Category Archives: opinion

Welfare UK Style


This week on Facebook: The UK 2010 State of the nation¹ reported on poverty, worklessness and welfare dependency in the UK that: “Over the past 10 years we have seen more and more money spent on the benefits system in an attempt to move people from below the 60% poverty threshold to above it. Expenditure on child-related benefits alone has almost doubled. Yet despite this expenditure, the figures in this document show that this approach is failing.

Income inequality is at its highest since records began; millions of people are simply parked on benefits with little hope of ever progressing into work. high levels of family breakdown, educational failure, addiction and health inequality are having a severe impact on outcomes for both adults and children.” [sic¹] Read more of this post

Are State subsidies eveyone’s burden?


This week on Facebook: The NHS¹ is no more guilty of holding the country to ransom than any of the ‘other’ subsidy that contribute to the government’s deficit financing policy. However, it does provide a simple answer to my question, “Are State subsidies everyones burden?”. For example I had occasion to attend A&E recently and had to wait until my local one opened its doors (it now closes during the night). My ‘accident and emergency’ was prompted by my dropping a drill on my foot. A&E offer a free service (in the sense no money changes hands), similar to freebies given by the nurse or doctor at the General Practice. My point is that neither is a ‘free’ service. Whatever the freebies provided, or time spent on the consultation — both influence fiscal policy. Read more of this post

International Law: Does it exist?


This week on Facebook: The notion — and last week’s post — led me the concept of international law and eventually Plato. International Law can be a avery boring subject in which finding articles that interested me (let alone any readers) was very difficult. Occasionally it gets a diplomat gets arrested for something other that avoiding parking fines, but for those who may be interested in international law there are Jstor references cited at ¹·². Read more of this post

USA & China


This week onFacebook: Heralds a new era in the balance of power, it now being a global issue rather than a European one. With the end of  WWII the United States and Russia wielded their economic hegemony in the West. This western world largely ignored the territorial advances of China. The Russian failure at European economic hegemony has now been replaced in the last forty-years by a resurgent China and the economic growth of oriental states. The balance of power that the USA and China¹·² now share is likely to lead to a conflict for economic and military dominance on an unprecedented global scale. Read more of this post

Aasof on the problem with TED!


This week on Facebook: In compiling this post it occurred to me that online information has made us all instant experts on any topic, non more so that those who go to TED talks or use TEDx from YouTube. TED’s slogan shouldn’t be ‘Ideas worth spreading’, it should be: ‘Ego worth paying for’, or as Sunday’s post suggest, instead of the mnemonic  ‘Technology, Entertainment, Design’, TED should renamed to the mnemonic to MMI: Middlebrow Megachurch Infotainment. Ultimately, the TED phenomenon only makes sense when you realise that it’s all about the audience. TED Talks are designed to make people feel good about themselves; to flatter them and make them feel clever and knowledgeable; to give them the impression that they are part of an elite group making the world a better place. Read more of this post

Aasof on ‘A Christmas Carol’


A Christmas Carol (complete versions) are available from Project Gutenberg but how did a ‘A Christmas Carol’ come to be written. The best explanation that I found was that the real-life inspiration for Tiny Tim had a much sadder fate than Tiny Tim in ‘A Christmas Carol’. Dickens’s frustration about poverty in Great Britain led to Lucinda Hawksley writing about the classic. ‘A Christmas Carol’ remains a popular story at Christmastime and the BBC constantly adapted it, most of their adaptations can be found in a RadioTimes article. Read more of this post

Aasof on democratic government


This week on Facebook: I thought that I might find an answer to why governments don’t behave democratically! The somewhat obvious answer I arrive at is the possession of wealth, but this is not the primary factor according to the Pew Research Centre. In a democracy, which I post a lot about, you would expect the democratic process involve the electorate who vote politicians into office and in one sense it does. However the electorate is made up of voters who each have their own (usually selfish) reasons¹ for voting in the way that they do. Whether they hold capitalist or socialist views², these selfish reasons are usually a share in (however small) political views³ guaranteed in any political system and access to the political power held.

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Aasof on the Elites


This week on Facebook: Perhaps the first question raised is, Who are the elites? They have always been a feature of all societies and have always been instrumental in suppressing the will of the people for a universal franchise¹. If Arrow’s impossibility theorem is correct in that it is generally impossible to assess the validity of a common good, then a social elite theory is also valid. But who are these elites² in a secular, urban and industrial modern society?

Although political science borrows heavily from the other social sciences, it is distinguished from them by its focus on power—defined as the ability of one political actor to get another actor to do what it wants—at the international, national, and local levels. Political Science

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Aasof on a dark system?


This week on Facebook: All of the articles this week are taken from Speigel Online and gave me a number of problems, the primary one being the veracity of the stories. The common factor in all the accounts (including the video posted on China’s failed experiment with democracy) is their political context and it is perhaps this, which to my mind, makes the accounts truthful. The Laogai System¹ may be prevalent in China and seems to be acceptable by Chinese scholar Zhang Weiweiwho clearly supports the Chinese meritocratic system of government. Authoritarianism² is on the increase globally, perhaps driven by The China Model, which appeals all political classes who kowtow to it and all politicians opposed to democracy.

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Aasof on the deep reading brain


This week on Facebook: I have to go away and think about how we will develop as a species when global digitisation become prevalent. Does the book Fahrenheit 451 become a reality? Is there to be a new global history in which a new enlightenment, or age of reason, becomes a prominent feature of global digitisation? Perhaps, as the article posted last Sunday suggests, the effects of this new global digitised society will be profound¹. The two remaining  references suggest that deep reading²­·³ has become the necessary adjunct to an education that has changed since I was at school and deep reading was taken for granted. Read more of this post

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Martin Widlake's Yet Another Oracle Blog

Oracle performance, Oracle statistics and VLDBs

The Land Is Ours

a Landrights campaign for Britain

The Bulletin

This site was created for members and friends of My Telegraph blog site, but anyone is welcome to comment, and thereafter apply to become an author.

TCWG Short Stories

Join our monthly competition and share story ideas...

The Real Economy

Blogs and stuff from Ed Conway

Public Law for Everyone

Professor Mark Elliott

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