Just before the 2016 election, J. BROOKS SPECTOR re-read, with increasing apprehension, two classic dystopian novels about a racial populist who wins the presidency – Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America and Sinclair Lewis’ It Can’t Happen Here. And then there was Donald Trump’s epic failure of leadership after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. But there could have been a different way he spoke about it.
Aghast at the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, J. BROOKS SPECTOR looks to history, psychology and contemporary politics to try to understand what happened and why it took President Trump two tries to even get close to expressing a sense of moral outrage.
At 90, Swami Parthasarathy is internationally recognised as the greatest living exponent of Vedanta. An art, philosophy and science of living that is almost 4,000 years old, what does it have to teach us about the modern malaise of corruption? KEVIN BLOOM asks Sunandaji, the swami’s daughter and foremost disciple, who has come to South Africa with her father to spread the word.
The Yalu River – the boundary between North Korea and China – was where American and Chinese troops met and engaged in combat in the midst of the Korean conflict back in 1950-51. The Chinese had taken the defeat of their North Korean allies by UN forces rather badly and so they massively intervened. But, even more than North Korea’s defeat, the Chinese were much more discomfited by the possibility that the US would have its ground forces perched right on the Chinese border. J. BROOKS SPECTOR looks at the newest Korean crisis in light of that history and the psychology of crisis management, and is not particularly amused or comforted so far by reassurances from US officials.
The first-ever anti-HIV drug, AZT, was initially developed to fight cancer but was abandoned in preliminary testing. This breakthrough drug saved lives and offered hope to people with Aids. Over two decades later, the fields of oncology and HIV are collaborating again in the search for a functional cure for Aids, reports AMY GREEN for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Besides the tragicomedy of Donald Trump’s insistence on going into overdrive on false news about his conversations, speeches, memos for his son and the like, there are real, dangerous, complex strategic issues that must somehow get onto that man’s schedule. North Korea remains one of those. J. BROOKS SPECTOR takes a look through history and peers nervously into the future.
Recently successful drug raids have continued the momentum of Fikile Mbalula’s project to strengthen the image of the police and put a dent in South Africa’s drug use. While there’s reason to be optimistic about the minister’s enthusiasm, he would do well to contemplate the ways in which these efforts echo the ineffectiveness of the “war on drugs” in the United States. By DAVID REIERSGORD.
In spite of his increasingly desperate desires to write about early hominins, art, theatre and the Chinese challenge in the South China Sea and elsewhere, J. BROOKS SPECTOR is shackled to paying attention to the (as Joe Biden would have said) shenanigans in the Trump White House.