OT. Cunning plan....

Peter Scott wrote:

No. One SPECIES.
Like cats dogs pigs cows and chickens, we can all interbreed,we all have a common set of ancestors, but we have different BREEDS, or RACES.
It's not a hugely useful distinction in the human case,what with all this globalisation, but it does exist.
And, like breeds, different races have different characteristics. Some are taller, shorter, darker lighter, whatever.
Certainly genetically we

Well thats like saying a terrier is like a labrador except for comestic differences. They are not. They have inbred generic characteristics that are quite different.
Any distinct ecosystem that carries humans will over time evolve a set of genetic traits suitable for living there. Mountain dwellers in hot countries are supremely good runners at low altitude. Highly developed lungs, able to dump heat well. Thats why Kenyans win marathons. It possible to develop some of that with intense training, bit its a lot harder, and no amount of training will net you a nice black skin capable of radiating heat in humid conditions.
One applies the term 'race' in a totally un perjorative way to such generic distinctions.
Racism, is not discrimination by race, its *illogical and perjorative* discrimination by race.
Every time you select cox's orange pippins over golden delicious, you are in YOUR terms, being a racist. Selecting something on the basis of racial discrimination.
Frankly there is nothing WRONG with racial discrimination. If I want a sexy tall model to appeal to afro carribeans, I'm going to pick Naomi Campbell, assuming she isn't staying in bed all dat ;-)
OTOH if I want a shit hot racing driver,I'd be hard put to know whether I wanted Lewis Hamilton or Kimi Raikonnen. There hasn't been much natural selection to make any races much nbetter at a wheel than any oter, just a lot of CULTURAL factors that make it unlikely that someone who has grown up in te plains of Africa, is going to find it easy to make a car dance. Stick that person in teh boredom of Stevenage or Helsinki, and there is every reason that they WILL do. What else is there to do?
Perhaps the term should only be used for

Oh my gawd. Its you that has the problem. All people are different, some differences appear broadly associated with distinct geographical areas of origin, others do not. y all means use race if the particular variation is so associated, and anyone who resents it is a fool. OTOH in the original context of this post, we were not discussing race. Travellers as such are not a race, never have been and never will be. They have always been comprised of some sort of itinerant subclass that for whatever reason found it easier to make out on the road, than not.
I cant remember who decided to call them a race and start a furore, but whoever it was is the person with the beam in their eye as it were.

Yes, so don't introduce race, because it ain't relevant. It exists, as a moderately useful concept, but in this case its not applicable. The Pikeys are the ones who would like to hide behind calling themselves and ethnic group, so that they could cry 'racial abuse' when the fuzz come in and boot them off someone else's land.
Not to tackle them is

No,. its down to politics of silly liberalism.
The sort of silly liberalism that wants on the one hand to make laws against racism, and on the other to deny that race as a concept exists.
This double think always goes unnoticed.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

It is a meaningless term in the human case.

But differences within 'races' are often greater than differences between. The difference is in behaviour and belief, not genetics.
I also abhor the misuse of the word discrimination. The word means to be able to distinguish one thing from another, e.g. good art or furniture. It does not mean to be unfair or unjust. Another case of the language being abused to strengthen dubious arguments.

Actually I was making exactly that point. I did not introduce 'race' but was arguing against it. This is not about 'race' whatever that means (and I still don't believe it is a meaningful term). It is about a group of people who exhibit similar and anti-social behaviour.

It is unwillingness to stand up to PC people who exhibit woolly thinking and use meaningless terms like racist to support their insupportable views. PC has been defined as being offended on someone else's behalf!
Peter Scott
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Not at all, IMHO the word is generally used (in its perjorative sense) as a shortened form of "discrimination against..." in which case it is correct, i.e. in distinguishing between things (people in this case) with a view to disadvantaging one group of them. I don't think this is in conflict with the definition.
We all have our pet word hates though and mine is "institutionalised discrimination" (or "institutionalised racism"). In my view "institutionalised" means (well, *should* mean) it is built in to the rules and structures of an organisation. Racism *may* well be "rife" or "endemic" or even "out of control" in certain UK police forces but one of the few clear examples of one where there was "institutionalised" racism was the South African Police force under apartheid, where there were different rules, cells etc., for black and white. If you use the same word, how do you distinguish between the two (which are, whatever your views on UK police forces, very different). None of this is any comfort to those discriminated against, of course, but it's of interest to linguists, who have their place!
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Bob Mannix
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Bob Mannix wrote:

No, it is used in "UNFAIR, or ILLOGICAL discrimination against.." or should be.
There are a million case of logical and fair racial discrimination one could think of.

I have no problem with the disadvantaging of them, I have a problem with the illogical disadvantaging of them.
I.e I have no problem with black, yellow, or female airline pilots. I WOULD be concerned if one came up to the plane in a wheelchair though..;-)
Conversely, as an employer, if I wanted someone to do a job for me sitting at a computer all day, I'd pick the one in a wheelchair over the young attractive, always getting chatted up, gossips in the coffee room, soon to be married and want maternity leave, female one, any day..;-)

Generalised discrimination is a survival trait. In many countries,. lacking specific knowledge, you avoid, shoot or beat to death all snakes. This is unfair on plenty of quite nice harmless and peace loving snakes, but it only takes one to give the whole lot a bad name.
In my time in Africa I only ever saw one snake, swimming across a river we were canoeing down. I was going to give it a hard time with a paddle, but my companion said 'leave it, its probably harmless' so we took a picture instead.
It was later identified as a puff adder. Probably the most lethal snake there.. you never know, unless you *know*.
By and large, sadly, and to the great regret of all concerned, there is a lawless, thieving subset of travellers, in any group of same. Lacking specific knowledge, they all tend to get tarred with the same brush. The subset is what one calls 'thieving pikey bastards'. This may indeed cause a lot of babies to get thrown out with the bathwater, but that's their problem, not mine. If THEY can't (or won't) police their own communities, and they will *not* allow the police to do it either, that is their problem.
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I was on a flight with two lady drivers last week. Well.. one was the flight engineer.

I thought that the green mamba held the title for that. I've seen one of those in SA. Big bugger. Long and moves fast. The locals refer to them as a "two beer" snake - i.e. that's how long you've got. Slight exaggeration, but then these guys were a little like the protagonists in Blood Diamond.
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Andy Hall wrote:

I think thats the one that has the highest death record. The adder is the most poisonous per unit venom or something like that. Actually the most dangerous animal is the hippo. More people die from hippos than any other wildlife apparently.
Apart from disease borne by parasites and insects of course.
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It's a bit involved and depends on method of delivery as well
http://kenpitts.net/apes/pollution/toxicity_for_snake_venom.htm
Effect of Puff Adder venom is mainly haemotological AIUI, and there is time to seek treatment.
I meant black not green mamba - they are more prevalant in southern Africa - they often have a greeny hue though. Their venom is neurotoxic and can kill in 30 mins without treatment. OTOH recovery is claimed to be nearly 100%

I've heard this and certainly trackers etc. seem to treat them and elephant with the most respect.

Sure.
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You forgot our fellow humans, surely we are the most dangerous species on the planet to other animals and ourselves :-0
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whisky-dave wrote:

Not exactly sure if that is so in Africa..I believe the biggest killer is dysentry more or less.
I don't know if you have ever been, but the ease and rapidity with which one acquires 'raging bacterial infections' is totally different from here. As a European, with access to antibiotics and Immodium, and the wealth to buy bottled water, and strerile salt and glucose pills, its not that big a deal...but for Africans...its a killer. And now AIDS.
And malaria and other tropical diseases are rife, still.
My guess is that AIDS is probably the biggest killer in southern africa right now.
Ok in places like the Congo and Sudan, where there are nasty little tribal wars going on, it's maybe not..
It never ceases to amaze me hopw people who haven;'t travelled simply cannot comprehend life outside of European suburbia..not saying that applies to anyone here, mind..

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I remember 7 or 8 years ago, when taking a vacation break in Botswana and crossing the border from SA by road. There was a large sign up at the immigration pointing out that something like 1 in 7 of the population was infected with HIV. That's in a country which is relatively rich per capita.

On that scale, we live in a very compressed band. What is especially noticable as one moves further away from western Europe is the enormous contrasts between the haves and the have nots and the apparent inconsistencies. For example:
- People living in cardboard box shanties outside Cape Town with satellite dishes on the roof.
- People sitting by the roadside in Moscow drinking from bottles of cheap perfume while large S class Mercedes with tinted windows drive by spraying them with muddy slush.
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Actually, it's prolly still old age

--
geoff

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True.
Is it Regents Park Zoo that has a big mirror with a sign pointing that out? Maybe it was Marwell... Can't remember now...
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Drusillas near the south coast certainly has one which catches you unawares.
--
Si

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Andy Cap wrote:

Aye, that's the rub. It's the 'expecting it both ways' bit that incenses.
Its one thing to wander along a wilderness seashore, picking up crabs, rubbing two sticks together to light a fire and eating them, but rather a different thing to wander down the high street, gathering lead and copper out of working installations, and sell it to buy fish and chips.
The answer is obvious. Wander by night into a Pikey camp and nick everything you can. Again and again.
If the simple act of possession is what someone lives by, then so mote it be. Relieve them if their possessions.
Such lessons I have always found to be the most instructive.
I have done it myself to someone with this sort of attitude.. 'where did you learn that trick?' 'From you....'

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dtechy wrote:

The etymology of 'Pikey' is believed to be a contraction of "turnpike" - referring to persons conducting a lawless, vagabond lifestyle. It doesn't have any inherent racial connotation, AFAIK. I'd hazard to suggest that Romany Gypsies certainly do not consider themselves to be 'pikeys', and regard such people with contempt. In summary, Dave described a low-life thief with a word that means low-life thief.
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On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 12:10:15 GMT, "The Medway Handyman"

Wherever, you're fall foul of the Human Rights people, using the word 'Pikey'.
That's now a far more heinous crime than nicking cable.
Andy
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The Medway Handyman wrote:

Could you not engrave the ad into the lead on any roofs you are called on to maintain?
--
Cheers,

John.

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On 12 Jan, 12:10, "The Medway Handyman"

simply have some labels printed with the wording "Isolated - safe to work as long as this notice is present" on one side. Print you advert on the other, attach to a known live 11kV cable with the safe to work notice outward and wait for trade to come rolling in.
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Er - isn't this guaranteed to "kill" the trade?
OTOH - sell the labels directly directly to the copper thieves, and tell them that so long as they attach the label first, they're perfectly safe.
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In message

Who cares ?
You 're hardly likely to sell to them more than once, are you ?
--
geoff

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