24 July 2016

In which I finally become an American

Unlike my trip to the interview, my drive to the naturalization ceremony was a relaxed one. I wasn’t nervous, simply enjoying a day off work with my wife, and the chance for a short road trip. We arrived in San Antonio an hour early, and sat in the park for a while. The ceremony was to be at the Institute of Texan Cultures at noon. By the time we headed there, over half an hour early, there was a long line of cars attempting to enter the car park. ... Read more

23 July 2016

Personal Brexit

The process of becoming a US citizen started, for me, with the renewal of my “green card” after 10 years as a permanent resident. The renewal is more of a replacement. Once again I had to pay a few hundred dollars, wait for a few months, then turn up to be photographed, fingerprinted, and my paperwork processed. One of the problems with my first application for permanent residence is that when I’m under stress, my hands break out in eczema. ... Read more

13 July 2016

How the other side thinks

Moral Foundations Theory holds that people have 6 fundamental principles (or “foundations”) which they use to support their moral beliefs: Care for others Fairness Liberty Loyalty to your group Obedience to authority Moral sanctity or purity Conservatives tend to believe in 5 or more pillars, but are particularly strong in their belief in loyalty, obedience and moral purity. Liberals (like me) tend to have little or no belief in obedience or sanctity, and very little concern for loyalty. ... Read more

9 July 2016

Brexit update for 9 July

Michael Gove dropped out, so it’s now Theresa May vs Andrea Leadsom to be the next UK Prime Minister. Both are committed to brexit, so barring some miracle, expect the process to begin this fall. The British pound overtook the Argentinian peso to become the worst performing currency of 2016. Analysts are predicting it could reach dollar parity later this year. Job advertisements dropped by 47% as companies froze UK hiring. ... Read more

8 July 2016

The signs were there

PPP poll, 2013: Facing low approval ratings after a historically unproductive 112th session and a series of last-minute showdowns over fiscal matters, Congress is now less popular than root canals, NFL replacement referees, head lice, the rock band Nickelback, colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan, used-car salesmen and Brussel sprouts. …colonoscopies, carnies, traffic jams, cockroaches, Donald Trump, France, Genghis Khan… …cockroaches, Donald Trump…

© mathew 2017