Hiroshima — Seventy Years On

Here it comes again, the hand-wringing, and the moralizing and the rest of it. The New Yorker reprints their 1946 piece on the 1945 bombing:

I—A NOISELESS FLASH
John Hersey / New Yorker

At exactly fifteen minutes past eight in the morning, on August 6, 1945, Japanese time, at the moment when the atomic bomb flashed above Hiroshima, Miss Toshiko Sasaki, a clerk in the personnel department of the East Asia Tin Works, had just sat down at her place …

Tokyo_1945-3-10-1

Operation Meetinghouse, Tokyo, March 10, 1945 — the single deadliest
bombing attack of World War II, carried out with conventional bombs.
Estimated more than 200,000 dead. 

I partly grew up in Santa Fe, and lived there again in the early Nineties, and the hyper-liberal “We’re Sorry” demonstrations at Los Alamos (thirty miles away) were part and parcel of the fabric of the place. Let’s start here: Continue reading

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Happy Moon Day!

In light of the recent jingoism of the Pluto fly-by (which I had hoped we were bigger than — after all, what looks sillier than those getting the first view of our furthest “planet” standing around waving US flags?) it’s a good time to remember the wording of that plaque we left behind on all our Apollo missions:

Apollo 11.plaque

“We came in peace for all mankind.”

The Apollo missions taught us that we were all spacemen huddled together on that one small blue marble whirling in the Stygian void of space.  Continue reading

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Cruz’s ‘A Time For Truth’ Belies Its Title. Surprised?

Stack Of Colorful Falling Books Representing Learning And Education

How do you promote a slick piece of GOPaganda, bash your arch-enemy, the New York Times, and manipulate an incompetent and credulous media that you DON’T own (yet) into carrying your (sewer) water for you?

Easy: Call up Dylan Byers at Politico.

Amazon: ‘No evidence’ of bulk sales for Ted Cruz book
Dylan Byers / Politico

The New York Times’ refusal to put Ted Cruz’s memoir on its bestseller list is once again being called into question — this time by Amazon, the largest Internet retailer in the country.  —  On Sunday, an Amazon spokesperson told …

This is, of course, the followup to the hilarious “HarperCollins disputes N.Y. Times on Ted Cruz book: ‘No evidence of bulk sales’
By DYLAN BYERS 7/10/15 2:10 PM EDT” article, in which the mice were exonerated by the mice for any depredations of the cheese factory they were guarding.

Kind of like “Bill Cosby refutes allegations of accusers, releasing statement that no evidence has been found.” Continue reading

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No Monkeying Around

We’ve sure as hell progressed, haven’t we?

monkeys2

Via the History Channel:

July 10, 1925 – 90 Years Ago Today
Scopes Monkey Trial begins

In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called “Monkey Trial” begins with John Thomas Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.

The law, which had been passed in March, made it a misdemeanor punishable by fine to “teach any theory that denies the story of the Divine Creation of man as taught in the Bible, and to teach instead that man has descended from a lower order of animals.” With local businessman George Rappalyea, Scopes had conspired to get charged with this violation, and after his arrest the pair enlisted the aid of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to organize a defense. Hearing of this coordinated attack on Christian fundamentalism, William Jennings Bryan, the three-time Democratic presidential candidate and a fundamentalist hero, volunteered to assist the prosecution. Soon after, the great attorney Clarence Darrow agreed to join the ACLU in the defense, and the stage was set for one of the most famous trials in U.S. history.

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/monkey-trial-begins

Ooh. Ooh.

Courage.

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Seasoned Greetings

A safe and glorious Fourth.

fourth-of-july-american-independence-day

And no renditions of “Jingo Belles” either. Right? Right.

Courage.

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The Great White Hype

UPDATED BELOW

You have to admit this much: the White GOPs find themselves, increasingly, defending the indefensible with increasingly flaccid tropes.

gop!

Defending discrimination against LGBT. Defending voting against Veterans’ (desperately needed) benefits. Defending NOT doing anything to lift the boot heel of the recession from American throats. Defending NOT doing anything about the increasingly apocalyptic weather of Global Warming. Defending torture. Defending War Crimes and criminals. Defending NOT doing anything to pay for their war debt. Defending keeping people from getting health care.

Defending TRANS FATS?!??

Oh, and defending racial murders.

Lindsey Graham: Charleston Shooter May Have Been ‘Looking for Christians to Kill’
Matt Wilstein / Mediaite

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) just happened to be scheduled to appear on The View Thursday morning.  But because of the deadly mass shooting at a black church in his home state last night …

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Eight Hundred Years of Magna Carta

The return to democracy that culminated in the American Revolution can truly be said to have begun on June 15, 1215.

Magna_Carta_(British_Library_Cotton_MS_Augustus_II.106)

The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215,
written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard
abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John.
The original wax seal was lost over the centuries. This document is held at
the British Library and is identified as “British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106”.
[Wikipedia]

As is usual for venerated objects and moments, the Magna Carta of 1215 is not more authentic than the Battle of Bunker Hill. The former was repudiated and only reinstated fitfully and imprecisely; the latter was fought on Breed’s Hill. Continue reading

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