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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

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

(2) Comments | Posted August 13, 2015 | 4:52 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...

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

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2015 | 6:11 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.

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

(10) Comments | Posted June 29, 2015 | 2:15 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...
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Books for Our Times: Losing Our Way, by Bob Herbert

(3) Comments | Posted May 28, 2015 | 12:33 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...

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Fifty Shades of Shame: Playing at Torture

(4) Comments | Posted April 22, 2015 | 8:16 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...

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

(4) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 12:04 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...

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

(8) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 10:01 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...

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

(0) Comments | Posted December 18, 2014 | 6:02 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...

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

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 11:31 AM

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...

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Democrats Are 'Disgusted' With Politics? Boo Hoo

(225) Comments | Posted October 28, 2014 | 5:07 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...

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

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 2:05 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:


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

(224) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 9:36 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...

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

(9) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 2:10 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 --...

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America Can Still Lead the World -- With Coalitions Abroad and by Getting Our Own House in Order

(3) Comments | Posted June 26, 2014 | 9:36 AM

Quo vadis, America?

With the exit of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 and the looming exit at the end of this year of our troops from Afghanistan -- as President Barack Obama delivers on his campaign promises to end the tragically misdirected Bush-Cheney wars -- the public debate about...

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Behemoth in a Bathrobe: A Dialogue

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 2:34 AM

This dialogue, between America and its conscience, was included in the anthology, "The Impossible Will Take a Little While: Perseverance and Hope in Troubled Times," and updated for the 10th anniversary edition, which is now available. Contributors include Vaclav Havel, Tony Kushner, Nelson Mandela, Bill Moyers, Desmond Tutu,...

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Distinguishing Between Can and Should: What a Superpower Should Be Able to Do

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 4:33 PM

President Obama introduced a novel concept into American discourse recently when he distinguished between what America can and should do when it comes to national security surveillance.

But this important, possibly nation-saving concept---about what the American superpower can and should do---relates not only to surveillance. It relates to other...

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Why Pres. Obama Should Have Prosecuted the Bush Administration for War Crimes -- and Still Can (By Other Means)

(12) Comments | Posted March 27, 2014 | 3:12 PM

It was meant as a magnanimous gesture. When newly inaugurated President Barack Obama announced his decision not to prosecute officials of the Bush administration for war crimes -- for engaging in torture, specifically, but also more generally for mounting a war in Iraq on fraudulent premises (the nonexistent...

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Dear Boeing: Next Time, Try Benevolence

(4) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 12:33 PM

There is joy in Mudville -- for now. After a cliff-hanger of a union vote, Boeing will stay here in Washington state, where it was founded almost 100 years ago and where it's since become the world's biggest airplane manufacturer and the state's biggest employer.

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Memo to Robert Gates: Duty, Sir, Lies in Getting a War's Premise Right

(3) Comments | Posted January 14, 2014 | 10:50 AM

Taking a shot at the commander-in-chief he served, former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates in his new book faults President Barack Obama for a lack of "passion" in his prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, citing him instead for just wanting to get out.

By contrast,...

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The Power of Moral Action: Nelson Mandela and Pope Francis

(0) Comments | Posted December 19, 2013 | 11:19 AM

In modern culture, those who make the moral point are usually mocked -- as "righteous" and "judgmental," "naïve" and "unsophisticated." In reaction, the public and the culture's gatekeepers (critics) regularly go slumming on the wild side, most recently enthusing over Breaking Bad, the TV series about a high-school chemistry teacher...

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