Can the Centre Hold, Itch-Cough, GOP Thirst for Revolution, Middle East Madness, Unicorpse, Jamaican Bard, Canadian Way

What I’m listening to. 

Mozart -- Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major, K. 39: I. Allegro Spiritoso

New voices.

Project Syndicate -- When Things Fall Apart

All over the world today, there is a sense of the end of an era, a deep foreboding about the disintegration of previously stable societies.


New York Times -- The Return of London’s Fog

IN January 2015, researchers at King’s College London announced that pollution levels on Oxford Street, in central London, had exceeded limits set for the entire year in just the first four days of 2015. Similarly alarming numbers have been recorded for other streets in the city — and yet the mayor, Boris Johnson, has delayed implementation of stricter air-quality measures until 2020.

Times -- Pollution alert as heatwave hits UK

Turning over the apple cart.

New York Review of Books -- Republicans for Revolution

In 2004, then Senator Barack Obama brought the Democratic Party convention to its feet by declaring that there is “not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America.” He learned differently. 

Nasty Middle East.

London Review of Books -- Hazards of Revolution

Soon after the Libyan capital fell to the rebels in August 2011 I got to know a 32-year-old man called Ahmed Abdullah al-Ghadamsi. 

Dying Unicorns.

Financial Times -- ‘There are going to be lots of dead unicorns’

Many fund managers have been forced to write down their investments in billion-dollar start-ups.

Putting Shakespeare back where it started, kinda.

Daily Mail -- Gay and black ‘pride’ are meaningless badges that hold minority children back, says academic

A leading academic has called for the terms 'gay pride' and 'black pride' to be scrapped because they are 'meaningless'.

Quote -- “Mr Sewell believes 'gay pride' had originally been about fighting for equal rights, not establishing a separate 'community’”

The key Brexit meme.

Telegraph -- It’s a lie to suggest that Brexit would ruin us

Even if we wanted to re-nationalise the steel industry – and we shouldn’t – we couldn’t. 

Reaching out instead of punching.

Economist -- Canada and counter-radicalisation

From therapists to imams to cops, Canada seeks many antidotes to terrorism.


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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.