Trump and the World, Putin-Europe Stare down, China’s Game of Chicken, UK’s Wealth Problem, Jesus' Lover

from Mary Magdalene by Giovanni Savolodo 1548 at the National Gallery

What I’m listening to. 

Don Quijote de la Mancha G.Ph.Telemann

Hold on to your kids.

With all its flaws - particularly while George Bush was President - the liberal international order led by the United States since 1945 and expanded after 1989 that has served the world so well is in grave danger of breaking down.

Well known is China’s expansion in Asia, Russia’s prowling on the edge of Europe, and the emergence of nationalist regimes is evidence that we are witnessing a realignment of the world order not around the principles autonomy, territorial integrity, the advance of individual liberty, and open economies that favour free trade and investment but their opposite.

President Obama spoke about this in a speech two years ago (The National Interest - Is the "Liberal International Order" Dying?) but what he could not have imagined was something much more dangerous, the threat to the international order from within.

The campaigns of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are focused on the same group of voters, people disenfranchised by the economic fallout of globalization, the inability of the state to provide the tools required to adjust to the consequences, and promise to withdraw support to the current global architecture. If the UK votes to leave the EU the damage maybe irreversible.

The peace and prosperity of the next 20 years is at risk.

Nasty Don.

Project Syndicate - Preparing for President Trump

As America’s friends and allies look on in astonishment at the all-but-certain prospect of a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in November’s US presidential election, they need to do more than just wring their hands. They must hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Lifting the drawbridge.

Financial Times - Obama fights back against Trump over US trade deals

President levels his sights on threats to what he hopes will be one of his biggest economic legacies.

Putin’s shadow (Thanks to David of London)

The Times - Saturday Interview

‘Make no mistake: if Russia marches into the Baltics it means nuclear war’Detectives are studying CCTV footage from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to determine whether an employee might have participated in a terror attack on the EgyptAir flight to Cairo.

Don’t blink.

New York Times - Playing Chicken in the South China Sea

By the Pentagon’s account, two Chinese fighter jets performed an “unsafe” maneuver this week by flying within 50 feet of an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea. That’s not much more than a hairbreadth, aeronautically speaking, and a collision could have been catastrophic — to the crews and to the already fragile diplomatic relations between China and its regional neighbors and the United States.


New Statesmen - The Great Wall of Sand: why China and the US are heading for a showdown

China’s aggressive claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea have angered its Asian neighbours and raised fears of a showdown with the US.

Too few with a chance to get rich.

Telegraph - Class war is making the deficit even worse

here are two very different ways to look at the world. The first is to obsess about inequality, including its psychological impact, and worry endlessly about the fact that some people are doing better than others. The second is to concentrate not on differences but absolutes, and to call for policies that ensure that as many people as possible can earn as much as possible.

Alluring Mary.

The Case for and Intimate Relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene

Was Jesus married? The truth is we'll never know for sure. However, the evidence is mounting that he was, and that his wife or lover was Mary Magdalene. 


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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.