Singapore the Improbable Part V
Challenges and Pitfalls of the Technocratic Art

Having succeeded beyond its expectations, Singapore doesn’t seem to know what to do next—except to keep on driving ahead, pedal to the metal.

Impeachment's Aftermath
Sifting Through the Wreckage

While there is blame to go around, Trump and his Congressional enablers are overwhelmingly responsible for weakening the foundations of the republic. And the effects of America’s democratic decay are already being felt beyond its own borders.

Singapore the Improbable Part IV
Overdoing It, with Chinese Characteristics

Singapore’s elite-driven, technocratic, and thoroughly paternalistic democracy has complex roots. Understanding the challenges it faces can help us better understand how the best-meaning leaders can run into trouble.

Christopher Short
Asking the Right Questions
5G and the Fallacies of Techno-Optimism

The new wireless technology is indeed a big deal for economics and geopolitics—but the social consequences may be the most momentous.

History Lesson
A Jew’s Guide to New Year’s Eve

As everyone knows, the evening of December 31 is New Year’s Eve. But why is December 31 New Year’s Eve? And why is the next year the number 2020?

photo by ccarlstead via Wikimedia Commons
The Spice of Life
In a Pickle with a Peck of Pickled Peppers

What do elocution, spices, Shakespeare, baseball, and Social Security reform have in common?

(Wikimedia Commons)
Singapore the Improbable Part III
The Coolidge Proposition

Calvin Coolidge once said, “The business of America is business.” The same is true of Singapore, perhaps even more so than America.

Ramir Borja, via Wikimedia Commons
Singapore the Improbable Part II
The Puzzle of Singapore

Capitalist para-democracy with Chinese characteristics? Non-socialist social corporatism? Illiberal-democratic liberalism? The characteristics that make Singapore improbable are themselves an improbable combination of characteristics.

No Defense At All
Impeachable Offenses Are Not Necessarily Crimes

Two things are true: Trump’s defenders are disingenuous when they talk about criminality when arguing against impeachment. And our society’s sense of what is properly criminal has been severely degraded in recent times.

(Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)
Missing the Point
Ukrainegate and Political Decay

From Mick Mulvaney to the mainstream media, just about everyone has failed to grasp the full meaning of the infamous Trump-Zelensky conversation.

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