About Bracing Views

Bracing Views is dedicated to creative and critical thinking about our world. My goal is to bring clarity to some of the more vexing and perplexing issues that face us as human beings living on an increasingly crowded and fragile world.

On occasion, Bracing Views will feature articles by authors other than the site’s creator. The views of these guest authors are obviously their own and do not necessarily reflect my views.

peace
That’s me, finding a sign worthy of a thumb’s up.

The name “Bracing Views” occurred to me when my wife and I were out for a walk on a chilly January day.  A bracing wind was whipping off the water, and I made a comment on it.  My wife said, “bracing news” — might be a good name for a site.  Not wanting to be tied to the news cycle, I said, maybe “bracing views.” And there you have it.

Much like a cold January wind, Bracing Views aims to be brisk, refreshing, and just a bit biting.

earth

10 thoughts on “About Bracing Views

      1. Thanks. Not sure I qualify. The Toner Award appears to be for in-depth reporting; “commentary” is excluded, and most of what I do is commentary.

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  1. “I ask myself how America today could have become such a land of weapons and warriors, guns and gun exports, prisons and fear, led by a boastful and boorish bullyboy.”
    Asking this question seems to assume that there was some fair, honest and peaceful America somewhere in the past.
    I don’t think this was ever true. From the decimation of the aboriginal peoples, to the slavery, the foreign invasions, the racism, needless wars and now the murders, more BS wars and the massive inequality America continues to be the most negative country on this planet. Not understanding this or acknowledging this is one of the reasons America continues to be such a force for evil on this planet.

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    1. I don’t assume there was an idyllic “fair, honest and peaceful America” in the past. The USA is a country made by war. As you note, crimes against Native Americans, Blacks, immigrants, other minorities, as well as the marginalization of women, and many others remind us that America is a land of great inequality and gross imperfections. But is this not true of most other countries and nations on the planet? Look at the history of France, for example: religious wars, Napoleon, imperialism, French Indochina, Algeria, and of course bloody revolution. Look at the British Empire. Look at Belgium’s treatment of the Congo. Look at Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, or Stalin’s deliberate starvation of millions in the Ukraine in the 1930s.

      When I taught a course on the Holocaust, I came across an encyclopedia dedicated to genocides, sobering testimony to humanity’s harsh history around the globe and across the centuries. Armenia, Cambodia, Rwanda — when will it ever end?

      So, I wouldn’t agree that the USA is “the most negative country on the planet.” This certainly isn’t true over time. Think of World War II, for example, and the crimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The USA played a key role in defeating those fascistic and militaristic powers: a proud chapter in our nation’s history. Perhaps the Cold War was avoidable, perhaps not, but the USA stood for something better than the totalitarianism practiced by Stalin and his successors. And we might add Mao’s China into the mix, and the horrendous human costs of his cultural revolutions. No country, certainly no major power, is pure. All are impure, all are flawed; there are no exceptions.

      What saddens me is the way the USA has embraced militarism as well as military action in the aftermath of the Cold War. There was an opportunity c.1990 for the US to walk a different path, but we chose a more bellicose and less wise one, and that mistake is the subject of my recent essay for Tomdispatch.

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  2. When I first saw the name I wondered whether this might also have been a bit of word play referencing the extremely rigid form of attention, the military brace. As it is not mentioned I am guessing not. Still, it retains that association for me, having encountered a brace very early on (in Civil Air Patrol, years before joining the Air Force in 1968).

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  3. “America’s Real Red Scare”: Bracing indeed and absolutely spot on. Thank you. Have emailed it to all on my political lists.

    John Marciano
    Talent, OR

    How does one email you directly? Think I have in the past but can’t bring up your email address. Writing a book on the Cold War with a historian and would love to correspond on mutual concerns. Great site so please stay the course.

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  4. “losing” wars?

    Did the U.S. and allies create violent chaos in countries not fully loyal to and integrated in the dollar hegemony? If so, then it “won” those wars.

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