Wednesday: This One Day

In this roundup: British fascists rise, smart fridge serves porn, and a Zika overview.

Today’s featured short film by Crystal Moselle is about finding one’s tribe, finding one’s place, crossing the threshold to adulthood in the safety of community. Men may not feel this one as keenly as women will. Many of us are skating alone, running into obstacles set before us simply because we are. With a little support we could skate the world.

Love how Bikini Kill’s Rebel Girl plays us out at the end. That.

Brexit and broken

  • Ian Dunt: Tories have become Ukip (Politics.co.uk) — Op-ed looks at UK’s Conservative Party and its aggressive shift toward white nationalism.
  • No joke: UK’s Home Secretary sounds like a Nazi (LBC) — Seriously, read the link. Can’t tell Amber Rudd’s speech from Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
  • The Daily Mail as Tories’ key influencer (OpenDemocracy) — Anthony Barnett looks at the Mail’s succession to Murdoch’s right-wing propaganda mill. The Mail was one of the two largest traditional media influences on right-wing politicians and Brexit voters (the other being NewsCorp’s The Sun); an American parallel would be the shift in media influence on public opinion as Fox News gave way to a more rightest, Trump-friendly CNN. We don’t trust CNN any more than we do Fox, and the UK shouldn’t trust the Mail any more than it should trust The Sun.
  • Theresa May’s Tory Conference speech: fascism wearing a progressive mask (VICE) — May isn’t well known by either UK or US public; her speech this week to her own party gave us a better look at the politician, and she’s not at all pretty. May uses progressive language to make her case, but what she’s really pushing is outright fascism.
  • Unwinding a country rich in diversity (OpenDemocracy) — University of Birmingham lecturer and Oxford University research associate Nando Sigona looks at the United Kingdom as an EU citizen. How does a small but densely populated country — land mass the size of Michigan with a population equal to California and Texas combined — move away from the diversity which has made it rich for millennia? Imagine one of those U.S. states (MI/CA/TX) suddenly telling anyone not ‘native’ to that state to leave; what would it do to that state, let alone the people who must leave? It’s not tenable.
  • 80th anniversary of East London’s Battle of Cable Street (Guardian) — The British have apparently forgotten their history and are now condemned to repeat it. Who is this generation’s Oswald Mosely: Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Michael Gove, Theresa May? With attacks on immigrants increasing, the new blackshirts already make their presence known; they only lack a Mosely.

Still skeptical about Tories’ aggression? Just look at this tweet from Tim Colburne, former deputy chief of staff for LibDem Party’s Nick Clegg. This is not the work of a party working for business interests. We are watching a new Nazism rapidly engulfing the United Kingdom. I doubt it will remain united much longer at this pace.

Keep in mind some of the foreign workers and children the Tories (and Ukip) want identified are U.S. citizens.

Elsewhat, elsewhere

Cybernia, ho!

  • Ireland not happy about the Yahoo email scandal (ITNews-AU) — Ireland wants to know if Yahoo’s scanning emails on behalf of U.S. government compromises Irish citizens’ privacy. Germany’s Fabio de Masi, a member of the European Parliament, has also asked for more details. Yahoo’s scanning could put the brakes on a US-EU data sharing agreement.
  • Alleged terror plotter charged, had operating system in cufflink (Guardian) — Located in Cardiff, Wales, the accused also possessed a book on missile guidance and control; he was responsible for a blog with information about Isis and cyber-security guidance.
  • Smart refrigerator – now with Pornhub (The Register) — Didn’t manufacturers clue in about so-called smart refrigerators a couple years ago after they were hacked? Clearly not if it’s still possible to hijack displays on Internet of Things devices for porn.

Longread: Overview on Zika
This is a decent meta piece in Omni magazine. Article also points out simple preventive interventions to reduce Zika infections: air conditioning and window screens. Also suggests implementing these in Africa where other arbovirus diseases are endemic, like yellow fever, dengue, chikunguya as well as Zika — except AC will create a greater demand for electricity as well as manufacturing pressure for screens. Also doesn’t really deal with the fact more people are outside during daylight hours in warmer climates, and those who work outdoors (like farmers) have no choice. More comprehensive research on arboviruses is needed and work toward vaccines is probably cheaper, faster, and less taxing to the environment than scaling up electricity and manufacturing. Worth a read if flawed.

Phew. That’s enough for today. Thankfully it’s downhill from here. Catch you later!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
9 replies
  1. Charles Cameron says:

    Seriously, read the link. Can’t tell Amber Rudd’s speech from Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

    The link doesn’t contain Rudd’s speech, just a Hitler quote presented as coming from it. Could you give us a Mein Kampf quote alongside the quote from Rudd’s speech which allegedly corresponds to it, so we can judge the similarity for ourselves? I’d prefer it if you made this a separate post, since items in the comments section are so easily missed. Thanks.


    • Rayne says:

      Charles — Here’s a link to Rudd’s entire speech. I trust you realize the point LBC’s James O’Brien makes is a parallel crystallization of Rudd’s desire to implement more tests and barriers preventing immigration. While you’re at it, note 1) Brexit is suddenly a Conservative ‘manifesto’:

      As you know, the Conservative Party was elected on a Manifesto commitment to reduce net migration to sustainable levels.

      This means tens of thousands, not the hundreds of thousands.

      And my commitment to you today is that I’ll be working with colleagues across Government to deliver this.

      But I am also here to level with you Conference… This will not happen overnight.

      Leaving the EU is just one part of the strategy.

      We have to look at all sources of immigration if we mean business.

      and 2) Rudd wants to expand the police state and its surveillance:

      We are also making huge investment in our police and security services … both in monetary terms, and with the recruitment of nearly two thousand additional staff at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ …

      As for restructuring this post: nope. This is a roundup. It is what it is.

      • Alan says:


        Twenty years ago levels of immigration weren’t really an issue in British politics.

        That one took my breath away. Immigration has been a matter of almost constant political discussion in the UK since WWII. Anyone growing up in the UK in the post-war period is familiar with Enoch Powell and the notorious 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.

        A counter to all this can be found in this essay: Brexit, Class, and British ‘National’ Identity.

        Since its very inception as a common political unit in 1707, Britain has not been an independent country, but part of broader political entities; most significantly empire, then the Commonwealth and, from 1973, the European Union. There has been no independent Britain, no ‘Island nation’. In contrast, for most of this period, there has been a racially stratified political formation that Britain created and led to its own advantage. It is the loss of this privileged position – based on white elites and a working class offered the opportunity to see themselves as better than the darker subjects of empire (hierarchies of class and caste if you will, embodied in the hierarchies of race) – that seems to drive much of the current discourse. Austerity has simply provided the fertile ground for its re-emergence and expression. What it is to be British cannot be understood separate from empire or the imperial modes of governance that remained dominant well into the twentieth century.



  2. lefty665 says:

    Thank you for the link to the decidedly non-hysterical article on Zika, and other mosquito borne diseases.

    However, the conclusions of the article vary from yours. It cites the TVA’s installation of screens that eliminated malaria at a lower cost than treating it, as well as the lack of success we’ve had at developing vaccines for viruses like Zika.  It also concludes that by denying mosquitoes access to the sickest bedridden people – those with the most virulent strains of a virus, the severity of disease lessens for those able to travel or work outdoors who contract it.

    Screens, a cheap, low tech solution, available today that work against all mosquito borne diseases (not just Zika), do not expose people to deformity causing insecticides or require waiting until (or if) a vaccine is developed and found to be safe and effective.

    Thanks again for the link and for fostering a rational discussion of Zika, other mosquito born diseases,  and how to inexpensively and effectively protect against them.


  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The Rivers of Blood speech by Enoch Powell – the antithesis of, say, Tony Benn – from nearly half a century ago is a good catch. Britain continues to have strong racist elements, as this new-found attraction to old Tory themes attests. May and Rudd must think that this is taking the Tory party back to its roots. Strom Thurmond wasn’t the only politician to buy votes and scare the pants off of poor whites with nightmarish visions of people of color taking their jobs, their homes and their women. These popular right wing themes keep people from looking too hard at the elite, whose interests are more in conflict with the working and middle classes than those of immigrants. Will the Tories next rediscover “screening” [enhanced interrogation] centers, as used in 1950’s Kenya and Malaya?

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