Category Archives: Agora


I’ve watched with some fascination the arrival of bike sharing in the Washington, DC, area—and its continued growth. I now pass a half-dozen Capital Bikeshare racks on my daily commute, and on many days—especially sunny days—they’re either empty or almost so. The other day, I pulled up alongside a guy in a suit on a […]

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Now that Barack Obama has released a copy of his long-form birth certificate (the supposed Holy Grail of birtherism), the predictable reponses are already airborne: “Is it real?” (launched by The Donald), “What about his school records?” (ditto), and “What took him so long?” (courtesy of The Newt). Since the first two questions are incredibly […]

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On March 16, I thought I was going to a run-of-the-mill protest downtown after work. As it turned out, I became part of a crowd occupying the lobby of an office building, and it was an attempt at push-back against corporate interests in politics, so it was a “corporate takeover” of sorts. It all started when […]

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“Are you now, or have you ever been, a Muslim?” (Photo: New York Times) Rep. Peter King (R-NY), IRA supporter, didn’t say that, as far as I know. But that’s what I “heard” at his “hearing” on home-grown Muslim terrorism (supposedly a greater threat than other forms of domestic terrorism, but not so). I heard the […]

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In October I attended two very different rallies in Washington, DC. And I did not attend a third, which was different in a different way. The third rally was actually the first, chronologically: Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” shindig in August. My honor felt like it was in pretty good shape, and I didn’t see the […]

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Not content to wrap themselves in the Stars and Bars Stripes, the “Tea Party” people are grabbing other nice flags from our great confused history. I always liked the Gadsden flag: “Don’t tread on me” (although—in a fit of revolutionary fervor, I guess—they dispensed with the apostrophe). Not only did I like the image and […]

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Bob Somerby, in his Daily Howler, is as hard on “liberal” reporters and commentators as he is on right-wingers. He hates sloppy thinking and writing, wherever it comes from, and knee-jerk reactions from legs of any political stripe drive him to distraction. I’m generally sympathetic, though I think he can come off a bit schoolmarmish […]

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Another April 24 has passed—the 95th since the day in 1915 when Armenian leaders and intellectuals were rounded up as the opening act of an Ottoman plan to rid their lands of all Armenians. For the second year in a row, Barack Obama took note of the anniversary but again declined to call it by […]

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The sky was noticeably clearer this morning here in Washington, the air sweet-smelling and strangely endorphic. I was at a loss to explain why. Then I read the news: Turkey has recalled its ambassador. Seems a committee in the US House of Representatives had the nerve to pass a nonbinding resolution that said a genocide was perpetrated […]

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I can’t let December pass without recalling fondly the seventeen inches of snow that suddenly showed up. The snowfall of Saturday, December 19 (and a bit on Sunday), broke a bunch of records, the most easily remembered one being “the most snowfall in Washington in a single day in December,” something like that. For me it […]

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  • Proverbs for Paranoids, 3: If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.
    Gravity’s Rainbow

    ‘Is it about a bicycle?’ he asked.
    The Third Policeman