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The Anglo-American political forum for pundits separated by a common language...


Very interesting...

We have this first parade photo of Cadet Wales at Sandhurst

We hate to be the ones to say it but we were the first to suggest Harry should probably pack up his tucker and off to military school. Now it's done and just in the nick of time or we would once again have had nothing to write about.

The only thing all week has been this sodding election and if there is anything Americans really can't stand it's a sodding election, especially when they don't understand it - the Brits just don't know how to have a proper election. First off it take a minimum of 2 years just sorting out the possible candidates and then, well you know there's the debates and confusion and mud slinging not to mention the indifference and boredom.

The only thing the British election even attempted to do right was throw doubt on the legitimacy of the results after the ballots were counted. Perhaps Americans should consider this option and after an election just ask the winner to resign and forgo all that nasty, expensive ballot recounting.

Good luck Cadet Wales, you'll need it.


Take me to the river

A shared language, a Southern heritage

Many years ago as a student I had the good fortune to find myself in the house troupe of actors for the inaugural season of Minneapolis's Tyrone Guthrie Theater. Though I had doubtful prospects I was eager to participate knowing that I would be in such a robust and elite company of actors, not the least of whom were the Lady and Sir Guthrie himself.

As rehearsals commenced all the ensemble were struck fairly dumb by the presence of such notables as the Guthries and their entourage. We eagerly absorbed each tidbit of professional wisdom and wit that this luminary couple would tender regarding acting and stage presence all, of course, delivered in the most precise, impossibly sonorous King's English. Day after day we stood bathed in the spell of language delivered by one of the truly great practitioners of words that were written by Shakespeare and meant to be spoken by Elizabethans for Elizabethans; I learned more about the English language in those two weeks than in the previous 12 years up to graduation.

One insight revealed during these lectures has remained with me to this day, English as spoken in Shakespeare's time is nowhere more exactly duplicated today as in the American south. What we snicker at, sometimes outright demean and vilify as the Southern drawl is, in fact, a syncopation and living interpretation of the tempo and sound of the first English settlers to the Carolinas and points south. Preserved in generations of traditional southern families, passed down from mother to son and father to child the spoken American language of the deep south sounds much as it did to Shakespeare and his contemporaries - aint that kick in the haid.

Now, perhaps I'm making too much of this but it seems to me reasonable, given that this preservation of the mother tongue exists exclusively in the American South, that a new respect for Southern prose, poetic and propinquity to our northern cousins is deserving.

That, and the fact that I appreciate magnolia blossoms and the ever present perfume of night blooming Jasmine and as I possess every known version of Take Me to the River* are just a few of the reasons I feel truly at home in the South.

*Take Me to the River:

  • Al Green, Lenny Kravitz, BB King & Sheryl Crow
  • Annie Lennox
  • Commitments
  • Etta James
  • Eva Cassidy
  • Foghat
  • Grateful Dead
  • Joan Osborne
  • Monte Montgomery
  • RatDog & Charlie Musselwhite
  • Talking Heads


What it means to be Southern

Southern Blogs Ring, the premier source on Southern culture, manner, missive and nostalgia will be holding a group blog to celebrate being alive, southern and free all at the same time.

You’ll are cordially invited Saturday April 30th to attend our first neighborhood cotillion and brunch.

The menu will be a light repast of Southern classics and down home cooked tales served up with Southern style and taste by your hosts:

· Whacky Southern Housewife
· The World According to Tish
· Garden Stuff
· The Gardens Gift
· The Which Blair Project
· Florida Gardening
· A Southern Belle’s Musings
· An American Housewife
· Southern Porch
· The Green Cutting Board
· Animal Broadcast Network
· Romantic Ramblings
· The Naked Vegetarian

Guests will be offered words, photographs, entertainment and some surprises, to be sure. So plan to attend and spend some time with us in the South.


RCMP arrests protesters, Oh

Sea Shepherd crew arrested at seal hunt
WebPosted Apr 1 2005 09:22 AM NST
CBC News

CHARLOTTETOWN — Eleven seal hunt protesters have been arrested in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for violating the buffer zone around sealing ships, Fisheries and Oceans officials said Thursday.

Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society said members of his crew were taken into custody by the RCMP after they tried to photograph sealers in the afternoon.

The arrests happened out on the ice between the Magdalen Islands, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. Those arrested are being transported to Charlottetown and charged.

"All I know … is that they entered within one half mile of the sealing activity without permits," said Roger Simon of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Watson said one of his members was assaulted while photographing the hunt. John Vasic was beaten in the face and had his camera smashed when he approached one of the sealing boats trapped in the ice.

"I immediately called the coast guard and asked the RCMP to charge the sealer with assault. They responded by sending a helicopter to arrest Vasic," Watson told The Canadian Press.

"There is speculation that some kind of altercation happened out there, and I have no information on that. If there would be, that would be of a criminal nature and that would be the RCMP to respond," said Simon.

An RCMP spokesperson in Charlottetown said they are investigating an alleged assault but are not releasing any details.


Why fruitcake?

Once again, not being entirely sure what is going on with the Brits, Americans - and the rest of the world, for that matter, are asking the "fruitcake" question.

No one likes fruitcake! We use it for door stops, we re-gift it, don't allow it in l-a-n-d-fills for god sake. So why fruitcake at Charles' and Camilla's nuptials

Even Martha wouldn't recommend fruitcake for the wedding so... We remain tuned in for the rest of the story. Just please don't re-gift it to us.


Diet opens new can of worms on London streets

UK division of Atkins Company to close after disappointing sales of its branded products. 3 million Britons potentially threatened with paying significantly higher prices for low carb food items are expected to turn to the black market for their supply.

Several international cartels have reportedly positioned themselves to establish an exclusive hold over the potentially lucrative low-carb food market in the UK. American officials believe warehouses in New Jersey containing a full 6 months supply of relabeled, secondary market product are poised to flood the streets of London, Brighton and Glasgow with LC contraband by early summer.

Interpol said today in an unusual statement, "We're very concerned over this development. Illicit low carb food look alikes are extremely difficult to sort out from standard import foods and as a result we have had to initiate a crash training program for inspector officers and retrain our agent associates to infiltrate and monitor local grocery establishments as opposed to the usual nightclub venues................"at which point this reporter fell asleep.

The Mirror issued the following report starting with today's headline.

Mob opens private lowcarb club on east side. Alleged sex for food ring suspected

The discovery of a private dining club in London's fashionable Eastside today sparked concern among authorities. The raid fueled speculation that the recent influx of black market Atkins food has sparked a crime wave which threatens to ravage health conscious Londoners and turn the diet wars into a full fledged challenge to British culinaires.

Calls for the government takeover of food imports echoed from Parliamentary hallways to 10 Downing


You don't know Malcolm

Malcolm Glazer and bid to buy Manchester United - Feint or Play?

I first met Malcolm Glazer when I was a young reporter for the Alachula Times Picayune.
I had been sent to interview Florida's 23rd richest billionaire for an article we were doing on rich billionaires and I drew the short straw. By that I mean I got to drive across the state to Tampa while all the rest of my colleagues pursued their quarry by jet to such glamorous places as Madrid, the Riviera and Las Vegas. Seems that Malcolm is a bit of a stay-at-home.

Resigned to my domestic assignment I decided to make the most of it and go for a Pulitzer first time out. After all I was about to interview Florida's 23rd most unlikely man to become at one and the same time a billionaire and enigmatic recluse.

I arrived early with high expectations. Glazer was mine, I thought as I waited patiently in the outer office of the Buccaneer's Franchise headquarters. The walls were decorated with numerous framed media clippings featuring Malcolm, "Man of the Year", Tampa Bay's Best, Florida Entrepreneur, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover and so on and so on until my head was fairly spinning with anticipation at meeting the famed business man and put his real story to print.

At long last I was ushered in to meet the great man. I could not help feeling a bit like the querulous cowardly lion about to face the Wizard of Oz. I expected eruptions of flame and smoke as thunderous intonations challenged my very existence and, for that matter, the existence of my father and his father before him. I swear I was actually standing at the desk, hand outstretched before I could open my eyes only to behold the most incongruous scene I have witnessed in all my years as a reporter, an empty desk presided over by a life size cardboard cutout of The Malcolm himself.

"You like it?" I heard someone behind me say. "Not my best likeness, but I think it captures the moment, wha-da-ya think?"

I turned and there stood a medium built, disheveled man in his 60s who bore a remarkable resemblance to the cardboard cutout I had come to interview, damn, I thought, power played by a photo prop. "Yes sir", I said in a useless attempt to regain my reporterly stature, "very convincing."

"I thought you'ld be impressed." he continued, "It's one of my recent acquisitions. "A CEO for all Occasions," I call it. In fact I expect that with some slight modifications it will be capable of actually closing deals sometime in the near future. Have a seat."

I sat, "Sir, "I said.

"Say, that's a nice hat you're wearing." Glazer interupted, "How much would you take for it?"

Caught once again off guard I immediately proffered the hat with my sincerest compliments and began again. "Mr. Glazer,"

"You know, I haven't seen a ball point pen like that in years. How much did it cost?"

"Well, it really didn't cost, I mean the paper gives, Would you like it?" I capitulated.

"Why yes I would son, Thank you very much, very much indeed." He said accepting the pen.

I borrowed a pen from his desk and began again "What would you say was the most..."

"You know, I've always wanted to own a reporter." Glazer spouted. " Do you think your publisher would sell you? Maybe a trade, a linebacker and two first draft picks. Wha-da-ya think, think they'll go for it? How's your arm by the way?"

I excused myself at that point professing a sudden stomach condition and left the building without so much as a quote to further my career. I left realizing that my Pulitzer would have to wait and that as far as the world was concerned, you don't know Malcolm!