To boldly bomb, where no one has bombed before

Military

I had always hoped that we could somehow manage to explore space without militarizing it. That dream had faded over the decades but now it has been shot down with bipartisan support.

Connor O’Brien, “House passes compromise defense bill, creating a Space Force,” Politico, December 11, 2019, https://www.politico.com/news/2019/12/11/house-defense-bill-space-force-082867


Brexit

The United Kingdom voted today after an ugly campaign. I expect to have official results tomorrow. From the strongly conservative-supporting Telegraph:

In one journalistic guise or another I have covered every general election since 1983 and cannot recall anything quite so enervating, one-dimensional, dismally partisan and mendacious as this one. Apart from Brexit, it has ducked most of the big issues facing us such as social care, population pressures, the NHS (other than to argue over funds and waiting lists), defence of the realm, robotics and the advance of AI or the future of the Union in any meaningful sense.[1]

You actually don’t have to be conservative to agree. The anti-Semitism slurs[2] against Labour and especially Jeremy Corbyn, were utterly devoid of supporting evidence,[3] but appear to have been widely accepted as fact. And Corbyn seems to be a bogeyman for anyone to his ample political right: He is routinely caricatured as a deranged Maoist lunatic, as near as I can tell, simply because he advocates a retreat from neoliberalism to a desperately needed more humane society.

Early reports suggested the lines at voting stations were exceptionally long,[4] which is a factor that can skew election results away from polling results (but not exit polls), as it suggests that survey takers are likely to have misapprehended who would actually vote. The latest of these prior to the election was really too close to call on the question of whether Boris Johnson will secure a majority and avoid a hung parliament.[5] An exit poll suggests he succeeded.[6]

William Booth, Karla Adam, and James McAuley, “U.K. exit poll shows Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party with a clear majority of parliamentary seats as vote count begins, Washington Post, December 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-general-election-2019/2019/12/12/cc5ecb98-17ae-11ea-80d6-d0ca7007273f_story.html

Philip Johnston, “This is the most shallow and dismally mendacious election I can remember,” Telegraph, December 10, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/10/shallow-dismally-mendacious-election-can-remember/


Pittsburgh

Jamie Martines, “Settlement over bad air in Clairton calls for U.S. Steel to cough up $2 million,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 11, 2019, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/settlement-over-bad-air-in-clairton-calls-for-u-s-steel-to-cough-up-2-million/


  1. [1]Philip Johnston, “This is the most shallow and dismally mendacious election I can remember,” Telegraph, December 10, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/10/shallow-dismally-mendacious-election-can-remember/
  2. [2]For example, Ephraim Mirvis, “What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?” Times, November 25, 2019, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/ephraim-mirvis-what-will-become-of-jews-in-britain-if-labour-forms-the-next-government-ghpsdbljk
  3. [3]Wikipedia, s.v. “Antisemitism in the UK Labour Party,” last modified November 27, 2019, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_the_UK_Labour_Party
  4. [4]Verity Bowman, Henry Bodkin, and Tony Diver, “General election 2019 live: Result ‘too close to call’ as voting continues – latest news,” Telegraph, December 12, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/12/general-election-2019-vote-news-exit-polls-results-live-latest/; Joe Roberts, “‘Longest queues ever’ as people stand in line around the block to vote,” Metro, December 12, 2019, https://metro.co.uk/2019/12/12/longest-queues-ever-people-stand-line-around-block-vote-11771760/
  5. [5]Verity Bowman, Henry Bodkin, and Tony Diver, “General election 2019 live: Result ‘too close to call’ as voting continues – latest news,” Telegraph, December 12, 2019, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/12/general-election-2019-vote-news-exit-polls-results-live-latest/
  6. [6]William Booth, Karla Adam, and James McAuley, “U.K. exit poll shows Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party with a clear majority of parliamentary seats as vote count begins, Washington Post, December 12, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/uk-general-election-2019/2019/12/12/cc5ecb98-17ae-11ea-80d6-d0ca7007273f_story.html