Opinion

  • D-Day + 70 Years

    I originally posted this on June 6, 2008 on the Flashpoint Blog of the American Security Project.  I’m re-posting it here today, the 70th anniversary of D-Day. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, USA, Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Forces, drafted a statement on the eve of the D-Day invasion.  He intended to issue it to the press should the invasion fail and be pushed back into the sea. He wrote: Our landings in … Read More

  • “Climate change” vs. “global warming”

    The Center for Climate Change Communication (4C) at George Mason University has just released a report that discusses the relative merits of the terms climate change and global warming – from the perspective of communicators trying to engage audiences on this critical topic. The results are a reminder that word choice matters – a conclusion I am professionally obligated to endorse, as a cognitive linguist. They are also a reminder … Read More

  • Not about charity

    At a forum last night for Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates (organized by the Economic Progress Institute and held at the Ocean State Theatre in Warwick, RI), one of the participants emphasized a point that all of us would do well to remember. It is worth taking a moment to appreciate State Treasurer Gina Raimondo’s repeated insistence that “This is not about charity,” when talking about tax-supported public programs from Head … Read More

  • Incarceration policy: What works vs. what’s “right”

    Why are we Americans so eager to put each other in jail? A new report  from the Pell Center (Salve Regina University, Newport, RI) explores the contrasts between U.S. incarceration policy and how other countries handle jail time. The report paints a shocking picture of a country that imprisons people at a far, far higher rate than others do: About 7 in 1000 Americans are in prison, while our closest … Read More

  • Watching Ukraine, Thinking about 1956 & U.S. Strategy

    In the summer of 1956, riots broke out in Poznan, Poland, inspired, primarily, by grievances over wage reductions.  The forces of dissent however grew beyond those economic grievances to express discontent with a range of issues, most notably the influence of the Soviet Union and the presence of Soviet forces in Poland.  These local issues were swept up into the Cold War along with the process of de-Stalinization and the … Read More

  • Paving the way

    A couple weeks ago, some of the most important economic movers and shakers in Rhode Island gathered to listen to ideas for moving the state’s economy forward, and for turning those ideas into realities. Attendees included elected officials (Governor Chaffee, Speaker of the House Gordon Fox, Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed, and mayors of several towns), and leaders from the business, nonprofit and academic sectors. The ideas presented were gathered … Read More

  • What’s the plan? – Adapting to a changing climate

    At the end of January, residents of the Newport area had a chance to hear from three individuals who are leading Rhode Island’s effort to deal with global warming and its impacts along the Ocean State’s extensive shoreline. While the speakers certainly shared some bad news, they also focused on our opportunity to get ahead of the problems through planning. At a public forum organized by the Pell Center for … Read More

  • “Inequality” for some?

    Last night, the Pell Center at Salve Regina University hosted a free public screening of “Inequality for All” – Jacob Kornbluth’s award-winning documentary about former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, and his lifelong effort to combat rising income inequality in the United States. The audience discussion after the film was lively, smart and engaged. Reich’s economic analysis, and the film’s presentation of it, clearly struck a chord with viewers. To … Read More

  • Cybersecurity – an invisible issue?

    Melissa Hathaway recently gave an excellent talk at Salve Regina University – a clear, impassioned and compelling overview of the cybersecurity issue, and the stakes involved.  From my perspective, one important aspect of the talk, hosted by the Pell Center, is that it reflected the challenges inherent in trying to create more informed public dialog about public policy. How do you get a national conversation going on a topic most people are … Read More

  • The Human Side of Cybercrime (OpEd)

    What do cyber criminals, Greek gods, and Facebook have in common? They are all connected to “Zeus,” a Trojan horse malware program first identified in 2007, when it was used to steal information from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and that now may be lurking in a link on rigged Facebook pages. Along with phishing campaigns, Trojans are the principal method chosen by cyber criminals to attack users, allowing them … Read More

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