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28 November 2008
Official: this is a middle-class recession
On the little matter of the recession, the Daily Telegraph has admitted that it is London and the South that will suffer the loss of thousands of high paying non-jobs as the middle class gets hammered into the ground, and you really would need a heart of stone not to laugh out loud at the tales of woe that the paper has managed to dig up from the ranks of the formerly wealthy. The London Evening Standard is now reporting that house prices in the capital have fallen by around £100,000 this month alone, and nobody seems to be able to predict when the recession will bottom out.

Now all this is interesting because over the past few weeks your friendly old Exile has had his ear bent by various types, all of them trying to persuade him that the recession is something that everyone should worry about. This is bollocks, but it is also proof of just how small in number the middle class actually is - otherwise they wouldn't be pathetically pleading for sympathy and support, would they?

Sorry, folks, but just as you left us to rot on the dole after 1979, so now we get to sit back and watch as your houses get repossessed, your possessions sold off at knock-down prices and your wives and daughters go on the knock.

Have you any idea how entertaining all this is turning out to be?

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27 November 2008
Reporting the news: Brazilian style

This is how they report the news on Brazilian TV. All the more reason to keep up to date with what's going on in the world.

Why can't BBC World be more like this?

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26 November 2008
Secret Courts Jail Grandfather
This is a guest posting by UKSecretCourts, an anti-social worker activist based in Wales. She uses video for her campaigning, and her work can be watched at this link.

The Secret courts jail anyone who breaks their gagging orders. The sentences are draconian, even when compared to drug dealers, who often get away with only a light sentence. In the UK, you only ever serve half your "official" sentence, so that's down to 26 weeks. Now, here's the rub, you'll only serve 13 weeks in prison, and the other 13 weeks are via an electronic tag fitted to your ankle. As long as you're in at night, everyone's happy.

So what sort of sentences do the family courts give? Well you have no rights inside these courts, no time off for good behaviour if they send you to prison.

This video is about Charles Roy Taylor, a 71 year old grandfather, who wrote a letter, and came to the aid of his grandson, who's in a care home. The boy had made allegations of abuse, and his grandparents stood up for him, but we can't have grandparents standing up against the system can we?

So they jailed Charles Roy Taylor for 20 months. He's still in jail as we speak. His wife, was given probation, to ensure that she couldn't speak about the case. So consider yourself highly privileged to even know that this is happening.

The boy is almost 16 years old, and due to leave the care home. His grandfather, will be in prison for a year after the boy leaves, and returns to his grandmothers care.

Around 200 people are jailed without a jury trial, in a secret court. Latest figures show that this figure is grossly small, it's nearer 500 people. Getting sentences which are effectively seven times longer than a drug dealer.

The system is losing control, and this is the courts response to those who campaign against such abuse of power.

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25 November 2008
Tina Sherman nude photos are probably all fakes
Bad news for everyone who has been searching for Tina Sherman nude photos because it looks as if the story is a fake.

The version that sent pulses racing said that a Philip Sherman had left his mobile 'phone in a McDonald's eatery, only to have the staff grab the nude photos of his wife that were stored in the memory, and then post them on the web. According to this tale, the Shermans are suing the company for $3 million...

The problem is that nobody has managed to come up with a website that had the photos, nor have authenticated photos ever been published. All we have is this photo which is going the rounds, and a shot of a girl in a shower which this story debunks as a fake as well.

Sorry, folks, but this one looks like an urban myth to your friendly old Exile.

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Getting by: grow your own fruit
I first met Jed, as I shall call him, in early 1983. We both signed on at the same time and fell to talking one fine morning. Jed was about five years older than me, so I suppose he must be about 60 by now, and he had worked as a lathe operator at a succession of east Manchester factories all his working life.

At that time I was heavily involved with the Labour Party, and spent many a happy hour with my friends as we told each other just how nice our political revenge was going to be. Jed, who could barely read and write, was far more cynical about Labour's future prospects - and his own come to that. For Jed had already realised that since no job was ever going to come his way again, he had better do something to supplement his dole.

What he did was plant about a dozen dwarf apple trees in his garden. Two of them produced baking apples and the others gave off an old English variety which Jed assured me were "great eaters". I asked him why he had chosen to grow fruit trees and he made the quite valid point, which I knew already, that the clay of that part of Lancashire was useless for pretty much anything else. Trees, however, will thrive in that heavy, permanently waterlogged soil.

Jed's plan was to sell apples to his neighbours. Alas for him, they didn't want to buy his weather stained, bird pecked fruit, preferring instead the perfectly rounded, totally tasteless Golden Delicious, that were on offer at the local Morrison's supermarket.

As we sat and smoked our cigarettes, Jed remarked that he had heard that people in Cheshire were keen on home produced fruit, and he planned to take his pretty massive crop and try and sell it at a car boot sale.

And lo it came to pass that this what he did, and that is still what he does for a couple of months every year. He also discovered, much to his delight, that people in that home county in exile will also pay slightly more than supermarket prices to boot. He doesn't slap the price very high, so he can usually sell up what he takes with him on every trip.

Since we had that conversation, Jed has added a couple of pear trees to his collection, and the last time that I spoke to him he was investigating the possibility of turning his front garden into a plum orchard.

Obviously he is always a bit worried about council pen-pushers because he doesn't have this or that European bloody Union form all nicely stamped, but up to the time of writing he has managed to escape without hindrance. He also has to watch out for the social security people as well, but given that he is working on Sunday mornings in another county, they have never bothered him.

Now the thing that Jed discovered was something that my mother had already learned during the Great Depression, which is that you can get by if you are in a position to give the punters what they want. As we have seen, in her case it was repairing almost unrepairable clothing, but for Jed it was home grown fruit. The people in his area didn't want his weather beaten crop, but people in Cheshire did - and do to this day.

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24 November 2008
Mexico City: The American National Cemetery


The American National Cemetery in Mexico City is truly a hidden gem that gets far too few visitors. It was opened shortly after the war between Mexico and the USA ended and contains the graves of 750 American soldiers who fell in that conflict.

Until it closed in 1923, the cemetery also provided a final resting place for Americans resident in Mexico who died here, including several veterans of the army of the Confederate States of America who made their homes in this country.

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20 November 2008
Topless Wii


This you are going to love - trust me, you just are.

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19 November 2008
Social work: profession or outdoor relief for thickoes?
This is a guest posting by UKSecretCourts, an anti-social worker activist based in Wales. She uses video for her campaigning, and her work can be watched at this link.

Social workers are so desperate to be considered professionals that they have invented a registration system to keep out undesirables and miscreants. Well, that is the theory, now let's look at the reality.

Victoria Climbie was a small child who came to the UK for a better life, specifically a better education. Sadly she was mistreated and abused by her aunt and that woman's boyfriend. She finally died of hypothermia, after being made to sleep in a bath.

Her social worker, Lisa Arthurworry, was then struck off the social work register following at least five months of investigations by that body. This former SS officer then found employment as a debt collector. Excuse me - a debt collector? Someone who harasses the poor at the behest of a loan shark. That's right, the Arthurworry woman went from social work to debt collecting in the blink of an eye.

Actually, it was quite a good career move because the ex-SS officer was quite good at harassment. So expert was she that she even escaped prison for harassing her neighbours over a 2 year period.

Let's remember that during her harassment phase she was a registered social worker. So which seems the more appropriate profession for this woman's personality, debt collector or caring and compassionate social worker?

The end to this sorry tale, is that Arthurworry has just been registered again as a social worker. In other words, in spite of her failings in the Climbie case, and following her sentencing for harassment, she has been deemed to be fit and honourable enough for social work. Truly, only social work would take a woman like that.

This leads me to my central question. Is social work truly a profession, or is it really just a form of outdoor relief for thickoes? How can it be anything but the latter when it takes on dodgy debt collectors, done for harassment, who leave the weakest and most vulnerable to die horrible deaths?

Can you really imagine the Law Society or the Royal College of Nursing behaving in a similar way? Come to think of it, can you imagine lawyers, nurses or other professional people coming to the aid of one of their number who had disgraced their profession in the way Arthurworry has? That's what the social work industry is doing!

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18 November 2008
Getting by: grow your own vegetables


As the price of food in the UK sky rockets, more and more people are now growing some of the food that they eat. This being so, let's take a trip down memory lane to see how people of my parents' generation got by during the 1940s. One thing is certain, if you read what follows it will turn out to be a damned site cheaper than following the advice that is being given in this video. £25.00 for things that you probably have never heard of strikes me as a ludicrous amount to pay, even if the vegetable garden on offer really is "instant".

Let's start from the beginning: what do British people live on, vegetable wise? My mother asked that question of herself during the war and came up with the answer that potatoes and carrots formed the basis of her vegetable diet. I doubt if things have changed all that much, so why not start with the those easy to grow root crops?

My mother lived in a terrace house that had a back yard, but no garden. So she collected a few zinc buckets that had begun to rust through at the bottom and filled these with soil that she collected from the bomb sites and railway sidings.

She took a fair sized King Edward potato and left it until it started to sprout; this she then cut into two or three sprouting sections. Once that had been done she emptied most of the soil out of her buckets, leaving just two inches in the bottom. Each bucket got a bit of sprouting spud, and enough soil was then added to half fill the container.

Once the tops of the plants had fully pushed through the soil she filled the buckets to the brim with the rest of her soil and watered the plants once a week. So long as she remembered never to over water the plants, then in the fullness of time she would harvest about 3lbs of potatoes from each bucket.

If you want to copy her example, then the only thing that you need to remember is that the growing tubers need to be completely sealed off from any light, otherwise they will not be fit to eat: so don't use a clear plastic bucket. Other than that, and providing you don't over water the growing plants, then growing your family's basic vegetable is actually the easiest thing in the world.

Carrots are even easier to grow. Just buy yourself a packet of seeds from the local garden centre and follow the instructions on the packet. Basically you can grow them in a bucket if all you have is a back yard, and once the seeds are in and shooting, all you need to do is remember to water the plants.

If you have a garden, then things should be easier, as this old fellow proves. However, he lives in north London where the soil is rich. If your house was built on an old dairy farm the chances are that the soil is going to be heavy clay. You can still plant in that soil, but you might find that your crop is eaten up by the slugs who thrive in conditions like that.

Sure, you can spend an eternity getting rid of them, but this is all about getting by in a recession, isn't it? Do you really want to take on board all that hard work?

Why not do as a friend of mine in east Manchester has been doing for over 20 years and grow fruit? If you want to know more about that, then check back next Tuesday and read the second part of this series.

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17 November 2008
Mexico City: Teotihuacan


You are not going to leave Teotihuacán off your agenda if you visit Mexico City. It features in every guidebook, so there is not much that I need to add. Even just watching the video that I shot there will leave you amazed at the sheer scale of the place - and remember that most of Teotihuacán has not yet been explored.

Since nobody knows who built this city, you can add to the theories about its origins and purpose with some of your own. The writer Graham Hancock believes that the city is much older than the generally accepted 2,000 years or so. He also thinks that the main street isn't a street at all, rather it is a series of reflecting pools. He argues that a street cannot be blocked off in the way that this one supposedly is.

The problem with his argument is that the street is only blocked off by terraces for a small part of its length - the terraces stop just before the first pyramid is reached. Prior to that point five areas are created by terracing, but each terrace has a large drainage channel built into it - and they do look like drainage channels to me, and not sluices that Hancock and others think they are. The Valley of Mexico gets some serious monsoon rains between June and October, so to avoid getting these parts of the city inundated, the builders put in these drainage channels.

Looking at the foundations of the buildings at that point, most of them do not seem to be temples, instead they look like small warehouses. So maybe these sections were markets, each one blocked off from its neighbour by the terracing? That would make sense if what the markets were selling was animals or slaves, that people bought to sacrifice at the temples' complex. Viewed in this light, the terracing created closed areas that helped prevent escapes.

I have no evidence whatsoever to back any of this up, but neither does Mr Hancock with his reflecting pools theory. Why not come along and cobble together a theory of your own?

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12 November 2008
Social work filth and their filthy tactics
This is a guest posting by UKSecretCourts, an anti-social worker activist based in Wales. She uses video for her campaigning, and her work can be watched at this link.

Dirty tactics are rife in UK social work, but when we say dirty what exactly do we mean? Let's take one case as an example of some of the things that go on day after day within the social work industry. This case ended up in the Court of Appeal and was sponsored by Fathers' For Justice.

East Sussex Council decided to forcibly adopt a young girl. The council delivered the adoption notice to the father who was in hospital at the time. He was in intensive care having just had a heart attack, but the social workers didn't let a little thing like that trouble them.

As soon as he was discharged, the father applied to the courts to stop the adoption. Now, in the UK an adoption is irrevocable, which means that even if made in error has been made, it can't be overturned.

Now, the council became worried. What could it do? They came up with a cunning plan to adopt the little girl 24 hours before the court hearing that might have stopped it. Nothing the father did then mattered, as he couldn't undo the adoption.

What did the Court of Appeal say about this?

Here's what was said:

Lord Justice Thorpe said that "the placement on the eve of the hearing gave rise to the clearest inference that the council was out to gain its ends by means more foul than fair".

Lord Justice Wall was of the view that "the conduct of the agency was disgraceful".

He went on to say that "it provided useful ammunition for those who criticised the family justice system for administering secret justice and who attacked social workers as a group for their arrogance and the manner in which they abused their functions by both removing children from their parents unlawfully, and by stifling legitimate parental responses. . . Parliament had given social workers wide powers. They must not abuse them."

Copies of their Lordships' judgements would be sent to the President of the Family Division and to all the designated family judges for onward transmission to the members of the judiciary who heard adoption proceedings and to the British Agency for Adoption and Fostering and to every adoption agency in England and Wales.

And the father? Well the conclusion to this sorry tale, is that under British law he can't have his daughter back.

Luckily, it might not end there. Fathers for Justice are considering an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

The Council of Europe is also probing for a full scale enquiry over the Fran Lyon affair, and mothers having to flee the UK to avoid persecution by the social work industry. Europe must be getting a little frazzled by all the tom tom drums going off.

British people are on the warpath!

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11 November 2008
Getting by: how to eat well when times are bad
Women should get back in the kitchen, says the cookery writer Rose Prince. She has a point because men may be very good at preparing very expensive meals, but they tend to be pretty lousy at churning out the cheap, filling meals that people eat when times are bad. Women traditionally were just better at that type of game.

The problem, as Rose Prince points out in her article, is that British women these days have been encouraged, by cook books no less, to look to the can as the source of their raw materials. That is a big mistake if you want to save money as the local street market is always going to be able to undercut the processed food that the supermarkets sell.

Here in Mexico the American invented notion of the TV dinner is unknown and even the supermarkets stock fresh produce which is then made at home by a mother and her daughters. It's true that the local Walmart also has a small section for canned vegetables, but compared to its £5 billion British counterpart, that section is very small indeed.

If you want to see a still thriving tradition of cheap eating, then Liverpool is probably the place to look for it. Scouse is a type of stew that has been eaten in that city since God's dog was a pup, and its aim has always been to fill a stomach as cheaply as possible.

Most working class recipes such as scouse are actually not all the hard to follow. More importantly, since these dishes were prepared by women who tended to either work or had a platoon of children to care for, the cooking tends to involve long periods of time in the oven, with lots of simmering going on inside the casserole dish.

So, if you want to eat well when times are bad, then you could do worse than throw away all your trendy cook books and dig out your mother's old one. Then get yourself off to the market to buy your ingredients so that you can get cooking.

Girls, you really have no excuse, so it's off to the kitchen with you. . .

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10 November 2008
Mexico City: The Aztec Kings' Lake


It is called the Aztec Kings' Lake, but that's just a name that someone in the tourist office thought up. You can find it in the Tlahuac district of Mexico City, but it is quite a trek from the city centre. Actually it isn't just a lake, it's a part of the old system of lakes and canals that encircled Mexico City until the late nineteenth century. Various drainage schemes reduced the once massive lakes to manageable sizes, until finally even the government realised that the flooding in those areas would cost millions to prevent, and the waters were allowed to return. A cynic might argue that bringing the waters back also prevents thousands of people from moving to the Valley of Mexico every year from other parts of the country.

Whatever the reason, in the early 1990s what had been a swamp was restored to its former glory, but it is still only a pale shadow of what it once was. Older people can still remember how produce from this area was taken via the canals to the north of the city. Those days have gone, but what has been reopened is still a little gem and well worth the trouble that it will take to visit it.

By the way, the video was shot by me - I hope that you like it!

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06 November 2008
To get by in a recession you need transferable skills
If you are worrying about recession then you might be thinking about how you can get through it without too many bumps on the way. Having a skill certainly helps, but having the right kind of skill is even more important.

Let's consider my parents, both of whom were young adults during the 1930s as a case in point. Both came through that recession, but they came through it in different ways. My father struggled through the decade whilst my mother sailed through it with hardly a hit. I think that their stories are worth telling...

My father was apprenticed as a pattern card maker and came out of his time just as the Great Depression hit in 1932. Pattern card makers were responsible for creating the punch cards that controlled the machinery that weaved textile patterns. Today it is all done by a computer programme but back then the work was controlled by cards that were created by the hand of a skilled man.

The problem was that when the textile mills went on short time men like my father found themselves out of work along with everyone else. They also learned to their cost that a pattern card maker's skills were so highly specialised as to be useless when the mills closed. My dad went and took a job as a pub waiter for room and board and got through the rest of the Great Depression that way.

My mother was a dressmaker as were all the women in her family. She regarded the paper patterns used to cut out cloth as being for amateurs, as real dressmakers only ever cut by eye. When the recession arrived she found that her skills were in high demand. She worked in a shirt maker's throughout the period, as well as providing people in her locality with all the shirts, dresses and trousers that they needed. All they had to do was provide her with the material, let her measure them up and then return to collect the finished items on the agreed date. And pay her - that last bit was very important.

She and her mother were already heavily involved in the alterations game, and that boomed during the 1930s. She once told me that one of the most common jobs was to take a pair of worn-out men's trousers and then shorten them, take in the waist, repair any holes and give them back to the customer so that her son could wear them.

If you think about this, my mother not only had a set of transferable skills, but she had skills that she did not need to sell to an employer. She did have a full time job, but she made almost as much money by working from home. Remember that people were far less indolent in those days than they are today and most women could make simple alterations to clothes. My mother could just work magic with cloth, so people flocked to her house because she could do what they couldn't.

My father by way of contrast had to work for an employer. His skills were only of use when applied with high levels of capital in a mill. Given that those mills never fully recovered, he ended up after the war working as a labourer in a Manchester engineering factory.

Now it's not up to me to tell you what to go off and do. The only advice that I can give is that you might consider finding something that is always in demand and which you can do from home with little or no capital outlay. It also needs to be something that people will always have to buy, even when times are bad.

If you can find such a niche, as my mother once did, then you might just sail through the recession unscathed. If you can't, then you are in my dad's position and will find yourself shit out of luck.

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05 November 2008
Who's Nailin' Paylin: part two is now available to download
The second part of Who's Nailin' Paylin? is now available as a torrent - just take a trip to this link and download it. It took me almost three hours to download the 191.7 meg .avi file, which is not bad for a torrent that was only uploaded today and which everyone and his brother wants to watch. Be warned that the Pirate Bay has a slightly larger 192 meg version, but that it never seems to have any seeds. The link that I have just given you is to a well-seeded version of the file.

In this second episode of the five part shagathon, Holly West appears as one of Governor Serra Paylin's aids who is tasked with the impossible job of teaching Serra, well, anything that will stick between her ears. Quickly realising that this is a waste of time, Holly sends Serra on her way and then proceeds to dive into bed with Mr Paylin. The political satire bit lasts two minutes and the remaining 21 are taken up with pure shagging - and that includes some back door action for all you anal fans out there.

The quality of the .avi file is a damn site better than the .mpg that part one came in, so click on the link and grab yourself part two of Who's Nailin' Paylin?

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Blog Announcement
Folks, I am tired and I've decided to take a break for the rest of this month. That does not mean that I am suspending the blog, but it does mean that there will be fewer postings and they will not be concerned with breaking news - that is unless World War Three breaks out, in which case all bets are off.

The plan is to continue with our series of Mexico City videos. Most of them I have shot myself, so you will get to see the ruins at Teotihuacan, as well as some of the remaining canal system that once covered the whole city.

One day a week has been handed over to UKSecretCourts for a series that will deal with the British social work industry and its bovine sense of self importance.

Finally, I have created a series that will deal with recessions in general and how to get by during them. As a northerner I now have almost 30 years experience of getting by when times are bad, so writing these pieces wasn't exactly all the difficult.

I may write some other postings, especially if a big story breaks, but the plan for the rest of this month and the first week of December is to put The Exile onto autopilot and take a break.
Thoughts on Obama's election
Barak Obama has won the presidential election with about 51% of the popular vote to John McCain's 48%. Given the scale of the economic meltdown that the country is undergoing, the closeness of the popular result is the first point that needs to be considered.

BBC World is basically going orgasmic over this result with one commentator calling it a generational change, akin to Kennedy's victory in 1960. I hate to rain on anyone's parade, but the only reason why Kennedy was in Dallas that November day in 1963 was that his administration was staring into the face of defeat the following year. Had he lived it is quite likely that he would have been defeated in 1964 and slipped quietly into the history books as one of the less successful presidents in the country's history. So much for the generational change idea. . .

As for Obama, his victory owes everything to that economic meltdown and the inability of the McCain team to offer any solution to it. To be fair neither did Obama, but he looked good on TV and he comes over as having one of those vacuous personalities which means that middle class whites can project their fantasies on to what they think they see, rather than the empty space that is actually there in front of them.

All that aside, there has been a change in one part of American politics, but its within the Republican Party, so it is quite likely that the BBC will choose to ignore it. The guard has been changed at the top of the GOP and that much was obvious to anyone who watched McCain's concession speech. He invited Sarah Palin onto the platform with him and at the mention of her name the crowd went wild. McCain made the point that she will be a major figure in the party for years to come, and my feeling is that the party's nomination for 2012 is basically hers for the taking.

So the change involves the eclipse of the fiscal conservatives and the ascendency of the social wing of the party. Sarah Palin and the other social conservatives may pay lip-service to a minimal state, but what they are really concerned with are social issues such as abortion, immigration and maintaining America's military hegemony.

We might be lucky with this bunch because they also contain within them an element of the old isolationist and protectionist Republican Party. If we are very lucky, then that wing might persuade the GOP to adopt some anti-globalist policies for the 2012 election, on the principle that working class people in the north need industrial jobs as well as guns and religion.

All that is for the future. For the present let's just sit back and wait until the Obama hysteria runs its course.

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04 November 2008
Can McCain's chick help to hold Virginia?
















Will Virginia stay in the Republican fold today? It is a state that Barak Obama wants to win and which John McCain needs to hold, and the result may depend on if the GOP can turn out the blue veiner vote.

The Virginia Republican Party has produced over 600 of these signs and they are proving very popular with business owners, especially the shooting and fishing suppliers. Smaller versions are being handed out to anyone who admires a good MILF and quite fancies the idea of having her to look at for the next four years.

Will it work? Well, the polls close in Virginia at 7.00pm Eastern, which is midnight GMT, so let's wait and see. North Carolina now looks almost certain to stay in the Republican fold and if the GOP can turn out its core support in what Republicans call the "real Virginia" then the Old Dominion may buck the polls as well.

If that happens then McCain can feel very pleased with his chick!

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Today is Obamessiah Day!
Yesterday Bishop Cornal G. Henning of the wonderfully named African Methodist Episcopal Church compared Barack Obama to both Moses and Martin Luther King. Meanwhile hysterical supporters are proclaiming that they "would take a bullet for him," whilst others tell anyone who will listen that Obama has "been sent by God".

This is not an election in the most developed country in the world; this is how African tribal chieftains are enstooled, with followers proclaiming the new chief's semi-divinity to the world. Or at least to anyone within hearing range.

One can understand how a Germany that had been defeated in war, crippled with debt and weighed under with inflation, could turn to a messiah, but the USA is in a far different position. Quite why Americans are behaving in such a bovine fashion is beyond this writer's powers of analysis.

Let's look on the bright side: the more Obama's followers build him up the greater their disenchantment will be when he cannot deliver on all that hope. The build-up has been such that the disappointment is going to be a joy to behold.

It would still be better for us as socialists to have McCain in the White House continuing the Chimp's policies, but you can't have everything, can you? So let's just sit back and watch whilst a sizeable chunk of the American population makes complete tits out of themselves by pinning all their hopes on a Chicago-trained machine politician whom they have mistaken for the Obamessiah.

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03 November 2008
Obama seems to be the winner
The American polls have pretty much all come together and are showing Obama on over 50% of the vote, so that seems to be that: Obama will be the next president.

For the working class activists it is time to batten down the hatches and wait until the left's love affair with the Illinois senator has worn off. Your friendly old Exile reckons that we will have to wait about a year or so before things get back to normal.

In the meantime, although the USA is going to have to take a back burner, that does not mean that we should ignore international matters - let's not forget that we still have the European Union that needs to be undermined. The aim as always is to chip away at capitalism's legitimacy and if presenting Britain as a puppet of the USA is no longer a goer, then we can cast a baleful gaze at Brussels instead.

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02 November 2008
Day Of The Dead video


Today is the Day of the Dead here in Mexico and the above video was shot in our local cemetery just before noon.

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01 November 2008
Some thoughts on the final weekend before election day
I'm planning on taking the weekend off, since sheer exhaustion has pretty much caught up with me, but before I go to bed I want to leave you with two thoughts:

The first is that roughly one in seven of the American voters have still not made up their minds who they will vote for - or so they say. Actually, if you dig deeper you find that the undecided voters tend to be older and many have past form as Republican supporters. If they vote they will vote for McCain, but given the state of the economy, they may stay at home.

Secondly, keep an eye on the polls over the weekend. If Obama starts to build up a commanding lead of over 50% across all the polls, then that is a good sign that he will win the election on Tuesday. If he doesn't, and at the moment his share is about 49%, then you had better get ready for a long night on Tuesday.

What a strange election this has become. Two wars that are going nowhere and an economy on its knees, and still the Republicans are in with a chance of holding the White House.

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