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A political relationship based on declining historical sentiment

"This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy, in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it's now synonymous with real people power. Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This—one more—glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour." Novelist Irvine Welsh on Scottish independence (SLGuardian) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 21, 2014 - 18 comments

For fifteen hours, we hold sovereignty in our hands

Polls will open in less than twelve hours for a referendum to end the 307-year Union between England and Scotland. With an unprecedented 97% voter registration, including hundreds of thousands of 16 and 17 year olds, there are predictions of turnout well over 80% across the country. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Sep 17, 2014 - 1073 comments

The Original Tea Partier Was an Atheist

Politico: "Young called his creed 'the religion of nature' and 'the religion of nature’s God.' And he made abundantly clear that, in his own mind, this radical philosophical religion was the axis on which the Revolution turned. For him, the project to free the American people from the yoke of King George III was part of a grander project to liberate the world from the ghostly tyranny of supernatural religion." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Sep 2, 2014 - 26 comments

Twenty four days to go

The second televised debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling is to be shown across the UK tonight. After a lacklustre first debate, the final days of the referendum campaign are ticking down. There are signs of growing momentum for the Yes side, with undecideds moving to Yes in some polls and the 'Yes Declaration' recently hitting a million signatures. But the Better Together campaign still has some heavy hitters on side, with Sir Ian Wood recently casting doubt on oil extraction figures he had previously agreed with. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Aug 25, 2014 - 223 comments

A look back at the funky, psychedelic, soulful 70s in Nigeria

According to the Daptone Gold compilation liner notes (auto-playing music, click on "Biography"to read the notes), written by Pitchfork contributor Douglas Wolk, "the world capital of soul" has moved from the US ("between Memphis and Detroit, with occasional stopovers in New Orleans, Cincinnati and elsewhere") in the 1960, to Lagos in the 1970s, then it went into hiding, finally reappearing in Brooklyn, with Daptone Records. Let's go back - why Lagos in the 1970s? [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 comments

The Great Yes No Don't Know 5 Minute Theatre Show

The National Theatre of Scotland is spending 24 hours staging and live streaming 185 five minute plays on the subject of independence, created by people all over Scotland and beyond, as a creative reflection on the forthcoming independence referendum. [more inside]
posted by penguin pie on Jun 24, 2014 - 1 comment

"Je suis très, très fier"

Portrait of a Young Man with Down Syndrome. A father reflects on his son's search for employment.
posted by zarq on May 27, 2014 - 53 comments

Unrecognized state continues to exist anyway

Somaliland is an odd land. In global limbo since its birth, it continues to develop economically and socially in a reasonably stable and secure environment. Recently, the British town of Sheffield was the first to recognize its very existence as an independent country. In the meantime, the capital Hargeisa city, which has only one paved road, recently installed streetlights for the first time, and an enterprising entrepreneur returned home from Australia to start a familiar city service - the yellow cab. Investors and businesses have started paying attention while the major powers still prefer to pretend it doesn't exist. Even while experts debate whether their model can be utilized in far more volatile Somalia, Hargeisa's residents want you to know they are Happy.
posted by infini on Apr 6, 2014 - 13 comments

Scotland is an unwon cause.

It is beginning to be appreciated, even in London, that Alex Salmond might just win his independence referendum in September. The break-up of Britain will have begun, David Cameron will have to contemplate being Prime Minister of a rump country — and HMS Britannia will be sunk, not with a bang but a whimper.
posted by Chrysostom on Feb 6, 2014 - 115 comments

I'm not your Tiger Mom

Thirteen years ago, about to enter fourth grade, Cheng Cheng was approached by her mother. “I’m not your real mother. I’m just providing for your education up until you finish university. After that, don’t count on my help anymore." [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Sep 19, 2013 - 54 comments

In global politics, playing by the rules doesn’t always help.

Western Sahara: Why Africa’s last colony can’t break free
posted by infini on Jun 19, 2013 - 20 comments

He said he would welcome a million American soldiers to come in

On July 17, 1945, the OSS Deer Team, led by Major A. K. Thomas, was parachuted in the jungle 200 km north of Hanoi, to make contact with a mysterious group of resistance fighters willing to help the US against the Japanese. They were greeted cordially by the group leader, "Mr C. M. Hoo", a sick-looking older man, and his acolyte "Mr Van", a dapper man wearing a white linen suit and a black fedora (and he did like his fedora). From mid-July to the Japanese capitulation, the Deer Team trained Hoo's ragtag band, provided them with explosives and small arms and followed them during skirmishes. They also allegedly saved Ho(o)'s life. Major Thomas' full report on the Deer Mission (including the FPP title and the line Forget the Communist Bogy) is buried in the 1972 Hearings on the causes of the Vietnam war (see also the same events according to Henri Prunier, last surviving member of the Deer Team). [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Mar 14, 2013 - 23 comments

You can't eat scenery

The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence. Other reporting in the Telegraph, Guardian and the Scottish Sun. The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 15, 2012 - 109 comments

Colonial sunset

The Foreign Office’s “guilty secret” revealed Thousands of documents detailing some of the most shameful acts and crimes committed during the final years of the British empire were systematically destroyed to prevent them falling into the hands of post-independence governments. Those papers that survived were flown back to Britain and hidden for 50 years in a secret Foreign Office archive in breach of legal obligations for them to be transferred into the public domain. The Guardian details some of those papers released earlier this week. [more inside]
posted by infini on Apr 21, 2012 - 34 comments

Sharing is caring, isn't it?

On the 6th of December 2011, as has been traditional for the past 9 decades since Finland's Independence, the President, Tarja Halonen and her spouse, Dr Pentti Arajarvi host what is known as the Linnan juhlat or Castle Ball, an extremely popular televised reception for the notables of the nation. Along with the usual dignitaries, the President is also permitted to select invitees based on merit - entertainers, athletes, individuals - whom she feels have been in the news in the past year. This year Peter and Teija Vesterbacka also were invited due to Peter Vesterbacka's work as the CMO of Rovio. Teija Vesterbacka wore a red dress for the evening that had design concepts from one of the birds in the mobile game Angry Birds. Highlighted in the Finnish news by the very select group of photographers permitted entry to this exclusive event, it was when the photograph of this dress went viral among global MSM that the angry birds began to fly.
posted by infini on Dec 8, 2011 - 29 comments

Independence

"You can imagine the effect of feeling that if you open your mouth you will sound wrong, that you are somehow thinking wrongly in your own head. Instilling such a feeling is one of the most fundamental ways to control a population. Now imagine what happens when the feeling stops – that miracle." - writer Al Kennedy (Oranges are not the only fruit) in the Guardian talks about Scottish cultural identity, especially relevant in terms of possible Scottish Independence.
posted by sgt.serenity on Nov 29, 2011 - 76 comments

Let Facts be submitted to a candid world

The Declaration of Independence is perhaps the most masterfully written state paper of Western civilization. As Moses Coit Tyler noted almost a century ago, no assessment of it can be complete without taking into account its extraordinary merits as a work of political prose style. Although many scholars have recognized those merits, there are surprisingly few sustained studies of the stylistic artistry of the Declaration. This essay seeks to illuminate that artistry by probing the discourse microscopically -- at the level of the sentence, phrase, word, and syllable. The University of Wisconsin's Dr. Stephen E. Lucas meticulously analyzes the elegant language of the 235-year-old charter in a distillation of this comprehensive study. More on the Declaration: full transcript and ultra-high-resolution scan, a transcript and scan of Jefferson's annotated rough draft, the little-known royal rebuttal, a thorough history of the parchment itself, a peek at the archival process, a reading of the document by the people of NPR and by a group of prominent actors, H. L. Mencken's "American" translation, Slate's Twitter summaries, and a look at the fates of the 56 signers.
posted by Rhaomi on Jul 4, 2011 - 72 comments

WHEN things get so balled up . . .

"The Declaration of Independence in American," by H.L. Mencken. "When things get so balled up that the people of a country got to cut loose from some other country, and go it on their own hook, without asking no permission from nobody, excepting maybe God Almighty, then they ought to let everybody know why they done it, so that everybody can see they are not trying to put nothing over on nobody." Why we did what we did. In American, so everyone can understand.
posted by John of Michigan on Jul 4, 2010 - 26 comments

Isla del encanto?

With all the dust that's been* riled up by Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor (previously), everyone is suddenly taking an interest in Puerto Rico. A basic question that may come up is why we're there in the first place. Understanding that, we can see how the complicated relationship has played out between Puerto Rico, the US, and, most recently, the United Nations. Although the UN has urged the US to take steps towards establishing Puerto Rico's sovereignty, referendums held on the island have overwhelmingly preferred the status quo and the US has been indifferent at best. But independence activists, after a twenty-year decline, may be on the rise. The island's current governor, Luis Fortuño, is pro-statehood. But the whole issue has taken a back seat since plans have been made to fire 30,000 government workers, privatize some public services, and sell some the the government's US$3.2 billion debt. [more inside]
posted by krikkit261 on Jun 10, 2009 - 26 comments

Are you there, God? It's me, Medvedev

Why I had to recognise Georgia’s breakaway regions, by Dmitry Medvedev.
posted by stammer on Aug 27, 2008 - 138 comments

Getting It Right

Denmark: Flush With Energy.
posted by chuckdarwin on Aug 10, 2008 - 47 comments

A New World Is At Hand

These are the documents that started it all. The Charters of Freedom. As the USA celebrates another Independence Day, the National Archives presents the historical development of the Declaration, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and their impact upon the nation and the world.
posted by netbros on Jul 4, 2008 - 56 comments

Raise your flag!

Björk, in Shanghai, on Tibet: Declare Independence! [YouTube] [more inside]
posted by finite on Mar 6, 2008 - 80 comments

Welcome To [insert your name here]Land!

How To Start Your Own Country In Four Easy Steps. You’ve picked out a flag, written a national anthem, even printed up money with your face on it. But what’s the next step?
posted by amyms on Feb 27, 2008 - 33 comments

Lakota Indians Declare Independence

The Lakota People have withdrawn from their treaties with the United States, citing numerous violations of those treaties by the US. They plan to start their own country, issuing passports and drivers' licenses and living tax-free.
posted by JDHarper on Dec 20, 2007 - 222 comments

Happy Sixtieth!

The largest democracy in the world celebrates its 60th anniversary, in a year which saw horrendous floods, the election of its first woman president (previously mentioned here), the signing of the 123 Nuclear Agreement, and the recent victory over England after a span of 21 years.
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 15, 2007 - 23 comments

Calling all Americans!

Why not celebrate our Independence Day with the violent overthrow of the government? Some say they want a revolution, others would rather secede. Should we stay or should we go?
posted by Eideteker on Jul 4, 2007 - 40 comments

Bjork: Declare Independence!

Don't let them do that to you! (youtube) A punky Bjork boosts the cause for Faroese independence and gives the first mainstream showcase for the (aforementioned) ReacTable. 45,000 Faroe islanders are sitting on in the middle of an oil field worth a potential $84 billion; Denmark is reluctant to loose them.
posted by rongorongo on Jun 12, 2007 - 48 comments

Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin from the Intercontinental Radio News.

Belgium is no more. Flanders has unilaterally declared independence, and the king has left the country in protest, RTBF reports.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 14, 2006 - 54 comments

Freedom at Midnight

Freedom at Midnight - At midnight, on the night of August 14th 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru claimed Independence from the British in New Delhi, India. 58 years later today, India along with China is in the mainstream news media as a "super power to be". While there is much discussion on how exactly all of this will play out in the near future, there are also some concerns as to whether this is nothing more than an updated version of the "burgeoning middle class of 140 million people" that sent numerous multinationals to unsuccessfully launch new products in this emerging market. However this tryst with destiny plays out, Happy Birthday India.
posted by infini on Aug 14, 2005 - 16 comments

When in the course of human events

The Declaration of Independence It's meant to be read aloud
posted by warbaby on Jul 4, 2005 - 46 comments

Happy 138th!

Happy birthday Canada!
posted by Bag Man on Jul 1, 2005 - 18 comments

F*ck Big Media

F*ck Big Media, Rolling Your Own Network If a well-informed public is the necessary prerequisite to the democratic process, then we must frankly admit that any private ownership of public airwaves represents a potential threat to the free exchange of ideas. Now that private property has mostly collectivized the electromagnetic spectrum, and with little hope that this will soon change, we must look elsewhere to find a common ground for the public discourse. We are fortunate that such ground already exists.
posted by tranceformer on Oct 4, 2004 - 19 comments

July, Independence, and related Holidays

Independence Days Worldwide. Happy Independence Week, Bahamas! or What else happens in July? There's a lot of independence holidays, as there was a fair bit of colonialism to get out from under during the 19th/20th centuries. And most countries in general have important victories and events to celebrate... many of us are familiar with Bastille Day and Cinco de Mayo, for example. The dates aren't so much important as the realization of the stories and struggles that have gone on and still go on around the world, but the dates are a place to start.
posted by namespan on Jul 4, 2003 - 6 comments

Canada's long term viability in question amongst canadians

Canada's long term viability in question amongst canadians "only 30 per cent of Canadians are certain we will have an independent country 25 years from now". Sure it's a link about canada, but I'm sure it has plenty of North American and Global relevance, doesn't it?
posted by canucklehead on Sep 6, 2002 - 28 comments

Meanwhile in Small town news,

Meanwhile in Small town news, the city of Independence, Missouri is holding a battle on adding fluoride to the water. Don't say you didn't expect odd quotes from people: "We have the best water in the area as far as solids and softness go, I myself have been drinking this water for over 30 years, and I have every tooth in my mouth that God gave me, except the four the Marine Corps took away from me years ago.", I, myself, trust one authority on this, Jack D. Ripper. ;)

So... Fluoride: good, bad or neither?
posted by RobbieFal on Sep 4, 2002 - 40 comments

Sunday, Bloody Sunday...

Sunday, Bloody Sunday... On the night of 30 January 1972, Murray Sayle was sent by the Sunday Times to Londonderry to report on the fatal shooting of 14 unarmed civil rights marchers by British Army Paratroopers. The article he wrote diverged from the official line; it was never printed. Twenty-six years later, his lost copy was unearthed by the new Inquiry. In what follows, he returns to Derry to give evidence. His original article is reproduced in full, along with a map marking the locations of the dead and wounded, and a memo Sayle wrote to the editor of the Sunday Times when the article failed to appear.
posted by dejah420 on Sep 4, 2002 - 17 comments

Bougainville Rebels, PNG Sign Comprehensive Autonomy Deal

Bougainville Rebels, PNG Sign Comprehensive Autonomy Deal
The deal, following two years of dialogue and almost a decade of violence, will culminate in a referendum on independence in 10 years. When fully implemented, it will give Bougainville broad autonomy in legislation, judiciary, and its own police force. Bougainvilleans fight for secession stems from PNG's distribution of revenue from gold mines on the island. Kabui's remarks at the signing emphasized the Bougainvillean identity and culture that autonomy would protect.
posted by rschram on Aug 31, 2001 - 5 comments

'XIAMEN: A senior Beijing researcher on Taiwan affairs yesterday called for immediate measures to resist an ongoing bid by the island to promote its cultural independence..'. [More]
posted by Kino on Jun 26, 2001 - 11 comments

Notice of Revocation of Independence

Notice of Revocation of Independence appears to be spamming all over email. I found it in several listbots and egroups, and after some intensive searching I think I may have found the original source but I'm guessing and may be wrong. Very funny, very telling, and with more than a grain of wake up call to it. Considering how we take our freedom for granted in America, I question whether or not we really deserve it any longer.
posted by ZachsMind on Nov 22, 2000 - 15 comments

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