The five finalists in this year's contest for the world's best non-fiction book in English on foreign affairs happen to focus on two themes that preoccupy the White House: Islamism as a disruptive political force and the coexistence of an authoritarian Russia with an increasingly militarized U.S. government.
Assuming he makes good on his promise to spend big on infrastructure projects as a means of boosting the U.S. economy, two possible outcomes exist. Which of those happens -- or more likely, what mix of the two -- depends on a fundamental question. Is the U.S economy operating at or near full capacity?
Does anyone really believe he (Trump) gives a damn? That he's in it for anything other than his ego, the good of his brand, his businesses, investments and, lest we forget, his wallet? Does anyone really think he'll last the full four years? That he won't break precedent for the umpteenth time, get bored or fed up or both, and become the first president ever to willingly resign before his first term is up? Or do something so egregious, or illegal, he'll get impeached?
The saga of Nosey the African elephant has been escalated to The White House, as animal welfare groups renew their calls to confiscate the ailing elephant. This, after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently renewed, Hugo Libel's license to exhibit the elephant, despite 200 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) offences and Nosey's deteriorating health.
The human rights-interfaith dialogue rhetoric employed by President Obama on May 22, 2015 at the Adas Israel Synagogue in Washington DC was wonderful and made people feel warm inside. But this type of rhetoric is, in fact, messianic -- it is for tomorrow, for a time when there is no more war. That day has not yet come, I am afraid. And to speak as if it has is very dangerous.
Perceived economic benefits (mostly short-term) trump the needs of all Canadians and their children and grandchildren for clean air and water, healthy food and a stable climate. Droughts, floods, water shortages, insect-plagued forests, extreme weather events, rising sea levels and melting glaciers don't matter as much as getting the oil, gas and coal out of the ground and sold as quickly as possible.
Sometimes it isn't the government that's to blame for back door deals. Back in 1869, two wily financiers, Jay Gould and James Fisk, thought they could outsmart the government and corner the gold market, but were foiled by the administration. Gould and Fisk tried to buy massive amounts of gold at a low price and then sell high using insider information.
Millions of dollars have been channeled into framing climate change messages by intentional misuse of language so as to mislead the masses. Unfortunately misleading language is precisely what the fossil fuel industry continues to thrive on; surely "ethical oil" sounds more appealing than tar-sands oil.