Margaret Thatcher, the Movie

I don’t know yet what to expect from the film coming out about Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the UK nicknamed “the Iron Lady.” She and Ronald Reagan worked well together, and this bit of humor I posted earlier in the year will give you a feel for her reputation:

Thatcher, accompanied by her cabinet, arrives at a very nice London restaurant. She takes her seat at the head of the table, and the cabinet members dutifully take their places around the table.

The water approaches her, and she glances at the menu and says decisively, “I will have the steak.”

“Very good, madam. And for the vegetables?”

“The same.”

The Right Honorable former Prime Minister is still alive, though in somewhat fragile health, and the movie The Iron Lady has been panned by Thatcher’s children as “a left-wing fantasy” but has the actual left wingers dismayed that it does not make her look more terrible. (I’m amused by this: some on the left seem to write with the same zeal as Captain Hook in the movie: “I hate! I Hate! I HATE conservatives!”

That writer would have been disappointed: a recent article shows that, three decades later, far more people feel that the Iron Lady was right. The article is entitled “We are all Thatcher’s children now.”  And this review is positive.

Here’s another, with “Five Myths about Margaret Thatcher” that are interesting.  And she was voted “the most competent prime minister of the past thirty years.”

An aside: In that “myths” article is a discussion of the financial meltdown. It seems worth mentioning that my own take — that the meltdown was caused specifically by the policies-run-amok at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, protected and abetted by Democrats in Congress — is getting a bit more attention now. A few days ago, six former executives of those organizations were sued for fraud in connection with those events.

Barney Frank and Chris Dodd are still at large.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

A Joyful Yuletide (with High Technology)

May the Christmas cheer at this time of year
Lift you high and ease your loads
Of all faiths and creeds, each of us still needs
To find joy along our roads

For the folks alone, and of somber tone
May a mate you find, and be
As I’m here to say on this Christmas Day
This has meant so much to me

For the family groups and the far-off troops
May the season keep you sound
And may each return bring the love you earn
Love to cushion and surround

Perhaps our book writing is less exciting
Than other sorts of distraction
But may the coming year make your vision clear
And provide you creative traction

From right here the view of the lot of you
Is a view of worthy friends
May the holiday find its happy way
Bearing love our family sends

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Neanderthals Sophisticated Humans

I write here for my own amusement. (And I’m right here for your amusement too, perhaps.) While I make typographical mistakes (and appreciate the corrections and catches!), I strive to avoid them, and I do try to be careful with facts.

Writers for the Daily Mail in the UK have a larger audience, and one would think they’d be a bit more careful about proofreading. In this instance, at least, that did not happen. The title of my post comes from the last paragraph of an article (about Neanderthals building homes) that is posted there:

It adds to the growing view that Neanderthals sophisticated humans who has their own culture and may have even used language to communicate.

The article contained other language and geography mistakes. Even the title of the article uses “homely” when the writer meant “homey” (and uses it correctly in the text).

Elsewhere, I am seeing the interesting tidbit that Neanderthal ancestry is supposedly contained in all groups of modern humans — except sub-Saharan Africans. This is relevant to a project I’m working on, but seems likely to be controversial.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

The Music of the Fears: “The Wreck of Al Gore’s Copenhagen”

For the next week, I will post a bit of Climategate-themed music. The first pieces were written two years ago. Later in the week, I’ll tinker (carefully) with the Christmas theme and see what I can do with that.

So here’s the first one (with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot’s excellent work):

The Wreck of Al Gore’s Copenhagen

The legend is stored on the ClimateAudit board
Of the source code and CRU emails
A hacker they said sent the zip file that led
To reveal, that November, the details Continue reading

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Evolution of a Political Story: Jules Manson

Apparently, a man named Jules Manson posted a message on his Facebook page this morning calling (in racist language) for the assassination of the president and his family.

This is bad, stupid, and not incidentally a felony. He took the message down, but of course it was preserved.  What has not been preserved is the truth, in various headlines now appearing, of who he is. Continue reading