Smart Picks 28 September 2014

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow. 

New York Times -- How to Stop Time

IN the unlikely event that we could ever unite under the banner of a single saint, it might just be St. Expeditus.

What I’m listening to. D'un autre amer 

Climate change and extinction. 

New York Times -- On the Cusp of Climate Change

Animal and plant species around the world may be threatened by warmer global temperatures.

Birth control – preventive and abortion – are advances in medical science that are the right of women and men to have access to. 

New York Times – The Abortion Ship

Rebecca Gomperts is a Dutch doctor who pushes the limits of abortion law.

On your own, really? 

Macleans -- New Girl, Go Girl

Teenage girls are taking on social stereotypes and a sex-saturated culture. Ignore them at your peril.

The Conservative Party in the UK is in deep trouble.  Thanks to David of London. 

Telegraph -- Tory crisis as Mark Reckless defects to UKIP and Brooks Newmark resigns

Brooks Newmark, minister for civil society, quits over sex scandal while a second MP, Mark Reckless, defects to Ukip sparking fury.

Babies needed. 

Telegraph -- Abenomics: will the sun rise on Japan again?

Japan is undergoing a period of intense economic change. Its debt pile is vast, its citizens are suffering from 'karoshi' - death by overwork. Can prime minister Shinzo Abe save Japan?

Editor’s note: Demographics absent a big war or plague are easy to quantify; at current trends there will be more Canadians than Japanese by about 2070.

Disrupted golfer. 

Financial Times -- Rory McIlroy: The golfing superstar with a talent for turmoil

The player has bounced back to carry Europe’s Ryder Cup hopes after a series of off-course upsets.

Sport Science: Rory McIlroy's Power Off The Tee (HD) 

Boo hoo. 

Guardian -- Tom Watson admits Phil Mickelson pleaded to play in Ryder Cup foursomes

The spectre of discontent in the United States Ryder Cup ranks has increased after Tom Watson revealed he refused a plea from Phil Mickelson to play in Saturday afternoon’s foursomes.

Meanwhile in the Congo. 

Washington Post -- In Congo, trapped in violence and forgotten

In a village emblematic of a long and brutal conflict: "We no longer know if even God can end this war."

Editor’s note: god’s not watching.

Asia Times -- Whither al-Nakhwa? 

On its own the Arabic word al-Nakhwa, means "gallantry". Combined with the word al-Arabiya - "Arab gallantry" - the term becomes loaded with meanings, cultural and even political implications and subtext.


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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.