In The National Interest – the embedded language of our empire

The government and mass media use the phrase “in the national interest” as a ritual phrase to introduce almost every story about our involvement in affairs around the world. It has its variants as “the national security interests”

Here is a definition of our “national interests” from a 2000 report by The Commission on America’s National Interests1

SUMMARY OF US NATIONAL INTERESTS

Vital

Vital national interests are conditions that are strictly necessary to

safeguard and enhance Americans’ survival and well-being in a free

and secure nation.

Vital US national interests are to:

1. Prevent, deter, and reduce the threat of nuclear, biological, and

chemical weapons attacks on the United States or its military

forces abroad;

2. Ensure US allies’ survival and their active cooperation with the

US in shaping an international system in which we can thrive;

3. Prevent the emergence of hostile major powers or failed states

on US borders;

4. Ensure the viability and stability of major global systems

(trade, financial markets, supplies of energy, and the environ-

ment); and

5. Establish productive relations, consistent with American

national interests, with nations that could become strategic

adversaries, China and Russia.

Instrumentally, these vital interests will be enhanced and pro-

tected by promoting singular US leadership, military and intelli-

gence capabilities, credibility (including a reputation for adherence

to clear US commitments and even-handedness in dealing with

other states), and strengthening critical international institutions—

particularly the US alliance system around the world.

And in the eyes of the Obama administration National Security Strategy (May 2010)2

To achieve the world we seek, the United States must apply our strategic approach in pursuit of four

enduring national interests:

• Security: The security of the United States, its citizens, and U.S. allies and partners.

• Prosperity: A strong, innovative, and growing U.S. economy in an open international economic

system that promotes opportunity and prosperity.

• Values: Respect for universal values at home and around the world.

• International Order: An international order advanced by U.S. leadership that promotes peace,

security, and opportunity through stronger cooperation to meet global challenges.

 

  1. http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/amernatinter.pdf accessed 06142014 []
  2. http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/national_security_strategy.pdf accessed 06132014 []

Men Landed on the Moon – I’m Depressed – another leg falls away from my world

Shot from 2001 a space odyssey - used w/o permissionThis morning I was scanning through Zite and found this article claiming that some guy had definitively crushed the “hoax” that men landing on the moon in 1969 was shot on the back lots of Hollywood.

Now most of you will think this is very old history. Another bit of 60s’ paranoia. Who shot JFK, MLK…….? If you want to brush up your conspiracy theories for the rest of this jeremiad, here is a Wikipedia article, Moon Landing Conspiracy Theories

But, wait, there is more to my mental weirdness around this moon landing. Continue reading

Update on Cuisinart Toaster Fire – Cuisinart Is Not Interested in Fire, Only Warranty

Cuisinart Responds?

Cuisinart model CPT-120 toaster fireI received an email today, five days after my initial attempt to communicate with Cuisinart and two days after my second attempt. The initial posting on this toaster meltdown is here

So far Cuisinart has expressed no interest in the fire, only the fact that our toaster is apparently out of warranty.

Valued Customer,

Thank you for your inquiry. We apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced. Based on the information you have provided, your CPT-120/90416 is out of warranty. If you have a proof of purchase that states you have had the unit for less than 3 years, please let us know. We will be able to provide you instructions on how to obtain a warranty replacement under that circumstance.

The only other option that we can offer to you is another unit, at the cost of $29.95 plus shipping and any applicable tax.

If you have any further questions please reply, with history, to this email. We welcome you to call our Customer Service Department at 1-800-726-0190, if you prefer. The hours of operation are 7 AM -11 PM EST Monday through Friday and 9 AM – 5:30 PM on Saturdays and Sundays, excluding major holidays.

Sincerely,
Laney
Cuisinart Customer Service Representative

I will follow-up with Laney about any interest they have in investigating this fire. Maybe this is part of corporate liability avoidance. If we act as though nothing happened beyond “inconvenience”, nothing happened. I wonder, has the Consumer Product Safety  Commission survived our age of little or no government (excepting, of course, the burgeoning allotments for domestic and international “security”)? Will have to Google for that.

Cuisinart Toaster Brings Fire to Breakfast

Last Friday our Cuisinart toaster (model CPT-120) caught on fire.

Cuisinart model CPT-120 toaster fire

fire extinguisher type B-CFortunately we had not wandered too far from the kitchen and realized that the crackling sounds were not those of burning toast. Even more fortunate was the fire extinguisher at hand to douse the flames that had already burned a good portion of the plastic housing along one side of the toaster adjacent to the electronics inside. But, the bread was barely warm!

Here is a close up of the burn zone.

Cuisinart model CPT-120 toaster fire burn zone

Cuisinart model cpt-120 toaster fire crumbtrayYou may be thinking that this fire was caused by sloppy housekeeping here. But, in fact the crumb tray had been cleaned within the last month and this picture of the crumb tray clearly shows no evidence of fire. It didn’t get started there. From the location of the fire right where all of the electrical components are, the obvious conclusion is bad design and/or manufacturing by Cuisinart.

I sent off an email with a picture to Cuisinart last Friday. Still no reply from them.

Saturday morning we went shopping for a replacement toaster. This time we bought a model by Hamilton Beach that has an all metal housing instead of the obviously flammable plastic housing.

By the way, if you want to replicate this experience at your house, the very same Cuisinart toaster is for sale at Lowe’s where we bought ours.

Fire Extinguisher Is Handy

fire extinguisher type B-C-closeup of label

One lesson is clear – the value of having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen ready to go. make sure it is one designed for the kitchen environment.