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Trump’s grandfather was a pimp and tax evader; his father a member of the KKK

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As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree; Donald Trump’s racism can easily be traced through his lineage. Most families of enormous wealth have a dark and sometimes scandalous, even monstrous past. Tim King American Herald Tribune Donald Trump‘s clan is no exception to that rule. His grandfather was a pimp and a tax evader, his father a racist who would in the course of his life, clash with New York City Police as a member of ... Read More »

The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?

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In 12 of 16 past cases in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed. The Atlantic Graham Allison When Barack Obama meets this week with Xi Jinping during the The Thucydides Trap: Are… Read More »

The Opposite of Hoarding

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For some, the need to shed possessions is a life-consuming illness—but the cultural embrace of decluttering can make it hard to seek help. Leslie Garrett  The Atlantic As long as she can remember, Annabelle Charbit has loathed “stuff.” She hated birthdays because birthdays meant gifts. And gifts meant finding a way to toss them. At 5 years old, Charbit would sneak toys into her younger brother’s room. By age 10, she… The Opposite of… Read More »

Rereading Herodotus’ Histories of virtue, barbarians and the eternal human struggle

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Towards the end of Herodotus’ Histories, someone on the losing side of a fight is castrated by his sons, then crucified while those… Mark Thomas The Age Herodotus of Halicarnassus, “the father of history”, does not blink or squirm, and does not permit a reader to do so… Every gruesomely gory detail is evoked and underlined, but… Rereading Herodotus’ Histories… Read More »

The Tricks People Use to Avoid Debate

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In the art of evading meaningful policy discussions, all political camps have honed their particular styles. HANNA ROSIN The Atlantic A proper argument takes intellectual vigor, nimbleness, and sustained attention. If carried on long enough, it can push both parties to a deeper level of understanding. Oxford debaters hack away at each… The Tricks People… Read More »

How to Live Wisely

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Imagine you are Dean for a Day. What is one actionable change you would implement to enhance the college experience on campus? RICHARD J. LIGHT The New York Times I have asked students this question for years. The answers can be eye-opening. A few years ago, the responses began to move away from “tweak the history course” or “change the… How to Live… Read More »

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. City dwellers also have a… Source: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain ... Read More »

The end of capitalism has begun

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Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.. The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the… Source: The end of capitalism has begun | Books ... Read More »

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 »

In Washington, the Real Power Lies With the Spooks, Eavesdroppers and Assassins

A review of Michael Glennon’s ‘National Security and Double Government’.. by MATTHEW HARWOOD Almost two months after the first stories about whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared in June 2013, libertarian-minded Rep. Justin Amash — a Michigan Republican — and liberal Democrat Rep. John Conyers, also of Michigan, co-sponsored an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have defunded the National Security Agency’s call records program… Source: In Washington, the Real Power Lies With the Spooks, Eavesdroppers and Assassins — War Is Boring 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 »

Colombia: The end game

Behind the scenes with Colombia’s insurgents as they bring their 50-year-long conflict to a close… Source: Colombia: The end game – Al Jazeera English Read More »