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Offensive and Defensive Weapons – Churchill’s Thoughts…

I was reading.  It happens….

Actually, I was reading Winston Churchill’s “The Coming Storm.”  My thought on reading the following was that it stands repeating.

 

“The Foreign Secretary told us that it was difficult to divide weapons into offensive and defensive categories.  It certainly is, because almost every conceivable weapon may be used in defence or offence; either by an aggressor or by the innocent victim of his assault.  To make it more difficult for the invader, heavy guns, tanks, and poison gas are to be relegated to the evil category of offensive weapons.  The invasion of France by Germany in 1914 reached its climax without the employment of any of these weapons.  The heavy gun is to be described as “an offensive weapon.”  It is all right in a fortress; there it is virtuous and pacific in its character; but bring it out into the field – and, of course, if it were needed, it would be brought out into the field – and it immediately becomes naughty, peccant, militaristic, and has to be placed under the ban of civilisation.  Take the tank.  The Germans, having invade France, entrenched themselves; and in a couple of years they shot down 1,500,000 French and British soldiers who were trying to free the soil of France.  The tank was invented to overcome the fire of the machine-guns with which the Germans were maintaining themselves in France, and it saved a lot of lives in clearing the soil of the invader.  Now, apparently, the machine-gun, which was the German weapon for holding on to thirteen provinces of France, is to be the virtuous, defensive machine-gun, and the tank, which was the means by which these Allied lives were saved, is to be placed under the censure and obloquy of all just and righteous men…

A truer classification might be drawn in banning weapons which tend to be indiscriminate in their action and whose use entails death and wounds, not merely on the combatants in the fighting zones, but on the civil population, men, women, and children, far removed from those areas.  There, indeed, it seems to me would be a direction in which the united nations assembled at Geneva might advance with hope…”

Winston Churchill.  The Gathering Storm.  1948.  Houghton Mifflin Company.

 

Weapons do not harm people. People harm people.  People with weapons can usually cause more harm than people without weapons.  I believe that a good portion of Britain’s Bobbys are still armed only with a hickory nightstick…

Time, Through the Eyes of a Child and, William Faulkner…

I have been reading lately.  I have been reading a lot, lately….

 

The Sound and the Fury.  Written by William Faulkner.  First published in 1929.  Free to read online.  Free and available at most public libraries.  Inexpensive at book sales.  Available in used book stores…

I have not actually finished this novel.  It is a very difficult work to read.  I think I could just skim through it and I would know a few names, a few characters.  I can’t do that to this book.

There are no chapters.  There is simply an awareness of others and the unspoken thoughts of one.  It took me a long time to realize this even though the difference between the two modes of communication are visibly apparent (unspoken thought is in italics).  Neither the past nor the future seems to hold any relevance as the present unravels with painful awareness.

The book begins with the unspoken thoughts of a pre-verbal child.  A slow child.  A child not like the others.  Faulkner gave me the opportunity to listen in to this child’s impressions of the world.  To the unspoken needs and desires of one.

About halfway through the book, possibly this is about halfway through a young man’s life, a watch crystal is purposefully broken and the hands are removed.  Time is still running but the ability to count the seconds into minutes, the minutes into hours….  using that watch, has been stilled.  Does time have meaning if you can no longer measure it?

This book has grown difficult again.  I am putting it down, again.  I have not read any of the hundreds of discussions on this book.  I would like to wait until I finish it and come to my own conclusions.  For this reason, Faulker and his boys will have to wait on me.  Time, for the written word may be almost endless.  These words will wait for me….

 

I found this book, and many more, in a library book sale.  I had purchased other books the day before and was given a paper bag with $5 written on it.  If I came back the next day I could fill my paper bag with paperbacks.  As many as the bag would hold.  They would all be mine for that $5.  I did.  I have found some wonderful books this way.

Library book sales are often run by groups called “Friends of the Library” or a similar name.  Your local library may hold these sales several times a year.  There are many charitable organizations that also hold book drives and book sales.  These are fun events and great places to begin building a library of real books or, adding to your existing collection, with real friends….

 

 

 

 

National Gallery Postcard, circa 1950’s – van de Velde, Coast Scene: Calm

This is a vintage postcard out of my collection.  I like pieces of paper.  They are tangible things that people place a great deal of trust in.  Maps, charts, postcards, money, stamps….  They are all worth something, they just aren’t always worth a lot.

Please note that several of the links I have placed in this post are slightly ‘off topic.’  That is, there is a link showing for Trafalgar Square but, it is a link to “interglacial deposits” that were found there during the 1950s.  There is so much to this world that is just beneath the surface (or, the pavement….).

 

This postcard was printed for the National Gallery in London – and most likely purchased as a gallery souvenir.

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871).  Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty's Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London.  Wt: P1838

National Gallery, Card No. 1115. Van de Velde: Coast Scene: Calm (871). Printed in Great Britain for the Trustees under the authority of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office by Waterlow & Sons Limited, London. Wt: P1838

The National Gallery, located in Trafalgar Square, London, was established in 1824 and has been open to the public – free of charge – for most of the years between then and now…

The painting on this postcard is “Dutch Vessels Inshore and Men Bathing” by Willem van de Velde, 1661.  It is a painting of Men-of-War and men.

 

There are links to peer-reviewed articles in this post.  There is a lot of knowledge in these papers.  One of my many habits is to go through the reference lists, end notes and bibliographies to look for more information that I might enjoy reading.  This is a link to a small portion of the research that the authors of the articles have included.

Reading List for April 16, 2015 post

Why?  Because everything is connected…

 

 

Dear Mr. Deity,

Thank you for sending us your newest YouTube video.  You have taken great care to explain why it is wrong to punch someone in the nose for not liking someone’s mom and I appreciate this!

 

A link to Mr. Deity

The Way of the Mister  —  These words are offensive!  This video is offensive!  It is a must watch!  I am not offended by this video, I am offended by the fact that the Catholic Church will probably get away with yet another offensive speech by yet another offensive leader, without understanding what it is they have done, are doing, and will likely continue to do.

I have a hard copy of the transcript (available beneath the YouTube video), just in case it disappears!

A link to the article in The Guardian where the Pope is quoted.

 

There is no excuse.

 

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Now, a few bits from articles on a few of the points made by Mr. Deity (aka Brian Keith Dalton).  It is important because it is all connected!

Please note that I have not read any of these articles (yet).  I have taken a quick peek and I have saved and/or printed them for later perusal and bibliography mining!

 

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Satire:

Botha, E.  2014.  A means to an end:  Using political satire to go viralPublic Relations Review, Volume 40, Number 1.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2013.11.023

Joan Ozark Holmer.  1981.  Religious Satire in Herrick’s “The Fairie Temple: or, Oberons Chappell.  Renaissance and Reformation: Renaissance et Réforme, Volume 17, No. 1, pages 40-56.

Drew Kaup.  2014.  Unaffiliation:  Where the New Atheists Went Wrong, and How South Park Paved the Way for the ‘Rise of the Nones’.  Thesis submitted to the Faculty of Emory College of Arts and Sciences of Emory University, Department of Religion.

Heather L. LaMarre, Kristen D. Landreville and Michael A. Beam.  2009.  The Irony of Satire:  Political Ideology and the Motivation to See What You Want to See in The Colbert ReportInternational Journal of Press/Politics, Volume 14, Number 2, April 2009, pages 212-231.

Richard Strier.  2011.  The Unrepentant Renaissance:  from Petrarch to Shakespeare to Milton.  University of Chicago Press.  (Available in libraries, bookstores and online.)

George W. Whiting.  1930.  Political Satire in London Stage Plays, 1680-83Modern Philology, Volume 28, No. 1 (August, 1930), pages 29-43.

 

Moral Credibility:

Dan M. Kahan.  1997.  Between Economics and Sociology:  The New Path of DeterrenceMichigan Law Review, Volume 95, No. 8 (August 1997), pages 2477-2497.

Paul H. Robinson.  1994.  Moral Credibility and CrimeThe Atlantic Monthly. 8/18/1994.  Draft only.

Paul H. Robinson and Sarah Robinson.  2014.  Punishment:  Drop City and the Utopian Communes, Chapter 3 in Living Beyond the Law:  Lessons from Pirates, Prisoners, Lepers, and Survivors.  Lanham, Boulder, New York, Toronto, and Plymouth, UK:  Rowman & Littlefield.  Pages 49-62.

 

The Catholic Pope and Violence:

Patrick McKinley Brennan.  2013.  Subsidiarity in the Tradition of Catholic Social Doctrine, Chapter in Subsidiarity in Comparative Perspective.  Michelle Evans and Augusto Zimmermann (eds.).  Springer.  Villanova University School of Law, School of Law Working Paper Series, 2012, Paper 173.

Jeffrey S. Burwell.  2014.  Pope Francis and Bill 18:  How his vision of non-judgment could temper the ways that administrators of Catholic schools in Manitoba integrate the Safe and Inclusive Schools amendment.  University of Manitoba, St. Paul’s College.

Christian Fiala and Joyce H. Arthur.  2014.  “Dishonourable disobedience” – Why refusal to treat in reproductive healthcare is not conscientious objection.  Women – Psychosomatic Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Volume 1, December 2014, pages 12-23.

Warwick Middleton, Pam Stavropoulos, Martin J. Dorahy, Christa Kruger, Roberto Lewis-Fernandez, Alfonso Martinez-Taboas, Vedat Sar and Bethany Brand.  2014.  The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Volume 48, Number 17, pages 17-21.  DOI: 10.1177/0004867413514639

Kurt Nelson.  2014.  Review of Faith, Resistance, and the Future:  Daniel Berrigan’s Challenge to Catholic Social Thought.  James L. Marsh and Anna J. Brown (Eds.).  New York:  Fordham University Press, 2012.  (Available in libraries, bookstores and online.) Journal of Catholic Education, Volume 17, Issue 2, Article 11, pages 175-178.

Gareth C. Payne, Rebecca E. Payne, and Daniel M. Farewell.  2008.  Rugby (the religion of Wales) and its influence on the Catholic Church.  Should Pope Benedict XVI be worried?  BMJ.com  doi:10.1136/bmj.a2768

 

Freedom of Speech:

Zechariah Chafee, J.  1919.  Freedom of Speech in War TimeHarvard Law Review, Volume 32, No. 8 (Jun., 1919), pages 932-973.

Erwin Chemerinsky.  2000.  Content Neutrality as a Central Problem of Freedom of Speech:  Problems in the Supreme Court’s ApplicationS. Cal. L. Rev. 74:  49.

Charles C. Helwig.  1995.  Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Conceptions of Civil Liberties:  Freedom of Speech and ReligionChild Development, Volume 66, Number 1,  Pages 152-166.

Lasa Sun.  2014.  The role of diversity on freedom of speech in democratic societiesInternational Journal of Sustainable Human Development, Volume 2, Number 2, pages 44-51.

Gary Watt.  2014.  Judicial Allusion as Ornament:  A Response to John Curtis’s, ‘Twitter, King Lear, and the Freedom of Speech.’  Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, Volume 1, No. 2.  University of Warwick.

 

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I have given myself a big list to prepare for you!  A combined bibliography with links will be available soon.  If I take too long, please send a  note.  It helps to know there are people waiting for these.

 

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Now, go read!  Then make up your own mind and leave a comment…

Also, please add links to more articles and books in the comments.  There is so much more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Re-Making of History…

I want to explain this precis a little bit before you read it.  I have struggled with this one.  The article is the story of an archaeological site that became a museum.  It is only one of a multitude of post-WWII stories.

At Toro, it wasn’t actually history that was reworked, it was pre-history.  What was done was to rediscover a people that had been there 2,000 years before and to give the people of post-WWII something to work towards and to live for.

There was a conscious decision made, to either rewrite or abandon certain aspects of history and prehistory and to take only the positive and politically correct bits of Toro’s prehistory and fold them into a past that could bring Japan together as a community. The true story of the Yayoi people of Toro is not in this article nor is it likely to be found in the museum at Toro. The true story of Toro may not ever be found as the site was completely excavated and used to help bring together the broken pieces of a post-WWII society. It was one of many ways chosen to reestablish a place in the world for Japan and the Japanese after World War II.

I have tried very hard not to put my thoughts into the writing of this summary.  Thoughts formed from this story belong in the discussion.  Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, my writing, or the writing of Walter Edwards, I welcome your comments…

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Article:  Buried Discourse: The Toro Archaeological Site and Japanese National Identity in the Early Postwar Period.

Author:  Walter Edwards

Source:  Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol 17, No. 1 (Winter, 1991), pages 1-23.

My copy was downloaded on March 27, 2014.

~~~

My Precis

The reworking of history is not a new idea, it is an idea that works. Using only the most acceptable and positive aspects of tradition and culture, the history found at the archaeological site of Toro was reworked to give a sense of hope and belonging to the devastated people of postwar Japan.

~~~

My Precis Expanded:

In July of 1947 archaeologists and supporters gathered for the ground-breaking ceremony at the Toro archaeological site. The end of WWII had taken a toll on the people of Japan. Her Emperor had lost the status of an immortal God and the country had been devastated. The excavation at Toro was seen as a way of bringing the people together as a community with a new found sense of history, belonging and community.

During WWII, the Toro site was a paddy field designated to be the site of a proposed propeller factory.  An excavation of fill to raise and level the building site uncovered pottery, wooden stakes and utensils. These were taken to a nearby school where the educational value was recognized and work began to turn the site away from industrial use. In August of 1943, an emergency excavation uncovered a Yayoi agricultural settlement complete with buildings and an irrigation system. Then, in June of 1945, the unfinished propeller factory and the surrounding area were razed by an incendiary bombing strike. Most of the excavated finds were lost in the fires.

After the war, the archaeologists were ready to go back and salvage what was left.  In the fall of 1946, a committee of scholars, professionals, and specialists, for the investigation of the Toro site was formed, a plan was put together, permissions were granted and work began in July of 1947. With shortages of everything, including food and money, volunteer students uncovered eight thatched roof dwellings. Wood, especially cedar, was found to be the most common material used for everyday items. Plates, bowls, spoons, fire starting kits, chairs, and sandals were found. Agricultural tools such as hoes and rakes were made of hard woods. Iron, for blades for carving knives and other implements, appeared to have been plentiful but the acidic, wet soil conditions left no traces of metal.

With the finds at Toro in hand, the head archaeologist painted a picture of a peaceful and prosperous village site. Newspaper articles kept the people of Japan appraised of the progress and letters from well-wishers were an inspiration to the volunteers. At the end of the first summer, the government pledged its support for the following years and an exhibition was opened at the Tokyo National Museum. Four years of excavation and 4.5 million yen saw the entire site excavated, preserved, and sections rebuilt and formed into a park.

Literature, folk tales and sociology had been starting to combine in pre-war Japan and the foundation of change had begun. The committee that was in charge of the excavation of Toro was also in charge of a site of unification of Japanese historic culture. Toro and the professional development of its history were providing material proof of an unknown cultural history.

Japan of the Yayoi was characterized as being similar to modern Japan. The rice paddies were neat, the dykes carefully built, the tools similar to those in common use just a few decades ago. This agricultural ethic fundamentally supported the emperor system while the Emperor was busy turning public eyes away from government and towards the remaking of history. In a nation caught up in all-encompassing western reform, the idea of a history of uniqueness was something to hold onto while everything changed. The idea was simply to take only the positive history that could help bring the people of Japan together and give it to them to use.

These were times of crisis and this was medicine that had worked before, in other times, for other cultures. Post-war Japan was glossing over its militaristic history and equipping the new “culture” with hoes, spades, and a peaceful and prosperous past. The logic used to turn Japan from a warring nation to a peaceful one was the logic of “community.”

The swing from a defeated nation to strong economic success and national identity was not accomplished by any one person, group or project alone. It was the effort of an entire community with strong leadership from the government to the educators. Even though history was reworked using only images that were of an acceptable form, the Japanese have never truly abandoned the rest of their heritage and have held onto their sense of national identity. What happened at Toro was that a nation came together as a community to remake their history and to press “an aspect” of tradition into service. This service would change the direction of the cultural identity of Japan.

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I found the original article through a journal search using JSTOR. You can find the full article here in a “read online” format:

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/132905?uid=3739448&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21104281844051

If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.