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European Union


Brexit vote proved UK citizens are more stupid than Americans. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2016 v10n1p0626

The statement that voting to leave the European Union proves that UK citizens are more stupid than Americans came from an Australian commentator, Richard O'Brien. A lot of statements have been published since Jun 24, 2016 04:00am GMT when the results of the UK referendum was called for Brexit.

I read through the arguments about leaving, Brexit, or staying, Remain, and was most convinced by the Guardian video I posted below earlier in June, and published an essay about why remaining was a good idea. You can read it below.

Unfortunately, the nature of who I am and what I write about is likely only to be seen and read by highly educated folks, and they were not the folks who voted for Brexit. 

Folks in the north of England, which was once highly industrialized and humming, they voted to leave the EU, they voted for Brexit. These folks feel disenfranchised and left out of the honey pot that overflows in London where living quarters would cost them the wages of several lifetimes. For once in their life, these folks were given a chance to do more than press their noses against glass, they were given at a whack at a ball, and decided that all their misery was due to Europe. Because England, with its long history of hanging, transporting, colonizing, clapping into military service as many poor as possible, England could not be the cause of their lack of opportunity, their discontent. It had to be the foreigners.

I have difficulty believing that all those geniuses who went to wonderful universities could not make a convincing argument to convince the angry Brexit voters that Remain was in their best interest. 

What hit me forcefully is that altering rules, regulations, jobs, alliances could be subject to a 50:50 vote. In the US we require a majority of 60%, maybe more, for every region, to change the constitution. And this referendum was equivalent to that. 

I had forgotten how stupid most people are; willing to opt for the easier solution because it takes less energy. Biting off your nose to spite your face. My Dodgson ancestors who were foundations of the London financial system and hence railways, they are twirling in their graves. And they all spoke German and French.

But did the majority of voters really vote to leave the EU? From reports from voters in the UK, parts of London were flooded and public transport was shut down. Which suggests that horrible weather related to climate change affected the election, and no allowances were made for voters being unable to vote. 

But indeed is all lost? Is the UK splitting off from the EU (European Union) inevitable? Perhaps not.

On Friday Jun 24 2016 a petition was started for a debate in UK parliament over the referendum results. The petition calls for a second referendum on the grounds that under 75% of the electorate voted, and of these, under 60% voted for Brexit.

Another possible rescue could be from the UK parliament. To leave the EU, an act has to be passed in parliament that triggers the Lisbon Treaty Article 50, at which time the clock starts ticking and the would-be exiter has exactly 2 years to exit. 

The problem with this is first, that both sides of the aisle did not want to leave the EU, and members of parliament supporting Brexit may be too few to pass an act. Second, senior leadership in both the governing Conservative Party and the Opposition Labor Party have both collapsed in the wake of the referendum. 

I am hoping that indeed this whole business ends up not in severing ties with the European Union, but as a midsummer nightmare. A really bad scare that makes everyone try harder. Because 71 years without Germany trying to kill my relatives is a really good innings. I want them working together, making up rules. Not machine gunning down each other.
Brexit: or Remain? SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2016 v10n1p0602

I grew up in the shadow of World War II and heard nonstop about what Germany did and how they cannot be trusted. German prosperity in postwar years  sticks in the throats of the less fortunate: why are they doing better than us? 

Because, my child, if Germany did not do better than most of the rest of us, they would be trying to kill us. Get over it. And I know. I married a German, and when he became demented and handicapped, the German courts decided he had of his own free will decided to stop all contact with his only children and family. Whom he adored.

Germans have a very strong feeling that all the rest of us are not terribly human, and do not have the rights of Germans. Luckily, a whole lot of other countries make up the European Union, and slap Germany down when needed. We need to continue that.

Get over your disgust at the European Union, and see what a wonderful job they have been doing. They have streamlined pharmaceutical drug approvals, they have eliminated borders, they have created a single currency which started off being on par with the US dollar, and rapidly became worth more. I am a life scientist, and what made me fall in love with the European Union was the following guidance: "Open access for all publications of research funded by partially or fully public funding, EU initiative". Wow! Spectacular!!!!

Do they need to be more democratic, more accountable? Definitely. The huge costs of maintaining itself could certainly be reduced and democratic representation needs to be improved. The European Union is trying hard to maintain peace and stability, with some success. Their mission is constantly sabotaged by France insisting on monthly 4-day sessions in Strasbourg which is a long drive from Brussels, fishing quotas in Scottish waters that make Scots apoplectic, unbearable cruelty to Greece. However, Germany has not shot at or bombed any of my relatives since 1945. Let us make sure that continues. L'Chaim!
Scotland click here
Wales click here
England click here
Ireland click here
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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



An earthquake in European banking

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



Big tyremakers are regaining their grip

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The established tyremakers have advantages over the industry they serve. They have margins that outstrip even Germany’s luxury carmakers. Supplying manufacturers accounts for only a third of revenues of a typical tyre firm and even less of the profits. The rest comes from replacing tyres on vehicles on the road, which wear out every four years or so.

The expansion of the global vehicle fleet, forecast to grow by around 3.5% a year, helps gradually to reduce firms’ dependence on the cyclical market for new cars. Tyremakers also benefit by selling most of their wares to thousands of distributors. They are fragmented and weak compared with carmakers, and less inclined to drive hard bargains.

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000


China’s growing clout in international economic affairs

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



Companies are racing to add value to water

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000


The Trump administration will review all of America’s trade deals

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



The battle to build Donald Trump’s wall

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



The unusual gap between American and European bond yields

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Instead, the gap may reflect differences in both monetary and fiscal policy. In America the Federal Reserve stopped buying Treasury bonds a while ago and has raised interest rates three times since December 2015; the European...Continue reading

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



Uber is facing the biggest crisis in its short history

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Thu, 23 Mar 2017 15:44:05 +0000



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Wed, 22 Mar 2017 21:08:20 +0000