An… interesting… portion of W.Wilson’s 1917 war speech to Congress.

We have no quarrel with the German people. We have no feeling towards them but one of sympathy and friendship. It was not upon their impulse that their Government acted in entering this war. It was not with their previous knowledge or approval. It was a war determined upon as wars used to be determined upon in the old, unhappy days when peoples were nowhere consulted by their rulers and wars were provoked and waged in the interest of dynasties or of little groups of ambitious men who were accustomed to use their fellow men as pawns and tools. Self-governed nations do not fill their neighbour states with spies or set the course of intrigue to bring about some critical posture of affairs which will give them an opportunity to strike and make conquest. Such designs can be successfully worked out only under cover and where no one has the right to ask questions. Cunningly contrived plans of deception or aggression, carried, it may be, from generation to generation, can be worked out and kept from the light only within the privacy of courts or behind the carefully guarded confidences of a narrow and privileged class. They are happily impossible where public opinion commands and insists upon full information concerning all the nation’s affairs.

Gao-Yu — 71 years old and still fighting the Chinese government. she gives me goosebumps.

This woman will not give up. She is a journalist fighting for what she believes in until the day she dies. And I have to give her the utmost respect for that.

A portrait of Chinese journalist Gao Yu is displayed by a protester in front of the national emblem of China during a demonstration calling for the release of Gao, Hong Kong publisher Yao Wentian and Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong May 11, 2014. The Chinese government has stepped up pressure on the human rights community ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, detaining several leading dissidents and activists, including Pu and Gao. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu (CHINA - Tags: MEDIA CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) - RTR3OMRN

A portrait of Chinese journalist Gao Yu is displayed by a protester in front of the national emblem of China during a demonstration calling for the release of Gao, Hong Kong publisher Yao Wentian and Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong May 11, 2014. The Chinese government has stepped up pressure on the human rights community ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, detaining several leading dissidents and activists, including Pu and Gao. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu (CHINA – Tags: MEDIA CIVIL UNREST POLITICS) – RTR3OMRN

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/04/15/dispatches-silencing-veteran-chinese-journalist

http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/02/china-end-denial-about-tiananmen-massacre

Quote of the Day

“For millions of years, mankind lived just like the animals. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk and we learned to listen. Speech has allowed the communication of ideas, enabling human beings to work together to build the impossible. Mankind’s greatest achievements have come about by talking, and its greatest failures by not talking. It doesn’t have to be like this. Our greatest hopes could become reality in the future. With the technology at our disposal, the possibilities are unbounded. All we need to do is make sure we keep talking.”
Stephen Hawking

Prevailing Peace Even In a Time of War: The Christmas Truce of 1914

Milam's Musings

Well, for reportedly two weeks starting on Christmas, during one of the bloodiest wars in human history: the trench warfare of WWI. British and German soldiers stopped fighting and had peace. “Never … was I so keenly aware of the insanity of war.” Indeed. It’s one of my favorite stories ever, so I thought I had to make a blog post on it. Check it, British and German troops:

whoa

From Reason, if you’re unfamiliar with this event from almost exactly 100 years ago:

The truce was a series of unofficial and widespread cease-fires that extended over two weeks. The truce between mostly British and German troops centered on the Western Front, defined by lines of trenches that stretched across France from the North Sea to the border of Switzerland. The trenches were often close enough for the combatants to exchange shouted words and to smell food their adversaries were cooking.

Life in…

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