Currently viewing the tag: "Antiwar.com"

War. Good God, y’all. Etc. Have had many fine adventures this summer, only some of which involve David Icke or Donald Trump. Regardless of that, here is the speech I gave at New York City’s Liberty Fest on September 10.

  • everestI wrote a review of Everest for The Federalist. You should read it, because that’s almost a slant rhyme.
  • And I wrote some stuff at Antiwar.com. Don’t I always?
  • I read Felicia Day’s book, You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). It was a very easy, but enjoyable read about her trials and tribulations. The strangely relatable bits for me — not having ever been on Buffy — were the part where she was homeschooled for secular reasons, and then had anxiety and a thyroid problem! (Sorry to put your thyroid problem with enthusiastic punctuation, Ms. Day, but I was excited.) The best bit really was where she writes that if she hadn’t been homeschooled (and she seems slightly less positive about it than I am, but still mixed in a real world sort of) she would not have this fearless weirdness. She might actually be better at maintaining friendships and being a normal human, but on that first day of school her desire to love whatever she loved would have been drained out of her thanks to what she calls the girls with bows in their hair. I get this. I am inclined to agree about myself. There are trade-offs in being weird and not having the obvious reference point of school. One of the perks (which in itself has trade-offs) is that it helps you become your own person (especially if your parents aren’t rigid.) Oh, and I think I am searching for my own version of The Guild. Unfortunately, my interests are not entirely unique (yes, the internet taught me that) but they are a bit more obscure than Warcraft.
  • This is a pessimistic look at libertarianism and libertarian movements that doesn’t feel like a hit piece or a (total) misreading of the philosophy. 
  • Austin Bragg of ReasonTV kind of already made a video that includes my gun control argument. Sigh.
  • It is not offensive to say that gun control is a boon for totalitarian societies. And in particular, Nazi Germany has a few examples of Jews with guns surviving and even fighting back. The Belarusian Bielski partisans are a great example of how firearms can help you survive, without even the confrontation of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (which…didn’t go that well, but it was also more of a suicide mission), much less the strawman of going up against the entire Germany Army. But Dr. Keith Ablow(hard) has written what can only be described as a victim blaming piece about the Jews under the Nazis. Additionally, he basically is letting the world that let six million Jews die off the hook because they didn’t fight back in an inspirational enough fashion.
  • First female photojournalist in Japan is 101, still kicking ass.  Hat tip to photographer friend Emily.
  • Cool piece on forgotten female journalist who broke the whole invasion of Poland news. Unfortunately, said piece refers to Martha Gellhorn and Clare Booth Luce in reference to their husbands. Ahem.
  • Started listening to Gilmore Guys podcast a little. It feels like it’s annoying, and then it’s entrancing.
  • Good Wired piece on the state of fandom, and how its pure enthusiasm (maybe) beat irony. I’ve never really been to a good, nerdy con, which is a sad thing.
  • BBC behind the scenes look at the latest “Doctor Who” and the cool, deaf actress they found for the part. I just wish the plot had been a little less…something. As a watcher of Switched at Birth, I tried to see a difference between British Sign and American, but I clearly can’t. I can sign my name, “baby”, and “thank you” in ASL, though, so I am a champ.
  • Oh, and via Ms. Julia, attorney at law, I found the podcast Criminal. I listened to one about a guy sent to a minimum security prison that also had a leper colony. No, really. Also it was the 1990s. 
  • Kitty Genovese: still much more complicated than just a metaphor for urban indifference and the bystander effect.
  • Townes Van Zandt was great. Here are some of his words on songwriting.  And here’s a whole bunch of people covering “White Freightliner Blues” on Austin City Limits in what can be argued is a way to upbeat manner. Still good times, if only because I cannot resist saloon pianer. Yet still an argument for diminishing returns.

If you’re ready — and only if you’re ready — you can watch Townes himself making an old man cry by singing “Waitin’ Around to Die”:

  • ob2Today in world’s smallest violin/if it works, let’s go for it.
  • The drone program has killed more people than who died on 9/11. Thanks, Obama!
  • Me at Antiwar: ‘The Nonsense of War’
  • Me at Rare: ‘On marijuana, Obama is a huge hypocrite’
  • On March 30, I was on The Bob Zadek Show to talk about the war on drugs and private prisons.
  • A Liberty.me LIVE spreecast where I chat with Sheldon Richman on ‘The Poison Called Nationalism.’
  • And the slightly less polished Sheldon Richman and I talk Iran one. (Also my mic is too loud at the start. Lo siento.)
  • 1) What the hell happened to this Salon? 2) What the hell happened to this Christopher Hitchens?
  • Let’s take a break from antiwar talk to note that I would totally go to this if I could. Dunkirk little ships! The internet claims that Sundowner will be there. Sundowner being the yacht of Charles Lightoller, the surviving senior officer on the Titanic. Lightoller was told they were taken his boat for the evacuation, and he was all, nah, I’m taking it. So he went over, grabbed 160 fellas, and came back. One of the last adventures in a long life of them. Seriously, somebody make a BBC series about his life. Please. I can’t. I’m not British enough.
  • Apropos of the above, I totally wrote Titanic fanfiction when I was 19. Except it was HISTORICAL. And I only did it twice.
  • Yep. I had some excellent talks while smoking — or standing next to– M.R. and K.H. in Reason days. (But then, that wouldn’t have been so if smoking were still allowed in buildings!)
  • This is a very lazy response to the conspiracy theorists who wonder why/how the BBC reported the fall of Building 7 20 minutes before it happened. But the comments are amazing. I might have missed one or two, but it appears that every single comment is by a truther. Every one.
  • Microcosmic! 
  • Still, I am not #readyforhillary
  • Here is a great twitter essay, as they call it. It’s short, but should be in a blog somewhere.
  • Apparently Sam Quinn used to have a moderately (for alt country, etc.) successful band called the Everybodyfields. I thought he was just the amazing maker of a live tape that S.T. and I listened to all the way to Nashville from Richmond, and back which includes the most stunningly slide guitar-filled, beautiful cover of the “Juicy Fruit” song you could possibly imagine. But, uh, this song is also on that tape.
  • The Milk Carton Kids are a band I have seen twice, technically. They opened for the Lumineers who were opening for Old Crow Medicine Show, and I saw all three bands for a two night stand at DC’s 9:30 club in 2012. The Milk Carton Kids are definitely bigger fish now. They are a little too pretty and slow sometimes, but they’re really good. And if 12-year-old me had known that a duo that sounds this Simon and Garfunkel-ish was coming along, she would have rested easier.
  • “You call me up again/just to break me like a promise/So casually cruel/in the name of being honest” is T-Swift lyrics at their finest. This is a solid power ballad, or whatever it is. I like the reckless mixture of cliches and legitimately good lines.
  • Pokey LaFarge has written a hell of an earworm for his new album (due out later this month). I am excited to see him on the 30th! And to dance. It’s impossible not to with him playing.
  • snowproblemVice stuff I’ve written.
  • Antiwar stuff I’ve written.
  • Bourbon and Bitches is back, and even has a website!
  • I had a glorious, knock-down, drag-out argument about the police and the war on drugs on Saturday Night Cigar Lounge on Vigilant Liberty radio. I was a bit of an asshole in spots, but we were all friends at the end of it and off air.
  • Important hotness-based lists I’ve been placed on for troll purposes. There is no link.
  • Snow is happening. I like it, but my job is to sit on my butt and type anyway.
  • I am jealous I haven’t seen any yetis yet, though. Lucky Boston.
  • The Yeti is a vegan, and “wants to see people smile” so don’t worry about it.
  • Michael C. Moynihan visited the North Korean border with VICE news!
  • The Independents is no more, but Kennedy has a new show, and we live in a world in which Cosmo interviews her, so that’s not all bad.
  • Obviously I have major problems with Jezebel, and sometimes with Lindy West in particular, but I enjoyed her This American Life segment on talking to her meanest troll. Humans are humans! Just imagine!
  • WaPost on an 88-year-old Mississippi doctor who visits patients who need him, and the forces of bureaucracy trying to shut him down.
  • The New Republic writer speaks truth, not freaking out about gender fluid kids would be awesome. We could even all agree on that if we wanted to.
  • It’s School Choice Week, so Jim Epstein can help you learn stuff about schools in Camden, NJ.
  • I believe this story.
  • Today in America: 1) Let’s build a big wall, 2) SWAT teams sent to break up gambling, 3) Todd Starnes is still at large, 4) Our allies still believe in 1000 lashes for blogging.
  • I hope the ghost of Cameron Todd Willingham continues to haunt Rick Perry, even though he’s no longer governor.
  • New band name. Or novel title. Something.
  • People will literally complain about anything — even David Tennant’s hot, hot accent in Broadchurch.

Today’s video:

I love The Stanley Brothers so much that I literally — as the kids say — can’t even when there’s the occasional footage of them playing.

I also have this sweet new graphic.Nothing justifies slaughtering a bunch of cartoonists and editors, or police officers trying to save lives. Let’s get that essential, should-be-obvious truth out of the way first and foremost.

Though some prominent people like Glenn Greenwald and the writers at the leftist Jacobin magazine found Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons to be from distasteful to downright racist, no one is saying the French satirists deserved this monstrous assassination. There is something fundamentally (pun intended) terrifying about killing people over words and images.

Yet, there’s something frustrating about the response to the tragic murders in Paris on Wednesday. This is because the miserable muck that is the war on terror reminds us, as do all wars, that some animals are more equal than others. In the face of this disturbing crime, it would be nice to feel rallied towards civil liberties, and freedom of speech. Rallied towards not living on your knees, as the late editor Stéphane Charbonnier said he would do even after the Charlie Hebdo offices were bombed in 2011. But it isn’t that simple.

The perpetrators of the Paris attack – now identified, with one in custody – should be found and brought to justice. But oh, If only one could depend on a narrowness of response – that only the terrorists responsible would be punished for every attack, and no freedoms, no domestic privacy or rights would be sacrificed; no innocent Muslims or their houses of worship assaulted or oppressed, and no civilians would be caught in any crossfire of any ensuing international effort.

Read the rest at Antiwar.com

christmastruce2Hey, it lasted until New Year’s Day in a few places!

It’s strange how often football comes up in stories about World War I. Blood-poet Jessie Pope famously and obscenely compared the conflict to a game. And to many, the most memorable part about the Truce of Christmas,1914 was the football match played between British and German soldiers.

For the centennial of this famous and cozy lesson in – arguably futile – goodwill towards men, historians are now debating the prominence of that famous football match. It may have happened on a smaller scale than popular portrayal suggests. Fine.

One wonders why the sport part has such a hold in the public imagination. Perhaps because it’s so metaphorically on the nose. A football game is the way that nationalism should look if it looks like anything at all. It is a friendly competition, like the Olympics in a world without politics. It is not the young being sacrificed for the old’s squabbles.

For all the novelty of the Truce as a moment in history, it makes sense that these men stopped fighting. After four months of war – war that was not “over by Christmas” 1914, or ‘15, ‘16, or ‘17 – some soldiers were already starting to wonder what they were fighting for. Turns out it wasn’t much like the boy’s adventure stories at all, more like mud, misery, and what was turning into months fighting over feet of earth. That’s where the Truce came in.

Read the rest at Antiwar.com