Opinion

What philosophers have to say about eating meat

WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. Joan McGregor The Conversation WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said in an email that it was the company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint. His moral arguments are based on the devastating environmental effects of meat consumption. Research has shown that meat and dairy production are among the worst culprits when it comes to the production ... Read More »

Europe’s political problems are bigger than Orbán

Letter To The Editor Populist politicians like Viktor Orbán are symptoms of a larger problem. Sophie In ‘t Veld * Politico In a recent article for POLITICO, “This time, Viktor Orbán has gone too far” (August 3), my colleague in the European People’s Party, Swedish MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, made an urgent plea for the Hungarian prime minister’s Fidesz party to be expelled from her political group. I wholeheartedly agree with her. In recent years, the EPP leadership has ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt got his facts wrong. But that’s not the only thing wrong with his column

Bolt’s column illustrates the steady and sinister drift of Australia’s national conversation towards a permissible racism Robert Manne The Guardian Last week four Murdoch tabloids – the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser – published an opinion column by Andrew Bolt. The headline the Telegraph chose, “The Foreign Invasion”, was not inaccurate. According to Bolt, Australia was losing its identity. The principal cause was “a tidal wave of immigrants” who refused to assimilate and treated Australia not ... Read More »

What makes a good friend?

Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.” Alexis Elder The Conversation When faced with, for example, a situation where it’s tempting to lie to cover for a friend, it can seem as though friendship and morality are on a collision course. I am an ethicist who works on issues involving friendship, so this tension is of great interest to me. ... Read More »

Federal Trade Commission should crack down on scammers

Last month I received a call from a friend of long standing in Las Vegas. He indicated that he was in distress; his friend had been in an automobile accident and, to his surprise, drugs were found in the backseat of his friend’s car. Herbert London The Hill The legal aide representative who contacted him said his buddy was being held in an overnight cell before a judge ruled on this matter the following day. In order to secure this ... Read More »

Wielding power, waging war: Media moguls’ relevance fading

Back in 2011, the outspoken American-born pay TV executive John Porter lamented an obsession in the Australian business press with media moguls. John McDuling The Sydney Morning Herald “[E]veryone in the media industry seems to want to go back to the natural order of things: a Packer, a Murdoch and a Stokes pulling all the strings” Porter, chief executive of satellite pay TV company Austar at the… It has only taken seven years, but Porter’s desire to move on from ... Read More »

Slow down, get real.

In trying to understand the threat of fake news, a strange thing is occurring. We seem to have accepted without challenge the purity of that which is threatened. This is an edited version of a speech delivered at the annual conference of the Society of Risk Analysis Europe held at Mid Sweden University earlier this month. Nicholas Karides * How well did the media system work before this fakeness appeared? How real has real news been? The historian Noah Yoval ... Read More »

Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

Race politics is back. Right now, it feels like there has never been a more exciting time to be a dog-whistling politician or race-baiting commentator in Australia. Tim Soutphommasane Brisbane Times Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media. Race looms ... Read More »

Migrant kids were stripped, drugged, locked away. So much for compassion.

WHEN ACCOUNTS of abuse emerged in June from a detention center for migrant minors in Virginia — children as young as 14 stripped naked, shackled, strapped to chairs, their heads encased in bags, left for days or longer in solitary confinement, and in some cases beaten and… Editorial Board The Washington Post This institution, the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, near Staunton, couldn’t possibly be in America. And if it was, it had to be an extreme outlier — a place ... Read More »

‘Medicare for all’ is a pipe dream

A new study released by Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has received a lot of attention this week. Dr. Marc Siegel The Hill It concludes that the “Medicare for all” proposal endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others would “increase federal budget commitments by approximately $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation.” The study goes on to point out that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to ... Read More »

New Pakistani government faces many challenges

Pakistan is passing a critical stage and facing many challenges on the domestic as well international fronts. The newly elected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will inherit these… Zamir Awan Asia Times Pakistan is situated at a geo-strategic location. It connects Central Asia, Russia, East Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Being a Muslim nation, it is bridge between the Muslim world and other nations. It… It is situated at the entrance to the Persian Gulf – the Strait of Hormuz, which is ... Read More »

The Brilliant Cathy Wilcox

Here is a letter by Freddie Steen to the Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.  I agree with every word of it ( Julian Burnside ) The Editor , Cathy Wilcox(“political cartoon, 1/8) cuts to the core: Dutton’s punitive, care-less position on the human status of men seeking asylum, lets young men die. A breach of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention RG Menzies freely signed in 1954. The death of Hamid Khazaie is now world history as a preventable death in administrative ... Read More »

The Great Brexit Disorder

Seeking, and being able to afford (!), a brief psychological decompression from the nightmarish Land of Caged Toddlers, and the almost daily police executions of unarmed blacks, I’m back in the… Kenneth Surin CounterPunch In Blighty, not quite as yet a banana republic like the US, young children are not (so far) kidnapped on a massive scale by the state, and its non-whites (so far) only generally endure systemic and repetitive police harassment and… The burning issue in the UK, ... Read More »

The lifesaving power of gratitude (or, why you should write that thank you note)

Gratitude may be more beneficial than we commonly suppose. One recent study asked subjects to write a note of thanks to someone and then estimate how surprised and happy the recipient would feel – an impact that they consistently underestimated. Richard Gunderman The Conversation Another study assessed the health benefits or writing thank you notes. The researchers found that writing as few as three weekly thank you notes over the course of three weeks improved life satisfaction, increased happy feelings ... Read More »

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

As if there was any remaining doubt, the past few weeks have shown that US President Donald Trump is fully committed to demolishing the American-led post-war order and free-trade system. Joschka Fischer * The Project Syndicate Europeans no longer have any time to waste: The EU must assert itself as a unitary, self-sufficient global power before it is too late. BERLIN – After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir ... Read More »

The Australian Government can save Julian Assange

Julian Assange is an Australian. He is in trouble overseas.  He needs the Australian government’s help. Julian Burnside For six years he has been virtually a prisoner in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.  The reason he is there is because he is the founder and editor of WikiLeaks, which published evidence of war crimes leaked by an American soldier, Bradley (later Chelsea) Manning as a matter of conscience. WikiLeaks has since revealed the secrets of the world’s unaccountable forces. This ... Read More »