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User Profile: Mark Nuckols

About Mark Nuckols
I am a translator, writer, singer and teacher from the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Languages, travel and music are integral parts of my life. Please read - and hear! - more about what I do at


This user has submitted 148 translations to Watching America.

Why Would the Russians Be Spying on Us?

January 2, 2018 // Haló noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

<i>The television debate referenced below took place during the November visit of Czech Premier Milos Zeman to Sochi, Moscow and Yekaterinburg. The current interviewee, Doubrava, is a senator for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia; his opponent in the debate was Frantisek Bublan of the Czech Party of Social [Read more]

Jerusalem, Metropolis of Trump’s Ambitions

December 12, 2017 // Hospodarske Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

There is no holier city for Jews, Christians and Muslims, i.e., for a dominant portion of the planet, than Jerusalem, whose praises have been sung of old. Jesus rose from the dead there, the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven for a time, and Jews can pray at the Wailing Wall – places where the Lord dwells. [Read more]

Donald’s Travails in the Indo-Pacific

November 28, 2017 // Hospodarske noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Trump’s journey to Asia, his most important foreign policy act since taking office, has generally been rated a fiasco. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman expressed it most colorfully in an article headlined: "China Could Sell Trump the Brooklyn Bridge." Translated into the Czech context, where that assessment [Read more]

The Dark Angel: A Symbol of American Capitalism Dies

April 15, 2017 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Even eight purported transplants couldn’t guarantee Rockefeller had a heart. The death of the world’s oldest billionaire on March 20 has been widely commented on in social media, with undisguised sarcasm and delight – even with calculated reference to fabricated reporting on a record number of operations. [Read more]

No Need for Alarm: Trump Means at Least One Good Thing

November 11, 2016 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Miloš Zeman’s 1998-2002 term as prime minister didn’t amount to much. To tell the truth, his administration was one of the Czech Republic’s worst, but then again it didn’t differ fundamentally from other administrations in the region. It was led by a man who threatened to “bind party pamphlets to the skin of [Read more]

Clandestine Drones

July 23, 2016 // Haló Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

In recent days, news has surfaced that a request for permission by the U.S. Army to fly pilotless aircraft, which can be as large as cargo planes, has been awaiting our reply for two months already. Czech officials apparently don’t consider it necessary to inform the public about such things. Now there’s been a [Read more]

A Special Relationship Cools Down

July 1, 2016 // Tagesschau - Germany - German

<i>People in Washington reacted with concern to Brexit. Relations with Great Britain, as well as with the European Union, will be more complicated for the U.S. In domestic politics, the decision of the British could indeed benefit one person.</i> Reactions in the U.S. can be summarized with one question: What does [Read more]

A Star Wars for Our Time

December 30, 2015 // Lidové Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

At Friday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Josh Earnest stood with a rather unusual guard behind him: two storm troopers, the iconic soldiers of the Galactic Empire. The gag for journalists reinforced the notion that the new “Star Wars” movie is a cultural phenomenon and most probably will be the [Read more]

What’s Good for General Motors…

October 24, 2015 // Pravda (SK) - Slovakia - Slovak

“What’s good for GM is good for America,” is the twisted phrase of Charles E. Wilson, whom Dwight D. Eisenhower nominated as defense secretary in 1953.* Before that, as you might guess, he’d been general director of General Motors, the largest automobile maker, from its founding in 1908 until its bankruptcy [Read more]

TTIP: A Chance to Determine Global Rules

May 29, 2015 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Then-European Commission President Manuel Barroso bit off more than he could chew when he declared in January 2013 that he wanted to have the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and EU wrapped up within two years. That was unrealistic, and gave opponents the opportunity to argue that [Read more]

Will Millennials Bury McDonald’s?

October 23, 2014 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

It may be just an advertising trick, or it may be totally true that the McDonald’s logo, that big yellow M, is a better known symbol worldwide than the cross. It wouldn’t be surprising from a firm that has 35,000 outlets in nearly 120 countries. The McDonald’s brand has also become a symbol of globalization, and [Read more]

Does Everyone Really Lie Equally?

October 2, 2014 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

There is only one truth — ours. Western media, by comparison, continuously examine whether information is balanced, whether or not they’re not succumbing to the propaganda of politicians, whether they’re properly fulfilling their role as the watchdogs of democracy. [Read more]

The Flocking of the Hawks

September 20, 2014 // Haló Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Representatives of NATO, the largest military block—as they themselves refer to it; an aggressive pact, which normally gets hushed up, but is apparent from its activities—held a session late last week. Secretary General Rasmussen, who through his appearance and behavior makes known that he is no nice, fairy-tale [Read more]

Iranian Ricochet

July 27, 2010 // Izvestia - Russian - Russian

The United States’ sudden introduction of national (and, because of the global character of American business, essentially global) sanctions against Iran — markedly more painful that the symbolic sanctions of the U.N. Security Council — elicits the sensation of being on the threshold of war. In like manner, in [Read more]

The Putin Ten

July 12, 2010 // SME - Slovakia - Slovak

The Russian-American spy affair is a mix of genres bordering on reality show, Bond flick and soap opera. The tale of the beautiful Chapman, letters written in invisible ink, money buried in the ground, exposure and finally exchange — a happy ending… The dizzying speed with which Moscow and Washington agreed on the [Read more]

A General Who Knew That You Can’t Win by Shooting

June 29, 2010 // Mladá fronta dnes - Czech Republic - Czech

In April, he visited us, the Czech Provincial Reconstruction Team, in Logar, Afghanistan. The man at whom the whole world is gazing now conducted himself naturally and amiably, as if he did not have four stars on his epaulettes. He radiated natural authority. He was extraordinary in that he unhesitatingly worked 18 [Read more]

Google Eyes Czech Market

September 8, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

<i>The world leader in search engines has started up its advertising campaign.</i> It has still not managed to threaten the dominant position of Seznam in the Czech Republic. Google has attacked the Czech Internet. The world leader in search engines operates in 181 lands; thus far it is not number one in only five [Read more]

What Comes After the Withdrawal?

August 24, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Was it better under Saddam Hussein or now? For sixty years, the cliché held true in America that whenever the U.S. got stuck in a war, it was under Democratic presidents, whereas Republicans brought the soldiers home. Truman dragged America into Korea; Eisenhower ended that war. Kennedy and Johnson dragged America [Read more]

Damned MuslYMCA

August 12, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The critics have thus far been unsuccessful at finding a fitting analogy, but the message of the threat is clear: Any mosque or Islamic center whatsoever is a symbol of America’s enemies. [Read more]

The World after the Dollar

November 20, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

America has given up its role as economic anchor. When future historians try to date the fall of American dominance, November 2010 will be a hot candidate. The symbol of dominance was the exceptionality of the dollar. It was not a national currency, but an axis of worldwide financial stability. The dollar was the new [Read more]

American Anti-Americanism

November 2, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

We have (almost) a little period of peace following our elections. America’s elections are waiting for it. This coming Tuesday the entire lower chamber of Congress (House of Representatives) and roughly one-third of the upper chamber (Senate) will change. And two of today’s contributions to the newsstands of the [Read more]

How They See Us in Washington

October 23, 2010 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

<b>Focused on Brussels</b> Last year in July, leading figures of Central Europe, among them former Czech president Václav Havel, sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing fears of Russian influence and calling on the American president not to “throw overboard” his allies in Central and Eastern Europe. [Read more]

China Fears Dispatches More than the U.S.

December 13, 2010 // SME - Slovakia - Slovak

American representative offices in China sent 5,000 secret dispatches published by WikiLeaks. Another 950 came from Hong Kong. Some convey an altogether new view of Beijing’s policy on the Korean peninsula; at the same time, they accuse the communist government of organized attacks on government computers belonging [Read more]

R.R.’s Deadly Joke

February 12, 2011 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Yesterday the entire advanced world recalled the hundredth anniversary of the birth of that great son of the American people, leader of the world middle class, actor, statesman and astrologer Ronald Wilson Reagan. His unsurpassed accomplishments in promoting the free market, the American lifestyle and Good over Evil [Read more]

President Obama: First Half or First Quarter?

February 1, 2011 // SME - Slovakia - Slovak

In his State of the Union address, Barack Obama pointed to the looming possibility of the U.S. falling behind. Whereas it was a leader in the last century, it is now losing its position. Innovation, education, infrastructure, competitiveness, the elimination of superfluous government offices, fiscal responsibility, [Read more]

Murdoch: Now Vermin in the U.S. Too

July 25, 2011 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The wave of criticism is already starting to sound in the United States. In part due to the prestigious Wall Street Journal’s shift to general news. Rupert Murdoch will appear before British legislators to explain that he personally didn’t know about the corrupt practices of journalists of his London paper News of [Read more]

The Deal with American Unemployment

July 18, 2011 // Hospodářské Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Readers of the Friday edition of “Audit” may have the feeling that the author has gone crazy. The thing is that I mentioned that Thursday’s data on new job creation by the American private sector is altogether encouraging and if confirmed, may mean a turn in American economic development. But even though the [Read more]

America Not Looking to the Stars

July 12, 2011 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The space shuttle program has exhausted its possibilities after 30 years, and there are plenty of economic and scientific arguments for its termination. The end of shuttle flights is surely a metaphor for the present reality of an America looking inward toward the depths of its budget and into the abyss of its debts [Read more]

Tony vs. Arnie for E.U. President?

June 18, 2011 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Speculation arose about a month ago on the possibility of Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming the next permanent chairman of the European Union, the so-called president of the E.U. Now, a likely rival has been found in former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. What else has happened in the EU in the past week? There was [Read more]

Spotting Trans-Atlantic Spin

August 25, 2011 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

In Europe we’re still haggling over the future of the Euro zone and the entire European Union. The American media are clear about that. The EU is “down and out,” exhausted from its current problems, and in its present form has no chance of survival. Many of these arguments sound like stereotypes. [Read more]

New Era

August 13, 2011 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

With the words “Yes, we can!” Barack Obama announced a new era. Now it is really here, but not the way he imagined it. Standard & Poor’s has taken its AAA rating away from the United States. For the first time in history, America has ceased to be the world’s most reliable debtor, and the global economy has [Read more]

Ten Lost Years Since 9/11

September 17, 2011 // Mladá Fronta Dnes - Czech Republic - Czech

I don’t know how to put the diagnosis any more courteously, but the West has lost its mind since Sept. 11, 2001. It ceased behaving rationally and allowed a man directing a jihadist group from his caves to derail it from the real challenges of the future. The West is paying for it and will do so for a long time. [Read more]

Post-American World

November 29, 2011 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The middle class, the societal bread-winner, is disappearing like snow in the sunshine, while the domain of the imagination has exceeded all healthy limits: Marketing is everything, reality nothing. [Read more]

America’s Premature Farewell to Europe

February 17, 2012 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

It is time for the relatively wealthy countries of Europe, joined together in NATO, to fend for themselves. But the economic crisis will push European governments to further cuts. Thus it is possible that America’s supposition of Europe’s inherent security and self-sufficiency is still premature. [Read more]

Presidential Elections on Twitter

February 6, 2012 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Reporters covering this year’s election season in America have found a new form of entertainment: the regular exchange of opinions by President Obama’s chief advisor David Axelrod and Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s advisor Eric Fehrnstrom on Twitter. One of these exchanges began when Axelrod reacted in his [Read more]

Exchange Rate

March 15, 2012 // Zerkalo Nedeli - Ukraine - Russian

The very existence of the meeting of North Korea’s vice foreign minister, Kim Kye Gwan, and U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Glyn Davies, who held Pyongyang-Washington consultations in Beijing as the heads of their countries’ respective delegations, signals a definite shift on the path to a [Read more]

Voice of America Celebrates 70 Years

March 3, 2012 // Lidové noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

For audiences in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain, the [Voice of America] radio station was a glimmer of hope and support in the dim grayness of the communist regime. It continues to promote freedom, democracy and good radio journalism [Read more]

A Matter of Honor

April 12, 2012 // Vzglyad - Russia - Russian

The decision of an American court, which sentenced Viktor Bout to 25 years in prison, has been called “unfounded” and “biased” in Moscow. Smolenskaya Square officials have promised to secure the repatriation of the Russian, declaring that the matter will become a priority in talks with Washington. Experts have [Read more]

Our Buttressing Phobia

April 2, 2012 // Rossiyskaya Gazeta - Russia - Russian

U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul is amazed by the heating up of anti-Americanism in Russia. “To be honest, I was shocked with anti-Americanism and attacks on me personally. … However, we’ve been told that this is just a part of the presidential campaign.” And, he explained further, the U.S. will not return to [Read more]

Fat Cats Lose Election

November 12, 2012 // KM - Russia - Russian

As soon as reports came out about Barack Obama’s victory in the presidential race, American stock indexes began to fall. That’s even how it was supposed to be; the re-elected president has long spoken of most stock speculators as “fat cats” and promised to moderate their appetites. To the contrary, the [Read more]

Farewell to Kabul

February 12, 2013 // Kommersant - Russia - Russian

The American president’s initiatives do not appear to be changes of principle in the U.S. position on the Afghanistan issue. They merely testify that the U.S. is approaching the concluding phase of troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the preparation for which has been conducted by the current administration throughout [Read more]

The Unsightly Image of American Politics

January 16, 2013 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Looking at American legislators we might occasionally get the same feeling as when we observe Czech lawmakers, namely that they are a strange bunch wrapped up in their own little world. But in one matter American congressmen are better: In the end, they didn’t include an initial proposal to increase their own [Read more]

The Freedom to Shoot

December 28, 2012 // Respekt - Czech Republic - Czech

“We’ll eat breakfast. Two minutes.” My husband summons me in brilliant Czech to view the outcome of his weekend culinary endeavors. The language is very, very slowly but nevertheless seeping into the folds of his brain in spite of his obstinate effort not to learn the language of the land of milk, honey and [Read more]

Time for an Economic NATO

December 16, 2012 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

If remaining regulations could be removed within the framework of an agreement on a free trade zone, economic growth on both sides of the Atlantic could increase by as much as two percent, according to some estimates. [Read more]

Washington Plays Its Diplomatic Trump Card

December 6, 2012 // Nezavisimaya Gazeta - Russia - Russian

<b>Hillary Clinton pushes stalled cease-fire talks.</b> The cease-fire agreement was supposed to go into force in Gaza in the early morning hours of Wednesday, as announced earlier by Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, whose representatives are playing a mediatory role in negotiations between Israel and Hamas, the [Read more]

Ten Years Since the Trumped-up Aggression Against Iraq

March 27, 2013 // Literární noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Ten years have passed since the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Many in the U.S. today consider it a mistake that cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, of which billions were thrown straight out the window. Calculating the devastation the invasion caused Iraqis is impossible. As these lines are being written, the estimate of the [Read more]

Imposing Its Views and Interests

March 7, 2013 // Vzglyad - Russia - Russian

<i>The latest survey of the Public Opinion Fund (FOM) shows that Russian citizens’ opinions of the U.S. have begun to worsen. It is also interesting that America evokes negative associations from 27 percent of respondents and positive associations from only 15 percent. Experts point out that the responses also give [Read more]

It's Up to You, New York City

July 31, 2013 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Dear New Yorkers, wouldn't it be a shame for your wonderful city, where nearly 20 million people live and which has a GDP six times greater than the Czech Republic, to be led by a repeated liar, Carlos Danger? [Read more]


July 9, 2013 // Vzglyad - Russia - Russian

Espionage style is drifting from that of James Bond films to that of the famous French 'The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe' [Read more]

We Need Internet Snooping

October 15, 2013 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

As the PRISM case in the U.S. shows, the main problem is monitoring the monitors. There are mistakes and excessive surveillance, but America is decidedly not Staasi-era East Germany or contemporary China. [Read more]

How I Shot Damascus

September 7, 2013 // Reflex - Czech Republic - Czech

George Orwell, in his famous essay “Shooting an Elephant,” recalls his years spent in Burma, where, as an official of the colonial government, he shot to death a roaming male elephant, even though it posed no threat to its surroundings. So why did he shoot it? Because it was the thing to do. Local residents [Read more]

Why I Won’t Stop Watching Woody Allen Movies

February 24, 2014 // Reflex - Czech Republic - Czech

Apart from the most fantastic speculations and severe condemnations by self-appointed lay judges, concerning accusations that Woody Allen sexually abused his own stepdaughter, an array of sophisticated debates has arisen among intellectuals and connoisseurs of Allen’s work about whether they will be able — if the [Read more]

Obama Remains Just the President of Small Tasks

February 7, 2014 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

Actors who do not get big roles console themselves that there are no small ones. There are no small tasks, President Obama tried to convince listeners in this year’s State of the Union address last night. On the threshold of his sixth year in office, the president did not even pretend to expect any accommodation from [Read more]

The Well-Hidden Ukraine on CNN

May 14, 2014 // Hospodářské Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The managers of Fox News and CNN have evidently decided that world news is a money-loser, and therefore, dear viewers, we will no longer trouble you with that incomprehensible outside world. [Read more]

Radar in the Czech Republic?

March 18, 2014 // Lidové Noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

<i>The anti-missile umbrella, the missile defense system the U.S. had planned to install in the Czech Republic and Poland several years ago, was — according to claims at the time — to defend Europe and the U.S. from a possible intercontinental ballistic missile attack from hostile countries, as Iran is for [Read more]

Europe's Exit Exam

March 4, 2014 // Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic - Czech

The question is whether Europe is prepared to take on the responsibility — not just for itself, but above all, for the concerns in its neighborhood. The crisis in Ukraine may be, in this sense, a fundamental test. [Read more]