Opinion

  • Photo of the national flags gallery at the entrance to UN with the UN logo superimposed above it

    Picks of the Week: The World Still Needs the United Nations

    Russian Ships Near Data Cables Are Too Close for U.S. Comfort | New York Times Intelligence Community Assessment: Global Food Security | Office of the Director of National Intelligence Angry China Shadows U.S. Warship Near Man-Made Islands | Reuters   This week, the world could have marked with great fanfare the 70th birthday of the United Nations—the world body created by the victors of the Second World War to provide … Read More

  • Picks of the Week: Government Struggles with Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

    How the Story of Hillary Clinton’s Emails Has Changed | The New York Times AP Exclusive: Under Clinton, State’s Cybersecurity Suffered | Associated Press Teen Who Hacked CIA Director’s Email Tells How He Did It | Wired While Hillary Clinton continues to face scrutiny for her email practices and the use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State, other government officials have recently had other problems … Read More

  • Pope Francis in America

    Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Philadelphia on September 27, 2015 to see Pope Francis deliver his World Meeting of Families.  Salve Regina University’s Mercy Center sent eight students and two faculty members, Dr. Anna Mae Mayer and Dr. Jayme Hennessy, into the thick of the excitement. I was lucky enough to join the pilgrimage as one of those ten. The group departed Salve Regina University at 6:00 am … Read More

  • Close up of a United States Army uniform and its American flag patch

    Picks of the Week | The Long Game

    President Obama: the 60 Minutes Interview | CBS News Rift in Obama administration over Putin | Politico Who is a Better Strategist: Obama or Putin? | Foreign Policy Last week, during an appearance on “White House Chronicle,” the show’s host, Llewellyn King, asked me whether a lack of leadership on the National Security Council and at the State Department was to blame for the impotence of U.S. policy in the Middle … Read More

  • Close-up photo of Rhode Island Senator Claiborne de Borda Pell outside of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

    The Hill: Legislating as it Once Was: The NEH Turns 50

    The Following op-ed was published originally on the Congress Blog of The Hill, the Capitol Hill newspaper. Legislating as it Once Was: The NEH Turns 50 Elizabeth Francis and James M. Ludes Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.  It was not fast-tracked legislation, rather it was the result of determined effort by Senator Claiborne … Read More

  • The Pell Center declares its Cyber Awareness for National Cyber Security Awareness Month

    Picks of the Week: Cybersecurity Awareness Month at the Pell Center

    National Cyber Security Awareness Month Kicks Off In Nation’s Capital | PR Newswire Presidential Proclamation – National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, 2015 | The White House Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission Report Delivers Plan to Enhance Cybersecurity Efforts Statewide and Nationally | Rhode Island Office of the Governor October marks National Cyber Security Awareness Month, in which citizens and businesses alike are encouraged to learn more about online safety and information security … Read More

  • Photograph of a handgun resting on top of an American flag.

    Picks of the Week: Another Mass Shooting: Enough is Enough

    There’s been no calendar week without a mass shooting during President Obama’s second term | Washington Post Deaths from gun violence vs. deaths from terrorism, in one chart | Vox President Obama Laments Mass Shootings Becoming ‘Routine” After Oregon School Massacre | ABC News I didn’t want to turn on my television tonight.  I knew what was waiting for me.  But I had to watch—and as soon as I turned … Read More

  • Arctic Glaciers

    The Pope’s Call for Action on Climate Change

    “Man can’t change the climate.” With those words on the floor of the United States Senate last January, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma summarized the current Republican consensus on climate change. The Earth is so big, the logic goes, that our insignificant selves could never have an impact big enough to alter the climate.  In a 50-49 vote that followed, the Senate said climate change was not caused by human activity. … Read More

  • Veterans graves during Mermorial Day

    We Remember | Memorial Day 2015

    Gilgamesh, in the epic Mesopotamian poem, wanted to live forever, like the gods.  But Gilgamesh was human. His mortality meant that he would know death.  His name, however, could live forever.  He would be remembered, he reasoned, because of the great things he did.  He asked: “Who is the mortal able to enter heaven? Only the gods can live forever. The life of man is short.   What he accomplishes … Read More

  • Vaccine bottles and a syringe

    Pick Your Poison: Ignoring Science at Our Own Peril

    Throughout human history, our progress has been intimately linked to advances in science. Even in the so-called “dark ages,” the light of learning was turned on the natural world.  From those efforts came Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Galileo.  New understandings of the universe based on observation with new instruments challenged world-views, and the Pope, in one of the great refutations of science in recorded history, forced Galileo to recant his … Read More

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