A Reply to the Taliban

Dear Taliban,

Thank you for your letter to the American people.

As one person in the United States I cannot offer you a representative reply on behalf of all of us. Nor can I use polls to tell you what my fellow Americans think, because, as far as I know, polling companies haven’t asked the U.S. public about the war on your country in years. Possible explanations for this include:

  1. We have several other wars going on, and the blowback includes a lot of self-inflicted mass-shootings.
  2. Too many wars at a time doesn’t make the most desired packaging for advertisements.
  3. Our previous president announced that your war was over.
  4. Many here actually think it is over, which makes them useless for polling on the topic of ending it.

I do want to let you know that some of us saw your letter, that some news outlets reported on it, that people have read more

New TCBH! poem: Ostrich’s lament

The sand underground is very dark

But I’ve learned to open my inner eye.

I’ve become quite the dreamer!

Been dreaming up a new world.

It used to be dark down here

All by myself, hiding

From everything that is going on, everything

Swirling around the United States of the Ostrich Farm.

Sure I miss running with my fellow birds.

But I don’t miss it much!

Nobody takes us seriously.

We’re sort of the muppets of nature.

Big eyes, long eyelashes, long scaly legs.

Fluffy butt feathers.

Nobody read more

Shooters not only nuts: US Mass Killers Crucially Abetted by Nuts Who Won’t Ban Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Clips

By Dave Lindorff

Something is clearly sick in America.

The latest shooting in Broward County Florida was no surprise. Like almost all the school shootings that are now weekly events in the United States, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where it took place was in not some violence-plagued, over-crowded, mostly non-white urban school, but rather was located in the town of Parkland, an upscale suburban community. The school had an “A” rating from the state, as a top-performing high read more

Tomgram: Stephanie Savell, The Hidden Costs of America’s Wars

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

When it comes to America’s wars, more than 16 years later our generals are victorious. Not, of course, in the distant lands where those conflicts grind on unendingly, but in the one place that matters: Washington, D.C. Could there be a more striking sign of that than the elevation of three of those generals to key positions in the Trump administration? If any of them are going read more

Florida Shooter’s JROTC Took NRA Money, Excelled at Marksmanship

35% of U.S. mass shooters are military veterans, as compared with 14.76% in the general population for the same gender and age. See documentation of this below.

First a couple of Tweets:

Now an image from: https://jrotceagles.com

Whether the latest school shooter’s participation in a JROTC program that took NRA money and trained in marksmanship contributed to the shooting or not, it is symptomatic of a culture in which many schools are forgetting that read more

Witness Out of Palestine

Anna Baltzer’s amazing book Witness in Palestine: A Jewish American Woman in the Occupied Territories has been updated over the years, and I’ve just read it for the first time. Rather unfairly, and — as it turns out — wrongly, my first response upon turning the initial pages was: Do we really need another one of these? Jewish person believes pile of myths. Jewish person confronts reality. Jewish person tries to open the eyes of others. It’s become as familiar as “Dog Bites read more

Trump’s latest insulting idea: Converting SNAP into a Canned Goods Distribution Program is a Revolutionary Idea

By Dave Lindorff

            What a horrific idea President Trump has come up with in calling for an end to the provision of food assistance money under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which he’d supposedly like to turn into a “surplus food” type operation where people are provided with canned goods and other packaged foods instead of cash.

read more

            First read more

Video of Debate #2: Is War Ever Justifiable?

Our first debate was February 12th. This was our second, held February 13, 2018, at Eastern Mennonite University, moderated by Lisa Schirch.

Youtube.

Facebook.

The two speakers’ bios:

Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct research on combat leadership. A graduate of West Point, he holds an MA in Philosophy from read more

Tomgram: Engelhardt, Whistling Past the Graveyard (of Empires)

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

The Light at the End of the Corner
A Trip Down Memory Lane, Pentagon-Style
By Tom Engelhardt

If you’re in the mood, would you consider taking a walk with me and, while we’re at it, thinking a little about America’s wars? Nothing particularly ambitious, mind you, just — if you’re up for it — a stroll to the corner.

Now, admittedly, there’s a small catch read more

Video of Debate on Is War Ever Justifiable?

On February 12, 2018, I debated Pete Kilner on the topic of “Is War Ever Justifiable?” (Location: Radford University; Moderator Glen Martin; videographer Zachary Lyman). Here is video:

Youtube.

Facebook.

The two speakers’ bios:

Pete Kilner is a writer and military ethicist who served more than 28 years in the Army as an infantryman and professor at the U.S. Military Academy. He deployed multiple times to Iraq and Afghanistan to conduct research on combat leadership. read more