Hawes Spencer is a journalist who has reported for the New York Times, NPR, the Hook, and other publications. He has taught journalism at Virginia Commonwealth University and James Madison University. For over two decades, Hawes Spencer edited two weekly newspapers in Charlottesville,
In a recent interview on National Pentagon Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed the interactions between (1) the U.S. military and (2) astrophysics. The former is an enterprise that I consider evil and Tyson seems to consider mildly worthy of discomfort but the necessary producer of the research for which he lives. The latter is a field of human endeavor that Tyson
Do we need new laws or adherence to the old ones?
The United States has an ancient Constitution. It doesn’t ban slavery as punishment. It doesn’t ban bribery as campaign funding. It doesn’t protect the natural world. It doesn’t guarantee basic human rights to food, shelter, education, healthcare. Its system of “representative” government doesn’t fairly represent. New laws are needed.
On the other hand, the United States has numerous laws on the books that just aren’t enforced.
The Richmond (Va.) Times Dispatch recently published an editorial, republished by other papers with the headline: “Remembering why we still fight in Afghanistan.” It’s a rather striking piece of writing, because it does not even attempt to offer a single reason why anyone would “fight” in Afghanistan. The
When I discovered that militarism is one of the top destroyers of the natural environment, I piled that onto my case against war. I did the same when I found out war wasted more money than anything else, was a major promoter of bigotry and racism, was the primary justification for government secrecy and the erosion of civil liberties, was the top barrier to the rule of law and global cooperation, militarized local police, etc., etc. When I came to see how counterproductive war was, increasing
It’s popular to refer to the political line of a major corporate party in the United States as something like “the resistance” when the other of the two parties is on the throne of what both parties have, over many decades, actively converted into an unconstitutional position of something wildly beyond old-fashioned royal powers. Around 2004 the Democratic Party line was to pretend to oppose wars. Around 2018 it wasn’t. So the “resistance” of that party’s followers included war opposition
Mary Jo McConahay’s The Tango War is an engaging, extensive, well-researched, well-written account of a topic that still manages to offend me. World War II is sacred history in the United States, the ultimate clash of pure good and evil, the fundamental origin myth of the military industrial complex. It is the top subject of books, films, and shows. Finding a novel angle on World War II that has not yet been exhaustively covered is, at this point, a significant feat. Finding a whole
Last weekend I was on Iranian TV being asked about the meeting in Tehran at which the presidents of Iran and Russia had refused to agree with the President of Turkey to stop bombing people in Syria. I said Iran and Russia were wrong.
I also said that nobody involved, least of all the United States, was right.
Not only would the United States and the world be infinitely better off if in response to 9/11 the U.S. government had done nothing at all, as Jon Schwartz tweets each year, but Syria would
If one were to travel north through North America, with the seasons or the change in climate, harvesting crops of patriotic warmongering, the biggest drop in crop yield might come around the Mason Dixon Line, not the Canadian border.
Yves Engler’s new book, Left, Right: Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada’s Foreign Policy proposes to provide 10% of the explanation for why many Canadians suffer
A new report by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas Davies “focuses on the five largest U.S. arms manufacturers — Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics — and their dealings with three repressive nations: Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.”
This may prove to be a very valuable approach. The three nations reported on use U.S.-made weapons from the companies listed above to kill, injure, and traumatize huge numbers of innocent people both in other countries and in their