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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

August 2018

Climate Change Consequences



Iran has a serious water problem. Major lakes, such as Oroumieh, are drying up, as are water systems that have sustained the countryside villages for thousands of years. Some years ago, the shortage of water in Tehran, which, with its surrounding suburbs, may have to water 15 million people, alarmed the leadership. Iran became the first Muslim country to mandate population control.

Couples wanting marriage licenses had to take a class in contraception and buy into more...

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Russia?s Foreign Policy

"Russia," as Winston Churchill once noted, "is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma." They are not so mysterious if we understand what Russia is, what its internal problems are, and how they have had a consistent foreign policy for the past century.

Russia?s emergence as a country only began in the 10th century, making it far younger than the rest of Europe, starting with Greece 2500 years ago and the Roman Empire about 2000 years ago, bringing its laws, urban life, and more...

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April 2016

Four Middle East Water Systems Shape History

Controlling water was one of the first technological efforts at the beginning of what we call "civilization," or city building. Even today, most human beings live on the rims of oceans or on river systems. We need water to drink, for washing ourselves and our goods, but most of all, for agriculture.

Where today Iraq and Iran meet arose the first urban civilization 5,000 years ago, Sumeria. This amazing culture created the first big city-state (Ur), a system of writing, sea-going more...

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May 2014

It is Time to Get Climate Change Right.

The Tower of Babel is a Bible story about God's punishment for human arrogance in building a skyscraper. In the story, God confounded human language and we have failed to understand each other ever since. But today, some issues, such as Climate Change or Global Warming suffer from the Tower of Babel syndrome. Even when speaking the same language, we don't understand each other.

Climate change is different from weather. Reports about cold winters and snow do not contradict global w more...

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October 2010

“The Sky Is Falling” Is Alive and Well—Again.


We are already past the millennium year 2000 (or was it actually 2001 that began the century) and the sky didn’t fall. Now what? Are we ready to recognize the new millennium as the beginning of something or will we still cling to knee-jerk pessimism?

In the year 1000, Europe panicked about the “end of times” that would probably cast them all into hellfire and damnation. The year 1,000 came and went, but the skies never opened. With a little ingenuity, the forecast more...

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