Recent posts by beauval on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Let's discuss Bill Cosby the serial rapist

I too remember Cosby from the show “I Spy”, but he’s not a big name over here. Now I know this is getting away from Cosby himself, but I think that it’s relevant.

Regarding cover-ups, we had a big star called Jimmy Savile, now dead. He started out as a wrestler and DJ, going on to become one of our most successful DJs ever, a big television star and crucially a huge fundraiser for charity. Everybody loved Jimmy. But I can remember rumours as long ago as the 1970s about Jimmy Savile and underage girls. A lot of people, including the police, knew but didn’t want to know. So he got away with it for decades. He had friends in high places, all the way up to Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Nobody was willing to take him on for fear of the consequences.

I found this story quite revealing in explaining why assault victims can be unwilling to come forward and make complaints. Another big time entertainer was an Australian called Rolf Harris, currently serving a six year sentence. A man of many talents, I can remember him from when I was a small boy, when he used to tell stories about the adventures of a little dog on the BBC’s children’s hour, illustrating the stories with his own drawings at the same time. He has had pop hits in the top 10, done the Glastonbury rock festival, had numerous TV series and even had the Queen sit for him to paint her portrait. He was like everyone’s favourite uncle.

He sexually assaulted a well known female presenter on live television and somehow got away with it. She explains what happened in this link. When she learned that he was a serial offender, she told her story to the police. And was she congratulated for helping to unmask a serial sexual predator? Not a bit of it. You can read about the reaction of some members of the public here. The stupidity of these trolls is just breathtaking, but this is the sort of nonsense people have to endure when they go against a popular celebrity.

So do I think Cosby is guilty? I have no idea, and he’s as entitled to a fair trial as any other accused person (I assumed from the OP that he had already had one). But it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if it all turns out to be true.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Let's discuss Bill Cosby the serial rapist

Because he was a highly bankable TV star, and people covered up for him.

A major police investigation in the UK over the last two years has resulted in several high profile figures being sent to gaol for similar offences. Some of them will probably die there. Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris were two of the BBC’s biggest stars for decades, and got away with it for so long because people in high places considered them valuable enough to protect.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Remove all social safety nets!

I know about loopholes and tax havens- I started a thread about them a while back. The real question is why American companies are allowed to get away with it so often. And why the American public is so astonishingly naive about what’s going on under their noses. The British government does make an attempt, if somewhat belatedly, to address these problems, and the public has been getting very pissed off with some companies and individuals. When the Starbucks tax scandal broke over here, the branch at my local supermarket was practically deserted for months. We may not have hurt the company much, but we certainly made our feelings clear.

It’s the American public’s services that are being damaged by the loss of “an estimated $90 billion in federal income taxes each year”. It represents a lot of schools and hospitals, a lot of policemen on the streets, a lot of shelters for the homeless, even in an economy as large as America’s. And yet some of them appear to have been persuaded that it’s good for them. Talk about turkeys looking forward to Christmas, it’s sheer fucking genius. How was it done?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Remove all social safety nets!

How about enforcing tax laws properly? Sweden has lower tax rates than the USA, and manages to run one of the world’s most comprehensive welfare states. The USA has one of the world’s highest rates of corporation tax, and is falling apart. Would I be right in assuming that there is an army of slick accountants who are running rings around the law, and billions of dollars are being withheld on questionable but perhaps just about legal grounds.

That’s not a rhetorical question BTW, I know nothing of the American tax system. I just looked up some numbers.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / A Self-Modifiable Neuroprosthetic for Depression

I know a man who suffers from schizophrenia and is a long term patient at Maudsley. He’s well aware of his condition and most of the time his medication keeps it under control. However, he sometimes forgets where he has put it, and it doesn’t take long for him to become paranoid and delusional. Although he still knows about his illness, it’s almost impossible to get him to accept that he has simply forgotten where his medication is. It’s always someone else’s fault – the doctor didn’t prescribe, the pharmacy didn’t give it to him, his carer stole it etc. I can see some form of controlled self-medication being very useful to him and probably thousands like him. If medication is always on tap, being forgetful ceases to matter.

Now maybe this has already been done (I know some research has been done), but on the subject of forgetfulness, wouldn’t a device like this be helpful outside the realms of mental illness? Forgetulness tends to go hand in hand with age, and the western world has an ageing population. Old people as a group need more medication than young people. Would an implant of necessity have to be in the brain, and could the delivery system be command rather than demand driven?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What the hell is wrong with the country?

I don’t know about America, but in the UK it is customary, in the absence of GPS device or map, to stop the vehicle and ask someone the way. Hamster’s employee doesn’t appear to have a great deal of gumption.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / What the hell is wrong with the country?

As an old fashioned Brit, I must say I have considerable sympathy with your viewpoint here. I was taught basic map reading in the Scouts, and some more advanced stuff when I was in the CCF. While it may not be as important as it used to be, I still see it as a useful life skill. That this young woman took offence at being offered a free lesson does seem rather odd, but if you bawled her out like a sergeant-major, perhaps understandable.

Still, it’s another lesson learned the hard way! I do take karma’s point that these are just kids looking to pay their way through college, but personally, I think that the younger generations have become too reliant on technology that can let them down when they need it the most. Have you made sure they all know how to change a tyre, because one day one of them may need to do that too.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Why does Politics created?

Hello Liam. Kumusta ka?

Politics isn’t something we created, it’s part of the human condition. It’s about discussing ideas and policies, deciding what the best course of action should be in any given set of circumstances. Without politics, nothing constructive would ever get done. It can operate at all levels from famiy decisions to national decisions of great importance to millions of people.

Now while I see my own government as being pretty inept at times, I don’t see a lot of corruption in it. Did you have any particular government in mind, or do you think they are all corrupt?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pope-uri: tidbits on Francis

Ergo, I might wonder if having so little [power] might cause a Pope to be a bit cautious about taking positions that could have a disastrous effect on it.

Popes are involved in modern politics, though not necessarily in the USA. If you take the birth control issue, in some parts of the Catholic world it goes far beyond religion. In countries like Brazil or the Philipines, or in parts of Africa, overpopulation in the lower echelons of society is a serious social and economic problem, but that has never stopped the Vatican from speaking out, inevitably upsetting some people along the way.

The pope has the full might of the world’s media at his disposal. He has just set up a commission to improve the way that media are used, so it looks as if he is serious about making his views known to the world. Of course he has to be careful not to tread on too many toes, but the christian church has a history of adapting itself to the mood of the age in order to remain relevant; maybe Francis thinks it’s time to make some changes.

Apropros the mafia, apparently they were quite stung to hear what the pope said about them. The catholic religion is still big in southern Italy, and while these gangsters may be pretty revolting specimens, they still see themselves as God fearing citizens (the world’s full of people like that). Excommunication may be an old fashioned weapon, but it looks as if it still works.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pope-uri: tidbits on Francis

…when he harangues politicians (especially American ones)

Again, I would luv to see this.
BUT, sometimes less is more. Might he not be seen as being meddlesome in how a country is ran? Something along the lines of how America is negatively viewed?

…into dealing with some of the problems caused by the super-greedy…

Curious here; what do YOU propose here?

I have no idea how Americans would react to a political pope. Over here we have got quite used to churchmen making (usually left wing) political noises, so I doubt that the pope joining in would ruffle too many feathers. It is one of the pope’s duties to give a moral and ethical lead to his billion plus followers, and I’m sure you would agree that unfair distribution of wealth is both a moral and political problem. Some popes in the past have been very political animals indeed – it’s only 150 years since a pope raised an army to protect his own interests, so there are plenty of precedents.

While modern churchmen may not be able to alter the course of any given government directly, they are in a position to sway public opinion, and that’s something that any democratic politician has to take note of. The mere fact of being the pope guarantees that Francis’ thoughts will get media space and time, and if he wants to improve the world, then I think he ought to take the plunge. I know some of his more conservative colleagues will be horrified, but they can’t actually overrule him. There are times in every man’s life when he has to stand up and be counted, and that includes popes as well as peasants.

BTW, when I mentioned the mafia I had the Italian mafia in mind. After one particularly atrocious act, Francis actually said “they are excommunicated”, but it needs a papal decree to make it stick. It will be interesting to see whether he makes it official.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pope-uri: tidbits on Francis

Karma, I’m a knobhead, aren’t I? I forgot to put the link in, and now I can’t find it.

It was written by a journalist called Francis Barry, and basically said that it’s all very well talking the talk, but the new pope will only deserve the plaudits when he follows through on his fine words and uses his power and influence to make the world a better place.

When he excommunicates mafia families with all the required solemn papal decrees, when he harangues politicians (especially American ones) into dealing with some of the problems caused by the super-greedy, when he actually sells off some of the Vatican’s baubles to help the world’s poorest people, then he will certainly get my vote. Until then, he is just another man with good intentions who has yet to show his true mettle.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Pope-uri: tidbits on Francis

Before you get too carried away by your adoration of this man, this opinion piece (also from The Independent) suggests that there may be rather less to the new pope than meets the eye. I’m neither a catholic nor a Vatican watcher, so I don’t feel it’s my place to comment until he actually starts to make some of the momentous changes which so far he has merely dropped hints about.

Changing his car and pissing off Sarah Palin don’t really cut much ice – I could do both those things if I had a mind to.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun issues updates

The biker’s justification for homicide centred on his belief that the USA has a far greater drugs problem than any other country. According to this study, based on a UN report, it simply doesn’t. Drug usage in the USA is roughly on a par with the Isle of Man, a generally quiet and well behaved tax haven in the Irish Sea. In other words, his entire spiel is based on bullshit.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

There’s an interesting article on the Beeb today about a mass sighting 60 years ago. Ten thousand people watched this one, and it seems the jury is still out on what it actually was.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Gun issues updates

The first one appeared to be all about a red motorbike, so which one am I supposed to be watching?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Asset Forfeiture...Legal Overkill? - The ugly side of the police.

Obviously confiscating citizens’ assets on a whim in order to buy drinks machines is blatantly taking the piss, but are police forces so poorly funded in America that they feel a need to do this just to cover the basic equipment they need to to their job properly?

Most policemen are just ordinary blokes trying to do a difficult job. They have no special insights into the machinations of other people’s lives, so I find it quite extraordinary that they are given this level of power over their fellow citizens.

On the other hand, are we just seeing the undesired results of the American way – unfettered capitalism, every man for himself, gimme, gimme, gimme?

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Political correctness: how far is too far????

Considering that Hanswurst, the name of the college in question, is German for Johnnie’s sausage, also that the moronic Sarah Palin’s physog is at the top of the page, I am deeply suspicious.

Crow, are you sure that this is a genuine story?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / Does Diversity Harm Multiculturalism?

After a few generations in a multicultural society, people lose their ethnic identities and a new culture arises.

No, it doesn’t, and that’s the problem. Multiculturalism was supposed to encourage that to happen, but what actually happened is that it encouraged societies within societies, a kind of new age ghettoisation. In the UK we don’t do exclusively black or white neighbourhoods, but we still see areas with large immigrant populations, and they tend to stick together and not mix. It also perpetuates among the more primitive and tribalistic immigant groups the feeling that they are still special, and deserve special treatment.

I think we should be aware of heritage and celebrate our differences, but trying to hold on to roots that no longer exist creates an identity crisis. That’s why most Americans either latch on to passing fads or pine for ideals that no longer exist. They have no idea who they are.

That’s a very good explanation for the jhcos of this world clinging to ideals which never really existed. Unfortunately we are seeing those sort of attitudes in the UK too. Every time some group tries to claim special status, certain sections of the indiginous population look to parties like the BNP for a solution, whch is both divisive and dangerous.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

If faster than light objects really were discovered, it doesn’t seem to have set the scientfic world on fire, which is quite surprising. A discovery like that would mean an automatc Nobel Prize for a start.

In 2011 CERN was conductng experiments with neutrinos and appeared to get some FTL results. There was speculation both about c and about whether they had just found evidence of the much speculated multiverse, with the neutrinos briefly leaving our universe, travelling through the bulk and then reappearing. The experimental results turned out to be caused by two faulty pieces of equipment.

Without spending too much time on it, I can’t seem to find any follow-up to the Hubble Telescope story – does anyone know what happened?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / NWO conspiracy theories! what's one you think might be real?

Daniel, you’ve linked to an extreme right wing opinion piece of scare-mongering drivel about something which is highly unlikely ever to happen. It’s a xenophobic rant, that’s all.

Now if that’s the colour of your politics, fair enough. But you’re not really telling us what you want to discuss. The NAU is not a reality, so do want to discuss whether it would be a good idea, how certain aspects of it would impact on the countries involved, whether an expansion of NAFTA would be good for business, whether the USA should build an impenetrable barrier across its border with Mexico, or something else. Help me out here, sunbeam, because I’m rather confused.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Technically any object or light in the sky which cannot be identified with complete certainty is a UFO. I can see lights in the sky on any evening I choose, because I live close to the approach flightpaths into both London Heathrow and London City airports. I know what they are, but because I can’t always see the plane I can’t prove what they are. But that doesn’t mean that I make up ridiculous stories about alien spaceships. What I saw last year was certainly no plane, but neither was it a spaceship, just a minor mystery.

Roswell et al. are the same. It has never to my knowledge been proved conclusively what happened at Roswell, but that doesn’t mean that a mundane explanation isn’t the correct one. There are too many people out there ready to claim it was alien visitors purely because that’s what they want it to have been.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Originally posted by DanielMontgomery:

To the OP, a report on a UFOs (the non ET kind) is in its self all the fact you need to prove that a UFO exists. the next time you see a plane in the sky and you can’t identify it’s make and model it is considered a UFO. Is it the alarming kind of UFO? Not at all but it is a UFO nevertheless.

Now the Lockheed Martin skunk works UFO or Roswell UFO are a different kind all together, I’m sorry if you think we’re going off topic but is it extremely important to identify if these kind of UFOs are real or not.

There is no question that UFOs exist. I saw one myself about a year ago, which I referenced a few months back in a similar thread. It was unidentified and flying, so that one definitely counts. But that’s all it was, a flame in the sky which I could not identify.

I think I will have to disagree with you about the Lockheed and Roswell incidents. Roswell in particular has become the stuff of urban legend, picking up a host of completely untrue embelishments over the years. When you get down to the basic facts, there doesn’t appear to be anything especially amazing about it.

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Since when did you think that neutrinos are hypothetical?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

Since when did you think that tachyons are real?

 
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Topic: Serious Discussion / UFOs

The Cottingley fairies. It’s intriguing how two little girls managed to fool the world’s photographic experts for sixty years.

Fairies are both unidentified and flying, so they count.