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…

Militarizing Our Borders While Letting People Die

By Todd Miller.  Introduction by William Astore. About twenty years ago, I received emails from a conservative friend that depicted an ongoing invasion of Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California by a flood of Mexican immigrants hellbent on reversing the outcome of the Mexican-American War of the 1840s.  I laughed at the time at the…

All the Insecurity Money Can Buy

W.J. Astore The United States spends nearly a trillion dollars a year on national defense, to include wars, homeland security, a bewildering array of intelligence agencies, and the maintenance of nuclear weapons.  Are we buying greater security with all this money? Consider the following fact.  A private contractor hired to vet security clearances for US…

Remember Color-Coded Threat Warnings?

W.J. Astore Back in the ancient time of 2007, you may recall that color-coded threat warnings were constantly appearing on our TV screens.  Those “Homeland Security threat advisory ratings” fluctuated between yellow (elevated) and orange (high).   With the lone exception of the State of Hawaii in 2003, the threat ratings never dropped to blue…

Learning from Europe’s Dark Past

b. traven On a trip to Berlin my son and I spent some of our time looking into the crannies that elude most visitors.  In Europe I have researched how some countries memorialize (if at all) their resistance to fascist occupation during World War II.  The French Resistance Museum is a disgrace!  It’s poorly lit,…