Gay Marriage, Geopolitics, and the Culture Wars

It may seem a stretch to connect the recent court ruling striking down America's Federal Defense of Marriage Act and the do-or-die power struggles of nation-states. But it's part of a wider global transition where traditional cultures are coming up against worldwide ones. Who can marry who, and what it represents, matters almost as much … Continue reading Gay Marriage, Geopolitics, and the Culture Wars

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China’s Not So Tough

You've heard it for the past ten years - learn Chinese, for they are our new overlords.  China's ridiculous economic miracle since 1978, with its final sprint since 2000, has made all sorts of people worry and fret that it will soon be a Chinese world.  Joss Whedon, in his Firefly series, imagined a future … Continue reading China’s Not So Tough

Iran’s Strategic Imperatives (Or, How Iran Will Try To Avoid Being Gang-Raped By The International Community)

It's hot, then it's cold, it's yes, then it's no, it's in, then it's out, etc.  Did you know Katy Perry was describing Iran?  Well, she wasn't.  Nevertheless, Iran is a land of contrasts.  Let's hear it for opposites!  And because there's so much, this makes Iran more complicated. Iran's geography makes it a tough … Continue reading Iran’s Strategic Imperatives (Or, How Iran Will Try To Avoid Being Gang-Raped By The International Community)

So on it goes

And thus America goes into Syria. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/obama-approves-military-aid-syrian-rebels-article-1.1372540 It will be done as cheaply as possible; the last phase might involve a no fly zone. Make no mistake, however - America could give a shit about a democratic or free Syria.  That would be lovely, of course, because such a country would likely align with the … Continue reading So on it goes

Saudi Arabia is going to make MERS a lot, lot worse

The Scientific American had a lovely article about how MERS, the Saudi version of SARS, is going to kill a great deal more people than it ought to. As I've already noted, Saudi Arabia is a horribly run place. This MERS outbreak is a glaring example of how incompetent the government there really is. (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=saudi-silence-on-deadly-mers-virus-outbreak-frustrates-world-health-experts) … Continue reading Saudi Arabia is going to make MERS a lot, lot worse

The nation-state (and why it wants to kill)

So let’s go over precisely what a nation-state is.  It’s gotta be hyphenated for a reason.  The first word, nation, means a common cultural group – the nation of France loves wine, cheese, and hates the nation of England but not enough to go to war over it. When building a nation-state, the first thing … Continue reading The nation-state (and why it wants to kill)

Why Saudi Arabia Is Doomed

(January 9th, 2016: So this post is super popular, but probably not for the right reasons.  Some of you are here for porn: this is not porn.  It has never been porn, and it was my mistake for swearing in this post.  So it's been edited for swearing to cut down on that traffic.) Even the … Continue reading Why Saudi Arabia Is Doomed

Getting a Grip on Syria

As the West edges closer to yet another Middle Eastern war, there’s been loads of talk about the who, the what, the why of the Syrian civil war.  “They'’ve been doing it thousands of years” is the often-cited refrain from laymen isolationists, stating the supposed interminable history of bloodshed in the region that goes back … Continue reading Getting a Grip on Syria