Russia’s mission to restore traditional values?

Russia reportedly sees its mission as restoring traditional values to the world, over against the “libertine West.”  This is involving a new alliance between Vladimir Putin’s government and the Russian Orthodox Church.  The immediate goal is to spread the ideal of “holy Russia” throughout Eurasia.  So says Forbes contributor Paul Coyer, excerpted after the jump.

I’ve heard some conservatives  praise Putin’s administration for its opposition to gay rights and other socially liberal movements.  Can or should American Christians get behind the Russian effort?  What would be the problems with that?  I’m curious too to hear from American orthodox folks.  I realize that not all Orthodox churches are Russian Orthodox.  But are any of you in that tradition, and, if so, do you go along with “holy Russia”?  Are any of you other Orthodox in favor of what Putin is trying to do? [Read more...]

Free trade with higher wage countries & the China card

As Democrats make a political point of rejecting the free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership–to the point of defying the Democratic President–Charles Lane clears up the disinformation being spread about the treaty.

He says that, contrary to the rhetoric,  it won’t lose American jobs by sending industries to lower-wage countries.  Our biggest partners in this agreement, who would open their markets to us, would be Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.  All of which pay  higher wages than the United States!  There are low-wage countries in the pact, such as Mexico and Peru, but we already have free trade agreements with them!

Also, in a column criticizing Hillary Clinton for being silent on a treaty she helped to create, Robert Kagan gives the underlying strategic reason for the Trans-Pacific Partnership:  forging an alliance to counter China. [Read more...]

Conservative victory in Great Britain

Despite the polls, despite the media, and despite the pundits that were already analyzing Great Britain’s political shift leftward, the Conservative Party won a decisive victory in the national elections on Friday.   With the Tories winning a definite majority of the seats in Parliament–against all expectations, with no need of a coalition government–David Cameron will stay as Prime Minister.  One reason:  Scotland, usually a dependable Labour redoubt, voted overwhelmingly for the pro-Independence Scottish National party. [Read more...]

The end of the state in the Middle East

Lehigh professor Henry J. Barkey points out that the institution of the nation-state is virtually unraveling in the Middle East, with central governments being unable to enforce their laws within its borders, being replaced with local warlords, factional militias, and cross-border organizations such as ISIS. [Read more...]

Zombie democracy

Christopher Walker tells how authoritarian governments are trying to make themselves seem legitimate by constructing a facade of democracy, complete with (fixed) elections, (controlled) news organizations, and even government-sponsored non-governmental organizations, such as human rights groups, election monitors, and environmental groups–all of which work to make the dictators look good and are wreaking havoc in the U.N. and international conferences. [Read more...]

Earthquake catastrophe in Nepal

A massive earthquake, hitting 7.8 on the Richter scale, hit Nepal, killing at last count some 2,500 people.  Avalanches in the Himalayas wiped out whole villages, as well as a base camp of mountain climbers on Mt. Everest.  To help go here. [Read more...]


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