Mental Health and Suicide Bombers, American Failed State

What I’m listening to.

J.S.Bach: Sonata for flute No.1 in G minor BWV 1020 I. Allegro (Nicolet, Richter)

Mental health and terrorism. Thanks to Rowan of Vancouver.

RUSI -- Lone-Actor Terrorism Policy Paper 1: Personal Characteristics of LoneActor Terrorists

Although overall data metrics are useful, specifically focusing on certain sub-groups could provide more insight into shared characteristics of certain groups Ê In order to accurately interpret results, it is necessary to have appropriate benchmarks. For instance, we found that 35% of the perpetrators reportedly suffered from some kind of mental health disorder. The estimated percentage for the general population is 27%. It is relevant to look into certain combinations of variables and characteristics, rather than single ones, such as legal gun possession and mental health problems.

Easter rising.

London Review of Books -- After I am hanged my portrait will be interesting: The story of Easter 1916 Rising

Henry James’s novel The Princess Casamassima, which dramatises the world of stray revolutionaries in London in the 1880s, depends on energy coming from opposites. The novel’s protagonist, Hyacinth Robinson, appreciates beauty and feels excluded from the world of privilege around him. 

Quote -- “Increasingly determined, bombastic and indiscreet, O’Donovan Rossa matched his incendiary rhetoric with action. In January 1881 his followers exploded a bomb in Salford, the first time a bomb had been planted in Britain to further a political cause. The bomb destroyed some shops, injured a woman and killed a seven-year-old boy.”

Meanwhile in Chicago 131 people were murdered in the first three months of this year.

New York Times -- Violence Surges in Chicago Even as Policing Debate Rages On

Late at night this month, the pastor’s phone beeped with a text message from an anguished parishioner. Andre Taylor, the church member’s great-nephew, had been shot and killed.

Quote -- “But City Hall, the police and community leaders are alarmed by the surge: As of Friday, 131 people had been killed here in the first months of 2016, an 84 percent rise in homicide”s from the same period in 2015. There had been 605 shootings, nearly twice as many as at this point last year.

Paying the piper.

Prospect -- Sanders, Socialism, and the Shafted Generation

Behind Bernie's unlikely appeal is a generation marred by precarious employment and economic disruption.

Mirror, mirror on the wall whose’s the most f**ked of all?

National Post -- Kelly McParland: When the U.S. looks in a mirror, it sees a disgruntled country

It must be awful being a white person in the U.S. these days. Judging by the presidential nomination campaigns of the two parties, white people are fed to the teeth. The difficulty is in getting a grip on what bothers them, since they seem to be upset no matter which party they belong to.


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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.