, you must be working for the bad guys“. I’ve heard it a hundred times because I dared to work out for myself how the Twin Towers collapsed, and that’s exactly what you’re doing to Craig. I thought you were just being silly and glib. I didn’t think you were daft enough to be actually defending the government pronouncements.
    – – – – – – – –

    JOML, I’ve long been of the opinion that cannabis is an emotional amplifier. If all’s well and good with you, the weed can give you a great time. But if stuff’s troubling you, particularly guilt, doubt, anxiety or confusion, the weed can make it seem overwhelmingly significant and boost the confusion off the scale.

    Plus, often people take a lot of different drugs, and sometimes, I suspect, other psychoactive substances get sprayed onto the weed. The ‘resin’ from Amsterdam often has synthetic drugs mixed into it; the stuff they mix up for the British market includes lots of different leftover stuff they’ve been having trouble selling. In other words, all the shitty stuff. I’ve often found cling-film mashed into it.

    I think it’ll take legalisation before data is open enough to work out what’s really going on.

  67. Fred, do you have any actual evidence that “The Impossible Photo” is, as you put it, “Kremlin fake news”? Or is that just another conspiracy theory? ‘Cos it looks just like the work of home-grown conspiracy theorists to me. Was Russia behind Spivey’s “Glasgow Bin Wagon False Flag” hoax too?

  68. Clark, why do you keep going on about conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists?

    I’ve been talking about Russian state propaganda and deliberate fake news which is a modern term for the word “lies”.

    As where it originated the accusation of doctored photographs was made on twitter by Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry and was repeated by the Craig Murray blog later that day.

    https://twitter.com/EmbassyofRussia/status/1037597177483341824

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