A humiliating way to treat an old warmonger

From the New York Times: Many of the people who have worked for President Trump have ended up “diminished” or humiliated in some way. To that long list we can now add a new name: John Bolton. Trump’s national security adviser won the role by impressing the president with his regular bellicose contributions to Fox …

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A statistic that needs no comment

Out of England’s 334 high-rise blocks of flats with the same cladding as Grenfell Tower, 69 have so far had it removed.  ( U.K Ministry of Housing) (The cladding on Grenfell Tower turned out to be flammable.  Scores of people were trapped in the burning high-rise apartment block on 14 June 2017 and were killed)

Trump Justice Department to resume federal executions

From The Hill The Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced  that it will resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades. Barr’s announcement comes as the number of executions in the United States has declined over the last decade amid concerns about whether capital punishment disproportionately impacts African Americans. Only three federal …

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Home schooling in Britain

From The Week: One effect of schools “off-rolling” low-achieving pupils has been an increase in the number of children who are home-schooled. Almost 60,000 children in England are estimated to have been educated at home last year – double the number in 2014 – though since there is no national register of home-schooled children, the …

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Pornography and global climate change

The streaming of online pornography produces the same amount of carbon dioxide as the whole of Belgium, according to a new report by the French think tank The Shift Project. Its researchers found that the energy required to stream online videos is responsible for the emission of 300 million tonnes of CO2 a year – …

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The death penalty

The American Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday that it will resume capital punishment for the first time in nearly two decades. Only three federal executions have taken place since 1988, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. All five of the death-row inmates named in Thursday’s release were convicted for the murders of children. …

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Almost too ridiculous

From The Times. 12 July 2019: “Please beware. There may be nudity. Or loud noises. Or cigarette smoking”  “Theatre productions issue all sorts of health warnings to ticket buyers these days.  But London’s Donmar Warehouse has gone a step further: it is protecting audiences from any possible distress by giving detailed information in advance about scenes …

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The allure of handwriting

“We are collectively more than ever obsessed with individual identity, our personal brand, putting our stamp on the world. But we bow to the plain text of the smartphone, bland and unblotted. A WhatsApp message will never have the personality of a sibling’s spider-scribble. Digital communication can never match the intimacy of a handwritten letter. …

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Epicureanism then and now

Brian Dougall, in The Hobo Test, his 2013 critique of Epicureanism, published in Philosophy Now, began by explaining what Epicurus meant  by pleasure and then went on to explain what Epicurus meant by a “good. life” . He wrote that easily- accessible pleasures in the era of Epicurus included water, fruit, a comfortable hammock, a simple …

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Dragging the Queen into the Brexit farce?

Senior members of the United Kingdom’s ruling Conservative party are so concerned about the country leaving the European Union without a deal that they are planning to go over the head of the new Prime Minister and appeal directly to the Queen. Fears are growing among politicians that if and when Boris Johnson becomes PM …

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Obesity

Posted by rhanrott on 18 July 2019, 1:51 am Excess weight causes about 1,900 more cases of bowel cancer than smoking in the UK each year. There are also 1,400 more cases of kidney cancer caused by excess weight than by smoking each year, 460 more ovarian cancers and 180 more cases of liver cancer. …

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Ambassador Darroch’s unresolved resignation

The shoddy, shabby treatment of the. British Ambassador to Washington raises the immediate question: who leaked his very accurate assessment of Trump? My favourite explanation is  that the Foreign Office computer system was hacked by an insider with a view of getting Darroch replaced  – by Nigel Farrage. Who would want this and why?  Principally, Boris Johnson (an …

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Three expert comments on fighting the climate crisis: who is right?

1. Report by The Guardian A study released last week suggests that planting one trillion trees would be one of the most effective – and cheapest – ways to tackle the climate crisis. As ever, the question is whether mankind can organise itself enough to actually start planting. In view of the surge in Amazonian …

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