Scene from the movie, "Platoon"

Thoughts on Patriotism and War

Richard Sahn The other night I was watching the movie “Platoon” on television. An American soldier was killed every few seconds while the platoon was immersed in a firefight with North Vietnamese regulars near the Cambodian border. In one scene the body of a dead GI was used as a shield as bullets were being…

Francis, top center, among the bishops of the Church.  Too worried about gays and  the divorced to condemn the threat of mass murder by nuclear weapons

I’m Just Mild About Francis

Michael Gallagher I’m just mild about Francis: Pope Francis, that is. I’m afraid I can’t get that excited about either the Synod of Bishops, whose first session just ended, or the Pope himself. I don’t deny that gay marriage, admitting divorced Catholics to Communion, and the like are serious issues that warrant discussion and should…

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Good Enough: A Poem About the Pain of War

Mimi Madduck.  Introduction by b. traven. Allow me to introduce Mimi Madduck to our TCP audience. Mimi is a dear friend who has chosen a line of professional work that those of you who are veterans of one of our incessant “wars” will appreciate. It is work that is both emotionally challenging and personally rewarding.                     Mimi…

Computers, Humans, and Automation: A dangerous mix when corners are cut

Why Nothing Works — Part I

Steve Naidamast Frank Drake, in the development of his famous equation in the early 1960s for the search for extra-terrestrial life, included what is known as the “L” variable. This variable stipulates, in addition to the viability of a civilization’s life-span, the concept that if an earth-like planet is found with no life upon it, this lack…

Columbus Day Parade, a traditional celebration of Italian heritage

Hope You’re Enjoying Indigenous Peoples’ Day Weekend

W.J. Astore In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.  And he discovered a new world.  New to him, of course, and his fellow Europeans, not to the indigenous peoples already living there.  Yes, Columbus gets too much credit for that “discovery.”  Yes, he and his fellow Europeans were incredibly ambitious, often vicious, and not overly…