[VIDEO] The Ultimate Inaugural Address 

Source: Washington Examiner


Harry Truman’s Atomic Bomb Decision: After 70 Years its Time to Replace Those Old Myths with Some New Ones

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J. Samuel Walker writes: President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb against Japan in 1945 is arguably the most contentious issue in all of American history. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki have generated an acrimonious debate that has raged with exceptional intensity for five decades. The spectrum of differing views ranges from unequivocal assertions that the atomic attacks were militarily and morally justified to claims that they were unconscionable war crimes. The highly polarized nature of the controversy has obscured the reasons Truman authorized the dropping of the bomb and the historical context in which he acted.

The dispute over the atomic bomb has focused on competing myths that have received wide currency but are seriously flawed. The central question is, “was the bomb necessary to end the war as quickly as possible on terms that were acceptable to the United bomb-bookStates and its allies?”

[Order J. Samuel Walker‘s book “Prompt and Utter Destruction: Truman and the Use of Atomic Bombs against Japan” from Amazon.com]

The “traditional” view answers the question with a resounding “Yes.” It maintains that Truman either had to use the bomb or order an invasion of Japan that would have cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and that he made the only reasonable choice. This interpretation prevailed with little dissent among scholars and the public for the first two decades after the end of World War II. It still wins the support of a majority of Americans. A Pew Research Center poll published in April 2015 showed that 56% of those surveyed, including 70% aged 65 and over, agreed that “using the atomic bomb on Japanese cities in 1945 was justified,” while 34% thought it was unjustified.

The “revisionist” interpretation that rose to prominence after the mid-1960s answers the question about whether the bomb was necessary with an emphatic “No.” Revisionists contend that Japan was seeking to surrender on the sole condition that the emperor, Hirohito, be allowed to remain on his throne. They claim that Truman elected to use the bomb despite his awareness that Japan was in desperate straits and wanted to end the war. Many revisionists argue that the principal motivation was not to defeat Japan but to intimidate the Soviet Union with America’s atomic might in the emerging cold war.

[Read the full text here, at TIME]

It is now clear that the conflicting interpretations are unsound in their pure forms. Both are based on fallacies that have been exposed by the research of scholars who have moved away from the doctrinaire arguments at the poles of the debate. Read the rest of this entry »


On this day in 1947, Truman established what became known as the Truman Doctrine


[VIDEO] The Buck Stops Where?


[PHOTO] This Week in History: August 14, 1945: President Truman Announced Japan’s Unconditional Surrender, Ending World War II

Victory and Loss, 1945

Official U.S. Navy Photograph. [Troopship returns], 1945. New-York Historical Society.

August 14, 1945: President Truman announced Japan’s unconditional surrender, ending World War II. American troops began returning to New York harbor soon after the German surrender in May 1945. Two million New Yorkers flocked to Times Square upon the announcement of Japan’s surrender on August 14, 1945, signaling the war’s end. While the Allies’ victory was widely celebrated, the country faced great losses; approximately 400,000 Americans were killed in the war, including 18,000 New Yorkers. (via)

vintage everyday


POLITICO’S Search For the Perfect Oxymoron

politico-oxymoron

The Search for a Communist Dwight D. Eisenhower

The Quest for a Female Richard Nixon

In Search of a Neo-Nazi Abraham Lincoln

Finding a Gay Harry Truman

The Snowmobile Craze in Death Valley

Seeking Teeny Jumbo Shrimp

Subsidized Snow Cones in Hell

 

 


They Had a Dream: Rule By Experts

President Obama Laughs with Aides on Air Force One

They wanted their chance, and they got it. They had it…

For The Weekly Standard, Noemie Emery writes: They had a dream. For almost a hundred years now, the famed academic-artistic-and-punditry industrial complex has dreamed of a government run by their kind of people (i.e., nature’s noblemen), whose intelligence, wit, and refined sensibilities would bring us a heaven on earth. Their keen intellects would cut through the WELL.v19-36.June2_.Emery_.ObamacareSigningclutter as mere mortals’ couldn’t. They would lift up the wretched, oppressed by cruel forces. Above all, they would counter the greed of the merchants, the limited views of the business community, and the ignorance of the conformist and dim middle class.

They blew it. They’re done.

Out of sorts and out of office after 1828, when power passed from the Adamses to the children of burghers and immigrants, they had begun to strike back by the 1920s, led by the likes of George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, H. L. Mencken, Herbert Croly, and Sinclair Lewis. Their stock in trade was their belief in themselves, and their contempt for the way the middle class thought, lived, and made and spent money: Commerce was crude, consumption was vulgar, and industry, which employed millions and improved the lives of many more people, too gross and/or grubby for words.41C7HuowRFL._SL110_

[Order Noemie Emery‘s book Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families from Amazon.com]

“For the American critics of mass culture, it was the good times of the 1920s, not the depression of the 1930s, 41eaIef4eCL._SL110_that proved terrifying,” says Fred Siegel, whose book The Revolt Against the Masses  describes and eviscerates this group and its aspirations.

[The Revolt Against the Masses is also available from Amazon.com]

In their dream world, “intellectuals, as well as poet-leaders, experts, and social scientists such as themselves would lead the regime,” as Siegel tells us. “It was thus a crucial imperative to constrain the conventional and often corrupt politics of middle-class capitalists so that these far-seeing leaders might obtain the recognition and power that was only their due. Read the rest of this entry »


Please, Congress, Do Much Less

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For Reason writes: You can’t swing a dead cat by the tail these days without hitting a news story about the lack of legislation issuing from the 113th Congress. From CNN to McClatchy to NPR to the L.A. Times, the air is thick with pieces lamenting that the 113th makes “the infamous ‘do-nothing Congress’ of the late 1940s look downright prolific.”

Apparently we’re all supposed to feel really bad about that.

Before the holiday break, Congress sent just 70 bills to the president’s desk. That compares — unfavorably, we are given to understand — with the 395 bills passed by the 80th Congress, whose supposed indolence Harry Truman ran against. It even compares unfavorably to the 112th Congress, which led to only 231 new laws.

The censorious pieces never stop to explain precisely why Congress should be judged according to the number of bills it passes. That’s simply assumed. This is one of those telltale signs of media bias that are always cropping up, if you keep your eyes open. (Here’s another: Run a Google News search for the terms “economic inequality” and “economic liberty.” The former shows up more than 50 times as often. Guess why.)

Unpack the assumption behind the stories about congressional productivity, and you find a bias toward statism: the notion that government action is inherently good, and that more government action is inherently better — and that this is true as an analytic proposition, entirely separate from whatever a particular government action might entail.

Which is pretty funny, when you stop to think.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Crossfire Guest Nick Gillespie: President Like ‘Hitler in the Bunker’

Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972), 1945 – 1953 the...

Gillispie said, of Sebelius, “she should have tendered her resignation,” and added “This is the biggest G.D. deal that a liberal administration has put forward since Harry Truman.”

“If the President didn’t know a couple days before how bad it was,” Gillespie added, “what is he, Hitler in the bunker? That is objectionable. ”

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...

“Almost as objectable as the Hitler reference,” a smiling Van Jones added, because this is Crossfire.

“He’s like Nixon,” Gillespie allowed. “Is that better?”

Read the rest of this entry »


Drained of Legitimacy: Liberalism in Crisis

crisistown
Michael Gerson writes: For liberals, it is a cruel twist of history that Harry Truman’s dream of universal health coverage, carried forward by generations of committed Democrats, should fall to the Obama administration for its fulfillment.Barack Obama seems to have adopted this cause in January 2007 as a lastminute speech insert. “We needed something to say,” one adviser told Politico. “I can’t tell you how little thought was given to that thought other than it sounded good.” Eventually, the Affordable Care Act was passed by a partisan vote, draining the law of legitimacy outside the Democratic Party. Over the next three years, Obama proved incapable of explaining Obamacare’s virtues and its popularity fell. Then its implementation was entrusted to a Cabinet secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, who gratuitously alienated religious groups and massively bungled the law’s rollout.

Obamacare is a multiyear, multifaceted fiasco. It is a case study in how to alienate a country you intend to help. And it could become an intellectual crisis for modern liberalism.

The “glitches” are shockingly serious systemic failures, which were caused, in part, by a political calculation. Read the rest of this entry »


NY Post: Bam’s policies leave longing for decisive W.

President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008.  (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

President Bush speaks during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

My old boss George W. Bush will never say it for himself, so I’ll say it for him: With President Obama’s foreign policy in tatters across the Middle East, maybe we’ve finally arrived at a moment where we can look at what we threw out when we replaced the Bush Doctrine with the Obama Doctrine.

Even calling the 44th president’s policy a doctrine is being generous. From the start, it had two chief components. One was the idea that you make your foreign-policy decisions based on domestic politics. The second was the new president’s apparent faith that the mere fact of his person would so dazzle the world that the lions would lie down with the lambs. Read the rest of this entry »


A Challenge to Young Obama Supporters

Millennials who enthusiastically voted him in should support his legacy and sign up for Obamacare.

By  Jonah Goldberg

Okay, young’ns, here’s your chance.

In two consecutive elections, you’ve carried Barack Obama to victory. When he said, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” he basically meant you. You voted for Obama by a margin of 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008, and, despite a horrendous economy for people your age, by nearly that much again in 2012.

The president announced his candidacy in 2007 by insisting, “This campaign can’t only be about me. It must be about us — it must be about what we can do together. This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. . . . This campaign has to be about reclaiming the meaning of citizenship, restoring our sense of common purpose, and realizing that few obstacles can withstand the power of millions of voices calling for change.”

And on the night of his reelection in 2012, he proclaimed, “The role of citizens in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us, together, through the hard and frustrating but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.”

Between those two elections, the president pandered to you like no president in American history. As I wrote last fall, he visited college campuses more often than a Red Bull delivery truck. He’s carried water for you on college loans like an aqueduct. He made sure you can stay on your parents’ health-care plans until you’re 26, which is a really nice consolation prize when you can’t find a job.

And not to put too fine a point on it, but you kids ate that stuff up. It reminded me of H. L. Mencken’s line about Harry Truman: “If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries, fattened at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Whenever curmudgeons like yours truly suggested that young people were getting caught up in a fad or that Obama was simply buying votes at the expense of taxpayers, you’d have a fit. You’d insist that millennials are not only informed, but eager to make sacrifices for the greater good.

Well, here’s your chance to prove it: Fork over whatever it costs to buy the best health insurance you can under Obamacare. Just in case you forgot, under Obamacare healthy young people such as yourself not only need to buy health insurance in order for the whole thing to work, but have to be overcharged for it. If you don’t pay more — probably a lot more — than what you could get today on the market in most states, Obamacare will come apart like wet toilet paper.

Read the rest of this entry »