9 February 2020
There is a Republican senator in America willing to put their own integrity before political expediency! Mitt Romney of Utah, a devout Mormon, was the only Republican to vote in favour of convicting Donald Trump for abuse of power; “… my promise before God to apply impartial justice required that I put my personal feelings and political biases aside”, he told the Senate.
Why does this remind me of an obscure song from the 60s called “Madman running through the fields” (“wonder how he feels”) by Dantalian’s Chariot? Dantalian was/is, of course, a big man in hell and, somewhere, I’ve got the original record.
While all this was going on, the chaos of the Democratic caucus in Ohio proved that computers don’t make things quicker and easier. Some see the caucus race in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as a satire on the American system; it involves everybody running around in all directions, with no rules, and everybody wins. Sounds about right, except for the last bit.
Trump revealed his human side by tweeting his congratulations after the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the youngest ever Super Bowl ‘most valuable player’ (MVP), saying Mahomes was a credit to “the Great State of Kansas”. Sadly for Trump, Kansas City is in Missouri.
Not content with pissing Trump off by deciding to buy Huawei components for the UK, our own aspirant dictator’s decision to buy from Huawei has even upset some of his own MPs. One of the objectors is Iain Duncan Smith, who’s desperate for some good publicity after the National Audit Office announced that the deaths of at least 69 people who had killed themselves could have been linked to benefit claims since 2014, when he was in charge of the DWP, and the actual number could be far higher.
I’m torn by Phillip Schofield’s revealing he’s gay. I admire the courage of a well-known and popular person coming out as gay; I’m worried about how his wife must feel, however supportive she’s been in public; and I can’t see why anybody’s sexuality is such a big deal.
A paper published in 2018 by two New York academics after a survey of 50,000 women in 2016 found that lesbians orgasmed 86% of the time during sex, as opposed to 65% of straight women (and 95% of straight men). An earlier report from 2010 found that 80% of women fake orgasm during vaginal intercourse about half the time. Isn’t this too close for comfort to gaslighting, feeling manipulated into making the other person feel good, like when a violent person hits somebody else and says “Look what you made me do” and they apologise?
At last Sunday’s Super Bowl, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira did a gig at half-time, causing a right-wing Christian activist, Dave Daubenmire, to threaten to sue the National Football League for “about $867tn” because watching the two women dance “put [him] in danger of hellfire”. Sounds like fair compensation for someone who is too busy to press the ‘off’ switch.
A 15-year old British citizen was radicalised and chose to leave Britain to fight for the Islamic State. The then Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, removed her citizenship because she was of Bangladeshi descent and was considered old enough to make an informed decision about joining the Islamic State even though she wasn’t considered old enough to vote for people like Sajid Javid (who is of Pakistani descent).
Shamima Begum, who has since lost three children and escaped IS’s clutches, is now 20 and still detained in a refugee camp in northern Syria. This week, her appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission was rejected even though Bangladesh has said she’s not a Bangladeshi citizen and it is illegal under international law to make anyone stateless.
Following a month’s delay while the Chinese tried to pretend it wasn’t happening, the coronavirus is now spreading exponentially, racing up the first half of the bell curve so a worldwide pandemic seems possible. However, the Chinese did build two new hospitals from scratch in less than two weeks. Perhaps Bonzo should visit Wuhan to see how he could learn how to build his promised 40 new NHS hospitals to a similar timescale.
If you want your children to be successful, teach them to be kind – show them how to do it by being kind to others. Apparently, kindness to others is declining although there’s evidence that children who do help others end up achieving more than those who don’t, and they enjoy doing it.
The journalist Hadley Freeman wrote yesterday about a kindness she’d received. When she was at a Vanity Fair party and saw a film director she knew a bit socially, she naturally went to greet him. He stuck his hand up in her face and said “No press”. Colin Firth happened to be nearby and, having overheard the exchange, came up to her and, despite (she thought) never having heard her name before, said “Hadley Freeman? I’m such a fan! Can I talk to you?”.