This Is Not My Beautiful House

Toward the end of a long, rambling speech he delivered in November of 2003 at the National Endowment for Democracy’s 20th Anniversary gala, then-President George W. Bush told his audience, “The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.”

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We Are All Black Now

Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick posted an interesting piece about a seemingly well-attended protest that occurred Feb. 8th in Raleigh, NC. Tens of thousands of people had recently assembled–in Lithwick’s words, “undetected by cable news”–to register dismay and dissatisfaction over the throwback vision manifested by officials elected to represent them in state government.

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Another Year Older, Another Year Wiser?

Author’s Note: The year just passed marks the first since its inception in 2001 when I made no posts to this venerable blog. Granted, 2001 and 2002 each saw precisely one post, but still. The Death of Blogs happened to have been widely speculated in 2013–and I was busier living my life than I’ve been in a long, long time–so don’t feel sorry for me. I love the cathartic experience of writing here and I hereby resolve that 2014 will see a return to my former loquacity on topics I deem notable. It’s a large mountain to climb to regain readership and commenters, I know. But I wrote in relative silence and obscurity for years–and I’m willing to do it again because, if I’m to believe myself a writer, I must write.

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And Now, Let Us Eat Cake

According to legend, in 1788, just a year before the onset of the French Revolution and but a mere five before she’d lose her head completely, Marie Antoinette responded to the news that French peasants were out of bread: “Let them eat cake.”

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Congress Ponders Nerve Gas Solution to Gnat Problem

Prominent destinations on the Internet–including Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist–went varying shades of “dark” Wednesday in a loosely coordinated effort to raise awareness of two bills currently making their way through the United States’ notorious “Do-Nothing Congress.” SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are bills being considered in the House of Representatives and Senate (respectively) to address the contagion of copyright infringement apparently fostered by a free and open Internet.

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This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Arthur S. Brisbane has what one might think of as a pretty good job. He’s the Public Editor (or, what was once known as the “ombudsman”) at The New York Times. According to the job description posted on the Times’ website, the Public Editor “responds to complaints and comments from the public and monitors the paper’s journalistic practices.” That is, he gets to represent the public interest (my emphasis) in what goes into “the newspaper of record.” Fully independent of the paper’s owners and publishers, the job description goes on to note, “(h)is opinions and conclusions are his own.”

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The Best is Yet to Come

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The dark decade of the two thousand aughts is now a full year in the rear-view mirror and for some, the time has never been better to move forward with a foot on the gas.

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