Thursday, January 18, 2018

Thoughts from Galicia: 18.1.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain. 

If you've arrived here because of an interest in Galicia or Pontevedra, see my web page here.

  • After searching for an 'objective assessment of Trump's first year', I alighted on this site. This is the first comment which jumped out at me:- Congressional Republicans, unlike their president, have yet to assimilate the fact that they belong increasingly to a working-class party of the uncredentialed forgotten men and women of the 21st-century digital global economy. And this was the second, actually the final paragraph:- The lesson of Trump year one is that objective reality plays little to no part in assessments of his tenure. Trump the president is subsumed in the operatic character of Trump the man. On one hand, his most loyal voters won’t abandon him because their connection is psychic, personal, and charismatic. On the other, his most vehement opponents cannot be won over by the conventionality of his governing choices or the success of his policies. The ultimate referent in political debate is Trump’s personal behavior, his outbursts and moods, his likes and dislikes, his Tweets and asides and insults and flattery. Not only is America divided along lines of education and class. It is polarized by attitudes toward the personality and aesthetics of Donald Trump. And I do not think he would want it any other way. 
  • For a personal view of the tribal nature of the politics of this polarised/polarized nation, click here. Even more depressing, if accurate.
The UK
  • In this clip, the London head of Breibart News – Raheem Kassam - not only says it's fine for President Fart to label countries shitholes but adds – on the basis of some crime statistics that might well be accurate – that London is a shithole city. This confirms something about the alt-right – that, in pursuit of its version of the truth, anything goes in public discourse. Including ad hominem attacks and personal abuse. So, presumably it'd be OK for Mrs May, the queen or even the Pope to label President Fart an arsehole. Apart from being indecorous, this doesn't seem to me to promise consensus or even compromise. But, then, that's not what the alt-right is after, is it? What it wants is imposition of its Bannonite policies, even if the majority of the electorate is against them. The end justifies the means. Rather like Putin, then. Or the Jesuits. Quasi-religious fervour and a hunger for power, justifying anything and everything. O tempora, o mores.
  • Pondering the news of the possible loan of the Bayeux tapestry to the UK in a few years's time, it struck me that - given the origins of the Anglo-Saxons - this tapestry might well celebrate the last time the French defeated the Germans at war. I was going to say 'at their national game' but this would be churlish. And worthy of Raheem Kassam, perhaps.
Nutters Corner
  • Former White House (short-term) communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, says Fart's tweets show off his wit. Rather more accurately, perhaps, he confirms that: Fart is using Twitter to jump over the mainstream media to directly message the people who voted for him.
  • Oh, you are so happy you voted for me. You are so lucky that I gave you that privilege. Yesterday's example of said wit.
  • It's reported that 31 people were convicted here last year of operating as psychologists without any professional qualification whatsover. Another example of 'low ethics', I guess.
  • The camino pilgrims aren't – or some of them at least – the only religious folk to have come to Pontevedra in the last 100 years. In 1925, one of the little girls who'd seen a vision of the virgin in Fátima in 1917 – now a nun, Sister Lucía - was visited not only by Mary again but also by the infant Jesus in her little convent here in Pontevedra. Honest. By the way, this is the same nun whom some Catholics think – as I reported a while ago – was later replaced by an impostor. I'm not sure why anyone would do this. Unless she'd become a Nazi supporter and had to be quietly supplanted. Here's something on the alleged conspiracy. Plenty more on the internet, of course.
  • If you're considering a DNA test done to discover your ancestry, you might want to read this first. Says one geneticist: These companies are asking people to pay for something that is at best trivial and at worst astrology. But might, all the same, be at least a bit of fun.
Today's Cartoon
  • I had hoped to upload this short video but, as usual, it doesn't work. So here's a link to it.


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Would you not say, my dear friend, that the French defeated the Germans in World War I? Well, with a little help from their friends of course... But still...


Colin Davies said...

I meant 1-to-1 tussles, of course.

Perry said...

Raheem Kassam is both right thinking & right (correct) thinking, as am I.

As for a private DNA test, I am all for them despite your sourpuss geneticist (who probably he had had the idea). Had I understood the serious significance of the presence of the Alpha 1 variant gene in the list below, which was carried out 3 years before it was confirmed at the Royal Brompton following a blood test, then it's possible that my 4 admissions to hospital for community acquired pneumonia within 3 years could have been avoided as those at risk are treated differently.
Instead, each bout damaged my lungs further & now walking into a stiff breeze exhausts me.

Inherited Conditions
These reports show your results for specific genetic variants that can cause certain health conditions. Many of these conditions are
recessive, meaning that they only occur when you have two variants for that condition, one inherited from each parent. If you have inherited
just one variant, you are said to be a "carrier". Carriers usually do not have the condition, but can pass the variant on to their children. Note
that these reports cover only a subset of possible variants that may be linked to a condition. It is thus possible to have other variants not covered by these reports.
At least it was only one out of twenty possibles.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Variant Present

ARSACS Variant Absent
Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum with Peripheral
Neuropathy (ACCPN) Variant Absent
Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease Variant Absent
BRCA Cancer Mutations (Selected) Variant Absent
Beta Thalassemia Variant Absent
Bloom's Syndrome Variant Absent
Canavan Disease Variant Absent
Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation Type 1a
(PMM2-CDG) Variant Absent
Connexin 26-Related Sensorineural Hearing Loss Variant Absent
Cystic Fibrosis Variant Absent
D-Bifunctional Protein Deficiency Variant Absent
DPD Deficiency Variant Absent
Dihydrolipoamide Dehydrogenase Deficiency Variant Absent
Factor XI Deficiency Variant Absent
Familial Dysautonomia Variant Absent
Familial Hypercholesterolemia Type B Variant Absent
Familial Hyperinsulinism (ABCC8-related) Variant Absent
Familial Mediterranean Fever Variant Absent
Fanconi Anemia (FANCC-related) Variant Absent

Colin Davies said...

Perry, Test for disease markers are rather different from those re ancestry. The sceptic was only referring to the latter, I believe.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

But when was there ever a 1-on-1 tussle between the Germans and the French???


Colin Davies said...


Colin Davies said...

Please don't bother telling me the Prussians weren't German!

Alfred B. Mittington said...

No, I was going to mention that the Normans were not really French but, as the name implies, rather Nordic...

But seriously. One on one tussles: how about Napoleon? He beat the Bratwurst out of the Germans for more than a decade, and only got smashed himself when the Krauts got a heap of help from the British, the Russians, and - not to forget - the Dutch.

Kindly stop belittling the martial qualities of my compatriots, my dear fellow!

Alfréd B. Mittingtone-Coulon.

Colin Davies said...

Well, I'm sure the British would prefer to see the (French-speaking) Normans as Scandinavian but I rather think the French would see them as more French than anything else.

In the same way as the Anglo Saxons saw themselves as rather more Anglo than Saxon.

So it wasn't really a German-French battle at all in 1066.

And wasn't it the arrival of the Prussian Germans at Waterloo which led to the defeat of Bonaparte?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

My dear boy,

Of course it was the timely arrival of Blücher's Prussian columns which tilted the balance at Waterloo. But it took them some 6 to 7 hours to arrive on the scene, when Britain and the Dutch stood alone against the Corsican upstart. Don't belittle the splendid efforts of your and my (other) compatriots either!


Colin Davies said...

First mention I've ever heard of Dutch participants. Were they the caterers?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Yes, they supplied the French army with cabbage, fake brandy, and raw herring. Which is why Napoleon lost...

How about you read up on the Waterloo battle a little before making audacious statements? The Dutch were mighty courageous at the time!


Colin Davies said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Davies said...

Like most of the Dutchmen I have the misfortune to know, probably full of 'Dutch courage' . . . .