Republicans and Big Government

President Trump has cast the shuttering of federal agencies as a standoff over his promise to build a wall on the southern border, paid for (supposedly) by Mexico. But for many White House aides and allies, the partial shutdown is advancing another long-standing priority: shrinking the government. Prominent advisers to the president have forged their …

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Save us from these superficial, amateur politicians!

Some of Britain’s biggest corporate names have dealt a blow to Theresa May by pressing the panic button and reorganising their business operations in case of a no-deal Brexit. Sir James Dyson, a Brexit-backing billionaire whose large company makes household goods like vacuum cleaners, inflicted the biggest embarrassment for the prime minister when his company …

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American inequality – this house may not stand for long

The widening of the racial wealth divide has coincided with the extreme concentration of U.S. wealth. The wealthiest 0.1 percent of households have grown richer while millions of families face poverty and deep-seated economic insecurity. The median American family saw their wealth drop 3 percent between 1983 and 2016, while the richest 0.1 percent have …

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Practical Epicureanism: What you can do to combat global warming

The following is excerpted from the December 8-14, 2018 edition of the New Scientist, written by Graham Lawton, staff feature writer: Keeping global warming below 1.5°C will require behavioural changes – but that doesn’t mean you have to don a hair shirt. The cumulative effect of small, low-effort actions can be great, and the more …

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Brexit: my most instant, heartfelt posting ever

Britain on Tuesday: May lost by over 400 votes! The rolling, roiling disaster gets worse by the day. Lack of forethought, bullying, and downright ignorance rule the day! Epicurus would advise me to calm down, to be philosophical, to assume all will eventually settle down and rationality will be restored. It is possible that he …

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Artificial intelligence – in the right hands?

The Guardian Weekly of 4 January 2019 carried an article by Vivienne Ming about Artificial Intelligence. In theory, she says, poverty, mental health, climate change, inequality – almost everything – could be addressed by AI. The problem, she says, is not the concept of AI, but the people behind it. She points out that AI …

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If you don‘t like it don’t buy it

A woman struggles to park a car. A man seems unable to change a nappy. Adverts portraying the sexes in a stereotyped way can be very irritating, says Tom Welsh. But it’s one thing to think they’re crass and outdated, quite another to prohibit them. Yet that’s what the UK’s advertising watchdog plans to do. …

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Homelessness in Britain

At least 320,000 people are homeless in Britain, according to research by the housing charity “Shelter”. This amounts to a year-on-year increase of 13,000, a 4% rise, despite government pledges to tackle the crisis. The estimate suggests that nationally one in 200 people are homeless. Shelter says its figures, which include rough sleepers and people …

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Marriage, ancient and modern

Care of the Husband’s Person On 8 April 2010 the London Review of Books reviewed a 14th Century Parisian book of household management called The Good Wife’s Guide: A Medieval Household Book. This is a compendium of medieval lore which aimed to instruct young wives how to be good, efficient, and obedient. The following is …

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