We’re All Fascists Now

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Christina Hoff Sommers is a self-identified feminist and registered Democrat with a Ph.D. in philosophy and a wicked sense of humor. She is also a woman who says bad things. Bari Weiss The New York Times Things like: Men and women are equal, but there are differences between them. Or: The gender gap in STEM fieldsisn’t simply the result of sexism. Or: Contrary to received wisdom, the American school system actually favors girls, not boys. When such a person steps foot on ... Read More »

Lessons From Cuba

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Cuba’s own experience when Soviet aid was suddenly lost shows that a country that relies on its people has nothing to fear from self-reliance – and everything to gain… Will Podmore CounterPunch The withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 left Cuba’s economy on a knife-edge. Cubans lost all their markets in sugar. They ceased to receive foodstuffs, fuel, wood, soap, raw materials. Calories and protein intake were reduced by half. Plans for nuclear energy had to be abandoned. The US ... Read More »

Franchise failure fix urgent as staff suffer

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Australia’s $170-billion-a-year franchise industry is rotten. It is riddled with companies that gouge their retailers, some of whom in turn underpay and exploit many of the sector’s 460,000 employees, most of whom are vulnerable students and immigrant workers. Opinion – Editorial The Age The issue is not whether there is an endemic problem, but how best to deal with it. The malfeasance has been widely documented, primarily because of whistleblowers and years of investigative work led by The Age’s Adele ... Read More »

Trump the Deal-maker and the Middle East

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Casting himself as the best friend Israel could hope for, President Donald Trump is promising, some may say threatening, to unveil his grand plan for a peace “deal” to end the so-called “Middle East problem”. Amir Taheri Gatestone Institute Trump has always fancied himself as a deal-maker; he has even written a book on the subject. It is, therefore, no surprise that he might want to put his skill to use on an issue which has defied numerous deal-makers for ... Read More »

Meet the MP who actually wants to know what works

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A house in the Canberra suburb of Narrabundah had suffered multiple burglaries. For the sixth time someone had broken in through a window and taken things from the bedroom of a nine-year-old boy. Peter Martin The Canberra Times This time the offender was caught red-handed, with a pillowslip full of the Lego – he was the nine-year-old boy from next door. When police officer Rudi Lammers arrived, he decided not to follow the usual procedure. Instead, he sat down with ... Read More »

Should you send a text or email? Here’s some advice from Aristotle

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Suppose you want to get in touch with a friend. Once, your options for doing so might have been sparse: pick up the phone or write a letter. Alexis Elder The Conversation But these days, you have to decide: Should you call or text, use Snapchat, or reach out on Twitter, Messenger or Skype? Other considerations, whether it’s an old friend or new acquaintance, or whether you’re asking a favor or checking in, as well as your own conversational tendencies ... Read More »

Theresa May’s Brexit speech: our writers give their verdict

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Four writers react to the prime minister’s latest Brexit plans, unveiled in London today Polly Toynbee, Katy Balls, Maya Goodfellow and John Redwood The Guardian Polly Toynbee: The same conundrums, but no new answers No one waited with bated breath for Theresa May’s speech once we knew the cabinet had vetted it. Anything that the “team” that has stuck us in the verbal bog of “managed regulatory divergence” all agree on can never take us forward. Unify the country? Show us a united cabinet first. Her ... Read More »

Turkey Is Turning Into the Next Pakistan

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The U.S. should make clear to ersatz allies that betrayal has consequences. Eli Lake Bloomberg There isn’t much that Turkey’s president can do these days to further debase his reputation in the West. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed peaceful protests at home and abroad, closed newspapers, threatened American soldiers, and collectively scapegoated Kurds. But over the weekend, Erdogan managed to go even lower. At a rally at Kahramanmaras, the Turkish leader brought a trembling 6-year-old girl on stage dressed in military garb and told her she ... Read More »

We need to talk about peace again

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We’re in an age when ambition is called for. And it just may come in the shape of a 32,000 tonne ocean liner Scott Ludlam * The Guardian A cruise liner is not the first place you’d go looking for conflict prevention, sustainability education, disarmament diplomacy and international collaborations on everything from disaster relief to low-carbon marine transport. From the outside, the Ocean Dream looks like any other 32,000 tonne ocean liner; a long, seafaring apartment block slung with lifeboats, ... Read More »

If Americans can rise up against guns, why can’t we act on pokies?

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Gambling We need a word for that feeling of being shocked and outraged by a news story as though it has exposed something flabbergasting and new, despite the fact that it hasn’t told you much you didn’t already know. Waleed Aly * The Sydney Morning Herald If we had such a word we would have been using it a lot lately. We could have used it to describe what is only the most recent school massacre in the United States. ... Read More »

To Help Save Our Oceans, Include Women In The Conversation

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Every other breath we take comes from our oceans ― and our oceans are dying. Climate change is warming their waters, leading to a disruption in migration patterns and increasing acidification. Farah Obaidullah HuffPost Overfishing is irreversibly altering marine ecosystems, with an estimated 60 to 90 percent of oceanic predators like tuna and swordfish already gone. Forecasts predict we may lose 90 percent of our glorious coral reefs by 2050, along with the vital nursery grounds and coastal protections they ... Read More »

AFL pokies ‘linked to spike in family violence’

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New research has revealed poker machine clubs owned by the AFL have been linked to an increase family violence. 9news The Monash University research obtained by The Herald Sun found the majority of AFL pokie machines were located in lower-socio economic areas. Using crime data from police, the report found family violence increased by 21.5 percent in north-western suburbs of Victoria where AFL pokies were placed. In contrast, north-western suburbs without the pokies showed a… AFL pokies ‘linked… Read More »

Beware fanning flames of racism over ‘silent invasion’ fears

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Today there are an estimated 1.2 million people living in Australia who have Chinese ancestry (of which I am one). Tim Soutphommasane Brisbane Times Many would agree that old prejudices against Chinese have largely given way to general acceptance of Chinese-Australians. Yet, ongoing debates make clear there is growing discomfort about the Chinese presence in Australia. In his recently published book Silent Invasion, Clive Hamilton argues the People’s Republic of China is conducting a campaign designed to erode Australian sovereignty ... Read More »

From bacteria to Bach, the origins of culture

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Antonio Damasio, director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California, is one of the… Nathan Gardels The Washington Post WorldPost: I first heard your name when the cellist YoYo Ma told me about your book “Descartes’ Error,” which he said helped answer some key questions he had about how virtuosity and creativity come about in music — not by reason alone but through the… Antonio Damasio: When I think of “Descartes’ Error” today, almost 25 years ... Read More »

Italy’s Election Is a Shipwreck

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Italians are rearranging the deck chairs as their country irrevocably sinks. By Luigi Zingales FP A few weeks ago, an Italian magazine asked me to illustrate graphically how I see Italy from abroad. I am incompetent at drawing, but an image instantly popped in my mind: the Costa Concordia shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea in 2012. Italy, too, is a beautiful ship slowly sinking because of the ineptitude of its captain — or captains, as it were. Surprisingly, this is ... Read More »

How Europe’s Band-Aid Ensures Greece’s Bondage

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All the happy talk about impending “debt relief” and a “clean exit” from Greece’s third “bailout” obscures an uglier truth: the country’s debt bondage is being extended to 2060. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Worse, by ossifying Greece’s insolvency, while pretending to have overcome it, Europe’s establishment is demonstrating its refusal to fix the eurozone’s flaws. ATHENS – Greece’s never-ending public-debt saga has come to signify the European Union’s inept handling of its inevitable eurozone crisis. Eight years after its bankruptcy, ... Read More »