A lousy deal for the young

Nearly two-thirds of childless single British adults aged 20-34 have either never left the family home, or have moved back into it, according to new research into the “boomerang” generation. There are now an estimated 3.5 million young single adults living with their parents in the UK, a third more than a decade ago. (The …

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The fairness of the election

Across Europe, there is alarm not just about what happens on election day in the US, but about American democracy itself. Fewer than one in 10 think the US election will be free and fair. Yet large numbers of Europeans confess they don’t know whether Biden would be good for the world. Perhaps Trump’s legacy …

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Siri

Every tech company with voice-activated computer assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and Google Assistant promises to protect privacy. But it turns out that Apple has been allowing its Siri voice assistant to transmit highly personal recordings of people without their knowledge as part of a project that transcribed portions of Siri …

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Catholics and the US election

Four years ago, according to the Pew Research Center, 52% of Catholics voted for Trump, compared with 44% for Hillary Clinton. And with Biden himself being Catholic, you might expect a change in proportion of Catholic voting. But now this Catholic vote has got a whole lot more interesting. Recently, Pope Francis travelled to Assisi …

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The Second Amendment

Talking about a literal interpretation of the Constitution as written: the Constitution refers to State militias needing to bear arms, not individuals. It was a matter of States rights and local public defense. The Founders didn’t have in mind allowing every Tom, Dick and Harry to bear arms willy-nilly, endangering harmless citizens. We have departed …

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Covid-19 Means Good Times for the Pentagon

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, Washington has initiated its largest spending binge in history. In the process, you might assume that the unparalleled spread of the disease would have led to a little rethinking when it came to all the trillions of dollars Congress has given the Pentagon in these years that have in …

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Leftovers of slavery

Britain is “descending into a cultural war zone”, said Leo McKinstry in the Daily Express. “Bombarded with continual accusations of bigotry and bias”, our institutions are “surrendering to the woke fanatics”. The BBC decreed that “Rule, Britannia!” and “Land of Hope and Glory”would be played, but not sung at the Last Night of the Proms, …

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Read Epicurus , a poem

Theypeddle fear here; They peddle fear of terrorists and sudden death; They peddle fear of rapists and angry drivers; They peddle fear of government and paying tax; Of deer ticks, butter, sugar, fat, untested drugs; Of unknown visitors and dark-skinned men; Of invasion, war and sudden death; Of gunmen holding up cashiers; Of bombs in …

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Does this feel familiar?

Drumbeats of Doom France has a new political buzzword: “ensauvagement”, meaning “descent into savagery”. Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally party, has long used it to depict a country she claims is under siege by criminal violence she blames on immigration. And, after a spate of violent incidents this summer, the term …

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People who keep seeing the same doctor have lower death rates

Seeing the same doctor doesn’t just give the comfort of a familiar face – it might save your life. An analysis reveals that 18 of 22 studies from nine nations with varying health systems found that people who saw the same doctor over time had lower death rates (BMJ Open, doi.org/crmj). The studies used different …

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The Basics of Epicureanism

From time to time I post information on Epicureanism and what it stands for: Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based on the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 B.C. It teaches that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquillity, freedom from fear (“ataraxia”) and absence …

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If you are not concerned about vigilantes you should be

Arson,looting and street protests are a volatile enough combination in themselves. But what made the runrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and other US cities even more incendiary is the growing presence of armed vigilantes. These self-styled militia, or “civilian patrols”, claim to be helping keep the peace, yet their arrival simply makes violence more likely. Witness …

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Church bailouts during a pandemic

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act, the 2 trillion dollar bill passed last March, granted forgivable loans to “qualifying businesses and non- profits”. The Small Business Administration, which administered part of the Act, declared (but tried to keep it secret) that houses of worship and religious private schools qualified under the Act, …

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A Poem about a Tree, now destroyed by a hurricane

The Strangler Fig tree. at The Moorings, Islamorada: Were you a harmless, nameless tree, just standing there Motionless and proud, your boughs spread wide, The product of a hundred fruitful summers, Surviving the convulsions of Caribbean hurricanes, Cold fronts and brisk north winds, You might neither notice nor much care about The arrival, perching quietly, of …

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