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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Editor & Publisher
SOURCE: Editor & Publisher (11-30-05)
"Totally fact-based," replied Garry Trudeau, in response to an E&P e-mail query. "Bush's comment in panel seven is a direct quote, which is why I put it in quotation marks. In the original Yale Daily News expose, we ran a photo of a pledge's seared backside."
According to a 1967 NY Times article, "The charge that has caused the most controversy on the Yale campus is that Delta Kappa Epsilon applied a 'hot branding iron' to the small of the back of its 40 new members in the shape of the Greek letter Delta, approximately a half inch wide, appeared with the article." It added that a former president of Delta revealed that "the branding is done with a hot coathanger. But the former president, George Bush, a Yale senior, said that the resulting wound is 'only a cigarette burn.'"
Name of source: Romanesko
SOURCE: Romanesko (11-30-05)
Name of source: NYT
"The Council just felt that this was a no-win situation," said Peter F. Varney, assistant city manager, explaining the 4-to-2 City Council vote on Monday to abandon the effort to commemorate Dr. King's November 1962 visit with a statue in a local park.
Some scholars believe that a speech Dr. King gave at the high school may have been the first time he used the phase, "I have a dream."
"No matter what we decided to do it was going to be criticized," Mr. Varney said. "We decided to spend the money on more pressing city problems."
For the past two years, this city of 57,000 about 50 miles east of Raleigh has not been able to agree on a likeness of Dr. King, though it hired two sculptors and spent more than $56,000 on one statue and $15,000 on the clay model for another.
The other portrait, which had been owned by Alexander Hamilton and depicted Washington seated with a sword across his lap, sold for $8.1 million to an unidentified telephone bidder. Sotheby's predicted that it would go for $10 million to $15 million. Still, the price was a record for an American portrait at auction.
The works are among 16 paintings, watercolors and sculptures that the New York Public Library put on the block yesterday to raise money for its endowment. The decision, announced in April, drew protests from many art lovers and museum curators who said they felt that the library was jettisoning treasures central to the civic history of New York.
SEWANEE, Tenn. - The flags from Southern states disappeared from the chapel. The ceremonial baton dedicated to a Confederate general who helped found the Ku Klux Klan vanished. The very name of the University of the South was tweaked, becoming Sewanee: The University of the South, with decided emphasis on Sewanee.
It all seemed eminently sensible to university administrators looking to appeal beyond the privileged white children of the South, who have long been the university's base, and become a more national, selective and racially diverse university.
But the changes have sparked a passionate debate among alumni, many of whom view them as a betrayal of their history.
Some traditionalists say they fear that the name of the university's guest house, Rebel's Rest, will be next to go and that a monument donated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy commemorating Edmund Kirby-Smith, a Confederate general who taught at the university for nearly 20 years, will be removed.
"I think they ought to leave it the way it is," said Dr. David W. Aiken, an alumnus who is an orthopedic surgeon in Metairie, La. "I wouldn't be for changing anything. I think they're doing quite well. What is the purpose of making it a more national school? Do I want kids from California, New York coming there? Not really."
Regina Wicks Schatz and Earl Mazo were married this past weekend by Rabbi George B. Driesen at the Pooks Hill Marriott in Bethesda, Md.
Mr. Mazo, 86, retired as the head of the Joint Committee on Printing of the United States Congress, for which he supervised all official publications. Before that he was a political reporter for The New York Herald Tribune
The 470 pages of documents, which consist mainly of memorandums Mr. Alito wrote as a deputy assistant attorney general in the office of legal counsel in 1986 and 1987, generally address routine matters or highly technical legal issues. In several of the memorandums, however, Mr. Alito makes a series of arguments espousing a broad view of law enforcement authority and a skeptical view of proposals to protect individuals from legal investigations.
Mr. Alito, who is now a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, wrote the memorandums as a lawyer enacting the policies of the administration, not necessarily expressing his personal legal opinions.
But the disclosure comes at a time when liberal opponents of his nomination are buying television advertisements suggesting that as a judge on the Third Circuit, Judge Alito wrote dissenting opinions that would have reduced protections against police searches, including one regarding a strip search of a 10-year-old girl.
Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the White House, said those accusations ignored other opinions Judge Alito wrote that protected defendants against improper police searches. "The criticisms by some outside-of-the-mainstream groups are deeply unfair because Judge Alito has shown a great respect for individual rights with regard to criminal prosecutions during his tenure as a federal judge," Mr. Schmidt said. "The attacks that are being directed against him don't bear any resemblance to the reality of his career."
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, facing her first crisis since taking office last week, called on Ms. Osthoff's kidnappers today to release the archaeologist."We condemn this act in the harshest possible terms," Mrs. Merkel said in a brief statement to the press."We urgently appeal to the perpetrators to hand both of them over into safe custody." Mrs. Merkel said that the government had set up a crisis committee to deal with the kidnapping, and she told Ms. Osthoff's family in Germany that everything would be done to secure her release."They can rest assured," Mrs. Merkel said of the family,"that the government will do everything in its power to bring both the kidnapped to safety and to secure their lives." Ms. Osthoff's kidnapping was already riveting a German public that has long been among Europe's most skeptical in its attitude toward the Iraq war, which Germany has opposed from the beginning. Germany has consistently refused to send troops to Iraq, and Mrs. Merkel has vowed not to change that policy. But she has also said she would continue Germany's ongoing training of Iraqi police in the United Arab Emirates, an activity that the kidnappers apparently were referring to in their demand that Germany stop cooperating with the Iraqi government.
Although her cutesies - like Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter - may not have gone to wizard school, they bring as much mischief and adventure to the pre-kindergarten crowd as Harry and his playmates do to their older brothers and sisters.
As might be expected, there is a Beatrix Potter Society; founded in 1980 to promote the study of Potter's life and work, it has some 800 members around the world. The society wanted to have its 25th annual conference this year in conjunction with a Potter show. Enter the new-ish Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art here, a first-rate children's exhibition center that was approached by the society almost before its opening, in 2002. It was founded by Mr. Carle, himself a famous children's book illustrator.
A result is "Beatrix Potter in America," a show of original artwork and other Potter ephemera from American collections. The exhibition was paid for in part by the society, which held its three-day conference at the museum earlier this month.
SOURCE: NYT (11-26-05`)
"It allows our young people to understand, really, how this city was born and who carried the brunt of the prosperity that we see in New York, not only then but now," a black man from "Harlem, New York," said of the show, the largest in the museum's 201-year history. The man, who appeared to be in his 30's, said he wanted to know what businesses in the city today derived profits in the past from selling human beings.
A white lawyer went into the booth twice to sort out his feelings. "This has just been devastating," he said. As he looked at the exhibition's array of documents, he said, he realized that the some of the laws used to isolate and dehumanize enslaved black New Yorkers became custom after the laws vanished and "contributed to the way whites look at blacks," even today.
SOURCE: NYT (11-26-05)
Williams was black, and in 1936, the year he completed the red brick English-country-style residence, African-Americans were barred by restrictive covenants and prevailing biases from owning property in the best parts of the city.
Williams, a pre-eminent Southern California architect, lived instead in a modest house of his own design in Lafayette Square, one of the few upper-middle-class neighborhoods then open to blacks.
By the time he died in 1980, black celebrities were moving into Beverly Hills and Bel Air. The Landau House, meanwhile, named for the South African merchant who commissioned it, would continue passing from owner to owner, among them Bruce McNall, who built a vast fortune as a coin collector before going to prison for fraud, and Ronald O. Perelman, Revlon's chairman.
When it became clear that the 10,000-square-foot house would be an impediment to the expansion plans of its current owner, the elite prep school Harvard-Westlake, preservationists and neighborhood residents joined in demanding that it not be destroyed, and school officials promised to find a buyer willing to move it. They succeeded.
Mr. Irving is still remembered as the writer who nearly pulled off one of the most audacious scams in publishing: an "autobiography" of Howard Hughes, based on in-person interviews of the reclusive billionaire, which was in fact completely bogus.
"The Hoax," directed by Mr. Hallstrom, with a permed and sideburned Richard Gere as the 70's-era Mr. Irving, also stars Alfred Molina as Mr. Irving's co-writer and sidekick, Richard Suskind, and Marcia Gay Harden as Mr. Irving's wife Edith. Filmed over 49 days, mostly in and around New York City, the picture is set for release by Miramax Films next year.
But Mr. Irving is already complaining that the film takes so many creative liberties, that it will be "a hoax about a hoax."
Among the group's members was Samuel Alito. Though there's no evidence he was an active participant in the group, he boasted of his membership when applying for a job with the Reagan administration in the mid-1980s.
When the White House disclosed the application this month, liberal groups opposed to his nomination pounced on the connection. "The question for senators to consider and to ask is why Samuel Alito would brag about his membership in an organization known for its fervent hostility to the inclusion of women and minorities at Princeton," said Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way.
Steve Schmidt, a White House spokesman, declined to comment. But former leaders of Concerned Alumni say they do not remember the group objecting to the inclusion of minorities, only to the university's affirmative action policies.
So what makes one Washington more valuable than another?
"When we were assessing, one couldn't help but seize on the fact that the Constable-Hamilton painting is unique," said Dara Mitchell, director of Sotheby's American paintings department. "There is not another one like it."
Painted in Philadelphia in 1797, it was commissioned by the New York merchant William Kerin Constable for Alexander Hamilton. Scholars say he may have given the work to Hamilton in gratitude for his support of a 1795 treaty that ended Britain's seizure of American ships trading with the West Indies.
The painting stayed in the Hamilton family until 1896, when it was bequeathed to the Lenox Library, which later merged with the Astor Library and the Tilden Trust to become the New York Public Library.
[Click on the Source link above for an interactive graphic.]
Among those courses are "Christianity's Influence in American History" and "Christianity and American Literature," both of which draw on textbooks published by Bob Jones University of Greenville, S.C., which describes itself as having stood for "the absolute authority of the Bible since 1927."
The plaintiffs, the Association of Christian Schools International, which represents more than 800 schools in California, and the Calvary Chapel Christian School of Murrieta, Calif., contend that their students are being discriminated against because of their religious beliefs. The university system counters that it has the right to set its own standards.
"United States History for Christian Schools," written by Timothy Keesee and Mark Sidwell (Bob Jones University, 2001), says this about Thomas Jefferson.
American believers can appreciate Jefferson's rich contribution to the development of their nation, but they must beware of his view of Christ as a good teacher but not the incarnate son of God. As the Apostle John said, "Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" (I John 2:22).
Slavery, which most historians look at politically or economically, is seen as "an excellent example of the far-reaching consequences of sin."
The sin in this case was greed - greed on the part of African tribal leaders, on the part of slave traders and on the part of slave owners, all of whom allowed their love for profit to outweigh their love for their fellow man. The consequences of such greed and racism extended across society and far into the future. It resulted in untold suffering-most obviously for the black race but for the white race as well. ... The Lord has never exaggerated in warning us of sin's devastating consequences - for us and for our descendants (Exodus 34:7).
The book also criticizes the progressive movement championed by Theodore Roosevelt, and the Progressives themselves.
On the whole, they believed that man is basically good and that human nature might be improved. ... Such a belief, of course, ignored the biblical teaching that man is sinful by nature (Ephesians 2:1-3). Progressives therefore also ignored the fact that the fallible men who built the corrupt institutions that they attacked were the same in nature as those who filled the political offices and staffed the regulatory agencies that were supposed to control the corruption.
SOURCE: NYT (11-28-05)
The Hopewell Indians used sharp sticks and clamshells here 2,000 years ago to sculpture seven million cubic feet of dirt into a sprawling lunar observatory and the spiritual center of their far-flung empire.
Today it is an easy Par 3 flanked by sand traps shaped like kidney beans.
But now there is an eagerness among many people to see moonrises from the mounds the way the Indians did, a desire that has caused a conflict with the golf club.
The Newark Earthworks, which make up the world's largest ancient mound site, lingered in obscurity 30 miles east of Columbus until five years ago, when the country club announced plans for a new clubhouse. The design included a foundation that would have dug into the mounds.
Not only did the club not win permission for a new building, but its request led to an organized protest campaign, organized by local professors and American Indians. Some residents, newly aware of the landmark in their backyards, began to question whether the country club should exist at all.
"Playing golf on a Native American spiritual site is a fundamental desecration," said Richard Shiels, a history professor at Ohio State University's Newark campus who is leading the fight to expand public access.
The earthworks range in height from 3 to 14 feet and once sprawled over four square miles. They include an octagon large enough to hold four Roman Colosseums; two parallel mounds connect it to a circle that encloses 20 acres. Their construction required decades of labor.
SOURCE: NYT (11-28-05)
The scores, which belonged to an anonymous Polish collector, include works by Verdi, Josef Rixner, Carl Robrecht, Heinrich Strecker and Franz von Suppé. Many are handwritten and bear the seal of the camp, a museum spokesman said. The scores are signed by prisoners who were in the orchestra, using their inmate numbers.
Still, there are a few stories of inconclusive wars that left the United States in a more dignified position, including the continuing American presence in South Korea and the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. But even those stand in stark contrast to the happier legacy of total victory during World War II.
Alongside the dampening of hopes, there has also been a fair amount of historical revisionism regarding the darker tales of conflicts past: a considered sense that if the superpowers had made different decisions, things could have turned out more palatably, and that they still might in Iraq.
Maybe not surprisingly, Vietnam is the focus of some of the most interesting revisionism, including some of it immediately relevant to Iraq, where the intensive effort to train Iraqi security forces to defend their own country closely mirrors the "Vietnamization" program in South Vietnam. If Congress had not voted to kill the financing for South Vietnam and its armed forces in 1975, argues Melvin R. Laird in a heavily read article in the current issue of Foreign Affairs, Saigon might never have fallen.
"Congress snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by cutting off funding for our ally in 1975," wrote Mr. Laird, who was President Nixon's defense secretary from 1969 to 1973, when the United States pulled its hundreds of thousands of troops out of Vietnam.
In an interview, Mr. Laird conceded that the American departure from Vietnam was not a pretty sight. "Hell, the pictures of them getting in those helicopters were not good pictures," he said, referring to the chaotic evacuation of the American embassy two years after Vietnamization was complete, and a year after Nixon resigned. But on the basis of his what-if about Vietnam, Mr. Laird does not believe that all is lost in Iraq.
"There is a dignified way out, and I think that's the Iraqization of the forces over there," Mr. Laird said, "and I think we're on the right track on that."
Many analysts have disputed the core of that contention, saying that large swaths of the Iraqi security forces are so inept they may never be capable of defending their country against the insurgents without the American military backing them up. But Mr. Laird is not alone in his revisionist take and its potential application to Iraq.
William Stueck, a history professor at the University of Georgia who has written several books on Korea, calls himself a liberal but says he buys Mr. Laird's basic analysis of what went wrong with Vietnamization.
Korea reveals how easy it is to dismiss the effectiveness of local security forces prematurely, Mr. Stueck said. In 1951, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway felt deep frustration when Chinese offensives broke through parts of the line defended by poorly led South Korean troops.
But by the summer of 1952, with intensive training, the South Koreans were fighting more effectively, Mr. Stueck said. "Now, they needed backup" by Americans, he said. By 1972, he said, South Korean troops were responsible for 70 percent of the front line.
Name of source: National Geographic
SOURCE: National Geographic (11-30-05)
"Absolutely, as far as we know, this was unprecedented," said Keith Blackwell, a researcher at the University of South Alabama's Coastal Weather Research Center in Mobile.
There's a long list of reasons why this hurricane season, which ends Wednesday, will be regarded as one for the ages:
• The 26 named storms that formed made it the most active season on record. The previous record of 21 storms was set in 1933.
• The 2005 season also produced new records for the most hurricanes (13) and the most "major" hurricanes (7), ranking as Category Three or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The scale rates hurricanes from one to five according to wind speeds and potential for causing damage.
• Four major hurricanes made landfall in the U.S., a new record.
• Five storms formed in July, a new record for that month. One of those storms—Hurricane Dennis—was the most powerful July storm on record.
• Three hurricanes—Katrina, Rita, and Wilma—reached Category Five status on the Saffir-Simpson scale. That's also a new record.
• Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana on August 29, essentially destroyed New Orleans with a storm surge that flooded the city and made much of it uninhabitable. More than 1,300 people were killed by the hurricane, most of them in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. ...
Name of source: Itar-Tass (Belarus)
SOURCE: Itar-Tass (Belarus) (11-30-05)
Research done by historians and archaeologists at the beginning of the 1990s indicated that tens of thousands or maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent people were killed in this part of Minsk in the 1930s-1940s.
A special governmental commission said these people were the victims of Stalinist repressions.
The memorial complex has been vandalised several times before.
Name of source: Haaretz
SOURCE: Haaretz (11-30-05)
In his strongest comments on the Holocaust since his election in April, the 78-year-old Pope spoke about a Biblical psalm recalling the destruction of Jerusalem in the Old Testament and the Babylonian exile of Jews.
Addressing thousands of pilgrims at his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square, the Pope said God, as the ultimate arbiter of history, knows how to listen to "the cries of the victims," even if they are sometimes bitter towards him.
"It was almost a symbolic foretelling of the extermination camps in which the Jewish people were subjected to as part of infamous project of death which remains an indelible shame on the history of humanity," he said.
Benedict has in the past condemned the evil associated with the Nazis in his homeland. During his trip to Germany in August, he said Germans will always have to acknowledge it with shame and suffering.
The pope served briefly in the Hitler Youth during the war when membership of the Nazi paramilitary organization was compulsory, although he was never a member of the party and his family opposed Hitler's regime.
The pope has made relations between Catholics and Jews one of the priorities of his pontificate, meeting Jewish leaders and visiting the main synagogue of Cologne during his August trip to Germany.
Name of source: The Australian
SOURCE: The Australian (11-30-05)
In what was arguably the final act of the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese backed Pathet Lao communists who had overrun the landlocked Southeast nation formally created the Lao People's Democratic Republic on December 2, 1975.
For the nation's five million people, and in particular its present rulers, the date marks the start of a golden era of stability after the trials of French colonialism in the first half of the 20th century and the horrors of the Vietnam War in the second.
Despite official low key celebrations, the military chose the run-up to the anniversary to open the Lao People's History Army Museum, a temple to nationalism and the communist struggle.
"Long live the day", a military choir sang as a prelude to the ribbon cutting ceremony. "We will never forget December 2, even though the revolution is under a new sky now."
Hundreds of soldiers then swarmed into view along with the Chinese tanks and Russian artillery used first against French colonialists, American imperialists and extreme right wingers from neighbouring Thailand in the 1980s.
"This museum makes me feel very proud because it will teach the younger generation about history and the war heroes," said Somporn Kheovichai, a 60-year-old general displaying medals earned from conflicts against the French and the Americans.
Apart from exhortations to fly the red and gold hammer and sickle flag from their windows, residents of the sleepy capital have also been receiving a history lesson.
The official Vientiane Times carried a lengthy tribute to the country's first president, Souphanouvong - ironically a French-educated prince who went on to lead the Pathet Lao guerrillas against the royalist government in the capital.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (11-30-05)
Capitol Police officer Dan Kurtz said two people in the Jefferson Building, located across the street from the Capitol, complained of feeling faint. One was treated at the scene and another was taken to a local hospital.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (11-30-05)
"John Seigenthaler Sr. was the assistant to Attorney General Robert Kennedy in the early 1960's. For a brief time, he was thought to have been directly involved in the Kennedy assassinations of both John, and his brother, Bobby. Nothing was ever proven." -- Wikipedia
This is a highly personal story about Internet character assassination. It could be your story.
[Editor's Note: This is a longer than normal Breaking News piece.]
I have no idea whose sick mind conceived the false, malicious "biography" that appeared under my name for 132 days on Wikipedia, the popular, online, free encyclopedia whose authors are unknown and virtually untraceable.
There was more: "John Seigenthaler moved to the Soviet Union in 1971, and returned to the United States in 1984," Wikipedia said. "He started one of the country's largest public relations firms shortly thereafter."
At age 78, I thought I was beyond surprise or hurt at anything negative said about me. I was wrong. One sentence in the biography was true. I was Robert Kennedy's administrative assistant in the early 1960s. I also was his pallbearer. It was mind-boggling when my son, John Seigenthaler, journalist with NBC News, phoned later to say he found the same scurrilous text on Reference.com and Answers.com.
I had heard for weeks from teachers, journalists and historians about "the wonderful world of Wikipedia," where millions of people worldwide visit daily for quick reference "facts," composed and posted by people with no special expertise or knowledge -- and sometimes by people with malice.
At my request, executives of the three websites now have removed the false content about me. But they don't know, and can't find out, who wrote the toxic sentences.
I phoned Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder and asked, "Do you ... have any way to know who wrote that?"
"No, we don't," he said. Representatives of the other two websites said their computers are programmed to copy data verbatim from Wikipedia, never checking whether it is false or factual.
Searching cyberspace for the identity of people who post spurious information can be frustrating. I found on Wikipedia the registered IP (Internet Protocol) number of my "biographer"-- 65-81-97-208. I traced it to a customer of BellSouth Internet. That company advertises a phone number to report "Abuse Issues." An electronic voice said all complaints must be e-mailed. My two e-mails were answered by identical form letters, advising me that the company would conduct an investigation but might not tell me the results. It was signed "Abuse Team."
After three weeks, hearing nothing further about the Abuse Team investigation, I phoned BellSouth's Atlanta corporate headquarters, which led to conversations between my lawyer and BellSouth's counsel. My only remote chance of getting the name, I learned, was to file a "John or Jane Doe" lawsuit against my "biographer." Major communications Internet companies are bound by federal privacy laws that protect the identity of their customers, even those who defame online. Only if a lawsuit resulted in a court subpoena would BellSouth give up the name.
Federal law also protects online corporations -- BellSouth, AOL, MCI Wikipedia, etc. -- from libel lawsuits. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, passed in 1996, specifically states that "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker." That legalese means that, unlike print and broadcast companies, online service providers cannot be sued for disseminating defamatory attacks on citizens posted by others.
[Please see USA Today for more.]
SOURCE: USA Today (11-29-05)
She was arrested for refusing to give her seat on a city bus to a white passenger — nine months before Rosa Parks' same act of quiet defiance launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott in December 1955.
From here, the civil rights movement swept across the South, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. becoming its primary voice. Parks went on to become an icon, "mother of the civil rights movement" and the first woman to lie in honor at the U.S. Capitol after her death in October. Colvin, who had flirted with immortality at age 15, faded into decades of obscurity.
Yet Colvin believes her actions on March 2, 1955, helped pave the way for Parks. That belief is shared by Fred Gray, the chief legal strategist of the bus boycott, which lasted for 381 days until the city ended its policy of segregation on buses.
This week, Colvin, Gray and four other lesser-known but pivotal boycott figures will get a measure of recognition. They — and all the ordinary Montgomery blacks who made the boycott succeed — will be honored Thursday at a reception marking the opening of a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit on Rosa Parks and the bus boycott. The exhibit premieres Friday at the Alabama State Capitol.
Name of source: Christian Science Monitor
SOURCE: Christian Science Monitor (11-30-05)
Not every publisher was impressed when Chris Ayres pitched a book in 2004 about his adventures as an unprepared young reporter plopped into the middle of the Iraq war a year earlier.
"The biggest criticism was that it was old," recalls Mr. Ayres, a Los Angeles-based correspondent for the Times of London who eventually found a publisher. "The world moves a lot faster now, doesn't it?"
It certainly does, at least in American bookstores. Near-instant memoirs about the Iraq war are all the rage, and Ayres's acclaimed new book "War Reporting for Cowards," is actually a little behind the times. Some of the newer memoirs cover events that happened less than a year ago.
It's clear that instantaneous war reportage and battlefront Internet access are feeding the desire to publish war books quickly. During the initial phases of the war, Ayres says, "you almost had TV cameras mounted on top of the bullets. It was immediate coverage." But what's less clear is if the hurry-up trend indicates a major change in how authors report on their war experiences.
Now, there are at least half a dozen critically acclaimed new Iraq war books by soldiers and reporters. They tend to be wry and even funny, but often, like the most memorable war memoirs, tinged with moments of horror.
Name of source: WP
SOURCE: WP (11-29-05)
He was in Germany, assembling a film to be used at the Nuremberg trials as evidence against the Nazis. Riefenstahl, the legendary director and propagandist for Hitler, knew where the skeletons were. So Schulberg, dressed in his military uniform, drove to her chalet on a lake in Bavaria, knocked on her door, and told the panicked artist that she was coming with him.
I tried to calm her down," says Schulberg, 91, remembering in a thin, dry voice an episode more than a half-century distant. But he needed her to identify the seemingly endless gallery of faces on film that he had been collecting. So, very much against her will, he drove her to Nuremberg in an inelegant open-air military vehicle, and listened to a sad and defensive argument that would define the rest of her life, and that no one would ever believe.
"She gave me the usual song and dance," he says. "She said, 'Of course, you know, I'm really so misunderstood. I'm not political.' "
The role of Schulberg and his brother Stuart in making films that indicted the Nazis is the subject of a public conversation at 7 this evening at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Along with Stuart's daughter, Sandra Schulberg (also in the family business and producer of the film "Quills"), Budd Schulberg will discuss the frenzied months after V-E Day when the victorious allies tried to build a public, legal and permanently discrediting case against the vanquished totalitarian regime.
They were attempting to provide what the lead prosecutor at Nuremberg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, would call, in his opening statement, "undeniable proofs of incredible events." And they were doing it on the fly. Between June 1945 and the opening of the trial on Nov. 21, Schulberg's team worked through 10 million feet of film. They would fly regularly from Berlin, where they had set up a studio, to Nuremberg, where they were coordinating their material with the prosecutors preparing the U.S. part of the Allied legal case. They were, in many ways, helping to define what the Nazi era had meant -- the ideology, the ambition, the racism and the mechanics of the National Socialists' rise to power.
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (11-29-05)
Today, one of the few organizations standing between architectural extinction and salvation is Global Heritage Fund, a California-based nonprofit organization founded in 2001 by Jeff Morgan -- a Silicon Valley scion, and a 16-year veteran of that high-tech world himself -- and archaeological expert Ian Hodder.
Mr. Morgan, 43, switched careers after an old family friend, Steven McCormick, now the president and CEO of Nature Conservancy, suggested a job change. Having just cashed out of his second high-tech start-up, he took the advice to heart, launching this new venture that focuses on restoring endangered world heritage sites. In just four years, the organization has raised more than $5.2 million (plus an additional $4 million in matching funds from local governments) for 10 major sites world-wide, including the ruins of the Champa kingdom of the fourth to 13th centuries in My Son, Vietnam, and the ancient city of Kars, in Eastern Turkey, which dates back to the Ottoman Empire.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (11-29-05)
Post, in Waterbury, Conn., was founded as a private university in 1890, and has always had a strong vocational orientation. The university has seen some radical changes in governance. In 1990, Post became one of several American colleges that affiliated with the Teikyo Group, from Japan. Post became Teikyo Post University. Last year, when Teikyo pulled out, private investors purchased Post and it traded in its nonprofit status to become a for-profit (and profitable) entity.
Now the university — with about 1,400 students — plans to stop offering liberal arts degrees and to focus on academic programs directly linked to careers. No full-time faculty members will lose their jobs. But there will be shifts in priorities for adjunct hiring — and part-time faculty members teach a major proportion of classes at Post.
Jon Jay De Temple, president of Post for the last five years, said that he believes the institution needs focus. “We’re not big enough to do everything for everybody,” he said.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (11-25-05)
On Christmas Day 64 years ago the hall was not a place to party. Around 150 of this country town's Jews were rounded up, penned here, robbed of their valuables, and put on cattle wagons bound for the concentration camps of fascist Croatia's Ustasha state. They all perished, along with hundreds of other local Jews and Serbs. By 1942 the town's entire Jewish community, the oldest in the central and eastern part of Croatia called Slavonia, were wiped out.
The police chief in what was then a small town of 7,000 was a young Zagreb-trained lawyer called Milivoj Asner. Now 92 and living in the southern Austrian city of Klagenfurt, Mr Asner both denies and indirectly confirms his role in the pogroms. "I was just the town police chief, dealing with traffic offences, petty crime, thievery," he told the Guardian. "I did not hate Jews as such. I have many Jewish friends."
But for Efraim Zuroff, the Israeli-American Nazi-hunter who has inherited the mission of the late Simon Wiesenthal, the Asner case is at the centre of his Operation Last Chance - his campaign, mainly in eastern and southern post-communist Europe, to bring ageing war crimes suspects to justice before they die. "As Simon would say," said Mr Zuroff, "he who ignores the murderers of the past paves the way for the murderers of the future. But it's very difficult in eastern Europe for these post-communist societies to face up to their complicity in genocide."
As head of the Jerusalem-based Simon Wiesenthal Centre, Mr Zuroff is trailing dozens of Nazi suspects from Estonia to Romania to Australia. The copious documents unearthed by a young Croatian amateur historian on the Asner case, said Mr Zuroff, makes this case the most promising of more than 80 he has forwarded to authorities in nine countries. "This case is highly important," he said. "It's fully documented. There's an extradition request, there's an arrest warrant. It's the nearest we've got to a trial."
After heading Pozega's police in 1941-42 Mr Asner disappeared amid the chaos of the early post-war years, fleeing Croatia, where the victorious communist authorities quickly named him as a war criminal, to Austria where he obtained Austrian citizenship.
And that was that for the next 50 years until Alen Budaj, then a 19-year-old amateur historian from Pozega, started researching the fate of the town's Jewish community and obtained documents allegedly incriminating the former police chief. He discovered Mr Asner had been living prosperously in Austria since 1945, but had returned to his hometown, Daruvar, near Pozega, in the early 90s when the extreme nationalist President Franjo Tudjman was in power. Mr Asner felt welcome.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-26-05)
In The Crime of Napoleon, Claude Ribbe accuses the emperor of genocide, gassing rebellious blacks more than a century before the Nazis' extermination of the Jews.
His accusations refer to the extreme methods used to put down a ferocious uprising in Haiti at the start of the 19th century. Then known as San Domingo, the colony was considered a jewel of the French empire and to save it troops launched a campaign to kill all blacks aged over 12.
"In simple terms, Napoleon ordered the killing of as many blacks as possible in Haiti and Guadeloupe to be replaced by new, docile slaves from Africa," Ribbe said yesterday.
He said he had found accounts from officers who refused to take part in the massacres, especially the use of sulphur dioxide to kill slaves held in ships' holds.
His book is already provoking controversy prior to its publication on Thursday. The newspaper France Soir juxtaposed images of Napoleon and Hitler yesterday before asking: "Did Napoleon invent the Final Solution?"
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (11-25-05)
Miss Bell, a renowned archaeologist, brilliant linguist and Arabist, had drawn up the new state's borders and become the confidante of the country's first Hashemite monarch, King Faisal.
She wrote to her father: "As we rode back through the [Baghdad] suburb where all the people know me and salute me when I pass, my friend Nuri Said turned to me and said, 'For a hundred years they will talk of the fine lady riding by.' I think they very likely will."
Miss Bell's forecast now looks optimistic indeed. She is being quietly forgotten as her legacy - the shape of modern Iraq - appears threatened by the hatreds between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
Her tomb, in the British Civil Cemetery in central Baghdad, has been abandoned to the ravages of time. Her limestone marker is crumbling to dust, as are the cracked gravestones and shattered statues marking the final resting places of her countrymen.
There is a custodian, Ali Mansur, who lives on a dirty mattress in a half-collapsed shack in a far corner. But he says he receives no money and that "conservation" is limited to picking up the fragments when a memorial cracks and placing them on the surface of the grave.
Name of source: WRKO Boston
SOURCE: WRKO Boston (11-29-05)
The law, passed quietly this year, requires school textbooks to address France’s "positive role" in its former colonies.
France’s lower house, in a 183-94 vote, rejected an effort by the opposition Socialists to kill the law. Passage would have been unusual, since the effort to overturn the law came from the conservative government’s political enemies.
The law has embarrassed conservative President Jacques Chirac and threatens to delay the signing of a friendship treaty between France and the North African nation of Algeria. France’s one-time colonial jewel won independence in 1962 after a brutal eight-year conflict France only recently called a war.
Education Minister Gilles de Robien said last month that textbooks would not be changed, despite the law. However, the Socialists said the measure was offensive to former colonies and French citizens with roots there, and should be erased.
The debate comes on the heels of three weeks of unrest by youths in France’s poor suburbs _ many of them immigrants or of North African origin. The troubles were widely seen as a desperate cry for equality by a population shunted to the margins of mainstream society.
Jean-Marc Ayrault, head of the Socialist group in the National Assembly, the lower chamber, said the law was a political and educational aberration.
"Today we can repair this mistake, because it is a mistake," he said on France-Inter radio before the debate.
"Our history, if we want it to be shared by French citizens as a whole, must recognize both glorious achievements, but also the darker moments with lucidity, without there being an official history decided by parliamentarians."
Lawmakers from the governing conservative UMP party passed the law in February when only a handful of deputies were present. It came under full public scrutiny only in recent months with a petition by history teachers. It was denounced at a recent annual meeting of historians.
The language that offends stipulates that "school programs recognize in particular the positive character of the French overseas presence, notably in North Africa."
Name of source: Los Angeles Times
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times (11-29-05)
Other members of the induction class announced Monday were Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blondie.
For a second consecutive year, hip-hop's prime candidate, Grandmaster Flash, failed to gather the necessary support from the 700 rock historians overseeing nominee selection.
"Rap is the most important cultural phenomenon this country has ever exported," Russell Simmons, a trailblazing hip-hop business owner, said Monday. "I shudder to think that an institution like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame can continue to exist and ignore hip-hop."
"It's blasphemous," added Public Enemy frontman Chuck D. "We can't afford to have another piece of black art history go undocumented."
Acts are eligible 25 years after releasing their first recording. Musicians who debuted in 1980 could be elected this year, but the hall's nomination committee found exactly zero names from that field worthy of induction.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (11-29-05)
The map foresaw the nuclear annihilation of Poland and was dotted with red mushroom clouds over the German cities of Munich, Cologne, Stuttgart and the site of NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
It was revealed Friday by Polish Defense Minister Radek Sikorski, a staunch anti-communist who went into exile in Britain in the 1980s to oppose Poland’s Moscow-backed communist rulers.
By declassifying some 1,700 volumes of a Soviet-led military bloc’s files, Sikorski and Poland’s other new conservative leaders risk antagonizing Russian leaders, who rue the loss of their superpower status with the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
"This could worsen Russian-Polish relations," said Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the magazine Russia in Global Affairs. "At this point, there is no more destructive topic for Russian-Polish relations than the historic one."
Historians have known about Moscow’s communist-era willingness to make Poland a nuclear battlefield in the event of war with the West, but the plan’s disclosure brings the vivid facts to the wider public.
The entire trove of information in the archives, which also includes documents on the Warsaw Pact’s 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia to crush a democracy movement, is expected to be made public in January, meaning other surprises could surface.
Led by the Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact was formed in the Polish capital in 1955 as the communist bloc’s counterbalance to NATO. It was dissolved in 1991 after the fall of communism.
Leon Kieres, head of Poland’s National Remembrance Institute, which will take over the archives from the Defense Ministry, said he had not yet seen all the documents and it wasn’t immediately clear what they hold.
By releasing them, Poland is making the point that Moscow no longer pulls the strings here.
SOURCE: AP (11-29-05)
While Parks was remembered for helping start the modern civil rights movement by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man on Dec. 1, 1955, it took some 40,000 blacks in Montgomery to back her with their own defiance.
Led by the Montgomery Improvement Association and its president, the Rev.
Martin Luther King Jr., they used car pools and church vehicles during a yearlong boycott of the city's segregated buses. The boycott ended when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the segregation was unconstitutional.
``Before (Parks) passed we decided this would be an opportunity to honor any and everybody, known and unknown,'' said Robert White, chairman of the anniversary committee. ``We are going to pay more attention to unsung heroes and average participants of the boycott.''
The 50th anniversary will acknowledge the contributions of people like Mary Louis Smith, Claudette Colvin and E.D. Nixon who are vital to the history of the protest, White said.
Smith and Colvin also were arrested for refusing to give up their bus seat and were among five black women whose federal court suit, known as Browder vs. Gayle, led to the Supreme Court ruling. Nixon was a prominent activist who was instrumental in organizing the boycott.
A week of anniversary events kicks off Thursday when youths of different races make an eight-block march to the Capitol beginning at the downtown spot where Parks was arrested - now the site of the Rosa Parks Museum.
They will be invited to offer petitions of their own dreams to public officials at the Capitol. A Webcast of the walk will include interactive forums for children around the world, according to organizers.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood and published by the Federation of American Scientists.
The internal history traces "the struggle between centralized and decentralized control of SIGINT, interservice and interagency rivalries, budget problems, tactical versus national strategic requirements, the difficulties of mechanization of processes, and the rise of a strong bureaucracy."
The document was originally produced in classified form in 1990 under the title "The Origins of NSA" (which is also the title of an unclassified NSA public affairs brochure).
The declassified version, published by the NSA Center for Cryptologic History earlier this year in hard copy only, is now entitled "The Quest for Cryptologic Centralization and the Establishment of NSA: 1940-1952."
A scanned copy of the 129 page volume is available here in a large
6.6 MB PDF file:
A hardcopy original may be obtained while supplies last by sending a request with mailing address to email@example.com.
The study by the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government compared FOIA responses and denials in 2000 and 2004. It found that unclassified information was increasingly being withheld from FOIA requesters using exemptions for intra- or interagency memoranda, internal personnel rules and practices, and proprietary information.
Name of source: LAT
SOURCE: LAT (11-27-05)
"There's been a total devastation of homes, communities, jobs and lifestyle," said Brenda Dardar Robichaux, principal chief of the United Houma Nation.
Tribal leaders said it is important that their members remain near ancestral land and worried that many might eventually be forced to move away. Hurricanes, they said, threaten to erode not only their land but age-old community ties as well.
"We feel like we've got to get our people home to rebuild, because if we don't, we lose a part of our history; we lose a part of our culture; we lose a part of who we are as Houma people," Robichaux said.
She estimated that at least half of the tribe's 16,000 members were affected by the storms. Some lived in urban New Orleans parishes, and many lived near the bayous.
Name of source: Guardian
SOURCE: Guardian (11-28-05)
The colour, elegance and cultural diversity of Nigeria will be on show with masquerades, a durbar ensemble of horses and traditional circus performances.
But Nigeria's religious leaders claim carnival is not African, arguing that it will promote only idolatry and immorality and invite the wrath of God on the nation.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (11-21-05)
After five years of being lobbied intensely, Evans and the library panel narrowed the field last month. SMU, alma mater of First Lady Laura Bush, appears to be the front runner. Yet other finalists have tapped close Bush associates to help boost their bids. Texas Tech's presentation features a video narrated by cowboy poet Red Steagall, a close friend of the Bushes. Baylor's library committee includes Bush fund-raisers Drayton McLane, owner of the Houston Astros, and Bob Perry, the Texas developer who funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "Having friends in high places is certainly not a negative," says Baylor spokeswoman Tommye Lou Davis. Bush is expected to make a final decision on the estimated $300 million project early next year.
Name of source: Sydney Morning Herald
SOURCE: Sydney Morning Herald (11-28-05)
But now a historian from Ludwigshafen has provoked an uproar with his discovery that the same Du Bist Deutschland cry was used at Nazi rallies in the 1930s. Stefan Morz found photographs of a 1935 Nazi convention in which soldiers display a banner reading, in gothic script, Denn Du Bist Deutschland (Because You Are Germany).
The slogan was topped with the head of Adolf Hitler.
"Every time I see the slogan Du Bist Deutschland I am reminded of this rather disturbing parallel with the past," Mr Morz said.
Researchers are now trying to discover how widespread the slogan was, even if most agree it was not one of the Nazis' official mantras. Its intended effect then is believed to be similar to that of the modern version: "You have the potential to make this country great once again."
The backers of the modern campaign, several blue-chip media companies, expressed shock at the discovery but quickly distanced themselves from the Third Reich connection.
Indeed, one of the campaign's aims is to release today's Germans from the collective guilt and depression they still feel about the Nazi era, they said. The project's image has now been battered by that same legacy.
Name of source: Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia)
SOURCE: Daily Telegraph (Sydney, Australia) (11-28-05)
The remains of what is believed to be one of the oldest pubs in the country were found by construction workers at a development site in Parramatta.
Just a metre below the surface, workers unearthed the cellar belonging to the Wheatsheaf Hotel -- which stood on the corner of Marsden and Macquarie Sts from 1801 to 1808.
A second hotel -- The Shepherd and Flock Inn -- opened at the site in 1825 and continued trading until 1870.
Amazingly, the cellar's timber floor was still intact -- preserved after being water-logged and starved of oxygen. Several spigots -- brass taps put into barrels -- have also been found.
[Editor's note: See Roundup's Talking About History for more.]
Name of source: Mother Jones
SOURCE: Mother Jones (Nov.-Dec. 2005)
However, he concedes that Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell did try to hamper election turnout by requiring the use of 80 pound stock paper for voter registration (he later backed down). And "46,000 provisional ballots went uncounted," he notes. (Another 92,000 ballots were rejected after voting machines reported they were unreadable.)
Name of source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (11-27-05)
"Sprawl: A Compact History" says that cities have sprawled for thousands of years: Indeed, outside the walls of ancient Rome was a place the Romans called suburbium, literally "below the walls" --- a place for businesses that couldn't operate within the city and for people who couldn't afford to live there.
Author Robert Bruegmann, an architecture historian and urban planner at the University of Illinois at Chicago, reports that suburbium has been with us for thousands of years, and that it must be a desirable place because we keep creating it again and again, all over the globe.
"Atlanta got the label of poster child of sprawl in the late 1990s, about 1995," Bruegmann said. "It really moved into undisputed first place as the world exemplar of sprawl." But he maintains that Atlanta is simply going through the same growing pains that seized London in the early 1800s, Chicago in the late 1800s and Los Angeles in the 1900s.
"If you look at that list of places what you realize is that, without exception, these are places that were growing the fastest, that were changing the fastest, that were creating wealth for the largest number of people," says Bruegmann.
He spoke by phone last week with the Journal-Constitution's Richard Halicks. Here is an edited transcript of their conversation.
Q. You chair the art history department and are a professor of architecture and urban planning. How much did the art history side of your training inform your analysis in this book?
A. Actually, a lot. One of the biggest surprises I had was that these debates about sprawl are usually couched in terms of objective, quantifiable matters like efficiency or agricultural production or pollution, things like that. But in fact, if you look at the anti-sprawl literature over time, you see that the thing that really gets people annoyed and angry, and has for centuries now, is aesthetics. That is really the emotional linchpin of a tremendous amount of anti-sprawl agitation.
[He refers to the book "Sprawl City: Race, Politics & Planning in Atlanta," published in 2000.] "Sprawl City" --- I was just looking at it a few minutes ago. It's heavily about race, because that's what the authors were preoccupied with. But if you look on almost any page, you see these words like "formless," "amorphous," "unplanned," all these things that are really about the aesthetic qualities of the place.
Q. You offer a startling thesis --- that sprawl happens. It certainly has negative aspects, but you describe it as a natural process?
A. Certainly there are major problems, as there were in London in the 19th century, Chicago in the late 19th century, Los Angeles in the 20th century, Atlanta at the turn of the 21st century --- sure those places had problems. But two things about that: One is, these are the kinds of problems that every city in the world wants to have --- that is, enormous growth and growth in wealth. And the other thing about them is that they always, in retrospect, look like golden eras. I've absolutely no doubt that, at the end of the 21st century, when people look back 50 years or a hundred years, Atlanta will be seen as one of the great lands of opportunity in urban history.
Q. Really? What makes you say so?
A. The reason these problems occur is that these cities are so attractive. These are places that tens of thousands of people come to every year, because they offer what people really want more than anything else. That is, they offer privacy, mobility and choice. By privacy I mean the ability to control your own environment, and one of the ways you can do that relatively easily is if you have your own plot of land and your own house. By mobility, I mean physical mobility and also social and economic mobility. And choice --- that means you can do a lot of different things. I think there's absolutely no doubt that these places we're talking about, these growth machines, Atlanta being one of them, fulfilled those needs, and people poured in from all over the world.
Name of source: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies,
SOURCE: David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, (11-27-05)
"It was irresponsible for Teen People to post an article describing these neo-Nazis as 'white separatists' without ever acknowledging that they are racists, admirers of Hitler, and Holocaust-deniers," said Dr. Rafael Medoff, director of the Wyman Institute. "Time Inc has done the right thing by removing the offensive article from the Teen People web site."
The controversy began when Teen People announced that its upcoming February 2006 issue would include a feature story on "Prussian Blue," the 13 year-old twin sisters Lynx and Lamb Gaede. But the announcement described the twins' beliefs only as "white pride" and did not mention that they
wear Hitler t-shirts, deny the Holocaust, and frequently perform at neo-Nazi events. According to media reports, Teen People promised the twins it would refrain from using the words "hate," "supremacist," and "Nazi" in the article. In response to public protests, Time Inc, which publishes Teen People, announced that the upcoming story has been canceled.
But the Wyman Institute discovered that Teen People's web site was continuing to run a second sanitized story about the Gaede twins, which described their beliefs only as "white separatism" and did not explain that they are neo-Nazis and Holocaust-deniers.
In response to the Wyman Institute's protests, Time Inc has now removed the second story from the Teen People web site.
Dr. Medoff said: "During the 1930s, too many in the news media failed to report accurately on the violent and racist nature of Adolf Hitler and his followers. We dare not repeat that tragic mistake.
It is particularly important that publications which appeal to young people, such as Teen People, report fully and accurately on groups like Prussian Blue, which are poisoning the minds of America's youth with their racist hate."
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (11-26-05)
Name of source: Library of Congress
SOURCE: Library of Congress ()
Name of source: Seattle Post Intelligencer
SOURCE: Seattle Post Intelligencer (11-25-05)
On more than 2,000 other iPods: George's Military History Podcast. And those are just the subscribers through iTunes.
His Web site has recorded more than 15,000 downloads since he debuted his weekly show on Labor Day weekend: "Bringing you the strangest anecdotes, most innovative technology, and most significant events in Military History." He has fans in more than 40 countries.
"I was shocked to learn that he's only 15 years old. I've been through enough college and graduate school to know it takes a lot of time, work and maturity to research and organize a 20-minute lecture and then defend it against questions," said one subscriber, Brian Liddicoat, 39, who has an MBA and is a real estate attorney in Northern California. "This guy sounds like a college professor with years of experience, not a high school student. This is high-quality podcasting, and military history is not a very forgiving subject: Military history buffs tend to get very particular on details."