The modern state can be a source of both good and evil. It can do much good – protecting our security, ensuring our basic necessities, nurturing an environment in which people can flourish to the best of their abilities.
What are the ties that bind us together? How can we as a global community share the same ideals and values? In celebration of Human Rights Day, we have asked some key thinkers in human rights law to share stories about their experiences of working in this field, and the ways in which they determined their specific focuses.
In times of economic crisis, politicians and analysts alike are typically quick to call for structural reforms to stimulate economic growth. Job security regulations are often identified as a policy area in need of such reforms. These regulations restrict the managerial capacity to dismiss employees to allow for downsizing or to replace workers and use new forms of employment such as fixed-term contracts when hiring new workers.
Renowned US military strategist John Boyd is famous for his signature OODA (Observe-Orientation-Decision-Action) loop, which significantly affected the way that the West approached combat operations and has since been appropriated for use in the business world and even in sports.
One of the joys of editing the correspondence of Alan Jay Lerner has been discovering his letters to and from the major stars with whom he worked. As the lyricist, librettist, and screenwriter of Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon, An American in Paris, My Fair Lady, Gigi, Camelot, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, and many more, he worked with the finest performers of his time.
As a small boy in the 1920s, my father sang in the choir of the parish church, St Matthews, in Walsall in the British Midlands. Twenty years later, he was married with a couple of children and our small, tight family belonged to the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers. Friends do not have church services. There is no hymn singing. But every Christmas Eve, religiously as one might say, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the family gathered around the radio to listen to the broadcast of carols and lessons from King’s College, Cambridge.
When one thinks of traditional Scottish music, one instrument usually comes to mind: the bagpipe. Although bagpipes are prominent in traditional music from Scotland, Scottish music branches far out beyond that. In light of Scotland receiving the title of Place of the Year for 2014, we’ve put together a brief playlist of music from Scotland, from chamber music to modern classical.
Walking It Off was the title Doug Peacock gave to his 2005 book about returning home from the trauma of the Vietnam War. The only solace the broken Army medic could find was hiking the Montana wilderness in the company of grizzly bears. Wild places proved strangely healing — echoing a wounded wilderness within.
In April 2009, Barack and Michelle Obama met Queen Elizabeth I during their first state visit to England. At one point during their encounter, Michelle Obama put her arm around the Queen’s lower back and rubbed her shoulder, and the Queen reciprocated. It was the kind of gesture that might seem quite unremarkable when exchanged by friends, or even casual acquaintances: but, given the participants on this particular occasion, it unsurprisingly attracted a great deal more attention.
What are the implications of the past for Scotland’s future? First, Scots retain a deeply embedded sense of history, albeit a selective one. Like others in the Anglo-Saxon world, they understandably seek identity, empathy, and meaning for their private present by researching family or local history and they want to know about wars and history’s celebrities.
The disease that carried Mozart off 224 years ago today was as sudden as it was mysterious. It struck during a year in which he was uncommonly healthy and also spectacularly productive.
A key element of Vladimir Putin’s legitimation strategy has been the cultivation of a macho image. His various public relations stunts subduing wild animals, playing rough sports, and displaying his muscular torso, drew on widely familiar ideas about masculinity.
One of the ironies of the Scottish independence referendum is that Scotland is widely recognised to be a changed place despite the majority voting in favour of the union. It became clear during the course of 2014 that something significant was happening.
From 5-19 October 2014, Pope Francis held the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family in Rome. The purpose of the synod was to discuss the Church’s stance on such issues as divorce, birth control, and especially, the legalization of gay marriage.
In a recent article for Huffington Post, numberFire.com CEO Nik Bonaddio stated: “RG3: It’s Over”. Bonaddio is asserting that it is unlikely that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (RG3) will ever be able to return to the form that enabled him to win the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award and made him one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that year.
Last month marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Terry Riley’s In C. The date was 4 November 1964 at the San Francisco Tape Center. Having written a book on the topic, it’s a time of reflection for me as well.