The young men and women enlisting in the armed forces now were in pre-school on 9/11. "As a nation we have internalized our longest military conflict; it has suffused the social, political, and cultural body. The war is not something the nation is doing; it's simply something that is." Vox
on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, from Jessica Lynch to Bowe Bergdahl. [more inside]
How Much Does It Cost To Hitchhike Across America?
Ever been there? Cooking in the high-plains sun? Freezing under the stars? This plain-spoken accounting will take you back. "On the Road" in the 21st century.
The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, CT (famous for once housing Piper Kerman, author of Orange is the New Black) is converting from a women’s prison to a men’s prison
. Where will the inmates go? Aliceville, AL; a location more than 1,000 miles away, nowhere near a major airport, and 45 miles away from a train station
Eleven United States senators sent an open letter
to the director of the Bureau of Prisons
last month, and the transition remains in a state of delay. Piper Kerman wrote a NYT op-ed
with her perspective.
Before retiring in May 2013, Sir Alex Ferguson spent 26 seasons as the manager of Manchester United, the English football (soccer) club that ranks among the most successful and valuable franchises in sports. During that time the club won 13 English league titles along with 25 other domestic and international trophies—giving him an overall haul nearly double that of the next-most-successful English club manager.
In 2012 Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse had a unique opportunity to examine Ferguson’s management approach and developed an HBS case study around it. Now she and Ferguson have collaborated on an analysis of his enormously successful methods
Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military
is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War
is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military
, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
By official estimates
from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone
. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported
in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred.
The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards".
The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
The ‘white’ slave children of New Orleans
: Almost immediately after the law came into practice, Northerners and abolitionists set up relief organisations, which battled to establish schools and provide other forms of support – but their resources were limited. They soon discovered it was near-impossible to find sympathy and support in a war-torn and racially-prejudiced county.
Here is Coffee: The Greatest Addiction Ever
and other neat videos by C.G.P. Grey
who explains non-obvious aspects of science, history, geography, elections, and economics in entertaining and clear ways. [more inside]
Could you pass a US citizenship test? 96 Questions [more inside]
There may be $2 trillion sitting on the balance sheets of American corporations
globally, but firms show no signs of wanting to spend it in order to hire workers at home, however much Washington might hope they will.
Time magazine outlines five common destructive myths
about how to stimulate U.S. Growth.
In his easily digested and insightful summary of America's long term outlook, Bill Gross
writes that we're all living in Billy Joel's Allentown
now and that the easy solutions, as is often the case, aren't necessarily the right ones.
In April 1984, an unknown band's first single pushed Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" off the top spot in the German music charts. Big In Japan
marked the beginning of Alphaville
's lengthy career. [more inside]
A 136-person Senate. A 1,000-strong House. A 12-person Supreme Court. A President with a line-item veto whose one term is six years. Mandatory national service. A balanced budget requirement. Some of the 23 measures
that Prof. Larry Sabato proposes be enacted at a Second Constitutional Convention in his 2007 book A More Perfect Constitution
. (And readers' suggestions for the 24th measure
Disabled traveler Rachel D. took a harrowing
flight with United recently. Despite their stated policy
, she was told repeatedly that "It's not in our contract to assist passengers with their luggage and we reserve the right to refuse assistance to anyone." This is not the first time
United has had a problem with disabled people. (For reference, the federal Air Carrier Access Act
that prohibits discrimination towards disabled passencers.)
Be forewarned, the sound quality isn't the best. But for a dose of pure surreality strong enough to turn your socks into melted Dada timepieces, try mixing "Weird Al" Yankovic
on accordion with the Presidents of the United States, performing a (non-parody) cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" (SLYT)
. (via Dave Dederer's Reddit interview)
Sometimes music really is a weapon.
Big surprise, United Airlines messed up some luggage and refused to do anything about it. But I have to give props to this guy for taking a bad situation and making something positive out of it. Bonus points for the song being pretty catchy. I wonder what would happen if that song was so popular that the record label wanted it on the in flight music station...
In Our Own Backyard: Resisting Nazi Propaganda In Southern California 1933 - 1945
, a digital exhibition from the Oviatt Library at Cal State Northridge. "The Nazi Propaganda period, 1933 to 1945, chronicles a crucial twelve years in American history. This exhibit's story about the local threat to American ideals demonstrates how European events reached across the ocean and affected people in Southern California -- in our own backyard." Magazines
. [more inside]
Death and Life: Madison New Life Band
bid farewell to Bishop Daddy Madison in Washington, D.C. Stooges Brass Band
plays in New Orleans [second line
Washington, DC is defined by its income inequality. [more inside]
Yes, it's an advertisement, but this commercial for United Airlines is really extraordinary
. (Link goes directly to a .mov file. If you don't want to open it directly, go here and click on "New Work", then "TV".) [more inside]
The NHS at 60.
The National Health Service is 60 on July 5th. Take a look at documents, audio and video related to the birth and growth of this "radical plan."
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
, and Aaron Sorkin
will be leaving television production for a while. His current project is Charlie Wilson's War
, a movie starring Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman, based on the late George Crile's excellent
of the same name. The movie
"party animal" Congressman Charles "Good Time Charlie" Wilson's
(D, TX) rise from a scandal (he was caught in "a hot tub tryst with two cocaine-sniffing showgirls in Las Vegas"
,) to his role in the 1980's covertly funding Afghanistan guerrillas so they could expand their war with the Soviet Union
. Wilson's actions would eventually help collapse the Afghan PDPA government
, a power vacuum which would be filled by the Taliban. Who would have thought ending the Cold War
would be so easy?
"I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft."
A United Airlines mechanic and other witnesses
see a disc-shaped object over Concourse C at O'Hare Airport for nearly 20 minutes in afternoon daylight. At least one purported photo of the object
has surfaced. NPR interviews
the Chicago Tribune
reporter who first wrote about the object. The FAA (which claimed to have no information on the incident before a FOIA request forced them to acknowlege it) theorizes
the object was a "weather phenomenon" and is conducting no further investigation.
A television report
tracks Muslim extremism in the United Kingdom. See also, part 2
and part 3
. (YouTube) (via Digg)
Twenty-one years ago today
a plane crashed in Gander, Newfoundland. The flight carried American soldiers
heading home for the holidays, returning from a mission in the Sinai
. Called the worst aviation disaster on Canadian soil,
the crash killed the 248 soldiers and 8 crew members aboard
. On December 16th, mere days after the crash, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech
at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, to comfort the victims' families.
As time passed, however, some of the families demanded answers from the US Government regarding the circumstances of the crash. In 1989, Robin Tallon, member of congress from South Carolina, assisted the families' by bringing the matter before Congress
- and also sending a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (scroll down page). In 1992, a Time Magazine article
addressed forensic evidence which supported the idea of an on-board explosion prior to impact, as well as the flight's connections to Iran Contra
and the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. This article also discusses the book
written on the crash by Les Filotas, a dissenting member of the air safety board. The question was brought forth again in 1993, with a bill
introduced requesting that a commission be formed to further investigate the circumstances of the crash.
As with any disaster with unanswered questions, conspiracy theories abound
To this day, many of the questions surrounding Flight 1285 remain unanswered
. While the crash may never be fully explained, one certainty remains - for the families whose loved ones never came home for Christmas, the twelfth day of the twelfth month
will never be forgotten
United 93, WTC movies and 9/11 with some perspective no conspiracy theories here just a bit of philosophising.
Is the Bush administration really serious about NATO and UN protection to stop the Darfur genocide?
"Is it only
weak and incompetent
, or is it two-faced
What can U.S. citizens do to help end this genocide? For starters, take to the streets:
you can register for an April 30th demonstration on the Golden Gate Bridge & at the Presidio
, or in Washington, DC
. You can also ask your Rep. to sponsor House Resolution 723
, a measure that urges the President to help deploy a NATO bridging force
to the Darfur region.
Yesterday United Flight 735
from Chicago to Sacramento made an emergency landing in Denver when an unruly passenger tried to open the cabin door
A member of the Flyertalk
forum was on the flight, and provided a first hand account
of the emergency.
Who owns the internets?
The 2005 World Summit on the Information Information Societies
seems to have left a number of nations with a bad taste
in their mouth
. ICANN emerged the apparent winner
. Of course, you can always blame Bush
. (first phase of wsis previously discussed here)
George Best dies at 59.
Footballer George Best has died today from an infection after a protracted iillness due to ill health following his battles with alcoholism.
A great talent
he was famous for his good looks, ability and love of the ladies.
"I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered."
Rest in peace Besty.
The Bush administration is backing a US Senate resolution to stop the UN in its plans to try and move some control of the Internet away from the US
-- A new resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate offers political backing to the Bush administration by slamming a United Nations effort to exert more influence over the Internet.
Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, said his nonbinding resolution would protect the Internet from a takeover by the United Nations that's scheduled to be discussed at a summit in Tunisia next month.
UN Hits Back at US in Report Saying Parts of America are as Poor as Third World
Parts of the United States are as poor as the Third World, according to a shocking United Nations report
on global inequality.
The deportation of an English village to Australia. BBC article with links to other interesting articles on immigration and emigration on the page.
On the A46 motorway heading towards Bath, Richard Box
has "planted" a field of flourescent tubes powered entirely by the electric field surrounding some overhead power lines
. A very cool piece of art, but with a serious background: some people believe that the electromagnetic fields around power lines can cause cancer
, while others aren't so sure
Were from the UN and we're here to help!
Question: If you're a UN Weapons Inspector and a man jumps into your vehicle screaming "Save me! Save me!" clutching notebooks to his chest what do you do? The answer is simple, you turn him over to the Iraqi authorities who now claim to have "no information on the incident." This ought to foster more cooperation from Iraqi scientists...good work Blix and Co.
It's the ten-year anniversary of NAFTA
this week. Has it been a success? [more inside].
U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program
"I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs,'' said Jonathan Tucker, a former U.N. biological weapons inspector.
"But they did deliver samples that Iraq said had a legitimate public health purpose, which I think was naive to believe, even at the time."
-isn't iraq just another case of blowback
and is anyone asking what the next round of "blowback" will be if we go in again?
Americans against World Empire.
This Conservative/Libertarian coalition presents analysis, articles, links, opinions and rants from every corner of the political spectrum. ""Perpetual war serves a number of purposes.....It is under wartime conditions that the U.S. state will, at least initially, face the least resistance as it finishes the......process of gutting the Bill of Rights and voiding inconvenient parts of the U.S. Constitution......It is under wartime conditons that all opponents of U.S. policies anywhere in the world, including within the U.S. itself, can be most easily labled 'terrorist.'" This statement would have come from a conservative in 1940. Today it is from the Left. (Alternative Press Review, spring 2002).
As the violence in the Middle East escalates, and Arab anger grows over American support of Israel (especially among the masses), is another oil embargo possible
Oil may be the Arab world's daily bread, but it's also its only weapon — if, say, Arafat is killed or Israel goes too far in its incursions into Palestinian territories, popular sentiment in the already-shaky local regimes could force Arab governments to put up a show of defiance to calm their constituencies.
English amnesiac may be porn star.
"Philip Staufen" tried to convince Canadian authorities that he was an English citizen who suffered from amnesia as a result of a beating. As it turns out, he may
be George Lecheit, a French gay porn star. Authorities aren't ready to close the case yet, but even his lawyer doubts the amnesia theory. In a previous MeFi thread
, a few people took the Canadian government to task for not helping Staufen return to the UK. In light of recent developments, did Ottawa make the right decision?
Has The Entire American Media Been Bought and Gone To Sleep?
United has decided to call off merging with US Air for fears of Antitrust (competition) objections (from the USDOJ; perhaps the EU as well?). This sort of obvious realization came after months and months of, presumedly, attempting to work around the problem. What I want to know is, when the proposed deal was first announced, where were the objections from commentators and consumer advocates? It's sort of pathetic that United is the first one to speak up on the issue, no?