Four angles plus one on reading Trump

[ by Charles Cameron — on the need for an analytic open mind — or hedging one’s bets? ] . I suppose we have to start with Trumpian Fundamentalism — by wbich I mean, taking the literal meaning from whatever he says. This view is simple, even simplistic. One down, three to go. ** There’s […] Read more »

War, Games and morale

[ by Charles Cameron — on gaming “living and moral forces” — with a whiff or two of Montaigne ] . ** Let’s start with Clausewitz, On War. He says — and we’d be wise to pay attention — “most of the matters dealt with in this book are composed of equal parts of physical […] Read more »

Red mercury as scam and symbol

[ by Charles Cameron — CJ Chivers, nuclear nonsense, faux chemistry, and the alchemical imagination, with hat-tip to Cheryl Rofer ] . CJ Chivers, conflict journalist extraordinaire and author of a book about the Kalashnikov assault rifle, The Gun, today posted a remarkable account of what he terms The Doomsday Scam, with the subtitle “For […] Read more »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

On sneers, smears, and mutual sniping

[ by Charles Cameron — not exactly an enthusiast of negative campaigning ] . I’ve been having a series of conversations with my friend Tom Merino recently, and a couple of days ago he suggested two quotes to me for comparison: I’ve formatted them in my usual DoubleQuotes style, but my friend calls the pairing […] Read more »

Intellectuals and their Romance with Political Barbarism

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Martin Heidegger, Eric Hobsbawm and Ezra Pound A  meandering post inspired by Reason Magazine and Charles Cameron. Reason.com is best known for giving a scrappy libertarian take on current events, crime, technology and pop culture, but recently, an article by Charles Paul Freund touched a deeper, darker vein of twentieth century history […] Read more »

Islamic State, the thrill [ ?? !! ]

[ by Charles Cameron — the violence, the sheer cruelty, is stupefying, true, and frequently misunderstood ] . Example: ISIS crucifies 5 more men in the city of al-Mayadeen- it has now crucified 8 people there in a week. #TerrorFacts http://t.co/SzwJg1IJYa — Think AgainTurn Away (@ThinkAgain_DOS) July 1, 2015 ** What I’d like to do […] Read more »

T. Greer on Ibn Khaldun’s Asabiyah

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] T. Greer of Scholar’s Stage has an exemplary post comparing the philosophy of English social contract theorist Thomas Hobbes with medieval Arab historian Ibn Khaldun, who described a critical component of a functional polity – asabiyah.  You should read Greer’s post in its entirety, but here is the take away […] Read more »