North America

The rise of Donald Trump: the psychology motivating voters

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HIS views are bizarre. His words are extreme. His political experience is nil. So why are so many voters in the United States taking Donald Trump seriously? Just one election campaign ago, any other candidate uttering a single one of his authoritarian assertions would have been committing political suicide… Source: The rise of Donald Trump: the psychology motivating voters | CairnsPost Read More »

How the NSC Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy

The next president must unleash America’s diplomats. In the last year, the Obama administration began a little-noticed process that should be embraced by the next president: the downsizing of the National Security Council (NSC). On the White House blog, the National Security… Source: How the NSC Hijacked U.S. Foreign Policy | The National Interest Read More »

Barack Obama: ‘drug addiction is a health problem, not a criminal problem’

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Speaking at a drug abuse summit in Atlanta, the US president committed to tackling heroin and prescription opioid epidemic with prevention and treatment. Barack Obama committed Tuesday to take on America’s growing heroin and prescription opioid epidemic by devoting resources to prevention and treatment, rather than to the “war on drugs” policies of… Source: Barack Obama: ‘drug addiction is a health problem, not a criminal problem’ | US news | The Guardian Read More »

When Socialism was Popular in the United States

If socialist sentiment is undeniably on the rise, an organized socialist movement is only in its infancy. As we continue to reflect on how to transform this new interest in socialism into an organized political force, the preceding history of the Socialist Party of America may provide some insights… Source: When Socialism was Popular in the United States Read More »

Van Gogh masterpiece to remain in US after Supreme Court ruling

A Vincent Van Gogh masterpiece will be able to remain in the United States after the US Supreme Court rejected an appeal from the descendant of a Russian collector whose property was nationalised after the 1917 Revolution. The decision ends Frenchman Pierre Konowaloff’s last legal recourse to claim The Night Cafe, which the Dutch artist painted in the southern French city of Arles in September 1888… Source: Van Gogh masterpiece to remain in US after Supreme Court ruling – ABC ... Read More »

The Obama Doctrine: Why Islamism Isn’t Like Communism

The struggle against jihadist terrorism isn’t the same as the struggle against communism—and it’s dangerous to conflate them. The two leading Republican presidential candidates both suggest that America has a problem with Islam. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz sometimes frame the… Source: The Obama Doctrine: Why Islamism Isn’t Like Communism – The Atlantic Read More »

Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia

Donald Trump has made an idiotic and potentially incendiary claim about one of the world’s most flammable strategic tinder boxes. Asia has serious strategic problems. It needs serious strategic solutions. Instead, on the weekend it got the thoughts, if that’s what you can call them, of Donald Trump… Source: Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia Read More »

Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

Australia’s 2016 Defense White Paper expresses concern over “friction” in the South China Sea (SCS) arising from U.S.-Chinese naval interactions, and it worries that territorial disputes have created “uncertainty and tension.” Those statements, which show Canberra (like the rest of the states in the Indo-Pacific region) is slowly coming around to the gathering threat posed […] Source: Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea – USNI News Read More »

It’s Time for Hillary Clinton to Concede the Democratic Nomination to Bernie Sanders

With Bernie Sanders now slightly ahead of Clinton nationally in the latest Bloomberg poll, it’s time to reevaluate the meaning of pragmatism. Hillary Clinton might be ahead of Bernie Sanders in delegates, but Vermont’s Senator has a monopoly on political momentum. Sadly, his opponent has a monopoly on controversy, and… Source: It’s Time for Hillary Clinton to Concede the Democratic Nomination to Bernie Sanders Read More »

It’s time that the US faced up to the ‘G word’ and finally recognised the Armenian genocide

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All week, the G-word has been rattling around the foreign ministries of the world. Ever since John Kerry – he of Israeli-Palestinian peace “in six months” fame – announced that Isis was committing genocide against Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims, we’ve been trying to work out just what he’s talking about. Even the poor old Canadians and their super-liberal prime minister Justin Trudeau, have since been refusing to recognise the Isis atrocities as “genocide” – the attempt to exterminate an entire race ... Read More »

Economy rests on Christian foundations

I can’t think why, but Easter always reminds me of Christianity. Not, of course, that Christianity has anything to do with the grubby, materialist world of economics. Or does it? Australia is the most unbelieving it has ever been, with the most recent census saying that only 61 per cent people identify themselves as even nominally Christian… Source: Economy rests on Christian foundations Read More »

This is why Finland has the best schools

The Harvard education professor Howard Gardner once advised Americans, “Learn from Finland, which has the most effective schools and which does just about the opposite of what we are doing in the United States.”. Following his recommendation, I enrolled my seven-year-old son in a primary school in Joensuu. Finland, which is about as far east as you can go in the European Union before you… Source: This is why Finland has the best schools Read More »

These Refugees Are Being Returned to the Violent Circumstances They Left Behind

For some asylum seekers, their “well-founded” fear of persecution is proven only after they’re repatriated. By Michelle Chen Two years ago, back in their hometowns in Bangladesh, they were ordinary young men whose political involvement didn’t go beyond local support for the opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP)… Source: These Refugees Are Being Returned to the Violent Circumstances They Left Behind | The Nation Read More »

Stephane Dion Calls On UN To Rethink Canadian Professor’s Appointment

LONDON, Ont. — Canada’s foreign affairs minister is questioning the appointment of a Canadian law professor to a key United Nations job. Stephane Dion is calling on the UN Human Rights Council to review the appointment of Western University law professor Michael Lynk as its Special Rapporteur on human rights in Palestine… Source: Stephane Dion Calls On UN To Rethink Canadian Professor’s Appointment Read More »

Can the American Right Renounce Utopianism?

The Republican masses are more conservative, in the traditional sense, than the so-called conservative intellectuals. Can the American right free itself from the utopianism of the post-Reagan era? The question would have seemed strange to mid-century American conservative thinkers like… Source: Can the American Right Renounce Utopianism? | The National Interest Read More »

Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria

They don’t hate ‘our freedoms.’ They hate that we’ve betrayed our ideals in their own countries — for oil. By ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR In part because my father was murdered by an Arab, I’ve made an effort to understand the impact of U.S. policy in the Mideast and particularly the factors that sometimes motivate bloodthirsty responses from the… Source: Why the Arabs don’t want us in Syria – POLITICO Read More »