The influence of the libel lawyers

Jul. 26th, 2016 07:48 am
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

After the report was published Field went on to make several even more critical comments on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, without the protection of parliamentary privilege afforded by the report.

Note that The Guardian mentions only very lightly the things that Field said without Parliamentary Privilege…..

I do wonder whether everyone is going to be so careful…..

The cultural loss from Brexit

Jul. 26th, 2016 07:31 am
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Chris Key

As a 20 year old, I stood up in a French classroom, to teach children two years younger than me, it was literally life changing. I have gone on to live abroad three more times, speak two other languages, marry someone from another continent and work in multinational companies where I get to travel the world. I want these opportunities for my children, but fear that due to the selfishness of the older generation, that things will never be the same after Brexit.

Living overseas gives you a fresh perspective, it helps you to learn how to deal with other cultures in the work place and to cope with change. All of these things make us more rounded as individuals and working in business, understanding how other nationalities tick is vital to building cross border relationships and managing negotiations.

One of the biggest risks of Brexit is that it spells the death of the Erasmus scheme for British students. This is a great pity as it will mean that thousands of students may never get the experience I had. We must fight with every breath to make sure that British students can stay inside Erasmus.

An obvious additional benefit of living abroad is learning another language. Nigel Farage complains about people speaking other languages on the train, while his wife no doubt speaks German to the kids. Priti Patel jumped on the bandwagon about the cost of educating children with at least one EU parent. Yet neither can think of the positives of cultural integration. I will never forget the day we were told in 1981 by my headmistress, that we would have a new boy in our class who was black and how he was not different. Now my children go to school with other pupils who have parents from France, Switzerland, Japan, China, Germany, South Africa and Poland. The world has changed but now we have senior politicians who want to return us to 1981. Many of those Brexiteers have never lived abroad or bothered to learn another language. Just because they never exercised their chance to live in Europe why does that give them the right to deny that chance to the younger generations ?

I hope that their tardis never arrives and that we remain a country where my kids can mix with the United Nations from a young age. No matter how hard we have to try, we the Liberal Democrats must continue to remind people that we are a mongrel nation and that is what makes us great.

* Chris Key is dad of two girls, multilingual and internationalist. Lib Dem member in Twickenham who likes holding local council and MPs to account.

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

Staffing Shirebrook alone was worth £50m a year to these two companies, estimate the MPs. Some people were making a lot of money from the degradation of others.

Err, no, not really.

The vast majority of that £50 million was the wages paid to the temp staff. For that is the turnover, not the profit. Thus the actual phrase should be that the tempt staff were masking near £50 million a year….

And this is fun too:

Blair bestowed that honour despite Green having engineered the payment of a £1.3bn dividend to his wife, Tina, in the tax haven of Monaco – a historic handout that avoided around £300m in taxes. The tax savings on that one payout were worth 10 large secondary schools

Where the the avoidance in a foreigner living in foreign not paying British taxes? BHS had already paid corporation tax (oh yes it did!) so, err?

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

No, really, no:

On the face of it, Mr Son is paying a fabulous price for ARM – a mouth-watering 60 times last year’s earnings, and a near 50pc premium to the company’s pre-bid value. But if he’s right in his vision, then it’s going to look a bargain ten years from now. Already, there are mutterings that he is underpaying, amid reports of strong sales growth.

Forgive the terrible pun, suggested by a well known City fund manager who won’t forgive me if I attribute it to him, but is SoftBank paying an arm a leg, or is ARM being sold for a son?

It will be a while before we know, yet it seems to be one of those other British deficiencies that we are good at innovation and start-ups but atrocious when it comes to developing them into global players. Too often companies are sold before they properly get going.

We really cannot use the example of ARM to show that we don’t build companies into world beaters. Because ARM is a world beater. So it’s an example of entirely the contrary, that we can and do build companies into world beaters. This is also wrong:

One of the things Theresa May promises to address in a still somewhat ill-defined and unconvincing agenda for revitalising the UK economy is Britain’s productivity deficit. This is of course the holy grail of successive post-war UK governments, and whereas some have done better than others, none has so far managed any more than limited progress in closing the productivity gap. So we must wish her luck.

One place she could usefully start is in taking on the endemic problem of “short-termist” thinking among UK investors and managers, a mind set that is deeply ingrained in British corporate, investment and banking culture.

I’ve long thought this a major part of Britain’s productivity challenge, and I’m happy to see that the City veteran and corporate financier, Sir Simon Robertson, a former stalwart of Kleinwort Benson and Goldman Sachs, agrees with me.

Measurements of productivity have sweet fuck all to do with who owns a company. they’re measures of the output (per hour normally) of people working within the British economy.

Who owns, who gets the profits, makes completely sod all difference to productivity measures. Productivity is measured by the hours those 3,000 around Cambridge put in as against the value of their output. And that’s it. British productivity will change by not one whit or iota as ownership moves from roughly 43% US, 35% UK, balance European to 100% Japanese.

It’s simply trying to measure things using entirely the wrong ruler.

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

The Seriously Terrible Report Into BHS, Sir Philip Green And The Pensions Collapse

The point being that the report notes that low and falling interest rates play merry havoc with pension valuations and deficits.

Yet absolutely nothing at all is done to explain how interest rates falling from 5% to 0.5% has affected that pensions deficit at BHS.

Personally, without knowing how to do the calculations, I’m entirely happy with the idea that Green bears some blame. But so too does the general xhange in macroeconomic conditions. And I do think that the report should at least tried to show us which was which.

It doesn’t which I think is a huge gap in it.

Almost, you know, brash Jewboy in the schmutter trade being badly treated by the establishment sorta sized gap in it.

cupcake_goth: (Default)

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2016 10:24 pm
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
Back to the cards, with help from Miss Erzabet No Biting.

Halloween Tarot: 7 of Pumpkins! (7 of Pentacles)

Vintage Wisdom Oracle: Truth

[syndicated profile] craig_whittaker_twfy_feed

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if the Government will take steps to work with local authorities and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority to improve air quality in West Yorkshire.

[syndicated profile] craig_whittaker_twfy_feed

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of trends in construction of affordable homes within Calderdale since 2010.

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

almost missed Monday again!

Jul. 26th, 2016 12:42 am
[personal profile] synecdochic

Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

The First Lady rescues the Convention

By all accounts the opening hours of the first day at the Democratic Convention had not been good for the Clinton campaign. The leaked emails and the irreconcilable Bernie supporters have made what should have been a showcase into something of a nightmare. There were persistent chants of “lock her up” whenever Clinton’s name was mentioned.

Then Michelle Obama took the stage and made a powerful heartfelt case for the the person who was her husband’s main opponent in 2008 and who to whom he is now giving his full backing.

For one of the unique features of this election is the role being played by the White House. It is very rare for an incumbent to take as high profile a role as Obama is doing and this comes at a time when his leader ratings are high.

The Bernie Sanders speech an hour later was another key development. His aim is to try to harness some of the enthusiasm and energy that his supporters have generated in the primaries and focus on securing not just success in November but backing for a wide range of policies that he has been espousing. There’s no doubt that he’s having a big influence on the party platform.

The betting moved a notch to Clinton during the evening.

Mike Smithson

[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Canadian-built 1916 Ford Model T Touring. Image Credit: Flickr/vinnyrvg

Life at Camp Borden
[syndicated profile] andrew_hickey_feed

Posted by Andrew Hickey

While Imagination was not especially successful, either commercially or critically, it did mark a new point in Brian Wilson’s solo career. Before 1998, Wilson had always relied on the Beach Boys to be his live “messengers” (as Dennis Wilson had famously put it) – even his first solo album had been promoted by Wilson doing odd guest spots at Beach Boys shows. Now, however, with the Beach Boys basically split, Wilson had to work on a proper solo career, and that meant live performances.

While Wilson had, of course, toured with the Beach Boys on occasion, and had even performed consistently with them from 1976 through to the early 1980s, he hadn’t toured regularly since the death of his brother Dennis, and had only performed a handful of solo shows, so a band had to be formed for the Imagination tour. As the core of the band, four members of the Los Angeles-based powerpop band Wondermints were chosen – keyboardist Darian Sahanaja, percussionist Mike d’Amico, guitarist Nick “Nicky Wonder” Walusko, and multi-instrumentalist Probyn Gregory. To them were added several Chicago-based musicians who had worked with Joe Thomas – keyboard player Scott Bennett, vocalist Taylor Mills, Styx drummer Todd Sucherman (replaced after the initial tour by Jim Hines, who plays on this album), bass player Bob Lizik, saxophone and woodwind player Paul von Mertens – along with Thomas himself on keyboards and Steve Dahl miming theremin while Gregory played. Jeffrey Foskett, who had played with the Beach Boys throughout the 1980s, also joined the band, playing guitar but also covering the falsetto vocals.

Tensions within this early line-up surfaced even before the first tour, though, as Sahanaja and Thomas clashed over the arrangements. According to Sahanaja, Thomas wanted to create new arrangements of the classic Beach Boys songs to make them more AOR – Sahanaja described Thomas’ arrangement of “Caroline, No” as a “sexy, Sade kind of thing” – and Sahanaja eventually put his foot down and insisted that the arrangements stick close to Wilson’s arrangements. Sahanaja became the musical director [FOOTNOTE von Mertens later took over this role.], Thomas left the tour after the first leg (as did Dahl and Sucherman, although Sucherman would play with Wilson on occasion again), and the band settled into what would be to the latter decades of Wilson’s career as the Beach Boys and Wrecking Crew had been for the early ones.

While the band has seen occasional line-up changes, and band members sitting out occasional tours due to other commitments, it has remained remarkably stable, and Sahanaja, Walusko, Gregory, d’Amico, von Mertens, and Lizik remain members of the band [FOOTNOTE Sahanaja is not on Wilson’s current (Summer 2016) tour, but my understanding is that he will return in future.], while Foskett only left in 2014 and Bennett in 2016.

And this band, along with the other musicians who occasionally substituted for or augmented them, became quite possibly the best live band in the world. Their attention to detail combined with their multi-instrumental and singing abilities meant that for the first time songs like “Let’s Go Away For A While” or “Til I Die” could be performed live, in arrangements that were identical to the recordings. Sahanaja, and later von Mertens, ensured that the instrumental performances matched those in the studio, while Foskett performed a vital function in the early shows, as onstage MC and also as a vocal safety net, doubling Wilson while he was still unsure about carrying a whole show by himself, and covering if he forgot a lyric.

The combination was extraordinary, and the band managed to provide enough support for Wilson that even though he suffered (and sometimes still suffers) not only from stagefright but from his well-documented mental problems, he was still able not only to perform, but to perform well. And Live at the Roxy, recorded over two nights in April 2000, shows that.

While there has been a certain amount of in-studio fixing up (some of Wilson’s vocals sound a little too sweet, perhaps), there has been much less than one might imagine from listening to it. While the performances sound too good to be live, my own experiences of seeing this band (starting less than two years after these recordings, when they first toured the UK) say that yes, this is what they sound like. And the result is a nearly impeccable live recording.

There are faults, of course – latter-day Wilson, even at his best as he is here, is still an acquired taste vocally, and while the harmonies are superb they’re a little top-heavy compared with the Beach Boys originals (the parts that Mike Love sang are often absent or very low in the mix). But as a live record of the artier side of Brian Wilson, focussing especially on the 1965-66 period of his songwriting, it couldn’t be bettered.

The album was released in 2000 through the Internet only, on Wilson’s own BriMel label, with subsequent reissues with bonus tracks, and is currently out of print. The tracklisting of the UK version (the most comprehensive of the releases) is:

Disc one

Little Girl Intro (the introduction to the show – an audio recording of Wilson directing the musicians in the studio session for “The Little Girl I Once Knew”, which would go into the band playing the song live)
The Little Girl I Once Knew
This Whole World
Don’t Worry Baby
Kiss Me Baby
Do It Again
California Girls
I Get Around
Back Home
In My Room
Surfer Girl
The First Time
This Isn’t Love
Add Some Music To Your Day
Please Let Me Wonder

Disc two
Band Intros
Brian Wilson
Til I Die
Let’s Go Away For Awhile
Pet Sounds
God Only Knows
Lay Down Burden
Be My Baby
Good Vibrations
Caroline, No
All Summer Long
Love And Mercy
Sloop John B (bonus track, only on some versions)
Barbara Ann (bonus track, only on some versions)
Wouldn’t It Be Nice (bonus track, only on some versions)
Help Me, Rhonda (bonus track, only on some versions)
Interview With Brian (bonus track, only on some versions)

I won’t, in this piece, look at each song individually – too often I’d have nothing to say about it other than “it’s like the record, but with an older Brian singing”, but will instead focus on the few new or otherwise interesting tracks.

The First Time
Songwriter: Brian Wilson

This song dates back to 1983, when it was demoed as “In The Night Time”. While a couple of words have been changed in the lyrics for this version, the lyrics are still utter gibberish – little more than mouth noises to give the melody some shape (examples “House of the rising sun/enough love for everyone/happy just to be”, “I’ve heard your voice so sweet/Strangers until we meet/Til the dark side of the moon”). The arrangement is also perfunctory – for the most part just piano chords, drums, and “ooh” backing vocals, along with a sax solo from von Mertens that just restates the melody.

Despite all this, it still works surprisingly well, mostly because the melody itself is exquisite, especially the last section, when it climbs in a way that only Wilson’s melodies do – seeming to strain for something outside experience.

It’s not a great song – truth be told it’s not even a very good song – but it’s one that is nonetheless always a pleasure to hear.

This Isn’t Love
Songwriters: Brian Wilson and Tony Asher

In the mid 90s, Wilson briefly teamed up again with Tony Asher, with whom he had written most of Pet Sounds. This track was one of the two songs to result (the other, “Everything I Need”, appeared in two versions – on The Wilsons, featuring Brian, Carnie, and Wendy Wilson, and on Jeffrey Foskett’s Twelve and Twelve album, featuring Foskett, Darian Sahanaja, and Brian Wilson). It was originally released on a various artists compilation of piano instrumentals, Songs Without Words, before being featured in a vocal version in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, sung by Alan Cumming. On this live version, Wilson talks excitedly about how “it’s gonna be in a movie!”, which is possibly the most excited anyone has ever been about that film.

The song itself is fairly decent, with Asher reprising his trick from “God Only Knows” of starting the song with a surprising negative that he turns to a positive, in this case “this isn’t love, this is destiny”. It does, however, show signs of having lyrics applied to a pre-existing melody, as the syllabics don’t really work. Pretty, but insubstantial.

Brian Wilson
Songwriter: Stephen Page

A single verse and chorus of the then-recent hit by the Barenaked Ladies, about “lying in bed just like Brian Wilson did”, which remained a regular self-deprecating joke in Wilson’s set for another couple of years.

Lay Down Burden
Songwriters: Brian Wilson and Joe Thomas

The one song from Imagination that remained in Wilson’s live set as of 2000, this is also one of the very small number of songs that he performed in a radically different arrangement. Here the song is stripped down to just piano and vocals for almost the entire song (along with some unobtrusive percussion, and a guitar part so low in the mix towards the end that I couldn’t swear it’s there at all), and it manages to improve the song ten thousandfold. It’s still not great, but it shows the solid song that’s there in a way the Imagination version doesn’t.

Be My Baby
Songwriters: Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector

A surprisingly accurate rendition of Wilson’s favourite ever record – the band showing they could do the wall of sound live just as well as they could do Wilson’s more delicate arrangements.

Love and Mercy
Songwriter: Brian Wilson †

Another stripped-down version, again just piano and vocals, this removes the a capella section from the original and recasts it as a gentle, intimate, plea. This version has remained the regular closing song in Wilson’s live set to this day.

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Tagged: Brian Wilson, the Beach Boys
[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

Two things are worth remembering about Labour’s performance in opinion polls in the last Parliament. First, Labour went on to lose. Second, it turned out the polls were over-estimating Labour’s support.

So on both grounds, a Labour Party that’s doing well should be doing better in the polls than it was doing at this time in the last Parliament.

Here’s how the July 2016 polls compared with the July 2011 polls (taking the last poll in the month where there was more than one comparable poll and going for polls whose fieldwork was all done in July):

ICM: was 36%, now 29% – Labour doing 7% worse
Ipsos-MORI: was 39%, now 35% – Labour doing 4% worse
Opinium: was 38%, now 31% – Labour doing 7% worse
YouGov: was 44%, now 29% – Labour doing 15% worse

That’s doing worse, not better.


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yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))

[stories] The Librarian and the Rider

Jul. 25th, 2016 04:18 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
For [personal profile] tbutler.

Prompt: folk songs.

The Librarian and the Rider

High in the mountains, past the borders of fox and fae, lived a young man who tended his town's small library. He spent his days among all manner of books: books bound in dark leather and inscribed with eldritch runes, books inked upon fine silk and wound around rods of fossilized dragonbone or polished agate; books stitched together with the hair of discordant mermaids, books whose pages had once been trees bearing fruit-of-everlasting-youth. Amid the books, the man thought himself content. In the mornings he would wake to the fall of light among the books, and he spent his days bent over them, unwinding their secrets and making notes in journals of his own.

One day a woman rode out of the borders of fox and fae, and stopped in the town. The town saw few visitors, and its inhabitants opened their houses to her. She was taller than anyone in the town, this woman, and dark, with a sword peace-knotted upon her back. Truth be told, a few of the townsfolk were intimidated by her bearing, but she spoke politely enough, in the trade-tongue of the region, and her smile was kind.

The elders of the town held a feast for her the next evening. Several of the town's children told the man at the library about the feast, for their parents knew that he would otherwise have missed it. Although he was loath to leave his library, sometimes travelers brought books they were willing to sell or trade.

At the feast, the townsfolk brought forth platters heaped high with roast pheasant and bitter fiddleheads gathered from the woods, bowls of rice and barley, bowls of small wild strawberries, tea of citrons and tea of quinces. For her part, the woman exclaimed over their generosity, and returned it with her own. She told stories of lands where it rained only once a year, and the people who made mead from the honey of those short-lived flowers; of poet-priests who shut themselves up in high spires to chant their threnodies to the gods of storm and sea; of citadels whose banners were sewn with the jewel-eyes of spiders, so that their commandants might never be surprised by an invading army.

The young man sat some distance from the woman, but she might as well have been the only person in the hall. He did not hear the musicians playing zither and flute and drum, or the chatter of the people next to him. (They didn't take it amiss; they were used to him being absentminded.) A yearning woke in him that he had never before thought possible when he watched her.

Afterward the man went up to the woman and bowed before her. "I will not rest until you are mine," the man said. He had perhaps read a few too many grand romances, or transcripts of ballads.

"Then you are doomed to wander the earth's bones until the moon falls out of the sky," the woman said, "for I have no interest in romance--whether with man or woman or other."

"Nothing will soften your heart?" he asked.

"'Soften'?" she said in surprise. "I have my horse for a travel companion, and the sun and the stars to guide my path. I have all the friends I have made in every town and city I have stopped by. My heart is fine as it is."

There were a great many things the man could have said to that, many of them wrong. He could have left his library, sold all its treasures for a horse and supplies, and followed her anyway. He could have read a curse out of one of the books bound in dark leather so that her footsteps would be wracked with needles of ice and thorn until she relented. He could have gone away from her in silence, and jumped into a ravine, grieved that she would not yield to his love.

But he looked at her kind eyes, and perhaps a little of the wisdom of the best of the books lent itself to him then, for he did none of those things. "If that is the case," he said, "then will you accept one more friend instead?"

She smiled at him, and for all that the smile broke his heart, another, better part of him was strengthened. "Of course," she said. "There is no such thing as too many friends."
[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

Labour Party  UK  leadership election  2015   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia
WikipediaLAB leadership contest 2015

If last week’s YouGov LAB members’ polling is indeed in the right territory and the split in the 183k £25 sign-up is as reported then Corbyn is heading for a big victory when the results are announced on September 24th.

Sure a lot can happen in the next eight weeks and Owen Smith is still a relative unknown but nobody doubts that he has a mountain to climb. Perhaps the best he can hope for is reducing Corbyn’s winning share from the 59.5% of 2015.

What Smith and those opposed to the incumbent want is for Corbyn to secure a smaller percentage share this time. That would provide some vindication of the PLP’s “no confidence” move and also, possibly set things up for another contest next year.

I’ve been asking my LAB contacts what vote share Corbyn needs to get in order to stabilise things within his party and the consensus is that anything below 55%-56% would be bad news.

There is also the ongoing forward risk of some sort of split though having watched at first hand the formation of the SDP in the early 80s and I fully aware that this is a massive challenge.

UPDATE Ladbrokes do have a Corbyn vote share market up but there are no obvious bargain.

Hopefully there’ll be betting markets on the leadership race vote shares.

Mike Smithson

Quick Political Open Thread 7/26/16

Jul. 25th, 2016 07:32 pm
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Allow me to preface it by having an imaginary Q&A:


A: That’s not actually a question.


A: Because he got a bit of a convention bounce, it looks like.


A: Still not a question, and also, go ahead and read this from Sam Wang at the Princeton Election Consortium (who, incidentally, has been pretty much spot on for the last few election cycles). It might calm you down.

Q: What are your thoughts about the Russians maybe hacking the DNC?

A: If it’s true, then obviously it’s troubling, especially as the timing makes it appear to be an effort to throw things Trump’s way. The circumstantial evidence is piling up that it was an act by Russian intelligence service but we don’t know for sure (and come on, probably never will know for certain), nor at the moment does it seem like the Trump folks are actively involved, even if they might be a beneficiary. So I’m not gonna blame Trump for this one.

Personally if I were the GOP candidate for president I wouldn’t want to have even the appearance of being Putin’s favorite boy. But Trump doesn’t appear to care, so.

Q: Thoughts on the contents of the DNC email dump?

A: Meh? As Vox notes, there’s not a whole lot of there there, although I understand the Dead-End Berners are het up about it, rather more than Sanders himself is (probably because unlike the DEBs, Sanders himself realizes that this point for the nation, it getting a half a loaf from Clinton is better than it being set on fire by Trump while racists and antisemites dance around the flames in a circle, holding hands). In any event Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is the appointed fall gal, and getting the boot, and apparently no one will really miss her, so, fine. Moving on.

Q: But corruption at the DNC! Favoritism! Dogs and cats living together!

A: Honestly? I kind of don’t give a shit. As I noted on Twitter, the DNC email stuff is venial sin stuff — people who were stupid enough to put things in email that they shouldn’t. Which is not exactly surprising — most people put things in email that they shouldn’t — but also not things that at the moment I care that much about. I’m rather more concerned about the Russians possibly trying to mess with our elections. While you can care about both of those, of course, I know which one of those I care about more. Your mileage may vary.

And of course outside of all of this is the fact that Trump, the worst presidential candidate in modern history, is still a presidential candidate. The DNC email nonsense doesn’t even move the needle in terms of Things That Would Keep Me From Voting For Hillary Clinton If Only To Stop Donald Trump.

Q: What about Wasserman-Schultz being made honorary chairperson of the Clinton campaign?

A: What, a face saving “promotion” with apparently no real power? You do understand how politics works, yes?

Q: Any thoughts on Tim Kaine as VP?

A: Seems okay. I understand some folks distrust his commitment to pro-choiceness, but inasmuch as he’s got endorsements from NARAL and Planned Parenthood it’s not blipping my own concern radar (please note, however, as someone who is not likely to get pregnant anytime soon, my own concern radar is not as finely calibrated as others). The two main knocks on him seem to be he accepted some gifts at one point and that he’s kind of boring. With the former let’s see where that goes, but with the latter, good. I don’t want drama, I want someone who is competent and knows how to do the gig. We have enough drama already.

Q: Will the DNC get messy?

A: Oh, probably, since the DEBs can’t let it go, and everyone loves drama.

Q: Any additional thoughts on the Dead-End Berners?

A: I hope they have fun now, because if they’re still at it after the convention, they’ll basically be admitting they’re happy to dance around the trash fire with the racists and antisemites. It’s nice for them to have the luxury of not caring if they consign others to the flames.

Q: That’s, uh, pretty harsh.

A: Not a question.

Q: Don’t you think that’s pretty harsh?

A: Nope! Or, actually, yes, it is, and? I don’t really have much time for the DEBs anymore, or the privileged stupidity of “Trump and Clinton are the same” or of “she’s just the lesser evil” (or, hilariously, that she’s worse than Trump, if you’re any flavor of liberal or progressive). Get it out of your system in the next couple of days, and then get with the fucking program already, people. It’s important.

Go ahead and chat politics in the comments, folks.

supergee: (me-kinda)

Meet the new phone

Jul. 25th, 2016 02:40 pm
[personal profile] supergee
Pretty much the same as the old phone (which I lost, which is why I got a new one). It’s not a smartphone. (I don’t know what the euphemism is.)

When I was a child, I was the clumsy geek. I could do math (and English), but people wondered if I could walk and chew gum at the same time. I dreamed of the day when computers would enable clumsy geeks to deal with the world without manual dexterity. And look what happened. I don’t begrudge Kevin Maroney and all the other dexterous people their success (all manipulation is intelligence), but I am disappointed.

I don’t want to jinx it, but I think I got an undocumented upgrade. The phone has not once asked me to “Say a Command.”
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.

Here's the legal text:
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