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Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

I Cannot Remain Silent
June 2, 2020
It sickened me yesterday to see security personnel — including members of the National Guard — forcibly and violently clear a path through Lafayette Square to accommodate the president’s visit outside St. John’s Church.  I have to date been reticent to speak out on issues surrounding President Trump’s leadership, but we are at an inflection point, and the events of the past few weeks have made it impossible to remain silent.
Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.
There was little good in the stunt.
While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.
As a white man, I cannot claim perfect understanding of the fear and anger that African Americans feel today.  But as someone who has been around for a while, I know enough — and I’ve seen enough — to understand that those feelings are real and that they are all too painfully founded.
We must, as citizens, address head-on the issue of police brutality and sustained injustices against the African American community.  We must, as citizens, support and defend the right — indeed, the solemn obligation — to peacefully assemble and to be heard.  These are not mutually exclusive pursuits.
And neither of these pursuits will be made easier or safer by an overly aggressive use of our military, active duty or National Guard.  The United States has a long and, to be fair, sometimes troubled history of using the armed forces to enforce domestic laws.  The issue for us today is not whether this authority exists, but whether it will be wisely administered.
I remain confident in the professionalism of our men and women in uniform.  They will serve with skill and with compassion.  They will obey lawful orders.  But I am less confident in the soundness of the orders they will be given by this commander in chief, and I am not convinced that the conditions on our streets, as bad as they are, have risen to the level that justifies a heavy reliance on military troops.  Certainly, we have not crossed the threshold that would make it appropriate to invoke the provisions of the Insurrection Act.
Furthermore, I am deeply worried that as they execute their orders, the members of our military will be co-opted for political purposes.
Even in the midst of the carnage we are witnessing, we must endeavor to see American cities and towns as our homes and our neighborhoods.  They are not “battle spaces” to be dominated, and must never become so.
We must ensure that African Americans — indeed, all Americans — are given the same rights under the Constitution, the same justice under the law, and the same consideration we give to members of our own family.  Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.
Too many foreign and domestic policy choices have become militarized; too many military missions have become politicized.
This is not the time for stunts.  This is the time for leadership.
The above is an opinion piece appearing in:  “The Atlantic
The original can be found on-line at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/american-cities-are-not-battlespaces/612553/
The editorial was written by:  Mike Mullen
Mr. Mullen is a retired admiral from the U.S. Navy and was the 17th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
[The above editorial is the opinion of Adm. Mullen (Ret.) and the property of “The Atlantic“.  No claim of ownership is implied or intended by me.  Please subscribe to and support a REAL news site if you are financially able to do so.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Right Or Wrong
2018 Open Doors
2017 When It Deserves It
2016 Expiation For Rest
2015 You’ll Get Through It
2014 A Special Kind Of Fall
2013 Very Rewarding
2012 MIB3 – The Team Is Closer Than Ever
Yet
2011 Little By Little

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In Union There Is Strength
I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled.  The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court.  This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding.  It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind.  We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers.  The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation.
When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution.  Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens — much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.
We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.”  At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors.  Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict — a false conflict— between the military and civilian society.  It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part.
Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them.
James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.”  We do not need to militarize our response to protests.  We need to unite around a common purpose.  And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law.
Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’  Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.'”  We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis — confident that we are better than our politics.
Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try.  Instead he tries to divide us.  We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort.  We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.  We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.  This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.
We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another.  The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community.  Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country.  We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square.  We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.  At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite.
Only by adopting a new path — which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals — will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad.
James Mattis
[James Mattis is a retired general who served in the United States Marine Corps.  He also served under President Trump as Secretary of Defense.  Gen. Mattis resigned his position after a disagreement with President Trump about the treatment / support of our Kurdish allies in Syria.
This statement will be appearing in an upcoming issue of “The Atlantic” and appears (in full) in multiple locations on the internet including here:  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/06/james-mattis-denounces-trump-protests-militarization/612640/ .  Note: the link is to an article about the General’s statement.  The article also includes the entire statement.
No claim of ownership is implied or intended by my posting on this site.  Please support legitimate news site if you are financially able to do so.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Right Or Wrong
2018 Open Doors
2017 When It Deserves It
2016 Expiation For Rest
2015 You’ll Get Through It
2014 A Special Kind Of Fall
2013 Very Rewarding
2012 MIB3 – The Team Is Closer Than Ever
Yet
2011 Little By Little

 

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The speed at which you walk, for example, can be eerily predictive of health status.  In a study of nearly 35,000 people aged 65 years or older in the Journal of the American Medical Association, those who walked at about 2.6 feet per second over a short distance — which would amount to a mile in about 33 minutes — were likely to hit their average life expectancy.  With every speed increase of around 4 inches per second, the chance of dying in the next decade fell by about 12 percent.  (Whenever I think about this study, I start walking faster.)
  — James Hamblin, MD
From his article: “The Power of One Push-Up: Several simple ways of measuring a person’s health might matter more than body weight.
Appearing in:  The Atlantic, dtd: Jun 27, 2019
The specific article can be found on-line at:  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2019/06/push-ups-body-weight-bmi/592834/
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2012 Once Again
2011 And The “Market” Isn’t Always Right

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Andrew Russell, a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology.  “Every jump in technology draws attention and capital away from existing technologies used by the 99 percent, which therefore undermines equality, and reduces the ability for people to get onto the ‘playing field’ in the first place.”
Russell also reminded me of the famous William Gibson quote, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”
“I have never been able to understand why anyone would assume that the future would be evenly distributed,” Russell said.  “To put this in a different way:  I have never been able to find any evidence from human history to suggest that the future will be evenly distributed.”
  —  Adrienne LaFrance
From his article: “Technology, the Faux Equalizer
The Atlantic
31 March 2016
Found at one of the news sites I follow:  http://www.routefifty.com/
The specific link is:  http://www.routefifty.com/2016/03/silicon-valley-inequality-digital-divide/127147/?oref=govexec_today_nl
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