Another New Year

I woke up this morning, which is always a good start.  Brought to a state resembling full functionality by liberal caffeine intake, I turned on the TV and watched part of the Tournament of Roses Parade from Pasadena, California.  Quite a spectacle it always is (they’ve been doing it for the past 131 years), with floats decorated exclusively with vegetable matter and many horses.  This year there was a flotilla of miniature horses, which are increasingly used as service animals.  The Budweiser (beer) Clydesdales were there, of course, a team of eight (8) posing even more of a challenge to manage than those drawing the Chariot.

Let’s see, now, what shall I do for the rest of the day?  Eat and drink.  Maybe even declare war on whichever group or country displeases me most at the moment.

But first, before I get too immersed in such things, I want to wish the Charioteers (and any others who haven’t offended me recently) a pleasant and prosperous 2020.

27 thoughts on “Another New Year”

  1. . . . and a Happy New Year to Cog and Tina, and to all other Charioteers, . . . be they alive or be they a back-up copy.

    I was up early this morning for an eight o’clock dental appointment – not a good way to start the decade. But when I arrived I was sent home again because my young dentist was “unable to attend”. The receptionist was very polite and helpful, but gave a strong, though tactful, impression that the young gentleman’s problem was hang-over related. So I guess that was good news – sort of. 😎

    Have a great year, everyone!

  2. Happy New Year to all Charioteers. I can’t possibly have upset you Cog, I rarely say any thing on the Chariot these days, although I’m still reading the posts and comments.

    I had a dental appointment too , Bearsy, although it was technically the last day of 2019. He didn’t managed to fix my problem so I’m starting the new year with a wobbly implant. 😦

  3. May I take advantage of Cog’s post to wish all Charioteers a happy and healthy 2020. Heartfelt good wishes too to all those Australians affected by the horrendous bushfires. I have just read that some of them were actually started deliberately, which defies comprehension. Perhaps Australia needs to find a penal colony for those found guilty.

  4. Ah, the New Year! What a strange and wonderful, not to mention terrible, start it’s had. Which of us, in our wildest New Year’s Eve drunkenings, could ever have imagined that such things would burst upon us.

    It wasn’t so much the bare fact of a Ukranian airliner being shot down by Iran. A tragedy to be sure, but nothing that couldn’t be addressed by a few candlelight vigils (attended as usual by mobs of people who never had the remotest thing to do with any of the victims), festering mounds of floral tributes and, yes, compensatory payments to families of the dead. What rankles far more has been the Iranian government’s handling of the matter. I’m sure I’m not alone in having an intense dislike of lies and misrepresentations being foisted upon the world, not least upon its own people, by any government. Even one Winston Churchill and some of our own Presidents weren’t immune to the temptation to slip the public a few porkies now and again, but at least none of those (prior to our current incumbent) entailed the risk of turning Great Britain into a pariah state.

    The Ayatollish approach could scarcely have been better calculated to have the opposite effect. To lie about the incident, to allow the lie to be discovered, to very publicly (dare I say, “belligerently?”) fail in the implied if not mandated obligation of all nations to cooperate in investigating any air disaster, indeed to take steps to hinder any but Iran’s own “investigation” and, most recently, bulldozing the crash site in hope of obscuring if not eliminating possibly revelatory chemical (as in rocket fuel) traces. Clumsy and amateurish, to say the least, and certainly not the hallmarks of any nation with which we might want to have anything in the way of a “relationship.” Fortunately, the demonstrations reported in this morning’s news show that the Iranian people are not nearly so stupid as their leaders take them to be.

    Then there’s the matter of how this whole mess has been/is being handled at this end by The Only President We’ve Got. *Choi oi,* just what we needed, more lies, deceptions and unexplained changes of policy. He should remember one thing when contemplating backing down from a not unreasonable position: North Korea is watching, as no doubt are various others around the world.

    Tell me, if you would: When did plain old honesty and forthrightness go out of fashion?

    In a perfect world (time out for laughter), the Ukraine would politely but firmly say unto Iran, “We’ll have that black box here in our country, please. Now! It’s ours, something bought and paid for as part of a larger device that, thanks to you, no longer exists. You have no salvage rights in this matter. We want it delivered to us right away, if you please, before you’ve had any further opportunity to meddle with it.” It would and should, of course, then be entirely up to the Ukraine to obtain assistance as necessary from such others as they alone may choose. Boeing might not be a bad place to start (they did, after all, build the fool thing), provided that they haven’t by then been driven out of business by their own “Max” foolishness.

    Wanting desperately to think about something else for a change, what do I find but this “Megxit” (oh, how the British do love to coin nicknames) business? As I’ve previously said in other cases, Great Britain is not my nation (well, I’m actually ¼ Yorkshire British, which would count for nothing at today’s exchange rates), not my government, etc., etc.. *BUT* (and this is a big “but”) I’m appalled at the behavior of Prince Harry and his Kardashian-wannabe wife. By all accounts I’ve heard, he was always a thoroughly likeable chap, although not really seen as the brightest bulb on the marquee. I am, however, surprised to see him so easily manipulated by a female who seems to want to separate him from his *real* family. I know the type all too well. My own son is married to one such, a situation I accept with equanimity because she addresses his shortcomings as I could not, because she makes him so happy and, what the hey, because she’s produced an adorable granddaughter for me to brag about. I do feel genuinely sorry for Prince Harry. Also, of course, for the entire Royal Family, specifically for the Queen, the Prince of Wales and Prince William. Her Majesty may well be a tough old bird but, at her time of life, who needs aggro like this? I can easily imagine the courtiers making sure that Prince Philip’s door is closed, so as to keep his undoubtedly choice comments from perfuming the Palace air.

    If any requested my own not-always-so-humble opinion (nobody has, but when did that ever stop me?), it would be that (a) Her Majesty should immediately revoke her gift of the Dukedom of Sussex and all rights, privileges and benefits thereto attendant, at the same time removing the erstwhile Duke of Sussex from the “Royal dole,” and (b) HRH Prince Charles should withdraw all financial support from the Duchy of Cornwall. Neither of those things is likely to be easy.

    None if it will be made any easier by the pall of Diana-guilt that lies over the situation, settling most heavily upon Prince William and Prince Charles. My heart (yes, even I have one) goes out to the Royal Family and to the British people as a whole. Also to the Canadians, who will apparently be stuck with the aftermath.

    Enough of that! Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found anything uplifting in today’s news. The wildfires in Australia go on, possibly even destroying some prized cricket pitches in addition to the many houses and farms of ordinary citizens. To those of you resident in Australia and who have not blatantly given me offense (I may be old but my memory is unimpaired), I’m deeply sorry for the devastation, for the ruining of any property in which you might hold an interest (I’m afraid I don’t know where any of you are located), for the loss of so much of your treasured wildlife and domestic livestock, and for the whole mess in general. I’d like to think that you’ll come out of it even tougher and more determined, as Australians seem to have a way of doing.

    Enough of enough! Today is my birthday and I’m going to enjoy at least some small part of it even if the effort kills me. I’m about to take the dogs to the park for a Terrier Toddle, pick up some more milk against the possibility that the forecasts of snow are hugely underestimated, then return home for a brunch of free-range eggs and (gasp!) black pudding, with a bagel on the side, all washed down with plenty of good coffee. Then maybe a nap. To quote Yul Brynner’s oft-repeated line from The Ten Commandments, “So let it be written, so let it be done.”

    You good people are, as always, free to make your own arrangements, just so long as they don’t result in any additional horror shows.

  5. Hello Cog, Happy Birthday for yesterday, and Happy New Year to you and those stalwart Charioteers who are still here, either in real life or in digitalia.

    I do wonder what the new decade has in store for us both personally and collectively. Suffice it to say that 2019 was, for me and the NSW, a year to consign to the gurgler, both of us having endured family feuds that leave the current Royal scheissenfest as a minor distraction, the bloody amateurs, and as a result of which we will (probably/most likely/certainly) tie the knot in 2020 after a ten year engagement. One can’t rush these things after all.

    On a wider stage, what to say? “The best you’ve got” as you describe POTUS, appears to be a far better friend to my country than the minnows who want to succeed Jezbullah Korbyn (think Bernie Sanders here) as leader of the UK Marxist Front and Prime Minister)

    The civilised world needs to show Iran that an admission of guilt accompanied by a Gallic shrug and a snort of contempt no longer cuts the mustard in a civilised world. Actions result in consequences which may be painful.

    Glad to hear that the Stockholm kid is back in school. Best place for he provided the manipulators are still not setting the agenda and reacting to the media overexpoosure she endured last year.

    There is a scent of change in the wind. I remain hopeful. The almond blossom has broken out this week and the citrus trees are laden with fruit. It’s a bit like QLD, but without the fiery stuff. God bless them and all Aussies


  6. Twelve days is the new cut off point for New Year greetings. Used to be 10 but even “youngish” me is getting on a bit. So, ahem,
    Happy New Year
    all Charioteers

  7. TR, my excuse is that in this country, we are decades behind the real world, so I can say Happy New Year at any time. I so now.

    I cannot help feeling that Mr Trump has played a rather skilful hand and that the Dems must be in a bit of a tizzy at the moment. As Rod Liddle says in the Spectator, DT looks set for another 4 years, while war with Iran seems highly unlikely. They simply do not have the wherewithal. Terrorist attacks could possibly increase, but General Soleimani was the chief puppet master and with him neatly disposed of a replacement with his standing, might be difficult to find. On the surface, it does look as though Iran has stepped back. They did admit to shooting down the airliner and their attack on the US bases appeared to be deliberately ineffective.

    For all his bluster, Trump has tried to talk to NK’s Rocketman, Putin and even Iran. He against war in the Middle East. The US economy is strong, unemployment is low.

    What is clear, is that left leaning politicians and media, appear to want to side so badly with the Soleimani thug simply because they hate Trump so much.

    As for the Megxit debacle, while I have always been respectful of the RF, I found myself leaning towards republicanism when I learned that HM had given her consent to the marriage of Harry to that woman. What was she thinking? “Have your exotic fling if you must, but do not make her a permanent fixture.”
    I understand that the odious couple have threatened to hold a no-holds-barred interview if they do not get what they want. In the words of the Iron Duke, ‘publish and be damned’.

  8. OZ: Thanks for the kind words, which I reciprocate and relay.

    Being engaged for 10 (ten!) years? All things in their own good time, I guess. Certainly better than the way so many of today’s kids rush into marriage. Best wishes to follow whenever they are called for.

    I’m no stranger to family “difficulties” and can only observe that the closeness that is part of family life can be both a blessing and a curse.

    “The Only President We’ve Got” was an expression coined by the late Molly Ivins, a Texas newspaper columnist, although I think it was Nixon she was angry with at the time. I liked her work in general and unashamedly lifted that phrase, to be quoted every chance I get. Our incumbent may well be a better friend to the UK than some of your own Lefty politicians, but that’s not saying much. We have our own Reds to worry about, notably Sanders and that Warren person. Of your lot, I do rather like Boris Johnson.

    I agree that Iran’s feeble statements are simply not good enough and fear for those who might be made scapegoats for the latest claim of “human error.” Let’s hear it for painful consequences!

    Has that Swedish kid actually returned to her studies? Her manipulators (including, as I now understand, her own father) didn’t do either her or the immediate world much of a favor by feeding her to the media as they did. And I don’t think that Asparagus Syndrome is a sound excuse for her being just plain nasty on all too many occasions, obsessiveness not precluding politeness.

    No almond blossoms or citrus fruiting here, I’m afraid. It’s snowing and is expected to continue to do so on and off for the next week or so. Our friends and neighbors in Canada, ever thoughtful and polite, are also sharing with us some uncomfortably cold air (-9.4° C at the moment), for our benefit funneling it down the Fraser River Gap, which conveniently lets out a short distance from our house.

    Sipu: I wouldn’t claim that The Only President We’ve Got is capable of playing any sort of skillful hand but might admit that he may recently have been listening to his advisers (assuming that any competent people are left in his administration). Military types especially are likely to favor alternatives to actual warfare. I’d never be asked to be a Presidential adviser because I make no secret of thinking that this business of a border wall between the USA and Mexico is one colossal mistake and that, instead, a wall ought to be built around the entire Mideast, always a problematic region.

    As for our Dimmycrats, it’s high time and then some that they dramatically narrowed their field and pooled their resources behind the very few likely to have a real chance of winning the next Presidential election. That – a fresh election – is probably our best hope for straightening out our current mess, given that our Senate’s impeachment “trial” will almost certainly result in a “not guilty” finding. Even if they did miraculously vote to remove The Only President We’ve Got from office, we’d then be stuck with our current Vice President stepping up to fill the void. No, for my money we’d be better off gritting our teeth, waiting a year and making a fresh start.

    I agree that Soleimani is well gone and further agree that the Lefties are whining about his removal for their own political ends. I do, however, disagree with my own dear wifeperson, who thinks that killing ought to be done with broadswords rather than with drones. Move with the times, say I, and don’t risk your own people if you don’t have to.

    The Only President We’ve Got has played up to those you name and various others in hope of being seen as their “friend,” somehow ignoring others who might do him/us some real good. (Are there any such?) Iran has obviously been counting warheads and backed down appropriately. I fear that not as much can be said of North Korea, where “Rocket Man” continues to pump into weapons development and testing vast amounts that would be far better spent on his own people. Does anybody want to know how I think we should address his brand of “blackmail diplomacy?” (What, no takers?) Just fire one of our tested and proven (but unarmed) long range missiles right over the northern Korean peninsula between the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea, phoning Pyongyang to let “Rocket Man” know when to look up.

    Ah, “Megxit.” The Queen’s statement today, mild in tone, leaves room for much theorizing and analysis, such as that printed by The Daily Mail. Reading between the lines at this end, one might gather that Sparkle has flown from Canada to the Los Angeles area, no doubt to be near her mother. One might also suspect that, once the USA has a new occupant of the Oval Office, such a move is more than half likely to become permanent. An article in The Vancouver Sun makes it clear that Sparkle insists upon getting her own way, to the detriment of any who do not facilitate that (“her way or the highway,” according to some of her erstwhile friends). I seriously doubt that she will ever again set foot in the UK, despite Her Majesty’s implicit consent to her marriage to Prince Harry. And why shouldn’t they have got married, what with the succession already being well established? Let the lad have his fun.

    Mumble, grumble…

  9. Cog, mention of your wife’s longing for the return of the broad sword with which to quell the Muslim hordes, reminds me of a poem I learned as a child, though I now only recall the first stanza. Mr Mackie may be able to supply the rest. It comes from a book called the Kings and Queens of England, by Eleanor Farjeon.

    To hew and hack
    The paynim black
    To flay and fell
    The infidel
    To make short work
    Of the murky Turk
    To draw the gore
    Of the dusky Moor.
    This was the first and favourite art
    Of reckless Richard the Lionheart
    Who was sure of aim
    And never afraid
    And always game
    For a good Crusade.

    I think Christina would have got on well with King Richard.

  10. Sipu: I think you’re right, except for one thing that she discovered in a carefully hidden-from-the-masses library archive: Despite his battlefield heroics, King Richard was (how can I put this without being too non-PC?) somewhat limp of wrist. That explains why he avoided Italy (and thus his wife, whose father had provided ships) on the way home from the Crusades. That, of course, got him into another sort of pickle, but that’s another matter.

  11. Let me try again:

    To chew the fat
    On the paynim’s mat
    To ring the bell
    Of the infidel
    To go to work
    With a sweet young Turk
    To ask for more
    From a husky Moor
    This was the best and secret art
    Of carefree Richard the sultan’s tart
    Who was limp of wrist
    And never dismayed
    And sometimes dressed
    As a chambermaid.

    Sorry if that breaches the rules. Feel free to delete.

  12. Interesting that for a queer, Richard was rather effective with a sword!
    Could not have subscribed to a transgender lifestyle then?

  13. Sipu: Well writ! I can’t remember when I last laughed so hard or so long. Be it breaching the rules or breaching the breeches, your rhyme has brightened the snowy, windy, frosty and generally dreary day we have here.

  14. Finally, I can wish all fellow Charioteers a Happy New Year. Our dear son and daughter-in-law visited over Christmas from the good ol’ US of A, and among the very welcome pressies they gave us was a rather less welcome version of something resembling bubonic plague or similar from across the pond. Of course, both them being much younger than us, they recovered in a few days!!

    We have finally stopped coughing and spluttering and can get a night’s sleep again. Our dear daughter also visited, but she only had a chest infection and she could not be bothered to give that to us as well.

    So, here goes. HAPPY NEW YEAR, one and all!!

    PS, Mr Mackie and Sheona, if your lum starts reeking, you will have Greta the Goblin to deal with 😦

  15. Cog: I wish I could be as optimistic about the election. I’ve looked at the candidates. Trends favour the re-election of the incumbent, even god-awful ones like Obama and Bush Jr., but Trump is a relatively weak incumbent. He did not so much win as benefit from Hillary Clinton losing. His approval ratings, at their best, have been tepid. But… The Democrats have utterly and completely lost their minds. Their leading candidates are a very possibly senile Joe Biden who has been wrong about virtually every issue and a possibly insane Bernie Sanders who makes Jez Cur-bin almost seem plausible. I suspect that, by default, the Democrats — incapable of learning and even more incapable of providing a positive alternative — will lose again with Trump being the inevitably beneficiary.

    It’s not that I like Trump. I don’t dislike him as much as many and I don’t think, style aside, that he’s actually that bad a president. I mean, Obama destroyed everything he touched. Libya? Syria? Arab Spring? Hostility to mining and industries? Coming up with so many regulations out of thin air that businesses held off investments simply because they never knew what he’d come up with next? Disastrous Obamacare? A culture of identity politics and tribal warfare? Bush Jr. was a bumbling, cretinous fool who made a tremendous mess of the Middle East. It seems to be a choice between a continuation of the disastrous Clinton-Bush-Obama years, except managed by the senile or the haphazard, often grating but not entirely unsound or irrational Trump, the choice won’t be impossible, but it won’t be entirely pleasant, either. I spoke to ex-US military colleagues. In general, they have been supportive of Trump’s policies. The issue, it seems, is not with substance — but with Trump’s style and delivery.

    There is something that many politicians haven’t learnt, least of all the Democrats. Being against even a very controversial head of government isn’t enough. There has to be a positive alternative. The Democrats haven’t offered that. What have their successes been? A farcical impeachment process that is predicated on nothing? Making an absolute hash of California, New York, etc? They had a couple of candidates who were actually viable, who actually didn’t seem to hate the USA and anyone who wasn’t an NYC-SF-LA-Seattle-Chicago luvvy, who indicated the possibility of creative thought — Gabbard and Yang — but both were effectively marginalised. Now, the only intermittently sane candidate they have is Klobuchar.

  16. Christopher: First, know that I am fiercely independent as to politics. Any politician – indeed, any human being – may have both good and bad days, which can make voting a matter of calculating the averages of the various candidates, and I have voted as I thought best, regardless of party, at any given time.

    Over the years, we have had both good and bad Presidents. Even some of those I most liked weren’t entirely perfect. Even some of those whom others dislike – e.g., Obama – were better than those others may credit. Even Bush had a better and brighter side than is commonly thought, although he didn’t actually reveal it until after he had left office. To my thinking, his actions in the Middle East were largely an act of rebellion against his father, who (at least according to General Schwarzkopf) had decided against removing Saddam Hussein because he’d been unable to find anyone else in Iraq who was strong enough to keep a lid on things there. One thing that stands out most clearly in my mind was the sign that Harry Truman famously had on his desk: “The buck stops here.”

    The most recent listing I’ve seen of Democratic candidates is here:

    Interestingly, more seem to have dropped out than now remain. Also perhaps interestingly, you seem to overlook Bloomberg and Buttigieg.

    Sanders and that Warren person won’t do; I doubt that this nation is ready to embrace Marxism.

    Klobuchar won’t do, for the simple reason that this is not the time to add gender equality to the real issues at stake. I’d welcome her back in four years.

    It sounds as though you’ve been listening to my wife, but I assure you that neither Joe Biden nor I (he and I are the same age) is anytime soon likely to be found gibbering and drooling in an old-age home.

    The Democrats have not been doing themselves any favors by allowing their party to become so visibly fragmented. That should change soon, with the primary/caucus elections coming up, and not before time. They need to get their act together and unite against their real opponent, The Only President We’ve Got.

    There are times when I’m none too fond of my fellow citizens. Now is one of them, when so many do not consider the issues but rather merely put on their red hats, chant slogans and blindly follow the incumbent. I truly hate to say this, but their non-thinking “My leader, right or wrong” is all too reminiscent of what went on in the not-too-distant past in a certain European country. For my money, they’d do better to check the strength of lamp posts near the White House (think of Il Duce’s end), but that’s only me being nasty again.

  17. Cog: I chose to ignore Bloomberg and Buttigieg for a simple reason: there isn’t really that much support for either of them. Buttigieg has been doing better than many expected, but he’s not a candidate with much widespread appeal outside a narrow segment of society. Sure, he might do well in Madison and Minneapolis coffee shops, but does he hold much appeal in Youngstown, Lansing, Duluth, Pittsburgh or Oshkosh? Not really. Likewise, Bloomberg’s trade policies are pure poison in the Rust Belt. He’s cut from the same cloth as Hillary Clinton. The Democrats are in desperate need of a party purge to get rid of dead weight, more of the same won’t do.

    I am not a great Trump supporter. The man lies more often than I drink cups of coffee and tea. That’s a lot, by the way. I dislike his attitude, his abrasive approach. I do, however, like a number of his policies. His poor execution taints many of his successes. It’s been said that the Chinese are relieved that someone like Trump is the one waging the trade-war simply because if someone who was more palatable were president, it would be far easier to gather a larger coalition of countries working together to pressure the Chinese. Some of his more ardent supporters can get carried away… But it was exactly the same during the Obama years. Obama and Trump built cults of personality and it is terrifying. You might argue that some of aficionados of the red hat are reminiscent of the brown shirts, but quite a few Democrats resemble the Red Guards. Both need to be brought to heel and told to calm down.

  18. Christopher: You mentioned how The Only President We’ve Got lies. So what’s new? Of course all politicians are likely to lie. They’re expected to. It comes with the territory. Still, that gives us little reason to support the man. He’s still at it, this time in Davos, in what the AP called a “preening performance.” (I love that expression!) I understand that The Washington Post has been keeping track of his lies (nice work if you can get it) and claims that there have been some 16,000 falsehoods told since his inauguration. That works out to nearly 15 (fifteen!) lies per day!!! Guinness Book material, that is!

    I don’t like to admit it, but I actually voted for the man. That rash act was not, however, any indication of my seeing him as being all that great but rather of seeing him as “the lesser of two weevils.” I’ll further admit that, every once in a while, he comes up with something of which I really do approve. Good days and bad days and all that.

    Speaking of Davos, how did that unpleasant Swedish girl come to be there? Did someone (one of her “handlers?” invite her? And who paid her way?

    It’s unfortunate that she, like almost all climate change activists, seems unable to see beyond carbon. Fine, take away her pencils! She certainly didn’t go out of her way to say much nice about The Only President We’ve Got’s plan to plant a trillion trees. That would in any case be assuming that there’s any land left available after TOPWG has opened our National Parks to “development” by his friends and Mar-A-Lago members. Looking below the surface (where everything can’t be paved over and built on quite so easily), how about addressing ocean pollution in an effort to promote the health, well-being and growth of marine plant life? Also, if anybody’s considered the immutable time element, it’d be news to me. We are, after all, still on our way out of the last Ice Age.

    Support for both Bloomberg and Buttigieg has been growing. The latter’s thoughts and policies are taking a little while to percolate out to the masses. Ditto for Bloomberg, who joined the fray late when compared to others. I don’t think I’d cast Bloomberg in the same mould as Hillary Clinton. In any case, we’ll see how they’re doing come primary/caucus time.

    And pleasepleasePLEASE let that be soon. I’ve grown more than a little tired of politics.

  19. And the beat goes on… It’s become apparent that I spoke too soon yesterday. An AP headline this morning reads: “Trump ends some protections for waterways, aiding developers.” I hadn’t realized that he was so hungry for new members at Mar-A-Lago.

    Meanwhile, the torrent of lies continues. I’d recommend to all interested parties that they have the odd look at the fact checking corner of the AP’s website and/or at .

    Christopher: I’m afraid I oppose The Only President We’ve Got for the reverse of your reasons for disliking Obama. (“Obama destroyed everything he touched. Libya? Syria? Arab Spring? Hostility to mining and industries? Coming up with so many regulations out of thin air that businesses held off investments simply because they never knew what he’d come up with next? Disastrous Obamacare?”)

    Obama’s regulations were, after all, intended to protect all of us. I for one like being able to breathe without inhaling toxic fumes, whether those come from some wind turbine or elsewhere. I like having my water come out of the tap clear and all but tasteless rather than brown and tasting of who knows what. To me, dismantling such protections amounts to a crime against the American people. If businesses supposedly held off investments, it *should* have been because they needed more time to develop better ways of doing things.

    As for Obamacare, it may not be perfect but is still far better than certain of its opponents like to claim it is. The (expletive deleted) insurance companies already run too much of our society from behind the scenes. Why should we make them more powerful and richer? When Obama was leaving office, someone asked him which of his achievements in office made him most proud, for what he’d most like to be remembered. Without any hesitation, he said that his health care program had to be it. He admitted that it wasn’t perfect, that he’d been unable to get everything he wanted (thank you, Congress!), but that it made a dramatic improvement from the previous situation.

    If I had my way, I’d have the seat of our Presidency temporarily (for the balance of the incumbent’s term) moved to Salt Lake City. Nothing to do with religion but everything to do with the fact that, when I was last there, I found that city to have the most polluted air I’ve yet to encounter in the USA. Then, of course, make sure he’s given a diet heavy on fish from unprotected waterways. As he sows, so should he reap.

  20. Good morning Cog and Christopher. Here are two articles I have read today, both from my favourite online magazine.

    It is my view that there is an insidious character to the vast majority of modern politicians and academia and the media and business. (For goodness sake, Goldman Sachs has just announced that it will refuse to float any company that does not have a woman on its board. What next, a quota of blind, black transvestite nuns?) Trump, for all his faults, and I concede there are many, seems to be the only Western leader with the balls to challenge the wholesale destruction of ‘white’ culture, which as far as I am concerned is better than anything else out there. He may not be terribly successful, but he has so polarised America, that at last some of those with a more pragmatic bent, I wont say conservative, are beginning to say enough is enough. To wit Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes and Laurence Fox on BBC Question Time.

    OK, they are British, but Gervais stuck it to a largely American audience and people paid attention. I am pretty sure that Trump will win again because white people, white men in particular, are so fed up at being held accountable for all the world’s evils and none of its blessings.

    Some of Trump’s policies may be misguided and even detrimental, but there is not much point having clean air and clean water if the West is overrun by 3rd Worlders, especially those of an African persuasion. They know how to destroy everything quicker than you can say ‘He is not the Messiah, he is a very naughty boy.’ (RIP Terry Jones.) I know of what I speak!

    Of course it may all be irrelevant given the plague that is emanating from China.

    Here is another article.

  21. Sipu: I’ve read the articles to which you kindly provided links and agree here, disagree there but will as always go my own not-always-so-merry way.

    I’m surprised and shocked to hear about that business with Goldman Sachs. How about turning things around by refusing to do business with any company whose CEO even dreams of using his firm’s clout to signal his own “virtues?” There’s always someone else, someone more sensible, who’d jump at the chance to do whatever job you need done.

    To my tired eyes, it’s not just “white culture” that’s in danger, it’s civilization in general. WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) have merely become convenient targets for those looking to make someone other than themselves feel guilty, unhappy or whatever. Are we ever to be allowed to forget the pain inflicted by some (NOT by me or by any part of my family) through slavery or the Holocaust? And why does there appear to be an annual season of Holocaust remembrance? It’s not listed amongst the official bank holidays. And did “they” (whomever “they” may be) never do a thing wrong?

    Why also do non-whites of the current day, now that they have infinitely more opportunity than in the dim and distant past, consider themselves so hard done by? Someone should dare to calculate and publish the ratios of various ethnic group populations to total crimes committed. Has anybody ever dared to wonder why more individuals of one ethnic type, as opposed to others, are arrested? It’s a matter of statistics, *not* sadistics. While we’re at it, let’s replace one of their slogans, “Black lives matter,” with a simple, “LIFE matters.” The media here have a way of avoiding disclosure of a criminal’s ethnicity at least for a few days, after which names and even photographs may magically find their way into public view.

    I concede that some of this nonsense may have its roots in tribalism. Hate the people in the next valley – but occasionally raid them, steal their women, etc.. Good grief, what a species we are! You of all people have a special perspective on how a perfectly good country can be ruined by, erm, certain types. If you do eventually decide to bail out, I hope that your move goes well.

    Too much! This year certainly hasn’t started out as we’d have wished. I’d hoped we might get a fresh start with the Lunar New Year, but that’s already tarnished with “novel coronavirus.” I’ll admit that China is for once acting responsibly and more but quietly wonder whether the situation there isn’t even worse than they’re willing to let on. Batburgers, anyone?

    Natheless, I’ll try again: HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!!

  22. Hello Cog, I sympathise with your disillusionment. But clearly there is money to be made by protesting about prejudice, discrimination, inequality etc. (Not sure if Sir Philip Pullman would demand an Oxford comma between ‘inequality and etc.) I would argue that the Holocaust industry has has been at the vanguard of this. Films, documentaries, articles, books, lectures, exhibitions, tourism, hate-speech and other forms of litigation, not to mention reparations and more recently as we saw with the attacks on Labour at the last election, political interference, which must surely benefit some elements somewhere. Where the Holocaust leads, others follow. Race, slavery, diversity, gender issues, classism, aka white privilege, and so it goes on. (I believe that is the correct use of the Oxford comma, unlike the call for it to be included on the Brexit 50p piece.)

    I suppose there have to be jobs for all those people who have spent years studying such subjects. Their chosen crusades are never going to diminish in severity. Just as Big Pharma strives to undermine alternative medicine, so too is a Climate Warrior going to push his agenda to the nth degree in order to justify and pay for his existence. ‘Thar is money in them thar shrills.’

    I was listening to a specialist who was called to give evidence of the trauma of rape at the Weinstein trial. (One would have expected a similar set of arguments had it been PTSD relating to combat in a war zone.) She listed a number of so called myths attached to rape, its perpetrators and the victims. Naturally she made it out to be horrific as it could possibly be, even if the circumstances did not appear so to the ‘uninformed’ observer. The latent damage went far deeper than can be imagined. How can one argue with that? If you are going to make money out of prosecuting a specific type of crime or other agenda, you are going to go all the way to make sure that the consequences are as bad as possible. That appears to be the job of expert witnesses for the prosecution. And as litigation grows ever more popular in the West, we are going to see more of it. We are told that there is no such thing as an accident and that every misfortune has a guilty perpetrator and that in order for justice to be done the full extent of our suffering must be expounded and that only the greatest damages, always monetary, must be forthcoming.

    Which brings me onto a phrase that I have just discovered as being a relative neologism; and that is the term ‘Judaeo-Christian ethic’. It only appears to have entered the common lexicon in the 1940s when it was made popular by FDR. My objection to it lies in the fact that there is a great deal of difference between the two creeds and to concatenate them does an injustice to one of them. To put it bluntly, one preaches forgiveness, the other does not. This was brought home to me recently while watching a passage from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe which, as I am sure you know, is a metaphor for Christ’s sacrifice and his redemption of mankind. Edmund has betrayed his siblings but has been rescued from the White Witch. Edmund makes his apologies to his siblings at which point Aslan says to all the children “And now that is the end of the matter. No more will be said about it.” Or words to that effect.

    These days there are too many things we are not allowed to forget, although we played no part. The victims will extract their revenge for as long as they can even though, as you intimated above, the victims are seldom entirely innocent.

  23. I’m with you, Sipu. I was taught that no comma was needed if the last item in a list was preceded by “and”. And I didn’t like Pullman’s last book anyway!

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