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Monday, August 2, 2021
Sunday, December 20, 2020 9:06 PM
Click on the headline above to access the archive for Michael G. Roskin's column.
  • “The Bridge on the Drina” won Ivo Andric the 1961 Nobel literature prize. I read it that year and just reread it 60 years later. Back then, it piqued my interest in Yugoslavia, where I studied in 1963–64. Now I see that Andric was ...
  • Already Republicans blame President Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan. They hope to win next year’s midterms, but it might not work, as few Americans want to stay longer in Afghanistan. We could easily be there ...
  • The permissive cause of the explosion of ransomware attacks is cryptocurrency, the most prominent of which is Bitcoin. If we want to stop this menace, which could paralyze vital sectors of the nation, we must sink Bitcoin. Make it ...
  • Republican state legislators are passing voter-suppression laws that prohibit giving food and water to people — “those people” — waiting in voting lines. If you see hungry or thirsty voters, you must not only deny them food and water ...
  • As Henry Kissinger (born 1923) nears 100, I finally read, 40 years after publication, his massive, three-volume memoirs of his government stint. Self-justifying, to be sure, but containing much wisdom and marking current problems ...
  • Depending on where you live, getting a Real ID — a sort of verified driver’s license — can be a real pain. Some state departments of motor vehicles are so jammed you can’t reach them online or by phone. Happily, requiring Real ID ...
  • Swiss Army knife? A federal judge recently ruled that assault rifles, banned in California since 1989, are like “Swiss Army knives,” ubiquitous and useful. This triggered my memory of a neatly dressed young Swiss cradling his ...
  • In school long ago, I learned little of racial problems. Until recently, few heard about the Tulsa pogrom. U.S. history was taught as a triumphal pageant of democracy. Most countries teach unblemished nationalistic histories to ...
  • The enthusiasm unleashed by the unveiling of the electric Ford F-150 has jolted our national psychology: America is back! We’re still great innovators! It’s a new dawn! Quite possibly true. Along with the decline of COVID infections ...
  • At a certain point, Russian cyber penetration becomes acts of war. We are approaching that point. Sure, a “Russian criminal gang” may well have shut down Colonial Pipeline, but nothing important happens in Russia without Kremlin ...
  • QAnon, for a while, virtually merged with the Republican Party. Many Trumpist Republicans still accept QAnon’s attacks on Democrats. QAnon’s disinformers, now identified as the founders of the 4chan alt-right website ...
  • Security is shifting from yesterday’s weapons — aircraft carriers, nukes and superjets — toward tomorrow’s — cyber and information. The new strategic question: “Who can paralyze whom?” Washington still arms for yesterday’s ...
  • Digital technology is changing too fast. I can’t keep up with it. The only solution is to be young and learn from your cool, digitally savvy peers, who pick it up almost by osmosis. Right. Sign me up to become young again. I first encountered ...
  • In Madison, Wisconsin, years ago, I photographed a statue in front of the state capitol of Col. Hans Christian Heg, a Norwegian immigrant who gave his life fighting slavery for the Union. Last June, Black Lives Matter extremists, enraged ...
  • President Biden faces agonizing choices in withdrawing from Afghanistan, a situation where there simply are no neat, ethical answers, only unhappy tradeoffs. Let’s see if we can untangle some of the conundrums. Warning: It whipsaws ...
  • The Constitution gives states the power to conduct elections but does not specify their electoral system. It presumed that the English tradition of single-member districts where simple plurality wins would be standard nationwide....

  • Now they sound alarms over COVID-19. If top health officials had used words like “impending doom” a year ago, hundreds of thousands of lives might have been saved. Officials pulled their punches because they wanted to keep their ...
  • Commentators worried that recent U.S. denunciations of both Russia and China mark serious deteriorations in relations. Actually, relations have been bad for years, but this rhetoric clarifies where things stand. As such, it is useful....
  • The number of democracies peaked in 2005 and has since declined. Once seen as an irreversible wave, democracy has proved shaky and vulnerable. Even in the United States. Thus finds Freedom House, a research institute ...
  • There’s a gap in America’s political spectrum where there should be a conservative party. Many real conservatives have left the Republicans and see nothing conservative about a populist wrecker of institutions. What, if anything, can be ...
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