Demet Muftuoglu-Eseli is standing perilously close to the fire. The Turkish fashion mogul turned gallerist is hosting a gala dinner for “Istancool,” the annual arts and culture festival she founded with her husband in 2009. The proceedings begin with a “fire poem” by the Scottish artist Robert Montgomery. On a giant scaffold overlooking the Bosphorus, Montgomery mounts wooden letters on pikes:
Everything in the city is perfectRead more
On a cold wet day in April, a small crowd of protesters stood outside the United Jewish Appeal-Federation headquar-ters in New York to oppose the inclusion of anti-Israel groups in the Celebrate Israel parade. This year is the 50th anniversary of the parade, one of the most prominent displays of American support for Israel.
Yesterday, on the last day of Passover, protesters surrounded the doors of Zabar’s—the iconic Upper West Side grocer famous for its knishes and lox—to demand the store stop selling the carbonated beverage maker SodaStream. The roughly 40 protesters, carrying guitars and signs decrying “Apartheid Soda,” represented a coalition of volunteers from Adalah-NY (meaning “justice” in Arabic), Jewish Voice for Peace, and mRead more
Shakespeare wrote about kings. Not, as the tour guide at the Globe Theatre told me, because the nobility were the reality stars of their day and the masses wanted to know all their business, but because Shakespeare, like his near-contemporaries John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, was a serious political philosopher. Here, in five essays on five very different regimes portrayed by Shakespeare, Professor Timothy W. Burns of Skidmore College builds on this notion.Read more
The presidential ambitions of Maryland governor Martin O’Malley have taken a hit after a federal investigation uncovered a sordid sex-drugs-and-racketeering ring festering right under his nose.
On April 23, prosecutors indicted 13 state corrections officers on charges that they colluded with inmates at the Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC) to launder money and smuggle drugs and cell phones to the inmates, members of a prison gang called the Black Guerrilla Family.Read more
The owner of an Italian restaurant in Baltimore was going to talk to me about how his business was preparing for Obamacare, now that it is going to be the law of the land. But seeing the backlash faced by other businessmen who dared to suggest the law might have a less than salubrious impact on their businesses, he was having second thoughts.Read more
If you’re headed to the airport for the holidays, here are some tips to keep you off the Transportation Security Administration’s “naughty list”: Holiday puddings (even the figgy kind) are considered “gel-like” substances and must be carried in clear plastic containers of no more than 3.4 ounces.Read more
‘California is a wonderful state mismanaged by lunatics,” declares Steven Greenhut, vice president of journalism for the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Anyone who examines California’s economy ought to agree.Read more
As the Cajun primary in south Louisiana rages on, observers continue to describe the race between Congressmen Jeff Landry and Congressman Charles Boustany as a typical Tea Party versus establishment Republican race. But it isn’t.Read more
This week, Congress is under pressure to pass the 2012 farm bill before the current legislation expires on September 30. About every five years, Congress pushes through a farm bill, ostensibly a big bundle of agriculture subsidies that also funds food stamps. But the name is misleading. Nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion the 2012 bill would spend over the next 10 years would go to the food stamp program.Read more
Deep in the swampland, a battle is brewing. It is less than two weeks from the start of alligator hunting season. The gators have dug their holes in the bankside, and their young have all hatched. The population is at its peak. Jogging paths near large bodies of water are closed off. Now is the time to keep a close watch on your pets and not let your children go wading. The reptiles are ornery and hungry, packed in and fiercely protecting their territory, preparing for the fight of their lives.
Luci Ramirez and Jodi Salyers, both Texans, have just spent two hours hearing from top Democratic women like House minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the Democratic National Convention’s Women’s Caucus. The message? Republicans don’t like women and want to take away their birth control.
After nearly four years of waiting, and a landmark Supreme Court decision, David Bossie, chairman of the advocacy group Citizens United, finally got what he wanted—the chance to make a movie that could change the course of an election.Read more
If you are at all plugged in to the happenings of Hollywood, or have stood in line at the grocery store, or glanced at a newsstand, you know that the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes divorce has been almost omnipresent since the news broke two months ago. Everybody knows that the tabloid media are, at best, fun trash; but when I recently caught a few minutes of an E! News Update and saw the coverage for myself, it managed to surprise me. A few weeks after the Cruise/Holmes story broke, the E!Read more
Three weeks before the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, union leaders are investing a significant amount of time and money on a “shadow convention” for organized workers, which will be held August 11 in Philadelphia, and called the Workers Stand for America rally. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers will donate $1 million, and “picking up a lot of the tab,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.Read more
A man wanders along a beach, picking up smelly rocks and poking things with sticks. If one of the gray-green lumps he seeks happens to have just the right scent—of squid, musk, and fecal matter—it could change his life. Ambergris is a rare substance which has been used for centuries to make perfume. A little bit excrement and a little bit vomit, this “secretion” of the sperm whale is, ounce per ounce, as valuable as—often, more valuable than—the purest gold. Depending on the quality, a lump of ambergris the size of a potato is worth about $15,000.Read more
Democrat Ron Barber defeated Republican Jesse Kelly yesterday in Arizona’s special election for the House seat formerly held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Barber received 52 percent of the vote—to Kelly’s 45 percent—and will serve out the remainder of Giffords’s term, before coming up for reelection in November.Read more
The special election to fill the last six months of Gabrielle Giffords’s term in the Eighth Congressional District of Arizona is rapidly approaching. Although the race looks close, no one can say that the candidates are neck and neck. At 6’8”, Republican Jesse Kelly stands head and shoulders above most people—not just his opponent, former Giffords staffer Ron Barber.Read more
Maryland governor Martin O’Malley is lending last minute support today to Democratic Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett in Wisconsin, days before the June 5th gubernatorial recall election. O’Malley is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, so trying to get Barrett elected is (at least part of) his job. But will he be of any help?Read more
Starting in March 2011, a series of microearthquakes hit Ohio. The first few registered just above 2.0 on the Richter scale and were not felt by residents. But on New Year’s Eve, a tremor hit Youngstown that measured 4.0—still very mild, but noticed. It was the second quake to hit the area in a week, moreover—and both had epicenters within five miles of a year-old storage well for wastewater that is a byproduct of the extraction of natural gas.Read more
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