The article first published in americanthinker.com on 01/15/2019. For many years geopolitical pundits have debated which way China is likely to go after it pulls large numbers of its population out of poverty. Following the semi-market reforms undertaken by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 and large-scale development, China has indeed brought large numbers of its population- some 250 million at last count – into the middle class. One theory, named after Reagan diplomat, Jeane Kirkpatrick, holds that dictatorships, like Franco’s in Spain and Salazar’s in Portugal, easily transform into democracies once their citizens become well-to-do and are no longer satisfied with economic freedoms alone. Others have argued that this does not apply to communist systems that operate on different command principles altogether. This debate has become even more heated given some
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/16/2018. It is tempting to dismiss the just ended environmental circus at Katowice as just another demonstration of Charles Mackay’s ‘madness of crowds,’ symptom but this would mean missing its intensely political nature as a frontal assault on capitalism and the last great hope of the Left to do away with the hated free market. COP-24, as the Katowice cabal is known, was but the 24th iteration of the United Nations Climate Change Conference that was originally dedicated to fighting global warming until the name became inconvenient when temperatures refused to cooperate with the mantra. It is already clear that COP-24, like most of the previous confabs, will do nothing more than punt fighting the promised doom of us all to a future date.
On December 15, 2018, a church council was held in Kiev chaired by Emmanuel, the Metropolitan of France (Ecumenical Patriarchate), which brought together bishops from three church jurisdictions – the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP). All bishops from the first two jurisdictions (churches) joined the council, while the third one was presented only by two bishops – Vinnytsky Metropolitan Simeon and Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky and Vishnevsky Metropolitan Alexander (Drabinko), although 11 bishops from around hundred bishops from Moscow Patriarchate declared participation. The Council elected Metropolitan Epiphanius (Domenko) as the chief of the new Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Metropolitan of Kiev, who was before the Metropolitan bishop of Pereyaslav-Khmellnutsky. He is 39 years old, born in the
The article first published in instituteforenergyresearch.org on 12/14/2018. On Oct. 17, 2018, Poland’s largest energy company PGNiG signed a contract with two American LNG companies to deliver up to 1 million tons of gas each over the next 20 years. It is the first large U.S. LNG contract in Eastern Europe, and it won’t be the last. Indeed, it is very likely that American LNG companies will become major suppliers to Eastern Europe in the near future. There are a number of reasons for this, both politically and economically. It is, of course, well-known that oil and gas exports, and particularly the latter, have long been used by Russian rulers as political weapons to achieve specific policy objectives—more often than not directed against Western interests. So none of this
The meeting in Katowice is only the first of many dedicated to climate change, where the world is finally sobering up to the fact that ambitions to affect the climate must fit reality, be fair and be shared. Paris agreements remain an unattainable goal if judged on data gathered and trends in carbon emissions dynamics in recent years. The U.S., which did not ratify the Paris climate agreement, continues to reduce its emissions. The EU has also managed to reduce its carbon footprint, but efforts on both sides of the Atlantic seem to be too little to affect global parameters of carbon pollution. Ultimately, the EU and the U.S. make up 35% of global emissions, with their share falling. Their ability to lead and shape the global
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 12/11/2018. The 100th anniversary of possibly the greatest writer of the tortured 20th century has predictably and justly given rise to numerous encomiums such as this one from one of the great man’s best interpreters. There is no doubt that Solzhenitsyn, if not St. John, to whom he has been compared, in his epochal struggle with communist totalitarianism, at the very least drove a key nail in the coffin of communist inhumanity. What he did without any doubt was to open the eyes of the West to the reality of the murderous Stalinist regime in the Soviet Union, but also in Eastern Europe, China and wherever communism had triumphed. And expose it he did in all of its genocidal fury, the Left’s unwillingness
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 11/29/2018. When European 21st century history is written, the picture above will be considered as emblematic of its times as the one of Chamberlain waving his ‘peace in our time’ piece of paper in 1938. And it may be even more damning, because while they were a few isolated criticisms of the abject cow-towing of democratic politicians to the monstrous Hitler regime in 1938, not a voice of disapproval to the blatant pandering by Merkel and Macron to the evil dictatorships of Putin and Erdogan was heard from either Brussels or the mainstream press in Europe. Instead, Macron and Merkel called shortly after their late October meeting in Istanbul with Erdoğan and Putin for an E.U. army to defend Europe from the United States, while
A battle is on for what is read, watched and listened to on the internet. Authoritarian regimes are devising systems of internet censorship, while hackers and technological innovators are devising ways to get around these virtual barriers. In the West, some legislation poses threats to internet freedom, but at the moment, social media is the major battlefield in the fight for and against free expression online. At present, major social media platforms are becoming increasingly hostile toward free speech. Meanwhile, disillusionment with what appears to be a big tech crackdown on free expression is giving rise to competition. As competing social media platforms roll out, the battle for market share will have implications on future political discourse. Major players in tech and media are already taking sides. The
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Growing energy rivalry in the region – a catalyst for development or geopolitical crisis? The first gas exploration of American oil leader -Exxon Mobil in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, officially announced on Friday (November 16th), has also set a new stage in the energy and political development of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Although far from real results – finding /or not/ of hydrocarbon deposits, the launch of the American company has already managed to restore the usual “hot spot” status of the region, putting an end to the short quiet interval, when in February Turkish warships forced the platform of the Italian company Eni to leave the offshore zone of Cyprus. Exxon Mobil explorations have already changed the dynamics of the geopolitical scene