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The Kingdom Is Preserved: Scotland Votes “No” On Independence

by Randle Aubrey

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You might have heard that Scotland recently held a referendum on voting for its independence from the UK, a move that “threatened to rip the United Kingdom apart, sow financial turmoil and diminish Britain’s remaining global clout,” according to a recent Reuters report, leaving little doubt as to where they stand. No matter your opinion on the issue, it was a huge deal for the people of Scotland; voter turnout clocked in at an unprecedented eighty-five percent, with a mere ten point split between those in favor of independence and those against. Clearly, the nation is still deeply divided on the issue, but the people have spoken and the matter is more or less settled, for the time being, at least.

I’ve been really hesitant to weigh in on this issue, as there are so many dimensions to it that I don’t fully understand, and a number of incredibly compelling arguments were made both for and against independence. (For a great breakdown of the whole affair, check out Sam Seder’s recent interview with John Nichols of The Nation by clicking here.) The future of Scotland was unclear no matter which direction the people decided to take it it, but my gut tells me that what appears to be the final motivation of the “no” vote – a pledge by UK leaders David Cameron, Ed Miliband, and Nick Clegg of unprecedented autonomy, authority, and concessions for Scotland’s Parliament and her people in exchange for remaining members of the kingdom - smells like so much rotten haggis.

The pledge was hastily penned in the final days before the vote was cast in an effort to placate the public, when the tide suddenly shifted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. It was a reactionary maneuver, and one that will be difficult for UK leaders to live up to, if they’re even willing to try. With the kingdom preserved and the referendum over for another generation, there’s little to no compelling interest in honoring the pledge, and if we know anything about politics at all, we know that magnanimity almost always takes a backseat to pragmatism when the rubber meets the road. Once the nationalist fever subsides and the media loses interest in this story, chances are the UK will go back to business as usual, with the Scots having provided a powerfully tragic example of “nothing ventured, nothing gained” on the world stage. So much for caber tossing in the 2016 Olympics.

Inspirado has gone electric. #studio #guitar #lyrics #music

Inspirado has gone electric. #studio #guitar #lyrics #music

The GOP’s Agenda Is About Solving Problems That Don’t Exist

What the author doesn’t really explain here is why. Why this particular tactic? More importantly, based upon the examples she mentioned, why has it been so effective?

The GOPs concern trolling works because, like everyone else, their base needs problems to solve. Many of them are, believe it or not,  actually nice, normal people, if not especially reasonable on certain subjects. And they want to do something. They want to “help” people, in whatever capacity they can. But their party leaders don’t want their help; they just want their votes. The only people the GOP are interested in supporting are their donors and the think-tanks who love them. The problem is, you can’t get the public to vote for you without making them believe that they can accomplish something positive on your behalf. So what do you do? Bait and switch with a bunch of fake problems and scandals that satisfy the public’s need to participate while allowing party leaders the wiggle room to essentially do what they damned well please. It doesn’t matter how many holes you poke in their theories, or how many axes you grind against the convoluted illogic…because the foot soldiers of the conservative movement never actually engage with an enemy that exists, only with the titanic liberal straw man that exists solely in their imagination, threatening to destroy everything they believe in. Without that construct, their imaginary problems and draconian measures fall completely apart, immediately exposing them for the charlatans they are.

Chris Mooney’s “smart idiot” effect in action. Confirmation bias and motivated reasoning have taken on ridiculous dimensions in the Information Age, far greater than I think anyone could have anticipated.

Chris Mooney’s “smart idiot” effect in action. Confirmation bias and motivated reasoning have taken on ridiculous dimensions in the Information Age, far greater than I think anyone could have anticipated.

Too good (dumb? Whatever) not to share.

Too good (dumb? Whatever) not to share.

Don’t you wish YOU were in on the joke?

Don’t you wish YOU were in on the joke?

sanjosepeace:

BARBY ULMER - South African vs. Israeli Apartheid - 9/12/14 - San Jose Peace And Justice Center

Apart from enforcing separate and unequal standards and spaces for different peoples, how do South Africa and Israeli apartheid compare in terms of historical development, ideology, implementation and resistance? These questions and many more were answered during “South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Shattering The Myths,” a lecture hosted by Our Developing World (www.magiclink.net/~odw/) and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center on September 12th, 2014.

Barby Ulmer, co-founder of Our Developing World, has been working on the ground in South Africa since the 1970s, and recently traveled to Israel and Palestine to witness the differences first hand. She returned with a number of alarming revelations regarding the historical similarities between South  African apartheid and Israel’s systematic, institutionalized discrimination of the Palestinian people. For more information on Barby Ulmer, as well as her work with Our Developing World, please visit the San Jose Peace And Justice Center Website, www.sanjosepeace.org.

sanjosepeace:

VIC ULMER (AUDIO) - South African vs. Israeli Apartheid - 9/12/14 - San Jose Peace & Justice Center

Apart from enforcing separate and unequal standards and spaces for different peoples, how do South Africa and Israeli apartheid compare in terms of historical development, ideology, implementation and resistance? These questions and many more were answered during “South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Shattering The Myths,” a lecture hosted by Our Developing World (www.magiclink.net/~odw/) and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center on September 12th, 2014.

Vic Ulmer, co-founder of Our Developing World, has been working on the ground in South Africa since the 1970s, and recently traveled to Israel and Palestine to witness the differences first hand. He returned with a number of alarming revelations regarding the historical similarities between South African apartheid and Israel’s systematic, institutionalized discrimination of the Palestinian people. For more information on Vic Ulmer, as well as his work with Our Developing World, please visit the San Jose Peace And Justice Center Website, www.sanjosepeace.org.

sanjosepeace:

DR. SHARAT LIN (AUDIO) - South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Part One - 9/12/14

Apart from enforcing separate and unequal standards and spaces for different peoples, how do South Africa and Israeli apartheid compare in terms of historical development, ideology, implementation and resistance? These questions and many more were answered during “South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Shattering The Myths,” a lecture hosted by Our Developing World (www.magiclink.net/~odw/) and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center on September 12th, 2014.

Dr. Sharat G. Lin is one of the founders of the San Jose Peace And Justice Center, and a long-time advocate for Palestinian independence. He has extensively studied the rise of apartheid in both South Africa and Israel, exploring the way in which the two systems of oppression influenced one another in both development and practice.

This is Part One of Dr. Lin’s lecture; for Part Two, please visit the following link: http://youtu.be/uHtITB8J1eA

sanjosepeace:

DR. SHARAT LIN (AUDIO) - South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Part Two - 9/12/14 

Apart from enforcing separate and unequal standards and spaces for different peoples, how do South Africa and Israeli apartheid compare in terms of historical development, ideology, implementation and resistance? These questions and many more were answered during “South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Shattering The Myths,” a lecture hosted by Our Developing World (www.magiclink.net/~odw/) and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center on September 12th, 2014.

Dr. Sharat G. Lin is one of the founders of the San Jose Peace And Justice Center, and a long-time advocate for Palestinian independence. He has extensively studied the rise of apartheid in both South Africa and Israel, exploring the way in which the two systems of oppression influenced one another in both development and practice.

This is Part Two of Dr. Lin’s lecture; for Part One, please visit the following link: http://youtu.be/94kkq9Az6_Q

sanjosepeace:

BARBY ULMER - BDS Strategies In Theory And Practice - South African vs. Israeli Apartheid - 9/12/14 

Apart from enforcing separate and unequal standards and spaces for different peoples, how do South Africa and Israeli apartheid compare in terms of historical development, ideology, implementation and resistance? These questions and many more were answered during “South African vs. Israeli Apartheid: Shattering The Myths,” a lecture hosted by Our Developing World (www.magiclink.net/~odw/) and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center on September 12th, 2014.

Barby Ulmer, co-founder of Our Developing World, has been working on the ground in South Africa since the 1970s, and recently traveled to Israel and Palestine to witness the differences first hand. She returned with a number of alarming revelations regarding the historical similarities between South African apartheid and Israel’s systematic, institutionalized discrimination of the Palestinian people. At the close of the evening, Mrs. Ulmer spoke on the history of the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions (BDS) movement in South Africa, and how the same tactics are being used today to end Israeli apartheid.

For more information on Barby Ulmer, as well as her work with Our Developing World, please visit the San Jose Peace And Justice Center Website, www.sanjosepeace.org.