Monday, May 17, 2010

Make Us Well, Macusweil

A fresh blog from an old friend: Macusweil's Mind

Observations from one man; original poetry; quotes from the quotable and others.

(I know where some of the skeletons are closeted.)

Enjoy. I plan to.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Too Young Bayler Couple Pass Four Weeks Apart

Three weeks ago I wrote about my friend, Mike Bayler, who passed away while bicycling. He was survived by his wife, Sharon Covington Bayler. Unfortunately "was" is now the correct form of the verb in that last sentence. Yesterday, in an numbing tragedy, Sharon was hit from behind by a truck while on a group ride. She died from the injuries. I'll link to the Huntsville Times blog article, but more because of the comments posted than because of the article -- apparently the facts originally reported were not checked very thoroughly.

I did not know Sharon well, but well enough to know that she was terrific. She was warm and welcoming to me, whether because I was a friend of Mike's and that was good enough for her or because she was that way with everyone, I'm not sure. It doesn't matter; I still feel like I've been punched in the gut; twice. And as down as I feel I know her family and close friends feel it more; my heart goes out to you all.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Perplexed by Parliament Non-Pundits

"Ewww, Britain may not have a clear winner in their election; whatever will they do?"
Both NPR and The Daily Show seemed aghast yesterday and today that a democratic nation like Great Britain would not immediately emerge from their general election with a clear head-of-state.  This is something I had learned twice by my 10th grade civics class.  It's a parliamentary system... with a Prime Minister (not a President)... typically they require a coalition government.  This is not unusual.  The unusual thing has been that they've had a clear majority most of the last 30 some years.  Typically it's been a multi-party system with a coalition formed by at least a couple parties in order to elect a Prime Minister and form a government.
  One criticism often leveled at parliamentary democracies is that they may be less stable than those with heads of state elected by popular vote (more or less in the US case, see Electoral College).  That's probably why I found it interesting (almost 30 years ago in that 10th grade class) that Great Britain's government was actually more stable, at least as measured by how long the head of state ruled: they were averaging around 6 years at that time, while the US was closer to having Presidents that served for 5 years.
  So, Pundits, give old England a chance to sort it out.  Nice to see a third party get a chance for a little influence; especially since its the LibDems.