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Total number of comments: 14 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:20)

chris y

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  • Will Climate Change make the Mideast Uninhabitable & trigger mass exodus?
    • Christopher Young 05/05/2016 at 11:31 am

      Mr Wilson's somewhat one sided comment above calls for some push back. According to a report from the Refugee Council in June last year:

      Globally about 1.8 million individual asylum claims were pending determination at the end of 2014, according to UNHCR. Across the EU there has been a gradual rise in the number of asylum applications since 2007, with 2010 being an exception to the trend. Total new applications, including dependants, to the EU28 countries have risen from 153,385 in 2008 to 562,265 in 2014. Some Western European countries, such as France and Germany, have seen a steady increase in asylum applications over the
      period. In Germany, for example, numbers have risen from 21,365 in 2007 to 173,070 in 2014. In the UK the number of asylum applications has remained relatively stable since 2005, compared with the very large changes in some countries, ranging from a low of 17,916 in 2010 to a high of 25,932 in 2008. In 2014 there were 24,914 applications in the UK (all of these UK figures exclude dependants).

      It might be added that in the last quarter of 2015, 61% of asylum applications in Britain were refused.

      It is true that the likely next mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is Muslim; however, he is British born and bred- a south Londoner. There are many Muslims in British public life, not least the Conservative Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javed, who apparently contrives to combine being Muslim with an admiration of Ayn Rand.

      I shall not speculate on what underlies Mr Wilson'd Trump like intervention, but people who are unfamiliar with Britain should be aware that the number of immigrants currently entering the country as a consequence of the tragedies in western Asia is in fact trivially low, and that the presence of Muslims in senior positions of authority in this country is simply proportionate to the population as a whole.

  • A New Yalta? Can France Craft an alliance of Putin & Obama against Daesh/ISIL?
    • I don't understand how this would work, given that French and Russian policies regarding al-Assad are diametrically opposed. Russia is actively helping the SAA, whereas the French line, last I saw, was that al-Assad would have to step down as part of any political solution in Syria. I believe the US and Britain have a position that he must go eventually but might play a part in some transitional government- don't ask me how that would work, it sounds like light minded wishful thinking to me.

      But what sort of "Yalta" agreement could be forged between two states, one of which wants al-Assad to be President of Syria, and one of which wants him out of the country?

  • How GOP Candidates would Deal with Syria, Short Version
  • Sharpening Contradictions: Why al-Qaeda attacked Satirists in Paris
    • Most of France will also remain committed to French values of the Rights of Man, which they invented.

      I hope this is true. But the FN is currently polling ahead of all other parties, even before this happened.

  • The end of National Sovereignty in the Middle East? Iraqi Kurdistan sends troops into Syria
    • What is going on with the Turkish government's attitude both to ISIL and the KRG? It seems deeply inconsistent and changing on an almost daily basis?

  • Obama and David Brooks's Manhood Problem
    • "Basically since Yalta we’ve had an assumption that borders are basically going to be borders"

      Never mind Yalta, actually that assumption is kind of built into the Treaty of Westphalia, so we've had 375 years of it not working and Brooks has only now noticed. Idiot.

  • CNN Fail: Imaginary "Dark Males," "Accents," and "Arrests" Haunt Reporters
    • If he exists, I'm sure he speaks with an accent. Probably some kind of American accent, possibly even from New England.

  • Sanity and Insanity in American Politics (Bachmann, Sessions, Romney, and Chicken)
    • There's no way Romney's proposals would get through the House of Lords as presently constituted; it's modally to the left of the Cameron government because it contains a leavening of people who were put there because they have intelligent things to say about stuff.

      What he actually illustrates is the truth of the old saw about poor Americans not seeing themselves as working class but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. And what you can do about that I have no idea.

  • Medvedev slams Romney for "Number one Enemy" Slur
    • warning that it is an American, not a Chinese century.

      To misquote a well known Chinese statesman, it's too soon to tell.

  • World's Stupidest Guerrillas Kill over 70 Shiite Pilgrims in Iraq
    • No, the world's stupidest guerrillas were the Provisional IRA, who spent about 15 years blowing stuff up during a period when you could otherwise probably have assembled a majority of the British mainland electorate in favour of withdrawing from N.Ireland on the basis that a. it was an economic sink and b. the "Unionist" leadership were a bunch of fascist know-nothings that nobody wanted to be associated with. Then they stopped blowing stuff up, and now they're in the government. Good game, PIRA!

  • What should have been Headlines in the Corporate Media: Today's Best of the Blogosphere
    • that people making over a million dollars a year should have to pay taxes at at least the same percentage rate as people who make less than that.

      Oh. Wow. This is supposed to be the new progressive position? That taxes on people making over $1m p.a should not actually be regressive? If that's the best game in town we a so f***ed.

  • London Riots: Its the Economy, Stupid (Not a Clash of Civilizations)
    • As a matter of fact, the first people who joined the riots after the Caribbean community seem to have been Hasidic Jews. There's a huge Jewish community in Tottenham. Everybody else joined in soon enough.

      As to the motivation, there's the report of some journalist asking a young black guy what they hoped to achieve by rioting, and he replied, "Well, you're talking to me, aren't you?"

  • Dear Foreigner-Haters: Immigration is Good for You
    • "Poles are from a Catholic background and that might make for integration issues in largely Protestant Britain, except that I don’t think young Poles are mostly very religious."

      Largely Protestant Britain is a myth. British people are overwhelmingly agnostic, of the "never think about it" variety. It is true that a significant minority choose to be married in churches and buried with protestant religious ceremonies, but this is largely because the associated pomp and circumstance is attractive, and most of them never go near a church except as a tourist on any other occasion.

      It is also true that a few constitutional anomalies remain from the 17th century. Nobody cares. In practice, Britain is probably more secular than France, and secular Poles will fit right in.

  • Pressman: “Coup with a mass(ive) twist”
    • 'But the coup vs. revolution divide is not just an academic debate. The combination of these two elements will likely greatly influence the direction Egypt takes over the next 6-12 months. As Juan Cole noted on February 13, “For the moment, Egypt is a strange kind of military dictatorship, with various safety valves for popular input and a set of promises for the future. But then, it has been that for some time– it is just that the promises may now be more credible and a transition to something else may be possible.”'

      So what happened in Portugal in 1974? Coup or revolution? Why does this process have to be viewed as binary?

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