Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

W.J. Astore: Trump’s Priorities for Action

Various power brokers may laugh at Trump’s vanities and object to his vulgarity and his selfishness and greed, but they also abet him because he serves to divide people while protecting elite privileges against reformers.

May 29, 2019 · Leave a comment

W.J. Astore: Dreaming Big About the U.S. Military

As the U.S. military enjoys enormous budgets ($718 billion this year, rising possibly to $750 billion for 2020), Americans are told not to dream big. There might just be a connection here.

April 10, 2019 · 2 Comments

W.J. Astore: Ending Wars, Not “Winning” Them, Should Be America’s Goal

Beware the tunnels you choose to go down (Wikimedia) . You can’t win wars that should never have been fought.  The U.S. should never have fought the Iraq and Afghan … Continue reading

May 21, 2018 · 1 Comment

W.J. Astore: Jacinda for President!

Trump, America’s very stable genius, doing what he loves. My wife perceptively notes how the USA is sliding backwards.  Racism has new vigor even as science is rejected, e.g. climate … Continue reading

April 25, 2018 · Leave a comment

W.J. Astore: U.S. Politicians and their Love of the Military

James Madison.  We need his wisdom more than ever.. If there’s one area of bipartisan agreement today, it’s politicians’ professed love of the U.S. military.  Consider George W. Bush.  He … Continue reading

January 11, 2018 · Leave a comment

W.J. Astore: The Bankruptcy of the Democratic Party

Why did Donald Trump win the presidency?  A big reason is that he was willing to take unpopular stances.  He criticized the Afghan and Iraq wars in the strongest terms. … Continue reading

July 25, 2017 · 1 Comment

W.J. Astore: The Trump Cabinet of Billionaires and Generals

There’s an obvious trend in Trump’s cabinet picks: billionaires and generals. The billionaires favor private enterprise, capitalism unconstrained by regulations (especially those pesky environmental ones), and a view of the … Continue reading

December 12, 2016 · 3 Comments

W.J. Astore: The Forever War — A Peculiar Form of American Zen

As a teenager, I read Joe Haldeman’s book, “The Forever War.” The title intrigued, as did the interstellar setting. Haldeman’s soldiers are caught up in a conflict whose rules keep … Continue reading

September 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

W.J. Astore: The Many Purposes of War

Carl von Clausewitz, the Prussian military theorist who wrote at the end of the Napoleonic Era, is noted for saying that war is a continuation of politics. That saying explains … Continue reading

August 29, 2016 · 1 Comment

W.J. Astore: Guns and Grievances

The news out of Orlando is shocking. Another mass shooting in America. Another 50+ people dead with an additional 50+ wounded. And then I saw this headline: “America has 4.4% … Continue reading

June 13, 2016 · 2 Comments

W. J. Astore: The Vietnam War, the Pentagon Papers, and Lying

In November 1971, the political philosopher Hannah Arendt published “Lying in Politics: Reflections on the Pentagon Papers” in the New York Review of Books. Earlier that year, Daniel Ellsberg had … Continue reading

April 8, 2016 · Leave a comment

W. J. Astore: “Members of the jury, you have just found Jesus Christ guilty”

Remembering the Catonsville Nine In May 1968, nine Catholic activists set fire to draft records in Catonsville, Maryland, in a deliberate act of sabotage and protest against the Vietnam War. … Continue reading

March 27, 2016 · 1 Comment

W.J. Astore: Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump this fall?

Tuesday’s primary results suggest it’s Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump come this fall. What does this mean for America? Hillary is the easiest to gauge. She’s been in politics for … Continue reading

March 18, 2016 · 3 Comments

W.J. Astore: The 2016 Presidential Candidates in a Word

Continuing our election coverage, I thought I’d try to sum up each major candidate with a single word (excluding profanities). I encourage readers to submit your own words for each … Continue reading

January 28, 2016 · 3 Comments

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