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robertogreco : wwii   35

What’s Happening In Sweden? – Bella Caledonia
"When it comes to making absurd exaggerations about this country to suit their beliefs, they are latecomers. If Sweden occupies an outsized position in the dystopian geography of the nativist right, this is derivative, a sacrilegious inversion of the role it has held for generations in the belief system of their progressive opponents.

It seemed harmless enough, a few years back, when no one talked about ‘fake news’ – but actually, what’s the difference between taking a small local experiment and blowing it up into a story about a whole country switching to a six-hour day, and taking a few local incidents involving immigrants and blowing these up into a story about a whole country where law and order is breaking down? The content is different, sure, and the consequences darker, but the basic pattern is the same."
sweden  dougladhine  myths  socialism  democracy  history  socialsafetynet  2019  bureaucracy  immigration  nationalism  whitesupremacy  arms  weapons  andrewbrown  dominichinde  scandinavia  nordiccountries  welfarestate  chile  pinochet  austerity  schools  schooling  education  privatization  markets  capitalism  labor  work  misinterpretation  england  uk  military  neutrality  foreignpolicy  coldwar  wwii  ww2  exceptionalism  modernity  socialdemocrats 
5 weeks ago by robertogreco
How This All Happened · Collaborative Fund
"This is a short story about what happened to the U.S. economy since the end of World War II."



"10. The Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Brexit, and the rise of Donald Trump each represents a group shouting, “Stop the ride, I want off.”

The details of their shouting are different, but they’re all shouting – at least in part – because stuff isn’t working for them within the context of the post-war expectation that stuff should work roughly the same for roughly everyone.

You can scoff at linking the rise of Trump to income inequality alone. And you should. These things are always layers of complexity deep. But it’s a key part of what drives people to think, “I don’t live in the world I expected. That pisses me off. So screw this. And screw you! I’m going to fight for something totally different, because this – whatever it is – isn’t working.”

Take that mentality and raise it to the power of Facebook, Instagram, and cable news – where people are more keenly aware of how other people live than ever before. It’s gasoline on a flame. Benedict Evans says, “The more the Internet exposes people to new points of view, the angrier people get that different views exist.” That’s a big shift from the post-war economy where the range of economic opinions were smaller, both because the actual range of outcomes was lower and because it wasn’t as easy to see and learn what other people thought and how they lived.

I’m not pessimistic. Economics is the story of cycles. Things come, things go.

The unemployment rate is now the lowest it’s been in decades. Wages are now actually growing faster for low-income workers than the rich. College costs by and large stopped growing once grants are factored in. If everyone studied advances in healthcare, communication, transportation, and civil rights since the Glorious 1950s, my guess is most wouldn’t want to go back.

But a central theme of this story is that expectations move slower than reality on the ground. That was true when people clung to 1950s expectations as the economy changed over the next 35 years. And even if a middle-class boom began today, expectations that the odds are stacked against everyone but those at the top may stick around.

So the era of “This isnt working” may stick around.

And the era of “We need something radically new, right now, whatever it is” may stick around.

Which, in a way, is part of what starts events that led to things like World War II, where this story began.

History is just one damn thing after another."
history  economics  us  ww2  wwii  2018  morganhousel  debt  labor  work  credit  teaparty  donaldtrump  employment  unemployment  inequality  capitalism  1940s  1950s  1960s  1970s  1980s  2000s  2010s  expectations  behavior  highered  highereducation  education  communication  healthcare  housing  internet  web  online  complexity 
january 2019 by robertogreco
Black Mountain College Museum en Instagram: ““FBI people showed up all the time, and they looked like something out of a grade B movie [...] They always had trench coats on, and you…”
“FBI people showed up all the time, and they looked like something out of a grade B movie [...] They always had trench coats on, and you could spot them a mile away [...] And of course the students at Black Mountain put on an act for them. One of the favorite student tricks was to not have shoes on in the middle of the winter, and to crunch out a cigarette butt with their bare feet … It confirmed their worst opinions, and we did not answer any of their questions.” -Dorothea Rockburne (Interview with Connie Bostic, 2002.)

...

This spring, the fascinating story of BMC's FBI investigation is coming out of the shadows (along with other pivotal moments in political history, including WWII, The Great Depression, and Jim Crow) The Politics of Black Mountain College, curated by Connie Bostic, Jon Ellison, Jay Miller and Alice Sebrell opens February 1st.

...

Image: Dan Rice and Robert Creeley at Black Mountain College photographed by Jonathan Williams."
bmc  blackmountaincollege  fbi  education  history  politcs  conniebostic  jonellison  jaymiller  alicesebrell  jimcrow  greatdepression  ww2  wwii  dorothearockburne  jonathanwilliams  danrice  robertcreeley 
december 2018 by robertogreco
‘Silence Is Health’: How Totalitarianism Arrives | by Uki Goñi | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books
"A nagging question that first popped into my head while I was a twenty-three-year-old reporter at the Buenos Aires Herald has returned to haunt me lately. What would happen if the US, the country where I was born and spent my childhood, spiraled down the kind of totalitarian vortex I was witnessing in Argentina back then? What if the most regressive elements in society gained the upper hand? Would they also lead a war against an abhorred pluralist democracy? The backlash in the US today against immigrants and refugees, legal abortion, even marriage equality, rekindles uncomfortable memories of the decay of democracy that preceded Argentina’s descent into repression and mass murder."



"This normalization of totalitarian undertones accelerated after my family moved back to Argentina when I was nineteen. To make myself better acquainted with Buenos Aires, I would take long walks through the capital. One day, in 1974, I found myself frozen in my steps on the broad 9 de Julio Avenue that divides Buenos Aires in half. In the middle of this avenue rises a tall white obelisk that is the city’s most conspicuous landmark, and in those days a revolving billboard had been suspended around it. Round and round turned the display and inscribed upon it in large blue letters on a plain white background was the slogan “Silence Is Health.”

With every turn, the billboard schooled Argentines in the total censorship and suppression of free speech that the dictatorship would soon impose. The billboard message was the brainchild of Oscar Ivanissevich, Argentina’s reactionary minister of education, ostensibly to caution motorists against excessive use of the horn. His other mission was an “ideological purge” of Argentina’s universities, which had become a hotbed of student activism. During an earlier ministerial term in 1949, Ivanissevich had led a bitter campaign against the “morbid… perverse… godless” trend of abstract art, recalling the Nazis’ invective against “degenerate” art. During that period, his sister and his nephew were both involved in smuggling Nazis into Argentina.

Ivanissevich’s Orwellian billboard made its appearance just as right-wing violence erupted in the buildup to the military coup. That same year, 1974, Ivanissevich had appointed as rector of Buenos Aires University a well-known admirer of Hitler’s, Alberto Ottalagano, who titled his later autobiography I’m a Fascist, So What? His job was to get rid of the kind of young left-wing protesters who gathered outside the Sheraton Hotel demanding that it be turned into a children’s hospital, and he warmed to the task of persecuting and expelling them. Being singled out by him was more than merely a matter of academic discipline; some fifteen of these students were murdered by right-wing death squads while Ottalagano was rector.

As a partial stranger in my own land, I noticed what those who had already been normalized could not: this was a population habituated to intolerance and violence. Two years later, Ivanissevich’s slogan made a macabre reappearance. In the basement of the dictatorship’s death camp based at the Navy Mechanics School (known as ESMA), where some 5,000 people were exterminated, officers hung two banners along the corridor that opened onto its torture cells. One read “Avenue of Happiness,” the other “Silence Is Health.”

*

To comprehend would-be totalitarians requires understanding their view of themselves as victims. And in a sense, they are victims—of their delusional fear of others, the nebulous, menacing others that haunt their febrile imaginations. This is something I saw repeated in the many interviews I carried out with both the perpetrators of Argentina’s dictatorship and the aging Nazis who had been smuggled to Argentina’s shores three decades earlier. (My interviews with the latter are archived at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.) Their fears were, in both cases, irrational given the unassailable dominance of the military in Argentina and of the Nazis in Germany, but that was of no account to my interviewees.

Because my method was to grant them the respect and patience to which they felt entitled (difficult though that was for me to do), they sometimes seemed briefly to be aware that they had become willing hosts to violent delusions. Getting them to admit that, fully and consciously, was another matter. The chimera of a powerfully malign enemy, responsible for all their perceived ills, made complex, ambiguous realities comprehensible by reducing them to Manichean simplicities. These people were totalitarians not only because they believed in absolute power, but also because their binary thought patterns admitted only total explanations.

Argentina’s military and a large number of like-minded civilians were especially prone to fears of a loosely-defined but existential threat. The youth culture of the 1960s, the sexual revolution, the student protests of the 1970s, all struck alarm in their hearts. That a younger generation would question their strongly-held religious beliefs, challenge their hypocritical sexual mores, and propose alternative political solutions seemed positively blasphemous. The military set out to violently revert these trends and protect Argentina from the rising tide of modernity. To do so, they devised a plan of systematic annihilation that targeted especially young Argentines. It was not just an ideological struggle, but a generational war: about 83 percent of the dictatorship’s estimated 30,000 fatal victims were under thirty-five. (A disproportionate number also were Jewish.)"



"If you want to know what sustains totalitarian violence in a society, psychology is probably more useful than political analysis. Among the elite, support for the dictatorship was enthusiastic. “It was seen as kind of a social faux pas to talk about ‘desaparecidos’ or what was going on,” says Raymond McKay, a fellow journalist at the Buenos Aires Herald, in Messenger on a White Horse, a 2017 documentary about the newspaper. “It was seen as bad taste because the people didn’t want to know.”

Those who have lived their entire lives in functioning democracies may find it hard to grasp how easily minds can be won over to the totalitarian dark side. We assume such a passage would require slow, laborious persuasion. It does not. The transition from day to night is bewilderingly swift. Despite what many assume, civilized coexistence in a culture of tolerance is not always the norm, or even universally desired. Democracy is a hard-won, easily rolled back state of affairs from which many secretly yearn to be released.

Lest there be any doubt of its intention, the dictatorship titled itself the “Process of National Reorganization.” Books were burned. Intellectuals went into exile. Like medieval Inquisitors, the dictatorship proclaimed itself—in fiery speeches that I hear echoed in the conspiracist rants of American populists and nationalists today—to be waging a war to save “Western and Christian civilization” from oblivion. Such a war by definition included the physical annihilation of infected minds, even if they had committed no crime.

Another horrifying characteristic of totalitarianism is how it picks on the weakest elements in society, immigrants and children. The Darré-inspired Lebensborn program seized Aryan-looking children from Nazi-occupied territories, separating them from their parents and raising them as “pure” Germans in Lebensborn homes. In 1970s Argentina, the military devised a similar program. There were a large number of pregnant women among the thousands of young captives in the dictatorship’s death camps. Killing them while carrying their babies was a crime that not even Argentina’s military could bring themselves to commit. Instead, they kept the women alive as human incubators, murdering them after they gave birth and handing their babies to God-fearing military couples to raise as their own. A society that separates children from their parents, for whatever reason, is a society that is already on the path to totalitarianism.

This heinous practice partly inspired Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book The Handmaid’s Tale. “The generals in Argentina were dumping people out of airplanes,” Atwood said in an interview with The Los Angeles Times last year. “But if it was a pregnant woman, they would wait until she had the baby and then they gave the baby to somebody in their command system. And then they dumped the woman out of the airplane.”

This was the ultimate revenge of fearful older men upon a rebellious younger generation. Not only would they obliterate their perceived enemy, but the children of that enemy would be raised to become the model authority-obeying citizens against whom their biological parents had rebelled. It is estimated that some five hundred babies were taken from their murdered mothers this way, though so far only 128 have been found and identified via DNA testing. Not all of these have accepted reunification with their biological families."



"For many Argentines, then, the military represented not a subjugation to arbitrary rule, but a release from the frustrations, complexity, and compromises of representative government. A large part of society clasped with joy the extended hand of totalitarian certainty. Life was suddenly simplified by conformity to a single, uncontested power. For those who cherish democracy, it is necessary to comprehend the secret delight with which many greeted its passing. A quick fix to the insurgency seemed infinitely preferable to plodding investigations, piecemeal arrests, and case-by-case lawful trials. Whipped up by the irrational fear of a communist takeover, this impatience won the day. And once Argentina had accepted the necessity for a single, absolute solution, the killing could begin."
argentina  totalitarianism  fascism  history  2018  margaretatwood  nazis  wwii  ww2  hatred  antisemitism  germany  surveillance  trust  democracy  certainty  robertcox  ukigoñi  richardwaltherdarré  repressions  government  psychology  politics  christianity  catholicism  catholicchurch  antoniocaggiano  adolfeichmann  military  power  control  authoritarianism  patriarchy  paternalism  normalization  silence  resistance  censorship  dictatorship  oscarivanissevich  education  raymondmackay  juanperón  evita  communism  paranoia  juliomeinvielle  exile  generations 
november 2018 by robertogreco
Amid a toxic landscape, SF found a home for its elite cops - San Francisco Chronicle
"Sent to work on a Superfund site, they were told they were safe. But the S.F. cops stationed at the old Hunters Point shipyard had good reason to doubt."
sanfrancisco  hunterspoint  housing  police  politics  williebrown  2018  jasonfagone  cynthiadizikes  bikiniatoll  contamination  radiation  shipyards  ww2  wwii  superfundsites  history  development  corruption 
july 2018 by robertogreco
Harvest of Empire – Harvest of Empire
[Available on YouTube, for now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyncOYTZfHE ]

[See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_of_Empire:_A_History_of_Latinos_in_America ]

"The Untold Story of Latinos in America

“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies 
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire

At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present Harvest of Empire, a feature-length documentary that reveals the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.

Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! Co-host Juan González, Harvest of Empire takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.

From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S.

As Juan González says at the beginning of the film “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades — actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north.”

Harvest of Empire provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. The film features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists María Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada."
film  documentary  us  history  immigration  latinamerica  puertorico  mexico  guatemala  honduras  juangonzález  cuba  nicaragua  elsalvador  rigobertamenchú  jessejackson  anthonyromero  junotdíaz  lorenzomeyer  maríahinojosa  geraldorivera  2011  martínespada  luisenrique  dominicanrepublic  latinos  imperialism  politics  policy  foreignpolicy  braceros  wwii  ww2  civilrights  race  racism  migration  communism  redscare  centralamerica  caribbean  colonialism  socialism  capitalism  fidelcastro  rafaeltrujillo  spanish-americanwar  inequality  exploitation  sugar  cotton  revolution  resistance  fulgenciobatista  dictatorships  oppression  deportation  texas  california  newmexico  arizona  mexican-americanwar  nevada  colorado  florida  nyc  óscarromero  harrytruman  democracy  jacoboárbenz  unitedfruitcompany  eisenhower  cia  intervention  maya  ethniccleansing  land  ownership  civilwar  iran-contraaffair  ronaldreagan  sandinistas  contras  war  bayofpigs  refugees  marielboatlift  1980  jimmycarter  language  spanish  español  miami  joaquínbalaguer  hectortruji 
july 2018 by robertogreco
The Counterintuitive World – Mother Jones
"Back during World War II, the RAF lost a lot of planes to German anti-aircraft fire. So they decided to armor them up. But where to put the armor? The obvious answer was to look at planes that returned from missions, count up all the bullet holes in various places, and then put extra armor in the areas that attracted the most fire.

Obvious but wrong. As Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald explained at the time, if a plane makes it back safely even though it has, say, a bunch of bullet holes in its wings, it means that bullet holes in the wings aren’t very dangerous. What you really want to do is armor up the areas that, on average, don’t have any bullet holes. Why? Because planes with bullet holes in those places never made it back. That’s why you don’t see any bullet holes there on the ones that do return. Clever!"
aircraft  flight  war  abrahamwald  classideas  ww2  wwii 
january 2018 by robertogreco
Italian Fishing Ban WWII - FoundSF
Because Italy was at war with the United States during World War II, all non-citizen Italians were banned from working and living near the coast and were not permitted within 14 blocks of Fisherman's Wharf. Although this ban was not as drastic as the internment of Japanese Americans, it caused great upheaval and protest in the Fisherman's Wharf community, which was made up largely of Italian families, and the ban was lifted in less than a year.

Regina and Josephine Alioto describe the fraught relationship of Italians without U.S. citizenship (and therefore "enemy aliens" during WWII) to fishing off the Golden Gate. Frank Alioto, father to Regina and husband to Josephine, is at the heart of their story about the coast guard and the regulation of access to fishing during that time.



Forbidden to Fish

Although they had lived here for decades, many of San Francisco's Italian fishermen were not citizens. Labeled "enemy aliens," approximately 1,400 Italians were forbidden to fish. The U.S. Navy confiscated 650 Italian-owned fishing vessels until the end of the war.

Dominic Dimaggio:

"I was not the only son who came home from the war to find that their parents, or other members of their family, had suddenly become enemy aliens. I remember my father was forbidden from fishing or even visiting his friends at the wharf because it was in a prohibited zone. I do not know the extent, but I am sure my father was changed after his experience as an enemy alien. The number of people affected by these events will never be known and the effect on the Italian American community can never be measured." (excerpted from testimony, US Senate Judiciary Committee, Oct. 25, 1999)."
sanfrancisco  ww2  wwii  italians  fishing  history 
december 2017 by robertogreco
What the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive wants the world to know - CBS News
[via: "I’m just going to keep recommending this incredible 60 Minutes segment: https://twitter.com/60Minutes/status/861372191694344192"
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/861596354208034818

"It’s 13 minutes of TV about human rights that is way better than any US-made, mass-appeal TV on the topic should be: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-the-last-nuremberg-prosecutor-alive-wants-the-world-to-know/"
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/861597947498291200

"It reminds me of interviews with the Apollo 12—this one person’s experience is so strange, it shines through every popular storytelling tic."
https://twitter.com/yayitsrob/status/861599609809928192 ]

"At 97, Ben Ferencz is the last Nuremberg prosecutor alive and he has a far-reaching message for today’s world"



"Lesley Stahl: Did you meet a lot of people who perpetrated war crimes who would otherwise in your opinion have been just a normal, upstanding citizen?

Benjamin Ferencz: Of course, is my answer. These men would never have been murderers had it not been for the war. These were people who could quote Goethe, who loved Wagner, who were polite--

Lesley Stahl: What turns a man into a savage beast like that?

Benjamin Ferencz: He's not a savage. He's an intelligent, patriotic human being.

Lesley Stahl: He's a savage when he does the murder though.

Benjamin Ferencz: No. He's a patriotic human being acting in the interest of his country, in his mind.

Lesley Stahl: You don't think they turn into savages even for the act?

Benjamin Ferencz: Do you think the man who dropped the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima was a savage? Now I will tell you something very profound, which I have learned after many years. War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people. All wars, and all decent people.

So Ferencz has spent the rest of his life trying to deter war and war crimes by establishing an international court – like Nuremburg. He scored a victory when the international criminal court in The Hague was created in 1998. He delivered the closing argument in the court's first case."



"Lesley Stahl: Did anybody ever say that you're naive?

Benjamin Ferencz: Of course. Some people say I'm crazy.

Lesley Stahl: Are you naive here?

Benjamin Ferencz: Well, if it's naive to want peace instead of war, let 'em make sure they say I'm naive. Because I want peace instead of war. If they tell me they want war instead of peace, I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid. Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out to kill other young people they don't even know, who never did anybody any harm, never harmed them. That is the current system. I am naive? That's insane."
benferencz  history  nuremburgtrials  holocaust  ww2  wwii  2017  warcrimes  humanrights  humans  murder  nationalism  lesleystahl 
may 2017 by robertogreco
6, 73: Uummannaq
"Flight is a luxury even in the rich world, but so are most other particularly carbony activities. Eating beef and drinking milk, for example, causes twice as much climate change as every airplane combined. To imagine today’s standard of living without widespread beef-eating, envision bridge subsidies for ranchers and some thinkpiece-worthy changes in the rich world’s palate. To imagine today’s standard of living without widespread flight, envision gravity trains, I guess? Or, liklier, an industrial buildup as metro areas have to be more self-sustaining.

Flight is a problem. I’m not for more flying for the sake of more flying. But it’s also not the problem. We can manage it short of giving up on it. For example, manufacturers can push efficiency beyond immediate market demand. Really, like everything else, flight should have its CO2e cost priced in. Flying from LAX to LHR, say, is about 8.8k km, and for a single person (using typical figures; numbers vary by model) the CO2e released is 1 tonne. A cheap ticket for that flight is about $1000. A tonne of CO2e offset costs right about $15. That’s a 1.5% tax. Probably there are factors I’m overlooking, but it could be several times that much and still lost in the noise of seasonal ticket price variation. If we tackled it like we meant it, instead of with poorly grounded jokes and vague guilt, flight wouldn’t be a big deal.

I argue this forcefully because I’ve seen so many of my favorite people hesitate before flying, on climate grounds. I respect the question, but I want to say: Do it if you want to! Flying for your own sake is wonderful. Travel is worth it, to see somewhere new or to be with people you love. Maybe fly 10% less than you would, and use the savings to buy carbon offsets for the times when you do.

But people don’t like carbon offsets, do they? They’re sometimes compared to indulgences. The criticism is that we can’t individually buy our way out of responsibility for climate change. But in fact we can. I mean, not everyone completely and forever without externalities, but in practice, looking at CO2e per se, absent a substantive critique of the actual in-the-dirt methodology of offsets, we can. We can exchange capital for lack of atmospheric greenhousing. It’s affronting to a common-sense view of responsibility, but it’s how a properly run carbon offset works. We can’t, say, buy a given species back from extinction on a commodity model, but we can most certainly buy a batch of 50,139,800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 carbon atoms and have them stuck in the ground – that’s really easy. We have a tech that does it pretty much autonomously once you get it set up. But the buying bugs people. I think a lot of what’s scary is the confronting abyss: the knowledge that we can buy carbon, but we’re not.

Another and more valid fear, I think, is about civics and performance: Offsets are private, but a lot of carbony behavior is public, so the norm-setting is tricky. Like, if you see me tweet “crazy week, TNM ✈️ THU ✈️ MAD ✈️ WLG ✈️ EDW ✈️ NKW ✈️ BDT + gonna hold a tire fire beef BBQ in the rainforest, bruhhh”, that’s likely to prompt you to more carbony behavior than otherwise, even if I’ve offset it all by a generous factor. Etiquette discourages us from mentioning in public that we’ve bought things like offsets, so there’s no symmetry of social effect between the positive and negative the way there’s a symmetry of atmospheric effect. That’s a problem in the way that being vaguely indulgence-like isn’t.

And it’s also a better argument against climate summit flights. If lots of people think the summiteers are wasting carbon, that matters, even if they’re wrong – even if the flights were offset, even if what the flights enabled was worth it millions of times over for the planet’s atmosphere. But I think most of us would agree that there are reasonable limits to how far we should go out of our ways to be intelligible to poorly informed people. We should behave in a way that sets a good example for and welcomes civil dialog with whoever is in sight, but we should balance that with doing whatever works best and trying to spread an understanding of why it works best. (In other words, sometimes we have to offset poor information, not just change our behaviors 😏.)

Climate is the super wicked problem. Offsets can’t solve it, and neither can any other single technique. I don’t know what getting through this will look like, but I think it’s going to be messy and involve a lot of rethinking. I say we should go after beef harder than after airplanes. I could be wrong. It’s very complicated."



"What is most valuable in these stories, for me, aside from knowing the life of someone close to me, is an understanding of evil. Grandma was clear that Nazis did not appear out of nowhere as interiorless, historyless avatars of violence. They were neighbors, uncles, the waiter, the mayor, the ladies who lunch, the teens laughing on their way to band practice, the woman who made your socks, dad’s army buddy who saved his life, the post office clerk with the lazy eye, the teacher who keeps the PTA running, the witty guy at poker night, the garbageman who whistles showtunes, the librarian who feeds your cat when you travel. They saw a way out of national and personal distress. They thought the angry politician was maybe not the most trustworthy person, and some of his ideas were a little extreme, but at least he was a corrective to the spineless Weimar incompetence. They found purpose and belonging. And they enabled a war of aggression, and many of them harassed, robbed, imprisoned, enslaved, gassed, drowned, froze, burned, buried, shot, raped, experimented upon, and worked to death their fellow people.

It’s not enough to remember Nazis as symbols of evil. What happened to six million people was not done by metaphors for wickedness, it was done by other people with hands and brains like ours. They were infected with the idea that there are intrinsically good people and intrinsically evil people. They were extremely evil, but not intrinsically. They were wrong in ways that you and I can be wrong. This is the most terrifying thing I know, and I know it from Grandma. What does “it can happen here” mean? I can’t understand as well as she did.

With this knowledge, she led a life of ideological moderation, active respect for other cultures, and firm but not rigid ideals. My sense of her worldview, and I’ll have to check this against transcripts and my mom’s and aunts’ interpretations, is something like: After WWI, her parents and their generation had been trying to educate everyone, to help build an enlightened culture and an equitable society. Fascism killed millions of people and erased that generation’s work. Now the important thing was to pick right back up – to rebuild a healthy human environment, starting today, and this time more fascism-resistant.

I knew Grandma as a grandmother. When I was very young, she was a gentle but earthy old woman with an odd accent, distinctive taste in art, and some mannerisms left over from working as a nurse. And some inexplicable habits, like eating the cartilage and marrow out of a chicken breast if not in polite company, or seeming uncomfortable about low-flying planes sometimes. These stories showed up slowly. “Well, when I was young, sometimes food was scarce. You know, mixing a little sawdust in the bread dough as filler, this kind of thing.”

For a while, I thought she had shifted gears in the ’50s: that she had turned away – that the war had turned her away – from the bohemian liveliness and the meliorist ideals of her youth, and that she had signed over to the American blandness of Disney, housewifehood, art in spare time, a comfortable retirement, and so on. Gradually I saw how much that idea came from books and not from her. I had tried to see her life in terms of Big Ideas And Social Trends: the Weimar times were Like This, WWII was Like That, America in the ’50s was This Other Thing.

I was going backwards. What matters first about the Weimar times is what they were like to live inside. That’s not all that matters, but nothing else matters if that doesn’t. We can’t see into a person’s life through copula sentences: “The Weimar period was materially difficult but intellectually productive”, “Some Allied bombings were ethically difficult”, “The midcentury Hollywood animation establishment was sexist”. Not enough. But maybe: Feeding the goat with dandelions picked from the sidewalks of Lichterfelde. The way the raining city-ashes smelled. That Betty Brenon exclusively hired women at her studio so they could get work done. I can only see Grandma starting with what she saw.

From there, it’s obvious that she did not let go, was not subsumed into the history textbook subheds of the century; she was always moving under her own power, in catastrophic times and in merely imperfect systems. And so was everyone. Grandma was special in many ways, but point to anyone and so are they. Some of us are lucky enough to get to a place where our work can accrete, where we can build a piece of the world we want. Many of us are not. War is only one of the forces that can destroy a person’s chances, or a generation’s work, or a generation. The weight of history is intolerable, an ocean-trench pressure, if we try to take it as a weight. Talking with Grandma helped me take it as a liquid, something that we can equalize against without being crushed, something whose unintelligible mass we can push against and move within.

I hope that we will remember the people who are leaving us now as people. I hope that, one day, we will be remembered as people."
charlieloyd  2015  memory  history  humaity  humanism  evil  wwii  ww2  moderation  fascism  society  climatechange  globalwarming  flying  carbonoffsets  climatetalks  indaba  negotiating  negatiations  listening  indulgences 
december 2015 by robertogreco
BBC News - How did WW2 change the way people dressed?
"Despite air raids and austerity, style was not in short supply in World War Two. An exhibition at the Imperial War Museum looks at how conflict abroad meant fashion at home had to change."

"The Make-do and Mend credo - given official support by the Board of Trade in 1942 - tried to make people think differently about where they got clothes from.

With coupons limiting what could be bought in the shops, old garments at the back of wardrobes were adapted and given new life.

This woman's matching jacket and skirt may originally have started life as a man's pin stripe suit."
clothing  history  wwii  worldwartwo  2015  austerity  glvo  war  makedo  mending  uniformproject  uk 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Kids, the Holocaust, and "inappropriate" play
"On a strong recommendation from Meg, I have been reading Peter Gray's Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life. Gray is a developmental psychologist and in Free to Learn he argues that 1) children learn primarily through self-directed play (by themselves and with other children), and 2) our current teacher-driven educational system is stifling this instinct in our kids, big-time.

I have a lot to say about Free to Learn (it's fascinating), but I wanted to share one of the most surprising and unsettling passages in the book. In a chapter on the role of play in social and emotional development, Gray discusses play that might be considered inappropriate, dangerous, or forbidden by adults: fighting, violent video games, climbing "too high", etc. As part of the discussion, he shares some of what George Eisen uncovered while writing his book, Children and Play in the Holocaust.
In the ghettos, the first stage in concentration before prisoners were sent off to labor and extermination camps, parents tried desperately to divert their children's attention from the horrors around them and to preserve some semblance of the innocent play the children had known before. They created makeshift playgrounds and tried to lead the children in traditional games. The adults themselves played in ways aimed at psychological escape from their grim situation, if they played at all. For example, one man traded a crust of bread for a chessboard, because by playing chess he could forget his hunger. But the children would have none of that. They played games designed to confront, not avoid, the horrors. They played games of war, of "blowing up bunkers," of "slaughtering," of "seizing the clothes of the dead," and games of resistance. At Vilna, Jewish children played "Jews and Gestapomen," in which the Jews would overpower their tormenters and beat them with their own rifles (sticks).

Even in the extermination camps, the children who were still healthy enough to move around played. In one camp they played a game called "tickling the corpse." At Auschwitz-Birkenau they dared one another to touch the electric fence. They played "gas chamber," a game in which they threw rocks into a pit and screamed the sounds of people dying. One game of their own devising was modeled after the camp's daily roll call and was called klepsi-klepsi, a common term for stealing. One playmate was blindfolded; then one of the others would step forward and hit him hard on the face; and then, with blindfold removed, the one who had been hit had to guess, from facial expressions or other evidence, who had hit him. To survive at Auschwitz, one had to be an expert at bluffing -- for example, about stealing bread or about knowing of someone's escape or resistance plans. Klepsi-klepsi may have been practice for that skill.

Gray goes on to explain why this sort of play is so important:
In play, whether it is the idyllic play we most like to envision or the play described by Eisen, children bring the realities of their world into a fictional context, where it is safe to confront them, to experience them, and to practice ways of dealing with them. Some people fear that violent play creates violent adults, but in reality the opposite is true. Violence in the adult world leads children, quite properly, to play at violence. How else can they prepare themselves emotionally, intellectually, and physically for reality? It is wrong to think that somehow we can reform the world for the future by controlling children's play and controlling what they learn. If we want to reform the world, we have to reform the world; children will follow suit. The children must, and will, prepare themselves for the real world to which they must adapt to survive.

Like I said, fascinating."

[Reminds me of this Umberto Eco quote about gun play: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/22672508/stefano-my-boy-i-will-give-you-guns-because-a

"Stefano, my boy, I will give you guns. Because a gun isn’t a game. It is the inspiration for play. With it you will have to invent a situation, a series of relationships, a dialectic of events. You will have to shout boom, and you will discover that the game has only the value you give it, not what is built into it. As you imagine you are destroying enemies, you will be satisfying an ancestral impulse that boring civilization will never be able to extinguish, unless it turns you into a neurotic always taking Rorschach tests administered by the company psychologist. But you will find that destroying enemies is a convention of play, a game like so many others, and thus you will learn that it is outside reality, and as you play, you will be aware of the game’s limits. You will work off anger and repressions, and then be ready to receive other messages, which contemplate neither death nor destruction. Indeed, it is important that death and destruction always appear to you as elements of fantasy, like Red Riding Hood’s wolf, whom we all hated, to be sure, but without subsequently harboring an irrational hatred for Alsatians."]
children  play  simulation  petergray  2015  holocaust  wwii  ww2  learning  howwlearn  playtolearn  unschooling  deschooling  violence  umbertoeco  georgeeisen  psychology  developmentalpsychology  videogames  gaming  danger  auschwitz  practice  reality  imagination  survival  fiction  control  teaching  schools  schooling  parenting 
january 2015 by robertogreco
What I Learned At Hiroshima (In Photos)
"The biggest and most pleasant surprise from my visit was how the Japanese have converted a horrible episode from human history into something positive, without skipping past the difficult parts. The peace museum tells a balanced story of WWII and the bombing itself, leading visitors through rooms about the current nuclear weapons treaties and the effects of nuclear radiation on citizens.
But the park is called the Peace Park and Memorial for a clear reason: they want to use their example to prevent similar horrors from ever happening again and they did an excellent job of making that the clear theme in the experience of visiting the place. They did a far better job at this ambition than any other historic war site I’ve seen, and I’ve seen many.
It seems mandatory that young students visit the center, as they were there in busloads. The primary frustration I had with the Peace Memorial Museum was having to navigate around gangs of Japanese kids. Even outside the museum we met many groups of children in the park and they were curious about foreigners, which was great to see. I’d say hello as they passed by in groups, and they always laughed and waved back at me.

Many of the younger students had assignments to talk to foreigners and practice their English. They asked me where I was from, what my name was, and what thoughts I had about the museum and world peace. It was a highlight of the entire trip to meet these children and talk with them for awhile."
ww2  wwii  japan  hiroshima  war  scottberkun  via:unthinkingly  2013 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - Edward Jay Epstein - (1982)
"The idea was to create prestigious "role models" for the poorer middle-class wage-earners. The advertising agency explained, in its 1948 strategy paper, "We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic's sweetheart say 'I wish I had what she has.'"

[...] sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.

[!!!] The element of surprise, even if it is feigned, plays the same role of accommodating dissonance in accepting a diamond gift as it does in prime sexual seductions: it permits the woman to pretend that she has not actively participated in the decision. She thus retains both her innocence—and the diamond.

[...] as long as the general public never sees the price of diamonds fall, it will not become nervous and begin selling its diamonds. If this huge inventory should ever reach the market, even De Beers and all the Oppenheimer resources could not prevent the price of diamonds from plummeting [...]

[...] The "keystone," or markup, on a diamond and its setting may range from 100 to 200 percent, depending on the policy of the store; if it bought diamonds back from customers, it would have to buy them back at wholesale prices. Most jewelers would prefer not to make a customer an offer that might be deemed insulting and also might undercut the widely held notion that diamonds go up in value [...]

The firm perhaps most frequently recommended by New York jewelry shops is Empire Diamonds Corporation, which is situated on the sixty-sixth floor of the Empire State Building, in midtown Manhattan. Empire's reception room, which resembles a doctor's office, is usually crowded with elderly women who sit nervously in plastic chairs waiting for their names to be called. One by one, they are ushered into a small examining room"
finance  fashion  myth  hollywood  class  advertising  consumer  marriage  gender  WWII  africa  israel  diamonds  via:Taryn 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs, now an exhibition at the International Center for Photography: Observatory: Design Observer
"Partly as a result of the following essay, which was originally posted on Design Observer in 2008, the International Center for Photography in New York is exhibiting a selection of these photographs. The exhibition, Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945 runs from May 20-August 38, 2011. A catalogue, which contains an extended version of this essay, is also available. A video trailer for the exhibition is here:"
japan  photography  history  hiroshima  nagasaki  wwii  ww2 
august 2011 by robertogreco
World War II - a set on Flickr
"This collection belonged to my grandfather, Arthur John Strenge, who documented his experiences while serving in the United States Marine Corps from 1944 through 1946. His service took him from working as a combat engineer with the Second Marines at Betio atoll - Tarawa, through the landings at Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and finally to Nagasaki with the 28th Pioneer Battalion immediately following the atomic bomb drop."
photography  war  japan  ww2  wwii  nagasaki 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Why did Japan surrender? - The Boston Globe
"Sixty-six years ago, we dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Now, some historians say that’s not what ended the war."
wwii  ww2  japan  us  history  surrender  hiroshima  nagasaki  war  military 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs - About this Collection - Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (Library of Congress)
"Photographers working for the U.S. government's Farm Security Administration (FSA) and later the Office of War Information (OWI) between 1939 and 1944 made approximately 1,600 color photographs that depict life in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The pictures focus on rural areas and farm labor, as well as aspects of World War II mobilization, including factories, railroads, aviation training, and women working.<br />
The original images are color transparencies ranging in size from 35 mm. to 4x5 inches. They complement the better-known black-and-white FSA/OWI photographs, made during the same period."
ww2  wwii  fsa  owi  photography  loc  history  archives  us 
august 2011 by robertogreco
World War II in Photos - Alan Taylor - In Focus - The Atlantic
"World War II is the story of the 20th Century. The war officially lasted from 1939 until 1945, but the causes of the conflict & its horrible aftermath reverberated for decades in either direction. While feats of bravery & technological breakthroughs still inspire awe today, the majority of the war was dominated by unimaginable misery & destruction. In the late 30s, the world's population was approximately 2 billion. In less than a decade, the war between the nations of the Axis Powers & the Allies resulted in some 80 million deaths — killing off about 4% of the whole world. <br />
<br />
This series of entries will last from June 19 until October 30, 2011, running every Sunday morning for 20 weeks. In these photo essays, I hope to explore the events of the war, the people involved at the front and back home, and the effects the war had on everyday lives. The entries will follow a roughly chronological sequence, with some broader themes (such as "The Home Front") interspersed throughout…"
history  photography  war  ww2  wwii  us  world  classideas  20thcentury 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Manga Artist’s First Foray into English | PRI's The World
"A few days after the earthquake and tsunami, the New York Times published an illustration by Mizuki on its op-ed page. It shows a hand emerging from an eddy at sea, outstretched, grasping for help.

When I asked Mizuki to explain it, he said, “Modern Japan is drowning. It’s lost its sense of traditionalism. Though,” he reflects, “during World War II, Japan might have been too Japanese.” Mizuki believes perhaps Japan is now entering an international era.

Somewhere between being subsumed by the rest of the world, and being too Japanese, Mizuki sees a middle space, where the bright lights of modern Japan don’t blind its citizens from the past. And where a story like the one Mizuki tells in “Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths” may inspire younger manga artists address Japan’s many current challenges."
shigerumizuki  manga  japan  illustration  english  japanese  ww2  wwii  classideas  history  future  traditionalism 
june 2011 by robertogreco
Soldiers Protecting Art, Art Protecting Soldiers - Studio 360
"Robert Edsel — founder of the arts preservation organization the Monuments Men Foundation — was deep in the Metropolitan Museum of Art archive vault when he found something extraordinary.  It wasn’t a rare gem or a missing scroll, but an audio recording of a speech given by then-General Dwight D. Eisenhower at the museum on April 2, 1946.

The recording, recently released to the public, speaks to the importance of art and its protection during war.  And at a time when conflicts (new and ongoing) rage in the Middle East, an area rich in cultural treasures, it's a message that feels especially important.

Listen to a segment of the recording above.

Throughout WWII, Eisenhower was explicit in his orders to soldiers: whenever possible, they were to protect and preserve pieces of art they came across — even if the pieces were discovered in the middle of battle. And to the credit of many soldiers, they were able to both experience & protect iconic works of art…"
art  wwii  ww2  dwightdeisenhower  war  history  preservation  conservation  culture  foresight  1946 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Fred Korematsu: Statewide California holiday honors civil rights hero Fred Korematsu - latimes.com
"Fred Korematsu, a young man who refused to be hauled away during World War II because of his heritage, took his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Now, six years after his death, a statewide holiday honors his courage."
fredkorematsu  california  japaneseamericans  japanese  us  history  classideas  internmentcamps  civilrights  ww2  wwii  via:javierarbona 
january 2011 by robertogreco
40's era Propoganda film about Internment Camps
"Titled "A Challenge to Democracy" this film tries to soften Americas actions during 1942 Japanses relocation. I do not post this to bash, nor condone, I am simply fascinated by 40's/50's era propaganda. Produced by "The War Relocation Authority", and "The Office of War Information" and "The Office of Strategic Services"."
wwii  ww2  internmentcamps  japaneseamericans  propoganda  us  1942  history  classideas  video 
january 2011 by robertogreco
40's era Propoganda film about Internment Camps
"Titled "A Challenge to Democracy" this film tries to soften Americas actions during 1942 Japanses relocation. I do not post this to bash, nor condone, I am simply fascinated by 40's/50's era propaganda. Produced by "The War Relocation Authority", and "The Office of War Information" and "The Office of Strategic Services"."
wwii  ww2  internmentcamps  japaneseamericans  propoganda  us  1942  history  classideas  video 
january 2011 by robertogreco
The Documentary About Hiroshima and Nagasaki The U.S. Didn't Want Us to See | Motherboard
"After its completion, the Japanese filmmakers were told to pack up all their materials and send them to America. While keeping some footage secreted away in the false ceiling of the cinematographer’s studio, they sent the rest of their footage, knowing that they were risking detention if they didn’t. They also knew that anything they sent to America might never be seen again.

It wouldn’t have been, if not for the determination of an American Army filmmaker named Daniel McGovern. Responsible for producing miltiary documentaries in Japan, he supported the work of the Japanese documentarians; once back in the U.S., he even attempted to pave the way for a national release of the film through Warner Brothers in 1946, holding previews for the press.

Officials quickly nixed those plans. …print was discovered, some two decades later…he was told in a letter that “reports of censorship remain unjustified.”

The original negative and production materials are missing to this day."
documentary  nagasaki  hiroshima  us  japan  wwii  ww2  atomicbomb  nuclear  history  classideas 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Nagasaki Archive (En)
"In a situation like this, we started to consider if there is something new that we can engage, here from Nagasaki, the very place where the A-bomb struck. With all the abundant valuable resources in Nagasaki, a new approach to take advantage of them lead to this project. This project enables to access all of those resources from all over the world, which was formerly unable to do so. Moreover, by mapping the information with topographic data, the user can enhance the experience of what it was like when the A-bomb struck Nagasaki, in detail. "Nagasaki Archive" is an attempt to reorganize all of those information on a digital virtual globe (google earth). In order to make Nagasaki the last place on earth where the A-bomb struck, we hope that many people to interact with and learn from "Nagasaki Archive"."

[via: http://twitter.com/javierest/status/21271433051 ]
japan  ww2  wwii  secondlife  history  googlemaps  googleearth  socialstudies  images  teaching  atomicbomb  classideas  maps  mapping  nagasaki  us 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Densho Digital Archive
"The Densho Digital Archive holds a wealth of visual history interviews and other materials that broadly document the Japanese American experience. These unique primary sources cover a span of history from immigration in the early 1900s through redress in the 1980s with a particular focus on the World War II mass incarceration. The archive is growing as Densho continues to record life histories and collect photos and documents.

433 Interviews
380 Narrators
865 Hours of video
10830 Photos, documents, and newspapers

We provide these resources to students, teachers, researchers, and the general public for educational purposes. Visit the Densho public website for contextual historical background, downloadable curriculum, and online exhibitions featuring interview clips, documents, and photos excerpted from the archive."
japanese  japan  ushistory  history  archive  us  wwii  ww2  densho  primarysources  classideas 
august 2010 by robertogreco
Primary Source Sets - For Teachers (Library of Congress)
"Sets of selected primary sources on specific topics, available as easy-to-print PDFs. Also, background material and tools to guide student analysis" [See also the "For Teachers" page: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/ AND "Using Primary Sources" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/usingprimarysources/ AND "Classroom Materials" http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/ among other school-specific resources available through the Library of Congress website]
congress  loc  curriculum  primarysources  research  government  education  history  lessonplans  teaching  socialstudies  classideas  tcsnmy  civilwar  baseball  dustbowl  poetry  immigration  assimilation  wrightbrothers  jamestown  wwii  ww2  jimcrow  naacp  civilrights  thanksgiving  war  veterans  westwardexpansion  suffrage  women  latinos  exploration  gender 
august 2010 by robertogreco
World War Two Timeline Project
"Chronologically and geographically, map the events of World War Two."
history  maps  time  war  us  ww2  wwii  timelines  tcsnmy  classideas  interactive 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Border bunker battle
"On a windswept hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the remains of what constituted border security almost 70 years ago maintain an uneasy coexistence with present-day border fortifications.

Built into the ocean-facing side just a few yards from the aging metal fence that marks the U.S.-Mexico border are three concrete bunkers, the southernmost of a series of military installations built along the San Diego coastline during World War II to scan the horizon for invading Japanese ships and submarines.

U.S. soldiers spent cold days and nights in what was called the Mexican Border Fire Control Station, peering through telescopes at the ocean and sleeping on metal bunks, their supplies pulled up the steep hill on rails. If enemy ships were sighted, they were to report the news via underground telecommunications to troops manning long-range artillery at Point Loma."
borders  california  sandiego  military  construction  architecture  history  wwii  preservation  via:javierarbona 
august 2009 by robertogreco
250 - Who Put the ‘Gau’ in Gaucho? A (Forged) Map of Nazi South America « Strange Maps
"Hitler has often protested that his plans for conquest do not extend across the Atlantic Ocean. I have in my possession a secret map, made in Germany by Hitler’s government" revealed FDR on 27 October 1941. The map, however, was a fake."
maps  ww2  wwii  history  fakes  southamerica  germany  chile  brasil  argentina  latinamerica  brazil 
march 2008 by robertogreco

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