Fiat Lux

by wjw on April 6, 2016

I’ll be leaving tomorrow for a couple days in the sophisticated metropolis of Portales, NM, for the fortieth annual Jack Williamson Lectureship.  Fun will be had.

In the meantime I’m deeply enjoying my schadenfreude at the continuing revelations of the Panama Papers.  The premiere of Iceland has resigned.  And the Great Firewall of China has been raised to frantically block news or comment about the Politburo figures whose nearest and dearest have stashed their millions abroad.

These include President Li Xinping, whose sister and brother-in-law grew rich on their investments.  Also revealed have been the various complicated schemes designed to conceal the ownership of a French villa involved in the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood by Gu Kailai, the wife of rising politician Bo Xilai.

All this is more deeply embarrassing because Li Xinping has been leading the charge on a huge, well-publicized anti-corruption drive.  But canny observers have noted that those indicted were outsiders and upstarts, not those who (like Li) are the children or grandchildren of Communist revolutionaries.   The Red Princes are, apparently, still immune from criticism.  Long live the Revolution!

Elsewhere, David Cameron personally stepped in to prevent offshore trusts from being included in an EU probe on tax avoidance.  And in another wrinkle to the long, sad story of corruption in soccer authority FIFA, Eugenio Figueredo, former senior vice-president accused in the US of accepting millions in bribes, was covertly in business with Juan Pedro Damiani, who sat on the ethics committee investigating Figueredo.

And— because this bit of news just arrived, and I have nowhere else to put it— there’s a big controversy in the labeling of Scotch whiskey.  It’s a matter that affects me deeply, and I will be watching the outcome with great concern.

Let there be light.

Mike April 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Scottish whiskey? With an ‘e’??? I’m not sure if the Scots or the Irish will be the most upset about that spelling.

wjw April 8, 2016 at 3:03 pm

One moment’s inattention at the keyboard, and you get two whole countries pissed at you. That’s the 21st century in a nutshell.

James R. Strickland April 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm

The Scotch problem has an easy solution: drink singlemalts. One age, one distillery, complete transparency on the label. Solved! 🙂


Steinar Bang April 12, 2016 at 2:33 am

David Cameron has aquired a new nickname now: “Dodgy Dave”

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