Robert Fisk explains that for ten years the U.S. and UK governments have avoided asking the one real question: Why? And Patrick Cockburn explains how "[t]he atrocities against America created the image of Osama bin Laden as the leader of a global jihad upon the West ... a fantasy that governments willingly, and disastrously, helped to perpetuate."
Gar Alperovitz explains why it was not necessary to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to persuade Japan to cede defeat. Even General bombs-away-with-Curtis LeMay was dismayed. Shortly after the bombings he stated publicly: "The war would have been over in two weeks. . . . The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all."
Walter Murch translates "The Traitor," a fine short story by Curzio Malaparte, in the most recent issue of the London Review of Books. Malaparte (1898-1957) was an Italian journalist, dramatist, short-story writer, novelist and diplomat, about whom you may read more here. He established his international fame with two war novels, Kaputt (1944) and The Skin (1949), both of which have been translated into English. Kaputt is currently in print but it looks like it's time to reprint The Skin. Today take time out to read "The Traitor." You won't be disappointed.
Truth be told, I'd never heard of Curzio Malaparte before I read this story. I sure won't forget him now.
Christopher Turner, author of Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex (London: Fourth Estate), describes here how J. D. Salinger, Saul Bellow and Norman Mailer were all devotees of the orgone energy accumulator, whose inventor, Wilhelm Reich, claimed that better orgasms could cure society's ills. Over the years some libertarians have been interested in Reich, not least because he was a victim of FBI and FDA repression.
This would make a good movie.
The West likes to think of the Taliban as brainwashed fanatics, but their wit and guile in combat – and beyond – is not to be dismissed. And an audacious prison break has proved this beyond doubt, argues Patrick Cockburn.
The United States has around 6,000 military bases on its own soil and more than 1,000 worldwide. The Campaign for the Accountability of American Bases is a British organization that asks questions about U.S. bases in the UK and worldwide. Their website is worth a look. If we're going to have states, I'd rather we have national sovereignty in a world of nation-states than imperialism under any guise, not least humanitarian intervention, so it would be a good thing if the UK would kick 'em out. Fat chance, I know, but there's no harm hoping.
John Hospers, who last Thursday celebrated his ninety-third birthday, died Sunday. He was a philosopher of note and the first LP candidate for president (in 1972).
Iceland has a history of resisting outside domination, of which a notable example was the 1949 anti-NATO riot. U.S. troops finally left Iceland in 2006. Of course, Koreans and Japanese (and many other peoples) are still waiting for the U.S. military to leave their countries.
For a different perspective that emphasizes the role of communists, see the work of PorWhitehead.
"Liberal academics have not the slightest interest in the Constitution, since the document doesn’t address issues of tenure and preferment. They evince similar loathing for the jury, putting their faith in 'good judges'."
Anyone who can write these lines can't be all bad, indeed I'd say he's on point.
All this reminds me of Professor Joel Spring's work [pdf] on schooling, not least his Education and the Rise of the Corporate State (Boston: Beacon Press, 1972), A Primer of Libertarian Education (New York: Free Life Editions; Montreal: Black Rose Books, 1975) and The Sorting Machine: National educational policy since 1945 (New York: McKay, 1976; updated edition, 1988), books that today's critics of state schooling would do well to read.
But he concludes,"If the film-makers really want to win over the public to Rand's ideas, however, they are going to have to do a lot more to turn Atlas Shrugged into a complete, coherent work, rather than a truncated half-successful experiment."
I don't have the patience or the time for many videos but I think you'll agree this fascinating TV report is worth the time you'll spend watching it.