"The "American Intervention in Northern Russia
, 1918-1919," nicknamed the "Polar Bear Expedition," (wikipedia
) was a U.S. military intervention in northern Russia at the end of World War I." The ostensible purpose was to open an Eastern Front following the Russian withdrawal from World War I, but in practice the unit stayed to fight Bolshevism. An archive of the expedition, which gives wonderful insight into early Bolshevik Russia as well as war-weary United States, is online
. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Jan 25, 2008 -
Secret U. S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations
. The New York Times has a 4000-word report today on secret Justice Department opinions--never previously disclosed--authorizing severe interrogation methods. Congress has outlawed cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; in response, Justice declared that the CIA's most extreme interrogation methods are not cruel, inhuman, and degrading. These secret opinions, issued in 2005, are still in effect. Most lawmakers did not know they existed. White House response
: "This country does not torture."
posted by russilwvong
on Oct 4, 2007 -
The United States
and the European Union have agreed to expand a security program
that shares personal data about millions of U.S.-bound airline passengers a year. Information that potentially can be used includes "racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership" and data about an individual's health, traveling partners and sexual orientation. "Even a request for a king-size bed at a hotel could be noted in the database." "E.U.'s privacy supervisor expressed 'grave concern
' over whether the rules 'will be fully compatible with European fundamental rights,' calling the arrangement 'without legal precedent.'"
posted by ericb
on Jul 28, 2007 -
The Third View project
is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz
on Jun 15, 2007 -
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
posted by wander
on Mar 2, 2007 -
is a site that aggregates data about the United States Senate and House. Keep track of your senators or representatives through rss feeds, read bills on topics that are important to you, and find out what industries are behind the scenes providing money to your politicians in Washington among many other uses of this new resource.
posted by rfbjames
on Feb 27, 2007 -
Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman.
The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone
and The Village Voice
. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian
on Oct 1, 2006 -
Yesterday, the Arar Commission released their report
on the handling of the Maher Arar case, previously mentioned here
. The findings are widely reported
; Canada is self-flagellating
for being complicit in the United States' abduction and torture
of a Canadian citizen. As President Bush goes to Congress to lobby for the legal authority to abduct and torture anyone without a trial
, Arar should consider himself lucky: although Canada didn't help him out for a year, the Canadian government and news media were aware of and interested in his confinement, which likely saved him from the worst tortures. As a famous legal scholar commented
some 240 years ago, "To bereave a man of life, or by violence to confiscate his estate, without accusation or trial, would be so gross and notorious an act of despotism, as must at once convey the alarm of tyranny throughout the whole nation; but confinement of the person, by secretly hurrying him to jail
, where his sufferings are unknown or forgotten, is a less public, a less striking, and therefore a more dangerous engine of arbitrary government."
posted by jellicle
on Sep 19, 2006 -
has the only unicameral, non-partisan legislature in the United States. Created by constitutional amendment in 1935, Nebraska's legislature gained brief influence as a model of legislative politics after the "one man, one vote"
Supreme Court rulings in the mid-60s. Many states had not reapportioned their districts for years, creating an imbalance
in state and national legislative politics. The Supreme Court ruling
which sparked the brief campaign for unicameral legislatures.
posted by Captaintripps
on Nov 7, 2005 -
Is the US broken beyond repair?
Columnist Peggy Noonan asks some disturbing questions about the US and its future. Have the wheels come off the trolley and are we headed off the tracks. Can anyone put us back on the tracks or is it too late? A very thought provoking article.
posted by waltb555
on Oct 28, 2005 -
Since the US is the systemic centre of the global capitalist system, the shift to militarism is having global effects, some obvious, some insidious... While the US is the leading state in the international system, it is ensnared in webs of dependence of its own making: US patterns of consumption and living standards, while helping to maintain Asian economic activity, require the absorption of ever larger volumes of world savings, currently 80%. Over time this will prove unsustainable... Since there is no transnational political authority to halt or reverse the disintegrative trend, we are sliding towards disorder. United States: the slide to disorder
Also by Philip S. Golub: United States: inventing demons
& My country, ’tis of thee
posted by y2karl
on Jul 15, 2005 -
How "Real ID" Act will affect you
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service.
posted by dand
on May 6, 2005 -
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004
This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted. The listing often contains references, especially from 1980 forward, to continuing military deployments especially US military participation in multinational operations associated with NATO or the United Nations. Most of these post-1980 instances are summaries based on Presidential reports to Congress related to the War Powers Resolution. A comprehensive commentary regarding any of the instances listed is not undertaken here.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 29, 2005 -
The argument I make in my book is that what I describe as the new American militarism arises as an unintended consequence of the reaction to the Vietnam War and more broadly, to the sixties... If some people think that the sixties constituted a revolution, that revolution produced a counterrevolution, launched by a variety of groups that had one thing in common: they saw revival of American military power, institutions, and values as the antidote to everything that in their minds had gone wrong. None of these groups — the neoconservatives, large numbers of Protestant evangelicals, politicians like Ronald Reagan, the so-called defense intellectuals, and the officer corps — set out saying, “Militarism is a good idea.” But I argue that this is what we’ve ended up with: a sense of what military power can do, a sort of deference to the military, and an attribution of virtue to the men and women who serve in uniform. Together this constitutes such a pernicious and distorted attitude toward military affairs that it qualifies as militarism. An interview with Andrew Bacevich
, international relations professor and former Army colonel, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
--and here is a review
. Recently by Bacevich: We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time
posted by y2karl
on Feb 21, 2005 -
Documents: U.S. condoned Iraq oil smuggling
Documents obtained by CNN reveal the United States knew about, and even condoned, embargo-breaking oil sales by Saddam Hussein's regime, and did so to shore up alliances with Iraq's neighbors.
The oil trade with countries such as Turkey and Jordan appears to have been an open secret inside the U.S. government and the United Nations for years.
posted by Postroad
on Feb 3, 2005 -
A Nation of Faith and Religious Illiterates
The sociologist Peter Berger once remarked that if India is the most religious country in the world and Sweden the least, then the United States is a nation of Indians ruled by Swedes. Not anymore. With a Jesus lover in the Oval Office and a faith-based party in control of both houses of Congress, the United States is undeniably a nation of believers ruled by the same.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 19, 2005 -