Trade protectionism, together with fears over the national-security implications of technological development, are contributing to a balkanization of the world order. This is not good news for the United States as it faces an intensifying rivalry with an increasingly powerful China.
To fully appreciate California Senator Dianne Feinstein’s struggles over the past couple of weeks, start with any photo of the Senate Judiciary Committee that features the trio of Feinstein, committee chair Charles Grassley, and her fellow Democrat Patrick Leahy.
Are there any guiding principles that can make sense of the sensational news that now overwhelms the senses seemingly every hour? What is common to blaring headlines about the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination hearings, an anti-Trump “resistance” buried deep in the permanent bureaucracy, and the improper behavior by top officials of the Obama administration, FBI, and Department of Justice?
Chinese leaders think they can imprison hundreds of thousands of Muslim citizens, attempt to eradicate their religion and culture, and maintain good relations with Central Asian countries and other Muslim-majority societies. The test of this breathtaking proposition is Kazakhstan.
It is increasingly common to hear that the sovereigns that reign over the Internet are Internet firms—the companies that set user policies and wield enormous influence over the day-to-day functioning of the Internet. The user base of these firms can be larger than many countries. They have foreign policy teams and have even engaged in experiments with user-driven self-governance. In many ways, they look like states. But firms are not sovereigns. Some public-facing Internet firms may find it expedient to resist some states, some of the time on some issues. But this does not mean that Internet firms are a serious and lasting threat to state sovereignty. Treating them as such is a distraction from the real problem: determining how and with what limits states—sovereign nations—ought to be able to achieve their aims online.
One hundred years ago this week doughboys of the American Expeditionary Forces went over the top in the Meuse River–Argonne Forest region of France, marking the beginning of what would become the bloodiest battle in American history. More than 1.2 million American soldiers took part in the six-week battle, part of a larger Allied effort known as the Hundred Days Offensive. By the time the battle concluded with an armistice on November 11, 1918, more than 26,000 U.S. soldiers—half of American combat fatalities in the Great War—would lie dead on the blood-soaked fields of France, with another 100,000 wounded-in-action.
Veteran education analyst Marc Tucker wrote something the other day that stopped me cold. Describing some of the highest performing education systems in the world, he said, “Students do not routinely arrive at middle school from elementary school two or even three years behind. It simply does not happen.”
About a week ago, I did my 12-hour fasting so that I could go to Quest Diagnostics for a blood test. I needed the results for my regular doctor appointment early this week. I got to the place at about 7:05, 5 minutes after it opened. Ahead of me were two other patients who had lined up appointments. The guy just before me went in to the little room for his blood test and said he didn’t care whether the nurse closed the door. So it remained open and I heard the whole conversation.
It is customary to hold a Convocation at the beginning of each academic year to welcome first-year students (frosh, freshers) to campus. The presidents of Chinese universities tell students to follow their interests and passions, so long as they conform with Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. The presidents of American universities also tell students to follow their interests and passions, so long as they conform with Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice.
There’s now a widespread assumption that President Donald Trump will remove Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein, or ask for Rosenstein’s resignation, either later this week or shortly after the November 6 elections.
Last weekend, the WSJ carried a piece by Shelby Steele entitled “Why the Left is Consumed With Hate.” It is quite damning, but quite apropos. What else could be driving the despicable and underhanded tactics we have seen vis-a-vie the Kavanaugh hearings? We no longer politically oppose, we despise and hate our political rival. Steele frames his argument entirely in terms of race and his essential thesis is as the sub-head declares it, “Lacking worthy menaces to fight, it is driven to find a replacement for racism. Failing this, what is left?”
The Federal Reserve announced higher interest rates and they shared the policy-makers’ views on the likely path of interest rates through 2021. But the strength of economic growth will lead to more rate increases than the Fed currently thinks likely.
mentioning Timothy Garton Ashvia Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Timothy Garton Ash is Professor of European Studies, University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author of ten books of contemporary history and political writing is which have explored many facets of the history of Europe over the last half-century.