February 17, 2007

The 7th-largest French city

On Tuesday I'll fly back to London after 2 months in suburban New Jersey (and NYC, New Hampshire and the Virgin Islands). The mail will be piled up, I'll hobnob with my beloved elder children (except the one in Nicaragua) and I'll be in one energised city. There's a hum about London these days. The most international city is like a Star Wars bar where the galaxy's exotics mingle. I remember the thrill of my first visit to New York in 1979. Now the thrill's in London and I grew up there. Money's flooding in, energy too.

This breathless article points out :
A decade ago, it would have seemed fanciful that we could usurp New York as the world financial capital, when the smart money was predicting London's eclipse by Frankfurt..
My motto is 'things change'. Paris has potential. The ease of flitting by train between central London and central Paris means that these mythical cities are potentially fungible. Right now Paris is a dubious spot to locate a global business, but Sarkozy could change that. If so, a cost of living and lifestyle arbitrage with London may open. That could finish New York as a global finance centre as NyLon is a tougher commute than PariLon. The language barrier is no more; English jumped it.
I like London, but maybe one day I'll sell up and buy a modest spread in Escalante, Utah. There may be a little change left over. Go west, old man! There's coffee and wi-fi.

February 16, 2007

Let me not admit impediments..

Right Wing News discusses the correlation between social and fiscal conservatism. Here's my take:

Fiscal conservatism is a subset of social conservatism. Society should constrain the freedom to harm innocents while maximising the freedom to reap the rewards of one's own acts. Then criminalising abortion makes conservative sense as does criminalising drug trafficking if and when it impacts children. I honestly don't know if I'm libertarian about drugs and adults, but, legal or not, taxes should not be used to mitigate the suffering of voluntary adult drug users; charity, sure.

Homosexuals are already free to marry in any spiritually valid sense, but society should not be forced by law to punish, reward or endorse that spiritual contract. I'd go further and remove legal context from all marriage until children are involved. If a husband and wife want to make business arrangements, then use the law of contract. Marriage is properly valued by the unforced admiration of others and one's own self-definition, not by laws.
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds..

Charming their pants off

If charm and good looks win elections, then Romney's in good shape, especially against H. Rodham-Clinton. This liberal cites
"former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers’ observation about Bill Clinton: He seduces women, he seduces men, he seduces pets.

Mitt Romney is Bill Clinton with his pants up. And he’ll very likely be cast in 2008 .. against Clinton’s wife, who has all the seductive qualities of John Kerry in a pants suit"

The sleek design of Mitt TV and the ease of linking and copying clips speak well of Romney's competence, a material attribute of a chief executive.

Contrast Hillary TV which has clunky design, blockier type, acres of wasted space, text which droops in my Firefox, and no obvious link and copy mechanism. I wonder what each implementation cost.

As for content, well lordy! If you can bring yourself to watch the Hillary in New Hampshire clip (not recommended and I don't see how to embed it separately)...what a herd of hand-wringing losers! "It's very seldom you get the opportunity to ask a potential President 'how can you change my life?'" Gadzooks! Were I American and the Village Pantsuit became President, then the air of passivity, make-Iraq-go-away-ness and what-can-my-country-do-for-me-ness would make me emigrate to Mexico as the Hollywood liberals slink back from Cantada. Attitudinise, moi ?

February 13, 2007

His funny Valentine

April's not the cruellest month.
It's February's phony signs
Of love by numbers, love for lunch,
Need setting where the sun don't shine.

'Men are fools' a wise man said
And women know it to their toes,
And that's ok, as in his head
She's fed his ego to the crows.

His funny kind of Valentine
Discards him every other month.
He buys her stuff to buy him time,
But time and stuff are not enough.

It's a funny kind of Valentine
To mislocate a wedding ring
'It isn't lost but do you mind
Replacing that symbolic thing?'

Then kiss the cobra's head. She smiles
At knowledge oh so serpentine.
He's snakebit and he's in denial
Of his funny kind of Valentine.

True minds may one day wed again,
That tricked themselves like fools of Time,
But better not to hold his breath
To hold his funny Valentine.

It makes no sense she's still around,
It makes no sense he's still supine,
But nonsense makes the world go round.
Funny ... she's his Valentine.

February 10, 2007

You read it here..

I now forecast that Steve Jobs will soon resign from Apple and Disney.

See this and this.

February 08, 2007

Reasons to be cheerful....

1, McCain's a busted flush. His base was the liberal media. That's gone.

2, Hillary Shrillary's an overt defeatist. Her Iraq policy is "Troops Out by end 2008." That's it. If they aren't out she'll "really resent it." That's the most authentic thing she's said since "vast right-wing conspiracy." Resentful defeatists don't win elections. They may win nominations in the Resentful Defeatist Party, not general elections in America.

3, Hizzonner has burst out of the traps. Social conservatives like me still want to like Giuliani and in the video clip he's credible to me in dealing with abortion, ie he'll appoint the right judges. He's definitely wishy-washy to liberal on Amnesty and Civil Unions, but he's dealing with those issues as practical matters, not as a way of hollowing out society. I prefer Romney, so far. I like his intellectual grasp and I sense that Romney's best days are ahead. But if you contrast the GOP top 2 - men of accomplishment, executives - with the Resentful Defeatist top 3 - lawyers all and of the parasitic kind at that - 2008 should be a walkover.

February 06, 2007


Last week we were in St John's, US Virgin Islands. Our rented villa in the jungle was stormed by the gentleman on the left. Crazed by the smell of food left on the kitchen counter by the previous guests, this tree rat gnawed umpteen holes in the wire mesh over all the windows and tried to gnaw his way through the glass. He succeeded one night by scaling a vertical, holdless wall to an upper window. I trapped him the next night and released him a couple of miles away down the mountain. (I'll pass over my tarantula catching exploits as you may not believe me).

The aggression and fearlessness of this rat so impressed us that we named him Francis Drake after the English hero and scallywag who had terrorised the Spanish Main from his base nearby.

What a life! born a nobody, commanded the second voyage around the world, thrashed the world's major military power all over the globe, contemporary of Shakespeare, died on the attack.

Note: In fact Francis Drake was the first man to command a voyage round the world as Magellan died en route.