American Misfires

A country is a sum of its people, and much like its people, a country's government makes mistakes. These mistakes can take the form of personal rivalries causing civil war, having an inadequate military strategy, having an unqualified officer corp, and a host of other prerequisites of maintaining order and quality of life. The following mistakes will deal with recent policies and decisions that affect foreign nations with dire consequences for the United States in return…

Continental Circumstance

This constant state of war required technological progress - falling behind in an arms race is an easy way to lose everything your people had, and as militias transitioned into men-at-arms transitioned into mercenary companies transitioned into regiments transitioned into corps, the military technological gap between Europe and the rest of the world widened. By 1500, Europe propelled its conquests across the oceans so that European powers could have more resources to fight each other. Europe didn’t conquer because it was united; it conquered because it was divided…

Cincinnatus Weeps

With such lofty ideals of duty in our background as Americans the burden of our duty to vote as citizens seems trifling. Regardless, it is a vital function of our Social Contract that we must take full advantage of. Because just as there were those who wanted a return to monarchy in the Roman Republic, there are those who would like to have such a system in the United States of America. The threat of narcissistic conspiracies to centralize power is a constant threat for any republic and made all the more easier to achieve with voter apathy.

Inland Elites

A supporter of the status quo might then say that the President should not be determined by the “coastal elites” of New York, California, and Florida. Why not? What makes the citizens of New York inherently less capable of choosing the President than the citizens of Idaho? What makes Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio a better setting for a political showdown? What is the basis for making political minorities in states feel powerless at the voting booth? We decided that having Senators chosen by the people was preferable to having them chosen by intermediaries; why would it be unreasonable to do the same with the President?

The Putin Paradox

And so we have a conundrum. A state of conflict exists that will only go away when Putin is out of power or knuckles under the pressure, but the entire Russian political system depends on Putin to function, and a defunct Russian government makes their weapons of mass destruction less secure. The adage that it is better to deal with the devil you know then the devil you don’t applies here…

Abuse of Liberty

The right to free speech, the right of worship, the right to bear arms, the right to a fair and timely trial - all of these and more are considered to be intrinsic rights that a person is born with. These rights are not given by the Constitution, they are recognized and guaranteed by the Constitution, which the government is obliged to follow. But not everybody uses their freedom responsibly. Much as somebody can decide to drive recklessly, somebody can use their freedoms recklessly.

Gravity of Wealth

Money is power, and power must not be concentrated in a democracy if it is to remain a democracy. Ergo, money must not be concentrated; this is a problem, because wealth is calcifying at a terrifying rate in America. Measures must be taken to reduce the effect money can have in politics…

The Brexit Mulligan

…If the arguments for Leave were not made in good faith; if the results of the election were altered by a foreign power; if the impact of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union has been made more apparent, wouldn’t a Brexit do-over be appropriate? There is the very reasonable concern for democratic tradition and integrity if the result of an election were reversed before its effects went into place. On the other hand…

Turnover

The point where this decay starts to have a tangible affect on someone’s personality and quality of life is not known; what is known is that sufferers of CTE have anger management issues, severe memory loss, crippling headaches and a tendency to suicide. This is compounded by widespread addiction to painkillers that veterans of the NCAA and NFL depended on and continue to depend on.

The State Shuffle

…There are some plausible reforms we may undertake to make a more perfect Union. We could eliminate the Electoral College and have every American have the same weight in selecting the most powerful person on Earth. Prior to the 17th Amendment Senators were selected by state legislatures instead of directly by the people; just as we altered the Constitution to expand the democratic selection in the Legislative branch, we can alter the Constitution to expand the democratic selection in the Executive branch…

Revanchism

…Revanchism - the desire to reclaim lost territory - has a long and storied history. In the earliest days of humanity we wandered across a borderless world, pursuing our prey or escaping inclement weather. Over a period of tens of thousands of years, humanity began the process of permanent settlements. And while tribal or national identity changed over the subsequent thousands of years through natural genesis, assimilation, or depopulation and repopulation, these settlements - and the lands that surround them - became a matter of identity for the people that lived there. 

Creeping Corruption

Keeping a government functional enough to preserve legitimacy requires investment, monetary or otherwise, by powerful figures inside its demesne. Thus, while the public good is of at least nominal interest for all governments, every government requires keeping necessary private investors loyal to the structure made by the government…

Jesusism

So how would Jesus be interpreted if the pretense of divinity was stripped from his teachings? Thomas Jefferson had that idea. Taking a razor blade to the King James bible, Jefferson patched together The Philosophy of Jesus of NazarethDiscarding most references to divinity and all instances of miracles, Jefferson attempted to show a secular interpretation that could be adopted by anyone of any creed or religion…

The War on Death

The Human Genome Project was an ambitious 13-year program that attempted to document the entire genetic code of humanity, and while it was not able to link each gene to a specific affect on humanity, it did give future geneticists a map to follow and decipher. Slowly but surely, the character and effect of genes was unlocked for scientific application…

Cult 45

While not all humans are equally susceptible to joining a cult, every human has the capacity to be drawn into one. With that in mind, what warning signs are there that can serve as a warning for the susceptible person in particular and society in general? For the purpose of pertinence, let us use somebody with widespread support in the public realm. Let us use the support base for President Donald Trump…

Rhymes with Gracchus

In some eras the gap between the wealthy and the destitute was wider than normal; the United States has three distinct eras where the wealth gap was particularly striking. The first is known as the Gilded Age - born out of the fruits of the industrial revolution, the Gilded Age generated wealth that was unimaginable to the common man of his time. It was unimaginable because this wealth was generally kept out of his hands - those that had money to begin with were the primary receivers of the wealth generated in the factories…

Russian Tango

It is important to keep in mind what Russia's likely objective was for the 2016 election - it wanted to destabilize the United States so Russia could pursue its own interests unimpeded by American resistance. This is why the Facebook advertisements they took out were on all sides of the political spectrum - while the lion's share was in support of Republicans and Trump, there was also many for Black Lives Matter, Bernie Sanders, and other anti-Trump factions…

Taming the Beast – Governance in the Past, Present and Future

With this accumulated knowledge of the current geopolitical status, human history, and human nature, what is the optimal path to take to ensure the most good for the most amount of people? We have learned that a government must be able to enforce its laws, but cruelty isn't necessary in the enforcement and is sometimes detrimental; we've learned that the personal interest of those in power can overwhelm the public interest if there are no check on their power…

Storm in a Vacuum

…with no domineering power in the world, regional powers will aspire to become superpowers. And as regional powers clash in this aspiration, the apocalypse that was suspended in the Cold War risks a return to relevance. If America does withdraw back into a shell, the world will likely have China be the most important country in the world, Russia the most aggressive country in the world, and Europe either shattered into pro- and anti-Russian alliances or united vigorously against Russia…

The Lion of the Union: The Pelvic Wound of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain

Chamberlain was given the command to attack and, although accustomed to following orders, on this day he was hesitant. He reported back to his superiors: "I am advanced a mile beyond our own lines in an isolated position. In front of me at close range is a strongly entrenched line of infantry 3,000 strong with projecting salients to my left and right, such that my advance [will] be swept: by a constant cross fire. Despite these adversities, Chamberlain was ordered again to attack…