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Author Archive: Arthur Cyr

Kennedy’s legacy after a half century

Shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, CBS commentator Eric Sevareid noted the principal legacy of the murdered leader might well be an “attitude,” a contagious spirit that all things are possible if only we have the vision and will. In fact, JFK had important tangible accomplishments […]

November 16, 2013 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

Israel’s olive branch to Turkey shows smart strategy

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended the hand of peace by telephoning Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to apologize. Often belligerent, Netanyahu was making amends for the notorious incident in 2010, when Israeli armed forces boarded a Turkish ship attempting to deliver humanitarian supplies to occupied Gaza. Israeli marines killed nine civilian Turkish […]

Catholic Church remains force for moderation, progress

In the wake of Pope Benedict XVI’s stunning announcement that he’ll retire at the end of the month, a useful starting place for discussion is the phrase from Exodus 21:24: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” To modern readers, the biblical quote may seem cruel and rigid, but the Old Testament […]

Life is getting better for many around the world

“Nattering nabobs of negativism” is probably the most enduring of the many alliterative announcements of Spiro Agnew, vice president in the Nixon administration until forced to resign because of corruption. This particular phrase, penned by Nixon speechwriter William Safire, derogatively denigrated diligent reporters for placing bad news above good. Why, Agnew asked rhetorically, did the […]

What Obama needs to do at Democratic convention

“A rendezvous with destiny” is a useful reference in discussing the 2012 Democratic Party Convention, opening in Charlotte, N.C. President Barack Obama faces no challenge to renomination for a second term, but the fall election provides a decisive test following his remarkably swift rise to the White House. President Franklin D. Roosevelt made the dramatic […]

September 01, 2012 | Posted in State, national columnists | Leave a reply

Room for foreign-policy talk on convention stage

The 2012 Republican National Convention provides an opportunity to reflect on what remains to be done, and said, in the presidential campaign between now and the November general election. The most important subject neglected by both sides is foreign policy. Polls over the past decade show voters favor the Republicans over the Democrats regarding handling […]

Taiwan-Google pact to show art, foster understanding

The renowned National Palace Museum in Taiwan has just announced a partnership with Google to display art works and galleries online, providing comprehensive public access to one of the world’s great collections of masterpieces. Around the world, 150 museums are participating in this effort to create and display digitized images of their holdings. This case, […]

Promising developments in Raul Castro’s Cuba

Yet another intimate portrait has just emerged about one of the most prominent and pivotal world leaders of the early 1960s, arguably the most dangerous and highly charged years of the Cold War. An iconic hero for many, thanks to his charismatic personality and demonstrated courage, this former head of state is also controversial thanks […]

Good news about democracy, market economics and more

“Nattering nabobs of negativism” is probably the most enduring of the many alliterative declarations of Spiro Agnew, vice president in the Nixon administration until he was forced to resign because of corruption. This particular phrase, penned by Nixon speechwriter William Safire, was designed to put down media people who emphasize bad news over good. Why, […]

January 18, 2012 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 2 Replies

3 free trade agreements are good news for US

“Individual ambition serves the common good,” wrote Adam Smith, masterful 18th century analyst of emerging industrial capitalism. After four years delay, Congress has ratified free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Each of the treaties facilitates efficient allocation of resources, including the profit drives of individuals. Specific dimensions make each distinctive, and promising […]

China’s economy, military images equally important

In more striking terms than other nations, China presents contrasting images to the world, with both highlighted in recent news. The nation’s rapidly expanding strategic naval capabilities are discussed in a report just released by the U.S. Department of Defense, concerned about Beijing’s shift toward developing extremely long-range maritime forces. Meanwhile, this summer China’s Vice […]

January 18, 2012 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

9/11 anniversary a time for reflection

The 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and in the skies over Pennsylvania demands considered reflection. A decade provides useful distance for relatively dispassionate discussion of how we have responded to the shocking, grotesque mass […]

Steve Jobs, Ben Bernanke have a lot in common

Both Ben Bernanke and Steve Jobs have been featured in the news in recent days, reflecting respective individual influence over a decade. Banker-scholar Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, made a policy speech at the annual financial conference at Jackson Hole, Wyo., in which he emphasized that policy will remain on the established steady […]

Fall of Gadhafi shows allies are vital

In Libya, spontaneous domestic insurrection appears to have won. Months of brutal fighting seems now to be successful in overthrowing four decades of brutal rule by Dictator Moammar Gadhafi. This is one element of the tremendous turmoil now sweeping the Middle East and North Africa, as people en masse demand basic human rights and representation. […]

US will shrug off credit ratings

“I am shocked, shocked to find . . . gambling . . .” This famous line of the cynical Captain Renault to night club manager Rick in the film classic “Casablanca” comes to mind in reflecting on the practices of prominent American credit rating agencies and the mixed fate at their hands of beleaguered Uncle […]

Helicopter crash latest Afghan frustration

The deaths in Afghanistan of 30 Americans and eight Afghans when their helicopter was shot down underscore the vexing, costly character of the conflict. United States Navy SEALs were among those killed. This substantial loss of Allied forces draws special attention but is only the latest in a series of frustrating incidents in this long […]

Privacy is vital to freedom from ‘Big Brother’

“Big Brother Is Watching You” was the pervasive punch-line in British writer George Orwell’s classic novel “1984.” Now we know Big Brother is listening too. Revelations that Rupert Murdoch’s News International Corp. for years has conducted massive hacking into British cell phone information is truly shocking. Alleged targets include cell phones of a murdered young […]

Turkey, forgotten but vital US ally

Turkey, a vital U.S. ally, is often overlooked. Terrorist attacks there have backfired against al Qaida, but this news has been overshadowed by events in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. Troubled states upstage those merely having some trouble. This month Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party scored a significant […]

Obama’s good choices at CIA and Defense

The retirement of Secretary of Defense Robert Gates provides potent political as well as policy challenges for President Barack Obama. A hard act to follow, Gates has been collegial, effective and attentive to the public good. However, the nominations of CIA chief Leon Panetta to succeed him, and Gen. David Petraeus to head CIA, are […]

Ike’s D-Day lessons still ring true today

From ancient times to the present, amphibious military invasions have been rightly regarded as particularly challenging. The greatest such operation was in World War II with the Allied movement into France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. The Normandy invasion combined thorough planning, mobilization of vast material, and great imagination. When the operation already underway was […]

January 18, 2012 | Posted in State, national columnists | Tagged , | 1 Reply

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