• Change, Mutation, Evolution and the Real End of History?

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    The latest pandemic threat, Omicron, raises contrasting theories. If change is inevitable, then the recent spat of viruses only reminds us that we were too comfortable in our previous lives. We should always expect some change. On the other hand, if Omicron is a mutation of a virus that came from a laboratory error, then there is nothing inevitable about the threat. Stuff not only happens, but we are also responsible for it. Finally, in the larger picture, we may be witnessing blowback for our hubristic way of life. Just like with climate change, the biosphere is telling us that we have gone too far.

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  • A U.S. Small Step for Womenkind

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    When Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the Moon on July 20, 1969, he said it was “One small step for a man, one giant leap forward for mankind.” The other day, after over 200 years, the United States of America finally had a female president. Although Kamala Harris’ term as president lasted only 1 hour and 25 minutes, it did mark a unique moment in American history.

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  • F.W. de Klerk: A Profile in Courage

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    Can people change? Can leaders radically change their countries’ policies? We all recognize the audacity of Richard Nixon in his opening to China. We also remember when Robert McNamara admitted years after the end of the Vietnam War that “We were wrong, very wrong.”  

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  • Geneva Impeachment: What Took Them So Long?

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    In late November, the citizens of Geneva will vote on a modification of its constitution concerning the possibility of removing from office a member of the cantonal executive. The procedure presented will be unique; when the constitution of Geneva was updated in 2012, no mention of impeachment was included. It was not included in any previous Geneva constitution.

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  • The Booster Dilemma

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    Swissmedic, the Swiss medicines regulator, has just given the green light for the third shot of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19. Available in mid-November, the boosters will target people over 65 who have already had two shots. The justification for the boosters is that evidence shows that immunity has lessened for those vaccinated many months ago; the risk of catching a severe form of Covid increases over time with the most vulnerable obviously at higher risk.

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