National Security

Mark Fiore

The terrible attacks in Paris have been met with widespread condemnation and horror, but they’ve also been met with overreaction and panic.,_18h50,_une_foule_silencieuse.jpg

In small ways, Parisians are adapting their daily lives to a new reality.


The solution to the current mess in the Middle East is to bring back imperialism—that’s what an influential foreign policy thinker is straight-facedly claiming.

Mitch McConnell recently attempted to ram through a last-minute extension of provisions in the Patriot Act that have been used to keep domestic spying “legal.”

Senator Mitch McConnell

A revolution came to Washington in the wee hours of Saturday morning, just after the stroke of midnight. After 15 years of congressional deference to mass surveillance, Congress finally took action—ironically, by failing to take action—and did its job to check and balance executive power.

Beretta 9mm handgun

In the Dirty Harry movies of the '70s and '80s, Clint Eastwood shot up the bad guys with his over-the-top Smith and Wesson that he often growled was “the most powerful handgun in the world.”  

Dirty Harry's gun was much bigger (.45 caliber) than the .38 special revolvers used by the vast majority of police officers at the time. However, the .38 fired the same way—requiring the hammer be pulled back each time between shots—and could only fire six shots before it had to be reloaded. 

When I heard about the "Draw Muhammad" cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, I was curious about who would organize such a "festival." (Having organized a cartoon festival myself, I think you can hardly call a two-hour meeting a "festival," but I digress.)

The shooting at the cartoon exhibition in Texas is a new lowpoint in the U.S. culture war over Islam.


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We need to improve the condition of workers this Thanksgiving weekend. Here's what you can do.

“Climate change isn’t an ‘issue’ to add to the list of things to worry about, next to healthcare and taxes,” Klein...

Real leaders need to lead a push back against the firestorm of fear about Muslims—not fan the flames.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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