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)]

14,160 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Phil, I have encountered no racism within XR, but I share G&B’s more technical criticisms about security of communication and data storage, and naive use of social media. I have no experience of XR training of legal observers and stewards, but I think it likely that the viral nature of the expansion of XR and formation of working groups would lead to incremental distortion of information and training procedures.

    My guess is that there are mainly two problems. One is the rapid expansion of XR. The other is related; most new recruits have no experience, not even of more secure on-line practice. For instance, I notice that some of G&B’s recommended lawyers publish PGP keys – but many XR recruits don’t even have any idea why Facebook is a risk, let alone why proprietary software cannot be trusted.

    G&B’s criticism is valid, but I think they should continually reappraise the value of the sense of urgency. Again two reasons. Firstly, the situation is urgent. Secondly, it isn’t often that momentum starts building like XR’s has, and it’s important to encourage it while it’s happening.

    I have an XR-Chelmsford public talk to attend this evening; this from G&B will not be the subject, it’s about interpreting the science of ecological degradation, and it’s public, not internal XR organisation. I’ll try to start looking into the G&B issue tomorrow.

  2. The XR public meeting last night provided a clear example of XR computing naivety. So over sixty people had arrived, we’d had to get the extra chairs out, then it’s house lights down for the first item, an XR motivational video of events at the Five Bridges and London actions, all very moving, audience entranced and holding their breath when the image goes white with a little rotating circle of dots in the middle, and seconds later; “Windows cannot connect to the server at…”

    Yep, they had no local copy of their material and were relying on an Android hotspot for a connection.

    Apart from that it went well and even more people signed up. Local actions only until Autumn apparently.

  3. Looks like Trump is provoking impeachment, knowing the Senate won’t remove him from office while he is fighting a war with Iran.

  4. Hello Squonk! I didn’t think to look at around 00:00 (01:00’s nearer midnight at present ‘cos we’re on BST), but that’d be right, I think it’s about 92 minutes per orbit. I bet it was quite a high pass too, ‘cos its track had a slightly northward angle.

    I’d been tidying the shed and hadn’t had the computer on much. I booted it up, posted those comments and shut it down again. I’ve only started it now for the weather forecast.

  5. Clark,

    These were the passes last night for your location.

    Date Visible Max Height Appears Disappears

    Thu May 23, 10:27 PM 6 min 86° 10° above W 10° above E
    Fri May 24, 00:03 AM 5 min 71° 10° above W 32° above ESE
    Fri May 24, 1:40 AM < 1 min 13° 11° above W 13° above W

    And for tonight still to come (just missed one)

    Fri May 24, 11:14 PM 6 min 83° 10° above W 15° above E
    Sat May 25, 00:51 AM 2 min 26° 11° above W 26° above WSW

  6. The trouble I have to go through to post anything there, Squonk, similar to what I have to do here which has no topic control.

  7. Trowbridge,

    I’ve checked and nothing of yours has been auto-spammed or even manually trashed here recently. You have occasionally in my memory posted on the wrong thread by mistake but not recently either.

  8. Did a NRO laser beam hit Peru last night, intended to make Venezuela’s problems more difficult?

  9. I don’t. especially since the shallow quake occurred hundreds of miles from the Pacific ‘ring of fire’ in the Amazon basin, and just hours before the Prresidents of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru were to meet to be more focused on Madro.

    Do you still think that the Notre Dame fire was just an accident?

  10. @Trowbridge: “Do you still think that the Notre Dame fire was just an accident?

    More than likely.

  11. Hello folks, I’m at the Othona Christian community with the Chelmsford Quakers. Carlos has brought his telescope, and we had a good view of Jupiter last night. I could see three moons, and three cloud bands. Earlier we had watched the ISS go over. I saw about twenty satellites (though none were firing lasers by the look of it), of which three were Iridium flares, and a couple were flashing. One meteor.

    I intend to head to the Eden festival site tomorrow.

    Squonk, you may be interested that this computer at Othona is running Puppy Slacko 5.7. It also has Windows 10, but it’s so sluggish and unresponsive I can’t be bothered with the damn thing.

  12. Current message at

    – Starlink Satellites:

    – The recently launched Starlink satellites are still fairly close together, and it’s possible to see them as a string of 60 satellites passing over. They are not all identified yet, but we include links below to predictions for the leading and trailing satellites, as well as a new dynamic 3D display. The leader seems to be a couple of minutes ahead of the main “pack”. They are fairly small, but many people have reported that they can be seen with the naked eye, and are a spectacular sight!

    Hmmm. I was off to bed, but I think I’ll stay up to watch for that…

  13. Hello Clark

    Looks like a remarkable place. Have you been going starkers?! Long ago I tried in California but was unable to get comfortable! Which is a shame.

    Have fun at the eden fest mate.

  14. OK, I dropped into mine after Othona because I’d forgotten some things, but now I’m off to Eden.

    Hello Phil, no I didn’t get naked at Eden last year, though I did see a topless fairy, and very nice she was too! It’s a beautiful site; I’m looking forward to getting in the river.

  15. Enjoy The Eden Festival Clark ..Looks much like DTRH..a wee bit bigger. Super stuff.

  16. Is Trump getting Msy on board for an Anglo-American surprise attack on iran?

  17. Where is the Duke of Edinburgh? Looks like he doesn’t like blow-hard draft dodgers?

  18. I’ve never seen her Majesty suck up to an American President like she has with Shrump Boat.

    What’s the Deal?

  19. She is playing an unprecedented role to get Britain and the US on the same page in dealing with intonational problems, especially Iran.

    Expect one of its 12 qanat systems being hit with a shellow quake, hopinxg to cause an oil refinery fire which justifies foreign interception, like what happened at Bam in 2003. Looks like Bandar Abbas or Tehran will be the target..

  20. Its ghostly hereabouts

    The movie Network accurately portrayed the consequences of ‘free market’ requirements that all players pledge profitability.

    William Paley championed an autonomous Newsroom where ratings and ad rates did not manipulate at Capitalistic coercion levels because NEWS was a public service, not a commodity.

    Bean counters could not tolerate such a fiscal anchor.

    Capitalism killed journalism in the 1970s

  21. Funny you should bring up William Paley when I am trying to glue together papers presented to a consortium on the French Revolution in which my deceased sister Elise Knapp and me presented papers.

    She wrote about the Impact of the reign of terror in 1793 upon the writings of William Godkin where the wild ideas of the Philosophes were corrected by his novel Caleb Wlliiams where reason has given way to the viciousness of conditions as they are, Paley is seen as more then just an old woman.

    Of couse, nothing about this on the internet, not even what happened to Gotkin. Was he bagged by the establishment too?

  22. Looks like Ash Carter, Obama’s former SoD, will be taking over the Pentagon from acting Secretary Pat Shanahan, to disarm pre-emptively Iran and possibly North Korea.

    He is the closest creature we have to Dr. Stramgelove.

  23. You guys like Craig seem more interested in festivaling than discussing the serious efforts that the Anglo-Americans are involved in overthrowing enemy governments, London the communist government in China, and Washington the mullahs in Tehran.

  24. How engaging is that Festival?

    Does it matter who’s at Pentagon when NeoCon War has Shrump by his peanut balls?

  25. Think it does matter who is running the Pentagon. Pat Shanahan, the acting Secretary, is proving unfavorable to Trump, so he is looking towards Ash Carter as the permanent head. Carter and CNO John Richardon are warmongers who Trump likes as he is a neo-con warmonger too when it suits his interests. Both Carter and Richardson worked for Obama while opposing the nuclear agreement with Iran.

  26. Trow..spam was something squonk was on top of

    Are we alone? 🙂

    Tweedledum and Tweedledee already answered your question Trowbridge.
    Every dollar reduction in minimum wage results in a ten-fold increase in Homeless.

    Pretty soon your pennywise/pound foolish philosophy will overwhelm your property

    Trumpkins really are the Neanderthals trying to defeat evolution.

  27. Phil!

    Sorry I didnt see you man.

    Truly Capitalism killed Journalism through their quarterly productivity demands..and investor lemmings jumping the cliff

  28. Nothing can be more stupid than the American media going on about the upcoming presidential election as if the USA is a unitary, parliamentary system with disciplined parties when it isn’t.

    Little will change no matter who becomes POYUS.

  29. Can you imagine Biden as POTUS, Trow?

    Maybe he would force the formation of an alternative..WELP!

  30. I couldn’t stand him as Vice President, ass-licking Bubba and Obama in the hope of following them.

    I had my fill of him when he got his son Beau to play down the murder of poor John Wheeler which led to the ambush/assassination of Ali Resa Pahlavi. heir to the Iranian throne. They were in the process of trying to end the war with the mullahs. Wheeler’s murder still remains unsolved, thanks to other efforts by the secret state.

    If Biden runs against Trump, I won’t vote, heading again for the exit out of this dump.

  31. CBD oil recipe works great.

    150 degrees in a crock pot slow cooker for 24 hours in MCT oil.

    No regulated standards in the industry plus a dearth.of research means thousands of cottage industry types plying their own theoretical and anecdotal research. Count me in.

    I only trust my own methods and resources from seed to end product.

    It seems the right thing to do. Three patients say so.

  32. ” You guys like Craig seem more interested in festivaling than discussing the serious efforts that the Anglo-Americans are involved in overthrowing enemy governments, London the communist government in China, and Washington the mullahs in Tehran. ”

    Not sure I like that tag Trow… I remember starting a Current Politico Confab with
    Craig at Doune.. He would rather I got the Impression, after all.. we do that All Year Long..
    It’s a great fest for peaceful Eyes.. Yet .. When one Knows whats going on here n there.

    I’m just back from a while in our wee Atlantic Cottage ..we had a great March for Independence in Oban –

    Ben Lol – ” Three patients say so.”
    Need to try that .

  33. I haven’t been to a festival yet this year – I don’t handle cold well ( I can put up with rain sort of) and some overnight temps in particular were just not compatible with me and a tent! Hopefully will make Doune the Rabbit Hole though.

    What’s going on in the world? Well it’s the beginning of the end. The powers that be don’t know how to solve our energy and climate issues (IMHO) so it’s WAR (even though that obviously won’t help either) – maybe not quite tomorrow but that’s where we are heading. It is not by accident.

  34. Security services reading this please note your families are just as dead, in the end, as everyone else.

    Think it is an accident that everywhere you turn anger, aggression, hate, “we’re better than them” is being promoted. Think Again.

    Jimmy Carter warned us where we were heading a long time ago… He told us in his tv chats we were heading for unsustainable disaster and so the CIA destroyed him. Not officially of course.

  35. Of course, if you’re a nutcase, Armageddon must happen and has to happen to fulfil prophecy and bring a wonderful new life.

    Believing that Armageddon is inevitable is protected by Law in the UK as far as I can figure.

  36. I try to clue CM about what is going in Iran – i. e. the US is trying to trigger a quake in the Strait of Hormuz, hoping to start an oil refinery fire, and a qanat collapse in Bandar Abbas leading to an internatiional crisis which will justify American intervention,, and his mods delete them all.

    Nw Iran has shot down a radar drone monitoring the area to see what is happening on the Staut floor, and everyone sees it as unprovoked aggression when it is looking to see if the quake is starting.

    When will you guys wake up?

  37. Yes indeed. Neocons no longer worry about closing the Straits because the energy source has shifted.

    Misdirection of the Dumpster Fire President allows the Magician room to fool our Fools.

    Hey Brian

    You were off-grid for a while. How was that?

  38. Much is made of how many milligrams of CBD is in their various products and they are priced accordingly.

    I only have strains which are about 1% cbd so the 2 oz of weed in my 8 oz of oil in the entire batch only has about 550 milligrams

    No one knows how much cbd should accompany dosage so they are piling it on.

    However, it has been shown that cbd isolate versus full spectrum (all terpenes and cannibinoids) has a bell curve after the initial dose however with FS it flattens at high bar and stays there with subsequent doses.

    I’m not sure how much cbd is enough but I know all the actors need to sing in a chorus.

  39. The biggest challenge with Homelessness is not the economy..its the mental illness.

    Any fix will be a long haul even if we can get over our bias toward psychedelic medicine.

    Psilocybin and maybe CBD along with therapy.

    Many homeless are schizophrenic. They dont take their meds because of side effects. It’s a real problem

  40. It has high affinity for several serotonin receptors, including 5-HT1A, 5-HT2A, and 5-HT2C, located in numerous areas of the brain, including the cerebral cortex and thalamus. With legislation introduced in 1992, more work is being done to further understand the implications of psilocybin use in a number of disease states. Certain mental health disease states and symptoms have been studied, including depressed mood, anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol use disorder, and tobacco use disorder. This article provides an in-depth review of the study design and results of psilocybin in each of these conditions and discusses the clinical potential for use.

  41. Ben
    “The biggest challenge with Homelessness is not the economy..its the mental illness.”

    Not sure how you untangle the two. Mental illness has substantial environmental cause and economic hardship is a major stress.

  42. Well, at least I managed to actually see some sun today which helped cheer me up a bit. I’m fed up of grey skies and rain.

  43. But there is no climate change, according to King Donald, it’s just extreme weather. And it might not be war, just unusual number of projectiles flying around over there.

  44. And the stupid and loose person who caused the shooting down of the American radar drone is King Donald!

  45. I dunno Phil. Thing is: a large percentage of homeless appear to prefer living wild for many reasons. Chief amongst the reasons is their autonomy. Handlers forcing ingestion of Meds…side effects from meds..control..

    This problem is not just economic. It is choices people make and sometimes I think we must let them suffer the consequences of same.

    But imagine masses of Opiod Dead meandering through your neighborhood like a 500 lb gorilla.

  46. AA:

    Sorry you’re suffering, man . I really thought this would be another year without a Summer, but temps are rising to near normal here and you should have relief soon

  47. Glad that Iran at least took me seriously about what the US could cook up with a radar surveillance vehicle like a drone or a Boeing X-37B, working with a special attack sub like the USS Jimmy Carter. Shooting down the drone stopped all kinds of disasters from happening.

    Tehran learned the hard way from the quakes that happened at Bam in 2003, and in Japan later, one just the other day.

    Might immigrate there to get out of this crap hole.

  48. Hello Folks, and Best wishes to all.

    I’m home again for a couple of weeks between Eden and Doune the Rabbit Hole, but I’ll be busy and probably not on-line much.

  49. So why did Trump call off the limited bombing of Iran at the last minute?

    Because given Iran’s great population and its density of population. it is almost impossible to have a limited attack almost anywhere because the attack would not only kill most of the people living there but it would ruin its ability to support new people by destroying its water supply, especially its vast qanat systems.

  50. Ben Hullo

    I tend to go away sometimes .. I read too much online.. I should change my habit..and come here First.. Did you get the Book yet ? Great to see the joint Lively again..

    I know what Squonk is saying Guys…it is crazy cold here..for this time of year.. the exact opposite of last year.. when the damn heat nearly killed me

    On the Bright side.I hear it’s to heat up a wee bit

    Rest up Clark

  51. -Now the question is whether the US will go ahead with regime-change through a series of apparent natural disasters, stating with a quake in the Strait of Hormuz.

    The only worry is that Iran will resort to naval efforts to stop any US special attack sub by means of sinking it through surface and underwater efforts. Could result in something like what happened to Navy Secretary John Lehman’s subs in Swedish waters back in 1982-3.

  52. Just discovered that Bernie Sanders has been ripping me off for years when I thought it was Hillary.

    Sanders got all the money I donated, over $700, when I thought I had given him $70.

    Will supply details of his dishonesty if anyone is awake and interested.

  53. Nice to see that the Iranians finally caught up to CIA spy Jalal Haji Zavar and his former wife for ambushing, torturing, and killing John P. Wheeler, III, and ali Resa Pahlavi. who were trying to solve America’s problems with Iran peacefully, nine years ago.

    At least in important cases the mullahs have some sense of justice.

  54. Phil xfrog, June 11, 9:22 pm – “I watched Network a few months ago. Great film.”

    I remember watching it decades ago, and greatly enjoying it.

    I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I am not going to take this any more!”

  55. Ben, June 20, 5:01 pm – “The biggest challenge with Homelessness is not the economy..its the mental illness.”

    Hawkwind retweeted:

    @Matthew_Wright Mar 21

    Proud to announce Britain’s brightest radio show is going to support these two homeless gents, Pat and Tony, on a waterside walk from London to Bristol to raise awareness of #MentalHealth and its effect on #homelessness Hear them yourselves on @talkRADIO

  56. The book got swiped at mailbox Brian..haven’t reordered

    Yes Clark..we could have roaming bands of extra-perceptual reality Purveyors living off the land..and our back porches.

    Not to mention refugees from coastline searise..moving inland without resistance.

  57. Just realized I sound sarcastic while trying to be clever, clark.

    Seriously.. getting Society to accept psychedelic medicine is one thing but getting these people into controlled environments and therapy is the biggest obstacle. I believe it would control the violent better but every other issue would remain if it were just distributed like condoms.

    But it’s like the climate. We need to start soon.

  58. Ben, you didn’t seem offensive.

    I could easily have ended up homeless myself. I just got very despondent about dealing with companies and authorities – the vast profusion of institutional excuses, misdirections and deceptions, and particularly the way decision-makers are hidden behind front-line telephonists and receptionists who have a script but no authority, the impossibility of discovering de-facto policy – after a while it feels like trying to swim through treacle; exhausting and futile. Thankfully there was a support organisation that helped me out – or rather, helped secure the supply of money to my landlord.

    “…a large percentage of homeless appear to prefer living wild for many reasons. Chief amongst the reasons is their autonomy”

    Yes. I got chatting to a homeless man in Chelmsford town centre. He wouldn’t even use the night shelters, for precisely the reasons you mentioned.

  59. It’s warm and humid here, which I find very tiring. I’d very much like some thunderstorms to clear the air, but MeteoGroup (for the BBC) and the Met Office disagree about whether any will materialise…

    The thing about psychedelics is that their effective use requires an appropriate environment including an experienced guide. I expect that many of the obstacles are legalistic – “what if someone hallucinates that they can fly and jumps out of a window; won’t we get sued?”, and similarly simplistic concerns. It would also require acknowledging the need to employ seasoned trippers, which would be a major climb-down for the bureaucratic mind-set.

  60. XR groups up from 440 internationally before I went away to 498 now. Still hardly any in Russian and Chinese-aligned countries though.

  61. Ben, I didn’t really have a point. I just like the Two Davids of MediaLens. I like their calm attitude towards examination of news media and their practicality about meditation, and that article seems to illustrate how their meditative practice shapes their outlook and writing.

    I certainly see the progress of social development as an oscillation, but more as a sawtooth shape than the smooth swing of a pendulum. Our selfish motivations are mostly subconscious, and probably in reciprocation, we tend to overlook minor selfishness in others. Consequently, selfish influences accumulate over time – the slow, steady drift to the Right.

    But this accumulation inevitably leads to gross inequality and injustice, and eventually enough people become motivated to organise their opposition to it. Of course, the entrenched selfishness opposes this, and so pressure builds. Unless those who have achieved or inherited privilege make sufficient concessions, eventually a breaking point is reached and sudden change occurs – some degree of rebellion or revolution.

    I disagree with Hegel that this dynamic is unavoidable or even desirable. I see it as a consequence of our incomplete personal knowledge of ourselves, a by-product of development, but it can be avoided if enough people practice the discipline of exploring their own subconscious selfish motivations and deliberately considering others’ circumstances.

  62. Clark

    It looks like another liberal attempt to formalise anarchist/communist organising principals. Obviously, in certain respects it is good.

    The idea of a delegate rather than a representative is fundamental to anarchism. A delegate being obliged to always follow the path of the group decision and always liable to recall and replacement by the group. Whereas a representative is elected once in a while and cannot easily be recalled or replaced, and a representative often explicitly has no obligation to do as her group desires (such as parliamentarians).

    And workers control of the workplace, with those doing the job making the decisions, is again 100% anarchism.

    However, the imposition of strict process, such as taking turns in a strict order to speak, miss the point. The process should not become fetishised. The group should decide how it reaches decisions.

    The jargon (“double link”) in the video is bizarre. They are basically describing anarchist federation organising that has been widely described and practised in radical circles for over 150+ years yet they pretend they are inventing the wheel. I think this happens (and it is happening ever more and more) because they are basically liberals who see the need, the demand, for more democracy but they accept, and defend, economic inequality. So they pretend this is nothing to do with the commies.

  63. Phil, it isn’t an XR video. Someone in XR Chelmsford linked to it, for illustrative purposes I think.

    “However, the imposition of strict process, such as taking turns in a strict order to speak, miss the point. The process should not become fetishised.”

    Actually, that is one of the ways in which the XR group process differs from the video. The practice advanced by XR doesn’t have strict turns. When someone has a point to add, there are hand signals to indicate the type of point so that the facilitator can decide who to call upon next. The facilitator also calls upon those who have not yet spoken – this is specifically so that the gobbiest ones don’t get to take over the discussion. Often there are also “meditative minutes”, at the start, and if things get heated, in which someone reminds the group of objectives and, if necessary, relevant principles. This isn’t listed in the XR process – it seems to have caught on independently.

    “The group should decide how it reaches decisions”

    Groups have autonomy, so presumably a group could use the process to decide to change the process.

    “…they accept, and defend, economic inequality.”

    That’s another issue, and one that I haven’t seen you address yet. Is property theft? Even property of corrective eyeglasses, for instance? If not, some guidelines need to be delineated.

  64. Clark

    So, does XR act as a federation with policy born in local groups and passed up via delegates? How do you know this is the case (for example, are you welcome to attend all meetings of the professional staff to ensure they are acting accordingly)? If there is no transparency the “horizontalism” is a sham.

    My previous experience with one of the XR “leaders” was that he paid lip service to “horizontalism” but in reality gerrymandered to forward his ideas against the decisions of the group.

    “Is property theft? Even property of corrective eyeglasses, for instance?”

    The property referred to in “property is theft” is the means of production. The means of production, the factories, land etc, should be used for the common good rather than profit for a few. No one wants to take your toothbrush or your glasses off you.

  65. Phil, I’ve never tried to discuss policy with the earliest-established groups, but I might be trying to in a month or so, and I’ll let you know how I get on; I don’t anticipate any trouble visiting the London office. The working groups and affinity groups do make their own operational decisions.

    I remember the announcement of the ‘pause’ coming through when I was in parliament square; on-site discussions followed and it was about another three days before the participants started dismantling and cleaning the Marble Arch site. Also, the day after the announcement of the ‘pause’ there was a big procession from Marble Arch to Parliament Square, to take supplies to the people who were up in the trees. It really was not a case of the order coming through and the troops obeying.

    There is no effective enforcement method by which the London XR office could dictate the action of groups. Groups don’t always agree, eg. one group disrupted the London Underground despite other groups’ criticism.

    But this piece of string has two ends; the XR activists aren’t a bunch of seasoned anarchists; we’re a load of all sorts of different people, and it probably wouldn’t have occurred to most of us to try and alter policies emanating from the London office. But the group structure and the decision-making process are taught anyway, so hopefully more multidirectional policy formulation will develop.
    – – – – – – – –

    Sorry about my 10:17 pm quip; I somehow didn’t see your 6:35 pm comment or I’d have replied to it. I even looked, and was sure that my 5:18 pm was the most recent. Dunno what happened there.

    “The property referred to in “property is theft” is the means of production.”

    OK, that seems sensible, but it still doesn’t clear the problem out, and it doesn’t even touch upon non-productive but excessive private property. What about my toolkit? My computers? What about a van or an aircraft? These are means of production, but I get used to specific tools and vehicles; I use them better when I know them well. I’d get damned annoyed if some damn anarchists had my favourite long-nosed pliers when I needed them, unless they were dealing with an emergency. Or if they thrashed my favourite van or left it in a mess or short of fuel after using it.

    And I’m not even particularly Right-wing; surely you can see how this gives those of a more Rightish mindset serious qualms? Some sort of guidelines need to be defined, even if only to help the less communally minded think about the matter instead of dismissing it out of hand.

    It may seem as though I’m being pedantic, but there has to be more than a void and “oh it’ll be OK, you’ll see”. Try reversing the matter; what do we get from the Right when we ask “but if we leave it to the market won’t that leave some people to starve and freeze?” It’s these ill-defined areas that freak everyone out about the opposing side’s politics.

  66. Actually, there’s quite a lot of chaos in XR; various people disagree about various others, eg. some Lefties objected to XR Business (who responded by apparently going into hiding), and I recently saw an objection to a group called ‘XR Police’ – I don’t even know if that group really exists, but I hope it does. But chaos is to be expected when something is growing as fast, and from such diverse people as XR currently is.

    About the only thing that everyone really agrees about is that there’s a crisis to address.

  67. Clark
    ” I don’t anticipate any trouble visiting the London office. The working groups and affinity groups do make their own operational decisions.”

    I have no doubt this is true but it was not what I was saying. Visit? Sure. But attend any meeting you choose?

    Yes, the pause and xrbusiness are both examples of the leadership taking initiatives after zero consultation with, and apparently against the wishes of, the participants. Which is of course nothing to do with federations or “horizontalism”.

    XRPolice? Fuck me. Hilarious. Why do hope that exists?

    Again, it is the means of production that is referred to. No smelly anarchist wants to take your long nose pliers off you. A pair of pliers are a tool used by one person. Two hundred pairs of pliers in a workplace (ie alongside many other tools and machines) are a means of production.

    Sorry , busy right now. Happy to answer further later if you want.

  68. “But attend any meeting you choose?”

    I don’t have personal experience, but a friend of mine doesn’t seem to have been excluded from anything – of course, high attendance might present problems due to size of venues. I’ll let you know how I get on when I attempt to go and meet people there.

    “…and apparently against the wishes of, the participants.”

    Some of the participants; others are XR Business. And it doesn’t look to me as if XR Business and the leadership (Bradbrook? Hallam?) are remotely identical either. Not really sure XR has a ‘leadership’ as such; it was the ‘Political Group’ that called for the pause. Personally I was happy to go along with it; ten days camped on the Marble Arch traffic island had become a bit much. Others felt as I did, and others wanted to continue.

    “Why do hope that exists?”

    That should be obvious!

    “Again, it is the means of production that is referred to.”

    That seems OK on the face of it, but my mystical and scientific sides long ago convinced me that definitions exist essentially in our minds rather than in reality, which is better described by continua and distributions. Seemingly paradoxically, this requires us to refine definitions.

    The whole commie / anarchic community seem to shy away from adequately defining justifiable limits to private property, so of course the Right, to whom private property is highly important, dismiss the entire field. We don’t have to think about private property (“social responsibility will take care of that”), and they don’t have to think about social responsibility (“private autonomy will take care of that”) – SEP; Someone Else’s Problem syndrome:

    “Sorry , busy right now.”

    That’s fine; whenever you have time – I’ve been absent for weeks myself, and will be again soon.

  69. Clark
    “That should be obvious!”

    Not at all. What would the group hope to do? One guess is that it is more of the xr approach that the police are allies, or potential allies. This is another common thread amongst liberal groups attempting “horizontalism”. The criticisms of this are many but here’s one. XR is a group of people with relative privilege. They have no experience of being on the blunt end of repression by the state. They do not understand the role of the police.

    In the year as xr built it’s organisation before action, they approached various groups of poc. However, xr did not want dialogue, they wanted support for their approach which included working with the police. The got no support from any group they approached.

    And so it excludes people who are part of a demographic targeted by the police. It fails to challenge the divisive racist mind set at the heart of what ails us.

    You know that xr leaders have form with promoting anti immigration policy right?

  70. Clark
    “The whole commie / anarchic community seem to shy away from adequately defining justifiable limits to private property, so of course the Right, to whom private property is highly important, dismiss the entire field.”

    No. The right’s objection to communism is not a lack of definition.

    There is a long philosophical history of attempting to define these property relations and what they might mean for a future society. So what “seems” to be to you is just a lack of familiarity with the subject. Which is not surprising because the subject is taboo to capitalism. The pervasive culture of any society is the culture of the ruling class. The ruling class do not promote discussion about removing their privilege.

  71. So, time for my first lesson. What’s the best way of exterminating all police? Is there any point in those perceived as white and middle class performing the extermination, or do the death squads have to be comprised solely of ethnic and sexual minorities?

  72. Clark

    There’s no need to get personally abusive.

    The state is the mechanism to defend the property rights, the privilege, of the beneficiaries of the disgusting inequality and cruelty we endure. The police are the blunt end of state repression. I think a better world is possible without state repression and thus without police. Exterminate? I have never suggested any such thing. I’m a vegan not a dalek.

    Anyway, let me know if you want to talk further. I’d be interested to hear how Rupert Reads anti-immigration nonsense is viewed within xr.

  73. That’s sarcasm; I suppose it could be termed abuse. But the constant dismissal and not being good enough is dispiriting.

  74. It’s more Squonk’s field, but…

    There is a decent chance of meteor storms and fireballs over the next, er, three weeks or so (?), from the debris field of comet Encke, the same cometary debris that probably caused the Tunguska Event in Siberia on June 30 1908.

  75. Clark

    Here’s a video arguing that xr misrepresent the research on which they base their non-violence claims (which is why xr never actually reference the paper itself). The research uses a definition of a violent campaign as having 1000+ deaths. i.e. it bears no relation whatsoever to any mass campaign ever that can be considered analogous to current environmental campaign.

    “Exploring Violence, Non-violence & Extinction Rebellion – where XR gets the research wrong. It’s a journey that will take us through the research paper itself to the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement, the murderous state repression of Bloody Sunday 1972, Reclaim the Streets and the summit protests of the early 2000s to argue that simplified versions of tactical debates around non-violence are worse than useless and do nothing to prepare XR activists for the years of struggle ahead.”

    Do you know if the xr non-violence claims are based on more research than the paper in this video?

  76. “Do you know if the xr non-violence claims are based on more research than the paper in this video?”

    No I don’t. Are you arguing for violence?

  77. Clark
    “Are you arguing for violence?”

    Come on Clark. I am pointing out that xr seem to be misrepresenting research to fit their agenda. I asked if you knew different.

    As an exponent of xr you surely want to be aware if the leadership are misrepresenting studies. You surely want to be aware if the leadership have a history of blaming immigration. No?

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