Duterte’s Play For A Dictatorship

When you yearn for a Caesar, you more often than not get it.  Such now is the price being paid by the people of the Philippines, who swept to power a man who's harsh authoritarianism was clear as day.  As the southern island of Mindanao slips into chaos, Rodrigo Duterte's not-so-subtle desire for absolute power … Continue reading Duterte’s Play For A Dictatorship

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To save us from someone like Trump, look to institutions

Nothing, perhaps, is less sexy than an institution: a department's interminable lines, the universal human experience of meandering through a faceless ministry of this or that, trying to accomplish some simple task. Yet they may be all that protect us from the likes of President Trump. Let's make institutions super. First, why bash Trump? Donald … Continue reading To save us from someone like Trump, look to institutions

Duterte Wants To Ditch America For China and Russia, But Can They Bite?

(This article has been edited to reflect that the Philippines has a single term presidency under its current constitution, meaning Duterte cannot serve, right now, beyond his elected six years). Betteridge's law of headlines states that any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered no.  And so it is with this one, … Continue reading Duterte Wants To Ditch America For China and Russia, But Can They Bite?

Rodrigo Duterte And The Geopolitics of Insulting the American President

We've all had that boss, that teacher, that authority figure whom we insult as soon as their back is turned.  We mutter "Pig," beneath our breath as the traffic cop walks just out of earshot, or WhatsApp some obscenity to describe a boss or teacher who gives us a seemingly unreasonable deadline. Should we really … Continue reading Rodrigo Duterte And The Geopolitics of Insulting the American President