"A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable."

— Thomas Jefferson

Recent Articles

Hurricane Sandy Should Inspire New Ways of Building and Living on the Seashore

Chances are that in a few months Hurricane Sandy will be forgotten.

Politicians are already talking about rebuilding and restoring, wholly ignoring the fact that coasts have always been the most changeable of all American landscapes. As places where water and land coexist, where, as Rachel Carson put it, “today a little more land may belong to the sea, tomorrow a little less,” shores are in perpetual transformation.

Today more of us live on coasts than ever before. Once thought of as inherently dangerous, coasts are now the most coveted real estate on Earth. Just over 50 percent of Americans live in what are designated coastal zones, which make up only 15 percent of America’s territory.

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The Presidential Candidates Should Vow to Complete the Nuclear Arms Reduction Efforts Begun by President Reagan in Reykjavik

When President Obama and candidate Mitt Romney take to the stage for a foreign policy debate on Oct. 22, nuclear weapons are sure to come up, especially Iran’s ambitions for the bomb. But the debate should also focus on the countries that actually have nukes, including Russia, China, North Korea, and rivals India and Pakistan.

As President Eisenhower once said, nuclear weapons are the only thing that can destroy the United States. Americans want to hear how the next president plans to control the thousands of these weapons of mass destruction that exist in the world,

It’s worth remembering that in October of 1986 President Ronald Reagan was meeting with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev in Reykjavik, Iceland, to discuss eliminating nuclear weapons.

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No Julian Castro without Mother Rosie Castro

For the first time, Latinos and Latinas were adequately represented on the national stage by both major political parties. At their recent national conventions, Democrats and Republicans finally acknowledged that Hispanics are full-fledged Americans. Bert Corona, a Los Angeles immigrant activist, spoke at the 1968 Democratic convention, but non-Latinos were not listening. Now they are listening, at last.

After the Democratic National Convention, Julian Castro is now a familiar political name. Castro, the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, was keynote speaker and is a rising star in the party. He was introduced by his twin brother Joaquin, who is running for Congress. Julian Castro is only the third Hispanic mayor of San Antonio since the battle at the Alamo. Juan Seguin served in the 1830s, and Henry Cisneros served in the 1970s. This is in a city where Latinos are the majority. No Hispanic woman has held that position.

But Julian...

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Fifty Years After “Silent Spring,” Let’s Not Roll Back Environmental Protections

Mitt Romney wants to open up more federal lands and waters to drilling for oil and natural gas. His party is pushing, in the name of freedom and economic opportunity, to roll back a variety of environmental protections. Republicans, including U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, are seeking to ease pesticide regulations; some are even questioning the Environmental Protection Agency’s ban on DDT, reopening a controversy that stretches back half a century.

Fifty years ago this month, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring.” This critique of the America’s dependence on chemical pesticides is widely hailed as one of the most influential books of the twentieth century.

At the time of its publication, however, both the message and the messenger were roundly denounced. During a period of unprecedented prosperity and technological advances, Carson--a woman!--had the temerity to tell Americans that they were stunningly oblivious to the environmental dangers they were creating....

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