Articles

Expeditionary Homeland Defense?

Herewith a Tale of Two Buzzwords, and of their implications for the common defense. Buzzwords (as though the readers didn’t already know this) are terms which encapsulate, evoke, express, and otherwise elucidate ideas currently in favor. This is especially true in Washington, DC, where buzz often generates and accompanies cash. Today, the Pentagon’s abuzz with two phrases: “expeditionary forces” and Read More ›

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Sunset Aerial View of Rural Lummi Island, Washington. Located in the Puget Sound area of Washington state this rural island offers a peaceful retreat and boasts the famous award winning Willows Inn.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

State’s Growing Tourism Industry Offers Employment Promise

These are heady times for entrepreneurs, high tech whizzes and international traders. But many people are left out of the boom, including bank tellers and telephone operators, middle managers and others whose jobs are being rendered obsolete by new technologies, corporate down-sizing and international competition. They can get jobs in this economy, but often not at levels commensurate with their Read More ›

Rethink and Restructure

It happened thirty years ago, but I still recall my absolute outrage the day my draft notice arrived. How dare they? I didn’t even bother to read the thing, just sent it back with a hand-scrawled note: I will never serve in the United States Army. Stop wasting my time and the government’s postage. Sincerely yours. P.S. I recently joined Read More ›

It’s Time to Curb America’s Appetite for Lawsuits

A woman at McDonald’s spills hot coffee in her lap and a jury awards her $2.7 million. Another jury awards a man $4 million from BMW because he wasn’t told that his new car had received a minor paint touch-up before he bought it. Yet another man is awarded $12.3 million, most of it in “punitive” damages,” because he fractured Read More ›

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Global network modern creative telecommunication and internet connection. Concept of 5G wireless digital connection and internet of things future.
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Angst and Awe on the Internet

Well, it had to happen. As the Internet emerges as the central nervous system of global capitalism, the Luddite left is bursting into “flames” against the microcosm and telecosm, against interlinked computers and the global radiance of electromagnetic communications. This rising resistance resonates with the press coverage that has long lavished attention on the excesses of the Net. Richard Shaffer Read More ›

America Unmasked

I’m a think tank pogue, specializing in national defense. “Pogue,” by the by, is a venerable military term, meaning anybody who’s farther from the fighting than you are. By this standard, Seattle’s a pretty poguey place. Still, whenever the metallic density of the air increases somewhere, I morph into a Media Resource. Since the ordnance started popping in Yugoslavia, I’ve Read More ›

Envy of the World?

Fifteen years ago, an historian of American culture captured in one sentence the essence of the decision-making that got us into Vietnam. In his brilliant (and therefore sadly ignored) book, “Backfire,” Loren Baritz called it the work of men “who didn’t know how to win, but couldn’t conceive of losing.” Today, it’s reversed. The decisions of the Clinton administration regarding Read More ›

Going for Lofty Goals

Congratulations to the United States Army. When Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki gave his recent “Army Vision” speech to an Army audience, he offered a set of goals that are correct, compelling, and–if aggressively pursued and adequately funded–the best thing to happen to the service since Desert Storm or the day they consumed the last of their Nam-era C-rations, whichever Read More ›

Think tanks Instrumental Weapons in Conservative Arsenal

Polls show that the public primarily blame Republicans in Congress, rather than President Clinton, for the recent (and future?) government shutdown. Those who blame both sides equally think that the battle is merely “political” in the worst sense. At the state level, Referendum 48, the property rights initiative, was soundly defeated earlier this month by a margin of 60-40. Is Read More ›

California v. Gnatcatcher?

Not long after his firm bought more than 2,300 acres of prime southern-California real estate, John Barone learned that the property was full of gnatcatchers. A compactly built man with shaggy black hair, Barone has a confident, loquacious style that some people might describe in terms of the can-do optimism of the American West, which is where Barone has lived Read More ›