Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Resources for February 25, 2014

Carlin, Dan. "Blueprint for Armageddon II." Hardcore History #51 (January 30, 2014) [The Great Powers all come out swinging in the first round of the worst war the planet has ever seen. Millions of men in dozens of armies vie in the most deadly and complex opening moves of any conflict in world history.]

Wesley Houp's description of the Tennessee Duck River region:

No sooner than it reaches Manchester, the first of a handful of towns nestled along its banks, the Barren Fork veers to the southwest, dropping dramatically over the Fort Payne Formation (the hard layer of chert undergirding the softer, less consolidated limestone) at Blue Hole and Big Falls. Here, the Little Duck River falls precipitously in from the east, and the two streams form a natural moat around the mysterious, 2,000 year-old Native American ceremonial structure known as Old Stone Fort. As Edward Luther notes in Our Restless Earth: The Geologic Regions of Tennessee, the ancient structure, consisting of heavy stonewalls covered with earth and circumscribing a 50-acre plateau, immediately suggests a defensive fortification, thus its modern name, Old Stone Fort. But more recent hypotheses suggest the structure served more benign purposes as a sort of celestial observatory. The structure’s once-colossal entryway arch, evidenced today by only two overgrown pedestal mounds, aligns with the sun during the summer solstice. Whatever its function might have been, archeologists are fairly certain of its builders. Radiocarbon dating of charcoal excavated from the site points to the McFarland culture, natives who occupied the upper Duck during the Middle Woodland Period between 200 B.C. and 200 A.D. Construction probably began some time in the first century A.D., but after 400 years of continuous habitation along the Duck River, the McFarland peoples mysteriously gave way to the Owl Hollow Culture, who concluded construction of Old Stone Fort around 550 A.D. For reasons that are unclear, by 600 A.D. they, too, abandoned the area.

"It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking . . . That is all someone in my sort of job can do." -- BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson (2014)

"My own concern is primarily the terror and violence carried out by my own state, for two reasons. For one thing, because it happens to be the larger component of international violence. But also for a much more important reason than that; namely, I can do something about it. So even if the U.S. was responsible for 2 percent of the violence in the world instead of the majority of it, it would be that 2 percent I would be primarily responsible for. And that is a simple ethical judgment. That is, the ethical value of one’s actions depends on their anticipated and predictable consequences. It is very easy to denounce the atrocities of someone else. That has about as much ethical value as denouncing atrocities that took place in the 18th century." -- Noam Chomsky(2012)

Merriam-Webster Word-of-the-Day

solatium \soh-LAY-shee-um\

noun: a compensation (as money) given as solace for suffering, loss, or injured feelings

The judge ordered the company to pay a solatium to each of the unjustly fired workers.

"The amount of cash a politician was required by tradition to dispense regularly in the form of wedding gifts and funeral solatiums for people in his ever-expanding constituency was now, by itself, enough to bankrupt most wealthy men." — From Robert Whiting's 1999 book Tokyo Underworld : The Fast Times and Hard Life of an American Gangster in Japan

In legal circles, a solatium is a payment made to a victim as compensation for injured feelings or emotional pain and suffering (such as the trauma following the wrongful death of a relative), as distinct from payment for physical injury or for damaged property. Like many legal terms, "solatium," which first appeared in English in the early 19th century, is a product of Latin, where the word means "solace." The Latin noun is related to the verb "solari," which means "to console" and from which we get our words "solace" and "console."

Kocher, Greg. "Experts encourage Jessamine community to protect its rare plants, animals." Lexington Herald-Leader (February 23, 2014)

Latin Radical podcast: "CISPES observers at Salvadoran Elections 2014"

Recommended: current issue #92 of Cineaction on Politics & Cinema

"Noam Chomsky (Linguist/Political Economy/Historian/Philosopher/Cognitive Scientist)" [Ongoing Dialogic archive]

"Michael Ratner: Lawyer/Civil Liberties/Human Rights/President of Center for Constitutional Rights" [Ongoing Dialogic archive]

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