United Nations

Understanding Mohamed Morsi
December 07, 2012

ON A SULTRY MORNING in late September, I drove for two hours on the traffic-choked roads north of Cairo to Al Adwa, a Nile Delta town of dusty alleyways, mosques, and crumbling red brick houses. This is where Mohamed Morsi, the president of Egypt, was raised. Morsi left nearly four decades ago, but he returns regularly to visit his younger brothers, who still work the family farm, and to celebrate Islamic holidays.

Yehuda Amichai: New Translations by Robert Alter
December 07, 2012

Spy Many years ago I was sent to spy out the land beyond the age of thirty. I stayed there and I did not return to those who sent me, so that I would not have to tell them about that land and would not have to lie.   I Waited for My Girl and Her Steps Were Not There  I waited for my girl and her steps were not there. But I heard a shot—soldiers training for war. Soldiers are always training for some war.  Then I opened the collar of my shirt and the two lapel-edges pointed in two directions. And my neck rose between them— on it the crest of my quiet head bearing the fruit of my eyes.  And belo

The Fantasy of American Government and Why People Cling to It
December 07, 2012

Governing the World: The History of an IdeaBy Mark Mazower (Penguin Press, 475 pp., $29.95)   WE HAVE PASSED, Mark Mazower writes, “from an era that had faith in the idea of international institutions to one that has lost it.” Mazower, a prolific professor of history at Columbia, has written a challenging and thought-provoking history of that arc of disillusion. We certainly have reason to be disillusioned.

How To Judge The Right’s Flight From Romney
November 16, 2012

Republicans are rushing to distance themselves from Mitt Romney's “gifts” comments. Is it a genuine awakening, or an opportunistic cover-up?

How Human Rights Became our Ideology
November 16, 2012

The modern idea of human rights was only created after World War II. In the next half-century, it became a global movement.

Sanctions Have Crippled Iran’s Economy, But They’re Not Working
November 12, 2012

Sanctions aren't only going to deny Iranians health, education, and hope for the future. They'll feed new grievances against the U.S.

Anti-Muslim Subway Ads Enjoy the Freedom to Offend
September 25, 2012

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly this morning, President Barack Obama vigorously defended the freedom of speech, noting that even if the U.S. government could prevent the dissemination of offensive statements and images, it would never do so. “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression,” said Obama. “It is more speech—the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.” Obama began his remarks with a tribute to U.S.

Pas Devant Les Enfants, Tampa: Word Cloud Edition
August 31, 2012

What a word-cloud search tells you about the topics (or at least words) Romney got the GOP to avoid in Tampa.

Pas Devant Les Enfants, Tampa: UN Out of Lubbock!
August 28, 2012

“The current Administration's most recent National Security Strategy.... relies on the good intentions and capabilities of international organizations to justify constraining American military readiness.” —GOP draft platform, “A Failed National Security Strategy.” This week I'm tracking insane things Republicans say that undermine the Romney campaign’s painstaking efforts in Tampa to portray the GOP as reasonable and normal. Today please welcome Hon. Tom Head, a Lubbock County judge elected on the Republican ticket.

Nearing the Point of No Return? A Conversation With the Author of a Game-Changing New Climate Study
June 22, 2012

In anticipation of this week’s Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a group of 22 scientists from a variety of disciplines collaborated to complete a sobering—that is to say, terribly frightening—new study of the global ecosystem.

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