Sunday Smack

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Happy Spring, Everybody!

This week was yet another sad reminder of the times we live in now. I am leaving for London just this coming week for a short trip (more on this later), and what happened on Westminster Bridge made me think about a lot of things. It is easy to say that we are not going to be frightened (we are not!), but harder not to think I could have been there on the bridge at that very moment. Or not to think whether it is just statistics, like there are so many people in a city like London at a time, what are the odds of me being at the wrong place at the wrong time? I know, these are stupid thoughts, and I love how Londoners went on with their lives whether they are thinking them or not.

Anyway, as it turns out, by mere chance I am going to be in London the very day when PM Theresa May invokes Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, meaning when the UK starts the process of secession from the European Union. There will be a lot to talk about next week!

Until then, here’s your reading for today.

Brexit: EU will take UK to International Court if it refuses to pay £50bn divorce bill, ‘leaked document’ says

I don’t think it would be “righteous” if the UK could just walk away without contributing anything and just enjoying the benefits for (at least) two more years, but I am pretty sure it is impossible to calculate the price of leaving.

A Famine is Never Just a Famine — It’s Political Violence By Starvation.

It is unthinkable, really – that many times politicians could just decide to prevent the death of people, and they choose not to.

The Rise of the Autocrats

This is a long read mostly about how to make things right in the US now, but many ideas in the article speak to my heart. For one thing, I am a long time advocate of making civics education a priority, thus making young people more interested in politics and less prone to manipulation. “Not only will this build a population that is less susceptible to manipulation, it will have the added benefit of boosting our embarrassingly low voter participation rate.” Amen.

The ECtHR’s Ilias and Ahmed v. Hungary and Why It Matters

Things still happen at the Serbian-Hungarian border every day that could cost Hungary another one of these lost cases at the European Court of Human Rights. The main problem is that decision makers don’t care.

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