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Key military outposts

ManasIn our list this week, Daniel Widome looks at six key military bases for the U.S. military.

They are: Andersen, Balad, Bezmer, Diego Garcia, Guantánamo, and Manas (pictured to the right).

One interesting nugget is that we're moving toward light bases in Eastern Europe, such as Bezmer in Bulgaria. I couldn't track down a photo for it because it is so low-key. Here's Daniel's take:

Compared to U.S. bases in “old” Europe, Bezmer and its Eastern European equivalents are cheaper to operate and closer to potential hot spots in the Middle East and Central Asia. In times of conflict, the military will use these facilities to “surge” men and materiel toward the front lines. The hope is that former-Soviet bloc host countries will be more amenable to U.S. bases than other hosts in “old” Europe and be less likely to block their use in a time of conflict.

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Why politicians pander to people's happiness

Is this what politics has come to?

Today's turn towards the management of people's internal life is motivated by moral disorientation and political exhaustion. Unimaginative politicians who are unable to decide what needs to be done - or implement the appropriate policies - feel more comfortable with instructing the public how it should feel."

The author is talking about politics in Britain, where the new Tory leader, David Cameron, recently said: "We should be thinking not what is good for putting money in people's pockets but what is good for putting joy in people's hearts." But I'd argue that the same dynamics are increasingly at play here in America, too. Let's give $100 checks to all Americans. That'll make 'em happy.