Another con: here’s where your tax dollars for defense are really going

By William Hartung, The Nation, October 2017 Here’s a question for you: How do you spell boondoggle? The answer (in case you didn’t already know): P-e-n-t-a-g-o-n. Hawks on Capitol Hill and in the US military routinely justify increases in the Defense Department’s already munificent budget by arguing that yet more money is needed to “support the troops.” If you’re already …

How we learned not to care about war and the human and financial cost

Sixteen years of autopilot wars, but who’s counting? By Andrew Bacevich.  Published on Monday, October 09, 2017 by TomDispatch 16 Comments Thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed in recent months by imprecise bombings by the U.S.-led coalition in Mosul. (Photo: arif_shamim/Flickr/cc) Consider, if you will, these two indisputable facts.  First, the United States is today more or less permanently engaged in hostilities in not one …

Increasing droughts, lower crop yields (just 40% already in Utah and forecast to go to 10%), and increased stress and conflict

A new study by MIT climate scientists, economists, and agriculture experts finds that certain hotspots in the country will experience severe reductions in crop yields by 2050, due to climate change’s impact on irrigation. The most adversely affected region, according to the researchers, will be the Southwest. Already a water-stressed part of the country, this region is projected to experience …

Choosing peace and not war

President John F. Kennedy was speaking at a time when, like now, Russia and the United States had enough nuclear weapons ready to fire at each other on a moment’s notice to destroy the earth for human life many times over. At that time, however, in 1963, there were only three nations, not the current nine, with nuclear weapons, and …

US military should get out of the Middle Easat

Three years ago, in London for a keynote, I had a chance to talk with people from three different Middle Eastern countries and multiple classes.  They all agreed that the best thing the US could do in the Middle East was to get out, and proceeded with long stories why and history of US and western involvement in the region. …

Gorbachev: In the modern world, wars must be outlawed, because none of the global problems we are facing can be resolved by war—not poverty, nor the environment, migration, population growth, or shortages of resources

Originally published on Common Dreams, by Andrea Germanos, 27 January 2017 Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev has warned that it appears “as if the world is preparing for war.”  Writing in an op-ed published Thursday at TIME magazine, Gorbachev, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War, writes that the most pressing problem facing the …

US position and interventions in the Mid-East, to protect oil interests, laid the groundwork of today’s problems. Here’s how

By Robert Kennedy Jr., excerpt cross-posted from Politico …America’s unsavory record of violent interventions in Syria — little-known to the American people yet well-known to Syrians — sowed fertile ground for the violent Islamic jihadism that now complicates any effective response by our government to address the challenge of ISIL. So long as the American public and policymakers are unaware …

What is the cost of half of refugee children not being in school, when 90%+ were attending before climate, drought, famine and other disruptions in their countries?

New York Times, 16 Sept 2016 The report said only 50 percent of refugee children have access to primary education, compared with a global average of more than 90 percent. As children grow older the gap widens — 22 percent of refugee adolescents attend secondary school, compared with the global average of 84 percent. One percent of refugees attend college, …

2 critical climate change problems most people don’t know about

By Zachary Shahan, cross-posted from Clean Technica, August 23rd, 2016 Global warming and climate change get a lot of attention — well, not in the mainstream media, but among niche media outlets like CleanTechnica. However, whether in the mainstream media or in niche publications, some of the big challenges of a quickly changing climate are not often highlighted, and I’m quite confident …