Scrapyard Britain

British Steel, our second largest steelmaker, is to be liquidated following the failure of rescue talks between the government and Greybull, the American private equity firm that manages it. The government would not provide the £30 million loan needed to tide it over (no way of getting round those EU state aid rules, we are told, and since we are to stay in the EU, we must play by the rules) as orders have slumped in the wake of Brexit uncertainty and customer concerns over possible tariffs. 5,000 skilled jobs are at risk, a further 20,000 in the supply chain. Scunthorpe will…

Another European Empire Ends at Waterloo

In their positions of power and privilege, Remainers have always assumed that they are right, and that they will win. This is particularly so in London, where the gospel is preached daily by George Osborne's Evening Standard. But since 29th March, when the government failed on its promise to leave the EU as stipulated by Article 50, the mood around the country has changed. Widespread exasperation and anger at politicians is an energy that could have dissipated in vague threats of civil disobedience, but has been constructively channelled into Nigel Farage's Brexit Party. Waterloo is a district of London around the eponymous…

Cognitive Science and the Common Core Mathematics Standards

U.S. Math and Science Achievement In 2012, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tested skills in 22 developed-world nations including the United States. In "numeracy" (solving problems with mathematical content), U.S. 16-34 year olds and 16-24 year olds ranked dead last (OECD 2013a,b). Figure 1 displays an Educational Testing Service (ETS) rendering of these data from the OECD's Survey of Adult Skills (Goodman, Sands, Coley, p. 12). Figure 1. Average scores in numeracy for age 16-34 (millennials) and age 16-24, by participating country/region: 2012 Low skills in numeracy have consequences.  Between 1984 and 2011, as a percentage of U.S.…

Caitlin Johnstone: US Accuses Syria of More Chemical Attacks just as Chemical Weapons Narrative Crumbles

The Institute for Public Accuracy published a report today about the leaked engineering assessment from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria which directly contradicts the findings of the official OPCW report on the matter. Until the unauthorized release of this internal document the public was kept entirely uninformed of its existence, despite the serious military consequences of the questions it raises; the official story that the Syrian government had dropped chemical weapons in Douma was used to justify an airstrike on Syria days later. MIT professor Theodore Postol provided…

Lord McCrea Lambasts UK Government for Ignoring Parents on Compulsory Sex Education Regulations

On 24 April 2019, British Peer, Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown tore into the British Government for ignoring Christian tradition and the wishes of British parents in continuing to pursue its Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019 legislation. Discussing the legislation, Lord McCrea asked "after the responses were given, suggesting a high level of opposition to the Government’s plans, one has to ask: what is the use? Had the majority of the responses been in a different direction, they would have been greatly used as evidence for why we should move forward with this legislation.…

Franco-British Relations, Headed for Rupture?

Brexit is a catalyst for accelerating the discussion of reform of the EU. Britain should seize the opportunity urgently to become the creative leader for the reform ambitions of numerous member States and should set up a project group to work with sympathetic circles in France to develop a version of the Europe des Nations in which each nation is its highest legitimate authority. Rivalry between Britain and France is an historical constant. After Britain (with Prussian help) terminated Napoleon’s imperial ambitions at Waterloo, France failed to build a world-scale empire and to match Britain’s internationally successful industry and commerce.…

US House of Representatives Threatens Turkey with $5 Billion in Sanctions

A US House of Representatives resolution enjoying bipartisan support will make Turkey liable to US sanctions should it proceed with its attempt to purchase the S-400 missile defence system. Turkey has faced criticism from the United States and other NATO allies over its decision to purchase the S-400 missile system, since it signed a deal to purchase the system back in 2017. In the United States, House Resolution 372, which is scheduled to be voted on this week, would, if passed, declare that "Turkish acquisition of the Russian S–400 air and missile defense system would constitute a significant transaction within…

Few City Blues on Brexit

The City of London was meant to be one of the big losers from Brexit but three years on from the referendum City firms regard themselves as fully prepared and no longer focus on the issue. Less than 1500 jobs have been moved, less than 1% of City employment. Many of you will know how one-sided the Financial Times has been on Brexit. It would not have been at all excessive to regard the paper as ‘remain central’. At times the language has bordered on incendiary and very often it has been at least over-excited. This is important because the FT…

“Masses of people crammed into huge metropolises”: Tavares Interviews Redner on the Troubling Future of Western Civilisation

Prof. Harry Redner was Reader at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, as well as visiting professor at Yale University, University of California-Berkeley and Harvard University. He postulates that the world is now transitioning to “beyond civilization” – a new and unprecedented condition in Human History known as globalization. This in turn has major implications for societies across the world, and in particular developed nations. He is the author of several articles and fourteen books, including a tetralogy on civilization: “Beyond Civilization: Society, Culture, and the Individual in the Age of Globalization”, “Totalitarianism, Globalization, Colonialism: The Destruction of Civilization since 1914”,…

A Second Referendum: Unfair, Dishonest and Undemocratic

Brian Morris, a media consultant and former current affairs TV producer, argues that any examination of the actual choices that would face a voter in a ‘confirmatory vote reveals the falsity of the claims made by Remainer campaigners. The campaign for a second referendum gathers momentum, in more than one sense. Under pressure from Momentum activists, unions and most of its MPs, at the time of writing it seems it may only be a matter of time before the Labour makes an unequivocal commitment to telling us to vote again, whatever the final deal may be. If so, the dubious…

Mysterious Assassination Rocks the Serb Republic

No sooner did superficial observers surmise that last year’s painful and divisive commotion over the apparent murder in March of 2018 of the obscure 21-year-old David Dragičević finally subside, then on April 23 another assassination, this time of businessman Slavko Krunić, a slightly more prominent figure, again grabbed the headlines in the Republika Srpska. For those who are not particularly keen on following affairs in that off the beaten path but strategic corner of Europe, some background may be useful. David was apparently murdered last year as the October 2018 electoral campaign was heating up, and his lifeless body was…

Jatras: My Role in Weaponizing ‘Moral Equivalence’ and ‘Religious Freedom’

It’s confession time … Without getting overly autobiographical, it is worth noting that my perspectives (whatever their value) on American public policy and global affairs reflect decades of first-hand, professional experience in both the Executive and Legislative branches of the US government. The former was at the Department of State as a commissioned US Foreign Service Officer, the latter at the US Senate as a policy adviser to the Republican leadership. I’d like to believe that at all times my intentions were to serve the best interests of my country as viewed in light of the most venerable principles of…

A Second Referendum: Misleading Claims and False Temptations

Oxford historian Sir Noel Malcolm analyses some of the specious arguments that continue to be made by the so-called ‘People’s Vote’ campaign. The ‘Leave campaign promises have been broken’ argument, the ‘trying to leave has turned out to be too difficult’ argument, and the ‘we’re only doing what Leave campaigners would have done if the referendum vote had gone the other way’ argument. He also considers the idea of a ‘Mrs May’s deal versus no deal’ referendum – a scenario which may be justifiable in theory, but would be a fateful error in practice. The best response to the ‘People’s…

On Futures Trading: An Interview with Jack Schwager

Mr. Schwager is a recognized industry expert in futures and hedge funds and the author of a number of widely acclaimed financial books. He is one of the founders of FundSeeder, a platform designed to find undiscovered trading talent worldwide and connect unknown successful traders with sources of investment capital. Previously, Mr. Schwager was a partner in the Fortune Group (2001-2010), a London-based hedge fund advisory firm. His prior experience also includes 22 years as Director of Futures research for some of Wall Street’s leading firms, most recently Prudential Securities. Mr. Schwager has written extensively on the futures industry and…

RSE Should Focus More on How to Build Long-Term Relationships, High School Students Tell Pollsters

Family Stability Network and Centre for Social Justice polling of young people and their attitudes towards Relationships and Sex Education The Centre for Social Justice and Family Stability Network commissioned an opinion poll of young people aged 14-17 in England to understand their views on changes to the provision of Relationships and Sex Education. This survey was conducted by Survation between 13th-15th December 2017. Survation polled 1,011 young people aged 14-17 living in England and weighted the results to provide a representative sample of opinion. Full results including methodology can be found in Appendix 1. RSE should reflect the ambitions…

No ‘Stebbings’ in Much Middlemarch

We rarely see a policeman in our town until two hours after a crime has been reported, so I was very pleased the other day to see a policeman and woman in the narrow street next to mine. They were peering under a car parked off the road. ‘Good morning,’ I said. ‘Good morning,’ the policeman replied. ‘There’s a rabbit under this car.’ ‘A white rabbit?’ I asked. ‘No, a wild one,’ he said. He was right: it hopped out, and then cowered in a corner, while the policeman took a photo of it with his phone to put on…

First Overseas Deployment of RAF’s F-35B Lightning Fighter Jets Scheduled

In their first overseas deployment, the RAF plans to relocate its F-35B Lightning fighter jets to Cyprus later this year. In a press release, the Ministry of Defence provided further details: "The Lightning, as the aircraft is known in the UK, is the first to combine radar-evading stealth technology with supersonic speeds and the ability to conduct short take-offs and vertical landings. With the ability to operate from land and sea, the F-35 forms a vital part of delivering a ‘carrier strike’ capability to the UK when combined with Britain’s new Queen Elizabeth Class aircraft carriers.[...] "The UK currently owns…

Hungarian Government Takes Steps to Defend Persecuted Church, Priorities European Culture based on Christian Values

In a press statement given following a visit to Hungary, Italian Federal Secretary Salvini and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán spelled out their determination that priority be "given to European culture based on Christian values". Prime Minister Orbán expressed his frustration with an equivalence being drawn between democracy and liberalism, describing his government's politics as "Christian democratic". The Government of Hungary has been one of the more vocal governments in discussing the plight of the persecuted Church, and is facing up to the immensity of the human rights crisis being faced by Christians globally. According to the Deputy State Secretariat…

Opinion: The IMF’s latest no-deal warnings are sloppy and overblown

The International Monetary Fund has produced another analysis suggesting that a no-deal Brexit would lead to steep short-term declines in UK output. As before, its claims look exaggerated with some elements of their work not standing up to serious scrutiny. The IMF estimates are based on a host of highly pessimistic assumptions, some of which are out of date while others are not supported by academic evidence or real-world examples of how trade works. Worse still, some of the numbers the IMF uses – for example those related to ‘border disruptions’ – appear to be plucked from thin air. Claims…

Who’s Afraid of Chlorinated Chicken?

Discussion of Brexit and food has been grossly distorted by ill-informed scare stories, of which concerning America ‘chlorinated chicken’ is the most notorious. But there are also scares stories concerning the fate of farming in general, and of lamb production in particular. What are the facts? I have a close American friend, now living in Ohio, who is quite finicky about what she eats but she had never heard of “Chlorinated Chicken”. When I explained to her that the chicken that she eats in the US has been sprayed with chlorinated water to kill bacteria but that chicken in the…

MIT’s Guoping Feng Interviewed on the Growing Incidence of Autism

Dr. Guoping Feng joined the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT in 2010. He is a faculty member in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, where he holds the Poitras Professorship of Neuroscience. He is also a senior scientist at the Broad Institute’s Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research. Originally from Zhejiang Province in China, he received his PhD from SUNY Buffalo. Before moving to MIT, he was a faculty member at Duke University. He has won numerous awards, including the Beckman Young Investigator Award (2002), the McKnight Neuroscience of Brain Disorders Award (2006), the Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research…

Interregnum

The crisis of our democracy has been a long time coming. Globalisation and supranationalism have eroded national sovereignty. The market and corporate power have ridden roughshod over society and democracy. A managerial and technocratic consensual politics marginalised conflicts of interest, and so disenfranchised millions of lower middle and working class people who were losing out from the liberal market settlement of four decades. Politics has become dominated by a transpartisan elite. Its liberal right wing controls the economy, its liberal left wing controls culture.  The democratic system is unable to express the changed political feelings in the country. The failure of the party…

Language Death and Cultural Diversity

Global linguistic diversity is under threat. Forty-six percent of all living languages are endangered. A language is being lost every three months, the vast majority of them without having been recorded or written down. Of even more concern is the loss of entire language families. While it may be possible to reconstruct well-attested languages - Manx is a good example - which belong to a wider language family, reconstruction of an entire language family, unless extensively recorded, is practically impossible. Languages and language families encode a vast array of cultural, ethnographic, anthropological, geographic and - most importantly - anthropogenic data.…

Plea Bargaining or Plea Extortion? Federalist Society Documentary Highlights “the Astonishing Array of Coercive Tools” Used to Extract Confessions in US Criminal Justice

A new documentary from the Federalist Society and Heritage Society has raised significant concerns about federal criminal prosecutions in the US judicial system, and the role therein of federal prosecutors. Among the issues highlighted by the documentary are standards-less decisions about who is being prosecuted; the capacity of highly-discounted plea bargaining to effectively extort guilty pleas; and, the role of mandatory minimums in buttressing the modern-day system of plea bargaining. Bennett L. Gershman, Professor of Law at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and a former prosecutor remarked, "I see the prosecutor as wielding the most enormous power…

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