Saving Democracy by Destroying It

August 27, 2021

Arizona’s Maricopa County is ground zero in the continuing debate over election integrity in the United States. The so-called audit of the 2.1 million votes cast in that county in last year’s presidential election — by the almost comically inept firm Cyber Ninjas — was supposed to arrive...

Does the Future Belong to the Taliban?

August 20, 2021

It’s as if a sudden natural disaster has just struck Afghanistan. The scenes from the capital Kabul reflect the kind of panic that comes when a Category 5 hurricane makes landfall, when the waters rise and the levees are breached, when a forest fire jumps over a fuel break to spread out of...

The Delta Variant of Global Stupidity

August 13, 2021

You’d think that the whole world could unite against a deadly virus. COVID-19 has already sickened over 200 million people around the world and killed over 4 million. It has now mutated into more contagious forms that threaten to plunge the globe into another spin cycle of lockdown. The...

Artificial Intelligence Wants You and Your Job

July 30, 2021

My wife and I were recently driving in Virginia, amazed yet again that the GPS technology on our phones could guide us through a thicket of highways, around road accidents and toward our precise destination. The artificial intelligence (AI) behind the soothing voice telling us where to turn has...

The Politics of American Protest: A North Korean Twist

July 16, 2021

Gwen Berry recently protested the playing of the US national anthem by turning away from the flag and holding up a shirt that read “activist athlete.” The protest took place at the Olympic trials in Oregon where Berry had placed third in the hammer throw competition. Her action immediately...

So Far, Biden’s Foreign Policy Is Proving Too Conventional

July 02, 2021

On the domestic front, Joe Biden is flirting with transformational policies around energy, environment, and infrastructure. It’s not a revolution, but it’s considerably less timid than what Barack Obama offered in that pre-Trump, pre-pandemic era. When it comes to foreign policy, however,...

Iran’s Hardliners Are Back

June 25, 2021

To some critics, US elections are managed affairs. According to this cynical view, the “powers that be” narrow the field of candidates, the two parties don’t represent the real range of public opinion in the country, and periodic elections are just shadow plays staged by powerbrokers behind...

How the G7 Intends to Build the World Back Better

June 18, 2021

The US Senate recently demonstrated that the only adhesive capable of uniting the two parties is a good, old-fashioned enemy. Although the Democrats and Republicans continue to bicker over the Biden administration’s infrastructure legislation, they achieved rare accord in passing a major...

The Next Surge of Trumpism

June 09, 2021

I went to a birthday party recently. The celebrants greeted each other with hugs on the patio. After an outdoor barbeque dinner, we stood shoulder to shoulder around the island in the kitchen, eating cake from small paper plates. We sang “Happy Birthday.” Ordinarily, an event like that...

Democracy Is Down but Not Out

June 04, 2021

Alexander Lukashenko, the Belarussian dictator, snatches a dissident from midair. Military strongman Assimi Goita launches another coup in Mali. Benjamin Netanyahu escalates a military conflict to save his own political skin in Israel. In the United States, the Republican Party launches a...

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