5 – The Odd Phenomenon of Journalistic Credibility (Dec 08)

    Respected media wish to be responsible, and journalists want to be credible. Both adjectives, as understood by a broad audience, have undergone an Orwellian metamorphosis. Media can only be responsible if they hire credible reporters. But something monstrous has happened to the notion of credibility in recent years. It is no longer measured by the degree to which statements correspond to observable reality. In fact, assessments arrived at logically from available information and one's understanding of the world could be ruinous for one's credibility

4 – A Missed Moment of Truth for Europe (Dec 08)

    There exist social, economic, demographic, psychological and sundry other "forces of history", but there are also individuals who, at a certain moment, can make all the difference. It so happened that at the end of the year 2000, the American Supreme Court appointed to the presidency a person who had not won it through the preceding election and who, fundamentally incurious and clueless as to the meaning of government, lacked the personal qualities necessary to function as more than a figurehead.

3 – The America Problem (Dec 08)

    We should face it: There exists an America Problem. Many Americans have gradually come to that conclusion in the past eight years. Elsewhere in the world, politically attentive people have become aware of it in degrees. But in Europe hesitations born of wishful thinking and fear of the unfamiliar, as well as fear for negative domestic response, have meant that few people come out and say so openly. The America Problem has had some time to develop, but it came into full view for those who cared to notice on the 1st of June in 2002 when the man who by common cliche is known as the most powerful man in the world announced a radical change to his position within it. This drained the meaning from the idea of "The West". His changed objectives

2 – The Media Filter For Europe and Asia (Dec 08)

    Where does the news about world affairs come from? This would seem a important question, but it is rarely asked and inaccurate ideas about it appear to be taken for granted in Europe as well as parts of Asia with which I am familiar. A crucially relevant fact in the backgroud of a lot of what I hope to put on this site is that there are few independent European and Asian purveyors of world news, and that in the selection of what is supposedly worth knowing among the myriad happenings on our planet their influence is virtually nil. The first draft of history, as seen by most of the world, goes through an American filter, because what we get to know about events beyond national borders reaches us mainly through American mediaries, with some help from

1 – The Plight of Warped Knowledge (Dec 08)

    I want to start this website on what I believe to be a noncontroversial premise: that to deal with the world effectively we first must understand it. Who could disagree with the assertion that knowledge is needed for effectiveness? But then who could deny another, urgent, conclusion, that there is reason for alarm, because our means for seeing things clearly in a world more confusing than it was decades ago have diminished, vanished or become corrupted. That last line almost inevitably gains a controversial edge because this dire situation has not been much commented upon. It has crept up on us. It has much worsened after the Cold War disappeared, and is closely connected with political-economic changes that followed its end.
     But this plight of warped knowledge is suddenly made concrete when you bring to mind the anticipation of things to come when the Cold War ended and realize how far removed our current situation is from that expected