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Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

Burrowing into Books -"Uncle Dynamite" by P.G. Wodehouse

“He looked pleased with himself, and who shall blame him? A man whose  mission is to spread sweetness and light and to bring the young folk together may  surely be forgiven a touch of complacency when happy endings start going off like  crackers all around him and he sees the young folk coming together in droves.”…

Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

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Tech and achievement: a new "problem"

Recently, I attended a workshop given by a man who had obtained his PhD in the early 1990s. When he was a student he was the only person that to finish the entire programme and graduate, not only from his admission year but also from several groups on either side of him. The explanation was that the technological difficulty of doing research, assembling, organizing, and then publishing…

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

Burrowing into Books - "My Twenty-Five Years in Provence" by Peter Mayle

  “After several months our luck finally changed. We found a house on a hillside, with several thousand acres of the Luberon Natural Regional Park at the end of the back garden, a modest vineyard and the fine old village of Ménerbes two minutes away.”…

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Linguistic inclusion or social mobility?: A dilemma

Language and accents are a veritable passion for anglophones. Upon landing in the UK for the first time, my new comrades at university asked me to explain President Trump, but their curiosity was focused on his accent, not his policies. The power of linguistic tonality and musicality has long been a sore topic with those of a social justice inclination, who have long waged war on British Received…

Freedom of Choice in the 21st Century: Towards a New Jus Vitae Necisque?

Freedom of Choice in the 21st Century: Towards a New Jus Vitae Necisque?

In the United States, an important conversation is taking place, the results of which, might set a world- wide precedent for ethical regress of the most devastating kind. It is now an alarming reality that, while European countries have laws which generally ban abortion after the first trimester, when the baby becomes better formed and (as far as science knows so far) able to feel pain, in the…

Burrowing into Books - "Phineas Finn” by Anthony Trollope

Burrowing into Books - "Phineas Finn” by Anthony Trollope

“When a man has means of his own, he can please himself. Do you marry a woman with money,  and then you may kick up your heels and do as you like about the Colonial Office. When  a man hasn’t money, of course he must fit himself to the circumstances of the profession.”…

A neglected hero - worthy of the admiration given the Founding Fathers: part II

A neglected hero - worthy of the admiration given the Founding Fathers: part II

Grover Cleveland’s reforms, both real and abortive, during his first term (1885 – 1889) cost him his mandate in the 1889 election. Despite the efficacy with which he shrank the federal government, his resolute disregard toward special interests, and his focus on constitutional limits and fiscal responsibility, he became very unpopular with the majority of the electorate.…

The Perils of Identity Politics

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The Perils of Identity Politics

“Contemporary politics is driven by a quest for equal recognition by  groups that have been marginalized by their societies. But the desire for equal  protection can easily slide over with a demand for recognition of the groups superiority.”…

A neglected hero: part I

A neglected hero: part I

American President Grover Cleveland (1837 – 1908) is rather neglected in the sequence of US leaders. For schoolchildren, he appears as the man who was both the 22nd and the 24th president – he lost his reelection bid the first time to Benjamin Harrison but then defeated Harrison in his reelection bid four years later. Cleveland deserves to be remembered for much more than his dramatic…

Morality and Evolution

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Morality and Evolution

  “Science is the search for truth, that is the effort to understand the world: It involves the rejection of bias, of dogma, of revelation, but not the rejection of morality.”…

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