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ID: 153897
Uid: 292
Author: 11
Category: 0
Title: It's Time for a Shadow Cabinet
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src=" /sites/default/files/153897-pic.png"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">UK Shadow Cabinet</span></p><p><i> Sociologist James W. Loewen is the author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Lies-My-Teacher-Told-Everything/dp/0743296281"> Lies My Teacher Told Me</a>. An earlier version of this article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.&nbsp;</i></p><p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; In view of Donald Trump's shocking nominations for cabinet-level positions, it is in our national interest that Democrats appoint a "shadow cabinet." A shadow cabinet can help mobilize public opinion to ward off the worst Republican excesses and help Democats do better in the next election.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; "Shadow ministers" form an important feature of political life in many parliamentary democracies, such as Australia. Although the United States is not a parliamentary system, we need to import this feature. The Green Party announced a shadow cabinet in 2012, but no one noticed. The times have changed, however. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; This idea has nothing in common with Trump's appointment of close personal aides in each department, intended to shadow his own cabinet appointees and report evidence of disloyalty. Quite the contrary, a Democratic shadow cabinet will be publicly assembled; its job will be to report to the nation what Trump's appointees are doing to the agencies they direct. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Except for Defense, Donald Trump has nominated cabinet secretaries who profoundly disagree with the missions of the departments they are supposed to head. Most obvious is Rick Perry, who promised to close the Department of Energy when running for president in 2011, even though he haplessly couldn't remember its name. Betsy DeVos, Trump's Secretary of Education, famously called our public schools a "dead end" and wants to give parents public money to send their children to private schools. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Trump's choice for the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general, has repeatedly sued the agency. The Sierra Club called his nomination putting "an arsonist in charge of fighting fires." Tom Price, Trump's pick to run Health and Human Services, has conflicts of interest owing to investments in drug and medical device companies. Of course he opposes Obamacare. For the Security and Exchange Commission, Trump chose another fox in a hen house in the form of mergers and acquisitions lawyer Jay Clayton. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Putting an oil man in charge of our relations with Middle Eastern nations as Secretary of State is also a conflict, since we have fought war after war in the Middle East owing to our oil interests there. Rex Tillerson is further compromised by his close business ties in Russia. For HUD, Trump nominated Ben Carson, who calls integrated housing "social engineering"; he's even called it "Communist." </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Worst of all is Trump's choice for Attorney General, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, who has never distanced himself from his neo-Confederate heritage. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Trump's nominees represent a tiny slice of America, mostly hyper-rich white males. He has also rejected the tradition of appointing at least one cabinet member from the opposing party. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <i>Someone</i> needs to bring to the fore the missions and activities of these various departments of government. A shadow Secretary of Energy could review Perry's performance, show what he is not doing, and suggest to the American people the agenda that a sensible Department of Energy would be pursuing. Congressional oversight will not do, especially since Republicans control Congress. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Since our new administration does not value facts, the shadow cabinet must provide the information that the appointed secretaries cannot. Shadow secretaries can collect data about "their" agencies, convene hearings to take public testimony about problems in the Republican operation of them, and even coordinate litigation to help them survive the agendas of the directors who will be running them. Small staffs can help, funded by foundations and think tanks that do not agree with the implicit Republican view that the agencies are basically illegitimate. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Equally important, the shadow cabinet can offer ideas and programs to give Democratic Congressional candidates a head start toward the 2018 elections. Opposition cabinet members do this in Australia, New Zealand, and other countries. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Newt Gingrich's 1994 "Contract with America" showed the advantage coordination can provide. Democrats have long lagged the G.O.P. in sound bites and clarity. A shadow cabinet can tell the public what Democrats stand for and plan to do, as well as what Republicans are not doing. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Certainly an array of talent is out there awaiting nomination. For Energy, Skip Laitner, president of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences. For Secretary of Education, how about Diane Ravitch? For Labor, maybe Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute. For the SEC, HUD, or anything she wants, Elizabeth Warren. For Commerce, perhaps Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz. Congressional Democrats or the national Democratic Party leadership might make the choices. Alternatively, a think tank or foundation might take the lead. </p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Regardless of the details, taking this step now will induce the public to volunteer time, money, and ideas, rather than doing nothing until the fall of 2018. And surely America needs a shadow cabinet today more than Australia ever has!&nbsp;</p><p>Copyright James W. Loewen&nbsp;</p>
ID: 153898
Uid: 78568
Author: 36
Category: 0
Title: Beyond Forgetting: An Interview with Steve Sem-Sandberg on His Historical Novel, "The Chosen Ones"
Source:
Body: Click&nbsp;<a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/164880">here</a>&nbsp;to read the interview.
ID: 153899
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Progressive Attorney General Who Raided Immigrants—And Paid the Price
Source:
Body: <p>The immigration raids were unexpected, unnerving, unjust.&nbsp; In one devastating American-dream-shattering, day, federal agents arrested more than four thousand aspiring Americans for supposedly threatening America. &nbsp;</p><p>This overreaction, the Big Red Scare of 1919, triggered a Red, White, and Blue Repair.&nbsp;&nbsp;Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer became a laughingstock for initiating these immigrant-rousting “Palmer Raids.” And his nemesis, a lowly Assistant Secretary of Labor, Louis F. Post, became a hero.</p><p>Before this immigration crackdown Palmer was known as a progressive Democrat, a Woodrow Wilson man and a man of conscience – while Post was considered a kook. Born in Moosehead, Pennsylvania, in 1872, a Quaker and Swarthmore graduate, trained as a lawyer, Palmer served in Congress from 1909 to 1915. He opposed child labor and endorsed lower tariffs, defying many constituents who feared free trade...</p><p><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/02/19/the-progressive-attorney-general-who-raided-immigrants-and-paid-the-price.html"><i>Read whole article on The Daily Beast.&nbsp;</i></a></p>
ID: 153900
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: The World is Laughing at America
Source:
Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">On a Sunday at the end of January, a Dutch television program aired </span><a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2017/01/26/this-dutch-satirical-video-riffs-on-trump-and-the-internet-is-eating-it-up.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">a satirical video</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> with a voice-over pretending to be Donald Trump. The TV host, Arjen Lubach, began by showing a clip of Trump saying at his inauguration, “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first.” </span><a href="http://metro.co.uk/2017/01/25/netherlands-trolls-donald-trump-with-amazing-welcome-video-6404198/#ixzz4Z85hD8Zf"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Lubach said about Trump</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, “He had a clear message to the rest of the world: ‘I will screw you over big time.’”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Then he played the video, supposedly an official Dutch government introduction of the Netherlands, in English, to the new American President. “We speak Dutch. It’s the best language in Europe. We’ve got all the best words. All the other languages failed. Danish – total disaster. German is not even a real language. It’s fake.” The video shows a Dutch dike: “This is the Afsluitdijk. It’s a great, great wall, that we built to protect us from all the water from Mexico.” The video made fun of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration, his negative comments about NATO, and his attitudes toward blacks. The Dutch politician Jetta Klijnsma is shown using a walker: “We also have a disabled politician for you to make fun of.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The video ends, “We totally understand it’s going to be America first. But can we just say, the Netherlands second? Is that okay?” The clip was downloaded </span><a href="http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2017/01/reactions-to-trump-spoof-video-range-from-bemused-to-amused/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">42 million times</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> from the show’s Facebook page.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">A </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcH9eWBs9fw"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">German late-night TV host</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> reacted to the viral video about a week later. Jan Böhmermann said he was furious that the Netherlands wanted to be second. “Stop, Holland! We want to be number two. Germany wants to be second, because we are strong, we are big. And who, if not us, deserves a third chance?” So he presented a similar video, saying he wanted to make it as simple as possible for our President, who “reads nothing”. “Mr. President, this is for you.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The German video is more pointed. There are photos of Hitler, who “made Germany great again. Steve Bannon absolutely loves him.” “Germany hosted two world wars in the last 100 years. They were the best world wars in the world, and we won both of them. Bigly. Anyone who says anything else is fake news.” “We built a great German wall. And we made the Russians pay for it.” The video referenced Trump’s comments about being backstage at the Miss Universe pageant and about grabbing women. It’s very funny.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">By that time, </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/06/world/europe/europe-trump-parody-videos.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">similar videos</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> were being produced by late-night shows across Europe. They all poked fun at their own nation’s histories and politics, and at their neighbors, by references to Trump. Most of them are not as funny, perhaps because they are less subtle. </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcKkKKUviEg"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Serbia</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">: “Mr. President, just like you, we also like to grab women by the genitals.” </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAu3QJJ8fXM"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Poland</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">: “You want to destroy the EU, we’re already doing it from the inside.” </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reuJ8yVCgSM"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Switzerland</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> said the KKK were Trump’s friends. “We also love to treat our women badly. Love it. We didn’t let them vote until 1971. In some places, even until 1990. We grabbed them by the civil rights. And they let us do it. It was great.” </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKSyYWQePlY"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Norway</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">: “We might even award you the Nobel peace prize. You’ve already done more than Obama to bring people of the world together. Against you.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Soon the viral video craze spread beyond Europe. A version from </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na1V6FrwHOM"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">India</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> said, “We know you love grabbing women by the [cat meows]. We have an ancient manual, the Kamasutra, which lists more than 245 ways to grab someone by their [cat meows].” </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-CPrkpRJkA"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Mexico</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">: “We build walls. Nobody builds walls better than us.” An </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTrvbwvCPH0"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Israeli</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> one was very funny, saying that Jews controlled Hollywood, but that Alec Baldwin was not Jewish. It contained frequent references to sexual assault and making fun of the handicapped. The </span><a href="http://everysecondcounts.eu/europe.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">website</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> collecting the videos displays 29 of them, mostly from Europe, but ranging to Australia and Namibia. A bit of web surfing reveals many others.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The idea seemed so good that non-nations got into the act. A video from the 566 sovereign nations of the USA, meaning </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-lFH_FRZqE"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Native American tribes</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, said, “We know all about cleansing, immigrants coming in, destroying your communities, taking your water, taking your land, taking your women.” Others came from </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBtzAYgNFk4"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Mars</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TlNKm4Ek0M"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Mordor</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> (the evil empire in the Lord of the Rings trilogy), the </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOY144N_tj0"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Galactic Empire</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, former </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYKWnFL0jsI"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">East Germany</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, and the </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWshjKVcN_k"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">North Pole</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, which stresses all the different white animals there. “Everybody is white for sure.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">These videos typically make fun of insignificant issues, like the size of Trump’s hands or the way he combs his hair. But they all address in a joking way much more serious issues. His most important policy ideas, his demeaning behavior towards the handicapped, and his prejudices about blacks, Mexicans and Muslims are treated in his own words, seemingly in his own voice. Trump’s comments about grabbing women come up in all of these videos.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The whole world is invited to laugh at, and simultaneously disdain, the American President. After showing the video, Böhmermann said in English: “When the whole world is standing up to make fun of you, you really achieved something truly great.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">America has become the laughingstock of the world. That’s not so great.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Berlin</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, February 21, 2017</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> 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ID: 153901
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: A Nuclear War?
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/153901-nuke-cloud-large.png"></p><p><i>This post is by Murray Polner,&nbsp; a blogger, writer and HNN’s senior Book Department editor.</i></p> <p>Here's what Senator Chuck Schumer said after Washington erupted in a nasty civil war between Trump &amp; Company and the Intelligence Community's accusation of Russian hacking. Chuck warned that our new President was "really dumb to criticize the intelligence community because they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you." Translated, that means that even so powerful a guy as the Senate Minority Leader has to take great care before he and presumably others in Washington dare cross what Mike Lofgren once famously dubbed "The Deep State."</p> <p>As &nbsp;Lofgren, who spent 28 years working for Congress put it in his book <i>The Deep State</i>, a "shadow government" of corporate and national security interests from Wall Street to Washington, are the real bosses and not the White House, Congress and the courts, many of whom are tied one way or another to the real &nbsp;movers and shakers. "The Deep State," he wrote," is the big story of our time. It is the thread that runs through the war on terrorism and the militarization of foreign policy." </p> <p>Agree or not, we're currently inundated with accusations that Trump is Putin's stooge while his presidential responses only add to the confusion and inflames our domestic war.</p> <p>We could use some clarity and common sense. &nbsp;Arthur Pearl, a &nbsp;writer I admire, warned &nbsp;long before the emergence of Donald Trump and his critics that the most reasonable and probable result of arguments and counter-arguments without a defensible alternative is a change that is really no change. </p> <p>Which is precisely what the memorable Admiral Gene La Rocque, who died last October 31 at age 98, tried to do. He wrote an article or two for a magazine I edited and as a result I once had a leisurely lunch with him and his friend John Glenn. &nbsp;They agreed that Ike's farewell warning about the failure to heed the growing power of our military-industrial complex was a critically missed opportunity. </p> <p>La Rocque, a combat veteran of 13 major naval battles in WWII and recipient of the Legion of Merit, was effectively dumped by his postwar comrades because he believed the Vietnam War was a mistake. &nbsp;He co-founded &nbsp;the Center for Defense Information, its main aim to avoid a nuclear war with the Russians while keeping a close eye on the very lucrative military-industrial complex, all of which challenged views held by many of&nbsp; his erstwhile comrades, who deemed his views&nbsp; an unpardonable offense.</p> <p>We can use similar realists now. Avoiding a nuclear war with Russia (or for that matter any nuclear power) will sooner or later involve dealing with Vladimir Putin. He (or his successors) runs a vast country spanning nine time zones from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean and occupying one-sixth of the earth's land mass. It also possesses, thanks to the original Cold War, thousands of nukes. </p> <p>Putin is no angel but calling him a war criminal and a monster as some American politicians and pundits have been doing is not exactly helpful. &nbsp;He's a classic Holy Mother Orthodox Church Tsarist ruler, though still without gulags. He reminds me of Konstantin Pobedonostsev, the lay head of the Russian Orthodox Church from 1880 until 1905 and chief advisor to the Tsar, a powerful Russian who loathed democracy, censored the press, crippled the zemstvos (local governments established by a reform-minded Tsar), excommunicated the great Tolstoy, who he called "a madman," and silenced prominent critics like Vladimir Soloviev, the theologian, as I described in my 1965 Foreword to his book <i>Reflections of a Russian Statesman</i>.</p> <p>Putin certainly violated international law by annexing Crimea. &nbsp;But somehow in all the outraged, sometimes justified, commentaries about that peninsula's takeover there was little said about other violations of international law, let alone morality, as in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Grenada and Panama, a bloody proxy war in Central America, &nbsp;helping wreck Libya and turning it into a terrorist's paradise, and now inflicting misery on Yemen.</p> <p>These days few Washington-based VIPs (pro and con Trump) seem too concerned about the potential for a nuclear war with Russia, now that an erratic and unpredictable President controls the nuclear button. At the very least we desperately need&nbsp; a law requiring that,&nbsp; unlike Truman, LBJ, Clinton, Bush 2,&nbsp; and Obama, no President can make war or declare a state of emergency, without congressional approval.</p> <p>I like best what David Foglesong, a rational professor of history at Rutgers, wrote recently:</p> <p>"Trump must vigorously make the case for cooperation--as Reagan did with Gorbachev and as Kennedy did in his American University speech of June 1963, when he urged Americans 'not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threat.' "</p> <p>I know it's commonplace to say that a nuclear war would finish most of us off. But as Robert McNamara explained in the documentary "The Fog of War," few outside JFK's inner circle knew how close we came &nbsp;to a nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963. &nbsp;It can happen again if we're not careful, very careful.</p>
ID: 153902
Uid: 14552
Author: 13
Category: 0
Title: Life during Wartime - The Toch Bros. Meet President Heffalump, Part 4
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Body: <img src="http://www.joshbrownnyc.com/images/ldw471.jpg">
ID: 153903
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: Museums and the Power of Facts
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Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">A unique collection of museums sits on an island in the center of Berlin. Beginning in 1830, Prussian Kings and German Emperors built four large museums on the so-called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museum_Island">Museumsinsel</a>, Museum Island, now designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A fifth museum was added in 1930.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">These great neoclassical buildings displayed the enormous art collections of German monarchs, demonstrating their wealth, power, and cultured taste. Showing off vast collections of painting and sculptures was one means of competing with the other ruling families of Europe, proud of their self-appointed status as god-like rulers of the most civilized human societies.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">In the 19<sup>th</sup> century, Germany was a world leader in scientific research and discovery. The German model of universities as scientific centers of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humboldtian_model_of_higher_education">teaching and unbiased research</a> uniting the arts and sciences influenced <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_European_research_universities">higher education</a> across Europe and the US. In the first years that Nobel prizes in science were given, from 1901 to the beginning of World War I, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nobel_laureates_by_country">Germany won more</a> than any other country.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">At this moment of German leadership in the pursuit of knowledge, interest in the long history of human societies developed into new scientific disciplines in the Western world. The study of human history became systematized into the fields of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology">archaeology</a>, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnography">ethnography</a>, and <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropology">anthropology</a>. One of the museums on the Museumsinsel, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neues_Museum">Neues Museum</a> (New Museum, opened in 1855), was devoted to organizing and displaying the ethnological and archaeological artifacts that German scientists were busily digging up where ancient cultures had thrived around the eastern Mediterranean.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Heavily damaged during World War II, the Neues Museum was closed for 70 years until it reopened in 2009. Once again, its halls display remarkable objects of human creation during the past 5000 years.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">As a teenager, I was fascinated by the story of Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890), who was determined to find the site of Homer’s Troy on the Turkish coast. His excavations and those of other Europeans contributed to the understanding of the development of human cultures. European scientists in the late 19<sup>th</sup> century used such artifacts to formulate the so-called <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-age_system">Three Age system</a>, dividing human history into the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The comparative study of thousands of artifacts unearthed on Cyprus from the millennium before Christ’s birth allows us to understand the successive waves of settlers, conquerors, and traders in the eastern Mediterranean,<span style="mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; </span>where the most advanced human societies outside of China developed. The Neues Museum holds one of the world’s most important collections of documents written on papyrus, whose study by linguistic scientists revealed the succession of languages in ancient Egypt.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">At the same time, German historians reshaped the writing of history from the glorification of great leaders, powerful nations, and military victories to a scientific investigation of what happened in the past. Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886) moved the historical profession toward the study of archival documents in order to understand “<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold_von_Ranke">how things actually were</a>”.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The fundamental principle upon which both science and history were founded was the reliance on the understanding and interpretation of empirical information, in short, facts. While there may be disagreement about what data means, scientists of all kinds, physical and social, all over the world, came to base their work on reliable evidence.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">After the Nazis took over in 1933, these hard-won scientific insights were rejected. Human history was rewritten to demonstrate the superiority of white northern Europeans. Racist beliefs became state policy, unwelcome science was disparaged as a Jewish conspiracy, and modern art was labeled “degenerate”. Journalism based on real events was branded as lies and replaced with a state propaganda of alternative facts. Eventually the big lies at the heart of Nazi ideology led to their own destruction, but not before they did unprecedented damage to Europe and its people.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">There are always those who insist on mythical understandings of history and who reject science if it conflicts with their ideologies. A racist dictatorship must suspend a population’s belief in the value of facts and the primacy of evidence in order to sustain the myths which legitimize its inhumanity. Seekers of illegitimate power always create distorted narratives to justify their dominance. Freedom and justice depend on popular insistence on learning the truth about themselves, their world and their rulers.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Science, history and journalism are the means of discovering those truths, figuring out what they mean, and communicating that to everyone. A society which does not protect these fundamental human tasks from the enemies of truth risks losing its freedom.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Berlin</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, February 28, 2017</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Print</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:HyphenationZone>46</w:HyphenationZone> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> 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ID: 153904
Uid: 292
Author: 11
Category: 0
Title: James Loewen discusses Confederate monuments and memorials
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.c-span.org/video/?423748-104/confederate-monuments-memorials"><img src="/sites/default/files/165296-hjbsdcv.jpg"></a></p><p><b>Related Link</b>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.richmond.com/entertainment/museums/civil-war-symposium-on-monuments-considers-america-s-most-honored/article_e76caba3-2bb3-5b1f-bbd5-107e1f9ae208.html">Civil War symposium on monuments considers "America's Most Honored Traitor" and some "Modest Proposals"</a></p><p>Confederate Monuments and Memorials&nbsp;James Loewen, author of&nbsp;<i>Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong</i>&nbsp;and other works talked about new perspectives on Confederate monuments.</p><p>“Confederate Monuments: Modest Proposals” was part of the American Civil War Museum’s 2017 annual symposium, “Lightning Rods of Controversy: Civil War Monuments Past, Present, and Future.” It was co-sponsored by the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia and The Library of Virginia.&nbsp;</p>
ID: 153905
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: On Obama's Failure to Reshape US Foreign Policy
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><img src="/sites/default/files/153905-Obama-large.jpg"></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><b>This post is by Murray Polner,&nbsp; a blogger, writer and HNN’s senior Book Department editor.</b></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium;"><br></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-size: 17px; line-height: normal; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue'; color: rgb(69, 69, 69);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: -webkit-standard; font-size: medium;"><i>I wrote this in early 2010 for The American Conservative, an anti-neocon&nbsp; magazine.&nbsp;</i></span></p><p>Suddenly and surprisingly, we have a Bush-like Obama Doctrine. To the applause of liberal hawks and formerly critical neocons, the president declared in his Nobel Peace Prize speech that the U.S. will continue to wage war—though naturally, only “just” war—anywhere and against anyone it chooses in a never-ending struggle against the forces of evil. His antiwar supporters can take seats on the sidelines.</p><p>It’s all reminiscent of John F. Kennedy and the prescient George Ball, and afterward Ball and Lyndon Johnson. In the early ’60s, JFK—reluctantly, we are told by his admirers—decided to send 16,000 “trainers” to Vietnam to teach the South Vietnamese how to play soldier and to stop the Communists from sweeping over Southeast Asia. Vast quantities of money and assorted advisers were shipped without accountability to the corrupt gang of thugs running and ruining that country.</p><p>Ball, the one dissenter in Kennedy’s entourage, pleaded with JFK to recall France’s devastating defeat in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu and throughout Indochina. “Within five years we’ll have 300,000 men in the paddies and jungles and never find them again,” he warned the liberal icon in the White House. But JFK thought he knew better, caustically answering, “George, you’re crazier than hell. That just isn’t going to happen.”</p><p>Ball would also press Lyndon Johnson to stand down in Vietnam before he destroyed his presidency, domestic agenda, and more importantly the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers and their families, not to mention a few million Southeast Asians. But LBJ wasn’t going to be the first president to lose a war and be blasted by pugnacious home-front warriors. Failing to stop the North Vietnamese would sooner or later have us fighting them on Waikiki Beach, or so the Cold War line went.</p><p>Ever since then, we have continued to hear about regional menaces that supposedly, if left unchecked, will threaten vital U.S. interests or even Americans at home. Ronald Reagan employed that rationale in defending the proxy war in Central America waged by U.S.-backed Contras. George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton extended the tradition of intervention, sending troops to theaters of combat as far-flung as Panama, Kuwait, and the Balkans, while the second Bush launched invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. They have all been war presidents.</p><p>But Barack Obama was going to be different, or so my fellow antiwar liberals—and a few antiwar conservatives—hoped. He was to herald the end of that uncompromising and unilateral era of preventive war. The hundreds of thousands who joyously greeted the president-elect in Grant Park or the 1.5 million at his inauguration were ecstatic with anticipation. Left-wing pundits wrote excitedly about FDR’s One Hundred Days and projected great plans onto the new Man From Illinois. In countless articles, Republicans were declared brain dead, and the Bush-Cheney policies that got us into Iraq, Afghanistan, and the torture business were buried.</p><p>One year after those celebrations, it’s the neocons cheering, seeing in Obama’s policies a vindication of the late administration. Who would have dreamed that following Obama’s West Point speech announcing 30,000 more troops destined for Afghanistan, William Kristol would laud Obama in the pages of the&nbsp;Washington Post, writing, “the rationale for this surge is identical to Bush’s,” and praise the Democratic president for having “embraced the use of military force as a key instrument of national power”? War makes strange bedfellows. Michèle Flournoy, Obama’s under secretary of defense for policy, has been invited to speak about the president’s hopes for a new Afghanistan on a panel led by Frederick W. Kagan at the American Enterprise Institute, the heart of neoconservatism.</p><p>Why did Obama buy what the hawks sold him? What if he had leveled with the nation and acknowledged that, however obnoxious and cruel the Taliban may be, they pose no danger to the United States? What if he had vowed that we would not dispatch tens of thousands of additional troops to a civil war in an agrarian, impoverished, largely illiterate country divided by tribal loyalties?</p><p>It was not to be. Instead, as&nbsp;New York Times&nbsp;columnist David Brooks stated approvingly, “With his two surges, Obama will more than double the number of American troops in Afghanistan.” Charles Krauthammer was direct and sharp: “most supporters of the Afghanistan war were satisfied. They got the policy; the liberals got the speech”—and no say in the construction of that policy.</p><p>After West Point and Oslo, neocons saw Obama as a more coherent Bush, an electrifying orator who had dazzled antiwar Democrats and independents and then promptly dumped them. When the&nbsp;New York Timesprinted a photo of the men and women who helped Obama reach his decision to escalate, not one dove was present.</p><p>Were there no alternatives? In this huge country, could he not find a handful of realists, whether Left or Right, to supply some workable ideas for eliminating third and fourth tours for our overextended troops and the resulting suicides, amputations, epidemics of post-traumatic stress disorder, and legions of weeping relatives at gravesides?</p><p>Hold on, Obama’s loyal liberal defenders counter, shuddering at the memory of Bush. Why blame him for the miserable decisions he has to make based on impossible situations he did not create? They would prefer not to explain why they and their allies in the think tanks and Congress have so little influence.</p><p>Granted, some of Obama’s base reacted negatively. In December, MoveOn .org sent its millions of members a scorching email denouncing Obama’s troop escalation for “deepen[ing] our involvement in a quagmire.” Anti-Vietnam War rebel Tom Hayden removed the Obama sticker from his car. United for Peace and Justice, the main organizer of mass peace rallies around the country, announced, “It’s Obama’s War, and We Will Stop it.” The widely read liberal TomDispatch.com dubbed its former champion the “Commanded-in-Chief” for giving way to the hardball pressures exerted by the generals. Matthew Rothschild of&nbsp;The Progressive, founded by the fabled anti-militarist Robert M. LaFollette Sr. in 1909, compared Bush and Obama’s rhetoric and wrote an article called “Obama Steals Bush’s Speechwriters.”</p><p>But these protests notwithstanding, we remain—and will throughout Obama’s presidency—an empire of military colonization, the goal for decades of neoconservatives and assorted liberal hawks. In anthropologist Hugh Gusterson’s wonderfully evocative words, “The U.S. is to military bases as Heinz is to ketchup.” American forces are stationed at approximately 1,000 military bases in 120 countries at a cost topping $100 billion annually. Diego Garcia, a remote island in the Indian Ocean midway between Africa and Indonesia, is apparently so essential a base that 5,000 locals were thrown out of their homes so the U.S. could have yet another top-secret facility from which to conduct its perpetual wars.</p><p>Far from being a consensus-seeking peacenik, Obama would not even sign the Landmine Ban Treaty, which Bush also refused to endorse, thus leaving the U.S. the only NATO nation unwilling to participate. Said Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch’s Arms Division, “they have simply decided to allow the Pentagon to dictate terms.” A shocked Bill Moyers pointed out that 5,000 people died from mine explosions in 2008, noting the disconnect between Obama’s refusal to enlist the support of the government he leads and the Oslo speech in which he maintained, “I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do and isolates and weakens those who don’t.”</p><p>In another instance of history repeating, the first Obama defense budget has been virtually the same as Bush’s military appropriations. Obama has reduced spending on Cold War weapons such as the F-22 fighter, but he reportedly plans to ask Congress for an extra $33 billion for the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Central Asia. To his credit, the president is trying to negotiate a new nuclear-arms reduction pact with Russia and close a few of the CIA’s clandestine prisons. But in many other vital areas of defense and national security, like warrantless wiretaps and renewal of much of the Patriot Act, he persists in activities that violate fundamental freedoms. He has also refused to hold anyone from the Bush-Cheney era accountable.</p><p>There’s more: his administration has just signed an accord with Colombia granting the U.S. a ten-year right to use seven of its bases, including the centerpiece of the agreement, Palanquero AFB. Take heed, any leftist South American government that dares defy Uncle Sam. At the same time, Obama blinked at the coup d’état in Honduras. “They really thought he was different,” said Julia Sweig of the Council on Foreign Relations, referring to Latin America’s opinion of Obama. “But those hopes were dashed over the course of the summer.”</p><p>So what happened?</p><p>Barack Obama happened. More eloquence than substance happened. More time-honored political caution than audacity or hope. Liberal and conservative Cold Warriors as key advisers. A reluctance to cross wartime profiteers. A recognition by his poll-counters that, with future elections in mind, it was best to govern from some ill-defined center, acting tough abroad to keep the neocons off his back while throwing an occasional bone to his left.</p><p>That strategy may buy him a second term as fruitless as his first—or it could render him indistinguishable from his deservedly maligned predecessor and cost him re-election in 2012.</p><p>The Left howls now, but from the very start, Obama signaled his lack of interest in McGovernite ideas of change in foreign policy. There was a time when he talked about pressing Israel to dismantle its settlements. But thus far he has been cowed by Netanyahu and his American backers, betraying any hope for a genuinely independent Palestinian state. There was that stirring speech in Cairo and then silence. There was talk about closing Guantanamo but no mention of the much larger Bagram prison in Afghanistan.</p><p>The sad truth is everything we are seeing we have already seen. Despite presidents who come and go, permanent war is a hallowed American institution. Start if you will with the War of 1812, the invasion of Mexico, and the carnage of a Civil War. Move to the mass murder of Native Americans and theft of their property, the killing, torture, and prison camps in the Philippines, then the blood-drenched 20th century. The 21st likewise dawns red. It never changes. Doves protest, hawks rule, ordinary people pay the penalty. All wars are “just.”</p><p>As surely as the bloodletting persists, so does the opposition. The old chestnut that liberals have always stood for peace and conservatives for war is historically false. In fact, our past is rich with anti-militarist heroes of surprisingly varied political colors. Daniel Webster opposed the War Hawks and the draft they proposed in 1812. Abolitionist Theodore Parker denounced the Mexican War and called on his fellow Bostonians in 1847 “to protest against this most infamous war.” Henry Van Dyke, a Presbyterian minister and ardent foe of the annexation of the Philippines, told his congregation in 1898, “If we enter the course of foreign conquest, the day is not far distant when we must spend in annual preparation for wars more than the $180,000,000 that we now spend every year in the education of our children for peace.” Socialist and labor leader Eugene Debs received a ten-year prison sentence for daring to tell potential draftees in 1918 that it was “the working class who fight all the battles, the working class who make the supreme sacrifices, the working class who freely shed their blood and furnish the corpses.” Against U.S. entry into World War I, Republican Sen. George Norris of Nebraska asked, “To whom does this war bring prosperity? Not to the soldier … not to the brokenhearted widow … not to the mother who weeps at the death of her baby boy … . War brings no prosperity to the great mass of common and patriotic citizens … .War brings prosperity to the stock gambler on Wall Street.” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the only member of Congress in 2001 who voted against George W. Bush’s decision to invade Afghanistan, warned her colleagues to be “careful not to embark on an open-ended war with neither an exit strategy nor a focused target.” Conservative Russell Kirk laid out a post-World War II program for conservatives by reminding them, “A handful of individuals, some of them quite unused to moral responsibilities on such a scale, made it their business to extirpate the populations of Nagasaki and Hiroshima; we must make it our business to curtail the possibility of such snap decisions.”</p><p>Anti-militarism is very much an American tradition, but it has never been a majority position. Who now reads Finley Peter Dunne, the Chicago newspaperman who invented the brogish bartender Mr. Dooley speaking to his customer, Mr. Hennessey, while deriding American excesses and the national passion for imperial expansion? He wondered why many leaders and everyday Americans passively embraced, without much knowledge, our devotion to world hegemony—specifically in his time, the decision to invade and occupy the Philippines. “’Tis not more than two months,” he told his pro-annexation readers, “ye larned whether they were islands or canned goods.”</p><p>Yet just as certain as opposition to foreign adventuring arises, again it goes unheeded. As we begin President Obama’s second year in office, of this we can be certain: in global affairs, but for a few crumbs here and there, antiwar views will rarely be welcomed by this White House. And when these marginalized voters complain, all the president’s men will remind them that they were told Afghanistan was a “necessary war” and “national security” is everything. I can imagine Obama’s advisers confidently telling him that however many troops he ships to these and future wars, however much money he spends on military hardware, his anguished allies have no place else to go.&nbsp;Plus ça change.</p>
ID: 153906
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Jew Who Changed Football Forever
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">Originally,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/topics/football.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">football</a>&nbsp;was all scrimmage in a no-pass zone, with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/features/2017/trump-administration.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">rules and machismo sensibilities</a>&nbsp;dismissing passing as wimpy. The game was a grinding ground war, a smash-up derby for big galoots, with occasional breakaway survivors fleeing the pack.</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">The revolutionary who gave football an air war, who freed it from being all-Blitz-all-the-time, the disruptor who spawned the Hail Mary Pass and the Bomb,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/videos/2010/09/06/mad-men-joe-namath-and-samsonite-bad-ad.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Joe Namath</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2015/01/11/remember-the-ice-bowl-the-packers-and-cowboys-chilly-1967-new-year-s-eve-date.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Johnny Unitas</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2016/03/12/is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-johnny-football.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">John Elway</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2017/02/01/the-new-england-patriots-are-trump-s-team.html" style="transition: color 150ms ease; background-color: transparent;">Tom Brady</a>, was a now-forgotten all-American with the body of a Greek God but the name of a Jewish accountant: Benny Friedman.</p></div><div class="Text" style="margin-bottom: 18px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; line-height: 0px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;">Back in the twenties and thirties, Friedman was the game’s Babe Ruth and Nelson Mandela, its Bill Gates and Oprah Winfrey: he was top performer and freedom fighter, edgy innovator and huge celebrity. Friedman was so good that Tim Mara bought the Detroit Wolverines outright just to get Friedman’s services —and Mara’s New York Giants turned profitable within a year...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px; font-size: 17px;"><a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2017/03/11/the-jew-who-changed-football-forever.html">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p></div>