An Intentional Error

The many-sided dogfight in the Middle East is getting even more confused, and in the process the English language is getting richer. Now we have a new entry, the “intentional error”. And we have an item in today’s NYT explaining … Continue reading

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Syria

What to do with what little influence we still have in and around Syria? Continue reading

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Wrong Choices

Not that many years ago Country X was considered by its neighbors, and indeed the rest of the world, as a great success. Nobody around was powerful enough to challenge its armed forces, its economy was strong and growing, and … Continue reading

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A Problem of Perception

A report from Al Monitor has an official Iranian spokesman giving its friends in the Iraqi Kurdish KDP hell over reports that some Iranian Kurds are fighting ISIS alongside them in the Mosul area. Sounds familiar to me. The Iranians … Continue reading

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Do You or Don’t You Believe in God? No Big Deal

Do you believe in God? This question poses a a gap between the humanists and the believers in traditional faiths that has often been assumed unbridgeable. In fact, if you look at it carefully, it isn’t, or at least it … Continue reading

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Letter in a bottle

A voice from the future about Trump. Continue reading

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Can Trump Win?

There is a significant likelihood that if Bernie runs he will win, and a significant chance that if Hillary runs, she won’t. Continue reading

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Inshallah

Inshallah, like “No Problem”, has lost all meaning, and is no more a ststement of faith than a comma or period. Continue reading

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Disestablishmentarianism

Let’s look at what Sanders and Trump agree on, and Hillary opposes, and speculate whether they could usefully collaborate in the next election. Continue reading

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So What Has God Done for Me, Lately?

We’d be better off if we didn’t have God sitting at our elbow telling us what to do, and the world would be a lot better off. Continue reading

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Trust

My “Short History of Evolution”, published by AHA last year, included discussion of a singularly important milestone in the long march of our species toward civilization as we know it. That breakthrough occurred about nine or ten thousand years ago … Continue reading

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Donald Trump and Husni Za’im

When I think of Donald Trump, I am reminded of Husni Za’im, dictator of Syria back in 1949. He only lasted 100 days but that short period was creative chaos. He was flamboyant, erratic, and shot from the hip. In all the confusion, technocrats managed to push through some pretty progressive legislation. Continue reading

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Reflections on the Syrian Problem; US options with Turkey

The Turks just shot down a Russian warplane over Syria, raising the stakes for all concerned with the crisis in Syria. What should we be doing about it? Impose a no-fly zone? That would be the height of folly. What … Continue reading

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The Separation of Church and State: Syria

Some countries need unity before they can become democracies. With them we need to give priority to supporting separation of church and state. Syria is a prime example. Continue reading

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Nepal’s new Constitution

It’s been thirty years since I left my post in Nepal, so that now I observe events there almost as if I was on a different planet. As ambassador I came to know royalty and top government officials, and earlier, … Continue reading

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Do Atheists Believe in their Non-Belief

We’ll never solve that paradox but we could agree on biological life on our planet as the basis fo a humanist world view. Continue reading

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Racism in the US, and Religion in the Middle East

Is there a common denominator between racism in the US and sectarianism in the Middle East? Continue reading

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The Wrong Target

Israel take note: the stratetgic goal of IS if Jerusalem, not Damascus Continue reading

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The Tangled Web We Weave

The circumstances surrounding the IS capture of Ramadi are somewhat obscure but it looks like a shocking example of how wrong the interventionist path is that we are following in the Middle East Continue reading

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Do Chimpanzees Have Legal Rights?

Do chimpanzees have human rights? No, according to my argument based on a purely humanist perspective. Continue reading

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