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Everything posted by Clarkkent

  1. Celibacy was introduced in about the 12th century to protect church property - so that the children of priests couldn't acquire property which was rightly that of the church. If priests did not take wives, then they would not have legitimate children. The stuff about priests needing to devote their lives to their parishioners was a bit of post-hoc rationalisation. Celibacy, of course, means not marrying. It does not forbid sexual relations - that is the sin of adultery or of fornication. If it is to remain credible in any way, the RCC has got to abandon its obsession with sex. Few things make it look more ridiculous than the sight of elderly bachelors in skirts telling other people what they can or cannot do with the contents of their underwear. Most of the RCC's ruling on sex comes from a rather strange source - from Aristotle not the bible. Aristotle's Natural Law was interpreted by Thomas Aquinas as equivalent to God's Law. Aristotle, supposedly using empirical methods, stated that the primary purpose of sex was reproduction. That may be true of most animals but it is certainly not true of humans. Two and a half millenia later, we know very much more about reproductive biology and human behaviour to make many of Aquinas's musings ridiculous. However, the Old Men in Skirts ignore rational scientific explanations of human behaviour in favour of medieval confusion.
  2. When we were furnishing our French house (many years ago) my wife went into a bedding shop and told the sales assistant that she wanted a matelot. He didn't bat an eyelid!
  3. Rowland My wife and I bought our maison secondaire en tontine. We made no French wills. When my wife died, the house was mine and was treated as though it had been from the time of purchase. I spent about an hour in the notaire's office. Since the value of the property was not very high, there was no tax to pay, but I did have to pay a registration fee. That and the notaire's fee came to about €400. At no time was any interest shown in any possible will. Your situation appears to be extremely straightforward - I don't think you should worry.
  4. Clarkkent


    Rather than rely on anecdote, have a look at the appropriate page on the Bandolier site. http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/cardiac/cholstat.html  This tells us what cholesterol is, how it is synthesised and what its effects are. Another section: http://www.medicine.ox.ac.uk/bandolier/booth/booths/statin.html is devoted to studies on the actions of statins. Bandolier is a site concerned with evidence-based medicine. In other words, medical practice based on the results of properly conducted and evaluated trials and experiments reported in peer-reviewed scientific and academic journals. Phillipe Even appears to be more interested in political point scoring than medicine. Together with a colleague he has assembled a book which appears to be a polemic against Big (or even Any) Pharma - not that there is necessarily any thing wrong with that - but, if the comment of one of their opponents is correct, they appear to have done it by reporting anecdote and undocumented sources and presenting them as evidence. I doubt the "truth" about statins is anywhere as clear cut as Idun suggests.
  5. [quote user="Gardian"] Its a media and public opinion circus isn't it?  Hardly presenting RSA in its best light. [/quote] I totally agree. My first thought (hardly original) was that he didn't have a leg to stand on. I find it very hard to understand why the defence is presenting its case at what is supposed to be a bail hearing and that witnesses are being cross-examined and their evidence is being disparaged. [quote user="Gardian"] ..... Ultimately, a jury will decide on the 'level' of guilt etc. [/quote] I thought I heard that there are no jury trials in South Africa - all decisions are made by judges. This suggests that politically-expedient decisions may be a possibility. Like others, I am at a loss to know why this should lead news bulletins.
  6. [quote user="Ivor Nidea"] I read something years ago that a glass of water from the tap had been passed through the human system 6 times. [/quote] Good Heavens! It's enough to put you off homeopathy. [quote user="Quillan"] So they found Bute in some of the horse meat, big deal. After reading the link I can see no immediate harm to the public whatsoever, its just another shoddy attempt to create mass hysteria amongst the public. [/quote] Chief Medical Officer for England and Wales on BBC Radio today said that "bute" is not an issue. You would need to eat 10,000 horseburgers a day before there was a sufficient concentration of the drug to have any effect.
  7. The knighted Tel comprehensively sums up the frustrations that afflict my benighted life.
  8. [quote user="NickP"]We travelled down from Calais last Thursday, went through the tunnel as normal in Rouen followed the diversion signs to Evreaux and Elbeuf, then on to Chartes, heading for Vendome. No problems at all just a couple of minutes hold up because other cars in the wrong lane queueing to head for the Dieppe LeMans direction. It's very handy at times like this for us to have a choice of routes. The route we took is now dual carriage way most of the time and another bonus is no tolls unlike the LeMans motorway. I would think it was about twenty minutes extra on out journey so we were happy and €20 better off.[/quote] I have been driving through Rouen for over 40 years. If coming from Calais, I follow the route described by NickP. The only problem with this route is the left turn (traffic lights) from the road from the tunnel to the Evreux road. You have to move to the right hand of the road to avoid being taken over the bridge. If coming from Dieppe, there is a low-level "expressway" running by the side of the river.  The landmark to look for is a church with two towers - keep to the left of that and then the road is straightforward, if rather slow. I would never dream of using the autoroute. Once you are clear of the Rouen area, most of the road to Chartres is near autoroute standard. The only problematic area is around Dreux.
  9. I don't know anyone who has received free love from lawyers - though I do know many who have been screwed!
  10. I agree. It is tripe.   Homosexuality - as we understand it - does not exist in animals. It is an affective state. Most animals have a range of  fixed actions which are standardised responses to particular stimuli. Those occasions where, for example, a male animal mounts another male animal should not be interpreted as a preference for a male but as an inappropriate response to an unclear stimulus. It is only in those species where sex has some expressive purpose in addition to reproduction, such as homo sapiens and bonobo (bon Bobo?), that homosexuality can exist.
  11. [quote user="ebaynut"] I notice that Sainsbury's, M+S and Waitrose have not been mentioned in this scandal.   [/quote]   Yet.
  12. [quote user="Pommier"]Isn't Churchill owned by Direct Line who are owned by the UK government?[/quote]   Not owned by HMG now. Direct Line was floated last autumn.
  13. [quote user="Russethouse"]. It will be interesting to see what the Jury say and how the judge treats him / them when it comes to sentencing[/quote] The jury will not say anything. He has already pleaded guilty. (In any case, a jury can only say "guilty" or "not guilty". It is illegal for any report to be made of any jury's discussions.) Having said that, Mr Huhn clearly comes across as someone unfitted for high office. The former Mrs Huhn is clearly no shrinking violet and I guess that her defence - of being pressurised within the marriage - will rebound against her. I have no wish to prejudge the outcome but she seems to me to be as guilty as he. They both come across as very unpleasant.
  14. Two people, very dear to me, have died from colorectal cancer. In both cases, it was not their reluctance to discuss embarrassing symptoms which was the cause of their demise, but the arrogance and complacency of some general practitioners who chose to dismiss them with trivial diagnoses. I think that in both of these cases my loved ones were unfortunate and that, perhaps, consultations with others working in the same practices may have had different outcomes. In one case, repeated consultations about worries with bowel habits generated little more than "irritable bowel syndrome". At no time was any suggestion that appropriate investigations which would rule out more serious problems even considered. The problem - from my viewpoint - is not that patients are concerned with wasting the doctor's time, but that many doctors, with their grossly inflated incomes, have an equally inflated view of their own importance and the value of their time.
  15. [quote user="dave21478"] I used to use Tesco for home delivery in UK a lot and it was great.  LeDrive is very typical of a new-to-the-French I.T. based concept - half-assed implementation that is a decade behind UK. Having said that though - most supermarkets ...certainly SuperU....are franchises so perhaps different stores have better systems.[/quote] But my local Tesco now has a number of parking spaces reserved for "Click and Collect" (or something similar). If I understand the notice boards correctly it appears to be an identical service to one which Idun describes - you order your groceries by internet, drive to the parking space, contact the store with the phone provided and someone brings your groceries to you. Of course the home delivery system still exists ...
  16. [quote user="woolybanana"]CL, you forget the extent to which France has decentralized in the last years, leading to massive duplication of bureaucracy btwn the centre and the regions. And they re all over priviledged, lazy bastards, interested only in protecting their positions . And the main reason for the death of Europe.[/quote] I have no argument with your sentiments. However, France is still a unitary state. There is only one, central, all-powerful government. The regional assemblies have no powers other than those which have been delegated to them. Their role is administration not government. Germany, on the other hand is a federation of 16 American-style states, each with its own autonomous legislature in addition to its national government in Berlin. So the number of politicians in Germany, and hence their cost, is going to be much higher. The comparison originally used by JustJohn is not a fair or a valid one - it is between the only government in France and the top-level government in Germany. That does not mean that the cost of government in France is acceptable.
  17. JustJohn Why don't you just calm down and do a bit of thinking? You have fallen into a trap of misinformation. Hint: the formal name of Germany is the Federal Republic of Germany. France is a centralised country - that means that it has just one government for the whole country. Germany has a relatively small central government doing a limited range of unifying functions, but in addition it has another 16 governments, each with a chief minister, cabinet, parliament, ministries etc who are doing all the day-to-day activities. That's what federal means. I am willing to bet that the cost of government of the total German state greatly exceeds that of even a bloated France.
  18. [quote user="powerdesal"]MOZMAN wrote:- ''In the UK we are still termed subjects, whilst in France citizens.'' My UK passport refers to me as a ''British Citizen''[/quote] For the record - we have not been "termed subjects" since 1983. As Powerdesal points out, our legal status is citizen of the United Kingdom.
  19. Could you point me to the government site that says that birth certificates don't need to be legalised? Someone will have to do a bit of research. I recall reading on this forum some years ago that both France and the UK are among a number of countries which signed a Hague Convention of - I think - 1947 which states that all signatories will accept each others official documents without translation. Who knows!  [6]    
  20. What would you do differently ? Knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have bought it. ................................................................................................................................... My residence secondaire was bought 19 years ago as a mutual silver wedding present by my wife and I. It was to be a home for our retirement. The following year, she was told that she had cancer and had a 25% chance of surviving two years and none of surviving five.  
  21. Of course, it could be Shergar ...
  22. [quote user="DerekJ"]  ... They suffered from the showroom then buy on-line problem... [/quote] I think that the High Street, as we have understood it, is dead. Mine is studded with empty shops which may, if they are fortunate, become charity shops - but there are only so many charities ... Town edge shopping developments with supermarkets, DIY sheds and shops like Argos are filled with shoppers, the High Street is not. One of the reasons, of course. is the Amazon effect. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted a book, Amazon could deliver it faster than W H Smith - and often cheaper, too. And, as DerekJ suggests, I looked at goods in Currys and Comet (late - not much lamented) and then bought online. (Incidentally, according to someone on the radio recently, Amazon practise differential pricing. If you are a regular Amazon customer the prices you see on screen may be higher than those shown to less frequent customers - customer loyalty rewarded!!!) I suspect that the rents charged by property companies may be a factor in High Street depopulation. Once upon a time shops owned their own premises (M&S were particularly reknowned for this, commentators often - jeeringly - used to ask if M&S was a retailer or a property company). We have not seen the end of this cull of retailers. If High Streets and town centres are to survive then they must be refashioned to meet new patterns of living.
  23. A distinction has to be drawn between the need for a broadcaster to affirm that a programme can only be seen inside its home territory and the duties of a viewer who is able to receive a signal outside that territory. This isn't the viewer's problem, it is only the problem of the broadcaster. If a signal supposed only to be watched in Britain can be obtained in Spain, then anyone is free to watch it. The contractual relationship is between the originator of the programme material and the broadcaster, the viewer is not a party. The broadcaster has a contractual obligation to restrict reception to its own territory. If a viewer outside that territory can receive the transmission, he under no obligation not to watch it, and commits no offence, criminal or civil, if he does watch it. I made quick perusals of the Broadcasting Act, Wireless Telegraphy Act etc some time ago and to the best of my recollection these are concerned with transmission only.  
  24. My earliest radio memories include ITMA, Much Binding in the Marsh and Dick Barton - Special Agent. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be!
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