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Crossing the Chinese/Mongolian Border by Land

What a fascinating trip. I just did this route -

Beijing -> Erlianhaote -> Zamyn Uud -> Ulan Bator

Why do I choose such circuitous, crazy routes? Well, lots of reasons.

I want to understand as much as I can about the world, and taking out of the way routes - especially through important border towns - teaches a lot.

Often, you can manage a route like this in a way that's much less expensive than direct flights. Yes, time is money, but money is also money.

Nonviolence Shows Strength, Not Weakness

On Courtney T Ball

This week we watch as the drama in Ukraine continues to unfold. Russian troops have occupied eastern territories of this sovereign nation, and many (especially Republican) leaders in the U.S. are calling for a buildup of Western allied military forces near Ukraine. It is a recipe with all the ingredients of a civil war backed on one side by the U.S. and the other by Russia.

It’s fine with me if my ten-year-old daughter wants to try out the ridiculous clothes from the 1980s, but I would rather not return to that decade’s foreign policy disasters. The twenty-first century has enough issues of its own without reviving that nonsense, thank you very much.

Yet in today’s paper I read an article describing Obama’s dwindling popularity as he searches for a nonviolent diplomatic response to Russia’s aggressive move into Crimea. For this hesitancy to move immediately to military posturing, our President is called “weak” or “ineffective”.

To the contrary, I believe that Barack Obama has in fact demonstrated his greatest moments of weakness when he does take military action or celebrates the death of our “enemies”.

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