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.

Possible topic for 13 May

Here’s a link ( to a column by Bret Stephens in the 9 May edition of The New York Times, arguing that Biden was wrong, for many reasons, to pause delivery to Israel of some large bombs and, possibly, other weapons in order to persuade the Netanyahu government not to invade Rafah. And here’s a link ( to a column by Tom Friedman in the 10 May edition of The Times, arguing that Biden made the right decision but taking issue with the way he announced it.

Was Biden right to “pause” (whatever that means) delivery of those bombs to try to encourage Israel not to “invade” (whatever that means) Rafah? How long should the “pause” last? If Israel decides to “invade” Rafah while the “pause” is in effect, what should the US government do then? Is Biden’s decision likely to trigger a wider war, involving Hezbollah, the Houthis, and Iran? Does Biden’s decision affect the role the US could play in future with respect to negotiating a pause in the war, a prisoner-hostage swap, a cease fire, how Gaza and the West Bank will be governed after the fighting ends, and whether and how Palestinian statehood might be achieved? How might Biden’s decision affect domestic politics in Israel or the US?

What will happen if Trump is elected in 2024?

There’s an opinion piece in today’s (18 December) New York Times ( that I think is related to the topic Steve Kramer suggested for our next meeting on 8 January. It tries to make the case that Trump is a political moderate and pragmatist. Whether it does so successfully might be part of the conversation next time.

  • Subscribe via Email

    Receive email notification of new posts/announcements about our weekly meeting.

    Join 241 other subscribers
  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments