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Tag: History


Angel City Press

Inventing L.A.: The Chandlers and Their Times

The Chandler family’s L.A. Times practically invented one of the great American cities. This is the story of the paper’s fall toward mediocrity.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan Poppy Trade Blurs All the Lines

The opium poppy was introduced to Afghanistan more than 2,300 years ago by the armies of Alexander the Great. His forces were eventually driven out, like those of every would-be conqueror since. The poppy has proved more tenacious.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


In Pursuit of Happiness

Women are now less likely than men to report that they are “very happy,” despite the achievements of the women’s movement. Let the predictable debates begin.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE



Department of Defense / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Can’t Split the Difference in Afghanistan

Afghanistan doesn’t present the kind of “false choices” that President Barack Obama, by nature, habitually rejects. The choices are real and awful, and no amount of reframing and rephrasing will make them go away.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rich Pedroncelli

Blinded by Reform

The Obama administration has committed serious money to education reform, but many of the Department of Education’s big ideas are flawed.

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE


Racism Down Under and Beyond

One country’s taking the piss is another’s bigotry. A blackface sketch on an Australian variety show has exposed what the Global Post calls “an ugly side of the Australian character.”

Posted on Oct 21, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Lord Jim

A Down-and-Out Route for Rush

Rush Limbaugh, are you ready for some football? Um, I guess not.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / maocirpdsp

Russia Arrests Historian for Studying Russian History

A Russian historian faces four years in prison for having the nerve to research Stalin’s gulags, which Russian revisionists would have you believe either didn’t exist or were a form of forced vacation.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons / Subsven

A Campus Is Born on Spot Where RFK Was Shot

If things had worked out a little differently, the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where Robert Kennedy was gunned down in 1968, might have become a Wal-Mart or one of Donald Trump’s gaudy creations. Instead, it is now a center of education, home to two elementary schools and, next year, the new Robert F. Kennedy High School.

Posted on Oct 14, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

In Search of Great Men

The world hungers for great men to liberate it from grief. They rarely arrive, and even more rarely are they appreciated at the time for what they are.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009 READ MORE


Kissinger
National Archives / White House

A People’s History of Ironic Prizes

Speaking of Howard Zinn, did you see his devastating attack on the Nobel Committee for awarding President Barack Obama the Peace Prize? Zinn says the committee “should retire, and turn over its huge funds to some international peace organization which is not awed by stardom and rhetoric, and which has some understanding of history.” Ouch.

Posted on Oct 12, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress / Currier and Ives

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day

Read historian Howard Zinn’s account of that genocidal, gold-crazed maniac Christopher Columbus, and it’s impossible to think this man deserves a holiday. Upon meeting the Indians, for example, his first thought was “They would make fine servants. ... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.”

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Samantha Appleton

Prizing Peace on the Home Front

President Obama should make peace with the “angry white men” who see his Nobel Prize as a token of elitism by enacting policies that address their economic grievances.

Posted on Oct 11, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Emilio Morenatti

Unintended Consequences in Nuclear Pakistan

The Obama administration has already begun to escalate the fighting in Pakistan, a policy that could make even the Nixon-Kissinger destruction of Cambodia seem like a pleasant memory.

Posted on Oct 9, 2009 READ MORE


Gen. McChrystal’s Celebrity Weekend

It is not for McChrystal to leak his staff’s strategic plans to The Washington Post, do the celebrity circuit and tell the public in so many words that if he doesn’t have his way the United States can expect defeat and humiliation in Asia.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE


A Slippery Slope on Guns

If it wins an upcoming battle in the Supreme Court, the gun lobby is prepared to challenge every gun control law enacted at any level of government.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Put a Sock in it, Stan

How to proceed in Afghanistan will be among the most difficult and fateful decisions that President Obama ever makes. But he’s the one who has to decide, not his generals.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Caleb Jones

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia

War memorials and museums are temples to the god of war. They sanitize the savage instruments of death that turn young soldiers and Marines into killers, and small villages in Vietnam or Afghanistan or Iraq into hellish bonfires.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

War Kills Off Great Reform Movements

The hawks urging President Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan have no interest in his domestic policy. The 20th century is a graveyard of good ideas that lost out to war.

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE



pagetutor.com

Pox Americana: The Real Cost of Bailing Out Wall Street

In the 20th century, smallpox killed more people than all of that bloody century’s wars combined. It cost $300 million to eradicate the disease. What might have been achieved with the $4 trillion we gave Wall Street?

Posted on Oct 4, 2009 READ MORE


Polanski Brings Out the Worst in Hollywood

Could it be that the conservative culture warriors who portray Hollywood as a cesspool of moral bankruptcy have been right all along? Not really. But in the case of Roman Polanski, the Puritan scolds definitely have a point.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Communist China Turns 60—and Reveals Its Insecurities

What could and should have been celebrated this week in Beijing is the resumption of effective power in the People’s Republic by the modernizer Deng Xiaoping.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE



DoD / MC1 Chad J. McNeeley

Obama’s Afghanistan Dilemma

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama repeatedly called for expanding the war in Afghanistan. Be careful what you wish for.

Posted on Oct 1, 2009 READ MORE


Massachusetts Looks for Life After Teddy

All the Democrats running to replace the late senator are on a Be-Like-Ted ticket, but there are degrees of Ted-ness. Who will win the heart of this state that loves liberals, tradition and Kennedys?

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Michael Vick
AP / Matt Rourke

Michael Vick’s Long, Strange Detour

After doing prison time for dog fighting, he played Sunday in his first regular-season game in almost three years. But his re-emergence in the NFL has revived questions that arose when the scandal broke. And for one journalist, the issue was personal.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Could Get Much Worse if Tolerated

God’s specific instruction to the Jewish people to reoccupy Jerusalem and the Palestinian West Bank stands in the way of peace, but President Obama must get results—and fast—before the situation deteriorates.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Let Blue Dogs Face the Music

The president is protecting the very Democrats who are tanking his agenda by saving them from having to face tough primaries.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE


Sen. Robert Byrd
senate.gov

Is Byrd’s Health a Factor for Health Reform?

Not to be morbid or insensitive, but the succession of Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat got us thinking about another Democrat among the 60 probably needed to push through health care reform.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009 READ MORE


A Puzzling, Dangerous U.S. Policy Comes to an End

President Barack Obama’s cancellation of his predecessor’s missile-defense scheme for Poland and the Czech Republic presumably brings to a close one of the least explicable and most dangerous American policy initiatives since the Cold War officially ended.

Posted on Sep 23, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Marine Corps / Sgt. Pete Thibodeau

It Came From Afghanistan

It’s hard to read Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s assessment of the Afghanistan war without hearing one of those horror-movie voices that seems to come from everywhere and nowhere, a voice that grows louder and more insistent with every page: “Get out. Get out. Get out.”

Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Following in Your Tank Tracks [A Cartoon From China]

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Posted on Sep 21, 2009 READ MORE


Jimmy Carter Is Right

President Obama has to give even his most vocal critics the benefit of the doubt. But I don’t. There’s a particularly nasty edge to some of Obama’s detractors that is difficult to explain in terms other than racism.

Posted on Sep 17, 2009 READ MORE


Testing the Obama Effect

President Obama was the first Democrat to win Virginia’s electoral votes since 1964, and his drop in the polls has already had a powerful influence on the direction of this year’s contest for governor.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / agitprop

Meet Josef Stalin, ‘Competent Manager’

Is Vladimir Putin’s dictator chic to blame for Josef Stalin’s makeover? The Soviet tyrant who presided over the suffering of millions and helped launch World War II has been rebranded as a “competent manager” and, if Moscow’s deserted Gulag Museum is any indication, Russians appear to be lapping it up.

Posted on Sep 16, 2009 READ MORE



US Army / Sgt. Teddy Wade

Let Us Not Become the Evil We Deplore

On Oct. 7, the U.S. enters its ninth year of occupation of Afghanistan—equal to the time the United States was involved in World War I, World War II and the Korean War combined.

Posted on Sep 15, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Charles Dharapak

Stop Begging Obama and Get Mad

The right-wing accusations against Barack Obama are true. He is a socialist, although he practices socialism for corporations.

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / Carrie Hasselback

Afghan Indiana Jones Hunts Giant Buddha

Somewhere in Afghanistan there’s a statue of Buddha more than 1,000 feet long, according to the ancient journal of 7th century Chinese pilgrim Xuan Zang. Dr. Zemaryalai Tarzi, an Afghan archeologist with a sense of adventure, believes the legend.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


We’ve Seen This Trigger Before

The “trigger mechanism” is gaining momentum after President Obama’s speech to Congress. Once again, lawmakers turn to legislative subterfuge to kill popular common-sense reform.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Joseph Kaczmarek

A Hundred Holocausts: An Insider’s Window Into U.S. Nuclear Policy

The document in his hand was almost unthinkable: It projected roughly 600 million deaths in a U.S.-Soviet war. Here’s the first installment of a memoir of the nuclear era by Daniel Ellsberg, the man who revealed the Pentagon Papers.

Posted on Sep 10, 2009 READ MORE


The United States of Plutocracy

Since the 1970s, the nation has been in a dizzying downward spin in the effective purchase of public office by corporations.

Posted on Sep 8, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Rick Rycroft

Food Is Power and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us

Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe and destined for collapse as our financial system.

Posted on Sep 6, 2009 READ MORE


book cover

Steve Oney on John Buntin’s ‘L.A. Noir’

A rare combination of bravura storytelling and social history, “L.A. Noir” will delight fans of hard-boiled film and fiction even as it challenges the myths of 20th century Los Angeles.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Navy / MC3 Joshua Cassatt

Will Japan’s New Leader Maintain His Country’s Fealty to Washington?

The most important political question faced by a Japan led by the Democratic Party concerns the Japanese-American security relationship, which is both humiliating and exploitative.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE



Julien Bryan

World War II: 70 Years and We’re Still Fighting

The Germans invaded Poland on this day 70 years ago, and so began what many consider the greatest conflict in human history. An estimated 60 million people would die, including 27 million Soviets and 12 million Jews, Gypsies, gays and other victims of the Nazi holocaust. Most of the dead were civilians.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


D
AP / Jack Dempsey

Go to Pittsburgh, Young Man, and Defy Your Empire

Voices of change, who speak in powerful and yet unfamiliar words, are on their way to Pittsburgh. They will cry out to defy the heads of state, bankers and finance ministers meeting there for the G-20.

Posted on Aug 31, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

President Obama: Eulogy for a Lion

These are the president’s full remarks from the funeral of his friend Ted Kennedy, “a champion for those who had none.”

Posted on Aug 30, 2009 READ MORE


Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters love America so much they would transform it into Stalinist Russia.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


His Own Man

The obituaries say that Kennedy never achieved the dream of becoming president. But there is a difference between a family destiny and a man’s dream.

Posted on Aug 26, 2009 READ MORE


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