To understand the War on Terror see Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

Summary: Every war brings forth a film that captures its special nature. For the American war in Vietnam that was Apocalypse Now, showing the violent purposeless madness that it became. For our post-9/11 interventions (weirdly named the "War on Terror") that film is Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow. It perfectly captures the repetitive nature … Continue reading To understand the War on Terror see Tom Cruise in “Edge of Tomorrow”

The hawks’ weird story about Iran’s seizure of 2 US navy boats

Summary: Iran's arrest of US sailors in their waters provides opportunity for our hawks to wave a fake bloody shirt, hoping to make the US public fear and despise Iran. That this daft jingoism is considered acceptable, even routine, fare in our newspapers shows how much we've adopted Imperial thinking -- and abandoned common sense. … Continue reading The hawks’ weird story about Iran’s seizure of 2 US navy boats

Someone call Nixon’s plumbers. We need them again.

Summary: Marcus Ranum looks to our past -- the government's history of surveillance -- to see the future which the government's vast surveillance machinery makes possible, and perhaps will help bring into being. Article deleted at author's request.   Some of the latest revelations about NSA cyber-surveillance - and cyber-war "The Secret War", Wired, 12 … Continue reading Someone call Nixon’s plumbers. We need them again.

What can we learn about ourselves from the career of General Petraeus?

Summary: Any leader both reflects and magnifies his followers. That's doubly so for a star in trouble times like ours. we can learn much about America, about ourselves, from the ascent and crash of General Petraeus. This brief note recaps his career and draws one lesson. Note your conclusions in the comment! Historians might use … Continue reading What can we learn about ourselves from the career of General Petraeus?

Are we blind, or just incurious about important news?

The strongest impression I get from reading our major news media is their lack of curiosity.   If they were to see an elephant walking down Constitution Avenue, they would remark briefly about it before returning to more important things.  The latest jokes about Palin's children, or Michelle Obama's sleeveless dresses. One of the most interesting … Continue reading Are we blind, or just incurious about important news?