The vote for Scottish independence

Once again, John Oliver manages to give a tutorial that is both funny and informative on a serious topic. This time it is about the vote that is due to take place on Thursday in Scotland as to whether they will seek independence from the UK. The polls are predicting a close race though I suspect that the ‘no’ vote will ultimately prevail because of the last-minute pandering by the British government that even had the Queen getting into the act, and also because people tend to shy away from the unknown.
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The Thinking Housewife does not like Pope Francis

I decided to wander, as I periodically do, over to The Thinking Housewife to see what that homage site to the mores of the early twentieth century was up to, and found that they are very upset with Pope Francis, using language that is surprisingly harsh for such a genteel site. He is referred to as the ‘Argentine Bomber’, not a true pope (which they reinforce by putting “pope” in scare quotes), and even a ‘scandalous heretic’ because he did not use his trip to the Middle East to try and convert Jews and Muslims. The author has a truly novel view of religious freedom, saying “Religious freedom is no more a human right than walking down a street in the face of ongoing traffic is a human right. No one has the right to be wrong.”
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New Zealand in Snowden’s crosshairs

The so-called ‘Five Eyes’ group of English-speaking nations (US, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) have been revealed to have a secret agreement to spy on each other’s people and exchange information, thus enabling them to claim they do not spy on their own while getting whatever information they want. Up to now, this charade has been ripped open by the Snowden documents explicitly for the first four countries.
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Governments making money by seizing assets

The abuse of the civil asset forfeiture laws where police and local agencies seize the assets of people on the slightest of pretexts without having to get a court order or even charge someone with a crime let alone convict them, has reached such epidemic proportions that mainstream news organizations have started running stories on it, rightly focusing on the fact that this is being used as a source of revenue rather than for fighting crime. Law enforcement agencies have essentially become like organized crime syndicates in a shakedown racket.
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Surprising Republican gambit on birth control

The Republican war on women overlapped with their war on Obamacare when they strenuously opposed the contraception mandate in the law that required health insurance policies to cover contraception. That was at the heart of the Hobby Lobby case, where that company successfully argued that the health insurance policies they offered their employees should not be required to cover birth control because of the owners’ religious objections to it..
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Dangerous road rage

Here is a video of a woman who goes absolutely ballistic at someone whom she thinks cut her off. She drives up and stops in front of him and threatens the other driver and swearing at him like a sailor while having a child, presumably her own, in the front seat of her minivan.
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Minor celebrity ego

I keep promising myself to ignore Sarah Palin’s pathetic attempts to remain relevant but she keeps doing things that suck me into her strange world. The latest is that she and her family seemed to have got into a brawl at a drunken party in Alaska over the weekend that resulted in daughter Bristol repeatedly punching someone, son Track ending up shirtless and threatening someone else, and husband Todd ending up with a bloody nose. In other words, just another fun-filled weekend in the Palin household.
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