Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

Here’s the final entry in our series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Cortinarius argentatus. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still others… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, September 2018: Cortinarius argentatus

Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

Here’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly,… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, August 2018: Ravenel’s Stinkhorn Phallus ravenelii

Mushroom of the Month, July 2018: Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Here’s the next entry in our monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly,… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, July 2018: Golden Chanterelle, Cantharellus spp.

Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Continuing our cool new monthly series, Mushroom of the Month, brought to you by Michael W. Hopping, co-author of A Field Guide to Mushrooms of the Carolinas:  A Southern Gateways Guide — this month it’s Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei. Mushrooms in the wild present an enticing challenge: some are delicious, others are deadly, and still… Continue Reading Mushroom of the Month, June 2018: Painted Suillus, Suillus spraguei

Karen L. Cox: Goat Castle

August 4, 2017, is the 85th anniversary of the “Goat Castle Murder.” This strange and fascinating tale is recounted in Karen L. Cox’s new book, Goat Castle: A True Story of Murder, Race, and the Gothic South, publishing on October 9, 2017. John Grisham calls it “a highly entertaining story about a long-forgotten murder.” Read on for… Continue Reading Karen L. Cox: Goat Castle

Michael H. Hunt: The Pentagon’s Durable Asian Fairy Tale

The Pentagon’s fairy tale history of U.S. involvement in eastern Asia appears alive and well. So at least statements made by Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter during his recent visits in Singapore and Vietnam suggest. Following the lines of the mythology that seems to exercise strong appeal in official U.S. circles, Carter claimed that the United States by playing a pivotal military role in the region over the past seven decades has “helped maintain peace and stability.” (See the transcript of his address in Singapore on 30 May and his interview in Vietnam with the BBC dated 1 June.) Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The Pentagon’s Durable Asian Fairy Tale

Michael H. Hunt: The Ukraine Crisis and the Rules Great Powers Play By

The United States has championed a values-based approach with a strong missionary impulse behind it. Woodrow Wilson provided its first full-blown articulation, and post-World War II policy saw to its full-blown application. Holding a dominant global position, Washington sought with varying degrees of urgency and determination to advance a basket of ideological goods. U.S. leaders have articulated these goods in a variety of ways such as “democracy,” “free-market capitalism,” and “human rights.” But underlying all these formulations is a strong and distinctly American belief in the autonomy of the individual and a commitment to political liberty and limited state power. In the rhetoric of American statecraft these notions are a leitmotiv. They have generally set the direction of U.S. policy responses to problems of the sort that Ukraine poses. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The Ukraine Crisis and the Rules Great Powers Play By

Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine: Troubles with Empire

Empire has had a long and troubled career in U.S. politics and culture–and the old angst is still very much with us. Over the last decade or so we have heard the familiar refrain adamantly denying the existence of an American empire, even as some have insisted just as adamantly on the reality or at least the possibility of an American empire. We embarked on our study of the four U.S. wars in Asia with no intention of getting mixed up in what seemed a tired, unproductive debate. We had our hands full working out the contours of our wars and tracing the relationship of each to the others. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt and Steven I. Levine: Troubles with Empire

Michael H. Hunt: Obama’s Cairo, Then and Now

The Cold War, far from an aberration, built on a pattern that had become well established earlier in the century. Elected governments, Washington feared, might be swayed by popular passions or betrayed by their own immaturity. Coups whether in Iran in 1953 or in Egypt in 2013 paved the way for strongmen promising stability and accommodating U.S. interests. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Obama’s Cairo, Then and Now

Michael H. Hunt: Obama and Syria: Trapped in a Web of Words

Language is in its potency a trap—in this case an inducement to action even when careful consideration warns of potentially dire consequences. Put differently, the axioms handed down from earlier policy practice have demonstrated their capacity to overrule prudent calculation. That insight leaves us with a set of genuine questions. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Obama and Syria: Trapped in a Web of Words

Michael H. Hunt: Obama and the War on Terror: Toward Greater Realism

Reading the address delivered 23 May at the National Defense University surprised me not just because it went well beyond the drone issue to address the conduct of the war on terror. More than that, Obama took some significant steps toward dealing with the war in terms of classical realism. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Obama and the War on Terror: Toward Greater Realism

Michael H. Hunt: The New Foreign Policy Concensus: A Word of Caution

The new consensus has been confirmed since Obama’s victory. His inaugural address announced the end of a decade of war and the start of a process of national reinvention meant to address challenges on the home front. However sensible this new consensus may be, it suffers from a major flaw: its profound vulnerability. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The New Foreign Policy Concensus: A Word of Caution

Michael H. Hunt: The American Project in the Middle East: The End Is Nigh!

If you think the past week or so has not gone well for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, then what to say about the U.S. position in the Middle East? Washington’s attempt to remake or at least manage the region has suffered a string of blows that suggests the end is nigh. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: The American Project in the Middle East: The End Is Nigh!

Sandra Gutierrez: Pecan Rum Cake with Figs

I grew up in Latin America, eating cakes soaked in rum that we used to call borrachos or drunken cakes. Rum, after all, is made out of sugarcane and in my opinion, that is enough of a reason to feature it in baked goods. Here, instead of adding it in the form of rum syrup, I add it straight into the batter, which infuses it with a subtle essence and therefore makes it suitable for romantics of all ages. Continue Reading Sandra Gutierrez: Pecan Rum Cake with Figs

Michael H. Hunt: Ryan Crocker and the Imperial Reckoning

One reason for the U.S. failure in the Middle East seems obvious. The Bush administration embraced empire long after empire’s expiration date had passed. The American project faced potent opposition in Iraq and Afghanistan that could be contained only by making deals with shrewd collaborators with their own interests to serve. The international hostility to the Iraq invasion was intense, and even in the United States the Iraq adventure fell into disfavor. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Ryan Crocker and the Imperial Reckoning

Michael H. Hunt: Panetta on tour in an Asia without history

Panetta’s formal comments and casual remarks reveal little interest in this rich past, no insights that would be instructive, and some generalizations that are distinctly misleading if not wrongheaded. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt: Panetta on tour in an Asia without history

Steven I. Levine & Michael H. Hunt: Civilian Casualties: Tactical Regrets and Strategic Hypocrisy

The reality is that the large-scale targeted killing of civilians has been an integral part of America’s military strategy for well over a century. Continue Reading Steven I. Levine & Michael H. Hunt: Civilian Casualties: Tactical Regrets and Strategic Hypocrisy

Karen L. Cox: Black Domestic in a Can: A South Carolina Ad Agency “Helps” Glory Foods

Who is the company trying to reach with these commercials except, perhaps, all those white women who read ‘The Help’ and are looking to recapture some of that for themselves? It’s certainly an interesting marketing ploy. Perhaps that is the point. Continue Reading Karen L. Cox: Black Domestic in a Can: A South Carolina Ad Agency “Helps” Glory Foods

Video: Sandra Gutierrez reveals the secrets to great biscuits

In this video produced by the Miami Culinary Institute, Sandra Gutierrez gives some secrets to great biscuits as she prepares her buttermilk and pork rind biscuits. Continue Reading Video: Sandra Gutierrez reveals the secrets to great biscuits

Michael H. Hunt & Steven I. Levine: Power Pivot or Duffer’s Divot?: Obama’s Asia Policy

American leaders still crave international leadership. But the time for sweet dreams of a U.S. era in Asia is over. Continue Reading Michael H. Hunt & Steven I. Levine: Power Pivot or Duffer’s Divot?: Obama’s Asia Policy