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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Donald Trump’s Kamikaze Attack on Globalism
As presidencies approach their midpoints, pundits begin the inevitable search for that elusive creature: the doctrine. It’s often a quixotic quest, since presidents rarely boil down their foreign-policy visions -- if they even have them -- to some pithy essence. Then there’s Donald Trump. Conjuring up the current president’s foreign-policy doctrine is like arguing that... Read More
How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
When, in early March, Donald Trump agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the Washington foreign policy elite nearly suffered a collective heart attack. For one thing, the announcement came as a complete surprise. Trump had telegraphed his other foreign policy bombshells well in advance: leaving the Paris climate accord, ripping up the Iran... Read More
Washington Takes on the World
Donald Trump has a plan to solve America’s drug crisis: kill the drug dealers. "We have pushers and drugs dealers, they are killing hundreds and hundreds of people," Trump said at a recent White House summit on opioid abuse. "Some countries have a very, very tough penalty -- the ultimate penalty -- and by the... Read More
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Welcome to the Birthplace of Trumpism
He was a rich businessman, an outspoken outsider with a love of conspiracy theories. And he was a populist running for president. In 1990, when Donald Trump was still beyond the furthest outskirts of American politics, Stanislaw Tyminski was trying to become the new president of post-communist Poland. He shared something else with the future... Read More
Donald Trump and the Fourth Great Shattering
When the historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., published his bestseller The Disuniting of America in 1991, he didn’t seriously entertain the worst-case scenario suggested by the title. At the time, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia were imploding, while separatist movements in Quebec, East Timor, Spain’s Basque country, and elsewhere were already clamoring for their own states.... Read More
The Times They Are A-Changin’ in North Korea
The United States has beaten its head against the wall of North Korea for more than 70 years, and that wall has changed little indeed as a result. The United States, meanwhile, has suffered one headache after another. Over the last several weeks, the head banging has intensified. North Korea has tested a couple of... Read More
Donald Trump and the Triumph of Anti-Politics
Once upon a time, long, long ago, I testified before the great assembly of our land. When I describe this event to children today, it really does sound to them like a fairy tale. Once upon a time -- a time before the world splintered into a million pieces and America became its current disunited... Read More
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Who Will Take America’s Place in Asia?
Asia has been the future for more than a generation. When Americans try to glimpse what’s to come, images of the Pacific Rim flood the imagination. For movie audiences in 1982, the rain-soaked Los Angeles of Blade Runner looked like downtown Tokyo. By 2014, the City of Angels in the Spike Jonze film Her had... Read More
Preventing the Triumph of Trump’s Will
Dystopias have recently achieved full-spectrum dominance. Kids are drawn to such stories -- The Giver, Hunger Games -- like Goths to piercings. TV shows about zombie apocalypses, pandemics, and technology run amok inspire binge watching. We’ve seen the world-gone-truly-bad a thousand times over on the big screen. This apocalyptic outpouring has been so intense that... Read More
The Birth of a New Nationalist World Order
Donald Trump is a worldly fellow. He travels the globe on his private jet. He’s married to a Slovene and divorced from a Czech. He doesn’t speak any other languages, but hey, he’s an American, so monolingualism is his birthright. His fortune depends in large part on the global economy. He has business interests in... Read More
Or How Donald Trump Changed Everything (2016-2020)
I didn’t vote in the pivotal American election of 2016. Thirty-five years ago, in that unseasonably warm month of November, I was in Antarctica’s Allan Hills taking ice core samples with a hand augur. The pictures I have from that time show my team drilling deep into the blue ice, but what we were actually... Read More
Evangelicals, Survivalists, the Alt-Right, and Hurricane Donald
The world according to Donald Trump is very dark indeed. The American economy has tanked. Mexico has sent a horde of criminals over the border to steal jobs and rape women. The Islamic State, cofounded by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, is taking over the globe. “Our country’s going to hell,” he declared during the... Read More
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(Is Not This Year)
The voters vowed to take their revenge at the polls. They’d missed out on the country’s vaunted prosperity. They were disgusted with the liberal direction of the previous administration. They were anti-abortion and pro-religion. They were suspicious of immigrants, haughty intellectuals, and intrusive international institutions. And they very much wanted to make their nation great... Read More
The View from 2050
Let me start with a confession. I’m old-fashioned and I have an old-fashioned profession. I’m a geo-paleontologist. That means I dig around in archives to exhume the extinct: all the empires and federations and territorial unions that have passed into history. I practically created the profession of geo-paleontology as a young scholar in 2020. (We... Read More
The Search for Terrestrial Intelligence
They were the “best and the brightest” but on a spaceship, not planet Earth, and they exemplified the liberal optimism of their era. The original Star Trek,whose three-year TV run began in 1966, featured a talented, multiethnic crew. The indomitable Captain Kirk had the can-do sex appeal of a Kennedy; his chief advisor, the half-human,... Read More
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Did Market Leninism Win the Cold War?
Imagine an alternative universe in which the two major Cold War superpowers evolved into the United Soviet Socialist States. The conjoined entity, linked perhaps by a new Bering Straits land bridge, combines the optimal features of capitalism and collectivism. From Siberia to Sioux City, we’d all be living in one giant Sweden. It sounds like... Read More
The European Union May Be on the Verge of Regime Collapse
Europe won the Cold War. Not long after the Berlin Wall fell a quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, the United States squandered its peace dividend in an attempt to maintain global dominance, and Europe quietly became more prosperous, more integrated, and more of a player in international affairs. Between 1989 and... Read More
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Why America’s Strategic Rebalance is Really Just Retreat
In a future update of The Devil's Dictionary, the famed Ambrose Bierce dissection of the linguistic hypocrisies of modern life, a single word will accompany the entry for "Pacific pivot": retreat. It might seem a strange way to characterize the Obama administration's energetic attempt to reorient its foreign and military policy toward Asia. After all,... Read More
PastClassics
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The evidence is clear — but often ignored
Talk TV sensationalists and axe-grinding ideologues have fallen for a myth of immigrant lawlessness.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?