Foreign policy

How to respect our veterans

Today is Veterans’ Day, when we honor those who have served in the armed forces and their sacrifice of time, body, and sometimes life for principles we all hold dear. I confess that I have mixed feelings about the military. While I generally avoid using A Bit Political to state my political opinions, it might be helpful to share with you my struggle. It centers around two concerns: Do we really...

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Consumers can act to protect workers from exploitation

Consumer action can be a powerful tool to effect political change, but can be difficult to implement.A famous example of successsful consumer action is Ralph Nader’s book Unsafe at Any Speed, which led to investigations of American automakers and federal legislation to make cars safer. Another one is the FairTrade USA, an organization that ensures that third-world farmers are paid fair...

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Foreign policy: who does what?

When we think of foreign policy, we usually associate it with the President. We read news stories of the President traveling around the world attending conferences and speaking with other heads of government on vital issues. He is the Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. military forces. On the diplomatic side, he appoints all ambassadors (senior diplomat in an embassy abroad) and consuls (foreign...

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Syrian intervention is not a partisan issue

The statesmen of the post-World War II generation argued that foreign policy should not be a partisan political issue – and for about 20 years, it wasn’t. Since then, with the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, along with countless other military actions, our foreign policy has become highly partisan. Evidence of this came last Friday, when BuzzFeed published a wry commentary on the...

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Should the President receive an award from another government?

The New York Times reports that President Obama will be receiving Israel’s Presidential Medal of Distinction at a state dinner next month. What do you think? Is this appropriate? In George Washington’s Farewell Address, he said that the United States should trade with all who will trade with us, but avoid “entangling alliances” with other nations. In modern terms, this...

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