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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: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (7-31-06)
If she had not found Kirk, he would have found her. At a monthlong retreat for college conservatives here, he was both required reading and a source of after-hours debate among students excited to hear him called “one of Ronald Reagan’s favorite philosophers.”
Young people with old books is a common sight on the conservative circuit, and perhaps a growing one. While the movement has long sought to transmit its intellectual heritage to its young, that mission shows signs of new urgency amid fears of ideological drift.
Everywhere young conservatives turn there are conferences, seminars and reading lists that promote figures from the movement’s formative years. Along with Kirk, they include such canonical names from the 40’s and 50’s as Friedrich A. Hayek, Frank S. Meyer, Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley Jr.
Ms. Pajak, 18, who was home-schooled in Andover, Minn., will be a freshman this fall at Wheaton College, an evangelical school in Wheaton, Ill. While her conservatism springs from her upbringing, the literature “helps me explain what I already believe,” she said. “I don’t want to just say, ‘Oh, it’s because I was raised this way.’ ”
Every political movement has its texts. But James W. Ceaser, a professor of politics at the University of Virginia, argues that the conservative focus on core thinkers has no exact parallel among liberals.
SOURCE: NYT (7-30-06)
The latest New York Times/CBS News poll shows what one expert describes as a continuing “chasm” between the way Republicans and Democrats see the war. Three-fourths of the Republicans, for example, said the United States did the right thing in taking military action against Iraq, while just 24 percent of the Democrats did. Independents split down the middle.
“The present divisions are quite without precedent,” said Ole R. Holsti, a professor of political science at Duke University and the author of “Public Opinion and American Foreign Policy.”
The Vietnam War caused a wrenching debate that echoes to this day and shaped both parties, but at the time, public opinion did not divide so starkly on party lines, experts say. The partisan divide on Iraq has fluctuated but endured across two intensely fought campaigns in which war and peace — and the overarching campaign against terrorism — have figured heavily. Each party has its internal differences, especially on future strategy for Iraq. But the overall divide is a defining feature of the fall campaign.
SOURCE: NYT (7-30-06)
The difference does not involve changes in genes, as far as is known, but changes in the human form. It shows up in several ways, from those that are well known and almost taken for granted, like greater heights and longer lives, to ones that are emerging only from comparisons of health records.
The biggest surprise emerging from the new studies is that many chronic ailments like heart disease, lung disease and arthritis are occurring an average of 10 to 25 years later than they used to. There is also less disability among older people today, according to a federal study that directly measures it. And that is not just because medical treatments like cataract surgery keep people functioning. Human bodies are simply not breaking down the way they did before.
Even the human mind seems improved. The average I.Q. has been increasing for decades, and at least one study found that a person’s chances of having dementia in old age appeared to have fallen in recent years.
The only information he has found so far is that his father was forced to be a coxswain on a wooden ship that moved supplies for the Imperial Japanese Army in the South Pacific.
"I was once told by Japan's welfare ministry that it does not have any records on my father," Kang said. "I think Japan should disclose all documents" it has on the Korean slave laborers.
Kang is one of eight South Koreans visiting Japan whose relatives were brought here as slave laborers in the 1930s and 1940s. They are urging Tokyo to increase its efforts to collect the remains of their relatives and information on them.
But there is an 11th statue. It stands alone, wearing a Kansas City Monarchs uniform. It depicts Buck O’Neil, the manager, his left foot leaning on the chicken-wire fence that surrounds the field, his left arm resting on a thigh. Now 94, O’Neil has survived all those who were remade in bronze.
But with his vivid memory and raconteur’s skills, he has become the Negro leagues’ iconic personality — a former player, manager and coach, and then the first African-American coach in the major leagues for the Chicago Cubs, a team that also employed him as a scout.
O’Neil is the only one on the field not in the Hall of Fame, a message that resonates now, but was not intended when the statues were first installed.
His statue shows him where the manager would be, said Bob Kendrick, the museum’s marketing director. But as O’Neil prepares to show up at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., tomorrow for the induction of 17 players and executives from the Negro leagues and before — each of whom was voted in by a special committee that rejected him — John Jordan (Buck) O’Neil of Carrabelle, Fla., seems to be on the outside looking in.
The mountain, about 80 miles south of here on the Front Range, was carved out in the 1960’s to house the early warning system for nuclear war, and its accouterments and image became the stuff of a whole generation’s anxieties.
But those anxieties shifted after the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s and even more after Sept. 11, and on Friday military officials in Colorado announced that Norad’s day-to-day operations would be consolidated, for purposes of efficiency, in an ordinary building at Peterson Air Force Base in nearby Colorado Springs.
The mountain will be kept only as a backup, though fully operational and staffed with support personnel — a place of secure retreat should the need again arise, a military spokesman said.
“Cheyenne represented the idea that there would be this one single nerve center where man and machines are meshed together to fight the apocalypse,” said W. Patrick McCray, a professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who teaches a course on the history of the atomic age.
“It indicates how much fear, but also nuclear weapons in general, infiltrated all aspects of American society during that time,” Professor McCray said. “Here’s this very physical representation of the determination to fight and win a nuclear war.”
SOURCE: NYT (7-27-06)
Grant was in fact one of five African-Americans playing in the otherwise all-white minor leagues that year, on teams from Kansas to Connecticut. Their presence was accepted if not widely acknowledged in the 1880’s, passed off with a wink and a nod, a dodge that labeled players like Grant as Spaniards, Portuguese or Arabs.
The ruse did not hide what historians now concede, that some 60 years before Jackie Robinson famously broke organized baseball’s color barrier, integrated teams of white and black athletes played hundreds of professional games. African-Americans even played in the major leagues.
SOURCE: NYT (7-26-06)
The piece, a headless stone statue of the Sumerian king Entemena of Lagash, was stolen in the days after the fall of Baghdad. In the wake of the looting, American officials came under sharp criticism from archaeologists and others for failing to secure the museum, a vast storehouse of artifacts from civilization’s first cities.
The Entemena statue was taken across the border to Syria, and put on sale on the international antiquities market. Thousands of looted artifacts that remained in Iraq — from tiny cylinder seals to the famed Warka Vase — have since been returned to the museum, and a few pieces have been turned over by foreign countries, including Italy and the Netherlands. But the Entemena statue, estimated to be 4,400 years old, is the first significant artifact returned from the United States and by far the most important piece found outside Iraq.
SOURCE: NYT (7-26-06)
“He never let himself dominate the news,” Bill Moyers says. “He always understood that people were more interested in the message than they were in the messenger.” That, of course, is nonsense. Mr. Cronkite is a mythic figure not because he broke news but because he invested news with his personal stamp of authority, from the Vietnam War and Watergate to the Middle East peace process in 1977.
The documentary makes a lot of the role he played while covering the death of President John F. Kennedy, and that has perhaps been oversold. He informed and consoled the nation with stoic grace, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone in that chair, at that moment, wouldn’t have been just as memorable simply because he was there. (There are people who mist up at the name of Howard Cosell because they first heard of John Lennon’s murder during “Monday Night Football.”)
The CBS commentator Andy Rooney may be right when he calls Mr. Cronkite “the best anchorman there ever was.” But he is wrong to say “he typifies all the best of what television news should be and no longer is.”
SOURCE: NYT (7-23-06)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt rejected or failed to sign 635 bills during his 12 years in office, using his veto power to keep Congress — run by his fellow Democrats — subservient. Harry S. Truman vetoed 250 bills; Dwight D. Eisenhower, 181. Bill Clinton used one of 37 vetoes to reject a law banning a particular type of abortion.
But until last week, when President Bush vetoed a bill to expand federally supported embryonic stem cell research, the incumbent president — a man who has taken an especially aggressive approach to expanding executive authority — left the veto power untouched.
“President Bush has vetoed things without vetoing them,” said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history at Boston University. “He’s kind of found alternative ways in which he can basically say no to Congress without publicly saying no, or publicly having the confrontation.”
That is not to say there have been no confrontations. The threat of a veto can be just as powerful as a veto itself, and the Bush administration says it has issued 141 such threats since taking office. Some involved disputes over federal spending, an area where Mr. Bush has used veto threats to force compromise with fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill.
The veto — Latin for “I forbid” — was not always such an expansive tool of presidential power. Early presidents used it sparingly, only when they believed Congress had violated the Constitution.
George Washington issued two vetoes; John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, none. When James Monroe exercised his first and only veto, rejecting a bill imposing tolls on the Cumberland Road because he believed a constitutional amendment was required, he issued a 25,000-word explanation along with it.
That narrow philosophy of the role of the veto changed with Andrew Jackson. Jackson famously exercised his veto to reject the renewal of the charter of the Second Bank of the United States, turning the veto from a constitutional message into a political one.
“Rather than just arguing that the bank is unconstitutional, Jackson is arguing that the bank is wrong,” said Brian Balogh, a historian at the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. “This is a real change in the assertion of presidential power.”
SOURCE: NYT (7-23-06)
Nixon famously and reluctantly provided 3,700 hours of tape from his inner sanctum, along with tens of thousands of pages of transcripts of conversations, which combined to blow any vestige of a strait-laced facade off his White House — and hastened the march toward impeachment. After Nixon, though, presidents tended to keep the candor well guarded, and so to the blooper bin we go for insight.
Mr. Bush’s predecessor was ensnared a couple of times by open mikes he thought were closed. In his primary campaign, Bill Clinton sat in front of a live television camera he thought was dead and seethed over the erroneous news that Jesse Jackson had endorsed Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa instead of him. Through gritted teeth Mr. Clinton said, “It’s an outrage, it’s a dirty, double-crossing, back-stabbing thing to do.”
It was a flash of Mr. Clinton’s dark temper, but not seared into the collective memory the way, say, a blue dress was.
Perhaps the most famous clip in the blooper bin features Ronald Reagan, who during a microphone check before a radio address joked: “My fellow Americans. I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.’’ Europe was not amused; but the incident highlighted two things about Reagan at once: his distaste for the Soviets, and his brand of humor.
Yet how can any of these snippets compare with the hours of recordings of Nixon, Kennedy and Johnson?
Kennedy, in an unintended recording, is revealed to be disappointed with the recruits to the Foreign Service because they were softies ill-suited to face dictators; men who “don’t seem to have cojones,” unlike, he said, Defense Department officials. “That’s all they’ve got,” he said of the latter, and added, “They haven’t any brains.” It showed Mr. Kennedy to be less decorous or politic than had been assumed.
In the tapes from the Nixon administration, said the historian Robert Dallek, “What you see is how scathing and angry they are, how frustrated they are over their inability to dominate and control and make these other leaders or politicians or public officials bend to their will.” Nixon, Mr. Dallek added, “was paranoid as all get out; anti-Semitic — they would talk about African diplomats and call them cannibals.”
SOURCE: NYT (7-25-06)
The vertebrae form the centerpiece of a new exhibit, commemorating the 125th anniversary of Garfield’s assassination. The exhibit also features photographs and other images that tell the story of the shooting and its aftermath, in which Garfield lingered on his deathbed for 80 days. Located at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, on the campus of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the exhibit opened on July 2 and will close, 80 days later, on Sept. 19.
As the display makes clear, the second bullet pierced Garfield’s first lumbar vertebra, crossing from right to left.
At the time, however, without the benefit of modern diagnostics, Garfield’s doctors could not determine the location of the bullet. “Trying to understand its pathway became their primary concern,” Dr. Barbian said.
At least a dozen medical experts probed the president’s wound, often with unsterilized metal instruments or bare hands, as was common at the time.
Sterile technique, developed by the British surgeon Joseph Lister in the mid-1860’s, was not yet widely appreciated in the United States, although it was accepted in France, Germany and other parts of Europe. Historians agree that massive infection, which resulted from unsterile practices, contributed to Garfield’s death.
SOURCE: NYT (7-25-06)
The survey of 332 museums, to be released today, was conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, known as the Claims Conference, a New York-based organization created after World War II to help restore Jewish property to Holocaust survivors and their families.
The group decided to become more involved in the question of looted art last year after concern arose that the American Association of Museums, which adopted guidelines in 1999 urging its members to examine their collections and later created a special Internet site for such information, was not doing enough to monitor museums’ progress.
According to Gideon Taylor, the executive vice president of the Claims Conference, the museum association said that it was not its job, as a voluntary organization, to examine the extent to which its members were following the guidelines.
Name of source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
SOURCE: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (7-29-06)
In at least a dozen of the most extreme cases, blacks were purged from entire counties that still today remain almost exclusively
white, according to the most recent census data.
The expulsions often were violent and swift, and they stretched beyond the South.
It is impossible to say exactly how many expulsions took place. But computer analysis and years of research conducted by Cox News Service reveals that the expulsions occurred on a scale that has never been fully documented or understood. The incidents are rarely mentioned in the numerous books, articles and movies about America's contentious racial past.
Even less has been written on the legacy of these expulsions.
"I am actually less surprised by the number of instances of this that you've uncovered than I am by the extent of the historical failure," said David Garrow, a former Emory University law professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of Martin Luther King Jr., now a senior fellow at Homerton College at the University of Cambridge.
Today, one of the physical legacies of these attacks is an archipelago of all-white or virtually all-white counties along the Mason-Dixon Line and into the Midwest. Blacks remain all but absent from these counties, even when neighboring counties have sizable black populations.
The social legacy of the upheaval and horrific violence is less clear.
Descendants of those driven out often describe a sense of shame about what befell their families. Whites frequently decline to talk about what happened, typically saying, "It will only cause trouble." Amid the silence, the extent of these racial expulsions has remained unnoticed.
Using computer analysis of thousands of U.S. census records dating back to the Civil War, Cox identified about 200 counties, most in states along the Mason-Dixon Line, where black populations of 75 people or more seemed to vanish from one decade to the next.
Several years were spent gathering old news accounts, government records and family histories to understand the reasons for these apparent collapses in black population. Benign events, such as blacks migrating in pursuit of better jobs elsewhere, explained some.
But in 103 cases, the data indicated that there might have been a conscious effort by whites to drive blacks out. These included counties, for instance, where blacks disappeared while the white population held steady or continued to grow or places where the black population remained small for decades after collapsing.
Name of source: Concord Monitor
SOURCE: Concord Monitor (7-30-06)
"This was something in its day,"said antique book dealer and history buff Rick Russard, pointing to the channel through which the brook was diverted, called the millrace. "Somebody built it. Then they walked away from it. And then they died, and it fell apart. And nobody cares."
Aside from hobby historians like Russard, the Forest Service staff and a handful of others, most people know little about the long-abandoned villages. In some places, that's intentional, to avoid vandalism. But mostly, the Forest Service staff is overloaded by the number of places to be documented and marked, while new remains are constantly being discovered.
Name of source: The Independent
SOURCE: The Independent (7-31-06)
Brittany, he probably reasoned, is crammed with old stones. At Carnac - the largest neolithic site in the world, just down the road - there is a linear forest of 3,000 menhirs in the space of four kilometres. Was that not enough ancient monuments to satisfy the historians, the tourists and the Ministry of Culture in Paris? Too late. A passing busy-body had noticed the unearthed menhir. Work on the bungalows was halted. An archaeological dig was ordered.
As a result, our knowledge of early human history may be transformed - or at least deeply enriched. Preliminary exploration of the site has just been completed. One of France's foremost experts on neolithic times calls the results a "miracle". Other experts speak of a "time machine".
The Ministry of Culture is in the process of designating the whole area -10 times larger than the 3,000 square metre preliminary dig - as a place of overwhelming historical importance. In other words, the six new bungalows at Kerdruelland, near Belz, in Morbihan, will never be built.
To neolithic experts, the name Kerdruelland may yet come to have something of the same significance as Stonehenge or Carnac or Newgrange in Co. Meath. The site may provide -like a kind of modern-day Roset-ta Stone - some of the clues to unlock the code of one of the most important but puzzling chapters in human development.
The middle and late-neolithic (or Stone Age) and early Bronze Age in western Europe - roughly from 4000 BC to 1500 BC - was a period of rapid and revolutionary advance. European man made pottery and tamed animals for the first time. He turned from hunting to agriculture. He emerged from caves and built houses. He progressed from cave-painting to the building of elaborate stone and earth tombs and - many years before the Egyptian pyramids - to the construction of carefully plotted and painstakingly laboured align-ments and circles of standing stones. There are 3,000 of them in Britain, Ireland and Brittany alone. They are also scattered from Denmark to Portugal and southern Italy. Much has been discovered about the period in the past 50 years. Much remains utterly mysterious.
Archaeologists working on the Kerdruelland site over the past nine months have discovered not one but 60 "lost" menhirs. They believe that they were erected - and then destroyed -during the "middle period" of the standing stones era in western Europe, in around 2500 BC. (This was about the same time that the main ring at Stonehenge was constructed, possibly by invaders from Brittany).
Because the Kerdruelland menhirs have been preserved in mud and silt for 4,500 years, they should offer important new information on how such alignments were created and why. At the well-known sites, such as Carnac and Stonehenge, some of the stones have been moved or propped up or stolen or added over the centuries. Here the stones, up to 2m long, lie just as they did after they were felled four-and-half millennia ago.
At neolithic sites elsewhere, the soil of the period has been eroded by the ravages of time and man. At Kerdruelland, the neolithic sub-soil - the soil on which the stones were erected -has been preserved intact. This offers a cornucopia of possible new archaeological finds. Already, a brief dig has yielded a rich harvest of flint tools and shards of pottery.
Just as importantly, the preservation of the neolithic sub-soil will help the experts to discover traces of the original earthworks and study the methods of assembling and positioning the menhirs.
The fact that the stones were erected, and then deliberately toppled, at roughly the same time, is also an important discovery. It offers new evidence that the neolithic was a period of social and religious upheavals, revolutions and wars. In other words, the neolithic may have been "me-galithic" - obsessed with whacking great stones - but it was not socially or culturally monolithic. Ancient man was as fractious and destructive as modern man.
Professor Jean-Paul Demoule is president of the French agency which undertakes urgent archaeological digs on threatened sites - L'Institut national de recherches archZologiques prZventives (Inrap) - which undertook the preliminary dig at Kerdruelland. He is also one of France's, and the world's, leading experts on the neolithic era: "This site is, historically and ar-chaeologically speaking, a miracle," he told The Independent. "It is a great paradox. Precisely because it was destroyed, it has been preserved: like the wreck of an ancient ship beneath the ocean."
"The great neolithic sites like Stonehenge, such as Carnac, have come down to us, still standing, through the millennia and we can look at them as we imagine that they always were. But we cannot be sure that they were exactly that way and - most importantly - the soil in which they were planted has gone. If you dig at Stonehenge or Carnac today, you are mostly digging into the soil of previous ages, before the stones were placed there. Here, we are digging into the neolithic soil itself, the soil on which the erectors, and destroyers, of the stones once stood and lived."
Stephan Hinguant, 43, the chief archaeologist on the site, said: "This is as a truly astonishing find, a time machine. We have only explored a small part of it, and very rapidly, but we have found enough to know that there is a treasury of information here which will take several years to uncover fully.
"We have found 60 stones, some complete, some broken, but we believe that there must be many more in the surrounding site. Once we have established where the stones originally stood, we will be able to draw conclusions, based on scientific fact, not on guesswork. The artefacts we find in the soil and evidence of how the stones were placed upright could make enormous contributions to our understanding of neolithic culture..."
Until the archaeological work resumes, probably next year, the experts are unwilling to say whether the stones originally formed lines, or a circle, or, typically for Brittany, a horse-shoe.
Kerdruelland today is a banal stretch of seaside suburbia. Here and there a huge lump of rough, yellow-orange coloured granite pokes through the plastic protecting the site from summer storms. To have some idea of how Kerdruelland must have looked 4,000 years ago, you do not have to go far. Eight miles to the east are the three vast alignments of stones, and their associated "cromlechs", or large stone circles, near the village of Carnac.
The stones are large and small, straight and jagged, mostly erected just as they were found. They stretch into the distance, like rotting giants' teeth, offering little clue as to why they were strung out over such a large area.
Neolithic historians believe that the original rows of stones at Carnac were a kind of ceremonial avenue, leading to a large enclosure of stones or "cromlechs", where ritual gatherings took place. The first stones may have been erected around 3500 BC -1,000 years before those at Kerdruelland.
In his seminal, recently re-published work The Stone circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany (Yale University Press), the British neolithic expert, Aubrey Burl, suggests that the original, simple avenues at Carnac were augmented and muddled until Roman times, and maybe even more recently, by an annoying local habit of adding a couple of stones each year.
Hence, the frustrations of neolithic archaeologists and historians. Professor Burl also refers despairingly to a stone circle at Hampton Down in Dorset. Apho-tograph from 1908 shows 16 pillars. By 1964, there was a ring of 28. Later excavation suggested that only eight were genuine. But which ones? Professor Burl also complains that our understanding of standing stones has been warped by Stonehenge, which is extraordinary but atypical.
Most circles use stones which were lying around near by. Rock was rarely quarried or carried very far. The "sarsen" stones in the main ring at Stonehenge are an exception. They came from 20 miles away. It is estimated that it would have taken 200 men to drag each slab 100m a day. The ambitious "lintels" joining the sarsen stones at Stonehenge do not occur in any other neolithic monument.
Mr Burl insists that the Wiltshire masterpiece is a "unique example of megalithic madness". Most other stone circles are more modest and could have been put together little by little, and changed over the centuries, by small clans or family groups.
But why build stone circles or alignments at all? In a book published last year, Inside theNeolithic Mind (Thames and Hudson), David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce try to psychoanalyse the late stone age. They bring together archaeological evidence from the Middle East, western Europe and modern scientific studies of the chemistry of the brain. The results are sometimes far fetched but the book traces a convincing progression from cave art to stone circles.
As man emerged from the caves and forests to cultivate open ground, he replicated the old, sacred caves by building cave-like tombs. These were made of groups of stones, covered with soil. At some point, in around 4000 to 3500 BC, mankind emerged further into the light. The pattern of stones within the tombs was expanded and uncovered to form ceremonial stone circles.
What happened inside such enclosures has excited fevered speculation for centuries. Human sacrifice? Elaborate astronomical observations? Sexual and drunken orgies? Ceremonies at the winter and summer solstices to encourage the healthy growth of crops? Professor Burl suggests that, far from being elaborate astronomical observatories, most stone-circles are shaped by local topography. They do often, however, have alignments with summer and winter solstices and the movements of the Moon. Professor Burl's best guess on their purpose is a mixture of propitiation of the crop gods and sexual and alcoholic-psychedelic orgies. There is much archaeological evidence that the late Stone Age was also a stoned aged.
Professor Jean-Paul Demoule says that it is clear that the neolithic period was "not a calm river of slow evolution" but a "period of violent upheavals, wars and revolutions" as cultural and religious groups fought and colonised one another. In no other site before the discovery of Kerdruelland, however, have archaeologists found a large group of standing stones which were toppled but not re-used.
For this reason alone, the site offers the prospect of startling new discoveries and insights in the years ahead. It is a pity about the bungalows. However, southern Brittany, though crammed with ancient monuments, is not short of a few bungalows.
This is a truly astonishing find, a time machine. It's a treasury of neolithic information.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (7-31-06)
According to a memorandum from Kissinger aides Anthony Lake and Roger Morris to Pentagon military planner Captain Rembrandt Robinson, the president would need to decide in advance how far he would be willing to go; that is, whether the president would be willing to use tactical nuclear weapons. This issue, staffers pointed out, could not be decided "in the midst of the exercise." Among the "Important Questions" mentioned in another planning document Kissinger probably forwarded to or discussed with Nixon was this one: "Should we be prepared to use nuclear weapons?"
Nixon ultimately decided against going ahead with the Duck Hook attack plans in 1969 and thus, as his predecessors had in prior situations, tacitly ruled out using nuclear weapons in Vietnam--although the issue would resurface in 1972. In the end, he decided that the costs of using nuclear weapons were higher than any conceivable political or military benefit.
Released late last year by the U.S. National Archives, these documents raise significant questions about White House military planning against North Vietnam. Why did Lake and Morris bring up the question of using tactical nuclear weapons? To what extent were they responding to instructions by Kissinger to raise the matter? Did Kissinger and Nixon believe that nuclear weapons were potentially efficacious for use against North Vietnam in the circumstances of 1969? To what extent did Nixon or Kissinger push for military plans to use nuclear weapons against North Vietnam? What considerations led Nixon and Kissinger to abandon the concept of nuclear weapons use from their Vietnam planning?
These documents, along with an essay by Archive senior analyst Dr. William Burr and Dr. Jeffrey Kimball of Miami University, were published today on the Archive's Web site.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (7-26-06)
It is conjecture, but it is one explanation for a cache of rare finds they fished up Tuesday from the bottom of a 400-year-old well at an overlooked corner of Historic Jamestowne, a national park.
The items included the Scottish pistol, a man's leather shoe and a small lead plaque reading "James Towne" -- the equivalent of a colonial luggage tag.
Outside Indian artifacts, the items are among the oldest ever unearthed in North America.
"They're the earliest you could find in what is now the United States," explained William Kelso, director of archaeology for the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities. The group owns approximately 22 acres (8.8 hectares) of Jamestown Island, including the southwestern corner where researchers made the discovery.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (7-31-06)
Pearson, the world's biggest publisher of educational materials, disclosed on Monday with its half-year results that about half the state's elementary school students will learn about the American Revolutionary War and Thomas Jefferson using an interactive computer program.
The company also said its success in California, where about 1.5 million students aged 5-11 will use the program in classrooms this year, has led it to plan the same approach in additional states and with more subjects.
"Digital development costs us less and takes less time," Pearson Chief Executive Marjorie Scardino said. "We're speeding up how we're rolling out those kinds of programs."
London-based Pearson estimated it cost about half as much to develop as a textbook with supplemental materials, and added that it had about a 41 percent market share.
The California social studies contract was a longshot for Pearson, which had not even been planning to bid because of the strict guidelines the state puts on submissions for the subject.
"We didn't think we could find a return," Scardino said.
Instead, it opted to cull existing materials into a digital offering that included online homework assignments. It sent state officials a laptop computer instead of a pile of books in April 2005, and won state approval in November.
"Most schools have a big fat textbook on the table that doesn't really entice students any more," Scardino said.
Pearson's multimedia product, created by its Scott Foresman unit, enables teachers to tailor lessons to individual students, includes video clips and is able to read aloud all of the lessons in English and Spanish.
"History and social science comes to life with exciting text, vibrant media clips and activities," said Cheryl McConaughey, assistant superintendent at the Lamont School District near Bakersfield, California, in a statement supplied by Pearson. It was the first district to buy the materials.
"Our teachers are thrilled with virtually all aspects of the program."
Name of source: Yahoo
SOURCE: Yahoo (7-30-06)
The Statue of Liberty, less than a mile away, was damaged by a rain of red-hot shards of steel. Frightened immigrants on Ellis Island were hastily evacuated to Manhattan.
The epicenter of the blast — a small island called Black Tom — all but disappeared in what was then the largest explosion ever in the U.S., on Sunday, July 30, 1916 at 2:08 a.m.
It destroyed about 2,000 tons of munitions parked in freight cars and pierside barges, awaiting transfer to ships and ultimately destined for the World War I battlefields of France.
Evidence pointed to German sabotage, and some historians regard it as the first major terrorist attack on the United States by a foreign party — 85 years before the 9/11 attacks.
Marked today by a plaque in New Jersey's Liberty State Park, the blast site lies less than two miles from lower Manhattan and within sight of where the World Trade Center towers stood.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (7-29-06)
More than 50 descendants of a multi-toed cat the novelist received as a gift in 1935 wander the grounds of the home, where Hemingway lived for more than 10 years and wrote ''A Farewell to Arms'' and ''To Have and Have Not.''
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum disputes the USDA's claim that it is an ''exhibitor'' of cats and needs to have a USDA Animal Welfare License, according to a complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Miami.
''What they're comparing the Hemingway house to is a circus or a zoo because there are cats on the premises,'' Cara Higgins, the home's attorney, said Friday. ''This is not a traveling circus. These cats have been on the premises forever.''
SOURCE: AP (7-27-06)
"The right of ordinary men and women to determine their own political future lies at the heart of the American experiment," Bush said. He said the Voting Rights Act proposed and signed by then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 "broke the segregationist lock on the voting box."
SOURCE: AP (7-25-06)
The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000. Trinity College manuscripts expert Bernard Meehan said it was the first discovery of an Irish early medieval document in two centuries.
"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland, which has the book stored in refrigeration and facing years of painstaking analysis before being put on public display.
"There's two sets of odds that make this discovery really way out. First of all, it's unlikely that something this fragile could survive buried in a bog at all, and then for it to be unearthed and spotted before it was destroyed is incalculably more amazing."
Name of source: The Financial Times
SOURCE: The Financial Times (7-29-06)
The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the agency that assesses a candidate's holiness, has just held its first meeting to examine Pius's cause and will hold another after the summer break, a spokeswoman said yesterday.
The campaign to canonise Pius horrifies his critics, who say his reign from 1939 to 1958 is tainted by what they regard as his failure to do enough to protect Europe's Jews from Nazi annihilation in the 1940s.
Undismayed, Roman Catholic cardinals, scholars and grassroots supporters have intensified their efforts to secure his recognition as one of the greatest leaders in the church's 2,000-year history.
In April, a special conference was convened at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University to hear evidence about Pius's virtues. There, Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, an 89-year-old prelate who personally knew the late pope, declared: "Pius must be declared a saint. Admiration isn't enough. People need to get moving."
The cause for Pius's beatification was opened in 1965 by Pope Paul VI, who balanced the move by simultaneously opening a cause for John XXIII, the pope who reigned from 1958 to 1963.
But whereas John was beatified in September 2000, supporters of Pius have waited in frustration while Catholic historians and theologians sift through mounds of documents and personal testimonies to build his case.
Not all relevant Vatican archives relating to Pius's strategy during the Holocaust have been released. When Benedict XVI, the pope elected 15 months ago, visited a synagogue last August in the German city of Cologne, he was asked by Abraham Lehrer, a Jewish community leader, to open the Vatican's second world war archives as "a further sign of historical conscience".
The main charges against Pius are that he did not speak out forcefully enough against Hitler's extermination of the Jews, and that his obsession with protecting the Catholic Church's interests trapped him in a fatal moral equidistance between Nazi Germany and the US-British-Soviet alliance.
Pius's supporters say public protests would only have increased Nazi persecution, and that he saved many Italian Jews from deportation and arranged other humanitarian initiatives.
The Vatican pleased scholars last month by agreeing to open all its archives from 1922 to 1939. In this period Eugenio Pacelli, the future Pius XII, served first as papal nuncio to Germany and later as the Vatican's secretary of state, or chief diplomat.
The files should shed extra light on Pacelli's opinions of Nazi Germany, by letting historians review his private discussions with Vatican officials as well as his personal annotations to sensitive Church documents of the time.
Father Peter Gumpel, the Jesuit relator, or official promoter, of Pius's cause, is certain the wealth of already available material justifies his beatification. "After reading more than 100,000 pages of the documents related to the process of beatification, I am more and more convinced that Pius XII was a saint," he said last year.
However, the final word will rest with Benedict, making the process distinctly political, with careful judgments required from the German-born pope about how Pius's beatification might affect the Vatican's relations with the world's Jews.
So far, Benedict has kept his cards close to his chest - although, at a closed-door session with Roman priests last March, the Vatican quoted him as saying Pius XII "really loved the German people" and was one of the century's great popes.
Name of source: AOL News
SOURCE: AOL News (7-27-06)
Some of the recently unearthed artifacts found in random spots near the beachfront suggest a prehistoric village occupied about a half-mile stretch between Bayview Court and the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club.
City leaders are working with state and federal transportation officials to cut a temporary beach road, while several agencies work to rebuild the 30-foot bluff and the bay bridge.
By law, the Mississippi Department of Transportation could rebuild the beach road over the artifacts, so long as the project doesn't disturb the historic relics in any way.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (7-23-06)
The 49-year-old Hadd, a Springfield native who became a Shaker at age 21, is joined by Brother Wayne Smith, 43, raised in nearby South Portland, Maine, who joined six months after his high school graduation at age 18; Sister June Carpenter, 67, a former Brookline librarian who converted at age 49; and Sister Frances Carr, 79, who has been at Sabbathday since she, at age 10, and her siblings were sent to live with the Shakers by their widowed mother, who died shortly thereafter.
Because they are celibate, the Shakers rely on converts to keep their community going and say they receive up to 70 inquiries a year. To those interested, they send out literature and correspondence. Many inquirers are attracted to the romantic notion of the simple life espoused in chic, urban publications like Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. "We're looking for people . . . who feel that they are being called by God to a higher life," Hadd says. "Most of these people we never hear back from."
They did invite one candidate who seemed seriously interested to visit this spring. But if converts don't materialize and the day comes when all the world's Shakers have met their Maker, there is a plan.
While they pray for more converts, the Sabbathday Shakers - as pragmatic as they are pious - have been working to ensure that their legacy and their land will outlive them, should Shakerism die off. They're well aware that several dismantled New England Shaker villages were long ago subdivided into housing lots or turned into prisons. "We'd been very concerned," Hadd admits, "because our neighborhood has changed so radically in just a short period of time." The Shakers worry not only about encroaching suburban sprawl but rising costs like heat and their property taxes, which hit $24,432 this fiscal year. (The Shakers have never sought tax-exempt status as a religious group.)
So, five years ago, the Protestant monastic sect initiated a plan, put together by the national nonprofit Trust for Public Land, to sell preservation and conservation easements to two nonprofits, Maine Preservation and the New England Forestry Foundation. These two groups, along with eight other nonprofits and public agencies, are behind the national campaign to raise money to buy the restrictions ....
Name of source: Wa Po
SOURCE: Wa Po (7-24-06)
Exhaust fumes from trains, cars and buses, as well as subway vibrations, are damaging the more than 3,200-year-old granite statue at Ramses Square, its home since the early 1950s, when it was taken from a temple at the site of the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.
The 125-ton statue _ a popular feature on postcards and guide books _ will become part of a new museum about a mile from the pyramids.
"We have to move that statue," antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said.
Name of source: Village Voice
SOURCE: Village Voice (7-27-06)
Name of source: Times Online (UK)
SOURCE: Times Online (UK) (7-28-06)
Anthony Hall argued that he was the 23rd descendent of Henry VIII and tried to convince mass crowds at a series of public meetings in the Birmingham Bull Ring that he was rightful heir to the throne. He started raising eyebrows in Whitehall and Buckingham Palace after making “scurrilous” attacks on the King, including a threat to shoot him.
George V, the Queen’s grandfather, was forced to intervene to make sure that Hall’s campaign came to an abrupt end, preferably in an asylum, while making it clear that the Palace’s involvement should never come to light.
But “King Anthony”, who was born in 1898, served in the police in Shropshire and died aged 49, thwarted attempts to prove that he was mad: two doctors gave him a clean bill of mental health.
The story unfolds in correspondence to the Home Office and the Palace released today at the National Archives. Hall traced his ancestry to Thomas Hall, the bastard son of Henry VIII, who died in 1534. He also claimed that James I of England was a changeling and could not have been the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, because he was “goggle-eyed”, his head was too large for his body, his tongue too large for his mouth and his legs were so rickety that he could not ride.
Name of source: Secrecy News, written by Steven Aftergood, is published by the Federation of American Scientists
"Since 2002, agencies have received increasing numbers of requests and have also continued to increase the number of requests that they process. In addition, agencies continue to grant most requests in full. However, the rate of increase in pending requests is accelerating," the GAO concluded in its testimony, which provided substantial new data on individual agency FOIA practices.
Critical assessments of FOIA policy were also presented by Patrice McDermott of OpenTheGovernment.org and by Tonda Rush of the Sunshine in Government Initiative. Dan Metcalfe presented the viewpoint of the Department of Justice at the hearing, which also featured Senator Patrick Leahy, Sen. John Cornyn, and Rep. Brad Sherman.
See the prepared statements from"Implementing FOIA-- Does the Bush Administration's Executive Order Improve Processing?" hearing before the Subcommittee on Government Management of the House Government Reform Committee, July 26:
On July 24, a federal court told the National Reconnaissance Office that it could not use the"operational files" exemption to withhold its Congressional Budget Justification Book from processing under the FOIA (Secrecy News, 7/25/06).
But on July 25, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency denied a FOIA request for a copy of its Congressional Budget Justification Book. Why? Because, NGA said, it is an"operational file" that is exempt from FOIA processing. Sigh. An appeal was filed explaining that this claim has been found unlawful.
Secrecy News neglected to acknowledge the contribution of attorney Matthew Archer-Beck, who helped prepare the superb amicus brief filed by the National Security Archive in the FAS lawsuit seeking disclosure of the NRO budget documents. Our thanks to Mr. Archer-Beck, who is now an associate at the law firm Sidley Austin.
And see, relatedly,"Judge: Spy satellite budget can be FOIA-ed," by Shaun Waterman, United Press International, July 27:
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (7-28-06)
But even before its announcement, expected today, the draft law has come under attack from all sides, which are engaged in a fierce battle over the violent past of the country.
The legislation was an electoral promise by the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which swept to power days after the Madrid train bombings in March 2004. Although Señor Zapatero has moved swiftly to implement other pledges, including withdrawing Spanish troops from Iraq and legalising same-sex unions, he has repeatedly delayed the announcement of the so-called law of historical memory.
The Government appears reluctant to ignite a political firestorm with its proposals, which have infuriated conservative politicians. The opposition Popular Party says that any effort to revisit the past will merely serve to divide Spaniards and reopen wounds from the civil war. Some even assert that the Bill is an effort to paint the Opposition as Francoist and undemocratic.
Leftist parties are enraged by what they regard as back-pedalling by Señor Zapatero. Even before its announcement, the Republican Left party of Catalonia called his Bill a “betrayal of his dead, the socialist fighters who were victims of the dictatorship”. Others have criticised it as weak and cowardly, and a terrible example for future generations.
Leftist campaigners have been calling for the annulment of the summary judgments that led to tens of thousands of executions during Franco’s rule. Others have been seeking fresh compensation for those who suffered at the hands of the Franco regime. But they fear that after years of waiting they will be deeply disappointed with the Bill.
One of the more controversial issues that ministers have been wrestling with is what to do with the many symbols left over from Franco’s regime. During the 1980s the Socialist Government removed some of the most ostentatious tributes to Franco, including some street names. The present Government has continued the process, uprooting the last statue of the dictator in Madrid last year. It is expected to go further , recommending the removal of any last traces of the Generalísimo from public spaces. The process would touch the two Spanish institutions that were long considered the last bastions of Francoism: the Roman Catholic Church and the army.
Señor Zapatero is likely to order the removal of one of the few remaining statues of Franco, in the military academy in Zaragoza. Churches could be asked to remove the shrines from the Franco years listing the names of those who fought on his side as having fallen for God and country. However, the most contentious symbol remains the Valley of the Fallen, a pharaonic, Fascist-style mausoleum built by Franco as a tribute to the Nationalist dead. The sprawling complex, where Franco’s remains lie, was carved out of a mountainside by thousands of slave labourers from the Republican side which lost control of Spain during the three-year civil war.
Successive governments have tried to turn the fearsome complex into a monument to the dead on both sides of the conflict. Señor Zapatero’s Government has also considered the idea of building a museum on the site to educate visitors about the workers who perished during its construction.
As long as Franco’s tomb remains on the site it seems unlikely that it will ever be anything but a monument to his regime.
Alejandro Quiroga, a historian at the University of Newcastle, spoke recently to some of the few surviving men who laboured on the site. “They said it was impossible that such a dark place could ever become a place for reconciliation,” he said.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (7-28-06)
"We've made progress in working together," said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the ranking minority member of the House Committee on Financial Services. Sitting at the witness table yesterday were seven representatives of the art world and organizations that work to return funds and property stolen during the Holocaust. "We are still dealing with the awful consequences, not only the lives lost, but the lives scarred," Frank said.
Earlier this week, the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany reported that 35 percent of the 332 museums it had asked about their progress on collections research did not respond to its survey in a four-month window. The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution and the Phillips Collection were among those that did respond, but none has finished the massive job of fully investigating its collection.
"At a time when almost all the other Holocaust-related restitution and compensation matters have been or are nearing completion, Holocaust-era art recovery remains a major unresolved challenge," said Stuart E. Eizenstat, former head of the presidential commission on Holocaust assets. "A certain art restitution fatigue seems to have set in, particularly in many foreign countries."
The campaign to identify and perhaps return art to its owners or their heirs began in the late 1990s. During the nearly eight years of an official mandate to review ownership history of artwork, the American Association of Museums reported that only 22 works had been firmly identified as stolen and returned, out of thousands of works researched.
Gideon Taylor, executive vice president of the claims conference, said 52 percent of the respondents reported they had completed research on less than half of the relevant materials. "That is discouraging, and we have to work on that," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), ranking minority member of the subcommittee that organized the hearing. One thorny issue is just how many looted items could have made their way to American museums. Under scrutiny are objects that were created before 1946 and obtained by a museum after 1932. Other criteria are whether the piece was in Europe at that time and whether ownership changed between 1932 and 1946.
The claims conference estimated that 140,000 objects require ownership and transfer research. Since the 2003 launch of the Nazi-Era Provenance Internet Portal, a project of the American Association of Museums, more than 150 museums have registered more than 18,000 objects that changed hands in Europe during the war years.
This scrutiny, said Edward H. Able Jr., president of the museum association, will continue. "It seems very unlikely that any large troves of looted objects remain to be found," he said, but asked the panel to approve funds so that the "research can proceed more quickly."
SOURCE: WaPo (7-26-06)
Historians campaigned for years to overcome privacy concerns that restricted access to the more than 30 million documents in the vast, war-era archive to Holocaust victims and their relatives.
The accord was reached in April by the 11-nation governing body of the International Tracing Service, the arm of the International Committee of the Red Cross that oversees the archive in the western German town of Bad Arolsen.
Israel, the United States and Britain were among the nations that signed Wednesday, and three others are expected to do so by Nov. 1.
"There are many questions where we don't have the answers and I hope researchers will be able to clear things up with the aid of this material," Israeli Ambassador Shimon Stein said.
The protocol still needs to be ratified by most of the 11 signatory states before the archives can be opened. German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries has said researchers would have access by Dec. 31.
German Deputy Foreign Minister Guenter Gloser called the process "long and sometimes cumbersome" but said the result represented a "big success for researchers."
"For Germany, the signing underlines the importance it attaches to dealing with the past," he said.
SOURCE: WaPo (7-26-06)
n an official ceremony to mark the decision, Germany's junior minister for foreign affairs, Guenter Gloser, welcomed the decision by his own country and the 10 other nations who oversee the archive's administration to open up the files for research.
"With the decision to change the protocol (governing the archive) we are bringing a long process to an end," Gloser said, noting that Germany had overcome its difficulties on reconciling the release of the data with its tough privacy laws.
The archive, housed in the west German town of Bad Arolsen, is the world's biggest collection of documents relating to the Second World War and Hitler's National Socialist party.
It contains up to 50 million documents on some 17 million individuals and is expected to shed new light on the Holocaust, in which 6 million Jews across Europe were murdered.
Name of source: Salon
SOURCE: Salon (7-27-06)
These poems were not the beginning of literature; the Sumerian epic of "Gilgamesh" was first written down at least 1,000 years earlier (but was not widely known in the West). Just as Greek society and politics would set the table, for better and for worse, for the 3,000 years of Occidental civilization to follow, so too would the Homeric epics generate a fertile, extensive and continuing literary culture. There is no story about the cruelty and heroism of warfare in the Western tradition -- and no story about men fighting over a woman -- that does not refer back to Achilles and Agamemnon, Paris and Helen, Hector and Andromache, and the other characters and themes of "The Iliad."...
As the English historian and linguist Andrew Dalby reminds us in his new book "Rediscovering Homer," most of what was understood about the Homeric epics, for most of Western history, was wrong or misleading. Conventional ways of thinking about history and legend, about authorship and the oral tradition, about the structure and language of the poems, and about what they actually say, have clouded men's minds for generations -- and continue to do so today, Dalby thinks, even in an age of more rigorous scholarship.
Dalby's headline-grabbing assertion is that Homer, if he ever existed, was certainly not the author of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey," and not even the author of early drafts or proto-texts. The author was the person who decided to write down (or dictate) the legendary stories of the Trojan War and the wanderings of Odysseus as epic narratives, far longer than would be suitable for an evening's tale spinning. That author had at least the faint glimmering of an idea that would change the world: Writing a long poem on a stack of cured goatskins (the only available medium) might ultimately reach a larger audience than that available to the traditional poet-singers who traveled from place to place as after-dinner performers. Dalby thinks that author was probably, or at least plausibly, a woman.
Name of source: scotsman.com
SOURCE: scotsman.com (7-26-06)
The weapon probably belonged to one of the first settlers to arrive at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, and was recovered from a well at the site with several other "hugely significant" artefacts.
"It was like Christmas in July," said Bly Straube, the curator of the Jamestown Rediscovery museum where the snaphaunce pistol, probably made by a manufacturer in the Scottish Lowlands more than 400 years ago, was being cleaned up in a chemical-free water bath yesterday.
Name of source: Toronto Star
SOURCE: Toronto Star (7-27-06)
The Polish oil company Petrobaltic discovered the wreck on July 12 on the sea floor at a depth of 86 metres some 60 kilometres north of the port city of Gdansk.
Suspecting it could be the wreckage of the Graf Zeppelin, the Polish navy sent a survey vessel Tuesday, navy spokesman Lt.-Cmdr. Bartosz Zajda said.
"We are 99 per cent sure — even 99.9 per cent — that these details point unambiguously to the Graf Zeppelin," Dariusz Beczek, commander of the vessel ORP Arctowski, said after returning to port today.
At sea, naval experts used a remote-controlled underwater robot and sonar photographic and video equipment to gather digital images of the 260-metre-long ship, Zajda said.
"The analyses of the sonar pictures and the comparison to historical documents show that it is the Graf Zeppelin," Zajda told The Associated Press.
Zajda said a number of characteristics of the wrecked ship exactly matched those of the Graf Zeppelin, including the ship's measurements and a device that lifted aircraft onto the launch deck from a lower deck.
The experts were still waiting to find the name Graf Zeppelin on one the ship's sides before declaring with absolute certainty that it is the German carrier, Zajda said.
The Graf Zeppelin was Germany's only aircraft carrier during the Second World War. It was launched on Dec. 8, 1938, but never saw action due to Hitler's disenchantment with his navy and political squabbles in the Nazi high command. After Germany's defeat in 1945, the Soviet Union took control of the ship.
On Aug. 16, 1947, Soviets used the ship for target practice, filling the hold with munitions before practising dive bombing techniques on it. The ship eventually sank, but its exact position has been unknown ever since.
Nick Hewitt, a historian at the Imperial War Museum in London, called the Graf Zeppelin "a fascinating what-if."
"Nobody really knows that much about her," Hewitt told The AP by telephone. "You get a look at what she was like, whether she had an armoured deck and all that sort of stuff, and you can figure out what she might have achieved."
Hewitt said the aircraft carrier could have had "an enormous impact" on the war, likely causing great havoc on Britain's convoy lanes in the North Atlantic.
Polish navy researchers will continue to examine the material gathered during their two days at sea, but further exploration of the wreck will fall to historians and other researchers, Zajda said.
The Graf Zeppelin will almost certainly remain on the sea bed. ``Technically, it's impossible to pull it out of the water," Zajda said.
Name of source: The Guardian
SOURCE: The Guardian (7-27-06)
At long last, something is being done to correct our shallow assumption that the religious persecutions and marital cruelties of the Tudor age are, nearly half a millennium on, history. If you visit the Tower of London this summer you'll find the site of the scaffold on Tower Green covered by a tarpaulin, and evidence of digging and foundation-making. I was baffled at this disruption, and even more baffled when I read the explanatory notice. But it's all true . . .
On September 4, the Tower will unveil "a permanent memorial to 10 people executed within its walls". It will not be some old-fashioned bronze of Anne Boleyn, but a sophisticated contemporary work by Brian Catling, best known as a performance artist, with an interest in the resonances of London history (he is a collaborator of the writer Iain Sinclair). The monument will consist of "a clear glass pillow resting on two polished discs, one of glass and one of granite". Catling's design was the winner out of five models judged by a panel whose members - including the historian David Starkey and Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery - considered, among other criteria, how far each design showed "awareness of issues/context".
What? What issues? Don't misunderstand me. The Reformation was a violent era of religious intolerance, Henry VIII obviously a real louse, and the most famous and pitiable of the 10 people to be commemorated - Henry's wives Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, and the hapless claimant to the throne, Lady Jane Grey - were victims of bigotry, misogyny and machiavellian politics. But all this happened a very long time ago.
Does that seem an unfeeling thing to say? Memory has become the most sacred and at the same time the most empty value of our culture. It's strange to think that only recently, intellectuals diagnosed western society as a drooling amnesiac stumbling through a shopping mall. "Most young men and women at the century's end grow up in a sort of permanent present lacking any organic relation to the public past of the times they live in," the historian Eric Hobsbawm lamented in 1994. Of course, this is still true, in the sense he meant it. We don't have much critical grasp of history; instead we have replaced it with a cavalcade of collective memory.
The idea that we need to be more contemplative and mournful when we visit a grand guignol tourist attraction such as the Tower of London is manifestly absurd. But our culture increasingly offers no answer to memory, except counter-memory. A radical historian might say it's a disgrace for the handful of royals and nobles treated to private executions in the Tower to be singled out for commemoration when masses of the poor were hanged at Tyburn, on the edge of Hyde Park. How about remembering these working-class deaths? But I don't want to remember them either, thanks. We don't owe a memorial to anyone who died so long ago. They were buried and mourned, their executioners were buried and mourned. It is all over, and nobody alive today bears the least responsibility for anything that happened during Europe's wars of religion.
There's a funny way to look at this, and a sad way. It's comic if you think of it as a parody of the funereal sobriety in which so many artists have indulged ever since Maya Ying Lin's Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Washington demonstrated how good contemporary art can look in black. Her 1982 wall of names now looks like one of the most influential works of the 20th century. She saw how well mourning becomes minimalism, that pared-down object art of the 1960s whose creators certainly had not seen themselves as inventing a new art of grief, but whose younger revivalists find this mute art can speak silently of death. Rachel Whiteread's early casts, such as Ghost and House, discovered a terrible weight of grief in the most ordinary domestic space. For all we know, the lives that once filled the house she monumentalised in Bow may have been ones of ceaseless joy and laughter, but grief sweated from her cement. She was able to go on from this to create a Holocaust memorial without changing her aesthetic at all.
Such readiness to take on vast historical themes, such determination to dwell on and in darkness, lends art a moral and emotional authority that's hilariously punctured by the Anne Boleyn memorial. The Tower of London is doing us a favour in parodying the mournfulness of Christian Boltanski's Reserve of Dead Swiss and Darren Almond's clock that has something to do with the Holocaust. The Tower's commission makes me wonder if recent art may have a less stylish artistic pedigree than it thinks, for there is already, on permanent view in London, a work that remembers the violence of the Tudor state. It is Paul Delaroche's painting The Execution of Lady Jane Grey in the National Gallery. Most people would agree this is a masterpiece only of 19th-century sentimentality. Could it be that far from fighting the forgetfulness of the late capitalist world, artists who deal in commemoration pander to a neo-Victorian mawkishness?
That's the comic way of looking at it. To see the grim side, watch the news. As we approach the fifth anniversary of September 11 2001, and controversy continues to confound the troubled building site in New York - revisions were agreed this year to Michael Arad's and Peter Walker's design for a monument, Reflecting Absence, to consist of two voids surrounded by trees on the World Trade Centre footprint - it is surely becoming obvious that memory is not always the great humane value we take it to be. Memory cherished too long, with too much bitterness, makes a stone of the heart. It's often better to forget. Art, anyway, can serve us better by criticising memory than by enshrining it in monuments that blindly assert false and vengeful grudges even as they claim to pay simple homage.
Recently I watched Leni Riefenstahl's film Triumph of the Will and realised something that shocked me. I'd seen those terrifying stills from her documentary of the Nuremberg Rally, in which rank on rank of identically saluting stormtroopers form a massed legion of death. But I never knew until I saw the film what they were doing: paying their collective respects at a memorial to German soldiers killed in the first world war.
The problem is not with memory as such but with the misleading notion of "shared" memory. Grief is personal and private. The moment you claim it can be shared by strangers - and this is what all public memorials do - you transform it, you tell some kind of lie.
Name of source: ICBS
SOURCE: ICBS (7-26-06)
ICBS, founded in 1996 'to work to protect the world's cultural heritage threatened by wars and natural disasters', now calls on all parties to be respectful of the cultural property in the region. In making this statement, ICBS takes no position on any other issue relating to conflicts in the region.
Cultural property is priceless and irreplaceable, of vital importance not only to each community, but also to humanity. Historical sites and monuments, paintings and museum artefacts, books and libraries, manuscripts and archives all recount the history of the communities affected and of mankind as a whole. They are extremely vulnerable to attack during armed conflicts and, if they are damaged or destroyed, it is always difficult and often impossible to replace them or to restore them to their former condition. If the cultural heritage does not survive intact, then present and future generations in the region will not be able to appreciate their cultural identity in the fullest sense. Media and ICBS network reports indicate that there is a considerable risk that the cultural heritage of the various peoples in the region will suffer permanent losses...
Name of source: Peninsula (Qatar)
SOURCE: Peninsula (Qatar) (7-26-06)
Siamand Banaa said the stolen pieces-three ancient clay tablets-were probably taken from a museum in Iraq. Known as cuneiforms, the tablets belong to one of the earliest known forms of written expression.
They were among many valuable pieces stolen from the country before and after the war in 2003. "Thousands of ancient artefacts were looted from Iraq after 2003 but also before the liberation," Banaa said.
Name of source: Willie Dry in National Georgraphic News
SOURCE: Willie Dry in National Georgraphic News (7-25-06)
The Hunley was the first submarine to successfully down an enemy ship, during an attack in Charleston Harbor in 1864. But it sank while still in the harbor, a mystery that remains unsolved to this day.
The researchers, working for the Hunley Commission, found that a locking mechanism had been removed, breaking the hatch's watertight seal. They also discovered that glass in a tiny, two-inch-wide (five-centimeter-wide) porthole in the hatch was broken.
But archaeologist Mike Scafuri says the investigators have not yet conclusively determined that this was the reason why the Hunley went down.
Name of source: Federal Register
SOURCE: Federal Register (7-25-06)
This interim final rule also modifies the hours the exhibit areas in the National Archives Building, Washington, DC, are open to the public.
A public meeting on this interim final rule will be held on August 3, 2006 at 1 p.m.
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
Name of source: Asahi Herald Tribune (Japan)
SOURCE: Asahi Herald Tribune (Japan) (7-26-06)
Historians had long speculated about who actually gave the order for the attack on the U.S. naval base in Hawaii that brought U.S. forces into World War II. Until now, no documents had been found in Japan that named Tojo, the wartime prime minister, as responsible.
Records of the Sept. 25, 1945, interview by Hugh Baillie, president of the then United Press wire service, and Frank Kluckhohn, Pacific bureau chief for The New York Times, were found in the Archives and Mausolea Department of the Imperial Household Agency.
The interview marked the first time that Hirohito, known posthumously as Emperor Showa, had been interviewed by any media organizations.
The interview was recorded by officials of the household agency's Board of the Ceremonies.
Analysts said aides to Hirohito clearly wanted the interview to stave off international moves to pursue the question of the emperor's responsibility for Japan's actions during the war.
The document includes responses to questions that were submitted to the emperor beforehand.
One crucial question posed by Kluckhohn centered on the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. The emperor was asked whether he had intended to withhold Japan's declaration of war on the United States until after the attack, which is what Tojo did.
The emperor replied that it had never been his intention for the declaration of war to be issued to American officials hours after Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor. He said that decision was made by Tojo, a Class-A war criminal who was later hanged.
A draft of the interview compiled by former Prime Minister Kijuro Shidehara avoided directly naming any individual for the decision to attack Pearl Harbor. Instead, it said only that "details of war strategy were left up to the highest commanders in the (Imperial Japanese) army and navy."
In the Page One story that ran in the Sept. 25, 1945, edition of The New York Times, Kluckhohn wrote that the emperor placed responsibility on Tojo for the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
Because the contents of that report differed from the draft put together by Shidehara, researchers had long pondered the accuracy of The New York Times report.
The discovery of the records settles once and for all any question about the emperor's response to the question on Pearl Harbor.
Name of source: Guardian Unlimited (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian Unlimited (UK) (7-22-06)
The files have shocked Romanians and prompted calls for an inquiry into why many of the agents who allegedly recruited the child spies continued working for the security services after Ceausescu was toppled and executed in 1989.
"In every county there were complex networks of these children, aged between 12 and 14 years old," said Cazimir Ionescu, a member of the state council created to study the Securitate archives.
Leading Romanian historian Marius Oprea unearthed a cache of such files in the Transylvanian town of Sibiu, the 2007 European Capital of Culture, which was run like a fiefdom in the 1980s by Ceausescu's son, Nicu. "In Sibiu in 1989, the Securitate recruited 830 informers and of these 170 were under 18," said Mr Oprea. "On the basis of Sibiu, you could say that perhaps 15% of the whole country's informers were children."
Historians believe the Securitate had hundreds of thousands of collaborators on its books by 1989, as Soviet power faded across eastern Europe. "What kind of information could these children give, except on family, teachers and so on?" asked Mr Oprea. "This shows that, by then, the Securitate was being used to control its own, ordinary people."
The children were expected to tell their Securitate handlers about their friends' and families' opinions on the Communist party, and whether they listened to western radio stations, had contact with foreigners or made jokes about Ceausescu.
"In the 1980s the situation in Romania made it hard to recruit anyone with appeals to patriotism, so they blackmailed people, even children, with things they had done wrong at school or with information they threatened to use against them," Mr Oprea said.
The secret police targeted intelligent and sporty children, whose participation in teams and clubs gave them access to many teachers, other children and their parents. "This was incredible abuse," Dan Voinea, the public prosecutor investigating the case, told Romanian media.
Several alleged recruiters were promoted through the ranks of the secret police after 1989, and some brought their young spies to work alongside them when they left school.
"This is a tragedy which must not only be brought to light but must also have clear consequences for the perpetrators," said Stejarel Olaru, a historian working with Mr Oprea at the state institute for studying communist crimes.
Mr Oprea found evidence of the child-spy programme soon after 1989, but found no appetite for such revelations among the ex-communists who seized power after Ceausescu's demise, and stayed quiet for 15 years. Only when reformers ousted the old guard in 2004 elections did the Securitate archive begin opening.
Access is now increasing under pressure from the EU, which Romania hopes to join in January.
Name of source: Ralph Luker at HNN blog Cliopatria
SOURCE: Ralph Luker at HNN blog Cliopatria (7-26-06)
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (7-25-06)
For her time, reports CBS News correspondent Richard Schlesinger, the Andrea Doria was top of the line. She was the pride of the Italian fleet — and the way to America for Antonio De Girolamo and his family, who were immigrating in 1956.
Just after 11 p.m., just off Nantucket, on July 25, 1956, the inbound Andrea Doria was rammed by the outbound ocean liner the Stockholm and started sinking.
But how could two ships, both with radar, collide in the open sea?
"There were always unfound facts about this situation — mysteries," Miller says.
The Andrea Doria was the larger, more modern ship and had plenty of time to steer clear. For years, people blamed the captain for the collision.
"He was known to wander the streets of Genoa mumbling all sorts of things," Miller says. "He never went back to sea again. He was completely in shock for the rest of his days."
But just a year ago, historians discovered that the Andrea Doria's rudder might have been defective — and that the shipping line was unwilling to fix it.
Name of source: CBS
SOURCE: CBS (7-22-06)
But lately his foreign policy has come under fire from some conservatives — including the father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley.
CBS Evening News Saturday anchor Thalia Assuras sat down for an exclusive interview with Buckley about his disagreements with President Bush.
Buckley finds himself parting ways with President Bush, whom he praises as a decisive leader but admonishes for having strayed from true conservative principles in his foreign policy.
In particular, Buckley views the three-and-a-half-year Iraq War as a failure.
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says.
Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq... The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular."
Despite evidence that Iran is supplying weapons and expertise to Hezbollah in the conflict with Israel, Buckley rejects neo-conservatives who favor a more interventionist foreign policy, including a pre-emptive air strike against Iran and its nuclear facilities.
"If we find there is a warhead there that is poised, the range of it is tested, then we have no alternative. But pending that, we have to ask ourselves, 'What would the Iranian population do?'"
Name of source: Blogenspiel (blog)
SOURCE: Blogenspiel (blog) (7-25-06)
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (7-19-06)
When President Bush issued a proclamation in 2002 creating a Lewis and Clark Bicentennial celebration, tourism officials from Virginia to Oregon pounced on it as a potential blockbuster. But as the three-year celebration enters its homestretch, participating communities are still waiting for the Lewis and Clark gravy train to leave the station.
"It's the great Lewis and Clark letdown," says Dave Hunt, a wholesaler of bicentennial knickknacks, including commemorative spoons and refrigerator magnets, in Lewiston, Idaho. In June, the town held a festival to mark the time in 1806 when the pair dropped in on a local Nez Perce Indian tribe. But the festivities -- a quilt and animal hides show, a craft fair and a re-enactment -- drew only a trickle of visitors.
Washington state expected as many as 10 million people to attend a number of events there, including boat tours of the expeditionary group's route along the Columbia River. Fewer than a million showed up. St. Charles, Mo., where the explorers began their epic journey, was similarly disappointed. The town anticipated as many as 500,000 visitors for its 10-day festival but ended up with about one-tenth that number.