Posts tagged with ‘America’


Health care: Bill of health | The Economist Remarkable graph in the Economist showing that not only is total healthcare spending per person in the US vastly more than any other rich country; public spending is higher than any other country on its own. Every taxpayer already pays more in taxes for healthcare than they […]


The Quiet Coup – The Atlantic (May 2009) 'The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and […]


These are my links for 22nd January 09 from 00:00 to 00:24


An Oral History of the Bush White House: Politics & Power: Much of the general drift is familiar, but this long article still makes for interesting reading. You have to wonder how much better any president would have done if 9/11 had happened on their watch: Clinton? Obama? Palin? FDR? Take your pick. The […]


Antonio Cassano, the rebel genius who wants to live fast and die fat – Times Online “I spent the first 17 years of my life dirt-poor,” said Cassano, who was raised by a single mother in one of the most crime-ridden neighbourhoods in Italy and said he is certain that had it not been for […]


I always thought the US Declaration of Independence had a lovely bit of intellectual sleight of hand. It’s phrased almost as an exercise in logical deduction (various bits bolded for emphasis): We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these […]


I really am going to stop posting about the US elections soon, but this was kind of priceless: The best bit is Bill O’Reilly trying to stick up for her. [later edit] And while I’m posting YouTube videos, here’s a bit of The Day Today that seems curiously relevant:


YouTube – weewoo the talking starling more talking starling. ( tags: starling video ) YouTube – François Macré – Thriller (reprise a’cappella 64 pistes) cool video via Metafilter. ‘Here is a remake of the “Thriller” song that I’ve entirely recorded with my own voice, using 64 A’cappella tracks. There is therefore no instrument, synthetizer, beatbox, […]

In which my irritation boileth over

Gerard Baker, the United States Editor of the (London) Times, has been gamely sticking up for the Republicans during this election. Even among the employees of that relatively conservative paper I imagine he feels like a bit of a beleaguered minority, so it’s perhaps not surprising that the tone of his articles has started to […]

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

I made a vaguely dismissive comment about Sinclair Lewis in the comments to the Halldór Laxness post, questioning whether he deserved a Nobel Prize. But not long afterwards, in reference to the Wall Street vs. Main Street theme that has been running in US elections, a journalist mentioned the novel Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. Hang on a minute, I thought, […]

This financial crisis is a bit of a buzzkill.

I haven’t commented much, because I don’t think my political instincts are that brilliant even for the UK, let alone a country I haven’t visited for over a decade. But I’ve been enjoying the US elections ever since the primaries: the Americans always do democracy on a bigger scale than the rest of us, but […]


glisten: The Work of the Father… 'One singer referred him to another. He'd meet with these men and women and discuss lives and careers some forty years past and mostly forgotten; they appreciated his respect and inquisitiveness. Conversations would lead to questions that would lead to new singers and new conversations. My father filled hundreds […]


Rhagor | Help us find out more about the mysterious alien “Ghost Slug” New species found in Wales: 'Unlike most slugs, the Ghost Slug is carnivorous, killing earthworms at night with blade-like teeth, sucking them in like spaghetti. It is also unusual in having no eyes (it is probably blind) and is almost completely white.' […]


Jefferson Bible reveals Founding Father’s view of God, faith – Los Angeles Times 'to summarize his views on Christianity, Thomas Jefferson set to work with scissors, snipping out every miracle and inconsistency he could find in the four Gospels… and reassembled the excerpts into what he believed was a more coherent narrative' ( tags: America […]


The Interview: 1916 | Shorpy :: History in HD A fabulous picture at Shorpy: 'February 9, 1916. "Mountain Chief of Piegan Blackfeet making phonographic record at Smithsonian." The interviewer is ethnologist Frances Densmore. National Photo Company Collection glass negative.' ( tags: 1910s America NativeAmerican Shorpy ) 1920s Black Americana Album – a set on Flickr […]

Why Obama won the nomination

That post title probably ought to have a question mark at the end. It is ridiculous to suggest that there was a single reason why Obama won it — or why Clinton lost it — but I’m going to do it anyway. I really think that a lot of it came down to timing. Politicians tend, […]

An observation

If there’s one lesson I hope everyone concerned has learnt from the current US election cycle: it’s a really stupid idea to disenfranchise a whole bunch of your constituents for any reason. I’m thinking of the debacle surrounding the Democratic primaries in Florida and Michigan. Of course it has only become such a thorny issue […]

Marginalia on the word ‘cunt’

In a generally interesting post about Obama, Hillary and all that stuff, Sherry says this: I have to admit it’s true that Hillary Clinton has never been called a nigger but I suspect Barack Obama has never been called a cunt. I think the difference in the way that word is used on each side of […]

Coming of Age: American Art 1850-1950

This is a touring exhibition of paintings from the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts that is currently at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Though it will be going to Venice and then Fort Lauderdale later in the year, if that’s more convenient for anyone. I didn’t have hugely high expectations, because the DPG exhibition […]

Primarily peculiar

Is it just me or is the American system of state primaries really bizarre? And I don’t just mean the Iowan ‘we don’t believe in the secret ballot’ thing. The very fact that the results in Iowa and New Hampshire take on great significance is a clear sign that something isn’t working properly. I mean, […]

The Lucifer Effect by Philip Zimbardo

Philip Zimbardo is the psychologist who ran the famous Stanford Prison Experiment [SPE] in 1971. The ultra-shorthand explanation is this: he took twelve normal young men and split them randomly into ‘guards’ and ‘prisoners’ then set up a fake prison. It was supposed to run for two weeks, but within six days the situation was […]

40 Days and 40 Nights by Matthew Chapman

Full title: 40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, OxyContin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania. In other words, it’s about the trial in Dover, Pennsylvania where the school board tried to put Intelligent Design into the biology classes and were found to be in breach of the constitutional separation of church […]

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran has the subtitle ‘Inside Baghdad’s Green Zone’; the Green Zone being the seven square mile compound in Baghdad centered around the Republican Palace, where the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) under L. Paul Bremer III attempted to rule Iraq for about 12 months after the fall of […]