Sean Howard

No Escape from the Military Maze?

No Escape from the Military Maze?

October 7, 2020 at 12:01 pm

  “The labyrinthine design ensures the unfamiliar are quickly lost…”––Charles Kenny, Close the Pentagon: Rethinking National Security for a Positive Sum World “Between mouthfuls of wine the soldier keeps his eyes lowered on this disorderly network which becomes more complex every minute. He does not know what to say. …Read More

David B. Gleason from Chicago, IL [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

COVID Immunity? The Pentagon Budget’s Got It

September 2, 2020 at 12:49 pm

We live, do we not, in an age of chronic partisan dysfunction in Washington, a chasm unbridged even by the coronavirus crisis? But on one issue both sides can reach with ease ‘across the aisle’: the Pentagon budget. On July 21 and 23, the House of Representatives and Senate adoptedRead More

Family seated in a Kidde Kokoon, an underground fallout shelter manufactured by Walter Kidde Nuclear Laboratories of Garden City, Long Island. United Press photo (1955)

No Shelter from the Storm

August 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

The New Yorker’s ‘Talk of the Town’ recently reported how, in the depths of the Big Apple’s COVID-19 lockdown, musician David Mansfield discovered a rusted hatch in his overgrown backyard. Prizing it open, he descended a ladder to a nuclear fall-out shelter, a claustrophobic capsule – or “David Bowie tinRead More

Color shot, Trinity nuclear test, 16 July 1945

Trinity’s Shockwave Rolls On

July 8, 2020 at 11:51 am

“It was an awesome spectacle; anyone who has ever seen an atomic explosion will never forget it. And all in compete silence; the bang came minutes later, quite loud though I had plugged my ears, and followed by a long rumble like heavy traffic very far away. I can stillRead More

President Trump at unveiling of Space Force Flag, 15 May 2020. (White House photo)

Super-Duper New-Nuke Troopers

June 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm

“The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve…” Shakespeare, The Tempest   “That’s a dark thinking that I have a hard time understanding…” Marshall Billingslea, President Donald J. Trump’s Special Envoy for Arms Control   On May 15,Read More

P.S. 58 - Carroll & Smith Sts. Bklyn. hold a "take cover" drill practice Here youngsters crawl under their desks, 1962, photo by Walter Albertin

Confronting the Actual Existential Threats

May 6, 2020 at 11:34 am

“The unease and fear are appropriate and can be useful, all the more so as the self is liberated from convoluted efforts at falsification and denial.” — Robert Jay Lifton, The Climate Swerve   On February 8, as COVID-19 fast-approached a slow-moving British government, BBC World News aired a discussionRead More

Overview of Detroit Industry, North Wall, 1932-33, fresco by Diego Rivera. Detroit Institute of Arts. 
Diego Rivera

“In Seasons Such as These,” A Word on Socialism

April 15, 2020 at 11:04 am

  “Not even the apparently enlightened principle of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number’ can excuse indifference to individual suffering.” — Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear   “Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides…defend youRead More

Biological hazard symbol (Andux, CC by SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en, via Wikimedia Commons)

Plagues in Perspective

April 1, 2020 at 12:51 pm

“…it is hard to say who is sick and who is well…” — Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year   The coronavirus pandemic poses a clear and present danger to the most elderly and vulnerable segments of the global population, those already most prone to perish from influenza and other infectiousRead More

Foreign Policy Generation

Generation ‘Why War?’

March 4, 2020 at 2:34 pm

 “…the car, still loaded with people, made a wide U-turn and stopped; it was the end of the line.”– Paul Bowles, last words of The Sheltering Sky It was my Grandfather’s favorite story, and he swore it was true: a man horribly lost in a maze of back roads, unableRead More

Trident II D5 nuclear missile (Photo by Ronald Gutridge/US Navy)

Grasping ‘the Significance of the Weapon’

February 5, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Never one to suffer subtlety gladly, or overpolish the written word, US President Donald J. Trump on January 3 ‘spoke’ to the world by tweet: an American flag, behind which, we soon learned, lay the body of Iranian General Qassam Suleimani (and seven other human beings), assassinated by drone inRead More