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Sunday, December 31, 2006


Last Day of 2006 - There is Always Hope

Weird Republicans in Kansas. Think of Oz, as in The Wizard of Oz. This one stood out among the headlines in the Washington Post: "Party Puts Ousted Official In His Opponent's Old Post".

"Statewide, Kline got barely 4 in 10 votes. In Johnson County, the state's most populous county, his loss was more dramatic. That made it especially shocking after the election when Republican precinct leaders in the county chose Kline to finish the final two years of Morrison's term as prosecutor."

"The moment Phill Kline got the nomination, half the room got up and walked out," said Scott Schwab, the county GOP chairman. "It wasn't so much yelling or cussing. They threw up their arms and said, 'What do we do now?' "


When it comes to bad news, for Americans, Iraq takes the top spot. There are other areas in the world where people are suffering -- Darfur and Somalia to name a few -- the scourge of AIDS is spreading in Asia. We have a dominant role in what is happening in Iraq and our soldiers are paying with their lives for Bush's folly. Number of Iraqi deads is staggering as is the cost in financial terms.

Good things happened. On November 7, 2006, President Bush had his comeuppance and lost his smirk. What the Democrats will achieve with the power they have regained is to be seen but, from environmental issues to Iraq, things will not continue to go downhill unchecked as they had since G.W. Bush became president.

"Boogie Nights"

Kate Faithful writes in The Guardian about her search for the best dance floor in London. She found it at the neighborhood kebab shop!

When I jump down from the table and skip on to the street, well after midnight, hunger drives me into a modest-looking kebab shop, Marathon. Fluorescent light, elephant foot in the window, counter down the left wall - reckon you've been there before? Well, Marathon is a one-off: through an archway at the back there's a pair of pensioners playing sax. A bubbling band of pub stragglers eat kebabs and ketchup-slathered chips on tiny wooden tables. Praise be, there's also cider - pounds 2 a can. And then we get up and spin around the tiny space. I've discovered a Twenties speakeasy and I can't help feeling cool. I would never have planned the climax of a seven-day danceathon to take place in the narrow back room of a kebab shop. Now I realise why overpriced, overhyped nightclubs exist - it's so the pretentious attitudes within stay behind their velvet ropes and away from my favourite places. If they gatecrash Marathon it will stop being cool. Anyway, somehow time has jumped to 4am and I haven't even thought to check if my feet hurt.

There Is Always Hope

The year has been mostly good for the people I know. That is something to feel cheerful about. Stay well, be involved. It is a small world, "what happens in other countries affect us".


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