[personal profile] hollymath
This morning, [personal profile] white_hart shared a quote from C.S. Lewis:
"If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things - praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts - not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds."
If we'd been much later, it'd have found Andrew and I on a tram home from a lovely night out.

One of Andrew's friends who lives in Australia was in Bury doing some work, and invited us out for dinner with him, his wife and the people they'd been working with all day, recording an audio drama for a podcast. It was a lot of fun, and it's always good to see Andrew enjoy himself in social situations, especially ones where people tried to guess his second-favorite Beatles album.

And because his friend was in Bury, we got a train to town and then a tram to Bury. Chatting idly along the way about how long it'd been since we'd been to Bury, having flashbacks at the tram stop that we used to use all the time when I first met Andrew, what kind of commute I'd have if I got a job I applied for, which would involve one of the tram stops along the way. On the way back, we were nearly half-asleep.

The tram went through Victoria station, right next to the entrance to the arena, about an hour before the bomb.

I went home and almost straight to bed. I already had an e-mail from my mom asking if I was all right, when I still thought this might have been a speaker blowing up or something that had spooked people. We were surprised she'd heard about it so quickly (if my parents knew how, I'm sure they'd set up a google alert for "incidents in the UK" and e-mail me about all of them, but barring that I have no idea how they manage).

I did not tell her I'd been on a tram going past there an hour before.

This morning I woke up to another e-mail from her asking if Andrew's family (the only other people she knows in the country) were okay, and it was all I could do not to tell her that I couldn't imagine any of them being at at an Ariana Grande concert.

No, those are for kids. I can't handle thinking of all the teenagers' parents today.

I woke up to other e-mails too, one from my old "blind teacher" who I hadn't heard from in years. People in North America had been fretting about us while we slept. FB and skype messages too, when I hadn't even thought I was logged into skype. By the time I read and could respond to them, the people who'd written them were asleep, hopefully not too worried about us.

One of those North Americans was awake, and upon hearing that we and ours are fine, said, "YEESH thank goodness yet it is still awful so be kind to yourselves PLEASE, eh?"

I hadn't thought of this as something I needed to be kind to myself about, but I replied to my friend, "Such a sad demographic to lose people from: the pictures being shared around social media of people who are still missing are of fourteen, fifteen year olds. I am having to be a bit careful around it actually for all the mentions of grieving parents, which inevitably remind me of my grieving parents saying no one's kids should die before them. I hope the strangers do no mind that my eyes are wet with tears for me as well as for them."

In his invariably lovely way, he said, "Of course that's what grieving is all about, dear Holly. My loss is your loss, your loss is mine. We're all in this together, though most of the time we don't see it. For you to think of your own family in this way shows a great respect for what other people are suffering with: connect us all together, connect you to me and me to you."
miss_s_b: (Default)

GT for Tuesday the 23rd of May 2017

May. 23rd, 2017 09:32 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b posting in [community profile] gallifrey_times
Welcome to the Tuesday the 23rd of May edition of Gallifrey Times!

Editor's Note: I ❤ MCR.

- Discussion, Reactions, Reviews and News -
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supergee: (pastafarian)

That picture

May. 23rd, 2017 06:44 am
[personal profile] supergee
Some entries in the Glowing Orb caption contest. My favorite is “For clarification, this is not a Satanic ritual—The Church of Satan”
watervole: (Default)


May. 23rd, 2017 11:43 am
[personal profile] watervole
 I glanced out of my front window just now and a passer by pointed to my rockery (which is currently a mass of flowers) and gave me a double thumbs up.

That was a really nice moment.
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

The latest Greek debt bailout talks have stumbled again and they’ve stumbled over the same old, old, problem that all of the previous ones have tripped over. Which is, very simply, how much of that debt will Greece not repay? The International Monetary Fund says that some good portion of it cannot be repaid, thus won’t be, and so it should be written off. No point in continuing to impoverish an entire nation to no good end after all. Everyone else keeps insisting that no matter what they just can’t do it. And thus what Sir Pterry used to call an imp arse.

The IMF is correct here by the way, the European politicians wrong but then we knew that was going to be the case, didn’t we?

We can see what Greece’s real problem is in a few charts. Here’s the long term bond yield:

Greece 10 year bond yield

Greece 10 year bond yield

As we can see, the place essentially ran out of money, yields soared, then came the first bailout and so on. We’ve also the unemployment rate:

Greece unemployment rate

Greece unemployment rate

However strong or mild your version of Keynesianism that’s an economy crying out for some fiscal stimulus, not a place which needs to be running a budget surplus nor shipping cash out of the economy to foreigners. And of course GDP has followed the unemployment, as it would if 25% of the population are producing nothing:

Greece GDP per capita

Greece GDP per capita

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

It’s a common enough thought that if we raise tax rates then we’ll collect more tax revenue. And as that wondrous Laffer Curve proves this is indeed true for some tax rates. It is also not true for some other tax rates. Which brings us to this manifesto promise by the Green Party in the UK. It looks like it will raise more revenue but it won’t. For what they’re proposing will take the tax upon income above its revenue maximising rate:

A phased in abolition of the cap on employees’ national insurance so that the wealthiest pay more.

To explain a little, the UK tax system works much the same as the American one. There is income tax and there are also social security contributions. We call those national insurance rather than FICA or Social Security. But as with SS there’s an amount which is nominally paid by the employer and another which is nominally paid by the employee. Both are, of course, really paid by the worker, that’s where the incidence is.

If we add the three together, income tax, employees’ NI and employers’ NI we get taxes upon income. And that’s what is subject to the Laffer Curve point, the total of all three taxes. We also know what the revenue raising rate is for taxes upon income, some 54%.

Current top end income tax is 45%, employees’ NI is capped, as with Social Security (actually, a little complicated, the rate is 12% and that is capped, but there’s 2% charged above the cap) and employers’ at 13.8% is not capped. We don’t quite just add the rates together as the denominator is different but just adding gets us close enough to make the point.

So, current top end taxes upon income are about 60, 61%. Above that Laffer peak of 54% that we get from Diamond and Saez but not alarmingly so. The Green Party intends to lift that cap so that 12% employees’ NI is paid on all wages. That’s raising the rate for the tax upon income by 10 percentage points, up to a 70 or 71% total rate. Well, well, above our Laffer peak and thus almost certain to lead to a reduction in tax revenue.

Which isn’t really quite the point of tax policy, to raise rates in order to gain less revenue. But that’s what the Green Party is promising, bless their little cotton socks.

miss_s_b: (Default)

The Blood is the Life for 23-05-2017

May. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b

I’m Alive

May. 23rd, 2017 08:42 am
[syndicated profile] andrew_hickey_feed

Posted by Andrew Hickey

Had a couple of people asking if Holly and I are OK. We’re fine, and as far as I know no-one either of us know was at the arena last night (though it feels creepy enough that we passed through the tram stop in the same building complex barely an hour before).
It’s not the first time Manchester has seen terrorist activity (for those who don’t know, the IRA blew up half the city centre in the mid 1990s) but it’s the first in my lifetime with such a loss of life. I hope all the injured kids recover, and I also hope (though I suspect in vain) that this isn’t used as an excuse to push through ever-more-authoritarian laws that wouldn’t have prevented this.
My thoughts are with the families of those killed, and with those injured.

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

The awful events in Manchester last night have inevitably caused the general election campaign to be paused. All parties are saying that campaigning activity is being suspended.

The LDs, for instance, have told activists that until further notice, public campaigning activity – that includes canvassing, campaigning online, leaflet delivery and any street stalls should not take place.

I would assume that the broadcasters will postpone planned events which could stop UKIP leader Paul Nuttall’s Andrew Neil interview tonight.

The other set piece BBC events, the debate and Question Time specials are scheduled to begin on May 31st so I’d guess probably will go according to plan.

With the final batches of postal ballots arriving this week a lot of votes will be cast and the candidates’ freepost deliveries are all in the system and are hard to delay.

At GE2015 21% of all votes that were made were by post a large proportion of them being returned within a couple of days of being received. So this week will be a big voting week irrespective of the Manchester tragedy.

Mike Smithson

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by The Voice

An email from the Chair of the Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee James Gurling has been sent  explaining what the suspension of campaigning in respect for the victims of the Manchester attack means:

By now you will all have seen and heard about the terrible events of yesterday. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the tragic attack in Manchester.

We, along with the other political parties have agreed to suspend our campaigns until further notice.

That means until further notice, please do not carry out any public campaigning activity – that includes canvassing, campaigning online, leaflet delivery and any street stalls.

This site won’t be posting any election related material today.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

Last night people would have dropped their kids off at Manchester Arena for the Ariana Grande concert. The kids would have been so excited. In the normal course of events, they’d have come out afterwards completely buzzing about the whole thing and would have spent hours reliving it and singing the songs.

They will certainly never forget the awful events of last night.

It is utterly impossible to comprehend what goes through the mind of someone who targets children and young people in this way.

One of my friends wrote on Facebook that we should think about what the terrorists want us to do – and then do the exact opposite.

They want us to turn on each other and change our lives to pander to them or fear of them. We can’t let them diminish us like that.

And in fact, we can see from the acts of kindness and solidarity from the people of Manchester that the generous, open-hearted spirit of that wonderful city will prevail.

Our hearts go out to all those who have lost loved ones, or who are going through the raw anxiety of not being able to track someone down, or who are waiting for news of an injured friend or relative.

All of us need to think about what we can do to make the world kinder, more open and gentle – and then go and do it.

Senior Liberal Democrats have been reacting to last night’s attack. Tim Farron said:

This is a shocking and horrific attack targeting children and young people who were simply enjoying a concert.

My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news.

I would like to pay tribute to the bravery and dedication of the emergency services.

This is an attack on innocent people and the nation is united both in its grief and its determination to stand up to this deplorable attack.

Willie Rennie said:

I am horrified by the deaths and injuries in Manchester.

My deepest sympathies are with the victims, and with families who have lost loved ones, as well as those desperately waiting for news.

As a sign of respect, all General Election campaigning has been suspended.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

watervole: (Default)

Masochism Tango

May. 23rd, 2017 09:14 am
[personal profile] watervole
 An old favourite Tom Lehrer song, with two video versions for you.  Blake's 7 and Dr Who (Missy)

Blakes 7 by Mary van Deusen

[personal profile] miss_s_b
The police have confirmed it as a terrorist attack, although not the stripe of terrorism.
But we know what terrorists want, don't we?
The clue is in the name.

They want us to be afraid.
They want us to cower in our homes, afraid to go to gigs or theatres or sports events.
They want us to give in to fear and authoritarianism.


There's already lots of people sharing practical ways you can help in Manchester today - three examples here - but what if you are nowhere near Manchester? And what about the future?

One way you can show your defiance today?
Buy a ticket. Buy a ticket to a gig, or a football match, or a play, or anything else where lots of people gather to enjoy themselves and be human. Let today be the biggest day for ticket sales to fun things the UK has ever seen.
miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)

There but for the grace of God...

May. 23rd, 2017 08:03 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Manchester is less than an hour from my home. I have lots of friends there, and I visit there often. The station I most often arrive at is Manchester Victoria.
Less than a fortnight ago I took my little girl to an arena concert in a big city.
So yeah, this is hitting home hard.



The arsehole who blew himself up with an IED full of nuts and bolts at a concert full of little girls was one man.

The people who immediately took to the streets with bottles of water and cups of tea? The people who opened their homes to strangers for a sit down or a phone charger or a phone? The taxi drivers who offered free rides home when the trains were cancelled, the hotels who offered free rooms and respite and drinks to those affected, and the absolute heroes of the emergency services? Those people are legion. Those people are the ones who we need to talk about. Those people are the peak of humanity.

Love, not hate.
Helping, not hurting.

No party politics today, people. No Yorkshire/Lancashire joking. Today we stand together. Please?

Ritchie’s interesting economics

May. 23rd, 2017 06:58 am
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

Convergence requires

Assessment of economic capacity based on GDP inclusive of the shadow economy
Assessment of deficits on the basis of tax spending including uncollected tax as if it is a budgeted tax spend
A requirement that this spend be controlled like all others
The pre-condition of accepting this goal

There has been a reluctance to tackle this issue
This is based on the widespread belief that if the tax gap is tackled the economic activity brought within the scope to tax will be lost altogether
This is not true. Microeconomic theory says that markets work best to maximise social well-being when there is a level playing field on which all market participants compete
The tax gap destroys that level playing field. The result must be that markets deliver sub-optimal results because of misinformation, distorted rates of return, misapplication of capital and reduced productivity
Closing the tax gap will overcome these market defects. Accepting this market based argument is the pre-condition for change in the convergence criteria

Government deficits under the Maastricht criteria should be measured as if government is collecting the tax it cannot collect.

Sheesh. So Greece is just fine then, eh?

The distortions of the tax gap are also fun. For that’s the wrong way around. It’s the taxation itself which is the distortion in the first place. Maybe a necessary one, of course, but still a distortion which creates misapplications and reductions.

matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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