Month: July 2018

DARPA’s Prepare program: Preparing for what?

The US military—specifically, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA—announced plans in May to initiate a “gene tuning” program. Called “Prepare” (short for “Pre-emptive Expression of Protective Alleles and Response Elements”), the program aims to develop programmable modulators that temporarily boost protective genes, either before or after exposure, to biological, chemical, or radiological health … Continued

Ancient alien fictions.

AlienCon is not hilarious

The New York Times Sunday Styles section is usually an escape from hard news, the place we go to read stinging etiquette advice or learn about celebrities-turned-lifestyle-entrepreneurs. The section’s Sunday cover story, though, was disturbing enough to qualify as hard news. As in hard-to-take. The story “E.T., We’re Here,” is about the television show “Ancient Aliens,” … Continued


Putin’s wish list does not include destroying Trump

The much-anticipated summit in Helsinki is over and US media and politicians are fuming over Trump’s admiration of the persuasive skills of President Putin. Even though Trump’s performance during the press conference may have played to the Russian side, it is unlikely major Russian goals for the summit centered on making the US president look … Continued

UN inspector with Iraqi equipment after Gulf War

Fulfilling the promise of the Trump-Kim Singapore summit

In spite of its slapdash execution and its many real problems—discussed in the pages of the Bulletin and elsewhere—let us not forget the bigger picture regarding the recent Singapore summit. The overarching goals laid out in the statement issued after the historic meeting between US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are realistic and highly … Continued

Putin and Trump shake hands at APEC meeting in Vietnam in November 2017

An extremely rude question about President Trump

In general, US media organizations covered the early stops in President Trump’s tour through Europe conventionally, which, in the Trump era, means that the tour played as spectacle. And spectacle there certainly was: NATO-bashing, humiliation of Theresa May, rudeness to the queen—even a balloon of a giant, diapered, angry baby Trump, holding a smart phone … Continued

The Trump-Putin summit produces little. What can come next?

The initial take on the summit between Presidents Trump and Putin does not augur well for US national interests. It is difficult to see how the summit will do much to move US-Russia relations to a better place. The hope, a faint one, is that follow-on discussions between US and Russian officials will begin to … Continued