Information Landmine

"The Americans keep telling us how successful their system is. Then they remind us not to stray too far from our hotel at night." - An un-named EU trade representative quoted during international trade talks in Denver, Colorado, 1997.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The myth about AIDS

"The myth about AIDS Jayne, is that it's easy to catch..." When a mate of mine uttered these words to me in the pub a couple of weeks ago, I doubt he realised he was about to become the lead actor in my World AIDS day post.

The attitudes towards HIV and AIDS that I came across in Sierra Leone shocked me. From conspiracy theories (America's Indention to Destroy Sex) to simple and complete disbelief in it's existence (have a look here for some insight into people's views). Sierra Leone is one of the 'lucky' countries; a reported prevalence rate of 1.7% (compare this to Swaziland at 26.1% and UK at 0.2%). Many people would dispute how accurate that rate is (the real rate is generally thought to be higher) and work is going on across the country to raise awareness . How effective that will be in a country where even high profile, intelligent people deny the existence of HIV/AIDS remains to be seen.

It has to be said though, if that shocked me, then what about the attitudes I've found in the UK? We're officially a sexually liberal nation, being placed 11th in a new 'index of sociosexuality'. But how many people see HIV as a real risk to them? Certainly not my friend above, and I don't think I did either. The first HIV test I had was on returning from 7 months working in Sierra Leone. But that time spent working with people, educating people and advocating the importance of knowing your status, made me realise that the same applied back here.

Before I went away, I was given a health briefing to highlight the risks of HIV infection. I remember the other participants in the training literally scoffing at another girl and I, two twenty something single volunteers who said that we simply wouldn't sleep with someone without a condom in this country, so the additional risk of being overseas didn't worry us too much. They laughed at us 'oh girls, in the heat of the moment, it's not that simple' like we didn't know what we were talking about. But to be honest, it can be and for us, it is. We probably didn't have AIDS in the forefront of our minds when we made those choices, other risks seem higher (pregnancy, chlamydia, the list goes on) but nonetheless that awareness protected us. In a sexually liberal world, where we do have sex with more than one partner over a lifetime, and without intention of that partner continuing for a lifetime, then having the wherewithal to insist on condom use, be able to talk quite frankly about these things, surely that shouldn't be so socially uncomfortable? The number of my friends who get into 'relationships' and say, "well... I'm not sure what to do... he won't use a condom..." amazes me. As does the number of my male friends who think that protecting against pregnancy is a primary concern, so the pill or whatever will do. We just don't realise what we're risking.

Granted, in developing countries, particularly Africa, AIDS is a bigger issue than it is here, because it is affecting so many more people and for myriad other reasons. But if we don't take action, then that will change and not for the better.

Providing decent condoms in developing countries would make a difference for a start. I mean it's hardly going to encourage people to use condoms when what's provided free is practically a marigold! (Having said that, when we decided to introduce free condoms in bathrooms for our staff in my organisation, my colleague picked up a couple of thousand to 'keep us going' from the National AIDS Secretariat. Hundreds disappeared on the first day from the storeroom and she had to go round asking everyone only to take what they needed, and to bring the others back for now... presumably they were being taken to sell on to other people, so there must have been some demand!) Obviously there are also multiple other interventions that are going to help here, the move from ABC to SAVE being a big step in reframing the issue (which has a huge religious influence that gets in the way a lot of the time, but I will just gloss over that for now, as I am doing with many, many issues in the whole AIDS situation), but getting people to use condoms is a crucial part of any programme.

And in the UK? We have access to decent condoms and we have access to huge amounts of education and information (despite poor sex ed in schools) so there's really no excuse for being unaware of the risks. To be a truly sexually liberal nation, we need to stop being so embarrassed about discussing these issues and recognise that the practicalities can be dealt with quickly, easily and without impacting at all on the fun, enjoyable and hopefully very good sex that we're having.

I know I am HIV negative and I intend to remain so. And next time I reach the point in a relationship where it's more than causal, and may be going somewhere, I would be delighted if it was the man, and not myself, who was the one who suggesting dinner, a movie and a trip to the GUM clinic.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Forget those Oxfam goats...

Sorious Samura is a great film maker. So it was for many reasons that I was disappointed with last night's Panorama: Addicted to Aid.

We know that African leaders are corrupt. But this documentary neither explored the whole extent of corruption, or offered up any solutions.

But, rather than trying to completely over simplify the issues of aid, trade, debt, corruption and development in one single post, I thought I would post
this little gem instead. Because I thought it was pretty damn funny.

Fighting recession in the courts

Various folks have been having fun laying into Jacqui Smith's plans to criminalise men who pay for sex with trafficked women - women who are "controlled for another's gain" is her phrase. The thrust of the argument seems to be that the proposed legislation would be completely unworkable, that competing definitions of "controlled for another's gain" could lead to seriously weird outcomes, that she doesn't really understand the sociology of migrant prostitution, that it would be completely unenforceable, that the government is just trying to propose some eye-catching legislation rather than doing anything serious about the problem, that sort of thing.[1]

Apparently, people think this is a problem, but I can't help feeling that they're missing the big picture. Unity, at Ministry of Truth, sort of gets it.


It’s perfect isn’t it?

It’s got just exactly the right mix of patriotic fervour and naked economic protectionism you need for a good slogan at a time when the countries heading into a recession and it fits the policy like an expensively-tailored Saville Row suit.

If visiting a foreign prostitute means taking the risk that they might have been trafficked to get here then play safe, boys, and stick firmly to our own home-grown hookers - you just know it makes sense!

This is at least halfway there: you have to understand that this is about economics, rather than social policy - it's an all-too-rare example of co-ordinated action between the Treasury and the Home Office. And a bit of economic protectionism is certainly part of that - let the nice, virtuous British girls keep the well-paying, relatively normal side of the trade, and send those filthy migrants deeper underground to hang out with the real sickos. Very commendable.

Then he goes off and starts talking about how the problem is that this proposal was based on research by people who can't even spell the word, and I've got to say he loses me a little.

Because, people, in the times we're living through, this plan is sheer genius. In case nobody noticed, there's a credit crunch on, economic confidence is tanking, and what is needed is a serious economic stimulus to prime the pumps, Keynes-style.

Yes, John Maynard Keynes is back in fashion for the first time in decades, and what does he say governments should do in times like these? Well there are the fiscal measures, but they're small potatoes. What's needed is for the government to create some employment. As yer man said, it needn't actually be useful employment: you can pay people "to dig holes in the ground" and fill them up again, just so long as it keeps things moving.[2]

Enter the Crown Prosecution Service, who have kindly agreed to provide more employment to hundreds of fresh-faced young paralegals by sending them into court to try any number of new crimes. More employment, created by the government from whole cloth. Trouble is, these folks have up till now just been taking notes as people plead guilty to things like drink driving offences. The idea of them prosecuting people for assault is a little scary, and has been stirring up a shit-storm amongst legal professionals, who all have some ridiculous bee in their collective bonnet about justice running its proper course. Yes obviously they're fools - too long on jurisprudence and sadly short on macroeconomics - but until we can get rid of the courts altogether and set up some sort of market for justice we're stuck with them. So how do we square the circle?

I think you know the answer: we create some jobs that our brave new work-force can do. Doesn't matter if they have any other purpose - we're just trying to provide employment, remember. And in this spirit, I put it to you that Jacqui Smith is in fact doing her darndest to help us out of this mess: by passing a law that no amount of legal erudition or professionalism is going to help sort out, she's neatly side-stepping the objections of barristers everywhere and essentially providing a Criminal Law Full Employment Act.[3] Think about it - any dosser who's prepared to stand up in front of a judge and pretend that they know what the hell this law is about need never go hungry again. This thing can run and run - sales of wigs and gowns are going to soar, winebars will be hiring all the staff that they can get in order to service baffled paralegal booze-hounds, and shares in the legal publishing industry will skyrocket. At least some of this money will probably go on migrant prostitutes, and so, Simba, will continue the cycle of our glorious economic recovery...[4]

[1] To give her her due, Melanie McDonagh at the Telegraph is completely unconcerned about the fact that the legislation wouldn't do any good, just so long as it makes us all feel better about ourselves. It's not immediately clear that she realises the full economic genius of the plan, but look harder. After all, no-one (and certainly not an honest-to-goodness professional journalist for a respectable broadsheet newspaper) would be stupid enough to suggest that, because a problem is really serious, we shouldn't consider practical solutions to it, would they? Me, I think Mel sees the big picture here.

[2] There's obviously a less high-minded direction we could take the whole "emptying and filling holes" idea, but Jayne says she's going to do a load of smut-related posts in the future, and I don't want to steal her thunder.

[3] The idea itself isn't actually that original. The DMCA in the US and the EUCD in the EU are both good examples of welfare for IP lawyers. But the timing was all wrong for those.

[4] Some people think it's a good idea to direct investment at productive projects designed to make the economy more sustainable, less vulnerable to energy price hikes, etc. etc. These people are communists, and should not be taken seriously.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This post is not endorsed by Linus Torvalds...

Via Enigma Foundry, here's a nice chart breaking down supercomputer use by operating system.

Operating system Family Count Share % Rmax Sum (GF) Rpeak Sum (GF) Processor Sum
Linux 439 87.80 % 13341108 20822363 2104191
Windows 5 1.00 % 328114 429555 54144
Unix 23 4.60 % 881289 1198012 85376
BSD Based 1 0.20 % 35860 40960 5120
Mixed 31 6.20 % 2356048 2933610 869676
Mac OS 1 0.20 % 16180 24576 3072
Totals 500 100% 16958600.19 25449076.20 3121579

It's the way forward, people. I notice that 8.4% of readers already use Linux.

This would be kind of cool, were it not for the fact that I suspect at least half of that is me.

Update: Of course if you break it down by Browser, we're mad, bad, and open source.
61% of us, anyway.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Come back Mr Byrne...

Yesterday, I read an article from The Independent that reported that in the last 5 years, the Home Office decided 77,000 asylum seekers should return to countries that the Foreign Office has deemed “major countries of concern.”

Today I attended a conference about social change. I didn’t get chance to check the news as normal and so it was via rumour that I heard Phil Woolas (our new immigration minister) had given an interview in the Guardian that was going to require comment and response from the refugee sector. A couple of text messages confirmed that said comment was not going to be a positive one. A couple of hours later, I’d bent a couple of ears, tracked down a newspaper and read said interview.

According to Woolas, NGO’s who work with refugees are “undermining the legal system” and “causing more harm than they do good.” Why? Because some asylum seekers win their case after repeated appeals. Because “most asylum seekers... are economic migrants.”

No. Asylum seekers are people who are fleeing harm, in order to find a safe place. According to the UN, they must be able to demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution in their country of origin for reasons of political opinion, religion, ethnicity, race/nationality, or membership of a particular social group. This claim is tested by a government representative through application and interview.

And of these asylum seekers, about 80% are refused on first application. And of those that appeal, 20% then are granted leave to remain. So, that tells me that the system just doesn’t work. Because either the first round gets it wrong a lot of the time or the second round gets it wrong a lot of the time. I’ve asked this question to many people on many occasions over the last few years – is there any other system of justice or even administration where we would accept that margin of error?

Now, I don’t see myself as a particularly radical asylum campaigner. I simply want the system to be fair. I’m not naive, I agree that there are people who play the system, as there are with any system. That is why we have systems after all, not so? What I want, is a system that is fair. A system that protects people from persecution. Which is apparently what Mr Woolas wants too.

But for me, that system treats people with respect. It begins on the premise of belief. It understands that there are emotions involved, trauma involved. It understands that people have believed they or their families are at risk of losing their lives. And have run. That they are afraid, confused, suffering. It does not place them as liars before they have even opened their mouths.

Mr Woolas has asked for a mature debate on the subject. That’s fine by me. But hang on, let me take off my member of the public hat and put on the one that gives me authority to speak as an NGO that serves refugees and asylum seekers. One of those he’s just accused of playing the system.

Great way to start that mature debate.

Monday, November 17, 2008

"There was once a dream that was Rome..."

Jack Balkin, writing in the Guardian, has a good summary of the issue that, for me, will be the litnus test of how seriously we can take all the Obama administration's "change" talk:

Will Obama unload some of the massive quantites of executive power that the Bush administration has been accumulating over the past eight years?

The basic point is that the office of PoUS allows the holder to a lot more than it used to; we know about a lot of nasty powers - mostly relating to the president's ability to incarcerate, torture or spy on people - that Bush accumulated in the name of National Security, and there's also a whole lot of stuff we don't know about.

In theory, you'd expect the Republicans to be all in favour of this sort of thing, for reasons that are best explained here. But, as Balkin points out, giving up powers requires him to know what those powers actually are - and when we discover that Dick Cheney amassed special kidnapping rights to himself so as to further indugle his taste for bathing in the blood of young virgins (just an example...), there is at least some potential for this to turn into the kind of partisan fight that Obama was promising to avoid. And even putting that aside, cynics might be inclined to wonder why a man who'd campaigned so hard for the office of World's Most Powerful Man would be in the business of devolving power from himself.

On the flip-side, Obama's a constitutional law scholar who, as far as anyone can tell, at least used to take roughly the same position as Balkin on where the proper limits of presidential authority lie. It's not like he can pull Bush's local-yokel act and pretend he thinks that this is all entirely appropriate. And this is something that, with sufficient political will, he can do something about.
So for all those curious to know whether Barack can walk the walk, this seems to me to be the one to watch.

Update: Made some corrections. Yup, more proof-reading after posting. So sue me.
Update 2: It's probably worth noting that the indications so far have hardly encouraged optimism.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My last Naomi Klein post. Probably.

Naomi Klein bashing is a popular enough sport on the internet that I've felt a bit bad about sticking my oar in of late, but this really cannot go unremarked. After a year spent pushing her whole "Shock Doctrine" idea - the idea that nasty right-wing folk take advantage of crises in order to impose big ideologically-driven changes before anyone can work out what's going on - she's switched to the important business trying to keep the Obama administration on the true path. Nothing wrong with that, in itself. Her latest column in the Guardian starts out pretty sensible:
Yes, there is only one president at a time, but that president needed the support of powerful Democrats - including Obama - to get the bail-out passed. Now that it is clear the Bush administration is violating the terms to which both parties agreed, the Democrats have not just the right, but a grave responsibility, to intervene forcefully.
Makes sense to me - if the US government is going to be in the business of handing out big wads of cash to Wall Street, it should be as transparent as possible.

More generally, she thinks that the Obama administration's apparent policy of trying to reassure the markets is really just a way of appeasing the folk who got us into this mess in the first place, and she's pissed off about it:
More than that, the Democrats, including Obama, appear to believe that the need to soothe the market should govern all key economic decisions in the transition period. Which is why, just days after a euphoric victory for "change", the mantra abruptly shifted to "smooth transition" and "continuity".
Again, there's nothing I actually disagree with here - at some point, there is going to need to be some pretty serious regulation, although I personally would wait until things had calmed down a little bit. Naomi, though, doesn't see it that way - regulation too long delayed is regulation denied, or something like that. Democrats shouldn't just be providing stricter oversight, they should be firing the opening shots in a bold new campaign to get some regulation with teeth on the cards:
There is no way to reconcile the public's vote for change with the market's foot-stomping for more of the same. Any moves to change course will be met with market shocks. The good news is that once it is clear the new rules will be applied across the board, fairly, the market will stabilise and adjust. Furthermore, the timing for this turbulence could not be better. Over the past three months, we've been shocked so often that market stability would come as more of a surprise. That gives Obama a window to disregard the calls for a seamless transition and do the hard stuff first. Few will be able to blame him for a crisis that predates him, or fault him for honouring the clearly expressed wishes of the electorate. The longer he waits, however, the more memories will fade.
Lets take another look at that: "Over the past three months, we've been shocked so often that market stability would come as more of a surprise. That gives Obama a window to disregard the calls for a seamless transition and do the hard stuff first." Seriously? So Obama could, like, take advantage of the fact that the public is in a state of shock and rewrite the economic rules of the game? Cool!

Now don't get me wrong here. I think some sort of broadly Keynsian "borrow, spend, regulate, recover" plan is probably a good idea, and if that's one of the outcomes of the crisis, then that's all to the good. But you can do this quickly or you can do it right. I think we can all agree that an effective set of new rules that can be "applied across the board, fairly," - without having some seriously nasty unintended consequences - is not the sort of thing that you can just put together over a few bottles of organic wine. Furthermore, even the best designed set of rules is going to make for a very uncertain transition period as the armies of accountants, tax lawyers and financial engineers wrap their heads round them; you change all the rules of the game, you have to expect a little turbulence and, Naomi's "there's already turbulence" platitudes notwithstanding, I don't think the US public thought they were voting for more volatile financial markets.

If, as Klein suggests, the voters are genuinely hungry for this sort of plan, they presumably won't have changed their mind by January, so what's the problem with waiting for regulation until this has all calmed down? And there's the rub: an Obama strategy of breaking as little of the economy as possible is only a bad thing if you think that by delaying they're squandering an opportunity for something bigger. And if you honestly believe that the fact that there's a crisis now presents a unique opportunity to force through your plans, then you shouldn' t have spent the last few years spouting conspiracy theories about how that sort of opportunistic behaviour is the mark of evil right-wing ideologues.

Update: Corrected some typos and tidied up a bit.

Also, I think there's a more charitable way of putting my basic point: What I took to be one of the key arguments of the Shock Doctrine was the essentially conservative insight that you shouldn't force through violent changes just because they look good on paper - if you violently rearrange a country's economy and something goes wrong, it's pretty cold comfort for those on the ground to see you sitting there scratching your head and saying: "well that never happened in the models." Given all that, and Klein's general fondness for medical analogies, you'd think she'd be more sympathetic to a "first, do no harm" attitude from the Obama camp.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day 15

Three-musketeers-related jibes are becoming popular. I don't see it myself...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Making Migration Work?

OK, so here’s an attempt at putting the discussion below into some kind of context regarding the great overhaul that’s currently happening with migration into Britain. I’m not sure it’ll shed any light on the logic, but for what it’s worth...

Changes in requirements for International students is one of the strands of the new Points Based System that BIA is slowly implementing at the moment... essentially it affects all different ‘categories’ of migrant coming to Britain – the temporary and the more permanent. It’s an incredibly rigid system – by ticking certain boxes, you get more points – after a certain threshold you get your visa; a way to ensure we get the brightest and best migrants - you get the idea.

A feature of the new system seems to be a move towards placing greater responsibility on the host institution/sponsor. So, as you see below, educational establishments will be asked to register their students and monitor them – as will employers with workers I think. They will also pay for the privilege – as they need to register in order to sponsor a migrant in the first place. Seemingly, consultation with whoever gets consulted on these things suggested that institutions wanted to be more involved in the monitoring of it. So, believe it or not, enough educational establishments were on board with this idea to push it through. Perhaps because they have more confidence in their own abilities to administer these things than they do in BIA? Couldn’t blame them for that. Or maybe there’s an administration contract in it? Or maybe there are international students all over the place who are paying upwards of £10K in fees and then absconding without asking their university to do anything for the money?! Who knows?

I should point out that there are some massive implications of this system, outside of the issue Pete raised and they’re not limited to students. For various reasons, I’ll have to wait until a later date to comment on those (although somebody else is more than welcome to). But, for a system that is apparently going to be economically beneficial, I reckon this calculation assumed that Britain = London. I don’t think it’s going to stack up that way regionally.

So, where does the whole ludicrous system come from? And who the hell thought it was a good idea?

Apart from the usual, I’m baffled. But that’s asylum and immigration policy for you. I’m not really an expert on controlled migration, but I believe that our government knows how economically important migration is. Not to mention every other benefit it brings. Yet, has a strategy of making policy changes that reduce the number of migrants (controlled or forced) entering this country, treat them as badly as possible whilst they’re here, and then kick them out gracelessly.

Nothing beats British hospitality eh?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Innovative solutions for all your xenophobic needs...

Ok, had a bit of a chance to look into the Home Office plans, and the more you look at it, the worse it gets. Well sort of - there's a reasonably sensible bit about colleges and universities having to be licensed in order to be able to act as sponsors for student visas. Which is all very well and, if "bogus colleges" really are a problem, this seems to me to be all you need to actually do. If it's an issue of institutions, deal with it at the level of the institutions. If you want to have some sort of snooper force investigating places with an unreasonably high proportion of foreign students or whose revenues seem to come from very little else but inflated foreign tuition fees, then so be it.

After that it gets a little uglier. You see, they're going to roll out a whole "Sponsorship Management System" who may have been involved in the process from Autumn 2009, and sponsors will be obliged to report failure to enrol, non-attendance and discontinuation. It goes without saying that, being a large IT project run by a combination of the Home Office and the Universities will no doubt work exactly as intended, give rise to no privacy concerns and not unduly enrich any management consultants. But even given the terrifying efficiency that I'm sure will result from the introduction of all this sexy new modern technology, could someone not have come up with a less expensive way of establishing when students who claimed to be enrolled at universities were not, in fact, attending. They already make them register at local police stations, which do presumably occasionally have contact with local universities - could the folks at the Home Office really not have put their heads together and come up with an idea that didn't involve getting faculty to double as border security, and then entering their obeservations into a giant central data-base?

And that's before we start getting into the specifics of what's going to trigger this, doubtless finely honed, electronic network into action: 10 hours as non-attendance - have these people ever met a first-year under-graduate? And I'm sure there'll be a load of benefit claimants who'll be fascinated to hear that £800 pounds a month is the least one could expect a human being to get by on.

I'm not that familiar with this stuff, so I'd appreciate comments from anyone who reads this thing and might have some light to throw on the question (Jayne - time to step up to the plate), but, more than all the usual creepy Stalinism and bashing of Jonny Foreigner, I'm just curious about the "Why?" of the thing. Even with this government, how did such a ludicrous plan make it off the drawing board?

Update: I'm aware that to a lot of you jaded cynics, that last question might seem wilfully naive, or possibly even rhetorical. It's not - I'd genuinely like to get to the bottom of this.

The thought police

A friend e-mailed me this from the Guardian, about new plans to crack down on student immigration scams. The thrust of the idea seems to be that universities should report on them, which seems sensible enough until you go into the actual details of what they're asking. I can see the sense in reporting people who drop out of or are thrown off courses - if you're here on a student visa, the people who've decided you aren't actually fit to be a student probably have some responsibility to inform the relevant authorities.

But the new rules go a lot further. Apparently Universities should also be reporting anyone who misses more than ten hours of lectures or seminars. For someone doing more than five hours in a day, that would seem to mean you can spend two days sick, depressed or demotivated and get placed on a watch-list. Foreign students often have a hard time fitting in at universities, and I really don't see that helping.

More inexplicably still, the rules also mandate that, in addition to being able to pay their fees, students should be able to declare £800 a month: seriously? Is there some special reason why we want to limit our foreign student intake to the children of foreign plutocrats? I've managed to eat, live, pay rent and spend a significant amount of time drunk as a skunk in the past few months, and I'm doing it on much less than £800 a month. Even in London, you'd think a frugal, hard-working student - the sort who would be a real benefit to a course, and would really need the degree - would be able to get by on a lot less than that.

And it gets weirder. Apparently "alomost 300 bogus colleges have been uncovered in the past three years, many involved in immigration scams." And this seems to be a motivating factor in the legislation. According to the Home Office: "This new route for students will ensure we know exactly who is coming here to study and stamp out bogus colleges who facilitate the lawbreakers."

Is anyone else confused here? Let's say I'm a bogus college, making my money largely from selling my "educational services" to foreigners looking for student visas. How likely does it seem that I'll start reporting that my customers are actually not the studious souls they claim to be, but actually filthy blighters gaming the system so badly that we may be in danger of finally giving Richard Littlejohn a stroke as he ponders the unfairness of it all from his Florida mansion?

I suppose, charitably, you could guess that the idea is to make it easier to prosecute the bogus colleges - if they aren't reporting enough fake students, it could constitute evidence of "bogus college" status - but this seems like a hugely disproportionate tool for doing it. All the real colleges and universities end up with an increased regulatory burden, a seriously compromised ability to talk to foreign students about legitimate problems, a much smaller base of quality foregin students to actually recruit from (only the fantastically wealthy need apply), and quite possibly an increasing divide between foreign and domestic students.

I know that the whole idea that government should try and pursue its objectives so as to minimally infringe the liberty of the individual is a hopelessly unfashionable idea these days (and doubly so when that individual isn't even a doughty British citizen). But even setting aside my quaint notions about the rights of man, I think there are pretty good reasons to think that the collateral damage here far outweighs any possible benefits, if only in terms of all that guff about making sure we have cutting-edge Universities.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Day 9, and I am in good spirits, and have still not been lynched by an angry mob.

Friday, November 07, 2008

On that election thing

Well, I thought that all went rather well. Is it going to be a huge disappointment? Probably. But at least it'll be a sane , rational kind of disappointment, and I, for one, am intensely relieved.

More when I get control over more than five continuous minutes of my life.

Update: Flying Rodent says it better.

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