Monthly Archives: December 2008

The Winter’s Tale

Reading The Winter’s Tale this week reinforced my sense that Shakespeare, in his last years as a playwright, was worried about the power of a dramatist to influence people’s passions and make them believe falsehoods. In both The Winter’s Tale … Continue reading

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Rick Warren at the Inauguration

I thought Frank Rich’s response to the Rick Warren controversy was very strange. In the New York Times, Rich wrote that asking Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration “was a conscious–and glib–decision by Obama to spend political capital. … Continue reading

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travelers for quiet airport terminals

I spend many of my hours in airports, trying to read, write, or talk quietly. Very often the following noises are laid on top of each other: Boarding announcements TSA security announcements Music The CNN Airport Network on overhead TVs … Continue reading

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happy holidays

This is actually a movie from our 2006 family trip to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany. I hope it brings cheer (even to those, like me, for whom neither Christmas nor Bavaria is unambiguously good). Bookmark on Delicious Digg this … Continue reading

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civic innovation in Britain

I’ve written before about the civic agenda of the current British government, which includes better civic education in schools, decentralization of power, and innovative opportunities for citizens’ work. Via Henry Tam, here is a government paper entitled “Communities in Control: … Continue reading

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impeach Blago

(en route to Georgia for the holidays) The effort to impeach Gov. Blagojevich seems to have stalled, on the ground that the legislature cannot find him guilty of corruption without a lengthy trial–complete with an elaborate defense–that might undermine the … Continue reading

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what if you hold a deliberation and corporations show up?

I come out of the movement for deliberative democracy. My first job was with the Kettering Foundation, which launched the National Issues Forums; and I have also worked with AmericaSPEAKS, Study Circles, and other organizations that promote public deliberations. Deliberative … Continue reading

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on cutting and growing

Cuttings Sticks-in-a-drowse over sugary loam,Their intricate stem-fur dries;But still the delicate slips keep coaxing up water;The small cells bulge; One nub of growthNudges a sand-crumb loose,Pokes through a musty sheathIts pale tendrilous horn. Theodore Roethke, “The Lost Son and Other … Continue reading

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the European city as site of citizenship

I met yesterday with a German visitor, a former mayor as well as an activist shaped by the sixties and by direct exposure to the Frankfurt School. We talked about European self-governing cities as sites of citizenship. There is a … Continue reading

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casualties of Wall Street

I had written the following post last night, and today the same story is on the front page of the New York Times. … CIRCLE once received a smallish grant from the JEHT Foundation (which stands for Justice, Equality, Human … Continue reading

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