On the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, with growing concerns about a lack of space to handle the endless stream of veteran deaths, this song, featuring Dar Williams and loved by Pete Seeger, sadly gains fresh relevance. From “A Very Fine Line,” by Andy Revkin.


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.@philbronstein The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care. MORE Great lede.

50 years of federal spending in one chart (@NPRnews @PlanetMoney).

The Most Important Sustainability Document in Years…

Came from the PENTAGON. Listen and read about “Mr. Y” on On Point. More on The New Security Beat blog. As John Norris put it in Foreign Policy: 

Courageously, the authors make the case that America continues to rely far too heavily on its military as the primary tool for how it engages the world. Instead of simply pumping more and more dollars into defense, the narrative argues:

By investing energy, talent, and dollars now in the education and training of young Americans — the scientists, statesmen, industrialists, farmers, inventors, educators, clergy, artists, service members, and parents, of tomorrow — we are truly investing in our ability to successfully compete in, and influence, the strategic environment of the future. Our first investment priority, then, is intellectual capital and a sustainable infrastructure of education, health and social services to provide for the continuing development and growth of America’s youth. [Read the rest.]

ARLINGTON OVERLOAD "Where will they go when there’s no more room in Arlington?" I wrote that lyric a few years back after studying the fabled history and uncertain future of Arlington National Cemetery. Now, the Washington Post has a fresh update on the legacy of past mismanagement, worsened by the growing flow of dying veterans and lack of resources. For the first time in decades, the cemetery is trying to figure out the identity of multiple “unknown soldiers.”

The video was shot a few years ago by Craig Duff for a Memorial Day report in The New York Times (he now directs multimedia at Time.com). I wrote the song and it’s performed here by Uncle Wade, a roots-twang-blues band I’m lucky enough to be part of. It’s sung here by Peter Rundquist. 

You can comment on the situation at the cemetery, or the music, at a 2008 Dot Earth post on “Sacrifice, Security and the Road Toward 9 Billion.”

Listen to Uncle Wade’s latest gig, in the back room at Philipstown.info.