Ben Dreyfuss

Ben Dreyfuss

Engagement Editor

Ben Dreyfuss is the engagement editor at Mother Jones.

Get my RSS |

"NO." Scotland Will Not Leave the United Kingdom

| Thu Sep. 18, 2014 11:32 PM EDT

David Cameron has been spared his worst fear: Being the Tory who lost England's hat. The Guardian has called the independence referendum and it appears that voters have declined to strike out on their own. Scotland will not leave the United Kingdom.

"No" was the slight favorite heading into yesterday's vote, but that doesn't mean England isn't breathing a sigh of relief. A few months ago this result would have come as no surprise, but as the polls tightened over the last few weeks, storm clouds set in over Westminster, and the narrative seemed to suggest independence was in the wind. If momentum was in fact on the "Yes" side, it ran out of time.

The referendum was the result of decades of work on the part of Scottish nationalists. And though they lost, it's hard to say that traditional Unionists really won. There will be further devolution. Scotland will have more autonomy than at any time since joining the Union. Indeed, if Labour wins the next election, greater devolution could be coming to Wales and Northern England as well, according to Ed Milibrand. None of that would be happening had the SNP not made this race so close.

Most everyone outside of Scotland is happy about this because it saves them a lot of messiness, especially in Brussels and DC. As my Welsh godmother said in reference to her Edinburgh-born husband, "I'm glad I'm not suddenly married to a foreigner."

 

Advertise on MotherJones.com

Look At This Hippie Getting Attacked By This Bat

| Mon Sep. 15, 2014 3:20 PM EDT

So, you go camping with your friends and you're having a nice little jam session and then all of a sudden "IT'S A BAT!"

 

Thankfully, none of these guys were harmed during the attack, but when they took the body of the bat to a local vet—they apparently killed it with BB guns after the video stopped recording—they were informed that their departed flying friend was, in fact, rabid. That's scary. The guitarist is getting treated and will be OK.

Feel free to have nightmares about this though.

(via Gawker)

What the Hell Is Going On in Scotland? Let John Oliver Explain

| Mon Sep. 15, 2014 10:51 AM EDT

Scotland heads to the polls on Thursday to decide if it stays a part of the United Kingdom or not. How should you, an American who saw Braveheart a few times, feel about this? Let John Oliver break it down for you:

Also: An independent Scotland will need a currency. How about... Bitcoin?

This Is Why You Should Never Take Moral Lessons From Films You Stopped Watching Halfway Through

| Sat Sep. 13, 2014 1:08 PM EDT

Jordan Belfort (aka the Wolf of Wall Street) went to the 92nd St. Y to talk about how great and innocent and redeemed he is. The whole night was a predictable shit show with casual sexism and the like, but this bit struck me as particularly funny:

Belfort said people should realize that the actions portrayed in the film were bad and not something they should follow. "If you're in this audience and you can't go to see The Wolf of Wall Street and realize that that's bad, then there's something wrong with you. You are fundamentally screwed up. It's obvious," Belfort said. Belfort said that he idolized Gordon Gekko's character in Oliver Stone's Wall Street. He said that had perhaps Gekko fallen, then he would have felt differently. "At least in The Wolf of Wall Street, I lose everything. My life is destroyed. I go to jail," Belfort said.

In the end of Wall Street, Charlie Sheen wears a wire and narcs Gekko to the feds. Gekko is sentenced to more than a decade in prison and, upon his eventual release, a year of hard Shia.

The Great State Of California Will Not Be Split Into Six Mediocre States

| Fri Sep. 12, 2014 4:55 PM EDT

One day a lemming will fly. That day is not today:

Backers of a much-publicized initiative to split California into six separate states failed to collect enough valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2016 ballot. the secretary of state's office said Friday.

Supporters of the Six Californias measure sponsored by Tim Draper, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist, turned in more than 1.13 million signatures. But a statewide sampling showed that only 752,685 of them were from voters registered in California, short of the 807,615 needed to qualify for the ballot, the secretary of state said.

Happy Friday!

Thu Oct. 23, 2014 9:34 PM EDT
Thu Oct. 16, 2014 2:55 PM EDT
Wed Oct. 15, 2014 3:04 PM EDT
Wed Oct. 8, 2014 1:39 AM EDT
Sat Sep. 27, 2014 9:59 AM EDT
Thu Sep. 18, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
Mon Sep. 15, 2014 3:20 PM EDT
Thu Sep. 4, 2014 2:32 PM EDT
Wed Sep. 3, 2014 10:05 AM EDT
Thu Aug. 28, 2014 12:03 AM EDT
Tue Aug. 19, 2014 6:02 PM EDT
Sat Aug. 16, 2014 3:48 PM EDT