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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  

September 2018

Saudi men resist women driving.


Ordinarily, the status of women around the world is of more interest to western educated women than to most men. However, decent men find the nasty treatment of women around much of the world abhorrent, including today the remnants of abuse in our own society. Yes, we do have some men who abuse their power over women who work for them, demanding sex; but today, when this behavior is made public, there is a price to pay. We tend to forget that these values are relatively new in the world more...

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Too Much Democracy?


Populism around the world is in the process of destroying liberal democracy, replacing it with dictatorships. This is a shock to those of us who believed that the American style of democracy was both wanted and on a roll after the collapse of the USSR. Populism (power to the people) is a revolt against government, the often unwieldy process of participatory governance. That Democracy does not instantly solve all problems has become apparent, and many are looking for a strongman to addre more...

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Could Iran Collapse?


Iran has proven a complex and difficult country for the US to have a coherent foreign policy. It is not just in the Middle East, but also (before the Soviet collapse) has historically shared borders with Russia, Turkey, and India (prior to Pakistan), propelling it into South Asian politics. It is a Muslim country, but for 1300 years, not part of the Arab-Muslim world, even following a dissident sect (Shi?a) hostile to mainstream Sunni Islam.

Iran (formerly Persia) has a 2 more...

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