Wednesday October 22, 2014
Archive - 2014
In an ideal world, ads for congressional candidates would not look like promos for "Homeland."
But there they are! Grainy shots of barbed wire, terrorist training camps and men in Arab garb firing large weapons, overlaid with scary sound clips from cable news. ("Are they coming for us?")
As I watched the recent PBS Series, "The Roosevelts," I couldn't help but think that not much had changed in so far as humankind's relations are concerned. We do seem to have bigger and better weapons but no lessening of the human greed that generates the so-called need for such weapons.
Now that President Obama has laid his case before the United Nations for a concerted international war on the emerging Islamic State, if and when should the argument be debated in Congress?
The President Obama many fellow Democrats have been looking for ever since his 2008 election may have shown up this week at the United Nations. His tough and direct call on the rest of the international community to step up to the challenge of global terrorism displayed a spine they have long felt missing in action.
The president was at the United Nations on Wednesday, urging young people across the Muslim world to reject benighted values, even as America clambers into bed with a bunch of Middle East potentates who espouse benighted values.
Earlier this month, my iPhone vanished.
I looked up its location on an app called Find My Friends that my wife and I use, and I had a shock: The app said my phone was in a house 15 miles away, in a neighborhood that I'd never visited.
I drove there. It was night. The house looked creepy.
When it comes to bullying, to sexual assault, to gun violence, we want and need our schools to be as safe as possible.
But when it comes to learning, shouldn't it be dangerous?
Isn't education supposed to provoke, disrupt, challenge the paradigms that young people have consciously embraced and attack the prejudices that they have unconsciously absorbed?
Over the past few weeks, I've been reading Ken Adelman's fascinating history "Reagan at Reykjavik: Forty-Eight Hours That Ended the Cold War." Adelman, who led President Ronald Reagan's arms control agency, was an adviser at Reagan's 1986 Iceland summit meeting with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Using some newly declassified documents, Adelman fills out the extraordinary dialogue between the two leaders that set in motion a dramatic cut in nuclear arms.
Departing Attorney General Eric Holder deserves cheers for his stance on civil rights, in my view, but bemused jeers for his assaults on civil liberties.
Holder may well be remembered ironically as a leading advocate for both human rights and for the advancement of government powers that infringe on those rights.