Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
16 May 2012

The last session of parliament was the longest for 100 years. At the previous state opening, the Queen had been on the throne for a mere 58 years. She looks a little more elderly these days, a little more stooped, and she walked with that slight caution that you would have if you were carrying the weight of a large bag of potatoes on your head. Or a crown as we call it. You could hardly call it an austerity opening, though looking round the House of Lords I could see only about a dozen tiaras. The place still looked like a festival of bling, a convention of white rappers all desperate to show how minted they were. The event was designed hundreds of years ago to convince continental ambassadors that this wet, windswept country off the west coast of Europe was immensely wealthy. That might well be part of the intention today. – Simon Hoggart, in the Guardian, about the UK opening of Parliament

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