Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Good Samaritans

Seventeen years ago this month I started a job on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and while I looked for a room of my own I lived briefly with a cousin, his wife, infant daughter and cat in Springfield, Va. … Continue reading

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Matters of Interpretation

If the unfortunate fracas over the fraudulent sign language interpreter for the public funeral service of Nelson Mandela had one upside, it might be this wonderful, illuminating (if short) discussion with Melanie Metzger, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Interpretation … Continue reading

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The Image and the Message in Syria

President Barack Obama, an able writer and orator, is substantially challenged when he must speak about armed conflict. His formal speeches about warfare – whether he is lecturing the Nobel Committee in Oslo about just war theory, or muddling his … Continue reading

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Bosnian Culture is World Culture: March 4 is Global Museum Solidarity Day

Today more than 200 museums, galleries and libraries in nearly 40  countries on five continents symbolically closed exhibits in solidarity with seven closed and threatened cultural institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. More than 20 galleries and universities in North America, 50 in … Continue reading

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The Nobel Prize for Politics

The controversy and dismissive snark over the awarding of the European Union the Nobel Prize for Peace has sparked some discussion about the nature of the award.  I have long considered the Nobel Prize for Peace a kind of ultimate … Continue reading

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Islam and the Political Aesthetic

NOTE Sept. 22: With today’s events in Pakistan (and attending, preventable deaths and violence), my predictions about the numbers involved in the protests worldwide appears to have been off, certainly in scale.  Nevertheless I still stand by my argument that … Continue reading

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Riot Girls

Almost everything that needs to be said about the case of Pussy Riot, the Russian all-female punk rock band now awaiting a verdict in a “hooliganism” trial in Moscow, has been said.  Nobody seriously doubts this is a political show … Continue reading

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Walt Whitman, American

For American Independence Day, selections from Walt Whitman: America (1888) Centre of equal daughters, equal sons, All, all alike endear’d, grown, ungrown, young or old, Strong, ample, fair, enduring, capable, rich, Perennial with the Earth, with Freedom, Law and Love, … Continue reading

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Syria and the Obligation to Protect

Syria’s efficient slaughter of its own people seeking political change is another grim reminder of the impotence the global community brandishes when it must. I am less cynical than others, but I see international legal norms for what they are: … Continue reading

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Nowa Huta and the Political Aesthetic

In the fall of 2009 I visited Krakow, the ancient capital of Poland, with a NATO delegation.  This allowed me to visit an extraordinary experiment mounted by the Communist government in the late 1940s. On the outskirts of Krakow, in … Continue reading

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