Month: August 2012


I know exactly when I learned the meaning of juxtaposition.  It was during a Fine Arts 13 lecture in 1964-1965 when I was a Harvard freshman.  Harvard freshmen took Fine Arts 13 because it was perhaps the most popular course among the Radcliffe girls.  (Girl had not yet become a four letter word in 1964.)  […]

Julie Hauser gave me this link to a series of visuals on “power” commissioned by CNN. This was the one she pointed out to me but there are a number of others that are also quite compelling. Nobody can possibly like or agree with all of them, but it is amazing how much message can be conveyed […]


It is aspirational but silly to think that millions of voters will drop everything to do their own analyses and think carefully about their November decisions. Instead they will delegate the job of informing themselves, at least in part, to those whom they trust as “public intellectuals.” The role is prestigious, filled with TV appearances […]

Real People, Not Regulations, Are the Key to Accountability Excerpt from the continuing work of Philip Howard. “How government became a deviant subculture is a story of good intentions gone awry. We tried to avoid government abuse by replacing individual responsibility with detailed rules and objective legal proceedings. Never again would officials play favorites or […]

Once upon a time in a land very nearby (in fact right here in this house), we had one of those “fix me up with someone” dinner parties for a recently divorced woman.  The gentleman in the cross hairs was a successful lawyer with a keen sense of politics. Witty, articulate, fun, smart: a perfect […]

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson

Even devoted US political junkies might have a tough time identifying Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. He is the unkempt looking Mayor of London who has had quite a run of it during the Olympics. Few could wear a suit and tie on a zip line, have it get stuck and turn it into a […]