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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Tim Murphy, Mother Jones: Four days after mocking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for being captured in Vietnam, Donald Trump is at the top of the Republican presidential polls. Despite his history of political flip flops, Trump has gained traction with red-meat-loving conservatives by skewering and belittling establishment figures such as McCain and Karl Rove, questioning President Barack Obama's legitimacy, and attacking undocumented immigrants. But he's also been quick to fling insults at anyone who ever says anything bad about him -- other celebrities, journalists, legislators and this one poor guy from Bermuda. Donald Trump insults people. And now you, too, can be insulted by the tirade-prone tycoon -- with the Mother Jones Donald Trump Insult Generator. Just enter your name (or your friend's name, or the name of your favorite stupid clown political pundit with bad ratings) and give it a spin. Just don't expect an apology. read more

Thursday, July 09, 2015

I have received many requests to do interviews on this subject and had a lot of tweets asking me to comment, but I declined, wanting to take the time to explain my feelings in detail, without having to answer other people's loaded questions or express myself in a 140-character limit on Twitter.

This will have the potential to be lengthy, so bear with me and I will try my best to relate my honest feelings on the Confederate flag in question, which was actually the battle flag carried by several Confederate army regiments – and was not the official flag of the Confederacy. read more

Monday, July 06, 2015

Madeline Kaplan, Huffington Post: Back to the Future, the ultimate action-comedy-romance-sci-fi flick, turn[ed] 30 on July 3. The classic film invented its own form of time-travel (if you watch the movie 88 times in a row, you will have traveled 10,208 minutes into the future), but even the most dedicated fans may not know what went went down before the film even made it to theaters. Here are some facts about "Back to the Future" every DeLorean diehard should know ...

Sunday, July 05, 2015

But what was once mere easy listening, an exemplar of irredeemable uncoolness, has taken on weight and poignancy with time. A once dominant, very American-melting-pot mode of popular entertainment is about to pass into history. These are the last days of the great American showpeople. How will we remember their bellow-to-the-rafters, bear-witness-to-my-talent era? read more

Monday, June 22, 2015

Since 2011, however, Morales has been web-slinging in the company's alternate super-powered world, replacing the murdered Peter Parker. But now, it looks like that alternate version of Spidey is becoming the official one. According to the New York Daily News, when the Spider-Man comic relaunches in the fall, Morales will be the face underneath the mask, not Peter Parker.


And then there are four Presidents since the 22nd Amendment limitation of two terms or ten years in office if succeeding to the Presidency with less than two years left of the term when they became President, all of whom could have been elected to another term, had there been no such limit!

Dwight D. Eisenhower could have won and run a third term in 1960, as could Ronald Reagan in 1988, and Bill Clinton in 2000, while Lyndon B. Johnson, had he not dropped out in 1968, likely would have beaten Richard Nixon, since his Vice President, Hubert Humphrey, came close to doing so, and did not have the fact of being President to help him win the election!

It is interesting that in all cases mentioned except three -- Eisenhower, Johnson, and Clinton–the party of the President who did not run for reelection won the election. Eisenhower saw Richard Nixon lose a close election, despite much evidence of a fixed result for John F. Kennedy in 1960, and Johnson saw Humphrey lose to Nixon in another close election, where LBJ would likely have turned the tide! And Al Gore lost in 2000, despite a popular vote majority, due to the intervention of the Supreme Court in 2000, giving the Presidency to George W. Bush!

So instead of one President with 12 years and 39 days in the Presidency, we could have had, additionally, Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton with 12 years in office; Theodore Roosevelt with 11 and a half years in office; and Calvin Coolidge with nine and a half years in office and Lyndon B. Johnson with nine years and two months in office!


Because Japanese geography did not provide many invasion beaches, the Japanese organized a strong defense, particularly at Kyushu. Over 10,000 aircraft of various types and sizes were prepared as kamikaze aircraft. Underground networks of bunkers and caves stored food, water, and thousands of tons of ammunition. 2,350,000 regular soldiers and 250,000 garrison troops were deployed, 900,000 of which were stationed in Kyushu by Aug 1945. 32,000,000 militia, in other words all males between the age of 15 and 60 and all females between 17 and 45, were given the task to supplement the regular military; their weapons include everything from antique bronze cannons to Arisaka rifles, from bamboo spears to Model 99 light machine guns. Perhaps the eeriest fact was that after the war the United States discovered even children were trained to become suicide bombers when necessarily, strapping explosives around their torsos and rolling under the treads of American tanks. "This was the enemy the Pentagon had learned to fear and hate", said Dan van der Vat, "a country of fanatics dedicated to hara-kiri, determined to slay as many invaders as possible as they went down fighting". Although there was a strong dovish movement in Tokyo to end the war by seeking a conditional surrender, Ketsu-Go (Operation "Decision") continued to move forth, aiming to cause as much casualty as possible in order to sway American popular opinion. If they could cause more casualties than what the American people could accept, they thought, Japan might have a chance at negotiating for an armistice.

Naturally, the American plan considered Japanese resistance. It noted the possibility that the invasion "will be opposed not only by the available organized military forces of the Empire, but also by a fanatically hostile population", which would result in high casualties. In a study done by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff in Apr 1945, at least 456,000 casualties were to be expected for Operation Olympic alone. Some other evaluations were also done, and their casualty estimates ranged anywhere from 30,000 to 1,000,000. In preparation, the United States manufactured 500,000 Purple Heart medals to award to those injured in combat.

Operation Downfall was never carried out. With the use of the atomic bombs and Russia's sudden declaration of war on Japan, WW2 in Asia ended without the need for the potentially costly invasion. At the date of this writing, over 100,000 of the Purple Heart medals still sat in American government warehouses.


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