Wed Nov 4th, 2009 at 01:35:06 PM EST
Over the wekeend during a quiet moment, Sven suggested the following;-
Helen, why don't you just start that beer and beef website, attract a huge audience and get 40K a year from the ads and reviews ;-)
After he'd managed to reassure me it wasn't a complicated leg pulling maneuver he continued;-
I really believe that with the right kind of site, marketed smartly, you could create a large audience. I am not sure how big, but you'd be amazed what people are earning by blogging. All the skills required for this are right here in this room. All you need is an LLP and.... Bob's your uncle. Which, come think about it is one possible name for the site.
Sun Aug 9th, 2009 at 04:17:52 PM EST
So, we always knew Rahm Emmanuel wasn't exactly the most progressive person on the plant. After all, the trashing of the blogosphere's favourite, Howard Dean, had RE's grubby fingers all over it. Kos has time and again detailed the perfidy of this man, especially during his time at the DCCC. He supports the wrong people; the republican-lite people, the Liebermans and the Blue Dogs.
And god forbid he ever be seen to be defending something that's popular with the voters but regarded by the media as suspiciously liberal. In Washington he is an Operator, one of a small and very elite group of people who make things happen, that's why Obama chose him for his Chief of Staff. However there is a price to be paid for having a creature of the Beltway as you Cof C, he measures his effectiveness not in what is good for america, but in impressing his peers by getting something onto first base. But is a man who'd prefer a bunt over a home run ultimately good for Democratic voters.
Wed Jun 3rd, 2009 at 05:33:05 PM EST
This government is dead,
it has ceased to be,
It's pushing up the daisies...
this is an ex-government
In the last few days, the Labour administration has gone beyond the previous damning phrase of "in office, but not in power" with several significant resignations, and now seems to be "in government but no longer in office". One has visions of Brown commanding illusory Ministers to come up with policies with which to attack his opponents; his advisers hovering around him, too afraid to point out they've all resigned. There is no saving them, no thought now of what could right the ship. What might have been done to prevent this is moot; the expenses saga was not the first blow, but it was surely the fatal one.
Mon May 4th, 2009 at 01:46:21 PM EST
Independent - Simon Carr - Brown is in his bunker, with a final, inevitable crisis to come
Boris Johnson was asked last week whether he thought power corrupts. He replied: "Power reveals." Power has indeed revealed Gordon Brown. It has undone him and exposed his workings, his mechanisms, his motivations, his modus operandi, his character, his destiny.
He has marched with an unerring tread from his Downing Street launch two years ago to his final bunker. He was always headed here. The essence of bunker life is that you are divorced from reality. You can no longer see for yourself. Reports come through but they are tailored to what you want to hear, or what your courtiers want to tell you. Historians are press-ganged in to provide examples of sudden, amazing victories. Astrologers or economists provide good news, encouraging news. But time is only going one way, and usually there's only one way out of the bunker
Fri Jan 2nd, 2009 at 01:49:20 PM EST
Guardian - Jenni Russel - Shorn of the rituals of old, death maroons us in grief
My father died just before Christmas. He was nearly 80; he had been ill. Intellectually and rationally there should have been nothing startling about his death. It is part of the pattern of things. Yet I have been as stunned by his death, and the utter absence of him, as if I never knew that human beings had a lifespan
At some point in our lives most of us will have a similar event occur to us. Yet few, if any of us, will be able to easily deal with the emotions we must deal with, often with little support.
Tue Dec 16th, 2008 at 11:55:05 AM EST
Polly Toynbee laments that Cameron is sounding like he understands the problems, while Brown remains silent in his lair. I imagine Brown still fondly sees himself as a caring individual; however his entire worldview is still so poisoned by the idea that the economic growth of the country depends on the City that he cannot bring himself to criticise those aspects of the City's behaviour that do most damage to the economy, especially as he himself encouraged them.
Guardian - Polly Toynbee - The winds are growing bitter. Labour has to bare its teeth
Thu Dec 11th, 2008 at 10:37:38 AM EST
I sent a Christmas card to a friend last year with a couple of predictions stolen from ET about what would happen this year that turned out to be spot-on. So she's written this year asking for some ideas about next year.
So, ego blown, I started writing. And got to the essay below. However, before I send it my question is how much have I mis-understood ? What is obviously wrong ?
Critique away please ?
Sun Dec 7th, 2008 at 09:38:14 AM EST
This morning's salon had a debate on the number of people here who are left handed and whether the L/R ratio among bloggers differs from that of the general population.
"In 1998, a study suggested that approximately 7 to 10 percent of the adult population was left-handed, and that left-handedness is more common in males than females"
This is self-defined, but answer away....
Sat Dec 6th, 2008 at 11:01:52 AM EST
Note 1 : this review is written primarily as a first response for the TG community. I appreciate it is of little more than marginal interest to ET regulars and I apologise for taking up ET space. I just don't have anywhere else to publish.
Note 2 : I will try to present my notes in the order they were taken, athough some ordering will aid clarity. I will footnote my personal comments to avoid distractions.
This debate was a sort-of joint venture between MMU (Manchester Metropolitan University : School of law) and PfC (Press for Change -an alleged transgender advocacy group) and chaired by Prof. Stephen Whittle who is head of PfC.
Principal speakers were Susan Stryker, a prominent Transgender academic and Julie Bindel, a transphobic Marxist essentialist journalist. It should be noted that SS was just 6 hours off flight from San Francisco and claimed 3 hours sleep in the previous 36. I suspected she faded a bit towards the end of the debate.
Introduction by SW
He initially excuses PfC's silence over the recent Stonewall nomination by saying that PfC work by making friends and not by identifying enemies (1). Surprisingly he does crticise Bindel and asking about how feminism relates to transexuality.
Mon Nov 17th, 2008 at 10:10:10 AM EST
One of the more obvious responses to the election of President Obama has been a questioning as to whether a person from a racial minority can ever hope to climb the greasy pole to political power anywhere in Europe. The framing for this question only allows the answer "No we can't - cos we're too racist". We might think that unfair; we have female leaders instead, something I think the US would find much harder because of the militaristic nature of the American culture. We might also point to fair election systems that at least allow all black people to vote if they want to, something that America also seems to find hard.
But I think it's all missing the point, as I think there is a difference between the self perception of minorities in Europe and America. Everybody in america is first and foremost an american, they are sold the idea of being an American, a citizen. It may be difficult to get those rights and citizenship respected at times, but you yourself are never given cause to doubt because, whatever the feelings of the GOP, the US is a nation at ease with immigrants, their nationhood was built on immigration. This is not true of the UK and acceptance of "out" groups seems more conditional.
Mon Nov 17th, 2008 at 08:42:17 AM EST
I had a fascinating conversation last night with a friend who spoke about some of her experiences on the periphery of the nascent NuLab project and what she learnt from it. Due to laws of politeness as well as libel I simply cannot name names or organisations so all of these are pseudonymous, but it remains instructive.
I do not mean by what I write here to impugn all Labour Party MPs, many of whom are good people. But I think we have all come to recognise that there is a certain cadre of metropolitan eleites who seem to be parachuted into safe constituencies and whose primary characteristic is their loyalty to the Nu Lab brand. This essay is useful in showing how they were identified from the others seemingly equally deserving.
Fri Nov 7th, 2008 at 03:02:10 PM EST
Last night at its awards ceremony at the Victoria and Albert museum, the Stonewall gay civil rights advocacy group awarded Iris Robinson, the Democratic Unionist Party (ultra-Protestant conservative) MP in Northern Ireland, an award for being "Bigot of the Year". It was a heartily justified award given her claims that gay people could be cured with Christianist "talking therapy" (aka pray away the gay) and her statement that homosexuality is an abomination.
Which made the nomination of Guardian journalist Julie Bindel as "Journalist of the Year" at the same ceremony especially interesting, given her claims that the transgendered can be cured by "talking therapies" and that sex change surgery was "mutilation".
Sun Oct 19th, 2008 at 03:07:34 PM EST
This diary was originally a reply to InWales' diary (Woo-woo vs Science). I was asked to re-post as the original comment thread was getting long and this is a slight departure from the original which could stimulate another discussion.
All things considered, the mind is an odd place to live. After all, whatever scientific investigation there has been on the brain, nobody seems to have a handle yet on consciousness and the mind at all. You can observe it by glancing sideways at the mirror by the light of the moon, but never under the microscope.
Memory seems to be a bridge.
It's incredible to understand how memory works : Strangely so much like a modern computer with transitional memories (RAM) that we hold onto for the day that are downloaded by REM sleep into permanent storage (HDD), dreams being the editing/contextualisation process. Then there is the more subtle background process whreby memories that are unused get put into offline storage, accesible only by triggers (metatags) not under conscious control (JakeS dissociated memories of ptsd).
Mon Oct 6th, 2008 at 02:30:31 PM EST
Jonathan Freedland wrote an article in the Guardian commenting on the response to a previous article he'd written. In this he suggested that the rest of the world will take a dim view if America elects McCain as President. As might be expected, a lot of responses centred around the frequently and vehemently expressed American view that it's their election and everyone else should keep their noses out.
Anyone who's read the nationalistic abuse heaped on non-citizens at dKos who dare to have an opinion on the USA won't be the least bit surprised that worse responses are likely from other quarters of the blogos. So really, what he said was no surprise (for us). But in amongst all of Freedland's disappointment at their reaction (and given what happened in Clark county in 2004 he really should know better) there was one sentence that struck me;-
So, Americans who say that since they don't poke their nose into our domestic affairs, we should stay out of theirs,
Wed Oct 1st, 2008 at 10:06:50 AM EST
As most of you know, just before the Paris meetup I had the genuine pleasure of spending a day wandering around the sights of Lyon, before then being wined and dined on local fare as the guest of our very own Melancthon.
Lyon is one of the great cultural and historical melting pots. In ancient times there were only two commerical trade routes between the Mediterranean civilisations and and the Baltic countries. These were either the western route up the Rhone through Lyon to the Seine or the Rhine or to the east through the Bosphorus, Black Sea and up the Dnepr river; the "Viking" highway. So Lyon has been on a major trade route since the dawn of time.
In roman times it was named Lugdonum and, being the nearest point ot access to all three main Gallic kingdoms of France (Gallia in tres partes divisa est - opening line of Caeser's gallic wars), was effectively the capital of Roman France.
Tue Sep 9th, 2008 at 02:47:37 PM EST
Two opinion pieces which, taken together, hint at the problems that British politics faces in the next decade in order to adapt to the new conditions.
First, Jackie Ashley diagnoses the problems with the apparatchiks clogging the systme currently.
Guardian - Jackie Ashley - Until parties find real voices, the mavericks will flourish
Voters are tiring of the anodyne careerists who rule us now. Politicians choosing leaders should ditch the safe option
Tue Sep 9th, 2008 at 03:43:23 AM EST
With the end of August, Gordon Brown has attempted to re-launch his beleaugured Premiership of the UK. Yet, events are running faster than he can announce initiatives and he's being blown off course at every turn. Tuesday, he and Alistair Darling announce a package of support for housing. Almost before it can be digested by the media, a better story comes along to remove him from the front page. So it was that yesterday, FatBoy Clarke wrote an article for the UK soft-left political weekly, The New Statesman. Now all we can do is talk about that.
New Statesman - FatBoy Clarke - Time to end "Just William" Politics.
The article is more a defence of the Blairite politics of opportunism, dressed up in a sort of babbling apparatchik-speak that suggest all are to blame for the current woes, except the author. however, the bit that the UK media have seized upon is the closing paragraph.
Blairism as a concept offers little by way of rescue. It is certainly not a guide to action. Equally, however, it is inaccurate and misleading to dismiss as some kind of Blairite rump those who fear that Labour's current course will lead to utter destruction at the next general election.
Similarly, there is no Blairite plot, despite rumours and persistent newspaper reports. There is, however, a deep and widely shared concern - which does not derive from ideology - that Labour is destined to disaster if we go on as we are, combined with a determination that we will not permit that to happen.
Promoted by In Wales
Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 01:20:26 PM EST
On my way back from Eastern Europe in July, I visited some friends who are touring the Burgundy region canals between Paris and Lyon. They were in Dijon and so I got to go on the "Owl Tour", the Owl being the symbol of the town, and is a little circuit around many of the sights to be had. No deep and meaningful analysis, just some views of a lovely little town in central France.
A nice view of the Cathedral of St Benigne from near the main railway station.
Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 11:57:55 AM EST
As promised, a diary of images of the town in Bulgaria where I own a property. The town itself is built along a fairly steep sided valley that runs SW from the Pirin mountains (on the other side of which is Bansko, the ski resort) down to the river Struma and which then flows out towards the Aegean.
These are three shots taken from the same vantage point going from left to right, ie north to south, I apologise for the haze and the lighting, but given the season it's about the best I could do.
Tue Jul 29th, 2008 at 01:13:37 PM EST
Much threatened, I've finally got some pictures of Bulgaria to show off, but i thought we'd start with a short tour of the capital, Sofia.
And so, rather than walk we'll start the tour in the tram depot