Author of "Arrow of the Blue-Skinned God" and "Mullahs on the Mainframe." Any tweets that aren't about Asia or Anthropology are just me sounding off.
Nov 3, 2020 • 7 tweets • 4 min read
For those still deciding whether to give @JoeBiden your vote, here's a little story that shows what he's like-- and why he deserves your trust.
Over nearly a decade of staffing #JoeBiden, we took a number of helicopter flights in #Afghanistan...
...One of those helo flights was a little more memorable than the others.
It was in February 2008. We were returning from a FOB (Forward Operating Base) in territory controlled by the Taliban. And a storm was moving in...
Nov 3, 2020 • 4 tweets • 3 min read
So @joebiden is stranded on an icy ridge-line, in Taliban-controlled territory, and the only protection we've got are two .50cal mounted guns, and the rifles & side-arms of the few troops/PSD in the 2 Blackhawks.
No way to safely take off, no way for help to reach us...
Here's why: 1. At least 4 GOP Members of the #Senate will come out against such a move-- for their personal political survival.
Why there will NOT be a nominee to replace #RBGRIP before #Election2020:
2. GOP will want to use this as primary election issue: Much harder to do this if they've already rammed a nomination through.
Aug 26, 2020 • 11 tweets • 7 min read
An important and insightful thread (as usual) from @AshaRangappa_. She (as usual) provides excellent legal context for current events.
From the @anthropology side, a bit of calibration, since the terminology of "Aryan" & "AIT" have been misused politically in both nations:
2/n The part of AIT (Aryan Invasion Theory) that has been debunked is the Invasion part: #Anthropology, #archeology & related disciplines view an "invasion" of modern-day #Punjab as unsupported by evidence.
The influx of a different ethnic group was real, but probably peaceful..
May 3, 2020 • 5 tweets • 4 min read
This is a replay of #ButHerEmails. Only worse:
-@HillaryClinton's emails was a small (but legit) story that the press (and the GOP) blew far, far out of proportion.
-@JoeBiden's "Senate records" is a NON-story. It is a pure fabrication. Here's why:
2/5 Why @JoeBiden's "Senate records" is a NON-story:
-Any record of sexual harassment against him wouldn't be kept there: He's already authorized & called for release of any documents where they WOULD be: #Senate, or National Archives.
For most of us, it is utterly useless. And so is the information coming from the @WHO, and every other organization that should be helping provide guidance to the public.
Brief thread on why.
2/8 The public is being told utterly contradictory things about #CoronaVirus: 1. Relax, it's kind of like a bad flu. After all, flu kills 60,000 annually in America alone. Don't panic. 2. But this virus is probably a pandemic. Treat it as a global crisis.
Please, pick just one.
Jan 30, 2020 • 5 tweets • 3 min read
Why should we care whether #JeanineCummins' publisher is being honest about its reason for cancelling her book-tour?
Because many authors face the real risk of injury or death-- not merely embarrassment. And their risk rises whenever a publisher cries "wolf." For example...
A lot of discussion in the press about #CodeWord-level security clearance & whether Presidential phonecalls with foreign leaders should receive it.
A brief thread, to help clear up some inaccurate reporting (and some *very* inaccurate White House messaging: <1/8>
#CodeWord clearance is a subset of #TopSecret clearance:
-It does *not* require a special codeword to access. That's just what it is called. It is more formally called #SCI, for Sensitive Compartmented Information.
US Administration tried to de-fund the #SpecialOlympics, seeing it as some sort of charity event.
...Compare that to how #Indonesia treated its hosting of the #AsiaParaGames a few months ago: A source of national pride, and enthusiastic support for great athletes.
#Indonesia treated the #Paragames not as a charity, but as an opportunity to host a world-class athletic competition. Signs like this one were ALL over #Jakarta-- you could barely turn your head without seeing them. Portrayed the games as a source of pride and excitement. <2/4>
Feb 10, 2019 • 12 tweets • 11 min read
As documented by @TheAtlantic's always-excellent @JamesFallows, one of the underappreciated factors in 2016 election is the failure of #journalism to do its job (one Jim story-- he has many others).
...My thoughts on how to prevent repeat in 2020: <thread> theatlantic.com/notes/2017/09/…
In 2016, MSM obsessively covered @HillaryClinton emails, while ignoring the far-more-important story of #FBI investigation of the Trump campaign. This failure had a major impact on the election's outcome. My analysis is shaped by experience in both in #journalism and politics: