Stephen Gottlieb

Stephen Gottlieb: Tears For Ukrainian Democracy

May 13, 2014

Let’s return to Ukraine once more.

Americans cheered at former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster. Here’s why that was a mistake.

Stephen Gottlieb: Reversing Suburbanization

May 6, 2014

Stephen Gottlieb discusses the suburbanization of America... 

Stephen Gottlieb: Is Israel An Apartheid State?

Apr 29, 2014

Whenever I talk about the Middle East I get lambasted. And when I fail to mention Israel or Palestine I get lambasted because I didn’t. Pro-Israeli listeners brook no criticism whatever of what Israel does. Supporters of the Palestinians recognize the legitimacy of nothing else. Sometimes you can’t please everybody and sometimes you can’t please anybody. So, OK, here goes.

Stephen Gottlieb: Ukraine — The Limits Of Power

Apr 22, 2014

It's worth another look at Ukraine. Americans have taken a principled pro-democracy stand. But before we get too self-congratulatory, let's find a little perspective.

Stephen Gottlieb: Passover – A Celebration Of Freedom

Apr 15, 2014

This is Passover, a holiday that comes straight out of the Bible, the Almighty commanding us to tell the story of the Exodus to each new generation as well as reminding ourselves. The Exodus, of course, is a story of freedom from slavery. The Biblical story is about the Hebrew exodus from slavery in Egypt. But we are very explicit about relating that story to the freedom of others.

Stephen Gottlieb: Global Warming And Human Politics

Apr 8, 2014

I just got back from Chicago where I attended a national meeting of political scientists.  One of them described at length the local, national and international barriers to doing anything about climate change.  His basic point was that those whose livelihood seemed to depend on activities that are bringing on climate change  are strategically placed to prevent the rest of us from doing anything.  His point is that to make anything happen  it would be necessary to make people come to think about what they are doing as wrong  in the teeth of evidence that it is good for them in their own lifetimes.  That also makes them totally resistant to the idea that climate change is happening,  that human activity is a substantial cause of the change, that it will do any damage  and that it is worth dealing with.  Ouch for the rest of us.

Ever notice that I frequently talk about economics. What’s a lawyer doing talking about economics? I did read and study economics but there are other reasons why economic issues are dear to this heart.

Stephen Gottlieb: Ukraine – The Cold War Again?

Mar 25, 2014

There has been a lot of loose talk about how to deal with Russia over Ukraine. Some people think Obama should be, or sound, tougher – or more careful. Toughness is mostly about impressing the home audience, and getting people fired up. But it has nothing to do with what actually has to happen, what the choices or consequences are – it’s all about posturing. Foreign affairs is not a simplistic referendum on “toughness,” and the avatars of toughness should be laughed out of the public space.

When the Bush Administration took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan, they decided not to pay for those wars with taxes. In fact they insisted on giving people tax breaks, including those for whom war taxes would not have affected their lifestyles. The well-understood consequence was that someone else would pay for the wars. At the time the talk was that the next generation would have to pay.

 Should we care about the fate of prisoners?

A number of listeners have been raising that question in the wake of WAMC reports of lack of medical care in prisons, and my support for Cuomo’s position about educating prisoners.