johnny9fingers: (Default)
A rather interesting article:

www.guardian.co.uk/science/punctuated-equilibrium/2011/may/24/2

Alas, I don't have time to post it to [livejournal.com profile] talk_politics as I have to drive SWMBO and the little man to one of Madame's chums for the day. But my commentary would go something along the lines of "if this is the case, would it influence folk in the US to at least consider some universal health-care option? Because otherwise the American Dream would seem to be out of many American citizen's reach no matter how efficient they were at bootstrapping themselves."

Oh well, do good things.
johnny9fingers: (Default)

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n10/howard-hotson/dont-look-to-the-ivy-league 

And thought that it could do with a bigger audience.

Folk in the UK's educational establishments should take note in the coming debate.

In the meantime....the son and heir is quite charming and very bonny. Both Madame and I are in love with him. So tired, however. :)


johnny9fingers: (Default)
Came across this:

www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/11/kremlin-assassin-anna-chapman-traitor

Ye gods. Whatever happened to the Russian sense of now? And it's not even the 'Great Game' any more. Mind you, look at America, still stuck in the 'Children's Crusade'; while the Brits try very hard to re-enact the very worst of Good Ol' Charlie Dickens.

I suppose it 'twas ever thus, but the current levels of tasteless stupidity offend me in such great polities. And China is another matter entirely. Though I must admit I wouldn't care to be a dissident in the PRC, I do wonder if they haven't got it mainly right: given their billion-and-then-some population, and the sheer scale and numbers involved in the governance of such a vast nation. Dictatorship by committee of involved experts may actually be a more efficient in use of resources. They can certainly turn on or off at whim any of the multinationals who deal with them: those same multinationals that have the rest of the world's nation-states private ear, given the way they fund political parties. I say 'private ear' because I prefer using euphemisms: the reality is the multinationals can always up sticks and threaten to move to another country unless nations bend over backwards to accommodate them with tax-breaks, favourable trading conditions, etc & etc.

They can't quite do that with China, and I bet some other governments worldwide secretly love the fact that the multinationals have to kow-tow to China rather than China kow-towing to them.

Nevertheless, I wouldn't care to live in a place where speaking out gets house arrest if you're important, and who-knows-what fate if no-one's ever heard of you. But also I'd love to have known what would have happened if the BP and Halliburton executives faced Chinese justice over the Deepwater Oil Spill. I have my suspicions that most would still have walked free: but as seriously chastened folk, fully aware of what fate could have befallen them.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
And the absurdities get better.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/15/osamabinladen.saudiarabia?gusrc=rss&feed=uknews

That  Zaina al Sabah bin Laden (the former Jane Felixe-Browne) must be quite a lass. Osama will probably have to bomb Cheshire now, just to remove the stain upon his escutcheon.

Homo sum: Humani nil a me alienum puto as Barack quoted Terence the other day. Good for him too. Don't want small leaders with small minds, small horizons, and small constituencies.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. A crippled man wrote that; who took a crippled country and made it good: the best in the world even. An upper-class wheelchair-bound product of privilige. But someone who also had the ideal of service. I believe his chair's wheels rode over a few toes in their time. I would hope so too.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/apr/14/uselections2008.barackobama?gusrc=rss&feed=worldnews

This shows how far America has come since the sixties. The Harvard-educated-black-guy is the one being portrayed as elitist.
Damn right too: and so he should be. Someone has got to have high standards.
johnny9fingers: (Default)
From time to time I threaten to travel to the US (if they'll let me in). Today I read this:

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/art/2008/03/deporting_sebastian_horsley_se.html

Now Sebastian Horsley is rather more outrageous (and silly) than anyone I know, but.... I reckon many more of us will get turned away at customs and immigration.
johnny9fingers: (Sri Yantra)

My birthday.
Thus far, so good.

Dad's been having a bad time. Doc says probably not gall stone: probably liver. They've upped his meds.  Fentanyl patches that last 72 hours. By all accounts he may do more sleeping. His birthday's Friday and that looks ok. Christmas is a whole other ball game though.
Across the pond it's Thanksgiving on Thursday. Hope the cousins and family are all healthy, happy, and as contented as it's possible to be in these times. Hope the poor guys on patrol get back to the turkey supper without harm.
We don't make too much of Harvest Festival, and it's at a slightly different time of the year, but then again, we haven't been rescued from starvation by a bunch of friendly natives taking pity on the poor settler.
Of all festivals, Thanksgiving should be the friendliest, and the one that attempts to bridge cultural gaps.
The USA has enough myth and legend in its founding as most cultures build up over centuries. And lots (if not most) of them are myths with the value good.
Like The UK, the US has a lot to live up to, and much to live down. But 'twould be nice to get each of our acts together round about as-soon-as-possible, if not actually now.

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