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When Jack Daniel’s Failed to Honor a Slave, an Author Rewrote History - The New York Times
By CLAY RISEN AUG. 15, 2017

“It’s absolutely critical that the story of Nearest gets added to the Jack Daniel story,” Mark I. McCallum, the president of Jack Daniel’s Brands at Brown-Forman, said in an interview.

The company’s decision to recognize its debt to a slave, first reported last year by The New York Times, is a momentous turn in the history of Southern foodways. Even as black innovators in Southern cooking and agriculture are beginning to get their due, the tale of American whiskey is still told as a whites-only affair, about Scots-Irish settlers who brought Old World distilling knowledge to the frontier states of Tennessee and Kentucky.

Green’s story changes all that by showing how enslaved people likely provided the brains as well as the brawn in what was an arduous, dangerous and highly technical operation......Mr. May said that so far, visitor response to the new tours spotlighting Green’s contribution has been positive. It’s not hard to see why: At a rough time for race relations in America, the relationship between Daniel and Green allows Brown-Forman to tell a positive story, while also pioneering an overdue conversation about the unacknowledged role that black people, as slaves and later as free men, played in the evolution of American whiskey.
African-Americans  authors  distilleries  history  liquor  origin_story  slavery  storytelling  whiskey  writers 
august 2017 by jerryking
I see history as my root and my illumination
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.

Sir, I am a bit perplexed at how Henry Mance can assert that history is “rarely instructive” (“ ‘Dunkirk’ shows that the past is not an open book”, July 29). At Stanford University, I was particularly attracted to history because Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised it as “philosophy learnt by example” [ Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus.]. Even to this day, such study helps me heed the counsel of the dead and marshal the strength of my own mind.

I see history as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. I see history as my root and my illumination, as the road from whence I came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide me into the future.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.” (i.e. my take is that being able to draw on 3,000 yrs. of living is the definition of wisdom).
========================================

Comment:
Gene 4 days ago
History is the great uncontrolled experiment on human behavior. Lessons should be drawn from it with caution (as history shows).
letters_to_the_editor  history  quotes  tools  hand-to-mouth  Greek  lessons_learned  skepticism  experimentation  wisdom  human_behavior  the_counsel_of_the_dead  foresight  Kwame_Nkrumah 
august 2017 by jerryking
Enterprising Bostonians - WSJ
By John Steele Gordon
June 25, 2017

BRAHMIN CAPITALISM

By Noam Maggor
Harvard, 284 pages, $39.95
Boston  history  slavery  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  books  Boston_Brahmins 
june 2017 by jerryking
Prepare for a New Supercycle of Innovation - WSJ
By John Michaelson
May 9, 2017

Things are about to change. Consider information technology. Today’s enterprise IT systems are built on platforms dating from the 1970s to the 1990s. These systems are now horrendously expensive to operate, prone to catastrophic crashes, and unable to ensure data security. The cloud only made this worse by increasing complexity.

Corporate CEOs complain that they are unable to get the data they need. These rickety systems cannot easily accommodate data mining and artificial intelligence. Evidence of their deficiencies is seen daily. The New York Stock Exchange stops trading for hours. Yahoo acknowledges the compromise of one billion user accounts. Airline reservation systems go down repeatedly. The pain level for users is becoming intolerable.

Each decade for the past 60 years, we have seen a thousand-fold increase in world-wide processing power, bandwidth and storage. At the same time, costs have fallen by a factor of 10,000. Advances in these platforms, in themselves, do not produce innovation. But they facilitate the development and deployment of entirely new applications that take advantage of these advances. [jk: The Republican intellectual George F. Gilder taught us that we should husband resources that are scarce and costly, but can waste resources that are abundant and cheap] Amazing new applications are almost never predictable. They come from human creativity (jk: human ingenuity). That is one reason they almost never come from incumbent companies. But once barriers to innovation are lowered, new applications follow.
10x  artificial_intelligence  CEOs  creativity  cyber_security  data_mining  economic_downturn  flash_crashes  George_Gilder  Gilder's  Law  innovation  history  human_ingenuity  incumbents  IT  legacy_tech  Moore's_Law  NYSE 
may 2017 by jerryking
David McCullough’s History Lessons
April 14, 2017 | WSJ | By Alexandra Wolfe.

David McCullough thinks that the country isn’t in such bad shape. It’s all relative, says the 83-year-old historian and author of such books as the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographies “Truman” (1992) and “John Adams” (2001). He points to the Civil War, for instance, when the country lost 2% of its population—that would be more than six million people today—or the flu pandemic of 1918, when more than 500,000 Americans died. “Imagine that on the nightly news,” he says.

History gives us a sense of proportion, he says: “It’s an antidote to a lot of unfortunately human trends like self-importance and self-pity.”.....see history “as an aid to navigation in such troubled, uncertain times,”.....[McCullough] thought back to something that the playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder had said while a fellow at Yale during Mr. McCullough’s undergraduate days. When Wilder heard a good story and wished to see it on the stage, he wrote the play himself. When he wanted to read a book about an interesting event, he wrote it himself.....Even today, Mr. McCullough doesn’t use a computer for research or writing. He still goes to libraries and archives to find primary sources and writes on a typewriter. ...History, he adds, is “often boiled down to statistics and dates and quotations that make it extremely boring.” The key to generating interest, he says, is for professors and teachers to frame history as stories about people.
archives  authors  biographies  Civil_War  contextual  David_McCullough  DIY  flu_outbreaks  Harry_Truman  historians  history  John_Adams  libraries  self-importance  self-pity  sense_of_proportion  storytelling  Pulitzer_Prize 
april 2017 by jerryking
On the Vimy anniversary, it’s time we all learned the name Arthur Currie - The Globe and Mail
DONALD MACLEOD
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Apr. 09, 2017

we should celebrate Sir Arthur Currie and, perhaps, take a cue from our Australian cousins and consider promoting him to the rank of field marshal in the name of the soldiers of the Canadian Corp he led.
leadership  recognition  WWI  anniversaries  soldiers  Vimy  generalship  nation_building  history  Canadian  Canada  memorials  commemoration  militaries 
april 2017 by jerryking
Europe Is Waving Goodbye to Sugar Cane - Bloomberg
by Agnieszka De Sousa
March 15, 2017, 8:01 PM EDT March 16, 2017,
EU  sugar  history  Caribbean  Caricom  Guyana 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Feud That Sank Saigon
MARCH 3, 2017 | The New York Times | Sean Fear
VIETNAM '67
feuds  Vietnam  Vietnam_War  1967  history  politics  Saigon  disputes  rivalries 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Enlightenment Project
FEB. 28, 2017 | The New York Times| David Brooks.

Enlightenment thought. The Enlightenment included thinkers like John Locke and Immanuel Kant who argued that people should stop deferring blindly to authority for how to live. Instead, they should think things through from the ground up, respect facts and skeptically re-examine their own assumptions and convictions.

Enlightenment thinkers turned their skeptical ideas into skeptical institutions, notably the U.S. Constitution. America’s founders didn’t trust the people or themselves, so they built a system of rules, providing checks and balances to pit interest against interest.

....Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements don’t think truth is to be found through skeptical inquiry and debate. They think wisdom and virtue are found in the instincts of the plain people, deep in the mystical core of the nation’s or race’s group consciousness.

Today’s anti-Enlightenment movements believe less in calm persuasion and evidence-based inquiry than in purity of will. They try to win debates through blunt force and silencing unacceptable speech.

They don’t see history as a gradual march toward cooperation. They see history as cataclysmic cycles — a zero-sum endeavor marked by conflict. Nations trying to screw other nations, races inherently trying to oppress other races.

These movements are hostile to rules-based systems, multilateral organizations, the messy compromises of democratic politics and what Steve Bannon calls the “administrative state.” They prefer the direct rule by one strongman who is the embodiment of the will of the people.

When Trump calls the media the “enemy of the people” he is going after the system of conversation, debate and inquiry that is the foundation for the entire Enlightenment project....
David_Brooks  grand_strategy  history  Yale  John_Locke  Immanuel_Kant  rules-based  Abraham_Lincoln  multilateralism  De_Tocqueville  the_Enlightenment  skepticism  checks_and_balances  Stephen_Bannon  worldviews  zero-sum_games  strongman  constitutions 
march 2017 by jerryking
Where History Is Being Made - The New York Times
I sent the Fallows Question to the Fallows themselves, and they agreed in part with my Washington answer. But they also said that the most important place to be now might be places like Erie, Pa.; Fresno, Ca.; and Columbus, Ohio.

Trump’s presence in the White House may push change to the local levels. In these cities, the Fallows argue, citizen participants are coping with declining industries, creating new civic cultures, assimilating waves of immigration, collaborating across party lines to revive everything from arts programs to tech seedbeds.

If you want to “observe” history, the Fallows say, go to Washington. If you want to “participate,” go elsewhere.

That’s a good argument, but I suppose I should close by widening the possibilities. After all, few knew about Martin Luther in 1517 or what Deng Xiaoping would unleash in 1977.....Most people can’t up and move in search of history. They’re tied down by work, family and spiritual commitments. But you only go around once in life, so if you can swing it, you might as well be where the action is.
David_Brooks  James_Fallows  Washington_D.C.  seminal_moments  Donald_Trump  local  history  engaged_citizenry  participation  pivots 
february 2017 by jerryking
A Lesson in Black History - The New York Times
Charles M. Blow FEB. 6, 2017

Let’s be absolutely clear here: Frederick Douglass is a singular, towering figure of American history. The entire legacy of black intellectual thought and civil rights activism flows in some way through Douglass, from W.E.B. DuBois to Booker T. Washington, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to President Barack Obama himself.

Douglass was one of the most brilliant thinkers, writers and orators America has ever produced. Furthermore, he harnessed and mastered the media of his day: Writing an acclaimed autobiography, establishing his own newspaper and becoming the most photographed American of the 19th century.
history  Frederick_Douglass  Charles_Blow  legacies  19th_century  African-Americans  MLK 
february 2017 by jerryking
Black Lives, White Lies and Emmett Till - The New York Times
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDFEB. 6, 2017
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cold_cases  Jim_Crow  history  white_supremacy  killings  civil_rights  bigotry  Emmett_Till  the_South  FBI  lying  lynchings 
february 2017 by jerryking
The History the Slaveholders Wanted Us to Forget - The New York Times
By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.

Except for the relatively few African-Americans who saw through such racist fictions of Africa, drawn upon to devalue their humanity and justify their relegation to second-class citizenship — people such as Garvey, Henry Highland Garnet, Martin R. Delany, W.E.B. Du Bois (who would die a citizen of Ghana), Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou — far too many of us felt that “Africa” was something of an embarrassment. Richard Wright, the great novelist, published a book titled “Black Power” in 1954 about feeling that way.
historical_amnesia  historians  history  slavery  Africa  ignorance  slaveholders  Henry_Louis_Gates  African-Americans  second-class_citizenship  humanity  W.E.B._Du_Bois  Black_Power  erasures 
february 2017 by jerryking
IS THE CITY REALLY SINKING? – Kaieteur News
Jan 19, 2017

Many believe that the kind of flooding the country has experienced in recent years is related to issues connected to global warming. It is also known that the current drainage structure in Georgetown and the coastal plain cannot cope with the intensity and volume of rainfall.
The government owes it to the people to develop both short-term and long-term strategies to solve the problem. It should contract specialists in the field to increase the capacity of the current drainage structure in Georgetown and the coastal plain in order to absorb the volume of water from heavy rainfall. The specialists should also provide advice as to the viability of existence of Georgetown, which according to experts is sinking. The pertinent questions would be: What kind of drainage system is needed to ensure the survival of the people in the most fertile part of Guyana? And, more importantly, is the city really sinking?
Georgetown  Guyana  floods  climate_change  Dutch  French  British  history 
january 2017 by jerryking
No Racial Barrier Left to Break (Except All of Them) - The New York Times
JAN. 14, 2017 | NYT | By KHALIL GIBRAN MUHAMMAD.

The future is no longer about “firsts.” It is instead about the content of the character of the institutions our new leaders will help us rebuild....The U.S. can’t create a more just nation simply by dressing up institutions in more shades of brown. Now there must be an effort to confront structural racism.....for African-Americans, Obama's travails are proof positive that MLK's contention that the content of one’s character would be the perfect antidote to racism is necessary but--by itself--insufficient to heal the gaping wounds of racial injustice in America.....in a post-assimilation America where there is no racial [occupational] barrier left to break, [African] Americans must turn to confronting structural racism and the values of our institutions....Obama's pedigree and character couldn’t protect/save him from the Tea Party revolution, Republican obstructionism, police brutality, voter suppression and Islamophobia.... individuals, no matter how singular, cannot bend the moral arc of the universe....In a post-assimilation America, recognize that institutions are far more powerful than individuals, no matter how many people of color can be counted in leadership. Structural racism is immune to identity politics....history matters. Black people in charge of, or embedded in, institutions that have not atoned for their history of racism can make it easier for those institutions to ignore or dismiss present-day claims of racial bias. That’s because the path to leadership has often meant accepting institutions as they are, not disrupting them.....people of color can inherit or perpetuate structures of inequality. Many institutions of government, finance and higher education were built on the backs of enslaved African-Americans and remain haunted by that history. Diversity and inclusion policies, therefore, should grow out of truth and reconciliation practices as well as strategic hiring plans. Intentional transformation, even reparations, one government agency, one company, one college at a time moves us past the denial and the empty promises....In post-assimilation America, people of color must continue to pursue leadership roles as the demographics of the nation inexorably change. But they must also reject their personal achievement as the core measure of progress and instead use history as a tool to measure systemic change.
Obama  legacies  institutions  farewells  history  obstructionism  GOP  Tea_Party  MLK  leaders  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  institutional_change  identity_politics  structural_change  African-Americans  Georgetown_University  assimilation  institutional_path_dependency 
january 2017 by jerryking
Looking Death in the Face -
DEC. 26, 2016 | The New York Times | by John Kaag and Clancy Martin.

Shelley’s poem, “Ozymandias,”, tells us, nothing remains of this pharaoh's works or of him, despite his status as the king of kings. All that remains is sand.

The poem’s message is perennial: All of this will be over soon, faster than you think. Fame has a shadow — inevitable decline. The year 2016 has delivered a string of deaths that serve as bracing reminders of this inevitability: Prince, Nancy Reagan, David Bowie, Elie Wiesel, Bill Cunningham, Muhammad Ali, Gordie Howe, Merle Haggard, Patty Duke, John Glenn....The year’s end is a time to take account of kingdoms built, but also the sheer rapidity of their destruction. It is a chance to come to terms with the existential fragility that is overlooked in most of our waking hours and that must be faced even by the greatest among us....the scariest thing about death: coming to die only to discover, in Thoreau’s words, that we haven’t lived....Dying, of course, corresponds exactly with what we prefer to call living. This is what Samuel Beckett meant when he observed that we “give birth astride the grave.” It is an existential realization that may seem to be the province of the very sick or very old. The elderly get to watch the young and oblivious squander their days, time that they now recognize as incredibly precious....The trick to dying for something is picking the right something, day after week after precious year. And this is incredibly hard and decidedly not inevitable....
dying  howto  Egyptian_Empire  history  worthiness  discernment  overlooked  perennial  timeless  poems  decline  mybestlife  deaths 
december 2016 by jerryking
The Horror of Lynchings Lives On - The New York Times
By THE EDITORIAL BOARDDEC. 3, 2016
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lynchings  the_South  cold_cases  Jim_Crow  history  killings  civil_rights  bigotry 
december 2016 by jerryking
For Brexit supporters, a cautionary tale from Henry VIII - The Globe and Mail
CARL MORTISHED
LONDON — Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Sep. 28, 2016 3:06PM
Brexit  United_Kingdom  Tudors  EU  history  cautionary_tales 
september 2016 by jerryking
Henry Louis Gates Jr.: Restoring Black History
SEPT. 23, 2016 | - The New York Times | By HENRY LOUIS GATES Jr.

The opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington helps to resolve the protracted debate about the contributions of black people to American history and, indeed, about whether they had a history worth preserving at all. Those questions were at the heart of the nation’s original debate about whether, and how, black lives matter.....“History,” James Baldwin wrote, “is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do.”.... the opening of the museum ...reinscribes race at a symbolically central place in American culture, on the National Mall, where we celebrate our collective public histories, ensuring that a mountain of evidence about black contributions to America will be on permanent display....More than a museum, the building on the National Mall is a refutation of two and a half centuries of the misuse of history to reinforce a social order in which black people were enslaved, then systematically repressed and denied their rights when freed. It also repudiates the long and dismal tradition of objectifying black people in museums.
slavery  Jim_Crow  history  historians  Henry_Louis_Gates  museums  Washington_D.C.  African-Americans  Thomas_Jefferson  Enlightenment  Hegel  John_Hope_Franklin  W.E.B._Du_Bois  Carter_Woodson  Arthur_Schomburg  Obama  James_Baldwin  Smithsonian  David_Adjaye 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Rise and Fall of Black Wall Street
AUG 31, 2016 | The Atlantic | ALEXIA FERNÁNDEZ CAMPBELL.

Richmond was once the epicenter of black finance. What happened there explains the decline of black-owned banks across the country.

On April, 3rd, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis. In it, he urged African Americans to put their money in black-owned banks. It wasn’t his most famous line, but the message was clear: “We’ve got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in the Tri-State Bank. We want a ‘bank-in’ movement in Memphis … We begin the process of building a greater economic base.”

The next day, King was assassinated, and his hope of harnessing black wealth remains unfulfilled. Before integration, African Americans in cities like Richmond, Chicago, and Atlanta relied on black community banks, which were largely responsible for providing loans and boosting black businesses, churches, and neighborhoods. After desegregation, black wealth started to hemorrhage from these communities: White-owned banks were forced to open their doors to African Americans and the money that once flowed into black banks and back out to black communities ended up on Wall Street and other banks farther away.
MLK  African-Americans  banks  banking  community_banks  institutions  history  Richmond  desegregation  integration  black-owned  self-sufficiency  self-reliance  institution-building  generational_wealth  economic_clout  capital_formation  epicenters  1968 
september 2016 by jerryking
For Putin, Disinformation Is Power - The New York Times
AUG. 5, 2016 | The New York Times | By ARKADY OSTROVSKY.

Vladimir V. Putin told Larry King on CNN that his previous job as a K.G.B. officer had been like that of a journalist. “They have the same purpose of gathering information, synthesizing it and presenting it for the consumption of decision makers,”...During the Cold War, the Kremlin interfered in American politics for decades. The K.G.B.’s so-called active measures — subversion, media manipulations, forgery and the financing of some “peace” organizations — lay at the heart of Soviet intelligence.
disinformation  Vladimir_Putin  history  anti-Americanism  subversion  Donald_Trump  security_&_intelligence  Kremlin  WikiLeaks  propaganda  cyber_warfare  Cold_War  triumphalism  narratives  Dmitri_Medvedev  KGB  information_warfare  destabilization  deception 
august 2016 by jerryking
Yes, Slaves Did Help Build the White House - The New York Times
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVISJULY 26, 2016
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slavery  White_House  history  Michelle_Obama  DNC  Campaign_2016  African-Americans 
july 2016 by jerryking
The lasting legacy of a dreadful president - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Jul. 05, 2016
crossborder  legacies  history  Obama  Donald_Trump  NAFTA  Lawrence_Martin 
july 2016 by jerryking
Africans were pioneers in business in Guyana
January 12, 2010 | Stabroek News | F. Skinner.

Africans are the pioneers of the majority of business trends and innovations in Guyana, but there is hardly any tangible proof of this. Their ideas were worked and developed only to change hands with no royalties attached. ...Mr King identified many problems/obstacles facing the African businessman. He pointed out that if an Indian is a barber his son and even grandson are destined to be barbers. Next, the lack of other rich African businessmen to turn to for support – financial or business advice – when the banks and your competitors gang up against you.....He discussed the proposition with his closest friends and was asked, “What you gon do wid all that property?” He admitted that it was not that his friends were deliberately giving him bad advice, it was that they simply did not know and he was no different. He regretted the missed opportunity because a few years later one year’s rental of a small section on the ground floor would have paid for the entire property at the time....They ran into financial problems and got some assistance from the government, which was not enough. Which African organization could they have turned to for financial assistance? The same can be said about another three who had the stone quarry....All the persons mentioned were out there with their shoulders to the wheel. There are reasons for their failures. We must identify these reasons and address them as a community. Glaring though is the lack of a support system in the community.
We must accept that we must generate wealth and not just depend on education, a salaried job or a government. We must be able to be trustworthy to each other. We must stop this individualist approach to business. One ‘pointer’ can’t sweep. Our foreparents trusted each other enough to form co-ops and bought land.
Afro-Guyanese  small_business  history  '70s  entrepreneurship  letters_to_the_editor  Guyanese  trailblazers  trustworthiness  advice  pioneers  missed_opportunities  regrets  support_systems  challenges  wealth_creation  failure  post-mortems  disunity 
june 2016 by jerryking
The Scarborough Bluffs are rarely seen — but there’s a plan to change that - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May 13, 2016

[ M. Jane Fairburn in her 2013 book Along the Shore, a history of Toronto's waterfront]

Conservation officials hope to change all that, making the Bluffs safer and easier to visit. They want to shore up dangerous bits, put in more trails and create habitat for wild animals and fish. A study is already under way, with a first set of options to be presented to the public next month.

It is an exciting project, a once-in-a-century chance to open up the whole of the Scarborough shore to a broader public. It is also a delicate one. Officials face the challenge of giving safe access to the Bluffs without destroying the wild quality that lend them their magic. Some people want them left alone altogether. Others want to see a continuous shoreline trail as you might have in an urban waterfront.
Toronto  Marcus_Gee  Scarborough  history  parks  waterfronts  landmarks  landscapes  ravines  conservation  habitats  wilderness  books  TRCA 
may 2016 by jerryking
My Guyana: 50 years ago : Kaieteur News
MAY 8, 2016 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER FEATURES / COLUMNISTS, MY COLUMN 
guyana  history  anniversaries  nostalgia 
may 2016 by jerryking
With the big 150 in sight, Canada is ready to party - The Globe and Mail
LAWRENCE MARTIN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, May 10, 2016

This country’s 100th anniversary, marked by Expo 67, ranks as one of the high points in the story of Canadian unity. Though few trumpets are sounding, we shouldn’t be surprised if the 150th, which comes next year, outdoes it.

The Canadian fabric is more tightly woven than it was a half-century ago. On the stability scale, few countries rank higher. To be flattered, we need only observe the escalation of ethnic nationalism in Europe and the surge of divisive nativist passions in the United States.

After our centennial celebrations, we experienced those types of tensions here. Ethnic nationalism escalated in Quebec and regional tensions magnified in the West. Instability, particularly in Quebec, was palpable over a three-decade period. Today, the separatist threat is about as lethal as the collywobbles. The Parti Québécois’s most recent show of enfeeblement saw its leader..... A unified country is more capable of meeting big challenges. On the eve of its 150th birthday, Canadian unity has rarely, if ever, been stronger.
Lawrence_Martin  anniversaries  Canada  national_unity  Expo_67  history  Canadian  nation_building  national_identity  Canada150  one-time_events 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Danger of a Single Story - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 19, 2016

American politics has always been prone to single storyism — candidates reducing complex issues to simple fables. This year the problem is acute because Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the giants of Single Storyism. They reduce pretty much all issues to the same single story: the alien invader story....As in life generally, every policy has the vices of its virtues. Aggressive policing cuts crime but increases brutality. There is no escape from trade-offs and tragic situations. The only way forward is to elect people who are capable of holding opposing stories in their heads at the same time, and to reject those who can’t....As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The test of a first-rate mind is the ability to hold two diametrically opposed ideas in your head at the same time.”"
David_Brooks  storytelling  public_policy  single_action_bias  critical_thinking  history  philosophy  skepticism  tradeoffs  oversimplification  criminal_justice_system  incarceration  narratives  dual-consciousness  F._Scott_Fitzgerald 
april 2016 by jerryking
A superpark hides in Toronto’s Don Valley, waiting to be discovered - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

historian Jennifer L. Bonnell wrote in her 2014 book Reclaiming the Don.

A few small moves would get it in motion. Proponents envision new bike lanes on Bayview Avenue that would make it less terrifying to go there on two wheels. An old rail trestle would become a pedestrian bridge. New bridges, stairs and paths would welcome people from Cabbagetown and from Regent Park, from Corktown and the emerging neighbourhoods in and around the Port Lands.

But in the longer term, the plan would mean combining two rail corridors, both controlled by Metrolinx, reconfiguring the DVP ramp to Bloor-Bayview and removing a city works yard that now sits in the middle of the valley. But governments are budgeting at least $1-billion for roads, water, parks and rail improvements in this zone, including the electrification of GO’s train lines and the Gardiner Expressway rebuild. The river is unruly, prone to powerful floods; a thoughtful, coherent landscape would mitigate the risks for infrastructure and serve the environment of the valley.
books  Brickworks  Cabbagetown  Corktown  design  Don_River  DVP  Evergreen  floodplains  floods  Gardiner_Expressway  GO  green_spaces  history  landscapes  Metrolinx  neighbourhoods  parks  Port_Lands  railways  ravines  regeneration  Regent_Park  small_moves  sustainability  Toronto  undervalued 
april 2016 by jerryking
Courses in Manhood for African-American Boys - The New York Times
FEB. 4, 2016 | NYT | By PATRICIA LEIGH BROWN.

While lower grades focus on the stories, legacies and images of black people, high school students take a deep dive into African-American history and culture, from ancient civilizations to the civil rights movement to contemporary media. All classes are taught by black male instructors whose own experiences and perspectives provide a multidimensional understanding of the students they mentor (in Oakland, as elsewhere, more than half the teachers are white and most are women).
African-Americans  coming-of-age  cultural_identity  high_schools  history  life_skills  male  masculinity  mentoring  Oakland  rituals  students  values 
february 2016 by jerryking
Canada beware: We are suffering a great depression in commodity prices - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL BLISS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

The Great Depression of the 1930s used to be understood as a worldwide structural crisis that was partly an adjustment to the great expansion of crop acreage and other primary industries undertaken to meet the demands of the First World War. Unfortunately the history of those years now tends to be viewed through the distorting lenses of economists fixated on monetary policy and financial crisis management.

They thought that the crisis of 2008 might become a replay of the 1930s. For the most part they have not realized that it is today’s global depression in commodity prices that has eerie echoes of the great crack-up. If it’s true that we have overexpanded our productive capacity to meet the demands of Chinese growth, and if that growth is now going to slow, or even cease, then history is worrisomely on the verge of repeating itself....One sign of the beginning of wisdom is to be able to shed illusions. Make no mistake. Right now, the world is experiencing a great depression in commodity prices, led by the collapse of oil, that represents an enormous shrinkage in the valuation of our wealth. As a country whose wealth is still highly dependent on the returns we can get from selling our natural resources, Canada is very vulnerable. In a time of price depression, our wealth bleeds away.
'30s  adjustments  commodities  commodities_supercycle  economic_downturn  Great_Depression  historians  history  illusions  Michael_Bliss  natural_resources  overcapacity  pricing  overexpansion  slow_growth  wisdom  WWI 
january 2016 by jerryking
Confederation: Canada’s early lesson in tolerance - The Globe and Mail
MOIRA DANN
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Oct. 12, 2015

It wasn’t dissimilar in 1864 Quebec. Many of those top-hatted, suit-coated fellows could do little more than tolerate each other because of political differences and ancient slights. But they had gathered in Quebec a little more than a month after an initial meeting in Charlottetown that had sketched an outline of what a new Canada might look like. They were following up to colour it in.

John A. Macdonald and George Brown of Canada West (Ontario) and George-Étienne Cartier of Canada East (Quebec) were the primary instigators of the Confederation discussions; now they had to make sure all the goodwill flowing from September’s conference in Charlottetown would be shaped into a document. They had never been anything like friends but they had shelved their partisan, political and personal rancour when they took part in what’s known as the Great Coalition and then approached Maritime leaders about uniting British North America.
anniversaries  Canadian  Confederation  George_Brown  George-Étienne_Cartier  history  leaders  nation_builders  politicians  Sir_John_A._Macdonald  tolerance 
october 2015 by jerryking
Emergency planning: Flood warning — new data help predict risk - FT.com
September 4, 2015 4:42 pm
Emergency planning: Flood warning — new data help predict risk
Clive Cookson

Historical information can be a practical tool for planning responses to future emergencies....KnowNow Information, a spinout from computing giant IBM, has produced a prototype “flood event model” for Hampshire. Working with the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree supercomputing centre in Daresbury, Cheshire, its team crunched a vast accumulation of data — about water falling from the sky and lying on the ground, geology and landforms, urban geography and infrastructure, as well as past emergencies.
floods  massive_data_sets  history  extreme_weather_events  natural_calamities  data  data_driven  warning_signs  emergencies  anticipating  preparation 
september 2015 by jerryking
Let’s give R.B. Bennett his due - The Globe and Mail
ARTHUR MILNES, FRANCES LANKIN, STEVE PAIKIN, DAVID LOCKHART AND ZACH PAIKIN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Aug. 20, 201
history  leaders  politicians  Canadian  far-sightedness  nation_builders  anniversaries 
august 2015 by jerryking
Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror - The New York Times
JULY 24, 2015 | NYT | By BRENT STAPLES.

In the wake of the Charleston massacre, for example, the parks and recreation board of Birmingham, Ala., voted to explore a proposal that would remove a 52-foot Confederate memorial from the entrance of a prominent park and place it with a Confederate heritage group.

Not all monuments warrant that kind of challenge. But those honoring the Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest deserve the backlash they have generated. Forrest presided over the 1864 massacre of Union soldiers, many of them black, at Fort Pillow in Tennessee. He was also a prominent slave trader and served as the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

Apologists argue that his involvement with the Klan was unimportant because he later adopted more enlightened views. But as the Forrest biographer Jack Hurst writes, by lending his name to the K.K.K. even temporarily, the general accelerated its development. “As the Klan’s first national leader,” Mr. Hurst writes, “he became the Lost Cause’s avenging angel, galvanizing a loose collection of boyish secret social clubs into a reactionary instrument of terror still feared today.”....Critics predictably condemn these efforts as bad-faith attempts to rewrite history. But what’s happening is that communities that were once bound and gagged on this issue are now free to contest a version of history that was created to reinforce racial subjugation.

They are reflecting on how to honor history — including the neglected history of African-Americans — and rightly deciding that some figures who were enshrined as heroes in the past do not deserve to be valorized in public places.
the_South  KKK  Confederacy  terrorism  white_supremacy  history  symbolism  race  African-Americans  Charleston_shootings  Reconstruction  race_relations  racial_discrimination  racial_segregation  racism  violence  Jim_Crow  race-baiting 
july 2015 by jerryking
“It’s symbolic annihilation of history, and it’s done for a purpose. It really enforces white supremacy”: Edward Baptist on the lies we tell about slavery - Salon.com
NOV 9, 2014 01:30 PM EST
“It’s symbolic annihilation of history, and it’s done for a purpose. It really enforces white supremacy”: Edward Baptist on the lies we tell about slavery
Edward Baptist on horrifying truth that we memorialize Confederate soldiers and not Americans who died enslaved
MICHAEL SCHULSON
slavery  the_South  cotton  history  historical_amnesia  financial_history  economic_development  lying  white_supremacy 
july 2015 by jerryking
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