the year they almost destroyed california
In comments over at law professor Eric Muller's blog
, a former Navy Reserve officer named William J. Hopwood has for many months been defending the WWII internment of Japanese-American citizens. Supporting Regnery hack Michelle Malkin's depiction of a perfidious Japanese fifth column and its preparations to support an assault by the Japanese military, Hopwood has insisted that the threat of an armed attack against the west coast of the continental United States was very real and very dangerous.
Pressed this week to discuss the logistics behind a significant Japanese attack on California, Oregon, or Washington, Hopwood instead finally described specifics
regarding the kind of crushing assault that Japan had in store for those weak and poorly defended American coastal outposts:
As late in the war as the final months of 1944 one such plan, a Kamikaze mission, called for a landing in California of over 200 specially trained troops who were to have been transported by submarines and landed near Santa Barbara. Their mission was to shoot their way into Los Angeles, destroy Douglas and Lockheed aircraft factories, and kill as many Americans as possible, fully expecting to be finally annihilated themselves.
You read that right: The Japanese had over 200 soldiers
being readied to race up the beach and attack California.
Puts a whole different spin on the mistreatment of 80,000 American citizens, doesn't it?
homemade ipod commercial
If you wanna see a cool ipod commercial, you should see this homemade
one. Rock on. I don't know why I'm ipod obsessed when I have one of their competitor's products. Crazy.
I went to a party at a professor's house this afternoon, and I met a new professor at UCLA, in the information department, who said something that I think I need to write down before I forget it. It was deep, and I think profoundly true.
"Being an academic is more than a job, and less than a life."
Well I'm off to read.
This is the girl for whom the CD was made.
There is little I enjoy more than watching people who have done poor work unintentionally discredit their own scholarship. Thomas Woods recently replied to Eric Muller’s documentation of his activities in the secessionist “League of the South.” Well, “replied” may be giving him a little too much credit, since he never lets us know whether he agrees with the league or not (his argument as to why he should not—and I’m not making this up—is that it would stab some fine people in the back to publicly disagree with them). In a final moment of self-righteous indignation, Woods tells us his past shouldn’t matter. We should focus, he claims, only on the last five years: My scholarly career officially began in 2000, so people who care to criticize me as a scholar are invited to consider my work since then. That's four books (with a fifth coming in May), two edited volumes, two monographs, several book chapters, a dozen encyclopedia entries, and about 120 articles. That should keep you busy enough.
Wow, five books and one hundred and twenty articles—that’s a lot! In fact, by my count, that’s twenty four articles per year, two articles per month, or an article every two weeks. And he manages to write these compelling examples of thorough research while also publishing a new book (including one that’s supposed to prove just about entire historical community wrong) every year.
I admit it; I can’t keep up with that pace. Indeed very few scholars can. After all, doing quality original research requires traveling to archives, reading tens of thousands of documents and continually revising the research project. In fact great examples
often take the slowpokes who go through the trouble of doing exhaustive research a decade or more to complete.
Maybe Woods has the National Archives on tape, and listens to documents on the way to work. Or maybe he has cybernetics installed in his brain. Perhaps he can learn merely by tactile contact with a historical document.
A more likely story is that the majority of this work he is referencing is either utter crap, or not research driven scholarship.
Scholars have published monumental works from the right that have redefined
the way we study major historical issues. But you can’t do that the lazy way. Excellent work that changes a field requires diligence, patience, and time. Woods, like Malkin, wants to slap some words on a page, and just move on to the next ill-conceived an entirely unproven argument. But life doesn’t work that way.
New Mix CD
I just spent the last few hours making a new mix CD for my friend Dana. I must say I covered all the key bases. It took forever to get the order. I'm not sure I'm perfectly happy with it, BUT I'm seeing her tomorrow, so this is as good as it gets, I'm afraid.
All I need now is a title.
1. Kissing You, Des'ree
2. Modern Nature, Sondre Lerche
3. This Place is a Prison, The Postal Service
4. Lets Go, Frou Frou
5. Olio, The Rapture
6. Baseline, Quarashi
7. Dead Wrong, Ms. Jade
8. Get Down Moses, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros
9. Yeah in the Sun, mashup ft. Usher, Weezer
10. Boulevard of Broken Songs, mashup ft. Oasis, Weezer
11. Float On, Modest Mouse
12. Let's Get Lost, Elliott Smith
13. Bad Things to Such Good People, Pedro the Lion
14. Campfire Kansas, The Get Up Kids
15. You and Me Song, The Wannadies
16. Wouldn't it Be Nice, The Beach Boys
17. Love Train, The O'Jays
18. What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
19. Seasons of Love, Rent soundtrack
20. Wada Na Tod, Lata Mangeshkar
sophisticated cultural analysis
I just received an e-mail from the h-west mailing list, quoting Ward Chuchill’s defense of his statement. First he explains that he does not support terrorist violence like 9/11:* I am not a "defender" of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States , but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable."
* This is /not / to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see.
I happen to agree that terrorist violence directed against the American Government, and simple citizens is in fact wrong. But let us step back for a second. Churchill's passage is only persuasive if we assume violence is it of the question. If we did not share that assumption, Churchill does not seem to provide much direction to convince us. This might not be a problem, except that later in the document Churchill seems to provide a reason for us to support violence:Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.[*1]
So Churchill believes that “technocrats” in the World Trade Center were similar “little Eichmans” in that they supported the “infrastructure” of American violence. Does it not follow then that much like “German industrialists” they could be “legitimately targeted by” their enemies? Would physical violence directed at Eichmann and his subordinates not be justified? In fact would not resistance and violence by any means be incumbent upon moral individuals faced with the prospect of Eichmanns in their midst?
I do not doubt that Churchill is honest when he claims that he is not a violent person. But is it not a consequence of the scheme he has laid out, that he should be a violent person? Should he not get involved in any resistance group he can find to destroy the infrastructure of American violence?
I suspect the answer to this question is that Churchill does not actually believe that American foreign policy is equivalent to the Holocaust. But that is the whole problem with the comparison to begin with. It is a gross hyperbole that is insulting to both the conscience and the intelligence of the reader.
I know I am saying nothing new in disagreeing with Churchill’s statement, but I thought it was worth noting the logical problems with his rebuttal.
knock knock knocking on heaven's door
If you make a slight typo
as you try to bring up our exciting blog...
coastal hysteria and military reality
In 1898, as diplomatic maneuvers over Cuban independence failed and the United States moved toward war with Spain, U.S. Navy officers made plans to fight Spanish naval forces around the world. Most voices within the Navy called for a strong, united fleet in the Carribbean, where most of the fighting was expected to take place; another fleet was tasked with attacking Spanish naval forces in the Philippines. Officials discussed the possibility of launching coastal raids on Spain, but realized that it would be difficult to cause significant harm to the Spanish with distant and unsupportable spot raids.
Despite official hopes for a strong Caribbean fleet, the Navy was forced to divide up the ships that it hoped to use around the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico; political reality had cut sharply against military necessity, as popular hysteria led to demands for protection against attacks on east coast cities. The Navy tasked ships to a "flying squadron" assigned to coastal defense. Navy Captain Robley D. Evans described the flying squadron as "the badge of democracy," a pointless use of resources in response to popular demand. Another squadron was assigned to patrol against coastal raids as far north as Maine. David Trask, formerly the chief historian at the U.S. Army Center for Military History, writes in his acclaimed history of the war
(from which this account has been taken) that the latter squadron was deployed as a "response to unreasoning public concern."
Trask adds that "no responsible naval leader" worried about significant attacks on Hawaii or the West Coast by Spanish ships dispatched from the Philippines. Trask quotes the naval officer and historian French Ensor Chadwick: "The difficulties of coaling and repairing in the vast stretches of the Pacific were too great to encounter in the face of an active enemy on its own coast, even had Spain been free to send the greater part of all its naval force."
Long story short, popular hysteria created a significant false impression of military necessity on coasts believed to be threatened by an enemy with a strong navy -- but military professionals knew better.Just a thought.
Or, "Alice's Adventures Through the Looking Glass."
The president's closing thoughts about the state of the union
As Franklin Roosevelt once reminded Americans, "each age is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth." And we live in the country where the biggest dreams are born. The abolition of slavery was only a dream – until it was fulfilled. The liberation of Europe from fascism was only a dream – until it was achieved. The fall of imperial communism was only a dream – until, one day, it was accomplished. Our generation has dreams of its own, and we also go forward with confidence. The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable – yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.
So historical processes lead in a known direction
, toward a clear and detectable destination. Are there, like, stages
? Has anyone asked the president if he believes Afghanistan and Iraq are passing from feudalism into the next level of development?
Coming soon, self-declared "progressives" begin lamenting the decline of society, and demanding a return to the old ways.
Perhaps the yummiest looking cake I ever did see. Wow. This was from a b-day party months ago -- but I just got the picture now. It was such a shame to eat such a thing of haphazard beauty.
My friend Mary from high school came to visit -- actually, interview at -- UCLA. She got to spend a few days with me, but I didn't get to see much of her. It's pretty much insane work for me -- recently -- and I've lost all perspective. That won't happen next time.
Libertarians as "Leftists"
One of the main themes of Chris’s posts has been outlining what he calls the Stalinist (I’d call them fascist) right. A curious remark taken from Malkin’s pouting
over having to put up with disagreement lends evidence to his theory:
Leftists on campus (including the Emory Vegans, the Emory Libertarians, the "Revolutionary Knitters," and something called "The Virtual Ticklefight") were rallied by the Young Democrats to protest my visit because of their opposition to my "racist" views.
The Leftist conspirators (who have the gall to express themselves in a way Malkin disapproves of!) include "Emory Libertarians.
” The radical left contains all small government “civil rights absolutists.” The libertarian roots of conservative politics are too constraining for Malkin because her vision of the right leaves no room for any critique of arbitrary government power, like say the eviction and incarceration of more than one hundred thousand people from the West Coast. Malkin desires exactly the kind of Leviathan small government conservatives like Barry Goldwater feared.
Extreme nationalism and nativism combined with a worldview that derides libertarians as “leftists”—this is not conservatism as Hayek would understand it.
1: I actually have some reason for this. Stalinism seems to require at least some subservience to and interpretation of Marxism. Fascism has no such baggage. I'd also like to point out that I'm not accusing the right in general of being fascist. Malkin represents a frightening fringe, but a fringe none the less.
loaves and fishes: politician credits other side with success
is a pleasant surprise, and speaks well for Senator Mark Dayton. I'm in about the same position, and share Sen. Dayton's hope.
"i'll do anything for a good grade in your class"