Category Archives: History

‘Der Idiot hat befohlen. Was können wir anderes als zu gehorchen?’

Deutsche Welle: Gedenken an die Ardennenoffensive vor 75 Jahren. “Sie war der letzte größere Versuch Hitler-Deutschlands, die drohende militärische Niederlage und damit den Untergang doch noch abzuwenden. Für Bundespräsident Steinmeier kann das sinnlose Unterfangen nur eines lehren.”

Der Überlebende der Ardennenoffensive. “Vor 75 Jahren versucht Nazi-Deutschland mit einer letzten verzweifelten Schlacht im Westen den Zweiten Weltkrieg noch zu drehen. Doch die Ardennenoffensive scheitert. Die DW traf einen der letzten Zeitzeugen.”

Update: MetaFilter of course has a thread about the Battle of the Bulge today.

“we care about having a president who takes seriously his oath to preserve and protect our Constitution”

The New York Times – Opinion: Impeach Trump. Save America. “It is the only thing to do if our country’s democracy is to survive.” By Thomas L. Friedman.

“If we say, as Republicans do, that what Trump did is not an impeachable offense, we are telling ourselves and every future president that — in direct contradiction of what the founders wrote in the Constitution — it is O.K. to enlist a foreign power to tilt the election your way. Can you imagine how much money candidates could raise from Saudi Arabia or China to tilt a future election their way, or how many cyberwarriors they could enlist from Russia or Iran to create fake news, suppress voting or spur outrage?
[…]
If Congress were to do what Republicans demand — forgo impeaching this president for enlisting a foreign power to get him elected, after he refused to hand over any of the documents that Congress had requested and blocked all of his key aides who knew what happened from testifying — we would be saying that a president is henceforth above the law.

We would be saying that we no longer have three coequal branches of government. We would be saying that we no longer have a separation of powers.

We would be saying that our president is now a king.

If we do that, the America you studied in history class, the America you grew up knowing and loving, and the America that the rest of the world has so long admired as a beacon of democracy and justice will be no more. Oh, how we will miss it when it’s gone.”

Link via MetaFilter.

“Women have their place in the world, but they do not belong in the Canyon of the Colorado.”

The Atavist Magazine: The Wild Ones. “People said that women had no place in the Grand Canyon and would likely die trying to run the Colorado River. In 1938, two female scientists set out to prove them wrong.”

“Not least among the journey’s many dangers, according to “experienced river men” who refused to give their names to the national newspapers covering the expedition, was the presence of women in the party. Only one woman had ever attempted the trip through the Grand Canyon. Her name was Bessie Hyde, and she’d vanished with her husband, Glen, on their honeymoon in 1928. Their boat was found empty. Their bodies were never recovered.

Unnamed sources told reporters that the two women in the crew were “one of the hazards, as they are ‘so much baggage’ and would probably need help in an emergency.” They were scientists—botanists, to be precise. “So they’re looking for flowers and Indian caves,” a river runner said. “Well, I don’t know about that, but I do know they’ll find a peck of trouble before they get through.”

In fact, Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter had come from Michigan with much hardier plants in mind. Tucked into side canyons, braving what Jotter called “barren and hellish” conditions, were tough, spiny things: species of cactus that no one had ever catalogued before. Clover and Jotter would become the first people to do so—if they survived.”

Link via MetaFilter.

7 14 21 28 35 42 49 56 and finally 63

The New York Times Magazine: Does Who You Are at 7 Determine Who You Are at 63? “In 1964, with “Seven Up!” Michael Apted stumbled into making what has become the most profound documentary series in the history of cinema. Fifty-five years later, the project is reaching its conclusion.”

“To spend time with a child is to dwell under the terms of an uneasy truce between the possibility of the present and the inevitability of the future. Our deepest hope for the children we love is that they will enjoy the liberties of an open-ended destiny, that their desires will be given the free play they deserve, that the circumstances of their birth and upbringing will be felt as opportunities rather than encumbrances; our greatest fear is that they will feel thwarted by forces beyond their control. At the same time, we can’t help poring over their faces and gestures for any signals of eventuality — the trace hints and betrayals of what will emerge in time as their character, their plot, their fate. And what we project forward for the children in our midst can rarely be disentangled from what we project backward for ourselves.”

Link via MetaFilter.