The Problem with Courage (book)

Review of Michael Beschloss, Presidential Courage I had high expectations of Michael Beschloss’ Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989, but must say that I was disappointed. I had expected stirring narratives of cases where presidents stuck to their guns in the face of criticism and opposition. That’s more or less what’s […]

Hitler, Bush and Historical Accuracy

“An evil exists that threatens every man, woman and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our Homeland.” This quote, according to hundreds of pages on the web, is by Adolf Hitler from a 1933 (or 1932 or 1922 on some pages) announcement of the creation […]

Ludlow Amendment, the Draft, and a culture of war

I’m reading the somewhat disappointing book Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America 1789-1989 by Michael Beschloss. I’ll have to do a complete review, but in brief, the disappointing part is that in most episodes, I get to the end and think “Oh, it’s over.” Somehow it reads a bit like a core […]

Do Social Drinkers Really Earn More?

According to a recent study, social drinkers earn more — lots more. Drinking alone at home doesn’t count. Barhopping without drinking apparently doesn’t count either. What’s really interesting here, though, is not that this study may lack rigor, but who wants you to know that social drinkers may earn more. Having been alerted by Paul […]

Waste is Food (book: Cradle to Cradle)

Every so often I come across a book that makes it onto my “must read” list. It’s been a while, but William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the way we make things is one of those books. For people unfamiliar with McDonough’s work, he is an environmentalist, architect and designer who has […]

Bowling Deaths Double

Rise of extreme bowling blamed by industry Consumer protection advocates have released a study today showing that bowling-related deaths have seen a 100 percent increase through the first half of 2006 compared to the same period last year. From January 1, 2005 until June 30, 2005, combined data from the International Bowling Federation (IBF), the […]

Switzerland declares neutrality on Sweden

In a move that shocked the international diplomatic community, Switzerland today declared neutrality on Sweden. The small land-locked European nation is best known for declaring neutrality on Nazi German during World War II and on Turkey during the latter nation’s struggle with Kurdish separatists. A small group of neo-con scholars thinkers commentators have long noticed […]

Era of Change Upon Us Again

I get the headlines from the New York Times emailed to me every day. It saves a lot of money, fuel and paper in the long run. Today, the venerable NYT sent me this headline for the article about Bill Gates stepping down at Microsoft: Gates to Cede Software Reins in Era of Change. At […]

Nation of Sheep (book)

In the summer of 1959 there occurred a series of events which demonstrated our national ignorance in a shameful and nearly fatal manner. Briefly, the United States threatened intervention in a foreign country for reasons which, it turned out, had no basis in fact… Our Secretary of State called the situation grave; our ambassador to […]

Wal-mart is not the Problem

Wal-mart critics still seem focussed on social and moral pressure, while the Renaissance scholastics teach us to trust to institutions, not the virtues of men. Nevertheless, recent victories against Wal-mart bode well for activists who would like to see health care divorced from employment.