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Politics

  • I’m launching Newscat.cat so the English-speaking world can easily follow the Catalan Independence process

    By Mike on September 2, 2015
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    TL;DR just check it out. The Catalan independence process is heating up and the elections that could set the country off on it’s own course take place later this month. It’s a very exciting and uncertain time and at the time of this writing, the elections have about an even chance of going either way. Today, I am launching News […]
  • How The US Could Strike Back At North Korea

    By Mike on December 18, 2014
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    North Korea knows that this movies ridicules Kim Jong Un and makes fun of how backwards the west sees North Korea and how little respect the world has for him. They CANNOT let their people see that, especially when they've been told since birth that North Korea is seen as a beacon of light for the rest of the world and that the Kim dynasty is nearly god-like. North Korea believes this film could seriously undermine the regime and cause instability.
  • What’s it like to fly to North Korea?

    By Mike on January 19, 2014
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    Upon approach to Pyongyang, I noticed the complete lack of infrastructure outside the capital city such as the unpaved roads without a single car in sight and I could see people walking and on bicycles. It just looked weird. No telephone poles. No power lines. I’ve been in third world countries. I've seen poverty, unorganized chaos, the bustle, the strange mix of the old and the new. This was nothing like that.
  • While I Was Inside North Korea: How I Heard About Merrill Newman’s Captivity

    By Mike on December 9, 2013
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    A couple nights into our stay in North Korea, we were joined at dinner by a junior government official working in the organization that provides guides / minders for foreigners visiting the country. We were told that they had detained an American Korean War veteran who was in his eighties and that it had just made international news. They had to tell us this because we had no access to any news inside North Korea.
  • Keep it civil even when you passionately disagree with someone

    By Mike on December 7, 2013
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    In business and politics, keep it civil. Keep it productive. Complain in private to your most trusted friends if you must – and even that’s not a great idea. But don’t prevent good business from getting done by wearing your negative emotions on your sleeve - especially when more than your own fate depends upon reaching a workable agreement. Most business and politics are conducted by rational actors - people who act in their best interests even though they may employ hardball negotiation tactics. Keep your emotions at home.
  • What’s Up With North Korea & Why Did I Visit?

    By Mike on November 30, 2013
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    It’s easy and lazy to simply return from a trip to North Korea and relate the surrealist reality. But after consuming all the documentaries, Vice episodes (including those featuring Dennis Rodman), and reading the accounts of recent visitors, I hungered to get past the staring, laughing, and scoffing stage. I aspired to more. I wanted to understand the root causes of the madness. If we can’t comprehend how North Korea understands the world we can’t begin to predict its geo-political behavior.
  • Snowden Is Either An Idiot Or He's Working For An Enemy of the US. Maybe Both.

    By Mike on June 26, 2013
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    Premise: If the US is serious about leading in the 21st Century, it must have the most sophisticated cyber warfare capability in the world. Part of achieving that superiority undoubtedly requires secrecy. If we decide we want that superiority we must live with secrecy tradeoffs. If we decide we can't live with the secrecy, we yield the ground of cyber warfare superiority to another country who can live with (or impose) the secrecy. It seems pretty straight-forward and you should be at least smart enough to draw the same conclusion if you work at the NSA.
  • What Is On The Line For Nebraskans on Tuesday?

    By Mike on November 4, 2012
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    From time to time, our major political parties are taken over and held hostage by the most extreme wing. This time it’s the Republican Party’s turn. It’s unfortunate for the people who regard themselves as life-long centrist, family value conservatives but who don’t see eye to eye with the Tea Party far right agenda. But political parties are not like […]
  • What Is "Occupy Wall Street" Really About?

    By Mike on October 24, 2011
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    For a long time, it has been getting harder to achieve the American dream. While average income for a full-time working male, adjusted for inflation, has remained pretty constant since 1973, the top 1% of US earners has gained ground decade after decade. The objective economic data supporting those facts is solid and has been well documented. The graphic below […]
  • My Night at Ground Zero

    By Mike on May 2, 2011
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    After taking some video (below) I decided to put my iPad to good use and made a little sign using Keynote. The sign was a HUGE hit. My picture must have been taken a thousand times and I'm not exaggerating. Some people who came a bit later mentioned they'd seen me on the news before heading down. Funny.