Late Lunch

plaza de colon We were running our press shop at the U.S. Embassy, riding on cascades of resources finagled by Charles Wick of USIA, and Madrid’s good fortune of being rid of a dictatorship (1975) and well on its way to catching up with other Western European democracies. Washington pushed resources at us, and we knew better than to question these gifts.

Wick had spawned a clunky communication system, WORLDNET (always spelled out in caps, although they never explained why.) It allowed for one-way video on rented satellite time ($10,000 per hour) and gave live interviews for very select audiences overseas.

Continue reading Late Lunch

Attention must be paid (except to climate change)

Mt_Herschel,_Antarctica,_Jan_2006 Think of it: Along all 95,000 miles of American coastline – not to mention coastlines all over the earth – “immense areas will most likely have to be abandoned to the rising sea.” Los Angeles, New York, London, Shanghai, Sydney, you name it: all the coastal cities of the world will be vulnerable to the same fate as Atlantis. Continue reading Attention must be paid (except to climate change)

Our Moment in Cuba?

Last month I had the privilege of joining a study tour to Cuba with former members of Congress — sponsored by the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress (FMC). We met with government and Communist Party officials, members of the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry, artists, scholars, academics, economists, entrepreneurs, even cigar workers. Cubans feel genuine optimism that the recent normalization of relations with the United States may usher in a new era of cooperation. Continue reading Our Moment in Cuba?

Editor’s Desk: FiveThirtyEight’s Perfect Republican Stump Speech

perfect republican From the Editor

FiveThirtyEight’s emphasis on exploring the use of data led to a recent post by former Republican speechwriter Barton Swaim, who was asked to create the “perfect Republican stump speech” based on commonly available data sources (Pew, Gallup, CBS News, etc). Continue reading Editor’s Desk: FiveThirtyEight’s Perfect Republican Stump Speech

Not Taking Sides Yet

IMG_20150623_093431-2I’m just back from a week South of the Border with 12,000 of my closest friends.  Information and Computer Technology (ICT) was the subject of discussion, and may yet democratize the world if anything can. I’m not a real teacher, but gave it a shot some decades ago in high school, and again in recent times at the university level.  I use the Internet all the time, consider it a blessing. I receive many messages each day showing methodologies and techniques which can meet the challenges and impositions of the digital age.

Latin America is full of brilliant and dedicated people, and as a continent it benefits from having a lingua franca (well, two or three) and no state-to-state conflicts. We should take closer note of how they carry on, the complete ease in conversing across borders, the many friendly rivalries which seem to benefit all. Continue reading Not Taking Sides Yet