Leadership is alive and well and living in Alabama

"I said in the campaign we'd never transform the culture in Alabama until we had an entire administration for whom re-election wasn't the pre-eminent thing," says the new Republican governor of that bastion of progressive, right-on thinking...err...Alabama.And it seems like Bob Riley means it. As Republicans in the White House and Congress push through a trillion dollar tax cut, Mr Riley has called for Alabama's largest tax increase ever: $1.3 billion, or 22 percent of t...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 04 Jun 2003
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stones and glass houses

John Reid on the Today programme criticised those who pay too much attention to 'rogue elements' in the security services. "Their position is not known. They have uncorroborated evidence. They were very small in number."And the sources on which we based the foreign policy of the government?

Posted by John Craig on 04 Jun 2003
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The Third Way to Nowhere

Check out Professor Paul Cammack's scathing attack on 'Tony Blair's favourite guru', Anthony Giddens and his book The Third Way.My favourite line is defininitely:"The John Selwyn Gummer of the risk society, he would compel us to bite into the beefburger of market forces."

Posted by Paul Joseph on 03 Jun 2003
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New word for the day

I've just learned a new word - heterarchies. Apparently, "Heterarchies are new forms of organization featuring collaborative structures, distributed authority, and asset ambiguity. This organizational innovation is a creative response to the ever-accelerating pace of technological change and the redefinition of markets and polities at regional and global scales. Heterarchies are characterized by the organization of diversity: an active rivalry of coexisting principles of evaluation a...

Posted by Paul Miller on 02 Jun 2003
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Cigarette paper or grand canyon?

How big is the rift between the State Department and the Pentagon? And is there anything wrong with a bit of lively feuding? With Henry Kissinger reporting that Secretary of State Colin Powell is thought of abroad as "a small country that occasionally does business with the United States", Steven Weisman analyses the evidence.

Posted by Paul Joseph on 02 Jun 2003
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Demos is not particularly easy today

You have to try out Googlism. Basically you type in a name and it searches links to that word from the sites listed on Google and gives you the sentence where the referral comes from. Try typing in Demos and you get some surprising results. As well as being the standard "greenhouse for new ideas which can improve the quality of our lives" we are also apparently "very very slow" as well as "disabled in one way or another" and my my particular favourite for this ti...

Posted by Paul Miller on 30 May 2003
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U R FIRED :(

With the announcement that personal injury claims firm The Accident Group has gone into administration comes this extra tidbit: according to BBC News Online, 2500 staff have been sacked by text message. Not exactly exemplary use of technology to improve communication...

Posted by on 30 May 2003
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15 years is a long time in politics - or is it?

Clearing out the attic we stumbled on the New Statesman and Society from 22nd July 1988.The front cover featured a goofy looking Neil Kinnock and the headline: "Gordon Brown is admired, John Smith respected, Robin Cook feared, Neil Kinnock discounted by the Tories. Serious Labour MPs despair of Kinnock's leadership. How long can he survive?" No mention of Tony Blair whatsoever (no wonder Mr Brown was so upset that the young upstart stole his crown), and clear evidence that Robin...

Posted by Paul Joseph on 30 May 2003
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Playboy hits the big five zero

The LA times is running an editorial today hooked on the fact that Playboy Magazine is about to reach the grand old age of 50.It comes across as a fairly glowing endorsement of Hefner's empire... which made me wonder about the differences in the way porn is viewed stateside, in Europe and in the UK. What do we reckon?Click here for the article (registration required).

Posted by Paul Miller on 29 May 2003
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Science (fiction)

I spotted a thought-provoking article by Timothy Quinn on SpaceDaily Express, an email newsletter I've subscribed to for our Black Sky Thinking project. It's broadly concerned with the enduring public popularity of pseudo-science - Nostradamus, Roswell, creationism and so on - but also links these in with conspiracy theories surrounding September 11th.I think this poses a difficult question, particularly in regard to science: when advocates of pseudo-science appropriate the language o...

Posted by on 28 May 2003
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