The young will suffer most long- term from the pandemic

“Young people are fuelling the coronavirus.” So suggested the World Health Organisation last month, after youngsters defying distancing rules were blamed for rising infection rates across Europe. In Preston, UK, councillors even urged local youth not to “kill granny”. But the young are not to blame for this pandemic. They are its “forgotten victims”. UK …

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Couples sleep better together

It is well established that people in stable relationships tend to have better mental and physical health than singletons. Now, scientists have discovered a possible explanation for this: it seems that sharing a bed promotes good sleep. Humans sleep in cycles, shifting between rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep – during which vivid dreams occur – and non-REM …

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The myth attached to raising taxes on the super-rich

“When state governments consider raising taxes on rich people, rich people in those states like to claim that if their taxes are raised too much, they’ll just pack up and leave for another state with lower taxes. If this were true, states raising taxes on rich people would end up losing tax revenue at the …

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America – land of massive inequality

The top 1% of Americans have taken $50 trillion from the bottom 90%.  This has been done by way of unemployment, scant benefits, unfair tax laws, and lopsided investment and political give-aways of our money. Now, the RAND Center has put a number on just how much wealth the top 1 percent has stolen from …

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Voter suppression

“Between 2014 and 2016, Republicans removed almost 17 million voters off the voter rolls. In addition to the voter registrations being invalidated before the current election, Republicans are enacting a plan to disenfranchise the black vote by rejecting their mail-ballots. It doesn’t get much worse than this. “Mail-in ballots by black voters are being rejected at the …

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Race hatred is not at all confined to the US

Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, UK Far-right activists have been filming themselves storming hotels that are being used by the Home Office to accommodate asylum seekers, confronting residents in their rooms, and demanding to know which countries they are from. In a series of videos posted on social media, activists with the group Britain First can be seen …

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An unacceptable taxpayer bailout

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 quiet) that houses of worship and religious private schools qualified under the …

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We’re all sitting down more

We’re frequently exhorted to get off our sofas and get active, but it seems such public health campaigns are not having enough impact. A pan-European study has found that since 2002 people have tended only to become more sedentary. In 2002, just over 49% of Europeans displayed “sedentary behaviours” – meaning they spent more than …

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Dumb protests

“Thousands of demonstrators – many of them carrying placards proclaiming Covid-19 to be a “hoax” or a “scam” – recently gathered in Trafalgar Square in London to protest against lockdown restrictions. Among the speakers was Piers Corbyn, the older brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who was fined £10,000 for his part in organising …

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A second version of a poem called “Dawn”

Dawn on an early March morning. The still, silver surface of the sea Merges softly with the morning mist, Confounding the division between earth and sky. A tropical sun peeps above the sea, Likes what it sees, and hurries up, Wreathed in purple, gold and white, Catching the masthead of an anchored yacht Swinging lazily …

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Q – Anon : patriots???

“Are Republican leaders really willing to throw in their lot with demented conspiracy theorists? “The answer, for the moment, would seem to be yes. President Trump tacitly endorsed the far-right QAnon cult the other day, saying its followers were patriots who “love our country” and, more importantly, “like me very much”. When a reporter pointed …

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Addendum to yesterday’s post: Unhappy teenagers

Britain has the least happy teenagers in Europe,  at least that’s what a new survey by The Children’s Society tells us. Why might this be? The charity’s chief executive, Mark Russell, believes he knows the reason. It’s down to “the increase in child poverty”, he says. There are two big problems with this explanation. The …

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Bumble bees

Information collected by a University of Ottawa team using data collected over a 115 year period and covering 66 bumblebee species, show that bumblebees are in drastic decline across Western Europe and North America, owing to higher and more extreme variations in temperature. The likelihood of the bee population surviving has declined by 30% in …

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The global scale of lead poisoning

One in three children around the world have enough lead in their blood to endanger their long-term health, scientists have found. The Unicef-published report, based on blood tests performed on hundreds of thousands of children worldwide, estimates that around 800 million under-19s have at least five micrograms of lead in their blood per decilitre – …

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An Epicurean Poem ( about peace of mind)

    Dawn    A still, warm, and breathless tropical night, Before the birds awake and fishes stir. There is no breeze or whisper from the palms, Only a gunmetal gloom and swish of waves Gently shifting seaweed on the sand. I lie on a hammock counting intervals Between the flashing lights of marker buoys, …

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The holocaust was not only about Jewish people

When you read about the Holocaust consideration is mainly given to anti-semitism.  Added is often the information that “millions of others” were also killed. In reality Nazi racism extended to Roma and Sinti people, (Gypsies, as they are otherwise known).  In the former Czechoslovakia 90% of the Roma and Sinti people were murdered, and those …

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