Transparency advocates love to quote Louis Brandeis to the effect that “sunshine is the best disinfectant.” Who could dispute the beneficial impact on politics of throwing open the doors and flinging open the windows? But sunlight can have other effects as well. If too intense, sunlight can wilt. It can scorch. It can even kill.… Continue reading Black Ops for Peace
It was only a couple years ago that I was bemoaning Obama’s failure to fulfill his promise to resolve major confrontations in the world diplomatically. “Smart power,” in the Obama lexicon, had largely been window dressing on the same old exercise of hard power — the widespread drone strikes, the surge in Afghanistan, the intervention… Continue reading Obama’s Triple Crown
In traditional Japanese culture, a samurai without a master is known as a ronin. The most popular tale featuring these leaderless samurai is the 18th-century Chusingura. It tells of a feudal lord who must commit ritual suicide after assaulting the court official who had insulted him. Of the lord’s several hundred retainers, 47 loyal samurai… Continue reading The 47 Republican Ronin
In his 2007 bestseller, The World Without Us, journalist Alan Weisman describes a planet that regenerates itself after the disappearance of human beings. Skyscrapers crumble and bridges collapse into rivers, but the primeval forests take over and the buffalo return to roam. It’s an optimistic vision of the future—if you’re a buffalo or a dolphin or… Continue reading The World Without U.S.
As people near retirement age, they enter the twilight years. Sometimes, they rebel against retirement. They want to keep working. They’re not interested in shuffling out of their office never to return. And if they’re in fact the owner of the workplace, conflicts often ensue. Those who have power rarely want to give up that… Continue reading Retiring the American Empire