You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category.

Don’t be. The United States Naval Institute fills the need:

RMKS/1.AS WE TRANSITION TO AN ARMED FORCES CULTURE WHERE GAY MEN AND WOMEN SERVE OPENLY, CERTAIN MODIFICATIONS TO EXISTING GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS, POLICY, AND SERVICE ELIGIBILITY WILL BE REQUIRED. THIS MESSAGE OUTLINES THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE ALTERATIONS NECESSARY TO ENSURE GAY SERVICE MEMBERS ARE ABLE TO SERVE OPENLY.

2. THE NEWLY-ESTABLISHED DEFENSE ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON GAYS IN THE SERVICE (DACOGITS) CHAIRED BY HON. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA) HAS MADE THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED IMMEDIATELY:

A. REF/A/WILL BE MODIFIED AS FOLLOWS: ARTICLE 125 (SODOMY) WILL BE DELETED. NO REPLACEMENT FOR ARTICLE 125 (SODOMY) HAS BEEN AUTHORIZED.

B. REGARDING REF/B/, FOR ALL KING JAMES BIBLES ALLOWED ON MILITARY INSTALLATIONS, THE FOLLOWING EDITS ARE REQUIRED:

LEVIDICUS 18:22 WILL BE CHANGED FROM “THOU SHALT NOT LIE WITH MANKIND, AS WITH WOMANKIND: IT IS ABOMINATION.” TO “THOU ART PERMITTED TO LIE WITH MANKIND, AS WITH WOMANKIND: IT IS NOW IN KEEPING WITH DOD POLICY”

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

On this day in history, the United States took actions that symbolize the contradictions of the Pacific War, at home and abroad. On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which effected the internment of ethnic Japanese (Issei) and Japanese-Americans (Nisei) living in the western United States. Three years later, in 1945, forces of the 4th Assault Corps put two divisions on the black sands of Iwo Jima. In a sense, these linked days were, in their own particular way, indicative of the beginning and the end of the Pacific War. The internments–perhaps the most shameful act of Roosevelt’s Presidency–highlight the confusion, fear, and chaos of the immediate months after Pearl Harbor. Iwo Jima, at the other end, demonstrated the bloody grinding that the war had become by 1945.

Internment

The attack on Pearl Harbor had thrown the United States into war with Japan. It also reinforced suspicions that many Americans had about the Issei and Nisei living in the west. “Fifth column” activity had been a constant worry in the U.S. since the war in Europe started and suspicious individuals in the east had been questioned by the FBI for their connection to Germany or Italy. What was different in the American west, however, was the rapid shift–driven largely by racism–from the suspicion of individuals to the suspicion of the entire group. The panic that overtook the West Coast after Pearl Harbor soon focused–at least in part–on supposed Japanese fifth columnnists active in California, Oregon, and Washington. The Attorney General of California, Earl Warren, issued a study claiming that Japanese-Americans lived in greater numbers near sensitive military targets. This, Warren thought, meant that they were concentrating themselves and waiting for an opportunity at sabotage. General John L. DeWitt, the head of the Western Defense Command, echoed Warren’s assessment. The result, in mid-February, was Executive Order 9066, which laid the groundwork for the exclusion of individuals from sensitive “military areas.” Read the rest of this entry »

I wonder: if we give them Arnold Schwarzenegger, do you think they’d give us Jennifer Granholm? As a one-time thing, I mean. Don’t just react; think it over for a minute. Amending the Constitution (see here and here) is really a big pain. And we need more Canadians* in high office. It’s just a thought.

* Relax. This is not the first step in a Canadian fifth-column conspiracy. Because the first step has long since been taken! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!**

** I’ve always wanted to write, “mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha.” It wasn’t nearly as satisfying as I had hoped. Sometimes life is a series of small disappointments.

After the championship game of the NCAA basketball tournament, CBS broadcasts a video montage of tournament highlights backed by the song, “One Shining Moment.” It’s an almost singularly terrible song. But, for millions of college basketball fans, it has enormous symbolic resonance: the champion has been crowned, the joy of the tournament is already fading, the season is over. People weep. Really. Well, the primary campaign’s over, and I’d like to put together my own montage: filled with highlights, or lowlights, of the past six months of electoral hijinks.

Here are five moments that leap immediately to my mind:

1) Obama’s speech on race.

2) Chris Matthews, during coverage of any of the primaries or caucuses, spewing his love for Obama all over MSNBC’s set.

3) Watching, with glee, the returns from Iowa (see above for footage).

4) God-DAMN America!

5) Seeing the “Yes We Can” video for the first time.

So, what are yours? Which moments shine bright in your mind’s eye? They don’t have to be videos, by the way. I’m just too shallow to think of anything else.

Beware: spoilers below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

In a comment spurred by this post on MLK and popular memory, charlieford wrote:

Just thought I’d share with ya’all that I turned this into a paper assignment in an Intro class (ie, US History Survey–almost all non-majors, sophomores and freshmen). I had them read tha tail of the “Dream” speech, most of the 1967 “Breaking Silence” speech, and Kai Wright’s piece in the Prospect. I asked them to frame it in terms of “mythic King” vs. “real King,” and why the two are out there, why the one is more palatable, and to evaluate the whole thing in whatever terms appealed to them. For about half, that was slightly ambitious. BUT: I think this was one of the most engaging papers I’ve assigned in some 10 years of teaching–ie, about 80% of the students really got into it. They almost all admired King enormously already (thank the schools–some had had King family members visit in elementary school) but to a MAN/WOMAN, none knew of the radical King. Maybe 2, out of 70, were disappointed that he’d criticize his nation when it was at war, but almost all were deeply challenged by his more radical analysis of US distemper. If you’ve read enough papers, you can tell when people are passionate, and when they’re feigning interest. Lot of passion from this assignment. Fun to grade, too. I thank Ari, Eric, and the EAW community for the inspiration to do it.

That does sound like a good paper topic. (And not because the answers charlie got from his students support my contention in the original post. Actually, I think his students’ responses buttress charlie’s point in the comments. Come to think of it, it’s just like charlie to design an assignment in order to win an argument with me. Selfish, that’s what’s he is.) Regardless, reading charlie’s comment raised a question in my mind: what’s the best paper assignment you’ve ever given? And by “best,” I think I mean the prompt that elicited the most interesting responses and that helped your students learn what you hoped they would from your course. That said, I might mean something else by “best.” I’m not entirely sure. I am sure that I need a nap.

For my part, I think the best paper topic I’ve ever given was in a seminar on memory I taught a few years back. I assigned Thomas Wentworth Higginson’s Army Life in a Black Regiment, David Blight’s article, “For Something Beyond the Battlefield: Frederick Douglass and the Struggle for the Memory of the Civil War,” and Glory. I asked the class to consider the relationship between the primary source, the scholarly article, and the film, focusing on the production and transmission of memories of African-American troops in the Civil War. The assignment, it turned out, was too complicated for some of the students. But the majority of them dug in and produced papers that I enjoyed reading (which might be a more accurate measure of what I mean by “best”). So, what about you? What assignments have worked well for you?

SEK provides us with this Friday afternoon gem. Now that’s what I’m talking about people. This is a team effort. So try to pull your weight.

A lurker sent me this link to Independent Film Channel’s “50 Greatest Comedy Sketches of All Time.” I’ve only started looking through the offerings, but I seem to have acquired a taste for The State’s work in my old age. Anyway, thanks lurker.*

* Subtle subtext: You should all be doing more for the blog.

tomorrowonneoconsonwar.jpg

I have nothing to add to the horror of the round numbers 5 and 4,000.* Nor do I have anything to say about the rogues’ gallery of losers and thugs that lied us into this terrible war. Or at least nothing that Tom Tomorrow hasn’t already said.

* Not to mention the who-knows-how-many Iraqis who have been killed.

I re-read Another Country this weekend — what a great book, by the way — and then decided to see if Baldwin was alive and well and living in YouTube.

On this day in 1788, a huge fire, fanned by wind coming off the Mississippi River, consumed most of the structures in New Orleans. Exactly how the fire started remains a mystery. (It would have been a long commute for Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.) We do, though, know that New Orleans, like most cities at the time, had almost no firefighting apparatus. So the results were predictable: the city’s French-era architecture, including the original Cabildo, was reduced to ashes. The Customs House and the Ursuline Convent were among the very few major buildings to survive the blaze.

New Orleans’s Spanish authorities would rebuild, replacing wooden structures with brick buildings, often constructed around airy courtyards, and ornamented with elaborate wrought-iron balconies: the misnamed French Quarter’s signature architectural style. In sum, as with previous disasters and many that would strike the city later in its history, New Orleans emerged from the catastrophe better than ever.

In another thread, Ben asks: “…who’d win the Grigori Rasputin Award for most dangerous and/or unhinged presidential spiritual adviser?” This is an excellent question for a Friday afternoon. So, what are your thoughts?

Below the fold, you’ll find excerpts from a long and intermittently interesting interview with David Simon, creator of the best show in television history. The interview contains spoilers. And perhaps more insight into Simon than is desirable.

Read the rest of this entry »

PorJ mentioned something about an elephant getting electrocuted. Which got my attention. And then Ben replied by sending along the above link. Which includes a cat narrating the story of the “current wars.” This really is a weird blog.

Spring forward. This has been a PSA brought to you by the EotAW.

The girl in the Hillary 3 AM ad hearts Obama. You can’t make this stuff up.

Via TPM.

Sorry, the blog seems to be broken. I’ve tried posting something new for the last two hours. Sometimes it appears. And then it’s gone. Sometimes I see a whole bunch of comments on the 11th Commandment post. And they they’re gone. Honestly, I have no idea if this will even post. But if it does, bear with us while we get the problem fixed.

[Update: Well, it seems to be fixed. At least for the moment. I’m afraid that I have no idea what’s going on.]

Via boingboing, a list of obsolete skills. Some of my favorites? Asbestos installation, bleeding patients, caulking your wagon to ford the river, and many others. Oddly, academic historian isn’t on there. Just an oversight, I’m sure.

Via Apostropher, at Unfogged, we have this funny post from TPM’s Reader Blogs:

I think one thing is clear this far into the Democratic primary race: Both Obama’s and Clinton’s supporters must now drop out of the race.

Hillary Clinton’s supporters have gotten incredibly annoying, with their chants of “Yes She Can,” and charges of cultism and their desperate yelps of schadenfreude every time Clinton looks like she might actually be “recapturing the lead” that she never had.

And Obama’s supporters, yes, you too are incredibly annoying, with your accusations of Clintonian Republicanism and your whiny little cries about how you’re going to take your ball and run home if your candidate doesn’t win the primary.

Supporters of both candidates, please listen closely. For the good of the Party — no, for the good of the Nation! — the time has come for you to leave this race.

No more late nights in front of MSNBC. No more blogging. No more reading TPM. No more arguing at the watercooler, or at the happy hour after work at TGIF’s.

Find a hobby — knitting is really getting popular these days!

Anything, anything but your insistent and continual droning on and on about how perfect your candidate is.

Remember — the future of this Republic is at stake.

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday arguing politics with Historiann. Then I spent much of last night arguing nearly the opposite positions with people at Unfogged. I’ve completely lost my mind. The above is right: I need to drop out of the race.

Tim Russert spent a portion of tonight’s debate bringing to life the hateful spam I occasionally get that might as well be titled, “Muslim Obama Will Kill Jews.” And while I agree with all of the prominent (and, as it happens, Jewish) bloggers (here, here, here, and elsewhere for all I know) who are saying that Russert really plumbed the depths with this line of so-called inquiry, the bigger shame was that there were actual issues of interest to American Jews left undiscussed with Obama tonight.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is officially an award-winning blog

HNN, Best group blog: "Witty and insightful, the Edge of the American West puts the group in group blog, with frequent contributions from an irreverent band.... Always entertaining, often enlightening, the blog features snazzy visuals—graphs, photos, videos—and zippy writing...."