The good old USA

statue-liberty

That’s what I pine for. I don’t think I like the USA that has been on show during this election campaign. It’s not only the two candidates who have been somewhat lacking, and that for sure is being charitable.

I want the good old USA back. Unfortunately, I do not think either of the candidates could possibly come close to that, and neither seems to have the potential to unite the nation.

So, here I sit on the sidelines, neither a USA citizen nor voter, but with a vested interest in the policies and practices of the USA. Worried and concerned.

I hope that whoever wins the presidential race surprises us all, but only in a good way.

G-d Bless America.

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Meanwhile, back in Glasgow

glasgow

I love Glasgow. Always have, and always will. Do I miss it? Sure. I especially miss friends and family. But I don’t lie awake at night, home sick, desperate to return. It is a great city, but it is in my past. However, media coverage – good and bad – about Glasgow still attracts my attention. The following extract, from a piece by Hattie Kennedy at the Book Riot site, is a good example:

Since moving to Glasgow ten years ago, one of my favourite things about living in this beautiful city has been exploring all of the exciting literary secrets the city has to offer. From beautiful libraries with astonishing carpets, to second-hand bookshops that would melt the hardest of bookish hearts, this city is a veritable wonderland for those of us with a literary bent.

Note the “beautiful city” description. I agree. It almost makes me want to jump on a plane and head back to the joys of the Clockwork Orange (the underground railway) and the stark pleasures of a West of Scotland winter. Almost, but not quite. Read the whole thing here.

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Disconnect

I often wonder how much thought people give to their political beliefs. Do they think them through, and ponder the consequences? Do they test the validity of their principles against, for example, the basic requirements of a caring society, or simple logic?

The following extract from the Guardian report about the Million Mask March in London suggests the answer is “no.”

Among the protesters was Angela Windsor, an unemployed 40-year-old, who said she had travelled from Wales to take part in the event. “Nobody is protecting people – nobody cares. I think everyone here cares enough about people to make the effort to come down and try and do something, because the officials aren’t doing it.”

She said anyone who tried to incite a repeat of last year’s violent displays would be missing the point, adding: “Nobody wants a fight, we just want change.” But she was forced to defend the wording of a sign she was brandishing – including the words “death to the monarchy” – when questioned about it by passersby.

Didn’t she stop to ponder the disconnect between “Nobody wants a fight, we just want change” and “death to the monarchy”? Or are the Queen and the royal family not human beings, and so not to be considered? If you were being charitable, you might argue that death is simply an extreme form of change. (That was a joke folks.) On the other hand, you might simply shake your head in bewilderment at the stupidity of it all. Where was this person educated? Was this person educated?

Of course similar idiocy (and ignorance) is the standard you will see at typical anti-Israel protests. It’s useful to remind ourselves what the expected level of political discourse is out there.

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Holiday gaming

Apart from solitaire wargaming, and another ASL lesson from Ran, I did manage some euro style gaming in the enforced break running from the wedding to the end of the chagim.

I introduced Steven Gladstone to Star Realms and 7 Wonders: Duel. I also introduced Susan to these same games, and we shared a couple of nights of pleasant boardgaming, and a few victories apiece over Sukkot.

A bit of a barren period for gaming that was, but all perfectly understandable in the circumstances.

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Eilat English

Susan and I had a relaxing time in Eilat for Sukkot. We did a bit of lazing about, some reading, spent time at the gym and the pool, ate (too much, of course), shook our lulav and etrog, and even went to shul.

The standard (and availability) of kosher catering in Eilat seems to be gradually improving. However, you could not say the same for the standard of English translations:

Whine for table four?

Whine for table four?

And if you think that was bad, how the hell do you explain this one?

The food equivalent of the Unfinished Symphony - the Unpaid Penne?

The food equivalent of the Unfinished Symphony – the Unpaid Penne?

Israeli English; nothing quite like it.

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