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Welcome to PEI Blogs, a list of weblogs (blogs), podcasts,news feeds and Tweets about or located in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada. Use the Add and Change Site buttons to recommend links or changes. Sites with RSS or ATOM syndication will display the last 5 posts. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list of new additions. An aggregation of recent posts to selected sites is displayed on most pages. Click the subject to view the post description, or the blog name to go to it. Click on an entry's podcast graphic to play a podcast.

PEI Blogs is provided as a public service on a non-profit basis. Information comes from individual websites, through syndication, and from Twitter via Twitter Lists, and is displayed automatically by PEI Blogs, who have no control over information posted. Opinions expressed by posters are not those of PEI Blogs. Information posted will not be suitable for all readers, or all age groups. Sites may portray themselves as objective, but present a very biased point of view. Please make your own decisions as to the objectivity of any site.

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Aggregation of selected recently-updated blogs and tweets:

Tuesday September 16, 2014

22:05 lawyer screw up a lawsuit hearing at Oct 7 summerside court (50 Words) » | New Topics
many lawyers just rip off money from their clients.
lack ethics, when they screw up lawsuit, lose their clients' money,
them remove himself, and walk away.
Hearing held at Summerside Supreme Court 108 central Street,Summerside,PE
Tuesday Oct 7 at 9:30.
Welcome to hearing to see whether judge let him go!!!!!....
22:00 Greenwich National Park 3 »justpictureit
20:03 [BLOG] Some Tuesday links »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)

  • blogTO shares pictures from last weekend's Ukrainian Festival.

  • The Broadside Blog's Caitlin Kelly started a discussion of the merits of small town life or vice versa, coming down decidedly against.

  • Centauri Dreams examines the concept of the Venus zone.

  • The Dragon's Tales notes a study suggesting that the Moon's gravity is not high enough for humans to orient themselves.

  • Eastern Approaches looks at the elections in Crimea.

  • Language Hat examines the story of the endangered language Ayapeneco, apparently misrepresented in an ad campaign.

  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that the American left is starting to win on cultural issues.

  • Marginal Revolution notes that the collapse of Scotland's industrial sector has led to a certain deglobalization.

  • The Planetary Society Blog's Emily Lakdawalla notes the discovery of a potential landing site for Rosetta.

  • Torontoist looks at a local model airplane club.

  • Towleroad notes the lead writer of Orange is the New Black has left her husband and begun dating one of her actors.

  • Window on Eurasia suggests many Westerners haven't taken the shift in Russian politics fully into account.

19:05 Smith, Paynter named to Team Canada’s training team »Journal-Pioneer Sports
For 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games
18:05 ideas for volunteer work? (79 Words) » | New Topics
Lately I've been feeling like volunteering some of my time to a worthy cause. I work a mon-fri day job, and would like to volunteer somewhere for a couple of hours on some weekday evenings and possibly some time on weekends. A lot of volunteer opportunities I've come across thus far seem to be more of a daily thing and I haven't found a lot of evenings. Any recommendations, or advice as to where to look?...
18:00 Living the Myth of Deep Change »Robert Paterson's Weblog
No one claims that smoking is good for us anymore. So why do so many still smoke? Why don't they just quit? It is the same with our larger lives. We have become addicted to work and to being busy....
17:45 Storm adds former Harlem Globetrotter »The Guardian - Sports
Trotter was co-MVP of the Global Basketball Summer League Championship in Las Vegas
17:38 Cow killed in crash with vehicle »Journal-Pioneer Local
SPRINGFIELD – A collision between a cow and a car in Springfield, on Route 2, Monday evening ended badly for the bovine.
17:21 Sewer work to close Cornwall street »The Guardian - Local News
CORNWALL — Laura Jean Crescent here will be closed to all traffic Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. to allow for the installation of a new sanitary main on James Street. There will be no access in or out of Laura Jean Crescent during the street closure except to emergency vehicles. Traffic ...
16:54 Alberton wants youth mental health and addictions residential facility »Journal-Pioneer Local
ALBERTON -- The Town of Alberton wants the provincial government to know there is space and interest in Alberton for housing a mental health and addictions residential facility for youth.
16:53 Country heading wrong way, says NDP hopeful Dickieson »Journal-Pioneer Local
O’LEARY – The belief that his country is heading in the wrong direction is what prompted Dr. Herb Dickieson to re-enter politics.
16:53 Oram, Noonan playing in Tournament 12 at Rogers Centre »Journal-Pioneer Sports
TORONTO – Two 17-year-old baseball players from Summerside are playing in this week’s Tournament 12.
16:52 Municipal politics: serving close to the people »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
If you live in an incorporated community in P.E.I., then you might want to mark Nov. 3 on your calendar. That’s the date residents of 73 of Prince Edward Island’s 74 incorporated communities are scheduled to go to polling stations to elect new municipal leaders.
16:41 [URBAN NOTE] "Don’t count out Doug Ford just yet" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Spacing Toronto's John Lorinc makes the point that Doug Ford still might win.

In many ways, Tory is trying to rebuild the Lastman coalition, which has as its core centre-of-the-road midtown and suburban homeowners — some on the right-wing of the Liberal spectrum, and some of the centre-left end of the Tory universe. He also had, and was clearly courting, that subset of red-meat conservatives who agreed with Ford’s program but got tired of his antics, probably because they were getting in the way of delivering on his aforementioned program. Lastly, Tory’s camp almost certainly includes some moderately left-of-centre voters who would normally be members of Chow Nation but have opted to cast their ballots strategically so as to ensure that Rob was gone, once and for all.

That coalition, I’m guessing, is a whole lot less cohesive today than it was last week, and here’s why:

For the red meat conservatives who drifted into Toryland, Doug, surely, is the real deal. While he’ll shoot his mouth off and say impolitic things, he’s not going to run into the bushes and drink vodka, nor is he going to show up on pirated cell phone videos with a crack pipe in hand (if such videos existed, they’d have been in circulation by now). In other words, he’s Rob without the blushing, whereas Tory continues to radiate that kind of wishy-washiness one can contract by hanging around Liberals for too long.

Now, for the Tory supporters who are nose-holding progressives (you know who you are), Chow in the past week or so appears to have started to find her voice and show some passion. Moreover, she’s launched a compelling attack on Tory’s Smart Track scheme, and in fact scored big last week when she vividly demonstrated that his preferred route would pass directly through some building parcels on the former Richview expressway right-of-way on Eglinton Ave. In an election where transit is the dominant policy issue, Chow’s critique seems increasingly credible vis-a-vis Tory’s plan and its questionable financing premises, and that fact alone may be changing some minds.

In other words, Tory’s support could begin bleeding both right and left, creating — at least in the interim — a far closer, and tenser, race than we’ve witnessed to date. Whether Chow can turn her slide around remains to be seen. But what does appear likely is that Tory’s double-digit lead may begin to shrink.
16:38 [LINK] "Dogged By Controversy, A Jewish Sect Is On The Move Again" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
NPR's Ted Robbins writes about the latest migration of the Lev Tahor, which fled Québec following reports of child abuse first to Ontario then left Canada altogether for Guatemala. They do not fit in well there, apparently.

[I]n a culture of brightly colored clothing and clean-shaven men, the black suits and long beards stood out.

"We are different, very different," Goldman said.

Language is part of the barrier. Almost all of the members of Lev Tahor speak Yiddish, Hebrew or English — not Spanish. But Vice Mayor Gusman Ulpan said the Jews threaten Mayan and Christian traditions, as well as newer social policies encouraging small families.

"The problem is cultural. Their culture is contrary to our culture and traditions," Ulpan says. "They tell our women, 'Why do you only have two or three children? It's a sin. You should have as many children as God gives you.' "
16:36 [LINK] "‘Venus Zone': The Anti-Habitable Area Around A Star That Can Breed Hell" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Universe Today's Elizabeth Howell writes about a new paper, "On the Frequency of Potential Venus Analogs from Kepler Data", that examines the whole question of stellar Venus zones. Where must Venuses--broadly Earth-like but very hotel planets--be located in their planetary systems?

“We believe the Earth and Venus had similar starts in terms of their atmospheric evolution,” stated lead author Stephen Kane, an astronomer at San Francisco State University. “Something changed at one point, and the obvious difference between the two is proximity to the Sun.”

The habitable region around a star is poorly understood because scientists don’t quite know what conditions are necessary for life. It usually refers to the area where liquid water is possible, although this also depends on the climate of the planet itself. Clouds, terrain and atmospheric composition are just some of the variables that could affect habitability.

To better figure out where potential Venus-like exoplanets lurk, Kane’s team used data from the planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope and examined solar flux — or how much solar energy a planet gets — to figure out where the Venus zone would be. The zone is then defined between two regions: where a planet could have the “runaway greenhouse effect” seen on Venus, and the spot where the planet is so close to its star that energy would wear away its atmosphere.

The first step would be pinpointing which planets reside within these zones. In future decades, astronomers could then examine the planetary atmospheres with telescopes to learn more about how they are composed — and how similar they are to Earth or Venus. Meanwhile, Kane’s team plans to model if carbon in the planet’s atmosphere could affect the boundaries of the zone.
16:31 [LINK] "Faroe Island Whaling, a 1,000-Year Tradition, Comes Under Renewed Fire" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Jane J. Lee's National Geographic article profiles, with distressingly--but necessarily--graphic pictures, the ongoing controversy over whaling in the Faroes.

One positive sign is that apparently it has become much less an issue of subsistence or economics and more a cultural trait. These can be changed more readily.

The recent arrest of 14 volunteers working to stop whaling in the North Atlantic Ocean's Faroe Islands has focused a spotlight once again on a local tradition stretching back over a thousand years.

Six of the protesters were found guilty this week of interfering with the grindadráp, or grind, as these drive hunts are called, according to a statement released by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The remaining eight will appear in court on September 25. The activist group often makes headlines for the confrontational tactics used by some of its members—such as ramming whaling ships in the ocean around Antarctica.

The organization's campaign to end these hunts began in the 1980s, says Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd, and won't stop until the practice disappears.

During a grind, a flotilla of small boats drives whales or dolphins into a shallow bay where they can be easily killed with knives. Grinds are the longest continuously practiced and relatively unchanged whaling tradition in the world, says Russell Fielding, a geographer from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. He has studied the Faroe Island grinds since 2005.

Other cultures in the Arctic and Europe started whaling long before the Faroese, Fielding says. But they have either stopped or changed their techniques quite a bit.
16:27 [LINK] "Louisiana Loses Its Boot" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Brett Anderson's Medium article about the disappearance of much of south Louisiana as seas rise and shorelines erode, hidden by misleading maps, is a must-read. What actually is the proper coastline of Louisiana? It's rather different from the one we see.

Digital maps have expanded our freedoms to roam, removing much of the fear and hassle inherent in exploring unfamiliar terrain by exponentially decreasing the chances we will become hopelessly lost. But smart phone screens are programmed to spit out the granular information we need to get from point A to B. We don’t look to them to give us the large-scale views of border, land, and water of accurate paper maps. And so it’s becoming harder and harder to communicate the most urgent crisis facing Louisiana.

According to the U.S.G.S., the state lost just under 1,900 square miles of land between 1932 and 2000. This is the rough equivalent of the entire state of Delaware dropping into the Gulf of Mexico, and the disappearing act has no closing date. If nothing is done to stop the hemorrhaging, the state predicts as much as another 1,750 square miles of land — an area larger than Rhode Island — will convert to water by 2064. An area approximately the size of a football field continues to slip away every hour. “We’re sinking faster than any coast on the planet,” explains Bob Marshall, a Pulitzer-winning journalist in New Orleans. Marshall authored the series “Losing Ground,” a recent collaboration between The Lens, a non-profit newsroom, and ProPublica, about the Louisiana coast’s epic demise.

While the kind of state map that might have been useful for navigation or perspective was elusive on the road to Morgan City, the image such maps project — the iconic “boot” shape everyone recognizes as Louisiana — was impossible to escape. The map’s outline was ubiquitous on my drive: on bumper stickers (with the boot standing in for the “L” in “Love”), engulfing T-shirt fronts (my favorite emblazoned with “I drove the Chevy to the levee but the levee was gone”), and glowing on Louisiana-shaped neon beer signs in barroom windows.

But the boot is at best an inaccurate approximation of Louisiana’s true shape and, at worst, an irresponsible lie. It has to be.
15:50 Convicted former youth worker faces new charge »The Guardian - Local News
A former high school youth worker already awaiting sentence on sexual exploitation and drug trafficking charges has been remanded in custody on a new charge. Arthur Francis McGuigan, age 58, of Charlottetown, appeared before a justice of the peace Tuesday for a show cause hearing to determine ...
15:41 Ferguson chosen as top baseball performer »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CHARLOTTETOWN – Pitcher and centre-fielder Lavaughn Ferguson of Nassau, Bahamas, has been selected as the Holland Hurricanes’ baseball player of the week.
15:40 Soccer players named Hurricanes’ athletes of week »Journal-Pioneer Sports
CHARLOTTETOWN – Soccer players Kristin Hood and Ibra Sanoh have been chosen as the Holland Hurricanes’ athletes of the week.
15:38 OMD Construction captures second straight championship at Acadian golf tournament »Journal-Pioneer Sports
Event raises $7,500 for Jeux de l’Acadie athletes
15:36 Public Meeting of Council - Sept. 30, 7pm »City of Charlottetown
2014-09-16 A public meeting is being held on Tuesday, September 30 at 7 p.m. in
15:03 UPDATED: Bedeques amalgamate »Journal-Pioneer Local
Central Bedeque and Bedeque to be known as Community of Bedeque and Area after cabinet approves amalgamation
14:08 Government holding back fish-kill information, NDP alleges »Journal-Pioneer Local
NORTH RIVER – It is unacceptable for the provincial government to hold back information about the cause of the fish kill in the North River watershed from early August, says NDP P.E.I. Leader Mike Redmond.
13:57 RCMP confirm identity of man killed in motorcycle crash »The Guardian - Local News
RCMP have identified the motorcycle driver killed Sunday near Pisquid as 58-year-old Patrick Aeneas MacGillivray of Glenfanning. Kings District RCMP, Island EMS and East River Fire Department responded to a report of a motorcycle crash on Route 22 near Pisquid on Sunday. MacGillivray, who was ...
13:54 Tories need deft hand with Iraq and Senate »Journal-Pioneer Opinion
There are two big elephants in the room as the House of Commons reconvenes its last fall session before the next election and their handling will test the government's skills at a delicate point in its tenure.
13:48 [PHOTO] Looking out the door of the Confederation Centre art gallery, Charlottetown »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
13:45 Mounties identify man killed in motorcycle crash »Journal-Pioneer Local
PISQUID – Patrick A. MacGillivray has been identified as the man killed Sunday in a motocycle crash on Route 22.
13:16 Fiddler Troy MacGillivray to start fall season at Harmony House Theatre »Journal-Pioneer Living
HUNTER RIVER —Award-winning fiddler, pianist and stepdancer, Troy MacGillivray, and well-known pianist, Allan Dewar, will share the stage to kick off the fall season at Harmony House Theatre.
13:15 Autumn walk set for Sunday at Macphail Woods »Journal-Pioneer Living
ORWELL — The wonder of woodlands in the fall will be the highlight of an upcoming autumn walk at Macphail Woods in Orwell.
13:10 Man Arrested For Assault »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services responded to a complaint of an assault last Sunday morning at an address on Belvedere Ave. Police arrived and determined that a female, age 22, had been assaulted by a male. Accused male, a 36 year old Charlottetown area resident, was arrested for assault and jailed at the Provincial Correctional Centre. Accused will be appearing in Provincial Court at a later date; both parties are known to each other.
12:18 PM could be called as witness in Duffy trial: lawyer »The Guardian - Local News
OTTAWA — Mike Duffy’s lawyer says he isn’t going to rule out calling anyone — including Prime Minister Stephen Harper — as a witness in the suspended senator’s upcoming trial.“We’re considering any potential witness,” Donald Bayne said Tuesday after a brief court appearance.“At this point, it’s ...
12:04 Amanda Jackson Band @ The Trailside Inn - October 25 (93 Words) » | New Topics
Back by popular demand.

Early notice but the last Trailside show was a complete sell out, so this will hopefully give you time to book your tickets.

You can get your tickets online at
or you can call the Trailside Inn @ (902) 676-3130

Higher demand is expected since this will likely be the last AJB show of 2014 because Todd will soon after leave on a 6 week North American tour for the release of his new book, [url=]Global Chorus[/url]....
12:04 suggestion for a good accountant for tax preparation (25 Words) » | New Topics
hello PEI! im just new here and I have questions regarding a good reliable accountant for preparation of income taxes. Thank you for your inputs...
11:28 Dogs provide valuable learning aid at Prince Street School »The Guardian - Opinion
Canines help daughter remain calm in stressful situations, taught her responsibility
11:27 Paper Lions music video surpasses five million YouTube views »Journal-Pioneer Local
CHARLOTTETOWN — Bicycles, pogo sticks, a marching band, and a catchy song —it’s no wonder P.E.I. indie-rock band, Paper Lions’, music video for“Travelling”has recently exceeded five million views on YouTube.
11:25 Returning street name obvious choice »The Guardian - Opinion
Great George Street lost its identity in 1969 through unrelated merger of two institutions
11:23 Two tribes still believe delusion »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: I normally can’t be bothered to respond to R.A. Jenkins’ ugly fundamentalist delusions, but his letter of Friday, Sept. 12, warrants a reply. In it he declares that the Bible says that some “god” made a covenant with the people of Israel and gave them the land which they now inhabit and ...
11:21 Crowning William would bind nations »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: The Scottish independence vote is set for September 18, 2014, and polls portray a close vote. Whether the Yes vote wins or not, what will be the impact on England and Scotland’s shared Monarchy?My bold recommendation is Queen Elizabeth should Crown her Scottish heir to avoid any ...
11:19 Family search for paternal grandfather »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: Would it be at all possible to have the message below printed in your paper? My paternal grandfather, Samuel Elliott (born Nov. 22, 1881) is listed in the 1901 census of Prince Edward island as the adopted son of Archibald and Christy McNeil. Archibald and Christy also had three ...
11:17 Prompt QEH care for Saskatchewan visitor »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: I recently visited the Maritimes, and became ill in P.E.I. I was taken to the ER at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and immediately received prompt and professional care under the direction of Dr. Stuart M. MacKinnon and nurse Lindsay. Within two hours I had an ultrasound and CT scan. I ...
11:09 Lennie Gallant, Vishtèn to headline Grand Ruisseau Song Festival in Mont-Carmel »Journal-Pioneer Living
MONT-CARMEL — Acclaimed Island singer songwriter Lennie Gallant, along with award-winning Acadian group, Vishtèn, will headline the fifth annual Grand Ruisseau Song Festival.
11:04 Shareholders must provide all details »The Guardian - Opinion
Editor: On page 3 of today’s Guardian (“CADC buys former City Shell property”), you provide few details on the actual sale (because you don’t have them). The article says, “CADC isn’t disclosing what it paid for the City Shell property.” Why not?What is CADC (Charlottetown Area Development ...
10:58 [PHOTO] Looking north along Bartlett at Dupont, towards the rail crossing, at 8 pm »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
Looking north along Bartlett at Dupont, towards the rail crossing, at 8 pm

Between the early nights and the lower temperatures, I'm afraid I can say that fall is here.
10:46 'The Master’s Wife’ goes on Island tour »Journal-Pioneer Living
SUMMERSIDE — The communities of Stratford, St. Peter’s, Charlottetown, Bonshaw, Summerside and Tyne Valley will soon enjoy a visit by “The Master’s Wife.”
10:37 Albion Cross man earns jail time for drug charges »The Guardian - Local News
Kenneth George Blackett given 15 months
10:23 Rockets win in dramatic fashion »Journal-Pioneer Sports
10:03 Trudeau proposes EI premium holiday for businesses that hire new workers »The Guardian - Business
OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau says employers who hire additional workers should get a two-year holiday from paying employment insurance premiums for those employees.The Liberal leader says his proposal would help create jobs.By contrast, he says the Harper government’s decision last week to reduce ...
09:54 Municipalities gear up for Nov. 3 elections »The Guardian - Local News
Deadline for nominations for interested candidates Oct. 20
09:07 Public Assistance Request - Leaving Accident Scene »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services are requesting the public's assistance regarding a motor vehicle collision occurring on Saturday, September 13th, at approximately 8:58pm. Collision occurred at the intersection of Richmond and Prince Street, when a vehicle failed to stop and struck another vehicle, and fled the scene. Vehicle fleeing scene is described as a older model(late 90s), gold, with possibly New Brunswick licence plate ZBA. Occupants of vehicle struck sustained minor injuries as a result of collision. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Charlottetown Police Services 629-4172 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.
09:02 Youth Take Leadership Role in Charlottetown Celebration of Youth Event »City of Charlottetown
2014-09-16 Youth in the Capital City are preparing for two days of fun and mentorship as part
08:49 Mike Duffy’s court case starts today »Journal-Pioneer Local
OTTAWA — The curtain is poised to rise on the opening act of what’s sure to be the most politically charged courtroom drama to play out in Ottawa in many years.
08:40 Cornwall to set up youth committee »The Guardian - Local News
Meeting tonight for those 13 to 18 years old interested in building community
08:36 UPEI student union seeks cap on tuition, more transparency »The Guardian - Local News
A cap on tuition hikes as well as greater accountability and transparency are among the big priorities for UPEI students this year. The university’s student union council voted unanimously recently to approve six new policy statements, all after consulting with students in the previous school ...
08:36 Showers possible later today across PEI »peistormchaser
Tuesday Sept 16th 8:30am..An area of high pressure is passing south of the Maritimes this morning meanwhile showers are falling over northern NB as a cold front begins to drop through. Clouds should build across PEI later today with a … Continue reading
08:30 Mom frustated with slow progress on addictions, mental health plan »Journal-Pioneer Local
A P.E.I. woman who lost her son to suicide says she is disappointed the province is not doing more to help adults with mental health and addictions problems after close to a year of promising action.
08:28 Reducing foreign workers threatens lobster plants, says industry »Journal-Pioneer Local
The loss of temporary foreign workers could reduce lobster processing in the Maritimes by as much as 25 per cent, say industry leaders from the Maritime seafood processing sector.
08:18 Break and Enter - Paddock at Red Shores Raceway »Charlottetown Police Police Reports
Charlottetown Police Services received a complaint Saturday afternoon at 2:56pm regarding a break and enter within a paddock at Red Shores Raceway. Break and enter occurred sometime late Friday night when thieves entered paddock and stole a Dell Inspiron laptop. Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the Charlottetown Police Services 629-4172 or Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.
07:59 No 'C' this season for Canadiens »The Guardian - Sports
Habs name Markov, Subban, Plekanec and Pacioretty alternate captains
07:21 Mom frustated with slow progress on addictions, mental health plans »The Guardian - Local News
Dianne Young, whose son took his own life in November, says little being done to help adults in crisis
07:16 Mike Duffy’s court date arrives »The Guardian - Local News
Trial timing could affect federal election
01:27 Island Storm signs former Express player »The Guardian - Sports
The Island Storm has bolstered its front line with the signing of six-foot-10 centre Shamus Ferguson from Toronto.The National Basketball League of Canada team made the announcement on Monday.Ferguson played at Francis Libermann Catholic High School in Toronto before moving on to Arkansas Pine ...
01:17 Eagle Jolt, Campbell win feature race at SRW »The Guardian - Sports
SUMMERSIDE — It was strictly a race for place in the Monday night feature at Red Shores Summerside as Eagle Jolt and driver Marc Campbell meant business.Scoring from Post 6, the son of Village Jolt was fired off of the wings by Campbell, clearing to the lead approaching the quarter and never ...
00:59 [LINK] Charlie Stross on "The referendum question" »A bit more detail (Randy MacDonald)
In a post at his blog, science fiction writer Charlie Stross announces his support for Scottish separatism. This support, it turns out, is not only motivated by support for the independence of Scotland. Stross favours the more general breakdown of nation-states.

In the long term I favour a Europe—indeed, a world—of much smaller states. I don't just favour breaking up the UK; I favour breaking up the United States, India, and China. Break up the Westphalian system. We live today in a world dominated by two types of group entity; the nation-states with defined borders and treaty obligations that emerged after the end of the 30 Years War, and the transnational corporate entities which thrive atop the free trade framework provided by the treaty organizations binding those Westphalian states together.

I believe the Westphalian nation-state system isn't simply showing its age: it's creaking at the seams and teetering on the edge of catastrophic breakdown. The world today is far smaller than the world of 1648; the entire planet, in travel terms, is shrunk to the size of the English home counties. In 1648 to travel from the south of Scotland (from, say, Berwick-upon-Tweed, the debatable walled border city) to the far north-west would take, at a minimum, a couple of weeks by sea; to travel that distance by land was a harsh journey of hundreds of miles across mountains and bogs and through still-forested glens, on foot or horseback. Today it's a couple of noisy hours on board a turboprop airliner. Distance has collapsed under us. To some extent the definition of the Westphalian state as being able to control its own internal territory was a side-effect of distance: a foreign army couldn't rapidly and easily penetrate the inner lands of a state without fear of retaliation. (Tell that to the residents of the tribal provinces in Pakistan.)

Moreover, our nations today have not only undergone a strange geographical implosion since the 17th century: they have exploded in population terms. The population of the American Colonies in 1790 is estimated at roughly 2.7 million; the United States today has over 300 million inhabitants. In 1780 England and Wales had around 7.5 million inhabitants; they're now at 57 million. So we have a 1-2 order of magnitude increase in population and a 2-3 order of magnitude decrease in travel time ... and possibly a 3-5 order of magnitude decrease in communications latency.

Today we're seeing the fallout from this problem everywhere. Westphalian states can't, for the most part, control their own territory to the extent of keeping intruders out; just look at the ghastly situation in Ukraine right now. Non-state actors play an increasingly huge role in dictating our economic conditions. And it seems to me that something goes badly wrong with representative democracy in polities that grow beyond somewhere in the range 5-15 million people; direct accountability vanishes and we end up with what I've termed the beige dictatorship. Beige isn't the worst colour‐some of the non-beige contenders are distinctly alarming—but their popular appeal is a symptom of an institutional failure, a representational deficit: many voters feel so alienated by the beige that they'll vote for the brownshirts.

My feeling is that we'd be better served by a group of much smaller nations working in a loose confederation or treaty structure. Their job should be to handle local issues(yes, this is localism) while compartmentalizing failure modes: the failure modes of a gigantic imperial power are almost always far worse than those of a smaller nation (compare the disintegration of the Soviet Union with that of Czecheslovakia). Rather than large monolithic states run by people at the top who are so remote from their constituents that they set policy to please lobbyists rather than their electors, I'd prefer to see treaty organizations like NATO and the EU emerging at consensus after discussions among numerous smaller stakeholder entities, where representatives are actually accountable to their electors. (Call me a utopian, if you will.)

Yes, this is also an argument for Wales, the North of England, and London itself all becoming independent nations. But they aren't on the ballot. So Scottish independence is a starting point.

Thoughts? I'm rather more skeptical of this argument for a general breakdown than Stross, or many of the commenters at his blog. Isn't the construction of larger federations with some degree of democratic responsibility preferable to more fragile and less legitimate coalitions of smaller states? There's room for flexibility, but a general reconfiguration strikes me as a non-starter.
00:00 Statement by Premier Robert Ghiz on Paul Davis »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
On Saturday, September 13, 2014 Paul Davis was named the new leader of the Newfoundland and Labrador's Progressive Conservative Party and premier designate.'Congratulations to Newfoundland and Labrador Premier-designate Paul Davis,' said Premier Ghiz. 'I look forward to ongoing collaboration with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as we continue to work in the best interest of Atlantic Canadians.'I want to thank Premier Tom Marshall for...
00:00 Wind projects earn Sheridan 'Clean16' honour »Government of Prince Edward top news stories
Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Minister Wes Sheridan's work on the Hermanville/Clearspring wind development has earned him a place among Canada's Clean16 leaders in sustainability and clean capitalism, says Premier Robert Ghiz.'This award is well-deserved recognition for Minister Sheridan's strong leadership in expanding wind energy capacity in Prince Edward Island,' Premier Ghiz said. 'He partnered closely with industry and the community...

Monday September 15, 2014

23:42 But Wait Mr. Harper, Senator Duffy Has More »
Senator Mike Duffy suggested he is eager to get in front of a Judge and clear his name, extraordinary efforts have been made to destroy everything about the man. The Prime Ministers Office has been the prominent meddler in the … Continue reading


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Blogs discussing education or used in schools, universities, and colleges.
General Blogs (48)
Blogs which cover the gamut of subjects, from technical, to political, to personal
Islanders Away (62)
Expatriot Islanders, who continue to blog, and to mention PEI.
Lifestyle (37) new
Food, health, fitness, exercise, wellness, spiritual well-being, religion.
News and Views (59)
News-related blogs and news feeds. Also includes editorials and opinions on the news (op-ed), and politically-oriented sites.
Other blogrolls and aggregators (20)
Other blogrolls, lists and aggregations of blogs from PEI and other places.
Personal (35)
Day to day journals of a person's life
Personal with RSS-ATOM syndication (225)
These personal blogs use syndication, which allows PEI Blogs to display recent posts.
Photos (69) new
Photo Galleries
Podcasts-Music-Web Radio-Video-Voice (19)
A multimedia feast of podcasts, video blogs (vlogs), web radio, and other audio and video content.
Product reviews (2)
Blogs containing reviews of products
Sports and Leisure (25)
Sports, leisure activities, and hobby-related blogs and feeds.
Technical - Computer (14)
Technical tips and advice
Travel (15)
Blogs describing their author's world travels
Weather (5)
Hurricane warnings, weather feeds

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