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January 24, 2018
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Hi there,

There are two things I would like to stop writing about, at least for a few weeks; they are the United States of America and sex. America, because it seems presumptuous to sit in Auckland, New Zealand, and opine on problems (usually) that only Americans themselves can tackle. Sex, because, well, my ideas on the subject are quite limited and I don’t like to repeat myself. Today, alas, I found myself writing about both subjects again -- in the same article! My excuse is that US news dominates the global village, and often, as in the present case of the Secret Service agents misbehaviour in Colombia, it is only NZ/Australian/British issues writ large.

Still, next week I will have a go at oil fracking in the North Sea (or wherever they do it) or the first wedding anniversary of Prince William and Kate, or the question of whether Peter Jackson’s new digital technique for filming The Hobbit is a success or a flop. I do hope it’s a success because that would be one Important Thing that happened in New Zealand rather than you know where…

Actually, our other articles at this end of the week extend our scope considerably. Phillip Elias looks at the question of Anders Breivik’s sanity and George Friedman writes about Russia’s plan to recover its lost dominance on the world scene. (I was looking at a map yesterday to locate Lithuania -- see Family Edge post -- and could hardly believe how small Russia appeared.) And Zac Alstin takes us into the realm of philosophy where he explains the finer points of the argumentum ad hominem.

I hope you enjoy today’s reading.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,
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