Seeing, listening, telling, connecting. A new site.
Don't know where else to put this to let the author know: Canceling all my Substack subscriptions including this one due to Substack's policy to support Nazis. Nazis need to be punched not coddled. Recommend authors leave Substack.
Dear Mr. Fallows,
I’ve followed you for years and always enjoy your writing. I especially like your stories about airline safety. Have you seen this recent story in the SF Chronicle?
Please keep doing your usual great work.
Thanks for sharing the memories with your readership!
Memoirs reflect the times of the age: the 1960's to the Carter period deserves another really good memoir, perhaps from you.
President Carter offered us hope after the turbulent time of the 1970's, the belief that foreign policy based on human rights was the best tool that we have in our American toolbox. We stood first in the world in human rights because of Jimmy and Rosalyn (also their speechwriter!).
The 1960's laid the groundwork for all youthful rebellion and rebellious culture for the next 50 years. The Beatles epitomized rebellion at the time, with their long hair and music. Thank heaven it is still happening today, as we see the next generation of wonderfully talented young people take over.
I still see tie dye and hear the music of the 60's in American streets. The new kids coming up may not know who Paul McCartney is, but they know the counterculture when they see it.
Back in the 60's, we tried to stop war, save the planet, and create progressive politics.
But the mighty forces of money usually won out. Thank you to you and the Carter admin for trying to stay the course, to fight for human rights. Most Americans do not realize the scope of our military activity worldwide, often creating human rights disasters in the poorest countries. Tigray, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia - Americans have no idea of the human suffering that worldwide wars cause to millions of innocents in the global death wish. As the superpowers carve up the Earth for money.
"In a speech of less than 10 minutes, on January 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower delivered his political farewell to the American people on national television from the Oval Office of the White House. Those who expected the military leader and hero of World War II to depart his Presidency with a nostalgic, "old soldier" speech like Gen. Douglas MacArthur's, were surprised at his strong warnings about the dangers of the "military-industrial complex.
"As President of the United States for two terms, Eisenhower had slowed the push for increased defense spending despite pressure to build more military equipment during the Cold War’s arms race. Nonetheless, the American military services and the defense industry had expanded a great deal in the 1950s. Eisenhower thought this growth was needed to counter the Soviet Union, but it confounded him. Though he did not say so explicitly, his standing as a military leader helped give him the credibility to stand up to the pressures of this new, powerful interest group. He eventually described it as a necessary evil."
President Eisenhower: "A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction. . . . American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. . . . This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. . . .Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. . . . In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist."
Mr. Fallows I’ve just discovered and subscribed to your blog. I go back to Jim Thomson, Charlie Peters, and The Washington Monthly in 1969, after I had concluded 6 years in/or Congo and 3 in Chile as a Foreign Service Officer. Jim wanted me to write an FSO ‘expose’ in TWM. I demurred, though I did get on the Nixon White House Enemies List.
I’ve followed you for decades at TWM, Atlantic, and also bought several of your books. I have fond recollections of your denuding the military, including your highlighting the economic and functional stupidity of a humongous aircraft carrier.
You and Heather Cox Richardson will provide me some sanity in our Marat/Sade asylum.
Hope you'll have a chance to check out this story about people doing good and having fun in a tiny town near where I grew up. It's the Our Towns spirit on a small scale. I know you'll enjoy it. Leads with charming photo.
What's your opinion on the University of Austin? I read an article from the New Republic by Aaron Hanlon who pooh-poohs many of the founders' concerns. But I was struck by one paragraph where he addressed the indoctrination of students by their "lefty" tenured profs:
"Suppose, however, you’re worried for each and every student exposed to the allegedly leftist professoriate. Roger Kimball took this stance in 1990 in Tenured Radicals, a screed against leftist illiberalism in higher education. In 2021, however, even if we accept that professors are radicals (I don’t), they’re certainly not tenured. Over 70 percent of the professoriate works off the tenure track, without the protections of academic freedom. How many of them are eager to risk student complaint—and their jobs—by foisting political ideology on their students?"
In essence, the argument is that current universities are staffed by gig employees who are afraid to speak about controversial topics. That's not much of an endorsement of established universities.
Can you write a piece about North Korea?
I don't understand why the US government pays any attention to what Kim Jong Un does with his missiles. He's not stupid enough to launch an attack on South Korea or Japan, because that would lead to an annihilating counter-attack by the US and its allies. Similarly, neither the US nor its allies would be foolish enough at this point to preemptively attack North Korea, because of its firepower and the likelihood that China would get involved.
North Korea is an often-starving, isolationist country that has no ability (or desire?) to influence other countries; that will never give up its nuclear arsenal; and that has no viable way to use those weapons. So, why bother trying to negotiate with them or spend any time worrying about them? I'd love to hear your perspective.
Thank you as always for your leadership by example!
With a little luck this Fallows kid might just make a career out of this writing business.
Very excited to have one of my favorite writers and thinkers here! I'm in the same boat as many of the others who've commented about too many great writers on Substack with not enough time to digest it all, but I'm more than happy to support this one and look forward to being able to read more of your stuff! Thank you!
Aw, man.... Like Christine, I subscribe to too many dang Substacks already. So when I saw Andrew Sullivan tout this, I went, "OK, I mean, I don't need another one... but, I mean... it's Jim! Jim, who was such a great mentor in first job out of college! Jim, who wrote you a Rhodes rec! Jim, who saved you on the floor of the GOP convention!" Then I said fine, fine, I will do the free thing and see how it goes. That... lasted about 60 seconds, at which point I hit the Annual button, paid my money, and posted this comment. Jim, I can't wait to see what you have to say!
Welcome, Jim! I’ve been trying to do a different kind of newsletter for the last four months ( oldgoats.substack.com ) and it will be fun to compare notes about the experience.
This is most welcome. I was trying to cut back on my internet use. But it can wait. For sure this is going to be added.
I have valued your pen, experience, wisdom, and voice for most of my adult life. I'm excited to see what you have queued up!
Congratulations Jim. Look forward to you making sense of these very difficult times.
Delighted to be an inaugural consumer. I would assume that you will be drafting your articles in XyWrite.