Opinion

Fintan O’Toole: Brexit means we are bordering on the absurd

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The UK’s move may result in a return to the pointless rituals of inspection at the Border Fintan O’Toole In 1962, the Ulster poet John Hewitt published a short poem called The Frontier. The Irish Times It is ostensibly about crossing the Alps between France and Switzerland but, of course, not really. Hewitt’s reflection on the absurdity of border-crossings is inevitably resonant of more insular experiences. The train he is on stops and “small men in uniform drift down the corridor, thumb ... Read More »

The Cyprus problem, Turkey and Socrates on justice

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In Book 1, of Plato’s famous dialogue The Republic, Thrasymachus, one of Socrates’ interlocutors, states that justice is that which serves the interests of the strongest so that what is right is always determined by might. <style type=”text/css”> .wpb_animate_when_almost_visible { opacity: 1; }</style> Dr Edward H Spence * Cyprus Mail Socrates refutes Thrasymachus’ notion of justice by simply arguing that justice as a virtue cannot be what serves the interests of the strongest as those interests might result in vice ... Read More »

Society relies on a social compact. Time for tax-avoiding multinationals to sign up

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Pat Leahy: The political centre needs to force big business to pay its way The Irish Times Pat Leahy Western countries are by and large the most civilised, comfortable and desirable places to live in the history of mankind. If, in a version the “veil of ignorance” thought experiment, you could choose any time or place to live, not knowing your race, abilities, talents or gender, you’d be mad not to choose to be born into a modern western country, ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia Comes for Hezbollah

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Lebanon was stunned on Nov. 4 when its prime minister, Saad Hariri, speaking from Saudi Arabia, delivered a halting resignation speech. Mohamad Bazzi The New York Times Mr. Hariri said he left Beirut because he feared assassination. He placed the blame for his long-distance resignation on Iran and its main ally in Lebanon, Hezbollah. In the days since, Saudi Arabia has accused Hezbollah of plotting against the kingdom and ordered Saudi citizens to leave Lebanon. Threats from top Saudi officials ... Read More »

Sexual violence and harassment going up, according to ABS survey

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Sexual violence against women is on the rise, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) By social affairs correspondent Norman Hermant and Catherine Hanrahan  ABC The latest Personal Safety Survey shows the proportion of women experiencing sexual violence in the past year increased from 1.2 per cent to 1.8 per cent since the last survey conducted in 2012. But very few sexual assaults are being reported to police. In 2012, an estimated 17 per cent of women reported their ... Read More »

Citizens’ Assembly ideas confront worst of global warming

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Climate change is a pressing moral issue and action is needed for future’s benefit Kevin O’Sullivan  The Irish Times The recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly have the potential to achieve the kind of societal transformation necessary for Ireland to play its part in countering the worst affects of global warming caused by humans spewing out CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. Its brief – to identify how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change – may in time ... Read More »

America’s Crisis of Courage

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Character remains the issue that confronts us in almost every story about national politics today Eliot A. Cohen The Atlantic The American crisis is, at its root, a crisis of character.Yes, many other forces and phenomena are in play: the crash of 2008; technologically driven changes to the economy; gerrymandering and sociological divisions between coast and heartland, urban and rural life; cultural clashes over the norms of marriage, drug use, and religious liberty; wars that have not gone well; the ... Read More »

Plan D: Is Metamodernism the Answer to Postmodernism?

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Can Metamodernism, based in the exchange and continual revision of ideas, offer an alternative to the cultural problems of postmodernism and relativism? Dan Fisher ConatusNews Previous articles have discussed the negative tendencies exhibited by the modern left and some of the reasons why we need a new left. Now it’s time to reflect on more positive elements, a viable alternative to the problematic postmodernism. Many see such a solution in the philosophy of Metamodernism. In recent years there has been a small but ... Read More »

Employee volunteerism? Only if you think your boss is ethical

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Study: Willingness to support corporate social responsibility initiatives contingent on ethical profile of your boss EurekAlert! A new study shows that people who perceive their employer as committed to environmental and community-based causes will, in turn, engage in green behavior and local volunteerism, with one caveat: their boss must display similarly ethical behavior. The forthcoming study in the Journal of Business Ethics by Kenneth De Roeck, assistant professor at the University of Vermont, and Omer Farooq of UAE University, shows ... Read More »

Meet the mastermind behind Xi Jinping’s power

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BRISBANE, Australia — The conclusion of the recent Communist Party congress in China has turned the world’s spotlight on a hitherto elusive figure, the 62-year-old scholar-turned-official, Wang Huning. Yi Wang The Washington Post Wang, who has just been elevated to the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee that rules China, is widely believed to be the mastermind behind the ideological frameworks set out by all three recent Chinese leaders — Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao and now Xi Jinping with his “Chinese dream.” Wang’s ... Read More »

Leader comment: MPs found guilty of sexual harassment deserve to lose their jobs

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WE have not, it seems almost certain, heard the end of serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault against male politicians. The Scotsman With each day, more depressing details of the shameful abuse of power by men in positions of authority emerge. Both Westminster and Holyrood are now tainted by a scandal which has already ended a number of high-flying careers and looks certain to scupper many more. It is surely clear that, painful though the weeks ahead may be ... Read More »

As poverty rises, the affluent won’t be able to escape its effects

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Rising resentment among the underclass is spilling out from ‘deprived’ areas and threatening to engulf society at large Darren McGarvey The Guardian The study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting a sharp rise in child poverty will provoke the usual, commendable, shrieks of indignation. When news that more children than ever before are soon to be confined to economic deprivation, it’s sure to inspire a slew of robust dinner party debates. The overriding emotion anyone should be feeling at ... Read More »

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a criminal. Our foreign policy should treat him as such.

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Earlier this year, former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega died quietly in Panama City ending a life marked by fantastic highs and lows. Michael Rubin Washington Examiner Noriega was Panamanian military officer and CIA informant who let greed get the best of him. He cast his lot with Colombian drug lords flooding their cocaine into the United States. The George H.W. Bush administration had enough of their former partner and client and ordered an invasion of Panama to snatch Noriega. He ... Read More »

The breath of death on Manus Island: starvation and sickness

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Diary of a disaster: One of the refugees, who went to East Lorengau a few days ago, has walked back for more than 30km. We are all scared and hungry. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian Behrouz Boochani is a journalist and an Iranian refugee held on Manus Island since August 2014. The Guardian invited Boochani to keep a diary of the closure of the Australian-run detention camp. Friday 3 November The refugees wake me up early in the morning. When this ... Read More »

Will exodus of firms from Catalonia economically influence voters?

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Damage to Catalan economy’s credibility and investor confidence may persist for years The secessionist process initiated by Catalonia’s regional government has prompted companies to relocate in other Spanish regions to ensure continued free-market access to the rest of Spain and the European Union. José Guimón The Irish Times Over 1,300 companies have now moved their headquarters outside Cataloniain the three weeks following Catalonia’s illegal referendum for independence of October 1st. The traditional concern that multinational affiliates are “footloose” applies equally to local companies. ... Read More »

If Everyone Ate Beans Instead of Beef

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With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals. Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. James Hamblin The Atlantic  Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and…It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the ... Read More »