Boris Johnson is at death’s doorstep. This would otherwise be an unremarkable point, except he’s inexplicably the Prime Minister of the UK.
It turns out to be a bad idea to ignore the best advice by the world’s best epidemiologists and doctors.
We’re all familiar with politicians ignoring the advice of scientists, it’s just rare that we so quickly see the consequences of that haughtiness bite one of them so squarely in the ass.
If someone puts the economy before the survivability of our species and public health systems, they’re unfit to lead. This isn’t new, I’ve felt this way about leaders long before Greta Thunberg got well deserved global press for pointing that very obvious point out so clearly to so many.
Brexit: It’s a term I first heard months ago on Twitter in relation to people mostly angry with immigration in the UK. It means “British Exit from the European Union”. The country narrowly voted to leave the EU, and the economy/currency Pound Sterling soon crashed from the uncertainty of the Prime Minister resigning, the opposition leader being turfed by MPs, and the Brexit Leave leaders having no effing plan. One of the Brexit leaders is the former mayor of London, and the other is the leader of the UK Independence Party, a sort of extreme Reform Party hell bent on blocking Muslim immigrants much how Trump has envisioned for the United States.
A great British comic in the US, John Oliver, says there are no do-overs for the Brexit referendum vote. I tend to disagree on this point, even though the rest of his analysis is fine and funny.
There are do-overs, because we have elections every few years or if the loss of confidence in the ruling government takes place. It’s pretty obvious Britons have no confidence in the current government or the choice to Leave. Therefore it’s not anti-democratic to take another vote to determine public opinion following the initial consequences of their earlier vote last week. After all, if people are still satisfied with all of the Brexit results, they’ll again vote for it, correct? It might keep the UK united, otherwise Scotland is set to leave so they’ll stay with the EU, as is Ireland which may unite with Northern Ireland.
Keep in mind I’m no expert on British politics, so if you’ve a correction to make to this summary, please leave it in the comments.
The London police force has wasted millions of pounds on detaining Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy for years.
You needn’t go farther than the comment section of a UK rag to find the sort of people who are okay with torture devices beging designed into their buildings.
“Now I’m lying on the cold, hard ground.”
Some sick cities are dealing with homeless people as if they were pigeons crapping from the roof of Wrigley Field.
Now there may be a municipality crazy and cruel enough to install this 5 year old pay-bench idea.
PAY & SIT: the private bench (HD) from Fabian Brunsing on Vimeo.
The Independent got a black eye today from a former editor who shamelessly confessed to being an authoritarian.
Blackhurst, in explaining why he would never have allowed his newspaper to publish any of the documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, actually wrote:
If the security services insist something is contrary to the public interest, and might harm their operations, who am I (despite my grounding from Watergate onwards) to disbelieve them?”
Most people, let alone journalists, would be far too embarrassed to admit they harbor such subservient, obsequious sentiments.
Greenwald sums up:
But it does still surprise me when people calling themselves “journalists” openly admit to thinking this way. But when they do so, they do us a service, as it lays so vividly bare just how wide the gap is between the claimed function of establishment journalists and the actual role they fulfill.
Caution about The Guardian*. While they may be publishing Greenwald right now, I don’t expect that to go on forever. Blackhurt gives a clue as to why:
The former Labour cabinet minister was incandescent with rage. […]
I was puzzled as to why she would be so angry – normally she and The Guardian would be of one mind.
I’m so sick of the government reading all of my Facebook status updates, and never liking any of them.
(Seen on a graphic going around Facebook)
“It had been used, in one case, to arrest ten people who threatened to protest in front of UK Prime Minister David Cameron after organising a meet-up over Twitter.”
Holy, that’s disturbing. Majority Report, anyone? Protesters arrested for planning to protest? Newsflash: Protesting isn’t illegal in a ‘free’ country like England. I guess that rules England out as being free.
“It almost acts like CCTV on the ground for us really,” he said. “When there’s a protest, people go out and record video and we know 2 minutes later they’ll be on YouTube and because people on the internet are very silly they’ll say ‘that’s my mate Joe Bloggs’.”
Police are not supposed to care about free citizens airing grievances against political leadership. It makes the country unfree, if they so much as care to monitor innocent people.
“A lot of newspapers out there report on are we becoming a police state, are the police monitoring everything out there,” [Mr Ertogral] said. “It’s kind of finding the balance and using that information to our advantage, but also staying ethical.”
No shit, NDEU Sherlock. You’re doing a bloody awful job of staying ethical in your police state.
More details are out on PRISM, Tempora, and other illegal spying schemes by the NSA and friendly intelligence agencies, apparently even in Germany.
The NSA even has a special department for such cooperation, the Foreign Affairs Directorate, he says. He also exposes a noteworthy detail about how government decision-makers are protected by these programs. The partnerships are organized in a way so that authorities in other countries can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” in the event it becomes public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy,” the former NSA employee says.
Interviewer [Jacob A. @ioerror]: Are German authorities or German politicians involved in the NSA surveillance system?
Snowden: Yes, of course. We’re in bed together with the Germans the same as with most other Western countries. For example, we tip them off when someone we want is flying through their airports (that we for example, have learned from the cell phone of a suspected hacker’s girlfriend in a totally unrelated third country — and they hand them over to us. They don’t ask to justify how we know something, and vice versa, to insulate their political leaders from the backlash of knowing how grievously they’re violating global privacy.
This is how it’s obvious that what’s happening is illegal, because populations don’t consent to it if politicians fear retribution when the truth is out.
Data Remains Buffered for Three Days
The scope of this “full take” system is vast. According to Snowden and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Tempora stores communications data for up to 30 days and saves all content for up to three days in a so-called Internet buffer. “It snarfs everything in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit,” Snowden says.
Asked if it is possible to get around this total surveillance of all Internet communication, he says: “As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances.”
In other words, Snowden says, one can only prevent GCHQ from accessing their data if they do not send any information through British Internet lines or servers. However, German Internet experts believe this would be almost impossible in practice.
The UK government has a complete backup of all Internet traffic through its countries, for 3 days? Wow.