Mahatma Ghandi, on Change

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”




Where is the Middle Way in the Middle East?

Posted by & filed under World Events.

Cross currents, shifting alliances, surrogate wars, civil strife — in the Middle East, it comes with the (often disputed) territory. That won’t change any time soon. Not with the region’s underlying and overarching cultural and religious conflicts. As some offer up on Facebook, concerning their relationships, it’s complicated. Thomas Friedman’s opinion piece in today’s New York Times… Read more »


Posted by & filed under Life in California, U. S. Politics, World Events.

One of the silliest international incidents of 2017…Yeah, so I’m happy the Bruin ballers are back, for their sake and their families, but at what cost to the rest of us? Anyone who thinks this is free does not understand the nature of dealing with the Chinese at this level. So … President Deal-Maker Extraordinaire… Read more »

All for One and One for All (not)

Posted by & filed under U. S. Politics, World Events.

The US now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Nicaragua and Syria against the rest of the world, thanks to the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Brings to mind that old saw about the company you keep… Truly it’s hard to fathom: Trump couldn’t find a way to abide a deal acceptable to our… Read more »

Brave New World

Posted by & filed under Life in California, U. S. Politics, World Events.

“…politics is just the latest industry to be transformed by the Internet…,” says Ben Thompson on his blog stratechery.com which is not about politics. It concerns the evolution and influence of technology. Thompson writes, “…more than two billion people own smartphones, the entire post-World War II economic order is teetering, and populism is on the march; I… Read more »

Thinking of Africa & African Borders

Posted by & filed under World Events.

The North American land mass totals 9.3 million square miles. Africa is bigger, with 11.7 million square miles. I confess that when I first saw the graphic below, it blew my mind. (Click on image for sharper view) Found equally eye opening “The Real Map of Africa,” by Pierre Englebert in today’s Browser (love this… Read more »

The Islamic State, Antiquities, Idols & Acronyms 

Posted by & filed under World Events.

Watching the video of Islamic State soldiers wreaking havoc in the Mosul Museum, and other venues, it was the perverse delight that got me. We see sledgehammers and bulldozers reduce to rubble 3,000 year-old Assyrian antiquities … in slow-mo with musical accompaniment. Reflexively I was sickened by what I saw, failing in the moment to consider why. Why… Read more »

Good, Bad and Ugly: Musings on Machiavelli Amidst Signs of Hope and Despair

Posted by & filed under World Events.

Niccolo Machiavelli is history’s most maligned, and arguably misunderstood, political writer. He didn’t say, “The end justifies the means.” He said, “In choosing the means, consider the end.” A somewhat different spirit. The history we’re handed down, like what we’re fed by contemporary media, is rarely big on nuance. Machiavelli became infamous most probably as… Read more »

It’s Chinatown, in Afghanistan

Posted by & filed under World Events.

Like the movie. It sometimes felt like that. Exotic noir on an epic scale. That’s meant descriptively, not disrespectfully. Afghanistan is a country of nuance and beauty. People there don’t deserve the parade of invading foreigners that goes back to Alexander. Maybe longer. “Only the foreigners unite us.” That’s a saying in Afghanistan. Don’t get… Read more »