On 18 March Russia’s President Vladimir Putin delivered a major speech to Russia’s political elite aimed at explaining Russia’s policy towards Crimea and Ukraine. Plenty of commentators have analysed it (and attacked it mercilessly) on points of substance. See for example this brisk piece for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty…Read More
The State of the Union is one of America’s most famous speech giving traditions. The House chamber is bright at speech-time, buzzing with energy. It’s filled to capacity with Members of Congress, military brass, Supreme Court Justices, and top luminaries. For every paragraph the president delivers, there is at least some applause, and usually ovation.Read More »
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh are boycotting their local St. Patrick’s Day parades because the organizers will not permit gays and lesbians take part if they openly proclaim their sexual orientation.
This is a very old controversy, and every time it flares up I am once again amazed that no one thinks to mention Roger Casement—a man who is unquestionably one of Ireland’s greatest heroes and who was also unquestionably gay.Read More »
I love online quizzes.
The one I currently love most is “How Millennial Are You?” which the Pew Research Center put out on Friday. You answer 14 questions, ranging from whether living a very religious life is very important to you to whether you have a piercing in a place other than your earlobe, and your score tells you what generation you most resemble.Read More »
Being summoned for jury duty is the closest I will ever get to being drafted into the army, and the two experiences are much alike. One is reduced to a number and ordered to report to an inconvenient location at an inconveniently early hour. One is searched, processed, relieved of sharp objects, confined to a holding room, indoctrinated and sworn.Read More »
There was a fairly recent time when the word most associated with the chairmanship of a major committee in the House of Representatives was powerful. Retiring Representatives Dingell and Waxman enjoyed the aura that came with the gavel.
That was then. Confirmation of how things have changed came this week when the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee unveil a tax reform plan that everyone agrees is both credible and going nowhere.Read More »
The “Religious Right” may characterize this as a matter of religious freedom. But where in any religion, especially Christianity, does it even suggest that treating some people as less than others is okay?Read More »
I wonder what would happen if the world’s storytellers and artists were to throw themselves into making the 2014 summit succeed. Invite the wizards of digital creation and distribution, the social media entrepreneurs and software geniuses, the networks and studios, to lend their talents to a communication campaign. Imagine if film-, video- and game-makers, musicians, photographers, screenwriters, graphic novelists, comedians, actors, essayists and fashionistas were inspired to tell the tale of climate change. Think of what designers, logo makers, branders and advertisers could contribute.Read More »