Tying yourself up in knots – how not to run a country.

Love this piece on Brexit from the blog myusuf2016 and I’m happy to reblog it here so you can consider it, too.


On Wednesday the cabinet agreed a pathway to Brexit.  After five hours of talking.  I don’t know about you but I’d go crazy in a five hour meeting and would probably agree anything just to get out of the room.  And it was a majority decision.  In other words some in the cabinet disagreed with the proposals contained in the 500 plus page document.  How did we get to this stage?

We have to go back to the referendum campaign where all sorts of wild promises were made.  I know lies were told on both sides.  But in politics no one remembers what the losers said.  Once the vote is counted people look to the victors to deliver on their promises.  Amongst the promises made were that you could leave the EU, stay in the single market and end free movement of people across the borders.  Boris Johnson in an…

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Time to Do Democracy

By now everything that needs to be said has been said, every pundit’s point has been made, everybody is repeating themselves, and it’s time to get on to election day.

The New York Times has made and remade this point until it’s tiresome:

We get that. We get that the Times, the Washington Post, CNN, me, and a ton of people like me, want President Trump’s rank divisiveness to backfire and suburban voters, among others, to go on out there and fix this. I have early-voted. Now how about those suburbans? Will they or won’t they?

By election day in four days time, the president, vice president, former president and Oprah Winfrey will have been through my home state of Georgia to put their stamps on our Governor’s race. Georgia represents 3.2% of the United States’ population. Should we be honored or frightened?

We’ll get back to our usual focus here on CS&W soon enough. I’ll have a travel column in 3 Quarks Daily soon about the largest wildlife migration in the world, the wildebeests in Kenya’s Masaai Mara, and I’ll share it here the next day. But there’s no need to pretend. This weekend our country feels poised on a precipice. If the Trump administration retains control of both houses of Congress next week, I fear for the shape of the country by the time of the next presidential election.

You’re not undecided. No one is. You know what you think. Go vote. Let’s see what happens.

Fingers crossed.

Climate Science Can Be Pretty, Too

Click the graphic for a splashy, sciency, substantial report with graphics and embedded video from Reuters:

Greenland is entirely gorgeous. I devoted a section on the island in Out in the Cold. Read an excerpt here. See some photos here at EarthPhotos.com. Like this one:

And a book to recommend: Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North by Mark C. Serreze. Just started it the other day. Readable and engaging so far. Here’s a favorable review at NYRB.

The Humanity!

You may remember that the early internet brought the cost of voice communication dramatically down, and fast. For some years American consumers grumbled that “customer service,” having been sent to cheaper offshore call centers, became incomprehensible and ineffectual.

A backlash brought a lot of that work back onshore, but I’m afraid call center calls with my fellow Americans, while now more comprehensible, remain ineffectual.

Employees MUST use the script they suit up with when they come in to work. MUST MUST MUST MUST MUST! No deviating into humanity. No exceptions.

I called the air conditioning repair people after business hours and a live voice answered. I told it, “Oh hi, I was just thinking what I would tell the machine.” This plunged the live voice into stunned silence.

Spontaneous remarks had not been addressed on her script.

Pause, and a time wobble.

“Your address?”

Really Very Sorry About All This

Oh my.

Prominent Tory ministers, a silver-haired cypher and a blustering Trumpy buffoon, resign to tilt at Brexit windmills. Government, as ever, in peril. Stay tuned on this.

Football team eliminated by team from second smallest country ever to contest World Cup final match.

Could things possibly get worse?


from The Guardian


Nice try. Cudda Wudda Shudda.