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Mon, 24 Jan 2022
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Scottish independence is winning over uncommitted, says SNP

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© Murdo Macleod
Scottish nationalists say time is on their side as they win over uncommitted voters.
Margie Maxwell is no Scottish nationalist. But she is Glaswegian, and intensely loyal with it. It never occurred to her she would vote for independence. But then the threats were made, to shipyard jobs on the Clyde, to Scotland's right to keep the pound and to her country's economy.

"I fully want independence now. They've had their chance," she said.

There was the speech in February by George Osborne, the chancellor, vetoing any sterling pact between the UK and an independent Scotland. And Maxwell, 57, deeply resented warnings last winter that lucrative Royal Navy warship contracts for Glasgow's critically important shipyards would end if Scotland voted yes to independence.

Stock Down

Starving college students see the ugly truth behind the meritocratic social contract

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© AP Photo/Amy Sancetta
Volunteers fill bags with food for part of their backpack school lunch program.
If you want to know why millennials are far more economically liberal than other generations, consider the news that colleges have started opening on-campus food banks to keep their students from going hungry.

Dozens of food pantries are "cropping up at colleges across the country in recent years as educators acknowledge the struggles many students face as the cost of getting a higher education continues to soar," the Associated Press reported this weekend. Tuition alone, the article notes, "has become a growing burden, rising 27 percent at public colleges and 14 percent at private schools in the past five years, according to the College Board. Add in expenses for books, housing and other necessities of college life and some are left to choose between eating and learning."

Arrow Up

More than 90 percent of Russians approve of Crimea decision

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© RIA Novosti / Mikhail Voskresenskiy
Participants in the "We Are Together" rally and concert to support the residents of the Crimea, at Vasilyevsky Slope, Moscow
Over 90 percent of Russians approve of Crimea becoming a part of the Russian Federation, a poll has revealed as Crimeans voted for integration in Sunday's referendum.

Only 5 percent of Russians oppose the Autonomous Republic of Crimea joining Russia, while 91.4 percent of respondents said they welcome the idea, according to a joint poll by Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) and Public Opinion Fund (FOM). Both in Moscow and in the northern capital - St Petersburg - the idea is favored by 89 percent of citizens.

Meanwhile, 86 percent of respondents already consider Crimea - home to an ethnic Russian majority - a part of Russia.

Dollars

Average healthcare premiums have soared 39%-56% post Obamacare

Health Care Ad
© Washington Examiner
It's been a couple months since I last updated readers on the epic disaster that is Obamacare. In case you need a refresher, here is the last article I published on the law: Computer Security Expert Claims he Hacked the ObamaCare Website in 4 Minutes.

Moving along, we now have some details on the average premium increase for non-Obamacare health plans following the implementation of the law, and the results are not pretty.

According to a cost report from eHealthInsurance, premiums have increased by between 39%-56%.

USA

Pennsylvania private school says strip search is OK

Private School
© Courthouse News
Harrisburg - Officials at the Milton Hershey School strip-searched a student in the mistaken belief she had a cell phone, then told her mother that the girl "does not have constitutional rights because she is in a private school," the girl and her mom claim in court.

The mother, Trina Howze, and her daughter sued the Milton Hershey School, its Student Home Affiliate Michael Randolph, and C.W.'s student home supervisors Kenneth Wilson and Tysha Wilson, in Federal Court.

Milton Hershey School is a "cost-free, private, coeducational home and school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students from the families of low income, limited resources and social need operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," according to the complaint.

Howze's daughter, C.W., had lived at and attended the Milton Hershey School for nearly four years when she was strip searched at the school in June 2013, according to the complaint.

The Wilsons and Randolph suspected she had a smartphone, "which was prohibited contraband within the Wilsons' student home," the complaint states.

Briefcase

Young banker's suicide becomes twelfth in financial world this year

 Kenneth Bellando ()
© image from Facebook
A New York City investment banker is dead after allegedly jumping from his apartment building, continuing an alarming streak of suicides that has descended upon the financial world.

The latest death occurred on March 12, when 28-year-old Kenneth Bellando was found on the sidewalk outside his six-story Manhattan apartment building.

According to the Daily Mail, police investigators said the case was still under investigation, but that they do not suspect a third party to be involved and that Bellando - who had been working for Levy Capital since January - likely took his own life.

Before moving into his last position, the New York Post reported Bellando worked as an investment banker at JP Morgan Chase. His brother, John Bellando, also works at JP Morgan as an investment officer; the Post stated that multiple emails by John Bellando were presented as evidence during Senate hearings regarding the "London Whale" trading scandal.

Kenneth Bellando's death now marks the 12th time this year that an employee in the financial world has taken his or her own life around the globe. Bellando graduated from Georgetown University in 2007, and is the youngest banking professional to commit suicide this year.

Cut

After the Crimea referendum Catalonia is getting ready to divorce Spain

Catalonian independence
© EPA
The referendum in Crimea is the first plebiscite in Europe dedicated to the issue of independence scheduled to take place this year. After Crimea, Scotland and Catalonia are planning to declare their right to self-determination. Enrique Ravello, a member of the Spanish parliament, even took part in the Crimean referendum as an observer. Back in January 2013 the parliament of Catalonia adopted the Declaration of sovereignty of that autonomous region, which allowed its citizens to independently determine its political future.

When talking of the separatism in Spain, one thinks of the Basque people and their organization ETA, which has been responsible for a number of terrorist attacks. But they are not the only ones dreaming of getting from under Madrid's control. Over the past few years, Catalonians have started talking about their right to self-determination. However, unlike the Basque people, they are planning to use only peaceful methods to insist on that right. Catalonians refer to the cultural and linguistic differences between them and other citizens of the kingdom. Below is the commentary of Alexey Kuznetsov, head of the Center for European Studies at the Institute of the World Economy and International Relations.

Saturn

Neil deGrasse Tyson is really starting to scare conservatives‏

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© Raw Story
The wingnut panic over the show Cosmos is incredibly amusing to me. It's understandable, because Neil deGrasse Tyson is really good at being clear and concise about science and he eviscerates right wing attempts to muddy the waters with precision. I particularly liked this quote from an interview on Inquiring Minds: "I claim that all those who think they can cherry-pick science simply don't understand how science works," because science, unlike theology or musical taste, isn't a matter of just taking what you like and leaving the rest behind. What is interesting - and threatening - about Cosmos is it asserts interconnectedness of science. Evolution and the "big bang" theory are inseparable, and knowing how old and vast the universe is makes it much, much easier to understand how evolution works.

Megaphone

Whacko Fox News host Mike Huckabee: Abortion rights? Next will be Holocaust for old people‏

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© Raw Story
Fox News host Mike Huckabee warned last week that abortion rights could lead to a Nazi-style extermination of elderly people in the United States.

"The fact is we live in a country that has always valued the notion that every person has worth and value," the former Arkansas governor said at Susan B. Anthony List's 7th Annual Campaign for Life Gala. "And I want us to be reminded of what takes place when a country begins to devalue any group of its citizens for any cause whatsoever. Once the devaluation of a certain segment of the population occurs, whether it is because of gender, religion, race, creed, color - or the age of gestation - then anything is possible."

Huckabee said he visited the notorious Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz earlier this year.

Cloud Lightning

Lunatic Christian radio host: God could smite Bill Maher, but He's Merciful‏

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God has every reason to smite comedian Bill Maher for his blasphemous criticism, said the religious-right broadcaster Bryan Fischer, but he's trying to give the outspoken atheist a chance to repent.

Maher declared God a "psychotic mass murderer" in an anti-religion rant Friday on his "Real Time" HBO program in a segment dedicated to the new, biblically inspired film, "Noah."

Fischer, who frequently rails against LGBT people and their supporters, if not demons, said Monday during his radio program that God had given Maher the freedom to say whatever he wanted, but He could - and possibly should - smite the comedian, reported Right Wing Watch.