Military Defense Essentially a Moral Issue

A moral dilemma is, by definition, a problem that cannot be solved simply by dealing with material facts. “What should be” matters as much as “what is” or “what will be.” Different societies define their moral systems differently. But all agree on one thing. The closer you get to issues of life and death, the more important the moral aspect Read More ›

The American Citizen as Soldier

The Founding Fathers wanted America defended by a small professional military and a large people’s militia. Today, that idea seems as quaint as the horse cavalry, and about as practical. And yet . . . it’s coming back. Two new books, both by well-left-of-center authors, sketch the military and political rationales for a citizen-based post Cold War military. And conservatives, Read More ›

What the Air Force Can Do for You

“What can you do When your dreams come true And it’s not quite like you planned?” So sang the Eagles, a popular group of the 70s. But today, “After the Thrill Is Gone” might well become the service anthem of the United States Air Force. Despite the magnificence of Desert Storm, despite all the wondrous new technologies and capabilities developed Read More ›

Literature Survey January 1996

Zen Biology? Jeffrey Levinton, “Life in the Tangled Lane,” a review of Stuart Kauffman, The Origins of Order, Evolution 49 (1995): 575-577. In this review of Kauffman’s magnum opus, Levinton (Ecology and Evolution, SUNY Stony Brook) is cheerfully skeptical. “Kauffman’s model,” he writes, “is at once pervasive, explaining everything. But equally, it explains why we may never be able to Read More ›

Invitation to Chat with the General

In recent weeks, there’s been a lot of talk about talk. Specifically, about the right (?) of military officers to comment publicly on their Commander-in-Chief. Whether yet another 60’s vice–protest as emotional venting and self-expression–has hit the military, may be debated. Thankfully, however, there are other dialogues going on. Herewith a personal tale, and a short meditation on military statesmanship. Read More ›

Shopping for Defense

President Clinton, it would seem, has had a conversion experience–one that leaves many of his overworked and overwrought supporters feeling more betrayed than usual. After six years of trashing the military and blowing off the putative alarmists and doom-sayers, he now finds the world so threatening that, as he recently told the New York Times, he stays up at night Read More ›

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 ›

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 ›