The Meaning and Taste of Thanksgiving

November 23, 2016

For one day in the year on Thanksgiving, Americans hope to renew a sense of “belonging” to a fading culture.  Once a year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans honor their imagined Puritan heritage, even if today only a tiny minority can trace their ancestry back to the...

The World This Week: World Trade Hits Headwinds

November 20, 2016

After decades of spectacular growth, world trade is experiencing a slowdown even as anti-trade sentiments are on the rise in Europe and the US. These are not happy days for world trade. In September, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced that it expected “trade in 2016 to grow at ...

The World This Week: Donald Trump is the Ultimate Ugly American

October 09, 2016

Trump is a dangerous demagogue who presents an unprecedented threat to American democracy and deserves to be consigned to the dustbin of history. For a man who likes his women young, slim and pretty, Donald Trump, to use a phrase from this author’s officer days, is an “old, fat and ugly...

The World This Week: War in Syria is a Never-Ending Tragedy

September 25, 2016

The Syrian Civil War will continue because of protracted repression, rising sectarianism, the collapse of Iraq, extensive foreign interference and a tortured past. On September 25, Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations (UN), declared with much passion, “what Russia is...

The World This Week: Peace in Colombia After 52 Years of War

September 04, 2016

A ceasefire between Colombian forces and FARC brings 52 years of civil war to a close thanks to a reformist president and assistance from Cuba and the US. Every week throws a cornucopia of events. This writer struggles with the abundance of choice. After all, Donald Trump went to Mexico, Dilma...

The World This Week: Refugees Saving Grace of Rotten Rio Olympics

August 07, 2016

The Olympics are now an exorbitant extravaganza for gladiatorial performances that are paid for by people who cannot afford them. This week, the Olympics began in Rio de Janeiro with a spectacular ceremony as usual. This being Brazil, the games promise to be one hell of a party. The...

The World This Week: Explosive Situations in North Korea, China and Germany

January 10, 2016

North Korea’s nuclear test, China’s stock market crash, and mass attacks on women in Germany pose great dangers to peace and stability. North Korea, the Hermit Kingdom, is a funny place. A paunchy dictator with a ridiculous hairstyle keeps his people poor and saber rattles like a petulant...