Author: Adrian Duncan

China 1.0 and 2.0: Revolutionary times from Mao to Xi

When Europe and the USA opened up trade with China in the 18th and 19th centuries, there were all sorts of wonderful products they coveted, like furniture, silk and tea, but the Chinese had no particular desire for Western products. Britain had (literally) a quick fix for this, developing poppy fields in India and selling opium to China. Very soon there was an enormous Chinese demand for opium. The Chinese government tried to put a stop to this by banning the import of opium, to which a large proportion of the population in coastal cities became addicted. In the 1st Opium War, when the British navy shelled these cities into submission, China was forced to provide unfettered access to trade with the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842.

That would teach the Chinese to interfere with free trade!
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The Promised Land

This is a watershed moment for Israel, and although ex-Prime Minister Netanyahu, recently ousted, thinks he can return, he will never get the job back. When observers look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the irony is striking. Historically Jews were exiled repeatedly from their country, and now the same fate has struck Palestinians, particularly those suffering in Gaza. A look at the history of the Jews provides an answer to Israeli motivations and their fate in the 21st century. Read More

Welcome to Scotland

The Scots are a fearsome bunch. Emperor Hadrian certainly thought so, which is why he in AD 122 built a wall from coast to coast just south of the Scottish border, to keep marauding Scots out. Having carved out a huge empire, Rome gave up at the Scottish highlands and retreated behind their wall. Historically, Scotland has been fiercely independent – the union with England only taking place in 1707. Prior to that, Scotland made alliances with France against England, and for England there was always the threat of invasion from the North.
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The Case Against Reality

There’s a theory going around – formed a couple of millennia ago – that at one point the Earth was a dark, formless void from which light sprang forth. This was good. There was night and day, and there was water and dry land, and that was good too. For light, the Sun was created for daytime and the Moon for night. That was by Day Four and by Day Six, God had created all living beings, especially us. On the seventh day He rested. That must have been Sunday. (Note 1) According to some Christian creationists, this took place less than 10,000 years ago, but they may be wrong. Read More

Meghan, Harry and the Future of the Throne

History may not exactly repeat, but it certainly rhymes. A transiting planet may return to its original position, but all the other planets have moved in the meantime. So there are echoes, but not repeats. In the bombshell interview Meghan Markle gave to Oprah Winfrey together with Prince Harry on March 7th 2021, Meghan revealed how close to suicide she had been whilst pregnant with her first child. Princess Diana, of course, struggled with bulimia through her early years of marriage with an unsympathetic royal household, so the echoes are clear. Even more surprising perhaps, is the fact that Meghan Markle was born just five days after Diana married Charles, so that this marriage chart and her birth chart are very similar. Both charts straddle the solar eclipse at 8 degrees Leo which took place in the summer of 1981. Both channel the difficult Mars in fall in Cancer square the monumental Jupiter-Saturn conjunction exact at 5 degrees Libra. (Note 1) Read More