May 6, 2017

Posted by orrinj at 6:17 PM

SEPARATED AT BIRTH:

Sanders defends Trump's praise of Australian healthcare system (Reuters, 5/06/17)

 U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said on Saturday that President Donald Trump was right to call Australia's universal healthcare system better than the U.S. system.Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, also said the Senate should use the Australian system as a model while crafting an alternative to Republican healthcare legislation that Trump endorses.

"President Trump is right. The Australian healthcare system provides healthcare to all of its people at a fraction of the cost than we do," Sanders commented on Twitter.

Posted by orrinj at 9:09 AM

TOO MANY JOBS; NOT ENOUGH WORK:

What Has Failed in France (Bret Stephens, MAY 5, 2017, NY Times)

A more honest account of France's travails starts -- and pretty much ends -- with what the French often call their "social model." France ranks first in the O.E.C.D.'s tables for government spending (57 percent of gross domestic product, tied with Finland) and welfare spending (31.5 percent). As of 2014, the total tax take was second only to Denmark's.

This isn't just a tax-and-spend model of government. More like: tax-spend-cosset-strangle. At least until the outgoing government of President François Hollande managed to ram through some modest labor-market reforms last year, the French labor code ran to over 3,000 pages.

The code is designed to make firing a full-time employee as difficult as possible -- which makes hiring them that much more unlikely. As The Times's Adam Nossiter reported last year, "90 percent of jobs created in France" in 2015 were "unstable, poorly paid and short term."

None of this is a mystery to a majority of the French, though it often eludes credulous foreigners who extol the benefits of the French model without counting or being subject to its costs. The French twice elected conservative presidents -- Jacques Chirac in 1995 and Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 -- on the strength of promises to pare the state. Twice disappointed, they turned to the Socialist Hollande in 2012, but his flirtation with soak-the-rich policies was short-lived.

(Recent polls have been cruel to the president, but like Germany's Gerhard Schroder, he will be remembered as one of the more courageous economic reformer in recent history, if perhaps only because he had so little politically to lose.)

Assuming Macron wins, his challenge won't simply be political. It will also be pedagogical. Le Pen has offered him a relatively easy ideological foil, given how thoroughly tainted her party is by xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Yet it's one thing to make the abstract case for openness, competitiveness and globalization in the face of a bigot. The harder climb will be to press for changes that inevitably take things away from people.

The paradox of France is that it is desperate for reform -- and desperate not to be reformed. It wants the benefits of a job-producing competitive economy but fears relinquishing a job-protecting uncompetitive one. A Macron presidency will have to devote its intellectual and rhetorical energies to explaining that it can be one or the other, but not both.

Of course, Macron will not be able to reform anything either, not just because his "party" will not exist in the legislature but because the Anglospheric neoliberalism (openness, competitiveness and globalization) he espouses is premised on making all jobs "unstable, poorly paid and short term."  

Posted by orrinj at 8:58 AM

ID, EGO AND SUPEREGO:

Star Trek: Five Decades Later (Bradley J. Birzer, 5/03/17, Imaginative Conservative)

Though last year officially marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Star Trek franchise, such dating is more for PR and marketing than for history and reality. As it turns out, Star Trek is several years older than the first appearance of the first episode, "The Man Trap," on September 8, 1966. The creator, Gene Roddenberry, had produced a sixty-four-minute Star Trek movie/pilot entitled "The Cage" in 1964. The studio, however, owned by Lucille Ball, thought the show excellent but too intellectual for the public. That movie, which revolved around an exhausted Captain Christopher Pike (played by Jeffrey Hunter of The Searchers fame), involved an exploration of a planet controlled by Oz-like characters, with immense and mildly abusive telepathic powers. While 'The Cage" is certainly Star Trek, the only major character to carry over from the 1964 version to the 1966 version was Leonard Nimoy's diabolic-appearing Vulcan, Mr. Spock (according to naval tradition, "Mister" is a common title). One might, I suppose, also include the carryover of the actual starship, the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701, as well. Still, while the Enterprise was the same on the outside, the inside was more mechanical and less stylized than the 1966 version, and Mr. Spock smiled and got excited in his earliest incarnation.

In a nearly unprecedented move, the studio not only paid for that original movie (not aired as originally produced in 1964 until 1988) but paid Roddenberry to write a second one, a pilot for a T.V. series. Ball, as it turned out, loved science fiction and prophetically believed that it would prove the future of television and film. Sadly, she herself became so involved in her own divorce and failed married life that she had to sell her Desilu Studio to Paramount before ever making any money on her investment. Star Trek, of course, would go on to become one of Paramount's greatest money-makers, though it had been Ball who had initially supported Roddenberry and his then rather wacky concept of a western set in space, Wagon Train to the Stars (the original name for the Star Trek series).

From the beginning, Roddenberry wanted the show to be allegorical, dealing with real-world problems and the struggles of civilization. In the original series, he very consciously wanted Kirk to represent John F. Kennedy and his "New Frontier"; Spock to be the good Roman Stoic and republican; and Leonard "Bones" McCoy to be a (no joke!) H.L. Mencken. In the first five-year mission of the Enterprise, the ship would explore the farthest reaches of known space, barely scratching the surface of the immense complexities of the galaxy. The stories worked best when Kirk stood for willful impulse; Spock for aristocratic reason; and Bones for democratic passions. From the beginning, Roddenberry attracted some of the best writing talent available, including Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Harlan Ellison.



Posted by orrinj at 8:40 AM

WE ARE ALL DESIGNIST NOW:

What Happens When You Mix Thermodynamics and the Quantum World? A Revolution (NATALIE WOLCHOVER, 05.06.17, Wired)

[O]ne of the strangest things about the theory is that these rules seem subjective. A gas made of particles that in aggregate all appear to be the same temperature--and therefore unable to do work--might, upon closer inspection, have microscopic temperature differences that could be exploited after all. As the 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell put it, "The idea of dissipation of energy depends on the extent of our knowledge." [...]

In an 1867 letter to his fellow Scotsman Peter Tait, Maxwell described his now-famous paradox hinting at the connection between thermodynamics and information. The paradox concerned the second law of thermodynamics--the rule that entropy always increases-- which Sir Arthur Eddington would later say "holds the supreme position among the laws of nature." According to the second law, energy becomes ever more disordered and less useful as it spreads to colder bodies from hotter ones and differences in temperature diminish. (Recall Carnot's discovery that you need a hot body and a cold body to do work.) Fires die out, cups of coffee cool and the universe rushes toward a state of uniform temperature known as "heat death," after which no more work can be done.

The great Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann showed that energy disperses, and entropy increases, as a simple matter of statistics: There are many more ways for energy to be spread among the particles in a system than concentrated in a few, so as particles move around and interact, they naturally tend toward states in which their energy is increasingly shared.

But Maxwell's letter described a thought experiment in which an enlightened being--later called Maxwell's demon--uses its knowledge to lower entropy and violate the second law. The demon knows the positions and velocities of every molecule in a container of gas. By partitioning the container and opening and closing a small door between the two chambers, the demon lets only fast-moving molecules enter one side, while allowing only slow molecules to go the other way. The demon's actions divide the gas into hot and cold, concentrating its energy and lowering its overall entropy. The once useless gas can now be put to work.

Maxwell and others wondered how a law of nature could depend on one's knowledge--or ignorance--of the positions and velocities of molecules. If the second law of thermodynamics depends subjectively on one's information, in what sense is it true?

A century later, the American physicist Charles Bennett, building on work by Leo Szilard and Rolf Landauer, resolved the paradox by formally linking thermodynamics to the young science of information. Bennett argued that the demon's knowledge is stored in its memory, and memory has to be cleaned, which takes work. (In 1961, Landauer calculated that at room temperature, it takes at least 2.9 zeptojoules of energy for a computer to erase one bit of stored information.) In other words, as the demon organizes the gas into hot and cold and lowers the gas's entropy, its brain burns energy and generates more than enough entropy to compensate. The overall entropy of the gas-demon system increases, satisfying the second law of thermodynamics.

The findings revealed that, as Landauer put it, "Information is physical." The more information you have, the more work you can extract. Maxwell's demon can wring work out of a single-temperature gas because it has far more information than the average user.

But it took another half century and the rise of quantum information theory, a field born in pursuit of the quantum computer, for physicists to fully explore the startling implications.

Over the past decade, Popescu and his Bristol colleagues, along with other groups, have argued that energy spreads to cold objects from hot ones because of the way information spreads between particles. According to quantum theory, the physical properties of particles are probabilistic; instead of being representable as 1 or 0, they can have some probability of being 1 and some probability of being 0 at the same time. When particles interact, they can also become entangled, joining together the probability distributions that describe both of their states. A central pillar of quantum theory is that the information--the probabilistic 1s and 0s representing particles' states--is never lost. (The present state of the universe preserves all information about the past.)

Over time, however, as particles interact and become increasingly entangled, information about their individual states spreads and becomes shuffled and shared among more and more particles. Popescu and his colleagues believe that the arrow of increasing quantum entanglement underlies the expected rise in entropy--the thermodynamic arrow of time. A cup of coffee cools to room temperature, they explain, because as coffee molecules collide with air molecules, the information that encodes their energy leaks out and is shared by the surrounding air.

Understanding entropy as a subjective measure allows the universe as a whole to evolve without ever losing information. Even as parts of the universe, such as coffee, engines and people, experience rising entropy as their quantum information dilutes, the global entropy of the universe stays forever zero.

Renato Renner, a professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, described this as a radical shift in perspective. Fifteen years ago, "we thought of entropy as a property of a thermodynamic system," he said. "Now in information theory, we wouldn't say entropy is a property of a system, but a property of an observer who describes a system."

The system being a property of the observer.

Posted by orrinj at 8:25 AM

"LET NO MORE BE HEARD OF CONFIDENCE IN MAN":

Were the Framers Democrats? : Review of The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution, by Michael J. Klarman (CASS SUNSTEIN, New Rambler)

[W]hile Klarman greatly admires the framers, his second goal is to show that they were elitists, in a sense even aristocrats, skeptical about the very idea of popular sovereignty.

James Madison, the father of the Constitution, thought that "the people could not be trusted to intelligently rule themselves" (p. 4). Klarman urges that committed to this belief, the framers undertook a kind of coup, and it was anything but a democratic one. The framers believed in "the natural aristocracy of virtue, talent, and education - men like themselves" (p. 600). They were affirmatively hostile to democracy (p. 606). Their invocation of popular sovereignty was strategic, not sincere. More particularly, "the Constitution was designed in part to block legislation for tax and debt relief," and therefore "represented a victory for one party in a debate that genuinely had two sides" (p. 5). Modern Americans are entitled to hold the framers in the highest regard, but they should not revere them, or refrain from asking about the inconsistency of their handiwork "with our basic (democratic) political commitments."

The Framers' Coup might well be the best book ever written on the founders and their handiwork. [...]

Klarman offers detailed, unfailingly even-handed accounts of the central issues, including the perceived need to expand the powers of the national government, the fights between the small and large states, the architecture of checks and balances, and the ugly but perhaps also essential compromises on slavery. ("To have expected the Constitution to be less protective of slavery than it was probably have been unrealistic.  Because all the delegates to the Constitutional Convention wished to preserve the union, southerners enjoyed considerable bargaining power." P. 303.) If you are generally interested in the Constitution - and tend to side with today's self-proclaimed constitutionalists, who make grand claims about what the document was really about, and which current political disputes it resolves in their favor - Klarman will be your best guide, the kind of teacher you never thought you'd find.

An especially important point here is that the framers wanted to increase the authority of the national government, not to weaken or disable it; they were centralizers. Also important is that they sought a "powerful unitary executive" (p. 226). Even if you are a constitutional specialist and think you know all about the founding generation, you'll learn an extraordinary amount from him. It is true that the various strands of the argument are available elsewhere - including, of course, the debates between large and small states, the compromises on slavery, and the desire to strengthen the central government - and that on particular points, Klarman does not break a lot of fresh ground. But with the sheer accumulation of fascinating details, and the careful, comprehensive elaboration of the precise steps that led from the failure in Annapolis to the Bill of Rights, Klarman has produced something genuinely new.

The Founding Fathers' Power Grab : Was the Constitution designed to make the United States less democratic? (MATTHEW C. SIMPSON, September 29, 2016, New Republic)

https://newrepublic.com/article/137310/founding-fathers-power-grab

The proposed government was less democratic than either the Articles of Confederation or the individual state constitutions. For example, the president would be chosen by an Electoral College rather than by citizens themselves; senators would be appointed by state legislatures; the smallest state would have as many senators as the largest; there were no term limits for any office and no means to recall federal officials; the House of Representatives was small (only 65 members originally), meaning that electoral districts would be geographically vast; and the so-called Supremacy Clause seemed to dissolve the sovereignty of the states altogether. Anti-Federalists (those who opposed the Constitution) had good reason to argue that its true purpose was, as one of them put it, the "transfer of power from the many to the few." The democratic impulses of the Revolutionary Era now came to bear in opposition to the Constitution, both in the press and at the ratifying conventions.

In his impressive new book, The Framers' Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution, Bancroft Prize-winning legal historian Michael J. Klarman seeks to understand why the Framers produced such an undemocratic plan in the first place, and how they managed to get it approved over strong opposition in the state conventions. At the risk of oversimplifying--the book comes in at more than 800 pages--Klarman argues that the Constitution is undemocratic because it was designed to protect wealthy merchants and landowners from the redistributive tendencies of popular government. "The Constitution was," he writes, "a conservative counterrevolution against what leading American statesmen regarded as the irresponsible economic measures enacted by a majority of state legislatures in the mid-1780s."  [...]

There is no question that many of the men who attended the Constitutional Convention had become disillusioned with democracy in the post-revolutionary period. Even aside from their concerns about debt relief and taxation, the political developments of the 1780s seemed to them catastrophic. "Our credit as a nation is sinking," said Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman. "The resources of the country could not be drawn out to defend us against a foreign invasion, nor the forces of the Union to prevent a civil war." If things continue on their present course, said Edmund Randolph of Virginia, "The union will be dissolved, the dogs of war will break loose, and anarchy and discord will complete the ruin of this country." In the summer preceding the Constitutional Convention, Rufus King of Massachusetts said plainly, "It is not possible that the public affairs can be in a much worse situation."

While some of the blame could be put on the Articles of Confederation, which gave the central government insufficient power to organize national affairs, many observers thought the deeper problem was democracy itself. The American people did not seem to be up to the task of broadly based self-government. "We have," George Washington wrote, "probably had too good an opinion of human nature in forming our confederation." Pennsylvania physician Benjamin Rush was less diplomatic. "What is the present moral character of the citizens of the United States?" he asked during the ratification controversy. "I need not describe it.... Nothing but a vigorous and efficient government can prevent their degenerating into savages." "Democracy," he insisted, "is the devil's own government." By the late-1780s it had become conventional wisdom among political elites that, as Elbridge Gerry put it, "the evils we experience flow from an excess of democracy." The Constitution was designed to reverse the democratic trajectory of American politics.

The delicious irony of the Revolution is that it produced a monarchy more powerful than the British, though elective.
Posted by orrinj at 8:18 AM

THE 21ST CENTURY VERSION OF THE MOLOTOV/RIBBENTROP PACT:

French candidate Macron claims 'massive' hack as emails leak (REUTERS,MAY 5, 2017) 

Former economy minister Macron's campaign has previously complained about attempts to hack its emails, blaming Russian interests in part for the cyber attacks.

On April 26, the team said it had been the target of a attempts to steal email credentials dating back to January, but that the perpetrators had failed to compromise any campaign data.

The Kremlin has denied it was behind any such attacks, even though Macron's camp renewed complaints against Russian media and a hackers' group operating in Ukraine.

Vitali Kremez, director of research with New York-based cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, told Reuters his review indicates that APT 28, a group tied to the GRU, the Russian military intelligence directorate, was behind the leak. He cited similarities with U.S. election hacks that have been previously attributed to that group.

APT28 last month registered decoy internet addresses to mimic the name of En Marche, which it likely used send tainted emails to hack into the campaign's computers, Kremez said. Those domains include onedrive-en-marche.fr and mail-en-marche.fr.

"If indeed driven by Moscow, this leak appears to be a significant escalation over the previous Russian operations aimed at the U.S. presidential election, expanding the approach and scope of effort from simple espionage efforts towards more direct attempts to sway the outcome," Kremez said.

Posted by orrinj at 7:53 AM

DONALD APPROVES PIPELINE THAT UR BLOCKED:

Trump transition raised flags about Flynn Russia contacts (Julie Pace, 5/06/17, AP)

In late November, a member of Donald Trump's transition team approached national security officials in the Obama White House with a curious request: Could the incoming team get a copy of the classified CIA profile on Sergey Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States?

Marshall Billingslea, a former Pentagon and NATO official, wanted the information for his boss, Michael Flynn, who had been tapped by Trump to serve as White House national security adviser. Billingslea knew Flynn would be speaking to Kislyak, according to two former Obama administration officials, and seemed concerned Flynn did not fully understand he was dealing with a man rumored to have ties to Russian intelligence agencies.

To the Obama White House, Billingslea's concerns were startling: a member of Trump's own team suggesting the incoming Trump administration might be in over its head in dealing with an adversary.

The request now stands out as a warning signal for Obama officials who would soon see Flynn's contacts with the Russian spiral into a controversy that would cost him his job and lead to a series of shocking accusations hurled by Trump against his predecessor's administration.

In the following weeks, the Obama White House would grow deeply distrustful of Trump's dealing with the Kremlin and anxious about his team's ties. The concern -- compounded by surge of new intelligence, including evidence of multiple calls, texts and at least one in-person meeting between Flynn and Kislyak -- would eventually grow so great Obama advisers delayed telling Trump's team about plans to punish Russia for its election meddling. Obama officials worried the incoming administration might tip off Moscow, according to one Obama adviser.

Posted by orrinj at 7:49 AM

THE FRUIT OF SOCIALISM IS THE ABSENCE OF FRUIT:

Venezuela Is Starving : Once Latin America's richest country, Venezuela can no longer feed its people, hobbled by the nationalization of farms as well as price and currency controls (Juan Forero, 5/06/17, WSJ)

Venezuela has the world's highest inflation--estimated by the International Monetary Fund to reach 720% this year--making it nearly impossible for families to make ends meet. Since 2013, the economy has shrunk 27%, according to local investment bank Torino Capital; imports of food have plunged 70%.

Hordes of people, many with children in tow, rummage through garbage, an uncommon sight a year ago. People in the countryside pick farms clean at night, stealing everything from fruits hanging on trees to pumpkins on the ground, adding to the misery of farmers hurt by shortages of seed and fertilizer. Looters target food stores. Families padlock their refrigerators.

Three in four Venezuelans said they had lost weight last year, an average of 19 pounds, according to the National Poll of Living Conditions, an annual study by social scientists. People here, in a mix of rage and humor, call it the Maduro diet after President Nicolás Maduro.

Whereas, capitalism works so well the "poor" get fat and we burn excess food for aesthetic reasons.

Posted by orrinj at 7:43 AM

WHICH LEAVES THE ECONOMIC AND GEO-POLITICAL REASONS TO TAX CARBON:

THE CLIMATE DEBATE IS SETTLED...EXCEPT FOR THE PART THAT ISN'T : Even Climate Science Has Some Known Unknowns (JEFF SCHECHTMAN, 5/06/17, Who.What.Why.)


While man-made climate change is settled science, the full consequences are still unknown and will probably always remain so. But that is no argument for inaction. In fact, citing uncertainty as a reason for doing nothing is a recipe for global disaster.

So says former New York Times journalist and climate expert Andrew Revkin, who was quoted in Bret Stephens' inaugural Times column on climate change and wrote his own oped in response to it.

Revkin tells WhoWhatWhy's Jeff Schechtman that the debate should focus on how we as a society can make the world less vulnerable to more frequent droughts, fires and floods that are expected as the planet's temperature rises.

He argues that the advocates of policies to address climate change should take care to emphasize the difference between the scientifically undisputed fact of global warming and the honest disagreements over the best ways to cope with its effects.

Revkin said both sides need to disarm from absolutism and accept an honest assessment of uncertainty and of the "known unknowns" in the area of policy. Clearly, what's needed is more conversation. Perhaps this was behind the decision by the New York Times to hire Stephens.  [...]

Andrew Revkin: [...] The one thing that gets missed in the climate debate is that the facts include a lot of things we don't know. In other words, it's clearly established that greenhouse gases function, that more of them warm the world, and that they're warming the world ... There's no other thing that explains warming since 1950, unless you include a dominant role for the build-up of greenhouse gases from people.

Those are basic things, the long-lived nature of CO2. You release, you burn a chunk of coal that's been in the ground for tens of millions of years and that's been out of circulation and you're adding more CO2 to the air, the CO2 lasts centuries if not longer in circulation, and then that builds like unpaid credit card debt. Just stopping your spending doesn't even necessarily reduce the amount of the air, just like it doesn't take away your debt if you slow down your rate of spending.

So those are all facts. But then here the hard thing is that one of ... And I've kind of said this a few times in pieces, there is 100% certainty that the most important aspects of the global warming problem are still durably unclear. And those are how warm is it going to get and that means from just some given build-up of CO2, you know there's greenhouse gases like doubling the amount that was there for a very long time before the industrial revolution, doubling the concentration in the atmosphere. Literally, since 1979 there's been more and more and more science and supercomputers and data thrown at this and we've had all those decades of accumulated climate patterns to look at. And the range of possibility is still basically from manageable to catastrophe, you know. From a couple of degrees to seven or more degrees centigrade.

That's kind of, it's the same. It's been the same. And actually the range widened between the last two reports from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. So it's almost approaching what I call, what you could call a known unknowable. There's no evidence that some magical new study a couple of years from now is going to suddenly say, oh, no, no, now we know for sure that it's going to be three or four degrees, a real danger to everything.

So that's a problem, because that means when you have that little of uncertainty, then that allows anyone, with a ... Well, if you have an agenda that means you can find your agenda in that uncertainty, whatever it is. And it means that the policy responses are tougher and it's always harder for us to ... It's different than if an asteroid was identified that's going to hit the world in 2035. And I've written a lot about that very scenario, where there'll be a day when an astronomer will spot an asteroid, and with precision he'll say ... You know, you can actually calculate cause the mathematics in astronomy are wonderful. Okay, it's going to hit the world on August 25, 2035, and we'd still have some thoughts about what to do. So, that's different than global warming.

And that's just one of the durable uncertainties as I wrote in my piece. I wrote a piece that responded to, that reflected on Bret's piece, for ProPublica, that included more granular issues that are also durably uncertain like, is Sub-Saharan Africa going to get wetter or dryer? Science doesn't know and still doesn't know after decades of science. So that means uncertainty ... And that's one of the things. He was pointing out the uncertainty. There's tons of it and it's real. And the science has never hidden that or the debates have hidden that sometimes, but not the science.



Posted by orrinj at 7:35 AM

THE LESSON MORSI SHOULD HAVE LEARNED:

How three million Germans died after VE Day : a review of After the Reich: From the Liberation of Vienna to the Berlin Airlift by Giles MacDonogh (Nigel Jones, 4/19/17, The Telegraph)

Giles MacDonogh is a bon viveur and a historian of wine and gastronomy, but in this book, pursuing his other consuming interest - German history - he serves a dish to turn the strongest of stomachs. It makes particularly uncomfortable reading for those who compare the disastrous occupation of Iraq unfavourably to the post-war settlement of Germany and Austria.

MacDonogh argues that the months that followed May 1945 brought no peace to the shattered skeleton of Hitler's Reich, but suffering even worse than the destruction wrought by the war. After the atrocities that the Nazis had visited on Europe, some degree of justified vengeance by their victims was inevitable, but the appalling bestialities that MacDonogh documents so soberly went far beyond that. The first 200 pages of his brave book are an almost unbearable chronicle of human suffering.

His best estimate is that some three million Germans died unnecessarily after the official end of hostilities. A million soldiers vanished before they could creep back to the holes that had been their homes. The majority of them died in Soviet captivity (of the 90,000 who surrendered at Stalingrad, only 5,000 eventually came home) but, shamingly, many thousands perished as prisoners of the Anglo-Americans. Herded into cages along the Rhine, with no shelter and very little food, they dropped like flies. Others, more fortunate, toiled as slave labour in a score of Allied countries, often for years. [...]

Given that what amounted to a lesser Holocaust was unfolding under their noses, it may be asked why the western Allies did not stop this venting of long-dammed-up rage on the (mainly) innocent. MacDonogh's answer is that it could all have been even worse. The US Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, favoured turning Germany into a gigantic farm, and there were genocidal Nazi-like schemes afoot to starve, sterilise or deport the population of what was left of the bombed-out cities.

Posted by orrinj at 7:23 AM

IT'S NOT TERRORISM WHEN WE DO IT:

Is A Jewish Group Funding Killers, While U.S. Slams Palestinians For The Same? (Naomi Zeveloff, May 6, 2017, Forward)

Last week, Israeli Channel 10 reported that Honenu, an Israeli legal aid group, has been paying thousands of dollars to Jewish killers, including Yosef Ben David, who was convicted of burning alive Palestinian teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir.

The Central Fund of Israel, a U.S. tax-exempt organization that funds 300 different charities around Israel, supports Honenu. Following the Channel 10 report, U.S. rabbinic human rights group T'ruah asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the Central Fund of Israel.

"As Americans, we should not allow donations subsidized by our tax dollars to support convicted terrorists," said Jill Jacobs, the executive director of T'ruah. "As Jews, we must reject any attempt to justify terrorist violence carried out in our name or in the name of the state of Israel."