Polls are open in Scotland for the referendum on independence. In accordance with standard British practice they are open 7am to 10pm (British Summer Time is in force, one hour ahead of GMT).
it is estimated that 97% of the eligible population has registered to vote. That includes young people from their 16th birthday, the usual voting age is 18-plus.
Voting is by paper ballots. Counting is by hand.
This BBC link gives further details.
Looking at the destruction after Sandy and thinking about what needs to be rebuilt.
An enormously complex ecosystem has been devastated. Not just the natural world but the human-made world, whoever ‘built that’.
One of the most striking books I have on my shelves is ‘Infrastructure: A Field Guide To The Industrial Landscape’ by Brian Hayes.
Superb photographs and clear, concise explanations of what is going on.
I really recommend thus book to anyone who wants to understand our real world, and get a glimpse of the extraordinary skills of ordinary people who make and maintain this world..
While Donald Trump gets ready to do whatever Birther skunks do to foul up decent people’s lives, he has been caught up in a renewed and continuing stink in Britain.
The BBC has just broadcast the first TV showing of the film ‘You’ve Been Trumped’. Donald Trump had the lawyers out trying to prevent this being aired but the BBC stood firm.
There are a number of British references in the Olympic opening ceremony that may not be immediately obvious to non-Britons. Perhaps some here might be interested in teasing out the wider connections….
When the assembled bands play ‘Hail To The Chief’ for President Obama on Tuesday, there will be a small cultural irony linking this to the Ku Klux Klan.
The music was originally a setting for part of Sir Walter Scott’s romantic poem ‘The Lady Of The Lakes’. Scott’s "Highland Revival" romanticism is responsible for inspiring a number of parallel nationalist inventions. *
The ‘Boat Song’ from Cantata Two was set to music by nationalist plagiarists in the USA in 1812. It was first used as a Presidential salute in 1828.
I have a friend who’s uncle was, for many years, a very left-wing Labour MP in Britain. One of the people who would be insulted if you accused them of not being a Socialist. Very much not ‘New Labour’.
My friend. (Let’s call her M), remembers vividly a visit she paid to Parliament as a young women, and having tea with her Uncle in the Parliamentary tea –rooms. This is one of the parts of the Palace of Westminster where MPs and constituents mix closely together. During the meal, a notorious right-wing Tory MP came past their table – one of the really well-known bogeymen for the left. Her hackles rose in anticipations of hostility.
Something completely different to cheer up the Thanksgiving season.... From Helsinki - the Helsingin Valituskuoro (Complaints Choir). With English subtitles in case you don't speak Finnish.
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Could a Kos Choir sing the USA to the world so wittily? Project for next Yearly Kos???
It appears that the bar on non-US citizens making contributions affecting the US elections applies to partisan organisations but NOT to a GOTV organisation that avoids candidate identification.
The Guardian today (13 Oct) points out that the NAACP has a voter turnout effort and that it is perfectly legal for europeans (for example) to donat to the NAACP in the hope that a higher Afro-American vote translates into a higher Kerry vote. URL for NAACP donations is given.
seefull story on
Some good stuff seems to be available over in AskSam. In particular, a fully searchable and indexable version of debate number one, and versions of the George Bush and John Kerry campaign books.
go to www.asksam.com and follow appropriate links.
Doesn't look as if Overseas Observers would fare much better either.
See this 'Guardian' story. Text includes:
" A crackdown by US authorities on issuing visas to foreign journalists threatens to cause chaos for overseas broadcasters and newspapers just five months before the presidential election.
The new rules, which come into force next week, will ban overseas reporters and news crews stationed in the US from renewing their visas without leaving the country first."
This could mean delays of up to... six months before readmission.
The script for Fahrenheit 9/11 is now available on the Web at
Which is good news for me as I cant follow the dialogue in films without captions for the deaf.
Opening in the UK now so I will read script then go and see the film for the body language and so on...
In his book 'Two Cheers For Democracy' E.M. Forster says:
"I suggest that the only books that influence us are those for which we are ready, and which have gone a little farther down our particular path than we have yet got ourselves."
I suggest Forster's book may well be one for these times. If only to get the wonderful context for his quotation of John Milton's description of societies in the mould of Ashcroft "a vast congealement of wood and hay and stubble".
Milton also said that he
"..cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."
I think Milton might have liked DailyKos. Have a look at Forsters essays and see why. And perhaps take some courage to stay and fight on.