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George C. Marshall Foundation: Marshall & His Generals


No one understood more than George Marshall the old adage that an army is no better than its commanders. He knew as well than anyone that superior logistics, intelligence, training, and resources could not compensate for inadequate leadership. As the army’s chief of staff during World War Two, Marshall faced the daunting task of choosing the officers to command the army’s army groups, field armies, and corps. Because he recognized the importance of his task, he put considerable thought into the process. He carefully considered an officer’s background, education, age, and especially character before making his selections. The result was a cadre of thirty-eight men who led the army’s major combat units across the Pacific and Europe to victory. Although several of them failed on the battlefield, the success of the vast majority is testimony to Marshall’s knack for identifying and assigning talented officers to the appropriate positions. His ability to do so not only contributed enormously to Allied victory, but also provided the army’s postwar leadership.

Lawfare Podcast: Glenn Kessler on Donald Trump’s Assault on Truth


June 23rd, 2020

In this episode of Lawfare’s Arbiters of Truth series on disinformation, Evelyn Douek and Quinta Jurecic spoke with Gabrielle Lim, a researcher with the Technology and Social Change Research Project at Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center and a fellow with Citizen Lab. Lim just released a new report with Data and Society on the fascinating story of a Malaysian law ostensibly aimed at stamping out disinformation. The Anti-Fake News Act, passed in 2018, criminalized the creation and dissemination of what the Malaysian government referred to as “fake news.” After a new government came into power following the country’s 2018 elections, the law was quickly repealed. But the story of how Malaysia’s ruling party passed the act, and how Malaysian civil society pushed back against it, is a useful case study on how illiberal governments can use the language of countering disinformation to clamp down on free expression, and how the way democratic governments talk about disinformation has global effects.


About this podcast series

The Lawfare Podcast features discussions with experts, policymakers, and opinion leaders at the nexus of national security, law, and policy. On issues from foreign policy, homeland security, intelligence, and cybersecurity to governance and law, we have doubled down on seriousness at a time when others are running away from it

Muslim group says Government could have stopped Christchurch terrorist attacks – RNZ Checkpoint


A highly political item from the Islamic Women’s Council, to my mind a very illiberal group

The Islamic Women’s Council says last year’s mosque attacks may never have happened if the Government listened to its concerns about rising hostility towards Muslims. The council has publicly released part of their submissions to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch Mosque Attacks – a move it says sets a standard of transparency for the inquiry. The Commission due to hand its report to the Governor-General at the end of the month. Our reporter Anneke Smith and cameraman Simon Rogers filed this report

Al Franken podcast: Atlantic Writer George Packer on How the Pandemic and George Floyd’s Murder have Laid Bare America’s Weaknesses


This week on The Al Franken Podcast, June 14,2020

Packer and Al discuss the how a corrupt political class, a heartless economy, systemic racism, and Donald Trump have led to the failures Americans have been witness to and the victims of these last several months.

No excuses



If Clutha Southland MP Hamish Walker had told media he had the personal details of Covid-19 patients, would not give the information to them, but was alerting them to a serious breach of privacy, he would have been able to stand on the moral high ground.

Instead he made the mistake of sending the details.

That was a very serious error of judgement for which there are no excuses.

I am so very sorry, I know and like Hamish and until now he has done everything a new MP should do in working for his constituents and handling his shadow portfolios well.

I  learned of the news at a National Party function last night.

More than 100 people were there to listen to party leader Todd Muller who spoke with authority and handled questions with aplomb.

The audience was impressed. I am even more so knowing that he knew about…

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Rural round-up


Excellent limks


Let them eat wood – Dame Anne Salmond:

The farmers are right. As the price of carbon rises, the settings in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will make it more profitable to plant pine trees than to grow food (or native forests) in many parts of New Zealand.

On the East Coast, for instance, a landowner will be paid 10 times more by year 5 for planting pine trees instead of native forest, and farmland is going under pine trees in many places. With wool prices at historic lows, and rising carbon prices, this trend will only accelerate.

On highly erodible soils, the folly of planting shallow-rooted pine trees and clear-felling them every 25-30 years is obvious. Witness the tsunami of logs and sediment that have drowned streams, rivers, houses, fields, beaches and harbours in places like Tolaga Bay, Marahau, and many other parts of New Zealand.

With two-thirds of…

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Sowell says



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Yes Ma’am – Intro of “Blue Ball Blues” is followed by “Minglewood Blues”, written by Noah Lewis. Cannon’s Jug Stompers 1928


Matt Bracken —– Guitar, Suitcase drum, Tam, & Bell Elena Dorn —– Fiddle Defne “Dizzy” Incirlioglu —– Washboard

Brendan O’Neill: Harry and Meghan are privileged royals lecturing us about our supposed privilege – talkRADIO – Dan Wooton


Following Harry and Meghan’s criticism of the Commonwealth, Brendan O’Neill from Spiked Online says “identity politics is really just a way for posh people to pretend to be oppressed”.

O’Neill adds “Harry and Meghan are two painfully privileged royals, lecturing the rest of us about our supposed privilege… people are sick of it”

Escape to the Chateau: S01 E03 – Pineapple Chandeliers and a Wedding


Dick and Angel are expected to marry in a few weeks at the chateau, but they still need to fix more rooms to house and cater to their 200 expected guests.

DW: The New Maharajas: Money, luxury and fame – the new super-rich of India


Only the US and China currently have more billionaires than India. Some of them are as famous as pop stars and enjoy similar adulation. Their social media accounts have millions of followers – in a country where more than half the population lives below the poverty line and has no electricity or fresh water. India’s super-rich have been dubbed the “new maharajas.” The sources of their seemingly unlimited wealth are almost as varied as their values and lifestyles. 23-old Evan Luthra uses his father’s seed capital to invest in new ideas in the software industry. He loves luxury, meets the young moneyed elite in fashionable destinations around the world, and is active on all the social networks. Abhimanyu Alsisar, nephew of the Maharajah of Jaipur, runs a chain of luxury hotels in the ancient palaces of India and invests in music events. Kalpana Saroj comes from the lowest caste in India and has worked her way up from destitution to become a multimillionaire – but she never forgets her background, and helps impoverished farmers in her homeland with medical care and gifts of money. Vijay Mallya even bought his own Formula 1 racing team, but faces a long prison sentence for fraudulent bankruptcy and tax evasion should he return to India. The documentary is the result of six months of investigative research and offers a deep insight into the everyday and professional lives of India’s super-rich.

Joolz Guides: Quirky Things to Do In London – Ride a Penny Farthing Bicycle


Love these videos, as he visits so many places I knew when I lived and worked in London.

Incredibly nostalgic.

This one was uploaded to You Tube on Feb 10, 2020

Certainly one of the most quirky things to do in London must be to ride a penny farthing bicycle through the busy streets. The Penny Farthing was a very popular bicycle in the 1870s and 1880s but died out with the advent of the safety bicycle. This week Joolz learns to ride a Penny Farthing with The Penny Farthing Club which was founded by Neil Laughton in 2013. As you will see it’s tremendous fun but quite a challenge. Anyone can learn to ride, just get in touch with Neil through the links below.

Beachcomber By The Way – S01 E02


Beachcomber was the signature for JB Morton who for many years produced comedic material with many silly/surreal twists for the British newspaper The Daily Express’s By The Way page(s).

The BBC adapted some of Morton’s material for Radio 4 with John Sessions and Patricia Routledge.

With Richard Ingrams as Beachcomber and John Wells as Prodnose.

For series 3, June Whitfield and Joan Sims joined the cast.

Characters include judge Mr Justice Cocklecarrot with alternating prosecuting/defending counsels Mr Tinklebury Snapdriver and Mr Honeyweather Gooseboote with appearances in court by The Red Bearded Dwarfs. Also, Dr Smart-Allick at his school Narkover and Dr Strabismus (whom God preserve) of Utrecht with his odd inventions.

Talking Politics: American Fascism: Then and Now


worth listening too, I found the discussion interesting though aspects I disagreed with

This Episode – June 11,2020

David and Helen talk with historian Sarah Churchwell about the origins, uses and abuses of the idea of American fascism. Where does American fascism come from? Does it follow a European model or is it something exceptional? What role do white supremacy and anti-Semitism play in its development? How close has it got to power? Plus we ask the big question for now: Does it make sense to call Trump a fascist? MORE AT LINK


Talking Politics is an audio podcast hosted by British academic David Runciman, Professor of Politics at the University of Cambridge. It was launched on 27 March 2016 by Runciman. It is also regularly co-hosted with other Cambridge academics, especially Helen Thompson, Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Politics and International Studies, and also Christopher Brooke, lecturer in political theory Chris Bickerton, reader of modern European politics, and the late Aaron Rapport.

David Runciman is a long-time contributor to the London Review of Books and Talking Politics is in a partnership with the journal

Newstalk ZB: ‘Others’ fingerprints all over this’: Police Minister on Nats’ Covid privacy breach


Police Minister Stuart Nash believes an investigation will show other National Party MPs or members were also involved in Covid patient data leak.

Last night, MP Hamish Walker and former National Party president Michelle Boag confessed to being behind the massive privacy breach of Covid-19 patient information.

“I simply can’t believe that this is just Michelle Boag and Hamish Walker. They’ll be others’ fingerprints all over this,” Nash told Newstalk ZB this morning.

“Bill English and John Key would have handled this completely differently. This is a National Party problem at this point.

National MP Mark Mitchell told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking Breakfast his party should deselect Walker as the candidate for Clutha Southland.

“Ultimately it’s a decision for our board and the leader, but I think that it’s a massive departure from our own set of values and what we stand for in the National Party.

“My own personal expectations would be that Hamish wouldn’t be standing. It’s sad, because he’s done an outstanding job of advancing issues for his electorate, but he’s shown a terrible lack of judgment on this one.”

Mitchell said should be reflecting on whether he should voluntarily stand down as an electorate candidate.

It’s terrible, difficult situation. He’s got a young wife, he’s got a new young daughter, but there’s no excuse for leaking personal information, so I hope he is reflecting on that today.”

Mitchell said it is up to the board to discuss Michelle Boag’s future in the party.

The Coronavirus Newscast: Defunding the police


This episode -12 June 2020

What does it mean and what could it look like? Adam Fleming and Emily Maitlis get views from the US and UK

This podcast series

Every day, Adam Fleming, Laura Kuenssberg, Fergus Walsh and Chris Mason bring you the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. We’ll discuss the latest public health information and how it is affecting our lives.

Humour in the Morning – Nicola Sturgeon is Jealous of the DUP


Humour in the Morning – A Scandal! – Yes Minister


Humour in the Morning – Morecambe and Wise: Unseen since its original broadcast in 1967


Lincoln Project: Whispers


A Lincoln Project ad, targeting Trump

Late Night Murder: Dandelion Dead (1994) – Michael Kitchen, Sarah Miles, David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp – 2/2


Excellent cast in this two part drama

The Late, Late Movie: Good night Mr Tom – John Thaw


Britain is on the brink of war when young William Beech is sent to live with Tom Oakley in the village of Little Weirwold. Tom Oakley is a sad, reclusive widower who slowly accepts the idea of having the boy live with him. Tom soon discovers William has been a victim of child abuse and greatly needs his love and care.

Tom takes William under his wing and provides him with warm clothes and plenty of food. William begins to thrive and he soon begins school. There he meets caring teachers and develops a close-knit group of friends: George Fletcher, sisters Carrie and Ginnie, and Zach, a fellow evacuee. William is embarrassed because he can’t read but with the help of Tom, he is soon able to keep up with his peers. During this time, William begins to realize he has a talent for drawing and acting.

Although William is happy with his new life, the events of the outside world aren’t as bright. World War II is in full swing and has become a grim reality for the village. When William receives word his mother is ill and he must return to London, his heart sinks.

In London, William finds his mother has given birth. She questions him about his life with Tom and beats him when she feels his responses aren’t sufficient. William’s mother locks him and the baby in a closet and leaves indefinitely. Tom awakens in the night with a premonition that William is in trouble. He goes to London and finds William beaten, sick, and clinging to his dead infant sister. After a brief stay in a London hospital, Tom kidnaps William and returns him to Little Weirwold.

After returning to Little Weirwold, William begins a slow recovery. His time in London has taken a physical and mental toll on him. With the help of Tom and his friends, William begins to feel normal again. Not long after his recuperation, he learns his mother has committed suicide. William is shocked by her death but happy to learn Tom is going to adopt him.

Life continues normally until the August day when William’s best friend Zach is called back to London to visit his wounded father. Weeks go by without any new from Zach. When news finally does come in, it is bleak. Zach is dead.

William is overcome with grief but with the help of his support system, he begins to understand Zach will live forever in him. William realizes he has much to live for and is thankful for his life with Tom.

The Late Movie: Sapphire (1959) – Nigel Patrick and Yvonne Mitchell


Murder mystery drama starring Nigel Patrick and Yvonne Mitchell. The murder of a young woman in London exposes deep racial tensions and prejudices inherent in the area.

Midnight Mystery: The Man Who Cheated Himself (1950)


Annika Stranded: S05E05 – Manoeuvres


Starring Nicola Walker who is superb

Annika Stranded is a leading light in the murder squad of the Oslo police. Her neuroses – and she has a few – are mostly hidden by a boisterous manner and a love of motor boats. And she thinks she’s funny – although her colleagues aren’t so sure.

Commissioned specially for Radio 4, these three stories by Nick Walker introduce us to a new Scandinavian detective: not as astute as Sarah Lund or Saga Norén perhaps, but probably better company.

Series 1
Commissioned specially for Radio 4, these three stories by Nick Walker introduce us to a new Scandinavian detective: not as astute as Sarah Lund or Saga Norén perhaps, but probably better company.

Series 2
In this second series of stories by Nick Walker – commissioned specially for Radio 4 – Annika is learning to juggle the demands of policing the Oslofjord with a new challenge. Namely, single mother

Series 3
Four new cases land on the desk of Detective Annika Strandhed, queen of the Oslo Police boat patrol.
Annika’s neuroses – and she has a few – are mostly hidden by a boisterous manner and a love of speedboats. As fictional Scandinavian detectives go, she’s not as astute as Saga Norén or Sarah Lund, but may be better company.

Series 4
Eight new cases to challenge the detective wit of Annika Strandhed, queen of the Oslo Police boat patrol.
Since we last met her, Annika has been promoted to Chief Inspector. Her first act was – apart from choosing a new speedboat – to co-opt Mikel, her forensic photographer of choice, to accompany her. Her son Tor is about to start school.
Being Chief Inspector means a bigger case-load. What follows will test her physically and emotionally as never before.

Series 5
Eight new cases to challenge the detective wit of Chief Inspector Annika Strandhed, queen of the Oslo Police boat patrol.
Annika is still coming to terms with the death of her friend and long-time, long suffering forensic photographer Mikel. But life goes on, and so does police work on the Oslofjord. Annika must forge a new relationship with Mikel’s young replacement, Sigrid.

Series 6
She’s back. Five new cases to challenge the detective wit of Chief Inspector Annika Strandhed, queen of the Oslo Police boat patrol. After an experiment as a family unit in Oslo, Tor has returned to the Reindeer Police in the north of Norway, leaving Annika and her son to pick up their old routines.

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