Writing Archive

The iPhone and the Olive Tree

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict transcends countless generations, and now its coming to 4G.
A iPhone app called Fact on the Ground maps out Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank. It’s produced by a group called Americans for Peace Now, which is a “pro-peace, pro-Israel” non-profit organization.
Maps are a fascinating part of Middle East history. [...]

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Maybe Boxer Forgot California is a Pacific State

Barbara Boxer’s main line of attack in the first California Senatedebate was pretty much that Carly Fiorina exported jobs to China during her tenure as HP chief execute and can’t be counted on to protect America from China.
“This election is about someone who’s working hard so that we can see the words ‘Made in America’ [...]

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When Ethno-Religious Groups Can’t Play Nice in the Sandbox

At the height of sectarian violence in Iraq in May, 2006, Joe Biden penned a column in the Times proposing to decentralize the Iraqi federal government, “giving each ethno-religious group — Kurd, Sunni Arab and Shiite Arab — room to run its own affairs.”
The plan called for “three largely autonomous regions,” but it stopped short [...]

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Wikileaks Highlight Violence in Pashtunistan

The Afghan War Diary leaks didn’t so much reveal as confirm. Specifically, the documents gave merit to suspicions that the ISI is working the Taliban, and thanks to fantastic maps from the Guardian, it illustrated that the war is mostly being waged in so-called Pashtunistan.
Anyone who has paid attention in the last eight years [...]

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The World’s Most Authoritarian Nations

American exceptionalism has been part of this nation’s DNA since the city upon a hill was founded.  That exceptionalism has served us well, but it also put us in the minority on several controversial international issues, especially in recent years.
Two examples are capital punishment and prohibiting gays to serve in the military.  Of the 195 [...]

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Ex-KGB Analyst Predicts Balkanization of US

Those sneaky Ruskies.  For those of us who love spy thrillers, the story of the sleeper cell (aka the Illegals Program) that spent the last 15 years infiltrating American “policy-making” circles is certainly fascinating and will only get more interesting as the details leak out.
While they were cozying up in America, a prominent Russian professor [...]

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Soviet Invasion Plans of the US

Evidently Obama and Medvedev have “reset” US-Russia relations.  In fact, the White House actually re-Tweeted the Kremlin account yesterday and the two ran off for a midday Hellburger. But it’s worth checking out this fascinating Cold War map that illustrates the history between the two nations.
It’s from an old Yugoslav atlas via the gold-standard cartography [...]

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License to Il

When U.S. forces initiated strikes against Belgrade and Baghdad, power stations were among the first targets they took out.  But if the situation in northeast Asia ever did escalate into a hot war, there wouldn’t be much need to cut electricity in North Korea.  The lights are already off.
This map from GlobalSecurity.org shows nighttime lights [...]

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A Warzone in Juarez

Mexican President Felipe Calderone spoke on the floor of the U.S. House today and called for Congress to reinstate the ban on assault weapons.  For Drudge loyalists and tea partiers, this is a confluence of boogeymen: The Mexicans are making the Democrats take our guns!
But Mexico’s Eliot Ness, as Obama calls him, does have reason [...]

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Map of the Day: A Tory’s View of the World

Assuming the Conservatives form some kind of coalition government, what kind of approach can we expect from our friends across the pond?
The 1980’s British spoof TV show “Spitting Image” offered a window into the Tories’ view of the world (via Strange Maps).
According to their “Tory Atlas of the World,” the globe can be divided into [...]

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