In the days of tax reform and the talk of investing in the U.S. economy, another long term entanglement of the United States is looking less fruitful. President Trump has stated that he intends to make major cuts in the U.S. United Nations budget. This, like much of everything that he does, garnered the ire of his opponents. They leveled platitudes about the importance of the world body and the good it does against the proposal, claiming that the cuts would lessen the United States’ international reputation and could impede its personal diplomatic efforts. The administration pushed back by pointing at the U.N.’s cost overruns, relative inefficiency, and lack of return on investment. The Trump administrations budget has not been fully released, established, or debated, but the qualms of the administration and of their opponents are both plainly visible. Continue reading Poor Investments: Is the U.S. Getting Their Money’s Worth of the U.N.?
*Editor’s note: This article was largely written before reports that Russia had foreknowledge of the Syrian chemical attack.
After April 30th, Bashar al-Assad appeared to be safe in his position as President of Syria. Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said that the United States was not focusing on his removal, and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, stated that his future would be made by the people of Syria. Those statements made few waves, seeing as it was more or less in line with President Trump’s campaign stance of non-intervention in the Middle East, and it seemed that the Syrian Civil War would continue on without deviation, but Assad had been emboldened. Last Tuesday, Assad called for an chemical air strike on a rebel held town. Continue reading The Syrian Issues
To be perfectly honest, this would not be my first choice on how to start Zander’s Movie Corner, ideally I would start this thread with a magnum opus by Kubrick, or PTA, or Wes, or an expansive theory about Forrest Gump and its allegorical connections to the American Dream and a lost generation; however, I just watched The Conjuring (2013), directed by James Wan, and felt compelled to share my thoughts. The movie is a highly fictionalized story from the vaults of world renowned ‘demonologists, paranormal investigators, ghost hunters, and wackos’ to paraphrase the movie versions of Ed and Lorraine Warren. Under normal rules, this movie is still under spoiler alert status, but I think that a sequel, which came out June 10th, negates the usual rules; so, I will continue unimpeded. Continue reading The Conjuring (2013)