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More fuel for the fire

In an interview, Trump said he would lock up his political enemies, using the excuse "because they're doing it to us".

We'll skip the painfully obvious "you're in the heat because you might have done something bad" and instead ask a pertinent question - if he is vowing revenge, isn't that basically threatening those who might speak against him, thus having a chilling effect on people who might now consider keeping their mouths shut to be a better course of action?
In other words, once again he is attempting to subvert the democratic process that underpins the way America works.


Tories - standing for law and order

You know, there was a time not so long ago that if a politician said something like "Fuck off back to France" (exact quote), he would hand in his resignation.

Unfortunately for the few reasonable people in the UK, and decorum in general, those words were uttered by the current deputy chair of the party, and those comments have been defended by the party, describing it using such expressions as "salty words" rather than, you know, "inconceivable language being uttered by a senior parliamentarian in an official capacity".
But, then, what can we expect following Johnson pretty much setting fire to every single page of the Ministerial Code?

As such, it probably shouldn't come a surprise that one of the older ghouls, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, says that he is happy to see the destruction of the ULEZ cameras in his constituency:

I am happy for them to do it because they are facing an imposition that no-one wants and they have been lied to about it.

So, tough on crime except when it suits him?

But, more than that, one can extrapolate from this that IDS would be in full support of the destruction of Westminster because Brexit is making impositions that no-one wants and everybody was lied to about it, right?

What a joke these useless muppets are. About the only thing they seem any good at these days is wrangling trade deals to benefit the PM's wife to open the doors for exciting opportunities post-Brexit.

Add to that the potential imminent closure of numerous school buildings made in the 60s and 70s before they suffer structural failure whilst occupied (due to woeful lack of infrastructure investment), the deferrment of anything to do with water quality of rivers and other waterways (also arguably a woeful lack of infrastructure investment)...and speaking of which a "Brexit bonus" now being touted is the ability to get rid of the annoying rules banning building sites in proximity to rivers.
This, actually, makes sense. I don't suppose having chemical runoff from building sites (cement is quite alkaline, other things commonly found are widescale pollutants) is that big a deal when everything is already dead thanks to the endless amounts of shit already present. I mean, polluted is polluted, right? You can't make a dead fish any deader.

What a wonderful country Britain is becoming. Just remember this at the next election when they bang on about how they can fix things better than Labour ever could. They've been in power nearly a decade and a half. They have to own all of this mess. It's not Tony Blair, it's not Paddy Ashdown, it's not even that LibDem bloke (Clegg) that nobody remembers. This enormous shitshow happened on their watch, as they were burning through Prime Ministers and the country's finances, improving their lot at your expense.


Resilience is key

I'm sure you are all aware that the UK airspace control system collapsed into a massive flaming heap of rubble last weekend.

The more excitable (read "right wing") media was quite quick to pin the blame on an unnamed French airline filing a bad flight plan.

Really? You can ground over a thousand flights and muck up the control of British airspace just by screwing up a single flight plan? Who knew.

The thing is, I utterly fail to believe that in all the time this system has been operational, nobody filed a bogus or nonsensical flight plan. Because we're human, mistakes happen.

The bigger problem is the staggering lack of resilience of the system. There's apparently a primary system and a backup. Though, note that the backup is intended for coping with hardware failure, as such it's a mirror of the main system. This is important.

It seems like some sort of broken flight plan was filed, and was not correctly spat out as being bogus (to be checked by a meatsack). Instead the system reacted with all the tact of a stroppy toddler being told that it is bedtime.
Switch over to the backup, running the same software, looking at the same flight plan, and acting in the exact same way.

Instead of faulting that one broken plan, the software handling accepting the flight data basically refused to do anything at all from that point on, meaning that flight plans then had to be entered into the system manually (what, no scope of error there?) instead of being automatically processed like normal. Due to the limited number of people to do this, thousands of potential flights had to be abandoned.

The chief executive of NATS, Martin Rolfe, said that rejecting flight data was "nothing like throwing away spam" for air traffic controllers.
A masterful piece of bullshittery there, as spam by nature is unwanted and you don't care what happens to it.
Flight data is, as Martin rightly points out, an importance piece of information because if anything is ignored, it means that maybe in mere minutes something will be where it shouldn't be. That sort of thing tends to end badly, in a flaming wreckage kind of way.

However, he doesn't explain why a single messed up flight plan led to a catastrophic collapse where no subsequent flight plans were accepted. It's true that British airspace was never closed, but for a while it operated with a severely reduced flight capacity.
Handled by a private company, that apparently isn't liable for the losses suffered by the airlines, the passengers, or... anybody.


Wah! Macron is targetting the British!

An article in The Daily Mail reports that Emmanuel Macron hits Brits who own second homes in France with a rise of up to 60% in council tax charges.

This is largely correct, except that Macron doesn't care about the British. There is a big problem in rural communities where wealthy city dwellers (mostly Parisiens) have purchased properties as holiday homes.
This is causing problems to the balance of rural communities, as regional governments aren't particularly willing to provide funding for towns where significant numbers of properties are essentially unoccupied.

If you were to compare a road map of France made in, say, the year 2000 with one now, you'll notice entire communities have vanished. They haven't, they are still there, but small towns desperate to keep their local schools open and have access to a doctor have grouped together to create new communities that are larger. In terms of regional goverance, a community of a thousand people has power in a way that five communities of two hundred just doesn't.

That's not the only problem, mind you. People buying up properties for holiday homes has an effect on house prices in the area, artificially inflating them which means that people from the area (which tend to be less affluent than wealthy people from big cities) will struggle to buy, or even rent, properties in the same area.

Of course, if you're a Brit and you own a home that is mostly unoccupied, well, sorry, but you're part of the problem too. But this hike in council tax is aimed at those with holiday homes, not specifically the British.

The Mail then includes this lovely paragraph:

According to The Times, pensioners - who once spent several months of their year in French holiday homes - are particularly irritated by the EU residency restriction, which states Brits can only stay for 90 days in a 180-day period.

What did they think would happen when they decided to make a break with the EU and end the freedom of movement? I mean, did they really think it only applied one way? If only somebody took the time to explain these sorts of things before the Referendum....oh, wait...



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David Pilling, 1st September 2023, 04:17
"Computer glitch disrupts 80% of rail traffic in Poland, other countries 
Polish authorities report that the same failure disrupted train traffic in India, Thailand, Peru, Italy, Sweden, and the Netherlands. 
Alstom's general manager for Poland, Slawomir Cyza, told Reuters the outage was linked to a 'data encoding' problem." 
Seem to be many computer problems these days. Like the police losing data. Is it hackers, or have they built houses of cards, or do the people using the systems not understand. 
David Pilling, 1st September 2023, 04:20
Hmm that was in 2022, I copied the wrong story. I was looking for "Polish train chaos blamed on radio hackers", which is less relevant.
C Ferris, 1st September 2023, 10:25
Are these computer problems linked to the war in Eastern Europe?
C Ferris, 1st September 2023, 10:29
The housing problem 2nd homes has been going on down here for years - and owners of 2nd homes don't like the idea of higher council tax!tax
Rick, 3rd September 2023, 17:52
David - in the UK it's likely a combination of: 
* A house of cards built up over many years. 
* Poor data hygiene because proper rules of access were annoying (especially to the higher ups) and got in the way of getting stuff done. 
* Severe cost cutting. 
* IR35 changes meaning the talented techies are going elsewhere. 
* People who probably shouldn't have access (no vetting, no training, etc) having access because there was nobody else. 
It's easy to blame Russian hackers, but what would it benefit a Russian hacker to release the details of a random bunch of English rozzers? 
There's no need to look for malice when incompetence will suffice as an explanation.
J.G.Harston, 9th September 2023, 17:00
A software tester walks into a pub and orders 
1 beer 
0.5 beers 
pi beers 
-6 beers 
ardvaark beers 
A real customer walks into the pub and asks where the toilet is. The bar bursts into flames.
Rick, 9th September 2023, 17:20
Yeah, it's too damn hot. 
I'll take aardvark beers, too, thanks.

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