Monthly Archives: April 2009

A Technical Pause

Columns and updates will come to a halt here for a time.  Something has changed with the host services at WordPress.  Now all the formatting from the draft column composed in MS Word – font size, indented block quotes and … Continue reading

Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment

Looking at Who We Are

Definitive assessments based on arbitrary standards, or no standards at all, set in stone on an artificial date – we love that sort of thing. It’s American Idol – and your annual performance appraisal at work or your kid’s grades … Continue reading

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Andrew J. Bacevich, CNN National Report Card, Obama and Hope for the Future, Obama and Torture, Obama the Pragmatist, Obama Win Changes How We Think, One Hundred Days of Obama, Torture, War Crimes | Leave a comment


It was a little-noticed item, but interesting – the new evidence of a secret torture prison. Everyone seems interested in the who and what and when of our protracted and extensive torture program that Obama has decided should end. And … Continue reading

Posted in American Exceptionalism, Arlen Specter, Krystian Zimerman, Poland, The Apology Tour, The Incredible Shrinking Republican Party | Leave a comment

The Matter of the Law Itself

It’s odd, the things you remember after almost thirty years. There was the move to California – to crash with the family in the absurdly picturesque college town of Claremont, on the edge of Los Angeles County, and to start … Continue reading

Posted in David Broder, Defending or Dismissing Torture, Defending Torture, Defending Waterboarding, The Rule of Law, Torture, War Crimes | 3 Comments

Notes on the American Character

As President Obama neared his first one hundred days in office it was becoming clear that, as promised, things had changed. Just what had changed was a bit surprising, as most of what had been done in those first one … Continue reading

Posted in America's Loss of Respect, American Exceptionalism, Demanding Respect, Obama and Diplomacy, Obama the Pragmatist, Political Pragmatism, Pragmatism versus Passion, Respect for America, The American Character | Leave a comment

The Situation in the South of France

Ric Erickson, the editor of MetropoleParis, has ended his many years there, and now you can find him in the South of France. He has relocated to Port-Vendres (département of Pyrénées-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussillon région), a fishing village on the Mediterranean, just … Continue reading

Posted in France and America, France Today, Port-Vendres, Ric Erickson, The International Desk | 3 Comments

Learning to Trust No One, Not Even Yourself

As more and more facts tumble out about our torture policies under the Bush-Cheney administration – too many to keep straight – it seems more than a few people are wondering what happened. It’s not who authorized what, and why, … Continue reading

Posted in Changing Minds is Impossible, Defending Torture, Political Deadlock, Torture, War Crimes, When Pundits and Experts Are Wrong | Leave a comment