On losing bets

Within a day of the US joining Canada in the club of nations with a Black head of state, Obama had ordered the prison at Guantánamo closed, shut down the CIA’s secret prisons, banned torture, and stopped blocking research on healing paraplegics. He’s appointed as mediators in Israelistine the diplomat who negotiated an end to the war in Bosnia and the diplomat who negotiated an end to the war in Northern Ireland. It’s hard not to be impressed — and it’s not just me. Fidel Castro seems to like Obama too.

In other news, since to my surprise Bush did not end up invading Iran, I lost my first ever bet on the Foresight Exchange. I doubt it will happen under this administration, so for at least the next few years I expect my conscription-age friends in the US will continue to buy round-trip tickets when visiting me.

It’s heady stuff, this spirit of optimism. I plan to enjoy it while it lasts.

Edit: And it keeps coming! The ban on funding any health clinic in the world that even mentions the possibility of abortion was lifted today.