Almost seven decades after the end of the war, residual explosives that were hardly taken seriously for a long time are now coming to light in the North and Baltic Seas. Experts estimate that there are 1.6 million metric tons of conventional and chemical ammunition in German territorial waters alone, unexploded time bombs lying in or on the sea floor. The unexploded ordnance (UXO) includes giant aerial bombs weighing hundreds of kilograms, 15-kilo shells, small high-explosive shells, hand grenades, detonators and ammunition rounds, for a total of more than 50 million individual items.
Nothing like a little mustard gas to spoil your fishing trip.
Franklin, commander of the 3rd Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, said a host of details led to his decision, including that the victim turned down offers to be driven home from the party, didn’t accurately describe the house layout and gave a version of events that he did not find credible.
but it is for the defendant:
He acknowledged that Wilkerson didn’t pass a polygraph test and that there were some differences between the colonel’s version of events and his wife’s
Actually, it even means good things:
Wilkerson’s wife’s account of the events differed in some details from her husband’s, but Franklin said the conflicts suggested that the two didn’t collude on a manufactured story.
Good to know whose word counts, and whose doesn’t. This is, obviously, for values of…
Patrick Rael returns! This time with a guest post on some odd (to put it politely) ways of remembering slavery:
On Sean Hannity’s April 8 television show, Scripps Howard News Service columnist Star Parker likened modern “liberal” Democrats to antebellum slave owners.
When we look at who is behind this strategy, the liberal Democrats have not changed their M.O. This is not a new strategy, they used it during slavery. Remember, every time the word ‘freedom’ was mentioned and African Americans at that time heard about freedom — if you ran away, they would bring you back to that plantation — the overseer — the overseer today is the Congressional Black Caucus, their exclusive job is to keep them on the plantation, keep them uneducated, and keep them unarmed. And this was the same job as the overseer of the slave…
the so-called Texas model…is a weak state government with few taxes and fewer regulations and services. It would be far harder to replicate the state’s civic DNA, which features traits that can be traced to its decade, beginning in 1836, as a stand-alone nation (independent, suspicious of Washington), the late-1800s cowboy era (self-reliant, fraternal) and the 20th-century introduction of oil and entrepreneurialism (pro-business, skeptical of government). Those values, Ms. Grieder says, created a populace ideal for economic growth: “pragmatic, fiscally conservative, socially moderate and slightly disengaged.”
and then use as your examples things that are substantial government interventions:
Strict lending laws allowed Texas to dodge the worst of the housing collapse, while the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement was a boon to the state’s export…
There’s an article in the Times business section today about the use of miniature video cameras by police officers in a trial program in Rialto, CA. The article focuses largely on the technology and the way in which it allows police officers to refute false allegations of police misconduct. The expected result of such videoing would be a reduction in complaints about the police, and that’s exactly what happened, with civilian complaints dropping by 88% during the course of the study, from 24 to 3. There’s a story about civilians coming into lodge complaints, being shown the video, and–in the words of the police chief where the first experiment is taking place–”The individuals left the station with basically no other things to say and have never come back.”
There is, of course, another story here, that pokes through the article, but is pretty much ignored: the way in which camera…
This flies a bit in the face of what public health research tells us about how healthy Americans are. More than one-third are obese, according to the most recent Centers for Disease Control numbers. About 10 percent of Americans live with a chronic condition, like diabetes or high blood pressure. This data suggests there’s some space between how healthy we think we are, and how healthy we actually are.
It might be more interesting to figure out what Americans mean by “good health” rather than simply deciding that they’re wrong.
From the same genre as “The Democrats should throw the 2008 presidential election and make the GOP handle the economic crisis” and “Roe v. Wade actually hurt abortion rights,” we have the New York Times opining that the political success of the gay rights movement may–GASP!–have negative effects:
But momentum in the political world for gay rights could actually limit momentum in the legal world. While the court may throw out a federal law defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman, the justices signaled over two days of arguments that they might not feel compelled to intervene further, since the democratic process seems to be playing out on its own, state by state, elected official by elected official.
The prospect that gay rights advocates may become a victim of their own political success was underscored during arguments on Wednesday over the constitutionality of the…
Ezra Klein is a national treasure. Kenneth Pollack is not. He’s not because of gems like this (which, I’m sorry to say, E.K. brought into)
I supported Kenneth Pollack’s Iraq war.
In 2002, Pollack, a Persian Gulf expert who’d worked at the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, published “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.” Pollack’s argument, in short, was that Saddam Hussein was an unusually reckless, cruel and self-deluded dictator who either had weapons of mass destruction or was very close to attaining them. His past, which included catastrophic wars with Iran and Kuwait, murderous rampages against his own people, erratic personal behavior and a clear aspiration toward regional hegemony, suggested that he wasn’t the sort of tyrant who could be contained or reasoned with, and so Pollack’s reluctant, unhappy conclusion was that he …
G.S. Newbold, a retired Lieutenant General in the Marines, has an article in Time, entitled “Seven Myths About ‘Women in Combat.’” Like most articles with the word “myth” in the title, it implies that it is offering a clear-eyed and tough look at the issue. What it’s really doing, instead (and unsurprisingly), is giving a fresh coat of paint to the standard line of opposition to women in combat.
I can’t be bothered to do much more than offer a one sentence comment, response, or translation to his myths. I promise no fairness at all. After all, as Lt. Col Newbolt points out gravely, “‘Fair’ is not part of the direct ground combat lexicon,” although I’m unsure if “direct ground combat lexicon” is a book, a language, or a disease.
Here it goes, in order*: 1. No, it’s about women in combat, were you not there for the powerpoint? 2. What’s with this ‘women as wilting flowers who can’t …
The US News and World Report education issue is out! As ever, USNWR has taken on the critical task of ranking colleges and universities, including specific departments, and made a complete mess of the job. Kieran Healy has a couple of typically excellent posts on the subject (here and here). He concludes that USNWR‘s methods and conclusions are arrant nonsense and suggests that crowdsourcing the ranking of sociology departments might make more sense. Eric Rauchway, my once and future co-blogger, invites you to go here if you’re interested in doing the same for history departments.
The United States Senate, while directly elected, is organized in such a way as to overrepresent rural areas. The two Senators in Wyoming, for example, represent around 576,000 people, while the two Senators of California represent 38 million. That’s a massive disparity. Jamelle Boule, writing at The Prospect thinks that puts the Senate at the bottom of the global standings:
[Adam] Liptak suggests that the Senate is “the least democratic legislative chamber in any developed nation.” He’s right.
The United States Senate is hardly the only legislature that does not stick strictly to the principle of equal representation. Political scientists use the term “malapportioned” to describe the phenomenon, and it is common around the world. But the Senate is in contention for the least democratic legislative chamber
Thomas Friedman has MOOCs in his sights and that should worry all sides of the debate because Thomas Friedman operates a very large megaphone that helps shape public opinion, and also he is almost always wrong about everything. Yes, that is an ad hominem attack, a logical fallacy I became acquainted with in one of the classes I took taught by a professor in college. (Or it might have actually been in high school, I’m not sure.) I normally don’t go for ad hominem because as a teacher of writing I strongly believe that what matters are the ideas not the speaker. In this case, I’m making an exception because Thomas Friedman has demonstrated himself to be so wrong, so often, that he should no longer be…
Senator Sessions’s staff on the Budget Committee has contacted both me and my editor objecting to the item in the most strenuous terms. I have further explored the matter at length and determined that, in my haste, I treated Senator Sessions’s claims far too generously. Senator Sessions’s combination of ignorance and gross lack of intellectual standards turns out to be even more horrifying than I managed to initially communicate. Calling Sessions a “wonk McCarthyite” implies a level of policy understanding on his part that is wholly unsupported by the facts
Journalists on the campaign trail saw [President Lyndon] Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. Luckily, by the grace of God, they did not go off.
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This blog is a blog about history, Yiddishkeit, and the Muppets, neither exclusively nor necessarily in that order. And as William Gibson said about this very blog (no, really), “History can save your ass.” Yiddishkeit and the Muppets are just extras.
is the associate director of the Cornell in Washington program and a senior lecturer at Cornell University. He teaches courses on European history, modern military history, guerrilla war, and the role of popular will in waging war.
is an associate professor of history at UC Davis. He is the author of A River and Its City: The Nature of Landscape in New Orleans, which won the Abbott Lowell Cummings Prize in 2004, and his new book, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek, will be published by Harvard University Press in fall 2012.
is a professor of history at UC Davis. She is the author of Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11 (Oxford, 2009); Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley (North Carolina, 2002); and Challenging the Secret Government: The Post-Watergate Investigations of the CIA and FBI (North Carolina, 1996).