Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues


Former architect, city planner, and lawyer. Practiced architecture in New York and Boston for about five years. Went back to graduate school for professional degrees in city planning and law. Practiced law in Boston for about 20 years, mostly representing developers, lenders, syndicators, and contractors with regard to development and financing uctmixed income, government assisted rental housing. Worked outside the US for about 20 years as a free-lance consultant on international development projects funded by USAID, The World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and others, mainly on capacity-building for local governments. Now retired, living with my partner, Janet, in Brooksville, and a board member of the Blue Hill Concert Association and Bagaduce Music. I've had a long interest in politics, political theory, and international relations.

Feb. 10: What is the end game for the war in Ukraine?

At the end of last Monday’s meeting, we proposed that the topic for this coming Monday be what the end game for the war in Ukraine might look like today (It might change over time, depending on what happens in Ukraine, Russia, Germany, the UK, the US, etc.)

Whatever the “end game” turns out to be, what’s likely to be the long-term effect of the war and its possible ending (or temporary suspension) on Russia? on Europe? on the US? on China?

Here are some links to recent articles that might be useful background:

  1. Tom Friedman, “Year 2 of the War in Ukraine is going to get Scary”, New York Times, 5 February (
  2. Steven Erlanger, “When It Comes to Building Its Own Defense, Europe Has Blinked”, New York Times, 4 February (
  3. Ross Douthat, “The Costs of a Long War in Ukraine”, New York Times, 4 February (
  4. Christopher Caldwell, “Russia and Ukraine Have Incentives to Negotiate. The U.S. Has Other Plans.”, New York Times, 7 February (
  5. Liana Fix and Michael Kimmage, “Putin’s Last Stand: The Promise and Peril of Russian Defeat”, Foreign Affairs, January/February 2023 ([PDF]
  6. Timothy Snyder, “Ukraine Holds the Future”, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2022 ([PDF]

I thought the last two articles in this list were the most interesting (PDF links are provided if you don’t subscribe).

2022 mid-term elections

Last week we suggested the outcome of the 2022 mid-term elections as a possible topic for tomorrow’s meeting. Among the many possible questions we might talk about are the following:

“Is this the end of Little Rico?” (Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1931), but you know who I’m talking about.)

Which side won, if any?

Were the polls wrong again? If so, how and why?

Here are links to a few opinion pieces published over the last week or so that I found interesting:

A Republican opinion writer in the Washington Post about what he got wrong ( in his pre-election predictions (

Another Republican opinion writer, this time in The New York Times, getting his pre-electon predictions wrong (

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