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War fatigue

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]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 8, 2014 - 91 comments

ISS Eviction notice

Russia wants to nix plans to use the ISS after 2020, prohibit the United States from visiting the space station after that date along with preventing the US from using Russia made rocket engines for military launches. NASA says it hasn't received any official word, as US Congress critters begin asking questions
posted by Brandon Blatcher on May 15, 2014 - 96 comments

She gave us each twenty dollars and a bag of cookies.

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.
posted by Twang on Jan 17, 2014 - 25 comments

All of this is Nebraska.

Here’s What Happens When You Ask People To Draw A Map Of The USA From Memory (single Buzzfeed link)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 14, 2013 - 131 comments

Orange is the New Black is the new Alabama?

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.
posted by oceanjesse on Sep 24, 2013 - 38 comments

Ferguson's formula

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.
posted by criticalbill on Sep 10, 2013 - 17 comments

Silent No More: Women In The Military Speak Out Against Sex Crimes

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]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 19, 2013 - 46 comments

Gulf return

Emirati history would be incomplete without acknowledging the contribution of the country’s imported labour. Without them, the Emirates would not exist the way it does, nor possess the opulence or infrastructure it flouts. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 24, 2012 - 20 comments

Four child slaves of mixed-race heritage with pale skin were used in pictures to raise funds

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.
posted by nickyskye on Mar 4, 2012 - 11 comments

C.G.P. Grey

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 1, 2011 - 20 comments

Challenging ALL MeFites

Could you pass a US citizenship test? 96 Questions [more inside]
posted by TangerineGurl on Oct 30, 2011 - 163 comments

Famine in East Africa

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, affecting more than 11 million people, the United Nations has declared a famine in the region for the first time in a generation. Alan Taylor's In Focus quickly brings home the scale of the suffering, with a link to the CNN article listing several ways to donate.
posted by bwg on Jul 27, 2011 - 33 comments

I'll take the Double Dip to go

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.
posted by AndrewKemendo on Jul 16, 2011 - 42 comments

Bill Gross' Investment Outlook

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.
posted by jimmymcvee on Dec 8, 2010 - 56 comments

I want to be Forever Young

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]
posted by hippybear on Sep 6, 2010 - 41 comments

Tragic birthers

Pennsylvania Outlaws Shackling of Prisoners Giving Birth. Amnesty International has tried to raise awareness of this issue in the past. [more inside]
posted by whimsicalnymph on Aug 30, 2010 - 42 comments

The 28th through 51st Amendments to the United States Constitution

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.)
posted by WCityMike on Aug 7, 2010 - 105 comments

Flying the Unhelpful Skies

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.)
posted by restless_nomad on Apr 12, 2010 - 102 comments

ACCORDION SOLO!

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)
posted by WCityMike on Oct 22, 2009 - 29 comments

United Brakes Guitars

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...
posted by theichibun on Jul 7, 2009 - 70 comments

NIOBY

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, pamphlets, newspapers, stickers and more. [more inside]
posted by dersins on Apr 10, 2009 - 33 comments

The Big Ol' Picture

14 large color photos from the Farm Security Administration. [more inside]
posted by Happy Dave on Mar 13, 2009 - 32 comments

Horns and Drums

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].
posted by ferdydurke on Dec 29, 2008 - 2 comments

Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th Anniversary

Sixty years ago on December 10, fifty eight nations created the UN Declaration of Human Rights. [more inside]
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Dec 9, 2008 - 20 comments

Two Americas Separated by a Common Capital City

Two Washingtons: Washington, DC is defined by its income inequality. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Sep 6, 2008 - 34 comments

Rhapsody in Pepsi Blue?

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]
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese on Aug 11, 2008 - 99 comments

Life and death of a black and white

Texas executes Mexican national who was denied consul visit. [more inside]
posted by mrducts on Aug 6, 2008 - 121 comments

Birth of the National Health Service - How the state of the nation's health became a political ideal

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."
posted by fire&wings on Jun 28, 2008 - 5 comments

Charlie Wilson's War

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip ends tonight, 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, funny nonfic book of the same name. The movie will trace "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?
posted by zarq on Jun 28, 2007 - 60 comments

United's Flying Object

"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.
posted by Hat Maui on Feb 10, 2007 - 67 comments

Muslim Extremism in the UK

A television report tracks Muslim extremism in the United Kingdom. See also, part 2 and part 3. (YouTube) (via Digg)
posted by yevge on Jan 17, 2007 - 29 comments

Crash in Gander

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.
posted by SassHat on Dec 12, 2006 - 22 comments

On 9/11, New Yorkers faced the fire in the minds of men

Slavoj Zizek United 93, WTC movies and 9/11 with some perspective no conspiracy theories here just a bit of philosophising.
posted by hard rain on Sep 11, 2006 - 18 comments

Darfur: 400,000 dead, 2.5 million driven from their homes

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.
posted by n_s_1 on Apr 26, 2006 - 56 comments

TerRARists!

Yesterday United Flight 735 from Chicago to Sacramento made an emergency landing in Denver when an unruly passenger tried to open the cabin door. (bugmenot/bugmenot) A member of the Flyertalk forum was on the flight, and provided a first hand account of the emergency.
posted by nathan_teske on Apr 22, 2006 - 49 comments

Who owns the internets?

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)
posted by es_de_bah on Dec 3, 2005 - 25 comments

Rest in peace Besty

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.
posted by ClanvidHorse on Nov 25, 2005 - 70 comments

Keep Internet out of UN control, says US

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.
posted by zouhair on Oct 20, 2005 - 102 comments

Are americans poor ?

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.
posted by zouhair on Oct 15, 2005 - 95 comments

Riotous Littleport

Riotous Littleport. The deportation of an English village to Australia. BBC article with links to other interesting articles on immigration and emigration on the page.
posted by plep on Jun 20, 2004 - 5 comments

It's an electric field!

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.
posted by bwerdmuller on Feb 23, 2004 - 27 comments

Were from the UN and we're here to help!

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.
posted by RevGreg on Jan 25, 2003 - 54 comments

NAFTA

It's the ten-year anniversary of NAFTA this week. Has it been a success? [more inside].
posted by acridrabbit on Dec 12, 2002 - 31 comments

U.S. helped Iraq start bioweapons program

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?
posted by specialk420 on Sep 30, 2002 - 35 comments

Americans against World Empire.

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).
posted by Mack Twain on Jul 14, 2002 - 6 comments

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.
posted by Rastafari on Apr 4, 2002 - 13 comments

English amnesiac may be porn star.

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?
posted by likorish on Jan 21, 2002 - 8 comments

50 Muslim nations demand UN probe Afghan 'massacre'

50 Muslim nations demand UN probe Afghan 'massacre' Should Saudi Arabia name a special prosecutor?
posted by Postroad on Jan 12, 2002 - 0 comments

Has The Entire American Media Been Bought and Gone To Sleep?

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?
posted by ParisParamus on Jul 2, 2001 - 12 comments

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