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Woolwich terror attack
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 26-05-2013 12:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once upon a time community was everyone: the public.
Sometime later it widened to be a geographic area, neighbourhood or enclave.
From there, by exension, it morphed into a conceptual group to which those with less popular gods or sexualities were allocated.
Now it seems we are all members of a seemingly infinite number of these blasted things merely by having a single-trait, interest or prediliction in common with others.

My friends' children are, hence, members of the bed-wetting community.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 26-05-2013 14:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Community'.

It's just a handy way of grouping people of similar type together, as a kind of construct for the purposes of conversation.

Nothing at all wrong with it. Cool
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 26-05-2013 15:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

theyithian wrote:
Once upon a time community was everyone: the public...


That's a very partial reading of the dictionary definition of community - it's one of them, but it doesn't by any means have exclusive rights, and never has. Community is ulitimately derived from the same root as common (communis) and as such it can describe a common whole or a portion of that whole which shares common characteristics.

There's nothing particularly new about the usage, and nothing wrong, as far as I can see (and a quick glance at Chambers and the OED seems to back that up) - and as a definition it's practical, although I'll admit that overuse can make any word or phrase irritating.

My own issue with 'community' is that at times like this it's often deployed (especially by those with an axe to grind) with an implication of absolute homogeneity, rather than simply as a general grouping of elements harbouring some common characteristics - this is why I generally try to prefix the word with 'wider' as I feel, possibly wrongly, that it helps suggest less uniformity within the group.

As an aside - I wonder if, as a fan of the US comedy series of that name, I am part of the Community community?


Last edited by Spookdaddy on 26-05-2013 15:49; edited 1 time in total
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 26-05-2013 15:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spookdaddy wrote:

...Overuse can make any word or phrase irritating.

My own issue with 'community' is that at times like this it's often deployed (especially by those with an axe to grind) with an implication of absolute homogeneity, rather than simply as a general grouping of elements harbouring some common characteristics - this is why I generally try to prefix the word with 'wider' as I feel, possibly wrongly, that it helps suggest less uniformity within the group.


That is exactly what I was thinking of.

For me, a community must cohere in some social sense - there must be some kind of reciprocal relationship or common interest - there must be involvement at some level. Communities of music, faith, business, politics, students and other common-experiences make some sense to me when we are talking about the things that concern them. The problem, as you yourself explain, is when we have aricles on the business community's stance on shellfish or (more sensibly), the Jewish community's position on education - why need there be one? And where on Earth do the government fish out these community leaders for vox pops, committees and initiatives? From my own peripheral involvement in such matters, they very often represent their own narrow position rather than any broader consensus? And the more government 'investment' on offer, the more crop up to speak for and 'represent' ever more specific subgroups.
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ScunnerlugzzzOffline
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PostPosted: 26-05-2013 21:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

And now

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/26/theresa-may-measures-combat-terrorism

Theresa May finds this an oppertune moment to reintroduce a bill to look at YOUR emails and be more intrusive into YOUR life.

Well, hey if you have nothing to hide, I suppose its ok.

Let's be clear. MI5 offered one of these murders a job a wee while ago, I doubt they needed any more powers to read his emails before they did that.
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 05:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Opinion:

No matter how reasonable a figure steps into the home office - and we've not had many fine specimens in my lifetime - the police, security services and mandarins inevitably scare them into native authoritarianism. For the first 2/3 of the last century, most government ministers had at least some and often a fairly extensive amount of military or intelligence service during the two world wars and dealing with the Irish - this made them much harder to intimidate and outwit. It would take a brave ('Courageous') figure today to stand up and call their bluff: the consequences for failure massively outweigh the rewards when it comes to war, terrorism and policing.
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CochiseOffline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 07:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scunnerlugzzz wrote:
And now

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/may/26/theresa-may-measures-combat-terrorism

Theresa May finds this an oppertune moment to reintroduce a bill to look at YOUR emails and be more intrusive into YOUR life.

Well, hey if you have nothing to hide, I suppose its ok.

Let's be clear. MI5 offered one of these murders a job a wee while ago, I doubt they needed any more powers to read his emails before they did that.


It's obvious these people never give in - they can't bear the thought of anyone having a private communication they can't read. In many respects they are more valuable to our enemies than to us - these 'anti-terrorism' measures are actually 'anti-our-way-of-life' measures and precisely the sort of societal destabilisation the extremists want to achieve.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 08:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spookdaddy wrote:
My own issue with 'community' is that at times like this it's often deployed (especially by those with an axe to grind) with an implication of absolute homogeneity, rather than simply as a general grouping of elements harbouring some common characteristics - this is why I generally try to prefix the word with 'wider' as I feel, possibly wrongly, that it helps suggest less uniformity within the group.

In February I wrote:

Some while ago I posted about the editorial in the local paper complaining about the overuse of the word Community, usually in job titles or names of institutions, where the word didn't really add anything meaningful. This obviously rang a bell with some people, because some time later Falmouth Community School was renamed as plain Falmouth School!
http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1302259#1302259

I've searched quite carefully for that 'some while ago' post, but can't find it - maybe the thread was culled for some reason.

I tried Googling for when the name changed, but that produced too much information! (Because Falmouth Community School still exits in cyberspace, in ex-pupils' CVs, reunion reports, etc.)

I tried the local paper archives, looking instead for "Falmouth School". This was slightly complicated by the fact that there was a Falmouth School of Art for many years (since absorbed into the University, I believe), but I did find references to the secondary school as plain "Falmouth School" as long ago as 2001! I was surprised it was so long ago. But I have lived here since 1990, so there was at least a decade for the name Falmouth Community School to lodge itself in my brain.

So a debate about 'Community' is not new. In the case of the school, what did 'community' mean? A community of schoolkids? But a group of 11 year-olds are very different from a group of 18-year olds. Community in the sense of Falmouth as a town? But again, a town is made up of many different 'communities', drinkers and teetotallers, sportspeople and couch potatoes, etc, etc!

So much philosophy! But a practical reason for the name change is that it cuts down on sign-writing and headed stationery expenses! Twisted Evil


Last edited by rynner2 on 27-05-2013 09:12; edited 1 time in total
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 08:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

Copycat attack here over the weekend, surprising for two reasons:

- the victim was in uniform and part of one of the three-man patrols that wander around the major train stations and tourist sites carrying machine guns...

- the attacker seemingly managed to slash the soldiers throat and do a runner without getting gunned down by the other two soldiers in the unit...

Thankfully the soldier is expected to survive but quite amazing that someone would do that to armed soldiers. It was an attack from behind so I would imagine the plan was to kill a soldier and if that involves dying in the get-away so be it.

Even more surprising is that the other two soldiers seemingly did not respond quick enough to take him down. Could have been due to crowds and the danger of hitting civilians but I am always slightly disturbed when I turn a corner in the Metro and am faced by three gun-toting soldiers in camo gear but seems like I have nothing to fear if even a knife attack doesn't get the guns blazing.

Third point would be to ask if this is just a copycat attack or whether it is the second step in a new campaign?

Quote:
(Reuters) - The stabbing of a French soldier near Paris by a man who is still on the run bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism, the interior minister said on Sunday, and police said it may have been inspired by the murder of a British serviceman in London.

Anti-terrorism investigators are hunting for a bearded man aged about 30, possibly of North African origin, who fled into a crowded train station after attacking the 23-year-old soldier from behind with a knife or a box-cutter on Saturday.

The French soldier survived the mid-afternoon attack, which was carried out three days after a British soldier was hacked to death on a busy London street by two men shouting Islamist slogans.

"There are indeed elements that lead us to believe it (the French attack) could be an act of terrorism," Interior Minister Manuel Valls told France 5 television. "I won't say any more at this stage as the investigation is only beginning."

Police union UNSA spokesman Christophe Crepin said there were similarities with the British attack.

"I think this person wanted to imitate what happened in London," he told Itele television, echoing the defense minister who said the soldier had been targeted because of his uniform.

President Francois Hollande and Valls have both warned against jumping to conclusions about the attack, which security specialists said fit a pattern of radicalized individuals acting spontaneously in Western states.

"INTERIOR ENEMY"

However, Valls did say that France faced a growing threat from an "interior enemy" made up of Islamist radicals, many of whom he said wanted to punish the country for sending troops to Mali to help drive back an offensive by Islamist rebels.

He said dozens of French citizens who had returned to France after fighting with jihadist groups in Syria, Afghanistan or central Africa posed the most serious threat.

A police source told Reuters the attacker fled without a word after striking the soldier, who was patrolling the La Defense business neighborhood west of Paris with two other servicemen when he was stabbed in the back of the neck.

The assailant struck at least once and narrowly missed the soldier's jugular vein in what Valls said earlier was a deliberate attempt to kill. On Sunday the soldier was recovering at a military hospital near Paris, French media said.

An individual was questioned late on Saturday after the attack but subsequently released because his description did not match that of the attacker, the source said.

France has been on high alert for attacks by Islamist militants since its military intervention against Islamist rebels in Mali in January. That prompted threats against French interests from AQIM, the North African wing of al Qaeda.

The latest warning was published on YouTube a few weeks before gunmen this week attacked a military base and a French uranium extraction site in the central African state of Niger, killing 24 soldiers and one civilian.


http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/26/us-france-stabbing-idUSBRE94P06820130526
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 09:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

McAvennie_ wrote:
Even more surprising is that the other two soldiers seemingly did not respond quick enough to take him down. Could have been due to crowds and the danger of hitting civilians but I am always slightly disturbed when I turn a corner in the Metro and am faced by three gun-toting soldiers in camo gear but seems like I have nothing to fear if even a knife attack doesn't get the guns blazing.


I suspect you've hit the nail on the head right there - anyone trained properly in the use of firearms is not going to discharge an automatic weapon in a crowded space after a single target. This does make you then wonder what the point is in these patrols - but deterrents are often about visibility as much as practicality.

The other factor is that knife wounds can be extremely, and sometimes fatally, deceptive to the target - in that they often appear to the victim to be nothing more than blows to the body, and sometimes not very forceful ones. It's not unknown for victims to be unaware of the potentially fatal injury until they collapse from blood loss. In trained personnel this fact leads to the sometimes comical appearence of individuals - post confrontation with other individuals carrying an edged weapon - frisking themselves, and each other, all over the body to check that they have not been stabbed without being aware of it.

There's therefore a possiblity that the seriousness of the incident was not as apparent as immediately as you might expect and that this allowed the attacker that few extra seconds to get more distance (and crowds) between himself and the immediate vicinity of the attack .


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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 09:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
Some while ago I posted about the editorial in the local paper complaining about the overuse of the word Community, usually in job titles or names of institutions, where the word didn't really add anything meaningful. This obviously rang a bell with some people, because some time later Falmouth Community School was renamed as plain Falmouth School!


Without wishing to extend this tangent too far, I find that I'm kind of caught in the middle: I can see the need to differentiate one thing from another for the purposes of particular discussions (and even the need to then particularise within that definition - so that you end up with the linguistic equivalent of matryoshka dolls) and I strongly suspect that even those who claim to despise the usage often carry out the same process by another route.

I can also see that - apart from being irritating through overuse - it's utterly flawed as an accurate description of anything very much and extremely prone to misuse, both by those employing the usage to describe themselves and those using it to describe others.

To my mind though, this, like many similar discussions, is as much about the failure of language as it is about anything else - English is both incredible and, like all language, incredibly flawed. (Hundreds of thousands of words to choose from and still the offside rule is a mystery to most.)

There's also another factor - not one I'm suggesting anyone is prone to here - and that's the one which might be illustrated by the red-faced bore raging over his gin and tonic about the alleged misuse of the word 'gay', as a substitue for what he really wants to say about gays.

A parallel argument has also appeared - and that's really about how those people who claim to talk for a wider body can actually justify that claim. Again, I can see both sides of that argument and tend to address it myself by listening to what someone has to say without taking as read that they have a mandate to say it. The alternative is just not to listen - the problem with that is that many people will be looking for an excuse not to listen whatever the circumstances, and not listening is only likely to exacerbate our current problems (I should point out that 'listening' is not synonymous with 'agreeing'.)

In the end, as far as language goes, I find being circumspect is a much more effective way of dealing with things than being annoyed. But maybe that's just me.
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McAvennie_Offline
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PostPosted: 27-05-2013 10:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spookdaddy wrote:
McAvennie_ wrote:
Even more surprising is that the other two soldiers seemingly did not respond quick enough to take him down. Could have been due to crowds and the danger of hitting civilians but I am always slightly disturbed when I turn a corner in the Metro and am faced by three gun-toting soldiers in camo gear but seems like I have nothing to fear if even a knife attack doesn't get the guns blazing.


I suspect you've hit the nail on the head right there - anyone trained properly in the use of firearms is not going to discharge an automatic weapon in a crowded space after a single target. This does make you then wonder what the point is in these patrols - but deterrents are often about visibility as much as practicality.

The other factor is that knife wounds can be extremely, and sometimes fatally, deceptive to the target - in that they often appear to the victim to be nothing more than blows to the body, and sometimes not very forceful ones. It's not unknown for victims to be unaware of the potentially fatal injury until they collapse from blood loss. In trained personnel this fact leads to the sometimes comical appearence of individuals - post confrontation with other individuals carrying an edged weapon - frisking themselves, and each other, all over the body to check that they have not been stabbed without being aware of it.

There's therefore a possiblity that the seriousness of the incident was not as apparent as immediately as you might expect and that this allowed the attacker that few extra seconds to get more distance (and crowds) between himself and the immediate vicinity of the attack .


Indeed, and on a Saturday afternoon that area is usually packed with shoppers so I'd imagine that is the quite simple answer - but then it does raise the question of what is the point of them having the guns on them when patrolling crowded areas.

Hopefully CCTV within the station should be able to trace him and if not hopefully this one a one-off attack and not the start of another Merah style series of attacks.
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YithianOffline
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PostPosted: 28-05-2013 13:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
London war monuments including RAF Bomber Command Memorial targeted by vandals

Sebastian Mann Monday, May 27, 2013
10:56 AM


Two war memorials in central London were last night found to have been defaced by vandals, police said.

The RAF Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park and the Animals In War Memorial in Park Lane were both targeted.

Police said they were investigating the defacement after discovering it in the early hours of this morning.

On Twitter, those purporting to be eyewitnesses said the word “Islam” had been written on the Green Park monument.

User @andymwhelan tweeted: “Annoyed to see someone’s scrawled “Islam” on the bomber command memorial at green park this morning.”

Police refused to confirm whether this was true.

http://www.london24.com/news/crime/london_war_monuments_targetted_by_vandals_1_2211197


Quote:
Vandals deface war memorials in London parks

Vandals have daubed the word Islam in spray paint on war memorials in Green Park and Hyde Park in London.

Police were called to the RAF Bomber Command War Memorial at 05:00 BST and found engravings on the monument covered with paint.

Vandals did the same thing at the Animals in War Memorial in Hyde Park.

A police spokesman said Royal Parks officers were investigating and Westminster City Council had been informed.

Westminster City Council cabinet member for city management councillor Ed Argar said: "We deplore any act of vandalism or graffiti that desecrates memorials put in place to honour those who fought for our country's freedom.

"We will do everything we can to clean and restore the memorials as swiftly as possible."

The RAF Bomber Command pavilion, built at a cost of £6 million in Green Park, was opened in June 2012.

It commemorates the 55,573 members of the Bomber Command who lost their lives during World War II.

The Animals in War Memorial was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse and unveiled in 2004. It honours animals that have served and died for the British military forces.

No arrests have been made.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22678874


Bastards.
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Quake42Offline
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PostPosted: 28-05-2013 14:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reports today also of an attack on a prison officer by 3 inmates at a high security jail in Yorkshire. The BBC is being rather coy on the details but counter-terrorism police are involved and some newspapers have reported that the attackers were jihadist inmates.
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PostPosted: 28-05-2013 15:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quake42 wrote:
Reports today also of an attack on a prison officer by 3 inmates at a high security jail in Yorkshire. The BBC is being rather coy on the details but counter-terrorism police are involved and some newspapers have reported that the attackers were jihadist inmates.


Read about this early this morning - it was then being claimed that the attack was an enraged response to the prison Imam's call for prayers to be said for Lee Rigby.
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