Gary Olson

Gary Olson, Ph.D. Is chair of the Political Science Department at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA. Contact: olsong@moravian.edu

Articles by this author

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Monday, February 10, 2014 - 1:56pm
Sadness and Anger at the 9/11 Memorial
I recently visited the new, but still unfinished, 9/11 Memorial in New York City to remember Noel Foster, my former student and
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Friday, January 28, 2011 - 9:54am
Washington's Egyptian Nightmare
As I watch events unfolding on the streets of Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and elsewere in the region I'm reminded of a summer I spent in Egypt studying Arabic language and Middle East politics at The American University in Cairo. For a time I was booked into the upscale Shepheard Hotel (on the Fulbright Commission's dime) on the banks of the Nile in downtown Cairo. Over the course of several weeks I came to know Mohammed, my regular breakfast server, and learned that he had a Ph.D.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009 - 10:08am
Obama’s First Nine Months: Change We Can Believe In?
In the 2009 film The Messenger, we follow two officers from the Casualty Notification Office from Fort Dix, New Jersey as they knock on doors to inform relatives of loved ones recently killed in action in Iraq. These scenes are almost unbearable to watch as we witness the reactions to this heartbreaking news. It struck me that these emotionally affecting scenes on screen are as as close as most of us get to the grim reality of war.
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Monday, March 30, 2009 - 10:45am
Populist Anger Has a Role in Shaping Economy
Given what we've learned about the economic crisis, faith in free market fundamentalism -- that the unfettered market will magically solve our problems -- should be as dead as Monty Python's parrot. Even France's conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has proclaimed "Laissez-faire, c'est fini" (Laissez-faire is finished). But where does this leave us?
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Thursday, December 18, 2008 - 12:04pm
Capitalism Short Circuits Our Moral Hard-Wiring
In a recent New Yorker piece, Naomi Klein astutely observes that "The crash on Wall Street should be for Friedmanism what the fall of the Berlin Wall was for authoritarian Communism, an indictment of an ideology." One hopes so. The financial system's collapse in 2008 offers a rare opportunity to question certain underlying assumptions about our state capitalist economy and its neoliberal ideology.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008 - 3:11pm
The Emotional Power of Photography: From the Civil Rights Movement to Iraq, How Empathy Can Impact Change
In his recent book, The Slave Ship , maritime historian Marcus Rediker documents the role played by emotional and especially visual appeals in ending the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
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Friday, June 29, 2007 - 2:22pm
Research on Human Nature Is Cause For Optimism
'We have a pending fortuitous marriage of science and morality of the most profound sort.''
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 11:55am
Hold Those Responsible for Iraq Accountable
I've been struggling to write something new about the war in Iraq but failed to find any appropriate words. Despite everything we now know about the war, the U.S. occupation continues. While policymakers procrastinate and parse the finer points of withdrawing all U.S. troops, more flag-covered coffins relentlessly emerge from the bowels of giant wing-tipped hearses in Dover, Del.
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Tuesday, September 5, 2006 - 12:48pm
Nationalism, Not Islam, Motivates Most Suicide Terrorists
Here is today's discussion question: Suicide terrorism is primarily caused by Islamic fundamentalism. True or false? Although it seems counter-intuitive, especially given everything we read and hear in the mainstream media, the correct answer is ''false.''
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Wednesday, October 1, 2003 - 12:49pm
He Lied. They Died.
#305 Spc. Paul J. Sturino, age 21; #306 Spc. Michael Andrade, age 28; #307 Sgt.1st Class Robert E. Rooney, age 43; #308 Capt. Robert L. Lucero,age 34; #309 Spc. Kyle G. Thomas, age 23. For several weeks now I've posted on my office door a daily list, Killed in Iraq Today: The names, pictures, and ages of all U.S. casualties in Iraq. By last week they covered the entire door and surrounding frame.
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