From Liberty Street Archives:

December 2006: 
The Universal Holiday
I don't how old I was before I recognized that Christmas wasn't for everybody...
Devout Rescue
As we approach the main religious holiday of the year my mind is pushed inexorably
towards a search for an adequate definition of "religion"...
Clearly, there is one overriding duty for the Democratic Congress over the next two
years. They must use their authority to find out exactly what...
The Metropolis
I have been in Los Angeles for five days now and I’ve concluded it is not a place I
would want to stay for more than five days at a time...

November 2006: 
Misunderstanding A Word
Too many people, including some reputable scholars, employ the word “religion”
as though it referred to a clearly delineated body of thought and action...
Changing Minds
An article by Peter Baker in Sunday's Washington Post says that many of the Bush
administration's former staunch supporters are disgusted with the way things are
going in Iraq...
Working Things Out
We now begin to have talk of bipartisanship. It was not possible before the election
because George Bush with control of both houses of Congress had no interest in it...
I've had this suspicion before. But this morning in the Orlando Airport it became a near
certainty. The Department of Homeland Security exists for one purpose only -- to train
the American people for life in a dictatorship...

October 2006: 
Democracy American Style
A friend and I sat talking about whether democracy is possible in America...
The Congress of the United States
Over the weekend it was widely reported on the TV political programs that public
approval of Congress stands at 16%...
Until  last week I had not been trapped in a natural disaster. Now I have been and I
want to report that the experience alters your sense of things...
Purposeful Innocence
Wading through Bob Woodward's State of Denial has forced me to ask myself whether
it has caused me to alter my thinking about George Bush and his administration...
CBS's 60 Minutes last night had three seemingly disparate episodes, one about Bob
Woodwards's description of White House decision-making, another about a radical
treatment for the swelling epidemic of depression, and the third about groups of teenage
boys who attack, and sometimes...

September 2006: 
Real Americans
The Bush administration's tactic of calling in question the loyalty of U. S. citizens who
oppose government policies raises the issue of genuine nationality...
Religion Drenched America?
America has a reputation of being a more religious country than any other developed
It's not often that a Sunday supplement contains much other than fluff. So I was startled
to find in this week's Parade an article by  Wilton Sekzer...
The Power of the Calendar
I can't help it. I have spent too much time in schools not to regard September as the
beginning of the year...

August 2006: 
What do you do if you become convinced that political and social conditions are getting
worse and that there's not much anyone can do about it?
Lessons Forgot or Refused to Be Learned
One thing we can assume with a strong degree of confidence: the people who conduct
the foreign affairs of nations around the world have less than good sense with respect to...
The Flood
Deciding how to handle the spate of information that flows over us nowadays gets to
be an ever more difficult problem...
Lincoln's Promise
We need, now and again, to revisit Mr. Lincoln's assurances about fooling the people
to see how well his wisdom holds up under current conditions...

July 2006: 
American Democracy
My local paper, the Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus, had an excellent editorial last
week commenting on the state of democracy in America...
When I was in the third grade in Decatur, Georgia, our teacher told us a story about
James Oglethorpe...
Intelligence and Political Thought: The Contrast
If you try to keep up with current politics and at the same time attempt to come to
grips with a first-rate mind...
The Worth of Human Life
A portion of the American political spectrum is having a hard time imagining that
non-American lives are valuable...
Tyranny Rising
I want never to become an alarmist. All the same, history shows me that at times dire
things have happened. And I have no reason to suppose...

June 2006: 
Freedom and Intelligence
In the Washington Post I've just read the story of Elias Fishburne and it strikes me as
being the fable -- or maybe the nightmare -- of modern America...
Atmosphere and Attitude
I belatedly saw The Fog of War last Saturday night on The History Channel. It's a film
many people have told me I should see...
I start with this epigraph not because I'm going to write about Samuel Johnson, much as I
find him fascinating, but because...
Deserved Suffering
With respect to the Bush administration we're in for a long, slow, miserable dribbling away.
There will be no revival because there's nothing in the mind of the president or his advisors
that's capable of revival...

May 2006: 
Tectonic Shift?
We may be on the verge of a major change in political attitude. If we are, it's long overdue...
Relief, of Sorts
Being away from George Bush's face, voice and words for eighteen days was liberating,
after a fashion. Still, his absence made me aware of what a burden he is to the...
National Glory
On the day I had scheduled to buy traveler's checks in British pounds for an upcoming
trip, I opened my newspaper to discover that the dollar had hit its lowest point in more
than six months...
Repeating History
Over the past couple years there has been a good deal of speculation about whether
George Bush's adventure in Iraq is another Vietnam. In the abstract the answer is obvious...

April 2006: 
Political Lying
We generally think of a lie as an untruth told for somebody's advantage. As a rough
definition, that's not bad. Yet it doesn't get close to the psychological complexity of
falsehood as it operates today in the American political system...
Irreligious Religion
On this Easter morning, in supposedly one of the most religious countries in the world,
the thought comes to me powerfully that our chief failing is...
Transformation of Mythology
Why are we having an outbreak of speculation and writing about the events of the
First Century in Palestine?...
God's Party
Kevin Phillips, who became famous as an analyst for Richard Nixon, says that the
Republican Party has become the first religious party in American history...

March 2006: 
Harvey C. Mansfield, said by some to be the only conservative professor of government
at Harvard, has written a book called Manliness, which isn't getting very good notices...
Lame Lame-Duckness
Abraham Lincoln's warning comes to mind: you can't fool all the people all the
time. There's a great deal of speculation that the White House is in so much trouble
it can't recover...
America and Science
I wish everyone could read Michael Specter's article in the March 13th New Yorker,
titled "Political Science: The Bush Administration's War on the Laboratory."...
Democracy and Its Future
Last week a friend e-mailed me a quiz about American government which has been given
to a large number of high school students and also to an array of older Americans...

February 2006: 
An Ancient Delusion
The Abramoff scandals have raised yet again the hoary notion that if we could get
corruption out of politics we could have good government...
What's In a Word?
There has been much talk lately about whether the United States should take on the job of
spreading democracy around the world...
More and more one comes on notes of discouragement. Here, for example, is a comment
plucked from a recent posting on the internet...
The Cult of the Presidency
I have recently come across numerous charges that those who oppose President Bush are
exhibiting manifestations of paranoid neurosis...

January 2006: 
The Real War
The victory by Hamas in the Palestinian elections has been greeted by dismay and surprise
here in the United States. But it has been discussed mainly in the narrow context of...
Bush's Dream
If you were to hire the world's consummate schemer and ask him to design a program
to insure that the war on terror lasts forever...
Terror in Vermont
The TV pundit Bill O'Reilly has announced that he intends to take over my home state of
Vermont. I guess I should be shaking in my slippers...
Trilogy of Evil
Since the Bush administration has reintroduced the concept of evil actively into public debate
I suppose the rest of us have the right to speculate about it...

©John R. Turner

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