The US postal “service”

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is preparing to put all first-class mail on a single delivery track, according to two people briefed on his plan for the U.S Postal Service, a move that would mean even slower and costlier service for both consumers and commercial mailers. The plan also prevents first-class mail from being shipped by …

Continue reading ‘The US postal “service”’ »

What is the point of Facebook?

When it was started Facebook served a useful social service in allowing families and friends to keep up with the people dear to them.  So far so good.  We all know people for whom Facebook is an important part of their lives.  These people far outnumber the wreckers, trouble-makers, haters and liars. Recently, however,  Facebook …

Continue reading ‘What is the point of Facebook?’ »

Can the US mend and reassert itself?

Watching the opening weeks of the Biden administration are Europeans filled with relief and optimism? Not exactly. Four years of Trump has, it seems, battered our trust, convincing us that Joe Biden, liked as he is, can’t fix a “broken” America, that the US is an unreliable ally, and that within a decade China will …

Continue reading ‘Can the US mend and reassert itself?’ »

Universal basic income

The world’s most robust study of universal basic income has concluded that it boosts recipients’ mental and financial well-being, as well as modestly improving employment. Finland ran a two-year universal basic income study in 2017 and 2018, during which the government gave 2000 unemployed people aged between 25 and 58 monthly payments with no strings …

Continue reading ‘Universal basic income’ »

Reining in social media and it’s abusers

Most would-be reformers of social media want to rewrite Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which largely exempts social media companies from legal liability for what users post on their sites. But attempts “to ‘fix’” Section 230 would massively backfire, forcing Twitter, Facebook, et al. to heavily censor all controversial posts on all …

Continue reading ‘Reining in social media and it’s abusers’ »

Be careful who you believe!

Oklahoma is trying to return its $2 million purchase of hydroxychloroquine and get a refund from the manufacturer. Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt ordered the purchase of the malaria drug in April, when President Trump was promoting it as a “miracle” treatment for Covid-19. Studies, however, have found the drug inappropriate (actually useless, to be honest, except …

Continue reading ‘Be careful who you believe!’ »

Sloppy oversight?

There is an allegation that Federal officials misused money set aside in the biomedical research fund in the years before the coronavirus emerged. Officials overseeing the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the federal health department, used millions of dollars from the fund to pay for unrelated salaries, administrative expenses and even …

Continue reading ‘Sloppy oversight?’ »

Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)

New Zealanders recently voted to legalize euthanasia for the October general election ballot paper. The results are binding and the Act will come into effect 22 months from the final results on 6 November 2021. The vote makes New Zealand the seventh country in the world to legalize assisted dying. On the other hand, New …

Continue reading ‘Legalizing assisted dying (but cannabis remains illegal)’ »

The cataclysm caused by the war on terror

When you read about desperate refugees crossing the English Channel in dinghies, do you ever ask yourself why these people left home in the first place? Few give it much thought. To most, migrants seem just a fact of life. But the reality is they’re “the thin edge of the wedge of a vast exodus” …

Continue reading ‘The cataclysm caused by the war on terror’ »

The disgraceful execution of Lisa Montgomery

Lisa Montgomery was executed in Indiana last Wednesday morning, becoming the first woman to die under the federal death penalty in nearly seven decades. Her sentence was carried out after the Supreme Court lifted one stay and declined to grant another last-minute request for a delay from her attorneys. The court’s three liberals, Justices Stephen …

Continue reading ‘The disgraceful execution of Lisa Montgomery’ »

What happened to all the tree-planting plans?

In January, the World Economic Forum, backed by US president Donald Trump, announced the One Trillion  Trees to plant or protect a trillion trees by 2030, bolstering the estimated 3 trillion that already exist. The scheme joins existing reforestation efforts such as the “Trillion Trees” project launched by conservation groups in 2017. “One Trillion Trees” …

Continue reading ‘What happened to all the tree-planting plans?’ »

Where have we seen this before?

( I will not comment on the coup attempt itself-  it has had excellent coverage.  What interests me is the historical parallels) The last four years (and yesterday was culmination) has shown the underbelly of the nation, what happens when jobs are scarce and insecure, education is dreadful unless you have a lot of money, …

Continue reading ‘Where have we seen this before?’ »