Excerpt from the Bhagavad Gita, Part 1

……..Virtuous people find it difficult to believe that such evil exists on earth. It’s proponents, moreover, often proclaim (if they have a degree of intelligence) teachings that are designed purposefully to win others to their side: teachings like “the greatest good for the greatest number” and “each according to his need, from each according to …

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Military-style guns – why do they need them?

”Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”  So exclaimed Beto O’Rourke during the recent Democratic primary debate, endorsing the idea of mandatory buy-backs of assault weapons. It has become “the newest purity test” for Democratic candidates, but have they thought about the consequences of enforcing such a policy? “There could be as …

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Abortion: the ruthless scam connected with Roe v Wade

Norma McCorvey, who died in 2017, was the plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the 1973 landmark supreme court case Roe v Wade that led to abortion becoming legal in the United States, made, it turns out, a stunning deathbed confession. In a new FX documentary McCorvey admits that her infamous reversal on abortion rights …

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Is this the end of the democracy experiment?

I have a degree in Modern History, a subject weakly valued by American employers (don’t get me started!). One of my university tutors, Theodore Zeldin, was a simultaneous translator at the Nuremberg trials and a world expert on the great slump and the rise of Hitler. He spoke thirteen European languages, and  personally knew and …

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You should know better than this, Governor

The Democrat governor of New York has a plan for a “Trump-proof” reopening of the Big Apple.  Andrew Cuomo has apparently hired “high-powered consultants” who will scientifically analyse the “key data points” to work out how to free up the region’s economy. And who are these brilliant consultants? McKinsey & Company, of course – a …

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Epicurus loathed politics then, and would do so today

Modern politics is impossible to understand unless one understands the so-called pollution paradox – the greater the risk to public health and wellbeing a company is the more it has to spend on politics, to ensure it isn’t regulated out of existence.  The result is that politics is dominated by the most anti-social companies and …

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Light relief (you may have seen these gems before)

Why people need to learn grammar, spelling and syntax.   Actual announcements found in Church bulletins to the congregation or announced at services: ————————– The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. ————————–     Scouts are saving aluminium cans, bottles and other items to be recycled. Proceeds will be used to cripple children. ————————–  The sermon this morning: ‘Jesus …

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Here we go again- typically British

The scientific evidence that has underpinned No 10’s response to Covid-19 will not be made public until the pandemic ends, the government chief science adviser has told MPs. Sir Patrick Vallance said that the minutes of meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) — the government’s most senior team of expert advisers — …

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The World Economic Forum

The Observer (editorial)  The World Economic Forum’s annual Davos shindig “became a laughing stock a long time ago”, says The Observer newspaper.  All those denunciations of global inequality by “corporate captains clinking champagne glasses” in the snow at shareholders’ expense have long seemed ridiculous. But the penny seems finally to be drop­ping that the game …

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Filling the day with ……..what?

“We are born once and cannot be born twice, but we must be no more for all time. Not being master of tomorrow, you nonetheless delay your happiness.  Life is consumed in procrastination, and each of us dies without providing leisure for himself.”     (From “The Essential Epicurus”, by Eugene O’Connor, Great Books in Philosophy …

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Mis-use of taxpayer money

I was intrigued by an article in the Washington Post, which reported that most US Catholic parishes had applied for taxpayer money, namely the small business stimulation package handouts to help them through the virus epidemic.  13,000 Catholic parishes have received our money out of a total of about 17,000.   In the first round 6,000 …

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Glasses are forbidden

Tokyo Thousands of Japanese women have taken to social media to share their experiences of being discouraged from wearing spectacles at work since the practice was exposed in two recent reports. It turns out that a range of firms tell their female employees not to wear glasses, including a domestic airline that cites “safety” issues, …

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Religious freedom

I have resurrected the following  two year old news item because it has relevance for Epicureanism, the rights of women and the irrationality of outdated religious practice: “A national conversation is needed in Sweden about “where the limits of religious freedom lie”.  Judging by the stunt in 2018, pulled by the conservative newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, it …

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Welcome to a world of neontocracy. A review of “Raising Children”

We live in a neontocracy, a world that revolves around the needs of children far beyond the basics of food and material comfort. It seems vital to maintain children’s happiness, status, self-esteem and protection, and to provide constant stimulation. Anthropologist David Lancy of Utah State University (who coined the term neontocracy), writes that modern parenting …

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Will we see the effective end to this “ industry”?

Arnold Donald, the CEO of the world’s largest cruise line, thinks his industry is getting a bad coronavirus rap. COVID-19 hotspots on seven of his now shut-down Carnival cruise ships have left 39 dead. But Donald has been busy insisting that “a cruise ship is not a riskier environment.” His vessels, says Donald, more resemble …

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