Eco-imperialism

Japan, where people enjoy a good cut of whale, is pushing back against international anti-whaling rules, which are allegedly nothing more than “eco-imperialism.”  According to the Japanese, it would be as if people in India who believe cattle are sacred would impose punishments on nations that eat beef.

Notice how the various sensitivities we are supposed to have–honoring cultural relativism, respecting the environment, not oppressing anyone, being tolerant of eveyone’s practices and beliefs–can be set against each other.  Can you think of other examples? [Read more...]

What if England seceded from the UK?

Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom.  But now some of the English are thinking maybe they should secede.  The other members–Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales–have their own parliaments and can vote on their own local issues.  England, though, just has the one centralized UK Parliament in London.

That means the Scots, the Irish, and the Welsh, all of whom have big representation in London, can vote on measures that affect England, but not vice versa.  For example, Scottish lawmakers in London voted to impose university tuition costs on England, though, thanks to the Scottish parliament, tuition is free in Scotland.   Some are calling for a separate English parliament, creating something of a federalist system.  Others are suggesting that the UK Parliament allow English-only votes on English-only issues. [Read more...]

The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner

Seventeen-year-old Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan won the Nobel Peace Prize.  When she was 15, she was shot in the head by the Taliban for saying that girls should be allowed to go to school.   She recovered and responded by launching a world-wide movement to promote educational rights for girls in Islamic countries.  She shares the price with Kailash Satyarthi, an activist from India, who also battles for the rights of children, particularly victims of sex trafficking. [Read more...]

Why Christians in Iraq won’t go back

There are more Biblical sites in Iraq than in any other nation other than Israel:  Eden (maybe), the Tigris & Euphrates rivers, Abraham’s home town of Ur, the city that Jonah evangelized Ninevah, Babylon, the place of the Hebrews’ exile.  And there have been Christians there since the days of the New Testament, with the Apostles Thomas and Thaddeus said to have evangelized the region.  The Assyrians have been Christian since the 1st century, the oldest continual Christian community in the world.

But the persecutions of Christians in Iraq since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein–by Sunnis, Shi’ites, and now by ISIL–have been so horrible that Christians are leaving.  And they say they are not coming back.  After the jump, Human Rights Watch researcher Daniel Williams gives a chilling summary of what Iraqi Christians have been going through. [Read more...]

Great Britain will decentralize its government

In response to the near secession of Scotland from the United Kingdom, the British government is promising to decentralize, giving more power to regional and local governments.  (Not just Scotland but Wales and Northern Ireland already have their own parliaments.  England hasn’t, being content to rule all of the others, but now England itself may become more like a state in the larger United Kingdom.)

The desire for weaker central governments seems to be a world-wide phenomenon and is exactly what American conservatives have been calling for.  But the British have always put on the best Tea Parties. [Read more...]

Scotland votes to stay in Great Britain

The United Kingdom remains united, as Scotland voted not to secede.  The final vote was pretty decisive, with 55% of Scots voting “no” and 45% voting “yes.” [Read more...]


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