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Posts by untenured

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • Leicester City....Kings of England!

    05/02/2016 3:17:17 PM PDT · 13 of 26
    untenured to dfwgator

    I’m not much of a soccer fan but even I got caught up in this the last few weeks of the season. Absolutely great story.

  • Did Trump Kill Reaganism?

    04/29/2016 9:48:42 AM PDT · 85 of 85
    untenured to JPJones
    And I remember seeing “Let’s make America Great Again” Reagan ads back in the day.

    My first presidential vote was for Reagan back in 1984. He did want America to be great again, substantially by returning to what he believed it used to be. But he didn't want America to be great at the expense of other countries, to defeat them in some kind of global contest between nation-states. (The Soviet Union conspicuously excepted.) He generally did not believe that international commerce, to take a current example, was a zero-sum game between nations. Instead he wanted our country to be an example to follow, a "shining city upon a hill." He wanted opportunity for all, with free markets its greatest friend and government economic mismanagement its greatest enemy. (Read both his writings and speeches, most notably his first inaugural address, to get some sense of this.)

    There's very little of that kind of "conservatism" in evidence these days, although the elimination of the Soviet empire is vivid testimony to the power it once held in people's minds. Conservatism now seems to be more and more about disengagement from and commercial conflict with a hostile world, not about the dignity of the individual (emphatically including the unborn) and what he could do if government would just let him.

  • South Alabama Admits Citing Student for Empty Holster Was a Mistake

    04/19/2016 10:36:48 AM PDT · 8 of 25
    untenured to Kaslin

    To wrongly identify someone as carrying an unconcealed gun...there’s something charmingly stupid about that.

  • "This Is Devastating News For Republicans": Poll Finds Denying Trump Nomination Would Crush GOP

    04/10/2016 6:49:33 PM PDT · 15 of 253
    untenured to LibFreeUSA
    Denying Mr. Trump the nomination would, it is said, be a disaster for the GOP. Giving him the nomination would, it is said, also be a disaster for the GOP. 2016 presents a very tough fix to be in if you believe in conservatism, and if you think the current generation of Democratic Party politicians is the biggest current threat to conservative values as they have been defined at least since the Reagan years
  • A Note to Conservatives Who Are Secular

    04/05/2016 8:21:45 AM PDT · 9 of 116
    untenured to Pelham

    Can I ask you to recommend a better set of modern “leading conservative writers, columnists and thinkers”?

  • The Road to Hell (Ronald Reagan narration...video 3:18 min)

    03/31/2016 8:45:23 AM PDT · 12 of 18
    untenured to beaversmom

    One of the lessons I am taking away from 2016 is that Reaganite conservatism – America is good for the world but needs to be strong to be that force, traditional values should be respected, and government is the problem far more often than the solution – is fading, and taking the Reagan electoral coalition with it. What appears to be on the rise is the combination of two beliefs - that on all fronts interaction with the world is bad for America, and that the moral certainty of the educated elite is wielded in a fundamentally unjust way against ordinary Americans. Neither of these beliefs in isolation is unprecedented, but I’m not sure I have ever seen them come together as a significant political force before now.

    Which one, if either, is authentically “conservative” is more about marking territory in the matter of animals in the wild than philosophically coherent, in my view.

  • March 1856

    03/22/2016 6:15:39 AM PDT · 106 of 115
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    On page 3 there is an account of forceful language used by one Cassius Clay of Kentucky, of all things.

    And poetry on the front page!

    But the account of the Virginia slave market is harrowing. Thank you for including this.

  • Amazonís Alexa may replace Siri as leading virtual assistant

    03/11/2016 9:41:32 AM PST · 13 of 15
    untenured to lacrew

    Some people have injuries that mean a voice assistant makes devices of all kinds considerably easier to use.

  • Hail, Caesar! ... Mark Steyn

    03/02/2016 10:59:25 AM PST · 17 of 23
    untenured to Rummyfan

    I’ll add an enthusiastic recommendation, although I should note that in general I am a Coen brothers fan. The main character, while wealthy, is in the end an ordinary middle-class guy devoted to his family. And as someone who has read a lot of Marx, Marxist literature and the non-hagiographic history of Marxist governance to teach about the topic, I also got a kick out of the screenwriter-kidnappers, and the Clooney character’s daft take on class struggle.

  • Do Your Research HuffPo: Washington Had Three Copies of Don Quixote

    02/26/2016 5:31:48 PM PST · 33 of 36
    untenured to Yosemitest
    It doesn't seem to have come up so far on the thread, but I'm currently reading Don Quixote, and it is a wonderful book.
  • Statewide Ridesharing Regulations: A simple solution to the Uber lawsuit

    01/26/2016 8:13:28 AM PST · 3 of 13
    untenured to MichCapCon
    One can feel sympathy for taxi and limousine companies who are having their business model disrupted,

    1. No one can't. Anyone who gets rich off of special privileges deserves contempt.

    2. That anti-racketeering laws might be used against a company that figures out a better way to help people get from point A to point B is a sign that we no longer make laws as that term is traditionally understood. Instead we make "legislation" that can be used by the appropriate special interest for any purpose whatsoever.

  • Atlanta Rhythm Section - Champagne Jam (Full Album)

    01/25/2016 6:05:02 PM PST · 7 of 18
    untenured to WhiskeyX

    Apropos of not much, the song “So Into You” is not on this album, but I remember that it was popular at the time I read “The Andromeda Strain,” by Michael Crichton. I will always associate those two things, even though they have no intrinsic relationship..

  • ‚ÄėThe White Girl in Maine‚Äô Hits Back at Governor‚Äôs Racist

    01/12/2016 7:17:02 AM PST · 17 of 166
    untenured to DaveA37

    If the governor had said “Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue we have to deal with down the road,” and not added the word “white,” would the statement have been more or less usefully “true”?

  • Heckler disrupts Hillary Clinton town hall over Bill Clinton‚Äôs sexual history

    01/03/2016 12:33:43 PM PST · 8 of 66
    untenured to jimbo123

    Amazing. In the entire article the reporter (the name is “Abby,” so I assume it’s a woman) never sees fit to mention what these “allegations,” a word she uses several times, are.

    She also calls the topic Clinton’s “sexual history,” so I guess we can assume she’s not one of these people who thinks that rape is about violence and not sex.

  • 1855

    12/22/2015 5:30:04 PM PST · 342 of 377
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    Thank you for posting this, and I look forward to further excerpts. From what little I know of him Frederick Douglass was a great man, someone who truly spoke truth to power.

  • Taylor Swift shows real class despite cheap shots from famed feminist

    12/21/2015 6:27:55 PM PST · 37 of 118
    untenured to Fai Mao

    No one who uses the phrase “Nazi Barbie” to describe a pop singer is a “top notch essayist.”

  • Carr: Ed Markey, at least, sure feeling‚Ä® heat of climate change

    12/12/2015 5:38:36 AM PST · 8 of 27
    untenured to carriage_hill
    The above dialogue, along with Mr. Steyn's opening statement, are embedded at http://www.steynonline.com/7351/markey-mark.
  • ‚ÄúNostra Aetate‚ÄĚ and Sandy Koufax

    10/31/2015 8:58:28 AM PDT · 10 of 16
    untenured to Anitius Severinus Boethius

    I had always heard the main reason was Bob Gibson’s incredible 1968 season, when he ended with a 1.12 ERA and was thought to be unhittable with the shorter mound.

  • Take a Bow, Species

    10/26/2015 6:55:07 AM PDT · 4 of 11
    untenured to Mr. K

    They are indeed the Rotary Club, and their role in nearly eliminating polio worldwide (a few fanatical redoubts in Pakistan and Africa aside) is pretty well-known, and well worth celebrating.


    09/03/2015 9:50:27 AM PDT · 28 of 184
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    As my last post on these threads I will leave everyone with the above famous image. I think it says a lot. This is MacArthur with Hirohito at the US embassy on 9/27/1945. I am not qualified to engage in the debate on these threads over MacArthur as a military leader. But as essentially the king of Japan during the occupation I think we must rate him highly.

    This picture was apparently taken at the US embassy, MacArthur having refused to deign to visit the emperor in the palace. In addition, he wears no necktie, even as Hirohito seems to have dressed up. Throughout to this point the general has let there be no doubt that he, with the power of the US at his back, is in charge.

    But I have learned from reading these daily reports that he behaved both to the Japanese envoys who had flown to Manila last week and to Japanese officials on the Missouri with a remarkable decency, and an expressed desire to build a future in East Asia that could go beyond war as the arbiter of national relations.

    That's just talk of course, but it might be talk that the victorious superpower America was more willing to engage in (and mean it) than the powers that have long bellowed out the nationalist, triumphalist rhetoric -- the rhetoric of overcoming humiliation or militarily triumphing over inferior social systems -- that has been so common before and after the war.

    In 2015 it is unimaginable to most people outside of Korea and China (and even to some within) that a Japan where pacifism is now deeply ingrained in the people's psyche would again travel the road of conquest. Japan is a peaceful nation whose triumphs are all commercial, and to the rest of the world presents both the beauty of its ancient culture and the wonderful quirkiness of the current popular version.

    Seventy years of great-power peace is not unprecedented, but it is not easy to do. That we have had it is vivid testimony to the era of American hegemony, and MacArthur for whatever flaws he had can claim a fair amount of the credit for that, as on the whole can U.S. conduct of international affairs. It could've been a lot worse.


    08/14/2015 1:21:33 PM PDT · 28 of 42
    untenured to henkster
    This is Toland’s best work.

    I have only been exposed to it in this FR series. However, I discovered it was published in 1970, and knew that a group of Japanese writers who had interviewed all the surviving participants of the events after Potsdam in Tokyo had written a book called Japan's Longest Day, published in 1965, in which many of these events of the last few days are described. I don't know how much Toland relied on this in researching his book, but I remember reading a library copy of the English translation and found it gripping, even in its dry, scholarly way.


    08/12/2015 1:27:15 PM PDT · 37 of 80
    untenured to Hebrews 11:6
    May one presume, with the great increase in international contact and continuing Christian missionary efforts since 1945, that kokutai has lessened substantially?

    To the best of my understanding, Christianity is not widely practiced in Japan today. The Japanese have a flexibility about religion in general – there is a saying that Japanese are Shinto when born, Christians when they get married and Buddhist when they die.

    There were many conversions to Christianity in the decades after Westerners began coming to Japan in large numbers after 1853. Some scholarship contends that it was the result of a widespread Japanese belief that Christianity was part of the recipe for being a modern, perhaps including being a powerful, nation. (Certainly missionary efforts were a big part of the story.) But it didn't really take as the decades passed. The same thing may be going on in China now, where Christianity is also spreading by leaps and bounds. (The Chinese government certainly does not react as if it thinks this is a promising development.)

    But any way you slice it, the average Japanese is much more pacific, even to the extent of naively so, than in 1931. The peaceful rebirth of Germany and Japan has been one of the miracles of the postwar era.

    I don't know if it approaches the prewar idea of 國體,which from appearances (I read Chinese but not Japanese) seems to indicate the idea of "national body." But modern Japan does have this idea of nihonjinron, this discussion of Japanese distinctiveness. But it's my feeling that any country has a similar phenomenon.


    08/12/2015 1:00:30 PM PDT · 34 of 80
    untenured to chajin
    For what it's worth, the area known as Wu (吳) still looms large in the Chinese name of the school known in English as Soochow University, founded on the mainland originally by Methodists in 1900 and reestablished on Taiwan in 1951. The Chinese rendering of the Taiwan university's name is 東吳大學,"Eastern Wu University." I have taught several classes there over the years.

    Much that was destroyed by the Communists in China is preserved in Taiwan, with this emphasis on the mainland past sometimes occurring to the displeasure of many Taiwanese. But that is another history thread. :-)

  • Breakups more painful for women than men claims new research

    08/11/2015 7:32:12 PM PDT · 20 of 45
    untenured to Gamecock

    Unless the study controls for who initiated the breakup, it is of little value.


    08/11/2015 12:32:24 PM PDT · 32 of 58
    untenured to chajin
    Here is a song by the Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, which is a tribute to three people from the South Pacific, who took the Japanese names Akebono, Mushimaru and Konishiki when they went to Japan and succeeded in sumo.

    That this (and soccer and baseball and so on) is the nature of conflict between Americans and Japanese 70 years later is something that few would have imagined back then. (The same thing is true for Germans on the one hand and Americans and other Europeans on the other.) Amidst all the complaints about who trades unfairly, who free-rides on whom, and all the internal problems that societies have, perhaps we should spend a moment giving thanks for what we have been spared since the surrender on the Missouri. It could've been a lot worse.

  • Donald Trump and Eminent Domain [Revisiting Trump's support of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision]

    08/09/2015 7:34:48 PM PDT · 40 of 216
    untenured to Catsrus
    That was far more than what it was worth.

    What was it worth to her? In a society where the politically powerless have property rights that are as meaningful as those of the politically powerful, that is the only sensible question.

  • College Textbook Prices Have Risen 1,041 Percent Since 1977

    08/08/2015 1:31:47 PM PDT · 25 of 62
    untenured to Kid Shelleen
    This is why I don't require textbooks in my classes. In some classes I use a book (sometimes required, sometimes optional) that I wrote, only came out once, is in paperback and costs about $18, in others I make a standard textbook optional, and in one I require a book by Thomas Sowell that also costs about $20. And in a few over the years there have been no books, merely free online readings.

    The one thing my students do get out of the standard textbook publishing model is that it makes for a good example in my class on basic economics.


    08/06/2015 3:21:13 PM PDT · 68 of 84
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    It is notable that in the last edition of the New York Times to appear before the world is informed that the age of nuclear weaponry has dawned, one of the reporters can speculate in a front-page story that "[i]t looks more and more as though a war of extermination will have to be fought."

    Frequently the history for which we can all be most grateful is the history that doesn't happen.


    07/17/2015 7:43:01 PM PDT · 39 of 47
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    I have learned so much reading this over the years. But today is unusually informative. First of all, an Italian is making an argument that the number of Italians already in Africa justifies extending Italian colonization. No one would ever make that argument today. Second, even in 1945 the Arabs are already so hot and bothered by Zionism that they insist on raising the issue even at a meeting of an Arab League subcommittee concerning economic and agricultural affairs. Shades of things to come.


    07/08/2015 8:18:53 PM PDT · 25 of 25
    untenured to henkster; chajin
    As was hinted at upthread, rapid Chinese economic development has already caused many Chinese to implicitly demand higher wages by quitting their jobs and moving to better ones. (Coastal China is now a fairly high-cost manufacturing area.)

    As for pollution, there are now routinely large demonstrations in protest against planned factories that threaten environmental damage, and a number of public campaigns and campaigners against environmental damage. The authorities try to suppress it, but not terribly effectively.


    07/08/2015 8:12:22 PM PDT · 24 of 25
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    Not surprising I suppose that American women are much more opposed than American men to American occupation soldiers in Germany having “dates with German girls.”


    06/24/2015 7:40:01 PM PDT · 27 of 27
    untenured to BroJoeK

    Hayek did most of his work at a time when there weren’t as many wannabe intellectuals as now. While brilliant, he always wrote like the scholar he was, which limited his public appeal beyond journalists and educated readers. (To be fair, the same was true for his 1930s nemesis, Keynes, although Keynes was good with a quip.)

    Milton Friedman wrote and spoke in a much more accessible way,
    and was willing to take on all comers even when he was a minority of one. This perhaps was why he was so important in the economic liberalization after 1979.

    There is a subculture of economists, partly including me, who view him as one of the two or three most important voices of the last century.

  • The Hipster is Dead, and You might not Like Who Comes Next

    06/12/2015 10:42:00 AM PDT · 87 of 91
    untenured to MoochPooch
    Provided only that it is not forcibly imposed on others, I too admire creativity, whether involving machines, art and literature, or social organization.

    What I don't admire is people whose idea of creativity is writing about how creative they are, and asking if not demanding that others notice them - by creating a new word to describe them, for example.

    Successful creations and the social improvements they generate speak for themselves. The need to talk them up (or to talk up the people claiming to create them, whether they do much of that or not) suggests that the creations being boasted of aren't really all that useful.


    06/10/2015 9:52:58 AM PDT · 12 of 18
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    I have tried to pay attention to this, and June 10 may be the first day since Pearl Harbor without the Times’ trademark multi-column, all-caps headline used for bigger news .

  • U.S. Supreme Court rules for Muslim woman denied job at clothing store

    06/01/2015 9:02:44 AM PDT · 66 of 92
    untenured to Wolfie
    A victory for religious freedom. Let’s hope there’s another one forthcoming.

    Another defeat for property rights. There is little hope that more will not be forthcoming.

  • OK all, what book(s) are you reading now or have you read in the last 6 months?

    05/19/2015 4:10:07 PM PDT · 138 of 154
    untenured to US Navy Vet
    History and social sciences, as usual:

    The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System, David Skarbek. A discussion of how the need to create some facsimile of social order amidst violent men and traffic in contraband motivates prison gangs.

    Principles of Economics (a classic, Alfred Marshall; part of some book-writing I'm doing)

    Phantom Terror: Political Paranoia and the Creation of the Modern State, 1789-1848, Adam Zarnovski. Author seems to be a leftist, but it still a fairly impressive account of how paranoia about the French revolution led to rampant conspiracism and the creation of much more sophisticated state surveillance. Metternich is a prominent villain in this account.

    Books Without Borders in Enlightenment Europe, Jeffrey Freedman. Hardly started it, but the title is about how French Enlightenment texts were smuggled throughout Europe, where they were banned.

    Infinitesimal: How a Dangerous Mathematical Theory Shaped the Modern World, Amir Alexander. Occasionally fascinating account of struggles inside and outside the Church over an obscure mathematical doctrine with profound theological implications.

    The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century, Jurgen Osterhammel. An astonishing panorama of the planet - not just Europe - from roughly 1789-1914. It is amazing how much this guy knows, although he too is a bit of a leftie. About 900pp, so not for the faint of heart.

    Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World. Self-explanatory. On my list: Charles Murray's newest, By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission.

  • Pamela Geller Confronted Evil, so the Left Hates Her

    05/19/2015 8:59:20 AM PDT · 9 of 17
    untenured to RoosterRedux
    I think the left's hatred for Ms Geller derives from two factors. First, she creates in them a cognitive dysfunction, a collision between their hatred of this country because of their feminism and commitment to gay "rights," and their commitment to multiculturalism (which also emanates from their hatred of this country). Their eagerness to simultaneously hold these two sets of beliefs means they must ignore the fact that radical Islam is an existential threat to the first set.

    Second, she is very well-spoken, no shrinking violet, and can handle herself on television against representatives of both the left and radical Islam. So she is able to make plain this insincerity in the left's view of the world.

  • Loyola professor who called slavery 'not so bad' loses lawsuit against New York Times

    05/13/2015 8:47:58 AM PDT · 13 of 13
    untenured to Oliviaforever
    Here, according to Prof. Block's own reply, are the remarks that contain the NYT quotation:

    "Free association is a very important aspect of liberty. It is crucial. Indeed, its lack was the major problem with slavery. The slaves could not quit. They were forced to ‘associate’ with their masters when they would have vastly preferred not to do so. Otherwise, slavery wasn’t so bad. You could pick cotton, sing songs, be fed nice gruel, etc. The only real problem was that this relationship was compulsory. It violated the law of free association, and that of the slaves’ private property rights in their own persons. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, then, to a much smaller degree of course, made partial slaves of the owners of establishments like Woolworths.”

    Later on he describes slavery as "vicious, depraved and monstrous," and gives his reasons for thinking so, which are not reasons peculiar to the peculiar institution. Freepers can decide whether the NYT's characterization, that the prof. "described slavery as 'not so bad,'" is false.


    04/28/2015 4:32:43 PM PDT · 35 of 39
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson; henkster
    The last column of Ernie Pyle's to appear in print, ironically his memories of another deceased war correspondent.


    Fred Painton: A Tribute

    IU Archives

    OKINAWA, April 28, 1945 – This is a column about Fred Painton, the war correspondent who dropped dead on Guam a short time ago.

    Fred wrote war articles for Reader’s Digest and many other magazines. He even gambled his future once writing a piece for the Saturday Evening Post about me.

    Fred was one of the little group of real old-timers in the European war. He was past forty-nine and an overseas veteran of the last war. His son is grown and in the Army. Fred had seen a great deal of war for a man his age.

    He was just about to start back to America when he died. He had grown pretty weary of war. He was anxious to get home to have some time with his family.

    But I’m sure he had no inkling of death, for he told me in Guam of his postwar plans to take his family and start on an ideal and easy life of six months in Europe, six in America. He had reached the point where life was nice.


    Fred Painton was one of the modest people; I mean real down-deep modest. He had no side whatever, no ax to grind, no coy ambition.

    He loved to talk and his words bore the authority of sound common sense. He had no intellectualisms. His philosophy was the practical kind. He was too old and experienced and too wise in the ways of human nature to belittle his fellow man for the failures that go with trying hard.

    Fred didn’t pretend to literary genius but he did pride himself on a facility for production. He could get a thousand dollars apiece for his articles and he wrote a score of them a year. And his pieces, like himself, were always honest. I’ve known him to decline to do an assignment when he felt the subject prohibited his doing it with complete honesty.

    Fred’s balding head and crooked nose, his loud and friendly nasal voice, his British Army trousers and short leggings were familiar in every campaign in Europe.

    He took rough life as it came and complained about nothing, except for an occasional bout with the censors. And even there he made no enemies for he was always sincere.

    There were a lot of people Fred didn’t like, and being no introvert everybody within earshot knew whom he didn’t like and why. And I have never known him to dislike anyone who wasn’t a phony.


    Fred and I have traveled through lots of war together. We did those bitter cold days, early in Tunisia, and we were the last stragglers out of Sicily.

    We both came home for short furloughs after Sicily. The Army provided me with a powerful Number Two air priority, while Fred had only the routine Number Three.

    We left the airport at Algiers within four hours of each other on the same morning. I promised Fred I would call his wife and tell her he would be home within a week.

    When I got to New York I called the Painton home at Westport, Connecticut. Fred answered the phone himself. He had beat me home by three days on his measly little priority! He never got over kidding me about that.


    As the war years rolled by we have become so indoctrinated into sudden and artificially imposed death that natural death in a combat zone seems incongruous, and almost as though the one who died had been cheated.

    Fred had been through the mill. His ship was torpedoed out from under him in the Mediterranean. Anti-aircraft fire killed a man beside him in a plane over Morocco.

    He had gone on many invasions. He was in Cassino. He was ashore at Iwo Jima. He was certainly living on borrowed time. To many it seems unfair for him to die prosaically. And yet . . .

    The wear and the weariness of war is cumulative. To many a man in the line today fear is not so much of death itself, but fear of the terror and anguish and utter horror that precedes death in battle.

    I have no idea how Fred Painton would have liked to die. But somehow I’m glad he didn’t have to go through the unnatural terror of dying on the battlefield. For he was one of my dear friends and I know that he, like myself, had come to feel that terror.

    Ernie Pyle
    Source: Ernie's War: The Best of Ernie Pyle's World War II Dispatches, edited by David Nichols, pp. 416-18. Pictures courtesy of The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

    04/25/2015 11:27:44 AM PDT · 28 of 70
    untenured to iowamark

    All in all, Henry Stimson’s memo that you posted was remarkably prescient. That does not happen often in human affairs, especially in government.


    04/21/2015 9:07:59 AM PDT · 22 of 40
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson; henkster
    Another posthumous column from Ernie Pyle.


    They Just Lay There, Blinking

    IU Archives
    Boris Chaliapin drew this sketch of Ernie Pyle for the July 17, 1944 cover of TIME Magazine.

    OKINAWA, April 21, 1945 – Now I’ve seen my first Jap soldiers in their native state – that is, before capture. But not for long, because the boys of my company captured them quicker than a wink.

    It was mid-forenoon and we had just reached our new bivouac area after a march of an hour and a half. The boys threw off their packs, sat down on the ground, and took off their helmets to mop their perspiring foreheads.

    We were in a small grassy spot at the foot of a hill. Most of these hillsides have caves with household stuff hidden in them. They are a rich field for souvenir hunters. And all Marines are souvenir hunters.

    So immediately two of our boys, instead of resting, started up through the brush, looking for caves and souvenirs. They had gone about fifty yards when one of them yelled:

    "There’s a Jap soldier under this bush."

    We didn’t get too excited for most of us figured he meant a dead Jap. But three or four of the boys got up and went up the hill. A few moments later somebody yelled again:

    "Hey, here’s another one. They’re alive and they’ve got rifles."

    So the boys went at them in earnest. The Japs were lying under two bushes. They had their hands up over their ears and were pretending to be asleep.

    The Marines surrounded the bushes and, with guns pointing, they ordered the Japs out. But the Japs were too scared to move. They just lay there, blinking.

    The average Jap soldier would have come out shooting. But, thank goodness, these were of a different stripe. They were so petrified the Marines had to go into the bushes, lift them by the shoulders, and throw them out in the open,

    My contribution to the capture consisted of standing to one side and looking as mean as I could.

    One Jap was small, and about thirty years old. The other was just a kid of sixteen or seventeen, but good-sized and well-built. The kid had the rank of superior private and the other was a corporal. They were real Japanese from Japan, not the Okinawan home guard.

    They were both trembling all over. The kid’s face turned a sickly white. Their hands shook. The muscles in the corporal’s jaw were twitching. The kid was so paralyzed he couldn’t even understand sign language.

    We don’t know why those two Japs didn’t fight. They had good rifles and potato-masher hand grenades. They could have stood behind their bushes and heaved grenades into our tightly packed group and got themselves two dozen casualties, easily.

    The Marines took their arms. One Marine tried to direct the corporal in handbook Japanese, but the fellow couldn’t understand.

    The scared kid just stood there, sweating like an ox. I guess he thought he was dead. Finally we sent them back to the regiment.


    The two Marines who flushed these Japs were Corp. Jack Ossege of Silver Grove, Kentucky, across the river from Cincinnati, and Pfc. Lawrence Bennett of Port Huron, Michigan.

    Okinawa was the first blitz for Bennett and this was the first Jap soldier he’d ever seen. He is thirty years old, married, and has a baby girl. Back home he was a freight dispatcher.

    The Jap corporal had a metal photo holder like a cigaret case. In it were photos which we took to be of three Japanese movie stars. They were good-looking, and everybody had to have a look.

    Ossege had been through one Pacific blitz, but this was the first Jap he ever took alive. As an old hand at souvenir hunting he made sure to get the Jap’s rifle.

    That rifle was the envy of everybody. Later when we were sitting around, discussing the capture, the other boys tried to buy or trade him out of it. "Pop" Taylor, the black-whiskered corporal from Jackson, Michigan, offered Ossege a hundred dollars for the rifle.

    The answer was no. Then Taylor offered four quarts of whiskey. The answer still was no. Then he offered eight quarts. Ossege weakened a little. He said, "Where would you get eight quarts of whiskey?" Pop said he had no idea. So Ossege kept the rifle.

    So there you have my first two Japs. And I hope my future Japs will all be as tame as these two. But I doubt it.

    Ernie Pyle

    04/19/2015 11:52:25 AM PDT · 25 of 61
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    Iva Toguri, a Japanese-American marries Felipe D’Aquino, a Portuguese, registering with the Portuguese consulate in Tokyo and Toguri declining to take her husband’s citizenship.

    Also known in some circles as Tokyo Rose. A 1949 conviction on 1 of 7 counts of treason in 1977 and a pardon by outgoing Pres. Ford (due to questions about testimony in her trial) both await. According to Wikipedia, she has largely been misunderstood by subsequent generations.


    04/18/2015 10:14:58 AM PDT · 18 of 51
    untenured to untenured; henkster

    Oops, meant to ping you to the above.


    04/18/2015 10:13:22 AM PDT · 17 of 51
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    As was noted both yesterday and today, Ernie Pyle perishes today during the fight for Okinawa. In addition to this column, which he presumably meant to be published after the German surrender, there are two columns not published before he died that will come out in the days after his death, and will be posted accordingly.


    This column was never completed. A draft of it was found in Pyle's pocket, April 18, 1945, the day he was killed by a Japanese machine-gunner on the island of Ie Shima.

    On Victory in Europe

    IU Archives
    Pyle with an Army Jeep driver.

    And so it is over. The catastrophe on one side of the world has run its course. The day that it had so long seemed would never come has come at last. I suppose our emotions here in the Pacific are the same as they were among Allies all over the world. First a shouting of the good news with such joyous surprise that you would think the shouter himself had brought it about.

    And then an unspoken sense of gigantic relief-and then a hope that the collapse in Europe would hasten the end in the Pacific.

    It has been seven months since I heard my last shot in the European War. Now I am as far away from it as it is possible to get on this globe.

    This is written on a little ship lying off the coast of the Island of Okinawa, just south of Japan, on the other side of the world from Ardennes.

    But my heart is still in Europe, and that’s why I am writing this column.

    It is to the boys who were my friends for so long. My one regret of the war is that I was not with them when it ended.

    For the companionship of two and a half years of death and misery is a spouse that tolerates no divorce. Such companionship finally becomes a part of one’s soul, and it cannot be obliterated.

    True, I am with American boys in the other war not yet ended, but I am old-fashioned and my sentiment runs to old things.

    To me the European War is old, and the Pacific War is new.

    Last summer I wrote that I hoped the end of the war could be a gigantic relief, but not an elation. In the joyousness of high spirits it is so easy for us to forget the dead. Those who are gone would not wish themselves to be a millstone of gloom around our necks.

    But there are so many of the living who have had burned into their brains forever the unnatural sight of cold dead men scattered over the hillsides and in the ditches along the high rows of hedge throughout the world.

    Dead men by mass production-in one country after another-month after month and year after year. Dead men in winter and dead men in summer.

    Dead men in such familiar promiscuity that they become monotonous.

    Dead men in such monstrous infinity that you come almost to hate them.

    Those are the things that you at home need not even try to understand. To you at home they are columns of figures, or he is a near one who went way and just didn’t come back. You didn’t see him lying so grotesque and pasty beside the gravel road in France.

    We saw him, saw him by the multiple thousands. That’s the difference.

    We hope above all things that Japan won’t make the same stubborn mistake that Germany did. You must credit Germany for her courage in adversity, but you can doubt her good common sense in fighting blindly on long after there was any doubt whatever about the outcome.

    Ernie Pyle
    Source: From handwritten Pyle original, which belongs to Albuquerque Public Library, but in October 2013, it was on loan to Santa Fe. Also published on the front page of the Pittsburgh Press, Sept. 24, 1945.
    back to Wartime Columns

    04/13/2015 9:50:20 AM PDT · 28 of 81
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    In addition to the coincidence of the choice to interview Lyndon Johnson about the shock of the death of a president in office, the Times appears not to have had a correspondent in Warm Springs. (Only an Associated Press report is included.) Nowadays, when the imperial entourage lands on Martha’s Vineyard or Crawford or some such place, even if merely for a summer vacation, the press hordes, many of them duly credentialed specialists in “political journalism,” must tag along.


    03/15/2015 6:50:06 PM PDT · 14 of 17
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    The last Ernie Pyle column in the IU journalism school archive to appear before his death next month.


    Pyle writes about life on an aircraft carrier.

    Aboard a Fighting Ship

    IU Archives
    Pyle on board a Navy ship in the Pacific.

    IN THE WESTERN PACIFIC, March 15, 1945 – An aircraft carrier is a noble thing. It lacks almost everything that seems to denote nobility, yet deep nobility is there.

    A carrier has no poise. It has no grace. It is top-heavy and lopsided. It has the lines of a well-fed cow.

    It doesn’t cut through the water like a cruiser, knifing romantically along. It doesn’t dance and cavort like a destroyer. It just plows. You feel it should be carrying a hod, rather than wearing a red sash.

    Yet a carrier is a ferocious thing, and out of its heritage of action has grown its nobility. I believe that today every Navy in the world has as its No. 1 priority the destruction of enemy carriers. That’s a precarious honor, but it’s a proud one.


    My carrier is a proud one. She’s small, and you have never heard of her unless you have a son or husband on her, but still she’s proud, and deservedly so.

    She has been at sea, without returning home, longer than any other carrier in the Pacific, with one exception. She left home in November 1943.

    She is a little thing, yet her planes have shot two hundred thirty-eight of the enemy out of the sky in air battles, and her guns have knocked down five Jap planes in defending herself.

    She is too proud to keep track of little ships she destroys, but she has sent to the bottom twenty-nine big Japanese ships. Her bombs and aerial torpedoes have smashed into everything from the greatest Jap battleships to the tiniest coastal schooners.

    She has weathered five typhoons. Her men have not set foot on any soil bigger than a farm-sized uninhabited atoll for a solid year. They have not seen a woman, white or otherwise, for nearly ten months. In a year and a quarter out of America, she has steamed a total of one hundred forty-nine thousand miles!

    Four different air squadrons have used her as their flying field, flown their allotted missions, and returned to America. But the ship’s crew stays on – and on, and on.

    She is known in the fleet as "The Iron Woman," because she has fought in every battle in the Pacific in the years 1944 and 1945.

    Her battle record sounds like a train-caller on the Lackawanna Railroad. Listen – Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Truk, Palau, Hollandia, Saipan, Chichi Jima, Mindanao, Luzon, Formosa, Nansei Shoto, Hong Kong, Iwo Jima, Tokyo . . . and many others.

    She has known disaster. Her fliers who have perished could not be counted on both hands, yet the ratio is about as it always is – about one American lost for every ten of the Exalted Race sent to the Exalted Heaven.

    She has been hit twice by Jap bombs. She has had mass burials at sea . . . with her dry-eyed crew sewing 40-mm shells to the corpses of their friends, as weights to take them to the bottom of the sea.

    Yet she has never even returned to Pearl Harbor to patch her wounds. She slaps on some patches on the run, and is ready for the next battle. The crew in semi-jocularity cuss her chief engineer for keeping her in such good shape they have no excuse to go back to Honolulu or America for overhaul.


    My carrier, even though classed as "light," is still a very large ship. More than a thousand men dwell upon her. She is more than seven hundred feet long.

    She has all the facilities of a small city. And all the gossip and small talk too. Latest news and rumors have reached the farthest cranny of the ship a few minutes after the captain himself knows about them. All she lacks is a hitching rack and a town pump with a handle.

    She has five barbers, a laundry, a general store. Deep in her belly she carries tons of bombs. She has a daily newspaper. She carries fire-fighting equipment that a city of fifty thousand back in America would be proud of.

    She has a preacher, she has three doctors and two dentists, she has two libraries, and movies every night, except when they’re in battle. And still she is a tiny thing, as the big carriers go. She is a "baby flat-top." She is little. And she is proud.

    She has been out so long that her men put their ship above their captain. They have seen captains come and go, but they and the ship stay on forever.

    They aren’t romantic about their long stay out here. They hate it, and their gripes are long and loud. They yearn pathetically to go home. But down beneath, they are proud – proud of their ship and proud of themselves. And you would be too.

    Ernie Pyle

    03/14/2015 5:37:54 PM PDT · 46 of 52
    untenured to AppyPappy

    If you’re able to get the German World War II vet to speak, let us know how it turns out.


    03/14/2015 10:22:20 AM PDT · 29 of 52
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson
    "...the Office of Strategic Services, an investigative and interjurative agency operated by the Joint Chiefs of Staff...


  • 'Orbis Spike' in 1610 marks humanity's first major impact on planet Earth

    03/13/2015 10:02:48 AM PDT · 3 of 23
    untenured to posterchild

    And yet 500 years on, catastrophe has continued to fail to happen.


    03/13/2015 9:41:13 AM PDT · 22 of 32
    untenured to Homer_J_Simpson

    Churchill’s telegram to FDR captures the new world nicely. Britain can’t exert itself beyond its permanently diminished capacities, and so must simply urge the US to act. But, in shades of the 1970s to come, the Democratic leadership (FDR) prefers to reach out to and coddle Stalin.