Archive for February 20th, 2013


(see what I did there? … ooookay, moving swiftly on)

“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts”
        – Moynihan, Schlesinger or possibly Baruch.

It is singularly appropriate that the attribution for this political truism is subject to debate. It is also subject to abuse and misuse; when Candidate Romney threw the line at President Obama in debate, I nearly damaged a perfectly good monitor with ballistic tea. The GOP (the US Republican Party, or if you’re a Brit who isn’t a political junky, the right-wingnuts) has been determinedly conflating opinion with fact for a couple of decades now. Fairly serious conservative commentators (Drum, Bartlett, Sullivan spring to mind) have been calling them out on it for some time with increasing desperation. The left-wingnuts are occasionlly guilty of making stuff up, but there is a real, objective difference in US politics between the left and the right; the left treats its wingnuts as an embarrassing reality. The right, as represented by the post-TEA Party GOP, tries to get its wing-nuts elected to high office, and succeeds at an alarming rate.

Continue reading ‘Entitled’


Zero Day

First posts are always a pain in the ass but you need some kind of pitch to the reader. In this case I’m going to make it a brief trial run at what will become an ‘About’ page.

“The opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
                — Niels Bohr

I am Chris Naden, and I like arguing on the internet. In 2008-2010 I wrote a pseudonymous UK political blog as John Q. Publican (that being my profession at the time). I was a regular contributor to LibCon and other such fora. I was also engaged with, and was writing about, UK government violence against dissent in 2008 and 2009. Given FIT and various other bad habits, I kept my real name out of it at the time.

I’ve not been writing for the intervening three years, but I have been reading voraciously. My priorities and viewpoints have changed, not least because I fell victim to the recession and have been out of work for a while. In picking up the traces once more I decided I needed a new frame for debate, and decided to attach my real name to it.

I chose the blog title in a moment of whimsy after watching Good Night and Good Luck; in our modern society, we have a great many choices of giants to climb, and whose shoulders we stand on radically affects the landscape we survey. My tagline is inspired by my approach to more or less anything, which is the long view; often the very long view. My degree is in medieval and early modern history, and the tools I use are mostly from the historiographical tool-box. I read very widely, and I’m likely to write about any and all of history, economics, television, ethics, speculative fiction, religion, the developing world, the DWP, music, current affairs, dramaturgy, politics or funny cat pictures as the mood takes me. I would like to say I stand on the shoulders of giants, but I suspect I’m still at waist hight. Watch me climb.

February 2013
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Per Argument Ad Astra

Politics, history, economics and rampant speculation from a victim of the Great Recession, currently at large in the West Midlands.

"When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters."
                -- Adam Smith