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…

Two Afghan Stories

W.J. Astore Two Afghan stories this week suggest much about U.S. progress in winning hearts and minds there.  The first involves Hamid Karzai. Afghanistan’s departing president, the “Mayor of Kabul,” Karzai asserted that “America did not want peace for Afghanistan, because it had its own agendas and goals here.”  It’s easy to paint Karzai as…

Fascist America?

By KokonutGrove As a student of American history and politics, in my lifetime I’ve witnessed a dangerous erosion of civil and personal liberties.  Such an erosion is the hallmark of fascism. Back in the 1970s and ‘80s when my father was stationed in Berlin, he often discussed the totalitarian police state the East Germans created as…

What Americans Value

W.J. Astore A sentiment attributed to Vice President Joe Biden is, Show me what’s in your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.  These words resonate with me whenever I consider the yearly budget for the Department of Defense (DoD), Homeland Security, the Department of Energy (which handles nuclear weapons), and the various intelligence…

Six Patriotic Songs for Labor Day Weekend

W.J. Astore (Also at Huffington Post at this link.) This year the USA celebrates the 200th anniversary of The Star-Spangled Banner.  Francis Scott Key wrote the lyrics, inspired by the battle at Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and it officially became the National Anthem in 1931.  Notoriously difficult to sing (my favorite rendition…

Does Scrooge Reign in the USA Today?

W.J. Astore My wife and I always watch “A Christmas Carol” around this time, the classic version with Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge.  Before his redemption, Scrooge is the ultimate miser, a mean-spirited soul who refuses to give to charity since he’s already paying taxes to support prisons and workhouses.  For his fellow man Scrooge…

The Problem with Spectator Sports

Richard Sahn The other day I was jogging through the streets of Williamsport, PA (home of the Little League World Series) and noticed in one neighborhood three Pittsburgh Steelers flags. Although I’m not a sports fan now—I was when I was a teenager—I occasionally flip through the channels of my TV and watch a few…