Beware of a hail of bullets from out of left field

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The Independent Online
WHAT KIND of times are we all living through at the moment?

Difficult times.

What is this due to?

The world situation.

What is special about the world situation?

It is in a deep recession.

Not a wide recession? Or a long recession?

No. Recessions are only deep.

Are they sometimes shallow?

No. A shallow recession is called a recovery.

What kind of recovery?

A welcome recovery. All recoveries are welcome. They are also long-awaited, long-overdue and much-heralded.

Who is responsible for the

recovery?

The government.

In what state is the government before the welcome recovery?

Beleaguered.

And after the recovery?

The government is refreshed and re-invigorated.

If the government is responsible for the recovery, was it also responsible for the recession?

No. The recession is always due to the world situation, the recovery is due to the government.

Why?

Because it has found the

response.

What kind of reponse?

The appropriate response.

What else does it do?

It monitors the situation.

How does it do that?

By reviewing it.

How do monitoring and reviewing help the government to find the appropriate response?

By enabling it to set the requisite machinery in motion.

What does that mean?

It is what governments say when they do not know what to do.

What do they say when they do know what to do?

'Eureka]'

Turning now to religious affairs, how would you describe the situation in Waco, Texas?

Tense. And tragic.

What is the difference between tense and tragic?

If there is a tense situation and someone dies, it becomes tragic.

Is this a confrontation?

No. It is a stand-off.

What is the difference between a confrontation and a stand-off?

A confrontation is a tense situation in which both sides refuse to meet each other.

How can you break down a confrontation?

By initiating a dialogue.

How is a dialogue initiated?

Through groundwork.

What happens to the groundwork?

It is laid.

By whom?

Patient and tireless negotiators.

With what result?

A best-scenario compromise solution welcomed by all parties to the dispute, which can be used.

As what?

As as a basis.

For what?

For meaningful progress.

And if the solution is not reached, is there an impasse?

No. That used to be the case, but it is now called a stand-off.

How did an impasse become a stand-off?

I believe it was a move by the Americans against all things of French derivation.

What is the solution to a stand- off?

A breaking of the log-jam. A D- Day scenario. A hail of bullets.

What is the derivation of this expression, a stand-off? Does it come from the name for the rugby position also known as fly-half?

This is unlikely. No British sporting expressions pass into the English language any more, only American ones.

Such as?

He came out of left field.

What does that mean?

It is not something you need to take on board.

Does that mean you don't know what it means?

Of course.

Thank you for this exchange. It has been most instructive.

I think you mean, Thank you for this dialogue, which has been most insightful.

Do I?

Yes, you do.

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