In September 2017, PBS will air the highly anticipated – seemingly touted as the definitive documentary – about the Vietnam War, directed by respected documentarians Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. The goal of this 10-episode, 18-hour project is, according to the directors, to “create a film everyone could embrace” and to provide the viewer with information and insights that are “new and revelatory.” Just as importantly, they intend the film to provide the impetus and parameters for a much needed national conversation about this controversial and divisive period in American history.
Conscientious Objection to Military Taxation: An Open Letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin
Dear Secretary Mnuchin, Congratulations on your recent appointment and confirmation as the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States of America. Despite your lack of governmental service, I am certain your experience as a hedge fund manager and your tenure as the head of the mortgage securities department at Goldman Sachs will serve you […]
As a Professor of philosophy at an art college, I have spent many enjoyable class hours discussing with very talented and enthusiastic art students the nature (definition?) of art and the appropriateness, acceptability, even the ethics, of certain forms of artistic expression. What I’ve come away with after all this discussion is that agreeing on […]
When I was in Vietnam, my grandmother was, of course, concerned for my wellbeing. Being somewhat religious, she decided that she would pray to god to bring me home safely remembering how effective her prayers had been some 25 years prior when she made a promise to god that if he brought her son, my […]
Understanding the Global War on Terrorism from the perspective of the Militarist, the Mythic perspective, and the Rationalist, the sensory perspective.
Though I am not sure why, many Americans have forgotten that we are all from somewhere else, that we share more than what divides us. I am saddened about how this nation has forgotten its values and for what we allegedly stand for as Americans.
While many factors probably contributed to the unexpected victory of Donald Trump, much of the blame has been attributed to the alleged hacks by the Russians and the release of the emails by Wikileaks.
Though sadly ignored in this nation, there are third party alternatives in the impending battle of the unlikeable and the untrustworthy. If a candidate more accurately addresses my concerns and reflects my point of view why would I vote the lesser evil when I can vote the greater good?
I am a hero. Funny, I don’t feel like one. Nor do I remember doing anything particularly heroic or noble.
How we characterize the injuries sustained by veterans in war is crucial both to our understanding of the war experience and to the healing process. I have argued elsewhere that to ignore, trivialize or subsume the whole of the veterans’ readjustment difficulties under the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) umbrella as mental illness is misguided and […]
As I covered my ears hoping to muffle the pitiful cries, I wondered, perhaps irrationally, if they too scream for their mothers, implore god to let them live, then plead for death to end their suffering.
As we investigate the circumstances of Sergeant Bergdahl’s behavior, as I’m sure we will, let us also investigate the criminality of the REAL war criminals, the ones that are truly responsible for the futile unnecessary, perpetual wars for profit and for the deaths and injuries of thousands of Americans, Afghans, and Iraqis.
I will spend this Memorial Day weekend grieving the suffering of all who have been touched by war remembering that I am both a victim and a victimizer.
Though, as a member of Veterans For Peace and a philosophy professor with a focus on war and ethics, I have often discussed my impressions and insights about war and its aftermath in the classroom, at conferences and with civic groups, I had never had such discussions with someone who had been my “enemy.”
The Christ spoke with me last night. I guess you can imagine my surprise when, of all the people in the world he could have spoken to – clergy members, political leaders, Fox “news” commentators, etc. – he chose me. I thought maybe he just needed to rant a bit, to blow off steam. I can certainly understand his frustration given the state of the world and the way his teachings have been ignored, misinterpreted, and exploited by those who claim to be his followers. Or maybe he just wanted to talk with someone he could trust to just listen and not distort his words for their advantage or to the disadvantage of other human beings.
Now that the parades have ended and veterans have enjoyed the “heartfelt gratitude” of an appreciative nation (and a free meal, from a “select menu” at Applebees), I would ask veterans, as they resume their lives of anonymity and neglect, to put aside, for a moment, all the bunk we have been fed over the years from those who were not there.
A meditation on Veterans Day…
Drones, if employed responsibly and carefully by the military on the battlefield, can like manned aircraft, submarines, and surface vessels, satisfy the moral and International Law.
The purpose of this epistemological exercise is to determine, whether I would support or oppose another war in the Middle East. The process is intended to distinguish what I know and don’t know about the Syrian civil war from what others would have me believe.
After years of activism in behalf of veteran issues, I can’t help but think that in opposing PTSD eligibility veterans and members of the military are working against their own interest.