is an provocative proponent of the American Empire
theory, indeed. Here are excerpts from his Blow Back: The Cost And Consequences of American Empire
I heard Johnson interviewed on Episode II, War And Conflict In The Post-Cold War, Post-9/11 Era
of The Whole Wide World
The Cold War and its central conflict - the physical and ideological battles between the United States, the Soviet Union and their proxy states - imposed a certain logic and consistency on the world. Take that away and add the bloody wars in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East in the ‘90s as well as the terror attacks and warnings of more recent times and you get a very confused picture of a world at war. Is this breaking storm in Iraq about oil, democracy, freedom, empire, culture, water, diamonds, modernizing Islam or nation building in the Middle East? Some, one or all of these things?
It was an excellent program and well worth your listen, either by RA now or mp3 later. (From listening to the radio)
posted by y2karl
on Mar 13, 2003 -
Intellectual Dishonesty Intellectual dishonesty is pure poison to the enterprise of the law. Yet countless examples show intellectual dishonesty has now become a routine, expected part of American discourse. The most obvious half-truths and hypocrisies are greeted with shrugged shoulders and a grunt of "what did you expect?"
Is the ultimate goal more important than truth, honesty, integrity and "playing by the rules?" Or, put another way, does the end satisfy the means? "Restoring honor and integrity" would indicate not.
posted by nofundy
on Mar 6, 2003 -
Freedom Fries? Patriotism gone to far?
I can understand some people's disappointment that the french don't support the war in Iraq. But boycotting french wine, and other french imports? Maybe? But to start renaming things because they have the word french in them? That's what one restaurant owner is doing in North Carolina!
posted by tljenson
on Feb 19, 2003 -
How to love the US
is a story on the newly redesigned BBC pages, just recently mentioned here.
I was struck by the tone of the piece, which seemed to me to be a desperate bid to find good things to say about the US.
Have things really sunk so low? Is the US so despised that it needs the BBC to pimp it?
posted by jpburns
on Feb 19, 2003 -
Smokehammer Video Update
Wonderful video clip and mp3 put together by some Warp Records
video artists. George Dubya's "warped" rendition of the State of the Union is excellent. "Our first goal is to show utter contempt for the environment... For the first time we must offer every child in America 3 nuclear missles."
posted by meanie
on Feb 15, 2003 -
Since this is the first day of the new year, I thought it would be interesting to check current US
population numbers, and then compare those numbers on January 1st 2004, to see how much the world's population has grown or shrunk. Currently the clock shows 292,277,976 for the US, and 6,625,786,982 for the World. Metafilter readers from outside the US are welcome to post their countries current population level, as well.
posted by Beholder
on Jan 1, 2003 -
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments
posted by arco
on Nov 27, 2002 -
U.S. states ranked according to smartness.
The ranking was based on such factors
as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence?
posted by shoos
on Nov 14, 2002 -
The First Measured Century
contains quite a bit of information about American society; population, work, education, religion, health, money, politics, crime and more. Everything from the median marriage age to the percentage of Americans who believe it is wrong to go to the movies on Sundays (13%).
posted by edlundart
on Oct 23, 2002 -
There are 202 initiatives on the ballot
in 40 states this election cycle. "53 of the measures represent direct democracy at work:
ideas placed on the ballot by citizen initiative, often
designed specifically to reverse legislative action."
Some of the initiatives make sense, some of them do not. I've
got a list of awards for various categories of initiatives. Some
of these awards are given with tongue planted firmly in cheek.
- Most Wasteful: This award goes to the initiative that
will waste the most tax-payer dollars. And the winner is
North Dakota's Youth Investment Initiative.
- Do-it-for-the-kids Award: Arnold Schwarzenegger may be
rehearsing for a political role as he leads the campaign for
Proposition 49, which would require state funding for
after-school programs. Shouldn't parents be taking care of
their kids after school? Why is the state of California
becoming a nanny?
- Highest Ballot Measure: Nevada's initiative to legalize
marijuana. 'Nuff said.
- Up-in-smoke Award: It's a tie between the Missouri
and Arizona initiatives increasing the tax on a pack of
- Dumbest Initiative: Animal rights activists have
place an initiative on the ballot in Florida to
protect pregnant pigs. This initiative is dumb because it
takes the extreme measure of making an amendment to the
- Smartest Initiative: "Politicians are like diapers,
they both must be changed frequently—and for the same
reason." Idaho's term-limits proposal takes this award. Runner
up goes to Oregon voters who will decide whether to list a
choice of "none of the above" on all state ballots.
Anybody else have any more nominations?
posted by jasontromm
on Oct 23, 2002 -
Bowling for Columbine
tomorrow. I know muckraking Michael Moore
is a touchy subject
but I found his first feature since Roger
insightful in its stubborn search for an answer to the question:
"Why is America so violent?" Other
Subtle he isn't, but when the news is as stark
as it is today, maybe subtlety is beside the point. I hope that even some of you
who aren't predisposed to agree with Moore will give this film a chance. Did I
mention it's also entertaining as hell?
posted by muckster
on Oct 10, 2002 -
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 -
'The guy who tried to kill my dad.'
Setting aside partisan bickering, this description of Saddam Hussein by George W. Bush today sent my mind reeling. Is this in reference to something published in the past that is just escaping my mind? The Reuters
version of the story adds that it is reference to "an Iraqi plot to kill former President George Bush after the 1991 Gulf War." Anyone have a link to that older story?
posted by bclark
on Sep 27, 2002 -
U.S. forces head to Ivory Coast
- with all the debate for/against military action in the middle-east, I'm pleased to see US forces being deployed to protect innocent people.
"Their first task may be to retrieve about 100 American children who have been trapped at a school in the city of Bouake for five days and to protect Americans in three or four Ivory Coast towns held by rebels. "
posted by Stuart_R
on Sep 24, 2002 -
Down with Free Speech?
Poll shows American support for the first Amendment down. Would any politician be stupid enough to try to capitalize on this sentiment? Should we all be watching our words?
posted by Hall
on Aug 30, 2002 -
Half a billion Americans?
The Economist crunches census data from both sides of the Atlantic and figures that the US will hit the 500 million mark sometime in the next few decades, surpassing the combined population of even the expanded EU. In typical style, the Economist looks at the economic and political reprecussions of this, but skips another interesting question: how will a doubling of the population change America itself? will it make the US more environmentally friendly? reduce urban sprawl? will the shifting population balance change the culture itself?
posted by costas
on Aug 23, 2002 -
The Saudis wanna sue. A group of Saudis plan to sue the U.S. government and media organizations for the alleged psychological and financial damage they suffered in the aftermath of Sept. 11, their lawyer said Wednesday.
posted by kayjay
on Aug 21, 2002 -
is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections. [more inside]
posted by acridrabbit
on Jul 20, 2002 -
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 -
The anomalies of the U.S. Constitution: what next?
Ok, not a serious 'polemical' post, more a request for your take on the mysteries which politics brings us...
- how come Wyoming has 3 Senators?
- how come DC has none?
- what other wierd stuff would you fix in the Constitution of your state, given the choice? (for my part, ditching the Windsors and embracing democracy would be a start...)
posted by dash_slot-
on Jul 3, 2002 -
Australia and Europe incensed over U.S. lies on free trade
Bush: "The final provisions of the farm Bill are also consistent with America's international trade obligations, which will strengthen our ability to open foreign markets for American farm products".
In other words, free trade good when we sell to you, bad when you sell to us.
posted by magullo
on May 3, 2002 -
America Can Persuade Israel to Make a Just Peace
An op-ed piece by former president Jimmy Carter that is going to get a lot of play in the media. Unfortunately, Mr. Carter seems to suggest a rather easy solution: give back the Palestinian lands and have the Palestinians recognize Israel's right to exist. Put the pressure on Israel by withhold financial aid till they do as we bid.
Problem: Palestinians being subsidized by Iraq, Iran, EU and Syria. What about pressure on them? And: Palelstinian issues still in need of resolving: capital and Right of Return....with this left out, we are still not going to get peace. Does Carter simplify or is he on target? reg reqd.
posted by Postroad
on Apr 21, 2002 -
Venezuela's Chavez deposed
with the military claiming control for now. The end of a sometimes cringe-inducingly entertaining era. What next? Civilian constitutional rule restored by lunchtime, or not? Will the strike end, allowing oil exports to resume?
posted by dhartung
on Apr 11, 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.
posted by Rastafari
on Apr 4, 2002 -
This article in "The Nation"
bemoans the fact that the U.S is dissing its new best friend Russia, and that the recent entente cordiale is under threat.
at the the Institute for War and Peace Reporting suggests that the U.S could, perhaps, be a little more selective in choosing its friends.
I have often wondered if the west would have stood for Russia or the U.S.S.R using force on a scale to that which we have recently witnessed in Afghanistan or Chechnya. It looks like they have become our sons of bitches.
posted by Fat Buddha
on Mar 29, 2002 -
DEA leaked report on Israeli spy ring
Leaked report with blacked out names and no title etc? Note that the spies, if such they are, were gathering info dealing with drug enforcement and not with American military. Is this good? No Bad? yes. But seemingly not bad enough to anything other than shipping them out. Israeli mb big on Ecstasy and DEA well aware of this (If I am, why wouldn't they?). pdf file
posted by Postroad
on Mar 23, 2002 -
The Art of Espionage.
The ongoing tale of the massive spy ring that the U.S. media won't talk about. "The basis of the spy allegations is a 60-page document -- a compilation of field reports by Drug Enforcement Administration agents and other U.S. law enforcement officials.
posted by euphorb
on Mar 22, 2002 -
Chariots of Ire
Olympics may never be held again in the U.S. because of--well, what many perceive as too much security and flag waving. As though terror had never before struck the Olypics (Germany) when it was not very well guarded. Or am I perhaps a part of the jingoism that is here deplored?
posted by Postroad
on Feb 15, 2002 -