Re: Pyrrhic

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Welcome to politics, Stan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:02 AM
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Yeah, I know. But [garbled objection]!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:06 AM
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[ expletive included ] I know!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:07 AM
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McAullife. I just don't like him

I have that same reaction. Every time I see him on television, I feel like he's going to try to sell me life insurance.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:12 AM
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McAuliffe seems like the Ralph Reed of the Democratic Party. Just a totally amoral and creepy weirdo. I imagine him taking off the funny hat as soon as the cameras go off, spending a couple minutes with his face buried in his hands, and then yelling at his underlings for hours.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:14 AM
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I would not buy that life insurance.

McAuliffe proved himself an unutterable twit during the primaries; fuck him.

It's interesting how much politics -- even at quite a high level -- is personal; I know somebody (fairly well connected) who was on board with Obama very early because of some personal slights she felt had been delivered (not to her, but to somebody very close to her) by the Clintons in '92.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:15 AM
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His name is also dificullt to spell.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:15 AM
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Lots of "when will it be?" general election talk here at present. The current government don't seem too keen on home education and the Tories are being very pro, so lots of people I mix with online are being all "oh yes, I'm going to vote Conservative". They have said they'll scrap the ID card plan too, which I have to admit I would love, but I just can't bring myself to vote Conservative.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:38 AM
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8: so it seems like you have a lot of really shitty options in the UK lately, and I say this as somebody who will only ever have a chance to choose Republican or Democrat. What's that about? You can pick the aristocratic oligarchs or the unrepentant police state? How did that happen?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:40 AM
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[rueful laugh] Yeah, I've been wondering that. I think the last decade has been a huge missed opportunity by the LibDems to really make themselves stand out as something different and appealing, but instead they got rid of the most interesting leader they've ever had (because he was an alcoholic) and have sunk further into the gloom.

We managed to vote in two British National Party (i.e. racists) MEPs last week too. We suck.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 1:28 AM
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Asilon, there were real concerns about how well he was functioning. He was great in public, but a party leader has to do more than be brilliant on breakfast TV. Their mistake was to pick Sir Minging to succeed him out of misplaced sentimentality.

Freak politicians get elected in low turnouts. The total vote for the fascists hardly increased, but nobody went out and voted for anybody else much. In the US, home of the low turnout for decades, this is how the nutjobs took over the Republican Party.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:34 AM
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I almost made the same calculation as Stanley. Plus, I held Brian Moran's brother against him. Jim Moran is my US Rep and is often a piece of work. But in the end I voted for the leftmost candidates: Moran and Singer. Both lost. I am very glad that McAuliffe is out.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:34 AM
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No, they couldn't have kept him, you're entirely right. It's just a shame. And yes, I am trying to be comforted that it was only apathy and disillusionment that let the BNP get MEPs rather than hatred and prejudice. An acquaintance, trying to express her dislike of the BNP, told me about the two black families that live down her street - lovely families, with great children. I was waiting to hear about how articulate they are too.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:36 AM
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The UK political thing is weird. The median voter seems so much saner (from what I read) than the median voter in the US, and yet it's not helping much.

Is there a rump of non-awful Labor politicians who could either stage a coup, or split en masse for another party or a new party?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:53 AM
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"when will it be?" general election talk

I know that's the how it works there, but it still seems strange to me, being so used to our regularly scheduled version. Like trying to figure out whether Christmas might happen during the summer break.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:05 AM
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15: Don't feel bad. During the Canadian parliamentary shenanigans last year, from the U.S. media you would have thought that there had been a coup. No, no, that's just how their government works. In fairness, I imagine the electoral college looks like a giant practical joke from outside our borders. ("Seriously?" "Yes.")


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:11 AM
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Wow, Stanley, I could have written this post word for word. I suspect there are a lot of us that made the same calculation. Especially after the Post endorsement, it just seemed like he was the one that could beet McAuliffe.


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:14 AM
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I can confirm 16.last, as I've had to explain it to a few people lately, all of whom reacted with appropriate incredulity.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:17 AM
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Cala, to be honest, to a lot of people outside the US the electoral college looks as if the framers had deliberately built a mechanism for having a coup d'etat into the constitution, to be activated in case the proles got out of hand.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:26 AM
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19: That's because it's true.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:33 AM
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19: Yeah, that's about right.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:34 AM
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I think the campaign finance thing and the incredibly long campaign season gets more incredulity over here.

As for MacAuliffe, he's one of those people whom I can't imagine functioning outside of politics but can't understand how he functions inside politics.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:43 AM
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so it seems like you have a lot of really shitty options in the UK lately, and I say this as somebody who will only ever have a chance to choose Republican or Democrat. What's that about?

It's because they make fun of hippies. Duh.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:44 AM
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Is there a rump of non-awful Labor politicians who could either stage a coup, or split en masse for another party or a new party?

Not big enough, sadly. the Blairites and the Brownites hate each other like poison, but to anyone else they're indistiguishable managerialist clones. The rump is these people, and they're great, but there are only a couple dozen of them and expecting them to stage a coup would be like expecting Kucinich to take over the Democratic Party.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:47 AM
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What I thought was cute was the way that Deeds said, "I'm in favor of drilling for oil and gas off of the Virginia coast." Moran said, "I favor not drilling for oil and gas off the Virgina coast." Both positions are defensible, though I strongly favor with the second.

But McAuliffe just had to split the difference and come up with "I favor drilling for gas but not for oil." Right. Because you can choose what kind of hydrocarbon your drill bit runs into when you poke a hole into the Earth's crust. Jerk.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:22 AM
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McAuliffe just had to split the difference

This is exactly my #1 problem with the Democratic Party, and particularly the wing that McAuliffe identifies with. Obama, disappointingly but not surprisingly, seems to be falling right into the pattern.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:26 AM
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||
The Uighurs are leaving Guantanamo for Palau.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:30 AM
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McAuliffe may indeed be a jerk, but you can choose what hydrocarbon your drill bit runs into because we have very good underground maps that tell oil companies where deposits are. Don't stick your bit in oil and you won't get any. The real problem with his position is that natural gas and oil are often found in the same spot, so he seems to be proposing going to the expense of drilling and environmental damage and only using part of the resulting energy source.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:33 AM
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Cala: During the Canadian parliamentary shenanigans last year, from the U.S. media you would have thought that there had been a coup.

The Canadians I know most well were acting as if it was a coup. I had to explain to my BF that it wasn't.

BTW, on his righty father's view of the way maternity leave works (and I don't think he's against it exactly), I think that his company might pay 100% of salary. I think he was also saying that it was hard for them to get good employees to take the positions that were temporary--especially if they got extended in 1 year increments.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:36 AM
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27, I like to think, illuminates 26. The Uighurs had to be set free and Obama knew it, but he wasn't willing to directly take on the Republicans on that issue. Still, he got it done without all that much delay.

I'm not saying that Obama shouldn't be criticized for the delay, or that he shouldn't be criticized for all of his compromises and delays. But he seems to have a pretty good eye for what's possible, and he's moving things in the right direction.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:44 AM
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The Canadians I know most well were acting as if it was a coup.

The ones I knew thought it was a bizarre feature of their government, along with the inability to hold elections within six months of a royal visit.

Perhaps it differs by province. In Alberta it's 65%, and while I'm hazy on the details, my understanding is that it's paid for in the same way that unemployment insurance is, through taxes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 6:52 AM
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it's definitely the first time I've cast a ballot I was feeling very wishy-washy about.

Really? I've felt wishy-washy about at least 85% of the ballots I've cast. As for McAuliffe, I imagine I would've voted for Deeds, too; partly for the reasons you give, Stanley, and also because McAuliffe's talents seem limited to hustling money and being a giant dick.

Every time I see him on television, I feel like he's going to try to sell me life insurance.

That's practically a requirement for the position of DNC chairman, I suppose. I met Paul Kirk once and he was one of the few human beings I would use the word "oleaginous" to describe.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:00 AM
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31: They may top it up. It's a big company. They certainly give medical benefits with prescription drug coverage and probably psychotherapy and dental benefits.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:04 AM
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There's a healthcare blog that I follow which is written by a curmudgeonly doctor. He's not really Old Labour but he respects them while he despises New Labour and is thinking of voting Conservative.

His undergraduate degree is in law, so he's pretty incensed about the totalitarian state stuff, and he thinks that Labour is destroying teh NHS with their managerial targets and that they're fudging the numbers. He's a GP, and he thinks that some of the bonuses he's been given are ridiculous, because they're not for good doctoring but for filling out forms and many of the things they require were ones that they were doing anyway. Meanwhile he can't get an actual psychiatrist to see his schizophrenic patient.

His latest outrage is about condom credit cards that are going to be given out to 12 year-old boys only after they've completed a course on safe sex. He's pro birth control and wishes that he could give out condoms to his teenage patients who ask for them instead of being required to refer them to a family planning clinic, but he's sure that these condom credit cards are just a way for the Government to track which individual kids are getting the condoms.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:12 AM
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34. Yes, I read him occasionally. I feel he's a bit cranky, in the eccentric sense, but often informative. But he Must Not Vote Tory, It Will Only Make It Worse, as I keep telling people. They are upper class amateurs who haven't a clue what they're doing, led by a marketing manager. They have no stake in the NHS. Many of them are deeply stupid, at a level that makes GWB look like Nobel prize material.

We are basically fucked.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:27 AM
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This article is unbelievable in light of the fact that last night my family went down to the corner and picked a pint of mulberries from a tree that we had hithertofore viewed as nothing but a sidewalk-staining nuisance.

White People Like Fruit Foraging and Food Stamps.

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:27 AM
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Giving 12 year old boys condoms is a good idea. Giving them credit cards is begging for trouble.

Now credit card condoms, that would be a good idea.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:28 AM
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I voted for Deeds, who should be able to do well state-wide (er, commonwealth-wide). ms bill was called so many times by Moran supporters that, tired by the attention, she sat this one out. My son goes to school with one of the McAuliffe kids and says that he (the kid) is a nice guy. Which was the single best reason that I had for supporting McAuliffe, but it wasn't enough.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:28 AM
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ms bill was called so many times by Moran supporters that, tired by the attention, she sat this one out.

What the hell kind of reason is that?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:30 AM
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it's definitely the first time I've cast a ballot I was feeling very wishy-washy about.

Really?

Stanley turned 18 on Monday.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:34 AM
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I liked Moran...could he not have beaten McDonnell in the general?


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:34 AM
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28: Really? My sense is that the underground oil and gas maps aren't all that good, and you don't really know what you are going to get until you stick a hole in the ground. And, hence, when they refer to drilling as "exploration", its not all euphemism.

But I don't really know much of anything about anything.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:36 AM
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What the hell kind of reason is that?

She worked hard for Obama, was active in our city elections (held last month), and got burnt out on the Virginia governor's primary this month. Election burnout - she'll be back.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:49 AM
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I ended up voting for Moran.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:51 AM
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36: A musician--I think a singer, the kind who barely scrapes by by singing in churches--told me once that there's a self published little book/pamphlets guide to urban fruit trees in Cambridge and Somerville. I suppose it's stealing if you take them, though. I don't know if most of them are on private property.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 7:52 AM
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My belief about urban fruit is that if a branch crosses the property line, the fruit hanging over the property line is up for grabs.

Cambridge specifically, there's a cluster of apple trees by the MIT gym that I believe are supposed to be scions of the tree that dropped the apple on Newton. I got cross one year that the apples were going to waste, and climbed one of the trees and sat there all afternoon tossing apples to passers-by who said they'd like one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:01 AM
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45. I used to know a student monk (novice?) at Blackfriars in Oxford who was woken by odd noises in the small hours and looked out of his window to see that a bunch of hippies had climbed into the college over the roof and were merrily gathering the magic mushrooms in the quadrangle.

So I wouldn't give much for the chances of the fruit trees in secular colleges.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:01 AM
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Raiding the monastery's stash? That's very Henry VIII of them.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:08 AM
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Is there a rump of non-awful Labor politicians who could either stage a coup, or split en masse for another party or a new party?

The problem with a new party is that you'd have to take the unions with you, otherwise what's the point?

And if you have the unions on your side, you should be able to take back the Labour Party anyway. (Constituencies are pretty left normally.) This is a problem that the far left used to deal with.

And, yeah, there should be enough people to take back the Labour Party if we lose the next General Election, but it will be bloody and it will be hard work. And if Scotland leaves the Union, it could go horribly, horribly wrong.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:11 AM
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re; 49

Yeah, I think the unions could/should have done more to rein the current shower in long before now.

I do hope the party gets taken back after the G.Election. Unfortunately for England, it does look increasingly likely that Scotland might leave the Union.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:16 AM
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50. I would if I were Scotland.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:18 AM
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50/51: Any recent examples of peaceful secession after a union as long-lasting as the UK? Does Scotland become part of the EU?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:22 AM
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Yeah, I think the unions could/should have done more to rein the current shower in long before now.

Mutter mutter block votes mutter.

I would if I were Scotland.

Dunno; small fringe European countries relying on natural resources don't look too healthy at the moment. (Mind, nor does the UK, so!)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:23 AM
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Scotland might leave the UK? That seems like a big deal, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:26 AM
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re: 52

The SNP are very pro-European, so they'd want to. The SNP 'vision' is of lots of smaller nations as part of the EU.

Apparently some of the bigger EU nations aren't keen, and might make it hard for Scotland to join, though; by way of discouraging their own secessionist regions. Although it's possible that's just propaganda from the anti-independence side [I'm not up enough on the facts to know for sure].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:26 AM
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re: 54

The nationalists have been in government for a while now, and increased their vote share at last week's EU elections. Apparently opposition to independence is dropping, and support for a referendum fairly soon is rising, so we'll see.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:27 AM
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So, if Scotland leaves the Union, does that mean no more Union Jack? Or the Union Jack without the blue background? That's one of the best flag designs in the world, it would be a shame to screw it up.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:28 AM
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52. 1. Ukraine (part of it anyway)? Belarus? 2. They wouldn't leave if they couldn't, they're not daft. Would England stay in?

I don't share Keir's optimism about taking Labour back. I can't see the forces to do it, even in the unions. I think it's fubar. Eventually I predict that the Lib Dems will emerge from some hasty compromise making as the main English opposition party on a platform a bit like Howard Dean.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:31 AM
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Unfortunately for England, it does look increasingly likely that Scotland might leave the Union.

The SNP may find it harder to persuade people to vote for secession than they think. (The next Scottish General Election isn't till 2011, and the SNP have ruled out a poll for secession until/if they win in 2011. Their win in 2007 was dubious, and Alex Salmond, leader of the SNP/First Minister of Scotland, is also a Westminster SNP who's got caught up in the MP expenses scandal.)

Despite the economy and the current expenses scandals, I think Labour will stand or fall with the ID cards - and I suspect it'll be "fall" unless they figure out in time that this is going to be their poll tax.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:32 AM
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Apparently some of the bigger EU nations aren't keen

For which read Spain. If an independent Scotland got to join the EU, could Catalunya and Euskadi be far behind?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:33 AM
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re: 59

Some of the Scottish politics blogs I read -- and I only read a very small and probably unrepresentative sample -- seem more and more convinced that an independence referendum is coming and that the independence side of the debate might win it. I haven't lived in Scotland for about 10 years, so I feel a bit out of touch myself.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:35 AM
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But I don't really know much of anything about anything.

The maps aren't as good as surface maps, but they can tell what is underground (oil, gas, minerals) with some specificity. The exploration part is a distinct operation from the get the oil out of the ground part.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:36 AM
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Eventually I predict that the Lib Dems will emerge from some hasty compromise making as the main English opposition party on a platform a bit like Howard Dean.

But then you've got the unions sitting outside which defeats the purpose of a British left political party, not to mention it'll be the only time since the 1880's or so that a left party could survive without them.

And seriously, the Lib Dems? They're Blairites who couldn't hack it in the Labour Party, (OK, unfair, but what was the SDP but Blairism avant la lettre?)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:39 AM
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What is this "Left party" of which you speak?


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:42 AM
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The good bits of the Labour Party.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:45 AM
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(And, yeah, maybe there isn't room for a left party in England anymore, and we may as well cut our losses and go for the Scottish Socialist Co-operative Republic.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:46 AM
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61: this is my impression too.
How viable Scotland would be is an open question: certainly relying on our innovative financial industry doesn't seem quite as good an idea as it did, say, four years ago. But fortunately there's more to Scotland than oil and RBS.
Not sure that the ID cards are as big an issue as Jes thinks, to be honest. (Though they should be!) They won't become an election-losing issue within the next eleven months.

The point Keir was making, I think, is that without the Scottish MPs, Labour is in rather a lot of trouble in Westminster.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:55 AM
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I thought Ukraine was part of a larger Soviet Union Go Bye Bye, not a one-off secession. Who gets the naval bases? Getting into the EU seems fraught with the potential for moment-of-truth hiccups of the "of course you'll get in but we can't formally promise anything until you are actually your own country" sort.

God, what a mess.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 8:56 AM
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Who gets the naval bases?

What naval bases? Rosyth's been closed for years since the last lot decided to shift all the work to Devonport. Clyde would go anyway because an independent Scotland wouldn't have a nuclear deterrent, and presumably wouldn't want hunter-killer subs either.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:01 AM
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Who gets the naval bases?

You mean Faslane? I'm sure we'd work something out; there's precedent for all this stuff in the Empire & Commonwealth.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:01 AM
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re; 67

Yes, I thought that was Keir's point. It would entrench the Right in England for a generation or more.

I suspect Scotland would be viable, it'd still have access to all of the same markets as it does now, and it's much wealthier with a more developed infrastructure than many other small EU countries. I don't imagine it'd be easy, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:03 AM
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Scotland would get the naval bases, and England would threaten to go to war with them a decade later if they don't give them back, right around the time of the 2028 Winter Olympics in Hartlepool.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:05 AM
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right around the time of the 2028 Winter Olympics in Hartlepool.

Inside the southern edge of the Greater Scottish Prosperity Sphere?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:06 AM
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the Greater Scottish Prosperity Sphere

Quiet, you fool!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:07 AM
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My belief about urban fruit is that if a branch crosses the property line, the fruit hanging over the property line is up for grabs.

Not only is it your belief, it is also the law of usufruct! In L.A., Fallen Fruit publishes maps of where fruit hangs in the public right of way. They gave us a plum tree on condition that we plant it near the sidewalk. There's a fig tree on my evening walk that I keep meaning to send them a note about.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:09 AM
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re: 74

Sorry. Forgot the Oath of Secrecy there for a moment.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:11 AM
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75 nytimes-pwned by Jroth in 36, it seems.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:12 AM
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Scottish Socialist Co-operative Republic.

I have a very dim memory of a socialist Scotland figuring in Walter Tevis' The Steps of the Sun and an even dimmer memory of the protagonist at some point traveling on a Scottish ship named after Hugh MacDiarmid.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:13 AM
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Who gets the naval bases?

Does Britain have a navy?


Posted by: John Paul Jones | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:14 AM
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Future socialist Scotlands appear in, inter alia, "Halting State" by Charles Stross and the Fall Revolution series by Ken MacLeod, universally acknowledged to be Scotland's finest ex-marine-biologist anarchist-Trotskyite science fiction author.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:16 AM
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Scottish secession? Dumb, but interesting.

How do they plan on figuring out who is really Scottish? This is not entirely academic, as I have a UK passport (expired, but I can get another if I just fill out the damn forms). My maternal grandfather is Scottish and grandmother English. My longest period of residence in the UK was in Scotland, but no longer than ten days at a stretch (visiting the Grandparents). Will I have to make aliyah to the motherland in order to establish my claim?


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:19 AM
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re: 81

It's not necessarily dumb.

As to the second, I'm not sure. I've read various discussions about it in the past. I'd imagine, with total freedom of movement within the EU it's largely a non-issue. Residency is probably how they'll settle it.

Residency is how they settle things like eligibility for various state grants in education, for example, and they have done for years.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:22 AM
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At least in the US, military bases are usually in remote-ish locations, the vehicle of a lot of central government spending, and in danger of being closed down absent the effort of local representatives to keep them open. Is the same not true in the UK?

Modern first-world independece movements always seem like the product of a small political class with too much time on their hands convincing a broader swath of the public that nothing could go wrong. Maybe Scotland is currently getting a raw deal from London, but hasn't the UK been around the better part of 300 years?


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:23 AM
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Um, could you play for Scotland?

See also Ireland. All the practical problems of decolonisation have been dealt with; we are very good at them by now after hundreds of years of Empire and decades of giving it all back.

Scottish Socialist SF: see especially Alasdair Gray.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:25 AM
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Make no mistake, it would be interesting to see. I just have a hard time imagining it going well.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:26 AM
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re: 83.1

Britain is small. There really aren't that many remote locations. There's airbases and things in the highlands, but they aren't that far away from major cities.

re: 83.2

I don't think that characterization really applies in this case.

The UK has been around for 300 years, yeah, more or less exactly. But the two countries have shared a head of state for 400.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:27 AM
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||

I fucking hate the CBE Group. I think that the department which handles the Federal Department of Ed. stuff is supervised more carefully. After much phone tag, I got transferred to the original horrid woman who wanted my checking account info and told me that they wouldn't rehabilitate my loan. She had the gall to ask me how I planned to pay. There are now notes in my file showing that the university recommended that I be rehabilitated, and I have a copy of an e-mail the person at the University sent.

It specifically urges them to help me by sending me written documentation and says that she can't dictate the amount. It also includes a sample contract approved by UC. So, this woman tells me that she can't go below X amount without getting the approvalof the university. And client services has to get in touch with her.

AND she wouldn't give me her last name or the last name of her supervisor or a direct number to her supervisor.

I think that when I call back tomorrow. I will ask for the supervisor by name from the operator.

Maybe it's only the Feds who require that they give out their last name.

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:28 AM
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Has Walter Tevis' fiction been through the Unfogged-o-matic® Screening Process for any instances of objectionable scenes? I like his stuff, but I might be wrong to do so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:29 AM
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83: not to the same extent. While the UK has 'garrison towns' like Colchester, Tidworth, Aldershot, Catterick, Larkhill and so on, my impression is that the bases are all rather smaller compared to the surrounding town and so don't create that much employment - you don't have the US thing of a huge base with a tiny town attached that relies entirely on the base. Partly because the UK is smaller, I suspect, so there are other sources of employment nearby; as are its armed forces, and a lot of the heavy stuff is still based abroad in Germany.

It's more true for naval bases. Portsmouth and Plymouth are heavily dependent on the navy, as is Helensburgh to an extent.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:29 AM
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I HATE McAuliffe and I'm delighted he got trounced. DLC fucker.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:29 AM
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82.1 True, I have no basis for saying that other than sentimentality. I like the Union Jack, basically.

OTOH, if residency is the requirement in both Liberated Scotland and Rump UK, I lose my connection to the Sceptered Isle, which makes me sad, since every time a Republican wins the presidency I feel the urge to run, and it's have to have a place to run to where they can't kick you out.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:30 AM
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re: 91

I'd imagine they'll sort all that out. As Keir says, if there's one thing that the British state (and it's putative successors) knows about, it's post-colonial admin of that sort.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:32 AM
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At least in the US, military bases are usually in remote-ish locations, the vehicle of a lot of central government spending, and in danger of being closed down absent the effort of local representatives to keep them open. Is the same not true in the UK?

Faslane's on the Clyde near the biggest city in Scotland, not sure about the amount of money but compared to things like the death of shipbuilding it is nothing, and the Scottish political parties are not too keen on having the British nuclear deterrent based in Scotland given Scotland doesn't really want nuclear weapons.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:33 AM
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Also, ditto to 90. He's DLC split-the-difference , principles follow strategy, wouldn't know a moral center if it stabbed him in the eye type of guy. His only strength is raising a shitload of money, and I strongly suspect he's willing to make promises of the kind that got Marc Rich pardoned.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:33 AM
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McAuliffe's talents seem limited to hustling money and being a giant dick.

Exactly right.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:34 AM
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Does Britain have a navy?

Ask Argentina.


Posted by: General Belgrano | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:42 AM
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I thought Ukraine was part of a larger Soviet Union Go Bye Bye, not a one-off secession.

Except that Eastern Ukraine had been part of the Russian Empire since God was a lad, and used to appear on old maps as "Little Russia". Likewise Belarus ("White Russia"). Under the czars they were just regarded as provinces of Great Rus, so they had a very different back story from the Baltics and the Central Asian republics.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:46 AM
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OT: What do you all think that this section of the FDCPA means?

807.10
The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

Probably a stretch to say that she has to give me her whole name to meaningfully identify herself?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 9:51 AM
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97: Hey, if you don't want to lose parts of your territory, don't let your government/society collapse.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 10:40 AM
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99: Yeah, but the problem here is the fractal nature of the ex-Soviet Union (actually of the world), oblasts and okrugs and krais, oh my! But the EU is really quite the interesting macro-political development. I suspect it will ultimately be viewed as a seminal development in the almost certain ultimate death of our current conception of the nation-state. (I think there is a 46% chance that the role of the US in this struggle will be to be a last nuclear-armed holdout. 24% chance we'll use them in defense of same.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 10:59 AM
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Kobe (aka "the black Ender Wiggin") will push the button.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 11:01 AM
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I confess, I didn't vote yesterday. If I had, it would have been for Moran based on what I know about the candidates. But as of 5 p.m. yesterday I knew so very little about them that I wasn't sure it was worth it to cast my vote, and then it was raining, and [insert more feeble excuses here]. I am glad to read that McAuliffe lost, though.

81
How do they plan on figuring out who is really Scottish?

Do you take sugar on your porridge?

(I can't believe no one beat me to that.)


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 11:23 AM
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||
That was quick.
|>


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 11:39 AM
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103: Well then! Guess none of us are unemployed, after all!


Posted by: inaccessible island rail | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:00 PM
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103: Also, nice graphic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:04 PM
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In L.A., Fallen Fruit publishes maps of where fruit hangs in the public right of way.

Whoever thought of calling it an "activist art project" should be kicked in the reproductive organs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:12 PM
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You're only as unemployed as you feel, IIR.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:13 PM
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106: Kicking people in the 'nads is also an activist art project.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:18 PM
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105: Do you want jobs or some namby-pamby "clean" air? Make up your mind.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 12:37 PM
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Not only is it your belief, it is also the law of usufruct!

This legal principle is the subject of § 923 of the German Civil Code, which is famous (among German jurists, anyway) for containing a line of perfect hexameter (first sentence of subsection 1) and an unintentional but perfect rhyming couplet (subsection 3):

(1) Steht auf der Grenze ein Baum, so gebühren die Früchte und, wenn der Baum gefällt wird, auch der Baum den Nachbarn zu gleichen Teilen. .... (3) Diese Vorschriften gelten auch für einen auf der Grenze stehenden Strauch.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:08 PM
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When I worked at US Steel during college summers, the ancient, doddering foremen would say stuff like 109, viz. "when I see smoke coming out of the stacks I know people have jobs." The foremen were probably younger than I am now, and a few years later, no smoke, no jobs, and no mills. But Pittsburgh is once again the most liveable city in the U.S., according to The Economist.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:18 PM
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111: which is why everybody who comments on unfogged lives there, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:19 PM
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111: The Economist has either a sense of humor or a weird methodology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:21 PM
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Steht auf der Grenze ein Baum, so gebühren die Früchte und, wenn der Baum gefällt wird, auch der Baum den Nachbarn zu gleichen Teilen

Why "zu gleichen Teilen"? Shouldn't it be in parts proportionate to the part of the tree, or the fruit-bearing parts of the tree, on either side of the border?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:24 PM
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113: weird methodology

Quality of hockey team minus points if the city has been the center of an American industry that has undergone epic failure*.

*um, very recently


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:31 PM
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113: Several years running, apparently. They also like cities in Switzerland and Australia. Pgh. is 39 internationally.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:32 PM
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"when I see smoke coming out of the stacks I know people have jobs asthma."

Says the regulator in me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:41 PM
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Why "zu gleichen Teilen"? Shouldn't it be in parts proportionate to the part of the tree, or the fruit-bearing parts of the tree, on either side of the border?

If you're a moral philosopher, maybe. But since one of the stated purposes of the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch was to simplify an overly complex and burdensome legal system, it's probably for the best that they adopted the straightforward "equal parts" principle.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:43 PM
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116: The weather here suits me as well any anywhere I've lived, as do the housing prices. Also, excepting one Amazon package, nothing has been stolen from me in 6 years. But, public services suck ass compared to the taxes charged and that is bound to get worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:43 PM
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115: If we had a decent hockey team, we would bury you.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:45 PM
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If we had a decent baseball team, nobody would pay attention to anything but sports for the whole year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 2:55 PM
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So are you as excited by Morton's debut as I am?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:00 PM
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Who?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:01 PM
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Mulberries are awesome. We had a mulberry tree in our backyard when I was a little kid. Mmmm.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:34 PM
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If you're a moral philosopher, maybe

I was thinking more along the lines of "If you're German, maybe".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:37 PM
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The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.

This basically means they have to identify themselves as debt collectors attempting to collect a debt when they contact you. So they can't, e.g., call you up and say they're a law firm, even if they are, without specifying why they're calling you. There are other implications too. Probably not relevant in your specific situation, but this is something you would definitely need to discuss with a lawyer.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:37 PM
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123: It was a (very) little joke. It's the guy we got for McLouth, who's starting for us tonight.

There will very soon be pictures of Kai more or less completely bepurpled by mulberries.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:40 PM
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Mulberries are awesome.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:43 PM
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97 - Isn't it more that Kievan Rus was geographically centered on where Ukraine is now? It was the capital of the Slavic world in the Dark Ages, so of course Imperial Russia wanted to assert that Russia was the natural successor to Kievan Rus and thus Ukrainian and Belarusian territory.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 3:51 PM
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129: It was, but Imperial Russia also made deliberate efforts in the eighteenth century to settle the area with Russian colonists and make it culturally as well as historically Russian. (One part of what is now eastern Ukraine was even called "New Russia.") The descendants of those colonists are largely still there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:07 PM
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127: Thanks for explaining it. I've never really followed baseball, but now I have an excuse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:08 PM
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What sort of tropical paradise is Pittsburgh, that you have ripe mulberries already?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:51 PM
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There were ripe mulberries several weeks ago in SF, and it's not tropical.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:55 PM
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The long kind, that look kind of like caterpillars.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:56 PM
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Huh. Maybe ripening varies widely by variety. There's a tree next door that won't produce ripe fruit for at least a month.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:58 PM
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Or so the neighbors would have you believe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 4:59 PM
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They're the neighbors with triplets, and the tree hangs over the driveway between us. When the mulberries are ripe, both households are acutely aware. But yes, apart from the dark purple stains all over the place, mulberries are awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-10-09 5:09 PM
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But fortunately there's more to Scotland than oil and RBS.

But can you run an economy on Irn Bru and the Edinburgh Festival?



Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 12:26 AM
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re: 138

It ultimately comes down to whether you believe a nation of 5 million people is viable.* If you do, Scotland should have no problems. The population is, relatively speaking, extremely well-educated; there is a substantial high-tech industry; decent agricultural land and fisheries; better than average natural resources; solid tourist industry; a mild climate, etc. Scotland is much better placed than many.

* bearing in mind that most of advantages of being on the same island as another 60 million people who all speak the same language, and with whom there are no trade barriers, are not going to go away if Scotland is an independent member of the EU. So it basically comes down to whether you think Scotland can survive without the additional grant from Westminster (over and above taxation raised within Scotland itself).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 12:48 AM
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Does Scotland on a net basis receive more money in government spending than it pays in taxes, or vice versa?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 2:17 AM
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There are quite a few countries in the EU with roughly that sort of population, so I don't see any problems there. Sweden has only eight million inhabitants iirc.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 2:21 AM
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Yes, but Sweden is desperately poor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 2:23 AM
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When your main export product is lutefisk and surstromming, no wonder.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 2:32 AM
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All this is avoiding the key political question which is: if the Scots strike out on their own, will they take N. Ireland with them? Pretty please.

Seriously, Minivet's question in 140 over-simplifies the issues. I don't know whether Scotland is currently a net beneficiary of revenue/spending; I suspect it is, but not by much. OTOH, an independent Scotland would substantially restructure its economy, so frex, you might expect a proportionately far lower defence budget, etc. You can't extrapolate.

Also, most subsidies in Europe now come via the EU, and that is an unknown unknown.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:04 AM
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It ultimately comes down to whether you believe a nation of 5 million people is viable.* If you do, Scotland should have no problems. The population is, relatively speaking, extremely well-educated; there is a substantial high-tech industry; decent agricultural land and fisheries; better than average natural resources; solid tourist industry; a mild climate, etc. Scotland is much better placed than many.

Cough cough.

Post-colonial first world English-speaking Commonwealth states of a few million are viable even on the other side of the world; I doubt independent Scotland would go horribly wrong in that sense.

But the whole leaving the Union thing? I don't like secession.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:05 AM
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All this is avoiding the key political question which is: if the Scots strike out on their own, will they take N. Ireland with them? Pretty please

Oh, HELL no. The Independent Republic of the Old Firm Game? Good grief. "If you want a picture of the future of the Scottish people, imagine an overweight thug in a Rangers scarf, stamping on a human face, for ever."

It's tricky to tell about revenue questions, because a lot of firms which operate in Scotland are headquartered in London - BP, for example, drills for oil in Scotland, but pays its corporate taxes in London. That would presumably change after independence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:12 AM
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144: I shouldn't have implied the answer was enough to determine viability. Just interested, as we often bring up these figures for American states.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:29 AM
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The Independent Republic of the Old Firm Game?

Although it would be picturesque in that Celts meet Balkans way, wouldn't it?

You could probably sell tickets.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:35 AM
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||

Spam from Australian camping goods salespeople seems strikingly ill-targetted here.

|>


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 3:43 AM
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re: 147

According to the simplest calculations, yes, it does receive more in spending than it provides in taxation. But the issue is complicated, and prone to distortion.*

As ajay says, there are issues like Scottish companies headquartered in London, and so on, and also there's quite a lot of revenue generated in Scotland that doesn't get counted in simple taxation/expenditure calculations.

* Londoners often whine about it, for example, while conveniently not counting the vast amounts of money spent in London -- because it's the seat of government -- as 'London spending' but conveniently counting all the tax paid in London as 'London taxation'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 4:03 AM
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Londoners always whine about anything that happens in the other nations and regions of the UK. The day Londoners stop whining the world will end.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 4:25 AM
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re: 151

Yes, I remember a mid 90s BBC Scotland documentary responding to a previous iteration of the 'London whine': in which the journalist pointed out that the budget for a single road extension into the Docklands development cost more than the entire business and development budget for Scotland, for the year.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 4:52 AM
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Also, most subsidies in Europe now come via the EU, and that is an unknown unknown.

Since you were just able to specify what you don't know, isn't it a known unknown?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 9:45 AM
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But he doesn't even know what the subsidies are, let alone how much they are. So it's a known unknown unknown.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-11-09 10:28 AM
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