Friday, June 24, 2016

June 24, 2016 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

Brexit:

Of course, the big news for today is that the UK voted to leave the European Union. The UK has always had one foot out the door inasmuch as it had not adopted the Euro but retained its own currency. But the meddlesome and onerous nature of the EU appears to have finally alienated enough of the voters to decide to walk away. Again, I see this as a general realization that the cost of complexity had exceeded the benefits of that complexity. It probably won't stop there, as Scotland will likely reconsider its independence. Some articles:

First — technically speaking — the referendum is not legally binding. In theory, Cameron, who plans to leave by October, could ignore the will of a slight majority of voters, and not make any moves to exit the political and economic bloc.
    But Cameron, who led the campaign to remain in the EU, is likely to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which begins the legal process for leaving the bloc.
      "The British people have made the very clear decision to take a different path and as such I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction," he said Friday in a televised address outside his residence. "I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination."
        Once Article 50 is invoked, a series of negotiations would begin about how to disentangle the U.K. from the many EU structures to which it is a party. The process could take two years or more, if both the U.K. and the European Council agree to extend the discussion period.
          Cameron has said this process would be irreversible.
            "We should be clear that this process is not an invitation to rejoin, it is a process for leaving," he said in February.
              Some have suggested that British leadership could avoid invoking Article 50 all together, and would instead attempt to negotiate a different — not entirely separate — relationship with the EU.

              Firearms/Self-Defense:
              Other Stuff:
              Many Americans do not think of the right to keep and bear arms as a civil right, but they are mistaken. It helps to understand things from the point of view of the Founders and the 18th-century radical liberals whose ideas shaped our republic. Prior to the American founding, the right to keep and bear arms was generally limited to the aristocracy; it was, like the possession of a title or a coat of arms (coat of what?), a bright and dramatic dividing line between the ruling class and the ruled classes, between the Whos and Whoms of society. Arguments about licensing the carry of weapons are hardly new: Caravaggio was arrested for carrying without a license (a sword, in his case) in 1598 near the Piazza Navona in Rome at 3 a.m. 
              The bearing of arms is a sign of citizenship, which is to say, of being a full participant in government who acts through it, as opposed to subjectship, the state of being a passive being who does not act through government but who is acted upon. In that sense, it is like the ability to vote or to be eligible for service in government. Frederick Douglass understood this linkage perfectly, inasmuch as these ideas were much better understood in those more literate days. “A man’s rights rest in three boxes,” he said. “The ballot box, jury box, and the cartridge box. Let no man be kept from the ballot box because of his color. Let no woman be kept from the ballot box because of her sex.” The militias contemplated by the Second Amendment were armed citizen volunteers who could act to use the force of arms to keep the peace in an emergency; they are entitled to act in the peacekeeping role generally reserved for the state because, being the citizens of a republic, they are the state, the very seat of its sovereignty. The formal government is a provisional arrangement (hence regular elections) constituted as a convenience. While the Second Amendment may not codify a “right of revolution,” as some put it, the idea of armed citizens pushing out a government that had become inconvenient, a burden on their liberties rather than a guarantor of them, could hardly have been alien to a group of men who had just risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor doing just that.
                Until just a few months ago, I was one of those red, white, and blue optimists who firmly believed that the United States could survive damage done by whatever idiots an apathetic electorate put in charge. I terribly underestimated two things: the Democrats’ contempt for the Constitution and the Republicans’ commitment to losing, even when they win.

                  Now that we’re about three quarters through an elaborate falling dominoes design that will probably end up looking like a hammer and sickle, all I have to say is that you should enjoy the last few months of America because there is one thing of which I am now certain: the republic as we have enjoyed it will cease to exist after the next election.
                    No, I don’t mean “America” will be gone, rather the America we’ve known.
                    Throughout its history, American society has been tolerant of and even supportive of the identity politics of various minority groups, from the Irish and Italians a century ago to Hispanics and Asians today. This tradition has been good for the country, overall, in that it has encouraged assimilation while making our society more dynamic. But if we are moving toward “majority-minority” status in many states and localities, we should probably expect to see a rise in white identity politics as well. It’s hard to argue that this would similarly salutary, or that the balkanization of American society along racial and ethnic lines will make the country a better place.

                    2 comments:

                    1. Re: Brexit: I believe the "straw that broke the camel's back" was Angela Merkel's welcoming of the Muslim hijra into Europe. The hijra may ultimately be responsible for the breakup of the EU.

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                      Replies
                      1. I agree. Not only that she invited them in, but that operating within EU rules, the UK could do nothing to stop it.

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