Monthly Archives: April 2013

Thinking Aloud: Can We Finally Close Guantanamo??

April 30, 2013 by Darius Today, President Obama announced that he would make a new push to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.  It’s about time, and it would be admirable if Obama succeeds.  The reality is, though, that … Continue reading

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News You Really Need To See: “A Sparkling Outlook for England”

“A Sparkling Outlook for England” The Washington Post, Apr. 29, 2013, p.A1 http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/english-sparkling-wines-challenging-rivals/2013/04/28/422681b2-acdc-11e2-9493-2ff3bf26c4b4_story.html “Blessed with soil similar to France’s Champagne region, vineyards in England nevertheless produced decades of low-grade goop that caused nary a Frenchman to tremble.  But a Great … Continue reading

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Thinking Aloud: A Republic, If You Can Keep It

April 29, 2013 by Darius I just watched a very sobering TED talk posted earlier this month and would recommend it to anyone even vaguely concerned about the impact of money on American democracy: http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html Lawrence Lessig relates the anecdote … Continue reading

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News You Really Need To See: “Portrait of a Faded American Dream”

“Portrait of a Faded American Dream” The Washington Post, Apr. 28, 2013, p.A1 http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/27/the-tsarnaev-family-a-faded-portrait-of-an-immigrants-american-dream/ “[O]ver the past four years, even as members of their extended family found their piece of the American dream, the Cambridge Tsarnaevs’ experience in their new … Continue reading

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Thinking Aloud: Dalrymple’s “Return of a King”

April 28, 2013 by Darius I recently saw William Dalrymple speak about his new book on the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839-1842).  Dalrymple has lived a very interesting life:  he was born and raised in Scotland’s aristocracy, educated at Cambridge, and … Continue reading

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News You Really Need To See: “Iceland Ousts Government That Steered It Out of Crisis”

“Iceland Ousts Government That Steered It Out of Crisis” New York Times, Apr. 28, 2013 http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/29/world/europe/iceland-voters-oust-government.html?ref=world&_r=0 “Voters in Iceland have ousted the center-left government that restored the country to solvency after the 2008 financial crisis, paving the way for the return … Continue reading

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Thinking Aloud: The Strategy of Cooperation

April 27, 2013 by Darius In my comparative government class a few days ago, we engaged in a provocative exercise.  The rules were simple: Everyone starts the game with one card.  (It doesn’t matter what kind of card; it could … Continue reading

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News You Really Need To See: “Mysterious Lake Threatens Ethiopian Sugar Ambitions”

“Mysterious Lake Threatens Ethiopian Sugar Ambitions” Bloomberg Businessweek, Apr. 24, 2013 http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-04-23/mysterious-lake-threatens-ethiopian-sugar-ambitions#r=bloomberg “A saline lake in Ethiopia that’s baffled scientists by its 15-fold growth threatens to spill into the nation’s longest river and damage plans by Africa’s biggest coffee grower to … Continue reading

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Thinking Aloud: The Curious Case of Vladimir Putin

April 26, 2013 by Darius Yesterday, I saw Dr. Fiona Hill talk about modern Russia, and, in particular, President Vladimir Putin.  Dr. Hill presented Putin, a former KGB agent with a fairly murky background, as a man who enjoys trying … Continue reading

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News You Really Need To See: “In Nigeria Battle, Militants Reveal Bolstered Firepower”

“In Nigeria Battle, Militants Reveal Bolstered Firepower” The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 23, 2013, p.A8 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324874204578438122367429616.html “A weekend battle between soldiers and Islamic rebels that left more than 180 people dead in northeastern Nigeria highlights the use of new weaponry … Continue reading

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