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16 January 2006

The Misfits

Libby and I watched The Misfits last night. It was a fascinating film. It has some very odd moments, and the flow was rather strange. I think it started out as a short story that Arthur Miller wrote while he was divorcing his wife so he could marry Marilyn Monroe. She was so lovely in the film.

It started out fairly typically, and the first parts were kind of vague and silly (but still good). But the most interesting part was the last 30 minutes. It was an incredibly intense bit where the three guys tried to round up the remains of a mustang herd outside of Nevada to sell them for dog meat. It was so violent and confronting. They chased this tiny herd around with a biplane. And then chased them with a big truck and lassoed them one by one.

It was extra odd because it all seemed real. The film-maker seemed to be trying to make a point about violence. At one point the main guy says, "seems that the less you kill, the worse it is." But in order to make that point he had to make a film that required violence. It was pretty awful. Still a great film though.

10 January 2006

Innovative Measures

After several decades of desperate pleading, and attempts to point out that cancelling African debt is the only practical solution, the IMF cancels some of it. The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative is what they call it, and despite their violent resistance to any debt cancellation until this year, the initiative is regarded as innovative.

Moving quickly to make a reality of what began in June 2005 as a Group of Eight proposal, the IMF�under its Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI)�provided 100 percent debt relief, amounting to $3.3 billion, for 19 countries. The MDRI is one of a number of innovative IMF measures taken in recent months, including the Policy Support Instrument and the Exogenous Shocks Facility, to help low-income member countries spur growth and reduce poverty. IMF provides debt relief for 19 countries

9 January 2006

Quittage

I don't really work at Rough Edges enough to quit. But I think I'll try. Last night pissed me off too much. I haven't been that mad in a good yonk.

Update: I did quit. But I'm also considering building a volunteer database, and asking Mil if she wants to manage half of it. We'll be the Volunteer Volunteer Coordinators. Mil's rolling in time and money, so I'm sure she'll jump at the chance to have less of both.

3 January 2006

Pesticide & Constance

We saw The Constant Gardener the other day and I forgot to blog about it. That isn't a particular uncommon sort of thing, except that it was such a ripper film that I wanted too. I thought it was much better than Fun with Dick and Jane, even though I really liked that a bunch. And it was even better than Good Night and Good luck, although that was totally brilliant. But the biggest surprise is that it actually beats The Legend of Zorro. Antonio Banderas just never puts a foot wrong.

Everything about The Constant Gardener was pretty much perfect. I loved the actors, for somewhat different reasons. The story was really rollicking and page-turnering (as the critics would say), and managed to make me really hate pharmaceutical companies in just two short hours. That was a feat, because I already hated them. It opened my eyes to just how much more potential hate there is when it comes to those happy chaps.

It made me want to go to Africa. It made me want to become a journalist instead of an economist. It made me happy and very sad.

2 January 2006

Cuban Crap

I don't like the way Cuba treats it's people at all. A very small proportion of the population have decided the lifestyle of the rest. I think that freedom of the press is necessary in the long term and morally correct. However, it is the only socialist regime to survive for any length of time in Latin America. It is the only one to have withstood US crapness, despite attempts by virtually all Latin American countries to found democratic socialist regimes. Since Cuba is alone, there is no evidence that a less authoritarian regime is practical. Since the US effectively forces Latin American countries to choose between capitalist autocracy or socialist autocracy, what options are there. Historically, anything less than what Fidel Castro has setup has resulted in a coup. I strongly disagree with his views, but until the US leaves countries to determine their preferred level of government intervention, who is to say if he has gone to far. I, for one, desperately want to know.

This definitely qualifies as an apology for some terrible stuff, but I will often defend stuff that I intensely dislike. All leaders makes decisions that are less than ideal because they are, to different degrees, limited by the power of those around them. I would suggest that Cuba, and Castro, are more limited in their options than most countries. We need let Cuba rule itself for a while, and if it turns out that Castro is a traditional dictator, then we can talk about helping the people overthrow him.

Cost Effective Matrimonial

The features of the matrimonial section will make the process of match making fun, cost effective and very less time consuming. Inside Jodhpur

Pesto Kitchen

When I went to India I decided that I wanted to start a porridge kitchen in Jodhpur. I loved it there a lot, and this young street girl was amazing to me. I thought porridge would be good because it's delicious, India has good semolina to make lovely semolina porridge from and most importantly because everyone seemed hungry and cold early in the morning. I always associate soup kitchens with night time, but eating hot porridge first thing in the morning is brilliant. That was my thinking.

Then today, whilst eating our most delicious fried garlic mushrooms with pesto on muffin I thought it would also be excellent to start a pesto kitchen. At first I thought Rough Edges would be a good place to have it, but then I decided India would be good too. I could do semolina porridge for breakfast and garlic mushrooms and pesto for brunch. I'd probably let the Christian missionaries handle lunch and dinner, and just focus on my core kitchen. Perhaps I could diversify into late night snacks or something later on, once I'd nailed my kitchen model.

Does anyone want to work for a pesto kitchen? You will be paid in pesto and mushrooms, and there will be a competitive, porridge-based incentive scheme for superior kitchen performance.

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