Colossus – Hoover Dam and the Making of the American Century

Built in the depths of the Great Depression, the Hoover Dam rises over 700 feet along the canyon walls of the Colorado River. Originally named the Boulder Dam and officially begun in 1933 after decades of contentious debate over the feasibility of such an ambitious project, the dam opened in 1936 as the largest hydroelectric…

Wetworks – a History of Water Management in America

A civilization’s state of development is most often readily apparent in its buildings. The capacity for stepping beyond the limits of nature, and forging into the realm of modernity is enshrined in the time capsules that are major works of architecture and infrastructure. When historians and anthropologists trace the path from pre-historic societies to today,…

The Israel Lobby

“The Israel lobby is one of the most powerful and pervasive special interest groups in the United States. It consists of a multitude of powerful institutions and individuals that work to influence Congress, the president, academia, the media, religious institutions, and American public opinion on behalf of Israel.” -Alison Weir Myth of the 20th Century…

Return of Champions – Fighting for Territory in the Ruins of Civilization

James LaFond, author, fighter, and anthropologist of all things urban and unseen by the aspirational and increasingly disconnected bourgeois classes of American cities rejoins the crew tonight for a much overdue conversation. Since we last spoke James has traveled and lived in various cities across the country, spent a night on the streets of Manhattan,…

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – a Lockheed Insider’s Story

Representing 2-7% of the Pentagon’s annual budget, and with a projected lifetime cost of over $1 trillion dollars, the Joint Strike Fighter program with its three variations of the F-35 airframe for the US Air Force, Navy, and Marines and over a dozen partner countries is the most expensive weapons system in history. For point…

Fire Upon the Deep – Speculative Fiction and the Sci-Fi Universe

Fiction writers today have a plethora of options for getting their stories out, from e-books to streaming video to old fashioned print. But the challenge of capturing people’s imagination, in addition to slipping through the ever-tightening electronic net in an age of censorship has made the task of right-leaning authors all the more difficult in…

Icebreaker – Who Started the Second World War?

Viktor Suvorov, author of over a dozen books on the inner workings of the Soviet military apparatus, from the Red Army to the Spetsnaz, put forward the earth shattering thesis in his work ‘Icebreaker’ that Hitler’s invasion of the USSR in 1941 was a pre-emptive strike designed to cut the legs out from under a…

The Myth of Perpetual Economic Growth – Piero San Giorgio

Looking at the revenue projections of Fortune 500 companies or the GDP growth estimates of the world’s industrialized countries, one can’t help but notice everything indicating unlimited expansion and wealth opportunities in the future. ‘Upwards and to the right’ as they say in management consulting. But when analyzing historical progressions of large companies, countries, or…

Collapse of Complex Societies – Borzoi Edition

When looking back at the world’s great civilizations, one notes they all reached an expiration point. What drives their decline and ultimate collapse, however, is one of the most debated topics in history. According to noted scholars Joseph Tainter and John Michael Greer, collapse occurs when a civilization reaches a point of unsustainable complexity that…

The American Farmer – Tradition in Modernity

If you visit rural America, many of the roads will have names like ‘Farm to Market’ – implying an ebb and flow of life centered around agriculture. As America developed in the 20th century, many of these places grew less populated, and those near city centers were replaced by shopping malls and suburban housing as…

The Management Myth – Taylorism and the Origins of Scientific Management

America today – in business, government, and most elite institutional organizations – operates under a rubric many would describe as managerialism. It is a belief that the best results can be achieved through rigorous quantitative measurement and elimination of processes (and people) that do not measure up. It is a decidedly material approach to running…

Standard Operating Procedure – Torture and the Abu Ghraib Scandal

Torture – a centuries old practice. When Francis Fukuyama coined the phrase ‘The End of History’, the West in his view strode triumphant, demonstrating the virtues of democratic capitalism and the integration of peoples into a open and liberal framework over that of repressive government regimes of the Communist Bloc. When the War on Terror…