bslev's picture

    The War to End all Wars -- Lessons Learned, Lessons Pondered

    One hundred years ago to the day, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, was shot and killed along with his wife Sophie, while touring the city of Sarajevo.  The assassin was a 19 year-old Serbian nationalist, and of course this was the spark that precipitated the First World War.  Austria responded with a series of demands that Serbia could not comply with, Germany stood by Austria, Russia by Serbia, and France by Russia (the latter alliance prompted by France's humiliation in a war against Germany back in 1870).  

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Domestic Policy People Think, Part I

    Here is a Wonkblog article by Zachary A. Goldfarb about why taxes have to eventually rise on the middle class.  Whether or not you buy that premise, look at this:

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    The Valkyries' Lament

    There is something odd about the chorus of criticism against President Obama's foreign policy. Normally, the age-old debate over military intervention revolves around a particular conflict. From WWI to the Iraq War, hawks and doves have always squabbled over the ethics, efficacy, and necessity of attacking a particular enemy at a particular time.

    But Obama's critics haven't focused on any particular conflict or enemy. They speak of the peril in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Ukraine, and the South China Sea. They warn of threats from Putin, Khamenei, Kim Jong-Un, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, or, more generally, dictators, fanatics, and terrorists. George W. Bush's Axis of Evil has become a Legion of Doom with new enemies, like ISIS, regularly joining the pantheon of international bad guys.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part VI

    This is easier to write than Rocky!  It does all of its own work.  I'll try to stop soon. But this, from Brookings, is hard to take.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part V

    Today's edition is about track records.

    Here is Anne Marie Slaughter, more than a year ago in the Washington Post, telling us all exactly what would happen, and how the world would react, if the U.S. failed to act militarily against Assad in Syria:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part IV

    This time, from Rand scholar Karl P. Mueller, about civilian casualties in the event of air strikes against Iraq:

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part III

    Here is a New America Foundation blog that gathers various perspectives on how the U.S. should deal with ISIS.  There are outright calls for the use of force and absolutely no one explicitly takes the position that the U.S. could make matters worse by intervening militarily in either Iraq or Syria.  But, aside from the uniformity of voice in a supposedly diverse round-up, only one participant considers the idea that U.S. military involvement could end involve U.S. sacrifices.

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    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Dag's New Digs

    Dear friends,

    Dagblog will turn six years old this September, which is 42 in blog years. Like many of us in our forties, the site has become a little chunky. OK, I'll be blunt. Dag's fat. Way fat. 9290 blog posts, 442 creative posts, 5250 news links, and 109,567 comments. Along with williamkwolfrum.com, who hangs out on the same server, dagblog often violates the 640 MB RAM limit, which is why it's been stalling and crashing so often.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People Think, Part II

    Oh, wow.  Anne Marie-Slaughter has resurfaced in The New York Times to upbraid Obama for not having acted to stop the formation of ISIS in Syria two years ago. She begins:

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    Ramona's picture

    What Does The Death Of Cursive Mean?

     

    As someone who dreaded Penmanship class, and who always–and I mean always–got poor grades in it, let me just say if writing in cursive goes away I’ll be right up there in front mourning the loss.  (Cursive:  flowing letters all connected to make one word.  What we used to call “handwriting”.)

    We learned the Palmer Method in grade school, where every letter had to follow a pattern and fit between the lines, and where loops and curlicues had to loop and curl, but not too little or too much.  Just right.
     

    Michael Maiello's picture

    How Foreign Policy People and Presidents Think

    I read Robert Kagan's essay "Superpowers Don't Get To Retire" with an eventual blog post in mind, likely one that would attempt to rebut Kagan's latest call for greater American military action in the world, including dangerous neighborhoods like Syria and Ukraine. But I think that those of you who know me know where I stand on that and for those of you who don't (Hi!) I have to admit that my anti-war arguments are not particularly novel.

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    Michael Maiello's picture

    Wall Street Should Be Terrified?

    Interesting post at Business Insider about how the loss of Eric Cantor is a blow to Wall Street.  The establishment Republicans love the Street while the Tea Party insurgents are enemies of finance and friends of the real economy.  I used to actually buy something like that when, during the financial crisis, I saw an opportunity for anti-bailouts liberals and libertarians to make common cause but... that was a mirage.

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    Kidnapping in Israel

    Three students hitchhiking home from their yeshivas in the West Bank have disappeared, believed kidnapped.  Links:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/181681#.U5vzj3Z0rFw

    http://www.jpost.com/National-News/IDF-continues-widespread-search-for-missing-teens-reportedly-arrest-2-Palestinian-youth-359301

    Hitchhiking, though officially frowned upon, is widely practiced in the West Bank because of the inadequacy of public transport.

    Michael Maiello's picture

    Chekhov's Gun

    Anton Chekhov probably never actually said that "If a gun is on the mantel in act one it must go off by act three," but there is something in that little aphorism that tells us how to write drama and also warns us about how to live life.

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    Ramona's picture

    Hate And The "Patriots": Like Watching One Long Horror Movie, Wondering Who Dies Next.

     

    In an insightful article about the upsurge in anti-government hate groups and the murderous rampages they spawn, John Avlon calls them "Hatriots"--those people claiming that true constitutional patriotism requires them to disavow, disown, and destroy the United States government--and anyone who g

    Michael Wolraich's picture

    Eating Eric Cantor

    If revolutions eat their children, then Eric Cantor is the plat du jour. Just a couple years ago, he was the supposed leader of the right-wing House insurgency. The press waited hungrily for him to revolt against John Boehner and claim the Speaker's crown for himself. But Cantor chose to wait it out, and now the same insurgent spirit that bolstered his ambition has tossed him out of the House entirely.

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    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    You Don't Need a Gun: Mass Shooters

    The shootings in Isla Vista have left me too angry to blog. But now we have yet another shooter on a college campus, at Seattle Pacific. Fortunately, this murderer was stopped after killing one and wounding three. And he was stopped in the way the gun-rights community says he can never be stopped: he was stopped without a gun.

    If you'll forgive me repeating parts of a blog post from two years ago, written after another of our endless repeated mass murders:
     

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    When Society is Insane

    A question was proposed on another thread regarding Elliot Rodger‘s murder spree: “Or should we just acknowledge that this was a case of a severe mental illness and leave it at that?”  I would say to that: “No.”   The reason is that even those who are severely mentally ill do not exist in a vacuum.  In most cases, they lived a life without the mental illness.  And even while the illness or syndrome or disorder (or whatever term one wishes to use) is active still are in most cases part of some cultural setting.  

    Michael Maiello's picture

    BREAKING: NYT Reveals The Problem With Feminists

    "This means that the feminist prescription doesn’t supply what men
    slipping down into the darkness of misogyny most immediately need: not
    lectures on how they need to respect women as sexual beings, but reasons,
    despite their lack of sexual experience, to first respect themselves as men."
    Just want to start your Sunday morning with some clear thinking.
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    Ramona's picture

    Thank You, Maya Angelou, for Your Magical Words. And for Being You.

     

    We got word that Maya Angelou died today.  When her picture flashed on the TV this morning I held my breath, hoping it wasn't bad news.  When they announced that she was gone, I shouldn't have been shocked, considering her age (86) and ill health, but it took me a few minutes because it never occurred to me that she might someday leave this earth.
     

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