Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)

New Zealanders recently voted to legalize euthanasia for the October general election ballot paper. The results are binding and the Act will come into effect 22 months from the final results on 6 November 2021. The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying. On the other hand, New …

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The cataclysm caused by the war on terror

When you read about desperate refugees crossing the English Channel in dinghies, do you ever ask yourself why these people left home in the first place? Few give it much thought. To most, migrants seem just a fact of life. But the reality is they’re “the thin edge of the wedge of a vast exodus” …

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The disgraceful execution of Lisa Montgomery

Lisa Montgomery was executed in Indiana last Wednesday morning, becoming the first woman to die under the federal death penalty in nearly seven decades. Her sentence was carried out after the Supreme Court lifted one stay and declined to grant another last-minute request for a delay from her attorneys. The court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen …

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Inauguration poem

Amanda Gorman, the nation’s first-ever youth poet laureate read the following poem during the inauguration of President Joe Biden on January 20th.  One cannot replicate Amanda’s excellent presentation, unfortunately. But the words are wonderful.  An amazing talent: When day comes we ask ourselves, Where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we …

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The attempted coup and the District of Columbia

The Capitol riot highlighted the need for DC statehood in tragic, terrifying relief. The 700,000 residents of DC watched as racist armed insurrectionists took over city streets, hotels, restaurants, Airbnbs, and peaceful neighborhoods before and after the Capitol attack, powerless to do anything about it. DC Mayor Muriel Bowser was hamstrung in her attempt to …

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Racism and religion

Studies have shown that attending church frequently does not make white christians less racist. In fact, the data suggests that the opposite is true. The connection between holding more racist views and white christian identity is actually stronger among white evangelicals who attend church frequently than it is among those who attend less frequently. My …

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What happened to all the tree-planting plans?

In January, the World Economic Forum, backed by US president Donald Trump, announced the One Trillion  Trees to plant or protect a trillion trees by 2030, bolstering the estimated 3 trillion that already exist. The scheme joins existing reforestation efforts such as the “Trillion Trees” project launched by conservation groups in 2017. “One Trillion Trees” …

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Why don’t birds freeze at high altitudes?

Birds fly at tens of thousands of metres high. Ice forms on the wings of planes at this altitude, so why don’t the birds freeze? Birds can sometimes reach astonishingly high altitudes. The record is a massive 11,278 metres by a Rüppell’s vulture that collided with an aircraft. The resulting “snarge” – that is to …

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About the current crisis: a parallel story

Isn’t it amazing that one man can so easily rile up millions of people, who seem to sincerely believe the national election was stolen from him, no proof needed. I am reminded of my youth at a boarding school. By “tradition”, young boys lacking confidence and struggling with being away from home, were stuffed into …

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Ghostly tracks in New Mexico

(Keeping off the current dire threat to the country and what it stands for….. ………………… Thirteen thousand years ago, a woman made her way across mudflats with a small child whom she sometimes carried in her arms. Nothing of her remains – except her footprints: stretching for almost a mile across the White Sands National …

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Tearing the Catholic Church apart

Pope Francis is taking a big risk by airing progressive views on gay relationships.. In a documentary aired at the Rome film festival last week, he signalled his support for same-sex civil unions (if not marriage), declaring that gay people “have a right to a family [as] they are children of God”. The Pope’s progressive …

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