The Republican Alternate Universe of Paranoia

W.J. Astore I watched last night’s Republican debate so you wouldn’t have to.  Leaving aside the usual mugging by Donald Trump, the usual jousting over side issues like whether Ted Cruz is a natural born citizen, I thought I’d take an impressionistic approach to the debate.  You can read the debate transcript here (if you…

Republicans and Fear

  W.J. Astore Why, looky here, another article in the New York Times that examines the Republican “hawks” posturing for a presidential run in 2016.  As the article blurb states, “Republicans are scrambling to outmuscle one another on national security issues.”  It’s all about looking tough and calling for more boots on the ground in…

Remembering the Quiet, Unsung Heroes of America

W.J. Astore On this Super Bowl Sunday of 2014, doubtless we’ll be hearing about the “heroes” of the gridiron.  Whichever team wins will have its “heroes” (Peyton Manning, perhaps?).  Meanwhile, remote feeds will show various military units watching the Big Game, and doubtless these troops will be touted as American heroes.  (They’re indisputably a tad…

Fear and Monsters

W.J. Astore Tom Engelhardt has a stimulating article at TomDispatch on the many monsters stalking us, both real and imagined.  The imagined ones we can deal with; the real ones, well, not so much.  As Engelhardt notes: “we’re living in a country that my parents would barely recognize.  It has a frozen, riven, shutdown-driven Congress,…

That Word Again: Lockdown

W.J. Astore A word that’s symbolic of our growing police state mentality is “lockdown.”  I saw today on the news that Indiana University is in “lockdown” due to a suspect on the loose with a knife. You can lockdown a prison.  But you can’t lockdown a campus as large as Indiana University in Bloomington.  Nor…