Lawlessness in Mexico

 From The Guardian Last year Mexico registered 35,964 murders, an increase of three times the previous year. Only a tiny fraction of crimes committed are solved, and increasingly ordinary people are taking the law into their own hands, specifically, 174 times last year, lynching suspects wherever they can find them.  Citizens are frustrated by incompetent …

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Time to say farewell to steak and chips (fries)

Soon, most of us will stop eating beef,  and it won’t be because we’ll all agree with vegans that meat is murder. It’ll be due to the logic of advanced capitalism. The alternatives to meat now being developed – plant-based substitutes and vat-grown meat produced from cultured animal cells – will taste the same as …

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Is Oxbridge entrenching privilege? Or is inverse snobbery as big a problem?

From The Times, London “How can we improve Britain’s “stagnant” levels of social mobility? Labour activists would like to abolish private schools, and that would surely help. But a better way to disrupt “elite self-perpetuation” would be to target Oxford and Cambridge. If we stopped those bastions of “inherited prestige and wealth” from teaching undergraduates, …

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Don’t find yourself in an American emergency health facility!

Two days before his wedding this past April, a man called Cameron Fischer got very drunk at his bachelor party, felt very ill, and had to go to an emergency room. His medical bill that was initially $12,460, all told, just to be re-hydrated .That was more than twice the cost of his wedding. There …

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The ultra-costly, underwhelming F-35 Fighter

From Tomgram, the site that comments on the  defence industry: “Lockheed Martin Remains Top Gun in the Pentagon’s Cockpit “How are you with numbers? I can deal with $1.5 million. I think I can even imagine $1.5 billion, a sum a thousand times greater. But how about a million times greater: $1.5 trillion? That happens …

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Emigration a greater concern than immigration

We hear a lot about immigration and the difficulties it presents from politicians seeking votes. But of greater concern in some countries is the flight of citizens abroad from countries like Romania, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain, according to the European Council on Foreign Relations. Romania:  An estimated 3.4 million Romanians left the country in the …

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The characteristics of the Epicurean person

The following are, in my opinion, the characteristics of the Epicurean lady or a gentleman.    I make absolutely no apology for what some might see as old-fashioned ideas – they are simply what I would look for in a wife, a  lifelong friend, or a companion.  Gender is immaterial.  (not in any particular order …

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The climate change protests

Thousands of people around the world joined a global climate change protest yesterday, with pupils walking out of schools and workers downing tools to demand action.  The British demonstrators numbered about 100,000. The British Education Secretary Gavin Williamson predictably said “every child” should be in school.   “They should be learning, they shouldn’t be bunking off and …

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Chess

Russia has announced that chess is to become a compulsory subject in schools.  The Minster of Education and Science is quoted as saying, “Children playing chess have better academic performances.  Engagement with chess helps them with mental development”. As someone who never learned chess I think this is an enlightened idea.  It teaches kids to think …

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Dynastic wealth and greed

When Cordelia Mellon Scaife was born in 1928 she was the world’s “richest baby”. Her grand-uncle, the industrialist-turned-U.S. treasury secretary Andrew Mellon, spent his lifetime squeezing workers and fighting to cut rich people’s taxes. But Mellon’s impact on American life didn’t end with his 1937 death. His heir Richard Mellon Scaife — Cordelia’s brother — …

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The back pain epidemic: Why popular treatments are making it worse

Chronic back pain is on the rise – in part because the way we treat it often does more harm than good. It’s time to think differently about our aches.  One in four adults are experiencing it right now, and 90 per cent of people having back pain at least once in their life. Nearly a …

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Optimism boosts longevity

People with optimistic outlooks tend to live longer than their more negative peers, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found. The study drew on data from two long-running studies of Americans aged over 60: one of 1,500 male war veterans, and one of 70,000 female nurses. At the start of both, the participants …

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The Bahamas and Donald Trump

The acting chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mark Morgan, has offered new assurances to Bahamian survivors of Hurricane Dorian that they will be allowed entry into the United States, less than a day after dozens of evacuees were forced off a ship bound for Florida because they didn’t possess visas. “We will accept anyone …

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Sit less, move more, live longer

“You don’t need to go to the gym to benefit from exercise: even activities such as walking slowly or washing dishes can significantly boost a person’s longevity, a study has found. Researchers from Norway looked at data on 36,000 people with an average age of 63 whose activity levels were monitored over six years. Any …

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Try having a conversation about Brexit!

In reply to my posting about winning arguments, Carmen, a regular reader ( thank you, Carmen!) makes the following point: “A pre-problem which I’ve experienced before even reaching a “how-to-win-the-argument” mode, is  establishing an agreement–stated or implied– to commit to a conversation. People are adept at giving their political viewpoints but at the same time …

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