Cory Doctorow, Writer, blogger, activist.The internet isn't nearly so important as racial injustice and vanquishing white supremacy, nor smashing patriarchy, nor rescuing our planet from looters and clmate vandals, nor feudal inequality: but EVERY ONE of those fights will be won or lost with the internet
Chris Hedges, American journalist, Presbyterian minister, and visiting Princeton University lecturer.
disagrees Basic IncomeThe oligarchs do not propose structural change. They do not want businesses and the marketplace regulated. They do not support labor unions. They will not pay a living wage to their bonded labor in the developing world or the American workers in their warehouses and shipping centers or driving their delivery vehicles. They have no intention of establishing free college education, universal governm... See More
Peter Hitchens, Author, journalistAnd I have little doubt that these schools are generally better than their secular equivalents partly (but not wholly) because they are selective. Selection, alas, is the foundation of authority in schools, and those which have little or none tend to be anarchic, unless they come under the leadership of those rare charismatic heads whose personality is so strong that they could have quelled the Mu... See More
disagrees Creationism in schoolsThe creationists have also changed their name, this time to “Intelligent Design Theorists” who study “irreducible complexity” and the “abrupt appearance” of life, yet more jargon for “God did it.” This is what ignites my ire about the creationists — their disingenuousness about their religious motivations. Make no mistake about it. Creationists do not want equal time. They want all the time. Their... See More
The glaring hypocrisy of our integration agenda is that our most important public institutions actively encourage segregation. Faith schools make up one third of all schools in Britain. Our government is proposing that they have even more power to discriminate by selecting more of their places based on religious belief. Public funds are being used to separate children by faith. What could be more ... See More
Faith schools force-feed their pupils in the same way foie gras producers force-feed their geese, except instead of fat livers you get closed minds. Picking one faith to demonise for all that while overlooking the same offences by others is, well, uneducated. We have a system of education which everybody in Britain pays into, but does not have an equal right to access. Faith schools exist purely b... See More
Catherine Bennett, JournalistDivisiveness is, after all, the point. Until devout parents decide, as they will not, that their religions are interchangeable, the very existence of a faith school belittles rivals and heathens alike. And even within a church as carefully non-discriminatory as the Church of England, there can be no knowing how individual teachers talk about people who, as a token of devotion, they regard as steep... See More
They [faith schools] feel besieged by a Government that is using its statutory powers to challenge their very reason for being: the right to make faith and a commitment to it the deciding factor in admissions. Cristina Odone had it right...when she argued that to defend the rights of faith schools was to defend the right of parents to a school ethos that matches the one they promote at home.
Peter Hitchens, Author, journalist
disagrees Legalise recreational drugsWhat I'm in favour of is the clear, consistent enforcement of a 43-year-old law, which has fallen into disuse because politicians, judges and police officers have decided they prefer not to enforce it. I do not imagine my preferred policy would end or solve the problem. I do, however, believe that it would greatly reduce it. If people insist on breaking known and enforced laws, they must, fo... See More
Indeed, it is well known, and not disputed, that the very societies that attempt most vigorously to suppress various drugs, and in which users are subject to the most stringent penalties, have seen a vast and continuous increase in the per capita consumption of these drugs. This is tacitly admitted by the vast armed bureaucracies set up to persecute drug users in our societies, which every year de... See More
It is true that Britain does not round up drug users and put them on chain gangs and force them to go out and dig graves, as they do in the prison I went to in Arizona. But we do imprison many people for drug offences – and, even more importantly, our drug trade is 100 per cent in the hands of criminals. They are fighting over it the whole time. How many of the stabbings we read of in the paper... See More
Owen Jones, Columnist for the Guardian and the New StatesmenYes, politicians who abandon the failed mantra of the drug war risk the incandescent rage of the Daily Mail. But how many lives have to be lost – or simply ruined – before reality and common sense finally prevail? Rather than expanding the efforts of a disastrous policy, the old failed approach must finally be abandoned.
Toby Young, British journalistWhat parents who complain about being excluded from faith schools don’t understand is that the reason they’re above average — which is why they want to send their children to them in the first place — is precisely because of their religious ethos. To a great extent, that ethos depends upon being able to reserve a majority of their places for children of a particular faith. It follows that if the s... See More
Russell Brand, British comedian, actor, and authorNobody at all is helped by drugs being made illegal, unless of course there is a conspiracy to marginalise, condemn and persecute disenfranchised members of our global community. I'd hate to think that was the situation - that certain countries didn't matter, that certain classes didn't matter, that certain races didn't matter. So unless that's the situation, there's literally no reason to p... See More
William F. Buckley Jr., American conservative commentatorThe amount of money and of legal energy being given to prosecute hundreds of thousands of Americans who are caught with a few ounces of marijuana in their jeans simply makes no sense - the kindest way to put it. A sterner way to put it is that it is an outrage, an imposition on basic civil liberties and on the reasonable expenditure of social energy.
disagrees Electronic votingI do not think it is possible to design an e-voting system that can be guaranteed secure against a concerted and well-funded attack. I am concerned that this will happen, or worse, that it will be suspected and that the results of an election will be cast into doubt.
disagrees Electronic votingIn the early 2000s, the then taoiseach Bertie Ahern said we were a “laughing stock” with our use of the “peann luaidhe”, and so the Fianna Fáil lads fluttered €51 million on electronic voting machines with no paper trail or independent verification. Trust the lads, was the message. Without the combined firepower of media, experts like Margaret McGaley and thinking politicians, we too might be livi... See More
Matteo Salvini, Italian politician
agrees Robot TaxI do not want to stop progress, but there are, according to estimates, three million jobs at risk. Robots must be a help to human effort, not a replacement of human beings. Otherwise in thirty years in Italy we will only have restaurants, radios and not much more.
Sanjay Gupta, American neurosurgeon and multiple Emmy®-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN
agrees VaccinesThat you are 100 times more likely to be struck by lightning than to have a serious allergic reaction to the vaccine that protects you against measles is not a matter of opinion. That is also a matter of fact.
Seth Mnookin, Director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing
agrees VaccinesRobert Kennedy Jr made his name in the anti-vaccine movement in 2005, when he published a story alleging a massive conspiracy regarding thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative that had been removed from all childhood vaccines except for some variations of the flu vaccine in 2001. In his piece, Kennedy completely ignored an Institute of Medicine immunization safety review on thimerosal published t... See More
Diane Coyle, Professor of Economics, University of Manchester. Vice-Chairman BBC Trust. Former advisor to the UK Treasury.Many foreign investors would relocate, export contracts would not get renegotiated because of the uncertainty, and the transition costs of unpicking a 40+ year relationship would be extremely high
Josh Barro, Senior editor for Business Insider
disagrees Job GuaranteeWhile I favor policies to tighten the labor market, I'm not sure how a job guarantee would work. What if you can't do anything useful? What if you're terrible at your guaranteed job? There are things the government could be doing to foster job creation in recessions — deficit spending, nominal GDP targeting, a higher default level of inflation, countercyclical infrastructure investment — that stri... See More
Annie Lowrey, Economic policy journalist at The Atlantic
disagrees Job GuaranteeThe CAP proposal [jobs guarantee] leaves a number of questions unanswered. For example, the report suggests turning the current pool of unemployed, displaced, and discouraged workers into teachers’ aides, EMTs, and elder-care assistants. But those are jobs that require a considerable amount of training and skill, and are generally long-term careers rather than temporary gigs.
Leonid Bershidsky, Journalist
disagrees Robot TaxAutomation did play a certain role in determining less-educated workers' life choices [i.e. losing their routine jobs and being forced either into unemployment or into the service sector]. But, Cortes, Jaimovich and Siu wrote, other factors were at least no less important. They specifically named "the share of high-skilled workers and their occupational choice, outsourcing and trade, and changes i... See More
disagrees Learning foreign languages at schoolLike the current zombie cult of maths, languages are beloved of reactionary educators for one reason: they are easy to test, quantify and regiment. They are the raw material for education’s new Holy Grail, the league table. Challenge the usefulness of such subjects, and teachers fall back on the medieval saw, that “they train the mind”. They used to say that of Latin – and corporal punishment. The... See More
Evgeny Morozov, Writer ans researcher on political and social implications of technology.
disagrees Basic IncomeBasic income, therefore, is often seen as the Trojan horse that would allow tech companies to position themselves as progressive, even caring – the good cop to Wall Street’s bad cop – while eliminating the hurdles that stand in the way of further expansion. Goodbye to all those cumbersome institutions of the welfare state, employment regulations that guarantee workers’ rights or subversive attemp... See More
Ruth Lea, Economic adviser, Arbuthnot Banking Group[Brexit would] improve prospects: the UK would be able to appeal/amend irksome regulations [...], would be able to negotiate its own trade deals, would be able to run a non-discriminatory immigration policy without having to favour EU nationals
James Delingpole, Columnist
disagrees Carbon TaxBy taxing carbon dioxide (the harmless trace gas which makes the planet greener), the US government would be signalling to the world that it still believes in the man-made global warming narrative. This, in turn, would keep alive the crony-capitalist “renewables” industry in which Paulson, Steyer, Bloomberg and their friends are so heavily invested.
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