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Blogs

  • Now try listening...

    "Now Hear This", I was reminded in a documentary yesterday, is the peremptory introduction used on the Tannoy on American Navy ships when the bosses want to make something known, usually that the chocolate pecan pie is a bit stale this week or...

  • What is Aleppo?

    What is Aleppo?

    I thought that I had lost the ability to be surprised by the lack of knowledge that people show.I got accustomed to University students not knowing who Aristotle or Confucius are. I was not shocked when a colleague told me that his art students...

  • Lies, damned lies and transparent audits

    Lies, damned lies and transparent audits

    On Friday the Times of Malta reminded us of a few deeply worrying facts connected to Sai Mizzi and her position and remuneration. But what hit me most was the reminder that way back when the Panama Papers scandal came to light the prime minister...

  • The nun who stole the world’s heart

    The nun who stole the world’s heart

    “By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus.” These words were spoken about a woman small of stature but of...

  • Bullies engaging with residents

    Bullies engaging with residents

    “I am a strong, fearless bully. I can beat you senseless three times a day. But I happen to be a very kind hearted bully so I will only beat you senseless three times a week. Aren’t you lucky to have me as your next door neighbour.” Luck is made...

  • To boycott or not to

    To boycott or not to

    Unphased by the deafening chorus of "are you nuts?" that greeted his notion that a boycott of the Gasan and Fenech commercial empires was on the cards as popular revenge for their monstrous constructions (I was going to use a different word, but...

  • Fiscal conservatives and a dormant opposition

    Bar a few hasty comments here and there, the PM’s recent interview with Il Foglio did not exactly arouse much excitement. While this is not surprising, it is a pity because here Joseph Muscat is making a case for a government that is presented as...

  • Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha walk into a bar…

    Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha walk into a bar…

    Look, I get it. Some people take offence when others joke about their beliefs. After all, religion is a very personal thing. For many it is a cornerstone of how they live their lives. This is why it seems logical that even when it comes to...

  • Syrian children and American puppies

    Syrian children and American puppies

    Another photo of another boy victim of war grabbed the world's attention. It shocked all those who saw it and drove many to tears.The video footage showed little Omran Daqneesh shell-shocked, covered in dust, his face red with blood. He had just...

  • Victim Shaming 101

    Victim Shaming 101

    The Salott on Facebook – it has a lot to answer for. Free speech is all very well and good, but it does prompt all the ugly lice to crawl out of the woodwork.  One particular post managed to combine a heavy dose of misogyny, prejudice and...

  • Have I got news for you?

    Have I got news for you?

    When I watched John Oliver's 19-minute rant on the doom and gloom facing the newspaper industry, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. The TV host joined the dots to outline the way cash-strapped news organisations could inevitably lead to...

  • Not a good week for the premier

    Two pieces in Wednesday's print edition of this media house's output, and some later news, inspired my title. The first piece was Martin Scicluna's full-pager about Sliema and Mrieħel's "newly permitted" carbuncles and how this merits a boycott...

  • I feel it, therefore it is

    Quite some years back I had a discussion with a number of students from the Faculty of Education. I thought I misunderstood what they were saying so I asked them directly to make double sure. “Are you telling me that you would not to tell your...

  • Cheating and getting away with it

    Cheating and getting away with it

    There was a time when people believed that cheaters never prosper. Unfortunately we seem to be living in an age where if you don't cheat you never get anywhere. Politicians the world over seem to have decided they can get away with anything. In...

  • Some myths, exploded

    Some myths, exploded

    Sometimes you just have to wonder whether anyone who matters (or thinks s/he matters, a different kettle of herring altogether) has a critical bone in his or her body. I don't mean that the bone concerned is critical to the continued survival of...

  • More than our skyline

    More than our skyline

    Even as we wail (and rightly so) about the latest government mess up that will have Malta's skyline look like some dystopian nightmare, we forget that - as important as maintaining a balance in development is - the buck doesn't start and stop with...

  • Timmy Gambin and moral despicability

    Timmy Gambin and moral despicability

    A couple of weeks ago we got news that the Dutch were the tallest people on Earth. Averaging 183cm (that’s 6ft for Imperial measure folk), they are literally head and shoulders above other nations. But we seem to be getting there. In fact we can...

  • Mintoff Mintoff

    Mintoff Mintoff

    The easiest way to write about former Prime Minister Dom Mintoff is to play the usual game between the messianic and demonic. To Labourites, Mintoff represents the leader and the visionary who lead the Maltese Labour Movement through the troubles...

  • Those who lord it over us

    It is now official: Malta is ruled by a few of mega-millionaire families; and current public policy dictates that everything is done so that they become richer. The rest of us, it has been decreed, have to do with the crumbs that fall from the...

  • Because they know it all

    Because they know it all

    When we were students at Tal-Qroqq, we used to pull our friends in the Architecture & Civil Engineering Faculty’s legs that they thought they knew it all. This was because they studied not only architecture AND civil engineering (usually two...

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