You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘International Affairs’ category.

The gun culture in the United States is certainly a artifact to behold.  Schools and communities are scenes of violent murderous shootings. The requisite furor about gun violence rises and falls with each new bloody occurrence.

 

The theatre of caring about children and their safety played out in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.

“The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting prompted renewed debate about gun control in the United States, including proposals for making the background-check system universal, and for new federal and state legislation banning the sale and manufacture of certain types of semi-automatic firearms and magazines with more than ten rounds of ammunition.[242]

Within hours of the shooting, a We the People petition was started asking the White House to “immediately address the issue of gun control through the introduction of legislation in Congress,”[243][244] and the gun control advocacy group the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reported that an avalanche of donations in the hours after the shooting caused its website to crash.[245] Five days later, President Obama announced that he would make gun control a “central issue” of his second term,[246] and he created a gun violence task force, to be headed by Vice President Joe Biden.[247] On January 16, 2013, Obama signed 23 executive orders and proposed 12 congressional actions regarding gun control.[248] His proposals included universal background checks on firearms purchases, an assault weapons ban, and a high-capacity magazine ban limiting capacity to 10 cartridges.[249][250]

On December 21, 2012, the National Rifle Association‘s Wayne LaPierre said gun-free school zones attract killers and that another gun ban would not protect Americans. He called on Congress to appropriate funds to hire armed police officers for every American school and announced that the NRA would create the National School Shield Emergency Response Program to help.[251] After LaPierre’s press conference, the Brady Campaign asked for donations to support its gun control advocacy and asked NRA members “who believe like we do, that we are better than this” to join its campaign.[252] On January 8, 2013, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot and injured in a 2011 shooting in Tucson, launched the gun control group Americans for Responsible Solutions, with a specific aim of matching or exceeding the fundraising capabilities of the NRA and similar groups.[253]

On January 16, 2013, New York became the first U.S. state to act after the shooting when it enacted the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.[254] On April 3, 2013, Connecticut General Assembly passed a 139-page[255] major gun-control bill with broad bipartisan support.[255] Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill on the same day.[256] The bill requires universal background checks (background checks for all firearm purchases),[257] a high-capacity magazine ban banning the sale or purchase of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than ten rounds of ammunition like those used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting,[258] created the first registry in the United States for dangerous-weapon offenders, and added over 100 types of guns to the state’s assault weapons ban.[255] Pro-gun groups had rallied outside the Capitol to protest prior to the signing[255] and challenged it in court. Federal judge Alfred Covello ruled to uphold the law in January 2014.[259]

On April 4, 2013, Maryland also enacted new restrictions to their existing gun laws.[260][261] However, ten other states passed laws that relaxed gun restrictions.[262]

Legislation introduced in the first session of 113th Congress included the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013[263][264] and the Manchin-Toomey Amendment to expand background checks on gun purchases.[265][266] Both were defeated in the Senate on April 17, 2013.[267]

Phase one in purple text. Phase two in red text.

So, right now we’re in the first phase when outraged people demand action.  We will hear less about the second phase when the measures that were tentative enacted are walked back.

What is apparent is that the amount of gun violence in America is at a level that American’s find acceptable in their society.  We can look to the media to watch people say how horrible it is and what measures to need to be put in place to stop gun violence but those voices and will to change fade.  The fade continues until the next violent incident.

Just to be clear, there is no upper limit to the number of casualties needed to “wake people up”.  If that was the case, the Sandy Hook mass shooting should have been enough.  Or maybe the Pulse Night Club shooting, or the Las Vegas shooting or… 

I hope the conversation amongst the competing interests in the US swings toward the notion of more responsible gun ownership and more supports for individuals who are isolated from society.

 

 

 

Growing up I used to watch MASH almost everyday. It was on right after the 6pm news broadcast. It would be hard these days to imagine a show that would remain on the air being subversive as MASH was.

A repost because humanity has decided to revisit our base nature and bring ruin to the lives of others, for important reasons.

Give peace, O Lord, in our time
Because there is no one else
Who fights for us
If not You, our God.

Going to war over spheres of influence.  The 21st century is going to be just as rough as the 20th century.

“Russia says, for instance, that it is threatened by Nato expanding eastwards and potentially including Ukraine as a member. The response of the Nato powers is to say that its door should remain open to all and, more privately, that Ukraine is unlikely to join the organisation in the foreseeable future, so why is Moscow objecting so strongly?

But there is a perfectly rational Russian response to this, which is to point to the furious American response to Soviet missiles being based in Cuba that almost led to a nuclear war in 1962. The Russians can also reasonably ask why, if Ukraine’s Nato membership is such a distant prospect, Nato powers are so insistent on keeping open the option, even though, by doing so, they increase the chances of a shooting war.”

The Russian national interest must be preserved I suppose, and that is reason enough to initiate an armed conflict.  We watch the US do it all the time as well, just that somehow we’re the good guys.

With resources scarce, this model of armed intervention will occur more often.  We’ll have to get used to it or be prepared to radically reorganize our societies around the idea that we as co-inhabitants on this earth all have the right to live in peace.

 

No one likes talking about the corruption in OUR system, yet it is present and it is a festering problem that threatens the social fabric we all depend on.

 

Elections boil down to conflicts within the business community.” ( T. Ferguson)

When you add together the Reagan deregulations, the Clinton deregulations, the Bush deregulations with Citizens United allowing unlimited, unidentified corporate cash to flow into politics, and McDonnell v. United States letting that cash flow through to the hands of public officials, then the United States really did lose, not just in court. The people have lost control of the state to a hydra of business, government and criminal bad actors. The result is inequality so extreme, a regulatory environment so lax, and a judicial system so unresponsive that all the systems we’ve been patching and nursing could fail all at once with cataclysmic results.

“Forty years after the 1980 turning, the world today seems to be back on the course first charted in the Gilded Age. Bending and distorting economic and political systems to suit their purposes, globalized networks of kleptocratic elites compete in pursuit of wealth without limit. In the process, they are debasing or destroying priceless treasures and countless human lives.” — Sarah Chayes

 

Like the trajectory of the pandemic, I wish we could as a society seriously examine the history of what untrammeled greed does to to a society and move to mitigate the rot before it hurts more people.

I know, I know.  Good luck with that.  :/

 

William Astore writes for Tom’s Dispatch on the overreach of the American Industrial complex.  The reality of the situation is this, the only thing that arms manufacturers cannot create is peace.

 

Paraphrasing Joe Biden, show me your budget and I’ll tell you what you worship. In that context, there can’t be the slightest doubt: America worships its Pentagod and the weapons and wars that feed it.

Prefabricated War, Made in the U.S.A.

I confess that I’m floored by this simple fact: for two decades in which “forever war” has served as an apt descriptor of America’s true state of the union, the Pentagod has failed to deliver on any of its promises. Iraq and Afghanistan? Just the most obvious of a series of war-on-terror quagmires and failures galore.

That ultimate deity can’t even pass a simple financial audit to account for what it does with those endless funds shoved its way, yet our representatives in Washington keep doing so by the trillions. Spectacular failure after spectacular failure and yet that all-American god just rolls on, seemingly unstoppable, unquenchable, rarely questioned, never penalized, always on top.

Talk about blind faith!

The Pentagod advances a peculiar form of war, one that would puzzle most classic military strategists. In fact, its version of war is beyond strategy of the Clausewitzian sort. I think of it as prefabricated war, borrowing a term from the inestimable Ann Jones’s recent piece for TomDispatch on our Afghan disaster. It’s a term pregnant with meaning.

Prefabricated war is how the Pentagod has ruled for so endlessly long. There is, as a start, the fabrication of false causes for war. In Vietnam, it was the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, the “attacks” on U.S. Navy ships that never happened. In Afghanistan, it was vengeance for the 9/11 attacks against a people who neither planned nor committed them. In Iraq, it was the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussein didn’t have. Real causes don’t matter much to America’s war god since false ones can always be fabricated, after which enough true believers — especially in Congress — will embrace them fervently and faithfully.

But prefabricated war doesn’t just start with or consist of manufactured causes. It’s fabricated far ahead of time in a colossal cathedral of violence — President Eisenhower’s military-industrial-congressional complex — that sends its missionaries and minions around the planet on a mission of global reach, global power, and full-spectrum dominance. War is prefabricated on 750 military bases scattered across the globe on every continent except Antarctica, in America’s giant arms corporations like Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and by Special Operations forces that act much like the Jesuits of the Catholic Counter-Reformation, spreading the one true faith to 150 countries.

Since America’s war god is also a jealous deity, it insists on dominating all domains — not just land, sea, and air but space as well. Even more ethereal realms like cyberspace and virtual/augmented realities must be captured and controlled. It seeks omnipotence and omniscience in the name of your safety and, if you let it, will also know everything about you, while having the power to smite you, should you stop blindly worshipping it and feeding it more money.

It won’t be business as usual for very much longer.  The mantle of world power is quite possibly changing hands within my life time.  Lovely.  Alfred McCoy tackles the large geopolitical issues that we will all be facing in the future.

 

The Bipartisan Nature of U.S. Decline

America’s decline started at home as a distinctly bipartisan affair. After all, Washington wasted two decades in an extravagant fashion fighting costly conflicts in distant lands, in part to secure the Middle East’s oil at a time when that fuel was already destined to join cordwood and coal in the dustbin of history (though not faintly soon enough). Beijing, in contrast, used those same years to build industries that would make it the world’s workshop.

In 2001, in a major miscalculation, Washington admitted Beijing to the World Trade Organization, bizarrely confident that a compliant China would somehow join the world economy without challenging American global power. “Across the ideological spectrum, we in the U.S. foreign policy community,” wrote two former members of the Obama administration, “shared the underlying belief that U.S. power and hegemony could readily mold China to the United States’ liking… All sides of the policy debate erred.”

A bit more bluntly, foreign policy expert John Mearsheimer recently concluded that “both Democratic and Republican administrations… promoted investment in China and welcomed the country into the global trading system, thinking it would become a peace-loving democracy and a responsible stakeholder in a U.S.-led international order.”

In the 15 years since then, Beijing’s exports to the U.S. grew nearly fivefold to $462 billion annually. By 2014, its foreign currency reserves had surged from just $200 billion to an unprecedented $4 trillion — a vast hoard of cash it used to build a modern military and win allies across Eurasia and Africa. Meanwhile, Washington was wasting more than $8 trillion on profitless wars in the Greater Middle East and Africa in lieu of spending such funds domestically on infrastructure, innovation, or education — a time-tested formula for imperial decline.

When a Pentagon team assessing the war in Afghanistan interviewed Jeffrey Eggers, a former White House staffer and Navy SEAL veteran, he asked rhetorically: “What did we get for this $1 trillion effort? Was it worth a trillion? After the killing of Osama bin Laden, I said that Osama was probably laughing in his watery grave considering how much we have spent on Afghanistan.” (And keep in mind that the best estimate now is that the true cost to America of that lost war alone was $2.3 trillion.) Consider it an imperial lesson of the first order that the most extravagantly funded military on Earth has not won a war since the start of the twenty-first century.

Donald Trump’s presidency brought a growing realization, at home and abroad, that Washington’s world leadership was ending far sooner than anyone had imagined. For four years, Trump attacked long-standing U.S. alliances, while making an obvious effort to dismiss or demolish the international organizations that had been the hallmark of Washington’s world system. To top that off, he denounced a fair American election as “fraudulent” and sparked a mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, functionally making a mockery of America’s long history of promoting the idea of democracy to legitimate its global leadership (even as it overthrew unfriendly democratic governments in distant lands via covert interventions).

In that riot’s aftermath, most of the Republican Party has embraced Trump’s demagoguery about electoral fraud as an article of faith. As it happens, no nation can exercise global leadership if one of its ruling parties descends into persistent irrationality, something Britain’s Conservative Party demonstrated all too clearly during that country’s imperial decline in the 1950s.

This Blog best viewed with Ad-Block and Firefox!

What is ad block? It is an application that, at your discretion blocks out advertising so you can browse the internet for content as opposed to ads. If you do not have it, get it here so you can enjoy my blog without the insidious advertising.

Like Privacy?

Change your Browser to Duck Duck Go.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,448 other followers

Progressive Bloggers

Categories

June 2022
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Archives

Blogs I Follow

The DWR Community

Myrela

Art, health, civilizations, photography, nature, books, recipes, etc.

Women Are Human

Independent source for the top stories in worldwide gender identity news

Widdershins Worlds

LESBIAN SF & FANTASY WRITER, & ADVENTURER

aunt polly's rants

A fine WordPress.com site

silverapplequeen

herstory. poetry. recipes. rants.

Paul S. Graham

Communications, politics, peace and justice

Debbie Hayton

Transgender Teacher and Journalist

Whirlwind of Scrap Paper

Books, articles and the occasional poem. Posting Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

shakemyheadhollow

Conceptual spaces: politics, philosophy, art, literature, religion, cultural history

Our Better Natures

Loving, Growing, Being

Lyra

A topnotch WordPress.com site

I Won't Take It

Life After an Emotionally Abusive Relationship

VictimFocus Blog

Exploring best practice and research in sexual violence. A loud voice in the fight against victim blaming. Written and Managed by Psychologist and Best Selling Author Dr Jessica Taylor

Unpolished XX

No product, no face paint. I am enough.

Volunteer petunia

Observations and analysis on survival, love and struggle

femlab

the feminist exhibition space at the university of alberta

Raising Orlando

About gender, identity, parenting and containing multitudes

REAL for women

Reflecting Equality in Australian Legislation for women

The Feminist Kitanu

Spreading the dangerous disease of radical feminism

Double Plus Good

The Evolution Will Not BeTelevised

la scapigliata

writer, doctor, wearer of many hats

Teach The Change

Teaching Artist/ Progressive Educator

Female Personhood

Identifying as female since the dawn of time.

Not The News in Briefs

A blog by Helen Saxby

SOLIDARITY WITH HELEN STEEL

A blog in support of Helen Steel

thenationalsentinel.wordpress.com/

Where media credibility has been reborn.

BigBooButch

Memoirs of a Butch Lesbian

RadFemSpiraling

Radical Feminism Discourse

a sledge and crowbar

deconstructing identity and culture

The Radical Pen

Fighting For Female Liberation from Patriarchy

Emma

Politics, things that make you think, and recreational breaks

Easilyriled's Blog

cranky. joyful. radical. funny. feminist.

Nordic Model Now!

Movement for the Abolition of Prostitution

The WordPress C(h)ronicle

These are the best links shared by people working with WordPress

HANDS ACROSS THE AISLE

Gender is the Problem, Not the Solution

fmnst

Peak Trans and other feminist topics

There Are So Many Things Wrong With This

if you don't like the news, make some of your own

%d bloggers like this: