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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/10/13/europe-s...

Historic world port and fashionista capital, Antwerp has always lived on the crest of the wave. Now, a separatist party heading into municipal elections Sunday wants to use the city as a base for breaking away from Belgium — putting it at the forefront of a European breakaway trend just as the EU celebrates winning the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering continental unity.

Moves toward separatism have been getting a bigger these past months as the economic crisis pushes people faster toward stark choices on nationhood and their future. It is no different in Spain's Catalonia, another wealthy region grousing that it has to pay for others in its crisis-hit country.

Scotland, too, is looking at the option of going its own way, making the United Kingdom a little less united.
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The Dutch part of Belgium is getting tired of supporting the French part. Catalonia is gettting tired of propping up the poor parts of Spain and a lot of Basques want their own gig. Northern Italy would like to cut loose from the lagging south. Scotland would probably be OK if it can take the North Sea oilfields with it when it goes.

And one last thing -- the Peace Prize is awarded by a committee selected by the Norwegian parliament. If the EU is so danged good, why doesn't Norway want to join? Maybe it doesn't want to belong to a club that would have it as a member.

--fleg
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I think it was only in 1870 that what we think of as Germany today was finally united into one unit. Italy has a similar history of being a bunch of smaller states being sucked into the whole.

Our Constitution was a follow-on to the Articles of Confederation, a loose compact among many semi-sovereign individual states.

If push comes to shove (and I'm afraid it will) I see the US breaking up into smaller chunks. One EMP bomb wiping out Washington's data bases may be all it'll take.

And we (Michigan) have something like 20% of the planet's fresh water. I think I'll stay here.
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And we (Michigan) have something like 20% of the planet's fresh water. I think I'll stay here.

And we have something like 35% of the planet's spotted owls. A good reason to stay.

--fleg
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And we (Michigan) have something like 20% of the planet's fresh water. I think I'll stay here.
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I think "fresh" water may be too big of a glorification. Maybe "unsalted" water may be a more apt term. (g)
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"And we (Michigan) have something like 20% of the planet's fresh water. I think I'll stay here."
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"I think "fresh" water may be too big of a glorification. Maybe "unsalted" water may be a more apt term. (g)" - Aolf

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We've got plenty of delicious fresh drinking water here straight out of the Tennessee River flavored with PCB's, radioactive isotopes, mercury, and benzene. Yum! Yum! <grin!>

Artie
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We've got plenty of delicious fresh drinking water here straight out of the Tennessee River flavored with PCB's, radioactive isotopes, mercury, and benzene. Yum! Yum! <grin!>

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I grew up in the 1970's Mongolia, at the time a borderline "developing" country (2nd world, not quite 3rd world). I remember as a kid we used to always have to boil our water from the tap to drink. I remember when we first got here to the USA how it felt so luxurious to not have to boil the tap water. But boiling can kill microbes, but it can't make hazardous chemicals like lead, benzene, etc. on-hazardous. God knows what my family and I ingested in those days. I'm thinking lead piles was common. Of course we then moved to Houston which was and still is the capital of oil refineries and chemical plants. We used to live literally a couple of miles from them. Through air and water source what were we exposed to? And those first several years in the far east.? Not a clean start in life.
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