How Some Places Still Think Honor Killings (And Other Similar Monstrosities) Are Good Ideas

Over here in the Gulf states, there's a wretched little practice called "Blood money."  Say you're driving home and you just don't feel like paying attention to the road.  Say you drive over a poor guy from India or Pakistan and kill him.  In developed countries, if it can be proven you were negligent, you'd … Continue reading How Some Places Still Think Honor Killings (And Other Similar Monstrosities) Are Good Ideas

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China and Russia Draw Closer: Or, America Should Worry, But Not Panic

Mr. Putin must feel pretty good after signing that $400 billion natural gas deal.  With a massive cash infusion such as that over a predictable schedule, Putin's Russia is in much better shape today than ever since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Crimea has been annexed, peacefully; Georgia and Ukraine blocked from both NATO … Continue reading China and Russia Draw Closer: Or, America Should Worry, But Not Panic

The Russian Denial Strategy In Ukraine (Or: The “If I Can’t Have It, No One Will” Of Geopolitics)

What do you when some bro is way bigger than you, stronger than you, has more friends than you, and wants to start telling you what to do? You could fight, but you'd lose.  You could run, except you still have to go to school everyday and your mom and dad just won't listen. Or … Continue reading The Russian Denial Strategy In Ukraine (Or: The “If I Can’t Have It, No One Will” Of Geopolitics)

How Can Boko Haram Sell Girls Into Slavery? The Answer, Dear Friends, Is All About State Power

Think back to your school days (or, if you're still in school, think back to yesterday).  In every social organization with enough people, there must be at least one complete and utter dick.  He or she is the least pleasant person in the world to be around, amasses power through intimidation, violence, or manipulation, and … Continue reading How Can Boko Haram Sell Girls Into Slavery? The Answer, Dear Friends, Is All About State Power

Sectarianism Made Super (Or: How To Tell Your Shi’a From Your Sunni)

Comments sections of various websites are filled with people who have dim, insulting, or downright horrific views on Islam, largely because the religion itself is riven with just enough differences to make it super hard to generalize it.  But what’s going on with Sunnis and Shi’a and what in the hell is an Alawite?  Let’s … Continue reading Sectarianism Made Super (Or: How To Tell Your Shi’a From Your Sunni)