Destination: Gangjin (Jeollanam-do)

While in town for the Gangjin Celadon Festival, the Lady in Red and I decided to meander our way through the tiny county in Jeollanam-do. It's technically an 읍 (eup, or rural county), and with a mere 41,000 people living there it's far from densely populated. As usual, we started from the bus terminal and peeked at the tourist information / map to help us decide where to go.

The Glory That Was Rome (Video)

The History of Rome podcast sparked interest in the HBO series Rome. I’d seen it years ago on its original run, but now I’ve watched the first 6 episodes again. I’m also set to watch I, Claudiusagain. The psychological insights both made into these men of stone is worth the liberties both series made with fact,

The Horrible Waste and Destruction of Two Atomic Bombs

I want to write more – as well as do more reading – but right now this comment I’ve left at Roy Berman’s post on “Hiroshima bombing anniversary” is my most recent statement on the significance of the two atomic blasts on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. More and more, I view both as unnecessary war crimes.

Continuing what M-Bone said, I think it’s important to view the A-Bomb not as only a military weapon, but as a means to a diplomatic strategy the US implemented to frustrate the Japanese.

Bukharin and Trotsky Revealed

BolsheviksEconTalk’s Russ Roberts has posted a podcast mini-series on Bolshevik leaders of the 1917 Russian Revolution, having now completed episodes featuring Paul Gregory on Nikolai Bukharin and Robert Service on Leon Trotsky.

Rule by the Better Kinds of Mob

America's Last Good Mob RulerJoseph J. Ellis takes an historical approach to the notion, that American politics should become more partisan and imitate the Westminster model.

Did they want people to organize into parties?

The Most Dangerous Man in America (Video)

I had to remember how much I despised intelligence-gathering. I can’t decide if Dana Priest and William Arkin are fools, serviceable or otherwise. There are moral limits to human perfectibility, beyond which lies something that is incomprehensibly other than human.

I had another chance to watch the excellent documentary about Daniel Ellsberg, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.

Happy Constitution Day, Korea-Style

Today, July 17, is Choseon Constitution Day in the ROK. I love the caption to a photo on the Wikipedia entry because it’s unfortunately so true. “Street along a road in Seoul during Constitution Day. Flags are hung up along street lights during this day but actual celebrations throughout the country are few.”

I was looking for some nifty scene narrated in a history text about this very republican day, but, alas, I can’t even find “constitution” in the index. And then, piggybacking a post I did about Kim Gu last month, I read this about Lee Syng-man:

Social Security Is NOT a Pyramid Scheme, Penn! (Video)

Easy Money” is a Penn & Teller Bullshit! episode with all the trademark gimmicks and attitude, but with a screaming flaw – Penn Jillette’s Social Security tirade.

The Anniversary of a Puzzle (Video)

Ed at Gin and Tacos puts it well:

We all remember J. Robert Oppenheimer’s reaction (“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” from the Bhagavad Gita) but I think the lesser known words of the lesser known Kenneth Bainbridge do the job a little bit better: “Now we are all sons of bitches.”

My Declaration of Independence

It’s Independence Day in the United States, and Will Wilkinson is attacking patriotism. I’ve not read the book he mentions here, but just a quick reading of what patriotism meant for 18th Century liberals points out a glaring problem. What Wilkinson claims as Kateb’s criticism of “patriotism”, that it’s particularistic and emotional, is the opposite of what Enlightenment thinkers valued as patriotic. It would seem, that an 18th Century liberal would agree with the cause of Kateb’s criticism, and offer patriotism as the solution.

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