Donald Trump

China’s Role in the US Presidential Campaign

March 10, 2016

The major candidates vying to become the next president of the United States in the current election campaign have hitherto paid much less attention to China as a military power – and much more to its economic prowess (and humanitarian deficits). 

Apple logo and Do Not Enter sign

Apple: Profit to Trump National Security

February 29, 2016

There are reasons to believe that ISIS has acquired this material, which it needs to make a dirty bomb. I wonder what Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, and all those who cheer him on, would say when this bomb is set off in a major American city -- and a major reason the FBI was prevented from stopping the attack is that Apple provided the terrorists with a completely secure communication tool.

The Selective Skepticism of Salon's Ben Norton

February 23, 2016

(Written by: Gidon Shaviv) In a factually challenged piece in Salon, Ben Norton displays a dazzling skepticism of information from Israeli sources alongside a great acceptance of unfounded anti-Israel conspiracy theories.

Hezbollah members and supporters attend the funeral of three fighters

The Second Greatest Threat to Israel's Security

February 15, 2016

Most of Hezbollah's 100,000 missile arsenal are hidden in civilian areas. Israel should examine now the ethical and logistical consequences of its first use of extreme conventional weapons against them.

skull held by robotic arm

To Keep AI Safe — Use AI

February 04, 2016

The recent announcement that tech titans have committed $1 billion to an artificial intelligence research center out of concern for what AI may become denotes an important question: Will AI software obey the law of the land and adhere to our ethical standards?

GOP Elephant logo

Republicans See the Light?

January 14, 2016

The media is full of the antics of various Republican candidates about who came close to match Trump's last vulgarity, or who seems to be even less informed than the other ones. Meanwhile, with little fanfare, heavy duty conservative thinkers are contemplating what new policies could allow the GOP to do better. 

Syrian girl

To Save 25,000 Syrian Children

December 22, 2015

 I suggested that the United States should invite 25,000 Syrian families to each send one of their children under the age of 10 to the United States. Here, they would stay in foster homes until the end of the war. 

Image Credit: Airman Benjamin Dennis, U.S. Navy

Is the Pentagon Out of Step with the White House on China?

December 21, 2015

On December 16, The New York Times reported that a “U.S Admiral Assails China’s ‘Unilateral’ Actions at Sea.” While the admiral did not mention China by name, there was no doubt about which nation he was charging with interfering in the freedom of navigation in the region by diverting ships that were traveling too close to the artificial islands recently built by China.


Needed: Domestic Disarmament, Not 'Gun Control'

December 07, 2015

In response to the almost daily mass shootings in the United States good progressive persons are calling for some measure of gun control. They may well know, in their heart of hearts, that even if these measures are enacted, they will do little to reduce gun violence.

armed motorcade belonging to members of Derna’s Islamic Youth Council drives along a road in the town of Derna in eastern Libya

Defeating Islamic State

November 30, 2015

One is hard put to find another cliché that is as counterfactual and damaging to US foreign policy as the widely held belief that US lost the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and hence must avoid another land war in Asia.

Syrian refugee

Needed Now: A Syrian Kinder-Transport

November 24, 2015

The United States should invite 25,000 Syrian families to send one child 10 years or younger to the United States. There they would stay in foster homes until the war is over.

When candidates discuss tax increases, these discussions have focused on income and corporate taxes. Copyrights: Jonah Engler

Inheritance Tax: Missing in the Progressive Agenda

November 11, 2015

During the recent Democratic debates, and more generally during the current presidential election campaign, we heard very little about the inheritance tax, even from the progressive candidates. This despite the fact that the amount of money the estate of any single person can exempt from the inheritance tax has consistently increased through the Bush and Obama Administrations--by more than 400%!

Chinese and American Flags, Copyright:

Lessons from a Sino-US Dialogue

November 02, 2015

A day-long Sino-U.S. meeting served more to flag issues worthy of further deliberation—by all concerned with U.S.-China relations—than to settle them. Among the most salient issues discussed during a recent meeting organized by the China Energy Fund and George Washington University is how far tension-reduction measures can take both nations to the promised land of peaceful co-existence. 

USS Lassen (left) during a joint Republic of Korea-United States military exercise. U.S. Navy Photo by John J. Mike (CC BY)

Dangerous "Assertions" of the Freedom of Navigation

October 28, 2015

The United States' sailing of a Navy warship within 12 miles of the Chinese-built island of Subi Reef militarizes the growing conflict over which state (or states) has sovereignty rights over disputed islands in the South China Sea. Moreover, this military exercise is more aggressive than previous ones in which the United States "asserted" its self-appointed role as the world's "cop" who is charged with enforcing the freedom of navigation

Sunset yoga, CC: Ursula Le Guin

Beware of Wrong Mindfulness

October 23, 2015

At first I was skeptical. A close friend, a rather sensible fellow, told me in no uncertain terms (not his usual style) that I should become "mindful". When I humbly asked what this means, he told me "to be in the moment", to "suspend judgment", and to "run off the inner observer". It reminded me of my days at Berkeley just when the hippies came out of the woodwork.