The Smithsonian Magazine has an interesting piece up about Georg Elser, the man who almost single-handed killed Hitler in the early days of World War II.
His bomb went off less than 15 minutes too late.
When someone says that one person (or a few people) would be no match against the power of the government (should it turn tyrannical), tell them about Georg Elser and how he, acting completely alone, nearly decapitated Nazi Germany in 1939.
Sadly, Elser was shipped off to a concentration camp, and executed shortly before the end of the war.
Read the whole thing.
As a Keynesian, the Paul Krugman pretty much has to parrot their view that WW2 is what ended the Great Depression.
His recent interview with Fareed Zakaria goes way off the rails, though, when they start speculating that a (fake) alien invasion would be just the ticket for creating jobs and ending the current recession.
Even if war was the answer (and here for the last (nearly) ten years, we’ve been repeatedly told that war is expensive and doesn’t solve anything), we’d be sitting ducks if aliens attacked.
We’re at the bottom of a giant space hole. All aliens would have to do is drag asteroids over (or just mine giant chunks out of the moon) and drop them on us, and we’d be helpless while our cities were turned into craters.
Any aliens that could cross interstellar distances to attack us would surely be capable of that.
So, if we do have an alien invasion,
head for the hills! Avoid population centers! congregate in cities! They’re certainly benevolent and would probably teach us the secrets of space travel!
They might even know how to serve man!
If we want to survive the (inevitable) alien invasion, we’ve got to get off this ball of dirt and head elsewhere. Luna, Mars, space stations, whatever; we can’t have all our eggs in one basket waiting for the eventual extinction event to drop out of the sky and take us out.
Sakura Wars 2: You Shall not Die was the follow up to the successful first game; instead of having to face down an ancient evil slumbering beneath the streets of Tokyo, brought forth by the machinations of a secret society, the big bad in the second game ended up being an officer in the Imperial Army.
This is probably the closest I’ve seen any anime, manga, or game come to criticizing the militarism that was on the upswing in Japan at that time period (remember, the series is set during the reign of an alternate Taisho emperor (太正 instead of 大正)); it does this by having the nefarious army officers orchestrate a coup. It’s only through the efforts of Ohgami (a naval lieutenant, remember) and the Imperial Assault Force that his plot is foiled and the government remains free of army influence. The reign of the Showa (昭和) emperor (Hirohito), the Taisho emperor’s successor, became known (both preceding and during WWII) for the great influence the army wielded in the government; the navy, instead of trying to take over the government, was interested more in upholding the Japanese constitutional monarchy..
In a way, the goals of the antagonist in ST2 mirrored the goals of the army in 1930s Japan; both were seeking a return to the way things had been done during the Edo period, when a Shogun was the de facto ruler of the country, and the emperor merely a figurehead.
Second Lt. Ohgami manages to stave off the army coup, and preserves the status quo; he’s rewarded with a promotion, and is sent to study abroad in France. The game closes with the troupe waving farewell to Ohgami, who watches from the passenger liner as it leaves port.
In an opinion piece discussing the recent controversy unleashed Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s declaration that April is Confederacy History Month (do we really need another month long history event?), Roland Martin (a political analyst for cnn.com) claims that Confederate soldiers were simply domestic terrorists.
This charge is patently ridiculous. The Confederate States of America were in rebellion against the Union; that is impossible to deny. But to compare their defense of the institution of slavery, when it was waged according to the laws of war of the day, to modern suicide bombings by Islamists who are intent on subjugating the rest of the world to Sharia, is absurd. The Confederate army fought in pitched battles, with uniformed (when they could afford it) soldiers, to take military targets; Islamic terrorists attack civilian targets in a campaign orchestrated not to achieve military goals, but to instill terror in the general populace.
The goals of Islamists are just as heinous as the goals of the Confederacy; that is not in dispute. Heinous goals, no matter how much Mr. Martin may wish, do not a terrorist make. Nazi Germany was evil; the crimes perpetrated upon the Jews in WWII were vile; soldiers in the German army in WWII were not terrorists.
Fighting in an organized army on behalf of a terrible worldview is not terrorism, evil though it may be; but sending suicide bombers to detonate themselves at locations where Islamist clerics are rabble-rousing is terrorism, no matter how defensible the goal of the attack may be.