Here's the January 18 2016 cover of the New Yorker magazine. What is happening here? Why are we being asked to view the leader of North Korea as a baby?
This is a happy day for planet Earth. An international peace treaty between Iran and several other nations goes into effect today.This peace deal was a tough one for negotiators to conclude, and tough for responsible world leaders like Barack Obama and Hassan Rouhani to explain to their voters. Our world leaders have a reason to be proud today.
In 2014 Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen wrapped filming of The Interview, an action comedy in which a fictional documentary team that is scheduled to make a trip to North Korea is "ordered to" assassinate the real-world president, Kim Jong-eun. The reaction by North Korean media was swift and predictable. The Interview was denounced as "an act of war", and North Korea — this may very well have been music to its producers' ears — demanded that it not be released.
We're looking at the historical roots of North Korea's conflict with the rest of planet Earth. We'll be paying a lot of attention to the horrific human cost of the Korean War, which began in 1950 and has never actually ended (this explains a lot about why North Korea feels so threatened today).
"Here's North Korea's official hydrogen bomb statement," says the headline at Vox.com. "It's a doozy." Below the headline is a photo of Kim Jong-un with a stupefied expression on his face.
Peace-positive messages come from the most unexpected corners. A fun article titled "Guy Beats Fallout 4 Without Killing Anyone, Nearly Breaks The Game" has been making the social media rounds. It showed up this morning in my Facebook feed with the accompanying words "Pacifism is hard". An expert player named Todd Hinckley took on the quixotic and ironic goal of winning Fallout 4, a game designed to be won by killing opponents, without committing any acts of violence in any part of the game.
This is a true story about the spirit of Christmas.
When the Great War broke out all over Europe in August 1914, each side expected to quickly defeat the enemy. Brutal fighting between German, French, Belgian and British soldiers on the western front soon devolved into something the world had never seen before: massive armies stuck in muddy trenches, facing each other with barbed wire, grenades, bayonets and machine guns, for four hundred miles.
"The koan ‘Stop the War’ was once given to me. It is a famous Zen koan. How do you stop the war?" — Vince Larue
Vince Larue is a native of Normandy, France, and a citizen of the world. A self-taught artist, he has worked with many authors including Barry Graham, Marianne Costa, Larry Fondation, James Sallis, Levi Asher, Tony O'Neill and organizations such as San Francisco Zen Center, Youthbuild Phoenix and Prison Mindfulness Institute.
A new reason to love Bernie Sanders: during last night's Democratic Party presidential debate he singled out Jordan's King Abdullah II for leading moderate paths to Middle East peace, and for actually taking in refugees from Iraq and Syria while the rest of the world agonizes shamefully about them.
Here's what Sanders said, prompted by a question about how to prevent terrorism in the USA:
It's hard to know when the time has come to celebrate a big success in global environmental policy. The news that the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is producing a really significant breakthrough is difficult to measure and evaluate, and few of us get excited about United Nations summit meetings or the declarations they produce. But it does seem possible that this month's conference will make a difference.