the best lack all conviction: Trump has some allies in Europe

 

 
Financial worries and fears about terrorism and immigration are contributing to a rise in right-wing politicians in Europe similar to Donald J. Trump.

The New York Times carries an article with a decent examination of what’s going on in the western world:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/11/world/europe/voter-insecurities-feed-rise-of-right-leaning-populist-politicians.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share

Pretty worrying , especially as our ruling political elites don’t seem to have a clue how to answer the mass appeal of the nationalists and tribalists.

down in New Orleans, Louisiana folks appear more European than North American in their culture, ‘salt and pepper’ easy-going values, and then Houston, Texas was a world apart again – refreshingly honest and plain-speaking the Texans I met suggest that the USA political elite only care about the east and west coast metropolitan areas plus Chicago, and the rest of USA can go and rot. Polarisation everywhere. The poverty I just experienced along Louisiana’s coastline is shameful. To say that this – the USA –  is the world’s most developed civilisation, the world’s First Nation , and can on the one hand exhibit such excesses and phenomenal wealth, with the wealthy elite boasting 2nd, 3rd and 4th homes,  a nation where eating-out extravagantly is the norm, and yet tolerate such abject and extensive poverty, homelessness, hunger and mental illness, it denies all logic.

WBYeats had it right:

the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed,
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

 

Regards and happy holidays

 

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Goodbye to the big easy

Sad farewells to the ‘big easy’ as we slip away from New Orleans on an Amtrak “express train” to Houston which will take 9 1/2 hours – the first 3 miles takes 30 minutes on this rickety old railway that stumbles and jolts its way through Louisiana’s swampy marshland and field after field of sugar cane interspersed with trailer park after trailer park…it’s a far cry from the Mansions of Maine and Cape Cod Cottages – feels like a forgotten land that I bet the Presidential Wannabees rarely touch : certainly can’t imagine that any of them travel railroad very much, makes you want to love British Rail!image