Talk to me


Reposting this 2012 piece I wrote on how people of left and right can talk to each other, and the value of dissent:


Mi casa no es su casa

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands at a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2NQRI

A modest proposal: replace NAFTA with a bilateral Treaty for U.S.-Mexican Prosperity, or TRUMP. That would go down well in the White House.



Castro embodied the weakness of strongmen 


A column I wrote overnight on the passing of Fidel Castro

The charismatic Cuban leader resembled other paternalistic caudillos of right and left in his outsized ego, which ultimately stymied his people. Cubans, like other Latin Americans, need institutions more than saviors like Fidel. Venezuela’s leaders are another example.

(Photo: Havana, outside the U.S. Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy, 1998.)

Colombia’s Nobel fillip

Colombian presidential candidate and President Juan Manuel Santos celebrates after winning a second term in the country's presidential elections in Bogota June 15, 2014. REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez/File Photo - RTSR68J

President Juan Manuel Santos has won the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to end a 52-year civil war, days after voters rejected his deal with FARC rebels. A bit of chat in my work hat about the economic implications.

“Peace will generate even more pathology”

(Photo: El Salvador, 1991, by Martin Langfield)

My 1990 Reuters piece (as printed here in the L.A. Times) was prescient, sadly, about the mental fallout of El Salvador’s civil war. May Colombia do better.

Brazil after Rousseff

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff reacts during the launching ceremony of the National Pact to Human Rights Violations on the Internet in Brazil, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - RTR4WELL

A bit of chat in my work hat about the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff:

Antony Currie and Martin Langfield lay out how new President Michel Temer can help turn around the economy after his predecessor’s impeachment – and how lawmakers could be a big impediment.

The Central Park Obelisk, part trey

This was kind of fun:

Shot last summer, the segment on the Central Park obelisk gave me a chance to talk about one of the more Dan Brownian background elements of “The Malice Box” without sounding like an utter nutter, so thanks, Indigo Productions! That doomy silhouette standing and turning in front of the obelisk in the trailer is yours truly, putting to use years of doomy-silhouette training at last. It aired last week, I learned today. Watch out for re-runs!

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