Opinion

Our overcrowded prisons and recidivist governments

Prisons - Canberra Times

The stark, unpalatable reality is that the numbers of prisoners in Australia grew 8 per cent from 36,134 in 2015 to 38,845 in 2016. The Canberra Times Ross Fitzgerald This is nothing short of scandalous. The US has the highest… Our overcrowded prisons… Read More »

One of the biggest VC’s in Silicon Valley explains how basic income could fail in America

Want 2b

Sam Altman is putting a lot of faith in the idea that giving people free money will make them happier and healthier, but that doesn’t mean he’s betting it all. Business Insider Chris Weller Altman is the president of Y Combinator, Silicon Valley’s largest startup accelerator. Beginning in 2017, he and… One of the… Read More »

Troubled times make it hard to be an optimist. But I don’t plan to stop

Optimism - The Guardian

Optimists like me read the news and know all the dire things happening in the world. But we also get up each day determined not to accept a bad fate The Guardian Mary Elizabeth Williams Here’s what nobody ever tells you about being an optimist: it’s not as much fun as it looks. Especially lately. I do not come from a… Troubled times make it… Read More »

The ‘Palestinisation’ of the Syrian people

Aleppo - Al Jazeera

Or how Aleppo and Syria were abandoned by the world. Al Jazeera News Robin Yassin-Kassab In solidarity with Aleppo, the lights on the Eiffel Tower were extinguished. Elsewhere in Paris, and in London, Amsterdam, Oslo and Copenhagen, people demonstrated against the slaughter. Turks rallied outside Russian… The ‘Palestinisation’ of… Read More »

Shock theory reveals Anne Frank might have been found by chance – and not BETRAYED

Anne Frank - Express

DIARIST Anne Frank could have been discovered in a raid on ration fraudsters instead of being snatched by Nazi’s hunting for Jews, a shocking new study has revealed. Express Vickiie Oliphant The wartime writer was thought to have been removed from her home at 263 Prinsengracht after an anonymous call tipped her and her family off to the Nazis. The Franks, van Pelses and… Shock theory reveals Anne Frank might… Read More »

Turkey takes another step toward despotism

Kathy 1a

SINCE ASSUMING the nominally ceremonial position of president in 2014, Turkish ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan has aspired to endow it with far-reaching powers, replacing the country’s parliamentary system with something more like what Vladi­mir Putin has established in Russia. The Washington Post By Editorial Board His… Turkey takes another… Read More »

Study finds one-third of people prone to ‘remembering’ false events

Memory - ABC

A recent study has found about one-third of people can, if prompted, ‘remember’ or at least believe events that never actually happened. ABC Emma Wynne It is a confronting finding in an era when fake news is said to be proliferating online and has been blamed for influencing the recent US presidential election. The study from the University of… Study finds one-third of people prone… Read More »

The patriarchy, actually. What our favourite Christmas films mean in 2016

Film - The Guardian

From the housing crisis of It’s a Wonderful Life to the white, male hegemony of Love Actually, festive classics now seem more relevant than ever The Guardian Toby Moses Love Actually A film with myriad problems – not least its… The patriarchy, actually. What our… Read More »

Three big secrets lurking in China’s banking system

China - Asia Times

A close look at lending and money supply data reveals three notable kinks in the system Asia Times Steve Wang New yuan loans handed out by Chinese banks in November expanded about 10%, more than analysts had been expecting, while the broad M2 money supply figure came in at a respectable 11.4% year-on-year gain. At first glance these numbers portray an image of… Three big secrets lurking in… Read More »

Noel Whelan: We must resist SF’s efforts to whitewash over its bloodstained past

Gerry Adams 1a by Eric Luke LLLL

Adams got caught out while trying to manage the fallout of Austin Stack’s fight for answers The Irish Times Noel Whelan When writing last week about the controversy between Austin Stack and Gerry Adams, I reached to the bookshelf for my… Noel Whelan: We… Read More »

What Comes After the Bloody Battle for Aleppo?

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Despite the Syrian regime’s brutally effective campaign to recapture Aleppo, it cannot celebrate victory yet. ICG Noah Bonsey In this Q&A, Senior Syria Analyst Noah Bonsey talks about the factors likely to fuel greater violence, increased radicalisation and… What Comes After… Read More »

Mexico: Neither Pax Mafiosa, nor rule of law

Mexico - Al Jazeera

The post-authoritarian political system in Mexico has become a violent symbiosis of organised crime and politics. Al Jazeera News Edgardo Buscaglia Mexico is a nation with a heritage of cultural wonders and one of the main cradles of modern civilisation. Yet, despite its much acclaimed 20th-century… Mexico: Neither Pax Mafiosa, nor… Read More »

Donald Trump Should Know: This Is What Climate Change Costs Us

Keo 1a

Last week, Donald J. Trump’s transition team sent a startling questionnaire to the Department of Energy. The New York Times By MICHAEL GREENSTONE and CASS R. SUNSTEIN Among other things, the questionnaire asked for the names of all employees and contractors who attended meetings of the… Donald Trump Should… Read More »

The Rise In C-Sections Could Be Changing Human Evolution

Mauru 1a

C-sections have been on the rise for decades, now making up more than 30 percent of all deliveries in the United States. The Huffington Post Catherine Pearson An intriguing new study out of Austria suggests that as C-sections have become more common, they might also be altering the course of human evolution. More… The Rise In C… Read More »

The American dream lives!

I am - AEI

Any chance America’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 2016 will somehow end well? AEI James Pethokoukis No way. This is the annus horribilis when… The American dream… Read More »

Advice for Trump: Don’t let China displace US in Asia-Pacific

Asia Times

The two things that leaders in the Asia-Pacific region wish to hear and see from President-elect Donald J. Trump are an assurance that the United States will continue to provide and underwrite security in the Asia-Pacific and that it will remain a benign hegemon, opening its economy to friends and allies. Asia Times Shivshankar Menon Without this confidence, Asian leaders could turn to other expedients, and to China, for the prosperity and security they seek. The greatest strategic challenge confronting… ... Read More »