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Member since: Thu Jun 9, 2016, 05:09 AM
Number of posts: 164

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Amazing political game


The international (France based) software developer Ubisoft has a new shooter game coming out, in which the target for the player is to hunt down and kill American Christian Republicans!

The controversy is already around the web, unsurprisingly. An amusing feature of the game is the ability to call out characters as racist and ‘hurt their feelings’ as part of gameplay. I kid you not.




Forced equity release


The Guardian has today (18/5/17) reported on the Tory manifesto. If this manifesto becomes law, elderly and unwell people requiring care at home will be required to give up sole ownership rights to their homes if they lack the savings to pay. Currently the home is not regarded as an asset in means testing this level of social care.

Helpfully, the Tories will offer a range of 'equity release products' to facilitate this legal process. No doubt the products will be supplied by private companies with shareholders and profit margins to meet.

This sounds like a conservative wet dream to me, but what's not to like?


The Brexit spirit


We are in an English seaside town. We go into a posh hotel and ask for Martinis in the bar. The Brit barman says “What’s a Martini?” before going off to find out what we are talking about and how to make them. We leave.

Later we go into a seafront cafe and I ask for a black Americano with milk on the side. The Brit waitress gives me a white Americano with extra milk on the side. This drink contains precious little coffee but much milk.

In desperation, we go to a coffee chain, Costa. I ask for the same and the Brit ‘Barrister’ shouts ‘White Americano’ to his colleague. It tastes like sludge.

I have been abroad in Europe. I know that this would not happen in any other EU country, or even here if the employee was an immigrant from anywhere. But in Brexit Britain it is a short step back to the 1950s, a time of poor food, worldly ignorance and terminally bad service. What’s not to like?


US military bases worldwide


I was watching a John Pilger clip and he inspired me to look at a US military bases world map.

Well, looking at that, it is hard to criticise Trump’s present antics in light of the militarism going on through successive presidencies. It is a plain fact that the US military reaches in to 50 countries, and where they go they rarely leave.

There is some level of balance though. China and Russia are free of bases, and their common border allows an integral part of the globe to be US free. Interestingly, South America and Africa are also relatively free.

Comforting thoughts? Well, I guess the sideshow of US politics is just that, and the work is done below the media radar. So, we can stop worrying about particular presidents or parties, as they will all inherit this embedded structure as they come and go. The other thought is that the US worker has to pay for this behemoth in their tax dollars, and the ‘guest’ countries will be getting the ground rent.

But, when there is any bleating about Russian or Chinese ‘expansion’ I recommend a sobering look at the linked map.


What's in the tea leaves


I have never been so confused about UK politics, in all my 69 years.

What is going to happen? Where is the wind blowing?


WW 111


I'm a friendly and approachable bloke and lots of people chat and open up to me. In the last few weeks, several people have told me “There is a war coming.” This is not just friends and acquaintances, it is even strangers in the street or in a pub!

I can't remember a time when the street vibe has been like this. Older people seem most worried as they have memories of WW 11 from their parents and growing up in post war times, but younger folks are worried too.

Of course it could be coincidence that so many people are talking like this around me, but it is strange. Another thought is that this vibe is not going on in our news media, but people just seem to know it. When they talk about war, they don't talk in terms of a distant foreign war, but a world war, affecting everyone. That's what I'm hearing.

What gives?


What do conservatives fear?


What is it that conservatives fear? They talk a tough game at all times and in all parts of the world, but there is something that they fear, viscerally, and on an existential level. What is it?

The Belgian writer, Lauryssens, writes of a proto – fascist in pre ww11 Germany:

“For Moeller van den Bruck there is no doubt that again the arch enemy of German culture is liberalism, which stands for everything that is corrupt.”

The last line of the above could have been written by an American Christian Republican in the year 2017. “..liberalism, which stands for everything that is corrupt.” The line is universal - “everything” and finally judgemental - “corrupt”. For those that hold to this belief, the words 'crooked Hillary' would likely have been a lighting rod to what they already know is true, and the sight of Obama's polished shoes on the president's desk in the oval office? I'll leave that to the imagination.

Of course there is a religious ontology to this thinking for the American Christian Republicans: the “fall” of man. Again, for those who believe this story, there is no reasoning to be done, for the world is fallen and can never be put right by liberal, and as they believe, tainted secular tinkering with God's plan. Such dangerously wrong ideas and practices lead straight to the horrors of socialism, communism and the demon. For them, it is a done deal.

I'll confess that there is little comfort in the above analysis, but sometimes it is reassuring to look into the distorting mirror of the other's mind and see it as it is. Fearful.


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