The Misfortune Teller

Polemical Poetry X: Dead Metaphors

Michael Murry I wrote this poem in 2005, two years after U.S. President George (Deputy Dubya) Bush’s notorious “Mission Accomplished” proclamation. With the U.S. Military hopelessly mired in the twin quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan and desperately searching for any face-saving way out, I understood the predictable predicament, since I served eighteen months as a…

The Sorrow of Magic Lost

Steve Naidamast In my last two pieces (“Why Nothing Works – Parts I & II”), I discussed the failure of software development to support the transactions in daily life dominated by current software foundations.  Further, the misuse of modern software capabilities is having deleterious effects sociologically across a wide spectrum of users, especially here in…

Veterans Day, 2014

Daniel N. White I always liked the original name for this holiday, Armistice Day, and the idea behind it—celebrating the last war this country would ever fight, a lot better than its current iteration as Veterans Day, honoring all the veterans who “served” this country in peace or war.  The Great War (1914-18) certainly wasn’t…

Militarism USA

W.J. Astore As Veterans Day approaches, I thought I’d revive a column I wrote for TomDispatch.com back in 2009.  I continue to marvel at the militarism of the USA, and the way in which the troops are defined as “warriors” and “warfighters” who increasingly see themselves as being divorced from, and superior to, “civilians” in…

World War I: The Paradox of Semi-Modern War

Dennis Showalter.  Introduction by William Astore. Over the next four years, historians around the world will grapple with the meaning and legacies of the “Great War” fought one hundred years ago (1914-1918).  An epochal event in world history, World War I has as many meanings as it has had historians.  Among those historians, Dennis Showalter…