I was struck listening into the NAAEE research symposium by references to that fact that North American countries are based on settler-colonial regimes that took the land from indigenous peoples. It seems to have become almost obligatory to apologise for this if you work in a university over there, even if you cannot trace your own lineage to the early European migrants. I found myself wondering what criteria to use to judge when the time's right to stop such referencing. We've ceased in the UK for example; by and large people of Anglo-Saxon heritage no talk about how the rapacious Normans carried on in the 11th century even though the evidence of their actions against humanity and culture are well documented. And Norman descendants no longer apologise – not that there's much evidence they ever did. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle said that the Normans "laid waste to the land and called it peace" and Kipling was also clear in his poem The Anvil about what was going on: "England's on the anvil – hear the hammers ring – / Clanging from the Severn to the Tyne / Never was a blacksmith like our Norman King / England's being hammered hammered, hammered into line / ... ".
Kipling's poetic take on prudent Norman dealings with Saxons is more interesting as Stephen Masty points out. Written around 1910, ostensibly about what happened around 1100, it was clearly written with the British colonial experience in India in mind. So, is a thousand years enough time for worried US academics to apologise sufficiently? Probably.
Every time I have to use Google.docs I have trouble. It sometimes ignores me completely, or says I need permissions to access a document. I think Mr & Mrs Google are just resentful that I don't use their feral search engine anymore as I'm determined to do my bit to thwart their lust for world domination.
Ofscoff is the independent government Office for Strictures and Control on Fodder and Food. It's remit is to set minimum standards for food and farming and ensure that these are never exceeded. I've mentioned them before, for example see this. Ofscoff is the UK's least known and most useless regulator (it's stiff competition). Anyway, we've been reported to it for over-feeding great tits. The drone controlled by the local Ofscoff Obesity Marshall (wild bird division) spotted great tits in our garden that had a BMI higher than the maxima as specified in Ofscoff Control order 19/3x/3456/359. We received a letter. It was from Air Vice-Marshall Dougie McDougie and was as offensive as it was meritrious. McDougie instructed us to either remove the bird feeder from the garden entirely, or start using Ofscoff's own recommended nutrition-lite bird feed (available from all good Ofscoff websites). We have 14 days with which to comply or there will be consequences we're told. Shooting down the drone might be a better response. Meanwhile, the happy great tits feed on oblivious to human folly.