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What sometimes seems inevitable may not be. Afghanistan may not have to fall to the Taliban advance. But extraordinary measures will have to be taken.

By whom?

By the Afghan people.

I recently read a report where the top American commander for the Middle East and Afghanistan, reassured President Ashraf Ghani of continued American air support. But by the end of August those attacks would be pulled back to focus only on Al Qaeda, if they represented a threat to the US itself.

That’s it.

Why is the rest of the world watching and not going to the assistance of…


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To lift the embargo on the island. And so I add my voice to thousands of others.

The embargo has done what it was supposed to do. Show the Cuban regime’s profound inadequacies, their lack of flexibility and imagination, their inability to stimulate markets or motivate their people to be creative and enterprising.

The expectation that the embargo would result in the demise of the regime proved wrong.

So long as the government has the guns they will not hesitate to fire on their people. Or persecute and incarcerate them to bring the population into total submission.

But you now…


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A few days ago, Biden signed into law a new version of the Child Tax credit. The intent is to bolster the income of poor families in America, in need of relief from the growing cost of raising their children.

From its inception, in 1997, the tax credit has been limited to families who have been employed and thus paid taxes.

Critics now counter that many of the new beneficiaries have neither worked nor paid taxes.

But according to the Treasury department, 97% of the families set to benefit do have wages or self employment income and the other 3%…


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Recently, in response to the loss of life inflicted by the pandemic and a worsening of food shortages, protests erupted throughout the island calling for relief and in some instances for the end of the dictatorship.

The tone and intensity of the demonstrations was heated enough that it prompted Cuba’s new president — Miguel Diaz Canel — to call on the regime’s loyal citizens to pour into the streets and show their support for the government.

Diaz Canel himself, went to speak to the citizens directly. As he walked by a house in the town of San Antonio de Los…


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Dear Mr Biden:

Read your speech on Afghanistan today at the White House.

Thank you for that.

Even though you speak of American support for the Afghan forces, there’s the growing doubt that the army we helped train, does not inspire the confidence they will fight the good fight once we leave.

You have assured us we are doing much to secure the safety of those who worked with us, through the granting of visas to the US or temporary relocation outside of Afghanistan until such visas are granted.

Thank you for that.

And yet some people have not chosen…


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When interacting with others it is useful to keep these two variations in mind.

Nature has endowed humankind with an infinite variety of potential abilities and it is up to us to develop our individual share as we make our way in the world.

In time, if cultivated, those differences become more marked.

How we view and manage such differences is an important challenge to all.

Enter horizontal versus vertical thinking.

In vertical thinking we picture ourselves as part of a hierarchy. Those with more of C or D or E, will place higher up on the vertical axis. Say…


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Dear Mr Biden:

The likelihood is that there will be no miracles in Afghanistan and the forces of Afghan nationals we trained will not be able to hold back a surging Taliban.

Miracles do happen and maybe we’ll get lucky.

But just in case they don’t come through, this is a great opportunity for you to begin a series of talks with the American people about what went wrong and why it is time to move on.

As I said in an earlier blog, I agree with your decision to pull out.

Still, it will be painful to see the…


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They greet outside a heavily guarded country home in an undisclosed location, each man flanked by his trusted interpreter.

The two men shake hands amicably. Clearly, they have been at the same site before.

Xi — Good to see you.

Putin — Have been looking forward to this, as always.

They turn and step into a short hallway at which end a large double door opens to reveal an ample room with padded chairs facing each other and smaller seats adjacent for the interpreters.

The men stride in and take their seats.

Two attendants are standing by an elegantly draped…


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George Gascon, the newly elected District Attorney of Los Angeles, has run into an effort to recall him for his policy to review the lengthy sentences of thousands of people now in prison for violent crimes.

At the heart of the matter are gang enhancements, a judicial instrument that allows for adding prison time in criminal cases. If the offender was a gang member when he committed the crime, then that leads to additional time to serve beyond what the specific crime calls for.

Say that a person got 30 years for murder, the gang enhancement would then allow the…


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A majority of Catholic bishops have expressed their intention of writing policy to prevent those who ‘obstinately persist in manifest grave sin’ from receiving holy communion.

‘Manifest grave sin’ as in supporting abortion rights, which would then include Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi.

Pope Francis and the Vatican have spoken against writing such policy, warning that it would be divisive.

But there is a conservative segment in American Catholicism that strongly advocates for it.

To an outsider like me, this seems absurd.

Let me focus on Joe Biden.

Here is a man who has devoted his life to helping others…

oscar

writer and psychiatrist with an interest in current affairs

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