By Nathan Barton
Four stories this week point out that the European Union is showing definite signs of cracking up. Among other stories, the Global Economic Analysis Blog discusses the defeat (“Heavy regional losses”) that angry voters handed Spain’s ruling party, voting for a variety of “new parties,” and no doubt making Madrid wonder if they shouldn’t have let Catalonia hold its vote on independence recently. The Spanish economy will supposedly grow at three percent. The bad news is Spanish unemployment is well over 20 percent and is also expected to stay that way. Polish voters elected a Eurosceptic as president, as disenchantment with Brussels spreads, according to the Blog. Andrzej Duda outed president Bronislaw Komorowski, the pro-Brussels incumbent centrist Civic Platform party president, in an election over the weekend. Komorowski was expected to win. Also according to the Global Economic Analysis Blog, one way or another the crisis in Greece is highly likely to come to a head in June. The country’s interior minister says that Greece will default on the June IMF repayment, and this further heightens the likelihood that Greece will split off.
And finally, an E-mail mistake reveals Bank of England’s EU exit research, which must mean that those hardnosed bankers are taking the possibility seriously, according to the BBC. The Bank of England confirms it is researching the financial risks of the UK leaving the EU after an e-mail discussing it and the need for secrecy was accidentally sent to a newspaper. Honestly, it couldn’t happen to a better bunch of people: the EU is starting to resemble a Fourth Reich more and more, in which Germans are just as enslaved as the rest of the European peoples.
Campus Reform reports that a former active-duty Marine who served two combat tours in Iraq and is diagnosed with combat-related PTSD was suspended from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi after he requested to meet with a non-Muslim counselor in the school’s Office of Counseling and Disability Services. What makes this particularly upsetting is that Mississippi College is NOT a state-run institution of higher education, but a private, Baptist-affiliated college. Their behavior is inexcusable, not least because they hire a Muslim to work as a counselor for supposedly christian students. Apparently the college honors and celebrates Memorial Day: apparently they prefer dead veterans to live ones.
One-man, one-vote? For decades, that has been the Supreme Court mandated rule for states and local governments, forcing virtually every state to modify its constitution, some over and over, and turning states (and local governments) into unitary systems in which localities (local communities) are ignored and stripped of autonomy. The SCOTUS ruling was based on their definition of what it means to guarantee each state a “republican form of government.” Now, that definition may change, as a Texan politician’s appeal is being heard by SCOTUS, according to PersonalLiberty.com. The charge is that voting districts under “one-man, one-vote” (perhaps more politically correct “one-person, one-vote”) should NOT be based on total population, but on the population actually qualified to vote: in other words, no felons (who have not had their voting rights restored), no green-card or any other kind of immigrant/guest worker, and no one under the age of 18, plus anyone that has had their voting rights removed for cause (insanity, senility, etc.). Although the case involves a local voting district, if the nazgul rule in favor of district by qualified voter instead of total population, there is no reason for the ruling NOT to apply to allocation of seats in the US House of Representatives as well, and that could see states like California, Florida, and even Texas itself lose seats, due to high immigrant/non-naturalized numbers, and booming populations of Hispanics and others with large underage numbers. On a local and state level, it could see large inner-city, ghetto areas (with high numbers of children, immigrants and felons) also “lose” to areas with more law-abiding, older citizens. So you can imagine that the Transis are going to fight this in court big-time. Now, if voting really made any difference at all, this could be very important.
Sadly, as pointed out by our friends at Laissez Faire this week, based on an April 2014 study, Princeton University researchers found that public opinion on almost 1800 issues over four decades, even if expressed in elections, did NOT influence government policy. Rather, elected and unelected officials ignored the will “of the people” and instead followed the will of the oligarchs: the elite (including, of course, the elected officials and bureaucrats themselves). So voting makes little or no difference, even if there WERE some vast and critical distinction between the two old parties, and even if once in a while a Ron Paul or similar person is elected. It is called an oligarchy: a form of tyranny just as much as democracy is.
Technology of the future? Gizmag reports that Audi has developed a way to produce true gasoline (benzin in German, petrol in Queen’s English) from biological sources. This is NOT ethanol to blend, but the real petroleum hydrocarbon that both fuels and lubricates internal combustion engines, and is purer and burns cleaner than gasoline produced from natural petroleum hydrocarbons out of the ground. Great new, right? Except for a couple of minor glitches. First, it still takes something like corn, so the same issues arise as with ethanol. Second, their “production” scale is (at least for the next several years) a mere 100 tons per year of 100-octane gasoline. (Regular gasoline is 85-87 octane.) That amounts to roughly 31,000 gallons, which is only about 20 times as much as my family burns in a year. Big deal… at least for now.
One last story, with thanks to Scott, from EmergencyEmail.com. Apparently due to an incredibly stupid mistake, military personnel in several labs have been exposed to live anthrax spores, because live ones and not dead ones were sent. No word on how many UPS or USPS personnel might have been exposed, of course. Stupid is as stupid does.
Mama’s Note: Nobody should have been exposed if they followed universal precautions and decent lab protocol. What I can’t figure out is why they would want to study anthrax to start with.