The American Dream – Cities, Promise and Peril

If you’re like most Americans, you live near a big city. Once the envy of the world, setting records for the height of their skyscrapers and showcasing some of the most stunning architectural wonders of art-deco design in places like New York and Chicago, starting in the Depression American cities began a marked decline. Following…

Vatican II – The Catholic Reformation

The Second Vatican Council, begun in 1962 after years of planning and nearly a century after Vatican I, was an attempt by the Catholic Church to address some of the deeper spiritual questions posed by the rapid social changes taking place in the 1960s brought on by technology, secular ideologies, and the deep political divisions…

Patton – Victory and Defeat

George Patton, one of America’s most famous and controversial generals of WWII, died in a hospital in Heidelberg after his car was rammed by a military truck during the Allied occupation of Germany in December, 1945. After an Academy-Award winning 1970 film made Patton into an American hero, later work began to focus on the…

Lithuania – Crossroads of the Baltic

Lithuania today is a country with fewer than 3 million people, but has a history stretching back thousands of years, with one of the oldest living Indo-European languages, and a heritage of being at the center of a constellation of empires, including that of Kiev-Rus and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. But as the 20th…

Ceaușescu – Romania’s Last Dictator

On December 25th, 1989, Nicolae Ceaușescu, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Romania and his wife Elena were tried, convicted, and executed by firing squad. Prior to their arrest, Ceaușescu had overseen a disastrous series of economic missteps which led the country to experience high foreign debt, massive food shortages, and a decline in…

Korea – The Never Ending War

On June 25th, 1950, North Korea invaded southwards across the 38th parallel in Soviet provided tanks and artillery – and in a matter of weeks swept to almost complete victory over the Korean peninsula. Only after a hastily convened UN resolution condemning the invasion and assemblage of a 16 nation coalition to organize in the…

The IRA and the Struggle for Irish Independence

In 1998, the Good Friday or Belfast Agreement was reached between the multiple parties representing factions in Northern Ireland and the Irish and British governments. It granted the principle of self-determination to the residents, recognition of both national identities, and power sharing arrangements between the British and Irish governments. Since the agreement, the so called…

Bitcoin – The Digitization of Money

Money and finance has been an integral part of human civilization ever since the advent of trade. Over time, although taking many forms, from salt to gold coins to paper bills, money has almost always had a physical basis. With the advent of fractional reserve banking, however, and the introduction of digital technology and accounting…

Malthus and His Discontents – Population and Policy

In 1798 Thomas Malthus postulated in his essay on population growth that given an abundance of food, population would grow until food supplies collapsed, causing a decline in fertility. He observed that this pattern had held true for the masses of the underclass for centuries in England, keeping average per capita income stagnant. All this…

Columbine – Culture of Violence

On April 20th, 1999, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold bombed, shot, and killed 13 classmates and injured wounded 24 others at Columbine High School, Colorado. The shooting sparked a nationwide debate over the causes behind such a massacre and led to several changes in American culture, education, and security practices. — References — – Natural…

Propaganda – Myth and Mystery

Propaganda: the message communicated to achieve a political agenda, often by misinformation and misdirection. Taught in American high schools as something the enemy does or only used during great wars of distant past – today we re-examine the extent to which propaganda permeates American society to this day, and it really means to be ruled…

Pinochet – Life and Legacy in Chile

Like many of history’s famous dictators, Augusto Pinochet – Chile’s ruler from 1973 to 1990 – has many in the world who condemn him to this day. What some may not know, however, is that many in Chile still remember the 1973 Coup that Pinochet led with gratitude, seeing his rule as a stabilizing force…