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a 32,000-ton vessel that fired 255 14-inch shells toward Nazi positions during D-Day’s opening 34 minutes in 1944. The 100-year old vessel has been on display in the Houston Ship Channel for more than 60 years.
But the 573-foot dreadnought has sprung several leaks recently, forcing the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to shut it down to visitors since mid-June. The state scrapped its plan to open it for July 4th after a new pair of leaks appeared. They have been patched with concrete, plywood and epoxy, and there are plans to open the vessel this weekend. But now a third leak began. Plans call for a pair of emergency pumps to remain aboard the vessel to fight any new leaks.
Texas has spent $300,000 on Texas since the latest round of leaks was detected June 9. The ship’s half-inch thick steel plate has been eaten away by decades in salt water.
The state wants to dry-berth the ship, and in 2007 Texas and private donors pledged $29 million to make that happen. Unfortunately, recent estimates peg the cost of the project as high as $75 million (it cost $5.8 million to build).
Before you criticize Texas (the state), remember that the U.S.S. Texas is the world’s oldest surviving dreadnaught, served in both World Wars, and has been sitting in salt water for over a century. She needs some TLC.
This history of the 1992 US Olympic basketball team might only be interesting to those who watched all those games.
Chuck started Michael and Magic every game and then rotated the other three. Pippen would start one game, Mullin would start the next. Robinson and Ewing would alternate; Malone and Barkley would alternate. He was a master at managing. But in the second game against Croatia, there was never any doubt: He was putting Pippen on Toni Kukoc [who had just been drafted by the Bulls and had been offered a contract for more money than his future teammate]. Pippen and Jordan were tired of hearing about how great Kukoc was, because they were winning NBA championships.
You ever watch a lion or a leopard or a cheetah pouncing on their prey? We had to get Michael and Scottie out of the locker room, because they was damn near pulling straws to see who guarded him. Kukoc had no idea.
I watched everyone of those games and they were incredible. Hearing the story behind those games is a lot of fun.
It sounds strange now, but Turner actually had collegial relationships with members of other parties. In fact, as Paul Litt notes, Turner once saved John Diefenbaker from drowning while on holiday in Barbados. With the current PM on the beach, and an opposition leader floundering in the surf, I wouldn’t go out on a limb to say what would happen next.
It sounds strange to say it today, but John Turner was also a fan of the media, the same media which fitted him out with horns on the front page of a newspaper. Can anyone in Conservative Ottawa picture Stephen Harper heading out to the Black Thorn Tavern for a beer with Lawrence Martin after a hard day on the Hill? Turner used to do that kind of thing.
But the fact that there is zero camaraderie between the media and the Conservatives is insignificant compared to what the Tories have managed to do to the press. Daily contact these days means getting an email from the PMO with suggestions for interviews you might want to do – the PMO as line-up editor. The prime minister holds press conferences whenever Halley’s Comet appears, muzzles his ministers, and forces every level of the public service to seek permission to speak. And when they do, a Tory staffer is often listening in, as Liberal MP Wayne Easter recently told me. Government is as transparent as a slab of granite. As for the media, their questions are not only limited, they are usually ignored. And despite all that, the government gets a remarkably easy ride from a profession it has done its best to marginalize.
Pierre Trudeau took office at a moment when commodity prices were rising worldwide. Good policymakers recognize that commodity prices fall as well as rise. Yet between 1969 and 1979 – through two majority governments and one minority – Trudeau tripled federal spending.
In 1981-82, Canada plunged into recession, the worst since World War II. Trudeau’s already big deficits exploded to a point that Canada’s lenders worried about default.
Trudeau’s Conservative successor Brian Mulroney balanced Canada’s operating budget after 1984. But to squeeze out Trudeau-era inflation, the Bank of Canada had raised real interest rates very high. Mulroney could not keep up with the debt payments. The debt compounded, the deficits grew, the Bank hiked rates again – and Canada toppled into an even worse recession in 1992. Trudeau’s next successors, Liberals this time, squeezed even tighter, raising taxes, and leaving Canadians through the 1990s working harder and harder with no real increase in their standard of living.
Do Canadians understand how many of their difficulties of the 1990s originated in the 1970s? They should.
To repay Trudeau’s debt, federal governments reduced transfers to provinces. Provinces restrained spending. And these restraints had real consequences for real people: more months in pain for heart patients, more months of immobility for patients awaiting hip replacements.
If Canada’s health system delivers better results today than 15 years ago, it’s not because it operates more efficiently. Canada’s health system delivers better results because the reduction of Trudeau’s debt burden has freed more funds for healthcare spending.
Pierre Trudeau was a spending fool. He believed in a state-led economy, and the longer he lasted in office, the more statist he became. The Foreign Investment Review Agency was succeeded by Petro-Canada. Petro-Canada was succeeded by wage and price controls. Wage and price controls were succeeded by the single worst economic decision of Canada’s 20th century: the National Energy Program.
The NEP tried to fix two different prices of oil, one inside Canada, one outside. The NEP expropriated foreign oil interests without compensation. The NEP sought to shoulder aside the historic role of the provinces as the owner and manager of natural resources.
Most other Western countries redirected themselves toward more fiscal restraint after 1979. Counting on abundant revenues from oil, the Trudeau government kept spending. Other Western governments began to worry more about attracting international investment. Canada repelled investors with arbitrary confiscations. Other Western governments recovered from the stagflation of the 1970s by turning toward freer markets. Under the National Energy Policy, Canada was up-regulating as the US, Britain, and West Germany deregulated. All of these mistakes together contributed to the extreme severity of the 1982 recession. Every one of them was Pierre Trudeau’s fault.
While I disagree with Frum that Trudeau was one of the worst prime ministers of our time, I will agree that his economic legacy has impacted the country for over a decade. Frum’s is an interesting take.
Walt Harrington has known former President Bush for more than 25 years and wrote a reflection for The American Scholar about his conversations with W over the years.
Twenty-five years later, George W. Bush looks great. Two years as a civilian have been good to him. His feet clad in golf shoes and up on his desk, he leans back in his chair, a well-mouthed, unlit cigar as a prop. At 7:45 A.M., he’s talking golf.
“I didn’t play golf during my presidency except the first two years. So I came back out here, and then I decided I was going to get better at golf, not just play golf.”
“And have you?” I ask.
“I have gotten better. The problem is I’m never good enough. That’s the problem with the game. It requires discipline, patience, and focus. As you know, I’m long on”—and he hesitates, smiling, losing the sentence—“well, a couple areas where I could use some improvement.”
Same W.: sentences broken and jumbled, thoughts careening.
Take a look at these incredible photos from North Africa in World War II. They are part of The Atlantic’s InFocus blog’s retrospective on WWII. I really wish one of the media outlets in Saskatchewan (Leader-Post/The StarPhoenix or CBC) would so something similar with their photo archives of Saskatoon events. It would take more of a historian than a journalist but it would be a fabulous contribution to history in Saskatchewan.
The study began on Sunday, August 17, 1971. But no one knew what, exactly, they were getting into.
Forty years later, the Stanford Prison Experiment remains among the most notable—and notorious—research projects ever carried out at the University. For six days, half the study’s participants endured cruel and dehumanizing abuse at the hands of their peers. At various times, they were taunted, stripped naked, deprived of sleep and forced to use plastic buckets as toilets. Some of them rebelled violently; others became hysterical or withdrew into despair. As the situation descended into chaos, the researchers stood by and watched—until one of their colleagues finally spoke out.
The public’s fascination with the SPE and its implications—the notion, as Zimbardo says, "that these ordinary college students could do such terrible things when caught in that situation" —brought Zimbardo international renown. It also provoked criticism from other researchers, who questioned the ethics of subjecting student volunteers to such extreme emotional trauma. The study had been approved by Stanford’s Human Subjects Research Committee, and Zimbardo says that "neither they nor we could have imagined" that the guards would treat the prisoners so inhumanely.
In 1973, an investigation by the American Psychological Association concluded that the prison study had satisfied the profession’s existing ethical standards. But in subsequent years, those guidelines were revised to prohibit human-subject simulations modeled on the SPE. "No behavioral research that puts people in that kind of setting can ever be done again in America," Zimbardo says.
Back at the turn of the century, the Boston Globe would hang large handwritten signs out front with headlines which looked like the world’s first newspaper website/blog.
They eventually added a sports website, with streaming audio.
RSS hadn’t caught on yet so the readers had to actually visit the site.
This photo was taken during the epic 1912 World Series (first 7 games series to go 8 games and first World Series to come down to the final inning). The practice continued into the 1960s. Here is the 1945 headline of FDR’s death.
Rumsfeld’s memoir is one big clean-up job, a brazen effort to shift blame to others — including President Bush — distort history, ignore the record or simply avoid discussing matters that cannot be airbrushed away. It is a travesty, and I think the rewrite job won’t wash.
The Iraq War is essential to the understanding of the Bush presidency and the Rumsfeld era at the Pentagon. In the book, Rumsfeld tries to push so much off on Bush. That is fair because Bush made the ultimate decisions. But the record shows that it was Rumsfeld stoking the Iraq fires — facts he has completely left out of his memoir.
Wow Bob, tell us what you really think.
As numerous accounts have documented, the post-war planning and organization was close to a disaster. Rumsfeld blames the lack of "effective interagency coordination" and "the way the United States government is organized." (p. 487)
As secretary of defense he was responsible. Under our system, he was next in the chain of command after the president, effectively making him the deputy president for war. But he sidestepped his responsibility time and time again.
Donald Rumsfeld has written a memoir. He places part of the problems in Iraq on Condoleezza Rice.
What Mr. Rumsfeld offers is a far more believable account of events, one that holds individuals responsible for failures of execution. He describes a White House with internal problems, at the heart of which was a National Security Council overseen in Mr. Bush’s first term by Condoleezza Rice. Ms. Rice’s style of management, argues Mr. Rumsfeld, led to indecision, which in turn led to the lack of a coherent post-invasion plan, to a sluggish transfer of power to Iraqis, and to a festering insurgency. If nothing else, this gives historians something valuable to ponder as they work on an honest appraisal of the Bush years.
Mr. Rumsfeld tells me that he sees his 815-page volume as a "contribution to the historic record"—not some breezy Washington tell-all. In his more than 40 years of public service, he kept extensive records of his votes, his meetings with presidents, and the more than 20,000 memos (known as "snowflakes") he flurried on the Pentagon during his second run as defense secretary. Mr. Rumsfeld uses them as primary sources, which accounts for the book’s more than 1,300 end notes. He’s also digitized them so readers and historians can consult the evidence first-hand at www.rumsfeld.com.
Of course Colin Powell is partially to blame
The memoir relates notable instances when this dynamic played out, but none with more consequence than the muddled plan for postwar Iraq. The Defense Department pushed early on "to do what we’d done in Afghanistan"—where a tribal loya jirga had quickly anointed Hamid Karzai as leader. "The goal was to move quickly to have an Iraqi face on the leadership in the country, as opposed to a foreign occupation." Mr. Rumsfeld’s early takeaway from NSC meetings was that "the president agreed."
Yet Colin Powell’s State Department was adamantly opposed. It was suspicious of allowing Iraqi exiles to help govern, claiming they’d undermine "legitimacy." It also didn’t believe a joint U.S.-Iraqi power-sharing agreement would work. These were clear, substantive policy differences, yet in Mr. Rumsfeld’s telling, Ms. Rice allowed the impasse to drag on.
The result was the long, damaging regency of Paul Bremer as the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority—which Mr. Rumsfeld believes helped inspire the initial Iraq insurgency. Mr. Bremer, who set up shop in one of Saddam’s opulent palaces, continued to postpone the creation of an Iraqi transitional government. He instead appointed a "governing council" of Iraqis but refused to give even them any responsibility. The result: delays in elections and in building post-Saddam institutions.
"You are always better having a president look at each option, at the pros and cons, and make a decision among them, than trying to merge them," says Mr. Rumsfeld, especially when positions are "contradictory to a certain extent."
While all of these things are true, the real issue is that he ignored the advice of Pentagon planners (note: some of the Pentagon generals have taken exception to this belief) and went in with far to few troops to occupy the country and when it did go bad, he could not conceptually change his thinking to fix his mistakes. His memoir shows some other problems (and I am sure that Rice’s management style was frustrating to him) in the White House but at the end of the day, he pushed for a light weight invasion force that couldn’t control the country (or even Baghdad) when the insurgency started.
Barth has been variously damned as a heretic, a narrow-minded Biblicist, and an atheist in disguise—and praised as the most creative Protestant theologian since John Calvin.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for last night but I ended up at the Saskatoon Public Library’s database of archival images. I checked out some old historic collections from Saskatoon’s past but I have to admit that it wasn’t the easiest to use, it was slow, you can’t save any images, and it is obsolete technology when you compare it to many of the collections in Flickr’s Commons.
For those of you who have been out of the loop for a while, The Commons are a series of institutions that upload photos that they own the copyright to or are in the public domain to Flickr where users can take, describe, and fill out the history regarding. Since the photos are in the public domain (or licensed with some restrictions under Creative Commons), they can be easily viewed (or used by the masses). Many of the participating organizations upload 50-200 photos at a time and then allow people to tag, leave comments, and fill out historical details on all of them.
As Flickr says, the goals are to:
I am picking on the Saskatoon Public Library but the same could be said for the City of Saskatoon archives, University of Saskatchewan’s archives, the The StarPhoenix photo archives (they could also take down the paywall on their archives while they are at it), the Diefenbaker Centre photographic collection or even the Western Development Museum’s archives. They are all owners of vast amount of archival photos that would be best served being served up electronically, even if small increments.
I was noticing on the Saskatoon Public Library database that they own the copyright to quite a few images historical I was checking out. I am assuming that they took over the copyright when the original owner donated the originals to the archives but that can be released and licensed and released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License for non-profit or private use. There are some images that are still held by families or companies and of course those copyrights will need to be respected but for those images that are in the public domain, release them and make them easily available to the public. All of Saskatoon would benefit.