Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker is technically a Republican, in as much as calling himself a "Republican" helped him to garner votes in the western part of the state, which is less Deep Blue than the Metro Boston Area. But as far as I've ever been able to tell, Baker has never demonstrated any capacity for principles or beliefs beyond "being governor." I often like to say that he makes Mitt Romney look like he has a spine. In perhaps the most painfully Boston sentence of my life, I once met him at a Dropkick Murphys fundraiser while he shared a bucket of Coronitas with Mike Napoli from the Red Sox, and trust me — he's terrible.
So imagine my surprise when I learned that Baker had recruited Patriots' President Robert Kraft — a frequent Trump ally who was recently connected to a sex trafficking scandal in Florida — and essentially commandeered the football team's private jet to fly to China in order to obtain the vitally necessary PPE (including N95 masks) that was otherwise being denied to the state by the spiteful federal government.
From The Boston Globe:
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The journey began, in the governor’s telling, roughly two weeks ago, when the federal government confiscated a shipment of more than 3 million N95 masks at the Port of New York and New Jersey that Massachusetts had arranged to buy.
"I just started reaching out to anybody and everybody I knew, trying to find some other path,” Baker recounted in an interview.
Jack Sparrow impersonator Amanda Teague married the ghost of a pirate coincidentally named Jack. Nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Similarly, the Teague/dead pirate union did not last.
The newly divorced pirate enthusiast warns folks away from casual spirituality.
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Amanda Teague, 46, from Drogheda, Co. Louth, married the Haitian pirate named Jack earlier this year.
The wedding to her ‘soulmate’ took place on board a boat in international waters off the Irish coast. However the Irish Mirror reports the couple have called it a day after less than a year.
Taking to social media, Amanda said: “So I feel it’s time to let everyone know that my marriage is over.
“I will explain all in due course but for now all I want to say is be VERY careful when dabbling in spirituality, it’s not something to mess with.”
The Pirates of the Caribbean was the last ride Walt Disney personally supervised; it has undergone many replications and revisions over the years, but last year Disneyland Paris removed the "Buy a Bride" scene, in which we are treated to a lighthearted human trafficking auction in which captured women are auctioned to pirates as "brides."
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The European Commission has a well-deserved reputation for bizarre, destructive, ill-informed copyright plans for the internet, and the latest one is no exception: mandatory copyright filters for any site that allows the public to post material, which will algorithmically determine which words, pictures and videos are lawful to post, untouched by human hands. Read the rest
Estimating displacement rates
of copyrighted content in the EU is a 360,000€ study commissioned by the European Commission from the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys, whose mandate was to "research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content" -- the report was completed in 2015, but never made public. Read the rest
Somali pirates attempt to take over a ship under protection of the Russian Navy. It doesn't go well for the pirates.
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Nick Russell took a close look at contemporary samurai accounts of a strange ship that landed at Mugi port in 1830, and found it corroborated the celebrated legend of convict pirate William Swallow, who led an escape from Tasmania via a mutiny on the brig ship Cyprus. Read the rest
I subscribe to the Humans at Sea YouTube channel because it often has interesting videos like this one about a cargo ship's security team firing on Somali pirates trying to board. Read the rest
Though the October polls that predicted a great showing for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic elections turned out to be wrong, that election did end with a deeply divided parliament that has been unable to find enough common ground upon which to form a new government. Read the rest
With the Icelandic Pirates crushing it in the polls and set to form the next government of a sovereign, carbon-neutral, strategically located nation, it's worth asking how a party whose two issues -- internet freedom and copyright reform -- are wonky, minority interests rose to prominence. Read the rest
Hope Larson is a comics genius, the woman hand-picked to adapt Madeline L'Engle's Wrinkle In Time
for comics, who furthermore just nailed it
, and whose other projects
are every bit as rich and wonderful. Today she begins a new young adult series, Four Points, whose first volume, Compass South
is a treasure-chest of swashbuckling themes and action.
Iceland's elections are publicly funded, with funds awarded based on polls of the electorate; the Pirates have consistently polled higher than any other party, and the incumbent coalition (whose parties are polling in the single digits) has been scrambling to avoid a general election after the Panama Papers revealed that he had secret offshore accounts that benefited from his bailout of Iceland's planet-destroying banks. Read the rest
After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview). Read the rest
Simon writes, "With just 3 days to run, this Kickstarter to make 'Beep Beep Yarr!' a fantastic, pirate-themed programming book for kids needs your support to graduate." Read the rest
Protonmail is a Swiss pro-privacy email provider that offers end-to-end encyption to its customers. When the Swiss government proposed the Nachrichtendienstgesetzt -- a bill to create a "mini NSA" with the power to effect warrantless mass surveillance, including hacking residents' computers -- the company called on its users and supporters to petition the government for a referendum on the law. Read the rest
For several months in 1986-87, Network 21 was a pirate television station in the UK that broadcasted coverage of avant-garde art and fringe culture for 30 minutes every Friday evening. The fantastic content included the likes of: Warhol films, a post-punk fashion show by the BodyMap label (above), interviews with Sonic Youth (video below), Derek Jarman, and Genesis P-Orridge, a William S. Burroughs reading, and concert footage by the likes of Diamanda Galas and Einstürzende Neubauten. Sigue Sigue Sputnik's album "Flaunt It" included an advertisement for the station.
Raided more than once, Network 21's goal was to see the UK government use a "similar approach to TV as has been afforded to radio, for the BBC and ITV to release their monopoly on frequencies and make some available to the community."
Watch clips from Network 21 on YouTube. (Thanks, UPSO!)
More background here: Network 21 (Wikipedia)
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