Politics

My family in Vermont sent me Bill McKibben’s 2005 book (updated in 2014) as a Christmas gift. In it, he recounts a meandering trek through the Lake Champlain region of the Adirondacks. It’s part nature writing, partly an account of the history of the region and the ways his neighbours are tying to earn a […]

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A five page Guiding Vision and Definition of Principles has been released for the forthcoming Women’s March on Washington. It takes an inclusive “everything is connected” point of view, of the sort you often see in environmental declarations.

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The Current recently ran a segment with Dr. Danielle Martin, talking about ways to improve Canadian healthcare. In particular, she emphasizes the importance of family doctors with a broad overall knowledge of patients’ health histories, and the importance of avoiding costly and damaging unnecessary tests and procedures. It sounds like her book, Better Now: Six […]

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The New York Times reports this as a section from President Obama’s farewell address: Take the challenge of climate change. In just eight years we’ve halved our dependence on foreign oil, we’ve doubled our renewable energy, we’ve led the world to an agreement that (at) the promise to save this planet. (APPLAUSE) But without bolder […]

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The battle for the future is precisely between those who are willing to engineer every organism for our convenience , who will countenance the radical change of our climate rather than risk any damage to our cosseted and swaddled Economy, and those who are willing to say there is something other than us that counts. […]

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For the Afghan government to gain the upper hand, however, the foreign money needs to continue flowing. If salaries aren’t paid, local police could turn into insurgents or bandits. Problems with the pay structure would also threaten the integrity of the Afghan military, possibly breaking a key national institution into feuding factions. Donors have promised […]

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Modern terrorists have rarely killed more than a few thousand people in any given year. Many times in Afghanistan, when my boots were stained with human gristle, I asked myself if the bloody effort could be justified by the hunt for small bands of madmen. Defeating terrorism was never described as NATO’s main goal in […]

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Karzai suffered criticism for his statement [that security in Afghanistan was better between 2002 and 2006 than in 2012], but he was correct. The NATO surges into the south will almost certainly be remembered as a spectacular mistake. Many of the aims were noble: peace, democracy, rule of law. We thought that a sweeping program […]

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I told the UN chief about my recent conversations with disgruntled tribesmen, and their complaints about the Afghan police behaving like robbers. “Yes, this is a case of bad governance,” Mr. Masadykov replied. “I can say now, when we’re talking about Taliban, maybe half of these so-called anti-government elements acting here in this area of […]

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It was easy to guess why the American had been selected to deliver the message: other countries in the NATO alliance were describing their presence as a humanitarian gesture. A British minister infamously predicted the military surge would happen without a shot fired, and the Canadian military was pushing journalists to write about medical programs. […]

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