Author Archives: Rootless

Honest Graft

Anyone catch 60 Minutes last night? The segment on how people in Congress can engage in insider trading and it is totally legal was shocking to me. Steve Kroft’s questions to Nancy Pelosi during a news conference (she refused, as did all those in Congress that have been alleged to have profited from inside information, […]

China and double-standards

The Dalai Lama typically tries to steer clear of caustic remarks towards the Chinese government. His official position is to advocate for meaningful autonomy within the state of China rather than pushing for a sovereign state. And he generally adheres to this and tries not inflame the Chinese, who are very quick to freak out […]

One crazy month

Almost exactly a month ago I got two calls almost simultaneously. One was a job offer, the other a diagnosis. There is a lot to say about the job situation, but alas that is not for this dispatch. But I’ll say that everything that has happened over the last month has been colored by the […]

“Spiritual but not religious”

It’s pretty sad to think that the world could soon be without Christopher Hitchens. One of the great intellectuals of our time, he is gravely ill with cancer. I once heard him speak at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Shanghai, he spent the evening blasting holes in the idea of God and religion while sipping […]

Crowds & Power

When I’ve described the Junta to people more than a few times someone has remarked, “Oh, like a book club”. I always say, “Well, sorta” before clarifying that we are really more of a mock think-tank that has aspirations to topple governments (always important for me to find a way to say that we take […]

Wikileaks, Facebook and the Internet Age

We’re gearing up for the next Junta on Tuesday, February 1st at 8:30 PM (final confirmation on location coming soon, but will almost certainly be in Williamsburg). Rindy sent around an email about the agenda on Wikileaks, and while that would certainly be a robust discussion on its own, it occurred to me yesterday that […]

Ethnic Conflict: Welcome to 2011

It may be a new year but old (and in some cases ancient) conflicts still plague humanity, I thought I’d highlight a few that I’ve been thinking about as they’ve been/will be in the news. On January 9th the people of South Sudan will vote on whether to secede from Sudan and form their own […]