How Donald Trump Changed Everything (2016-2020)

I didn’t vote in the pivotal American election of 2016. Thirty-five years ago, in that unseasonably warm month of November, I was in Antarctica’s Allan Hills taking ice core samples with a hand augur. The pictures I have from that time show my team drilling deep into the blue ice, but what we were actually doing was digging a million years into the planetary past to gaze upon the panorama of...
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Trump the Predictable

Shortly after taking office in 1969, President Richard Nixon devised his “madman theory.” It was the height of the Vietnam War, and Nixon believed that he could end the conflict. It just required a bit of unpredictability. “I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war,” Nixon told his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman. “We’ll...
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The Death of the International Community

The election of Donald Trump is not only a surprise for many American citizens. It’s a shock to the international community. In fact, the shock might be so severe that it will be the death of the international community. What has happened in the United States is not unprecedented. But, as with most things to do with America, the tragedy is on a bigger scale. It was one thing for Hungary and...
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A Hawk in the Wings

When Barack Obama was running for office in 2008, he was determined to redirect U.S. military efforts away from the “bad war” in Iraq and toward the “good war” in Afghanistan. This commitment to extricate the U.S. military from the dismal aftermath of a botched exercise in regime change earned Obama the exaggerated designation of “peace candidate.” Jump ahead eight years and listen to...
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Syria as Metaphor

The war in Syria is a nightmare. It’s a nightmare for all the civilians who suffer from constant aerial bombardment, who are trapped without food and medical assistance inside crumbling cities, who experience the retribution of either the Islamic State or the regime in Damascus. It’s a nightmare for those who try to escape and face the prospect of death in transit or limbo in refugee...
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YOLO Economics

The economy, we have been taught, is a cat with considerably more than nine lives. The bottom might drop out of the stock market, but it will rebound — again and again. The Chinese were on top of the world, economically, for a thousand years or more, but then the colonial powers cut the country down to size — and now China has regained its former glory. Laptops, which once boosted...
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