Smart Links 09 March 2013

Commentary on the eureka moment, cutting a deal with Iran, the struggle for democracy in Iran, the Muslim brotherhood loses its appeal, take your oil and shove it, different days, and Canada’s thought police.

Rewarding genius.

Financial Times -- Those eureka ideas
Life science prize is welcome but could be more ambitious.

More for more.

New York Times -- Seal the Deal With Iran
IN the aftermath of the summit meeting in Kazakhstan between Iran and the great powers, there is an unusual sense of optimism in the relevant capitals.

1906.

Open Democracy -- Iran's First Revolution
With the New Year came and passed the forgotten anniversary of a seminal event in Iranian and Asian history: the anniversary of Iran's first revolution and Asia's oldest parliament, whose centenary came and passed some years ago without a murmur.

The problem of power.

Economist -- It’s hard being in charge
After years of being oppressed, the Muslim Brothers enjoyed a sheen of goodness and efficiency. Now that they are in power, they are rapidly losing it.

Home grown.

International Institute for Strategic Studies -- U.S. Need for Foreign Oil Falls Dramatically
Over the last seven years, the United States has dramatically reduced its dependence on oil imports. From their peak in 2006, imports have fallen 40% as a result of declining demand (see Figure 1) and strong growth in domestic production of liquid fuels, leading to predictions that the US could reach oil self-sufficiency within 15-20 years.

Thank god for Caesar.

Telegraph -- Scottish priests 'out of control sexually', says former abuse adviser
Roman Catholic priests in Scotland were “out of control sexually” under the leadership of the disgraced Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Church's former adviser on child abuse claims.

Noted.

Speaking about whether the US Cardinal Roger Mahony, who is accused of covering up abuse allegations, should take part in the Conclave to elect the next Pope, Cardinal O’Brien said: “If he is being judged on what he did in 1980 well of course the rules were a wee bit different then – in all aspects of society as to what we did with allegations of child sexual abuse 20 or 30 years ago.

Speaking of inappropriate.

National Post -- Teacher who handed out crass jokes fired for the Canadian sin of being ‘inappropriate’
It was several years ago that a Toronto District School Board principal found herself briefly in the headlines.

... as in BC Liberals.

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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.