Archive for the 'Politics' Category

“We were frozen out,” said Knowles.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

The Washington Post: Nearly all members of National Park Service advisory panel resign in frustration.

“More than three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service have quit out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year.

The resignation of 10 out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.”

GroKo

Friday, January 12th, 2018

Deutsche Welle:

Merkel’s conservatives, Social Democrats agree on blueprint for formal coalition talks. “Chancellor Angela Merkel says exploratory talks in Berlin between her conservatives and rival Social Democrats are to go on to formal coalition negotiations. The SPD’s Martin Schulz says he’ll ask his party to proceed.”

German coalition talks reach breakthrough: A look at what comes next. “Angela Merkel’s CDU and the SPD have agreed on a blueprint for formal grand coalition negotiations. The left wing of the Social Democrats appears to have been forced into the most concessions.”

Critics weigh in on Germany’s coalition talks ‘breakthrough’. “Germany’s prospective deal for Chancellor Angela Merkel to head another grand coalition has been slammed by industry leaders as “expensive.” Asylum advocates say it hands hard-liners a “triumph” over human rights.”

Another Angela Merkel-led grand coalition in Germany: What you need to know. “After a mammoth last round of meetings, it seems the leaders of the conservatives and Social Democrats have achieved a breakthrough to enter into coalition talks. So what happens next?”

“The perils of polygamy”

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

The Economist: The link between polygamy and war. “Plural marriage, bred of inequality, begets violence.” (December 19, 2017)

“Wherever it is widely practised, polygamy (specifically polygyny, the taking of multiple wives) destabilises society, largely because it is a form of inequality which creates an urgent distress in the hearts, and loins, of young men. If a rich man has a Lamborghini, that does not mean that a poor man has to walk, for the supply of cars is not fixed. By contrast, every time a rich man takes an extra wife, another poor man must remain single. If the richest and most powerful 10% of men have, say, four wives each, the bottom 30% of men cannot marry. Young men will take desperate measures to avoid this state.

This is one of the reasons why the Arab Spring erupted, why the jihadists of Boko Haram and Islamic State were able to conquer swathes of Nigeria, Iraq and Syria, and why the polygamous parts of Indonesia and Haiti are so turbulent. Polygamous societies are bloodier, more likely to invade their neighbours and more prone to collapse than others are. The taking of multiple wives is a feature of life in all of the 20 most unstable countries on the Fragile States Index compiled by the Fund for Peace, an NGO”.

#YouToo?

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

The Economist: This year has seen an explosion of rage about sexual harassment. “Will it lead to lasting change?” (Print Edition, December 19, 2017)

“The dam broke in October, with accusations of harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein, a film producer. Since then dozens of prominent men in show business, journalism and politics have been accused of sexual harassment, and been sacked or stepped down. The #MeToo hashtag has already been used 4.7m times on Twitter by women (and a few men) whose harassers were not famous enough to make the news.

Both sexes have found the outpouring astonishing. Many men are amazed to learn that so many women have suffered sexual harassment. For women the surprise is that perpetrators are being punished at last.”

Twilight of American Sanity

Friday, December 22nd, 2017

Inquring Minds: Allen Frances – A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump. “We talk to renowned psychiatrist Allen Frances about his latest book Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump.” The Podcast (42:19min) was first aired October 17, 2017 and is available for download, on iTunes etc., or here:

Yes, I’m a little behind on my podcasts, but I’m catching up during the winter holidays.