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Retirement in America? Too Expensive. | The New Republic
"GRINGOLANDIA: LIFESTYLE MIGRATION UNDER LATE CAPITALISM by Matthew HayesUniversity of Minnesota Press, 276 pp., $26.00"
book  review  retirement  economics  foreign-policy  immigration  poverty 
november 2018 by tsuomela
Overseas Surveillance in an Interconnected World | Brennan Center for Justice
"Recent debates about privacy and technology have focused on the actions of government agencies inside the U.S. — for example, the Federal Bureau of Investigation's efforts to break encryption on iPhones or the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. But in a new report, we found that the NSA's overseas surveillance activities through Executive Order 12333, most of which remain shrouded in secrecy, may have a far great impact on Americans' privacy."
privacy  surveillance  nsa  foreign-policy  intelligence 
march 2016 by tsuomela
Sarah Palin: Anti-Christian « The Dish
"If you want a classic example of political Christianism – and its active hostility to spiritual Christianity – it’s hard to beat Sarah Palin’s remarks yesterday. I offered a brief response last night, but this obscenity needs to be unpacked some more. And the first thing to say is that a former US vice-presidential candidate did not just endorse a war crime; she endorsed it as routine for every human being suspected of terrorism. "
torture  war  christian  conservative  neoconservatism  foreign-policy  republicans 
april 2014 by tsuomela
Obama on Libya - The Real Obama Doctrine - Esquire
"This negotiating tactic does an excellent job of uncovering the actual global demand out there for America's intervention
country(Libya)  foreign-affairs  foreign-policy  military  intervention  revolution  defense 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Tomgram: David Bromwich, Superpower Bypassed by History | TomDispatch
"Even in the depths of mortification, a lower depth still threatens Washington, thanks to our double image of ourselves. As the sole superpower, we want to be everywhere (and everywhere in charge)
america  wikileaks  foreign-affairs  foreign-policy  middle-east  war  rhetoric  obama 
march 2011 by tsuomela
Mosh Pit Diplomacy -
"The would-be foreign policy prodigy Parag Khanna made a splash with his first book, “The Second World,” in 2008, by announcing with great fanfare — including a lengthy adaptation in The New York Times Magazine — what everyone already knew: that the international order was changing. The book was Khanna’s version of the fall of the West and the rise of the rest. Having described this grave new world, Khanna now wants to tell us how to run it. The result is another easy, breezy book that dispenses platitudes as though they were original insights and in the process fails to examine their actual significance. "
book  review  diplomacy  foreign-policy  foreign-affairs  globalization  politics  international 
march 2011 by tsuomela
The Shadow War - Series - The New York Times
"Articles in this series examine the secret expansion of the war against Al Qaeda and its allies."
war  terrorism  secrecy  foreign-policy  america 
january 2011 by tsuomela
The Blast Shack
 Melancholy meditations on hackers, wikileaks, and diplomacy by Bruce Sterling.
wikileaks  diplomacy  hacking  secrecy  foreign-policy  future 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Obsidian Wings: The culture of conspiracy, the conspiracy of culture
In other words, Assange (and I presume Wikileaks as a whole) are publishing bulk-leaked documents because:
Authoritarian organizations (including most present-day national governments and large corporations) are naturally unjust, secretive, and conspiratorial.
The networks of information and influence inside such organizations are less stable to leaking than the corresponding networks inside open, just, and non-authoritarian organizations. They will either become hardened and (even more) inefficient, or they will become more open, less authoritarian, and more just. Either result is a win.
wikileaks  politics  secrecy  data  governance  government  foreign-policy  authoritarian 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Julian Assange, defending our democracies (despite their owners' wishes) - Charlie's Diary
Around the world, governments seem to be more interested in obeying the goals of industry lobbyists and the rich than in actually governing well; this isn't an accident, but the outcome of the capture of the machinery of governance by groups of individuals who are self-selecting for adherence to a narrow ideological outlook. In effect we are beset by accidental authoritarian conspiracies — not top-down conspiracies led by a white-cat-stroking Bond villain, but unintentional ad-hoc conspiracies by groups of individuals who work together to promote common interests. By coordinating, they can gain control of our institutions and impose an agenda that is agreeable to their interests (but not to the majority of the public). Familiar examples might include: the music and film industries and their catspaws among the lobbyists attending the WIPO intellectual property negotiations, the oil and coal industries, the religious right, and so on.
transparency  secrecy  control  power  wikileaks  politics  foreign-policy  america  government 
december 2010 by tsuomela
WikiLeaks reveals more than just government secrets - Glenn Greenwald -
The central goal of WikiLeaks is to prevent the world's most powerful factions -- including the sprawling, imperial U.S. Government -- from continuing to operate in the dark and without restraints.  Most of the institutions which are supposed to perform that function -- beginning with the U.S. Congress and the American media -- not only fail to do so, but are active participants in maintaining the veil of secrecy.  WikiLeaks, whatever its flaws, is one of the very few entities shining a vitally needed light on all of this.  It's hardly surprising, then, that those factions -- and their hordes of spokespeople, followers and enablers -- see WikiLeaks as a force for evil.  That's evidence of how much good they are doing.
wikileaks  media  journalism  secrecy  government  foreign-policy  american  power  transparency 
december 2010 by tsuomela
Viruses? Assassination? Arming Insurgents? How Could That Go Wrong? « Easily Distracted
But there is something about secrecy that unleashes extravagant dreams and imaginative fantasies about a world where sociopolitical trends have simpler, more intimate, and more knowable levers, where killing heads of state is a hey presto! way to make a new state, or mindfucking insurgents with some leaflets and misinformation is a way to get rid of an insurgency.

It’s not just that coverts and their armchair supporters dream of finding the delicious center of tractability inside of the confusing, multilayered Tootsie Pop of modern life. It’s that they also hope that covert action will somehow rid us of the demon of unpredictable and unintended outcomes who so relentlessly stalks most other policy-making, as if covert action might be a humanint form of a smart missile, delivered only to its target.
politics  foreign-policy  covert  war  modernism  fantasy  power  spying 
october 2010 by tsuomela
David Bromwich: One More War, Please
Something is rotten in our democracy. Like a family where everything goes wrong and nobody says a word, we suffer a load of unasked questions that have under them still more questions. Do Americans always need a war? That is a first question. It did not seem so before 2001. And the attacks that America endured then, attacks whose misery we have returned a hundredfold against actual and imagined enemies -- did those events and the interpretation put on them by Cheney and Bush (and ratified, with an agreeable change of tone, by Barack Obama ) trigger a mutation in the American character? In relation to the Constitution and our place in the world of nations, 2001 in that case must have assumed the status of the Big Bang in the universe of politics. Useless even to think of anything that came before.
To say we now act as if we need a war may underrate the syndrome. We seem to require three wars at a given time: a war to be getting out of, a war we're in the middle of, and a war we aim to
america  war  military  foreign-policy  empire  decline  politics  Obama  Barack 
august 2010 by tsuomela
PressThink: The Afghanistan War Logs Released by Wikileaks, the World's First Stateless News Organization
In media history up to now, the press is free to report on what the powerful wish to keep secret because the laws of a given nation protect it. But Wikileaks is able to report on what the powerful wish to keep secret because the logic of the Internet permits it. This is new.
media  media-studies  wikileaks  journalism  censorship  country(Afghanistan)  counter-insurgency  propaganda  secrecy  national-security  foreign-policy 
july 2010 by tsuomela
The OPR report: this era's 'Hiroshima' - Politics - The Atlantic
If you want to argue that "whatever" happened in the "war on terror" was necessary because of the magnitude and novelty of the threat, then you had better be willing to face what the "whatever" entailed. Which is what this report brings out. And if you believe -- as I do, and have argued through the years -- that what happened included excessive, abusive, lawless, immoral, and self-defeating acts done wrongly in the name of American "security," then this is a basic text as well.
law  terrorism  torture  america  foreign-policy 
march 2010 by tsuomela
How Genocide Became a National Security Threat | Foreign Policy
Genocide's negative consequences for the United States are increasingly plain. Mass violence destabilizes countries and entire regions, threatening to spread trafficking in drugs, arms, and persons, as well as infectious disease pandemics and youth radicalization. When prevention fails, the United States invariably foots much of the bill for post-atrocity relief and peacekeeping operations -- to the tune of billions of dollars. And even as Washington is paying, America's soft power is depleted when the world's only superpower stands idle while innocents are systematically slaughtered.
foreign-policy  genocide  politics  international  atrocity  law 
march 2010 by tsuomela
The American Conservative -- No Exit
An alternative reading of our recent military past might suggest the following: first, that the political utility of force—the range of political problems where force possesses real relevance—is actually quite narrow; second, that definitive victory of the sort that yields a formal surrender ceremony at Appomattox or on the deck of an American warship tends to be a rarity; third, that ambiguous outcomes are much more probable, with those achieved at a cost far greater than even the most conscientious war planner is likely to anticipate; and fourth, that the prudent statesman therefore turns to force only as a last resort and only when the most vital national interests are at stake. Contra Kristol, force is an “instrument” in the same sense that a slot machine or a roulette wheel qualifies as an instrument.
military  military-indusrial-complex  war  foreign-policy  america  politics  history  policy  violence 
february 2010 by tsuomela
Open the Future: A Cold War Over Warming
There is, I believe, a non-zero chance that an extended period of climate instability could induce a state that believes itself to be better able to adapt to global warming to slow its efforts to decarbonize in order to gain a lead over its more vulnerable rivals.
global-warming  climate  change  political-science  international  foreign-policy 
december 2009 by tsuomela
CENTCOM’s Master Plan and U.S. Global Hegemony: Newsroom: The Independent Institute
Many people deny that the U.S. government presides over a global empire. If you speak of U.S. imperialism, they will fancy that you must be a decrepit Marxist-Leninist who has recently awakened after spending decades in a coma. Yet the facts cannot be denied, however much people’s ideology may predispose them to distort or obfuscate those facts.

How can a government that maintains more than 800 military facilities in more than 140 different foreign countries be anything other than an imperial power? The hundreds of thousands of troops who operate those bases and conduct operations from them, not to mention the approximately 125,000 sailors and Marines aboard the U.S. warships that cruise the oceans, are not going door to door selling Girl Scout cookies. United States of America is the name; intimidation is the game.
america  militarism  military  empire  power  foreign-policy 
october 2009 by tsuomela
Crossroads - Where Is U.S. Foreign Policy Headed? -
Quick survey of neoliberalism, neoconservatism and the recent predictions of America's future decline (Andrew Bacevich) and rise (Friedman).
foreign-policy  american  international  neoconservatism  neoliberalism  policies  future 
october 2009 by tsuomela
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