It is just the simple things in life…

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There are a few things that I enjoy that I cannot get here, and I recently found two of them whilst NOT looking. I can go to a website and buy them or there are a few specialist stores here to get them, but mostly they are very expensive, so I go without. Anyway, there are enough new things here to try, that it is no biggie. However, sometimes, just sometimes, I would like to get my hands on some of these items. Simple things too.

For example, for time to time I enjoy a bacon sandwich. Now I cannot get English style bacon here. Canadian bacon is not the same, so I have to put up with what I can get. I do miss the nice big lean meaty rashers, with just a strip of fat around the outside. Anyway, when I make a bacon sandwich, I like to add a little brown sauce. No, not ketchup. Anyway, whilst in Bi-Lo recently I came across London Chop Sauce. It was a bit pricey – $2.89 for a small bottle – but it said it was authentic, and imported from England, so I thought I would try it. It is good, and now, although I still have not found a supply of English cut bacon, the bacon sandwiches I make now have a familiar tasting accompaniment.

Around the same time, I found that Publix sell English Crumpets. Yummy, I like those just toasted with butter, and sometimes with just a little Philly on top too.

It is just the simple things in life…

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It Was Dry Across The Tracks

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It was raining hard this evening, but it was dry across the tracks.

Kat and I decided to go out to get something to eat, and go do a little grocery shopping too. Kat was muttering about having a craving for Mexican lately. Good job, it’s the food, and not what’s under the sombrero, I thought…

Anyhow, we headed off to a little Mexican restaurant in Hanahan. It was throwing the rain down by the truckload, and the water was pooling in the road in places and chucking up horrendous spray at times. Not the best night to be out driving about.

Anyway, once we turned off Rivers Avenue and headed over the railroad tracks we also crossed the county line. We got into the restaurant, sat down, and I asked for a Corona to drink. Thought I’d have a Mexican beer to go with the Mexican food.

“Sorry Senor, no beer on a Sunday, not in Hanahan.”

The coffee I ordered instead was instant too. Yuck. Anyway, the food was good, and that was the main reason for the visit.

Like I said, although it was raining hard, it was dry across the tracks.

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As an Englishman, whenever I see the word sovereign, I think of the Queen. That is what it means to me. As I’ve stated before I’m not a die-hard monarchist, but that is how I associate the word.

As for the whole issue, what does the future hold?

History says that America will not always be world leader. Once it was the ancient middle eastern and Greek civilizations, although in a different way, as back then there was no global trade, no world economy. Moving on to the Romans, there was certainly a global economy, and rule of parts of the globe from Rome. Most major civilized countries have had an empire of varying size at some point. A hundred years ago, Britain was the most powerful nation in terms of industrial output, and in areas under colonial rule. By and large, The United States has not had any imperialistic history, in fact to a large extent went the other way to pursue isolationist policies.

As I see it, you can only really and truly have an isolationist policy if you are self dependent, and I don’t think any nation is totally so these days. No country lives just off the fat of their own land anymore.

Like it or not, globalization is happening, and will continue to happen. China might be the next big world power, who knows? The United States will not hold the reins of world power for ever, any more than the United Kingdom kept its empire, or the Romans kept theirs. I just feel lucky that I am living in a time when the United States IS the dominant power, and that Communism collapsed.

What is the ultimate conclusion?

Will the world move peacefully towards full economic integration. If not, why not? Europe is going that way, and is on the verge of spreading into Asia, with the potential inclusion of Turkey.

Not that I’m any big fan of the current EU model, with all its excessive bureacracy and waste, but as each new member joins the EU, the curent members funds that go into the common pool are redistributed to bring the never, usually poorer member up to the same level, with food subsidies, and infrastructure grants for regeneration prohjects such as homes and transportation. (almost all the richer European nations are now members already). To become a member of the EU, means meeting certain criteria, such as democractic government, and developing and maintaining a good human rights regime for example.There are also economic criteria to meet.

Turkey is going thru this process now. Turkey of course was once the base of the powerful Ottoman Empire.

Many Eastern European countries that were former post-war Communiist satelittes have seen advantages of joining – to bring themselves up to the economic and social levels of the current member states.

What is to ultimately stop the EU itself spreading throughout the world? A French friend of mine puts the #1 reason of EU membership as having kept European peace for the last 60 years (which is historically quite a long time, looking back at previous periods of war and peace in Europe).

Does it have to be a ‘them and us’ scenerio? The US on on side of the Atlantic, eyeing EU expansion suspiciously?

I feel that when you get down to the person in the street in most any nation, we are all much the same. The average Londoner, Parisian, New Yorker or even Bahgdad city dweller wants to go about their lives, and raise themselves and their family in as much comfort as they can achieve. People in poorer nations aspire to similar living standards as those in richer countries of course.

As multinational corporations relocate jobs overseas to maximise profit, and then every other company able to do so, does the same, so they can compete and stay in business, we are fuelling this ultimate levelling process. So a call center operator in India, may only earn $300 a month, but that is good money there. It enables not only the luxuries of life, but the one thing that enables these people to march towards their own ‘American Dream’ – education. That is the true freedom, as education allows you to then compete on your own terms. The biggest threat to the United States and Europe over the coming decades is not ultimately from our own multinationals, but from those people in the developing countries, that get educated, and set up their very own similar businesses to rival the US conglomerates. That is when the true shift of world power will start.

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Another Eye to the World