The scandal in the Catholic church goes from bad to overwhelming

In an interview published on Wednesday evening by Religion Digital, the religious portal of the Spanish-language news site Periodista Digital, Cardinal Maradiaga once again strongly criticized Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò for having gone public about McCarrick’s sexual predations and the protection the Cardinal received from the highest spheres in the Vatican, especially since Pope Francis …

Continue reading ‘The scandal in the Catholic church goes from bad to overwhelming’ »

A calamity in the making, part 2

Hyman Minski, an economist, created the “financial instability hypothesis”. Financial systems – and the free market economies that rest on them – are by nature unstable, tending towards what he called “Ponzi finance”. In good times companies take on too much debt, and that gets them into trouble when profits fall. They then sell assets …

Continue reading ‘A calamity in the making, part 2’ »

Non- Disparagement Agreements

Some of the people who appear on American TV, or who are quoted in articles about President Trump, have signed non-disclosure agreements that oblige signers not to disparage Trump personally, or members of his family. Some versions provide for financial penalties, others are comprehensive in terms of Trump’s political, social and financial affairs. So the …

Continue reading ‘Non- Disparagement Agreements’ »

The benefits of gentle police work

Inequality, poverty, corruption – Nicaragua has many of the characteristic problems that afflict Central American nations. Yet there is one way in which it stands out from its neighbours: its relative lack of violence. Its homicide rate, according to the latest regional report from InSight Crime, is a mere seven per 100,000. This compares with …

Continue reading ‘The benefits of gentle police work’ »

The biggest threat to democracy that no one is talking about

That threat is a constitutional convention called by the states. The last time such a thing happened was in 1787. So messy was that affair that it hasn’t been carried out since. But a renewed effort is underway. Conservatives are pushing for an Article V convention to add a balanced-budget amendment and other ideas, to …

Continue reading ‘The biggest threat to democracy that no one is talking about’ »

A nation based on fear cannot be “great”.

It has not been a good year for gun makers. Remington filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after its sales fell 27.5% in the first nine months of Donald Trump’s presidency. (Its officials had expected a 2016 Hillary Clinton victory and a burst of gun purchases). Sales have been ragged across the industry. Gun company stocks …

Continue reading ‘A nation based on fear cannot be “great”.’ »

Our ( British) ancesters were all probably dark brown

The first modern Britons probably had blue eyes, dark hair and dark brown skin, according to a new DNA analysis of the oldest complete skeleton ever found in the UK. Cheddar Man, dug up in Somerset in 1903, lived some 10,000 years ago, not long after settlers began crossing over from Europe at the end …

Continue reading ‘Our ( British) ancesters were all probably dark brown’ »

Letter to the Washington Post, 30 August 2018

“The answer for me to E. J. Dionne’s rhetorical question about why people stay Catholic is simple: I attend Mass to deepen my relationship with the Lord. It matters not who wears the miter and carries the crosier. I don’t care if my priest is gay. The hierarchy and politics of the church offends me …

Continue reading ‘Letter to the Washington Post, 30 August 2018’ »

Top to bottom reform needed

A highly placed Vatican source claims that Cardinal Gerhard Müller, together with three experienced CDF priests, was dismissed by Pope Francis because they all had tried to follow loyally the Church’s standing rules concerning abusive clergymen. In one specific case, Müller opposed the Pope’s re-instatement of Don Mauro Inzoli, an unmistakably cruel abuser of many …

Continue reading ‘Top to bottom reform needed’ »

A maximum wage?

Could capping top incomes tackle our rising inequality more effectively than conventional approaches to narrowing ghe vast economic divide? The Program on Inequality at the Institute for Policy Studies hss published “The Case for A Maximum Wage”, by Sam Pizzigati, an IPS associate fellow and the co-editor of Inequality.org.   Pizzigati docusses how egalitarians worldwide are …

Continue reading ‘A maximum wage?’ »

The traditional dinner party is apparently doomed, part 2

Second part of yesterday’s posting (too long for a single one): It seems that the formal dinner is on life support. No one is setting out different wine glasses or (horror!) seating interesting strangers next to one another if they have special things in common. Entertaining is now informal, from a buffet to a casual …

Continue reading ‘The traditional dinner party is apparently doomed, part 2’ »

The traditional dinner party, part 1

It seems that the formal dinner is on life support. No one is setting out different wine glasses or (horror!) seating interesting strangers next to one another if they have special things in common. Entertaining is now informal, from a buffet to a casual get-together. Here are the modern do’s and don’ts for dinner party …

Continue reading ‘The traditional dinner party, part 1’ »

Children returning home? Bad news for parents!

A quarter of young British adults now live with their parents, more than at any time since records began in 1966. According to a new study by the London School of Economics, adult children who return to the family home after a period away – often at university – cause a significant decline in their …

Continue reading ‘Children returning home? Bad news for parents!’ »

Genuine complaints received by from customers by Thomas Cook Vacations

1. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food.” 2. “They should not allow topless sunbathing on the beach. It was very distracting for my husband who just wanted to relax.” 3. “We went on holiday to Spain and had …

Continue reading ‘Genuine complaints received by from customers by Thomas Cook Vacations’ »

The difference between being educated and being cultured.

“Culture is only really culture when it has diffused itself through every root and fibre of our endurance of life. Then it can become wisdom, a wisdom that can accept defeat, and turn defeat into victory. It can render us independent of our weakness, of our surroundings and of our age, a fortress for the …

Continue reading ‘The difference between being educated and being cultured.’ »

Bereft of effective leadership!

“I am opposed to the UK government’s key policy (Brexit), but then so, until recently, was she (Theresa May). There’s a job that doesn’t need doing and, increasingly, it feels like she is just the person not to do it.” (David Mitchell, Guardian Weekly, April 13) Meanwhile, a friend pointed out that the ineffectiveness of …

Continue reading ‘Bereft of effective leadership!’ »

Immigration again: victims of domestic and gang violence

In recent months, there has been a surge in the number of immigrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Immigrant rights advocates say that is because they’re fleeing extreme violence in their home countries — violence that shows no signs of abating. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has broad powers over the nation’s immigration courts, …

Continue reading ‘Immigration again: victims of domestic and gang violence’ »

Are you being a “fascist” if you want to curb immigration?

“Here’s some advice to my fellow liberals: If you want to defend liberal democracy in this age of “noisy populist movements”, stop condemning people who disagree with you about immigration. In both America and Europe, liberal commentators tend to treat every call for immigration curbs as a xenophobic assault on democracy. “Yet the conflation of …

Continue reading ‘Are you being a “fascist” if you want to curb immigration?’ »