The unimaginable can occur. That is a notion at once banal and perennially useful to recall. … Events cascade. … Let us indulge in dark imaginings, then, in the cause of prudence.
It is a reminder that a multipolar world in a time of transition, when popular resentments are rising over joblessness and inequality, is a dangerous place indeed.
We should not lightly discard a well-grounded pessimism or the treaties it has produced.
Source: Yes, It Could Happen Again – The Atlantic
“Unbalanced multipolar systems feature the most dangerous distribution of power, mainly because potential hegemons are likely to get into wars with all of the other great powers in the system.”
— John Mearsheimer, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics
An Urban World: UNICEF’s new data visualization of urban population growth
Source: Unicef Urban Population Map
For realists, the true story of the Civil War illuminates the problem of ostensibly sober-minded compromise with powerful, and intractable, evil. For radicals, the wave of white terrorism that followed the war offers lessons on the price of revolutionary change. White Americans finding easy comfort in nonviolence and the radical love of the civil-rights movement must reckon with the unsettling fact that black people in this country achieved the rudiments of their freedom through the killing of whites.
And for black people, there is this—the burden of taking ownership of the Civil War as Our War. During my trips to battlefields, the near-total absence of African American visitors has been striking. Confronted with the realization that the Civil War is the genesis of modern America, in general, and of modern black America, in particular, we cannot just implore the Park Service and the custodians of history to do more outreach—we have to become custodians ourselves.
Source: Why Do So Few Blacks Study the Civil War? – The Atlantic
[The PVSA] force[s] cruise ships going from one US city to another to either stop at what is called a “far foreign port” (ie., outside of North America), or to stop at a foreign port within North America before returning to the American port of embarkation. Thus, a cruise ship cannot start in Los Angeles and end in San Francisco unless it stops in Tokyo or Lima first. But it can start in Los Angeles, go to San Francisco, then later end in Los Angeles, as long as it stops in Ensenada, Mexico or Victoria, British Columbia first.
Source: Why You Can’t Take a Cruise From Brooklyn to Baltimore, or L.A. to San Francisco – Hit & Run : Reason.com
RE: 2011/08/07 post on The Concerned Troll
As America celebrates its birthday on July 4, the timeless words of Thomas Jefferson will surely be invoked to remind us of our founding ideals — that “All men are created equal” and are “endowed by their Creator” with the right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These phrases, a cherished part of our history, have rightly been called “American Scripture.”
Source: Why U.S. is not a Christian nation – CNN.com