Home Columns Books Papers Biography Contact

"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  

October 2017

Leaving the Union: Pros and Cons

If American foreign policy were based on our own historic experience, we must oppose secession movements. We would not like to see Spain lose part of its country to a province leaving them for independence (Catalonia) or the Kurds leaving Iraq. But does our own experience with the American slave-states trying to leave the union really compare with that of the two current potential breakaway states? And have we forgotten that we seceded from England?

Our southern states declared t more...


Vietnam Revisited

The latest Ken Burns documentary, Vietnam, should have been as widely watched as his Civil War documentary. Many people, however, including some of my friends who were in college then, and others, working class and patriotic, have found it too painful to watch. I am sorry that they missed this, because it was an extremely fair revisit that would have been impossible to make short of 50 years passage of time.

The series was punctuated by the popular music of the period and more...


Understanding Dangerous Weak Countries

Survival is a universal instinct among all living creatures. Nature seems to give even mice a fighting chance (they can run fast and hide in holes). The squid, not a ferocious creature, can defend itself by blinding the predator (squid ink). The weak porcupine can erect painful quills that deter the enemy from taking a bite. The skunk has a foul spray that deters the unwise.

Human societies are no different. There are strong countries (our own), with the best geography, enough foo more...


The Eternal Russia

Russia is a victim of geography; everything unpleasant, violent, paranoid, and dark can be traced back to its place in the world: a place that is too far north to be able to feed itself dependably; too wide open from its beginnings to defend itself from invasion; and too big to govern without fear of disintegration unless totalitarian. In the 15th century, one capable noble prince, Michael Romanoff, was selected by all the other princes to be the Czar, a name taken from the Roman Caesars more...