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

(Photo: Mário Tomé/ Creative Commons/ Flickr) Views
Sunday, April 13, 2014
The Backward Dancing Man
In the early 1970s when I was teaching myself how to draw and hoping, in the process, to develop an artful voice, I was also reading the great anthropologist, philosopher, poet, paleontologist, and writer Loren Eiseley. Eiseley's autobiography, All the Strange Hours, had just been published and in...
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Sunday, January 19, 2014
Why We Should Care about Clyde Kennard, And Why I Painted Him
Editor's note: The artist's essay that follows accompanies the 'online unveiling'—exclusive to Common Dreams—of Shetterly's latest painting in his " Americans Who Tell the Truth " portrait series, presenting citizens throughout U.S. history who have courageously engaged in the social, environmental, or economic issues of their time.
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Friday, December 20, 2013
Organizing With Love: On Painting Labor Leader Ai-jen Poo
Editor's note: The artist's essay that follows accompanies the 'online unveiling'—exclusive to Common Dreams—of Shetterly's latest painting in his " Americans Who Tell the Truth " portrait series, presenting citizens throughout U.S.
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Friday, November 29, 2013
Meditations On Law and Denial While Painting Sibel Edmonds
Editor's note: The artist's essay that follows accompanies the 'online unveiling'—exclusive to Common Dreams—of Shetterly's latest painting in his " Americans Who Tell the Truth " portrait series which present citizens throughout U.S. history who have courageously engaged in the social, environmental, or economic issues of their time.
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Thursday, July 18, 2013
Meditations While Painting Edward Snowden
"The national security state and the rule of law are mortal enemies... the national security state’s apparatus needs arbitrary power. Such power has its own code, which is meant to govern or justify the behavior of the initiated—after the fact. It operates to protect the state apparatus from the citizenry." —Marcus Raskin "...and I only am escaped alone to tell thee." —Book of Job, 1:15.
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Thursday, June 13, 2013
Edward Snowden: The Asymmetry of Courage
One of the ironies of warfare is that an apparently vastly superior force can be defeated by an apparently much weaker one when the weaker force refuses to meet the more powerful on its own terms, play by its rules, square off army to army, submit to punch and counterpunch. A combination of strategy and tactics designed by the weaker force to enervate the morale, confidence and finances of the powerful may prove decisive --- as it did for the American revolutionaries against the British, North Vietnamese & Viet Cong against the U.S., or the Afghanis against the Soviets.
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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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