Foreign Influence

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Can we call it a Cold War yet? • There‘s no way to do Facebook right • We came *this* close to not talking about covid

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman 🇺🇸 and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg 🇳🇱 taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time: 

• Thanks to a nuclear-powered sub deal between the US and Australia, we have the latest example of things slowly brewing into a low-level conflict between the US and China. Can we call it Cold War II yet?

• The Wall Street Journal has a new series of articles on how Facebook either can't or won't control the bad effects it creates. Maybe it can't be controlled at all?

• And we came this 🤏🏻 close to not talking about covid for once. But alas. How do you determine your personal - and the societal - level of acceptable risk?

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

Looking for positive covid news • Doom and gloom around Taiwan and East Asia • The endless search for good news

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time: 

• Searching for good news, we find a country that has achieved top-level vaccination rates. Only to not open up again!

• Learning to live with covid.

• Afghanistan is bad, but don't lose sight of how bad it could get in East Asia.

• For crying out loud, we needed more good news. Your computer might - maybe, just maybe - be making you a bit richer on paper!

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

And we’re back! • Has anyone heard of this covid thing? • Afghanistan and accountability • Don’t worry the robots will be nice

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time: 

• Ah, delta, we're just getting to know you. But ffs, people - get vaccinated.

• Afghanistan - the end or just a pause between American adventures?

• More Afghanistan - no one, nobody, and not one person will be held accountable for any of it

• Elon Musk is making friendly robots. Well, his team is. And have you seen his team? Need more team.

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

Singapore no more! • Bill and Nikolaj reflect on their time in SG and Asia now that they have both left

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time: 

• Just one topic, really - Singapore! Nikolaj is back in Europe now, and Bill is back in the US, of course. Time for some reflection on our time in SG and Asia.

• Singapore is the freest unfree place you'll ever see. Western-style politics and civil liberties are missing, but the place works - and works for most everybody. (We thought it wasn't supposed to be that way...)

• The live-in Foreign Domestic Worker/maid/helper system was bizarrely great. We admire these ladies immensely.

• Should we be upset to be called ang mohs?

• We're pretty sure we were spied upon.

• The Chinese Community Party could do worse for models going forward.

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

Covid catch-up - who’s fault is it now? • The western democracies make up • Changes afoot

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time:

• Catching up on covid - vaccines are getting there, but the variants are coming. Who's fault is it this time?

• Under Biden's presidency, the US and Europe - the "western democracies" - begin to get on the same page again. 

• Facebook bans Trump for two years. But it's not "censorship" if the government doesn't do it.

• Singapore no more. Foreign Influence is about the join the Atlantic axis.

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

Covid optimism • Hong Kong crackdown continues • Facebook “censorship” • Universalism is the answer to racism • Israel/Palestine • UFOs are real! But are aliens?

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through international events. This time we had to catch up on a lot of items since we took an episode off:

• We allows ourselves just a bit of covid optimism, given the success of the vaccines so far. 💉 Now we just need to focus on the entire globe.

• The crackdown on Hong Kong continues in China as the government bans remembrances of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. So many crackdowns.

• Facebook bans Trump for two years. But it's not "censorship" if the government doesn't do it.

• We wade into the controversy over race by standing firm on the idea that universalism is the answer to racism. And it's tough to be in that space in modern politics.

• We wade into the very simple, easy-to-fix Israel-Palestine conflict. We came *this close* 🤏🏻 to solving it.

• Finally, UFOs are real! 👽 Supposedly. But that doesn't mean it's aliens. And why are the pictures always so blurry?

Thanks for listening! 🙏🏻

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

Happy Mother’s Day! • Chinese spaceship apocalypse • Covid • Gas attack! • Channel (fish) wars • Cheerio Scotland?

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the fortnight's international events. This time:

• Happy Mother's Day to all whom it may concern! And a special thank you to our own two special "birthing people". 

• We've all survived the Chinese spaceship apocalypse, as the Long March 5B booster rocket fell into the ocean somewhere just southwest of India. Well, at least that's what we're told.

• Covid continues to ravage India and South America. With a surplus of doses in the US, maybe it can start helping out.

• A critical pipeline that supplies half the gas (petrol) and diesel to the east coast of the US shut down after a cyberattack. Why in the hell is this system attached to the internet?

• The United Kingdom held elections. Now we have to think about whether Scotland will leave the UK for the EU. Good times. Thanks, Brexit!

• And some good news - the US might really, kind of, possibly leave Afghanistan. Breath held...

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

India covid crisis, but the vaccines are holding up • US policing - a good Floyd verdict, but the robot dogs are coming • Too much good news

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events. This time:

• India is experiencing a horrific covid outbreak, but the efficacy of the vaccines is really good. If only we can get them to where they are needed.

• A good verdict in the case of George Floyd - murder and manslaughter convictions for the police officer involved. But there's so much more to do with re-designing policing - including getting rid of all the guns! But don't worry - there's an even worse idea being deployed - biased robot police dogs!

• There was so much good news this week we ran out of happy music. The US was back to the climate table in time for Earth Day. Plus, toilet paper sales are down, and distilleries are getting back to making whiskey instead of hand sanitizer!

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

On the way to vaccination • Pay attention to the South China Sea • Academic papers made easy

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast. In fact, it is the 50th episode of the Foreign Influence Podcast! As always, join American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg as they take you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events. This time:

• Bill has had his first dose of vaccination, and he feels fine. But the battle ain't over people. Hold it together.

• If ongoing pandemic isn't enough to get your blood going, how about war in Asia? It doesn't get a lot of coverage in the west, but China and the US continue to escalate tensions in the South China Sea. Not good. Repeat, not good. But hey, we can still laugh, can't we?

• Nikolaj has started processing academic papers for the small-brained, like Bill. Find the explanations on LinkedIn and YouTube. This time - how to tackle bias by building better algorithms.

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

The US and China get pissy with one another • Anti-Asian attacks in the US • When stairs strike back

It's the Foreign Influence Podcast, with American Bill Poorman and Dutchman Nikolaj Groeneweg, taking you on a humorously serious and seriously humorous romp through the week's international events! This time:

• High level US and Chinese officials met for the first time since Biden took office, and it was quite the argumentative spectacle. 

• In a somewhat funny, but also somewhat scary and cringeworthy moment, Pres. Biden tripped up the stairs to Air Force One three times. 

Thanks for listening!

Make sure to sign up for our newsletter - the Foreign Influence Dispatch - for links from today's show and more info and commentary from us.

Reach out to us at hello@foreigninfluencepodcast.com or through social media. You'll find us individually on Twitter, but also check out our FI Facebook page, where we can continue the conversation.

Remember, if you like what you hear, please help spread the word. 🙏

Bill & Nikolaj

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