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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Email to HNN from George L. Vogt, OHS Executive Director
SOURCE: Email to HNN from George L. Vogt, OHS Executive Director (3-14-09)
I think there is a real chance that OHS will see no appropriation for 2009-11. That, plus the other revenue losses, would take almost $2 million from the operating budget--somewhere in the 40 to 50% range. Much of the remaining budget is basic to whatever programs we operate: utilities, security, insurance, IT, development, finance, maintenance, etc. The museum/education staff consists of three full-time people.
Here is the statement we issued on March 13.
Update Regarding the Research Library
1. The Board of Trustees has authorized two additional positions in the library, which will enable OHS to provide access to archival collections, rare books, reference materials, and microfilm, in addition to photographs, films, and videos. These positions are funded through the end of May and may be renewed if funding is available. This brings total staffing to the level of 4.5 positions.
2. Library staff members will work with management and our wonderful library volunteers over the next two weeks to develop and announce a new schedule of hours for the library. The new schedule will be posted on the Society’s website as soon as it is available, on or before March 31.
3. The Board of Trustees is actively in discussion with various entities about long-term solutions for the library. The Board understands that the library collections are a major resource for scholars and the general public alike. The Board also understands that the dedicated library staff members are an important and irreplaceable asset because of their specialized knowledge of the collections. No one on the Board feels that closure or heavily restricted hours of access to the library is an acceptable long-term solution.
4. All members of the Board urge citizens to make their views about the library and state funding known to your state legislators. The process of developing the 2009-11 state budget has begun in Salem, and now is the time for action.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (3-14-09)
The previously unknown chronicle entry says Robin"infested" parts of England with" continuous robberies". Dr Luxford, an expert in medieval manuscript studies, said:"Rather than depicting the traditionally well-liked hero, the article suggests that Robin Hood and his merry men may not actually have been 'loved by the good'."The new find contains a uniquely negative assessment of the outlaw, and provides rare evidence for monastic attitudes towards him."
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (3-14-09)
It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return -- or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome "inheritance" of its predecessor.
Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems "inherited" from the Bush administration, using increasingly bracing language to describe the challenges his administration is up against. The "deepening economic crisis" that the president described six days after taking office became "a big mess" in remarks this month to graduating police cadets in Columbus, Ohio.
SOURCE: WaPo (3-12-09)
"That was an historic election," he said. "The country had had its fill," he continued, of a "failed president, and here's this man of the people, a much more democratic image being projected for a presidential candidate." The candidate was "very pragmatic" and, when necessary, "politically expedient." Inevitably, "the election was quite ugly."
Ultimately, there was no doubt about the outcome. "Lincoln very decisively wins that election," Evans said.
This nation is having a new birth of Lincoln. Encouraged by the Abe-obsessed 44th president, Washington is spending an extraordinary amount of time in the 1860s. This town has seen no fewer than 28 Lincoln commemorative events over two months, with more lectures, screenings, readings, exhibits and celebrations to come.
Name of source: Art Info (UK)
SOURCE: Art Info (UK) (3-12-09)
According to a new policy expected to be ratified by the Italian parliament tomorrow, a newly established civil protection committee will oversee restorations to the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill, and other ancient sites, and would be granted emergency powers, allowing it to avoid the usual bureaucratic obstacles when instituting changes. Many in the Italian archeology and arts community fear that the proposal is a first step toward dismantling the longstanding tradition of state-run conservation.
An online petition against the proposal has been signed by nearly 5,000 people, and archeology professionals have been staging protests at Culture Ministry, which have occasionally led to the temporary closing of ancient sites.
Opponents fear that it will lead to a privatization of Italy’s lucrative tourist sites and that the committee overseeing restorations will choose to forgo needed work in favor of other government projects that could generate more revenue.
Name of source: AFP
SOURCE: AFP (3-10-09)
The 16th-century artist celebrated for his dramatic chiaroscuro (light and shadow) paintings mastered "a whole set of techniques that are the basis of photography", Roberta Lapucci told AFP.
Caravaggio worked in a "darkroom" and illuminated his models through a hole in the ceiling, said Lapucci, who teaches at the prestigious Studio Art Centers International in the Tuscan capital.
The image was then projected on a canvas using a lens and a mirror, she said.
Caravaggio "fixed" the image, using light-sensitive substances, for around half an hour during which he used white lead mixed with chemicals and minerals that were visible in the dark to paint the image with broad strokes, Lapucci said.
She has hypothesised that Caravaggio used a photoluminescent powder from crushed fireflies, which was used at the time to create special effects in theatre productions.
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (3-13-09)
But based on recent polling and exit results from the November presidential elections, the war isn't a big concern for Americans.
The economy was the top issue in the election for 62 percent of voters questioned in exit polls November 4. The war was a distant second, with only 10 percent saying it was their top concern.
SOURCE: CNN (3-13-09)
Rabbi Schindler, who died in 2000, was a prominent clergyman who was a leader of Reform Judaism in the U.S. His eldest of five children, Elisa, says he invested his life savings with Madoff in 1996 but never met him.
With everything wiped out, Schindler's widow, Rhea, now must sell their family home in Connecticut. The family also is selling two sacred pieces of Judaica given to the rabbi as a retirement gift. Pieces, say Schindler, that would have been passed down to her sister who is a rabbi in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The pieces include a silver "Torah Crown," likely made in the United States in the 20th century, and a "Torah Pointer" that dates back to as early as 1780, according to Jonathan Greenstein, an auctioneer specializing in antique Judaica.
Greenstein says the "Torah Pointer" or "Yad" comes from the Netherlands and very few such items survived the Holocaust, adding "It's extremely rare, extremely, extremely rare."
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (3-13-09)
But neither of these legal titans can come close to the remarkable career of Ida Van Lindt, their secretary.
She is in her 53rd year at the district attorney’s office, a tenure that has taken her through eras of raging street crime and sophisticated white-collar swindles; of corrupt police officers, public officials and Wall Street schemers. As the gatekeeper of the personal and public lives of Mr. Hogan and Mr. Morgenthau — considered New York institutions in their own right — Ms. Van Lindt has had a courtside seat to crime fighting in the city unlike anyone else.
With Tibet closed to foreign journalists and much of the region suddenly, and mysteriously, troubled by patchy phone and Internet service, the only way to get a glimpse of contemporary Tibet these days is by visiting the Cultural Palace of Nationalities, a socialist-style confection whose current exhibition, “50th Anniversary of Democratic Reforms in Tibet,” is getting rave reviews from the soldiers, schoolchildren and government officials who are bused in day after day.
With its display cases of gruesome torture devices, grainy film scenes of mutilated faces and the “liberation” shots of beaming Tibetans, the exhibit is a propagandist tour de force that reinforces the Communist Party’s unbending version of history during what is referred to here as a “sensitive time.”
Lucca’s center-right city council recently stirred much contention, and accusations of racism, by prohibiting new ethnic food restaurants from opening within its gorgeous historical center.
This is, after all, a walled city. Many shops have been in the same families for generations. Some locals proudly trace their lineage, or imagined lineage, back to the Etruscans, who founded Lucca before the Romans took over about 180 B.C. With so much history, change comes hard.
Lucca is “very closed,” said Rogda Gok, a native of Turkey and the co-owner of Mesopotamia, a kebab restaurant, in the heart of the historical center. “In Istanbul there’s other food, like German and Italian, it’s no problem,” she added. “But here in Lucca, they only want Luccan food.”
The city and the state have jointly run the 172-acre island in the middle of New York Harbor since 2003, seeking to develop it as a unique recreational, historic and artistic destination 800 yards south of Lower Manhattan. But Gov. David A. Paterson did not put any money for the coming fiscal year into the island’s operating budget, which is rapidly running out of cash.
People with claims had to decide whether to accept an early, assured payment from the fund or take their chances in the courts, possibly facing legal hardball tactics, delays and the risk of losing.
In the end, a vast majority sought compensation from the fund, which paid out more than $7 billion to survivors of 2,880 people who were killed and to thousands of others who were injured.
Now, more than seven years after the attacks, a new court report suggests that the small minority who went their own way and sued made out better financially: 93 of the 96 claims have been settled, for an average of $5 million, or more than twice the average payment from the special fund.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (3-4-09)
They lie amongst 85 of their Canadian comrades who were buried at St Margaret's church in Bodelwyddan during World War I.
But these five soldiers were not killed battling the enemy or by the flu pandemic that claimed the lives of many of their fellow troops.
They were killed during riots in the town's Kinmel Camp in March 1919 after the war - and their deaths are still shrouded in mystery and confusion.
Despite much interest, historians still do not know exactly what happened and who killed the five men.
They also fear more people could have died in the riots than the official figures show.
But as the 90th anniversary of the riots is marked, researchers say they are still waiting for a complete answer.
George Owen, from London, who has researched the riots, said: "Ninety years on five graves at Bodelwyddan Churchyard are still the subject of some mystery.
Research into the riots has revealed that on March 4, 1919, a two-day riot kicked off in Kinmel Camp, where around 17,000 Canadian troops were being held waiting to be returned to Canada after the war.
Mr Owen said that following months of delays in being repatriated to Canada, the soldiers, who were living in overcrowded conditions, suffering a severe winter and some dying of flu, started a two-day rebellion which left the five men dead and another 28 injured.
He said a former Canadian corporal, Chester Arthur Greenfield, who was present during the riots, revisited the graves in 1978 and said that the officers kept promising the men they could go home.
The Canadians eventually became angry when they discovered that ships earmarked for them were sailing back to America with US soldiers on board, many of whom had apparently not seen action during the war.
SOURCE: BBC (3-13-09)
Former GP Hamish MacLeod had the model delivered in sections to his house in Moffat, in Dumfries and Galloway.
Dr Macleod, who has had a life-long passion for the iconic World War II fighter, then put it together with the help of friends.
He said he was delighted to have "the most fabulous looking aircraft ever" taking pride of place on his lawn.
Dr MacLeod intends to leave the model Spitfire to the people of Moffat, a town with close links to the aircraft.
Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding - credited with masterminding the Battle of Britain -was born in the town.
SOURCE: BBC (3-14-09)
Bronze castings, carrying the names, were unveiled at the Blitz Memorial in Old Dalnottar Cemetery.
Hundreds of Luftwaffe bombers took part in waves of attacks on local shipyards and munitions factories on the evenings of 13 and 14 March, 1941.
When the blitz was over, 528 people were dead and the town lay in ruins.
Entire families had been wiped out, 617 people were seriously injured and 48,000 people were homeless.
The new memorial, created by Clydebank artist Tom McKendrick, was commissioned by West Dunbartionshire Council, which undertook months of research to identify the names of those who died.
It was in response to requests from friends and relatives to have a permanent record of their loved ones.
Respects were also be paid to the 22 unclaimed and unidentified victims who are buried at the cemetery.
SOURCE: BBC (3-12-09)
Taleban sources told the BBC that Mullah Abdullah Zakir had led the fight against British forces stationed in Helmand province.
They say he now leads the insurgency in that province and across the south.
Mullah Abdullah was held in Guantanamo until December 2007. He was then handed over to the Afghans and later released.
Last month, UK government officials told the BBC he was now closely involved in planning attacks on British and other Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The Pentagon says more than 10% of 520 Guantanamo inmates released so far have returned to what it calls terrorism.
It says this complicates efforts to release and repatriate those still being held.
SOURCE: BBC (3-12-09)
Muntadar al-Zaidi had told the court his actions were "natural, just like any Iraqi" against a leader whose forces had occupied his country.
Shoe hurling is a grave insult in Arab culture, but Mr Bush - on a farewell trip to Iraq - shrugged off the attack.
Defence lawyers described the sentence as "harsh" and said they would appeal.
The head of Zaidi's team Dhiaa al-Saadi said the sentence was "not in harmony with the law" because his client had not meant to cause injury, but rather to express contempt for Mr Bush.
There has been no statement about the verdict from the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, which correspondents say suffered acute embarrassment over the incident.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (3-14-09)
Bin Laden, whose message was released in excerpts on Al-Jazeera TV, called Arab leaders hypocrites and accused them of sacrificing the Palestinians in Gaza and collaborating with Israel. The three-week offensive, which ended on Jan. 18, killed about 1,300 Palestinians, according to Palestinian human rights groups.
He did not mention any governments by name in the brief excerpts, but Egypt, in particular, drew criticism during the offensive for not opening its border with Gaza to more aid shipments and humanitarian cases.
"The Gaza holocaust, amid this prolonged embargo, is an important historic event and a catastrophe that shows the necessity of distinguishing Muslims from hypocrites," he said. "It is not right that our situation after Gaza will be as it used to be before. There should be serious work and preparation for jihad to fulfill righteousness and defeat evil."
SOURCE: AP (3-13-09)
Christopher Capone on Thursday laid the legal groundwork to get DNA samples that he hopes will prove Al Capone is his grandfather.
Capone, formerly Christopher Knight, has tried without success to obtain DNA samples from known male descendants of the man known as "Scarface."
But the 37-year-old says if he's not able to do so, he may request exhumation of the mobster's remains from Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery in the Chicago suburb of Hillside.
SOURCE: AP (2-25-09)
Landowners and their families claim the government promised to sell back farmland used to build Camp Breckinridge near Henderson after the war in the 1940s. Instead, the government sold it and the mineral rights without paying them. The federal government asked the court to deny the claim, saying the time to seek compensation had long passed.
SOURCE: AP (3-12-09)
Christian Popescu, 37, of suburban Kenmore, who emigrated to the area about 12 years ago from Constanta, Romania, pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to the sale or receipt of stolen goods.
The 18-carat gold bookmark, engraved with a portrait of Hitler, an imperial eagle and a swastika, was forfeited to the U.S. government.
Police in Spain said three men took it and some jewelry from a glass display case at the auction house Duran Subastas de Arte in Madrid during working hours on Oct. 16, 2002.
Name of source: IHT
SOURCE: IHT (3-14-09)
But in a much-anticipated court filing, the Justice Department argued that the president has the authority to detain terror suspects there without criminal charges, much as the Bush administration had asserted. It provided a broad definition of those who can be held, which was not significantly different from the one used by the Bush administration. The filing signaled that, as long as Guantánamo remains open, the new administration will aggressively defend its ability to hold some detainees there.
The Obama administration said it was relying on existing principles of the international law of war. A public statement indicated that the government was moving away from claims of expansive executive power often used by the Bush administration to justify Guantánamo.
The new administration took pains to try to point out that it was taking a different approach. It said the new definition "does not rely on the president's authority as commander in chief" beyond the powers authorized by Congress. The filing, in U.S. District Court in Washington, was meant to provide a definition of those detainees who can be held. It disappointed critics of Guantánamo, who said the filing seemed to continue the policies they have criticized for more than seven years.
Name of source: Art Daily
SOURCE: Art Daily (3-10-09)
The fragment is treated with a turquoise glaze and is adorned with floral patterns and a black inscription. While studying the artifact prior to publication, Rivka Cohen-Amin of the Israel Antiquities Authority discerned that the inscription on the neck of the vessel is written in Persian. The inscription consists of a line that was taken from a quatrain. The inscription, which was translated by Dr. Julia Rabanovich of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, reads: “Was once the embrace of a lover that entreat”.
The inscription will be published by Dr. Nitsan Amitai-Preiss of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, within the framework of the final excavation report.
According to Rivka Cohen-Amin the words are from the Rubaiyat, by the poet Omar Khayyam. Omar Khayyam was an astronomer, mathematician and one of the most famous Persian poets of the Middle Ages (11th-12th centuries CE).
The phenomenon of a Persian pottery vessel inscribed with a poem is known elsewhere in the world; however, this is the first occurrence of such a vessel in Israel.
The question of how the vessel came to be in Jerusalem is a mystery – was it brought here by merchants or could it possibly have been a gift someone presented to his Jerusalemite lover?
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (3-13-09)
Ouyang didn’t specify the measures China would take. Ouyang said the sale has violated international conventions and will affect the development of Christie’s International, which hosted the Paris auction, the English-language daily reported.
The dragon head, from the same clock and arguably the most- prized, might now be in the hands of Taiwanese collector, Hong Kong-based Headline Daily reported, citing Wang Du, an art buyer from the island. Wang declined to identify the collector, whom he said bought the item in 1988 for NT$5 million ($145,106).
The collector had wanted to auction the artifact and might have changed his mind after the furor over the sale of the rabbit and the rat, the report said, citing Wang.
Name of source: VOV News (Vietnam)
SOURCE: VOV News (Vietnam) (3-13-09)
At a press briefing in Lac Son district on March 11, scientists said Xom Trai Cave, recognised as a national archaeological site in 2001, is believed to be a tool workshop as well as a habitat for people of the Hoa Binh civilisation.
Hundreds of stone artifacts, including seats and cutting tools, weighing up to 10 kg each, and tens of millions of seashells have been discovered in 200 sqm area in the cave.
Researchers also discovered the oldest artifact of prehistoric art in Vietnam and two ancient tracks dating back 21,000 years. The ancient roads are the first of such discovery in southeast Asia.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
Architects labouring to finish the city's most famous landmark, the church of the Sagrada Familia, have said the monumental basilica will hold its first service next summer.
Gaudí began work on his most ambitious project in 1882 but his death in 1926 beneath the wheels of a tram in the Catalan capital meant completion of his opus was entrusted to future generations.
The project has been plagued with problems over the years leaving Spaniards and the five million tourists estimated to visit the bizarre structure each year wondering if it would ever be completed.
Now, the chief architect has announced that by the summer of 2010 the apse roof will be in place and Gaudí's daring cathedral with its soaring spires and sculptures fusing religious imagery with natural forms will at last be ready to fulfil its purpose and host Catholic Mass.
The 20,000 ton basilica, possibly the world's most famous unfinished building, has had a troubled history. Gaudi, known as 'God's architect' for his pious yet visionary obsession died penniless after sinking all his money into the project when public funds dried up.
During the Spanish Civil war of 1936-39 anarchists burned the original plans for the project leaving modern architects struggling to remain true to Gaudí's vision.
Fears for the foundations of the cathedral have been raised after approval was given last year for a high speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona that passes within metres of the structure.
It is thought that more than 30 cars, including a rare 1930s Morris Minor convertible, are among the collection discovered in Long Stratton, Norfolk.
They were found outside a rural cottage, whose owner, Jimmy Blanche, an eccentric former mechanic and bodywork repairer, died aged 80 in January.
Among the marques found were Austins, Rileys and Singers. A vintage Daimler, a Lea Francis, and a Sunbeam were also recovered.
The cars were hidden in undergrowth and left in derelict sheds, some with trees growing around them. They had not been driven since the 1950s.
It took a team of eight men two weeks to clear the site and dig out and remove the vehicles with the help of a fork-lift truck.
The Scandinavian invaders are remembered in history books as barbaric savages who pillaged towns and villages, and raped their women.
But new evidence shows that following their violent arrival, the Vikings lived in relative harmony with their Anglo-Saxon and Celtic counterparts.
Name of source: Huffington Post (Blog)
SOURCE: Huffington Post (Blog) (3-13-09)
When President Obama ventured to Capitol Hill to meet with House Republicans shortly after Inauguration, he was met by a barrage of questions about the deficit and out of control spending.
Obama's response reached back to the Great Depression. According to several Republicans in the room, Obama raised the specter of 1937, the year President Franklin Roosevelt succumbed to conservative pressure and cut spending, leading, economists insist, to a renewal of the economic collapse that has been dubbed the "recession within the Depression."
Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress also take the long view, sharing Obama's concern that pressure from the GOP to cut spending could reverse any economic gains made.
"We have to understand what took place during the Great Depression. There was deficit spending throughout the Great Depression and they stopped it a little too soon," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) the day after Obama addressed a joint session of Congress.
"President Obama has said he's going to look every place he can to save money, but we also recognize that we're going to have to spend some money to get out of this hole. Government is the only party that has any money," Reid said.
The Huffington Post asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) about FDR's decision to cut spending. "We're not going to let it happen again. In the middle '30s -- '36, etc. -- they were concerned about what was happening so they tightened their belts in terms of spending," she said, "and that caused a recession within the Depression, instead of keeping the momentum going."
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said that Democrats will be vigilant about cutting spending too soon. "The Keynesian view of the Depression and the way to deal with it is to make up for the lack of private spending by bringing in public spending. And whenever you try to balance the budget, you withdraw public spending. So there are people that speculated the downturn in 1937" was a result of cutbacks, said Waxman.
FDR was inaugurated in March 1933. Following a banking sector rescue, a devaluation of the dollar and massive government spending, the economy grew briskly in 1934, '35 and '36. He was reelected in a landslide of historic proportions.
In 1937, under intense pressure to shave the deficit, he sought to balance the budget by cutting spending and raising taxes. The economy turned back around.
"That's a lesson learned," said Pelosi. "Not that we would do that, but for those who might think that [cutting spending is] a good idea. When you have to stimulate, you have to stimulate. And that's what we have to do."
Congressional Republicans, meanwhile, have called for a "spending freeze."
"The President's budget is an anti-stimulus," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio.) "By taxing too much, spending too much, and borrowing too much, it will kill jobs, slow the economy even further, and hurt middle-class families and small businesses."
Christina Romer, the head of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, warned in a speech this week at the Brookings Institution of a "lesson from the Great Depression: beware of cutting back on stimulus too soon."
"Growth was very rapid in the mid-1930s," said Romer. "Real GDP increased 11 percent in 1934, nine percent in 1935 and 13 percent in 1936...Industrial production finally surpassed its July 1929 peak in December 1936."
Roosevelt succeeded in reducing the deficit by roughly 2.5 percent of GDP. But at a steep price: In 1937, GDP still grew, but only by five percent. It turned south in 1938, falling by three percent.
"[T]aking the wrong turn in 1937 effectively added two years to the Depression. The 1937 episode is an important cautionary tale for modern policymakers," said Romer, who extensively studied the period during her academic career. The private sector will recover eventually, she said, but "we will need to monitor the economy closely to be sure that the private sector is back in the saddle before government takes away its crucial lifeline."
Republicans don't join in the praise of deficit spending. In analyzing the Great Depression, the GOP blames protectionist trade policies for the reversal in economic growth.
"No, it's what he did all along," said Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) of Roosevelt, rejecting the notion that the '37 cutback hurt the recovery effort. "The Smoot-Hawley Tarriff, raising taxes--that's what kept us in the Depression so long."
Economists agree that tax hikes - done for the purpose of cutting the deficit -- were a big part of the '37 downturn. The federal government began collecting Social Security taxes that year, taking a big bite out of consumers' ability to spend.
Smoot-Hawley was passed in 1930 and is derided by free traders as the epitome of counter-productive protectionism. (Many Democrats also agree that the provision had negative implications for economic growth, but reject the idea that it played a major roll in the '37 reversal.)
"I think one of the major factors was protectionism and raising tariffs," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). "I think Smoot-Hawley, in the view of most historians...contributed to the worldwide Depression and basically caused a reduction in world trade that was dramatic."
McCain said that by 1937, wasteful spending caught up with the economy. "I also think that some of the quote stimulus that was used at that time was ineffective. They were basically make-work jobs that didn't have a permanent effect," he said.
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, said that there are key differences between today and the 1930s.
"You should not forget history, but you shouldn't slavishly follow it," he said. "We are not worried that Obama is going to do that" - cut spending prematurely - "at this point."
Frank said that once the spending kicks in, the pressure to cut it will diminish. "The anti-spending argument is at its strongest right now, because we've got the criticism without the benefits," he said.
"At some point we've got to reduce the deficit, but I don't think some version of right-wingism is coming back in fashion. If we're right, that spending is going to be more popular three and four and five months from now, because the economy starts to turn around, maybe at the end of the year, and there are police working and there are schools built. I expect to be taking credit for that all year."
Learning from past errors is one thing, said Waxman, but his parents wouldn't countenance referring to FDR's decision as a mistake.
"My parents would never tolerate anyone criticizing Franklin Roosevelt. They probably would be angry at Obama," said Waxman, had they heard his remarks to House Republicans.
"No one had a road map at that time. When I feel discouraged about where we are right now, the thing that gives me hope is that we've had people who've thought through depressions."
Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the top Republican on the Financial Services Committee, said he was staying out of the debate for now. "I don't feel qualified really to offer my own opinion on none of that," said Bachus. "I know a lot of members of Congress are very sure that they know the answer to every problem up here."
Name of source: http://www.sbindependent.org
SOURCE: http://www.sbindependent.org (2-21-09)
The letter, dated Sept. 26, 1780, was sent from the famed American general and president to Benjamin Tallmadge to inform him how one of Washington’s top spies would be compensated once the Revolutionary War was won. Washington promised the spy, a merchant named Robert Townsend, public recognition and money.
Name of source: St. Petersburg Times -- politifact.com
SOURCE: St. Petersburg Times -- politifact.com (3-13-09)
At the halfway point in President Obama's first 100 days, here's the score on our Obameter:
And if you want a quick overview how he's doing on the major ones, check out our Top 10 list.
Name of source: http://www.mgwashington.com
SOURCE: http://www.mgwashington.com (3-5-09)
“There’s a fundamental misconception that the American Revolution and War of 1812 took place only in the Northeast,” explained the bill’s sponsor, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rush Holt.
“In truth, the story of the American Revolution and the War of 1812 crisscrosses 33 states, from New York to Louisiana, from Georgia to Oregon,” he said.
Holt acknowledges a parochial interest, describing New Jersey as being at “the crossroads of the American Revolution.”
Name of source: DCExaminer
SOURCE: DCExaminer (3-13-09)
“The election of Kennedy was a deeply satisfying accomplishment in which every Irishman could take vicarious pleasure,” wrote historian William V. Shannon.
“It removed any lingering sense of social inferiority and insecurity.”
But the Irish put their mark on Washington from the very beginning.
Name of source: TheDailyBeast.com
SOURCE: TheDailyBeast.com (3-13-09)
SOURCE: TheDailyBeast.com (3-12-09)
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (3-13-09)
Given annually during Sunshine Week by the Emmy- and George Polk Award-winning National Security Archive at George Washington University, the Rosemary Award recognizes outstandingly bad responsiveness to the public that flouts the letter and spirit of the Freedom of Information Act. The Award is named after President Nixon's secretary Rose Mary Woods and the backwards-leaning stretch with which she erased an eighteen-and-a-half minute section of a key Watergate conversation on the White House tapes.
"The FBI knowingly uses a search process that doesn't find relevant records," commented Tom Blanton, the director of the Archive. "Not only does this woeful performance lead to unnecessary litigation, but the Bureau apparently uses the same searches in its criminal investigations as well."
During fiscal year 2008, the FBI gave "no records" responses to 57% of the requests it processed, more than any other major agency. The Bureau only provided documents (most redacted) in less than 14% of cases -- the lowest percentage of requests granted among the major agencies in the federal government. In 2007, the FBI responded with "no records" in 70% of its FOIA requests. In 2006, "no records" peaked at 74%; and in 2005, at 66% -- the four-year average.
"Modern information processing uses search algorithms and full-text retrieval to find and rank search results," said Blanton. "The FBI's process in contrast is designed to send FOIA requesters away frustrated, and no doubt has the same effect on the FBI's own agents."
The Archive has tracked FBI and other federal agency FOIA performance for the last eight years through a series of government-wide audits supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Open Government Surveys produced a series of recommendations that Congress adopted in the OPEN Government Act of 2007, which requires more accurate reporting by agencies and more responsive FOIA processing.
Name of source: Jeff Spurr in an email circulating on IraqiCrisis
SOURCE: Jeff Spurr in an email circulating on IraqiCrisis (3-13-09)
There has been much comment of late concerning the controversy surrounding the hurried opening of the Iraq Museum. What has not been addressed is the hit that Iraqi cultural institutions' budgets have been taking of late due to government claims that falling oil revenues demand them. This is particularly clear in the case of the Iraq National Library and Archive, where the budget-exclusive of support for staff-was cut a horrifying 60%. To put this in perspective, the book acquisitions budget for the INLA for 2007 was all of $7,000. One need not do the math to see how deprived of support this institution is, and its circumstances prompt the question of what budgetary strictures have been imposed on other major cultural institutions, including the Iraq Museum.
Jeffrey B. Spurr
Islamic and Middle East Specialist
Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture
Fine Arts Library, Harvard University
Fogg Art Museum
32 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138-3802
Name of source: CBS News
SOURCE: CBS News (3-13-09)
James Spirek of the South Carolina Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology has been on the water this week putting together the first comprehensive historical scan of the harbor bottom.
Name of source: WCBD-TV (Charleston, SC)
SOURCE: WCBD-TV (Charleston, SC) (3-12-09)
The local chapter of SCV known as General Ellison Capers Camp 1212 says for the past 2 years the schools should have been given a day off but were not. Confederate Memorial Day falls on May 10 and according to South Carolina guidelines should be observed like other legal holidays. That means if it’s on a Saturday like 2007 it should be observed on the preceding Friday, and if it falls on Sunday like in 2008 it should be observed the following Monday.
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (3-11-09)
The union, in a letter to a conservative organization lobbying for arrests in the case, accused Ayers and wife Bernardine Dohrn of bombing a city police station.
On Feb. 16, 1970, a bomb placed on a window ledge of Park Station killed Sgt. Brian McDonnell and injured eight other officers, the Chronicle reported.
[Ayers denies involvement in the bombing.]
Name of source: The Sydney Morning Herald
SOURCE: The Sydney Morning Herald (3-11-09)
Mr Ross joins a select group of the world's super centenarians as Australia's oldest man and the nation's sole surviving World War I veteran.
He enlisted to help the war effort in February 1918 but the war ended nine months later, before he saw active service.
Mr Ross' daughter Peggy Ashburn said her father was frail but otherwise in good health, eating well and not taking any medication.
Name of source: The Hill
SOURCE: The Hill (3-11-09)
The introduction of the measure, expected to happen within a month, will reignite a fierce debate in Congress.
Schiff's renewed push comes in the wake of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's recent visit to Turkey and President Obama's planned trip there next month.
Name of source: HNN Staff summary of Lee White's reports at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH)
These headlines from the National Coalition for History tell the story:
The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) will receive its highest level of funding in recent years under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending package (HR 1105), that was enacted into law this week. NARA's budget would jump 12 percent from the current $411 million to $459 million.
In a major victory, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) will receive its highest level of funding in five years under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105) that was enacted into law this week. The NHPRC received $9.25 million for grants (plus $2 million for administrative costs), $1.75 million more than in FY ’08.
The Smithsonian Institution will receive a $48.7 million increase under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105), enacted into law this week. The total budget for the Smithsonian would grow to $731.4 million from the current $682.6 million.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will receive nearly a $10 million increase under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105), enacted into law this week. The total budget for the NEH would grow to $155 million from the current $144.7 million.
The Teaching American History (TAH) grants program at the U.S. Department of Education will receive a modest $1 million increase under the fiscal year (FY) 2009 omnibus spending bill (HR 1105), that was enacted into law this week. The total budget for the program would grow to $118.9 million from the current $117.9 million. The Congress rejected the Bush administration’s request that the program be cut to $50 million.
On March 3, 2009, the House of Representatives passed two battlefield protection bills that authorize federal grants for the preservation of significant sites associated with the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Similar bills passed the House last year, but were not considered by the Senate before it adjourned.
Name of source: Forbes
SOURCE: Forbes (3-11-09)
After slipping in recent years, the U.S. is regaining its dominance as a repository of wealth. Americans account for 44% of the money and 45% of the list's slots, up seven and three percentage points from last year, respectively. Bill Gates lost $18 billion but regained his title as the world's richest man. Warren Buffett, last year's No. 1, saw his fortune decline $25 billion as shares of Berkshire Hathaway fell nearly 50% in 12 months. Mexican telecom titan Carlos Slim Helú maintains his spot in the top three but lost $25 billion.
Name of source: Times (UK)
SOURCE: Times (UK) (3-12-09)
Now new details have emerged of the extraordinary tale of the Polish officer who hatched a plot with the country's resistance to be rounded up by the occupying Germans in September 1940 and sent to the most notorious Nazi extermination centre.
At the time Auschwitz was predominantly a camp for captured resistance fighters, although Jews and anyone considered a threat to the Nazi regime were also being sent there.
Newly released documents from the Polish archives reveal how Mr Pilecki, going under the false name Tomasz Serafinski, went about setting up an underground resistance group in the camp, recruiting its members and organising it into a coherent movement.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (3-12-09)
The newly discovered panels, both 26 feet long and stacked on top of each other, were created around 300 BC and show scenes from the core Mayan mythology, the Popol Vuh.
It took investigators three months to uncover the carvings while excavating El Mirador, the biggest ancient Mayan city in the world, the site's head researcher, Richard Hansen, said on Wednesday.
The earliest written version of the Popol Vuh was discovered in the early 1700s by a Spanish colonial priest and the panels are the first known sculptural depictions of the main characters in the myth -- two hero twins, Hansen said.
"This is pre-Christian, it has tremendous antiquity and shows again the remarkable resilience of an ideology that's existed for thousands of years," Hansen, an Idaho State University archeologist who has worked at El Mirador for over a decade, said.
Name of source: China Daily
SOURCE: China Daily (3-11-09)
The SACH approved the excavation plan early this year, it said in a statement to Xinhua. The administration hasn't yet announced all details of the salvage plan, but the Guangdong provincial cultural heritage department will organize an excavation team, the statement said.
The 10-meter-long ship was found buried in the silt on the sea floor, about 5.6 nautical miles offshore from Shantou City, Guangdong Province.
About 200 pieces of porcelain were recovered when the ship was found in 2007. The ship could have been carrying some 10,000 pieces of porcelain, most made during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty (1573-1620). However, the earliest piece found so far dated back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
The ship was probably a Guangdong merchant vessel, since most of the porcelain items found so far were produced by local workshops, said Cui Yong, an archaeologist with the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Archaeology and Relics.
The wreck was discovered by local fishermen in 2007. Since then, the area has been cordoned off and monitored by radar to prevent the cargo being stolen, according to the border police of Shantou.
That ship has been kept in a glass pool at a local museum, with water duplicating the conditions in which the wreck was found.
Name of source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
SOURCE: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (3-11-09)
A church that dates to the Byzantine period which is paved with breathtakingly beautiful mosaics and a dedicatory inscription was exposed in an archaeological excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority is conducting near Moshav Nes-Harim, 5 kilometers east of Bet Shemesh (at the site of Horvat A-Diri), in the wake of plans to enlarge the moshav.
Various phases that were used after the church was abandoned in the later part of the Byzantine period were discerned elsewhere in the structure. The mosaic floor was completely destroyed in different places and the area inside the church was put to secondary use. Industrial installations that are ascribed to the same phase were found which attest to the functional change the building underwent during the end of the Byzantine period-beginning of the Early Islamic period (7th century CE).
According to Daniel Ein Mor, "We know of other Byzantine churches and sites that are believed to be Byzantine monasteries, which are located in the surrounding region. The excavation at Nes-Harim supplements our knowledge about the nature of the Christian-Byzantine settlement in the rural areas between the main cities in this part of the country during the Byzantine period, among them Bet Guvrin, Emmaus and Jerusalem."
Name of source: Spiegel
SOURCE: Spiegel (3-11-09)
In what could become one of the final war crimes trials related to the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany in World War II, German prosecutors on Wednesday filed charges against alleged death camp guard John Demjanjuk. Accused of having worked in the Sobibor camp in present-day Poland, the 88-year-old has been charged with more than 29,000 counts of accessory to murder. Prosecutors will seek his extradition from the US, where he lives in a suburb of Cleveland with his wife.
The new charges are just the latest in a long legal saga centered on Demjanjuk. Originally from Ukraine, Demjanjuk claimed that he served in the Soviet army during the war and was captured by German troops in 1942 and interned in a prisoner of war camp. He gained citizenship in the US in 1958, but was extradited to Israel in the mid-1980s and convicted of being the infamous camp guard at Treblinka known as Ivan the Terrible.
He was freed in the early 1990s after it became clear that he was not, in fact, Ivan the Terrible and returned to the US. It wasn't long, however, before additional evidence arose implicating Demjanjuk for having been one of some 5,000 so-called Trawnikis, foreign volunteers who helped out the Nazis with the slaughter of the Jews in the death camps. He fought for years against a US court ruling allowing his deportation, but the US Supreme Court affirmed that decision by rejecting an appeals petition last year.
The public prosecutor's office in Munich said that further steps to bring Demjanjuk to Germany will be taken after close consultation with the government in Berlin. As soon as he arrives, he will be officially charged before the court.