Principles of debating (or, learning from the first Clinton-Trump debate)

So you have watched the first U.S. Presidential Election Debate earlier today. The debate was between the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, both wearing inverted colors of their respective parties, with Clinton wearing a red blouse and Trump with a blue tie (red is identical to Republican and blue to Democratic).

I have watched three such debates, beginning with Obama-McCain debate in 2008. Heck, I even mocked-debate once, with me acting as Governor Romney (yes, in 2012). Yet this debate is unlike any other. This debate is extremely heated, almost head-popping, sometimes with very little substance, but high in tension. Even so, I have found my winner, and that is the lady in red, keeping her demeanor intact while the other took the bait and almost flipped the lectern at instances, with his sniffing nose beaming sound through the microphone.

I write this post to show to you, kind readers, some of the principles of debating that I know that you can learn, we can learn together, from what happened during this exciting debate. Here, you will see also why Clinton wins this debate by a long stretch—even when he and his supporters say the exact opposite. Continue reading “Principles of debating (or, learning from the first Clinton-Trump debate)”

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A horrifying drop


For a presumably global currency, a drop like this (GBP/USD) is very unwanted. The current Brexit vote, however, drives the market crazy, and GBP is losing its value much faster than Prince Charles tidies his hair.

(Graph from Bloomberg)

Transportasi Persaingan Sempurna

Jika hal ini akan terdengar ironis bagi Anda, saya menulis tulisan yang Anda baca ini di dalam sebuah taksi yang cukup terkenal—warnanya biru—dan terjebak macet di tengah hujan. Sempurna.

Kemarin, Jakarta digoyang aksi unjuk rasa dari pengemudi angkutan umum, yang kelihatannya mayoritas berasal dari pengemudi taksi. Tuntutannya? Meminta agar pemerintah melarang layanan transportasi berbasis aplikasi dalam jaringan (LTBA, rumit? online application transportation service). Alasannya, karena tidak saja dianggap ilegal, keberadaan mereka juga dipandang menggerus ladang penghasilan mereka. Continue reading “Transportasi Persaingan Sempurna”

Read: Pope Francis’ Historic Speech at the Joint Session of the US Congress

It was a glorious day at the Capitol Hill. For the first time in history, the Joint Session of the Congress of the United States of America hosted a pope of the Holy See to deliver a speech to these lawmakers. Even if popes such as Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI had visited the United States in the past, none had ever gotten a great opportunity such as Pope Francis.

And yes, Pope Francis did not disappoint. His words were subtle, sometimes complex, with multiple meanings and possible for differences in interpretation. But clearly, His Holiness maintained his sharp thoughts throughout the speech. From immigration to climate change, marriage to death penalty. Pope Francis also used four famous Americans as almost a case study for his speech. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King were almost giveaways, but then, the pope added Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton, to the bemusement of many of us who were not quite acquainted with the two individuals.

Trying to be non-partisan, yet divisive at times, this speech is one very important assembly of words to be remembered for many years to come. I am putting the transcript of the speech below, for your personal enjoyment. Continue reading “Read: Pope Francis’ Historic Speech at the Joint Session of the US Congress”

READ: The United States National Military Strategy (2015)

On July 1st, the United States government, through its Joint Chiefs of Staff released a new military document (a ‘white paper’), titled, “The United States Military’s Contribution to National Security.” This short document outlines the U.S.’ military outlook, what it considers threats and challenges, and what can be done to face them.

Continue reading “READ: The United States National Military Strategy (2015)”

Algerian Foreign Policy in Perspective

If there are certain factors that may define Algerian foreign policy greatly, the factors of nationalism and revolutionary movements may provide the answer. This North African country found itself in the spotlight especially after what happened during the Algerian War of Independence in the 1950s. The United States Government considered Algerian foreign policy – especially in the 1960s and 1970s – to be ‘activist’, especially in support of independence movements in the Third World. Continue reading “Algerian Foreign Policy in Perspective”

Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Indonesia

Untuk memeringati enam puluh tahun Konferensi Asia-Afrika pada tanggal 18-24 April 2015 mendatang, tulisan ini akan menapaktilas sejarah politik luar negeri Indonesia, bagaimana politik luar negeri mendukung keberlangsungan hidup negara yang baru merdeka, mengarungi berbagai tantangan politik internasional, hingga kini.

Sejarah politik luar negeri Indonesia tidak terlepas dari sejarah Kementerian Luar Negeri, yaitu badan pemerintah resmi yang khusus menangani isu-isu berkenaan dengan keluarnegerian (foreign affairs), mencakup, namun tidak terbatas pada, hubungan-hubungan dengan negara lain, dengan organisasi internasional, organisasi internasional non-pemerintah, serta berbagai wujud kerjasama lainnya. Dalam pemerintahan Indonesia, Kementerian Luar Negeri juga memegang status yang terbilang khusus, sebagai satu dari sedikit kementerian Indonesia yang secara eksplisit disebutkan di dalam Undang-undang Dasar (UUD), sehingga tidak dapat dihilangkan atau diubah nomenklatur serta wewenangnya—yaitu pada pasal 8 ayat (3).[1]

Continue reading “Sejarah Politik Luar Negeri Indonesia”