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It sounds like a communist utopia, but a basic income program pioneered by German aid workers has helped alleviate poverty in a Nambian village. Crime is down and children can finally attend school. Only the local white farmers are unhappy.The full, red Namibian sun is setting outside his living room window, the workers are returning to their corrugated metal huts, and Siggi von Lüttwitz is hitting a wooden table with the palm of his hand to explain why the experiment cannot work. “They all drink, you know,” he says, smoking an unfiltered cigarette, “and if you give them 100 dollars, they’ll just drink more.” By “they” Lüttwitz means the people of Otjivero, a settlement adjacent to his farmland. And by “they” he means people who are poor and black. –“How a Basic Income Program Saved a Namibian Village,” Dialika Krahe, Spiegel Online
“Gott meiner,” said my father to my mother. “Again no money? But I gave you twelve dollars at the beginning of the week. What have you done with it?” –“Memoirs of a Bootlegger’s Son,” Saul Bellow, Granta
“Anyone who spends any time inside football soon discovers that just as oil is part of the oil business, stupidity is part of the football business.” Well, football may not spend billions of pounds actively seeking out stupidity, piping, refining and selling it, but as Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski demonstrate over and over again in Why England Lose, it is certainly swimming in the stuff. –“The Profound Stupidity of Football,” David Goldblatt, Prospect
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”