The UK’s obsession with the ‘special relationship’

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With the Prime Minister abroad – sandwiching a trip to Saudi Arabia between Iraq and Jordan – it was Education Secretary Justine Greening (on the media) and Home Secretary Amber Rudd (in the Commons) who were given the unenviable job of telling the country that we should all pretty much lie back and think of the “special relationship” – a relationship so special that no US president, however flaky, and no quarrel, however public, would ever, ever, ever succeed in blowing it off course… More at The Independent.

The ‘special relationship’ is important to many and perhaps more important than ever because with Brexit coming we are likely to be economically screwed otherwise. However, when the President is such an important part of America, we should probably be cooling it a little while Donny 3 Chins is in charge.

Britain has no status anymore, despite what 52% of our population seem to believe, and so we cling on the coattails of any country that makes things and which can help us in the future. Something tells me that Trump has no intention to help anyone but himself and his rich ‘white’ friends. Seriously, how is he still president? And how is she still Prime Minister?

Neutrality will disappear, it always does

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The Federal Communications Commission took aim at a signature Obama-era regulation Tuesday, unveiling a plan that would give Internet providers broad powers to determine what websites and online services their customers see and use.

Under the agency’s proposal, providers of high-speed Internet services, such as Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, would be able to block websites they do not like and charge Web companies for speedier delivery of their content… More at The Washington Post.

This is a situation that sums up so much of what we are experiencing at this time.

It is barely worth writing about the arguments because they are so one sided that it would be pointless to present to well-meaning and intelligent people, which the majority of you seem to be.

We have an industry that is hugely profitable and which works in a framework containing mobile providers, telecom companies who provide the fixed networks, ISPs, content providers, search engines, phone manufacturers and so many others who have found a place in the world in which they can co-exist with the others to the benefit of the many.

This is a worrying situation for those who do not like such things because they feel it should belong to them. As much of it as possible should belong to them.

It is symptomatic of what is happening in American and British politics, which more and more likely seem to be influenced by the Russians. How else can you explain what is happening in 2017?

It is surely not possible that millions of people in both countries have collectively lost their minds and decided that the entire world does not look out for them, and to collectively then vote for people who do not even bother to hide the fact that they are selfish beyond belief.

It is surely not possible that something as important as the internet can be farmed off for the benefit of a few organisations who only look out for themselves and continue to get away with it.

However, isn’t this all perfectly normal?

You name the industry; cars, tobacco, oil, banking… It always goes this way. It always ends up in the hands of those who would otherwise be in jail for killing people and animals, but they wear suits so it is allowed to happen again and again.

Brexit is stupidest thing any country has done besides Trump

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“It is really hard to understand why a country that was doing so well wanted to ruin it,” Bloomberg said of Brexit. “It was not a smart thing to do and getting out of it is going to be very difficult and is going to be very painful. It will hurt industries. People are already taking space in other cities over there [Europe], us included.” More at The Guardian.

It’s up there with the daftest things we have done in the past.

The United States of Guns

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America is a stuck in a Groundhog Day loop of gun violence. We’ll keep waking up, stuck in the same reality of oppression, carnage, and ruined lives until we can figure out how to effect meaningful change. I’ve collected some articles here about America’s dysfunctional relationship with guns, most of which I’ve shared before. Change is possible — there are good reasons to control the ownership of guns and control has a high likelihood of success — but how will our country find the political will to make it happen? More here.

Doesn’t matter what anyone says. It will just carry on and the rest of us with laugh and cry at the situation many times over in the future.

Jeremy Hunt says Stephen Hawking is wrong

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Jeremy Hunt has been criticised for claiming Stephen Hawking is wrong in the row about the government’s seven-day NHS plan.

Hunt was responding to criticism from the renowned 75-year-old physicist and author of A Brief History of Time ahead of a speech at the Royal Society of Medicine on Saturday… More at The Guardian.

I would go with Hawking on this one because he is infinitely more intelligent than Hunt. He is also not a complete self-serving tw*t like Hunt is.

So Much for So Little

The cartoon states that, annually, 118,481 babies out of 2 million will die before reaching their first birthday. Thus, the cartoon shows John E. Jones, a baby that may add to this statistic if not given proper healthcare. The cartoon proceeds to show most of John’s life, including his school years, marriage, later life (as a father), and his golden years, providing other helpful health information along the way. Before the cartoon ends, however, it returns to John as a baby, reminding the audience that John needs proper healthcare to survive. The cartoon then states that if every American paid just three cents a week, sufficient healthcare could be provided for John and babies everywhere.

This was made in 1949. Fast forward a few decades and it is still relevant. That’s just sad.