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”
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
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. . The NSA Doppleganger and Enemies The Nation currently has an excellent piece on some of the history of surveillance in the … Continue reading Someone call Nixon’s plumbers. We need them again.
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?
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?
Here is a wonderful discussion of how American security has mutated into an American Empire. Seldom are actual threats to America discussed. Threats to American hegemony are presumed to be threats to America. Most of the threats described are never analyzed, probably because they would be shown to have the substance of Saddam's WMD's. The focus … Continue reading A wonderful discussion about the American Empire
One symptom of a nation's broken observation-orientation-decision-action loop (OODA loop) is a disconnect of our national dialog from reality. IMO this is the strongest evidence of America's dysfunction. A broken OODA loop means that we can neither recognize nor prioritize problems. If uncorrected, we cannot effectively fix those problems that we do see. We become a blind … Continue reading Does America have clear vision? Here’s an “eye chart” for our minds.