Saturday round-up – 22nd May 2021

  1. When a major political party has introduced 408 bills across the USA to try and add restrictions and new rules on voting, that’s a clear strategy to disrupt the process of voting based on universal suffrage.
  2. The British royal family can always be relied upon to provide tabloid amusement and a diversion. The kerfuffle over Princess Diana’s interview from 1995 and the latest Harry revelations from an interview with Oprah Winfrey are taking media bandwidth away from from the grim realities of Covid-19 and Brexit. The impact of Brexit, coupled with other recent world events, is even affecting the building sector.  It is a typical feature of the British media landscape, and thoroughly supports the person who described the UK tabloids to me as “budgie cage liner”.
  3. The latest Brexit posting from Chris Grey is his usual excellent fact-supported analysis. Also, it is close to bizarre that the NFU seems to think that reminding Boris Johnson of the promises he is supposed to have made to “look after” the UK farming sector after Brexit is going to result in them not being hung out to dry if and when a trade agreement is agreed with Australia. The goal of the current Conservative government is to ensure that the UK cannot ever re-join the EU. They intend to do this by agreeing to clauses in new trade agreements that specifically conflict with EU legislation. Agreeing to import meat from Australia, which allows (among other things) beef cattle hormone injections, will create a scenario where a trade agreement with a third country conflicts with current EU legislation. If the trade agreement has a really long term, that will successfully eliminate any real chance of the UK re-joining the Single Market and Customs Union, probably in my lifetime.
  4. A fascinating article from Jon Worth’s excellent blog about overnight sleeper train services in Europe, and how their existence is at best tenuous. The situation in the UK is also terrible, with sleeper services having effectively disappeared, with only occasional attempts at revival.
  5. We have a new candidate for Sovereign Citizen of the Year in the USA. This guy is showing some definite potential.
  6. I found an excellent new blog aggregator site. Of course, it then proceeded to link me to this grim story.
  7. But this story rivals it for bizarre grimness.
  8. The most sinister aspect of the new Texas abortion prohibition law is how it essentially abolishes the concept of standing.
    ANYBODY can sue anybody else under the law.
    We can expect to see a massive blizzard of shakedown lawsuits by unscrupulous lawyers against medical practitioners, and even the friends and family of people who try to obtain abortions, on flimsy or no grounds.
    BTW, this expansive dumping of standing may be logical, given that Republicans are often frustrated by standing when trying to file frivolous lawsuits in the political arena.
  9. There is so much to unwrap in this story of the appalling and illegal behavior of a supposed Republican congressional candidate. The idea of the GOP as the party of personal responsibility and the nuclear famly really has no credibility at the present time. None. Diddly squat. What amazes me is why interviewers do not simply burst out laughing at this guy. UPDATE – It gets worse…this guy’s son by the girl he impregnated is currently awaiting trial in California. Guess what he is charged with?
  10. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack was merely the latest in a whole string of ransomware attacks against corporations. The DarkSide group is also selling its technology and tools to other ransomware groups, but then there are rumors that the group has had to temporarily cease operations. Although if I had successfully extorted $90m in BitCoin from somebody, I would probably be looking for a nice villa in a beach resort in the tropics…
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