1984

Doublespeak, Again

US President Barack Obama and his administration are under attack. The media, when not tisking and tutting about the Republican feeding frenzy over the IRS scandal, the AP wiretapping brouhaha, and the endless round of inconclusive yet strangely dogged Benghazi hearings, is of course, actually clearing the brush, raising this frenetic activity up on a […]

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad

What if Assad Did the Right Thing?

It’s tempting to rubberneck at the catastrophic ruination of Syria the way a child might stand all agog before a presentation of animatronic dinosaurs gobbling each other up like hot dogs at a ball game. It seems so atavistic, like a microcosm of legendary cultural implosions from the distant past, like the Visigoths storming Rome, […]

Sandy

It isn’t opportunistic to use this moment to talk about climate change. It is critical. Whether or not the storm that battered the East Coast of the US last night can be directly attributable to anthropogenic climate change is almost irrelevant.

The Fall

Fall is a noun that balances the foreboding, warning metallic bite of winter with the seasonal promise of autumn and its grand projects, freshly minted lists of goals and projects, and its exquisite and fleeting beauty. This year it is also election season, alternately bleak and funny, crisp like a new white shirt worn with […]

Obama and Romney

Winning

North American culture is a study in contrasts, where modesty and restraint, good sense and earnest impulses coexist with coarse ambition, and money and celebrity worship. So what else is new? Breastfeeding moms on the cover of Time magazine, and bottom-feeding criminals circling around futures markets or tearing down the highway to hell. Live and […]