Tag Archives: military

A simple country boy’s solution to the budget “crisis”

Some conservatives see all these fact-laden critiques of our various GOP manufactroversies (see Ryan, Paul) and wonder where are the Democratic plans to solve the financial crisis? (I have been asked this, quite vehemently, myself.)

The informed reply goes something like this:

  1. The crisis isn’t real. It’s been fabricated by the neo-liberal politicians whose goal is to eliminate all taxes on rich people and bust structures like unions that afford the non-hyper-wealthy with some leverage in the American political economy. It. Isn’t. Real.
  2. You’re blaming the wrong people. Read more

What would a progressive society look like? The Tricentennial Manifesto

The Tricentennial ManifestoOne of my lists is currently engaged in a fairly dynamic discussion about “what is a progressive?”

In thinking about the issue, I realized that it might help to ask the question a slightly different way: what would a progressive society look like? Maybe I can better understand what it means to be progressive in 2010 if I reverse-engineer the definition from a vision of the future where things work the way they ought to.

I have argued that the success of the progressive movement hinges on seriously long-term thinking. It’s not about the 2012 elections or the 2016 elections or even the 2020 elections – those fights are about the battle, not the war.

Instead, if we do things properly, if we concentrate on and win the war, what does America look like on our Tricentennial? The following 40 articles suggest some ideas. Read more

America vs. the Terrorists, 9/11/10: a status report, nine years on…

In September 11, 2001, al Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger jets. They flew three of them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The fourth was retaken by the passengers and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. These things we know. Since then, much has transpired. For example:

  • The US invaded Afghanistan, the nation that had harbored the terrorists and their mastermind, Osama bin Laden. The war has not been uniformly well managed and attempts to install a stable self-government have so far failed. Many experts argue that our efforts there have been woefully counterproductive. Read more

Fixing America

We rarely do link-throughs, but I came across an interesting conversation yesterday. It began with Don Peck’s Atlantic essay on “How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America,” and then quickly moved on to our friend Ian Welsh’s thought-provoking reply. A snippet:

Because any economic growth right now increases the prices of oil, which then strangles the economy, you must reduce dependence on oil, or you can’t fix your problems.

Because banks aren’t lending, and because they are a net drag on the economy having destroyed more wealth than they created, you must break up the major banks or take other similar actions to the same ends, or you don’t fix your problems. Read more

Fear is the organization killer

Once upon a time the business world was dominated by hierarchical organizations that derived both their structures and mechanistic management philosophies from military thinking that traces its lineage through Frederic the Great all the way back, literally, to the Roman legions. And by “once upon a time,” of course, I mean “at this very minute.”

The truth is that way too many American companies today act as though their employees are some combination of robot and peasant foot soldier. (Hopefully we’re not talking about the company you work for, but I imagine we’ve all been there at some point – I know I have and so have most of the people I know.) Read more

The “McCain standard” and the rise of the Calphalon Candidate

If you’re following America’s electoral theater at all, you know that we have a candidate with a preacher problem. And that the candidate in question has been put in the uncomfortable position of having to repudiate some of said preacher’s remarks (while not alienating those voters in the flock who actually, you know, agree with what the Reverend was saying). In case you haven’t been paying attention, the controversial cleric has pronounced God’s doom upon certain of the nation’s citizens, and the backlash against him and his favorite for the White House has significantly damaged the candidate’s chances.

Of course, I’m talking about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama. Errr, wait … that’s not right. That’s not who I’m talking about at all. Read more

LIFE and Bikini Atoll: The Bomb as spectator sport

Part four in a series.

The terrible specter of nuclear annihilation was now clear in the American mind, a condition that LIFE acknowledged and addressed. But in the months that followed V-J Day an odd thing happened, as military testing of the new weaponry provided an opportunity for bomb-watchers to indulge their awe without having to confront the frightful context of war. In the estimation of President Truman, America was not only the most powerful nation on the planet, it was likely the most powerful nation in history (8/20/45, 32). If the bomb did possess apocalyptic potential, at least it could now be addressed within the relative calm that attends triumph, peace, and unchallenged superiority. Read more

War and Postwar: a look at LIFE and technology

Part three in a series.

In an age and a culture dominated by scientism, the word “sample” tends to invoke the adjectival “representative,” and I cannot begin to imagine culling a meaningful representative sample from LIFE’s 400-plus issues. Still, it seems important to devote a few pages to what happened with LIFE and technology between the Fort Peck Dam and Apollo 17. I will center this discussion on innovations and events that, from our perspective here at the end of the century, appear to have left significant marks on history.

The Medical Morality Play

LIFE’s coverage of medical technology began early and covered, through the decades, the research, development, and application of treatments for a variety of diseases and disorders afflicting humanity. Read more

Helter skelter

MC Gravel is back with some decidedly trippy coverage of the military-industrial complex.

Whatever else you may think about Mike Gravel – and there are many opinions to be had – he’s damned serious about his anti-war campaign and his critique of the state of American democracy at a time when not everyone is paying attention. Read more

Dr. Slammy in 2008 – EducationF1rst: a statement of principle

Put simply, education is the single most critical issue we face. Every dollar (wisely) spent today on teaching and learning is an investment in our future. While there’s no magic remedy for all our ills, education comes closest to being a panacea, because when you educate, you’re crafting the minds that will solve all other challenges.

For example: a dollar spent on education is also a dollar spent on the looming energy crisis. Teaching cultivates the minds that will one day develop the sustainable, environmentally friendly fuel resources we need to assure the growth of our economy and our independence from unstable foreign suppliers.

A dollar spent on education is a dollar spent on preventing and curing disease, Read more