Friday, 28 August 2009

Just testing

This is just a test to check if posterous works on my eee netbook with it's hybrid OS. If you post to blogs and suchlike, is great and saves a heck of a lot of hassle. Try it. Just do what I have done - compose to post@posterous, write your spiel and send it away.  In that phrase which is beginning to annoy - simples!

In the career of glory one gains many things; the gout and medals, a pension and rheumatism....all of these fatigues experienced in your youth, you pay for when you grow old. Because one has suffered in years gone by, it is necessary to suffer more, which does not seem exactly fair.

Elzear Blaze - The Military Life

Posted via email from John's posterous

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Just wandering through the ether this morning and my eye was caught by this
Things move so quickly these days. No sooner had Kenny MacAskill made his decision to have al-Megrahi flown back to his native Libya than the backlash had begun. Without particularly meaning to, Scotland suddenly found itself in the unenviable position of being the first nation to really nark Barack Obama. And, to be honest, we kind of thought someone else would have got there first.
The internet was awash with outrage. "Boycott Scotland!" was the cry on message boards the world over. In particular Americans, so long proud to claim Scottish ancestry, were encouraged to cease buying our products and show us exactly how pissed off they were. Websites like sprung up, with hints and tips about how to damage the country that had so slighted them.

These vehement proclamations might have defeated a lesser country, but the Americans had forgotten two important aspects of the Scottish character.

One, we also know how to use the internet and two, we like nothing more than a good rammy. And enter the rammy we have.
That is most certainly true. Whilst my sojurn here has found the Scots to be tolerant (of me anyway) there can be no doubt that they insist on having their say. I suppose it is born from their stubborn resistence to English attempts to subjugate them over the centuries.

Read some of the current responses

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Art - but am I arty enough?

This is from a series of images claiming that upcoming photographers can match the bad old boy of almost porn Helmut Newton.
The shot below (in the Trabant workshop?) does present an image of a gritty and polluted Eastern Zone. Even the 7 or 8 years ago that I was there in Berlin, things were better than what I see here. Newton's work has a sparkle to it that lifts him above the allegation that his images are the other side of near the knuckle.

What I get from this image is sense of a broken down, abused and rusty old joy rider. And I don't like her shoes either! Helmut lends himself to stuff ideally suited to being turned into posters

Monday, 24 August 2009

I have been going on about the government's tactic of justifying our stay in Afghanistan by the threat that failing to engage them there would allow them to bring the fight to us here in UK

Well. Seems as if I am not the lone voice crying in the wilderness after all. No less a person than the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said

"Al Qaeda is still "very capable" of carrying out a terrorist attack on US soil"

Clever of Brown to bring out all that stuff about released Libyans so as to distract public attention from our making a nonsense of yet another of his spins.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Day dream believer.

Guy from the Adam Smith Institute day-dreamed Letters To The Editors whilst wandering around in the Lake District, As he had no mobile internet with him (tut tut) they were never sent. This should have gone to The Times. I think it is just so right and proper, I've given it the oxygen of publicity here.
Sir, Your leading article of August 11 is misguided. Decades of bitter experience have shown that no amount of military might can win a 'War on Drugs'. Indeed, all such interventions actually achieve is to raise the market price of these substances, and give the cartels an even greater prize to fight over. The human cost of this failure is enormous. Surely it is time to accept that the only sensible solution is to take narcotics out of the hands of gangsters, and legalize, licence and regulate their production and sale. As well as depriving criminals of a lucrative market, this would have considerable health and social benefits, reducing the incidence of overdoses and poisoning, and making treatment of addicts much easier. Empirical evidence from Portugal, which decriminalized drugs in 2001, bears this out.

Tribes and that sort of thing

I had planned a blog about tribes in Afghanistan. About how tribalism would no accept democracy and would just sit it out until the Westerners convinced themselves that ANP (P for Police) and ANA (A is Army) had absorbed all the training and mentoring they needed. We would go home. The tribes would turn back to the life they knew so well.
But - my plans have come to naught. There is already a far far better analysis out there. Best I can do is point you in the right direction.