Friday 26 February 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-02-26: Joni

This box belongs to me now.

Sanders versus Corbyn

There are some obvious parallels between Bernie Sanders, contender for the Democratic presidential nomination; and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour Party. Their shared attributes include:
  • Relatively advanced age (Sanders 74, Corbyn 66)
  • Scruffy in personal appearance
  • A more natural style of speaking, as opposed to carefully scripted soundbites
  • Long-standing membership of the legislature (Sanders since 1990, Corbyn since 1983)
  • On the far left of their respective parties
  • Rose to prominence out of grassroots frustration with the party establishment
  • Tony Blair is confused by their popularity. I find this amusing, since Blair's style of rigid discipline, media spin, warmongering and indulgence of corporations is exactly what made Sanders and Corbyn possible.
The parallels have been noted by Brits trying to make sense of Sanders. Even Bernie's brother Larry Sanders, a Green activist living in the UK, has made the comparison. Other UK commentators have been more hesitant to equate the two. For their part the Americans have barely heard of Corbyn; they have plenty of weirdness closer to home.

Jeremy Corbyn (left) and Bernie Sanders (right).

Friday 19 February 2016

Monday 15 February 2016

If Presidential Candidates Were Futurama Characters

There is a striking resemblance between the 2016 candidates, and characters from the animated series Futurama. It may be they are those characters, after one of the show's typical time travel mishaps.

"Old Freebie", the flag of Earth in Futurama.

Candidates marked with a * are no longer running. Without further ado, here they are:


Hillary Clinton: Turanga Leela

Tough, smart, and capable, but has difficulty getting others to warm to her. Still traumatised by Bill's impeachment Cookieville Minimum Security Orphanarium.

Bernie Sanders: Lord Nibbler of Nibblonia

Approximately 3200 years old and has an ambitious plan to save the universe. Often underestimated, but can devour a spaceship hold full of savage monsters in less than a minute. Hillary Leela used to consider him an amusing pet, but now has to take him more seriously.


Donald Trump: Zapp Brannigan

A power-mad, pompous buffoon, ready to sacrifice wave after wave of his own men. Known for his triumphant victory over the pacifists of the Gandhi Nebula. Easily distracted by hot alien babes.

Ted Cruz: Nudar

Leader of a crew of scammers, happy to risk destroying the universe if it might get him what he wants. Considered repulsive by everyone except victims of the obedience virus. Has a disturbing tendency to win anyway, after which he does an annoying victory dance.

Marco Rubio: Philip J Fry

Nice enough guy, but out of his depth intellectually (and in most other ways).

Jeb Bush: Amy Wong

A complete and total klutz, without much sense of purpose. Practically unlimited financial resources, as the Bush Wong family own half of Mars.

John Kasich: Kif Kroker

Rational and competent, but has trouble getting anyone to listen. Despairs at the antics of Trump Zapp Brannigan. Sighs a lot.

Ben Carson: Hubert J Farnsworth

Brilliant at his specialist area of expertise. Baffled and confused by the wider world.

* Chris Christie: The Donbot

Known for taking excessive revenge on those who disappoint him. Any resemblance to the New Jersey Mafia is entirely coincidental.

* Carly Fiorina: Mom

A ruthless businesswoman, but unsuccessful in her scheme to take over the world.

Not running: Nixon's head in a jar

Although he would be an improvement on some of the others.

Also not running: FXJKHR

He is the 60th President, and Obama is the 44th, so we have some time.

Friday 12 February 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-02-12: Joni

Watchful cat on the windowsill.

We were glad to learn this week that Belle has been adopted. We wish her a long and happy life in her new home.

Slouching Towards Nomination

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"
--- WB Yeats, "The Second Coming" 

Whatever else happens, Donald Trump has made history: With no experience in elected office or the armed forces, he has won a state primary. He was almost twenty percentage points ahead of his nearest competitor in New Hampshire. What if he keeps winning?

Donald Trump

Friday 5 February 2016

Cute Cat Friday 2016-02-05: Joni

Here is Joni on her very first expedition through the cat flap into our garden. She's going outside regularly now; not for very long at a time, but we think that's largely because of the bad weather.

Belle is still available for adoption. The shelter had a couple of litters of kittens to place as well. I must admit they were completely adorable and it's not surprising they were taken first, but we are hoping she finds a good home soon.

The Greatest Show on Earth

I've always been fascinated by US Presidential campaigns. I've been following the latest one, but refrained from blogging about it until now. Of course I'll have a lot more to say about the candidates, but first I want to step back and consider the election itself.

On Monday the first votes were cast, in the Iowa caucuses. So begins an election process louder, crazier and more expensive than any other, to choose the most powerful person on the planet.