Society

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed

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A new BBC documentary tells how a trove of documents lays bare the names of Britain’s 46,000 slave owners, including relatives of Gladstone and… The Guardian The Observer David Olusoga The past has a disconcerting habit of bursting, uninvited and unwelcome, into the… This year history gate-crashed modern America in… The history of… Read More »

Towards a true democracy with the Apolitical Party

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With the aim of injecting true representative democracy into Australia’s flawed political system, IA announces the launch of its True Democracy Project and calls for interest in its proposed ‘Apolitical Party’. Oliver de Nicolai Independent Australia Project coordinator Oliver de Nicolai and managing editor David Donovan explain what’s going on. Australia has a… Towards a true… Read More »

Gay Marriage Video: Paddy Manning and Keith Mills – two gay men explain why they’re voting No

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Paddy Manning and Keith Mills have become literally the two most famous gay men in the country. Their story of a heartfelt plea to the Irish public to vote No has gone viral around the world. James Brennan IrishNews TheLiberal Both men are well acclaimed bloggers, but their notoriety for being gay and sticking their heads about the pulpit by publicly saying they’re voting No has made them nationally known public figures. Paddy Manning is from Kilkenny. He’s passionate about ... Read More »

This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage — Now, His State’s Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

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The next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers’ wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article. C. Robert Gibson  The Huffington Post When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark… This Billionaire Governor… Read More »

Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s.

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For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national… Scott Gilmore MacLean’s The racial mess in the United States looks pretty grim and is painful to… We can be forgiven for being quietly thankful for Canada’s more inclusive society, which has avoided dramas like that in… Canada’s race problem… Read More »

Slavoj Žižek: What is freedom today? – video

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Are we free to live our lives as we want? We might think so, but philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that this apparent freedom is actually governed by a complex series of conditions. With Slavoj Žižek. The Guardian Produced by Nicole Jackson, Ben Marshall, Bruno Rinvolucri, Anetta Jones, Robbie Kilgour and Caterina Monzani, theguardian.com For Žižek, a ‘pathetic, old romantic’, the highest form of freedom is in fact love • The books Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism by Slavoj Žižek and Comradely ... Read More »

How 1,000 years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate – in pictures

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From the 9th to the 19th centuries, scholars and scribes used Arabic as a lingua franca to debate scientific ideas. Claire Shaw The Guardian Arabic-speaking scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy. These scholars went far beyond translation and preservation and fostered a unique and vibrant scientific culture within the Arabic-speaking… How 1,000 years… Read More »

Turkey’s Kristallnacht

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Sept. 6, 1955 started just like any other day for the Greeks, Armenians, and Jews of ‎Istanbul—or Constantinople. ‎ Uzay Bulut The Armenian Weekly ‎”I resided in Cengelkoy with my wife and two children back then,” wrote Apostolos Nikolaidis ‎in the book I Nihta ton Kristallon. ‎”Just as protests were starting in Taksim, I left my shop in Karakoy and went home.” Nikolaidis did not know that a horrid ethnic cleansing campaign was on the way. Just like Nikolaidis, ‎thousands ... Read More »

Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui La

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Dear Ms Lambie, I believe you may be having some difficulties with the meaning of Sharia law. Let me see if I can help… Jamila Hussain The Sydney Morning Herald The word Sharia in Arabic means a path or a way and is basically a pathway for Muslims to follow to live their lives in accordance with… It is broader than the usual Western concept of law as it includes religious duties such as prayer and… Sharia 101: a… Read More »

Asian Gambling Addiction

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“We have this saying in Chinese: if you don’t gamble, you don’t know how lucky you are.” —Anonymous Chinese gambler This strong belief in luck, fate, or fortune is part of the driving force behind Asians and gambling. Sam Louie MA, LMHC Psychology Today It’s no coincidence there is such a high proportion of Asians gambling and the deep cultural factors which not only encourage gambling but discourage seeking help when it becomes compulsive or addictive. Research shows Asians in the ... Read More »

Turkey Exported Key Chemical Weapons Components to Terrorists in Syria

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Figures from Turkey’s statistical institute reveal that Turkey delivered large amounts of a key ingredient of the deadly Sarin nerve gas to terrorists in Syria prior to the… nsnbc Turkey also exported large quantities of chemicals used for the production of… Figures from Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TÜIK), reveal… Turkey Exported Key… Read More »

Alek Wek: ‘You don’t have to go with the crowd’

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As a teenager, Alek Wek shook up the fashion world – and inspired, among others, a young Lupita… Sali Hughes The Guardian The Sudanese supermodel tells Sali Hughes why quirky is… Alek Wek was 19 when she was approached by a model scout from a top London agency at a fair in Crystal Palace… Her mother, she remembers, was horrified, thinking her… Alek Wek: ‘You… Read More »

How we treat the vulnerable is a moral test beyond politics

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I was recently invited to give a talk at a private club in a Melbourne suburb. A colleague has been a member for some years and arranged an invitation for me to speak at one of its regular dinners. Asked for a title for my speech, I suggested “Is this really what we are?” Julian Burnside The Conversation I was surprised to receive another email from my colleague which read, in part: Completely out of the blue last week the ... Read More »

Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

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New law, denounced as ‘anti-Semitism’ by Jewish leaders, comes after country controversially slaughtered a giraffe in public and fed him to lions Adam Withnall Independent Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists. The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” ... Read More »

Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

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Every January, Americans pause to honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a civil rights movement that called this nation to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law. By Andrew Estocin in The Sounding Blog Orthodox Christian Network One of the most beautiful moments in American Orthodox history was when Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America chose to march against racial segregation ... Read More »

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

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Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. OpenCulture More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy. Writing on the BBC web site, Armand D’Angour,  a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University, notes: [Ancient Greek] instruments are known from… What Ancient Greek… Read More »