Former chair, Political Science, Government and International Relations Programs at the Universidad Autonoma de Manizales. My university degrees are in political science, law, international legal studies and translation studies.
John Calvin (Jehan Cauvin, 1509 - 1564). What a guy! A guy for his times but perhaps not for ours. His disciples turned his doctrines on their heads and one result was the Protestant work ethic and capitalism, something that once promised a better world here and now for everyone and of course, for the “elect,” a better world forever (although, if you were not among the elect, well… sorry about that, no hope as you crossed the portals that require that all hope be checked before entering). Kind of like today’s “capitalism” (really more an extreme form of corporate welfare).
On the North Korean Crises and the New Silk Roads
A recent informal discussion among several academics and civic leaders outside of the United States trying to understand and analyze emerging trends in light of emerging crises touched on a very disturbing geopolitical possibility, a probability according to some but mere speculation according to others, a healthy split in opinion. The possibility discussed was that the recent series of Korean crises were instigated by the United States as a means of derailing Sino-Russian advances towards the creation of a Eurasia-centric economic market including new transportation paradigms but also a dollar-free alternative international financial structure.
Geopolitical Consequences of Global Warming in the Context of Current Domestic Politics
Hellooooooooo! Rise and shine, time to wake up! The future is knocking on our door and it does not seem as friendly as we might have hoped. No, it’s not the commies, not Islamic fundamentalists who for some reason, supposedly hate our freedom. It’s nature come calling, not quite the way most of us thought it would.
On Why Democrats are the Greater Problem for Progressives
The virtually identical governance structures within our duopoly, i.e., the Democratic and Republican parties, pose virtually identical civic dangers. The results of their policies are virtually indistinguishable notwithstanding their differing rhetoric and propaganda which fools the gullible into thinking otherwise. That is especially true given the collusion of the mainstream “disinformation” media. Their main difference is that one is hypocritical and cynical while the other is just blatantly wrong; very, very wrong, at least from a progressive perspective. It brings to mind the defense of a politician accused of wrong doing arguing that she was not corrupt, merely inept; in either case, of course, that’s hardly a solace to the people affected (see, e.g., the campaigns and administrations of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama and most recently, Donald J. Trump).wrong doing arguing that she was not corrupt, merely inept; in either case, of course, that’s hardly a solace to the people affected (see, e.g., the campaigns and administrations of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush, Barrack Obama and most recently, Donald J. Trump).
James Comey Versus Rod Rosenstein on Firing, Not Donald Trump
James Comey, formerly Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is a person sequentially loathed and loved, criticized and praised, a person who both Republicans and Democrats have severely criticized. A cat with at least nine lives it seems.
On Our Political and Social Incoherence
I have always opposed US intervention in the Middle East, finding it not only immoral but counterproductive. It obviously makes it probable that United States citizens, both at home and abroad, will be targeted in retaliatory attacks. Remember 9/11 but remember it with introspection and logic rather than emotional reaction. Why did it occur? How? Who were the perpetrators? Where did they come from? Who are their friends in the United States? All not only interesting questions but all too relevant.
A Grim Fairy Tale, the Paris Environmental Accord and Its Repudiation
I am a very strong believer in protecting and preserving the environment but I am not a believer in deceptive use of smoke and mirrors to obfuscate that goal. The recently rejected Paris “Accord” was, in my opinion, not only inadequate, but fraudulent. It is non-binding for heavens sakes! How much more than that do real environmentalists (as opposed to political opportunists) need to know? It’s as though the nuclear non-proliferation treaty were non-binding and merely aspirational. Or criminal laws just suggestions. Aspirations are fine for what they’re worth, especially when, as in the Paris Accord, they include details and targets, a positive thing. But to fool progressives into thinking that they are more than wishful thinking and to deflect real efforts to create binding standards likely to be complied with is malevolent.
Epiphanies, Personal and Public
Epistemology and ontology are sciences concerned with truth, whether it exists and whether even if it does exist, it is ascertainable. They are fields of great interest to academics, especially philosophers, but provide scant confidence or comfort to the population at large which finds them ethereal, esoteric and of little quotidian use. The language of academia seems mystifying to most people. Take theories for example. Most people consider a theory an unproven hunch (e.g., the theory of evolution as perceived by creationists) but in the world of academia, theory is as close to truth as we ever get. What most people perceive as theories, academics and scientist refer to as thesis and hypothesis which evolve into the realm of theory only when successfully put to proof. The truth is that popular truths like gravity and basic mathematics are “mere” theories” while many concepts the public views as theories are mere thesis or hypothesis (e.g., intelligent design).
Just as It’s Always Been
Trying to make sense of the polarization in the United States and in the world at large is daunting, especially in the context of perhaps the most thorough and consistent barrage of propaganda I’ve ever encountered, propaganda not from official state organs but from an angry oligarchy whose will has been thwarted but whose tentacles still manage to strangle our society on every level.
Money and the Individualist–Collectivist Divide
Politics, in large measure, deals with the art of reconciling individual and collective interests. The overwhelming majority of humanity (with the possible exception of abandoned children who grew up as hermits) inhabits both spheres. The hardiest individuals generally use money and tools and roads and water supplies, perhaps listen to radio and television, read and frequently form parts of families. The most dedicated collectivist does some things alone and usually, at least at times, values privacy.
A group of murderers, rapists, robbers, embezzlers and their attorneys and publicists sit around a huge rectangle of tables set with linen and silver and crystal discussing what to do about the violence perpetrated against them by law enforcement authorities, noting how harmful it was to their aspirations and goals, not to mention their persons and goods.
Reflections on Political Insults and Incoherence
Perhaps my writing and my sharing of information that I find relevant during this Orwellian period (hopefully not an epoch) in United States history is proving somewhat meaningful, at least as gauged by the reactions of those who oppose my perspectives. This morning an Obama - Clinton supporter called me a fascist for opposing Clinton’s efforts to intervene in Syria and yesterday several somewhat more intellectually inclined opponents of anything Trump tried to convince me that the intelligence community driven Russia-gate soft coup attempt was fully validated. The latter with cogent arguments, which I respect, the former with the traditional insult driven, factually deficient drivel that is all too common among internet trolls. Actually, I do not react as negatively to trolls as do many others. If they are reading what I publish then perhaps over the long term some of it will sink in, and they do give me insights into the tactics favored by those on behalf of whom they troll; valuable data.