March 30, 2013

Money, Propaganda and Fanaticism

Bertrand Russell: Power

Ideology and Fanaticism

To understand Marx psychologically, one should use the following dictionary:

YahwehDialectical Materialism
The MessiahMarx
The ElectThe Proletariat
The ChurchThe Communist Party
The Second ComingThe Revolution
HellPunishment of the Capitalists
The MillenniumThe Communist Commonwealth

(p 361)

In the welter of conflicting fanaticisms, one of the few unifying forces is scientific truthfulness, by which I mean the habit of basing our beliefs upon observations and inferences as impersonal, and as much divested of local and temperamental bias, as is possible for human beings. …
The habit of careful veracity acquired in the practice of this philosophical method can be extended to the whole sphere of human activity, producing, wherever it exists, a lessening of fanaticism with an increasing capacity of sympathy and mutual understanding.
In abandoning a part of its dogmatic pretensions, philosophy does not cease to suggest and inspire a way of life.
(p 789)

(A History of Western Philosophy, 1961)

Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd. …
[It] is to be feared that the Nazis, as defeat draws nearer, will increase the intensity of their campaign for exterminating Jews.

(Power, p 205)

Would you like to know more?


Belief, when it is not simply traditional, is a product of several factors:
  • desire,
  • evidence, and
  • iteration. …
[When] there is no outside assertion, belief will only arise in exceptional characters, such as founders of religions, scientific discoverers, and lunatics. …
More propaganda is necessary to cause acceptance of a belief for which there is little evidence than of one for which the evidence is strong …

One of the advantages of democracy, from the governmental point of view, is that it makes the average citizen easier to deceive, since he regards the government as his government.
(p 96)

In the totalitarian countries, the State is virtually the sole propagandist.
(p 97)

The effect of organisation and unification, in the matter of propaganda as in other matters, is to delay revolution, but to make it more violent when it comes.
When only one doctrine is officially allowed, men get no practice in thinking or in weighing alternatives …
[Consequently,] only a great wave of passionate revolt can dethrone orthodoxy …
[Therefore] revolution in a totalitarian State is not necessarily a ground for rejoicing.
What is more to be desired is a gradual increase in the sense of security, leading to a lessening of zeal, and giving an opening for laziness — the greatest of all virtues in the ruler of a totalitarian State, with the sole exception of non-existence.
(p 98)

March 27, 2013

World Bank: Four Degree World

Green Army: Research and Development

World Bank


Scientists agree countries’ current … emission pledges and commitments would most likely result in 3.5 to 4°C warming. …
(p ix)

Executive Summary

A world in which warming reaches 4°C above preindustrial levels … would be one of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions, with serious impacts on human systems, ecosystems, and associated services.
(p xiii)

Recent research suggests that large-scale loss of biodiversity is likely to occur in a 4°C world, with climate change and high CO2 concentration driving a transition of the Earth´s ecosystems into a state unknown in human experience.
(p xvi)

[Given the uncertainty] about the full nature and scale of impacts, there is … no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world [would even be] possible.
A 4°C world is likely to be one in which communities, cities and countries would experience severe disruptions, damage, and dislocation …
It is likely that the poor will suffer most and the global community could become more fractured and unequal …
The projected 4°C warming … must not be allowed to occur …
[And only] early, cooperative, international actions can [prevent it.]
(p xviii)


Current scientific evidence suggests that even with the current commitments and pledges fully implemented, there is roughly
  • a 20% likelihood of exceeding 4°C by 2100, and
  • a 10% chance of 4°C being exceeded as early as the 2070s. …
(p 1, italics added)

(Turn Down the Heat, World Bank, 2013)

Four Degrees and Beyond

Clive Hamilton: Professor of Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University

[In] late September 2009 [140 climate scientists gathered at Oxford University] to discuss the end of the world as we know it. …


[Developed-country] emissions peak in 2015 and decline by 3% a year thereafter …


[Developing-country] emissions peak in 2030 and decline 3% per year thereafter …


[The] world has a 50:50 chance of limiting warming to four degrees. …

{[And, since] the oceans warm more slowly, this means five to six degrees hotter on land.}
The biggest influences will be
  • the rate of growth of the world economy, driven disproportionately by growth rates in China, India and Brazil, and
  • the extent of efforts by governments in the major economies to restrain emissions. …

A planet four degrees warmer would be hotter than at any time since the Miocene era some 25 million years ago.
The world was virtually ice-free then. …
[During] the last interglacial or warm period 122,000 years ago [when temperatures were 1.5-2 degrees warmer] sea levels were ten metres higher than today. …
The record indicates that once the ice begins to melt it cannot be stopped …
[Beyond] two degrees the probability of the Greenland icesheet disintegrating is 50 per cent or more, which would mean an additional rise of seven metres in sea levels over the next 300-1000 years [over an above that due to thermal expansion.]
Above two or three degrees the West Antarctic icesheet is also likely to disintegrate, adding another five metres to sea levels on top of this. …
[There are] 136 port cities with populations of a million or more [— most located in Asia. …]

It's expected that, overall, a warmer world will be more humid, with rainfall increasing by perhaps 25 per cent. …
[However, the higher] rainfall will be concentrated in northerly latitudes, with large parts of the world nearer the tropics suffering a severe decline. …
[For example, projections for] Australia, southern Europe, western and central-southern United States … indicate precipitation declines of 10-30 per cent in a four-degree world.
[Worse still,] rainfall declines of 40-50 per cent [are expected in Africa and] across the north of Latin America, including the Amazon.

Run-off will decline by more than precipitation because of higher rates of evaporation before the water reaches streams and rivers.
[As a result] around 1 billion people … will be exposed to increased water-resource stress.
[Around] 15 per cent of land currently suitable for cultivation will become unsuitable, while in cold regions the area suitable for cultivation increases by 20 per cent. …
[The] poor and vulnerable will be hardest hit by climate change, even though they are not responsible for causing it and [are least able] to defend themselves against it.
[In] sub-Saharan Africa … rain-fed agriculture in many areas would cease to be viable by the end of the century [displacing about 200 million people.]
(pp 195-201)

[Once] the dramatic implications of the climate crisis are recognised by the powerful as a threat to themselves and their children they will, unless resisted, impose their own solutions on the rest of us, ones that will protect their interests and exacerbate unequal access to the means of survival, leaving the weak to fend for themselves.
This is how it has always been. …
Reclaiming democracy for the citizenry is the only way to … ensure that the wealthy and powerful cannot protect their own interests at the expense of the rest.
(pp 223-224)

(Requiem for a Species, 2005)

Ministry of Peace

Live Long and Prosper

All Flesh is Grass

I firmly believe, that before many centuries more, science will be the master of Man.
The engines he will have invented will be beyond his strength to control.
Someday science shall have the existence of mankind in its power, and the human race commit suicide by blowing up the world.

Henry Adams (1838 – 1918), 11 April 1862.

For such is the logic of war.
If people do not display wisdom, they will clash like blind moles.
And then mutual annihilation will commence.

Nikita Khrushchev (1894 – 1971), October 1962.

One by one, the cities blossomed.
The atmosphere rippled over each explosion, as if a giant steel ball had been dropped in a pond.
Over the western limb, beyond the Atlantic, a brighter-than-dawn glow was creeping, now yellow, now purple, now green.
The whole world was being swept by a crown fire, with the flames leaping not from tree to tree, but from city to city, continent to continent.
People were no more substantial than pine needles.

Greg Bear (1951), Eon, 1985, Gollanz, 2002, p 201.

(Hiroshima — The Next Day, 2010)

(Inhuman Kind, Vice, 2016)

(Rushmore DeNooyer, The Bomb, PBS, 2015)

(David Heycock, The Arsenal, Alistair Cooke's America, Episode 12, BBC, 1972)

(Inside the Cuban Missile Crisis, Crossing the Line, 2012)

Daniel Clery:
At around 11.30 on 30th October [1961, a Soviet TU-95V dropped a 50 megaton Teller-Ulam type hydrogen] bomb above the island of Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic Sea. …
The fireball could be seen 1,000 kilometres away and the mushroom cloud rose to seven times the height of Everest.
A village fifty-five kilometres away was completely destroyed and … windows were broken in Norway and Finland, more than 1,000 kilometres distant …
[It] was the most powerful device of any kind ever built.
To produce such a blast with conventional explosives would require a cube of TNT 312 metres on each side, roughly the height of the Eiffel Tower [—] ten times the total amount of conventional explosives used in World War II.
(A Piece of the Sun, 2004, p 202-3, emphasis added)

John Galbraith (1908 – 2006):
War once had a clear class aspect; it was the common soldier, the son of the peasant or working-class family, who was at risk.
Modern nuclear war is dramatically more democratic; all ranks and all classes equally will be swept away. …
One hopes that this will be recognized — and that the weapons commitment will breed a political movement that crosses all income and class lines.
It is, after all, the affluent who have the most to lose.
(The Affluent Society, 4th Edition, Penguin, 1984, pp xxxvi-vii)

John Kennedy (1917 – 63):
[To] those nations who would make themselves our adversaries, we offer not a pledge but a request:
That both sides begin anew the quest for peace, before the dark powers of destruction unleashed by science engulf all humanity in planned or accidental self destruction …
(Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961)

Curtis LeMay (1906 – 90) [USAF Chief of Staff]:
[The withdrawal of US missiles from Turkey and Italy] is the greatest defeat in our history.
We should invade [Cuba] today.
(28 October 1962)

Chris Matthews:
There were 90 nuclear warheads [in Cuba in October 1962] in all.
30 of them possessed 66 times the explosive power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
There was an equal number of warheads with the firepower of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, plus an assortment of other, smaller ones.
(p 237)

Kennedy … knew that LeMay and [the other Joint Chiefs of Staff] leaned towards a 'first strike' option, especially in the case of Soviet move on Berlin.
This meant an 'obliterating' nuclear attack on all Communist countries: three thousand weapons aimed at a thousand targets.
(Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, Simon & Schuster, 2011, Reader's Digest, 2013, p 233)

Bertrand Russell (1872 - 1970):
So long as national States exist and fight each other, only inefficiency can preserve the human race.
To improve the fighting quality of separate States without having any means of preventing war is the road to universal destruction.
(A History of Western Philosophy, 2nd Edition, 1961, p 541)

Alexis de Tocqueville (1805 – 59):
All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and the shortest means to accomplish it.
(Democracy in America, 1835, Bantam, 2011, p 807)

George Santayana (1863 – 1952):
Only the dead have seen the end of war.
(Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies, 1922)

The Sum of All Fears

(Daniel Holohan, Sex, War, Robots, SBS Viceland, 2017)

P W Singer (1974):
From 2002 to 2008, [in the aftermath of 9/11, the annual US] defense budget has risen by 74% to $515 billion.
This figure does not include … the cost of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq …
If you include these, the total Pentagon budget is at its highest level in real … terms since 1946 [—] more than the peak spending during the Korean and Vietnam wars …
(p 61)

Michael Shermer (1954):
The United States alone has spent upwards of $6 trillion since 9/11 on two wars and a bloated bureaucracy in response to the loss of 3,000 lives — less than a tenth of the number of people who die annually on American highways.
(The Moral Arc, 2015, p 86)

Neta Crawford: Professor of Political Science, Boston University
The United States borrowed to pay for [the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan —] we didn't tax.
[The] United States has [already] paid $316 billion in interest on the borrowing …
[The US will ultimately] pay $7 trillion in interest alone on a war that has so far cost $4.4 trillion.
(Anti war history, Big Ideas, ABC Radio National, 22 July 2014)

Niall Ferguson (1964):
Given that the population of the world in 1992 was approximately 5 billion, nuclear weapons gave the superpowers the notional ability to destroy the entire human race 15 times over. …
[The] real cost of a nuclear warhead … is almost certainly lower today than at any time since the Manhattan Project achieved its goal at a cost of $2 billion 1945 dollars.
Converted into prices of 1993, that figure rises tenfold: enough to buy 400 Trident II missiles.
The fact that France could almost double its nuclear arsenal from 222 warheads in 1985 to 436 in 1991 while increasing its defence budget by less than 7% in real terms speaks for itself.
In terms of "bangs per buck" — destructive capability in relation to expenditure — military technology has never been cheaper.
(The Case Nexus, Basic Books, 2001)

The Dogs of War

Cry Havoc!
And let slip the dogs of war.

William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616), Julius Caesar, 1599.

Extermination is a long and very tiring business.

Horatio Kitchener (1850 – 1916), Earl of Khartoum.

(P W Singer, Wired For War, Penguin, 2009)

(Inhuman Kind, Vice, 2016)

Greg Bear (1951):
A team of fifty agents from the FBI and the Secret Service had stormed a Muncrow Building in downtown Portland two years previously …
What … brought down nearly all of the team within twenty seconds, cutting them into bloody gobbets had been an Israeli Solem-Schmidt D-7, a self-directed, insect-carriage automated cannon. …
Before it had run into a brick wall, jammed and blown its super-heated barrels into shrapnel, the
D-7 had all by itself killed forty-three agents.
(Quantico, Harper, 2006, pp 64-5)

Nick Turse (1975):
[All] sorts of lethal enhancements [to unmanned vehicles] are in various stages of development to enable American troops to more effectively kick down the doors of the poor in 2025.
(Baghdad 2025: The Pentagon Solution to a Planet of Slums, 7 January 2007)

Samuel Butler (1835 ‒ 1902):
… I cannot think it will ever be safe to repose much trust in the moral sense of any machine.
(Erewhon, 1872)

(Hyper Evolution: Rise Of The Robots, Episode 2, ABC Television, 2018)

Sandy Hook: Sacrificing Children for Guns

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,
the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, 15 December 1791.

[The] state of men without civil society …
is nothing else but a mere war of all against all …

Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679), Leviathan, 1651.

(Michael Kirk, Trump's Divided States of America, Episode 2, PBS Frontline, WGBH, 2017)

Wayne LaPierre (1949) [Executive Vice President, National Rifle Association]:
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Marcus Luttrell (1975):
I know you're watching, so pay attention.
You hate my freedom, my religion and my country, and I will never, never surrender my rights to your terror.
I'll say what I think, worship according to my beliefs and raise my children how I see fit, and I defend it all with the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
I cower to no one because I am the National Rifle Association of America and I am freedom's safest place.

[The] fact that we can't go to school and feel safe every day when we are supposed to feel safe is a problem.
And fact that our senators are sacrificing us for NRA money is a problem.
Congress has one job and that's to make laws, so make some law.

Brian DeLay [Associate Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley]:
Private arm sales just exploded after 2005 … with the advent of Barack Obama as president.
[The] gun lobby, led most especially by the National Rifle Association, was phenomenally successful in creating [the] illusion that government is the enemy; that what we have is … gun manufacturers who are [simply trying to] satisfy the needs and the desires of freedom-loving Americans, and the government is threatening to … get in between them and to stop them.
[It was] this fear based campaign [that] helped convince millions of Americans in a time of declining crime that they were surrounded by danger and that the only way that they could be safe, and … keep their family safe, [was not simply to become] a gun owner, but a person who is always armed and is always ready and is ever alert for threats.

Josh Harkinson:
[The NRA] polices not only Washington but the gun industry itself.
So in the past when some gun makers like Smith & Wesson for example have attempted to compromise with political forces … and put in place some reasonable controls on preventing sales to criminals … the NRA has targeted them [with] boycotts.
(The American Gun Industry: A billion dollar business, Rear Vision, ABC Radio National, 18 March 2018)

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery:
[For each] time a gun in the home was used [for] self-defense or [a] legally justifiable shooting, there were
  • 4 unintentional shootings,
  • 7 criminal assaults or homicides, and
  • 11 attempted or completed suicides.

Norman Swan:
Last week a confusing set of seven gun measures failed to pass the US Senate [—] some of them, perversely, aimed to make gun ownership easier. …

David Hemenway:
[In America] 5- to 14-year-old children [are …]
  • 13 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than an average child in the other developed countries …
  • 8 times more likely to commit suicide with a gun [and]
  • 10 times more likely to be unintentionally killed with a gun …
[Our] non-gun suicide [and homicide rates for children are] average.
[If] it wasn't for guns we'd be an average country.
(Gun control in the United States, Health Report, ABC Radio National, 22 April 2013)

Daniel Webster & Jon Vernic [Professors in Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health, John Hopkins University]:
Strong regulation and oversight of licensed gun dealers — defined as have state law that required …
  • licensing of retail firearm sellers,
  • mandatory record keeping by those sellers,
  • law enforcement access to records for inspection,
  • Regular inspections of gun dealers, and
  • [mandatory] reporting of theft or loss of firearms
— was associated with 64% less diversion of guns to criminals …
(Editors, Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis, 2013)

Love is a Warm Gun

In addition to the 31,672 people killed by guns in 2010, another 73,505 [suffered] nonfatal bullet wounds [for a total of 105,177 gun related casualties.]
Of the 31,672 [killed,] 61% were suicides …
[The] vast majority of the rest were homicides by people who knew one another.

[Of] the 1,082 women and 267 men killed … by their intimate partners, 54% were shot …
[In the last 25 years] guns were involved in a greater number of intimate partner homicides that all other causes combined.
[If] a woman is murdered, it is most likely by her intimate partner with a gun. …
[In] states that prohibit gun ownership by men who have received a domestic violence restraining order [gun-related] homicides of intimate female partners have been reduced by 25%.

…… I owned a Ruger .357 Magnum [for 20 years. …]
[When] I learned about these statistics, I got rid of the gun. …

(Michael Shermer, Gun Science, Scientific American, May 2013, p 69)

March 24, 2013


ABC Radio National

Ephesians 5:22-33:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church …
(King James Bible, 1611)

Julia Beard:
It was … a bishop in Queensland who [drew my attention to the] cultural issues surrounding the teaching of headship — which is an emphasis in some particularly conservative evangelical parts of the church on women submitting to their husbands and on men being the 'heads'. …
[In] Australia, 1 in 5 perpetrators of domestic violence go to church.
[And, according to American researchers,] the men most likely, whether religious or non-religious, to assault their wives are evangelical men who go to church sporadically. …

It is extremely common for abusers to use words of the bible to tell them that they must obey …
That if they disobey the husband, they are disobeying God. …
I found that marital rape was very common in these situations … and that the church had a very inadequate … response to it.
The women were not believed.
If they were pastor's wives, the pastor would be believed or moved to another parish.
And … a lot of [the women] had to leave the church while the men remained within it.
(Church enabling and concealing domestic violence: Advocates, 18 July 2017)

Joe Hockey (1965) [Federal Treasurer, 2013-2015]:
… I find those wind turbines around Lake George to be utterly offensive. …
I think they are just a blight on the landscape. …
[Unfortunately, we] can't knock those ones off … because there's a certain contractual obligation (I'm told).
('Ideology' driving energy policy: Australian Solar Council, 8 May 2014)

Erwin Jackson [Deputy CEO, Climate Institute]:
Over the next 15 years [the Chinese have committed to building] a power sector the size of the United States completely powered by renewable energy.
(Australia to support UN Green Climate Fund, 11 December 2014)

Who Speaks for the Dead?

Fran Kelly:
We have heard a number of comments from Iraqis … saying that their lives are better today — free of Saddam Hussein.

Peter Kilfoyle [former Defence Minister under Tony Blair]:
Many thousands of people would agree with that.
But there's many thousands who are dead, who are not in a position to agree or disagree. …

It's wholly specious of people to say, somehow 10 years ago, the evidence was not there to suggest that they were wrong.
What's more important is the evidence was not there to show that they were right.
They should have erred on the side of caution … and they never did.

(Ten years in Iraq: Peter Kilfoyle, 20 March 2013)

March 18, 2013

John Kennedy

PBS American Experience

One Small Step

(Saturn V, Episode 1)

(Emily Calandrelli, Lunar Module, Engineering Space, Episode 2, 2016)

John Kennedy (1917 — 63):
I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.
No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.
(Special Message, Joint Session of Congress, 25 May 1961)

We choose to go to the Moon.
We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. …
We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding. …
And [so,] as we set sail, we ask God's blessing, on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.
(Rice University Address on the Nation's Space Effort, Houston, Texas, 2 September 1962)

(The Kennedys, PBS American Experience, 1992)

(Peter Schnall, Secrets of the White House, Episode 2, Partisan Pictures, PBS, 2016)

(Peter Schnall, Secrets of the White House, Episode 1, Partisan Pictures, PBS, 2016)

(Barak Goodman, Clinton, 2012)

John Kennedy (1917 – 63):
The greatest enemy of the truth is very often not
  • the lie — deliberate, contrived, and dishonest, but
  • the myth — persistent, persuasive, and and unrealistic.
Belief in myth allows
  • the comfort of opinion, without
  • the discomfort of thought.

Robert Kennedy (1925 – 68):
Each time a man
  • stands up for an ideal, or
  • acts to improve the lot of others, or
  • strikes out against injustice,
he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
(Day of Affirmation Address, 1966)

The question is, whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of humane purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.
  • We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others.
  • We must admit in ourselves that our own children's future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others.
  • We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let [the spirit of division to] flourish any longer in our land.

Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.
But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time,
  • that those who live with us are our brothers,
  • that they share with us the same short moment of life,
  • that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.
(On The Mindless Menace Of Violence, City Club of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio, 5 April 1968)

What I think is quite clear, is that we can work together in the last analysis.
[That] what has been going on in the United States over the period of the last three years: the divisions, the violence, the disenchantment with our society …
The divisions, whether it's
  • between Blacks and Whites,
  • between the poor and the more affluent, or
  • between age groups, or
  • on the war in Vietnam …
That we can start to work together.
We are a great country … and a compassionate country. …
(Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, 5 June 1968)

Frank Mankeiwsicz [Kennedy Press Aide]:
Senator Robert Francis Kennedy died at 1.44 am today, June 6 1968. …

Edward Kennedy:
[Robert] need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life …
[To] be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who
  • saw wrong and tried to right it,
  • saw suffering and tried to heal it,
  • saw war and tried to stop it.
Those of us who loved him.
And who take him to his rest today.
Pray that, what he was to us, and what he wished for others, will someday come to pass for all the world.
As he said many times …
Some men see things as they are and say why?
I dream things that never were, and say, why not?

[The shooter] Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian … said that he felt betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination.
(4 April, 2013)

Chris Matthews:
[Joseph Kennedy Sr opposed the Marshall Plan] for the economic reconstruction of war-torn Europe …
A shrewder plan, he calculated, would be to let the Communists grab Europe, creating economic chaos that would lead to greater opportunities for businessmen like him down the road.
(Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, Simon & Schuster, 2011, Reader's Digest, 2013, p 55)

The Common Enemies Of Mankind

Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans:
  • born in this century,
  • tempered by war,
  • disciplined by a hard and bitter peace,
  • proud of our ancient heritage, and
  • unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights
    • to which this nation has always been committed, and
    • to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall:
  • pay any price,
  • bear any burden,
  • meet any hardship,
  • support any friend, [and]
  • oppose any foe;
to assure the survival and the success of liberty. …

To those old allies whose cultural and spiritual origins we share, we pledge the loyalty of faithful friends.
  • United: there is little we cannot do, in a host of cooperative ventures.
  • Divided: there is little we can do, for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder. …

To our sister republics south of our border, we offer a special pledge:
[To] assist free men and free governments in casting off the chains of poverty [in a new alliance for progress.] …

[To] the United Nations, our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support
  • to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective
  • to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak, and
  • to enlarge the area in which its writ may run. …

[Remembering always] that
  • civility is not a sign of weakness, and
  • sincerity is always subject to proof. …
[Let all nations join us] in creating a new endeavor, not a new balance of power, but a new world of law, where:
  • the strong are just …
  • the weak [are] secure and
  • the peace [is] preserved.

[This task] will not be finished in the first one hundred days.
Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet.
But let us begin. …

Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. …
Now the trumpet [sounds] again:
  • not as a call to bear arms — though arms we need,
  • not as a call to battle — though embattled we are,
  • but a call to bear the burden of [the] long twilight struggle … against the common enemies of [mankind:]
    • tyranny,
    • poverty,
    • disease and
    • war itself. …

My fellow citizens of the world:
  • ask not what America will do for you,
  • but what together, we can do for the freedom of man.

(Inaugural Address, 20 January 1961)

World peace … does not require that each man love his neighbor …
[It] requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.
[History] teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever.
However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors. …
  • Peace need not be impracticable, and
  • war need not be inevitable. …

No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. …

[Let us] direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which [our] differences can be resolved.
And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. …

[We] do not need to use threats to prove that we are resolute. …
We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people …

What kind of peace do we seek?
Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war.
Not the peace of the grave …

Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. …
It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

[The] expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them [is not] the most efficient, means of assuring peace.

Too many of us think [peace] is impossible. …
But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief.
It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable — that mankind is doomed — that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

We need not accept that view.
Our problems are manmade — therefore, they can be solved by man. …

Let us focus [on a peace based] on a gradual evolution in human institutions …
Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts.
It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation.
For peace is a process — a way of solving problems. …

[It is imperative that the American people not] fall into the same trap as the Soviets …
[Not] to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side …
[Not] to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.
No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. …

[No] nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union suffered in the course of the Second World War.
At least twenty million lost their lives.
Countless millions of homes and farms … burned or sacked.
A third of the nation's territory [turned to wasteland.]

[Should] total war ever break out again — [all] we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first twenty-four hours. …
[We] are both devoting to weapons massive sums of money that could be better devoted to combating ignorance, poverty and disease. …

Above all … nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. …

[We] do not need to use threats to prove that we are resolute. …
We are unwilling to impose our system on any unwilling people …

[We] seek to strengthen the United Nations …
[To] make it a more effective instrument for peace …
[To] develop it into … a system capable
  • of resolving disputes on the basis of law,
  • of insuring the security of the large and the small and
  • of creating conditions under which arms can finally be abolished. …

[There] can be no doubt that, if all nations could refrain from interfering in the self-determination of others, the peace would be much more assured. …
Our primary long-range interest … is general and complete disarmament — designed to take place by stages, permitting parallel political developments to build the new institutions of peace which would take the place of arms. …

[Is] not peace … basically a matter of human rights
  • the right to live out our lives without fear of devastation
  • the right to breathe air as nature provided it
  • the right of future generations to a healthy existence? …

The United States … will never start a war. …
This generation of Americans has already had [more than enough] of war and hate and oppression. …
[We shall] do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.

(Commencement Address, American University, Washington, 10 June 1963)

The Dream

On November 7th 1979, in Boston, Rose Kennedy, 89 years old, was ready to campaign once again.
The last of her son's was planning to declare his candidacy for President. …
When [Edward] Kennedy announced, he led 2 to 1 in the polls, but he quickly fell behind President Carter and never regained the lead. …
Times had changed.
The country was moving away from his kind of Liberalism. …

In the end, he lost 24 of the 34 primaries he entered. …
But in his hour of defeat, he spoke with an eloquence that banished, for a moment, all the shadows on the Kennedy legend. …
Edward Kennedy (1932 – 2009):
[May] it be said of us, both in dark passages and in bright days, in the words of Tennyson that my brothers quoted and loved, and that have special meaning for me now:
I am a part of all that I have met …
Tho' much is taken, much abides; [and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven,] that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
[Made weak by time and fate, but] strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield. …
(Ulysses, 1842)
For all those whose cares have been our concern:
  • the Work goes on,
  • the Cause endures,
  • the Hope still lives, and
  • the Dream shall never die.
(Concession Speech, Democratic National Convention, New York, 12 August 1980)
[The] quest for the Presidency, had finally come to and end for sons of Joseph P Kennedy.
Their father had once been willing to pay any price for power.
He could never have imagined how high that price would be.

March 16, 2013

Ministry of Love

Live Long and Prosper

Fear begets Anger
Anger begets Hatred
Hatred begets Cruelty
Cruelty begets Suffering


(Victim of the Rwandan genocide)

Official Development Assistance as a percentage of Gross National Income.
Australian ODA (red) has fallen by 31% since 2012 (from 0.36% to 0.25% of GNI) at the same time as the OECD average (black) rose by 14% (from 0.28% to 0.32%).
UN ODA target is 0.70%.
(Development Assistance Committee, OECD, 2016)

A Generous Open-Hearted People

For those who've come across the seas
We've boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

Peter McCormick (c1834 – 1916), Australian National Anthem

(No Advantage, Four Corners, ABC Television, 29 April 2013)

(Lawyers representing five-year-old Iranian asylum seeker sue Government for negligence,
Breakfast, ABC Radio National, 20 May 2015)

'Which of the following four statements comes closest to your view about the best policy for dealing with asylum seekers trying to reach Australia by boat?'

(Andrew Markus, Mapping Social Cohesion: The Scanlon Foundation Surveys 2016, Scanlon Foundation, Monash University and the Australian Multicultural Foundation, 2016)
Turn back boats33%
Detain and send back9%
Temporary residence only31%
Permanent residence24%
Refused / Don't know4%

John Winston Howard (1939) [Prime Minister of Australia, 1996-2007]:
[We] are a generous, open-hearted people; taking more refugees on a per capita basis than any nation except Canada. …
But, we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come. …
We do not behave in a way that causes people to drown and to die.
We do not shoot people.
It is probably because of that we are seen by many around the world as a soft touch.
(Federal election campaign launch, City Recital Hall, Sydney, 28 October 2001)

Pauline Hanson (1954):
[If] I can invite whom I want into my home, then I should have the right to have a say in who comes into my country.
(Maiden Speech, Australian House of Representatives, 10 September 1996)

Arnon Soffer (1935) [Professor of Geography, University of Haifa]:
[In] India they shoot [asylum seekers.]
In Nepal they shoot.
In Japan they shoot.
(Sharon Udasin, Defending Israel's Borders from 'Climate Refugees', Jerusalem Post, 15 May 2002)

Andrew Jakubowicz {Professor of Sociology, University of Technology Sydney]:
It was as if they wanted to adopt a Churchillian stand …
We will fight them of the beaches!
We will stop them coming.
No matter what. …
Emma Lazarus (1849 – 1887):
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me …
(The New Colossus, 1883)

George Orwell (1903 – 1950):
April 4th, 1984.
Last night to the flicks.
All war films.
One very good one of a ship full of refugees being bombed somewhere in the Mediterranean.
(Nineteen Eighty-Four, 1949)

Patrick McGorry (1952):
Any decent Australian would be concerned about deliberately doing harm to people — knowingly [doing] harm.
Which is what [the 'no advantage'] policy does actually do.
('No advantage' policy may leave asylum seekers destitute: mental health experts, RN Breakfast, 8 May 2013)

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870):
[Conscience] is an elastic and very flexible article, which will bear a deal of stretching and adapt itself to a great variety of circumstances.
(The Old Curiosity Shop, 1840-1, Oxford University Press, 1951, p 52)

Judith Brett (1949) [Professor of Politics, Latrobe University]:
[What John Howard offered] the people of Australia [was] protection from threat.
Now to protect from threat you have to convince people that there are threats out there.
And lots of people do believe there are threats out there. …

David Jull (1944 – 2011) [Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence Matters; Liberal MP, 1984-2007]:
Our security people … have found that quite of few of those people who come in do have criminal backgrounds.

Peter Slipper (1950) [Parliamentary Secretary, Finance and Administration, 1998-2004]:
There's an undeniable linkage between illegals and terrorists.

Andrew Kirk [Senior Advisor to Amanda Vanstone, 1999-2004]:
We were getting a lot of calls from people indicating to us that we should send the navy out there and sink these boats. …
That we should … have been turning these boats around all along.
I was shocked at the hard line attitude of some of these callers …
[We] had uncovered a darker element in the Australian psyche …

Malcolm Fraser (1930 – 2015) [Prime Minister, 1975-1983]:
[People's] fears had been aroused.
[Fears] on the basis of race or religion, or coming from a place that we didn't know or didn't understand.
And if a government plays on those fears and magnifies those fears, then its a potent political force. …

Judith Troeth (1940) [Liberal Senator, 1993-2001]:
The 'Pacific Solution' was a most unfortunate name given historical connotations.
For me, there was a growing sense of anger that people could be treated like that in this day and age — especially when they had come to our country looking for refuge.

John Howard (1939):
That stopped the boats coming.
Nothing anybody says, nothing the Human Rights organizations say, nothing the Labor Party says, can alter that fundamental fact. …
[Asylum seekers who arrive by boat] presume on our generosity. …

Philip Ruddock (1943):
[A] number of children have been thrown overboard.

John Howard (1939):
I can't comprehend how genuine refugees would throw their children overboard.

Alexander Downer (1951) [Foreign Minister, 1996-2007]:
They will not be welcomed on the mainland of Australia and they will not be integrated into our community.
It's not going to happen.

Kim Beazley (1948) [Labor Opposition Leader, 1996-2001]:
You can't reward people for that sort of behavior.

(Nick Torrens & Andrea Lang, Liberal Rule Episode 3: Fortunes of War, SBS, 2009)

ABC Presenter:
Mr Reith, there's nothing in this photo that indicates that these people jumped or were thrown …

Peter Reith (1950) [Defence Minister, 2001]:
You're now questioning the veracity of reports from the Royal Australian Navy.
I don't.
It's as clear as day … so do you still question it?
Do you?

ABC Presenter:
I'm a journalist, I'll question anything until I get the proof, that's my job.

Peter Reith (1950) [Liberal Member of the Australian Parliament for Flinders, 1984-2001]:
Well, I've just given you the evidence.

ABC Presenter:
No, you've given me images …

Peter Reith (1950):
Well … if you don't accept that, you don't accept anything I say.

John Howard (1939):
In my mind there is no uncertainty because I don't disbelieve the advice I was given by Defence.

(Nick Torrens & Andrea Lang, Liberal Rule Episode 3: Fortunes of War, SBS, 2009)

Children Overboard affair:
The Australian Senate Select Committee for an inquiry into a certain maritime incident later found that no children had been at risk of being thrown overboard and that the government had known this prior to the election. …
[In 2007] John Howard asserted that
[The asylum seekers] irresponsibly sank the damn boat, which put their children in the water.
(Wikimedia Foundation, 6 April 2014)

The Australian Gulag

Malcolm Turnbull (1954):
You have to remember that those [detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru] are managed by the respective governments, PNG and Nauru.
That's a fact.

Sarah Ferguson:
But are you not responsible for the people in those centers … as the Australian Prime Minister who runs the regime that holds them there?

Malcolm Turnbull:
Well, we don't hold them there.
We don't hold them there.
That is not correct.
We do not hold them there.

Sarah Ferguson:
So you don't feel responsible for them?

Malcolm Turnbull:
I am responsible for ensuring that our borders are secure …
There is a view that the Labor Party will take a weaker view on border protection …

Bill Shorten:
If we were to allow the people smugglers back into business people will drown at sea …

(The Leaders, Four Corners, 27 June 2016)

Immigration and Refugees

Nicola Henry and Karolina Kurzak

Of the seven million people who have migrated to Australia since World War II, over [500,000] have arrived under humanitarian programs, either as displaced persons or refugees.
Currently, one in four people in Australia were born overseas. …

The countries which currently provide the highest number of migrants to Australia are …
  • New Zealand (20.2%),
  • China (11.5%),
  • the United Kingdom (8.6%), and
  • India (8.3%).
(p 1)

Migration Program

In 2011-12, the number of visas granted … was as follows:

Migration Program:
  • Skilled stream: 125,755
  • Family stream: 58,604

Humanitarian Program:
  • Refugee: 6004
  • Other Humanitarian:
    • 714 to people offshore under the [Special Humanitarian Program], and
    • 7041 to people onshore

Australian Immigration Trends

Net overseas migration refers to … the difference in numbers between permanent and long-term [> 1 year] arrivals and permanent and long-term departures. …
  • In 2011-12, net overseas migration was 197,200 persons …
    • skilled migrants accounted for 39% of all permanent or ‘settler’ arrivals to Australia;
    • family stream migrants for 27%;
    • Humanitarian Program migrants for 5%, and
    • Non-Program Migrants (consisting mostly of New Zealand citizens) for 29%; …
  • [The number of overstayers —] people who arrived in Australia with valid temporary visas … but have overstayed [—] was estimated to be around 53,900 at 30 June 2010.
Population growth in Australia is achieved through a combination of net overseas migration and natural increase (the number of births minus the number of deaths).
Net overseas migration now contributes to more than half of Australia’s population growth, whereas, in the past, natural increase was more prominent. …

The 28% fall in net overseas migration between 2008-09 and 2009-10 [in the context of the GFC, reversed] the trend established over previous years [by the previous] Howard Coalition Government.
(p 2)

Asylum seekers and refugees

[The] 1951 Refugee convention makes it clear that it is not illegal under international law to seek protection from persecution in another country, even if the entry is unauthorised. …
[Historically, 70-97%] of asylum seekers arriving by boat [in Australia] have been found to be genuine refugees. …
[Among] industrialised nations, Australia [ranks 17th out of 44 countries] for the number of asylum applications it receives [per capita.]
(p 3)

(Fact Sheet, The Australian Collaboration, December 2012)

Immigration Nation

In July 1979, [Malcolm Fraser agreed] to take 14,000 Indochinese refugees.
Ultimately, 70,000 [settled] here during his time as Prime Minister [of Australia (1975-83). …]
Boat people remain one of Australia's great fears. …

Since the Vietnamese refugee crisis around 20,000 boat people have arrived in Australia.
At the same time more than 3.5 million immigrants have made their home here, without provoking comment and largely with great success. …

Australia has one of the highest rates in the world of inter-marriage between different cultural groups. …

Since 1976 boat people have made up less than 1% of Australia's immigration intake.


Frances Harrison [former BBC Foreign Correspondent]:
In England [there have been] about 92 cases [of failed Tamil asylum seekers, who were initially deported back to Sri Lanka, and then later] returned to the UK [after] having been tortured [— and then were granted asylum. …]

Bianca Hall:
Since August 13 [2012], the government has returned 1,004 Sri lankans who arrived on boats — 795 involuntarily.
(Asylum seekers sent home, The Age, 19 April 2013)

Phil Glendenning:
[The four asylum seekers] sent back to Columbia were all killed …
[Two] of them didn't make it out of the car park.
Nine were killed in Sri Lanka.
Four in Iraq.
Two in Iran that we know of.
In Afghanistan we can prove there have been 11 deaths.
We believe that number is far higher ‒ probably in the vicinity of 30. …

After the War

She lived in the east of Sri Lanka.
[Her] two younger brothers were forcibly taken by the Tigers to fight.
[They] went away hand in hand they were so young, they were teenagers.
And they never came back. …

[Then] she was encouraged to join the Tigers …
She never fought because there wasn't much fighting in the east by then.
[Instead,] she worked in an office, and gave them information about what [an] NGO was doing. …

[After] the war, she was asked to constantly report to the police station …
And every time she went, with her Dad to protect her, they would touch her all over her body, and they would pull her hair and man-handle her.

[One] day they took her into custody and gang raped her for several days.
She got out and went to hospital and her mother just sat on the bed hugging her on the hospital bed for 2 days.

[So] they sent her away … to try and get her away from … the police.

[One day,] her father disappears … and they find his body, beaten to death, in a ditch.
[Some time later] her Mum rings up and says:
Whatever you do, don't come home.
They're looking for you.
[The] next day, she gets a phone call …
Come home, come home, your mother and your sister are dead!
[She] goes to the house and … finds the skeletons of her mother and her sister on a bed of ash in the house.
[She] can still see the trace of the fabric of her sister's dress …
[It] was one of her dresses that she had handed down to her.
She's [so distressed she] doesn't hide [and] the police pick her up again.

[This] time they keep her for 47 days.
[They] continuously gang rape her, including with her head in a bucket of water.
They beat her.
They starve her.

[Eventually a] relative manages to [buy her freedom …]
[She's taken] across the island at night — literally still wearing the clothes stained in blood and semen — [and put] on a little boat at midnight, on the west coast of Sri Lanka.
[She] gradually goes with these human smugglers from India to the Middle East, and finally lands in London.

[When] I met her [in London] she couldn't really tell her tale, she was so distraught. …
[She's] got cigarette burn marks [on her body —] that's how they brand people they keep in custody.

She's very pretty.
She's 26 years old. …
[She] just looks at the wall and wants to kill herself.
She says:
I'm to blame for my family all dying.
[We] were an ordinary Tamil middle class family …
I wanted to be a teacher.
[That] was November [2012.]
So when politicians say everything is fine in Sri Lanka … it's all alright, I think of her. …

In England [there have been] about 92 cases [of failed Tamil asylum seekers, who were initially deported back to Sri Lanka, and then later] returned to the UK [after] having been tortured [— and then granted asylum. …]

Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers

Currently, at best, only one in 10 persons in need of resettlement will be provided with that outcome annually.
(p 38)

The city of Dadaab in north-eastern Kenya hosts the largest refugee complex in the world, housing more than 559,000 registered refugees and several thousand more asylum seekers who are unregistered.
(p 61)

Likely Costs Of The Panel’s Recommendations

[The] full establishment and operation of a regional processing capacity
  • in Nauru accommodating up to 1,500 people would cost between $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion … including capital costs in the order of $300 million [= $800,000+ per person] …
  • in PNG (such as on Manus Island) accommodating up to 600 people would cost in the order of $0.9 billion … including capital costs in the order of $230 million [= $1.5 million per person …]
[The panel has [also] advised that:
  • an increase in the humanitarian program from its current level of 13,750 places per annum to 20,000 places per annum would cost in the order of $1.4 billion [= $224,000 per place]…
  • an increase in the family migration stream of the migration program of 4,000 places per annum would cost in the order of $0.8 billion [= $200,000 per place, and]
  • the implementation of the Malaysia arrangement requires operational funding of $80 million …
  • the establishment of a significant, ongoing research program … is expected to require at least $3 million per annum.
[Estimated aggregate government revenue 2012-13 = $376.1 billion.]
(p 144)

Supply and Demand

[Gregoire M Afrine] testified today that the I G Farben combine purchased 150 women from the [Auschwitz] concentration camp, after complaining about a price of 200 marks (then $80.00) each, and killed all of them in experiments with a soporific drug. …
He told the American military tribunal … that he was employed as an interpreter by the Russians after they overran the … camp in January 1945 and found a number of letters there.
[Some of the letters were] from Farben's "Bayer" plant to the Nazi commandant of the camp.
These excerpts were offered in evidence:
  1. In contemplation of experiments with a new soporific drug we would appreciate your procuring for us a number of women.

  2. We received your answer but consider the price of 200 marks a woman excessive.
    We propose to pay not more than 170 marks a head.
    If agreeable, we will take possession of the women.
    We need approximately 750.

  3. We acknowledge your accord.
    Prepare for us 150 women in the best possible condition, and as soon as you advise us you are ready we will take charge of them.

  4. Received the order of 150 women.
    Despite their emaciated condition, they were found satisfactory.
    We shall keep you posted on developments concerning the experiment.

  5. The tests were made.
    All subjects died.
    We shall contact you shortly on the subject of a new load.
(Associated Press, Nuremberg, 14 November 1947)

The First Australians

Rachel Perkins: Director, Writer and Producer

There is No Other Law

William Willshire [Colonial Police Constable]:
Men would not remain so many years in a country like this if there were no women.
And, perhaps, the Almighty meant them for use, as he has placed them where pioneers go.
What I am speaking about is only natural, especially for men are so isolated where women of all ages and sizes are running at large.

Astor Kempel [German Missionary]:
It is indeed shameful that the whites degrade themselves so much as they do — whoring with the native females …
And for this mean purpose, they use not only full grown females, but even mere children.

Unhealthy Government Experiment

A O Neville (1875 – 1954) [Chief Protector of Aborigines, Western Australia]:
Are we going to have a population of one million blacks in the Commonwealth?
Or are we going to merge them into our white community and eventually forget that there were ever any aborigines in Australia?

A Fair Deal For A Dark Race

Dougl Nicholls (1906 – 88) [28th Governor of South Australia]:
Australian natives are not a primitive people.
But a people living in primitive conditions.
They are entitled to a better deal than they are receiving from the white man.
If, given the opportunity, they could fly high.
But they have been denied their rights by being kept a race apart.

(SBS Television, 12 February 2012)

March 15, 2013

Scientific American: 2012

Scientific American

Todd Akin (1947) [US Representative (R) for Missouri (2001-2013); Member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology]:
[If] it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
(Shawn Otto, Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize US Democracy, 1 November 2012)

Michael Mann (1965):
[On the prospects for action on climate change.]
If we look to history, in the end, science and honesty won out …
We acted later than we should have with tobacco [and ozone depletion.]
We presumably suffered far greater damage and loss of life because we delayed action.
But we did take action.
(March, p 70)

Board of Editors [1862]:
[Abraham Lincoln] proposes to inaugurate the great jubilee with the year 1900, by payment of the owners of slaves as a mutual concession on both sides, and as a matter of justice to those who are owners of this species of property.
It being quite evident that the war between slavery and freedom will continue to waged with increased vigor the President hopes to modify its intensity, by fixing upon a certain period, when the institution shall forever cease.
He thinks this policy will shorten the war, and secure justice to all concerned; while, at the same, the country will be saved from the effects of violent and sudden changes in its domestic arrangements.

This view of the case strikes us as humane, and if the more radical portion of the two sections would but accept it, as a ground for settlement, peace would again bless us …
[But] so intensely bitter have these contending elements become, that we fear no such compromise would be acceptable or satisfactory.
(December, p 71)

Euan Nisbet [Professor of Earth Sciences, Royal Holloway, University of London]:
What we're doing at the moment is [a climate] experiment comparable on a geological scale to the big events of the past, so we would expect the inputs to have consequences similar to those in the past …
(p 41)

Ken Caldeira:
Global warming may not decrease overall food supply, but it may give more to the rich and less to the poor.
(September, p 81)

March 9, 2013

Harry Truman

PBS American Experience

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered:
  • even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped,
  • even if Russia had not entered the war, and
  • even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.
United States Strategic Bombing Survey, Government Printing Office, 1945.

Harry Truman (1884 – 1972):
I think one man is as good as another so long as he's honest and decent and not a nigger or a chinaman.
Uncle Will says that the Lord made a white man of dust, a nigger from mud, then threw up what was left and it came down a Chinaman!
(Oliver Stone, The Bomb, The Untold History of the United States, 2012)

No Quarter

[By August 1945, the] bulk of Japan's army was no threat to American forces …
[It] was sequestered up in China, with American submarines keeping it from crossing to the home islands, and the great weight of Russia's army looming above, able to destroy it once a sufficient buildup had occurred.
Japan's industry had largely been burned out.
[US] strategic bombers had … burned out fifty-eight of [the largest sixty Japanese cities.]

Douglas MacArthur … didn't expect an invasion would be needed …
Admiral Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was later adamant that there had been no need for an atomic bomb [and] Curtis LeMay, the head of the strategic bombing force, agreed.
(p 160)
Dwight Eisenhower (1890 – 1969):
… I was against [using the atomic bomb] on two counts:
  • First, the Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn't necessary to hit them with that awful thing.
  • Second, I hated to see our country be the first to use such a weapon. …
Truman's most forceful adviser was Jimmy Byrnes …
The ethos Byrnes had been brought up with was that when you fought, you fought with everything you had.
He'd been raised in South Carolina in the 1880s, with no father and not a great deal of schooling.
Visitors to his state during earlier times reported their amazement that it was rare on a jury to find twelve men who had all their eyes and ears …
South Carolina still had the ethos of a frontier society, and gouging, biting, and knife slashes were the way fights were settled.
It was Byrnes who ensured that the clause protecting the emperor — which might mollify Japanese opponents of a settlement — was taken out.
There would be no [quarter.]
(p 161)
Presidential "Interim Committee":
Mr Byrnes recommended, and the Committee agreed,
  • that … the bomb should be used against Japan as soon as possible;
  • that it be used on a war plant surrounded by workers' homes; and
  • that it be used without prior warning.
(1 June 1945)
(p 162)

From the ground the B-29 was just visible as a silvery outline, but the bomb — a bare ten feet long, two and a half feet wide — would have been too small a speck to see.
Weak radio signals were being pumped down from the bomb to the Shina Hospital directly below.
Some of those radio signals were absorbed in the hospital's walls, but most were bounced back skyward.
Sticking out of the bomb's back, near the spinning fins, were a number of whiplike thin radio antennae.
Those collected the returning radio signals, and used the time lag each took to return as a way of measuring the height remaining to the ground.
At 1,900 feet the last rebounded radio signal arrived.
(pp 163-4)

(David Bodanis, E=mc^2, Walker Books, 2000)


[On March 9, 1945 — five weeks before Harry Truman took office as President — 325 American B29s] dropped 2,000 tons of napalm on Tokyo, burning 16 square miles of the city to the ground.
In a single day, 100,000 Japanese were killed. …

Robert Rodenhouse [B29 Pilot]:
When we got over the target it was like a thousand Christmas trees lit up all over.
And you could feel the heat when you're there, and-and you could smell the smoke and the stench of human and animal flesh as that city is being consumed by millions of fires all over. …

Francis Coppola (1939):
I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for 12 hours. …
The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill.
Smelled like … victory.
(Apocalypse Now, 1979)

Yoshiko Hashimoto [Survivor]:
My mother took off her protective hood from her head, put it on my head, and looked into my eyes. …
Without a protective hood, mother's hair must have caught on fire after I jumped into the river.
She must have died in agony.
I cannot hold back my tears whenever I think about it, and cannot forget her sad face looking into my eyes.

Curtis LeMay [General, United States Air Force]:
We don't pause to shed any tears for uncounted hordes of Japanese who lie charred in that acrid-smelling rubble.
The smell of Pearl Harbor fires is too persistent in our nostrils. …
[All] war is immoral and if you let that bother you, you're not a good soldier. …
[If] I had lost the war I [suppose I] would have been tried as a war criminal.

To find the numbers we present in The Costs of War, we collected data from over a dozen published sources.
Events are listed chronologically, with their casualties indicated in red.
Cumulative numbers of casualties are indicated in gray.
(Austin Hoyt, Victory in the Pacific, PBS American Experience, 2005)

Barton Bernstein (1936) [Historian]:
What has changed in the war is a redefinition of what is a legitimate target.
A legitimate target is not simply a city, but people in the city who are primarily noncombatants in what is a redefined virtually total war.
So that everybody becomes a target.
The bombing destroyed nearly all of Japan's biggest cities and killed more than half a million civilians.
[But, still] the Japanese fought on. …
Harry Truman (1884 – 1972):
What a pity the human animal is not able to put his moral thinking into practice.
I fear that machines are ahead of morals by some centuries.
(Truman, PBS American Experience, WGBH, October 1997)

A War Against Evil

[On July 16, 1945] the first atomic bomb was exploded over the deserts of New Mexico.
[The detonation of 13 pounds of explosives:]
  • [vaporized] a steel tower 60 feet high,
  • left a crater … more than two miles wide,
  • knocked down men 10,000 yards away, and
  • was visible for more than 200 miles.

(Truman, PBS American Experience, WGBH, October 1997)

(Rushmore DeNooyer, The Bomb, 2015)

[Truman,] like all other Americans, saw this as a war against evil. …
In that sense, he [believed that using] the bomb [was] justified …
[That this,] the greatest weapon ever developed [had] a place in overcoming or combating evil. …

Two atomic bombs were nearly ready.
Seven more were on the way.

On July 25th Truman gave control of the bombs to the military and ordered that they be used as soon as the Potsdam conference was over.
The next day, the Japanese were given one last chance to surrender. …
Potsdam Declaration:
We call upon the Government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all the Japanese armed forces …
The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction. …
(26 July 1945)
[August 6,] 8:15 AM …
The atomic bomb dropped clear of the Enola Gay.
Forty-three seconds later, it exploded over Hiroshima.

That afternoon, Truman issued [another] warning to the Japanese government.
Harry Truman (1884 – 1972):
If they do not now accept our terms, they may expect a reign of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth.
[The] atomic bomb had killed more than 80,000 men, women, and children …

August 9, 11:00 AM …
[A] second atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese seaport of Nagasaki.
In 1/10 of one-millionth of a second [another] 40,000 people were killed.

The day after Nagasaki was destroyed, Truman took the authority to use the atomic bomb back from the military and placed it once again in his own hands. …

(Truman, PBS American Experience, WGBH, October 1997)

Cold War

Not long after Truman had become President, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into two hostile parts — a Soviet supported North and an American backed South.
[In June 1950] the North had attacked the South [seeking] to unify Korea under communist rule. …
[In] the end [the war would cost] more than 54,000 American lives.

KOREAN WAR (1950-53)
(Wikipedia, 11 March 2013)
Soviet Union
South Korea
United States
United Kingdom
South Africa
New Zealand
Killed or Missing367,283-750,282211,080

NON-COMBATANTSNorth KoreaSouth Korea
Killed, missing, wounded or abducted1,550,000990,968

Douglas MacArthur (1880 – 1964):
… I shall make of [the Chinese,] the greatest slaughter in the history of warfare. …
The General urged the President to wage all out war.
He wanted to blockade the Chinese coast and bomb the Chinese mainland.

Truman … feared provoking a third world war. …

[After being relieved of command by Truman,] MacArthur came home to a hero's welcome.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans attacked Truman.

Peace is Hell

On September 6, 1945, Truman proposed
  • an increase in the minimum wage,
  • aid for housing, and
  • a bill for the first pre-paid medical insurance in the nation's history.
But a coalition of Republicans and conservative southern Democrats refused him everything. …

[In the lead-up to the 1948 election all] the polls made him a sure loser. …
Harry Truman (1884 – 1972):
If you give the Republicans complete control of this government, you might just as well turn it over to the special interests and we'll start on a boom and bust cycle and try to go through just what we did in the 20s. …
On election night, to escape reporters, Truman checked into a hotel in Excelsior Springs, just outside of Independence.
He had a ham and cheese sandwich, a glass of buttermilk and went to sleep.

When he woke up, he learned he had pulled off the greatest upset in the history of American politics.
Not one pollster or radio commentator or newspaper columnist had got it right.
No one had dared predict a Truman victory. …

[He then] asked Congress to support what he now called "the Fair Deal" —
  • a higher minimum wage,
  • civil rights,
  • aid to education[and]
  • health insurance for all Americans.
Congress refused.