"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, June 24, 2016

Coming Soon to an Election Near You

Britain has voted to leave the EU, which has pretty much shocked the hell out of everyone. The world is still digesting the results, but what I found very interesting was the campaign of the exit proponents:

The British campaign featured assertions and allegations tossed around with little regard to the facts. Both sides played to emotion, and the most common emotion played upon was fear.

The “Remain” side, citing scores of experts and elite opinion, warned that leaving the bloc, a so-called Brexit, would mean an economic catastrophe, a plunging pound, higher taxes, more austerity and the loss of jobs.

The Leave side warned that remaining would produce uncontrolled immigration, crime and terrorism, with hordes pouring into Britain from Turkey, a country of 77 million Muslims that borders Syria and Iraq and hopes to join the European Union. . . .

In England especially, 85 percent of the population of Britain, many people fell back on national pride, cultural exceptionalism and nostalgia. Many English voters chose to believe the insistence of anti-Europe leaders like Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London and potential challenger to Mr. Cameron, that as a great nation, Britain would be more powerful and successful outside the European Union than inside.
(Emphasis added.)

Sound familiar? I just hope to hell it's not a harbinger of November.

I'm still digesting this -- sadly, it's not something I've been paying much attention to, but the results could shatter the EU, which has already started showing some cracks due to its inability to handle things like the Bush Recession of 2008/09 and the refugee crisis. The first indicator, though, is that the pound took a nosedive and the markets in general are not reacting well to the news.

Via Joe.My.God. It's worth reading the comments there -- Joe has a lot of European readers and their insights are worth knowing.


Lots of repercussions. First, the markets are tumbling:

Global markets buckled as Britain’s vote to leave the European Union drove the pound to the lowest in more than 30 years. U.S. stocks joined the selloff with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 400 points, though losses were roughly half what was signaled overnight.

This is most likely going to have a major impact on Britain's economy:

The vote appears likely to prompt multinational banks to shift significant numbers of jobs from Britain to competing financial centers in the European Union, led by Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and Amsterdam. Many experts assume Brussels will move quickly to restrict trading of euro-denominated assets — a major business for Britain. Prominent banks including JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup warned during the campaign that an exit would cause them to transfer some operations elsewhere.

Scotland is preparing for another referendum on independence:

[First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon said it was "democratically unacceptable" that Scotland faced the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will.

She said the Scottish government would begin preparing legislation to enable another independence vote.

Sinn Fein is pressing for a vote on the reunification of Ireland:

The UK's deicision to leave the EU means Sinn Féin will press for a border vote in the North.

Both Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain in the EU, but the leave campaign was able to convince Wales and England to leave the union.

“We have a situation where the north is going to be dragged out on the tails of a vote in England… Sinn Fein will now press our demand, our long-standing demand, for a border poll,” Sinn Fein’s national chairman Declan Kearney said after the UK as a whole had vote to leave the EU.

Northern Ireland could now be faced with the prospect of customs barriers for trade with the Republic.

(All via Joe.My.God.)

Oh, and Texas wants to secede. Again.

After residents of the UK voted today to leave the European Union, the movement for an independent Texas may be gaining serious momentum, with thousands online calling for a “Texit.”

The largest group agitating for secession is the Texas Nationalist Movement, which has been promoting its own version of Brexit, called Texit, over the past several weeks. The group has taken inspiration from the pro-exit campaign in Britain, noting that the two movements share many of the same principles.

Same principles? You mean like racism, Islamophobia, isolationism, nativism, all that good stuff?

Please, do it. It would do the federal treasury a world of good, and we wouldn't have to deal with Ted Cruz or Louie Gohmert any more.

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