Monthly Archives: May 2009

Predictably enough…

President Obama has appointed Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court to replace David Souter. Predictably enough, elements in the Republican Party have questioned her appointment. The criticisms are not of her gender and ethnicity per se, but of certain comments she made at a talk in 2001 about the gender and ethnicity of judges: […]

Right Dishonourable Members: Lest we Forget

FIFTEEN members of the Scottish Parliament have been shamed into repaying expenses they claimed for Remembrance Day wreaths. The MSPs – from the SNP, Labour and Liberal Democrats – reclaimed money that was paid to Poppyscotland and the Lady Haig Poppy Factory for the wreaths. Both charities raise funds for veterans. It came as their […]

Right Dishonourable Members: Hoist by your own canard

A Tory MP is to retire after admitting he claimed a £1,645 “duck island” on expenses – as two Labour ministers face questions over capital gains tax. Sir Peter Viggers, whose gardening claims totalled £30,000, is to quit at “the direct request of David Cameron”. Meanwhile Gordon Brown defended James Purnell and Geoff Hoon, saying […]

Eight Random Things About Me Meme

Saint has tagged me for one of these memes. Thinking about this meme has led me to realise that I’m not very random, although my mind does go all over the place all the time. But my mind is always drawing links between disparate topics, albeit sometimes of a bizarre nature. Well, perhaps everyone else […]

Ooops, too many zeros…

In the Sydney Morning Herald today: A New Zealand couple who fled the country after receiving millions of dollars in a banking error may have had a 16-day head start on police. It also emerged the couple may now be in China, and that other family members were also missing. The unnamed couple, believed to […]

Happy Birthday to Us

I just realised that our joint blog is now over one year old. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US! Personally, I’m delighted with the results, and I hope you are too.

Monday Funnies: The Right Dishonourable Members

David Cameron has called for a wider crackdown on MP’s allowances as he and Gordon Brown clashed on the issue at prime minister’s questions… The exchanges came after days of damaging allegations over MPs expenses. A growing number of MPs from all parties have agreed to pay back thousands of pounds claimed in expenses after […]

Some melancholy cliometrics

Often, the historian does not have what he wants, but what he gets. Consider the ancient world. The Roman Empire was a large affair, a huge, literate, rationally administered, urbanized fact, extending over at least six centuries. From it their survive 10 million words in Latin, and 100 million in Greek. Of these, 90% are […]

What crime? They were just breaking the Ramadan fast with a BBQ! (or Things to do in Ramadan when you’re dense…)

A radical Muslim who dressed his baby daughter in a hat with “I love al-Qaeda” on it tried to firebomb the home of the publisher of a controversial novel about the Prophet Mohammed. Ali Beheshti, 40, along with Abrar Mirza, 22, have admitted conspiracy to recklessly damage property and endanger life after they poured diesel […]

Judging potential judges

Justice Souter of the US Supreme Court is about to retire, and President Obama must appoint a successor. As soon as Souter J announced his retiremet, the speculation started: President Barack Obama pledged Friday to name a Supreme Court justice who combines “empathy and understanding” with an impeccable legal background to succeed liberal David Souter, […]