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Conflicts in Space

One of the issues that will be decided in this year’s annual defense policy bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act, will be whether Congress approves the president’s request to create a Space Force. An analysis by the Project On Government Oversight shows that, as is often the case, the people lobbying Congress to support its creation aren’t being transparent about their own financial interests. Forty-two former defense and intelligence officials signed an open letter this year expressing their “strong support” for the Space Force as a necessary and vital part of the overall national security infrastructure. The open letter, published in May 2019, does not disclose the actual and potential financial ties nearly all of the signatories have to companies that may profit from increased federal spending in the defense and space sectors.

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"Angry Uncle Bot" Helps You Prep for Thanksgiving Political Talk

You may have already prepared yourself for any potentially uncomfortable holiday conversations by reading our 5 tips for handling political conversations at Thanksgiving dinner, but what if you could practice beforehand? Our conversation tips for bridging divides include asking to listen, not to respond, exhibiting genuine curiosity toward another person's views, and noting points of agreement. So we were delighted to find the Angry Uncle Bot, a project by Smart Politics, which allows you to hold a conversation with your political opposite and gives you feedback on your responses — showing you whether they'll be a productive step toward mutual understanding, or only inflame tensions.

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Let’s Talk About Politics On Facebook! An Exercise in Applying Better Angels Skills Online

As a Better Angels moderator, I’ve had the pleasure of running several Skills Workshops, which focus on helping people to navigate conversations with those who have very different beliefs from their own. At the top of the agenda we give people some guidance about how they should approach using these skills, like jettisoning the expectation that they’ll be able to change the other person’s mind, and remembering that saving face is a basic need that everyone has when confronted with their inevitable ideological inconsistencies.

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