Robert Shetterly

Robert Shetterly

Robert Shetterly is a writer and artist who lives in Brooksville, Maine and the author of the book, "Americans Who Tell the Truth." Please visit the Americans Who Tell the Truth project's website, where posters of Howard Zinn, Rachel Carson, Edward Snowden, and scores of others are now available. Send Rob an email here.

Articles by this author

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013
'Cuz the Bible Tells Me So
We humans constantly are telling ourselves stories about moral and immoral behavior. Many of the most memorable -- if only because of repetition -- are from the Bible. From them we learn about moral courage and cowardice, about wisdom and folly, about when to obey and when to rebel. And, of course, most Bible stories tell us to believe in God. But God -- He/She/It -- is so many things at once: God is Love, God is Nature, God is Truth. How can I believe in all these things at the same time?
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
The Portrait of a Whistleblower: Torture Cannot Be Tolerated
On January 25 th , 2013 in Washington, D.C., former CIA agent John Kiriakou will be sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for revealing the name of an undercover CIA agent. On the eve of that sentencing, Americans Who Tell the Truth and the Government Accountability Project are unveiling his portrait as the newest in the AWTT portrait series. Why are AWTT & GAP celebrating and honoring a man whom our president, Justice Department, intelligence agencies, and military are prosecuting as a criminal?
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Sunday, October 28, 2012
You Can Vote, but Can You Vote for Democracy?
At a recent forum in a school, I asked the audience a simple question, “What are the essential attributes of a democracy? What are the institutions, the behaviors, the ingredients without which we can not have democracy?” There was a pause while people began to think about it. Democracy is something we are lulled into taking for granted, not dissecting. We are constantly reminded that we live in the greatest democracy on earth. So, we should know its prime attributes as intimately as a fish knows water. But, do we really live in a democracy at all?
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"We are not friends," said Susan Collins, turning her back on a constituent. Views
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Making the Possible Impossible: A Curious Encounter with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
On the first leg of a trip last week to work at the Maxwell School for Citizenship at the University of Syracuse, I flew from Bangor, Maine, to Washington, D.C. Sitting across from me in aisle two was one of Maine’s senators, Susan Collins, a woman of enormous power, seniority and prestige in the Republican Party and our government. How often, I thought, does one get the serendipitous opportunity to talk with a senator? But another passenger sat between us, and I could not engage her.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman, Rule of Law, and the End of Slavery
The Americans Who Tell the Truth project has become all about education. Primarily, though, the education has been my own. Over the past ten years, I have learned a great deal about American history, why our history is the way it is, and some of the people who have guided its positive evolution. Many of the people I’ve painted were totally unknown to me before I began the portrait series.
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Saturday, September 01, 2012
Thank Goodness Labor is its Own Reward!
A couple of nights ago I had dinner with friends I have known for a long time. I think all of them—an inner city teacher, an artist, a retired doctor—would describe themselves as liberals. Without employing a litmus test, I would not describe them as progressive thinkers , but I would recommend them all as decent, generous and trustworthy.
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011
Embedded Art as War Propaganda
Steve Mumford: Embedded : Recent Drawings from Iraq & Afghanistan At the Center For Maine Contemporary Art ( CMCA), Rockport, Maine, May 26 --- July 10, 2011. My mother used to tell me, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. But, I think she would agree that if to say something nice you have to ignore the truth, it might be better to say something.
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Monday, June 06, 2011
The Loneliness and Courage of Thomas Drake: A Whistleblower's Journey
“As a student of history and politics, I firmly believe that we have reached a breaking point in this country, when the government violates and erodes our very privacy and precious freedoms in the name of national security and then hides it behind the convenient label of secrecy.
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Monday, April 04, 2011
Return Our Mural, Restore the Names
Two weeks ago, Republican Governor Paul LePage ordered the removal of a mural depicting the history of organized labor in Maine that was commissioned by the Maine Arts Commission and displayed in the state's Department of Labor building in 2008. He also made clear his intentions to rename several meeting rooms that had been named after historic labor leaders, including Frances Perkins and Cesar Chavez. The following are the prepared remarks to be delivered by Maine art
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011
The Stink in the Super Bowl
“Part of the main plan of imperialism… is that we will give you your history, we will write it for you, we will re-order the past…What’s more truly frightening is the defacement, the mutilation, and ultimately the eradication of history…” --- Edward Said
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