Some brief thoughts on Catalonian independence

A few weeks ago, the Spanish region of Catalonia held an independence referendum. The region’s distinct language and culture, as well as its prosperity relative to the rest of Spain, has made independence an enticing prospect for centuries. Moreover, the repression of the Catalan way of life under Franco has only increased animosity against the …

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America’s disappearing weaponry

America’s enemies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere have regularly been able to arm themselves with a remarkable range of U.S. weaponry. During the fighting around the city of Tal Afar, the Iraqi military recovered a U.S.-produced FGM-148 Javelin anti-tank missile and launcher from an Islamic State weapons cache. That’s a weapon capable of taking …

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Epicurus and Political Moderation

We’re a big fan of moderation here on the Epicurus Blog. In fact, it’s one of our core values, as you can see on the banner above. Epicurus stressed that avoiding excess was a key aspect of achieving happiness, and we wholeheartedly agree. Thus, we reject rigid dogmas and are generally utilitarian in our ethics …

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Democracy is built on national pride?

“Warnings about resurgent nationalism come thick and fast these days. Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission, denounced it in a recent speech, arguing that true patriots are Europeans. The international lawyer Philippe Sands did likewise in an article that linked neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the Daily Mail and Brexit to the “poison of slow-burning …

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Best of the Week #14 A friendship with Iran

Apologies for posting this late, I’ve been very busy all day. This will be the last of the Best of the Week series for the time being. It has been really enjoyable and interesting responding to various news articles, whether briefly to a selection of articles, or analysing one or two in more detail. But …

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We’re running out of water

It was water scarcity that destabilized Syria, sparked a war, and sent more than 1 million refugees fleeing into Europe. Analysts have attributed the Arab Spring revolutions in several countries to shortages of water, and thus grain and rapidly rising food prices, pushing about 150 million people into poverty, according to the World Bank.   Now, …

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America – armed to the teeth, but unable to win wars. Part 1 of 2

From Tomgram: The United States remains by far the world’s leading proliferator of conventional arms, accounting for some 50% of all global sales and 48% of all sales to the developing world. During the 2011-2014 period alone, U.S. weapons deliveries included a wide array of advanced weapons technologies: 104 tanks and self-propelled guns, 230 artillery …

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