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Showing posts from July, 2017

Duterte's War on ISIS

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My latest article on Impakter.com about strongman Duterte and what is really going on in the Philippines - his fight against drugs is probably less important than his confrontation with ISIS in Marawi City:
The Battle for Marawi
The battle for Marawi began on 23 May when Islamic terrorists torched Dansalan College, a protestant school known in the region for its religious tolerance, and abducted a Catholic priest and thirteen churchgoers. They killed nine Christians at a checkpoint and set fire to the cathedral and the bishop’s residence. Soon an elementary school and the city jail were burning and IS-style black flags were flown on buildings. Government troops immediately put the town under siege.

The news shocked the Philippines: Marawi is the most important Muslim town in Mindanao island, 1400 km (870 miles) south of the capital Manila. Located in Lanao del Sur province, it is on the north coast of Lake Lanao, the largest lake in Mindanao (130 square miles).

Improbably, the terrori…

HOW TO REVIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM: The Reeves Solution

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My latest article on Impakter, here is the beginning:



HOW TO REVIVE THE AMERICAN DREAM: A CLASS DISPUTE
Book Review: The Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It by Richard V. Reeves published by Brookings Institution Press, June 2017



Take the top 20 percent of the American population and remove from it the One Percent, the ultra-rich. What do you get? A new class, roughly the “top” of the middle class, that is changing the way America consumes, thinks, and votes.

That, in a nutshell, is the argument made by several highly respected social scientists, starting with Tyler Cowen, who was the first out with his book, The Complacent Class in February 2017. Unsurprisingly, it was an instant bestseller, he is a respected economist with a popular blog. Next out in May was Elizabeth Currid-Halkett’s excellent, Veblen-inspired The Sum of Small things (reviewed on Impakter), followed in June by two mor…

G20: American Isolationism is Back

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My latest article on Impakter, all about the G20 - I do  believe it marks a turning point for American world leadership. Here is the beginning (and Trump does look grumpy!):



The G20 meeting that just finished in Hamburg on 8 July confirmed the United States’ embrace of isolationism. Presided over by Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, Trump de facto stole the show. Both she and Emmanuel Macron, the new President of France, tried very hard to woo Trump back in the concert of nations. Macron even held a last-minute meeting with UK’s Theresa May and Australia’s Malcolm Turnbull on the climate change issue to try and change Trump’s mind.

To no avail.

THE US IS ALONE ON CLIMATE

The final communiqué is clear, the G20 is split.

Nineteen countries declare the Paris Climate Accord as “irreversible”, one does not, the United States. The country that was once the world’s leader – ever since World War II – emphatically goes its own way, with a whole paragraph in the G20 Declaration dedicated to t…

THE DARK SECRET OF TRUMP’S FIGHTING INSTINCT REVEALED

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Impakter magazine has just published a fascinating piece from my dear Canadian friend and sociologist Hannah Fischer Lauder. And I wanted to share it with you, I think it's a must read and a real eye-opener on what kind of man Trump really is. Scary. 

Here is the beginning of the article:

THE HIDDEN ROOTS OF TRUMP’S FIGHTING INSTINCT

The bizarre video Trump attached to yet another “modern presidential” tweet showing him wrestling with CNN has a lot more behind it than the press has yet uncovered.

The outrage about it being un-presidential, while understandable, ignores something far more fundamental and revealing: this video is just the tip of the iceberg. It is not simply a video of a single event that happened in 2007, it is part of a series of events that Trump was involved in. He’s been interested in wrestling since the 1980s when his Trump Plaza casino held to Wrestlemania events back to back.

With this video, what we see emerging is a whole side of Trump that few people outsid…