Following the latest wave of teenage suicides in a remote reserve close to James Bay, the government of Canada was quick to announce its solution to the problem: it will build a Youth Centre to help the moral of the suicidal youth on the reserve.
I was walking around in the picturesque town of Lysa nad Labem, my companion reminiscing about the way it was when she went to elementary school there under the communists. The stores that are still the same, the things that are new and the bus-stop that moved. In a small side street, we passed a building with an open window. There were school children inside rehearsing some cheerful musical. Continue reading →
The following item was part of my daily dose of the Economist this Tuesday the 7th of June:
Class action: China’s university entrance
The 9.4m teenagers taking the two-day exam which starts today have been cramming for years. The tests, known as the gaokao, will (they believe) determine their entire future. Meritocratic exams have been revered in China since imperial times, when any man could sit them to enter the civil service. For centuries they enabled the poor but talented to rise to high office. The gaokao is intended similarly to be a great leveller. But China’s education system is becoming more unfair. The number of university students has increased nearly sevenfold since 1998, but the expanded intake has mostly been from cities, whereas 90% of rural youths leave school at 15 or younger. As a result the country is increasingly divided between those with degrees and those who never even make it to senior high school. Give China’s rulers a failing grade on that test.
The whole world (well, OK, North America) is talking about bathroom choice. It is the issue of the day. Nothing surprising in that. It is polarizing and very intense. It is a distraction. Again, nothing new.
My conversations on sex and gender are getting more and more bizarre. People are sending me notes about basic biology and links to news items on the politics. How is one supposed to respond to that? Explain yet again that the biology is NOT the question or that might does not make right? Continue reading →
I had a conversation with a couple of scientists a few months ago that I still cannot get over.
They are both biologists by training. She left the field of scientific research decades ago, but he is a world renown geneticist, head of a research lab. They are both, also, left-liberals.
I was sitting in the living room of a friend, a Hungarian immigrant artist, surrounded by her impeccably leftist artist friends.
She had a serious question for them. She had to introduce it. She found it necessary to emphasize her honesty and genuine desire to get an honest answer to a question that truly troubled her.
The tax season is over. If you do your taxes yourself, you know how incredibly stupid, complicated and convoluted the system is. Continue reading →
I just wrote two posts that seem to contradict the title of this one.
In the first one, I made the point that the state can harm our financial well being in many ways and taxation is not the worst. Focusing on it is short-sighted.
In the second, I exposed the intellectual laziness of the attacks on taxation, pointing out that the real target should be the enablers of those taxes.
What will it take to get it through the thick skulls of libertarians that taxation is NOT theft? Continue reading →