Day: June 7, 2013

New Podcast: Interview with Patrick James

Patrick JamesWell, sort of. I’ve been getting a surprising number of emails asking for new podcasts. This semester was a killer, and no one else on the team wants to spearhead the effort. I hope to do some more before all hades breaks loose next academic year.

But for now, I should note that my series over at New Books in Science Fiction & Fantasy has reemerged from its own hiatus — and with a cross-over podcast! In it, I interview USC’s Patrick James about his and Abigail E. Ruane‘s book, The International Relations of Middle-Earth: Learning from the Lord of the Rings.

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Having your Cake and Eating it Too: US Defense Cuts without Capability Cuts

The Center for a New American Security released a report yesterday entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Defense Spending.”[1]  In it, they lay out some very basic (but very fundamental) ways that the DoD can cut costs but “preserve a strong and highly capable U.S. military.”  Many of the suggested cuts seem like something you would see Dunder Mifflin being advised to do: reduce redundancy in IT management, cut pay allowances, increase pharmaceutical cost sharing, etc.

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Friday Morning Linkage


The PRISM slides:  two nice touches you may have missed (Someone put some real thought into presentation — this is not your grandparents’ NSC-68):

  • Top secret, code word, art work.  There’s a special seal for “Special Source Operations” that has an eagle lifting a bundled globe — very impressive; and,
  • Great product placement — special advertising in a top secret document.  The slides prominently feature the companies’ trademarked logos in the header. But, I wonder if this drew NSA analysts to the products or away from them?  I’d like to see the market research on this one.
  • Steve Walt asks the real question on whether the USG really needs to collect all this data.
  • Former general counsel for the NSA says not to worry.

More in contested politics from the week:

And, this week in academia: Continue reading


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