Death is No Respecter of the Virtuous

When we die how long shall we be mourned and how long shall we be remembered? Perhaps it does not matter. After all, our chances of living were very emote – more remote than winning the grandest lottery and perhaps that is what we did in any event when the single sperm that was once us out of 600 million companions found by strength or chance its home to create our life. Continue reading

The Ghost That Died

I think it is now clear that over my lifetime the rights of people in democracies have been gradually, slowly but very surely, eroded. When I was young we were taught in law school that everything was permitted provided there was no law prohibiting it. Today there are countless new laws prohibiting many things from new crimes invented by humanity’s ingenuity to undesirable actions which have become unlawful, even though they should not be classified as unlawful but merely undesirable. Continue reading

Believing the Right Thing for the Wrong Reason

Belief is a vice or virtue of humanity. What we believe shapes our actions and governs our relationships. Humans tend to prefer belief to perception and prefer belief to knowledge, because knowledge is so hard to acquire. Continue reading

A Cold Wind Blows Over Greece

Colder weather is forecast. Greece, where in summer it is hot, is in distress but its landlords, the IMF, the World Bank and the European Union, are still demanding the rent which Greece cannot pay. Continue reading

Saving and Gambling

The buying and selling of investments has always been dominated by two different activities with opposing motivations.  Continue reading

All’s Fair in Love and War?

The saying that all is fair in love and war is simply wrong. I cannot morally claim that every act that someone does to win love or win a law is fair because there is no area of human existence where morality should not prevail over everything else. Continue reading

A Pilgrimage

Yesterday was a day for a pilgrimage. My journey was very short but its purpose was sweetly bitter. Old men die in winter, the old man’s friend and in winter I visit the cemetery to think about one old man who died, who was once young, vibrant and knew so much of life and one younger woman who knew death first, and knew it well.

The advice to rage was badly given; those who are dying should not rage; rage is for those who watch. Some words have a beauty which forgives the quality of what they mean.

The cemetery is always cold when I visit. The perfumes of death are sad. In honouring the dead we honour our lives, stretched still, fading and piteous as the headstones.

Good Advice

Good Advice

Remember  I taught you and never forget

The rules of the game and the rules to upset

Sleep late in winter rise early in spring

Promise me thrice and smile at the wind

Think while you sleep and dream wide awake

Hold hatred fast while your loves you forsake

Lose your possessions find your lost way

Sleep late in winter at the dawn of the day

 

Think in iambics and speak just in rhyme

Die when you need to die all the time

The Magic Number of Mr Assange

Julian Assange has now spent 777 days in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. For every one of those 77 days the British Police have maintained a guard over Mr Assange’ s tiny piece of sanctuary on theoretically Ecuadorian soil in London, just in case he skips out of the country and thus avoids his required appointment with the Swedish police who want to question him about allegations of sexual misconduct. I do not know whether the Swedish Police are frightened of flying, or whether they are simply too proud to fly to see Mr Assange, but they have refused to interview him in the Ecuadorian Embassy, and so the British Police have maintained a guard which has cost the taxpayers of these islands £8 million so far.

777 is a magic number. It is a long time to spend in virtual house arrest, but Mr Assange fears that should he go to Sweden and answer the questions, not that he would face trial in Sweden but that he would be rendered to the United States where the authorities would gladly put him in prison and throw away the key (after due process of course) for having embarrassed the great government of the United States with publications of secret and disgraceful documents and videos on Wiki-leaks.

Virtually everyone agrees that the British taxpayer should not have to pay to guard Mr Assange. The Swedes could pay, but won’t, just as they could travel to interview Mr Assange but they won’t.

Having maintained a guard to prevent Mr Assange’s escape for 777 days, the British authorities would lose a considerable amount of face if they stopped the guard today. Authority hates to lose face and will not do it, as long as there are taxes in the kitty which can prevent a loss of face.

The best solution that I can see is that Mr Assange should leave for Ecuador and the British Police should let him. They can stage some mishap or cock up which would prevent the drain on our taxes, which could no doubt be used for better things. Whether, should this drain be stopped, the taxes would be used for better things is an entirely different quest.

Getting Annoyed

The world is full of petty annoyances. As I write the sound of an enthusiastic worker using a machine to dig up the road in order to repair is is a petty annoyance, but if I let it, it would easily become an overwhelming one. When I listen to politicians and sports people not answer the question but let out a pre-prepared statement I am annoyed, but when I hear a politician argue against a statement that has not been made, viciously attributing to his or her opponent a view that the opponent does not hold I get very annoyed at the intellectual dishonesty.   Continue reading