Friday, 23 September 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-09-23: Joni

This chair is taken.

(The seat cushions on our dining chairs have been worn down by long use, into a perfect shape for a cat to curl up on. One day we will replace them, and that will be a sad day for Joni.)

Fragmentation and Despair

This week, the Labour MP Ruth Smeeth gave an interview about the racist abuse and death threats she has faced from supporters of Jeremy Corbyn. The whole thing is well worth a read. It joins testimonies from many other Labour MPs, questioning Corbyn's leadership and the behaviour of his followers, some of which I list here.

These MPs raise hard questions which Corbyn and his team show no signs of answering; except to dismiss the askers as crypto-Tories, or worse still, Blairites.

The MPs deserve a more respectful answer than that. They have decades of service to Labour, and long and impressive records of fighting for the underprivileged. I am frankly baffled by the idea that they declared no confidence in Labour's duly elected leader, because they cannot tolerate his message of kindness and solidarity. The alternative explanation, that Corbyn is failing to meet his responsibilities but too stubborn to change, is not one the party leadership cares to contemplate.

Jeremy Corbyn (left) and his leadership opponent Owen Smith (right).
Image source: BBC
Be that as it may, it seems nearly certain that the result of the leadership contest tomorrow will confirm Corbyn's re-election.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-09-16: Joni

"Until you stalk and overrun, you can't devour anyone." --- Tiger proverb

The Rise of Unreality

The US Presidential election is shaping up as a battle between reason and unreason. The distressing thing is, reason isn't winning by nearly enough.

Clinton's lead has shrunk to approximately 3% in national polls. That's probably enough for a clear victory; the Princeton Election Consortium gives her an 81% chance of winning. But it still means a very large segment of the US electorate prefers Trump.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 9 September 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-09-09: Joni

Sleepy cat is ignoring the cartoon mouse next to her tail.

Greatest films of the 21st century

The BBC has polled 177 international film critics, and come up with a list of the 100 best films of the 21st century.

It's not a bad list, although inevitably it's not the one I would have come up with. Maybe it's a little skewed towards pretentious arthouse fare. My own approach to arty films is this: I'm willing to accept some of them are doing very clever things, which I don't have the patience or background knowledge to fully grasp. Others are absolute tosh. It's not always possible to get a consensus on where the boundary lies.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-09-02: Quincy

Our handsome campus cat, on the prowl again. I hear he's a very capable hunter, which is bad news for the rabbit population.