Paul Summerville • January 14, 2013

Commentary on the truth behind the Cuban Missile Crisis, post-50 retirement horror, American demographics, is the Euro crisis over, abortion access imperiled, squeezed centre, that inflation genie, and the duty to consult.

Dark cloud over Camelot or the Cuban obsession.

Atlantic -- The Real Cuban Missile Crisis
Everything you think you know about those 13 days is wrong.

The age 50 Rubicon.

Paul Summerville • January 11, 2013

Commentary on oil in Africa, the end of independent central banks, Mexico’s terrible lost war, how the game of Monopoly helped Allied prisoner of war escapees get home, some thoughts on the global economy in 2013, the French and the Russians, and why Idle No More has legs.

Ghana’s oil future, Norway or Nigeria?

Paul Summerville • January 6, 2013

Commentary on bad IMF math, rail travel in the UK, Jared Diamond’s love of nature, rape in India, down on your luck learn how to pickpocket, and living in the Arctic.

Actually austerity makes things worse, sorry.

Washington Post -- IMF: Austerity is much worse for the economy than we thought
Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund made a striking admission in its new World Economic Outlook.

Paul Summerville • January 3, 2013

Commentary on measuring make up, free media on the internet, Mark you got some ‘splaning to do, why the Chinese government is so worried about orgies, London looking the EU in the eye, bye Ravi, and Canada’s Bobby Sands moment.

Does makeup matter?

New York Times -- The Power of the Rouge Pot
Some would argue that makeup empowers women, others would say it’s holding them back from true equality.

Paul Summerville • December 24, 2012

Bill Gate’s top 10 books in 2012 and interesting reviews.

Guardian -- The Better Angels of our Nature
The decline of violence, 'may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species'


Paul Summerville • December 23, 2012

Commentary on cheap and tasty lunches, the big shift in central banking, living secular in a religious world, the cure for cancer, and the great Canada-US territorial dispute.

It`s the company the restaurant keeps that really matters.

Paul Summerville • December 22, 2012

Commentary on John Boehner’s GOP fracture, the Economist’s 9 charts, a burst of cartooning creativity, final book in Manchester’s Churchill trilogy, why city dwellers overestimate the amount of time it takes to walk somewhere, the end of the two state solution, Mayor Bloomberg on managing guns, and a fiscal cliff bump for Canada.

“B” didn’t stand for brilliant but ‘busted’.

Paul Summerville • December 16, 2012

Commentary on the decline of the evangelical church in the United States, why doesn’t the US just sell Alaska, how Macarthur shaped modern Japan, demographic doomsday, Lady Astor’s outsized influence, and the Mark Carney affair.

Some good news.

New York Times -- The Decline of Evangelical America
IT hasn’t been a good year for evangelicals. I should know. I’m one of them.

Paul Summerville • December 9, 2012

Commentary on life after massive weight loss, gay marriage in the United States, finally good news for newspapers, Europe’s austerity kills the future, unequal future, freedom of speech, and those F35s.

I have a dear friend who is morbidly obese and I haven’t had the courage to say “lose that weight”. Julia Kozerski documented her decision to cut her weight in half and the trauma of dealing with her new body.

Paul Summerville • November 25, 2012

Commentary on dividing the chores, demography and the market, forgiving debt, the benefits of the minimum wage, the Newsweek saga, Martin Wolf interviewed, and the science of running long distances faster.

Smart division.

Slate -- You’re Dividing the Chores Wrong
No, you shouldn’t always unload the dishwasher because you’re better at it.

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Twin Virtues: Inequality of Outcomes & Equality of Opportunity©

Twin Virtues

Ultimately, the most successful societies find the balance between the twin virtues of inequality of outcomes and equality of opportunity.

The new politics must marry the twin virtues of unequal outcomes and equality of opportunity.

When too few get too much everybody loses.

Feminism is about women living their lives on their own terms, marshalling the resources of the society to make that possible, and men embracing this as vital to a successful society and their own liberation.

Can it be that striving for equality of opportunity however imperfect the process not only benefits the individual but also creates benefits for the society that are unintended but wonderful?

Economics must be a 'moral enterprise' as much as politics claims to be. Economic outcomes need to be framed in terms of right and wrong not just efficiency if only because these often align in surprising ways that are good for society and the economy.

My vision of Canada is that any Canadian child from a family of limited circumstance can expect to have a chance at lifetime of unlimited opportunities.

Free trade is a wonderful thing. Time and time again economists have proven that free trade creates enormous wealth for each country 'on the whole'. Historians have shown that free trade is usually associated with rising political, social and cultural liberty. The perennial problem is that free trade always creates tremendous disruption for thousands even millions of individuals often concentrated in one geography, and where the state is idle, not investing in best in class instruments of social justice, free trade can be a permanent ticket out of the middle class, down, not up.

Tax policy should be founded on the principle of generating steady tax revenues sufficient to maximise environmentally sustainable economic growth in order to fund fair government.

Public policy should be designed to decrease inequality before the law and increase equality of opportunity.

Capitalism is not the problem; the problem is what we do with capitalism.

Content is always more difficult to argue than conspiracy.

Let the state regulate and the market operate (most things).

Welfare strategies are best designed as a hand up, not as a hand out.

Political debate should not be fact free fighting.

Explanation lasts longer than eloquence.

Always favour empowerment over dependency.

The most enduring public figures are embraced for the causes they fought for and not the concept of themselves they hoped others would remember them by.

Find your voice and don't be the echo of somebody else.

It is possible to operate on two different levels: the practical, cautious and conservative; and the realm of ideas, open, free, and radical.