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hanson: it’s a different world - it’s the same world

“In contrast, stabilize Iraq and Afghanistan, stop the nuclearization of Iran, cut radically back on imported oil, close the southern border, and end the financial hemorrhaging, and the United States will do just fine, to the great benefit of the world at large.

“But for now hold on, as the Russians get angrier, the jihadists more desperate, Mr. Ahmadinejad closer to Armaggedon, the Chinese more eager to match new power with now [new] old money, Europe more terrified -- and the United States ever more baffled by it all.”

Victor Hanson sure gets depressed by the idiocy from time to time, but America remains immensely strong.

I do not like the looming possibility of a ‘Democrat’ president, but even they are likely to become more rational if they are forced to take responsibility in place of whining.

“The United States should launch military strikes against Iran if the government in Tehran does not stop supplying anti-American forces in Iraq, Sen. Joe Lieberman said Sunday on Face The Nation.”

“ "We can tell them we want them to stop that, but if there's any hope of the Iranians living according to the international rule of law and stopping, for instance, their nuclear weapons development, we can't just talk to them," Lieberman said. "If they don't play by the rules, we've got to use our force and to me that would include taking military action to stop them from doing what they're doing." ” [Quoted from cbsnews.com]

Marker at abelard.org

“Global demand for US exports helped shrink the country’s trade gap in April in a strong sign that the American economy is picking up speed.

“The trade deficit fell by more than even the most optimistic Wall Street economists were expecting and prompted many to upgrade their forecasts for economic growth in the second quarter.” [Quoted from ft.com]

Marker at abelard.org

“[...] the largest solar thermal power plant built in 16 years, has gone online, and is now providing power to Nevada's electrical grid. Built by Acciona Solar Power, the 64MW power plant is the world's third largest solar thermal power plant, and will generate enough reliable clean energy to power 15,000 homes (up to 134 million kilowatt hours
of electricity per year). It covers 400 acres.” [Quoted from treehugger.com]

Most of the problem comes down to oil. In 10 years, the West, and even India and China, could build themselves out of oil dependency and bankrupt the Middle East and Russia.

Meanwhile, the Middle East and China will soon be unable to feed themselves. How much will their paper be worth then?

Russia’s Putin seems marginally stable, and is in a panic.

Some opinion is that Putin thought to drive a wedge between the pacifists in Europe and the USA. But that it is backfiring on him and driving the defenceless Europeans back to NATO. Hence Putin’s backpedalling.

Some Europeans think Russia can afford is serious hassle with America. Russia is far too vulnerable with its shrinking population and vast land mass.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#hanson_world_300607





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on the use of military force

A rehash of other past studies (Brookings does a lot of this stuff) a useful scan - shame about the spin.

“A new University of Georgia study has found that despite overwhelming military superiority, the world's most powerful nations failed to achieve their objectives in 39 percent of their military operations since World War II.”

That is, it was successful 61% of the time.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#military_force_290607

trivialisation by the leftist fossil media - schwarzenegger

The prime socialist fossil media channels can only concentrate on the passé films of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Yet Schwarzenegger is now one of the most powerful and effective politicians in the world:

  • forcing a green agenda on the USA despite Bush’s fossil fuel lobby, and
  • running an economy larger than most economies in Europe.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#arnie_260607

moonbat obarmy votes against himself over big coal

And this is the sort of great white hope offered by the Democrat Party.

“Three years later, with Obama now a candidate for president, his embrace of southern Illinois and its dominant industry is showing signs of strain. Obama finds himself caught between his advocacy of huge federal subsidies for liquefied coal for transportation fuel, a technology that the Illinois coal industry views as a salvation, and environmental groups that reject it as a boondoggle that would set back efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the fight against global warming.

“After co-sponsoring legislation earlier this year for billions of dollars in subsidies for liquefied coal, Obama more recently began qualifying his support in ways that have left both environmentalists and coal industry officials unsure where he stands. His shift has helped shape this month's Senate debate over how to reduce both dependence on foreign oil and carbon dioxide emissions; on Tuesday, he voted against one proposal to boost liquefied coal and for a more narrowly worded one. Both failed." [Quoted from washingtonpost.com]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#obarmy_260607

bush policy continues correcting clinton foreign policy errors

north korea announces reactor shut down

“North Korea agreed in February to close its Yongbyon reactor, the centrepiece of its nuclear programme and source of weapons-grade plutonium. Yesterday it was announced the shutting-down process had begun and that the inspectors from the UN atomic energy agency could visit the plant to verify the operation.”

marker at abelard.org

social unrest in iran as un pressures grow - petrol rationing introduced

“Iran fears the West could sanction its petrol imports and cripple its economy.”

“Eyewitnesses have seen at least one petrol station in the outskirts of the west of Tehran on fire and there are reports that three people died in the blaze.

“All over the city there are huge queues and reports of scuffles at petrol stations as motorists try to beat the start of the rationing and fill their tanks.

“Iran's petrol is heavily subsidised, sold at about a fifth of its real cost. So far there has been no announcement about whether Iranians can buy more petrol at the real market cost.”

Iraq now has a legitimate government.
Afghanistan now has a legitimate government, among several other countries.
Libya closes bomb ambitions.
Obstructionist socialists out in Germany.
Obstructionist Chirac out in France.
Bush re-elected.
Bliar re-elected.
Howard re-elected.
Socialists in trouble in Italy.
Socialists in trouble in Spain.

Bush is clearly an extraordinarily successful and capable president.
Obviously, it is time to replace him with a moonbat.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#north_korea_260607

on populations and war

The article is interesting and is not without reasonable basis, though I’m uncertain of the detailed historic claims. Recommended for scanning.

“The same will happen to the approximately 40 nations between Brittany and Vladivostok. Some of them will become Fifth Villages and will have a new lease on life, others will just implode. I predict that all the Slavic nations will implode. Same thing with the three Baltic states and all of the Balkan states. The question is whether Germany and France will become Fifth Villages. I see Scandinavia as a Fifth Village. The same thing with the Iberian Peninsula and with Ireland and England. But I am not sure the rest of the continent will make it.”

“In East Germany they have just decided to demolish an additional 400,000 apartments. There are no people for them, and the empty apartments ruin the banks by depressing the rents and the prices of housing. In West Germany we are also losing population. We have to stop taking the least suitable immigrants. To attract young and competent people, we might give them a house. That was the way Brandenburg secured the French Huguenots in the 17th century. But I doubt it will work today.”

“ [...] The young are moving out, and with a clean conscience, because they believe that tomorrow Brussels will pay for their parents. So the EU has accepted 27 million people who wanted to get inside to secure their pensions. And in the European centre they are still overjoyed to have attracted millions more than the USA. That will make us strong, they believe.”

“Or take the Tunisian example. A woman in Tunisia has 1.7 children. In France she may have six because the French government pays her to have them. Of course, the money was never intended to benefit Tunisian women in particular, but French women will not touch this money, whereas the Tunisian women are only too happy to.”

“Most of these welfare dependents were blacks, and that made racists claim that the problem was in the black genes. But the Republicans and the Democrats worked together on a new law, 'Temporary Assistance for Needy Families', which was a smart law. It told American women: We will give you welfare up to five years. You decide whether it should be five years straight, or whether you want to divide the five years into shorter periods. The new law was passed in 1996 and took effect on January 1, 1997. It caused several top officials in the Clinton administration to walk out in protest stating the law was a racist attack on the weakest — single mothers and their children. They had predicted that by 1997-98, the number of adversely affected would have grown from 12 to 14 million. As it turned out, it was these well-meaning people who were the racists. The black girls were smart enough to go on the pill with the result that the welfare-dependent population shrank from 12 million to 4 million. It was the most successful social reform in history.”

While the general argument in this article has some interest, modern psychology and evolutionary theory would suggest that a major objective of the surplus males would be to strive for status, in order to impress females that they were suitable breeding partners. A widespread problem east of Suez is the preference for boys as pension providers (among other problems, there is a very common human social practice for girls to depart their tribe on ‘marriage̵). Thus females are killed in vast numbers, leaving a great surplus of unattached males competing for an increasingly scarce resource - women.

Further, in the Middle East, and in parts of Africa, the holding capacity of the land is now vastly inadequate to provide food for the population levels.

Original link from simple_language@yahoo.com

related material
‘Cocksure young men’

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#young_bulge_250607

witness the clown - the everlasting coward of uk politics

Despite all Bliar’s manifest faults...

when the chips are down, he has done what has been required for Britain and the world.

Bliar has only had two such tests:

  • to stand against the supporters of saddam Hussein
  • and to prepare the UK for a considerable necessary expansion of nuclear power.

In both cases, despite the noise of fools, he has pressed forward.

In both cases, the [Brown the] Clown has hidden behind the sofa, picking his nose and looking to find yet another petty tax, or another opportunity to meddle.

Now we have the dedicated coward in the driving seat, with a juggernaut bearing down on this country.

God help the UK.

“ The Labour government sees nuclear power as one of the most effective weapons in the fight against climate change and in efforts to reduce the country's growing dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“But that does not mean it will pay for or build nuclear plants.

“ "The government is not going to build a single nuclear power station," Trade and Industry Secretary Alistair Darling told a committee of members of parliament.

“ "We are not going to contribute to the cost of it," he said, rejecting suggestions the government might have to give money to get companies to make the multi-billion pound investments.”[Quoted from metaefficient.com]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#tony_gordon_230607

bankimoon on darfur and ecology - will he be any better than the disgraceful kofi?"

“It would be natural to view these as distinct developments. In fact, they are linked. Almost invariably, we discuss Darfur in a convenient military and political shorthand -- an ethnic conflict pitting Arab militias against black rebels and farmers. Look to its roots, though, and you discover a more complex dynamic. Amid the diverse social and political causes, the Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change.”

“ [...] But what to do about the essential dilemma -- the fact that there's no longer enough good land to go around?”

“The stakes go well beyond Darfur. Jeffrey Sachs, the Columbia University economist and one of my senior advisers, notes that the violence in Somalia grows from a similarly volatile mix of food and water insecurity. So do the troubles in Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.

“There are many other parts of the world where such problems will arise, [...]”

Yet Sudan is rich in oil, so is he talking sense?

related material
diamond discusses similar events in rwanda

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#un_new_broom_210607

how powerful is the united states of america? gaining a sense of proportion

The USA rearranged according to the GDP of other countries. Image credit: The York Group International, Inc.
Original image source: The York Group

“US States renamed for countries with similar GDPs.”

The linked page includes a list of the 50 US States with economic comparisons. Here are the first ten States:

  1. California compared to France on the map.
  2. Texas’ economy is significantly smaller, half of California’s, is compared to Canada.
  3. Florida compared to South Korea.
  4. Illinois compared to Mexico.
  5. New Jersey compared to Russia.
  6. Ohio compared to Australia.
  7. New York compared to Brazil.
  8. Pennsylvania compared to Netherlands.
  9. Georgia compared to Switzerland.
  10. North Carolina compared to Sweden.

From the CIA World Factbook:

Countries ranked by size of GDP
1 United States $ 13,130,000,000,000
2 China $ 10,170,000,000,000
3 Japan $ 4,218,000,000,000
4 India $ 4,156,000,000,000
5 Germany $ 2,630,000,000,000
6 United Kingdom $ 1,930,000,000,000
7 France $ 1,891,000,000,000
8 Italy $ 1,756,000,000,000
9 Russia $ 1,746,000,000,000
10 Brazil $ 1,655,000,000,000
11 Korea, South $ 1,196,000,000,000
12 Canada $ 1,178,000,000,000
13 Mexico $ 1,149,000,000,000
14 Spain $ 1,109,000,000,000
15 Indonesia $ 948,300,000,000
16 Taiwan $ 680,500,000,000
17 Australia $ 674,600,000,000
18 Turkey $ 635,600,000,000
19 Argentina $ 608,800,000,000
20 Iran $ 599,200,000,000

[Note: five countries of the next six countries after the USA in order of GDP - China, Japan, India, Germany, UK - are omitted from this map.]

[Lead from Limbic]

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#usa_map_160607

buying up britain for oil - this is the real back story

Meanwhile, Bliar and the Clown fiddle and there is still no nuclear strategy.

“ fresh takeover bid for supermarket chain J Sainsbury looked increasingly likely last night after an investment fund backed by the royal family of Qatar revealed it had bought a new tranche of shares in the grocer and now controls a 25% stake.”

“Qatar Investment Authority
“Size: $40bn (£20bn) in mid-2006 according to Pacific Investment Management.
“Investments: Through a number of investment vehicles, the Qataris have spent an estimated £3bn in the last nine months on Four Seasons Health Care, a care homes operator, and an education company Senad, which specialises in teaching children with severe learning difficulties. Its stake in J Sainsbury is worth £2.5bn. Last October, it failed to acquire Thames Water for £7bn.”

“Kuwait Investment Authority
“Size: An estimated £125bn.
“Investment: Best known for building up a 20% stake in BP in 1987 in the wake of the sale of a tranche of oil company's shares by the government on "Black Monday" stock market collapse. The Kuwaitis still own nearly 3% of BP.”

“Dubai International Capital
“Size: None disclosed.
“Investments: The Tussauds Group; Travelodge hotel chain and Doncasters, a manufacturing firm. Stakes in car maker DaimlerChrysler and HSBC bank.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#newlabour_integrity_160607

exxon admits errors over funding agw deniers - and try to spin out

“Oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. never in the past decade doubted the risk from climate change, its global spokesman Kenneth Cohen said on Thursday, in a latest attempt to improve its green credentials.”


“But Cohen said Exxon had only ever funded such groups because they were against the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, negotiated in the late 1990s, and which Exxon still rejects -- and not because they cast doubt on climate change.

“As "We started funding a number of these groups because we were opposed to the Kyoto Protocol. We were slow to stop funding."

“Exxon could terminate its support of more groups, Cohen added -- "It's a question we're asking ourselves," he said.”

“ Exxon had simply firmed up, or "evolved", its understanding of the threat, said Cohen, the company's head of public affairs.

“The world's most profitable company now accepted that a US climate policy was inevitable and it preferred either a carbon market that would allocate carbon credits solely to suppliers of fossil fuels, such as oil companies, or else a carbon tax, Cohen added.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#exxon_140607

tax cuts explained for the left

Let's put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
The fifth would pay £1.
The sixth would pay£3.
The seventh would pay £7.
The eighth would pay £12.
The ninth would pay £18.
The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.

So, that's what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the pub every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the landlord decided to reward their loyalty with some discount. "Because you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20." Drinks for the ten now cost just £80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men - the paying customers? How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his 'fair share?' They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the landlord suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay. And so:

The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% savings).
The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28% savings).
The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% savings).
The ninth now paid &163;14 instead of £18 (22% savings).
The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free.

But once outside the pub, the men began to compare their savings.

"I only got one pound out of the £20," declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man," but he got £10!"

"Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound, too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"

"That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"

"Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"

The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and university professors, is how our tax system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

From True Blue.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#uk_taxation_110607

ann coulter in fine form

  • “The looney left are much more interesting because they don't know they're supposed to lie.”
  • “Democrats can't debate....that's why they throw food.”
  • “Democrats say they'll stand up to terrorists.....yet they're scared to debate with conservatives.”

Ann Coulter is a leading US conservative political commentator.

Some comments on provocative writers by FACE:

“In other ways they are quite different: Coulter's forte is wry and biting satire where [Melanie] Phillips is most often a direly serious "people can't you seewhat's happening!" sort of approach.

Coulter gets taken out of context and her joking statements are turned into serious statements that the liberati use to whip her with. The best example is after 911, in jest she said "we should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity". Well she was joking, but the new castrati treat that statement as if it was made in deadly seriousness. I find her to be an enjoyable read, much as find Mark Steyn to be the same.

“As to Phillips, I find her to be somewhat in the mold of the late Orianna Fallaci (from whom I am sure that a lot of the Italian humor was lost in translation, so I saw her as similarly serious about the topics she wrote.)

She insisted on writing/translating her own stuff in English.

“Or, to keep the UK-US perspective here, I find Phillips to be much likeDavid Horowitz, who has a tendency to be in the same "the sky is falling"style, though sometimes i have seen Horowitz as a little whiney.

“Coulter is Steyn on steroids -- down deep they are both serious and they both make good points. Coulter, like beer, is an acquired taste........”

related material
steyn very confused - a deconstruction by t.a.s.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#coulter_090607

why giuliani is the only choice - the auroran sunset

The latest moonbat candidate for the “anything but a serious candidate like Giuliani” wing of the Republican Party is Fred Thompson.

First they tried a more obvious moonbat fundie, Romney. When it became obvious that Romney was never going to get much over 10%, the moonbats found another face for their idiocy.

The same people who pushed Romney are now pushing as hard as they can for Thompson, who is slightly more presentable.

Fortunately, it looks like the latest attempts by the moonbats [1] to hijack the Republican party are also failing.

No doubt they will keep trying, but in the end the Republican Party has no choice but to vote for the only candidate with a chance of winning, that is Giuliani. When it comes down to it, stopping Hillary or Obarmy will matter more than the moonbats’ mad ‘social’ theories.

The behaviour of those pushing Thomson, and Romney before him, is no more realistic than that of the Democrat extremists. It would be foolish to take them too seriously.

The reality is that nobody is getting anywhere near Giuliani.

Meanwhile, each time the moonbats put forward yet another face, they get nothing more than protest vote levels.

The only person even close to Giuliani is McCain. McCain is also apparently more socially sane than the moonbats would like, but unlike Giuliani, McCain is willing to speak out of both sides of his mouth. Yet Giuliani is consistently about 10% ahead of even McCain.

McCain is obviously going to die as a candidate - he can’t control his temper, he is too old and his consistent attacks and blasé attitude towards the First Amendment are annoying the base [Republican core voters] far more than Giuliani’s tolerance of things that are none of anybody else’s business.

Giuliani’s only serious problem is his anti-gun attitude, but I can’t see that being a decisive issue - it is Congress and governors who mess around with gun laws, and the trend across over the country is for less controls. Giuliani shows no signs of being sef-destructive enough to try to bring in gun restrictions.

McCain voters are in general Giuliani voters, not Romney or Thompson voters.

The moonbat wing of the Republican Party are only too happy to have the world believe that only a moonbat candidate has a chance at the Republican nomination, and that a candidate openly contemptuous of their idiocy stands no chance.

But meanwhile there is reality. It is Giuliani that the base and the country consistently say that they want.

Trust the people, they do alright!

end note

  1. The left wing have their mad socialist moonbats, meanwhile on the right there are moonbats just as fanatical: authoritarian and interfering. The lives of the Republican moonbats seem to revolve around the 'evils' of sex, abortion, homosexuals, sex, freedom, and even more sex. In practice there is very little difference between these two types of moonbats. They just have different excuses for their desire to control others.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#giuliani_060607

preparing for a nuclear strike on a western city

The article shows very little imagination or realism, but it is good to see the first steps towards thinking through these problems.

The suggestions regarding the local populations are childish and no thought is given in the article to response, either after such an event or pre-emptively. The tendency to bury the head seems to carry much inertia.

“As concerns grow that terrorists might attack a major American city with a nuclear bomb, a high-level group of government and military officials has been quietly preparing an emergency survival program that would include the building of bomb shelters, steps to prevent panicked evacuations and the possible suspension of some civil liberties.

“Many experts say the likelihood of al Qaeda or some other terrorist group producing a working nuclear weapon with illicitly obtained weapons-grade fuel is not large, but such a strike would be far more lethal, frightening and disruptive than the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Not only could the numbers killed and wounded be far higher, but the explosion could, experts say, ignite widespread fires, shut down most transportation, halt much economic activity and cause a possible disintegration of government order.”

Link thanx to Limbic.

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#nuclear_defence_050607

the tory party on the socialist labour party failures in administrating education in the uk

The idea that you will get sense or honesty from the leftist fossil press is risible. To expect serious analysis from the grumpy old men is also going to leave you defeated. Read what the Conservative Party is actually saying.

Cameron

“David Cameron has stressed that parents want the Conservative Party to do something about the shocking standards in many of Britain's three thousand secondary schools - not tie itself in knots over a grammar schools policy.

“In an article for Conservatives.com, he emphasises that he fully supports existing grammar schools.

“But he adds: "There is a kind of hopelessness about the demand to 'bring back' grammars, an assumption that this country will only ever be able to offer a decent education to a select few.

“ "I want the Conservative Party to rise above that attitude. We need to be the party of aspiration and opportunity for all.”

Full article.

marker at abelard.org

Willetts

“Meanwhile, research by Conservatives shows that since 1997, schools have grown dramatically in size, with the number of schools with more than 1000 pupils up by 42 per cent, while the number of pupils taught in schools over 1500 pupils has more than doubled. As a result, the number of smaller schools has decreased by 483.

“But pupil discipline is actually worse in the larger schools, where exclusions make up over 9 per cent of the population, compared with 3.7 per cent in smaller schools.

“And whereas the number of permanent exclusions has decreased in smaller schools by 46 per cent, the number of permanent exclusions in schools over 1500 pupils has risen by 28 per cent.

“ [...] This helps to explain the crisis of discipline in our schools.”

Full, long speech on social mobility. Four GoldenYak (tm) award Recommended reading.
Unfortunately, the article wanders right towards the end. Willetts, by his own admission, is no educationalist. He tends to slip into statist politician mode, where he imagines education can be run effectively on the factory system. Like so many of the grumpy old men from the Tory Party past, Willetts just yearns to get those recalcitrant widgets in the classrooms back into compliant rows where they can be disciplined with the old-style religion.

David Willetts has an unusually clear sight of the various problems with socialist selection, but the authoritarian instinct to solve the difficulties by social engineering from the centre remains conspicuous.

marker at abelard.org

Policy review

“And warning that Britain has some of the loneliest children in the world, the Conservative Leader has blamed a failure of leadership at every level, and declared: "That's why I'm setting up a Children Taskforce to look at how we can improve the lives of children in Britain."

“The decision to examine the issue in detail follows the recent UNICEF report into the wellbeing of children in rich countries, which revealed that those living in the UK suffer the lowest quality of life in the developed world.”

[See also abelard’s comments on this UNICEF report.]

“The group of experts, chaired by Mr Willetts, will include Lord Richard Best, a crossbench peer and former Director of Rowntree Trust; Sir Richard Bowlby, President of the Centre for Child Mental Health; Tim Gill, Director of the Children's Play Council (now Play England) from 1997 to 2004, and author of the forthcoming 'No Fear: Growing up in a risk-averse society'; Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor of Pharmacology, and Director of the Institute for the Future of the Mind, University of Oxford; Sue Palmer;, author of 'Toxic Childhood'; and Bob Reitmeier; CEO of The Children's Society.

“The group will investigate how and why children in Britain are failed when it comes to measures of subjective well-being, behaviours and risks, and family and peer relationships. The experts will examine questions including whether on extended families, we have raised barriers to a broader-based family life; whether there are particular problems with boys when it comes to relations between fathers and their children; whether children can be better protected from the commercialisation of childhood; whether children are growing up in a flat world, with insufficient space and time to play and explore the world for themselves unsupervised; and whether fears of strangers have been allowed to obstruct normal contacts between adults and children, putting too much pressure on parents and schools.”

the web address for the article above is
http://www.abelard.org/news/politics0706.php#uk_education_040607

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