Wednesday Reads: Mental Case.Posted: July 13, 2016
How many of you are feeling like this poor women in this old 1940’s mug shot…who’s only crime is simply described as:
She looks so tired. Those bags under her eyes…with permanent wrinkles on her forehead. Her hair is surely neat and well-kept for someone who has been arrested for being a mental case, don’t you think? She is dressed up, I mean…she isn’t disheveled at all.
I wished I had the wherewithal to at least put myself together as well as she has when I head out to the local Walmart or Food Shitty. (Pardon, Food City.)
I’m actually going into this post blind because of internet issues that have made it difficult for me to read any news accounts online. Lack of cell service is also a problem, so I cannot even go on my phone to check up on the world outside Banjoville.
I guess the big news today is the election of a new Prime Minister of Great Britain.
For a woman on the verge of running the country, Theresa May has seemed almost preternaturally calm over the past few days.
“She’s basically the same as ever; quite relaxed and cheerful. There’s no sense of the prison shades falling,” says a longstanding friend who has observed her closely during the campaign. But then, unlike Andrea Leadsom, seemingly badly shaken by a single weekend of hostile media coverage, May knew better than anyone what to expect.
Over the past six years, May has weathered riots, sat in on a decision to go to war, and chaired an emergency Cobra meeting in the prime minister’s absence following the murder of soldier Lee Rigby.
She has been diligently doing her homework for years and, while even she did not foresee David Cameron resigning in these circumstances (let alone the collapse of all other contenders), she is as ready as she will ever be. The question is whether that is anywhere near ready enough for the turbulent times ahead.
Tory grandee Ken Clarke’s unguarded remarks about her being a “bloody difficult woman”probably did May nothing but good with female voters – and she turned them to her own advantage at the last parliamentary hustings, promising that European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker would soon find out how “bloody difficult” she could be.
But even her friends concede Clarke has a point. “She can be a bugger,” says one otherwise admiring colleague succinctly. “Not easy to work with.” May fights her corner tigerishly and, unusually for a politician, she does not seem bothered about being liked.
It is typical of her take-me-or-leave-me approach that she managed to win the support of almost two-thirds of her parliamentary colleagues despite refusing to bribe waverers with job offers. “You can’t go in and say, ‘Make me under-secretary of state for sproggets and badges and you’ve got my support’,” says Eric Pickles, the ex-cabinet minister and longstanding ally. “That’s not how she operates. You’ve got to take her unconditionally.”
Theresa May’s position as Home Secretary often put her at odds with campaigners over human rights GETTY
Theresa May must improve her and Britain’s record on human rights now that she is becoming Prime Minister, campaigners have warned.
Amnesty UK and Reprieve are amongst charities calling for the former Home Secretary to commit to a fresh start on issues like UK complicity in torture, and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Ms May has previously said she would consider pulling out of said Convention, but made clear during her leadership campaign that that policy was now off the table.
She has also been criticised for masterminding a policy of sending vans around Britain telling undocumented migrants to “go home or face arrest”. Heavily anti-immigration themes in her speech at Conservative party conference 2015 were also rubbished by campaigners.
Donald Campbell, head of communications at, Reprieve told the Independent that as Home Secretary Ms May had presided over “worrying” secrecy but expressed hope that things might change.
“At times, Theresa May’s Home Office has been worryingly secretive on human rights issues,” he said.
“For example, they have frequently refused to disclose information on funding and training for overseas police forces which could lead to people being tortured and executed.
“We hope that the new prime minister will place greater emphasis on transparency and accountability, and ensure Britain no longer provides assistance which could end up supporting torture and the death penalty around the world.
“At home, she must deliver an independent, judge led inquiry into uk involvement in the CIA torture programme- a promise made, but then abandoned, by her predecessor.”
The Leavers have had a tough two weeks. First Johnson, then Gove, and finally Leadsom, all vanquished – no wonder David Cameron was whistling. The next occupant of Number 10 will be from the same side of the Conservative Party as him. George Osborne will either stay as Chancellor or be replaced by another advocate of Remain. The grim faces of Leadsom’s supporters on Monday morning told the story: they were outdone.
But there is more to come from Leave. The facts of political life under Brexit still favour them. For a start, Prime Minister Theresa May will rely on Leavers for a parliamentary majority. Then, as Government business resumes under a new ministerial team inevitably featuring many Leavers, the day-to-day reality of still being bound by EU law will create controversy.
It might be the proposal for state aid to stop a factory from closing, a new judgement from a European Court, the burdens on business of a new directive, or something entirely bananas – all the ways in which Leavers have styled outrage in the past over Europe are still available to them now.
The new PM will say, of course, that it’s only a matter of time until we’re on our way out. Yet if she wants to keep open the option of joining the European Economic Area then European laws will not be shed so easily. We won’t be free with one bound, the Leavers will discover, and then the question is whether they will stay quiet out of loyalty or speak to voters about this perceived treachery.
Let me repeat that:
Boris Johnson foreign secretary
Oh wow, that is a shame.
From the Guardian’s live feed:
- 7m agoNew cabinet – Appointments so far
- 9m agoMichael Fallon remains as defence secretary
- 14m agoAmber Rudd becomes home secretary
- 19m agoBoris Johnson confirmed as new foreign secretary
- 22m agoBoris Johnson ‘to be made foreign secretary’
- 50m agoHammond becomes chancellor as Osborne leaves the government
- 1h agoWatson says May’s record does not match her ‘warm words’
Be sure to click here to see the latest updates.
Queen Elizabeth II has seen it all before — 12 times before, to be precise.
On Wednesday, she said goodbye to David Cameron, her 12th prime minister, and hello to Theresa May, her 13th.
While a political earthquake has shook Westminster to its core and triggered the resignations of a number of politicians, the queen has managed to do what she always does: reign above the fray.
One thing I find interesting, from a personal perspective:
Today Theresa May becomes the second woman to serve as prime minister of the United Kingdom, but she’ll be the first major world leader living with type 1 diabetes.
Mrs May, 59, replaces David Cameron and will face what is likely to be an intense, drawn-out process negotiating the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union (aka “Brexit”) as the country voted to do on June 23 (or work out some alternative, although she has vowed to proceed, stressing that “Brexit means Brexit”). And all the while she’ll also have to manage her type 1 diabetes, which she was diagnosed with just 4 years ago while she was the United Kingdom’s home secretary.
In July 2013, a few months after her diagnosis, she spoke publicly about the challenge and how she was meeting it. She told the UK Daily Mail : “It was a real shock and, yes, it took me a while to come to terms with it,” but “the diabetes doesn’t affect how I do the job or what I do. It’s just part of life…so it’s a case of head down and getting on with it.”
She was 56 years old at the time and had been losing weight, feeling tired, and drinking a lot of fluids but attributed those to job stress and a fitness program she had recently begun. She was initially misdiagnosed with type 2 diabetes — a common occurrence in those who develop autoimmune diabetes in adulthood — and finally diagnosed with type 1 in November 2012.
Following her diagnosis, Mrs May attended several events sponsored by the JDRF (formerly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) in the United Kingdom, including a ball in 2015 that raised £620,000 to support the organization, according to the group’s website.
Theresa May [Source: Matt Dunham/AP]
Whether she’ll continue that advocacy as prime minister and how she’ll manage her own condition going forward remain to be seen.
Obviously the main point now is how she will handle the mess she is inheriting from Cameron…but I do think it is important for those people with the T1D (Type 1 Diabetes) to have a fellow sufferer of this disease… someone with her position and standing in the world, to look to as an example that T1D is not life debilitating. As long as you take care of yourself.
There are plenty of other links regarding Ms May at the Guardian and Independent sites above.
One more link before I go…my internet is giving me problems.
Maybe this dinosaur really, really didn’t want to be found.
Scientists digging for fossils in rural Argentina found themselves beset by misfortune, ranging from bureaucratic interference to a serious truck accident. Now the researchers have given an appropriate name to the strange new species they finally discovered: Gaulicho, the local word for a curse.
If bad luck befalls anyone in the region where the fossil was uncovered, “people say that somebody made a gualicho on you,” says paleontologist Sebastián Apesteguía of the Azara Foundation in Buenos Aires, co-author of a study in this week’s PLOS ONE about the new animal. Of all the dinosaurs he’s worked on recently, “this was the most difficult by far.”
Gualicho was found on the second-to-last day of the scientists’ research at the site. Study co-author Peter Makovicky recalls he jokingly ordered one of his workers “to go find something.” Minutes later, “she did.”
What she found was a meat-eating dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous that stood upright on two slender legs, making it “reasonably speedy,” says Makovicky of TheField Museum in Chicago. It weighed as much as a big Clydesdale and would’ve towered over a six-foot-tall human.
But Gualicho could’ve used a little upper-body work. Its short arms — roughly as long as a child’s — were shriveled and apparently not very useful. Instead, the animal probably relied on powerful jaws to grab and grip its quarry, scientists say.
Gualicho is in good company. Both T. rex and its fellow tyrannosaurs had stumpy arms, as did a separate clan of upright carnivorous dinosaurs. But Gualicho is on a different branch on the dinosaur family tree from the others, meaning it must have evolved puny arms independently.
If you want a look at what this dinosaur look like, go to the link…
Gualicho is not only a separate example but also a weird one. Some of its body parts, such as its hind limbs, look like they belong to more primitive animals, while its two-fingered “hands” look like those of the formidable T. rex. Gualicho is a pastiche of a dinosaur, making it difficult for researchers to understand exactly how it relates to others.
Have a good afternoon and evening…
This is an open thread.