122 - The Fro Gymraeg, A Reservation For Welsh
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
English is the dominant language in the British Isles, also in their Celtic fringe – Ireland, Scotland, Wales. In Scotland but mainly in Ireland, some territorial measures have been taken to protect the indigenous language, especially in the areas where it remains strongest.
Those areas in Ireland are called the Gaeltacht, a collection of non-contiguous rural and mainly western ‘islands’ where Irish Gaelic is the official first language. In Scotland, an almost similar term, Gàidhealtachd, is used to describe the area in the northern Highlands where Celtic culture is strongest – Scottish Gaelic even there being almost extinct.\n
In Wales, which for centuries formed one legal entity with England (but since a few years elects its own Welsh assembly, which has limited powers), no such ‘language reservation’ has been designated yet. An advocacy group called Cymuned (Welsh for ‘community’) campaigns for setting up an area similar to the Irish Gaeltacht. As with the Celtic languages in Ireland and Scotland, Welsh is under constant assault from English, not just culturally, but also in an economic/demographic way: many English move into Wales, lured by the lower cost of housing.\n
Cymuned claims an area, to be called Fro Gymraeg and with special provisions for the survival and promotion of the Welsh language (Cymraeg), is necessary, because only 17 Welsh-speaking communities (i.e. with over 80% of Welsh-speakers) remain in Wales.\n
The Fro Gymraeg is to be made up of those areas where at least 50% of the natives speak Welsh. Those areas are marked red on this map. Unfortunately, no explanation is given for the difference between dark red and light red, although it is reasonable to assume the darker areas count a higher proportion of Welsh-speakers.\n
In the darker green areas, over 20% of Welsh-born people speak Welsh, and "support should be made available for them to work towards becoming part of the Fro if that is what they desire," this website states. Inside the Fro Gymraeg, Cymuned would like to implement, among others, these measures:
• An elected Statutory Council to represent the Fro
\n• Planning permission in the Fro Gymraeg for local people only
\n• Cymraeg to be the internal language of local government in the Fro Gymraeg
\n• That individuals who provide statutory public services in the Fro Gymraeg should speak Cymraeg
\n• Welsh history and language citizenship lessons should be available for incomers to the Fro Gymraeg
\n• Cymraeg should be the medium of education for all students between 3 and 16 in the Fro
\n• To aim at extending the Fro Gymraeg through helping electoral wards outside the Fro to vote to become a part of the Fro
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
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