Great Barrier Reef Politics Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Australia’s environment has been in precarious hands since European settlement found its lengthy and persistent way to the continent.  It has been mined, mauled, drained, farmed, deforested and despoiled at a rate that was only restrained by the size of its small but rapacious populace.  When..

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Curing Fascism

Fascism is a disease, a delusion, a toxic worldview. It’s encouraged and manipulated by propaganda. Its characteristics are numerous and to various degrees widespread and long-lasting. At what point their combination in sufficiently extreme degree rises to the level of fascism, as opposed to..

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Ilhan Omar for Peace Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Ilhan Omar is the second person this year to win a Democratic Party nomination for Congress in a Democratic Party district with a platform advocating peace in a way not seen inside the Beltway. The first was Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City, whose advocacy for peace I wrote about. Ilhan..

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Using the Burka: Boris Johnson’s Bid for Popularity

Comedy, Boris Johnson, and the Tories – these three share a certain comforting, if chaotic affinity, lobbed together in some nightmarish union that risks consuming itself. But times are serious – profoundly so, we are told: Brexit exercises the nerves as if Britannia were a patient about to..

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Is The Arab World Politically Bust? – OpEd Monday, August 13th, 2018

In the wake of the multiple Arab uprisings since the Bouazizi heroic act of self-immolation with fire, rather than bask in democracy and welfare, the Arab people are enduring insecurity, lack of stability, joblessness, bankruptcy and hard times1. Lots of them are even regretting the good old..

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Nepal’s Relations with China May Improve After New Railway Sunday, August 12th, 2018

A new railroad is to be built in the Himalayas, connecting Nepal to China-controlled Tibet. The railroad, expected to be complete in 2022, suggests an improvement in Nepal’s relations with China. Railway Could Be an Economic Boon to Nepal Nepal’s Prime Minister Oli visited China in June in..

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Trump versus Journalism: The Travails of Fourth Estate Saturday, August 11th, 2018

You have to give it to him: President Donald Trump loathes the Fourth Estate with a dedication verging on caricature. He splutters at the members and rails at their observations with adolescent rage. He sees some of its members, not without a few solid reasons, as enemies of his vision. (The Gray..

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Keeping the Nuclear Arms Control alive Friday, August 10th, 2018

“Back to the heydays of the global Cold War, what eventually kept the US and the USSR from deploying nuclear weapons was the dangerous and costly struggle called: ‘mutual destruction assurance’. Already by the late 1950s, both sides achieved parity in the number and type of nuclear warheads..

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Nepal’s perpetual conundrum: looking south or heading north Thursday, August 9th, 2018

At a recent Nepal-India think-tank summit in Kathmandu, the keynote speaker Ram Madhav, national general secretary of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, suggested that Nepal adopt a “Look South” policy under the broad framework of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Neighborhood..

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Banning Alex Jones and Infowars

He is treated as the bogeyman of conspiracy entertainment, and Alex Jones has become a prominent figure for advancing a host of unsavoury views. High on his list of incendiaries is the claim that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting never took place and was the work of paid fantasists, with the..

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The Story Of Stagnant Wage Growth – OpEd Wednesday, August 8th, 2018

This recovery has not been great for workers. They have seen modest real wage gains over the last five years, but these gains have not come close to making up the ground lost in the recession and the first years of the recovery. Nonetheless, real wages have been growing for most of the last five..

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The Non-University and the Manager Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

We have been seeing over the last few decades the birth of the non-university, an institution hollowed out of its seminal functions: teaching and scholarship. Such an institution emphasises the functions of commerce and branding not dissimilar to the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East..

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Fought to the Table: Talks with the Taliban Saturday, August 4th, 2018

“Attempting to control rural areas in Afghanistan always eventually ends up boiling down to personal survival.” -Evan McAllister, former Marine staff sergeant, New York Times, July 28, 2018 It genuinely doesn’t matter how the security boffins within the Pentagon frame it: the Taliban have..

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Thriving on Dark Web: The My Health Record and Data Insecurity Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Data is rarely inert. It moves, finds itself diverting, adjusting and adapting to users and distributors. Ultimately, as unspectacular and banal as it might be, data sells, pushing the price in various markets whoever wishes to access it. Medical data, given its abundance, can do very nicely in..

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China Breaks Ice With Arctic Gas – Analysis Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

With the arrival of a special ice-class tanker from Russia’s arctic region this month, China has almost literally gone to the ends of the earth for natural gas. On July 19, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier Vladimir Rusanov docked at China’s Rudong terminal in eastern Jiangsu province..

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Trump, Bolton and the Syrian Confusion Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

It’s a messy, though typical picture. US President Donald Trump wants to pull out forces in Syria. When announced in December, jaws drooped and sharp intakes of breath..