May 9th, 2010

Quaero togam pacem.

UK, post-election

So achieving an absolute majority in the British parliament turned out a mission impossible for either of the three major parties on the UK elections. Neither the Tories, nor Labour could reach the coveted 326 seats in the House. It looks Cameron's conservatives are getting 290 seats, Brown's labour 247 and Clegg's libdems 51. This leaves Britain with the so-called 'hung parliament' (yeah, you can laugh).

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People say the darndest things....

Y'all remember Sue right? Well, if not, that's ok. She has another anecdote to share:

"so this healthcare thing that's going on..."
Sue: "'s something else alright."
"It sure know, our cousin lives up in Canada. Her healthcare is excellent. She has a card, if she gets sick she goes to the hospital swipes the card and doesn't have to pay anything."
Sue: "Yeah, universal healthcare is great, totally."
"It sure is...but what Obama is doing with his socialist healthcare bill, why, it's destroying America."

I wish I made this up. I really do. I wish to god this was fiction. It's a rough paraphrase, so it's not word for word, but the basics are there.

Canadian healthcare good
Obama socialism bad

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Allies join Russians in Victory Day Celebrations in Moscow

U.S. soldiers march through Red Square in Moscow.

1st Battalion Royal Welsh Guards marching through Red Square, Moscow.

U.S. troops marched through Red Square for the first time in a Victory Day parade on Sunday as Russia celebrated the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. It was a scene cut from Russia's Cold War nightmares: 71 Americans in dark blue dress uniforms carried the U.S. flag over the cobblestones, past the mausoleum of Vladimir Lenin and the towers of the Kremlin wall to salute Russian leaders.

French, British and Polish soldiers also took part in the parade in a tribute to the role the Allies played in what Russia called the Great Patriotic War. Under clear skies, the reviewing stands were packed with Russian officials, foreign dignitaries and hundreds of aging war veterans.

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If any of you grew up with the fall-out shelter school drills, or remember the Cold War and the several close calls with nuclear war, this must have been an eye-popper of an event to witness. When I went to grade school at my local parish, our religious study teacher said it was more likely Catholics and Eastern Orthodox would heal their schism than it was likely to ever see West Berlin and East Berlin united. By comparison, that seems pale: troops from France, the United Kingdom, Poland, France and other Allies marching with Russians in Red Square. And I think that's fantastic news, in what's been a rather dreary news month.

BBC Coverage.
Very cool POV video taken today from jets and tanks.