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Patricia Lee Sharpe
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Trump’s missile strike turned out to be as successful as the Obama/Russia negotiations which also failed to rid Syria of chemical weapons. What an irony! Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2018 at WhirledView
We mere citizens need Robert Mueller to continue his methodical dissection of the Russian-tainted anomalies of the 2016 election. So why, Jill and Bernie, are you not leading the clamor for answers and solutions? And why, have you not unequivocally disavowed all the unwelcome—surely, it was unwelcome!—support you received from Russian operatives? Once upon a time there were credible reasons for idealists on the American left to be soft on Russia. That was before Communist realities relegated all hopes for a workers’ paradise in the Soviet Union to the dustbin of history. Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2018 at WhirledView
The whole world already knows that the U.S. is powerful, and previous American presidents have felt no need for crass displays of the obvious. Self confident leaders don’t need to peacock with the national defense. They don't brag about the size of their missiles. So a military worthy of a democracy would be (and hopefully already is) raining heavily on this charade—oops! parade, which doesn’t preclude its traditional, dignified contributions to Fourth of July celebrations that honor the country, not a wanna-be czar who cries “treason” when he’s not applauded. Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2018 at WhirledView
If Oprah Winfrey has decided she’d like to try her hand at politics, let her do it the responsible way. Let her run for Congress. Let her follow up with a stint in the Senate. And then, having earned her spurs, let her go for broke. Millions may like her on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready for the presidency. Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at WhirledView
By Patricia Lee Sharpe Most Western observers have attributed the ongoing tragedy in Myanmar’s Rakhine province to ethnic and religious intolerance: a Buddhist majority zealously reclaiming its land from Muslim interlopers. Is this the whole story? I don’t think so.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2017 at WhirledView
Dear Hillary, thank you for all your good works: working for children early on, standing up for women internationally, getting the universal health care ball rolling. And more. But do cancel your speaking tours and your interviews. I know. It’s hard to step down. Everyone who has occupied a position of some influence knows the agony of handing the reins over to a new generation. But it has to be done. Your books claim that you delight in the presence of your grandchildren. Did you mean it? Or were those merely words thrown in to showcase your humanity? Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at WhirledView
By Patricia Lee Sharpe I touched a man last week. A strange young man, no less. He’d asked a good question after a lecture. I delivered my compliment while laying my hand on a jacketed shoulder, after which I went... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at WhirledView
By Patricia Lee Sharpe Here's the DNC homework assignment: Take a closer look at the factors that drove a once solidly Democratic labor force to vote in ways that seem to be self-defeating. Feel your way in, too. Empathize. Then... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at WhirledView
Kelly began well. If he’d stopped after insisting that Trump was guilty only of saying the right thing clumsily, he’d have been fine. Instead he went on and on, like a man not in his right mind. After months of tightrope walking, he fell, one more decent men who lost his honor to Donald Trump’s insatiable ego. I like many others have been grateful for Mr. Kelly’s service, thinking him to be a reliable voice of sanity in a mad house, thinking him strong enough to survive in that poisonous atmosphere. But Trump found his weak point and played on it, his grief as a father, and now it’s clear that we can no longer depend on him. For his own sake and for the sake of the country, he needs to resign. Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2017 at WhirledView
There is no acceptable reason to legitimize a violent “alt-left, ” but muzzling foul-mouthed racists will hurt more than it will help. As for those who cower behind masks and pseudonyms, the more they mask their identity the more fully they acknowledge their shame. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2017 at WhirledView
So Congress, here what you need to do: (1) Do the right thing. Get the Dreamers on a quickstep to citizenship. A few months should do it. (2) Be brave and do the intelligent thing. Pass a color blind, secular, comprehensive immigration reform bill that will strengthen the U.S. as it faces formidable new challenges. Hint: the goal isn’t to limit immigration but to ensure a steady influx of energetic new Americans. Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at WhirledView
[Let's} consider the options for an effective, coherent, non-blustery U.S. policy [toward North Korean nukes.}. We’re not talking deal-making here. We’re talking four-dimensional strategic thinking by serious people who understand that all lives matter. Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at WhirledView
No surge of foreign troops, however massive, will “solve” the political problems of Afghanistan. The best hope is dogged, intelligent diplomacy. Not smirks over dinner at Mar-a-Lago. The real thing. Continue reading
Posted Jun 22, 2017 at WhirledView
...dictatorship, the kind of regime that Donald Trump would control should he succeed in smashing the institutions and ethical constraints that presently stand in his way. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2017 at WhirledView
There’s plenty to criticize about Republican goals and the self-serving greed that underlies them, but fear-mongering alone won't guarantee victory in 2018 or 2020. So, Dems, repair your divisions and give us a program to support. Then be Trump-like. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2017 at WhirledView
Many of us have sensed the need for a more penetrating look at Jane Austen’s portrait of her times. Helena Kelly has done the analysis. Give Austen’s novels another read. See how much the movies have edited out. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2017 at WhirledView
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And what’s Trump going to gain from obsequiously cultivating the Russians, assuming he’s cleared of colluding to skew the 2016 election toward himself? A hotel in Vladivostok? A golf club in the Crimea? A shop for Ivanka on Moscow’s Arbat? Sad. Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2017 at WhirledView
Is this a guy that good people (with choices) are going to want to work for? Is this a guy who’s going to have much respect for the rule of law? Is this guy's business model appropriate for conducting the foreign or domestic affairs of a democracy? No. No. No. This is a guy who bears watching (and fact checking), by all of us, all the time. No wonder subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post are soaring. Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2017 at WhirledView
Is it any wonder that a certain question is making the rounds: what’s in it for the Trump organization? Worse, is the Donald working for the U.S. or for Russia? Or, less culpably, when is he going to realize (or show us that he realizes) that running an international real estate operation for personal profit is child’s play compared to the multidimensional chess game of international politics in which do or die isn’t a metaphor? In the meantime, U.S. cyber vulnerabilities must be addressed. Above all, Americans need to solve the privacy vs. security conundrum, technically and legally. A door open to U.S. security services is also open to Russian hackers. On the other hand, given an inch the home grown snoopers usually take a mile or more. Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at WhirledView
Jeans are an American cultural treasure. Given the current thinking on cultural appropriation, all jeans must be repatriated or destroyed. Those who resist must be shamed and shunned. Let Levi Strauss rest in peace. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2016 at WhirledView
Vladimir Putin is clever. He’s very good at keeping the U.S. and the rest of the world off balance. He may have met his match, however. Trump executed almost flawlessly a brilliant strategy for winning the presidency, all the while making it seem as if he’d an ignorant, bigoted boob. And by so appearing, he's fooled jubilant Russian officials into coming very close to admitting to the hacking they were accused of. That said, I still worry about Donald Trump's twitter tantrums when it comes to nuclear policy. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2016 at WhirledView
Courtney, I largely agree with you on our disastrous Middle Eastern policy. But that's not the subject here. Re the behavior of empires, I thought I was being humorously critical of the pretensions of all empires. Sorry about the apparent ambiguity.
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2016 on The Empires Strike Back at WhirledView
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Turkey is justifying its participation in the effort to drive ISIS out of Mosul not only on the pretext of protecting itself from potential PKK safe havens in the Kurdish Autonomous region of Iraq but on historic grounds. Once upon a time the Ottoman Turks controlled all the Middle East. China is belligerently devoted to claiming every islet or outcropping of rock in the South China Sea, plus every cove from which a Chinese fishing boat may have brought up a catch over the past several millenia. And need I mention Vladimir Putin’s appetite for reclaiming truant SSRs. Coming closer to home, who has a legitimate prior claim on North America? Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2016 at WhirledView
Thanks, Mark. We don't know enough about this fascinating part of the world, not its past, not its equally interesting modern incarnation.
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Even as Uzbeks were recognizing the passing of Islam Karimov, they were also in the midst of proudly celebrating 25 years of independence. That’s a quarter of a century of freedom from Russia. If Vladimir Putin thinks he can treat these proud people as little more than neo-serfs, existing mainly to enhance his own position on the world stage, he is sadly mistaken. Uzbeks come across as proudly aware of their ancient history and its profound intellectual contributions to world culture, especially in astronomy and mathematics. Although China is promoting economic projects related to its efforts to revive trade along the old Silk Roads, it’s unlikely that modern Uzbekistan will submit any more willingly to Chinese dictation. Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2016 at WhirledView