Category Archives: War/Security

Cop Killer 2011: Police, power and the case of Lt. Pike

I think at some point in our lives, most of us imagine that it might be cool to be famous. But perhaps…perhaps not like this.

Continue reading Cop Killer 2011: Police, power and the case of Lt. Pike

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Obama is talking the talk. Must be campaign season…

Yesterday, on Facebook, one of my friends posted a graphic of the president and this recent quote, which is making the rounds:

I reject the idea that asking a hedge fund manager to pay the same tax rate as a plumber or a teacher is class warfare…

And today, over at the Great Orange Satan, msblucow has an interesting poll up aimed at gauging how likely voters are to support Obama’s reelection bid in 2012. More to the point, why they are likely to vote for him (or not)? If you click through to the poll, there’s a series of questions that asks if the president’s actions on a series of issues make you more likely to vote for him, less likely, undecided, or do his actions and policies have no effect. Continue reading Obama is talking the talk. Must be campaign season…

The lesson that bin Laden learned from Reagan

There is a particular narrative about Ronald Reagan and the end of the Cold War that has always struck me as compelling. I bought the argument at the time and I think I still do, to some extent, even though I’m hardly a Reagan fan.

The story goes like this: Reagan was able to finally win the Cold War and drive a stake through the heart of the Evil Empire because he realized that the Soviet economy was already badly overextended trying to prop up the war machine. All he had to do was accelerate the arms race, dramatically increasing military spending (while also amping up the sabre-rattling rhetoric) and that would force the Russkis to bankrupt themselves trying to compete. Continue reading The lesson that bin Laden learned from Reagan

DJ Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 27 – a song you think would be an effective instrument of torture

It seems that America now officially believes in torture as a primary tool of investigation. And back in 2008, I did a little story on how, believe it or not, we are using music as an implement of torture. So I suppose today’s challenge has a dark side, huh?

Mercifully for those suspected terrorists in captivity, DJ EIT (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques) lacks imagination (although, +1 for the “Barney Theme Song” and Meow Mix jingle). Still, nothing at all from the Disco era? Continue reading DJ Enhanced Interrogation Techniques: 30-Day Song Challenge, the Sequel, day 27 – a song you think would be an effective instrument of torture

Memorial Day weekend: open thread

Memorial Day at Arlington National CemeteryIt’s Memorial Day weekend. As we honor our fallen, let’s also reflect on the larger question of war and on the reasons these dead heroes are too often asked to give up their lives.

S&R invites our readers to offer their own favorite poems of war and memory. Or stories. Or personal recollections. Whatever.

I’ll start. This one, from Yehuda Amichai, isn’t about America, but I think the message probably resonates for all of us.

Memorial Day For The War Dead

Memorial day for the war dead. Continue reading Memorial Day weekend: open thread

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

30-Day Song Challenge, day 11: a song by my favorite band

I know that there’s no such thing as a band that everybody likes, and I’m fine with the idea that some people can’t stand my favorite band, U2. I don’t always understand the objections, but so what. I am puzzled when people flat-out misunderstand fairly obvious poses, like Bono’s Macphisto or The Fly characters, which were explicit Pop Star parodies aimed at the vapid, corrupt nature of the modern entertainment complex. “Oh, look, Bono has bought his own hype!” Ummm, no, Bono is offering a critique of the hype, which you’d know if you’d pay closer attention. What, you think “IT’S YOUR WORLD YOU CAN CHARGE IT” is a typo? Continue reading 30-Day Song Challenge, day 11: a song by my favorite band

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. Continue reading What would a progressive society look like? The Tricentennial Manifesto

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: