Saturday ReadsPosted: December 7, 2013 Filed under: Barack Obama, Foreign Affairs, morning reads, Republican politics, U.S. Politics | Tags: chronic brain injury, crime, Eric Cantor, FDR, immigration laws, James Downing, Merrill Newman, Nelson Mandela, North Korea, Onyango Obama, Pearl Harbor, Poverty, Richard Pena, Rick Santorum, Toxoplasmosis gondii, weather, winter storm Cleon, winter storm Dion 41 Comments
Today is Pearl Harbor Day, “a date which will live in infamy,” December 7, 1941. From the LA Times:
An Associated Press story on the Dec. 8, 1941, front page of the Los Angeles Times reported:
Japan assaulted every main United States and British possession in the Central and Western Pacific and invaded Thailand today (Monday) in a hasty but evidently shrewdly-planned prosecution of a war began Sunday without warning.
Her formal declaration of war against both the United States and Britain came 2 hours and 55 minutes after Japanese planes spread death and terrific destruction in Honolulu and Pearl Harbor at 7:35 a.m. Hawaiian time (10:05 a.m., P.S.T.) Sunday.
The claimed successes for the fell swoop included sinking of the United States battleship West Virginia and setting afire of the battleship Oklahoma.
On Dec. 8, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started his famous speech:
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, Dec. 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
Within an hour, Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan, bringing the United States into World War II. On Dec. 11, Germany and Italy declared war on the United States.
There are more dramatic photos at the link. There aren’t many survivors of that day left, but at least two of them talked to news outlets yesterday. From the Denver Post:
COLORADO SPRINGS — No one asked Navy Lt. James Downing to hurriedly memorize the names on the dog tags of the dead and injured during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
But Downing, then 28, did it because he could not bear the thought of families not knowing the fate of their loved ones. He wrote to as many families as he could.
The Colorado Springs resident, who celebrated his 100th birthday in August, is the oldest known survivor of the Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese sneak attack that killed more than 2,400 Americans .
Downing fought to save lives that day, all the while wondering whether it was the day his own life would end.
Downing was a gunner’s mate 1st class and postmaster, assigned to the USS West Virginia. The battleship had just returned to base after more than a week on patrol.
His wife of five months, Morena, was cooking Sunday morning breakfast for a few servicemen in the couple’s home near the harbor when they heard explosions in the distance, Downing said.
“Then an anti-aircraft shell landed right outside and blew a crater about 25 feet across,” Downing said, illustrating with outstretched arms.
In those days, there was no way for survivors to let their families know they were okay–it took until Christmas for some to be able to to contact loved ones. Another Pearl Harbor survivor, Richard Pena, spoke to Huffington Post.
It was life and business as usual for Navy veteran Richard Pena until the bombs dropped on Pearl Harbor just before 8 a.m. on December 7, 1941.
Pena was eating breakfast and was about to head out for his morning duty as quartermaster to raise the flag when the attack started, he told HuffPost Live. As far as he recalls, the flags never went up that day, Pena said.
Before the attack, Pena said he and his fellow officers were living “the good life” stationed in Hawaii. Coming from San Antonio, Texas, it was his first time away from home.
“In the blinking of an eye, a split second, your life is turned topsy-turvy,” Pena reminisced. “It’s hard to describe what you’re feeling. People tell you you’ve trained for this all the time, but you didn’t know that it was going to happen the way it did.”
Back in December 2013, much of the country is dealing with stormy weather. CNN reports: Power outages, travel nightmare — and snow in Vegas?
More sleet and subfreezing temperatures are predicted to hit areas from Dallas to Memphis until Sunday, and Little Rock, Arkansas, until Monday.
The nation’s capital will not be spared from the cold either. Snow or sleet is forecast for Washington on Sunday.
In the central Appalachians through central New England, snow is expected into early Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said.
In addition to the plummeting temperatures, the drastic swings were startling. Hot Springs, Arkansas, experienced a record high of 75 on Wednesday. By Friday, it was in the middle of an ice storm.
The Dallas/Fort Worth area is among the hardest hit. It will have a high of 27 degrees Saturday, a day after the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport canceled almost 700 flights, about 80% of those scheduled.
And, yes, Las Vegas will be in the 20’s over the weekend.
The bad weather across the South and Midwest came from winter storm Cleon. Out in the Northwest, winter storm Dion is gearing up to rush across the country, impacting the south and moving up into the Northeast. You can get live updates on Dion here. For once, eastern New England could be one of the least affected areas. We got some freezing rain last night and the streets are slippery this morning, but it’s no big deal. The only other impact on us will probably be some sleet and freezing rain on Monday morning. I’m really feeling for those of you who are suffering from these storms. Trust me, I know what you’re going through! Here are some of the records that have been set around the the country:
- Denver: Record low of -13 degrees on Wednesday beat the old record of -5 degrees set in 2008. Thursday’s low of -15 tied the daily record. Denver dropped to -13 degrees on Saturday morning, tying another record low.
- Ely, Nev.: Record low of -17 degrees on Wednesday crushed the old record of -5 degrees.
- Great Falls, Mont.: Record low of on Wednesday topped the old record of 22 degrees below zero.
- Casper, Wyo.: Record low of -22 degrees on Wednesday beat the old record of -11 degrees set in 1972.
- Medford, Ore: Record low of 18 degrees on Wednesday and a record low of 14 on Thursday. According to the National Weather Service, this is the coldest air mass in the city since 1998.
- Portland, Ore. and Astoria, Ore.: Three straight days with daily record lows through Tuesday through Thursday.
- Spokane, Wash.: Saw its first high in the teens since Feb. 26, 2011 on Thursday.
- Glasgow, Mont.: Recorded its first subzero high temperature since Jan. 18, 2012 on Thursday.
- Great Falls, Mont.: Low of -33 degrees on Saturday was the coldest temperature recorded so early in the season. Previous record was Dec. 8, 1972 (-36 degrees).
Some good news: North Korea has released (they say “deported”) 85-year old Korean war veteran Merrill Newman after holding him prisoner for more than a month and forcing him to “apologize.” The Independent reports:
North Korea has deported an elderly US tourist and Korean War veteran detained since October for alleged hostile acts against the country.
The country’s official state news agency Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said Merrill Newman has been expelled on “humanitarian grounds” because of his age and health after he “confessed” to crimes during the 1950-53 war and apologised.
The 85-year-old flew to China this morning where he boarded a flight to San Francisco. Speaking to Japanese reporters at Beijing airport, he said: “I’m very glad to be on my way home. And I appreciate the tolerance the DPRK government has given to me to be on my way. I feel good, I feel good. I want to go home to see my wife.”
[Newman] has been in detention since being taken off a plane on October 26 by North Korean authorities following a 10-day tour of the country. KCNA claimed that Merrill had ordered the deaths of North Korean civilians and soldiers during the war. His family say he was a victim of mistaken identity.
I have some more new and some longer reads for you, which I’ll list link dump style.
MassLive: President Obama’s uncle, Onyango Obama, to face deportation hearing in Boston.
According to a court docket, the case will be heard by Immigration Judge Leonard Shapiro on Tuesday afternoon in Boston Immigration Court at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building.
Onyango Obama is the president’s father’s half brother.
A judge issued a deportation order against Onyango Obama, who is from Kenya, in 1992. But Obama never left the country. The Boston Globe reported that Obama was working as a liquor store manager when the Framingham Police arrested him for drunk driving in August 2011. He was sentenced to probation in that case, and the charges brought renewed attention to his immigration status.
The Globe reported that Obama has been living in the United States since 1963, when he came to enroll in school here as a 17-year-old. He was first ordered deported in 1986, although appeals continued in that case for six years.
For Pete’s sake, why can’t they just let the poor guy stay in the US? He’s been here for 50 years! Meanwhile, President Obama acknowledged that he lived with his uncle briefly in the 1980s. It had been thought that the two had never met, but no one bothered to ask the President directly about it until now.
New research on Toxoplasmosis gondii, the parasite associated with cat litter boxes, undercooked meat, and other sources, shows that it can have some positive effects on the brain.
New neuroscience research says that Toxo—the cysts in our brains from cats—can improve our self-control. For the 30 percent of people who have this infection, it’s about more than promiscuity, schizophrenia, and car crashes.
I’ll let you read the details at the link if you so desire. I decided not to read about it, since there’s nothing I can do if I have it…
This article in the Atlantic is from September, and it’s long; but I highly recommend it if you like human interest stories and/or true crime tales. Murder by Craigslist: A serial killer finds a newly vulnerable class of victims: white, working-class men. Fascinating and surprising reading–I highly recommend it.
From Technology Review: Identifying Signs of Chronic Brain Injury in Living Football Players
Eight former pro football players learned this year that they have signs of a degenerative brain disorder called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition linked to depression, dementia, and memory loss. These somber findings were uncovered using a new method of brain imaging that, for the first time, enables researchers to spot signs of the condition in the living brain. Previously CTE could only be identified after a victim died.
The new method could help quantify the risks of repetitive blows to the head (see “Images of a Hard-Hitting Disease” and “Military Brains Donated for Trauma Research”). It could also help future players avoid the degenerative and sometimes lethal condition by limiting their exposure, and it may help scientists develop better protective gear and treatments.
Two interesting reads from Alternet:
20 Things the Poor Do Everyday That the Rich Never Have to Worry About
This one partially explains why I’m so down on Glenn Greenwald: Why Atheist Libertarians Are Part of America’s 1 Percent Problem
This morning’s stupid right winger stories:
Rick Santorum: Nelson Mandela Fought ‘Great Injustice,’ Just Like Republicans Are Battling Obamacare
Eric Cantor Calls the Police on Children Who Were Singing In His Office
House Majority Leader Brushes Off Young Girl As She Asks Him To Help Her Undocumented Father
The Right Wing’s Campaign To Discredit And Undermine Mandela, In One Timeline
Those are my offerings for today. What stories are you following? Please let us know in the comment thread, and if you are in the path of Cleon and/or Dion, please stay safe and warm and update us on your situations if you can.
Sunday Reads: Old Photos, Coastlines and CavemenPosted: December 9, 2012 Filed under: morning reads, Women's Rights | Tags: New York City Ballet, Pearl Harbor, WWII 24 Comments
It has been a crazy weekend, and honestly…I am out of the loop…I don’t know what is going on in the world. Hopefully, the links I have to share with you today are new to you!
Friday was December 7th, anniversary of the attack at Pearl Harbor. So let’s start this post with stories remembering World War II and the day that lived in infamy.
This link from the Washington Post is something indeed. Betty McIntosh is 97 years old, and finally her story is being told, or should I say read.
Honolulu after Pearl Harbor: A report published for the first time, 71 years later by Elizabeth P. McIntosh
On Dec. 7, 1941, when Japanese planes attacked Pearl Harbor, I was working as a reporter for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. After a week of war, I wrote a story directed at Hawaii’s women; I thought it would be useful for them to know what I had seen. It might help prepare them for what lay ahead. But my editors thought the graphic content would be too upsetting for readers and decided not to run my article. It appears here for the first time.
There is also a video at that link…so please be sure to take a look at Betty’s story.
Our first group of photographs today are a list of 10 Lesser-Known Iconic Photos from WWII
This WWII era photograph was used to show Americans that women were doing their part to fight the war – even when they really weren’t. The four women pictured here, in front of the famous “Pistol Packin’ Mamma” aircraft, were part of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots program – better known as the WASPs. One of the four – the farthest on the right – is Blanche Osborn Bross. The WASPs were a very exclusive club. Over 25,000 women applied for the program, and only 2,000 were selected of which barely 1,000 graduated and became pilots. Though they did not see wartime action, some of them did die in airplane accidents. After the war, Blanche Osborn Bross continued to fly, and later served with the Red Cross in China. She died at the age of 92.
This picture of women pilots is my favorite, but there are some disturbing images you must see at that link.
Women were doing their part during the war, working in factories, nursing in hospitals, fast forward to today…and take look at women in the news.
Pregnant? Have Morning Sickness or Need to Pee? Company Says Bathroom Breaks Are a Privilege, Not a Right
The news abounds that England is expecting a new member to the royal family, and that the Duchess of Cambridge was recently hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum, a brutal form of excessive nausea related to pregnancy that can often require medication, IV fluids and nutritional supplement to combat. As royalty, Kate will get the best of care. For everyday women, however, even standard symptoms, never mind complications, aren’t treated with nearly as much deference, especially not if you are a woman in the workplace.
Bathroom breaks for pregnant women are a privilege, not a right.
So claims National Processing of America, a call center being sued for unlawful termination after firing a pregnant employee, whom they believed took too many trips away from her desk to either vomit or just urinate. Their solution to her needing to run to the lavatory to be sick? She was provided with her own wastebasket to keep at her desk. So, besides being expected to vomit in front of her coworkers, apparently she and they were all expected to cope with the post-puke smell as well.
Nausea and the need to frequently urinate are pretty common when pregnant, and the employee had a high risk pregnancy as well. The company, however, was less than sympathetic.
Maddening isn’t it?
Also in the news this week, more crap from Fox News: Fox Nation’s Incredibly Dishonest Attack On An Anti-Domestic Violence PSA
Fox Nation dishonestly accused Planned Parenthood of teaching teenagers how to use makeup to cover up facial marks left from domestic violence. But the video they use as evidence is in fact an anti-domestic violence public service announcement that explicitly implores victims of domestic violence not to cover it up but to seek help.
The source of Fox Nation’s dishonest smear is a PSA called “How to look your best the morning after” that was posted on Planned Parenthood’s Facebook page. The PSA shows a woman using makeup to conceal facial bruises. Fox Nation posted the video and a section of a LifeNews.com article under the headline “Planned Parenthood Shows Teens How to Hide a Beating with Makeup.” The article accompanying the video also claimed Planned Parenthood “shows how to cover up those nasty cuts and bruises that result from a beating”
But contrary to Fox’s deceptive campaign to smear Planned Parenthood, the PSA very clearly urges women not to cover up the effects of domestic violence. The video portrays a woman with facial bruises discussing ways to conceal her bruises. Responding to the sound of a door closing off-screen, the woman abruptly ends the recording with a panicked look on her face. At that point, on-screen text reports that 65 percent of women who suffer domestic abuse try to keep it hidden. The PSA then urges women: “Don’t cover it up.”
Here is another story to get pissed off about: Priest stripped of duties for celebrating Mass with woman priest
A Milwaukee-area Catholic priest was stripped of his priestly duties after he presided over a Mass with a woman priest last month in Georgia.
On Nov. 17, the Rev. Bill Brennan, a 92-year-old Jesuit, performed a liturgy in Columbus, Ga., at which Janice Sevre-Duszynska, an ordained member of Roman Catholic Womenpriests, an advocacy group that is not sanctioned by the Vatican, was a participant.
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and his religious order, the Society of Jesus, ordered Brennan not to perform any priestly duties in public or present himself as a priest publicly.
“I was really angry when I found out … that his faculties were suspended, too, because for God’s sake, he’s 92 years old,” the Rev. Jerry Zawada, a Franciscan and a friend of Brennan’s who has also led liturgies with Sevre-Duszynska and was suspended for it, told NBC News. “But he’s so faithful to what needs to happen.”
“He’s willing to take risks at that level,” Zawada, a 75-year-old Franciscan, added.
Yup, a priest molest a kid…he gets a transfer…a priest holds a Mass together with a woman priest…he gets fired. Anyway, read the rest of the story at the link.
I’ve got another long read here, via Pro Publica: Cutting through the Controversy about Indefinite Detention and the NDAA
On Tuesday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a yearly military spending bill.
Last year, the bill affirmed the U.S.’s authority to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely and without charges. The provision had generated plenty of controversy, particularly about whether U.S. citizens could be detained indefinitely. This year, the Senate bill says that citizens can’t be detained in the U.S. – but concerns remain about the scope of detention powers.
Time for more photos, this time from West Virginia during the years of the New Deal. Appalachian History » Review: New Deal Photographs of West Virginia, 1934-1943
Coming home from school. Mining town. Osage, Scotts Run, West Virginia. Marion Post Wolcott. September 1938. LC-USF34-050352-E.
Up for more history? Check this out…from LG&M: This Day in Labor History: December 6, 1865
On December 6, 1865, the legislature of Georgia ratified the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ending slavery. Arguably, the single most important event in the history of American labor, the official end to slavery closed a chapter in the nation’s race-based labor system, a system that still remains in important forms to the present.
That is just a taste, give that essay a read.
Did you know that Hurricane/Winter Storm Sandy made drastic changes to the landscape along the New York coast. Sandy caused 30 years of change to NY coastline, study shows
In late November, 2012 the U.S. Geological Survey released before and after images showing the devastating impact that Hurricane Sandy had on coastal dunes along the Fire Island National Seashore Long Island, NY. The images show widespread dune erosion and overwash. In some areas, coastal dunes lost as much as 5 meters (15 feet) in elevation, while suffering other forms of extensive coastal erosion. Cheryl Hapke, a coastal geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), commented on the findings in a press release, saying:
We found that there was widespread dune erosion and overwash. On average, where the dunes were not completely overwashed, they eroded back 70 feet — the equivalent of 30 years of change.
Yes, more pictures for you, but these are recent images.
Before and after lidar images of coastal dunes on Fire Island, NY that were impacted by the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy. Image Credit: USGS.
I am so fucking pissed off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WordPress did something to the rest of my post. It deleted at least 2000 words, and I am so disgusted right now.
I’ve been working on this thing for at least 2 hours…so here are the links I had, without all the words and quotes and pictures.
Cavemen Were Better at Drawing Four-Legged Animals | Geekosystem
Decorate Your Christmas Tree Right Using Math | Geekosystem
Dugout Dick’s Idaho Caves | Tiny House Design
75 Awesome “Looking Into The Past” Pictures
Photos: Henry Leutwyler’s All-Access Pass to the New York City Ballet | Vanity Fair
It is so upsetting, and I was saving my post all during the time I was writing it. Seriously, over 2000 words gone…poof!