Archive for May, 2006
Perusing Google maps yesterday, I was a little disappointed to discover, by zooming in on the Theatre of Dreams, that this satellite image is at least 4 years old. Note the UMBRO signage on the Stretford End seating:
in lieu of the Nike swoosh that’s been there since 2002:
Along with a few others, Ciarán’s amused by the US tax court’s ruling that work carried out by American citizens in Antarctica doesn’t qualify for “foreign earned income” exemption because Antarctica isn’t a foreign country. Which it isn’t. A country, I mean.
It’s an entire continent subject to various competing claims, which remain unresolved. The 1959 Antarctic treaty which prohibits military activity and seeks to support scientific research and environmental protection purposely defers these claims.
And it’s certainly not a “foreign country” with a government which might want to levy a tax on anyone working in its jurisdiction. I would think the reason for an exemption on foreign earned income is a recognition that income earned in a foreign country will be subject to the tax regime in that country and that a reciprocal rule would apply - any citizens of that foreign country working in the US would be subject to the US tax regime. Given that no Antarctican government exists and no Antarctican citizens are working in the US, all bets are off and the sad fact is that the American government asserts a right to a slice of the fruits of its citizens’ labour and will only forego that right in favour of another government with what it considers to be a superior claim on that slice.
Hugh sets out his prediction for tonight’s Champions League final:
I would like to see Barcelona win tonight’s match, mainly because I think Ronaldinho is the most exciting player I’ve seen play live on telly.
However, I’m not allowing this to influence my prediction:
3-1 to Barcelona
Scorers for Barcelona: Eto’o (2), Deco.
Scorer for Arsenal: Ljungberg.
Like Hugh, I want Barcelona to win, albeit for a slightly different reason and I’m not going to let this influence my prediction either which is for Arsenal to nick it 1-0, goal probably by Henry. I know it will be a travesty but this is the outcome I fear my Arsenal-supporting brother (at the match tonight) will witness. Both finalists are reknowned for their attacking flair, however each has reached the final courtesy of a miserly defence, conceding a solitary goal from open play between them and that was scored against the Catalans. So, I’m expecting a more cagey game than is widely anticipated. That said, I still hope that Barcelona will confound my pessimistic prediction and vanquish the ex-invincibles in style - Força Barça!
Unlike most of my compatriots I don’t bear the England fooball team any animosity. Indeed I don’t have to suffer the cognitive dissonance chosen by my fellow Irish United fans (along with their Liverpool and Chelsea counterparts) who find themselves cheering a Rooney miss or a Neville blunder so long as they are wearing the wrong colour shirt. Further, I don’t buy in the slightest the standard Irish complaint that the English media would be insufferable in the event of any triumph. My response to which is to wonder if the person has ever experienced the cringing jingoism which attends RTE’s coverage of any remotely hopeful campaign by the Ireland football team.
However, I cannot stand Sven Goran Eriksson who seems to typify for me the sort of ass-covering, underperforming bureaucrat who effortly rises through a large organisation by dint of presenteeism and presentation rather than talent. The sort of person who can either blame his failure on others or can plausibly explain away his mediocre performance, recasting it as the best that could reasonably have been achieved.
Given Eriksson’s innate conservativism - sticking with players with whom he is familiar, no matter their current form or even fitness - it is surely a mark of desperation and not an uncharacteristic “gamble” (as Eriksson has tried to present it) that has seen him adopt Arsene Wenger’s (surely tongue-in-cheek) suggestion this week to take Arsenal’s Theo Walcott to the world cup. Wenger himself has deemed Walcott insufficiently prepared to meet the likes of Sunderland and Portsmouth. On what grounds can Eriksson be confident that the teenage striker is ready to face Sweden and Paraguay?
It is one of only a few bizarre selections. Much has been made of Aaron Lennon’s inclusion, however the young winger has earned his place with a series of impressive performances for Spurs. This is more than can be said for a pair of defenders from Lennon’s North London rivals. Ashley Cole has barely kicked a ball all season and his teammate Sol Campbell still struggles with physical and mental fitness. Perhaps I betray my bias here but surely Wes Brown would be a no-brainer? He has been very solid at the back for United this season and would provide useful cover for Ferdinand or Terry. He can also play at right back. But surely even worse than the selection of the Arsenal trio is that of Owen Hargreaves. This mediocre but “versatile” player - Sven’s traditional go-to guy to pad out the squad - and not a self-styled “gamble” surely typifies the bland, familiar, safety-first nature of the Swede’s regime as England manager.
I posted last year about the widespread cargo cult which elevates manufacturing jobs above all. Don Boudreaux has a great post over at Café Hayek on this very topic and I think this particular quote really nails it:
Service-sector jobs are
the most desirable. Until his retirement, my dad had a manufacturing job: he worked as a welder in a
shipyard. Like most parents, his dream was for his children to become doctors or lawyers and the like. Ever hear a parent say “I want my boy to grow up to be a pipe-fitter!” or “My dream is for little Suzy one day to operate her very own sewing machine in a clothing factory!”