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February, 2016


Look beyond Ferguson and Baltimore: The good news about black men

If you look beyond recent headlines about race in America, here is a surprising truth: Most black men in America are doing just fine. Most black men are not poor, most black men will not be incarcerated, most black men are gainfully employed, and most black men will marry. Twenty20 License “Why haven’t I heard this before?” asked Stephan Moore, a 49-year-old African-American father from Oklahoma City, after hearing one of us lecture this month. “I’m so glad I brought my teenage son. He hasn’t heard this message about black men.” Moore’s surprise is understandable. In the wake of TrayvonRead More

What government researchers get wrong about addiction

With heroin deaths spiking across the country, we desperately need clear thinking on drug addiction. A January article in the New England Journal of Medicine bolsters what’s come to be known as the brain disease model of addiction. In essence, the model views addiction from the vantage point of brain physiology. Three esteemed researchers, including National Institute on Drug Abuse head Dr. Nora Volkow and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism chief Dr. George Koob, both of whom work under the auspices of the National Institutes of Health, wrote the article, entitled “Neurobiologic advances from the brain disease modelRead More

Handle with care! A Q&A with Weifeng Zhong on China’s porcelain economy

China often seems to be the only country that can possibly compete with or overtake the US in economic horsepower. This isn’t just international opinion; the Chinese seem pretty optimistic about how they are doing too. In 2015, 90% of Chinese citizens ranked their economy as good or very good, and 88% think their children will be better off than they are. But will this last any longer? Given recent movements in the market and the Chinese government’s suppression (maybe even alteration) of crucial economic data, it seems like a real possibility things are taking a turn for the worse. I talked all this over with Weifeng Zhong,Read More

Asia’s Mediterranean: Strategy, geopolitics, and risk in the seas of the Indo-Pacific

I.  The news that China has deployed advanced fighter jets to, and emplaced surface-to-air missiles on, Woody Island in the disputed Paracel Island chain confirms long-held fears that Beijing plans to militarize its possessions in the South China Sea. As Admiral Harry Harris, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, testified before Congress in February, China militarizing the South China Sea, and to think otherwise, “you’d have to believe in a flat Earth.” He stated, “I believe China seeks hegemony in East Asia.” There has been a prolonged American debate on how to respond to China’s moves in the South China Sea.Read More

‘reThinking’ The Big Short

The critically acclaimed, now Oscar-winning film The Big Short has helped form the impression among the American people that the private sector caused the financial crisis.  But does this impression align with the facts? Is the 2008 crisis a relatively straightforward, moralistic tale of Wall Street greed and human foibles run amok? Or are government institutions and policies equally or more to blame? I lay it all out for you in the below video, “reThink The Big Short and the 2008 Financial Crisis.” Take a look.  Learn more: Missing the Point: Lessons from The Big Short The big short 5Read More

‘Regime change’ has often succeeded

The New York Times’ Room for Debate asked a range of contributors for their take on whether, when and how America should wield power in the region has been called the “signal foreign-policy conundrum of today. Below is Danielle Pletka’s response. Read the entire symposium here. The question of whether the United States should ignore dictators, in the Middle East or Asia or elsewhere, goes to a larger debate about what America’s role in the world should be. This is not a left-right divide, but an ideological one: internationalists vs. neo-isolationists. Internationalists believe that the most powerful, richest nation inRead More