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162652.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:28 am Reply with quote

I've lost the original "where is it easiest to start a riot" question, but FtM asked at the meeting if there was anywhere where less than 3 people could cause a riot.

While US federal law defines a riot as containing 3 persons, the various states have different specifications.

This is from Nevada:

NRS 203.070 Rout and riot.

1. If two or more persons shall meet to do an unlawful act, upon a common cause of quarrel, and make advances toward it, they commit a rout, and are guilty of a misdemeanor.

2. If two or more persons shall actually do an unlawful act of violence, either with or without a common cause of quarrel or even do a lawful act, in a violent, tumultuous and illegal manner, they commit a riot, and are guilty of a misdemeanor.

[1911 C&P § 331; RL § 6596; NCL § 10279]—(NRS A 1967, 490)


Not found a riot by one or none persons yet.

Molly Cule
162659.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:07 am Reply with quote

So you and i could start a riot in Nevada... quite easily. A riot for one would be a strange sight indeed...

162662.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:31 am Reply with quote

So you and i could start a riot in Nevada... quite easily

Hmm, sounds good, but what kind of "unlawful act of violence" did you have in mind?

Link to the nuclear bomb site in Nevada here btw.

162708.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:57 am Reply with quote

More rioting countries/States:

Hawaii- 5 or more

North Dakota - 5 or more

New Zealand - 6 or more

New York State - 10 or more

Tonga - 5 or more

162781.  Tue Apr 03, 2007 5:15 pm Reply with quote

Perhaps the tightness of the riot law in Nevada is connected with the presence of Las Vegas - a couple of disgruntled gamblers maybe?

164697.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:54 am Reply with quote


Question: Why might you be worried if the speaking clock stops working?

Answer: We might be on the brink of nuclear war

Until 1992, the UK had an early warning system called the UK Warning and Monitoring Organisation. It was responsible for issuing the “four-minute warning” should the UK have been on the verge of nuclear attack, it would do this by using the lines reserved for the speaking clock. The warning would originate from RAF High Wycombe near London or Longley Lane near Preston, and would be relayed to over 250 carrier control points in major police stations. The speaking clock would be disconnected before a warning message was passed.

Russian Presidents have a nuclear briefcase. It is really a small case, or rather, an attache case about 10 centimetres thick. Under its handle is a complicated code-lock and the sides of the case are reinforced with a band made of a superlight aluminium-magnesium alloy. Inside is a miniature computer for electronic coding, which specialists rank as the best in the world, and a computer keyboard.

It is constantly in an operating position and ready to receive and transmit signals, but can be put into combat position with the aid of a 10-digit code only after credible information about an attack has been received. From there the signal goes to the central command post, where it is coded again and transmitted to all strategic nuclear forces in the form of coded orders. While nuclear weapons are prepared for use, the command is verified for identity. When the strategic nuclear forces are put on combat alert, a coded signal is sent to and received by the "nuclear briefcase", after which a final decision to strike back may be made.


164702.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:02 am Reply with quote

I have long wondered (and forgive me if I’ve posted this here before) - why a “four minute” warning?

164712.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:22 am Reply with quote

Wasn't that how long it would take between initially detecting the Ruskie missiles on radar and having the things land in your back garden?

Or did I miss a meeting?

Does anyone know how much of a warning the good ol' US of A would've got?

164728.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:47 am Reply with quote

Probably much less, as they were worried about Soviet launch submarines lurking around off the American shores.

164829.  Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:03 am Reply with quote

In 1938, the British government banned an anti-Nazi satire, by the playwright Terence Rattigan - so as not to offend Herr Hitler.

Rattigan (unfairly, but almost universally, considered the last of the “anyone for tennis” playwrights who were swept away by the Angry Young Men, despite the fact that one of his pages is worth the whole of John Osborne put together) seems an unlikely candidate for censored dissident. But that’s exactly what he was.

Along with an Oxford university chum, Rattigan wrote “Follow My Leader,” set in Moronia (link to Fantasians), in which a plumber named Hans Sedesi becomes dictator (with hilarious consequences).

The Lord Chamberlain, covering his botty, referred the play to the Foreign Office; the German Embassy complained every time Germany and the Leader were mentioned disrespectfully, even if the context was a sketch at the Windmill.

The FO advised the Chamberlain, and the Chamberlain informed the theatre management, that the play “would not be in the best interest of the country.”

Some months later, Rattigan’s producer tried again, since a seriously anti-Nazi play by GBS had been licensed in the meantime. The Chamberlain explained that it was precisely because Rattigan’s play was a farce that it couldn't be allowed.

Rattigan submitted a revised version, which one official at the Lord Chamberlain's office championed, saying that any embassy which complained about it “would be suffering from a very far-fetched imagination and a guilty conscience.“

Rather splendidly, Rattigan pleaded thus: “I really think that our Fuehrer would find it very hard to recognise himself in the person of Hans Zedesi [sic], particularly if played by Robertson Hare.”

Norman Gwatkin, of the Chamberlain’s, then hit on the brilliant idea of sending the play directly to the German Embassy - even though he himself noted that Germans were “notoriously lacking in humour.” He was right; the Germans replied that they did not think the play “would be helpful in improving Anglo-German relations.”

Gwatkin thought this was probably fair dos; “the Lord Chamberlain has naturally to be very careful in not allowing any guying of the heads of foreign states,” and besides, “Germany were always very particular to prevent any objectionable references to the British royal family.”

Gwatkin noted that Rattigan was “very charming about it all.”

The punch line is rather wonderful; the play ran for just 16 performances in the West End in 1940. It had finally been cleared by the Chamberlain’s office (after a few minor changes; “piffling” for “piddling” and “cissie” for “pansy”), because, after the declaration of war, the office noted that: “There is no longer any reason why we should be anxious about hurting Nazi feelings.”

S: UK Writer (the WGGB magazine), Spring 2007.

165220.  Thu Apr 12, 2007 7:41 am Reply with quote

A pro-democracy demonstration, in 1833, by the National Union of Working Classes was violently attacked by police; a riotous battle ensued, during which a copper was stabbed to death. However, the men arrested for the killing were released with all charges dropped when the inquest produced a verdict of “justifiable homicide.”

S: Characters of Fitzrovia by Pentelow and Rowe (Pimlico, 2002).

166446.  Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:00 am Reply with quote

Re riots, see post 65367

166805.  Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:06 am Reply with quote

I have long wondered (and forgive me if I’ve posted this here before) - why a “four minute” warning?

dr.bob wrote:
Wasn't that how long it would take between initially detecting the Ruskie missiles on radar and having the things land in your back garden?

Or did I miss a meeting?

“Apologies for absence,” I suspect, Bob ...

In 1960, the British government “allowed” the US to build a Ballistic Missile Early Warning Station on Flyingdales Moor, Yorkshire. It was completed in 1964. Its purpose was to give the US sufficient warning of Soviet missiles heading its way to allow it to launch a retaliation: around 11 to 15 minutes. This ensured compliance with the policy of MAD. Many British people were outraged that an area of outstanding natural beauty was being destroyed purely to help the yanks kill people. The British “authorities” (in the Vichy sense, of course) announced that it was really there to help us - by giving us four minutes’ warning of an attack on the UK. This was, not surprisingly, widely ridiculed, and the phrase passed into the language. “As to whether it would have been four minutes - well, perhaps, on a good day.”
- readers’ letter in Fortean Times 201.

Or ...

The four minute warning was based on the imaginary Doomsday Clock, maintained since 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. It calculated how much warning Britain would have of incoming nuclear missiles. At the start of the 1980s, the Clock did read four minutes to midnight (midnight being when the bombs explode). But the basing of US cruise missiles in the UK in 1983, along with a change in US policy in favour of provoking and winning a “limited nuclear war” in Europe, meant that Britain became a much more likely target for direct attack by the USSR, and therefore the clock moved to three minutes to midnight. The withdrawal of the cruise missiles meant that in 1991, the clock stood at 17 minutes to midnight. It is currently at seven minutes to.
- readers’ letter, same source. [I think this correspondent is slightly confusing two things; the likelihood of a nuclear attack on Britain, with the duration of the warning; however, it’s still possible that the four minutes figure could originally have come from the Doomsday Clock].

Or ...

An editor’s note in the same issue of FT quotes “War Plan UK” by Duncan Campbell (Paladin, 1983) which traces the four minutes to “the linkup between Flyingdales and the Air Defence Operations Centre at RAF Bentley Priory near Stanmore.” He says this is the source of the four minutes and of “a great deal of defence mythology.” The author quotes “The Scientific Advisers’ Training Manual” issued by the Home Office: “No particular warning time can be guaranteed, but it is expected that the warning will be given not less than three minutes before an attack.” So as far as the UK government was concerned, for internal consumption at least, it was actually a three minute warning. The four-minute warning was, as I suspected, mythical.

One thing that gives me pause here is that four, in my experience, is rarely chosen as a “magic number” - three would be a much more typical choice. A friend of mine who remembers the 4-minute story being very current in the mid-1950s, suggests that the running of the first four-minute mile in 1954 may have made that a popular number, to which anything vaguely suitable might have been attached. That sounds as likely an explanation as any other!

167023.  Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:31 pm Reply with quote

Well I think that's a great topic, and in a way it doesn't matter that we don't know the answer because four minutes is such a plainly inadequate amount of time to be warned about anything at all other than the time till Sir's boiled egg will be ready. I particularly like the idea that it was because the Americans needed 15 minutes and it takes 11 minutes to get from us to them. Can't be right, though, surely - the missile would really have to be going like the clappers to cross the Atlantic in 11 minutes, wouldn't it?

From what you've said it looks as though there never was such a thing as s four-minute nuclear warning, and if that's the case it doesn't need explaining other than as a myth. Perhaps the air raid sirens during the 2nd WW were supposed to come 4 minutes before the planes arrived?

Lovely Rattigan stuff, too. Can't presently think how we could use it, unfortunately.

167038.  Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:45 pm Reply with quote

I dimly remember when very young seeing a saucy comic on TV saying, with a wink, to an infatuated young couple: "I know what you'll be doin' durin' the four minute warning! Eh? Not 'arf! Eh!" or something along those lines. I think it was generally assumed that that was what almost everyone would be doing during the four minutes, and I suppose a lot of weary old marrieds must have hoped they'd be at work when the siren went off ...


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