"Few probably recall the name Dwight Elliott Stone. But even if his name has faded from the national memory, the man remains historically significant. That’s because on June 30, 1973, the 24-year-old plumber’s apprentice became the last American forced into the armed services before the military draft expired.
Though next month’s 40-year anniversary of the end of conscription will likely be as forgotten as Stone, it shouldn’t be. In operations across the globe, the all-volunteer military has been employed by policymakers to birth what Gen. George Casey recently called the “era of persistent conflict.” Four decades later, we therefore have an obligation to ask: How much of the public’s complicity in that epochal shift is a result of the end of the draft? "
Thus wrote David Sirota last week in Salon.com.
"There is, of course, no definitive answer to such a complex question. However, a look back at some lost history shows that today’s public acquiescence to militarism was exactly what the government wanted when it ended the draft. Read more
As we try to make sense of the Boston bombing, some say it should make us fear Islam, distrust immigrants & be suspicious of our neighbors.
Some set off alarms & say the rules don't apply invoking WMDs, seeking military tribunals, arguing against Miranda rights & defense attorneys.
We're scared so we consider desperate steps: more surveillance, monitor Muslims, cancel public events, limit individual rights.
But it's also a moment of extraordinary generosity, as people open homes, hearts & wallets; of communities pulling together in caring; of respect for our public first responders.
And tempered voices call for patience, speak against stereotypes & frenzied reactions & affirm that a stronger civic space will keep us all safer in the end.
The last Boston Massacre was part of a Revolution. Maybe this one will be part of our Evolution and the Massacre can turn Mass Scare into Mass Care.
We'll think of Boston as we share a drink together, sharing public space & public space in a pub at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
Margaret Thatcher visits with Augusto Pinochet while he was under house arrest in London.
Margaret Thatcher is dead.
While we in the United States tend to lionize our departed Presidents, a la St. Ronnie of Santa Barbara, British politics is not nearly so genteel or forgiving. Her legacy will be debated much more critically in Britain than Reagans’s has been in the U.S.
Aging punk-rockers, Irish Republicans and trade unionists greeted the passing of Baroness Thatcher which much less solemnity. On Face book, a movement began to push “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” temporarily to iphone’s number one downloaded song.
Thatcherism embodied the ultimate unrestricted “free market” anarcho-capitalist principles. And Thatcherism did not see industrial unions as part of a “free market”. Her policies destroyed the union movement in Britain and essentially de-industrialized vast swathes of the country. Read more
I will give Senator Rand Paul (KY) credit for being steadfast with his filibuster, which says he actually believes what he is saying, or else he has serious designs on Continue Reading →
The post Rand Paul’s Filibuster and Rant Shows Fear and Ignorance
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Marcus Licinius Crassus was the richest man in Roman history. Indeed, he is considered one of the richest men who ever lived. He made his fortune as a supporter of the dictator Sulla by confiscating the properties of Sulla’s political enemies.
He was also a shrewd acquirer of real estate, especially when it was on fire. Rome had no fire department; fires were left to burn themselves out. Crassus organized some 500 men and, when there was a fire, he would show up and offer to buy the property for a song. After the beleaguered owner sold out the burning buildings, Crassus would call on his fire department to put out the flames and then restore the buildings.
In any case, Crassus was described by Plutarch as the ultimate man of avarice. Crassus never had enough and always wanted more.
It was Crassus who, wishing to add glory to his wealth lead the legions which defeated Spartacus in the slave revolt. Several Roman armies were off fighting elsewhere and Crassus offered to personally equip several legions and lead the fight against the slaves. Initially he had trouble. Read more
We live under the false notion in the United States that if we just assert ourselves into the situation we can control the out come. This notion isn't new, we can look at Egypt as a classic case of national overconfidence. Between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, the new kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire is the peak of Egyptian power. While the fall of Egypt was gradual compared to other nations, we all know by 1882 the British occupation began and didn't end until 1953. Like other powerful nations before Egypt, Egypt tried to do too much with limited power, even though at a time they were the most powerful nation in the world Read more
Gen. David Petraeus’s sudden resignation as CIA director on Friday is shocking, but what is more shocking is how the GOP and the media is handling this issues. Not they are wondering if his resignation is apart of some sort of conspiracy to cover up for what happen in Benghazi, Libya since Gen. David Petraeus was to testify in the coming days. I find this laughable. For one while the GOP and the media was blaming the President for what happen in Benghazi. They never once put any blame on the CIA director (David Petraeus) for providing bad intelligence when the attack was classified as a protest gone violent. Where was there outrage at David Petraeus. His name was never even mentioned as a person who was part of the problem. Now, the GOP has a different angel. They think David Petraeus was forced out before he can tell the truth about Benghazi. The great White Knight. What a fantasy! Read more
I haven’t written anything more than an email for a couple days, spent as my writer’s mind is from Campaign 2012. In addition to posting here, I was a regional digital lead for Organizing for America. For many months, I gave my best energy to the cause of reelecting President Obama- and it was worth it. I know all volunteers and staff feel it was worth it following our big electoral win. We are the champions, the victors, the big winners. But what does it all mean, anyway?
What this means is the winning work of the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party continues for four more years.
The first major effort of President Obama’s Administration was the Affordable Care Act, which will be fully realized in 2014. Health care reforms will continue to come online, helping save millions of people’s lives and financial futures. It is an inalienable human right to receive health care, and our nation is closer than ever to achieving full coverage. Read more