Take No Prisoners

Tag Archives: essay

The Lost Story from Fort Hood

Recent US engagement in Libya has reminded me of something strange about one of 2009’s biggest stories. On November 5, 2009, a U.S. military psychologist, Major Hassan, entered the Fort Hood military base in Texas and opened fire, killing 12 and wounding 31 more before he was shot multiple times and taken into custody. At […]

The Real Story Behind Obama Winning the Nobel Peace Prize

Last week, U.S. President Barrack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Right-wing pundits predictably attacked him for it. Left-wing pundits predictably then attacked the right-wing pundits for it. But that’s not the story. The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five prizes bequeathed by Alfred Nobel. In his will, it said that the Peace Prize […]

The Farce that is the Body Mass Index

I was planning a post for today on why the BMI is bullshit, but Keith Devlin of NPR beat me to it. To summarize their arguments, the BMI is a 200-year-old mathematical hack, created by a man who wasn’t even versed in the anatomical sciences of the day, let alone what we know now. It […]

The Sustainable Future is a Collective-Use Future

It is imperative for a sustainable future to stop buying so much stuff. It’s not just transportation that consumes resources, it’s also all the stuff taking up space in your house (and garage!). How many things do you own that you only use a few times a year? How many things do you not even […]

Abolish Universities?

Here is an interesting editorial calling for radical restructuring of universities. The basic point is that “universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no […]

The American Torture Defense: Nuanced or Nonsense?

I have seen two separate defenses of torture from U.S. officials, media and pundits. I call these the Jack Bower defense and, since he gave it a few days ago, the Barrack Obama defense. Jack Bower Defense The Bower Defense goes like this: ‘If you’ve got a nuclear bomb about to go off, and the […]

The Corporate Whipping Boy

As I watch the situation with AIG and Congress unfold, I can’t help but think about the nature of corporations, and what will happen to people like Edward Liddy – the CEO who authorized $4 million bonuses for the executives in charge of the insurance company despite the failure of the corporation. Is it really […]

The Crisis of Competence in the Medical Professions

A crisis of incompetence has infected the medical professions. I’m not talking about that bullshit the scientologists spew about treating your own diseased kids or that religious nonsense about not taking a life-saving blood transfusion because it will somehow steal your soul. I’m talking about the silo-fication of medical education. Suppose you have a sore […]

Food Stamps and Infrastructure Spending More Stimulating than Tax Cuts

It seems that the center and left-leaning media are going bonkers over the following estimates from Moody’s Economy.com: The major implication of this is that infrastructure and food stamps are significantly more effective means of stimulus than tax cuts. Therefore, the stimulus bill should include only infrastructure and food stamps spending, and no tax cuts. […]

The American Way: Three Absolutely Backasswards Practices

Have you ever watched the news, read the paper, or sat through a high school class, and wondered why the hell people in America seem to do everything completely backasswards? I suppose it’s no surprise that we do things backwards in a country whose administration thinks an unprovoked invasion is a form of defense, but […]