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Category: Politics

It isn’t over until it’s over

It isn’t over until it’s over

In younger years and decades, I read a lot of Clive Barker. One of his most famous stories is In the Hills, the Cities. This is about a contest between two cities, who build increasingly higher figures or monsters – made out of their citizens – year on year. Until one year, one of the figures starts to fall apart. Like a lot of Clive Barker’s writing, the story is not for the faint of heart. But I’m reminded of…

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Albion

Albion

This has been a strange year so far; stranger than usual, with Leicester City at football, the Brexit vote and the new PM (and the new Foreign Secretary), and Trump poised to become POTUS. Huh. Though, picking at “Why X did Y” threads, these things become less surprising. For context, go and see Hell or High Water for some thought-provoking content about why people sometimes vote in ways that may not make clear sense. Or, read Deer Hunting with Jesus,…

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The summer of 2016

The summer of 2016

It has been a good summer; so far, anyway. There have been meetings in nice towns. Sunsets. Many walks in the countryside. Some Nordic food shopping. More walks. Trees. Convivial conversations. More sunsets. Moon rises. Cricket. Some writing. And unexpected music. I have been, and remain (using that word pointedly), disinclined to “blog” or write much of a non-work nature. The EU referendum has poisoned much, and my thoughts and vision lie increasingly elsewhere. Maybe some other time. In the…

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True Librarian

True Librarian

Phil Bradley, library advocate and activist, writes about libraries and Internet things (he’s particular good on search engines). He’s on the ball, open-minded, and tends to – sensibly – avoid many of the zero-win library arguments on social media. His website. His latest post, A response to “This Librarian Is Not Impressed With Your Digital, No-Books Library”, is worth a read. I’ve posted a comment, though I can’t help but think I’ve written the same before in various places, about…

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The fifteen hundred

The fifteen hundred

There was an era in U.S. political life “that began with Ronald Reagan, where there was a conservative dominance powered by conservative voters and Southern whites,” said David Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “That era is over.” You know those news stories of religious cults, approaching a day of judgement where they are convinced that they will ascend to some form of heaven, leaving all the unbelievers behind? And they gather on…

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Rick Santorum is fascinating

Rick Santorum is fascinating

At which point, British liberal friends say “Who?” and my American liberal friends say “OMG why John, why, we thought you were one of us?” Because he’s a Conservative American politician and he’s doing between okay and well in the quest to become the Republican presidential candidate this year, despite having hardly any infrastructure or team or funding compared to Mitt Romney. And I’ve met and chatted with him. And, think I get why he’s doing well. Also. I like…

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One year to the 2012 US presidential election

One year to the 2012 US presidential election

It’s exactly a year to the day till the next election for POTUS (President Of The United States). On November 6th 2012, millions of people will vote for who they want to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as a load of other politicians at national and local levels. The presidential race, in particular, is exciting and interesting – in some ways because of the whole ridiculousness of the thing. Campaigns last for a significant part of the four…

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Where liberty is, there is my country

Where liberty is, there is my country

You know an image affects you when you keep returning to look at it “one more time”. And wandering around on Flickr, there’s one image I keep returning to. The photographer has given permission for it to be used here; you can find it yourself on Flickr, or click on the image for the larger version: Chatting to the photographer, and looking around her Flickr pictures, reveals some connections. Maryann is a school librarian in the midwest, currently “teaching my…

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An American trip: October and November 2008

An American trip: October and November 2008

During October and November of 2008, I took a month-long trip around the US of A. The main mode of transport was Amtrak train, and the trip tied in neatly with two conferences I was speaking at – one of which was in Chicago on the day Barack Obama was elected (and one heck of an evening that was). I did a lot of writing on that trip, thinking it was just a few people in the Outer Hebrides and…

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The civility of the American

The civility of the American

Is it possible to watch something online and be simultaneously very happy and very jealous? Yes; today I was. Watching some of this webcam footage live, which the White House has put in the public domain. Watching the news it can be difficult at times to believe in the USA as a civilised and progressive country and society. The politics, as portrayed through television news, appear entrenched, angry, volatile and dangerous. Incidents, such as the recent shootings in Tucson, distress. News…

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