BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: Current Affairs

  1. Fractured Society: France and Islam

    France is still reeling from the horrendous attacks on its capital which left 130 dead. It asks itself: why us? While Islamist terrorism is a much worse scourge in countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia, in our Western bubble it is France that has suffered most: from Mohammed Merah’s murderous rampage in Toulouse and Montauban in 2012, to the Charlie Hebdo attacks at the beginning of this year, to the recent massacre in Paris. Meanwhile, a report by the French Senate in April estimated that of the 3000 plus Europeans who have left to fight for ISIS, at…

  2. Polari: How Bona to Vada Your Eek!

    After the global media caused uproar at the Sochi Olympics regarding Russia’s new legislation condemning non-traditional relationships, almost an echo of the English 1885 Labouchere Amendment, Ireland has become the newest country to vote for the freedom to marry among homosexual couples by a popular vote. Occurring less than a year apart, both events have shown how complex the ongoing debate about the role and the rights of homosexuality is in today’s society. In linguistic terms, however, homosexuality seems to be old news. Deemed an ‘endangered language’ in 2010 by the World Oral Literature Project established between Yale University and…

  3. The Economic Case for Open Borders

    Ever since the human race evolved in Africa some 200,000 years ago, humans have spread to all corners of the globe in search of better living conditions. This global spread of humanity is what distinguishes humans from most other living species. Of course, it is evident that movement of peoples did not end with complete migration to all parts of the world. Today, humans are tightly packed into a global economy that links all parts of the world through a complex economic and social system in which everyone is dependent on strangers from across the globe. In fact, Canada has…

  4. Scottish Labour: An Obituary

    Whatever the result of the referendum on 18 September, Scottish Labour will never be the same. Over the past two years it has caused irreparable damage to its own reputation, estranging and insulting both its target middle-voters and its most loyal supporters. Many of the once proudly Labour Scottish left are divorcing themselves in favour of pastures new in the Scottish Greens, SNP and, curiously, UKIP. Labour’s adamant, almost ruthless determination to remain with the union has come at an unprecedented cost. It is the only remotely left-wing party which has sided with the No campaign, and its public image…

  5. Homophobia – What’s the big issue?

    To quote a line from Lily Allen’s song ‘Hard out Here’: ‘Inequality promises that it’s here to stay. Always trust the injustice ‘cause it’s not going away’. When considering homophobia on an international scale, just how much can one read into these lyrics? Countless stories of homophobic and transgender abuse litter the headlines of mainstream news every week. Although the numbers of these types of crime classed as ‘homophobic hate crimes’ are falling, they are becoming increasingly publicised in today’s society. A 2013 survey by Stonewall has reported that one in six LGBT people in the UK (630,000) identify that…

  6. Debate: Should Scotland become an independent country?

    Scotland has been part of the United Kingdom since 1707. On 18th September 2014, citizens will have the chance to vote on whether Scotland should become an independent country in its own right, but opinions on the subject are polarised. Here, two Butlerites present either side of the argument for Scottish independence, a debate which has divided the nation. Yes: Kieran Devlin explores the reasons why Scotland should become independent… In this conflict of sneering demonising and contrived one-upmanship, where one “camp’s” mantra is fundamentally petulant fear-mongering, and the other’s fundamentally naïve uber-nationalism; rationality and objectivity is a myth. It’s…

  7. Longing for “Home”: A Critical View of Asylum Seekers.

    “I long for home, long for the sight of home.” – The Odyssey, Homer At the core of our collective imaginary, lays the image of the exile and their transformative journey in search of a place that can offer some type of emotional and spiritual stability; a place we call, often not sure of what we mean, “home”. Whether it be Odysseus battling against the inclement Aegean Sea or Moses leading his people across the never-ending Sinai, our culture appears to be obsessed with the expatriate, that person who inhabits the “liminal”, who is neither here nor there. Forced migration…

  8. Fracking Hell

    Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release natural gas or oil. Fractures provide a conductive path connecting a larger volume of the reservoir to the well. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally, such as veins or dykes, and can create conduits along which gas and petroleum from source rocks may migrate to reservoir rocks. Induced hydraulic fracturing (fracking) enables the production of natural gas and oil from rock formations at depths of up to 20000ft, where there may not be sufficient…

  9. The Subtle Abuse

    (Quotes included are from interviews with a nurse and NVQ care assistant about their experiences working in private care institutions). Private institutions for residential care have a vital role in caring for society’s most vulnerable members: the elderly, the young, the mentally and physically disabled – those who have no choice other than to pay for round the clock care. Nevertheless, often the term “care home” can appear to be somewhat a misnomer, with cases of abuse in care institutions frequently making national news, for example: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4511076/Family-secretly-film-carer-abusing-mum.html http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/pensioners-wife-dies-alone-earlsdon-3015443 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10025289/Serious-and-systemic-abuse-took-place-in-Welsh-care-homes-investigation-finds.html Some forms of abuse within institutions, however, are unlikely to hit…

  10. High Stakes Poker

    The US Government Shutdown has been in effect for a few days now and as of the time of writing, there has been no indication that they are close to resolving their differences and passing a budget. The press in most countries have been reporting the issue as an economic one, with BBC News and Day News citing an astonishing statistic that if the US government were to remain in shutdown mode for three weeks, the GDP of the United States would drop by 0.9%[1][2]. To give you a broad understanding of how much money that is, the current US…