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Archive for September, 2012

Assange and Espionage Act

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks founder, responds to critics, press reactions, the treatment of Private Bradley Manning and potential charges pressed against him under the The Espionage Act (1917).

What was the US press’ reaction to the controversy?

In what way does the US Justice Department have a potential right to charge Assange?

In what way doesn’t the US Justice Department have right to incriminate Assange?

Thomas Jefferson Defends America With a Moose

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Europeans said America was “degenerate.” Jefferson was obsessed with proving them wrong.

Kinda funny.


The Horror of Antietam

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

America’s deadliest day, as witnessed by Oliver Wendell Holmes, William McKinley, Rutherford B. Hayes, and Clara Barton

A Stab at [Western] Developmental Theory

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

This 5 minute interview illustrates one of many radical reactions to the Western model of development:

“We are trying to show the people that Islam is the solution to their problems, said Mohammed Zahawi, the head of Ansar al-Sharia. “As for those bankrupt calls for Western democracy, liberalism and secularism, what did democracy give to the West? Social collapse, moral collapse, economic collapse?”

The West, he said, has nothing to offer Libya. As other Libyans celebrated the country’s first free elections, this group rejected the democratic process entirely. In their interpretation, only God’s law applies.

Ansar al-Sharia follows the most literal interpretation of Islam — a narrow view that would ban mingling of the sexes and what they consider Western vices. Their rejection of any U.S. hand in reshaping Libya is so vehement that they’re willing to relinquish Libya’s lifeblood: its vast oil reserves — the reason they believe the Obama administration helped them in the first place.

“They can have the petrol if they want, so long as they just leave us alone,” Zahawi said. “We waive our rights to petrol, let them take it, just don’t intervene in implementing our religion and Islamic law.”

“The liberals and secularists were all raised in the West. They were raised in openness, nakedness and decay. They know that in an Islamic state, they can’t get to their vices. That’s why they are waging a war against Islam,” Zahawi said.

Can China be Stable?

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Applebaum wonders: Can a country that trades so heavily on rumors and gossip ever really be stable?

STW: WWII & the Public Imagination

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

On Start the Week Andrew Marr discusses how World War II still grips the public imagination. Max Hastings and Antony Beevor discuss the power politics at play, ideological hypocrisy, egomania, betrayal and self-sacrifice. Juliet Gardiner discusses how military history has been largely replaced by social history, as the lives of those who lived through war and its aftermath take centre stage. And for this year’s Reith Lectures, Niall Ferguson questions whether the Western world, in the aftermath of WW2 and the Cold War, has become so in thrall to its institutions of democracy and the rule of law that it can no longer find solutions to today’s crises.

STW Discussion: The State of China

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Andrew Marr discusses the state of China with the authors Jonathan Fenby and Martin Jacques. Fenby attempts to draw together the whole of the China story to explore its global significance, but also its inner complexity and complexes. Martin Jacques has updated his bestseller, When China Rules the World, to argue that the country’s impact will be as much political and cultural, as economic. But while China’s finances make all the headlines, what of its literature? Ou Ning edits China’s version of Granta magazine, showcasing the work of contemporary Chinese authors, but must tread a careful path to keep the right side of the censors. And the academic and translator Julia Lovell argues that to understand the new spirit of China, it’s vital to read its often contrarian short fiction.

Interview: ‘Antietam’ Dissects Strategies Of North And South

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

Slotkin’s latest book about the Civil War, The Long Road to Antietam, traces how both Northern and Southern strategies changed in the summer of 1862, when both sides committed to an all-out total war and Lincoln squared off against Gen. George McClellan, an ardent Democrat who held fantasies of both a dictatorship and a military coup against the Union.

Interview: ‘The Twilight War’ Between The U.S. And Iran

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

In The Twilight War, government historian David Crist outlines the secret history of America’s 30-year conflict with Iran. The book, based on interviews with hundreds of officials as well as classified military archives, details how the covert war has spanned five American presidential terms and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare.

Crist tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that there have been several incidents that have almost resulted in battle over the past 30 years.

Crist himself observed a close call between American and Iranian vessels in 2003, when he was a member of the special operations forces.

The Constitution Packet

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Here is the Constitution packet. New and improved.