Circle Games with Abbas and Kerry

Beyond the Cusp

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has found a new victim on whom he can ploy his usual bag of tricks running them round and round never accomplishing anything meaningful all the while pulling sequential bait and switch trading between preconditions and promises. United States Secretary of State Kerry may even be the perfect foil for Abbas and his games as Secretary Kerry is so hungry to make progress that he will see peace just around the corner even if he cannot see a corner. In many ways Kerry is a dreamer of great things and great accomplishments despite the dismay that all others realize exists much as Israeli President Peres has held to the belief that peace is almost within his grasp if just he were allowed one more try. We saw the first signs of this with Secretary Kerry on his last trip when right before departing he spoke claiming…

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Hayek’s guidance for western politicians on MidEast

Manchester Liberal

Freedom fighters

In his final book, The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism, Freidrich von Hayek wrote that: “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design”.

Few people are more in need of one of Hayek’s lessons than western politicians.

Nearly two and half years ago civil unrest broke out in a number of Middle Eastern countries. An excitable western media, this generation of journalists eager for its own Fall of the Berlin Wall, soon christened it the ‘Arab Spring’.

How misguided this characterisation was quickly became apparent. Whereas the Prague Spring of 1968 had actually been about freedom the ‘Arab Spring’ saw unpleasant secular regimes elbowed aside only to be replaced with at least as unpleasant Islamist regimes.

Every use of the phrase ‘Arab Spring’ became an insult to those Czechs and Slovaks who…

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The Devil’s Bridge, Ruskin’s View and the Vale of Lune

notesfromcamelidcountry

Legend tells us that in the fourteenth century the good people of Kirkby Lonsdale wanted to build a bridge across the River Lune. They didn’t have the means to build it, so the Devil appeared to a local woman and promised to build the bridge for them. In return, the Devil wanted possession of the first soul to cross the bridge.

The town folk agree to the Devil’s terms and overnight the Devil built the bridge. The following morning the woman came to the bridge and, outwitting the Devil, threw bread onto it for her dog to chase. The dog crosses the bridge and the Devil has to accept its soul instead of a human soul.

This legend isn’t unique, there are many similar folk tales across Europe. When I was at school in Kirkby Lonsdale an alternative version of the tale told of how a local farmer drove a…

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Same Old Question

TalesAlongTheWay

  Image

Last week, I was pretty much focused on the situation in Cairo and the millions of people demonstrating for freedom.  Ironically, it was also the 150 year anniversary  of  the Battle of Gettysburg. This was a time in the history of the United States when there was a war for freedom waged between the north and the south. Three days in July 1863 in rural Pennsylvania near the site of a small town Gettysburg became one of the most important battles of that war.LincolnMcC

President Lincoln meeting with his generals.

sept21tenreg

Here is a photograph of a regiment of Confederate soldiers.

This is the first war documented with  photography.  The South had lead a ferocious war and if it had not been for several mistakes made by General Lee at Gettysburg, the outcome of the war might have been different.  He let his men influence  him against his better judgement…

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President Obama Welcomes the Holy Month of Ramadan

danmillerinpanama

It is a month to bring peace and joy for all men through the world.
Except Jews, Christians, Apostates, Heretics and other non-Islamist males.
Women? Don’t be foolish.

ObamaGodYesterday brought more mayhem peace and joy to all the Earth as Barack Humble Obama, now universally proclaimed and revered as Santa Mañana, initiated White House ceremonies celebrating the Holy Month of Ramadan. He made only brief remarks including the request, implicit but clear, that we believe whatsoever he sayeth just as would the smallest and most innocent of the children of whom he is so very fond.

For the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time for thoughtful reflection, fasting and devotion.  It is also an opportunity for family and friends to come together and celebrate the principles that bind people of different faiths – a commitment to peace, justice, equality and compassion towards our fellow human beings.  These…

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