27/06/2016

Brexit and Donald Trump

If Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” a majority of Britons can be said to have voted for “Make Britain Great Again.” Those who supported the Leave campaign were people nostalgic for a return to a pre-eminent Great Britain, if not a return to the Empire. Polls indicated that those over 45 years of age and many retirees, white males, and those with only high school diplomas who were in favor of Brexit have similar profiles to Trump supporters.

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20/06/2016

How Bad Is Today’s World?

How bad is today's world? Mass shootings in Orlando; riots, assassinations and strikes in France; potential secession of Britain from the EU; overwhelming exodus of migrants and refugees from war-torn societies with many lost at sea; the rise of populism with accompanying fascist tendencies; the loss of communal attachments from heightened individualism; continuing carnage in Syria and the Middle East with no end in sight; increased radicalism and fragile states; seemingly perpetual wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; growing income inequality; and looming catastrophes from climate change are just some of the disturbing realities.

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13/06/2016

Obsessions Satisfied and Postponed: The Gotthard Tunnel and the Crossing of Lake Geneva

We all have obsessions. We all have dreams we hope to realize. (Mine is winning Wimbledon. Every year I prepare my victory speech and get teary when I listen to the victor. It should be me!) Rarely do we satisfy our obsessions; rarely do we actualize what we hope we will accomplish. That said, the Swiss have satisfied one national obsession with the opening of the Gotthard Tunnel; Genevans still have a long way to go with the crossing of Lake Geneva.

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04/06/2016

The Passing Away of the Champ: Muhammad Ali and Me

Muhammad Ali has gone down for the final count. For an entire generation, he was the Champ. Not only was he a great fighter, he was revered by many for his political stance for social justice. The Louisville Lip was more than a showman. Behind his unique sense of performance was a moral compass. I met him once, as described in the following blog I posted in 2011 on the death of Joe Frazier.

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02/06/2016

Uncritical Prejudices vs. Competence

In a recent article in a local Geneva newspaper – not the Tribune – the future president of the administrative council of the Geneva public transport system is taken to task for several items in her curriculum vitae. The author begins by asking who is Anne Hornung-Soukup, and then negatively goes point by point through her cv. Although Ms. Hornung-Soukup has not yet taken up her function, it is worthwhile to analyze the criticisms to better understand how ad hominem, prejudicial arguments can overwhelm factual evaluations of competence.

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