Scotland’s referendum votes are coming in and the leader of the Yes campaign, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond, has conceded; Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The country will, however, receive new powers, still unspecified, in return for staying united with England and Wales.
Today, Scots vote on whether to become independent from the United Kingdom.
Currently the polls show the public evenly split — 52 No, 48 Yes, with a four point margin of error — as the referendum opens to decide whether Scotland, which now has a higher average income than England, will be its own country for the first time in 307 years.
Among the Yes arguments are that Scotland has been held back from its economic potential by being tied to England, that the current British austerity phase is against a Scottish collectivist sentiment, that Scotland’s culture is very unlike English culture, and that the merger, achieved through the marriage of an English princess and a Scottish king, which ended centuries of war between the neighboring nations, was originally supposed to be equal but ended up as English domination of the Scottish people.
The No side argues that Scottish-English union for so long means that now the two nations share a monarchy, a currency, a transport system, military bases, and other features which would go to England, leaving Scots to develop their own at great expense, that the negotiations to make the separation work for all would take years, that the two countries would be too small to support adequate science funding, military defense and other needs, and the both are stronger and more economically stable by remaining united. Some also warn that the precedent could lead to other European nations breaking up and give strength to those who want the UK to leave the European Union.
Human trafficking has been destroying lives for a very long time. The victims are people, often just kids, and if they are lucky enough to grow old, many have no homes to grow old in. Everything has been taken from them for the profit or convenience of exploiters. This is an excellent post on the topic of human trafficking and war, from an excellent blog.
Originally posted on Mere Inkling:
I love prostitutes.
Although I have never in my life “physically” loved one, I possess great compassion for them.
Sharing physical intimacy with a prostitute would have nothing to do with “love,” anyway.
My empathy for prostitutes grew significantly during the year I spent stationed with the United States Air Force in South Korea during the 1980s.
My love for them has just been reignited by an article I read about the plight of aged Korean prostitutes who are being evicted from their hovels so that developers can profit. These women, ostracized by their own society and discarded by their pimps and the soldiers, sailors and airmen who abused them, have nowhere to go.
Americans have a perverse understanding of prostitution. Calling it a “victimless crime” is incomprehensible. For every one American call girl living in comfort and able to choose her “clients,” there are probably five thousand…
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Monday is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, nine months after the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (the conception of Mary).
The feast goes back at least to the Sixth Century in the Middle East, and became popular in Europe after the Church officially adopted it in the Seventh Century, and was a Holy Day of Obligation until the early 20th Century.
Traditional celebrations include blessing the crop seeds and the harvest, and in some areas of France it is known as Our Lady of the Grape Harvest.
According to Catholic Culture,
In central and northern Europe, according to ancient belief, September 8 is also the day on which the swallows leave for the sunny skies of the South. A popular children’s rhyme in Austria contains the following lines:
It’s Blessed Virgin’s Birthday, The swallows do depart; Far to the South they fly away, And sadness fills my heart. But after snow and ice and rain They will in March return again.
Women for Faith and Family suggest baking a white birthday cake and decorating it in white and blue, with a figurine of the Blessed Virgin or with her name, and ten candles, saying a Hail Mary while lighting each one, followed by an Our Father, before eating the cake.
This feast day is also called “Drive-Down Day” because in parts of Europe September 8th is the end of summer and start of autumn, when livestock are driven downhill. The animals are decorated with flowers, and the milk collected on this day is given to the poor. While most of us do not raise flocks on the Alps, or anywhere, it might be a good time to drive down to a donation site to drop off the things we were planning to donate to the charity shop.
This is an installment in a series on the platform I would like to see a party adopt.
Right now, I am a Republican converted from Libertarian, from No Affiliation, from Democrat, and have had issues with every party I’ve ever supported. I want to outline what I want in a political party and why.
Starting with economic policies, the ideal party would
- distinguish between forms of aid that cannot be covered by private charity and those that can, and fill in to supplement and support, not replace, private forms of help for the needy. The government should always help disaster victims, crime victims, abandoned children and others who cannot wait for a fund drive to help them, and should provide medical aid to the truly needy, for truly necessary, lifesaving medical services and for basic dental, pain management and psychiatric crisis needs. This should be done in a cost-effective way, and should avoid conflicts of interest. The government should facilitate community projects initiated by the people in education, food production and distribution and transportation, but the initiative should be with the communities, and the responsibility for safety and supervision should be primarily with the communities, with government as a backup only. This empowers communities and individuals and develops a culture of responsibility, creativity and attachment that is good for the whole country.
- work to control inflation, by refusing to flood the currency supply and by reducing government spending,
- support small businesses by immediately ending all forms of corporate welfare, thus allowing competition to blossom. No more bailouts, no more compelled commerce, no more business subsidies, no more conflicts of interest in government research or in instituting new occupational credentialing requirements.
- require a vote of the people before creating new agencies, departments or other governmental entities that add to the cost of government, with disclosure of the reasons for the new entity and the likely cost.
To be continued