2 February 2007
“The practices of arbitrary imprisonments have been, in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.” ─ Alexander Hamilton
Since the events of 9/11/2001 particularly, but even before that, the shepherds of the Nanny State in Washington, D.C. have been insisting that our safety requires that the shepherds have ever greater authority over us. To keep us safe they need to know every detail of our financial, personal and private lives. We can never be safe until our bank, tax, telephone, internet, credit card, and medical records are fully available to the authorities.
. . . → Read More: The Biggest WMD of All
7 January 2007
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ─ Aesop
There’s nothing quite like a public hanging to brace the spirits and fortify a sense of moral rectitude. The days are long gone when engraved invitations were sent out for the executions of the famous but the uniquely barbarous exhibition didn’t disappear because it failed to draw enthusiastic crowds. Official hangings are now private or unknown not for lack of popularity, but out of a sort of institutional embarrassment at such shocking violence.
The Middle . . . → Read More: The Wicked Witch Is Dead. Maybe.
28 February 2006
Saddam Hussein once toyed with the notion of pricing his country’s oil in Euros rather than Dollars. It wasn’t long before George II began chanting “Axis of Evil” and “WMD’s.” The U.S. Air Force created a steel thunderstorm over Baghdad. A hundred thousand Iraqis, electricity and indoor plumbing became memories in Mesopotamia. The U.S. Army dug Saddam out of a hole in his uncle’s backyard. He is now a prisoner. The U.S. Army occupies his palace.
You would think Saddam’s neighbors would take the hint. But leaders in Iran are finishing plans to trade Iranian oil in Euros. It’s . . . → Read More: Threatening Imperial Income
28 December 2005
America trudges down the road to imperial ruin like an ogre with a big stone hammer. I keep expecting the final pratfall, the step off the cliff into the void, the drop into the pit full of sharpened stakes, or just the steady banging of a great shaved head against a wall. But, of course, that’s not how empires end. Empires end in bankruptcy. There are no shortcuts to bankruptcy. You have to borrow until no one will lend to you, squirm, plead and bluster for a while, and then finally stiff everyone, hopefully with as little bloodshed . . . → Read More: The Peculiar Empire
26 July 2005
The editorial page of the New York Times last Monday was full of war babble, and a peculiar nostalgic longing for past global conflict. Mr. David Douglas Duncan, a veteran and war photographer pines for the days of WWII and Korea when the U.S. fielded vast armies of conscripts to fight for freedom. He is irate that we are fighting terrorism in Iraq with a mere handful of volunteers. We’re not really at war, he claims. We’re investing the equivalent of pocket change and using our volunteers as pawns in “an unspeakable farce.” Remembering WWII and Korea, he ends . . . → Read More: The Unspeakable Farce