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Religion Retreats

THE ROLE of religion throughout history has been extremely powerful. Indeed it could be argued that it has affected human beings in every stage of society. In a hunting/gathering society human beings felt themselves surrounded by inexplicable forces. An erupting volcano was the voice of a god, lightning was a battle of invisible titans and the mysteries of birth and death could not be explained by any natural process. Into this enigma of existence strode the shaman, the soothsayer and the modern priest, imam and assorted holy men. A career in the black arts of superstition was rewarding.

The Myth of National Characteristics

There once was a very bad TV situation comedy called 'Mind Your Language'. The basis of this unfunny comedy was a well-meaning hero teaching an adult night class the English language to a cliché-ridden group of non-English speakers. Stereotypes abounded.

Will the Pacific Remain Peaceful?

CAPITALISM IS a volatile social system and the Economist magazine, ever aware of its potentially explosive nature, has recently examined the possibility of the extreme economic rivalry in the Pacific region leading to what may turn out to be a more violent phase. The main contestants at present are the USA, China and Japan but there are other fringe countries that may well play an important role in the future.

Since the 1970s trade across the Pacific has far exceeded that of the Atlantic. ‘China, for  instance, has taken its hunger for high-protein foods and raw materials to Latin America and has become the biggest trading partner of distant Chile. By one estimate, in 2010 it provided more loans to Latin America than the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the United States-Import Bank combined’

Oliver: a Fagin Nuisance

It has come to our notice that whilst researching through the effects of an unknown derelict in a London workhouse a completely unreliable socialist has come across the following two part dialogue purporting to be the work of an unsuccessful legal clerk.


F: WELL, young gentleman an’ ‘ow are we this mornin’?

O: Very well, sir. Thank you sir.

F: Ooh! We are quite the gentleman. Ain’t we, Oliver. Not rough and ready like my other young gentlemen. No not at all. Quite the gentleman.

O: When will I be going to work, Sir? Like Dodger and the others.

F: Ah work, Oliver. Perhaps you is too great the gentleman to be working with the likes of us, my boy.

O: Oh no, sir. I’ll work, sir. They taught me at the workhouse that work is an honourable thing, sir.

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