W.J. Astore: Privatization enthusiasts assume that “market forces” will necessarily generate improvements in efficiency and improved service. But what if it just monetizes everything, leading to higher prices and poorer service?
WJ Astore: Today, America’s wars never end. Retired generals like David Petraeus spout gibberish about the wisdom of a “sustainable sustained commitment” to the war in Afghanistan, with the Pentagon babbling on about “long” and “generational” campaigns, as if prolonging wars for less-than-vital causes is a sign of U.S. strength.
WJ Astore: For Trump, being “manly” is about acquiring power, commanding obedience, forcing other men to submit while grabbing pussy whenever you can. It’s a noxious notion of masculinity, an unsympathetic, even an “inhuman” one.
WJ Astore: You can still get a decent liberal arts education in America, assuming you have money. But if you don’t, it’s off to “workforce training” for you.
America is incredibly profligate in war. We spend like drunken sailors (or pilots) on everything to the biggest and most destructive weapons to bubble gum and comic books for the troops.
WJ Astore: The suppression or elimination of words and phrases is one big step toward thought control; so too is the parroting of certain pet phrases and concepts, such as “support our troops” or “make America great again” or “homeland security.”
curious feature of America’s wars is their lack of thematic coherence. Lacking a clear beginning (other than the 9/11 attacks), they also lack a clear end point. It’s all middle – repetition without meaning, action without progress, like a bad novel that introduces lots of characters but that never goes anywhere. Look at the rolling […]
WJ Astore: “Experts” in the military and government focus on how to prosecute war more effectively; rarely do they think seriously about ending or, even better, avoiding wars.
WJ Astore: The sober, sane, thing to do, according to military experts, is always to expand military spending.
WJ Astore: Imagine, for a moment, a truly progressive woman as president of the United States, one who has the courage of her convictions, one committed to fairness and equity in society, one untainted by big money.
WJ Astore: The U.S. strategy, such as it is, is defined and driven by Tomahawks and drones and related weaponry. These weapons make possible “global reach, global power,” but they do not facilitate global thinking.
WJ Astore: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously told Americans that the only thing they had to fear is fear itself. However, recent American presidents have encouraged us to fear everything.
WJ Astore: Russia and China aren’t stupid. Why should they challenge the U.S. in hyper-expensive areas like aircraft-carrier-building or ultra-modern “stealth” bombers when they can easily assert influence in unconventional and asymmetric ways?