We fail to counteract the seductive narrative of violent extremism because we do not engage it on its own terms. We talk above it and around it, but not straight at it. Reducing our values to war cries in the mouths of statesmen is an ineffective way to bring those among us who might be seduced back into the fold.
Last week marked the 100th birthday of Jack Parsons, a founder of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Aerojet-Rocketdyne and the inventor of the solid fuel that put man on the moon. In a display of pure serendipity this week, his widow Cameron, will be honored with the first-ever retrospective of her art at MOCA Pacific Design Center.
Needless to say, we've put the events of August 1814 far behind us. So much so, in fact, that when the British prime minister, David Cameron, visited the White House two years ago, he and President Obama, fresh from watching a March Madness basketball game together, traded wisecracks about the burning.