The Cost of War: Part 1

The Cost of War

This week, the focus of my articles will center around the cost of war to America and to other countries where war is fought.

The Cost of War Project

The Costs of War Project is a team of 35 scholars, legal experts, human rights practitioners, and physicians, which began its work in 2011. We use research and a public website to facilitate debate about the costs of the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the related violence in Pakistan and Syria. There are many hidden or unacknowledged costs of the United States’ decision to respond to the 9/11 attacks with military force. We aim to foster democratic discussion of these wars by providing the fullest possible account of their human, economic, and political costs, and to foster better informed public policies. Continue reading “The Cost of War: Part 1”

Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 16th

Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, February 16, 2018

Senate Rejects Immigration Plans, Leaving Fate of Dreamers Uncertain

The Senate summarily blocked three measures on Thursday — including one backed by President Trump — to resolve the fate of the so-called Dreamers, leaving hundreds of thousands of them facing an uncertain future.

As senators struck down measure after measure, a week that began with the promise of a rare open, free-ranging debate on the issue crashed headlong into the same divisions that have prevented Congress from fixing the nation’s immigration system for decades. The lack of consensus left in question whether any solution on the Dreamers can be reached. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 16th”

Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, February 15th

Headlines from the New York Times for Thursday, February 15, 2018

Florida School Shooting Death Toll Is at 17 and Could Rise

(Note: In Missouri an 18 year-old can purchase a gun, but has to be 25 years-old to rent a car. Is there some lack of wisdom here?)

A heavily armed young man barged into his former high school about an hour northwest of Miami on Wednesday, opening fire on terrified students and teachers and leaving a death toll of 17 that could rise even higher, the authorities said.

Students huddled in horror in their classrooms, with some of them training their cellphones on the carnage, capturing sprawled bodies, screams and gunfire that began with a few shots and then continued with more and more. The dead included students and adults, some of whom were shot outside the school and others inside the sprawling three-story building. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Thursday, February 15th”

Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, February 14th

Headlines from Reuters.com for Wednesday, February 14, 2018

U.S. urges U.N. to hold Myanmar military accountable for ‘ethnic cleansing’

The United States on Tuesday described Myanmar denials of ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims as “preposterous” as it called on the U.N. Security Council to hold the military accountable and pressure leader Aung San Suu Kyi “to acknowledge these horrific acts that are taking place in her country.”

“Powerful forces in the Burmese government have denied the ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told the Security Council. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Wednesday, February 14th”

Thoughts from a Labor Leader

I received these words from a labor leader in an email today. I feel they are a very astute analysis of our present situation in America.

As I crossed the center of our nation, on my way to Arizona, I passed through myriad towns full of run-down trailers and shanties and I said to myself “These people probably voted to ‘make America great again,’ yet there is no future for them in this administration’s view of what makes America great. (Private jet sales are up 30%.)

I find myself depressed and disillusioned at what I was taught was the “American Dream.” How have we, as a nation, strayed so far from the ideals of “all men are created equal?” These poor people have no chance. For years, I made it my job to give people a chance, but our government, ostensibly “by the people and for the people” seems to be fighting OUR efforts to raise the fortunes of the “least of these” at every turn. Continue reading “Thoughts from a Labor Leader”

Newspaper Prayers: Monday, February 12th

Headlines from the New York Times for Monday, February 12, 2018

Democrats Can Win on Immigration

To no one’s surprise, President Trump, who has been doubling down on his anti-immigrant rhetoric, used his State of the Union address to draw parallels between the Central American gang MS-13 and law-abiding immigrants in the United States.

The next week, he reiterated that “MS-13 killers” are “pouring into our country.” This kind of language, long a Trump trademark, was used as a political strategy just a few months ago in Virginia during the failed bid of the Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie. It was also on display in the campaign of Kim Guadagno, a Republican who lost the race to replace Chris Christie as governor of New Jersey. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Monday, February 12th”

Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 2nd

Headlines from the New York Times for Friday, February 2, 2018

Don’t Believe the Liberal F.B.I.

(This is an excerpt from an editorial by Michelle Goldberg. Note, the man who helped me experience a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, was a career F.B.I. agent until retirement.)

In the 1960s and 1970s, the American right set about undermining trust in the mainstream media, which it saw as dangerously infected with liberal assumptions. Later, in debates over evolution and the environment, some on the right attacked the validity of modern science. By the turn of the millennium, it was an article of faith among conservative ideologues that whole realms of human expertise were in fact intricate structures of propaganda that trapped the unwary in a matrix of deceit.

In an invaluable 2017 Vox essay titled “Donald Trump and the Rise of Tribal Epistemology,” David Roberts quoted a 2009 Rush Limbaugh rant: “Science has been corrupted. We know the media has been corrupted for a long time. Academia has been corrupted. None of what they do is real. It’s all lies!” With Trump, this ethos reached the White House. And now, to protect Trump, the right has expanded its war on empiricism to that most conservative of institutions, the F.B.I. Continue reading “Newspaper Prayers: Friday, February 2nd”