Opinion

Employers should tap into a well of creative ideas from a diverse workforce

One of my genuine wishes for 2018 is that Scotland can ably demonstrate to the world what a wonderfully rich and diverse workforce we have Lauren Brown * The Scotsman We will show how we can positively ­transcend individuals’ perceived barriers, break down prejudices and have a 100 per cent focus on equality in the workplace. I would encourage employers to see the far-reaching benefits of offering job opportunities to young, ­vulnerable and disadvantaged people who might otherwise have been ... Read More »

‘Just like show business’: why celebrities are taking over politics

Whatever one thinks about Donald Trump, it’s hard to deny that his presidency – or what purports to be a presidency – is entertaining in the extreme. Norman Abjorensen Brisbane Times In fact, so pervasively entertaining is the 24-hour non-stop Trump show – a heady mix of feeble script, hilarious ad lib and the utterly gobsmacking tweet – that you have to wonder when he gets the time to govern (if he does it at all). Suddenly, reality TV, where ... Read More »

America is spiritually bankrupt

We must fight back together The undeniable collapse of integrity, honesty and decency in our public and private life has fueled racial hatred and contempt Cornel West The Guardian We live in one of the darkest moments in American history – a bleak time of spiritual blackout and imperial meltdown. Exactly 25 years ago, in my book Race Matters, I tried to lay bare the realities and challenges to American democracy in light of the doings and sufferings of black ... Read More »

The Daily Grind of Recycling

Warm feelings about saving the planet have given way to the drudgery of sorting and rinsing and nagging from the government. Stephen L. Carter Bloomberg The other day, I had an epiphany: If recycling were not required by law, I probably wouldn’t bother. Okay, I’m a horrible person. But bear with me. In the wake of a blizzard, I was rolling the huge town-provided recycling bin to the curb for pickup. Downhill. Through the snow. On a steep driveway, imprecisely plowed. ... Read More »

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence

After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism? Paul Harvey The Conversation Or, how do they turn off their phones, when there are more calls to be made and focus instead on inward cultivation? As a historian of American race and religion, I have studied how figures in ... Read More »

In My Chronic Illness, I Found a Deeper Meaning

I became disabled overnight in a car accident. The car accident was a dream, but the disability was real. Elliot Kukla The New York Times I dreamed I was driving through the ravaged streets of Oakland, Calif., at the end of the world. I turned the corner and careened inescapably into a white chemical blaze. I woke with a start, the white flash still burning behind my eyes, the worst headache of my life piercing my left temporal lobe. I ... Read More »

Be afraid, be very afraid: North Korea’s long-term strategy

The TV camera focuses on Kim Jong-un. “Fellow countrymen, I am determined to make sure that you have not endured your many sacrifices in vain,” he says. Bradley Martin Asia Times “We have forced the world to notice us and respect us, and now we need to translate that achievement into food, clothing and shelter for our long-suffering population. “Today, I am ordering military storehouses opened. We will distribute a million tons of war-reserve rice to our citizens, who need ... Read More »

Tom Arnold: How Ireland can influence the world

We should place food and nutrition at the heart of our foreign policy Irish Ambassadors from around the globe will meet in Dublin next week to strategise on the direction of our foreign policy post-Brexit The Irish Times They will plan for changing Irish relationships with the UK, EU-26 and the wider international community, and identify opportunities for Irish influence at European and international level. It is difficult for a small country to carve out a distinctive policy position and ... Read More »

Emma Watson’s willingness to face the truth about race is refreshing

I hope that the actor’s acknowledgment that she has benefited from being white will lead others to ask themselves hard questions too Lola Okolosie The Guardian Feminism, to quote bell hooks, is for everybody. It’s a simple enough statement. Utopian in its vision, it has however proved, for the very constituency who should have been most receptive to its premise – feminists – contentious. A simmering argument within the movement, along with debates about how far it has included working-class, LGBTQI ... Read More »

A little restraint might save the world and boost happiness

Have you noticed that self-denial is creeping slowly back into vogue? Oh sure, it’s not yet enough to truly counterbalance our society’s rampant consumerism and it’s often only for a limited time – more Dry January than lifelong teetotallerhood. Caitlin Fitzsimmons Brisbane Times But it’s interesting to see all the Buy Nothing groups pop up and all the articles about people who gave up buying new clothes for a year and found themselves, or not, in the process. When I ... Read More »

Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

Researchers to test fast-working spray containing naloxone, a treatment usually given to opiate addicts that blocks production of dopamine The Guardian Could gambling addiction be treated with a nasal spray? A group of Finnish researchers are launching a study to find out. The fast-working spray contains naloxone, which is commonly used as an emergency treatment for overdoses of opiates such as heroin, opium and morphine. It blocks the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure with a central role ... Read More »

Mystic Mantra: Swami Rama Tirtha and his secret law

Talking on the phenomenon of happiness and contentment, Osho introduced a certain law that only some mystics have known. Swami Chaitanya Keerti The Asian Age Swami Rama Tirtha was a mystic saint of India who travelled to the US, preceded by Swami Vivekananda, during the last century. He was a great teacher of practical vedanta who used to call himself Baadshah Ram, Emperor Ram, even though he had renounced his family and all worldly belongings. It is reported that somebody ... Read More »

Before losing battle with cancer, this 27-year-old woman penned a heartbreaking, eye-opening letter

“That’s the thing about life, it is fragile, precious, unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right,” Holly Butcher wrote in an emotional post on Facebook. Alex Eriksen Yahoo Butcher, 27, lost her battle with cancer this week. Her words are drawing attention on social media, garnering more than 8,000 shares, 11,000 likes, and 2,000 comments. Butcher, from Brisbane, Australia, covers a range of life topics in her letter, including coming to grips with her mortality. She ... Read More »

The feared other: Peter Dutton’s and Australia’s pathology around race

Dutton wants to persuade us that those who are most disempowered in our society are our greatest threat It widens the divide between us and them Joumanah El Matrah The Guardian In David Marr’s book Panic he came to the realisation that he had been writing about panic, Australian panic in particular, all his career. If we are a fearful nation, we are also a compulsive one. We aggressively return to our fears, stoke our hatreds, and obsessively and routinely ... Read More »

Oireachtas committee has opened the door to abortion for disability

If no reasons for abortion need be given in the first 12 weeks any reason will do William Binchy The Irish Times The report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is a dismal document It proposes the introduction of abortion on demand, expressly for the first twelve weeks of the child’s life, and covertly at all stages potentially up to birth. The majority of the committee proposes the abortion of unborn children in the ... Read More »

Muslim women will not misuse the ‘triple talaq’ law

Immediately after the Indian government announced a bill criminalising “triple talaq”, the proposal has been mired in controversy. Mariya Salim AlJazeera Banning the practice of a husband divorcing his wife by uttering “talaq” three times within Muslim communities has been under discussion in India for years now. The practice has rendered hundreds of Muslim women homeless, forced out of their matrimonial homes overnight, with many learning that they have been divorced from relatives, by phone or even by a text message. A recent ... Read More »