How Hollywood put lies in the King’s Speech .
In Western civilisation’s greatest moment of peril (May 1940) the King did not favour bulldog Churchill but the cowardly Lord Halifax  for Prime Minister.
And by all accounts he was a pompous, ill tempered, ignoramus.
And like many in the highest echelons of Britain’s 1930's elite, a little too cozy with Nazi Germany.
And with that off my chest, what a great movie.
New York Review of Books -- Hollywood’s Royal Stammer 
There is nothing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences loves more than movies about people with physical or mental disabilities (or addictions).
Oh and cheering throngs did show up for their monarch but not in September 1939 as war begun, as is implied by the movie, but a year earlier in September 1938 to celebrate Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's Munich  Agreement.
Related in a Fuhrer loving kind of way.
Philadephia Inquirer -- It won't win an award for historical accuracy 
Every few years, an unheralded film comes out of nowhere to seize the public's imagination.
Christopher Hitchens reminds us that Churchill’s support of King Edward VIII derailed an anti-appeasement coalition in 1936.
When Winston was mistaken, he was really mistaken.
Still, as we all know, it was Churchill's rhetoric, and his speech making skill, that saved Britain from disaster, and not this one  (ed's note -- starts about 3.20 and is painful)
National Post -- Christopher Hitchens: An Oscar-worthy airbrushing of history 
The King’s Speech is an extremely well-made film with a seductive human interest plot, very prettily calculated to appeal to the smarter filmgoer and the latent Anglophile.
Speaking about myths, how Ronald Reagan’s Presidency put America on a road to ruin.
Reader Supported News – Reagan’s 30-year Time Bombs 
The failure to close the circle in saying who started the nation off on the path toward these disasters is because nearly everyone shies away from blaming Ronald Reagan for almost anything.
Quote worth quoting.
“Yet, possibly the most insidious residue from the Reagan Years was the concept of manipulating information – what some Reagan officials liked to call “perception management” – as a means of societal control.”
Conard lets it rip. The US is a mess. Thanks to David of London for sending this in.
It was a seriously demoralizing experience to read that the majority of Americans thought that Barack Obama gave a good State of the Union speech this week.
How irresponsible monetary policy helped trigger political unrest in North Africa.
Prudent Bear -- Monetary Disorder and Global Fragilities  (ed’s note – scroll down near bottom for article)
There’s been this festering dichotomy.
The inflation wave?
The Perfect Storm 
Egypt, which way now?
Asia Times -- Days of rage in Egypt 
"It is unclear what is stirring beneath the surface of Egypt," wrote influential American think-tank Stratfor three weeks ago, analyzing the internal situation in Egypt in the wake of the church bombings that shook the country at the time.
It’s about us.
New York Times -- Yearning for Respect, Arabs Find a Voice 
In Yemen, the chants invoked Tunisia, a continent away. A Lebanese newspaper declared that all of the Middle East was watching Egypt. A long-dead North African poet’s most famous poem has become the anthem of a moment the most enthusiastic call revolutionary.
Quote worth quoting.
“For the first time in a generation, it is not religion, nor the adventures of a single leader, nor wars with Israel that have energized the region. Across Egypt and the Middle East, a somewhat nostalgic notion of a common Arab identity, intersecting with a visceral sense of what amounts to a decent life, is driving protests that have bound the region in a sense of a shared destiny. “
Fears about what might come next.
Telegraph -- Egypt needs reform, but not revolution 
William Hague yesterday added to the mounting international pressure on the Egyptian authorities to show restraint in their handling of the protests against the authoritarian regime of President Hosni Mubarak.
Out of work, forever.
Washington Post Business -- Too young not to work, too old to get a job 
Pew's new report on long-term unemployment is sobering stuff:
Europe and the Mediterranean.
Project Syndicate – The Mediterranean Crucible 
For most Europeans, the Mediterranean is an annual object of longing – the holiday idyll where they spend the best weeks of the year. But many Europeans’ sunny view of the region has yielded to lowering clouds of pessimism.
The shift in power in Alberta politics may mean that the government will challenge the federal government’s control of how health care is funded.
That would be a good thing and consistent with how a federal system is supposed to work.
This would be a godsend for the Federal Liberal Party and a nightmare for faux-Conservative Harper.
Edmonton Journal -- Tory shakeup raises health-care fears 
Medicare advocates who have been long complaining about the "stealth privatization" of Alberta health care could have a full-fledged trench war on their hands if Ted Morton rises to become premier.
With the funding debate looming on the horizon, good idea to dust off these reviews of Canada’s health care system. Thanks to DZ of Victoria for encouraging a renewed debate on health care to start with the Kirby Report.
Pdf -- The Health of Canadians -- The Federal Role
CBC – Studied to Death? 
A lot of dollars and a lot of ink have been devoted to finding a cure for what ails Canada's health-care system. Health care may not have hit the 21st century, but studying it sure has.
Governing for the sake of governing.
Macleans -- The damage done by doing so little 
Most of our prime ministers have been scoundrels: the successful ones, almost exclusively. They say Arthur Meighen was quite a stand-up guy. Alexander Mackenzie, the same. Possibly John Turner or Kim Campbell or Joe Clark might have proved brave and principled leaders, given time. But that’s the thing: they weren’t given time, dispatched instead at the first opportunity by their more unscrupulous rivals. Whether of necessity or simply tradition, in Canadian politics, nice guys really do finish last.
Quote worth quoting.
“Scoundrels our past prime ministers may have been, but scoundrels with a purpose. Harper’s record, by contrast, is rare in its combination of longevity and vapidity. Seldom has a government lasted so long that did so little.”
Child poverty. John?
Globe and Mail -- Wanted: a government with the will to tackle child poverty 
For years now, child advocates in British Columbia have screamed about the unconscionably high poverty rates among the province’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens. For the most part, it’s been a cry for action that has gone unheeded.
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