links for 2010-08-09

  • "International experience has shown that a reliance on minimum sentences for serious crimes and the incarceration of people for minor offences are equally ineffective and very expensive. Rigid regimes that encourage the incarceration of citizens reflect traditional, failed approaches. Of course ruthless and violent criminals have to be locked up. They are a danger to society. But best international practice now favours rehabilitation; the use of community service orders and restrictions on movement as the primary responses to minor crime." Not here though.
  • "The most basic principle that must underlie any Government decision – let alone one that involves dumping at least €22 billion into a black hole – has to be a cost/benefit analysis. If you don’t know the cost, if there’s no upper limit on what you’re willing to pay, then the decision is implicitly bad. It’s not policy-making. It’s gambling. So let’s ask the question again – how much money for Anglo is too much?"
    Good question.
  • "[…] last month Hamidi's alleged victim admitted that he had been under pressure from his parents to make false accusations. Nevertheless the local judiciary has insisted that Hamidi should be executed.
    Mostafaei [the lawyer who had to flee Iran two weeks ago] initially wrote an open letter about Hamidi's case to highlight the execution of juvenile offenders. But two weeks ago Mostafaei's wife, Fereshteh Halimi, was arrested and had been kept in solitary confinement in Tehran's notorious Evin prison without charge until late last night, when the Observer understood that she was released."
    This Iranian idea of "Judge's knowledge" – i.e. where there is no evidence, but the judge claims to know the person is guilty through some wisdom or whatever – was also the reason why Sakineh Ashtiani was convicted of murder despite there being no evidence (she is the woman whose imminent stoning for adultery and murder has been widely reported). The so-called legal system in Iran is repulsive.
  • I'm not a churchy person (as my F&F reading this would know). However, reading this article I find it amazing how regressive the Catholic church is in comparison. Vatican II was an awfully long time ago, and the current pope seems to want to turn back some of the changes belatedly made then.
  • "Cedar House is among three hostels pinpointed for closure in the “Pathway to Home” strategy. On September 31st the hostel is scheduled to close its doors as new long-term housing is expected to come on stream to provide proper housing to some of the most vulnerable people in the city. But with only a few months left in 2010, a question mark hangs over the Government’s ability to deliver on its promise of ending long-term homelessness this year." Yes, to say the least.
  • I think our entry system is a great deal fairer than the UK. It's ludicrous that so many university have filled all their places before the results of the qualifying exams have been released!
  • 'The proposal says Internet providers should treat all providers of Internet content the same, and should not be able to block them or offer them a paid “fast lane.” It says the Federal Communications Commission should have the authority to stop or fine those who break the rules.
    But the proposal includes exceptions for wireless Internet access and for potential new services that broadband providers could offer, including things like “advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options.” '
    ~All internet users are equal, but some are more equal than others. This is NOT the way the net should go.
  • LOL – he's in his underpants!!!! Timo Glock is another F1 driver. These guys are really getting into social networking this year! And it's the summer break – they're tweeting from the beach and posting photos and all sorts.
  • Stephen's latest blog entry. With reference to his upcoming one-man show in the Albert Hall: "This is not a tour but a short-notice experiment. If it goes well and people seem to enjoy it then I can think of nothing I would enjoy more than travelling around for a month or so, taking in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and all parts of England." Sounds great!
  • Wow, what an amazing picture.
  • ' "Most children's shoes ought to come with a government health warning," believes Byrne. "They are like awful little bricks – too stiff, too rigid, with no flexibility at the sole and too much heel raise. This is of particular concern with toddlers learning to walk, because it causes them to bounce and tip forward," she says.
    Woodward agrees. "I have in my hand a Nike Air shoe for a three-year-old – quite an expensive item, I would guess. From the heel to the toe there is no 'bend' or 'give' in the sole. Completely rigid, this shoe will restrict movement of the forefoot to zero. Kids this age should be turning cartwheels, skipping, climbing trees, running around. A shoe like this would seriously restrict such playful physicality – make it less fun, less enjoyable." ' Interesting stuff.
  • Aww shucks… Rubens Barrichello & son.
  • Strong stuff. I am not especially a friend or enemy of Israel, but he makes some interesting points.
  • Sub-heading: "India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor?" My sub-sub-heading: Does the US have the right to be asking this question?
  • It's not the most important element of this case, but doesn't it look like Mia Farrow has gone to the same plastic surgeon as Michael Jackson?
  • On top of the heatwave.
  • ' "I've realised that one of the reasons I hated dogs is that I am scared of them," I tell her, an argument that is somewhat undermined by the sound of Cookie snoring loudly in the corner. "I worry they may leap up and start attacking," I continue as Cookie wakes up, rolls on her back and starts waggling her legs in the airs, trying to scratch her back.' Hee hee…
  • "Campbell may live in an ivory tower but what of a world that ignored a war crimes trial until a supermodel turned up?" I must admit the same thing had occurred to me.
    "And anyone who has ever seen Naomi Campbell modelling live – which I have, as a matter of fact – will tell you that she was worth every penny she earned. To see her on the catwalk was – and may very well still be – an electrifying experience, even at what was then the Point Depot. On that occasion she left the other models for dead. The audience was left saying “Who is that rather dumpy woman behind Naomi?” Turned out to be Helena Christensen.
    Nelson Mandela does not love Naomi Campbell for her grasp of international politics. He loves her for her glamour and her phenomenal beauty, the old goat. He may even love her for the fact that she is, or certainly was, the most glamorous black woman alive."
  • The mass die-off of amphibians around the world has been more or less ignored by mainstream media – it would be great if a few species can be rescued before the last ones die.
  • They are, and they do. It's just that it doesn't get noticed here because the whole country is riddled with alcohol.
  • Freeconomics…. the photo would encourage me to look into it – for several reasons. 🙂
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~ by Lynn Duffy on August 10, 2010.

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