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Alexis de Tocqueville on why it’s very American to come to OUR TOWN next Thursday night

“Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society.”

The graphic is from Maira Kalman’s superb New York Times blog “So Moved.” Whatever you do, read it now. And whatever you do, come to our first OUR TOWN forum. You bring your manners, we’ll bring the pizza! (Rarely do you get direct instruction for revolutionary France…)

Tallahassee Democrat: Media experts take questions about the state of the media

By Jordan Culver

There was some role reversal Tuesday night at The Village Square’s latest panel discussion. Media experts were put on the receiving end of some tough questions, with members of The Village Square conducting the interviews.

A panel — consisting of a newspaper editor, the man who runs who runs a Florida news aggregate website, two longtime reporters and a professor — tackled inquiries about the state of the news media, where the industry is going and how The St. Petersburg Times picked up a new name.

“Media Wars,” a dinner discussion hosted by The Village Square, concentrated on how the news industry can thrive in a more online-oriented era. CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood served as the keynote speaker for the event. Read the whole article online at Tallahassee.com HERE.

Tallahassee Democrat: Forum participants to discuss ever-changing news media

By Jordan Culver

The Village Square wants to ensure the community can keep up with the constantly changing face of the news media.

Today, several media experts will gather to discuss how media have evolved in society, in the classroom and, of course, on the Internet.

At 6 p.m., The Village Square will host “Media Wars: The Future of How (and What) We Know,” which is part of its “Dinner at the Square” series of events.

CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood will serve as keynote speaker. Neil Skene, moderator for the event, said Harwood was a “terrific” option and added that the panel will offer a wide variety of views.

Panelists include Tampa Bay Times Editor Neil Brown; Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lucy Morgan; Florida A&M professor and Knight Chair in Journalism Joe Ritchie; and Justin Sayfie, publisher of Sayfie Review. Read the article at Tallahassee.com HERE.

The Bad News: We’re sold out for tonight. The Good News: You can see John Harwood at FSU for free!


John Harwood, the chief Washington correspondent for CNBC, will present a lecture, “Fragmented Politics, Fragmented Media: Challenges to American Journalism.” The lecture is part of the Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s Laird B. Anderson and Florence H. Ashby Lectureship on Public Policy Journalism series.


3:30 – 5 P.M.



636 W. CALL ST.


In addition to his work at CNBC, Harwood is a political writer for The New York Times. He also provides political analysis on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and oversees The Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll. Following his graduation from Duke University in 1978, Harwood joined the St. Petersburg Times, reporting on police, local government and politics, as well as working on investigative projects. Later he became the paper’s state capital correspondent in Tallahassee. In 1991, he joined The Wall Street Journal as White House correspondent, covering the George H.W. Bush administration and, subsequently, Congress. In 1997, he became the Journal’s political editor.

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(Parking available on the top level of the parking garage on the corner of Call and Macomb Streets)

FSU, Village Square events host CNBC’s John Harwood; focus on future of journalism

For Immediate Release
February 2, 2012

CNBC’s John Harwood to speak at Florida State University and The Village Square;joined by leaders in Florida’s media landscape

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – February 2, 2012 – In just a few short years, everything has changed about how we get our information, and John Harwood, CNBC Chief Washington Correspondent, is coming to Tallahassee to talk about it. Harwood will share his views on the changes, challenges and future of journalism as the featured speaker at two February 7 events in Tallahassee. (more…)

Don’t miss this profile of Media Wars panelist Lucy Morgan on NPR yesterday

(And check out the cameo by Florence Snyder, Village Square featured blogger, also the lyricist for Tuesday’s entertainment “Miss Quote and the Clarifications.” Oh this will be a fun evening…)

Latest news from The Village Square

Click here to view the newsletter.

Rep. Jeff Flake (R, Arizona) performs one the most outstanding acts of human decency I’ve seen in politics in my lifetime

I looked and looked for a video of these touching moments to share with you if you didn’t catch Tuesday night’s State of the Union, but I couldn’t find one. So I’m sharing this video as an introduction. You can see Congressman Flake at Giffords’ left in the first half of the video below.

Last year’s State of the Union found Arizona Republican Representative Jeff Flake sitting next to Representative Gabby Gifford’s empty seat as she struggled for her life in the aftermath of the shooting. So this year he reports being delighted to be able to – as NoLabels.org advocated for – sit in a bipartisan fashion next to his colleague. Throughout the speech, Rep. Giffords stood up with her Democratic party at the appropriate Democratic applause lines.

And each time she did, it was Representative Flake who both helped her to her feet and helped her sit back down again. He was, many times that night, the only Republican in the chamber standing.

“She knew when she wanted to stand up,” Flake told Yahoo News. “And I stood when she stood.”

As the sister of a retired Navy SEAL (and as someone who started an organization about the importance getting along) I liked this part.

President Obama in last night’s State of the Union:

Those of us who’ve been sent here to serve can learn from the service of our troops. When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Yum: Menu for our Super Bowl special Faith, Food, Friday event

Super Bowl loaded baked potato bar:
Chili-with meat or vegetarian, baked potato, sautéed peppers, onions, and mushrooms, steamed broccoli, cheddar sauce, butter, sour cream, bacon crumbles

Green salad with choice of dressings

Ultimate brownie footballs.

Can’t resist, right? Reserve your spot and make your food reservation HERE.

Spiritual but not Religious FFF slideshow

Photo credits: Bob Howard
Want to make reservations for the next program? Check out “Faith, Football, Tebow” HERE.

TAG Tallahassee news

Read the latest TAG Tallahassee newsletter online HERE. Subscribe by sending a blank email to TAG@tothevillagesquare.org.

Check out two foreign policy events in Tallahassee tomorrow



12:30 – 1:15 P.M.



U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Steven Ratti, the United States Southern Command’s director of plans and operations and a Florida State University alumnus, will discuss security and humanitarian issues within the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the situation in Haiti two years after its devastating earthquake, at Florida State University on Monday, Jan. 23. Read the entire release here.

Former Foreign Service Officer and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State to discuss energy policy within the international arena as it may bear upon Florida at kickoff event for Tallahassee’s new chapter of the American Committees on Foreign Relations

MONDAY, JAN. 23, 2012

5:30–7:00 P.M.

Hotel Duval

415 North Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301

Molly K. Williamson, a dynamic speaker affiliated with the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. and former Foreign Service Officer and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organizations at the U.S. Department of State, will discuss international energy policy as it may bear upon Florida, a topic of significant interest at the national, state and local levels. Read the entire press release here.