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By Patrick Van Roy On August 28th, 2019 at 2:27 pm

Parliament Funkadelic

By Mahons On August 28th, 2019 at 12:04 pm

The British Prime Minister has asked The Queen to suspend parliament. Her Majesty, as the Beatles noted, doesnt have a lot to say (except Yes). It is causing a bit of an uproar but it will certainly happen.

Boris of course sees the inevitable no deal Brexit heading his way. He truly was never going to broker a deal himself. He is hoping this eliminates the opportunity of Remainder forces to force anything and he can be the man who delivered Brexit, even if he delivers it in the only manner it would ever realistically be delivered at this juncture – by diving off a cliff into the unknown.


By Pete Moore On August 27th, 2019 at 7:06 pm

Johnson and Johnson, which hid the presence of asbestos in its talcum powder, is having another bad day –

An Oklahoma judge has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572m for its role in driving Oklahoma’s opioid epidemic. The landmark ruling will have wide-ranging consequences for the other opioid makers, distributors and pharmacy chains facing thousands of lawsuits across the country.

Judge Thad Balkman determined that Johnson & Johnson ran a “false and dangerous” sales campaign that led to addiction and death in the state, as well as helping to fuel the worst drug epidemic in US history. These are the key points from his damning 42-page decision.

Good. The corrupt doctors who collaborated with the pill pushers need to be prosecuted too. Many of them took money from Johnson & Johnson to push opioids onto people who simply didn’t need them. It was part of a greater campaign to convince as many Americans as possible that they were in pain and needed opioids. It’s a campaign which they’ve exported to the UK and beyond.

This is just Oklahoma. Lawsuits are going ahead all over the country. I hope they take Johnson & Johnson, and similar pill pushers, to the cleaners.


By Pete Moore On August 27th, 2019 at 7:00 pm

No words –

CCTV footage has revealed 1,500 crimes on one ward of Muckamore Abbey Hospital in County Antrim, the police officer leading the investigation has said.

The incidents happened in the psychiatric intensive care unit over the course of six months in 2017-18.

Police are investigating allegations about the physical and mental abuse of patients.

The hospital provides treatment for people with severe learning disabilities and mental health needs […]

Speaking to BBC Radio Ulster’s Good Morning Ulster programme, Det Ch Insp Duffie said police were examining a series of “very traumatic events” seen in more than 300,000 hours of footage.

She said officers were going through the footage “minute by minute”.

She said the footage included the repeated physical abuse of patients.

“Over the period of six months we are looking at a pattern of very traumatic events,” she added.

“We have seen the repeated pattern of physical and mental abuse of the patients contained within that ward.

Like a Hurricane

By Mahons On August 27th, 2019 at 1:16 pm

The President has decried as Fake News the story that he asked senior advisors if he could use nuclear weapons to nuke hurricanes before they reached our shores here in the US. The reporters stand by their story. I suppose my reaction is who knows?

It certainly sounds like something he would ask. It involves something no one has done, something on a grand scale, and he has the nuclear weapons (a reminder that we, as a nation, are in a state of denial). It would certainly lead the news cycle. And one imagines his supporters cheering him on for protecting the country from an outside menace with all the means at his disposal. The fact that it wouldn’t work seems an afterthought.
It is my fond hope that his advisors deflected his attention by suggesting they would look into it and pointing to something Oprah Winfrey said about him to distract him. One can imagine him asking the Joint Chiefs “Where are we on that bombing Hurricanes thing, after all they struck first! My predecessors appeased the weather!”
While it seems totally in character for him to have suggested it I am willing to accept for sanity sake that he did not, or at least that there is insufficient evidence that he did. I enjoyed watching Dr. Strangelove, I dont need to live it.
The takeaway for me is I am going to extend to him an unearned benefit of doubt. To do otherwise is unthinkable.

Chinese Takeout

By Mahons On August 26th, 2019 at 1:31 pm

I fall into the group of political observors who think the President doesn’t necessarily believe everything he tweets, rather he believes he can tweet anything. I suspect his tweeting that he can order American business out of China falls into that latter category.
Reckless, impulsive, juvenile and even false comments are not merely expected from Trump, they seem to be so common that a truthful and thoughtful comment would be shocking.
True conservatives would be appalled by any President making such a statement, let alone acting on it. By they do not control the Republican Party any more. Calvin Coolege once said the business of America is business. Trump demonstrates that the business of America is show business.
Trump’s supporters will certainly not recoil at his tweets. They will fall in line and praise a position they would have condemned the day before the Dear Tweeter’s tweet. It has become a cultural phenomenon, a surrender of self unseen since the Moonies.
So here it is, the President is not the legislature. He can not this day order American companies to cease trade in China. Under certain national emergency laws he can, subject to Congressional oversight, effect trade with a foreign nation (no such emergency having been declared with China mind you). For him to pretend otherwise shows he is playing checkers, even Chinese checkers, while the Chinese are playing chess.

Johnson The Welsher

By Patrick Van Roy On August 25th, 2019 at 8:15 pm

Guest Post by Paul McMahon

In the ultimate act of bad faith Brit PM Boris Johnson has said that Britain won’t pay the £39bn liability agreed if Britain leaves the EU  without a deal on 31 October:

The act of  a desperate man? Is this the UK blinking?

Incidentally, I’d urge readers to read the comments on the tweet, particularly this one: 

UK signed up for the terms of budget contributions and ancillary responsibilities for the 2014-2020 term. That is under a treaty (EU membership). Failure to honour commitments breaches Art. 43 of the Vienna convention so, see you all in the Hague and in all UK courts. Unwise.

In refusing to accept it’s agreed responsibilities the UK would of course become a pariah internationally. 

See you in court Bojo. 


By Pete Moore On August 25th, 2019 at 5:48 pm

It’s the sound that will always stay with me. Some sporting moments, just a very few, are remembered forever. To Headingley 1981 and Edgbaston 2005, add Headingley 2019.

England couldn’t win this, the Third Test. After being skittled for 67 in the first innings, during which Ben Stokes played the worst shot I’ve ever seen, a win was as good as impossible. No greater than a 5 per cent chance this morning, and those odds went down during the day as wickets fell. Except for Ben Stokes’ wicket. He resisted all day and then opened up, making 135 not out, winning the Test and saving The Ashes. It’s the greatest Ashes innings by an Englishman.

The thwack is the noise of his final shot, a cover drive which clinched the Test. That’s possibly the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.


By Patrick Van Roy On August 25th, 2019 at 4:17 pm

Happy 65th birthday to Elvis Costello!

By Patrick Van Roy On August 25th, 2019 at 3:21 pm