Thanksgiving is the best example of the confluence between America’s pioneering spirit and our national penchant for thankfulness.
Thanksgiving is perhaps the quintessential American holiday; we have feasting, we have football, we have family and friends, and we have gratitude. The last line item on that list may seem odd to associate with ‘Americanness’ as much as the others, but it fits in just fine. In fact, it is deeply embedded in American history, dating back to the colonial era, before the founding of the United States. The strong focus on thankfulness – to the point of dedicating a whole holiday to it – is peculiarly American, but can feel at odds with the classic stereotype of Americans as self-absorbed and entitled. In this case, the stereotype is dead wrong; gratitude is an American tradition that dovetails perfectly with our historic national culture of self-reliance, risk-seeking, and innovation.
Boycotting the Qatar-hosted 2022 World Cup is the right and moral thing to do, for myriad reasons.
If you’ve been following this site for awhile, you may recall my piece in January urging you to boycott the Winter Olympics being held in Beijing. In the end, that was an easy choice for me, despite my love for the event itself; China is a brutal totalitarian dictatorship which is committing genocide and actively seeks to destroy the American-led world order. Missing out on some hockey and skiing was a small sacrifice compared to the suffering of those persecuted by the CCP regime.
As with the Winter Olympics, I love the World Cup, the globe’s most important and prestigious soccer tournament, and enjoy watching it every 4 years. I have fond memories of watching my favorite teams – Italy and France – win the tournament in 1998 and 2006, and was very happy to see Les Bleus take the title during my bachelor party in 2018. But I won’t be tuning in this year.
The 2022 World Cup is starting today in the Middle Eastern host nation of Qatar. This year’s version of the quadrennial tournament is an outlier in many ways, not least of which is that it is being held in November, whereas the Cup is traditionally awarded in July. The other reasons, however, are far more disturbing – Qatar is a corrupt, autocratic, discriminatory regime which has no reason to host such a major international sporting event. To be sure, Qatar is no China, but it is still deserving of the boycott treatment. Here’s why.
To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, “Rumors of Twitter’s death have been greatly exaggerated.”
[Note: This post may be a bit inside-baseball if you don’t follow tech news or aren’t active on Twitter. But it’ll be fun nonetheless!]
If you have been on Twitter recently, especially Thursday night, you would be forgiven for thinking that the world was coming to a rapid and violent end. Bluecheck journalists and media figures have been gnashing their teeth and rending their garments at the purported demise of Twitter now that billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has taken over the site. The Washington Post is on “Twitter death watch,” while the New York Times claims that the microblogging site is “teetering on the edge.” The BBC asked if this really “is the end of Twitter,” and the American equivalent (in terms of public funding, not quality) NPR stated that a Twitter meltdown could be “likely.” Other news outlets have said that the site is in “chaos,” in the process of “imploding,” and “in tatters.” Journalists, pundits, and the so-called “Resistance” accounts who made a name for themselves on the back of their opposition to President Trump treated Thursday night on Twitter like it was the sinking of the Titanic, complete with the band playing on the way down while the lifeboats floated over to Mastodon, Instagram, or Post.News (whatever that is). #RIPTwitter was trending on the site, as users saw the writing on the wall and said their goodbyes to dear friends and random acquaintances.
Of course, all of those people are still on Twitter today, tweeting their daily activities and opinions as though nothing at all had happened. But why were they so terrified and certain that Twitter would completely collapse, and why are so many still saying the same thing?
The Biden Administration is getting played by Xi Jinping and flirting with national disaster in its geopolitical handling of China.
Earlier this week, President Joe Biden met with China’s dictator Xi Jinping for nearly 3 hours in Bali, Indonesia at the G20 Summit of nations. The meeting has been described by analysts as a boon for future cooperation between the nations and their leaders on major transnational issues and a positive step away from tension and towards engagement. According to the Biden administration, the discussion cemented the idea on both sides of the Pacific that conflict is not coming and that a new Cold War is indeed not in the cards. The Biden administration is touting this as a genuine diplomatic success and a move towards stability in East Asia, and has praised President Biden’s warm personal relationship with Xi. From reading major news reports of this meeting, you’d think that the US and China are on a glide path towards better relations in the short and long term, under the joint leadership of Xi and Biden – a big step towards mutual security after the chaos of the Trump administration.
Unfortunately for us, that framing is inaccurate in the extreme. This meeting makes us no safer, gives us no positive assurances from China, and betrays the Biden administration’s terribly naïve instincts on foreign affairs.
The 2022 midterm elections were quite eventful, seeing mixed results in the Senate, House, and gubernatorial elections. Listen in to this episode of the show to hear the latest updates, analysis of the various races, and overall takeaways from the election. Will the Republicans dump Trump? Will the Democrats double down on Biden? Will American voters ever have candidates they want to vote for, instead of merely voting against the other guy? Tune in for these answers and more.