yesterday's reading: power, empire and acoholism

I was reading Andrew Bacevich’s interview in Bill Moyer’s The Conversation Continues yesterday while waiting for my Mom (appointments and shopping).

Here’s a quick bio of Bacevich from wikipedia:

Bacevich graduated from West Point in 1969 and served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, serving in Vietnam from the summer of 1970 to the summer of 1971. Later he held posts in Germany, including the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the United States, and the Persian Gulf up to his retirement from the service with the rank of Colonel in the early 1990s. He holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University prior to joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998.

On May 13, 2007, Bacevich’s son, 1LT Andrew J. Bacevich, Jr., was killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device south of Samarra in Salah ad Din Governate. The younger Bacevich, 27, was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.

[link to source:]

I found his interview with Moyers focused some of my own questions and posed some I hadn’t thought of.  Concerning our current political crisis Moyers quotes Bacevich:

“Here is what I take to be the core of your analysis of our political crisis. You write, ‘The United States has become a de facto one-party state, with the legislative branch permanently controlled by an Incumbents’  Party.’ And you write that every president ‘has exploited his role as commander in chief to expand on the imperial prerogatives of his office.’

“One of the great lies about American politics [Bacevich continues] is that Democrats genuinely buy real diazepam uk subscribe to a set of core convictions that make Democrats different from Republicans. And the same thing, of course applies to the other part. It’s not true.”

After reading the entire interview, I interlibrary loaned Bacevich’s latest book.

I found Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors by Charles S. Maier on the shelf at the library. Maier is an author that Bacevich admires and points out Maier coined the phrases (both to describe the US) “empire of production” and “empire of consumption.”  I’m on chapter 3.

These men are thinking clearly and from the context of the military and social history. I find 20th century history confusing and am glad to find some credible sources to help organize my thinking a bit in these areas.

Couldn’t resist picking up a few other books while I was in the library.

I do like graphic novels (memoirs, whatever). Ironically, last night I sat with a a martini and read The Alcoholic by Jonathan Ames and Dean Haspiel. I thought it was pretty good.


Professor’s Response to a Stutterer – Don’t Speak –

A person with a stutter who responds resiliently to other people’s stupidity.


Britain – Aging Big Ben Has Slight Stoop –

The leaning clock of Britain.


Chipping Away at Gridlock in the Senate –

NYT finds a glimmer of hope in recent rule shuffle in Senate. I can only hope they are right.


This Time, It Really Is Different –

The Way Forward |

Nocera’s column and a link to the source for a way of seeing what is happening in the economy as new and unique.


Getting Naked in the Massachusetts Senate Race –

An insightful analysis of the worthiness of two opposing candidates in Massachusetts.


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