With Brexit blowing up in the Brits’ faces followed by an orange punishment emanating from Washington, there’s world-wide alarm about this global move to the right. We pay a lot of attention to hard right hooligans like Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Blondie Le Penn in France. We note as Canada and Spain keep their cool and stay the course, and hope that Angela Merkel can hold off the Putinite forces of the […]
Every country has its own propaganda stuff: its currency, passports, internet sites, and media to communicate its ideology. The Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is sort of a state: they think they are a “Caliphate” (which is slightly different), they control territory and like all states enforce their administration with a monopoly of violence within their borders. Analysts and scholars write about their ideology, today we examine their propaganda.
Who doesn’t like a theme park? There’s junk food, entertainment, rides and toys. Most have a steep price tag but it’s a fun day out with those we love the most: think Disneyland or Universal Orlando. Think again. Not all fun parks are as light-hearted or family values-compliant as those in the US. Let’s examine a few of the more extreme samples abroad: where politics meets fun.
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