Friday, December 30, 2016

Israel Grapples With Military’s Plan to Open Combat Roles to Women

Via WSJ: "Women can now serve in the army in mixed units like Caracal, and in positions such as army intelligence and artillery. But roles in the infantry and special forces have remained largely off limits due to the physical requirement of carrying heavy loads. Now, the military plans to test-run women into those kinds of units.

"Other Western militaries are opening up combat roles to women, too. Last year the U.S. military said it would allow women in all such positions. In July, the U.K. said it would also lift a ban on women serving in front-line combat roles. Israel’s shift, however, will have wide implications for a country where military service is mandatory and at the core of the security-conscious society.

(...)"About 20 years ago, Israel’s military became one of the first world-wide to allow females into some combat positions and has since gradually opened 85% of roles to females, including combat roles in the air force, artillery and intelligence. Still, participation of women in combat units remained small until recently. In 2012, 3% of females were in such roles.

"Many Israeli women see combat roles as a springboard to the top echelons of the military, politics and the corporate world. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and many other senior politicians have fought in special forces units.

"“It’s prestigious in Israel to be in a fighting unit,” said Pnina Sharvit Baruch, a senior research associate at Institute for National Security Studies and former colonel in the military’s law department. “It opens up opportunities and women want to be part of that.”

"Not everyone is persuaded the time has come for such changes." Read the article: Israel Grapples With Military’s Plan to Open Combat Roles to Women - Mixed-gender units have been in fire fights, but some object to a wider role for female soldiers. By Rory Jones, Dec. 28, 2016 The Wall Street Journal

Related articles:

Congress May Not Require Women to Register for Draft - November 10, 2016

Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft - December 01, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016

Saturday, December 24, 2016

WQXR Features Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party

Join violinist Itzhak Perlman at 5 pm on Dec. 24 and 9 pm on Dec. 26, as he tells the story of the Jewish festival of lights and shares his favorite recordings for the holiday — some serious, some silly. This special features music from Perlman’s radio-addicted childhood in Israel, including evocative songs in Yiddish and Ladino, classical music that revolves around the Maccabee heroes of the Chanukah story and gems by American folk singers. Itzhak Perlman’s Chanukah Radio Party - WQXR December 06, 2015

Friday, December 23, 2016

Thought Experiment: What If the U.S. Had 100% Open Borders?

"Economist Nathan Smith has long been a supporter of the U.S. opening its borders. He's argued that the American polity would "endure and flourish" if it elected to lay out 2,000 miles of welcome mats rather than building a Trumpian wall. He's claimed that unencumbered movement of peoples from land to land would result in worldwide GDP doubling, though not without some serious social destabilization. Still, he predicted the U.S. could handle an influx of 150-200 million immigrants over a span of several decades.

(...)"Smith wrote again on the topic of open borders a couple weeks ago in a piece that plays out like a giant thought experiment. Smith's hypothetical situation: If all borders were opened and 1 billion people immigrated to the United States over the course of 50 years, could the country maintain its "political character and structure"? Smith thinks not.

(...)"What's most interesting is how Smith conjures a scenario out of which American constitutional democracy becomes so destabilized that it collapses beneath its own weight. We'd be looking at a new world order and an American polity unrecognizable compared to the present. For many people, that might sound like a reason to scrap a 100 percent open-border policy. Smith is not one of those people. He's got a bone to scrap with American politics and wouldn't mind it turning into collateral damage amidst the rush of a brave new society..." Read the article: Thought Experiment: What If the U.S. Had 100% Open Borders? Over a year ago by Robert Montenegro, Big Think

Related article: If People Could Immigrate Anywhere, Would Poverty Be Eliminated? -- Some economists are pushing for "open borders" by Shaun Raviv, Apr 26, 2013 The Atlantic

Monday, December 12, 2016

Internment of German Americans

Image via
Photos show South Texas internment camp during WWII
By Steve Bennett, January 20, 2015

From Wikipedia: "The internment of German Americans refers to the detention of German nationals and German-American citizens in the United States during the periods of World War I and of World War II. During World War II, the legal basis for internment was under Presidential Proclamation 2526, made by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the authority of the Alien and Sedition Acts.[1]

(...) "During WWII, the United States detained at least 11,000 ethnic Germans, overwhelmingly German nationals.[2] The government examined the cases of German nationals individually, and detained relatively few in internment camps run by the Department of Justice, as related to its responsibilities under the Alien and Sedition Acts. To a much lesser extent, some ethnic German US citizens were classified as suspect after due process and also detained. Similarly, a small proportion of Italian nationals and Italian Americans were interned in relation to their total population in the US. The United States had allowed immigrants from both Germany and Italy to become naturalized citizens, which many had done by then." Internment of German Americans - Wikipedia

Related article:

"As was customary after Italy and the US were at war, they were classified as "enemy aliens" and some were detained by the Department of Justice under the Alien and Sedition Act. But in practice, the US applied detention only to Italian nationals, not to US citizens, or long-term US residents.[1] Italian immigrants had been allowed to gain citizenship through the naturalization process during the years before the war, and by 1940 there were millions of US citizens who had been born in Italy. Ethnic Italians were the largest group in the United States among nationals and ethnic descendants of the three peoples represented by the three Axis powers.[citation needed]" Internment of Italian Americans - Wikipedia

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Tracing the forgotten history of Italian-Canadian internment camps

Image: Christmas celebration at internment camp in Canada during WWII

"While most Canadians are familiar with the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War, it’s a lesser-known fact that many Italians also suffered a similar fate.

(...) "Most frequently, those interned were the heads of their households—the breadwinners—and the only thing keeping their families from poverty. And although none of them were ever charged with any criminal activity, some were kept imprisoned for up to two years."

Tracing the forgotten history of Italian-Canadian internment camps by Doug Sarti on March 5th, 2012 

Related articles: Italian-Canadian internment began when Italy declared war on Canada on June 10, 1940. Italian-Canadian internment - Wikipedia

List of concentration and internment camps - Wikipedia

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps

"“One Jap became mildly insane and was placed in the Fort Sill Army Hospital. [He]… attempted an escape on May 13, 1942 at 7:30am. He climbed the first fence, ran down the runway between the fencing, one hundred feet and started to climb the second, when he was shot and killed by two shots, one entering the back of his head. The guard had given him several verbal warnings.”

— FBI Report of the death of Ichiro Shimoda, a gardener from Los Angeles who had been taken from his family on December 7, 1941

Dorothea Lange’s Censored Photographs of FDR’s Japanese Concentration Camps by Tim Chambers, Anchor Editions

Related article: Japanese-Canadian internment - Wikipedia

Friday, December 09, 2016

Abe predecessor visited Pearl Harbor in 1951

"The news media widely reported this week that Shinzo Abe will be the first Japanese prime minister to visit Pearl Harbor when he goes later this month — but he won’t be.

"In 1951, then-Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida made a brief visit during a stopover in Hawaii on the way home from San Francisco, where he had signed a peace treaty with the Allied powers and other nations." Continue reading: Abe predecessor visited Pearl Harbor in 1951 -- The Japan Times, Dec. 8, 2016

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft

May we never alter the constitutional law that protects the young women of this country, so help us God. From ABC news: "The pronouncement from the Obama administration, while symbolic, is little more than a statement of support.

"In order for women to actually be mandated to sign up for the draft, it would require an act of Congress to alter current law. There is little evidence of support for such a measure in Congress, with the administration announcement coming on the heels of Congress eliminating the women-in-the draft provision from the National Defense Authorization Act." Read the article: Obama Supports Women Registering for Military Draft by Jordyn Phelps, Dec 1, 2016