David Bouchier

Independence for All

Sep 29, 2014

The campaign for Scottish independence that ended in failure last week aroused intense interest because it posed the most basic of all political questions, namely "What is a nation?" There are almost two hundred recognized nations in the world, but there could easily be two thousand if every independence movement succeeded. Nationalism is back with a vengeance: Uigars in China, Russians in Ukraine, French speakers in Quebec, Flemish speakers in Belgium – the list of restive minorities who want independence is enormous.

Autumn

Sep 22, 2014

At 10.29 this evening, just as you are enjoying the Miss Marple mystery on public television, the earth will be divided precisely into two, half in daylight and half in darkness. It’s the “Autumnal Equinox,” the first day of fall which always brings a little chill to the heart. Labor Day is one thing, but this is official. Summer in our northern hemisphere over.

Out of Thin Air

Sep 15, 2014

Back in the nineteen-twenties this nation went mad about radio. In 1922 there were about 100,000 domestic radios in use, and thirty broadcasting stations. By 1924 there were half a million radio sets and over five hundred stations. Radio just kept on growing from there.

Unemployment is the biggest economic problem we have right now, and consultancy is the obvious solution. Anyone can set up as a consultant on just about anything, apart from the great monopolies of medicine and law.  You can buy the skills of an ex-architect or an ex-computer programmer, an ex-banker, or even an ex-executive for a tiny fraction of what they would have cost when they had real jobs.

Hard Labor

Sep 1, 2014

For most American families Labor Day is not about the history of the American Trade Union movement, but that’s what it was about for a hundred years. Labor Day is supposed to celebrate the dignity of labor, but how that tradition has faded.  For several years the traditional Labor Day march in New York was canceled due to security concerns or lack of interest. It has been revived as a shadow of its former self, but more like an all-purpose carnival. Only about one in ten Americans now belongs to a union.

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