As the US mainstream media obsessed last week about Russia's supposed “hacking” of the US elections and President Obama’s final round of Russia sanctions in response, something very important was taking place under the media radar. As a result of a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey last month, a ceasefire in Syria has been worked out and is being implemented. So far it appears to be holding, and after nearly six years of horrible warfare the people of Syria are finally facing the possibility of rebuilding their lives.

Donald Trump's win shouldn't have been such a surprise to Democrats.

In April 2008, for instance, presidential candidate Barack Obama talked about the political anger and widespread dissatisfaction in the Rust Belt and the Midwest during a political fundraiser in San Francisco, making the same points Presidential candidate Donald Trump would successfully make eight years later about how trade, imports, and American businesses relocating abroad were decimating U.S. factories, destroying jobs, boarding up small towns, and abolishing a way of life.

The new year is a time to make resolutions to improve your life over the next 12 months. This time around, there's a new boss in the White House and the Republicans have control of Congress. So though I usually don't feel I can realistically add big sweeping changes to my list — a tactic often likelier to yield failure and frustration than success — I am going to dream a little and call for boldness on top of no-brainer reforms.

Thomas Sowell has just published a revised and enlarged edition of his classic Wealth, Poverty and Politics. At the very beginning, he quotes Alexander Hamilton, who said, "The wealth of nations depends upon an infinite variety of causes." The book's 16 chapters apply Hamilton's notion to domestic, as well as international, differences in wealth. In both academic and popular literature, it is implicitly assumed that economic equality is natural, automatic and common. Thus, people see wealth inequality as a mystery that must be explained. The fact of the matter is precisely the opposite.

By abstaining on that Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem illegal and invalid, raged Bibi Netanyahu, President Obama "failed to protect Israel in this gang-up at the UN, and colluded with it."

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