Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oil Slump and Sanctions Are Hitting Russian Economy Hard

"...Russia is already in a perfect storm," said Lubomir Mitov, Moscow chief for the Institute of International Finance. "Rich Russians are converting as many roubles as they can into foreign currencies and storing the money in vaults. There is chronic capital flight of 4pc to 5pc of GDP each year but this is no longer covered by the current account surplus, and now sanctions have caused foreign capital to turn negative, too."

"The financing gap has reached 3pc of GDP, and they have to repay $150bn in principal to foreign creditors over the next 12 months. It will be very dangerous if reserves fall below $330bn," he said.

"The benign outcome is a return to the stagnation of the Brezhnev era [Застой in Russian] in the early 1980s, without a financial collapse. The bad outcome could be a lot worse," he said.

Read the rest here.

Big Banks Warned to Clean Up Their Act

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley delivered a stern warning to the largest banks in a speech earlier this week. Either clean up your illegal and unethical behavior through "cultural change" from within, he said, or be broken into smaller, more manageable pieces. 

In his conclusion, the warning was direct and explicit:

Read the rest here.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sweden Hunts Foreign Submarine

In an echo from the Cold War, Swedish military forces are reported to be hunting for an unidentified submarine in their territorial waters. The Russians, everyone's first suspect, heatedly denied that any of their vessels are involved. On a side note, there also no Russian troops in Ukraine.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Met. Hilarion Addresses Catholic Synod on the Family

As one would expect when we are talking about Met. Hilarion, his address was both direct and charitable.

Byzantine Texas has the full text

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Second Ebola Case Reported (and a little perspective)

The United States now has its second confirmed case of Ebola contracted here and the alarm among government officials and the general population is clearly rising.

On a side note; statistics suggest that somewhere between 85-90 people died yesterday in motor-vehicle crashes... and a similar number are likely to be killed by the end of today. Going by the most recent available numbers; around 32,000 will be killed in car wrecks in 2014.

I know I know... who cares about that! TWO PEOPLE HAVE EBOLA!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An update and slow posting for a while

At long last dad has recovered to the point where he is mostly able to take care of himself, and so, after six months(!) I packed up yesterday and went down to see mom for a couple weeks before I head back to the west coast. The internet connection at mom's is pretty poor and I expect to be busy with other things, so please bear with me if there are gaps in posting.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Roman Catholic Family Synod: Early report called a "pastoral earthquake"

A document summing up the synod so far has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” by a leading Vatican commentator.

The document, called the relatio post disceptationem, was read aloud in the synod hall this morning. It has been drafted by synod fathers selected by Pope Francis and can be read in full here.

The document calls on the Church to build on the “positive aspects” of relationships that are deemed irregular – such as between remarried couples or same-sex partners – and keep the “doors always wide open” to people in those relationships.

Read the rest here.

Everything I have read about this synod from Roman Catholic sources and blogs has been deeply disturbing.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Going Dutch: How to run a functional pension system

Imagine a place where pensions were not an ever-deepening quagmire, where the numbers told the whole story and where workers could count on a decent retirement.

Imagine a place where regulators existed to make sure everyone followed the rules.

That place might just be the Netherlands. And it could provide an example for America’s troubled cities, or for states like Illinois and New Jersey that have promised more in pension benefits than they can deliver.

“The rest of the world sort of laughs at the United States — how can a great country like the United States get so many things wrong?” said Keith Ambachtsheer, a Dutch pension specialist who works at the University of Toronto — specifically at its Rotman International Center for Pension Management, a global clearinghouse of information on how successful retirement systems work.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fred Reed on Cops

Two very good posts by brother Fred on police and the problems of policing.

Here  and... Here

I sometimes wish that people knew more about cops, who they are, and the world they live in. There are pretty good cops (most) and very bad ones (few) but accounts in the press usually bear little relation to the truth. What happens on the streets is not as clear, not nearly as clear, as the immaculately coifed indignations of the flickering screen would have you think. Permit me a few examples of routine ambiguity.

First, though, a journalistically unwelcome reality: Almost everyone charged by the police is guitly, no matter what Jesse Jackson thinks. There are two reasons. First, the perps are almost all caught in the act: They are swerving all over the road and blow museum-pickled on the Alka-Sensor, or caught coming out the window with the TV set, or the car is reported stolen and they are driving it, or caught slinging rock and it’s in their possession. Second, the case load is so great in the cities that the DA won’t paper a case unless he is sure he will win. The cops know this, and know the DA will raise hell with them if they send him iffy-maybe-could-be cases, so they don’t.

Cops engage in, and have to engage in, a lot of Not Quite by the Rules policing (NQBTR). Sometimes the rules just don’t quite work. For example, the aging widow in DC who didn’t sell in time when the neighborhood went bad and drug dealers started hanging on her corner. Property values died and she can’t sell for enough to buy elsewhere, and she is afraid to leave to walk to the grocery store past a cloud of dirtballs. The cops tell the dealers, “Get your sorry butts off this corner, now, and don’t come back.”

It isn’t legal, but the druggies don’t know it. Or maybe they do, but know better than to push their luck. They move to another corner, the old woman gets her groceries, and everybody is happy. Got a better answer? I don't...

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Potentially major advance reported in treating type 1 Diabetes

Some good news for a change...

Scientists are closer to a potential stem cell treatment for type 1 diabetes.

In a new article in the journal Cell, Douglas Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (and one of the 2009 TIME 100) and his colleagues describe how they made the first set of pancreatic cells that can sense and respond to changing levels of sugar in the blood and churn out the proper amounts of insulin.

It’s a critical first step toward a more permanent therapy for type 1 diabetics, who currently have to rely on insulin pumps that infuse insulin when needed or repeated injections of the hormone in order to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Because these patients have pancreatic beta cells that don’t make enough insulin, they need outside sources of the hormone to break down the sugars they eat.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Heading West


I am finally going home at the end of the month and I know how I want to travel....

Anyone got a spare time machine I can borrow?

Thank You Mr. President

Walmart to End Health Coverage for 30,000

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

More criminal charges for big banks

The Justice Department is preparing a fresh round of attacks on the world’s biggest banks, again questioning Wall Street’s role in a broad array of financial markets.

With evidence mounting that a number of foreign and American banks colluded to alter the price of foreign currencies, the largest and least regulated financial market, prosecutors are aiming to file charges against at least one bank by the end of the year, according to interviews with lawyers briefed on the matter. Ultimately, several banks are expected to plead guilty.

Read the rest here.

I am willing to bet a steak dinner that no one will go to jail. Any takers?

Monday, October 06, 2014

The writing on the wall

The fight is not over, but the end is no longer in much doubt. The Supreme Court's surprising decision to let stand five pro-gay marriage decisions from the appellate courts effectively signals the top court's lack of interest in slowing or halting the advance of homosexual marriage. And since those decisions are based at least in part on the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling, this is going to be seen as a green light by the lower courts in every state to overturn laws protecting natural marriage.

Basically it's all over except for the actual court cases which will still have to be done on a mostly state by state basis. But those cases have pretty much been reduced to a legal formality.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

In Defense of World War I


Now here is something one does not often see. Noted historian Max Hastings offers a defense of the necessity, and even the moral imperative of the First World War from the British perspective. While I remain unconvinced, I will concede that Hastings makes some cogent points. Had Britain stayed out and the Kaiser's army triumphed by the end of 1914 (a very real possibility), it is difficult to imagine Great Britain not falling under the shadow of a German dominated Europe. But of course, Hasting's arguments carry little weight in the debate over American intervention in the war.

If California doesn't get rain this winter ...

Each year from October to the following September, California measures its rainfall and snow accumulation.

This past season didn't take much figuring. It turned out to be the fourth driest year ever for the state, as it only got around 60 percent of the average precipitation.

As California starts a new water measurement cycle—and faces a fourth year of severe drought—another dry winter could be a tipping point for the country's top agricultural producer.

"This year is crucial," said Michael Hanemann, professor and environmental economist at the W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

"A third winter of low rain would be extremely painful," he said. "If we have one or two dry winters we can get through that. But the lack of water this winter would have a significant economic impact on agriculture that hasn't been felt before."

Read the rest here.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Saudi Arabia and the Wreckovation of Mecca

WHEN Malcolm X visited Mecca in 1964, he was enchanted. He found the city “as ancient as time itself,” and wrote that the partly constructed extension to the Sacred Mosque “will surpass the architectural beauty of India’s Taj Mahal.”

Fifty years on, no one could possibly describe Mecca as ancient, or associate beauty with Islam’s holiest city. Pilgrims performing the hajj this week will search in vain for Mecca’s history.

The dominant architectural site in the city is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest buildings. It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels catering to the superrich. The skyline is no longer dominated by the rugged outline of encircling peaks. Ancient mountains have been flattened. The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas.

Read the rest here.

Russian Constitutional Court Upholds Ban on Promoting Homosexuality To Minors, Interpreting It Narrowly

"...The Russian Constitutional Court has found that the contested provision does not contradict the Constitution. It also gave a constitutional law interpretation, which shows all law enforcers that a broad interpretation of the ban is unacceptable and it is compulsory for everyone, including courts. Such an approach is comparable to the approach used by the Russian Constitutional Court to recognize the unconstitutionality of some part of some provision," Constitutional Court Judge Nikolay Bondar said, commenting on the court decision.

Bondar reiterated that the Russian Constitutional Court's decision on the debated article is based on the fact that it does not envision interference in the sphere of individual autonomy, including people's sexual self-determination.

"Secondly, the court ruled that this provision is not aimed at banning or officially condemning non-traditional sexual relations. Thirdly, this article does not prevent impartial public debate of the legal status of sexual minorities, including by holding public events according to the procedures established by law. However, minors should not be involved in the relevant events, no matter whether it's rallies or debates, and the disseminated information should not be targeted at them," Bondar said.

"We not only fully recognize, but also consistently observe the main acts of international law dealing with personal rights and freedoms, including people's sexual self-determination. As to the practices used by some European countries, which, among other things, involve the deformation of traditional socio-cultural values in the sphere of family and marriage, they cannot be an example to us. Every country has a sovereign right to decide on these issues in its own way. That, naturally, is also true for Russia, and we also have the absolute right to make such decisions in accordance with our Constitution, and the moral, ethical and socio-cultural values of our society," Bondar said.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Major Anglican Meeting Likely Cancelled

An every ten year gathering of all or most of the bishops of the worldwide Anglican Communion is likely to be cancelled or at least postponed indefinitely. The decision to put off the Lambeth Conference indefinitely due to extreme differences within the communion over church doctrine and discipline is believed to be without modern precedent. The only previous postponements were a result of the two world wars.

Read the story here.
HT: T-19

The Secret Service Under Fire


It's been a tough year for the Secret Service. One after another the hits just keep coming for one of the most legendary law enforcement agencies out there. Their job description requires among other things, a readiness to step between the person they are protecting and anyone or thing that may pose a danger to their principal. In the most extreme case they would be expected to use their bodies as human shields and "take the bullet" meant for the President. (At least one agent has done exactly that.) And for 113 years they have, with one truly horrific exception, kept the President's of this country safe from harm despite several close calls.

But now we have people openly questioning whether they are up to the job after a series of scandals and revelations of embarrassing security lapses. Recently an armed man not only jumped the White House fence but managed to force his way into the Executive Mansion itself where he ran amok until finally tackled by an off duty agent.

Possibly though, the most alarming revelation has just made it into the open. Two weeks ago an armed man with a violent criminal record, who somehow had acquired a job as security contractor for the CDC, managed to ride an elevator with President Obama! That's crazy.

Sacrificing Property Rights on the Altar of Gun Rights

...As a matter of personal preference, I would certainly encourage private companies to allow their employees to bring their firearms to work, and, as a matter of taste, I would prefer it if those who have been discovered violating company policy were treated gently — especially if they were forced to break the rules in self-defense. But, unless one is to wholly rewrite the nature of American constitutional government, these decisions must be reserved to the private sector, and not to local voters or representatives. Like all of the provisions within the Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment serves as a check on government and on government alone. It does not apply to Walmart or to FedEx or to Joe’s Highway Diner. When the NRA gripes that some politicians are “heeding corporate concerns” over the predilections of gun owners, what it is really saying is that those politicians are respecting property rights and refusing to get involved where they are not welcome. At what point, one wonders, did that become undesirable to liberty-loving people?

Read the rest here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Consecration of St. Clement's


The consecration of the church dedicated to the Great Martyr St. Clement Pope of Rome September 27, 2014

Saturday, September 27, 2014

We Broke Iraq

Colin Powell famously told President George W. Bush before the Iraq invasion, "If you break it, you own it." Well, it's safe to say we broke Iraq.

That's the story I heard last week from two people who live there. I met with the Rev. Canon Andrew White — "The Vicar of Baghdad" — who serves as the chaplain to St. George's Anglican Church in the heart of Baghdad. We were joined by Sarah Ahmed, a director at White's Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East. Ahmed was born and raised in Iraq. White has lived there for 15 years.

"I was in favor of the U.S. invasion," White told me. "But we are literally 5,000 times worse than before. If you look at it, you can see it was wrong. We have gained nothing. Literally nothing. We may have had an evil dictator, but now we have total terrorism. We used to have one Saddam. Now we have thousands."

Read the rest here.
HT: T-19

Worst Op-Ed of the Month

OK, there are still a few days left in September. But I am calling it game over and handing this month's prize to Dan Emmett for this piece promoting a further militarization of our society and law enforcement. I won't even touch who he wants to put in charge of protecting the President of the United States.

Friday, September 26, 2014

North Korean Dictator Suffering from "Discomfort"

He hasn't been seen in weeks and his most recent previous appearances showed him limping. All of which has gotten the rumor mill running at full tilt. Now in a very rare admission the N. Korean state media has publicly admitted that their supreme dictator is suffering from "discomfort." Hmmm...

Read the story here.

10% of Americans Drink Half of All Booze Consumed Annually

Do you drink a glass of wine with dinner every night? That puts you in the top 30 percent of American adults in terms of per-capita alcohol consumption. If you drink two glasses, that would put you in the top 20 percent.

But in order to break into the top 10 percent of American drinkers, you would need to drink more than two bottles of wine with every dinner. And you'd still be below-average among those top 10 percenters.

The top 10 percent of American drinkers - 24 million adults over age 18 - consume, on average, 74 alcoholic drinks per week. That works out to a little more than four-and-a-half 750 ml bottles of Jack Daniels, 18 bottles of wine, or three 24-can cases of beer. In one week.

Or, if you prefer, 10 drinks per day.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A Hollywood Ending for Captain Clutch

Derek Jeter, the longtime captain of the New York Yankees, hit a walk off single in the bottom of the ninth, driving in the tie breaking run in his final at bat in Yankee Stadium. Really, was there ever any doubt?

Next stop... Cooperstown.

Flight to Israel Delayed as Ultra-Orthodox Jews Demand Gender Segregation

An El-Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv was turned into an “11-hour nightmare” after hundreds of ultra-Orthodox Jewish passengers refused to sit next to women.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The California Dream: A second bedroom

IRVINE, Calif. — This was the state that embodied the middle-class American dream: Move west, acquire a small slice of property, perhaps with a palm tree or two.

For decades, comfortable suburbs like this one just south of Los Angeles boomed with new housing tracts designed to attract the latest arrivals. When space started to come at a premium, developers moved inland, building more homes for people who could not afford the more expensive coastal areas.

But now, cities across the state are grappling with a dwindling stock of housing that can be considered affordable for anyone but the wealthiest. In much of the state, a two-bedroom apartment or home is virtually impossible to acquire with anything less than a six-figure salary.

“It’s hard to imagine how all of California doesn’t become like New York City and San Francisco, where you have very rich people and poor people but nothing in between,” said Richard K. Green, an economist and director of the Lusk Center for Real Estate at the University of Southern California. “That’s socially unhealthy and unsustainable, but it’s where we are going right now — affordability is its worst ever, and we’re seeing a hollowing-out of the middle class here.”

Read the rest here.

The Resurgence of European Anti-Semitism

SARCELLES, France — From the immigrant enclaves of the Parisian suburbs to the drizzly bureaucratic city of Brussels to the industrial heartland of Germany, Europe’s old demon returned this summer. “Death to the Jews!” shouted protesters at pro-Palestinian rallies in Belgium and France. “Gas the Jews!” yelled marchers at a similar protest in Germany.

The ugly threats were surpassed by uglier violence. Four people were fatally shot in May at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. A Jewish-owned pharmacy in this Paris suburb was destroyed in July by youths protesting Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. A synagogue in Wuppertal, Germany, was attacked with firebombs. A Swedish Jew was beaten with iron pipes. The list goes on.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

ISIS Destroys Memorial & Church of Armenian Genocide in Der Zor, Syria

Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) reportedly desecrated and blew up the Armenian Genocide memorial complex in the eastern Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, near the site where vast numbers of Armenian refugees were forced to march to their deaths in the early 20th century. 

The Church, located in al-Rashidyeh neighborhood, was built in 1989-1990, and consecrated a year later. 

The Armenian Genocide Memorial Church contains the remains of victims of the Armenian Genocide collected from the Syrian desert and has served as a pilgrimage site for Armenians worldwide, and every year, on April 24, special commemoration ceremonies attended by thousands of people would be held at the site. 

Read the rest here.

US and allies launch heavy air strikes on ISIS

The United States and several Middle East partners pounded Islamic State targets in Syria Tuesday with waves of warplanes and Tomahawk cruise missiles in an aggressive and risky operation marking a new phase in the conflict.

A statement issued by the U.S. Central Command early Tuesday said that a “mix of fighter, bomber, remotely-piloted aircraft and Tomahawk” cruise missiles destroyed or damaged multiple Islamic State targets in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than three years.

The U.S. statement said “partner nations,” including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, “participated in or supported” the operation, although it provided no details. The involvement of these regional allies are key for the legitimacy and logistics of the operation.

Read the rest here.

Monday, September 22, 2014

When Israel is the Subject, Rabbis Tread Carefully

...Forty-seven years after Israel’s victory in the 1967 Middle East war — celebrated by Jews worldwide — Israel’s occupation of Arab lands won in battle and its standoff with the Palestinians have become so divisive that many rabbis say it is impossible to have a civil conversation about Israel in their synagogues. Debate among Jews about Israel is nothing new, but some say the friction is now fire. Rabbis said in interviews that it may be too hot to touch, and many are anguishing over what to say about Israel in their sermons during the High Holy Days, which begin Wednesday evening.

Read the rest here.

US Ramping Up Nuclear Weapons at Huge Expense


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A sprawling new plant here in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines.

It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars.

This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy. The original idea was that modest rebuilding of the nation’s crumbling nuclear complex would speed arms refurbishment, raising confidence in the arsenal’s reliability and paving the way for new treaties that would significantly cut the number of warheads.

Instead, because of political deals and geopolitical crises, the Obama administration is engaging in extensive atomic rebuilding while getting only modest arms reductions in return.

Read the rest here.

OCA Holy Synod issues Preliminary Response to canonical restructuring proposals

A Preliminary Response of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to proposals with regard to canonical restructuring, a topic of discussion at the fifth meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America in Dallas, TX September 15-19, 2014, was issued and distributed to all bishops on September 17.

The text of the Preliminary Response reads as follows.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Crying Rape

In the emotionally charged conversation about rape, few topics are more fraught than that of false allegations. Consider some responses to the news that singer-songwriter Conor Oberst had been falsely accused of sexual assault. Last December a woman writing in the comments section of the website xoJane, going by the name Joanie Faircloth, claimed Oberst raped her when she was a teenager. The charge spread across the Internet; Oberst denied it and brought a libel suit against Faircloth when she refused to retract the story. In July she completely recanted, admitting that she had made it all up to get attention. Yet instead of showing sympathy for the ordeal of the musician—one known for being supportive of feminist issues—some chided him for taking legal action to defend himself against a false, career-damaging charge. In the Daily Dot, pop culture critic Chris Ostendorf decried the lawsuit, arguing that it could intimidate real victims of rape and that it promoted the idea of men as victims of false accusations—even though that’s exactly what Oberst was. After Oberst dropped the suit, Bustle’s Caroline Pate praised his decision and referred to the saga as “a roller-coaster for both parties”—treating the false accuser and the wrongly accused as morally equivalent—and called the revelation of Oberst’s innocence “crushingly disappointing.”

False rape accusations are a lightning rod for a variety of reasons. Rape is a repugnant crime—and one for which the evidence often relies on one person’s word against another’s. Moreover, in the not-so-distant past, the belief that women routinely make up rape charges often led to appalling treatment of victims. However, in challenging what author and law professor Susan Estrich has called “the myth of the lying woman,” feminists have been creating their own counter-myth: that of the woman who never lies.

More than a quarter-century ago, feminist legal theorist Catharine MacKinnon wrote that “feminism is built on believing women’s accounts of sexual use and abuse by men”; today, Jessica Valenti urges us to “believe victims en masse,” because only then will we recognize the true prevalence of sexual assault. But a de facto presumption of guilt in alleged sexual offenses is as dangerous as a presumption of guilt in any crime, and for the same reasons: It upends the foundations on which our system of justice rests and creates a risk of ruining innocent lives.

Read the rest here.

After the Vote: Cameron Suggests a Federal System for Great Britain (Updated)

So Scotland is staying with the promise of what will effectively be Home Rule, with Westminster (Parliament) exercising authority over only matters of obvious interest to the entire United Kingdom, i.e. defense, foreign affairs, trade and commerce etc. Pretty much everything else will be handled by the Scottish Parliament. But now Cameron is throwing a wrench into the works and suggesting that what is good for the goose is good for the gander. He wants ALL of the UK to enjoy the same benefits. That would mean Northern Ireland, Wales and yes, England would also have the right to substantially self govern themselves. Predictably the Labor Party is up in arms. It's one thing for Scotland to be largely free of any Tory governance. It is altogether a different matter for the English to be able to govern themselves, likely with very limited input from Labor.

(Update) The BBC has a good story up discussing the constitutional, and political, issues revolving around home rule for England.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland Says "No" to Secession

Scotland has decisively rejected secession from Great Britain. If the current figures hold, the margin of defeat for the nationalists will be near a super-majority of 10 pts. Such a sharp rejection of the proposal should put an end to any serious threat of dis-union for the foreseeable future and cannot be seen as anything other than an electoral rebuke to the SNP.

Still, Westminster would be gravely mistaken in taking too much comfort from this victory. A significant percentage of Scots did vote to secede.  And it is probable that at least some of the No votes were reluctant ones, likely based  more on pragmatic concerns than any affection for the United Kingdom. Clearly there is a strong undercurrent of dissatisfaction north of the border.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Six Reasons Scotland Might Vote to Secede

How will it go tomorrow? Nobody really knows. Both campaigns are supremely confident, both can point to polls that show them narrowly ahead. Both have “invisible advantages”. YES probably enjoys the support of thousands of first time voters; NO thinks that it leads comfortably on early postal votes. The NO people are satisfied that they have a “quiet” vote motivated by reason rather than passion, and that with every new outrage perpetrated by YES extremists they gain yet more silent support. One YES person put it to me that the people who tend to break toward NO are the old and English-born.

Personally, I think that YES might indeed enjoy a slight edge. Due to the following factors:

Read the rest here.