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Thursday, May 6, 2010

THE UK HAS A HUNG PARLIAMENT







Very few Americans are interested, but, for the record, the United Kingdom voted today, and, according to exit polls, the Conservatives (305--David Cameron) will have more members in Parliament than the Labor Party (255--Gordon Brown, who replaced Tony Blair), but will fall short of the 324 majority, meaning there will be a hung lower House of Commons. The upper House of Lords is ceremonial. This means that whichever party can garner the support of minor parties to reach a majority will choose the Prime Minister. While the Liberal Democrats will only receive around 60 votes, their leader, Nick Clegg, was the star of the national debate. This could lead to a
three party nation. Cameron and Clegg are both 43 years old. Cameron is a direct descendent of King William IV. Clegg studied a year at the University of Minnesota and was an intern under Christopher Hitchens at The Nation. Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Daniel Dennett are well-read atheist authors known as the "Four Hoursemen." They are all well covered in my Chapter 5 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Humanity, now being serialized as THE GOLDEN EVOLUTION. Anyway, things will be a poitical mess in London for couple of months. Queen Elizabeth II will open the new Parliament on May 25.



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It was a wild day on Wall Street as the Dow Jones Industrials, almost an hour from the final bell, suddenly crashed 700 points, dropping the Dow south of 10,000, nearly 1,000 points below the starting point today. (See performance on the right.) This was the largest drop in one day in the history of the stock market. If you think you dropped a few bucks, it was reported that Larry Ellison of Oracle lost $1.35 billion today.

However, the DJIA then in half an hour skyrocketed 600 points to only end minus 348 at 10,520. There, apparently, was a technical programming glitch, but the Volatility Index (VIX) reached a one year high, indicating increasing investor anxiety. While this 3.2% decline is significant, the stock markets in Japan and Mexico fell nearly 4% and Brazil 5%. The Dow remains about 1% higher for the year and 25% above a year ago. Gold rose $22/toz to $1197 and oil sunk below $78/barrel, a $10/barrel drop just this week. While a sinking market, upsurge in gold and fall in the price of petroleum seem like the standard reaction to a coming double dip recession, all fingers seem to be pointing instead to the metastability of Greece, with future fears for Spain, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. Call them the European PIIGS.


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Welcome, my 151st nation to Planet Earth and Humanity:

GUERNSEY POPULATION: 65,484



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Background
Guernsey and the other Channel Islands represent the last remnants of the medieval Dukedom of Normandy, which held sway in both France and England. The islands were the only British soil occupied by German troops in World War II. Guernsey is a British crown dependency, but is not part of the UK or of the European Union. However, the UK Government is constitutionally responsible for its defense and international representation.

Map data ©2010 Europa Technologies - Terms of Use




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Well, Kenji's Green Safari stopped by Trader Joe's in Solano, proceeded to drop me off at the Westin south of Market Street and drove on to the San Francisco Airport for their return flight to Honolulu. This is the view from my room:




If you look to the left, you can barely see the Golden Gate Bridge. At sunset, the view is clear.
























I had my traditional lunch at the Tadich Grill. Below my filet sole with salad and a chardonnay:



Service by Anton was efficient:


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