The “special relationship”: forget it

Under Barack Obama, as former State Department official Jeremy Shapiro informed the Cheltenham Literature Festival last week, US diplomats viewed the notion of a “special relationship” with the UK as “a joke”. Unkind words, perhaps, but Shapiro “did us a favour” by telling the truth. The phrase “had freshness and relevance” when Winston Churchill coined …

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Kaiser Wilhelm and Trump, similaries between Germany and the U.S. (part 2)

(A bit long but scary reading and hopefully worth your time) For starters, both countries exhibit the familiar warning signs of excessive military influence. In Germany, the Army was essentially “a state within the state,” and scholars have all documented how military dominance distorted German thinking about its security and led to an overreliance on …

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The Kaiser and Donald Trump

Stephen M. Walt, in the October 12, 2017 edition of Foreign Policy, (http://foreignpolicy.com/author/stephen-m-walt/) comments on the the parallels between Trump and the last Hohenzollern emperor: Kaiser Wilhelm II. The common features go beyond their individual characteristics. Not only do Trump and the kaiser share some unfortunate personality traits, but there are also striking similarities between …

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Young teenage girls and unhappiness, No. 2

I recently posted a piece on working mothers and unhappy children. Here are some further facts, published by The Guardian: A study of data from 674 GP practices across the UK has found that instances of girls aged 13-16 self-harming rose 68% in just three years. The figures, which chime with separate NHS data, also …

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Lexit: further update on Brexit

Only by leaving the EU will Britain be free to become a “social democratic nirvana”. So claim prominent left-wing advocates of “Lexit”. They argue that EU laws stand in the way of us reforming our economy along more Corbynist, that is, very left-wing, lines. But you only have to look at Europe to see this is …

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Countering radicalization

From Liz Berry, Lydbrook, Gloucestershire, UK Peter Byrne points out that no classic intervention strategy to combat radicalisation seems to work and that the UK parliament’s human rights committee reported that the nation’s Prevent strategy may actually make matters worse. Suggested countermeasures were to encourage community engagement; to break down stereotypes, rehumanising collaborators; and encouraging …

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The majority doesn’t rule on guns

The US is now a non-majoritarian democracy, that is, it vastly over-represents rural areas and small states, leaving city dwellers with limited influence over issues such as gun control. Large majorities want universal background checks, a ban on assault-style weapons and measures to prevent the mentally-ill and those on no-fly lists from buying guns. Ponder …

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Heaping work on customers

The “self-service revolution” has been wonderful for companies. What better way to strip out costs than to replace supermarket cashiers with machines, or make passengers print out their boarding passes before setting out? In a new book, Shadow Work, Craig Lambert presents a “dystopian vision”. He argues that “the reason why so many people feel …

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Patriotic Millionaires official statement on the Trump tax Plan

“President Trump’s Trickle Down Tax Plan is somewhere between indefensible and obscene. “What kind of people see the devastation of Harvey, Irma, and Maria; watch Houston residents wading through the streets; and see Puerto Rico in total darkness and think to themselves “Wow, millionaires really need a tax cut?’” “The Trump Tax Plan is nothing …

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I never thought I would agree with Kim Jong Un

Thus Kim, in translation: “After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician. His …

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Stop messing about with the way teachers teach!

Scientia potestas est – knowledge is power – is an idea so famous that it is known by even those with very little of it. Yet too many on the Left disregard it. Like Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who held that teaching children knowledge corrupts their innate values, they view the teaching of facts as “right-wing, regressive and …

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Nation Down To Last Few Grown-Ups

“According to recent data, the grown-up population has plummeted dramatically since 1950, when a Census count found that more than 24 million Americans could both admit when they were wrong and respect a viewpoint other than their own. Today, only one in three million citizens can provide thoughtful advice to a fellow human being instead of …

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