FM newswire, 14 November – links to old-fashioned journalism

Today’s broadsheet from the FM website pressroom.  There are 5 sections, all with hot news.

  1. Links to interesting news and analysis
  2. Valuable Advice
  3. Quote of the Day
  4. News, updates to posts past on the FM website
  5. Plus, an Afterword

(I)  Links to interesting news and analysis

(a)  Spanish Wind Power Tops 50% of Electricity Demand“, Sustainable Business News, 11 November 2009 — A big milestone for renewable energy.

(b)  Four Nuclear Myths“, Amory B. Lovins (Chairman and Chief Scientist), Rocky Mountain Institute, 13 October 2009 (PDF, 30 pages) — Myths supporting investments in nuclear power over renewable energy.  A commentary on Stewart Brand’s Whole Earth Discipline and on similar writings.

(c)  Breaking news story:  “US Government Stages Fake Coup to Wipe Out National Debt“, ONN

(d)  Background briefing about Yemen:  “Yemen: Fear of Failure“, Ginny Hill, Chatham House, November 2008

(e)  End Clinton-era military base gun ban“, Editorial, Washington Times, 11 November 2009 — So that next time, somebody on the base can shoot back.

(II)  Valuable Advice

  • Defend Yourself in Hand-to-hand Combat“, Claire Berlinski (author, photo here), posted at Learning to Fight, 12 November 2009 — “Ten Tips from Sifu Emin Böztepe (the “most lethal man in the world”).

(III)  Quote of the Day

Am I the only one who smells Kabuki in the reports that President Obama has dramatically rejected all the Afghan war options with which he was presented, demanding to know where the “off ramps” are? If you were about to recommend a troop increase that was unpopular, especially with your Democratic base, wouldn’t you precede it with some drama like this to demonstrate that you are

  • in charge,
  • not being conned, and
  • insistent on a withdrawal as quickly as possible?

Just asking.

— “Suckers of the Week“, Mickey Kaus, Slate, 12 November 2009.

Yep.  That’s how these decisions were sold during the Vietnam escalation.

(IV)  Updates from posts past on the FM website

(a)  About Team Obama’s war with Fox News:   “Did Fox Win the War?“, Mickey Kaus, Slate, 11 November 2009.  For more on this see Foolish but dangerous attempts to manage the media by Team Obama.

(b)  Nazis, Soviets, Poles, Jews“, Timothy Snyder, New York Review of Books, 3 December 2009 — Review of The Third Reich at War by Richard J. Evans and The Holocaust in the Soviet Union by Yitzhak Arad — Subscription only (get one!).  Excerpts:

But it was, as Evans notes, the Poles who told the British and the Americans about the Holocaust, not the other way around

… Evans insists on calling the Soviet Union “Russia” and its citizens “Russians.” Stalin, the Georgian leader of the Soviet Union, becomes a “Russian dictator,” and all Soviet institutions are “Russian.” … Russians were slightly more than half of the Soviet population. The institutions that held power were multinational, as was the Red Army. (The only expressly “Russian” military units were fighting on the German side. The Russian National Liberation Army, for example, raped and murdered thousands of Poles during the Warsaw Uprising.) With important exceptions such as Stalingrad and Leningrad, the war in the Soviet Union was fought not in its Russian republic but in Soviet Belarus and Ukraine.

… nearly half of the 5.7 million murdered Jews died in the occupied Soviet Union, but only one percent of that total perished in its Russian republic. Nevertheless, as Arad writes, postwar Soviet propaganda submerged the question of Jewish suffering within a narrative of Soviet losses, and put emphasis on the Russians as the Soviet people who bore the brunt. In early 1953, the Soviet leadership was circulating a petition among prominent Soviet Jews, who were to apologize to Russians for claiming that Jews had suffered, and thank Russians for saving them.

… That Germany and Poland did not make an alliance, and that Germany and the Soviet Union did, is perhaps the single crucial fact about the war. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact determined not only the course of the war, but the history of a considerable part of Europe. It defined a band of territory, running north to south from the Baltic to the Black Sea, that was invaded 3 times: first by the Soviets, then by the Germans, then again by the Soviets.

It was here, in Molotov-Ribbentrop Europe, that the Soviets concentrated the coercive might of the NKVD during that first occupation, deporting hundreds of thousands of people and shooting tens of thousands more. It was here, as Arad shows, that more than a quarter of the Holocaust killings took place. Ukrainian partisans, trained to kill Jews by the Germans, ethnically cleansed Poles from precisely these lands. It was also here that the Soviets, after later driving out the Germans, responded to armed resistance with ethnic cleansings of their own. It was here that the Communist takeover of Eastern Europe began, as Stalin claimed from the Allies at the end of the war the lands he had been granted by Hitler at its beginning.

(V)  Afterword

Please share your comments by posting below. Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 word max), civil and relevant to this post. Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

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8 thoughts on “FM newswire, 14 November – links to old-fashioned journalism”

  1. Are you listening, Mr. President?

    “Bans end up disarming potential victims and not criminals. Rather than making places safe for victims, we unintentionally make them safe for the criminal – or in this case, the terrorist.”

  2. Re “The Onion” piece; life imitates art…
    From the WSJ: “State Finance Directors Warn of More Trouble Ahead“, 13 November 2009:

    “I looked as hard as I could at how states could declare bankruptcy,” said Michael Genest, director of the California Department of Finance who is stepping down at the end of the year. “I literally looked at the federal constitution to see if there was a way for states to return to territory status.”

  3. Nice to see someone dare to dredge up some facts about the Holocaust . Mind the thought police !
    Churchill apparently led into WW11 aiming to liberate Poland . However , ultimately the bankrupcy of his nation and the commonwealth , exhaustion of servicemen , weariness of civilians , and refusal of further US loans , meant he had to accept defeat . By calling this victory , a useful template was set for Obama in Afgh .
    FM reply: This is totally false, on several levels.

    “Churchill apparently led into WW11 aiming to liberate Poland”

    * Germany invaded Poland on 1 September 1939. The UK declared war on Germany on 3 September. On that date Churchill Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty and a member of the War Cabinet.
    * Germany invaded France on 10 May 1940. On that date Churchill was asked to become Prime Minister.
    * Churchill led the UK during WWII with the singular goald to defeat NAZI Germany.

  4. FM — for somebody without a sense of humor you do pretty good. Linked the ONN story to SWC Economic Warfare thread.
    Later Slap
    FM reply: For more about that, see section 3 — Financial or Economic Warfare — on the Military and strategic theory reference page.

  5. For some reason the page for Ib won’t come up. {fixed!}

    From Next Big Future countering some of Lovins claims. “Nuclear Roundup – New Plant Costs are Coming Down and Why Amory Lovins is Wrong in Three Parts“, 12 November 2009.

    There is room for debate on this issue. The US needs cheap baseline power along with some kind of substitute for oil. Nuclear is one direction with natural gas than we can liquify coal as a replacement for crude. It’s one possible direction.
    FM reply: Nukes and natural gas will work, although not cheaply. But only IF the critics of the shale oil estimates are wrong (e.g., Arthur Berman). IF the critics are correct, then we don’t have sufficient natural gas for such a strategy to last long.

    In my opinion, neither Lovins nor “Next Big Future” are reliable sources of analysis. Both provide interesting ideas and factoids, but not relaible conclusions. Both are too-agenda driven, the politicization that has poisoned public policy debate in America today.

  6. Correct , altho apparently Churchill wanted to carry on and beat Russia , but was persuaded he would be unlikely succeed , on his tod .
    On 4/9/39 ( Hansard , quoted in Telegraph 4/9/09 ) Mr Geenwood MP , said ” Poland we greet as a comrade we shall not desert … Lastly , in this titanic struggle ..Nazism must be finally overthrown . ”
    Churchill MP said “This is not a question of fighting for Danzig or fighting for Poland ..we are fighting to save the world from the pestilence of Nazi tyranny – and in defence of all that that is most scared to man ” .
    McGovern MP ” the thing which had driven mankind along the path of war was ..the defection of Russia .. intended eventually to assist in the tearing apart of Poland, along with Germany , for their own aims and own use . ”
    I wasnt really quibbling about who said what , but thinking about Obama’s exit ramps ; so-called victories and defeats and the way their polarities flip .

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