Banning nuclear testing: lessons from the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. This is a good short history of the Semipalatinsk nuclear testing site. Top photo by me: Lake Balapan, excavated by a nuclear device. It is almost exactly the same size as Sedan Crater at the Nevada Nuclear Test Site, which was excavated similarly. Read More
Lessons from Reykjavik for Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. Even though the meeting failed to produce agreement on a treaty, it was the basis for later progress.
The state of Trump’s State Department. Where is Rex Tillerson? Does Trump think he can “make deals” just by sitting down with foreign leaders?
Apologies for not posting my own writing for so long. I am working on posts, but so much news is coming out that it is hard to keep track. Here’s what others have been writing. Oh, and a movie recommendation: go see “Hidden Figures.” It is extremely accurate about what women of color faced in science in the early 1960s, much of which all women faced. I experienced a number of the situations depicted. And the clothes and other props are very well done. Read More
Sorry to be depressing, but we need to be aware of how we can lose our democracy, given many of the things that Donald Trump and his administration-to-be have said and done. It’s not an overnight change, but one little thing after another. The best thing is to avoid getting into those little things. More from Masha Gessen, this time on similarities between how Trump is likely to govern and what we see in Vladimir Putin. Read More
While the campaigns for the US presidency continue, other things are happening. Read More
Today is the 227th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. It is the French national day.
It is also the first anniversary of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, designed to limit Iran’s nuclear program. Read More
So the UK has voted, about 52 to 48%, to leave the European Union. The markets and pound sank on the news but rebounded a bit. Quite a few people are being quoted as saying that they just voted for Leave to send a message that they were unhappy with the government but figured that Remain would win. Some number of would-have-been Remain voters also said that they thought Remain would win. It’s hard to know how many of each there are and whether they would have been enough to switch the result. The media may well be seeking out such people to quote. But they point up a lesson for November in the United States: don’t play with your vote. Seriously consider the alternatives. Read More
Russia complains that the United States broke a promise not to expand NATO to the east, made when the reunification of Germany was negotiated in 1990. Recent scholarship agrees that the United States promised at that time not to expand NATO, although the promise was not formalized. (Shorter podcast version here.) Read More