The 15 year civil war in Lebanon last century can teach us about the future of the neighboring Syrian mess: they do look alike. Like Washington state-sized Syria, Connecticut-sized Lebanon was a French colony. Pre-WW2 manners dictated the British and French politely divide this “Levant” (as in ISIS/ISIL) area into colonies: the “lucky” Brits kept Palestine, later Israel, and Jordan. The French had Lebanon and larger Syria.
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 […]
Boy did we mess up. This is what happens to one’s predictive abilities when one lives in a bubble. My bubble is a nice apartment 14 floors above 8th Ave in Manhattan’s tony Chelsea district, mixing only with over-educated like-minded limousine liberals, and ensconced in a political campaign where optimism is the only valid currency. A fellow volunteer called on Tuesday night of the election, in hysterics, and asked me: “What are you thinking, David?”
Last week the Indian government suddenly announced holders of 500 and 1,000 Rupee bills ($US 10 and $US 15) would have less than two months to deposit or redeem them for smaller bills at banks, after which time they would be worthless. Many stores aren’t accepting them already. It was intended to fight tax cheating and the “black economy,” some of it criminal. But in a country where one in two people don’t even have […]
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
Dear Sis, I hope you’re well over there, out of all this mess. With the impeachment hearings’ full volume of welcome reaching a crescendo in D.C., I want to tell you about my visit to the Trump Presidential Library-Casino before it’s taken down next month, like its President, and files for bankruptcy.
This moment is the final countdown. We are speeding towards the event horizon of our nation’s destiny. A lofty metaphor for sure, but life on the ground is rarely so prosaic. Registrations are lost, people move at the last minute, or IDs are forgotten or unavailable. Because countless folks think they can’t vote, they don’t, when actually they can. The bureaucracy moves slower than the individual lives of citizens, and there’s a knowledge gap there […]
Both unpopular candidates this election have lit the way towards the “Third Party” or the write-in-and-sulk vote option for many citizens. Let us look at what this involves both dynamically and policy-wise. Firstly there’s the Write-In. One can write in a candidate (say, Kasich, Reagan, or Gilligan) as a “protest vote.” This is an action akin to prayer. It provides the mental salve of imagining one is “doing something” while actually doing nothing. The problem, […]