C-SPAN tells me that Book TV will air the Spinney/Sprey/Christie Mott House show this Saturday evening at 9:00 and again on Sunday at 9:30. See http://www.booktv.org/Program/12319/The+Pentagon+Labyrinth+10+Short+Essays+to+Help+You+Through+It.aspx
These events help the book “sales” immensely. Please feel free to e-mail the schedule/link to any e-mail lists, which I will do later tis week.
Winslow T. Wheeler
Straus Military Reform Project
Center for Defense Information
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You can download for free at cdi.org
A Review of The Pentagon Labyrinth
Electric Politics, March 6, 2011 12:33 PM
* Werther is the pen name of a Northern Virginia-based defense analyst.
In a recent radio interview, the British historian Timothy Garton Ash stated that his overall impression of the United States was one of dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit, such as in the Silicon Valley. But Washington, D.C., he said, reminded him of Moscow in the former Soviet Union.
In the context of the interview, he probably intended that as a criticism of the U.S. capital as being stagnant, status quo, and wedded to obsolete theories. But in a more pointed way he may not have consciously meant, it is equally true that Washington is remarkably like late-Brezhnev era Moscow in the sense of being very visibly the capital of a garrison state. With its billboard adverts for fighter aircraft in local Metro stations, radio spots recruiting for “the National Clandestine Service,” its ubiquitous Jersey Wall checkpoints, and its electronic freeway signs admonishing motorists to report suspicious activity (whatever that may be), the District of Columbia quite accurately simulates the paranoid atmosphere of a cold war era capital of Eastern Europe, say, East Berlin or Bucharest, albeit at two orders of magnitude greater cost.
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President Obama has done nothing to secure our borders. More illegals are being deported under his watch, but that is the result of higher security efforts imposed after 9-11, like E-verify. Read this alarming story about thousands of poor, unskilled people from India surging across the Mexican border into Texas. Hundreds have been caught, then were released and promptly disappeared into the USA, even though they had no ID and came from a region near Pakistan. Don’t think most Republicans really want to stop the cheap labor flow either. Border security was one of the first things the GOP cost cutters slashed.
Obama has failed to even try to boost the minimum wage, despite campaign promises. Minimum wage is 50% lower than in the 1960s, which means that millions of full-time working Americans don’t earn enough to live in their own efficiency apartment, much less pay for an “insured” car, health care, or a family. If you want to help the working poor, reduce welfare, discourage illegal immigration, and improve service throughout the private sector, you should support boosting the minimum wage to a livable $10 an hour. Ignore constant corporate propaganda that boosting the minimum wage increases unemployment, which has been disproved by every legitimate study. Anyone who has worked for minimum wage knows they are the most essential workers. It’s not like MacDonald’s has a couple of extra workers loitering around in the back who would be laid off if they were forced to raise wages to a livable level. Here is my old SRA article on mass immigration from July 25, 2007 that remains relevant:
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