A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

August 26: Homelessness

Tomorrow we’ll discuss homelessness, particularly as publicized by recent developments in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and, closer to home, Portland, ME.

I won’t have time to pull links to articles, but you can find them with the assistance of virtual assistant “Google.”

  • Why are these cities facing this crisis?
  • Why isn’t homelessness as much of a problem elsewhere?
  • What should be done about it?

I suspect we’ll find this is caused by many factors, so “solutions” are likely to take many forms as well.

See you tomorrow.

August 19: India v. Pakistan

No, we’re not going to discuss cricket (much—although the current Pakistani PM is a cricket hero). We’re going to discuss the relationship between India and Pakistan.

Both countries possess “nukes,” and have historically fraught relations exacerbated by religious differences, the disputed territory of Kashmir, and India’s seemingly well-supported claim that terrorist groups targeting India are based in Pakistani territory (remember a few months ago, when India’s military executed operations in Pakistani territory?).

So they have attracted outsized attention and concern for decades.

  • Will the current disputes be resolved peacefully, or will they accelerate in the “wrong” direction?
  • What should U.S. policy be toward these countries and their various disputes?
  • What other countries have interests in this dispute, and what should their role (if any) be?

I hope some other prospective attendees will come up with some good (but digestible) reading references, but here are three to whet your appetite:

And, of course, you can search Wikipedia for other, background information.

August 12: Racism & Labels

A few weeks ago, there was an “inside baseball” media kerfluffle about whether whether journalists should characterize some Trump tweets as 1) “comments that some considered racist,” 2) “racist comments,” or 3) comments by a racist President.

This week, we’ll discuss the use of such labels—and whether they advance or inhibit dialogue and understanding.

Here’s a Washington Post op-ed to get us started.

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