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Sunday, 01 April 2018


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Oh dear. I mentioned the Hamlet on BBC2 just because I saw it was on. I didn't watch it myself (and won't now). Hope it wasn't me that led you to it!

Fortunately, Mike, I feared the worst and so I kept my finger on the OFF button! Now I must summon up the courage to sneak a look at the recording I made of it just to be sure that my first impression was right!

Y'all going for a Chicago-style rate there David? I needing in the future to land rather in Belfast than at Heathrow?

Looks like it, JK, which is why I remain 'down 'ere in zunny Zummerzet'!

G'day Duffers,

Back in the days of tall stately sailing ships the course and speed of a ship "on the wind" was determined by the cut of the ships jib.

Not to like the cut of someone's jib is not to like their course of conduct or the way they are heading.

Yes, yes, AussieD, I fully understand the non-nautical meaning of the expression but what is a 'jib'? And how do you cut it?

Duffers a jib is the small triangular sail on the sharp end [bow] of a sailing vessel. In the days of sailing ships it was, along with a usually gaff rigged sail on the mizzen mast, the only fore and aft sail on the ship and therefore the one that could bring a sailing ship closer into the wind.

I will e-mail you an image as I don't know how to attach it to this post.

So, does that big steering wheel in the middle of the ship change the direction of the jib? I always assumed it altered the rudder at the back!

Huzzah! Peckers out again chaps! "Ding, dong, the wicked witch is dead!" ...


The helm [steering wheel if you wish] controls the rudder which indeed controls where the ship points to [as opposed to pointing which is also the term used for sailing close to the wind]. The sails are controlled by sheets [ropes] which allow the crew to trim them to get the best effect from the wind. The closer you can bring a sail to a line down the ship's length the closer you can sail to the wind.

Simples really.

I can see I will need to e-mail you a simple explanation of how a sailing vessel works.

Dammit, SoD, I was about to post that excellent news!

AussieD, I will be truly grateful for that and the picture you sent me of a sailing ship was so beautiful I am going to post it up above - ta very much

The Rooskies aren't deep enough in the doo-doo yet, for my liking.

Here's a cool round up of the modern-day Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, aka Nord Stream 2 saga ...

And here's Fox News, back-tracking on their unswerving support of the Don's erstwhile pro-Rooskie stance, under the guise of "we need to carefully manage Russia's decline" ...

Hahaha! Wriggling away from Vlad-arse licking to a more credible position - you make the Wapo look good wriggling away from their pro-Iranian Obamarisms ...

You muppets!

Gradually America is coalescing around the right thing in this new world.

"America can always be relied upon to do the right thing - after trying all the wrong things first", or something like that, wasn't it?



It might not be possible to predict anything about what America is coalescing around. We're still trying wrong things; the beginnings of trade wars for example.

Bob, all wars are tricky and their outcomes exceedingly difficult to forecast. This might help you with the latest Sino/Trump trade war:

Might surprise y'all David, Bob,

But the "origins" of the [steel at least] proposed tariffs came to me in an email from my Arkansas House of Representatives guy about, to the best of my recollection, at least three weeks and possibly a month before I ever heard either Trump's mentioning the proposed tariffs much less the media's being indignities.

I'll check that particular email account to see whether I deleted it and, if able (its on the electronic equivalent of Congressional stationary) but regardless, if a particular HR# (or co-sponsors) were mentioned I'll at least make the effort.

Oops, NOT the Arkansas House - the DC House.


This might be illuminating:

As I recall (I've yet to log onto that account) "part" of the issue had to do with freight-rates in a general sort of way.


The Spectator unsurprisingly overlooks that one of the biggest tariffs imposed by the Chinese is on pork. 8 of 10 of the highest pork producing states are states won by Trump, states he promised to help with better trade negotiations. Wars are indeed tricky.



A big part of giving China MFN status and escalating trade was done according to the theory that countries that trade go to war less often. Remember that not so long ago our relations with the Chinese were openly hostile. Now they're intervening more or less to our benefit regarding North Korea. If you haven't read David's link above you should.


Speaking of North Korea, what do you two think about Trump's claiming he'll personally meet with Kim Jong-un?

Well Bob it's probably not gonna surprise you when I inform you my DC House Rep sits on the Intel committee, he and I communicate fairly regularly. Barney has "mediated" in the few instances he's got tetchous at my insisting where, on certain parts of the planet, I've got the better acquaintance with the goings-on. And I ain't got no Agenda.

Far as meeting with the Norkies is concerned jaw-jaw is generally a pretty good thing. And besides, I'm betting that while few of us D&N folks was concerned or we probably don't care how the Norkie cheerleaders trotted during the recent Olympics, some is more studious of horseflesh and/or dentistry.


Well, we can suppose Kim Jong-un won't be looking too much into the dentistry of a gift horse.

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