1. Create Chaos: Trump’s executive order implementing ‘extreme vetting’ for people traveling to the U.S. was not vetted by any U.S. government agency — not the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the State Department, or the Department of Defense, nor the National Security Council (NSC). The agencies responsible for carrying out Trump’s travel ban — Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services — were briefed on the order only as Trump was signing the final text.
So the public, U.S. government agencies, the media, and travelers from abroad were all shocked when the order was announced because it was effective immediately. Protests at airports erupted immediately as travelers with lawful permanent residence status (called green card holders) were and remain unlawfully detained by federal authorities. Continue reading →
To some extent, the following myths are all interlinked.
The typical anti-war activist believes that the current crisis is mainly political and financial and so military means are not addressing the primary cause of the rise of Islamic State (ISIS). The idea that we’re going to make it worse through military intervention isn’t just because its failing to address the key causes but because it reinforces what went wrong: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki alienated Sunnis and bombs will alienate Sunnis. And somewhat linked but not entirely, they think because ISIS is a response to local conditions, ISIS is not concerned with attacking the West.
This post is addressed to these people — their premises are false and so their conclusions and prescriptions are also flawed. References for the academic studies cited are at the bottom and footnotes are elaborations. Apologies for the length of myths 1 and 2, myth 5 should make up for it. Continue reading →
“The most important – and unfortunately the least debated – issue in politics today is our society’s steady drift toward a class-based system, the likes of which we have not seen since the 19th century. America’s top tier has grown infinitely richer and more removed over the past 25 years. It is not unfair to say that they are literally living in a different country. Few among them send their children to public schools; fewer still send their loved ones to fight our wars. They own most of our stocks, making the stock market an unreliable indicator of the economic health of working people. The top 1% now takes in an astounding 16% of national income, up from 8% in 1980. The tax codes protect them, just as they protect corporate America, through a vast system of loopholes. Continue reading →