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.


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

13,285 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. OK, mains came back on about 14:30. My visitor used his Android device to access the UK Power Networks website I think. The map of the South East looked alarming, with apparently a whole area including all Harlow cross-hatched in red, multiple outages at Chelmsford, Billericay, Colchester, east London, places in Kent etc., across the whole map just two or three green ticks, everywhere outnumbered by red (outage) and black (partial)! But the update by postcode was very good; overhead power line near Ingatestone (very local), four hundred and something premises without power, engineers on site, investigating, expected fix 14:30 – 15:30. Quick fixing. Thanks, and well done to all responsible.

  2. Just watched a US government Senate panel on Chinese spying where the FBi official claimed that there were “thousands” of Chinese students who were exploiting what they learned from American institutions for its spies. No mention of any individuals by the right-wing panel, just mouthing American paranoia on the subject.

    No mention of the brutal murder of Yinging Shang (sp?) who was attending the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana to improve her economic skills to improve the agronomy back home. She was killed by Brent Christensen because she was considered a Chinese spy, and cut up by him as if she were a female Khashoggi.

    He was only caught by the discovery of a bus stop video of him picking her up which the Bureau had overlooked. Apparently he was working for federal authorities, and is facing the death penalty if convicted.

    Then remember that Chinese student who was working with that Tennessee professor on plasmas when that devastating earthquake was caused the NRO. The prof spent time for permitting such an oversight. Everyone dealing with foreign students must do a background check on them before letting them do anything.

    Then the Chinese scientists showed a real failure when they allowed Las Alamos chief spy Danny Stillman to visit much earlier all their establishments in Sichuan which were targeted by the NRO in May 2008.

    No wonder the Chinese spies checked my reliability when I passed through Beijing from Thailand a few years ago.

  3. Phil, excellent survey. Thanks.

    Motives: in defence of living standards and against policies favourable to the rich

    – For our respondents this was less a revolt against a particular tax, or in defence of car use, than a revolt against a tax and benefit system considered unfair. A revolt against inequalities, but also against political speech that despised them and devalued them symbolically. It was a question of defending their purchasing power and their access to a certain standard of living (particularly leisure, seen as increasingly inaccessible), as well as a demand for respect and recognition of their dignity on the part of political figures (the government and the president).

  4. Squonk cheers for weather chart.. I got snowed in..missed the Jiu jitsu xmas meal. . was looking forward to that.

    Making candy cane cookies and gingerbread men with icing. Lemon meringue in puff pastry cups. Always biting more than I can chew.

    You’d be Shocked the Amount of Sugar that goes into oor Scottish Tablet. tastes great though Yum.

    Trow.. So great stuff.. See yo in Scotland ya wee Warrior.

    I always loved Rachmaninov.. But i love too the modern types –

    I love how this music transfoms one.. from … things

  5. Ahh Sorry Fred.. Should have made Clear That was Ben’s experiment, Above ..Hope all is well with Music.

  6. Thanks, Brian, love Rachmaninov’s music too, but not his politics.

    It was Professor J. Reece Roth who spent four years in prison for having a Chinese graduate student doing studies on plasmas when that quake occurred. He was a pioneer in the field, and the Air Force did him no favors for the punishment he claims was most undeserved. Anyone who is anybody who works for Uncle Sam is nuts.

    Nice to consider how Uncle Sam treated the deliberate murder of Yinging Zhang with the folks in Illinois who helped as much as they could in seeing that justice is done. The University has even established a garden in her memory. Hope that Christensen fries for it, though her body too has not been found.

    In the last century, the US government has gone from having a domestic fear of The Yellow Peril to a global one.

  7. Oh, that’s OK, Americans re allowed to be sexist, if he throws in a bit of racism as well he might even get to be president.

    Music is great fun as always.

  8. Yes, I thought about saying ‘person’ then caught myself Brian. I also dispense politically incorrect “Merry Christmas” rather than the more sensitive SEASONS GREETINGS.

    Last year I actually had someone express their pique because I didn’t add the Q to LBGT language so now I go out of my way to emphasize the full pronounciation including Queer instead of the acronym.

    It’s today’s excuse for Leftist politics.


  9. Trowbridge: William Randolph Hearst is alive and well in much of our media. He set a fine example, just like Trump.

  10. “Little textual note for you here (bear with me).

    Those of you unfortunate enough not to be reading or hearing this in Marain may well be using a language without the requisite number or type of personal pronouns, so I’d better explain that bit of the translation.

    Marain, the Culture’s quintessentially wonderful language (so the Culture will tell you), has, as any schoolkid knows, one personal pronoun to cover females, males, in-betweens, neuters, children, drones, Minds, other sentient machines, and every life-form capable of scraping together anything remotely resembling a nervous system and the rudiments of language (or a good excuse for not having either). Naturally, there are ways of specifying a person’s sex in Marain, but they’re not used in everyday conversation; in the archetypal language-as-moral-weapon-and-proud-of-it, the message is that it’s brains that matter, kids; gonads are hardly worth making a distinction over.”

  11. Progressives to the Rescue!

    “Speech First claims that UT’s bias response team has investigated more than 100 “expressions of bias” since September 2017. Content designated bias incidents by UT includes โ€œ[d]erogatory comments made on a…course Facebook page” and “somebody…creat[ing] a hostile or offensive classroom,” according to the press release.”

  12. Clark: Androgyny is being shoved down our throats. It’s too early in our development to pretend testosterone and estrogen are distributed equally. Denial of our core nature leads to more psychiatric issues. Viva la Difference between Male and female.

    It looks exactly like Evangelicals pushing legislation favoring their doctrine/ideology.

  13. I really do find it annoying that English provides me with no facility to refer to any item that belongs to someone, without specifying which sex that someone happens to identify as. It’s his tin opener, or her 3/8″ combination spanner. What if I don’t know? What the hell has his or her sex got to do with it anyway? It’s as if the most important thing, in any discussion, is the likelihood of copulating with someone. It’s downright weird.

  14. Wish I could blame the American bias, Ben, on William Randolph Hearst and his papers, but it goes much deeper than that.

    Amazed at how its Ministry of State Security treated me when it found out I was coming, checked deeply on who I am, and what I was claiming about US covert space and undersea weapons, and making sure that i got home safely without any surprises.

    Far cry from what Uncle Sam has done, trying to kill me in a few places.

  15. Ben, I suspect it’s just a coincidence. Occasionally throughout the day I’ll have a mug of tea, and if I’m at home that’s probably when I’ll check for new comments.

    There’s ambiguity about “tea time”. Different families use different terms for the meals of the day. In the family I grew up in, it was breakfast in the morning, dinner around midday, tea about 18:00, and possibly supper not long before bedtime. “Would you like some tea?” is thus ambiguous; maybe a meal, or maybe a hot drink. The more common convention is breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper.

    I have been told that people of higher social class had a snack break called “high tea” at around 16:00, consisting of tea, scones and er, clotted cream or something. The middle classes wished to emulate the higher classes, and therefore started using “tea” instead of “dinner” for the 18:00 meal.

    Much of this ritual has gone now, and these days people eat when they get around to it, or breaks are defined by the schedule of the working day.

    I think it’s ridiculous that we have five words for different meals, one of which is ambiguous with a hot drink, but I still have to classify someone by their genitals when I refer to the mug they were drinking from.

    People do much of their thinking in words, but they just use them based on impressions, without ever really thinking about actual definitions, cf. my interminable argument with Phil about “hierarchy”. It’s no surprise that humanity is fucking everything up; the very building blocks of our thought are fundamentally mangled.

  16. Clark, I had no idea we’re in an interminable argument that is fucking everything up by mangling the very building blocks of our thoughts! Blimey. I thought we simply reached a temporary impasse, you got annoying, I got annoyed, or something along those lines. That’s all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Phil, that was all. But it’s just one in countless billions, between people and within ‘individual’ minds, all over the world, throughout history.

    There’s an example. ‘Individual’ means ‘cannot be divided’. But everyone’s thoughts are divided, and subdivided, ad infinitum.

  18. I thought petite fours and foie grass were mere legends, that’s why I asked…thanks

    We have 5 mealtimes. Breakfast, Brunch, lunch supper and dinner. Brunch is 10 to 2. Supper was working class early to bed and dinner isnt until after 7.

    Apropos of nothing ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Dinner just means the main meal of the day Ben. In Britain men who lived close to where they worked and had wives who stayed at home to cook for them, which was the vast majority even when I was young, ate dinner mid day. People who commuted to work ate dinner in the evening.

    Times have changed a lot, more people are traveling to work and not many women want to be housewives so the main meal of the day tends to be in the evening now.

  20. “more people are traveling to work”

    and what a fucking palava that is. It would change right quick if employers had to pay travel costs and include travel time as paid hours.

  21. “and what a fucking palava that is. It would change right quick if employers had to pay travel costs and include travel time as paid hours.”

    Yes it was much better in the old days, rows of back to back houses next to the mills, outside toilets, washing hanging on the line Monday morning covered in soot by dinner time.

    I just don’t believe how people let themselves get conned into moving into semi detached houses in the suburbs.

  22. Fred, our experiences differ. I grew up between the A118 and the A12, just where suburban London started giving way to subrural Essex. My childhood was dominated by traffic. The smell of it, shouting to be heard over it, being stuck in it, finding cycle routes not dominated by it, and then joining in with it on a moped as it just got busier and busier, and all the buildings I knew got knocked down to make more roads for it.

    Change for its own sake isn’t progress, no matter what our capitalist myth would have us believe. Progress involves choosing what’s better, and choosing depends upon having freedom.

  23. See what I mean Ben, with no one even here having any apparent interest in how China picked my brain about how Uncle Sam was hitting it with space ray guns.

  24. Major Sudden Stratospheric Warming being projected for Christmas.

    This may lead to a split polar vortex and increased chance of cold weather in January and February. Keeping an eye on it.

  25. No, I am linking it to the lack of interest here and elsewhere with what the Chinese government is capable of, and is doing.

    China gets blamed for whatever is convenient rather than what is really happening. No US government agency has ever tried to talk to me about what I experienced.

    The only time it ever happened is when I scheduled a talk about Nixon, the guy who saw his way into shooting his way into the White House, and staying there, during Watergate with the FBI resident in Worcester, and he went for his gun when I went to open my briefcase for an item about the scumbag.

    Little wonder that the US government is just a crap hole.

  26. How can America be so stupid about the Mattis resignation, not mentioning once what happened to the Middle East because of Osama bin Laden being in Afghanistan before 9/11, and the ensuing international chaos which only helped the Taliban and its associates ultimately!

  27. “Iran paid a Palestinian terror group to carry out the Lockerbie bombing, it is claimed.

    – Member Marwan Khreesat ยญallegedly told relatives boss Ahmed Jibril led the 1988 plot. Daughter Saha said: โ€œHe has a deal with Iran.โ€

    – For 17 years Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi has been blamed for the Lockerbie bombing, despite grave doubts over his involvement.

    – But the Mirror today reveals fresh claims by the daughter of a former terrorist which she says finally proves Iran was behind the outrage that killed 270 people 30 years ago today…”

    Rubbish! As if the British judicial system would bow to governmental pressure! What nonsense!

  28. The Lockerbie bombing was done by Syrian arms dealer Manzar al-Kassar who thought he was being set up by a CIA team on the plane for the arms for hostage deals with Iran.

  29. Heard on the radio today that primary school children near Lockerbie were being told all about the tragedy on the 30th anniversary. I wonder if these children were told about the Iranian civilian plane shot down by the US in July 1988, to give them the context of the retaliation from Iran?

  30. For starters Clark, look at my article as T. H. Ford about the silence over the Lockerbie tragedy.

  31. Read my article mentioned that Dr. Jim Swire whose daughter died on the flight put up from back in 2005. Once you do, we can discuss what I have learned since.

    Merry Christmas guys.

  32. Since Dr. Swire is still pursuing justice for his deceased daughter, I will add seeing what the book Cocaine Politics says about al-Kassar, Ted Gup’s The Book of Honor says about CIA operative Matt Gannon in Syria and on the plane, and what wikipedia says about al-Kassar’s arms sales to scumbag Oliver North during Iran-Contra.

    Just continuing crap about the terrorist disaster.

    Hope Swire sees this, and makes contact here. We can get to the bottom of this vast disaster.

  33. NASA now preparing to shut-down. Technically they are already unfunded but due to a calendar quirk as I understand it, the legal process for the “Furlough” requires the notices to be served on the next normal working day. Saturday and Sunday don’t count and Monday and Tuesday are Federal holidays. Employees are continuing to work unpaid until 26th December it seems.

    NASA tv is back on air but not on youtube. The Deep Space Network site is down. NASA twitter came back today because of calendar loop-hole.

    “As a required part of a Shutdown Furlough”, employees who will not be performing activities excepted by law will be furloughed on December 26, 2018″

    After the furlough they are legally not allowed to work even voluntarily unless in an exceptional category.

  34. Well.. I did Pour over the available data ( Non msm of course ) a total fuck up of Scottis Justice.

    Clark I do have Plans to write All of our Squonkoid Friends names.. All done Naturaly..Well Exept Squonk..but then My Solar Blue lights packed in..after My last visit to the Atlantic coast. but No fear.. It shall be Done..On the same beach probably. I spent ยฃ10 trying to win a prize trip to st Kilda.. no luck..but it was in aid of our Hebridean Girls of the Manchester concert attack.

    I’ve been collecting used candle holders for two years..

    For example..Here is My Tia Chi Tree Monkey – B for Ben, my wee Grandson..[email protected]/31486581917/in/dateposted-friend/

    then –[email protected]/46425983361/in/dateposted-friend/

    And, on My Fav Outer Hebridean Island –[email protected]/32554385528/in/dateposted-friend/

    Where went my Sadako Sasaki beach writing with shells Mmnn .

    Well a Bonny Belated Soltice, to all . Venus has been amazing, I could see it 34 mins after Sunrise the other day..anyhoo.. Longer Nights are on the way

    Cura Ut Valeas

  35. Flicker doesn’t connect Brian. I discovered my linking problem was not using the full size option for Squonk, but it didnt work.

  36. Ben, you keep having odd problems with links; what system are you using? Android?

    I’ve heard that several Icelandic volcanoes have been showing earthquake activity.

  37. Ring of Fire the same as it always is Ben ๐Ÿ™‚

    The tsunami was caused by a partial flank collapse (and underwater landslide) of the new volcano Anak Krakatau (child of Krakatoa), growing from the centre of the former Krakatoa – which famously blew itself to bits catastrophically in 1883. More collapses are possible and the eruption is still ongoing.

    The Strat Warming previously forecast is currently taking place and we need to wait to see if it has major easterly “reverse flow” effect downstream depending on how much it disrupts the polar vortex. Here’s just one possible view of Europe snow-cover at the end of the latest GFS FV3 (new version) run.

  38. Clark,

    You can’t take anything from that chart about snow fall total in a particular area – far too long range but it is a sign that the models are starting to calculate possible downstream effects of the SSW. If you look at the perturbed ensembles you will see many other possible forecasts other than the particular main operational run I posted.

  39. Thanks AA.

    Yes Clark. I’ve been using my phone exclusively.

    A very Merry Christmas to absolutely everyone.

    Give your grandson a giant hug for us Brian. ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Also the ECMWF Euro has better resolution in the stratosphere than the GFS but unfortunately we can’t in general see the output from most of the ECMWF without paying for it unlike the GFS which is free use for all its output. Only a small subset of ECMWF is free.


    Confusing signals from Washington send markets plunging

    New York (CNN Business)Alarmed investors drove the Dow more than 650 points lower in a shortened trading session on Monday. Markets plunged after the Trump administration sent out confusing signals about markets and the economy.

    The S&P 500 fell 2.7% and the Nasdaq was off 2.2%. The Dow, which fell 2.9%, and the S&P 500 suffered their biggest Christmas Eve declines ever.

    Stocks initially fell on Monday following a statement from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that he had checked on the health of the country’s largest banks.

    The market recovered late morning, but then slid even lower after President Donald Trump tweeted: “The only problem our economy has is the Fed.” Investors are concerned that Trump may fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

    Stocks are on pace for their worst December since the Great Depression. On Friday, the Dow ended its worst week since 2008. The Nasdaq is in a bear market.
    After another brutal day on Monday, the Dow is 18.8%, or 5,036 points, off its peak reached on September 20. The S&P 500, also near a bear market, is down 19.8% from its high point October 3. Oil fell more than 6% on Monday to below $43 a barrel.

  42. Ben, I’m not great with ‘phones ‘cos the interfaces are uninformative, but here goes…

    Firstly, has the system been doing its updates?

    Android is much like Windows or Mac really. When you access web pages, you’ll be doing so with a browser, even though it probably doesn’t announce itself as such. It’s probably Google Chrome, or maybe Firefox. If you don’t know you can check its “Help” or “About” menu entries, or go here:

    Basically, whatever it is, go to your App Store or whatever and install the other one too. Probably links will work OK in the new browser, which would mean that the problem is in your current browser.

  43. All signs show that 2019 will be more absurd than 2018. with all kinds of increasing disputes, mistaken claims about their cause and solution, massive lies in the media about what is happening, so called independemt discussions being dominated by deep states, etc.

    Enjoy the holidays for now, as all hell is going to follow.

  44. So its SNAFU!….Deja Vu all over again Trowbridge,?

    Repeating my wishes for Peace on Earth, good will to good people. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. For starters, US is more dangerous than ever with its new Space Command which manages all deep state operations as Indonesia is experiencing now with its quakes, tsunamis and crashes to get it behind the transnational campaign to hem in China, expand the war on ISIS, and stop smuggling.

    Such efforts are going to bring on a serious war somewhere.

  46. I have a lot of respect for Jews but wonder…

    Why is it politically incorrect to call them Jews? When I use the term people get worked up like it was an insult. Better to use ‘Jewish’ or of Jewish descent they say. Whut?

    Does that mean the term is tainted or is it their sub-conscious thinking that infers the race is tainted? It’s a human oddity.

  47. Ben

    WORDS = To me Anti Semitism is the Bigest Lie in ALL of History.. I see the Zionist Hatred Every FkN Day.. Settler assaults as the IOF stand watching, Snipers, IOF protecting the felling of Ancient Olive Trees..Stealing Children…Ect Ect Ect..

    Sorry..Yemen Genocide = Christmas .

    I was up the Hill on Xmas Eve – Beautiful –[email protected]/32601072708/in/dateposted-friend/[email protected]/32601019358/in/dateposted-friend/

  48. Ben, if “Jew” has come to seem an abusive term, it is almost certainly a consequence of the term having been used abusively.

    Brian, I know that accusations of anti-Semitism are misused politically; heck, I’m supporting Corbyn in England and he is being smeared with it continually. But we must never let the present blind us to the causes and context. There is very real anti-Semitism, in the sense of prejudice against Jews.

    Nothing makes sense without context. The context of the founding of Israel was the Holocaust of the Jews perpetrated by Nazi Germany. I think that after WWII, many people saw the founding of Israel as a way to prevent that ever happening again, but it has created other problems instead.

    Aggression is a response to perceived threat, but aggression is perceived as threat. And so the problem goes round and round, forever treated but never cured.

  49. See that China is still resolving Britain’s attempt to overthrow the regime which almost succeeded after the Sichuan earthquake by sentencing the deputy head of the Ministry of State Security Ma at the time to life in prison for his efforts of bribe support for the coup. MI6’s Neil Haywood was killed for bankrolling it.

  50. Clark

    It is a wee bit hard to take. IoF Hatered of the Natives.

    But, Thank you for your Calming Words.. And you did have a Calming Effect.. Thanks…

    I expect to see you at Doune.–

  51. Brian, it’s hell’s own conundrum. Post 1945, Jews had every reason to feel among the most threatened people in the world. It wasn’t just Nazi Germany; pre-WWII fascist and eugenicist movements were popular all over the world, but it fell very hard upon the Jews. And then by the machinations of the powerful to be offered their mythical Promised Land, that it could become a refuge and develop the protective power of a nation. I can’t think of more powerful incentives for uncompromising and even uncritical support, nor custodians with more reason to be protective, even over-protective.

    So of course there is powerful support for Israel, and powerful objection to anti-Semitism. But it is the very authenticity of such objections that make false claims of anti-Semitism so effective and attractive as a propaganda tool.
    – – – – –

    Brian, on the 9/11 thread I was on the receiving end of anti-Semitism. I’d long noticed that certain commenters exchange hints about anyone challenging Twin Tower demolition theory. I thought they meant some sort of secret agent protecting the conspiracy. I hadn’t realised what the hints really mean: “ah, you must be a Jew”. I was deeply shocked. The accusation, if they would spell it out, is, “you’re covering up a mass-murder insurance scam because you and Larry Silverstein are both Jews, and we all know that Jews value money above human life”.

    That experience changed my attitude significantly.

  52. It’s amazing how simple things can turn out to be.

    For clean nuclear power, just don’t put U238 in your reactor; voila!

    Of course if you maintain a massive bureaucratic structure dedicated to ensuring that everyone uses twenty times as much U238 as U235, you’ll end up with thousands of tonnes of high-level radioactive waste.

  53. Hmm if the latest GFS Parallel FV3 has its way you’ll be able to ski from Mexico to most of Europe ๐Ÿ™‚

    Next output could be completely different at fantasy range of course and we can’t see the ensemble and control runs for the FV3 at the moment.

  54. And I thought Englishmen always talking about the weather was a gambit to avoid bringing up something personal.

  55. One of my boys escaped military service without casualty but my 2nd born is teetering.

    His team traditionally deployed to Korea and because of misbehavior were banned from Afghanistan. Mattis, I believe hated Trukps plan to leave Afghanistan so he advised him to exit Syria, hoping the hammering he got would dissuade his Afghanistan departure.

    Just before the boy took leave for Christmas they gave him smallpox bacs. Its seems a harbinger .

  56. Seems very superficial to me, not talking about the leading populist ones being federal in organization, and the role of the military in their politics.

  57. Glenn,

    30km above the North Pole the temperature suddenly jumped by about 60C

    The warming is now propagating down.

    The main weather models are known to have difficulty modelling downwards from the strat to troposphere after SSW events but there is a specialist model GLOSEA5 run by the Met Office which we can’t see and even the people who pay to see it can’t “broadcast” any of the output in general. Rumour is that it is going for a big freeze-up from mid January on.

    The new GFS we don’t have any stats on how well or otherwise it behaves compared to its older brother’s poor performance but for the moment here’s its snow cover output from the 9th through end of run on 17th January.

  58. Squonk, could you explain the temperature graphs a bit more please? The two graphs are labelled “10hPa” and “30hPa”, which look like pressure readings. So are they graphs of temperature at whatever different altitudes have those air pressures? What’s the altitude for the second graph? I’m guessing the temperatures were measured by weather balloons.

  59. Clark,

    Yes that’s the meaning. The altitude for the 30 hPA (or millibars if you prefer) averages about 24km. Stratopshperic temperatures are generally these days measured by weather satellite. Weather balloons are still important though for sampling atmospheric conditions.

    There is also now a related reversal of the polar winds at the 10 hPA level and how that propagates down (or doesn’t) to the surface over days to weeks) plays a big part in our weather direction changing to dominantly easterly. There are multiple other factors in play right now and how they align as we move forwards remains to be seen. Just wish we could see full high res ECMWF and GLOSEA5 output.

  60. Is it officially 2019 AA?


    Let’s light a new rocket that goes UP! not sideways or Trump DOWN!..shall we?

  61. And it’s just phoned home!

    Deep Space Network
    โ€ @dsn_status
    14m14 minutes ago

    DSS 63 receiving data from @NewHorizons2015 at 501b/s.

  62. Ben,

    It’s been officially New Year for me since midnight and as I’m on GMT/UTC/zulu, I suppose that’s about as official as it gets ๐Ÿ™‚

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