Could you become an American?

4 July 2008 22:45

Via Clive, here are some of the “more difficult” questions from the new US naturalisation test given to all would-be Yanks. Foolishly, I forgot the first words of the US… Continue reading


Jesse Helms is Dead

4 July 2008 18:19

Colour me unmoved. I notice that, so far at any rate, all the contributors at The Corner are too busy hailing the former Senator’s service and lauding his fervent anti-communism… Continue reading


Happy Birthday America!

4 July 2008 13:35

To all my American friends, and readers, have a wonderful 4th! Here’s a classic American movie trailer, matched to Gene Pitney’s song of the same name: The Man Who Shot… Continue reading


More poppycock from Gordon

3 July 2008 20:29

Justin at Chicken Yoghurt is bang on: It’s difficult to think of another public-facing job where this kind of evasiveness and inarticulacy would be tolerated…. Picture Gordon Brown getting a… Continue reading


Department of Second Thoughts

3 July 2008 13:48

Like Norm, I liked this and suspect many bloggers (self included) might be wise to bear in mind the wisdom demonstrated by: the late, great Colonel Alfred Wintle, an eccentric… Continue reading


The centre has, it seems, fallen. Again.

3 July 2008 13:11

Henry Farrell has a new paper on blogs, blog readers and political polarisation (Pdf here). Finding: First – blog readers seem to exhibit strong homophily. That is to say, they… Continue reading


Better (and braver) Administrators Please

2 July 2008 17:11

One of the sadder constants in international sport is that any major decision made by the International Cricket Council will, more probably than not, damage the long-term best interests of… Continue reading


Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t…

1 July 2008 15:13

Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online: The front page of the Washington Post (yes, I sometimes read paper newspapers) has the headline “Obama Fiercely Defends His Patriotism.” Isn’t there… Continue reading


Statistics in a cloud of smoke

1 July 2008 14:19

If Philip Morris commissioned research which found that the smoking ban in England & Wales, a year old today, had been a dismal failure many, perhaps even most, people would… Continue reading

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Happy Birthday Canada!

1 July 2008 12:55

To all my Canadian pals – and especially those far from their native heath – here’s some video for you to enjoy.


Whither Bond?

1 July 2008 12:10

Via Chris Orr and Ross Douthat, I see there’s a trailer for the new Bond flick Quantam of Solace. First impressions? Could be good! Anyway, it has to be better… Continue reading

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McCain’s War Record

1 July 2008 0:12

So, General Wesley Clark mouths off about John McCain on TV today, thusly: CLARK: He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee. And he has traveled all… Continue reading


Department of Wildlife

30 June 2008 16:45

SM, a friend from college days, draws my attention to this gem: Australia’s top treasury official is taking five weeks leave to look after endangered wombats. Ken Henry, treasury secretary… Continue reading


The stars were bright, Fernando…

30 June 2008 15:23

Memo to the Associated Press and the New York Times: describing Fernando Torres as a “slumping striker” and claiming that he had “been invisible in this tournament” makes you look… Continue reading

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England, Their F***ing England

30 June 2008 11:16

Amazing. Pupils are being rewarded for writing obscenities in their GCSE English examinations even when it has nothing to do with the question. One pupil who wrote “f*** off” was… Continue reading


Footballing Question of the Day

30 June 2008 0:01

James Hamilton from the superb (if infuriatingly-often-on-hiatus) football blog More than Mind Games has a question that merits pondering: If you had to name one player who, in your opinion,… Continue reading


L is for Lloyd

29 June 2008 19:15

It’s Clive Lloyd’s turn to lead a side in this series. So here is the L XI, to follow those led by Armstrong, Benaud, Constantine, Dexter,  Edrich,  Fry, Gower,  Hutton, … Continue reading


The Dreary Downfall of Wendy Alexander

28 June 2008 12:10

Briefly*: So, Wendy Alexander is resigning as leader of the Scottish Labour party. In the brave new Scotland even our political scandals are pygmy-sized and fourth-rate. In normal circumstances scandal… Continue reading


As go newspapers, so goes the Top 40

27 June 2008 20:44

Responding to a reader’s suggestion that pop music became terrible once folk could just download (legally or not) any music they desired, Megan McArdle sensibly disputes the premise, writing: I’m… Continue reading


When the Oval Office meets “The Office”…

27 June 2008 16:58

David Frum has an interesting piece in this month’s Prospect on the lessons Barack Obama (or, I suppose, John McCain, will learn from the structural short-comings of George W Bush’s… Continue reading


Debating Issues

27 June 2008 15:01

Julian “heterodox and hard to label” Sanchez (David Brooks, today) asks a terrifying question. Looking back to undergraduate debating days, he wonders: How many of us are unwittingly broadcasting our… Continue reading


Happy Anniversary Gordon…

27 June 2008 14:19

The Henley by-election result is striking: John Howell (Cons) 19,796Stephen Kearney’s (Lib Dem) 9,680Mark Stevenson (Green) 1,321Timothy Rait (BNP) 1,243Richard McKenzie (Lab) 1,066Chris Adams (UKIP) 843 Admittedly, Labour didn’t run… Continue reading


Always the Germans…

27 June 2008 13:31

The New Republic, America’s most football-friendly political magazine, asked me to write something mean about the Germans: Today’s question then, is: Does Germany’s record in international soccer confirm: (a) the… Continue reading

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Returning to Brideshead

27 June 2008 2:14

Back to Brideshead! Last month I took a fairly relaxed view of the forthcoming Miramax travesty. The only real question would seem to be whether it is enjoyably or enragingly… Continue reading

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Robert Mugabe is Right

26 June 2008 23:32

About some things anyway: “The demons in number 10, Downing Street, must be exorcised by someone,”