Havana’s Deep Breathe, Brexit’s Friends, Saudi 9/11, Sakdiyah Ma'ruf, Sanders Hangs On, Migration’s Many Faces

John Waterhouse (1888) from The Lady of Shallot, Tate Britain.

What I’m listening to. 

Geminiani - Concerto Grosso in E Minor Op. 3 No. 3

Cuban dance.

New York Review of Books : Cuba - The Big Change

One could swear that nothing has changed. The chaotic lines we travelers form in front of Cuba’s stern immigration officers; their belligerent slowness; the noise and heat in the too-small room; the echoing shouts across the room from one olive-green-clad person to another (an argument or a conversation about the lunch menu, in Cuba one can never tell which); the parents who stand patiently in line with their children, waiting for them to go berserk.

With friends like these ...

The Times -- Le Pen to cross Channel and join push for Brexit

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s far-right National Front, is to travel to Britain to campaign for Brexit, her party said yesterday.

... you don’t need enemies.

Telegraph -- Saudi government's possible links to 9/11 plot revealed in new evidence as Barack Obama meets King Salman

Evidence of a possible link between the Saudi government and the September 11 attacks has emerged just as President Barack Obama arrives in Saudi Arabia for a visit intended to smooth relations.

Walking a fine line.

The New Arab -- Sakdiyah Ma'ruf: Extinguishing extremism with laughter

For Muslim stand-up Sakdiyah Ma'ruf, comedy is all about truth-telling - whether it's about domestic violence, arranged marriage or fundamentalists' secret knowledge of porn. That's why Indonesia's biggest Louis CK fan is careful what she says.

Quote -- "I was raised witnessing domestic violence," she says. "My relationship with my dad was nice in a way but in many other ways it was intimidating - terrifying sometimes." Despite this, Ma'ruf has never stopped reaching out to her dad. He lives with her and she takes him to hospital regularly for his diabetes treatment - but "experience of violence stays in your veins". 

Quit already.

New York Times -- What Is Sanders’s Endgame?

Hillary Clinton’s commanding victory in New York on Tuesday put yet another nail in the coffin of Bernie Sanders’s candidacy.

Migration’s categories: new colonialists, integrators, and go-betweens.

Project Syndicate -- The Migration Superpowers

We have entered the age of migration. If all the people who live outside the country of their birth united to form their own – a republic of the rootless – it would be the fifth-largest country in the world, with a population of more than 240 million people.


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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.