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A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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The US selection of leaders has virtually nothing to do with democratic processes and outcomes. It is useful to contrast this with the process in China. In most instances, China’s selection of leaders is far more meritocratic, successful and performance-based. In both the US and China, the process lacks transparency. US Economic, Political and Cultural... Read More
Introduction After 6 months of blaming Russia for the Democratic Party’s Presidential election debacle, the Party stalwarts have finally realized that the American electorate is not listening. Democratic Party investigators in Washington still hold hearings and the mass media are still scandal mongering, but the public is not rallying to their cause. Trump’s demagogy may... Read More
My earlier entry (Clannishness – the Series: Zigzag Lightning in the Brain) established that there are deep distinctions between Northwestern European peoples and most of the rest of the world, and that these differences have a huge impact on the world, including on levels of human development, the strength of democracy and democratic institutions, scientific... Read More
Can corruption be controlled by reform or is it so much the essential fuel sustaining political elites that it will only be ended – if it ends at all – by revolutionary change? The answer varies according to which countries one is talking about, but in many - particularly those relying on the sale of... Read More
a katz / Shutterstock.com
I love it: Donald Trump’s campaign reveals the establishment for what it is, a swamp of corruption as fetid as those of Latin America. It is better entertainment than Vaudeville. The frantic scramble to rig the primaries, change the rules, and thwart the voters–anything to defend their cozy entanglement of political tapeworms–makes absurd any pretense... Read More
Who shall doubt 'the secret hid Under Cheops' pyramid' Was that the contractor did Cheops out of several millions? The message of Rudyard Kipling’s poem is that corruption is always with us and has not changed much down the ages. There is some truth in this, but degrees of corruption greatly matter, as the Cheops... Read More
I recently took a little trip into the past and deep into America’s distant war zones to write a piece I called “It’s a $cam.” It was, for me, an eye-opening journey into those long-gone years of American “nation-building” and “reconstruction” in Afghanistan and Iraq. Mind you, I still remembered some of what had been... Read More
Kabul in America
A top government official with energy industry holdings huddles in secret with oil company executives to work out the details of a potentially lucrative “national energy policy.” Later, that same official steers billions of government dollars to his former oil-field services company. Well-paid elected representatives act with impunity, routinely trading government contracts and other favors... Read More
(My reader poll results will have to wait, but rest assured, they're coming.) Yet another terrorist attack in Paris – this year wish I could say I was even remotely surprised – perhaps only at the precise time, and that's all. For this is just another example of what I and so many others have... Read More
What does it take to make a nation great? What makes a country a great place to live, a healthy society, and a bastion of stability? Various theories and ideas have been put forward, and I think they are all pretty much bunk. I think we can apply a little reductionism here, and conclude that... Read More
Local headlines here in New York State recently have been dominated by corruption in the state legislature. The speaker of the lower house, the State Assembly, has had to resign his position after being arrested last month on federal corruption charges. The arrest was deeply unsurprising. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was known for years to... Read More
For anyone who sees the world from an East Asian standpoint, recent sex accusations against Britain’s Prince Andrew pack a special punch. Here we have Britain’s long-time Special Representative for International Trade and Investment accused of having sex with an underage girl. Although Andrew has consistently denied the allegations, already by 2011 he was sufficiently... Read More
Europe and the U.S. are both at risk of falling into an Italian spiral of public theft
Even well-informed Americans are unlikely to know much about the level of corruption prevalent within the member states of the European Union (EU). A fascinating article in the London Review of Books by UCLA professor Perry Anderson opens with a tour de force run-through of the high crimes and misdemeanors featuring recent heads of state... Read More
Post updated, 6/10/14. See below! As we saw previously (see My Most Read Posts), my post Maps of the American Nations is the single most popular post so far here on my blog. Americans all over are supremely interested in both their origins and the reasons for the cultural quirks of the different American regions.... Read More
Hope, our grandmothers told us, makes a good breakfast, but a poor supper. My guess is that where hope for convergence of the races in America is concerned, it’s around 6 p.m. on that schema. Not suppertime yet, but it’ll soon be getting dark. This gloomy thought was inspired by a couple of news stories.... Read More
After nearly two years, the shipwrecked Costa Concordia has finally been righted! [gigya src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" width="500" height="300" FlashVars="launch=53030510^290^134720&width=592&height=346" allowscriptaccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.adobe.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"] "A testament to what engineering can do" indeed. Make no mistake, we mean American (and others of Northern European – including likely Northern Italian) engineering: [gigya src="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640" width="500" height="300" FlashVars="launch=53019092^240^154290&width=592&height=346" allowscriptaccess="always" allowFullScreen="true" wmode="transparent"... Read More
Yup, it's still there: Just sayin'
(Courtesy Geoffery Miller) This is the perceived level of corruption, by nation, across the globe. The darker the country, the more corrupt it is perceived to be by its inhabitants. One cannot escape how the Northwestern European countries and countries founded by them stand out on this map. This was compiled by Transparency International, see... Read More
[Update: the girl shown in the photo is merely a random image; Chinese media reported she is a university student in Xiamen and she has nothing to do with Lei Zhengfu. My apologies. Further details on the Lei case here.] Alexa Olesen of Associated Press wrote a piece on the Lei Zhengfu sex tape. Fine... Read More
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PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?