Opinions from journalistsSee all occupations
Al Gore, 45th vice president of the united states
agrees Climate change is realAs human beings, we are vulnerable to confusing the unprecedented with the improbable. In our everyday experience, if something has never happened before, we are generally safe in assuming it is not going to happen in the future, but the exceptions can kill you and climate change is one of those exceptions.
Rachel Cooke, British journalist
agrees Soda taxesSome anti-obesity campaigners are busy arguing that the new sugar tax, which applies to any soft drink containing more than 5g of sugar per 100ml, should now be extended to, among other items, the huge caramel lattes sold by high street coffee shops. It isn’t, of course, very hard to see why, even before you learn that some of these vat-sized drinks contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar (there are a... See More
Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Swedish journalist
disagrees SurrogacyIn reality, “altruistic” surrogacy means that a woman goes through exactly the same thing as in commercial surrogacy, but gets nothing in return. It demands of the woman to carry a child for nine months and then give it away. She has to change her behaviour and risk infertility, a number of pregnancy-related problems, and even death. She is still used as a vessel, even if told she is an angel. The... See More
agrees SurrogacyAdoption was something we were very open to, but when we did the third IVF, we got the embryos and I would have put them into myself, but that was when we found the breast cancer. Part of the treatment is five years of tamoxifen, which can cause birth defects. So we said, ‘Dr. Schoolcraft, what now?’ He said the next step should be surrogacy because we had the embryos. As Bill likes to say, they w... See More
Al Gore, 45th vice president of the united statesI think that we should ban so-called junk guns. I think we should ban assault weapons like the weapons used here [in Fort Worth], yes. I think that the kinds of weapons that have no legitimate use for hunting or the kind of weapon that a homeowner would use, I think they should be banned, yes, those kind of weapons.
[T]he assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea …. Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic — purely symbolic — move in [the direction of disarming the citizenry]. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation f... See More
Rush Limbaugh, U.s. radio talk show host, commentator, author, and television personality
agrees FrackingOther than areas of high-tech, fracking is probably one of the largest areas where concentrated growth in America's economy is taking place. There are oil booms in the Dakotas, in North Dakota. They are having to build entire cities, towns, to house employees showing up to work in fracking. The left is trying to shut it down under some claim that it destroys the environment. Natural gas and oil, o... See More
disagrees Universal Health CareMorally, you have no right to demand medical care of me. I may recognize your necessity and offer charity; my friends and I may choose to band together and fund your medical care. But your necessity does not change the basic math: Medical care is a service and a good provided by a third party... [M]edical care is a commodity, and treating it otherwise is foolhardy. To make a commodity cheaper a... See More
Paul Krugman, Economist (nobel laureate) and NY Times columnistTrump’s tariffs are badly designed even from the point of view of someone who shares his crude mercantilist view of trade. In fact, the structure of his tariffs so far is designed to inflict maximum damage on the U.S. economy, for minimal gain.
Margaret Jay, Former Labour leader of the House of LordsI see this as a tightly focused and compassionate bill which will clarify the incoherent legal framework we have heard about today. I am absolutely committed to the provisions in the bill. It has a narrow, specific focus on the terminally ill and contains strict, upfront safeguards...It is an entirely appropriate measure for this country to adopt.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Cory Doctorow, Writer, blogger, activist.
agrees Net neutralityThe 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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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