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Archive for September, 2007

The Power of Myth

“We need myths that will help us to identify with all our fellow-beings, not simply with those who belong to our ethnic, national or ideological tribe. We need myths that help us to realize the importance of compassion, which is not always regarded as sufficiently productive or efficient in our pragmatic, rational world.”

Is Democracy Dead?

The situation in Morocco, in which the Constitution grants the king authority over all branches of government, strangely mirrors the situation in the U.S., where the “unitary executive theory” means that our Decider routinely ignores laws passed by Congress, or issues “signing statements” interpreting them according to his will.

Ramadan Roundup

I observed the Ramadan fast during my first year in Morocco, to better understand what it was about, though I was surrounded that year by Moroccan atheists who kept begging me, as a foreigner, to buy them wine. I haven’t fasted since, but have enjoyed Ramadan “in my own way” as a time to soak in the tranquility and spiritual feeling.

Meet Bush, Get Blown Up

Naturally I don’t approve of blowing anyone up, but in this case I can’t help being aware of the irony. Just a week ago President Bush was in Anbar Province, Iraq, shaking hands with Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Risha, described as a key ally in winning over Sunni tribes to the fight against Al Qaeda. Today Abu Risha is dead, killed by a roadside bomb.

Caesar and the Midget

“He’s learning to be a leader. And one of my jobs as the president and his ally is to help him be that leader without being patronizing.”

Winners and Losers

The most important news in the Moroccan elections is that turnout was at a record low, with only 37% of registered voters showing up at the polls. Participation was even lower in the cities at 34%, which means it was a bit higher in rural areas.

What the Nihilists Think

The goal of elections has always been to form a strong government that is capable of administering public affairs in complete transparency, making it responsible to the people who will examine its performance and in the end hold it accountable. Yet such a strong government cannot exist under the Moroccan Constitution….


Kennedy said, “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable.”