Tourism to North Korea is possible, but as your reviewer wrote in Forbes lately, it’s a hazardous and horribly unethical destination. That said, Ms. Kim’s book is one of the most insightful reads a NK buff can use to explore from an armchair. Published in 2014, it could have been written yesterday: with the exceptions of a little stronger “capitalism” and more cell phones, nothing has changed. Ms. Kim’s year there
There’s a journalistic protocol for pre-writing obituaries before their subjects have died: all the newspapers do it. After a certain age, if you are prominent enough, there’ll be an obit on file for you, eerily awaiting your demise to publish. If you reach your 90s the editors will be spell-checking it — and at 93, President Robert Mugabe’s is long due. He isn’t even buying green bananas. So let’s get ahead of the game and prepare his […]
Most people can recognize a roundel when they see one, but they don’t know it is called that, and they may not know how this form of national graphic art works. Military buffs and vexillologists (flag fanciers) know though. Such folks, usually men, are surprisingly common so let’s peek into their world with a look at the roundel.
For many years tourism to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) was almost impossible for Americans. Now it isn’t, but should one go? Stalin called western sympathizers and visitors in the 1950s “useful idiots” who believed Soviet propaganda while he killed tens of millions. A similar dynamic exists in northeast Asia today. Travel agencies profiting from tourism there use the argument that grassroots connections and money in the economy are overall positives. This argument falls flat […]
There are countries most people have never even heard of and have little reason to know exist. But that doesn’t mean strange things don’t happen in them and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea (E.G.) is one such place. About the size of Maryland, it fits into the “corner” of West-Central Africa near Nigeria. It popped up in the news lately because its Vice President T.O. Nguema of the ruling family is on trial in absentia […]
Sometimes blips on the diplomatic radar far away can be prescient of larger things to come, closer to home. In the Philippines, things are happening, and they’re worth taking note of for our alliance, geopolitics, and the psychology of a country’s president. According to Fujisankei Japanese language TV news last week, Philippine President Duterte was welcomed in Tokyo with a Big Show – one better than most heads of state. As
Published: 28 September, 2016 Original Publisher: The Moderate Voice [click here] EDITOR’S NOTE: This was originally published on September 15. Today, the Senate overwhelmingly overrode President Barack Obama’s veto of the 9/11 bill. So we’ve re-dated this post for today, given its relevance. A bill to hold the Saudi Arabian state and royal family financially responsible for 9/11 which passed the U.S. Senate unanimously in May, just passed in the House. Unless vetoed by the President it would permit an enormous personal injury lawsuit against the Kingdom. The “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” – JASTA – portends a terrible precedent of blow back against the United States. A “win” would actually be a financial disaster. And that is before the justice it seeks is unleashed back upon us. JASTA promises to right the wrongs of 9/11 via the U.S. tort law system. It alleges the Saudi royal family and state were at least complicit in the attacks, if not directly responsible, and hold them so liable. Such a law could ultimately allow a trial by jury and judgment to be passed in the Southern District of Manhattan – the location of the attacks and our most international forum of law.
This month something unusual happened on TV for many New Yorkers and other Americans – a news channel went blank. After four years, Al Jazeera America has ceased operations. So an obscure foreign TV network goes dark. So what? The problem here is it leaves the US TV cable viewer almost without a serious international network. At all. A news cruise around the dial of most cable operators will leave the viewers with a surprisingly small number […]