USA Africa Dialogue Series - Re: [Mwananchi] Kenya’s Supreme Court Renders a Bad Ruling

 
People, my responses are in  blue
 
In a message dated 3/31/2013 5:52:04 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, ayittey@gmail.com writes
 
Kenya's Supreme Court Renders a Bad Ruling
 
That is a matter of opinion; not a statement of fact.

I respect Kenya's Supreme Court Justices but I beg to disagree with the Justices. They rendered a bad decision on Saturday. Here are 6 reasons why.

First, given the highly charged political atmosphere, they should have stayed above the fray, instead of inserting themselves into it by declaring or confirming Kenyatta or Odinga as the winner. Now they risk being seen as "compromised" or "partisan," favoring one candidate over the other.

The Kenyan Supreme Court, constituted under Article 140 and subject to clause (4) and (5) of Article 163 of the Constitution, has exclusive  jurisdiction to receive, hear and rule on disputes relating to the elections of persons to the Office of Presidency. Its job is not premised on sticking a finger to feel  which way the political winds blow.
 
That contested elections normally occur in "highly charged political atmosphere"  is like saying rain wets. But the court is not expected to shrink from its constitutional mandate due to partisans poised with daggers drawn.  A party to the dispute may loose as a normal outcome. The notion that  the Kenya Supreme Court ruling is tantamount to favoritism makes mockery of the institution. The double standard  is unexplained given that Gore vs Bush occurred in no  less a feverish political atmosphere but  the US Supreme court ruled to end the stalemate. 

Second, the SC ordered a re-tally of votes from 22 polling stations out of a total of 33,400. The sample was too small. Admittedly, the Supreme Court had only 6 days to make a ruling and, further, CORD (the Odinga camp) may have suggested a scrutiny of those 22 polling stations. However, if that small sample revealed evidence of irregularities, logic suggests that the large remainder must also contain irregularities that must also be scrutinized. If a portion of the meat is spoilt, would you cut it off and eat the rest?

Similarly, the whole of Florida was not subject to a recount. Apparently, Floridians did not died of spoilt meat eaten.  The recount occurred in only three counties that reported exceptional circumstances: Broward; Volusia and Orange counties covering 175,037 of the approximately 6,000,000 ballots cast.

 Third, the decision does not erase the widespread suspicion that there were nefarious attempts to manipulate the results and rig the election. It is a bit of a stretch to attribute the irregularities to "clerical" or "human error." How does one explain:

1.     The sudden break-down of IT or electronic transmission of results, necessitating manual tabulation?

2.     The break-down of biometric equipment, necessitating voting without biometric verification?

3.     The mysterious expansion of over 1 million voters in the electoral register for the presidential election but not for the parliamentary?

I am afraid, these suspicions will linger and no one knows what they will morph into.

Where on planet earth are legal decisions meant to erase suspicions, which, by nature, are guided by intense instincts without proof while rulings are premised on evidence? Even in recent US elections, there were reports of machine malfunction; it happened suddenly, no warning on a preplan to fail. Here is  a headline:
 
Partisans were in courts from Pennsylvania to Ohio for alleged conspiracies to defraud the electorate, including voter suppression. The spectacles of butterfly ballots, switch from machine to manual counts under torch lights, etc. were spectacles to behold. Nobody suggested "animal errors" were committed when recount yielded new figures.
 
All manners of suspicions envelope elections even in advance democracies. What is new in Kenya?
 
 
Fourth, Kenya is dangerously polarized politically. Uhuru's win of 50.07 of the vote is one the narrowest majority and the "minority" is nearly 50 percent of Kenyans who did not vote for him. That means nearly half of Kenyans are not going to like the Supreme Court decision and will still feel aggrieved. This is dangerous because, in Africa, it takes a small group of determined mal-contents to wreak havoc and mayhem -- let alone half of the electorate.
 
If Kenya wanted candidates to win by landslides, the provision would be formal; not arbitrary yardsticks.
 
 John Kennedy led by .17%;  Clinton was elected with a plurality vote, skies did not fall in the US and there were no aggrieved centers.
 
In 1996 only 49% of US of eligible voters went to the polls. In 2012 the figure was 57.5%.  We are looking at the fact that in some cases half of the US electorate did not even participate in choosing who governed them. The turnout for the 2013 Kenyan election was 86.91% .
 
In the 2000 US elections, the elected president lost the popular votes. Given the logic, more people who voted did not like the Supreme Court decision. What could be more dangerously polarized politically?
 
The sovereign people of Kenya defied foreign journalists looking for havoc and mayhem, and conducted a peaceful election with a record turnout.
 
In 1985, the late General Samuel Doe held elections in Liberia.  When it appeared that he was losing, he ordered the vote count halted. Ballot boxes were then transported to a secret location at the army barracks where the votes were tallied and Doe declared the winner.  Charles Taylor refused to countenance this contumely and started a "bush war" with only 100 men. The rest is history. Similarly in Uganda, Yoweri Museveni started out with only 27 men.
 
These are irrelevant comparisons for caricaturists. No incumbent in Kenya aborted the vote count  and squirreled into the wilds with ballot boxes. Raila conceded and Kenya's democratic transition is a measure of her civic maturity, however nascent.
 

Fifth, the Supreme Court decision does not ease but would rather exacerbate tension in the country. Kenya is also deeply polarized along tribal and religious lines. Gikuyus voted for Kenyatta, Kalenjin for Ruto and Luo for Odinga. Religion or tribal politics is a very dangerous proposition in any African country. In Kenya, there is a perception that the Gilkuyus have dominated both the political and economic scenes. Of Kenya's three presidents since independence in 1963, two – Jomo Kenyatta and Mwai Kibaki -- have been Gikuyu; Daniel arap Moi is Kalenjin. Further, the Kenyatta family are the largest land owners in Kenya and among the richest in Africa.

 
Black people gave Romney zero vote, rednecks gave Obama zero votes. US is deeply divided by  red and blue states to the extent that candidates do not even bother to campaign in hostile states.  The term "battleground states"was coined to identify the handful of states  were elections are won or lost. It gets worse. For example, unless a jurisdiction is gerrymandered in a state, local candidates of certain backgrounds cannot win.
 
People, I cite these to indicate that Africans are typically projected in worse light when the phenomena abound in other places.
 
What has Uhuru as a landowner got to do with anything if his wealth did not disqualify his candidacy?  Many of the early US presidents were rich landowners, including plantations and slaves owners. 
 
In Nigeria, tribal politics led to the Biafran War (1967-70). The Igbo, through their own hard work and determination, had become very successful, dominating senior positions in government, educational institutions, etc. But it bred tribal resentment and persecution, which propelled the Igbo to secede. Over 3 million – mostly Igbos – died in the ensuing war. In Rwanda, tribal politics led to the 1994 genocide, in which 1 million Tutsis were slaughtered. In Ethiopia, tribal politics has stunted that country's growth prospects. In Ivory Coast, it was the politics of religion. The country was split into the Muslim North and Christian South after the Nov 2010 elections. Similarly in Mali, where the Muslim Tuaregs have long chafed under Christian South domination and discrimination. In Kenya, the Mombasa Republican Council, a Muslim group, is demanding secession. They were responsible for a series of attacks on polling stations in the March 4 elections. Clearly, the Kenyan Supreme Court cannot claim to be unaware of these developments. Note: Nearly all the civil wars in post colonial Africa were started by politically marginalized or excluded groups.
 
Very novel duty for the Kenyan Supreme court judges to study wars in order to render legal decisions that must be based on jurisprudence.
 
 
Sixth, the Supreme Court's decision – wittingly or not – pokes a finger in the eye of the ICC, which has indicted Kenyatta and Ruto for crimes against humanity.  To be sure, the ICC indictment was not the issue being challenged at the Supreme Court but by confirming that Kenyatta and Ruto won the elections, the Supreme Court has indirectly passed judgment on the case. It is as if the Supreme Court is saying the ICC can take a hike. The Supreme Court will not cooperate in bring Kenyatta and Ruto to justice as it has certified them as winners of the March 4 elections. And, further, the ICC indictment does not disqualify Kenyatta to be president of Kenya when in fact the Supreme Court should have debarred the two from contesting the presidential elections until they cleared their names.
 
Bingo! The ICC was vetoed by the sovereign people of Kenya. The  suggestion that the Kenya Supreme Court could do the bidding of the ICC is an insult to the collective intelligence of Kenyans. 
 
The ICC indictment puts Kenya in a diplomatic quandary if Kenyatta becomes president. He may be shunned diplomatically and risks arrest if he travels to Europe. It is unlikely President Obama will ever invite him to the White house or be seen with him.
 
If the ICC is serious in its impartial pursuits, it had the chance to catch Bashir of Sudan when he landed in plain daylight in Tripoli and within the reach of western forces. But because Bashir provided troops to overthrow Gaddafi, human rights activists screamed for his arrest to no avail. But the same ICC has been harassing  African governments to catch Bashir when he steps foot in their countries.
 
Who is a fool to who? 
 
US needs Kenya to fight terrorists and pirates, Kenya is the biggest economy in East Africa and Uhuru would be pinning to visit White House? Has  Africa not gone past the Kaffir boy era?
 
At any rate, the SAFEST decision the Supreme Court could have rendered was to order the Electoral Commission to re-tally the votes in ALL polling stations since the sample of 22 polling stations showed some irregularities and if neither candidate secured 50 percent plus one, to schedule a run-off.
 
Opinions are okay  but the decision of the Supreme Court must be respected. 
 
A run-off would mop up the stench of tribalism as it would force candidates to canvass for votes or court tribal groups other than their own. It would also put to rest the suspicion that the March 4 vote was manipulated or rigged. My preference would be a re-run of the entire elections because of the high number of rejected ballots. Voters were confused. This time, however, a new Electoral Commissioner should be employed. [The current one, Isaack Hassan, cannot be trusted.] The difference in cost of running a run-off and a complete re-run is likely to be same as it is the same electorate voting again. If a portion of the meat is spoilt, the entire meat should be thrown out.
 
Mopping stench of tribalism is hardly a reason to hold new elections. The extrajudicial experiment maybe unconstitutional. 
 
 Since 99% of the voters were not confused given that the rejected ballot made up less than 1%, the cost of redoing an election may outweigh any benefit. The assumption that only Raila's supporters were confused is the only hope to change the outcomes. But it is a degrading slap to think a group of voters is more stupid.  
 
 
 
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    USA Africa Dialogue Series - JM Coetzee's official biography to hit shelves this summer

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/mar/21/jm-coetzee-biography-jc-kannemeyer?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487


    JM Coetzee's official biography to hit shelves this summer
    New book explores Coetzee's closely-guarded private life, almost two
    years after the death of its author JC Kannemeyer

    The first authorised biography of the novelist JM Coetzee, in which
    the Nobel laureate discusses personal subjects including his
    daughter's illness, will be published in the UK this summer almost two
    years after the death of its author, JC Kannemeyer.

    An intensely private man, who has twice declined to collect a Booker
    prize in person, Coetzee was persuaded to collaborate on the biography
    by the late professor of Afrikaans and Dutch at Stellenbosch
    University. Kannemeyer, who died on 25 December 2011, was the first
    researcher to be given complete access to Coetzee's private documents,
    including the manuscripts of his 16 novels. He also spoke at length to
    the author, and was put in touch by Coetzee with the author's family,
    friends and colleagues. Although Coetzee has said "all autobiography
    is storytelling, all writing is autobiography", and has published
    three volumes of fictionalised memoir, this is the first time he has
    given his full cooperation to a biographer.

    "My letter of 9 June 2008 to John Coetzee, in which I asked his
    permission to undertake his biography, must have reached him while he
    was still writing away at Summertime. My request may have raised a
    smile. Here he had been since April 2005 in Adelaide writing about a
    fictional English biographer, Mr Vincent, engaged in the preliminaries
    for a biography of the dead author JM Coetzee. And here appears a real
    biographer applying to write a real biography," writes Kannemeyer in
    his book, JM Coetzee: A Life in Writing. "This biographer does not, as
    one would expect, emerge from the ranks of the English literary world,
    but from the much smaller province of Afrikaans literature. Perhaps
    the very fact that the request was coming from outside the sphere of
    English literature may have appealed to Coetzee, with his contrarian
    take on things."

    Kannemeyer travelled to Adelaide in March 2009 to begin interviews
    with Coetzee, while the author was hard at work on his second revision
    of Summertime. "He answered all my questions meticulously, and
    impressed me as a man of integrity," he writes. "From the manuscripts
    that I perused in his office in the second week of my stay, I also got
    the impression of an incredibly hard worker who had spared no effort
    to develop and deploy his talent. The various versions, up to
    fourteen, that had been produced of Disgrace provide some measure of
    the demands Coetzee makes of himself as a writer."

    Kannemeyer covers everything from Coetzee's early years to his time in
    Britain and America, the 30 years he spent back in South Africa and
    his time in Australia since 2002. Its independent publisher Scribe
    promised that the biography would "correct many of the misconceptions
    about Coetzee", looking at "aspects of his personal life kept largely
    hidden until now, including his son's early death, the collapse of his
    marriage and his daughter's illness". The book, translated by Michiel
    Heyns, also looks in depth at Coetzee's novels.

    "In the course of our conversations I … developed a certain compassion
    with this intensely private and reserved man," writes Kannemeyer.
    "Even on highly sensitive topics, he kept strictly to the facts. Only
    when he spoke of the illness of his daughter, Gisela, was there a
    measure of emotion, and, at first, reticence. On this topic I got the
    impression – for the only time in our conversations – that he was
    withholding certain information from me (which he later provided). Add
    to this the sorrow he experienced at his father's dishonesty and
    alcoholism, the life and death of Nicolas, and the death from cancer
    of Philippa, and one stands amazed that someone could experience so
    much unhappiness and yet sustain himself and continue his work."

    The biography was published late last year in Coetzee's native South
    Africa and in Australia, where the author now lives. It has received a
    mixed reception. "It is seldom that one can say that a book approaches
    magisterial status, but JC Kannemeyer's biography of JM Coetzee is
    such a case," praised the Financial Mail. A review in the Mail and
    Guardian was much harsher, finding that the book "suffers from many
    problems, including a star-struck author".

    Scribe's publisher and founder, Henry Rosenbloom, said the press had
    found itself "in a difficult situation for the original Australian
    edition in late 2012. The biography was a magisterial work, but the
    author had died, the editor had been slaving over a massive
    manuscript, and we got the typeset files late from the South African
    publisher – they and we were in danger of missing both our print
    deadlines. Our production department saw a number of obvious errors
    that they tried to correct on the fly, but they knew there'd be others
    that they'd had no time to find or fix."

    For the UK edition, which will be published on 18 June, there was time
    to be "as thorough as possible, without trying to re-edit the
    manuscript", said Rosenbloom. "My wife proofread the whole book,
    double-checking facts and references, and I went through it as well to
    correct grammatical errors, and stylistic inconsistencies or
    infelicities. I think we've done justice to the author and his
    subject, in unusually difficult circumstances.



    Funmi Tofowomo Okelola
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    Digest for gpn-general-politics-and-news@googlegroups.com - 19 Messages in 8 Topics

    Group: http://groups.google.com/group/gpn-general-politics-and-news/topics

      AWM <Anotherwhitemug@aol.com> Mar 31 03:55PM -0700  

      Very true, apart from the 14,000 claiming job seekers, the 800 odd
      currently in prison, and them topping the UK EU immigrant crime
      league.
       

       

      tinman <tinman080872@aol.com> Mar 31 12:59PM -0700  

      LOL. At the very least I have the skill to fix..
       
       
      Ok your turn copper.
       

       

      jaria <jar1a2@aol.com> Mar 31 01:44PM -0700  

      we can all play leggo
       
      On Sunday, March 31, 2013 8:59:22 PM UTC+1, tinman wrote:

       

      Jonksy <jonksy@hotmail.co.uk> Mar 31 12:12PM -0700  

      Maybe if the fat bitch lost some weight Sandy she may be able to lift her
      foot high enough to clear a *NORMAL HEIGHT* kerb..
       
      [image: POLICE]
      <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301650/Call-police--sue-WPC-demands-50-000-petrol-station-owner-tripping-kerb-investigating-break-in.html>
       
      WPC Kelly Jones, 33, (left) has launched the health and safety claim
      against Steve Jones, 50, (right) the owner of the station in Thetford,
      Norfolk, (bottom) where she tripped on a 6in kerb while investigating a
      possible break-in. Owner Steve Jones, 50, said he is 'incredulous' after
      receiving a three-page letter from the officer's lawyers claiming he
      'exposed' her to 'an unnecessary risk of injury'. Keith Vaz, chairman of
      the powerful Home Affairs Committee, said: 'This civil claim will have huge
      implications for every citizen if they call police.'
       
      Keith Vaz, chairman of the powerful Home Affairs Committee, is now
      demanding urgent Home Office guidelines on the issue.
       
      He said: 'This civil claim will have huge implications for every citizen if
      they call police out to their premises to help them in an emergency.
      [image: Part one: The letter that Mr Jones received from WPC Jones's
      lawyers Pattinson Brewer last week]
       
      *The letter that Mr Jones received from WPC Jones's lawyers Pattinson
      Brewer last week *
       
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301650/Call-police--sue-WPC-demands-50-000-petrol-station-owner-tripping-kerb-investigating-break-in.html

       
      On Sunday, 31 March 2013 12:06:34 UTC+1, Sandman wrote:

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 12:31PM -0700  

      I guess anyone, even a female policeman, can try to take someone to
      court to try to squeeze money out of someone else whom they want to
      blame for them falling over their own feet in the dark.
       
      What is much more important is that she doesn't get away with actually
      being awarded her claim. The consequences if she were to suceed is
      better not thought about. I suppose it will be up to a Jury. Let's
      hope they use their common sense.
       
      Why dont we all wait and see what comes of this suit ?
       

       

      ewill <willelaine@gmail.com> Mar 31 12:35PM -0700  

      <I suppose it will be up to a Jury>>
       
      you suppose wrongly
       

       

      tinman <tinman080872@aol.com> Mar 31 01:07PM -0700  

      There's a copper for you.
       
      FUCKING WORTHLESS.
       
      Over paid under worked.
       

       

      jaria <jar1a2@aol.com> Mar 31 01:43PM -0700  

      Until you need them Tinman
       
      On Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:07:27 PM UTC+1, tinman wrote:

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 01:00PM -0700  

      Jaria,
       
      I guess you folks that dont agree with me and dislike them just have
      not
      enjoyed the friendship shown by some of them to me and my young
      family, as I have described elsewhere here. Our different opinions
      are a result of our different experiences most likely.
       
      I can recommend though, get to know and to love (agape not eros) a
      group of people you are afraid of or dislike. and magically, you will
      discover that they are really quite nice and you will feel more
      positive towards them.
       
      It really does work !
       
       

       

      jaria <jar1a2@aol.com> Mar 31 01:27PM -0700  

      As you rightly observe Briar we do have different experiences of them . My
      step fathers son has never done a days work in his 40 years of life despite
      or maybe because he lives on one of these sites and people are expected to
      give him money.I dont have much time for people who dont contribute to
      society. just look at the fiasco on Dales Farm where the rate payers are
      having to pick up the bill.
      From what I have read of or seen crime rates soar when they make their camp
      nearby. In my opinion they should establish their community on one of those
      uninhabited Islands near you and not expect society to keep them
       
      On Sunday, March 31, 2013 9:00:05 PM UTC+1, Briar wrote:

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 11:24AM -0700  

      Poor Dear Trog,
       
      I am sorry to point this out to you, but you suffer from a terrible
      narrowness of perception about Life - a form of blindness.
       
      Yes, a part of Nature "consists of conflict and the preying on others"
      and humans are indeed just "part of nature". But you only see and
      understand a tiny part of it.
       
      Nature also has in it the drive of individual cells to stick to each
      other, to differentiate to form complex organs, to supress their
      individual drives to survive for the good of the whole organism.
      Further, individual organisms have this drive to get together and co-
      operate, in pairs when they need to reproduce their kind, and in
      groups that by acting as a group rather than a lone individual, can
      protect one another and the whole group, be that in the form of a
      shoal of fishes, that together scare off a huge shark, as they seem
      bigger and more terrifying, or as a colony of bees, or ants, or
      termites, or wasps, or even the Naked Apes we call (laughingly) Homo
      "sapiens", whose complex Societies have evolved as social animals far
      more succesful than the "loan rangers" in the Great Book of Life.
       
      Not just animals either, for plants and animals often work together to
      help one another - insects carry the pollen of plants to their eggs
      and fertilize them, enabling plants too to have sexual reproduction,
      that speeds the process of Natural Selection, that drives their
      evolution to more variation, complexity, and improved survival.
      Plants help plants of other species, providing access to sunlight in
      dark forests, by standing as tall trees that let others climb then as
      fast growing vines to reach the treetops and the sunlight, or who let
      smaller plants grow upin them. Plants and animals help one another,
      one uses the carbon dioxide the other excretes, to photosynthesise,
      releasing oxygen the animal breathes, producing carbon dioxide. Over
      a hundred different other species for example, live on an Oak Tree,
      some as Symbionts, each helping the other, some as mere comensals, a
      few as parasites, grazers, fungi that return through decay the plant
      to the soil. Even among lowly Bacteria, who coming alongside one
      another like ships in the night, exchange genetic material, useful
      bits of DNA that enable unrelated kinds to gain traits like antibiotic
      resistance.
       
      Nature contains emotional forces like LOVE, that transcends the mere
      "eat or be eaten" that you can see. The love that a mother gives her
      child, be the mother a mere nematode worm who only shares 60 % of her
      DNA with a human mother, or be she a mouse that turns and scares off a
      cat that would seek to kill and eat her pups. She of course sharing
      about 80 % of the DNA with the cat, and with the curious human that
      sees and records the drama.
       
      Just as single cells came together to produce far more complex animals
      and plants, so too have many of these multicellular organisms joined
      together to form colonial organisms. A Coral Reef for example, a
      Portuguese Man o' War Jellyfish, a Hive of Bees, a Hive of humans that
      we call a City.
       
      And at the highest level of co-operation and complexity, we have a by
      us sometimes only dimly perceived level of organisation and co-
      operation, an Oecology, sometimes described as a mysterious Superbeing
      that has been personified and called Gaia.
       
      There are descriptions of the interelations of these webs of
      multidimensional life forms that already fill whole volumes, but most
      people have not learned of them and live in denial of their existence.
       
      As if this were not enough, something even more wonderful emerges -
      you are perhaps aware of the concept in Physics we call Entropy, a
      Physical Law which states that the Universe tends towards more
      disorder, lower energy levels, and as it exands it becomes more
      defuse, colder, more empty. Well, LIFE is ANTI-ENTROPIC, evolving
      towards ever greater complexity, greater order, and concentrating
      Energy ! Thus a Cosmic Balance is restored. No end and no
      beginning.
       
      You will notice none of this mentions a prime mover or creator. Most
      likely such was never needed and does not exist. Occam's Razor
      suggests one should not invent or assume anything that is unnecessary,
      so I have not. In any case, at mankind's current stage of becoming
      semi-sapient, we do not have sufficient data to make even inspired
      guesses about anything as remote as that.
       
       

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 11:28AM -0700  

      I feel so sorry for you Elaine. If you really think that an Author
      writes a book just to make money, increase her or his fame, and make
      her or his ego bigger, you don't know the quarter let alone the half
      of it !
       
      It must be sad to live within such narrow walls as you do.
       
       

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 11:41AM -0700  

      Dear Affa,
       
      you should read the books, all three of them, When I first read
      Larsson's first of the trilology it was in the original Swedish.
      Someone then sent me all three in English. The translation is pretty
      close to the original. They affected me a lot - I was shaking with a
      mixture of fear, anger,concern for the character of the girl who
      suffered such awful things. I could not put the books doen until I
      had finsished them all, which meant no sleep until then. I did not
      recover my calm until a couple of days after. Few books have had such
      an effect on me, ever.
       
      The film is mainly set in the first volume but jumps to highlights, or
      perhaps lowlights is a better word, of the other two volumes. I
      suppose partly because a film is more limited and less open to the
      workings of the reader's own imagination, I found that it accentuated
      the cruelty and mysogeny, missing some of the conflicting emotions the
      main character experienced.
       
      Trust me, the books are better.
       
       

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 11:48AM -0700  

      > girls are selling sex to earn
      > a little more than they get now ......... but the only ones buying are the
      > wealthy.
       
      And it is only a small proportion of the wealthy that buy, Affa !
      Given the huge risks of STDs, including the latest one, AIDS, they
      have to be not just wealthy but Stupid too !

       

      Affa <Affajeeves@aol.com> Mar 31 12:32PM -0700  

      On Sunday, March 31, 2013 7:41:16 PM UTC+1, Briar wrote:
       
      > Dear Affa,
       
      > Trust me, the books are better.
       
      The books are always better!
      Be it Victor Hugo's Les Miserable', Robert Ludlum's Bourne trilogy, as good
      as the movies are, the books are better.
      I can think of only one tanslation to the screen thay comes close to being
      as good as the books, and that is the Lord of the Ring trilogy.

       

      jaria <jar1a2@aol.com> Mar 31 12:39PM -0700  

      Surely Briar if what you say is true we all react differently to events and therefore one must study the individual before making a diagnosis. I fear you are tending to generalize the way you see things and are not giving allowances for the different effect it will have on others.

       

      Briar <chndlrlrnz@aol.com> Mar 31 12:38PM -0700  

      As is often shouted loudly in the House of Clowns Affa,
       
      HERE HERE !
       

       

      jaria <jar1a2@aol.com> Mar 31 04:50AM -0700  

      We are as we are Briar I have constantly suggested to Jonsky that I would welcome a cessation of his filth and insults but that's the way he is. I suggest you consider what sort of person would allow a stream of the lowest filth and insults to pass time after time. In real life when we don't hide behind our computers anyone would stop such a person and ask him to repeat himself and take the consequences but its rare that they have the guts to speak to people's face in such a way. It also is embarrassing that he posts as he does knowing that there are those that are offended at such extreme language. As for me I've obviously heard it all before and depending who I'm talking to have used it myself but never when in company with those who rightly expect some respect.

       

      Jonksy <jonksy@hotmail.co.uk> Mar 30 11:36PM -0700  

      It's all tits up for the tories..
      Conservative knives out for osBore George Osborne faces a whispering
      campaign at the highest levels of the Conservative Party over his
      competence and judgment.
      [image: Conservative knives out for George Osborne]
      *One senior Conservative at the heart of the party told The Sunday
      Telegraph: 'George is the problem' Photo: AFP*

      The Chancellor has been personally blamed for the party's misfortunes and
      poor opinion poll ratings, with senior figures warning that change is
      needed ahead of the general election.
       
      There are renewed calls for Mr Osborne to give up his role coordinating the
      party's campaigning, as fears mount of disastrous results in May's English
      local elections.
       
      Some critics are demanding that he should be replaced as Chancellor by
      William Hague, the Foreign Secretary. Such a move would be a dramatic shift
      for the Prime Minister, as Mr Osborne is his closest political ally.
       
      One senior Conservative at the heart of the party, speaking on condition of
      anonymity, told The Telegraph: "George is the problem."
       
      Concerns centre on what is perceived to be his failure to understand the
      middle classes, their values, and their economic struggle.

      Most notably, critics highlighted how the last budget in effect penalised
      rather than helped stay-at-home mothers and did not introduce recognition
      for marriage in the tax system.
       
      This came on top of changes to child benefit which also penalise
      single-earner households.
       
      Senior critics within the party were also unhappy with his flagship measure
      to boost the housing market, a mortgage guarantee scheme. There have been
      warnings that it could create a housing bubble, rather than help economic
      growth.
       
      He is also clashing with Cabinet ministers in charge of large spending
      departments — including Theresa May, the Home Secretary, Chris Grayling,
      the Justice Secretary, and Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary — over
      Treasury plans for extra Whitehall cuts after 2015.
       
      One MP said: "George must go. He might have helped push through gay
      marriage but in my constituency people are more angry about the removal of
      child benefit, a policy designed and implemented by a rich Chancellor in a
      safe seat with absolutely no idea how hard it is for ordinary folk. He has
      lost any political nose he may have had and is in danger of becoming a
      millstone round the Prime Minister's neck."
       
      However, Grant Shapps, the Conservative Party chairman, used an interview
      with this newspaper to declare that Mr Osborne was doing a "heck of a job
      in very difficult circumstances" as he battled to bring down the deficit.
       
      "Anyone who's dealing with that colossal challenge in these difficult times
      is going to find it difficult," Mr Shapps said.
       
      In a frank assessment, he also said the Tories' chances of winning an
      overall majority at the next election were no more than "50-50".
       
      Last night Tory MPs warned that if the party lost a string of councils to
      Labour in next month's election the pressure on the Chancellor would
      intensify, as it would if ratings were "at or below 29 per cent in the
      opinion polls for a sustained period". The Conservatives are averaging
      around 30 per cent.
       
      An MP who had been a supporter of Mr Osborne until last year's
      "omnishambles" budget said there was little point in the Chancellor
      remaining as the party's election strategist — particularly after the
      arrival of Lynton Crosby, the Australian political guru, to plan the
      campaign.
       
      The MP said: "There is a bit of a clash, to put it mildly, between George's
      metropolitan liberal approach and Lynton's pursuit of policies that will
      re-energise our core vote. I prefer the latter."
       
      Conservative morale has slumped after a series of events which have
      included coming third in last month's Eastleigh by-election behind the
      Liberal Democrats and Ukip, and rows over the role of stay-at-home mothers.
       
      Wives from wealthier households who choose to look after their children
      full time have been penalised by having child benefit removed, while
      financial help with child care has been restricted to those mothers
      returning to work.
       
      The voucher scheme, announced this month, will allow parents to claim back
      up to £1,200 of the cost of child care for each child, but is available
      only to single parents or couples who both work.
       
      In the child benefit reforms, single-earning households on £42,000 a year
      lost their entitlement to full support, but if both parents work, they can
      earn up to £84,000 between them before the allowance is affected.
       
      At the same time, ministers have repeatedly failed to act on promises to
      bring in tax breaks for married couples, with the Chancellor said to be the
      main roadblock.
       
      The policy was promised by Conservatives before the election, and included
      in the Coalition agreement, but has not been implemented.
       
      Some MPs want Mr Hague to come in at the Treasury with Mr Osborne going to
      the Foreign Office in a job swap, while others cite Mr Hammond as a "safe
      pair of hands" who would be more trusted by the public on the economy.
       
      Mr Hague has, however, repeatedly declared that he does not want the job.
       
      It has always been seen as highly unlikely that David Cameron would move Mr
      Osborne, with the pair said still to be "joined at the hip". The Prime
      Minister takes no key decision without consulting the Chancellor first.
       
      Allies of both men have claimed that moving Mr Osborne would "spook the
      money markets" as it could be seen as a sign that the Government was
      wavering from its "Plan A" of deficit reduction.
       
      The pressure on Mr Osborne comes amid fresh Conservative concerns over
      energy policy.
       
      Ministerial sources have told *The Telegraph* that onshore wind farms face
      another "double figure" cut to their subsidies — of 10 per cent or more —
      on top of 10 per cent reductions that come in next month.
       
      Plans were said to be going ahead for the further cut, which would be part
      of a government response to a review of onshore wind farms. It is expected
      to be fiercely opposed by the Liberal Democrats.
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/georgeosborne/9963159/Conservative-knives-out-for-George-Osborne.html

       

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