iOS app Android app

Carla Seaquist
Carla Seaquist is a writer and playwright. Since 9/11 she has focused on writing op-eds for national newspapers, most regularly The Christian Science Monitor. Her play-in-progress, Prodigal, is a retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son. Other plays include Who Cares?: The Washington-Sarajevo Talks (Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago; Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C.; Festival of Emerging American Theatre, Indianapolis) and Kate and Kafka. Her earlier career in civil rights culminated in the post of Equal Opportunity Officer for the City of San Diego and appointment to the California Governor’s Task Force on Civil Rights. An international relations major, she earned a B.A. with honors at American University’s School of International Service and pursued an M.A. at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Long a resident of Washington, D.C., she now lives in the “other” Washington (Gig Harbor), where she serves on the board of Humanities Washington. Her husband Larry, a former Navy captain, was elected in 2006 as a Representative (Democrat) to the state Legislature.

Entries by Carla Seaquist

Whatever Happened to the Famous American Ability to Say "Nuts" to Charlatans, Crazies, and Fear-Mongers?

(2) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 3:56 PM

Shortly after the onset of the Battle of the Bulge, one of World War II's hardest-fought campaigns, with the Americans surrounded by German troops, when the American commander General Anthony McAuliffe was given the enemy's ultimatum to surrender or face annihilation, he famously replied: "NUTS!" The...

Read Post

Refugees Are Not the Problem, My Fellow Americans. Fear Is.

(5) Comments | Posted December 2, 2015 | 10:45 AM

It's sad how quickly the world's pre-eminent refuge from war and persecution -- the United States of America -- can forget its roots: Except for Native Americans, we all of us descend from refugee or immigrant origins.

But fear can obliterate that common heritage instantly. Republicans especially seem quick...

Read Post

Writing for Our Post-9/11 Times: Part II

(1) Comments | Posted November 12, 2015 | 12:19 PM

What is a serious writer to do in a culture going off the rails, decadent, un-serious?

Sometimes it's not your own volition that decides the way forward, but external events, History. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 -- the shock, the deaths, the tragedy -- decided it for me. From...

Read Post

Writing for Our Post-9/11 Times: Part I

(0) Comments | Posted November 10, 2015 | 4:59 PM

There is a scene in a little-known but fine film from 1947 called Odd Man Out that, ever since I first saw it a few years ago, has stayed with me for its metaphoric power.

The film is about a leader of the Irish Republican Army, the I.R.A., played by...

Read Post

Corporate 'Talent' Must Imagine Worst-Case Scenario, i.e., Ruination: VW, GM, Peanut Corporation

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 1:14 AM

You would think a corporation with high-priced "talent" in its executive suites could imagine the risks---to the corporation if not to consumers or their own employees---if it crossed the legal line. Of course, you'd hope those executives wouldn't even think of crossing that line. But if they did, you'd think...

Read Post

The Speech Hillary Clinton Should Give to the 1 Percent on Capitalism and Income Inequality

(5) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 2:19 AM

Fat Cats, Members of the 1 Percent, the Filthy Rich: Just kidding.....

I come in peace and I come with a proposal -- an investment proposal and a course correction -- to restore and secure this great country going forward. You, America's wealthy class, are key to the American...

Read Post

Atticus Finch as Racist Bigot: 'More Human'?

(3) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 1:09 PM

It's been a tough season of late for heroes. They are shattering all around.

Lance Armstrong, who beat cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven times, is revealed to be a doper who bullied other cyclists into silence. Greg Mortenson, who claimed to build hundreds of...

Read Post

To Ensure No Harm, Shouldn't a Psychologist Be in the Interrogation Room?: The APA Ban on Torture

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 5:52 PM

Finally: Last week, after a ten-year internal struggle, the American Psychological Association voted to ban its member psychologists from any involvement in national security interrogations and, more to the point, in torture.

To rectify an ugly development, documented in the independent 542-page Hoffman report, of...

Read Post

Books for Our Times: Winner-Take-All Politics, by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 7:11 PM

Sixth in an ongoing series, Books for Our Times.

To ensure a book's long life, authors should pick a big problem that remains unsolved and big. Money in politics, for one. This time, not the money in political campaigns, but the money that secures and exerts power in Washington.

Read Post

Post-Charleston, Ferguson, Newtown: How "Advanced" Is America?

(10) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 3:15 AM

In the early aftermath of the massacre of nine African-American parishioners, including their pastor, gunned down by a white male shooter in their house of worship, Charleston's Emanuel A.M.E. Church, a sorrowful President Barack Obama posed this challenge in his White House press conference:

"At some...
Read Post

Books for Our Times: Losing Our Way, by Bob Herbert

(3) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 1:33 PM

Fifth in an ongoing series, Books for Our Times.

Losing Our Way is a book that will resonate with many thoughtful Americans who feel, like the author, that America has lost her way in this last half-century. That would be most Americans, actually: Two-thirds of the American public...

Read Post

Fifty Shades of Shame: Playing at Torture

(4) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 9:16 AM

I don't usually comment on trash -- life is too short -- but when a piece of trash makes a cultural statement, I brake.

Fifty Shades of Grey, a tale of sexual bondage that began life as a novel breaking all sales records and print runs, has...

Read Post

Racist Police, Courts, Fraternities: Who Says We Don't Need Affirmative Action Anymore?

(4) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 1:04 PM

America is now so sufficiently "post-racial" that affirmative action is no longer needed as corrective action. So ruleth the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a series of recent cases filed by police and fire departments, school districts and colleges, the Court, in closely-contested rulings, has weakened or even wiped...

Read Post

Free Speech vs. Responsible Speech: We Need to Talk, Again

(8) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 11:01 AM

We need to talk -- again -- about how we exercise our basic, elemental, Constitutional right to free speech.

Up front, let's make clear we are not talking about censorship of that most precious of rights, the right to express ourselves freely without punishment. But we are talking about a...

Read Post

Torture Report: America Conducts a Moral Reckoning. Next, Moral Repair?

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 7:02 PM

Who knew moral reckoning would take place so quietly, yet so profoundly?

With the release two weeks ago of the long-awaited torture report by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence---499 pages documenting in nauseating detail what was done in America's name during the Bush era to detainees...

Read Post

'Madam Secretary': A Reflection of 'Deep' Washington

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 12:31 PM

At a time of extreme animus directed against Washington, D.C. -- for the far right our nation's capital is infested with bureaucrats scheming to make you un-free; for the far left Washington is the Imperial City -- Madam Secretary, a new series on CBS, casts these hated bureaucrats, and the...

Read Post

Democrats Are 'Disgusted' With Politics? Boo Hoo

(225) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 6:07 PM

Look, fellow Democrats, I'm as disgusted as you are with the general wrongness of things at the moment: the congressional gridlock and partisan polarization going on for years now; the growing capacity of money to get the politics it wants; the growing evidence of government not...

Read Post

A Critic, A Play and Do-It-Yourself Abortion

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 3:05 PM

When the lead theater critic of the nation's newspaper of record, The New York Times, extols a play about do-it-yourself abortion, three things become clear: the poverty of contemporary criticism, the poverty of contemporary drama, and the weakness of liberalism's argument for choice.

Taking the last first:


Read Post

Immigration Reform: Go Incrementally, Mr. Obama, and Go Before November

(221) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 10:36 AM

Reform of our immigration system, long described as "broken" by Democrats and Republicans alike, has been on the docket forever. Campaigning to get to the White House, candidate Barack Obama not only promised but guaranteed immigration reform in his first year in office.

That guarantee...

Read Post

Soccer's Teamwork: Something That Works (When So Much Doesn't)

(9) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 3:10 PM

Now that the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament is over, and having imbibed more games than is probably healthy for me these past five weeks, I know why I'm feeling a major, Samuel Beckett-size void.

So much in American life these days doesn't work. But soccer does work --...

Read Post