An exchange of badinage overheard on TeamSpeak earlier today during an online team game, with the appropriate links added in the chat window:
HadMacksFTW: “Fighting must be hungry work because when I watch those guys in Syria blowing the crap out of each other on YouTube, they keep screaming “I wanna snack bar! I wanna snack bar!” over and over again! Hummus must be for girlie men, warriors need a serious god damn snack bar!”
CyberneticHippoOfDeath: “Poor ill educated fool! They are shouting “Admiral Ackbar! Admiral Ackbar!”… Its a Star Wars reference that involves traps, you cultural ignoramus! They do this because it increases the chance they will hit the target from zero percent by five percent by invoking the power of western civilisation! It works in Call of Duty too, not just in mere real life!”
Does anyone have noticed that when a Kremlin supporter talks about Eastern Europe the first thing he/she does is to erase the Eastern Europe countries from discussion, presenting the case as US/EU vs Russia?
This is a typical debate framing.
For [the Kremlin apologists] of this world Ukraine, Poland, the Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia don’t have any right to an opinion. Erased with it is a history of occupation under Soviets. For them only Russia has a right to be paranoid. The others once occupied by them for 50 years don’t.
– Samizdata commenter LuckLucky
This was sixth form socialism of the most uninspiring kind. It is lazy and dangerous to implement populist measures that won’t raise the money politicians promise. Windfall taxes will hurt pensioners who rely on stable returns for a comfortable retirement, sin taxes hit the poorest hardest, and a Mansion Tax would be a vindictive gesture that will eventually find its way down the property ladder to hit much less expensive homes, too.
– Jonathan Isaby
The server was a tad querulous for a while earlier today, but it seems it was nothing a little spanking could not cure (like most things really).
Finally some common sense regarding firearms and children!
The only ‘cross’ most westerners care about is the little cross hair in a laser guided bomb aiming unit used to send a 500kg cultural critique in your direction, from our technologically advanced culture to your dark ages one.
– Perry de Havilland
What’s the difference between Jim Davidson and Frankie Boyle?
One is reviled as a right-wing Tory and thus an obvious racist whilst the other is an ardent far-lefist whose jokes about black mentally handicapped babies are not racist but absolutely hilarious and the sign of comic genius.
– Samizdata commenter Lee
But when we look around in Europe today, we see that not only is Europe not whole and free, we see the ghosts from the painful 20th century returning to our midst. Ghosts that we thought we’d never see again, that we had buried deep in history’s trashbin.
Today, when we look around us, we see it all again. The annexation of territory, the violation of borders, religious conservativism pairing with political authoritarianism and imperialist bravado. 80% of Russians support annexation through military aggression in Crimea, where the Anschluss – and I use that term most seriously here – the Anschluss of territory was justified by the presence of co-ethnics. Moreover, there is widespread support for an anti-liberal attack against decadent Western “permissiveness,” be it in freedom of speech or choice of life-partners. Indeed, we see that liberal democracy has not only failed to win the battle of ideas against authoritarianism, it has failed even to prevent the resurrection of that once vanquished demon, fascism. The nationalist fervor east of us is expressed in arts in a way that makes Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will look like a liberal programme – I suggest you look at the video of the so-called “biker show” staged on August 8 this year in Sevastopol. It is on You Tube. It is a genuine Gesamtkunstwerk. Everything is there – music, art, ballet, motorcycle gangs, it’s all there.
– Estonian President Toomas Hendrik
The day after James Foley’s beheading, President Obama paused his Martha’s Vineyard vacation—to express his condolences to the Foley family and inform Americans of the threat posed by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Listening to him as a Kurd, I had no reason to doubt his sincerity when he said, “Earlier today, I spoke to the Foleys and told them that we are all heartbroken at their loss, and join them in honoring Jim and all that he did.”
What troubled me was the way he qualified ISIS or failed to do. The man who hails from the “happiest” state, Hawaii, declared ISIS—the “angriest” wannabe state in the world — without a “religion.”
That’s like calling Hitler an internationalist or Lenin a capitalist!
Posing as an authority on Islam, he said, “No faith teaches people to massacre innocents.” Speaking for the 21st century, he went on, ISIS doesn’t belong to it.
And then this gem by way of reducing the threat to an understandable sound bite: ISIS is at war with the West “out of expediency,” but it really is at war with its neighbors and offers “nothing but an endless slavery to [its] empty vision.”
I will admit to my immediate reaction: my hand involuntarily went to scratch my head.
– Kani Xulam
A new study shows first-born children are more able and ambitious. So, why have we been ruled by a succession of younger siblings as prime ministers? So, why have we been ruled by a succession of younger siblings as prime ministers?
Because the able and ambitious go off to do something more interesting than tell the rest of us how to live our lives.
I mean seriously: where’s the sodding ambition in straining to reach a position that Gordon Fucking Brown managed to gain?
– Tim Worstall
Okay, but there are ways of going about that which do not involve asking Russian tanks to cross the border in support and shooting down passenger jets. Last I looked, Scotland wasn’t fighting English soldiers in the streets, parading captured Englishmen through the streets of Aberdeen, and handing out weapons to Glasgow Celtic fans willy-nilly. I’d not have any problem if East Ukraine had attempted peaceful means of seceding from Kiev, but they haven’t: it’s been thuggish violence from the outset.
– Tim Newman, commenting here on Samizdata.
…and now it is happening in Kaliningrad! Yet another instance of unprovoked aggression by the Putinpotamus!