Issuing orders

In his first week of office, Donald Trump issued more executive orders than Barack Obama did in his first week.  That was probably deliberate. He wants to be seen as an activist president. Executive orders are generally controversial with the party which does not control the executive, and sometimes with constitutional scholars. The President is […]

2016: the greatest year ever

Let us begin with poverty. At the time, 2015 was an astonishing year. The global target had been to cut extreme poverty in half from the 1990 level, which was 37%. The actual level fell below 10% for the first time in history: little more than a quarter of the 1990 level. This was a […]

LP Review: Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer

Seven Years in Tibet is a superb read. The autobiographical work of Heinrich Harrer provides an honest, perceptive, and perhaps unique account of pre-occupation Tibet. Harrer’s adventure over seven years is an enthralling story, an intriguing insight into the cultural, geographical, political, social, and ecumenical life of Tibet and its people in the period immediately before the Chinese […]

The Beeb, nudity, truth and the stirrup

History is supposed to be about telling the truth – and understanding the differences between facts and opinions.  It is obviously a matter of debate and opinion on what caused the First World War.  It is a fact that it was triggered by the assassination of Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand.

The Death of Politics, by Karl Hess

From: http://fare.tunes.org/books/Hess/dop.html The following text was originally published in PLAYBOY, March 1969. It is also available as part of Karl Hess’ autobiography, as available from Laissez Faire Books. This web edition is now completed with the readers’ letters concerning this article, published in the June 1969 issue of PLAYBOY.  This is not a time of […]

A Nation In Denial

The USA and its myth of the war of 1812-14 Origins On June 1, 1812, President Madison sent a message to Congress recounting American grievances against Great Britain. After the message, the House of Representatives quickly voted (79 to 49) to declare war, and the Senate agreed by 19 to 13. On June 18, 1812 […]

The Greatest Leaders

On Independence Day, a statue of Ronald Reagan was unveiled in Grosvenor Square, London, outside the US Embassy, and alongside statues of two other American Presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Dwight D Eisenhower. Another US President is memorialized in London: there is a statue of Abraham Lincoln, along with the (half American) British Prime Minister, […]

Radicals For Capitalism

The group of young intellectuals who often gathered at Ayn Rand’s Manhattan home in the early 1950s had a couple of different names for themselves. One was the “Class of ’43,” after the year that Rand published her first successful novel, “The Fountainhead.” Another, with intentional irony, was “the Collective.” To most Americans, still basking […]

The Other King’s Speech

The Spanish call it “23F” – February 23rd – the day King faced down fascism. This year is the thirtieth anniversary. The story really starts with the Civil War. There were no good guys, just Stalin’s bad guys versusHitler’s bad guys. Eventually, Hitler’s bad guys won. The dictatorship of Francisco Franco lasted from 1939 to […]

England’s Proper Patron Saint

On the cusp of St. George’s Day, we await the usual round of pleas for the Government and others to make something special of the day in the way that the Celtic fringe does for Saints Patrick, Andrew and David. And we tend to wait in vain. Is that because the English are so apathetic […]