Month: January 2014

Almost a century ago, 1917 to be exact, Sigmund Freud pilfered the term narcissism of small differences from British anthropologist Ernest Crawley. The term describes adjacent communities engaged in constant feuds, bickering and ridiculing each other. The Democratic and Republican parties have dispensed with the psychology and turned the concept into a reliable moneymaker. And […]

If we really cared about the 1% and the 99%, we would not draw a line between the rich and the rest. Instead, we’d focus on the self-important who are “inside” a circle known as the beltway and the serfs and peasants on the “outside” who are pejoratively referred to by the insiders as the […]

Among the casualties of the breakup of Francois Hollande and Valérie Trierweiler were a number of pretty good words that were distorted beyond meaning by spinners for both. Here are a few that were used by Alissa J. Rubin in her New York Times piece France’s President Announces Split With His Companion. “I have ended the […]

I am generally skeptical of really, really great ideas about what other people should do. If the idea is really, really great, why shouldn’t it apply to the person who came up with it? Thanks to a column by Dana Milbank in the Washington Post on December 1, 2013 entitled How to save America, however, […]

I went to lunch the other day intending to learn something about US foreign policy, but first I had to learn about the Chatham House Rule. Chatham House Rule According to the Chatham House website, “the world-famous [now I feel completely inadequate] Chatham House Rule may be invoked at meetings to encourage openness and the […]

Niccolo Machiavelli Florence, Italy Dear Niccolo, I hope you have recovered from the 500th Anniversary celebrations last month. The Prince remains vital to an understanding of politics throughout the world. Here is a question occasioned by James B. Stewart’s article in today’s New York Times, entitled Dangers of Giving In to Revenge. Is stupidity a […]

As a huge fan of schadenfreude – happiness at the misery of others – I am suffering from withdrawal now that Silvio Berlusconi has left the stage. He was so reliably tasteless. Bunga bunga with teenage hookers named Ruby Heart Stealer is hard to top. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has had a run at world […]

An unusual group of government leaches has rallied in opposition to one of the gravest threats to their livelihoods in recent memory. Those who sup at the public trough have joined with those who rail against this or that to convene a massive conference taking up nearly all of the hotel space in the nation’s […]

Flipping the calendar is pretty meaningless as the rest of the week is likely to be more or less the same as the beginning. Most things happen with little regard for calendar conventions. Well, not everything. Healthcare is different this year. The pharmaceutical, hospital and health insurance industries are set to cash in on years […]