Syria, Secularism, and US Policy

In a groundbreaking article, one of our more respected experts on Middle East affairs has proposed that our policy pivot to outright cooperation with Assad’s regime in Syria, the better to campaign more effectively against our mutual enemy the Islamic … Continue reading

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To bomb or not to bomb?

A threat ceases to be a threat when it is carried out. Continue reading

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ISIS and the Separation of Church and State

ISIS, the new Islamic state that has taken over much of northern Iraq and northeastern Syria this summer, directly threatens the existing states in the region. The USA also has a substantial stake in how the current drama plays out. … Continue reading

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Has Israel passed the point of no return?

Is there still time for Israel to work out a better modus vivendi with the Arabs? Or has it passed the point of no return? Continue reading

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Infinity and Divinity

Think of finite numbers as existing in the universe apart from our thoughts, and infinity as a construct of the human mind designed to cope with magnitudes too big to grasp. It follows that infinity is a term that defines our problem, divinity is a device to let us live with it. Continue reading

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Israel and Saudi Arabia

Is Israel is holding secret talks with Saudi Arabia? The mind boggles. Continue reading

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Darwin Day, A Modest Proposal

If you’re going to cheat, you better not tweet Continue reading

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Nature is Pointless

When you try to get something out of nothing, you often get in trouble. Continue reading

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Diversity and Survival

If Americans had a planet all their own, would we be better off? Continue reading

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Free-for-all in the Levant

The increasingly sectarian wars in the Middle East require a response by the UN not unilateral US intervention Continue reading

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Nationalism and Religion in the Arab World

We have helped transform the aspirations of the region from secularism to sectarianism, from an evolutionary track leading toward democracy to one leading back to an Islamic theocracy. Continue reading

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Original Sin

Original sin is a notion that grew out of a misreading of human nature. It should be discarded. Continue reading

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Lawbreakers

The current game of chicken over the government default issue is putting enormous stress on the national consensus that we are a law-abiding society. Continue reading

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Syria: What if they all are lying?

The gas attack that killed over a thousand Syrians on August 21 was sufficiently unpleasant to arouse the world’s conscience, but there is still a lot of disagreement over who did it. The common view in the western press is … Continue reading

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Egypt (updated on August 18, 2013)

Maybe our best policy for now is to lie low and look before we leap. Continue reading

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War Clouds over Damascus

Yesterday’s reports of air strikes against Syrian military targets around Damascus signal a new and more active Israeli response to the Syrian civil war. We should be backing a UN Security Council action to negotiate a truce and establish a transitional government. Continue reading

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Carbon Tax or Keystone XL, Why Not Both?

The greens want a carbon tax with no pipeline, the power moguls want a pipeline with no carbon tax, the country will be best served by a compromise involving both. Continue reading

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Honi Soit Qui Mali Pense

The report that DOD is considering establishing a base somewhere in the Western Sahara is disquieting even if it is just for managing reconaissance drones. Continue reading

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Tuaregs and Arabs in Northern Mali

A sensible Western response to the Northern Mali problem is to bribe the Tuaregs to defect Continue reading

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Fractal Physics and human evolution

Human social evolution and the physics of water? Poetry, maybe, science, maybe not… Continue reading

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